Wednesday’s TPS Report: Inga Blouse

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Lafayette 148 New York Inga BlouseNeiman Marcus has so. many. good. things. on. sale right now. This Lafayette 148 Inga blouse is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it — I like the longer length, the wrapped waist, and the dusty blue color — and I’m intrigued by the “tech fabric.” This blouse was $228, but is now marked to $114. Lafayette 148 New York Inga Blouse

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Comments

  1. And here I thought pregnancy was going to be a shopping hiatus . . . but this looks like I could TOTALLY wear it for a month or two now!

    • saac n mama :

      Peasant blouses were big when I was pregnant. I was disappointed to find that even though they looked loose and flowing on the hanger, when I put them on, they were tight around my tummy.

  2. Cornellian :

    Want! I am a petite, pale person, so maybe it would work? But I feel like this is one of those tops that looks better online than in person…

    • I like this, but I’m petite, too, and am thinking that it would look sloppy no matter what I did.

  3. This blouse is really pretty, although I don’t think I could wear it – I don’t have a long enough waist. This color would also do nothing for me. I’m wondering – it looks like the kind of fabric that could really wrinkle. Or maybe it’s just made to look that way.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I agree. The top looks to me almost like raincoat material – it’s a bit shiny and stiff?

    • Cornellian :

      this makes it more tempting. I have coloring like the model and a freakishly long waist… must… resist.

    • I think I’ve seen this shirt in person. It’s made of a typical button-down fabric with stretch.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Wouldn’t work for me either and something about the collar is really bothering me.

    • What the heck is “tech” fabric? Apparently polyester?

  4. AnonInfinity :

    In. Love. With. This.

  5. This reads “mother of the bride at formal bridal shower tea” to me. Something about the fabric is a little too daytime formal for the office.

    • Cornellian :

      I can picture it with black cigarette pants on Friday, even in my nyc biglaw office.

    • Not my cup of tea either. HA! See what I did there.

      I crack myself up.

    • Cornellian :

      to avoid moderation:

      I can picture it with black c*gar*tte pants on Friday, even in my nyc biglaw office.

    • I think New York and Company has or has had shirts with a similar design, but in more of a cotton/poplin fabric, if you are looking for a lower price point and more casual fabric.

  6. Beautiful blouse. Say, I saw an ad on the side of the Corporette page for Bluesuits – looks to be a vendor of fairly pricey but nice interview-type suits. I’m tall and always in need of a well-fitting suit. Has anyone ordered from Bluesuits? If so, what’s the verdict?

  7. SV in House :

    It has been a long time since I looked for a job, so please forgive my ignorance. When you find a job online and also have a connection (e.g. a friend who knows someone at the company), in what order do you apply? Apply online, then ask friend to link you up or ask friend to pass resume along before filling out online application? In the Stone Age, when I last looked, the online application was rare — we actually used nice, heavy ecru paper sometimes! (OK, so I did email resumes the last time around, but I do remember paper resumes).

    Also, k_padi recommended a couple of career coaches, but I would love some more San Francisco area recommendations for folks that can help with my resume and mapping out career possibilities.

    • East Coast Anon :

      Kind of what you’re asking about…I applied for my current job online. I then saw I had a connection at the company on LinkedIn. My connection susequently submitted an employee referral for me and it got connected with the info I submitted behind the scenes.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO, it doesn’t really matter as long as both happen within a reasonably short time frame of one another (like, within 48 hours or so), but I would probably apply and then have your friend pop by and give the heads up, “Hey, my buddy SV in House mentioned she’d be applying and she’s pretty awesome, I’m just passing on her resume” so that the hirer can then immediately pull up your info from the online application and take a look, before it slips their mind.

    • Cornellian :

      What field are you in, and what size employers are you considering? If it’s a small place, I would probably give the resume to the connection if it’s a close one and ask him/her to put it on his/her boss’ desk. If it’s a larger place, I imagine they have a more formal process in place, and I would submit it through there, then follow up with your friend like East Coast Anon suggested.

      I imagine it would also depend on field and your level of experience. I would imagine higher up positions or more specialized or creative fields would make it more likely that a friend placing the resume on someone’s desk is the way to go. Take this all with a grain of salt, as I’ve only hired 18-23 year olds, and am 26 myself.

      • SV in House :

        Thanks, Cornellian. I’m fairly senior, looking at small – medium companies for a legal position, probably tech sector.

    • I always apply online but then immediately send my application materials (resume, cover letter, etc) to any connections I have saying I just submitted it, but could they please forward it on, etc. I’ve been one doing the passing on many times and our HR dept always insists they apply online as well.

    • I would ask your contact first for advice — some companies don’t pay EE referrals if you applied online first b/c they already “found” you. You always need to apply online, but I think it’s really best to talk to anyone internally that you know before you do that as each place can have its own quirks & if there is a referral bonus at stake, you want your contact 100% incentivized to help you out.

      • This. For my current job, my contact submitted me as a referral and then I applied for the position.

  8. meh.

    in other news, i’m trying to come up with a good answer to the ‘why are you looking for a new job?’ interview question. i only started my current job in september and i am miserable. i have been bullied a couple of times by my boss and there is dysfunction on a grandiose scale. i have an interview friday and haven’t yet found the right words. i want to stay positive and not dwell on why i’m leaving, but i don’t really feel like giving a stupid job interview response (“it was a bad fit”). ideas?

    • I’d focus on why you want the new job. Does it require a specific skill that you have and really enjoy using? Have great opportunities to contribute off the bat, but also encourages personal development? You don’t have to say anything bad about your former employer. Instead of “Company X was a bad fit”, demonstrate why Company Y is a phenomenal fit.

    • (former) Clueless Summer :

      Agreed about focusing on the new job – if you can genuinely say this, tell the interviewer that this new job seemed like such a great opportunity, you didn’t want to pass it up, even if you haven’t been at X company long.

      • East Coaster :

        +1. If they asked you straight out, I would say you know that you knew there would be some questions about you being at your current place for only a short time, but you couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

    • You can say that your current job turned out not to be in sync with your career goals. Whereas the new job description is, as KC says, a phenomenal fit.
      Be prepared to talk about your career goals, what’s “off” in the current job, and take care not to appear inflexible.

    • I think you could get away with saying all of the above, plus some reference to the culture not being a great fit. “Culture” is a code reference for “they’re all insane there.” Plus depending on the industry, the interviewer may know exactly what you’re talking about by saying that and not judge you negatively at all for leaving said insanity.

      • This. Workplaces get reputations and some of them are not good. I’ve had two job hunts where I didn’t fit with the “culture”. Have a stock answer and don’t lie. Mine was “they hired me on expecting a certain type of work (done by the target firm) but that work never came through. So I ended up doing another type of work (that was really outside my expertise) to make hours.” If they press you, and some interviewers who are in the know will, don’t let them trip you up. Try to say something along the lines of “yes, Workplace does have a reputation but the culture isn’t the primary reason why I’m looking for a new job.”

        And practice your wry smile and eye roll–they’ll come in handy for follow-ups. At one point, an interviewer went on about my employer for a good 2-3 minutes, looked at me for a comment and I just stayed silent. After 10 seconds (maybe it was less but it felt like an eternity), he threw his hands in the air and said “well, we all gotta eat.” and moved on to other topics.

    • I think many people underestimate fit. But rather than just saying it was a bad fit, maybe you could come up with some reasons why it’s a bad fit. Not mentioning the bullying, of course. You could talk about what you thought the job would be and what it was in reality and how those two things didn’t match.

  9. I have a similar shirt (long sleeves though) and the waist sash is really flattering, especially if you have a straight figure. I also love that the bottom poufs just enough to disguise a large lunch ;)

    • Hilarious! What brand is the long-sleeved one? I think I’d prefer that.

  10. Bob and collar :

    How do you ladies deal with having (longer) bobs and then wearing collared button-downs? Is it possible at all? Somehow it never works for me, no matter how hard I try

  11. So. For the first time since I was laid of from my big law job a year and a few months ago, I’m officially unemployed. My contract jobs have both ended. I have a lead on a new contract job and a lead on a real job – but for now I’m unemployed and I’m lonely and frustrated and I just don’t know what to do.

    I don’t even know if I’m asking for advice or just venting. The impact hasn’t been so bad this last week or so because I’ve had the plague that’s going around and have thus been basically comatose – but I’m starting to feel it. I’m kind of lonely and depressed. And wondering if I should apply for non-lawyer jobs. Though I have no idea what non-lawyer jobs to apply for. Any ideas would be appreciated. Or even any encouragement. Or just whatever.

    Mostly I’m just frustrated. It.is.so.frustrating.

    • Oh, TCFKAG, I’m so sorry. I know you’re probably sick of hearing this, but keep your chin up, dear. I think any action is better than inaction at this point – if a non-lawyer job sounds interesting, give it a shot! You don’t have to make a decision until you have an offer. Try to get out and do things that will get you a bit more social interaction, too, even if it means parking yourself at Starbucks to do job applications. The best I can say is to find ways to invest in yourself during this time – start a new gym routine (or run, if you’re not a gym member), maybe pick up a new hobby, but do things that remind you of your (ahem, extremely high!) self-worth. I think it’s very easy to get our sense of self worth from our jobs, and it’s just not reality. Your job or lack thereof is not what defines you. I wish I could bring you tea/cookies/scotch/chocolate/whatever, but know that we’re rooting for you from far and wide!

    • Houston Attorney :

      I agree with petitsq. First of all, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you were laid off and I’m sorry you are sick. Somehow, being sick makes everything feel worse, doesn’t it? So yes, yes and yes to petitesq’s advice.

      I would certainly add an “amen” to looking for non-legal jobs. Let’s face it – so much of what we do transcends job title. Review, negotiate, supervise, see projects through from beginning to end, communicate, market, write… What non-profit/business/PR firm/whatever wouldn’t need these skills?

      One thing I’ve read (it was in a Marcus Buckingham book) is that your strengths are things that make you feel strong, and your weaknesses are things that make you feel weak. Where we typically think our strengths are things we’re good at and our weaknesses are things we’re bad at, actually there can be a benefit in taking note on what we feel good about doing and what we do because, well, we have to do it, but it just leaves us depleted or not strong. Maybe there are parts of your jobs or personal life that you can think back on and know it made you feel great and you actually really enjoyed this part. This might help you as you look for jobs.

