Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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169 Comment

  • rave: FRANK OCEAN IS FINALLY BACK. took only forever, here’s to hoping it was worth it.
    rave: good catch up with a friend last night and here’s to hoping her life aspirations work out and clear out soon.
    rave; have some friend, nature, doggie time planned for this weekend. really look forward to it.
    rave: breakfast sandwiches after a glass too many rose.

  • Rant: Getting fitted for ugly expensive bridesmaid dress that is everything I am uncomfortable wearing (strapless on top of being sleeveless, floor length and flowy, etc).. Friend went back on promise to let bridesmaids wear their own dresses as long as they were same color.
    Rant: Hate friend’s fiancee.
    Rave: It’s Friday.

    • Is it too late to back out? The older I get, the more comfortable I am with declining to participate in things that make me unhappy. If you hate 50% of the principals, and you hate the dress, and you find the expense to be troublesome… sounds like reason enough to bow graciously out.

      • I just don’t go to weddings anymore :^0

      • Or is it too late to request a change of style? Point out that not only is strapless uncomfortable, but it makes everyone look semi-naked and shows their ugly tan lines? Make the case that the photos will turn out so much better if the bridesmaids have straps, and she’ll probably reconsider.

        • She already decided with her future mother and sister-in-law. Apparently it’s one of those convertible dresses that are really trendy. I’m sure her argument is that there are potential “straps,” but they’re sheer and the back is low so a non-strapless bra wouldn’t work in any configuration. I need to search through old RRR for lingerie shop recommendations :/

      • She’s one of my oldest friends so I can’t. I’ve never explicitly told that I don’t like her fiancee but if he can speak negatively about our mutual friend’s father and fiancee/husband AT THEIR WEDDING and it doesn’t phase her then I don’t think my opinion is going to matter anyway. The expense isn’t troublesome, it just exacerbates the dress situation. Sigh. Just ranting and venting about the situation since I have to suck it up and just do it.

      • Yeah – back out! She changed the rules, you’re under no obligation to go along with it. And does she know you hate her finance? Seriously, friends don’t let friends marry jerks. A bad dress is one thing, but a bad husband. . . yikes!

        • The time to protest about the jerk was when they first started dating.
          Now? After they’re already engaged? No good deed goes unpunished. Be there for her when the marriage eventually fails (50/50 odds).

    • Strapless dresses are the worst. I feel you.

    • Ugh, I so feel you on that first rant.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Sprint didn’t make it easy, but Walter at the 12th St. store made a heroic effort, and I now have a shiny new phone in the correct color.
    Rave: And I’m working at home today. Jammies!
    Rant: Winston is being very bad, indeed. He’s already tried to eat a work document, a magazine, and the little notebook I keep in my purse.
    Rant: Trying to pick a new phone case. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 options, but I just can’t decide.e

  • Rave: I got bloodwork done today in order to donate extra breast milk to NICU babies. It is nice to be doing something good that will help others, especially since it isn’t like I have free time to volunteer for any causes near and dear to my heart these days.
    Rant: Friend is dealing with a lot of stress and hard decisions at work and home. I wish there were more concrete ways I could support her from afar.
    Rave: Friday! The cooler weather this morning made the walk to the metro so much more enjoyable.
    Rave: We transitioned Baby Artie to his crib last night (a long overdue move since the kid was seriously outgrowing his bassinet). The squirmy worm seems to enjoy having more space.
    Rant: Every change for Baby Artie (daycare, moving him to his own room, moving him from bassinet to crib) makes me cry. I hope I’m not like this for the next 18+ years. At least right now I can blame it on hormones.

    • Love your first rave! What a great way to help out others!

      Also, thanks for your kind words/advice a couple days ago πŸ™‚

      • I have high lipase, so Baby Artie won’t take the milk I stockpiled over time. It makes me happy to know that if I’m cleared as a donor, it will go to good use nourishing another baby even if it isn’t mine!

        And you are very welcome. I have been thinking about your friend.

    • Ha! on your last rant. I feel you. Mtpkiddo starts PK3 next week, and mtpbaby will move to the toddler 1 classroom in two months, and I just can’t believe it. Yikes!
      Nice on your first rave. I need to do that so I can potentially donate the dairy-contaminated milk that I have in my freezer.

      • I am glad I’m not the only one. And don’t even get me started about the idea of Baby Artie moving to another classroom with different teachers. I’m sure I will cry when that happens too.

    • A friend once commented, “Now begins the ceremonial weeping over each set of outgrown pajamas.”

