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#1 of 38 Old 05-03-2002, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, maybe it is a natural reaction to having three boys, but if I see one more train shirt, I am going to scream. Plus, now that my oldest is getting into boy sizes(size 7) the clothes are becoming ugly!! I reread the Gender Free clothes article in Mothering and it is really starting to hit a chord with me. I actually bought ELi a pair of dark purple cords and a lavender and navy blue shirt. Dh saud that, since he is just 10 months, it was okay : I have actually discovered that one benefit of shopping thrift shops is that thingds are not in a "girls section" and a "boys section" so it helps me remove my mindset. I have bought my 5 yo a couple of girls shirts, and cut the tags out, bc the tags were the only part of them that looked girly. I am temepted to buy my boys some of the wonderfully colored Hannah Andersen girls clothes.
So, what does everyone think? Should we stick to trucks and boats, or is it okay to dapple in purple stripes? Oh yeah, and why cant a boy have a flower on his shirt? DO your boys love flowers? Mine will sit and pick flowers for ages
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#2 of 38 Old 05-03-2002, 10:29 PM
 
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I can relate. My ds is going to be 6 yo next month and all I can find is clothes that are geared towards teenagers!!! Now, my ds loves trains, so we didn't mind those, but baggy pants/shorts-YUCK! I am having such a difficult time finding classic boys clothes. Looking forward to hearing where you other mom's find clothes.

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#3 of 38 Old 05-03-2002, 11:37 PM
 
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This drives me nuts! It is sooo hard to find gender neutral clothing for children. I get bummed with the choices that I have for my son, even though I know its better than it was even 10 years ago. Mostly, when we buy something new, its organic, which I find a lot easier to find gender neutral tones in. But other than that...there just isn't much! I've definitely put DS in flowers. I get so psyched when I can look at his outfit for the day, and know that anyone looking would not know if he's a "boy" or a "girl". Why should they know? What does it really mean anyway?

Even more of an issue than the tones, and the whole flower/dinosaur choice spectrum, is the texture of clothing. Have you noticed how much softer girls clothing is, in general (okay, well, not all those silly ruffles and tights!)...but I find most of the traditional boys clothes that I see to be "stiff"...denim, courdory...

I'm rambling...but you get my point. It's something I try and be so conscious of. I'm actually on my way yard saling in the morning...which is where I sometimes have the best luck finding "girls" clothes for my son!
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#4 of 38 Old 05-03-2002, 11:49 PM
 
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My kids are 26 months apart but the same weight. Except for the dresses and some of dd's long pants, they wear all the same clothes, even the same shoes. Ds loves dd's pink tennis shoes, dd loves ds's t-shirts with aligators, sharks and dinosaurs on them. It's great because I don't need to do nearly as much laundry as when they had separate clothes.

I do wonder if there will come a time when other kids notice that they are not wearing the "right" clothes. Until then I just let them wear whatever they want.
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#5 of 38 Old 05-04-2002, 02:31 AM
 
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Although I enjoy getting little girl clothes for dd (17 mo.) I don't get into those pink frilly things. When she was a nb it was hard to find clothes that were not either/or. We shop Goodwill too, and I try to find her a lot of gender neutral things because if we have a boy next time he'll be able to wear them too. But I'm sorry, there's no way I'm going to dress a boy in dd's nb pink bows and bunnies hand-me-downs. ;-)

I always get comments about dd looking like a boy, like "how old is he" and that sort of thing. I mean, she has earrings but honestly it doesn't really bother me much anymore. The only thing that bothered me were my Indian ILs extended family saying she should have been born a boy because she acts like one. She's a very active toddler and climbs and runs around constantly in her waking hours. In their culture boys are basically spoiled and girls are taught at an early age to be quiet and gentle.

