Makeup & Beauty Monday: Anti-Fatigue Products

If anyone needs some anti-fatigue cream, moms do, so I thought I would bring these to your attention: Garnier’s Sleeping Cream, Eye Gel Cream, and Day Cream, all of which have great reviews. Each is $16.99 at Ulta, and you can probably get them at your local drugstore as well. Garnier Anti-Fatigue Products

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Anon for this says:

    Has anyone adopted while already having biological kids? How was the transition with introducing the adopted child into the family? Things to consider? We’re looking at international adoption, from the country where DH and I are from.

    • I haven’t adopted myself but I worked in an area where I saw a lot of adoptions from foster care and also disrupted adoptions (international and domestic). One thing I would strongly suggest is that the adopted kids not be the same age as the bio kids. I think it can work very well when you have bio kids who are older (maybe 10+) and then adopt younger kids (<5). An age gap helps cut down on competition between them, which can really hurt family dynamics, attachment, etc. It can work out very nicely when older bio kids see themselves as role models for the adopted kids. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you considering infant (under age 2) adoption? or older child adoption? How old are your kids? Will the adopted child be older or younger than your children? Easiest integration will usually be if the child is the youngest and adopted as an infant. More challenging to integrate an older child into the family dynamic. Are there any language considerations or do you speak the language of your home country in the house already?

    • Anon for this says:

      Thanks for the replies so far. My understanding is that adoption agencies push to maintain the birth order for any existing children in the family, so my oldest will remain the oldest and any adopted child will be younger. Were hoping to adopt a child under 2, but I know that the wait list is very long for young healthy babies. We speak the language at home already.

  2. Clementine says:

    So I got to experience my first set of full on toddler tantrums yesterday. What a treat! I really like the point where they go boneless and drop to the ground, followed by the writhing around like a salmon that accidentally jumped out of its stream. That plus the bloodcurdling screaming? Such a treat!

    Everything is a season, eh?

    • I just keep reminding myself, this too shall pass.

    • It’s just like Knuffle Bunny!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I don’t know how humankind has survived past toddlerhood. Why didn’t the cave people take one look at their screaming cave babies and scream “FINE GET EATEN BY A LION FOR ALL I CARE?!” … probably about the same reason I don’t let my kid hurl herself off the change table, but man… I’m bracing myself for some long days ahead.

      • Anonymous says:

        They did. But we’re descended from the ones who didn’t.

        (Actually I suspect that cave baby life suits toddlers very well: no clocks, no appointments, no toilet training, no princess dresses to fight with mom about, never had a chicken nugget or mac and cheese or candy so you don’t know to want them/scream about them, no screens to fight with mom about, no fighting about tracking dirt into the cave, no battery operated toys to fight about, lots of other kids around, maybe some dogs, maybe some chickens.

  3. CPA Lady says:

    I feel like I’ve complained a lot recently, both here and on the main s i t e about how much clothes right now suck. But I have to report that I went shopping this weekend and had surprisingly good luck at Loft. They have lots of cute botanical prints, and I even found a top there that I would categorize as “hip and trendy”, so now I won’t feel like a complete slob when I go out for drinks with friends.

    I was shopping both for work and for casual stuff, and came away with 9 pieces (Loft, Talbots, and a couple from Old Navy)… somehow I think that’ll refresh my overly Kondo’d wardrobe. Sometime I just need to remind myself that I need to suck it up and spend some time and money on myself. I feel so much better about my clothes situation.

    • anne-on says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I keep buying (and returning) spring tops from Banana Republic and the Gap. I probably just need to suck it up and go to a store in person and try on a bunch of things….ugh.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        Definitely go to the Banana store. I bought two really cute tops, very flattering.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Yes! I can go months without spending money on clothes, but then I get into a phase (where I am right now) where I feel angsty about the state of my wardrobe. Time alone in a clothing store sounds heavenly.

  4. AnonMom says:

    Good morning ladies! I need some gift ideas for a 4 year old girl and her 2 year old brother. They live abroad in Europe and we are visiting soon. Should I ask my friend (their mom) what they are into these days? I know she likes a particular princess (from a cartoon?) but I forgot the name. Can anyone suggest some gift ideas or should I simply ask the mom? I feel that I should know these things but then DS is only an infant..Thanks!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would do a book for each of them and Lego Duplo to share. Lego is actually much pricier in Europe compared to the states. For books, ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ is currently a hit with my two year old, and ‘Rosie Revere Engineer’ would be a cute Americana reference that she probably couldn’t get in Europe. Other faves are ‘The Paper Bag Princess’ and ‘Murmel, Murmel’, and ‘Pigs’ by Robert Munsch – those are good for both 2 and 4 year olds.

      • AnonMom says:

        Thanks so much!! Such great ideas. Do you suggest any particular Lego. I just searched on amazon and they have so many options.

        • Anonymous says:

          These two sets have been very popular in our house because even when the kids aren’t into building, they can use them for imaginative play (little figures get driven to school etc).

          School bus set: LEGO DUPLO Town School Bus 10528

          Vehicles set: LEGO DUPLO My First Cars and Trucks 10816

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Princess Sophia?

      I’d ask their mom, since there could be toys that aren’t as easily available in Europe (no idea what they would be, though!) and returning/exchanging if they already have the toys wouldn’t be possible.

