Washable Wednesday: Back Zip Pencil Skirt

Washable Pencil SkirtThis skirt looks promising — machine wash, hang dry, scuba fabric.  It does have a big exposed zipper (with a ribbon!) which I know some readers really hate — but here it just seems like an interesting detail on the skirt.  It’s $79, online only at Nordstrom, available in sizes XS-XL, as well as plus sizesVince Camuto Back Zip Pencil Skirt (Online Only)



  1. MomtoPugs says:

    Is 24 hours into finding out about your pregnancy too soon for working mother rage? After finding out I’m pregnant last night I googled pre-natal yoga classes in my area this morning and to my extreme frustration, the only available times are at 10:30 on weekdays! Seriously?! Looks like I might be Youtubing/finding DVDs for my pre-natal yoga needs. Do any ladies out there have any recommendations? And while I’m soliciting advice, could someone jog my memory on the pregnancy book that people seem to like the most? Thanks!

    • Famouscait says:

      I only read two books:
      Balance is a Crook and Sleep is for the Weak
      The Mayo Clinic’s guide to pregnancy

      Congrats on your pregnancy!

      • I just used the BabyCenter app. I was afraid I would read something I’d rather not know if I got to far into a book!

    • EB0220 says:

      Ha. This made me chuckle because it’s so true. Playdate on Monday at 11 am, toddler story time on Wednesday at 9:30 am, MyGym session on Friday at 3 pm. The list goes on. If it’s not on Saturday or Sunday morning, don’t bother inviting me!

    • Book – expecting better. Loved it.

      DVD – I liked Denise Austin’s pregnancy DVD. It had different workouts for each trimester, which I could mostly do. (But it’s more toning than yoga.)

      On the off chance you’re in DC, Sharon at Yoga Birth and Beyond (in Alexandria) does evening prenatal yoga classes. I went and liked them a lot.

      • EB0220 says:

        Yes! I also loved Expecting Better and am constantly sending the graphs to my friends.

        • Expecting Better is totally worth it, and that is sucky about the PN Yoga class.

          Congratulations, too! Unsolicited advice: know when to step off the ‘Google Terror Train’.

        • Amelia Bedelia says:

          YES to Expecting Better. only pregnancy book I read.

        • layered bob says:

          Expecting Better. If she ever writes a similar baby/child care book, then that’s probably the only book I’d read on that too.

          Prenatal yoga classes in my city are also only during the day. I am 31 weeks and still doing everything I was doing before pregnancy (including inversions and (mini-) backbends) in my regular yoga class, and everything except crunches etc. in my barre class, so screw the daytime only prenatal classes.

      • I also recommend Yoga Birth and Beyond! Although it’s very light yoga plus basic education. I also went to Sun and Moon in Arlington for more of a work out.

    • +1,000. Today it was a toddler-and-me farming activity at a local farm, only at 10:30 on Wednesdays. DS loves Music Together, and the only classes in my town are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. We go to a neighboring town for it on Saturdays, but I would really love to meet some parents in my town too!

      Also, I would just go to regular (but not strenuous) yoga class and tell the instructor you’re pregnant. There are always 2-3 pregnant women in the yoga class I go to, and the instructor is great about it.

      • MomtoPugs says:

        Thank you for all the advice and tips (solicited and unsolicited)! I guess I’ll stick to the regular yoga class at the Y for now and just let the instructor know I’m pregnant. RDC, we moved away from DC to a smaller, but still good size metro area a couple of years ago because we wanted a less expensive and more relaxed area to raise future kiddos. Apparently expectant moms around here are so relaxed that they aren’t even working, so mission accomplished, I guess. I joke, of course, but I guess now is a good time to adjust my expectations about how many infant/toddler activities I’ll be participating in, based on this PN yoga nonsense and your ladies’ experience. Thanks for the book recs. I just downloaded the Mayo Clinic book and added Expecting Better to my wish list.

