• Is it worth it for me to work part time?

    I'm a teacher, and I'm considering doing a job share next year with another teacher since our second child is on the way. The plan is that I would work two days per week. On my work days, my 3 year old would go to preschool and my infant would be watched by my sister-in-law (On my days off, I'd watch my sister-in-law's infant so... show more
    I'm a teacher, and I'm considering doing a job share next year with another teacher since our second child is on the way. The plan is that I would work two days per week. On my work days, my 3 year old would go to preschool and my infant would be watched by my sister-in-law (On my days off, I'd watch my sister-in-law's infant so she could work part time.) I just ran some rough calculations of how much I would make next year. After taxes and after paying for two days of preschool for my three-year-old, I would be ahead about $750 per month. Is it worth it to work two days per week for only $750 per month? The other advantage to continuing to work is that I'm at a private school -- one that I hope to send my older child to when he turns four (the year after next school year). If I stay at the school, I will get a huge tuition discount. I've already worked there 7 years, and after I've been there 10 years, all my kids would be able to attend for free. What would you advise?
    3 answers · Personal Finance · 5 years ago
  • Middle names for Casper?

    So I've decided (thanks in part to some of your suggestions) that I really like the name Casper. We're still considering some of our older favorites as well (Wesley and Frederick are the frontrunners in my mind at this point). The problem is I can't seem to find a middle name I like with Casper. We had planned to use a family middle... show more
    So I've decided (thanks in part to some of your suggestions) that I really like the name Casper. We're still considering some of our older favorites as well (Wesley and Frederick are the frontrunners in my mind at this point). The problem is I can't seem to find a middle name I like with Casper. We had planned to use a family middle name -- either Benjamin, Bennett, or Daniel. Casper Benjamin -- I like the flow of this name in terms of syllables. I just don't think the names sound like they belong together. I'm not sure if it's a matter of "style/feel", or if it's that none of the sounds of the first name are repeated in the middle name. I love Wesley Benjamin, for example, since the short "e" sound is repeated. Casper Bennett -- These names "fit" a little better in terms of style/feel, at least to my ear. However, I do find Bennett to be the most pretentious of our three middle name options, and both names are two syllables. Casper Daniel -- I like the repeated short "a" sound in each name. I think Daniel feels anticlimactic after Casper, though. Of the three, which do you like best? Our last name is one sylalble, similar to Grey. If we decided to drop the family-middles restriction, what middle names do you think sound perfect with Casper?
    11 answers · Baby Names · 5 years ago
  • Favorite bridal shower games/activities?

    I'm planning a bridal shower tea for a friend, and it has been a long time since I've been to a bridal shower. What are some of your favorite bridal shower games and activities? We'd like some that are silly/lighthearted and some that are uplifting/encouraging (e.g., related to giving marriage advice, etc.). We don't want anything... show more
    I'm planning a bridal shower tea for a friend, and it has been a long time since I've been to a bridal shower. What are some of your favorite bridal shower games and activities? We'd like some that are silly/lighthearted and some that are uplifting/encouraging (e.g., related to giving marriage advice, etc.). We don't want anything too risque -- it's going to be a conservative crowd. :) Is it traditional to have prizes for the games like it is for a baby shower?
    7 answers · Weddings · 5 years ago
  • Start time for a bridal shower tea party?

    I'm hosting a bridal shower tea party in early May. It will be held at a bridesmaid's house, not a tea room, so the bridesmaids and I will be doing all the food prep and decor ourselves. We're planning to serve a full afternoon tea menu (scones, finger sandwiches, and an assortment of sweets). It will be enough food to count as a... show more
    I'm hosting a bridal shower tea party in early May. It will be held at a bridesmaid's house, not a tea room, so the bridesmaids and I will be doing all the food prep and decor ourselves. We're planning to serve a full afternoon tea menu (scones, finger sandwiches, and an assortment of sweets). It will be enough food to count as a light lunch, I'd imagine. We want to plan the shower fairly early in the day so as not to interfere with anyone's evening plans -- so the "traditional" afternoon tea time of 3:00 or 4:00 is too late for us. Would you recommend having the bridal tea around lunchtime (say 12:30 or so), or should we plan it a little bit later (say 1:30 or 2:00)? Advantages to having it at 12:30: People will realize that what we are serving is enough to count as lunch. People will be hungry, and food will get eaten. Advantages to having it around 1:30 or 2:00: We will have more time to prepare food and decorate (which is kind of important since we all work during the week and will have to do a lot the morning of the party). It is more traditional to have afternoon tea in the afternoon. People can have a very light lunch and then enjoy afternoon tea a few hours later. Or they can skip lunch and just eat a little late (which is what I always do when I attend bridal showers anyway). What time would you recommend? Thanks!
    6 answers · Weddings · 5 years ago
  • What time would you plan a bridal shower tea party?

