Washable Wednesday: Border Print Split-V Top

Limited Washable BlouseThe Limited has a number of machine-wash pieces, including this easy blouse.  I’m not usually one for floral prints, but I like this one, and the split-V looks flattering but wearable.  I’d wear the blouse all sorts of ways: untucked, tucked, by itself, beneath a blazer, on top of a thin turtleneck or crewneck, and more. It’s marked to $35 today at The Limited (it’s $49 full price).  Border Print Split-V Top



  1. Famouscait says:

    Reasking a question I’ve gotten great advice on in the past: there’s a big kids consignment sale coming up in my town. What gear/toys/odds n ends should I be looking for? My son is now 10m old. Thanks!

    • mascot says:

      Is he walking? One of those sit to stand walker/activity toys was my son’s favorite when he was learning to walk and I got it for $5 at a consignment sale. Also, riding toys, tricycles, board puzzles/shape sorters, play kitchen toys, and books are all usually in abundance. Check for seasonal items too- Halloween, cold weather gear, etc. They outgrow it so fast that you probably don’t want to spend for new stuff.

    • Meg Murry says:

      +1 to walking/riding on toys, Halloween stuff and things like snowpants. Winter boots, raincoats and rainboots too – if its cheap enough its worth taking a $5 gamble they will fit in spring.

      Sales like this are also good for buying things that you would have otherwise bought at Target, etc for his birthday and Christmas – for instance, we got my kids a Baby Eistein toy piano thing at one of these sales that would have run $20-$30 for under $5 and it’s still something they play with from time to time.

      Other items: 2nds of things for at grandma’s house, baby sitters house or traveling, like a booster chair/highchair that straps to a chair

      Extras/duplicates of stuff you already have, like crib sheets and crib mattress pads – its always handy to have more, especially if you intend to convert the crib into a toddler bed or otherwise keep using the crib mattress for a few years.

      Another thing to look for if you don’t have one now is either a really nice stroller, or a decent small one that can live in the trunk of your car. If you live in suburbia and have a garage or porch, its nice to have both a big, easy to push stroller for neighborhood walks that you don’t break down, and a smaller one to leave in the trunk all the time.

      Again, if you have room for it, these sales can be a great way to buy big stuff, like wagons, the little tykes cars, playhouses, play kitchens, etc – but you have to have a way to get them home. I always check Amazon before actually buying though, because sometimes people have way overinflated ideas of how much to charge – and on the other hand, sometimes people just want it out of their house and don’t care if they don’t get much money for them.

      • Famouscait says:

        Thanks, y’all! Great advice, especially the seasonal and birthday gift ideas.

  2. We’ve had variations on this theme before – when do you make a daycare switch? My 18-month old seems perfectly content as his not-fancy, suitable daycare staffed with long-term teachers that is at a location very close to where I work and super convenient. They provide all meals.

    A spot just opened up at the super-fancy daycare that was our first choice way back when kiddo was still in utero. It is more expensive (though doable), less convenient (by about 10 minutes) and they do not provide lunch. But their program is fantastic, and at least part of the higher tuition is due to providing good benefits (even 401K) to their employees.

    Is it worth considering the switch? I truly have no complaints about his current situation, but the ‘new’ program offers things (music classes, swim lessons, etc.) that are not available with the place he’s at.

    Because of where and how we work, all of the increased inconvenience would fall on me and not my husband, who drives in the opposite direction to get to work. My husband wants kiddo to have ‘the best’; I’m more likely to be content with safe, happy, perfectly adequate.


    • So, we just made an opposite switch because we moved across town. We took kiddos from the fancy Montessori daycare to the perfectly-safe and reasonable daycare in our new neighborhood. No music, drama, or Spanish lessons now and the playground doesn’t look like a theme park (like the old school’s did).

      My kids are SO MUCH happier at the new daycare/preschool. They have friends and are learning letters and numbers. By the second day, my three-year old was running in to class and shouting “My friends!!” He never did that at the old school.

