Washable Workwear Wednesday: Palm Leaf Wrap Dress

washable wrap dress for workI love the shape of this Maggy London wrap dress, which comes in several prints, many of which, I’m sorry to say, are a bit much for me. This bluesy palm print is relatively subdued, and I think would look great beneath a navy cardigan or blazer.  There are a ton of sizes left in regular and petites, it’s machine washable, and it’s down to $65 — nice. Palm Leaf Wrap Dress

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. Did anyone feel really blah being pregnant the second time around? I had an easy first pregnancy and other than being tired I feel fine this time around but I am just so not looking forward to the next two trimesters. I thought I’d get a little excited if I took out my maternity clothes, which I really liked the last time around, but all I could think was “great, I have to wash these because they seem stale.” And I’m sad that I can’t sit outside and drink cold wine all summer, or eat oysters, and I am not looking forward to nursing and pumping at work again (I know it’s not mandatory) And I hate the idea of being prodded for the next 6 months or whatever at every appointment, having to drink that awful concoction for the glucose test, having my blood drawn two dozen times, being weighed at every appointment… I’m sure a lot of this is hormonal and probably a result of how tired I feel, but just wanted to get it off my chest/solicit others’ experiences.

    • Spirograph says:

      Yes, I felt like this. The first pregnancy was kind of a “I wonder what will happen next?” experience, but once the mystery is gone, I don’t think there’s anything exciting or fun about pregnancy at all. It’s a necessary evil to get to the part where I have a child (yes, I know there are other options, but for simplicity’s sake). I’m glad I had access to excellent prenatal care, but doctor appointments are annoying. I’m glad I was able to afford maternity clothes that weren’t muumuus, but I didn’t think they were cute or fun to wear. I really resent having to make small talk with strangers (or coworkers. or basically everyone who comes in contact with me) who want to comment on my shape and what I am or am not doing in my “current condition.” I had really easy pregnancies by any objective measure, but I’m not going to pretend I enjoyed them.

    • JayJay says:

      Yes. This exactly. I hated my second pregnancy and it was perfectly normal (a blessing) the entire time. It still sucks. I can’t remember which book I read it in, but women only get to be the “sacred vessel” of pregnancy once. After that, you’re just another woman who happens to be pregnant. No advice, but I know exactly how you feel.

      • Thanks ladies. Hearing this helps. On top of feeling blah, I also feel bad that I’m not more “excited.”

    • Anon CPA says:

      Totally normal. I’m 28w with my third. All of my pregnancies have been pretty easy, by the book. The first one is exciting! The second one was awful, for all the reasons you mentioned (also, I had a terrible boss so I was counting down the days until leave). The third time, though, has basically been a blur. Like, I have no idea how I’m in the third tri already. Probably because I’m so busy with the other two! :)

    • AwayEmily says:

      I am 13 weeks with my second and on top of feeling exactly how you do, I also feel really guilty because I was SO careful with my first pregnancy to go to the gym several times a week! and sleep a lot! and eat a perfectly balanced diet! And for this one I’m doing basically zero of those things. Plus I got horrible food poisoning at 6 weeks (NOT listeria, thank god), which I am irrationally convinced did something terrible to the baby and is All My Fault.

      Which is all to say…I hear you!

      • Blueberry says:

        Oh yes on the sleep. I hope I’m not screwing my future baby #3 by being underslept for the entire second trimester over here… :( I’m having a hard time being excited because I’m too damn busy to be excited.

      • Oh yes, the guilt! I feel like with the first I just wanted to eat all the organic fruit and veggies and go for long walks and now I just want to eat white bread and pasta Bolognese and I consider it a good day if I remember my prenatal vitamins. I am sure you and your baby-to-be are doing great – but it’s so hard to give yourself a break on these things.

    • layered bob says:

      I absolutely feel you on this! We are getting ready for the next baby and this time it’s much more of a to-do list (ugh, I hate prenatals) than an exciting adventure. That’s ok, we know we want another child, and I am excellent at to-do listing.

      One small thing, if it helps – that awful glucose crap is 100% optional. You can put together your own meal of 50 g of simple carbohydrates (I have done my normal breakfast of oatmeal with milk and fruit, and just added more brown sugar until I got to 50 g of carbs, and I’ve done a 12-oz bottle of juice and a couple bites of banana). When you go to the lab and they ask, did you drink the crap? You say yes.

      My midwife gave me a handout on all the research that has been done on this test – basically you’re going to get a more helpful result from the test by eating something you might actually eat vs. something you would never voluntarily put into your body anyway. She said they use the drink because the medical establishment doesn’t trust women to correctly calculate 50 grams of carbs. Ha.

      • Marilla says:

        This sounds amazing. I seem to remember having to drink the horrible potion while sitting right next to the nurse, though. No handy potted plants to dump it into.

        • I also had to drink it there and then do the longer test after I failed the first one, but maybe I can get them to let me bring something of my own next time. My doctor joking referred to it as drinking Coca-Cola so I really wasn’t prepared; I thought they were just going to hand me a soda can and be done with it.

