Budget Thursday: Jasmine Printed Wrap Dress

This dress is $145, which isn’t exactly a “budget” item, but it is 30% off, and it’s a washable wrap dress with a lot of sizes that’s from a great workwear brand, Hobbs. (I recommend Hobbs here a lot because they have so much that’s work-appropriate and washable.) The print looks great as well. So for $145, down from $210, I would say that it’s a good budget pick. It’s at Bloomingdale’s and comes in sizes 2–12. Jasmine Printed Wrap Dress

Two plus-size options are at 6pm and ASOS.

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  1. AnonChic says:

    Has anyone ever successfully given up responsibility while staying at the same company or firm? What are the pitfalls beyond the inevitable (and okay) pay cut? For reference, this is a law firm and the individual would be going from partner level work to associate level work with reduced hours. Any wisdom?

    • Cornellian says:

      I went to 85% when I came back from maternity leave. It wasn’t supposed to be a seniority haircut, but it was for the first few months, especially as I caught up on what i had missed for my clients. Jury is out on what this will do to my career long term, but a couple things:
      -in order to keep my hours right, I need to input all of my time daily and release at least weekly. That has been a challenge for me, but when I don’t do it, the partners glance at everyone’s relative capacity in the group and dump new projects on me
      -think about how to talk to clients about it. I am the main lawyer on most of my clients, and the only I told I am on a cut schedule is one GC that I am pretty close to. I didn’t want to scare them or create the impression that I was checked out
      -think about how to talk to colleagues about it. I basically did not for the first few months, especially since I Thought it would be temporary. If there is a title change that is obviously harder. I lost one desirable client to another lawyer in my group, but it could have been worse

    • mascot says:

      Reduced hours I understand, but what does the shift from partner level to associate level work mean? That you can’t be the lead lawyer on anything (deals, trials, smaller matters) even if you scale for hours and schedule? Are you going back to much lower level tasks like discovery and due diligence and endless research projects? I’d worry that you will lose skills and opportunties for future growth. You may also become invisble to clients if you get pushed out of the relationship position. Now, if you mean that you wouldn’t have partner level business development obligations, I think that’s different. You’d essentially be acting as a “service lawyer” which can work out in a specialized practice. Your clients would be mroe internal since you’d depend on other lawyers to funnel you work. If you are busy enough and still getting to do more advanced work, maybe it doesn’t matter if you are less visible. But, I’d still want to have a few client of my own as backup. If possible, negotiate a title changes. Ask for a counsel role.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I stepped off the partner track at my firm into a quasi-staff attorney role. I say “quasi” because the firm has a model of a “staff attorney” and I didn’t really fit into that model; I still have business development expectations, and I don’t get the internal credit for nonbillable work that staff attorneys usually get. I have so many feelings about it, but I will say that it didn’t help with stress level as much as I had hoped.

      Part of my issue has been that we have a completely decentralized workflow system; anyone in the firm can dump a project on me at any time, and most of the firm doesn’t care what your official “hours” are, they just want the work done as fast as possible. And the head of my department isn’t very good about respecting the limitations on my time; he dumps nonbillable projects on me that eat into my availability for business development and billable work. We also have a completely decentralized staffing system, in which I have no say. And stepping off the partner track makes it very hard for me to delegate work to other attorneys. I feel like I’m always behind.

      My firm has been working on it with me, and I’m somewhat optimistic, but to be honest – I’m probably out of here if I find a more predictable 9-5 gig. In retrospect, I wish that I had been more realistic about the fact that the general “24-7” and decentralized culture of the firm was the problem, and not the level of responsibility I was asked to shoulder.

      On the pro side; I still get high level work, and I love the complexity of it. I have immense flexibility to take my practice any direction I want, as long as I find the time to do so.

  2. Politics of Hand Me Downs says:

    A friend with a slightly older kiddo than mine has generously offered hand me down clothes. The tricky part though is that she wants them back when we’re done as they’re hoping to have a second. Similarly, I was planning to keep things that I buy in case we do. Anyone have a great system for keeping track of what outfits came from where so that I can honor her request easily? I’m thinking maybe take photos each time we get a donation with a paper sign indicating size?

    • Anon for this says:

      Honestly, I wouldn’t do it. Clothes get worn out way too easily, stained, lost, etc. Maybe if it was a special occasion dress that your kid was only going to wear once that you would give back right away, but otherwise, too complicated to keep track of and you may end up feeling bad if the loaned clothes are ruined.

    • I use a sharpie pen to put a small black dot on the tags of hand-me-down clothes that I get from my sister. When she wants them back, I sort through my bin of “too small” clothes and can easily identify those that were from her.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. I put the last name initial of the family who lent it on the tag. We’ve done this and it works. Make sure your friend understands though that play condition clothes may be even more play condition at the end of the loan. And if she loans you nice things I try and be cognizant of when and where my child wears them.

      • Politics of Hand Me Downs says:

        Thanks! This sounds perfect.

        And from others great thought to consider in terms of expectations on return condition – luckily in this instance not worried about stains/loss – these were very much everyday outfits, and not all in perfect condition when they arrived to me.

        It’s more that I feel justified in being a little greedy in that if there’s something special that I buy I want to keep it for myself, but want to be respectful of her gift as well.

