Maternity Monday: Twist-Front T-Shirt Dress

maternity t-shirt dressT-shirt dresses can be a bit on the casual side for a conservative office — but provided they’re opaque and in good shape without pilling or the like, you can often dress them up with enough jewelry and accessories to make the casual-ness of the dress fade away. This twist-front dress from Old Navy looks like a great option for just that — add some classic heels, a set of pearls, a watch, and you’re in business. It’s normally $36, but today it comes down to $26 in your bag — it’s available in navy, black, and orange in size XS-XXL. Twist-Front T-Shirt Dress

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  1. JetKids Review says:

    I’m back from a long vacation, and while I should be catching up on work I missed while I was out, alas, I am going to write the requested review for the JetKids Bedbox instead.

    This was our second international (overnight) flight with our 2 and 4 yo. The first time we flew overnight it was so hard because the kids could not get comfortable despite being so tired and wanting to sleep. DH and I spent the night helping them move around so they could get some sleep (we didn’t sleep at all). So we thought JetKids was a good solution to this problem, and it absolutely was.

    It took a bit of a learning curve to get the beds in the right position, but once we did, and the overhead lights went out, the kids fell asleep and stayed asleep for the rest of the overnight flight with very little attention required from us. I was even able to use one of the beds as a foot rest to get more comfortable and snooze for a bit. The “mattress” part did move a bit as the kids tossed and turned, so it required some adjusting throughout the night so it didn’t fall.

    The suitcase part of the bed is very study and has awesome wheels. While DH and I ended up rolling them most of the time (although 4yo probably rolled it by himself for about 50% of the time), it was worth the hassle to have them on the long flight. Plus they roll really easily, so it didn’t feel like a big deal to roll them behind us (our only other carry-ons were backpacks for us). We packed the kids’ entertainment in one of the JetKids (the toys, headphones, etc were inside a reusable grocery bag, so we could just pull it all out before setting up the bed), and their extra clothes in the other.

    On the way home, it was “daytime” so the kids weren’t sleeping much, but the footrest was still nice to keep them comfortable and contain the toys as they fell from the tray table.

    So if you’re a frequent or international traveler with kids, I would totally recommend them. Not so much for shorter (under 3 hour) flights, I’m not sure it would be worth the hassle then.

    • Anonymous says:

      So interesting! Was it easy to set up? Does it interfere with the seat in front?

      • JetKids Review says:

        The hardest part about set-up was attaching the strap to the bar under the seat, otherwise the bed set-up was really easy. It does not interfere with the seat in front at all.

    • LOL at your first line– this is me, every Monday morning, opening thissite.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      what airline did you fly? I’m concerned United will not let these on.

      • We flew American and British Airways. As far as I know all US based airlines allow it (including United), but it is banned on a few (Qatar comes to mind), I believe they have the full list on their website.

      • Amelia Bedelia says:

        sadly, they are banned. I’d just heard that flight attendants look the other way . . . SO ANNOYING

        United strictly prohibits the use of any object or device to modify or alter the seat such as the Fly-Tot or JetKids bed box. If you see a customer using any such device or object, please inform United personnel immediately.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you have to stow them for turbulence or landing? or was it enough that the kids were buckled? We have an annual international long haul but the timing of the flight means kids often sleep through landing/taxi on runway which is great because at LHR, getting to the gate can easily take 20-30 mins. Hate to wake them to stow this.

      • We stowed during take off and landing, but not turbulence. My kids stayed asleep for the landing/taxing despite the stowing.

    • Thanks for this! I live abroad and will do lots of Transatlantic flights with my baby so I think it might be worth the investment.

  2. Daycare and Afternoon Babysitter/Nanny says:

    Right now my mom is my live in Nanny (the best) but she is planning to move out of state in a year. I am planning our next childcare option.

    I have great day care options, but the hard pick up time every day is unappealing. Right now I can leave the office whenever I want!

    Do any of you have someone who picks up the kids from day care in the afternoon and gets them settled at home? I’m thinking 2-3 hours a day.