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#6 of 38 Old 05-04-2002, 11:18 AM
 
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I guess I am a little less neutral than neutral LOL, cuz I would not put my son in flowers or pink (not outside the house anyway). Not because I think it's wromg for him, but because I do not want him teased or picked on. I do tend to but fairly neutral stuff and lil sis gets hand me downs from big bro . Simple patterns, solid colors and stripes are mostly what I like so it works out well. I don't think there's anything wrong with purple for a boy and I have bought him a gew "girls" things, just as I have picked up things for my daughter in the boys dept. We have one neighbor whose daughter always wears totally neutral cclothes down to her brown sandals and I always think- how smart that mom is because she can save everything for her younger son.
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#7 of 38 Old 05-04-2002, 12:36 PM
 
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I guess I am lucky because I had a boy first. Dd wears her brother's primary colored clothes. We had some things with trucks and dinos on them, but Ds picked them out and he wore them to shreds. We do all most all of our shopping at yard/thrift/consignment sort of places. I did notice that Sears has nice, basic, primary colored "boy" and "girl" things for my 4 year old boy. I made an effort to buy Ds mostly red and navy things, and boy am I glad I did!!! Dd looks great in them. I like them much better than the "girl" things with the requisite bow or ruffle of lace. She has girly things, and if we have another boy I would not put him in a dress! But, her "everyday" things are gender neutral....even her brown sandals and red sneakers. The most girly htings I got are hand me downs and from my MIL.
I guess what I am trying to say is...I would and do dress my boy in purple, lavendar, and any other color he likes. I let him have a say in what he wears. BTW, I saw lots of older boys shirts at Strawbridges with flowers on them...and they were yellow, light purple and even (gasp) pink! Not that I would have bought them...they were like $30!!!! :

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#8 of 38 Old 05-04-2002, 05:26 PM
 
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We are fortunate to receive a lot of hand-me-downs so I don't have to buy much for my ds's (6 3/4 and 2 1/2.) Much of what I do buy comes from thrift stores, is all cotton, and simply styled.

New clothes are usually purchased at Old Navy or KMART. Old Navy has great turtlenecks and long sleeved shirts in nice colors and stripes. I buy them 'big' at the end of the season for $2-4. KMART has easy draw-string pants and shorts, and well as solid-color tee shirts. I love Gap sweat pants, too.

I have been looking for some very lightweight cotton elastic waist pants for my younger ds (size 4) and I cannot find any. All the pants are nylon(ick!) or heavy cargo-style. There are plenty of plaid and floral pairs in the girls' section, though!!!

My older ds is starting to favor the few shirts in his wardrobe that have dinosaurs, animals or characters on them. He calls them his 'cool clothes.' Ugh.

Boyrus - my older ds has dark purple pants and a lavender and navy stripped shirt, too! Some of my favorites, not his!
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#9 of 38 Old 05-05-2002, 12:22 PM
 
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I bought a tiny pale blue jumper (Baby Dior at an incredible discounted price!!!!) that was so beautiful. My mother said "aren't people going to think she's a boy?". Well, who cares AFAIC?? lol.

I also bought her a pair of little pajamas with trains on them. It is yellow and white and i love it.

When I was a little girl, I hated dresses and Mum had to fight to get me to wear them. I played with Hot Wheels cars, GI Joe, etc and had only one doll that I liked.

I think the idea of gender-appropriate clothes is silly. If the boy loves trains, get trains! If the girl loves trains, get trains! :-D

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#10 of 38 Old 05-05-2002, 10:00 PM
 
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I like Hanna Andersen's stuff too, but it's expensive. I dress my boys in girl's stuff sometimes--like PJs--some of them have flowers and bows. And we got a lot of hand-me-downs from my sister in law who has girls. My boys are small, and they don't hae a clue. DH thinks I am giong to give them a complex because others will tease them later. I dunno. But boys' clothes are so ugly, I agree. I am sick of trucks, trains, footballs or golf balls, and dark blue. I agree to go with brightly colored stripes.
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#11 of 38 Old 05-05-2002, 11:59 PM
 
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When I just had one and then two DDs, I would always try to talk them into the neutral colors when we bought something new so that it could continue to be passed down if are third child was a boy. When given a choice though they usually wanted the pink. I have found that when my girls reached about threee, they suddendly HAD to wear dresses almost all of the time. At this age, they start to understand that there are two different genders and they definitely want to define themselves as female.

When my 3rd daughter was born (and I thought I was done having babies) I thought, well now I don't have to worry about the older kids always picking out the most girly sandals.

