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Advice, etc.

Owen is pretty well completely potty trained, provided he is naked from the waist down. As soon as you put anything on him he is not potty trained at all. Does anybody have any experience with this and any advice on how to translate this into a form of potty training that will allow him to go to preschool? Alternately, does anybody in the D.C. Metro area know of a good pants-optional preschool?

I'm having a yard sale tomorrow, because Mia has been begging to do it for over a year now and I finally caved. I've never had a yard sale before, so would appreciate any tips from the veterans. Of particular interest are things like how much I should charge for a size 18M pair of pants and an old high chair in mediocre condition and some of Chris's old dress pants. Also, how to you hang clothes that need to be hung when you are setting up in your driveway? I am working to devise a system featuring the ladder, the push broom, and the recycling bin, but I am skeptical.

I am also trying to sell something on craigslist for the first time, and I posted it on Wednesday and got an email and was so scared that it was somehow a scam and the guy was really a serial killer and was trying to lure me into his grasp by feigning interest in my co-sleeper that I didn't answer his email. And then I did get up the nerve to answer his email and he had found another one somewhere else. Any craigslist tips?

It seems I only post anymore when I need something from you, sorry about that. In regards to my last post, we bought a LG front loader, even though I was Firmly Opposed to getting a front-loader, because it was the second-highest rated washer by Consumer Reports and I found it for $500 installed. So far it works great, so much better than my old front-loader, but it is all of a week old so I am reserving judgment.

And as thanks for all of your wonderful advice, I would like to offer some fabulous fashion tips that I just posted over at the fabulous Style Lush. For those of you who have seen pictures of me, do not fear, the tips are not from me. They are from Mia.

Comments (15)

I can only offer advice on the yard sale. I'd say $1 for the baby pants (if they are in good shape -- same for onesies, etc., but cheaper for bibs and socks), $5 for a mediocre high chair, maybe $2 for men's dress pants (if they are in good shape). You want things to move, so do not price anywhere near store prices.

You don't have a rolling clothes rack?? That's what everyone I know uses to hang clothes for garage sales.

Other yard sale tips: You need a LOT of one dollar bills and coins to make change. Be willing to negotiate prices. Group tiny items into bundles to sell together (e.g., a whole ziploc bag of girl's hair doodads for $2 rather than selling individually). Have same price for all similar items -- $2 for hardcover books, $1 for paperback or something like that regardless of whether they are bestsellers or not (it just makes life a whole lot easier).

My first question is how you're setting any of this up in your near-vertical driveway. I'm going to try come by and see it for myself. Are you taking the cars out of the garage and setting up in there? If so, could you hang clothes inside the garage? I have a vision of a wire strung between two points of the garage and the clothes hung from that. Or set a broom vertically between two nails in the wall (or between two chairs if you're doing it outside) and hang things on coat hangers from the handle.

OMG! We are 'trained' the same way! It's crazy making, right? Will be stalking your comments for hints.

Price everything for the garage sale at twice what you actually want to get for it, because nobody will want to pay more than 50% of the asking price and you'll spend your whole day haggling.

Ohmagawd, the peeing. Nate was super excited about going potty until we stopped giving him a reward, then we had to get underwear like Daddy's (boxer briefs), and now Daddy has finally taught him how to go standing up. He loves that. I have a friend who told her child how much Spiderman hated getting peed on.
It's still not as bad as the pooping, have you had much luck with that?

No idea with the potty training (DS did wees himself with no prompting, 4 years on poos are still a challenge.

Re garage sale - no idea re clothes hanging but pricing above what you want is sensible as people will haggle.

Re the style tips - Mia has some great ideas, off to find some sparkly flip flops for the holiday :)

No idea with the potty training (DS did wees himself with no prompting, 4 years on poos are still a challenge.

Re garage sale - no idea re clothes hanging but pricing above what you want is sensible as people will haggle.

