Monday, April 30, 2012
Every since finding and passing on certain big items at the first sale and hitting the jackpot on maternity clothes, I have been hoping at each subsequent sale to find things as good. This sale was loads better than the last two I attended, though I still mostly bought clothes, as you will see. Nonetheless, I managed to find what I desperately needed for me as summer approaches--maternity shorts. I also found several pairs of pants, even more bibs, and some of the cutest (non-Pooh) clothing I've found to date, several with original sales tags. One great thing about the Weecyled folks is that they only accept name brand clothing--thus, there was little risk of getting extremely cheap crap. I did see a fair bit of Old Navy, which I'm trying to avoid at first, and a number of store brands, but most of what I purchased was Carters, Gymboree, and even a couple Calvin Klein pieces. Half of what I bought was sized 6-12 months.
I will admit that this was the first sale which I wound up with a couple damaged items--two blankets. One has a big rip in the corner and the other has stains on one side. Though I'm a little disappointed with the quality control checkers, both blankets came in sets of 3-4 that I bought for at most $5 a piece and the other blankets are fine. Still a great deal for the undamaged stuff, so I can't complain too much. Since the stained blanket is really cute, I will try my hand and removing the stains (it looks like dye from another item of clothing) and likely repurpose the ripped into a bag or maybe smaller burp cloths.
Unrelated to the damaged items and only slightly related to our current lack of storage space, I will attempt to avoid attending further sales until after our baby shower at the end of this month.
Here's my loot:
Sleepers and Sleep Sacks
Pants and Shorts
Bibs (There's a distinct possibility I have one for every day of the month now.)
Pooh Blanket (I bought 5-6 others, but they're nothing to write home about.)
Not pictured: 1 pair of khaki Bermuda maternity shorts; 1 pair of denim maternity shorts; bunch of baby - toddler socks, including several cool Gymboree pairs with grippers on the bottom; 5-6 blankets; changing mat and 3 covers.
Total cost: $104
Just Me and My Puppy is another one of the Little Critter books. In this story, our hero brings home a puppy that he traded a baseball mitt for. I'm not sure if that's an even trade, but the puppy is certainly cute enough. His parents tell him he can keep it so long as he takes care of it himself. Seeing as taking a bath proved challenging for this little guy, you can imagine how big of job this is (and how comic his attempts will be). However, he somehow manages to feed, walk, and clean up after the puppy well enough that puppy gets to stay. He even teaches
his puppy himself how to do tricks! Finally, after a long hard day of puppy care and training, both owner and pup are tucked into bed for a good night's sleep.
The difficulty level on this book for an early reader is about 1-2 grade. As a read aloud/picture book, the pictures are detailed and colorful, so it will be great for toddlers. Very cute story.
Source: Library Book
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Hey! It's another Dr. Seuss book. It's been awhile, hasn't it? As I've shared before, I'm not the biggest fan of Dr. Seuss, but I do appreciate the value of his decent rhyming stories. Thus, I typically get at least one or two on each library trip. Plus, my husband likes them quite a bit--must be the peculiar illustrations that he prefers.
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff was first published in 1973. I think the look of the boy and girl is a bit of a giveaway (or at least it was for my husband who guessed right away). The illustrations are monochromatic at first with the people, animals, and things that we're learning the shapes of in black on a brightly colored page. Then as you proceed on in the book, more and more colors appear on each page, however each animal or thing is still only in a single color/shade. If I'm remembering correctly, babies see monochromatic images better at first than other images. Thus, this book is likely appropriate for reading to the littlest of little ones. As always, the rhyming is great. There also aren't too many made-up things which is one of my biggest Dr. Seuss pet peeves.
Source: Library Book
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I Was So Mad, another Little Critter book, is definitely one I remember from my childhood. In this story, our hero roams about the house complaining about all the things he (and most kids) want to do and are generally too little, big or rambunctious to do. His suggestions include keeping frogs in the bathtub, petting the goldfish, using the garden hose, playing with his little sister's toys, etc. Each time he starts a fun task, some adult comes along and spoils it. (I think most of us can relate.) As they attempt to keep him out of mischief, his parents suggest boring things that just don't interest him. Finally, just as he's decided to run away, he meets some friends who want to play. At last, something he's allowed to do! This story will make a great read aloud for any young child and serve as a nice early reader for grades k-2.
