Week 53: The Cure

Week 53: The Cure

Last week I wrote about my struggle to resist yet another mind-concocted temptation. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to shake. It never is.

First I just stopped looking. That’s step one. Hard when media and Google is at your finger tips. And you know how those ads, the ones targeted specifically to you, tend to show you what you were last looking at? I was seeing Blundstone boots along the border of my Facebook page for days. I averted my eyes.

The next step was to try to get it out of my system via distraction. Maybe, I thought, I just need to shop; window shopping could do the trick. Often, I discover that when I am at the store I lose all interest…the physical reality of things instead of it’s shiny perfect-in-picture-only existence, is sometimes enough to snap me out of it.

One of my favorite places to shop is the thrift store. Because of this year long challenge, though, I’ve been staying away as best I can. Going to thrift stores is a sure way of accumulating unnecessary items. And though they may sell way below retail, a lot of money can go towards impulse bought thrift items too.

That said, I scored a couple of solo hours while my mum-in-law watched the kids, and I headed out for the cure at my local Salvation Army.

My intention was to buy nothing.

I decided to walk aimlessly through the aisles and just see what there was. True to my usual pattern, as soon as I was there, going through the racks of clothes, my desire for clothing vanished. All the fashions seem…boring. All of it has been done, or I keep getting drawn to the same old thing. Each item always has something about it I don’t like. So, it was all working out splendidly: no temptation=no need to decide whether or not to spend. Perhaps this would be the cure I was looking for, a nice dose of reality.

Just as I was about to call it a success and walk out, I overheard a conversation between two middle aged ladies who had just met in the aisle. One was a former model and fashion consultant, the other a woman just trying to get some new-to-her clothes. Well, what happened was just awesome. The former model and fashion consultant started pulling clothes out for her, describing why it worked for her body type and telling her to put away the choices she’d already made and to think outside the box. “You don’t need Macy’s” she said, ” all you need is right here”. The other woman would exclaim “wow! I looked at that but didn’t think I could pull it off” etc. etc. Long story short, that former model was a fashion whiz. She’d take all of two seconds to find exactly what she was looking for for this other gal. She took her to the changing room and had her try it all on and put the outfits together. In under 20 minutes the woman had a new wardrobe and all her choices except one were exactly right. The lady for whom all this was given was just gushing “Oh my! You are amazing! This is amazing! Wow! Oh my gosh!” When I left their vicinity, the fashion whiz was taking her to the other part of the store where she’d help her accessorize.

Somehow, that woman’s positive shopping mojo spread to me. I took a second look at a jacket I had passed and realized it was worth a try on. I scanned the racks and found a dress that had all the right elements with nothing to disqualify it. I even scanned the shoes thinking of my Blundstones…and found a pair of Clark’s boots, barely used.

In the changing room I thought, this is where I can find something wrong and I won’t have to buy these. But all three items fit perfectly.

So folks, it was a cure, but it did cost a bit. I got a barely used made in England Barbour waxed cotton rain jacket (retails for $399) for $9.99, an Olive&Oak dress for $11.48, and Clark’s suede leather boots for $7.

Getting a few items for me felt good and I was, for lack of a better word, sated.

 

And now, for a pearl of wisdom that I accidentally gave myself:

My two girls were fighting over the same *insert toy of any kind here* again. I stopped them and said, “girls, it is silly to fight over the same toy. In a minute, when one of you tires of that toy, the other can have it, but I bet, when your sister loses interest you will too. We always want what we don’t have. The trick is to learn how to make what we do have special, and in that way we will never be dissatisfied. Until we learn to make what we do have special, we will always want what the other has instead.”

I realized immediately, that I need to follow that exact advice. Words to live by.

 

S

Week 52: The Struggle

Week 52: The Struggle

What will it take to rise above temptation? Honestly, I’m exhausted. What has this year taught me?: That we are so brain washed by consumerism that it is almost part of our DNA.

