Accessory Tuesday: Maypearl Alice Bootie

I recently bought my first pair of Clarks in a few years, and my old favorite brand is now my new favorite brand — they’re like walking on pillows! The shoes I bought are decidedly more weekend (we featured them here just for that), but these boots look great with pants or jeans and are possibly even sleek enough to be boots you wear with tights. They’re $91–$142 at Nordstrom and Amazon. Maypearl Alice Bootie

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Moms with >1 kid, please reassure me I’ll survive when my 2nd arrives? I’m 30 wks and just feeling like I’ve hit a wall. I haven’t slept well since… before Thanksgiving, though last night takes the cake, w/maybe 45 min of sleep between midnight and 4:30, when I had to get up to catch a flight for a 24 hr work trip. My 2 year old wants no one but me and wants to be up in my arms, which just isn’t comfortable any more. Husband is sick and couldn’t get out of bed on Saturday; he’s slowly rejoining the living. I just don’t see how adding a newborn is sustainable. And while I have a generally family-friendly job, I’m not feeling particularly competent at it right now and I’m not expecting to feel any more competent after my leave…

    Sitting at the airport now and feeling crappy about leaving my kid, about traveling in general, and hating flying for multiple reasons. Just ugh. And it’s only Tuesday.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      Seriously, it will be SO MUCH BETTER when you aren’t pregnant. Everyone kept asking me how I was doing, recovering, and I was like “AMAZING BECAUSE I’M NOT PREGNANT (insert jazz hands here)!!!” Being pregnant with a toddler is the worst. You can then trade the horrible sleep with your partner and will have energy again. I am all about having two kids, I am 0% about being pregnant with toddlers.

      • FTMinFL says:

        This. Being pregnant + parenting a toddler was SO HARD. Having a newborn and a toddler has been much easier. My fatigue is 100% related to lack of sleep instead of having my energy zapped by another human inside of me. My toddler watches more Blippi and Bob the Builder than he used to, but he also snuggles with me while I nurse the baby in front of the TV. There’s no anxiety about what having two will be like because we are here! Having two has been much more fun, joyful, and peaceful than I could have imagined while pregnant. You are almost done with the hardest part!

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’m 33 weeks with a 20-month-old and I know exactly what you mean. It sucks. A couple of things that have helped:

      – getting my husband to take her out of the house for a few hours each weekend day to do something fun (they bond more plus I get to nap).
      – giving up on any real cooking. We cook once (Sunday night) and for the rest of the week either have those leftovers, Trader Joes meals, or takeout. This also cuts way down on cleaning, which means I can go to bed super early.
      – when the toddler only wants me, reminding myself that it is a good opportunity to show her that she is NOT in charge of who gets to change her, put her to bed, etc. Sometimes Dada has to do those things, and that’s the way it is. I’ve found that if we are super decisive about it then she stops protesting fairly quickly. Lord knows that it’s going to happen more often once the baby gets here so she may as well get used to it.
      – figuring out One Fun Thing to look forward to at the end of each day. For awhile it was reading my trashy book, then I finished my trashy book so it’s watching an episode of a show I like.

      Good luck and safe travels. Thinking about you.

    • This post is so me (28 weeks with a newly-turned-two-year-old). I am so with you. At least all of these replies are making me feel so much better.

    • PregLawyer says:

      On the sleeping – have you tried unisom? It really helps me sleep at night. I’m only 26 weeks with a 2.5 year old, but I’m starting to do the side-to-side roll multiple times at night. The unisom does a pretty good job of making sure I stay half-asleep while I shift positions.

      I think we’ll make it. I don’t know how, but lot’s of people figure it out, right? Also, I was talking to one of my coworkers whose kids are both pre-teens, and she was telling me all about her amazing relaxing weekend where she went wine tasting with friends. Her kids were just at home, entertaining themselves and working on school projects. It sounded AMAZING. So there is an end in sight. We just have to get through the next 7-10 years . . .

    • Thanks, all for the encouragement. I really appreciate hearing others’ experience–it’s good to hear it gets better on the other side! I’m not a frequent poster, but a regular reader and I truly value this community.

    • Misery loves company says:

      I mean, I had a second and not only survived but somehow foolishly got pregnant again. I’m 20 weeks pregnant, have a toddler and a preschooler who thanks to our early school cutoff will NOT be going to kindy next year so, three at home at one. The only way out is through.

      But in terms of just the two, they are 4 and 18 months now and honestly, play so nicely together. They fight like…well…sisters. But my younger one wears/steals her big sister’s clothes and shoes and they sit in boxes and color together and it’s all very cute. I did a lot of taking the day off and having 1:1 time with one of the girls (keeping one home from daycare). And the little one wasn’t nearly as sick from daycare germs as her sister was at the same age, so that was a nice surprise. I also was a LOT more lax/kind to myself about pumping/BFing than the first time around- #2 was nursed, I pumped at work until 6 months but refused to add sessions or stress if I didn’t keep up with her pace- just added formula. I dropped pumping at work at 6 months, and she was FF during the day, nursed morning/night until around 9.5 months when she just stopped wanting to nurse. I said cool, that was a good run. Here’s some formula. Vs with #1 I agonized the entire 10 months I fed and pumped, to the point where she went on a nursing strike at 10 months and I gave up and she just had formula. But for 4 of those 10 months I was schlepping pumps and ice packs and frozen milk through airports, killing myself with supplements to keep my supply up, refusing the cold medicines I desperately needed because they might lower my supply and ended up with a nice double ear infection for 2 months straight.