      Other thoughts, mostly if they children are learning/speaking English now and aren’t in the UK, would be English books — it’s been a while, and times may have changed, but I remember books, especially English books, being much more expensive in Europe and hard to find.

      • AnonMom says:

        Absolutely, they are more expensive. Great suggestion to get books.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Are you in a major US city, and are the kids going to be doing or seeing any of the common tourist-y sights? If so, a picture book where the characters go to those places would be a fun souvenir. For instance, if you are in NYC, Eloise. There is a whole series of “Good Night [placename]” board books as well.

          Before buying anything big like Duplos, you should probably ask the parents, because while they are cheaper in the US, you won’t be doing them any favors if they then have to pay to check extra bags on the way back (unless they were planning to do that anyway).

          For something small but that 2 and 4 year olds would consider exciting, consider stickers or temporary tattoos – my 5 year old got a ton of stuff from the Easter bunny, but his favorite thing of all was the random temporary tattoo my sister threw in at the last second.

    • Here’s what I would do. Buy a set of Lego Duplo for your house, since your DS will eventually use them anyway. The visitors can play with them, but won’t have to take them back.

      Then for the visitors, make them little welcome baskets. The dollar spot at Target can be your friend here. For my 4yo DD and 2yo DS, huge hits from that section are:
      – sidewalk chalk and bubbles
      – Magic Ink books (!!! seriously they can go through one of these in a day)
      – stickers with a blank notebook to put them in
      – wands or balls that light up when you smack them
      – tiny playdough sets
      – those character Memory games and/or flash cards where they can look at pictures of animals (my 2 yo just makes up his own game)
      – random 4 page cardboard books
      – a smaller car or truck

      • Anonymous says:

        This is all great advice.

        I really, really love the idea of buying some toys that will live at your house but be fun for your guests while they are there. In addition to duplos, I highly recommend magntiles. (Magformers are another favorite, but with the younger ages magnatiles are definitely better). You baby can play with both, btw. Plus some basic coloring supplies (washable only!)

        The dollar store/section bags are also such a good idea. The small stuff can be nice on the travel home, too. Boys and girls love those light up wands, lol. Additional ideas: slinky, sippy cup, simple puzzle, soft balls (foam or stuffy). Small beanie boos are not in the dollar area, but they are strangely popular with that age group. You could get the ones on clips that they could put on their luggage as a souvenir.

        For a ‘real’ gift, I’d get them each a book. Easy to bring home. For the 4 year old girl, I recommend Not your typical dragon, Rosie Revere, I just forgot, Hi Koo, and the Mary Englebriet fairy tale collection. For the 2 year old boy, I recommend Freight Train, Good night good night construction site, Little Blue Truck, The DK tabbed books (ie “my first things that go: let’s get moving), and Fisher Price Little People books with flaps.

      • This is excellent advice and I’m going to remember it, but it sounds as though AnonMom is visiting them abroad, not the other way around.

        • AnonMom says:

          Yes, we are visiting them abroad. The older one is taking English classes so in case she is not as advanced to understand Rosie Revere yet, she can use her brother’s books for now. Memory games and stickers are also light and a great idea. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  5. POSITA says:

    Gah. I was automatically assigned a safety course at work via online learning and I can’t get it to run. It crashes over and over again. I gave up a few weeks ago because I couldn’t seem to resolve the issue. IT isn’t helpful. Now my boss is getting alerts that I haven’t taken the course. Is it really imperitive that I am recertified on using eye wash stations as a lawyer? This can’t be the best use of my time.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      We have to do one in person every year. It’s the same company wide so we get lock-out, tag-out and told not to drive the fork lifts every year. I feel for you, super not applicable (although the ergonomics section is a good reminder). I can’t see how I’d be inspired to push through IT glitches in order to get training done.

    • Walnut says:

      I hear you. My annual compliance training includes all sorts of courses that are focused on our field employees. My personal favorite is the course on explosives. I’d be happier about the annual compliance if they gave me a small stash for my personal use.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell IT that you’ll be down to their office and doing the training on their computer this afternoon. Bet it works in a couple hours.

  6. I have a question about attachment and/or separation anxiety. My toddler is 27 months. I was under the impression that by this time, kids would be more independent and wouldn’t struggle as much with attachment and/or separation anxiety. To this day, my toddler still cries and holds on tight any time he thinks I am leaving (specially at daycare drop off). Do you ladies have any tips for handling this situation? Any reading resources that can help provide some insight as to what he may be struggling with?

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I still have this happen with my 2.5 year old (and I don’t think we’re the only ones at daycare with this issue, based on what I see).

      There’s a Daniel Tiger episode (or song?) called “Grown-Ups Come Back”. It will get stuck in your head, but that may help. I sometimes will tell my daughter that we’ll do something in particular in the evening so she can look forward to it. Otherwise I try to redirect — suggest she go play with a friend or a particular toy, and get out as quickly as possible.

    • EB0220 says:

      This is prime time for separation anxiety in my experience. I agree that the Daniel Tiger episode “Grown Ups Come Back” is good. My kiddo’s teachers always say “Mommy will be back to get you after nap.” and that seems to help give her a specific timeline. Be on the lookout for any health stuff (teeth, ear infection) as sometimes these minor aches and pains manifest in a clingy child. Otherwise – just be loving but firm, don’t drag it out and know that it will pass.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Our daycare encourages parents and kids to come up with a ritual that is quick and easy to do every day at drop-off, and then the teachers quickly move the kid into a distracting activity.

