A Toddler’s New Threads

This blog post will serve as a reminder to my younger daughter that I don’t always dress her in hand-me-downs. Most of the time yes, but not always.

Hello Kitty Haute Couture

This Hello Kitty outfit is not only brand spanking new, my girly girl 3 1/2-year-old picked it out all on her own. This was not a completely unselfish act on my part to take my youngest child on a special shopping excursion. Nope, I needed some of my own retail therapy, so I schlepped Carrie along with me to Nordstrom Rack. I promised her new clothes if she quietly played with her Barbie in the dressing room while I tried on about a dozen pair of pants. It worked like a charm. Unlike the last time I brought my kids with me while I shopped for clothes, this time there were no embarrassing comments.  We both got what we wanted. I got pants and she got a rare new clothing purchase from Mom.

As much as I sometimes feel Carrie gets the shaft, I know that’s more the perception than the reality. While this may be one of the very few new outfits I bought for her, she has some very generous grandparents who make sure this budding fashionista gets plenty of clothes that don’t come from bins in my garage.

Carrie is by far the girliest of my three daughters. While her sisters are content to build things out of Legos or play school, she is obsessed with dolls, Barbies specifically.  It’s like pulling teeth which aren’t the tiniest bit loose to get Olivia and Erin to wear a dress without complaining, but Carrie loves everything about them, especially twirling around in front of the mirror asking anyone within earshot, “Don’t I look cute?” She of course knows the answer to that question as she flashes that one-dimpled smile.

Costco Cart Voyeur

Oh the wonderful world of Costco. I always find it fascinating to see what people will buy on their Costco trips, and tonight’s excursion did not disappoint.  Even before I grabbed my own cart and walked through the entrance, I saw a couple pushing a flat-bed cart with a huge flat screen T.V, chicken stock, and canned tuna. Huh? I mean who goes shopping for a T.V, and then decides they also need chicken stock and canned tuna, and Costco sized ones at that?

All I needed was some fruit for tomorrow’s preschool party so by all accounts my cart looked pretty darn boring. I don’t think anyone would wonder how I could pair watermelon and strawberries. Well, I also had some mushrooms in my cart, which was technically an impulse buy so I guess some people may question the Costco sized mushrooms.

The checkout line is really when I check out what people are purchasing, and the guy in front of me may have had the greatest cart full of supplies that I have ever seen. He had six bottles of wine, a Costco sized bottle of whiskey, a Costco pizza, two giant Listerine bottles, gum, toothbrushes, camera gear, and beef jerky. Yep. Beef jerky. That is simply an inspiring cart. I don’t eat beef jerky, but Van is a big fan. I would have taken a picture of this cornucopia of Costco consumerism, but I didn’t want to freak out the dude.

Analyzing what people buy during a typical trip to Costco would be a great study of American consumerism.  Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s already a study underway looking at just that, however I did a quick Google search and didn’t find anything. Even better would be a Costco reality show called Costco Cart Voyeur. I know I’d watch!

“Mom, Why Don’t Those Jeans Fit Over Your Butt?”

Yes, those words came out of one of my daughter’s mouth today. If nothing else, that question should serve as an eternal reminder to me that I should always shop for jeans alone. And bathing suits. And bras.

It’s the last day of Spring Break and I thought I deserved a reward, so I packed them all up in the car for a trip to Nordstrom Rack. I figured I could do some shopping of my own after we did some retail therapy for them first. I thought wrong. I really don’t know what I was thinking. I’ve been a mom for eight years. I should know better.

After we  picked out some mighty cute clothes and flip-flops for the girls, we made our way to the size 6.5 shoe row. Once there, they proceeded to pick out the most heinous shoes for me, as well as hurl the discarded ones to the floor.  My apologies to the Nordstrom Rack staff. I did manage to find a pair of shoes, and then steered the girls to women’s jeans.