      The nursing/pumping/bottle year is rough. My younger one still doesn’t really sleep through the night and we’re not quite sure what our sleeping arrangement will be when #3 arrives (plan was to have the two older ones bunk, put the baby in the nursery and preserve our guest room/my office…that might not happen if #2 still wakes up at 4am screaming bloody murder…hoping it will all magically settle out once all her teeth are in).

      But [email protected] they’re cute.

  2. Legally Brunette says:

    Would you attend a child’s 3 year old birthday party from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, with a full dinner for both kids and adults included?

    I booked my son’s party at a nearby kids’ indoor gym that just opened. The only slot for a private party is from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. You can also have your party earlier in the day, but it will be during the time when it is open to the public. It’s not a large gym and in cold weather, this place gets REALLY crowded. We’re expecting about 20-25 guests and I’m thinking that with potentially another 30 random kids (meaning, those who have come on their own and not to our party) running around, it’s going to be too loud and chaotic.

    The idea would be that the kids play in the gym from 5:30 – 6:15 pm, everyone goes to the party room and eats dinner and cake from 6:15 – 7 pm, and then the kids run around again in the gym for the last 20-30 minutes. I was planning to order pizza for the kids and some proper adult food (like cater from Lebanese Taverna).

    I know it will be late for some kids, but I was thinking that everyone will be up from nap at that time and this way they can play and have dinner and then hopefully go back home, exhausted and fall asleep. My 3 year old only goes to bed around 8 – 8:30 pm on weekends, so personally this works for us but I’m curious to hear what you say.


    • AwayEmily says:

      It sounds like tons of fun, but maybe depends on how flexible your kids’ friends and their parents are. We tend to fall on the inflexible (some might say overly so!) side — our kid eats dinner at exactly the same time every day (5:30) and goes to bed at 7 every night, no matter what, so this party would probably be a pass for us. Could also be tough for families with younger siblings who have earlier bedtimes. But I suspect we are in the minority. Would it be possible to informally ask a few other parents if it would work for them?

      • Curious, why are you so strict with your kid’s schedule? Doesn’t that negatively impact your life too? How old is your kid? No judgment, just learning from different people while planning for my future kid.

        • AwayEmily says:

          She is just a much, much happier kid (she’s 21 months) if she is on a very regular schedule. We’ll make exceptions for travel to see family, etc, but overall it’s just not worth it for minor-ish things like parties. I get the sense that this varies a TON by kid, even within the same family — some kids can roll with lots of variation, others can’t.

          And it’s actually been a positive in my life — I can be 99.9% sure that every night she will be asleep at the same time, so I can plan around that (we often have the babysitter show up at 7 and are out the door to dinner by 7:15). But I am *not* spontaneous by nature so I can imagine that if I was the sort of person who liked to be able to do things on the spur of the moment, having a child attached to a schedule would be a negative rather than a positive.

          I know plenty of very happy flexible-schedule families as well as very happy strict-schedule families, so I think it can work either way depending on your own preferences and your kid’s nature.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Adding onto this – I am a super spontaneous, last minute person. But by age 2, kiddo needed a consistent schedule and would get really anxious if things were “off.” She also turns into a tiny monster if she doesn’t get food and sleep at approximately the same time each day, so yeah, I could push her dinner later – I just get to handle the fall out of that decision.

          I’ve balanced her needs against mine by mentally segmenting the day; we wake up, take approximately an hour for breakfast/getting dressed, then we have a chunk of time to do whatever. By 11:30-ish, I have to think about lunch. She needs to be down for nap by 1. She will wake up by 3, and then we have a chunk of time to do whatever. Dinner around 5:30, short chunk of time afterward, then bedtime starts at 7:15 or 7:30 with goal of lights out by 8. The “chunks of time to do whatever” are my times to be flexible and spontaneous.

        • PregLawyer says:

          We are just as strict with our 2.5 year old. We start putting him down to bed at 7:00 every night. I only get two days with him a week, and if he gets a bad sleep the night before, he’s a brat all morning the next day. That means I’m essentially sacrificing 25% of my time with him that week just for the spontaneity of staying up an hour or so later. Unless it’s something really cool, it’s usually not worth it to me.

        • We are similarly strict with our Kiddo, who’s 2.5, at least about bedtime. The only exceptions I make are for travel (literally, the time traveling, not while we’re there) and holidays (e.g., MIL hosts on Christmas Eve, and we open gifts after dinner, so it’s not practical or possible to say we’re leaving at 5:30).

          That said, I’d probably attend the party, feed Kiddo a large snack at 5, stay for dinner and cake (Kiddo would probably pick at dinner and eat the cake) and leave the party at 7 to be home and in bed by 7:30-7:45.

          When Kiddo was 2 and a few months, we had lots of sleep schedule disruptions and didn’t know how to handle it. Kiddo turned into an exhausted maniac. We worked with a child psychologist to help get him back on track, and since then, we’ve tried to be as consistent as possible with sleep. If he doesn’t get enough sleep, he’s cranky and whiny and aggressive (hitting, pulling hair, etc.).

          Since you say you’re planning for future children, this is an age thing for many kids. As a baby, Kiddo could fall asleep absolutely anywhere. And until he turned 2, the exact timing wasn’t that important. We used to go to a friend’s or grandparents’ house on the weekends and put him to sleep in a pack n’ play and go home at 9 or 10, and it didn’t matter to Kiddo. Now that idea sounds like a joke to me.

      • Momata says:

        I am not quite as strict as you, but I am strict enough that we would take a pass on this. My kids go to bed at 8 so this party would mean they’d be up late and also probably wouldn’t have eaten a proper dinner and would be physically exhausted from running around. To the curious commenter: when my kids get overtired or off schedule, they don’t sleep well that night, which means my husband and I don’t sleep well that night. Then the next day we are all tired, which means we are all cranky (especially my daughter) and for my daughter means she has a bad behavior day at school, which means she is subjected to a lot of (appropriate) discipline instead of learning and playing. Then the following night from pickup to bedtime is pretty terrible in terms of meltdowns, bad behavior, being too tired to eat, and again being overtired and fighting bedtime. It just isn’t worth it.

