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Morning! Niagara Falls help, please! We’re going to a wedding there this summer from DC and have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. We’ll probably fly out, (but open to driving), and initially stay at the wedding hotel, which from what I can tell is a 20 min drive from the falls. Is it worth staying an extra few days to check out attractions near the falls? Can the kids handle a boat tour or is it too choppy? Should I get the baby a passport so that we can go to the Canada side? Clearly, I need some help! Thanks for your advice!
I love, love, love Niagara Falls (more than is reasonable). I’ve only been there as an adult before I had a child, so unfortunately I didn’t look for kid-friendly activities. I do have this to say, however, I would stay at least an extra day or two if you’ve never been there. Even if your kids are too young to really understand much, I think you (and your partner if applicable) will really appreciate the beauty and awe of it. I’ve stayed at the base of the falls each time (at the Marriott which I totally recommend for adults at least) on the Canadian side. It is absolutely worth staying on the Canadian side or at least venturing there. I think some hotels further from the base are more family friendly – think water parks, etc. I think your 4 year old would love the Maid of the Mist boat. I think you’d want to at least be able to hold or wear your 1 year old. Also, I think you can go inside instead of being out on the deck, which might be best. Even if it doesn’t make sense to make a kid-friendly vacation of it, I do think you’d appreciate having at least a day to take in the beauty.
Stay on the Canadian side at Niagara on the Lake. Boat tour is fine for baby.
Lots of great wineries and vineyard restaurants on the Canadian side.
You don’t need a passport for minor children crossing to CA with their parents — a birth certificate (proof of citizenship) is enough. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Canada.html
We have a wedding in up state NY in the fall and are planning on stopping at the falls for one overnight. I’ll be following the recommendations here!
Hi! Canadian here. Definitely check out Niagara on the Lake (bit of a drive from Niagara Falls proper on the Canadian side) if you are into food/wine. Although not obviously a focus for the kids, lots of kids are seen running around the vineyards in the summer.
I haven’t actually done any of these things but Great Wolf Lodge is in Niagara Falls and could be a fun day option for your 4 year old. If you are willing to make a drive to Rochester (I think about 1.5 hours away), the Rochester Museum of Play gets RAVE reviews from my family members who have basically driven to Rochester just to take their kids there.
Yogurt Parfait says
What do you do for dessert? Both DH and I have sweet tooths and I am realizing that we have gotten into the habit of dessert after dinner and our 3 year old has started to expect it. Around xmastime, DH would make hot cocoa every night. Because I am the mom, and no fun, I have tried to break the habit by having strawberries or yogurt with some honey. I am not opposed to dessert, but I don’t think donuts every night is responsible. Am I overthinking it?
I read somewhere about kids who had a square of dark chocolate and a small cookie, like the ones you get on the side of a coffee. You could do a few strawberries or blueberries and a Hershey kiss? Maybe have special little bowls for it?
Kiddo has a handful of freeze dried fruit a lot. And 2 Flintstones gummy vitamins. Sunkist has a brand called Fruit Chips or something. She loves the mango ones. Those and the strawberry ones are really great. We’re transitioning to those from the Gerber fruit and veggie melts. In those, she likes the tropical fruit. We’ve given her a little Gerber shortbread cookie in the past, but she doesn’t really like them anymore. The freeze dried fruit is definitely more snack or dessert like, but the Sunkist is no sugar added, which is great.
As for me and hubby, if we want dessert, we eat it after kiddo goes to bed. I am a choco-holic and usually have one of whatever the holiday edition Reese’s are at the moment. Hubby isn’t so much into sweets, so has popcorn before bed a lot.
I read that having dessert on the weekends is a good compromise. You get it 2/7 days, but shouldn’t expect it during the weekdays.
Many Asian cultures don’t do sweets for dessert – they do fruit. I’ve started having less common fruit for dessert and have been enjoying that.
I think fruit is a good idea. You could do yoghurt, berries, and a few chocolate sprinkles if they’re really angling for the chocolate.
We don’t do family dessert. We save sweets for treats – not part of the routine. Treats come with special outings, parties, or special family events, or as rewards for filling up sticker charts.
I like the idea of dessert on weekends, too. Most nights we have fruit (it’s that Chinese upbringing of mine, heh :)) and when I’m feeling like it we do smoothie bowls (still fruit, just a little extra protein in the form of yogurt or almond butter) or in summer, frozen-banana ‘ice cream’.
I don’t think you’re overthinking it! Food habits and associations are a big deal. We don’t do dessert every night – the kids get added sugar from their snacks at school and daycare that sometimes include things like Nutrigrain bars so I try to be careful about treats in the evening. I’ll make something special when we have friends over or on a random night, and sometimes we let our 5yo have a piece of candy after dinner from her Halloween/Christmas/Valentine’s Day stash.
Like J, if we want dessert we have it after the kids are in bed – ice cream or Girl Scout cookies, lately!
I just eat it after the kiddo’s in bed because I’m horrible, haha.
