APW Happy Hour


Springtime and the living is sneezy

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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Hey apw,

As some of you may know, I live on a farm (see: evidence above). The farm is a lovely place to live most of the time, except allergy season. Which it happens to be right now. Combine that with Mercury Retrograde (MY FAVESIES) and I am beginning to feel like that person who doesn’t understand how to cut bread in that one infomercial. But! There have been some major wins the past few weeks:

  • We finally enrolled the puppy in a beginner obedience class and it has completely transformed her personality. She’s so snuggly now.
  • I managed to not kill a plant! After an intense bout of cabin fever a few weeks ago, I went rogue at the Home Depot and bought a bunch of potted fruit and vegetable plants with the intent of planting a small garden. They have thus far made it to my front porch. #Whoops. But so far, only one of them is dead! (RIP raspberry bush.) And my little potted strawberries are actually… making strawberries! Y’all, I kill cacti. This is big.
  • And in the most mundane news you’ve ever heard, I found this magical thing at Bed Bath & Beyond the other week and finally managed to get the awful hard water stains out of my shower. It’s basically just a nicely packaged pumice stone, but it feels like a revelation.

But enough about me and my very glamorous life. It’s your Happy Hour, so get to it!

Cheers,

Maddie

LINK ROUNDUP

Did you hear about the feminist cupcake sale that brought on death threats?

Someone calculated how many men the Golden Girls slept with and let’s just say it: Blanche, you’re a queen among women.

That one time you accidentally-on-purpose CCed your whole department on a twelve-paragraph email about office supplies wasn’t too great, huh?

DoctHERs is a social enterprise that empowers female physicians in Pakistan, and we love it.

The Rogue One trailer has been released: who wants to nerd out?

Don’t forget that your dog wants the baby to love him, too.

This video depicting the mating dances of animals is kind of breathtakingly beautiful (even if it is a condom ad).

Sorry, your off-the-rack wedding dress isn’t good enough.

Tracee Ellis Ross slays.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Jessica

    Outlander Season 2 premieres tomorrow and I’m so excited! I’m actually throwing a themed party (French and Scottish food/decor/drinks) for some friends who watch it, and I cannot wait to get those two beautiful people on my screen again.

    • macrain

      Should I subscribe to Starz just so I can watch it? I mean, right?

      • Amy March

        No. At least for this weekend I think you can watch it for free online at Starz.

        • Cellistec

          WHAT. For reals? Just this weekend, when I’m going to be out of town??

          • Amy March

            Not sure how long it will last!

    • Kate

      That sounds so fun! Unfortunately I had a really tough time with the end of Season 1 (I hadn’t read the books so I didn’t know what was coming). As much as I loved the beginning of Season 1, I don’t think I can continue with the show for my own emotional safety. Please let us know how the new season goes though, I might be able to get back on board!

      • Mary Jo TC

        Um, yeah, stop now. I’m a big fan of the books, and they only get more violent and emotionally harrowing from here. The show seems to be adhering pretty closely to the books, and the violence and heartbreaks are major plot points that would be really hard to avoid even if they wanted to.

        • Jess

          Agree – does not get less emotionally difficult. I had to stop after Book 3 so I didn’t become a book-related-emotion-monster.

        • Cellistec

          No joke…I frequently had to put the books down and switch to something lighter and less violent.

    • AP

      I’ve had the book on my Kindle forever, but I just can’t get into it! I’m wondering if I should just skip the book and check out the show? I love the premise, I just have a hard time getting past the first few chapters.

      • Lisa

        Ha, that’s what I did with Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. I love the stories, but I can’t deal with their verbosity.

        • AP

          Oh man, GoT. My friends were all, “Read these enormous books! They’re amazing! And no, we can’t get drinks tonight because we’ll be at home READING” and then I couldn’t get past the first page of the first book. I do not regret this decision. Although, I also quit the show after a few seasons, when I mentioned to my brother that the violence against women was just so hard to deal with and he mansplained to me that it was necessary for the “historical accuracy.” Of a fantasy universe.

          • Lisa

            My husband read the entire GoT series. He was reading in the car at one point, and in trying to get him to talk to me instead, he offered to read to me from the book. I had to stop him after a page because the writing was SO. BAD.

          • Alanna Cartier

            I’m reading another fantasy series right now and this is exactly what is killing it for me (not in the good way). Do fantasy universes really need violence against women, and archaic standards of modesty and all ladies wearing dresses and focusing on who to marry to be “historically accurate” or whatever? Ugh.

          • AF

            OMG read “The Lies of Locke Lamora” trilogy. The first one is mostly focused on two dude friends but the second and third ones have such amazing female characters! Including a black single mother of two pirate queen.

          • Alanna Cartier

            I read the first one, and didn’t read further because I wasn’t loving it. Maybe I’ll have to give it another shot?

            I read SO MUCH fantasy and Sci-fi growing up, but I’m finding it harder and harder to turn a blind eye on all the casual misogyny.

          • AF

            I really liked the first one, but the second and third are much better.

      • Emily

        As a long time fan of the books I will say that the show is better in many ways. I think they were able to make such a great show because Diana describes things in such great detail. Sometimes in way too great detail. If you want to read the book I would recommend starting at when she goes to the stones just before chapter 3. Book Frank is boring so skipping ahead doesn’t hurt anything.
        You could also just watch the show and enjoy it just as much.

      • Sara

        Oh I couldn’t deal with the books either. I was in a book club that read it and was shocked when I went to the meeting. I was the only one that had a hard time with it!

  • Ashlah

    That wedding dress opinion piece is a joke, right? My eyes rolled so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. Does she also expect men to drop $5,000 on a custom suit to prove their love and commitment, or is a rented tux sufficient for them?

    • CMT

      I rolled my eyes so hard after reading the headline, they fell out and I couldn’t read the rest of it.

      • CMT

        But, also, I think it annoys me because it’s so clearly over the top. Maybe the author actually holds these opinions and truly thinks everybody should read them, but the editors who ran it clearly knew what kind of reaction it was going to get. I feel played. I’d rather read more authentic content, not just pieces designed to piss people off.

        • AP

          This was my reaction too. It didn’t feel genuine at all.

    • Jenn

      I was wondering the same thing – Where is your groom’s “tangible” reminder of the wedding day?

    • Eenie

      I laughed when she said she hadn’t printed a single picture out. If I spent that much on a dress I’d at LEAST have a picture of myself wearing it framed and hung on the wall.

    • Keeks

      I love how she sniffs at “wedding dresses that cost less than your weekly grocery bill”. I’d love to live in a world where a $300 ASOS dress = my weekly food expenditure.

      • Ashlah

        That part jumped out at me too! I love how she pays lip service by saying she knows not everyone can afford expensive wedding dresses, but then doesn’t realize that a dress that costs the same as your weekly groceries means going without groceries for some people.

      • Eenie

        I read that as monthly. Because my brain couldn’t comprehend spending $300 a week on groceries.

      • I Don’t Knowww, Margo!

        Even if I ate organic at every meal, I would still not hit this. Ugh.

    • sahara

      Yep, zero self-awareness of privilege going on there.

      ETA: It’s too bad her somewhat-more-thoughtful points about the problems with fast fashion (and I’m being generous here with the thoughtful) are swamped by her idea that “it’s a little tacky” to spend less than a thousand dollars on a wedding dress.

    • gonzalesbeach

      the comments on it are all gold

    • Alexandra

      It was appalling…I can absolutely imagine an argument against fast-fashion wedding dresses, but it would be along the lines of–a garment with a lot of detail-work, like a wedding dress, is impossible to ethically manufacture at a very low price point. In fact, isn’t fast-fashion in general unethical, like factory farm meat?

      Full-disclosure; I bought my wedding dress for $500 from JCrew online, and I didn’t research their manufacturing practices one single bit, so I suppose my very own wedding dress could have been sewn at a sweat-shop. Which I hadn’t really thought of before this minute. I did sell the dress online two weeks after the wedding, so at least it got more use.

      On a related note, a girl at my small group last night told me she doesn’t buy anything from Banana Republic (I mentioned that they have awesome sales) because all the Gap stores have unethical labor practices. Oh, crap.

      Thoughts?

      • AP

        A friend just introduced me to ThredUp. It’s an online clothing consignment, and they have a ton of traditional brands and higher-end brands that you can search by size. I feel like it’s a good compromise between budget and ethical purchasing. I just made my first purchase this week and am waiting for it to come! I got 2 dresses, a blazer, 2 skirts, and a top for around $90. All either Gap, Banana, Ann Taylor and all used but in excellent condition.

        • Alexandra

          I am acquainted with ThredUp! They don’t work with Hawaii for selling clothes, but I think they might ship to Hawaii (that’s where I live). I think my holdup with them is that I feel like I could get a better deal from local thrift stores, and not have to pay shipping…but maybe I’ll browse around ThredUp again. Thanks for the reminder!

          • AP

            There’s free shipping after $79, but not sure if that applies to Hawaii. (And free returns for store credit.) But you may be luckier with thrift stores! The ones where I live are good for certain things, like furniture, but I don’t have much luck with clothes.

          • anon

            I’ve had good experience buying clothes from ThredUp BUT I tried to sell some of my nice clothes to them and I got 50 cents for 5 items, no kidding. They rejected 4 because it wasn’t their style, and said blazers don’t do well so they don’t take them. If I had known that I wouldn’t have sent the items in the first place.

          • AP

            Whoa, that’s good to know! I’ve never had good luck consigning clothes, even at in-person shops. I’d thought maybe ThredUp would be different, but maybe not.

      • J

        I haven’t researched Gap’s labor practices in awhile, but in general, they’re considered a leader in having transformed their labor practices (at least as of a few years ago when I last looked at this). They, along with Nike, were a major (and well-deserved) target of activism in the 90’s. My (not thoroughly researched, but more than cursory) impression is that both companies have really been praised (by activists on the side of labor) for turning it around. I’m sure there are still some problems – that can be difficult to avoid 100% when you’re contracting out to suppliers, especially in the volumes they work in – but I believe they are generally respected for the thoroughness of their supplier codes of conduct, their supplier compliance/inspection process, etc. When I read their annual corporate social responsibility report several years ago, I was impressed by the extent to which they were able to quote (really credible) third-party experts, like non-profits who focus on labor rights, praising their current systems. That said, a quick google search turned up a bunch of accusations (I’m not familiar with the websites they came from, so can’t assess their credibility), so might be worth digging into if you’re concerned.