    • I would happily go! You’ll take care of dinner? Sold! My 3 yo goes to bed at 8, so I would anticipate a sugar and adrenaline rush/crash after the party and right before bed (i.e., a tantrum to deal with at home), but thems the breaks. One of us would have to stay home with the 1 year old who goes to bed at 7 and I know some of our SAHM friends’ kids go to bed at like 7:30, so it might be a little late for those families. But, I think its a fine idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can I come? Sounds great!

    • This sounds great to me, especially the proper adult food! We’ve gone to parties at gyms / play spaces that start at 5. It’s no big deal – everyone understands that the facilities have set party times. And if someone needs to leave early for an early bedtime, so be it. But for me, indoor activity plus dinner in the middle of winter? Sold!

    • I would totally take my 3 year old. But also, pizza isn’t proper adult food? If you get good pizza (not papa johns or pizza hut), and add a big salad, I don’t even think you need to order separate food for the adults. But I’m no foodie and I love pizza.

      • AwayEmily says:

        TBH I would even be thrilled with papa johns.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        Ha ha, I love pizza too but I’m getting pretty tired of pizza after all of these bday parties. :) Last year we ordered good quality pizza for everyone and very few adults ate it! Not sure why. Hence my idea to do something a bit nicer for the adults.

        Thanks so much everyone! I was stressing over this time slot and you all made me feel much better. We already put down the deposit so I can’t back out now, but I really appreciate your comments.

        • avocado says:

          In my observation adults don’t tend to eat much at parties no matter what you serve. Too many restrictive diets, people trying to appear virtuous, etc.

        • I tend to hesitate eating the pizza because I want to make sure all the kids get enough. Similarly I don’t eat the cake until every kid has already run away, I don’t want to be shoving my face when a kid asks for seconds. Having a separate food is smart, so adults know they’re not taking the kids’ food, but I also agree you’ll get a large portion who just don’t eat much regardless. I’ve seen parties where they have pizza for the kids and then mini-subs for the adults, and that seems to have the best eat-rate.

          • Anonymous says:

            +1. I worry i’m taking food from the kids, so I avoid until it’s done.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I have what I think is a strict approach to my kid’s schedule, but we’d definitely go to that party. She would have already eaten First Dinner, but I can’t imagine she would say no to pizza after playing for a bit. TBH we would probably leave like right at 7, because of bedtime, but it still sounds super fun.

    • biglawanon says:

      If this was a Sat or Sun I would go. I was never strict with my kids’ schedules, esp. not at 3 y/o. A weekday wouldn’t work for me since I work into those hours, but I would send my kid with his nanny.

    • farrleybear says:

      Absolutely! Kiddo tends to go to sleep later anyway so this wouldn’t be that big a departure from that, though I’d anticipate a sugar/adrenaline high that may take extra time to wind down. But no worries as long as it’s on the weekend:)

    • Misery loves company says:

      I would, but 5:30-6 is when my kids eat, so mine would eat dinner before the party. She’d eat a cupcake for sure.

      My kid is a fall birthday though and always the oldest in her peer group. Her normal bedtime is 7/7:30 but on a weekend i’d have no problem with this.

  3. AnonMom says:

    Morning fellow moms!

    I have a very picky eater (15 month old). He basically lives off pasta with cheese, pureed fruits, crackers, and bread. Whenever I try to give him pureed soup/veggies & meat I need to put on a show to feed him. I know this is wrong but I want him to eat healthy foods. How do I make him eat? When I try to introduce new foods he throws the pieces on the floor or refuses to be spoon fed. He does not say no to sweet stuff like french toast with banana.

    Any suggestions of recipes/foods I can make for him that he might actually want to try? Thanks!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you tried potatoes? That sounds appropriately starchy, and you can hide a bunch of things in potatoes…baked potatoes with avocado, or roasted potatoes with “herbs” (chopped up spinach, shhhh), or mashed potatoes half and half with cauliflower might work.

      Otherwise, filled pastas or the really high protein pastas (Barilla Plus is my go-to), maybe with spinach puree added to the sauce.

      But I’ve learned not to expend too much effort hiding veggies in elaborate dishes; it just ups the stakes and turns eating into a power struggle. The picky eating is a stage; we went through a stage in which kiddo would eat less than 20 things. Recently she’s started coming out of it and snuck a bite of my curry a few days ago (I pretended not to see her try it). You are entering a year or so in which your kiddo will want to test boundaries and find ways to push your buttons; I guarantee that if you make vegetables a Big Deal, your kiddo will dig in his heels.

    • No recipe suggestions, but I am fully of the mind that it is our job to offer the food and their job to eat it. I would just keep offering it/put it in front of him. That’s dinner. No alternatives if he doesn’t eat that, but offer other things that he will eat. Once he throws food, dinner is over.

      • October says:

        +1. Definitely easier said than done, but just keep putting new foods in front of him. Eat meals with him and talk or read to him so he sees you eating the same thing and starts to associate meal time with pleasant feelings.. Kids can need upwards of 15 exposures to a new food to actually eat and enjoy it. I bend the rules slightly in that I’ll sometimes give my kid a yogurt or banana at dinner if he doesn’t eat his meal so he doesn’t go to bed hungry, but hold firm at other times.

        Also, put out ketchup or other dipping sauces. My kid will usually eat anything with ketchup.

