“Of Course” – Hearing this phrase from a 2 1/2 year old makes me laugh

20190330_081327 (2)Do your kids have cute phrases they use? REAL phrases that they use correctly, you would just never imagine this little human using it? I do! She’s a talker and has been since about 6 months old.

She picks up on words very quickly and understands their meaning just as quickly. She uses full sentences and can even verbalize “why” she was doing something. Granted, the “why” is, many times, a two-and-a-half year old reason, but it’s great to hear her use words this way.

She speaks in full sentences, but my husband and I are the only two people on the planet who can fully understand her.  She has some words that make no sense.  We have no clue where she even got the name she came up with other than she made it up! Our favorite by far is “crannits”. You heard me “crannits”. For about a week, we couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.  She would get so upset with us when she would ask for her crannits and we didn’t follow through.

Back story: The week prior to this, my husband and I had our guest bathroom fixed.  The floor had some water damage and we had some boards replaced. My husband then bought the click-lock flooring to use and installed the flooring himself. He used the tile spacers to help him from getting too close to the wall. He had to buy the hammer and other tools to get the job done. After the job was done, we cleaned up the tools and took them to the garage.  This is when the crannits requests began.

CrannitsSo, after about a week of hunting all over the house for these crannits, we figured out her request. She was asking for the tile spacers! She called them crannits. What a fantastic name! We now all call them crannits. We hope it catches on.

This is our little girl. If she doesn’t know the name of something, she’ll make one up. Many times, when she makes a request of me… OK, let’s admit it… a demand… I reply with, “Sure, baby” or “Of Course” or “Yes sweety”. She has related these phrases with an act of affirming love from me.

So when I ask her “Will you do blah blah blah?”, more often than not she responds with “Of course”. It’s a perky little reply with determination to help mommy with her request. Many times it’s things like, can you get the wipes for me (because your brother has a dirty diaper and I didn’t smell it)? Or could you put your plate in the sink? Nothing major, just little things.

Then there’s the half breath “Of course” after she’s crying and I ask her if she wants to do something. This could be from “Do you want to go to bed?” or “Do you want mommy to give you a hug?” or (my favorite) “Do you want mommy to hold you?”

20190304_122946 (2)Every time she says this, it makes my heart giggle – yes, even in the sad moments. I giggle at the fact that she uses it so well. I giggle at the fact that there may be better phrases or words for that particular situation, but she still goes to her old stand-by “Of course”. She says it so matter-of-fact. Many times she’s saying it before I finish my question.

I hope she never gives up on this phrase. I love how she uses it. I love all the words she knows and is continuing to learn. I’m amazed by her vocabulary and ability to put these words in to full sentences.

Sports – the costs of “doing business”

Our oldest (turned 14 this summer) has been involved in sports since she was 9. Why? Because all the experts out there tell us that if kids are involved in sports they become a more well-rounded individual. We wanted her to have an experience where she had to work with a team and not just for herself. However, she doesn’t really have that competitive spirit. She likes to win, but is not driven to do so. She likes making friends and socializing more.

We gave her some options for a sport she could try and she landed on soccer. I personally hate soccer and always have. I tried to steer her towards softball (I played at her age) or volleyball (I played in school), but no. Soccer was what she wanted to try.

Ok, so soccer. What the heck are the rules for soccer? Something about kicking the ball and not ever using your hands. I never understood this, like I think it was just a way to make kicking the ball around harder if one could not just bend over and pick it up. Then there’s all these rules about who goes where and does stuff. That was my experience. My husband’s was similar, so we were jumping in together.

The time costs:Looking at watch

The time involved in carting her to practices, games, meets, etc. is daunting. I don’t know how some families do it. I tip my hat to the single moms and dads, the working families and all those that have so little time, but find time to do these things for their kids.

What I do know is that it takes a toll. I’m tired of the practices and going to and from to get her. I’m tired of all the games. My car is tired of all these things too! Time is magnified in our family because of having two littles under the age of 3. We have to work around nap schedules, bedtimes and meals. There’s so much to manage our time, it’s become insane.

The saying “time is money” may be true, but “time is sanity” I think works better in my family. Sports is a big part of that whole time thing.

The actual costs:

Soccer moneySo there are actual costs to this stuff. Yeah, I know, it’s like we can’t just let our kids play an organized sport for free and stuff. There’s usually a sign-up fee, then families have to purchase a ball, cleats, shin guards, socks and shorts. Sometimes, team shirts are included in the sign-up fee, how nice. With her growing body, each season she participates is costly. I know for other sports, this cost can be even higher!