    I'm hosting a bridal shower tea party in early May. It will be held at a bridesmaid's house, not a tea room, so the bridesmaids and I will be doing all the food prep and decor ourselves. We're planning to serve a full afternoon tea menu (scones, finger sandwiches, and an assortment of sweets). It will be enough food to count as a... show more
    I'm hosting a bridal shower tea party in early May. It will be held at a bridesmaid's house, not a tea room, so the bridesmaids and I will be doing all the food prep and decor ourselves. We're planning to serve a full afternoon tea menu (scones, finger sandwiches, and an assortment of sweets). It will be enough food to count as a light lunch, I'd imagine. We want to plan the shower fairly early in the day so as not to interfere with anyone's evening plans -- so the "traditional" afternoon tea time of 3;00 or 4:00 is too late for us. Would you recommend having the bridal tea around lunchtime (say 12:30 or so), or should we plan it a little bit later (say 1:30 or 2:00)? Thanks!
    8 answers · Entertaining · 5 years ago
  • What car would you recommend for a family of 4-5?

    We are expecting baby #2, and we currently only have one car (a Scion XB) that is carseat compatible. Some time in the next year, we would like to purchase another family-friendly vehicle that would hold us plus at least three kids, though we are not sure what. We're thinking about either a small SUV or a station wagon, as the one thing our... show more
    We are expecting baby #2, and we currently only have one car (a Scion XB) that is carseat compatible. Some time in the next year, we would like to purchase another family-friendly vehicle that would hold us plus at least three kids, though we are not sure what. We're thinking about either a small SUV or a station wagon, as the one thing our Scion does not have is decent luggage capacity for long trips. Here is what we want in a car: -- Ability to accommodate at least five passengers, with three of those passengers in child seats (a seven-passenger vehicle would be great if possible so we can transport friends/cousins/etc.) -- Decent luggage capacity (when driving five passengers -- I don't care if we don't have lots of luggage space when carrying seven) -- Decent gas mileage (I would love to get in the mid-20s if possible) -- Ability to tow a trailer is a plus (though not 100% necessary) -- Good safety ratings -- Prefer foreign make (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Volvo, etc.), though we might consider an American car if it met all our requirements -- Good handling and rear visibility -- I want something that drives more like a small car than a truck -- Model year between 2003 and 2009 (new enough to have LATCH) -- Budget is probably around $10,000 for a car in good shape with average or below average mileage for age (though less would be great, of course!) Given those preferences, what would you recommend for us? Thanks!
    7 answers · Buying & Selling · 6 years ago
  • What do you think of our favorite boys' names?

    My husband and I are expecting baby #2 some time in September. We already have a son named Julius Arthur. If we have a girl, she'll be Clara Joy (probably). But if we have another boy, we aren't sure what name we'll use. Here is the long list of our favorites, including the reasons they don't seem quite "perfect"). You... show more
    My husband and I are expecting baby #2 some time in September. We already have a son named Julius Arthur. If we have a girl, she'll be Clara Joy (probably). But if we have another boy, we aren't sure what name we'll use. Here is the long list of our favorites, including the reasons they don't seem quite "perfect"). You can rate, comment, or just pick a favorite. Thanks! Wesley (Too different from Julius? Not as "classic" as my usual taste?) Elliot (No easy nickname; more popular and less classic than my usual taste.) Frederick (Adore Frederick, like Freddy, dislike Fred) Theodore (Adore Teddy, dislike Ted and Theo) Henry (Too popular?) Dmitri (Too Russian? We're not Russian, but Demitra is a female family name for me.) Alaric (Too pretentious?) Moses (Too biblical?) Abraham (Too biblical?) Simon (Perfect on paper, but I don't adore it) Quentin (Great name, but no personal connection for me.) Miles (Too popular? Name of friend's kid.) Linus (Ending too similar to Julius? Name of brother-in-law's car.) Casper (Good name, but no personal connection for me.) The middle name would most likely be Daniel or Benjamin (or possibly Bennett or Benedict, though we don't like those quite as much). The first two of these sound extremely biblical when paired with one of my more biblical first name choices -- Moses Benjamin, Abraham Daniel -- see? I'm not sure they would sound right with the barely-biblical Julius Arthur. (There is a Julius mentioned in the Bible, but he's a very minor presence) or with the non-biblical Clara Joy (should we ever have a daughter). I would love to hear your thoughts on this conundrum as well. Thanks!
    14 answers · Baby Names · 6 years ago
  • Name our baby! What ONE boy name would you pick for us?

