Organizing Thursday: Gray Cotton Rope Storage

I keep reading that using things like baskets is the best way to organize kids’ toys — you can have them stationed all over your apartment or house so that you can just shove things in there quickly when people come over. If you’re looking for some cute storage baskets that are actually big enough to make a difference, Pottery Barn Kids has a lot of them right now. They look really cute and are flexible, and the four sizes (in white, pink, and blue) range from $24–$69. I’m curious to hear from you guys: Do you have storage baskets and bins in your home, and if so, which ones do you like best? Have you found anything that’s really affordable? Do tell! Gray Cotton Rope Storage

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  1. I usually pick my storage baskets up at homegoods and ikea. I have some for kids toys, some for dog toys, and some for random odds and ends like papers on a bookshelf or extra cords tucked under the TV stand. It’s not a perfect solution though because they rarely look as artfully arranged as pictured and you have to be pretty diligent about going through them to keep dust from accumulating.

    On an unrelated note, I’m having a total work outfit fail today. Had no clean pants that still fit (down to two pair that sit well) so dug out my maternity ones, which admittedly are oh so comfy, but once I left the house I realized that it’s just a bit too early for them – i keep having to pull them up. Oh well.

    • Anonymous says:

      depending on how blousy your top is, you can use the teeny tiny sized binder clips to help keep them up.

    • I am right there with you! Tried to fit into a pair of pants with a plan to use a BellaBand this morning and realized that I couldn’t even get the zipper up. But maternity pants are too big, plus I’m not out yet at work so I’m paranoid someone will notice the side panels. So back to the one of two pairs that are still comfortable… I’ve got a hair elastic around the button right now and am thankful that no one really cares how casual I push business casual.

  2. Cornellian says:

    Taking my 7 month old on his first vacation. We are renting a house on Cape Cod with my cousins, their parents, and their 1.5 year old.

    What am I forgetting to prep or pack or get ready for?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      are there stairs? any baby gate or baby proofing concerns? (outlet covers, things to keep them from opening the cabinets, etc.)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Food related stuff – a baby spoon, a non-breakable bowl, bib. A stash of “emergency” foods (i.e., baby pouches, stuff to gnaw on). Also, any baby-specific bath gear that you may want/need (bath water thermometer, tub insert, etc.).

    • Anonymous says:

      i’d put money on the fact that you’re forgetting nothing important for baby but something important for yourself!

      • Flashback to that trip when Baby had everything, and I forgot underwear AND contacts…literally the only two things that I absolutely needed for the trip.

        • Anonymous says:

          I was thinking of our first overnight trip, when baby had clothing options for three different seasons, but I forgot my wallet!

    • POSITA says:

      On our last trip we forgot wipes. It made for messy middle of the night diaper change that first night.

    • Do you have sunblock? Baby safe bug repellent? Swim diapers? Hat? Some place for baby to sleep?

      Also – not a what to pack, but more of how to pack – if you’re there for more than a few days and it’s possible, I would just order a large box of diapers to be shipped to the house by amazon vs. bringing enough diapers for the whole trip.

    • AwayEmily says:

      White noise machine to help with naps in a noisy house. Several baby spoons so you aren’t always looking for the single one that you brought. The Ergo/baby carrier if you use one. A foldable high chair or booster seat if you have one.

      • For white noise, you can also just download an app for your phone/ipad.

        • AwayEmily says:

          True, though I did this once and then realized that it meant I couldn’t have my phone while the baby was napping, which was HEARTBREAKING. but if you have a second device and/or are less addicted to your phone, it’s a good solution.

    • ElisaR says:

      on my son’s first trip I forgot the bag I packed with all of his clothes. um, yeah that was fun.

    • Things I’ve forgotten on similar trips:
      Baby monitor
      A contraption to safely put baby down in (stroller, bumbo, highchair, something with straps that is not an adult but not the floor)
      A book for me. (It’s my vacation too!)
      Baby proofing supplies (outlet covers and doorknob covers specifically)

      I’d also pack a sweatshirt or slightly warmer outfit than usual, and long pants and tops if you’re going to be outside in the twilight hours, for warmth and also for bugs.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I always find myself wishing I had one of those stick-up paper blackout blinds when I travel with kiddo to a friend’s house. I think Kat posted about a brand once…

      But I usually end up overpacking for kiddo and forgetting important things for myself. Make sure you have enough underwear, socks, shirts, and any meds you take (including Tylenol/Advil and allergy meds!). Ear plugs. Shoes/sandals/slippers. A book or magazine (or multiple!). Sunglasses. Bathing suit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Painter’s tape (blue tape). Quick baby proofing and fix-all, but removes easily at the end of your trip. We took some to an airbnb and it was very useful, along with, what someone already mentioned – wipes. I would also bring a baby blanket and a bedtime book.

