Budget Thursday: Smart Style Ankle-Length Pants

Uniqlo has had these ankle-length pants for a while in solid colors, but I also like these patterned versions. They seem kind of cool and stylish for work but also comfortable — they don’t have a fully elastic waist, but they don’t have a full zipper either. The pants are made from an “elegant wool-like material that’s wrinkle-resistant,” and they’re machine washable, which is great. They’re available in sizes XS–XXL, but in my experience the XL and XXL are bigger than you’d expect (not like a size 12), so check out the size chart. If you’re on the hunt for washable, affordable pants for work, I’d these a try. They’re just $39.90 at Uniqlo. Smart Style Ankle-Length Pants

Here’s a plus-size option (albeit a bit pricier).

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  1. Getting 4 year old to share toys with toddler? says:

    For the past 2 years, my now-4 year old has had a train table and trains in his bedroom. We also have a 1 year old. Once the toddler is a few months older, I’d like to move the train table into the playroom so both kids can play with the trains. Any tips/thoughts on getting the 4 year old to share the trains with the toddler? Or is the situation just inviting disaster? FWIW, the toddler’s room is too small for us to put another train table in there.

    • I know this is a situation where reasonable minds will disagree, but… We have friends where similar situations have been a disaster (although their kiddos are closer in age – I only have one so don’t have direct experience). They’ve taken sharing/taking turns/etc. too far. If one child “asks” for a turn, the child who is playing with a toy has to give a turn or share within a couple of minutes. It causes so much stress, especially with toys that take longer to play with, like building a train track or lego city. Obviously I am all for sharing and stuff. But I would recommend assuring your child that even though some of the play will now involve sharing and playing together, he or she will still have some time alone with the toy (maybe after the little one’s bedtime or something?) and then make that happen. I think there is a time and place for sharing and a time and place for a young child to just get to be a kid and play with toys uninterrupted for a bit. My two cents, and I might get blasted for it!

      • The Montessori method (in my experience , which is limited to pre-k so far), they do not force the kids to share but they do have to take turns. If one kid wants to play with another kid’s toy, they can ask, but if the kid with the toy says no, then the second kid has to wait. The teacher says, I’ll wait with you, and gets the second kid involved in some other thing while she waits. I like this method because it gives the kids some autonomy and agency. Especially for those toys that require some extended play time, like trains or legos.

    • Anonymous says:

      No experience with 2 kids but I will say my son suddenly stopped playing with trains right around age 4.5 when he got his first legos. I think he still played trains at school but not much at home. So, your older child might be loosing interest soon anyway.

      • On the other hand, nothing sparks interest like another child’s attraction to the same toy :-)

  2. Can anyone recommend a split or system that works between spouses for housework/cooking, etc? We have a horrible cycle of me doing everything, getting mad and erupting about it, hubby pitching in more, hubby gradually cutting back, then me doing everything again, and repeat. I am exhausted and need help.

    • We use two general systems: one is to wholly divide up tasks based on logistics/inclination and the other is to have an automatic every other day trade off. For example, when I was breastfeeding my husband was in charge of prepping the bottles and sippy cups for daycare each day. Now that I’m not, we trade off every other day, so if he did it the day before, I do it the next day. It’s a bit regimented, but for us having automatic responsibilities or many things works better than constantly having to discuss who is doing what.

      • AwayEmily says:

        We do something similar. There are a bunch of tasks that we just divide up always (for example, I fold and put away laundry and clean the bathrooms; he deals with garbage/cat litter and sweeping/mopping the floors) and then some that we very explicitly trade off based on scheduling, etc (making dinner, cleaning the kitchen).

        Another thing we do that has worked well is if the house is just looking generally messy (mail piling up, toys everywhere, etc), one of us will call for a “speed clean” in which we both take 30 minutes where we set a timer and then do as much tidying/cleaning as possible in that time. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re super-focused, and somehow it’s more fun when both of you are doing it at once.

      • Sarabeth says:

        This is how we do it to, more or less. We clean the kitchen together every night after the kids are in bed, but for everything else we either divide up permanently or trade off. I meal plan, we trade off cooking. He is in charge of cleaning the rest of the house, which includes communication with the biweekly cleaner as well as interim cleaning. He does all laundry. I pack kid lunches and do all daycare dropoffs and pickups. We alternate doing bedtimes and getting up with kids overnight. Etc.

    • avocado says:

      In my experience, it works best if each person is entirely responsible for discrete tasks. For example, I sort the laundry and Husband washes and folds it. I clean bathrooms. H cleans floors. I fix faucets. H fixes toilets. I plan meals and cook dinner. H makes coffee, does the dishes, and unloads the dishwasher. Etc.

      This means it would be obvious to H if he weren’t pulling his weight, and reduces the temptation for me to step in and take care of everything myself. Of course, if one of us is overwhelmed or overloaded then the other will pitch in to help.

