Washable Workwear Wednesday: Stay-Black Classic-Fit Ponte Blazer

Banana Republic has an interesting line called Stay-Black, which has special technology designed to resist wrinkles and fading, and is machine washable. There are a number of options, including leggings and dresses, although they seem to be getting pretty low reviews across the board. Still, it’s interesting to note that Banana Republic has this line — and it seems that most of the negative reviews have to do with sizing. So keep an eye out for sales, because I have a feeling they may be going on sale often. This blazer comes in sizes 0–16 in black, navy, and charcoal and is $148. Stay-Black Classic-Fit Ponte Blazer

Here’s a ponte blazer in plus sizes that’s also wrinkle-resistant and machine washable.

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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  1. Ifiknew says:

    I’ll have a 5 month old this Halloween. Where should I be looking for her first costume? Or should we do a cute outfit and be done with it? Thank you!

    • Cornellian says:

      Mine will be 9 months. Carters has cheap costumes, but I decided to get a “cabbage patch” decal for his onesie and a beanie with yarn “hair” and have him be a cabbage patch doll.

      I felt weird buying a single use item that goes in a landfill after my kid wearing it for 90 minutes. I already have a plan to give my outfit away to my friend for next year. Do you have a parents’ list serve you’re part of? There may be someone willing to part with their outfit from last year.

      • I donate my kid’s old costumes. I was taking them to Goodwill, but then I asked my daycare on a whim. Now they have a “closet” of old costumes that at Halloween time they let a few of the needier families pick out what they want for their kids. I think the remaining ones are used for dress up through the year.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I’d look for either a onesie with some costume elements (I found Supergirl and Batgirl onesies at Target around this time of year a few years ago) or skeleton PJs (Old Navy has some, as does Carters). I did both for my kiddo’s first Halloween, since she spit up/pooped on the first option.

      Primary has some costume ideas using solid color PJs as well.

      Carters has some cute owl and berry costumes, but they look impractical for babies who can’t sit/stand/walk.

    • Anonymous says:

      pumpkin sleeper from Walmart or Target. They often have a cute matching pumpkin hat.

      Or if you babywear and plan to go some parties, check out babywearing costumes on pinterest – so many cute ideas.

      For non-babywearing actual costumes – dress baby as monkey (godzilla) and you dress up as statute of liberty (green dress + statute of liberty headband)

      • In general, I would stick with a cute onsie/sleeper + matching hat unless you are going somewhere special.

        At 9 months I did a baby-wear spider costume that my daughter & I wore to a Halloween party. I stuffed four black socks, tacked them on to the black Baby Bjorn, and wore a spider web skirt.

    • I got one at a yard sale just for a photo. It’s not like baby is going trick-or-treating. At age 1 I had a Halloween t-shirt for her to wear that day.

    • Last year my son was just over three months and we did David the Gnome (one of his dad’s favorite shows when he was little). I ordered an adorable red hat with a white beard made out of felt on Etsy and found a blue long sleeved onesie, brown pants, and brown shoes on ThredUp. It was great – and we reused the hat at Christmastime. Cutest pics ever!

      Now we will have a 15 month old who walks and hates hats, so I have no idea what we’ll do…are there good blogs that have fun ideas?

    • I’ll have a 3 month old so just for photos. I’m going to buy one of those cute photoshoot prop outfits, maybe a fox? We call him bear so that’d be fun too.

    • Just keep in mind, if you are going to be driving with the costume on, that it is much easier to make it car seat friendly. I did one of those cute stuffed costumes for my 9mo last year, and a stuffed dinosaur one for his 3yo brother. It was a HUGE PAIN to take them both on and off for each trip (daycare Halloween party, trick or treating with friends).

    • Buy a costume. I was on the fence but it was absurdly cute.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Literally anyone who knows me now knows who I am, but… Kiddo was 9 months her first Halloween. We drew from her favorite song. She was Little Bunny Foo Foo – soft bunny ears that are now in her dress up kit and cute soft pink and white clothes. I was the Field Mouse – grey clothes I own + ears which I are now in her dress up kit. H was the Good Fairy – a little plastic wand, rainbow wings and rainbow tutu, all of which are now in her dressup kit.

      The pictures are super cute — needless to say, baby in bunny ears stole the show.

    • PatsyStone says:

      I bought a parrot costume on Amazon and dressed the dog as a pirate. No regrets, great pics. And I am not usually one for extensive infant dress-up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do a cute costume! When my daughter was nine months old, we all (daughter, husband, me) dressed up as Elvis. The pictures still make me smile. And a baby Elvis is ridiculously cute!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the opportunity for a parent child costume and maybe the only one you’ll ever get. We dressed my 11 month old daughter up as a lobster and my husband wore a chef’s coat (that he borrowed from the cafeteria at his hospital). I have pictures of him holding her in a stockpot and her holding a stick of butter.

      Get a costume.

  2. PregLawyer says:

    After an inconclusive NIPT (stressful) I retook the test and everything came back good! Not positive – I’ve since been trained not to say that. Good. And . . . we’re adding a little girl to our brood! I’m over the moon. My toddler is a boy, and we were planning to stop at two kids, so I’m pretty ecstatic to be able to raise a strong woman.

  3. The thing about wrinkle-resistant is it means many more chemicals. And chemicals means it holds smells (even despite washing), which is bad for a sweater like me.

  4. Two year old birthday ideas for MY OWN daughter. Last year we bought a hand-made wooden rocking horse with her name etched in. I would like to do something in a similar vein, but I’m not sure what. A (nice) doll house is too large and too gender specific for the moment. An heirloom teddy bear?