        • Walnut says:

          Yes to ketchup. I have no shame. I mixed some meds with ketchup last night and let my toddler dip a slice of bread.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Agreed. Make sure there’s one thing on the plate he’ll eat, and then leave him alone. It really does work…eventually. It does take time. We adopted this approach (based largely on all the recs from this board) and went from a very picky 15-month-old to a 20-month-old who, while still a normal toddler who would prefer to eat nothing but bread and fruit, will at least try most things once and last night happily ate a whole bunch of chana masala (!!). The key really does seem to be keeping it low-key — you have to commit to NOT bribing, encouraging, bargaining, playing games, or acting like you care AT ALL. She is most likely to try new things when we aren’t looking directly at her.

        Oh, and to starting to eat dinner as a family most nights also helped quite a bit and had the side benefit of decreasing stress for me because I wasn’t planning two different dinners.

        I will be honest — dinner is almost always her smallest meal. She eats yogurt or eggs for breakfast, I make sure to pack mostly things I know she likes for her daycare lunch, and then dinner is for trying new foods and practicing eating together as a family. There have definitely been times when she’s eaten six bites and then given up, and that’s fine. She just eats more for breakfast the next morning.

      • +1 this is our strategy. We do a healthy heavy snack before bed (cheese/yogurt) so that they don’t go to bed completely hungry, but I’ve maintained strictness around “you get what I put in front of you” since each of my kids was one/eating meals instead of milk. We don’t fight about how much they eat, it’s more of a “here is your plate, you eat what you are hungry for”.

        My kids aren’t amazing eaters, but they eat a variety of food and know that what I put in front of them for meals is what they get. If they don’t eat it and are hungry later, that’s too bad, they have to wait until the next meal or snack.

        It’s officially called the “Satter” method if you want to google it and read more about it, but I have loved how it has taken the stress out of food/meal times. I really don’t worry about how much/what they are eating, I just eat my food.

        • AwayEmily says:

          Everyone always talks about how well the Satter method works to get kids to eat better (which it does!) but I totally agree that the less heralded benefit is how much it decreases stress for parents. I used to spend so much time worrying about what she was eating, and how much, and now I just don’t. We sit at the table, they have food in front of them, they eat it or they don’t, we all chat about our days, and then dinner is over and it’s time to play. SO much less mental energy expended.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’ve had good luck with a few of the weelicious recipes. specifically the butternut squash mac and cheese (it has butternut squash soup in the cheese sauce, so no chunks or anything) and a few others.
      Second the barilla plus pasta suggestion, great way to sneak protein in. Trader Joe’s Spinach tortellini (in the refrigerated section) was another go-to with us. Trader Joes also has dried pasta made out of things like black beans, lentils, etc. which may be a way to sneak in some of that nutrition. veggies hidden in homemade meatballs (usually shredded carrot etc. with the excess moisture squeezed out) and served with some fun toothpicks used to work as well.
      Apologies if these aren’t appropriate for a 15 month old, mine is almost 8 now so I can’t really remember when they start eating what.

    • Have you tried giving not-pureed veggies? We did BLW, and my 17mo prefers feeding himself chunks. He also goes through stages, so we offer, offer, offer. His previous favorite veggie, sweet potatoes? Refuses for dinner. Next day at school, teacher says, “Could you send more sweet potatoes? He wanted more.” So we just keep trying.

      Things he has liked – frozen peas, frozen green beans (I don’t cook either of them, I just let them thaw over night), avocados mashed on a bagel (he hasn’t eaten them by themselves in a while), steamed broccoli. I can’t get him into carrots but I still offer every once in a while, and sometimes he eats them. He shocked me by loving roasted red peppers from a jar.

      Have you tried beans/chickpeas?

      My best advice is to just offer, offer, offer. I know it’s frustrating.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      In terms of actual vegetables, my kid likes frozen mixed vegetables, red bell pepper with hummus, and tomatoes. She will try other things, but it takes time. Maybe try giving him whole pieces of vegetables to gnaw on, like cucumber or pepper. You could also try making your own oven fries (with white or sweet potatoes) with ketchup. And I agree with the idea about dips – try hummus or a yogurt dip.

      Also, Dr. Prager’s makes frozen fish nuggets in the shape of fish (they’re called fishies) – my kid gets a kick out of those and loves eating them with ketchup. She likes ground meat, so beef meatloaf and turkey meatballs was a hit. My kid really likes beans (chickpeas and black beans) so we give her a lot of those.

    • avocado says:

      I know the Satter method works for many kids, but for mine it was counterproductive. She is extremely strong-willed and ended up starving herself, to the point where her body didn’t seem to be registering hunger correctly. It also reduced the range of foods that she would eat. She dislikes eating, drinking, and swallowing in general, so when given a choice of “whether and how much” to eat, she would just choose to eat nothing. She was a little older when we tried it, probably around 3.

      • Yep. We do the “one bite” rule. They just have to eat one bite of each thing, but otherwise can eat as much or as little as they want. We try to always have something they will like, so I know they won’t starve (even if that’s grapes on the side of a curry) but I need them to try one bite.

        Our Savior of the Tiger, Daniel, has a silly song that goes “you should try a new food cause it might taste good, goo-oo-ood.” and we sing that when they need extra encouragement. Plus we remind them of the time they fell in love with popcorn shrimp after first declaring it “disgusting.”

        We also let them do “experiments” with dips so if that means they’re putting ketchup on their couscous or adding cheese to their fish fillet, so be it. We praise their cooking skills and let them eat it.

  4. Gift Ideas? says:

    My niece is 14 weeks. I want to get her a fun toy or two for Christmas that is developmentally appropriate – something for the 4-6 month age range would be great. Any recommendations? Amazon/Target/usual suspects a plus, but not a requirement, I suppose. TIA!