Now with DS, I save anything that is neutral enough. It's funny how I kinda thought purple wouldn't do on my son, but it just seems girly on a girl, or boyish on a boy.

I know someone who just had a baby girl, and who is real adament about no pink things but I think that is just as limiting as only going for the girly things.

I have to say, when my girls were babies and toddlers, I did get a little annoyed that people seemed to assume they were boys if they didn't have on something completely frilly.
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#12 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 10:07 AM
 
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Oh, but the absolute worst is those garters they put on baby girls' heads!
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#13 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 10:59 AM
 
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I have two dd's and I can honestly say they have never worn a garter on their head. Neither have I come to think of it lol!!!
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#14 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 12:45 PM
 
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Teresa -

I HATE THOSE GARTERS, TOO!!!! LOL

I'm so glad someone else agrees with me. On a baby with barely any hair I think it looks ridiculous - like a giant cue ball with a bow!!! I don't even like them when there is lots of hair on the head, but I think the bald thing just doesn't work either, LOL.

Okay, this is just my opinion. Sorry if I offended anybody! They are just a huge pet peeve of mine, LOL.

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#15 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 01:06 PM
 
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Yeah, the garter thing is so silly.
I agree with Lisamarie; I can't stand baby clothes that look like they're meant for teenagers. Girls and boys need soft, comfortable, durable clothes to play in, not fashion statements.
We like gender-neutral clothes because they're economical; you only have to buy them once and you can use them with both your daughters and your sons.
But I would never dress my daughter in an outfit that is obviously designed for a boy or my son in pink or flowery things. I definitely don't want them being mistaken for the other gender. I want them to have a sense of security in being a boy or a girl and not experience any gender confusion.
If my daughter had a pair of jeans with a little pink bow that she outgrew, I would cut off the bow before passing them down to my son.
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#16 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 01:26 PM
 
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Everyone thinks my ds is a girl. I have yet to figure out why. I tend to dress him in "boy" clothes. Not because he is a boy but because I hate "girls" clothes. I wouldn't dress a girl in that stuff either. I find pink a revolting color (when I was pregnant, I decided that when we found out what we were having, I was telling people it was a boy either way so I wouldn't have to return a bunch of pink junk) I hate frills. Toss me a tee-shirt, a pair of comfy jeans and my birkies and I'm a happy girl. I, like piglet, was a total tomboy. I played with Tonka trucks and GI Joe and I pulled the heads off of Barbie dolls. My dsd is a total girly girl and I hate shopping for her. I buy her jeans and shorts and tennis shoes and she refuses to wear them in preference of her pink frilly dress and her "dorthy" shoes.
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#17 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 01:43 PM
 
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We are lucky enough to have neices and nephews galore, so tons of hand me downs. Anything we bought ourselves came from thrift and consignment stores. I don't put my son in dresses or anything really ruffly, but everything else is fair game. He looks really good in pink, and there is an outfit with little grey pants with red bows on the ankles that I adore on him. My first instinct was to cut off the bows, but I caught myself and thought, "Why? What is inappropriate about red bows for a baby boy?" I love purple, yellow, teal and green on him. They are just colors, after all. Beautiful colors. When he's old enough to know and care, I don't want him to think he can't love any old color (or flowers or bows).
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#18 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 01:52 PM
 
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boysrus, we read that article too! I have wanted to buy DS some funky girl clothes that he'll look good in, too, but haven't gotten around to it. The hand-me-downs we get are from my sister and many of them are very "boy," with trucks and what-not. We sometimes wear those around the house, but keep to bright neutral clothes for outings.

The color issue bothers me a lot. All the boy clothes we see, often even for infants, are grey, dark blue, olive, brown, or taupe. Ugh. Why do people think boys have to be so dull, and not let their bright sunny personalities shine through? My dream would be start a line of clothing for boys (or, for children in general, which is how I think all childrens' clothes should be designed and marketed) with bright, fun colors, cool patterns, and a big range of personalities.

