Friday, November 1, 2013

Nick Mom!

Each week NickMom.com put out a Follow Friday list of their favorite tweets of the week! I am thrilled to be included in this week's list! http://www.nickmom.com/more-lols/parenting-tweets-november-1/


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Truths about parenting I hate

There are a million things that have been true about parenting that I really hate. I don't hate all of them cause they are bad, I mostly hate these things because they proved me wrong. I had large plans to knock this parenting thing out of the park, plans that were quashed when I took a 3 year old and a small baby to the zoo with zero diapers. I mean I don't think anyone gets pregnant and aims to be the last Mom at pickup, but against all judgments you made as a pregnant lady, you will, at one time or another, be that Mom. 

These truths (true for me anyway) are things you either wouldn't believe or things you wouldn't believe are annoying. I've made a jillion mistakes, which is still hard to believe so I'll tell myself  what I tell my kids, Einstein said, "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." True, but not fun to hear.

So, here are the truths about parenting I hate...

-The "I hate you'" comes way before you are mentally prepared for it. The first "I hate you" burns like 1,000 fiery daggers. The second burns like 999.9999 fiery daggers and so on and so on. 

-Playing with them isn't always fun. Thankfully it's not just me who thinks this, it can be hard and most of my lego playing time is spent surreptitiously  picking up and putting legos away that I don't want to step on later. My daydreams about playing with my adoring kid turned into sitting next to a train table unable to do or say the right thing faster than I could say, "cinders and ashes." I've found that there will be at least one thing you eventually both like that you can do together, like tease their dad.

-They will think their grandparents do no wrong. This is annoying, don't front, it's annoying. It's also wonderful, but man it stings to not always be the favorite. I had some of the best grandparents around and I was sure they came from the same place Mary Poppins dropped in from. They bought me stuff, said,  "Yes" almost exclusively, and weren't worried about the rules of my parents. I am happy my kids have that, I mean I knew they would, I was just sure I'd edge the grandparents out in popularity by at least a hair, not so much.

-Some Moms will be, or seem to be, better at Momming than you are. So the deal is when you start going to classes and preschool and then elementary school you will meet a million Moms. Some of them will seem so painfully put together it's as if they are walking measuring sticks with running hats on but still somehow perfect hair too. I mean how is this possible? You are just the Mom your kid needs and every person has their thing they struggle with even if it doesn't show in yoga pants worn for actual yoga. It's good to be around all different types. I've learned a ton from the Moms in my "village" and the people I feel the most intimated by always become the people I like the most.

-Babies don't need like 99% of the stuff that is fun to buy. My garage still has SO much crap in it that I loved buying that was never really used for more than collecting dog hair. The cutest stuff is typically the most useless. The useful stuff, I passed down or sold to people actually using it, the stuff that was fun to buy I have a mental death grip on while it sits in a tupperware likely covered in spiders. 

-You can't be perfect and make the right choice each time. I really hate this part, I was sure that all of the "you'll see's" and "terrible two" b.s. was somehow not going to happen because I wanted my kids SO much. The real deal is, the imperfection actually leads to the biggest moments of bonding. If you have one new kid you won't believe me and I wouldn't have believed me at all, even a little. It's way true though, when you both are vulnerable at the same time it's magic.

-People are constantly telling you, "It goes by fast." Nothing made me more insane while I was lugging a 9 pounder around in my middle than hearing this business. Each day of that first pregnancy felt like a marathon in slow motion while carsick and hot and hungry when nothing sounds good. The only thing I hate more is being wrong about this. Now, not all of it goes by fast, the weeks after they move to a toddler bed, when they are sick and can't sleep, teething and don't sleep, a kid and they won't sleep, those times are don't go by fast, at all. In fact it feels like time moves at a different pace, like that girl from Out Of This World put her fingers together freezing time. But the rest of it, with all those slow times included, speeds by. Once my husband held up a 9 month fleece footie and said, "Who has a kid this big?" We were shocked then, and that big 9 month old is now almost 4'4" and he plays hockey, loves to play music, has a brother who worships him, and he can spell the F word. And I don't hate that part at all :)






Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This is OUR weekend!