We don’t do dessert every night, but if we do it’ll be “here I’ll sprinkle a bit of sugar on your strawberries” etc. Presentation matters a lot to kids, so maybe presenting fruit/honey etc. in a special “dessert bowl” and making a deal out of it will help as well.
We do fruit for dessert. I try to do something different everynight. Strawberries, watermelon, honeydew, peaches, pineapple, apples etc. Plain yoghurt as well if they are hungry. I use canned fruit (pineapple/peaches/pears) if fresh is not in season. And variety – different colors of apples for example.
The other thing is presentation is HUGE. I slice apples and use small size cookie cutters to cut out shapes. And you can get creative for the smaller bits. A semi circle is a moon, a few sticks piled up is a campfire etc.
We do a ‘real’ dessert like cake or cookies on Saturdays because I like to bake with the kids on Saturdays and they love to eat what they have made.
my son is a fan of fruit kabobs, something about sticking it on a stick is fancy to him.
I guess I’ll be the voice of dissent. If kiddo finishes her dinner, she gets a small treat (square of chocolate, piece of cookie, small scoop of ice cream). Occasionally she picks something non-food related as a treat, and that’s fine too. But we need treats as a way to bribe her to eat healthy food, so we’re probably not the best model.
Anon in NYC says
My daughter gets something sweet with her dinner every night. Usually it’s small, like a fig newton. We don’t eat a lot of sweets generally, but if I want dessert, I usually try to have dark chocolate or fruit (I really like baking apples in cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar — similar to apple pie without all the work – and topping it with yogurt).
I will usually have a piece of dark chocolate and give my son a bite. He also grazes on mostly healthy foods (fruits and veggies, yogurt, leftovers from dinner the night before) while we make dinner and will usually have a graham cracker thrown in there, which he doesn’t finish most nights. About once a week we go out for ice cream as a family and he and I will split an ice cream. I occasionally make a smore in the oven and split it with him, as well. He gets no artificial sugary foods during meals (he eats breakfast at home and we send his lunch), so I’m a little more lax on him getting a treat in the evening. It isn’t an every night thing so he definitely doesn’t expect it, but he and I share something most nights.
Lately we have been avoiding dessert on weekdays because our kid is a slow eater and we are tired. When there is holiday candy in the house sometimes she gets a piece if she’s eaten a healthy dinner and it’s not too late.
We seem to acquire candy like a magnet for some reason – pretty sure that we’re still working through our Halloween stash, plus random gifts from grandparents, school, I don’t even know. So, we put everything in a bag, and the kids absolutely flip over the chance to choose “candy outta the bag!” I figure one piece after dinner, if they eat well, is probably fine, though I sometimes worry that it’s become an expectation, too.
Legally Brunette says
This is why we don’t do dessert on a regular basis. My youngest has a sweet tooth and would absolutely expect it (and have a huge tantrum if he didn’t get it). And he never wants to stop at just one either.
My kids get a “treat” every night after dinner if they have generally done what they’re supposed to do, including eat their dinner, which usually isn’t a big deal for them. They eat their healthy food without a fuss, but they also like something sweet. For a while, it was one piece of Halloween candy. Otherwise it might be an Oreo or something similar. On Sunday they can have ice cream (with whipped cream and a cherry!).
I think it’s ok to have a limited indulgence, even if it is every day. My son was getting a little whiny because he gets an apple in his preschool snack, and he told me, “Ryan has cookies for snack!” So I was happy to say, well, that’s how Ryan’s family does it. You have your treat at night-time and that’s enough.
CPA Lady says
My kid typically gets one york peppermint patty after dinner (the size that’s like an inch in diameter). In the summer she gets a popsicle instead. She gets an additional small treat of some kind (a couple m&ms) for pooping in the toilet. We only do cake when it’s someone’s birthday, but we get donuts for breakfast every Saturday as a special weekend thing. I don’t keep cookies or ice cream in the house because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth myself. My kid eats a lot of fruit as part of her normal diet, so we don’t really consider it a treat or a dessert. She can have as much fruit as she wants, IMO. Overall she’s a very good eater and likes a wide range of foods, and I don’t have a problem with her eating a little bit of candy every day. I also don’t use shaming or morality words around dessert. It’s just another kind of food. It drives me crazy to hear women talk about themselves as “bad” for enjoying cake. (Just my own soapbox issue re: eating disorder stuff)
Anon in NYC says
OMG me too with the negative talk around food. My MIL always tells me that she’s being “bad” for indulging in certain food. It drives me up the wall.
I just had this conversation with my husband who comes from a family of disordered eaters. Outwardly he seems to have emerged unscathed, but it is apparent in the way he talks about food with our 4-year old. I’m really trying to cut his ties with morality eating– making her feel guilty if she doesn’t like what he cooked, making her feel like she has misbehaved if she doesn’t eat fast enough or eat all of what he serves her. I’m okay with the idea of a “treat” or even a “reward” after she finishes her dinner, but I am not okay with tying her worth (even in the moment!) with how she is interacting with food. Food is fuel, plain and simple. There is no moral association!