      For instance, our daycare has windows that face the sidewalk in half of the classrooms. So for many families, the ritual is to give a hug or high 5, then to go to the window to wave to the parent or to blow kisses to the parent.

      Do you pretty much always drop off around the same time to the same daycare teacher? Perhaps ask the teacher what they recommend to make the handoff less stressful?

    • I think this stage lasts until roughly 3, but even then it still pops up occasionally for years.

      Ask the teachers (or caregivers) how long it takes kiddo to act normally once you leave. Assuming he is happily playing within 30 min or less, then I think it’s just a stage, even if it’s still going on at ages 5 and 6, unfortunately. If it’s lasting all day, or taking hours for him to “get back to normal” then maybe worth reading up on or talking to your pediatrician about.

    • shortperson says:

      janet lansbury has a podcast on “how to say goodbye to your child at school” that could be helpful. personally i love her approach to a lot of issues.

    • Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions. It makes me feel better that it is still in fact normal at this stage. I will try some of these suggestions to see if our transitions improve.

  7. Anonymom says:

    The look on my boss’s face when I told him I didn’t stuff my 2 year old’s easter eggs with candy… I filled them with Cheerios and grapes instead. And she was overjoyed to even get a basket of eggs and find treats in them! And she had lots of candy at our extended family’s house later in the day… so why do I feel like such a mean mom now who must be depriving my kid of some sort of essential childhood experience? It isn’t something I necessarily plan to do for the rest of her life but she’s only 2 and doesn’t have any expectations yet. And just to clarify so I don’t seem like a holier-than-thou sanctimommy, he asked me if I gave her tons of candy, I did not volunteer this information.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry about it. Pretty sure every parent I know did some combination of candy, puffs, cheerios, raisins, chocolate chips and a chocolate bunny. I usually just say we did a combination of their favorite things.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      My 2.5 year old got more candy than she should have, but only because there were older kids around who were also getting candy, but for the most part, she didn’t get a chance to eat much and her plastic eggs had tattoos and a few other little things in them. She was just excited to find and open eggs!

      I think the ‘giving candy to little kids’ thing is something that seems much more appealing when you don’t have to deal with toddlers having a sugar high while covered in half-melted chocolate. I’d just chalk this up as general post-holiday chitchat.

    • My 14 month old’s Easter basket contained 6 board books and a sleep sack (because he needed a new one). I’m all for sneaking in healthy stuff and necessities for holidays before they know what is going on and have expectations. He did get candy in his Easter basket from my mom, but my husband and I ate most of that.

    • avocado says:

      We put non-food treats, mostly stickers, in the eggs at that age.

      And since the Great Country Club Chocolate Disaster of 2010, I never ever put candy of any type in eggs that will be hidden outdoors.

      • Frozen Peach says:

        Oh DO TELL!

        • avocado says:

          85-degree weather + candy-filled eggs sitting on the lawn all morning + tiny anti-suffocation vent holes in eggs + preschooler deathly afraid of bugs = massive screams of terror when preschooler opens an egg to discover the contents crawling with ants. Followed by more wailing when she bends over to pick up another egg, brushes her skirts against a melty chocolate on the ground, and comes up with a huge brown streak down the front of her new Easter dress.

    • When my son was 2, his Easter Eggs were filled with… socks. And he loved them. Toddler socks fit really well into those eggs.

      • ElisaR says:

        that’s what my son got this year! Very exciting socks.

      • Work travel? says:


        And I don’t mean to sound judgmental but I am horrified by the expectation that 2 year olds should get candy. They don’t even know what candy is ar that age…they love everything and that is prime age for development of taste preferences and expectations, so….no, boss wtf to you for that look.

        Fwiw I knew my kids would get candy from random places (post mass Easter egg hunt, I’m looking at you) so even for my school aged kids there was no candy…rocket balloons, coins, plastic animals, and tiny play doh for the win!

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Daycare gave my daughter candy — well, indirectly. They had an egg hunt and families were encouraged to fill eggs with “healthy choices.” Like the trooper that I am, I went to the 99 cent store and got mini slinkies to put in our eggs. But some were filled with M&Ms.

          I think this was her first taste of actual candy (sweets in our family tend to be ice cream, set up as a big treat/outing, or healthy-ish baked goods) and wowwww.

          Might as well have been crack for all the agonized cries for more and absolute lashing out when I refused to give in. I’m just hoping she eventually forgets about it / realizes it’s not something we have at home?

    • LegalMomma says:

      the Easter Bunny hid goldfish and stickers in my 2 year olds eggs. And her eggs from the afternoon hunt with older kids were magically emptied while she was distracted after the hunt …. her Easter basket had a book, a slinky, sidewalk chalk and crayons

    • SoCalAtty says:

      We always have hunted real hard-boiled eggs that we dye the night before! We put a chocolate bunny, some candy, bunny shaped “goldfish,” bubbles, and some spring art cards in my 19 month old’s basket.

    • I didn’t give my 2 year old any candy. I put stickers in his easter eggs. He hasn’t developed an interest in candy so I’ll milk this as long as I can. He does, however, love baked goods.