  3. Anonanonanon says:

    We have a rather nice storage ottoman in the corner of our living room. It’s nice because we can throw some of my seven year old’s stuff in there on short notice and it can be pulled out for extra seating when people are over. We have magna tiles in a nice storage basket in the living room, but we have a nice throw blanket and pillow placed over them so it’s not a blatant basket of toys. When he was much younger I hid those fabric toy bins in the bottom half of the china cabinet as well, and had some nice baskets that fit under the TV stand but fit snug enough where you couldn’t see that they were full of toys.

  4. HomeGoods, Ikea, or Target are my go-tos for baskets. We keep them tucked away in the corners for baby toys. We also keep a wicker basket in the kitchen as a hamper for kitchen towels, baby towels, and bibs. It was a life changer.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This kitchen hamper idea is genius!! Especially since our laundry is in the basement, makes so much more sense to keep the dirty kitchen stuff closer to the laundry!

    • ElisaR says:

      yes – HomeGoods has a ton and they are super cute and usually cost $10-$15….. way less than PBK!

    • Blueberry says:

      After about a year and a half of piles of laundry in front of my basement door, I finally got around to buying a nice and hopefully not too hamper-looking woven basket for the area to hopefully corral the laundry. (My kids usually get dressed downstairs after breakfast, and we never end up dragging dirty laundry back upstairs.) I feel prouder about this homemaking achievement than I probably ought to.

      • OCAssociate says:

        You should feel proud, because somehow it never occurred to me to do the same thing. We just have a pile of laundry by our back door most of the time. Obviously, we should put a nice basket there to act as a hamper. Off to Amazon!

  5. I have outfits and onesies that currently fit sorted into baskets and have a hanging organiser on my wardrobe rail for the next few sizes (baby has already outgrown newborn stuff). I also have a basket for lounge clothes and one for nursing tanks. It makes it so much easier to get laundry put away.

  6. POSITA says:

    Our first au pair shows up tomorrow. The house is clean (well, clean-ish). The handbook is updated. Any suggestions for starting off the relationship on the right foot? Even with the handbook, there is so much information that we need to transfer.

    • No experience, but honestly, I’d focus on getting to know your au pair and letting her get to know your family at first. If the most important stuff is in the handbook, she’ll learn as she watches you, develop her own way of doing some things, etc. Don’t start off with an information dump.

      • Anonymous says:

        Second this. She’s probably had a long flight. Give her 24 hours to settle in if possible before a big info dump.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          She might be homesick too, so try to make sure you have all the tech in place for her to speak to her friends and family back home (whether that’s Skype, or Whatsapp, etc.)

  7. demographics of this board / need to find my tribe says:

    Am I right to think that this board is mainly people with babies (or very young children) or who are pregnant? Is there a good place on the interwebs to go to for working mothers of older children (school-aged, middle school)?

    [thinking that this is perhaps b/c women seem to quit where I work sometime when it seems they have two kids under 4 and can’t tough it out anymore]

    need to find my tribe (and while I can share pumping / pregnant / baby / work advice, I have Qs that it seems that no one else has)

    • Anonymous says:

      Please post here! I have one in elementary school and two in preschool. Somehow the elementary school stuff seems to come up more during the school year? There are at least a few other posters with elementary school kids but none with older teenagers that I’ve noticed.

    • My kids are starting elementary school. I think the moms of older kids are here, they’re just quieter and/or don’t visit quite as often. I know when I was pregnant, before this board, I had a lot more anxiety and spent hours stalking Babycenter and Alpha Mom and whatnot.

      Ask your questions – you’ll probably get decent answers, and may help out the younger moms as well.

    • avocado says:

      I have a 10-year-old sixth-grader. Please stick around so there will be more of us here!

      • Anonymous says:

        In my district redshirting is so pervasive that there were kids turning 7 in kindergarten. I had a girl who turned 5 in June and if she weren’t very tall and also very bright, she’d either stick out or be struggling (maybe?) with these older kids. But I can’t imagine that she’d have fit in well with kids who were younger than she was.

        What will it be like when all of these kids get to college and some just learned to drive and others can drink as freshmen?

        TL;DR: good for you and your sixth-grader!

        • avocado says:

          Mine is definitely going to be the youngest kid in the middle school and will probably also be the shortest, but she holds her own. Her BFF is exactly one year older and nearly a foot taller. The whole redshirting thing is crazy to me. I can’t imagine having to with my parents and attend high school at age 18 or 19. That would be miserable.

          • avocado says:

            having to *live* with my parents. I keep hitting submit too quickly.

          • October says:

            Agreed. I was the 17-year-old college freshman and it worked out fine. I was “smart” as a little kid and my parents didn’t want me to be bored at school, so they sent me. These days it seems like kindergarten is the new first grade, though, so I guess I see the potential risk in forcing a 4-year-old to read chapter books and do addition. Childhood is already so short! I hate the rationale of red-shirting so your kid can have an edge and be “smarter/better,” but I understand if the decision is made based on the developmental stage of the individual child.

