Open thread

by Grace aka costofcollege

Today we have an open thread.  What’s on your mind?

Here’s a question, inspired by this article.  What are the last three few things you bought online?


200 thoughts on “Open thread

  1. Hah. The last three things I bought online were:

    1. 2A AC/DC Switching Adapter Charger for DVE Power Supply
    2. A blazer for DD’s summer band trip (required)
    3. A pitchback for DS.

    Obviously, the first thing is attributable to DH, as I have no clue what it even is. If you exclude that, the third thing I bought is 8 Reidel O port glasses — most of ours have broken over the past @ 5 years, and I got an Amazon gift card for winning our 10,000 steps challenge, so I decided to use it on replacements.

    And the one before that was Charmin. Oh, the excitement. :-)

  2. This morning I bought blue buffalo dog food, a hummingbird robotics kit and a kindle book.

  3. 1) Bike fenders (REI)
    2) bike light (REI)
    3) Kids summer reading (Amazon instead of scholastic book fair)

  4. Google Express order this morning – grape nuts flakes, kid cereal 8-pack, and granola. This weekend I bought Pride and Prejudice (2005) bc DH was having a guys’ night and I figured I might as well own it, I’ve wanted to watch it so many times.

  5. Oh, maybe I should have said the last FIVE things you bought online. Please feel free to list how many items you can remember!

  6. And FYI we have a post about the Gorilla coming up. (Should I just add it to today’s post?)

  7. A rug, a side chair and some light fixtures for my newly re-done walk-in closet!

  8. Last few items bought online: Skechers shoes for DS2, mini-camp daycare for NYCs random days off school in June, groceries from Fresh Direct, reserved books at the library (does that count?), downloaded a free game app for DS1&2

    I’ve actually been shopping recently in stores, which is somewhat unusual (groceries and coffee aside) for me. That list: white shirts for DS1&2 for a school concert, T shirt for me, protective gear for karate class, sneakers for DS1, flowers for Memorial Day tribute and, other than food, I can’t think of anything.

  9. Stuff I bought online in May:

    Kids clothes from Tea Collection/Hanna/ and Old Navy and Amazon for sleep away camp clothes. I sat down and did this all in one day to get organized for summer.

    Some summer clothes for me from J.Crew

    Some face serum from Sephora.

    Shampoo from Aveda for DD (she has difficult hair)

    It has been an expensive month but that should be it for kids clothes buying until fall. Luckily my son gets hand me downs.

  10. Last 3 things – (1) computer mother board – partner’s computer crashed, I just placed the order, no clue what it really is; (2) Intermediate sailing book – DD#2 working on US Sailing certification; (3) a new fitness tracker – for me!

  11. 1. rolling duffel for DD’s summer trip
    2. packing cubes – see above
    3. iodine tables – see above
    4. All The Light We Cannot See
    5. Middlesex

  12. I haven’t been buying anything (store or online) because the move is upon us!

    Last couple things bought online – cat food and Aladdin DVD

  13. Risley- I enjoyed reading Middlesex, I already brought All The Light We Cannot See to the IL’s for me to read while we are there

  14. Oohh, good reminder ATM: I definitely downloaded a game, too. For me. :-) And an elibrary book, but that’s free.

  15. Risley – Loved “All the Light We Cannot See”! Just read it while traveling for work. I also discovered Kate Morton’s books (The Secret Keeper, The House at Riverton). Just my speed.

  16. Wine – I inhaled ALL THE LIGHT on Monday. It may be the very best thing I’ve ever read. Every sentence is a gift.

  17. Also just finished “Girl on the Train”. I had a great reading streak going – now I’m tapped out (and back to the day to day grind).

  18. Risley – Devoured it. Oh, one more – “Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld, modern take on Pride and Prejudice. It didn’t last me the flight over to Europe! I had to stock up at the airport book shops.

  19. ATM – ELIGIBLE sounds intriguing. Shall look for it now. Thanks for the tip!

  20. I bought –
    1. Music instrument carrying case for kid
    2. Kid shoes
    3. Perfume (me)
    4. Sandals (me)
    5. Summer reading (kids)
    Slowly down any buying as I/we can make do with what we have.

  21. Yep — am halfway through “Eligible” myself — fun read. Nice voice.

  22. So another trip to the ER yesterday. A classmate elbowed DS2 in the head, crashing him against a padded gym wall and, according to his brother, he may have lost consciousness. Got checked out for a possible concussion.

    The school VP was filing a report but so far I don’t know if the classmate’s parents are even aware of what happened.

    How have you handled these situations with the school and other parents? I’ve been on the other side of this. DS1 busted a kids’ lip by accident, but it required stitches. We adults ended up talking with both kids and the school VP present.

  23. What I appreciated about All the Light was that it wasn’t horrifically sad. I had put a stop to my reading of WWII for awhile (I’m still not over Sarah’s Key), but that one got me back in. I’m looking forward to next week’s book release.

  24. In the last day or so I have purchased some sale Tshirts from, a nerfgun from Amazon (birthday present for kid whose party DD is attending this weekend), and a hydrangea and some seeds from Burpee

  25. ATM- I’m so sorry that happened! I think it makes all the difference whether or not it was an accident. If it was deliberate, that is violent, bullying behavior and I’d raise hell. But if it was completely unintentional while playing basketball or something I’m not sure it would occur to me to notify the other child’s parents.

  26. anothertwinmom – my kids little cousin was in a full legcast and wheelchair for several months when he was 5, after a another kid in his kindergarten tripped him in a particularly violent way while they were in the lunch line. I don’t think the other kid had any consequences at all, while poor cousin was stuck in that wheelchair and then had several months of physical therapy. I would never have guessed that another kindergartner could do that much damage.

  27. Last 3 things we bought were a fan for the baby’s room, an oven mitt, and textbooks.

  28. @ATM — I’m surprised that you don’t even know whether the other kid’s parents were informed — that’s the first thing my kids’ daycare has always told me (they usually won’t tell me who the other kid is, but they make sure I know they have addressed it). I have let most everything go — what with DD’s, umm, energy, we had several years where she gave far more accidental split lips than she received. So now when DS is the one hurt, I generally thank them for the report and let it go, as long as either it was an accident or they seem to be addressing the issue appropriately. When DS was the problem recently, I thanked the school, had a discussion at home about it, and then let the school know the next day what we had talked about (that one was a kid he’s friends with, so I talk to the mom all the time anyway).

  29. Rio – I don’t think there was any intent to hurt my son but the kid did intentionally shove my son aside. The kid was just clueless about what could happen when you shove someone into a wall or hit their temple hard. The kid was defensive and not apologetic which is what I find most irritating.

  30. LfB – I asked the school VP to alert the kid’s parents (and get his side of the story) but have not yet heard back from the school.

    Do I reach out to them directly if the school doesn’t act quickly? This being NYC, I usually prefer a less confrontational approach with other parents.

  31. “The kid was just clueless about what could happen when you shove someone into a wall or hit their temple hard.”

    Yeah, I’d follow up with the school directly for something like that — if they aren’t addressing it with the other kid’s parents, that’s a problem. Of *course* the other kid was clueless — kids are uncivilized little hellions at those ages with zero ability to predict the consequences of their actions. Which is exactly why parents and schools are required.

