The Swimsuit Issue

by Louise

I know Fred loves the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue but this is a tamer Totebag version. It covers (or reveals) what kind of swim wear you like, how many bathing suits you own AND all beach, pool, camping and outdoorsy stuff. If you have favorite things you bring, cool drinks you make, picnic recipes etc. let’s hear them.


178 thoughts on “The Swimsuit Issue

  1. I’m not a fan of the beach. We do have a lot of camping gear. Three tents of varying sizes, two screen houses, and various other camping accessories. Still no camper, but I’m leaning towards getting one. We also have a lot of winter gear – downhill skis, crosscountry skis, snowshoes, and winter jackets for every type of winter conditions for each member of the household. We love REI.

  2. I just bought a new bathing suit for #1 child since she suddenly outgrew everything and I forgot to buy multiples when Costco had the kids’ speedos for $11. The kids have about 3 bathing suits each (including the SS or LS sun shirts); DH has 2 and I probably have 5. We brought all of them to the lake since everything takes multiple days to dry there.

    I don’t like going to the beach for a day trip; DH is so pale that he doesn’t like to go, so it would be me schlepping all of the stuff and all 3 kids there. No thanks! We do occasionally go to a relative’s house that is beachfront, so less of a hassle.

    Still need to get a big 5 person tent so we can take the kids camping on our property – DH thinks this would be fun but all I can think of is all the packing of stuff I’d have to do every time. ;) That said, any recommendations for giant tents that aren’t too heavy and are easy to put up?

  3. I’m a Lands End gal when it comes to swimsuits. With a particular appreciation for the skirted suits that are long enough to cover what I want covered, but short enough to avoid the middle-aged frumpy look.

  4. We each have one bathing suit. DD#2 and I sail with scouts fairly frequently, but mainly we wear quick dry – shorts, sports bras and tops – and closed in water shoes. Camping – we have a 3 and a 6 person tent, which if you have any gear in there with you means a 2 and 4-5 person tent depending upon the size of the people – adults vs. kids. We have a coleman and it is pretty easy to get up and down with two people. We have a single burner camp stove like this:
    that we like, but we also use charcoal when there are no burn bans. My favorite thing is my camp was station – three dish pans – soap, rinse, sanitize – that fit in a PVC frame like this:

    As there is no more bending or stooping and it breaks down and we store it in a bag similar to the one for a camp chair.

  5. I hate the beach, I hate swimming. I hate seeing strangers and people I know nearly nude. I hate knowing that your husband has a lot of moles and that your sister has a pizza shaped patch of hair on her lower back. So far I have gotten away with not even putting on a suit this summer. Will see if I can make it the whole way. Oh and yes, we have a pool.

  6. I’m not a beach person – i burn like a lobster, hate sand, and am perpetually afraid of riptides, jellyfish, and that ooky seaweed stuff in the water. However, I do escort the kids to the town pool all summer, so I have swimsuits. For most of my life, I favored a nice practical tank style. In recent years I have learned to like the two piece tankini style, mainly because it is easier to visit the restroom in one of those.

    We own a major camping collection. It is just so much fun to buy camping gadgets. We recently acquired these newfangled Coleman lanterns that have pushbuttons to light, and dimmer switches. We have a backpacking stove, as well as a big Coleman stove. We have headgear flashlights, cool backpacker cooking stuff, down mummy bags, mats that are ultralight, folding tables, folding chairs with thousands of pockets… But when I was at a music festival recently, one where lots of people camp, I saw the best setup ever. The people had a complete kitchen, including an oven, set up in a screen house.

    We also have a lot of bike gear. My DH and I used to do a lot of bike touring/camping trips.

  7. For a 5 person tent I would recommend the REI Kingdom 6. We have the 4 man and the kids slept on one side on cots (previously a cot & pack n’play), Queen size air mattress fits on the other side.

    To make packing easier, we have a big rubbermaid bin that keeps all the cooking gear, plates, utensils, pots, food seasonings, oils, etc. Another bin is for bug spray, sun screen, cards, games, lanterns, flashlights. When we get home I wash all the kitchen stuff, put it back in the bin and down in the basement, ready for the next trip.

  8. Lemon, we do the same with our camping gear. It all goes into three big rubbermaid tubs with lids. The tubs live in the basement on a shelf with the tent, sleeping bags, and stove. It makes it really easy to decide to go camping at the last minute.

  9. MM, it also makes it easy for DH to pack the van like he is playing Tetris. Every bin, stove, tent, bags have a place that fits perfectly in the back. He does not tolerate last minute items being throw into the back loosey goosey.

  10. My favorite thing is my camp was station – three dish pans – soap, rinse, sanitize – that fit in a PVC frame like this:


  11. Like Lemon, we use bins too — We have one for fire stuff that holds water bucket, chimney, charcoal, heavy gloves, charcoal, cotton balls, petroleum jelly, matches, etc. I even use ziplocs to bag the amount of charcoal that fits in the chimney. It makes it really easy to get a fire going and keeps everything dry if it dews and/or rains. It also makes storage and packing much easier.

  12. swimming- we buy our swim suits at target

    I got a new one this year (a tankini) and bought a couple of different bottoms. wanted to buy 2 tops but only saw the one that I liked. Only have the one suit right now.

    We bought DS a rashguard this year, he loves it and is so cute in it.

    We actually had a beach vacation this summer in Florida on the Gulf side. It was amazing, we hadn’t done a strictly beach trip for 10 years. DS had fun building sand castles.

    The last day a group of stingrays swam right by us, it was awesome! We also walked out to a sandbar and were able to see a few dolphins in the distance.

    I hate how I look in a swimsuit (I didn’t like how I looked when I was skinny in one)
    Sucked it up and had a hell of a good time playing on the beach with my son

  13. I currently have only 2 swimsuits in active rotation – a basic black Speedo for actual swimming (laps or active watersports) and a Lands End tankini for hanging around the pool or lake (better for a long day when there will be multiple bathroom breaks). However, as a swimmer who has yo-yoed in size over the last several years, I have several old suits in both categories that I can’t bring myself to throw away because they’re still in good shape and I might fit in them again someday. When I do go to the pool or lake or beach, I sit under an umbrella with full-length cover-up, big hat, sunglasses, and the highest SPF I can buy.

    DD has been doing swim team since last summer, so I try to keep 2 good one-piece suits for her to practice in so that one is always dry. Between her growth spurts and the way the fabric disintegrates with the use & care habits of an 8-yo, they don’t last very long. At the beginning of the summer, we also bought 2 two-pieces at the second-hand store, a tankini and a true bikini, for general water play time but not active swimming.