Re the style tips - Mia has some great ideas, off to find some sparkly flip flops for the holiday :)

If it's a two day yard sale, we have a no-haggling policy on the first day. We tell people, it's only the first day, if you'd like to come back tomorrow and see if it's still here then we'll go down on the price. The majority of people buy it at the price marked and don't take the chance of it being gone the next day, or having to come back. This only works if your prices are low to start with. We price stuff to get rid of it not to haggle. Of course, if someone makes an offer that's not outlandishly lower than what we've priced something we'll accept it, so I guess it's not a hard no haggling policy for day one, but it works for us.

One more hint. Make a family rule....nothing goes back in the garage or the house. If it doesn't sell, you pack it in boxes and drive it to the nearest charity and donate it all. This way you get rid of everything whether you sell it or not.

I have purchased and sold many things on Craigslist. The best way I have found to do the hand off is to meet at the back of a Walmart or grocery store parking lot during the day. If you know what each other are driving it is easy to find each other. I also usually bring my husband. There have been a few times when I have emailed or spoken with the person I am buying from or selling to several times and have been comfortable meeting them on my own, but never just me and my baby. Also, craigslist exchanges are rarely on time, so leave a little wiggle room for waiting for the person to show up at the appointed place and time. If the item you are getting rid of doesn't get any responses in the first couple days, repost it. Most people who look on craigslist for things don't search the entries more than a few days back. I have gotten a bunch of great things on craiglist including a house to rent, a job as a nanny a few years back, tons of baby stuff and some nice furniture! Good luck!

Re: yard sale, I basically charge what I'd be willing to fork over if I saw that same item at a yard sale. The lower the prices, usually the more you can get rid of though.

Re: Craigslist, just don't go meet them in some remote location, of course. And if you don't feel comfortable, then don't give your address, offer to meet them somewhere busy, like a busy Target parking lot or something. Chances are it's not a scam, but one cannot be too careful these days.

The goal of my garage/yard sales is have nothing left to haul off to GoodWill firm but reasonable. Toddler clothes were going for .75 to $1 an item.

We did discover hang up clothes were harder to sell / contend with than stacks of some what folded clothes, people didnt like going thru the hang up as much as the folded clothes.

We did not even bother with pricing indiviual items.

I've sold a ton of stuff on Craigslist, cash only obviously, and talk to them on the phone instead of email your instincts are better, then decide where to meet - if Chris is home then at the house, if not then somewhere convenient.

Love my LG washer, 4 years old, and just today I discovered the delayed wash setting, useful for occupying kids the last week of summer break, now they can move the clothes to the dry and fold/put away before I get home! I dont like to leave clothes sitting in the washer too long. Ewe.

i WILL be stalking the comments on this. my son starts pre-school next TUESDAY and he still will NOT tell you he has to go potty unless he's either a.) already done it or b.) naked form the waste down... or worse, c.) because you've tried to convince him all those kids were going to the bathroom when you both kinda new it was an arcade to begin with.

Whoever mentioned telling him that Spiderman hated getting peed on is on a good track. Put those under pants on him and don't go back to diapers or pullups. Pick your sons fav character and use that or similar things to inspire him...

Spiderman - Thinks its cool to use the potty
- Loves big boys who use the potty
- Is proud of big boys when they use the potty

Other things that might work along the same lines...
- Big boys always use the potty
- Big boys that always use the potty get to go to school

You get the picture. Whatever will inspire him to get in there and get the job done, use it! Bribing with getting to pick a food or toy treat worked for us pretty well too. heh

Yard sales... I got nothing. I've had a total of 2 of those and hope to never experience that again.

Love Craigslist, but you have to go with your gut feeling. If someone rubs you the wrong way, make up an excuse not to meet--item already sold, already found an item, etc. I have bought and sold lots of stuff but for every ten great transactions I have come across two crazies--usually female believe it or not. 1 in 5 being nutso isn't so bad considering the remaining 4 of 5 are awesome people, of whom 1 or 2 I would like to become long term friends with.
Party on Craigslist woman!

With kids that are around the same age as yours -- almost-3 and 5 -- I can safely say I suck at toilet training. We managed to train our daughter by 3, but my son is nowhere near trained. And he'll be 3 at the end of the month!

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So the Fish Said...

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