    • My 2-year-old’s favorite large toys are a play kitchen and a ride-on car. He has cheap plastic (also hand-me-downs) for both of those items, but Land of Nod has some nice ride-on toys, and there have been lots of threads about play kitchens in the past.

      Not a toy, but if you haven’t already, you could also get your daughter her own “real” dishes (obviously not too fragile). We recently started giving our 2-year-old the fork and spoon that I received at his baby shower. I thought they’d just be sentimental items stuffed in the bottom of a drawer, but they’ve helped him a lot–they’re sturdier than the plastic ones, but not as big as the adult ones.

      • PregLawyer says:

        +1 for a ride-on toy. Either a car, a balance bike, or some other ride-along toy. This is my 2-year old’s favorite thing. He comes home from daycare and yells “Tractor Time!” and jumps on his plastic tractor and scoots all around the main floor.

    • My 2 year old’s favorite toys are the play kitchen and his scooter (the micro mini).

      For Christmas this year, my kids are getting nice stainless steel plates, bowls, and silverware. We have the “Better For Your” brand kid cups with numbers on them and they’ve held up really well, so we’re replacing the rest.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Play kitchen and a tiny indoor trampoline were the big things for my LO at that age. Obviously neither is really the same heirloom quality, but they still receive a ton of use even now 2+ years later and both have held up to be used with a second child.

    • Oh if you’re looking for heirloom-type stuff…

      Get a Brio train set and add to it each year
      Start a collection of tea cups/saucers and add one each year (you can go more historically-influenced rather than floral if you want to keep it gender neutral)
      Get a wooden treasure box to keep mementos
      Find a wooden children’s rocking chair or a wooden stool
      Start a themed ornament collection – like get a golden ornament each year, or airplanes, or Santas

    • CPA Lady says:

      We have the Hape gourmet kitchen with the accessories, and also like it for that age. It has a surprisingly small footprint. A friend got kiddo an additional set of cookware from melissa and doug that has measuring spoons, a mixing bowl, small muffin tin, etc. I think it’s one of those toys that grows with a child. First they have fun opening the doors and putting the stuff in and taking it out. Then later, they start true imaginative play.

      • Second this. I bought one used off of Craigslist and my son has been playing with it nonstop. We got it when he was 11-12 months, I think.

    • Anonymous says:

      The heirloom quality gift I got for my for my own babies at 2 years was a play kitchen: Specifically, the Camden Rose handmade solid cherry and walnut play kitchen. It is gorgeous and has held up for 6 years now, still in use.

      I would have also splurged on a handmade wooden child size rocking chair but we got one secondhand.

      We started the train set at 2 also and also went heirloom quality. This is a great idea because it’s easy to build on and easy to ask for add-ons that are inexpensive for other family members. Though…one kid was a train nut for 3 years and then it ended abruptly, and the other one never really got obsessed. (Sniff, sniff – they were fun to play with and we spent a lot of money on them!)

      Love the ideas anon gave above for starting collections and also the wooden treasure box.

      One thing we never actually bought but I think would have been really nice is a set of unit blocks. Solid maple, standard size, made in US, these would be heirlooms for sure and get lots of open-ended play at various ages. 2 is a little young maybe? Also expandable.

      Not hugely expensive but along those lines and also heirloom is Uncle Goose alphabet blocks. This is basically my go-to present for 1-year-olds but they get really used at 2.

      • My husband passed his Brio set down to our kids, and now we’re adding to it so they can split it up and have it for their own kids someday. It gets a ton of play and holds up really well. Just make sure to only buy the wooden pieces – some of the train sets are plastic and I fear they may not last for the next generation.

        My grandfather made me a set of plain wooden blocks – nothing fancy, just 2x4s cut into 6 inch sections and sanded edges. Enough to fit in a milk crate. I loved them as a kid and now my kids love them too, even more than the fancier Melissa & Doug set with a variety of shapes that we were gifted.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Play kitchen is so great for a two year old. It’s not heirloom quality, but I am one of those (insufferable? I hope not?) moms who “redecorated” the Ikea play kitchen — I really like how ours turned out, and she remains obsessed with it. “Can we go play in my kitchen?” every night.

      • AwayEmily says:

        I looooove those Ikea play kitchen hacks. What did you do to it?

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          It’s basically my dream kitchen (that my husband would never consent to): colorful, Spanish inspired. The base color is a warm yellow, the “backsplash” is talavera tiles (stickers), the sink and handles and the ‘metal’ of the stove are oil rubbed bronze (spray paint), the oven and microwave are the original white, I installed a cream-ish marble counter top (contact paper), I added some super cute glass knobs in a bunch of colors over the oven and cupboard (they’re plastic, of course), and there are highlights (cupboard door, back of top shelves) of a bright bluish teal. Hmm reading that it sounds super busy and overwhelming, but it’s pretty cohesive (the tiles really do bring it together) and super *fun* which is key for a kid, I think.

    • Wooden step stool with her name on it, puzzle variation or not, or a name puzzle

      • rakma says:

        +1 to the step stool. Ours gets used multiple times a day, and really gave DD a measure of independence. We have a two-step one in the kitchen which puts her at counter height.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        My grandparents got us each stepstools with our name carved in them (engraved? i don’t know) when we were little, and I still have mine :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Pottery Barn Kids currently has several snow globes that you can personalize–an elephant, a giraffe, and a train, I believe. My daughter has loved staring at her snow globe since she was tiny. She’s currently two and a half and still loves her “glitter ellie” . (It is up on a high shelf that she can’t reach, and she knows she has to ask us to make it play music or make it “glitter”.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe start a collection of Calico Critters?

