Make My Life Easier Thursday: Fly LegsUp

This Fly LegsUp system is getting a ton of positive press — here’s a Fast Company article about it. It’s basically a hammock with a pillow so that your kiddo can stretch out and sleep on the plane. So if you’ve got some major travel planned this summer, or just a flight during naptime or a red-eye flight, note that this is an option. (They also have a version for adults.) Amazon sells a similar product for kids without the hammock aspect, but they’re worth a mention as well. (They’re inflatable so that you don’t have to worry about carrying something big onto the plane.) Fly LegsUp

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  1. I would be so annoyed at the adult behind or infront of (and maybe even next to) me with this contraption. Looks like for it to work, the back of the chair goes way down. And how does this work if you’re not in the window seat? You’ve now penned everyone in and need to dis-assemble to let your neighbor pee.

    For a small toddler, I bet this is great. But mine just makes a nest in the floor or sleeps in my lap.

    Also, probably hard to stow any under seat luggage.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I’d probably use it only for a long flight (international or similar), and only if we have enough seats that we inconvenience only our own family. But my kiddo doesn’t sleep on planes so it’s more of a theoretical proposition anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      + 1 This only works if your kid is in the window seat. I can see it’s utility for the extra long haul flights out of Australia but other than that? Totally not worth it for 8 hours to Europe.

    • I’m looking at an upcoming flight US-Asia (two flights, one 14h and the other 8, possibly solo) and this looks amazing. Wish I’d had it a year ago when I had to do the same flight back and forth…

      • Anon in NYC says:

        If you do get it, please report back! I have a flight to Asia in November with my 2 year old and this could be amazing.

  2. cozi? says:

    Anyone use Cozi and especially the paid version? We use a google calendar right now, but I’m looking for something better. I like the idea of shopping lists, task lists, and meal planning being all integrated. The color coding by family member seems easier than manually color coding appointments in g-cal too, although there may be some settings or tricks that I’m not aware of for g-cal. If you don’t use Cozi, what online calendar system do you use?

    • anonanonanon says:

      No advice but will certainly be following. My husband insists on having his work calendar and life calendar as one, in outlook. I’m not comfortable doing that because in my job it’s the norm to share your work calendar so everyone can see where you are/if you’re in the office etc. He said managing two is too difficult so won’t buy in to a joint google calendar. So I have 2, he has one, then we have the white board calendar in the kitchen.

      • anonanonanon says:

        We do use an app called “our groceries” that lets us sync shopping lists, which was free and has been VERY helpful.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        In most Outlook calendars, you can set up multiple calendars with different sharing profiles. You can also set up “private” appointments that only you can see; others can see if you’re out of the office or just busy, but can’t see the contents of the meeting. I do that for doctor’s appointments during business hours so coworkers can see I’m gone but can’t see what I’m doing or where I’ll be.

        I’m not trying to persuade you to put your life calendar into Outlook, since I have concerns about giving all my life information to my employer’s IT department, but there are some options if you wanted to merge your calendars.

      • This is us. Husband has his non-Outlook work calendar. I have an outlook calendar for work that is visible to everyone in my office, so very little personal stuff goes there, and then I have a google calendar that husband has access to. We also have a whiteboard calendar in the hallway that shows a 2 month spread that I mostly use to track vacation and business travel, when our housekeeper comes, and paydays. I finally gave up a paper planner a few years ago and no matter how badly I want to go back to it, it just doesn’t work for needing to communicate with husband. So, I’m still in search of the nearest electronic replacement…

    • I’ll be watching this too, I’m always looking for tricks.

      We use Google right now – we have a different calendar for each family member, plus a birthdays/anniversaries one, a daycare/school one, and a local events one. Google automatically color-codes each calendar so my day might have an orange all-day note that DH is traveling, a green note the kids need to bring swim stuff to daycare, a yellow note that DS has a dr appt, a purple all-day note that it’s a friend’s birthday, and a red note that this weekend is our town’s summer festival. It took a little bit of setting up, but they’re all shared so we can each add appts to any of the calendars. (When you setup an appt, you can select which calendar it should go on.) We have Samsung phones, so it’s easy to have this all display on a page of your phone.