        • PregLawyer says:

          I also liked the Mother of All Pregnancy Books – I got it based on recommendations here. When you start shopping for stuff, get Baby Bargains. A good newborn book is Baby 411.

        • Butter says:

          Yes to regular yoga classes being fine for now – I’ve read that you really don’t need to transition to prenatal classes until your second trimester, if at all. There was just a woman who was 20 weeks in my regular class last weekend, and she did everything except some of the back bends. I’d probably hold off on any inversions, and no hot yoga, but otherwise flow away.

          • Mrs. Jones says:

            Any decent yoga teacher will be able to show you modifications, so specific prenatal yoga isn’t necessary. I did modified Bikram yoga until 10 days before giving birth. Note: I had practiced regularly for years before, so I was used to the heat, and it didn’t raise my temperature. I def would not recommend starting hot yoga while pregnant!

          • I was a regular yoga practitioner and just continued with my normal classes with modifications as the pregnancy progressed. I stopped during month 8 because I had to modify so much that I wasn’t benefiting from the practice – couldn’t bend at the waist or see my feet, couldn’t do plank becasue arms weren’t long or strong enough to push my enormous belly off the ground, no twisting, no lying you my back – but I really enjoyed the excuse to relax in a heated room and stretch a few times a week up until then.

          • Ditto this. I practiced yoga regularly before I got pregnant, and have been doing regular (but not heated) classes. I’m 25 weeks and am still enjoying it. Mention it to your yoga teacher, but my understanding is that super early on (i.e., when you’re not showing) it’s safe to do pretty much everything except deep twists and prolonged inversions (handstand, shoulderstand, etc.), as long as you feel good. As you get bigger you’ll need to modify to accommodate the belly.

    • On the other hand, being a working mother is a great excuse to avoid the product parties (essential oils, cleaning products, etc.) that my SAHM neighbors often throw during the weekday! But yeah, it stinks to miss out on all the other stuff.

  2. Frozen says:

    Struggling with the issues over frozen embryos mentioned in today’s NYTimes. Anyone have real life, anon experience? http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/us/embryos-egg-donors-difficult-issues.html?_r=0

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      We didn’t’ have this exact issue, we used my eggs and my husband’s sperm, but we had to decide what would be done with ours a. if we no longer wanted them or b. we stopped paying for storage. Both my husband and myself had to sign. So before we created any the resolution was already spelled out and agreed to. In our case they will be kept and destroyed if we don’t use them (husband was very uncomfortable with adopting them out or research, both of which I would have been okay with).

    • So this isn’t my personal story, but just to share a real-life experience – I’m friends with a married couple (both female) who used donor sperm to create embryos. They’ve had one child so far, and plan to continue having children until their family is complete and then donate the remaining embryos. Their feeling is that they would not have their family without the generosity of strangers, and they want to pay that forward.

  3. Not on a roller coaster (literally) says:

    This is totally out me to anyone who knows me, but oh well…

    I was planning to take today off of work to go to an amusement park with my hubby! It was all I wanted to do last summer when I was pregnant (but obviously couldn’t) so we planned to drop the baby at daycare early, have the babysitter pick him up, and spend the whole day riding roller coasters. Yipee!

    Except, here I am at work again today. Not because anyone told me I couldn’t take the day off, but I have a ton to get done by the end of the week, and my durn work ethic wouldn’t allow me to take the day with a clear conscience. Apparently, I needed this day off more than I realized, because I got all upset last night when we finally decided it wasn’t a good day to go. Maybe it’s the ~7 month slump of “oh wow this parenthood thing is real and not going away” that I’ve read about here? I just feel unreasonably bummed that I didn’t get to play hooky for a day.

    • It’s not unreasonable. You needed a break, and you didn’t get it. It IS a bummer. Good for you for prioritizing your work—-assuming that it was real obligations, not just general “work ethic” that prevented you from taking a personal day—but listen to your mind & body and reschedule some downtime ASAP!!!