      All that to say, if your kids are happy and thriving, and the new school is more expensive and less convenient (add up those 10 extra minutes each way each week and that’s a lot of frustration) AND you have to pack a lunch? That seems like a no-brainer to stay in your current school, to me.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Is husband willing to take on at least the inconvenience of packing lunches? That in and of itself would be a dealbreaker to me, because I’m spoiled with provided lunch for my kids, and I haaaaaate packing lunch (and even more so, having to meal plan/grocery shop to have food for lunches).

      I think the things like music classes and swim lessons might be worth considering once they get to 3 or 4 year old preschool stage, but at 18 months I suspect it is more “kids run around while Laurie Berkner is playing” and “kids splash in the shallow kiddie pool for 15 minutes 2x a week” – things that sound great in theory, but actually probably aren’t any better to your kid than an extra 15 minutes in the sandbox or regular playground.

      • Would it be cheaper and more convenient to just enroll your kid in swimming lessons, etc. and keep him at the current daycare?

    • I think if you truly have no complaints about your current situation, it’s not worth the risk of changing. There are so many variables to a good daycare, including how you click with the director, the teachers, and the other parents. Those intangibles are very hard to predict, and if you like how things are going now, I wouldn’t rock the boat with a change. I’m also a die-hard fan of daycares that provide food. It saves so much time and I think DS is a better, more adventurous eater because of it.

      All that said, can you do enrichment activities on weekends? I love doing Music Together classes with DS on Sunday mornings. Swim lessons are also really fun to do together. I’d take the time you save not making lunches and do a fun activity together instead!

      • Sarabeth says:

        Yeah, this. You can’t actually tell from the outside if the new place will work for you, so if the old place *is* working, then I’d not want to take that risk. It might have all the bells and whistles…and also a lead teacher that doesn’t click with your kid.

    • There’s no way I would consider this switch. The additional time in commute and lunch prep alone would be a deal breaker for me, but even if it weren’t, I don’t think your trade-off in time and money is gaining any significant benefit. I may be in the minority, but I think organized activities for kids that young are kind of silly. Toddlers don’t need a fancy curriculum or organized activities for enrichment, they need time for free play in a safe space.

  3. Anon S says:

    Good morning ladies! My maternity leave ends next month in October. I’m going to ask for a 70% reduced hours schedule. I plan to email the head of my group today – do you think I should (1) keep the email short and ask if he has time to talk on the phone this week re my return to work next month, and then do the ask for 70% on the phone or (2) give more detail in the email (I’ve been thinking about my return to work and would like to go on a 70% schedule etc etc) and ask if he has time to talk on the phone if he has any questions? My husband (who is an attorney also) thinks I should do #2 so that the head of my group isn’t taken off guard when we talk on the phone. Any thoughts? FWIW, he’s a younger partner (early 40s) and a friendly family man. We have a good relationship but we aren’t super close. Thanks in advance!

    • Although you know the partner best, I would go with option 1 if you have never raised the possibility of a reduced schedule until now, as I think it is something that is better communicated over the phone than by email. I take your husband’s point though, so maybe prime it as wanting to discuss your schedule upon your return to work.

    • Anon for this says:

      Could you hint at it in option #1 — something along the lines of “discuss my transition back to the office”? I think that’s what I did, and it didn’t come as a surprise when I brought it up.

      One piece of advice — if you are able to go to a reduced schedule, make sure you actually have less of a work load than you did before you left. After being back for a little over six months, I realized that I had the same amount of work, but was doing it in less time — as a result, the quality of my work wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. We’re in the process of fixing that, but it was a hard few months before I realized what the problem was. If your work is such that you’re responsible for certain clients, think about what you’d pass on to someone else.

    • When I was in that situation, I emailed the head of my group and asked if I could meet with him to discuss my schedule upon returning. (I happened to be going in, otherwise I would have set up something by phone). That was enough to give him a clue, without laying it out in the email.