    • JenC

      I mean men don’t have to look like a goddamn special snowflake on their wedding, because damnit the day isn’t about goddamn them. It’s so not a joining of two people in love, taking a step together in a scary world vowing to try and make it better for each other. It’s about being the most special goddamn snowflake ever and so men can just rent a suit or you know buy one to wear work later. I mean nobody would expect me to wear my special snowflake wedding dress to work (I have considered it but decided I prefer the option of another 20 mins asleep in the morning) but no it’s fine if my husband buys a practical suit and then wears it later.

    • I Don’t Knowww, Margo!

      Right?? I have flames on the side of my face from that one.

      I just feel like making a video of me in my $90 Modcloth wedding dress, flipping the bird and going “HAHAAA, SUCKER! I FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS IN THIS!”

      Also, I’m planning my tangible reminder of my wedding day to be my husband.

      • Grace

        “My tangible reminder of my wedding day is my husband”
        Can we make this a t-shirt?

    • Alanna Cartier

      Because a wedding isn’t a wedding unless you spend all the money, right? That’s how you prove you are seriously in love. smh.

  • CMT

    I love how much APW/AAM commentor crossover there is.

    • Kayjayoh

      Any The Toast readers?

      • Eenie

        Avid Dear Prudence reader. Slate plus member, I get the extra dear prudence letters on Tuesdays reader.

      • Ashlah

        Yes! I had the same thought. I’m a lurker, not a commenter (maybe someday), but I love it over there.

      • emilyg25

        Also a lurker on The Toast. :)

        • Jess

          Ha! I lurk there too.

      • Angela

        I love the Toast. I think I want to be Mallory when I grow up.

      • Vanessa

        Toasties of the world, unite!

    • Lisa

      I love that I consistently find Jubilance over there! Who else is on AAM, too?

      • Eenie

        Me. I mostly read vs comment though.

        • Lisa

          I’ve started commenting a bit more lately, but I have trouble with the format of having to refresh every time I comment and keeping track of which ones are new. I wish she had something like Disqus so it would be easier to engage in discussion.

          • Eenie

            YES. 100000000% why I don’t comment. I just can’t keep track of the threads as easily.

          • Yes! A lot of us have been asking for Disqus for awhile and she refuses to use it. She did add the blue bar functionality, so if you refresh the page, the comments with a blue bar on the left side are the new ones since your last visit. But I wish you could get alerts when someone replies to you, like on Disqus.

          • Lisa

            Do you know why she refuses? (I’m guessing it has something to do with the level of control over the comments.) I do like the blue bar, but there are still issues. For example, if I refresh the page to read new comments, I either have to read them all and choose to which ones I’ll respond or respond as I’m reading but lose the thread of other conversations.

            I wish there were alerts, too! The first time I commented there, I checked the box for e-mails regarding to replies. I thought they were only for replies to my comment so you can imagine my surprise when I started getting messages every couple of minutes to say there were new replies!

          • She’s laid it out in a couple of posts/weekend open threads, I know one issue she has is with Disqus’s terms of service and how it goes down (though I hardly ever see Disqus so down so IDK if that’s a real reason).

          • Lisa

            Huh, I’ve never had any issues with Disqus going down either. Terms of Service are harder to argue though I have to admit I haven’t read them and wouldn’t know what there is to dispute.

      • Meg Keene

        Jubilance is our writing fellow y’all, you know that right? I know she has two different names!

        • Lisa

          Oh, I know it’s her! There’s no mistaking her lovely avatar here or there. :)

      • CMT

        I recognized one of your stories in last week’s open threads!

        • Lisa

          I was wondering if anyone would notice! I just realized that you’re the same CMT in both places. I’m super jealous of your company’s leave policy!

          • CMT

            I kind of wish I had picked different names, because I feel like it would be slightly harder to figure out who I am in real life, but I don’t think I say terribly embarrassing things in either place (I hope), so I guess it’s okay.

          • Lisa

            Yeah, my names are slightly different, but I figured I was outing myself a little to anyone who was paying close attention to last week’s open threads here and there. It’s like you’re then having to carve out multiple internet identities with a new name.

        • Lisa

          And blarg, that story. I’m still weirded out by that interaction. My husband and friend are not happy that I’ve essentially “killed the bar” as they say in How I Met Your Mother.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3weuKbLVpjM

          • Kayjayoh

            Wait, some of us haven’t read this story. Care to re-share?

          • Lisa

            I think this link should work?

          • Kayjayoh

            Oh! [smacks forehead] I have read this. Thanks! :)

      • emilyg25

        I am, but I don’t comment very often.

      • AP

        I read, but don’t comment!

        • Stacey Cuddhy

          me too!

      • I try to do my part. AAM is part of my weekday ritual – I check that and APW first thing in the morning.

      • accidental_diva

        I am, but, I, also, do not comment very often.

      • April

        Another lurker checking in.

    • Eenie

      Ah! You’re that CMT!

    • Sosuli

      Probs shouldn’t ask in the name of keeping my procrastination to a minimum… but what is this AAM you speak of?

      • Lisa

        Ask a Manager! It’s an amazing trove of workplace and job seeking advice.

      • CMT

        Ask A Manager! It is the best!

      • Eenie

        I find it much less of a time suck than APW. She keeps her answers and advice very straight to the point. And I avoid the comment section (for better or worse).

        • Lisa

          Ah, but she posts more frequently than APW. You can find me at my computer refreshing AAM at 8:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 3:00 EST for the daily posts.

          • Eenie

            Which corresponds perfectly to my facility’s scheduled breaks and mandatory meetings that never start on time :) (I actually hadn’t realized what her posting schedule was except there was always a new one when I needed one!)

          • CMT

            She definitely posts at midnight eastern time too, because that is early enough in my time zone that I am not usually asleep. I try not to check before I go to bed so I can “save” them for the morning when I get to work :P

          • Lisa

            Yup, that’s my 8:00 AM breakfast-and-email reading! On the days when I’m here earlier, I love being able to spend more time in the comments and watch the discussions unfold.

  • Kayjayoh

    I’m going to grump a bit about Rogue One.

    On the one hand, you’ve got sad little MRA turds whining about the new movie having a female protagonist. On the other hand, you have people doing fist pumps about it passing the Bechdel test in the teaser trailer.

    I’d like to stop and point something out. The IMDB page for the film has 25 actors listed. Two out of those 25 are women. And both of those women are white.

    Two out of twenty five. Okay? Let’s not get over excited about how damn progressive they are/how they are ruining things forever for having another female protagonist. Two white women out of twenty five listed actors is not exactly an achievement.

    • Kayjayoh

      I’m not saying it doesn’t look like it could be a good film, but I’m not going to sprain my wrist patting the filmmakers on the back here.

      • Jess

        I have felt this way about many lauded “feminist groundbreaking” films recently. *cough* madmax *cough*

        It was good, and I appreciate having a strong female represented, but also? This should be the bare minimum at this point.

        • Kayjayoh

          See, while I can get people not feeling it for Fury Road, that had multiple female characters with names and lines. It had beautiful young things, but it also had amazing older women. They had complex ranges of emotions and motivation.They could do surprising things.

          But while I love Fury Road and will re-watch it forever, it’s more of a “why isn’t this just normal?”

          • Jess

            Those are my feelings exactly – I really enjoyed it and was glad that they had a full range of ages and purposes (by the middle, I was pretty sick of scenes where thin-barely-dressed-waif-girl-makes-shy-eyes-at-male, and was relieved that they brought in some older ladies kicking ass and setting examples).

            It’s just… I didn’t feel like it should be groundbreaking, I just wanted it to be the way things are.

          • Kayjayoh

            Right, that shouldn’t be groundbreaking. And yet it is. [headache]

            Also, I loved the hell out of it for the film itself. The visuals and the non-verbal character interactions. The actors did amazing things with tiny facial expressions.

          • Jess

            Oh yes – It was a really wonderful movie from a film standpoint. I loved it a lot.

        • toomanybooks

          Right. A guy friend of mine (and I have very high standards for guy friends so that I am not around misogyny/creepiness on my own time) was telling me how great and feminist mad max was because they got people into the theaters thinking the movie would be about a man but then it was totally about the female characters. However, I watched it and was painfully bored – like, “ok, but this still feels like a dude’s action movie.” Maybe it is just not to my taste.

  • Sosuli

    Thanks all for the well wishes last week – still can’t quite believe the PhD is actually like really definitely done.

    In other news I think i’ve shared my anxieties here about what my future in-laws will think about me keeping my own name post-wedding. I never managed to get FH to tell them, he kept just saying they won’t care. And… he was pretty much right. Last month after a few drinks I just came out and told FMIL that i’m keeping my name and it turned out she already knew, because FH’s grandmother had told her. FH and I can’t figure out how the grandmother knew… but point being, it was fine. FMIL implied that she was initially surprised but had gotten used to the idea by then (apparently she’s known since before Christmas). So all… surprisingly okay.

    Since then we’ve just gone ahead and told his family if/when we have kids they’ll get both last names. So they’re already prepped for that now. Only FH’s little brother had anything negative to say and even that was just that “only twats have hyphenated surnames”… seems strong, but hey i’m surprised he only objected to the hyphen not the two last names thing. Small victories.

    • Ashlah

      My husband and I have a hyphenated surname, and I like to think we’re pretty non-twatty! :) I’m glad the name conversations have gone well overall!

      • Sosuli

        Based on your APW comments twatty is definitely not a suitable description! I would love us to have hyphenated surnames, but I’m also lazy and just got a new passport. We agreed to reassess if/when kids come along.

    • emilyg25

      My baby has a hyphenated surname and I just think it makes him sound like a novelist or something. :)

      • Ashlah

        NPR reporter is what I always think of, haha.

    • Kayjayoh

      “only twats have hyphenated surnames”

      Sorry, that’s Twat-Vulva to you, buddy.

      • Sosuli

        I will definitely use that line if he says it again!!!

      • OMG yes.

      • JenC

        Do you do printed tshirts?