“Morality eating”–what a great way of putting it. My husband treats slow eating and failure to clean the plate the same way as yours does. When our daughter takes forever to finish a meal, complains that she doesn’t like it, or leaves food on the plate, he tells her she is being immoral by wasting time, food, and money and by disobeying his orders to eat it all, quickly. It drives me nuts because it just makes all her food issues worse. In my husband’s case I think it has to do more with his general parenting philosophy (obedient children are “good,” noncompliant or defiant children are “bad”) than his relationship with food.
UGH, yes, this is such a pet peeve of mine, and one of the first things my husband’s family watches in children. (“Is he a good eater?” “Did he eat a good dinner?” “She’s not a good eater!” and on and on and on. I still can’t believe that they are surprised that a child who has been labeled a “Bad Eater” to her face, over and over, doesn’t want to try new things. Eyeroll.
We do a modified Satter method, and offer dinner but don’t make the kids eat anything. We have a standing “snack” before bedtime. Snack isn’t offered until all the dinner dishes are cleared (their job) and the kitchen is clean (my job) to try and separate the time between dinner & bedtime snack. If they try one bite of everything on the table, and they ate a decent amount of protein & veggies or fruit, they can opt for a sweet snack (usually cookies or a bite of candy). If you didn’t fuel up on what was offered, your snack has to offer more fuel — most often sun butter or almond butter toast and honey, or Greek yogurt, or fruit and sun butter or almond butter.
Pros to this approach — we talk a lot about why your body needs certain types of foods first — i.e., the order in which you fuel up matters — if you put in sweets first, you won’t have enough room for what helps your body grow, and I absolutely do not receive requests for alternative dinner options (everyone knows if they opt out, they’ll have a second chance before bed).
Cons to this approach — I still sometimes end up negotiating whether they’ve “tried” enough of dinner to take the sweet option at snack, which I hate (I started Satter simply b/c I hate fighting about food at meals, and I watched friends spend entire meals negotiating bites or feeding their kids — I’m not saying mine have hugely varied palates, but I will say that i thoroughly enjoy eating with them ). I’ve recently put out a rule that if you ask about snack at dinner, you don’t get snack, with some varied success. I also subscribe to the theory that you should let children moderate their own intake, with limits. Occasionally, they will nibble one broccoli and one bite of protein, and go nuts on cookies. When this happens, I pull back on the sweet food available in the house to re-calibrate.
From the literature: “Highly controlling and restrictive parental feeding strategies contribute to positive energy balance and higher body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) by interfering with children’s ability to self-regulate energy intake.” http://files.lib.byu.edu/resource/science/nutritionSecondaryExample1.pdf (on parental influence on prevention/ development/ treatment of weight-related problems)
We do a small handful (like, 5) of teddy grahams, a half graham cracker with nutella or PB, sometimes a cookie or mini cupcake if we’ve made them that week (my 4 y/o has mini blueberry muffins for dessert all the time because she likes making them with daddy every weekend). In the summer we might to a mini ice cream sandwich while playing outside, but we generally don’t do ice cream.
FWIW, I kept my older one out of the dessert habit until she was around 3.5. My younger one [now 18 months] started earlier because big sister has dessert, but she tends to have things like A Single Teddy Graham, a cup of blueberries or strawberries, that sort of thing.
They both really like the ABC cookies from trader joes, so sometimes we do a couple of those.
I should add that grandparents send my kids (yes, even the 18 month old) candy and cookies all the time. For every holiday. We let them open it, immediately distract them with whatever non-candy thing came in the package too, then hide the candy and hope they forget about it, which 99% of the time they do. We let them eat the cookies.
it’s not even really good candy, so we often throw it away vs eating it ourselves. our 18 month old got a full stocking’s worth of candy for christmas…WTF.
i recently read Bringing Up Bebe and I loved the french take on dessert. It sounded like it was typically part of lunch or their afternoon snack, rather than after dinner. they seemed to have some chocolate every day and as a result kids there are not as obsessed with sweets and treats and seem to be much better eaters.
Haven’t read this, but we are more likely to make a treat part of afternoon snack as well (no dessert after dinner). If my daughter sees cookies or pastries on the kitchen table (my MIL loves to bring over bakery cases) in the morning, I usually tell her she can have one after daycare when she gets home. I often cut them in half and let her choose which half. She’s 2 and learning to always ask for 2 if she’s offered 1, but doesn’t fuss too much when I say no. My
She also gets an extra treat or two on Friday night/Saturday but we talk about how that’s a special Shabbat treat (we observe the Jewish Sabbath).