      • This is what I do. When Kiddo was born, we received a bunch of hand-me-downs from my best friend, and she wanted them back. They were in “new” condition when I received them and when I returned them because for the first year, kids only wear a particular outfit for a few months, so most things only get worn a few times (and they’re not really playing).

        More recently, my SIL gave us some hand-me-downs from her son. They were play clothes and not in “new” condition when we received them. By the time I packed that batch of clothes up, only 3-4 of the original 10-12 items were still in anything close to decent condition.

    • Maybe a Google doc with a list of outfits that need to be returned?

      The other question I asked is will this friend be upset if you return the clothing with stains or wear, which are inevitable no matter how careful you are? I guess I’d tread carefully with this offer. After running into a few situations where I was *lending* an item to a family member but never got it back, I now don’t give away clothing unless I’m really done. It’s not worth the headache and potential hard feelings.

    • Momata says:

      Unless this arrangement will make a substantial economic difference to your family, I would not do this. Especially with bigger sizes where kids wear the items for longer and are actually playing in them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Decline the hand me downs. That’s annoying and stressful andjust nope nope nope.

      • Yep. My mom bought me some clothes for my kids, then asked for them back after we were done to give to my nieces and nephews. Nope nope nope. Super annoying and stressful. It’s really HARD to have a separate storage system for these things. I tried to go the easy route with just a plastic bin in the bottom of the closet, but then other clothes would fall in, or my toddler would pull everything out, or I’d forget which set of patterned pants went with which patterned top, and oh sh!+ where’s the diaper cover that matches this dress. I do not have my life together enough to do this, and it caused me way more anxiety than just spending a little extra on clothes that I didn’t have to think so hard about.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Similarly, about 4 years ago I gave a friend two baby carriers (Ergo Baby and Baby Ktan) and kind of jokingly said, I’d love them back if I ever have another! Well, fast forward and here we are expecting another. How can I tactfully say, hey, still got those carriers? (I won’t be totally bummed if they’ve disposed of them, but if they still have them I would love to save myself $150 in new carriers!)

      • You give her an out and pretend like they’re meant to be the Sisterhood of Travelling Carriers. You say “Hey you know those baby carriers I gave you so long ago? Do you still have them or did you end up passing them on? If they’re still stuck in the back of a closet somewhere I’d love to take them off your hands, but no worries if you still use them or passed them on to another mama.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Uh you can’t? It was 4 years ago. Move on.

      • You can mention it, but be clear you are fine if they don’t have them. A friend gave me all her baby stuff (so nice!) because they were one and done. Guess who just had a second? I returned everything I had and wasn’t using, but she was totally gracious about other things that I’d passed on or was still using.

    • AlsoAnon says:

      An acquaintance of mine did this: without giving you the gory details I’ll just say it was stressful and way more trouble than it was worth. I’d just casually say “Thanks so much for the offer! We have plenty of clothes atm.” If you do decide to take them, putting an initial on the tags in permanent marker works well. Not what you asked, but if you’re looking for inexpensive baby clothes try: Carter’s doorbusters, Goodwill, FB marketplace and Craigslist.

    • I wouldn’t do this, because my toddler destroys clothes (as most toddlers d0). My sister and I have the loose understanding that we share all baby clothes and want them back with subsequent kids, but we also understand that stuff will be lost/destroyed and neither of us care about that. I wouldn’t have this arrangement with anyone else, though, because there is too much risk for hurt feelings if say, you don’t return her favorite outfit because it got ruined or your child horribly stained it.

    • LegalMomma says:

      I do this with one of my close friends. The understanding is that nothing we loan to the other is something treasured that we absolutely want back. I.e. if possible please return the loaned clothing, but there is an expectation that at least some if not most of it may not make it back either due to being destroyed, lost, or otherwise. So we hold on to the treasured items (the one special christmas dress that was purchased by MIL that was worn by niece and daughter) but not the general daycare play clothes. To identify the first initial of our last name is in the tag.

      • octagon says:

        I do this too. When I return them, I also include a gift card to Old Navy or Gap to offset the pieces that were damaged.

    • I’m totally SHOCKED at all the comments saying not to do this. (At least for ages 0-3, so far – I can see how as they wear clothes for a year-plus things might change as clothes actually wear out.) We just mark the clothes with an initial and it’s no trouble at all to return. Once in a while something gets stained, but no one lends anything that they’d be dismayed not to get back in perfect condition. It’s very possible we just have a fastidious child, but things rarely got stained before about age 3. (And when we’ve lent out clothes to friends, they usually all come back in about the same condition we lent them in.) I can’t imagine having to buy all the clothes for a baby/toddler when you can just lend them around!

  3. Stepping down says:

    May not be relevant as it’s not a firm, but for others- I stepped down into a new role (new boss/dept). I was a VP/dept head with a high travel role and managed a team of 30+. I moved into an account VP role, which is individual contributor and manages 2-3 key clients. Pay cut wasn’t that bad- something like $190k with $30k bonus down to $180k $15k bonus. Total number of hours worked went from 80+ to 50/60, time on road went from weekly to monthly, and overall stress was basically obliterated overnight. I did end up reporting to a former peer (I was VP, she SVP but we had the same boss), but we had a great rapport before and I framed it as I “don’t want to stay in my current role, what do you think I should do” and she said DO NOT LEAVE, JOIN MY TEAM.

