Gotta love the alliteration, right? :)
Saturday started out earlier than we'd hoped, considering how late some of the kids had gone to bed, but we ended up not having to rush around to make it to Emma's soccer game by 10:30 - yes, although my kids' soccer season is done, theirs actually won't end until this coming Saturday, so you're about to be subjected to yet more soccer photos, LOL. I promise to keep them to a minimum though. :) But Emma (who had a cold to begin with) spent most of Friday night coughing and coughing, so Mary decided that soccer playing wasn't a good idea for her.
Then we were wondering if Emma had somehow come down with the same illness/non-illness that my kids had last week? Who knows...
So we had a much more relaxed morning than we'd planned, but it was nice to just let the kids play and take our time in getting ready to go. Matthew's soccer game wasn't until noon. We packed up the kids, chairs and blanket, snacks and drinks and caravaned over to their soccer complex.
As a little aside here - they have so much nicer of a soccer setup than we do! Ours takes place at multiple schools and there are no food or restroom facilities at any of them. They have a whole soccer complex so everyone plays there and there's a "snack shack" and restroom facility right there, as well as porta-potties set up in various locations around the complex too.
I was also impressed that Matthew's game included an actual referee and line judges. I'm not sure if that was just because he's in a higher age group (U-12), so we'll have to see how ours compares as the girls get older. It was strange to see other differences between how girls and boys play and how much more adept the older kids are.
It was on the cool side - and very, very windy. The kind of wind that knocks your chair over the moment you stand up. We spread out a blanket for the kids to play on and I'd brought one of our soccer balls for them to kick around too. And, considering that it was noon, they snacked. And snacked, and snacked some more - at least in the case of Becca. I don't think she was without a snack in her hand the whole game.
(Don't ask me why they're standing on one foot - I have no idea... LOL)
(Matthew's the one running in the center of the picture. I got an awesome shot of him kicking the ball, but I moved the camera as I took it and it didn't turn out...)
(Two little girls playing in a really big goal!)
After the game (Matthew's team won, 3-2) we headed back and fed everyone lunch. I didn't even bother to try putting Becca down for a nap considering the noise level in the house and I was hoping she'd sleep on the way to the outlet mall. No such luck there.
Mary and I finally got out of the house and drove down to the outlets. Her husband Dave had offered to watch all of the big kids, so we just had Becca with us. A tired, grumpy Becca who'd eaten lots of snacks but very little else all day.
Our first stop at the outlet mall was OshKosh B'Gosh. We usually skip this store because even their sales prices are on the high side. But they had sidewalk sales going so we thought we'd give it a try. And we did find some good deals - I got a couple of pairs of pants for Abby at $7.99 each and some hair accessories. Oh yes and matching pairs of 'footless tights' for all 3 girls. I'd also picked out coordinating skorts and shirts for them, thinking of photo opportunities, but when I saw the total price, I put everything back but the tights. I knew I could probably find the other parts to the outfits cheaper at Children's Place.
And oh. my. goodness.
I've had good luck with the Children's Place Outlet store before. I am used to seeing great sales there. But this was beyond anything I'd see before.
Racks and racks of brand new, Children's Place clothes for girls. For $2.99. That's cheaper than I can get a lot of used clothing!
I went into snatch and grab mode thanking myself for having brought the stroller this time to heap things on. As my piles grew, my toddler also grew - more and more upset. Having kept herself occupied at Osh Kosh B'gosh by pulling clothing and sunglasses off of racks and leaving behind a trail that made me cringe and run around after her frantically picking things up and playing tug-of-war with a stubborn 21-month-old, I'd had the brilliant idea of strapping her into the stroller this time. And she was not happy about it.
Not happy at all. And she let me know. Loudly. very loudly.
So I finally gave in amidst all of the pitying glances from other shoppers and hauled her out of the stroller. At which point the stroller immediately fell over backwards, sending all of my piles crashing to the floor.
Ok. Deep breath. Put still screaming child down and pick up clothes. Pile them in the stroller seat as well as on the back so as to not overbalance the stroller again. Hmm, now where to put the hysterical toddler who does not want to be held, or to be put down... This is exactly the reason why I've been wanting to get a sling so I can carry her on my hip. Am now kicking myself for not having gone ahead and bought one before this trip.
