7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 12)

— 1 —

You mean I am not the only one who is afraid of balloons?!

I was psyched to see that I was not the only person on the face of the planet who twitches at the sight of biscuit cans, but when a couple of commenters related this to similar feelings about balloons I almost fell out of my chair! We must meet one another! Perhaps a support group is in order?

— 2 —

Speaking of which, my balloon phobia causes me problems on a weekly basis. Our grocery store has free balloons, and every single time we’re there some well-meaning clerk offers them to my kids. (Fellow balloon phobes can imagine my horror at picturing three kids under the age of five, all with balloons, their hands all over them, pressing them too hard, the ear-shattering pop definitely coming but you just don’t know when…) Anyway, the following awkward conversation has played out many times:

CLERK: Here are three balloons…

ME: Oh, no thanks, my kids are, uhh, afraid of balloons.

KIDS: Balloon! Balloon! Want balloon! BALLLLOOOOOOOOON!!!

CLERK: Really?

ME: Yes. They have a very jubilant way of expressing their terror.

CLERK: [Gives me a look usually reserved for people wearing tinfoil hats.]

KIDS: [About to start climbing over the conveyer belt in their franticness to get their hands on some balloons.] BALLOON! BALLOON!

ME: Well, I guess it’s not so much that they’re afraid of them as it is that, uhh, we think balloons are bad for the environment.

CLERK: [Glances at the fifty plastic bags used to bag up my groceries, then across to the mommy at the other checkout lane who actually remembered to bring her enviro-friendly fabric bags.]

KIDS: Balloon! Balloon! WANT BALLOON NOW!!!!

This is the point where I have no choice but to admit defeat. I grab the stupid balloons from the clerk before he can hand them to the kids and I push the cart all the way out to the car with one hand, a pained look on my face, my other hand holding the balloons as far away from us as possible as if they’re some kind of Kryptonite on a string. Then I immediately banish them to the back porch as soon as we get home.

Again, this sort of thing is why I never leave the house.

— 3 —

I have heard an rumor that there are pregnant women out there who do not own Bella Bands. This is an urban legend, right?

The Bella Band has more than doubled my maternity (and postpartum) wardrobes — I’m sitting here wearing a pre-pregnancy turtleneck and pre-pregnancy jeans at 25 weeks pregnant thanks to this thing. It’s a band that you wear around your waste and belly that gives the illusion that you have a tank top on under your shirt. It not only holds up pants but covers the unsightly maternity elastic that so many of them have. Probably the best feature, though, is that it provides some extra coverage for shirts that might be a little too short because of pregnancy (or, after pregnancy, carrying a little extra weight).

(This isn’t a paid ad, just a product I LOVE.)

— 4 —

I’ve always disagreed with people who say dairy products are bad (mainly with counter-arguments like “LALALALALA I DON’T HEAR YOU! GOING TO EAT SOME DELICIOUS CHEESE NOW!” with my fingers stuck in my ears), but in my attempts be more conscious of how my diet impacts my physical and emotional wellbeing, I’ve noticed that dairy, in all its deliciousness, might be making me feel sluggish.

Anyone want to make a case against dairy? I’ll actually kind of listen this time.

— 5 —

My husband told me about Google SearchWiki yesterday. Only about ten seconds into his explanation of the new icons that allow you to promote, remove or comment on each item in a Google search result, something in my brain snapped. I’m going to call it Interactive Information Overload, or maybe Wikinsanity. There is only so much information and organizing of information that one brain can take, and I have clearly hit my limit. I can already hear myself telling my kids about how back in MY day we had simple search engines that just gave you your information without pestering you to make a bunch of complicated decisions.

— 6 —

Matlock has become a verb in our family, specifically when used in the phrase “getting Matlocked.”

When Yaya is in town the one activity we can all agree on as fun and not offensive is to watch reruns of the 1980’s show Matlock, which we record on our DVR specifically for this purpose. What has happened more than once, however, is that we end up getting sucked into one of the mysteries only to find out that we accidentally recorded a two-hour made-for-TV movie or that the episode we’re watching is continued in a Part II. But by the time we realize it we cannot rest until we see how it ends, so we end up staying up ridiculously late to see the story through to the finish. This is called “getting Matlocked.”

