Sunday, July 26, 2009

Future Fashionistas

Whoever said "beauty is pain" is absolutely right. And, I'm not even talking about waxing. I'm referring to the four hours I spent at the Kids Exchange consignment sale today at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

It was a baby bargain hunter's utopia. As far as the parental eye could see inside the expo center, there were racks and racks and racks of clothes for everyone from newborns to teens. Strollers had a section. So did bathtubs, bouncy seats, furniture, toys, games, swings, potties and anything else ever created for children. Ever.

All this stuff belonged to someone sometime, but they need no longer need it, so they priced it right and hoped moms-to-be like me would buy it for cheap. Lucky for them, thousands of current and future parents turned out for the three-day event. The crowds were the thickest this afternoon, because it was the final day of the sale, and everything was half off.

It was obvious that most of the folks had been to this shoppers' paradise before. They knew the drill. These veterans came fully armed with strollers and wagons. Not for carrying kids. Oh, no. They were for carrying the purchases.

Let's just say, as a kids exchange virgin, I came woefully unarmed in comparison. Toting only my red Target grocery bag, I began to wonder how I would ever get my baby bounty to the car without toppling over.

Thankfully, I didn't really see many things I liked. Except, of course, in the clothing section. I'm a total sucker for anything cute and pink. :)

I started at the newborn section, which seemed like it alone was a mile long, and worked my way down to the 3-6 months section over the course of an hour and a half. All along the way, I added hanger after hanger of darling outfits to my arm/temporary closet rod and wished I had a wagon.

All of the clothes I snagged were in excellent condition. Some of the onesies still had the tags on them! I figured if I did find a stain or a missing button later, who cares? I was only paying a dollar for the outfit, and the girls were probably just going to spit up on it anyway.

After sorting through the collection that was about to break off my arm, I whittled down my choices to 20 items. They included denim jumpers and jeans, ruffley dresses, long-sleeved onesies with feet (remember the Wonder Twins will be born in the winter!) and adorable sweaters. I was pysched at the steals I was getting.

That euphoria dwindled when I discovered where the end of the check-out line was. It had wound through the front of the building and all the way around the back side. Ugh. This was not good.

I figured physical torture to my feet was the true price I would have to pay for the abundant bargains I would... eventually... receive. So, I stood on the cement floor in my flimsy flip flops for an hour and a half before I finally got to pay. I spent a solid 50 minutes of that time talking to my friend Nancy on the phone, which definitely helped the time go by quickly and kept me from thinking about my aching feet.

When the lady behind the register rang me up, I got the good news I'd been waiting nearly two hours for - my bill was only $31! Sweet! Twenty items for $31 is music to my bank account's ears.

Once I got home, I planned to sit with my feet up in hopes that the throbbing would cease. That lasted for about 20 minutes. A sudden urge to wash and rehang all the clothes trumpted my therapeutic rest time. The good thing is now all the outfits are now clean, smelling like lavendar, and hanging in the closet, ready for the Wonder Twins to wear!

I know they're excited, because they keep kicking. Let's just hope they're not already fighting over who gets to wear what. :)

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