Budget Thursday: Loose Fit Pants

We’ve featured H&M’s sustainable collection, Conscious, in the past, and they’ve got a number of pants for work, including wide-leg Lyocell pants in a number of colors. These cropped, loose-fitting pants have sort of a French cool-girl vibe, and the fact that they’re machine washable, from the Conscious line, and priced at only $35, is great. They’re available in sizes 2–16. Loose Fit Pants

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. Thisperson1 says:

    I have two older sons (adults now) and a toddler. When did giving gift bags to kids at birthday parties become a thing? And why? Why do they receive a gift for attending someone’s birthday party? I’m in the “you don’t get an award just for participation” school of thought, and to me this just seems strange.

    • Cornellian says:

      I feel like sometimes birthday parties that I attended as a child in the 1990s had little goody bags. Grew up working class kid of single parent in northeast, for what that’s worth.

      My (seven-month-old) son came home from daycare with a goody bag from another kid’s party at daycare, which was sweet, although seven-month-olds are sort of limited in what toys they can play with.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        They were sometimes a thing when I was a kid too (80’s), but I don’t think every party had them. They’ve become semi-normal at the limited number of kids birthday parties I’ve gone to over the past 2 years. They’re usually something small (cookie/candy or bubbles or a finger puppet). That said, I don’t think they’re necessary at all!

        • Katala says:

          I remember making them for my and my siblings’ parties (80’s, 90’s). I can’t really remember what went inside but I know we wrote each person’s name on a bag. So it was awesome when someone showed up who didn’t RSVP. Or the time zero people showed up at my mid-August party so we had all these sad goody bags, ha.

    • I think it’s a by product of the wedding industrial complex. Now that the internet has indoctrinated all the brides to be that you’re supposed to have a gift bad at a wedding and shower, when those same brides have kids, they now do gift bags at their kids bday parties.

    • October says:

      I am in my early 30s and remember gift bags at all the parties as a kid. They were small, though — usually just some candy or little items from oriental trading co. Now as a parent, I’m not a fan (and my kid has only been to two parties so far in his life). I have to weed out all the chocking hazard candies and tell him why he can’t open the huge bottle of bubbles in the car. Everything is more expensive these days, it seems like such a waste of time and money. Caveat would be if it’s something cute and related to the party theme, and/or something that can be played with at the party — like wands for a Harry Potter party, small stuffed puppy for a puppy party, craft the kid decorates, etc. (For what it’s worth, I also think wedding and most shower favors are a waste of money).

    • POSITA says:

      I remember getting these as a kid and I’m in my late 30s. It’s not new.

      • CPA Lady says:

        ^ same. I’m 33.

        I am such a Grinch about stuff like that, and skipped favors at my wedding too (10 years ago– yes, I was a child bride), because I could not be bothered.

        • I only believe in edible favors – no one wants to find some trinket commemorating someone else’s wedding in their basement in 15 years.

      • +1. I’m 40.

      • Yes, but I think they are more extravagant now- at least in my city.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I don’t remember gift bags at kid birthday parties when I was little (mid-40s). They are the WORST. I can’t throw away that stuff fast enough now.

    • They were totally a thing when I was a kid in the 90s. I remember getting them and shopping for them when I had a party. That being said, I don’t think they are required.

    • Pretty Primadonna says:

      I am thirty-six. “Goodie bags” or some sort of takeaway have always been a thing at the birthday parties I attended as a child and now attend with my LO. Also true for adult parties with favors, etc.

    • I am 33. Goodie bags were common at parties when I was growing up. They usually had candy and plastic cr*p.

      Does anyone else remember those tiny wax bottles with liquid candy in them? I loved biting off the cap for some reason :-) I think they were in every goody bag I received in the early 90s.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am 32, and my mom gave away favors at my birthday parties. And YES to the person who mentioned Oriental Trading Co. – that’s where my mom got the favors for my parties. I remember going through the catalogs with her and picking something out each year. I assume I got favors at other kids’ parties, but I don’t remember since I wasn’t involved in choosing them.
      Maybe it’s regional? Have you moved since having your older kids? I grew up in the Midwest.