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Receiving “Most Improved Swimmer” medal her first year of competitive swimming.

She also became interested in swimming last year. You would think a swimsuit, cap and goggles would be all she needs. NOPE! These items must be team suits and caps. Then there’s the pool fee and the fees to participate in the meets. Even with this being offered through the school, it still costs a pretty penny.

I’m truly grateful we can provide this to our daughter. She has gained so much life experience. I remember around her second or third season of soccer, she was just goofing off most of the season.  So much so that the other girls didn’t want to play with her anymore because she wasn’t trying when she played. This really got to her. She realized that it wasn’t all about being a goof and joking with her friends, there was real work that was involved.

This brings me to my next point…

The REAL costs:

Aside from all the time costs and the dollar costs, there’s something more that we’ve noticed with her. She’s learning about responsibility, integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship. She’s learning that it’s not all about her. The cost for her is that she has to give up her teen (and pre-teen) selfishness to work with the team. The cost for her is that she has to accept that she’ll make mistakes and the team may be mad at her, but it will eventually be okay. The cost for her is that she has to step outside her comfort zone and leads and guides many of the newer kids. The cost for us… sitting back and watching our little girl grow in to a well-rounded young lady.

20190812_203111 (2)And that is what she is growing in to with grace and dignity. Sure she has her teen moments: her angst, her eye-rolls, her pffs at our comments. But she also understands the importance of working towards a goal, failing and not giving up, and working with individuals to reach a common goal, even if they annoy her.

Think about it: this is exactly what us adults do every day. We have to work with people we don’t like and have no say in whether they stay or go. We all have to work for a common goal. And most importantly, we have times we make mistakes or just completely screw up, but we don’t give up and we learn. We have a team to back us up and know that this is just a moment in time.

So, bring on the new soccer cleats, balls, shin guards, socks and shorts. Bring on the new team swimsuits and caps. Bring on all the start-up fees. Bring on the trotting all over creation to get her where she needs to be. And bring on the early mornings and late nights. Because at the end of all this, she’s going to be how the experts say “well-rounded” and successful in this thing called life!

Isn’t that where we all would like to be?

Consignment Events – Getting rid of the clutter!

Ever feel like you’re in a never-ending battle with kids’ toys. I know I do! I pick up toys more times in a day than I can count.  Then there’s laundry! I feel like my kids have more clothes than me!

Clutter-CleanI am in no way an organizer when it comes to my kids stuff.  If you ever see my house like this picture, I would call the police because someone broke in and cleaned up! Though I don’t think I’d press charges, but rather hire them to clean more. This is just not my personality.  Ironically, I do like things orderly, but I don’t like cleaning up after other people.  Even if those other people are tiny versions of me running around.

Because I struggle with the cleaning, I tend to get frustrated when things aren’t clean. It’s a never ending cycle. So what’s a mom to do? After a year of consignment shopping, I finally decided to get my feet wet with consigning items myself. I know there are many blogs out there telling you how to consign items, what to price them, etc etc.  I’m going to have those notes too.  However, I want to take you on my magical consignment journey first! It’s like rainbows and unicorns without all that rainbows and unicorn stuff.

My first time consigning, ever, I consigned about 50 items total.  Nothing to really brag about, but again, I was just getting my feet wet. I did mostly clothes, with a few other items. My sales sucked.  Like I literally got a $12 check after all was said and done. $12 dollars?! The amount of work I did for those 50 items and only $12. It was depressing to say the least.

So like you, I did more research in to this consignment event sales thing. I realized that I need to really have 100+ items, but ideally 200+ items, especially if they’re clothes. I need to try to sell big ticket items, like strollers, rocking chairs, cribs, etc. if I want to see the big bucks come through.

So I made notes, and started combing my house.  I realized that we only really use 1 stroller, not the three we had.  So I marked the other two to consign. I also had a lot more clothes to purge this time around and was much more aware of my pricing. I also marked ALL of my clothing items to go half-price on that sale day. Score babyAnd you may have guessed it, but my sales did much better. I was consigning through Kid’s Closet Connection and they had three events in town. I consigned for two of the events and made over $250 – that’s after the consignment fees and franchise commissions. I was able to pay for all the items I purchased at the events with the money I made from the events!