    (Coincidentally, DD is currently writing a paper on Lord of the Flies. So at the moment I am perhaps a little more pro-interventionist than my historical average would suggest).

  32. ATM – I would let it go, unless you think there is a pattern of specific targeting. Kids push and shove, it’s just part of life. And little kids are defensive by nature – it’s self preservation.

  33. I just bought lunch online… and then the last two things were probably vacation related – stroller rental, and shoes maybe?

    I need to do a write up from my vacation… lessons learned with a toddler in national parks… should I do it here or as a separate post? Does anyone care?

  34. Iced latte
    3 pairs of Natives. 2 blue and 1 purple
    Plant food
    Rash guard and board shorts
    Tomato cages

  35. All of recent online purchases are for camp. I am running out of time because trunks leave a week before camp starts and I am still buying stuff. shorts, rain boots, pillow cases, etc.
    DD is finally old enough/large enough to fit into American Eagle, and I really like their customer service. She is still in their smallest sizes and that can be very tough to find online. I just keep ordering a ton of stuff to find one or two pairs of denim shorts or jeans that will fit DD. They are really nice about my pile of returns.

    I spent a small fortune at Bed bath/harmon yesterday because we have one nearby location that doesn’t split out the health and beauty aids so I was able to buy a lot of stuff and combine coupons.
    I stopped in Costco to get a a few other things because I have to keep crossing items off my list so I can start labeling/packing.

  36. napkin holder
    1/2 gallon pitcher
    all for DS1/his new apartment

  37. Actually I am in process of buying some supplements online and clothes for my kids from Children’s place and Boden. I also have a water filter in my cart on amazon.

    Thanks for all the book recs. Will add it to my library list. I love the convenience of borrowing ebooks and audio books.

  38. trunks leave a week before camp starts

    As in an actual trunk not a large duffle bag or suitcase?

  39. I like to color my hair red and so many shampoos just wash out the color. Has anyone found a good shampoo that is gentle on red?

  40. Recently, we’ve bought coconut water (DH), books for summer reading, and a video game controller (kids). I need to order some printer toner, so that’s coming up. We bought DS2 some new shorts for the summer from Old Navy, but he had to try them on, so that was a physical purchase.

  41. 1) Books for kids
    2) Curtains for guest room (on my DiN list)
    3) iPhone case for me
    4) Summer shoes for kids

  42. I gained two pounds during the month of my 30-day challenge high intensity workouts! I don’t think I’ve gained two pounds in a month since the last time I was pregnant. I’m sure this is due to the impressive muscle mass I’ve developed. ;) Seriously, wtf? I was sore every day, but really?

  43. School year is almost at an end here. The bus seems to be the worst place. Though we are only a short bus ride, there has been bad behavior by kids on the bus. The administration has taken action but that hasn’t stopped the bad behavior. DS did get called a name once and was upset but when I asked whether I should report it, he said no.

  44. 1. 2 pairs of Natives
    2. Bathing suits for the girls from Garnet Hill
    3. Harry Potter wand

  45. Off topic dumb question: I cleaned off my dresser today, a long deferred chore. One of the annoyances on the dresser is a dish that is supposed to hold loose change. Over time, the loose change has accumulated into a mountain, and slid all over the dresser. It is largely pennies, nickels and dimes, with some Chinese money mixed in for fun. Assuming I separate out the renminbi, what can I do with the rest of the change. I can remember dutifully filling penny wrappers with my mother as a kid – do they still make those? Is there a faster way to dispose of change so I don’t have to sit and sort it?

  46. Solder iron kit plus helping hand and extra-fine tip (but apparently I still need to get rosin-core solder), birthday loot (clothes and owl pellets), new projector and 12′ screen with its own steel frame so I never have to follow through on my build-a-screen-frame-from-PVC that I’ve been planning to do for a couple of years now. It was on a daily deal at Amazon, but even without that screens have come down in price a lot over the last 5-10 years.

  47. I am printing out camp packing list and highlighting items for the au pair to pack and label. We use large rolling duffle bags from LL Bean. Thought we would get more use out of those than trunks. Also good for packing towels and linens for cabin camping.

  48. MM- our grocery store has a coin star machine that gives you a receipt you take to a cashier and get cash. Hefty fee but easy – just dump coins in. Your bank should have the papers for rolling coins. Counting coins at grandma’s was one of my favorite activities as a kid.

  49. Assuming I separate out the renminbi,

    The machine separates those out automatically and returns them to you.

  50. I have never noticed one of those machines, but that doesn’t mean much – I routinely miss stuff like that. I will see if there is one at the supermarket. The kids might enjpy feeding it.

  51. Bathing suits (me)
    Work dresses (me)
    Sunglasses (DS2)
    Renter’s insurance (DD)
    Text books (DD)

    I used to have a pair of Native sunglasses.

    ATM, I feel for you. I am so glad my boys are past that stage. I would have a quiet conversation with your son to make sure he’s not being targeted / bullied by that kid or any other kid. My son was being harassed by another kid and it wasn’t until he walloped the other kid that we had any idea what was going on. There were incidents that were documented by the school (seat change requests by my son, “accidental” tripping and falling, etc.) , but no one put all the pieces together until there was a blow up.

  52. @Coc: when you start working out, your muscles retain more water (lubrication/cooling, from what I’ve heard). I always gain when I start and drop if I lay off for a few days/week.

    @Mooshi: We just did this with ourselves and our kids — close to $200 worth of coins (not counting the quarters I saved for meters). Coinstar at the grocery store will give you an Amazon gift certificate free — they don’t take their 10% cut or whatever, you get the full value of the $$ you put in. (Had I realized that in advance, we wouldn’t have waited until we had $200 of coins built up to turn them in). I then “bought” the kids’ certificates from them for equivalent cash deposited to their savings accounts.

  53. This will make 3 solder irons in our collection but one of them belongs to my youngest so hopefully with each of them having their own now they won’t have to fight about it. The third one is actually just an attachment for a wood-burning tool set and not ideal as a solder iron. (Just musing to myself here.)

  54. Mooshi – I always roll the coins myself because I find it calming, but otherwise Coinstar is the way to go. :)

  55. Thanks, lfb. That could explain the weight gain.

    Thanks for the Coinstar tip also! I never noticed the Coinstar at our local supermarket. I might run into MM there.

    Yeah, I’m curious about what HM is soldering . . .

  56. Let’s just start by saying I loved my vacation and I want to return. Let’s also say up front that I hate flying. Always have. Always will. And my son hates disembarking. He screamed all 4 times. We flew from Boston to Denver, Denver to Boise and back. Who could blame him? We did spring for his own seat on each flight so he could have his own space and I could do things other than deal with a toddler who hates sitting on laps on my lap.

    Our trip was set up to have 3.5 days in Boise before we headed out to the National Parks, and 3.5 days in Boise after returning. Those “transition” periods did a lot of good for us as a family. We stayed with a good friend, who kindly put up with us and our stuff. We ended up renting a Bob Jogging stroller. I carried DS in my carrier and we counted our pack n play as a carry-on. Third smartest thing I did – I shipped out DS’s booster seat, toys, some food, and books ~10 days before our trip.

