Budget Thursday: Charter Club Open-Front Cardigan

This very nice open-front cardigan is by Charter Club at Macy’s. If you like the very sleek, collarless, open-front cardigan look that seems to be in right now, this one seems like a good option. It’s hand washable and comes in sizes XS-XXL in six colors, and it’s on sale for $29.99. Charter Club Open-Front Cardigan

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  1. There is a lot of discussion these days about dairy and gluten. I am not lactose intolerant and I feel fine after eating gluten. In fact, I absolutely love bread. Did any of you give up gluten or dairy without having a medical reason? If yes, do you feel better?

    • Anonymous says:

      I haven’t because kid has a milk protein allergy and dairy is a pain to replace to ensure you are getting equivalent fat/protein/calcium. I just don’t have time to keep track of that. Plus it’s tasty. BUT, I do try to get most of my dairy from probiotic yogurt and cheese. I don’t drink a glass of milk very often and I avoid more artificial dairy like a lot of the big name greek yogurts that have skim milk powder added. And I generally avoid skim milk based products because a lack of fat affects my satiety and leads to overeating. I would rather have a smaller amount of full fat brie or probiotic yogurt vs. a larger amount of low fat cheddar or aspartame filled skim milk yogurt.

      For wheat, I don’t avoid but I do moderated on that basis that too much of any one thing isn’t healthy. And I could eat ALL the wheat bread if I didn’t make an effort. So I try to also have rye bread, barley, oat, quinoa, potato, wild rice, and sweet potato as starches in my diet.

      • Can you explain your comment about big name greek yoghurts adding skim milk powder? For example, does Fage do this?

        • Anonymous says:

          Traditional Greek yogurt is made by straining yogurt to reduce the water content. It’s denser so it has higher protein per serving than regular yogurt. It’s cheaper for companies to increase the protein content by adding skim milk powder to regular yogurt. I’m not sure there’s anything ‘wrong’ with this practice but it just seems more artificial to me so I avoid it. If you look on the ingredients list it will say “skim milk powder”. Danone Oikos has it added, not sure about Fage.

          • Anonymous says:

            Skim milk powder is the secret to really, really good homemade ice cream. FWIW.

        • Anonymous says:

          replied but stuck in moderation. I don’t know if F does specifically, it will say on the ingredients list

    • AnonMN says:

      I did the Whole30, and didn’t notice much of a difference from not having dairy (and I was lactose sensitive as a kid, so this surprised me). Once I was done, I did notice that any carb heavy meal/bread caused a significant blood sugar crash that I did not experience on the Whole30. So with that, I try to avoid meals that don’t have enough protein/greens. But I am too much of a bread lover to give it up completely.

      Like the previous poster, I do make a good effort to only have full fat dairy from good sources, so maybe this makes a difference?

      • mascot says:

        I’ve done a variation of a whole30 and my takeaway was similar to yours. It’s not gluten or dairy or soy that impacts me as an ingredient. I can eat moderate amounts of any of those or anything as as part of a well-balanced diet that focuses on minimally processed, good quality ingredients. Life’s too short to give up delicious fresh bread. But, my workday goes a little bit better if I swap out a sandwich on mediocre grocery store bread for a big kitchen sink salad full fresh vegetable with lots of textures and tastes.

    • Disclaimer Up Front: I have big feelings and thoughts about going gluten free (can you tell I have a 3 year old?). My husband and son have Celiac’s Disease, which means that if they eat any gluten (wheat, barley, rye or their derivatives such as malt) it causes an autoimmune reaction that makes them ill and increases their risk for cancer. So I have two members of my family who cannot ingest gluten and are incredibly sensitive to cross contamination. As a result, we do not allow gluten into our home.

      There are two basic ways to go gluten free: You can substitute gluten free products for the gluten versions in your diet (i.e. gluten free bread, pasta, cookies, sauces, etc.) or you can forgo those products that contain gluten at all. Simply doing the former is not healthier. Many of the GF products are higher in calories and lower in nutrients than their gluten containing counterparts, not to mention that the taste is not always great. Doing the latter can be really tough, but can be healthier if it means that you are eating more fruit, veggies, lean protein and less processed foods. We try to err towards foods that are naturally GF, but we tend to eat a mix. As a result, I tend to eat GF every weekend and have some gluten during the week. I do not notice a difference.

      The trend towards GF foods has benefited my family because there are so many alternatives on the market now. However, because it is a “trend” and not always undertaken by those who are highly sensitive, many products that claim to be GF actually have gluten in them (e.g. General Mills Cereals). It makes it tough to find food that actually is GF or to eat out, even in those establishments that claim to be GF.

      • Ugh, sorry. It sounds like the mainstreaming of gluten-free products has had mixed results for your family – but I definitely agree that if a product claims to be GF, it should genuinely be something that people with celiac disease can trust – just like any other life-threatening allergy. (Can you tell I’m an allergy mom? Heh.) (Seriously, there’s an investigative article in this. Quick, call the Globe.)

        • The products that claim to be GF but are not are a huge pet peeve of mine! It causes so many problems because it is something that you learn either through trial and error (painful and dangerous for all involved) or trying to keep on top of the news about what is vs. is not GF. Our registered dietian is great about helping but standing in the grocery store trying to google or check websites is miserable.

      • I’m DF/GF due to Crohns but I am so incredibly sensitive to gluten that I still suspect I have celiac too even though my first test said I did not. Anyway, I don’t yet have kids but I am TTC which is why I read here. Betty, do you have other kids that do not need to be gluten free? My husband and I both have medically restricted diets. Neither of us eat any dairy products. I would prefer keeping my household dairy free and mostly gluten free (sometimes we will have regular bread in the house for guests but they need to use separate mayo, separate toaster, etc.)

        I’m curious what a doctor would say about us raising a child to follow our restrictions before knowing if the kid needs those restrictions. I struggle even if I touch too much gluten. I have to wear gloves when making things with regular bread. I would prefer to just keep it out of my house even if my future kid need not be gluten free.

        I hear though that if you voluntarily go gf/df you can create an intolerance. My doc told my husband to drink regular beer a couple times a week. It’s something that wouldn’t easily cross contaminate me but would keep him from losing his tolerance. That obviously wouldn’t work to get gluten in a kid lol.

        I think the docs would be more concerned with me going voluntarily dairy free for a kid. I can at least touch dairy I just can’t consume it. It wouldn’t hurt me to have my kid drinking a glass of milk for example.

        But, since my husband and I both have such bad dairy issues, it seems likely our kid would too so why even have them consume the product at all?

        • My husband is as sensitive as you are to gluten, which is why we do not have it in the house at all. My husband has biopsy confirmed Celiac’s, and is also a type 1 diabetic. My son tested positive for the gene (indicated for both Celiac’s and T1D) and was symptomatic. When we stopped eating gluten (he was about 2), many of his digestive issues resolved. He also has Crohn’s Disease, and once that was successfully treated, his GI issues totally resolved and he is back to gaining weight. (YAY!) He always has been a very lanky kid.

