Whatcha Wanna Know?

I thought I'd answer a few burning (or not) questions I've received recently in my email inbox or comments...

From Julia:

Where do you find such cute clothes for your kids?

Thanks, Julia, for noticing!  Ok - I've struggled to confess my secret here... but since I'm pretty sure the only ones who are reading today are related to me maybe it's ok.
If you happen to read this, please don't hurry over to ebay & steal all my good deals!
So I pretty much buy the majority of my kids' clothing on ebay.  I know the high end brands I love and I know I don't want to pay high end prices.  I forget bibs at meals and we play outside and we have a dog who plays with my kids and basically, I don't want to tell my children they can't play because they are in nice clothes. But, I find that nice clothes hold up better for playful children and, honestly, I really like dressing my kids cute.
So - I search on ebay for those brands I love in the size I need and then I bid.  I typically pay maybe $8-10 per item with maybe $3 shipping.  Ya'll.  $15 for a pair of very good pants is a steal!  Usually, I get them NWT but sometimes I do buy used.  I also will search "smocked" with a size or "applique" with a size.  You know I love smocked clothes.
(Sidenote - this was my first holiday season to NOT dress my little boy in smocked clothes.
Moment of silence please.)

(Thank goodness I have a little girl I can deck out in smocked clothes for years and years. :))

(Don't worry.  I made sure all of his nice holiday shirts were monogrammed.)

Ok.  I'm recovered.  I do love smocked clothing on boys and girls.  I also love applique and my four year old is not too old for that, thank goodness!

I also love monograms.  I'm known in the local monogram shop down the street as the girl who buys clothes off of ebay.  I just was in there today and picked up four items I had monogrammed - so stinking cute & so cheap altogether!  I monogram Will's nice church shirts, polo shirts, button downs, and Ellie's shirts and dresses, overalls, jumpers, etc.  I just love a monogram on an item of clothing - must be the Southern girl in me.

Plus, I can take a cheaply purchased item and make it look more custom or expensive with a simple monogram!

So- total, I may spend up to $15/item on ebay and then I have it monogrammed for $4.50-8/item.  Not bad!

(As a side note - since my kids are pretty small, I'm finding that I get about 2 seasons of clothes out of many items.  Ellie is still wearing dresses she wore last spring in many cases and Will can still fit into his size 18 month shorts and 3T shirts... just another reason I'm okay with buying high quality clothes.  In fact, Will has worn one of his monogrammed swimsuits for 3 summers!  I do pay more for quality swimsuits.  We swim the heck out of our summer, we have looooong summers, & we go to the beach so we are hard on swimsuits & I want quality ones... plus when they fit for 3 years, that's a good deal!)

Also - I will spend more usually on holiday clothes.  And I'm okay with that too as I know I will be taking lots of pictures of my kids in their Easter clothes or Christmas outfits.  And I will frame many of those pictures or use it for cards or whatever so I'm okay with spending a little more on those outfits.  I still come out way cheaper.

Funny story - one time, I was in a high end boutique and trying on a shirt I loved but I couldn't justify spending so much money on it.  So I went to ebay on my phone, found the same brand, NWT for 1/3 the price of the boutique's... and hit "buy now."  I had it by the end of the week and love that shirt - especially since I didn't pay as much money for it!

I also look for great deals in local stores.  But, I don't really like shopping & much prefer to do it from my computer so to go to a store, I have to be looking for something in particular & know I'm going to find a great deal and to have the free time to do that between therapies, nap schedules, doctors, etc.  A friend, Kate, sent me to a great store recently that sells smocked clothing at 25% off and the day I went, it was buy 1, get 2 free!  That is a deal!
Prior to Ellie's birth, I was so afraid that she wouldn't live long that I never registered for or purchased clothes that were any older than 6months size.  Once her geneticist reassured me that he felt like she would live, I began to need some clothes & I needed clothes that I could easily get on her with splints and casts.  Someone sent me information about a local sale for a high end applique children's clothing company that was having a $5 sale.  It was amazing & I got lots of great items for both kids - including that year's Thanksgiving, Easter, & Fourth of July outfits for both kids - at only $5/each!
My advice?  Go online to some of the great home based clothing lines that sell beautiful clothes and get on the mailing list so you know when sales are coming to your town!

Finally, I shop clearance at high end stores I like - online!  I know how old my kids will be and roughly what size for any given season so I often buy things on clearance and save it.  Just today, I picked up a beautiful Kelly's Kids outfit I bought over a year ago on clearance from their website.  It will finally fit Ellie this spring and I had it monogrammed today.  It cost me less than $10 total and most of that was paid over a year ago.

PS - I should also mention that many of my kids' super cute items come from great, generous shoppers in our family with an eye for beautiful clothes!  Each holiday (& sometimes inbetween just for fun!)  they do receive some beautiful items as gifts.

Brands I love:  Kelly's Kids, Ragsland, Castles and Crowns, Petit Freur/Soeur, Remember Nguyen, Funtasia, Janie & Jack, Hanna Andersson, CrewCuts, Boden, Tea, Heartstrings, Kissy Kissy, Orient Expressed (& more but I can't go check tags right now because precious little people are napping & I'm not about to disturb them and risk waking them no matter how much I appreciate you & would like to share this info with you.)

Here's a question for you!  I love smocked and monogrammed clothing.  (Have I mentioned that?)  I can't bear to part with them and I'm not sure what to do with them.  I do have one outfit each framed in our home but I don't really want to frame lots of clothes.  I've thought about having some of them cut up and pieced together in pillows...
anyone seen anything cool done with baby clothes?
I will be saving some for grandbabies.  Ellie has lots of antique dresses from our family and I just love that!)


From :)De and Bryn too-

What is the purpose of taping & splinting Ellie & how do you do it?

Ellie has arthrogryposis.  This means that her joints have a limited range of motion.  Ellie is affected in her limb joints in all four limbs.   (This means shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knuckles as well as hips, knees, ankles, and toe knuckles (?).)

Secondary to AMC, Ellie was born with bilateral club feet.

There are several different methods for correcting club feet.  Most common is the Ponsetti method.
We chose to do the French Method of Physiotherapy.  We have a variety of reasons for that which you can read some of here. (Also, there's a fun pic there of all Ellies' splints from her first year!)

For our family, for Ellie, & for her diagnosis, it seemed the best option.

So - the French Method involves daily stretching exercises and therapies and taping along with these plastic, custom made splints in an effort to reposition the feet.
Here's a post I wrote on how it is done.  (Goodness!  She was so tiny!!)

Now, I do the taping at home.  She uses a lot more tape now then she did way back then!  I do it probably 5 times a week.  The splinting is done at the hospital still.

Have a question about anything at all?  Leave it in the comments and I'll try to answer it soon!

1 thoughts:

Kristin said...

You should check out 'smockaholics by smocked auctions' page on Facebook... It would be worth setting up a shopping only account on Facebook, if you don't have one, to check it out. It is where moms sell their gently used smocked dresses, shirts, bubbles, etc for real cheap. Like $10-25 dollars each, shipping included. All done through PayPal.

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