    • Cornellian says:

      I have a seven month old, so am no help, but I think your suspicion is probably right on.

      I suspect you also see more pregnant/infant/toddler posts because things are so different from month to month, which (I hope?) slows down a bit when they’re 9 years and 2 months versus 9 years and 4 months.

    • EB0220 says:

      I have a kindergartner and a preschooler!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      My son is in first grade.

    • How old are your kids? I have two in elementary school. The challenges are different than with babies (school goes from 9:10-4:10, WTF? Plus all the activities! Plus homework! Plus there is some weird chicken/anti-chicken argument that is making my kid cry…) Stay and join the conversation! We’re all figuring it out

    • BTanon says:

      Just want to echo that your suspicions are probably right that there are fewer people who fit that demographic on here, but also want to join the other posters with younger kids who really hope you and everyone with older kids stick around! I know I learn so much from the topics that are posted on older kids, and while I don’t have firsthand knowledge so may not have much to add, I do have lots of friends with kids in that age group and sometimes pick up useful things from them that I can share here.

    • Need a cool name says:

      I know what you mean. I don’t check this board very often since I have an older kid. My guy is going to be 12 in one month (!!!).

    • My son is 5 and starting kindergarten.

    • I’m one of those with a toddler but I love reading about older kids. I consider it a preview of coming attractions.

      • +1. Please stick around and post your questions.

        I remember reading on here ages ago about putting squeeze yogurt in the freezer for toddlers. One came with a kids’ meal the other day, and I put it in the freezer for later. We gave it to Kiddo last night, and he went crazy for it! Just a small story on how the posts for the next stage help others!

        • Anonymous says:

          And I missed the original comment but I’m totally trying this next time we have the squeeze yoghurts! I had taken to hiding the squeeze yoghurts that come with a Happy Meal because I couldn’t stand the mess.

          • YMMV, but I find the frozen ones to be messier than the melted ones when my kids were toddlers/preschool age because they couldn’t push it up on their own (so they want the wrapper pulled down).

      • CPA Lady says:

        Same here! I love hearing about what happens once they get older.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I’ve got that just started K (yesterday!) and one in 5th grade. I’m not here as much as I used to be since my job situation has changed, but I try to pop in from time to time.

      Honestly, a big part of the demographics may also just be that like others, I discovered the main s!te during pumping breaks (before the mom’s s!te existed) – once I stopped taking pumping breaks my visits and posts also tapered off for a while.

      So yes, please post! And check back the next day as some of us may have answered your questions late into the night after homework and bedtime struggles, because we spent our lunch break arranging soccer carpool and buying school supplies on Amazon :-)

    • 2 in elementary and one in preschool.

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      I’ve got an elementary schooler and a preschooler and feel so, so distant from the baby/feeding/pumping/etc. questions, but still read here because there are definitely still comments that apply to me. I just skip the baby comments.

  8. Baby proofing help says:

    I tried to post this yesterday but for some reason it wouldn’t post. Has anyone baby proofed frameless kitchen drawers? We have purchased many different types of the baby proofing equipment but it all seems to require a frame. We are currently making do without any baby proofing and it is an epic disaster (we have tried to move all breakables out of reach but unfortunately, the majority of our storage is in drawers). Thank you for any advice!!

  9. Testing

  10. I tried to post this yesterday but for some reason it wouldn’t post. Has anyone baby proofed frameless kitchen drawers? We have purchased many different types of the baby proofing equipment but it all seems to require a frame. We are currently making do without any baby proofing and it is an epic disaster (we have tried to move all breakables out of reach but unfortunately, the majority of our storage is in drawers). Thank you for any advice!!

    • Midwest Mama says:

      We bought a roll of Velcro that is sticky on the back and used that to Velcro kitchen cabinets and drawers shut. It’s strong enough that a baby/toddler can’t pull it open, but DH and I can still get in and out easily.

  11. NewMomAnon says:

    I am not being my best mom self the last few days – I can identify a couple excuses (minor health issue, major development in kiddo’s dad’s relationship status that is splashed all over FB, big presentation at work, uptick in workload), but I feel like I should be doing better. It feels like kiddo is just defiant lately too, but I don’t know whether that’s because I’m stressed and it makes her behavior seem more stressful, or whether she really is less cooperative.

    I don’t know whether this is a vent or a cry for help….any advice is appreciated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go easy on yourself. When everything seems too overwhelming, I find it helps to get back to basics. Simple suppers, uncomplicated outfits for myself/kiddo. Quiet evenings at home. So maybe supper is sandwiches – but throw down a blanket on the floor or in the backyard and call it a picnic. Kids love it. For times when you don’t have kiddo, make an extra effort to schedule a lunch or dinner with a supportive friend or just take a hot bath and go to bed early.

