Consign This- July 2, 2014

I like kids consignment stores and consignment events for yuppie designer brands that I don’t want to spend all my money on, but for some reason love to put on my children for the two weeks they can wear them. My favorite find, ever? This never-worn Lilly Pulitzer dress. It remains my favorite Lilly of all time. Charlotte was Henry’s age (approximately 7 months) in this picture. I picked the color to go with her eyes. Gah! My beautiful baby girl! I love these.

C Lilly Collage

Alas, she is not a baby anymore. My first-born is a clever, active and growing preschooler with storage bins of organized infant and toddler clothes piling up in her closet. Last week I decided to try my hand at some local consignment shops to offload some adorable stuff. I saved some special items for posterity or my sister if her next baby is a girl.

Washing, repacking and taking these clothes to the store was more emotional than I had anticipated. Greyson and I had a moment as I sorted and inspected each item. Giving up those tiny garments was symbolic of her baby days being long gone. It was partly an admission that I may be done having babies. I’m done right? I’m not having anymore children…right?

But, I got over it. Time marches on. They’re just clothes. I have the photos and the memories. Let’s get down to business.

The business of consigning took for freakin’ ever! Thankfully the women at the store helped me unload. They warned me they weren’t taking too many items under size 24 months or 2T   because they get so much baby stuff. Okay, but I had crazy-awesome stuff that my child looked ADORABLE in and anyone would want to have, so I was good, right? An hour or so later I went back to the shop to find out how I was gonna make it rain with all the mad money I was sure to get for my baller baby clothes.

I got $41 dollars for maybe a sixth of all this:

consign

Okay. No worries. This shop wasn’t taking baby stuff. Off to the next one! Two hours of my life, running out of gas in a nearby parking lot, and driving a town away was all it cost me to get $7.41. This store told me I “had a lot of stains.” Seriously?! That microscopic spit-up dot on a name-brand onesie means I get no money?! Trust me. I did not try to consign the things with the real stains. I had stuff that looked like my kid had worn it while running through the sewer before butchering some meat. I have bought some things with a tiny stain or itty-bitty hole or snag in the fabric. No biggie. It’s pre-owned. I get it, but 7 bucks? Screw this! I’m keeping the rest of her clothes and not ruling out a third kid to put in them. Well, maybe. Nah, I’m done. I’ll just donate it. I’d go with Craig’s List or eBay, but if that’s as much effort as this was, forget it.

 

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Sacrifice- June 26, 2014

I’m feeling foolish as I write this. Foolish because my last post was begging for your advice about strollers as my brain was consumed with our upcoming travels. We had grandiose plans to take our family of four to a family reunion in Nebraska this weekend. Now that it’s almost here I’m a little embarrassed to say we had to cancel at the last minute. Why, you ask? The short answer, money.

money pic

So often money is a taboo thing to discuss. I figure I talk about my leaking boobs and stitched up lady-parts on my mommy blog, so why should I be ashamed of discussing finances? I don’t know, but money is a touchy subject for most people. It’s private. It shows how vulnerable we are. That’s funny for a generation of people who are putting every mundane personal detail of their lives on the Internet to say that money is the thing that most shows our vulnerability, but it’s true.

Don’t get me wrong. Technically our family could afford to go on this trip, but at the price of some real financial strain later this year. It was going to cost an absurd amount to fly, rent a car and get a hotel room. We didn’t want to put a ton on credit cards. You know, credit cards. The cards people our age got when they walked on campus freshman year with their school logo on it.

Here’s the thing, we REALLY wanted to go on this trip. Bad. We had talked it up to our 3-year-old. We told her how great the zoo was going to be and how she was going to get to play with 50 million cousins she’d never met. We promised aunts they would get snuggle time with our squishy 7-month-old. I planned outfits and did laundry. I made arrangements for friends to dog sit. We bought plane tickets. We were going. We had our hearts set on it.

That’s the problem. We had our hearts set on going and wanted to go. I’ve found that Gen X/Millennials like us typically get what we want. Think about it. We came of age in the 1980′s and 1990′s. People my age knew nothing but mostly peace and prosperity until the economic collapse five years ago. Growing up, I figured things would always keep getting better and better. No, seriously. I just assumed my parents would always make more money than they did the year before, ensuring great family vacations and my college tuition taken care of.

This is not to say our generation is not innovative and hardworking. We are. I’m proud of how hard my husband and I have worked for many years to provide a great life for our children. We have a nice home near a good school, two cars and enough for preschool and dance classes.

Now that we are a single income household, we have had to make some adjustments. Sadly, we didn’t adjust enough. We didn’t plan. If we wanted to go on this trip so badly, we should have planned for it better than we did. Yeah, we did have some unexpected expenses pop up, but if we had planned better, it wouldn’t have been a problem. We made the choice for our family to have me stay home with our children. We don’t regret that decision, but we’ve still been living life as we were a double income household. We didn’t sacrifice.

Staying home from this trip is our sacrifice. We are learning the lesson of our generation. We can’t have everything we want all the time. Now, we have to raise the next generation to understand the same thing.

