Thursday’s Workwear Report:

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

This is a very highly rated ponte blazer at Kohl’s, one of those places where everything always seems to be 30% off (and maybe you happen to have a really crazy coupon as well?). One of these days I’ll do a roundup of the best ponte blazers for under $50 because there are many! This comes in five colors and sizes 0-18. Unexpectedly (and unfortunately), it’s dry clean, but it’s not labeled dry clean only. Still, at this price it’s hard to beat. If you have issues with wearing blazers on top of dresses, the shorter sleeves on this one are likely to be flattering. LC Lauren Conrad Ponte Blazer

Update: Looks like this has sold out!

Here’s a plus-size option.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Yay Kat! I love this blazer, but the manageing partner has put me on a MORATORUM until President’s Day/Birthday, b/c he knows there will be BIG sale’s on that day and he figure’s he will save money THEN. FOOEY! I just gave 12 outfit’s to the Salavation Army this weekend so I NEED to restock soon, even tho most were SUMMER outfits, and I am now wearing WINTER outfits.

    Has anyone in the HIVE rode the new Second Avenue Subway? I have NOT b/c of the need to do my 12,250 step’s every day. But I am told it is VERY nice. I hope to be abel to ride it next time it is raining b/c it is not that far away for me.

  2. What other ponte blazers under $50 should we be looking at? I have an Olivia Moon one from Nordstrom that I love but which is getting a little shabby, and I don’t love their newer ones.

    • Heller or Flake :

      definitely interested in ponte blazers under $50 – my office is doesn’t require suits but a ponte blazer always feels more pulled together than a cardigan.

    • Anonymous :

      Dumb question, but what is ponte?

      • I don’t know the technical definition, but it’s a heavy, close-woven knit fabric. So it’s stretchy and comfortable but looks more professional than sweater-material.

      • cake batter :

        It’s a softer, flexible fabric. Like it has the shape of a blazer but less structured/stiff fabric.

      • marketingchic :

        It’s a smooth knit.

      • Ponte is a thick knit fabric. A ponte skirt can be elastic waist and pull on, but it will look more like a traditional woven pencil skirt than a thin jersey (t-shirt material) skirt will. THat’s why it’s so popular.

        Ponte blazers are awesome. I personally don’t like this one but I have a handful of them that I love. And they are hand washable too.

    • That’s my problem with the Olivia Moon blazers. The older ones pill and the newer ones seem sort of flimsy.

      Target and sometimes WHBM have good options. Honestly though I’m considering biting the bullet and spending $$ for something like MM La Fleur in the hopes that I won’t have to replace it every 6 months.

      • I’ve gotten good ones at The LImited for very cheap, but alas . . . .

      • Delta Dawn :

        I got my first jardigan from MML in a bento box yesterday. I can’t speak to its durability, but it seems like it would last longer than ponte– it’s more of a stretchy single layer cardigan than a lined blazer. However, I am sending it back because it has these slits in the sides that look like mudflaps to me. The slits make the back of the jardigan poke out away from my body like a tent– I’d rather it nip in at my lower back, but it juts outward. I emailed to ask if they have any jardigans without the slits, but no response yet. And like the above poster, my favorite inexpensive ponte blazers were all from The Limited; may she rest in peace.

        • I have the Sant Ambroeus Jardigan, and it doesn’t have slits that I recall.

          • The Woolf has slits. The Sant Ambroeus is much better.

          • Interested in purchasing jardigan :

            I love the look of the Sant Ambroeus Jardigan, but the price if out of budget for me. Anyone know of lower cost lookalikes?

        • Oh I have The Woolf and I love the slits! Super flattering on me- slender pear. I’d like to pick up the Sant Ambroeus as well at some point, but the price hurts.

      • big orange drink :

        +1 to Target. 2 of my favorite ponte blazers are from there and have held up well. I have tried the ponte blazer from Old Navy that is featured here from time to time and the fit was wonky. I also gotten some good ones at Belk, if you happen to be in the southern U.S. Several of their house brands are good for this kind of business dressing.

    • I have a halogen one from Nordstrom that is great. No pilling yet, but it’s sort of a heather gray so it probably wouldn’t be noticeable anyways. Picked it up for $35 on clearance.

      • Halogen is just consistently awesome for its price point, isn’t it?

        • It really is! I got one of “the skirts” based on the recommendations here and it’s been such a wonderful staple.

        • Yes! One of my favorite pair of shoes is by Halogen- a pair of black/ grey tone d’orsay leopard print pumps. They were such a value for high quality hair calf uppers with leather inside and on the sole. I still can’t believe I got such great shoes a couple seasons ago for $75

          • I have the same shoes, and I love them so much! I wear them when I want to be a bit badass.

        • Agree.

          I have several pairs of work pants of theirs. Wider leg, and some ankle pants.

    • I’ve gotten the Lauren Conrad ones from Kohl’s. I really like them, but I haven’t had them very long, so I’m not sure how well they will hold up.

      • I’ve had one for over a year, and it’s held up great. Wear it all the time and machine wash too.

    • housecounsel :

      I bought the Olivia Moon one in early fall, and it is still hanging in my closet with the tags on. Would love specific outfit suggestions!

    • Ooh, don’t think ponte is flexible enough to support slaying of the Witch King. You should reconsider.

    • WhyIMarch :

      Boden has wonderful ponte blazers. I got a burgundy one last fall and it is impeccably tailored, a nice heavy fabric and very comfortable. It had a fabulous matching dress, which made a fantastic outfit but the blazer looks great as a separate as well. I will likely buy more. I bought the Elizabeth ponte blazer which is on deep discount right now in lucky sizes in burgundy. Newer season ones are $150. I sized up one size to fit my very broad shoulders.

  3. Kudos to those of you who work jobs where you work until 10pm+ on a regular basis. I started a job about 6 months ago that ends around 7-9pm and I can barely deal with that.

    • Seriously! I start to crash around 5 (8am start) and won’t get anything of any significance done after that. I can maybe do a bit of grading or email admin in the evenings if necessary but I need my sleep.

      • I crash around 4:00 p.m., which is why I am in the office by 6:30 a.m. I am thankful my boss is also an early bird and that my preferred earlier start schedule works for doing business with our offices in Europe.

    • I thought it was a diminishing returns thing. My (and my coworkers’) work was slower and worse after 5 or 6, especially after working every single day for weeks in a row, but you looked like a terribly slacker if you weren’t there til after 9. So the client got charged for inefficient work because late night face time and making arbitrary billable hours targets were more important than efficiency. If I had a problem with a return, it would take an hour to find the source late at night but only 10 minutes the next morning. But I had to stay so late every night just to prove what a great worker I was. It drove me crazy.

      • Exactly! If the managers are there until 9 I certainly can’t leave before that, even if by 7pm I was almost useless. It was made worse by me being hungry until I wised up to the fact that this was going to be a normal thing and I should bring dinner along with lunch.

        The strange thing is the other day the managers were talking about how anything you get done after you ‘crash’ is an accomplishment – even just sending emails or setting up things for the next day. So they know that they aren’t being efficient either, just do this later. Or go home and work from home, that is fine/common here too

    • I work in a hospital, and my days are so crazy and hectic that I long for 5pm, so then I can get work done without (as many) interruptions. My 5-8+pm hours are important for my work sanity, and are productive.

      But many of my colleagues then go home, quickly eat/family time etc.. and then start working on grants/writing papers etc.. after putting the kids to bed. Never ends.

      I could never do what I do with family. I am in awe of women I work with who do.

      • Pre-kid, I used to roll into the office around 9 a.m. (sometimes later) and my most productive hours were the two hours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. However, childcare closes at 6:00 p.m. sharp, so I lost three quarters of the most productive time of my day.

        I replaced that time by getting in to the office no later than 8:30 a.m. (8:00 a.m. if I do not have drop-off) and then working from 9:00 pm to 11:00 p.m. (or later) as needed (usually 2 to 4 nights a week). The quiet night hours are terrific for getting me blocks of time to write pleadings, do research, etc. I also work while I sit at The Kid’s swim class, sports practice, etc. and have become a LOT more efficient — including spending less time here (although I miss it terribly!).

    • +1 I’m also about 6 months into a job with similar time expectations and don’t know how people can handle it

    • I absolutely hate the idea that companies expect you to put in long, unpaid hours in order to look good. It’s ridiculous. I’m a senior manager, and to me, you look good if you get your work done, and get it done well, and still have a life outside of work.

      I have never found the people who are still hanging around the office at 8:30 PM to be my best workers. They are typically people who are so unorganized and distracted that they don’t get their work done during regular business hours.

      I understand not leaving at 5 on the dot every day, but no one should be expected to work until 10 PM on the regular.

      • I really admire your attitude! You sound like the kind of manager I would want to work under: expecting good results and hard work, but not insane hours that cause burn out in your team.

      • Anonymous :

        LOVE THIS.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I agree. I’m exhausted after getting home at 9pm after a late client meeting. I don’t know how others sustain these hours and I definitely notice my billable hours are much higher on a Monday than a Friday. But I still hate leaving the office before my boss even if I’m done with my work for the day or can’t focus anymore.

    • I could totally work second shift. If I get here at 7 am, I am here until 8 or 9 pm. If I get here at 10 am, same result. That’s why I get here at 10 am (so I have laundry and sleep and my dog can use the facilities) but it was the only part of my review that was bad so, see ya at 7! I’ll be commenting on yesterday’s corporette posts…

  4. In the current political climate, would you travel to Russia? I have a family member there who I would like to visit. I have not traveled internationally before and would likely be nervous about it no matter what, but have been feeling extra worried since the election. Is that an overreaction?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, it is an overreaction.

    • Hey for all you know we would be best friends with Russia now! Could be better off!

    • Anonymous :

      It is an overreaction that you can’t go to Russia. That said, Russia isn’t an easy first international trip if you don’t speak Russian or are not part of an organized tour or unless your family member would be available to you a lot.

      • Anonymous :

        I have a friend who went there last year as a prelude to a longer trip we took together (I met him in another country after) and he is extremely well-traveled, and found it challenging/got taken advantage of many times. And he does not “look” American and is actually a dual citizen in another country.

        I wouldn’t hesitate to go due to politics. But it’s not on the top of my list for other reasons, especially if you don’t speak Russian.

      • +1. I spent about 8 weeks travelling in Russia, and I’d travelled before extensively in other countries. Russia was more challenging for many reasons, and I found that it was easier to navigate if I spoke German rather than English (my Russian was limited to tourist niceties).

        • numbersmouse :

          The German over English thing is true in other Eastern European destination as well, including Ukraine.

      • This is my thought as well. I’m an extremely experienced international traveler and I was only in St. Petersburg, which is a cosmopolitan city with a well-developed (for Russia) tourist infrastructure…and I would have really, really struggled if I hadn’t been there on a structured work trip with a local guide. Unless your family member is ready to be a very hands-on host who will not only give you directions and suggestions, but literally go with you to everything and argue vehemently on your behalf if necessary, I would not recommend Russia as a first international experience. And I hate to say this, but I would not recommend Russia at all if you’re not able to pass as white, non-Muslim, straight, and cis.

        With that said, I absolutely loved visiting St. Petersburg. Seeing Swan Lake at the Hermitage was one of the most transcendent travel experiences of my life.

        Back on the other hand, people have very different comfort levels with using tourist dollars to support regimes that they consider oppressive. I would love to see Moscow, but I, personally, will not be planning to travel to Russia any time soon. What about meeting someplace like Poland or Finland?

      • This. I had been to 30+ countries (including Asian ones, where things were quite foreign and I could not read or speak the local language) before I went to Russia (St. Petersberg) and I found it very difficult to navigate. It wasn’t just that street signs were in cyrillic. There were active anti-American biases many places we went (as soon as my friend and I started speaking English–boom–horrible service). It’s not a country with a customer service/friendliness ethos. I have lived abroad and know how to not be an obnoxious American–this was not us being jerks–it was Russians treating us badly and trying to rip us off. If you are meeting a family member who will help you, or you are feeling brave, I’d go. But you might want to dip your toe into international travel elsewhere. It can be frustrating and a little scary as a country. But I would not not go due to current security concerns unless you have a specific immigration issue like dual citizenship or are not a naturalized citizen in the U.S.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you white? Are you a native born US citizen? There’s nothing to worry about.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I wrote it’s not an easy first international trip. I would especially not recommend it as a first international trip if you are a POC or LGBT+.