    • PregLawyer says:

      Sigh, I know exactly how you feel. I just found out that I’m pregnant with my second, and even though I’m very happy about it, that magic from the first pregnancy is just not there. Also, see my note below about weight. And yeah, it does kind of suck to be pregnant mid-summer when ALL I want to do is drink rose and eat poke/sushi/oysters.

      But, I also tell myself that there were so many things that I took for granted with my first pregnancy and baby because I didn’t know that they were temporary. For example, I’m so happy about the first trimester because I can still sleep on my stomach!! YAY! I hated sleeping on my side/back in the second half of my pregnancy. And then remember that this time around, when you hold your tiny newborn, you will know exactly how fleeting that time is, and that he/she/they will be a moody toddler who doesn’t like to snuggle in a blink of an eye. So yeah, that’s what I’m trying to do this time. Focus on the things I missed the first time around.

    • 2nd Time Benefits says:

      I’m in my third tri with my second and being pregnant wasn’t my favorite thing the first time around, and it still isn’t now, for all the reasons you mentioned. But there are a lot of things I like more about being a more experienced pregnant person.

      1. When people tell me how big I am and think that I’m due next week, or that I’m having twins I know to say, “No, I just get really big. Thank you!” rather than stress about it.

      2. I know this is temporary. I eventually felt like myself again after my first child, so I know I will eventually feel normal again.

      3. I stress less about little stuff. I am still eating lunch meat and drinking caffeine in moderation. I don’t think everything I do is going to have a catastrophic impact on my baby.

      4. This could get me blasted and that’s fine – I’m having a scheduled c-section this time, for various medical reasons, but it takes away all the stress of wondering when I will go into labor. I could go early, but there is a definitive end point this time that is awesome. Also, I will not pump again and I will supplement from the beginning. This takes away a lot of stress and pressure.

      5. I highly recommend the Expectful app for meditation. It’s been a huge help this time around.

      6. I sleep terribly when pregnant. I am up every 2 hours at a minimum most nights. I now know that I will likely sleep better with a newborn, because my husband and I can trade off. I can’t ask him to get up to use the restroom for me. So that’s awesome. I know what I have to get through and then I know it changes.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Before having a baby, I didn’t really understand why people had scheduled C-sections. Now that I have had a baby I 100% get it and would not judge even if you were doing it for non-medical reasons. The benefits of the whole “having a specific end point” thing are huge — for planning purposes (especially when you already have a kid!), and for mental health reasons. Also I will try that Expectful app; sounds great.

    • 17 Weeks says:

      Yes, BUT, this 2nd pregnancy around is going much faster than my first (partially because I have a toddler to chase around, haha).

      I am also HATING my maternity clothes right now. They’re hand-me-downs on my second pregnancy after my friend’s second pregnancy, and she got 95% of them used from other people, so we’re going on at least 5 pregnancies in the things!! I think I will be refreshing my wardrobe, either by LeTote Maternity or by purchasing a few new pieces from a store.

      • Anonymous says:

        Le Tote has been great for pregnancy #2. I was so OVER my clothes from #1 (and had to start wearing them so much earlier…). Le Tote has given me just enough variety that I don’t want to scream. And, if you like something you get from them, you can buy it, often at a pretty good discount as it’s used. I’ve kept several dresses.

        • 17 Weeks says:

          How’s the selection for “I’m looking like I ate two burritos for lunch” vs “I am clearly pregnant”? Most of their models are fake 3-rd trimester ready-to-pop balloons…

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m 10 weeks with my first and it’s been easy so far (no nausea or major fatigue) but I’m already over it! I already hate the changes that are happening to my body. I was not small of chest to begin with and now my b o o bs are huge and painful. I look fat but not really pregnant, none of my clothes fit well but I’m too small for real maternity clothes. Other than walking around the block with my dog, I haven’t really been getting any exercise and although my lack of nausea has meant I can eat a decent amount of lean proteins and veggies, I’m also craving a lot of processed, junky food (alllllll about the chocolate chip banana muffins and Eggo waffles). And work trips and family obligations have taken me out of town four consecutive weekends in a row and I’ve had no choice but to eat heavy, unhealthy restaurant meals when I’m on the road. I come from a culture that tends to be superstitious about babies and only do minimal prep before they arrive, so I don’t have decorating the nursery or a baby shower to look forward to (at least not until after the baby is here, and I think the baby’s arrival will be more slightly exciting than choosing nursery wallpaper).
      And, this is totally selfish, but I had my first rose slushy right before becoming pregnant and it’s been so hot here lately and I would looove another one.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Make your partner order a rose slushy and steal a few sips!

        Also: now I want an Eggo waffle.

    • I feel really blah the first time around, so I can imagine the second time around will be similarly blah,
      although maybe it will be an easier pregnancy, because this one has been terrible – entire time morning sickness (yay Diclegis at 34 weeks), yeast intolerance, two hospitalizations, lovanox shots and now in the third trimester breathing issues that require me to sleep upright. I just keep reminding myself that the end result is worth it, but, at least for me, pregnancy sucks. That being said, feeling that way is perfectly OK!!! You don’t have to love pregnancy to be an awesome mom.