My husband just doesn't like this character. I don't know if it is on account of the the very first book we read together from this series or if it is something else. However, from the start he acts all put out when I read these books, before giving the story a chance. I don't understand it. I mean, if I like these books even though there are no bears to be seen, he should be able to get over a single story. Oh well.
Source: Library Book
Friday, April 27, 2012
Puppy Mudge Takes a Bath by Cynthia Rylant is a very cute book featuring Henry's puppy Mudge. Like many pups (and children), Mudge loves playing in the mud. However, what comes after getting all dirty? A bath, of course! After getting, what do most dogs do? Shake, shake, shake! This book is an early reader suitable for grades preschool-k and mostly filled with sight words. Though the story is somewhat predictable (e.g. after the trouble of a bath, something happens that requires the pair to start all over), but little kids will likely find the story extremely funny. I enjoyed it too! I understand this is another series, so I will be sure to look for more the next time I'm browsing the shelves.
Source: Library Book
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Sorry for the glare. I was in a hurry to get this picture taken. Anyway, I had see recommendations for bra extenders in the various books, websites, etc., early on in my pregnancy, but I just didn't look too hard for them until a week or so ago. Originally, it was because my bras mostly still fit. Then I started buying a couple new ones the next size or two up at Target. However, in the last month or so, even some of the new ones are feeling a little tight and the old ones felt terrible. These things are super! Though they don't help for cup size increases, they do help for breathing room. I even comfortably wore one with a regular pre-pregnancy bra and went for a mile-plus walk yesterday afternoon without any discomfort. (Ice cream was involved. It wasn't deliberately planned :).
One caveat is that the books say they're only a dollar or so a piece. I paid $8 for 3 on Amazon for the two prong set which seems to be the going rate. The 3-prong one were more expensive. Nonetheless, I definitely recommend trying these, particularly if you're not willing to buy cheapy bras from Target throughout your pregnancy like I had been.
Yet another one I remember fondly from my childhood, The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Dinosaur Bone is a great read albeit a predictable one. Pictured on the cover are Brother and Sister Bear, however in the story no distinctions are made. In other words, they're just a group of young bears (and their trusty pup) working together to solve the mystery of a dinosaur's missing leg. Adding some urgency to their mission is the museum opening later that day. It was a nice change to see the cubs get into a bit of mischief as they went about their task, rather than bumbling Papa Bear. Several near misses in finding the bone are quite amusing and also illustrate all the goodies one might find in a museum such as statutes of historical figures (from pirates to cowboys), to a totem pole, to a priceless vase. Finally, quite by accident, they solve the case finding both the missing bone and the "thief." As always, quite an enjoyable read. Written in rhyme, this book is quite suitable to beginning readers, grades k-2.
Update: Since the baby is still in womb and can't ask for books to be repeated 5 million times just yet, we typically read each book only once before I return it to the library. My husband insisted we read it two nights in a row as it's one of his childhood favorites. Too cute!
Source: Library Book
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I had no idea that there were Curious George books! As I believe I mentioned, at the moment, I'm selecting library books from the children's section of my library mainly just by wandering about through the "easy reader" section. Each visit, I do gravitate towards the Berenstain Bears books because I love them and the Dr. Seuss section as my husband's a fan. However, I also pick a shelf or two and grab any book that looks interesting. This time, not too far from the Berenstain Bears books, I found a fair handful of Curious George books. Remembering the cartoons fondly, as well as a neat museum exhibit a couple of years ago at the San Jose Children's Museum, I immediately added one to my stack.