    • Eh, I’m desperate to go to St Petersburg but do have some concerns, not so much about safety but about funneling money into a repressive regime – even if just tourist money/visa fees. There was an interesting discussion about travel to the US yesterday and some great views on both sides so something worth reflecting on.

      • Anon in NYC :

        This. As a white, non-Muslim American, I’m not concerned about safety (although I do agree with others than it would probably be a challenging visit without some support). I just don’t want to spend my money there.

    • If you’re white, a citizen, and not Muslim, I wouldn’t hesitate to travel anywhere.

      • What if you’re a citizen, not muslim, but not white? I do have a last name that is frequently believed to be Arab, but it isn’t. I’m thinking of travelling through Asia next summer. I think I’m being paranoid, but part of me wonders if I’ll have issues, maybe upon reentering the US if not abroad. I have a white husband though, so that should help.

        • Wildkitten :

          People like you have had issues. I haven’t heard of issues to the point of detainment or deportation, just major hassles, but definitely overcommunicate what airports you are going to and keep phone numbers of local lawyers or the ACLU, etc.

          • Wildkitten :

            The issues I have heard are people being delayed with re-entry, in the past few days.

        • So my mom is Indian, US Citizen, and just came back from India to JFK on Monday. She didn’t have any issues with immigration but basically customs sent all the Indian/brown people through the “red” line. But no real problems.

      • IDK — I think I look like a brunette American, but I worry that if I went elsewhere where 99% of the country has dark hair/eyes, I might just be seen as a troublesome local.

        So: I used to live in the Middle East. I am not protest-y here, but would want to be if I went to somewhere like Cuba, Russia, China, etc. I am not so sure that I don’t get detained / etc. Since these are places where people are still disppeared, I think I’d just avoid rather biting my tongue the whole time.

        • sorry what? you are going to a foreign country with the intent to protest? what’s the thought process there?

          • Not going with the intent to protest. Just worried that at some point I’d mouth off. Like we love the people, love the place, but find the government horrifying. At some point, if something gives, the worst that could happen is pretty bad.

          • I’ve been to Cuba many times and just want to say that I think this is an unrealistic fear. Tourists don’t get arrested for saying bad things about the Cuban government. I haven’t been to China or Russia, but I imagine that it’s similar there. Repressive governments are generally pretty aware of what people outside of their country think of them; they’re more concerned with keeping their own people in line.

        • I get what you are saying. As indicated above I am Indian-American and when I go back to India I . . .well act “American” and its a problem when people are not expecting that because I don’t look foreign.

          There are miles between how people treat locals and foreigners, even more with regards to women, so “mouthing off” is not really being disruptive, more necessary.

    • I would be concerned about it. My husband is a native-born Russian citizen (U.S. citizen now) and he (as well as many other Russian friends) will not travel there. However, their situation is different and you may be fine as a tourist. I also recommend meeting up somewhere neutral, like Finland, if your family member is close to the rest of Europe at all.

    • Anonymous :

      I would go if I had family there, especially if they don’t plan to be there forever. As someone who has no ties to the country, I am choosing not to go as a tourist right now because of Putin’s interference in the election. I will go at some point in my life, but see no reason to go right now. I think it would be perfectly safe though (for me – I am white and not Muslim).

    • Thank you all for the reassurance!

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Not to be flippant, but if you are a white, natural-born, US citizen, I wouldn’t be concerned at all.

      Relatedly, I asked to not go on an international work trip because I am originally from a Muslim-majority country (not on the list) and have a Russian passport. I am not convinced someone like me would get back in without problems.

  5. BabyAssociate paging Meg March :

    You posted about Emory Law yesterday, but I didn’t see it until later in the day. I’m an Emory Law alum, happy to answer any Emory/Atlanta questions!

  6. Did anyone follow what went down at Berkeley last night? This is why I am never in favor of cancelling speakers (“no-platforming”) – Milo now has 100x as much attention, the downtown area has tons of damage, and the few “progressives” who hijacked the event make the peaceful protesters look like jerks.

    • Hmm just saw that Trump tweeted about it. How ridiculous. When Milo came to NYU by invitation of the college republicans the university decided to cancel it fearing violence and it was written about in the WSJ, which I guess is making a bigger deal of it. Come on Milo, don’t come to these places with your hateful ways. I don’t know what college republicans was thinking inviting him, or how they can be so out of touch with the rest of the university.

      • You don’t think they had a right to invite whomever they wanted to campus? It was a 500-ticket event – small beans compared to the size of the university, but it was sold out nonetheless. Are people not allowed to hold hateful, disgusting views?

        • Anonymous :

          Nabby didn’t say they didn’t have the ‘right’ to invite him. Just that it makes them look out of touch. And no idea how you think this impacts freedom of speech in anyway. Milo can say what he wants but no one has to listen.

          • I disagree that violently shutting down a speech has no impact on freedom of speech. However, I’m mad that it looks like it was a smaller group of protesters, possibly non-students, who turned things violent. The peaceful protests the students had planned would be far more effective and loyal to the spirit of the Free Speech Movement.

        • I think they have a right to invite him, and university, being a private institution and all, has the right to say we don’t want him here. Republicans should respect a private institution doing what it wants.

          • Berkeley is a public institution.

          • Thought you meant with regards to NYU

            – Nabby

          • And liberals should respect civil discord and more speech.

          • @ Anon 10:18

            No one has an obligation to respect hate speech. Milo = hate speech.

            Freedom of speech means that the government won’t throw you in jail. Doesn’t mean there won’t be vigorous protests against hateful language.

          • I get it. I didn’t say anything about freedom of speech. Trust me, I understand. But just because the First Amendment isn’t implicated doesn’t mean that we should encourage shutting down any speech with which we disagree. My alma mater did it perfectly, in my opinion. The jackwad Richard Spencer came to speak, the university said we are a public university so he can rent the room even though we don’t agree with him, and they planned an alternate event to promote unity, inclusion, etc. That seems like exactly what should happen in this situation—especially at universities. You should not shut down all speech with which you disagree.

      • College Prof :

        Totally agree. There’s a reason we don’t invite some rando student’s racist uncle to speak on college campuses- because he has nothing educated, well-thought out, or constructive to say that’s worth engaging with. Ditto Milo: he’s nothing but a troll who goes around spewing rubbish about how women belong pregnant in the kitchen and men are naturally superior and all those types of regressive, evidence-less opinions. “Free speech” doesn’t mean we have to provide a platform for your racist uncle, and it doesn’t mean that your college has to associate its resources with someone who has no actual valuable discourse to share.

    • Anonymous :

      Milo has built his fame and fortune by using unrelenting racist and misogyonist bullying to silence anyone who opposes him. I applaud the protesters for returning the favor in kind. The violence is not good, but it’s also no worse than when Michigan State wins a championship.

    • The violence was reprehensible and it just feeds the sentiment that liberals are intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them. People are absolutely entitled to protest provided that it’s non-violent. This incident just brings more fame and notoriety to a hateful man.

      • I completely agree.

      • Counter point: what about the actual, stated hate and intolerance being espoused by the speaker?

        I’m not pro-violence. But I am also not for condemning liberals more vehemently than conservatives for intolerance.

        • He’s been plenty condemned, and a peaceful protest could do it more.

          • I don’t disagree. But I *DO* disagree with the assertion that liberals are the only people that are intolerant of people who disagree with them. That’s my point.

          • I don’t think anyone is arguing that.

          • I dunno. Kinda seemed like it to me.

            I’m not a fan of violent protest. But I’m even more not a fan of hateful intolerance of the basic humanity of others.

            I’m not required to be “tolerant” of someone who wants to deny basic humanity to someone else. That doesn’t make me “as bad.”

    • Can one of the lawyers here explain hate speech law a bit better to me? I don’t understand the argument “it’s not free speech, it’s hate speech.” If that were true, then wouldn’t millions and millions of people across the country get arrested for expressing hateful thoughts in their own homes and at events with like-minded people? Doesn’t hate speech need to be tied to specific incitements to violence to be limited in any way? As far as I’m aware, you have the right to be a bigot and people have the right to protest you – I just don’t agree that offended people have the right to violently silence you.

      • no one said “it’s not free speech, it’s hate speech.”

        In the USA you can say basically anything you want, no matter how hateful towards others or untrue. Libelous statements or false advertising will have civil law consequences (can be sued etc) and incitements to violence are not permitted. Other western democracies (Canada/Europe) have more limited free speech in that some kinds of hate speech are illegal (e.g. Holocaust denial is illegal in some European countries)

        • Almost everyone on campus seems to be saying that, unfortunately.

          • I suspect that they are trying to (inarticulately) get at the idea that the purpose of free speech was designed to be an open exchange of ideas without government oppression, not a way to just be hateful to anyone who is different.

    • I live in Berkeley and I was downtown last night, but not at the protest. It was business as usual downtown, just a few blocks from the protest. It was not as large as the news is making it out to be. News helicopters were everywhere, though. Must have been a slow news night.

    • I don’t think this kind of protest alone is going to stop them, but do they deserve it? 100% yes. Milo, Richard Spencer, etc. are not just voicing their opinions (which would be bad enough) they are also inciting to violence. When will we put our foot down and stop dissenting to their hatred “peacefully”? They are not peaceful people and their ideology is a violent one.

      • Milo was expressing his opinion. The protesters were expressing theirs. I think this was a beautiful example of free speech.

        • Vandalism isn’t speech.

          • +1.

          • This is falling for sensationalist news coverage. As with most protests, the majority were peaceful, and a handful of people who may not have even cared about the issue showed up to break and burn stuff.

        • Didn’t they cancel his speech? That’s what I’ve hated to see. Protest, yes! Let’s fight speech with more speech! But shutting it down is ridiculous.

      • Can you give an example of direct incitements to violence that Milo has made? I’m aware of the Twitter situation with the actress Leslie Jones, but does that incident justify prior restraint on a planned speech at UC Berkeley? Where do you draw the line between hateful thoughts and incitements to violence?

        • Honestly yes I think that’s enough justification to shut him down at every possible opportunity. Nazism is inherently violent and encouraging of violence, and it shouldn’t be given a venue at an educational institution or anywhere that decent humans gather. Rational debate does not work with nazis, and I care more about stopping then than I do about maintaining decorum or order. End of story.

          • +1. I am not anti-conservative. I am anti-Nazi. I refuse to allow these kinds of speakers and views to be normalized.

          • Well, that’s not very American or liberal in the classic sense.

          • I’m confused. Yiannopolos is part-Jewish and has disavowed Nazism. If he’s made other statements I’m not aware of, I’ll stand corrected, but I’m not sure where the “I oppose Nazis” argument comes into play in this case.

          • I’m kind of not American and very much not a liberal in the classical sense. I strongly believe that liberalism isn’t going to defeat the “alt right”. Which Milo is a member of no matter what he says, of course a neo nazi is going to claim that he isn’t one – as a Jew I can’t understand how a Jew could join that political movement, but he is a part of it, his Judaism doesn’t disqualify him. There’s plenty of Jews that believe reprehensible things that I find contradictory with our religion, he’s far from the only one.

          • I believe that shutting down these events doesn’t make the sentiments go away; if anything, it only drastically inflames them. I’d rather let the world see that the peaceful protesters vastly outweigh the few who wanted to go to the event.

    • EA Travel Guru :

      1. Milo should never have been allowed to speak. He doxxes CURRENT STUDENTS at the universities where he speaks and encourages those in the audience to harass them. He tends to insight violence against specific individuals in the community, often undocumented students, transgender students, and students who are POC. This is more than hate speech, it’s a direct threat to the campus community.

      2. The protesters at Cal were mostly peaceful. 1500 students gathered for a LGBT dance party to protest the event. 150 anarchist instigators (aka the people who disrupt BLM marches in Oakland) came over from Oakland and started smashing windows, setting fires, and attacking the peaceful protesters. Police had to rescue some of the actual protesters from the anarchists at one point. The students later stayed to clean up the damage the anarchists had done.

