December 23, 2009

Kids and Christmas Shopping

My new no-gap-waistband jeans from Target? GAPPING CONSIDERABLY. Also, they cause me to have to keep hitching up my unders. You know what I need, is those button-elastic waist-adjusters they put in children's jeans. My waist is slimmer than the manufacturers expect, given my hip size. (Isn't that a much nicer way to say my hips are larger than they expect?) And yet I really like the jeans and have worn them three days in a row and I'm going to look for another pair so I'll be able to launder these.

Do you know what I learned from my recent Party Shopping Expedition? Camis are super-cute. I'd been avoiding them because my shoulders are narrow and rounded and my upper arms are plump (this, I think, tends to go with the leetle waist), but a cami under a flannel shirt is cuter than a t-shirt under a flannel shirt, and no shoulders or upper arms need be exposed if they'd rather not.

I'd bought a black cami to go under the pink shirt I wore, and then I got a dark red (almost burgundy) cami that came as an underlayer to a shirt I wore yesterday and probably never again (it's the tunic/maternity style and I felt kind of dumb in it), and after I took off the shirt in frustration I wore the cami with a flannel shirt and I felt kind of SASSY exposing so much CHESTAL REGION. It reminded me of those extremely persuasive Charlie perfume ads from the eighties, comparing Charlie to wearing slinky unders with a grey tailored business suit. ...I'm not sure, now that I think of it, why that would be, but I still do wear Charlie twenty years later so SCORE, marketers!

And also I bought another cami, a white one. Target has camis in a whole bunch of pretty colors in the misses department, but in plus sizes they have only black and white. Listen, I may be DUTCH and a BAKER but that doesn't mean I don't like PRETTY COLORS. And now I am tired of saying cami, so let's think of something else to talk about.

We've been trying various plans for teaching the children that Christmas is a holiday of EXCHANGING gifts, not just RECEIVING them. When I had fewer children, I took them to the store and had them choose something for their grandma, their grandpa, their aunt, their uncle, and their daddy. We did a lot of talking about Thinking About What The Other Person Would Like, but then I let them choose even if I knew it wasn't a good idea---we're talking about a $2 gift from a child, so it's not going to ruin anyone's Christmas if it doesn't hit the mark.

But now there are FIVE children. Five $2 gifts for grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, mother, father---ACK. It's not just the expense, it's the TIME it takes to wrap and unwrap and exclaim over all those gifts, and it's the mountain of small and not-particularly-wanted gifts purchased only to make a point to the child. And that's with no sibling gifts!

So this year I took the kids out and had them pool their resources, buying ONE present for grandma, grandpa, aunt, and uncle, and using the person's wish list to help decide on something in the $10 range. It might miss the mark, but it's ONE thing instead of five. They did still each choose something for their daddy, though, since that seems different.

We'll see if this works better.

23 comments:

Jess said...

I think that was a great solution. Good thinking!

Becky said...

I witnessed a funny at Target the other day that made me think of you:

Dad, to his two kids: I have $20 for each of you to spend...
Kid 1: YAAAAAAAYYYYY!
Kid 2: (eyes wide) Yes! Yes! Yes!
Dad: ...on MOMMY.
Kid 1 and 2, totally defeated: oh.

Agree with Jess that the $10 gift was a great solution. Score for you and happy holidays!

d e v a n said...

That's a good idea. Maybe you could let each child draw a name for the gift they will buy. (grandma, aunt, teacher, whatever) Then, they could work together to get Daddy's gift, or each give him one on their own. I think we're going to draw names next year... We try to keep our budget small, so this is something I've been thinking about now that the kids are getting a little bit older (or, one of them...)

Gina said...

Right Fit jeans have solved my "too small waist" problem. They have them at Fashion Bug and they are pretty reasonable.

Livinia Redlips said...

Old Navy's long layering tanks are great - tons of colors & inexpensive (often they offer free shipping and 20% off w/coupon code).

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=7524&vid=1&pid=676446&scid=676446082

I get this style (in tall so they're longer) and they are great layering pieces - I'm wearing the bird one right now.

Sarah said...

Oh, I have loved camis for many a year now! I am actually totally fine with baring the, eg, CHESTAL region, as I consider it to be one of my better features, along with the small waist, while everything BELOW that small waist I'd prefer to drape in a full skirt and forget about.
No gap jeans are a crock. I've kind of given up on the mythical idea of NOT having to stop and hitch my pants up every ten minutes or so for the rest of my life. We all have our crosses to bear, and pants-yanking is my cross.
Or I could just wear a dang belt.

Lisa said...

