Organizing Thursday: Hanging Wrapping Paper Storage

hanging organizer wrapping bagYou know, I finally realized the other day that I haven’t seen my cache of wrapping paper, bows, or ribbons since… I got married, it seems. (Kidding. Not really.) I keep buying them, and then they disappear. My husband keeps moving them to different places, including with our Christmas storage stuff. Sigh. I’ve just bought this hanging organizer from Amazon in hopes of keeping non-holiday stuff in one place that I know about — it’s $23. (I also have a hanging gift bag organizer.) Pictured: Double Sided Hanging Gift Wrap & Bag Organizer Storage

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  1. Any twin moms with “extended” ultrasounds? I’m 36 and we found out there were two babies at 19 weeks at the anatomy ultrasound, and they want to do an “extended” ultrasound next week (23 weeks) where one of the high risk doctors will be in the room instead of looking at photos. At my practice, the high risk doctors look over all the ultrasound photos even if you’re not a high risk pregnancy. My doctor says they didn’t see anything wrong/suspicious on the first set, just didn’t get to see enough because of positioning, but I’m wondering how common it is. We did the early genetic testing and no concerns there, but it’s still a little stressful.

    • oh man, I unfortunately don’t have any helpful information for you but I had no idea that twins could still be discovered so late in the pregnancy! They didn’t see two babies at the 12 week ultrasound?!

      • My doctor doesn’t do an ultrasound until the anatomy scan at 18-20 weeks unless there are issues or you’re unsure about your dates. I’ve had two of the nurses tell me “we never find out this late!” and I’m like “this is your schedule!” At my 17 week appointment my doctor thought I was measuring a week or two ahead, but I was confident on my dates so I figured I just had a big baby. NOPE.

        We’d gotten the heartbeat at three separate appointments and my mom asked why they didn’t hear two before – I asked her if she kept looking for her keys after she found them. :)

        • A friend has triplet siblings and her parents didn’t find out about the third until the second came out in the delivery room. At least you have a bit more time to prepare :)

          I don’t have a specific answer to your question, but I don’t think your doctor would mislead you about this being standard practice if it wasn’t just to keep you from worrying so try not to worry right now. I know it’s easier said than done, but I’ve been trying to really not worry about anything before I have to so if, e.g., I have a doctor’s appt. I try to think ‘ok, did my part and now will wait till X date to think about this stuff.’ It mostly works. Good luck!

        • Hahaha your response to your mom is amazing, and also a good point! Congratulations! It sounds like you have a great attitude about something that is probably a bit of a wild ride :)

    • I had an extra ultrasound for a 1 baby, not high-risk, pregnancy, around week 26. They didn’t see everything they looked for at week 20 – they looked for 4 chamber heart at that point, but the heart is the size of a dime so imaging it can be tricky. I came back at week 24 and they still didn’t see everything clearly (but that time there also seemed to be some personal issues between the tech doing the ultrasound in the room and the radiologist reading the results). My baby was also very squirmy and not cooperating with the tech at all.

      So they referred me to the perinatologist, because in my healthcare system they have the better ultrasound machine and an ultrasound tech that specializes in pregnancy ultrasounds. It was scary when I got referred (Am I high-risk now? AHH!!) but when I went in everything was fine. The more specialized ultrasound tech was SUPER kind and got way better pictures (which is fun – my 26 week old had visible hair!).

      The perinatologist came in at the end (she viewed the ultrasound as it was happening from her office) and said everything looks great, I will likely never see you again. That was over 2 months ago, and everything continues to be going smoothly.

      So if I went through all of this with 1 baby, it’s not surprising they’d need extra time/skills to see everything with 2 babies. And overall doctors always take extra care with moms over 35. It’ll be fine.

    • Anoninny says:

      I’m only 16 weeks, but with twins and we’ve known from our first OB appointment. We see a high risk specialist as well as the OB, which is standard practice in their group and from what I’ve read on the internet totally normal. At our doctors’ office, the high risk specialist has a better ultrasound machine and spends more time looking carefully at things. So far they’ve told us everything is fine, but there are more concerns with twins and “older” moms (I’m over 35 too), so you’ll be going to the doctor more often and each appointment should take longer because everything they look at on baby A they also have to look at on baby B. All that is to say, I wouldn’t worry just because they want to do an extended scan. Fwiw, it sounds totally normal to this internet stranger.