          Our daughter, on the other hand, has a different body type. (Son was 6lbs at birth; she was 9.) She does not have the same intense GI issues that he does. However, because we are a GF household, she eats mostly GF as well. We have noticed that when she does eat gluten, it causes a reaction. However, we do not think she has Celiac’s but more that her system is not used to it. We have discussed this at length with our pediatrician. Our ped is absolutely fine with keeping our daughter GF if it is easier for the family. We eat very healthily, so our daughter is not missing out on nutrition. I think if you find a supportive ped in general, they will not mandate that your child follow a diet that is harmful to you.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I do not have a restricted diet, but our pediatrician was happy to work with families who were, say, vegan by choice. I think you just have to find a pediatrician who understands your family history of food allergies and is open to “alternative” nutrition. A lot of pediatrician practices in my area have “meet the doctor” type events so you can ask those sorts of questions and get a feel for the practice.

        • Anonymous says:

          I posted above that my oldest has a milk protein (dairy allergy). Are you reactive to all dairy or is goat’s milk okay? For allergy (which is different than intolerance), you do reduce the risk of allergy by exposure to foods. I would suggest you use cow’s milk after baby weans or cow’s milk based formula if you do not nurse. You can also get squeezie packs for babies that contain yoghurt. This is a relatively tidy and messy free way to offer dairy. For wheat, if you have your baby at daycare, they would get wheat exposure there. Or if you have a nanny, you could ask the nanny to take baby out to a local coffee shop for an outing and have a muffin once or twice a week. Or family members could offer wheat to baby when baby visits their house.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I have, in the past, significantly reduced my carb intake (pasta and bread, mainly) for no medical reason. I didn’t completely give up gluten though. When I did eat pasta or bread, I noticed bloating. As for dairy, in my early 30s I started getting really bloated (looked 5 months pregnant when I was not preg) and experimented by giving up cows milk and decreasing my cheese consumption. I stopped being so bloated and my skin cleared up. I self-diagnosed myself with a mild lactose intolerance, but haven’t been tested.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I started noticing some strange GI issues in my 20’s and tried a variety of eliminations, including eliminating dairy for a while (not helpful) and eliminating gluten for a while, which made everything SO MUCH WORSE. Turns out I was allergic to corn, and corn meal/corn starch is a common replacement for wheat flour/gluten so I was actually exacerbating everything.

      Which is just to say – sometimes even well-meaning actions have unintended consequences. Pay attention to your body and talk with your doctor about it.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, I also am more sensitive to corn than gluten, as I’ve found doing various elimination experiments. And that for pretty much all foods, once I’ve eliminated them for 6 months or more they are uncomfortable for me to re-introduce. I don’t think that’s so much a sensitivity as it is just a quirk of my digestive system, as it’s been that way every since I was a kid.

        I also 100% agree with what Betty said above about the huge difference between substituting GF replacements vs forgoing products traditionally made with gluten. For me, I’ve found that eliminating wheat means I’m eliminating all my simple carb diet downfalls – pasta, cookies, bread, etc. I’ve never substituted back with GF options for those, mainly because I’m just too cheap and I know that a gluten free cookie or rice based pasta isn’t actually any healthier for me.

        I’m pre-diabetic and overweight, and I feel much better when I can make myself stick to a diet similar to the old Weight Watchers “core” program – which allows fruits, veggies and lean meats and dairy, one serving of starchy carbs per day (so one measured serving of pasta, or a slice of bread, or a baked potato, etc) and then anything beyond that has to be counted as part of the weekly free points allowance. The Adkins diet and South Beach early phases also have similar restrictions.

        For me, it’s not about the bloating/digestive upsets that I know some people have with gluten or other intolerances, but more about avoiding the blood sugar spikes and crashes that I’m extremely sensitive to. Of course, this is also my ideal when I’m taking good care of myself. I get on and off this bandwagon multiple times a year.

        That said, I have friends that have systemic health issues that really feel significantly better when they eliminate wheat/gluten from their diets, even if they haven’t been diagnosed as celiac, and they are generally good about working around those restrictions without putting the burden on other people. The only time I roll my eyes is when dealing with someone like my father-in-law, who has a TON of odd restrictions when my MIL and I jump through hoops to make meals with all kinds of salt-free, dairy-free, oxolate-free, egg-free, soy-free substitutions – and then he promptly eats something that is 100% not on his diet. I get that 95% adherance is better than ignoring it altogether, but wow is it ever frustrating.

        TL:DR – wheat and simple carb free = worth trying. Gluten free substitutes for bread, pasta and cookies – expensive and not worth it (unless you have celiac) and may cause other issues if you’re actually more sensitive to the substitutes.

  2. When entertaining, what do you tell guests to bring?

    I think the easiest is wine and dessert (easy for you to delegate and easy for guests to grab on their way if they don’t feel like cooking) but I love baking, so I always make my own dessert.

    I feel bad when people ask what they can bring and I’m stumped (half the time I never come up with a suggestion and we end up with 6 bottles of wine). Trying to think of a good go-to – appetizer of their choice, salad? What do you guys do?

    • mascot says:

      Are kids involved? I always appreciate when someone brings cut-up fruit because the kids love it and it can be a pre-dinner snack or side dish. Appetizers or green salads are pretty easy to tell people to bring- although you can wind up with a lot of chips/crackers and dips. Cheese trays are good too.

    • Keep track of what you tell people, and tell things to only one person so you don’t get too many. If I’m at the point where I’m having 8 families over and get to the bottom of the list, then I’m welcoming the extra side dishes or variety in desserts

      – wine/beer (i tell this to 2-3 people)
      – chip/cheese/dip appetizer (be specific on what will work)
      – fruit dish or fruit tray
      – games or board games or cards
      – stickers or games for kids
      – veggie side dish
      – side dessert, like cookies or pudding cups or other individual servings

    • I almost always say wine or dessert. The nice thing about wine is that it doesn’t matter if you have six bottles of wine – they will keep if you don’t open them. If I feel like making dessert and talking to a good friend who comes over a lot, I might ask for something specific (like vanilla ice cream if I’m making pie). Or sometimes I’ll just tell them what I’m making and say “something to go with that?”

    • Blueberry says:

      We rarely have more than one family over at a time (so impressed by anon at 10:22), so I usually just go with wine or dessert. With two kids and often unexpected weekend work, I rarely pull it together to make dessert as well, so I’m more than happy to have someone bring it — be it homemade or store-bought! Other options are bread, cheese and fruit.

    • shortperson says:

      fruit to go w the chocolate thing i baked

    • Thanks guys! Agreed anon at 10:22 that is super impressive you have 8 families over at once! I think we’ve had at max four, and as for kids – the oldest of all our friends’ kiddos is still only about 18 months, so they’re not really eating the food with us (moms always bring their food for them).

      While getting 6 bottles of wine is totally great, I feel bad when someone asks what to bring and I know they genuinely want to be helpful and not just spend $15 so they have a token Thing to Give the Hostess. But, I also don’t want to be ridiculous with my requests (since not everyone has time to cook, or wants to) – these are some good suggestions!