      And call in those friends! All of your attorney friends and non-attorney friends and the great people who know you and love you – tell them if you decide to look for a non-law job. Tell them what you’d love to do and ask them to keep their eyes open for you.

      But all my rambling aside, really the thing to do now is eat soup, drink tea and feel better.

    • Next week will be another Boston meet-up, assuming we have any interest (and the weather isn’t ridiculously cold). You can vent to us.

      Meanwhile, I agree with petitesq. While you need to send out apps, take some time for yourself. I’ve been laid off twice. I would get online and send out apps/resumes in the morning and then work out. You might also look into doing some daytrips. The last time I was unemployed I did some fun things like taking my niece out to lunch on her birthday.

    • So sorry to hear that. I hesitate to make this suggestion, but have you tried anti-depressants? I saw my doctor so many times when I was looking for a job that she offered to write me a reference, and when I told her that I felt angry and irritated all.the.time, she said that was an early warning sign and prescribed a low dose of a common anti-depressant. It’s made a big difference for me.

      I hope you feel better soon. I’m in bed with the flu myself.

      • Houston Attorney :

        I absolutely mean nothing but good – reading that you saw your doctor so many times she offered to write you a reference made me laugh! And it is proof positive that you are not crazy at all (a doctor whose job it is to know that says so!!) but that circumstances can be overwhelming and that it is a-ok to need an anti-depressant to get you through a tough season. Great advice for TCFKAG and a great reminder for all of us who are struggling.

        And I hope you also feel better soon. The flu is no fun at all, says Captain Obvious. :)

      • Actually – I am on antidepressants – though they were initially prescribed for migraines (though I think my doc was stealthily treating my feelings about my job search.

        Funnily enough, one of my doctors once wrote a letter of reference for me for a scholarship once too. I spend a lot of time with my doctors. We’re besties.

    • I’m so sorry!! That’s got to be rough. Someone just yesterday (I think) suggested making a list of things you’ve wanted to improve in your real life, not work life, and begin accomplishing some of those things. I thought that was a great idea. So you could list “make photo books for the last few years, run 10 miles without stopping, read this list of books I haven’t had time to read, get better about writing handwritten notes to friends, etc.” And then start checking those things off so you’re still really accomplishing something. I thought that was a really good idea!

    • Hugs and rawrs, friend, hugs and rawrs.

    • Good luck!

      Perhaps you can meet up with some old contacts for coffe/lunch/drinks to stay in the loop. And don’t forget to talk about other things, or life starts to seem really depressing.

    • Infrequent poster, regular lurker here. Ditto what petitesq said. I was unemployed for an extended period of time (did a career change post-layoff) and it can be a tough road to walk – but definitely good things to come. And with the benefit of some hindsight, I really do value that time now.

      First of all, give yourself some time to grieve the layoff. While it happened awhile ago, you’ve had the cushion of contract work. It’s okay to need a couple of weeks to absorb/process – you’ll be much sharper in interviews if you do.

      Second, let yourself take control over your time and your life. It’s easy to focus on what was done to you – to feel like a victim. Take it back – you now have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week that are entirely up to you. As CEO of your life, how do YOU want to spend the time? Sign up for a class, tackle that hobby you always wish you had more time for, exercise (great for confidence), etc. It’s truly not possible to job hunt 40 hours a week (you’ll just end up driving contacts crazy), so gift yourself the time to do what you love.

      Third, there is no faster way to sink into despair than being alone all day. That was the hardest part for me. I felt like I didn’t have any perspective because it was just me alone with my thoughts – couldn’t make decisions, evaluate what a phone call or interview meant, etc. So I started making nightly commitments 3 to 5 days a week – book club, coffees, happy hour, etc. It can be really hard – sometimes the last thing you want to do is see people b/c all they’ll ask about is your job search or unintentionally make you feel inadequate by talking about their work. But you can’t do this alone! I also found it helpful to get dressed and go “work” somewhere on my job search. And spend time with or talking on the phone to friends with flexible schedules during the day.

      Best of luck to you! You’re on to something great. And I promise when you are crazy busy at the next job, you’ll look back and really value the time you invested in yourself when you could – who knows, you might never have free time like this again.

      • I definitely second this. I was unemployed for 6 months in 2012 and the only thing that kept me sane was setting up lunch/coffee dates a couple days a week. And exercising.

        It’s a really difficult time to go through, and you just have to do whatever keeps you sane.

      • Ditto- my last unemployment streak was only 1 month (relocated to a different market), but despair sets in when it’s just you and a job search engine.

        Eventually, my husband rolled me out of bed and drove me to the boardwalk to play games like a little kid. Surprising how much that helped!

    • Oh, I’m so sorry!! That is horrible. I think people have given great advice, but also, if you’ve been sick, just give yourself time to really recover. And definitely find things to do during the day that make you happy, even if it’s having a glass of wine and rewatching episodes of shirtless Matt Bomer! ;o)

      Huggsss

      • Seconding this. Matt Bomer! Also, GG!

        Also, hugs on the layoff.

        If you are one of those ppl that went (big)law because it’s what follows law school and not because law/partnership is what you want to do FOREVER, it might be an opportunity to look for something that you TRULY want to do? (too many classmates of mine are wanting to jump ship so they can pursue their govt/public health/education career)

        Sending you a virtual hot choc from City Bakery.

    • I’ll just note that if you need something to get you out of the house (hopefully it’s a short amount of time) consider some volunteering. If it’s your baliwick, consider volunteering to help prepare tax returns (AARP are training now, probably have sites in your area and are often looking for help – also you might run into retired professionals that could help your network, eh?) or volunteer with the local pro bono board.

      • Agree with this. It sounds cliche, but it makes you feel better. Plus, as my mother would say, you never know who you’re going to meet!

      • +1 on this. Also consider (finances permitting) getting away for a few days now and then. I found that being home just reminded me all the time that I was unemployed. When I was away, I just paid attention to the change of scenery and could forget for a little while, which was a nice break. If you can’t afford to go away overnight, consider taking just a day trip once in awhile to a totally different town/area and giving yourself the day “off” from job hunting.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Hugs, I’m so sorry. Any chance of expanding your tumblr as a source of income? I know we all appreciate your shopping advice!

    • Well, you know I’m in the same boat. So we should have lunch, get sloshed and make fun of people who can’t do that in the middle of the day.

    • *tea & sympathy*

    • I’m very sorry to hear this, TCFKAG. Not being a lawyer myself I can’t give specific suggestions job-wise, but I will say that I’ve had some periods of terrible disappointment and frustration in my career too. The advice people are giving is great–I especially second getting properly dressed (this is a major one for me psychologically–button-front shirt every day for some reason helps tremendously) and making a point of being around people as much as possible, even if they’re coffee shop strangers. I also like to think that finding what else you are, other than a worker/brain, during times like this, provides some insulation against inevitable future knocks.

      If you’re interested in medication then it sounds like you could talk to your prescriber about upping dosage on the one you have now. I can equally see wanting to go that route, and not wanting to go that route.

    • Wine and dark chocolate cookies, my dear TCFKAG. Having watched my DH go through a painful period of unemployment, I think the other ladies have offered great advice about actually getting dressed at a reasonable hour and leaving the house almost every day, volunteering (I bet your local Boys & Girls Club or public library would **LOVE** to have you come help with homework and reading skills), and taking advantage of your time off to do fun things at off-peak weekday hours, including musuems, matinee movies, and getting sloshed. I am not sure this was suggested yet, but once you start feeling un-sick, exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Use your time off to get in the best shape of your life, with the very important side effect of a feeling of accomplishment and endorphins which will help manage your depression (as it does mine).

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands. The just don’t. :-)

    • Well – I channeled my frustration into some action. I contacted some networking contacts. I applied to some new jobs. And I signed up for a training for a pro bono project that would hopefully get me into court eventually.

      I shall not be a failure. Or at least not more of one.

      • Given that I am prone to catastrophic thinking and obsessing about perceived “failures” for years and am terrified of one too many “failures” making me A Failure At Life, I have to step in right now, look you straight in the eye, hold your shoulders, and say firmly to you: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. If anything, the economy failed YOU. You are fabulous and smart and loving and hard working and diligent and honest and perceptive and witty. Now go tape a note to your mirror that says YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE cuz you are absolutely not.

        • springtime :

          When I was going through a rough time in undergrad (relationship wise amongst other things), applying to med and law school at the same time (I KNOW THAT IS CRAZY), and had a heavy course load, I wrote inspirational quotes on my mirror with dry erase markers and I honestly think it helped me to KICK butt that semester.

    • This is terrible, TCFKAG, and I hope it doesn’t last long.

      But here’s an idea. People have been saying on here for some time that they’d be willing to hire you for your super shopper skillz. Maybe now is the time to have some fun with that idea?

    • TCFKAG, I’ve got nothing to add to all of this excellent advice but hugs and good wishes.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. Am so sorry. I was unemployed for 3 months and I was a major wreck. Don’t let that happen to you. I like B23’s suggestion. While on one side, you need to figure out your work-side like preparing for interviews and being as prepared as possible, applying for jobs, may be taking up short-term courses which could help in your career, you should also take some time to do other non-work related stuff to keep yourself busy and I bet it’s going to be time well spent. If you’re in the habit of reading, start with reading books that are happy and end well (like a chicklit where the chick gets it all at the end, if you’re into that kind of stuff) and you could forget your work situation for a bit. Good luck!

    • Wine & cookies. :(

    • Diana Barry :

      Aww, man! Hope you feel better soon. And you will find a new job soon! Keep your chin up. I can buy you coffee sometime too. :)

    • So sorry you are sick and feeling down. Unemployment is the worst and can be so soul-crushing when the job search isn’t going well. I was officially unemployed for 4 months before doing contract work for two months and then I took a job I was wary about because it was a permanent gig. Huge mistake. I was depressed and they wanted me and it felt SO GOOD TO BE WANTED after so much rejection. I ended up being miserable there for 10 months before I finally found my current (wonderful) job. So my two cents is to go ahead and stick it out for a job that you really want. In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck.