  4. Easter ideas? says:

    Last year we put the Tomy squeak eggs (recommended here, and they were a HUGE hit!) and the Haba wooden shaker eggs in my son’s Easter basket. Any suggestions of similar fun Easter-ish toys for a 21 month old? We aren’t religious but just enjoy celebrating holidays.

    • Around that age, my son enjoyed the conventional Easter egg hunt – hiding a bunch of eggs around the house/ garden for him to find. Plastic eggs are reusable for next year and you can put little toys or stickers in them. For an older kid or one less likely to put things in their mouth, I’d say Silly Putty eggs! They were a big hit with a friend’s 3-year-old at her birthday party recently.

    • Another NYC Anon says:

      Not exactly Eastery, but bubbles are always a fun spring thing.

    • I’d love some Easter ideas for preschoolers and school-age kids, beyond the usual bubbles/sidewalk chalk options. My kids end up with SO MUCH of that stuff (plus candy) from the grandparents. And it needs to be easy; last year I ran all over town gathering various stuff and it absolutely wasn’t worth it.

      • mascot says:

        We do easter themed candy and then the rest is regular stuff. Things for summer/warm weather, magazine subscriptions, small toy or craft, new shoes, etc

      • This year I am doing seeds, garden tools, and other things needed to help plant the garden in the spring. My 4yo loved helping me plant, etc last year, so I thought this was a good way to not add more useless toys in our house and prep us for spring planting.

        • avocado says:

          This is a great idea! A few times we have gotten those kits to grow a little plant in a pot. Sometimes you can get them in an egg-shaped container or an egg carton.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just don’t. Easter is a religious holiday. It’s offensive to make it all about gifts.

        • Wow, I think this is unnecessarily harsh. Do you think the same about Christmas?

          • Anonymous says:

            No I don’t, I just think honestly if you’re not Christian and not celebrating but some Easter eggs and call it a day. I don’t mind people doing something I just think it’s offensive to make a huge deal out of a serious religious holiday you don’t observe. Sorry, I think it’s coming across way harsher than I meant it too!

          • avocado says:

            Oh, lighten up. We observe Easter as a religious holiday as well as a cultural one. Separately. The Easter Bunny has nothing to do with Jesus. My kid and I just like to pretend there are magical people who visit our house once a year. The Tooth Fairy still comes to our house too. Got a problem with that?

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I’m gonna take the bait on this one – Easter is co-opted from a pagan holiday marking the beginning of spring. Pagans might say it’s offensive that Christians made it all about a guy who allegedly rose from the dead. Ultimately, it’s a day that many use to commemorate an important seasonal shift; whatever story or tradition you want to associate with that, is your choice. Personally, I make it about time spent with family, and that is the best kind of holiday I can imagine.

        • Well, this was hostile and assumed a lot. I actually am Christian and the Easter Bunny still makes an appearance at our house. #noshame

      • I make it stuff I would buy anyway, pretty much all from Target:

        – A brand new notebook and crayons/markers/stickers.
        – A couple blank “books” for them to write a story (just a bunch of legal paper folded over and stapled together).
        – New spring shoes or jacket for playing outside.
        – A new umbrella or rainboots.
        – A playdough set
        – A new puzzle
        – Anything vaguely Easter-themed from the dollar spot.

        Last year I got a mini-garden kit that we planted on our dining room table and then transferred to two pots outside. That was a huge hit, so I think I’ll try to find that again. I think it was from Amazon?

        I love the idea of a magazine subscription from above. If I make it to Barnes and Noble this month, I might pick up a few to stick in their baskets and then subscribe them to whatever one looks the best.

      • avocado says:

        In her basket, my kid usually just gets random stuff she needs or wants or that I thought she’d like. Books, graphic novels, flannel PJ bottoms, nail polish, journals, gel pens, stationery, fun socks, overpriced t-shirts I wouldn’t ordinarily buy, DVDs, small Lego kits, earrings, those Alex and Ani bracelets, lip gloss, card games… I usually just buy and stockpile things as I see them, starting in February. I don’t usually stick to an Easter or springtime theme. Those EOS lip balms that look sort of like Easter eggs are fun, though.

        • avocado says:

          Also–cute umbrella and rainboots.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow just when did Easter become so commercialized? And why are you literally buying into it?

          • avocado says:

            Not ALL of that stuff at once. She gets like four things in her little basket. Because I don’t get to have fun buying her stuff except for holiday and birthday gifts, since she has an allowance and normally has to save up for her own stuff.

            Are you the Easter grinch?

          • avocado says:

            P.S. Please go back to the main s i t e.

          • +1 Avocado!

          • CPA Lady says:

            +2 avocado. We are kind here.

          • +3 who is this troll, and why is she on our site today?

          • You need to up your trash talking game and excise “literally.” It makes whatever annoying thing you’re saying even more annoying.

        • Sounds awesome, avocado. I was born on Easter, and even though the date moves around, my mom thinks of Easter as my birthday. So as a kid, I always got amazing Easter baskets like you describe (DVDs, books, toys, makeup, jewelry), plus a ton of candy. And then my birthday would be cake and balloons and maybe 1 more gift.