    • Seconding what others have said. We have our conflicts about it still, but what works best is having various tasks divided between us. Husband is responsible for daycare drop off/pick ups and associated bottles, food, clothes, etc. I do meal planning, shopping, and cooking. Husband mostly does laundry though I pitch in here and there on it. There’s other things where I bear the brunt of emotionally labor by having to be the one to outsource it (reminding him to pay certain bills that he’s responsible for, e.g.), but having certain areas that are exclusively ours has mitigated some fighting.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      We divide up responsibilities. He does morning prep, daycare drop off, dishes, trash, neatens up the house, and fixes anything that breaks (including fun ones like when I puked in the sink). I prep breakfast yogurt pouches (the squeezy zippers hurt his fingers), make dinner, order groceries/meal plan, pack lunches, daycare pick up, coordinate cleaning people, pay all bills. I’ve found that dividing up responsibilities helps much more… if I don’t make dinner it’s obvious, if he doesn’t do dishes or take out the trash… obvious.

      • It’s nice that it being “obvious” that the dishes aren’t done or whatever is enough of a consequence to make your husband get it done. :(

  3. Anonymous says:

    For cooking we have assigned nights, which is mostly due to who is picking up from daycare that day. We also simplify meals, so leftovers one night, frozen pizza one night, and take out on Friday, so we actually only cook 4 dinners a week. For cleaning I do mostly everything but the bathrooms, and I just remind him when they need to be done.

  4. Rehoming a dog? says:

    Asking here because you all have non-judgmental advice – we need to re-home our dog, for a number of reasons, but I’m at a loss for how to go about it. She’s a 9-yr old lab with a history of aggression towards some dogs and has now started snapping at our 3yo. I’ve checked a few rescue sites but they don’t take aggressive dogs or older dogs. We want to do the right thing to ensure she is well cared for (ie not just dump her at a shelter) but it’s becoming increasingly untenable to keep her. How does one go about getting a dog re-homed if they have these issues?

    • avocado says:

      Where did you get the dog? We had to rehome a dog for similar reasons, and were able to return her to the rescue organization from which we had originally adopted her. If you got your dog from a rescue, even many years ago, it’s likely that you agreed to return the dog to the organization if you could no longer keep her, which means they are obligated to take her back.

      If that doesn’t work, I’d ask your vet to refer you to a rescue organization that can help in your situation.

      • Rehoming a dog? says:

        We got her overseas, so unfortunately that’s not an option for us. But I’ll ask her vet, that’s a good idea I hadn’t thought of.

    • Cornellian says:

      If you haven’t, consider spending some money on training for her.

    • This is such a hard decision to make. My parents had to rehome one of their dogs, who was aggressive only with small children. They got in touch with the rescue where they originally adopted the dog, and the organization was incredibly understanding and worked with her to make sure the process went as smoothly as possible. They even offered to get in touch when the dog was re-adopted, but my Mom thought it’d be easier to not know.

      I’d second the recommendation to speak to your vet, they will likely have some suggestions. You may also want to look for a breed-specific rescue, they sometimes have different guidelines.

    • mascot says:

      Has she been to the vet to rule out pain or some other malady? What’s the trigger for her snapping at the child and is this something that might be temporary? Is there something you can do to train the child? Have you had a behaviorist take a look at her? We’ve got a dog that can get loud and feisty sometimes – she’ll bark very close to you and maybe bump into you, but it’s not exactly a snap and it’s certainly not a bite. We’ve done lots of training and feel pretty comfortable with her around our kid. With a ton of strangers in the house, we put her up. The more information that you can give a rescue about what has worked and what hasn’t, the better candidate she could be.
      BUT (unpopular opinion ahead), sometimes dogs aren’t safe no matter how much you love them and how hard you train them and how long you look for suitable placement. If you’ve run through all the options, I think the most responsible thing to do with a dog that’s not able to be rehabbed is to humanely put it down. Despite what Animal Planet may tell you, there aren’t unlimited options to rehome or train every dog. Don’t pass it off to some other unsuspecting owner, don’t put it in a position where it gets seized by animal control for a biting history. I know several people who made this choice and came close to having to make it myself and it was the right (oh so hard) choice to make.

      • avocado says:

        +1 on having the vet check for issues that might be causing her pain.

        Also, I agree 100% that you cannot train aggression out of every dog. Many dog lovers and rescue organizations will tell you that it’s your fault your dog is aggressive and that you just need to spend more time and money on training and exercise. We spent thousands of dollars and countless hours on training, dog walkers, and doggy day care for our dog and none of it helped one bit. That dog was just not meant to be a family pet, and I lay part of the blame with the rescue organization for concealing temperament issues that the foster family had known about when we adopted the dog as a puppy. Don’t accept the guilt that others may try to lay on you. It is not your fault. Your first responsibility is to your child, not the dog.

        • Rehoming a dog? says:

          And since it was also mentioned above – yes, have tried training and walkers, etc. We generally just keep her away from other dogs (no boarding, daycare, dog parks) so we’ve managed the dog-aggression side, but the kid aggression thing is new and worrying.

      • Rehoming a dog? says:

        Thank you for these comments – it’s really helpful. Part of my frustration is I want to be open about her issues because I believe that will help find a more suitable home for her (ie without kids or other dogs) but that also means most rescues won’t work with her. I feel like it’s a catch-22.

        • Could you try a breed-specific rescue? We used a pointer rescue who has lots of dogs who need to be only-pets or in child-free homes; not because the breed is labeled aggressive – some dogs just need to fly solo, and that’s ok! I’d also try a no-kill shelter if you have that option. Somewhere like Austin Pets Alive! does a great job of screening human candidates for dogs with “behaviors” (who still deserve loving homes). Hugs! This is hard. I’m proud of you for trying to do right by your pet.