    I grew up going to the Outer Banks every year for a week or two in summer plus a couple weekends in the off-season, but since I moved to the mountains 18 years ago I’ve only gone a few times because it takes so long to get there. Summer trips to the ILs are like going to the beach since they’re near the Chesapeake Bay, but I guess I won’t be going there much anymore. My parents’ lake house is close enough that I can go for just a weekend, so it’s fun to meet up there with friends & cousins from around the state. We do tubing & skiing behind the boat, and just hang out on the dock or in the water on an inflatable island like this:

  14. LOL Moxie. That explains why the best time I had was this week (after returning from such a trip) when our nanny took the kids OVERNIGHT, so for a total of about 32 hours!

  15. SWVA – be sure to check the suits every year. Elastic does wear out over time -when they get that crinkly sound, out they go.

    My current suits are from Athleta and Old Navy. I only wear tankinis because of my elephant tummy.

  16. To also wear the Lands End tankini with a skirt bottom. When we had the house with the pool, I was in it all the time. We don’t go to the beach much because in Galveston it’s a bath water temperature, and I think it should be bracingly cold. Also, the whole family burns like crazy and the kids despise the feel of sand in everything. We haven’t been to the neighborhood pool in this neighborhood yet because it gets really crowded and their friends aren’t in this neighborhood, but it has two 30-ft water slides, so I do want to try it.

    We don’t camp. We just never got into early on, it’s sooo hot around here, and as a woman of a certain age, anything I do for fun is really going to require air conditioning when I sleep.

  17. Man, I love the beach, especially the Pacific ocean. If all you people hate the beach, why is the beach always so crowded? Don’t like camping at all, but DH loves it and has massive amounts of camping gear. I think he likes shopping for camping gear as much as he likes camping. I have to buy special long-torso bathing suits, so that means either Lands End or Speedo. I swim laps a lot so I burn through suits pretty quickly. Every now and then I get fed up with how fast the Lycra wears out, and buy one of those polyester suits that resist chlorine, but they’re really uncomfortable. They remind me of the suits we had to wear in junior high for swim class — thick black nylon tank suits that always gave me a wedgie because of the aforementioned long torso.

  18. Moxie – we are twins. I even refused to open the pool this year. The winter cover is still on it and the pool guy comes once a month and yells at me for wasting it.

    My boys swim every day at camp. They have 3 suits and swim shirts we cycle through. I don’t let them wear the Vilebrequins to camp. Those are saved for their pool time in Vegas and when they otherwise need to look sufficently cool.

    The baby has one suit that I put on her when we were invited to a pool party. Her little rolls looked adorable.

    I own at least 10 suits but haven’t worn one without a coverup on in years. I don’t have the adorableness going on that the baby does.

  19. So, you all hate the beach but love to camp? Camping seems like going to the beach, and then staying overnight. Right down to the tent, the chairs, the cooler and everything:

  20. I hate to camp. Actually, I have never been camping. But I assume that I would hate it. I like the beach if I can lounge on a chair under an umbrella whilst sipping a piña colada that someone brings to me. I am not currently in that phase of my life.

  21. When I camp, we go to places that have these lovely things called trees that shade the tent. We also choose places that don’t have sand, or riptides, or jellyfish, or stingrays, or sharks, or ooky seaweed. Also no grizzlies. DH and I both refuse to camp in places where we have to worry that a stray cookie crumb will get us ripped apart.

  22. ATM – there is a lot of variation in tankini top length. I want absolutely no gap, and I can usually find it (Target for the most recent iteration).

  23. I have to buy the long torso suits too. I haven’t had a problem with the tankinis showing anything, though. My big complaint (and you all are going to laugh, I know) is that so many suits come with these enormous fake boobs built in. There are a few that have what are known as “soft cups” – boob mittens that always end up folding over funny or moving around to the wrong part of the suit. It is a definitie problem for me.

  24. OK, you guys are going to laugh at this one too. My ideal campground is of the German/Belgian/French variety, where you will always find a BAR. And usually, bread delivered in the morning.

  25. agreed, I have never bought a tankini that showed stomach, if I wanted that I’d buy a more traditional 2 piece (bikini)

  26. When I camp, we go to places that have these lovely things called trees that shade the tent.

    And block the breeze at night so you just lay there on top of your sweat soaked sleeping bag.

  27. We just bought an embarassingly large tent from Cabelas – some non-brand like Eagle River? It was $150 and sleeps 10. Really it sleeps my queen air mattress, two yoga mats for the kids to sleep on and a pack and play. There is still enough room for our stuff and enough room for me to have to yell, repeatedly, “get back on your mats!”. I can set it up by myself. It weighs as much as my heaviest child. It likely won’t last through more than a few dozen nights or a big storm, but it works for us right now.

  28. Rhett – you have never been in the mountains? It gets pleasantly chilly out night.

  29. I like both the beach and camping. I have skin that doesn’t burn easily and none of the insects like me, so I never get bitten. DH when it comes down to it, is not really an outdoorsy type person. He will say he likes the beach and camping but really he likes a nice hotel room that faces the beach and for camping he would prefer a glam camping vacation (like those African safari ones when you retreat to a luxury tent with prepared meals at the end of the day).

  30. I like Lands End because of the mix & match pieces and the underwire bra tops in large cups sizes. I have a tankini top that I like – supportive enough and fits well, and then I have 3 different bottoms – board shorts for the actual beach (walking, running, playing in the sand with DS, hanging out on a boat, etc), a skirt for hanging out at a pool when I want to be more covered, and regular brief bottoms for swimming laps. (The tankini top is the old lady kind that does NOT show any midriff. No one wants to see my midriff.)

    I love vacationing at the beach – where you can rent a cabana or chair/umbrella and don’t have to haul anything but a towel and a book/toys/etc. Day trips to the beach are sometimes not worth the pain since you have to pack everything up in the car, haul it out to the sand for a few hours & then haul it all back.

    I don’t particularly care for camping, but I tolerate it because others who I care about like it. I do enjoy the part where you sit by the campfire drinking beer and chatting.

  31. I love the beach. Maybe that’s because it is very easy for us to get there — we have several Atlantic Ocean beaches within an easy 10-15 minute drive of our house. So, we can just decide on the spur of the moment to go over for an hour or two — we don’t feel compelled to stay the whole day. DH and I will grab a beach chair and something to read; DS and DD each grab a pail, a shovel, and a boogie board. Then off we go.

    My go-to swimsuit is a bikini top with a skirted bottom. My top half is holding up OK, but no one needs to see my 47-year-old ass cheeks. When I’m not in the water, I usually put a t-shirt over the bikini top for sun protection, so I end up with a t-shirt and mini-skirt sort of look.