— 7 —

Just before I was going to do my Lovenox shot yesterday I thought I’d look at the label to read more about just what I am injecting into my stomach every night. “Each syringe contains 60mg enoxaparin sodium…” it began. Didn’t sound too bad. Then it continued, “…derived from porcine intestinal mucosa.” Porcine intestinal mucosa?! I’m going to pretend I didn’t read that.

——-

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

Have a great weekend and happy St. Nicholas Day!

photo by Laura Mary

Like this post?

Sign up for my updates and you'll never miss another post.

Comments

  1. Carrien says

    My takes seem not so quick now that I look at them. Oh well. Can you delete that first mister Linky I did by accident?

    Why don’t you just tell the clerk that you don’t let your kids play with balloons because they are too little and balloons are dangerous. You don’t want one to burst while they are sucking on it and suffocate them? I am not squicked out by balloons and I don’t let mine have them for that reason. Then you can glare at the poor clerk for even suggesting something so life threatening to your precious little babies. πŸ™‚

  2. Serena says

    My terror of balloons comes not from the noise, but from the fear that a child will pop the balloon somewhere in the vicinity of their mouth and suck the shards into their throat and suffocate. Yes, I know. Horrifying.

    I’ve never tried this, but I’ve heard that if you put a piece of tape on a balloon and poke a hole THROUGH THE TAPE with a pin, the balloon will deflate slowly. You could have your husband try it. It would eliminate that fear of “When will they pop?!”

  3. Debbie says

    I am amazed at how many people I encounter, my mother included, who get freaked out over the sound of an opening biscuit can. She will be glad to know that there are others.

  4. Kerry says

    What fun! Thanks, Jen!

    Do you think it would be rude to carry around extra Bella Bands and pass them out when a mama’s belly is just peeking out a bit too much? I know sometimes it is an accident, but sometimes it is by design. These are usually first time moms who don’t have the lovely stretch marks the rest of us have.

    Have a lovely Friday!

  5. Anonymous says

    PLEASE read Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions to get the real scoop on milk and dairy!

  6. Sarah Reinhard says

    You never cease to make me laugh, Jen, which is why I have stopped drinking coffee (or tea, or any sort of liquid) WHILE READING your quick takes posts. I’m just sayin. πŸ™‚

  7. Wendy says

    Had to laugh at the porcine intestine mucosa! Don’t read the label for scrapple, either! My husband grew up on it, and loves it, but it literally contains pig snouts.

    Thanks for the quick takes, they’re lots of fun!

  8. Amy says

    LOL!!! You are too funny! Loved your post today… thanks for the mornin’ laugh! I am going to try and participate, but later after I get home from work…hugs.. Amy

  9. Sarah says

    I loved Matlock growing up! Lying on the floor of my grandmother’s living room and getting sucked into those two hour specials is a favorite childhood memory. I’ll have to write about that sometime… Thanks for reminding me!

    Also, I am a huge fan of dairy! I have started doing some heavy duty weightlifting recently to increase my body strength, and drinking milk regularly helps me to feel stronger (and gives me some hope that I won’t have osteoporosis when I am 55!) Hope I did not just shatter your intentions for that post…

  10. Marie says

    Love the Matlocked bit!!! Been there! Not with Matlock… usually for us it’s Monk, which we watch on DVD.

  11. Anonymous says

    Latex balloons are very dangerous to small children. Check this out: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E7D81339F930A25750C0A961958260

    You should not let little children have latex balloons. The mylar kind are okay.

    Regarding food and sluggishness: have you considered that maybe you are sluggish because you are pregnant and have, what, three small children? If you eliminate a food every time you notice that you are feeling sluggish, you’ll have nothing left to eat. Be careful about anti-dairy activists. That belief system derives from the animal rights movement–they start from the premise that the meat and dairy industry are immoral and then work backward to try to prove that meat and dairy are unhealthy. There isn’t any hard science showing that milk in itself is harmful. However, there is science to show that high carb greasy foods such as pizza are not the greatest, which you’ve already confirmed by experimenting on yourself. So stick with science and do not subscribe to the alternate “religion” of animal rights. As Catholics, we have to recognize that many of these health fads and political belief systems are false gods.