      Love Betty’s idea of putting socks in the eggs! I put some in his basket and it didn’t occur to me to stuff them in the eggs.

    • Anonymous says:

      We didn’t do Easter eggs or basket yet (17 months). We don’t have a yard and public egg hunts are just too much for young toddlers. I’m hoping next year she’ll be ready to dye eggs and maybe go to the 5th Avenue Easter Parade and look at hats.

  8. DH and I had a pretty miserable Easter weekend and ended up arguing a lot about holiday expectations. I get stressed and overwhelmed with attending to all the details, and he ends up feeling left out. To make matters more complicated, he worked all day Saturday when I needed help the most. I was trying to make desserts and dishes for our family gathering on Sunday, stuffing eggs for the family egg hunt, and several other things while watching our two kids, all so we could have family time when he got home. It backfired spectacularly. I was exhausted and crabby for the rest of the night, and silently resented him for not having to worry about any of it. Which led to a big argument in front of the kids about who does more, which is pretty terrible. He accused me of being a control freak who tries to outdo herself on every holiday. (Which I really disagree with; even keeping things simple requires some thought, planning, and execution. And we weren’t even hosting this time!) I realize that I’ve gotten into a bad habit of keeping the running to-do list in my head, which is all too easy to do when I’m the one getting all the text messages/emails/phone calls from the other women in my friends and family circle who are doing the planning.

    I don’t know how to break the cycle. His family, at least, has gotten better about including him on the emails about holiday plans, so he’s at least aware that things are happening and he needs to help. I love that we have family nearby, but it does ratchet up the expectations about How Things Are Done. In my family, for example, it is sacrilege to bring store-bought anything to a holiday gathering — which is what DH would do if I put him in charge. We have a big home-cooked dinner for 20 people, every time, and believe me when I say that nobody is going to budge on that plan. And when it comes to the neighborhood Easter egg hunt, of course it’s the moms who do every bit of the planning. When I suggested that we get the dads involved, it went nowhere and I’m pretty sure my neighbors think I’m nuts. They’re the moms who love love love every bit of holiday planning and see it as their domain. Unconsciously, I’ve been letting the same pattern with my DH and I kind of hate myself for it. We see each other as partners, so why is it so hard to reverse our conditioning around the holidays?

    • EB0220 says:

      I’m not perfect at this, but I have started to think of it like work. When I’m giving an estimate for a project task, I usually add 30-50% to what I think it will actually take. (I usually end up being about right.) I set expectations up front. I ask for priorities. If I know I can’t complete something, I give people enough notice that they can help, adjust expectations or suggest alternatives. I have options depending on family priorities – e.g. I’ll buy pre-stuffed eggs and cook the dishes. Or I’ll tell my extended family to suck it up and bring store-bought dishes to the gathering. Mostly, I prioritize the happiness of my own family over the expectations, plans and opinions of extended family.

      • I need to memorize the last sentence of your reply. Also love the advice about adding 30-50% more time to each task. When my 2-year-old is awake, make that more like 75-100%. :)

    • Clementine says:

      1: I want you to go back and read what you wrote. Then I want you to respond like it is your best friend who just told you this was happening in his/her life.

      I’ll bet you a dollar that you just responded with compassion and kindness to your best friend. Try and listen to that kind, compassionate voice and allow yourself to hear it.

      2: Lower your expectations. I’m hearing that your husband is willing to help, but you have decided that what he does won’t be up to par. Maybe he rolls in with a store bought cheesecake (the HORROR!!). Maybe there are only a dozen eggs hidden rather than 100. In 5 years, are you going to care or remember? Probably not.

      3: You’ve fallen into a pattern around holidays with your spouse that you don’t like. You see each other as partners- approach this like a problem you’d troubleshoot at work with a business partner. I would take a day when you’re removed from the situation and really work together to figure out what steps you can both take to improve the outcome. To do this, you WILL have to let go of control. It WILL NOT be the way that you would have done it, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

      Much love to you. Balance is hard.

      • Thank you for such a compassionate response. The theme of “lower your expectations” seems to be a lesson that I have to learn over and over again. :) The very good news is that DH is willing to do more.

    • Blueberry says:

      Two things that work for me: (1) Being 80/20 about parenting (and, well, everything else). I just can’t do it all, and nobody in my family is worse off if they have a store-bought dessert. If they are, they need to learn to deal with it. When you say nobody will budge, what does this mean? Are they not going to eat a fancy pie you bought for them? Are they going to be snarky about it? My family is pretty understanding about the challenges of being a full-time working parent of young kids, and it would make them sad rather than happy if they knew I was stressing out over getting multiple homemade contributions to the family gathering. Hopefully yours is to, and if not, they need a wakeup call. Trying to do this and more while solo parenting is objectively too hard, IMO. (2) I either give my husband relatively specific tasks if there is something we are in charge of together (e.g., you can stuff the Easter eggs on Saturday night after the kids are in bed so that I can finish the dessert), or I try my hardest to not be critical when it is something he is taking care of on his own because I didn’t have time. Being pretty type A, I have a hard time with all of this, but experience and exhaustion are good teachers.

