Accessory Tuesday: Italian Leather Large Bucket Bag  

I really love this bag from Banana Republic. The tone of the brown leather looks very upscale and I really love the decorative accents. In my opinion, one of the signs a bag is well designed is the restraint in the accents. I think when bags have too many zippers, too much metal, or lots of pockets, it tends to make them look cheap. Here, this bag has nice gold-toned hardware, and I love the knots in the leather. Personally, I also really like when bags have one strap — I have narrow shoulders and the second outside strap is always slipping off and looking sloppy. I also like that this bag has a 13” height, which means I can put a legal sized folder inside and the top peeks out a little bit. It’s $188 — add a bit more you can get 40% off $200+ with code BRSHOP. Italian Leather Large Bucket Bag

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  1. I survived 2 11 hour flights with a 10 month old. It went pretty well but I definitely don’t want to do it again until he can be bribed with screentime. Grandma and Grandpa are just going to have to visit us for a few years.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Glad to hear that it went well for you! Our flights with our 2 year were awful and while the iPad was helpful, it was still not enough to entertain him for 6 hours each way (and we were delayed for 2.5 hours on the way back so that didn’t help…) Pretty we’re not going to make this flight for another 4-5 years, until the new baby is old enough to be a decent flier. Which is perfectly fine with me!

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats! Flying when they’re old enough to be super wiggly but not old enough to have a long attention span is definitely hard!

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats! My in laws are a 4.5 hour flight away. Our kids are 4.5, 2, and just born and they still complain we never visit!

      We’ve taken the older one more than 9 times since she was born. Our middle went twice. FFS they can come to us.

      They’ve offered to pay (this is not the issue) and literally do not understand the misery/impossibility. And they are healthy and able to travel, they just want to show off their grandkids. Sorry guys, use FaceTime.

  2. Everlong says:

    I need a good strength training routine and I don’t know where to start. I want something that works primarily arms, maybe some abs, too. I don’t want anything that works legs… I run a lot and I’m always afraid of doing something while cross-training that messes up my legs. Somehow, despite carting two kids around, I have no upper body strength. I can’t even do a push up. I had to search and have done “table top push ups” the last two days. Do any of you have a 10-15 minute routine you like? I do have a Beachbody on Demand subscription but again, I’m overwhelmed by options and don’t want a full body workout. In my perfect world, I get up in the morning and do some push ups and other exercises without having to watch a video or get overly invested. Help! Thank you! :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Honestly, pushups. If you truly can’t, start with knees-down pushups. Also, planks.

      Lifting weights is OK, but lifting your weight is a more significant workout and opportunity for strength training for your whole upper body.

    • anne-on says:

      Maybe the 7 minute workout app? There is a focus on planks, tricep dips, and pushups along with the other exercises. It will get you mildly sweaty, so perhaps do it before your shower? And, bonus, its only 7 minutes!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      This is where Pinterest is your friend!

    • For me, my weakest area is my shoulders and that is why I struggle with push ups. You can start with very small free weights (I start with 2 lb ones I got at PT) or use a soup can. Starting with your arms at your sides, raise them, straight up, thumbs up, until they are outstretched in front of you and bring them back down. Then raise them up, thumbs up, to your sides until they are shoulder height and bring them back down. I do 10 reps for 3 sets. Once it gets easier, I increase the weights. Once I’m doing okay with that, I start doing some push ups/planks. Vinyasa Yoga also helped me.

    • FTMinFL says:

      If you already have BOD, Core de Force is awesome. I’m also a runner and found that this program paid dividends in my running (stronger arm drive, activated glutes, more stable core). Plus I found it fun! There is one workout in particular (the name is escaping me) that should be renamed death by pushup variations, but the time for each exercise is so short and there is so much variety that it kept me engaged. There’s another program that either just launched or is about to launch called Liift4 that is supposed to be shorter and supplement a running hobby well.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a huge fan of the free Fitness Blender videos online. This is my favorite upper body workout. They walk you through each step and there is no jarring music, so you can either be silent or put on your own tunes. Now that I know this routine so well, I will sometimes put it on mute and listen to a podcast.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      I am a huge fan of the free Fitness Blender videos online. This is my favorite upper body workout. They walk you through each step and there is no jarring music, so you can either be silent or put on your own tunes. Now that I know this routine so well, I will sometimes put it on mute and listen to a podcast.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Thank you for asking this and for the awesome comments! I admit that I almost glossed over it because…ugh! Who has time for working out? But the responses make me think that I *might* have time for it too. And I would love a stronger upper body!

      • Lana Del Raygun says:

        Try powerlifting! It’s the greatest! It’s done more for my abs than any number of crunches, but my favorite “wow, this is what I work out for” moment was when I overhead-pressed a toddler onto my shoulders and then realized it had taken basically no effort.

    • shortperson says:

      i keep light weights at my desk and do reps on calls.