  5. POSITA says:

    If anyone is looking for a different holiday present, I just saw the SpongeBob musical on Broadway last night and it was so so good. Really fun escapism, and I am not a fan of the TV show. Broadway magic galore. The show is 100% kid-friendly with no hesitations, but entertaining for adults too.

  6. Crud my post with links is stuck in mod. Get something she will enjoy now as she’s just starting to grasp things and interact with toys/books, but that she will grow into and enjoy in different ways as she gets older (it happens so fast!). Here’s some favorites, also mostly inexpensive enough to be combined (i’m a big fan of books with related toys). All available on Amazon. Tested by mom of 5 yr & 9 mo old giant boys.

    Jellycat small stuffies (7″) — anything bigger is hard for most babies to handle. These animals are SO SOFT!
    Board books with puppets (In my Tree, In my Pond, etc by Sara Gillingham are awesome and still going strong after 5 years)
    Soft books (Jellycat has one with tails; Taggies has one with a mirror on the front)
    Oball toys — great for grasping, rolling, throwing, rattling, teething, etc. lightweight and durable.

  7. Talk to me about twins, please. DH and I are going through the IVF process due to secondary infertility. We have a kindergartner. We elected to do PGS testing, so we know the embryos we have remaining for transfer are chromosomally normal, which improves the transfer success rate. We are leaning towards electing to transfer 2, which obviously gives us a good chance of having twins. We are both lawyers, and DH is much busier than I am, often not getting home until after our child is already in bed and generally working on the weekends as well. Are we (am I) crazy to consider twins?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      A friend had twins after having a single kid (then a toddler). For a while she had 3 under 3. I think for her and her husband, the key was having a ton of help. They have an au pair and a part-time nanny, and some grandparent help. Good luck!

    • I transferred two but the twins were my first. A few years into it, it’s awesome, but the pregnancy was really tough and the chance of complications/prematurity is higher. I love having twins but I’m not sure I’d opt for that again if given the choice (mostly because it nearly killed me -literally). The first year is also extraordinarily difficult. But I also can’t imagine life without my twins, so never regret my choice.

    • well i dont have them yet, but i am pregnant with twins (via IUI and no other kids, chance of twins was like 6-8% according to our doc). I’m very curious/petrified to see how this goes. I have a 9-5 kind of job, but DH is in finance and often gets home after 11pm and works one day a weekend. My doc had told me if we proceeded to IVF that he’d only implant 1 bc i’m under 35. I think the main question is do you ultimately want 3 kids? If the answer is yes, twins now could make sense. We only wanted 1 or 2, and well, now that decision is made for us. I’m thrilled to be pregnant, but I’m also pretty miserable so I’m kind of glad I’m getting a 2 for 1, so i do not have to be pregnant again. I’ve heard the first year with twins is h*ll, but that around 1 year it gets easier. And at least your older one is not a toddler. He/she will probably get jealous, but you won’t have 3 in diapers.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have twins and no other children yet. They are 20 months old now and it is the BEST. Everyone is like “oh, they’ll have a built in playmate,” but that doesn’t happen immediately and we didn’t see a lot of “twin bonding” at first– they were in separate NICU bassinets, separate bassinets, separate cribs– but now they giggle together and play hide-and-seek in the curtains and actually occupy each other. Be aware that there are higher pregnancy risks… I had gestational diabetes and overall the pregnancy was very rough– one twin was IUGR and I was on bed rest for 6 weeks before they were born, and then they spent a month in the NICU, so I know that would have been difficult with an older child who still needed care. And the first year did not see a lot of sleep. But my husband and I both work full-time and have no family nearby at all, and I think it still worked out great, with a great day care.

        • this is encouraging! DH and I also both work full time, though my schedule is more regular than his and we also have no family near by and sometimes the thought of having two is petrifying, so thank you for sharing this! I’m still early in my pregnancy – just entered the second trimester this week (going for my first trimester screening on thursday), and i am nervous about potential complications, though my OB said with di/di twins the risk aren’t really as high as one might think. so far i’m super nauseous/vomiting and don’t sleep (though i suppose i’d better get used to that!). thank you again for sharing!

          • Anonymous says:

            You can do it! I went all the way to 38 weeks on twins. No NICU time and one started sleeping 6 hour stretches by 3 weeks.

          • Anonymous says:

            Congratulations! Try a combo of 1/2 unisom pill + 1 B6 pill for the nausea if your doctor okays it… that is what my nurse recommended and I am still mildly convinced it was a placebo but it stopped the barfing immediately (and helped with sleep). And even with our complications I still think the whole thing went swimmingly– our IUGR twin is totally normal now, just teensie, and the worst part of the diabetes was eating only a VERY SPECIFIC AMOUNT of pancakes instead of all of the pancakes. And most of the twin moms on my local Moms of Multiples FB group (look for one in your city!) had totally normal pregnancies and deliveries.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our twins are our first and while we love them and they’re pretty easy as babies go, they’re definitely a lot more work than a singleton. They’re almost a year now and play more independently/with each other, which makes a big difference, but for the first 6 months it was often both parents hands on all the time, which I imagine would be more challenging with a toddler. Echoing the above comment to make sure you have help, if you end up with twins. Also agree that a high-risk pregnancy is an added source of stress and even with di-di twins will involve more appts and high chances of early delivery/NICU time. I don’t regret our twins at all and it’s a lot of fun watching them interact, but they’re hard.

      As a cautionary tale, we transferred one embryo and it split into twins and I’ve since encountered a handful of people who have triplets from transferring 2 embryos and having them both stick and one split. Obviously the chances of that are quite low, but it might be something worth considering.

