Everyone Thursday: Snowbird Scarf

This scarf is so pretty, and for some reason it sort of reminds me of Diane von Furstenberg scarves from a few seasons ago, but it’s much more affordable. It would be lovely and eye-catching to wear, and I think the colors are flattering against the face. Whether you’re pregnant, postpartum, or just going back to work, everyone can wear this rayon scarf (50″ by 50″). It’s $34.50 full price at Loft but today it’s 40% off, no code needed. Snowbird Scarf



  1. Lyssa says:

    Ideas for indoor activities for a 4th birthday party? Fortunately, we have a large open house (stupid December birthday where you can’t throw the kids outside). There will probably be 3-5 kids in that age range, along with a toddler and a 7 year old, and a dozen or so adults. We’re going to have dinner food and cake, and we really haven’t had any formal activities in the past, but I’m wondering if I should plan some this time. I was thinking about maybe just putting away all the other toys but getting all of his cars OR blocks out for the kids to go to town with.

    • anne-on says:

      Is there any room in the budget to hire some local teenagers to play with/entertain the kids, or even perhaps a magician/face painter? For that age we’ve done/attended parties with animal handlers talking about and showing (small) animals, magicians, singers, and traveling gym buses.
      If that’s not feasible I’d hit up your local craft store – this time of year they should have lots of cheap kits for clay molding, ornament building etc. I’d also agree with the idea to hide some of the toys – balls/swords/guns/lightsabers should definitely go, but blocks/magnatiles/trains are pretty big hits for this age group.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gingerbread house making – you can get kits have have ‘mini’ houses.

      Buy a bunch of undecorated gingerbread or shortbread cookies from a bakery (get a variety of shapes), buy a bunch of cookie decorating stuff and let the kids/adults have fun. Cookies can be the replacement for a loot bag (e.g. three cookies per kid)

      Lots of coloring sheets and crayons. Musical chairs. Pin the nose on the snowman.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      You don’t need to do much. Kids love playing with other kids’ toys. Maybe have one craft and one game besides.

    • The kids pretty much refused to do organized activities at my son’s 4th birthday. My son isn’t super into crafts (much to my great disappointment) but his friends seem to enjoy very simple projects at parties. Other than that they mostly eat and play. I think thematic toys is a good idea. You could also have a “dance party” segment, possibly shadow dances (use flashlights or let them dance in front of a projector in a darkened area, but that maybe too complicated. Or if you have room create some kind of obstacle course.

    • avocado says:

      Blocks AND cars are fun together, if you can handle the additional potential for chaos.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I’ve had success with doing “make your own” or “decorate your own” party related items at that age (4-7). For instance, decorate your own cookie or cupcake: plain mini cupcakes, 2 types of frosting, lots of sprinkles and toppings like mini chocolate chips or m&ms, etc. Or decorate a party hat – “hats” made from cones of paper, decorated with stickers, markers and pipe cleaners. Or make your own mini pizza (either with bread dough as a crust or as English muffins or bagels).

      Basically, I just turn the food prep or decorating into a party event and call it a day and a way to occupy kids for part of a 2 hour party block. We also had a similar demographic: 5-6 kids, who each had at least one adult stay with them at the party.

      Other recent birthday parties I’ve been to for 4 year olds: one family bought cheap canvases and washable paint and the kids made their own artwork – they did it in the garage, which was chilly but not too cold that day. Another just let the kids run around for most of the party and play with toys, and then had a little “parade” with musical instruments and that was pretty much it.

      Any particular games your son plays at preschool, and are most of the kids from there? My preschooler is recently into “Simon Says” and “Red Light, Green Light” for instance.

  2. I wanted to say a quick thank you for all the advice and support this community shared earlier in the week (parental leave freakout). This all-day sickness was wearing on me and the news just threw me for a loop. I really appreciate everyone’s kind words.

    I’m going to the States tomorrow and get to tell mom and dad I’m pregnant. I’ve got a mama bear t-shirt, we’ll see how long it takes them to notice it. Will also see how serious dad is about prospect of being Grandpa/Nanny for a few months.