A lot of times in the midst of trying to keep track of your kid's schedules, plus work, trying to feed those busy kids, all while trying to manage the dog hair in the house, we lose track of time. Well, we typically lose a lot more than that, but what I mean here is, you can look up and a week has passed. A week of dates you need to remember, and money you need to spend, again, and a new pile of paper has invaded your counter. I want to stop and tell you, this could possibly be your last chance to take a breath.
This is the last weekend in September, despite what your local hobby lobby has been saying for a month. It's not time for Halloween yet, or early Thanksgiving, or extra early Christmas, or the 6 weeks with every one of your in-law’s birthdays in it, or time to turn in end of the semester reading logs, or resolutions. This weekend isn't the Eve of anything, it's the last nothing you get, and I say we breathe it in like the last big breath of air you take before you plug your nose and jump off the high dive. The high dive above a pool full of Halloween decorations, multiple Halloween parties, costumes amended for cold and rain, Thanksgiving menus, articles about what is bad to eat on Thanksgiving menus, post Thanksgiving food/shame comas, crumpled up Christmas present budgets and wish lists, wrapping paper, so much tasty food you should eat in moderation per the Thanksgiving article, ads saying the stores open on Midnight after Christmas, receipts, and exercise equipment from ditched resolutions.
The beginning of this week was still "summer" so we can totally take this weekend as the last before you can't say it's too early for Halloween decorations. Because then, then the snowball starts rolling, the snowball that rolls over you picking you up at Halloween then rolling you around every store possible before dropping you off chubby and broke in January.

Between way too early hockey, soccer, and more early hockey, I plan on staving off tissue ghosts, spider decorations and anything they sell in the back corner of target. You know… the corner that will be full of Christmas trees on November 1st. That is if I remember this by then...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From Becky To Roseanne



It is with great sadness that I present myself as an "enter sport here" Mom. It's not that I am bummed to have kids participating in sports, I'd much prefer it to, say, dance, but only because I sometimes, wrongly, feel as if I've missed my calling as a back-up dancer. I'm not sure that having a kid in dance lessons wouldn't be my kryptonite. It's that the phrase really has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with one of the weird boxes you get put in when you have a kid. 

A soccer Mom is depicted as a woman who is no longer in touch but much rather out of touch and set up with her flippy Mom haircut, high waisted pants, and out of date vernacular that she still see as relevant. You can find most Moms I know working rap lyrics like it's the mid 90's but we cringe when our Moms did the same with "boss." The term "Soccer Mom" first showed up in the mid 90’s in regards to elections and per wikipedia, “The phrase soccer mom generally refers to a married middle-class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school age children.[1][2] She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan or SUV.[1][3] She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.” Who wants to be that person? Putting others in front of themselves while playing chauffer, not me. Who is that person? Totally me. This week my 2 kids will go to 2 different schools, hockey, drum lesson, gymnastics, and soccer.

I am sure that this is what every Mom/aging woman goes through, you know, becoming what you once deemed “lame.” I have never had it make more sense to me than when I watch old episodes of Roseanne, which btw I do and suggest you do too. Besides Jackie's outfits, the show fully holds up. I can remember my Mom telling me I kind of acted like Becky and I can also remember completely relating with her and, since I had my own lion's mane of curls and a spot on the basketball team, Darlene too. Last night I watched an episode where Darlene and a sporty boy with a mullet get caught "making out" and along with Becky, and her up-do du jour - the french braid with a huge bow at the end - they got the sex talk. It was as Roseanne started the conversation that I realized I used to be the Becky and now I am the Roseanne. 

But but but... I have tattoos, I used to flash strangers, I had my names in an LA Times article, I liked Nirvana WHEN they came out and had the baby wiener t-shirt… I used to have 3 earrings in one ear? Doc Martens? Your Dad had a tongue ring? No? Ok….


The way an adolescent Becky says “her” in referring to her mom makes me shiver and then fill with fury where I used to relate. Can’t she see how hard her Mom is working, that the world doesn’t revolve around her, that her parents were once right where she is now? No, she can’t and not just cause she’s a fictional character.

Aging happens slowly and irrelevance creeps in as disbelief in what is considered music morphs into the song of the old, “I don’t get it.” I’m the Mom. The teenagers in the Nordstrom Rack yesterday had their gigs fully harshed as my painfully adorable 4 year old asked me to run to the aisle and back to ensure the shoe I had tried on fit and was tested as his are. Don’t think I didn’t do it, that’s cute and it does help you see if the shoes fit. These shoes didn’t fit, my budget, yes even at The Rack.

