Back to School Shopping

Today, Jenn and I went to the indoor farmer's market and had breakfast. Very nice! The market boasted all of about twelve vendors, each selling a single item such as apples or maple syrup, so we did not stay long. I mostly wanted to get together with her, sans kids, to play catch up after our month-long holiday separation.

Earlier this week, she and Calvin went to JC Penney's and found tons of winter sales. When we finished with the farmer's market and found that we had more than two hours to kill before our husband babysitting time would expire, we went to the mall. I found $400 worth of clothes for Juliette and paid $108 for them -- three pairs of jeans, six lightweight sweaters, ten new pairs of underwear, and three outfits that each contained a pair of jeans or cords, a long-sleeve shirt, and a sleeveless vest.

The shopping trip proved odd for two reasons. First, we shopped in the kids section. Not the toddlers. Juliette is officially a size six. The weight and height chart showed her a size five, but upon returning home and trying on the new jeans, she will have just enough room in these sixes I bought. I'm glad I went with the bigger ones. These kid clothes cost so much more than toddler gear. For example, the jeans originally cost $28! For kids! Priced down to $8. Rock on January off-season sales!

Second, I bought the clothes knowing that she will wear them to school in the fall, not just around the house. In making the selections, I considered odd peer pressure things like making sure the pieces matched and could be used interchangeably. When I found two of the same jeans and threw them in the pile, Jenn suggested that maybe kids might think she wore the same pants two or three days in a row. Argh! Peers! Fashion! It begins here. So she now has a plethora of pink, jeweled, butterfly, pastel, floral, fluffy, shiny clothes.

But I stop short of any fashion consideration when it comes to pink camo Hello Kitty shite. The only thing I find more offensive than camouflage prints on children is PINK camo with Hello Kitty's innocuous little face staring out, urging us to forget that camo prints are supposed to be used for warfare. Sure -- let's wrap my four-year-old in that stuff! Uck.

We found her new shoes, too, because the sad Elmo shoes she's worn for a year have two blow-outs. I went for the BLUE Tinkerbell shoes with laces over the pink Disney princess shoes with velcro. If Juliette had actually been shopping with me, we would have bought the princess ones, obviously. However, after all of the pink her wardrobe, having a change of pace for her footware seemed an important statement to make against the ultra girly color palate. And now we can teach her to tie her shoes laces, too -- a very big step in the life of a prospective kindergartener.

Poor Ilsa. She looked at all the clothes. None of them are hers. But she's so darn good natured that she just admired the shiny things and went back to her quest to write all of the alphabet without help. Some kids are just easier than others, temperamentally. But Jenn feels her pain, despite being older than her own sister, and vows to buy Ilsa clothes of her own at birthdays!

I also found two most excellent sweaters for Keven. I'm still not sure if he likes them or if he just doesn't get that excited about clothes. I should know the difference after all this time together, but no. They look great. They were 70% off. Dude! Through a party!

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