  4. NewMomAnon says:

    Help! My daughter, who had been sleeping through the night for months, is now almost 17 months and waking up multiple times a night. I think she’s getting some new teeth so hopefully it will pass, but in the meantime, I’m a disaster from sleep deprivation. No short term memory, no attention span, losing track of conversations, making stupid mistakes while driving and typos in client documents.

    I’d love to go home and nap, but I have a full schedule this week and next week, which makes it even more important that I am functional. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Any chance of a quick nap at work? In your car, on your office floor, in an empty conference room?

      If you are in DC, you can go take a nap on a massage table at this place for free: http://www.lunarmassagedc.com/#!menu/c1f2i

    • POSITA says:

      Pick up take out for dinner tonight and then crash when the baby goes to bed. Usually that first 5-6 hours is when the baby sleeps best, so you should sleep then too. Don’t worry about dishes or picking up after bedtime–just sleep. And don’t feel bad for giving the baby ibuprofen to help, if he or she is teething.

  5. Does anyone recall how often they nursed/gave bottles to their eight month old baby? I am trying to drop down to three milk feedings a day with solids at meal times. Last night my daughter woke up screaming around 11pm, and I don’t know whether she was hungry or just having an off night. She didn’t seem hungry for the usual fourth feeding during the day, but when I nursed her at 11pm, she ate happily. Not sure if it was about comfort or hunger. I know so much of this depends on the individual kiddo, I am just wanting to see if I am way off base!

    • On my pediatrician’s recommendation, I followed the “before 1 food is for fun” edict and didn’t start trying to reduce milk in favor of solids until 12 months. So at 8 months, my daughter was getting 20-24 oz of pumped milk at daycare plus nursing twice a day and one 6 oz bottle of formula in the mornings. For solids she got purees at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time. I don’t remember exactly, but I don’t think was started finger foods until around 9 months.

      • Yikes! says:

        20-24 ounces of pumped milk just during daycare hours? I am new to daycare but my 5-month-old gets 3 4-oz bottles plus one BF session with me while he’s there. Am I starving him???

        • Katarina says:

          I gave even less. I started with 3 3 ounce bottles, and increased to 3 3.5 ounce bottles, plus an extra ounce as necessary (usually last feeding). I nursed three times a day, he never acted hungry, and always gained weight fine. I did not decrease the amount of milk until 12 months.

          • Yup – I’m somewhere in the middle. 6 month old gets 3 5oz bottles and nurses twice (sometimes 3x) per day.

          • Yikes! says:

            Yeah my “4-oz” bottles are sometimes smaller. And lord knows how much he gets when I feed him in person there; it’s so chaotic.

        • I’m sure you aren’t starving him! Mine was probably just a big eater. This actually makes me feel better about never being able to pump enough to keep up with her.

      • EB0220 says:

        My baby has pretty much always gotten 12 oz at daycare, plus a nursing session right before dropoff.

    • EB0220 says:

      I think that’s pretty low for an 8 month old. My daughter reduced her milk feedings very slightly between 9 and 10 months when she really started eating finger food, but she still nurses or has a bottle 6-8 times a day. For reference, she is 10 months and has breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two snacks. She is a hungry one, though.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      My 8 month old (now a 9 month old) would have one nursing session in the morning and then 4-5 bottles of formula throughout the day — usually 3 6 oz bottles at daycare and one 4-6 oz bottle between bed, with the occasional 3-5 oz bottle after daycare. She’s no longer enthusiastic about finishing her bottles and often takes a while.

      She usually has 2-3 ‘solid’ meals — sometimes finger foods, sometimes purees/yogurt. My understanding is that solids are just for practice until about a year, and the primary calorie source is still milk/formula.

      ETA — if she misses her evening bottle, she’s likely to wake up in the middle of the night cranky and hungry.

    • Wow, this all surprises me because my kiddo has not done more than 4 milk feedings a day for a while, all based on her attitude/needs. She is growing well and happy. Babies are all so different! Thanks for the input. I will monitor her needs and just try to respond accordingly. This stuff is hard!