      These instigators are known to the Oakland community. They show up in hoodies with face masks and like to break shit. They’re the reason so many of the rallies around here end in violence. None of the protest organizers condone their behavior.

    • superanon :

      I live in the Bay Area and come into contact with protest(er)s frequently. The people causing the destruction at this protest, just as at all the other protests in recent years around here, are by and large not Berkeley students nor are they protesting the same things as Berkeley students. They’re antifa (anti-fascists), a far-left and I would say extremist group of anarchists with the goal of violently destroying capitalism. They take advantage of large crowds of peaceful people at protests in order to cause and magnify destruction. The tactic employed at this protest – and the Occupy protests and the BLM protests – is the black bloc tactic (wikipedia it). The students and peaceful protesters wear whatever, carry signs, and don’t hide their faces. The violent protestors wear all black, hide their faces, and carry weapons. This makes it easy for one of them to step out of the crowd and do something like, oh, light something on fire, and then quickly disappear back into the crowd of lots of others who look just like them. It makes them way more difficult to identify. Don’t paint all protests with this broad, ugly brush. What happened at Berkeley was a disgrace, but it’s also an outlier.

  7. To transfer or not to transfer? :

    Hi all – my friend is currently at a lower-ranked law school (around 100?) and got a 4.0 her first semester. She was admitted to higher ranked schools (around top 30), but chose to go to the lower ranked school because of the massive scholarship. I fully expect she’ll end up with a similar GPA her second semester.

    For those of you who’ve been in similar positions, would you recommend that she go through the transfer application process, knowing that she’ll likely have to pay full tuition at a higher ranked school if admitted? (I personally think it’s totally worth it if she can get into a top 10 school or something because of the opportunities it will afford after graduation, but wanted to gather some info other than just my opinion! She seems opposed because she thinks she won’t get in anywhere.)

    Appreciate any thoughts/experiences!

    • Anonymous :

      It depends entirely on what she wants to do and her personal circumstances. If her school is not well ranked nationally but is well regarded regionally then the additional debt may not be worth. If her economic background doesn’t allow her to pay back massive loans (e.g. no parents able to lend money for first/last month’s rent on an apartment or float her some cash until first pay), I can understand why debt free is a priority. I went to a lower ranked school, graduated with only $30 000 in debt which I was able to pay back in 2 years, and the freedom is awesome. For my current job, name brand would be great but not determinative – most BigLaw firms don’t hire outside top 10 schools though.

      • +1 to Anon at 9:58 a.m. The hubs went to a lower ranked (below 100) Midwest school on a full ride and was #2 in his class. He got good summer gigs in what passed for Biglaw in his home state and then a federal clerkship in another Midwest city and successfully parlayed that into multiple offers for Midwest Biglaw. He had only $25K or so in debt, which gave him a lot more flexibility coming out of law school and onward. That said, coastal Biglaw was out of the question for him.

        That said, it never hurts to apply . . . with classes as small as they are right now, she might have a chance at getting in somewhere good with some money if it improves the school’s statistics.

    • Worth it for a T14, probably worth it for a school ranked in the 30s or better, depending on the region and what market she would like to work in (this is assuming she’s aiming for biglaw or federal government, I don’t know how other areas recruit). A school ranked around 100 is not going to get you much unless you’re the top of the class and you’re in a market where the school has a lot of alums and/or has a very respected program in something specific.

    • Co-sign what Anonymous at 9:58 said. Commenting to add: (1) The connections you make with peers and professors are important throughout your career. It’s much harder to make those connections as a transfer – you lose touch with folks from your old school and it’s tough to break into social life at the new school. Not impossible, of course, but something to consider, particularly if she’s not a super outgoing person. (2) It sounds like she’s already made up her mind. What is your goal here? I think it’s fair to encourage her to apply so she knows what her options are, but it seems like you’ve made your position pretty clear. At this point I’d drop it.

      • To transfer or not to transfer? :

        Thanks – I graduated from a Top-10 in 2010, when the economy was tanking (or already tanked, I should say) and I really felt that the name of my school made a difference in tough times. So I’m definitely coming at it from that perspective, and certainly am not trying to lecture her about what to do! No goal here, just trying to get a broader picture of what others may have experienced since this topic comes up in our conversation.

        • “I really felt that the name of my school made a difference in tough times.”

          This depends entirely on what kind of job you are going for. My large local firm would rather hire a local resident from the law school at the nearby middle ranked university vs. a H/Y/S grad with no connections to the area on the basis that the H/Y/S grad w/o local connections is very likely to leave the firm at some point so the money spent training them as an associate would not be well invested.

          • +1.

            It also greatly depends on whether she is actually interested in large firms, in general.

      • Good points here.

    • What’s the harm in applying? I agree with the previous poster that it depends on whether she wants to stay in the region and if her current school is well regarded locally. But if she wants to expand her options, she’s better off trying to transfer to a top school (but the financial implications are significant).

      Also, while certainly the majority of BigLaw firms hire folks from top law schools, you can still get in from a lower ranked school provided that you are top in the class. I went to a T50, got offers from several Vault 50 firms, graduated top 10% of my class. It’s harder but doable.

    • Is this undergrad?

      What kind of school is this? Give me a comparison school so we can judge quality.

      I say NO.

      Tell her to take advantage of all opportunities, get a 4.0, apply for all awards, and be the best student in her field from that school. THEN go full ride to the best grad school/professional school she can by applying for all scholarships etc…

      Do not take out thousands and thousands in loans. Just don’t.

    • Transfer Betty :

      I did something like this. I went to a 50-100 school (no scholarship, back then, I thought everyone just paid for school). Trying to get a first year summer job was so awful (not b/c of the school, but b/c firms in the local city seemed to regard me (from one state over) as some horrible carpetbagger (and people in my home state were all “if you really want to practice here, why aren’t you in law school here” (b/c it was NJ and I didn’t want to go to law school in Newark and I had never set foot in Camden b/c I was from 201)).

      At any rate, I transferred to a T25 law school near my then BF and in the state where I had gone to college. It wasn’t magic, but it was a massive relief that employers actually wanted to hire people like me (although they would still only hire from Law Review / top 10% of the class, neither of which I was as a transfer student). And I really liked that state (although I’m in the region, I never actually worked there). So it was still a struggle, but a struggle with hope.

      FWIW, I am a partner in a BigLaw firm now. I used to think that while I was very scratch-and-dent, I was scrappy and a fighter. I still think that, but I really don’t think much about it anymore. I don’t think anyone else much does (but I proably couldn’t get a job at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher or Wilmer Hale in a million years, so if that matters, there’s that; they might have hired the valedictorian in my class who was LR EIC, but not me).

      So, ask your friend to look with eyes wide open if she transfers:
      — can you try to write on to law review
      — are you eligible for early interview week as a 2L
      — what do they do re class rank for transfers
      — can you do clinics, etc. as a 2L?

      • “So, ask your friend to look with eyes wide open if she transfers:
        — can you try to write on to law review
        — are you eligible for early interview week as a 2L
        — what do they do re class rank for transfers
        — can you do clinics, etc. as a 2L?”

        Essential. When I transferred, I didn’t think of these things, and the answer to all of the above was NO. It really screwed me over IMO. I have a job now but I’m not sure transferring helped at all, in the end.

        • Transfer Betty :

          Also: where does the middle / bottom 50% of that school’s class work (if they work at all)?

          I don’t care about the outcomes on law review / order of the coif. I care if I have law loans and won’t likely get a job better paying / location I want compared to the school I transferred out of.

          At my first school, I started to get concerned about propsects even though I was in the top 5. My new school’s bottom 50% was still better off / more employed / more likely in places where would be happy living.

          • Betty -- Not the same as the one above :

            FYI: Transfers are not eligible for Order of the Coif, regardless of how high in the class one graduates.

    • I transferred from a low ranked law school to a high ranked law school and my advice to her would be this: apply to transfer, use the acceptance as a bargaining chip at her current school for more scholarship money. All of this depends on her goals of course- but she’ll have fantastic opportunities regardless of if she transfers with grades like that, and minimizing debt is really important.

    • Betty -- Not the same as the one above :

      I was in a very similar boat: Full-ride with great GPA at a local law school. I transferred to a top 20-30 law school after my first year and took on the full amount of debt. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was able to write on to one of my school’s law reviews, became EIC and graduated in the top 5% of my class. I landed a great federal clerkship, biglaw (top 5 firm) and am now in-house.

      A few points to consider: Had I stayed at my first school, there is simply no way I would have followed the career path that I have. My judge nor my prior biglaw shop would have even considered my resume, even if I had graduated at the top of my class. BUT I would not have graduated with a massive amount (6 figures) of debt. The debt drove me to biglaw to payback the loans, and while I value my time there and it taught me how to be a great lawyer in many ways, it also ate a bit of my soul. Had I stayed at my first school, I probably would have gone into public interest, which is my real love and passion, and not the world of corporate law. There is no right answer here.

      • I think this is 100% the right answer. I went to a 50-100 law school, and did very well. I stayed there, despite having the opportunity to transfer. I had a small scholarship, not a full ride, but still have less debt by far than if I had gone to one of the T-25 schools I had also gotten into. I do not regret my decision, and it worked out well for my chosen career path (local government).

        I had no real interest in the rat race/big law/prestigious federal government jobs. In theory, I would love those jobs. In reality, I love the balance my job provides me, and the feeling of doing something to give back to my immediate community. Looking back, I would have been very unhappy if my career had looked more like a traditional “successful” lawyer. That’s not snark at those ladies here who do those jobs — I am glad you do! I believe you earn every penny of those salaries. I just could not be a sane human being and join you. And I know that about myself, so I stayed.

        I think it all depends on what the OP’s ultimate goal is.

    • I transferred from a 20-30 school (not in the region where I wanted to work) to a top 10 in my home region. I wasn’t sure that I would get in: 3.9 my first semester but 3.7 in my second. Then I was nervous I wouldn’t do well academically because the new school was intimidating to me. I went from a modest scholarship to full tuition which was stressful, but I’d do it again in an instant. I wrote onto a law journal (not LR) and became an editor, participated in multiple academic activities (think moot court/ trial team etc.), and did a clinic. Ultimately I graduated in the top 5% of my class with a Biglaw job I would have never gotten from my 1L school. There were also personal reasons that made being in my home city extremely attractive and totally worth it. I am not sure that I would have made the transfer had I started off at a similarly-ranked school in my home city.

      I agree with the factors expressed above, and they mostly boil down to whether the transfer will help your friend get a job. It was absolutely key that transfers at my school could participate in on-campus interviews. Something else important: it takes more effort as a transfer to create connections with your profs and classmates. I have several good friends from law school but the ones I am closest to were fellow transfer students. The professors I keep in touch with (and who ultimately wrote me letter of recommendation) were the ones who supervised my writing or clinic projects. I took classes with one or two “rock stars,” but didn’t feel comfortable hanging around at office hours. That was stupid– your friend should hang around in office hours!

      This is totally snotty but I will mention it because I think it matters at least a little. If your friend wants to work in Biglaw, even if she is lucky and gets a job out of a lower-ranked school, there is something about having a top-named school on your resume that just helps smooth out certain interactions. Most clients will ultimately ask where you went to school as a conversation starter, partners talk about their alma maters, etc. The Ivy League “clubs” are popular locations for events at my firm. It’s clearly not the biggest factor, but it’s nice to feel like you have a certain amount of “I belong here” right out of the gate.

    • I’d advise your friend to stay where she is, make sure she graduates at the top of her class (which she should be able to do given that she was able to get a 4.0 her first semester), and think very strategically and aggressively about job hunting (e.g., applying directly to firms that don’t do OCI at her school). That’s what I did and I am so grateful that I stayed where I was and didn’t take on lots of debt. I know plenty of people who graduated from good schools during the recession, didn’t get good jobs, and are now heavily weighed down by student debt payments. IMO financial freedom is worth so much more than an alum network. I have built a great network several years out of law school that is specific to my niche practice area and the lack of alum contacts has not at all held me back.