What you can’t know while you are making the face you make when you smell something bad and saying, “My Mom won’t let me” or while spending your time and disposable income on shoes whilst eeeeewwwww-ing the Mom and her long zipper is that taking your lil dude to hockey and watching him chant “go Bulldogs” can be fun. You also can’t know that some of the Moms you will meet in the stands will be funny, smart, former Mom judgers, who will back you up when your kid is skating circles in the corner and you forgot to buy snack until 5 minutes before the game. What a “soccer mom” is doing is what everybody in a Rom-Com is gunning for: marriage then, what?  A kid who don’t require being driven anywhere or have any activities because they don’t have any misplaced energy? Doesn’t exist, and if it does don’t tell me, I won’t handle that news well, at all. No one with kids escapes it and the people who try the hardest looks the silliest. I still cringed a bit when I heard someone say, “you’re a soccer mom” after signing my kid up and getting him shin guards, but we all know, I’ll always just be a badass in disguise, a very high-waisted, disguise.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The sounds of an empty house

Today starts the first full week of school. No half week, abbreviated schedule, or trial runs. Today marks new normal.

It's 10:17, my alarm went off at 4:32, or at least I think it did, I don't consider the first go, reality. I've taken a shower, worked my shift, been to Target in between a conversation with an out of state friend of Fantasy Football and kids at preschool, and now I am all by myself in my house, in my bed, bowl full of Trader Joe's brand Pirate's Booty (It's better and costs less.) 

Last year when this happened for the first time I started to notice things I'd never heard before. Typically these sounds, like the ice maker, water heater, or a ringing it turns out I have in my ears, were covered by the white noise that is my life's soundtrack, at the moment anyway. My life's soundtrack used to be cracking beer cans, dudes saying, "Dude," and the sounds of darts hitting a dart board way past my bedtime, as I got up EVEN earlier back then.

The current soundtrack is
-various vehicle noises made my small mouths 
-the dog barking cause he's sensed my comfort 
-sounds of an unwatchable animated show I don't actually "see" cause I'm "just resting my eyes"
-sing song tattle tale-ing 
-off kilter walking washing machine stomping
-telemarketers
-cries of starvation
-cries of "this is gross, I'm not hungry" 
-more cries of starvation 
-drums 
-complaining he HAS to play the drums  
-that noise homework induces
-reasons why I am a ball breaking tyrant
-bedtimes shows on two different devices which doesn't end the sing song tattle tale-ing
-reasons for not wanting to sleep 
-sleep kicking of the race car bed in the room next to ours
-finally,  my husband pouring cereal after I've powered down

When I am home alone the sounds are much different,  first there are random house noises that all scare me (it's good news I can't always hear these, I would waste all day dreaming up nightmare scenarios of what they are.) Then there are the noises that signify, I am indeed alone and only in charge of myself and my frozen burrito habit.

The "Sounds of Silence" are typically 
-ads I'm ignoring on Words With Friends via FB
-the microwave beeping indicating it's frozen burrito time
-the dog sleeping cause he knows he can do whatever he wants and I will not stop radiating my now retired ovary with this laptop and get him anything, squirrels go un-chased on my time
-my phone buzzing from texts about stuff just for me
-random videos from the rabbit hole that is YouTube
-and the ear ringing, which while annoying, is a signal that it's peaceful here

When I read through both lists I realized I couldn't make a list about the sounds in the house and not mention the noises that break up the constant roars of "Me first" and "I won." Like,
-that giggle kids do when they hide
-the giggle they do when their sibling is gross
-the giggle they do when you give them a zerbert
-the little breathe they take once they've relented to sitting with you for a minute
-the conversations amongst each other you weren't supposed to hear
-the plotting and planning of playing together
-when they use "Sad Trombone" 
-the noise they make when their Dad comes home
-the way they say my name when they are thrilled with me or talking about me to someone else

I don't think there is anyway to get the giggling and avoid the car noises here, so I'll take 'em both. As for right now it's just me, the typing, the ringing and, as soon as this sentence is done, all the sounds of my frozen burrito*. 
It is the bean and rice one from Trader Joe's and it's the business.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wanna watch me do a weird blinky thing on TV? You're in luck!