      • My version of 8+ families over is a lot more lowkey than I think you’re picturing (other than Thanksgiving). It’s almost always in the spring/ summer/ fall so it involves grills and paper plates and lots of folding chairs in the backyard. Or sometimes folding tables in the garage. Definitely nothing to be impressed about!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have a link a bl0g post or online list summarizing all the stuff you really need for a baby? I’m newly pregnant and totally clueless about kids and babies. Trying not to overwhelm our house with stuff but also don’t want to be unprepared.
    Also any specific recommendations for strollers? We’re in suburbia and drive everywhere so I can’t really think of when we’d use it except for walks around the neighborhood. I don’t want to invest a lot of money on something that’s not going to be used very much, but maybe I’m overlooking something and we will use it a lot?

    • Lucies List

      • Newbie Momma says:

        Yep. I was similarly clueless and ONLY looked at this site.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Also, Baby Bargains. I found Baby Bargains really helpful once I realized what I needed. It won’t necessarily help you form a list of essentials, but once you have identified those essentials it will help you figure out which options are best for you.

        • Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

          Seconding Baby Bargains, really helpful after I saw the wall of bottles and pacifiers at Buy Buy Baby

        • Anonymous says:

          Lucie’s List and Baby Bargains were the only two sources I used. Highly recommend both.

      • Another +1 for LL. Just went through this (baby is 8 weeks) and bought the minimum I thought I needed based on what Lucies List said and then primed a ton of stuff at 4 in the morning for about 6 weeks post partum. Seriously, be careful. My cc bill was pretty insane, but for the most part, I have used everything I bought.

    • Anonymous says:

      Focus on the newborn stage – don’t worry about exersaucers and high chairs yet. Baby need a place to sleep, be changed and eat. Plus something to wear.

      I’m not linking to a specific list because what you need will depend on your lifestyle. Basically, pretend baby is already here and how that fits with your lifestyle. Next time you go to the grocery store, think about how you will do it when you have baby. Will you wear baby in a babywearing carrier like an Ergo or push baby in a stroller? If you drive to the grocery store, you will need a car seat. Where to do you plan for baby to sleep? Current recommendation is in a crib or bassinette in the parents room for the first six months. Where will you change baby’s diaper? Do you have a two story house or an apartment? If a two story house, you might what a second change table for downstairs.

      For strollers, I loved my Quinny Buzz. I loved that the stroller seat on the Buzz meant that baby could face me when going for walks.

      • Where do you put the downstairs changing table? We don’t have any bedrooms on the first floor. I can see why this is a good idea but I really can’t think where we’d put it! (other than just like, in the dining room, which seems… odd).

        • Anonymous says:

          We have it in the laundry room/mud room which is right next to our family room. Had to rearrange the laundry storage a bit but it was worth it. We actually had it in the family room/tv room for a while (tucked in a corner) because we have twins and I was in survival mode.

        • anne-on says:

          Haa, no downstairs changing table needed. I got an extra changing pad, and stashed some diapers/wipes on a side table. Really, you can change a kiddo on a blanket, or any easily cleanable surface.

          • FTMinFL says:

            Ditto. We have a drawer in our media console with diapers, wipes, and a stack of washable changing pads (are those things called pads? They’re the thickness of a receiving blanket). We put a changing pad down on the rug and go to town!

        • Meg Murry says:

          we just kept a foldable changing mat (from a diaper bag) and a basket with diapers, wipes etc on the lowest shelf in the living room, and a trash can with a lid in the 1st floor bathroom. Another friend made a changing station in her first floor bathroom, and another in the first floor laundry room.

          With my oldest, we had a 2 story house, but it was small and the only bathroom was on the second floor, so it made just as much sense to run up the stairs with the baby to change him, to change him downstairs would involve running the diaper to the outdoor trash can and washing your hands at the kitchen sink.

          A changing table in and of itself isn’t a must have – but if you have someone doing the changes with a bad back or knees, having some kind of elevated surface to change diapers on is a lot easier than kneeling on the floor.

        • For the first couple months we had a changing g station on our rarely used desk on the first floor– some towels on the desk, stash of diapers and wipes. It was great! My ob wanted me to limit stairs for the first few weeks.

    • Blueberry says:

      I’ve lived with babies in the suburbs and the city and think you’re probably right about the stroller. If you are a jogger, I’d consider getting only a jogging stroller, with a car seat attachment. This may be a controversial opinion, but after leaving the city, the jogging stroller is the only one we’ve ever used (with the exception of the umbrella stroller for travelling).

    • shortperson says:

      in the burbs we use a bob ironman for our neighborhood and a mountain buggy nano for anything that involves going in the car. i refused to get a stroller that goes into two pieces to get into a car, which cuts out most of the fancy ones. we used a snap n go for the first 6 months.

    • I would suggest going in person to a store and looking at strollers. That helped us decide pretty quickly that we were going to start out with the $100 caddy that goes with the car seat we chose (car seat chosen based on Consumer Reports & Baby Gear Lab reviews) and not spend more on a stroller right away until we see how much we babywear vs. stroller, what sorts of things we like, etc. Have since heard from friends that have BTDT that going with the caddy at first is a good approach. It is relatively inexpensive and it seems very user-friendly.

    • I think the beauty of amazon & the like is that you’re unlikely to be unprepared for long.
      Lucie’s list and Baby Bargains are both good resources but even those are so person specific. E.g., LL has a whole bunch of stuff you will need post partum and it scared the crap out of me and I needed virtually none of it. Talk to a friend with similar sensibilities to yours, if you can. My best friend had babies before I did and she literally made me a list and included a brief note of why you want it.

    • I’m also in suburbia. I have a hand-me-down stroller from SIL which was barely used (she also lives in suburbia), a hand-me-down Bob (from someone at work who definitely does not jog and did not use this at all), and a snap-n-go. I have heard that the snap-n-go is useful for the infant stage. If I find a need something better than my two hand-me-down options later on, I’ll figure it out then.

      But I don’t feel that I need to spend a ton of money on a stroller right now since I plan to baby wear as much as possible and don’t see using it much in suburbia.

    • I am also in suburbia, but I’d still recommend a stroller. If you ever plan to go to a zoo or park, you’ll want to have it. And even neighborhood walks make it worth it – you’ll want to get out of the house sometimes. We got the City Mini (with car seat attachments) – it doesn’t take up much space when folded and it’ll be good for years.

      • Meg Murry says:

        I think another big factor would be what season the baby will be born during. If spring, summer or fall, having a stroller gives you something easy to *do* during maternity leave when you are cooped up at home – whereas if it’s cold and snowy you won’t need one right away and can re-assess after a few weeks/months

        We also went with the snap-and-go initially and then after a year went to a cheapie umbrella stroller that lived in the trunk of the car and then a nice-ish bulkier stroller for neighborhood walks that we could leave on the side porch without bothering to collapse it (we don’t have a garage, so we didn’t go with anything too giant).