    • CLMom says:

      This is excellent feedback, and I’m going to talk over a couple of the ideas with my husband. THANK YOU

    • PregLawyer says:

      One other thought – I accidentally got my 2 year old excited about his piggy bank. Someone gave him some quarters randomly, so when we got home we had him put them in the piggy bank. He was very excited about money! and saying “piggy bank” over and over again. I’m sure he has no concept about actual money and won’t for a while, but it can’t hurt to start the saving discussion early, right?

      In other words, you could look into getting a nice engraved piggy bank.

  5. Moms, I could use some advice. My second son is 5.5 months old and was a star sleeper until late last week. He caught a cold and has been up during the night every 2-3 hours. This also happens to coincide with a really important week at work for me – I am hosting a huge event and I’m also finalizing my promotion memo which is due at the end of the week. The problem? My brain hurts I’m so tired. I’ve averaged about 3, maybe 4 hours of sleep every night since last Thursday night and I’m exhausted. Luckily my older son is sleeping through all of this baby waking (they share a room), but my husband refuses to get up with the baby (says the baby doesn’t want him only wants me for comfort). Because I’m so overtired I’ve literally been in tears at my desk because I need to be on top of my game this week for work and I just cannot think coherently enough. I have a job where meetings fill my day and I have to do my thinking/substantive work at night, so finding time to take a nap during the day has been difficult. This promotion is important for me from a career perspective and for our family because it will mean more salary, and this is my shot at it. What to do? I realize my freaking out is completely related to being beyond overtired! Thanks for any advice.

    • Ugh, your husband’s response is so frustrating!!! Maybe a night nurse for a few days? Look on Care.com. It’s less stressful than getting a babysitter since you’ll both be present.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’m really sorry and I’m angry on your behalf. This is 100% a husband problem. Your husband doesn’t get to tell you that your (mutual) child is more easily comforted by you so he gets a pass on waking up in the middle of the night. You have a big week at work and he needs to take one for the team. Whether that means sleeping on the floor in the kids room or sleeping in the glider or babywearing and walking around the house. I would be livid if my husband pulled something like this.

      I think you need to sit down with your husband tonight and tell him that you need him to take over until Friday. Remind him of the importance of this week for your career and family. Tell him that you’re crying at your desk because you’re so tired. I hope he’ll be appropriately embarrassed that he’s been so awful.

      • Blueberry says:


      • Anon, you have way more balls than I. Can I delete my response?

      • +1. At this point, my EBF babies were being comforted by my husband at night at least half the time, even when they actually wanted me. You should not be shouldering this burden on your own, especially when you have a big week like this.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Child only wants you? SOunds like now is the time to tackle that problem and for husband to get used to comforting child and child getting used to having dad do the comforting. What would happen if you got sick or were in an accident and you were in the hospital? Would that be the time for the two of them to figure it out? (I’m saying that to make husband feel bad, NOT YOU!)
        Your husband needs to step.it.up.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Light your husband on fire just a little?

        Don’t come home one night and watch the world burn?

        IDK I am just livid on your behalf. You two are a TEAM and he is not acting like it.

        • I think Rainbow Hair was kidding about “don’t come home one night and watch the world burn,” but I actually think it’s a great idea to get yourself a hotel room and don’t go home. Or go home for dinner and bedtime, and then check yourself into a hotel room and go to sleep immediately. The world will not burn.

        • I wanted to say this but thought it might be extreme. My sister’s husband is doing the same thing right now and I internally scream in my head every time she tells me about it.

          • I think it would be too extreme and somewhat passive aggressive to stay in a hotel during a normal week. Normally, I’d say go home, have a conversation with your husband, and get him to see the light.

            But during a big week at work, where success could impact your career path and income positively for years (promotion, presentation, trial, etc), I don’t think it’s too extreme to check into a hotel and take care of yourself and your work. You can have a conversation with your husband later, but for now, that’s just one more stressful thing to have to do.

      • + 10000

        My husband got up MORE times than I did at night, even when I was EBFing. Baby of course wants to eat but just as importantly wants to be comforted and your husband is perfecting capable of doing that. I am livid on your behalf.

    • One more – you probably don’t have much leave, but can you take a few hours one morning just to sleep?

    • Your husband HAS to help. He has to. Can he/you sleep in a separate room, farther away from the baby? He really, really needs to help you out here and get up with the baby. Even if it wasn’t a huge week for you, you’re obviously at your wit’s end, and you need sleep! This is what marriage is all about!

    • I’m sorry, this sounds unbelievably stressful. Your husband absolutely husband needs to step up and get up with baby at night. Especially right now, when you clearly have a huge sleep deficit and the consequences are high. Seriously, I cannot understate how much of an a** your husband is being, and I would be sleeping in the guest room (alone, in the quiet) if I were you.

      Tonight, can you go to bed at the same time as your kids? Seriously, crawl into a cave at 7-7:30 and just sleep as long as you can. Even if baby wakes up at midnight, you will have gotten 4 consecutive hours of sleep. Do it a few nights if you can to take the edge off. Then, hopefully, you’ll have enough energy for the substantive work you need to do in the evenings.

      I ask this gently, but will this promotion improve your quality of life overall? Because a job that has you going to meetings all day and doing your substantive work in the evenings has potential to burn you out fast, especially with two tiny kids.

    • Find the least important meeting today, skip it, and sleep in your car (or in the first aid room or wherever you can). Make it a 20 min power nap (10 min to fall asleep, 20 min to actually sleep), chug some caffeine, and power through the rest of the day. Do it twice if you can manage it. Can you nap for 20 min in your car a block or two from home before you walk in the door tonight?