    • Eh

      My husband never told his parents that I was keeping my last name. My MIL asked me at our reception. It was good that we had a few drinks in us for that conversation (I think she suspected it). We hyphenated for our daughter. We did not tell my in-laws before hand (we did tell my family since they are less judgmental/opinionated). We had hinted at it though (we use our hyphenated names as our family name – e.g., we have a family name sign and on our return address labels). Also we hyphenated MyLast-HisLast so that was a little controversial. I think his parents (mostly his mother) would have had more to say if we had a son since she wants a grandson (three granddaughters so far) to carry on my FIL’s last name.

    • Sara

      Grandma always knows. They’re all seeing. At least in my family they were :)

    • Once we started wedding planning and FH needed to have a grown-up talk about how much his family planned to contribute, FMIL asked him if I was planning on changing my name. The answer is no, but FH claims she seemed to already expect that. Maybe because, 4 years ago, at FSIL’s wedding, when FMIL told a 5yo, “Yes, FSIL has to change her last name because she’s getting married.” I responded with, “No, she doesn’t. That’s a choice she made.” 5yo’s are perfectly capable of understanding the complexity of “Some people change their last name, some people don’t.”

      I’ve got a friend with a hyphenated last name…and she seems to only be bothered by the fact that it’s impossible to check-in to flights online because of it. But hopefully, if enough people have hyphenated names, that’ll be less of a problem. Social change!

      • Sosuli

        Good for you stepping in and saying that! I probably would have been too torn between being horrified and not wanting to offend my FMIL to set the record straight with the 5 year old.

        • I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when people are saying things that are categorically false (none of the value judgment of *wrong*, just objectively false). I don’t think about sore feelings when words are easily falsified.

    • RMC

      If FH’s little brother is generally an asshole, then totally feel free to disregard this comment.

      However, if your FH’s little brother is European, hyphenated names (called double-barreled names in Britain) have a history and connotation of two rich families coming together who wanted to highlight and compound the power of them merging (I guess kind of a retro feminism that was totally classist and elitist). So… lots of people in Britain think it sounds really poncy to have a double-barreled name and may be bringing that connotation. Just wanted to flag that piece of historical trivia and let people know that not everyone who initially reacts negatively to hyphenated names is carrying an explicitly anti-feminist perspective.

      • Sosuli

        Yeah they’re British (we live in the UK) and I do think he was essentially referring to posh toffs when he referred to “twats”. But he also regularly makes anti-feminist comments so it was probably a bit of both. With several pints of lager thrown in for good measure.

        • EF

          uuuugh from another who lives in the UK…I feel you. I would have been very happy with a hyphenated name. Probably happier than keeping my last name only. But my partner was like, ‘I already have 3 middle names. I can’t have a double-barrelled last name.’

          So, uh, drop a middle name or two? Didn’t fly with him. Argh, brits.

          • Sosuli

            Weirdly my FH doesn’t have a middle name at all. So loads of space for another last name! But I totally know what you mean.

      • Sosuli

        Also want to slightly push against the “European” generalization… I am also European, but not British, and that characterisation of hyphenated names really doesn’t fit with the meaning of double-barrel names where I’m from.

        • RMC

          Totally – you would know better than I – my impression was that it was more broadly European than just Britain but I should have only spoken to Britain which is where I know it to be true.

          • Sosuli

            Yeah with respect to Britain (and my FH’s little brother) you were totally on the money! It probably applies to some other countries as well, but definitely not everywhere. Comments about “Europeans” are a pet peeve of mine, because I hear them a lot from British people – some of whom really don’t consider themselves European!

        • Well there is also Spain, where every single person has two last names (one from each parent) by default.

  • Emily

    The video of the golden retriever who just wants to be friends with the baby gets me every time! I had to show it to the ladies I share an office with, now we’ve stopped working and are only looking at baby/dog videos. Happy Friday guys!

    • Ashlah

      It totally made me cry.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I can’t watch it. It hits me right in the gut.

    • Kayjayoh

      It was cute, but I didn’t get it. Why does your dog need a costume to be friends with the baby?

      • Eenie

        Yup. Because dogs are scary? IDK. Cute baby, cute dog.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Unrequited love! Dog wants to be friends with baby, baby doesn’t want to be friends with dog. Sob sob sob. Amazon to the rescue!

        See also: my reaction to more commercials than I should admit.

        • JC

          Commercials that make me cry:
          * When someone’s pet is in an emergency.
          * When a young person finds out they’re accepted to college.
          * Google commercials, which always seem to involve one or both of the above.

      • Emily

        Because the dog is scary I guess, but she likes her lion, and so now the dog looks like a lion and is familiar.

      • Ashlah

        She was afraid of the dog, but liked her stuffed lion, so they made the dog look like a lion. Even though it made me tear up, I did immediately think “Why not just get her a stuffed dog?”

  • Rachel

    Well we got some bad news yesterday. My stepdad’s cancer has spread to his liver. My parents are on their way to the oncologist right now for follow up. My sister is flying in tomorrow. The entire time we’ve been planning, I’ve had it in the back of my head that if things were to go bad, we’d get married up there. I was hoping like crazy we wouldn’t have to. We’re four months out and I could probably wait, but pancreatic cancer is such an aggressive monster and I’d rather not take that chance. Fiancé is supposed to speak with his boss today or Monday and depending on how that goes, we’ll fly up there either in two weeks or sometime next month. We’re all scared of what’s next. My mom and I have been texting all morning, and we just feel so helpless. All we can do right now is wait, and waiting sucks sometimes :(

    • JSK

      I’m so sorry. Sending you love and very best wishes to you and the family.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I’m so sorry to hear this. Sending lots of good thoughts to your stepdad and family. Waiting does really suck – so hard to not feel like you can do anything.

    • Ashlah

      I am so, so sorry. Sending you strength and love.

    • Sosuli

      Sounds like you’re doing all you can. All good thoughts to you and your family.

    • Kayjayoh

      (((Rachel and family)))

    • Emily

      Waiting is so hard! Good thoughts to all of you!

    • Lisa

      I’m so, so sorry. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

    • Cellistec

      I’m so sorry about your stepdad’s cancer, Rachel. It does sound scary, and it’s brave of you to have a backup plan for a quick wedding just in case. Hang in there.

    • AGCourtney

      I’m so sorry – thinking of you!

    • lady brett

      so sorry!

    • nosio

      I’m so, so sorry. {hugs}

  • eating words

    You guys, I’m obsessed with the DC eagle cam. Live camera of an eagle nest with two baby eaglets. http://dceaglecam.eagles.org/

  • lady brett

    guys, i’m going to have a fucking heart attack. a friend wants us to adopt their (in utero) grandchild. like everything else in life right now, it’s uncertain (because, most relevantly, we don’t know if the *mother* wants us to adopt the baby, but it will be adopted by *someone* due to circumstances, and there are a lot of reasons we make sense). we’ve agreed to do it (with stipulations, like, you know, the mom’s opinion). i desperately don’t want a newborn. and we’ve been talking about keeping our 3 and 4 year-olds home next year for their mental health (and money), but i don’t know if i can do all of that. and i don’t want a new kid to change what we do for our current kids; that feels so unfair. and, and, and!

    so. fuck uncertainty. and babies…no offense.

    • Ashlah

      You are allowed to say no if it isn’t what’s best for your family. This sounds like it’s obviously a tough decision, though, so I wish you luck in making it. How does your partner feel?

      • lady brett

        yeah, we tend to decision-make based on “why not?” rather than “why?” which is how we get ourselves into stuff that seems so crazy =) also, though, some of the personal details i omitted make it very much “the right thing to do” – and we’ve been planning to have 4 or 5 kids in the long term, just not now and not babies, so it’s not a total system shock to our plans/expectations, just a bit out of place.

        my honey is kindly trying to dampen their excitement on my behalf. they’ve wanted a *baby* since we met. so that’s a consideration, too =)

        • another lady

          Of course, you cannot just adopt out someone else’s baby, so these must be very preliminary discussions. The mother and father need to agree and you would need a contract through an adoption agency, and to go through their processes, so I assume it’s still pretty early in the game. so, I wouldn’t get your hopes or anxieties up too high on this one just yet. Good luck keeping everything in control! And, if you don’t want a newborn, you should probably state that pretty clearly to your honey and the parents/friend of the potentially adoptable baby.

          • lady brett

            the discussions are more very sudden than very early. but planning for things that are only a maybe is something we’re pretty expert at by now from dealing with the court system (although it sends my anxiety through the roof every time).

    • Amy March

      You agreed to adopt a baby when you desperately don’t want a newborn? What? Obviously we don’t have, or need, all the info but this seems like a really good slow the heck down caution flag.

      And then once you’ve slowed the pace you can take the time to consider what desperately means and what the impact is without any feeling of letting an outside party down impacting things, even unknowingly. Y’all (can I use y’all as a Northerner?) seem like you will do an awesome job of this but that doesn’t mean you have to.

      • lady brett

        eh, some parts of having kids suck, and most of them are temporary. i can have a little pity party about it, but overall it’ll be fine or awful and then it will be over. i don’t see a few months of awful as a dealbreaker (but i do see them as scary, so i am anxious about it).

        • TeaforTwo

          Newborns definitely do have a tendency to grow out of it.

          This is something that I hear from a lot of parents – that they have definitely preferred ages and stages, and I know a few parents who had biological children and just grinned and bore it through the baby stage.

          Good luck to you and your honey! These brink-of-a-big-change-are-we-really-doing-this moments can feel completely crazy.

      • lady brett

        didn’t see your edit when i posted that last bit. that last line is really sweet on all fronts, thanks!

        (and you can totally use y’all. i used to be proprietary, but it’s just *so good* you have to share ;)

      • toomanybooks

        Yes! What immediately came to mind for me was a panicked “aaaaaaaaahhh uuummmmmm okay!” as a response to adopting the baby (though that is probably not what happened). I wish I knew more about the situation too. Because my knee jerk reaction would be to *immediately* reach out again to the friend to let them know that I was not making any definite commitment right now to that.

    • Eenie

      Ugh uncertainty! It’s the worst. (Worse than babies?)

      • Cellistec

        Uncertain babies are probably the worst?