          Since we have a troll around today, for the record, I grew up in a very religious household. My father was a Southern Baptist minister. (I am no longer religious.) There was time to open an Easter basket and then get ready for church.

          • Funny story- I was born on Easter, at 4 am. My dad went to the church for the 7 am service that morning. He still hasn’t lived that down. The pastor, who’s still a good friend of our family, announced my birth and said I didn’t have a name yet, and asked everyone to submit a name. Somewhere my mom has a stack of Easter service bulletins with names like “Lily,” “Dawn,” etc. There’s nothing with those names, but she already had mine picked out.

          • Just because someone hasn’t drunk the m0ms koolaid doesn’t make them a tr0ll. There’s a serious HAPPY THOUGHTS ONLY YOU MUST ALL AGREE AND GET ALONG mentality here which is a bit troubling.

          • What the heck is the “moms koolaid”? How is it related to whether to insert commercial celebrations into a religious holiday?

          • Your inability to stick to a consistent font is what’s a bit troubling. Also – the ‘koolaid’ reference is very very played out. You couldn’t come up with something more current than Jim Jones?!

    • AlsoAnon says:

      No advice, but a Tomy squeak eggs story: I was helping a pregnant friend sort through some gifted baby items before her LO arrived. She found these eggs and was like “omg these are annoying! They have to go.” So we set them aside. About 30 minutes later, we hear them in another room! Her dog had taken them and was playing with them like they were her puppies, sorting and herding them. It was so cute and odd. I don’t think the dog got to keep them though.

    • Easter ideas? says:

      Awesome! Thanks everyone! And I love the dog sorting story.

  5. Montreal with a toddler? says:

    We want to take a long weekend over Memorial weekend, plus the Thursday and Friday before, with DD who will be 15 months. We are looking at taking the train from Philly to Montreal, and getting an AirBnb. It’s supposed to be a beautiful train ride, and DD could walk around unlike on a plane. DD naps well in a stroller or carrier, and the plan would be to explore the city, go to parks, and eat pastries by day, and then put her to bed and eat cheese and drink wine by night. Is this a good/doable plan? Is the city generally child-friendly – could we take her to a cafe or restaurant for lunch or an early dinner? Any recommendations on things to do or areas of the city to stay?

    • I’ve never been to Montreal, so I can’t speak to the city specifically. But we do a lot of international travel with our kids, and the general schedule you outlined above is what we do. We don’t have high expectations of “tourist things” but just generally explore the city, stop at parks, eat food on the go. We gage sit down restaurants by how the kids are acting, and skip them if they’re being squirrelly. We grab wine, cheese, etc, and enjoy time on the patio once the kids are in bed. It’s been great every time!

    • 2 Cents says:

      Not sure if this has changed, since it was a decade(?) ago, but a friend who took the train to Montreal said the train stopped for several hours at the border while immigration made their way up and down the train, and she wasn’t expecting it (and was annoyed). Made what she thought would be an X hour journey into an X+4-hours-of-going-nowhere journey.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think I would fly, because that has got to be a full day train ride no, with some stops? And it would be a short flight if you can go direct. I mean, walking around the train is fun, but do you want to do that all day for 2 days (there and back), nice scenery or no? My 15 month old did not sleep when we went on vacation – 5 am wake up calls and skipped naps partly due to ongoing transition to 1 nap, leaning to talk and walk, being in a new place, etc., so just gird your loins that sleep may suck.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yeah. The worst “vacation” we’ve taken with my now 2.5 year old was when she was 15 months old because of sleep stuff. That said, any big city is going to be pretty kid-friendly. I find brunch (or an early lunch at, like, 11am) to usually be a good time to go to a restaurant – usually lunch is too close to nap time for us, and dinner can be iffy too. At that age, we realized one of the easiest ways to feel like we were on vacation was to take advantage of happy hour deals – even better if there was live music or if it was outdoors, so our kid could walk around without disturbing people.

    • Anonymous says:

      No advice on the train, but we’ve really enjoyed Montreal with a toddler. We’ve gone at Christmas time the past two years, when my son was 9 months and then 21 months. There was enough to do for a long weekend, even in the cold, so I’d expect the summer to be even better. We really enjoyed the Biodome and the Old Port area (with a huge ferris wheel) was also a hit. Lots of nice outdoor spaces that we’d love to hit in warmer weather! The city was generally family-friendly, but it is worthwhile to do some research on restaurants in advance. We were surprised by the lack of high chairs some places and avoided some restaurants that might have otherwise been on our to-do list because the internets advised that they were not family friendly. That said, we brought our son to Au Pied du Cochon — because that’s how we roll — and he was very welcomed and we had a great meal!

  6. Need job perspective says:

    I just started a new position as an internal consultant, in which my primary role is to analyze applicable guidance and advise applicable business areas and external clients. It’s a somewhat senior role, by both internal grade and required years of experience (5-7) and education (masters preferred.) I’ve had 7 years of experience in this particular area, and a masters.
    The reason I’m prattling on about the experience required is that I’ve done no substantive work since I started – and now we are undergoing an audit and I’ve been tasked with really administrative tasks, like monitoring and taking attendance, down to passing around sign up sheets. I’m responsible for these tasks for the entirety of the audit, and nothing substantive.
    This seems really bizarre to me. I feel kind of gross for bristling, like I’m “above” it – but there it is, that’s how I feel. What’s worse – this is work requiring me to put in twelve hour days. I miss my kids!
    This is not what I left my previous job for, and I’m angry.
    I’m wondering if I should look at it as all hands on deck or something – what would be your guys’ take?