    • Work travel? says:

      Regarding a stroller – think past the infant stage.

      I’m in the burbs for 3rd kid – the other 2 were born when we lived in cities and never drove. I refused to spend $100 on a snap n go that would only be used for the first year max….4 months later I was going out of my mind not being able to get out without holding / carrying baby. So I found the Mountain Buggy Nano, which I seriously think is the best kept baby secret around. It’s marketed as a travel stroller bc it folds up small enough to fit in overhead compartments, but it fits ANY car seat, so you don’t need a snap n go, and it fits my 5 year old too. I love this thing even more than the fancy mclaren I had for my other kids (purchased at the last minute before an international trip when I realized our awesome Bob jogger wasn’t going to be able to go w us, and after we’d used and resold a Bugaboo w bassinet). At 8 mos baby sometimes rides in the stroller as a stroller and sometimes still in the car seat depending on what we’re doing, and the stroller lives between the car seat and the driver seat, taking up no usable space in my house or car.

      For $200 price matched by Nordstrom from Amazon, I avoided the expensive and quickly outgrown snap and go and got a full service stroller that will last till kid is old enough to not need one. I love this thing!

    • Diapers, baby wipes, some onesies and sleepers (only get clothes that have snaps in the crotch), baby friendly laundry detergent, car seat, somewhere small for baby to sleep like a bassinet, baby friendly shampoo/soap. If you’re bottle feeding, bottles and a bottle brush. This is literally all you need during the first three to four weeks.

  4. Need TV show suggestions…for my daughter.
    We’re taking a cross-country flight next month with my 17 month old as a lap infant. She hasn’t been exposed to much TV, and I like to start “training’ her to watch a show as practice for the flight. She loves dogs, but Blue’s Clue’s might be too advanced? Thoughts? Suggestions?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mother Goose Club on You Tube. We don’t do a lot of tv but my kids LOVE this. It’s basically music videos of kids singing nursery rhymes and toddler songs (Wheels on the Bus etc)

    • My 2.5 year old loves Finding Nemo (and Finding Dory) and started watching it a little before he turned 2. It’s been neat to watch him go from just being fascinated by the graphics and color to actually begin understanding the story and the different characters.

      There are also several you tube channels for nursery rhymes.

    • At that age, my son liked simple, colorful programs. The Wiggles were a big hit. He also liked (and still likes) Daniel Tiger. He also watched the entire Minions movie with no sound on a 4 hour flight – we were desperate and got lucky with that one!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I’ll echo Daniel Tiger. My 22 month old loves it.

        • My daughter LOVES Daniel Tiger and she isn’t into TV usually. Sesame Street will also hold her attention sometimes. Also videos of herself and/or other babies.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        The other morning my 26-month-old told my husband, in the context of a discussion of jobs, “My job is to watch Tiger.”

    • Take some short videos of her on a tablet or smartphone. You can even do this on the plane (film a short video). My daughter loved to watch herself at that age. She also liked Peek a Boo Barn and the Itsy Bity Spider (by Duck Duck Moose) apps on my iPhone. She might also like some puppy pictures if you just download a bunch and make your own slideshow. TV shows didn’t really work for us at that age, but YMMV.

    • At that age my son wouldn’t concentrate on anything longer than short YouTube clips. Sesame Street, bits of Thomas the Tank Engine, and music videos by Laurie Berkner were favourites!

    • Anonymous says:

      Also pictures and videos of her or yourselves. Kids love watching videos of themselves.

    • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was one that worked even when my daughter was under 2. Be forewarned that the show has staying power, and she still loves it at 3.5. My dreams are set to the Hot Dog song….

      Agree that the apps by Duck Duck Moose are great for that age.

    • EB0220 says:

      Daniel Tiger is good. We LOVE Tumble Leaf from Amazon prime. My kids both like Bubble Guppies but it’s incredibly annoying. You may not want to introduce it!

    • Frozen Peach says:

      Late but I will recommend the free Friskies app. It’s made for cats but is ideal for entertaining babies.

  5. Handwashable? Nope. If I can’t put it in the washing machine, I’m not buying it. The exception being suits, but I only wear those a few times a year.

    • There’s an Ann Taylor cardigan similar to this (search cropped cardigan) that I recently purchased. Washes extremely well, the shape is structured and refined and doesn’t get slouchy in the front which I find makes it look frumpy. Its on sale for $30.

    • Sarabeth says:

      For me, “handwashable” = “delicates cycle in a laundry bag.” It’s never caused a problem for me. Agree that life is too short to actually handwash clothing.

      • +1 EXCEPT I have to use the “bright colors” cycle to get a cold wash. Delicates = warm wash = shrunken sweaters. This is probably not an issue if you have your own washing machine; I’m in an apartment building. I keep mentioning it here because I am traumatized by this counter-intuitive, poorly labeled machine in my new building.

  6. Chicago – Travel with toddler. We’ll be there for a wedding this summer. Block booking is at a hotel downtown; wedding ceremony, reception and dinner are at the South Shore Cultural Center (just like the Obamas!). Should we stay around Hyde Park, or at the hotel downtown with the block rate? Wedding stuff is just the one afternoon/ evening; I’m leaning towards hotel downtown because it’s so much easier to get to all the sightseeing and back & forth for toddler midday nap. Thoughts? And other must-see recommendations? Thanks in advance!

    • Hyde Park is pretty, but agree on downtown if you want to do more sightseeing. Maggie Daley park is an amazing playground just east of Millenium Park with fun things for toddlers. My kids love the Shedd Aquarium, the Dinosaur (aka Field) and Museum of Science and Industry if the weather is bad and you want to be inside. If you want babysitter recommendations or need any gear, let me know.

    • Lilliet says:

      If your toddler wakes up early this is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on this and go to the Little Goat Diner for breakfast as soon as it opens. We used to live nearby and would always do this with our kids. The staff is lovely and so good with kids. It’s nice because it’s a trendy place to be, amazing food, but you don’t have to wait in line because you’re up earlier than all the trendy people! Staying in the city is the best option for all the reasons you mention. We always throw our toddler sized kids in cabs/ubers without carseats for short trips (so, to/from Little Goat). The museum of science and industry has a lovely little kid area downstairs, so if you go, send an adult to rush down there and get a preferred ticket entry time (free with museum entry I believe, they just stagger entry to the area). The Lincoln Park zoo is free and always great for kids if the weather cooperates.

    • Coming back super late to say thank you guys! CHL, I love that your kids refer to the Field as ‘Dinosaur’. Lilliet, we love food and kiddo is an early riser, so Little Goat is perfect for us.