      Some more details about my background: I went to a regional tier 4 law school largely for financial and logistical reasons (I went to school at night while working full-time), applied to transfer to a much better school, and ended up deciding to stay where I was. I graduated top of the class, was a law review editor, published an article, and was a TA for several classes. I got a biglaw summer associateship in the middle of the recession and have done very well career-wise. It wasn’t the easiest path but it meant that I took on minimal student loans and that’s ended up being very very worth it.

  8. Shopaholic :

    I’m starting a new workout routine next week (strength training at 6:30am) and I need all the advice I can get. I’m a) not a morning person and b) out of shape (I do have a trainer) but I was wondering if anyone here had any advice on food or wakeups or how to survive when I’m so sore and tired the first couple weeks.

    Thanks all!

    • I started something similar right after thanksgiving. Actually I started CrossFit. Anyway, what helped me was hot baths at night to get to bed at a decent hour plus helped with soreness and sticking with it was hard but I did it. It gets better about 4 weeks in. I also kept some extra snacks on me because I sometimes still get real hungry about 90 minutes after a work out. Also, in case youb haven’t heard it recently… You can do it.

      • I never sleep well the night before a morning workout until I am in the groove. One summer I was training with our competitors and by the end of the 5-week season I was feeling okay about getting up and moving that early. I set up a coffee (I like it iced, so this helps) and banana the night before and eat it on my ~10 minute drive to the gym. The biggest thing is the routine. A new routine is hard enough, let alone starting it at 6:30 am – but I promise if you stick with it it will get better!

        FWIW, I’m now a CrossFit coach and I kind of want to take on our 6 am classes to know I am getting up and moving every day, but I am terrified of oversleeping… so it works both ways.

        My “tips”: be extra nice to yourself. Eat enough carbs the night before, if you’re not on a low-carb diet (and even when I was on keto, I would save any carbs for night for this reason.) Have a spoonful of fat before bed – the diet plan I’m on now strongly encourages casein at night, so I make a little “pudding” with chocolate casein and a spoon of PB so I get protein + fat overnight. +1 to the hot bath/epsom salts, also foam rolling/stretching at home and making sure you aren’t sitting getting tight and sore all day at work (stand if possible, take short walk breaks, etc.) You can do it!!

    • The first few weeks will be rough, but once you get the routine going it gets easier. I call it workout inertia. Your trainer will progressively add more weight/reps/harder exercises as you get stronger. Plus remember, especially if it is a new routine, it is supposed to challenge you.

      How do you handle food on your stomach? Lifting isn’t really something you want to do without eating something a few hours before hand, unlike fasted running. I would eat a good dinner the night before so you don’t wake up starving, then eat a banana with 1 tbsp peanut butter and drink a full glass of water at 5:45.

      Gradually go to bed half an hour earlier over the next two weeks until you go to bed at 10:00PM. Also, limit your caffeine during the day. When you get a good night’s sleep, your energy levels are naturally high when you wake up, and you should be okay without coffee until an hour after your workout.

      I also sleep in my gym outfit for the next day, it makes it easier to roll out of bed and get out the door.

      • For soreness, ask your trainer about cool-downs with your sessions with her and how to have active recovery days between PT sessions. For example, I strength train 3 days/week and do longer cardio sessions 3x/week, but on my rest days, I take the dog on a 3-4 mile walk to keep my muscles loose.

        If your soreness turns into pain, tell your trainer ASAP. Work with her to manage your soreness, whether foam rolling or a 15-minute walk after sessions. You don’t want to pull a muscle or strain something because you think you have to push through the soreness.

      • You can 100% lift fasted, once your body is used to it. In fact, I much prefer fasted lifted to fasted cardio/running – I feel so slow without carbs in me!

    • Shenandoah :

      I can’t comment on tips to help with morning workouts, because I’ve never been able to stick to a morning workout routine. But if you’re starting strength training, I highly recommend looking into foam rolling after a workout – hopefully the gym you’re using will have foam rollers available. Otherwise you can buy one. And epsom salt baths will help with soreness.

      Just accept that you’ll be sore for at least the first couple of weeks and try to stick to your workout routine. Try to avoid skipping a day due to soreness if you can because generally you’ll loosen up during the workout. Good luck and enjoy! Strength training has done wonders for my health, body image, and general well-being.

    • I just downloaded this app for $1.99 and it was worth every penny. I’m not an app buyer, but this is the most annoying alarm to ever exist. You have to either walk 30 steps or take a specific picture that you have preset to turn the (VERY loud) alarm off. It also knows every trick in the book (including trying to turn the volume down, moving your phone while lying in bed to make it think you are walking, turning off your phone and then turning it back on) and will start over if it catches you cheating. It’s the only thing that gets me out of bed for the gym in the morning.

      • what is the name of this app? I need it. I am my most tired in the AM..horrible at waking up.

        • It’s called Step Out! or Step Out of Bed! or something like that

        • Theres a free one called Mathe Alarm that makes you do math problems ( you set difficulty and number of problems) before it shuts up. I never wake up and its pretty effective.

    • JuniorMinion :

      My advice would be just keep going…if that makes any sense. I have been intensifying my workouts for about three years now and I still have lots of days that are not my best. I just have to tell myself that my best today !=my best yesterday and thats ok. We all have better / worse days for a variety of reasons. Don’t beat yourself up if you need to modify an exercise or take a quick few second break. Better to do that and maintain good form than get injured. But I am sure your trainer will go over a lot of this type of stuff.

      In terms of wakeups, make your mornings plug and play if that makes any sense. When my schedule was such that i needed to wake up early to workout i laid my clothes out to workout in and filled my water bottle / put my protein bar out the night before so everything was plug and play. On mornings where I worked out in the gym, I would have my entire bag to take with me packed the night before. I know people who sleep in their gym clothes – this doesn’t work for me personally as i am a bustier gal and sleeping in a max impact sports bra is not comfortable.

      In terms of food everyone is different but in general make sure you get enough protein and drink enough water. I personally have had good luck eating 5-6 times a day with three larger / 2-3 smaller meals / snacks layered in. I have also had better luck having most / all of my carbs come from complex sources (beans / sweet potato / veggies / etc) as opposed to grains / refined carbs. Try to hit the “good enough” nutrition markers – whatever those are for you personally. There is a lot out there about perfect clean eating, but its best to just do the best you can in the circumstances of your reality.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I actually like to wake up earlier than I need to in order to give myself more time than I need to get out of the house. I wake up and drink a glass of water. Keep one on your bedside table so you can just sit up and chug it. Then I get out of bed and make myself a cup of coffee. I drink that while I look at my phone. Then I get dressed and leave. When I wake up and think “I should really cancel” or “I don’t want to go to the gym” I tell myself that if I’m awake enough to have those thoughts then I’m awake enough to get out of bed and go to the gym.

      As for soreness, drink a lot of water and make it a point to stretch regularly, even for just a minute or two. And, I always feel better when I eat better – sounds obvious but I notice a real difference in how I feel if I eat junk too many days in a row.

      • +1 to water by the bed to chug. I also put my meds in a shot glass (it’s usually just a birth control and vitamins to avoid this sounding so crazy…) the night before. Then I have my clothes laid out and ready to go. I wake up, sit up and drink the water take the pills. Get out of bed and make the bed. Then I go refill the water and drink it as I change my clothes. I keep a low sugar protein bar in the car for me to eat on the way to the gym. I also have my water bottle already in the car (the fountains aren’t close to where I lift at the gym and aren’t always clean at my gym so this is a must for me but also makes me drink enough).

        If you have a sh1t diet, the only way IMO to change that is to lay it out on Sunday for the week and pre-cook/chop/package your snacks. It’s hard to feel like once you are tired and sore, you should have to cook dinner! So make it easy on yourself.

        Last, take glutamine for sore muscles in addition to foam rolling.

    • I started this exact thing 2 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. My thoughts:
      1) Go to bed early and at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every day. Waking up at 6 is a lot easier if you do it every day. You can go back to sleep on the weekends.
      2) Have your gym clothes ready to go so you’re not fumbling around looking for a sportsbra. I wake up at 6, get out of bed at 6:10, brush my teeth and dress and am out the door by 6:23, and my gym is 7 minutes away. It’s not the best, but it’s the best I can do at 6 a.m.
      3) If you are very “regular” and your time is in the a.m., build that in to your morning routine. You don’t want to be at the gym in discomfort.
      4) The “extra” time you will have in the morning is unreal! (Depending on your commute, of course). My commute is short, so when I get home from the gym at 7:15, I still have about an hour to do laundry, tidy up, make lunches, meditate, whatever. I can usually fit in 2 of those things before I shower and get ready for work.
      5) Work out on your “off days” – I’ve been lazy lately but I’m more likely to get in a good workout with my trainer if I rode a bike or did yoga on the days I don’t work with her.

      Good luck, you will not regret this!!

    • I never eat before a morning workout; I just don’t want to get up early enough to eat and digest first. It hasn’t killed me yet. Your muscles will be sorest the first 2 weeks. Exercising actually helps relieve soreness too, so consider at least stretching and going through the motions of strength exercises without weights on your off days to help work some of the lactic acid out of your muscles. Do not keep your phone or anything else that can be used to procrastinate by your bed. Pack your bag the night before, including a post workout snack so you don’t pig out on junk on the way home (or to work).

    • I see that you’re getting some conflicting advice here about eating before working out in the morning, so just want to chime in that you just need to figure out what works for you; there’s no right or wrong answer. I absolutely cannot work out in the morning without eating something/drinking a lot of water first. When I try, I get super lightheaded/dizzy and have to stop what I’m doing so that I don’t pass out. On the flip side, my husband used to go to 6:30 am Crossfit on an empty stomach, and he was totally fine. So just listen to your body.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yeah, eating is absolutely a personal issue. I like to work out on an empty stomach, with the exception of a cup of coffee. I will only eat, like, half an apple or banana if I’m starving and think that I won’t make it through the workout. But those times are rare.

    • Yes, drink a TON of water. Not only does it help with your digestion (as well as headaches if you are consuming fewer carbs) but it really does help your muscles. I had to do PT a couple years ago and the therapist could literally feel it in my muscles when I hadn’t had enough water that day. It made my muscles tough and stringy to the touch and made movement much harder and more strained for me. Set little alarms or goals (i.e. by 10 am, I will have had three glasses of water) to help or add some flavor to your water.

    • Shopaholic :

      Thank you all so much for the advice and the words of encouragement. I’m a bit nervous/apprehensive but hopefully this won’t be too brutal!

      • Even if it is brutal, I just want to add that the best way is through. You’ll be sore, but the best way to alleviate soreness is to use those muscles again. You’ll improve so dramatically at first that it will be an incredible experience. Best of luck!!

  9. cake batter :

    Anyone have experience using the travel insurance through their credit cards? I have a Citi Double Cash card, which seems to offer coverage for any illness/injury of anyone traveling or a non-traveling family member, as well as natural disasters and government bans to the area. I’m booking a pricey domestic US trip (home rental vs. hotel rental) and my travel agent can’t offer insurance like I normally get. I know you can buy insurance separately, but I’m wondering if that’s necessary because my CC has good emergency coverage. Just curious if anyone has ever had to use their travel insurance through a CC and whether that worked out ok.

  10. Any ideas for a good gift for my husband for when our first baby comes in a few weeks? I know he’s getting me a simple, classic piece of jewelry that can hopefully be passed down to our daughter. My husband is estranged from his father and has a complicated relationship with his mom (growing up his family situation was tough) and has just been so cute about preparing for his new role and really looking forward to this new stage. He’s so conscious of having to break the pattern set by his parents and has really been so thoughtful about how he wants to parent and everything he wants for this new baby. I would love to get him something similar to mark the milestone for him and let him know how much I appreciate how excited and thoughtful he’s been.

    I’ve seen a lot of recommendations for a watch, but I don’t think he’ll wear one, so I’m looking for something else. Thanks!

    • Engraved photo frame so he can display a picture of baby in his office?

    • Can you get a nice bottle of his favorite booze that is good for “cellaring” so that he can save it and split it with daughter when she turns 21? That way, both of you are getting something nice that you enjoy that you can share with child in the future.

      • This is a nice idea.

        Though I have to be honest, I’m not sure Dad deserves a “push present” if that’s what this is about!

        • Did you read before commenting? She clearly explains why she’s looking for a sentimental gift and it has nothing to do with it being a mandatory push present.