  4. Jennie says:

    I’m looking for city-appropriate stroller recommendations. Criteria are that it not be too big because we live in a densely packed city and I don’t want to be one of those people I hated pre-pregnancy with a giant stroller taking up the entire grocery store aisle, sturdy and easy to navigate because we do a lot of walking, needs to fold up easily for taxi and car storage, and something that I can get when baby is born that will grow with him or her through the stroller years. No set price range, but obviously we don’t want to overpay for something when a perfectly nice and more affordable alternative exists. This whole world of fancy strollers is new to me – not really sure what the difference between a $400 stroller is and a $1400 one and would love some guidance!

    • anne-on says:

      Depending on how much you’ll be walking/shopping with the stroller in tow, I’d suggest either the Uppababy Vista or Cruz. The Vista is heavy, but the size of the storage basket is amazing, it folds up easily and stores upright on its wheels (so we just folded it and stood it in a doorway instead of having it leaning precariously or tracking dirty snow/slush on our floors). I think the Vista is best of converting to a double stroller with or without the riding board. The wheels on the Vista are super tough, and it was incredibly easy to maneuver with one hand. My SIL has the Cruz simply b/c they live in a walk up and the Vista was really heavy to carry up two flights. If it was an elevator building she would have gone Vista.
      FWIW, I found ours on Gilt 4 yrs ago for 60% off, and Giggle usually has sales in the winter that allow you to take 20% off all merchandise, so once you make your decision stalk prices online like a hawk.

    • I was between the City Mini and the Uppababy Cruz, and ended up going with the Cruz (which I then scored on Craigslist). The City Mini has an easier fold; the Cruz has a better basket and the ability to have your child face you. I started off with our carseat on a snap & go frame to try to get a better idea of how we might use the stroller before committing. In retrospect, I kind of wish that we had just gone with the Cruz (with a carseat adapter) from the start because it is a much better ride on our crap city sidewalks than a snap & go.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Sounds like baby isn’t born yet. Will you be transitiioning baby from car to stroller (i.e., moving an infant bucket from the car to the stroller)? Or just leaving your house pushing the stroller, so you don’t need an infant seat? If you’ll be using lots of public transportation, consider putting the baby in an infant carrier instead of a stroller – then you don’t have to worry about folding up stroller, finding elevators, etc.

      For an older baby (12 months +), I just got a cheap umbrella stroller and OMG, I should have done it months ago. So small and easy to carry! Easy to fold up too. It would be so much easier for public transit than my big Britax B-Agile (which I love for walks around the lake, but was not so good on the Metro in Washington DC).

      • Jennie says:

        We have a small car but mostly use it to visit family in the ‘burbs or to do the occasional shopping trip/beach outing. Something that is both a car seat and stroller is appealing on the one hand, but we also don’t mind having a permanent car seat and a stroller that will fold up in the trunk since I think the stroller will be used every day and the car maybe once or twice a week.

        We’re also going to do a carrier for public transport/quick walks, just want the stroller option for longer trips out.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1 to the smaller umbrella stroller. I love my City Mini GT, but it’s still BULKY, even though it’s touted as a more streamlined stroller.

        I’m now looking for reasonable umbrella stroller that reclines for travel and errands.

        • I responded below, but I really like our Joovy Groove umbrella stroller. It’s not as tiny as the kind you might get at CVS for $20, but still folds up small and is very light.

    • D. Meagle says:

      I have a uppa baby vista and think it was well worth the expense for city living (bought through amazon and paid less than MSRP). Grows with the baby (comes with the bassinet, which my daughter also slept in at night, then moved to the rumble seat when she was a little bigger). Handles nicely. The basket below is deep and wide, so you can fit a lot of things in it (groceries, stuff for the park, etc.). That was the selling point — we walked a lot in the city, and it was nice to be able to do our shopping and fit our packages underneath. My sister bought the 2014 model, which folds up a lot easier than mine (2012 model). If you are concerned about the car seat, you can buy a car seat adapted separately.