    Husband has a week off after our scan and if the scan goes well, he’s going to research and schedule nursery visits since apparently nursery spots should have been booked at conception.

    • ChiLaw says:

      You’ll do great. It’s really tough, between the real-world stresses and the hormonal wackiness! I hope telling your parents is really fun.

    • Katala says:

      Have a great trip! Telling grandparents is so exciting, especially if you haven’t told anyone (outside your spouse and internet friends :)

      Arranging care – one of the not so fun parts. I’m not sure if it’s the case where you live, but when I lived in a big US city with the same situation (1-2+ year waiting lists for daycare), it turned out fine for most families. People get on multiple waiting lists, so once they get one spot, they drop off the other lists. If there are few options for care, that may be the case where you live as well, and you could be pleasantly surprised that something does come up even though the waitlist seemed hopeless at the time. But having a backup plan in place is also important for peace of mind.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 on the lists – everyone gets on all the lists at all the places trying to get a spot but they only need one so the lists always seem way longer than they actually are.

  3. AnonMN says:

    Just interviewed for a job that was posted as 50% travel, but the interviewer made it sound like closer to 60-75% travel. I’ve got a cushy, flexible job right now, but I’m feeling antsy and un-challenged. Plus my area is being sold and so I probably won’t have a job in the spring. I was planning on riding out the cushy job, maybe taking a month or two off in the summer, and then looking for something else (we can live without my income, just don’t get to have as many extras, plus I would be getting a severance and retention bonus).

    Then this job came up on my search and boasted working remotely with travel. Now I’m torn. Career wise, it might be just what I need to get out of my boring rut and would give me some new skills that will be great for later on. But, is that much travel even feasible? Has anyone done it? Would I be completely miserable?

    FWIW I have a 10 month old and 3 year old, and my husband has a pretty flexible job with minimal (and known well in advance) travel.

    • anne-on says:

      This sounds like a ‘know yourself’ kind of situation. Can you handle being away from home and your family that much? Is it seasonal travel, or throughout the year? Are you going to the same places all the time? Ie – consulting, flying to Chicago/Boston/whatever for a week or two once a month? Or sales where you have a territory that you’ll be visiting different cities within a region? Is it car/train or flight based travel?
      Is your husband ok with that much ‘solo’ parenting? Do you have a good support network that can step up when you’re away and the baby gets a pukey bug and your husband has a big presentation?
      Only you can decide – but I travel for work, and my husband’s job is inflexible, and we had to get an au pair to help keep things running. We have one school-aged child, and things got really hard once he was out of the cushy 8am-6pm daycare hours.

    • Anonymous says:

      YMMV but I’d be miserable with 50%, let alone 75%, travel with a 10 month old and a 3 year old. Kids at that age do so much better with routine and 50-75% travel would make any kind of routine challenging. Plus I’d miss my DH/kids if I was away half the time. I’d keep looking since it sounds like you have another 6 – 8 months to search.

      • Spirograph says:

        *I* do so much better with a routine that 50+% travel would be very challenging. I very much enjoy the occasional work trip, but that’s because it’s the exception rather than the rule. Almost everyone I know who travels often for work finds it draining. But agree: know yourself. Have you had job with high travel before? Before kids? I would imagine that you’ll feel the same-only-more-so about it with kids in the mix.

    • Momata says:

      Normally this would be a “good for her but not for me” situation, but since you asked — I could never travel that much with kids that little. I don’t see you saying OMG THIS IS MY DREAM JOB or I’VE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOREVER AND SEVERANCE IS RUNNING OUT AND WE ARE GOING TO LOSE OUR HOUSE. I’m hearing you say you’re in a rut and “probably” won’t have a job in the spring, and this job is more travel than you thought but maybe would still do the trick. So I don’t see any justification for taking on this much travel, either. IF you lose your job, you’ve got plenty of time and resources to look for something that fits your family better.