          There are so many posts about tough, dysfunctional relationships that it makes me happy to read about spouses doing nice thoughtful things for each other.

      • My brother’s exgf’s dad bought a case of wine when each of his daughters was born to give them on their 21st birthdays. Loved this idea.

    • A journal?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Not a “serious” gift, but if he is nerdy at all, a copy of the book “Vader’s Little Princess” (or “Vader and Son” for a boy), with a note from the baby, will make him giddy.

    • How about a nice book/ series that he can look forward to reading with the kid in 5-8 years? You know his taste, but some ideas are The Indian in the Cupboard, Harry Potter, Roald Dahl. Plus Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too for cuteness out of the gate.

    • My husband was thrilled with a onesie that said “Daddy’s Sidekick” on it. It was intended for boys, but eff that. He also loves when the kiddo is gifted kid versions of things he likes — she has a lunch box with one of his favorite bands on it, and has had onesies from sports teams and bands he likes. I have super cute photos of them in matching shirts.

    • Also, a manly diaper bag (camo is cool amongst my brother’s set) might be a cute gift too.

    • I would write him a heartfelt letter about how much you appreciate him and how much you believe in his ability to be a great father, pointing out specific characteristics you hope your child will inherit or will benefit from. I think the picture frame is a good idea too, or something fun, like ChiLaw suggested.

  11. My boss resigned. Super bummed, as he has always been super hands off, and great as I’ve had a bunch of big life changes since working for him and hes been so supportive and flexible (1st house/marriage/baby). I now work a reduced and flexible schedule, and I really hope next boss will work with me on that.

    My workplace is not big into gifts… do I write a nice thank you note? I feel weird giving that to a man? Any input?

    • I would write a nice thank you note. There is nothing weird about that. I haaaaaaate all of the ingrained messages that say that we can’t communicate platonically with a man the same way that we can with a woman (and I struggle with it to). Are you writing a professional note that you would (1) otherwise feel comfortable writing to a woman and (2) have no issue with your spouse reading (as in, it wouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable)? Then it’s totally fine. You’re only off-sides here if you’re crossing lines, and nothing in your original post makes me think that you are.

      • Thanks! Yes, just a note to say I’ve really enjoyed working with/for him. Absolutely nothing that would cross lines or be seen as inappropriate. I’ll probably leave it on his desk, as I’d feel weird about handing it off in person. My workplace is not very personal so I’m overthinking it I’m sure.

  12. Year of no Fug -- sweater Q :

    I have a bunch of older sweaters that are only good for Friday/weekend wear. I am trying to replace with one office-OK cashmere sweater. I need something that is slightly cropped b/c I have a child’s size torso (but generous hips, so it’s got end above them or it will be too tight). I have a great casual cropped sweater, but can’t find something that works for the office.

    Land’s End XS Petite is too wide (and hot water washing / running through the dryer didn’t change that).

    What else might work? Uniqlo small is too tight at the waist and slighly too long in the torso.

    Trying to alter sweaters also didn’t work.

    • Maybe one of the Talbots “Audrey” sweaters, in a petite. They’re running a good sale right now. Are you looking for a cardigan or a pullover?

    • I recently saw a bunch of “cropped” cashmere sweaters at Neiman Marcus

    • Boden has cropped cardigans

    • Boden has cropped cashmere cardigans that might work

      • Year of no Fug -- sweater Q :

        I have tried that one! It is good as a not-for-buttoning cardigan in warmer months, but mine hs 3/4 sleeves and even sizing way up doesn’t seem like more than a larger shrug (which works with a few things I have, like DVF sheaths in the summer when the A/C comes on too strong). Not seeing it was working for winter.

    • Have you checked out Halogen at Nordstrom?

    • PatsyStone :

      The cropped sweaters, cardigans, and shells at Ann Taylor are perfect for my ultra-short torso.

    • I love my new Lord & Taylor cashmere sweater. We have similar proportions and mine is definitely short enough.

  13. Leaning Back In :

    I’ve had a great situation at work for the past year or so- I knew I was transitioning to a new role in June, so April and May was really about me stepping back and training my team to make sure everything ran smoothly once I was gone. I got pregnant in June after a long long time of trying, medical interventions, etc, which made me a little nervous about the timing with work but it was something I had wanted for SO long It was pretty easy to decide work was just going to be on the back burner for a little. Then I was in training in a classroom for June-Nov and it was easy for me to be at the top of my training class with minimal work just because of my previous role/institutional knowledge. I’ve been in the new role, which is very independent, since then and have been doing well enough basically putting in 3 full workdays a week. I wouldn’t put myself at the top of my class, but I’ve been putting in a solid performance basically working part time. The other two days a week I log in from home, have my dr appts, run errands and take care of all the house stuff that normally gets pushed to the weekend. Baby is due in March and I will be out on maternity leave until July.

    Any advice for getting the motivation to lean back in once I’m back from leave? I feel like I’ve basically had a very relaxed year at work, perception of my performance hasn’t suffered, and I got to focus on family stuff. I consider myself SO lucky for how this worked out. But the long term success in this role is really dictated by how much effort you put in, and I just haven’t had the inclination to do the little extras that I normally would.

    Any advice on leaning back in after a period of leaning out would be so appreciated!

    • So you’re just not working 2 days a week for no reason? That’s messed up.

      • Why is it messed up? Her job is clearly OK with it (at least for this limited time), and she says perception of her performance hasn’t suffered, so why shouldn’t she take advantage of that?

      • It’s basically a “results-oriented work environment” – do your job and nobody gives you shit for those work from home days where you check email and do your laundry. It’s different than the billable hour, but when you have a great boss, it’s amazing. And not bad at all.

        I have days and weeks like this at my job – I also have “busy times” where I run around all day every day for 10-12 hours straight, so I have never once felt bad about it.

      • Leaning Back In :

        I’m able to sufficiently do my work in 3 days. I recognize that I’m not being an all-star right now, but I’m certainly doing a competent, passable job that is on par with many of my colleagues who are going in 5 days per week. Could I fill 20 more hours a week going the extra mile? Yes, definitely. But at 8 months pregnant and with a 4 month maternity leave coming up, I’m kinda ok with striving for good enough instead of perfection. A few extra hours of sleep and some time to run errands and get organized is having a big impact on my quality of life right now and going to extra mile at work right now will not have a significant impact on my career. I see it as a cost/benefit analysis that will hopefully prevent burnout long term.

        That being said, I do want to be able to step it back up and want to have a long and successful career in this role. Which is why I’m asking for suggestions on getting it together and laying the groundwork to lean back in once I’m back.

      • There’s a lot of scientific literature that people work much more efficiently when they work fewer hours. It’s very possible that in 24 hours she’s getting roughly the same amount of work done she would in 40.

    • Moderate your expectations. Leaning back in when you’re just coming back with a new baby is really tough. Expect needing lots of PTO for illnesses etc if baby is in daycare. See yesterday’s thread on the moms site.

      Motivation will be to have an identity at work outside of your new role as a mom.

      • Anonymous4 :

        +1 to this. I desperately wanted to lean in after maternity leave in an effort to prove myself. It didn’t happen that way thanks to structure changes at my job, and I continued to lean out for 12-18 months. When LO was between 18 and 24 months old, I was really at a place I was ready to dive in again.

        Expect significant fatigue in the first year. Some women struggle with hormone imbalances and/or PPD that can have lingering effects for 12 months or longer. If you choose to BF, you will need to adjust your work day around pumping, and as said above, be prepared for more than usual amount of PTO for sick days if baby is in daycare.

        All that said, I intentionally planned a couple of projects for the 3 months after I would be back from FMLA leave. I made sure they were interesting and parts of my job I really enjoyed. You could spend some time now planning out those projects so you are ready to step in at whatever capacity you prefer at the end of your leave. Make sure your current assignments are passed off well, and that there is a plan for transitioning things back to you upon your return – planning through those things should make it easier for you to step right in and be able to lean in as much as you want and are able.

        Congratulations! Wishing you all the best.

    • givemyregards :

      Ignore Anon @ 10:29.

      I can’t speak to the workplace logistics of leaning back in after a baby, but if you’re just talking about personal motivation, I think people who are normally hardworking and motivated tend to ebb back that direction naturally when they need to. I know it’s not helpful to say “don’t worry about it!” but maybe try to remind yourself of times when you worked really hard, or aggressively leaned in – if you did it once you can do it again.

  14. Single again :

    What’s the etiquette among fellow single friends when talking to guys? I’ve been single for a couple of months and I’m ready to start dating again. I have a single friend who’s been incredibly supportive through my breakup. She’s outgoing and flirtatious and on every dating website there is. If it matters, I was a good wingman when I was in a relationship; I introduced her to a lot of guys she ended up dating.

    The other weekend when we were out, I was chatting with a guy while she was talking with someone else. It was the first time I’d felt a spark in a long time and I thought maybe he did too but I’m not sure, I’m terrible at this sort of thing. When my friend noticed, she swooped in and started talking to him. She told him that I really needed the night out and was recently single and generally made me seem like a mess – nothing offensive that I felt like I could call her on, and of course it was all said with a smile, but I was pretty irked. My friend later told me she’d seen him at that bar before and he never seemed interested in her but she was definitely going to take him home. Maybe I did something wrong by talking to a guy she had her eye on? Do I have any place to be peeved if she now goes after him? I mean ultimately he’s his own person, if he wants to date her that’s his decision, but why do I feel so… ugh… about it. Maybe I should crawl back to my ex.

    • ? Don’t go back to your ex. Drop the frenemy. Don’t go out with her in situations were you hope to meet guys.

    • Girl stop. Your friend was out of line. Stand up for yourself and tell her so. “Hey, why’d you interrupt me and that guy? We were doing great, and then you embarrassed me and made it sound like I was a hot mess. What’s the deal?”

      Don’t crawl back to your ex just because this friend was uncool one night.

    • Your friend is awful. Dump her. Don’t go back to your ex.

    • Boston anon :

      you friend was rude. some women are just incapable of playing wingwoman/not being the center of attention in that situation. You could confront her about it, and she might apologize and not do it again or she might not understand and it will always be a problem. I had a girlfriend who was a very good friend but we could never go out together to meet guys–she was too competitive just simply couldn’t handle if someone was showing interest in me and not in her. So, I went out to meet guys with other friends.

      • I think you all are probably right, I won’t be able to go out with her like this. Which sucks because she’s so good at meeting people!

        When she told me she planned on taking him home now I asked her uh wtf you know I like him and he seemed interested in me why would you tank that? She just said that she’d talked to him before I met him. She also said I can’t “call” guys, that’s annoying and immature.

        I guess I just have to tell myself, if the guy is going to go for her even after meeting me then it’s not meant to be. If the guy is going to be that easily distracted then he’s not as promising as I’d hoped anyway. Right?

        • I don’t know. Guys like low-hanging fruit. That fact that he went home with her doesn’t mean he didn’t feel a connection with you or that he’s a bad guy, it could just mean he thought you were both interesting and attractive and she was more assertive. I wouldn’t waste any more time thinking about this particular guy, but I also wouldn’t keep going out to meet guys with this friend on the theory that guys who are really into you will ignore her advances. That’s not really how it works when you’re both meeting someone for the first time.

          • Just for clarification – she hasn’t slept with him yet, she told me she was going to. I said oh did you talk to him? Thinking maybe she’d gotten his number or had gone back to the same bar later. But no she hasn’t. She’s just on a mission now.

        • Senior Attorney :

          OMG this makes it even worse. Sadly, you will not be able to go out with her if you want to meet guys.

          And yes, the guy is his own person but her behavior was still gross.

    • Your friend has decided you are the wingman and she is, I guess, the pilot. (? i don’t know where the term wingman comes from )

      She clearly cannot handle the idea that this guy seemed interested in talking to you but had never shown the same interest in her.

      You should find other friends to go out with, and yeah, I would definitely say something to her if she pulls that crap again.

      I know you were probably saying it for dramatic effect, but don’t go back to your ex based on this one night out!