      • Wow, your comment hits really close to home. My family wouldn’t say anything about store-bought stuff, but imagining my mom’s silent judgment gets me every time. On one level, she understands that being a full-time working parent is hard, but she doesn’t always fully understand that means I have to make different choices in how I spend my energy. (I was home all day Saturday, so how hard could it be to whip up a dessert?!) Thank you for the reality check that it is objectively hard to parent two young kids while being a weekend homemaker. Sometimes I judge myself more than others judge me.

        I can do a better job of identifying tasks for DH to do, and you’re also right that I need to let go of my expectations a bit. I’ve gotten a lot better in my daily life, but there is something about the holidays that brings out the worst parts of my personality, and where all my issues about being the “right” kind of mother/daughter/wife come into play. In hindsight, I should’ve saved some of the holiday prep for when he got home. I would’ve had more energy to deal with … everything.

        • JayJay says:

          I don’t know how old your kids are, but I went through something very similar when my two were younger. My family is all local and we’re similar: every major holiday is an EXTRAVAGANZA and it will all be only homemade food, because that is just what we do. And I absolutely wore myself out on holiday and drove myself and my husband crazy. Finally, my husband made me realize that I was the one placing all these unrealistic expectations on me, and the kids were happy no matter where we were and whether the food was homemade or not.

          This past weekend, I had the whole family over to our house. I cleaned and decorated the house, and my family brought all the food they spent all day Saturday preparing. We do this for most holidays now and it works and divvies up the responsibilities well.

    • Cookie Harpy says:

      Holiday expectations are so hard. I say this as the person who ended up yelling at my husband over the daycare holiday cookie swap for similar reasons– being resentful over shouldering a disproportionate share of holiday related emotional labor while also not asking for help or being willing to compromise in any way. I have since chilled out somewhat since that debacle. It was kind of a wake up call for me.

      Here are some ideas of how to make this easier:
      – ASK FOR HELP.
      – Do as much ahead of time as possible. I had ordered and assembled my kid’s valentines a couple weeks before valentines day. Easter eggs can be stuffed a week ahead of time (by your husband).
      – Take it down a notch. Yeah, bake brownies, but use a box mix. Or get things from the store that you can transfer into your own container. Who’s to say whether that spinach artichoke dip is yours or the store’s? If you MUST make something homemade, don’t do anything elaborate and make food prep as easy on yourself as possible– buy pre-chopped vegetables and the like.
      – Name your feelings. This was something I never learned to do growing up, but have been working on. It helps diffuse the resentment before it gets out of hand. If you’re frustrated and overwhelmed, say that out loud to your husband and tell him you need to take a minute. Then go take a minute. No silent seething. That does no one any good.
      – Realize that this is all optional, and if you want to choose to do it, embrace that. I choose to do it. I also recognize that it is a choice, not a mandate. It is something I WANT to be doing, not just because of what other people would think, but because I want the holidays to be a certain way. Somehow this helps make the “work” surrounding the holidays more fun and less annoying.

      • Thank you. I know all this, but I really (really) need the reminder.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Agree with this, and adding that getting a catering-sized serving of whatever food from Whole Foods or Wegmans or whatever is in your area, and transferring it to your own dish is totally fine, and you do not need to tell anyone that’s what is going on.

    • anne-on says:

      Can you be REALLY explicit about what holiday time entails? Speaking from personal experience, my enjoyment of Christmas/Easter ratcheted waaay up when I told my husband, look, someone has to plan/wrap/buy/stuff stockings/eggs/presents etc. I will do that, BUT, it will happen during evening bath/bed time, which you then agree to take over for X amount of nights. Mommy can drink wine while buying gifts and enjoy the corny lifetime movies about christmas you hate while wrapping presents/stuffing eggs.

    • Meg Murry says:

      One other piece to this is communication – did you both know in advance that he was working Saturday? Or had you been mentally planning on him helping with the kids while you did Easter prep or trading off with Easter prep, and he then sprung on you that *surprise* he was off to work and you were then stuck on kid duty by default?

      I hear you on holiday stress. My husband did zero prep work, and then at 9 pm on Saturday night when I was trying to force the kids to go to bed so we could get everything ready he was still riling them up and letting them stay up 45+ minutes past their usual bedtime while I had a headache and kept getting more and more cranky. Finally, I dragged him to the kitchen by his ear and hissed “we still have to do all the Easter Bunny stuff and I am exhausted so stop it and get the kids in bed NOW or I’m going to bed and you can either do it all yourself or explain to the 5 year old why the Easter Bunny didn’t come”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another option is to set up dad and kiddos as your new cook team. I’d dare any grandma on the planet to sniff at something the kids made for a family meal. Start them with a brownie mix next holiday and in a few years you’ll have them all doing the family recipes.

      My parents generally split the holidays. Mom handled Halloween, Thanksgiving and back to school shopping. Dad handled Easter, Valentines, summer vacation planning, Fourth of July. (Mom did Easter church clothes, but that was because she was in charge of all things church.) They split Christmas (Mom did fancy stuff and family tradition stuff; dad did decorating and kid stuff). Maybe just put your husband in charge of some holidays?

      • I like that idea. We’ve gotten better at tag-teaming Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I’ve been the default on others — and I don’t think it needs to be that way.

    • Anonymous says:

      A very important lesson in marriage and particularly parenting is understanding that you can EITHER be totally in control OR have help. You can’t have both.