    Catherine

  12. Jenny says

    Funny you should mention bella bands. I’ve never had one, but am planning to buy one before going home for Christmas. I’ve heard that not only do they have the advantages you mentioned, but they can also be used to cover oneself during breastfeeding (meaning you wear it under your shirt so that your skin doesn’t show when you lift it). I’m all about plenty of options while we take the newest baby home for the holidays! What color would you go with? I was thinking black . . .

  13. 'Becca says

    I also fear balloons. However, one day in summer 2007 my son was playing on the front porch when a random guy leaving a party on our block gave him a big bunch of balloons–I think there were 10, all colors, tied in a bunch with curly ribbons–and he loved them so, I had to allow them into the house. Well, these turned out to be bizarrely durable balloons. My son also dislikes the shock of popping a balloon (thank you, God) but when after FOUR MONTHS the balloons were shrunken but still inflated, he announced that he was going to pop them. We covered our ears as he sat on them. No pop. I sat on them. No pop. We cut one open with scissors and found that they’d been sprayed inside with some sort of strengthening goo. Weird…and made me feel really dumb for all my wincing in anticipation of a pop. He kept some of them for over a year before they finally lost every air molecule within.

    I’m wondering if holding a can of biscuit dough between your knees is an approved Catholic method of family planning? πŸ˜€

  14. Eliz says

    As far as the case against dairy, I refer you to the book “Stuck.” It’s a self-help primer to pull oneself out of depression, and while that does not apply to everyone, the chapters on nutrition and supplements echo EVERYTHING I’ve been reading elsewhere … Tired, low energy, brain fog? Cut out wheat, sugar and dairy. Infertile? Cut out wheat, sugar and limit dairy. Depressed? Cut out wheat, sugar and dairy.

    I’m hearing it everywhere yet I can’t quite seem to follow the advice as I should.

    I hate the sound of popping balloons, but I recently found out that a former student from my daughter’s preschool died from aspirating a piece of balloon. I had always wondered why the preschool has a strict no balloons policy. It happened at a birthday party. The child’s father is a surgeon and performed an emergency trach on the kitchen floor at the party and the child died anyway. After I heard that, I NEVER had any guilt again about saying no to balloons. My daughter can kick and scream all she wants.

  15. Sandy says

    I almost commented on the biscuit can yesterday with my own fear of balloons popping. The biscuit cans don’t bother me much anymore but the thought of balloons popping–yikes! When I was a kid I hated the birthday party games where you had to pop balloons by sitting on them or otherwise.

    Your “Matlocked” sounds like our first “24” experience. We got Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD from Netflix and would wind up watching six episodes in a row (a whole DVD) because we couldn’t stand the suspense. Heaven forbid if we had two of the DVDs in our house at once…..Whole weekends were consumed.

  16. Anonymous says

    Hey – can I ask a totally unrelated question?? I discovered Antique Mommy on this site and I notice her site has been TOTALLY out of commission for over a week now. Is she OK? Does she have something else up?

    -Becky H

  17. Becca and Adam says

    Your balloon fear cracks me up — it’s like me and birds . . . I duck when a sparrow flies by!

  18. Jessica says

    on porcine intestinal mucosa: I knew a fellow who’d lost his spit glands (I think they were cancerous), and so he had to spray pig spit in his mouth every so often, to keep his mouth from drying out.

    Yep. I mean, it was processed and cleaned and all, but, pig spit. Thing is, knowing him, I think he was just grateful to God that such modern medicine existed. (Never forgot it though. Pig spit.)

  19. nicole says

    I joined in today. Just what I needed with my flu-addled mind. And I have never used a Bella Band, but just might do so should I find myself in the family way in the future.

  20. LauraAnne says

    Serena: This is true. I have used that many, many times to prevent the popping noise. also, if the balloon is not very very full of air, but still inflated, in you can get some of the latex in your hand and control how quickly it rips, it will deflate without popping your ears too.

    I don’t mind the biscuit pop, but a balloon pop sets my teeth on edge.

  21. asinamirror says

    Thanks for the tip about Bella Bands! I had never heard of these – I don’t need them quite yet (at 7 weeks), but I’m excited to know I can extend my wardrobe!

  22. Stretch Mark Mama says

    I still haven’t solved the dairy issue. Some people INSIST it does more harm than good. Sigh. I finally made the jump and started buying organic milk (the only organic I buy religiously) just to keep the hormones out of my body. It has a better taste, too.