      Re glucose test, I had to do the 1-hour twice (the doctor didn’t believe me when I said we grow big babies in my family and was convinced I had to have GD). The first time was fruit punch flavored, which was better than the second time (orange flavored). I put it in a plastic cup with ice and sucked it down pretty quickly with a straw from home before heading to my appointment and it wasn’t terrible. So maybe try it ice cold with a straw (and ask for the fruit punch?)

  2. anonanon says:

    Yep – I’m 36 weeks with #2 and just tired and uncomfortable.. I loved my first pregnancy and even felt pretty cute and fit throughout. Not this time at all. I am bigger, more tired, and hot all the time. The good part is that the time has been a blur. With my first, I couldn’t wait for the 20 week scan and watched eagerly, this time around I was so happy to be in a dark room for 40 minutes, I fell asleep. I haven’t really made the time to prep because I am so busy with toddler. Hmm…maybe I should get on that..

    • It does feel like time is going by faster! I haven’t thought to think of this as a positive. Thanks! And good luck!

  3. My 1 y/o needs to gain weight but is also prone to constipation. she eats pretty much constantly but is extremely mobile (and always has been) so it burns right off. She’s in the 40th % for weight, 95% for height, and is like 5% for “weight for length.” Her doc is at the “continue packing in the calories and keep an eye on things” stage, mainly because she started life in the 90th percentile for weight and was down to 35% at 9 months.

    All the easy things worsen constipation- milk, cheese, butter. She won’t eat avocado, even snuck into things. She’s pretty neutral on peanut butter, but likes it with apples. She does love pasta, so I do a lot of pasta with butter and cheese. She loves fruit, which is great for her constipation, but is mostly lite in terms of calories.

    She weaned at 11 mos and hated formula, so it’s cow milk, water, and once a day I make her some oatmeal using formula.

    Any other ideas on high fat/cal snacks that don’t constipate? Or ways to make avocado taste like cheese? No allergies.

    • Clementine says:

      I have a lean kiddo who also would prefer fruit. It sounds like she’s thriving and is just be a lean kid, but I’m not your pediatrician.

      I do full fat greek yogurt with fruit (lately he’s loving the Noosa brand stuff), granola bars with lots of good stuff in them, chopped dried apricots in his oatmeal, guacamole (kid is totally neutral on avocado but loves guac), and dessert is frequently either a scoop of ice cream with peanut butter and banana or banana ‘nice cream’ with peanut butter mixed in.

      For constipation, have you tried adding a probiotic? I like Clare Labs infant probiotics.

    • I know this doesn’t answer the high fat issue, but at that age my oldest was on an iron supplement and he at three prunes every day to help with constipation. He loved (still loves) them.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      What about adding avocado (or spinach) to fruit smoothies? Our ped said that spinach is good for constipation. Does she like eggs? My daughter is a bit iffy on scrambled eggs, but will eat a frittata. Also, what about feeding her a prune or two a day, to help ease some of the constipation? This way you can add back in more of the milk/cheese.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Will also add, my daughter loves beans – black beans or chickpeas in particular.

      • AwayEmily says:

        We do a lot of smoothies with spinach, fruit, and kefir for our constipation-prone daughter.

      • She really doesn’t like avocado– not in eggs, not in smoothies, not in sauces– just ain’t happening.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          What about something like coconut oil/butter to a smoothie? High fat and sweet tasting.

    • Anonnon says:

      Your mileage may vary, but after an exhausting first couple years trying to stuff my skinny kid (90h/20w), I just stopped worrying about her needing to gain weight. She’s a good and varied eater, she has unbelievable energy, she’s developing typically, and we did get some testing done to rule out any weird syndromes. We were so stressed about her weight, but… metabolisms vary. She’s 6 now and remains skinny but happy.

      But I realize that’s not what you asked. Other than what you’ve mentioned, we eat a fair amount of (non-lean) meat. Cheese was also a favorite — she had a tendency towards constipation when she was younger, but we dealt with that with juice or miralax, since she loooooved cheese.

      • I’m not losing sleep over it, just looking for ideas :) I have an older one who tended toward the leaner side of things and is now a happy, healthy 89H/70W 4 year old despite having a weight down in the 40s for a while. This one is just a little different–not as great a sleeper, more anxious, more fussy–for a while I think she simply needed MORE FOOD (not more milk/formula, which she was offered on demand). We finally figured it out and she really settled out around 9/10 months, but then came all the walking (and running…and climbing…and jumping off things…and dancing and my god she just does not stop moving!) and it’s like we have a teenage boy living in the house.

        A typical day is:
        5:30/6am wake up: couple sips of milk or water, pouch (usually one of the yogurt+fruit ones), back to bed.
        8am: breakfast- waffles and fruit OR oatmeal+ fruit, OR eggs/cheese/spinach/ham; cup of milk on the side (whatever I make is typically also served to 4 y/o and me)
        10 am: prenap snack (finishes whatever was left from breakfast; if nothing, oatmeal and fruit or pouch)
        12- lunch. (“sandwich” [meat/cheese/bread] and fruit, OR pasta and fruit, ideally with spinach mixed in; milk/water on the side)
        2- snack (fruit pouch or yogurt or pieces of fruit or veggies, cheerios often in addition)
        3:30- nap, possibly additional snack if 2pm snack was light
        4:30- predinner snack (often cheese, fruit, veggies or pouch)
        5:45- dinner (whatever everyeone else has)
        7- dinner redux (place back in highchair for 2nd round of food right before bath; sometimes she needs that break to get more interested), OR oatmeal OR fruit pouch

        We do a lot of pouches (I tend to pick high fiber and/or high veggie ones) because she likes feeding herself, they are portable and we are busy, and they are less messy and quicker.