    • Cellistec

      This does sound like “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine…and my family’s.” However, I get that you also want what’s best for the future baby, and if that’s your family, then it would be so hard to say no. Whatever you do, though, I think it’ll be the right choice. (Purely judging from the solid judgment and wry humor in your APW posts, I mean, but that’s gotta be good for something!)

      • lady brett

        you’re so sweet. (i think anonymity brings out the best in me, so you may have a distorted view ;) but it’s still lovely to hear).

  • Eenie

    Advice (2 weeks out!):
    We communicated everything via email (save the date, invite) but need to update attending guests about a potential event in the same city that may cause some traffic. Is it weird to send yet another email (this would be the 4th one – October, Jan, Feb being the timing of the other three) with a link to the wedding website, addresses, start times for the ceremony, and the menu for the night before the wedding restaurant dinner?
    I think I’m worried about sending too many emails, but I also really want people to have the right address, show up at the right time, etc.
    2nd, I’d like to sign it “The future Mr. HisLast and Ms. MyLast” as a subtle way to emphasize that no one is changing their name.

    • Lisa

      I don’t think that’s too much, especially if your last communication was in February. I would put the most pertinent information (like the traffic issue) in the body of the e-mail in case people don’t click through to the web-site.

      I like your second point to underscore your name status, but few, if any people, will probably notice. Seriously, we put our full names on the front of our Christmas card, and people are still getting it wrong.

      • Eenie

        Yeah I know about the name issue. I’ve been very vocal about it and plan to have at least three other places where we announce it. I just didn’t want it to come off as weird or offensive (clearly I’m overthinking this?!).

        And I’m assuming that no one has looked at the website. I figure when they get lost, searching for this email may help?

        • Lisa

          My favorite was that my friend had the officiant announce at her wedding, “Now introducing two people with the exact same names that they had before–Mr. HisName and Ms. HerName!” Talk about cutting down on the confusion!

          • Eenie

            Doing it.

          • toomanybooks

            Hah, that’s amazing!

    • Kalë

      Don’t overthink it! I think people would wayyyy rather have “too much” information that not have enough. Just go for it. I think people will actually be quite appreciative. As for the signoff, duh. absolutely. do it. go. gurl. yas.

    • Keeks

      I sent out an email a few days before the wedding and at the rehearsal dinner I had people complimenting me on it! Since email-to-site CTR is always very low, I would put more info in the email rather than directing people to the site.

      Also, I signed our email with our post-wedding names and address, and nobody noticed. But do it anyway!

    • Amy March

      What information do they need to know? If what you need them to get out of this is “event XYZ is happening. Allow extra time to arrive at ABC by 6:30” I’d just say that. No extraneous information, it makes it harder to focus and retain what is important, and a link to your website below your signature.

      • I was going to suggest just putting the menu on the website, at the very least. I think it’s always useful to have times/addresses within easy access, but I’d try to keep things as concise as possible. I definitely think it’s fine to send another email, especially with pertinent info!
        Ooh, and maybe a clear subject line like “Traffic advisory: Eenie wedding” so people realize they are getting new information?

        • Lisa

          I like the idea of including something in the subject line to clue people in that it’s new material. Even something like “Eenie Wedding Helpful Hints” could do the trick though “Traffic Advisory” conveys more urgency.

      • Eenie

        Right now in the draft the key takeaways are in the first couple lines. The rest is there for supportive information. I think that’s my struggle, how much is important?

        • Amy March

          I think only what is new. If it is in the invitation or on the website, it’s not necessary and may make it more confusing.

    • NotMarried!

      Send another email!

      If you want to repeat the previously provided information, do so, but I’d start with something like:

      ***UPDATE:****
      XYZ Event may impact your travel times during wedding weekend.

      and then followed by other details.

    • Lizzie

      Everyone else has crushed it on the advice front but I’m just chiming in to say TWO WEEKS OUT ME TOOOOOOO what date are you?? I’m Sunday 4/24! Gah!

      • Eenie

        Saturday 4/23! Our nearest and dearest get in the Wednesday before so it seems even closer! Good luck to you :) we will be driving to our honeymoon on Sunday!

        • Lizzie

          Eeeeeeeeeeeee! Good luck to you too!!

  • Kalë

    Yall, the Amazon baby/dog thing is just too cute. But it actually brought up some of my (OTHER) very real fears about parenting. I’m already a dog mom, and my dawg, while lovable and pretty perfect in every way, is a big guy who doesn’t have any baby/little kid experience. When he plays, he PLAYS. He isn’t aggressive or skittish and is generally one of the most happy go lucky, go with the flow doggies I’ve ever met. That said, what about if/when (leaning wayyyy towards then “when”) I have a baby? Does anyone have experience or reassuring words on adjusting dog to baby and appropriate dog/baby coparenting and interaction?

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      We grew up with dogs, and my experience was that if they are not aggressive or skittish with people, they will understand kids. I look at my niece’s family, who has one of the most hyper pitbulls I’ve ever seen, and he is a lamb with her. Obviously your mileage may vary, but we’re totally planning on bringing a baby into a house with a 150lb ball of energy and I’m…not worried.

    • Ashlah

      I am definitely not saying you just assume this will happen and hope for the best, but my friends’ dog (a pit mix) plays with their one-year-old completely differently than he does with adults. It’s like he recognizes that she’s small and fragile and he’s really gentle with her.

      • another lady

        this can also be trained! and, the dog/child parents have probably worked a lot with the dog when he/she is around the kid to get this to happen. there are local training classes in our area about introducing a dog to a baby and how to have them get along, etc. you can also look stuff up online to make sure dog is ready for baby. you could introduce dog to older children and maybe friends’ babies in very controlled circumstances, to see how dog reacts.

    • Sara

      My brother has a chow chow, and when his son B was born they were worried because the dog does not like new adults that much. He’s so so so gentle with B though (he’s about 1 1/2) and immediately warmed up to him. He never roughhouses near the kid, and B tries to play with him all the time, but he doesn’t engage like he would with me or my brother. It’s the cutest thing. B leans on him all the time while reading books and the dog just takes it.
      When they were in the hospital after having B, my brother went home a few times and brought blankets, hats or anything that might have the baby’s smell so the dog could get use to the new scent. They let him sniff the baby (from a safe distance) and then the carrier the baby was brought home in (sans baby). Then he wasn’t really interested anymore.

    • emilyg25

      My friends have a really challenging dog–she’s big, has a history of being aggressive, and is not generally good with kids. The dog just seems to know that their baby is off limits. So it is possible.

    • another lady

      This could definitely go the other way from what other commenters are saying (I have known people who have gotten rid of their pets because they definitely were not good with the new baby or kids). So prepare, do your homework, work on training the dog to make this go as smoothly as possible. It can be done, but proceed with caution. I personally would not just ‘hope for the best’ in this situation.

    • Totch

      I was the baby you’re afraid of. When I was a toddler, I played too rough with our very old dog and when it played rough back my parents ended up putting it down.

      That was more than 25 years ago, though. Everyone here is right that there are ways to train a dog (or curb your kid) to avoid that worst case scenario. My parents wouldn’t handle it the same way if they had a second chance, and I know my dog will be old and grumpy by the time we have a kid. I plan on making it work!

    • kestrellowing

      Well, first off you really shouldn’t be letting dogs and babies interact much before the baby is two or three years old, and even after that, it should be heavily supervised.

      There’s a lot of people who want their babies and dogs to play together to look like all those cute youtube videos, but as someone who is learning a lot about dog body language, often those dogs are really not comfortable. Babies are weird!

      Instead, a great thing to do is to work on a couple training exercises before having a kid – which it sounds like you’ve got plenty of time to work on!

      Leave it – make sure you revisit this cue. It’s crucial!

      Go to mat/bed – this is another absolutely fantastic cue for when you’ve got a dog and baby. Basically, train your dog to go to their bed/a mat/their crate when you tell them to and for them to not get off the mat until you release them.

      Another great thing to do is to teach your dog how to ‘turn on and off’. This is something that people do in dog sports all the time, but it sounds like it could be super valuable to try for you as well. Basically, you’re teaching your dog that they can play, but also that they need to be able to ‘turn off’ and not play for a while as well. In order to do this, play with your dog for 10 seconds. Count it out – only 10 seconds! Then, for the next 10 seconds stand stock still and ignore your dog. Keep doing this. The goal is that eventually your dog will learn that when you stand still, and don’t pay attention to him, he calms down. Once he’s regularly doing that for 10 seconds, gradually increase the time you play and the time you stand still.

  • IrisS

    Just want to say– I’m (suddenly, but joyfully) planning a large party for a milestone birthday of a grandparent, and APW is saving my butt in more ways than one. Turns out all the other party blogs I looked at were full of nonsense that was surprise, not practical, or just bananas. I cursed my naiveté and went back to Old Faithful, because the tutorials and DIYs and commonsense here are applicable to things of this sort as well. So, many thanks, you guys– you’re helping me throw a sweet gathering for the grandparent.

  • ART

    I just put in my vacation request for our road trip to Glacier National Park this summer (from Bay Area, CA). I’m super excited, but also worried that we’ll work ourselves to death before we leave like we did last year when we both got terrible colds on day 1 of a 4-night camping trip. This one is two weeks long! I’m also afraid I’ll put a lot of pressure on this trip to be our huge adventure before starting to try for a kid (we can always change our minds and make time for more adventures, but I am having serious feels about wanting a kid soon). Anyway, if anyone has recommendations for the couple days we’ll be in Missoula, MT or (especially?) where/how we should spend our stopover night in the Spokane/Coeur D’Alene area (or somewhere between Bend, OR and Flathead Lake), I am open to them! We will be spending our 2-year anniversary camping in Montana during a new moon, I can’t freaking wait.

    • EF

      ohhh I spent a summer working in the missoula area after college. fond memories.

      one big thing to keep in mind is most of the area in montana between missoula and glacier national park is indigenous land. the flathead tribe is really fascinating and holds some pow-wows in the summer — check out what’s going on in polson (by flathead lake!) before heading that way.

      also, randomly, philipsburg is a really adorable little town with a great diner in the middle of it — like one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. and up by seeley lake there is a ghost town halfway up a mountain. visit it, if nothing else because the views from the drive up are jaw-dropping.