BIG SCORE! After that, I was sold. It was so exhilarating to know all that hard work paid off.

So now I’m in my 2nd year of consigning. It’s tough to get organized, sort, clean, etc, but I know the payout is real. It makes the work worth it, especially when I just bought six months worth of items including clothes, shoes, games, toys and books that I didn’t end up paying a dime for after all was said and done. So here are some of my tips and tricks.

BE PREPARED! (I always think of Jeremy Irons as Scar from the Lion King singing this…) It’s so true. Do not wait until the last minute to try to consign items. Keep tabs on the event you wish to consign with. Know the dates like when the consigners can sign up, when databases are open and dates that consigners are required to drop off their clothes.

  • As your kids grow out of clothes between sales, put the smaller clothes aside. Even better – buy clear plastic bins to store them.
  • Same with toys, as your kids grow out of toys or you notice they just don’t play with certain ones (or your hate for a certain toy has reached the point of wanting to take a flame torch to it), store them away early so the kids won’t miss them by the time you’re ready to sell them.
  • Determine your need of bigger items, like strollers, car seats, etc. If you do not need them anymore because kids grew out of them, store them in a spot you can get to them later.
  • Things to buy in preparation for the next steps:
    • Hangers – lots and lots of hangers. I recommend kid hangers for kid clothes as adult hangers will stretch them. You can typically find lots on Facebook, Craigslist, etc for cheap or free.
    • Safety pins – BIG ONES – I have found larger safety pins are easier to use than the smaller ones. Amazon sells them for cheap or you can find them at your local Walmart in the sewing section.
    • Packing tape – you will need this for any plastic toys that you can’t use a safety pin.
    • Spare Batteries – toys must work! They must have working batteries. Make sure you have those AAA and AA’s on hand.
    • Tagging Gun – this is handy for clothes, but not a necessary item. Pins do the trick just fine. Tagging guns are just quicker (for me at least).
    • Washi Tape/Duct Tape – This is to flag your hangers. Some consignment companies will pull all your items for you, most will not. The tape helps you find your items without having to dig to deep. Washi tape is easier to use, but I find duct tape sticks better – to each their own.
    • Plastic Bins/Clothes Rack/Table – these are all nice to have but not necessary. A table to work at is nice. It’s easy to stand or sit at and clean, tag, organize, etc. You can spread out, which is important. Clothes rack is nice since you have to hang a lot of clothes and don’t just want them to get dirty again. Plastic bins to store items between events and use for odd-shaped items during the prep.

Sort, Organize and Clean. It’s critical that you really look at and sort your items. Is this resell-able? I always ask myself: Would I purchase this as it looks now? If the answer is no, determine if you could clean it to make it look better. If not, consider donating it instead. This is especially true of clothes.

  • Sort and organize items in to age groups and gender groups if necessary.  Clothes – this is easy, look at the tag. Toys, this can be a bit tricky. Google is my friend if the toy does not say age ranges. Many times the box does, but that’s long gone by this point. Bigger items will have manufacturer info. ALWAYS LOOK THIS UP. It is illegal to resell expired or recalled items (and just plain irresponsible).
  • Cleaning is such an important part of this process. The Magic Eraser is your friend! Make sure clothes are clean and nicely hung (more below). Make sure toys are wiped down and no grubby hand marks are anywhere to be seen. Bigger items need a good wipe down too. I go so far as to wash the wheels on strollers so they look more appealing to a buyer.

This is my actual consignment corner! You can see the clothes are hung, items are under the table and stuff is in bins. It’s organized for me! Set-up a place you can work without interruptions.

A note (long sermon) on clothes. Clothes are what everyone is selling at these events. When you realize that most kids only wear their clothes from 0-24 months for about 3 months at a time, you can see how these can really flood the consignment market. Also, unless your pre-teen or teen grew up on consignment/thrift stores, they will probably not be to eager to buy or wear clothes from this kind of event – thus teen clothing is typically the hardest to sell. Be discerning about what you consign in clothes. Most consignment companies do not allow you to sell clothes that are missing buttons, zippers or have any kinds of holes. As a seller, you should also be a little responsible and realize that this will be going on someone else’s child – have some integrity!