      • Katala says:

        Yes, Oriental Trading Co.! I think my mom kept a huge stash of crap from there that we put in the bags with some candy. I grew up in CA.

      • BTanon says:

        Same age range as you but in the Northeast, and same experience including poring over those catalogs as one of the highlights of party planning.

      • Cornellian says:

        Oriental trading had a physical store somewhere in metro Philadelphia that my mom (a public school teacher) would drive to occasionally. Those were the best days.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      For our last birthday party (which was two years ago) I protested but the other mom we were throwing the party with wanted to do something. We compromised on lunchbox snacks (ie goldfish, applesauce, Annies gummies) for a giftbag. I’ve thrown away so many plastic tchotchkes that I would be so pleased if we all just abandoned the idea.

    • EB0220 says:

      My kid just had a party and was super insistent on giving goody bags. I gave the kids a bubbles and yogurt covered raisins. That’s it. I felt kind of guilty but nobody wants that plastic stuff.

    • anonymama says:

      My mother-in-law has been doing it for kid’s birthday parties for over 40 years, I don’t think it’s a new thing. Also, in The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, when she went to the birthday party at the hotel that was such a big deal, they gave out oranges as favors. Totally not necessary but if people like doing it, who cares. I tend to keep the bags in the car for a few weeks to keep them entertained when we get stuck in traffic, and then toss it the next time I clean out my car.

  2. You guys, I was just (verbally) offered a great opportunity at work and instead of immediately accepting and thanking the person for thinking of me, I totally panicked and stammered something about having two little kids and the hours would be difficult. I eventually managed to come around and say I could manage the logistics and it would be a great opportunity, but man, not proud of that initial reaction. Just, ugh, I wish I had handled that better.

    • Knope says:

      Don’t be hard on yourself! Give yourself a day, then go back to the person and explain that you were taken by surprise when the opportunity was offered but that you are grateful/excited about it. Life with kids can be overwhelming when it’s just the status quo, so of course it can seem daunting to shake things up, but you will find ways to make it work. I’m the one who posted a week or so ago about being nervous about taking a great professional opportunity that would require me to travel away from my 6-month-old for a few days. After hearing all of your great responses and talking to my husband, I was like, duh of course we can make it work! But in the moment, I think it’s only natural to balk a little at shaking up an already precarious routine.

      • Yes, that’s it exactly- I’m solo parenting today and had just gotten the kids dropped off, and this came up at 8:30 this morning, when I felt like I had *just barely* made it to work at all. The idea of doing something more / different was completely overwhelming. Thanks for the sympathy and reassurance.

    • I feel you on that. I was offered to be on the board of a non-profit that was a 3-year commitment and spent a full 48 hours thinking up responses about how I had a kid and a full-time job so I may have to miss some meetings some nights if my husband worked late, and also we were on the fence about having a second kid so I could be pregnant and give birth and be a mom of two in that time frame, and I also considered I would just say “no” because I couldn’t 100% commit to it. After 48 hours I had the realization, thanks to reading it here a few times, that no man in the history of forever would think these things and just replied with “Yes, I would be interested in the position.” If I had been asked in person and hadn’t had the luxury of thinking over the email for 2 days God only knows what my response would have been.

  3. Cross posted from the main site: Vacation recommendations for the week between Christmas and New Years (with two toddlers…)? We may be getting pregnant soon so are in the habit of avoiding Zika zones as well.

    Located in the middle of the country. What has been fun? With or without kids?

    We’ve historically gone skiing that week but want to do something else this year and are stumped…

    • POSITA says:

      There are some nice resorts in Phoenix/Scottsdale with awesome pools. Hiking in the desert and a visit to Sedona could also be fun.

      That week is historically rainy in LA so I’d stay away from SoCal. They think the world is ending with a little rain. Every road becomes a parking lot. (Former LA resident.)

    • shortperson says:

      or japan. cold but not unbearably and no zika. great for kids.