      We also have a shared Google doc where we meal plan each week. One side is our nightly menu, another side is the associated grocery list. The bottom has a bunch of meal ideas that were winners in the past, in case we get in a rut. Again, we both can edit so we can add toilet paper if we run out or whatever. Samsung lets you make a widgit “app-like button” that goes straight to this doc, so it’s easy to access.

    • Anon CPA says:

      We have used the paid Cozi for years and LOVE it. It’s incredibly useful for meal planning and grocery listing, but I’ll confess that we have never used the calendar feature – we use shared Google calendars, one for each member of the family (also, one called “Family”). It’s helpful to me to have my personal appointments and work appointments show up on the same calendar (whatever iPhone’s native calendar is), and I would be annoyed to have to log into Cozi to see those things. We both have access to all the Google calendars, so either of us can make changes or see who needs to be where when.

      But seriously – I love having all my recipes in Cozi. I can quickly drag them over to make a meal plan, make a quick grocery list, and whoever has time can pull it right up on their phone to shop.

  3. Do any of you hate getting ready in the morning? I love to take care of DS, wash bottles, etc, but most days I dread the 25 minutes it takes me to shower, put on makeup, get dressed. I wish I was one of the lucky few who look good just with a nice lipstick. Any recommendations for good lipstick/ lip pencil that stays and looks good? Thanks

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you just have too many choices? My best mornings are the ones in which I have an outfit pre-selected, or only a few clothing options available (because I am a laundry failure), and my bathroom counter is cleared except for the very few products I must use in the morning (for me, moisturizer, body lotion, toothpaste, leave-in conditioner). In my shower, I have only a razor, conditioner, hair gel, body wash and face wash. I eat the same thing for breakfast each morning so there are no choices there either.

      It’s not fun, but this morning I got myself ready in 10 minutes. And I don’t do makeup because…f* the patriarchy.

      • Echoing too many choices.

        I mercilessly slashed my wardrobe, and now I’m in that headspace and just keep going with it. My closet is scary thin, but everything in there makes up tried and true outfits that I can pull on in less than 2 minutes. I also live in dresses. Coworkers at my business causal office wear lots of ankle pants with shells and cardigans, but it’s 10 times easier (and cheaper) to grab a $40 fit n flare or sheath dress. Do I care if coworkers may be muttering, “Well, it must be Tuesday because Jax is wearing THAT dress again.” Nope. Not at all.

        I shower at night, but that’s all due to hair that I can skate a few days with. I’m okay with next morning fluff and run.

        My make up is concealer smeared in right triangles from my eye down my nose, pointing out over my cheeks. I pat it all in, and it covers the WTF? Zone on my face of dark circles and red splotches. A swipe of powder over that, a swipe of blush, a swipe of eye shadow, mascara. I have a vanity (very 1940’s of me) with my daily go-to powder products all in line with the lids open and a tea cup full of various size makeup brushes. It’s a grab-dip-swipe-drop back in cup assembly line. I don’t even bother with lipstick because 1.) my lips are thin and practically non-existent, and 2.) I sip coffee all morning and it just rubs off on the cup anyway.

        Even on dreaded hair-fixing days (washed the night before, but wild and needs heat tools) I can go from bed to car in 25 minutes. Every other day I’m out in 15.

        • I never thought of this but you are right, it is much easier to put on a dress compared to pants, tank, shirt, socks…I would love to have a vanity table but I do not have space for it. What concealer do you use? You are very very fast in the morning. I like that!

          • It’s Loreal, and it swipes on with a roller ball? I kind of grab whatever looks appealing in the drug store and give it a shot.