    • avocado says:

      In addition to push-ups, I’d recommend pull-ups on one of those bars that hangs in the doorway. You can buy a rubber band assist device that hangs from the bar and hooks over your feet, or even just put your feet on an exercise ball or chair. If you are working the “push” muscles with push-ups, you also need to work the opposing “pull” muscles to keep everything in balance. If you don’t want to do pull-ups, you can do some type of dumbbell row.

  3. Empathy says:

    Hubby isn’t feeling well with cold/allergy type symptoms – congestion, headache, sore throat, maybe a bit of a fever. Hubby is a great guy and pulls his weight at home and with parenting. Why is it so hard for me to have genuine empathy for him when he isn’t feeling well?! And specifically with this type of illness which he seems to get all the time. A fake smile and strained patience is just the best I can muster when he’s been in bed for 12 hours, and I got less than 6 hours of sleep last night.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is your hubby like mine? It takes him 2 weeks of whining to fully recover from the sniffles. Sometimes longer! And the complaining — you’d think he’d have had a giant car accident or was hospitalized with pneumonia or something, you know, actually bad.

    • lawsuited says:

      I find this hard, too. I guess because when I’m sick I take every medication in sight and get on with my day, running myself further into the ground so that I take 3-4 weeks to get over something I would have gotten over in 3-4 days before I was a mom and could just sleep it off.

      So I’m feeling unsympathetic towards my husband for inconveniencing me by having a cold, I think about how tough it must be for families in which one of the parents has a profound disability or chronic illness and that gives me some perspective.

    • God, Man Colds are the worst. I remember when little TK was 4 months old and I had food poisoning and had to arrange him in such a way that I could lean over him to puke into a bucket while breastfeeding after working a full day.

      Contrast to Mr. TK, who’s in bed for a week with a slight cold.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Sympathies. My husband has more sick leave available so he usually takes a day off when he feels ill, while I usually just muster through or wfh if I have to (rare). I also have to work through 9 months of pregnancy, which hasn’t been too bad symptom-wise relative to others, but still sucks.

      Once he recovers, have him take the night shifts for a bit so that you can catch up on your sleep!

    • octagon says:

      Are we married to the same man?

      I think my lack of empathy is because when I feel like he does, I power through. I’m still doing bathtime and bedtime and work (sometimes wfh). It takes something really serious to lay me out, where I feel like his threshold for sick day is really really low.

      A friend of mine believes that moms really are more resilient, because through pregnancy you just have to power through whatever comes your way. I think she’s on to something.

      • Lana Del Raygun says:

        I think it’s women generally, because I see this even with women who don’t have kids.

        • I think it is because we have been having periods since we were 13… at least for me it feels like a 1 day flu every month (upset stomach, aches etc) with a few day recovery. Pretty sure if men had periods there would be a sick day a month for it.

    • Lana Del Raygun says:

      Ah, the dreaded man cold. Maybe this will make you feel better:

    • Empathy says:

      Thanks, everyone. You’re right – that kind of stuff just doesn’t get me down like it does him. I always try to remind myself that I really don’t know how bad he is feeling and some things are just worse for some people. I am a total baby about nausea, whereas some folks can power through it with no problem. I appreciate all the support but do need to genuinely just be nicer!!

      Kiddo woke up sick too. So they’re hanging out together while I WFH (which is my schedule today anyway) until early afternoon and then hubby can get some work done. I guess it is all working out for the best. He doesn’t feel like working so is happy to watch cartoons with her and progress the laundry pretty much all day if I want. Hopefully he’ll feel better this afternoon to get some work of his own in. If not, I guess it works out in my favor so I don’t get further behind. My lack of sleep has nothing to do with our child (who, knock on wood, is a champion sleeper at 2.5 years), and everything to do with being slammed at work and taking it too easy for my birthday last week!

    • Anonymous says:

      For me, it’s because all dH does is complain and rest. He doesn’t take meds or use a netinpot or see a doc or whatever the situation would have me doing. He’ll bitch and moan all day but not take anything to relieve symptoms. I just cannot give that many Fs.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        Thank you! I am apparently an encyclopedia on which prescription medicines you should take for “congestion” and “headaches.” No, honey, don’t take two Claritin, that’s not going to help your headache. JFC.

    • Are we are own worst enemies here though? Maybe we should take a cue from our husbands and just stay in bed when we are sick instead of powering through and let them deal with it. I just saw this in my home growing up. My mom was a martyr and would want us to all praise her sacrifices when she didn’t need to do that $hit. We just wanted her to go back to bed and stop cleaning the house while she was sick.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Yeah, I used to get really annoyed at my ex when he got sick because his response was, “I need to sleep for 2 days.” But also….that’s accurate? Sleep and water are actually two of the best remedies for the cold. I’ve started giving into it for a couple days too. I rearrange schedules so I can minimize my parenting responsibilities, take a sick day from work (a real sick day, not a “working 10 hours from the couch” sick day), and go easy on home tasks. I get over it so much faster.