    • In House Lobbist says:

      I will be at the Florida Gulf Coast. The weather should be pretty mild and the hot tub is heated at the very least. My kids will build sand castles and look for shells even if the water is too cold. But I suspect they will be in the water anyway. Not very crowded that time of year and I can’t wait.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Two things I could use advice on: DD is 5 months old and just learned that she can yell/scream for fun. And she finds it hilarious. Any way to curb this? Or do we just ride out the phase? Second issue is she is not.sleeping. At daycare. She may get an hour nap in, then she falls asleep at 6:45-7pm at home and sleeps for 12hrs (waking up once to eat). I feel bad for her and worry she’s not getting enough rest. It also means she’s crabby in the afternoon at daycare. She’s in a small in-home setting with an experienced provider FWIW so I don’t think noise is an issue.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      For the yelling/screaming, just ride it out.

      For the napping issue, how long has she been in daycare? It can take a little while for kids to adjust. Is her crib in a dark/quiet/isolated place? At 5/6 months, she should probably nap 2-3x per day. My daughter was napping 3x a day at home but only 2x a day at daycare because she was so stimulated. Do you have a schedule at home that you keep to? Perhaps give it to the daycare and ask her if she can follow it. Also, how much time is the provider giving her before deciding that a nap isn’t happening? My daughter can take a little time to fall asleep.

      • Anonymous says:

        She’s been in daycare about 6 weeks now. She has occasionally gotten the good two 2-hr naps, but more often than not lately she’s not napping as well. Good point on asking how long she waits to decide a nap isn’t happening – I’ll try that. She can also “wake up” after 20 mins but we usually try to pat her back to sleep instead of picking her up.

    • Anonymous says:

      My son is a year now and he apparently watched Dumb and Dumber without me knowing, because he frequently makes The Most Annoying Sound in the World (TM), then laughs hysterically. Especially in public. So I feel you (I have no good advice, sorry)

      On the sleep issue, son also had the same issue. He got better after he was there for a few months, but really the only turning point has been them moving to one longer nap in the middle of the day because it would take him a while to get asleep so the shorter naps were worthless for him. He took a nap when he got home from school (around 5) then went to bed a little later – is that a possibility?

  5. Try Tucson. The weather will be perfect. The Sonoran Desert Museum is amazing (and with toddlers can be two days easily). They have a hummingbird tent (like a butterfly room, but with hummingbirds landing on you)! There’s lots of hiking/ outdoor stuff. And there’s Old Tucson which is an old movie set where they stage cowboy fights, etc. Book a hotel with a pool!

  6. Any unconventional suggestions for potty training a stubborn three-year-old? A group of kids is moving on to the next room at daycare, and our daughter should be among them, but we are struggling with the requisite potty training. She really wants to wear underwear and will hold her pee for hours and hours until she gets a diaper at naptime. Any efforts/suggestions to use the potty result in her either a) sitting there for ten seconds, then saying she is “all done,” or b) watching a show on an ipad for twenty minutes, then peeing on the floor two minutes later. There seems to be some anxiety around it, although we have really tried not to put pressure on the situation. (She has a well child appointment next week, so we will talk to our ped about UTIs, etc., just in case that is playing a part.) We have tried modified versions of the boot camp method, but I guess maybe it is time to go cold turkey on diapers and spend the entire weekend in the bathroom. Any suggestions or tips that worked well for you?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you tried sticker charts or hand stamps? I would first offer one stamp or sticker for sitting on the potty, and then a second stamp if she goes in the potty.

      -signed, mother of a stubborn 3 year old who probably would not be bribed by this, but it’s a nice thought

    • I’m in the same boat, so I have very little advice, but I have one tip.

      Screens while on the potty make DD stay longer, but not necessarily pee. If I crouch down in front of her and talk to her (about something unrelated to the potty) she’ll usually pee within a minute if she has to go. Apparently it’s distracting enough that she doesn’t want to get up, but not so distracting that she forgets why she’s there.

      Now if I could just get her to reliably sit on the potty with any given regularity….

    • Katala says:

      Following. We tried boot camp over memorial day because kiddo was asking to sit on the potty at daycare. He only went in the potty like twice. He did learn about dune buggies and now thinks the potty is for watching dune buggy videos (thinks that’s what we’re doing in there, ha). He kept sitting for a long time, then peeing on the floor right after, like you said. Then he’d say “oops! I’m sorry” – broke my heart, daycare must make them say that… We decided he just wasn’t ready and went back to diapers.