    • talk to me, talk to me! says:

      I did IVF with PGS testing and felt strongly that I did not want twins. At the time of transfer, I wrote “ONE (1) Embryo ONLY!!!” on the consent form. The docs laughed and did as they were told. But… the embryo split! There is apparently a higher “risk” of identical twins from IVF with PGS than with an average pregnancy, which is in the fine print, but I don’t remember it because it wasn’t a huge increase in probability and didn’t seem like the scariest risk. I can’t imagine if I had two transferred, they both took, and one split. Anyway, just something to ask about!

      Twins are really hard, even with the best help money can buy and a terrific, available partner. I honestly think they are more than twice as hard as one. However, they get easier as time goes by, and by the time you’re in toddlerhood, you are obviously dealing with two small crazy people, but they entertain each other in amazing ways. Now that mine are two, I can see how they’ll soon be much easier than my friends with one older toddler and one baby.

      With the situation of your partner’s work, I would say you are crazy to risk twins unless that really is the only feasible (financially or otherwise) way for you to try to grow your family in the way that you want.

      Also, my pregnancy actually had no complications other than a premature birth, but it was terrifying the whole time.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I transferred 2 embryos both times and we lost the twin both times due to chromosomal abnormalities… so just know that my prickly cactus of a uterus would have totally kept both if they were normal. You may well have two!

    • Anonymous says:

      I have twins and a first grader. It was a really hard adjustment. I love it now but I don’t think I would recommend it in your situation.

      Two main reasons:

      1. Three kids is completely different from just twins. With just twins, when your DH is home, you have one baby and he has one baby. You lose the 1-1 ratio with twins. Even if you are alone with the twins, you’re only divided into two. The older child is also used to having one on one time with parents so that can be a hard adjustment for them. We sent our oldest for a sleepover at grandma’s this weekend so we’d have just the twins and get a break. The twins are two and they are still too much for grandma to handle overnight. Our marriage counselor said that almost 30% of the couples he sees are parents with an older child and then twins. The adjustment is rough on a marriage because you have hardly any time or energy for each other.

      2. Your DH works a lot. My DH has a flexible job – works from home twice a week to help with pick up/drop off and off every second Friday. I’m still exhausted all the time and considering asking for an 80% schedule. If you want to be able feed three kids supper + help with kindergartener’s homework/school activities, you will need a second set of hands. If you have grandparents involved at all in the care with your first, you will have to dramatic adjust how it will go with twins. My mom can handle just the twins, or my oldest and one twin but not all three. We very rarely get a break from all three at the same time for more than a dinner date.

      But, if you are definitely planning on three kids, twins can be easier in that you only have two sets of birthday parties to attend instead of three sets and at least in the early years, similar extra circular activities and when school age – if in same class, only one st of homework to keep track of.

    • also, just want to remind you that there is no right or wrong choice. this is a VERY personal decision.

      another factors to consider – what is the maternity/paternity leave situation like at each of your jobs? for me, I think if I wanted 3 kids, in your situation I might transfer 2, but I also think I’d be comfortable with selective reduction if it turned into 3 or 4. I also think it depends on your age. Could you have 1 now and then another in a few years if you want a total of 3 kids? you will not need to undergo the retrieval part of ivf.

    • There’s two questions here – 1) do you want twins or 2) do you transfer two embryos. They’re not necessarily the same.

      I was ok with twins, but only transferred 1, because as mentioned above, that’s not a 100% guarantee that you’ll only get 1. Especially if your reason for infertility is not related to egg quality (which PGS mediates a bit), you have more likelihood of any embryo sticking. It also depends how many you have in the freezer, how much insurance is paying, etc. All of that factored into our decision to only transfer 1.

      All of that is to say, even after you answer the “am I ok with twins?” question, I think there’s plenty more to think about w/r/t transferring.

    • biglawanon says:

      I accidentally had twins about 5 years ago. My favorite moment was when my OBGYN non-chalantly said the babIES look perfectly normal. Surprise! At the time, we already had adopted two kids school-age (I am their aunt). I am biglaw and at the time my husband was a quant with an i-bank. I think you are little insane, but I did it so I guess I am too. :)

      My biggest advice would be to (1) figure out if you are both going to keep the same type of job/hours and (2) figure out childcare. My husband sort of hated his job, so he moved to a less time-consuming in-house finance position and I kept my job. We hired a full-time live-out nanny, as well as a part-time nanny to fill the gaps.

  8. Needing some support here. My almost 26 month old is going through some separation anxiety and having a hard time with daycare. She’s gone there for over a year now, and we generally like the center. She moved up rooms at the start of the school year. It took her 2-3 weeks to adjust, but she did. Now with Thanksgiving and being sick recently for a day, she has been really struggling. She cries at drop off and with some teachers who she hasn’t spent as much time with. I’m feeling insanely guilty that we are putting her through this. Recommendations and support would be much appreciated. Thanks, ladies!

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Aww, that’s hard.

      Is she like that after you leave? I think the separation anxiety is really common at that age — we still get it at 3 sometimes, but from what teachers have told me and what I’ve seen in other kids when doing drop off, the kids usually bounce back a few minutes after their parents leave.

      Suggestions to make it less painful: If she’s worse with one parent, have the other do drop off. Quick drop-offs, but don’t just sneak out. Give her a piece of paper with a kiss on it (or something like that) to keep in her pocket/cubby (risky if she loses it).

      Good luck, it sucks.

  9. I’m researching this too as we are just starting down the IUI/IVF road. The CDC has some good info. Google elective single embryo transfer. The bigger concern is the risk of triplets/quads if they split. There is a greater chance of splitting after having testing. Would you consider selective reduction if you ended up with triplets/quads? The risk to you and the babies is much higher even with twins which is why they are pushing single embryo. However, I’m 36 so there’s that too. Are you in a shared risk program? If so, the docs have an incentive to really push you into two.