    On our first 3.5 days, we lazed around to get on schedule. We took in the Boise Botanical Garden (it was so pretty in the foot hills. I never realized the number of flowers they could get to bloom. I wondered a lot about how the drought affect the gardens. They did have some great native plant exhibits and areas showing folks how to protect their home from fire using plants and watering by directly the fire elsewhere. It was really cool. Of course, those first few days were ~80 degrees in the desert – needless to say 3 humans accustomed to humidity drank their weights in liquid. We also did the Boise Street Fair/Market. We ended up returning on the final Saturday of our trip to pick up souvenirs. We met some really neat artisans and listened to some cool music. I was amazed at how pet/family friendly the whole city is. Such a different vibe than RI. The final day we picked up the rental SUV, did laundry, shopped, and packed so we could head out early the next day. We were amazed at how late the sun set – 9pm. WTH?? Miraculously this did not affect DS too much.

    Our SUV. One – I miss having a big vehicle. Two – while the Nissan Armada really wasn’t horrible, I really wasn’t thrilled by driving it. Three – DH and I are getting a 7 passenger SUV. Just not sure when. We had plenty of room for 3 adults, one toddler, 2 suitcases (small), 2 coolers, 2 camera bags, one carry-on sized bag, pack n play, booster seat, and jogging stroller. The gas mileage wasn’t great either. But man were we comfy driving out.

    We opted to let the weather decide if we were going north to Craters of the Moon or South to Grand Tetons first. Craters was calling for cloud/rain and Tetons called for snow. North it was. Craters of the Moon was amazing. Driving through ID, we just watched the landscape change as we left the foothills and went into the volcanic mess left over. My friend is a geologist so she was an excellent tour guide. We had a picnic lunch in the park, and hiked up to the mini-volcanoes and up halfway to the top of the one volcano. It was too steep and the ground too loose for me to do with the carrier safely. We left 80s in Boise for 50s and cloudy. Summer back to fall. We did some other smaller hikes (level and with the stroller), and headed out. The rest of the drive to West Yellowstone was uneventful. We did drive through a town with a population of 74. I think we passed all their houses in a cluster as well. Lots of land and sky. I honestly didn’t process the amount of sky and land we saw until later.

    We arrive at West Yellowstone fairly late. We rented a 1 bedroom apartment at a hotel. This way DS could go to bed relatively on time and we could stay up in the living room. Great hotel. The apartment was great – new efficient and modern. Perfect for us. It allowed us to cook dinner one night, and prep lunches for the park.

    We had Yellowstone pretty much to ourselves. It was great. On our first day, we did most of the northern loop of Yellowstone NP. I wanted to see a petrified tree, Mammoth Hot Springs, and anything else along that path. We couldn’t go through Dunraven Pass because it was still closed for the season. We, like every other tourist, probably stopped for every Bison. They were in the valleys with their new babies, and just the scenery of the river with the mountains in the back. And these were *mountains*… snow capped and everything. Utterly beautiful and amazing. We saw bison, elk, black bears, grizzly bears, and tons of birds. As we drove north, I marveled at the ways the mountains gave way to valleys. I really focused on the geology. We were even treated to a bison mini-stampede down the road… it was actually quite scary, they were ~5 feet from the car. We were done with bison after that. The second day, we did the southern loop. What a different view of the world. From mountains and sharp water falls to trees and almost rolling land. We stopped and watched Old Faithful, saw the Prismatic Ponds, the fountain paint pots, and a ton of other things. We ended up driving around the Lake. This was our longest day – we were in the park for probably 10 hours. The change in scenery got me – the sky opened up and we just saw forever – few mountains in the way. We drove up and over the continental divide during this trek and saw snow – like 1-2 feet of packed snow. I think we hit our highest elevation that day – 11,000 feet. Our entire Yellowstone trip was at or above 6,000 feet elevation. Every hike was a test of endurance for me.

    On the last day, we drove south through Yellowstone and out to the Grand Tetons. We expected rain in the early afternoon, and realizing that we had a toddler, couldn’t do many hikes. Even with the carrier, I wasn’t confident in my ability to make it. We walked along Jackson Lake and took in the scenery. Along the drives we watched as the land opened up. Serious big sky. It was here I realized that the land just went on forever – no people, infrastructure, or foothills – before it touched the sky. I couldn’t get over that thought. The Tetons were beautiful and jagged and snow covered. I honestly do not have the words to describe the sites. The drive home was tough for us – about 6 hours.

    The day after we returned, my friend and I went to a hot spring spa – so cool. We lounged in a pool of bathwater, got massages, and just relaxed. In the rain. But so much fun hanging out in a hot spring spa in the foothills. The last two days we hung around Boise, and prepped to go home. We spent our last Sunday exploring the Oregon Trail, gladly proclaiming that we didn’t die of dysentery or were run over by our oxen. We ended up sending two boxes home of things and souvenirs. We were sad to go. A trip of a lifetime.

    Lessons learned – kids of flipping resilient. Some days DS got a half hour nap here or there but smiled the whole way. He melted down on the planes and on the way home from the Tetons. That’s it. He walked everywhere and magically did not fall in a hot spring or get eaten by a bear. Though, he was the object of curiosity for the Asian tourists. Like zoo animal curious. I think it’s because he’s blond haired and blue eyed – that’s just different for them. But a few gave hand gestures that made me think they understood his cleft lip scars. I went with the flow the best I could – though I did want to shove some of the pushier people into the hot springs. I didn’t though. Don’t worry. I calculated that I spend about $700 for my sanity (shipping things, renting the stroller, and DS’s own plane seat). Totally worth it. The trip was so successful because we didn’t pack our days, we just went with it. AND I read 3 books. Miracle.

  57. @ Rhode – thanks for the detailed vacation update. Glad to hear you had a good time!

    @ MM – What’s your bank? Most banks will take coins for no charge. All three banks that I have used will take your coins and feed them into their machine. The machine will return foreign currency and even batting cage tokens that may get mixed in!

    Last internet purchases – a few summer clothing/accessory items for me (Madewell and Gap), sandals for DS (cheap ones from Costco as he will likely refuse to wear but are required for summer camp), and peanut butter from Amazon which I buy in bulk from them for the best price. I don’t know what that says about me & my family.

  58. Nice summary, Rhode! A friend used to say the western landscape “stretches your eyeballs”.

    Did you hike in Yellowstone? I was only able to do one (nervous) hike because I kept thinking about grizzlies.

  59. My father had a backpack completely shredded by a grizzly in Yosemite. It was hung from a rope between trees, which in that era was the recommended way to store packs in bear country, but still the bear got it. The scary part was that my father and his hiking buddy were sleeping in the pup tent nearby.

  60. MM – If you have a TD bank nearby, they have a machine like coinstar but they don’t charge even if you don’t have an account.

    I bought a set of Calphalon pots and pans for my son and his girlfriend for their new apartment. Considering buying myself a set. My pots and pans are mostly from 1975 to 1980 – Revere and Farberware. Also bouight a set of towels and sheets. I need to replace my sheets and towels and I am trying out some sheets – I like percale and they are not always available at a lot of places. If anyone has a good recommendation for percale sheets, please let me know.