      I originally bought a city mini, but the underneath storage basket seemed to small to hold a significant amount of things. I kept it, but left it in my car for quick trips.

      • Anon S says:

        My daughter is almost 5 months, we live in the city and we have the uppa baby vista. I love it! She still sleeps in the bassinet at night. And we have the uppa baby mesa car seat. No complaints with this system.

    • So far, we like our Joovy Groove umbrella stroller — folds up very small but when open is surprisingly close to a non-umbrella stroller. Can’t use it with a newborn, but we very, very rarely used a stroller with our newborn anyway as he was much happier in a carrier (or snap n go with carseat on the few occasions we used a stroller).

    • I live in a brownstone neighborhood and work in a neighborhood with elevator buildings. The City Mini (16.5 lbs, one hand fold option) is THE stroller in my neighborhood (followed closely by the Britax B-Ready – 16 lbs, slightly more complex fold option). Where I work I see people with Uppa strollers (and the occasional Bugaboo / Stokke way expensive ones). Whether you have access to an elevator makes a huge difference!

      We narrowed it down to the City Mini / B-Ready based on weight (and our third floor walk-up) then went to Buy Buy Baby and looked at them in person and decided on the City Mini.

      Basically I’d see what everyone in your neighborhood has, then check out something like Baby Gear Lab to see what traits people in similar housing to you are looking at. Then go check them out in person.

  5. May I just add my voice to the chorus of how ridiculous our country is with childcare? My nanny no-showed last week and scrambling to fill in childcare until we can hire someone new is really a special level of stress that I did not need. So jealous of countries with excellent, public childcare right now.

    • My nanny is a former teacher. We pay her mid-market for our urban area (‘burbs of DC). She makes considerably more with us than she did teaching elementary school. That is insane on a lot of levels. That reliable, safe care is out of reach financially and logistically for many working parents is a shame.

  6. No kidding. My life only works because I have a workable daycare situation … if I couldn’t afford it, or if I didn’t have paid sick time to cover those days when my kid was sick, or if the center were to shut down without warning … everything would just fall apart. I don’t have family here, and waitlists to get into schools are ridiculous. If two lawyer parents with one kid can barely make it work, how does anyone else do it?

  7. Talk me down says:

    I have the job that most working moms dream of. I bring in a really good salary, work a VERY flexible schedule, work from home, and have managed my schedule such that I have almost 1 day/week to spend with my kids (I get a babysitter in the late morning, and schedule all my late calls for after bedtime and can out in 9 hours this way).

    I am SO DONE WORKING HERE. Every week is a frustrating screaming match with the other department heads about how nothing is anyone else’s problem. The mental stimulation is laughable, but I keep getting promoted so apparently i’m doing something right. My team drives me crazy and is needy and there are too many of them and none of them are ready to take on a bigger leadership role to offload the work. My blood pressure goes up every morning and stays that way until dinnertime.

    I’m ready to throw it all in and tell my boss thanks for everything, I know you’ve tried, but this place is bananas and i’m tired of it; you can find me at home snuggling my kids and working as an overpriced consultant on the ever so occasional basis.

    I know this is the wrong call. But I’m just so sick of it. TALK ME DOWN, ladies.

    • I like your backup plan, personally. Life is too short to have high blood pressure all day every day.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Can you find some consulting gigs and then actually do it? I agree it seems crazy to just quit – but on the other hand, it sounds like it is crazy to stay.

      Just because something looks perfect on paper doesn’t mean it is actually perfect or worht the headache.

      Can you start putting some feelers out on what it would take to leave (either to go to consulting or a different job)? Or can you just stop caring enough to get your blood pressure up? Maybe being able to say “I can quit this circus any time I want” would be enough to calm you down?

      • Talk me down says:

        That was my husband’s advice. “Stop caring so much and you’ll still be better than 90% of the people you work with.”