Literally, before opening this tab to write ( a tactic to shift gears out of temptation), I was, once again, looking at Blundstone boots. I WANT a pair of Blundstone boots. I don’t know what sparked this want, I don’t know , I don’t know…but I do. I am having such a hard time shaking it.

I can definitely create reasons for wanting a pair: they are well made and will last a long time (though from reading a few reviews I’ve seen that their quality standards may have slipped). They are great for the winter and spring weather here and can go from work ( I want something to slog in when I go on photo shoots. Read: my old cracked rain boots aren’t good enough though they actually do the job…I just don’t like how they look) to a night out, to hiking. And they pull on! What else could a busy mom ask for?

They are also: totally inappropriate for the upcoming hot weather(if I were to buy them now, I’d only get to wear them a short time before the season changes). They are expensive. I already have a pair of similar boots that are a bit dressier and have heels, but essentially a similar look. No one sells them at a physical store, so they must be ordered on-line which will be a little bit of a rigmarole if I don’t get the fit just right ( Aussie sizing is a bit different).

How much? $175 on average.

If it’s gonna last years, it could be considered reasonable. But then, consider my already full shoe closet. Yes, I KonMaried that closet quite well not too long ago, but it is still far from minimalist. I have shoes for most every occasion, and not many occasions to use many of those shoes.

I have gone through all sorts of mental contortions, from ‘just turn off the computer and stop looking…stop looking!’ to ‘ Well, if I earn them by booking two one hour photography sessions…and/or sell a few items on that Facebook sell page…”

The thing that stops me from pushing that ‘Buy’ button is when I think about how much work it would take me to earn that $175. Or how much in groceries that $175 would get for the family.

Today, with everything being so high cost, $100 is nothing. You spend more in one grocery run, half of that filling a tank of gas. That on a few items of clothing.

But for this mama who only really spends on necessities ie food and gas, who buys clothing rarely and then usually at a thrift store, and who doesn’t earn money regularly if at all…$100 is a lot. Yes that $100 will definitely and unavoidably be spent, but on what? There are so many true needs.

In the long run, are boots and the temporary satisfaction of that new/pretty item more important than my family’s nutritional intake? No. Are they more important than being able to power our car? No. More important than our  gas or electricity bill? No.

I could survive bare foot if I had to. I can survive being un-stylish if that’s the fear.

Heck, it would even be more worthwhile to set that money aside to save for my future “better” camera when I’ve earned my stripes as a legit professional photographer (when my earnings exceed my investment in equipment) and am ready to upgrade.

And yet the Consumer mind is strong. I have no doubt I will be doing some late night drooling over a glowing screen staring at reviews for Blundstones on Zappos...”Free shipping…order in the next 4 hours and 48 minutes to receive them by April 12!! “…Finger hovering over the “Buy” button, fighting the good fight.

S

 

 

Week 47: Winning

Week 47: Winning

Saturday:

Feelin’ kinda thrifty at this moment. Or, at least, like I’m playing the game a little better this week.

Some weeks, it seems like no matter how much I try, I end up having to spend. No matter that they are necessities, sometimes it just feels bad when large chunks of cash are going out and not the other way around.

Whether because of my own sloth or not, I managed to skip the weekly grocery shopping and just pull from my pantry and back of my fridge. It’s a bit challenging what with the kids needing constant snacks (those are the first things needing replenishing, always) but somehow we managed. Today we are down to the bare minimum, and a shopping trip is definitely required, but it was nice to empty out the pantry a bit and know that there is nothing moldering in the back corners.