    • I definitely have my moments, like when she decided on her own that she wanted a “big girl bed” instead of a crib, but there are some milestones that you won’t be so emotional/nostalgic for. I’m particularly thinking of potty training, probably because we are in the midst of it right now.

    • On the flipside of this, I have been struggling with feeling like monster because I have never cried on a first or last day of school, with the exception of this year (bawled like a baby) – but that had more to do with leaving the school/DC than anything else.

  • Bear

    Rave: Vacation was awesome, if a little short.
    Rave(ish): Appraisal came in. It’s not as high as we had hoped for but it’s good, and we’ll have a decent chunk of money to work with on renovations.
    Rant: Not sure it’s enough to put on the small addition we want and we won’t know until contractors start getting back to us on our requests for estimates. Per usual, I’m getting about a 25% response rate. Really annoying.
    Question for PoPville: Does anyone have recommendations for contractors or builders who have done significant renovations – additions, reconfiguring existing space, moving load-bearing walls, etc? We don’t need much plumbing or electrical done, but we want to make sure whoever we hire has the experience to ensure that everything is properly supported.

    • Bear

      Additional rant: Shattered my iPhone screen this morning – first time I’ve ever done that. I have a ballistic glass screen protector and case on it, but dropped it on concrete and it managed to hit right on an exposed corner. Hoping my techie husband can replace the glass for me. I’ve also realized I drop my phone a lot more now that I have the 6 – it’s just a little too big for my hands. If it’s too hard/expensive to fix I might just replace it with the SE.

    • janie4

      I have two recommendations for major contractors – Mark Richardson of Renaissance Development, (202) 607-5655 and Gabe Peyton of tgconstruction (301.676.5677). I used Mark Richardson for a major project last year, and I met with Gabe to scope out the same project. Didn’t use him, but liked him a lot.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I have no experience with any of the following, but several regulars on here over the years have recommended contractors that they have used multiple times and/or for large projects including Creative Concepts Design Center (justinbc has recommended), Something Different Contracting (JoDa has recommended), Leveille HIC (dcd has recommended), and Harmony Remodeling (I don’t remember who, but one of the regulars recommended).
      I also recommend checking out Consumer Checkbook. They are sorta like Angie’s List but more independent from the contractors that they rate. It’s cheap – I think I paid something like $48 for four years. If you ever hire anybody to do anything, you will certainly get $48 of value out of it in the next four years.

      • MPinDC and Tall E both recommended Harmony Remodeling (I think for kitchens and/or bathrooms).
        I was favorably impressed with Harmony when I had them come do an estimate… but I decided not to go ahead with the project just yet until I have a better idea of what I want.

    • Scott Evans of Positive Space – he build my basement apt. (from nothing) as well as some very cool houses. He totally knows his stuff, and most importantly, has a core group of trusted subcontractors. This is the key thing when dealing with a contractor. He or she might be very competent, but it really comes down to who is actually running those wires and pipes.

    • Bear

      Thank you for the recommendations everyone!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Another tough day at work.
    Rave: micro managing boss is on vacation

  • observation: I’m signed up to my parents’ neighborhood listserve – they live in Montgomery County – and to my neighborhood listserve – I’m in Adams Morgan. I cannot believe that suburbia, land o’ aging hippies and soccer moms, seems more open-minded towards a variety of viewpoints than people WHO CHOOSE TO LIVE IN A DIVERSE CITY. I thought the suburbs were supposed to be insular and conservative, but the NIMBYISM of the people who live in AdMo (plus the resentment of anyone who moved to the neighborhood more recently than whoever’s railing about whatever on the listserve that day) puts MoCo stereotypes to shame.

    whoops, I guess this turned into a rant.

    • Not sure where you got this idea from “suburbs were supposed to be insular and conservative”. Truth is many suburbanites are ex-city folk, either born and raised, who moved to the suburbs when they wanted to raise their families in a safer environment. Hence why so many “MD” license plates linger around DC neighborhoods because that is where their roots are and they always have ties to the neighborhood.

      • I’ve been out of the ‘burbs too long, clearly, and allowed the myths invented by the city folk to become fact in my mind!

      • Depends on the suburb. My parents live in a Virginia suburb and there’s a huge TRUMP COUNTRY Make America Great Again sign in the neighborhood. And I know lots of people there are voting for Trump. Personally, I could never live in the suburb I grew up in, but I could live in Alexandria.

        • oh – by “conservative” I meant “resistant to change and/or progress,” not politically right-wing. but agreed regardless!

        • Yeah, so I was about to reply with a similar caveat that this holds true for most of the neighboring suburbs to Washington DC but most likely isn’t the case as you venture further away from the DC Metro Core. You can go all around the beltway and from Alexandria all the way back around to Fort Washington, most of those suburban areas are pretty diverse and open minded.