    • CPA Lady says:

      1 morning bottle (6 oz), 3 at daycare (6 oz each), and either 1 or 2 after daycare. If she gets 1 bottle after daycare, it’s 6 oz, if 2, they’re 4 oz each. She also gets a container of baby food at lunch time at daycare.

      I’m trying to sort of phase out the dinner bottle, and replace it with more of a meal, but I’m not strict about it. My daughter will be 9 months old in about a week. I guess I need to give her more food?

  6. My 9-month-old son has a pre-daycare snack (he’s an early waker and I don’t want him to have to wait until 8:30 to have breakfast), lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. He’ll also have 2-3 4oz bottles of breastmilk. He’ll nurse a little bit in the morning and when we get home from daycare, but shows very little interest in it. Sadly for me, he still nurses quite a bit before bed and will wake up another 2-3X at night. I just can’t seem to feed him enough and he’s still in the 20% for weight. So, daytime milk feedings have reduced, but he still likes to eat at night, which may be more of a comfort thing as he is working on tooth #2.

  7. What are people’s favorite brands/styles for maternity shorts? I need shorts for a family reunion I have coming up when I am 18 weeks pregnant. And sadly I don’t even have any non-maternity ones that I could wear with a belly band so I will be going shopping soon.

    • Manhattanite says:

      I hate every pair of maternity shorts I’ve tried on. They are so freakin’ ugly. That said, I’d stay away from full panel because if it’s hot enough to wear shorts, I don’t want another layer on my belly.

    • layered bob says:

      yep maternity shorts suck, even worse than regular shorts. Wear a casual skirt, maybe with jockey slipshorts or something similar (stretchy, wicking, and non-binding) underneath for coverage.

    • Tunnel says:

      I got some decent demi panel jean shorts from Target last year.

    • I got a few pair of denim “skinny” shorts, 12 inch inseam that I like. I don’t really wear them any shorter. I also like stretchy knit pencil skirts for summer with skimmies beneath.

    • FLmama says:

      Old Navy’s Roll-Over Linen Blend shorts are hands down the most comfortable shorts I’ve ever worn, maternity or not. Despite the linen blend, they don’t wrinkle easily (in my experience), nor do they show obvious sweat marks. My unicorn shorts!

    • UpstateNYatty says:

      I’m 18 weeks too! I wasn’t a shorts fan before pregnancy, so can’t imagine that I would feel any better in them now, but it’s getting hot for jeans on the weekend. I love maxis but there are some occasions when a dress is too much. I haven’t had any luck with maternity capris, they seem to be extra frumpy (especially on us short gals).

  8. Alcohol while pregnant says:

    Curious whether any of you ladies had an occasional drink while pregnant. I’m finding it is more common than I thought in my cohort, and wanted to informally see if that is representative.

    And for those who did, did you experience any pushback from partners/family/friends/strangers?

    • Also curious about this. Based on my own (fairly extensive) research, I have decided 0 alcohol in the first tri, but am okay with an occasional half glass of wine or dark beer in the latter part of the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

      This seems to be in line/more conservative than most of my friends.

    • I didn’t have any alcohol in the first trimester, but later on I sipped liberally from my husband’s drinks if we were out somewhere. I never ordered my own drink, partly because I feared being judged and partly because I was already really tired all the time and didn’t feel like drinking much. I never got any pushback from anyone about it.

    • pockets says:

      I had a few drinks here or there during my pregnancy. I think a lot of the pregnancy “don’ts” are at best overly cautious (and at worst patronizing and just crazy). I wouldn’t look twice at a pregnant woman drinking, as long as she wasn’t, like, taking shots or visibly drunk.

    • quailison says:

      I had a half drink or one drink (wine or beer) a few times during the second and third trimesters. I had a lot of simultaneously pregnant friends and that was pretty much standard – most of the time we wouldn’t drink, but a few special occasions found us raising a glass.