    • Anonymous says:

      Caveat: I’m coming from a nonprofit where audits are annual events, so my perspective may be off if an audit is a rarity for this business.

      I think I would check in with a supervisor, e.g., I’ve noticed that the nature of the tasks I’ve been assigned seems different than my understanding of what this job entailed. I thought I would be doing more of x, y, and z. Is this because we’re in the midst of an audit, or is this really the focus of this position?

      If you are already miserable I don’t think you have a lot to loose by trying to get clarity. But if that feels risky maybe ask a colleague if the audit tends to impact staff this way?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      How long have you been in this role? I have found that it takes a few months to really be given substantive work. And, if this audit is an unusual event for your company, it may be even longer.

    • Is there anyone else who can handle the audit tasks or are you basically the audit person? Also how long did you work there before the audit started? Is it possible that everyone was so focused on getting ready for the audit that there wasn’t time to onboard you to more substantive tasks? Also have you seen evidence of need for your primary role that has been unfulfilled while you have been doing audit tasks/since you started? It sounds like the kind of thing that could be feast or famine since it is based on the needs of others.

    • Thanks so much all for your take. It’s just odd — I feel very relegated. This was work I did 15 years ago, and now it feels crappy to be told in meetings – ‘get the sign in sheets please.’ It also doesn’t help that it’s a company where I know and have worked with a lot of my current coworkers, in previous roles – it feels like I’ve been demoted. Oddly, it seems like my manager’s attitude has changed in conjunction with the assignment of this administrative work…it’s been more dismissive/not terribly respectful. One may say it’s because of the stress of the audit , but I haven’t seen this kind of dismissiveness with other people — I feel very much like her admin, and she seems to be treating me as such.
      Thanks all for letting me vent. This is odd- I’ve never felt this way, even back when I was an admin…I was worried I’d sound like I thought I was “above” certain work and it’s not quite that.

  7. This may be the dumbest question ever, but…I have come to terms with the fact that I really should be wearing my glasses anytime I’m not working directly in front of the computer. Including when I’m running around the house with my 12-month-old. Is there some parenting magic that will keep him from pulling them off of my face when I carry him? Or should I just get contacts?

    • shortperson says:

      put him down immediately every time he pulls off your glasses and say “mamas glasses.” my baby learned fast.

  8. My 2.5 year old daughter received a birthday party invitation from a daycare classmate in her room last week. The party is during naptime if you follow the daycare schedule. Daycare naptime is from 11:45-1:45. The party starts at 1:30. I really don’t even understand. Our daycare naptime is admittedly early, so I’m guessing a lot of kiddos in her class don’t even start naptime on the weekends at home until closer to 12 or 1. I can’t imagine that 1:30 really works with anyone’s nap schedule in our class, especially by the time your child wakes up, gets ready for the party, and you drive there. On weekends, my child usually sleeps until 2:30ish. We are declining. But I just had to vent for a moment and say what the heck?

    • The classmate is probably a younger sibling and/or one of those kids who gives up naps on the early side. I have a 2.5 year old who is on the verge of giving up naps completely, and will definitely no longer be napping at age 3. He wants to be like his Big Sister, who also gave up naps before age 3.

      And classmate probably knows it’s during naptime, esp for the younger kids, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to invite everyone anyway, or have you show up a half hour late if nap time runs long.

    • When we have plans on weekends we just skip the nap and do an earlier bedtime (my toddler is 2.5, too). Toddler naps tend to kill the whole afternoon, and I’m sure the birthday toddler won’t be napping on party day with all the excitement, so may as well make it at a time that’s convenient for his parents/family. We tend to keep weekends pretty open and only commit to things we really want to do, so it’s no big deal to give up a nap every now and then.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      A lot of parents have free for all scheduling on the weekends, and with birthday parties it can sometimes be at the mercy of the venue’s availability or other family members’ availability. Don’t worry that you’re not attending, but it sounds like your expectations that other parents stick to the DC schedule on weekends is a little intense.

    • Everlong says:

      I’m really impressed with the flexibility of the rest of you. I treat nap time for my 2.5 year old as sacred and really will not bend for anything so this would send me into a tizzy. It shouldn’t. I should just roll with it and shoot for an earlier bedtime but… I don’t.

      • Naptime is sacred and non-negotiable at our house too. I’m actually really taken aback by the responses. Not in a bad or rude way, in a truly surprised way. lol. I do have to wonder if my child might need a little more sleep than some of the posters, though. I truly can’t imagine my child making it to even an earlier bedtime without some sort of nap. But it really isn’t restrictive for us. It’s no big deal to do trips out before or after naptime. And when we travel, we are usually in the car at naptime so she can sleep. While we do plan around her getting a nap in, it definitely doesn’t affect our quality of life. I also don’t understand the comment about a 2.5 year old not being able to sleep on party day. We host plenty of company/gatherings, and getting a nap in has never been an issue. Again, totally not being rude, just commenting!