    • Have you ever had a travel job? If not, I’d really recommend you think hard. I had a 25% travel gig and it was awful. It was more like 30-40%, with it being 1 full week in an office (halfway through my tenure there I finally was able to take a direct flight, before that it was an all day adventure-usually through Chicago- to get there). The other travel was to clients which by their nature were not easy to get to and required flying out the night before for morning meetings. My husband had a flexible job and it was barely do-able with our kid (who was born while I worked at this job, and until she was 3). When #2 came along, it was not going to happen. I ended up taking a big out during a merger and finding something new after a self-extended maternity break.

      Really know the travel so you can evaluate the feasibility.

    • avocado says:

      My job averages out to around 20% travel over the course of the year, but in some months it’s more like 50% and those months are just brutal. I have one school-aged child. Having rock-solid reliable after-school care with transportation has helped, but child care is still an issue in the summer due to limited day camp hours and daytime sports practices. My husband finds solo parenting terribly challenging. I have noticed that the kid’s grades suffer whenever I am gone.

      The length of the trips makes a big difference, too. 5-day trips are hard. Weekend travel is even worse.

      Bottom line: I would not take a job with 50 – 65% travel if you have any hesitations at all. If it sounds nothing but exciting to both you and your husband then go for it, but otherwise proceed with caution.

    • CPA Lady says:

      There are lots of ways to get out of boring ruts that don’t involve traveling half the time.

      I’m going to be a debbie downer from the point of view of the person who had to do a ton of solo parenting because of her spouse’s work. I solo parented ~75% of the time for the first 15 months of my daughter’s life. It was horrible. I cut a lot of corners just to survive and we only have one kid (never pumped, sleep trained at 5 months, ate processed food, bedtime routine was putting the kid in the crib and turning off the light). Anytime I needed to work overtime we had to hire a sitter. When she was 1 I had a mandatory conference for work and I had to leave her with a night nanny for three days. Sick days were a stressful nightmare. My own career suffered and I ended up quitting for a lean out job because I just couldn’t make it work. Unless your husband is really gung-ho about solo parenting, don’t take this job. My husband has a different job now and we are all much happier.

      • ChiLaw says:

        I agree with this, sadly. I travel less than 20%, but with a young kid and one income, it pretty much necessitates a stay-at-home partner. I am fairly paid but not biglaw type money, so “throw money at it” as a solution isn’t available — instead we “throw daddy at it.” My colleagues in the same boat all have a spouse who stays at home. The good news is that my husband is a great and patient father. But after a week of solo parenting, his nerves are frayed (and after a week of only seeing my baby on facetime, I’m ready to do anything to come back home).

    • Do you have family in the area? That was something DH and I considered because we both need to travel for work (though not 50+% – that is tough).

      We both like travel, but we also don’t have kids yet. We’re counting on my parents being nearby to help us solo-parent when Baby Pogo is here, and in the rare case that we have to travel at the same time, they’ll come stay with kiddo (my lone female coworker tipped me off to that – seriously the only way it would work, imo).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Growing up, my mom was a high level executive and my dad was a consultant who traveled M-Th regularly (fly out Sunday, back in time for Thursday dinner, work from local office Friday). It was really hard on my mom, who ultimately kept downsizing her job and lost most of her friend connections.

      We lived in the Mpls-St. Paul area (which I assume you do too?), and they moved to within a 10 minute drive of the airport. In the pre-9/11 days, that meant Dad could be at the airport gate within 45 minutes of leaving our house. That’s not a given in the area though; consider what your commute to and from the airport would look like, especially in the winter, and if the flights you’d be taking are direct or connections. 50% travel can easily turn into 75% travel if you have a 1 hour commute to the airport and then have to connect through Houston or O’Hare.