And then, and then…I went online to shop for a new car seat. My littlest is finally about to outgrow her bucket seat (alas!) and it’s time for the next iteration. I have been mulling it over for quite a while because I want to be smart about it, I don’t want any unnecessary mid-step that will have to then be replaced again to the tune of several more hundreds of dollars. So, I did some calculating and realized that I can put my one year old into the seat my three year old currently uses, because it does have the rear-facing ability even though we aren’t using that for our eldest anymore. So…I can switcheroo her to a new car seat that will be a 3 in 1, ( it converts from a harnessed forward facing, to a booster with head support, to just a booster- the last car seat we’ll need to purchase for her essentially). Ta da! And it will also solve the problem of my eldest feeling jealous if she sees her baby sister get a new seat, we get to skip that drama all together- yay! And would you know what? Amazon prompted me to use my rewards points on a Discover card I haven’t use in a long time. I remembered suddenly that we probably did have a bunch of points because we’d done a lot of house reno purchases on that card, thinking we could redeem for flights to Canada…which turned out to not be so because Air Canada and thus it’s US affiliates don’t accept Discover ( long story). So those had been useless points to us.

Until now.

So…I got the whole car seat with just our points and with some to spare! Score!

So yeah, I’m feelin’ pretty good about that.

It also helps that I have extremely generous family. This week my mum-in-law paid for another round of music classes for the girls. No small chunk of change that is.

And then my sister-in-law went ahead and got some dance classes for my eldest.

I’m feeling really blessed right now.

 

Thursday, Mid-to Late Week Update:

I am so past my posting date that this is turning into a twofer. I’m not sure why, as it nears the end of this challenging, getting my posts up in time seems to get harder and harder…

So, after all that thriftiness I wrote about up there… well, I went to Ikea with my Aunt and the girls and did a small splurge. Some was necessary: art supplies we were running low on. At this stage, the girls just sort of make a mess with paint, and use too much, and wast the stuff, so Ikea’s paint and brushes are amazing for low budget supplies.

But then there was the splurge stuff, like the cloud shaped light I wanted for C’s room to complete the look. And a twin sized duvet with cover that matches the room. Not a necessity but a heart/completing-the-vision sort of need.

I won’t go into all the details. Suffice it to say that, there is still some “ping back” from being thrifty. When I do a good job of resisting, often I then unconsciously want to reward myself, and thus a small spending spree. I don’t know what to say about that. I feel like those ping backs are getting smaller; and I can recognize them for what they are.

I’ve also (if we’re here confessing) been obsessing over Blundstone boots. For some reason I have gotten it in my head that these would be the perfect boots for me as a mom: I like the golden brown ankle boot look, they are super long-lasting and durable, all weather for this climate and they pull on. I’ve gone browsing for them more than once. Luckily nothing has been in my size if they have the style I like, or vice verce. I’ve even gone as far as fantasizing that I’d eliminate 5 pairs of shoes if I got those. I’ve then sat staring at all the shoes I already possess in order to talk myself down. This is the first purchasing obsession I’ve had in a while. I will let you know how it all works out…so far I’m winning…I think…

 

S

Week 39: The Urge is Strong in this One

One always hopes, when one takes on a challenge such as this, that one will be somehow miraculously changed by it.

39 weeks in, with…um, quick math…13 more weeks to go, and I can honestly say that I do not see huge changes in my desire for “things”. Perhaps it is because it is a long game that I am playing, this isn’t some 30 day challenge, this is a year with small changes, set-backs and minor improvements.

I didn’t start out as some spending junky with a credit card debt I was trying to get out from under. No, I have always been what one might consider a moderate spender (though, to my husband, who considers any purchase unnecessary, he might have begged to differ…though he never has complained nor commented out loud).

What, then was I hoping to achieve? Well, really, I was hoping to dig deep. To find the source of my Needs and Wants. What motivates me to want to spend? Why do I feel remorse or worse, apathy towards the items I do acquire?

So yes, if I look at that, I can see clear positive results. I rarely purchase something I regret these days. Most items have been carefully considered, evaluated for the “love” factor, and approved if they actually do make it into our home.

What troubles me, though, is that through all of this, I still continue to have the urge to buy things. I still Want things though I am pretty quick to narrow down whether I need it.

Oddly, euphoria and joy are still connected to the immediate desire to get something new. This is something I observed many months back, and the other day, was surprised to discover that the case is no different now.