My general goal is for treats to be occasional and treats, not every day and not every meal, and not in large amounts, but not so rare or special that they become a fixation or something you can never have. As long as she generally fills up on fruit and healthy food, I don’t mind if she eats a little something sweet every day or two.
dessert for all! says
You’ve gotten some good advice on limiting, but to offer a success-story for not limiting: I’m not sure this was the case when I was toddler-age, but certainly by the time I was in middle school (and probably during most of elementary school and maybe earlier–I don’t remember a time it wasn’t the case) dessert was always available to me. It was virtually always homemade and typical items would be pound cake, fudge, or cookies (whatever had been recently made or was in the freezer). It was around because my mom really likes dessert, doesn’t like most store-bought dessert-type stuff, and also likes to do straightforward baking (which is to say almost never layer cakes or anything with fancy decorations). I don’t remember it being tied to finishing or doing a good job with my dinner, but I was a pretty good/broad eater as a kid and don’t generally remember finishing or doing a good job with my dinner being a point of contention generally.
In spite of the constant availability of dessert, I often didn’t eat any, and I attribute that partly to it not being special/rare/a Limited Opportunity Item–basically, it was like any other food in that if it was something I really liked, I’d eat it, if it were an item about which I was less enthusiastic, I’d likely have none. Honestly, as an adult who no longer always has dessert in the house, I eat more of it when available than I did as a kid–the limited opportunity thing has really kicked in for me, and I’m much less discriminating than I was as a kid about what desserts really taste good. Store-bought stuff tends to taste sweeter, I think, than homemade stuff, and over time I’ve adjusted to that to some extent. I’m much more willing to eat my office’s kind of mediocre birthday cakes than younger me would have been.
All that’s to say: you know your kid; it’s possible that if dessert is available every day they’ll eat nothing but pounds of sugar and I was really an outlier (truly possible: I hated Froot Loops when I encountered them at a friends house at roughly age 4; I’ve always hated sugar-based (vs cream-based) cake icing, to the point that I’ll leave it behind on my plate and though the icing-only eaters in my preschool class were utterly nuts; and I find both meringues and macaroons to be too sweet), but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case and you *have* to limit dessert lest you raise kids with atrocious eating habits.
I haven’t gone with little kids but mine are close in age to yours and I wouldn’t take them on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. It’s not only choppy but you get so close to the falls that you’re basically standing in a shower. It’s super wet and loud and windy and I think my kids would freeeaaak out. As I said, though, I haven’t actually done it with littles so maybe others who have would disagree! Or perhaps there are other, tamer boat tours that don’t go right up to the falls.
I can’t really speak to nearby attractions – I haven’t been to Marineland and Clifton Hill on the Canadian side has that super touristy Ripley’s and Hard Rock vibe, so I don’t think about that as little-kid-friendly. Niagara-on-the-Lake is beautiful and might be nice…I do have a lot of friends who live in Buffalo and I think it’s become a pretty good family destination in itself. There’s an Olmsted-designed park, the zoo, and there’s an area along the waterfront that has a playground and maybe splash pad that is super popular with families.
I hope you’ll hear from people who’ve been there with little kids, but based on my experiences I probably wouldn’t extend my trip with the kids that little and unable to do most of the falls-related activities.
Sorry, this is for anon @8:49!
I used the How Sweet Eats recipe and added nuts, dark chocolate, and cranberries. Definitely not a health food but when you’re nursing that much, it doesn’t really matter.
I couldn’t find a Valentine’s Day outfit for my kiddo that wasn’t gross (little stud, etc) so I made him a cape with a lovebug on it. My husband came home and said, ‘Oh that’s a lovely tortoise…’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but to be fair, it really does look like a tortoise. Luckily none of the babies will know any better.
kid shoe help needed! says
Can we talk about kids sneakers?? My son has worn Saucony Jazz sneaks with velcro for years but I recently discovered that they end at size 12. Wahhhh. He’s not ready for laces (side note: when am I supposed to teach him how to do this? He’s almost 6 and in kindergarten). Kid shoes after size 12 get so pricey, I want affordable shoes but also something substantial–I got him some Carters sneakers from DSW and they were garbage… Help!
Kindergarten- 1st grade is prime time for learning to tie shoes. My kid’s kinder class had a chart that kids could put their names on once they learned. So maybe start with a practice pair for weekend wear. If he’s really not ready (and some of our 7 yr old friends still aren’t), get those stretchy laces that look like corkscrews or find shoes that are bungee ties with the slide. And yeah, shoes just get more expensive from here on out. Have you tried Rack Room or Shoe Carnival? They frequently have sales for buy one, get one 1/2 off and they sell versions of New Balances, Adidas, Nike, etc. I know there are some Nikes that have laces, but then have velcro at the top Also, Zappos. I don’t bother with target shoes bc they are trashed within 2 weeks. We try to rotate a couple of pairs at a time so they last longer.
My kindergartner LOVES the Vans Old Skools with velcro. They go up to size 3 as far as I can tell on the Vans website. Relative to her $50 Nikes that lasted about 3 weeks, these are very affordable and haven’t shown signs of wear. The only issue we’ve had is that on the last pair the velcro came off of the strap, but we’ve had that problem on other shoes too and it can usually be glued back on with superglue.
Unfortunately the only kids shoes that have ever really held up are the ones I’ve bought from Pediped, See Kai Run, and Tsukihoshi. We’ve done the Saucony sneakers too but even those don’t stand up to wear as well as the more expensive ones have. I keep trying to spend less but I’m always disappointed. Tsukihoshi has a lot of the faux lace + velcro shoes or bungee closure ones, even in the larger sizes, so those might be a good choice.