    • Are you willing to post what state you are in, as I may be able to recommend a rescue that can help? I work with two rescues, and previously worked with our local humane society, and all three of those organizations would take this dog and adopt it out with no issues. Biting a toddler should not be treated the same as biting an adult, because in most cases the toddler did something that triggered the bite, and it is actually pretty easy to adopt a dog out to homes with no small children. It is also worth consulting a reputable behaviorist if you are willing to go down that route. One of my friend’s dogs bit her toddler in the face, and they were able to work with a behaviorist to make the dog safe around the kids, in combination with restricting access to the dog.

      • Rehoming a dog? says:

        NoVA / DC area. Thank you for this, it’s reassuring. Hasn’t actually bitten the toddler, but snapped and has growled when the toddler gets in her space. Basically, just seems to be turning into a grumpy old dog, and can’t be bothered to get up and move when the kid crowds her.

        • Unfortunately that’s an area where I don’t have any rescue contracts. It is so weird to me that a rescue would label a dog as “aggressive” if it hasn’t actually bit anyone. I would second Walnut’s recommendation below, as well as asking your vet and all your friends for recommendations for rescues to try. You may have to call a few, but I would be surprised if there weren’t several rescues that would take your dog. Definitely emphasize that there has not been a bite, but make sure they understand that he probably needs to go to a home without small children (a reputable rescue will be able to screen for this). Also, as someone who is heavily involved in rescue and judges people for all sorts of BS reasons for getting rid of their dog, I will tell you that this is the one reason for which I would never judge someone for rehoming a dog. I am obsessed with my dogs, but having a dog in this situation is not safe for your child or the dog. This is not remotely the same as the families who get rid of a dog because it’s “too much work” after the baby comes. This is an actual safety issue, both for your family and the dog.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am also in Northern Virginia and there are some great rescues in the area. I was surprised to find when searching for my last dog that I was not eligible for many of the dogs because I had a small child. The rescue that I recall specifically is Mutts Matter. However, I would suggest looking at Pet Finder. If you search for dogs similar to yours, you may find other rescues that can help.

    • Work your network. Post your story on FB and ask everyone to ask everyone for that friend that lives on a farm and has an empty nest. My friend was in your situation and eventually found a good home for her dog. I’d be leery of Craigslist because the scammers have gotten pretty good at pretending to be a happy good family. Do your parents have any friends w/o grandkids that could foster the dog while you look for a permanent placement?

    • Walnut says:

      Two rescues I work with absolutely take dogs that have snapped at young children. They are adopted out to homes without children. Call the rescues and discuss specifically with them, Include any details around why the dog may have snapped at the toddler.

    • I've been there. says:

      We rehomed our dog. I’m a dog person. DH is a dog person. We had a dog that was a rescue and despite thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of training still had guarding issues. We had a plan for when the baby came and for the first 18 months, we were managing (crate/separate- basically what you’d do if you had 2 dogs that didn’t get along).

      Our baby/toddler was an ABSOLUTE ANGEL around the dog. She never got near him unless a grown up said it was ok, rarely pet him (unless he was clearly going to be OK with it– and also a grown up was there), and even was throwing dog toys for him to play fetch with. Our dog had snapped at other people before under stressful circumstances, but only strangers- never family or known friends.

      Well, one day DH and daughter were sitting on our bottom step putting on shoes together. Dogger came over to sniff/say hello, DH scratched his ear, toddler (who was on the other side of DH) stood up because her shoes were on and dog turned his head and snapped at her (reaching his head/neck over DH’s lap). He got her finger and she got a cut and a nasty bruise. She did NOTHING wrong. I saw the whole thing. DH was there, and was literally stunned.

      That, after all the other events, was when we made the decision. No questions, we were both on the same page (DH was previously waffling–which is why I’m so glad it was HIM and not me there- no questions of if it could have been prevented or not, or if toddler did something toddler-y to provoke). We called the rescue we got the dog from immediately. We also called our dog walker who said “DON’T YOU DARE! I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!” and came over within the hour to take our dog home. He had 2 dogs of his own that our dog (who was 6) “grew up” with and got along well with, despite a general dislike of other dogs. They have one grown kid (20) who lived at home and loved our dog like his own, apparently.

      We really lucked out because we had a 6 year old black dog with a bite history. But even so, the rescue we worked with was ready to take him back. As a further back-up, we have a family friend that does rescue work from high-kill shelters and is heavily involved with placement. She told us she’d temporarily take the dog (she’s one of those nutty dog people who fosters Problem Dogs, so her house is set up for dogs with all kinds of issues and she’s very experienced) and she’d find it a new home.

      So…don’t give up just because your dog is old and snaps. There are rescues there to help. And second the suggestion of reaching out to your network- maybe there is a childless couple who would be happy to give the dog a good home for his/her last couple years. In my early 20s, I’d have taken on a dog like this, knowing we weren’t going to have kids for at least the time of the dog’s remaining life.

      And, only because you have a seemingly sudden-onset issue with a senior dog, do get a vet check. Maybe the dog is extra irritable due to a medical thing. I know that wasn’t the case for us, but you never know.

