I have an extensive handbag collection, so when I’m browsing for a new one, it has to be pretty special to make the cut.
This roomy leather tote from Longchamp checks all of my boxes. The warm hazelnut color goes with everything, while the crocodile texture adds a unique touch. It also includes snap gussets so you can adjust the size, and the top carry handle is the perfect length for slinging over your shoulder or carrying it by hand. It even comes with a removable crossbody strap.
This seemingly special bag is actually made for everyday use.
The tote is $680 at Nordstrom.
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Sales of Note…
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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
Gorgeous bag! Could I get some name help? Baby’s first name will be Isaac: I need help with middle names. That’s basically all the parameters I have. Last name has two syllables, emPHAsis is on the first sylLAbble. TIA!
Yes, James or I like Isaac Thomas
What about a one-syllable middle name? Chase, Clay, Dean, John, Kent, Paul… Are there aspects of your heritage or relatives you might want to honor with baby’s name?
I like Isaac Paul. Any great grandparent names you’d like? It’s nice when middle names have a story IMHO.
Agreed! My first has a random middle name that we thought sounded good, but my second has a version of my dad’s name as his middle name and I really regret not giving my first a family name.
With a traditional first name I’d go with a traditional middle name as well. What about: Jeremy, Alexander, Henry, Thomas, Nathaniel, Mark, John (or Jack), or William?
Isaac Alexander was our boys name that we didn’t get to use.
My son is Isaac Alexander!
With traditional first name, I like to go with fun middle names that make good nicknames, like Phineus (Finn). I tried to co Vince my husband to make our first son’s middle name Tornado but he thought it was too violent sounding. He does feel like a Tornado sometimes…
There’s no good nickname for Isaac, which is also a love-it-or-hate-it name, so I would lean towards a middle name that also sounds good with your last name and has several options: Edward (Ed, Eddie, Ted), Nicholas (Nick), Anthony (Tony), Joseph (Joe), Nathaniel (Nathan, Nate), etc.
I have an “unnicknameable” and somewhat unusual first name. I happen to hate this name. Since my middle name is the quintessential throwaway middle name given to baby girls in the late ’70s/early ’80s, and my last name is one syllable, I don’t even have the option to use my middle name. Think, I would be Ann Lee.
Any recommendations for books that introduce the concept of racism at a kindergarten level? My daughter was asking about BLM and I did a terrible job of explaining it. I don’t know if I was trying to do too much (how do you explain systemic racism to a 6 yo?). Also complicated by the fact that she’s mixed (I’m latina, dad is white). We have lots of books with POC, and we talk a lot about latina/o culture. We’ve read about Ruby Bridges and she’s learned about Black accomplishments and figures in school, but we don’t have anything that addresses racism head on.
We like Counting on Katherine. In terms of BLM, if it helps I’ve just said something like, “some people — who are very wrong — think what happens to white people is more important than what happens to black people. And it’s not. What happens to everyone is just as important. So it’s important to fight for justice to make the government rules, the decisions, and the ways police protect people, treat black people as just as important as white people.”
This isn’t exactly what you want, but may compliment something more directly on point: Dr. Seuss’s The Sneeches is helpful for explaining us/them
Dr. Seuss was very, very racist. Just FYI as this was news to me.
Aunt Jamesina says
Ask at your public library, I feel like the librarians always have good suggestions!
I really enjoyed Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford. Honestly, it had a big impact on me though the text is simple and child appropriate. Highly recommends
YES! A Kid’s Book About Racism by Jelani Memory. We have read it several times to our 5 yo.
We read a lot of picture book biographies that I think help to bring nuance and depth to the issue. There really is no way to answer that question succinctly that is also answering it sufficiently, so I think instead it just has to be part of your regular conversation. We love _Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells_ but know that it does talk about lynching head on. We read it with our Kindergartener (and 3 year old) and found the content to be accessible without mincing words. The history is really bleak/violent– it is what it is. We also love _Henry’s Freedom Box_ and _The Patchwork Path_ which introduce allyship in action as they highlight non-black people who fought to help people escape slavery. Plus various picture biographies on MLK, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Paul Robeson, and Thurgood Marhsall. Basically, we check out the canon of picture books from the library! There are fewer book resources for present day in my experience, but I think understanding that BLM is a present-day response to a very long history is helpful.
I would love your recommendations on good Latinx content! I highly recommend anything by Monica Brown. Your kids might really like Marisol McDonald series, about a mixed kid who loves her two cultures, languages, and mixed appearance (this describes my kids, too). She has a number of folk tales, biographies, and other stories.
Thanks to everyone who has replied! Redux, my favorite is I Love Saturdays and Domingos. Story of a kid with a white dad and latina mom and her relationship with her grandparents and their different cultures and backgrounds. All the Colors We Are explains why people have different skin colors in very basic language. The Colors of Us is a great story about a little girl and the people in her neighborhood who are “different kinds of brown.” Sofia Valdez, Future Prez is a favorite, with latinx culture and language infused throughout. Lucia the Luchadora is cute, and so is We also read a lot of books in Spanish (we speak basic Spanish and she knows some too).
Nice, we have some but not all of these– will check them out, thank you!