  7. Halp. Not sure how I should have handled a situation at preschool drop off today where another child pushed mine to make her move. When I brought my 3yo daughter into the preschool classroom, another child had brought something exciting for show and tell. A few kids were gathering round and my daughter walked up to get a closer look. Another couple kids wanted to see, so I think that some of the kids said something like “Let the other kids have a turn.” (I’m not sure what they said–the classroom is taught in a foreign language that I don’t understand). My daughter had just joined the first group, but that group started to move back, apparently to make room for some new kids to see the exciting show and tell thing. My daughter didn’t move back, so one of the older girls put her hand on my daughter and pushed her back. Not violently or anything, but she just did it, and it did seem rude. She didn’t first ask her to move back or anything. My daughter is the youngest in the class (a 3yo in a small class of 3, 4 and 5 yos), and this girl is probably 2 years older and much bigger. My daughter looked at me for a reaction and I didn’t say anything, but then she reached up her arms for me to pick her up. The teacher was distracted and didn’t see the other girl push my daughter. I picked up my daughter and gave her a big hug and kiss, said hello to the teacher, then left. I just feel I should have said something about the push. But I’m not sure what? My daughter obviously looked back at me and knew that it was not OK for the older girl to push her. But I didn’t feel comfortable disciplining a child that was not mine inside a classroom that was also not mine. The teacher was distracted, so she wasn’t in a position to respond in the moment. I just feel like I should have stood up for my daughter and that I failed to do so. But I’m at a loss for what I should have done. The other girl was not violent, didn’t seem to have an intention to hurt my daughter, but still should not have pushed her like that. Any advice for how to talk about this with my daughter later and what to do if something similar happens again? I have trouble standing up for myself and it is something that I worry about passing on to my kid.

    • “Careful, no pushing” or something along those lines isn’t overstepping. If your daughter was the pusher, you wouldn’t think it was overstepping for someone to correct her in that manner, right? If another person pushed you, you’d say something. You are an adult, it’s okay to assert yourself. Kids need to be able to take direction from adults that they don’t know, especially when it comes to safety. I’ve definitely had another person correct my kid when they are doing something mean or unsafe and I chalked it up to the idea that it takes a village.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have decided that I will respond to anything done by any child in my immediate vicinity, in part because if my daughter did that to another child, I would want the other child’s mother to respond to my daughter’s inappropriate conduct! I would have simply said, “No pushing” or “Please don’t push” or maybe even, “use words not hands.” and then turned to my daughter and asked her to move, if she wasn’t doing so already. I think you handled this situation fine (comforting your daughter), and maybe it’s worth saying something to the teacher next time you see her (“the other day X child pushed my daughter – how do you typically respond to conduct like that?” or, “is pushing permitted in the classroom?”). Next time, I would just respond in the moment.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      “We don’t push our friends/classmates. “

    • First, don’t beat yourself up, it is hard to know what to do in the moment, and realistically I would probably have reacted similarly. But I think you could say, “Oops, I noticed you pushed Daisy. Daisy, is pushing okay with you?” If Daisy says no, prompt her to use words to tell the other girl “Don’t push me” or “I don’t like to be pushed” or something. (You could also assume pushing is never okay in this classroom and just prompt your daughter to say, “stop, you’re pushing me.” My son and his friends enjoy pushing each other to some extent, so boundaries are less obvious to me right now.) Look at it as a teachable moment both for the other girl AND your daughter – part of preschool is learning to set boundaries with other kids with less adult intervention.

    • Sabba says:

      Thanks ladies! Trying to not beat myself up about it, but after I left I just knew I hadn’t responded correctly

  8. Lilliet says:

    For those that celebrate, what’s your Easter timeline with kiddos and church? I grew up not attending church, so I’m having a difficult time understanding when the Easter bunny should have visited AND when to do the egg hunt. It’s supposed to be warm on Sunday, so I don’t want the eggs outside baking (we use real eggs and make them into deviled eggs, is this my problem? Cut my losses and have separate eggs for the food?). If I can borrow anyone’s timelines and/or traditions, that would be awesome!

    • Anonymous says:

      We do:

      7:30 – Easter Bunny Egg hunt as soon as kids wake up – everything hidden inside house the night before
      8:30 – Breakfast on the deck
      10: 30- Church with in town grandparents
      12:30 – lunch inside while skypeing with family
      1-3 – naptime/rest time
      3- 7:30pm – Grandma’s egg hunt outside at in town grandparents house followed by dinner at their house (I actually hate that we do two egg hunts but my mom and the kids love it so I let it go)

      It’s a long but manageable day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Easy breakfast = pancakes and pre-cooked bacon and fruit. Arrange on plate to look like bunny’s face (bacon = ears). Quick to do and kids love it.

        • Clementine says:

          We do a waffle with a half banana split lengthwise to be the ears. If I’m feeling wild, I’ll even make a face out of some piece of fruit and carrot.

          (Not even an Easter thing. This is just me making myself feel marginally better about feeding my kid a waffle for dinner on a random weeknight.)

        • In House Lobbyist says:

          My kids love Easter Bunny Pancakes – you just mix in food coloring to small bowls of pancake batter. They really believe the Easter bunny leaves them.

      • Can I just say that I LOVE breakfast on the deck? We do that too, as often as we can, and it makes me so happy.

    • ElisaR says:

      we always came downstairs to easter baskets the easter bunny had left (sort of like santa), then went to church, then did an egg hunt afterwards. I was always aware my parents hid the eggs – I didn’t think that was the easter bunny’s purview. (For a few years the younger kids were SO obsessed with finding eggs that my mom had to do an egg hunt every day for weeks after Easter…..)

      • Lilliet says:

        Oooo. Awareness of parents hiding eggs would make this easier! And that is adorable about the every-day egg hunt! Though, we may be headed down that path.

      • CPA Lady says:

        ^ same. We typically had Easter baskets first thing, went to church, and then these people from our church with a huge lake house would host an Easter egg hunt. So fun. I always through that easter egg hunts were fun despite the fact that I was under no illusion that a mystical rabbit had done the hiding.

        In tangentially related news, I’m an Episcopalian with a Catholic mother, and it freaked me out to send my kid to daycare today in an easter chick themed outfit today. It’s Maundy Thursday. Oh well, score one for secular easter.

        • Macademia says:

          I know what you mean about the Easter outfit today. I feel strange shopping for Easter basket goodies the same day we are stripping the altar.

    • Bunny leaves basket overnight, which is opened before church.
      Family event where there is an egg hunt either before or after brunch/lunch. (eggs filled with spare change where my favorite)
      Once there were no more kids, we stopped hiding eggs and started playing bunco every year. This is the first year in many that we will have an egg hunt (for my 17 mo daughter).

    • We usually did the Easter Vigil so that when we woke up it was all Easter basket and breakfast time. But I don’t know if non-Catholic denominations have a vigil service? Plus the vigil is definitely not for younger kiddos (it’s long, and there are candles).

      This is what we do for Christmas too – mass the night before so it doesn’t interfere with presents and breakfast.

    • Meg Murry says:

      If you’re set on using the eggs for deviled eggs, I wouldn’t put them outside, I would either do plastic outside and/or have separate eggs set aside for deviled eggs. Because there’s a good chance the eggs will get dropped in the mud, stepped on, squished by enthusiastic kids, forgotten, or all of the above.

