Family Friday: Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

I’ve seen my son play with a few different water tables, and this one seems to keep his attention the longest. I think it’s the combination of the middle piece to throw balls into along with the crank on the side that looks like a little ferris wheel. Water tables in general are a great way to entertain a toddler on a hot day when you don’t want to stray too far from the house. I’ve even seen my niece and nephew play with this table when there’s no water in it. So far it’s lasted through all three cousins and is still going strong! It’s $34.99 at Amazon (eligible for Prime). Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

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  1. Ooh that’s very neat!

    Little Cb turns 1 tomorrow – the party is scheduled for next weekend so we’re just going to have French toast for breakfast and have a picnic in the park if the weather cooperates.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What do you do if your nursing baby with teeth starts hurting your n**ple? Baby bit it once and I sort of yelled, and he got frightened and didn’t do it again. A few times lately though, it seems his teeth have sort of elided with it accidentally, or he has finished nursing and is just sucking for comfort while I am nursing him at night and we’re both half asleep. I think this would probably be solved by properly sleep training him, since it seems to be happening at nighttime more than during the day when he is getting down to business. But… I don’t know when we’re actually going to do that. He’s waking up 1-2 times a night still (ugh). He’s almost 8 months. I never had this issue with my others, and it hurts!! Thoughts?

    • We had to start ending nursing right when he was done and eliminate comfort nursing. That’s when it seemed like there would be more accidental issues (he definitely wasn’t chomping down, it was more like the grazing that you describe). Ugh, it hurts! I’m sorry!

    • Ouch! Kiddo used to do the accidental grazing thing, and it hurt mostly because my skin didn’t have a chance to heal before he did it again, so the same wound kept opening up in the same place. It seemed like he stopped after a while, though. Might it hurt less to just pump from that side till baby stops? And of course, apply all the n*pple cream.

  3. Pigpen's Mama says:

    Any suggestions for dealing with the “mean girl/kid” behavior in the preschool set? My almost 4 year old has been complaining about other kids, mostly girls who are about 6+ months older than her, being mean to her at daycare/school. Mostly the stupid birthday party/best friend/can’t play with us threats, etc. But it seems to either have gotten worse or be bothering her more in the last week or two. And I’m sure she’s not innocent in all of this either, so it’s likely she’s contributing to it as well.

    We’ve talked about just ignoring/walking away to play with some other friends, and not saying mean things to other kids as well. She’s got some solid friends that I never hear these complaints about, so I have been telling her to play with those kids instead, and she seems much happier when she does.

    Any other suggestions? I know it’s ‘normal’, but it sucks seeing her hurt like that and I certainly don’t want her to start participating in it. And I’ve got my own personal baggage about not feeling like I had any friends in elementary school.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Blergh. No suggestions, but solidarity. Boys are just as bad (which never ceases to surprise me). At one point I taught my son to say “wow, that’s really mean, and I don’t like to hang out with mean people” and walk away… but that probably doesn’t actually help (because I’m sure calling someone “mean” is “name-calling”)

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        I’ve heard her talk about boys saying mean stuff — but it doesn’t seem to bother her as much/happen as much, but that could be due to the age. And I hear you on worrying that saying someone is “mean” is name-calling. I’ve tried to tell her to say “you are being mean” or “that’s a mean thing to say” — so it’s the words or act, not the person, but that’s probably a distinction that is lost on a 4 year old!

        • I just teach my kids to say “I don’t like that” or “That makes me feel bad” and walk away. If someone follows them to continue the behavior they don’t like, then they should go tell an adult. At the preschool age, the other kids most likely aren’t doing the behavious maliciously, so it’s not as vulnerable as it would be for older kids.

    • I think all the kids in preschool try their hand at being the mean kid. My DD’s class’s favorite insult was “I’m not going to invite you to my birthday party!” and my DS’s class’s was “You’re not my best friend!”

      Instead of treating it seriously because it’s preschool and they’ll have a different alliance by the afternoon, I tried to focus on the emotions and helping the kids work through those, no matter which side they were on. Things like feeling lonely if no one played with you that day, feeling hurt if someone you really liked got mad at you, feeling upset that a kid was interupting your play and saying they’re not your friend, etc. We named the feelings, talked through how parents get them too, and thought about ways to deal with the emotions.

      Also at preschool age, we really started to solidify our family values, although we didn’t call it that. “In this family, we always try to be kind to our friends, how do you think you could be kind tomorrow even if he’s annoying?” “Do you think that helped your friend feel strong? Or weak?” (We talked about building up our friends, which they understood as being strong or brave.) “Did your friend’s behavior seem to get better or worse when you did that?”

      Basically divorce it from elementary/middle school “mean girl” stuff and treat it like young kids trying to figure out emotions and how to interact with other kids.