    • This made me shudder, it sounds so much like a former close friend of mine. I could go on and on with the stories, because honestly I kept her in my life for way too long. But one of the most memorable incidents occurred when we were out one night talking to some guys, and one of them had been showing an interest in me the entire evening. She waited until I got up from the table for a moment to make her move on him – telling him that we were both interested in him and he could pick one of us. (Disgusting, I know.) He made it clear to her that he was interested in me, and we’re now married. Even after that, we stayed friends because I had known her since high school, but it never got better. Once I was no longer single, she would find other ways to manipulate and embarrass me, and I regret putting up with it for so long.

    • Ahh I had a ‘friend’ who, if I was hitting it off with a guy, would physically position herself in between us in order to take over the conversation with him. She once even overtly propositioned a guy when he was trying to ask me out on a date.
      Anyway, my sympathies. Maybe you can try to talk with her and see if she is open to a real conversation about the dynamic, or if you just feel confused and gaslighted after.

    • I used to hang in a group of mixed single and married women. One of the married women was always trying to set the single women up with these great guys she knew. And it always went like this

      M: I know a great guy, do you want to meet him?
      S: maybe, can you tell me about him
      M: great looking, single, great job. of course, he is always hitting on me, but I keep telling him I’m married haha

      Then, if the single person went out with the guy, the married friend made sure to keep flirting with him to make sure he stayed interested in her.

      We eventually dropped her from our circle, needless to say!

      Your friend is acting like this woman, and it will not get better. Ditch her, seriously.

    • You need a new wingwoman who won’t pull this crap. What city are you in? If you’re in LA, you can hang out with my friends and me!

    • Wingwoman Extraordinare :

      First of all obviously ditch her. Second, all you have to do to get guys to talk to you is make eye contact for like 3 seconds. You don’t need her, trust me. There’s a reason she’s still single despite the fact she can talk to anyone and it’s probably because she needs an insane amount of attention and lacks self worth. Last, I can make my craziest girlfriend who just tried to burn her ex-boyfriend who is married’s house down look like GD Beyonce. That’s what a wing woman does. Even if my friend comes off as crazy, I will act crazier by comparison so he will still pick her. Beware the single girls who are going to compete. It’s rough out there but real fellow single friends know the guy will pick who he likes anyways.

      DO.NOT.go back to your ex. It sucks but the only thing worse than being alone, is wishing you were alone. Not being able to date because you are in a bad relationship and feeling lonely is worse than actual loneliness.

      I have had to work on this for years. But it has to be about you and you have to make yourself happy. Relationships are not a definition of that. Plus people want to be around happy people and you’ll naturally attract people so you don’t even have to go up to them. Good luck. You deserve happiness. Don’t forget that. If someone were wasting your money, you wouldn’t like that. Don’t let people waste your time or your heart!

  15. Hi ladies,

    Cross-posting from the moms’ site — wondering if anyone has had experience with getting your membranes stripped to induce labor. I’m 39+ weeks (due this Sunday) and my OB suggested doing it to move things along (no early labor signs so far), but I’m not sure what the pros and cons are of doing this (all I really know is that it seems less drastic than other more common ways to induce, like pitocin). Thanks!

    • Is there a medical reason to induce? I thought the recommendation was no induction before 41 weeks in a healthy pregnancy? Sweeps are less risky than pitocin but will not necessarily start labor if baby isn’t ready. Interventions (pitocin etc) increased your risk of further interventions (episiotomy/c-section).

      Baby will come when ready. Once you get post-dates you can get ultrasounds to keep an eye on baby/amniotic fluid volume.

    • I guess the question is, why do you need to do it? Unless there’s some medical reason that you need to move things along, I’d lean very heavily towards just waiting for labor to start on its own. At least for another week, week-and-a-half.

    • I did it with my first one and ended up with an infection in my uterus. It caused major complications during the birth—my life and the baby’s life were both at risk. Apparently there haven’t been studies linking the two but my doctor husband and father in law are both convinced that’s what did it.

      • There is medical literature linking membrane stripping to infections. All doctors might not know about it, but the link has definitely been studied.

    • Anonnynonny :

      My sister-in-law had her membranes stripped twice before 40 weeks. She did this for a few reasons–baby was measuring big, she was super tired of being enormously pregnant, and her doctor was threatening to force her to induce at 40 weeks just because she is 39 years old (and she wanted to have a drug-free labor, like her previous two children). So she was doing all she could do induce labor in other ways. Acupuncture, massage, cayenne, sex, etc.

      The second stripping worked! Baby girl, 8 pounds 9 ounces.

      • Anonnynonny :

        PS- should have said this was just last week so not entirely out-of-date anecdote.

      • Just FYI – they can’t ‘force you to induce’. You have to consent.

        • Anonnynonny :

          Right, but thought that was the quickest way to explain what was happening without getting sidetracked. The doctor was pretty terrible–she had nurses calling my SIL multiple times a day to schedule an induction and spent much time in her appointments telling my SIL how she was putting the baby at risk (in what was otherwise a perfectly healthy pregnancy, despite the “advanced maternal age”) by refusing to put the induction on the calendar for the very day of her due date, etc. My SIL was feeling very pressured/forced. Consent is a very different story with labor/childbirth generally.

          • You know why the doctor was calling, though. They didn’t want anything to happen to the baby. You have to remember that for the most part OBGYNs are decent human beings and are not doing this for their own convenience or jollies. They have seen terrible outcomes in their practices (all of them have seen terrible outcomes, this is not an exaggeration) and they want to do all they can to avoid that happening again.

            I know we all like the idea of nature taking its course, but infant mortality used to be very high, and it’s much lower now in western countries due to western medicine. If you want to accept nature, you have to also accept nature’s risks.

          • Anonnynonny :

            Totally agree most OBGYNs (and doctors) are decent human beings (I’d even say “really wonderful people”). But I also think my SIL happened to have a pretty terrible unsupportive one, which happens on rare occasions.

          • So tired of the fear mongering. There is literally no practice guideline to induce at 40 weeks based solely on age. The OB was not engaging in appropriate practice.

            “it’s much lower now in western countries due to western medicine” Terrible outcomes are the exception by far. USA has an exceptionally high c-section rate (unnecessary c-sections having worse consequences for both mom and baby) and some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the developed world. I wouldn’t group the kind of interventionist birth practices (or unregulated home birth practices) found in the USA in the same category as Europe or Canada. Home birth with a trained midwife for an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy is literally the official policy in the UK because studies have shown it to be safest for mom and baby. Most European countries have an in-hospital birth with a midwife as standard care.

            @Anonnynonny Sorry your SIL had a rough experience but congrats on a healthy baby and being an auntie.

          • OMG no to Anon @11:47. Am I the only one who remembers reading the Angela Carder case in law school?

    • I researched this a ton and everything I read suggested there was no medical evidence it induced labor and it was uncomfortable and slightly increased the risk of infection. I pushed back on my OB’s offers to do it until my due date (at 40 weeks) and then reluctantly agreed to it. It was uncomfortable and did nothing. Baby came on his own 5 days later. If I could do it again, I would not have done it.

    • AlexisFaye :

      I know you are absolutely miserable, but you will be so so so so much happier if things (can) happen on their own. If baby is ok, you can go up to 42 weeks before you really need to fret. Drink a bunch of raspberry leaf tea, or eat a bunch of pineapple, but keep those fingers OUT. [[As an aside, hard core nipple stimulation will really get it going. I’m talking sucking like the baby is already nursing. It hurts, though. My midwives had me do it because my labor was prodromal. NEVER AGAIN]] Also, if you want to labor naturally, don’t let them break your water, either. It acts as a natural bumper between you and the baby. It hurts way worse after it breaks. (Had 3, first induced (NOOOO), second came on his own but I still had an epidural, 3rd on her own at home with midwives. BEST LABOR EVER).

    • I had my membranes stripped with all three of my full term pregnancies, and it hurts like a mother. I’m not sure it moved anything along, but it’s a standard first step. No fun, plan to go home right after and feel sorry for yourself.

      What really moved my labor along was having my bag of waters broken, which they had to do all three times, but they don’t do that until you’re in active labor.

      I don’t really think there are any magic tricks to getting labor going. People say walking or having s ex but honestly, the baby comes when the baby is ready to come.

      I had pitocin-induced labor with my first and it wasn’t as terrible as a lot of people make it out to be. I think women love to tell gory labor and delivery war stories as kind of a badge of honor or a show of macha, but all it does is terrify pregnant women!

      • As a counterpoint, I had Pitocin and it WAS that terrible and it led to more and more interventions that likely would not have been necessary without the Pitocin, resulting in an emergency C-section, which the data shows is much, much more likely after Pitocin. So even though plenty of women get Pitocin and are fine, you should still be aware that Pitocin = higher likelihood of more severe interventions.

        • +1 Had Pitocin, which led to an emergency C. For my second, I had a VBAC. Both were fine but I highly recommend trying to avoid a C-section if you can (longer recovery, more pain, can’t lift anything, etc.).

          Try accupuncture as a safe, natural way to induce labor. Ask around your community for recs and make sure you go to someone who is very experienced in inducing labor. I know three women who were almost 40 or over 40 weeks, had accupuncture, and went into labor a few hours later. It really works.

          • + 1 to the accupuncture

          • Anonymous :

            I had acupuncture, it did not work for me. My midwife was also against it as she said it could cause membranes to rupture too early (which does imply that it works, right?) and cause complications if labor doesn’t progress. Anyway, I ended up being induced at 42 weeks via 2 rounds of cervadil, followed by [epidural then] pitocin and ruptured membranes. My son inhaled meconium at birth and was in the NICU for 7 days. He’s fine though. There was meconium in the amniotic fluid when it was ruptured, so I don’t think it was caused by pitocin. So in hindsight, I might ask to be induced at 41 weeks; my OBGYN sister in law said this is the standard of care. But before then I don’t believe there is any evidence your baby will have a better outcome on the outside.

        • This is where I believe the data are fuzzy. Pitocin is associated with more c-sections, but I don’t think they can show it causes more c-sections. Pitocin and c-sections are both associated with labor that fails to start on its own. They are *associated,* not causative.

          You can’t really do a double blind study of this because it would be unethical to force women who don’t need it to have pitocin to see if it changes outcomes.

          • Pitocin is known to CAUSE tetanic contractions, which CAUSE fetal distress, which CAUSES c-sections.

            Also, many women in the U.S. are given pitocin when they don’t need it.

          • Source? If there were a clear causal relationship, the US tort system would have knocked pitocin of the market a long time ago.

            translation: b1tch,please

          • Anonymous :

            http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2000/06000/Elective_Induction_of_Labor_as_a_Risk_Factor_for.26.aspx

            And the U.S. tort system is not based on science but on the “standard of care,” meaning that whatever doctors customarily do is OK even if it is harmful.

          • Anonymous :

            The article you sited does not include any causal evidence, only correlational.

          • Anonymous :

            cited*

          • Anonymous :

            It is not true that you can only make causal inferences on the basis of a randomized controlled trial. Sure, an RCT is the gold standard, but it is impracticable in many circumstances. No one is ever going to be able to recruit women to volunteer for a random chance at being induced. The cited article compares elective inductions to spontaneous labors. If women who choose elective inductions do not differ systematically from women who go into labor spontaneously in a way that makes them more likely to need c-sections, then it is reasonable to make a causal inference based on the correlation between induction and c-sections.

            The prescribing information for pitocin also cites tetanic contractions as a known side effect.

          • Anonymous :

            I am not talking about RCTs. The statistical methods used are not able to identify causal effects. I am a data scientist and this is not an opinion or up to a debate.

          • Anonymous :

            Elective inductions are endogenous by definitions, there is absolutely no way that these findings can be interpreted as causal.

          • Anonymous :

            definition*

      • Yeah, I had my water break spontaneously at 38-ish weeks –> pitocin –> fetal distress –> emergency C. In retrospect I shouldn’t have consented to being induced when my water broke… or I should’ve had a doula who cared/showed up to help with labor… or something. If I had a do-over (nope nope never having another kid nope one terrifying delivery experience was plenty) I would have pushed back a lot on the interventions.

        • Anonymous :

          My first labor started at 38 weeks with spontaneous water break – I turned down pitocin and luckily labor started within 24 hours, still had a really negative experience based on a lot of other stuff that happened during the delivery (I’ll spare you the details). Couldn’t imagine doing it again.