      If night nanny isn’t an option, ask if DH can at least deal with kid until midnight or 1. You go to bed early and then any wake up after that time is yours, but you get a solid 4 hours of sleep before that happens. Or go nuclear and announce you’re getting a hotel for the night, because you’re at crashing-the-car levels of exhaustion and you have to keep the family safe. He can deal with kid for one night.

      And breath. If you’re a top performer, your “rough” days are everyone else’s stellar days, or at least their average days. Let everything go except the memo and the actual event – you can catch up on all that after this crisis has passed.

      • Katala says:

        +1 to the nap. Also, chug the coffee before the nap. The way caffeine works in your brain, sleeping opens the receptors that allow the caffeine to work. It takes about 30 minutes to fully kick in. So: chug a coffee (or double espresso), 10 mins to fall asleep, 20 min nap.

        And +1million to the comments that husband needs to get up with the baby. Mine were EBF and around 4 months, Dad started getting them between 10-4am. They can go that long without eating. Maybe try a dream feed around 10pm to be sure baby’s full and then get 6 straight hours. Your husband will figure it out, even if that means being up the whole time with a screaming baby (that won’t happen, but worst case). They’ll both be OK.

    • Thanks to ALL of you for thinking clearly and rationally for me – I really appreciate it! I agree on having my husband step up. He’s not the best at having to deal with night wakings (hates them) and since I’m EBFing/pumping he feels the baby wants me to comfort nurse (I agree with the comment above about EBF and having your husband take the baby if night waking, otherwise they smell Mom and want the milk!). I have asked him to take the nights the next two days and will call a night nurse if need be. Part of me knows that I’ve been the one getting up to avoid my husband being mad about having to get up. Me with sleep tells him that they are his children too and we all have to parent even when it’s really hard. Me without sleep just gives in and gets up with the baby.

      • Blueberry says:

        I mean, it’s probably true that the baby would prefer to nurse with you than be rocked by your husband, but sometimes not everybody in the family gets exactly what they want, because Mommy needs to sleep in order to be able to function!

        • +1. Your reaction to just jump in and do it is how I’m wired under stress, too. But if there’s ever a time to “put on your oxygen mask,” this is it.

      • Triangle Pose says:

        He has to get better or find a way to deal. He does not get to plead incompetence at a time like this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t let him get away with this. My first was EBF. Never even had a bottle until 4 months old. On DH’s night’s on, he would get up, change diaper, bring me baby in bed, I nursed in bed, when baby was done nursing, DH dealt with getting baby back to sleep, even if that meant walking the floor for hours. Because that’s what parents do and this baby has two parents.

        He needs to get up. If he doesn’t, I would be booking a hotel for yourself for the next two nights. Just don’t come home from work.

        If you’re pumping and he can just give baby pumped milk, I would literally sleep in another part of the house or get a hotel room.

        And once you’re through this period, you need to establish a schedule for who gets up at night with baby. I do MWF nights, DH does T/TH/Sat nights and we alternate Sundays. That’s shared parenting.

        • +1 to all of this. I was EBF and my husband did the getting the baby/returning the baby/changing the baby whenever I needed him to (sometimes I wanted him to, sometimes I preferred to just do it myself) because I was keeping the baby alive with my body and really that was enough.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      I know I’m piling on at this point, but husband’s response is absolutely not acceptable. I would have a conversation with him like many have suggested above. He gets one shot to participate, and if he doesn’t handle it, go get a hotel. He has a phone; he can call a sitter or grandma if he truly can’t handle his own children.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I will repeat what everyone else said and make it clear that this is NOT appropriate husband behavior. My husband was getting up with the baby every single time and would rock him back to sleep after I finished nursing. No one likes to interrupt sleep and get up with a screaming child – of course it’s awful! But it’s something you sign up for when you have a baby. I hope this is an anomaly in his behavior – otherwise he’ll be passing on some bad lessons to your sons, i.e. childcare is a woman’s job. Ugh, I’m so angry on your behalf. I hope your talk tonight goes well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hand husband a “bill” for the difference between your current and promotion salary. Book a hotel room. Go there directly after work, order room service and sleep. Finish your memo after a hot shower & cup of coffee tomorrow morning.

  6. Midwest Mama says:

    Help me help a friend. Her husband is having a mental health episode and has checked into a great, nearby facility — but is therefore out of pocket for the coming weeks, and his recovery period is unknown. She has a young son (under 5) who is in full time school. Her parents and in-laws are on deck to help. She is also early in her first trimester. Both her and her husband’s workplaces are being supportive.

    She is kicking b*tt and taking names, but I know it’s got to be exhausting. Other than flowers, what can I do for her? We do not live near one another — about an hour away. I see her a few times a week in a professional setting. My instinct is food, but her parents are in town staying with her so…is that a waste?

    • Say “I’d love to get a meal for you and your family next week. What is easier for you, should I have something delivered or do you want a gift card to a restaurant?” (Obviously insist, when she says you don’t have to.) And if she wants it delivered, then ask which day works.

      Do you have capacity to babysit? Tell her that you’d love to watch her son for a few hours on a weekend to give her some alone time, if and when she needs it – you could meet at a nearby/ halfway park and have a picnic with him.

      In those types of situations, it’s really hard to make yourself a priority. A gift card to a local hair salon or nail salon or massage place would be awesome to make sure she’s taking time for herself.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        All of this is great! If you can find a way that isn’t overstepping to sort of “force” her to take some time off — like a prenatal massage for her, plus you’ve planned to take 5 year old to the indoor playground! — I think it could be great.