            I watch make up tutorials as something fun to zone out and do, and Lisa Eldridge has a great one for a 5 minute makeup routine. It helps me to see that make up doesn’t need to be a time suck–but you’ll notice these time shots go quickly because they have everything the need at their fingertips. That’s why I stick with the same colors, lids up, and a cup of various brushes.

          • Lisa Eldridge is freaking mesmerizing to watch. I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s the soothing tone of voice? Or the fact that her skin is flawless?

            I’m also super impressed with the amount of time she spends blending and perfecting, although I sometimes have a hard time telling a real difference between what happens after 15 seconds of blending vs. 1 minute. Obviously, you don’t want any lines, but at what point are you just moving the makeup around?

    • anonanonanon says:

      I shower at night and blowdry my hair (I’m always freezing so I’m not a night sweater) and then in the morning I just wash my face, brush my hair, brush my teeth, moisturize, and get dressed. I take my makeup to work and close my office door and do it there (I arrive earlier than everyone else, so whatever). I find I’m not really motivated until I’m in the office to finish that last step. Especially because it seems like the longer I’m around in the morning, the higher the chance of something coming up that derails me and makes it harder to leave.

      • Great idea to apply make-up when I get at work. If you shower at nigh, do you apply deodorant before going to bed?

        • Anon for this says:

          I’m a sweater, so I put on deodorant after my night shower and then wipe it off with my face wipe in the morning after I wipe off my face. Then I reapply.

        • anonanonanon says:

          I just apply in the morning

    • I shower at night, and just wash my face in the morning, then wear exactly the same makeup every day – simplifies things! To your question, alas, I use a smidge of tinted lip balm (Burts Bees) and just reapply. But for eye makeup that stays put, a primer (such as Urban Decay’s Primer Potion) has been invaluable.

    • Cornellian says:

      I’ve had good luck with bite cosmetics. I actually got a sample of their waxy lip liner that goes on the outside of your lips and it’s great at containing color.

      Generally I think to make make up faster you have to choose things that require less precision. I use moisturizer, BB cream, a quick swipe of mascara, a josie maran argan oil color stick on my lips and cheeks, and maybe a smudge of taupe cream eyeshadow applied with my finger. I do not believe in make up brushes/applicators for every day stuff.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Have you considered timing yourself. I’m a horrible procrastinator, but nothing takes me long to do once I finally force myself to get started. Somehow knowing how fast I can do something helps me get motivated to do it.

      I timed my makeup process yesterday morning and it took 3 minutes and 17 seconds for primer, eye shadow, curl eyelashes, mascara, blush, and concealer. I do the same makeup every day, and I don’t have a bunch of extra makeup that I have to dig through to find what I want.

      I was pretty lax about my appearance after I had my kid, but the more I do basic steps consistently, the better I feel about myself.

      • I am also a procrastinator..I will time myself to where I’am at. Less than 4 minutes to do your make-up is great!

    • Yes, I also dislike the whole process of getting ready. I have started listening to audiobooks or podcasts while getting ready to keep me from getting bored. I also streamline things as much as possible.
      – I have a relatively small, organized wardrobe, and during the weekends, I make sure laundry is done and everything is put away. I don’t pick out outfits ahead of time, but I can mix and match pretty much anything in my closet without worrying about what fits, what’s clean or dirty, etc.
      – I wash my hair just twice per week, which means the other 3 days, I just run a straightener through my hair or put it up.
      – I have all my “work” makeup in one bag, which I use exclusively for work makeup. I try not to keep anything extra in there. I have a larger box for “fun” makeup, which I can play with on the weekends or when we go out (not that often).
      – On good days, I break it up a bit. I wake up and shower before Kiddo gets up, then eat breakfast with my family and help get Kiddo ready for school, then do my hair and makeup while DH drops Kiddo off at school. But TBH, these good days only happen once or twice a week.