  61. HM-
    Owl pellets? Interesting choice for a birthday gift. Had no idea that you could order them online. We occasionally find them on our property, so next time you need one just let me know and I can send it to you. You can choose between screech owl or great horned owl. :)

  62. Last 3 things: Wheat Thins, gum, socks.

    I have a question for the group – I’m organizing a baby shower for a colleague at work and need some ideas for games. The baby shower will be at work over the lunch hour. I’m thinking one or two interactive games could be fun – but the only idea I have so far is a “Price is Right” game where people guess the price of some baby related items (that will then go to my colleague having a baby).

  63. Report on my jelly shoes – super comfortable. Way different from those of my youth. Recommend. A good pool shoe. Also good for casual days.

  64. Last time I was at Yosemite I saw a car door that had been mangled and almost pulled out by a grizzly trying to get to the food inside. Apparently the only safe place to store food is inside the bear-safe metal bins.

  65. CoC – we did short hikes near the roads. I wasn’t going to go too far with a baby strapped to my back, and the other trails weren’t stroller-friendly. I didn’t have the right carrier (mine is a structure soft carrier, not the metal framed ones). DH and my friend saw a grizzly from the road while I was navigating the 500 other cars stopped in the middle of the road and people (yes actual humans) running all around to get a better look. It’s a grizzly people, it will eat you. Some of the tourists were downright dumb.

    Milo – do it. I would go again in a heartbeat. The trip wasn’t too expensive either, considering all we did.

    Ivy – DS ate a jar of peanut butter our entire trip. He didn’t want a variety of foods, so I relied on peanut butter and bread with those veggie puree pouches. Whatever works.

  66. CoC – after that “stampede” I seriously wondered about what I would tell the rental company when the Armada came back with dented doors and puncture wounds. The truth just seemed so implausible.

  67. OLD MOM – I really like the Garnet Hill percale sheets, 100% cotton and nice thread count, pretty prints that don’t fade, deep-pocketed fitted sheets. I get them only on sale though – full price is ridiculous.

  68. Rhode, you remind me of our trip last summer, which I’ve been wishing I could take again this year!

    Sheep Farmer, my daughter wants to become a vet and she loves that sort of stuff. Once she gets through these she’d probably love to have more!

    ATM and CoC — it’s my oldest son finishing up his infinity mirror project. He needs to solder the pins from his LED lightstrips onto the microcontroller he got from Adafruit, which then plugs into his Raspberry Pi (but I don’t think he needs to solder that connection!) He couldn’t manage it with what we had. My youngest got his as part of a learn-to-solder kit a year or so ago, although after doing the kit he hasn’t used it much. He has a tub of little RC type motors, plastic gears, alligator clip wires, and so on for his inventions. And the woodburning tool set that the other is part of, I got for use in carving styrofoam for tombstones. My daughter also used it to decorate a wooden owl.

  69. rhett, i think the term trunk is used because it used to be an actual trunk. When I went to a camp, each camper took a hard trunk and a soft army green type large duffle.

    The camps and camp trucking companies still call them trunks, but it is really an enormous black rectangle shaped duffle with pockets. the amount of stuff that these kids take – especially the girls is ridiculous.

    Some camps have a uniform, but our camp is not uniform so she brings too many clothes.

  70. L – thank you for the suggestion. I will look it up. Personally, I prefer white for my linens and towels.

    I forgot I ordered WeatherTech as a gift for my daughter’s new car – first new car she bought. Just delivered.

  71. The camps and camp trucking companies still call them trunks, but it is really an enormous black rectangle shaped duffle with pockets.

    Sigh, it would be cooler if it was an actual steamer trunk.

  72. Mooshi and CoC, if you do not have a coinstar in your local S & S, you can drive a few miles west to shop rite. I get Amazon credits there when I dump my coins. The coinstar is near the exit, so you don’t even have to go into the supermarket. There is a TD bank close to that shop rite, but you do have to pay a fee unless you’re a customer.

  73. Rhode, great trip report! I will have to go there soon. Its funny how different things matter to different people. We are pretty laid back about our kid in some ways. We never would have thought of taking a booster or food. Food can always be bought at destination and kid could just as well without a booster. Our kid is almost seasoned traveler now, but is also has a laid back personality. Once we were off of milk bottle, things got much easier.

  74. Netflix has a movie based on real story about a couple hiking in Canada and how they got mauled by a bear. Its a nice movie, but stuff of nightmares.

  75. Rhett – my cousin went to boarding school with an actual trunk. He also had “tuck” which is snacks. British influences.
    My parents looked at boarding schools for me, but I had read too many books that didn’t paint being away from home in a good light, so I strongly protested sending me off.

  76. @OLDMOM – I will +1 to L on Garnet Hill. They have a large selection of good quality percale sheets. Sales are occasional rather than frequent, but you can sign up for their emails.

    Funny enough, I have not really been that nervous hiking in the West, but when I went hiking in Florida I was positive that I was going to get bitten by a poisonous snake or come upon an alligator to the point that I couldn’t enjoy it.

    I found travelling post-diapers and post-naps to be a whole new world. SO EASY and so little to pack!

  77. “I found travelling post-diapers and post-naps to be a whole new world. SO EASY and so little to pack!”

    I agree. The other recent development is that everyone, including my youngest, can faster their own seatbelts.

  78. I/we recently bought an air conditioner for the shop office, piano and devotional books for DS1, electric blanket and a package of baby wipes for Baby WCE (to get free shipping) for Twin 2, and a onesie and sunglasses for Baby WCE.

    The last grizzly in California was shot in the 1920’s so you probably saw a black bear in Yosemite, which in the west is often brown. In Yellowstone, if you saw it from the road, it was also probably a black bear. We saw what we believe to be a footprint of a grizzly on a 70 mile backpacking trip in the Bob Marshall wilderness and that’s the only time we’ve seen evidence of a grizzly in the lower 48 or British Columbia.

    I enjoyed the National Park trip report. It’s fun to see how others experience our type of family vacations. (Craters of the Moon, Tetons, Yellowstone, etc.)

  79. @ OLD MOM – I am super picky about sheets, and Land’s End are my favorites.

  80. “And the woodburning tool set that the other is part of, I got for use in carving styrofoam for tombstones.”

    Once again reaffirming that your life is *so* much more interesting. . . .

    @Milo — congrats! Now you can get a convertible! :-)

  81. Thanks Lark – I hadn’t thought about them for sheets. I am also considering LLBean – anyone try them?

  82. A Calphalon spatula
    Stainless steel barbecue skewers
    A 100-foot Flexzilla garden hose

    The “Your Orders” section of my Amazon Prime account is appallingly long. One would think that I lived on a desert island with no stores.

  83. Rhode – I enjoyed your vacation report.

    Milo – next step – no car seats, then sitting in front passenger seat and then driving their own cars.

  84. I am really over the basement remodel. Last night we got home at about 8pm, and the guys were still banging away in the basement. They had managed to drill a hole in a water pipe, so they cut the water off. They kept saying the plumber would be there “soon”, or “in five minutes”. DH speaks pretty good Spanish so he finally pinned them down and they said maybe by tomorrow (i.e., today) around noon. Well it’s 1:13 and I can’t do laundry or dishes or anything and I’m pretty annoyed.