      • Spirograph says:

        This. It’s not just girls. For a few weeks, my son consistently came home saying “everyone” was mean to him at school and had made fun of him or called him a name, or whatever. He would pout about going to school in the morning and say he didn’t want to go because everyone is mean. I brought it up with the teacher and her take on it was that my son would often start with the name calling, but get upset when other kids joined in, which was totally believable, given how I’ve observed him interact with his sister! He’s also a bit of a class clown, and sometimes his silly antics would escalate to him getting hurt, but everyone would still be laughing at the ridiculousness when he started crying.

        Along with hugs and sympathy, we talked about being kind, thinking about how he feels when someone calls him a name, and imagining that maybe the other kids feel that way too when he says something he thinks is funny. No one wants to make their friends sad, right? Eventually it died down. I guess it’s important to note that he would happily join in playing with the other kids at dropoff, and he was always running around with a few friends having a great time when I picked him up; I probably would have been more concerned if I’d observed him withdrawing from the group or being left out.

        Both my preschoolers disinvite me to their birthday parties when they get upset with me. It’s my favorite insult, ever.

    • avocado says:

      For my daughter, that age (4-5, in a K class made up entirely of pre-K age kids) was the main place this type of behavior happened. It was pretty awful, but everything was magically better the next year when the kids went their separate ways for elementary school. Several years later, one of the biggest bullies in that class has actually grown up into a pretty nice kid with whom my daughter is friendly.

      The American Girl book “Standing Up for Yourself and Your Friends” was helpful for her, and the book “Little Girls Can Be Mean” was useful to me (although some of the strategies the book suggests, such as writing a letter to the bully, are just downright silly).

      In my daughter’s class, calling someone “mean” or refusing to let a mean kid play with you was not permitted, which made it really tough. I coached her to use assertive statements such as “Don’t touch me. You are hurting me,” “Excuse me, it was my turn next,” “Excuse me, I was using that crayon,” and “I don’t like that.” I also told her to say these things loudly without yelling or whining, within earshot of the teachers. This was difficult for her to do and I was never sure how much difference it made, but it was the best I could come up with.

      Hang in there–this stuff is rough. The good news is that even if they all go to the same elementary school, the group will get split up into separate classes for K unless it’s a really small private school.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        oh no can you imagine writing a letter to a bully about your feelings?! You’d get bullied about the letter for years!!

        • mascot says:

          Oh man, this brings back memories of how kids weaponize words. My mom had told me this guy hassling me was just a scared little kid inside and I guess I said that to him, bc he totally called and left some mocking message on our answering machine about my being a scared little kid.
          Which of course my parents intercepted. And I’d known this kid since diapers so his mom found out. Being a kid is tough sometimes. Maybe write a letter to get it all out and then destroy it- never to be sent.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Oh man I remember this hard. My now 8 year old went thru this phase with her 4 y/o preschool girl friends at around the same time.

      Basically we acknowledged that “you can’t sit with us/you’re not invited to my party” is unkind, and it wouldn’t feel good if someone did that to you. Without directly chastising the other kids’ behavior we pushed the Golden Rule and told her to behave HER best and if someone else is being mean to you go play with another friend.

      As far as discussing it with other parents, we would bring it up like “wow it seems like the girls are starting to enter that phase” and not blame any kid, but just raise awareness that it was something we were all going thru together.

      I think this is where you start building your kids’ character – honestly, I wish I could say that this petty girl stuff went away as they get older, but it comes out in different ways. Definitely keep encouraging your kid to talk to you about how it makes her feel and help her choose behavior that you want to see. It’s even tougher when you hear your kid BEING the mean one, but try to pay attention and nip it in the bud.

    • Anonymous says:

      My son’s preschool teacher shared a post from A Mighty Girl about this – I think the post was made on Aug 1. Copying below:

      Parents are often startled to realize that relational aggression — using the threat of removing friendship, ostracism, and other forms of social exclusion — can appear in children as young as three years old. Moreover, as parents and educators observe these more subtle forms of bullying, it’s becoming clear that they require as much attention as physical aggression. In an excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal, Laura Barbour, a counselor at an Oregon elementary school, observes, “Kids forget about scuffles on the playground but they don’t forget about unkind words or being left out.”

      Relational aggression appears to be more common in girls than boys, perhaps, researchers say, because the average girl is more socially developed and more verbal than a boy of the same age. These “mean girl” tactics are often considered a middle-school problem, but both parents and teachers report them in elementary school and even preschool classes. Laurel Klaasen, a counselor at an elementary school in Iowa, says, “They’re already thinking at that age about being popular, being the queen of the classroom, or the queen of the playground and vying for that position.”

      While relational aggression tends to increase with age, parents and educators can do a lot to counteract it. Simple lessons in empathy — “Imagine how it would feel if someone did that to you?” — go a long way to preventing relational aggression. Trudy Ludwig, author of multiple anti-bullying books, also says that “kids don’t understand that manipulating friendships and relationships is bullying and that’s what I’m trying to educate the kids and the staff about.” When she does classroom presentations, one way she makes her point is to ask kids whether they would rather suffer a physical attack or relational aggression; over 90% of kids say relational aggression is more hurtful. In other words, she says, “They’d rather be punched in the stomach.”