    DH loves to camp. In fact, right now as I type this, he is at an REI store with the kids picking up some last-minute gear for a camping trip he’s taking with DS next week. I don’t like camping at all, but I will put up with it for one or two nights a year to humor the rest of the family.

  32. Adirondacks are pretty pleasant too. And Acadia in Maine. In fact, there, you can go to Bar Harbor, look at the ocean, and not be on a beach. And then go back to your tree shaded tent.

  33. I currently wear a Speedo from Costco, purchased because the elastic from my old suit is dead and I’m still working on postpartum weight loss. I started taking the boys to the pool when the twins were 18 months (max depth in children’s area is 42″) and my suits say, “I can have three boys hanging on me in the channel and not show you any naughty bits.” The teenage life guards couldn’t keep their eyes off me… I wonder why? This summer, the boys are all tall enough and good enough swimmers to have me more than an arm’s length away in 42″ of water so Baby WCE has been hanging out in the mei-tai, similar to an Ergobaby. I’d say you have to be at least 5′ 2″ to wear your baby in a front carrier in up to 42″ of water.

    I can’t even list all the camping stuff we own. We inherited a truck camper stocked by my in-laws and the stuff in there includes the sorts of things you’ve listed in your Rubbermaid totes plus items like National Forest printed maps and extra batteries. We just got to tell the kids about the bingo palace their great-grandparents used to visit 25 years ago, since the plastic cups are from there. We plan to upgrade the interior lights from incandescent to LED to reduce power consumption, since we often dry camp. We also own backpacking gear- cooking set, sleeping bag and foam mat for each boy, water bottles, water filter, environmentally correct dish soap, trowel, etc. The dog even has her own backpack and carries her dog food.

    I like the trip vs. vacation guide Moxie posted above.

    We go to the beach, but it’s usually windy. Summer water temperature is 55, compared to 49 in January, so people don’t swim without a wet or dry suit. Never rent a wet or dry suit, BTW.

  34. Rhett, the problem with the beach is SAND. It gets into every freaking thing. I love swimming in the ocean and bodysurfing but I can’t stand the sand. When they create a beach without sand they will make a fortune.

  35. “I love the beach. Maybe that’s because it is very easy for us to get there — we have several Atlantic Ocean beaches within an easy 10-15 minute drive of our house. So, we can just decide on the spur of the moment to go over for an hour or two — we don’t feel compelled to stay the whole day. DH and I will grab a beach chair and something to read; DS and DD each grab a pail, a shovel, and a boogie board. Then off we go.”

    +1 NoB!

    We both like camping and the beach. Haven’t been camping in years, though DH tries to go yearly with his dad and brother. Our camping equipment consists of 2 sleeping bags at the moment. As DS ages and we (possibly, hopefully) have more kids, we’ll expand. The beach is a different story. We have multiple blankets, coolers, chairs, and I want to purchase a little tent for DS. We are thinking about taking a day off of work next week to hit the beach, and I’m sure we’ll go for an hour or two on the weekend sometime. DS has one swim suit with rash guard and two hats. DH has 3 suits he likes and wears often. I have 4-5 suits, but I’m sure one doesn’t fit anymore. Most of mine are tankini style with board shorts or skirted bottoms. I think my board short suit has bit the dust after 8 years of grad school research.

  36. I like the beach AND camping even though I tend to burn like a lobster and the mosquitos love me

  37. DD – we have plenty of beaches without sand… they are called rocks. Not pleasant to swim near, but if you re looking to lounge without sand, a nice granite slab will do just fine.

  38. Unlike most of you who complain about your lost figures, my beach bod never existed. I refused to go swimming after the age of 13, except as required to pass my college test and to be with family. I have tried every sort of swimsuit, skirts, boy legs, tankinis, If you are in fact a plump older woman, those suits make you look horrible. And unlike MM, I couldn’t find a decent swimsuit with enough support. This year I finally found the perfect one – a well constructed spanx-like maillot with a modest cut leg. It is sort of the Serena Williams approach – don’t apologize for the curves.

    I have an array of adventure travel gear. In doing the pretrip inventory, I already had the regulation small plane duffles, expedition packs, knee high waders, carabiners, hats, gloves, Gore tex suits, hiking boots, binoculars, sunglass holders, quick dry shirts and pants, industrial strength bug repellent, eyeshades, headphones, water bottles, travel wallets. Just needed some socks and toiletries/otc meds and local money.

  39. Rhett, you need to camp in Colorado. In July it goes down to about 40 at night.

  40. you can camp on the hottest day of summer at Red River Gorge, KY and still need layers and a warm sleeping bag at night, it gets quite cold out. have to drink around the campfire to stay warm

  41. Denver, I just pitched a long weekend Galveston rental to my kids for right before school starts and was met with that same sand rant. “It’s like the glitter of the natural world! It gets in everything!” They really like sailing on Galveston Bay, so I thought it would be nice to enjoy some other stuff while we are down there, but apparently not. Oh – another strike against beach down here: last time we sailed last summer, the captain told us not to get in. He said with the water temps as high as they were, the flesh-eating bacteria was thriving, and two guys who had been in the water working on their boats the week before had ended up in the hospital. Not that refreshing dip I was looking for.

  42. @RMS – I have found Speedo Endurance+ to be worth the extra cost. Just rinse the pool water out after each use, and spin it dry if your pool has one of those centrifuge thingies.

  43. The sand used to bother me too. It is still annoying, but if there is a foot washer at the beach, I am good. Of course everyone still needs a full shower at the end of the day for the rest of the sand (and you’d want one anyway after being out in the sun and water all day)

  44. On the beach topic- you might have shared before , but anyone been to any all-inclusives you would recommend? would love to do one of these days

  45. “He will say he likes the beach and camping but really he likes a nice hotel room that faces the beach and for camping he would prefer a glam camping vacation (like those African safari ones when you retreat to a luxury tent with prepared meals at the end of the day).”

    I am apparently married to Louise. I don’t like sand OR mud/dirt OR bugs (which always, always prefer me to all others). And my vampire blood means I burn in a flash. Give me a lovely chaise on a balcony overlooking the waves, with an umbrella both over my head and in my drink, and I am good.

    All right, that was a little overly-curmudgeonly. I do like “going to the beach”; it’s just that the “sitting in the sand” and “getting sunburned” and “going in the water and getting pinched by crabs and stung by jellyfish” is basically my least-favorite part of the whole deal.

    This is timely, though, as tomorrow at the crack of dawn we leave for the Outer Banks for my dad’s 70th bday celebration with that whole side of my family. I need to set up an over/under for when I lose it and yell at my younger bro. Or maybe some family bingo, with entries like “bro sleeps until noon,” or “Granny calls us by all three names” — stuff like that. Hmm, actually . . . .