And I don’t know when we’re supposed to teach to tie laces either – my kid is 5 and we haven’t attempted it yet!
I found some stretchy laces that aren’t corkscrewed, they’re just black and go straight across, and we put those on some lace up Vans or DC shoes. Slip on Vans are great too, but they were a no-go for PE 3 times a week.
In terms of when to teach, we tried so hard in kindergarten and it just wasn’t working (hence the elastic laces). We randomly re-visited in first grade and he was much more motivated to learn, since by then most of the other kids could do it and he was self-conscious, so it really varies.
They end at size 12? This is terrible news!!!!
Pro tip says
Just chiming in to say that I too LOVE those sneakers. I find them to be great quality and a good price.
HAHAHA I just had the realization this morning that my son’s 11.5 Jazz are too small and we’re at the end of the line with velcro shoes. He’s not six, though, he’s TWO ALMOST THREE, so… following for suggestions of velcro shoes that don’t stop at size 12.
Also — shoes.com always has at least 25% off, if not more, so if you find shoes you know work, we’ve found it a great place to get major brands more affordably.
My daughter who will be 3 in June is currently wearing size 10 boots and while I know she is off the charts for height, nice to see some other big footed kids too!
Anon in NYC says
Check out Zappos. My kid is SO picky about shoes, and zappos doesn’t have the cheapest prices, but it’s easy to order a bunch of shoes and then return them if they don’t work.
We had a similar problem – my older son would only wear Adidas Gazelles with velcro closures, and I realized they stop using velcro in favor of laces at a certain size. He is now wearing a pair of Geox velcro shoes and they seem to be holding up very well to daily wear. We got them for about $50 at Nordstrom Rack.
Where can I get some of these kids that are just content to BE KIDS? My 4.5 year old goes to tears every morning because she wants to be able to tie her shoes (and we are teaching her), BUT SHE JUST CANNOT MOM NO I DO NOT WANT YOUR HELP I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF. NOW. And it takes us a teary fit and 15 minutes to get out the door. She didn’t *own* lace up shoes until she begged for them a few months ago so she could “have tie shoes and learn to tie.”
And my 18 month old thinks she’s ready to potty train. NO KID. YOU WILL WEAR DIAPERS FOR ANOTHER 3-6 MONTHS UNTIL I CAN HANDLE POTTY TRAINING YOU AND IT IS SUMMER AND I CAN PUT YOU IN A BATHING SUIT AND HOSE YOU DOWN. Not really, I’ve resigned myself to it, but I was so, so not ready to deal with this right now.
Ugh. I was so proud that we got valentines done last week and were ahead of the game, and then found out when I picked up my son yesterday that his before/after school program is doing them too. They’ve already made special bags for them and everything, and there’s 39 kids!!! My initial instinct was to skip, but my son would probably feel awkward receiving valentines without giving any. So guess I’m getting valentines on my lunch break :(
I did tell him we’re not going to fill out the “to” field- he’s just going to write his name where it says “from” and drop them indiscriminately into the bags. Blergh.
Could you download a design and print it to save yourself the trip?
Normally I would, but I don’t want to deal with printing and cutting this evening, and I can reward my pregnant self with some candy when I go to the store on my lunch break :-P
I’m dreading cramming in filling out 39 valentines into my son’s evening more than the errand (which is saying a lot, I hate errands lol)
Ugh, valentines at after-school is excessive, especially with zero notice.
I am right there with you. I was all excited because middle school means no more valentines and no more “mailbox” to decorate. I bought a bag of cute themed treats for the sports team and thought we were all set. Then yesterday the mom who coaches the reading quiz team e-mailed out an announcement that the team would be exchanging valentines at their meeting on Wednesday. Of course, Target was pretty much cleaned out when I swung by this morning.
I agree. I try to remind myself though that one reason I really like this before/after-school daycare is they take their time with the kids seriously and view the kids as part of the daycare family, as opposed to other centers we’ve used that just rake in money for after-school care and let them run around like lord of the flies. Of course, the negatives that go with that mean double the valentines etc.
Good point, I’m sure everywhere is cleaned out. bleeeeeergh.
Thank goodness they decorated their valentine bags at after school care/school, instead of having to do them at home.
Our Target still had some of the little paper cards left, they were just cleaned out of the “individual bags of Valentine-themed snacks made out of something vaguely resembling actual food” that kiddo and I prefer.
Your after-school program sounds great and worth a bit of hassle, though. I hear you re. Lord of the Flies. For a while that was all that was available to us, and we felt terrible about having to send our kid there.
another shoe question says
My 3.5-year-old daughter is either really hard on shoes, or most kids’ shoes are terrible. (She’s ripped holes in New Balance, Nike, Under Armour and Sketchers, so price hasn’t seemed to make a difference.) Any recs for cute sneakers that go with pants and dresses? She has a narrow foot, so Keens are out. I’m soooo tempted by Plae shoes, but the price makes me cringe!