      • Suburbs were designed to exclude minorities, especially African Americans, as well as the poor. Nevertheless, that’s changing as cities become more expensive and wealthy white people are having fewer kids. Minorities are flocking to the suburbs now because they need affordable neighborhoods that are safe and have good schools, so those places are becoming much more diverse than the city.

        • Its not just minorities as some individuals of means regardless of race are simply choosing Bethesda, Rockville, Chevy Chase, NOVA and other suburb areas etc for the larger homes, safe neighborhoods and private schools. This notion that people choose not to live in DC based on income limitations is a false narrative. Some just don’t want to and its simply personal preference.

          • Right, that’s why I mentioned kids as a factor as well. And of course there are always people that prefer the suburbs for other reasons. But you don’t see a ton of childfree, financially unconstrained people flocking to the suburbs these days.

    • Having lived in the DC suburbs (VA side), I can attest that everyone is so exhausted from their horrible commutes and family-raising that they really don’t have the energy to devote to NIMBYism.

    • It’s easy to be open-minded when bullets aren’t flying on your street.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I hate to say it but I agree with this. Having been robbed at gunpoint in my own damned neighborhood on my way home from the metro station twice has made me somewhat less open-minded than I used to be. I’m not proud of that. Realizing and admitting that makes me feel like sh!t, but for me, it’s the truth.

  • skj84

    Rave: Worked out some scheduling with my sister for next week to maximize time together.
    Rant: Flying. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I hate flying. I’m starting to think about the flight and how I’m going to get through it. Its long enough that I could take a Xanex, but I can’t drink if I do that. I come well stocked with books, magazines, music and snacks to distract myself. One of the reasons I’m trying to fly more is to get over my fear. I know I can overcome this.

    • I hadn’t flown for about seven years because I developed a fear of it. When I flew a couple months ago, I spent both flights listening to upbeat music that I knew really well and focusing on the lyrics (thank you, Hamilton soundtrack). That was the best distraction for me. Good luck! I hope you report back that it went well.

    • I hate flying but I have to fly a lot for my job. I bought a pair of good noise cancelling headphones when I started working and they are live changing. Now I cannot fly without them. They let me tune out everything that’s going on around me and help me relax. I love them.

  • Extremely tired. Been working every day since August 1, including 10 days in Chicago, where I didn’t get to see much because I was so tired.
    Posted about the lack of response cards coming back a couple of weeks ago, turns out about 5 people didn’t get theirs even though it was mailed to them. Of course the wifey and I started to panic a bit and started texting/emailing/facebooking people who we sent one out to. Anyway, more are starting to roll in, it just really sucks that I have to e-mail or text people to send it in.

  • Rant: Bad bout of irritation and depressive thoughts last night.
    Rave: Felt good after 30 minutes of Beginners Pilates DVD last night. Thinking about signing up for a class. That or doing some yoga. I really need to work on strengthening my core. It may helpful for my morning lower back aches.
    Rave: Tried a heating pad on my back last night and woke up with a little less pain this morning.
    Rave: TGIF
    Rant: In the office today with one of my loudest coworkers. She’s loud enough during the rest of the week when the office is full but her voice just booms all over the place today.

    • Not sure where you live, but I have been doing Pilates at Studio Body Logic in Ballston for 6 years now and love it. It’s not the most convenient to my neighborhood (Dupont) but all the instructors are very well trained and experienced in how to modify exercises and work with injured people. When I started, my back was so bad I could barely do the basic exercises (even rolling like a ball hurt). I looked into other studios but, at the time, most of them seemed to be yoga or barre with the occasional Pilates class thrown in, and I was afraid of hurting myself even more by working with people who didn’t really know what they were doing. SBL has been fantastic and I credit them with my relatively easy recovery from back surgery a couple of years ago.

      • Bear

        Another option with extremely well-trained pilates instructors is Excel Movement Studios, in Brookland. They are also more reasonable than a lot of the other pilates-specific studios in town.

      • I really enjoy Fuse Pilates on 14th Street.

    • I can honestly say that starting a regular yoga practice has eliminated the major, major wrist pain I had (thanks office job) and fixes any other little pains that come up (my lower back hurt quite a bit Wednesday, went to class Wednesday night, no pain on Thursday). Good luck! Starting is the hardest part.