      Splitting holiday duties – and especially establishing a routine for holiday prep – make a huge difference. When everyone is feeling rational, have a conversation about what parts of the holiday are most important to you, him, and your kids. Then discuss which tasks you and he like to do and/or are good at doing and which you don’t want to think about. If neither of you care about something, drop it or do the minimum.

      Once you find out what works for you and him, stick with it. Everyone else brings home cooked foods, but neither of you want to cook? Bring the wine and rolls, or offer to pay for the roast. For every other house on the street, the mom volunteers for the egg hunt but your husband wants to do it and you don’t? Then he does it with the other women.

  9. Maddie Ross says:

    This night cream made me break out all over my neck. I know everyone has a different reaction to things, but I HATED it.

    • And I rarely comment but have to point out that this particular post really bothers me, in that it is clearly nothing but a blatant advertisement. Kat has no first-hand experience whatsoever with this product, and recommends it merely on “good reviews” and the fact that it is sponsored by an affiliate. Hmm. It’s one thing, I suppose, when you are talking about fashion that you have scoped out and are recommending based upon it’s work-appropriateness, but when it comes to a beauty product, I guess I would just expect a little more substance to a post besides “someone is paying me to recommend this”.

  10. Ladies, I’ve got mad baby fever right now, but we’re putting off TTC until after a trip to the Caribbean this summer with extended family (darn you, zika!). Any suggestions for chilling out on this for now?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      No advice, but co-signed. We walked through the park this weekend and I saw tiny babies in bassinets and big siblings in Easter clothes and I was like, WANT THAT.

    • Miserably pregnant says:

      Focus on all the things you can enjoy now that you can’t enjoy during pregnancy, like drinking alcohol and caffeine as much as you want, eating what you want (without morning sickness), sleeping comfortably through the night, walking easily, having great s*x, and wearing pretty heels and clothes. I’m nearly 8 months pregnant and so over being pregnant. I longed to get pregnant during our long TTC journey, and now I long for the days when I wasn’t a grumpy, bloated, waddling mess with severe back pain.

    • Set your alarm for 11pm, 2am and 4 am daily for three days, and play 1-2 hours of crying noise every evening from 6-8 pm. It’s a light version of the real newborn experience! Those cute babies in the park are fake.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        That’s so true. I think I’m forgetting the misery of the first several months. I said to my husband, “don’t you want another one?” and he was like, “uhhhhh…… I feel like [toddler] is getting to be really fun and I didn’t think she was that much fun when she was that little.” Which is true.

      • Anonymous says:

        And at each midnight wake-up, play 15-45 minutes of crying noise, and once every evening change all of your bedding (deal with laundry every day while awake and sleep-deprived).

        • avocado says:

          And between wake-ups, have someone spray you all over with water so you have to get up and change your pajamas. Somehow the night sweats were the most miserable part.

          • YES. I have never sweated that much in my life. And for some reason I smelled really weird. Like I was sweating out chicken broth or something? Ugh, so gross.

      • Haha, this is the best advice.

      • Walnut says:

        I am DYING at the “change all of your bedding” comment. Day maker.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go to all the movies And gallery openings. And museum shows. Go to the theater. And the ballet and the symphony. And then grab dinner. Go home and deposit $100-150 you would have spent on a sitter into a savings account. (When you actually have baby you may be able to afford that sitter!)

      (Other things you should do before you get pregnant: start lifting weights, throw away everything you own, cancel your cable, save all of your money, get all of your doctors appointments out of the way, get your hair cut…)

  11. Baby Swim says:

    Can anyone recommend swimming diapers for a 8 month old baby? Thanks!

    • mascot says:

      iPlay resusable swim diapers worked well for us. They take a while to dry so buy a couple. Also, Gymboree had boys trunks with built-in diapers that we really liked, not sure if that’s an option for you. Some pools are more strict than others on what they will and won’t accept so it’s worth checking into that when buying if you know you will be visiting the same pool all the time.

    • Clementine says:

      We have one of the iPlay ones (reusable) in a 12 months size and have used it since he was 6 months. Swim diapers just hold in #2, not #1 so really you just need a p00 catcher.

      (Caveat- we cloth diaper so it doesn’t freak me out at all to wash these.)

    • Blueberry says:

      I always used the disposable ones. You can just search for them on Amazon. I think the brand I’ve used is Pampers, but it’s probably all the same. I use disposable diapers generally, and I’d rather not deal with a poopy mess while changing my kids at the pool. Note that some pools require that you double-up with disposable diapers on the inside and regular swim diapers on the outside. I think we had iPlay for the latter.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. Double up with a swimmy and a reusable swim diaper. Target has some.

        Don’t put your daughter in a super cute one piece suit (or one with complicated straps!). I always see miserable moms trying to get wet one pieces off of kids (up through age 6 or 7) at the pool I swim at. Tankini’s until kiddo can truly dress herself.

    • We used an iPlay over a disposable swim diaper because my son is full of you know what.

      • This is us. Disposable swim diapers, and a reusable iPlay for those places that require a second cover. We’ve never had a leak situation with this combo. (Although read the fine print – most actually don’t require the cover if it’s a true swim diaper, so if you’re playing in the backyard or only going to go to the pool a few times this summer, you might not even need the iPlay.)