    • Chinarette :

      Just came off of a long(ish) job hunt myself, although I think I’m much younger than you. The best thing I can say is: tell everyone you see that you’re looking. I got the connection for my new job from a completely random acquaintance I’d only met once. Keep it upbeat, but when people asked me what I was doing, I’d be frank and say “Well, I just [relocated/transitioned out of my previous position/etc], and I’m looking for a new opportunity. Let me know if you know anything!” Most people didn’t, but some great opportunities came my way. It took 6 months, but I found a great new gig.

      SFBAyA’s comments are spot on, too.

  12. I met another [this websiter] last night! Friend of a friend that I met at a going away party; we got to talking, and [this website] came up. Pretty cool.

  13. Is it okay to cry in the office if the reason is physical pain? The elevator doors closed on me on my way in and owwww. and I just want to cry it hurts so badly.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      As long as you aren’t like, wracked with sobs like you’re seeing your one true love off to war, I think its okay to let some tears escape if you’re in physical pain. Yesterday, I definitely had tears running down my face when I was fixing the copier, stood up too fast, and banged my head (hard) on the top of it.

      I hope you are okay! Can you get an ice pack?

      PSA guys, be cautious in running or slipping into elevators that are closing. My sister worked in that NY building where the woman died in the elevator last year and it’s made me be super careful in elevators.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/nyregion/elevator-accident-kills-a-woman-in-a-madison-avenue-building.html?_r=0

      • MaggieLizer :

        Omg just reading the description made me nauseous. This is one of my #1 fears and why I always put my purse in the elevator if it’s starting to close rather than my hand or foot. Shudder. OP, hope you can get some ice packs and start feeling better soon.

      • ugh that is the saddest story.

      • terrible story. I don’t remember if she rushed in last minute but it is something I just never understand with elevators/trains. All the time on the DC metro people rush to get in after the bell, and then look so shocked when they get stuck. that elevator story was something out of a movie, it was so sad!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I believe she rushed in at the last minute but my sister told me the elevators in that building always closed way too fast, and it was a regular topic of conversation how quick the elevators seemed to start moving up even as they were closing. So I think there was a safety issue at play there as well.

        • The article says the elevator unexpectedly lurched upward with the doors still open, after she placed one foot inside, and she was trapped against the wall between floors. I assume she lost her balance when the elevator lurched and was unable to jump in or out. Sounded like a total elevator malfunction, not rider error.

      • Yep. I NEVER run for a closing elevator now. When my husband was living in Houston a few years ago, a medical resident got stuck in a closing elevator door and well…have any of you seen that scene in the first Resident Evil movie with the elevator?

        The people already in the elevator had to get counselling for their PTSD – it was that horrific. So yeah…never try to “catch” a closing elevator.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          One of the women who was in the elevator (not the woman who died) is now suing the building for emotional trauma. She said she can’t get in elevators at all anymore, at work or at home, and I don’t blame her. I don’t think I’d ever get into an elevator again if I was trapped in one after someone had been stuck.

          • SoCalAtty :

            I don’t blame her. I was already scared of elevators…that didn’t help. The one saving grace about me working on the 18th floor (I hate tall buildings!) is that the building is only 5-7 years old and everything is very shiny and new. My first firm had the type of elevators that caused this accident, and I never tried to run for one or get in one that was too full!

        • Anyone else remember the law school cases with a guy being DECAPITATED (sorry for the Ellen caps) by an elevator? The crux of the case was the people couldn’t sue for emotional distress because they weren’t directly related to the deceased, but o.m.g. I’ve been afraid of elevators ever since. And I’ve lectured total strangers in elevators when they stick their hands in to hold it. Wherever you are going, just wait for the next one!!

          • Oh but to the point, if no one can see you, no one knows if a few tears escape. Find a quiet corner if you can. Sorry it hurts :(

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Aww hope it stops hurting! Yes I think it’s ok to cry for physical pain!

        There was a case here a few years ago at the gym near my office where everyone was getting out of the lift and the last person was left in and the lift dropped and she was caught in the doors and died. They no longer have a lift in that building, only stairs. Really sad.

    • I hope you are ok! Get an icepack, take some anti-inflammatories if you’re swelling and that’s your thing, get a comforting snack/hot drink.

      I am pretty sure I cried somewhere between the street, CVS (looking for an ice pack and new tights), my office health unit, and my cubicle last year when I fell on the metro escalator.

      • Yep, got an icepack. Just let a few tears slip. This is my second large-ish work injury in two weeks (smacked my knee on a marble floor last week). Maybe it’s a sign. Thanks for the positive thoughts!

    • In the Pink :

      When I was in grad school, another student put his forearm into the door’s path and had his wrist broken. Please, be careful! Nothing is that important that you can’t wait for another lift…right?

    • You actually should be reporting this to your office HR person since it’s a workers’ comp injury. That might become important if it turns out to be more severe than you think it is.

  14. yeaa i got tickets to a band i loovee. now, what to wear? it will be cold outside (DC) and hot hot inside.

    • Well if it’s this weekend, it won’t be that cold in DC, I don’t think.

      Layer with things you could tie around your waist? Assuming it’s a show where you stand the whole time.

      • yup, this. I think it’s supposed to be almost 70 on Saturday! How far do you have to walk outside? It will probably cool down again at night, but you might be fine with just a scarf/pashmina over your choice for indoor weather.

    • First, is there a coat check? If yes, are you comfortable arriving early enough to be sure of getting a slot in it, and are you comfortable fighting your way through a drunken aggro crowd to pick it up? If yes to all, plan to take a cab and dress for the hot hot inside.

      If there’s not a coat check, or if you don’t feel like dealing with it, take the lightest and/or most easily collapsible piece of outerwear you can get by with.

      …but seriously. Coats are SUCH AN ISSUE. I remember one time this random girl and I got the literal-to-God last two coat hangers at the 930 Club, and the people behind us in line lost. their. tiny. minds. Or the time in Richmond there was allegedly shoving in the line to pick coats up, and a fight broke out. Etc. etc. etc. /vent

      Coat aside, I usually wear a cute top, miniskirt, boots, and tights, or a cute top, leggings, and boots. Probably with a big pashmina–they’re easy to crumple up in my purse, or tie around a strap, if necessary.

      Also this is all assuming we are talking about the same kind of grungy sticky-floored concerts. Things are different at nicer venues. DAR, for example, has fixed seating, so you can bring whatever outwear and then sit on it.

      • thanks everyone! the show is at the 930 club next weekend. the last time i was there the coat check was maxed out and i had to hold my huge coat the whole time. its supposed to be pretty cold next week, so i’ll just have to deal with the coat issue. my larger problem is that i dont know how to dress on weekends.

    • Love the Mindy reference!

  15. Lurker/sometime commentator here: calling all… Canadians! Please help! How do I get hold of Joe Fresh shoes online? I basically have seen the most incredible pair of shoes but I can’t find them anywhere online. Will reply with link to get through moderation.

    Or US equivalents? Ahh!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I have no clue if they’re available online or in the US.

      Butttt, I will be stopping by a Joe Fresh store (well, I wasn’t intending to visit the store proper, but I’ll be the same mall area, so close enough) this weekend, and I’d be happy to have a looksie for you and mail them to you? You can email me cdn[this site] at the gmail, to see if we can figure something out?

    • Those are adorable shoes, but since that blog post was from Jan 2012 I doubt you’ll find them anywhere. :( They’re pretty vigilant about clearing out old stock in store, and I’m not sure if they sell online anywhere. Sorry!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Do you have friends in NYC or places where there is a Fresh Joe store? There stuff apparently sells pretty fast so if you see something, its best to make the call. I wonder, though if you could call, purchase over the phone and have someone pick up? I’ll need to ask…..

  16. SV in House :

    By the way, thanks to the poster that noted that the Target/NM collaboration was on sale. I got a great dress for my daughter, down from $80 to $24 (http://www.target.com/p/marchesa-girl-s-floral-dress/-/A-14207117#prodSlot=medium_1_24) and a cute top for me, down from $60 to $21 (http://www.target.com/p/lela-rose-top/-/A-14206601#prodSlot=medium_1_20). I saw the dress in store, but didn’t want to spend full price for a non-utilitarian piece for a growing girl.

  17. I got a “no, but keep looking” rejection from my dream job. I’m bummed. I have another runner up dream job that I’m waiting to hear from, and not uncrossing my fingers yet, but I’m bummed. And obviously I can’t vent about it to anyone at work so….that is all.

  18. FrownyFace :

    Ladies – quick question: I’m in my late 20’s, and have always (since I was a little girl) furrowed my brow/forehead when I concentrate. It’s totally unconscious, and I can’t really do anything to stop it. In the past year or so I’ve noticed that some lines are showing up on my forehead (more eyebrows-raised expression lines than deep-furrow in between my brows), and from looking at my parents, I can tell that this is something that is likely to become more pronounced over time. I’m a pretty low-maintenence gal (wear SPF-15 moisturizer daily, but no makeup, etc.), but I’m starting to wonder if this is something I should be trying to head off now, while it’s still early. No botox or anything crazy like that, but some sort of cream I can use daily or a few times a week to help ward these forehead-lines off. I’m pretty clueless about all things beauty-product, and don’t know if there’s a difference between these sorts of lines and the ones you get around your eyes, or if there are creams targeted at these particular expression lines. Any thoughts/recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    • FrownyFace :

      Just re-read: I’m not saying that botox is crazy in and of itself. I think it’s probably great, and has its place for certain people. It’s just something I don’t see myself doing at this point :)

      • If you’re not into it, you’re not into it. But I started Botox a year ago (I do a little bit every six months) for these exact reasons. Between my job, dark corners of the internet, and sunshine, I realized I was scowling at everything all the time. I don’t have creases, and hopefully Botox will prevent (or minimize) them.

        Added benefit: fewer headaches. STG.

    • Are you me? Because you and me are forehead wrinkle twins. Awaiting responses to this!

      • Yup, same here. The true sign of when I am really stressed out is when I wake up in the morning with bright red lines on my forehead since I’d been forrowing my brow all night.

        • lucy stone :

          This. My husband says my default sleep face when I am stressed out is a glare.

      • Me three!

      • SoCalAtty :

        Me too! Love to hear some preventative ideas!