      If it was more of a “well, may as well make deviled eggs out of these so as not to go to waste” that’s probably fine – but I wouldn’t plan on the dozen eggs you hid working out to make the exact 24 devil eggs you plan to serve at Easter dinner.

      We live in an area where weather is always questionable, so Easter morning egg hunts are typically indoors and plastic. We go to a community Egg Hunt in a park that is typically the Saturday before Easter for the outdoor hunt.

      If you are feeling extremely anti-plastic and extremely crafty, you could try cascarones. It’s a tradition in the Southwest, where you blow the eggs out of the shell, then wash and dry the shells, decorate them and fill with confetti (and use tissue paper or tape to cover the holes). I’ve been wanting to do it with my kids, but this is the first year I’ve gotten my act together to actually start saving the shells. I’m not going to teach them the part about cracking them over people’s head for good luck though – I’ll wait on that one.

    • Lilliet says:

      This all has been overwhelmingly helpful. Thank you! I think my real egg hiding thing is the limiting factor here. So I’ll pose it to husband on what is more important, hiding real eggs or hunting outside. And that answer will determine which we would use. I’m not anti-plastic, we just always used real eggs in my house growing up but did not have to contend with going to church for timing. Our Easter bunny did the hiding, but that can change for our kiddos. Side note, just saw our church offers live streaming of all services! I’m only half joking when I suggest we just do this–with an infant during such a busy service we always end up in the secondary viewing room where the actual service is shown on a projector. [[insert crying laughter emoji]]

  9. Nursing bras says:

    Any suggestions for comfortable nursing bras in larger cup sizes? I’m currently a 38H, and will need a nursing bra after my daughter is born this summer. I plan to wait until closer to my due date to buy one in case I go up in cup size, but a quick search online revealed very few in my size. Ugh.

    • Look for iLoveSIA Womens Seamless Nursing Bra Bralette on amazon. I think those are the ones I initially got. A friend of mine with a chest larger than yours recommended it. You should be good with a large. I got the medium (34DD). I think while you let your body adjust, this is really the only thing you need and having a couple is good.

    • I would suggest looking for a specialty store in your area and go get fitted AFTER your milk has come in. In my town, there is a store (called Special Addition) that sells baby stuff, including nursing bras. They also have classes and lactation consultants. They suggest coming in for a bra about 5-7 days after birth, so you have a better chance of getting the right size. This would be your best bet if you can find something similar in your area.

    • Getting fitted was far beyond what I was capable of with a newborn, so I lived in nursing tanks for 8 weeks, then ordered a ton from Nordstrom in a variety of sizes/styles, and that worked really well. I was like 36H/I in American sizing, G in British, so it really depends on the bra. The most comfortable was probably the Freya Pure, with decent shape/support. The Elomi had the most support but it was very ‘sturdy’ and unattractive. The Cake Croissant was probably my least favorite.

    • RDResq says:

      This nursing bra was very comfortable, and can be ordered on Amazon: Anita Stretch Microfiber Nursing Bra. I had it in a 32I, but I believe the band sizes go up much higher.

      • Meg Murry says:

        I also had an Anita stretch-y nursing bra that I loved. It wasn’t cheap, but held up so much better than the much cheaper bras I got from Target and the like.

        I discovered after my oldest was born that there was a local hospital that had a lactation services store where they sold pumps and accessories and nursing bras. Because it was at the hospital, they were able to run my HSA/FSA card and have it go through as a valid charge. I think nursing bras might be in the gray area, but “lactation supplies” are an allowable expense, so I figured nursing bras meet that criteria.

      • I too had a beloved Anita underwire nursing bra. I was an H or I or something (G cup not nursing).

    • I am a 38H and loved the cake croissant.

      • Anon for this says:

        Looking up the brand I liked, but agree about specialty stores – there is one at our local hospital. Do any of you have maternity swimsuit suggestions for bigger boobs?

    • lucy stone says:

      Freya Pure, Bravado tanks. The Target tanks are okay for the first few weeks when you don’t mind looking like boosh, but can’t hold the ladies in worth a damn.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anita and bravado

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      If there’s a store in town that specializes in bras, they can turn your regular one into a nursing one no problem, I think for like $10. (Or you can DIY it. Surprisingly easy.) But I would wait until a few weeks postpartum at least, to see what you’re getting into — milk coming in really changes things! Otherwise just hang out nekked at home? That’s what I did! And some loose-ish sports bras.

  10. I’m going back to work soon – what were your favorite post partum purchases? I’m not going to fit into my pre pregnancy clothes and will need some stuff to hold me over. Anyone have any gems? I’m short, and busty. Will be pumping at work. My office is business cas. My pre pregnancy uniform was Antonio Milano dresses bought on sale at Dillards – don’t want to go buy a bunch of those bc they’re a little too $$ for temporary, but maybe there’s something at a little lower price point? Or maybe slacks and blouse is a better bet while you’re losing weight?

    • Dresses will carry you through more of a weight shift than pants, but I lived in these knockoff Betabrand yoga/dress pull-on pants from NY&Co. They sadly don’t make them anymore, but I highly recommend trying to find something similar – pull on with stretch that’s still work appropriate.

    • This shirt is my unicorn post-partum work shirt. It has everything – flowy in the torso, lose enough that you can lift it to pump, dark colors, wears like iron, works with pants/skirts/suits. It looks fine straight from the dryer, and if you have a steamer you can make it look even better. And it’s on sale!


    • Blueberry says:

      Will you be pumping? When I was pumping, I wore skirts and an uncomplicated, washable top that I would just pull up. I know others have different preferences, so maybe don’t commit to too many new clothes until you’ve figured out what works for you (not to mention while your weight is changing). For reasonably priced skirts, I have had good luck with J Crew Factory pencil skirts.

      • Lilliet says:

        This is my philosophy for work clothes, and because I’m still several sizes larger than pre-pregancy bought a bunch of JCrew skirts on ThredUp and work in an office that I can wear them with the “nice” t-shirts from Target. I wear a tank underneath and that helps keep pumping accessible and me not feeling naked. It’s worked out wonderfully for the last two months. And I won’t feel like I “wasted” money if/when I ever get to shedding some inches.

    • Boden Ravello top. I have them in 2 sizes and both look good. Get the prints to hide wrinkles/stains.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Lands End Ponte Sheath dresses. They’re stretchy, machine washable, and if you get a good discount code / sale, very inexpensive. I will admit that they can feel a bit frumpy, but budget + convenience trumped that for me. I just unzipped and pulled the top part of the dress down to pump.

      • I got 4 of these and wore them every day– it was months before I could comfortably wear pants and my size kept changing anyway. I will say they were not the MOST flattering on me in the stomach region, so I kept to dark colors. I am 5’8” and needed the tall.

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems you either hate pumping in a dress or love it. Either way, it must have a back zipper.

      My favorite tops were similar to the uniqlo one above. I had some from LE and some from ON.

      Favorite skirts were sized-up pencil skirts.