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Same here — a swim diaper and then an additional outer layer because oof I don’t want to deal with the alternative.

        • Baby Swim says:

          Do I need both? Or can we get away with using the iPlay only? Thanks for all the great suggestions!

          • I just wanted maximum poo containment and not to have to clean anything off the reusable one. The iPlay ones are intended to be used alone, so you can definitely get away with them.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I’ve used both disposables (Lil’ Swimmers) and iPlay. They both get the job done. Just make sure you realize that swim diapers do not actually double as diapers – if you come in from the beach or the pool and they are asleep, take the second to put them in a real diaper before putting them in the bed. Or you will find yourself with a wet mess later.

    • lucy stone says:

      We use Alva Baby over a Lil’ Swimmer.

    • We used the reusable AppleCheeks and I loved them. They’ve got an adjustable fit so mine will be able to wear them this summer too (she wore them from 7-10 months last summer).

      • Wait, I might have lied about that. Size 1 is 7-20 pounds and my kid is like 21 pounds now. So I guess I’ll have to see if they’ll fit this summer.

    • Anonymous says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    20 month old climbed out of crib this weekend so we converted to a toddler bed. I don’t feel safe letting her climb out of the crib and potentially falling. But now there is no way to get her to stay in bed and fall asleep – someone has to sit with her and she demands mama. Mama is tired and misses having time to herself that is not sitting silently in the dark waiting for someone to fall asleep. Naps are worse than night time. Any tips? I know she’s way too young for a toddler bed but what can I do?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mine did this too. Same thing – she’s tall and climbed out at like 16 months, so I had to convert. A few things to do:
      1.) Teach that your baby monitor has the “talk” feature so you can always talk to her. You must teach this during the day when she’s happy, otherwise the talk feature will scare her and won’t work.
      2.) Tell her that each time she gets out of bed, she loses a stuffed animal. Then, do it. Kiss her goodnight, leave, and if she gets out of bed, walk back in and take a stuffed animal. As with sleep training, it took about a week to get the hang of it, and consistency is KEY, but it works.

    • bluefield says:

      You may not feel comfortable with this, but make it so you can externally lock the door, lock the door, and then leave (even better if you can remove all toys). I know it sounds really cruel, but locking the door is really no different than putting a baby in a crib. Either way they’re stuck.

      My daughter is 3 and understands more, what I tell her is that she can play in her bed quietly but if I hear her get out of bed or play loudly I’m locking the door. She really does not like the door being locked in and will stay in her bed and eventually fall asleep.

    • I let mine have books in bed so they can read as long as they want, or play quietly with animals. I don’t care if they’re sleeping as long as they’re quiet and stay in bed. There’s a gate in their doorway and the minimal furniture is bolted to the walls, so I don’t go back in. If they’re not quiet or in bed, and I have to go in, then I take one thing away like Anonymous does.

      My then-3yo once informed me she was going to stay up all night. I told her okay, reiterated the rules, and even gave her a huge stack of books next to her bed. Of course, after about 45 min, she was asleep. But I think she didn’t get the reaction she wanted, so it took all the fun out of it.

      • mascot says:

        Yeah, this is how we handled it when the young sir decided to launch out of his crib at 20 months. It’s not too young- think of the room as a bigger crib. It’s really hard for the first week or two and then they adjust to the new normal. Don’t start a new habit of sitting with her just because this is a short, BUT LOUD, adjustment period.

    • I’ve been doing this for six months. Download books on your kindle? I just sit there and read with her and it’s kind of nice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you planning to stick with the toddler bed? When our toddler crawled out of the crib, we dropped the mattress to the floor and added 2*6 around the bottom of the crib to close the gap to the floor then painted it to match the crib. Our oldest was in her crib until she was 3.5 years old which was old enough that we could negotiate that if she got out of bed we would switch the bed back to a crib.

    • Anonymama says:

      i started getting up to go do something each night (I’m just going to go turn off the light/go to the. Athroom/put the food in the fridge/put on socks/etc then I’ll be right back to check on you). He fussed the first few times then it was no big deal for me to leave, I stayed out longer and longer til he was falling asleep on his own. If he was out of bed or crying I would wait outside the door until he was in bed and quiet to come back in.

  13. DC Energy Attorney says:

    Advice on the best nursing bras? I believe Kat has recommended Bravado before, but they’re so expensive. For reference, pre-pregnancy I was a 38 DD.

    • lucy stone says:

      Do not cheap out on these. Bravado tanks are great, I like the Freya Pure bra for everyday. It has an underwire but I need that.

    • Blueberry says:

      I love the Anita brand, which I don’t see get much love on here. I ordered a million sizes and versions from Amazon to try on and ended up with three or so that I really liked. I was an E (I think?) when nursing, but I think they go significantly higher.

    • Anonymous says:

      bravado and anita

      I think of both as being quite reasonably priced. Bras aren’t the place to get frugal, IMO. But if they are truly outside your budget, I got a nursing bra (sleep bra style) from walmart that’s surprisingly comfortable. It was in a two pack. I bought it just for the parts (I was converting a nightgown), and the one I didn’t cut up I used in desperation one day and really loved. (I still wear it on the weekends… I weaned over a year ago).

      Don’t bother with the target brand, no matter what people say.