      Most importantly, parents and teachers have to understand that relational aggression isn’t something kids, especially younger-grade kids, can work through on their own. Samantha Walravens’ kindergarten daughter Genevieve ended up caught in a best-friends triangle that left her crying with a stomachache, not wanting to go to school; with some cooperation from the teacher, they both encouraged the other girls to understand how Genevieve felt, and encouraged Genevieve to develop other friendships to support her. Walravens says, “I always tell her you can go to me or the teacher and we will help you work it out. A lot of the stuff they can’t work out on their own.”

      For an excellent new book for parents of girls from 3 to 13 that explores this issue in depth, we highly recommend “No More Mean Girls” at

      For two books for young children that address relational aggression, we highly recommend “My Secret Bully” for ages 5 to 8 ( and “Trouble Talk” for ages 6 to 9 (

      A helpful resource for older children (7 to 12) that addresses bullying of all types and help kids learn how to stand up for themselves and others in a positive, productive manner is “Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends” at

      For a variety of books for kids and parents that address bullying of all types, we’ve prepared a three-part blog series on bullying prevention.

      In the first part of the series, we showcase books for preschool and early elementary-aged children on teaching empathy and responding to bullying: “The End of Bullying Begins With Me”: Bullying Prevention Books for Young Children,” at

      In the second post, we feature recommendations for tweens and tweens: “Taking a Stand Against Bullying: Bullying Prevention Books for Tweens and Teens” at

      And, in our final post, we share resources for parents and educators to help them better understand childhood bullying and learn how best to respond to it: “Leading the Way: Bullying Prevention Books for Parents and Educators,” at

      • This is super interesting, thank you for sharing. It’s not just girls – my son is 3, pretty verbal, and during a recent playdate he and his friend (a little girl who is a couple months older than he is) spent a good 15 minutes yelling at each other ‘You’re not my friend!’. (They had each, separately, told us moms ‘X is my best friend!’ prior to the playdate and were so. excited. to be hanging out.) We talked to them about how our words can make friends sad, etc., but I’m not sure how much they absorbed (because they’re 3) and then a few minutes later they reconciled over the promise of snacks (because they’re 3).

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a longer post in mod but check out A Mighty Girl’s recent post on Relational Aggression.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whatever you do, she is going to remember whether it felt safe to bring her feelings to you. The most important thing imo is to show her you understand and care about whatever happened, so she continues to share school stuff with you. She’s going to have to learn to deal with it, someday/somehow, but for now, it’s age-appropriate and just learning what happens when she/her friends act different ways to different people.

    • Anonymous says:

      My daughter is 4.5. She has 3 girls that have been in her class the last 2 years. They are all very good friends, have play dates all the time, do dance together etc.

      Let me tell you, on these play dates I hear the most ridiculous conversations. “I don’t like you, we can’t be friends anymore.” “I won’t invite you to my party.” “We are not friends.” And 5 minutes later they are singing happily or playing dress up or whatever. My daughter doesn’t say these things, but at least 2 of the other girls do. I’ve taught my daughter to either outright ignore it or say “I don’t like it when you say that.” I’m not wild that she’s already being exposed to mean girl talk but I do know that these girls are just being little turds and they are still my kiddo’s friend. Perhaps this is a good life lesson for my DD to just let it roll off her back. If. It’s hard. So no real advice here, just empathy.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This is so interesting to hear how early this happens with girls. As I mentioned above, the boys seem mean/rude to each other as well, but I don’t remember it happening until my son was 6 or 7. I have a baby girl now so I guess I have this to look forward to in preschool

    • I LOVE the name and think you should go for it. I’d use the Hailey or Haley spelling.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I would caution you against saying anything to her along the lines of “did you do something to them to provoke it?” (since you mention that you’re “sure she’s not innocent in all of this either”). I have distinct memories of my mom not really taking my side when I was a kid and assuming I had done something to provoke the other kid. On the one hand, I think it’s good to create self-awareness and empathy in your kid and to not just blindly believe what they say, but they should also feel like you think they are a good person and that you believe them when they say someone was mean.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a good point, I’ve caught myself doing that, and then felt bad for doubting her. Now I try to ask “what happened?” if anything at all, and we also talk about not saying mean things to people because thing about how it makes you feel when people say mean things to you.

      Also, I don’t necessarily think she’s done something to provoke it, but that she can say mean things as well under certain circumstances — I’ve been dis-invited to her birthday party a few times :) ! I’m worried she’s picking up on these behaviors and will start to act like that to the kids who are a little younger than her.

  5. goldie says:

    My five-year-old grinds his teeth in his sleep. For now, they’re all baby teeth. Has anyone experienced this with kids? I asked the dentist and she said there’s not much to be done at this age in terms of mouthguards and what not.

    • While at the pediatric dentist with my DD the other day, I overheard a conversation about grinding between a dentist and another mom. The dentist told her the same thing. There isn’t much to do at this point (the child in question was probably 3 or 4) and most kids grow out of it.