  85. RMS, after a day like that, you really need a massage in your new massage room. ;)

  86. Ha! No, still working on the loft ideas. One possibility — and this is for real — is a That 70s Room. When I was a teen in the 70s I wanted to decorate my room in the current style. Indian-print bedspreads, lava lamps, bean bag chairs, and most of all: a bead curtain in the doorway. Preferably shiny beads. My mom told me it was her house, and when I had my own house I could decorate it as I pleased, but in HER house, the children’s bedrooms would have white walls, blue rib cord bedspreads, and a simple braided rug on the floor.

    Well, now it’s my house, except of course it’s also DH’s house, but he is willing to go along with the ridiculous 70s theme as long as most people will never see it. I already have the lava lamp. Now all I need are bead curtains (and for the windows too!) and a few bean bag chairs. Maybe a Peter Max mural on the wall. It’ll be groovy!

  87. Lark — we just got back from Santa Cruz. DH’s job is so annoyingly insistent that he show up. Also, honestly, there are too many times that we are suddenly called downstairs to make some immediate decision. We can’t really just vanish for weeks, attractive as that sounds.

  88. Question for those who have remodeling done. Did you execute a detailed contract? How did you specify payment terms? all after the work is done or payment after discrete part is done?

    If the contractor was to purchase supplies on our behalf like paint for example, how do you handle it?

  89. OLD MOM – I have flannel sheets from LL Bean (very nice, have held up well) but haven’t tried their percale.

  90. Last purchases: jeans for DS, airline tickets for me to LA, books, and rented/reserved online library books and DVD.

    Rhode, the best man from our wedding lives in the corner of Idaho close to Yellowstone, and we have not gone to visit him in years. I think that area is among the most beautiful in the country. I’m very jealous of your trip.

  91. Can you find a local art student to do the mural “in the style of”? And I wouldn’t count on people never seeing it; you know that space will be a hit at parties.

  92. Dell – the more detailed, the better. But, in my experience, detailed for a contractor is very different from detailed for a lawyer, so I tried to keep it from going overboard. For payment terms, we usually have done 1/3 as deposit, 1/3 once 50% done and balance when it is complete. For supplies that the contractor purchased, he just passed along the cost to us with the next payment due, but I have always purchased the big $ items. The exception was some marble time that I wanted from a store where he got a discount. He put it on his account and I paid him for it when the store billed him.

  93. “Yellowstone, if you saw it from the road, it was also probably a black bear.”

    WCE – nope. They saw the distinct hump of the grizzly. We saw black bears the day before, so DH quickly recognized that it wasn’t a black bear. I was just as shocked – I wouldn’t expect a grizzly to be close to the road, but I guess it was following food.

    Sending food – I did it because I didn’t know if I’d be willing to go to the grocery store when we landed, so I wanted to make sure DS was fed with food I knew he’d eat (we have hit the picky stage). Our booster folds up like a camp chair, but only 18 inches long, so easy to pack and send. If I don’t tie my kid down, he eats and runs, which means he runs more than he eats and it takes us about a year to finish a meal. And he’s hungry again. Life will be grand when we are out of diapers.

    Dell – my contract wasn’t too detailed and our contractor let us spread the last few payments out. He agreed because we were down to the last $5k or so. He told us that we paid him half way through (a small amount), and then the rest upon completion. Supplies that he purchased were included as part of the budget we gave him. We went over by about 10%, but I expected that.

  94. MBT – our best man lives near Winemama… I’ve been debating a trip out there for a while… maybe 2017.

  95. We have a contract, but as Kate says, it’s a builder-written contract rather than a lawyer-written one. We worked with an architect/designer. She drew up three possible plans for the basement and we paid her…I don’t remember, a couple thousand I think. Then we picked one and asked for some modifications. She made those and then she has two general contractors that she works with regularly and recommends. So we went with one of her pet contractors and they worked up the bid and so on. We have been paying in quarterly installments based on when certain things are completed. She comes by and inspects and tells the contractor if he’s screwed up one of her precious details. So far it’s going okay, except of course for the ongoing noise and mess and the occasional hole in the water pipes.

  96. This classic was on our trip planning playlist for last summer. About 0:45 the toddler in the backseat starts complaining (reasonably enough, really, while meanwhile the dad is only worried about the paint).

  97. WCE — thank you for the bear info. I had no idea about that.

    My cynical opinion after our horrible remodeling experience is that some contractors actually price their jobs so that they still make money even if they never get the last scheduled payment. The last part of our job never got done because the guy was eager to move on to his next job. :(

  98. Ha! No, still working on the loft ideas. One possibility — and this is for real — is a That 70s Room.

    For consuming some of CO’s finest devil’s lettuce. A smoking room as it were.

  99. Dell – In any larger drug store there are shampoos designed for various shades of hair color, natural or enhanced. I get a silver fox blend for my white hair, but I don’t know the other brands. There are shampoos specifically for red hair, and also all purpose color safe shampoos for dyed hair. Or you could just search and order from Amazon.

    I order lots of stuff on repeat order, such as cat food, cat litter and coffee, so I am not including those. Kindle books and random games, too. And I do all my plane tickets, hotel reservations, managing investments, bill paying, banking, etc. online.

    In May I ordered the following non recurring items that arrived on my doorstep

    Range hood filters
    hearing aid batteries (DH)
    waterproof case for phone while kayaking
    Name tapes and laundry marker (for DH’s jackets – he always takes the wrong one after bridge)
    Kent hairbrush for DH
    casual shoes for me – Clarks – need wide – not in store
    gag campaign buttons – Cthulhu
    magnetic return air grille for upstairs

  100. RMS – you could do a designer 70s room. WSJ magazine often has hotels in Asia or the Mediterranean with sort of ethnic elements but designer. The classiest example had a blue and white theme ;-).

  101. ATM – I also really enjoyed Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. I read it over the weekend – a very fun summer read. I also read All the Light You Cannot See – excellent – but not a fun summer read.

    I just finished The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. It’s about life in an English Village on the eve of WWI. I’d recommend it. Reading books like this set at a time when it was difficult for educated women to support themselves always make me grateful that I live in a time and a place where women can work and can support themselves.

  102. RMS,
    We had white walls and a braided rug in our childhood bedroom too! But only DH had the corded bedspread. My sister and I had white ones with little dimples and braids at the bottom. Reading your posts is better than time travel

  103. RMS – I’m not sure how much younger you are than I am or how dark you were at that age, so I am guessing here. In recreating your dream teenager room, how would DH feel about the David Cassidy or Jim Morrison poster?

  104. ATM– IMO, that incident with your son should be on record. If you think it’s likely just an accident, you don’t need to pursue it further, but if it really wasn’t just an accident, then having your son’s incident on record will make it easier to ascertain a pattern of behavior.

    If it’s not an accident, but not malicious so much as due to a clueless kid, similar logic applies.

  105. Um, DH isn’t going to be happy about ANY posters of men on the wall. In fairness, I wouldn’t want Farrah Fawcett smiling at me from the wall either. Since I’m from the Bay Area maybe a few vintage posters of the Dead or Jefferson Airplane.