See Kai Run has cute stuff – and usually lots of choice and great prices in the clearance section.
We loved See Kai Run as well but I seem to remember that kiddo grew out of their sizes around 2. Maybe my kids have big feet!
They go up to a 13.5 but I find it’s hard to get much above a 10 because the bigger sizes sell fast.
My 3.5 year old is pretty hard on shoes. We got her some Adidas Baselines a while ago and they have been GREAT so far. I think they’re pretty cute but I may not be the most stylish!
I get most kid shoes from eBay or ThredUP – somehow other kids (not mine, though, no advice there) grow out of them before they destroy them? so many pairs of secondhand shoes seem to be in pretty good condition.
I have my kids in Plae and they have held up well. I’m a fan.
We only have one pair from Plae, but they actually survived 2 kids.
We have Plae sneakers and they wear like iron. The only caveat is that while they are washable, the LINERS are not washable, so take them out and handwash before putting in the washer/dryer. Otherwise your kid will be wearing them without the pretty liner material for a year.
We have bought 3 pair (7.5s, 9s and now 10s) and counting for my older daughter and she outgrows them before they wear out, always. we saved them as back up shoes for my other kids.
Anyone want to help shop for my kids’ spring photo portraits? I picked out a denim-y slate blue sweater for my son and I know he’ll wear a bow tie, but I haven’t fallen in love with any dresses yet for my daughter. She has hazel eyes and warm blond hair, and will be wearing 18M clothes by April. I wanted to keep it a little cheaper than Boden– my husband will kill me if I spend $40 on bunny overalls– but nicer than Target? Son’s sweater is from Zara.
This may be too dark to coordinate with your son but: http://www.hm.com/us/product/95636?article=95636-A
Does any of the blue in the flowers/butterflies match his sweater? This could be cute with a lil cardigan:
H&M has a few other options as well.
Gap Kids is having a pretty decent sale right now. Do the blues in these flowers coordinate? http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1025372&pcid=6436&vid=1&pid=260347002
Ideally I’d be looking for a pretty dress that is light blue base but is plaid that incorporates a darker blue to match your son’s sweater.
Thank you for these suggestions! I looked at H&M but only in the baby section– why is there this weird overlap where 18M is included in both baby and girls? So odd!
It really is an odd overlap, I was so happy when my son was finally big enough to join the 1 1/2-10yr category, as it really opens up options!
I think it’s because some 18 month olds still wear onesies, some might still be in diapers, some might be toddling-but-not-really walking, and some 18 month olds are potty trained and running around like 2 year olds so they have styles that work with both types of kid.
I commented with some options but it has links so it will be in moderation for a while. Gap Kids is having a decent sale right now :)
My oldest has similar coloring and I got an adorable dress for her photos last year on sale from Tea Collection.
Carter’s has a blue and white striped dress with a pink bow (bow sateen dress) as well as a royal blue eyelet dress, both of which I ordered last week in 18M for my chunky monkey for later this summer. They might work for your purposes with a sweater if they are too springy on their own. I also picked up a green and white checked one in 12M for spring.
Amazon has a kids line that is basically a total copycat of mini Boden. We have one cotton dress and it seems decent quality.
i bought the boden bunny overall dress and my daughter refuses to wear it. in case that makes you feel better.
My 6 month old apparently rolled off the bed onto the (carpeted) floor this morning. DH was watching her while I showered, she spit up everywhere in the middle of the bed so he moved her out of the pile, turned his back for one second to grab a burp cloth to mop things up, and then whipped back around when he heard a thud (followed by wailing). She seems fine, happy as a clam when I left no visible injuries and acting normally, so we think she’s probably fine, but he was pretty broken up about it. We called my mother to gut check, where she promptly informed me that I and my sisters all rolled off of beds and that I took a nap in the bathtub unsupervised at 2 and am lucky to be here. Meanwhile DH was in tears about how he was a terrible parent this morning, and I ended up 45 minutes late after consoling and calming down everyone! Thank goodness babies are more resilient than adults.
I think my son has rolled or fallen off a bed while sleeping at least once per year of his life, despite our best efforts. The first time he did it he was 2 months old – he was so strong that he basically wiggled out of his swaddle and off the bed while my back was turned for a split second, like your DH. The second time he somehow got around the pillow and bed rail and plopped off. Last week he fell off a toddler bed in his sleep…yes, the kind with a half rail. Basically, sensible parents do everything they can to prevent it, but don’t beat yourself up too much if it happens to an otherwise healthy, sturdy child.
PS: apparently when DH was a little older (kindergarten?) he fell off the top bunk in the middle of the night…and carried on sleeping, on the floor. Dude loves his sleep. (I slept on a mattress or futon on the floor till I was about 10 and we moved to a larger home. Less distance to fall…)
My son did this, off the changing table onto a very thin rug. I called the doctor, who said if he was acting and moving normally he was probably fine. She was completely unconcerned. Hugs to you and your husband!