        But I also try not to complain too much, and to see that sick time as an investment so I can do more at a later date instead of being sick forever.

    • OMG yes. I’m pregnant with twins and we have a 6 yo. I had strep throat a couple weeks ago and DH was hardly around at all. But last weekend he woke up with a stye on his eye and yesterday he pulled a muscle while at the gym. You would think he was dying from both conditions and constantly asks me for help – can I get put his eye drops in, can I get him an ice pack. Sheesh.

  4. My 3 yo was just diagnosed w idiopathic juvenile arthritis. Anyone have any experience w managing this disease? TIA

  5. avocado says:

    A few days ago someone asked for ideas for reusing the zip pouches that MM Lafleur dresses come in. I just realized that they will make great wet swimsuit pouches for day camp and the pool. Now I wish I had saved all of them.

    Also, my 11-year-old now has blue hair. :)

    • Hooray! I was on team ‘let her do what she’ wants, it’s just hair and hubby can get over it.’

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Yay! I’m happy for your 11 year old / you.

    • That’s awesome! Did you color it at home or have a stylist do it? My soon-to-be 1st grader mentioned again recently that she still wants to color her hair. “Rainbow” to be exact. I don’t mind letting her do it, but I don’t want to pay a fortune at a salon for all those different colors and I’m not sure I trust my skills to do it for her at home.

      • avocado says:

        I took her to the independent local salon where she gets her hair cut, and it was really quite reasonably priced–less than it costs to cover my gray hair. I would highly recommend having a professional handle it. My daughter only had the ends done, and the stylist had to take a lot of care to avoid accidentally getting color on the parts that weren’t supposed to get colored. If you do it at home, you will also have to pay for a full kit of each color. I’m sure the salon would charge something extra for each extra color, but I wonder if the marginal cost for each additional color might be the same or even less than a full at-home kit.

        Perhaps Rainbow Hair can weigh in on the cost and logistics of achieving rainbow hair!

    • Anonymous says:

      I forgot your earlier post and assumed the blue hair was swimsuit/chlorine related, not nearly as cool. I have my swimsuits in an MMLF bag too!

    • 1. that’s brilliant!
      2. she got her blue hair! This makes me inordinately happy.

  6. Daycare Bites says:

    Good Morning – Hoping you guys can share some guidance. My 16-month old daughter has been bitten at daycare 6 times in the past 6 months. Most recently on Friday and again Monday. We always get incident reports and they have never broken the skin. I am torn about how to handle this, on one hand I understand some kids are biters and not a lot can be done about it. On the other, 6 times in 6 months seems high. I don’t know if it’s the same kid biting or different – does that matter? I don’t know how possible it is to keep her away from “the biter” I also don’t know how often other kids might be getting bitten.

    I’d like to mention it to the center today but would appreciate some thoughts.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Unfortunately, it’s developmentally normal and there is not much you can do about it. 6 times in 6 months seems pretty low. It’s likely a bunch of different kids. Sometimes there are problem biters, but that’s more of an every day thing.

    • That seems pretty normal to me.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yes. that’s averaging about 1x per month, which is not that terrible. While the center will not tell you who the biter is, you can absolutely ask if it’s the same kid, if there are obvious trigger points for the biter, and if they can keep a closer watch on the two of them when they are together.

        FWIW, my kid was a biter (until about 18-24 months – peak was about 11-14 months) and she often bit the same kid. This kid gravitated to my daughter and often wanted to play near her, invade her space, take her toys, and touch her food when she was eating, etc. My daughter wanted nothing to do with him and would bite him. The teachers knew to watch the two of them more closely and hover a bit when they were near each other in the room. They stopped her from biting him more times than she actually bit him.

    • Marilla says:

      Maybe I’ve been lucky but six times in six months seems on the high end to me too. Biting IS tricky because it’s so developmentally normal, but at the same time the teachers need to be more on top of the biter/s. I would just mention your concern to the teachers and ask them to keep a closer eye – not sure you can do much else, unfortunately. Do you know if it’s one kid or a bunch of different kids?

    • Yeah I’d say it seems low. One of my kids was bitten more than 6 times in 2 weeks (one of his classmates was getting a younger sibling and acted out by biting, it was a rough little spell) while in the toddler room, the other one was maybe 6 times during her whole 9 months in the toddler room. We got many comments from the teachers about how she was so lucky to avoid the worst of the biting.

      As long as it’s not breaking the skin, I wouldn’t get worried about it. One bite left a little mark or bruise, and the teachers reacted appropriately (wrote up the basic incident report, gave TLC, called us at work to let us know, and then created an “intervention plan” for the biting child and let us know what some of the next steps were). That was way more than I would have ever thought to do if one of my kids bit the other, so I was happy.