  • Fels Naptha Bar Soap – this is amazing for organic stains like poo.  So many stories come to mind that start with… Well, “baby” blew out of their diaper again…
  • Shout (or other products) – for oil and food stains really helps.
  • Bleach for whites – yes, it really does work.
  • Steam your clothes! It’s important to do a quick steam on them.  I don’t have a steamer (something on my list), but I do have a friend who has one. I borrow her steamer when I need to get those stubborn wrinkles out.  Otherwise, iron the really bad ones. Wrinkles will hinder clothes sales. Make sure your clothes stand out.
  • Hang your clothes in an appealing way.  Do not leave buttons unbuttoned or collars out. Make sure shirt and pant hems are down (and stay down with an iron).
  • Bundle your clothes! You can usually garner better sales if you create an outfit from your items. Try not to sell pieces individually. I sell onesies in a set of 3 usually. I try to link nicer shirts with jeans or slacks. I also try to pair items that just look nice together – like a NFL onesie top with a team color pant. You can usually get a little more bang for your buck if you just take a minute to put these together.
  • Don’t sell winter clothes for an upcoming summer and vise versa! Some consignment events will not let you sell swimwear in their fall event or Halloween outfits in their spring event. Que Sera Sera. But as a seller, you should also be aware of this even if there are no restrictions. Most of the time, these items WON’T SELL and you’ve wasted your time and a little money to prep this item for it’s doom.
  • Sew popped hems or missing/loose buttons. This is sewing 101. Most people can sew a quick button on or a popped hem – if you don’t know, ask a friend to help. Even if this doesn’t look perfect tailored professional, it’s now sell-able.
  • Be careful about pinning.  Don’t pull or tug too hard when pinning or you can make a much larger hole in the clothes.  Try to stay in the hems or on the actual interior tags if possible.

Ticketing/Pricing. OK, you’ve done all your organizing and are now ready to enter info into the consignment database. The database will typically have a place for an Item Description, Price, Size, “discount” – half price day, and “donate” – which means the item at the end of the event is donated to the organization they’re working with. This is a nice option if you want to just do one and done!

  • Ticketing is important. It needs to be seen. If there are bar codes, they need to be legible. If it has color, it needs to be printed in color. Every event franchisee has different rules. You must make sure you follow their rules or they will not put your items on the floor.
    • I worked with one event that the tickets were quite easy. You printed on your printer on card stock paper. There were 8 to a page and you just cut it out and pinned or taped it on your item.
    • Another event required I buy specific sized slung white blank tickets, then printed the actual item label on mailer label paper and wrapped it on these blank tickets. It’s a hassle, but it helps the cashiers when they’re at the check-out.
    • Rules are rules.  If you want to sell, you play by the rules!
    • Include a DETAILED description of the item. Sometimes, items lose their ticket, either by accident or intent. In either case, it’s important your ticket has a detailed description of the item. “Brown teddy bear” is a horrible description. “TY Baby Brown Teddy Bear with Blue Eyes” is a much better description. Just find something unique about that item, and make sure that is listed in the description.
  • Pricing. Part of ticketing is pricing. You want to make sure your items garner you as much moolah as possible, but you don’t want them to not sell at all. It’s totally a balance. Clothes, even if you spent $100, sell for cheap. I have yet to price any clothing item over $10. I typically stay below $5 unless it’s a nice outfit or name-brand item. Some franchises will say their items sell for 60-90% less than retail. This can help you get an idea on your bigger items. This means that you should be selling items for about 40% all the way down to 10% of their retail price. This may seem low, but remember, you USED this item already.  Even if you only used it once, it’s now USED. Much like a car – it’s retail value plummets the minute it’s out of the box. I sold my Grayco Stroller and Car Seat system for $60. It was originally $140. But here’s the key – I SOLD IT. Someone realized this was a steal for them so they bought it. I used it for maybe 3 months and would have loved to sell it for more. But I knew that if I wanted this item to really sell, I needed to keep it lower.
    • Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Offer-up and other websites like this are a great comparison tool for items you’re unsure about.
    • Look up the original item on Amazon or the manufacturer’s website to compare actual retail price.
    • If your item is missing components that are not essential to the item function, depending on the organization it can be sold, but remember you want to make it cheap-cheap.  Someone else might be selling the same thing with all its components.  This is especially true of items like floor gyms that have all those dangley things that can come off, barbie toys with a missing shoe, or toy kitchen sets with missing pots and pans.

It’s great when you make that first sale and it continues through the event. Getting that money at the end of it all makes the work so worth it!