    • I agree with the posters that having fewer choices is much better than anything elaborate/creative.

      Hair: Pixie cut that I can blowdry and style in 10 minutes. I know not everybody is into short hair, but I’m lucky that it fits my personality and is the easiest thing ever for my hair type.
      Makeup: I keep it really simple for M-F. I wear only the basics that make me look alive and put together, plus eyeshadow because I like it. I usually put on gloss after I eat breakfast and brush my teeth. I don’t get creative or experiment with makeup during the week. I’d guess I spend maybe 10 minutes, tops.
      Clothing: I’ve been experimenting with a summer schedule. On Mondays, I wear a button-down top and pants. On Tuesdays, I wear black and white. On Wednesdays, I wear pink. (Yes, really, because I need some whimsy in my overly structured life.) On Thursdays, I wear some shade of blue. On Fridays, I wear dresses. After a month, it’s getting a little old so I might need to switch things up a bit, but having fewer decisions to make has been amazing.

      Also, I wear very little jewelry: my wedding ring, earrings that never get taken out, plus a necklace most days.

    • Sabba says:

      The NARS lip pencil stays on great and has good color choices, if you like a matte look. I will reply with a link.

    • Strategy mom says:

      I started showering every other day, and doing an awesome blowout those days and just using dry shampoo the other day and it is a GAME CHANGER!!!!!! dry shampoos are getting so much better

  4. EB0220 says:

    I also hate it. Here’s what I do:

    I have maybe 7 outfits total to choose from and a rough schedule in my head, like this: mon = black dress, tue=blue dress, wed = black jeans + flowy top, thu = gray dress, fri = jeans and nice top. Varies slightly by day’s plans (e.g. customer/exec meetings, team events, etc.)

    I wash my hair at night, let it dry overnight and straighten in the morning. This is only possibly with keratin treatment. It’s awesome. I also don’t wash my hair every day.

    The family eats the same thing for breakfast every day so there’s little debating/deciding.

    My makeup is super minimal (moisturizer and foundation). My jewelry is also minimal and the same thing every day (wedding/engagement rings and watch).

    It may be boring but it means that I can get ready while thinking about the day/reading a book/texting my sister/helping the kids find clothes/helping the husband find clothes/etc.

  5. I love your routine! I also like that you switch dresses and pants, its exciting to have variety. What does your family eat for breakfast?

  6. Anon on for this says:

    For LH yesterday, and anyone else ttc:

    The book “It Starts With the Egg” by Rebecca Fett was by far the most helpful book I read (and I read many) on ttc. The author is a scientist herself, and she aggregates info on various studies and gives advice. It’s not anecdotal. Her premise is that we do likely have control over egg quality, and setting the stage for healthy eggs is an essential part of successful pregnancies. (And FWIW–anecdotally, haha!–I attribute the steps in that book with helping me get pregnant at 42. My baby just turned 1, and is healthy and happy.) good luck.

    • Thank you so much for following up! I will look into the book. Happy for you and your 1 year old!

  7. Just stopping in to say that yesterday I hit my pregnancy high water mark, I think, when after two straight days of contract negotiations at almost 36w I was working in my office last night with my shoes and jacket off. I realized to go to the bathroom, I probably needed to put these back on (at least the shoes…). The urge to pee won out in the end.

    Also, taking all of next week off as vacation was the best idea I ever had. HIGHLY recommend.

    • I can’t believe you’re 36 weeks! I remember last summer something happened where you were spending the weekend with friends and didn’t want people asking about your kid plans. Amazing how much can change in a year. Welcome to the last month of pregnancy!

  8. What is a good gift idea for a new mom? I have a small gift for the new baby and would like to include something for the mom. Not sure if it matters but they live in New York City. TIA!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Food was always welcome….but actually, a friend gave me some really nice lotion that was helpful postpartum. I don’t remember why; maybe my feet were really dry? Probably a blessing to remember as little as possible of those first postpartum weeks.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I appreciated all food. Not sure where you’re located, but if you can’t bring food over, a Seamless Or Munchery gift card would be nice or a food care package of sorts (I’m thinking like Zabars (I’ve heard good things about their toasting bagels) or Harry and Davids).