  7. NewMomAnon says:

    I have a different daycare nap question – kiddo is 3.5. Daycare has had to relocate naps because of some facilities issues, and kiddo has stopped sleeping at daycare. In fact, it sounds like many days, she is so disruptive at nap time that she gets a time out or has privileges taken away. I’ve talked with both her and her teachers – she says that her friends keep her awake by talking or the music in the nap room is “too loud,” but her teachers say she is usually the only one awake and needs to be removed to let the other kids sleep. I’ve tried sending noise-blocking ear muffs, but she was so excited about using them that she just played with them instead of sleeping?

    And the standard response from family is, “Well, isn’t she getting old enough to drop her naps?” and the answer is NO! She is a miserable tired mess from the moment I pick her up at daycare until her bed time (which is now between 7:15 and 7:30), and it’s making the evenings no fun at all. (On the flip side, bed time is so easy….)

    What to do? I don’t want her getting regular time outs, and I have a feeling there is a power struggle going on with one of her teachers. I feel like my kiddo is going to have so many weird sleep issues as an adult….mom fail.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep her up later to make her tired earlier in the day? Sounds like she’s tired in the late afternoon and evenings but not in the middle of the day when it’s nap time.

    • mascot says:

      Yeah, I remember the transition of dropping the nap taking a while and there was much grumpiness involved. For your own sanity, be flexible with her bedtime and wknd napping needs right now. She can’t be the first 3 year old that’s tried dropping the nap at this daycare. Is there another quiet activity that she can do like look at books?- you don’t have to sleep, but you can’t wander/make noise either around either.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Daycare requires the kids to take a nap until they turn 5. Like, hard rule, cannot be overruled by parents. And personally, I think kiddo should take a nap; she often sleeps for 2 hours or more on weekend days without impacting her night sleep. But I don’t want naps to be a power struggle and I don’t want her to get time-outs that frequently. I just don’t know what to do…otherwise, this daycare has been great so “get a new daycare” isn’t on my radar.

        • mascot says:

          Good luck daycare on trying to make a kid sleep! Let us know your secret!
          I think Artemis’s suggestions below of a naptime quiet bag is a good one. Maybe kiddo has to lie still and “rest” for a certain number of minutes and then she can do a quiet activity. That was she’s not doing something super fun that distracts other kids from naps, but still isn’t getting into a power struggle over genuinely not being tired.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Definitely not a mom fail! Daycare fail, if they aren’t able to deal with this totally normal transition period. Could you try moving her bedtime a half hour earlier? It might mean that she gets up earlier, but that could be good if then she’s also more tired for her nap.

      Or maybe also try some relaxation exercises at home together that she could also do at daycare? It sounds like she’s kind of amped up there. Could you practice lying still and imagining adventures, or sitting quietly and looking at books?

    • Artemis says:

      My son started dropping a nap around this age and was really disruptive to the other kids at first. Together with his teachers, we came up with a great solution that really worked.

      I went to the dollar store/Target and picked out some brand-new cheap quiet activities–animal flashcards, cheap board books and real books, mini crayon sets and pads, basically anything reasonably contained that was not messy and could be done quietly. I then put them all in a special bag/backpack labeled “Kid’s naptime activities”. It hung in his cubby and he could only go pick something from it at naptime, so it became a treat and would keep him occupied. I would switch new things in every once in awhile. Quiet enough activities essentially counted as rest, if not sleep, and avoided the constant-time-out issue.

      As he got older we had to get more creative and by the time he was about 4.5 he would quietly help the teachers wipe down the tables and sweep the floor in the “kitchen” area at naptime, but it kept him nondisruptive and was still mellow enough that he didn’t get super over-tired.

      For awhile he did fall asleep on the way home everyday, and for awhile we had to put him to bed a little bit earlier (30 minutes), but I’d say within a few months it was all straightened out.

      • This is more or less how our daycare handled my daughter when she dropped her nap (which was at 2.5…RIP naps. How I miss you.)