    • anne-on says:

      We had a mother’s helper 2-3 days a week when my son was 2 and 3 (I wasn’t comfortable with other people driving my kids at that age). It was really helpful to have another set of hands to help feed him dinner/play with him/etc. while I cooked dinner/ran laundry/picked up the house/etc. Once we got into school we needed to go with an au pair to cover the much much earlier release time. But it did work really well for us for those 1-2 years, I’d highly recommend!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, mostly because I have older kids who need to be picked up from school early. So college sitter has become my crutch (which is ridiculous because I am on campus with the toddler and should just pick her up, but that extra 15 minutes of my day is really productive…plus the 15-minute drive home by myself is priceless). Anyway, we have the sitter pick up 2-3 times a week and she’s around the other days so when I get home she takes toddler from to play for a bit.

      I think this is actually the best of many worlds. Kid has a regular ‘school’ to go to so when DH/I work from home there is peace and quiet (vs. with nanny, kid would be around) but when picked up early can have enough “at home” time with own toys, playing in yard, etc…, and the extra set of hands for just another 20-30 minutes when I get home to keep kid playing give me time to change and get most of dinner prepped.

      This is an expensive option because we are basically double paying for coverage but again, we have other kids so it’s not entirely double paying. And really it is so worth it if you can afford it. There’s nothing like what you have right now (I miss my mom living with us too!) but I have found that this is actually a good situation. 2-3 hours a day 5 days a week would be a great gig for a college student who loves kids.

      I was with anne-on regarding driving for my first kid but…3rd kid the rules get lax (i.e., the first kid didn’t have a chocolate Easter bunny at age 1, either ;) ). Sitter only drives toddler in our big, safe SUV with the carseat DH installed rock solid.

  3. DC Anon says:

    Easy family vacation ideas? Its cold again and I need something fun to think about. Travel warnings have me rethinking Mexico plans. We need a resort, all-inclusive place with low logistics for 6 adults and 4 kids from 7 years old to 1 year old.

  4. Anyone out there an inhouse lawyer who did not have prior experience in the specific industry that you presently work in? I am embarking on a search for an inhouse job search but I have no interest in going inhouse in the industry I currently am outside counsel for. Trying to figure out if this is a pipedream I need to give up on…

    • I am not, but a colleague of mine just went this route. She was in private civil litigation practice for 10 years, switched to a contract negotiation role at a corporation (where I currently work) for 2 years, and then went in house at a medical device company in their cardio unit. She had zero medical or cardio experience prior to the switch.

    • Prior to my in-house life, I was a general litigator in biglaw and had multiple years of clerking experience. I did not have specific experience in my company’s niche industry. I used my general litigation background and clerkships to show my willingness to learn specialized legal areas quickly. A specialized knowledge of my company’s industry would be helpful, but not key to succeeding in our legal department. Instead, an ability/eagerness to pick up new information quickly, interpret complex legal issues and play well with others are more important. So from my perspective, it is totally possible.

    • Yes. It was a contracts position in a fairly specific industry, so they had no issue training me on the industry specifics.

    • Not sure if you are still checking, but I am! My industry is non-profits though. I think it’s pretty common. There’s a woman here who was a bankruptcy litigator before joining, and that definitely didn’t transfer!

  5. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend (if you’re into Easter/Passover – if not, I still hope you had a great weekend!). My family is my husband, our toddler daughter, and myself. We aren’t geographically close to other family. Grandparents are 5+ hours away. Because of the distance (and other aunts/uncles/cousins/great-grandparents that my daughter’s grandparents split holiday time with), we often don’t travel at holidays other than Thanksgiving. We also only have guests at the holidays here and there. Because we don’t have big gatherings, I worry (too much I’m sure) about making holidays “special enough” for my daughter.

    Any ideas on fun holiday traditions for a family of three? I like to think we might travel at holidays (vacation like travel, not necessarily to relatives houses) but that will probably wait until Santa and the Easter Bunny stop visiting ;)

    • FWIW, we (family of 5) were east coast and all of the family was west coast and it was never an issue that relatives didn’t travel to us (or us to them). My husband is an only child and they did not travel for holidays or have family nearby either and both of us have plenty of traditions. I think key for us was to always cook the big meals (easter, thanksgiving, christmas) with all the fixings even if on a smaller scale. Making cookies (possibly to ship to other relatives?) was always fun. For Christmas at least I always got to open 1 gift from out of town relatives the night before. As we got older, we had large celebrations with friends who also didn’t have family nearby, so we got both the small and big experiences. We traveled for Christmas once (high school and college aged) and swore we would never do it again because it just wasn’t “home” with our traditions.