    • One little thing I do when I feel like that is take a B vitamin, which I consider my mood vitamin. I doubt it really does anything, but I’ll even take a placebo effect that makes me feel like I’m taking a step towards fixing my cranky behavior.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      I hear you, mama. It’s been a tough week for me too. I’ve been trying to be very kind to myself, and I agree that dialing things down as much as I can has helped. I’m also trying to say “Yes” more– yesterday morning I let my LO come in the shower with me, which she loves and is always a good bonding/snuggle time (she likes to play at my feet and give me leg hugs). Last night we had a spontaneous dance party to help wind down an overtired toddler before bed. This morning she had cold (veggie! homemade!) pizza for breakfast. Which was thrilling to her. I’m just generally trying to balance the part of me that is SICK AND TIRED of all this adulting by letting out more of the part of me that is still a kid inside.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      If I recall correctly, your kiddo is about 3.5? I feel like that’s prime time for defiance, no matter what other stressors you have going on in your life (and it sounds like you have a bunch right now!).

      I absolutely agree that you should go easy on yourself. Make/eat simple foods, take a multi-vitamin if you’re feeling run down, and maybe try a little bit of meditation (like 5 or 10 minutes) just to clear your head.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our daughters are about the same age and I’m also divorced. The other morning, kiddo wound up to have a tantrum when we got to daycare and she got frustrated trying to take off her own seatbelt, so I turned to her and said, “[kiddo], I don’t have the emotional capacity for you to have a tantrum right now. If you need to have one before school, I’ll wait outside the car, and you can tell me when you’re done. I’m going to come around and unbuckle your seatbelt so you can think about what you want to do.” When I got to her side of the car and opened her door, she asked me to pick her up, and didn’t have a tantrum at all. I suspect that will never happen again, but my hail mary worked! Also, I find I need to take better care of myself in order to have capacity for the threenager attitude she gives me sometimes.

  12. Babywearing moms – how do I get a todder (22 months) in my Tula in a back carry by myself? She’s very happy in there and we do it when my husband is there to help, but the one time I tried to do it on my own I was bending over with her on my back while telling her “don’t fall off” which seems…ill-advised…and we gave up. Do I just need practice?

    • layered bob says:

      Probably easiest to watch a video, but –

      Start with her on your hip in your left arm (if you are right handed) and the carrier tied around your waist but hanging down.
      Brace her on your left hip with your right hand while you shuffle her under your left arm and around towards your back as far as you can reach.
      Scoop your left arm back around under her bottom, leaning forward as you scoot her until she’s all the way on your back.
      Keep your left hand there, holding her against your back, and reach behind you with your right arm to flip the carrier up over your back and get your right arm through.
      Switch hands, now keeping her secure with your right hand while you shimmy your left arm in the carrier.
      Adjust her leg position/seat and buckle.

      Do it in front of the mirror the first time, and after that it will take you ten seconds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Put the tula on the ground, then if your little one will stay, lo on the tula, then sit in front of her, buckle, and then pull the straps over her. It’s hard if they won’t stay still. I hope other mamas have smart tricks to post about this!

    • Clementine says:

      Yes. Do it over a couch or a bed at first. It’s easier when they’re toddlers and can hang on. I usually buckle around the waist and then hold with one arm while I pull the other arm up and then switch.

      Either that or I buckle it around my waist and put shoulder strap on, then I slide one little leg through, hold him on my back (or get him to hang on) and then pull the other arm up.

      Youtube videos, bend forward slightly while you do it, and practice over a couch or a bed so you don’t worry if they fall.

      • +1. I used to do solo back carries in my Tula all the time. Just practice and you’ll find the method that works for you.

        For me: I buckle it at the waist, have the kid get on my back and hold around my neck (from the couch or side of the car), and then flip the Tula over their back and slip it over my arms. Sometimes I jump a few times to get them to lower into the seat, but they usually know to let go and settle in themselves. It took a couple of practices with each kid so they’d know what to do, but pretty much as soon as they could hold on to my neck, we started using this method, so from about 15-16 months to ~26 months (when neither one wanted to be carried anymore).

    • Anonymous says:

      I could have asked this myself. I had an Ergo for the longest time and could ruck up by toddlers no problem between age 1-2. I just upgraded to a Tula Toddler size to accommodate my large 2.5 year olds. I love it so much but I do have a problem swinging them up into the back carry. I can get them up but I have a harder time getting the back panel in place and their bum low enough in the fabric. I’m currently solving this by loading them on my front, holding the two arm straps together and swing them around to the back, then putting in my arms.