Enter Mary, my life saving friend. Who has a stubborn (ok, extremely stubborn) child herself and can sympathize. She paid for her purchases and then took a still grumpy Becca outside so I could finish shopping and sorting in peace.
And oh the shopping and sorting. You would not believe the amount of clothes I left that store with. Not counting the things I bought for my daycare provider (which she reimbursed me for), I filled four large shopping bags. With jeans, capri pants, shorts for next summer, shirts for this year and next year, dresses and skirts. Halloween t-shirts (long sleeved) for Abby and Hannah. Two belts for Abby. Cute tights for Becca. My girls are finally set for this year for clothes.
Oh yes, and the best part? Well I'd brought a Children's Place coupon with me on this trip, but (kicking self again) had left it at Mary's. As I stood by the checkout sorting through my piles, I lamented that fact and on a whim, asked the cashier if they had any extra coupons. She didn't, but only moments later handed me one that the woman she'd just been ringing up had left behind. And since you can bump up the 15% off to 25% off just by applying for a charge card (whether it's approved or denied doesn't matter - and I knew it would be denied), I ended up getting every single piece of clothing for a whopping total of $2.24.
Yes, that's two dollars and twenty-four cents. Apiece.
Folks, I spent a grand total of $100 and came out with four bulging shopping bags filled with clothing. I love the Children's Place Outlet!!!
Mary wanted to hit the fabric store in town, so we figured it might be a good idea to do it now and try to get "Grumpy Toddler" (formerly known as Becca) some sleep in the van. I dropped Mary off and told her I'd be back in 15-20 minutes. And I drove.
And drove, and drove some more. After 20 minutes I drove back to the fabric store and started doing laps around the strip mall's parking lot.
And Becca stayed awake. The entire time. Almost 40 minutes while Mary was in the store, and the 5 minutes it took us to drive back to the outlet mall.
By now it was past dinner time so I knew Becca must be hungry. We stopped at a little restaurant where we'd eaten before (right next to the Carter's outlet) and ate. Well, Mary and I ate. Becca played with her food but refused to eat any of it.
After dinner, Mary headed over to the Hanes outlet store and I took Becca into Carter's. We've had good luck with this store in the past, but lately they haven't had much. They don't carry irregulars anymore and I'd gotten spoiled by paying $5 for pajamas so I can't bring myself to pay $10 or $15 there now. Especially since I can buy them at home on sale for that price. I did find a couple of pairs of pajama pants for Abby and a pair of pajamas for Hannah - and I did spring for a $10 pair of fleece jammies for Becca since I wanted to get her ready for bed before we left and had forgotten to bring any with me. She needed them anyway. :) Becca loved playing at the Lego table at Carter's. And she loved sitting on it...
Our last stop was the KB Toy Liquidator store. Again, if you hit it at the right time, with the right sales, you can really make out. This trip wasn't so good - even though they had several brands of toys on a 'buy one get one 50% off' deal, they were expensive to begin with and I know I can probably find better prices at home when it gets closer to Christmas. Becca discovered the Backyardigans section and plopped her little self down. She's pretty partial to Pablo and has appropriated Hannah's plush one for herself already. She thought the singing Pablo at the store was very cool.
I didn't buy much there either - just umbrellas for Abby (princesses) and Hannah (Tinkerbell) since they've been needing them anyway for the bus stop. And four 'Sky Dancer' dolls that you can make really fly - they looked cool and at $2.33 each, I figured we can stock up for birthday parties that the girls are sure to get invited to this year.
And go figure - Hannah even brought home a birthday party invitation this week, but it's a party for a boy. Guess he probably wouldn't appreciate a Sky Dancer doll...
All in all, it was a very successful - and fun - shopping trip, other than dealing with Grumpy Girl. Who fell asleep almost immediately after we left the last store, by the way. And stayed asleep even when I transferred her to the pack-n-play. However, she did wake up a couple of hours later and was up for almost 2 hours (11:30 pm until 1:30 am) so that did kind of backfire. Oh well...