      • CPA Lady says:

        I actually got all my nursing bras from walmart. They were about $12 each. I was a DD prior to having my kiddo. Loving Moments or something like that was the brand. I was planning on weaning by 12 weeks when I bought them so I just got the cheapo ones. I ended up nursing for six months. They were great. Probably not as high quality as the expensive ones, but they worked for me. And I’m used to wearing expensive bras, FWIW.

    • IIRC, Bravado doesn’t offer much support for the larger bust. I got a couple stretchy Bravado bras when I was pregnant for immediate post-partum use but very quickly went out and got fitted for an underwire, which was an Anita, because I wanted real support. (Anitas were getting some love last week at least Blueberry!) I don’t remember the specific model. I’m a DDD-DDDD non nursing.

      • Sorry, I just saw your note about price. I am a cheapskate and feel your pain, but bras are the one place I couldn’t economize during pregnancy and the newborn period. You might look around at and, both of which seem to have a wide variety of prices and decent advice. I didn’t really like the cheaper nursing bras I got from Biggerbras though.

  14. Rainbow Hair says:

    How much do you pay a babysitter?

    We’re in a MCOL suburb I guess. And this is the meet-and-greet, like babysitter is going to come over this afternoon while we’re there, because Kiddo is pretty anti-stranger right now, so that seems like a good way to get the ball rolling. But still, it’s her time, so I think I ought to pay her. But I have no idea where to even start?! She’s in high school but apparently has a decent amount of experience, and we have one kid just over 2.

    • Blueberry says:

      I think there was a thread here on just this question last week. (I’m in a HCOL area so I’m not much help.) I’d definitely pay her the same for her time during the meet-and-greet.

    • EB0220 says:

      Since she’s experienced, I’d just ask what her going rate is. I pay 10-12.50 per hour to high school-aged sitters for 2 kids (2 and 5).

    • Oh man, if you have a link to the discussion last week, I’d love to read it. I’ve been wondering the same and can’t seem to find it.

      I’m in a Chicago suburb and we pay $15/hr here for 2 kids, I think when we had just one kid it was $12/hr. We’re paying daycare teachers though, not high school students. I’d maybe knock a dollar or two off the rates for a younger high schooler?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would ask her for her rate. If she’s experienced, she’ll know what it is. She may have a different rate for babysitting (complete responsibility) vs ‘mother’s helper’ (you are home).

      Going rate (HCOL) is $12-18/hr for a professional babysitter. But a high schooler can be quite a bit cheaper. We had a neighbor who would do it for ~$5/hr, and we both left happy. She was a helper in middle school for only $3/hr, which was amazing.

      • Ugh, I keep paying $20 for my one child. I’m in NYC and this was one of his preschool teachers. I think $15/hr is more standard around here.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Ok, update, I texted her and she said the other family pays her $13/hr. That’s doable!

  15. shortperson says:

    any tips on books explaining what a lawyer does that are geared toward the preschool set? my kid keeps asking. her dad has a hands-on job that she can see and makes sense to her. but mommy can’t explain what lawyers do all day.

    • avocado says:

      At that age I told my kid that lawyers help people work out their disagreements and tell their stories. (She understood that, but then I graduated law school and got a job doing something much more difficult to explain.) There is a new RBG picture book that looks awesome, but it may be a little sophisticated for the preschool set.

    • My dad is an engineer, and I swear I spent half my childhood wondering where his trains were.

      • Anonymous says:

        Love this.

        My husband and I have jobs that most adults don’t really understand, so our poor kids really have no grasp.

      • Blueberry says:

        Hah. My husband was trained as an engineer but never actually worked as one. Nevertheless, whenever I try to fix something in the house, my son says, “No, daddy should do that because he’s an engineer!” Which is actually a fair point, but not so good for not introducing gender stereotypes. I tell him I read a lot and write messages on my computer to help people buy and sell things (I’m a transactional lawyer), which is probably not very helpful.

      • My dad was a mechanical engineer who did equipment maintenance for pharma companies, and I thought he supervised the janitorial staff until I was a 22 year-old research tech trying to figure out why our autoclave didn’t work.

        I am a tax lawyer and I tell my kids that I help people understand the rules so they pay the right amount of tax. (They are slightly older so they sort of understand what tax is.)

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I’ve tried to tell my kid I answer people’s questions? That’s pretty basic, but also true.

    • Anonymous says:

      My explanation is that Mom’s job is to know all the rules about how things work. Like how fast we can drive and how big a barn you have to have for pigs and cows, and how much it costs to build bridges and airports. Explain that it means I have to read a lot to check what the rules are and be very good at reading and writing so I can tell people when they ask. Dovetails nicely with mommy knowing the rules at home.

    • mascot says:

      Lawyers help people solve problems and answer questions about things that they don’t understand.

  16. GirlFriday says:

    I’m a longtime reader of Corporette, but became a foster mom a few weeks ago so here I am! It has been wonderful and joyous, but work is really getting me down. Any tips or encouragement? HR refuses to let me have time off since he’s a foster (which makes sense from a legal standpoint, but it’s hard). DH has been great, pitching in a TON, but we both need to get back into a 40 hour work routine. I am super unmotivated at work, I miss baby, and feel like HR and my colleagues are treating me like “so you have a baby now – BFD.” I’m really discouraged and tempted to lean out. How do I combat this feeling?

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