    Totally cracked up at your “balloons at the store” story. I always laugh at how far my reality is from my ideals.

  23. Aubrey says

    No balloon or biscuit can aversion, but I cannot stand to touch cotton balls. Right now I got visible goosebumps just from typing cotton balls. Ditto wool sweaters and wet jeans from the washer. I think this puts me in the weird category.

    Thanks for the neat idea for a post!

  24. Anonymous says

    I’m with you on the “porcine intestinal mucosa,” as my Lovenox has the same label. I’ve recently switched to Heparin, as my due date is only 2 weeks away (Baby #3, and Factor V Leiden), and it turns out the Heparin has the same label: “porcine intestinal mucosa.” The funny thing is, my husband works in the IT department of an *enormous* pork production company. No joke.

    Thanks for your blog.

  25. Sarah L. says

    My kids know me well enough now that, when given a balloon, they immediately turn to me and say “Are you going to pop it, mommy?” Yes. Yes I am. I hate balloons. My 3.5 year old daughter is catching on. When the dentist asked if she wanted a balloon last time she said “no, mommy hates them.”

  26. Mary Poppins NOT says

    Well, thanks to you I spent a few HUNDRED dollars on Amazon, after following your BellaBands link. I purchased one, if I like it I’ll get more, but then I got some Christmas gifts and a few school books. All stuff I needed and had been procrastinating, so Thank you. BTW, this is my eighth pregnancy, and I have never used BellaBands before. Not an urban ledend

  27. Nzie says

    Funny! Thanks for these quick takes – they are always fun to read.

    As far as the dairy thing goes, I’ll be the loopy out of left-field one to say: you should examine your ethnic background before cutting it out. Generally, the cultures that drink milk the most are also those whose members are most prone to osteoporosis. Western and especially Northern Europeans (including British Isles) tend to be much more highly prone to osteoporosis.

    That said, if you want to not drink it, go for it. I personally enjoy dairy products, but never ever drink milk. I think it’s a cultural thing; my ethnic background on my mom’s side uses milk in cooking but never drinks it, no one on her side of the family does. At this point, my mother has a delightfully off-putting term for “drinking milk” that I’ll refrain from posting, since I imagine some folks would rather not be put off. πŸ™‚

  28. Eileen says

    My “Quick Takes” take me forever to write, but I still love ’em!

    You won’t hear me complain about dairy’s ill effects, I love it too much. I may just have to skip any posts in which you come to some other conclusion. I can only take so much challenge in one lifetime!!! πŸ™‚

    Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

  29. Jordana says

    I’ve gone through 5 pregnancies and never gotten a Bella Band. I thought about it during the last one, but never got around to it. Maybe next time? Sigh.

    And though I don’t have a problem with popping noises, I try not to let my kids have latex balloons because I’m terrified of one of them choking on a piece of one.

    And my quick takes are up.

  30. Tami Boesiger says

    Okay, I still don’t get the biscuit can deal, but I’ve got my own idiosyncrasies. I can’t STAND to watch people brush their teeth. EW!

    Thanks for hosting this meme, Jennifer. It’s a lot of fun.

  31. Jane says

    I don’t have a blog so how can I link you to my 7 quick takes?

    I will do 7 quick ones here if that is kosher..

    1. Whats with teenagers??? Enough said.
    2.Oh please, dear God, let my husband stop snoring. The evil thoughts of suffocation at 3 in the morning are not helpful to our marriage.
    3. Is there any more beautiful noise than a cooing baby?
    4. Seasons greetings is my least favorite greeting.
    5. Don’t you love seeing the U.P.S. truck pull up!
    6. Does your confession seem like the movie Ground Hog Day like mine does?
    7. I love that my 97 yr.old grandmother came over on thanksgiving and starting plowing through Christmas Carols she must have learned 80 years ago.

  32. Bender says

    Can someone please explain to me what it is about 60s-70s comedy and/or family TV stars going on to be some kind of detective or quasi-detective?