I think I was feeling content over observing my girls at play. I was just feeling pure joy at their presence and the joy of feeling Present with them. And then, I caught myself thinking that my eldest really did need a few long sleeve shirts, and wouldn’t it be nice if my littlest had a few leggings that were new and not hand-me-downs. What cute patterns might be on sale? I suddenly felt excited that I might get to buy something for them.

And then I caught these thoughts and analysed them and really just couldn’t believe that they had entered my head. It went like this… “wait…really? REALLY Sharolyn?! You are so happy with your girls you want to BUY them clothes? For whom is this for? Look at them. Look at them rolling on the floor giggling. Did you even notice what they are wearing? Does it have any connection to the happiness you are feeling right now? Do they look like they want clothes? You know they are probably, in the next 30 minutes or so, going to find some excuse to completely take off all the clothes they are currently wearing despite how cold it is in this house. And you want to buy them clothes? For what? Why? Why. Just breath woman. Find reason again.”

So, I was able to ride that one out.

The good news is, that with two in tow, one rarely if ever can actually follow through with an urge like that. Yes, I could have gone on-line, but good on me, it never occurred. Instead, I just breathed through it and let it go. For now.

I suppose that is all we can ever do.

I am disappointed that I still have these urges, but I guess, ultimately it is what you do with them that counts. In this case, what I didn’t do.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Week 32: Media Ban?

Week 32: Media Ban?

So, I don’t think it’s just me. Since the election, I think a lot of people were triggered to activate their compulsive behavior. I read a lot of facebook updates where people were choosing food (and drink ) as their comfort. I cannot exclude myself from that group. The nutritional content of my meals have been questionable at best, and there was a definite spike in my sugar intake. I also have a handy bottle of wine at the ready. A definite F it approach to life has taken hold.

I would be interested to see the statistics on shopping in America post election as well.

But okay, enough. I need to stop talking about the election aka E day, because seriously, my head is going to pop off.

This week I seriously considered a media ban. Not because I want to be uninformed, but because there is TOO MUCH information and opinions flying about. I also can’t stop compulsively re-posting  articles here and there that encapsulate my thoughts in more coherent ways than I can …which tend to be very satisfying rants. Again, we probably don’t need more of that in our feeds. I can get sucked into it for hours, but much like a cold overcast day, or a burger bun that turns to mush mid consumption, it affects my mood. I found myself feeling impatient and being short with my kids. Yes, what is going on in our world right now is important, and I can’t turn a total blind eye, but my kids truly do come first (I am also acutely aware that we may not have a world left for our kids due to this Armageddon…but like I said, enough! Enough.) ( Oh gad I SO want to rant right now…but self restraint…)

I did not, in fact, ban myself from all media. But I did do away with the smart phone at night. That in itself had a great impact as I actually managed to fall asleep without stressful thoughts whirling around in my head ( since E day I’ve been waking up in cold sweats and/or not sleeping much at all). I also am starting to think that putting my opinion up on a feed is just the most passive way to get involved. I think that yes we need to have strong opinions and yes we need to fight, but it’s going to have to be something more tangible, something in the physical realm. My mind is still trying to sort it all out, what can I, as a mom of two wee ones, do to be actively fighting/protesting what is to come?  I’ll let you know what I arrive at (okay, no more politics, my mom will kill me. I don’t blame her for worrying that dissenters will be flagged. Seriously, this shit is getting scary.)

Deep breath. New topic.

I love people. I love being around people and eating good food. Arguably, perhaps I started to overload my schedule with play dates and dinners with guests, which all ads to the impact on the wallet, but by god it is a NECESSITY. So yes, I have been to the grocery store a few too many times (read: every other day) this past and current week…and yes I will be right back at it tomorrow since it’s Thanksgiving in two days, but it’s all been food. For the love of food and company. It’s good for the soul.