  • Rant: Radius closing, and I can’t get one last pizza from them. I mean, mtpwife & mtpkiddo could, but that’s a little lame. πŸ™
    Rave: Date with mtpkiddo yesterday. Had lots of fun at a pair of playgrounds, met her pk3 teacher, and just enjoyed each other.
    Rave: kids enjoying bath time together–too cute!
    Rave: mtpbaby came home with a mohawk yesterday. Adorable!
    Happy Friday everyone!

  • Rave: There are three farmers markets within easy walking distance of my house.
    Rant: They are ALL ON SATURDAY.

    • My farmers market is on Sunday! I wish it was on Saturday so I could spend more time on the weekend cooking, baking and eating my fresh produce.

      • Where are the Sunday markets?
        Saturday is a great day to go to a farmers market, and I do, almost every week. But it just seems like terrible planning and coordination to have Petworth, MtP, and CH markets all on the same day. U Street too, I think… wouldn’t swear to it.

        • justinbc

          Yep, same for U Street. It is kinda crazy that with most of them being organized by the same parent group that they don’t plan better.

        • Takoma is on Sundays. I used to love it when Petworth’s was on Friday.

        • The Takoma Park market is on Sunday.

        • Bloomingdale’s is on Sunday.

        • Bethesda (at Bethesda Elementary School) is on Sundays. If you go, park at the library and walk a block up the street, rather than trying to make your way around the innumerable gargantuan SUVs waiting to park at the school.

        • I bet they do the markets on Saturdays so the produce suppliers only need to make one trip into the city from the countryside and they can drop off goods at multiple locations. It’s sensible from a logistics standpoint.
          Baltimore Farmers Market – by far the best in the mid-Atlantic – is on Sunday’s. Easily worth the 45 minute early morning drive up the Parkway.

          • Where is this magical farmer’s market in Baltimore? I have yet to find a decent one up here!

          • Under the freeway overpass, just east of city hall. They are only open 7am to noon and many vendors already start packing up at 1030am. Go early, right at 715am. It’s not crowded and totally awesome. Kicks the pants off any farmers market in the DC area and 50% cheaper, too.

          • My husband is on a market board and this is the exact reason. It used to be a weekday and the vendors insisted it be changed to Saturday.

          • Anonamom I’d also recommend the 32nd St farmers market in Waverly (near Union Memorial). It also opens at 7:00 am, and is open year-round

          • They might sell more if they mixed it up a little bit. The lines at the CH market are insane. I often skip the vendors that have what I want just because I don’t want to wait a half hour to pay for it.
            The demand is there, is what I’m saying.

          • I am not sure what a farmer’s market would have to have to make me spend 90 minutes, at least, in the car on a Sunday. Especially when there are others around on Sunday that, while not as good, are certainly adequate. Can you elaborate?

          • It’s more than just a farmer’s market – it a food and goods bazaar. And it’s just massive. You’ll have 10+ vendors selling the same specialty items (e.g., guys who solely focus on tomatoes each with 15 different varieties), so there’s actual price competition. Plus, many purveyors of meat and dairy products. 10 vendors of hand cut flowers and plants. And tons of prepared food vendors (hot, cold, pickled, smoked, etc). It’s just a really fun place for families and better than the DC markets, with dedicated activities for kids. Used vinyl and CD vendors. Artisans selling their wares. A few vintage clothing vendors.
            We make a point of going there 4 or 5 times per year, not every weekend. It’s good for a special trip.

          • Thanks for the info! I will check it out! We’ve been to Lexington Market and to say I was not a fan would be an understatement. The Farmer’s Market near me is on Wednesdays during the work day. There are a few farms with stands around, but I miss farmer’s markets!

        • palisades

          The palisades farmers market is on Sundays πŸ™‚

        • DuPont circle is on Sundays.

        • Anonamom the 32nd St Farmer’s Market is in Baltimore, north of downtown, east of Hopkins

      • Google up “washington post dc farmers markets” – for a map with dc, md and va markets; click on each day of the week to see which day and where and hours. There are many saturday markets around – downtown silver spring has a large one, and there’s great produce at the one in NW at the Sheridan school on Alton Pl on saturday. There are markets not only on saturday and sunday, but late afternoon markets open from 3 or 4 to 7 or 8:00 so you can go after work; there are lunchtime markets where you can pick up produce on your lunch hour. I love the washington post’s tool – finding it has me going regularly to 2 or 3 of 6 different markets I like each week this summer – and there are other’s I’d still like to try. (Being unemployed and having a car helps, but many are metro accessible and easy to get to quickly. Going to a farmer’s market is always sure to cheer me up as well, as added bonus.) There are great things to be found at some that you can’t find at others – checking them out is an adventure.