  6. DH and I are expecting our first and are considering the name Hayley if it’s a girl and Max if it’s a boy. Then it occurred to me that there are many ways to spell Hayley: Hailey, Haley, Haylee etc. is it bad to give your kid a name with multiple spellings? DH and I both have names with only one real spelling so I don’t know how annoying it is to always have to spell your name for people. I guess a lot of names have more than one way to spell them: Sara/Sarah, Riley/Rylee, Katelyn/Kaitlin/Caitlin, Brian/Bryan etc but then there are names that don’t like Max or Emma or Adam. Am I over thinking this? Thoughts?

    • It was important to me to pick names with unambiguous spelling and pronunciation but I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker if that’s the name you both love. That being said, I do not have a name with multiple spellings so I don’t know how annoying it would be!

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this even possible though? I feel like weird spellings of coommon names are so popular now that even if you pick something simple and classic like Jane you might get people using a trendy spelling like Jayne.

        • Anonymous says:

          I actually know two much older women that spell it Jayne! So not even sure if that’s a new/trendy thing or not.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah you’re right that Jayne is a fairly old, common spelling, so that’s not a good example. But weird spellings of baby names is a huge trend right now so I feel like even if you pick something that you are 100% sure can’t be spelled any other way, people will manage to misspell it. Like Olivia becomes Alyvia or something nonsensical like that.

    • I think you’re overthinking this :)
      My daughter has a multi-spelling name and I didn’t even think about it until we were filling out the birth certificate. It’s been fine. To the extent it matters, I think Hailey would be the most common spelling. Two y’s is somewhat unusual, IME anyway, and I think Haley could be mispronounced as Ha-lee and ee’s at the end is generally uncommon over y’s.

      • I should say that that the only time I’ve noticed this “mattering” with kids is when they want to buy something personalized and their name is spelled differently.

        • I really wanted personalized pencils and one of those license plate keychains as a kid, but no joy!

        • Anonymous says:

          Growing up my name wasn’t even an option for those things. So I won’t feel too bad for my kid if she has to get one that’s one letter off ;)

          • Right?! You’d think growing up a “Vanessa” in the 80s, I’d have had lots of things with my name on it, but never did!

    • I have a boss who still spells my name wrong. It’s the price you pay for having parents who got really creative / living in a country where your unusual name is even more unusual.

      I think with a name like Hayley, people will tend to ask as they know there are multiple spellings. It’s slightly annoying but really not a big deal.

    • Anonymous says:

      My daughter has a multi-spelling name but it’s something like Sarah/Sara where both spellings are common and are unambiguously pronounced the same. I would assume Hayley is a pronounced just like Hailey but some people might get that wrong and say it more life or HAL-ee.

      • Anonymous says:

        Also her grandmother still refers to our Sara as “Sarah.” So if you use the less common variant, be prepared for lots of people, including close relatives, to get it wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a nickname that is commonly spelled at least 2 ways, with possible additional variations for the creative. My spelling is slightly less common, and people often spell it wrong. Actually my real name can be spelled a lot of different ways, so I just am in the habit of spelling it out when doing something official on the phone. Neither bothers me at all. What does annoy me slightly is when people misread my nickname and call me by another common nickname. Also I was annoyed when my FATHER spelled my nickname wrong on my birthday card, when I was about 12. Don’t do that. I would try to pick a spelling that is the most common (if for no other reason to make it easier to find the mini license plate with her name on it at the souvenir store) and easiest to pronounce, but otherwise don’t worry.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      FWIW I like the way you spell it! (Two ees seems really trendy to me.)

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve seen it spelled Hayleigh, too. I love the name Leigh for a girl, and I think Hayleigh is a cute spin on a classic name.

    • I was set on giving my kid a name that was unambiguously easy to spell. And thought that we had succeeded. 5 days after he was born (we didn’t share the name early) an acquaintance said “Oh, spelled with an E?” Internal dialogue response: No! NO! You can’t use an E on this name. Where would you put the E? What?!?

      Long story to say – even if you pick a name that you think has only one spelling, people will misspell it. Use the name you like.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        haha, same with my daughter. There is a widely accepted spelling of her name, and some random very uncommon spellings. I’m amazed at how often people ask me how to spell it.

      • Same. Commonly accepted spelling for my son, but a new trendy way that I’ve encountered once or twice. I don’t think you can get away from it.

    • My name is Katherine, which is obviously a super common name, so no one can accuse my parents of trying to get creative. I received wedding cards that said “Dear Catherine and DH” from people who, you know, had enough of a connection to attend my wedding and received an invitation where the name was listed with proper spelling. Others default to Kathryn or Katharine. It happens. I really don’t care about it, and am ready to spell it out whenever I have to give my name.

    • Anonymous says:

      Emma can be Emme or Emmah. I think people will butcher literally any girls name and give it a cutsie spelling these days. Boys names seem lesss susceptible to this.

      • I dunno. Given the wild variations I’ve seen with the name Braeden, even boys’ names don’t seem immune.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m trying to think of how you would butcher Adam or Max, the examples the OP gave. I can think of a few boys names that I’ve only ever seen one spelling of. Can’t say the same for girls names.