      I don’t think I really wanted non-food items (we had most of the baby items we needed, and any new-mom stuff I already had). But if you want to go to the non-food route, I remember that I really needed a massage at about 3-4 months postpartum. I was just so stiff and out of whack from nursing and holding the baby. So maybe ask the spouse where she likes to get massages?

      • October says:

        +1 to both the food and massage (if you’re close enough with her to know she’d use it and it wouldn’t be weird). I was dying for a massage throughout pregnancy but couldn’t justify the (to me) insane costs.

      • Katala says:

        My doula does a special post-partum massage and it was amazing. Really started to get things moved back into place and relieved the strain from hunching over to nurse. I got one about a week after delivery and another a few weeks later. The first was at my house and included a little infant massage instruction which was fun too. I’m sure there is something similar in NYC.

  9. GirlFriday says:

    My 4 month old was gifted a ton of gently used clothes, so he has most everything he needs, but I’m wondering what pieces I could be missing. What was one clothing-ish item your kid couldn’t live without?

    • AwayEmily says:

      If you haven’t noticed you’re missing them, then you probably don’t need them. But we got a lot of use out of a gray sweatshirt hoodie (goes with everything), way more socks than you think you need (where do they all go??), and Carters zip-up pajamas/sleep n plays (btw Carters now makes an exclusive line for Amazon Prime called Simple Joys. Lots of basics, including the sleep-n-plays, plus stuff for toddlers).

      • Seriously I don’t understand where socks go.

        Best time-saving tip I have ever gotten from this site:
        We started buying all white socks in the exact same style (the generic Cat & Jack ones from Target) so it doesn’t even matter if we lose a few each time. We don’t fold or match them, just dump them into the drawer straight from the dryer. Every time I go to Target, I pick up another pack.

        • ElisaR says:

          i have no idea where most of them go – but i have so many orphaned socks that often my 15 mo old’s don’t match for school……

          i do know where one of them went last night though. into the tub. he would not let go. and it was a sweaty sock which got soaked. and then he wanted to suck the water out of the wet sock. because sometimes…. kids are gross.

          • So it’s not only my kids that like to suck on wet clothing? I bought them those mesh feeder things, with an ice cube in it, but no. It has to be something disgusting, like a sock or the hem of their shirt. GROSS.

        • AwayEmily says:

          I know I really *should* do this but every time I go to Target I give in to the temptation to buy the cute patterned ones. They know exactly how to get me (dinosaurs!). So now instead I just send her to school in mismatched socks.

    • October says:

      Outerwear? Sweatshirts, fleeces, different weights of coats, outdoor hats, etc. Not as essential in the summer and with a tiny baby, but during the fall and winter I was glad to have a variety of options. Also, “nicer” outfits for any big events or holidays coming up.

  10. NOVA OB/GYN Recs? says:

    This may be a long shot – but I recently learned I’m pregnant and realize I need to pick an ob/gyn. I live in Northern Virginia (Fairfax County/Alexandria) and I’ve been going to one practice the last few years for birth control/yearly check-up, but I wasn’t picky because I was really just going for the prescription. Now I feel that more thought and research should go into my decision, but every place I google seems to get terrible Yelp reviews. I find it awkward to ask friends, and don’t want to let on that I’m pregnant yet since its super early.

    Any recommendations? Thanks!

    • Do you have a preference for which hospital you deliver at? I recently had a baby with the midwives at Arlington Women’s Center, who deliver at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. I saw the OB/GYNs in the practice prior to becoming pregnant for check-ups, but decided to go with the midwives for my pregnancy. I highly recommend them.