    • octagon says:

      That seems really high. I’d push for a few more answers — same kid or different? If it’s a lot of different kids, I’d worry that kids are internalizing that it’s an okay thing to do. I’d also ask about what they do in terms of discipline/redirecting the biter, and what they are messaging to the other kids about other ways to channel their frustration that aren’t biting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chiming in here to offer a perspective from the other side, for what it’s worth. My older son was the biter/hitter a lot of the time in the young toddler room. He probably bit other children maybe 2-3 times and hit other children a few other times that we heard about. He was always an energetic, physical kid who would have a hard time having a calm body if he got upset. We were extremely consistent at home in modeling other ways to deal with big feelings, following up with a consequence each time he hit/bit at home, reading “Teeth are not for biting”, etc. He was an only child at that age so we really couldn’t do much more than that. We felt so awful every time his teacher told us about an incident because we felt so helpless to do anything about it. Now, it’s certainly not a good thing when a child bites another friend. But, it’s also developmentally pretty normal. Eventually he outgrew it and now he is a kind and respectful kid. I only offer that perspective because sometimes it’s not that a child is mean or mentally ill or whatever – it’s just that being in a confined space with 7 other 18 month olds is very stressful and sometimes kids act out their feelings in the ways they know how. Also, that level of being the recipient of some sort of physical misbehavior seems pretty normal based on my experience.

      • +1 this. Another parent of a biter here. Our daughter does it and we/daycare attribute it to her small size and having some delay that means other kids physically overpower her. She doesn’t do it at home so though we can talk about it it’s hard to do much about. Our daycare has said it’s very normal and typical. So while not great, I suggest talking to the teachers about it to better understand whether they feel it’s normal or excessive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try to find out the dynamics after each incident. Esp. if it is the same kid. I had one kid who was a biter, but the incidents were that Kid A took her toy (Kid A had new twin siblings at the time), and my kid would then bite Kid A. We tried to tell her “use your words” and the staff was helpful with Kid A re taking kids toys (they were the two oldest kids in their room of 8 and I think she was the one who stood her ground more than bursting into tears or just being “eh, I will get another toy”). It resolved. I felt awful though.

    • Walnut says:

      Low, IMO. My kid was bitten multiple times per week for awhile and I was just thrilled that my kid was the bitten, rather than the one biting.

    • That doesn’t seem terrible to me, especially if she’s being bitten by different children. That’s prime teething age and biting is totally normal. Plus, the parents on the other side of the incident report probably feel terrible. If she were 3? That would be different.

      Around that age, my son bit a child (same? different? not sure) 4x in 2 weeks. The teachers were on top of it (as we were at home) and he stopped.

    • lawsuited says:

      My kid comes home from daycare with bumps and bruises and scrapes all the time from climbing things, jumping off things, etc. despite that fact that he’s 14 months and not exactly an expert biped yet. I don’t give any of that a second thought because it’s developmentally normal. Biting is also developmentally normal, and this case the injury is even less serious (not breaking the skin), but I think you’re feeling more upset about it because another child *did it to* your child. Try to let go of that feeling, and remind yourself that this is normal and your child is okay.

    • This seems high to me. My kid is in a dayhome and biting is pretty uncommon there. I’d want more info from the centre – is it the same kid? How often do they think biting is normal? How are the teachers ensuring that biting is kept to a minimum?

    • I’m on team “low” for this one. I think every young toddler class goes through a biting phase. one kid starts biting, the others see the reaction, they all do it for a few weeks/months. Even if the teachers are being really proactive, at this age the ratio is 7-1 in our state, and the teachers cannot possibly be everywhere.

      My first son was the “bitten” child, and I remember feeling so mad about it. Then my second was the “biter” and I had a new found understanding for the situation.

    • A bunch of people have already chimed in to say as much, but I don’t think 6 times in 6 months is all that unusual. Biting at that age is (unfortunately) developmentally appropriate and it will get better. But it may help to ask the center to monitor the biting and give you more information to the extent that they can – if it’s the same kid doing the biting (and they may be biting others too) then they may be able to figure out the conditions that seem to lead up to biting and try to address them without revealing to you who the kid is. My daughter was a biter for awhile and one of the things that worked was for us to bring in a toy for her to chew on – she wasn’t teething but the teachers thought it might be a sensory issue. She also seemed to resort to biting more oftne when she was already tired – maybe less self control – since napping on her own schedule wasn’t an option at that age the teachers tried to pay more attention to those cues so that they could intervene if she seemed tired and was about to get frustrated with a classmate. Neither of these reduced biting incidents to zero but they have helped some and seemed proactive.

      That said, while I think the amount of biting isn’t unusual, your gut may be suggesting something else to pay attention to. Toddlers in group settings have a lot of conflicts with each other over toys and personal space. You can’t prevent every instance of biting (or hiting, etc.), but teachers should be trying to manage this stuff as best they can, whether by trying to intervene early, or when it’s a bit more age appropriate, actually coaching the kids to use their words with other kids (the teachers do this in my 2.5 year old’s room but not when she was your child’s age). It’s one thing for them to tell you that biting is developmentally appropriate and 6 times is 6 months is normal (I happen to agree with both), but I would be concerned if this seems to be part of a broader attitude of nonchalance about conflict between kids.

