Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daddy Want a Cracker?

Happy Birthday Michael! We celebrated with a trip to A&M for a baseball game - pre-kids this was our tradition. Everyone had fun despite the fact that it was overcast, extremely windy, in the low sixties, and the game started at the same time the twins usually go down for a nap.

For more pictures from today click here.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

Math, Green, and a Miletsone

Several things have come to mind today to blog about so this will be quite the eclectic post.

Math: This is from an email Michael sent me today.
When Charlotte and I were driving to preschool this morning she wanted to play "Math". So, I was giving her some straight addition and subtraction problems and some "word problems" "I have 7 apples and give you 2, how many do I have left?"). She was doing great and only slowed down when I gave her something past 10 (I think it was 9+2). She eventually got to 11 and said she was sorry it took so long but "I have to use my head a lot. I'm good with my counting numbers but not my math numbers."

Me: "You're doing great, Charlotte. And they're the same numbers"

Charlotte: "No, they're not"

Me: "How are they different?"

Charlotte: "Math numbers are autofer. You know what 'autofer' is?"

Me: "No, what is it?"

Charlotte: "Autofer things are things you have to use both hands with."

Charlotte is really into math these days and has been playing the math game in the car with me as well. From this email I now realize that I haven't been asking hard enough questions I've not done anything that adds to more than 10, no subtraction and no word problems. What a slacker I am. She is also the queen of making up words for no reason. I don't really understand the appeal but she finds it very humorous.

Green:
OK so I really would not classify myself as a green mom. I don't buy all organic. I don't pack a no waste lunch. I don't drive a hybrid and have no current plans to. I don't believe in global warming or human's roll in it. But I try to do my part where I can. As part of that I invested in some cloth grocery bags. I
love them! They are so handy. Not only do they hold twice as much as a plastic bag but they are easier to pick up and carry. A friend was talking about her freezer bags she also takes with her to the grocery and I bought a couple of those, too. In my store they are located with the freezer foods. They are labeled as thermal bags and were about $2 each. I love them as well.

I have found so many uses for my grocery bags besides groceries. They are great to haul all the kids stuff (think lunch boxes, snacks, shoes, toys, etc.) to and from the car. They are great to put my work stuff in when I have stuff that won't fit in the computer bag. Today I also learned they are great to take to Sams to put all those smaller things in I needed to buy today.


While at Sams today I saw they had some of the heat and serve meals that have become my new lifesaver. They are really good, not frozen and quick. Thanks to my freezer bags in the car I was able to pick some up even though I wasn't going straight home and I didn't have to worry about them staying cold. Did I mention the other day I bought ice cream and put it in the freezer bag and left it in the car for over an hour in (80 degree, sunny weather) and it was still frozen solid when I took it out? They really are great.



A Milestone:
Ruby had a first today. Not a first most would document but I'm sure knowing Ruby a really important first that she will be glad her Mommy did.

She got her toe nails painted for the very first time! She saw me painting mine and immediately ripped off her crocs and started saying "please, please" all while sitting down shoving her feet in my face :) How could I possibly resist?

Eliza Claire was oblivious as she was busy watching Sesame Street. But I'm not sure she would have cared if she had noticed. Now turn on ESPN and she's there, but nail polish, not so much.

Have a great weekend!

Oh, and if you are a green mom and/or you believe in global warming, don't waste your time trying to convince me. Trust me I'm doing my share of research. I'm just arriving at different conclusions than you.

Jenn

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Party Tricks



I discovered while Papa and Cici were here that Charlotte knows how to spell her name backwards. Papa and Cici mentioned this one day when they came home from breakfast with Charlotte. I asked them when they taught her to do that. They said they didn't she just did it. I asked Charlotte if she learned it at school. No, not at school either. Apparently she just figured it out all by herself. And it wasn't a fluke because she then did it several times for us. I think that is pretty impressive for a 4.5 year old with a nine letter name.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fun with Four

video

It is times like this that make it fun to be a mom of four. I just love it when they enjoy each other and have fun together.

For those of you who don't have a high speed connection and can't see the video (Mom, I'm talking to you) this is a video of all four kids playing Ring Around the Rosie together and just running around being silly.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Plastics: A Cause for Concern?