Every woman knows shopping for jeans is no easy task. Now, imagine trying to do it with three kids sitting, staring, and judging as you try to wiggle your way into pair, after pair, after pair, and that job becomes infinitely more difficult and downright depressing. I grabbed about six pair of jeans, along with three very opinionated girls into the dressing room with me. While I’m happy they don’t have any problem expressing themselves, I’d love for them to shut their traps while I’m half-naked in a dressing room with no sound walls.

Here are some other memorable quotes from them:

“Mom, your skin is bulging through those skinny jeans.”

“Are they supposed to look like that on you?”

“I see your underwear.”

“Please, please, please, let these jeans fit so we can leave.”

Alas, none of the jeans worked out and I left the dressing room trying not to look the sales people in the eye. I pray I never have to bring the girls along with me again while shopping for jeans, but if I do, I’ll remind them that I carried each of them in my body for nine months, and that’s why those jeans don’t fit over my butt.

Padded Bikini Tops for 8-year-olds?!!!!

I won’t be stepping out this swimsuit season wearing a padded push-up bikini, and I don’t want my nearly 8-year-old doing so either! However, Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t see anything wrong with little girls wearing  itsy-bitsy teeny weeny padded bikini tops, and  started selling them to the 2nd grade set at Abercrombie Kids.

Ashley Push up triangle bikini

Dozens of blogs, including The Mommy Files on SFGate, took to the web to publicly decry this insane idea, and apparently Abercrombie & Fitch has taken notice.

If you go to their website now, the kids clothing company no longer calls the Ashley bikini a push up triangle. It’s now called a striped triangle, and Abercrombie Kids has also removed padded from the description. And oh yeah, it’s now on sale for $18.38.  I’m no prude, but what company in its right mind would really think to market a push up bikini to girls who have nothing to push up? Do we really need our young girls looking older than they are? I don’t know about you, but I’m in no hurry to see my 2nd grader looking like a 7th grader. I’m already dreading those years, so why would I have her get an early start on it?

Abercrombie & Fitch has long been known to push the limits with its scantily clad models, but it has not hurt its bottom line. In fact, earlier this month, the company’s stock hit a 52-week high. I’m not sure if all this negative publicity will hurt its business, but I for one sure hope so. It looks like A&F took quick action by rephrasing its description of the new bikini top, but if the company was really serious, it would pull the swimsuit tops from its stores.

I don’t think my daughter knows about Abercrombie Kids, and after this bikini stunt, I’m sure not going to be telling her about it. Like most things though, I’m sure she’ll find out about it soon enough from her friends. Thank goodness her school has a dress code.

Bunk Bed Shopping

Gone are the days of shopping for nice adult furniture. No, when you have three kids who are constantly growing, you’re destined to end up in a Mancini’s Sleep World shopping for bunk beds, where a smarmy, bald salesman will try with all his might to sell us a  bunk bed and 2 mattresses for the low low price of $1200.  This shopping excursion included the entire family, and it took maybe about 15 seconds for the girls to start hopping on as many beds as they could. Admittedly, it was kind of cute, but I did feel a bit like one of those neglectful parents who left their children to run amok unattended in a store. Every few minutes either Van or I would corral the girls before they got loose again.

We spent a good 45 minutes checking out the various bunk beds, while the smarmy salesman tried to close the deal. We told him we were going to continue looking, so he sent in the veteran smarmy salesman who kept talking about patented bunk beds and mattress coil sizes. I had to walk away, and not because the kids were running amok again. OK they were, but the dude was really so over the top, I couldn’t handle it. I hate negotiating even when the salesman isn’t creeping me out, and this guy was creeping me out.

The whole reason we ended up at Mancini’s is because Carrie’s still in a crib. She’s almost 3, and still in a crib. She’s also the third kid, so we’re obviously in no hurry to take her out of the cage. She doesn’t try to escape, at least not yet. However, even though she’ll always be our baby, she’s ready for her big girl bed, even if we’re not ready.

So we left Mancini’s today, but I know we’ll be back, and it will probably be tomorrow.