  106. “The new Croc.”

    They’ve got all sorts of shoes now made of what appears to be the same material as the original Crocs. DW loves them, and has at least a half dozen different styles, including a pair of black flats that are among her favorites for work.

  107. The last few things I bought online were a set of viola strings.

    I guess you could count providing DD a credit card number to buy some clothes from Wet Seal.

  108. Mooshi– Is your pile of coins growing?

    We use credit cards for most transactions, but DS needs coins for bus fare, so the huge jar of coins we had is now half empty, with the penny %age rising. I guess we need to find out if pennies can be used for bus fare.

    We also sometimes need coins (other than pennies) to feed parking meters.

  109. P.S. I suggest having an assortment of the “desert spirit” threads available for guests who did not come prepared for the magic time machine back to the Haight-Asbury of their youth.

  110. S&M, those are some good decorating leads. The funny thing is that the old Cost Plus in the 70s was exactly where I would have gotten half the stuff. Finn, nah, I’d have to redo my wardrobe — oddly enough, I’m not the same size I was at age 15.

  111. SSM, one baby shower game I have done is matching the name of the animal babies to the adult – pick about thirty really obscure ones, print out a sheet for everyone, and the top score wins.

    Zooborns has a good list online – alpaca/cria, echidna/puggle, etc.

  112. I love Sky’s baby shower game. My favorite baby shower game was one I created where you had to identify the famous historic person with that name. (think David, Jacob, Abigail or Mary) This only works for historic names but some not-common-but-historic names, like Oliver, are doable.

  113. Rhode- loved the trip report, and so helpful to hear your traveling toddler tips. We’re flying across the country to a wedding I’m in for our first post-baby trip. A little nervous about hauling all that gear around the airport….and trying to nurse in a bridesmaid dress. At least it fits, miracle of miracles. I had to order at a couple weeks postpartum so size was a total crapshoot. Oh well, it will be fun to get dressed up, drink, and feel like an independent adult again for a day! The wedding is fortunately near where my parents live, so they’re coming up for the weekend to lend an extra set of hands when needed- and of course get the grand baby time they normally miss out on living so far away.

  114. RMS, nice that key pieces of accoutrement not available online can now (I assume) be sold openly in your state! As for the fashion: floaty, loose-fitting, all natural fiber threads are appropriate attire for 15 year olds and women of a certain age ;). I still think you should have a few items on hand for unprepared visitors who suddenly get in the spirit.

  115. SSM, the other thing I have done is have everyone write advice to the new parents, and then the parent-to-be can read it aloud and guess whose advice it was.

  116. Love World Market as a browse around store. They are an exception to my online shopping habit. They carry my favorite Italian hazelnut chocolates and Sunday afternoons is free wine tasting. I come out of there in a good mood. Retail therapy at its best.

  117. Okay, S&M, I’ll get a few caftans for guests. Tragically, I never liked weed. So even though it’s legal and would certainly fit with the decor, I’m sticking to wine. And despite the authenticity, it won’t be either Boone’s Farm or Annie Green Springs.

  118. RMS, you can just tell people you’re focused on this part of the 70s adult-refreshment scene:

  119. RMS – How about a Pablo Cruise poster? Right vintage, Bay Area group, somewhat obscure to the general public. Or Doobie Brothers, Metallica, CCR?

  120. Old Mom – I did a ton of research before I bought new sheets last year. I became kind of obsessed with finding the best percale sheet. (There was an article recently about the amount of information available these days making it even harder to be certain you’ve found the very best widget rather than settling for good enough….that’s me.). Anyway, after said research, I ordered one set from Garnett Hill and one from LLBean. I was limited to places that sold individual components of the set as we have an adjustable temperpedic bed, so need two fitted twin sheets and one flat king sheet to make a set. However, based on my research, I think these two may have been my top choices even without that limiting factor. They both sell certain designs (mostly solids) in individual pieces.
    After a year of alternating these two sets weekly, I would pick LLBean hands down. Brand new, I wasn’t as sure it would end this way. The LLBean set took 4-5 washings to get the “feel” I wanted, but they are now perfect and I think will wear a very long time. The Garnett Hill ones are already getting thinner, and last week I stuck my thumb through one of the fitted ones when I was making the bed. Besides that, the pillowcases are doing that annoying thing where the fabric on the ends won’t flatten out after being washed.
    My sister recently asked if I knew of any good sheets after she was disappointed with some she got at BB&B. She wanted cold, smooth but not slick, and not too thin. She reached the same conclusion – she loves the LLBean ones. Okay, that’s a lot about sheets. But it’s so annoying not to have ones you love!

  121. Rhett – I normally just lurk, so that’s something of an honor!

    Big brother keeps me from feeling comfortable posting at work (all my devices are work-issued), but not reading.

  122. Rio- will you have another adult with you? If you’re going solo, I have no advice I’ve never flown solo with DS. See what you can rent/borrow while you’re out there. Like does someone have a pack n play or stroller? Also is your child a lap child? If not you need to bring the car seat. If you’re using a convertible seat they have caddies for them so you can wheel them around. Or you can use your stroller as a luggage trolley. Gate check the stroller. Condense your carry on as much as possible. Also if you have a baby carrier use it to carry the baby thru the airport.

    Getting all this thru security is another mess. Leave extra time. Formula and breast milk are exempt from the 3 oz rule as are the 3.5 oz pouches of puréed baby food. They will check the formula and food separately. So I kept all that separate in a small soft cooler that fit in the diaper bag.

    Lastly bring a full change of clothes in your carry on for everyone. You have no idea if Baby Rio will have a blow out at 30 thousand feet.

    I can email you some check lists I found helpful. CoC has my info.

    If you’re going solo I’d say to condense even further recognizing that you only have 2 arms. But I can’t speak to it because I’ve never done it.

  123. I love Rhett’s Golden Totebag. He doesn’t hand those out willy nilly, so to get one is an honor. Well done Sunshine!

    About sheets, I was a fan of the organic cotton Threshold brand from Target. But I just bought a new set and question if they are organic. They aren’t as soft, and my face soap is bleaching them, which was not a problem with the last few sets.

  124. Yep Rhett ! PTM can customize his Lincoln with that Tiger motif. It will beat all the other high end rides.

  125. “How about a Pablo Cruise poster? Right vintage, Bay Area group, somewhat obscure to the general public. Or Doobie Brothers, Metallica, CCR?”

    Or Tower of Power. Extremely popular among my Bay Area friends who went to HS in the 70s.

    Name dropping: I used to work with the aunt of Kirk Hammett.

  126. I recently bought sheets at Costco that I really like. They are extra deep so stay on well and are noticeably softer than the ones I’m trading out with.