Has anyone done Lauren Ohayon’s Restore Your Core program to fix diastasis recti? Did it work? And did the results last once you were done with the program? The thing I don’t get about core programs is it seems like you have to do it consistently for the rest of your life if you want to eliminate the mom pooch permanently. Which feels very overwhelming to me. Anyway, just trying to decide if its worth the $200.
I didn’t have DR, but I had a bit of a pooch and also lots of core instability that was causing me to get injured when running. I did print out the schedule and followed it as closely as possible. It didn’t eliminate the pooch, but it helped. It did really help me going into my second pregnancy have a stronger, more functional core. I think it’s worth the money if you are considering PT, because it’s basically PT you can do at your house.
I tried to fix DR on my own following a different program and totally failed. Saw a good PT and it was fixed within months. Well worth going to a PT IMHO.
It was fine, I didn’t have diastasis recti though. Lots of breathing and gentle exercises. I liked it because I like videos I can follow along with, but it’s not groundbreaking stuff. It might be worth doing PT first if you’re able to.
I will put in a plug in for MommaStrong (dot com). It’s a monthly subscription and yes, the idea is that you do it forever, but I’ve found it to be SO worth it. Helped with healing DR and dramatically improving pooch, and after that has been worth continuing to do it for how much it helps with addressing general aches and pains, and improving overall fitness. You could always stop if you decide you’ve gotten enough from it after addressing the DR, payment is month to month. I also saw a PT and the exercises are very similar (and my PT watched a few of the videos and said they looked great from a PT perspective).
A question for parents with two or more pregnancies… how long can you hide the second one? I got to nearly six months with my first, but everyone says your body reacts different with your second. Trying to be strategic about work…
I also got to nearly six months with my first (warm weather, loose dresses) and felt like I had more of a noticeable bump around 4 months with my second (but it was winter and I wore a lot of sweaters).
It was night and day for me, but I also gained a ton of weight with #2 – like, 20# in the first trimester? Since I was already getting ‘fat’, I ended up showing earlier, too, closer to 14 weeks than when I showed from #1 (~25 weeks?).
I was pretty clearly preggo at 12w with my second. I told at 10w to my boss because we were in Europe and I wasn’t drinking, but I was still wearing my normal suits. Within a few weeks I was into maternity gear.
Same. There was no hiding of the second pregnancy.
I think who at work you are trying to hide it from matters. With my first I was able to hide it convincingly until I announced at around 16-18 weeks, from everyone but close work friends (who guessed when I didn’t drink at repeated work social events and in connection with dinners during business travel as opposed to physical appearance). And even at 16-18 weeks I probably looked more chubby than pregnant. With my second I was chubby by 12 weeks and clearly showing a defined bump by 14 weeks. To the extent it matters, I’m short with a solid build, small chested, flat stomach, and wider hips.
I was able to hide from larger groups earlier on by ordering an O’Douls in a glass directly from the bartender or waitress. One on one, I knew it would be impossible and I had a good relationship w/ my boss so I just told him.
One friend did notice at a catered event where it wasn’t a full bar, so I was just drinking sodas. But he didn’t say anything til I told him weeks later. No one else at that event noticed!
I’m pretty much exclusively a red wine drinker and everyone knows that about me at work, so it was challenging to hide. People were generally considerate and didn’t say anything.
I got to nearly six months with both without showing too much – no noticeable difference with my second pregnancy vs. first tbh. My pregnancies were 4 years apart though, so that might make a difference. My body type is also tall and skinny, and I carried on the (very) small side.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I have bump pictures from my second and I was clearly showing by 16 weeks – I think I started being pretty noticeable by 13/14 weeks. More noticeable with my second than first.
The first sign is usually that your face gets wider, which tends to happen early in the first tri unless you’re very sick and lose weight.
Yes, the face is a dead giveaway. I have never been surprised by a pregnancy disclosed after about 9-10 weeks, because the face always changes well before the end of the first trimester (even if you don’t gain a pound). Breasts also usually change a lot before the end of the first trimester. My MIL and SIL saw me when I was less than 8 weeks pregnant with my first and they both knew immediately. I’m tall, relatively slender, and had gained maybe one pound at the time. If you think none of your colleagues knew you were pregnant until seven months, you work with incredibly unobservant people or you’re kidding yourself.
Eh, it varies. My face didn’t change at all, and my breasts only grew a half cup during the entire pregnancy.
Also, I worked with a lot of men – like 90% of my office.
I agree men are probably less likely to guess based on facial changes than women (especially moms) but the men I worked with all said they already knew when I announced my first pregnancy at 16 weeks. I’m extremely tall (almost 6′) and gained a relatively low amount of weight (less than 20 pounds total). I didn’t have a basketball belly until month 6 or 7, and even at 40+ weeks I never had any stranger comment on my pregnancy (I think that has more to do with my RBF than my body though) but even without a large belly I looked pretty obviously pregnant to those who knew me long before then. You can disclose whenever you want, but I think it’s very naive to think no one will have a clue if you wait until your second or third trimester to announce.
I was pretty clearly pregnant at ten weeks with my second. Just depends on your body.
Seven months with the second. Six with the third. A lot of strategic dressing. Not to say that when did I disclose few of my work colleagues weren’t surprised.