      My favorite pants were ON rockstar high rise jeans because of the cheap price point and girdle effect. They may have a pant version that would work in your office. (I can wear jeans). And strangely enough, I got a lot of use out of a black pair of LE’s “Womens Active Pants”. Size up, wear a hip-length shirt to cover the pocket, and they are like stretch slacks.

  11. Penelope says:

    Ladies- I need some confidence as I negotiate a job offer! I am excited about this position and am an ideal candidate. They were looking for someone that has expertise in A or B, and I have deep expertise in A and very good expertise in B. They have made an offer on the high end of the stated salary range…which is on the low end for the sector (the offer is a couple thousand less than I was making a few years ago prior to graduate school). However, there are amazing perks like ability to set my own schedule, work from home, unlimited vacation time, plus a really great team and interesting work. All things that I value.

    Do I ask for the top of the stated range or something a bit over the top range based upon my expertise? I have the background and knowledge to do some work that they are hiring outside consultants to do so there could be a cost savings there. I also might be resentful after a while if I made less than I made in a previous role (in which I was probably underpaid).

    Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve been terrible about negotiating in the past and the one time I did negotiate, the company rescinded the job offer in favor of an internal candidate! So, I am a little gun shy this time around.

    • f they stated a range in the posting, generally I would assume that their range is their range, and the best you can do is to get to the top of it. You could try gently asking for a little bit more, explaining potential cost savings with consultants, but I wouldn’t get your hopes too high. The fact that they offered you the high end of the range shows that they already recognize you are well-qualified. If you are really over qualified, and it might make sense for them to go with someone with less experience who will be cheaper – the fact that they asked for someone with experience in A or B but not both makes me think they may have really thought through balancing their needs and what they can afford already. If you think you will resent the salary, you shouldn’t take the job.

      I should add that I work in the nonprofit field, so my assumptions are based on that background. There might be more flexibility in the for-profit world.

      • Penelope says:

        I appreciate your input. Yes, this is a non-profit and that is my background as well. Asking for the maximum with the language you used here may be the way to go. Even if the say no, I will still take it.

    • Anon for this says:

      Why not ask for your current salary (assuming that is at the top or just above the range). The rationale for not wanting a pay cut will make sense vs. sounding greedy

      • Penelope says:

        Thanks. I have been consulting on a part-time basis so I don’t really have a current salary that matches up. That is what is making this hard for me.

    • I was going to say ask for what you think you deserve until I saw your last comment about an offer being rescinded – I’ve never heard of that! For me, worst case has been they’ve said “this is the best we can do”.

      I’m also surprised by both other commentors not wanting to sound greedy, or pushy. I think this is a common pitfall for women in negotiating; I doubt a man would worry about coming off that way. Unless you are asking for a salary that is above market value, or above what you should be paid for your skills, I think you should always ask what you think you deserve for the position – with the caveat as I mentioned above I’ve never had an offered rescinded using this tactic, and you have, so I understand why you’re gun shy. It could be a know-you-industry (I’m in tech).

      • Sabba says:

        Pogo, I used to think that it was weird that women just won’t ask in negotiations and would have agreed that it was a common pitfall. But there is actually good research that women *are* socially punished for negotiating, and that women can be more successful at negotiations if they use different negotiating strategies then men (specifically, strategies that can negate or minimize the social costs of a woman coming across as pushy or demanding). So framing it in a way that doesn’t make you sound greedy or pushy can actually be a valid negotiating tactic for women. Linda Babcock did this research if you want to look further into it. It is not fair, but I think it is an unfortunate reality for many situations.

      • I’m the commenter above, from the nonprofit field. I’m in the arts, which is generally poorly compensated, and relatively female-dominated (except top leadership). Our ranges are just not very flexible except maybe for the very highest level staff. I am not in a position to give someone more money if they are overqualified; I would also worry that they would not stay long if I knew that I was not paying them what they really wanted or if they were overqualified.

        My answer is also predicated on the assumption that they posted a range in their listing. If they hadn’t, then I would absolutely say ask for what you want/deserve. Because they did list a range, I assume they are using it to weed out people who aren’t willing to live with that range.

  12. EPing and travel says:

    Can someone walk me through the logistics of how to pump/feed a baby on a cross-country flight? I mostly EP (baby will occasionally nurse for a few minutes) and we also supplement with formula. It’s a 6 hour flight so I don’t think I can get away with just pumping in the airports on either end…can you pump in your airplane seat?

    • Anonymous says:

      You can pump in the seat or in the bathroom. I preferred to pump in the bathroom because I generally pump alone at home or office and I found it strange to do it surrounded by other people and worried I wouldn’t get good letdown. I used a double electric pump. Don’t feel bad occupying the bathroom. Your need to expressed milk is just as valid as someone’s need to express pee.

    • Penelope says:

      I just did this with a non-nursing baby. I pumped in the bathroom on the flight out (around hour 4) and in the seat with a cover on the way back. I used the Medela hand pump as I only needed to take the edge off and preferred something quiet. Take as many breastmilk bottles as you think baby will need+ bottle filled with water on the other side of security and formula sticks and keep in the front seat pocket. My baby ate a lot on the way out there as we were delayed taking off. This assumes you are traveling with someone that can hold the baby or baby has its own carseat. The logistics may be more challenging, but not impossible, if you are traveling alone with baby.

    • I pumped in my seat with a manual pump. It’s not easy and it definitely was awkward (lots of elbows sticking out). It was definitely easier when I was seated next to my husband so I could invade his space, but I’ve also done it solo and it’s okay.

    • I pumped in my seat on a plane a couple times, but I was in a window seat and my sister was next to me. The noise of the plane drowns out the sound of the pump, but it would be really difficult to get set up without the person next to you noticing something unusual was going on (there was a stranger in the aisle seat both times, though, and I don’t think they had any idea I was pumping). I researched it before I went and a lot of people recommended telling the person next to you that you will be pumping so the flight attendant can move them in case they aren’t comfortable. Make sure you have a battery pack, as a lot of planes don’t have outlets (neither of mine did).

    • lucy stone says:

      If you are EPing I hope you have the Spectra S1. I pumped on a plane with a nursing cover on but I was seated between my husband and the baby.

    • Chi Squared says:

      I have pumped in my seat next to total strangers. I was in a window seat each time, had a battery pack, and used a nursing poncho/cover-up to keep covered. I wiped everything down with a clorox/redi-wipe, set my pump on the tray table, or wedged against the wall of the plane, put the poncho on, then the handsfree pumping bra and hooked up. None of the people sitting next to me commented at all on the proceedings, and I did not inform them in advance. I preferred this to pumping in the bathroom b/c I didn’t like the idea of taking the bathroom for half an hour, and also I think it would have been harder to sanitize.

  13. Anon for this says:

    What’s the most sensitive way to tell a friend I’m pregnant when she is in the midst of a brutal struggle with infertility? We don’t live in the same city. I want to be sensitive to the fact that this might be salt in a wound for her.