    • Twin Mom Anon says:


      Twin mom here – with two or more babies it is very common to have a lot more ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy. It’s also not uncommon that the ultrasound can’t see everything on both babies since they like to get in each others way! Also, since they discovered the twin pregnancy late in the game, it’s much more difficult to tell if your twins are fraternal or identical, which can have different risk profiles. That may be why they are bringing in a high risk doc, who will have a lot more experience in viewing these ultrasounds. Either way, they’ll want to keep an extra close eye on the babies to make sure they are each growing well and that each has enough space to continue growing well. My twins are identical and were also big time kickers in the womb, so at the end of my pregnancy the doctors could never get both of them to stay on the monitors for the non-stress tests which meant getting an ultrasound instead (3x/week for those last few weeks). I literally have a complete photo album filled with ultrasound photos of my kiddos! (And no other printed photo albums of the kiddos, who are rounding the corner to 5 years old…)

  2. How do you divvy up snow and sick days? Our city is shutdown but we are both expected to be working from home today and with a 6 month old that doesn’t believe in cot naps, it has been a challenging day for everyone. Combined with strikes for Monday – Wednesday, I’m about to lock myself in the bathroom with my laptop.

    • Artemis says:

      This is tough, for sure. When my husband and I were in this situation, we used to switch on and off at pre-set intervals. Depending on our workload or projects, that was sometimes as short as an hour–I would spend an hour downstairs with the baby, he would be upstairs in the office working, and at the 1-hour mark we would switch. Sometimes we’d do that in the morning and then in the afternoon switch to longer stretches–so it would be 2 hours on, 2 hours off. It worked really well because we both knew what to expect and how to plan our work for the time we were “on” work mode. If you’re nursing you might have to make some adjustments around baby’s feeding schedule, or you can pump in your home work area just like you would if you were at the office and your husband can handle feeding if baby gets hungry during your “on” work time/”off” baby time.

      • Artemis says:

        So the above process is for when we could both work at home and it was a snow day or something.

        For sick days, we’ve done so many different things as our situation has changed over time. Now, we split sick days more evenly (we both have less stressful jobs and I have more time, he makes more money, but still has good time, he can work from home, I can’t, so I still take more days but he’ll cover some).

        We also now (for the first time, on kid #3) have local family and we often drop not-so-sick-but-can’t-go-to-school kids off at the grandparents’ house for the day and we go to work as normal.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      It depends on our work days, how much attention our daughter would need during the day, and how long we anticipate not being able to take her to daycare. I can work from home, whereas my husband can’t, but he can usually find someone else to do cover him for a day or so, whereas I really can’t.

      So usually it starts with a discussion of who can stay home, with the understanding that if the next day is also a sick/snow day, the other parent gets it. If both of us have something critical, or just backlogged at work, we’ll try to split the day. If she’s sick and looks like she’ll be sleeping a lot/on the couch watching TV, I’ll be more likely to stay home, since I can work from home.

      But we do have arguments about it, and I am trying to not fault in to being the person who stays home by default.

      If it’s for a snow day, are there any neighborhood teens that could watch your LO while you’re in another room working? I did that a few years ago when I really needed to get 3-4 hours of work in and my husband had to be in the office — our regular babysitter came over since her school was closed and just kept my then 1yr old occupied and I stayed VERY quiet downstairs. With a preschooler/toddler you could even have a responsible tween over to play with them while you’re in the next room.

      The worst are the sick days where she’s not really sick, but just can’t go to daycare because of a fever the day before…I mean, I’m glad she’s not sick, BUT it also means she’s not slowing down at all!

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        I’m trying not to default into the person who stays home, that is…no idea where that typo came from

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      My husband has more sick days so he typically takes one for the team on snow days, but if he needs to work, we typically break up the day. So I would watch my son from about 6:30-9:30, then he takes over until nap time (around 1-4) while I work, and then we both work during nap time. When our son was younger, he had shorter but more frequent naps, so we just divided up our attention based on time of the day.

      For days when my son was sick, either my husband stayed home or we had my dad come over (seriously a lifesaver). If you don’t have local family nearby, is there a babysitter or back-up nanny that you can easily call for sick day emergencies? I’ve found that the phrase “you’re only as good as your best back-up (or back-up to the back-up)” is so so true when the kids are little and get sick often, or if there’s snow and they’re too young to entertain themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband is a public school teacher, so he usually has off for snow days and gets most of those since my current job rarely shuts. (We are in NYC and use public transit, so I can usually get to work safely). We try to alternate sick days, although I tend to get a few more of those since it is harder for my husband to call in sick without some advance notice – ideally he needs to prep for a sub the day before. Also he used to leave for work before my son woke up, so sometimes I would discover the baby was running a fever or something after husband left. As a result, I often get day 1 of any sickness, and he gets day 2. It results in a lot of unpleasant arguments about whose job is more important on any given day. Hang in there!

    • Walnut says:

      We review meeting schedules and impending deadlines that require kid-free focus, but strive for 50/50 split for kid time. If we’re both at home, we keep a pulse on how much time we’re spending working versus tending to kids. Screen time is heavily utilized and naps are strictly enforced. If the reality is that the “on” parent isn’t accomplishing anything, then we submit PTO and log out of the day.