    We recently found out we're expecting baby #2. While we've had a girls' name picked out for a long time, we struggle with finding boys' names. If you got to name our baby, what ONE boy name would you choose for us? Here are our preferences: -- Should be familiar, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce -- Should be relatively... show more
    We recently found out we're expecting baby #2. While we've had a girls' name picked out for a long time, we struggle with finding boys' names. If you got to name our baby, what ONE boy name would you choose for us? Here are our preferences: -- Should be familiar, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce -- Should be relatively uncommon (prefer not in top 100; our favorites are usually in the 300s or so) -- Must be two or three syllables -- Must not start with G (our last name is similar to Grey, and we don't like alliterative names) -- Should sound good with big brother Julius Arthur -- Might sound old-fashioned, biblical, literary, Victorian, or historical -- Must have Benjamin, Bennett, Benedict, or Daniel as the middle name (family names -- pick one!) Please pick just one name, and feel free to give reasons why you think it's the perfect one for us. Thanks!
    46 answers · Baby Names · 6 years ago
  • Superhero party food ideas?

    We're having a superhero party for our three-year-old son. I'm looking for some cute easy food ideas for snacks/lunch at the party. It should be preschooler-friendly and reasonably healthy. What I've thought of so far (I won't use all these ideas): Hulk-a-mole (guacamole) with red and blue (Superman-colored) chips Hulk Hummus... show more
    We're having a superhero party for our three-year-old son. I'm looking for some cute easy food ideas for snacks/lunch at the party. It should be preschooler-friendly and reasonably healthy. What I've thought of so far (I won't use all these ideas): Hulk-a-mole (guacamole) with red and blue (Superman-colored) chips Hulk Hummus (green hummus) with vegetables for dipping Superman-a-roni and cheese "Super" soup Supermanwiches (ham and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) Pow! Punch I'm not 100% impressed with the ideas I've come up with so far, so can anyone think of better ideas (or ideas that would incorporate Batman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Joker, etc.)? Thanks!
    4 answers · Entertaining · 6 years ago
  • What vegan main dish would you serve with mashed potatoes?

    I'm fairly new to vegan cooking. Recently I made a vegan shepherd's pie (yummy!), and since then I've been wanting to experiment more with vegan mashed potatoes and gravy. What main dishes (preferably protein-containing) would you pair with mashed potatoes? The only thing I can think of so far is a lentil/nut loaf, but I'm not... show more
    I'm fairly new to vegan cooking. Recently I made a vegan shepherd's pie (yummy!), and since then I've been wanting to experiment more with vegan mashed potatoes and gravy. What main dishes (preferably protein-containing) would you pair with mashed potatoes? The only thing I can think of so far is a lentil/nut loaf, but I'm not really in the mood to experiment with those yet. And I would prefer something whole-food-based instead of a purchased meat substitute. Thanks!
    10 answers · Vegetarian & Vegan · 6 years ago
  • Alternatives to Earth Balance?