    • I’ve found the best success by watching videos and following along until I get it. I have found that one secret is to ensure the shoulder straps are loose when you are putting it on. This is so it is easier to grab when you are one handed and trying to get the first one on (if that makes sense, you know, when you have one hand on the kid on your back and are trying to get the first shoulder strap on)

      • Oh, this makes sense. I was trying to do it with one strap already on, so I bet it was too tight.

  13. I think there was a similar post on here recently on a similar theme. Anyone else on a second or third pregnancy feeling not particularly connected with baby? I’m coming into my third trimester and have been so, so busy with work and kids in the past four months or so and also sort of emotionally drained from a death in the family (an older relative, and not unexpected, but still) that I seem to have missed out on my pregnancy. I’m not feeling particularly excited — just fat and bothered. In my previous pregnancies, the little baby kicks felt like a secret communication, whereas now they sort of feel like a strange disruption in my body. I’m not worried that I won’t be able to bond with baby when baby is born, so I guess I don’t feel like this is a major problem… just feels kind of odd. Maybe I just need a vacation.

    • Accidental VBAC? says:

      Not the same thing exactly, but similar. I have spent so much time this pregnancy looking forward to being done with pregnancy. I can’t wait to have my body back and to know that I won’t be doing this again in 2 years. I’ve been concerned that I’m so excited for that end result that I’m missing my pregnancy. Not much to add, just solidarity in some respects!

    • Anonymous says:

      So much yes. I have said that I love my babies in utero and as newborns, but I fall “in love” with my kids at like 6 months. I am so thankful for my pregnancies, but I do not enjoy my body while pregnant. For my second, I gave myself grace, and basically acknowledged that I would love my baby, but didn’t have to love being pregnant. I didn’t really connect with my baby while I was carrying him, just thought ahead to life with him. Also, I think it’s different when you have little actual people who need you right now. It was harder to find space for an abstract person when there were lots of real people in front of you needing that type of attention from you. We are considering a third, and I’m sure i t will be even more pervasive the third time around.

    • October says:

      Second pregnancy here, and similar feelings. I think a lot of it is that I’m focused on my toddler and living life with him, and some of it is that I know more of what to expect in the newborn phase — it is hard and exhausting, and I viewed it as being much more idyllic when pregnant with my first. I am now getting close to labor day, though (36 weeks!) ,and all of a sudden I’m SO EXCITED to have a baby again (vs just being done with pregnancy) and I am ready to meet and snuggle this little guy.

  14. Are my husband and I crazy for considering a trip to Maui with a 14-month old (currently just shy of a year – this would be in early Nov)? We’ve gone many times and seen most of the island, so we have low expectations for things to do and are just looking for somewhere familiar and tropical to kick back as much as is possible with a little one. We’ve already decided we’ll hire a nanny/sitter through a local agency there, but I’m struggling with how best and how much to use that service (dinner dates after kiddo is down for sure, but I’m thinking it may be a good idea to get some daytime help so we can actually relax/swim at the beach a bit without tag teaming the whole time). DD is already a confident walker so I’m sure will be into everything and needing constant chasing, but does well with sitters. Has anyone tried a similar vacation around that age, either with or without childcare help? Any advice?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Are you guys crazy? Yes and no. I took a vacation with a 15-16 month old, and it was a challenging trip due to a time change, a new location, and her age (she got into stuff, was more active, was more demanding, woke up in the middle of the night every single night). What made it easier was having a helping hand (family member) to babysit occasionally during the day and so that we could get out for a date night. We also took advantage of outdoor happy hours with live music, so we got to have a drink or two while my daughter enjoyed the music and ran around. Then we’d go back to the apartment and make dinner or get takeout.

      By comparison, I took vacations with my daughter when she was 9 months and just over 2 years and they were much easier. The sleeping through the night thing in a new place ~never~ happens for us. She invariably winds up in our bed.

      But if you guys have zero expectations, it could also still be really fun to get away.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Just piggybacking off of POSITA’s post below, we did go West. So yes, that meant insanely early wake ups.

    • POSITA says:

      We did big trips with our DDs at that age. The trip with our oldest was miserable. The trip with our youngest was awesome. The key differences:

      (1) For the trip with our oldest, we flew west by three hours (West Coast). This meant that every day of the vacation she was up at 3 AM (normal wake up at 6 AM) and wanting breakfast. It was a LONG three hours every morning waiting for a restaurant to open, and even then our only option was a slightly scuzzy coffee shop. Better places didn’t open until later. She was ready for a nap at 9 or 10 AM, right when we wanted to go do stuff, and ready for bed by 4 PM. We had a really tough time getting her to adapt. We were also staying in a hotel room where we were basically held captive in a dark room when she needed to sleep.