      I have a baby and a toddler, so most snow days include at least a half day PTO for my husband or I in the mornings and we can both generally work during afternoon naptime and at evening for an honest half day of work.

    • Not a real answer to your question, but we have a babysitter who lives in the neighborhood. She works an irregular schedule (she’s a radio/voice actor), so she’s usually available at the last minute. We use her for things like unexpected school closings, the “sick day” when Kiddo had a fever the day before and can’t go back to daycare yet, and also times when we want to pop out for a short time (1-2 hours) that wouldn’t necessarily be worth the travel time for babysitters who live further away–attending a parent teacher conference together, visiting a newborn niece in the hospital, etc.

      I second the suggestion of hiring a teen or even tween. I’m trying to find a teenager to entertain Kiddo for a couple of Saturday mornings so DH and I can clean out our garage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Usually we split the day. One of us WFH in the basement office in the morning and the other in the afternoon. We switch off based on who has conference calls they need to take and when. We eat lunch as a family half way through the day. Kids nap in the afternoon a bit so whoever has the afternoon shift makes lunch and cleans up from lunch.

      • We do this, too, down to the family lunchtime! I take the morning shift as most of my conference calls are in UK/ Europe, and husband takes the afternoon. We’re lucky to have extreme location flexibility though – I can work 100% remotely, and husband is a grad student whose work is primarily in the form of computer modelling. It works right now because we have one toddler who takes a solid afternoon nap. Ask me again next year when we have 2, one of whom may no longer be napping and the other napping 2-3x/ day…(eek).

    • Before Baby Pogo successfully started napping in the crib, we found wearing him to be the most foolproof way for him to nap such that we could still work. Taking calls while babywearing is especially a good use of time (though I also took a call while he napped on my chest in the rocker once), I’m not as adept at using the laptop with a baby strapped to me. Husband had no problems and used to work like that all the time.

      Echo what others said about divvying up based on when your calls are, that’s what we do – so I know what times husband needs quiet/can’t be relied upon for baby duty and he knows the same for me.

  3. What to Wear in Miami - Mommy Edition says:

    (I posted this on the main site yesterday, but I think it’s more geared towards this one– apologies if you’ve already read my question!)

    Husband and I are going to South Beach at the end of March for three days. It’s a work meeting for him, and I’m just going for fun. We will not do any of the club scene but may go to a couple of nicer dinners. What do I wear?

    To make it a challenge: we are bringing our four month old, and I am nursing. So anything I wear during the day (we’ll probably have a sitter for evenings) needs to be at least somewhat nursing-friendly, baby-wrangle-friendly, mess-friendly, etc. Is there any way to be cute on this trip? Or do I just give up and go full tilt Mommy (nursing tanks and sneakers)?

    Thanks for any help, and if you have any specific items to recommend, links are most welcome!

    • With the caveat that I don’t wear shorts, I would be wearing maxi dresses on this trip (likely with a cardigan or wrap on top for coverage), paired with sandals during the day. I nursed for a year and by about 12 weeks was exclusively wearing shirts/tops I could just pull down, rather than actual nursing shirts, and all my maxi dresses fit this bill.

    • Definitely go for cute! I was there a few weeks ago with some girlfriends and was surprised at how fancy South Beach is. I mean, it is a beach, so plenty of people are wearing bathing suits with cover-ups and flip flops during the day, but there is such a club culture and high-end restaurants and fashion, so the level of style is way high.

      Wrap dresses are the easy answer for nursing friendly and cute. South beach skews young, though, so if you’re up for it, I would go more trendy. How about a jumper with a wrap or button (or zip) front? H&M has some cute and cheap ones, link to follow.

    • My husband and I were just in Miami with two other couples. Honestly, I was {pleasantly} surprised by how out of place I didn’t feel! If you’re just going to be walking around during the day, you’re fine in your baby-friendly clothing. If you’re able to lean on the more summery side the better. I found it very casual. I wore shift dresses, white jeans sandals and statement to dinner each night and didn’t feel out of place.

      I really loved South Beach, I can’t wait to go again.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I would probably try to split the difference during the day with cute nursing tanks and trendy sneakers and sandals. If you’re using a baby-sitter to go out to dinner, then that’s where I would put my dressing up energy.

    • Wrap dresses. And I got an old navy black nursing maxi dress that I love for running around days that need to be kind of dressy that I usually pair with a bright cardigan (may have been in the maternity section, but fits fine at 6 months PP). Also consider maxi skirts with a simple tee you can just pull up. And I love the empire pop over nursing tops at Kohls from their maternity aglow line if you wanted to pair with a nice pair of pants. Also, not sure if Zika is a concern, but that may tend toward longer sleeves, pants and lots of bug spray.

