m i a o w


Category: Op-Shopping (Page 1 of 2)

Op shopping and priorities…

Yesterday the Smalls and I headed to Balnarring. Hadn’t been to the op-shop for an age. But let me backtrack to that morning so I can demonstrate my amoral priorities when it comes to parenting.

At breakfast Small Z stated that when she grows up, she is going to be a balloonologist – one of those guys (it usually IS a guy) that makes balloons into shapes, animals, flowers, etc. etc.

“Please Mama,” said Small Z, “Can you get me some of those balloonologist balloons so I can practice?”

I mumbled something about not knowing where to get them and steered the conversation in another direction. Dinosaurs…porridge…eyebags…something…

Cut to us, five hours later, walking past the craft shop. In a basket outside? A box screeching “MAKE YOUR OWN BALLOON ANIMALS – PUMP INCLUDED!” And it was only $2.50… But I’m a hardarse – I told Small Z that she had to go to the op-shop first and she could only have ONE thing – either the balloonology kit OR something SMALL from the op-shop.

And the crunch? I only had eight dollars. In the world. We got to the op-shop and immediately found a beanbag and a very cute, caravan-a-licious woollen blanket. Two dollars each, said the op-shop lady.

Then Small Z found two plastic dinosaurs. Seventy cents said the op-shop lady. And then. Oh woe is me. I found an excellent jacket. The kind I hardly ever find. That fit my weird slightly sway back AND had small shoulders AND had long arms. Five dollars, said the op-shop lady. And belatedly, I put back the caravan blanket…

We walked back past the balloonology kit. Small Z did very well. Considering it had been her hearts desire that morning. But the plastic T-Rex had won out. If I had been less sartorially fixated upon myself I would have forgone the jacket and bought her the balloon stuff…but yeah. A good jacket is a good jacket. And hopefully the craft shop will still have them on Saturday…

Jacket from the back. $5
Jacket. Front. $5
Beanbag! $2
Jacket with baby as accessory.


I have been working on a file that has taken me TWO AND A HALF DAYS. When I finally finished it at midday today I was so relieved. Not only was it more depressing than usual, but I had to have it posted back today. Remind me never to try and enter Australia by boat – being locked up for five years is enough to send anyone insane…

I posted the file back. At the same time I sent off the latest thing I sold on eBay, with a tiny pang of loss. All Small Z’s Baby Beehinds nappies. They served us SO well, but I’m glad that they will be going off to someone who needs them – twins, in fact!

Internet, I am officially departing from cloth nappies. Small Z was exclusively clothy bummed for 18 months and then part time for another six months. Small DB has done her fair share of cloth, but I have found it too difficult. She hates feeling wet and having to change her eight or nine times a day is too much work. So I hereby commit to polluting the planet with disposables. I’m not happy about it, but…

OK. So the point of this post – which is being written at 4pm(!) and not propping my eyes open at 9pm – is my escape this afternoon. I shot off to Balnarring all alone. Did you read that? ALONE. I don’t even recall my last kidless outing.

At the op-shop I had time to rummage and browse, and scored accordingly…

Big glass jars. 50c each
Yet another beach umbrella! $2!!!
Threading beads & fake flowers
Coloured pencils to go in caravan
New to me LBD

I know the dress doesn’t look that swish in my grubby mirror, but it is a lovely fabric – a very light wool blend. I am allergic to wool, but the dress is lined, so I think I’ll survive. Of course, it’s not breastfeeding friendly, but I’m being forward thinking!

After taking myself out to lunch I went into the place I love to browse. The Wise & Co. Dispensary – somewhat more than your ordinary chemist. They have gorgeous things in there – homewares, cosmetics, perfumes, Christmas decorations, toys, hats – all selected by someone with an overload of good taste.

I happen to have a voucher for a massage there that M gave me for my birthday. I decided to forgo the massage (which could so easily be negated by a bad night) and get a few things I would never ordinarily indulge in. It was very hard to decide, but I eventually got a Very Expensive Candle. In White Christmas scent… I thought it would be lovely to have the house smelling like moneyed up Santa for a little while. (And I still have half a voucher left!)