What exactly is the benefit of pretending you’re not pregnant until 7 months? What is wrong with disclosing around 20 weeks? I would be pretty annoyed if one of my colleagues waited until 7 months to start planning for maternity leave, especially if it were a direct report. And the later you go, the more likely you are to be placed on bed rest with little or no warning. Of course someone will bring up the heart attack analogy, but you do have a whole lot more ability to plan in advance for maternity leave than for a heart attack.
It’s pretty hard to fool people, but you don’t really need to. You just need to signal that they are to play along with the fiction that they don’t know. As long as you don’t wear anything that intentionally highlights the bump, people will get the signal.
This. No one can actually hide a pregnancy until 6 months. But if you don’t acknowledge it and don’t wear things that showcase your bump, people will play along.
I felt like I showed at like 8-10 weeks with my second, 14-15 weeks with my first.
I hid my second pregnancy at work until ~18 weeks. It was definitely not as easy as the first time when I hid until 20+ weeks but lots of forgiving swing dresses and blousy tops made it possible. I’m tall-ish and have a longer torso, though.
I am tall-ish with a long torso and I feel like this made pregnancy more difficult to hide. I looked like I was trying to smuggle a basketball by 14-16 weeks.
Not the Anon above, but tall, long of torso, and my bump didn’t “pop” until 23 weeks. Weirdly, I can pinpoint almost the exact day I started to look pregnant.
Anon at 12:30 PM says
Interesting. I can see how that would be an issue. I carried both kids high, much to the dismay of my ribs towards the end, but it did make pregnancy easier to hide.
Thanks, everyone. I was five years younger and running marathons through the last pregnancy, so I think I got off easy in terms of hiding it. Sounds like I should plan on fessing up around 4 months this time…
I think if you want to wait until your 20 week anatomy scan, even if you are showing a bit, that’s likely fine and fairly common.
This. People will be able to tell before 20 weeks, but they will not say anything. If you wait much past 20 weeks to let people start planning for your leave, they may be somewhat annoyed.
I was clearly pregnant at 14 weeks with my second. Like I looked 20 weeks. Just showing earlier plus any hormonal bloat was more obvious.
Ugh, anyone have any good tips for the work from home Monday (Tuesday?) blues? I’m a consultant who works alone, and we have a big, busy family. I always find it SO hard to buckle down and focus on Monday mornings. I feel like our weekends are jam packed with sports or hiking or hanging outside with neighbors, and I should love the quiet of Monday, but I always feel a big letdown. I feel like the answer should be to get out of the house and work from a coffee shop, but part of my struggle is that I really can’t motivate myself to do anything. I just feel stuck most of the morning, then have to scramble to get my work done in the afternoon. When I worked in an office, I’d cure the Monday blahs by catching up with a coworker. Now I don’t even have a colleague I can call!! Help!
Have you tried getting a standing desk? I use it whenever I feel like what you’re describing. Sometimes I use it all day long and others I just use it for an hour or two until I can get motivated to work. There’s something about standing that gets my mind back in the game.
Great suggestion! Thank you – I do feel more engaged when I am up and moving. I will try to create a standing desk, and maybe that will help me engage in the mornings.
Are you getting enough rest on the weekends? I feel like this on Mondays if I haven’t gotten enough downtime.
Can you go for a walk first thing? That helps me break up the weekend vs work distinction and transition back. Or plan a coffee or lunch catchup over zoom for some Mondays?
This. I go for a quick walk around the block every day after dropping off the kids and before I start work.
Music also helps me focus… we don’t usually have music playing in the house on the weekend, but I like it while I’m working at home. (Side note, I turned on a randomized playlist of movie soundtracks the other day, and it resulted in a ton of entertainment when Superman or Darth Vader themes coincided with various frustrations and personalities throughout the day.)
Mary Moo Cow says
Are you responsible for drop off of any child on Monday mornings? My trick is to keep moving, so after school drop off, I would go grocery shopping/do a grocery pick up, pick up a special coffee, make an early morning coffee date with another wfh mom, go straight to a gym class, or leave the car in the garage and go for a walk as soon as I got home from drop-off. Long term, you might consider renting a co-working space (if the idea that you’re paying for it motivates you to actually use it.)
These are all great suggestions – love the idea of keep moving on Monday mornings…If I’m not going to work, may as well knock out other to-do items.
Aunt Jamesina says
Suggestions and/or bottle recommendations for an EBF baby who isn’t coming around to bottle feeds? Baby is now ten weeks, and we’ve introduced small bottles regularly since she was three weeks. She’ll take about an ounce before she gets frustrated and even that ounce takes a looooooong time. We currently use the glass Dr. Brown’s bottles (and I would prefer to stick with glass if possible). So far, my husband, my mom, and my MIL have all tried to bottle feed her when I’m not around. She starts daycare in a month.
the timing (long and frustrating) makes me think you should try to size up a n-pple. Dr. Brown’s makes multiple sizes. Avent also makes glass bottles and multiple sized n-pples – maybe a different shape would help. Also, double check daycare will take glass bottles – mine did not.
Aunt Jamesina says
Yes, I’ve ordered new n-pple sizes to see if that will work. Daycare does take glass bottles, thankfully!