I don't have a girl, but I am really concerned about the sexualization I see in girls clothes. Even in the toddler section now, I see midriff-baring clothes, flares, string straps, and decals with sexual overtones. Why must boys be forced into an early career, and girls into early exploitation?
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#19 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 02:12 PM
 
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OK I just have to put my 2 cents in on those baby headbands/garters- not only do they look silly, but they are TIGHT on little babies heads! My sister used to use those for her daughter and the poor thing had an impression in her head from it when they would take it off! Can't be good fro growing brains. I do have to admit to using little velcro bows for dd in her hair for her baby pictures.
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#20 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 02:29 PM
 
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Well, I seem to agree with most others here. I don't put my ds in obviously girly clothes, and he doesn't have any pink, but I love him in red, lavender, etc. It too bothers me that there is such a narrow minded selection of gender "appropriate" clothing. Blue just happens to be my favorite color, so ds has a lot of it. Plus, I'm not really into olive or black or brown on little babies, so my selection of colors is limited. Blue, yellow, white, and if I'm lucky red. Sometimes I go looking for a particular item I need, say a jumper, and the only one I can find that is all cotton, has the right kind of snaps or whatever, also has a football or dumptruck on it. It bothers me that we go for this kind of stereotyping at such a young age, but I end up getting it because it's the only one I can find. What still strikes me as funny is that even in these clothes everyone thinks ds is a girl! I kind of think that is a good thing, as they aren't assuming the gender based on the clothes.

Does anyone else wonder why we don't seem to have a problem putting girls in 'boy' clothes, but are less inclined to put a boy in 'girl' clothes?

When I was pregnant we didn't find out the sex, and my MIL was obsessed with how we were going to be able to buy any clothing or even baby items if we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl!

I too hate those headbands on little babies. I thought it was just me.
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#21 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 02:33 PM
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1) Hate the garters too!
2) I have two boys ages 17 and 5. Boys clothes have hardly changed at all between ds17 and ds5, if anything they have gotten even uglier.
3) I have to admit that I was thrilled to dress dd1 in pink after being sure that I would never have a daughter and then having her (surprise!) when I was 44. Now that she is 18 months I think she looks good in white, purple and yellow outfits, but she mostly wears whatever hand-me-downs friends have given me. Not a lot of frilly stuff though.
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#22 of 38 Old 05-06-2002, 02:50 PM
 
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i wanted two girls
i got two boys
i am thrilled with them and very very happy they are boys.

that said,


i still am not excited about "boy clothes"

i do not buy any sports type clothes, or train clothes.

i buy mostly "Gender Neutral" type clothes...yellows, greens, jeans...

i like oshkosh stuff also....it is boyish, but not so much.

i think he looks cute in his yellows and greens.

i wouldn't do the flowers.

purple stripes maybe.

i don't buy "Girlish" clothes, but i do not buy "Boyish" ones either.

PS
IF i had a girl, she'd have the garter/ribbon on her head
Pink dresses with lace
maryjane shoes
you name it.

but, since he is a boy, I just do more neutral stuff.
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#23 of 38 Old 05-07-2002, 01:32 AM
 
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A NOTE ABOUT THE GARTERS FROM MY CHIROPRACTER.....you gals are right...they don't just "look wrong" for a reason....a baby's head is full of VERY movable plates, and the slightest pressure on these plates can indeed influence the way the cranium is shaped which can lead to many many problems.
(plus they look ridiculous in my opinion, too!!!!)
I just checked out the Hanna Anderson catalog online...you're all so right...the clothes in their catalog are beautiful and most designs have very gender neutral options! Now if they weren't so very expensive......
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#24 of 38 Old 05-07-2002, 01:35 AM
 
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A color comment--I got a lot of hand me down clothes for DS from someone I know from playgroup. Many of the clothes were very much earth tones--which I hadn't really thought of for babies. My friend is African/American (we are Euro/Am.) and I thought these colors probably really complemented her son's coloring. But I was surprised on how nice those colors look on my son too.
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#25 of 38 Old 05-07-2002, 06:58 PM
 
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I've eased up a little and will now buy DD some pink and purple things, but from the beginning I was disgusted by how gender-specific a lot of baby clothing is! I mean, I have nothing against pink, but I don't think a 6-month old needs bows and butterflies adorning everything - gag! And past 12 months, all the girls clothing seems so grown-up - tight jeans with flared legs (which don't come close to fitting over cloth diapers) and hoochie-looking stuff.