        My ODD was in daycare but I KNOW she did not eat this much! I looked in her baby book and at some of her old daycare sheets. She had breakfast, snack @ daycare, lunch, snack @ daycare, MAYBE small predinner snack (like, cheerios), dinner, bed.

        • Anonymous says:

          She looks like a great eater, and you are doing awesome!! I would maybe try to condense some snacks — especially in the afternoon – by offering something a little more substantial? Toast with nut butter and raisins, yogurt with honey mixed in, biscuits with honey or jelly or butter.

          Also, I’d add cheese to your pasta, and nut butter to the waffles, and I’d try to avoid some of the pouches. They are convenient but not a lot of protein or caloric content. She might fill up more with a whole pear, or apple, which we handed to our young kids to eat on the go. If you are really feeling motiviated, we also baked nutrigrain bars or homemade cereal bars — you can add a lot of quality fat content.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh, and also, jerky. We buy and go through a lot of turkey jerky in our house.

      • Two Cents says:

        + This. I was a really skinny kid, the kind of skinny where relatives would admonish my mom for not feeding me enough. And my mom, understandably so, was so worried about my weight that she was constantly feeding/forcing me to eat. And you know what? It all just turned me off to food completely. I hated eating and always associated it with being a big chore. It only was until I got to college and no one was forcing me to eat that I learned to really enjoy food.

        I have a skinny kid (15th percentile for weight) and I definitely have this urge to feed my kid and help him gain weight. I just have to remind myself that I was also very skinny, but otherwise very energetic, happy and healthy.

        • Same. It was awful. I developed some really unhealthy habits and attitudes about food too, when constantly being badgered to “eat more” when I was not hungry.

      • Anonnon says:

        Sounds like a pretty good schedule! It is amazing how much food these skinny kids can pack in sometimes — my daughter has meals where she outeats us all. She was my first, so I definitely got too wrapped up in the weight question. I hope the thread gives you some ideas that work (a couple people have mentioned hummus, which I’d forgotten about – super popular with my kids).

    • You can make avocado sauce for pasta. Or what about butternut squash ravioli?
      Also – would she do beans? Lentils? Avocado omelet? Fruit smoothies with full fat yogurt? Agree on the prunes – you can put them in oatmeal, even, and chocolate covered prunes exist and are delicious! Also not sure what kind of oatmeal you’re doing, but we do McCann’s quick cooking oats with just water and I always add a bunch of fiber rich fruit to it – banana, apple, etc. I feel like it “works” for my kid.

    • My son is currently surviving on peanut butter sandwiches and bananas, both of which are pretty calorie dense. We also do mac and cheese on occasion and can sneak things in there (blended greens, carrots, etc.). He really likes yogurt pouches, as well, and for the most part will eat whatever we put in them. I use full fat yogurt and make giant batches of fruit and veggie mixes and freeze them in baby food trays so we can defrost a few and throw them in with some yogurt when we need them. I do banana, squash, and blueberry and apple, pear, and sweet potato.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a similar kid, and I actually had better luck by continuing to offer what she liked, but by reducing snack intake. My kid was also eating constantly, but I realized she was filling up on snacks that weren’t doing much to bulk (or fill) her up – just eating enough to get her through. After we started a snack and meal schedule, and eliminated readily available snacks, I found she ate a lot more (and did consume more protein). So our routine is usually: breakfast at 7:30, snack at 9:30, lunch at 11:45, snack at 3:30, dinner at 5:45, and pre-bedtime snack.

      She can only eat at the table, during these times, and is not given the sack of cheerios she used to wander around holding. I also think I was previously overestimating how much she was eating b/c it seemed like she always had food in her hands — but I never actually saw how much she consumed.

    • Meat! Chicken or beef meatballs are a great texture for my kids (who are also huge cheese lovers). How about eggs, either scrambled or you can make “nuggets” of a bunch of different things with the eggs holding it all together.

      • Oh! Or baby pancakes (one egg and one mushed banana).

      • AwayEmily says:

        Also — do you have a go-to meatball recipe you’d be willing to share? My daughter is a bit texture-picky and that sounds like a great way to get more meat into her.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Mine is:
          1 lb ground beef
          whole milk (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
          1/2 cup breadcrumbs (more if necessary)
          2 eggs
          1/2 medium onion, diced
          2 cloves of garlic, minced
          grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
          parsley and basil, chopped (to taste)
          salt and pepper (to taste)

          Saute the onion and garlic until softened. Let cool. In a bowl, add the beef, milk, breadcrumbs, eggs, cheese, herbs, salt, pepper. Add the cooled onion + garlic. Mix well. Form into meatballs (size is up to you, I usually get ~18 meatballs). Put the meatballs in the fridge for about an hour. Heat oil in a pan (like vegetable, grapeseed, or canola oil). Remove meatballs from fridge and put in the hot oil (in batches). I usually brown the meatballs on all sides and then put them on a plate and finish cooking them in a pan of tomato sauce.