What nipple size? It might me time to move up to a size 1 or even a size 2.
yes, something i didnt realize was a thing as a FTM
Aunt Jamesina says
And something I definitely should’ve mentioned in my first comment: she won’t “latch” onto the bottle most of the time, just kind of gums at it. She’s not interested in pacifiers either.
My EBF baby never particularly liked bottles. She eventually caved and took them reluctantly after we identified a lipase issue and started scalding the milk to stop it from turning gross. (If you haven’t, check for a lipase issue.)
She ended up preferring the Medela bottles that came with the pump. Decidedly not fancy, but we could give them a little squeeze to get some milk in her mouth to get her started sucking.
Aunt Jamesina says
She’s only had freshly pumped milk, so I don’t think this is the problem. Although I suppose I should freeze and test some to make sure I don’t have this issue, thank you!
Even my freshly pumped milk tasted rancid within minutes :( let it sit on the counter for a few minutes and taste it…I was horrified!
Aunt Jamesina says
Ohh, interesting! I’ll look into this.
I had a lipase issue with both and my milk turned soapy within 24/48 hours. I would scald milk to 160F after I brought it home for the day. I did find that if I cut out my multivitamin (I was taking Nature Made Pre or postnatal with DHA and a Calcium/ Vitamin D supplement) the lipase issues went away. As a scientist I would have loved to look into this more, but didn’t have time time.
If you have a good lactation consultant talk with them. My first was not latching well to the bottle (we used the Lansinoh Momma, plastic however) and the lactation consulted actually tucked a finger under her chin to help keep her mouth more closed. That + feeding her in alternative positions at the beginning (swing, baby carrier facing away) ended up solving the trick for us. Some babies are very picky about temperature, so might be worth checking. Also, we just used the same newborn nipple throughout, as I think the bottle is “easier” to get milk out of than mom regardless.
For #2 I started bottle feeding once a day to ensure she didn’t have the same problems. I’m convinced nipple confusion is an old wives tale that makes first time moms question everything that goes into baby’s mouths.
Aunt Jamesina says
Yes, I wasn’t at all convinced nipple confusion was a thing, but didn’t bother to try out pumping and bottles the first three weeks since it was such a whirlwind. Kinda wish I had!
Don’t beat yourself up about it–it might not have helped. My baby switched between nursing and bottles easily for the first several weeks, then decided she only wanted the real thing. Babies like what they like, and there are no perfect parenting practices that will prevent this.
FWIW my milk had lipase issues but my son didn’t seem to care once he embraced bottles. What worked – stubborn persistence on the part of my husband. Just keep trying.
We had this issue with my daughter. We tried every bottle and nipple combination on earth, it felt like. Eventually my husband, who was on leave when I returned to work, fed her via syringe. I doubt a daycare would be willing to do that though, so might not help you, although my husband said it actually didn’t take much longer than bottle feeding once he got the hang of it (I think it took him about 15 or 20 minutes to give her 6-8 oz). It was not a lipase issue for us, we combo fed and she would take frozen b-milk or formula just fine from a syringe, she just did not want a bottle getting anywhere near her face and the more he tried, the stronger she fought back. One day when she was around 6 months old she picked up a bottle my husband was using to prep a syringe feeding, and started feeding herself and that was that. My husband was actually kind of sad when their syringe feeding days ended, it was their special thing like nursing was ours.
It’s interesting how you can see aspects of their personalities emerge at such an early age. My daughter is four years old now and still has the exact same attitude about many things that she did about bottles as an infant: if she’s made up her mind not to do it, no amount of effort will convince her otherwise. But one day she will decide to do it on her own, do it easily without any help, and never look book. Potty training was fun. /s ;)
Aunt Jamesina says
The syringe story with your husband is so sweet!
Seventh Sister says
Definitely try a bigger n-ple size, but also my two seemed to register formula in a bottle as “food that is not mom” and seemed to like it just as much (if not more) than expressed milk. FWIW, the one that got more formula is basically an evil genius and the other one is pretty smart too.
We ran into this with my daughter. We supplemented with bottles lots in her early weeks while we were getting nursing on track. We stopped bottles once we both had figured things out on the nursing front, and when we tried to reintroduce them in the weeks leading up to daycare, she refused to take a bottle. It was stressful but 100%–it ended up OK. Daycare teachers have seen it all and are pros at getting kids to take bottles. We still couldn’t get her to take it before starting daycare. While it was a much more stressful start back to work than I would have hoped, after a few days of not drinking much, she gave in and started taking them fine. Even if you can’t get her to take much before she starts, she will get it in time once she starts!
We tried so many bottles, and what worked for us were the super cheap Gerber First Essentials clear bottles with the brown silicon n*pple.
Aunt Jamesina says
Yeah, I’m telling myself that if all else fails, then daycare will solve the issue. Not ideal, but we’re doing what we can!