      • Midwest Mama says:

        See I love this idea but her son doesn’t know me at all and I know my own kids would FREAK at the idea of being left with a stranger at a playground. Still, I love the idea of a massage or nail treatment for her. And food! Thank you :)

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Personally, when people give me massage gift cards etc. during times like this, I don’t end up using them (i know i’m awful) or at least don’t until things have settled down. However, I’d absolutely appreciate a gift card to a grocery delivery service, because that would take something off my plate instead of making me feel like I have one more thing to plan (childcare for a massage appointment when I already feel like I’ve used all my childcare favors)
      Another would be an amazon gift card. I know it’s generic, but when I’m solo-parenting I often lean on amazon prime for things I would usually run an errand to accomplish. Kid needs a ____ colored shirt for anti-bullying day thursday? Amazon prime that! We’re out of paper towels? amazon prime that! Again, something that helps take an errand off of my plate.

      • Agree on the errand, like bringing a bag of groceries, trip to target, or running to the post office. Though with her parents in town and you out of town, those examples might not be as useful. What about a little treat for her kid? Send him a puzzle, magnet tiles, or other little activity. It must be hard on him and a new distraction would be welcome, I imagine. My preschooler also loves getting things in the mail, so that in itself is a treat.

    • You could also give her a gift certificate to a babysitting service, or offer to set up a meal train or something like that.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Does she have a favorite lunch place, or breakfast treat? Does she have access to a fridge at work? If my parents were staying with me that would mean dinners and breakfasts were taken care of, but not necessarily lunches. If it was me, I would probably be doing a lot of lunch at my desk while trying to take care of things like paying bills – so having lunch delivered to me, or a gift card to a place that delivered would be great. Or snacks that aren’t total junk – perhaps one of those snack subscription services, or a gift of something like dark chocolate plus Lara bars or protein bars. Or since she’s in her first trip, perhaps she’s having some kind of craving, or would benefit from some ginger tea or crunchy carby things to snack on.

      Or if seeing her in professional capacity means you are her way for an afternoon meeting, perhaps she would like to go have a drink or coffee with you after work – if she has family to help with the kids, she may need a break to do something normal but that doesn’t take too long.

      You can also ask how long family can stay, and plan to do something the week they leave, or the week after. I doubt her family can stay indefinitely, so at some point she’ll need more help.

      • You can use Amazon pantry and fill a box with healthy and easy snacks (with a few treats thrown in) to be delivered to her house. It is easy to do for around $70.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        This is genius. Maybe a gift card to a place that’s by her office and fast/easy for lunch (Panera lets you order online and just run in and pick it up off a shelf, for example). Also, this may seem silly, but explain to her the thought you put into it “hey I noticed these are some places near your work for lunch and wanted to make it easier to treat yourself to something”. I may not but two and two together if someone just handed me a gift card.

  7. Anonanonanon says:

    Pregnancy question. Sigh.
    I’ve been positive for ketones at my last three appointments, and have had a lot of vomiting (multiple times a day) this pregnancy. Every time, they call me after the appointment to say “there’s ketones in your urine, it’s from vomiting too much, try sipping ginger ale and eating popsicles”. The thing is, I’ve been doing everything I can to stay hydrated! We’ve tried a few medications, but the stuff that works they tell me “don’t drive on this” and I have to drive to get to work/meetings so….
    I have another appointment today, and I’m not confident they’re putting together that I’ve tested positive every time. And frankly, acting like it has never occurred to me to “try sipping ginger ale” when I’m vomiting all day is insulting. Are there specific questions I should ask them? Should I be pressuring them into exploring next steps to ensure I’m hydrated (an IV? Something?) or assume that since they seem to think it’s fine that it is? I don’t want to be an annoying patient or sign myself up for unnecessary complications, but I want to advocate for myself!

    • mascot says:

      I think you need to just lay it out there and give them the history. I had to do this for my acid reflux during pregnancy. I got a brush off response about not lying down after meals and not eating spicy foods. I finally put my foot down and said listen, I haven’t had spicy/triggering foods in x weeks and I’ve been doing all the other things you just said, I’m taking y OTC medication at these intervals consistently, and I am waking up at night bc I am choking from reflux. I am concerned I am doing lasting damage to my esophagus. Please tell me something else that we can try bc nothing is working. I finally got some answers then.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Yea I’m also concerned about the effects on my esophagus/teeth from all of this vomiting, it can’t be good!

        Does anyone know if there’s variations in ketone levels that would mean different things? Like is it possible I just have a low amount and so it’s not a huge deal and they’d be more concerned if levels were higher? or is it something you’re just positive or negative for?

    • Speak with the doctor directly during the appt and get her to list out the risks and concerns. “I’ve now tested positive for ketones after the last three appointments. What are the concerns here? What are the risks? I’m doing everything I can to stay hydrated, including ginger ale and popsicles, but is this risky enough that I need additional interventions? Is the vomiting enough of a problem that I need to talk with my employer about work accomodations since I can’t drive on medication? What do you recommend? What should I do if I get a fourth call this week?” etc etc.

    • layered bob says:

      yeah, with my last baby I had some complications that no one was putting together until I got pretty forceful. IMO, obstetrics, as culture/system, still tends to treat women in a really condescending way and assumes that we’re idiots.

      Look at this as one of your first opportunities to advocate for your child (I am way better on my child’s behalf than on my own). “Here is the pattern. Here is what I’ve been doing. The advice I’ve previously received is unhelpful and I’d like you to brainstorm with me about better ways to manage this.”

      • Anonanonanon says:

        “obstetrics, as a culture/system, still tends to treat women in a really condescending way” YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES. Which drives me especially crazy because most of the practitioners in this system (at least that I encounter) are women!
        With my male doctors/other specialists, when I say “hey, I have to make it through the work day and I can’t do it on that medication, what are our other options?” they immediately help me find other options or explore alternatives. I feel like so far the answer to everything with the OB is “stay at home in bed” with no understanding that I have a job I need/want to go to. If i TRULY need to stay home in bed for something I of course will, but at least express understanding that it’s inconvenient!