In The Perfect Carrot, Curious George has a (new) friend named Bill who has a flock of pet bunnies who love carrots. When George runs out of carrots to feed the bunnies, Bill teaches him how to grow carrots. After much diligent gardening--with the help of the man in the yellow hat, of course--George grows a perfect carrot. Luckily, his success comes just in time to rescue Bill's lost bunnies and save the day.
This was a cute and engaging story. Aimed at early readers, I'd guess grades 1-3. As a read aloud, it will likely be suitable for much younger. In the future, I will definitely look for more Curious George books.
Source: Library Book
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Cat and Dog is an I Can Read Book written by Else Holmelund Minarik, author of Little Bear which we read nearly a month ago. Although Little Bear is a well-regarded book, I wasn't a fan and thought the author wrote as though English wasn't her first language. Cat and Dog rather reinforced that impression, not because of the unusual phrasing, but because of what seemed like unnatural repetition. Each character is addressed twice each time the speaker speaker speaks to him. For example, "Come and get me, Dog, Dog" or "Here are bones, Dog, Dog." I know that repetitiveness aids children's learning but this seemed very odd. Nonetheless, this book was nowhere near as cumbersome to read as Little Bear, though the target audience likely had much to do with that.
This story begins with a Dog tormenting a cat much as an older sibling might torment a younger one by constantly criticizing all his actions. However, while the dog might be able to bully the cat, both pets answer to their human owner. Thus, soon enough Dog is scolded by the human and both pets are put outside. Now on equal footing, the two frolic happily until it's time to go inside. The ending is quite abrupt which likely won't bother a child, but again struck me as strange.
Aimed at early readers, grades k-1, the illustrations are nice and colorful which might make it good book for discussion, though I found the dialogue sadly lacking.
Source: Library Book
Monday, April 23, 2012
As this was my third consignment sale, I had high hopes for getting "stuff" rather than clothes. The last one, Classy Kids was a bit of a disappointment, especially after I had volunteered for four hours to shop early. While I got a few books, bibs, and some clothes, I found nothing big as I'd hoped. Similarly, at the Just Between Friends sale, if there was any "good stuff" such as the bouncer, swing, or high chair I'm looking for, as well as more maternity shorts, they were long gone. However, after the long trip up there, I was determined to make my trip worthwhile. Thus, I scrutinized the clothes and didn't do too badly as you will soon see.
I'm going to another sale this coming weekend and am cautiously optimistic. Not optimistic to volunteer, but optimistic enough to look forward to going. The upcoming one is by Weecycled Wardrobe, which is the same folks who hosted one back in February. At that sale, I did see bigger stuff that I was looking for but didn't buy because it seemed too early. Next Monday we start the third trimester so I'm anxious to get everything ready. Hopefully, the quality of the sale is similar to what it was in February, although it's a possibility that the earlier the sale in the year, the better the stuff. We shall see. One big plus about Weecycled is that they only accept name brand items--no Wal-Mart, Target or other discount store stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with that stuff, but it provides some buffer for us first time moms who don't know all the brand names yet or have a real feel for what's quality. Anyway, I'll hopefully put in a good report next weekend.
Here's what all I bought on Saturday, all freshly washed and ready to be put away:
Socks! I realized when I was sorting the baby's clothes that I hadn't bought any socks yet so I made it a point to get a few. They range from newborn to a toddler.
Here a couple booties and one set of mitts.
Hats! They range from new born to 1 year, I think. Can you guess my favorites?
Burp cloths and a bib. I'm definitely stocked up on bibs now, although I do need more burb cloths.
Onesies. These are in sizes ranging from 3-9 months.
Love this set. It's by Gymboree and totally reminds me of Baltimore.
Pajamas and Sleepers! The first one is my husband's favorite.
This is a sleep sack
Pants! I made an effort to buy some clothes in the 6-9 month range which will put us well into winter. Thus, the Blueberry will need some pants.
This one was my highest priced item, clocking in at whopping $12 for the shirt and jacket. The brand is Janie and Jack, which appears to be a fancy brand so I think I still got a deal. Also, it reminds me of Hawaii.
Another look at all his new clothes. . .
Total cost $89.90