  7. My 6 and 4 year old share a room with a bunkbed. We generally put them to bed at the same time. 6 year old would happily read for another 30 minutes quietly and turn off light. 4 year wants to PARTAY! They end up horsing around until way too late and are then tired and crabby. Any suggestions? Do I just need to separate them? Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hard when there is a time change and it is so much lighter at night. I find that older kids sometimes are more tired. Can you take kids to the park / for a walk / for vigorous play after dinner so that the younger kid is more tired out? Mine still share a room at 9 and 8 and probably will until the older one goes to middle school (we have mentioned splitting up and they weren’t eager to rush to split up just yet and it makes bedtime / mornings so much easier to have kids in one location).

    • Buy tents for each bed. The top bunk can get a regular bed tent, and they make curtains for the bottom one. Give them flashlights and a stack of books and let them do what they want in their tent, as long as they don’t disturb the other one and don’t get out of the tent.

      Come up with rules for bedtime, and repeat them every night. (“Okay, it’s bedtime! Get in bed, hug an animal, and stay quiet. I’ll see you in the morning!”)

      If they don’t listen, they start losing items from their bed each time you have to go in (or each time you hear them, or each time they’re out of bed). Animals, books, flashlight, tent, sheets, blanket, etc. It won’t hurt them to sleep on a bare mattress one night, esp since we’re in the summer. I’ve only had to get to a bare mattress once, usually getting rid of a few animals does the trick.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you put 4 y/o to bed 30 minutes earlier and tell 6 y/o to read on the couch for a while?

      • This is what we do. Older one gets to stay up a little later to read while younger is expected to fall asleep. My kids are younger but it usually works well.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My 4.5 year old is just starting to be able to control herself and be quiet at sleeping times. She is a smart, precocious kid but I swear she was emotionally unable to restrain herself from talking, playing, and singing, etc at nap and bedtimes until the last few months.

      Which is just to say – it may be a developmental thing. I have had luck with “you can do whatever you want in your bed, but there will be repercussions if you leave your bed.” I have instituted sticker charts to earn a big reward and loss of privileges in the morning if she can’t stay in her bed. FWIW, kiddo is very easily distracted by anything in her bed so I limit her to one comfort object and a sippy cup, a pillow and a blanket.

  8. AwayEmily says:

    I’m doing some swimsuit shopping for my 2-year-old daughter and I’m kind of annoyed at girl swimsuits. She needs a two-piece because she’s still in early stages of potty training, but all the toddler girl two-pieces are bikini bottoms and a (usually short-sleeved) rashguard (or tankini). The boy sets, on the other hand, are swim trunks plus long-sleeved rash guard. The swim trunk model makes SO much more sense to me, especially for splash pads, etc, where kids will be going down slides, climbing, sitting on grass, and generally doing activities where more coverage = more comfort.

    Anyway, I’m going to solve this problem by just having her wear boy swim trunks and rashguards, but I wanted to share my general irritation that even toddler girls are expected to show way more skin than their male counterparts — even when it’s impractical.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a swim trunk/long sleeve rash guard set from H&M. We took it on a beach vacation, and it worked so well in the sand. Link to follow if it is still on the website.

    • Lana Del Raygun says:

      Ugh, that’s so frustrating.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could also check out the Lands End separates and maybe get some swim shorts to wear over a set with less coverage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gap has a lot of long-sleeved rash guards. But also, my son wears girl swimsuit bottoms because I find the trunks such a pain, so just buy the stuff you like from whatever part of the store.

      • AwayEmily says:

        I know I can buy whatever I want from any part of the store (hence saying that’s what I was going to do), but I do think there’s a larger issue of what is considered “standard” for boys vs girls and the implications that has for how they think about their bodies and their capacity to play the way they want to.

        (don’t mean to be snippy, I’m just frustrated at realizing that my daughter is going to have to deal with stuff like this for her whole life).

        • Anonymous says:

          I get it. Gender norms and stereotypes, especially when they are mindlessly instilled in baby and toddler clothing, sucks. My son wears a lot of stuff from the girls’ section because the leggings in the girl’s section are a lot comfier and more activity appropriate that than the army camo cargo pants in the boys’ section.

        • I agree with you. I buy my DD stuff from the boy section all the time for similar modesty reasons. She’s 5! She doesn’t need booty shorts! But then I worry about the implication that “boy is better” so I try to make sure DS is also getting things from the girl section, like a pink shirt with Sky and Everest on it.