    • Why not bring it up and say, I keep testing positive for ketones. All of the things I’ve tried – list all their stupid suggestions – aren’t working. Are the ketones a serious problem or something to keep an eye on? If so, what else can we try to keep me hydrated? Does this warrant an IV?

      Keep in mind that taking the medication that makes you drowsy may be the best/least invasive option – can you afford to hire a car service or Uber or something more frequently temporarily? Do you have friends or coworkers that can give you a lift?

      • Anonanonanon says:

        unfortunately I have a 40 minute commute in the national capital region, and it’s a reverse commute so none of the usual commuting options are open to me. It’s too far to afford an uber every day. I could wait until I got to work and take the medicine then, and try to avoid driving to meetings. The only issue is the medicine that works (phenergan) literally knocks me out, so I doubt my ability to even send an email on it.

        • preganon says:

          I was taking Vit B6 (upwards of 50-70 mg/day), which cut some nausea. They tried to put me on diclegis, but that’s just B6+Unisom and I refused. Then tried phenergan, which improved nausea but made me a zombie, and finally was able to get them to prescribe zofran, which was life-changing. I felt like a real person on zofran; it should not affect your ability to drive.

          Apologies if zofran is on your ‘already tried this’ list, but my doctor’s office definitely gave me the runaround, medication wise, and I had to strongly advocate for myself and give a detailed history of each medication/how I felt/reactions when things weren’t working out.

          • Anonanonanon says:

            I did try Zofran, and while it helped with the in-between nausea it didn’t affect the vomiting. it also made me crazy constipated! (TMI? sorry!) You’re right though I had to argue for the Zofran!

            I keep trying to ask for diclegis because I’ve heard it’s time released and less drowsy than just combining B6 and unisom, but the doctor said that’s not the case, so who knows :(

          • preganon says:

            Yes… zofran stopped me up like nothing else. Sorry it wasn’t a miracle cure for you like it was for me!

            As an aside, my doctor’s office didn’t bar me from driving on phenergan (or warn me about it!). My commute is ~40 minutes one way with daycare dropoff, ~10 the reverse. However, I can see how you wouldn’t want to drive on it if you don’t feel confident emailing while on it.

            Best of luck negotiating with your doctor’s office.

          • Diclegis works in a way that the B6+unisom doesn’t. I tried both and Diclegis allowed me to function–the “roll your own” version did not. I ended up taking 4/day (2 at night, 1 in the AM, one at 4p) and after a brief adjustment period, it didn’t impact my fatigue too badly.

          • I also had better luck with Diclegis (2nd preg) than I did with “roll your own” B6 + Unisom (1st pregnancy, did sh*t-all, ended up on Zofran for a week before my m/s finally let up). Also, I deeply love the “roll your own” phrasing. Diclegis did not knock me out the way B6 + Unisom did AND seemed to work better. Big Pharma for the win.

        • You’re not going to want to hear this, but it may be time for FMLA. Of course, that would cut into your leave time after the baby is born. But if the risks are high enough (dehydration or inability to operate a car), it may be necessary.

          I had similar issues in my pregnancy. I wish I’d taken leave, even if it had been unpaid. I irreversibly damaged my professional reputation trying to continue working when I absolutely could not function. If I ever got pregnant again (doubtful because of these issues and pre-term labor that put me on bed rest at the end of pregnancy), I would just take leave.

    • This may be practice dependent, but I never left the office with out knowing the results of any urine tests they did that day. When you bring it up, can you ask about that day’s results too? They may not be able to give them to you, but if they can, talking about the results in the office that day rather than getting a call from a nurse hours later might help to identify the severity of the problem.

  8. Can any CA moms explain California’s various mat leave policies to me?

    So there’s Paid Family Leave Act, which runs for 6 weeks, and my understanding is that that runs concurrently with FLMA. But then there’s also California Family Rights Act, which is also 12 weeks, but starts when PFL ends, so linking it all together it can be 18 weeks of job protected leave. Is that right? And how does Pregnancy Disability Leave come into play?


    • I only used short term disability (SDI) and PFL. For what it’s worth, here’s how those worked for me: There was a one-week waiting period before SDI kicked in, which I believe is mandated by the state. During that one-week waiting period, I used my sick leave to continue getting paid (this may depend on your employer and PTO policies). OB’s office filled out paperwork, which classified my “disability” as 6 weeks. So I received 5 weeks of SDI payment (because of the one week waiting period). My understanding was that if it was a C-section, it would have been 8 weeks, and that in theory it could have been longer if there were highly unusual circumstances. Because it was a pregnancy-related SDI claim, it rolled into PFL with no delay (I forget if this was automatic, but it was definitely seamless). PFL was 6 weeks, so I received a total of 11 weeks of payments from the state. They all went onto a debit card, and I found it easiest to just transfer the funds online from that account to my own account. One of the annoying things to my type-A personality was that I could not get paperwork going ahead of time, which makes sense in theory but meant that all of the submissions had to be coordinated after giving birth, since I wasn’t taking disability until after the birth. In theory you could take it before giving birth. You’ll want to confirm on your own, but I think PDL is protected unpaid leave, and that if you qualify for SDI, it is just paid to you during your PDL (so they are not two separate things).

      Good luck!

  9. IMHO you are not being an annoying patient. You are your only advocate at times and this is one of them. Go with what your gut (no pun intended) is telling you and ask to discuss your options, when each option would come into play, how your priority is the safety of your baby, etc.