      (2) For the trip with our second, we flew east by five hours (Europe). This meant that she liked to sleep in until 9 or 10 AM. We would get a late start, see the sites and head back for a late nap around 4 PM. She’d wake up at 6 PM and we’d go for a late dinner. It felt so much more relaxed than being trapped in a hotel room with a cranky, hungry toddler at 3 AM. The second big change was that we rented AirBnBs for the whole trip. This meant that we could put her to sleep in a different room and still be awake and relaxing while she slept. We tried to stay in interesting places where we could sit on a balcony or patio and enjoy the view while she slept. It was so much better. We were vaguely worried about coming home with early wake ups but it wasn’t a big deal since (a) she was happy to sleep longer in her own bed, (b) we were home and had normal toys to distract her, and (c) we had to get up early for work anyways.

      Fly east. Rent an AirBnb.

      • CPA Lady says:

        ^ agree 100% with this advice, esp if you’re not on the west coast. Maybe look at Mexico or the Caribbean to avoid jet lag if you wanna stay with the tropical theme.

      • Hmm, we are in CA so we would be going west, but would be back to standard time so only 2 hours time difference. Hubs and I are very early risers anyway and usually don’t change our clocks much when we go to Maui, but it is daunting to think about DD (and therefore us…) getting up for the day at 4. Definitely getting a suite regardless so we can enjoy after hours. But maybe we need to reconsider given the direction. Appreciate all the input, ladies.

      • Marilla says:

        Yes to an AirBNB. Having an extra room for baby to sleep in (and extra space to run around), plus a fridge/kitchen makes a huge difference. I usually filter for family friendly (they sometimes have a crib or travel crib, and high chair), A/C if we’re going somewhere warm, Wifi and laundry (rarely use it but like having the option). As long as you take a relaxed approach to your day when you’re on your trip you will be fine. Enjoy!

  15. Accidental VBAC? says:

    Yesterday I posted under Crystal Ball. I really need a consistent name. Anyway, I found out that I’m dilated and effaced more than I was 6 hours after my water broke with my first baby. That story involved a very long labor concluding in a c-section and the plan has been to have another c-section, scheduled for a few weeks from now.

    My head is now spinning with thoughts of how my body is already preparing for labor more than it ever did with my first. I’m also concerned about how quickly I’ll be able to get to the hospital if I do go into labor before my scheduled date.

    Did anyone on here plan for a c-section and end up with a VBAC? I obviously have some questions for my doctor next week on how they’ll handle me. On one hand, being told I’ll go early is great. On the other hand, waking up on my scheduled date and just going in always sounded lovely to me, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a bit confused. If you’re planning for a c-section and you go into labor, then you can just go to the hospital and have a section. My understanding is that it would be very very unusual for you to arrive too late for a section, your labor would have to be super fast (like having baby in the car on the side of the highway level of fast labor). Maybe this varies by hospital but at my local hospital, if you are a scheduled section and you go into labor early, and they are not trying to stop the labor because of prematurity, you just get your section early, you don’t have VBAC.

      • Accidental VBAC? says:

        I think you’re right. I was just so shocked to be progressing in any way that I didn’t really ask any intelligent questions. The doctor just stressed my need to get there ASAP. I think I’m tired, exhausted and at the end of pregnancy and thus this news has jumbled in my head and somehow made me question whether I should be trying for a VBAC. I know I’m in a little bit of a crazy/irrational headspace.

      • ElisaR says:

        i understand the concern – my best friend was a scheduled C and went into labor early and was in danger of bursting something (i forget, her old scar from 1st C or maybe her very very small cervix from a LEEP procedure) and got an emergency C section just in time….

        That said I don’t know anybody that planned on a C and was forced to do a VBAC.

        Hang in there CrystalBall/Accidental VBAC! how many weeks are you again?

        • Accidental VBAC? says:

          Thank you! Just over 36 weeks and therefore just over 2 weeks until my scheduled c-section. There is definitely an end in sight regardless! :)

  16. Best maternity swimsuit for swimming laps?

  17. I just have to share this story to remind us all to count our blessings.

    I have a friend who took five rounds of IVF to finally get pregnant with twins. The twins are six months old. She was so infertile that the doctor didn’t put her on birth control after she gave birth. She just found out she’s 13 weeks pregnant. With twins. The first set of twins will be 11 months old when the second set is born. And her husband is in the navy and is out on deployment regularly. Oh my goodness. So many babies!

    • Cornellian says:

      oh, god. I mean… it sounds like they are wanted, but that is so horrifying. A good reminder to not get too brave with my “it’s fine, i don’t have my period and I”m EBF” approach.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have IVF twins, and this is literally my worst nightmare.

    • Myrna Minkoff says:

      Wow!! That is so cool and so so stressful. As another IVF-er, I love hearing such stories.