    • PregLawyer says:

      I had a drink here and there. Having to limit myself to one total drink a day, and being (perhaps overly) concerned about strange looks really took the fun out of it. Wine also exacerbated my acid reflux this last trimester, so I stayed away.

      • Butter says:

        This was one I was so excited to read about in Emily Oster (I think up to 1 drink a week first tri, more in 2nd and 3rd) before I was pregnant, but now that I am I have a hard time with the reality of it. Granted it’s early, so everything feels new and nuts, but I can’t imagine having a drink right now – mostly because I don’t feel like it, but partially bc of the (largely irrational) fear factor. Meanwhile I have a big wedding to go to next weekend, and have no idea how I’m going to pull it off.

        I guess that’s unhelpful, but that’s my current feeling – hoping it will change.

        • Do you mean how to pull it off because you are still hiding your pregnancy? I found that it is way easier to get a glass of something and pretend to sip from it than it is to tell people you aren’t drinking for whatever reason. Nobody really notices how much you are drinking, but everyone notices when you aren’t drinking at all. DH would sneak sips from my wine glass when no one was looking.

        • If you choose not to drink at the wedding make sure to hide it (assuming you don’t want to disclose your pregnancy). I went to a wedding at 6 weeks pregnant. I sipped from my husband’s wine at dinner but drank water during the cocktail hour and dancing. When we announced the pregnancy at 14 weeks, friends who were at the wedding told my husband that they’ve known all along because I “always drink.” It wasn’t a big deal, but I was still kicking myself for not telling the bartender to put the water in a different glass.

          • Also you can ask the bartender to make mocktails – my SIL totally fooled us at one wedding.

    • Expecting Better (discussed in the first string above) addresses this. She says one drink a week in the first trimester and more (~3?/week) in the second and third trimester as long as you are drinking with food and not doing shots. I had a 3/4 glass of wine at an Easter dinner when I was about four weeks pregnant. (Much to my surprise, my husband–who is one of those people who judges the 39+ week pregnant woman who orders wine at dinner–poured it for me.) Since then I have had sips from my husband’s wine several times (currently 16 weeks) but never more than an ounce in one sitting after that Easter dinner. I’ll probably drink a little more in the third trimester, but I’ll admit that even knowing that the standard advice not to drink is not based on good data, I get very paranoid about having a baby with birth defects after I drink more than 2 tiny sips. So I stay away from champagne (which I would drink like water if I could) knowing that I am not *too* tempted by anything else.

    • Eileen says:

      I had an occasional small glass of wine or sipped from my husband’s beer during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. I actually found it easier to drink away from home because I could get a small glass, or pass off what I didn’t want, and not have the whole bottle sitting around. I never got any negative reaction about it.

      Thinking into the future, Mommy happy hour (with breastfeeding babies) was the highlight of my maternity leave as well.

    • anon for this says:

      After the first tri (when I generally couldn’t fathom a glass of wine), I would have a glass maybe once a week, most weeks, with dinner. If I got side eye, I didn’t notice. My baby was fine.

    • EB0220 says:

      I had sips from others’ drinks and very occasionally I would have 1/4 to 1/2 glass of beer or wine.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I didn’t drink at all in the first trimester and thereafter had 1 (or occasionally 2) glass of wine per week. I also drank fake beer (Krombacher NA) during the long hot summer and it made me feel more normal and less deprived. I didn’t really worry about drinking though, and was also very lax about all the rules other than not taking certain medications. Once I was out of the first trimester I ate lunch meat, sushi, drank coffee, etc.

      My sister lived for years in a European country where women do not stop drinking during pregnancy at all, but they have a much more safe and sane drinking culture than we do (i.e. you have a glass or two of wine with dinner every night, you do not go out to a bar and take 8 vodka shots or drink bright green appletinis the size of your head).

    • Before I got pregnant, I figured I would choose to have a fairly regular glass of wine during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. However, my husband was very strongly opposed. He doesn’t have many opinions on what I do, so it was a bit of a surprise. For the most part, alcohol totally grossed me out until the last 2 months, so I didn’t really want it. Towards the end I really started craving it, so I would have a sip of beer or a shot-glass-sized amount of wine, sipped slowly with dinner.