        • I think it just depends on the kid. My kid is almost 3 and is starting to give up naps. When he does nap on the weekends, it’s for 2.5-3 hours (like 12-3 or 1-4), and it absolutely kills the afternoon. The other extreme is that he refused to nap, and he turns into a grumpy monster. DH and I disagree about whether *trying* to nap should be negotiable. (DH thinks we have to try, I don’t want to skip something fun for a 50% chance Kiddo will refuse to nap anyways.)

        • I love naptime, too, but mainly because I get a break! If we have something fun planned instead, I don’t mind giving up my break, and kiddo usually catnaps in the car there and back. I definitely wouldn’t do activities two days in a row, but every now and then is fine. And to be clear, a random classmate’s party would not qualify as a fun enough event for me — I’d probably be glad of the excuse to skip :) I’m the one who made the comment about bday toddler not napping; my kid needs a bit of a routine to wind down into nap, and in our experience, when we have a super exciting thing happening or a gathering to prep for, we don’t have the time to properly get him down, esp since he’s usually wound up and it becomes an exercise in futility. He goes through the day on adrenaline and crashes at bedtime.

        • Boston Legal Eagle says:

          Right there with you, OP. Naps on the weekends are sacred and non-negotiable with us. Maybe it’s a first child or under age 3 thing, but we have never skipped a weekend nap. Our son needs a lot of sleep too, I think – he usually naps from 1-3 at daycare, and from 1-4 on the weekends. Luckily all of our birthday invites thus far have parties that start at 3:30. We wouldn’t go to a party that started at 1:30.

          We plan around his naps and are usually happy to have that little break in the middle of the day to ourselves. We’re not particularly adventurous and don’t do all-day activities anyway, and if we go to the zoo or museum, we go in the mornings or in the afternoons. I expect this may have to change with kid #2, but for now this works great for us.

          • Everlong says:

            We have a #2 and it’s still non-negotiable, now more than ever! We have tried to get #2 to adapt to the already established schedule and it works most of the time! It works so well, in fact, that at night, #2 won’t always go down even if he’s tired enough until after he’s gotten to participate in #1’s bedtime routine… which means laying on the floor babbling as #1 gets bathed and pajama-ed, then books.

      • Momata says:

        I am also a strict schedule-follower. I am also surprised that so many are not. Naptime is sacred for my kid and sacred for me so I get a break. No way would I skip a nap for a birthday party kiddo isn’t going to remember and that I’m not going to enjoy. It would drain both of us and make the rest of the day horrible.

        • Yes! Naptime is when I get stuff done and/or a break. I really don’t want my child to have any idea that it could possibly be skipped. We even make a big deal out of it when we’re in the car – bring her aquarium with music, her lovey, etc. and announce that it is time to take a nap.

          • Everlong says:

            Seriously! I cannot imagine not having the break but at 2.5, I know it could be coming…

          • Spirograph says:

            If it gives you hope:. I still make my almost-5 year old do “quiet time” on the weekend. He has 2 younger siblings and they all have to be quiet in their beds for at least an hour. Younger kids almost always sleep a couple hours, oldest almost always gets up after an hour, even if he falls asleep. But I’m keeping it til they’re teenagers! Quiet time is the best part of the day. I usually sit in their room (as the enforcer) and read a book.

      • Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

        Also sacred naptime here…that’s when I get my nap in!

    • Anonymous says:

      We decline lots of parties because of nap time or other conflicts. No guilt. Usually I say something like “Thanks for the invite to Birthday Kid’s party. Unfortunately, Kid won’t be able to make it as Kid is still napping on weekends at the party time and she’s a grumpy monster if we try to skip. Hope Birthday Kid has lots of fun.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Uhhhh maybe they don’t live their lives around a day care nap schedule on weekends? Totally fine you do, rsvp no, but idk why you’re all horrified by it.

      • We also usually forego the nap on weekends but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to not want to. I haven’t seen a single person be “horrified” by the idea. I have seen one person in the conversation be totally needlessly rude, though.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. We still hold the nap for our younger child as sacred, but not the timing of it – just the idea that she gets one. On a weekend, that could happen anywhere within a 4 hour block, usually taking anywhere from an hour to two of that block. Frankly, I’d be surprised if daycare is even as regimented about it as you think.

        Also, not sure why you think you have to skip nap for a 1:30 party if the naptime at school ends at 1:45. Do you really think your child is like clockwork until 1:45? Put her down 20 minutes early and go to the party 15 minutes late (blaming nap if you must). Life is too short to be neurotic about this.

  9. Mama Llama says:

    Does anyone know of any good pregnancy workout videos available online? I’m not opposed to paying for them if the cost is reasonable. Thanks!

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Yoga w/ Adrienne has a 3 part prenatal yoga. I don’t have any preg specific, but I’ve always liked tone it up – they give you modifiers and you can use body weight or whatever weights you like. Following for more ideas, though!

      • Mama Llama says:

        I was doing her prenatal video last night, which is what got me thinking about other online options. If you can do dvds, I really love the Body by Trimester series – the host is a little cheesy, but the workouts are really good strength and cardio. I will check out Tone It Up. I get bored easily, so I like to have a lot of options.

        • KateMiddletown says:

          Caveat Tone It Up skews v girly, v “millennial” aka lots of rose all day catch phrases. (And I am the person who hates the term millennial but it’s that in every sense.)