    • Rainbow Hair says:


      A friend who worked in the NICU was telling me how it’s great how modern technology makes it clear when a woman is having twins — imagine the past when you’re like “ah finally this baby is out!” and then it’s like “uh jk keep pushing there’s another!” — BUT that sometimes now there is is a SURPRISE TRIPLET. Like there are so many babies up in there, and they assume it’s twins, but it’s actually a third one hiding behind the other two or something. Pretty much confirmed for me that I am tapping out at one.

      • Anonymous says:

        Having had twins, I think the surprise triplet is highly unusual and would likely only be an issue if the women had not have adequate prenatal care. When you have twins, you have weekly ultrasounds towards the end in most cases – it would be pretty hard to miss a third baby.

        Even years ago, I think many women might have suspected that they were having twins. There was still midwife care and two babies moving inside you feels very different from a singleton (I’ve had both).

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Well thank GOD if she was exaggerating because SURPRISE TRIPLETS was the scariest thing I had heard in a while.

      • DH’s grandmother, back in the 1950s, actually had SURPRISE TWINS. “I kept insisting I wasn’t putting on too much weight, but the doctors kept telling me otherwise.”

        • Blueberry says:

          My husband was a surprise twin (in a somewhat less developed country in the 70s). AND they came two months early. And my FIL was out of the country traveling at the time. I cannot imagine.

          Before having kids I used to think I’d rather have twins to get the hard part over with at once, but now… nothing but respect for twin mamas — I don’t know how y’all do it.

        • My aunt’s twins were almost a surprise (in America, in the early 70s) until they did an x-ray shortly before she gave birth, which was equally alarming as it looked to her like a child with an extra head. Her husband was in the air force overseas in the Vietnam War and they had to agree on another name by phone on one of the few calls she could make to him.

        • ElisaR says:

          my aunts were surprise twins…. pretty crazy and not such a pleasant surprise for a poor family with 2 kids already!

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG. Surprise twins are a large part of why I’m leaning towards being one and done – there are some twins in our families and if we tried for a second child and ended up with twins I don’t think I could handle it. Three kids + two working parents seems insanely overwhelming. I know people do it but I can’t fathom how. Three kids would also be a big financial strain for us.

  18. Rainbow Hair says:

    I would love to hear about any of you who have kids in sports programs… Rainbow Kiddo is 2.5 and can barely throw a ball, so it’s not a soon thing for me, but I see parents giving up SO MUCH of their lives/time for their kids’ sports and I just think… I wouldn’t.

    Like, Coworker has 2 boys who play basketball, in one is in junior high and one is a freshman in high school. She’d been telling me about this wedding she was excited to go to for a few months — and then she didn’t go. “The boys had a basketball tournament.”

    Or, Brother in Law has a 3rd grader who plays baseball. It seems like he’s on three teams: little league, travel league, and all stars. When we spent time with them over the summer, it was like everything came second to baseball. “Can you come to this BBQ?” “Well, it depends on if Son has a game.”

    Is this level of commitment normal? I had sort of vaguely hoped Rainbow Kiddo would be into a sport, but now I’m not so sure I want to give up that much of my life.

    • Artemis says:

      There was a comment thread about this awhile ago . . . I do absolutely think there are kids out there who genuinely want to be super-involved in a sport, and their parents want to support them. But my general concerns are 1) the kid has to learn kid isn’t the center of the universe, there are other family obligations and things that other family members want to do and we all have to balance that, 2) I really worry about overuse injuries with kids playing so many sports or one sport so often, 3) it can get really freaking expensive, 4) I don’t want to give up that much of my life.

      I have three kids. There are going to be actual physical/time limitations with how much any of my kids can do. Right now we are at one sport per kid per season, spring and fall (sometimes an indoor sport over the winter), and we take a break from all organized sports in the summer. We try to make it as easy as possible by picking the leagues closest to our house, with the best times for us, regardless of what is most competitive/most popular. We cheer when our two oldest want to do the same sport because they are close enough in age that sometimes they can be in the same league (but not the same team). We try to balance between weeknights and weekends so each sport is one or the other, not both.

      Full disclosure, my older kids are 7.5 and almost 5, so we don’t have a huge number of choices. But I am prepared to draw lines in the sand as they get older, and heck no I would not skip a wedding for a sports tournament. It helps that my husband played competitive sports most of his life but was raised with similar restrictions and feels the same way I do.

    • avocado says:

      Kids’ sports all seem to be really intense these days. By the fourth grade, most of my kid’s friends were participating in rec or travel leagues with multiple weekly practices and a game every week. In the summer, they all do the neighborhood rec swim team with daily practices and weekly meets. My kid participates in a year-round sport at what would be the equivalent of travel team level. They practice 12 – 20 hours a week depending on level and have eight or nine all-day competitions per year. The rec team practices 6 – 12 hours a week with seven or eight competitions. If she’d stuck with ballet instead of choosing this sport, by now she would be going three or four times a week, and that was at a school that doesn’t compete. Nothing is low-commitment past about the second grade, even at the rec levels. Many sports ramp up the intensity even earlier–my kid was sucked into the high-intensity track in first grade, and she was somewhat of a late starter.