    I almost strangled my husband the other night. I know he really wants a kid. We were reading the info and he said “I don’t get why they call it a risk of twins. They say it like it would be a bad thing. I don’t get it.” Um, buddy, you don’t have to carry them, birth them, nurse them …..

    • Anonymous says:

      You should sleep in the guest room and set his alarm to go off every 45 minutes all night long. Then he’ll know what twins are like. Cold and flu season with twins = hell on earth.

  10. Potty Q says:

    Ok, here’s the daily potty training question. My 3 year old is basically trained. He wears a diaper at night, but is in underwear 100% of the time during the day and has been for 2.5 months. At school he goes, by himself, throughout the day. At home it has become such a battle to get him to go potty. In the last few days, we’ve had 3 accidents because he refuses to go potty. And he doesn’t even seem upset at being wet; he just keeps playing. How do we encourage him to go? Bribery? Take toys away? I’m at a loss. He usually goes right before I pick him up from school so he doesn’t need to go right away when we get home or I’d say no toys until you potty. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a standing rule that everyone has to try to potty before they leave the house and when they come home and before they sit down for supper. Adults too so that we model the behavior. It helped cut back on accidents for us.

      • Yes we do this too. When you leave, when you come home, and before a meal or snack. Adults do it too. And even say things out loud like “Oh, I’m home from work! I don’t have to pee but I better go try just in case!” or “Daddy, lunch will be ready soon. Don’t forget to go to the bathroom first!” It might even help if you interrupt something you’re doing – out loud – to go pee. “Oh! I think I have to go! I better go RIGHT AWAY. Kids, can you make sure no one touches these holiday cards until I get back from the bathroom?”

        • AwayEmily says:

          This is really cute. You guys are good parents (and I’m saving this advice for when we potty-train).

    • luluaj says:

      we are just coming out on the other side of this with my 3 year old. My husband had the great idea to make it a race with him – if he started to resist trying the potty, we would say, “I bet you can’t win the race” and one of us would race into the bathroom and go through the motions of actually going to the bathroom. (I’m pregnant so I had to go most of the time anyway). He’d immediately start singing “I’m going to win” and would go in the potty every time. After a few weeks, he started announcing he had to go and ask if anyone wanted to race him. And now a few weeks later, he just independently goes. Good luck – it was hard, and even more difficult not to make it a big deal when he slipped up and went in his pants.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I’m a bit behind you in the ~potty learning journey~ but, hilariously, The Thing that motivates my kid is emojis. So if she tries, she can send an emoji to whomever she wants. If she goes, she can send as many emojis as she wants. This morning she texted ‘the cats’ (that is, my husband) two cookies and a beer.

  11. Daycare gifts? says:

    This is the first year we’ve sent our kiddo to a home daycare. She loves it. It’s a small group of toddlers taken care of by a mother/daughter pair who have basically become my kid’s second and third moms. I love it.

    I am planning to do Target giftcards plus a small gifty item like a tea towel or a snarky mug (they both embrace snark). We pay $200/wk for our daycare. How much is appropriate for the giftcard? I don’t want to overdo it, but I also really want to give them nice gifts- I see this as our contribution to their holiday “bonus,” much like the giftcards I gave my assistants when I worked in BigLaw.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m in a LCOL city in Canada. I paid $200/week for a dayhome for one child. Standard holiday gift was a bonus cheque with one week’s pay plus a small box of chocolates so kid had something to pass over. In your case, I would do a $100/cheque each and a small box of chocolates each. I asked about 5-6 different friends (including 2 who had used the same dayhome) and one week’s pay was the standard holiday gift.

      At a corporate daycare on site at my work now and I do a $25 giftcard plus a box of chocolates for each of kid’s three teachers – also standard per other friends at this daycare.

    • We are in a private daycare and last year did $30 cash for each teacher (3 teachers) and brought in breakfast for the staff. We switched to a new center this year and my son only has one teacher currently, so we are giving her $50 and bringing breakfast for all the teachers one day.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Oh jeez this has me stressed out now. For those in HCOL areas- is adding one week as a bonus the standard?! We’re looking into in-home daycare for our second, but it’s looking to average about $350/week. I don’t know that I can swing an extra $350 in December, especially considernig all of the in-home daycares I’ve looked at take 1 paid week off in December between Christmas and New Year’s.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think it is pretty standard but the money is divided among the providers. Ours also was not closed that long. (I’m in NYC and “in-home” here is not really usually in someone’s home; it’s a kind of license).

        • Anonanonanon says:

          Oh here they’re state licensed (at least the ones I’ve looked at) but are literally in someone’s house, and the ones I’ve looked at are one person + a helper. Since they’re already getting a full paid week off, I don’t think I can swing an additional $350 as a gift on top of that, especially with teacher and before/after school daycare gifts for my other child to consider, as well as the increased childcare costs associated with winter break for my school-aged child.

          I know there was some tipping discussion on the main page recently where the prevailing sentiment was “if you can’t afford the bonus you can’t afford the service”… but this is child care (a necessity), not a luxury.

    • Misery loves company says:

      I would do $100 each. Cash or gift card to Amazon.

  12. Rainbow Hair says:

    I’m thinking of having a big bash for my daughter’s third birthday. Mostly because I think it would be fun to get her friends’ parents together at our house and drink some beer and eat some BBQ while the kids ran amuck. I would probably set up/out cool stuff for them to do, like a water table and bubbles and drawing stuff, and I do have a high tolerance for mess. I would lock the cats away and throw open the kitchen/living room, playroom, and the door to the back yard, so there’d be a decent amount of play area. It would be maybe 15 kids and associated parents … unless my friend who has five brings all of her kids!