      • I've been there. says:

        Oh, and I will tell you. I mourned that dog as if he’d died. It took me MONTHS to get over it. I felt so guilty that we were one of “those” families that kicked the dog to the curb after the baby came. And this dog was in a great place with a person he knows and loves who is good with dogs and a nice yard and good dog friends. But that was ~4 years ago and it was the right call. It was as if this weight was lifted off me when he was gone– even though I was so, so sad (I WFH and he was my buddy all day every day!), I no longer had to worry about where he was at ALL TIMES and if all the gates were locked and which room I could stash him in if the repairman need to get in and how many of Toddler’s toys he’d chewed.

  5. PCOS advice? says:

    I’m not even sure if this is an OK question to ask here (I mostly hang on the main board), but I’m afraid to go into any TTC websites because I’m afraid I’ll start getting anxious for no reason… Anyway, has anyone had any experience with PCOS and/or getting pregnant with PCOS? For a variety of reasons, I have a feeling I may have it – for the past year, I’ve had irregular cycles (29-42 days), but I have been ovulating. Now, literally when my husband and I have decided to TTC, I’m on day 40 of my cycle with no ovulation I sight. I called my gynecologist and she basically said come in on day 3 after I get my period for labs. Just wondering if anyone else has been through this and ended up pregnant or had any other advice to offer from similar experiences!

    • I do not have PCOS but am having a little difficulty TTC and relating with my friends with PCOS.

      Go in for tests, there is medication to make you ovulate more frequently and it should work within the first 3 months. I have heard the ovulation tests are pretty worthless with PCOS.

      I recently went through HSG testing, sonograms and am now on Clomid.

      I have a friend that recently went off birth control and her cycle is now 40+ days. Apparently her mom and aunts had the same issue but everything ending up regulating and they did not have significant issues getting pregnant.

      Your doctor will be able to give you answers. Don’t fret, you’ll come up with a plan!

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t have PCOS but do have VERY long cycles– between 35 and 48 (!) days. I was annoyed when TTC because I felt like we were getting half of the chances to try! It took us a little over a year to conceive, I miscarried, and immediately after the miscarriage I went on Clomid. We got pregnant (with twins) the second cycle after I started taking it. I didn’t give enough credenence to low-stakes inverventions like the Clomid (it was $5 per cycle with my insurance and I didn’t have any of the emotional side effects some people seem to suffer). I got really worked up thinking we’d have to do IVF or injectables. Sometimes a little nudge helps! Your doctor will definitely know more after your labs.

      • Thank you for your response – I’m sure it will help once I get to talk to my doctor!

    • bluefield says:

      I have PCOS and have 2 kids. I have long cycles and cystic ovaries. With both kids I had to use pills to ovulate. Not going to lie, the monitoring is a PITA, both time-wise and needle-wise (OMG so many blood draws). But both times I got pregnant first try (I also had two miscarriages so really I get pregnant 4 times on the first try – I am very fertile except for my infertility). It’s hard not to freak out but everything could work out fine. Also if you’re having problems go to a reproductive endocrinologist now – appts can take a while and gynocologists aren’t really equipped to handle this. If you’re in NYC I have a referral for a great doctor.

      • anne-on says:

        If you don’t mind sharing- how did you get diagnosed? I have very long cycles, and cystic ovaries (along with some other apparent symptoms) and no doctor ever mentioned it to me. No issues getting pregnant as my cycles were long (but regular). Thinking this is something I should probably bring up to a primary care doc (we’re done with kids).

        • bluefield says:

          Just like that – I told the RE that I had some symptoms of PCOS (as identified by my gynocologist), and the RE said, No you have irregular cycles and cystic ovaries, you actually have PCOS. I think the main complication with PCOS is infertility, so if that’s not an issue for you that may be why no one has brought it up.

      • Thanks! I’m not in NYC but I really appreciate the offer.

    • I have PCOS and was diagnosed at 18 after I had a painful cyst burst and ultrasound showed “string of pearls.” I also had other symptoms (never had regular cycle, overweight and concentrated in midsection, unwanted facial hair). I’m now 31 and 16 weeks pregnant for the first time.

      I started Progesterone/ Clomid cycles after 8 months off of BC. After some nasty Clomid side effects (and no ovulation), I switched to Letrozole and had success on the first cycle (with only one attempt due to DH and I both being under a lot of stress and me having an out of town trial scheduled during that time). Overall it was 18 months from when I went off BC until I had a positive test.

      • Thanks for the response, and the data point for how long it might take. I know everyone’s different but it’s still helpful (for me at least) to know what happens for others!

    • Turtle says:

      (apologies for the novel)

      I have PCOS, and am 21 weeks pregnant now thanks a long slog with a fertility clinic, and as ultimately successful IUI round. I wasn’t officially diagnosed until we were 6 months into TTC, at 31 years old. It does run in my family… the things you find out later in life that would have been GREAT to know sooner…

      I only knew that PCOS was even a thing from reading this s!te for so many years. I was put on birth control around 17 y/o to control irregular periods. I came off of it 2 months before officially TTC, and shortly thereafter my cycles were anywhere from 12 days to 56 days (I used the Glow app to track my periods and inter course – having all of this well-tracked data proved powerful down the road with my doctors). I also did at home ovulation kits for 90 consecutive days during the initial TTC period and never once had a positive hit. With that data in mind, I went to my OB/GYN 6 months into TTC and said I suspected something was wrong. She suggested PCOS and did some preliminary blood tests (beginning with Day 3 labs, like you). She actually wrote on my insurance paperwork that we had been TTC for 12 months to get the clearance to fast track testing since I had so much data I had collected on my own and she was convinced 6 more months of waiting on a ‘technicality’ was worthless. After the blood tests and answering some questions (yes, I have struggled to lose weight, had random dark hairs all over, my dad/paternal grandfather/paternal uncles are all both balding and overweight), I was referred to the fertility clinic within the same hospital.