    • I think when it comes to those deep forehead wrinkles, genetics has a huge role to play. My mom, who otherwise doesn’t have a lot of wrinkles on her face (she’s 60), has very deep forehead wrinkles. I really don’t think it has a lot to do with how often you frown/furrow/smile etc. And I feel like any wrinkle cream wouldn’t be powerful enough to combat the issue; so maybe use them but also consider that when they get to be an actual problem you may want to try botox.

    • I do the same thing and my derm actually recommended botox. Apparently if you do it while you’re younger, you only require a little dose and it actually prevents you from continuing the action so you don’t worsen the wrinkles. I haven’t taken the step yet ($$) but likely will soon. In the mean time, I’m using olay’s night regenerist cream.

    • Cornellian :

      i have legit had forehead wrinkles since I was 18, despite religious sunscreen, moisturizer, etc. I have also heard good things about preventive botox, and as much as it creeps me out to have that suggested to then-24 year old me, I’m considering it.

      I think my 8 years post high school of education and lawyer job have only made it worse.

      I have found that philosophy’s microdermabrasion soap helps a little bit. It’s expensive, but you really need tiny amounts. I bought a bottle a year ago and I’m only a third through it… I should probably throw it out because of its age, but I think it’s really quite cost effective per use.

    • Actually, a bit of botox would probably be best. It sounds like this has to do with the way you move your face, so a tiny bit of botox to paralyze, or weaken, the furrowing muscles would probably help.

      Otherwise, Retin-A is the only thing I know of that actually promotes collagen production. Wrinkles and crevices form in part because of the breakdown in collagen. You might want to consider seeing a dermatologist, maybe one with an attached “med-spa” service, they’d probably give you the best advice.

    • You can use Retin-A, I think that’s pretty much the only thing that will actually prevent wrinkles.

    • No More Wrinkles! :

      I have been using a great face cream for a while that works great on brow lines. Full disclosure – I also now sell this product on the side when I’m not at my “real” job. :) If you want more info, feel free to e-mail me at nomorewrinkleshere @ g mail . com

      • No More Wrinkles! :

        I also want to add, that I normally wouldn’t even offer this on this website….but since you specifically asked for a cream that can be used to help, I felt like I had to offer it. It really does work great.

    • I’m in my early 20s and sleep with a mean furrow on my brow at night. After some research I’ve started wearing “frownies.” The concept sounds ridiculous but I really notice an improvement in the morning. As far as day time frowning, I’m at a loss.

    • I will have some sort of injection in my forehead before I’m 40, for sure, but in the meantime what helps minimize their appearance for me is hydration, sleep, Vitamin C serum during day, peptide cream at night, moisturizer, and semi-regular facials/peels.

    • springtime :

      Retin-A helps re-build and maintain collagen to prevent wrinkles. I don’t know how well it works for deep set ones, but it certainly won’t hurt and will stop others from forming.

    • You are me! I catch myself furrowing my brows all the time when I’m thinking about something, and now I’m developing some lovely horizontal forehead lines at barely 25.

      I’ve started being more conscious about taking my makeup off at night (which I NEVER used to do – shame on me) and using an Olay night cream with beta hydroxy. I also purchased the Boscia black mask, which I think is just good for your skin in general and have been researching a few other anti-aging creams at Sephora as well. However, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’ll be botoxing that area once I cross the threshold of 30. Whatevs.

    • Don’t knock the botox! I started it when I was young and only just starting to notice those expression lines from my unconscious brow-furrowing due to a stressful job. If you start early, you don’t require a lot of of the chemical, which means that it is 1) less expensive and 2) less frozen-face looking.

      The way my derm explained it is that each time you “furrow” you’re flexing that muscle, and that muscle gets bigger and stronger over time, just like doing curls will make your bicepts bigger. While you might like to have defined arm and leg muscles, you don’t want defined forehead muscles :) Also, the stronger the muscle is, the more toxin it takes to relax it. So if you start the injections early, you don’t require as much toxin and you prevent the muscle from becoming stronger.

      As an aside, I used to often find myself with the occasional headache due to brow-furrowing. Since doing the botoxing (about 2 years now), it has not been a problem.

      • FYI, I receive botox shots for horizontal furrows in my forehead–a small dose in four locations across the middle of my forehead. It takes about 10 minutes at the doctor’s office, and I do it once every 3 months and it costs $75 each time.

    • Same problem/age/etc. except I don’t think I frown at night… Went to my derm a few months ago because I wanted to deal with this and a few other things. She put me on a perscription-strength retinol (a.k.a. Retin-A), but there are over the counter versions available as well, and that will help, but she also recommended Botox. The Botox isn’t to make the current wrinkles go away per say, but what it does is, since it boosts the skin up, it prevents the wrinkles from getting deeper and worse over time. I haven’t taken that plunge but I do think about it from time to time. I can’t imagine being a 28 year old Botox-user, but if it means I’d be less likely to need/want more work done as I get older…. Something to consider.

      • Just a correction to what Lola said. Botox doesn’t “boost skin up”–it’s not a filler. It is a toxin that paralyzes muscles under the skin. It can be used in conjunction with a filler if you’ve already developed the wrinkle before you begin botox, but that will cost extra :)

  19. laid off associate from yesterday :

    I wanted to thank everyone for the advice and encouragement yesterday (and for defending my emergency fund!). It helped.

  20. Guys, how do you shop for new pillows? Do you go to a fancy pillow store or do you go to Macy’s or do you go to some place like Bed Bath & Beyond? How do you test your new pillows? How do you know what kind you need?

    I know that I desperately need to replace my current pillows, and I sort of know what I like or dislike in pillows, but beyond that I just feel lost. How can you know if something will work without sleeping on it, and how on earth can there be a return policy for something that’s been slept on?!

    (Also, all those chiropractic-health guides saying “Are you a back sleeper or a stomach sleeper?” are no help because I sleep on my back *and* my side!)

    • I get cheaper but not the cheapest pillows at Macy’s on sale once a year or so. I read that after a while, a significant percentage of pillow stuffing ends up being dust mites. Eww.

    • Are there actually fancy pillow stores? We need new ones and Mr. TBK has been talking about how he wants to go to a fancy pillow store for them (he who never wants the “fancy” version of anything). I didn’t think they actually existed.

      • Cuddledown has some very fancy pillows. (Seriously, like a three thousand dollar pillow, although they also have many that are under $100.) Brookstone has a few pillows that are fancier. We splurged on one with a gel insert for my husband and he LOVES it.

    • i get my pillows from Ikea, but maybe go to Macy’s, grab a few different pillows and take them to the beds to ‘try them out’? obviously keeping your feet on the floor, but try different pillows out in different positions.

      I sleep on my side and back as well, and i’ve found i like really fluffy down pillows of ‘medium’ firmness (not too firm) they are really malleable, so i can have a lot of support under my neck when i’m on my side, but make it more flat when i move onto my back. Just if that helps. ;o)

    • Marshalls/Home Goods. I just walk around and squeeze all the pillows that are marked for side sleepers, then for the top contenders put them on a lower display and bend over to put my head on them. Yes, I am that crazy lady.

    • Like Zora, I get my pillows from Ikea. I have a “side” and a “back,” and I usually just start out with whichever one for the position I think I will fall asleep in.

      Costco near me had a decent selection of pillows, including some kind of memory foam one. I would guess their excellent return policy would apply, so if you really did not like what you got and didn’t want to save it for guests/watching movies in bed, you could return it.

    • I go to Bed Bath & Beyond, look for some that Just Right (not too fluffy, not too flat), then, like MsZ, put them down & put my head on them. I like to replace them more frequently than most people (every 9-12 months), so I don’t worry about fancy.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I buy my pillows at Costco….

    • I think mamabear posted once that she got measured for new pillows and was really happy with her purchase. I want to do this.

    • A note of caution – Ru’s 59 day monster headache that after a dozen (?) doctors turns out to have been caused by new pillows which resulted in a very un-ergonomic sleeping position. If you start noticing new aches/pains, consider blaming your pillows. That said, mine are the down ones at Costco. My chiropractor insists on sleeping on my back, so I’ve trained myself to comply (former stomach sleeper here).

      • How did you do this? I always read that sleeping on your back is best for minimizing wrinkles but I just. can’t. do. it. I am a side/stomach sleeper and cannot fall asleep on my back ever.

      • Your chiropractor sleeps on your back? Teehee. (I know it wasn’t what you meant but it made me giggle.) I actually think I could use a chiropractor hanging out in my bedroom at night telling me off when I sleep in a bad position….

        • Ha! There was a missing “my” in there – My chiropractor insists on MY sleeping on my back. It would be really great if he hung out and adjusted me every night though. AnonAZ, I’m not sure… I think my subconscious finally complied with what I wanted. I’d start reading in bed while on my back, get sleepy on my back, and not let myself turn over to fall asleep. Sometimes I’d wake up on my stomach, and I’d force myself to turn over on to my back until I fell asleep again. Each and every time I realized I was on my stomach, I’d make myself turn over. After about three months, my subconscious got with the program.

      • Gurlfren, I should’ve consulted you first! I am learning how to sleep on my back. The three things that are training me are:
        1. sleeping on the couch (the arm rests are low and perfect for my head, no wonder I sleep on the couch many nights)
        2. sleeping on a u-shaped travel pillow with two pillows stacked under my legs (I woke up hungry – I don’t remember the last time I was hungry before that. Maybe Ramadan?)
        3. sleeping on my heated gel pack under my neck because of ouchies (it’s this cool bag filled with gel and beads that you can microwave or freeze)

        Day 60 is the least painful day so far. Yay! My chiropractor also told me to learn how to sleep on my back. He said it took him 6 weeks to learn, so I’ll give myself 2 months.

  21. Question about mixing metals…

    I wear a silver wedding band and a watch with a gold bezel….can I wear either color earrings? What about belt buckle? With the silver rings and the gold on the watch – does my belt buckle need to be the same metal as my earring so I don’t look too mismatched?

    • Wedding sets don’t ever have to match (presumably you wear it every day so unless everyone got mixed metal rings, and most don’t, then you’d be tied to either silver or gold forever). I tend to match all my other metals, including belt buckles and shoe/boot buckles.