Girl with Money

It’s always good to just get your feet wet before you really dive in.  Pick a few high ticket items that you think have a good chance of selling and prep them. Invite friends to help you too! This shows you the true power of friendship – someone who is willing to come over and help you tag 200+ items! Just make it a positive experience. Know that this is a way to help you pay for needed items for your kids while also purging those items collecting dust.

Couch time makes my heart smile

My precious angel girl. She’s so perfect to me in every way. Though I know she’s hardly perfect, she just lights up my face with her personality. She’s feisty, independent yet also very empathetic and thoughtful.20190118_152408

One thing she is not is an early riser. Can I get an Amen?! This was absolutely wonderful for my night-owl husband and me. She would go to bed around 7 pm, and be in bed until at least 7 am. Yes! Twelve plus solid hours of sleeping.  No middle of the night wake-ups, no early morning “are you up yet”, our lives were golden.

Then we got the sledgehammer with my son. He thinks, “The sun might start coming up, so I’m just going to get up now.  Don’t want to waste that daylight!” He’s usually up by 5:30 am.

Our morning routine usually looks like this (note, I am NOT a morning person, so this is just how I interpret the morning while wishing I was still asleep):

  • Get the hell-creature of early morning perkiness up and feed him before he wails his banshee cry of hunger.
  • Oops! Didn’t change that pee-faucet catcher early enough, so now it’s leaked on his freshly worn onesie. Guess he’s going topless.
  • *hears the start of the banshee wail* Oh yeah, chair, food! *makes coffee*
  • Shovels 10 tons of food in to this miniature daddy creature (I don’t know where he packs it all). *takes a sip of coffee – still too hot*
  • The creature is now starting to resemble a baby boy, though he’s not too cute yet.
  • He gets a wipe-down, and is now free to roam.
  • OH CRAP! Forgot to close the baby gate to the kitchen, this baby has now knocked over the dog’s water and is trying to eat the dog food. Eww!
  • Get the dog food out of baby’s mouth. Clean the baby, clean the floor. Change the diaper – yeah! that’s what it’s called – again.
  • He now smiles his wide mouth, ear-to-ear smile.  He’s starting to look like my cute baby boy now! I smile back.
  • Allow him to roam again, this time with the kitchen gated off.
  • Go to the kitchen and make my breakfast – oh no! where did I sit that coffee down?!
  • *gets coffee and takes sip – too cold* I dump the cold coffee and start over.
  • *takes sip of new coffee – too hot, but still chug it* I shovel my breakfast as my sweet-sweet boy stands up and tries to grab it from me. I literally have to eat with my plate above my head or in another room.
  • Thank the heavens! He’s almost ready for his morning nap. Oh crap – forgot about that toddler of mine.
  • I look on the viewer, and sure enough, she’s awake, just laying on her bed.
  • Get toddler up, change her diaper ASAP and get her breakfast ready.
  • Now it’s definitely time for baby to go down for morning nap (about 8:30 am).
  • Toddler pushes her food around, maybe takes 2 bites and insists she’s done.  She then sits in her chair another 30 mins, because I am busy getting baby ready for bed (and let’s just face it, she needs to eat more than 2 bites!).
  • Baby goes down! He’s out for at least 2 hours.
  • Go back down stairs and force feed my toddler. I bargain with this child, because her will is much stronger than mine this early in the morning.
  • She’s finally “finished”!
  • I set her free to roam and she heads straight to the couch. Gets a pillow and blanket and asks to watch something on the TV.

I give this all to you to get to this point in my day. This is my joy moment. I love when she just wants to lay on the couch, many times lay on me as well, and “wake up”. We usually watch some show on our Roku, or a movie, but it’s our time. It’s just her and me sitting together, cuddling, talking, and eventually playing.

It’s almost as if she knows I need a break. Our little guy, I love him so much, is such an early riser. He’s so energetic when he wakes, and I just can’t keep up in the morning. It’s as though she feels this and knows – or so I’d like to think that.

I really believe she’s just like her daddy. They take a while to really get revving in the morning. Usually, they like to lay in bed for a good 30 minutes. Then they’ll have a small breakfast and just do something relaxing for another 30 minutes.20190613_083807

I know these moments won’t last forever, though there is a part of me that wishes they would. I know it’s fleeting, and I soak it up. There will be a day she will hide in her room, listening to her music with ear buds and not want to be around us any more than humanly possible. So I hold on to this time. This is our calm time, our quiet time, our cuddle time. It’s my joy time!