    • AnonMN says:

      Thanks ladies for all of the advice and opinions, it’s exactly what I needed. I was initially hesitant about the job, not only for the travel, but it had a couple of other red flags that I promised myself I would move away from with my next job; but my husband is very “go for you dreams, we can figure it out” type who was trying to convince me to give it a shot. I think I just need to remind him about how drained he was after I had a short work trip in October, I really don’t think we could do that 50-70% of the time.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I take about 20-25 trips a year and have since my kids were born. I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. My husband stays home; the little one goes to preschool 2 days a week; we have semi-regular (once every 2 weeks or so) babysitter for the little one and a housekeeper every 2 weeks. My parents also take the kids every 2 -3 weekends. And it is still hard. My trips go from one night away to 3-4 days at a time. Now I do have a very flexible job so that makes getting stuff done when I’m home easier. I love my job and my company so it’s worth it to me but it gets harder as the kids are getting older.

  4. Guys… I just found out I’m pregnant and I’m freaking out. We already have a 3 year old son, and we were very much one-and-done (especially my husband, who is an only child himself and has a strong preference for an only). And I’m 39. And the kids would be 4 years apart, which feels like a big gap. And I’m so out of the baby zone that reentering it feels terrifying. And money/body/sanity – aahhhhh! Any words of wisdom or been-there, done-that? I haven’t even told my husband yet – he’s going to lose his mind and I need to get my mind less lost first!

    (And this was a total whoops accident – I feel like a teenager…)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t have any real advice, but I’m thinking of you! FWIW, I don’t think a 4 year age difference is really insurmountable. I’m 3.5 years older than one sibling and 5 years older than the other – it’s fine. They might not have a ton in common when they’re young, but it all evens out as they get older.

    • (was) due in june says:

      If we have a second, I will be 39 or 40 and the two kids will be 4-5 years apart. A large age gap is not necessarily a bad thing – way, way less sibling rivalry.

      • Famouscait says:

        Ditto on age and years apart. Also, I think having kids closer together is a more recent development. My older sister is 4 years older than me, and most of our family friends of the same age have the same age gap. Good luck with your hubby!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My brother is 4 years younger than me! We aren’t super close, but we’re good friends and I loved being the “big sister” growing up (whether he enjoyed being the younger brother is…yet undetermined). I remember helping with laundry, feeding him, changing his diaper, reading to him, etc. It’s a different relationship than siblings close in age would have, but definitely not a bad thing. And I think the age gap helped smooth over some of the sibling comparisons, which was a good thing because my brother and I are very different people.

      And my dad was 40 when my brother was born. He remembers it being hard, and he was at the peak of job responsibilities at the time, so I think he wasn’t as involved with my brother as he was with me when I was a baby. But that meant he was at the “very senior” level when my brother was a teenager, so he had a lot more capacity to organize boy scout trips, attend track meets, etc. They have a great relationship now.

    • ChiLaw says:

      I am 4 and 6 years older than my youngest siblings. It never felt weird!

    • October says:

      Congratulations! It will be fine, it will be fun (eventually lol, and hopefully from the start!), and siblings are the best. And you have this great community of women to help you with any challenges along the way :)

    • I’m 1.5 years younger than older brother, and 6 years older than younger brother, and definitely closer to the younger one. Older brother and I fought constantly, but neither of us ever fought with the younger one. (My SAH mom impressed on me that having kids 1.5 years apart is a Bad Idea so much that I never considered it!) I loved helping take care of my younger brother when he was a baby, and babysat for him when I was a tween/teen. The only downside I noticed is that when he was little and my best friend came over she just wanted to play with him. Some of this may be more gender-dependent but I think there are many upsides of a big gap.

    • Katala says:

      Congrats!! As another major-whoops pregnant lady, I can tell you the shock will wear off and you’ll be able to feel excited. We weren’t as definite but strongly leaning toward one-and-done, but life happens. And now we’re very excited about the new future. I have freak out moments, but they’ve lessened as I get further along.

      I’m not generally an “everything happens for a reason” person, but I do think this is one of those things that happens and on the other side, you can’t imagine life any other way. You’ll do great!

    • Reaching out to say that I know what it’s like to have an accidental pregnancy. We had two kids and then OH SH!T I got pregnant with number 3 (while we were actively preventing. It was like that episode of Friends when Rachel accidentally gets pregnant). Anyway, I will admit that it was a hard year for me: I didn’t want to be pregnant and I stressed a lot about having 3 kids, impact on my career/body, etc.