          My doula for my second pregnancy was a registered social worker who did birth trauma counselling. She really helped me move past that negative first experience. My second pregnancy was a twin pregnancy that also ended with spontaneous water break in my 38th week. I had such a good delivery experience that I’m literally sad we’re done having kids and I don’t get to give birth again.

          If you have any negative feelings or regrets about your experience, please talk to someone who specializes in birth trauma – even if you decide not to have any more pregnancies, it’s not worth feeling negative about the one you had. If my small city had someone, I’m sure wherever you are will as well.

          • Thank you for the encouragement. I am in therapy with someone wonderful, who is helping me get to a place where the reason for not trying for another kid is something other than terror. To be honest, right now it’s fear of fear that’s holding me back, not fear itself. If that makes sense? I’m scared of how scary it would feel to be pregnant/delivering again.

            How did you find that doula?

    • Alright so I, a single childless woman, just googled this to see what on earth y’all are talking about. OMG WHY WOULD YOU CONSIDER THIS IT SOUNDS HORRIFYING. I love that WebMD says it “may be uncomfortable”. Uh yeah you f cking think so??? This is like leeches for the 21st century. But worse. So much worse. I mean look my opinion doesn’t count for much but unless it’s medically necessary here’s a big hell to the no from the peanut gallery.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Hahaha this is the best post ever!

      • Baconpancakes :

        That is pretty much exactly like I was thinking. Coming at it from someone who’s never gotten pregnant, all the shit Western medicine has made normal in childbirth sounds actually barbaric.

        • Anonymous :

          Have you all heard about what is normal for post-partum bleeding? Only call your doctor if blood clots are larger than A GRAPEFRUIT. Seriously. It’s a mircale women have more than 1 child.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve had three kids and never heard this. I’m in Canada and we are told to call if it’s larger than a loonie (our slightly larger than a quarter $1 coin)

          • Anonymous :

            I’m not sure where this came from – I was told call for anything larger than a golf ball, which is about the diameter of a quarter and much, much smaller than a grapefruit. You’re also supposed to call if the bleeding is still heavy after a few days or if it gets heavier – it’s supposed to gradually get lighter and lighter after you give birth.

          • Anonymous :

            Sorry, blame my foggy post-birth memories, as I am sure golf ball is right. Either way, bleeding a golf ball is alarming, although less so after birthing a baby.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve never had children but I pass quarter-sized clots during my period sometimes, so it doesn’t seem alarming to me.

    • My OB wanted to do this at 39 1/2 weeks (suggested it a week ahead, for the next appointment). After thinking about it, I planned to decline but ended up going into labour the night before the next appointment anyway. I didn’t really see any reason to do it before baby was actually overdue.

    • Big babies :

      I had it done around 39 weeks with my second child because my first child weighed 10 pounds 4 ounces at birth and as you can imagine his delivery was difficult due to his size. The stripping worked. I went into labor that night, and my 9 pound 6 ounce boy was born about 12 hours later. I had no complications or infections. I would do it again.

      • Thanks everyone these experiences and anecdotes are all really helpful! To answer folks’ questions — no medical reason to do it, at least as of my last appointment (last Fri). I’m getting pretty uncomfortable generally but am relatively OK considering! Finally went on maternity leave as of this week so that’s been helpful. Trying to take it easy-ish. Have my weekly appointment tomorrow morning. Last week was when OB suggested it. My own research so far was leading me to think that at the very least it may not be worth the discomfort, esp. if technically pre-due date. I hadn’t looked into the risk factors for infections though so that was especially helpful to hear.

        Given everyone’s thoughts I’m thinking of at least declining for purposes of tomorrow and then we can see if there’s a need for it the following week once I’m past due date.

    • Did it with my first when I was at 38 weeks and showing no signs of anything. It was REALLY painful for me, and since we did it just in the office at a regular appointment, no medicine or anything. My water broke spontaneously 3 days later with 1 cm dilation, had a s.l.o.w. labor (more than 36 hrs of laboring/lots of pitocin before much dilation), etc. Not sure how much the membrane stripping came into play, but with my second I ended up scheduling an induction at 39.5 weeks because it seemed like the membrane stripping was a neutral-to-bad experience.

      • Anonymous :

        You probably had a slow labor on your first because baby wasn’t ready.

        Normal gestation is 40-42 weeks. Pre 40 no induction unless specific medical need is the recommendation exactly because of what happened to you.

    • Both my kids were super late. With my first I had my
      Membranes stripped at 41 weeks. Water broke at 41+4 and I went into labor and delivered 6 hours later.

      My second was late and induced at 41+6. I was dreading it but It was so much easier than my first- meds started at 8am, baby born at 12:35pm. I think had a much tougher than normal labor with my first but didn’t know it until I had an “easy” birth. As in, with #2 I wanted an Eli and it didn’t have time to kick in so I felt everything- and it felt like my first did BEFOrE the epi.

    • I had them stripped twice with my first pregnancy. First time was at 39 weeks, because I had been in off-and-on prodromal for 4 weeks and was exhausted with having 6 hours of painful regular contractions a night plus contractions anytime I walked for more than 10 mintues. It was kind of a “mercy” procedure suggested by OB. It did end up inducing contractions that were sustained enough to get me admitted to L&D, but eventually they died out and I opted to be released rather than have a medical induction. Second time was at my 40w appointment, and I went into labor and delivered the next day. Who knows if I would have gone into labor anyway?

      I would not get membranes stripped unless there were a compelling reason to do it (like 5 weeks of prodromal labor). I did not have prodromal labor with my second, and the thought of sweeping membranes never came up. Of course, baby also came a week early.

      • UGH I had prodomal labor with my third for a week and I was so tired from not sleeping that I was in tears by the time I showed up to my OB’s office to have my membranes stripped (for the second time.) She took a look and said, oh I think you’re in real labor this time! No membrane stripping but I did have my bag of waters broken. He was born a few hours later.

  16. Super Bowl :

    What appropriately themed food or drinks can you make for this years super bowl?

    • Clam chowder, lobster rolls, fried chicken

    • Molly Stevens roasted chicken wings.

      Salt and pepper a bunch of chicken wings. Roast them at 400 degrees until done – it helps if they’re on a rack, like a cookie cooling rack over a sheet pan.

      Have ready a bowl of just about equal parts melted butter and tabasco sauce. Throw the wings into this bowl straight from the oven and toss. Serve with celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing. (or ranch if you’re a ranch girl – I think the best ranch dressing is made from the Hidden Valley packets, buttermilk recipe)

    • Coca-Cola anything, wings, celery stuffed with pimento cheese, grits bar with assorted toppings.

    • A bowl of soup!

  17. Anonnynonny :

    How do you stay productive at work when things go wrong personally that you can’t talk about professionally?

    If you’re interested, I learned yesterday that my body officially doesn’t respond to IVF and this is the end of the line for having biological children. Related: how do I not beat myself to death over this? I’ve thought every conceivable waste-of-time blaming thought I can, from “it’s all that non-organic fruit you eat” to “this is God’s punishment for having premarital sex.” I wish I were kidding about both of those. No lecture needed on lack of logic here. Moral of the story, I am typically a level-headed rational person; now, I am weepy at everything. How do I move past this and focus on my job?

    • :(

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My only suggestions come from St. Thomas Aquinas’s 5 remedies for sadness (1- grant ourselves something we like, 2- cry, 3- share sorrow with a friend, 4- “contemplate the truth” which mostly means find comfort in art or music albeit is a weird way of putting it and 5- hot bath and sleep). It’s a little wacky, but it gives me comfort to think about 5 things I can actually do when I’m so sad I can’t even breathe. I don’t know why I find so much comfort in the list, but I hope it brings you some too.

      • Anonymous4 :

        I think this is beautiful, and don’t know why I haven’t seen it before. I’ve been in my fair share of grief circles and I’ve never seen this so well said. Thank you.

    • AnotherAnon :

      This is not the answer you are looking for. If I am in lot of pain, I just don’t try to perform as if nothing has happened. I accept I am a human being and let myself not perform. Please take some time off. From your post, this is a big deal for you and not something you can just shrug off and go on with your life as if nothing has happened.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, this for sure. The only way out is through.

        So sorry. Sending internet hugs.

      • +1 – take time off. Mental health is important. I’d do everything I could to take an immediate break from work. I don’t know your workplace, so I can’t speak to whether or not to confide in someone there – where I work, people are very human and would understand that time off to process is needed and it wouldn’t be held against me. If you don’t have that kind of work, an emergency sick week is normal, and happens. Some reading that might help could come from child free websites/groups, but eventually – those tend to be by people who didn’t want children in the first place, but they do speak to how there’s an amazing life to be had without them. I’d give it a minute though to grieve your loss before you get there.

    • No advice, but lots of hugs.

    • I’m so sorry. Time is the only thing that will help. Can you take any time off to care for yourself?

      Can you see a grief counselor for at least a few visits? The thoughts you’re having are called magical thinking, and I felt those as well when my three year old daughter died many years ago. Having someone to talk to about it helped a lot, particularly when she said it was typical and normal to have thoughts like that, and gave it a name and an explanation.

    • Therapy.

    • To-do lists with lots of small, accomplishable steps on them. Include some self-care things in the to-do list: schedule coffee with a friend, manicure, yoga, whatever makes you feel good. Checking those things off counts *just as much* as checking off work things.

      You’re gonna get through this. Hugs.

    • I’m sorry. When we gave up on IVF and biological children, it actually helped me to get involved with an intense project at work. Free time was the hardest because I couldn’t think of anything else. I was also in the you should be able to get pregnant club which made it even harder. FWIW, we are now parents through adoption and love our little one just as if they were our blood.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that.

      I think you should go on vacation somewhere warm. Maybe therapy because that’s the default.

      It seems like everyone always says that they’re thankful for the bad/disappointing things that happen in life (mostly like 15 years later….which is infuriating and slow, but there you go) because they led them to something else/helped them grow/something else. This idea has been on my heart lately–in other situations. I wonder if you could pretend to be future you in some amazing situation and looking back at this like, “yup, wow. that was awful. still hurts. but I got here because of it” and try to go from there.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I am sorry this is happening to you, it sounds like you’ve had a tough road to walk. I’ve never gone down the parenthood path but I have experienced some major personal ish. What helped me was to give myself some dedicated time and space for self care. Watching movies / tv I liked, eating my favorite foods, having good adventures, exercising (may not be your thing but is something I personally love doing). These all helped me – even if you can’t take a vacation, some sort of a mini break ie “Friday I am going to eat this delicious thing I have always wanted to try while watching x movie and then i am going to eat z for dessert” has helped me to have something concrete to look forward to.

      I’ve also had good luck with repeating affirmations / compliments to myself. Pick a time of day (I do morning) and force yourself to compliment yourself on a personal quality or something you achieved in the last 24 hours. It could be something like – “I ate the salad with my burger yesterday and I am proud of myself for making a healthier choice and sticking to my guns” or “I managed that work situation that was really tough for me well” (these are my examples :). Also after this affirmation I tell myself that I am positive, committed to doing my best, and will celebrate the good things in life and then I try to put those in action in my day.

      This might sound silly (it made me feel stupid in the beginning like – I’m standing here in front of the mirror at 6:45 am doing this ish? really?), but it has helped me to mentally reframe. I had a lot of caustic negative self talk and self blame / uncertainty stemming from a bad childhood and this has helped me over time.

    • The loss of the prospect of biological children is a loss. You might need some time to just power through. You might need some time to grieve. You might need to do some of both. Don’t think that you need to just be okay. If you’re not okay, you’re not okay. It’s a big deal. Be kind to yourself.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m so sorry. Please take the rest of the day and tomorrow off. Let yourself just grieve and wallow. You can focus on being productive on Monday.

    • I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for this loss. My sister recently received the same news, and it can be understandably hard to process and work through.

      I posted here about a big unexpected somewhat negative life change (though not nearly on the same level as this one) a few months ago, and a fellow poster told me it was okay to grieve the loss of the life I thought I would have. I’ve been repeating that to myself occasionally when I find myself still sad or struggling with my own personal situation – it helps to give myself permission to not be “okay” all of the time, or reminds me that it’s alright that I didn’t immediately get over it and move on with my life.