Boston Legal Eagle says
Does anyone watch Euphoria and feel terrified for the future with teenagers? Ugh I don’t know why I do this to myself. I know not a lot of people here have older kids, but if you do, do you think it’s an accurate portrayal (besides the fact that the actors are like mid-20s…)
No, most high school students are not addicted to drugs or mixed up in the kind of trouble portrayed on Euphoria. Most of the teens I know are worried about balancing schoolwork with extracurriculars, whether they’ll get a part in the school play, all-state choir and orchestra auditions, college essays, SATs and APs, sports, and how annoyed they are by the loudmouthed kid who sits in the back of their English class. Some are coming to grips with their [email protected] or gender identity, or face mental health issues such as ADHD, anxiety, or depression. By and large they actually strike me as more naive about many things than our generation was at their age. I suspect that part of it has to do with driving. Many kids are just not as interested in driving and are not getting their licenses the minute they are eligible the way we all wanted to do. Thanks to graduated licensing laws, those who do get their licenses aren’t as able to drive a pack of other teenagers around in the middle of the night. They generally seem to stay home more and roam around less than most of us did at that age. Of course there are still the big parties, but they are confined to a certain crowd and a lot of kids steer clear.
As in previous generations, the best things you can do to insulate your kids against danger and prepare them to make good decisions are just common-sense parenting. Support your kid’s individual interests–sports, music, art, theatre, volunteering–to build their self-confidence and help them build positive peer relationships. Nurture supportive relationships with other caring adults (with all safety precautions in place). Listen to kids without judgment and ask questions, but don’t interrogate them. Know who their friends are, where they are going, and what they are doing. Establish a way for them to ask you to come pick them up if they get into a difficult situation, and make it clear that they will be praised for getting out of the situation instead of being punished for getting into it.
What I find most terrifying about modern parenting is that the consequences of a mistake are much greater thanks to social media, the internet, and policing practices. I also worry about the influence of p0rn on young men and women’s expectations about $ex. I talk about these things with my teen from time to time when it comes up, sometimes by mentioning something I’ve seen in the news or at work.
“Most of the teens I know are worried about balancing schoolwork with extracurriculars, whether they’ll get a part in the school play, all-state choir and orchestra auditions, college essays, SATs and APs, sports, and how annoyed they are by the loudmouthed kid who sits in the back of their English class.”
I think you know a very specific subset of teens. That was my crowd in high school, but man, that is not most of the country!
Yeah, this is a very narrow subset of teens that most people would describe as “good kids” (if they’re being polite) or “nerds” if they’re not. Was my crowd for sure, but is definitely not all teens!
Also fwiw, the driving thing hasn’t changed everywhere. Every teen I know has gotten their license on or very near their 16th birthday, and it’s not illegal in my state for teens to drive other teens immediately after getting licensed (though we will likely put limits on it, as my parents did with me).
I went to high school 1998-2002. I was a “good kid.” That said, I knew kids that:
– went to parties on weeknights and weekends, parties *exactly* as depicted in that show. Only difference was that kids parked further away.
– were very addicted to drugs. I didn’t know kids that injected, but friends of friends did.
– sold drugs. a lot of drugs. drove across the border to pick up drugs, suitcase fulls, and sold them locally.
– went to rehab (alcohol and pills)
– committed suicide
– had sex [and a really weird relationship] with a teacher
– were [email protected] by adults (not like, 16/18, as in, adult in his late 20s)
– got involved with (including sex) men in their 30s
– stole cars
– drove drunk, wrecked cars, and/or died or killed someone
– were arrested (not the car thieves!)
– were arrested, charged, and jailed for over 6 months
– had parents with headline-making scandals and news
DH and I were just talking about this last night. I grew up in the crowd you described in fly-over country. He lived in LA and his comment was that he’s not even sure how he could make me understand everything that he was exposed to, because I have zero frame of reference to even put it in. I absolutely believe him. I jokingly/truthfully said “I went to a party with BEER once right after graduation. it was outdoors at a park, and I did not partake and neither did the friends I went with.”
We now live in a major coastal city where there is just a lot more opportunity to find trouble and some rich kids have a cavalier attitude toward how much trouble they can really get in. A friend’s recent HS grad died of an opiate overdose (white, athlete, wealthy family, “casual partier” as 12:23 put it) last year. so yeah, this is something I worry about. I want to trust that I’ll instill values that keep my kids, who are still in elementary school, boring and nerdy like I was, but a lot of parents think that….
LA is … special. I can say this because I grew up and attended public schools there.
I don’t think LA is unique. My college BF had a very similar experience in Miami. I suspect it’s common for kids to grow up too fast in any environment where there’s a mix of wealthy, not very well-supervised kids, and a lot of poverty and substances readily available to them in less affluent parts of the city. Which is probably most large American cities.
Maybe you knew my husband! (probably not, if you were in the nerdy crowd)
But seriously, I don’t think LA levels of excess exist where we live. I’m far more worried about the prep school kids that think they’re invincible, who are plentiful in my area. When I left suburban fly-over country for a private college in New England, I learned that casual drug use, s3x, binge drinking, & felonies were much more common – at least in some circles – than my experience had led me to believe. Even accounting for college kids self-aggrandizing, it was just a lot. This is the main reason I refuse to move to the wealthier parts of our metro area where the kids whose families have enough money to make problems go away are more concentrated.
Aunt Jamesina says
That isn’t at all exclusive to LA! I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and went to a “good” public high school and both the AP crowd and the wild partying crowd described above went to my school… believe it or not, some of the high achievers were also crazy partiers. The suburbs aren’t immune to these things BUT statistically the kids who engage in this behavior aren’t at all the majority.