        • I load mine with veggies. Ground turkey or chicken, and then add as much grated/shredded carrots, zucchini, spinach, dill, parsley, whatever herbs, as I can (it’s really almost 50/50 or at least 60/40). Sometimes I add an egg but usually I find the egg makes them tougher. I shape into little balls and cook them over a low flame in an improvised tomato sauce (basically, a bit olive oil and garlic, some diced carrots and a can of chopped tomatoes that has been simmering for 10-15 minutes while I shape the meatballs. I add water as needed to thin the sauce a bit. You can also bake them in the over and add to the sauce. I find the sauce to be a good way to get some extra veggies in (my kid loves the sautéed carrots) and it keeps the meatballs from drying out.

        • mine is IKEA

          • GirlFriday says:

            This made me LOL. I was like “wrong thread…OH WAIT.”

          • NewMomAnon says:

            Mine is “whatever is on sale at the grocery store.” But if people are going to get all diy, then I guess you can add flax meal?

    • Indian food? My son loves most curry/ palak paneer/ dal dishes, and many of them are pretty buttery or full of culinary coconut milk. (I need to learn to cook dal properly since I have an Instant Pot that’s great for dried beans, but Costco dal and trays of frozen palak paneer from Trader Joe’s are pretty good.) Add a chunk of naan and dinner is served.

      Also, how does she feel about hummus? Or other nut butters for variety – almond, cashew, unsweeted sunflower seed butter?

      • We have the saddest and lonlinest can of sunbutter in our pantry. my kids won’t touch it but it’s the only kind of “nut” butter accepted at preschool. I should probably throw it away, since DH and I won’t eat it either. But every once in a while ODD agrees to a jelly-heavy sunbutter and jelly in a pinch.

      • Katala says:

        My kiddo surprised us with how much he loves curry, so I would second this.

        Have you tried goat’s milk? It did not cause constipation for DS like cow’s milk did.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      Once she’s a bit older, I would introduce nuts. My skinny son loves pistachios, cashews, and sometimes pecans too. High in fat and healthy. In the meantime, I echo the suggestions for full fat Yoghurt, which has probiotics that shouldn’t constipate her.

      • i do crush and sprinkle them when i think of it (my older one loves nuts too), but she doesn’t really have the teeth for nut eating yet. Do you have other sneaky ways of getting them into the kiddos? She’s only working with 3 teeth. She does fine gumming almost anything but apples and nuts are pretty tough!

        • AwayEmily says:

          Trader Joes makes a “mixed nut butter” that is basically all the nuts except peanuts. I stir it into her oatmeal, along with peanut butter (also potentially helpful in preventing nut allergies). It’s also good as a topping for sliced pears.

        • avocado says:

          Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter is very tasty and has much less sugar than Nutella.

    • Momata says:

      My kid had the same stats and my pediatrician gave me the same marching orders. We bought some Pediasure “Grow and Gain” shakes that my kid LOVED. I offered them only as an after dinner snack, i.e. after all other meals were given and eaten. I also second the advice to avoid snacks and focus on meals (a la Bringing Up Bebe, which I think is good advice for everybody). We also packed in calories via hummus (yay fiber!), hard boiled eggs, tuna salad, and black bean and corn salad that I made easier to eat by heating it and then mixing in shredded cheddar cheese.

    • My kids are similar, and our high-calorie go-tos are scrambled eggs and full-fat yogurt (my kids are partial to TJ’s peach and mango). We also encourage snacks between meals, especially in the car. Also, other things (low-fiber carbohydrates like bananas, rice and bread) may be contributing to her constipation.

      • Ha. I see other people discourage snacks. My kids’ eating habits are certainly no success story, so I might be doing the wrong thing. I keep meaning to read the oft-recommended Ellyn Satter books on this topic.

        Honestly, I just try to offer healthy food, and figure if they’re hungry, they’ll eat it. I don’t want mealtimes to be battles where I am forcing them to eat.

        We have also had great success with our 3-year-old using a song from a Daniel Tiger episode. “You have to try new foods ’cause they might taste good!”

        • October says:

          IIRC, Ellyn Satter actually recommends 3 meals and 1-2 snacks (never going more than ~3 hours before offering food). This way it’s not a huge deal if your kid doesn’t eat much at a meal — you can end the meal without worry, because they won’t starve before snack time. It also helps the kid trust that they will always be fed, so they don’t have to gorge themselves if they aren’t hungry. She also suggests offering “junk” food like cookies or ice cream as occasional snacks and letting kids eat as much as they want, thus helping to remove the taboo and, again, making it less likely they will stuff themselves with dessert when it’s offered (I admit, I am struggling with that one….)