  127. Pablo Cruise and Tower of Power are both great suggestions.

  128. Hi Guys!
    Rhett, good call on that car; I thought it was Trabi’s older cousin.
    RMS, a funny (to me anyway) story about that level wine: for years I thought MD 20/20 must be fine stuff. Someone gave my dad a bottle as a gag gift–eye doctor MD, vision test 20/20. It stayed in the fridge for years. I thought they were saving it for a special occasion. Anyway, your room sounds like a blast. The more outrageous, the better.
    Rio, didn’t know you had a babe. Congratulations! Saac and I flew solo when he was 3, 5 , 14, and around 20 mos. On one of those trips (11 mos) I took all the gear–stroller, car seat, swim stuff, lord knows what else. It was crazy and way too much. I never did that again. I took the car seat to use in the plane, ditched the rest. We usually took about 8 diapers and bought a package at our destination. He had a limit of a little backpack of toys. I focused on variety in choosing toys–a paperback book with several stories, one building toy, one tiny stuffed animal, one….I don’t remember, but the point is that we didn’t just take a ton of one thing. The hardest part for me was the hard deadline for getting to the airport, as compared to driving whenever you’re ready. What’s easier about flying is that you can attend to the babe. We talked the whole time. About the activity on the Tarmac, about the safety procedures card, about what the crew was doing–everything. He never misbehaved or cried on planes, but it wore me out. When we got to the hotel, I plugged in the outlet covers, got out his toys, and collapsed in bed. If you can take food, it will help. You can eat it on the way, or when going out of the room is too much effort. A couple times I ordered groceries to be delivered to the room a couple hours after we arrived, but with your parents willing to help out, you probably don’t need to be that extreme. Enjoy your trip!

  129. Rio, Rhode gave good advice. If you’re not sure whether buying a seat for your baby is worthwhile, you might consider whether you have a baby who will sit quietly in a carseat or who will scream for the whole flight if not held anyway. I like to carry a flat single sheet (for naps or a clean play space in the terminal in case of delays; may not be necessary if you don’t have a layover) and I lubricate baby’s bottom with diaper rash cream in case baby’s change is long-delayed due to airplane seatbelt restrictions.

  130. Rio, one other thing. I’ve never used one, but a friend tells me that when flying across oceans, she has gotten the bulkhead seat because there is some kind of bassinet that can be attached to the wall in front of you. If you’re flying long enough that that could be helpful, I can ask her for more info.

  131. “DH isn’t going to be happy about ANY posters of men on the wall”
    Aw, man, what a drag. He’s a real square.–-105-(mirror)-fillmore-west-–-jimi-hendrix—lot392.aspx
    If he can’t stand the “experience” part, and doesn’t want to shell out $$$, this one is near
    That’s just a tiny sample of what a search for “Jimi Hendrix San Fransisco poster” brings up. There must be a ton more if you’re looking for the whole scene. What a thing to have been a part of!

  132. Rio,

    Good luck. We took a 15 month old to Chile, it worked out fine. Pack plenty of cute outfits to change baby Rio into. People tend to be more accommodating to cute, well dressed babies.

  133. Speaking of change, does anyone else throw out pennies? “When in doubt, throw it out.”

    More and more parking meters allow electronic payment, but there are still plenty around here that require coins. But pennies are pretty much useless.

  134. Coc – my DD throws pennies in fountains and makes a wish. So, when in doubt, throw
    a penny in a fountain and make a wish.

  135. if I have cash, I’ll use it for small purchases, especially at places where I know the vendor prefers cash. If I build up a pile of change, including pennies, I’ll stuff some of it in my pocket. When something costs $4.83, I can pay $5.08 and get rid of eight pennies and get a quarter back.

  136. another option, as Jimmy Buffett sings, “I’ve got quarters in my loafers, tryin’ to fight inflation, when it only used to take a cent.”

  137. People tend to be more accommodating to cute, well dressed babies.

    It’s true for cute well dressed adults as well.

  138. @Rio: My tips, FWIW: 1. Get the extra plane seat. Even if it gives you only 15 mins. break, it’s worth it. 2. I discovered I could wear my kid’s carseat as a backpack through the airport if I loosened the straps the whole way. 3. Strollers make awesome sherpas up to the gate check point. 4. Snacks can provide excellent entertainment value on interminable flights. 6 small baggies of different things are much more useful than one large bag of Cheerios. 5. Bulkhead row is *awesome*, especially if you get all three — you have to store the stuff for takeoff and landing, but in-between your kid can crawl around and play on the floor without bugging anyone.

    “But pennies are pretty much useless.” @CoC: When I pitch 100 of them into the Coinstar, I get $1. I find that useful. :-)

    Hi Saac!

  139. “When something costs $4.83, I can pay $5.08 and get rid of eight pennies and get a quarter back.”

    I hate being behind people like you in the checkout line.

    And if you really do this, you would be the outlier in my checkout line dataset — I told my kids that it’s always safe to get in line behind a man under age 50, because he will never use coupons, write a check, or fish for exact change.

  140. WCE, thanks for the tip about the sheet in the travel bag! Never would have thought of that. But I didn’t follow the “nicely dressed” advice when we flew to Ireland with boys age 7-15. The younger two wore their most ragged mud clothes, which were discarded in the restrooms at Heathrow and switched out for clean, presentable clothes. DH was appalled but that way no worries about the inevitable milk and food spills on an overnight flight, and one less set of clothes to cart around. They also wore old, “disposable” underwear during the entire trip, so no one had to repack unclean boxer shorts and then accidentally rewear them the next day.

  141. Rhode- loved reading about your trip, when DH and I went to Yellowstone and tetons, it was the same time of year, end of May, baby bison everywhere

    I worried too about the rental car when the bison got so close!

    We brought DS to Yosemite when he was 1 but haven’t been back to Yellowstone with him, I am dying to go back

  142. We stayed on the East side a couple nights when we went (near Cody), a couple nights near Jackson and a night in Montana close to the Roosevelt Arch. We flew in and out from Billings, didn’t get the chance to see Idaho

  143. Speaking from experience with a rental car in Yellowstone, hitting wildlife is not fun. The park ranger was kind of enough to calm my fears by telling us that we were lucky it was only a deer because hitting a bison kills the occupants. Still, the rental car was a total loss.

    I’ve flown with an 8 week old, But the worst was flying solo with a 3 year old and a 10 week old. Luckily the kindness of strangers will come to your rescue. On one flight i had my 2 year old scream “outside” for two straight hours. Nothing worked to calm her, and I thought the business men around me were going to kill me. But after we landed, the guy in front of me told me not to worry, he’s been there, and it gets easier. I recommend that you, as the parent, wear quick dry pants/shorts, and bring an extra shirt for you.

  144. Rhode – What a great trip. You planned so well. I went to those parks for the first time two years ago and at once understood why Yellowstone’s uniqueness made it relatively easy for burgeoning Federal power to establish the National Parks system in the 19th century . We were with a group so we got to see wolves as well through a scope. I am so grateful that these treasures have been preserved. For those in the East who can’t get out there easily on modern schedules with limited vacation and kid summer activities, I suggest Iceland with a side trip out of Reykjavik to the northern coast. We stayed one night in Cooke City MT. Pop 140.

    I try hard not to conform to the stereotype of old lady fishing for change, not because I don’t have the time to waste, but because I think it important to represent. I have one of those useless giveaway giant soup mugs in the kitchen – it holds so much that I have to position it carefully on the pantry shelf. The coinstar machine at the S&S allows me to get Amazon credit without any service charge. No brainer.

  145. I applaud those of you who have flown by yourself with one or two little kids. I was a weenie about that and only flew if accompanied by another adult.