      • Also, now that I am old and married and have a kid of my own, to balance my love of big holidays with my husbands preference for small intimate family gatherings, we do a Friendsgiving in early November with 20-30 people (with a growing proportion of kids as we get older). I do the bird and everyone else brings sides and dessert. And since it is offset from the holiday itself, you could still travel or do whatever.

    • Anonymous says:

      We had a similar small family no extended relatives situation growing up and my parents wanted to travel. So they made our traditions portable. Easter was hot cross buns, hidden chocolate eggs, Church, and a nice meal. You can do that anywhere!

    • Anonymous says:

      I grew up in a family similar to what you describe and while there are things that happened every year (there was always a Christmas tree and Santa came, the Easter bunny hid eggs for me and I got a basket filled with candy, we had turkey at Thanksgiving), they were pretty broad in nature, plans were pretty flexible, and we didn’t really have Special Traditions like I read here about people cultivating. Nevertheless, holidays were special and fun for me as a kid–I think that the stuff I listed above, particularly for Christmas and Easter, is all pretty fun, out-of-the-ordinary stuff that kids can get excited about–and they remain special and important to me now. Plus, I can’t speak directly to your locale, but in much of the U.S., there will be holiday stuff all over the place outside of your house. To me, that’s always been a big part of what’s fun/special/different about the holidays. Ultimately, though, I don’t think this is a thing you need to worry about in the name of making holidays “special enough” for your daughter. As an adult, low-key holidays *are* the special tradition for me, and I really love the years I get to celebrate that way with my parents. Plus, I think this has helped keep the holidays relatively unfraught between my parents and me. When it’s not A Tradition that we do A, B, and C things together on this day or that A, B, C, D, E, F, and G all need to be jammed into the week that I’m able to spend with my parents, we have a lot more space to adjust things as they work for us and just enjoy the time together.

    • biglawanon says:

      Our only living family is my husband, me, and our kids. No grandparents, no aunts, uncles, cousins. We make holidays and vacations about spending time together and not worrying about formal traditions. We’ll often do non-traditional things on holidays that we will all enjoy (i.e., like a beach picnic on Thanksgiving).

  6. My husband is sick for the 4th!!! time this winter (spring?). His father came over sick Tuesday night (why, just why?) and by Friday night my husband was sick and yesterday he thought he was dying. I did easter dinner (out, thankfully) with my DD and in-laws without him because he was too sick to go anywhere (and I didn’t want him spreading any more germs). Lo and behold, DD started coughing this morning. So glad I am at work and just praying I don’t get this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Follow up to the holiday post above, has anyone weighed having a larger family themselves (i.e. have more kids) because you have a smaller extended family? My husband and I each have one sibling who, for various reasons, will not be having children (read no cousins) and have very small extended families ourselves (so 1 like second cousin on my side, otherwise nada). This family seems so small! My family growing up wasn’t huge but at least there were people around at holidays, I felt like I had a little “tribe,” etc. This makes me think we should have one more child than we otherwise would be likely to (read, 3 instead of 2) just for strength in numbers. But maybe I am overrating the importance of such things (i.e. self-focused bias where I assume its critical that my kids’ life be similar to my own in some way).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I would figure out how many kids you think you can have and still be emotionally present and available. If you can have three and foster close sibling relationships during childhood, and want to be the kind of parent who continues to draw your kids together into their adulthood, it might pay off. But if you want to retire someplace far away from your kids and maintain a busy retirement schedule, you might just need to be comfortable with your adult kids forming their own tribes. Which is OK!

    • Holiday OP Anon here. I’ve definitely thought of it when considering how many children to have. But not as a deciding factor…just as a “pro” for another child in the analysis.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Have more kids if you want to, but this is placing a lot of expectations on your future imaginary children. If you have an extra child just so you can have bigger holidays, what’s going to happen if your kids don’t get along or want to spend holidays with each other or you for whatever reason (geography, spouse’s family obligations, etc)? If you want a big family, that’s great, go for it! But this is not at all a reason I would do it– has too much potential for disappointment.