    • I was going to respond yesterday, but didn’t have time. Don’t rule out pulling up your shirt to nurse. You could wear cute, flowy shirts and just pull them up while your nurse. I didn’t even try that until the end of my nursing journey and I wondered why I hadn’t done it all along.

      As far as shoes go, I’d definitely opt for comfort, especially if you’re planning on walking a lot. I’d probably just wear flat sandals (which is actually my staple for summer vacations), maybe of the metallic variety to add a little glam since it is south beach. Also, get a pedicure if you plan on wearing sandals. It makes it so much better.

  4. Mama Llama says:

    One of the big mysteries of parenthood to me is how people find baby-sitters. Where I live, people tend to be very protective of their baby-sitting resources and no one wants to share names. The sitters we have found on have either been unreliable or unpleasant – even ones with great reviews. We used an assistant teacher from daycare once, but it was kind of awkward. We are at a different daycare now, so I suppose I could try that route again. We don’t have any family in the area, and while friends are happy to help out sometimes, I wish we had a few good sitters we could call. Should I just keep trying on How have you all found your sitters? For what it’s worth we pay on the high end for our already expensive area.

    • I was really uncomfortable with I’ve had the best luck with Nextdoor, our neighborhood bulletin board. I also snap up contact info for the teenage kids of family friends or acquaintances. The daycare teacher route has worked well for us, but I think it does depend on the relationship. We have two teachers who babysit for us – one of them was my daughter’s infant teacher, the other works at the daycare but was never in the same class as my kid.

    • Most of our babysitters have come from daycare. Don’t be shy asking the teachers and assistants if they’d ever be interested in babysitting for you. I usually say something like “Hey totally okay to say no, but we’re always looking for babysitters. If you’re ever interested I’d love to add you to my list since Little Kid loves you so much. I’m okay if you bring your kids with you, I know how that goes! Anyway feel free to think about it for a bit, no worries either way, just let me know if you want to exchange numbers!” I pay daycare teachers a lot – $15/hr for my two kids, and I round up at the end of the night, because they’re trained child experts who work magic with my kids and because I want them to stay on my list for a long time.

      Beyond that, I made friends with a neighbor who has middle school age kids. I used them (and even a few of their friends) as mothers helpers and now that they’re in high school I use them as babysitters too. They get something like $5/hr as helpers, and then $10/hr as babysitters. Once you get to preschool age, you can attend a PTA meeting and ask if they know of the best way to find local babysitters. Some of them will have responsible older kids, and you can use them as helpers first to try them out and see if they’ll click with your family.

      • These are really great suggestions, and what we have done, too. We’ve also found occasional babysitters from the local college. Lots of students really miss being around younger kids! If there is an education program at the school, that is a great place to look. There are also general job boards at a lot of schools, too.

      • Also random tip: when you add a babysitter in your phone contacts, put their company as “Babysitter”. Then when you’re desperate, you can search your contacts for babysitter and get the list of everyone you’ve ever used or talked to or considered. I’ve definitely forgotten about some past daycare teachers that the kids loved, and they ended up saving the day on more than one occasion. So don’t be afraid to still try the one you used from your old center – maybe it’ll be less awkward for you now that you don’t see her every day?

    • Carine says:

      We use a local company that is part nanny service, part on-call babysitter service. We had to register with them and pay a (totally reasonable, in hindsight!) one-time fee, but they vet their sitters thoroughly, have a system for sitter requests, send a resume and photo before we meet a new sitter, and bill us once a month for any services provided during that month through a card they have on file. I knew about it for a while but was reluctant to pay for it, until I got so sick of trying to find babysitters or coordinate with multiple people and realized we had basically zero back-up. It’s amazing and I regret not signing up sooner.

      Perhaps there is something similar near you or you could call a nanny service and see if they might offer on-call babysitting? My main point is that if you have the option, it’s totally worth paying more to go through an established company instead of DIY with daycare contacts (that was mixed for us and I found it awkward too) and

    • Delta Dawn says:

      All of our sitters are teachers from our daycare. In my experience, the ones most likely to be available for extra sitting jobs are the younger/single ones or the grandmotherly ones, since they don’t have kids at home. I like this route best because 1) they already know our kids and 2) they have been through training, CPR, etc. I have not had good luck on Care dot com either. Our second source of sitters are the older children of friends and coworkers. I have two colleagues with high school daughters who sit for us occasionally. Is there anyone at your work whose kids might want to babysit? I especially call them for some help entertaining the kids during the day, say if I’m home on a Saturday but DH is out of town. I use them more for “mother’s helper” type occasions and rely on the daycare teachers for date night situations. I would say once you have gotten more familiar with the daycare teachers at your new daycare, you could try that again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Daycare teachers but we tend to ask the assistants/floaters vs. the main teachers as that way if there is ever an issue that arises at daycare that we need to resolve with the teachers, it doesn’t create such a awkward situation.