      • This is my philosophy as well. Your wedding set matches everything, and it doesn’t count. :)

      • No Problem :

        I would also be in the camp that says your watch doesn’t count either, presuming you wear it every day. Or if you think it should count, you should get another watch that is silver toned (or mixed metal) so you can switch them out based on your other jewelry. I have a silver toned watch that I wear every day and I don’t ever think that means I can never wear gold jewelry.

    • You can wear any color earrings. You may want to coordinate or match earrings and necklaces. If you’re wearing a huge cuff bracelet and very thick belt buckle, I might wonder about matching or coordinating. But I’m a huge fan of mixed metals. MIX ALL THE METALS.

  22. This week will just. not. stop. being awful.

    That is all. I don’t actually want to write out all the details — just needed to whine for a second. I feel better now.

  23. LilaFowler :

    Hi! I am a New Yorker (Manhattan) and my long standing book club recently folded due to the majority of the membership starting families and moving out of the city. 2 of us are looking to join an existing book club – we are both professionals in our mid/early 30s. Does anyone have a book club in the city that would be open to 2 new members? We love to read all kinds of books. I’ll check back here or can be reached at lila12 [at] gmail.com Thanks!

    • I would be interested in the same thing but for DC.

    • There are lots of book clubs on Meetup.com. I’ve joined a few mailing lists, but haven’t actually gone to one yet.

    • BTW, I love the blouse! But with my dad monitoring my credit cards, I cannot buy yet. He also took away the $300 for my weight loss. FOOEY on that.

      I was thinkeing of starteing a magazine or a professional reality TV watcher’s club! The onley thing is that I would HAVE to read alot more then I do and would NOT be abel to read just a few magazines! I would also have to watch MORE reality TV, which I do with Myrna all the time.

      Isn’t there anyone professional like us in NYC who would just want to read mazazine’s or have a club that discusses reality show’s on TV? That is what I am lookeing for! Myrna think’s this would be a good idea! Yay!!!

    • I know this is the opposite of what you posted, but is there interest in forming a New York corporette book club? (For fiction, not for discussing NGDGTCO every month.)

    • I know this is the opposite of what you posted, but is there interest in forming a New York corpor*tte book club? (For fiction, not for discussing NGDGTCO every month.)

      [prior post is in moderation]

    • Love the handle. Sweet Valley days….

  24. Morning Anon :

    Just wanted to vent for a second about the email that I just received from my mother, which essentially says: “You haven’t called since New Year’s! I don’t know anything about what’s going on with your life! I am coming to visit you on (her vacation) from Feb X date to X date!” It sounds like she already made travel arrangements.

    We talk about once every two weeks, and are not very close, so I don’t know what she is talking about. Admittedly she would like to be closer, but I am not really sure that it will ever happen (for a variety of reasons). Part of me feels offended at her email, since I have a job, and limited vacation days, and I am not planning on taking off days so we can hang out together in my suburban, Midwestern (not much to do) town. The other part of me feels guilty because I have no plans to see her in the next year. And then there is the worry in the back of my head where I really hope that if I become a parent someday, I am able to create a better relationship with my children where I don’t have to just invite myself over to see them.

    • I totally understand both your annoyance/anger and your guilt. I live across the country from my parents and probably see them once, maybe twice, a year. That’s the guilt. On the other hand, if my mother were to book travel and expect me to hang out with her on a random date without informing me, I would be livid.

      It is incredibly selfish and thoughtless of her, especially since you have a job. If she’s retired, I’d be even more pissed, seeing how she should then accommodate my schedule and not the other way around.

      Part of me would just want to tell her how thoughtless she’s being, but I guess the more peaceful resolution would be to figure out a better time for her to visit (or for you to visit her) and explain to her that Feb X does not work for you because you will not be able to spend any time with her (busy at work, etc.). You would really like more quality time with her so can she come during Y month instead? This is assuming you do want to hang out with her.

    • Alternatively, you could just say, “What a surprise! It’s great that you’re coming to visit me. I will not be able to take off time from work, but it will be fun to have dinners together and we can do XYZ on the weekend. You should probably plan to bring some knitting/reading/video games/whatever she likes to do, so that you’ll have something to keep you busy while I’m at work. But I really am looking forward to having you here.” If she wants to be closer to you, let her see what your life is really like. I think there’s a lot to be said for having your parents around when you’re doing your job to make them more sympathetic.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Personally I’d be tempted to refuse to let her in my house, but I can definitely see how this solution is more peaceful. Fwiw, my mother unexpectedly visited my brother several years ago. He and his family just went on with their lives and firmly refused to cancel things or take time off work/school to spend more time with her. She whined about it a lot at the time and still years later brings it up periodically, but she’s never tried to show up uninvited and with little warning again.

    • Morning Anon :

      Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I think it may be most feasible to go with anon’s suggestion and welcome her here, but still go about my usual schedule. I anticipate there will be some complaining about how I am not taking time off to spend the day with her, but I still make time to travel to visit friends or other things. I’m still working on explaining that I am now an adult, and I am the one who gets to decide how I spend my time off. Baby steps!

  25. anonforthis :

    any recs for a good therapist in Philly? preferably one who takes insurance (blue cross)

    is it true that the “best” therapists tend NOT to take insurance? if so, that sucks, because there’s no way I afford $150/week.

    • 6-7 years ago I saw Judith Berman who took Blue Cross. I thought (and still think) very highly of her.

      • anonforthis :

        thank you, it appears she does take my insurance. Can I ask how you would describe her personality/style? I feel like I way overanalyze things, am slightly neurotic and superficial sometimes and I’m looking for someone who will give me good advice and help me through my issues but who is also easy going and who would put me at ease, and not make me feel embarrassed about the triviality of some of my issues. I understand that’s how any good therapist should be, but I’m wondering if you can be specific.

        • I would describe her as slightly earthy but deeply pragmatic and with a nice sense of humor. She’s a cognitive behavior therapist, so she does work on developing ways to stop unhealthy thought patterns. I raised plenty of totally trivial issues with her (like “my boyfriend and I are fighting about X issue and he says this is stupid”), and she always took them seriously. I’ve seen maybe 4-5 other therapists, and she was hands-down the best I saw — I felt like she had both the serious academic credentials and training and a level of people comfort. I was a little skeptical of some of the stuff she tried — for example, I was having raging insomnia, and she made me a sleep tape of her talking me to sleep. It seemed kooky when we did it, but totally broke my insomnia in 2 weeks. I saw her for a year, and felt like I made great progress and really worked through my most serious issues.

    • I am going through the process of finding a therapist in a major metropolitan area also. The people that have been recommended to me do not take insurance or they have slots for blue cross patients but they are all taken. I also looked on websites with recommendations (like Angie’s List and other doctors websites) and no one listed on there was on my plan. It can be discouraging BUT don’t let this become an obstacle (easier said than done).

      Last time I couldn’t afford full price I just called people out of the insurance book and made an appt with someone after speaking with them for ~10 mins on the phone. After a couple of sessions you will get a feel for whether it will work out or not. This time around I have been calling the people that were recommended, and when they tell me they don’t take insurance, a couple have offered to give me recs for people who are on my plan, so I just name some people from the insurance book who are close to my address.

    • I recommend Karen Kevreshe, at Harmony Professional Counseling, right in Center City. They take Blue Cross, and she’s great. I see her for anxiety and depression, sort of what you’re describing. She helps me think through issues myself, and recommends solutions without being preachy. It often feels like she is just a good friend to vent to, while providing professional advice.

      • anonforthis :

        thank you for the rec.
        do licensed social workers prescribe anti-anxiety or depression meds, or do you need to see a psychiatrist for that? i don’t have any reason to think that i would need meds but i’m wondering if i did, i’d need to see a separate doctor for that.

      • also anon for this :

        I can second the Harmony rec. The LSWs/therapists there do not prescribe mediation, but they have one or two staff psychiatrists who they can refer you to for a little further eval and prescription.

    • I have recently become acquainted with zocdoc.com. It has helped me find amazing doctors when my insurance company website and word of mouth failed me.

    • Many therapists will do a “sliding scale” fee where they’ll adjust fees based on income. Also, your insurance company and/or your Employee Assistance Program (if your job has one) can help you find a therapist that takes your insurance.

      Also, if cost is truly an issue & you can’t find someone nearby who take your insurance, you can also see an therapist “intern” who is supervised by a fully licensed/accredited therapist.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My therapist won’t bill Blue Cross, but he provides me with itemized statements and I submit claims for reimbursement, which they pay promptly. I still have to pay up front, but I’m not permanently out of pocket.

      Just a thought.

  26. Hi all. I am a long time creeper, but rare poster. I wanted some advice/encouragement and thought I would see what y’all had to say. I am 24.5 weeks pregnant and was diagnosed with mild preeclampsia yesterday and put on bed rest…for 3.5 months if I carry to term. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Any recommendations on ways to not go crazy? Bed rest for me means only laying down on my side and standing only for quick showers and restroom. I am not sure what I am even looking for here, just kind of freaking out!

    • I will leave advice to others here who have been on bed rest, but just wanted to empathize. :(

    • I recently read about sidelines dot org on the dcurbanmom. Haven’t checked it out but I did bookmark it because I’m being monitored for a problem that could necessitate bed rest at some point between now and when I deliver. I wish you the very best!

    • I was on bed rest for about a month before my first child was born due to pre-eclampsia (induced a month early because my blood pressure got really high and I was “spilling” protein.) Anyways, this was 12 years ago, but I read a lot, watched TV, and learned to knit. When people asked what I needed I always said more yarn, haha. I made lots of blankets and donated most of them. It was very boring, but it was necessary and I tried to enjoy the time I had to rest, since once baby comes things get busy.

    • That happened to me in my first pregnancy, I was on bedrest for almost 8 weeks. It was boring, but not terrible. I read A LOT of books. I watched A LOT of TV. I played video games. I learned to do embroidery. I addressed the envelopes for our baby announcements. I had great friends from work would came once a week and had lunch with me (they brought sandwiches so i didn’t have to do anything). The good news is that it didn’t happen again in my subsequent pregnancies — if you had pre-eclampsia once, you’re statistically slightly more likely to have it in a subsequent pregnancy that someone who never di, but it’s not an automatic.

    • I was on bed rest for 2 months for a non-pregnancy health concern earlier this year. Between sleeping, phone calls with family and friends, doctors appointments and watching TV, I wasn’t nearly as bored as I expected. There were definitely restless days, but I tried to learn something new each time that hit to give me some sense productivity.