          It’s ridiculous that I put this much thought into what they’re wearing. But it’s only so long that I’ll have influence over what they wear – I want to set boundaries early on that colors are for everyone and we dress appropriately for the activity. To your point, we wear tennis shoes and longer shorts when we’re going to the playground. We wear bicycle shorts and “slim fit” shirts when we’re going to a paint party and don’t want our clothes to get dirty.

          • Oh, and don’t get me started on the frilly dress trend for little girls. My daycare would require everyone bring multiple outfits, and they’d have most of the girls change as soon as they got there because they were in some poofy dress that was totally impractical for learning to crawl or running around the playground or building a tall tower. It didn’t stop my DD from BEGGING to wear a fancy dress every single day.

          • YES. I am such a stickler about dressing appropriately for the activity. Strappy sandals are for church, not the playground covered in mulch. It’s difficult because sometimes it’s such a battle and I wonder if it’s worth fighting, but I have mostly stuck with it because I think there’s a deeper message to convey. I wouldn’t feel good about my daughter’s clothes impeding her from running, skipping, climbing and being as active as her brother.

            The dress battle drives me bonkers. My compromise is cute little t-shirt dresses with shorts underneath.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah, toddler girls shorts are ridiculous. We were at Target the other day and all the girls shorts either didn’t or just barely covered my 18 mo’s diaper.

          • avocado says:

            I hear you on the frilly dress battles. In preschool and elementary school my daughter wanted to wear frilly dresses and party shoes to school because “everyone else does.” And they really did. She said I was mean for insisting that she dress appropriately for school. Around third grade the other kids stopped wearing party dresses to school, and now as a rising seventh-grader she asks me to buy her cute, school-appropriate outfits and then refuses to wear anything but athletic clothes.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I know what you mean. There is absolutely no need for booty shorts for toddlers.

          I personally just buy the bikini bottoms, but I think that Hanna Andersson has some longer swim capris, board shorts, and dresses made out of swimsuit material so she can run in and out of water features.

        • Also it’s really annoying, at least to me, to have to look in the boys section and the girls section when doing online shopping for my toddler. It still bothers me in a b&m store at least in principle, but for some reason I find it really tedious online.

          • lawsuited says:

            H&M is really good for this. Whether you click Boys 4-24 M or Girls 4-24 M all the same stuff shows up.

    • octagon says:

      I really like the long sleeved Cat & Jack rash guards at Target. And depending on what we are doing, I might just pair them with some sport shorts. That’s easier at a splash pad, might not work as well for swimming.

    • My favorite swimsuits for toddlers and preschoolers are the one piece romper style. Even when potty training we had good luck with these. The kid would just unzip and strip naked to pee. Not perfect, but not terrible either.

      Links to follow

    • I bought some swim shorts for my girls, with matching long-sleeved rash guards. Amazon! :)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      For a different perspective – I found some cute women’s swimsuits that offered more fabric, longer shorts, etc. I assumed I would love them because more coverage! But actually, it’s a huge pain having so much fabric. Once it’s wet, it clings and is cold; if you have too much fabric it actually holds water and you have to empty it out. I’ve gone back to simple women’s swimsuits and I now understand why my kiddo prefers the tank top suits to the long sleeve rashguards. Although I still insist on a long sleeve rashguard if we are going to be swimming outside for more than 10-15 minutes…I am becoming more suspicious of the efficacy of sunscreen and the rash guard seems like a better alternative.

      • Yes, our kids get cold if they have too much fabric on their swimsuit. We always use the tank style suits when we can (i.e., inside or evenings) because they are so much warmer. Rashguards and sunsuits are great for playing on the beach or at splash parks, though!

        • AwayEmily says:

          Agreed on all counts! We have “regular” (ie tank style) swimsuits for when she’s doing actual swimming, but most of the time that my daughter is in a swimsuit she’s doing sprinklers/splash parks/kiddie pools, and those are the ones where a rashguard makes more sense.

          • avocado says:

            +1 on this! We also have rashguards for sunny activities and “regular” suits for evenings and the indoor pool.

      • This is the same reason I prefer sport suits to tankinis for actual, functional swimming! But for splash pads and water play, rash guards and board shorts seem more practical, and I also personally prefer to wear running shorts and a lightweight tech t-shirt for summer outdoor play.

        And yes, unnecessarily gendered clothing also makes me ragey.

        Related: great piece from the Atlantic.

        • Ugh that made me so sad for our boys. I posted a picture on my (private) Facebook of my kids playing in the backyard. Instead of commenting on how much fun they were having, multiple family members immediately jumped on the fact that my DS was wearing pink. One suggested he’d “take [him] out to show him what a REAL man does” when he gets older. I got so mad that I posted a very unkind response, my DH got so mad he resolved that we’re never going to events with those particular relatives present, and my BIL got so mad he deleted his FB account.

          I don’t know where these rigid gender roles are coming from – I feel like they’re worse now than when I was growing up in the 80s – but I hate it. It hurts every single kid to be forced into specific boxes like that. We have to do better by our kids.