    • I think it’s partly kid-driven and partly parent-driven. I have three kids (4, 6, 8) and it’s pretty clear that the oldest is not going to be a serious athlete. So he does low-key soccer/basketball/swimming, but we don’t take it super seriously. But if one of them were really serious about something, I could see choices being made, especially if that sports tournament meant the world to my kid.

    • Fabiola says:

      I know what you mean. I was concerned about some of the negative aspects of the culture of youth sports and was not sure how we should best engage. The lad is a month shy of 12, and we basically let him do 3 activities at a time. One of those is church, where he is an acolyte and reader. The second is Scouts, which is his main friend group & where he finds other boys who also love the outdoors. We try to have the third be sports so he sees how physical activity is part of a well-rounded life. Last year he did cross country and track, plus wrestling in the winter.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Wow I appreciate the comments here. I can’t imagine… maybe I’m more selfish than I thought. I love having a life of my own, and it’s pretty limited, but I like having things that are mine. I don’t want to give up the little slivers that are just for me, I guess.

      Do low-commitment sports exist? Like can you just say, “OK, Rainbow Kiddo will do track after school on X days, and go to meets as scheduled on [some kind of schedule you get in advance]?” Or is SUPER commitment the only way to go?

      • avocado says:

        Middle school and high school track and cross country typically practice every day after school. Meets in middle school are probably one afternoon a week for a short season and in high school are probably one afternoon a week for maybe 8 weeks for everyone, plus post-season meets and weekend invitationals for some athletes. I have never heard of a high school team that permitted athletes to skip practices. Some cross country teams also have unofficial summer workouts. The good thing about middle school and high school sports is that all you have to do as a parent is pick them up late every day.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Hmmm now that I think about it, after-school practices every day sounds like a gift. It’s basically just a longer school day? I’ll take that!

      • avocado says:

        I know what you mean about giving up the little slivers that are yours. You can mitigate the insanity somewhat by doing the drop and dash instead of staying for practice and by not setting the expectation that both parents will watch every game or competition. My kid’s schedule does sort of rule our lives–we can’t go away for the weekend because of practices and competitions and we have a lot of transportation hassles, but on the other hand I do get a few free hours on the weekend to go to yoga class alone (when she’s not at practice she wants to tag along, which is not nearly so relaxing).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hmmm….I wonder if might have to do with daycare/transportation certainty too? Like, when kiddo starts elementary school, she will be able to participate in only those sports that are offered through the school during the week or those after-school activities that offer busing. And if I have to choose between after-school care or a bus to take her to softball, and she wants to do softball, softball better be offered 5 nights a week. Not because I want her to be super amazing softball kiddo, but because cobbling together a hodge podge of after-school care sounds like no fun.

      And as the resident super introvert mom, I could totally see myself bailing on social obligations because of kiddo’s sport. Which I won’t be attending, but is still a handy excuse….

  19. avocado says:

    The baseball families I know tend to be the nuttiest in terms of the entire family’s life revolving around one kid’s sport.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      In my area, it’s hockey….I have friends who won’t commit to any activity that runs past 8 pm because their kid has “ice time” at 5:30 in the morning. Between that and the stinky gear….blech.

  20. Anonymama says:

    I think maybe you are underestimating the joy the kid gets from doing what they enjoy doing, and having their parents there in support of it, and the joy their parents get from being very involved insomething that is really important to the kid, and the social and community aspects of it. As kids get older and have their own lives apart from you, really knowing their friends and the people they are around is important. I’m sure there are some parents pushing their kids into it, but the people I know the involvement is 100% kid driven, and the parents actually get into the whole scene: they like watching and supporting their own kid, and seeing the other parents and their kids etc.

    But also, I think it’s weird that someone wouldn’t get their kid to carpool with a teammate once in a while and actually get to do your own things sometimes.

    • ElisaR says:

      I agree – as an adult I am so thankful that my parents participated in carpools and carted me all over the state for my ballet classes. I SO needed friends outside of the mean girls at school, I needed a physical activity that also exercised my mind, I learned so much discipline. If my mom was like “no, you can only do ballet once/twice a week because I want to X” it would have really detracted from my experience.

  21. For HSAL, not sure this is posting in the right place. I never did back carries in our Ergo, which my son outgrew at 18 mo, and we didn’t get another carrier until over 2 years ( kinderpack, very similar to till) so I’m not sure this will work yet at 22 mo. I squat down and have my some climb on like for a piggyback ride, then hold him up with one hand and put on the carrier with the other. Way easier for me than hip-scoot, but requires more toddler cooperation as well.

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