I think every baby has done this and rolled off a bed or couch. You will quickly know if something is wrong, so sounds like things are OK–as they usually are. It is the worst feeling though.
It’s a good accident to have happen- it’s a wake up call for DH with no lasting concequences for your kid.
My oldest rolled off our high king bed onto hardwood floors TWICE. She got a giant goose egg once, and a bruise the second time. Ped has us on concussion protocol (check every 4 hours when sleeping) the first time.
My second rolled off the high king bed but onto a now carpeted floor (see? we learn a little…) just once, and while she face planted, she didn’t bruise or anything. Was just super upset.
THe good news is that my second is a total h3llraiser and daredevil and we now know what she is capable of and the entire house is on lockdown and/or she knows how to safely do things (use railings, hold hands, wait for a grown up before going down that giant slide and no, don’t go head first…)
+1 to teaching them to do things the relatively safe way. My son, always an overambitious toddler relative to his physical capabilities, used to try to crawl head first off the bed. We eventually taught him to ‘turn yourself around and slide down to the ground’ and one day around 13-14 months it clicked and he did it.
This happened to my daughter. Doctor said this was a very common call for them to get.
My dad used to put pillows on the floor by my bed up until I was 10 or so, when he was left in charge, and I always thought it was him being weird, but my mom recently told me it’s because I used to fall out of bed a lot as a baby.
Our son fell off the bed on Christmas Eve this year at my mom’s house while my husband was watching him and CHIPPED HIS FRONT TOOTH. My husband felt terrible about it as well, but also claimed it would not have happened if my mother had not been chattering away at him (probably true). And then, a week later, he fell off the bed again when I was watching him (landed on my back since I was bent down trying to pick something up off the floor). And now it’s all a funny story. And the chip is barely noticeable.
My baby fell off a couch in a cabana onto a tile floor (about 18 inches off the ground) at 10 weeks old. DH and I were at a hotel, and the waiter was in the cabana with us when it happened (we were distracted getting our food delivered!) so he sent over security, which made us paranoid, so we ended up taking baby to pediatric urgent care to be evaluated. For what it’s worth, the doc told us that baby needs to fall from VERY high to cause any real head damage (i.e. concussion or skull fracture), and we just had to monitor her for vomiting or inability to rouse for 24 hours. I’m glad we had her checked out, but if security hadn’t reacted we probably would not have even have taken her in. It was a good lesson, nevertheless!
Happens to everyone at some point! Sorry that was how you had to start your morning, though!
Can someone remind me how much (quantity, not frequency) newborns should poop? New LO is 5 days old and has fully transitioned to breastmilk poops, but I cannot for the life of me remember what quantity of poo my first was producing at this point (who was in the special care nursery for the first week, which is probably why my memory of this is hazy…). Currently seeing more like little skid marks and feeling like it should be more?
As for lactation cookies (how’s that for a transition?), I made my own with coconut flour and flax and chocolate chips… Will post a link to the recipe if I can find the original.
Talk with your doctor, as there is a huge range for b*fed babies, but I think the skid marks are probably fine after all the meconium is out. Some babies are just super efficient at processing the milk and don’t make as much waste or go frequently. One of the moms I knew when my baby was newborn had a newborn that only went poo every 13 to 15 days and then just had a massive diaper. His pedi was not concerned because he was healthy and gaining weight, but I just felt so bad for the mother. I can’t imagine the anxiety every 2 weeks waiting for the blowout. Do you have the Baby 411 book? I found that book invaluable for all the newborn questions like this.
I am a little ahead of schedule from you and that sounds about right.
It depends on the kid, but if it is NOT 1-2x per day, check with your ped. It should be ballpark every feeding, but for some kids it’s more spaced out. Mine peed basically every 10 minutes. I would go through 20-30 diapers a day in some days in early weeks. Finally, their bladders matured a bit!
Gift suggestions? says
Looking to send three token gifts to the children of extended family in England (we’re in California): approx. 10 yo boy, approx. 8 yo boy, and 3 yo girl. Ideally, something more common here than there. Would welcome any/all suggestions! Needs to be relatively small in size so will fit in luggage.
The only thing I could think of was to send a book each, by a US author with a US setting/theme. And then maybe add something from the Tea collection for the 3 yo as it’s her birthday and also, her mom sends my kid her hand-me-downs. Any ideas?
American candy or snack foods?
How much would you pay a family member to do some “mother’s helper” activities around your house? Think laundry, dishes, meal prep, and light cleaning. She’s my niece, 22 years old, recent college graduate who’s looking to make some extra $$ while she applies for grad school. We pay $15/hour for babysitting but that seems a bit steep for this type of work…
$15 – 20/hr. I’m not sure why you would pay less for this than babysitting.
Agree, $15-20. I wouldn’t call what you listed “mother’s helper” tasks. When I think of (or use) a mothers helper, it’s a younger kid (11-14 usually), someone that can’t really babysit on his/her own, but is a great “big sister” that can watch the kids play while *I* do dishes, laundry, light meal prep, and/or take a couple conference calls but am otherwise available to change diapers, help with feeding (or give the meal and walk away while the mothers’ helper supervises eating).