    • shortperson says:

      there are lots of good options. tea collection, mini boden, crewcuts, and primary all have cute tankinis. primary also has swim shorts that are gender neutral. carters also has some.

    • mascot says:

      Try Swim Outlet- they have some girly rash shorts/board shorts. Boys jammers (competition style suits) would also work since they are basically bike shorts in swim suit material.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally sympathize and am glad I don’t have to deal with this as a mom of boys. Why not just buy the little boy versions? It’s not like their bodies are shaped any differently at this age.

    • I just saw these in a catalog, may be what you are looking for:

  9. Reunion Update: We went back to my alma matter this past weekend. The weather was lovely (hot for us) and the college town was as beautiful and magical as I remember it to be. The party on Friday night was outside on the lawn, complete with a balloon guy and music that was eerily perfect for our class. The best part of the party was running into a roommate of one of my best friends. The roommate had been super intense in college, and, 15 years later, she was lovely and so down-to-earth. It was fun to talk with her and watch our kids play. On Saturday, we visited one of my roommates from college whom I hadn’t seen since my law school days. The party on Saturday night was moved inside, which seemed to amplify the frat nature of the school, so my little family bailed, got pizza from a college joint and sat on the Rotunda steps well into the evening. I’m so glad that I went. There were definite moments of insecurity, but when the party turned frat-ish on Saturday, it was much easier to say that it just wasn’t my scene and walk out.

  10. Sleep tracker for kids? says:

    Hello all – I am looking for a device that could help track my 4.5 year old’s sleep. Trying to get better data on when he’s actually asleep (more than me vaguely remembering I had to get up to tuck him back in twice last night…) so we can try to figure out what is helping and what doesn’t.

    I’m open to either a wearable device or something that would go on the mattress. I’m aware of the Garmin Vivofit Jr. but it looks like something he would want to play with all the time, not something that would be compatible with getting better sleep! The SleepIQ mattress is out of our price range (unless someone tells me it magically made their kid sleep all night). Any recommendations?

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of the AngelCare systems have analytics.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I had a sleep tracker app on my phone for a while – you have to turn on the app and slide it under the fitted sheet by the pillow. If you have an old phone, that might be an option.

      But also – I found that tracking my own sleep was almost as good as tracking kiddo’s sleep. It tells me how many times I’ve had to get up each night, and since I sleep like a log, if I’m awake it’s probably because kiddo woke up.

      • Anonymous says:

        I didn’t even realize that a phone could be a sleep tracker without special doodads. Which app did you use?

  11. I agree with you. I have two water-loving kids, and I feel some guilt that my son is usually more sun-protected than my daughter. If it helps for next year, Lands End and Primary sell boyshort bottoms for girls. It’s not as much coverage as trunks, obviously, but they are more practical than bikini bottoms. LE also has long-sleeve rashguards.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t disagree, but if you’re really in the water (which I know is certainly an “if”), then the legs aren’t really getting the sun as much as the upper body anyway.

  12. Taking tips from this board, I gave my husband an “assignment” that would normally have fallen to me: take the lead on getting our kids passports. He agreed! He read the website, printed out the forms, and took pictures of the kids! Then he started filling out the form and asked me what color our kid’s hair is. ARE YOU SERIOUS, NO.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      that’s hilarious. It reminds me of a long term ex boyfriend who insisted that my hair was black instead of brown. I seriously considered dumping him in that second, because wtf.

      • To be fair, the kid’s hair is a sandy blonde and could possibly be regarded as brown, but this is the whole point of giving you this assignment, DH: you do it! Sheesh.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha. One of my friends is Chinese, and she says she has black hair, our Indian friend has brown hair, and I (a white person with very dark brown hair for a Caucasian) has blonde hair. After years of argument she conceded it might be “light brown.” It’s very dark brown, think like Mila Kunis w/o highlights.

    • Not understanding why this is a problem? He did all the work. Your kid’s hair is an ambiguous color.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL, no! Doing all the work beings doing it all!

      • lawsuited says:

        I don’t think asking for a second opinion about your kids’s ambiguous hair colour is him shirking his task (particularly given the effort in saying “I think it’s brown” compared to the effort of researching, printing the forms, wrangling your children to a photo place and filling out the forms). I did the exact same thing when I was filling out the form for my kid’s passport because I wasn’t sure whether his hazel eyes would be considered green or brown. If my husband’s response had been “Good grief! I thought you were going to do this passport task on your own!” I would have been pretty bummed.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I’d say that’s a legit question – he probably just wanted your opinion on whether to classify her hair as blonde or brown. As a fellow light brown/dark blonde hair person, I get both characterizations by different people. My husband has asked me what his own eye color is in the past – it’s kind of a mix of green and blue so it’s not entirely clear which box he would check.