    Oh, I too have a tankini — between the long torso like Rocky and the easier bathroom access and post-kids tummy, they’re awesome. Mine is a halter-type of top, but with a little bit of a ’40s-style cut to it, and just enough ruching and small ruffling to make it not exaggerate every bump without being froofy.

  46. I’m a California girl and love the beach, water, mountains – anywhere outdoors. We have tons of outdoor gear and lots of bathing suits in our family. I buy a few bikinis at target every year. They have a bunch of mix/match tops and bottoms and are inexpensive enough that I don’t feel bad about not taking very good care of them. One-pieces aren’t flattering on me and tankinis feel like too much fabric, particularly when wet. I just started to lap swim in the mornings and wear one pieces from TYR for that. I also usually have one or two sporty two-pieces that I wear for more athletic water activities like kayaking or stand up paddling. If I want/need more coverage, I throw on some board shorts and a sun shirt. I like the dipper shorts from Athleta because they are fast drying, come in different lengths, and happy colors. DH lives in Quicksilver waterman shorts, and we have had good luck with old navy and target swim trunks and sun shirts for the boys.

  47. LfB, sounds a lot like our funeral trip. Eleven grandchildren, 10 of them six and under including three babies hanging out at my Dad’s house. When someone joked, “How many engineers does it take to pack the leftover salads into the refrigerator?”, my sister-in-law responded, “Five- plus one chemist.”

  48. So, I am obsessed with motorhomes this week. To the point that I even convinced DH to go on a lot last night and walk through a couple of models. I want the smallest possible Class C – it doesn’t seem possible to get a Class B that can sleep 5. You got a love a product that you have to sit down and talk about your needs (including what you can put down and what you can afford per month) before you are allowed to actually see anything.

    I wouldn’t buy new – the depreciation is so steep! It seems to level off quite a bit – I think I could buy a 2000-ish for around 15k, and if we end up hating it or never using it, sell it for around 15k a few years later. The great thing about wanting to buy used is that I can spend hours sorting through craigslist.

  49. @Laura, you are funny. Good luck with the fam.
    “I don’t have the adorableness going on that the baby does.” That is a look that is almost exclusive to the “age measured in months” set.

    I love being outdoors, I love hiking, I love mucking through creeks and I love sitting around the campfire but……I also love plumbing and high thread count sheets. So I like to stay at a hotel but in rustic places.

  50. I haven’t taken a beach vacation in years, and I think the only way I’d get excited about going now would be if the destination were one of those white sand and warm turquoise water combinations. My D is at a local beach today, and as she left I asked her to be careful. She said she’d be sure to watch out for sharks, but I told her she’s more likely to encounter used condoms.

    Hearing about camping trips makes me regretful that I’ve never taken my kids camping even though I did a lot of it back in the day. But I’m sure the reality of camping with kids is much harsher than any nostalgic visions I conjure up.

  51. I wouldn’t buy new – the depreciation is so steep!

    Is there a reason?

    Two thoughts:

    1. The discounts off MSRP are huge so the depreciation looks steeper than it is
    2. The maintenance costs on an aging class C RV are astronomical

  52. I have never (virtually) met such a large group of people who hate the beach !

  53. Ada – I’ll be interested to hear what you decide to do.

    WCE – Last night, we entertained some people I’m related to. They have five kids. #4 is 18 mos; #5 is 6 mos. She thought ebf would provide sufficient birth control, but nope. Oh, and they’re preparing to move overseas. She’s a SAHM, he’s an SES now. And she’s so easygoing, it’s kind of inspiring to watch. She said the 6 month old sometimes sleeps almost through the night, but other nights is up three times. And then the 18 month old is now waking up in the middle of the night, too, to which I responded, “she probably just wants some alone time with you.” And she smiled and said “I know, and really, I don’t mind at all. I’m happy to have that time with her.”

    I would be driven to drink. But she’s very AP-oriented, yet totally non-pushy or judgmental about it.

    I like camping/beach gear. I like to keep a bunch of different chairs in the back of the van, and they’re always available for picnicking or fireworks or whatever. I’m not yet very organized with the camping stuff, so I’m always packing charcoal and utensils and all that each time. Oh well.

    L – We have this tent. It’s pretty large:

  54. Real Discount Expectations – Our go-to response when people ask about what discount they should expect to get when purchasing a new RV is 20% – 30% off MSRP. The best thing you can do is search online for similar dealer stock BEFORE going into your local dealership. I generally start with a search at these places: MHSRV, La Mesa RV, Lazydays, General RV and RVTrader.

  55. Here almost every family makes their way to “the beach” for a week at least once in the summer. Some people make it twice in a summer. Some relative owns a beach house/condo so the accommodation is free but it is definitely a beach (camping) type trip with the whole house packed in the car.

  56. I’m at the pool right now. I’ve been trying to come every Friday to get away from the stress in my house, and to see friends.

    I love the beach and we take a lot of beach vacations. The best part about staying in a hotel is that the sand is not my problem.

    I really hate sand in my house, but no one would notice right now because there is so much construction dust.

    I hate camping. I hate everything about it, and I will do anything to avoid ever going again.

    My bathing suits are from lands end and Athleta because they fit. Lots of options for mixing tops and bottoms.

  57. @WCE — Except for us it’s more like “how many ADHDers does it take to get out of the house in the morning? Answer: never.”

    Yes. It makes no sense (welcome to my family). Making the real over/under “how long before DS goes bat-shit crazy.”

    In a purely unrelated matter, DH has spent three days planning which wine to pack. “For your dad.”

  58. How much of a discount can I expect when negotiating on a new RV?

    At present, 30% off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), is fairly typical.

    It looks like 35% off would constitute a good deal on a new RV.

  59. LfB, my family is the opposite. The four of us kids spent 4 hours at the visitation, ready to go on-time, and the spouses had the rest of the kids dressed and ready for a shorter portion of the visitation. Prior to the official start of visitation,I was nursing Baby WCE in the front pew and my brother did a diaper swap on the pew next to the casket on his baby. My mom would have been amused.

  60. A new Class C is listed at 100-ish, even at 65k, I can do a lot of maintanence on a 15k motorhome and come out ahead. (And by, “I can do” I mean I can pay someone to do.”). I would miss the 4 integrated TVs in 24 feet that I saw yesterday on the lot (one big one outside, one in the back queen, one over the cab, one across from the dinette).

  61. @WCE — Oh, man, only you can make a funeral sound appealing. What I wouldn’t give to have engineer brain. Life just seems so much more, well, orderly. It’s like a happy, calm refuge from the chaos that is the inside of my head (which, admittedly, is worse than normal right now — travel brings out the anxiety, which manifests in perpetual list-making and much mental sit-and-spin. And, umm, avoidance, like blog-reading instead of work-wrapping-up).