You know euphoria takes place in (the burbs of) LA, right?
in the show, most of the kids are *not* addicted to drugs. Most of them are casual partiers and there are a few kids in really, really deep.
It reminds me a lot of (the Bristish version of) Skins.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Thank you avocado – I really appreciate your perspective here (and others who have older kids!)
Yes, co-sign. I often think that teens today KNOW more than previous generations – thanks to the internet, but haven’t DONE more (probably also due to the Internet and more recently, COVID). I had so many more life experiences than this generation – they are so ill equipped for real life circumstances, even though they’ve read and seen SO MUCH more than what we did. I am grateful for the online community for my transgender teen and other marginalized kids, but man, sometimes I do wish they didn’t have access to as much as they do.
Longer response in mod, probably due to language. No, it is not an accurate portrayal of life for the vast majority of teens. It’s an HBO show designed to titillate.
I mean I think it’s like asking if Ally McBeal is a realistic depiction of a law firm, or House of Cards is like working on the Hill (a resounding no based on my Hill experience). Maybe some elements? But generally, no.
My SIL went to the high school Gossip Girl was based on, and although her experience wasn’t *that* wild, it was a lot closer to the TV show than my high school experience was. Law firms and politics are generally a lot more boring than teen drama, so makes sense that they have to exaggerate more.
I think this depends a lot on your life. My husband and I watched it and i was like “this is insane.” DH said “this was my life.” He went to a top private school in the country and he was also friend with a lot of the “townies.” He grew up with friends from both going to rehab, selling drugs, etc.
Yeah, this was my experience as well. I had a very sheltered high school experience at a Midwest public high school in a college town. It was a Very Big Deal when a girl in my grade got alcohol poisoning after a school dance and had to go to the hospital to have her stomach pumped. I mostly interacted with kids who were well above average academically and serious about at least one extracurricular like music, theater or sports, so no one really had time for dr*gs, and the only dr*g I really even heard about “the dr*ggies” doing was p0t. No one in my crowd was doing any hooking up beyond kissing outside of committed relationships. But in college I met a lot of people who’d gone to fancy prep schools and had lots of stories about regular c0ke use, even among kids who were doing well academically, and crazy s3x stuff. My ex-bf went to one of those schools and his experience was so different than mind. Tons of drinking, dr*gs, wild parties every time someone’s parents were out of town (and parents were intentionally looking the other way, it seemed) and random hookups/group s3x. Also lots of stories about girls he knew who’d slept with male teachers or coaches, which was unimaginable at my school. So, depends a lot on the school, I’d say.
Most kids in USA grow up in flyover country, in plain vanilla suburbs, or in poverty or semi-poverty in a big city. Prep school kids are a tiny minority.
Fair, although inner city schools and rural schools have plenty of dr*g issues too. The rural schools in my Midwest home state definitely had a reputation for serious dr*g issues, and dr*g-associated violence, at the time I was in school. And the schools in the ritzy suburbs of the state’s biggest city had more problems with alcohol and pills than my school did.
I do think my bucolic high school experience where most kids were focused on academics and extracurriculars and the remaining kids were “stoners” who just lounged around and smoked p0t was rare at the time, and is rarer now.
Specifically, DH’s best friend growing up *was* Fezco. The only difference was DH’s “Fezco” was the son of a millionaire so he didn’t operate out of a convenience store. Looked, acted, and spoke exactly like that character. Over the years has been in and out of jail and rehab. Funny story though, his dad is rich and Dh’s friend is now the CTO of a family-owned business. He’s clean, though.
Seventh Sister says
I have a teenager in LA and I can’t watch the show because I worry that I’ll freak the f- out and send my teen to live in rural DE with my parents. But…mine is kind of a nerd. OK, she’s really a nerd. She goes to a public middle school where I’m reasonably sure there are kids who are Into Illegal Stuff, but we try to balance giving her enough independence to do her own thing with the knowledge that there are dangers out in the world. And honestly, kids did plenty of drugs and got into plenty of trouble in my suburban hometown.
Looking for ideas for prepackaged after-school snacks that are at least semi-healthy. Yes, in an ideal world, I’d have loads of fresh things all cut up that my middle schooler would happily devour, but that is not reality. I am looking for grab-and-go solutions.
In the refrigerator case in your grocery store’s produce section, you can find cute little snack boxes with apple slices, grapes, carrot sticks, cheese cubes, nuts, granola bites, etc. Another good choice is tortilla chips (whole grains!) with a single-serve cup of guacamole.
Cheesesticks? The packets of pre-cut apples? Baby carrots and individual tubs of hummus?
What about buying a platter of cut up veggies and one of fruit for each week? If that doesn’t work what about grab and go fruit like apples, pears, bananas, and clementines. And then a bag of baby carrots. You could pair those with I the individual containers of hummus. Then add a box of crackers, pots of yogurt, cheese sticks, and kind bars. Would that be enough options?
Mary Moo Cow says
This Saves Lives Kids bars have a serving of fruit and veggies and are allergy free. Bags of pretzels, bags of pirates booty, boxes of yogurt covered raisins, bags of goldfish (do middle schoolers still eat goldfish?)
Costco sells cheese and nut and dried fruit snack packs that are delicious. Laughing cow cheese and pretzel crisps. Yogurt tubes?
