Completely Outnumbered

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Mom of FOUR boys (!). Everything HAS to be funny, or I will die. FOUR BOYS.

What's the funniest thing your child has ever done or said?

What always makes you laugh?

What's the funniest gift you've ever received?

How do you make shopping for your family's clothes affordable?

Completely Outnumbered

Well. I have four boys, so keeping them in cute clothes that aren't a mess at some point during the day is a challenge in and of itself! But, I do have a few shopping tips - mostly because my husband thinks he is Dave Ramsey, so in order to dodge an argument, this is what I do: Planning ahead for the season - Summer months - t-shirts, shorts, and swim trunks. Winter months - sweats and socks. tons of socks! we constantly loose socks. So I will already have my eye on these kinds of items when shopping, whether in department stores, yard sales, or discount stores. It helps to know what your kids will be needing for the season. We dress in "Sunday best" for church, so I've always got things on hand for weddings or other special events. But if you know you are going on vacation or you have family photos planned then it is a good idea to have some basic pieces that will get good use and that you can add accessories to. Which leads me to the next tip - accessories are not just for little girls! A hat, colorful sneaks, or a cute belt can go a long way! Shopping out of season - GAP, Children's Place, and Old Navy have really great end-of-season sales, some at 50% off. I buy plastic tubs and fill them up if I find things that I know my boys will wear in the future. Stocking up on basics - discount stores like Target and sometimes Wal-Mart have really great solid color tees for under $5.00. Pair them with plaid shorts and flip flops in the summer or sweats and tennys in the winter. Consignment shopping - sometimes I find great items, sometimes I don't. One time I bought a brand new pair of Nike Tennis shoes for $9.00 that last my son almost a year, so it is always worth my time to at least take a look. I can usually find like-new sweaters at a price I am willing to pay vs. brand new and ridiculous. Hint: If you hit a consignment shop before the next season really begins, you will find better deals. Since I have all boys I can usually "hand down" as the boys grow out of it. Because of this, I can justify spending more money on certain items that I will know will last. So I put all my kids clothes that haven't been ripped or stained or really worn into tubs and organize by size. Eventually one of them will be in SOMETHING that is in that tub. And this is not for everybody because it is absolute hell trying to go through 5 different tubs looking for 4 different sizes every. single. season. But, it does save money. And finally, know what your kid will wear. Or, what you will make your kid wear. No use in spending money on something you know he/she will only wear once. This goes along with planning. Good luck!
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What are your tips for planning an affordable birthday party?

Completely Outnumbered

I have friends who definitely go over the top when it comes to birthday parties, but with four kids, we choose to spend our money in a different way. Of course, the most important aspect of your child's birthday is making them feel like it is THEIR special day. We start out the special day with just regular blown up balloons covering the floor of their bedroom when they wake up, followed by their favorite breakfast. The balloons are always a big hit and it is something they look forward to on each child's birthday. If it is a school day then either myself or my husband (or both of us if we can make it) will eat lunch with the birthday boy at school and bring treats for the class to celebrate as well. If it falls on a weekend then we get ready to party! Our birthday parties are pretty simple: family and close friends and as my boys get older a few friends from their class. Decorations are always expected, though! Who doesn't love party decorations? I usually try to stick with a color theme instead of character theme. The local dollar tree usually has great deals on party supplies or if I am looking for something particular I will go to the party store. I try to coordinate the wrapping paper for gifts, plates, napkins, ect. and my kids love 'Happy Birthday" banners so I usually buy stuff to make them from a craft store - which allows me to have supplies on hand for future birthdays, too. I usually make homemade cupcakes per request from my kids, which saves money, and I find it less messy. SCORE! Sometimes after the actual party we will take the boys by ourselves to the zoo, or to a movie, bowling, ect to spend some family time together and to continue the celebration of our child Birthday don't have to be expensive or overdone to have a wonderful celebration!
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What item should moms splurge on?

Completely Outnumbered

good jeans! there is nothing worse than having your pants not fit you right after baby. whether too small - been there! - or too big - hooray! - us moms worrying about our pants not fitting right should be the LAST thing on our mind!
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How do you keep stuffed animals under control? Do you corall them in a net, arrange them on shelves, periodically get rid of the unloved ones? Please include a picture of your solution.

Completely Outnumbered

My four kids each have a favorite one or two stuffed animals that they keep at the end of their beds...other than that? We donate them.
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