  62. LfB – did you receive a spreadsheet of what food items you will be responsible for ?

  63. I can do a lot of maintanence on a 15k motorhome and come out ahead. (And by, “I can do” I mean I can pay someone to do.”).

    Have you run the numbers? It seems like a class C RV would have all the systems of a house: plumbing, water heater, furnace, AC, fridge, oven, electrical system, leaky roof, frozen pipes and self contained power and water/waste water storage <i<and all the systems of a car, power steering, radiator, timing belt, automatic transmission, etc. It seems at least plausible that it’s not nearly the deal you think it is, especially if you have to outsource all the work.

  64. “my brother did a diaper swap on the pew next to the casket on his baby” @WCE – Oh dear.

  65. @Louise — LOL! No — that’s DH’s side that does that. (I know — shocking, right?). :-) My dad’s side shows up, does a giant grocery shop, and then ends up back at the same store every day anyway to either pick up stuff we forgot or to grab stuff for the great new whatever we decided to cook after the last shopping trip. Either that, or we decide around 7:30-8 that maybe we want to eat out instead.

    I swear, if you judged by our families, you’d be surprised DH and I managed to get together long enough to reproduce — much less stay married almost 20 years. . . .

  66. LfB, you must have missed the part about both of our flights being late and hanging out till 10:30 PM at the O’Hare Hertz while they sought a vehicle that would hold 6. Today’s post makes me abundantly grateful to be married to Mr WCE. He recently discovered the intermittent short that was making the water heater intermittent in the camper, replaced the PC board on the camper refrigerator that fried itself, and cut a new piece from plywood for the area near the wheel well that got dry rot under the skin of the camper. On the trip, he was complimented for his baggage handling skill by both the TSA screener and the guy bringing up the gate-checked items after the flight. On the flight, he was sitting between the twins behind a child psychologist, who turned to him after the flight and said, “I’ve really enjoyed listening to you interact with your kids. I’m a child psychologist, and you are a great Dad.”

    But other people helped too. One of my twins complained about being hungry at 11:30 PM as the flight was finally boarding at O’Hare and one of my fellow steerage passengers (they were able to put us together in row 35) gave me two bananas from her bag, probably from a hotel or conference from the size.

  67. He recently discovered the intermittent short that was making the water heater intermittent in the camper, replaced the PC board on the camper refrigerator that fried itself, and cut a new piece from plywood for the area near the wheel well that got dry rot under the skin of the camper.

    You taking notes ADA?

  68. I have been traveling 4 of the last 6 weekends, mostly by car around VA but also had a 3-hr drive to CLT for the week we flew somewhere, and I had company on the last weekend I was home. I’m so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow followed by doing nothing except sitting by the pool and reading while DD spends the day with H.

    Is anyone reading Go Set A Watchman? I can’t decide if I want to get that or stick to lighter fare.

  69. Milo – Just reading about your relative’s fifth baby makes me break out in a cold sweat. I would need to be medicated. What is ebf? I want to double check that I am not at risk.

  70. wow, to get pregnant when the little one is 3 months old and EBF is rare I would think

  71. Safe! I paid attention in eighth grade health class. And to my doctor’s 5,000 warnings.

  72. I was on the mini-pill for the first 7 months, but never had an oops after that. of course it wasn’t easy getting pregnant with DS in the first place so at that point an oops would have been okay. didn’t get pregnant the next 7 months I BF him though so it worked as BC for me

  73. Wine – if it’s rare, then I must know a lot of rare ducks. Quite a common phenomenon in my circle and “friends of friends” circle is to be EBF and get pregnant. I can tell you that while I exclusively “breastfed” (OK, I pumped, so that may be a huge difference), I started ovulating at about 3-4 months.

    Milo – I’m with Cat. I had to re-read your post to make sure I didn’t have a dyslexic moment. I checked for the dyslexia twice.

  74. yes, rhett, but most (many?) women do not get their periods back for at least 6 months after the birth.

    like I said, I wasn’t going to chance getting pregnant THAT soon. it isn’t best for mom or babies to that soon after. I have a friend with kids 15 months apart.

  75. TMI but I didn’t get a period until I stopped BF’ing completely, 14 months later, it was great!

  76. I’m an Irish twin! I didn’t realize how terrible it was/would be until I had my own kids. My mother swears she was happy about it. I don’t believe her.

  77. I can’t imagine dealing with morning sickness and a newborn/infant at the same time

  78. Wine,

    It was more a criticism of EBF, it certainly didn’t seem to work for the Irish back in the 19th century.

  79. there must be something genetic with the EBF and fertility during that time.

    another friend of mine EBF and was ovulating again right away, like the next month

  80. yeah, you definitely can’t consider EBF a fool proof birth control method

  81. There are a number of Irish twins in my extended family whose moms relied on ebf, and several of the moms are nurses. I knew if they couldn’t make it work, there was no way I was going to gamble. I don’t think its that rare as a percentage of people who choose to rely on just ebf.


    Practice unrestricted breastfeeding without regard to schedules. Usually six to eight breastfeedings a day will suppress ovulation.
    Don’t train your baby to sleep through the night. (The milk-making hormones that suppress ovulation are highest between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.) Nighttime nursing is important to the suppression of fertility. Sleeping with your baby facilitates unrestricted feeding at night.
    All of baby’s sucking should be at the breast, for comfort as well as food. Avoid the use of supplemental bottles and pacifiers.
    Delay the introduction of solid foods until age six months or later. Solids should provide additional nutrition, not substitute for breastfeedings.

    If you follow these rules, you may enjoy a period of lactation amenorrhea (no menstrual periods) that lasts thirteen to sixteen months. In fact, research has shown that women who practice natural mothering according to the above rules will average 14.5 months without a period following childbirth. Remember, this is only an average. A few mothers will experience a return of menstrual periods by six months, others not until two or three years.

  83. My niece and nephew are 15 months apart on purpose. They wanted two, they didn’t want to get any older, and they wanted to be done. The first couple years, my brother said it was like being in jail.

    But yeah, 12 months apart is something–especially when you already have three. She has a part-time nanny where they’re living now (not DC area), but that’s going to be a lot more expensive in Europe. They’re a little scared of the whole moving process, even the basic logistics.

  84. Does anyone know of any research on the failure of IUD’s inserted immediately after birth? Our pediatrician commented that his daughter got pregnant when her first child was 7 months even though she had an IUD and was breastfeeding. I’ve heard of enough other cases (gee, I wonder why random people share their birth control failure stories with me?) that I wonder if IUD’s are less effective when inserted before the uterus has contracted. Maybe they get lodged in an ineffective place, or something.