    • I remember this frustration all too well. So irritating. That said, I do miss being able to walk to two separate markets.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Passenger reopening last night was fantastic. It was super crowded at first, then tapered off to a nice comfortable level. The bartenders, per usual, never slowed down.
    Related: Who’s up for an Unofficial PoP HH there next week? Wednesday perhaps?

  • Rant: Storm knocked the potted grapefruit tree off my sill to the garden five stories down.
    Rave: While rescuing said tree, found a windfall basil plant too.
    Rant: Yarn bombers are back.

    • Please don’t leave plants on the window sill or balcony ledge. One fell 3 stories and landed nearly on my head in Adams Morgan from the monstrous brick condo bldg on Champlain while I was walking on the sidewalk. It’s super dangerous.

      • Yes, you would think people would realize this and be considerate of their fellow people. The selfishness of people who do that with their windowsills always amazes me – as much as those you install air conditioners by just opening and closing a window with no screws or attaching the ac for the safety of those below.

        • What’s below is a wide fenced border of grasses and holly trees. No pedestrians or sidewalk. Just the odd passing cat. It’s my bid to lower carbon in the atmosphere. Though I see I have already been tried and hanged by the Popville jury :^0

  • Rant: My girlfriend has been back from a 2 month trip for a few weeks now and I was actually happier while she was gone. I’m a pretty good looking guy who makes a lot of money already in my late 20s and I can’t help but feel like I’m settling with her. But I’m the worst at breakups. It’s hard to not feel like the last 3 years were wasted.

    • Don’t fear the breakup. It doesn’t sound like you’ll have any trouble making her see that it’s best for her.

    • Yikes. Do her and yourself a favor and pull the plug. Breakups suck, but staying with someone because of atrophy is so much worse. She deserves someone who doesn’t feel like he’s wasted the last three years of his life. We all do.

      • + a million. I know I sure as hell would never want to be with someone who feels like they’re “settling” for me because they’ve realized they’re “better” in the looks and money department. Yuck. Do her a favor and leave.

        • yes, anyone who writes that they are good looking and make a lot of money is a jerk – relationships aren’t about that.

      • I’m going to go ahead and speak for all females her and beg you to please break up with her so she can find someone better.

      • Being “the worst at breakups” means avoiding the breakup when it’s the right thing to do. However you approach the breakup, and however it goes down, the outcome will be better than doing nothing or delaying it if you’ve already decided that’s what you want.

        • Also, speaking from experience as someone who was conflict avoidant and took way too long to end some relationships in my twenties, I think sometimes people are “bad at breaking up” because they don’t want to be the “bad guy” or hurt someone. It took me awhile to realize that avoiding the situation and dragging a relationship on is *much* more hurtful to the other person than ending it kindly and promptly when you know that’s the right thing to do.

          • I’m also conflict avoidant so I get where this guy is coming from. You have to be strong for a moment and summon the courage to say you want to end things (have a few drinks beforehand if that’s what it takes). It’s incredibly hard but it’s the respectful thing to do and will save both of you a lot of heartache ultimately.

          • I avoid conflict as well, but I always break up with people as soon as it occurs to me to do so. Because I can’t see being dishonest in a relationship, and staying is being dishonest (to me) when you’ve decided you don’t want to be there.

    • Think of it as a sunk cost. You can’t get those three years back. What do you want for the next three years and beyond?

      • +1
        Unfortunately, the sunk cost analogy will probably be the only way this “rational” poster comprehends severity of the situation.

    • Just break up with her. She deserves better than someone who thinks she isn’t good enough. Since you think you are so much better, grow a pair and just do it.

    • What does money have to do with anything?

    • What was it about her being away that made you happier? I used to question my relationship because I like it when she’s gone for long periods of time, even though I still miss her and am also happy when she’s around. I came to realize I just like having moments where I can do things on my own terms, so I’ll carve that time out for myself if/when the circumstances would otherwise have us spending all our time together.
      Maybe you feel like you’re settling because she’s holding you back from doing things– there could be ways to redistribute your time and attention so you can still devote attention to those things as well as to her.

    • WTF!? I feel so bad for your gf. Break up with her. Jesus.

    • justinbc

      A little bit of momentary pain can save you a lifetime of unhappiness. You might suffer from a lifetime of regret down the road though if you realize you made a mistake. Three years of investment deserves a conversation though, you should at least talk through your feelings with her and explain what it was that made you come to this realization.

    • maxwell smart

      “guy who makes a lot of money already in my late 20s” – I like how this is an important qualifier in this situation, or in general. Maybe I’ve been out of the game for too long.