      • ART

        Thank you! We are staying a couple nights at Big Arm in Flathead Lake State Park which looks like it is within the reservation lands. So we will be in that area so perhaps we’ll be able to venture out and learn something. The Seeley Lake route looks like a cool alternate way to get to Missoula so I will punch it into our road trip planner!

    • Lauren

      We spent a couple days backpacking in Jewel Basin in Flathead National Forest on our way up to Glacier a few years ago. It was magical. Can highly recommend if you’re up for splitting up your hiking time! We also went to the bison preserve (south of Flathead Lake), which was really neat!

  • Eh

    I am very happy to be part of such an awesome feminist community. It gives me hope but then I see things around me or in the news that I just don’t get. This week I heard on the news that a local male MPP (member of provincial parliament) told an inappropriate “joke” about a local female MP (member of parliament) at a cancer fundraiser (where the MP was present). Based on media reports have seen, no one found what the MPP said to be funny and he has been forced to apologize. I don’t understand why people think making “jokes” of this nature are funny or appropriate. It’s disturbing that a community leader, a person who was elected to represent people, would make such a comment. BTW the MP is one badass woman. She was first woman to command a Canadian Forces flying squadron.

    • a few

      one word for you American commenters – TRUMP

      • Eh

        It was a reminder that we are not ‘safe’ in Canada from our elected officials from saying misogynistic comments.

  • Lisa

    And the old lady gardener has to chime in and say, Maddie, I’m glad you bought plants and didn’t kill them, but, please try hard in future not to buy from big box stores like Home Depot. Scientist suspect that the pesticides these stores use, or their supplier use, have caused the current bee collapse. Look for organic, grow from seed, find a local nursery you trust.

    End PSA.

    • lady brett

      are there online options if you live somewhere small? i guess you have to buy seeds rather than plants in that case? (i’ve been trying to garden for 5 years with 0 success, so this question might by hypothetical, but i’m *interested*).

      • gonzalesbeach

        I like west coast seeds – specializes in organic seeds (Canadian and mostly meant for PNW but ship anywhere in north America) but there’s plenty of other seed catalogue companies that ship. seeds can be started indoors in paper coffee cups meant for the compost bin or but I’ tend to just sow directly. If you don’t have a local garden centre, maybe there is still a closeby wholesale nursery that will allow members of public to visit- they just don’t offer the customer service/answering questions that a garden centre might. A lot of other groups like special gardens/refuge areas do plant sales sometimes. I’d check with a local horticulture association to see if they have ideas for your area

      • Lisa

        Yes, there are definitely online nurseries with good growing practices. You will want to look up one that serves your geography – prairies, mountains, coasts, north, south, etc. Or, if there’s a local garden club (I know, sounds so silly, and even I haven’t gone to the ones near me) but you might find established gardeners who have plants they have dug up and want to give away. I was just thinking, how can I give away my lavenders that are too big, and my hydrangeas that seem to need more water and shade than I can give them right now. It’s really worth doing the initial research to find any local nurseries that focus on native plants, if they exist, as those places are generally doing their own growing and doing it carefully.

        I wish you success. By work on your soil, and planting plants that like the locale, everyone ought to be able to garden if they want to.

        • Alison O

          You can also check craigslist. Sometimes homeowners and gardeners have surplus plants from landscape projects, and they may have gotten these plants wholesale from better suppliers than the big box places. Takes a little research but sometimes people are even giving stuff away for free.

      • AP

        I wonder if there is a way to access your local 4H clubs and Master Gardener program (assuming you’re in the US) through the university cooperative extension in your area. They often have plant sales and trades. There is a cooperative extension in every state, but they vary in size and scale.

      • Alex

        http://awaytogarden.com/best-seed-catalogs-seed-starting-tips/ has a list of some good online seed companies :) I can’t remember if I bought Turtle Tree and/or Hudson Valley but I got squash and cuke seeds from them a few years ago and they were delightful :)

      • emmers

        Depending on where you are, we just got some plants (like actual lavender plants!) from Fedco. They’re based in Maine, but they ship. They’re very hippie nonGMO (think black and white newsprint catalog, tho at least their website is in color!).

    • Alison O

      In my experience the soil their plants come in also tends to suck–for example it can contain fungus that leads to having “fungus gnats” which are especially a problem with indoor plants but also can affect outdoor plants.

    • SLG

      I didn’t realize this, Lisa! (Also, it’s nice to see you back here!) I’d like to educate myself about this. Any sites / articles I should check out?

  • A.

    I thought the group here might like this article, referring to Sanders’ comments about Hillary Clinton being “unqualified”: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-calling-hillary-clinton-unqualified-smacks-of-sexism/

    I’m not trying to start a Clinton-v-Sanders debate here (truly, genuinely, earnestly), but I just wanted to say that I was so grateful to FiveThirtyEight for articulating why I was so filled with rage yesterday. Literally, after I read that story I had moments where I was literally shaking and couldn’t really explain it, so it was nice to have a trusted resource of mine put it into articulate words. Paired with his campaign’s statements that Hillary is only running to “satisfy her ambition,” I’ve been feeling so weary and sad and tired and frustrated. I expected this from Trump or Cruz (and they’ve been much worse, to be clear), but from Bernie Sanders?! Really? We can’t even avoid it from progressives! Ugh. This is the kind of crap women hear day in and day out–the minimization of our accomplishments, the derision of our goals where our male colleagues are praised for their focus, all of it. It’s disheartening and I truly expected better from him. It’s beyond politics and beyond intention to me, honestly.

    • A.

      Also of note? This Onion article is from TEN YEARS AGO: http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/hillary-clinton-is-too-ambitious-to-be-the-first-f-11229

      “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?
      It hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

      Sigh.

    • CMT

      Paul Krugman (who I do usually find kind of annoying) wrote today that “Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro”. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/opinion/sanders-over-the-edge.html

    • anon

      You know she said the same thing about him first right? Both of them are getting uglier and uglier.

      • Amy March

        When? Because as far as I have seen, she did not.

      • A.

        Like I said, I’m not getting into a Bernie v Hillary debate. She did not actually say that Sanders is unqualified though. And she certainly never said that he was too ambitious because saying that about anyone running for President of the United States is ludicrous.

        But most importantly…this is not my point. I’m talking about the general minimization of women’s accomplishments, which includes Hillary Clinton. There is much to criticize her about, but to use dog-whistle terms like “unqualified” and implying that she is too ambitious (god, get more retro!) is shocking to hear from a progressive and that is what is upsetting to me.

        • Cellistec

          Right? If she were a male candidate, would he have said that? Has “unqualified” been leveled at ANY male candidate, particularly He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named who has zero political experience? It has not.

          • Amy March

            Yup. Like how “complimenting” Obama on being articulate meant a great deal more than simply finding him well-spoken.

          • Cellistec

            Oh man, that comment made my head explode back in the day.

        • EF

          And he said she was unqualified because of actions she took in office, not because of offices held or not.

          I mean, I too view approving and advocating for the massacre of indigenous peoples in latin america as making one unqualified for presidency. but this is the same as every president who believes in kissinger. hillary just happens to follow the same abhorrent, murderous foreign policy.

          • A.

            Again, I’m not looking for a Bernie v. Hillary debate. But I feel compelled to note that my husband and his family are indigenous Latin American. So please don’t assume I haven’t considered this element of her candidacy quite seriously. It is a constant source of conversation in our household, with significant research involved.

            However, I still think that saying that Hillary Clinton is “unqualified” to be President solely because she and Sanders differ on policy—specifically regarding her vote on Iraq War (which she’s recanted numerous times) and free trade (which is solely a policy disagreement)—is sexist. Especially when Sanders would NEVER say that Barack Obama is unqualified or any of the number of male Democrats because frankly men just don’t say that about other men. Sanders is part of the largest establishment in the world (The Patriarchy) and refuses to admit it. I still think he’s a progressive and I don’t think he’s a misogynist, but that’s still extremely disappointing to me.

            Like the article I linked said: “Women face a litmus test that men do not have to pass, […] Women have to prove they are qualified. For men, their qualification is assumed.” That is specifically what I take issue with and something I think Bernie Sanders takes for granted. I think that’s worthy of examination, without immediately deflecting to Clinton’s sins.

      • RMC

        No she didn’t. She (three times) refused to take the bait and call him unqualified. The Washington Post published a headline which was inaccurate and Bernie reacted without checking what she had actually said.

        I see something that you can’t take back after the convention as a red line no candidate should cross if they intend to support their primary opponent in the general election. Saying that “he hasn’t done enough homework” is not a permanent statement about his ability to be president. Saying she is unqualified is something no one (his supporters and Republicans) will let him walk when/if she is the nominee.

    • BSM

      Probably not helping to keep this from becoming a Bernie vs. Hillary convo, but did anyone see the “Ya Bernt” bit from Bernie on Seth Meyers’ show? He makes a joke about how it’s ridiculous that execs pay a less in taxes than their secretaries, and all I could think was SECRETARIES WTF DUDE?!?

  • NotMarried!

    Ok, I’m just starting to work through these links …. but the article on off-the-rack dresses cheapening the institution of marriage …

    WHAT IS THAT!?

    • jb123

      Hilarious.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I finally had my baby on Sunday! 10 days past due, in the middle of the night/early morning, after 5 hours of labor with nitrous oxide, 7 lb 6 oz, 20.75 inches. So far things (mostly) seem easier than they were with my first baby. He’s already regained his birth weight and I’m barely bleeding down there at all. Not sure if it’s because my body knows how to handle these things on their own now, or because I know what I’m doing, or what. I know I’m very lucky, and am very, very grateful. That said, I am probably in the middle of the most painful day of breastfeeding of my life so far. I’ll be nursing on one side and pumping on the other through the weekend so the nipple can heal.

    Anybody know how Laura C is doing?