My one comfort splurge arrived in the mail this past week. 20161122_081839.jpgIt has already been put to good use. It is so awesome to have so many songs at my finger tips. It definitely helped me get into my happy place more than once this week. And it does the spirit good seeing my littles sing along and dance and clap while I play.

I also received a most delightful care package from my Auntie in Canada. Some great clothes for the kids as well as a Derek Alexander bag for me; one that I had coveted while visiting in Canada. It’s pretty much the perfect bag, black and nondescript, easy to wipe clean, with SO many useful pockets. I can have dipes and wipes in one pocket and then my own personal items in another, with tons more left for whatever. Two water bottles fit on either side. Anyway, it’s perfect. I am so spoiled. And last week or the week before I mentioned how others doing similar challenges don’t even accept gifts from family or friends…I can say that I am definitely not playing by those rules! Thanks Auntie!!20161122_083352.jpg

And now, because it’s Thanksgiving week and Nana has the kids ( and I am already two days late in posting) I bid you adieu and try to get some things done that I might not otherwise be able to!!

Week 28: The View Will Cost You

Week 28: The View Will Cost You

I’m so behind on this week’s blog I considered just skipping it and combining it with next week. I feel like it is getting harder to find time to write than it was just a few months ago. Or maybe it’s flagging enthusiasm for this challenge?

Yet I soldier on because I do not want to be a quitter. I have started to think about what all this will have meant once this one year challenge is over. Will I have gained any knowledge about how I operate as a consumer? Will I have learned to tighten my belt? Will there be any significant changes in the way I spend money? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions.

Right now I am feeling both grateful for my life and the plenty that I am surrounded with and I am also stressed by the on-going financial issues that our medical bills from a few months back continues to plague us with. I am reminded of how lucky we are to manage to get away for the weekend, as we just did, on a mini family vacation to Yosemite. At the same time, I am frightened by how costly that ended up being and feeling slight guilt over that (more on that in a bit).

I’m essentially an internal mess. I want to be frugal and thrifty, yet time and again we end up spending. I am caught between wanting to be content with only the bare minimum and finding that sometimes spending is not only just necessary but sanity fortifying. I wonder if we are being wise to enjoy our money now despite challenges, or foolish and should be more cautious and knuckle down and save, save, save. I do not want to be a foolhardy millennial living off of credit like there’s no tomorrow. I think it’s safe to say that that is not the case, but sometimes I feel as though we teeter on that brink.

Last week I did some online shopping for “essentials” thinking that I was being efficient with my time and energy (my time is worth something, too, right?). Well, as it turns out, some items were not exactly right. Now, I had to deal with the rigmarole of returns. Essentially, I ended up settling for ‘less-than-exactly-right’ items and gave another item to a friend’s kid rather than make that effort to repackage and pay for return shipping. What I have learned from that is, a physical store is still preferred despite the effort involved hauling the kids with me.

I will also confess to cute, sparkly, holiday appropriate shoes that I impulse bought for my girls. There was definitely no need there. I thought perhaps that I would use them in our yearly photo shoot ( my internal spending trickster came up with that one!), but have decided on a theme that actually will not include sparkly shoes. Sooo…I have been staring at those shoes, set right by the door with tags on, debating and debating. To return or not. Every time I think, ‘ok, I’ll return these’, I envision my littlest running around with those sparkly Mary Janes and she looks so CUUTE. But, when it comes time to take off the tags, I can’t. Maybe I will change my mind and want to return them….20161025_185125.jpg

So, they sit there yet. My eldest’s sparkly shoes with the tag on have made it as far as the trunk of my car ( she has a pair of shiny shoes already)…now to look for the receipt. I don’t know why this is so gosh darn hard for me. Honestly. And in accordance with the rules I laid out when I started this challenge, if I am unable to return items I’ve spent frivolously on, I need to give away items. So, I will focus on that. More purging is in order!