  • Rant – My flight home yesterday was 5.5 hours late getting me home at 2:30AM.
    Rave – The American Airlines crew were so nice and helpful throughout the ordeal. Serious props to them.
    Rant – I am jet lagged and sleep deprived.
    Rave – I am home and I’m not working today.

  • Rave: Rasika was of course, wonderful. We ordered 2 orders of the famous spinach thing for the four of us.
    Rave: Lowes will be here in 10 minutes to pick up the extra cabinets!
    Rant: never found time to bottle my beer, so I can’t bring any for my dad. I’m so bad at sticking to my brewing schedules.
    Pre-emptive rant: driving to CT on a Friday in the summer.

    • That One Guy

      If you need a distraction or want some snacks the Herr Factory isn’t too far off one of the 95s (maybe 295).
      I second your preemptive rant. I’m driving up to NY after work tonight.

      • I am decidedly in the minority, but I don’t see the light on Rasika. The flash-fried spinch chaat is a winner no doubt, but the rest of the menu has always disappointed me. It’s not that it’s bad, but I don’t see what sets it apart from other high-end Indian places.

    • Allison

      The flash fried spinach that’s on the appetizer menu? That stuff is amazing.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Any one planning on doing Grapes with the Apes at the Zoo? I did the Brew at the Zoo but it would’ve been a lot more fun with a group.

    • I saw a promo for that and I my first thought was that the stench of the Great Ape house would be too much for me to bear for all that long. I enjoy the primates as much as anyone, but it’s not a place I’d want to park it with a glass of Merlot.

  • Rave: Friday!
    Rave: Almost bumped right into Emmaleigh504 at the metro station! Nice seeing her twice in one week!
    Rant: Just starting tracking my calories and I may be seeing why these last five pounds are so hard to lose….But I want to eat food! What’s the point of being alive if I can’t have the occasional beer or sweet treat?!
    Rave/Rant? Taking older kitty to the vet tomorrow for a checkup. Hoping all is well and passes muster!

    • Ha, I’m on the same page as you with that rant. I don’t have a hard time staying under my calorie limit until there’s booze or sweets involved!

    • Emmaleigh504

      It was great to see you too! I love bumping into popvillagers.

    • If you’ve dieted for a long time, your body will plateau. If you’ve just been going off the rails, stop doing so, and incorporate your treats into a cheat meal or cheat day once a week or 10 days.
      Budget calories for the treats, and you’ll be fine.

      • I think it’s a combination of plateauing and trying to decide if I want to restrict myself in those ways. Like, I want to eat / drink what I want to eat. I don’t go crazy, but I also want to eat what I want to eat, and if I have to decide between sticking to 1300 calories a day or having a glass of wine with my dinner, 8 out of 10 times I’m going with wine.

        • I guess work out a lot more to give yourself a calorie offset and only drink the glass of wine post workout as your body will better absorb the carbs.

          • Working out doesn’t burn that many calories though.

          • Then you’re not doing it right, Jill.

          • Okayyyy….. tell me how to do it right then.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed with Spock, but with a big asterisk. It is possible that one may not be willing to spend the amount of time working out that would be required to achieve sufficient calorie reductions, and that is ok. I ran competitively from my early teens up until about age 30. I was running more than 50 miles per week for almost that entire time and more like 70-80 miles per week for a lot of it. I no longer aspire to do any such thing. These days I run about 15 miles per week, which allows me to keep in acceptable aerobic condition, but the difference between calories burned running 15 miles per week vs. 75 is about the same as the difference between somebody who presently does not run adding 60 miles a week to their routine. I have no doubt I’d stop gaining weight and probably slim back down if I got back up to running 10-12 miles a day plus a 20-miler on the weekend, but it ain’t gonna happen (and no, I’m not going to spend enough time doing other exercise to burn 60 miles of running worth of calories either), and given that, I’ll need to adjust my intake somewhat (ok, a lot) if I don’t want to continue getting fatter.

        • The best strategy for me is to skip breakfast entirely and have a late lunch that is fairly light. I’m not starving during the day anyway, and don’t want to waste calories while I’m sitting at my desk. Then when I’m home I can splurge on wine or ice cream or whatever I want.

        • I agree with Anon Spock here. I think the key may be changing the way you view it. Low calorie food doesn’t have to be bland, boring, and restrictive. Also, it’s important to keep in mind what you aren’t willing to give up and being ok with making the sacrifices needed to keep those things in your regular diet. So, for example, I wasn’t willing to give up my morning coffee with real sugar and real milk; instead, I started eating less food calories – 100 calorie multi-grain Enlgish muffin with almond butter and fresh fruit, instead of a delicious 280-290 calorie Noosa yogurt and oatmeal with butter and brown sugar.I went from regularly eating around 600 calories at breakfast to around 300. Yesterday I ended up with so many calories left over I could have had two beers or a brownie; I went with the brownie. It can work, you just have to make it work and want it to work.