          Per Satter, I am limiting the endless grazing snacks (cups of cheerios and goldfish hanging around, etc) and planning out the component of snacks so that they are healthy and filling, like cheese + grapes. I also limit milk to 1-2 cups a day so kiddo doesn’t fill up on that. All that to say, sounds like you’re doing fine!

        • Anonymous says:

          I posted above about reducing snacks, but October uses the better word here “grazing.” We eliminated grazing, not snacks, and do have set meal and snack times. We are also on the Satter train, and October summarizes it nicely.

          I also was an extremely skinny kid who wanted small meals regularly (my mom had a CPS consult when I was little), and grew into a skinny adult who wants small meals regularly. I *hated* being forced to eat, and still do. Much to my MIL’s chagrin, I do not force my kids to eat bc as October says, there will be another chance soon enough. I’ve found they eat well — if you look at it over a period of time — and most importantly, i don’t spend my meals negotiating, which we all hate. I just spent several days with my MIL, and i swear I had PTSD b/c she is constantly checking in about whether the kids ate a “good meal.” She kept telling me that my kids did “not eat well,” at certain meals, or that [insert kid] “isn’t a good eater,” and it drives me insane. She does not realize that — depending on what’s going on, she’s referred to BOTH kids as “GREAT eaters” or “terrible eaters.” They are both fine. Leave them alone! Also, I have a nephew who I swear that she and my SIL made into a “bad eater,” because they tell him CONSTANTLY that he’s a bad eater!

          /end rant.

        • Momata says:

          To clarify — when I meant turn away from snacks, I meant turn away from grazing. I consider my kids’ midmorning snack and midafternoon snack to be another small meal. I select it to include protein and fruit/veg, and it is eaten sitting down at the table.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Also applesauce may be constipating. Apples are fine for my kiddo, but we really have to limit the amount of applesauce she eats. If she loves applesauce, try pears or pear sauce (I make it the same way – peeled + chopped up pears, splash of water, cooked down and pureed. No sugar needed, although you can obviously add flavors like cinnamon or vanilla).

    • Adding non-dairy fats to regular food is the most straight-forward way to go. You could toss or top your kid’s food with a little olive oil (or other neutral vegetable oil) or with something more flavorful like coconut oil, sesame oil, or even bacon fat. We do some variation of this with sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc. Admittedly, Kiddo only eats his vegetables some of the time, but he has eaten all of those things.

      I second the idea of a probiotic. My pediatrician recommended the kids’ Culturelle probiotic specifically for constipation when we had some issues several months ago. (Ask your pediatrician though–my kid isn’t really prone to constipation, he just had some because he was drinking a lot of milk while he was teething.)

      • (was) due in june says:

        Yes, I use sesame seed oil and coconut oil a lot for my skinny kid.

        • (was) due in june says:

          Also – ice cream. The full fat nice kind. Or the coconut based kind. Either way. It’s a ton of calories and fat. And full fat kefir. And full fat greek yogurt popsicles (I mix plain and fruit greek yogurt to cut down on the sugar content) and plan to stick coconut cream in the next batch.

      • To be clear, I only suggested non-dairy fats because OP said that butter and other dairy contributed to the constipation issues.

    • Anonymous says:

      Make the oatmeal with cream! (I use 1 minute oats and cook in full fat milk – I eyeball the amounts, but microwave for 1 minute, stir and add more milk if necessary, microwave 30 sec). When we were trying to get kiddo to gain weight we gave her lots of avocado and lots of croissants. I’d try chocolate avocado smoothies — avocado’s a strong flavor and needs a lot to cover it.

  4. Pumping question says:

    Pumping/bfeeding question – I’ve been sick this week and got dehydrated on Monday, so my supply has gone down. I’m still pumping about 12oz with 3 pumping sessions during work hours but baby eats 15oz at daycare. I was previously pumping 18-20oz/day. We’re fine supplementing with formula and have a small freezer stash, but will my supply go back up eventually as I’m feeling better? We were doing great before. My goal was 6 months but recently I was like “eh we could go longer!” so I don’t want this to be the beginning of accidental weaning.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      It should. Just keep resting, drinking a ton of water, and maybe eat some oatmeal for breakfast. I always experienced dips in supply around illnesses or my period, and it returned.

      • Katala says:

        Yep, same. More oatmeal (I like to put mine in smoothies w/ chocolate protein powder and almond milk for dessert) and a ton of water always gets it back up.

    • I found that those lactation teas helped. I think I drank a few cups a day for a day or two and everything went back to normal (mine decreased after taking Sudafed when I had a cold). It might have happened on it’s own too. A friend swore by power pumping or whatever its called, but I never had the patience for that.

    • I got sick and dehydrated a couple times while BFing and my supply bounced back both times. I made a moderate effort to get extra hydration and get an extra feeding or two in for the few days following, but didn’t do anything crazy, and I ended by BFing for a year. Both times were in the 2-6 month range, and I found that time to be the easiest to maintain my supply because my supply was established, but hadn’t been messed with due to introducing solids and dropping feeds.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I got a bad case of salmonella when my baby was 3 months and couldn’t feed her or even pump for several days. I was so, so worried (and cried a lot about my supply disappearing) but it all turned out fine. It took maybe a week but my supply went back to normal.