    I'm trying to go vegan for the month of January (possibly longer), and I've noticed many vegan recipes call for Earth Balance (or some other kind of vegan margarine or shortening). I prefer to use whole foods instead of processed foods. What substitutes can you recommend? So far, I've tried using coconut oil with reasonable success. ... show more
    I'm trying to go vegan for the month of January (possibly longer), and I've noticed many vegan recipes call for Earth Balance (or some other kind of vegan margarine or shortening). I prefer to use whole foods instead of processed foods. What substitutes can you recommend? So far, I've tried using coconut oil with reasonable success. When does coconut oil NOT work as a substitute? Is there something else you can recommend I try then? And what do you recommend for spreading on cornbread/toast/rolls/etc.?
    5 answers · Vegetarian & Vegan · 6 years ago
  • Did I commit a Facebook faux pas?

    I have an old high school friend who I've only seen a few times since high school. She lives about 30 minutes away, we have toddlers the same age, and we are friends on Facebook. This friend recently posted as her status update a public invitation to an event at her house. It was along the lines of, "Hey, if anybody is not doing anything... show more
    I have an old high school friend who I've only seen a few times since high school. She lives about 30 minutes away, we have toddlers the same age, and we are friends on Facebook. This friend recently posted as her status update a public invitation to an event at her house. It was along the lines of, "Hey, if anybody is not doing anything for New Year's, I'm having a potluck at my house. Call me if you want to come." My husband and I didn't have plans, so I private messaged her to see if we could come and ask what we could bring. She has seen the message but not responded. Was I wrong to assume we might be included in this public invitation? Should I have assumed she was only intending to speak to people who she has seen more recently (or people who have her phone number)? How, in general, should one respond to public Facebook invitations from people with whom one does not have lots of in-person interaction?
    3 answers · Etiquette · 6 years ago
  • Did I commit a Facebook faux pas?

    I have an old high school friend who I've only seen a few times since high school. She lives about 30 minutes away, we have toddlers the same age, and we are friends on Facebook. This friend recently posted as her status update a public invitation to an event at her house. It was along the lines of, "Hey, if anybody is not doing anything... show more
    I have an old high school friend who I've only seen a few times since high school. She lives about 30 minutes away, we have toddlers the same age, and we are friends on Facebook. This friend recently posted as her status update a public invitation to an event at her house. It was along the lines of, "Hey, if anybody is not doing anything for New Year's, I'm having a potluck at my house. Call me if you want to come." My husband and I didn't have plans, so I private messaged her to see if we could come and ask what we could bring. She has seen the message but not responded. Was I wrong to assume we might be included in this public invitation? Should I have assumed she was only intending to speak to people who she has seen more recently (or people who have her phone number)? How, in general, should one respond to public Facebook invitations from people with whom one does not have lots of in-person interaction?
    3 answers · Facebook · 6 years ago
  • What should I do about family members who are extremely difficult to shop for?

    How can I become a better gift-giver, especially for people that are difficult/impossible to shop for? My brother and sister-in-law are extremely hard to shop for. First of all, they buy everything they want. Second of all, they're very picky. And if I request a Christmas wish list from them to get an idea of what they might like, they'll... show more
    How can I become a better gift-giver, especially for people that are difficult/impossible to shop for? My brother and sister-in-law are extremely hard to shop for. First of all, they buy everything they want. Second of all, they're very picky. And if I request a Christmas wish list from them to get an idea of what they might like, they'll talk about how they feel the best gifts are those that aren't requested but that surprise the recipient -- they're things the recipient didn't know they needed but is excited to receive. Finally, they will give me a Christmas wish list, but it's all extremely specific items (e.g., this particular board game or that particular season of a TV show) instead of items that give me some freedom to enjoy selecting a gift (e.g., a leather banded watch or a new tea kettle). I wouldn't mind shopping from a specific list (although I would enjoy a list that gave me room for a little more creativity) except for the fact that they seem to define good gift-giving as that which surprises the recipient. The few times I've tried to get them something off their list, they haven't liked it -- even if it was something they mentioned wanting. For example, when they first got married, they mentioned that they didn't have a lot of mugs in their new apartment. That Christmas, I made them a gift basket with two cute snowman mugs from Target, a tin of fancy hot chocolate (since I know they both like hot chocolate), a couple tiny bottles of peppermint schnapps (since I know they like the flavor of liquers in drinks/desserts), and two boxes of my favorite cookies. Well, they have NEVER used the mugs, and they complained that they can't use the hot chocolate since it's supposed to be made with heated milk instead of water, which is too much trouble. A year after I gave the gift, I saw the two boxes of cookies still in their kitchen cupboard, unopened. Two years later, my sister-in-law told me she tried taking the hot chocolate to work to use in her coffee, but it didn't dissolve very well. (I have used this hot chocolate before -- it dissolves just fine in milk, and it's WAY more delicious than than those fakey Swiss Miss packets that she drinks.) I know this was several years ago, but I'm still hurt by it since it's an ongoing problem. They themselves are pretty good gift-givers -- but I largely think that's because my husband and I are good gift-receivers. We don't buy new things very often (so there's always plenty we need/want), we aren't incredibly picky, and we are genuinely appreciative and excited by most things we get. I feel like these relatives have set the bar really high -- they expect good "surprise" gifts, but they aren't willing to be pleased by good surprise gifts. I absolutely hate Christmas shopping for them. What should I do? How can I make this easier on myself every year? (P.S. My parents feel the same way about shopping for them, so it isn't just me.)
    9 answers · Christmas · 6 years ago
  • How do you deal with family members who are extremely hard to shop for?