        She’s 4 now, but at 2.5 she was one of the only kids not napping. Teachers let her help clean the classroom (eg. organize books, help get an activity ready for the afternoon (eg. sort beads or whatever), do a quiet activity like a puzzle or counting game or color with crayons, rest in the book nook on a bean bag, etc). I’m actually shocked your daycare has kids up to 5 napping with no “quiet rest time” option.

  8. My son doesn’t have a great relationship with my FIL. He’s just … completely indifferent to any attention FIL gives him. Honestly, FIL has contributed to the situation– he’s colder and more gruff than most of the adults my son interacts with, and sometimes has unrealistic expectations of kids’ maturity levels. So he often comes across as critical and not very loving even though that’s not his intention. Anyway, it all blew up spectacularly last night. My son wasn’t being enthusiastic enough for grandpa’s liking, so grandpa literally pushed away my son’s begrudging goodbye hug. I get that grandpa was hurt, but I pretty much lost it and had to leave the room because I am so sick of FIL not being the bigger person. I basically told him that if he wanted a better relationship, he needed to be the grownup.

    Now it’s a freaking mess of hurt feelings all around. I’m frustrated with my son and my FIL both. DH had a heated discussion last night but are on the same page that we want to do whatever we can to help them get to know each other better, without the buffer of siblings or parents or grandma around.

    I’ve apologized to my FIL for losing my temper and he’s agreed to keep trying with my son. But his tone of voice was not enthusiastic to say the least. My son is not a perfect angel but he is well liked by many adults in his life, and it kills me that his grandpa isn’t one of them. FIL sees it as a respect issue; we see it as a personality conflict.

    So how do we foster this relationship? Grandparents live 45 minutes away and have extreme mobility issues and have a hard time getting out of the house. Going out for ice cream or to the park are not in the cards. I know my kid loves grandpa, but is having him like him even realistic? Our 2 kids are the only grandkids he’ll have and the whole situation is so sad.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      How old is your son? Because if he’s over about 10 years old, it might just not be in the cards. It kind of sounds like your FIL is a bit of a narcissist; refusing a goodbye hug from a child because said child “isn’t being enthusiastic enough” is not something a healthy, well-adjusted adult does.

      I’d focus on your son’s feelings and let FIL go. Your son offering a grudging hug to a man who seems to completely reject him is a big act of self-sacrifice. Was that a willing sacrifice? Or is your son seething and feeling vulnerable and hurt? I’d offer the message that it’s OK to give FIL only as much as son can safely offer, and take this as an opportunity to teach your son how to protect himself when in the company of toxic people.

    • ElisaR says:

      I’m sorry that sounds stressful on the whole family. I’m not sure how old your son is, but unless he’s at least 12 years old – I don’t think any blame can be placed on the child. I think your FIL has to be the one to change his behavior here. Maybe you can talk to him about how children respond differently to different people and maybe he hasn’t had the opportunity to get comfortable with the child. Is there something your son loves to do like legos, play-doh, a certain book? Maybe even a movie/show? (sorry I’m not sure if screen-time is in use). Maybe explain to FIL about connecting over something your child loves would help….. and maybe more interaction between everyone. I know it’s tough with a 45 minute distance. Good luck…… hopefully your FIL can exhibit some more maturity here!

    • Stop trying. Tell FIL to stop trying. I would HATE being forced to like someone, esp someone who seems to barely tolerate me, and I bet your kid hates it too.

      Don’t force hugs (or other affection) – focus on the respect part. You look someone in the eye and tell them hello and goodbye when they visit or when you visit their house. Then you can go back to playing. Explain to FIL that you’re working on the respect and manners part, so please be patient and don’t force anything. He (FIL) needs to learn that you don’t get to criticize someone and then get upset that they don’t want to be affectionate to you.

      • Blueberry says:

        My philosophy is similar. Hugs and affection are not required — only respect and manners are required. My kids are younger, but I kind of whisper to them that I bet so-and-so would really like a hug goodbye, but I don’t make them do it. When my in-laws get upset that my kids aren’t cuddly with them, I just kind of ignore it, because you can’t expect little kids to fake their feelings for people that they don’t have that kind of relationship with, and building a relationship requires investment. Your FIL is being unreasonable if he expects your son to be affectionate toward him if he is not similarly affectionate toward your son, and literally pushing him away is not exactly going to win over his heart. Maybe your husband can find a way to put this to him gently.