      At the fertility clinic they initially did about 3 months of tests – MRIs, blood work, and other scans/tests. They actually found that I had a septate uterus, which was entirely unrelated to the PCOS. I had surgery to repair that and then once I got the ok we began a number of IUI cycles, with the most recent one finally working. 2 years from start to conception, with 6-7 months of that due to the septate uterus.

      Your Day 3 lab recommendation by your doctor is spot on based on my experience. My very first round of tests (also ordered by my ob/gyn) was Day 3 and Day 21 blood work – basically pre and post ovulation. My day 21s showed I didn’t ovulate, so we did day 28s, day 35s, hoping to find proof of ovulation. Eventually, without any successful post-ovulation blood test, I got my period again and we started fresh with Day 3s.

      A lot of obgyns won’t do these types of labs on their own, and my RE was very complimentary of my ob/gyn for jumping right on the tests. Sounds like yours is equally on top of it. However, as soon as you get any conclusive lab results, you very likely belong with a RE and not your ob/gyn. Some ob/gyns are very willing to prescribe Clomid to people with PCOS and tell you to just take the pills and keep trying for a few more months. Yes, that can help some of us who don’t ovulate regularly, but the RE was able to take a giant step back, do a whole panel of tests, and figure out a tailored approach, and not to mention find my septate uterus which my ob/gyn never would have found on her own. Also, given the extreme case of PCOS I had (I have the ovaries “of a 16 year old” in terms of follicle count and having rarely ever ovulated) Clomid would have very likely caused severe hyperstimulation, which can lead to multiple births (John and Kate + 8 is thanks to hyperstimulation and an IUI, not IVF!) and can be dangerous for someone with a septate uterus.

      It’s overwhelming. I found a lot of good resources from the main s!te here, and also on reddit’s subthread r/infertility. I had literally never been to reddit before, but it was extremely helpful and informative. Stay away from baby blogs and places that talk about wishing you “baby dust!!!!” (gag me). I don’t have an anonymous email address for this s!te like others, but educating folks on infertility is a new crusade of mine given my experience and the lack of good information I had going in to all of this. Happy to connect offline if you’d like. Best of luck.

      • Thank you! It was a super informative novel :) I would love to connect, I also don’t have an anon email but will create one later tonight & post it here if you happen to check back!

        • Turtle says:

          I will definitely check back!

          • Turtle says:

            Pogo below reminded me that I was also put on Metformin immediately by my RE. I know I have an insulin-resistant form of PCOS, which is why I was put on it, but don’t fully comprehend still what that means. I took it for 18 months, and was taken off it once they saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks.

          • Hi Turtle! My anon email is corpor****pcos at gmail if you are able to drop me a line sometime, would absolutely appreciate hearing your experience/advice!

      • We sound like PCOS twins. I too went on BC in high school for the irregularity and awful pain, and no one ever checked for PCOS.

        I don’t have the classic form, because my testosterone isn’t elevated (which is what causes the acne/hair/weight gain). My ovaries on an U/S were a dead giveaway tho – laughing at the ovaries of a 16 year old!!! I do not ovulate, even on Clomid or letrozole. My day 3 bloodwork showed that my FSH and LH were totally out of whack, not in the right proportion at all. Hence, no ovulating. I have the classic “string of pearls” presentation for my follicles. I would get 30+ follicles on each ovary but they’d never release.

        Finally, I did IVF. I did have hyperstimulation, which meant that my retrieval was terribly uncomfortable and the recovery sucked and I had to wait several months before my cysts calmed down and everything stabilized so I could get knocked up. It was frustrating, overwhelming, and depressing. One bright side, since I was young and have so many frozen embryos, I only had to transfer 1 and got pregnant right away. That was nice.

        I now have a chubby little 4.5 month old. Massive hugs.

    • Cyster says:

      Another PCOS story here. I have been on metformin for PCOS for over 10 years now. I conceived my first child very quickly with no trouble at all. I used Clomid for my second, but (to be honest) I think our difficulties were attributable to a low-s*x marriage just as much as irregular ovulation. My best advice is not to mess around with a gyn for PCOS. Get yourself a knowledgeable endocrinologist* and if you’re TTC a reproductive endo to manage this disease.

      *After seeing various endos for PCOS over the years, I’ve actually found my best results for PCOS and hypothyroid with an integrative PCP who specializes in these conditions. If you can’t find one of those, stick with an endo.