      Baby 3 is now 1.5 years old and she is the LIGHT of my life. The tough parts are still tough, but it all worked out in the end (and will for you too!). That said, it is completely OK to have mixed feelings about this (or not). I’ve BTDT and validate everything you’re feeling, good/bad/otherwise.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      When you tell your husband, give him time and space to wrap his head around it and react badly. You’ve had awhile to process already, he may need some time too.

    • My good friend was one-and-done and is whoops-pregnant with twins. Of the opposite gender of her first. They’ll be 4 years between them. She FREAKED but is in a calm lull now (7 months preg).

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey I was you exactly one year ago except I had 2 and done. Pregnancy was hard emotionally because of the shock and anxiety about everything that could go wrong at my age (and DH is 8 years older). But…baby is 4 months old and we are so fiercely madly deeply in love. She is perfect and her big siblings adore her as much as mommy and daddy do.

      I also felt a bit of shame like you hinted in your post…like what are we teenagers ffs?? But…it happens. And we know of 3 couples who have now made their birth control permanent thanks to our accident, so…yay for being a role model? ;)

      It will be fine. You’ll get to snuggle a sweet baby again. The age difference will make it easier as the 4 year old will be more independent and less jealous than a younger kid would be. Good luck!!

  5. Famouscait says:

    I want to piggyback on the thread above about work-from-home + travel. I am moving to a different part of the country this summer, and my current employer is exploring the option of keeping me on with this type of arrangement. For me, it would be traveling likely every over week, Tues-Thurs. all scheduled well in advance to a set of recurring cities. Travel would be a mixture of driving trips, train travel, and some flying (depending on destination). My husband will have a pretty flexible job, and my goal would be to do this new position for about 2 years and then (ideally) leave to have another kiddo – our only child is 2 right now.

    My husband used to consult and was 100% travel (pre-kiddo) so the arrangement described above sounds easy-peasy to us compared to his previous gig. It’s also really appealing to avoid a break in pay and employment for me. Am I being unrealistic about trying to do this with a kiddo?

    • avocado says:

      This sounds different to me than the other poster’s situation, because you aren’t giving anything up (in her case a job she seems happy with at least until spring + possibility of severance pay) to try it. If it doesn’t work, you can leave the position and look for another job, which you were going to do anyway.

      • Famouscait says:

        Thanks – this helps put it in perspective. I was just getting nervous reading the thread above.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      As a solo parent most weekdays, I can say – Tues-Thurs very predictable travel scheduled well in advance is do-able as long as you have a babysitter who can pick kids up from daycare, feed them and put them to bed once a week. I would try to line up the relief sitter on Wednesdays regularly, and husband can switch it around if needed.

      Unless your husband NEVER has to work past 4 pm. If he has a job that occasionally includes meetings, calls or events that run until 5 pm or later, you’ll want a sitter and you’ll need to make a regular commitment to that sitter to stay in his or her pipeline.

  6. PhilanthropyGirl says:

    Any gift suggestions for my grandfather? He is in his mid-80s, a widower (with a lady friend), and pretty active for his age. He goes to the Y regularly, is an avid sports fan, takes his lady friend dancing, and volunteers at the hospital.

    I feel like every year I get him sports team gear or gift cards for pizza and a six pack of his favorite beer. I know he enjoys these things – but it feels so monotonous.

    • Famouscait says:

      Your description immediately made me think of the elderly dating folks who attend concerts at the performing arts center where I work. Perhaps you could get him a gift certificate or tickets?

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        I’d have to scout out what is around. The town is pretty small, but maybe I can find something he would enjoy with his new lady friend. He used to go with my grandma a lot, and I think he’s avoided doing things that remind him of her; so I’d need to tread carefully. But the right event would be a lot of fun to him.

    • Tickets to a sporting event? Gift cards for a nicer restaurant lady friend might enjoy? Gift certificate for a photo digitizing service?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you have lady friend’s phone number of e-mail address? Why not ask her what she thinks?