  85. ” (gee, I wonder why random people share their birth control failure stories with me?)”


  86. Remember that 98% is measured on an annual basis, not a lifetime basis. Consider how many people don’t go longer than 3 hr during the day or 6 hr at night without nursing. (very few, especially if we say “ever” and not “normally”)

    I’d say the statistics are accurate, because the population of people to whom they apply is so small.

  87. “Sleeping with your baby facilitates unrestricted feeding at night.”

    If you’re sleeping with your baby, whether or not you’re suppressing ovulation is probably a moot point.

  88. OT, a lot of the modest moms at my kids’ events at beaches or pools wear boy shorts and rash guards (often long-sleeved) over whatever swimsuit they’re wearing. I’ve heard a lot of DW’s friends comment on how they loved it when boy shorts became the style for girls. Those may be going out of style for girls, but I’m guessing that it will remain a staple for moms.

  89. “Is anyone reading Go Set A Watchman?”

    I’m on the wait list at the library, have you read the reviews?

  90. Lactation — Women who breastfeed have a delay in resumption of ovulation postpartum due to prolactin-induced inhibition of pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release from the hypothalamus. Breastfeeding can be relied upon to prevent pregnancy only when the woman meets all three of the following conditions:

    ●She is less than six months postpartum
    ●She is breastfeeding exclusively (ie, not providing food or other liquid to the infant)
    ●She is amenorrheic.

    Under the above circumstance, 98% effective.

    Here are excerpts from the citations:
    RESULT(S): In the first 6 months after childbirth, cumulative pregnancy rates during amenorrhea, depending on how the end of amenorrhea was defined, ranged from 0.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]= 0%-2%) to 1.2% (95% CI = 0%-2.4%) during full breast-feeding, and from 0.7% (95% CI = 0.1%-1.3%) to 0.8% (95% CI = 0.2%-1.4%) up to the end of partial breast-feeding. At 12 months, the rates ranged from 6.6% (95% CI = 1.9%-11.2%) to 7.4% (95% CI = 2.5%-12.3%) during full breast-feeding, and from 3.7% (95% CI = 1.9%-5.5%) to 5.2% (95% CI = 3.1%-7.4%) up to the end of partial breast-feeding.

    The consensus of the group was that the maximum birth spacing effect of breastfeeding is achieved when a mother “fully” or nearly fully breastfeeds and remains amenorrheic. When these two conditions are fulfilled, breastfeeding provides more than 98% protection from pregnancy in the first six months. Data are reviewed from thirteen prospective studies in both developed and developing countries supporting the consensus. The rationale for the consensus is given in detail

  91. WCE – I have a friend that got pregnant with an IUD but not sure how long it was in for. I told my dr. that when he mentioned that as a possibility for me and he said that was rare.

    I love the beach! Just got back from two weeks on Cape Cod, total bliss. Camping is awful. I go once a year with my daughter’s Brownie troop, in a cabin, and it’s still terrible and exhausting.

  92. Cat,

    That’s what I was thinking. If you were amenorrheic for 4 months then month 5 you ovulated and that egg was fertilized you’d think you were golden until…. you noticed a bump or other symptoms?

  93. I don’t dislike “the beach”, but it’s 3 hours to the beach, so it then becomes a “trip” and not all that fun. When we went to Panama, Grand Cayman and to Hawaii (at different times) – the beach was a vacation (no kids). Sorry, but the beach as a trip has minimal appeal.

  94. Atlanta – That is because they are Brownies…it is more fun when they are a bit older and do more work while you do more watching.

  95. Friday’s Fox News poll found Trump leading with support from 18% of Republican primary voters nationwide, compared to 15% for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and 14% for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

  96. Anecdata here, but I discovered I was pregnant with number 4 in the second trimester. I immediately informed those who cared that I was going to sleep for two days to make up for the naps I didn’t get to request in the first trimester. The girls were only 19 1/2 mos apart, but the illness of number 2 was during number 3’s infancy so she didn’t get the same feeding intensity. 22 mos spacing was my normal all natural break.

  97. If he is still around when the Florida primaries come around, I will switch my registration to “Republican” so I can vote for Trump. I don’t think he’ll be around, though.

  98. I EBFd but I always worked on the principle that I could get pregnant at any time unless I was on the pill. I think when you think about getting pregnant it is better to think like the people who think they will win the lottery rather than logically. A new person is too big a thing to mess around with. Those 4 Tips sound like 4 ways to crazy – “Dont train them to sleep through the night?” Maybe that works because then you are too tired to have sex!

    Milo your relative sounds like a saint. I have a friend with 5 but she carries on like one with 3. Don’t know how she does it!

    My husband gives me a hard time because I could NOT get those babies out of our room fast enough but I looked at him like he was a barbarian when he suggested that maybe the dogs could sleep downstairs! Also dog snoring is sweet, husband snoring gets a poke in the ribs.

  99. So we have been discussing women’s swimsuit styles, and ignoring the guys. One of the things that amazes me is the steady trend over the years towards more and more coverage for guys. If you compare the swim trunks that American men wore in the 70’s to the ones they wear today, it becomes quite apparant. And now a lot of guys wear rashguards too. It is as if they are going back to the 1880’s in their swim outfits, while women are walking around in bikinis. Isn’t all that extra material flopping about the knees kind of uncomfortable when wet?

  100. So, the thing about #3 is that menstruation tends to return before ovulation. So, most women will have a period or two before they can actually get pregnant. It follows that if you haven’t had a period you are unlikely to be ovulating.

  101. @Mooshi – I recently saw a bunch of 20-something young men (possibly younger, but they were drinking a lot!) partying at the lake all weekend in short-short style trunks. Like 1980 short. I was a little surprised since that style has not made it to my pool crowd of dads & little kids.

  102. @winemama – I have seen a few good reviews, but then there’s the crowd that’s not reading it because they think people are taking advantage of Harper Lee. If I do read it, I’m too impatient to wait for 57 people to get through the 2 copies available through my library and will pay for it on Amazon!

  103. Mooshi– I think the trend toward longer swim shorts for men can be attributed in no small part to Michael Jordan, who popularized longer shorts in bball.

    OTOH, I can remember some kids wearing swimming “shorts” going past the knees, long before MJ popularized longer shorts. The practical aspect of that was sun protection, just as with rashguards are now worn most commonly for that purpose (as opposed to preventing rash).

  104. My board shorts end above the knees. I usually wear a long-sleeved rashguard with that.

    Putting on a rashguard is a lot easier than putting on sunscreen.