    • Cornellian says:

      I got dehydrated to the point of hospitalization with a bug a few weeks ago, and my supply came back. It took maybe 10 or 14 days. When I was back on my feet I added an extra pumping session here and there for a few days (I just used a hand pump on first side while baby was on second for maybe 5 minutes a day), which probably helped.

    • Beth Childs says:

      Just went through this after a two week series of illnesses (hello daycare germs, thanks for attacking me instead of kiddo!) and supply went back up about a week later. I did add an extra pumping session for a few days to try and increase again and found staying very hydrated helped a lot. FWIW, I found adding some Gatorade cut with water into the daily drink routine brought me back to exactly where I was with the same number of pumping sessions, etc. Feel better!

  5. PregLawyer says:

    Does anyone have experience losing weight (relatively) during a pregnancy? I’m pregnant with #2, and just haven’t been as diligent as I wanted to be in losing weight and getting in shape after baby #1. Now that I’m pregnant, I obviously can’t drink (so that’s a lot of calories out of the picture) and I am much more motivated to eat well and exercise. I know that ultimately I will be gaining weight, but I’d like to also use this opportunity to try and relatively slim down. Does that make any sense? Has anyone done this before?

    A couple caveats – I don’t get nausea during pregnancy, so I should be able to exercise and eat normal meals. I am probably 20 pounds over my comfortable weight, and likely 30 pounds over my ideal weight.

    • Cornellian says:

      Obviously you should talk to your doctor, but a friend of mine started her pregnancy at 5’4 and ~200, and gave birth at 5’4 and ~212, which her doctor was okay with. She focused on adding ~400 cals of lean protein to her diet, cut alcohol, and exercised. I think there are usually lower weight gain standards if you start out on the heavier side.

      That said, I was told repeatedly not to start any new exercise regimen during pregnancy, so you might be limited there. I imagine adding a couple walks per week would be okayed by your doctor/midwife.

      • Yep, if your BMI is over 25 to start they only want you to gain 15-20 lbs. Which over the course of 40 weeks is not a whole lot, especially in the first tri when baby is the size of a pine nut or whatever.

        I think when they say “don’t start an exercise regimen” they mean don’t start training for a marathon. I hadn’t been swimming for exercise regularly since probably 2009 and I added it in around 30w when I couldn’t run anymore. OB was totally fine with it.

        • Cornellian says:

          Yeah, fair. I was already running quite a bit and ran 10-12 miles several times in my second trimester, but I didn’t think twice about adding a new water aerobics class towards the end.

          Even if you already are a runner/biker/etc, I don’t know if the advice is generally that it’s okay to up distance/speed/intensity, though.

      • PregLawyer says:

        Thanks for the comments! Does anyone have any inspiring blogs or other resources about fit pregnancies?

        • Cornellian says:

          I like saltyrunning for running stuff, but it’s more relevant if you’re already a runner.

          Unsolicited advice: If you’re going to be running/biking alone, I actually felt safer with one of those (sort of cheesy) “running for two” shirts. They fit my bump, which was great, but it made me feel better that if something happened, bystanders/EMTs would know what was up (until I was unquestionably obviously pregnant later in pregnancy).

    • I lost 5 lbs early in my 1st pregnancy just by cutting out alcohol, eating healthier and going for more walks. I wasn’t aiming to lose weight per se but I wanted to be “healthier” and also moderate the weight gain I knew would be coming so it sort of just shaped out that way. My doctor was initially concerned because I seemed not be gaining weight and then losing it at each appointment but she was ultimately convinced that I was being healthy and this was normal for me. I think in the end I ended up gaining about 22 lbs from the lowest weight in my pregnancy but ultimately it was about 17 from the weight I started at when I found out (first day of missed period).

    • Talk to your doctor. I am 5’2” and started my pregnancy around 170 lbs (so right on the overweight/obese line on the BMI scale, and it wasn’t muscle). I actually lost some weight at the beginning of my pregnancy, but I threw up all day everyday for at least a month and was nauseous all the time until about 4 months. I weighed about 170 at my last doctor’s appointment at 34/35 weeks (Baby was early). I weighed about 160 about a week after giving birth. I asked my doctor about it at several points during my pregnancy, and she was fine with it.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Yeah I was chubby when I got pregnant, am chubby now, and I gained approximately zero pounds while pregnant – it all just moved to my belly. I stopped drinking (and I was living with a beer snob in a city with excellent beer, so that was not an insignificant calorie cut), was too tired to go out to eat (where a lot of my delicious high calorie eating happened), and I was motivated to keep in decent-ish shape for the baby or whatever (mostly a million squats, free weights, and cardio whenever I could).

      Baby was a good size, pregnancy was uncomplicated, so everything seems fine. (Sadly, I still got stretch marks like woah, because all the weight went into my big balloon belly.)

  6. headphones for kids says:

    Any recommendations for kids headphones? We bought the amazon basics ones for kids and they were pretty flimsy…wouldn’t stay in play when my son tightened them to fit his head and eventually broke. He’s 5 and hard on stuff, so I don’t want to buy Beats but I don’t want to replace them every few months either. Availability on Amazon a plus.