        • I have two kids. My older one is a snuggly kid and always has been. If you have a lap, she’ll crawl into it with a book or just to watch TV (she’s 4 now). My younger one is 18 months and shows affection in other, non-physical ways. This does not translate well for her only great-grandma, who wants nothing but babies to sit in her lap and give kisses. My younger one has been NO EFFING WAY LADY since pretty much the first time she met Great Grandma at 6 months old.

          With other older adults, she’ll bring them random trinkets, give smiles/grins, play peek-a-boo, etc. But she’s just not a lap-sitter. If you hang her upside-down and raspberry her stomach, she’ll giggle with glee and possibly give you a blow-kiss in return, but that’s not how Great Grandma interacts with her.

    • CPA Lady says:

      FWIW, my grandfather was like that. He thought children should be seen and not heard. I (privately) thought he was a weird grumpy old man. Even though he lived with us for over a decade, he and I had only a superficial relationship. It was fine, and I’m not upset by it. Not everyone needs to be best friends with every member of their family.

    • Just a couple thoughts. 1) You could passive aggressively give FIL a book on childhood development, and 2) Definitely take this opportunity to teach your son about dealing with difficult people. He’s not going to charm and/or be liked by everyone in life and he’ll need to learn skills to deal with people he doesn’t click with. He is young, but you can talk to him about handling FIL and his moods.

    • anonymama says:

      I wouldn’t push it too hard. Make clear to your son that polite behavior towards FIL is expected (look in the eye, say hello, answer questions, maybe a handshake?). But you can also talk to him about how he is old-fashioned and used to a certain way of doing things, but also tell some of his story so son can feel some sort of connection.

      Allso, is there anything that FIL is interested in that son might be interested in as well? (golf? fishing? birdwatching? making things out of wood? old cars? trucks? a koi pond? maybe his favorite childhood book?) that could be their “thing” to talk about? Especially if FIL is not really a kid person it might help if he has a sort of go-to that he can talk to kid about, and vice-versa.

  9. Son is 7. So, still a young kid, and I don’t remember having a close relationship with some of my grandparents until I was a little older.

    It’s just stressful to be around him because I never know whether it’s going to be a good visit or one that ends up with hurt feelings. I’ve held my tongue for literally years and in the past 6 months I’ve noticed that I’m losing my filter. Because dang it, be the adult and understand that the kid is still learning social graces.

    It feels super crappy because DH is an only child and these are the only grandkids they’ll have. FIL adores our 2-year-old daughter, but what’s going to happen when she’s pushing boundaries? I feel a lot of pressure to make sure our kids have strong relationships because they

    • Blueberry says:

      To add to what I said above, I think your instinct to protect your son is correct here. My grandfather could get unreasonable over other things and be unreasonably critical (mostly when I was older–upper teens and 20s–and he was older), and it meant a lot to me that my parents would always make sure I knew that he was just being a grumpy old man and that I was doing just fine. By that time, I was, for the most part, mature enough to let things roll of my back and not hold it against him, but that’s a lot to expect of a 7-year-old.

  10. ElisaR says:

    apologies because I believe this has been addressed before but I can’t find it: Recommendations for a babydoll for my son? He is 16 months old and will be a big brother before the end of the year – I want to buy a doll to model taking care of a baby…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Corolle makes nice baby dolls if both genders

    • KateMiddletown says:

      +1. I just found my daughter’s first babydoll which was a Corolle and it still smells like vanilla 6 years later. <3

  12. Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

    My son really likes his Bitty Baby!

    • shortperson says:

      my daughter had no interest in her various dolls until someone gave her a bitty baby. it’s great. but i hate the AG accessories so we dont do those. can get bitty baby clothes on etsy as well.

  13. NewMomAnon says:

    ARGH, I am having a day when all the men tell me I’m wrong and then talk themselves in circles until they agree with my original position, without ever admitting that I was right in the first place. WHY?! This doesn’t need to be so hard….

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