    • I would go with the name you love, even if there are many different ways to spell it. I have a name that can be spelled multiple ways, some of which make me laugh when I see them (similar to Anon above — how do you fit a Z in my name?!). My spelling apparently is the less common spelling, which I am told frequently. It doesn’t both me when people misspell my name; I just assume that they are busy/not paying that close of attention/have a lot going on.

      Our son’s middle name is a family name, and we assumed the family spelling was the most common spelling. It turns out that my husband’s great grandmother went with an unusual spelling for her son, and we totally spelled it wrong on all the official documents. Ah well. My MIL told me that we spelled the name wrong the first time we spoke after my son was born, but that’s a whole separate issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just want to share that my son’s former preschool currently has a Xenon and a Zozan attending.

      • Mrs. Jones says:


      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve seen some pretty crazy names near me too. I always wonder what these kids are going to do when they’re writing a resume.

      • I actually just LOL’d. Thank you for making my day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Zozan is a Kurdish name, it’s not made up.

        Xenon cracks me up though. Reminds me of siblings I grew up with named Nebula and Pulsar. Their parents just really loved science.

        • Anonymous says:

          Zozan isn’t a made up name. It’s a fairly common name in several different parts of the world. I know a Turkish Zozan.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow. Wow. Wow. I love astronomy but I cannot imagine naming my child Nebula or Pulsar. We did think seriously about Halley after Halley’s comet, but decided everyone would just call her Haley/Hayley (hi OP!), which we liked but didn’t have the same significance to us. And then Howard Wolowitz on BBT named his kid Halley so I’m really really glad we didn’t!

        • Anonymous says:

          OP here – yes, in this case I think Zozan is likely of Kurdish descent, and I apologize if I seemed to be mocking his background. It just struck me as a remarkable name duo. Xenon’s parents have no excuse as far as I know.

      • We had a Maxwell, Max, Dax, Jack, and Jackson at our preschool.

        • Also there were 12 people at our preschool.

        • Anonymous says:

          …none of those names are weird or made up, except maybe Dax. And even that has been around for a while (eg., Dax Shepard).

          • Sarabeth says:

            I don’t think the poster was implying that the names themselves are odd, just that it’s an amusing coincidence to have so many rhyming (or close to rhyming) names in a small group of kids.

          • Redux says:

            Right, just a coincidence! It was funny to try and decipher who my 2year old was talking about when her pronunciation was still not great.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        Xenon? Is she a girl of the 21st century?

    • I’m Sarah-with-an-h. It’s not a big deal. I have a very common last name too, to the point where I have to tell people my address when I’m checking in at the hairdresser, yoga, the car repair shop, etc. because there are usually at least two people with my full name. It’s just part of life and it doesn’t bother me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Another Sarah here. It’s not a big deal in the scheme of things, but I would like to be able to give my name to someone and not have to explain how to spell it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go with the most common spelling. I have a Norah and Nora is so much more common that I feel like I accidentially gave her an ‘invented spelling’ name and not a traditional older name. Can’t exactly drop the ‘H’ now that she’s 10.

    • FWIW, I love the name Hayley. It’s my sister’s. Surprisingly, most people seem to get the ‘y’ correct. If her name is misspelled, it’s usually with the Haley spelling.

      • Interesting. OP here and I looked it up and it turns out the most common spelling is Hailey, though I personally don’t know anyone who spells it that way

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a Caitlin who has spent a lifetime spelling it for people and correcting people. Some people can’t even pronounce it. You would be amazed at the alternate spellings and pronounciations I get. It’s a very classic Irish name! I go by Cait but people usually spell it Kate.

      All that to say, it’s a first world problem but it is kind of annoying and has made me super determined to give my first child a very simple name like Jane.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        One of my best friends goes by Katie…I found out when I was 22 that her full name is not spelled “Katherine” but instead “Cathyrn.” I felt like such a dingbat. She was kind about it though!

      • Anonymous says:

        Funny, that must be a regional thing, because my sister’s name is Katelyn and people frequently misspell it “Caitlin.” her next-biggest annoyance is people assuming nicknames. She haaaaaates the nickname Kate, but when she introduces herself as Katelyn, many people just decide to address her as Kate. Etiquette is tough, y’all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually you are wrong about Max: I have one, short for Maxim, which would be more correctly anglicized to Maksim / Maks. We went with the spelling that we thought more Americans would guess on the first try.

      I like names pronounced like “HAY – lee” and all of those spellings look normal to me. People will certainly ask how she spells her name and mistype in emails her entire life, but there’s no way around that. I have the overwhelmingly most common spelling of my name, and people still mess it up, even in emails where the correct spelling is literally in the “to” line a couple inches above their text.

    • Anonymous says:

      In my last job, I had occasionally contracted work from a woman named Christi. Since I worked with a lot of contractors and they lived all over the country, I thought nothing of it. I left the job and a few months later was introduced to the woman who was hired to replace me. I heard “Kristy” in my head. It wasn’t until I was saying my farewells that someone mentioned that she was a former contractor that I realized I knew her due in part to my ingrained ideas of how that name was spelled.