    • Ranon says:

      I had a miscarriage at 16 week in January. In August I went to a reproductive endo because my cycles were always 35+ days. Same plan as you, come in on day 3 to get labs drawn. day 3 never came. I went in on day 40 to have labs drawn and levels were normal. Day 50 in again, not pregnant. Two weeks later, I got my positive. I am now 13 weeks. I ovulated on day 42. I wasnt diagnosed w PCOS. Hang in there and get pushy w your Dr. when they kept telling me to wait I kept pushing until I was heard.

  6. My three-year-old suddenly hates to get her hair washed, resulting in giant meltdowns twice in the past week. Last night she said we could get her hair wet but NOT put shampoo in it. This is not the hill I want to die on, but she has fine, curly hair that needs to be washed once in a while (twice a week?).

    Suggestions? I tried the “princesses use shampoo” approach, which did not work. I tried to be silly, I tried to count, then finally just put the shampoo in her hair. She lost her mind and the rest of the evening devolved from there. I was trying to figure out what the problem is–does the shampoo get in her eyes?–but she would only tell me that she doesn’t like shampoo. Because threenager.

    • Commiseration here, and only suggestions that have worked for short periods of time. We’ve tried: having her put in the shampoo, buying special shampoo, washing hair in every bath, washing hair only in some baths, showers, DH washing hair instead of me, baths during the day to eliminate the tired/cranky element…

      Basically, she yells, we get though it, we try to make her laugh after the process is done. It passes more easily now that she’s 4, but it’s still an event.

    • My kids don’t enjoy it but it’s become more bearable. First, showers are easier. I ask them to tell me what color the ceiling is- they otherwise refused to “look up”. And now I can actually wash their hair without getting it in their eyes. I also typically only wash it once per week despite daily showers. It’s enough to keep it looking and smelling fine with their hair texture at this age.
      And there have been times I just power quickly through the tears.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let her hold a facecloth over her face and use the shower sprayer to rinse her hair, that makes it pretty rare to get any shampoo in her eyes.

    • anonnymommy says:

      Have you tried talking to her OUT of the bath about it? “Later tonight, we’re going to take a bath. I know you hate when I wash your hair, but you hair needs to get clean. How can we work together to do that?” I know it sounds advanced, but it works with my DD. Write down her ideas (every single one), write down your ideas (make sure you include silly ideas so this can be fun for her – like, “a fairy godmother will come over and wave her wand and your hair will be magically clean!”), and then talk through the list (you get to eliminate one, she gets to eliminate one; you say things like “well the problem is, fairy godmothers don’t actually exist”). One of the solutions can be “wash hair every OTHER day” and one of the solutions can be “wash hair EVERY day” so that she can eliminate the wash hair every day one. Then you talk to her about how we’ll try this until X date (Valentines Day? January? something she’ll be able to remember), and then we’ll talk about it again, but until then, NO PROBLEMS because we are BOTH going to work hard to do our part (your job is washing the hair, her job is not crying).

      FWIW, it helps my DD to give her a dry wash cloth that she can hold over/above her eyes, so that nothing splashes in her eyes or drips down her forehead while I’m washing her hair.

    • Dirty kid says:

      My 3 yo has gone through several of these phases. Some things that have helped: bribing by telling her she can play with tub toys or foaming body wash after her hair is washed, letting her cover her eyes with wash cloth, and reading the Shel Silverstein poem about Dirty Dan, the World’s Dirtiest Man. My child is stubborn as a mule, but she responds shockingly well to, “You don’t want to end up like Dirty Dan with lizards living in your hair do you?”

  7. Anonymous says:

    My almost-4-year-old daughter bites her nails. What can/should I do about this? Will she grow out of it? Should I start giving her manicures to help teach her to take care of her nails? Any advice? I never bit my nails but her father does (we’re divorced), so I’m not sure if it’s a learned behavior or what.

    • Same boat with my son so following for ideas. His twin sister doesn’t do it, nor does anyone else in the family

    • Anonymous says:

      My DH does this. It’s anxiety or stress related in most people. Pay attention to when you notice her doing it and talk to her about why she feels like she needs to do it and what she can do to cope with stress instead. Keeping hand well moisturized (hand soap with aloe) and nails neatly trimmed seems to help DH.

      • +1 My son did this for awhile around 4.5 to early 5. He would chew them to the point of bleeding or was tearing his nails above the quick. Around this same time, we were also having a lot of complaints about his behavior from his pre-k teacher, and she had also implemented a kind of ridiculous, overly complicated behavior management system in her classroom that didn’t work well for my immature, spirited child.

        We moved him to a different program for the summer after he finished pre-k due to the teacher and wanting to give him a change of scenery. A few weeks into the summer program, I randomly noticed at dinner one night that his nails were healthy again. I was pretty stunned and concluded the classroom situation must have been causing him quite a bit of anxiety.

  8. Number two says:

    So my son is almost 14 months and we’re trying for number two, and it’s not happening right away and I forgot how much it SUCKS to try to get pregnant and then not get pregnant. Particularly with planning this next year- I want to go on that bachelorette trip, but will I be too pregnant to do anything fun? In the bone-crushingly tired first trimester? Or not pregnant at all and able to fully participate? It’s almost worse this time around because I know what each trip/concert/activity would be like in each point in pregnancy and how fun or not fun they could potentially be. BUT THERE’S NO WAY TO KNOW.