  8. Baby monitor rec says:

    We’re having our 3rd and I need a new monitor. We’ve been using a summer infant one from 2012 and it’s just not reliable anymor (which is fine because we use it for a toddler and not a newborn).

    What do you like? We have a large house and lots of walls so we need good range. I don’t want a Nest (primarily because I don’t want our data stored in the cloud and nest is a perfect security camera but not an optional baby monitor). The cheaper the better since this is our last kid.

    • We have an arlo which my husband loves because it syncs up with the echo show (and my phone, ipad, etc.) (but that doesn’t solve your cloud problem). I actually prefer my old school vtech audio only monitor. Simple, cheap (like $18, I bought an extra to keep at my parents’ houses for travel), and I don’t really need to see the baby to know she is upset.

      • Baby monitor rec says:

        I’m fine with an audio monitor- our video monitor still works, it’s just flaky and will go out and need to be reset often, which I’m nervous about with a newborn. Which vtech do you have? is the range good?

        • We have the DM111 – claims to have 1,000 feet of range. Our house is 2200 sq feet (1980s construction, so decently thick walls) and I have had no issues in 8 months of use. At my parents’ house (3500 sq feet, 1990s construction), no issues either and there the baby sleeps all the way on one end of the house. At my parents’ second home (3000 sq feet, super thick walls with concrete maybe, the wifi barely makes it), no issues either.

        • AwayEmily says:

          We have the Wirecutter’s recommendation (I trust them a lot) — VTech DM221. We used to have the DM111 and it weirdly stopped working after a year. Maybe just a fluke?

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’ll make a plug for an audio monitor…we had video for our first and then switched to audio and it’s decreased my anxiety quite a bit. And they’re so cheap!

      • We used the summer infant audio only monitor and it’s totally fine. The range is good, I have gone to the garden with it while LO is asleep 3 floors away and it still works. Supposedly the battery is not great (according to amazon reviews) but I leave it plugged in unless I’m actively running around.

    • Anonymous says:

      We were in the same boat a couple of years ago (3rd kid, already got rid of our old one, and house with brick walls) and went with the cheap but reliable Vtech VM221. It’s great and I am thankful we didn’t spend $$ on a video monitor that would induce more anxiety. I’ll confess that we have taken it to the neighbor’s house on occasion and still get coverage…

    • summer infant has the best customer service. Call them and they’ll troubleshoot your current device.

  9. AwayEmily says:

    Thanks to everyone who gave advice awhile back on helping a toddler adapt to a new baby. The new baby is now two months, the toddler is two, and everyone is doing great. Your suggestions were wonderful, especially the advice to have her help out and to prioritize one-on-one time with her. Both of those helped a lot.

    Still, it was a VERY tough first month. But I realized today that we got through the entire weekend without a single incident. So much progress! I mostly credit time, but I’ll also throw out one more trick that helped us in case it’s useful (I remember a couple of you were also going to be in the toddler + newborn boat soon)….when I needed to tend to the baby, we would tell her a *specific* fun thing she would do with her father during that time. Just saying “in a minute, I’m going to feed your brother while you play with Dada” didn’t work, but saying “in a minute, I’m going to feed your brother while you and Dada play music on your tambourine” (or whatever) would forestall most crying.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Wow! That is a great tip. In retrospect, I use the same strategy to ease kiddo into her dad’s house during weekend drop offs – “You are going to have so much fun with your dad at the zoo this weekend! What kind of animals do you think you’ll see?” So much better than a vague “but you’ll have so much fun with your dad!”

    • Baby monitor rec says:

      Thanks for the update! My 3rd arrives in 2 months and at that point my toddler will be 23 months. I’m banking on the fact that my oldest and my toddler are currently 2 peas in a pod and just wander off doing their own thing these days, so fingers crossed toddler won’t be as stuck-to-mama as her big sister was when she was born!

      • FWIW, that’s totally what happened to us. DS2 was happy to toddle along in DS1’s footsteps. Who needs mama when you have a built-in playmate. Also, I rearranged the kitchen so that DS1 could get snacks for DS2, which made both of them very happy, until DD(3) started crawling and totally destroyed the snack drawer…

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