When I got home I told Small Z that we would light it on the first day of December. “Can we look at your calendar with the flaps on it then?” she asked. I had no idea she remembered my advent calendar from this time last year! Her little brain is a labyrinthine vault…

My 1978 advent calendar

Also – speaking of advent calendars, I was very inspired by this post over at Picklebums. And in the comments someone said that they give their kids a little photo album on the 1st of December, and each day leading up to Christmas they get a photo of the year that has passed to put in it. I love that idea!


I swam this morning in the Crib Point Pool. It was delicious. The weather was sublime and I had a lane to myself. After I put in forty laps I tootled past the local op-shop and divested myself of thirteen dollars. A couple of tops for me, a couple for Small Z, a one dollar box of mixed cottons that had been half used, a melon ball scoop thing (have been wanting one for ages!)….

Crib Point Pool

Let me tangent here and say that several weeks ago I was in Balnarring OpShop and found a pale green Johnson dinner set. I knew I’d read about that brand over on Foxs Lane a while back. The set was pretty much complete. It was fifteen dollars. I ummed and ahhed. I thought that M wouldn’t like it. I thought that it might not survive the dishwasher. I came home and sent a tweet to Kate to tell her about it and she told me that the plain stuff is the rarest and best….

I called the op-shop the next time it opened, but it had gone. Sigh. So today I walked into the Crib Point OpShop and saw a really beautiful Meakin plate. For four dollars. Obviously I don’t NEED a plate. So I gambled with fate and decided that if it was still there when I was ready to leave, I’d grab it. I wandered up to the counter 25 minutes later, and it was gone. C’est la vie. Third time lucky…

After a detour for groceries I got home. It was starting to get very hot. After Small DB’s sleep, M and I took the Smalls down to Somers beach. It was lovely. The water was clear, there was no weed and we had our beach tent for shade. All was perfect except that Small Z after playing in the water and the sand, developed big welts all over her upper legs and her little fingers began to swell up like sausages. I was very worried that it was going to, I don’t know, swell up her eyes or her airways… so we left the beach and watched her carefully, but it didn’t get any worse and slowly started to fade. I have no idea what caused it, as we were all doing the same things…

Time out for a plum...
Paddling with Dadda
Under the shade tent

A barbeque for dinner. And now? To bed…

A hot day out

As M worked all weekend, today was his day off. We had planned to go to the Sculpture Park but I was daunted by the thought of being out in the heat and having to drive home with no air-con. Blergh.

We went to Somers Beach instead. Hit the cafe first for M’s coffee fix and were on the sand by 9.30am. There was ONE other person on the beach. It was gorgeous, the water clear and clean, the sky blue…and we had our shade tent. There were snacks in the cooler.

Small DB has not done a lot of beaching in her 17 months of existence, but there’s been a bit lately. Today I could tell that she’s warming to the whole notion of the ocean. She lay facedown in the wet sand and blew bubbles in the ripples, rode on the boogie board and enjoyed being whizzed through the water by M.

Somers Beach

Small Z had her ‘rock feet’ on (water shoes) and loved investigating all the rockpools, as well as being pulled around on the boogie board. She is not really water confident yet, but I’m about (you read it here first) to start taking her to swimming lessons – I do not want to live aboard a boat with a kid that is not confident in the water.

By midday it was naptime and the wind kicked in. There was going to be no sleep had in a flat tent. Small DB conked out as soon as the car started (YAHOO!!!!) and M thoughtfully drove us to Balnarring, where he parked in the shade and set me free into the op-shop. It’s like he knew there was a ‘$1 All Men’s Clothing’ sale on!

We stuck around there for hours – the garden at the back of the op-shop and church is shady, beautiful…and was deserted. M whipped in and bought a ball and ‘goals’ and started off soccer with the Smalls – teaching them the ‘Shirt’s Up Victory Dance’. It was bloody hot, but very pleasant.

The new addition - Dog.
Aiming for goal...
GOAL! Shirts up!
Tangling with Dadda in the shade

And M and Small Z found some perfect sea urchins. I could hardly believe it! I’ve found about ONE in my whole life!

Somers sea urchins. Perfect.

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