      Would he like receiving a framed picture of his grandkid(s)?

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        Not sure I have the lady friend’s contact information. But I could check with my aunt – she might have a good idea of something too.

        I think he’s got plenty of grandkid photos – but is probably lacking on the great-grand-kid side. Time to dig through photos!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you can pull it off, a double frame -one of you with him when you’re the same age as your kids and one of him with your kids. Or for extra hard points, one with him and his grandfather on one side and you with him at the same age on the other.

      Easy option is membership to local museum or similar (aquarium? big city library?) that has events for seniors.

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        Oh boy – I’ll have to scour my parents basement for old photos of any kind. But I love this and I think he would too.

  7. NewMomAnon says:

    So this isn’t an urgent question, but I’m thinking about it so I thought I’d solicit the wise words of this community….

    I currently live in a condo I rent from a slightly crazy but mostly absent landlord. It is a beautiful condo, in a great location (3/4 mile to daycare, 1 mile to work, tons of cool restaurants and shopping within a 3 block radius), with amazing views, and I love (love love love) having no maintenance other than changing the furnace filter and cleaning. It also has some nice common areas, including a pool that we use frequently. The neighborhood school is fantastic, but it’s only K-3.

    But the downsides are there too. The rent is high. I’m not building equity. It’s inconvenient to get from my condo to the parking garage, especially with a child in tow. There is no visitor parking, so visitors have to pay to park. I have a small, enclosed porch but no outdoor space. It’s a significant trek to get to green space with kiddo (down a long elevator, walk a couple blocks), and I can’t just throw her outside while I make dinner. There is no separate storage area, so I have to rent a storage space and limit what comes into the house. The nearest park is 5 blocks away, so we don’t go as often as kiddo probably needs.

    My lease was coming up in April, so I had been looking at buying a place – the market is hot, properties sell before they hit the market, and prices are high. The time commitment of buying a place has been prohibitive, especially with my career finally launching. Moving is a pain, and disruptive with a toddler. House maintenance is a pain. But I think my mortgage + property tax would be at least $500 a month lower than my rent, and I might have an attached garage and yard.

    And now my landlord says the tenant who had been slated to move in in May just backed out, so the condo is open for at least another year if I want it.

    What would you do? I think I’ve just talked myself into staying for another year….but I’d love thoughts.

    • House maintenance is no joke. I’m lucky that DH is very handy and enjoys all aspects of home maintenance, but if I lived alone, it would be in a condo with an HOA. Is that an option? Would be similar to your situation now, but you’d own.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        HOA fees have gotten really high in my area and a lot of the buildings/developments with HOA fees are either brand new (i.e., expensive to buy) or 20+ years old with big assessments coming due. So if I bought a space similar to the one I rent, the mortgage + property taxes would be $500 less than I currently pay in rent, but the HOA would push it to $200-$500 more than my current rent, which is’t feasible with my budget. Just one big assessment would tap out my emergency fund.

    • Spirograph says:

      I think I’d stay in your situation. What kind of notice do you need to break your lease? If you can move out with 30-60 days and no penalty, I’d sign for another year, and then kind of keep half an eye on the housing market too see if anything really great comes up. I assume daycare has outdoor time, so I wouldn’t worry about infrequent park visits too much.

      House maintenance IS a pain, and my husband and I neglect more than we should because we just don’t have the bandwidth right now with 3 little kids. We paid for yardwork all summer and house cleaning year round, but unless something becomes a capital-p Problem, we pretty much let it go because we’re too lazy and forgetful to even schedule someone to take care of it. I don’t miss some aspects of apartment living, but I sure would like to just throw money at “think about and make arrangements for all necessary maintenance” the way a renter can. Our mortgage is less than our rent was, but I think with increased utilities and maintenance, it’s close to zero sum. There is the equity factor, but I wouldn’t make that my primary decision point.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d stay. All the parents I know who have outdoor space don’t use it / spend tons of time & money to keep kids inside. So start by subtracting that.

      But if you’re serious I’d start building relationships with realtors, packing away seasonal things in preparation for the move and start looking for child care wherever you narrow your search to.