    I missed the thread on parenting earlier in the week and wanted to chime in my 2 cents.
    – I never felt like my heart ‘imploded’ with either of my kids. It was more of an immediate affection, the strong physical urge to cuddle and snuggle their heads off, a sense of wonder at who they are and who they’re becoming, and a stretching of my heart that continues. I think if you’re a more pragmatic, down-to-earth person, then it’s unlikely that words like ‘imploded’ will come to mind to describe how you feel about your kids, no matter how much you love them or how huge of a change it is. I will also say that I have surprised myself at how patient I can be with challenges like breastfeeding through pain, dealing with sleep deprivation, and defiant two-year-olds. I think that’s a case of love subtly changing you and making you a better person, a tangible sign of that stretching of the heart.
    – on losing your identity. I had some anxiety about that before my first kid too, but it didn’t end up being a problem. You can choose your identity and make ‘mom’ an addition rather than a replacement. It’s true that for a while you might not have as much time to do the things that may be important to your identity, but that doesn’t change that you think of yourself as the kind of person who does those things (not ‘did,’ but ‘does,’ present tense). My priorities did change, in that my kids’ health and safety and well-being come first, but that doesn’t mean that everything that was once important to me comes last. My one caveat to this mostly positive message, though, is that once other people find out you’re a mom, sometimes that comes first for them in the way they think of you. So it can be weird when the way others think of you (‘mom’ first) and the way you think of yourself (a multifaceted person who is a wife, mom, worker, hobby-haver, etc) don’t match up.
    – Do I love my husband or my kids more? That seems a nonsensical question, and one that is posed to women more often than men. The kinds of love are so different–love for someone who’s totally dependent on you vs an independent adult. My husband and I do agree that it would be way worse to lose our child than each other, and that so far we love the older one more because we’ve had more time to bond with him (almost 3 years vs 5 days). I think your marriage doesn’t necessarily have to suffer if you do love the kids more, as long as you continue to have a strong connection as a couple.

    • Sosuli

      Congratulations!!

    • Lisa

      So many congratulations on your new baby! I’ve been thinking of you and Laura C this week. And thanks for sharing your parenting insights, too!

    • JSK

      Congratulations on the new edition!

    • Congratulations! :-)

    • Kayjayoh

      Congrats!

    • Totch

      Congratulations!!

    • another lady

      I thought Laura C was scheduled for an induction Thursday, if she didn’t have the baby yet… so, I would assume that she either already had the baby or is in the process today.

    • ruth

      Congratulations on your new arrival! And thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on parenthood – I have been really scared about these things lately and reading what you wrote makes me feel calmer. I want to give you a big hug right now!

    • Congratulations on the new baby!

      And congratulations on being able to share such amazing wisdom so soon after as well. I completely agree with everything you said about parenting. I’ve never imploded as well, but it’s a definite change from how things were before they were born.

      Good luck with the breastfeeding! This time around I knew if I could make it 6 weeks we’d be golden. It was amazing but as we passed that six week mark I looked around and went, “Yup, this is easy now.”

    • E.

      Congratulations! I was thinking of you this week!

    • StevenPortland

      Congrats on the baby!! You worded it very well — it does seems a nonsensical question. And as for all their fears of parenting from that post, I just saw the answer summed up perfectly on Facebook — “90% of parenting is arguing over pants, basic hygiene, and how toast is cut.”

    • Jenny

      Congrats! And love the insights! Thanks for sharing!

  • Bsquillo

    Tied into the ongoing happy hour conversation about personal fitness: I bought a bike a few weeks ago and have been bike commuting to work most days! It’s not super impressive- I only live about a mile away- but it has been SO fun, and I’ve started doing longer 10-15 mile rides over the weekend. My legs already feel stronger, and I come into the office with a sharper mind because I’ve just zipped around and gotten some fresh air. Also, I was surprised at how quickly I went from bike newbie to “bike person who researches the best bike gear on the internet.” I suppose there are less healthy hobbies…

    • Ashlah

      That’s awesome! There’s not really a safe route for me to ride to work (plus I sweat a lot and have no showers at work), but I’ve always thought biking to work sounded like such a great way to be more active. Definitely seems like it’d be a more enjoyable commute too!

      • Bsquillo

        Yeah, it also allows me to turn my commute into a series of fun personal challenges, haha. This week I earned the “rode a bike in a skirt without flashing people” and “successfully carried a carton of eggs in my bike bag” merit badges.

        • NotMarried!

          Have you considered installing a rack and saddle bags on your bike? Something like this:
          I used to ride to the grocery in my previous town all the time and LOVED it. I was majorly skilled at strategically purchasing and packing my items for the ride home.

          • Bsquillo

            Totally- I think I’ll go that route eventually, but I’m trying to add just one piece of gear at a time so my whole “I’ll save money on gas!” argument to my husband isn’t busted by hundreds of dollars worth of bike accessories ;)

          • NotMarried!

            I understand completely. it certainly can add up FAST!

          • Lisa

            This is how I’m feeling about all of our backpacking gear right now. Who knew that getting back to the simple life and nature would be so expensive??

          • Kayjayoh

            I have fold-out wire baskets. They make the bike heavier, but they are the bomb for carrying stuff around. Worth the weight, and I don’t have to worry about them getting wet or dirty or stolen.

          • Bsquillo

            I had been thinking about these too when I finally add some carrying capacity, especially since I’d rather not be attaching and detaching stuff all the time.

          • NotMarried!

            a heavier bike just means a better workout, right?

          • Kayjayoh

            Basically. Especially an arm workout when it comes to lifting it up and down stairs and such.

          • Alex

            I have those, too! They are awesome!

        • lady brett

          “rode a bike in a skirt without flashing people”

          details? tips? i’ve always gone with “fuck it” but i kind of do care…

          • gonzalesbeach

            the penny trick is supposed to work – kinda gives you shorts. but I’m with you and normally just say f* it and wear my nice underwear that day

            here’s a link: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/07/02/penny_in_your_pants_the_bike_hack_for_biking_in_a_skirt_without_flashing.html

          • Lisa

            I tried the penny trick with one of my longest skirts, and the whole thing kept popping off on my commute. I try to keep my legs closer together, wear boyshort underwear so it looks like I have something on, and then just realize whatever happens happens.

          • Bsquillo

            Ha, that’s also kind of my attitude, but the most challenging part to me is mounting and dismounting in a skirt. Seeing this tip about parking by a curb was SUPER helpful: http://chiccyclist.blogspot.com/2009/10/triangle-frame-in-mini-skirt.html

            Also, while actually riding, I just occasionally pull the skirt down with one hand, pedal slower/with legs closer together, and realize that if a stiff breeze comes up, no one is going to care anyways.

          • Kayjayoh

            I ride in a skirt all the time. The trick is a skirt that is short enough to stay out of the chain and brakes, but long enough to not just auto-flash. A heavier material helps, so that it isn’t flying in every breeze. And wide enough to be able to lift your knees.

            Knee-length A-line skirts are perfect for this, I’ve found.

          • Anon

            Opaque leggings when its cool and a very short pair of black shorts when it’s hot is what I do.

          • NotMarried!

            Yes, I wear short spandex shorts, hike up my skirt and go.

          • I Don’t Knowww, Margo!

            I wear leggings or a pair of men’s boxer briefs when I bike in dresses/skirts, but I’m not a fancy bike lady by any means!

          • Carolyn S
          • SLG

            Pencil skirts! They ride up a bit so it looks like you’re biking in a mini, but whatever. I think they’re more comfortable for biking than shorts.

    • Lisa

      Welcome to the club!! I live about two miles away from my office and either walk or bike most days to and from campus. I used to bike to work all of the time in Chicago but had to stop when we first moved to Badtown. One of the major advantages to switching to my new job was that I was able to cut down the commute and get back in the saddle (12 minute bike/30 minute walk vs. 20+ minutes in the car). I love riding my bike again!

    • lady brett

      congrats! i loved biking to work, though i only did it for a few months. it really does wonders for the mental health (and legs, obviously)!

    • Carolyn S

      As an active transportation advocate I say “WOOO!” Biking or walking to work is better for your health, your pocketbook and the environment. It even benefits drivers because you are now one less driver on the road! Go you!

    • Carolyn S

      And side note! If you want info about being a cute hip bike lady, this blog is all about biking for transportation http://www.girlsandbicycles.ca/ (okay, not all about biking for transportation – she’s also our mayor’s wife so there is a lot of first lady business, but there is a lot in the archives)

  • MC

    Anyone have any suggestions about where to look for a short, summer-y but still formal-ish jewel tone dress? I’m the MOH in a wedding in June and need to find a dress! Modcloth is my normal go-to but it’s failing me – I like this dress, for example, but they do not have my size: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/v-i-pleased-dress-in-forest-green

    Where else should I be looking? I live in a small town with not too many big clothing stores so online + good return options is preferable.

  • Keri

    We got a new venue! It’s not the one with the goats, which we won’t end up visiting in the end, but that means we get to keep our original date and it’s about the same distance from home. It’s a lovely B&B and after talking to the lady on the phone and how horrified she was at out venue getting shut down, I bet my fiancé that she would greet us with a hug and a muffin. I was close, it was a hug, and a scone — and then two glasses of wine in her kitchen and some salmon from the event the night before that we “just had to try.” She and her husband were adorable and I’m so glad that it’s getting settled.

    In other news, I just finished my comps exam for my M.A. and C.A.S. this morning and my brain is FRIED and I’m going to go go snuggle the dog in a blanket fort on the couch and not think about school psychology for 48 hours.

    • Totch

      Congrats on the venue and on comps! So good to see people killing it on their big exams these past 2 weeks.

      (I still hope you sneak some goat time)

    • CMT

      Yay! I’m glad you found a venue and don’t have to change your date! But I do hope somebody else out there goes with the goats and reports back with lots and lots of pictures!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the new venue and comps! Did you convince the old one to reimburse you for the invitations?

      • Keri

        Yup! They didn’t seem to have a problem with it! AND the price of stamps went down two cents in between from when I would have sent the invites AND we found a groupon for our same invites we already bought so we’ve been joking that really we made money on this! ($30…)

  • Danielle

    Hey chicks, I’ve been meaning to print my wedding photos into books for my mom and MIL. But I’m stuck bc of the number of options. I know APW has had various sponsored posts about this. But from your perspectives as real people printing wedding photos, which services are good? I care about decent print quality and don’t want to spend a ton of $$$. Thanks!!!

    • Alynae

      I just used shutterfly for prints and books. For parent books I did the regular books and for our album I did the premium book. Both look great! The premium book has thicker pages and lay flat pages which I really like. Its an easy software, user friendly and they have awesome sales every few weeks (I got our books 40% off). Highly recommend.