Since I have been breastfeeding forEVER (3 kids in 4 years), I have a huge selection of camis. I like the stretchy ones for Ann Taylor Loft. Wear them under a regular shirt that buttons down the front or has a deep v, voila, instant bf-able clothes. Since most bfing clothes are hideous beyond belief. (Not that you have this problem. Just sayin. Camis rock.)

HollyLynne said...

I love the idea of $2 presents for everyone . . . Boy and I are only planning to have 2 or (maybe!) 3 kids so that might work out nicely for us. More nicely though if I can teach them how to wrap their own presents :)

Dr. Maureen said...

Every single time you said "cami" I had to mentally correct myself from reading "camo."

mona said...

I wear camis every single day. It's like I'm wearing layers only around my boobs. Strangely enough, the word verification is "bustfist." No joke.

Superjules said...

Cami!

Nicole said...

I don't like those tunic style tops. I feel like I'm masquerading as a pregnant person in them.

goingloopy said...

Target always seems to hose the plus size chicks, although it's been better in recent months.

Old Navy at one point had camis in a bunch of colors, even in plus, and if you're only sort of plus, you can do the larger misses' ones.

For jeans -- a bunch of stores (Lane Bryant, Catherine's, NY & Co, etc.) have the "right fit" pants, where you can get pants based on the shape of your body: yellow for straighter-up-and-down, red for medium curvy, and blue for babies that got back. I know a lot of people swear by them...I like the fit, personally, but hate where the pockets hit me.

Amy --- Just A Titch said...

Gah, I just purchased those jeans. No gapping yet, but, SHIT.

So Dutch, too said...

Swiszie -- may I call you Swiszie as a term of endearment, you are plus size? How did I not catch this before? I am even more fond of you/this blog than ever.

Swistle said...

So Dutch, too-- Well, I probably haven't mentioned it very often. It wouldn't be polite to brag.

Kim said...

I seem to have good luck with Target clothes fitting my egg shaped body - there and the Gap - and that's about it. Just another reason for my ongoing love affair with the Target.

Melissa said...

As a plus size myself, I was so happy to hear you mention it. My tiny family only buys me giftcards so I can "shop for myself" because I think they think shopping on the plus action will spread my ample size to their tiny bodies Luke an infectious disease.

I love you even more now!

Laura said...

Do you sew, Swistle? Because converting into that to waistband from a standard one wouldn't be too hard. *ahem*

Instructions:

Take a stitch ripper and carefully unpick about an inch of waistband on either side. Make a buttonhole to match whatever button you're using. Now, sew up the holes you just made, and zig-zag over the raw edges and treat with Fray Check. Next, measure the waistband between the holes, cut a piece of elastic to match, and top stitch the ends. (3/4 wide would work well, but it depends on your button.) Make buttonholes along the length of the elastic. Sew on the buttons. Next, button the first buttonhole one one side and, using a safety pin, thread the elastic through and secure it by sewing through the middle of the waistband two or three times.

Easy, adjustable waistband...

Laura said...

Just another note... I know you don't like Wal-Mart, but for certain things, they're pretty good. If the craft department in your local Wal-Mart is still there, their elastic and button assortments are good deals.

For $0.99, you can get three yards of elastic. Other places only sell it cut-by-the-yard, and it's usually more per yard than the whole three yards is.

They also sell 100 plastic buttons in a bag for around $5. I swear, you can practically go broke just buying buttons! For plain buttons, it's good. I mean, you can pay a bit over a dollar for five buttons, or five dollars for a hundred buttons. And they're essentially the same four-hole buttons.

That's where I'd recommend getting the materials if you're altering the waistband of your pants like above. Well, assuming you already know how to sew and own a machine. :D For a machine, don't buy it at Wal-Mart. The machines they have are as cheaply made as they are inexpensive. With sewing machines, as with a good many things, you get what you pay for. Mine is an old Pfaff, but even at 30+ years old, it still sells for $600 regularly on ebay, because it's just that sturdy and good....

Swistle said...

Laura- These are such good instructions! It tempts me to learn to sew. After all, I learned to knit and I knit TWO Things!

Laura said...

:) It's a useful skill, if just to know how to mend things and repair hems. My advice is that if you want to learn to sew clothing, go for Kwik Sew patterns. They have the best, clearest instructions on the market. They're really easy to follow!

BRash said...

I am also surprised that you are plus-sized, and I'm going to have to go back and inspect pictures of you for evidence I may have missed.

Regarding the chestal region, my family has always called it "clergy" from a hilarious and slightly sacrilegious childhood mishearing of cleavage on my part. I'm 29 now and we ALL still stick with clergy.