I was invited to be on The List TV Show, for Follow Friday, which is particularly exciting because I love the host, Teresa Strasser. It was super fun and now I know I do a weird blinky thing when I recite stuff while nervous.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

My back to school oath...

I, Snack Mom, being of profound mind and pregnancy-altered body do hereby solemnly swear...

to TRY and not cry on your first day, but come on, I used to haul you around in my middle, it's not so easy to just release you to the public school system


to keep a straight face when you come home with your brand new shoes dirty after having them for 5 seconds despite my wishes you keep your "kicks" fresh, like the white kid in my office who thinks he's a rapper.


not to go all "mid year" on you too early with all my "I'm SO tired of's" and "If you just did it, it would be over already's." This shift in routine makes me the craziest of all of us so I should understand that going from loads of just-be-quiet iPad to loads of just-do-it homework isn't anyones idea of a good time.



to say my very own Serenity Prayer, God grant me the serenity to  accept those who think there are things I can't change, courage to change those things, cause I can, and the wisdom to know the kids business. Ok, this isn't really a promise but more of my own locker room speech to myself.


to stop telling myself that checking up on you, even when you can't see me, isn't "spying." It is totally spying, not that I am going to stop, but now I can lower the amount of things I lie to myself about by one.

to at least PAUSE asking questions when you tell me to STOP asking questions.
I took this oath but didn't necessarily follow it, but I tried and got you ice cream after school. So we're even, right?


Sunday, September 1, 2013

A new column, purgatory, and a watch tan line

The kids have been home for that few weeks between camps and school, temporary punishment before the heaven that is other people making your kids tired. 

I have been rendered mostly useless trying to do fun stuff, trying to get them to have "quiet time," and tossing my millionth half eaten PB&J. All of this after my early morning shift at work, not a day goes by I don't announce to someone just how early I get up. 

In this time I debuted my column, "Edmonds Kind of Play," on MyEdmondsNews.com. This column covers local events going on in my city and features local issues and the parents involved. 

Check it out!





Even though my nerves say different, I am excited for the schol year to start and to have time to be there, with you!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Phew...

I woke up the morning after the VMAs with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  I got to do all of the stupid stuff I did in my teens and 20’s and there is NO real proof. OK, maybe some stories from a group of friends, most whose memories were compromised by things they are also glad didn’t end up on social media, so I’m not so worried.

I can’t even imagine the duration of my fetal position if I was subjected to @s or blog comments, basically having my dumb stuff getting yelped. I can hardly handle that now, here, even though I know what I’ve signed up for by having and posting my opinions and experiences.  

I could crank call, I could flash a well deserving band and have it be just that, a flash, not a gift that keeps on giving, and I could do things that weren’t forward-able, shareable, or viral. Thank GAWD there is no picture of me wearing the “porn star” t-shirt I thought was funny, no record of my gun jumping the whole “in a relationship” thing on FB (which I would have definitely done,) and all of my look-at-me attention getting nonsense can be seen as learning experiences and not things my kids may find when they eventually Google “Boobs.” Phew…

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chicks Dig Scars?


Having two boys I hear, “chicks dig scars” on, what feels like, a regular basis. I mostly can’t stand it. First, it kinda feels dismissive, even though I am assured I am not being dismissed. Second, it is basically translated to, they are boys and don’t need to be pretty and scarless, walk it off. I’m not exactly a walk it off kinda person and telling me some lady is going to be hot for my kid one day isn’t exactly soothing. Since I seem to hear it from every demographic, I started to almost subscribe to the thought, until I really started to think about it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways?


I realized the other day that it is especially hard to hear how hard the kids have it when they don't even have to lather their own soap. Now, I know every generation does this. My Mom didn't always have a tv or blowdryer or krimping iron. Her mother didn't always have a washer/dryer and her mother didn't always have the right to vote. I get it, but this perspective has done nothing to ease the annoyance with the whole "my life is hard" business.

Most of the time when I am writing, it is to relieve pressure and I can only hear about how hard it is from a 7 year old who has his OWN ipad (it was a gift,) a drum kit in his room (garage sale mini version,) lessons to play said drum kit, soap that comes out in a nice lil foamy lather, and his cartoon of choice on demand at all times, so many times without developing a pretty loud steam whistle.