    Anyone want to share how long it took to get pregnant with their second, even though I know it has zero bearing on what will happen with me? And how they deal with planning with a possible pregnancy on the horizon.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m 20 weeks with #2. It took us 1 month with the first, 4 months with the 2nd. If you haven’t already, definitely buy Take Charge of your Fertility – once I started tracking temp and discharge, we got pregnant in the first month. Note that the ovulation tests never worked for me – I never got the “spike” so I thought for a while I wasn’t ovulating (obviously not true since I’m pregnant!). It will happen, but I get the frustration – I was right there with you a few months ago!

    • Ha, well I’m guessing my story is not what you want to hear, but here goes…. we got pregnant with #1 the first month I went off birth control. That was 7 years ago. We’re now in the middle of IVF for #2 after trying to 2+ years. I remember feeling so frustrated the first few months we tried for #2 because it didn’t happen as quickly as I expected it to. As for dealing with it, you just live your life. As you recognize, there is no way to know if or when you will get pregnant, so keep on keepin’ on until it happens! Good luck.

    • Jeffiner says:

      I am in the same boat as you. My husband wants to go to a conference this summer, and I was hesitant to agree because I was hoping to be in my third trimester. But now I know I won’t be. I didn’t want my children to be spaced far apart, and each month that goes by I think about how much older my daughter is getting. It took us 5 months with #1, and 2 months to get pregnant the second time. We’ve only been trying 2 months so far, so I know its crazy to be concerned, but I can’t help it. TTC is horrible.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Send me your inspiration/motivation: I am 13 weeks pregnant, both toddler and I are sick with colds, and I need to have solid billing days at work this month to meet my target. Send productive vibes my way!!!

    • Oh man, sending all the vibes. Hope you get to bed early a few times in the next week if you can!

    • Also 13 weeks pregnant with my first and i have so much admiration for people who are pregnant and have another kid. last night i was up puking til 1am. gotta love morning sickness! Hang in there! Take it one hour at a time. It is thursday and the weekend is almost here!

  10. Number two says:

    Sorry if this posts twice, thinking I got stuck in moderation.

    Son is almost 14 months, we’re trying to get pregnant with number two, and I’m realizing again how it is the worst to try to get pregnant and then not have it happen right away. Particularly with planning this next year, with a bachelorette trip on the horizon. Will I be too pregnant to do anything fun? In the bone-crushingly tired first trimester? Or not pregnant at all and able to fully participate? It’s almost worse this time around because I know exactly how I would feel at every trip/concert/activity depending on where I am in pregnancy, and yet I have no control over where I will be!

    Anyone want to share how long it took them to get pregnant again, even though I know it has no bearing on what might happen with me? Or for planning activities with a potential pregnancy on the horizon.

    • Cornellian says:

      This is probably not helpful, but several of my friends have said their pregnancies are wildly different. Like, puking 10x a day in the first one, and never in the second different.

      So…. maybe just trust that it’d be impossible to plan activities even if you knew exactly when you’d get pregnant?

      • Carine says:

        Yes, this. I’m on my third and every pregnancy has been totally different – sick at different times and durations and intensities, energetic and exhausted at different times. I still had the nerve to be surprised that this third one is not at all like the first two! Parenting and pregnancy are just endless reminders that you have so very little control over things. I know it’s probably not super helpful when you want to plan and have some certainty, but you never really have it. Anything could happen to throw off your vacation plans. And when you get pregnant, things will still surprise you and have you on the edge of your seat, too.

        But to your original question, I got pregnant quicker the second time around and even more so the third. Each time TTC was agonizing. It just is! Good luck.

  11. Tunnel says:

    How do you wear/style ankle-length pants in the winter? I have several pairs that I would like to keep wearing but they look weird with boots. Is the only option to change shoes when I get in the office?

    • AwayEmily says:

      sadly, I think so. I keep a bunch of flats at my office in the winter for just this purpose.

    • Chelsea or similar ankle boots look cute with ankle pants and provide for more warmth than flats.

  12. Turtle says:

    Is it worth reaching out to someone to ‘put a good word in’ to the local Goddard School to help us secure a highly coveted infant spot for the summer of 2018, or is that not done at day cares?

    This location has 14 infant spots and sends a survey out to existing families in February asking for projected infant daycare needs since existing client families get preference (ie: who’s pregnant and who wants a spot in 2018). After that, it’s first come/first served for the remaining spots if there are any. We won’t know what the availability is until end of Feb/early March. We’d likely be near the top of the first come/served list since we’re on the early side given our August need and they won’t even let us tour the facility for another couple weeks.
    Still, we’re trying to do our darndest to be well positioned. The school has rave reviews and is SO.CONVENIENT.

    • Carine says:

      I’m inclined to think it can’t hurt. When we were waiting on a spot, we had friends with kids there who’d say things like, “gosh we hope the Smiths can get in here soon! Their kids are so great” etc. I appreciated it because it kept us on the daycare’s radar – even if there’s not a formal preference, just making us a better known entity.

    • I would absolutely do it. In our area, word of mouth and family recommendations matter.