      Ultimately, my husband felt so strongly about it that I was willing to respect that, since it’s his baby too (this totally goes against my normal outlook, by the way…I definitely make my own decisions). Plus, there was a little part of me that felt like I wasn’t 100% sure exactly how much was okay, since it seems like most of what you hear is anecdotal and not necessarily research-based. So I figured better safe than sorry. That being said, I totally respect my friends who choose to drink reasonably while pregnant. To each their own.

    • layered bob says:

      drank as much as I felt like it during first tri – which happened to be occasional (2-3x/week) sips from my husband’s beer and I think twice half a glass of wine – for awhile there anything that smelled beer-y or alcohol-y made me feel sick so I decided that was a good indicator that my body didn’t want it.

      The smell of coffee also made me feel sick during the first tri so even though I wasn’t intentionally limiting my caffeine intake I basically ended up quitting coffee cold turkey for 14 weeks – just couldn’t stomach it. Now it smells good again but I’m not drinking nearly as much as before – not because I am trying to limit it but I feel queasy after more than 2 cups (whereas before I could drink coffee all day, every day). Sometimes I don’t feel queasy and then I drink more – I decided my natural sense of what does/does not sound good is pretty trustworthy and just go with it.

      second and third tri – alcohol to taste – again, generally 3/4 -1 drink at a time, 3-4 days/week. Once the glass of wine was a very large pour – far more than a “serving” – and I drank it all over the course of several hours but then did not sleep well, so decided 1 drink was probably my personal max based on how I was feeling.

      I am comfortable with that based on the evidence we have (yay Expecting Better), and also do not follow any of the “rules” for food, although if something doesn’t look/sound/smell good to me I honor that feeling and don’t eat it.

    • I didn’t drink at all. I worked in child protection and dealt with so many kids with Fetal alcohol syndrome that even though I knew that it was not common with very occasional alcohol use, I just did not feel comfortable taking the risk given the incredibly severe lifelong consequences. Currently breastfeeding and I will have an occasional glass of wine.

    • I found out I was pregnant the week after attending a wedding in which we started drinking early and ended up closing up a bar by the end. I was never really drunk, just steadily drinking for several hours, but this resulted in me freaking out about having ruined our baby. Made DH call up his friend who is an OBGYN to ask him and the word back was (1) basically every other woman has some version of this (drinking a lot right before finding out they are pregnant), and (2) damage is caused by “repeated insult to the fetus.” I.e., relax. Kiddo came out great, if I do say so myself.

      As for the rest of the pregnancy: didn’t drink first tri, mostly because I’d lost the taste for it, but with my OB’s blessing had a small glass of wine or beer, or sips of them, for second/third tri. I mean, at a certain point I was so big that I’d need to drink a. lot. for anything to affect the fetus.

      After giving birth I craved beer and had about one beer a night; after kid 2 was born we ordered pizza and beer to the delivery room (it took them a while to get the recovery room ready), and it was awesome. When BFing (13 months for each kid), I never pumped and dumped–that’s liquid gold! Lactation consultant: only dump if you’re so drunk you cannot care for yourself.

  9. I know this is sort of out there, but has anyone tried Novarice formula for a baby with a milk/soy allergy? It’s a rice milk based formula made in France that I would have to import from Europe. The only options available in the US are hydrologized soy, which I don’t love. I am so ready to give up at least one pumping session during the work day and would love to hear if anyone has tried European formula options.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      My child is allergic to dairy and soy and I feed her Neocate Infant with DHA and ARA. it is made in the UK, but you can get it through a Maryland distributor (I buy through Aamzon). It works well for her.

  10. Would anyone like to vicariously shop for me? I need an outfit to wear to a outdoor/casual wedding in August when I will be almost 8 months pregnant. Needs to be comfortable enough that I can chase my toddler around, but I am also looking for something fun and stylish.