On the flip side, he has teachers who can e-mail his parents, his business shared on social media, and a mother who can fact check his stories with his friend's Moms on the mini-computer in her cracker crumb filled bag, known as her "phone."  I get that there are downsides to all this incredibleness he has at his fingertips but "with great power comes great responsibility" Meh, I'm not sure that this fits here but I do believe Obi Wan is my only hope.

I imagine my equivalent position when he complains and it was more like hoping to catch "The Wizard of Oz" when it was on TV once a year, knowing the better the show/movie, the more commercials we HAD to sit through.  I have flashbacks of washing my hands with a bar of soap equipped with a hair wrapped around it, and being utilized as a human remote control for the TV with a 13 channel knob.

I am thankful everyday I was not Laura Ingalls Wilder, living in a log cabin heated by a coal stove, curling my bangs with a hot pencil, and eventually giving birth while biting on a leather strap. Hell, I am thankful I didn’t have to manage these curls in middle school without mousse, but I have currently had my fill of the “life is hard” biz. I suppose this is all part of the process for them and for me and I can just stay the course of helping others when we can, modeling being thankful, and letting off steam when it all feels like bullsh*t. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Birds and Bees

TV and movies tend to distort our views on many things in life, like jobs, love, friendship, waist size, school. Gauging parenting based on TV/Movies has been both limiting and disappointing. It's better and worse than it's portrayed and what is fun is rarely shown. Making a huge mess while baking cookies is cute, cleaning up while you sugar filled Tasmanian devil begs you for another hit of the good stuff is NOT. The best things are when you don't correct words they don't say just right and then the whole family adopts it, like "Fanks" or "Skim-see" (Excuse me) or when they drop their first unsolicited, "I love you" that's the good stuff. I had seen the Birds and Bees talk portrayed in a bunch of different places and I don't think one of them got it right. The best example was in Kindergarten Cop when the kid told everyone at every chance who had what part. I expected one talk in middle school and BOY was I wrong.  So far it has been a long term consistent line of questioning the heightens with each question.

I'll give you my best two examples...


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why is a Potluck so miserable?

So my oldest kid is going to a new school this year and has a Big-Potluck-Party this weekend, "you down with BPP? yea you know me," so that all the new kids can meet friends. I am thankful for the event to ease him into a new situation after only knowing one elementary school and the same set of friends for the last few years. My excitement in hearing about the event turned to dread and then avoidance. I can't stand a potluck...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Trader Joe's is breaking me!


Once upon a time, in my former life as a radio producer, I booked an interview with Joe Coulombe, the founder of Trader Joe's, for a segment on people who started something from nothing. He had since sold the company but it was fun to meet him because not only did we shop there all the time, we lived near the first location and I personally feel like its "my" store. It also didn't hurt that my grandma called it the wrong name and saying, "We're going to Trader's Joe" was amusing in a tribute-y kinda way.


Anyone who shops there knows that it is not without the risk of falling in love with an item only to have it discontinued despite its popularity. Once upon a time, in my former life as a radio producer, I booked an interview with Joe Coulombe, the founder of Trader Joe's, for a segment on people who started something from nothing. He had since sold the company but it was fun to meet him because not only did we shop there all the time, we lived near the first location and I personally feel like its "my" store. It also didn't hurt that my grandma called it the wrong name and saying, "We're going to Trader's Joe" was amusing in a tribute-y kinda way.

Anyone who shops there knows that it is not without the risk of falling in love with an item only to have it discontinued despite its popularity.




If you have shopped at "Trader's Joe" you undoubtedly have a thing, or 5, that have been discontinued for no apparent reason.

Mine are as follows- (In no particular order so they don't get their feelings hurt in Trader Joe's discontinued food heaven)

Rolled Tacos -Tortilla was cooked perfectly
Cashew Butter - Uh, Cashew + Butter
Garlic Bread - The only frozen garlic bread I've had that's good AND the kids ate it.
Fruity Flakes - They were basically cut up fruit leather that took the heat off me for not buying fruit snacks that are basically gummy bears.

Today my bean and cheese burritos weren't there and because I can't imagine a world where I eat anything else for lunch, I have decided to assume they were out, don't have any more, out, and not out, pull me off the ledge, out.