        • Meg Murry says:

          He’s probably right, although I’m sure that it’s not that easy to just flip off the “I don’t care” switch and still bother to do the work at all.

          I just wanted to add – it’s totally ok to quit something that looks perfect on paper or from a distance but that turns out to be not so perfect after all, or at least not so perfect for you. I worked for years and years to get to what was supposed to be the company to work for in my industry, which was supposed to be so family friendly but yet so great for a career – and it turned out to be a terrible fit for me. There is no shame in quitting something that appears to be great if it isn’t actually that great for you.

          But hey, working from home at least means you get to roll your eyes at the idiot without anyone seeing you, right?

          Is there anything your boss can tangibly do to help you? Do you need a right hand person, even if that means bringing in someone from outside your current group? Or do you need to just go, before your boss leaves and you are really alone?

    • Famouscait says:

      I work with a colleague who had some similar, I’m-ready-to-quit challenges (in a job with also similar good points). She basically went to our boss and said “Either this changes, or I’m gone.” They made changes for her (new office location, new boss, etc.) and now she’s happier than before. If you keep getting promoted, maybe your company would be willing to make some similar hard changes to keep you on board?

      • “replace the rest of the management team with people that are not clowns” seems like an awfully silly request ;)

    • One thing to consider is what your plans are 5-10 years down the road. Would want to be/would it be feasible to be a SAHM forever? If you think you can do consulting work and keep one toe in (and that that would be enough in your industry to make you marketable) then maybe that’s a good solution. But if not, and if you think that once your kids are all in school you’ll want to go back to work, then maybe it’s worth sticking it out now to make sure in however many years it is until the youngest goes to school, you’ll be in a job you like.

  8. Pumping/nursing says:

    I recently had my second child and have noticed that whenever I nurse her or pump, I become completely exhausted about 1 minute into nursing/pumping. It’s not an issue of actually being that tired and just noticing it when I sit down to nurse/pump; I can be sitting at my desk working and be fine and then as soon as I pump, I am so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open. The feeling continues for a while after I finish pumping, too. It wasn’t really an issue before I went back to work but now it’s really a pain to feel like I need to lie down whenever I pump. This did not happen with my first child and I’m wondering if it’s a “thing” or whether I’m just having a weird side effect this time. I have heard that some people have intense feelings of relaxation when they nurse/pump and maybe this is related? In any case, please tell me whether this is weird or whether it’s happened to you and if so, what you did to combat the insane workplace exhaustion!

    • Happens to me too. A lactation consultant told me it’s due to the release of the hormone that makes more milk. I can’t remember what that hormone is though because I am so.damn.tired.

    • (former) preg 3L says:

      YES THIS HAPPENED TO ME TOO!!! And I felt totally crazy because I didn’t realize it corresponded to nursing/pumping until baby was ooohhh 14 months old. Honestly, I just cut myself a break. I never worked through my pumping breaks, I always sipped coffee while pumping (because hey, it can’t possibly get into milk immediately, right?), and at home, I usually curled up with baby in a way that would allow me to snooze (and ensure her safety). For me, it wore off pretty quickly after pumping, so I would just finish up, put bottles away, and sometimes go for a 5-minute walk outside. Sometimes I would just sit and wait. It was seriously like a sedative though.

      • Pumping/nursing says:

        THANK YOU! It’s nice to know I’m not crazy (at least for that reason). I will try a walk! Thank you!

    • OMG this happened to me. It did get better as baby got older, but I remember several times falling asleep midsentence. Luckily only during conversations at home to my husband. He thought it was hilarious. I think it must have gotten less intense after I was back from leave and baby was sleeping at night so I wasn’t So Exhausted All The Time (since I don’t remember doing this at work). Good luck keeping your eyes open.

    • Anonymous says:

      Woah. I totally thought it was just me. I get the same suddenly exhausted feeling when I pump at work — which often leads directly to feeling totally bummed by being at work / overwhelmed / etc. I had noticed it corresponded with pumping but just figured I hated pumping (because, duh). The fact that it could actually be a hormonal thing makes so much sense. Mind blown.