    • Anonymous says:

      My philosophy about naming is as such:
      -Don’t give your child a name for which you hate a common nickname (I knew a Matthew whose parents were determined he never be a Matt – yeah good luck with that)
      -Don’t give your child a name that is easily mispronounced or misspelled if you hate the common alternative versions
      -Don’t give your child a name that sounds too juvenile for an adult without a more standard adult alternative – ie don’t name your child Bobby. name him Robert and call him Bobby

      Otherwise I think you just gotta pick a name you like and go with it. Whatever you pick, some people were garble it. Someone posted here about someone mispronouncing “Emma.” There’s literally no name on earth that people will say and spell correctly 100% of the time.

    • I would just go with the spelling you like the most. We named our youngest son a name with multiple spellings and agonized over which spelling to use. We went with the one we liked the most, even though at the time another spelling was more prevalent. I just checked the SSA website and it looks like for 2017 the popularity of the different spellings has switched. So — just do what you like. Just don’t name your kid Stannis (like one of the kids at my kid’s school).

      • Spirograph says:

        NO WAY. Is Stannis a traditional name anywhere? Because I go straight to the GoT character. Gosh, I can just imagine the poor parents naming their kid after that character early in reading or watching the series because they like the sound of it, and then he turns out to be one of the worst fictional human beings ever.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Kiddo has a name that is misspelled as a name, but is another word. Like if you named your kid Curl instead of Carl.* Intentionally. I have had moments of like “ugh was this dumb?” but mostly I love it. I’ve used the hashtag #CurlWithTheLetterU enough that most people get it. But I still get like, Charles and Curt and Churl and whatever, sometimes.

      It’s funny, though, she has a classmate with a very similar name (like one-consonant difference) in her tiny preschool class, and the classmate is only a few days older than my Kiddo. No such thing as unique.

      *Not actually these names. I promise her name is lovely.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a real weird spelling why?

  7. Anon in NYC says:

    I have this water table for my daughter, and she loves it (in case anyone is looking for one!).

    • Thank you! We have been looking for one and I think I’ll just this one since you and April both seem to like it!

  8. Hayley says:

    Hayley here! Most of the time people spell it “Haley” and honestly it does bother me. But I think “Hayley” is the prettiest spelling and makes it clearer how to pronounce it. I pronounce it “hey Lee” as opposed to “hail E”. People constantly spell it wrong in emails but it tells me more about them and their carelessness (especially when my name is in my email address, or they’re responding to me) than anything else. And I ended up giving my first daughter a name with a million spellings and am about to do the same with number 2.

  9. layered bob says:

    I need shorts. I currently own 0 pairs of shorts but I am on maternity leave and it is 500 degrees out and I need to run after my other kids. I have a completely average 30-year-old mom bod but my C-section scar is still healing so I need something that won’t irritate. Suggestions?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I have resorted to skirts and Athleta skorts. I don’t know what it is about shorts, but they just don’t work with my body. If the waist is the right size, the butt bags out. It butt fits, the waistband pinches. And all of them shift up my torso so the leg openings bunch up between my legs. Sub optimal all around.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I like old navy’s drawstring waist linen shorts. You can sort of adjust how tight the waist is.

    • Athleta linen shorts. They are amazing. Real shorts, but with an elastic waistband. So much comfier when it’s 95 degrees out!

    • ElisaR says:

      i’m a big fan of the patagonia “baggies” in black. i wear them every day after work. i’m postpartum 8 months now though….i bought in size Large even though usually i’m a medium. The pockets are generous and i use them constantly.

      • I am 100% obsessed with baggies. They also have a longer length option which is great for me since shorter inseam shorts make me look like I’m wearing underwear.

        • ElisaR says:

          i have a feeling i have the longer length option because that’s my jam these days….

    • Not very stylish, but what about running shorts with a wide waistband? Lots of brands make them now – Brooks and Athleta among them.

    • anon. says:

      Athleta had some slouchy linen shorts – they would fit the bill for what you’re describing.

  10. For a million reasons I do not wish to get into, my husband and I are having big issues with my mother and father in law. Good chance that our relationship won’t go beyond very basic small talk in the future – not that it’s been much more lately, but it will be worse. I’m not looking to completely cut them out – they live fairly close and I have a 10 month old. Fortunately, the majority of my other in laws are great and supportive, so large family parties are bearable.

    Can anyone relate and tell their story? How do you deal with facing them all the time?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hard to answer without knowing what the issues are and how often you’re seeing them. If they’re verbally abusive, I think you’re justified in not seeing them and having your husband handle them. If they’re just annoying, you probably need to s*ck it up and spend time with them somewhat regularly. I consider my FIL verbally abusive, but thankfully he lives a plane ride away and doesn’t have much interest in me or our kids. DH visits him a couple times a year. Once in a while, we all go, but we stay in a hotel so the kids and I can interact with him on a very limited basis (eg we all meet for dinner and then kids and I go back to hotel, while DH + FIL hangout). If he lived in our town, DH would be visiting him regularly and managing his needs and maybe once a month or so we’d all have dinner. He wouldn’t be spending much time at our house, and definitely would never be around our kids without one of us there.