  105. I’m back from the pool, and I was looking at the swimsuits. There were a decent amount of men and women there today – summer Friday. I was surprised at how many women were wearing bikinis, and they looked great. I see plenty of bikinis on the beaches of the south shore of LI, and some of those people should be wearing a lot more clothing. The women that were in a bikini looked amazing – and most were between 35 – 50.

    Mooshi is right. The men were generally wearing suits that went to the knees.

  106. Sorry to all the guys for not discussing men’s swimsuits more. On topic, do anyone’s children complain about rash guard shirts due to irritated nipples? My boys don’t want to wear them for this reason, and I’ve tried larger (oversize) shirts. Currently, I let them choose between a shirt and sunscreen.

  107. “So, most women will have a period or two before they can actually get pregnant. It follows that if you haven’t had a period you are unlikely to be ovulating.”

    Not always. Of course never, ever tell you age mates that “Maybe you should visit a fertility doctor, People don’t just get pregnant at our age.”

  108. I have a new Lands End suit in seersucker that is about mid-thigh. It’s a lot more comfortable than the Costco one it replaced, mainly because that one was very clingy, so whenever I got out of the water, I had to pull the material off the front of me so it wasn’t quite so prominently “form-fitting.”

    The material on this one just doesn’t do that.

  109. I buy all my swim stuff from Lands End. Lots of options. DS got new a new swim suit this year, and I noticed a lot of the ones in stores are getting shorter.

  110. I love the beach and dislike camping. That is probably because I grew up going to the beach (mostly Cape Cod) and never camped until I started dating DH. That first time was fun, but once the kids came it was just like Moxie’s article said – I’m doing my job away from home, with no running water to boot!

    DH grew up camping but not going to the beach, so he is pretty much the opposite of me. I had some very happy days when he would take the kids camping overnight and I got to stay at home, by myself.

    MBT – I have quite a few fond memories of Galveston, but not in the summer. I remember one spring vacation we rented a house for a few days and each got to bring a friend. Other kids we knew were in the same neighborhood, and I remember my newly licensed sister driving about 8 or 10 of us around in the station wagon on a warm spring evening while Hotel California played on the radio. Good times!

  111. Around here, I think a lot of people associate camping with the beach.

    Our vacation this summer will be a staycation, camping at the beach for a few days in August. We’ll be car camping; it’ll be the kids’ first experience camping in tents

    Related question: We’re thinking about doing a Griswold-type trip next summer, combining college visits with National Parks. I’ve done several of those and really enjoyed them. We have camping gear at home, but putting them in the luggage these days would be prohibitively expensive. Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Can we rent camping gear, and is it worth it? We may end up just staying at hotels/motels.

  112. Finn, roughly when would you be coming, where would you be flying in and what national parks would you expect to visit?

  113. WCE, we’re thinking next summer. Where we go will be dependent on what schools DS wants to visit; over the next 6 to 8 months or so, he needs to come up with a list. I think in the upcoming semester he’ll be meeting with his college counselor to start on that list.

    I’m most familiar with the western NPs, so I’d hope to visit places like Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Sequoia, Zion, Arches, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Grand Teton.

    I’ve never been to Mt. Rushmore, so I’d like to see the cafeteria where Eva Marie St. pretends to shoot Cary Grant in North by Northwest.

  114. I would consider buying a cheap set of camping gear from Walmart. It would hold up to a season of use. It may even be cheaper than renting from REI for a prolonged trip. Or buy a motorhome and drop it off at my place when you’re done.

    Mt Rushmore is pretty far from anything. I love the area around there — full of cheesy tourist stuff. But is is a solid trek from all the other parks.

  115. Finn, I would think that setting up and taking down camp everyday would get old by about day 3, especially at the end of the heavier driving days.

  116. Do you really think that this will cost $40k more than a similar new model to maintain?

    Over the next 15 years? Certainly. How much would WCE’s repairs cost if you had to pay someone? $2k?

  117. DD, we wouldn’t plan a trip like that. I’m thinking a combination of hotel/motel and camping, with most of the camping being in National Parks.

    Ada, you may be right. If we decide to make this trip, I’ll check with some friends on the continent, to see if they have equipment they’re willing to lend, or if they want some of the equipment be buy, once we’re done with the trip.

  118. Finn – When we were in WCE’s area we saw RV rentals that said “1-800-RV-4-Rent”. These vehicles were not very big and seemed manageable. This may be the way to go, instead of tent camping, hotels, motels. The other RV’s on the road were huge and would require one to be comfortable driving one.

  119. ATM – as others have mentioned, if you buy a long or tall tankini top, there should be no gap unless you are over 5’9″, I should think. Athleta makes them, and so does Lands End. I also have several of the rash guard shirts from Athleta and Old Navy, and found that those are longer this year than in past years.

  120. RV rentals run about $200 a night and then you have the campground fees on top of that.

  121. Rhett, just read the Bucky loves Selma link you posted! Beautiful! Warmed my heart. I hope live long enough to be them!

  122. Finn, when I plan trips like this, I add destinations to Mapquest for drive times. Drive times in western national parks are also usually significant. Most national parks aren’t near colleges that Totebaggers would want to visit. Do you have enough time to do that much driving? Does your family like long days in the car? Mr. WCE wants to drive to southern California but if we could come close to break-even by flying, I’d rather do that, I think.

    Ada’s advice is good if you can plan every day at least 6 months in advance, but that wouldn’t be realistic for our family on such a journey.

    I would borrow or buy sleeping bags. We have some like these that you could likely pack or ship to Hawaii if you wanted to keep them.
    Flying an airline with a free checked bag (United’s credit card offers that too) would let our family camp in Colorado with our backpacking tents and sleeping bags, we think. Some national parks offer showers (which are usually crazy-busy) and some RV campgrounds and truck stops offer them for a fee. Oregon state parks also offer showers for a fee but I think our state parks are unusual in their luxury. I think you’ve already mentioned checking a cooler full of stuff and then using the cooler as a travel strategy.

    I’ve just had to do lots of trip planning and Google Flights is my new favorite airline website.

  123. Finn,
    We are campers who went by plane to some of those parks the past 2 years. I could never figure out a way to camp of the plane. My advice is to book at the Lodge in the park on the first day it becomes available. My other advice is to enjoy the park at night. We missed that when our kids were little, and the star views are breath taking in the clear dark, park air.

  124. Regarding child spacing: we recently met a couple through church who have a 7 month old…and she is due any day! Baby #1 is adopted, and baby #2 was a surprise (reading between the lines, I think they had been through infertility treatment prior to adopting and appear to be in their early 40s, so no longer saw a need to take precautions). They are very excited (rightfully so)! I can’t imagine pregnancy fatigue + newborn tiredness…I’m a little in awe.

