Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just Between Friends Sale

For those of you that haven't heard about the Just Between Friends Sale, you will be so happy you read this and hopefully go find one in your area and save LOTS of money on items you would have bought anyway.

It's a children's consignment event held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. You can find clothes, shoes, toys, cribs, strollers, car seats, bedding, play-sets, highchairs, books, room decor, Halloween costumes, swimsuits, athletic gear, maternity clothes.....the list could go on forever. Just wait to see the pictures below and you will get a better idea of what I'm talking about. You can get all of these items for a fraction of the cost compared to retail prices. I'll show you what I bought this year and give you the retail price versus the price I paid. Your mouths will seriously hit the floor. The Tulsa JBF sale that I go to is held in the Exchange Center with over 58,000 sf of space.They had over 1500 consignors this fall and more than 200,000 pieces of clothing. IT'S HUGE!!! I started going to this sale in the spring of 2008 after my son was born in the fall of 2007. I couldn't believe all the bargains I found. My only regret was not knowing about it while I was pregnant. It seriously made me kinda sick to walk around and see the EXACT same items I had paid full price for just a few months ago now on sale for a fraction of the cost. I've now been to the sale six times as just a buyer and I think that next spring I am going to sign up to be a consignor. Consignors set their own prices and make up to 70% on the items they sell. It's a win-win for everybody. You get to clean out your closets and attic and make money and then use that money to buy new stuff you would have probably bought anyway but now for a fraction of the cost.

I know some of you are probably saying, "Used clothes and toys? That's not for me." or I don't want to have to dig through a bunch of junk to find a few good items." Well let me try and convince you otherwise. I too had that mentality originally when I first heard about this event. I didn't like the idea of buying used stuff to give to my child. I think I felt this way because I had this picture in my head of dirty, worn out crap that nobody else wanted. I also pictured it being a bunch of bins you would have to dig through to find maybe a couple good items. I won't even go to the Victoria Secret Semi-Annual sale because the thought of digging in little plastic bins for my size bra and panties while other women try and grab them away from you makes me crazy!!! I'll take my Wal-Mart and Target panties thank you very much! =) This event is NOT like that. It is so well organized and laid out, some retail stores I shop could learn a thing or two, and its held in a clean, air conditioned facility. It has all the clothes organized by sizes and hung on double bar racks in perfectly lined rows. (My OCD side loves this!) All the shoes, costumes, swimsuits and maternity clothes are also organized by size. The toys are organized by age and the larger toys are organized by outdoor or indoor use. All the baby gear items are grouped together by type-strollers, bouncers, car-seats, bedding, jumpers, walkers, etc. They only allow gently used items to be sold. Clothes can't be stained, ripped or torn up. Many items I've found still had the original tag on them. Shoes are all inspected carefully, they don't allow worn out, scuffed up or unwashed shoes into the sale. All toys that take batteries are required to have batteries in them so you can test to see if they actually work. Anyway, I could go on and on about all the wonderful things but until you go to your first sale you won't be able to fully grasp the big picture. They currently have sales in 23 states and are always expanding. Hopefully you can find one near you and start saving money this fall.

Here are the items I bought this time at the sale:
Little Tikes Desk & Chair, Crayola Double Sided Art Easel, Black and Decker Jr. Power Workbench, Little People Race Track, Lite Bright, Touch & Feel Flash Cards, Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera & Case, Little Tikes Digital Camera.

Clothes. All of these are from Gap, Old Navy and Children's Place. 
I went to and was able to find the exact same items for everything except the clothes and the Little Tikes desk which I found on Ebay. Here are the retail prices with the price I paid next to each one.
  1. Little Tikes Desk and Chair: Ebay: $99.99 I Paid: $25
  2. Crayola Double Sided Easel: Amazon: $61.99 I Paid:$14.00
  3. Black & Decker Jr Power Workbench: Amazon: $69.99 I Paid: $10.00
  4. Little People Race Track: Amazon: $38.99 I Paid: $6.00
  5. Lite Bright: Amazon: $17.14 I Paid: $6.00 (Brand New-Never Opened)
  6. Touch & Feel Flash Cards: Amazon: $9.95 I Paid: $4.00
  7. Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera & Case: Amazon: $83.97 I Paid: $20.00
  8. Little Tikes Digital Camera: Amazon: $34.50 I Paid: $5.00
  9. The Clothes totaled $18.00 at the sale for all five shirts and one pair of pants. Retail they would have been probably around $80.00 at least. 
That equals a retail price (w/o tax) of $496.52. 
I Paid $108.00 (w/o tax). 
That's a Total Savings of $388.52!

Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how large this event is:
View from above of the entire sale. (Picture from 

This is a shot from a story the local news station did on the event. That's me shopping on the far right hand screen of the picture in the navy shirt.=) 

Here is the link to the main Just Between Friends Sale. Go check it out and see if there is a sale going on near you. And if you've been to a JBF sale, please share your experience. And for any consignors out there, please let me know if you have any great tips that will help me in the spring.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't Mess With Mama Bear!

The day I became a Mama something awoke inside me, an animalistic instinct that felt completely natural, like I'd always had it but was never really necessary until this moment. This primal instinct that takes over and is sometimes irrational and hard to contain. I immediately become unconcerned with politeness, courtesies, feelings, etc. when it comes to matters involving my baby boy.

No, you can not come into my hospital room and hold the baby without heading back over to the door and helping yourself to a couple pumps off the Purell. Come on people, its flu season!

No, weird lady at Target you can not walk up to our cart and pull back the blanket and breathe your possibly contaminated germ breath all over my baby and you certainly cannot touch him. BACK OFF!

Yes, I do mind if you bring in your medical students to examine my child that has been in the hospital for two days and is really OVER IT. Especially after one of your students tried to order a suppository that was strong enough for a 300 pound man. MOVE ALONG and I MEAN NOW!

Yes, I will continue to BLOW UP YOUR PHONE and leave messages regarding my son until you return my call and DO YOUR JOB. Seriously....this has been going on for two months and I'm tired of it. My next call will be to your supervisor.

You get the idea, Mama Bear doesn't play when it comes to Little Bear. Sometimes this Mama Bear instinct can be destructive. I've had plenty of moments I'm not proud of after the fact, but in that moment all rational thinking goes out the window. I think most moms are like this when it comes to our children. Mothers especially are pretty forgiving when it comes to situations where another mothers Mama Bear instinct has kicked in. Even though she may not have agreed with your actions she will at least understand and get where you were coming from in that moment. Sometimes a calmer but still assertive and strong response will get you further than the initial animalistic instinct reaction to claw someones face off. So, as I sit here waiting for a certain someone to return my call I will try and remember this and try not to rip her a new one when she ever does call back. But, I'm not making any promises. I'm still a work in progress.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Current Quest for baby #2

Let me tell you about what I have been doing for the past couple of months.....Tracking my ovulation.

Now, let me tell you why I have been tracking my ovulation for the past couple of months......To try and increase my chances at conceiving a girl.

When I tell people this I usually get the same responses. A) That's crazy, how will tracking your ovulation help your chances of having a girl, B) Why would you want a girl, so much drama, I would love to have all boys, C) Just be happy with whatever you get.

Let me address each one of those responses here:

A) By pinpointing the exact day of ovulation you increase your chance of conceiving, this applies to anyone trying to conceive regardless of gender preference. There are many different ways to track ovulation and I have only chosen to do a few. The first is a Basal Body Thermometer (BBT). You take your temperature at the same time every morning and over a few cycles, you'll see patterns that indicate when ovulation typically takes place for you. The other way I help pinpoint ovulation is through Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK's). These are much like pregnancy tests except they test the monthly LH surge- the sudden increase in luteinizing hormone present in your urine just before you ovulate. The presence of the positive ovulation test indicates that you will likely ovulate within 12 to 36 hours. If you are trying to have a girl, you'll need to begin timing sex during the period at least 2 to 3 days before you anticipate ovulation to take place. This method favors the slower but larger and more resilient X-chromosome sperm (girls). Intercourse further away from ovulation favors the larger slower moving X (girl) sperm. The weaker Y (boy) sperm will die more quickly in the more acidic preovulatory vaginal / cervical secretions and by the time of ovulation there will be a much larger concentration of X (girl) sperm available to fertilize the egg. Hence, your chances of conceiving a girl are greatly increased. At least according to this theory of thinking known as the Shettles Method.