    • We’re not allowed to have daycare teachers babysit. I definitely recommend nextdoor. There seem to always be teenagers in my neighborhood looking for babysitting jobs. You could even post that you’re looking for someone and see whether you get responses.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Nextdoor, local university/college, and friends’ kids

    • I haven’t mastered this unfortunately, but one additional resource may be your pediatrician’s office. Ours has a postings from time to time. Some are for a nanny from a family who are outgrown it theirs, but in my experience those same nannies are often available for occasional babysitting nights/weekends. You could also ask anyone you know with older kids who they used to use, maybe they will be more willing to volunteer? The other thing might be to ask about any older kids you know who babysit (neighbor, coworkers). I always babysat as a teen and my first job was babysitting our neighbor’s kids.

    • We lucked out with a great nanny we found on She and her network of friends have become our primary source of babysitters.

      Our Nextdoor often has posts of people, particularly college students home for breaks or recent college grads, looking to babysit. I haven’t gone that route yet, but I probably would.

      I’ve also asked around at work for teenagers who’d be willing to babysit, particularly to help out on a weekend while DH and I try to tackle some projects. (I want to pay less than our regular babysitters.) I’ve asked a friend who has a younger sister in high school and a boss who has a 14-year-old granddaughter.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Thanks everyone! You’ve inspired me to email daycare about babysitters and contact a local nanny agency that also refers babysitters. I will also keep an eye out on the local list serv. I like the idea of starting out as mother’s helpers. Also, the tip to tag the babysitters’ contacts in your phone is genius. Thank you!

  5. KateMiddletown says:

    Vent – I just realized summer camp sign ups opened up today and I spent the first hour of my AM filling out the various forms and doing complicated calculus to figure out when we were going to be on vacation, when sports camps were, etc. I’m mentally exhausted and no one need expect high performance from me the rest of the day. Thanks!

    (Also thank you to the working mom friend who emailed me her daughter’s schedule as a jumping off point. Lifesaver!)

    • anne-on says:

      We did this on Sunday and are STILL not done as we don’t have my son’s yearly physical for another 3 weeks so can’t submit the health forms yet. ARGH. It literally took both parents and the huge paper calendar writing out weeks of vacation/camp #1/au pair departure/new au pair arrival/etc. I took a long bath afterwards – you deserve a treat!!

      • KateMiddletown says:

        I think I’ll drown my stresses in girl scout cookies (also delivered a shipment around my entire office today.) Oy!

  6. Workouts. Talk to me about how you fit these in.

    Pre-kid, I would go out to a barre or HIIT class in the evening. But now, I’m solo-parenting at least 50% of the time, so getting out in the evening is tough. Plus, paying for someone to hang out with my sleeping kid + paying for a studio class hurts my cheap self.

    Right now I’m considering trying noon hours workouts. I’d have to join the gym at work and/or nearby yoga studio. Which is $.

    I guess I feel like I should be able to workout at home. But I’m not actually, you know, working out at home. I’m tired by the time I get the kid to bed. Early am workouts are a possibility, but I’m worried about waking the kid up (with my raucous noise? Perhaps this is just another excuse).

    • I used to work out at my work gym and lunchtime, but I found it hard to keep up with without it eating into my work time. We just put a gym in our garage and it is AWESOME. My husband works from home to it’s super convenient for him, and I can get a workout in after the kids go to bed. It helps that we already have a lifting plan so it’s not like I have to think about what I’m doing – I just go do it. Sometimes deciding is the biggest hurdle! I also have a babysitter once or twice a week so I can go to a class around 8:15. I just can’t bring myself to get up early although I know others have a lot of success with that!

    • A traditional gym membership is a lot less expensive than those specialty places. Might be worth looking into the cost of that + a babysitter vs a specialty work out place. Also, a lot of gyms have childcare included in the cost of the membership. What about trading babysitting services with another mom friend? She works out on Mondays and you watch her kids, you do tuesdays and she watches yours, etc. Just throwing ideas out there.

      How old are your kids? Are they old enough that you could take them to a nearby playground while you do a plyometric type workout? Or if they are watching tv in the evenings, could you do some sort of at home thing with light weights and body weight? It might not be your ideal workout but it is better than nothing.

    • I got a Peloton. I change into workout clothes as soon as I get home, so I feel lots of shame if I change into pajamas without having actually NEEDED the workout clothes. That’s usually enough motivation to make me go do it as soon as they go to bed.