OK in honor of Earth Day lets talk plastics. I'm starting to read more and more about BPA and Plastic #7 and not washing plastic in the dishwasher and not microwaving plastic. I hear zip top bags and thin flexible plastic is bad and hard unbreakable plastic is bad. The lining in canned goods is bad. Reusing single serve water bottles is bad.

So the question becomes how bad is it? And do I really need to be concerned or make changes? Or is this just the current media target like the egg was in the late 80s?

Here's the thing. I have four kids. They are little. They break anything that can be broken. They take lunch two or more days a week. They spill things. They throw things. They wear plates on their heads. How am I supposed to serve their food and drinks?

OK at home in theory if plastic is really bad we could go to using regular dishes and be very vigilant for the flying plate or cup and hope it didn't take too long for them to learn that they break. And hope they don't think it is hilarious when they do and do it on purpose.

But what about lunch boxes? I can't send glass to school. Everything can't be wrapped in wax paper. Plastic baggies are bad because they kill fish and leach chemicals too. I can buy stainless steel water bottles but most aren't spill proof and I could only afford one per child. What happens if it is dirty. What do I put applesauce in or other messy items that can't be wrapped in wax paper or foil?

Then there is the cost. If I were to decide to ban plastic, I would have to buy more dishes, new food storage containers, new glasses, new water bottles, etc. That costs money. The stainless water bottles I've looked at for the kids cost $15-$20 per bottle, plus shipping. That is a lot of money for something that is likely to get lost at school and has to be hand washed. Given current gas and grocery prices I don't have extra money to buy all these products.

Scientific research has not proven that BPAs are harmful to humans. They have shown that high levels of BPAs in mice/rats/whatever can cause some side effects (OK so I don't remember exactly what and I'm not going to look it up right this second but I think it is probably cancer). But didn't a scientific study show that lima beans were carcinogenic about 10 years ago? My mother still expects me to eat those so maybe I'm OK.

Michael and I were discussing this whole plastic issue and he was pointing out that there are two billion people in the world that don't have clean drinking water and we are worried about what we put our clean drinking water in. His point was that we are at the fringes of what, for the world, is the real problem. We have clean water, enough food to eat, and aren't contracting things like Malaria. We are spending a lot of time and mental energy on something that might cause something a long time from now when 2 billion people are at risk of death from their only available water source today. Hmmm. That kind of puts it in prospective. So maybe instead of spending $100 on water bottles I should send it to World Vision or another such organization that helps people get things like mosquito nets and clean water. Maybe that is where the money would do the most good.

So I don't know the answer to the question and I don't know how much I should worry about it but I think Michael has a point. If the worst thing I have to worry about is whether or not plastic might be harmful I've got it pretty good.

Happy Earth Day,
Jenn

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Grade Math

Here is one of Rehm's math problems for tonight.

Some bugs sat on a bush. Six more bugs came. Now there are 23 bugs on the bush. How many bugs were there first?

I don't remember doing this level of math in first grade. Isn't this basically algebra? What kind of math will the child be doing by fifth grade. My goodness.

Rehm had no problem figuring out the answer but of course has no clue he is doing algebra.

Jenn

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sleeping Beuaties



I snapped these yesterday when we got to school to pick up Charlotte. Don't they looks so sweet? It's amazing how deceptive sleep can be.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

English Rabbit

The recipe (click on the image to view larger).

Last week Charlotte and I started reading "Jeremy: The Tale of an Honest Bunny" by Jan Karon. It is a chapter book about a stuffed bunny trying to get to America. In one chapter he encounters Mr. Pruneholt who invites him to tea. It talks about the different things they are eating and one of the dishes Mr. Pruneholt serves is English Rabbit. This of course concerned Jeremy until Mr. Prunholt tells him there is no rabbit in English Rabbit. When we turned the page there was a recipe for English Rabbit. After reading the recipe Charlotte and I decided we would like to have tea sometime and make English Rabbit. Today was the day.

Charlotte helping get tea ready

My version of a double boiler since I don't own a real one. It is a metal pan sitting on top of a pot. After the English Rabbit was done I put it in a ceramic bowl inside the metal bowl with the lid on top to keep it warm until Rehm got home from school.

Charlotte decided that Rehm could be invited to tea and made him an invitation, which she hand delivered to him at the end of the street as he was coming home from school. It took us about an hour to get tea ready. We got out the special tea set that used to be Cici's. We put cookies and bread on platters. We washed and capped strawberries. We made English Rabbit and tea. We set the table. Then we went to meet Rehm.