Consignment Events – Shopping DO’s and DON’Ts

Consignment events – ever heard of them? They are events that allow parents to consign old, no-longer-used items to other parents who are trying to save money!  It’s a win-win!  Consigning is hard the first few times you do it, especially if you consign with different events.  Today we’re going to talk about shopping these events.

All the feelings start bubbling up: the exhilaration of finding a great deal on THOSE toys that your kids have been begging for months to have, the excitement of being able to completely replace your child’s oh-so-too-small wardrobe for less than $100, and the joy of knowing that you can find those big items (strollers, rocking chairs, cribs and toddler beds to name a few) for much less than retail price.  All of this just gets me jittery even writing!  I get so excited about these events because I know it’s a great way to help my family save big money.  My kids’ clothes are 90% consignment clothes.  The rest are usually items that were purchased by family for a gift.

I have been using consignments since my first pregnancy.  We went and got such amazing deals on items we needed, I was hooked.  I have mainly shopped at Kid’s Closet Connection events and Rhea Lana’s events. There are many others out there, so just search to see what’s close to you.

KCC Photo

Event from Kid’s Closet Connection – Arizona. LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF!

Here’s some terminology and hierarchy info to help better understand the event.

Franchisees: Consignment events are run by business franchisees.  These people work with the brand and host the events.  They earn a commission off items sold at the event.  They have to find a space, provide supplies (like racks, tables, etc) and promote their event.  This is A LOT of work!

Workers/Volunteers: Then you have the workers/volunteers.  These are typically people who also consign.  They check the items before they go to the floor to sell, they set-up, tear down and work during the events as cashiers and clean-up crews.  They are usually offered incentives, like pay or early entry, to work the events. This is great for moms who are looking for part-time, non-permanent work!

Consigners: Then you have consigners. These are the parents, grandparents, guardians, etc that have items their kids no longer use. This can be toys, clothes, books, games, etc.  They have to organize all their items, follow the rules set-up by the event hosts (tagging, hanging, cleaning, pricing, etc), take their items to the event and pick up or donate what doesn’t sell. Typically consigners get an early pass to access the sale before open to the public.

Buyers: That’s us! The parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. of kids who want to save a buck on items.  Below are the worst and best practices of event buyers!


  • Shop unprepared. These are events for a reason. They are typically only twice a year, sometimes thrice. So there are items galore. Its great to stock up, but easy to get overwhelmed.
  • Impulse buy. Because the events have so much stuff, it’s easy to go overboard. You will want to get a lot of items that you may not actually need or use once they’re home.
  • Bring the kids. I know, I know.  Sometimes it’s hard not to bring them, however for this event, it can be difficult with little ones in tow. This also goes back to the second item. If you have your kids, you’re more likely to impulse buy. Do what you can, but if you have to bring them, jump to my DO’s to help you.
  • Wait until the half-day sale. Wait… what’s this? Usually with these events, they have a day where consigners can opt to mark their items for half-price. This is a great way to save even MORE, but don’t expect those hot items to be there by this day.


  • Plan ahead. Good shopping always starts with a plan. Check the dates of the events. Research items online so you know if what you’re getting is a good deal. Bring large bags or even a cart if allowed.Budget shop
  • Set a budget. Make sure you set a limit on what you want to spend. These events are easy to go overboard and buy more than intended since there is so much in the store.
  • Make a list. About a week before the event, go around your house.  Check your kids’ clothes, toys, etc. Write down things you need for the next 6 months.  Again, since these events are typically about twice a year, it’s important to think ahead.
  • Get to the early sales. Most of these events offer a pre-sale event day. These days are usually free if you’re pregnant (or have a baby), in service, a teacher or foster parent. If you are not one of these things, there is usually a small fee or donation to get in early.  Also, if you consign items, you can usually get in early for consigning.
  • Mom friendsLet others know! It’s fun to shop with friends. It’s even better when you can help their family save money too. It also helps these sales continue. If the franchisees can’t generate positive sales, it’s hard for them to continue.


Many of these events have Facebook pages and online resources to stay connected.  Also, the franchisees will usually email you if you opt in for emails. I do only because some offer chances to win early passes or even money for the event!

If it’s your first time, enjoy the experience! It is amazing how much money you can save by shopping at one of these events.  But beware – that excitement can get to your head and cause you to overspend, even at a discount!

One year of hypotonia. Learning and loving through it all.