    • Let your DH handle most of the interactions, is my best advice. And, I would make sure you’re on the same page as your DH about how to handle grandparent/grandkid interactions. (I often say — to myself — that my relationship with my in-laws was much better before kids were in the picture.)

    • Anonanonanon says:

      We have recently found ourselves in this situation quite suddenly (we think there’s some legitimate mental health or dementia issues on the in-law side contributing) and I agree it is my husband’s relationship to manage. I will say the one boundary I am firmly setting is that there will be NO drama in front of my children (she has shown up crying/refusing to speak to us before in front of the kids… which, why come over if you’re in that state?). If everyone can’t handle civil smalltalk for the sake of the kids, then there can’t be a relationship in my book.
      I am also scaling back what was previously a very close relationship between our oldest and the grandparents due to sudden “we’re never going to speak to you all again because of (X comment that no one actually even said)”. I can’t have people going in and out of my childrens’ lives like that, it’s too confusing to them and I don’t think it models how unconditional love of family should work.

    • Anonymous says:

      We recently cut out a more distant relative (great uncle) because of racist remarks. I basically just stopped inviting them to things. It was tough when they wanted to come to my son’s birthday and I had to have my mom deliver the news that it was “close family and friends only”. I told her the real reason and I’m not sure how much she shared with them, but I honestly don’t care because they racist.

      This is an easier situation than yours in that we don’t communicate with them regularly and they never contacted me directly (it was always through my mom).

    • Check out the reddit board JUSTNOMIL and the babycenter DWIL forum.

    • I tried to respond earlier but apparently it was caught in moderation. Google “justnomil” and “dwil”.

  11. Anonanonanon says:

    We have recently found ourselves in this situation quite suddenly (we think there’s some legitimate mental health or dementia issues on the in-law side contributing) and I agree it is my husband’s relationship to manage. I will say the one boundary I am firmly setting is that there will be NO drama in front of my children (she has shown up crying/refusing to speak to us before in front of the kids… which, why come over if you’re in that state?). If everyone can’t handle civil smalltalk for the sake of the kids, then there can’t be a relationship in my book.
    I am also scaling back what was previously a very close relationship between our oldest and the grandparents due to sudden “we’re never going to speak to you all again because of (X comment that no one actually even said)”. I can’t have people going in and out of my children’s lives like that, it’s too confusing to them and I don’t think it models how unconditional love of family should work.

  12. KateMiddletown says:

    Speaking of names… we’re keeping it a secret until our baby girl is going to be Dorothy.

    And yes, I’m already ISO ruby red baby moccasins.

    Feels good to do a name reveal to ya’ll!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can we talk about how you allocate vacation time between visiting relatives and doing family vacations? I feel like I’m fairly lucky, in that I have 4 weeks/year and no one gets upset if I use it all. I also have generous sick leave, so I never have to burn vacation to stay home with sick kids or take them to the doctor. That said, we’re still feeling pinched, because both of our families are a plane flight away, DH has an adult sister who lives in a different city than his parents, and I’d like to regularly visit my best friend from college, who is like a sister to me (and I’m an only child, so maintaining a very close relationship with her and her kids is more important to me than it might otherwise be). Growing up, my family took just-us-three vacations at least annually, and I’d love for my own kids to have the same experience, but visiting all the relatives and friends hasn’t been leaving much time for it. I guess this is why people move to be closer to family…

    • We rarely take an entirely “Just us 3” vacation for the reasons you mention. If we’re going to the west coast, we try to see several friends while we are there. If we are doing a beach vacation, it’s often with family.

      I don’t really mind though, because we do try to carve out time that’s just us. That would be my suggestion – with family, have them stay home with kiddo one night while you and DH go out to a nice dinner. Or when visiting friends in a different city, stay for a long weekend and on Friday during the day go do touristy stuff while friends are at work.

    • Spirograph says:

      This is a tough one. I have 3 weeks of vacation and generous sick leave as well, but it still manages to go quickly. We did a just-for-us vacation the last two years, but we do not have one planned (yet) this year. No one is local to us — or to each other — and both sets of grandparents are divorced, which doubles our obligations.

      Luckily, we have relatives in some locations that are recognizable as vacation spots, so we can take a beach or mountain vacation with a home base at grandma’s house, or air bnb and have her join us for activities during the day. We also have invited family members to vacations that we were going to take, anyway. For example, my SIL’s family joined our summer vacation this year, and we just got a bigger beach house and split the price.