    Andy Griffith – Matlock
    Buddy Ebsen – Barnaby Jones
    Dick Van Dyke – Diagnosis Murder
    Jack Klugman – Quincy
    Brian Keith – Hardcastle and McCormick
    James Garner – Rockford Files
    David Soul – Starsky and Hutch

  33. Kate Wicker says

    Popping balloons terrify me as well. I will have to try the Bella Bands.

    I didn’t quite realize we were so close in our pregnancies. Preggos unite! I’m almost 22 weeks now. My midwife thinks I’ll go early as I usually do. We’ll see.

    I love these “quick takes” and will have to participate one of these days.

    God bless.

  34. Beth says

    Ok, I also HATE balloons. It’s not the popping that gets me, it’s the squeaky balloon noise they make. Eek, I am cringing just thinking about it.

    Also, I don’t drink milk. I put a little in my tea, and I bake/cook with it, but I won’t drink it. I think cow milk is for cows, not people. I never liked it, and I never give it to my kids. They like milkshakes, but we don’t drink milk. They think everyone eats their cereal dry. πŸ˜‰ I know I always have!

  35. Erin says

    RE: the dairy issue…

    I found out not too long ago that my family has a background of being lactose-intolerant. While I am intolerant to dairy to a much smaller degree, I do find it to have very distinctive affects on me depending on what type of dairy it is. Yogurt I am fine with, and I find to be pleasant in small amounts (but I can’t do fake sweetener, so I have to buy the unsweetened and add in my own extras). Sour cream, not so much. Cream cheese and hard cheeses are fine in small amounts, but soft cheeses I have to be a little cautious about consuming.

    I really do think it has it’s place in a person’s diet, but just be aware of what sort of affect it has on you and cut back in those areas. I don’t drink milk of any variety except for occasionally in a hot cocoa or mocha, and I use soy milk on my cereal. Which reminds me–if you go the milk-replacement route, not all soy milk is made the same. Some of it tastes awful, and some of it is really yummy. You might have to experiment a bit before finding one you like. And some of them are even fortified with calcium and other vitamins.

    I think it’s worth looking at your diet to see how it affects you generally. It sort of puts things in perspective for me, seeing you adjusting how you eat for the goal of greater holiness. I struggle with my weight and it’s hard for me to cut back on treats for the goal of fashion (which doesn’t really interest me). Maybe I need to find a new goal? πŸ˜€

  36. Kate P says

    De-lurking to say (1) I have the balloon aversion, too–have had it since I was a kid; and (2) was miserable for years due to a milk allergy that at the very least makes my blood sugar spike and then drop, and the brain fog happens, too. It’s not easy avoiding dairy products but I’d rather feel better!

  37. Candace Jean July 16 says

    Almost Saturday, but I’m posted! Wish they made Bella Bands 30 years ago. Would have solved some ginormous problems!

  38. Becca says

    If you want to hear a few very good reasons to stop eating dairy, visit my blog, click the Vegan/Vegetarian topics tab, and read the first post (will be at bottom). It isn’t “preachy”, just informative. I enjoy your blog!!!

  39. beckygiggles says

    My sister in law is the same about the balloon thing. She always comes over and helps us get ready for my kids b-day parties and it is a rule that she does nothing pertaining to balloons. Streamers, tables, anything but balloons. And my mother has the same tooth brushing thing as Tami Boesiger. I guess we’re all weird in our own ways. I can’t stand fingernail scratching on weird surface noises. I’ve literally smacked my one year old’s hand for draggin her nails down the wall while I’m changing her diaper. It is unbearable.

  40. Penny says

    Just say “Balloons are choking hazards, I’m surprised your legal department lets you hand them out for fear of lawsuit if a child chokes…”

    I hate balloons too…

  41. Hope T. says

    Raw milk and cheese is so different from the stuff they sell in the grocery store. I never did well with milk until I started using raw milk from an Amish farm. Info about this can be found on the real milk website.

  42. Lady of the Lakes says

    You gave me a good laugh this morning. πŸ˜‰
    Well I can’t say I share the aversion to balloons popping or biscuit cans opening but I hate, HATE, the feeling of my wet fingernails on wet dishes. I keep them very short mostly for this reason. Other than that I cant stand the feel of microfiber material and although I can clean up any number of bodily fluids without batting an eye, I can’t stand to touch rotten/spoiled/moldy food. My husband thinks I am crazy for this.
    Anyway, this is my first pregnancy and I have heard of these Bella Bands but haven’t purchased one. In fact my maternity purchases have been quite limited even though I needed to buy them about 5 weeks ago (I am 21 weeks). I may have to look into one of these since my wardrobe now consists of one pair of maternity jeans, one pair of maternity khaki’s, and one maternity dress for church. After that it is just me in pajamas in the middle of the day, or in scrubs at work. My shirts haven’t been a problem so far since I tend to buy them very long and I am sort of short waisted anyway.