    How can I become a better gift-giver, especially for people that are difficult/impossible to shop for? My brother and sister-in-law are extremely hard to shop for. First of all, they buy everything they want. Second of all, they're very picky. And if I request a Christmas wish list from them to get an idea of what they might like,... show more
    How can I become a better gift-giver, especially for people that are difficult/impossible to shop for? My brother and sister-in-law are extremely hard to shop for. First of all, they buy everything they want. Second of all, they're very picky. And if I request a Christmas wish list from them to get an idea of what they might like, they'll talk about how they feel the best gifts are those that aren't requested but that surprise the recipient -- they're things the recipient didn't know they needed but is excited to receive. Finally, they will give me a Christmas wish list, but it's all extremely specific items (e.g., this particular board game or that particular season of a TV show) instead of items that give me some freedom to enjoy selecting a gift (e.g., a leather banded watch or a new tea kettle). I wouldn't mind shopping from a specific list (although I would enjoy a list that gave me room for a little more creativity) except for the fact that they seem to define good gift-giving as that which surprises the recipient. The few times I've tried to get them something off their list, they haven't liked it -- even if it was something they mentioned wanting. For example, when they first got married, they mentioned that they didn't have a lot of mugs in their new apartment. That Christmas, I made them a gift basket with two cute snowman mugs from Target, a tin of fancy hot chocolate (since I know they both like hot chocolate), a couple tiny bottles of peppermint schnapps (since I know they like the flavor of liquers in drinks/desserts), and two boxes of my favorite cookies. Well, they have NEVER used the mugs, and they complained that they can't use the hot chocolate since it's supposed to be made with heated milk instead of water, which is too much trouble. A year after I gave the gift, I saw the two boxes of cookies still in their kitchen cupboard, unopened. Two years later, my sister-in-law told me she tried taking the hot chocolate to work to use in her coffee, but it didn't dissolve very well. (I have used this hot chocolate before -- it dissolves just fine in milk, and it's WAY more delicious than than those fakey Swiss Miss packets that she drinks.) I know this was several years ago, but I'm still hurt by it since it's an ongoing problem. They themselves are pretty good gift-givers -- but I largely think that's because my husband and I are good gift-receivers. We don't buy new things very often (so there's always plenty we need/want), we aren't incredibly picky, and we are genuinely appreciative and excited by most things we get. I feel like these relatives have set the bar really high -- they expect good "surprise" gifts, but they aren't willing to be pleased by good surprise gifts. I absolutely hate Christmas shopping for them. What should I do? How can I make this easier on myself every year? (P.S. My parents feel the same way about shopping for them, so it isn't just me.)
    11 answers · Etiquette · 6 years ago
  • Would you buy a baby doll for your son?