          • Mama Llama says:

            Haha, thanks! In that case I will warn you that Body by Trimester includes a lot of “just because we’re pregnant doesn’t mean we can’t be s3xy!” catchphrases that make me want to throw things at the TV and yell, “I just want to not be constant pain, thanks!” It’s still a good workout though.

  10. Speaking of birthday parties, how do people afford to invite the whole class? My kid wants to invite some friends from school to her party, but we can’t give out invites at school unless they’re to the whole class. I’m going to try to stalk the parents at drop off, but otherwise how do I get them an invite? And who are these people who can host 27 kids? Are their houses gigantic or are they paying out the nose for a deluxe party at Chuck E Cheese? Because I’m neither of those and thought 10-15 kids was almost too much already.

    • Anonymous says:

      My oldest is in a class of 27. They won’t give out a class list but the teacher will send them home with kids if you give her the stack of 27. Officially policy is that you have to invite the whole class or invites cannot be sent home from school. But, the school seems to send out invites if they are for all the kids of one gender. They won’t distribute if you are not inviting the entire class or gender. I always invite the entire class because I hate the gender division thing.

      We’ve had everything from a house party with old school party games (pass the parcel, pin the tail etc) to princess parties, to bouncy castle backyard parties to gymnastic gym parties and pool parties. Pool parties seem most popular in first grade. Keep decorations simple, and food basic and it goes a long way to stretching your budget.

    • We’ve never done a party that wasn’t just family. I figure I’m not going to until our child is old enough to understand and ask for a birthday party with her friends. Until then, it feels so much like an ask for gifts, and we have enough stuff. I haven’t given any thought to whether we’d invite everyone!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Not sure how old your kid is. I’m planning Kiddo’s 3rd birthday party now. His class is pretty small (12 kids), but we have a huge family, so I’m expecting maybe 40 people. (Our family-only birthday parties for 1 and 2 were 20-25 people). It’s going to be at a park, and we’re renting a bounce house, and the total budget will be around $500. I don’t think the cost would go up significantly–maybe $600–if we invited another 15 kids and their families.

      Before I decided on the park, I looked around at other places. We could have had the party at our Children’s Museum for probably less money, and we could have rented out an indoor play space for about the same.

      We don’t have a ton of money. $500 is a lot for us. I pull it out of money I save for vacations and entertainment (sports tickets, etc.). That money is mostly bonuses (I don’t get large bonuses), gifts, and tax refunds.

    • Anytime my kid has been invited to a party with the whole class, it’s been at a venue. I don’t think we’ve been to anyone’s actual house for a birthday party, other than family members.

      Do you have a school directory? Some invites come in the mail, via the addresses provided in the directory.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Can you leave notes that aren’t invitations in backpacks or cubbies? I’ve set up playdates like that, and you could get contact info too – “Dear [____]’s parent, kiddo would like to invite your kiddo to a birthday party but I need your contact info! Could you send it to my e-mail address: _________.”

  11. On birthday parties – we recently attended a 12pm 3rd birthday party for one of kiddo’s BFFs from daycare. My first thought was “what kind of lunatic schedules a toddler party at noon?” but I held my tongue figuring they had a very good reason for scheduling it then (grandparent availability, apartment complex rec room availability, etc). It turned out some of that was in play, plus the birthday girl has dropped her nap. In any case we are getting more and more laissez-faire about weekend naps as kiddo will occasionally reject a nap or take a short one with no ill effects as he gets closer to age 3. If he was younger or still more clearly needed his nap, though, I’d have politely turned down the invite!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Same. Kiddo (2.5) still naps, but will occasionally reject them, so we have loosened up about them for specific occasions. Not sure if the daycare classmate party would qualify yet for us, but we’re going to friend’s this weekend and there is no way I’m fighting that battle for a nap.

  12. ER for Mama Llama says:

    I really like YogaGlo and they have lots of prenatal options.

  13. Almost three year old wakings says:

    Hi mamas,

    Our spirited, wonderful girlie who turns 3 in a few months has started waking up about every hour and a half crying. All. Night. Long. She also has been waking up way too early in the morning and yelling for us or banging on the walls or singing the same line over and over again or otherwise NOT SLEEPING.

    Is this a developmental phase? We have, in desperation, ordered the okay to wake clock and are making an appointment with the pediatrician. I welcome all suggestions, old wives’ tales, etc. We need some sleep!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      OH MY GOODNESS MAMA, I FEEL YOU. My daughter, who is almost 3, seems to have just finished up the exact same thing that spanned from about November until ~2 weeks ago. It was every single night, and for seemingly insignificant things (to put her blanket on her). It felt maybe like separation anxiety, which my kid had never gone through before. It maybe coincided with the beginning of potty training. Regardless, it went on for months and I was exhausted and ripping my hair out. Our ped told us to go through a version of CIO again, which I just did not have the willpower to do at 2 am, 3:30 am, and 5 am. What I think finally helped a bit was a weighted blanket. We ordered one from SensaCalm. It took her a few days to get used to it / want it in her crib, but we noticed an improvement. For the past 2 weeks, I don’t think we have had more than 1 or 2 nights of just 1 wake up, which is so amazing. So, if your daughter is within the weight range, I’d recommend one!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Second the recommendation for a weighted blanket – it helped kiddo so much for about a year. I wish there was a “weighted blanket exchange” because we seem to not need it anymore, and I’d love to pass mine along because they are expensive.