Aunt Jamesina says
Trail mix, granola, Babybel, string cheese, clementines, hummus and veggies that are easy/no prep (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, sugar snap peas?),
Along the lines of trailmix, I often pack for my 3rd grader a container of almonds, raisins and a few chocolate chips.
That’s it bars!
Sargento Balanced Breaks (usually near the cheese in the grocery store)
Individual Bags of Popcorn
Individual Pouches of Nut Butters
Individual Oatmeal Cups
Tuna Salad Kits with crackers (usually near the canned tuna)
Made Good bars/granola bites (you can buy at Whole Foods or Target).
Freeze dried fruit
Hummus/pita chip or pretzel snack packs
Washed grapes or blueberries in a bowl in the fridge (no cutting required!)
Does anyone have a 4000 SF home with the master bedroom downstairs? My kids are 5 and 3 and the 3 year old is still in a crib and I’m worried I won’t be able to hear them. At the same time, I’m such a light sleeper I dont want two baby monitors on all night to hear every peep and their sound machines. They sleep through the night 95% of the time and the 5 year old is in a bed and could walk downstairs if she needs anything.
Can your three year old not do stairs?
Our house is less than half the size of yours, but we still have the kids on a different floor and use monitors. We have simply audio-only ones where you can adjust the sensitivity and volume, so it works out that we only hear if a kid is actually crying, not any of their usual sleeping noises or their sound machine. Putting the monitor on the opposite side of the room from the sound machine is also key.
oh wow, i didnt know these existed to adjust the sensitivity and volume and i never considered putting on the opposite corner to sound machine lol, smart! Would you mind linking me the brand of audio monitor you use :)
We use the VTech DM221 which have a sensitivity range from 5 (will broadcast sound basically continuously, in my experience) to 1 (will only pick up loud/sustained cries). We’ve used up to three at a time when traveling with family and as long as the baby units are in different rooms, there’s no interference with parent units next to each other.
There’s probably other ones out there, but these have worked well for us for the past 5 years!
Aunt Jamesina says
We use the VTech DM112-2 and have been happy with the sound quality (although our home is much smaller). It’s also only $30!
You can also put a monitor in the hallway. We have a similar set up (kids on different floor, and their rooms are pretty far away from us). At 7 and 9, we don’t need to rely on a monitor, but I was happy to have one when they were younger. It also helped for unexpected issues (like someone getting sick in the middle of the night). Now, one of them will come get us if the other gets sick.
I’m also a really light sleeper and really like having the kids sleeping in closer rooms so I’m not relying on the monitor. We probably don’t have the best monitor, so maybe you could get one that works better at not getting all the grunts and the white noise. But keep in mind at that size house, some monitors may not have enough range, so it’s possible not everything will work in your set up.
You guys are the best! I’m so happy to know this product exists!!
Anon Lawyer says
Lol, I first read “SF” as “San Francisco” and was like, that’s very specific and also l, you think I have $20 million to spend on a home??
LOL yes 4,000 SF in SF would make you mega wealthy.
This sounds like a very, very short-term problem. The 3 year old will likely be out of the crib within a few months, at most a year. At that point, both kids will be able to walk downstairs and find you.
I have a 2700 sq ft house, all one story, with the master bedroom on the opposite side of the house from my bedroom. We moved into this house when my kid was 3, and he was already out of a crib. He’s not at all shy about coming to find us. If we needed to be able to hear him (like, if he were really sick or something?), we could sleep in a guest room closer to his room, or we could use a baby monitoring app that connects to our phones and uses either wifi or cellular data (so range is not an issue).
Camp registration is terrible says
Ugh. County summer camp registration opened this morning at 8:30am. I kind of feel like 8:30am the day after a holiday weekend is a terrible time for camp registration to open. I’m in the middle of getting kids to school and getting myself out the door- who has time to sit and sift and click? Also I feel very privileged that my mom actually walked the kids to school this morning so I could manage this.
So thought exercise- how would you make camp registration better?
-open registration at 9:30pm on a Friday. Kids are asleep, but I still have enough brain space to go through the system, get out my credit card and pay.
– allow me to register all my kids at once, rather than each individually and risk camp filling up between kids.
– keep some spaces reserved for people who don’t have internet/childcare/etc and need to register at a different time. Or make it like early admission… one round now and open up more slots in a month.
– link to registration directly from online catalogue. None of this copy that camp code down and enter it on a different website BS.
There’s got to be a way to make this easier, right?
I would increase the number of spaces in the camp.
Wow, this is making me appreciate the summer camps in my area! I’ve only signed my kids up for 3 and they did open registration in the morning, but all of them had direct links to registration and let me register both my kids at once.
Isolation fun? says
Any recs for surviving isolation with an 18-mo-old and two busy jobs, aside from all the food delivery? Our last quarantine was in a slower period so it was rough but mostly manageable. Kiddo doesn’t have any symptoms (tested on day 3 after last exposure to make sure we wouldn’t be caught by surprise with a PCR on day 6). Are any of those water pens/magic paper good for that age? She loves art at school, but I cannot handle a toddler painting and lawyering at the same time. We don’t have room for any large toys inside, and the weather is supposed to be terrible all week.
