Tying Heartstrings

20080228 - Lane - 23

Today when we sat on the kitchen floor eating Cheerios with random songs playing from my iTunes playlist, I was so thankful in that moment that I get to stay home with Lane. Because otherwise I would have missed getting to be the one to dance with her when a new song comes on, see her spontaneous moves, and hear her sing “oh, oh, oh” with Billy Idol. It felt really good to just be with her, set aside my mom-responsibilities, and do what Lane wanted to do today.

She acts like a crazy fool over her new ball, so we played with it for a long time. She likes it even better than movies (previously “moo-ies”, and now “moo-yah”).  She brought all of the toys from her room into mine, and then we surrounded ourselves with pillows and toys on my bed. We read the same book 4 times in a row. She finished her alphabet puzzle, and I cheered when she was able to put all the letters in the right place. Well, all but L and P, since they were lost somewhere in the covers on my bed.

Tips to Buy Kids’ Clothing for Less Money

kids clothing

More beautiful springtime weather today, so I braved the nostalgia and cleaned out Lane’s closet. I put away winter clothes, sorted out a few to donate, and rearranged things a bit to make room in her closet. There were new spring clothes to hang up.

Doug and I bought these clothes for Lane last weekend. (I have to take Doug with me to go shopping because he is great at picking out clothes.) We went to Once Upon a Child which is a second-hand store for children’s clothes. We go once in the Spring and once in the Fall, and each time we spend less than $40 and come home with a wardrobe of clothes for Lane for that season.

I guess we don’t have to buy used kids’ clothing, but the items we find are almost new and in our preferred brands, and they are such a value that it just makes sense. So for our $40, this time we bought 3 dresses, 2 tops, and 3 pairs of shorts. We stopped by Old Navy on the way home and bought 4 knit play shirts for another $10.

The reasons I like that particular second-hand store is that they check the clothes to make sure they are in extremely good condition. They sell clothes for the current season, so you can buy exactly what you need and you don’t have to guess what size your child will be six months from now. Prices for like-new shorts or shirts are about $3, sweaters or jeans are usually $5, a dress might be $6, and a coat is about $8.

Tips when shopping for used clothing:

  1. Don’t buy more than you need just because it’s cheap.
  2. Check collars, cuffs, and knees for signs of wear – that’s where it shows up first.
  3. The cost difference between discount and boutique brands is only a dollar or two, so look for brands that will give you reinforced seams, lining, secure buttons, and higher quality fabric.
  4. T-shirts, pajamas, and other knits that get worn a lot are better purchased new since the prices for those aren’t much lower than a sale at Old Navy.

I also went through Lane’s storage baskets of stuff. She has toys, but she likes our stuff better, especially if it comes in a smaller version. She has a collection of travel sized bottles and toothpaste tubes that she has claimed as her own. Today I secretly put them back in the bathroom. I don’t know how long it will be before she notices.

Spring Cleaning

20080410 - Lane - 01

It rained hard last night, so this afternoon when the sun came out and the air was clean, it was the perfect chance to throw open the windows and do some spring cleaning. We spent most of the time outside on the patio, me and my helper. We cleaned the teak patio furniture and rubbed some olive oil into it. We washed the dirt from the siding and windows with a bucket of sudsy water. I put some things out to dry on the clothesline.

The neighbor’s puppy came over for some company and then carried away my stuff. He has a growing collection of flip flops that he’s taken from other neighbors. He tries to sneak in my back door, but he doesn’t know Sophie the cat is waiting for him, and she doesn’t put up with that.