  13. avocado says:

    Spinoff from the aggressive dog question above: If you had to give up a dog in the past, at what point (if ever) do you consider getting another dog? I am a dog person who grew competing in obedience trials with my golden retriever, but after having to return a dog that was aggressive to me and my then-infant daughter almost a decade ago, I think I am done with dogs. I don’t want to take the risk that another dog will turn out to be a poor fit for our family. I also don’t think we are home enough to give a dog a good life, and I am not interested in spending tons of money on doggie day care or dog walkers this time around. Our house is also poorly suited to pet ownership; it’s small, and there is no laundry room or mudroom where we could put the dog’s crate.

    Now my daughter has apparently convinced her dad that we need a golden retriever, and he has started to make noises about getting one. On the one hand I feel terrible depriving our kid of a canine pal during her tween and teen years, which was really important to me during those same years, but on the other hand I don’t think it would be fair to us or to a dog to bring one into the family at this point. I feel like the bad guy here and am angry at my husband for waffling. I also don’t believe any reputable rescue organization or breeder would let us have a dog, given the fact that we previously surrendered one.

    • I screen adoption applications for two rescues, and based on what you wrote here, you wouldn’t be denied by either rescue and I wouldn’t have any concerns about you being able to give a dog a good home, with the caveat that it would need to be for the right dog. I think you would be denied to adopt most Golden Retrievers, except maybe a senior dog, because they are a moderate energy breed that needs a fair amount of attention and it doesn’t sound like that would be a good fit for your family. There are tons of breeds and dogs that don’t require much space and are happy to nap most of the day, and a foster-based rescue would be able to help you identify the right dog for your lifestyle, if you are open to considering other breeds. On the surrendering issue, the rescues I work with both consider human aggression a valid reason to re-home a dog, and won’t ding you if you found a good home for the dog or even if you returned it to the shelter/rescue/breeder where you got it. You may be denied by a couple rescues, but there are plenty that would approve you.

    • Cornellian says:

      I volunteered with a breed rescue and adopted from another one, and I don’t think you’d be cut out entirely.

      I think if you were to look to adopt a young adult (like a 2 year old, maybe?) you’d have good luck. You will also have a much clearer idea of the dog’s personality than with a puppy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually had to put a dog to sleep for aggression issues. There were multiple bites, and yes we did so.much.training. It was absolutely one of the hardest decisions of my life. I also thought I would never be able to adopt a dog again. However, we adopted a new dog a little over a year later. We were completely honest with the new rescue group and they understood and worked with us to find a dog that fit our family. I think you need to 1) find a rescue group that will work with you to find a good fit, and 2) figure out if you really want a dog. I think a young dog would love the ideal life you describe, but I have also had dogs that would love 3 walks a day and just loafing around the house the rest of the time. All of your reasons for not wanting a dog right now are completely legit – but are they really why you don’t want a dog? Or are you just scared to get another aggressive dog? It was hard to get another dog again, but we are very glad to have him in our lives.

  14. My four year old seems to wake up within minutes of when I get up in the morning, but she desperately needs more sleep. Our bedrooms adjoin. I don’t think I’m making much noise, and my husband can get up and empty the dishwasher/turn on the tv/ bang on pots and pans (kidding) and the kid will sleep through it. I can get up at 5:00 or 7:00 and this happens. I’ve bumped her bedtime earlier, but I’m desperate for a few minutes to myself in the morning. Any thoughts??

    • AwayEmily says:

      I assume you have a white noise machine? The LectroFan is much louder than the Dohm and better at masking noises (we have both).

      Other option: start using the OK to wake clock so that she knows she has to stay in her room until 6:30 or whenever. That way you will have some guaranteed time in the AM (well, as long as you set your alarm for a little before her cock!).

  15. Do I need to get an OB before we start TTC? I talked to my PCP about our plan to start it a few months ago, and she just said to start taking prenatals and get more exercise. Anything else I should know? We’ve been talking about it for a long time and are finally ready!

    • avocado says:

      I would find an OB practice you like now to save yourself hassle and stress. That said, I switched practices while pregnant because my original practice refused to even see me until something like 12 weeks, and it was not a big deal.

    • anonnymommy says:

      No, you don’t need an OB before you start TTC, generally speaking. Your first pregnancy visit will be somewhere around 8 weeks pregnant. You’ll need an OB by then. Many OB practices won’t take patients who are more than 22 weeks pregnant. You should LOVE your OB, so if that means you need to start looking now, go for it. When was your last pap smear? You should already have a relationship with some sort of gynecological practice, no?

      • I would definitely try to find a good OB before you’re actually pregnant, just because you’ll spend A LOT of time with this doctor once you are and you’ll want to find one you actually like. They can also do a pre-conception workup to check for disease immunity, genetic carrier status, thyroid levels, etc. and it’s easier to get in to see one once you’re already a patient, whether you’re pregnant or you need some help conceiving.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not necessary but you may want to consider genetic testing (of yourself). I didn’t do testing (and my kids are both healthy) but I now know my sister is a carrier for the CF gene. Maybe someone else can weigh in if they have done this prior to getting pregnant?

      • AwayEmily says:

        I got the pre-conception genetic testing (through my OB’s office) — and my insurance covered it, somewhat to my surprise.

    • NOVA Anon says:

      My OB practice did a pre-conception blood workup, which included testing for immunity to various diseases. I was glad I did it because it turned out that, even though I’d had it (and shingles) as a kid, I was not immune to the chicken pox virus. So I got a chicken pox vaccine before I got pregnant, which I’m not sure you can get while pregnant.

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