    • Betty says:

      When I was in your friend’s shoes, I appreciated an email announcing the pregnancy. Email allowed me to absorb the news in private, cry, and then respond with an enthusiastic congratulations. If you’ve seen the movie Julie & Julia, there is a scene where Julia Child received a letter from her sister. In the letter, the sister says that she is pregnant. Julia reads it with her husband and says that she is so happy while crying on her husband’s shoulder. That scene, more than any other, summed up what it was like to hear of another’s pregnancy while in the midst of infertility for me.

      The other thing I would add is to be honest with your friend. If she has confided that she is struggling with infertility, then I would ask her how involved she wants to be with your pregnancy. Each person is different and may feel differently at various points, but I loved going to baby showers and being there for my friends. I really appreciated those who gave me the space to be involved but also understood when I got misty-eyed or walked out of the room to collect myself.

      • +1 to all of this

        I will say that I had several friends announce right as we were starting our infertility treatments, and they announced in person and it was actually a good way for me to open up to them about our struggles. However if your friend has been actively in treatment for some time, I could see an email being more sensitive since you’re already well aware of what’s going on.

        And that Julie & Julia scene is so, so spot on.

    • DF/GF says:

      Keep in mind that your friend’s reaction and ability to discuss the good news may change day to day. Sometimes after a negative pregnancy test or getting my period I need a few days before surrounding myself with baby talk. I’m seeing a couple of my best friends for a girls night this weekend. My husband works with one of them and overheard that they are bringing their babies. I would have really appreciated a heads up. I’d still go but girls night with babies and girls night without is very different. Seeing everyone cooing over the one thing I just can’t have right now is painful.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      Ditto Betty on the email and asking how involved she wants to be. I still wanted to be involved, but I know plenty of others do not.

    • rosie says:

      The best way I have been told about a friend’s pregnancy was an email entitled “some news” that was short & sweet, and said something like “wanted to share with you some good news–we are expecting and due in X month.” One of the worst was a bombardment of text messages that included photos of how they planned to announce on FB.

      I would suggest an email so she has the opportunity to react privately initially. I would also stay away from too much editorializing about how you think your good news might make her feel or how you feel guilty (absolutely not saying that you should, but in my experience some people do, & if you do feel that way, it’s not your friend’s responsibility to manage those feelings).

      And congrats to you, Anon :)

  14. Blueberry says:

    So, any thoughts on how to make this Easter weekend more fun and less lonely? For unavoidable reasons, my husband is traveling. Saturday, my kids (2 and 4) and I will dye eggs and do a little event at church. Sunday, my mom is coming over (since my dad is traveling too…), and we’ll do church, egg hunt, and lunch together. I’d normally try to get together with friends, but I haven’t really planned anything, and the only friends with kids that are good enough friends to join in holiday celebrations aren’t around either. I could invite some neighbor kids to come dye eggs or join in our egg hunt at the last minute — we haven’t really gotten to know them yet, but maybe I should just get over myself and do it? I’m also in my first trimester of a pregnancy not yet shared with anyone and feeling generally yucky, which isn’t really relevant, but just contributes to my general funky mood about this. The long term issue here is obviously that I need more friends with kids…

    • If you can stand inviting neighbor kids over, I would do that, but maybe for something lower stress/more flexible timing like playing outside on Sunday afternoon, or Saturday, or whatever works for them. You need company, not more Easter festivities.

    • anne-on says:

      Invite the neighbor kids over! This is the perfect low pressure fun activity to get to know your neighbors better before summer – which can then turn into backyard playtimes/bbqs. I felt really awkward inviting our new neighbors over for things like this when we moved in, but I did it and it has turned out to be AWESOME to have built in neighbor friends now that my son is older (and the weather is nice!).
      Have some bagels/fruit/juice/coffee for food and enjoy watching the kids go crazy looking for eggs!

  15. I know it’s a bit late in the thread but that’s ok as I mostly want to vent, not ask for advice. We are on 3rd cycle/two week wait of TTC number 2. My son will be 2 next month and took 6 months/7 cycles to conceive. I thought it would be easier this time and it kind of is, but I am surprised at how stressed I still am about the whole thing. I effing hate TTC and the rollercoaster of it all. We are moving soon and have a ton going on so distraction is not that hard, but still I am googling whether my relatively short luteal phase will prevent me from conceiving (even though it didn’t before) and a bunch of stuff that is just the result of me having too much information! I do not even describe myself a particularly anxious generally. I am pretty type B, but I guess TTC is my anxiety kryptonite or something. Argh.

    I know many people here have dealt with infertility (vs impatience) and I have so much empathy for you. I hope I never truly understand how that feels.

    • So many hugs. 6 months for #1 is nothing to laugh at – that was a half year you wanted a baby and couldn’t make it work and while it’s not 5 years of infertility, I think it’s probably still left it’s mark on you and that could be contributing to your anxiety about #2. Just be kind to yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      How short is your luteal phase? If less than 10 days, you might want to see a doctor about progesterone supplements. A short LP shouldn’t keep you from conceiving, but it could cause problems with implanting. Not to overload you with any more information :) Sending good thoughts your way!

      • DF/GF says:

        Are there OTC progesterone supplements? My doc doesn’t think I need them but I think I do.

      • PinkKeyboard says:

        I believe they are prescription. I’ve had both oral and vaginal suppositories (but we did IVF). Normal doctors tend not to be great with fertility, if it’s short enough that you suspect an issue I’d see a RE.

      • It’s right around 10 days. Last time it ranged from 9-12, but mean and median of 10. I am only in third cycle of tracking this time and guessing from lh test strips it had been about 9 so far. I am not temping this time because it made me crazy last time. I don’t think any doctor would see me yet (especially given prior pregnancy and I am under 35), but I will certainly ask about it if it comes to that, god forbid.

        Thanks for the commiseration guys. I think I am really bummed because I thought it would be so much less stressful second time around, and it is only marginally less stressful (mostly because I don’t have the terror of being completely infertile and childless forever). I hate the uncertainty of it all. But the upside of the short luteal phase is that the two week wait is only 10 days…so yay. Plus remembering the childbirth experience really cools my baby fever, so there’s that perk too.

        • rosie says:

          If you are open to acupuncture, you could look for someone in your area who specializes in fertility (my acupuncturist does general cycle regulation & TTC, both natural cycles and ART cycles). That might give you a little more of a feeling that you are doing something, and I have really valued my acupuncturist’s thoughts & encouragements along my journey to have a kid.

    • Anon for this says:

      I feel like you are describing me!!!! The anxiety with the second TTC was awful, even when not that much time had passed. I have no idea why I was so much more stressed this time, but it was awful!

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’m in a similar boat in several ways — my period came back three months ago (after my daughter was a year) and we started TTC immediately. It took us a year the first time, and I’m already so stressed about this one. It doesn’t help that my cycles so far have been super weird/long. And I also had short luteal phases the first time around, so yet another thing to worry about…

      anyway, good luck. This part really does suck.

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