So far on my Facebook page, heart shaped rice and tempura fried wasabi seaweed were missed. What is your thing?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Secondhand Or Firsthand, It All Feels Out Of Hand

This week I was asked to contribute to a story Herb Weisbaum, The Consumer Man, did on Schoola.com for NBCNews.comSchoola Stitch sells name brand, secondhand clothes, donated by schools who receive a portion of the proceeds. As far as a fundraiser goes, I am fully behind how little work is involved, how it involves something I already do, and how it sends money to my school in a wrapping paper, cookie dough, wreath, raffle ticket free way. Some of the prices are pretty great, I found a pair of Gap pants for 13 bucks that I paid 30+ bucks for last year and a portion of that would go back to a school, which is nice. I found some T-shirts that, with shipping, were very close to what I bought brand new at a crazy back to school sale. Just because it's second hand doesn't mean it's a guaranteed deal, like any kind of clothes shopping, if you want a deal you have to know what's out there.

Since I was already checking out the site for the report and in the middle of pricing out what we were going to buy for "Back to School" I figured I'd wrap it up all together here! We are on a budget here but, hard as I try, I can't get up to "Extreme" couponing levels. Because we can kinda afford to, I try to get what we want/need at the lowest price possible. That's when I realized that school clothes shopping (for other than teens, I know little of that scary prospect) is all about deciding where to take the hit, time or money, and maybe in both cases, a lil' sanity. (Edited to add I follow the deals at Target and Osh Kosh and was able to save an awful lot between deals, store coupons from the mail, and an added bonus of a 5% off Target Debit card. I have friends who have the deals at Kohls figured out and people who just stick to Wal-Mart, as well.)

You have lots of secondhand options, in this case you save money, re-use clothes and possibly help out a school, but you're are looking a time commitment in most cases. Also, choosing a site like Schoola Stitch or Thredup.com over other online secondhand stops like Ebay or Craiglist makes all kinds of sense. You have the option to look all in one place without the hassle and extra shipping of multiple auctions or traveling around to buy your Craigslist loot in a safe, well lit place. In person, second hand shopping is more convenient and no extra shipping costs, but you never know what's there, it's way more of a crapshoot. I have had some luck with local Moms Facebook groups, if you aren't a part of one of these yet I fully suggest it. Search the name of your city or neighborhood in Facebook followed by Moms and try and find yours. I watch daily transactions of coats, shoes, dress clothes, Halloween costumes, and once in my case, the perfect copy of Toy Story 3. Places like Plato's Closet, who buy and sell name brand gently used teen sizes, can help you when your kids get older, name brands are more important, and money still doesn't fall out of the sky.

There are things to remember when shopping secondhand (which I sometimes do from my garage because I hit the 2 kids same gender jackpot.) 
-Clothes shrink after a million times through the washer-dryer so the size on the tag can't always be trusted. 
-Take a minute to kick the tires, if you will, try the zippers and fasteners.
-Check the places your kids wear their clothes out. We are a knee rip family here. When looking on Schoola Stitch I passed over any pants with light knees, it's our Achilles Heel of school clothes.

If you have a ton of disposable income it is a lot easier to take the kids, have them point to what they want and move on but you still have to get them to try the clothes on and for us, that's a loud, sweaty, whiny event and I'm just talking about me. I only take my kids to 2 or so places and I have a plan, this saves me time and hassle, which as this stage of the game, feels necessary Most places have great deals going and also have coupons on top of those deals but you have to be prepared before you get there. Check their websites and look out for coupons in the mail as early as June or July. 


I think the bottom line is you can spend a little or you can spend a lot, but it's ALL exhausting because school shopping is full of land mines. Some hate it, some aren't happy with what you can afford, some are somehow always between sizes.  I took two boys, 7 and 4, to get some clothes yesterday in the late afternoon and a mix of dressing room gymnastics, a certain child's sudden amnesia for how to put on pants, and fluorescent lights left me with mascara under my eyes and sweat on my brow. 

The deal is if you save money at Target (which I do with their coupon's and 5% off debit card) you tend to spend money there on groceries and a "Please be quiet and put these pants on" Icee.
If you shop second hand at a Goodwill or consignment shop or on a site like Schoola.com or Thredup.com, you save money, but it can take more time and you risk a bad fit or kid not liking it.

Good Luck in whichever you choose!

Many thanks to Herb for having me on KOMO Newsradio and for letting me contribute to his article on Schoola Stitch!