    • Check with your doctor about anemia too. While it shouldn’t be quite so time linked, anemia knocked me out for a month during my pregnancy without me realizing it.

  9. I’m looking for some bedding suggestions. My twins are almost 18 mo and they’ve always worn Halo sleep sacks. My husband likes the house arctic, especially at night. Last winter, we kept the temperature at about 70 overnight, which is pretty warm but with the kids just in fleece sleep sacks I worried about them being cold. Now that they’re older, I think they’d probably be okay with blankets, right? I think I still want them in sleep sacks for as long as possible (they’re starting to climb and I don’t want them climbing out of their cribs) but I’m wondering if I should put blankets in over them. They tend to turn all around in their beds, and they rarely go to sleep right away — they often stand in their cribs and “talk” to each other for awhile before flopping down and passing out. So they kind of wind up flopped all over the place. Are blankets the right call? How do you introduce blankets so they actually wind up covering the kiddo and not wadded up in the corner?

    • Carrie M says:

      We haven’t done the sleep sacks in a while, but my 18mo goes to sleep in 2-piece PJs and a lightweight blanket. Most mornings, the blanket is on the floor when I go into her room, but I have had to wake her up a few times and the blanket is half-covering her. Regardless of where the blanket is, she usually seems warm. I think 70 sounds like a good temperature for sleeping just in a sleep sack or just in PJs, without worrying about additional blankets. I don’t think they’ll really learn to keep a blanket on until they’re a bit older, but I don’t think there’s any harm in introducing one now to get them used to it.

      • We’d like to lower the thermostat further, though. While we had it at 70 last winter, that was a little too warm. We’d prefer it at 65 overnight. But maybe we have to wait another year until the boys are old enough to sleep under their blankets. I might start putting blankets in the cribs now, though, so they can get used to them.

    • My daughter moved into a toddler bed* at 18 months, but that was in April. She slept in long fuzzy PJs and our house was 66* overnight. We threw blankets in there but she always kicked them off. Now she’s in a Big Bed and despite several layers of sheets and comforters, she always wakes up without blankets.

      *toddler bed = couch cushions on the floor with a crib sheet over them. For about a month while we moved. Then she got a double bed with guardrails.

    • Sarabeth says:

      We still do a sleep sack at 2 years, because blankets don’t stay on. The Halo XL ones are massive, and for winter we have a Woolino one that will probably fit our daughter until she’s three.

    • At this age there aren’t safety concerns with sheets, but to keep the kids warm I love the baby deedee sleepnest. It’s like a wearable duvet. The large fits up to 36 months so you should still get some good wear out of it. My kids have no problem standing in the crib wearing it.

  10. Tunnel says:

    “I’d wear the blouse . . . on top of a thin turtleneck”
    What? Seriously? Ew.

  11. What do you all use to send food to daycare in? For my 10 month old I have been mostly sending little oxo containers and storing them in the fridge. But he will be transitioning to the next room up and they ask for the food in a lunch box. I’m looking at the Pottery Barn Kids ones for an outer shell, just because they are cute. But wondering for actual food storage do you use anything like yumbox, bentgo or planetbox AND are those appropriate for a 10 month old? He probably wouldn’t eat out of it on his own, but I like the variety they allow for.

    • i have a bentgo kids lunchbox and i love it. i used it for my 3-year old in preschool last year, and it let me pack a few things at once, so he could have fruit, a veggie, carb and protein in one box. it’s held up really well with daily handwashing, and he’s using it again this year for pre-k.

      • i never tried it for a younger child, but as long as there’s someone to open it and provide assistance sometimes, i don’t see why it would work less well than any other container for a tiny one.

    • Our lunchbox, which I think came from Home Goods or TJMaxx, is an adult lunchbag that you can throw in the freezer and it has built in ice packs. I put lunch in small little tupperwares.