  43. Baroquem says

    Okay, you got me! I finally decided to give this a try myself. Yours are much better, though. No surprise there.

  44. Anne Marie says

    Hi Jen:

    My son was peeking over my shoulder as I was surfing this afternoon and when he saw you site he said, “Oh look a Catholic site”.

    I asked him why and he said, “Because of the bell and the cross.”

    How cute is that?

  45. Elizabeth says

    7 Quick Takes Saturday from me, but I’m a newbie so that’s my excuse.

    My son used to have the balloon phobia. But he’s grown out of it πŸ˜‰

  46. lyrl says

    Anonymous – Antique Mommy was having some problems with internet harassment, I think, and decided to focus her life on other things besides the blog. There was an explanation at the “Toddled Dredge” blog, but it appears to have been deleted.

    On the milk thing, I think dairy is healthy in small amounts. Marilyn Shannon recommends one to two servings of dairy a day in her book “Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition”. It is a myth, however, that more dairy than that is good for you. For example, this study found that women who ate more calcium had just as many osteoporosis-related fractures as women who ate little calcium. And having multiple glasses of milk every day may increase the risk of cancer.

    I’m with Nzie and Beth in that I cook with milk and eat cheese, but don’t drink it anymore.

  47. Capturing Today says

    Oh my, dairy. I LOVE to drink milk, but when I finally stopped drinking it daily, all of my daily allergy symptoms also went away. No more puffy eyes, running nose, etc… now that we raise beef cattle it makes sense – milk is intended to grow a baby cow to about 600 pounds or so before they hit a year old. We as humans can’t possibly need the same diet. I now choose to get my calcium other ways – and have just the occasional milk and chocolate chip cookies!

  48. Alexis says

    I heart Balla Bands too. I just discovered a new use for them recently. I put them under shirts that have a deep V instead of using a tank top for modesty sake.
    PS – my “word verification” thing is ‘groino’. It’s cracking me up.

  49. Jennifer says

    High five!
    When opening a biscuit can, I hold my breath and close my eyes harder than I push on the seam of the can with a LARGE spoon. I hate it!

    And hello, I’m a Jennifer too. πŸ™‚

  50. needagoodnickame says

    I am so glad others mentioned the choking hazard. Thought coming from one unknown person it might sound like mere OCD. (By the way, is your furniture anchored to the wall? It’s cheap, easy and worth the protection to your kids!)

    I think I feel more fearful at the potential for a balloon pop sound these days than to an oncoming needle for a blood draw or injection. We turn them down a lot, but not always. I hate when they ask the kids directly if they want stuff, not the parents.

  51. Jessica says

    I really think that eating/or not eating dairy depends on each individual person. I had some blood work done this summer, and found out that, although I am not allergic to dairy, I am severely intolerant. I now notice that when I stay away from dairy, my energy goes way up and it is much easier for me to lose weight. Maybe you should just try taking it out of your diet for a week or two and then adding it back and see if you notice a difference! Good luck!

  52. Charity Grace says

    Haven’t read all comments but I see that at least one person already mentioned Nourishing Traditions. I’m in the process of re-reading it myself and making healthful changes in my family’s diet. Store milk is a completely different animal than “real” milk.

  53. Jaibee says

    Oh yes, biscuit cans, balloons,and I’d like to add people pointing rubber bands at me to my personal cringe list.

    Lovenox — you know they don’t really know how much is actually taken up by a person when it’s injected like that. Seriously. Dosages are more like guesses at this point.

  54. Will Cubbedge says

    In Re: #3- My wife and I made it though our first pregnancy-to-term with one of these elastic tube things on ONE pair of jeans (We were unemployed at the time and couldn’t afford to buy any new clothes, esp. ones we would have no use for in a few months.) It really helped us, ahem, “stretch” our budget.