I LOVE Hanna Andersson - it's almost an addiction. Although the stuff is pricey, it's very high quality and many things allow for cloth-diaper-sized bottoms. I usually try to get gender-neutral pieces - they really last and I know I can use them with the next babe whether boy or girl. Also, I live in the Portland area so the outlet is just down the road - they have an irregular rack where you can get super bargains if you don't mind a little thread sticking out on the seam or a tiny flaw. They also have good end-of-season sales so I buy ahead for upcoming years.

Those garters are stooooopid. My mom kept saying I should buy one b/c DD has very little hair so everyone thinks she's a boy (esp. dressed in brown overalls or blue/green stuff with bugs on it, as she often is).

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#26 of 38 Old 05-08-2002, 12:38 PM
 
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When I do buy new stuff for my son, it's usually from the girls section- solid purple is a favorite! He has some really cool zebra striped puddle stompers, and capri pants were great when he started crawling last summer. He doesn' have any flowers, but if we got some as a hand me down, he'd wear them. I like to sew baggy overalls in wild ish prints, and they are his favorites. Someone gave him a tshirt with an airplane on it and it's a huge hit, but I avoid the cutsie trains, bears and balls stuff when I am buying it. I know old navy is not the place I should support, but they make great solid colored tops in cotton and cheap!!! Old navy socks are the only ones that stay on-purple, pink, polkadots...absolutely.

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#27 of 38 Old 05-08-2002, 02:59 PM
 
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We have been the lucky recepients of lots of hand me downs - I have 3 neices and 4 nephews and my son wears clothes from all of them. My favorite gender neutral type stuff is the "nature" themes with bugs, bees, frogs, etc. we've got lots of that. I didn't want to know the sex before he was born and I was amazed at the number of people that wondered how I could buy anything if I didn't know what sex the baby was. Lots of issues there - no need to buy lots of crap for one! He has a purple room that he LOVES and a wide range of funky clothes from pretty boyish type stuff to lots of yellows and greens and more traditional girl colors. My personal clothing/kids stuff pet peeve is how hard it is to find something that doesn't have a commercial character on it - I think Walt Disney has taken over the world. And I too like old navy - especially the socks! they actually stay up.

go for the flowers and whatever else turns your son on!
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#28 of 38 Old 05-08-2002, 03:01 PM
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I love Old Navy Socks and I do buy a lot of ds5's clothes there. However, I hate the way they plaster their name across so many of the boys' shirts.
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#29 of 38 Old 05-08-2002, 03:34 PM
 
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My ds is two and will only wear clothes with animals on them. I bought a bunch of wild animal print fabrics at Walmart and the quilting store and made him a ton of pants and shorts. Also polka dots and other fun fabrics. He just wears them with tshirts of whatever color we get handed down.

Kids clothes are so easy to make, and now my friends are psyched because I'm making stuff for their kids, too. Since ds is just learning toileting, it's nice to have clothes I know are easy for him to handle.

I thought it would confuse people, but even when he wears his yellow butterfly pants or pink zoo animal pants people seem to know he's a boy. Maybe it's because he's always wanting to pee outside!

If you dig sewing, it's a great way to be creative and practical at the same time, without cursing your son to a lifetime of ugly clothes. I know someday homemade clothes will embarass him, so until then, I'm enjoying myself.
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#30 of 38 Old 05-08-2002, 09:41 PM
 
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I must admit I did it. After having a boy with tons of hair in his eyes all the time...I did put barrettes and bos in Dd's hair! She looked CUTE! I got a bunch of red, white, purple and blue bows....she wore them until she was old enough to rip them out! They didn't hurt at all (I tried them on my little neck hairs)...they were like ziplock bag closures. Besides...dressed in all that blue from ds, with her big blue eyes, she looked soooo cute!
I just got Ds a navy shirt with bugs on it and a speed racer shirt. Dd can wear them too if he doesn't destroy them. :

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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