      Now that they’re getting older, I’m having some success doing it right after dinner. They get time to play on their tablets in the same room and I get my own “screen time”. Mine is sort of loud, but they don’t complain since their games are loud too. Right now I can only do a 20 minute class because someone will need my help with something, but still. It’s 20 more than I was getting, and then I can relax after they go to bed.

      • Mama Llama says:

        I have a home gym and changing from work clothes into workout clothes is KEY. Also having a snack while my kid eats dinner. Otherwise I’m too tired/lazy/hungry to do a workout before my dinner.

    • I workout either over lunch or at night after kid goes to bed. I do a combo of HIIT and weightlifting, and If I am at home I do it while I watch junk TV (currently binge watching SITC), which is the only way I can motivate myself to stay up and do it. The workouts typically run me 20-45 minutes.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Maybe you should try BBG or Alexia Clark workouts at home. Both require you to have some equipment at home (dumbells, resistance bands, etc.). You can find a free PDF of BBG from the internet, but there is an app as well. Alexia Clark is ~$30/mo. I have done both and so far like Alexia Clark a little more, just because there is less jumping. I have downstairs neighbors and a not-great knee.

      Also, you could try one of those youtube channels (fitness blender, yoga with adrienne, etc.).

      • Moms Solo says:

        I solo parent during the week and BBG in the morning has been my solution. I keep a relatively loud white noise machine on while baby is sleeping, so it’s been ok on that front. Before I did BBG, I did Jillian Michaels videos but I found I needed something for a shorter duration. I have a classic step, hand weights, yoga mat and jump rope. I was a fancy studio-goer pre kiddo, so it’s definitely not ideal, but I try not to let perfection be the enemy of good.

    • I have never quite been able to summon the guts to do this, but I really wonder if I could do a 20 min vid in my office with headphones and the door closed. Not like HIIT, but maybe anaerobic strength training (squats, situps, etc.). Does anyone do this?

      • I do yoga stretching in my office every day (working on a back issue) and have added squats. I often don’t even change for it but I have found it to be helpful and I actually do it. So it’s not really a “workout” but I think I could easily push it that direction if I … found the motivation somewhere.

      • Mama Llama says:

        I do this! If I’m not busy at work I do Fitness blender videos, use resistance bands, do squats, and use a mini foam roller I keep in the office. May as well use the downtime for something useful!

        • Redux says:

          Do your colleagues know what’s up? I have a private office, but I can hear everything that my colleagues do in theirs.

          • Mama Llama says:

            If they do, they don’t say anything. I don’t jump so even though the walls are paper-thin, I don’t think it’s too loud. Probably the video is the thing they are most likely to hear.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do it in the morning. Either videos (which are quiet – I do miss listening to motivating music with them but can’t get it together to make that happen) or I go for a run. Both are 40 min or less usually. For the at-home portion, it is definitely easier if son is still asleep, but for a while I would do it while he was up and watching a video and/or eating breakfast. And I couldn’t get it together to do this regularly until he was 2.5. It does get easier! When he was little i think I was riding my bike to work sometimes, and maybe doing a gym workout after work 1x a week and Sat am. That required childcare by my husband. Also, working on the weekends is hard for me now that my son doesn’t nap. I kind of need to sit down for most of the day after doing it. I do occasionally do a late day run now on the weekends to get out of the house, but it works best if I have gotten though most of the chores and such first.

    • shortperson says:

      i came to terms with the fact that i have no spare time for this and bought a treadmill desk.

    • I’m 100% Team Lunchtime Workout. Caveats:
      1) I don’t have a billable hour requirement
      2) Office culture is very pro-lunch workout, no one ever tries to schedule something over lunch
      3) My building has free gym incl. showers and yoga class

      I take one yoga class a week and run 2x if I can (or elliptical/treadmill if the weather is truly awful).

      On the weekend if husband is home I’ll go to another yoga class at my studio, or go for a run. If he’s out of town I put LO in the jogging stroller while I run (he naps in the stroller).

    • I haven’t found a good time. I feel like I can’t work out at home in the mornings before Kiddo gets up because (a) he wakes up at 6:30, and I’m not a morning person, so the chance of me waking up at 6 am to work out are almost 0, and (b) we have thin walls and floors and live above a nurse (our tenant, so I care if she’s unhappy and moves out) who needs her sleep if she’s just worked a night shift. I could go out and walk/run, or go to a gym, but it’s so hot in my area almost year-round (it’s been 80 degrees almost everyday since mid-February, and it’s always humid too).

      Lunch would be my best bet, and we have a super-cheap (but pretty basic) gym in my office building. But I feel weird working out with coworkers (and some of the guys in my office do dumb stuff like bench pressing competitions, which doesn’t help. And I don’t like feeling sweaty/dirty after I work out.