    • Just wanted to say I’m so sorry! It must be tough when you are this far out. Try not to think about the big picture, and break it into smaller chunks. This month could be frock drama month (downton abbey, pride and prejudice, etc). Next month could be sudoku month. Or Nora Ephron month. I like the idea of doing something with your hands. I personally would like puzzles (look up colorku if you like sudoku). I would probably also break the day up into a routine of sorts, even if it was read for 2 hours, watch tv for 2 hours, surf the internet for 2 hours, so I could mark the passage of time.

      You will get through this! And have a healthy baby waiting for you at the end.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I’m probably a little late here, but I would suggest something like cross stitch or needlepoint. It is fairly easy to learn both and you’ll probably be able to get various projects done in that time frame.

    • Posting late but just to say don’t hesitate to reach out friends and family to let them know that you’d love company. My god-daughter, now 14, was the object of one of these difficult pregnancies, and her mum and a bunch of good friends (including me) still recall the 5 months of enforced bed rest as a time of exceptional fellowship and closeness. My friend was reliably at home when any of her friends had some time in the evenings and many of us made the effort to visit regularly and just hang out. And the birth itself, when it happened, went very well, no complications at all.

      I also offer the idea of checking out online courses on areas of interest to you but which you wouldn’t normally wouldn’t have time for. There are lots on basic computing and programming but also foundational history, philosophy and language ones (I am attempting to complete something – anything – as my single resolution for 2013). Look up ‘coursera’ as a start.

      Best wishes for safe and happy progress to you and your little one.

  27. East Coaster :

    Does anyone know how Seattleite is doing? She popped into my head last night while driving home for some reason.

    • You know, I had the same thought. We haven’t gotten an update from SunnyD (via email) since before Christmas). I sent her a card then and haven’t heard anything. At that point, she was going through a pretty rough period, with her physical reserves fairly depleted. I hope she’s doing better!

    • I encourage you to email her. I actually emailed her a silly story about the new river otter in San Francisco late last week and heard right back from her. I don’t ask about her health – I figure she has friends to talk to about all that hardship, so I don’t need her to rehash it for my own curiosity/intrusiveness. I just periodically and not nearly as often as I should email her to say hi or with something funny/silly and tell her to keep kicking the big C’s lousy behind.

  28. Apologies if this has been posted on before, but have any of you ever used meetup.com or a similar site? I moved to a new city 6 months ago and am still struggling to make friends. I know making friends takes time, but I want to do whatever I can to speed up the process! I’m wondering a site like this is actually useful for making friends? Also a little worried about the creepiness factor but I know thats probably just me being paranoid.

    • I’ve signed up but haven’t gone to anything. What city did you move to? Often times you’ll see meetups on here!

    • I did Meetup.com a few years ago and had a really good experience. I joined a woman’s volunteering group in my area for about a year and came away with 3-4 really good friends that I’m still in touch with. That was the only group I joined.

      My Meetup friends tried quite a few and said there were definitely some “interesting” people in the other groups they tried, so I think it can be pretty hit or miss though. I’m considering doing it again, as I feel like a good friend of mine moves out of state every 6 months or so. I’m like a bad luck charm!

    • TO Lawyer :

      I’ve signed and have gone to one event. It was decent – in that it wasn’t the worst night of my life, but I didn’t really have much fun and didn’t meet anyone I felt like I connected with. That said, I’m still keeping an open mind and will go to any event that catches my eye, provided I can swing it with my schedule.

      I also wanted to use it to make friends but found that I couldn’t really relate to the people I met. Take that with a grain of salt though because I did only go to one meetup.

    • So I had to join meetup because my sports team organizes our practices that way, and found a few knitting meetups that I follow/joined, but I only went to one event, and while everybody was nice (i’m convinced most knitters are good people at heart) one person really annoyed me so I probably won’t go to any more of those.

      I feel like doing something you enjoy leads to meeting people with similar interests (a hobby, volunteering, a sport, book club) and could be better than just random meetups.

    • sdchicky619 :

      I had a really good experience with Meetup a few years ago. I was looking for new friends and joined a 20-something girls group in my city that held weekly social events (happy hours, dinners, movie nights, etc.). Initially, I was super nervous and worried about it being creepy/awkward/whatever. But it was not awkward at all, everyone was there for the same reason, and 99 percent of the girls were awesome and had similar interests. I say, give it a shot!

  29. Pump at Work question :

    Hi, I just returned to work from maternity leave and am pumping milk for my baby. I use the Medela freestyle. I have read before that it is okay to simply leave the pieces assembled, toss them in the fridge in a plastic bag, and then use them again for the next couple of pumping sessions. For my last child, I was too nervous to do this and had about a million pump parts and just used a different set for each pumping session. (I don’t have time at work to disassemble and clean between every pump session). But this time I need to do an additional pumping session at work and it would save the time of assembling the pieces at every session, plus save the washing at home of a million pieces, if I could just use one set. Anyone have experience with using the same set throughout the day without washing, but just putting them in the fridge? Thanks!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I did that with both of my kids, and just cleaned them at night when I got home… I had fat, healthy babies…..

    • My lactation consultant told me that I could do that. The other thing that really was a lifesaver for me was buying multiple sets of pump parts (flanges, etc.)

    • saac n mama :

      I was terrible about the cleaning thing! I boiled them at night, but not always, and I certainly reused pieces during the same day, and sometimes the next day too. I didn’t even put them in the fridge, just in a pocket in the bag. I pumped nearly 2 years. He was 9 lb 6 oz at birth and doubled size right on schedule, is a smart boy…

    • Pump at Work question :

      Thanks for the responses. I do have a bunch of extra sets of parts, but I am looking for ways to save even more time. It takes long enough to pump as it is, and I’m trying to avoid having to reset up all the pieces every time and also having to clean multiple sets at home every night. (Dishwasher top rack is already overloaded with bottles, sippy cups from older child, etc.). Obviously I want to keep it sanitary though and do what is safe, so I’m glad to hear others have done this without a problem. :)

      • I did that between sessions (just put the whole assembled thing in the fridge). At the end of the day, I would rinse the parts out with soap and water (didn’t even use soap all the time). I would use the micro steam bags every few days (but not every day). No problems.

        Speaking of, I just stopped pumping this week (baby is 11 months old and I’m still nursing at breakfast and dinner) and it is MARVELOUS.

    • I did that, and it was the best advice I ever got. Saved so much time in cleaning and set up. Logically, if milk is good in the fridge, then what harm could come of putting the pump parts in the fridge? My son had no issues with the milk I pumped that way. I had no way of washing the parts between pumping other than carrying them to the bathroom, and I really wanted to avoid that. That said, I did have two sets of pump parts bc I purchased extra before I learned this trick, so I would use one set in the morning, put them in the fridge, reuse for next pumping session, and then use the clean set for the final pumping session in the afternoon. Washed all the parts when I got home from work.

    • Pump at Work question :

      Only this is I’m dreading putting those ice cold flanges on for the next pumping session….

      • Pump at Work question :

        And I know you’re not supposed to mix different temps of milk, so I guess I was a little worried that the cold milk residue on the used pump set would mix with the warm milk being pumped at the next session. But I guess probably the small amount of cold milk that might be left from the earlier session probably is fine. I just worry about things like this. :)

    • Good for you – what a lovely thing to do for your baby, even though it can be hard (I pumped for 6 months after my 6 month Canadian maternity leave in 2000). I copie the following info fromcthe LaLecheLeague International website:

      Lack of immediate access to refrigeration need not be a deterrent to expressing and storing human milk or dampen a mother’s determination to continue breastfeeding if she returns to work. Research shows that human milk has an amazing capacity to resist bacterial growth, and can be kept at room temperature for up to ten hours. In a landmark study, mature human milk was expressed into clean, not sterile, containers, some stored at room temperature (19-22o C or 66 to 72o F) and some refrigerated for ten hours. The milk was then cultured to evaluate bacterial formation. No statistically significant difference was found between levels of bacteria in the milk that had been refrigerated and the milk stored at room temperature (Barger and Bull 1987).

      There’s lots of great info there, and an online forum for asking questions – or you might have a public health unit who could also reassure you. Bottom line is surely if milk is safe for 10 hours unrefrigerated, then you’re not going to have problems with your pump parts being “contaminated” if they are refrigerated for a few hours with a tiny bit of residue on them. Breast milk is pretty amazing stuff, and you are an amazing Mom.

      Good Luck and congratulations on your new spark of life!

    • MidwestCPA :

      I did that and pumped for 14 months. Saves SO much time! My co-workers knew to leave the ziploc bag in the back of the fridge alone and I would use it throughout the day. :) I also bought enough extra parts to only have to wash bottles/shields/etc every 2 or 3 days. I was stressing myself out trying to wash them every night. Now, I just need my body to figure out I weaned my DD….it’s been two weeks and the production won’t stop! (And, no, I am not pumping or nursing her anymore).

    • Also in Academia :

      Medela makes these great pump wipes that you can clean the pump parts with. After I pump, I just wipe down anywhere on the pump parts that I can reach and where milk might accumulate (I don’t disassemble the parts or anything), toss them in my pump bag under my desk, and get them out again when it’s time to pump again. Evenings, I disassemble the pump parts and put them in the dishwasher. I only boiled them when I first got them. I’m pumping now for my second child so this regimen has proven fine for quite some time now.

    • NE Attorney :

      Yup. I did it for the year that I pumped. It was such a time saver and saved me from having to wash or microwave the parts in either the firm-wide kitchen or bathroom. I would bring the pump parts home and wash them at night (leaving my actual pump in my office — one less thing to tote). If you do bring your pump parts home at night, I highly recommend leaving one set at the office that never come home. Getting to the office only to realize that you have left some vital piece of the pump at home and have a 12/14 hour day ahead of you is not fun.

  30. My SO is on his way here right now!! I can hardly contain myself. I haven’t seen him since Dec. 5th and it’s been really hard.

    • saac n mama :

      So I had finally hammered out a good, sensible plan for getting out of this town;

      -Apply for a position that I’ve been encouraged to apply for. It has changed once since the first discussion, but I could swing the new half and shine in the half that’s still what they advertized in the first place. -While working there, take advantage of the fact that “it takes a job to get a job” and apply like crazy to jobs in places I want.
      -Also while working, finally get these articles finished and in the journals pipeline, to enhance job apps above.
      -Get out of here!!!