      We invite people to come to us if the objective is “just to visit.” I’d rather pay for a family member’s plane ticket and take a few days off to make a long weekend than fly my family of 5 across the country with extra days for travel. 3/4 of the grandparents and my siblings have substantial flexibility with their schedules, so it just makes more sense. Plus, there’s plenty of stuff to do in DC that can be a special treat when we have out-of-town guests. My husband and I occasionally take solo trips to visit friends, but confine those to weekends. Our goal is to have one week+ family vacation each year, and a few long weekend ones so we have things to look forward to.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Like other posters, we try to wedge a little “just us” time into the family visit trips. Like we stayed with my sister in her town, but took a day trip to nearby town, just us. Or we flew to visit his family and then got a hotel in the nearby city with the airline hub so we had a night there, just us. The plus side of that kind of thing is that you can do stuff like leave Kiddo with grandparents for an evening and go out on the town with your husband!

      Another thing we try to do is get family visits to align. Like, if his sister is visiting his parents, that’s a good time for you all to go too! Maybe more chaotic, but also efficient!

      I’m also committing, in my head at least, to taking more one-off vacation days to have a long weekend, or a random Wednesday at the zoo, with Kiddo and my husband.

  14. Sarabeth says:

    My husband gets 3 weeks, and is the limiting factor for our vacations. We usually do a week at Christmas, and my parents come up for at least part of that. Then we go on vacation with his parents for another week – not to their house, but to an actual vacation destination. If the cost is more than minimal, we pay for them, because we can afford it and they can’t. The last week varies. Last year, we went away for a week as a family. This year we are dropping the kids with my parents and going on an adults-only vacation, which I am looking forward to immensely.

    Note that none of these involve going and visiting family at their houses. If we’re going to be hanging around the suburbs somewhere, I want to be in my own home, where my kids sleep well.

    And I also have a college BFF that I consider a sister. Luckily, she’s just a 2 hour train ride away, so while we visit each other several times a year, we usually do so over long weekends and don’t burn vacation for it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just looking for some empathy. On “vacation” this week. By that I mean, I drove to my parents with our toddler for the first half of the week and then toddler and I met hubby at his parents for the second half of the week for hubby’s annual golf tournament in our hometown. I’m working half time, which generally isn’t difficult if I work during naptime and after bedtime. I don’t really miss out on anything then. Well, kiddo came down with strep throat on Monday. She was actually really sweet – cuddly and sleepy. But all I’ve done on “vacation” is sit in a rocking chair (again not really complaining about lots of cuddles now that she would rather be running around instead of sitting on my lap when she is healthy) and work. I can’t help but feel disappointed. I’m not telling hubby he can’t golf (and I know some posters on this site will think I should) since this is his once a year big deal with his friends. So I’m a little resentful that he’s still having fun when I haven’t been able to. (Although he has been on strict orders that he doesn’t get to hang out for drinks after and stuff, but play is slow, so it’s still a long time away from us.)

    Also, my in-laws don’t believe in AC. Which is kind of rough on a kiddo who is coming down from a 104 degree fever.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. Can you let husband know that you’d like *your* vacation to be a splurge hotel in your hometown so that if you’re stuck working with a sick kiddo for a blanket, at least you have room service and you can control your own AC with unlimited cable? Unless it’s more comfy to be at in-laws house, in which case….tell them (don’t ask) that you need to turn the AC on for kiddo.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks! At the very least, I’ll get some time next weekend to do whatever I want.

        It’s hard to actually complain about the AC because her room is around 70-71 degrees (guest rooms are in the basement), which is reasonable. The rest of the house is plenty warm, but I don’t actually think it is affecting her enough to slow her recovery. It’s mostly principle and anxiety on my part. Which I’ll totally complain about on here but am not choosing that battle for real (yet).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Ugh, how terrible! I’m so sorry. Do your inlaws even have AC? Can you turn it on just in your/her room? Or go back to your parents?

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      That stinks! Hugs.

  16. For OP looking for short recommendations says:

    This won’t thread correctly but for shorts above I am 7 weeks PP from a c section and had good luck with target universal thread elastic waist shorts.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone bought a play set for the backyard? I’m thinking of getting one and don’t know what budget to expect or even what companies/options there are. This would be for a 5-year-old, so not just the plastic fisher price slide; an actual wood climbing structure with a slide and swings, preferably.

    • I highly recommend the Gorilla brand from Home Depot. Really high-quality stuff, but without the price tag of the fancy Rainbow brand.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s what I’m looking at – they carry it at Wayfair and Overstock as well, looks very nice. Did you put any kind of surface covering under it (rubber mat, woodchips, etc)?

        • No, we just have grass under our playset. It’s been fine. Some of our neighbors have done wood chips or gravel, and it ends up all over the yard. Or if there’s something to contain it, kids are tripping over the edge. Not worth it, to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is maybe outside your budget, but we got a local-ish guy to build one (that’s his whole business – how cool!) that was semi-bespoke for about the same price as things you see online at Wayfair, etc., I think around $3k. (We live in northern VA)

  18. I know I’m a late response but dying to hear who the company is!

    • Anonymous says:

      They are called Backyard Playgrounds. Based in Richmond but they do jobs up here frequently. They were great.

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