          • I think LittleBluePenguin’s point is that even if you keep each meal around 300 calories (and I agree that you can have delicious and filling meals for 300 calories), that only leave 300 for snacks and drinks if you’re eating three meals a day and trying to lose weight.

          • Yeah, that’s what I try to do, I’ll keep looking for creative ways to make things work! But sometimes, jeez, the less you weigh, the more they keep lowering that calorie bar – give me food for the love of god!

          • Anyone who wants to lose weight might be interested in reading Dr. Jason Fung’s book “The Obesity Code”. The newer thinking is that permanent weight loss can be achieved by getting insulin levels down, rather than approaching it from the calories in vs. calories out viewpoint.

          • Be strategic with your beverages. A glass of dry wine is usually around 100 calories. Or, do a shot of gin/vodka with seltzer and an ounce of juice (preferably fresh, or at least without added sugars). One of my favorites is muddled lemon & basil with seltzer, feels like a cocktail (or I can add gin or vodka to actually make it a cocktail). Beer is the tricky one. One option is to order 4oz pours when you can and try to savor it (alternate with full glasses of water, you’ll get full). Or, acknowledge that every now and then you’ll need 3 full-sized delicious beers and make up for it before/after with extra exercise or some lighter meals.
            I started doing fruit with string cheese or a small cottage cheese cup for an afternoon snack and no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day during the week. I also realized that sometimes it wasn’t the alcohol, it was that I didn’t want water. That’s when I’ll do seltzer with some muddled fruit/herbs. In colder weather have fun herbal teas. Tastes good, can look fancy, and often satisfies the craving.

          • That’s where the exercise off-set comes in, like Anon Spock suggested. I also agree with strategic drinking and snacking too. I’m going out tonight, so my snack today was cucumber slices (which I love) and strawberries. I also went and walked at much lunch break. So tonight I’ll go and drink and eat and laugh and not feel guilty.

  • Q: My wife is a working mom who often gets overwhelmed and lonely trying to balance a job, the kid, her health, etc.. I do everything I can as her (also working full-time) husband to lighten the load and be a sounding board, but she really needs to hear from other moms going through the same thing. The problem is that many of the groups she has explored involve moms who stay at home or work part-time or “flexible” jobs. A big driver of our stress is the financial burdens of living in this expensive-ass city with student debt and childcare costs, and our inability to have her go part-time, take vacations, etc.. Not trying to minimize the challenges that all moms face, but I’d like to have her meet more similarly situated people. Any suggestions? We live in the District.

    • My best suggestion is to wait a bit. As the kid gets older, and your friends kids get older, everyone will relax a little and the domestic routines will get shorter and easier and there will be more time for socializing.
      In the meantime, perhaps you could have a regular dad+kid outing. Every Saturday morning, or every Wednesday evening, or whatever works. She can stay home and nap, or try a fun complicated new recipe, or go to the gym, or join a bookclub, or whatever. But she can count on it. Having a reliable, scheduled time where you know you’ll have a few hours to yourself is really, really helpful.
      I never did find any kind of parents groups for working families. They all seem to be SAH and part-time working parents.

    • Hmm, she doesn’t work with anyone who is in a similar situation? What about neighbors? She could start her own group? Do you like DC? I only ask because I wonder if moving to a different city is an option, but if you like DC then you can try to make it work.

    • First thing that sticks out–which may not be a fair representation of reality–is that it sounds like she’s shouldering the majority of the home/kid stuff. If that’s even remotely the case, step up to make sure you’re taking on your share of the workload. I don’t know how old your child is, but if she’s pumping, take care of bottle washing & prep and pump part washing. Take time with your kid one-on-one so she can get some time to herself or work early/late or work out or whatever. Take on the morning or evening routine with your child. Recharacterize it from helping to contributing to the family load. If it helps, sit down together and put together a list of what needs to be done on a daily/weekly/ad hoc basis and make sure that chores are divvied up reasonably.
      As far as the mom community goes–is your child in daycare? If so, get to know some of the other families. Go for walks in your neighborhood or bring your kid to the playground and stop to chat with others with kids. You’ll find other families with kids and working parents that way too. I’m happy to chat & be a sounding board, especially until if/when you can build a community around yourselves. My email is mtpresident.popville at gmail.