  7. calling CA moms w/ nannies or employment lawyers says:

    I’m looking for advice about where to understand implications of hiring a nanny in California (legally). We’re in a part of the state that doesn’t have a lot of professional nannies and no placement services. We found someone through word of mouth but I’m somewhat terrified of hiring a household employee in this state for fear of liability and never being able to fire her. What kind of professional (specific recs?) can I talk to or what can I read about what it means in terms of all the rules we have to follow, tax implications, etc…, BEFORE we officially hire her?

    Her normal under the table rate is $12/hour. We’d like to offer her $14-15/hour to account for the taxes she’ll have to pay.

    Finally, if you have experience with this – how much more should we budget for our side of the tax bill? Household income ~220k, 25% tax bracket.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just get a payroll company to do this. Watch out for overtime and record-keeping requirements.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry — consult with an employment attorney in your jurisdiction, and get a payroll company to deal with the taxes.

    • I’m not in California, so I can’t answer questions specifically about that. We used our CPA to set this up, and he charged about $500 for it, in a MCOL area.

      On the federal side, you’ll need an EIN and will need to pay the employer’s side of Medicare and Social Security (7.65%). You probably should withhold from the employee’s check, but we didn’t–either way, you definitely need to make sure the employee knows that she’ll have tax liability at the end of the year.

      On the state side, you’ll probably have to register and pay into the state’s unemployment fund and maybe the state’s worker’s compensation fund. There may be other taxes in California.

      There is software that can do this for you, and you may want that if you’re withholding for your nanny (again, recommended, but ours didn’t want that because she has a complicated tax filing with lots of 1099s from separate gig work). We went pretty low-tech. She wrote down her arrival and departure times in a small notebook throughout the week. At the end of the week, she added up her hours, we multiplied it by her rate, and we paid her by check. She kept a spreadsheet of her total hours and wages, and we forwarded that to our accountant at the end of the year. Our accountant sent us a W2 to give to her, and he filed whatever we needed to file on our behalf.

    • calling CA moms w/ nannies or employment lawyers says:

      Thanks all, these were helpful.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Any thoughts about preparing small kids (3 and 4.5) for Mommy being away at a 7-10 day trial? We just got back from vacation so they are a little extra clingy getting back into the day care groove, plus they are still adjusting to a new “pickup from daycare and start dinner” babysitter we are trying for the summer. The older of the two saw my suitcase out last night for pre-packing (I leave tomorrow) and started to meltdown.

    I do lots of 1-2 night trips away and they do fine with little advance notice (more talking usually means more anxiety) but the last week+ trip was a couple years ago when they were home with a nanny and my mom came to stay. This time will be just Daddy, daycare, plus occasional help from his mom who lives nearby.

    On the shorter trips we usually find that FaceTime makes things harder on the parent at home, and knowing the partner I’m traveling with I honestly don’t know how much I’d be able to skip out for a FaceTime at kid-friendly hours. Should I go buy some emergency dollar store type gifts, one per day so that they can count how many more until Mommy comes home? Any more brilliant ideas that help kids who can’t read deal without making the already difficult lift harder on my husband? Thanks!

    • I think you can still leave them notes for each day and Daddy can read them at breakfast or bedtime or whatever. Or maybe you can text him a message to read at bedtime? Kind of like a modern day letter?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      What about taking photos during your day – your hotel room, the view from the conference room, the coffee shop you stop at, etc. – and texting them to your husband so that he can share them with the kids and talk to them about what you’re doing?

      • Blueberry says:

        My kids love to get videos from me. I basically just ask them questions (which my husband tells me they answer while looking at the video, which is super cute) and show them my surroundings. They are like 30 seconds long. Like: “Good morning, boys! Do you want to see my hotel room? [pans around room] I miss you!” “Hey, guys! I hope you had a great day at school! Did you make any art? Do you want to see a street in New York City with lots of taxis? [turns phone around to see the street]. Bye!!”

        Also, on the advice of some here, I’ve started sending post cards, which I think are exciting to receive, even if they can’t read.

        • Blueberry says:

          But as for actually preparing them, I’ve got nothing helpful. My four-year-old grabs my body and cries when I leave. It’s pretty sad.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Ah I love this little video idea! Stealing it at once!

        • anne-on says:

          I love the idea of the little videos! I’ve got a long work trip overseas in a month or so and I’m going to steal that one!

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m the OP going to trial tomorrow and I love the video idea and the postcards too. Thanks!

    • Sarabeth says:

      I record bedtime stories for my daughter when I travel. I also make short videos showing where I’m staying. She’s pretty good on Facetime, but I’m often in time zones that make it difficult to coordinate schedules.

  9. blueberries says:

    Stanford Park Nannies has a package where they’ll vet a nanny you find–not sure if they work remotely, but in my experience they’re quite good at vetting.

    There are some lawyers who specialize in household employees, though I have no experience with them.

    A reputable full-service payroll service should be of great help on the tax questions. Make sure to talk to you insurance agent about necessary additional policies (workers comp is required in California, non-owned vehicle liability if she’s driving her own car, maybe something else if you need it?).

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