    • Artemis says:

      My now 2.5-year-old daughter went through this two months ago. It took us about two weeks to figure out the cause. She was sleeping in a crib. Then we went and visited grandparents’ house for two weeks and she was too big for the pack and play so we put her in a big full-size bed with bedrails and sheets, blanket, comforter.

      When we came home, we took the front rail off her crib and converted it to the toddler bed, and put her to bed as we had before in the crib with a crib sheet, warm PJs, and a blanket or two. Horrible nights ensued.

      Somehow I ended up wondering to myself if she was having trouble because she got used to the big bed and was backtracking. I took her to HomeGoods and she helped me pick out sheets and a comforter. We tuck the twin-size sheet around the crib mattress so it’s not loose, we put one of her little crib blankets on top, and then we roll the twin-size comforter at the bottom end to shorten it and let it hang over the side. The first night we gave her this “new” “big girl” bedding to make it more like a normal bed, she slept like a log and no problems since.

      Just to say, the wake-up clock might work, the pediatrician might be able to help, but think carefully about her sleeping environment and any changes you could make, or any changes she’s adjusting back from, now that she’s bigger–maybe you will find an easy solution! Good luck, it’s hard. More sleep for you all soon!

  14. WWYD? 3-year-old is ready to move into a big-girl bed and I need to buy bedding. Is it better to go for better-quality (PBK, specifically) or the cheaper route? I feel like I’ve gotten burned by inexpensive bedding before that just hasn’t held up, but … she’s 3, and her tastes will change a lot over the next few years.

    • Artemis says:

      Haha, see above, HomeGoods all the way! Usually cute enough choices at discount prices that hold up as well as you’d want in this situation.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I went with solid-color sheets in a neutral (gray, white, or cream) and then picked out a comforter with one of kiddo’s favorite characters. The sheets will continue to work with whatever cover we use and can be passed to friends/family who have twin beds, so I went with higher quality.

    • mascot says:

      We’ve got a PBK quilt (the madras plaid that they’ve had forever) and 2 sets of sheets that are going on 5 years old now. The sheets have held up well and are softer than a set of cheaper Ikea sheets we got. The quilt has one small tear on a corner, but should be fine until we change bedding again. All of it is fine for machine wash/dry.
      Maybe I’m a mean mom or maybe it’s because my boy doesn’t really care, but I haven’t offered to change his bedding and he hasn’t asked. I tried to go with stuff that kid oriented, but not little kid oriented or covered in characters so it hasn’t seemed outdated as he’s grown. You can maybe use removable wall decals or small decorative items if she’s really into something and you don’t want to have to redo bedding all the time. HomeGoods has a ton of cute kids room accessories.

  15. CPA Lady says:

    Probably too late to get many answers, so I may try again tomorrow– but how many activities are too many for a 3.5 year old?

    Kid recently started her first activity– a 30 minute once a week “dance” (creative movement) class that she loves. One of her friends from school is in her class and I’m getting to be friends with her mom. Then, soccer at starts next week– it’s at the daycare, but it starts at 4:30, so I consider that to be kind of an evening activity. So I signed her up for that. But then I remembered that I wanted to sign her up for swim lessons. So it’d be Tuesday swim lessons, Thursday soccer, and Friday ballet. Should I wait til soccer is over (10 weeks) to start swimming?

    I know this all sounds crazy overscheduled, but… here are my pros:
    1. I am an “indoor kid” and I don’t think I set a very good example of a physically active life for my kid. We mostly just sit around all the time we’re at home.
    2. When my husband is traveling, I get kind of lonely. I’ve really enjoyed having some social time with my kid’s friend’s mom, and I’d love to have some time to work out at the Y.
    3. Kid wants to do all these activities.

    The cons are…. I don’t want to force her to do too many things.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I think you need to take your cues from kiddo – at age 3.5, my kiddo did *not* have the attention span to handle many activities, and it was a pain in the butt to wrangle her through soccer, dance, etc. We did one activity and gritted our teeth through the whole thing. Now that she’s 4, she actually participates! Without us having to ride her! And listens to the teacher! It’s amazing. We sit around and talk with other adults.

      So – try out dance. See how your kiddo does. If she participates and you get to hang out with other adults during the classes, then great! Do some more. Sounds perfectly healthy to schedule her as much as you want. If she hates it and you hate it, then limit to one or no activities, and schedule some playdates with other mom friends.

    • mascot says:

      Little kids soccer offered at schools looks a lot like a PE class, at least in my experience. Games and silliness, not running drills and laps. If she’d otherwise be at daycare playing on the playground, I don’t see this as a big energy expenditure or one that requires any additional car time. It also doesn’t sound like anything you have to alter your schedule to deal with. Swim lessons will wear them out, but it’s doable assuming that its not super late.
      The question is, does this work with your schedule? Is it going to cause you additional stress on the weeks when your husband is traveling to get her all of these places on time? This is big consideration for us. Or if you are okay with missing a lesson or class now and then, it’s probably not a big deal. I think a lot of us can relate to #2. I loved basketball this year bc I could take a class while my kid was at practice. I know a lot of parents who work out during the 90 minute soccer practice or even go grab a coffee/beer with some of the other parents.

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