      • @mt president (and everyone). Some thoughts: I shoulder quite a bit of it (e.g., when she was pumping, which lasted more than a year, I prepped and washed all of the parts every night). I offer like crazy to give her alone time on the weekends, but the weekends are also the only non-crazed time she gets to spend with our son, so she (to the point of burnout), nearly always declines my offers. That’s why I thinks he’d benefit from hearing from other moms. We’re open to moving from DC, but we’re both feds, so that ain’t as easy at it sounds. Moving further out would also mean a long commute and even more time away from son, which sucks.

        • Perhaps set up a standing dad-son time and characterize it as wanting some time with him doing an activity (swim class? playground trip? breakfast out? something like that). That characterization might be more likely to get her on board because it changes from a favor to a gift. And really, both of you can use a break now and again, and it’s great for your son to have one-on-one time with each of you.
          As for chatting with other moms, I agree. Hopefully the suggestions I and others have given can be helpful.

        • Also consider speaking with a social worker/psychologist/psychiatrist. Some of this could be anxiety/depression/whatever, so getting help developing tools to deal with the stress could also be helpful.

        • Something similar happened to me from the opposite perspective. My wife freelances part time, and is unquestionably the primary parent. For the first 5 years or so of my daughter’s life, I felt guilty if I didn’t spend all my free time with her – I’d skip every happy hour so I could be home before bedtime, not attend dinners with friends, and spend weekends either hanging out with her or doing the absolutely required chores. (Part of this was desire to see my kid, and the other was guilt that my wife shouldered all of the burden caring for an, at times, challenging child.) I barely took any time for myself. I was also unhappy and burnt out, and that’s not sustainable in the long term. Now, we try to keep a good balance of family time (both at home and on vacation), parent-child alone time, couple relaxation time (at home), couple relaxation time (vacation), solo relaxation time (at home), and solo relaxation time (trips with friends). Point being, sounds like the best (or one of the best) things you can do for your wife will be to convince her to take you up on your offers and allow herself some time away to recharge. She’ll be a happier person and a better mother for it.

        • Also maybe frame it that a non-burnt out, rejuvenated mom means she’s going to be a better parent for the time she takes for herself and modeling good self-care for her child? I think some women have a hard time taking the time they need for themselves with feeling guilty. Framing it as a thing that benefits the kid as well might help her give herself permission to make herself a priority.

    • Working out a couple times a week during lunch has been key to me maintaining my sanity (it helps my mental health; it is the only time I can get workouts in; and it is time for ME, something many parents don’t get enough of). That time is sacrosanct. If your wife isn’t open to having you take time on the weekends because she wants time with your kid, why not have a standing father/son date on Wednesday evenings? If you do the bedtime routine that night, she can meet up with a girlfriend for dinner, go to a yoga class, or just put herself to bed early and watch crappy tv.

      Also, I think it helps to remember that this time doesn’t last forever. Kids grow up and their needs become less immediate. Aftercare costs become less expensive than daycare for a toddler, etc.

      In terms of community support, I have found my friends who have children to be the best support system. I’m lucky that they are very honest about the gritty difficulties of parenting. I never feel like I have to put on a happy face. And quite frankly, I personally wouldn’t have time for a working parents meet up group. But keeping in touch with friends via texts, emails, and the occassional visit has helped immensely.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I swear this basically the same question is in Carolyn Hax’s chat right now.

    • I’d ad that the place to bond with other full-time moms is at work – they don’t have time to be going to groups because they are working. But they are around at work. Second, weekend activities are the only place to meet them – the playground is a good bet, the same people tend to go to the same ones every weekend around the same time. Also, as a single woman who loves spending time with my friends’ kids – with their moms and alone with the kids when they need a break – it isn’t only other people in the same situation who can provide support to busy moms. Other people can love your kids, and people without kids can develop into trusted adults who know kids well and are there for them, in addition to their parents. Don’t freeze out your single friends who like kids once you have them.

  • Rave: vacation starts tomorrow! Bucket list trip, so excited. POP t packed.
    Rant: dropping off kitty tonight, always hate being home without her.

  • Revel:I took my phone in to crackedmacscreen.com on Connecticut Ave in Dupont without an appointment to have the camera lens cleaned. I asked Colin “how much?”. He smiled and said “no charge.” I said “No. That’s nice but you should get something for your time.” Colin smiled and replied “how about a six pack?” Dude fixed my phone for a six pack of beer!!! The phone was ready in the time it took me to go buy the six pack and return!! These guys rock.

    I highly recommend these guys. They also replaced a busted iPhone glass in the past for me too. Friendly and prompt service.

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