  10. Amelia Bedelia says:

    How crazy am I to book a big trip next year with a 4 and 2 year old? My husband and I want to start traveling again. And we want to take our parents on a trip, too. We polled them and got one vote for Germany and one vote for Scotland.
    Any thoughts on this?
    We’d have ten days. We’d be fairly laid back, as we have toddlers and parents in their late 60s with us. But should we wait a few more years?

    Can anyone suggest whether these are good locations and help me narrow my focus? I’ve been two both places, but it was 15 years ago, and I had a MUCH different mindset and budget back then.

    • We’ve been having these conversations too and the thing that is hamstringing me is the naps. My older kid is fine to skip a nap and just go to bed a little early, but the little one is a disaster without naps (naps! plural!) and doesn’t nap well on the go. I don’t love the idea of going on vacation only to have to keep a short radius from the hotel for purposes.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Yeah, after seeing the enormous personality difference in my 18-month-old with vs without napping, my husband and decided to hold off on any major travel until both kids (the second is due in January) are past the napping stage. Given the choice between being tethered to a hotel or dealing with a cranky kid, I choose…neither! I figure we’ll save money, use our vacation time to visit family or rent a beach house, and start traveling “for real” again when the kids are 4 and 6 or so.

        That being said, if you are a more easygoing people than we are, I am sure you could make it work! Would it be possible to rent a house in a non-urban area of Scotland or Germany? Might make things easier than a hotel room and you could focus your trip on more toddler-friendly outdoorsy stuff (exploring small towns, hiking, beer gardens, etc).

    • Anonymous says:

      We recently did parts of Germany with a 2YO (Berlin, Stuttgart) and found it very reasonable. Toddler loves riding trains, which is what we used for 90% of our travel. I can recommend the Berlin Zoo, walking around, and all the playgrounds you could ever want. We were very relaxed in terms of ‘adult things to do’ and mostly enjoyed the food, architecture, culture, etc. We rented AirBnBs in both places and it was great.

      With 10 days and 2 kids, I would pick 2 or 3 cities you want to explore and no more. Logistics, luggage, naptimes, etc, will prevent you from really enjoying more than that (in my experience).

      • Redux says:

        Yes! the Germans are world-famous for their playgrounds!

      • Amelia Bedelia says:

        did you choose these two cities for any particular reason? I’d love to do Cologne and Berlin, but only because I loved them the first time. I’ve never been to Stuttgart. I really want to see a fairy-tale castle with my two girsl who have JUST discovered princesses (thanks, disney).

        • Anon from 1:02 says:

          I had some vague plans to day-trip (France! Switzerland! The Alps!) from there, but the day trip we did end up doing was a disaster. We drove to the base of Zugspitze, but by the time we got there (construction, rental car delays, etc) the last tram had already gone. So… we were sort of SOL, and also it was cloudy, etc, etc. I don’t recommend it as a day-trip base.

          However, my husband preferred Stuttgart to Berlin because the pace was slower and it felt more like a walkable town. He’s less of a “do everything” traveler, and more of a “explore where we are at our own pace” traveler. We stayed in the Feuersee area (so says google maps) right outside the Mitte area. We took the train to Wilhelma Zoo& Gardens, which was pretty delightful. That said, this is not castle town, and I’m sure you can find better castle towns out there for your two princesses-in-training :).

          I guess based on my experience, I wouldn’t necessarily tell someone to go to Stuttgart – but I will say that being off the beaten path and out of a huge city with a toddler was a great way to go. It was relaxed – it was vacation! We frequented the same bakeries/coffee shops/playgrounds while we were there, at our own pace.

        • Anon from 1:02 says:

          Oh, and Berlin was sort of a no-brainer. We started in a small town about 3 hours train ride from Berlin, because that’s where I was for work. DH and son met me in the small town, we stayed for 1 day to get over some jet lag, and continued our travels to the closest ‘must see’ city – Berlin.

          We stayed in an airbnb in Mitte (although I also looked at P-Berg for rentals, and loved the P-Berg neighborhood…and playgrounds… when we went) and it was great. I guess the key things for all of the places we stayed was that there was enough to do within 30 minutes public transit of our rental that we could do breakfast + AM activity, return around 1pm for naptime, and then head out for ??? after 3 pm, until about 7 or 8 (bedtime!)

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband and I were huge travellers pre-kids (we have been to about 30 countries). Since two-year old was born we have taken very different trips. To Curacao (kid was 9 months); Cuba (18 months) and planning another Caribbean trip this winter when kiddo is 2.5. Even though these are Caribbean destinations only one of the 3 have been to an all inclusive; we usually rent a car and explore, not just sit on a resort. Kiddo is not fun without naps so we haven’t been very adventurous. Like others we are waiting until kiddo (and any future siblings) are done napping before going back to our more adventurous travel. I love the Caribbean right now at this stage because for us, there is little or no time change, and we have direct flights that are reasonable in length.

    • shortperson says:

      berlin was fun w a toddler, but i have my eye on a trip to see a couple amazing bavarian castles next. my 2 yo was wide eyed at a danish castle this summer and remembers it whenever we watch a disney movie. or maybe you’ll see castles in scotland. i’m sure a few would be enough.

    • Spirograph says:

      I have a 2 and 4 year old, and I don’t think you’re crazy, you just have to adjust expectations. Like others have said, if your kids need naps, someone will need to stay behind with them unless they’re champ on-the-go sleepers. I would definitely look into renting a house or flat vs a hotel room and just living your life in a different location for a week. My weekends are typically AM activity, home for nap (sometimes H or I takes the oldest to do something while the littler kids nap), then playground or other PM activity before going home for dinner and bedtime. When we went on vacation over the summer, we kept the same schedule, just had more exciting activities. It worked out really well!