    • anon a mouse says:

      I will second the rec for Arlington Women’s Center. I never had to wait for my appointments, everyone was friendly. I had elected to use midwives for my delivery but complications necessitated an OB and C-section. The midwife stayed with me the whole time and was incredibly supportive. And I had a terrific experience at VHC overall, so much that we’ve reoriented almost all of our medical care to use VHC-affiliated providers.

    • Katie says:

      Currently on my third pregnancy with Healthcare for Women, also in Virginia Hospital Center. They’ve been great. But honestly, VHC is the big draw for me even more than the particular practice, and I’ve heard good things about all the practices that deliver there, so I don’t think you can go wrong.

    • I love Dr. Elizabeth Garreau at Fairfax Loudoun OBGYN, but she is located out where Fairfax County Parkway intersects with route 50 and only delivers at Inova Fair Oaks, which if you’re in Alexandria proper that is going to be way too far for you.

      You could also ask friends saying “I just went for my yearly, I had such trouble getting an appointment/new doctor you didn’t like/etc., looking to switch, do you have any recs?” Ask women who’ve had kids so you’re getting their experience built in to the rec. I asked around before I got pregnant (knowing we wanted to try) because I really didn’t like my existing doctor and found my OB that way without giving up the we’re trying soon card.

    • NOVA OB/GYN Recs? says:

      Thanks all for your recommendations! Sounds like Virginia Hospital Center is the place to go. I don’t know how I managed to ignore thinking about these things before TTC. Most likely my unreasonable phobia of anything medical. Thanks!

  11. AnonVA says:

    I liked physicians and midwives, a collaborative practice, and felt like they had a nice balance of efficiency and empathy. They aren’t perfect, but out of the 15ish midwives, I genuinely enjoyed 80 percent of them and the rest were just fine. The regular obgyns seem good too, though they usually are not as involved if you have a straight forward pregnancy.

  12. For OB recs in NOVA, I think there was a similar thread last week, so maybe search for that for additional suggestions. I really liked Dr Rami Tabbarah at Inova Ballston. He delivers at Inova Fairfax. They just renovated and have really nice birthing and aftercare facilities. I delivered in their old building just before the renovations were finished, and 90% of the nurses were amazing. It sounds weird, but 2.5 years later, I still occasionally think of them and feel grateful. good luck!!

  13. Advice for a 2nd Time Mom? says:

    Looking to you ladies for some sage advice: I am 32, mom of an 18 mo and another on the way any day now. Not sure whatever made hubby and I think we could raise two kids and work full time without family around? I am an in-house attorney. He works in sales and travels and works evenings and some weeks. We have daycare, an evening sitter, a housekeeper, convenience meals, a dog walker, the list goes on… and I still feel totally frazzled. I used to be involved in several community organizations, and leadership positions, and had to drop all of those. We are seriously considering moving to the small town where my husband’s parents and his siblings live to share meals and childcare, etc. I am talking small town has a Walmart but doesn’t have a Starbucks kind of small. It’s 3 hrs from where we currently live. Hubby could easily get a job paying half as much but with set hours. I’m worried about what I will do though- remote legal work? I could ask my current work if I could WAH (we have a formal policy it’s not allowed though) but I wouldn’t be devastated to leave behind the hustle and bustle of my current office. I should probably start networking to see if there are in-house opportunities nearby? I feel like this move might be career suicide. Any been there-done that moms?

    • ElisaR says:

      you may want to repost this on Friday’s posting for more responses. I don’t have any great advice, but it sounds like moving to a small town (with family) would solve some problems but create others. I don’t know how to advise on being less frazzled because I am TOTALLY frazzled myself (and 4 months pregnant with a 15 month old) but all I can say is — somehow people do it. Just when you think “this is crazy, I can’t possibly go on…..” you do. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things to “help” yourself with outsourcing but if you move to this small town it sounds like you might be miserable…..

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