      After work, if I don’t have to work late or attend social/networking stuff, I try to leave in time to do dinner and bedtime routine with my kid. Sometimes I’ll take Kiddo for a walk, but that’s at toddler pace. And by the time we get him in bed, I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally.

      I could work out on Saturday mornings if I wanted to. DH usually lets me have some time on Saturday mornings to myself while he takes Kiddo to a swim lesson. But in the moment, I prefer sleep. It’s the only day I get to rest in bed for a while in the morning instead of jumping straight out of bed, and it’s glorious.

      I realize this all sounds super defeatist, and I really need to change my mentality about working out.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Honestly, when I feel too mentally/physically drained to exercise, I turn to yoga. I find it calming, and even 15-20 minutes is enough to make me feel “better” (like I’ve moved my body). I find it challenging to practice at home (it’s a goal!), but maybe you can sneak that in after kiddo goes to bed? Or if DH is doing the bedtime routine?

      • I have not worked out in 2+ years, for many of the reasons you said. I do try to take the baby on a walk on the weekends on a nice day, but other than that I just try to take extra long laps around the office to the printer, bathroom, breakroom, etc. And I’ve just stopped feeling bad about it. I recently got an apple watch and was pleased to note I am hitting 5-6K steps a day, far better than I thought. For me, sleep > exercise.

    • Knope says:

      How far do you live from work? I run-commute home 2x a week, then do one longer strength workout on the weekends.

    • biglawanon says:

      Usually work out after work, somewhere between 6pm and 10pm depending on the day. I’ll go to the gym, pool, run, or work out in a home gym I built in an “office nook” (bike on trainer, bench, squat bar, dumbbell rack, exercise mat). About 75% of time it is home gym during the week. I do 2-4 workouts during the week and 2 on weekends, with the weekend ones being more involved.

    • I also second the “work out at home.” As a family with dogs that also need to be cared for in the morning, there was no other way to make it work on a regular basis for us. It’s hard to get into the routine but ultimately it was logistically the only routine possible for me. I also got a Fitbit and try to be much more active during the work day, walking around the block occasionally, etc.

  7. avocado says:

    A week after my car came back from the body shop (thanks, hit and run driver!), it decided on the way to work this morning that it would like a new transmission. After spending the morning straightening that out, I went home to try to get some work done. And then my laptop died. I am now afraid to touch any other device or appliance in my house. Why, universe, why?

  8. avocado says:

    Re. Workouts: our YMCA has really decent group fitness classes with free child care. Much cheaper than a fitness studio. I have also had good luck with early morning at-home workouts. My favorite is the 30-day shred. It is quiet enough that I can do it downstairs in our small house without waking up anyone upstairs.
    A long walk at lunch is cheaper and logistically simpler than a gym workout or yoga class, and really relaxing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What kind of rugs do you have in your home? I have a preschool and a cat and things often get messy. I’m redoing out living room, which is where everyone spends the most time, and need a new rug. I would love to get a beautiful persian rug but that seems unrealistic at this stage in the game, right?

    • AwayEmily says:

      We have had good luck with things from RugsUSA. They’re not the the highest quality (I suspect they will last about 5-7 years), but incredibly cheap, GREAT for the price, and have a huge variety to choose from (including lots of faux-persian ones like we have, with patterns that are excellent at masking stains). You do need a thick rug pad underneath, but I think that’s the case with most rugs. We have two under two and a cat who likes to throw up/shed, so I’ve been very happy to have a rug that we don’t have to worry much about. Perhaps we’ll get a nice rug (and a nice couch, for that matter) once the kids are in middle school.

    • I have a beautiful ‘Persian style’ rug for overstock. It’s fine for right now and it’s great for hiding stains.

      • Redux says:

        We have a fancy persian rug (from an estate sale!) and it is THE BEST for hiding stains and makes the room look quite a bit more sophisticated than the family that inhabits it.

      • Me too! I love the nuLOOM brand on Overstock in particular. They are inexpensive and very thick and soft.

    • Anonymous says:

      So we’ve only had it for a few months so can’t speak to longevity, but we went with a hand knotted wool rug with cut pile. The color is a medium blue-ish gray, but it is not a solid (key to hiding stains). We found that rugs with loops in them do not do well with the cats; they like to pull them out. My husband also treated it with some kind of stain resistant spray. So far so good. I would not get a priceless antique as I would not want to have to worry about it all the time, but I think you can still have a nice rug unless you are throwing regular grape juice in the living room parties. Just avoid really light colors and large solid areas, looped pile, and consider something that is knotted rather than just tufted for greater durability (they are more expensive too though).