      I second taking some time off (even a day or two to focus on taking care of yourself might help).

    • Anonymous4 :

      I am so sorry. Please give yourself space to grieve. Take some time off. Get good, healthy rest. Care for your soul with meditation and fresh air and whatever else brings you peace. Seek counseling or therapy, and a support group – I believe if you cannot find one in person you may find a supportive one online, perhaps via Facebook.

      At a particularly grievous period in my life, there came a point I actually would assign myself a “time” each day to grieve. It helped me to focus during the rest of my day. I knew I’d have the opportunity to acknowledge my sadness, and it seemed to quell the constant drip all day long.

  18. I’m starting to get very scared about how antagonistic Trump is. Look at how he’s tweeting about Iran. He has no tact and I’m very worried about his words and aggressiveness escalating to violence.

    • I think violence is inevitable. At this point I’m just hoping it’s non-nuclear violence.

    • I can’t believe that in the last 24 hours alone he has threatened to invade Mexico, yelled at and hung up on the PM of Australia, asked people to pray for Arnold’s Apprentice ratings, threatened to defund UC Berkeley because of protests there, and tweeted that Iran is “PUT ON NOTICE”. And yet half the country still idolizes him because Fox News and Breitbart say he’s great. (I’m horrified that Fox News seems to be incapable of criticizing him – you can be very conservative and despise Obama and still think Trump is crazy.)

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I am sort of surprised more Americans aren’t that scared-maybe they will be in time. It really feels like some sort of a coup attempt even though Trump is actually the President, and seems antithetical to American ideals. But hey I grew up in the Soviet Union, so I might be a bit sensitive to this stuff.

      • Terrified :

        A lot of people I talk to are terrified we are about to learn how fragile our democracy is. What can we do?

  19. OMG we are buying a house. :

    Everyone, five years ago I graduated from law school terrified, with no job. After 5 years in a HCOL city, without a car, living in a tiny run-down apartment, I now have my second job out of law school, it is in a MCOL city in my home state, and DH and I just had our counter-offer accepted on a real, live, house! With a (tiny) yard! And a (decrepit) garage! And…I have a lot to learn.

    First on my list. How does one comparison shop for washer/dryer sets? Any good resources to compare makes and models? Best places to buy (Costco? Online?)? Is it worth looking at used appliances?

    And second on my list. Say you have never gardened but need to learn the basics. What would you read or where would you go? Specifically, we have a couple mature trees that are pruned in the shape of boxes that we want to…prune into a more aesthetically pleasing shape. And we want to plant some herbs and such in the back yard and can’t decide if we should do pots on the patio, just toss them in the flower beds around the lawn, or build planter boxes. And we want to choose some plants for the front flower beds that are pretty low-maintenance and make sense for our climate. Should we just go to a nursery and ask a bunch of questions? Buy a book?

    I realize I’m getting ahead of myself with the gardening thing, but planning is fun for me.

    • Wildkitten :

      sweethome and the wirecutter for product reviews

      • OMG we are buying a house. :

        Thank you.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        Also, I always watch for scratch and dent appliances. There are often large discounts on products because they have a dent in the side. My parents owned rental property and shopped this way for years without an issue. I’ve been a homeowner for about 13 years now, and almost always by scratch and dent appliances.

      • Delta Dawn :

        We moved recently and bought a new washer and dryer. We had a twenty year old washer and dryer in our old house, and they were hideous and loud but still worked great. We left them there for renters to use.

        Our new one is a Samsung. I have cursed it every day. It’s a top loading washer and matching dryer. The washer is high efficiency, which means it uses as little water as possible, which means sometimes things get clean and sometimes they don’t. It also means I have to wash most loads twice (is it really efficient if I have to wash everything twice, Samsung??). The dryer is always trying to outsmart me; I can’t just pop one shirt in the dryer for a few minutes to get the wrinkles out, because the dryer “knows” the shirt isn’t wet, so it just stops. On its own.

        Anyway, my advice on washers and dryers is to check the reviews mentioned above, buy appliances that won’t try to outsmart you, and maybe look into Speed Queen, which are ugly and industrial but which I definitely wish I had bought. Good luck to you!

    • Congratulations! If you’re in the Western states, my favorite gardening book is the Sunset Western Garden Guide. I have gardened for 20 years and I still refer to it all the time.

      • OMG we are buying a house. :

        Yes, we are in Sacramento. Thanks!

        • Sacramento? You MUST plant a tomato plant or two. You can grow fantastic tomatoes in Sac. I’m jealous in Berkeley!

          Tomato plants aren’t difficult. They need sun and water and some kind of support.

          • OMG we are buying a house. :

            Oooh, fresh summer tomatoes sound lovely right about now. I think our problem is going to be containing ourselves and starting slowly! I could see us planting all the plants and watching them die one by one.

    • Congratulations!! How thrilling!

      Re: washers – Get the biggest one you can afford/fit in your place. You’ll thank me later. I have a regular old non HE, top loader and it’s great, but I wish it were bigger. Every. time. I. do. laundry.

      Re: gardening – this is not what you want to hear, but start slow, and by slow I mean, weeding and doing nothing else. Gardens and yards take years to get to where you want them to be, are expensive, and maddening. I might let the trees alone to grow out of their box like shape, and see how other plants shape up over the summer before I do anything.

      Best of luck!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Heh, any time anyone talks about gardening here it makes me chuckle.

      And re: actual gardening, agree to take it slow, but it will scratch the itch a bit if you put a few herbs in cheap pots on the patio and learn how to keep them alive. They need more water than you think!

      Non-gardeners (my SO included) seem to think that if a plant doesn’t die, it’s doing great, and thus it’s ok to stick a full-sun plant in a 3-hours-of-sun spot, and if the bottom leaves fall off because it’s not getting enough water, that’s ok because it’s just the way nature works. This is a huge misconception. (I’m def not bitter about this at all.) Gardening is not natural! Gardening is an extremely manipulated, unnatural process, and if you’re going to do it, you should optimize for production and beauty. If you can, wait a full year before making any commitments to the garden, so that you can go outside every couple of weeks and pay attention to where the sun actually hits the yard. Finding a local nursery with people who just freaking love gardening is a resource.

      And you’re not getting ahead of yourself at all! You generally start preparing a garden bed about three to four months before you plant in it, with amendments and soil care. And if you ever decide to plant vegetables, you order seeds and plants in January!

      Best of luck. Gardening is awesome.

    • So the house I’m building is nearly done, which means I literally did the washer/dryer comparison shop last month, and made a decision this week. I was happiest buying through a local shop, since they had far better options and pricing than Home Depot/Lowes/Best Buy. I read consumer reports, Wirecutter, as well as product reviews on the big box store and manufacturer websites.

      Totally agree to buy big. Top load vs front is a preference – I like front since I’m really short, but finding a rubber gasket on it that didn’t start to smell lead me to the one I selected, an Electrolux model with an antimicrobial gasket.Do check out the Electrolux models – they have some nice features like a really fast wash cycle and the way the detergent is fed into the machine.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I would strongly recommend against used appliances. I have a front load HE washer which I adore (partially because it is cherry red) but a lot of people on here seem to not love them. I will say thins, spend the extra money and get the stands so there is less bending. It is a small up front expense that you will be glad of every time you wash. Mine are hollow with drawers for storing extra laundry supplies. Congratulations and enjoy the adventure?

    • Congratulations!!! Wirecutter and Sweethome are awesome for appliance and other reviews. I like them better than Consumer Reports usually.

      I hired a master gardener to draw up a plan for my yard when I was deciding to take out the lawn. I’d really recommend that for a big project. I did all the work and the plan cost me $100.

      Otherwise, for a small area, figure out your basic soil (heavy clay? acidic soil? sandy?) and overall light and water for the area you want to plant. If you want low maintenance, look for native plants. Also see what else is growing in your neighborhood. Gardeners are usually really friendly and happy to tell you all about their favorite flowers and how well they grow.

      Finally most perrenial HERBS SPREAD so seriously, seriously do not plant them in the ground. You will never ever get rid of them. Mints are notorious for escaping pots, so you have to be careful with that too.

      • Good point about mint and other perennial herbs. I have a mint patch that I quite like because we like mint juleps but I find mint runners all over the place. (I didn’t plant the patch. It was here when we bought the place)

    • OMG we are buying a house. :

      Thanks to everyone. Taking copious notes.

      • check the app “OfferUp” or “LetGo” for used washer/dryers. Lots of people moving etc. Better than Craigslist if you are hunting for a deal!

  20. I’m supposed to go out of town this weekend to a close friend’s “important event” (think baby/bridal shower, baby baptism, etc) yet I’ve just gotten over the flu. I was out of work 3 days last week, 1 day this week, and just starting to feel close to 100%. I have a lot of things to catch up on at work and home, and I’m not looking forward to the trip.

    In addition to friend #1’s important event, I’m staying overnight with friend #2 and supposed to hang out with friends #2 and #3.

    Am I a terrible person if I cancel? I tend to do things out of guilt. I’m sure if I tell my friends I’ve just gotten over a 2 week bout with the flu, they’ll understand. One of them is a doctor! But I feel like a bad person for canceling because its one of those once-in-a-lifetime, “important events” that I’d miss.

    • Don’t feel bad about canceling – you still are recovering! Let her know that you are sorry to miss it, and she should understand.

    • Eh I’d go. You’ve been back at work all week and you’re close to 100%.

    • First of all, if this blessed event involves a real-live baby, your “excuse” is that you want to be extremely cautious not to bring flu virus around an undeveloped immune system. (I think, but an MD should correct me, that you still could be carrying it even after your own recovery). Second, you need to rest. The flu takes so much out of you. This is not an excuse, it’s a real thing. So is needing to work.

      Sometimes you miss things, even important things. If you’re confident your friends will be understanding, then you should cancel. Send a nice note,. a gift if it’s gift occasion, and make firm plans to reschedule with Friends 2 & 3. Propose dates & places etc.

      • You’re not contagious two weeks after you come down with the flu when you’re feeling almost 100% healthy again. There are circumstances where you might start feeling better and still be contagious, but that’s when your recovery begins 2 or 3 days after you get sick. Two weeks is far too long to pass anything on.

        OP, honestly I think it sounds like a pretty lame excuse if you’ve been back at work for four days and are feeling close to normal. If I were Friend 1 I wouldn’t end our friendship over it, but I’d definitely be annoyed.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          +1 to second paragraph (only because I have no idea about the medical part in para 1).

    • givemyregards :

      I would take into consideration the personality of the friend having this “important event.” If it were me, my friends know that if they called and said “I’m really sorry but I’m getting over the flu and I just don’t want the risk of spreading my germs” I’d be totally fine with it and not think twice. But I have friends that would certainly take this personally and pout and hold a grudge, in which case I’d suck it up and go. As for friends #2 and #3 don’t worry about it – even when people do end up going on quick trips like this it’s pretty common for plans to meet up or hang out to fall through.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m the same as you, and kind of wish I wasn’t! Why punish those are sympathetic and understanding, and reward the friends who pout?

    • You missed 4 days of work in a row. Unless you’re prone to illness, that’s far above average, right? It’s maybe a once-in-a-decade level sick. And I bet you went back to work because you could manage it and you have limited PTO, not because you feel great.

      Given that, I would perfectly understand if you could not travel to see me so soon after being ill. I further think it is rational and normal to want to cancel.

      Rest. Feel better. Go visit your friend when you are well!

  21. Apropos of nothing, I am so annoyed with work this week and with my hair right now that I am considering taking my neck scarf and tying it around my head as a headband to keep my hair away from my face. I could get away with it in our emphasis on casual business casual workplace, and I just DGAF right now. BLAAAAAAAH.

  22. Can anyone tell me if it is ok to apply for internal job postings at my current company while on maternity leave? It is a violation of FMLA or disability regulations?

  23. Anonymous :

    Does anyone know if Hand and Stone Massage locations operate like Massage Envy in that their introductory prices are dependent upon signing up for membership? I’d like to go in for a one-time appointment at the advertised price, but am not interested in joining.

    • When I inquired, I was told you only got the discounted price if you signed up as a member. I was uninterested in that proposition.

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