    Once I sat across the aisle from a young mom traveling alone with her baby. Although she had brought along extra clothes, there were a few “incidents” and by the end of the flight the baby was only wearing an airline blanket over her diaper.

  146. Thanks guys for the travel tips! We do plan to buy baby a seat. I’ll be flying solo, so that will be…interesting. Not sure if I’ll use the infant bucket seat or get a lightweight travel car seat. Or whether to take the stroller (infant seat snaps in) or just a baby carrier. I love the advice about putting the baby in a cute outfit!

    Rhode- I’d love to see the list- rivergirl0215 at aol dot com.

  147. “I applaud those of you who have flown by yourself with one or two little kids. I was a weenie about that and only flew if accompanied by another adult.”

    Me too! I’ve never done it. It’s never really come up. I don’t think I’ve driven more than about 90 minutes with DS by myself either. Again – it just has never come up.

    Good luck Rio! Wishing for you to get an angelic sleeping baby on the plane.

  148. “I hate being behind people like you in the checkout line.”

    Counting out eight pennies takes no longer than signing a credit card receipt, and it’s significantly faster than waiting for a new chip reader.

  149. When DS was 14 months, DH flew to CA with him alone to meet me (I was out there a week for work). Don’t know how he did it

  150. I do the same thing with change Milo, but I’m typically a plastic user. You’re right, the new chip readers take forever

  151. Off topic – can someone explain why this continues to happen?

    Understanding force and vectors is really hard.

  152. I use cash all the time in line. I simply don’t fish for change – I give the cashier bills, and dump the change in the mug when I get home. And we have leave a penny take a penny bowls at most cash registers and the cashier often grabs the necessary pennies to make the change an even quarter. For coffee shops and such there are tip jars to prevent change buildup. There is a charity slot at Mickey Ds drive thru. I also keep a roll of quarters in the car for meters. But of course, when a younger person fishes for change it is quaint. When an elderly lady does it, there are mutterings about ice floes.

  153. Lfb – having a hard time reconciling the notion of saving 100 pennies (because it’s a dollar!) and buying the baby a seat ($400 might give you 15 minutes of break!). That’s a whole lot of pennies.

    I have never bought a baby a seat (including multiple coast to coast flights, and a poorly timed transatlantic jaunt with two under four and no lap due to pregnancy) – I’m far too cheap for that. The thing is, you always get there in the end. A recent discussion on this topic in Facebook world brought up the fact that if baby has a seat, they must be belted at take off and landing; they can’t be nursed or snuggled in your lap if there is a belt available to them.

    People are actually pretty forgiving of babies on planes. Toddlers, though – everyone hates a misbehaving toddler.

  154. I need more quarters for the car – have been parking at meters more lately and 15 minutes per quarter uses up the roll really fast!

  155. I flew with my older two not long ago and was feeling pretty good about myself and how everyone was doing until I saw a mom of 5 with her kids (ages ranging from 10 weeks to 7) along with a dog. She was pushing a double stroller, had the baby in a carrier and had the dog in the stroller basket. And she was cheerful. I felt kind of lame after that.

  156. Counting out eight pennies takes no longer than signing a credit card receipt

    In what world is that true? And we won’t even get into how it confuses the cashier which adds even more time to the process.

  157. “Understanding force and vectors is really hard.”

    We drink water in tiny individual quantities all the time, so maybe we tend to take for granted its physical/Newtonian capabilities. It’s extremely heavy and very mobile. The side of a car presents a large cross sectional area. Large tires are essentially large rafting tubes.

  158. Milo,

    Receipt – scribble and done. Change, first you have to fish it out of your pocket. Opps, not enough pennies, you dive in again. Oh, here we are. One…two…three..

  159. Or at least that’s how it goes when I’m behind anyone trying to pay with exact change.

  160. Our school collects pennies for UNICEF and then right after that, I needed 60 (30 for each twin) for a gingerbread house project. My tech (who had a full change jar) laughed and gave me a bunch.

  161. Rhett, you left out the time it takes for the customer to turn to her companion for that last penny, and then that person has to rustle around “I am sure I have one here, no, must be the other pocket…wait a minute it’s here somewhere.”

    I used to keep a few coins in the wallet, like mugger money, to speed along those transactions, until smart retailers started the penny bin next to the registers.

  162. A friend who is a flight attendant has horror stories about the dangers of lap babies- apparently it is physically impossible to hold onto them during severe turbulence. Then again, the risk has got to be statistically very small because I can’t find any reports of actual serious injuries anytime recently… I guess I could save money by getting one of those made for flight baby harnesses instead.

    Then again, the baby will almost certainly need to nurse on the plane, and I’m thinking that might be more comfortable for all involved if there isn’t a stranger sitting practically on top of me. Knowing my luck, I’ll end up with a 300 pound man spilling onto my seat while I’m trying to feed.

    And saac- great to see you back!!!

  163. I threw away some gross looking old pennies once while cleaning out my desk as a preteen, because the hassle and clutter of them to me outweighed their tiny and impractical value. My dad saw what I was doing and flipped out because the *idea* of throwing away money upset him so much.

  164. Rio – I tried to email you and it failed. Canyou email me? graduatestudentlife at gmail dot com.

  165. “Change, first you have to fish it out of your pocket. Opps, not enough pennies, you dive in again. Oh, here we are. One…two…three..”

    Nah. It’s in hand. When the total rings up, you take one look at it, and you either have a favorable permutation of coins, or you don’t.

  166. “Lfb – having a hard time reconciling the notion of saving 100 pennies (because it’s a dollar!) and buying the baby a seat ($400 might give you 15 minutes of break!). That’s a whole lot of pennies.”

    It’s all relative. :-) Many solo trips ferrying my electron of a daughter between ABQ and BWI taught me that some luxuries (like an extra seat, or a nonstop flight, or a bulkhead row) are worth just about any price. OTOH, a penny on the ground is free money!

  167. I do the same thing, I’ll blow money on something expensive without stressing, but if I let a $5 off coupon expire I hate on myself

  168. Sunshine, thank you for sharing your research on sheets. I have always found LLBean to have good quality. Think I will order a set of percale sheets today.

  169. Rio, I’m amused at the differences in what constitutes an “injury”. If a kid gets a bump on the head, is that a safe way to learn the lesson not to do X again, or is that an injury caused by a negligent parent who didn’t physically prevent X? Your flight attendant fronds will know better than I, but I don’t think the “injuries” we’re being saved from during turbulence are the things I thought they were for years: flying forward, as through a car window, legs being broken as one is stuck under a seat, arm bashed against armrest and broken and bruised–that’s the kind of stuff I think of when I think of mandatory safety measures. But now I think what the airlines are actually preventing are undignified falls out of seats, possible small bruises, falling into a stranger’s lap–the kind of crap I figure happens and shrug my shoulders at.

    When there are too many coins at the bottom of my bag, usually around $2, I gather them up before going to the register, and hold them in my fist. I’ll pay a dollar in quarters, but any other coin combo takes too long. Cashiers say “that’s too much” and shove my $.13 back at me when the total due is $XX.88. Explaining the math is what slows down the line. It usually goes best when they just enter the amount in the machine and give me the amount it says. And yes, behind my smile I am quietly judging them.

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