Oy. Sorry – stick a bunch of post its in rows on something she can reach to take them off should buy you 10 mins, all of the cocomelon, “parades” where you march around the home with instruments, looking at videos of herself on your phone, recording videos of herself and then watching them right away . . .
At that age, my daughter got a lot of use out of a play sink that actually runs water (we had the Cute Stone brand on am-z-n). It would occupy her for much longer than other activities. It’s a pretty small footprint for maximum fun. Fair warning- we had 2 or 3 of them in different brands and they all broke after a few months. It was worth it for us- this was peak lock down time frame.
We also did sensory bins a la busy toddler. Hiding little toy animals in rice, scooping dry noodles, that sort of thing. All easily cleaned up with a broom or vacuum.
Each activity will really only buy you like 15 min at a time, though. It’s just a tough age where they need a lot of direct interaction (at least it was for my kid).
Thanks to both of you! She definitely needs a ton of interaction, but she doesn’t want to repeat the same activities over and over, so it’s more that we need ideas for a new thing every 15-30 min so that the parent who’s working doesn’t get interrupted by boredom tantrums. I did get a solid morning yesterday out of some pull back cars I found at Target.
A few more ideas: give her a bunch of painters tape pieces, giving toys a bath in a small bin of water placed on a towel on the floor (not in the bathroom), you do exercises using her as a weight . . .
Giving the toys a bath had been mentioned a couple times – it’s my #1 winner. Usually we do two side by side 9×13 size plastic tubs with a bath towel underneath. Variations: add a few drops of food coloring, add bubble bath and whisk it really good to make foam, different toy groups, different dippers or pouring containers. We do it at the kitchen island with kid in learning tower and grown up can work on laptop on other side.
Sensory bin? My kid would play for long stretches with a shallow plastic bin filled with cornmeal. I had some teeny tiny shovels, little people, trucks, etc.
Boston Legal Eagle says
You have my sympathies – that is the toughest age for this, IMO. They can’t focus on anything for more than a few minutes (which is developmentally appropriate!) Can you each take a shift so that the other has focused time to work? Not ideal but better than trying to both work and watch a toddler all day. And the parent who’s on just cycles through various toys. And TV throughout the day. I hope she at least still naps!
Yep, we’re doing shifts!
Oy, I’m sorry. We survived twin 18 month olds during the lockdown by constantly changing scenery. We’d just have to switch rooms a ton, and put a new toy in each room. Blocks in the bedroom, magnatiles in the living room, etc. and take turns “working” from the room where the kids were playing.
When I felt really frustrated or irritated with the kids, I put them in the car, and we’d just go for a drive. It helped my mental health tremendously to just get out of the house. Bonus points if you can pick up food at a drive through, or find a deserted park to let them run.
Yes, Water Wows and Color Wonder are great for that age. My son was obsessed with scratch art pads too. We used this type of thing frequently at restaurants, in the car, and at a family member’s beach condo that’s full of expensive, custom upholstery.
Awesome, thanks! Ordering them now!
Washing little people (make sure they are not the ones with holes in the bottom, some are and some aren’t) in a bowl of soapy water and rinsing in a bowl of clean water could buy me 30 minutes at that age. Brio train tracks with a battery powered engine in a loop was a lot of fun. Extra long bath time, maybe with popsicles or glow sticks (if your kid is not terrified of the dark) helps eat up another hour. I would lean into all the cocomelon, disney, and sesame street I could handle. Vinyl sticker books are fun at that age too. We have one that was a zoo, an ocean and a farm scene and we would tell stories while moving around the stickers.
As for painting, actual painting with “real” paint is a disaster at that age. Painting with washable water colors was a breeze (not super messy, easy to clean up, easy to wash, absorbs into the paper if you get the higher weight paper). But a big roll of craft paper and some crayons spread out on the floor could be fun (DD liked when we would trace her hand or feet or ours and she could decorate).
Thanks! I agree about real paint – I have all the respect in the world for her daycare teacher who has the patience to clean up after painting time!
Activities that worked around this age for us that aren’t terribly messy:
-Playdoh and cookie cutters
-Magnetic doodle board
-Trace her outline on a big sheet of paper and let her decorate it with stickers / crayons
-Wash all the plastic animals in mixing bowls of water
-Pour the water from mixing bowl to mixing bowl using different cups, spoons, funnels, etc
-Playing with post it notes — either putting them out or pulling them down
-Using a spray bottle or wet rag and squeegee to “wash” a window
-Rescuing animals taped to walls/floor with painters tape
-Making race tracks on the floor with painters tape for toy cars or to line up plastic animals/ stuffed animals on
-Building towers of Duplo/Magnatile and knocking them down
-A big mat that you paint on with water and it changes color
-If its warmish but raining put on raincoat and boots and go for a walk to splash in the puddles
-30 second dance party with scarves
-Turning out the lights and going on a hunt in the dark with flashlights
-Turn any cardboard boxes into a house / tunnel
-Build a fort with couch cushions/throw blankets
do the activities in the bath tub!
– paint the bathtub or paper with watercolors and then wash it off
– put megablocks into the bathtub
– food coloring into the bath tub
– i know you said you don’t have a lot of space, but we also lived in an apartment and got a little tikes slide around that age and it was worth the space and its reasonable price tag
– putting popsicle sticks into a water bottle (one of my kids could do this for a long time)