    My two year old son wants a baby doll. I would like to buy him one, but my husband isn't very comfortable with the idea. My questions for you are: 1) Would you buy a baby doll for your son? 2) Would you only buy a blue-clothed baby doll or would you buy him a pink-clothed baby doll, too? 3) Are there any other otherwise... show more
    My two year old son wants a baby doll. I would like to buy him one, but my husband isn't very comfortable with the idea. My questions for you are: 1) Would you buy a baby doll for your son? 2) Would you only buy a blue-clothed baby doll or would you buy him a pink-clothed baby doll, too? 3) Are there any other otherwise gender-neutral toys that you would buy him the pink ("girly") version of if that was the color he wanted (e.g., pink sparkly stuffed animal, pink Power Wheels car, or pink soccer ball)? 4) Are there any other stereotypically girl toys or clothes that you WOULD buy your son? 5) Are there any other stereotypically girl toys or clothes that you WOULD NOT buy your son? 6) Does your answer change based on the child's age? Based on how badly he wants the item?
    11 answers · Toddler & Preschooler · 6 years ago
  • What do you think of the boys' name Gemeny?

    I was walking in an old graveyard last weekend, and I happened across a man named Gemeny, born about 100 years ago. I would imagine it's pronounced JEM-in-nee, though I have no proof of that. Thoughts?
    I was walking in an old graveyard last weekend, and I happened across a man named Gemeny, born about 100 years ago. I would imagine it's pronounced JEM-in-nee, though I have no proof of that. Thoughts?
    8 answers · Baby Names · 6 years ago
  • How would you make a Fisher Price Little People Halloween costume?

    My husband and I are considering dressing as vintage Fisher Price Little People for Halloween. You know, these guys: http://letsshare.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551522468883400e553e5467a8834-320wi I'm considering being curvy blond ponytail lady, and he's thinking of being freckle-faced red hat boy with the crazy forehead marks (just because... show more
    My husband and I are considering dressing as vintage Fisher Price Little People for Halloween. You know, these guys: http://letsshare.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551... I'm considering being curvy blond ponytail lady, and he's thinking of being freckle-faced red hat boy with the crazy forehead marks (just because they seem perhaps the most iconic). How would you make simple homemade costumes for these?
    Halloween · 6 years ago
  • How would you make a Fisher Price Little People Halloween costume?

    My husband and I are considering dressing as vintage Fisher Price Little People for Halloween? You know, these guys: http://letsshare.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551522468883400e553e5467a8834-320wi I'm considering being curvy blond ponytail lady, and he's thinking of being freckle-faced red hat boy with the crazy forehead marks (just because... show more
    My husband and I are considering dressing as vintage Fisher Price Little People for Halloween? You know, these guys: http://letsshare.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551... I'm considering being curvy blond ponytail lady, and he's thinking of being freckle-faced red hat boy with the crazy forehead marks (just because they seem perhaps the most iconic). How would you make simple homemade costumes for these?
    2 answers · Do It Yourself (DIY) · 6 years ago
  • What should my husband and I be for Halloween to "match" our puppy toddler?

    My two-year-old wants to be a puppy for Halloween, so I'm going to buy fabric to make him a costume tomorrow. My husband and I want to figure out what to be to coordinate with him, as we are all going to a Halloween party and then trick-or-treating together. I don't have time to sew more than one costume, so my husband and I are going to... show more
    My two-year-old wants to be a puppy for Halloween, so I'm going to buy fabric to make him a costume tomorrow. My husband and I want to figure out what to be to coordinate with him, as we are all going to a Halloween party and then trick-or-treating together. I don't have time to sew more than one costume, so my husband and I are going to have to do easy costumes. Which of my ideas do you like best? -- We could go as Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and Lucy. (I already have a blue dress, so I'd just have to get a black wig, and my husband would have to buy and paint a zigzag on a yellow shirt). -- We could go as classic Fisher Price toys. My son has the remake of the "Lil Snoopy" pull toy, so we could design his costume to look like that, and he could bring the toy along as his buddy. Then my husband and I could be Fisher Price Little People. I'd be the curvy blond one (I would use foam padding inside a blue dress to make the shape), and my husband could be one of the boys in a red cap (we'd pad a sweatsuit and paint his face). Images: http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/fisher-p... http://media.photobucket.com/image/recen... http://www.flickr.com/photos/delina/2561... -- We could go as a puppy and dogcatchers. I'm not sure exactly what our dogcatcher costumes would look like, but I can't imagine they would be too hard to throw together with Goodwill finds. -- Do you have any other cute "puppy and ___________" ideas? Thanks!
    3 answers · Halloween · 6 years ago