B) I'm glad that you would be happy with all boys but we are different and that's ok. Please don't judge my desire to have a daughter. And since when did having a girl automatically invoke people to say things like "Drama and Way more work than boys?" I'm here to tell you that I have a son and OMG he is a lot of work. I just think that boys and girls have different issues than each other, not to say that either are more or less easier to deal with on the whole parenting spectrum, just different. I also want a daughter for things like bows, pink, purple, glitter, dresses, accessories, shoes, dress up, shopping, girly movies, prom dress shopping, wedding planning, being a mother to my daughter when she is pregnant one day, long talks about boys and what all the celebrities are doing, this list could go on and on forever. And Yes, I am aware that not all girls are into all of these things but the likelihood that a girl would be more into some of these things over a boy is pretty high. I already have a son and know I will get to enjoy all the absolutely fabulous things usually associated with having a boy that you may not get to experience with a girl. So why wouldn't I want the same thing with a girl? Sorry I'm coming off so defensive but I have quite frankly been shocked at the response I have gotten to my desire to have a girl. You never hear the same reactions I have received when you hear a father express the desire to have a boy. It just kinda seems skewed to me. 

C) This response bugs me a lot. Of course I will be happy with whatever God decides to give us. But don't look at me like I just told you I'm going to steal the lady next to me on the OB floors baby girl when I tell you that I'm trying to increase my odds of having a girl by tracking ovulation. Seriously, it's not that big of a deal. Yes, I know that many people are desperate to have a child regardless of gender at all. I feel for these people (some of which are some of my readers) so badly and I can not imagine having to go through all the things that you have had to go through mentally and physically just to try and conceive at all. But I also think that it is OK to desire a child of a certain gender and not to be judged because of it.

So, that's my rant for the day. Thanks for listening. I'll try not to drive you all crazy as we begin this wild ride again into parenthood for the second time with all my bodily functions, mental ups and downs and just plain ole' TMI that seems to take over many women when they are trying to conceive and especially when they get pregnant. That could be a whole other post entirely. =)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Texas Vacation!

Here are a few pictures we took on our vacation to South Texas with some of our friends.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm Back....Sorry for my recent MIA Status!

Hi Everyone,
I can't believe that it's been a month since I last blogged. It's been a crazy past month around here. Lot's of house guests, vacations, reunions and just plain ole' burn out on my part. But I am back and I missed all of you! I can't believe it's been almost four months since I first started this blog back in April. It's been an amazing outlet for me to share stories and pictures of my little life and to also learn about so many of yours. I have "met" so many amazing people through this blog that I never would have met otherwise. I've discovered how to use Twitter, which FYI to any bloggers out there that don't have a Twitter account for your blog, you must get one now. I think that it is almost a requirement if you want to expand your readership and its also a great way to stay up to date on whats going on in the bloggy world. Even though I haven't blogged in a month, I have been on Twitter so I don't feel completely out of the loop. I've attended Twitter parties and actually won prizes. I finally figured out how to use a hashtag and how to see who unfollows you through Qwitter. I swear I could be on the computer 24 hours a day for the rest of the year nonstop and still not know half of the things I feel I should know if i really want my blog to be successful. Which I do! I've seen some of the people that I follow that are involved in some kind of Bloggy Boot Camp that I plan on researching that I think helps you to become a better blogger. So, I am going to try and be 100% committed to this blog from now on with no more one month hiatus. I missed you all too much. Even though I must say that I am a little thankful that this Blogher 2010 conference is almost here and over because I don't think I can stand to see all the #Blogher hashtags anymore and contain my immense jealousy that I am not going to be attending this year with all of you fabulous women and men. Maybe next year! 
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