      But every.time.I.sit. down to work on that application, I completely bog down. My stomach hurts. It would be a good job, but that “new” part scares me, and I don’t know how I’d get the articles done while working and I’d feel more trapped here.

      So now I’m contemplating just going for it, applying for jobs overseas straight out of 3+ yrs off for family, and publishing those articles. Am I crazy, or could I actually get a job without having one (and without discussions of my current means of support)? Maybe I’m just a whiney baby and need to buckle down and do this thing.

      And IF I do give myself the greenlight to apply elsewhere, there is the “little” problem of not knowing how. I want to work in human rights in Geneva, or in Brussels, the Hague, London, Paris, West Germany…. Googling “Human Rights jobs Geneva” brings up oodles of websites, the majority of which are clearly fake/scams. I’ve applied for a UN position, but chatter on their FB makes it seem that they take forever to get, and very few people get through anyway. I used to have the chops, but it’s been years. I called my universities (3 degrees, 3 universities, 3 career services offices). They are all going to get back to me, but I don’t have tremendously high hopes.

      Any advice, anyone?

      • saac n mama :

        So sorry, NOLA, did NOT mean for my long cranky post to be in reply to yours.

        Have fun with your man!

      • The World :

        Yes. Get to work. You’re being a whiney baby and you know it! Apply for the job and see what happens. At the very least, you will have practiced the skill of doing an application.

    • Yay!! I’ve done LDR and I remember just that feeling.

    • YEAH! I get to see mine in 8 days and I haven’t seen him since Sept. GO US!

    • TO Lawyer :

      Awe so exciting! Hope you guys have fun!

      My SO just left me and I’m already counting down to the next time I get to see him…

    • Have to let out an ELLEN-style YAY! here, complete with caps. :-)

      Enjoy your time with your SO, my dear.

  31. Does anyone have any good cabbage recipes? There is a lot of cabbage in my future.

    • Yes! Braised cabbage with polenta. It’s delicious and really easy and also makes excellent leftovers. It’s also a little lighter than the name suggests.

      http://noteatingoutinny.com/2009/01/03/braised-cabbage-and-sausage-with-10-second-polenta/

    • Equity's Darling :

      Colcannon is delish, and I dislike cabbage. It’s essentially mashed potatoes with cabbage in it.

      I think the potatoes really do a good job of hiding the cabbage. My mom usually uses kale, but really only because of my cabbage aversion, it’s totally fine with cabbage instead.

    • I make a pretty good (and healthy) slaw with shredded cabbage (very easy if you have a food processor, otherwise not too hard with a good knife) tossed with seasoned rice vinegar and vegetable oil. If you don’t have seasoned vinegar on hand, you can use white or cider vinegar mixed with a little dry mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar. I also toss in a few red pepper flakes. It’s best if you make it ahead so the vinegar can pickle the cabbage and start to break it down a little.

    • I’ve done smothered cabbage, where you cook it down slowly with onion and caraway. Really good. I haven’t made it in a long time because my SO doesn’t like cabbage.

      I adore my stepmother’s cole slaw and she makes it for me every time I visit. She chops the cabbage in the blender (finely) then drains it overnight. The dressing is equal parts mayonnaise, red wine vinegar and sugar. Honestly, I don’t think I could bring myself to make a dressing with that much sugar so I just eat hers and forget about it.

    • No Problem :

      Put it in stir fry or fish tacos!

      • I can’t help it. I’m 31 but “fish tacos” makes me laugh every.single.time.

    • springtime :

      I love to make braised red cabbage as a side dish.

      I shred it, put in saute pan with balsamic vinegar and a touch of sugar, salt, pepper (some people put port in too). let it cook down (takes awhile, I’d say 1 hour?).

      Finish with goat cheese on top.

    • Smitten kitchen spicy soba noodles with shiitakes. It calls for Napa cabbage, but I’ve made it with regular cabbage and it was good.

    • okonomiyaki – cabbage pancakes!

      slaw

      kimchee – you can use the regular cabbage, not just the napa cabbage

    • Gulmpki, aka Cabbage Rolls, aka Stuffed Cabbage is my favorite. The tomato sauce makes it taste sweeter. Add in the meat and rice and it’s a one dish meal.

    • Thanks, all! I love these ideas. It’s nice to have variety.

  32. I’m hoping to hear how you all care for your cashmere sweaters. I live in SF, so don’t have a “seasonal” wardrobe, meaning sweaters stay in my drawer year-round. I’ve been using lavender sachets and so far, things are pretty well, but I’m paranoid about moth holes and wonder if I should be scaling my efforts up. Obviously do not want to use moth balls, but I’m sure there are other preventives out there.

    • wash once in a while in cold water with wool wash or shampoo, rinse, towel dry (roll them in a dry towel) then dry flat (honestly, i just hang it on a hanger, my cashmere is uniqlo/AT on supersale because there is no controlling the moth problem in NYC).

    • In a similar position re weather as I live in Vancouver. In addition to lavender, I keep soap wherever I don’t want moths….so rather than keeping soap in my bathroom, I have it scattered around my drawers, linen closet and sweater shelf. It works pretty well – you just have to know where to find it when you run out of soap in your bathroom!

    • I live on the Peninsula. I keep mine in a huge cedar-lined trunk, currently. However, I have also just kept my sweaters in a cupboard/wardrobe. The biggest thing is actually opening your windows–I never, ever open my bedroom windows. In SF, I am not sure if this is possible, but if moths can’t get into your storage area, then they can’t get into your sweaters.

      When I lived in NY/London, I had a lot of sweaters from Brora, and they sent them in these lovely plastic bags that sealed, and I then stored my sweaters in these bags. So if you are truly worried about moths or have issues, I would buy one-gallon ziplocks. Otherwise, just store in a closet/drawer/chest that closes pretty tightly and the moment you see any signs of moths (not just near your cashmere), bag it all up.

      In terms of care, I wear shirts under my cashmere always, so I don’t wash the cashmere frequently. I do dry clean it. I find that hand-washing makes the cashmere “fuzzier” and I don’t like that look.

      Enjoy–I have had some pieces for 10+ years!

  33. Ok… meant ” *going* pretty well”!

  34. Anonymouse :

    Hi ladies. I’m TTC and looking for a great OBGYN in NYC or Brooklyn. Got some great leads from you awhile back, but the recommended offices don’t accept my insurance (GHI). Anyone had good experiences with OBGYNs that do take GHI? Thanks so much!

    • Cornellian :

      This isn’t directly on point, but check zocdoc (dot) (com). You can type in your insurance, the type of doctor you’re looking for, and other preferences (languages, location), and it will spit out doctors that participate. It’s great in NYC.

    • e_pontellier :

      Don’t know which insurances they take, but I would check out West Care Medical (recommended on here yesterday by yours truly) and my bff goes to Downtown Women OBGYN (they have a great website and my friend loves her doc). Good luck!!

  35. I’m about four months pregnant with my first. I feel so overwhelmed with everyone’s unsolicited advice about daycare v. nanny. I am taking a six month maternity leave so the baby will be six months old before starting daycare. My husband and I are currently deciding between two very high quality daycare centers. He is more comfortable with a daycare setting too. Yes, I would love to stay home for an entire year to be 100% sure I avoid having my 6 month old spend too much time in a baby swing/highchair before becoming fully mobile, but it is not an option. Yes, I know kids get sick at daycare, but they will get sick when they start preschool/kindergarten too. That is great some families are able to find great nannies, I am more than certain they exist, but I still do not feel comfortable hiring a nanny. Many of my coworkers have endured all kinds of nanny drama and I am not willing to risk going through the same. Is it so wrong that I feel more confident with a licensed daycare with a no TV policy instead of a nanny who could potentially park my baby in front of a TV all day? I am aware that there will be days when it is tough to get to the daycare before its 6:00 closing time, but nannies have to go home at a reasonable time too. And no, just because my own Mom is retired does not mean she wants to move into my house and raise my baby for the next 5 years. Ugh, I wish people would back off! I haven’t even delivered yet and people’s comments make me feel like such a bad mom.

    • saac n mama :

      Ugh! That intrusiveness is the worst. Eventually you get to a spot where you generally don’t care and usually trust yourself that you know your kiddo best, but it can be hard to find the way to other people’s good ideas into consideration while making up your mind without caving or feeling incompetent.
      Good luck! Enjoy your baby.

      ps Eventually they mature enough to tell you you’re doing a good job, even when you’re telling them “no”. That, to me, is golden.

    • Gurl, do what’s right for you. It’s your baby, the end. Ignore away.

      • +1. Do what works for you and your family. When I was pregnant I was not thrilled about what I thought would be “institutional” day care and instead lined up a local young woman who was going to care for him along with her own then six-month-old at her house half a mile away. Five days before I was to go back to work, she totally flaked out on us and decided she couldn’t take on the care of another baby. After some complete panic, we got lucky; the daycare center across the street from my office had a last-minute opening (a mom who planned to bring her twins there was fired while on maternity leave – I recommended she see an employment lawyer and snapped up one of the spots). The people at the day care, in the local Y, were great, very loving and supportive, and I could pop over and visit or feed the baby (less pumping!) anytime and even see him and the other babies being taken on stroller trips around the downtown. Our son was in full-time daycare, first there and then as a toddler/pre-schooler at another location near our house until he started full-day kindergarten, and he thrived. (His primary daycare teacher from when he was 2½ to 4 came to his birthday parties until he was 10, he loved her so much.)

        The daycare’s 6 p.m. closing time was a bit of a hassle when he was downtown, but my secretary loves babies and she was on the authorized list to pick him up. So on days when I might have to work until maybe 7, he would just camp out at the office for a little while.