      • Redux says:

        I totally get that it is ambiguous! It is just a funny example of how hard it is to get my husband to fully take on something that I would have taken on without any help, had I not asked him to do it. Including the question he asked me after the hair question: how tall are the children. These questions involve actual work! The hair one not so much, but the height one you either have to know how recently the child was measured at the pediatrician and where to find that information, or you have to measure them. Either one of which I would have just… well, I would have done the work! That’s the point. Do the work, man.

        • Aunt Jamesina says:

          Yeah, if this were me, I would deliberate on my own and decide. My husband would ask me (and I would respond with my usual, “sorry, I’m not your secretary!” that has become a bit of a joke between us).

    • This makes me laugh so hard.

  13. Jocelyn says:

    My younger brothers, twins, were diagnosed with JRA at 1 year old. It’s amazing how many new medicines have come out since they were diagnosed 26 years ago. There are a lot of support groups out there and it’s surprising just how many kids actually have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Do you have a big hospital that is somewhat nearby for you? When I was a kid we were always at Boston Children’s hospital. My brothers didn’t learn to walk until they were 2.5 but are now almost 27 year old successful adults who can usually manage their disease without anyone even realizing they have arthritis. Obviously I have NO idea what being the parent of a child diagnosed with arthritis is like but having seen my brothers come out the other side it can be so much better than it probably seems like right now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have a good problem – I’m pumping about an ounce more per day than my baby wants to drink. It’s definitely not enough to drop a pumping session. I do try to stop pumping as soon as I think I have enough, but I have to err on the side of getting too much versus not enough, so I usually end up with a slight surplus. Right now I’ve just been putting it all in the fridge and using the oldest milk first, which means most days she usually starts with a little milk from 2 days before and then goes onto the milk pumped the day before. I end up with about 5 ounces leftover at the end of the week. I feel guilty dumping it out, but you can’t stick milk in the freezer if it’s previously been sitting in the fridge for several days right? I could be putting an ounce in the freezer each day but that seems like more trouble than it’s worth to individually freeze such small amounts. I don’t travel for work and don’t anticipate being away from her for longer than my typical workday any time soon, so I feel like I don’t “need” a freezer stash but then I feel guilty for not building one. WWYD? I feel so guilty dumping liquid gold, but I don’t seem to have supply issues and don’t see a great alternative.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you did want to freeze it for whatever reason, you can get trays that are specifically designed to freeze small amounts, so that might reduce the hassle. (link to follow)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think it’s fine to freeze if it’s been less than a week. At least, I would do that!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ditto. I did this routinely. If you’re using the oldest first, it won’t be more than a couple days. I might have pushed the limit, but as long as it didn’t smell and had been less than a week, I definitely put it in the freezer. That reminds me…I think I have some to freeze…

    • Anonymous says:

      You can leave it in the fridge for a few days. I would keep a bottle in the fridge and add the extra ounce every day. After 3-4 days you have enough to freezer in a serving size. I’d just build a freezer stash and use fresh milk for your baby. Having a freezer stash can be useful in lots of situations, including when you are ready to stop nursing. You can also do other things like mix it in with baby’s cereal. It’s good for 6 months in a regular freezer and 12 months in a deep freeze. HTH.

    • I would freeze 5 ounces of your most recently pumped milk and save the 5 ounces from previous days for the next Monday. That way you’re not freezing days old milk and tracking that. Milk will keep refrigerated for a week, so keeping the older milk in the fridge shouldn’t be an issue. You could also freeze the older milk w/o an issue, but personally, I’d just feel better the other way.

    • October says:

      Put the extra ounces into her bath water? It’s supposedly great for skin and doesn’t need to be fresh like it would for drinking.

    • Anonymous says:

      But also, it’s okay to get rid of it! Please don’t feel guilty :)

    • anne-on says:

      I’d freeze it and save it in the future. Things that I wish I’d been told earlier – breast milk counts as a clear liquid. So, kiddo has a tummy bug and is throwing up and is on clear liquids? You can give them breast milk. They have to have surgery and can only have clear liquids beforehand – breast milk.
      I certainly DO NOT wish those situations on you but both came up for us in the first 18 months…uh, multiple times for the random pukey bugs.

    • Just stick 5oz of milk in the freezer at some point throughout the week and you’ll even out. If everything is more or less being consumed within a few days, I wouldn’t even stress about “which” 5oz goes into the freezer, though I’d personally just take 5oz straight from what you pump one day toward the end of the week and freeze it directly when you get home that day.

      • And to add to the chorus of you-never-know-when-you’ll-need-it, I had two stomach bugs while nursing that cut my supply right in half until I was over them.

  15. I’m in the same situation – make a slight surplus every day. I froze the extra milk at the end of each week and never knew what to do with it. Then, I got bit by a dog while running one day and had to be on meds for 10 days. For those 10 days, my baby got the frozen milk and I pumped and dumped. While I didn’t think I would ever need the frozen milk, I’m so thankful I had the surplus and stored it properly.

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