Monday, May 20, 2013

Once (Or Twice...Or Infinity) Upon a Child

Confession:  I'm addicted.

Something has a hold of me, and try as I might, I just can't shake it.

My mind is consumed...

Weekends are spend pursuing my craving...

I spend money to feed the beast, but nothing seems to fully satisfy the need...

I get more and more, and it's still not enough...

The rumors are true:

My name is Courtney, and I am a baby-clothes-a-holic.
Whew. I feel better already.

When Piper was born, I tried really hard to be reasonable. I barely bought anything before she arrived (even though we knew she was a she...which required extra resistance to avoid splurging on adorable dresses). And when she was little, I still kept my spending in check, appreciating all the beautiful gifts people got us.

As she grew out of the 3-6 month stage it became a little more necessary to stock up on some outfits, but I still had a pretty practical mindset. We knew we wanted more kids someday, so any purchase would hopefully not be a waste, but without knowing the gender of hypothetical future kids (and keeping in mind they were in fact, still hypothetical) I tried to buy only the necessities, and keep it as gender neutral as possible.

I believe "tried" is the key word there.

I think there is a baby shopping gene, and I have inherited it (from my mom's side, if we want to start the finger pointing). Though I made effort to be practical, I could feel myself getting sucked in to the teeny tiny world of baby fashionistas.

And I have to be honest- now that we are actually having another baby, and that other baby is a GIRL, the wheels have pretty much fallen off. I can rationalize pretty much every shopping trip, dividing the cost in half because surely I won't have to buy anything for the next baby. All of my Piper Purchases now can serve double duty! It's silly not to stock up!!

I kid, slightly. I'm not to the level of needing an intervention. Our bills haven't gotten out of control, I can still fit all of Piper's wardrobe in her closet, and she actually wears at least  75% of everything I've amassed over the last year or so. (That's good, right?!) But I do at least realize it's a pretty silly obsession. I'm not one of those moms that needs my child to look perfect, in brand new duds every day. But I am one of those moms that can't walk away from a sale bin of shoes, regardless of how many nearly identical pairs she already owns. (We've come a long way from the days of a search for a few solid pairs...and then again...we haven't).

It's truly not about showing off, or presenting some sort of perfect image to the world. It's really just that I'm kind of obsessed with grown-up fashion shrunk down to little bitty sizes. And animals on butts. And footie pajamas. If you're under 3, I can't get enough of that stuff. I don't buy things to dress her up and parade her like a doll. I buy things to dress her up and eat her up with a spoon she's so cute. But no, I don't hate that she looks presentable for the daily photo ops I force her into.

So yes, I probably buy Piper a few too many outfits. She probably doesn't need another pair of jeggings (though truth be told:  they are the only truly fool-proof option for the mornings Dustin dresses her-which is nearly always-so backups are helpful). We could probably get by with less, do a bit more laundry, and stop caring if she repeats/clashes/doesn't look like a miniature model in my instagram feed.

BUT- I have a least one rule that keeps me from flying off the deep end:

I don't buy anything full price. 

Never. (unless some sort of extenuating circumstances force me to. Such as: those jammies are so cute and I just have to have them....)

I wait for 30% off sales at Old Navy, and stalk the clearance racks at Target, but my favorite deal source- by far- is Once Upon a Child.

OH- you guys. This place is my jam. If you're not familiar, it's a resale shop just for kids. We have a few here in Pittsburgh, and several in Columbus. They buy used clothes (for like a penny per item....hardly worth it, in my experience), and resell them at a pretty discounted rate (compared to new). They're pretty strict on quality, so most things are in great condition, and sometimes they even have the original tags. It's become my new routine to hit them up every six months or so, and do a full wardrobe seasonal stock up. Plus, they have a loyalty card that can earn additional discounts after so many purchases. It's like deals on top of more deals, on top of baby clothes, on top of more baby clothes. So, yeah. I'm in. (Disclosure: Once Upon a Child has no idea who I am, or that I'm bothering to write this, so alas- I'm not getting a kickback from them.)

I thought it would be fun to share my most recent haul- Piper's Summer Stock Up:

I went in with one toddler + one 20% off coupon, and came out with:
  • 10 tank tops
  • 11 short sleeve tops
  • 4 pairs of pants
  • 9 pairs of shorts (I ended up returning two...but then bought others, so we'll call that a wash)
  • 4 skirts
  • 4 dresses
  • 4 rompers
  • 1 jacket
  • 4 pairs of shoes (for a friend! I swear! except, ok, maybe I kept one pair after they didn't fit the intended recipient....)
  • 1 cranky baby (I may have pushed the limits of how long a 1.5yr old can sift through clothing racks. She did really well, all things considered...)
Check it out:

And for those of you who are geeked about the math of it all (me, Dustin...) that's 51 total items.

Impressive tally. But more impressive? The grand total was $128.40.

People. That's $2.52 per item. I'm not sorry anymore. I'm proud.

As addictions go, it could be much, much worse. I mean...just look at the side effects:


  1. We don't have a Once Upon A Child, but we do have a children's consignment store that I love too. I've never gotten as much for as cheap as you did though!

    1. It was a pretty good trip. Sometimes it's hit or miss, but I had to narrow it down this time because there was so much good stuff!

  2. This post made me laugh. Animals on butts! I feel addicted too! I can't rationalize any spending yet because we have SO much from our baby shower. But when she gets older...

    1. That's what I'm saying! I could resist for while, but now I neeeeeeeeeed things! :)

  3. If you see my kid wearing clothes, chances are it's either a hand-me-down, or from Once Upon A Child!!! Love that place! We're moving into the Plato's Closet years (consignment for big kids/teens). I need to find about the loyalty card...

    1. "If you see my kid wearing clothes". it's not a given!!

  4. i spy adorable pink shoes that one little girl in my house LOVES. I especially love sharing Once Upon a Child finds and sending out "elves" to hunt things down! awesome shopping my dear! (and it all fit??)

    1. YES! I'm so glad she liked them! Most of it fit....the knit shorts were a little too bootielicious though...I had to go up a size on those....