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How Should We Stroll? June 23, 2014

This week marks a big first for our family. We’ll be cleaning and packing all week because for the first time ever we’ll be getting on an airplane and taking a trip as a family of four. A 7 month-old and a 3 1/2 year -old on a plane. It should be interesting. Part of me wants to ask you to have mercy on our souls and another part of me is so excited I could burst.

The first time we took Charlotte on an airplane she was 10 months-old and we were going to a wedding in Quebec. We had to get her a passport, the works. It was a nightmare to get where we were going, but the trip was amazing. Henry’s first trip will be to Nebraska, so nothing international. We are going to Greyson’s family reunion. His family members are not the Southern Baptist teetotalers that mine are, so it should be fun. (Not that you aren’t fun, extended family! You know I love you and our games of Outburst while drinking sweet tea.)

After our trip to Quebec without our stroller we will NEVER travel like that again. I have an issue that I need advice on, however. Here’s where I need your help. If you were me, which stroller would you take? Please see the photos and read on.

stroller pic

Stroller #1

  • Pros: Fantastic, beautifully made and durable. I have the accessory parts and tire pump in a little pouch. It folds up well. It’s easy to maneuver. 
  • Cons: It’s a single stroller. Only one kid in it at a time. 

Please note: We will have the Ergo carrier for Henry. He loves it. Charlotte has not sat in that stroller in a long time. I don’t know how she would feel about it. She is good at staying with us and holding our hands in crowds. She likes to ride on Greyson’s shoulders.

Stroller #2

  • Pros: It’s a double stroller. Both could stroll if they needed to. It has a huge storage compartment underneath. Henry is often soothed by his sister next to him in the stroller. 
  • Cons: It’s cheap and cheaply made. It doesn’t fold quite as well. The tires are flimsy. It’s not as easy to maneuver. Charlotte will sit in it for a little while, but demands iPhone or iPad play while riding in it. (Actually, I’m fine with that. Whatever. Judge me.)

Another note: We’re going to the zoo one day of our trip. We’ll have to wheel it around the zoo.

Okay! Help me out. What have your experiences been? What do you think I should do? Which stroller should we go with?

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In Stitches- June 20, 2014

mirror pic

After birthing other humans you understand why women through history always died in childbirth. It’s an exhausting, often brutal and gruesome affair, no doubt. Thankfully, with modern medicine, women today are stitched up good as new and parenting commences.

I have issues with stitches. I think it stems from the time my sister fell off the bed and cut her head on the edge of the dresser when we were kids. She had to have four stitches in her head. I couldn’t even look at them. I had to sit on the other side of her in the car on the way to church the next day so I wouldn’t be near the dark blue stitches. The doctor used blue thread.  She smelled like apple juice after leaving the emergency room. While I was genuinely concerned for her welfare, I couldn’t deal with the little blue knots that tied together the tender flesh of her skull. Let’s not even get in to the stitches my Dad had on his face after multiple sinus surgeries.

One of my biggest fears going in to birth both times was a c-section or episiotomy. Scalpels mean stitches. Skin sewn together. I always smell apple juice when I see them. If you show a Facebook picture of your stitches after your ACL surgery, I will hide you. Period.

Fortunately, I was really lucky and delivered my babies vaginally with no episiotomy. Now, this is the point in this post when I talk about stitches in my lady parts. You’ve been warned.

No one really warned me about tearing. I knew about perineal tears, I guess. I never gave much thought to my perineum in general until it was stitched up. I followed all the doctor’s orders of proper care. I kept those ice pack pads coated in Dermaplast. After Charlotte’s birth I think I was in such a hormonal haze, I just prayed it would all heal properly. After Henry, I dared to see for myself how my most tender flesh was healing.

I looked, ya’ll. I looked! It was late. Jill had warned me not to. It was one of those postpartum nights when I was miserable, sore and exhausted. I gingerly lifted my leg on the counter and held a mirror under me. Stitches! Apple juice! I nearly passed out at the site of this vaginal crime scene.

For the record, I am healed up. Everything is pink and happy. It’s all back to normal down there. So, don’t fret ladies, for those gruesome few weeks, it may seem like your nether regions will be forever wrecked, but thankfully there are stitches. Just don’t look at them, that taint no joke.

 

What?! You thought I would get through this post without a taint joke? Come on! 

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Summer Brain Dump- June 18, 2014

It’s midweek. It’s hot. I need to dump my brain. A few things you never needed to know:

1. Yesterday my beloved baby Jeep overheated and I am now the proud owner of a new radiator. I’d show you, but it’s under my hood and I’m a lady. So, no peeking, pervs.

photo jeep

2. Guess who’s wearing shorts from 2008? Me! Boom! Ah 2008,  a magical pre-pregnancy time when we said things like “Yes We Can!” and I was tanned and toned. There is hope ladies. We can wear them again. “Yes We Can!” (Notice I’m also wearing a baby from 2013.)

shorts pic

3. This week is Princess Camp for Charlotte which cracks me up, because she’s a 3 1/2 year-old girl. Her life is freakin’ princess camp. Today is “Frozen” day and she and Erin’s daughter, Miss E, were killing us with the twinsy cuteness.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Frozen collage

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