  125. MidA — I once had a work colleague with the exact same story. He and his wife tried to have biological children for several years, and did several rounds of IVF, but gave up when the wife was in her early 40s. They adopted from a foreign country, and they had to spend a couple of weeks overseas at the time of the adoption. When they returned to the U.S. with their new infant, they discovered the wife was pregnant. It was pretty chaotic in their household for a while, but they were very happy.

  126. Louise, I’ve looked into RV rentals, and at least for us, they don’t pencil out.

    From what I’ve seen, RV travel requires a commitment to it. If renting, it’s a financial commitment, especially if you have the option of using your own car (i.e., not having to rent). Owning an RV is a commitment, and to get your money’s worth from the RV, you need to use it.

    But it’s possible for it to make financial sense. I’ve mentioned here before a former neighbor, who parked his 5th wheel RV in his front yard and used it as a guest room. It was less expensive than moving to a bigger house, and he liked where he lived.

  127. I’ve heard a lot of stories of families where the wife couldn’t get pregnant so they adopted and then she got pregnant. I think it shows how there can be a big psychological component to fertility. Once the stress was removed, they were able to conceive.

  128. WCE, good idea about using a credit card to get free checked bags to allow us to bring along some camping gear.

    I’ve lived in SV and have done a lot of driving trips (e.g., day/weekend trips to Tahoe/Reno, weekend trips to LA, long weekend trips to Crater Lake, Corvallis, weeks long NP trips to CO, AZ, UT, WY), so we know what we’re facing. We could start from the Bay Area (totebaggy schools there would include Stanford and UCB as well as Santa Clara), Southern Cal (Caltech, Harvey Mudd, USC, UCLA, and a bunch of other schools like LMU, Chapman, UCI), or Phoenix (ASU). If we plan in advance, we could probably do a two to three week trip.

    There are a bunch of schools in the Boston area, so if DS wants to visit schools there, I’d be asking folks here for recommendations in that area.

  129. I love the happy endings to the fertility stories because they have usually been through so much sadness and disappointment. I have a friend that had a blood test for a trip to China. She was going to China to pick up their daughter. She found out she was pregnant after trying to conceive for seven years.

  130. Finn, if you want to save money on lodging in the Bay Area, there’s a hostel in Half Moon Bay that’s right on the beach and costs about $30 a night. Of course you share rooms. It’s called Montara Lighthouse Hostel. Bare-bones, but a step up from camping.

  131. “there can be a big psychological component to fertility. Once the stress was removed, they were able to conceive.”

    Stress probably has an effect on all sorts of medical conditions. But AFAIK the numbers don’t bear out that being able to relax has a significant impact on curing infertility.

  132. I thought some people were speculating that the hormones triggered by holding and caring for a baby were why you see people conceiving shortly after adopting.

  133. US wins math olympiad! (You might be a nerd if your Facebook feed has multiple versions of this)

    My reproductive endocrinologist says the data shows people getting pregnant at the same rate whether they adopt or not, about 5% each year for unexplained infertility. Recall that infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after a year of trying for women under 35. Given the length of the adoption process, it seems quite logical that lots of people will get pregnant during/after the adoption process. In my opinion, people pursue adoption and/or fertility treatment because they are unwilling to accept 50/50 odds of becoming parents of one child someday in the next decade plus. I’m shocked by doctors that tell people they “couldn’t get pregnant” because our RE was careful to warn us that we COULD get pregnant, and we had a roughly 10% lifetime risk.

  134. OMG, y’all, I just found the handbook for my junior high for 1967-68 (my sister’s years there.) The info about homework states that for 9th grade: “120 minutes per day, 30 minute assignments.” Then it has a chart showing that on Mondays, Science, Math, English, and Social Studies could each assign 30 minute assignments. On Tuesdays, Science, Math, English, and Language could assign 30 minutes of homework. And so on. Fridays, Math was out and only Science, English, Language, and Social Studies could give 30 minutes each. wow.

  135. Rocky, I did all my homework in ninth grade in front of the TV, and I don’t think it took me more than 3 or 4 sitcom episodes, so that sounds right :)

  136. We have a homework post coming up today, so perhaps we can defer discussion on this topic until then.

    And, we’re running low on posts so please send some in!

  137. “My reproductive endocrinologist says the data shows people getting pregnant at the same rate whether they adopt or not, about 5% each year for unexplained infertility.”

    That sounds about right, but we’re more likely to remember those post-adoption pregnancies.

  138. I have already received the back to school notice which ends with “Enjoy the rest of your summer”. Ha! Thanks for ruining a perfectly good time with your reminder. The back to school shopping is slowly creeping in. “Look kids, multicolored folders, shiny pencils, back packs with many pockets”. Yeah right….

  139. School starts in a little over three weeks, but the whole family is in collective denial right now.

  140. Kids don’t start school here until September 9. It pushes the end of the year almost to July, which is a PITA.

  141. I love back to school sales. So terrific to stock up on thumb drives and paper and nice pens. I really like nice pens.

  142. Junior and I are headed off half way to Key West to a store in a strip mall in the middle of the Everglade that sells school uniforms to all the private schools (sorry, redundant. All Florida schools are private.)

    There ought to be a special ring in hell for the administrators in schools that choose this place as their exclusive clothing place.

    Stuff is expensive. $55 polo shirts. $25 gym shorts. I can get a tux at about the same price as a pair of long pants. The required sweaters, should the temperature dip below 75, cost as much as a normal pregnancy. And it is crowded. Always. There are never any parking spaces in the lot. One can, of course, park illegally on US 1 which is the only road.

    And they never have the clothes! No. I don’t want to dress my kid for Ransom. (I wish he could get in though!) Gulliver’s uniforms look a lot like ours, but the teachers know how to tell the difference. Special orders? Sure. They can have our school’s uniforms in a few weeks but they can’t ship them. (If they can ship them from China, certainly they can forward them to Coral Gables!) So another trip to Key West.

    And the extended Duggar family is inevitably in front of us.

    I hate back to school shopping.

  143. I never got to this one earlier so I’ll put in my 2 cents now — I wear the tankini / swim shorts combo or a one piece (one of those that looks like either a Classic Hollywood Glamour suit or a grandma suit depending on your point of view, or if I do wear a bikini nowadays it’s with board shorts and a rashguard. I am no longer willing to do the showgirl shave/bikini wax so I need less revealing leg cuts. We go to the beach fairly regularly, to everyone’s surprise I’m sure, and of course that means going in the water. Boogie boards work poorly on the dry sand.

  144. ” with board shorts and a rashguard.”

    That’s what DW usually does, and so do most of the moms of our kids’ friends and classmates. It’s a very practical style, especially when the rashguards have long sleeves.

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