And about Yosemite this weekend. It was amazing. It is one of the most picturesque places one could ever hope to visit. It is definitely something as many people as possible should see. It also happens to be one of the most expensive State Parks one could visit. For a two night stay in their tent cabins (camping sites were already booked up when we booked  a few months ago) we were out almost $400. Then take into account that you aren’t allowed to cook there (lots of bears, drought with the potential for fires) so you need to buy dinners at approx $35 per meal for two adults and two kids. Also, the gas to travel 5.5 hours in both directions. Also, a $30 entrance fee for any and all visitors to Yosemite. All told we were looking at about $600. Now, the reason we like to camp is because it is the most affordable way to have a vacation. This did not fall into that category. It really did not. But we went with friends and they were all in and so were we. We had an absolutely marvelous time. The girls loved it. I loved the ease of having a cabin with beds, a bear box, a working light, and no food clean-up. It was quite fantastic. Aaand it is something we will not be repeating for quite some time!! So, yeah, there’s some guilt, but there is also gratitude for the fact that we could do it at all. 20161022_072900.jpg20161022_171652.jpg

So, what is this blog all about this week? I dunno. A sort of confessional. And I feel the need to admit that I am really feeling quite embarrassed about all of this. I set out to do this “no needless spending” thing with a lot of enthusiasm and optimism. As it turns out, I feel like I have been failing at it quite miserably. I am embarrassed that more often than not this has been a list of my failures. Why does it matter? It just does. I know that this blog is mostly just talking into the wind, but for the few of you who are reading (for which I am grateful) I want to be able to say that I am making progress, that something is shifting within me. I want answers to my query: why do I want to spend? I will have to just end with no answers, as yet, reached.

love and gratitude.

S

 

 

Week 25: In Which a Mess Gets Messier before the Clean gets…Clean(i)er.

Week 25: In Which a Mess Gets Messier before the Clean gets…Clean(i)er.

Let’s start with the highs, shall we?

I realize that my language around shopping has decreased significantly. I do allow myself to talk with others about retail related things, but it definitely doesn’t dominate. I don’t go out of my way, anymore, to ask where someone got something or comment on how cute an outfit is. It’s not that I don’t think it, but I choose not to make that a feature. I realize that my kid is listening, ALL THE TIME. I don’t want her to fall into that trap. Right now she is having so much fun experimenting with her own style, layering in whatever which way takes her fancy. It’s more about the independence of choice and the ability to dress herself that is the draw ( not how “cute” she looks) and I want to keep it that way for as long as possible. So, that is an added motivation, besides trying to un brainwash my spendy self, to not talk about buying things or focus on material things.

Okay, another high is that I felt no urges to shop this week. I got only the basics. Even went into the lions den, Costco, with a friend, and though we admitted that it was a house of temptation, neither of us left with anything frivolous. ( Side note, if you are a Costco fan please check out my Aunts blog: My Costco Odyssey. She has just set out on an adventure to visit at least one Costco per State, documenting their individual peculiarities and qualities.)

Heck, even had a date night with the hubs and we both agreed that while our previous date night had been a hoot, we couldn’t go around throwing down a hundred per date night…so we went super cheapo, brought a thermos of hot water with us, biked to the local Safeway for some cup ramiens and Ghirardelli chocolates and then spent hours biking around our neighborhood and surrounding area. We ended up at our local State Park where there was a nice picnic table repleat with view of trees and setting sun, where we chatted and noshed on spicey ramien. Then, we went to our local Tap Room to use a generous gift certificate my hubs got a while back from his sister and bro-in-law, and had a nice saunter home,  in the dark, eating Takis and cheesy Ruffles chips from bags tucked in our pockets while we pushed our bikes homeward (no biking tipsy in the dark!).