    • Honestly, to each her own, but I am 100% more comortable with a good daycare center than a with a nanny. My kids both went to daycare centers. We visited 10+ places to find one that we thought was really high quality, then were on a waiting list for over 6 months. The infant room had a really low baby-to-staff ratio, ad the teachers were so kind and loving. There were lots of activities for them (tactile art projects and the like) that I’m pretty sure they would not have been exposed to if at home with a nanny. Not to mention the playground or outdoors time twice a day, plus the socialization of being around other kids. These factors are more important as the kid gets older, of course, but even with a 6-12 month old baby you’re going to want to have some activities. My kids had wonderful experiences at their daycare center. It was a warm and caring environment, and I am so grateful for their years there. We were sad to leave when they started school. We still go back and visit their teachers occasionally!

      One thing about having kids (which starts when you are pregnant, as you have alredy found out) is that everybody always wants to tell you how you should raise your kid. Just go with what you believe in – you don’t have to explain your choices to anyone!

    • “We have some great options for childcare and are confident we will make the right choice for our family. Thanks for your concern. Please pass the salt.” Stick to your guns. People will have advice for the rest of your life about the choices you make raising your child. It’s your child, your/your spouse’s decision. Oh, and I am pretty sure my child spent less time in the swing at daycare than he did at home with me. Good centers follow the licensure rules about that sort of thing.

    • Also in Academia :

      Ignore everyone and do what feels right. You obviously care very much about your child, which is going to put them ahead of the game anyway. Your kid will be just fine! I personally like that my kids get some social time at daycare and think it’s going to make them less shy than I was (I stayed home with my mom).

      • This. I was an only child and started going to day care pretty early on. Without it, I would have had virtually no socialization with kids my own age (no other family in the area and my parents never had friends with kids my age).

    • I don’t have kids, but that’s how I predict I will feel when/if I do. I was a daycare baby from a very young age (my mom definitely did not have a 6-month maternity leave). One of our close friends recently had a baby, and they already told me their feelings on daycare when I asked how they were making out being back at work, and I am really not looking forward to hearing what they have to say about our choices down the road.

    • Ugh, shut up buttinskies! We’re going with daycare rather than a nanny too. For us, we’re pretty sure that we’re only going to have one child, so we like the idea of him/her spending time with other kids during the day. I also went to daycare as a child and had a blast, and they taught me all sorts of things (like how to rollerskate), so I don’t see it as some Big Bad. And finally, nannies are expensive, yo! Around here they are twice as expensive as day cares. Let alone all the stress of taxes, vacation/sick time for the nanny, finding someone trust-worthy, etc.

      I’m sending BACK OFF vibes your way. Day cares are fine, and anyone who tries to make you feel bad is a jerk.

    • [email protected] :

      Everyone is different, but I had/have a really good experience with a largeish center daycare for my kids. Don’t let the nay-sayers get you down. Personally, I think because it’s often a really good experience, people don’t tend to talk about it as much as some of the negative experiences.

      One thing I have noticed is that some of the people with the strongest opinions about daycare are people who know absolutely nothing about it, or have some very glancing knowledge of it from very long ago. My mother will.never.stop.bringing up the crummy home daycare I went to sometimes before or after school in the 1980s, which bears no resemblance to my kid’s daycare center. I was fine there, nothing bad ever happened to me, but the caregiver eventually had to stop watching kids over safety issues. My MIL brought up the McMartin trials as a reason to get a nanny, which is just plain ridiculous (as is she in all things).

      Keep in that everyone with kids thinks they are a f**ing expert. Really, you are the expert on you and your kid(s).

    • Other people will always have opinions, and often criticisms, of the way you do things, no matter what you choose to do. I tried to just assume they were well-intentioned but ignorant, and replied as if they were slightly dotty old ladies with kind hearts and no clue (“that’s so sweet of you to be concerned, but I think kiddo will be okay. Did you know he just did the cutest/funniest thing…)

      Conveniently(?), after the baby comes the combination of hormones, lack of sleep, and complete immersion with taking care of baby usually means you just don’t care as much about what everyone else thinks, and it gets easier to brush it off. Just own your decisions, and don’t feel like you have to justify them to everyone/anyone.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I have a 6 month leave as well and we are putting our baby in daycare once I go back to work. I have heard too many bad stories about nannies, and feel much more comfortable with the structure and accountability of a daycare. In fact, two of my friends switched from nannies to my daycare and could not be happier. I am sure there are great nannies out there but it’s too hit or miss for me. I am also a product of day care myself and had so much fun being there as a kid. Don’t let these naysayers get you down, your baby will be in great hands.

      • Thank you for all the supportive responses! It definitely helps me feel more confident about my decision. I wish more people would understand that childcare is just not a one size fits all type of choice.

    • You are not a bad mom! People need to shut their pie holes. I hate what a bad rap daycare have gotten. Yes, there are bad ones, but there are LOTS of good ones, too. My 3-year-old DS has been in the same daycare since he was 12 weeks old. It was hard leaving him, but I never doubted that he was in great hands. Now that he’s older, I love that he has his little friends and relationships with teachers who have ‘known’ him since he was a baby. And he learns more than I could ever teach him on my own.

      Honestly, I’ve found that the less I discuss our childcare arrangements with people, the better. Everyone has an opinion and most of them are misguided and will make you nuts. DH and I know that we’re doing the right thing for our family, so who the eff cares what my grandpa’s girlfriend thinks?

    • My kiddo went into day care at 5 months. He looooves it. He is super social and really gets so much out of playing with the other babies all day. Plus, honestly, I like having other teachers/a director/support staff on hand to help out if one teacher needs a break/to wash up/eat/etc. Good quality day cares have many lovely pluses about them.
      Yes, your child may get sick more than with a nanny. But what if this was your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) child? Guess what? They’d get those same bugs brought home from your older kids and nobody would be guilting you about that, so those people can JSFAMO.

    • “And no, just because my own Mom is retired does not mean she wants to move into my house and raise my baby for the next 5 years. ”

      Bahahhaa. I would live in a cardboard box with the baby before letting my mother move in and care for my child. More seriously, I would quit my job and our family would move into a smaller house in a not-as-nice town before asking Mom to move in.

      Mom is not a criminal and quite good with young kids…and has been dropping “so, when are you going to build the in-law suite?” hints since I got married. HOWEVER, she drives me insane. Absolutely insane. Even our bimonthly phone calls are enough to make me ask my doctor if I’ve got to worry about my blood pressure at 29.

    • Just wanted to co-sign all the pro-daycare stuff. I can’t praise my kids’ daycare enough. It has been so wonderful, and I went from being agnostic on what was better (daycare v. nanny) to thinking that for my kids and us as parents the daycare was 110% the right way to go. I say my kids because to be sure there are some kids who are not a great fit and probably could flourish more under the one-on-one attention they’d get from a nanny. That the daycare we are at is super (totally licensed and inspected, with great procedures for everything, great teachers, great advice for first-time parents from experienced caregivers, happy kids so my children were socialized from the start) made my conversion easier.

      Yes, the kids get sick, but after toughing out the first year, my kids are freaking bionic now (and only get sick when it’s something really bad; I swear they could lick the subway floor and be fine 9 times out of 10). The phrase I’d use is you pay early (daycare) or you pay late (kindergarten). We have also used a babysitter regularly, who picks the kids up from school, takes them home for dinner and bath, and then we relieve her–this lessened the harshness of the strict 6pm pickup time. It helped us (two FT parents) have some late nights to count on during the week.

      As for the nanny end: I was weirded out by the nanny possibility–the idea of having someone in my house all day didn’t sit right, but more that, I didn’t want to be an employer, didn’t trust myself to push back if I felt the nanny wasn’t doing things the way I wanted, worried about the kid getting parked in front of the TV or ignored on the playground, etc. etc. Part of this comes from my distinct uneasiness with the class/socioeconomic divides that are inherent in that relationship (a longer conversation to be sure). Plus daycare was significantly more affordable for us; I would be incapable of effectively negotiating a nanny salary because I’d think there was a direct impact on the care my kids would get. Still: despite my hugely pro-daycare bent, I do know parents who love their nannies, and whose nannies love and take excellent care of their kids: YMMV. Finally–spend some time on the playground during a regular workday; I always found tons of inattentive nannies when I did that during my mat leaves, and even those nannies who were engaged with their kids were often not engaging in a way I liked. As I said, there are totally great nannies out there, but I can usually pick out the nanny kids from the daycare kids when we’re at the playground on weekends.

      Haters gonna hate: go with your gut.

  36. …Speaking of not hearing from people in a while, has anyone heard from Lyssa? I know she is dealing with a new baby right now but I really hope everything is OK!

  37. To Leigh re the Costco Corso Cosmo Riding Boots and the pencil skirts: my Costco had them, but the calves weren’t quite big enough! They zipped, but not comfortably. I’ve added about 1/2 inch to my calves since I was on some medication that made me puff up like a baloon! For the price I almost got them anyway, but ended up not going for it. They are super cute though!

    I did get 2 of the pencil skirts, in black and grey. Thank you for posting that!!

    • springtime :

      Leather should stretch so they might be worth it!

    • The “Samual” style? I just bought them in black yesterday.

    • Oh you’re welcome! It’s the least I can do for some awesome advice that I’ve received here. Also, I need to feed someone else’s shopping habit, since I’m trying to cut back on my own. Haha.

      I’m glad you found them though! I ended up going back last night to buy DH two shirts and really wanted to get the boots as well, but I refrained. Some days I hate being responsible :)

  38. can anyone recommend a laser hair removal place in DC/NOVA? i used to see tons of groupons and LS deals, but not too many recently. also, are there specific requirements or questions you ask before selecting a salon/medspa?

  39. Anonymous :

    Is this where I should be venting/seeking advice about work issues when there is NO ONE I can trust in my office? I am constantly being solicited by superiors to gossip/complain about others, couched in terms of seeking my advice because I am good at handling difficult situations. But then my advice is ignored, my comments are just repeated to the person who is the subject, and I look like I’ve been complaining when the issue was raised by everyone but me, and I was the last in the conversation. I WANT TO SCREAM. But they’d all hear me, just like I hear them.

    • Well, if you’d accept tough advice from an internet stranger
      : there is no currency in saying anything negative about your colleagues, even when solicited. Either it gets back to them or else the listener keeps your views confidential but wonders thereafter about whether you’re a good team player.
      : seek advice here for sure, and vent if you must. But before venting, also consider seeking relief by going to the gym, smashing a ball around a tennis court, doing something in the kitchen with a sharp knife or some such, and then think about fixing the issue when you’ve gotten the bad energy out of your system.

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