    First question: is there some horrible downside to this I’m not seeing?

    Second question: is it ok to specifically say something like “please do not bring gifts” if I really really really really mean it? What are the chances people will listen? (The thought of her potentially getting 15 gifts in addition to the spoiling she’ll get from grandparents, and on the heels of Christmas… it’s enough to make me not want to have the party.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds great. I would think about adding a balloon animal maker, or similar entertainment (local children’s singer) otherwise you won’t get to chat with the other parents much.

      Make sure all your bathrooms are available. With 15 three year olds, sometimes one will be in the main guestbath and a friend won’t be able to hold it until the bathroom is free.

      For gifts – people usually want to bring something so make it a book party, a fiver party (everyone brings $5 instead of a gift – have a cute container for cards +$, you buy LO a larger gift with the money), or everyone brings a doggie/kitty toy for the local animal shelter and you visit with LO to drop off.

      • avocado says:

        We tried asking for donations for the local animal shelter in lieu of gifts at my daughter’s last birthday and it was a disaster. People were confused and most ended up bringing a present for her along with a donation, which totally defeated the purpose of requesting donations. Even the family that always asks for donations in lieu of gifts at their own kids’ parties brought a gift!

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow! Every time I’ve seen it is seemed to work out great. It was all the rage in my first grader’s class this fall because all the kids wanted their turn to visit the shelter and drop off. But the wording on the invites specifically said no gifts for the birthday kid. There was a rhyme or something they used – I can’t remember it exactly.

      • you could do something like, in lieu of gifts make a donation to charity x. or in lieu of gifts, we will be collecting canned food items to donate to the food bank. this way people aren’t showing up empty handed, but not actually with a gift for ur kid

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I agree with the above suggestion to add some sort of structured activity that require the kids to sit and watch/interact with the hired entertainment for a bit. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of adults trying to have a conversation while 15 kids run up and pull on them to tell them something “exciting”

      I tried the “no gifts, please” approach when we were downsizing (moving from big house in the burbs to apartment inside the beltway within a month of the party) and some people felt uncomfortable with it, but brought small things (a coloring book, etc.) anyway. In retrospect, it may have made people more comfortable to say something like bring a doggie/kitty toy as suggested above. And I would’ve added some lighthearted “help us control the clutter! bring ___ instead” language instead of just “no gifts, please”.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Thanks, those are good ideas! I will scheme about a balloon person or something… and yes, I should definitely ask if the local shelter would like cat/dog toys!

      • Anonymous says:

        It doesn’t have to be a professional person. I went to one last Friday where the Dad and Grandpa played guitars and let the kids request their favorite songs and the kids danced around. The kids ran around while everyone arrived, they played about 30 minutes, kids ran around a bit more and then we ate. It was pretty fun.

    • We’ve done “No gifts please” at all of our parties. You might get a few who bring something small anyway, but as long as you immediately put them away, don’t open them AT the party and still send a thank you, it’s not bad. We say “Please no gifts, just bring yourself!” right on the invitation.

      Your party sounds great. The only thing I would add – one of my biggest issues is always around food and whether to feed my kid (or me) ahead of time. It’s hard to understand what people mean, esp when they have a 1 pm BBQ party. The best one I saw said “Lunch will be served for kids and adults, so please let us know of any food restrictions.”

    • I want you to do it! Because I also want to do this for our 9 month old’s first birthday. :) It would basically be an excuse for family to travel to meet him and for our adult friends to hang out/drink. I will say, an adult friend threw a birthday party and provided a bounce house for kids – it allowed the parents to relax and mingle instead of having to supervise kids’ activities (I think the moms especially liked that dads had to supervise and run interference on the bounce house). Good luck!

    • We threw a big backyard BBQ bash for Kiddo’s first birthday party, and it worked out really well. We have a small apartment, so we borrowed a tail-gating tent from a friend and rented some tables to serve on, tables to sit at, and chairs for everyone. I’ll be honest, it was a lot of work, particularly because we made the food (smoked brisket, grilled chicken thighs, potato salad, other stuff I don’t remember) ourselves. But we had a great time, and it worked out well.

      One potential downside, of course, is what happens if it rains. We hosted Kiddo’s second birthday party at our house. It rained, so nobody wanted to go outside, which meant 22 people in our 1100-square-foot apartment at the same time. But we had planned to serve inside and let people just hang out and play outside, so it didn’t change much about the party, just made it crowded.

    • Spirograph says:

      We’ve said “no gifts, please” on all invitations, and this is the norm at our daycare. Everyone follows it, except some family friends. Sometimes the kids bring kid-made cards, but definitely no real gifts. It’s glorious.

    • Misery loves company says:

      Make sure you have enough bathrooms (ie 2+, and you might want a kiddie potty as well). Plan to have activities for the kids- and expect that parents will be supervising their kids vs mingling in most cases.

      If you’re in a warm spot, you might want to consider an afternoon/evening party and make it an outdoor movie night- pick something the kids will all dig for this age (curious george?). Start things at 4, have snacks, get grilling/bbqing, let the kids run around, then as its getting dark start the movie (google various setup options- this is very do-able with less than the cost of a magician or a bounce house). have glow sticks. bYO blanket and lawn chairs. We’ve been to two of these (ages 3 and 4) and they were so fun! If it rains, same setup but BYO sleeping bag/blanket.

    • Misery loves company says:

      Oh- and some (not mine!) 3 or almost 3 year-olds still nap, so timing for this sort of thing is tricky if you want it light enough for water and BBQ lunch but not to cut into nap time. Dinner is better, but not sure when it gets dark by you.

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