There actually isn’t truly a low to report, just that in my continuing effort to purge and sort (a looooong, drawn out process) I finally launched into Mission : Sort the Kids’ Clothes. Now, it’s all fine and dandy that I Kon Mari-ed my own wardrobe many months back and have all the clothes I possess visible to me in my closet. But, the kids clothes are a whole different story. It’s messy. When my oldest grows too big for her clothes, I put it away in storage until they fit my little one. Now, the sheer quantity of clothing my first born received from ages 0-24 months is staggering, though not at all news to any mom I’ve met…and I totally get it…dressing a baby is so FUN ( and I am truly grateful to family for providing so much for us). But there is definitely an element of stress in there for me, trying to keep all of those items in rotation, making sure they are all used and enjoyed. Do you KNOW how many items of baby clothes are in one full load of wash? A LOT. On a good day I don’t enjoy folding or putting away my own clothes; now take that amount and quadruple it at least…now add a rambunctious toddler and a baby alternately clinging and crying while holding my leg and/or unfolding what I’ve just folded and sorted and you can start to see what I’m dealing with. I have been known to leave a load of laundry, washed and dried in the dryer for upwards of five days…because I have no baskets…because they are full of another load of dirty clothes and/or I have folded and sorted clothes waiting to be put into their correct drawers. God help me.

Soooo. I really wanted to finally go through all the clothes my girls possess, assess and de-stress (TM) (just kidding) by eliminating. Okay…so turns out I am not as good at eliminating items when it comes to my kids clothes. For one, they are cute. For another, they contain memories. And for another, I know where each and every one came from…mostly loving aunts and grandmas.  AAAANNND, let’s not forget that these girls require multiple changes a day. So…all this ads up to me not being able to get rid of anything that currently fits either of them. Even the stained stuff….because they are just going to keep dirtying it.

What I could do was remove the items they no longer fit. This actually required a huge switcheroo. The giant dresser that my eldest used to house the massive amounts of clothes up to size 24 months now  started to feel empty as she handed down her clothes to my little one…and vice versa, my little one now has too much clothes to fit in her small dresser. A switch was needed. That’s what I did. I spent a good chunk of Saturday making the switch. Not a small feat.

I’ve been wanting to set up my girls room for a while in a way that makes it her space and feels special. I abandoned the make-over aspect of it because of budget, so that will have to come later, but I did get my hubby to help think up a way to make it so that she can access her own clothes. He had seen this nifty life hack somewhere on Reddit or something, making our unused crib (both kids never slept in it) something of value, finally (and FYI, for all your worriers out there, it is screwed to the wall. I’m married to a cabinet maker, after all!). All you moms out there know what this means of course, that I will forever be picking up clothes as she moves from outfit to outfit throughout the day…but it’s a small price to pay.20161002_090156.jpg

Now, as to the clothes that I could move on out ( I possess a small collection of baby clothes and favored items that I am keeping for posterity) I am planning to consign them…or at least, the ones that are not destroyed by food stains and over use. This is my one way of hopefully recouping some additional value from all of this, an attempt at least, before it all makes its way to the goodwill. And it does feel good to have some cash in hand. I also have quite a few girl friends who are expecting, so, if they let me, I will hand over some of my most favorite items to them…but most likely they will already be drowning in their own avalanche of clothes…so not sure if my gift would be more of a stress than anything. Hard to say. We certainly do live in a world of excess when it comes to clothing, and the baby industry is a huge culprit. We might be able to resist buying clothes for ourselves, but when it comes to those gosh darn adorable baby/toddler outfits, it’s neigh on impossible to resist.

…though I must say it was not hard to resist today when I walked into JC Penny’s to see if they had ballet slippers ( my aunt wants to give a pair to my eldest who loves tutus and dancing) and possibly rain boots. I took a look at those price tags and almost had a heart attack. Forty five dollar tops and dresses! Even the sale stuff was still way too much. And at those prices, I’d rather be buying from someone local rather than from a big corporation making their stuff overseas. It was not hard to walk out of there at all! Okay, it was a little hard because my littles were enticed by all the colors and sights, so I had to lure them with the joy of taking the escalator…which was, it turns out, very exciting.

That’s all for now. Goodnight.