  10. Spanish Immersion daycare? says:

    Hope this isn’t too late in the day — we’re moving cities (yay!) and very nervous about finding new daycare for our daughter who will be 20 months at the time. A friend recommended a Spanish Immersion daycare that might have an opening. Does anyone have experience/thoughts on what that would be like for someone who’s just in the process of acquiring language? We studies Spanish decades ago but she’s not exposed to it now.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My kid is in a Mandarin immersion school (we don’t speak the language). When we enrolled her at age 2, it was just a nice bonus on top of location, price, and hours. But now I love it, and I’m seriously considering enrolling her in an immersion language pre-k/elementary school and continuing with lessons when she gets older. We arrive at school and her teacher will speak to her in Mandarin and she will respond (usually in English, but responsive to the question) so it’s clear that she understands a lot more than she can speak at this point.

    • Our daycare is a combo – not full immersion, but about 50/50 – with Italian and like Anon in NYC, that was just an added bonus on the location, etc. My son is 19 months and doesn’t have a ton of words in English (not sure about Italian) but I like that it’s teaching him there can be more than one word for a thing.

    • Redux says:

      My kingdom for a language immersion daycare!

      We moved from a big city to a small town and the lack of immersion or dual language programs in our small town was one of the hardest things for me to take. In our big city, the immersion programs had the longest waitlists– everyone wanted their kid to speak another language (especially the families that were monolingual at home). I wish I had that option here!

      The literature on child bilinguals is really robust. There are well-documented cognitive benefits to learning multiple languages, especially in executive functioning brain development, as well as social and psychosocial benefits . I would encourage you to consider it!

    • Thanks! So helpful!

  11. Poop diapers in a large house says:

    What do you all do with messy stinky diapers in a house where running the diaper outside at every change is impractical?

    Our first house was small and it was super easy to bring the diaper outside and pile them up on the back deck until we took the main trash out, or the end of the day, whichever came first.

    Second kid was in our current house, and we just did the best we could with baby diapers, taking them downstairs ASAP and outside ASAP. Once second kid started having solid poop, we flushed it and just tossed the diaper in the trash.

    Well, second kid has a bout of horrid diahrea and it’s reminding me of the baby months- and we have a 3rd on the way. Hopefully second kid will be mostly out of diapers by the time #3 arrives but I’m not positive- but my question is really about baby/infant diapers since toddler is manageable.

    I just threw the awful diaper out my 2nd story window down to our back deck out a bedroom window because kiddo is sick and I wasn’t going to go all the way downstairs and back up. That’s not a feasible solution to the TONS of infant diapers.

    Thoughts? Do diaper genies work? We had one with our first kid and never used it, so we gave it to a friend. If you use or used a genie, where did it live (bathroom vs nursery?).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We have the ubbi diaper pail. That thing smells noxious when you change the bags, but when it’s closed you cannot smell a thing. It is in my daughter’s room. It never smells bad unless we open it.

      • Same. I’m obsessed with the Ubbi. I imagine I could use some bleach/vinegar/baking soda to make it smell less gross when it’s open, but it hasn’t been a big enough problem yet for me to deal with it. Team Ubbi all the way. It lives upstairs in our daughter’s room – if we’re downstairs and it’s not flushable, we toss it in one of the Munchkin Arm & Hammer scented bags and throw it in our regular trash, which also works fine.

    • We have the diaper dekor upstairs in the nursery. We have a diaper genie downstairs by the pack n play with the extended changer (where we do all downstairs diaper changes). My husband just bought the munchkin equivalent to replace the downstairs. Definitely recommend one on each floor, as we do not take the trash out often enough for a regular trash can (even lidded) to work. Pros and cons below:

      Diaper Dekor: takes a while to fill, which is nice. Can (theoretically) be used as a regular trash can once past the baby years. No real scent filters other than the scented bags I don’t think, so every time you dump a diaper in, if it’s full or getting full, the scent wafts up. You also definitely know when to change it. Wasn’t really a problem pre-solid food, but now that we’ve introduced solids you can definitely tell when it’s time to empty it.

      Diaper Genie: Pretty much smell free, but fills up quickly, particularly for size 3 and up diapers. Has some sort of charcoal scent thing I think to help neutralize odors. Refills for the bags can be had on subscribe and save. Not as easy to change the bag as the Dekor. The blade to cut the bag has dulled to the point of ineffective after 6 months of use. These are the two primary reasons my husband ordered the munchkin.

      Munchkin: Haven’t tried it yet, but took it out of the box. Has an arm & hammer baking soda puck to help absorb odors. Has a similar clamp to the genie to help keep the bag shut between uses. Seems to have more options for refillable bags (didn’t really read that closely). Pail seems like it might be easier to empty. We plan to swap this out for the diaper genie once we finish our last box of refills.

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