      • Eenie

        Sign up for their emails, work on the book, and then pull the trigger when they have a 40% off coupon. You also get a coupon with almost every order for your next order at 40% off.

        • Alynae

          exactly my strategy! Premium Album with every page allowed for under $300 and free shipping #winning!

    • emilyg25

      I use Shutterfly for prints, but for books, I really like Artifact Uprising. Their layouts are way pretty.

    • For books, I most always do picaboo. I wait for them to have a good sale, or a coupon (sometimes, like, $25 for $100 of photobooks). I used Shutterfly before picaboo, and they’re both pretty solid for the photo albums.

      Although, mpix is suuuuuper well known for archival quality, etc etc.

    • Felicity

      Montage is my suggestion! Another APWer suggested it to me. Quality wise, it’s a bit above shutterfly but there are still really good coupons. Plus it’s very easy!

    • Eenie

      I just did our guest book using shutterfly. I splurged on the lay flat pages to make it easier to sign. It looks great, my eyes can’t see any imperfections. My one complaint was it auto corrected all the photos and cropped them weird if you autofilled them into a template. I’m sure there’s a way to fix this but I couldn’t except manually.

    • MC

      We used Blurb – saw them on APW and loved them! One great thing is if you sign up for their e-mail list they are ALWAYS sending you coupon codes. I think the APW sponsored posts suggested that you spring for the higher paper quality, which we did, and we were really impressed. And their tools are pretty intuitive to use.

      • Alex

        found them through APW, too! The first business I start I am definitely going to try to get a sponsored post on APW, I feel like they advertise for such great businesses, and I’ve liked all the ones I’ve stumbled on through them!

    • I used Shutterfly and made wedding photobooks for my mom and MIL for Mother’s Day, and they LOVED them. I also ordered a book for us (so 3 copies of the same book) and I absolutely love the quality. Shutterfly is really easy to use, and they have a ton of layouts/styles. It took me a while to do because we had SO MANY PICS and I’m really choosy about the layout and whatnot. And Shutterfly is always doing deals – I think they have 40% off right now. Check them out!

      • Kayjayoh

        ALWAYS doing deals.

    • Alex

      I second Blurb! And also second signing up for their emails – they’ll send 30% off coupons around almost every holiday, so if you make your book then let it lie in wait for a coupon, one will probably show up :) I made a book for my now-husband a couple of years ago for Christmas with pictures from various trips we had taken and life events and didn’t go the highest quality paper but the second level and it was fantastic. I like their software a lot as well – I used the downloadable one

    • raccooncity

      I used both shutterfly and Mixbook with good results at an excellent price.

    • emmers

      I made like 7 photo books thru Costco. They’re cheap (about $20 apiece), and everyone loved them.

      The one bummer was that I couldn’t find a way to duplicate them, so I basically made a base book (as recommended by other APWers!) and then added/subtracted photos on other pages as relevant (swapping out my family photos for my husband’s, etc), and ordered a book each time I changed things.

      ETA, I may eventually get a higher quality archival paper type of book for us where the photos won’t fade with time, but since these were for mostly older family, I figured the books might outlast them, morbid as that sounds!

    • EF

      i used blurb after seeing their sponsored posts. LOVED them and the books turned about beautifully!

  • Cdn icecube

    So last weekend my boyfriend had the first ‘real’ conversation about getting engaged and I’m so excited about it. We’ve talked about it in the past and I’ve known ‘generally’ when we want it to happen but after having an actual conversation I’m just so excited. And not scared/weirded out about it which it how i’ve felt about it in the past.

    ..I’ve also spent way too much time than necessary looking at rings and things and it just makes me smile.

    • toomanybooks

      Yaaayyyy! Are you picking out the ring yourself/together?

      • Cdn icecube

        I think he’s going to propose and then we’ll go shopping together. I wish that we could go before and pick a few and then that he would pick from them but he thinks that would ruin the surprise.

  • April

    Ahhh our big move is happening this month! We’ve locked down a place to stay and I’m still not 100% sure what I’m going to do for work once I get there but I’m starting to get really excited about the change now that things are falling into place.

    In other news: I’m having a bit of a hard time disconnecting from my current job. I’m here for another 3 weeks and everyone knows I’m leaving but I’ve been here for 4 years and it feels weird to be leaving. I’ve been getting stressed and irritated about some things not being handled the way I would like but… I’m only here for three more weeks so maybe it’s time to stop caring about all the stuff that regularly gets missed?

    • Have a glass of wine and turn that part of your brain off ;)
      It’s probably just all the nerves/excitement about moving combining and being expressed through stress. Emotions come through in funny ways. Good luck!

      • April

        Probably, lol. I definitely have A LOT of feels.

    • Eenie

      Stop caring. Don’t full out stop working, but none of it will matter for you in three weeks. They need to sort it out themselves.

      • April

        Yup, I know you are right. I have a job and I can do it without looking for problems to solve (for once lol).

    • toomanybooks

      I agree with the “don’t sweat the small stuff when you’re leaving” approach but I understand. I just moved and feel really weird about leaving my old apartment – just the apartment even, no job change! And it was the worst place I’ve ever lived! Transitions can be hard.

      • April

        It wasn’t one we were planning on, we are just kind of rolling with an unexpected move and expediting plans that were supposed to be a year or two out. It’s great, but it’s also big and feels fast. I’m VERY happy about it but again, big and fast.

  • anon for this

    Passive aggressive in law drama. My husband has one younger sibling. I get along really well with her, but she is a Princess. She is a professional athlete and literally you can have entire phone conversation with her and she won’t say as much as “how are you?” she just talks about herself incessantly. This is highly encouraged by everyone in her family. My in laws stretch themselves thin to pay for her lifestyle—she doesn’t work, has a fancy single apartment, my mother in law ships her baked goods every few weeks, flies her home, pays for her to have massages, drives 13 hours each way to visit her every few weeks etc. My husband on the other hand– paid his way through his education, when we lived 8 hours away they visited us 1 time in 2 years, etc. They are extremely proud of her and talk/brag about her constantly. In my opinion, it’s really unhealthy, how much of the world revolves around her. Generally the inequity between how they treat her and my husband is really disturbing to both of us. My husband won’t say anything, but he feels hurt by this. I feel hurt by it too, but it’s also hard to watch how hard it is for him. His mother does not respond well to criticism, however I am really struggling to keep my mouth shut, but at what point do I say something?

    • Eenie

      The point at which your husband says he needs you to say something or it starts to look like emotional abuse. That really sucks, but you and your husband are on the same page, and I’m not sure the in-laws would really heed anything you said anyways.

      • Amy March

        And, at this point, is it any of your business that they pay for her lifestyle or ship her baked goods? I think the convo, should you guys want to have one, is about him and his needs and his relationship, not how they chose to interact with their daughter. That doesn’t mean you need to be close with her or listen to them talk about her, but if they want to bankroll her it’s problematic but not you, or your husbands, problem to solve.

        • anon for this

          you’re right, of course. It’s not my business how they spend their time and money on her. It’s just interesting to see how different families are structured. For example, in my family of origin, my parents are very conscious about evenly dividing resources for their children (with in reason). At Christmas, it wasn’t like one child got a brand new sports car and the other got a lump of coal–which is what it kind of feels like with his family. I guess different children have different needs. I am proud of how independent my husband is, but it also just kind of sucks watching this go down as newly part of his family.

          • Eenie

            Yes this is my parents as well. My future in laws don’t see the point in putting a lot of effort into treating their children similarly in regards to gifts and time, but not to this extent. It’s just how they are. My mom has a complicated spreadsheet tracking interest rates and college inflation costs to make sure each of us got a fair share of their college money. I eventually had to tell her we appreciated it, but please stop. It’s close enough. None of us are mad at the generous amount of money you gave us.

          • ART

            Your mom’s spreadsheet sounds like something I would make…

          • Carolyn S

            We get a cheque at the end of Christmas to balance out what was spent on Christmas gifts between my husband and his sister. She’s gift needier so we get cold hard cash. It cracks me up because it’s down to the cent!

          • another lady

            agreed, it does suck to watch it go down. maybe hubs could point out the disparity to in laws at some point in the future (next holiday or gift giving event), but not in a ‘I want that too’, way, but more of a ‘do you see how differently you treat us’ kind of way. I did this with my in laws once – “you know, you pay for XYZ for BIL, and that is your choice and fine, blah blah, blah. But, he makes more money being self-employed than we make combined (I know this for a fact) and we don’t ask for those things from you guys, and we don’t need them, frankly. But, just wanted to let you know that, if you didn’t already.”

      • Jess

        Agree with this. Much of the way R’s parents talk about/treat his sister in inherently inequal with the way they deal with R. This bothers me, but does not bother him to the same extent (or he as already processed it?).

        So, it is not my business and I don’t mention it, except online or to friends about how sad it makes me.

    • another lady

      We have a person like this in our family, too. My brother in law gets treated like the golden child by my parents in laws and he does NOTHING to deserve it. They have paid for so much for him (makes more than my hubs and I combined and is self-employed, yet always need money or help with financial things), they visit and make a huge effort to see him (he also lives close to my SIL, but about 6 hours from parents in laws house). But, he makes no effort in return to see people when they visit or to return the favor and visit our cities. My parents in laws call him all the time, try to help him with issues in his life, etc. He hasn’t even introduced him to his live-in girlfriend of 2+ years! WTF?! He is only 1 year younger than my husband. They were super close as kids and teens, but now they rarely talk on the phone and only see each other for like an hour when BIL decides to make an effort and see us when we visit him. He has not shown up for holidays or family events in like 1.5 years. And yet, he is the golden child and we are expected to make an effort and call him all the time and work around his schedule whenever he decides to see us when we visit the area, etc. We have just given up and decided that it’s not really worth it to try to foster a relationship that he doesn’t want. Husband will call him every few months and maybe talk for 10-15 mins, but that is about it. We have not majorly addressed this issue with the parents in laws, but they seem to be getting the idea that he is taking advantage of them and they have had a couple talks with BIL to make more of an effort, but is hasn’t really amounted to much or ‘stuck’ for very long. There have been some family discussion about him with the other family members, so the parents in laws know where we stand, in general. It sucks, but it is what it is. My suggestion for you would be to wait for the SIL to make the first moves, and to leave it alone with the parents in laws unless husband decides to address it or it comes up in family conversation without SIL around. Otherwise, if they push the issue with you, you could have some simple come back for them, such as, “she doesn’t really make an effort with us, and we prefer to say out of it as much as possible.” This should keep them off your back but get them to see, over time, that it needs to be a 2 way street with her. Also, if she is a pro-athlete, why do they need to fund her lifestyle?! My parents in laws and hubs once asked if we could give BIL money for something, and I freaked out and said no, because he makes more than us and we don’t have the spare money to give and never get anything back in return!