You are looking for light housework help :)
Good to know I’ve been calling it the wrong thing since I’ll be hiring someone more permanent in a few months :) Okay, $15/hour it is. My kid is a lot of work so it seemed appropriate to pay more to take care of him, but I get that cleaning isn’t fun for most people (I don’t mind it, just don’t have time for it)
We pay $17/hr for a college student to do precisely this type of work. Housework is no fun.
To SBJ – Kellymom says 3-4 times a day at least the size of a quarter at this stage. After a month you can get EBF babies who poo anywhere from once a day to once every 10 days. How many wet diapers are you seeing? Get the pampers with the blue line so you know it’s a wet diaper. I think you could easily and quickly take the baby for a weigh-in at the pediatrician, or just call their nurse hotline
oh, and I pay mothers helpers ~$10-12/hr depending on their age and ability. We pay our babysitters $15-20 depending on age/transportation/how much my kids like them and how loyal they are to us (our favorite sitter gets prime rate)
I’ve never been able to pump enough to keep up with demand (baby is 6 months old, used freezer stash to get us to 5.5 months as I returned to work at 3 months, and now we are supplementing with formula as I continue to pump). I have tried various products to increase my pumping output, and haven’t noticed a difference. I’ve taken frenugeek supplements, drank Mother’s Milk tea, I eat oatmeal every day, and I’ve purchased overpriced lactation cookies. I just started LegenDairy pills so waiting to see how that works. I’ve also tried relaxing music, meditation, and hand massage while pumping. My output has remained pretty consistent throughout, and I have not noticed a spike or change from using any of these products. Interested to hear what others have to say, of course, because my type A personality won’t let me give this up as I keep searching for that product that is going to WOW me!
Similar story for me. Getting smaller flanges helped a little bit, but not drastically. At some point I concluded my supply was what it was and became OK with supplementing. I was much happier at that point!
Not sure if this is available in the US, but in Canada it is very common to be prescribed Domperidone to increase milk supply. I was on the max dosage and was never able to exclusively BF, but I know it makes a huge difference for some people. I am pretty sure it is one of the only remedies which is actually scientifically proven to increase supply (other than creating more demand i.e. pumping/feeding more often).
I EBF my first. Oatmeal every morning was enough to have lots of supply. I didn’t make enough milk on my second. I was about 50-50 BM and formula from the beginning. I tried everything – I ate oatmeal everyday and at some point was taking 21 different pills between fenugreek and domperidone. Nothing really helped.
In hindsight it wasn’t worth the effort to obsess over getting to 100% EBF. I wish I had that time and mental energy back. It’s the presence of BM not the absence of formula that matters. Enjoy this time. Your body is making milk for your baby. That’s great. Don’t worry about a little formula supplementation.
Maybe a different pump would help? I am not speaking from experience, but reading the reviews on here lately, it seems to matter for some ladies. New tubing around the one year mark made a big difference in the functionality of my pump and increased my output. That’s a cheap thing to try.
I tried almost all of the things you listed, and the only way I was able to keep up was to add a pumping session at night, right after baby went to sleep. I never got too much (maybe 2-3 oz), but it was enough to keep up. I dropped it as soon as I could. I found 6-9 months the hardest to keep up because she was growing and had a bigger appetite, but wasn’t getting substantial calories from solids yet. It got much easier and I was able to drop the nighttime pumping session around 9 months.
I am part of an evidence-based feeding group on facebook and they are constantly saying that none of the things you just listed are helpful for supply, even though they are all marketed to women. Occasionally they can help individuals–but they also sad that herbal things like fenugreek (in Mother’s Milk tea and other things) can actually cause a decrease in supply for many women! They also said that prescription medicine has some issues with it too (can’t remember what).
The only things they recommend as evidenced-based is hydration and power pumping (google that). It’s a supply and demand thing first and foremost. I’ve also found that with the Spectra I get more milk with my second than I did with my first with a Hygeia, but maybe things are just different with my second anyway.
I tried the power pumping and the oatmeal and the fenugreek too, as well as anything else I could find. I would get up in the middle of the night not to nurse, because my baby was sleeping, but to pump. I could never keep up with my baby while pumping and my freezer stash ran out at around 5.5 months as well. It was super stressful and I would break down sobbing because I couldn’t feed my daughter.
There is no way I will do that again. The product that WOW-ed me was a can of formula that my husband brought home one night. Parenthood is rough on us type A personalities (wait until you get to potty training…), but I was so much happier once I admitted that pumping wasn’t working out. I shifted my type-A planning urges to introducing new foods to my baby, which turned out to be a lot of fun for both of us.
Are you me?? I was waking up in the middle of the night to pump, though my child slept through the night at 8 weeks, too. I cried and felt so “guilty” about giving her formula. Surely if I didn’t choose to work I could just nurse her all day on demand…anyway reading all these comments is super helpful and I wish I had thought to reach out to the women on this s*te rather than stumbling down a rabbit hole of mommy blogs with the same advice.