    • Famouscait says:

      I’d stay another year. I’ve owned houses twice, both fairly new and well-built, and maintenance is a real budgetary and time issue. Could you negotiate another year’s lease in such a way that you’d have little to no penalty if you want to move before the year is up?

    • Anon for this one ya'll says:

      I’d stay. When I was a single mom (which if I’m remembering correctly you are) apartment-living was the best. The lack of green space was annoying, it really does stick to have to lug your child and their bike down an elevator, through a parking garage, and into the car to drive somewhere for them to ride their bike. I get that. Ugh and lugging in groceries AND a child AND all my work stuff… that was a nightmare.
      However- I remarried and moved into a house more in the suburbs and I truly miss being in walking distance to restaurants etc. I also miss having a garbage chute (sounds small, but it was nice not having to remember when it was trash day and make sure someone drags all the cans out front etc.) Also, as other people mentioned- house maintenance is no joke. You can end up with a $8K problem in the drop of a hat if you HVAC goes out or something. Also, I really over-estimated the amount of outside time my child would get. Granted I have a townhouse now, so there’s no fenced backyard (just back porch), but I’m not comfortable leaving my child outside in the front without my direct supervision, and riding his bike around the cul-de-sac requires me basically chasing him reminding him not to get hit by a car. So yes, I don’t have to drive us to the outside enjoyment, but it’s not the time saver I thought it would be since I have to be out there.
      Also, if you live somewhere with snow, are you in a position to shovel your driveway etc? I loved having the apartment building plow for me!

      • avocado says:

        +1 to all of this. We spend so much on maintenance that I think we’d have been better off renting. Our kid hates playing outside alone, so the yard never gets used. Whenever she wants to play outside, she demands to be taken to the park. Many of the home repairs I’ve done myself would have been impossible without having a second person around to assist–for example, when I replaced the garbage disposal my husband had to hold it up while I attached the mounting. If I were a single parent, I would never purchase a single-family home. Maybe a brand-new townhome with a really good home warranty and an attached garage, but that’s it.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I would not live in a house without my husband. Just taking out the garbage is a pain and I don’t like to check the mailbox in the winter when it’s cold either. He does all the maintenance and outdoor work and that is a lot of work that I don’t even think about. He jokes that I will move to a hotel if he’s in a car accident.

      • haha I am the same exact way. I don’t think I could throw enough money at the problem to equal what my husband does in terms of home upkeep. Like I said, he enjoys it, God bless him. Not my jam.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another vote for staying. Maybe consider a leisurely search for a townhouse or something in between while you are renting for another year…

  8. Emmer says:

    I think I just need to vent. I feel like a crazy person right now. I’m 27 weeks pregnant, and thus far I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy and have not felt particularly hormonal or anything. But today for some reason I feel like a crazy person. I can’t concentrate on work at all. Everything is annoying me, and in particular, just being on a phone call with my colleague (who I normally find to be smug but tolerable) is driving me UP A WALL – I want to scream every time she talks. I alternately want to punch something or cry. I hate this feeling. Someone tell me it will pass? It might have to do with the fact that I have not been sleeping well…have been waking up 5 times a night to shift positions or go to the bathroom. Is there anything I can do to make this better???

    • No advice, but I feel similarly annoyed by coworkers who get in the way of me eating or peeing – and I’m only 7 weeks! I passive aggressively kept shoveling my salad into my face while someone talked to me today, and barely nodded at someone who tried to chat me up on my way to the bathroom. Pregnancy has very real physical needs! If you’re not sleeping I’m sure that’s a huge part of it.

    • AnonMN says:

      I’m a little late to the game, but have you tried taking an epsom salt bath before bed? Margnesium deficiency can cause sleeplessness and an epsom salt bath will allow your body to absorb as much as it needs. I thought my midwife was crazy when she suggested this, but it worked like a charm to get me some much needed pregnancy sleep. Now that i’m not pregnant I take a high does of Magnesium for insomnia and it works. Definitely worth a try.

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