    • LindseyM

      I feel you. My fiancé’s older brother is an architect and his parents are always fawning over him. My fiancé is an engineer and getting his masters and his parents hardly ever ask him about his job or how school is going ect. My parents have actually kind of stepped into that role. Fiance and I talked about it a lot, and I think part of it is that neither of his parents are very “science-y,” and they just might not know how to relate to my fiancé, where as architect is something that most people can understand.

    • JenC

      My inlaws favour my BIL quite blatantly. I think my husband has become used to it but it sucks so much to see my husband’s achievements not as celebrated as his brothers (which are always less than my husbands). I think there reaches a point where the siblings have lived this way for so long that it becomes really hard to talk about it and naturally the parents won’t agree that there is an issue. I don’t think you can say something, just make sure your partner feels appreciated and recognise their achievements as much as you can.

    • Arie

      Just a quick note on this–be careful because you don’t know the whole history. I have this person in my family-in-law and had a difficult time with it. I found out years later that the behavior was tolerated because there was parental guilt for something that had happened in the past. Not saying that the overcompensation was appropriate, because it’s still hard to watch, but it’s easier to understand now. It’s hard to not judge family dynamics too soon, but maybe tiptoe a little more than you would because there may be circumstances/backstory/skeletons that you (and your husband) are unaware of.

    • toomanybooks

      In the meantime while you aren’t saying anything, just think to yourself, “She’s going to learn someday!” What I mean is – when I see people getting parental (financial) help or attention who are kind of oblivious to what life is like for someone else, I think, there’s going to be a time when they have to learn what the real world is like. With her it probably goes way deeper than people I know, but what can I say. I also know people who are very full of themselves and the only way we can have a conversation is to take turns talking about ourselves instead of asking about the other.

    • Eh

      My BIL is the favourite in my husband’s family and my inlaws are very open about it (they have a narcissistic family dynamic). My husband was used to being treated like dirt because he was always treated that way. My inlaws won’t change so we cope within our relationship (eg I support him when he is upset – especially about how his parents jump through hoops for his brother but make excuses when we want something). The only time we point things out to my inlaws is when they are scapegoating people (usually either my husband or my BIL’s wife) because that is harmful behaviour (my BIL has approached his parents about scapegoating his wife and my inlaws deny doing it so we support them by pointing out when they use her as a scapegoat behind her back).

    • emilyg25

      You don’t. You just decide together how much you’re willing to tolerate and go from there. That may mean you call them or visit way less, and that sucks, but they’re not going to be the parents he wants.

  • AGCourtney

    Well, this afternoon, I spent the time I usually spend here having a 2-hour Skype chat with a good friend of mine. It was delightful and much-needed. We lived on the same apartment building floor in Minneapolis, but I moved an hour south of the cities after college and she moved an hour north of the cities. We’ve gotten together a few times since, but we’ve found it hard. So, today was hopefully the first of many Skype dates!

    I also had a great evening on Tuesday: the sociology department I graduated from brings in a guest lecturer once a year and I managed to attend! Funnily, the speaker was from the college I work at now. It was a fascinating talk on the market forces in adoption – the supply and demand – with particular focus on race. Fascinating stuff. Then my profs invited me to join in on dinner afterward, which is usually just for seniors, and I enjoyed a lovely meal with three of my professors and it was just lovely to be able to chat with them again.

    We’re inching closer to painting the kitchen. I figured out what kind of paint we’re buying, we’re almost there on the exact color, and I’m about halfway through wiping down the walls. I’m a little nervous about little things – moving the pantry/fridge and all that, whether replacing the laminate on the counters after painting like we were advised would actually take off the paint on the edge, etc. We’ll get there, though.

    • lady brett

      that speaker sounds really interesting – and all of that sounds wonderful!

      • AGCourtney

        I actually thought of you during the presentation! She briefly touched on foster care but the focus of her research was on private adoption.

    • SLG

      I’m not totally sure I’m picturing your replacing-laminate situation correctly. But just in case it’s helpful, here’s a quick tip for removing stuff that’s attached to a painted wall: run a razor down the point where your painted wall and the thing you’re removing meet. That will break the seal of the paint and let you remove the thing without ripping off paint. (This also works for removing heating/AC vents in ceilings.)

  • toomanybooks

    The move has happened! I’m out of the worst place I’ve ever lived and in an amazing apartment! It’s still filled with boxes and bags, but we’re going to get rid of stuff we don’t need – we desperately need to do that! It should be easy enough to whittle down clothes, but we also have lots of furniture. We are thinking we should probably get rid of our “dining tables” because we have two that have only ever been used for piling stuff on – we prefer the couch/coffee table. The one she brought to the relationship is (a not very exciting) one her parents dropped off because they didn’t want it anymore, and the one I brought is a very nice one that I bought from Ikea for my first apartment that matches the rest of my furniture. So I’m having a hard time deciding to not have it anymore, lol. I keep thinking it’ll be useful for when we have more space.

    • another lady

      It *might* be useful later when/if you have more/different space… but, honestly, think about if it is nice enough/sentimental enough/ matches enough other stuff for you to keep it around and not use it for now, while it takes up useful space and a place in your home. You never know if it will actually work for you in a hypothetical future space. Later on, you could buy something else that works better in a new space. We ended up getting rid of a few big pieces of furniture when we lived in a smaller space with little storage. Then, when we moved into a bigger house, we got some new-to-us furniture that fits the space way better than the old stuff would have. YMMV.

    • gonzalesbeach

      Beauty of Ikea is that you can simply take it apart and store it! I did that multiple times with one piece I loved but was very very long so didn’t fit all apartments I lived in (until the last and pretty permanent move so we gave it to a friend in exchange for free carpentry services)

    • I ended up using one of my kitchen tables as a desk and am loving it. Perhaps if it doesn’t work as a dining table, it might serve another use? Though if it’s a dining table (and not a kitchen table) it sounds like it could be pretty big, so maybe this wouldn’t work at all! Good luck, whatever you decide!

  • Most people who kill cacti do so because they over water. There’s probably an entire post, if not a series of posts, about how people are like plants and some people need lots of water and some people don’t need so much and giving a plant the wrong amount can ruin the relationship. And then there’s the plant we have that decided it liked the window in our living room and flowered for the first time ever after I put it there and did so for 2 or 3 years and then hasn’t flowered since even though I haven’t changed it’s position or watering schedule so apparently our relationship has changed and I haven’t figured out what its needs are now and that people can be like that too.

    And I definitely need more sleep. The pre-schooler is sick enough to be cranky, but not sick enough to be mellow. Which means we’ve had fits about not being able to brush her teeth longer, not being able to put the laundry in the washing machine when I asked her if she wanted to and she said no so I did it, and not being left to sit on the potty for 10 minutes because if she’s going to pee in the potty she needs to do it a lot sooner than that.

    But Baby Boy, who can’t walk on his own yet, figured out how to climb up the slide at the park yesterday. Life is definitely going to get interesting here when he learns how to walk.

    • Jenny

      Have you tried repotting the plant in a larger pot, and with new soil. Often after a while the nutrients from the soil get depleted and/or plants can get root bound.

  • nosio

    Ahh, I just wanted to give a sincere thank you to everyone who responded to my post last week. Y’all were so sweet and kind, and reading your responses made me feel SO much better about what was going on in my head. After talking things through with my SO and my family, I’m feeling much better about having our wedding in CA.

    Also, I saw a new PCP this week to get some chronic abdominal pain checked out. She was AWESOME, and is also the first doctor I’ve met with in a couple years who seems committed to figuring out the source of the pain. I have to get some testing done, and I have a CT scan scheduled for next week, so fingers crossed that this leads to an actual solution!

  • Alanna Cartier

    We applied for a new apartment this week and are waiting to hear back. If we get it, that will mean I can have a KITCHEN TABLE. I could not be more excited/nervous.

  • mstk

    I just lost my flower girl to a dance recital and I’m not even upset because her family not being able to come frees up 6 slots from an already overcrowded guest count. ~2.5 months to go…

    • raccooncity

      I just imagined the flower girl writing into Ask APW like “I said yes to a wedding, but this is such an important dance recital! What do I do?”

  • scw

    I can’t believe I’m about to be this jerk, but mercury isn’t retrograde right now. not until later in the month (april 28). allergies are the worst though, so I’m not surprised you feel like the planets are out of whack! (I’m sorry, maddie. I’m obviously jealous of your amazing horse farm.)

  • Had a really weird week. It became apparent that a friend of mine, who we had recently discovered was an alcoholic, was not going to recover from her recent hospital stay. Liver disease, turned to liver failure, followed by her other vital organs. She is 29. This isn’t supposed to happen.
    My friendship circle is absolutely shellshocked. She had always been a bit of a party girl, but none of us suspected how bad it was, or had become, or whether we’d missed it for years. I feel so sad about it, and wish I had reached out earlier.

    • Cha

      So sorry for your unexpected loss. Wishing you peace and strength.

    • Sosuli

      That’s awful – so sorry for your loss. The thing about alcoholism is that it can be so easy to hide, and since drinking often is not necessarily even considered strange, it is easier to not realize it’s a problem until it’s too late. I say that as someone who lost their cousin to this last year. It’s hard and so sad, but try not to beat yourself up about it. You’re only human, you can’t spot everything that is going wrong in other people’s lives.

    • emilyg25

      Wow. I’m so sorry. Sending you peace and healing.

  • Sandra Terry

    Happy Weekend everyone! I got married March 12th and I finally have the access to share pics on here ^_^. Still waiting on official pics from the wedding photographer but our photo booth photographer got some beautiful shots.