      • We only did it with one kid, not two, but we had a great vacation with our then-15-month-old who napped every day. We did one outing in the morning, nap, one activity in the afternoon. DH and I took turns staying at the hotel (and often napped ourselves) in the afternoon. It was different than pre-kid travel but sill totally worth it. My recommendation would be a centrally located hotel or air b&b so you don’t lose too much time getting back for nap.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:


        We went to Amsterdam with my almost two year old last summer and it was fun. My tips:

        Stay in an apartment/flat with at least a kitchenette and a bedroom with a door and eat breakfast there.

        Plan around naps — we did the same, a morning activity, lunch, then nap and then usually just walking around/dinner.

        If possible, only adjust slightly to the timezone — it wasn’t done on purpose, but we were coming from the east coast (so 6 hrs behind, I think) and instead of completely resetting to local time we did everything 2-3 hours later than we would and as a result had more ‘functional hours’ between waking up and nap, (~8/9 am to 2/3pm as compared to 6/7pm – noon/1pm).

        Don’t really plan on seeing everything – -this was key for me. There were no real must sees for me, so I wasn’t bothered by the slow pace.

        • Amelia Bedelia says:


        • Anonymous says:

          +1 to the tip on timezone. we did a trip from west coast USA to England this year and that was the BEST thing ever. staying up till midnight and getting up around 11am worked perfectly for our bodies and also allowed us to see lots of stuff. over 2 weeks we slowly adjusted back a bit but it definitely helped with jet lag and maximizing vacation time/feeling. I should add my kids were baby, 5, 7.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do an Air BnB or apartment not a hotel. You can always get take out from a great restaurant. I can’t deal with kids in restaurants 3 times a day.

      I’ve done Europe with kids a bunch. Don’t move around too much. Plan one or max two activities a day, and if your kid naps in stroller, that’s a great time to see art galleries. Plan kid friendly activities like zoos and picnics in parks. Europe is great for just wandering around and absorbing the atmosphere.

      • Anonymous says:

        also if you’re going in the summer, try a German beach town. Relaxing beach vacation with historically old European stuff.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      thanks everyone! My now 20 mos old is okay to skip a nap every couple days. so, we could do an all day thing as long as she has an earlier night. And, we don’t mind splitting duty in the afternoon. I agree the house rental is a great idea. Way better than Hotel.
      I think Germany might totally be doable!
      I know less about scotland option. my kids don’t love cars (we are city dwellers), so Germany sounds better with just train trips.

      • Yeah, I’d worry more about the weather in Scotland. If it is rainy, are your kids going to be miserable? Germany also has much better transport links.

    • Having just returned from a trip with a 2 and 4 year old and grandparents, my vote is for Hawaii! Lots of things to do and see but also plenty of downtime at the beach. It’s the best of all worlds. :)

  11. layered bob says:

    does anyone have a name bubbles coupon or referral code for another clothing/etc. label company they’d want to share? or recommendations?

    • AwayEmily says:

      no coupon but I’ve been super happy with Olivers labels and you can usually find a promo code online.

    • I really love Name Bubbles. They’re the best I’ve found at staying on through multiple, multiple laundry cycles.

      They had free shipping last weekend, and 15% off for Labor Day. Sign up for their email list and you could probably get a code in the next week or two, if you don’t need it immediately.

  12. avocado for Anonanonanon says:

    Sorry to hear you are so sick. Are you at least taking the Phenergan at night? I would absolutely never ever try to drive or work on Phenergan, but my doctor suggested that alternating Phenergan and Zofran would be more effective than taking either alone so I would do Zofran during the day and Phenergan at night. You also might consider asking for IV Zofran or even going to the ER for it. I have heard that IV antinausea drugs can break the cycle of vomiting and get you to a place where the oral drugs can control things better.

    Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself. One of my biggest pregnancy regrets is not telling my husband to shut up when the doctor suggested hospitalizing me to get the hyperemesis under control, he said, “No, it’s not that bad,” and the doctor dropped the idea. Doctors absolutely view pregnant women as baby vessels, so you may really have to push to get your concerns taken seriously.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I take it occasionally at night, but you make an excellent point, I should do it more regularly. I’m sure some would linger in my system and at least help through the morning.

  13. blueberries says:

    For California mat leave for people who meet the requirements, there’s 4 weeks before the birth (partial pay) and 18 weeks after the birth (12 weeks of which at partial pay). More if there are complications for the birthing mother. For a parent who isn’t giving birth, it’s 12 weeks of job-protected leave, of which 6 are at partial pay. These are the general rules–what an individual gets may vary based on disability, size of company, length of service, etc.

    Pregnancy Disability Leave: up to 4 weeks before due date and 6 weeks after birth for routine pregnancies/deliveries. This is partial paid through the state and gets you job protection. You can get a fair amount more time if needed.

    California Family Rights Act: 12 weeks of job protection, starts when PDL ends. This is unpaid job protection.

    Paid Family Leave: 6 weeks partial pay through the state (with some additional pay from SF employers under a new ordinance); this runs with CFRA, making 6 weeks of CFRA paid.

    FMLA runs with PDL and CFRA and for most people in California is irrelevant for parental leave.

  14. So um, I’ve had my first “monthly accident” at work since having kids. I changed my tampon at lunch and it didn’t last through my afternoon meeting. I am wearing a black skirt today so no one can tell but home time can’t come soon enough.

    Moms, what do you use? I have heard great things about the Diva Cup but some scary stories too, also – do you empty it at work? At home I used cloth pads but they are bulky looking under clothing, you need a wet bag for them etc.

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