Every mother loves to hold and snuggle with their new baby.  What a treat when that baby is easy-going, loves to sleep and eats as expected.

We had our first sweet bundle of joy and none of the above applied.  She was colic-y (is that a word, if not, it is now!).  She didn’t sleep, eat and certainly wasn’t easy going.  If she wasn’t crying, she was fussing.  If she wasn’t fussing, she was whimpering.  You get the picture.  She was (and still is) our “tough” baby.  I wouldn’t have her any other way.  She’s almost three and loves to talk to us, tell us her opinion and make demands.  Typical almost-three year old.

When she was about 19 months, I had my son.  This was a night and day difference between her and my son.  His first night in the hospital and he slept almost eight hours!  Of course, when the nurse realized he slept so long, she immediately woke him up and we tried feeding. Sigh… so much for sleeping through the night!  With our other experience being quite the opposite, we were happy to have a little sleep!

We noticed early on though, he wasn’t feeding well.  He would constantly latch on and off, then on and off again.  He was struggling to suck and had a very noticeable tongue tie.  So, like our daughter, we had the tongue tie revised.  No improvement.  You could imagine our frustration and doubt.  We couldn’t figure out why he struggled so much.  He wanted to feed, he just couldn’t.  We went through IBCLC’s and even had a feeding consult.  He was not just struggling with me, he was struggling with bottles too.  We were lost and desperate.

At three months old, our pediatrician noticed it… hypotonia.  She was hesitant to diagnose this, since it is typically a condition of something else, not the cause.  She told us what to watch for, suggested therapy (physical and feeding) and gave us some resources.  We got him in to physical therapy, feeding was more of a challenge to work with.  He went to PT once a week and mainly worked on strengthening his core.  The therapist would give me things I could do to work with him at home.  Then the new year hit.  And the much higher bills of therapy hit.  We continued to go, knowing this was best, but at a much higher price.  Then the therapist that was working at this company (a contracted therapist) was not renewing her contract, thus we had no PT.  We were discouraged to say the least.

Fast forward to his 9 month appointment.  Doc comes in, evaluates him as usual and tells us he definitely has hypotonia.  She wants to continue on the PT route and start looking in to neurology.  Neurology!?  Seriously?!  I was overwhelmed with the “what ifs” and couldn’t believe my adorable, sweet-smiling, easy-going boy was going to need more evaluations.

We worked through the state run early intervention program to continue his physical therapy and feeding therapy.  This was extremely nice as it was free to us and the PT was in our house – no running to an appointment!20190424_181852

He made strides! At nine months he could sit up and eleven months he was crawling!  He wasn’t just doing his “inch worm” crawl (we called it this because he would push up on his hands and knees, then lunge forward, flopping his chest on the ground and doing it all over again).

We worked on getting him in to neurology asap.  His pediatrician wanted to run the standard one year tests, but also a chromosomal micro array work-up.  This was something she knew neurology would want anyway, and since he had to get blood work done, why not?!  I thought it logical, as did she.  Apparently our insurance did not!  With any chromosomal test, it has to be approved prior to the appointment.  I didn’t know this!  I had my first crash course in learning the insurance company nuances… it wouldn’t be my last.  They declined the test, saying there’s no medical need at this time.  What?!  Did they have a doctor magically evaluate my son to determine need?  I explained to our case worker that we were going to neurology in a month and knew they would also be requesting this test.  We were trying to avoid the delay and provide neurology with a better picture of my son’s health so they can make a more informed decision on what to do next.  She seemed genuinely sorry (my hands are tied kind of thing) and gave us some suggestions.

After talking with the pediatrician, we decided to just wait until the neurology appointment.

Here we are, on the precipice of knowing, but not knowing all at once.  As a fairly logical minded person, this is a struggle for me.  I struggle wanting to know what’s specifically wrong, so we know how to best treat it.  I also know that we may never know what is the cause of his hypotonia and will only be able to do our best to treat this.  Leg braces, 20190604_171527which I have learned are called SMO or AFO, are a high probability. Back and hip braces as well.  More fights with insurance about their rules and procedures are expected for all of this.

In the mean-time, I have an adorable little boy.  A boy who knows nothing different than what he currently has.  He does his best with what he’s been given and always with a smile on his face.  He’s our easy-going, loving kid.  He loves to be held and snuggled.  He loves to laugh.  And seeing this in him, seeing all his love of these simple things, helps me stay joyful through it all.