The table set for tea with Cici's Tea set. Notice that we had a bunny guest at the end of the table. Her name is Lisa Bunny. She is Charlotte's very special bunny friend. We made sure she knew that there as no rabbit in English Rabbit.

We all settled around the table and I poured tea with cream and sugar for everyone. We passed around the various dishes for everyone to get some. Then we visited and enjoyed tea. Charlotte thought it was all yummy. Rehm's taster didn't like the tea or the English Rabbit. At one point he said, "Mom, I think I'm just not a tea kind of boy!" We talked about where the tea set came from and that it was very special to me and that one day I would give it to one of my children so they could have tea with their family. We talked about the time I spent in South Africa and the wonderful lady that came to my office twice a day and brought tea. We read the tea party scene from the Jeremy book. We talked about Charlotte's field trip and Rehm's day at school.
Rehm trying English Rabbit

This is why I love being a mom. It is days and events like this. I don't do these things often but today I felt like a good mom. Not granted I have a sink full of dishes that have to be hand washed and a ton of work to do after the kids go to bed but it was so worth it to make a special memory for my two big kids.

Rehm's memory of this will be something along the lines of "Remember those times you forced me to do 'fancy' things with you and Charlotte like have tea parties" complete with eye rolling. Charlotte's will be more something along the lines of "remember when we read that book and it had a recipe in it and we got to try it and we made the table look nice and we used the special tea set and had our very own tea party!" complete with excitement and a suggestion to do it again.
Charlotte enjoying tea
Hopefully they will remember days like today where we do something a little different, make new memories and share our history as well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sunday Lunch

Growing up Sunday meant going to church and then going to my Grandparents for lunch. All three of their children and their families would be there, every Sunday.

Of course lunch always consisted of lots of yummy home cooked goodies complete with one or more desserts. Did I mention we all stayed and then had dinner together, too? Dinner consisted of whatever was left over from lunch and if it was summer might include homemade ice cream. Unfortunately the ice cream tended to be a fruit flavor and I don't like fruit in my ice cream so I didn't eat a lot of ice cream but there was usually some other dessert left from lunch that I liked so it wasn't so bad.

After lunch, we would all spend the day just hanging out together. OK the "men" watched a lot of sports, everyone read the paper and dozed and the kids all played together either upstairs or out on the farm.

Sometimes the whole family would go for a walk down in the woods on the back of the property. I always enjoyed these occasions as they usually included my grandparents telling the history of the family and the land. And they included playing in the creek and looking for wildlife. Other times we would play bat mitten or croquet or tennis together as a family. And on easter we would always go visit the cemeteries to place/pick up flowers. Of course this also included more family history lessons.

One of these Sunday Lunches is where I learned that chickens on a farm really can't be a true pet. But family time and history were wonderful.

Sunday Lunch was one of the things I missed most about home when I went to college. It is was all that I knew. When Michael and I married we started the tradition with his parents. OK we don't spend the whole day there and eat dinner there, but most Sundays we do have lunch together. Sometimes it is home cooked sometimes it is out. But it still is what makes Sunday feel like Sunday to me.

So on the few Sundays a year we don't have lunch with Michael's parents and we don't go out. It seems wrong to end up having sandwiches and chips. That is not Sunday Lunch! That is what happened last Sunday. I worked (at church). Rehm had a baseball game (not normal) and Michael and the rest of the kids went to it. Michael's parents had something else to do. On the way home from church I called Michael to ask what the lunch play was. He said "sandwiches."
I have to say I was disappointed. That just doesn't constitute Sunday Lunch in my world. I said as much and got treated to Chuy's for dinner.

I hope this is a tradition that carries on for many more generations in my family. It is one that definitely left a huge impression on me and I hope it does the same for my children.

All Four


It is extremely difficult to get all the kids to sit still for a picture together. I snapped this one last Sunday when we went to Chuys for dinner. It isn't great but it has all four in the frame and that is quite the feat these days.

Aren't Bob and Larry cute? I'm crossing my fingers that the shirts still fit at Halloween and can become their costumes, but I think they will have other ideas.

Jenn
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pig Tails


Today Charlotte wanted pigtail buns. I really don't have a clue how to style girl hair so this is my best attempt. It is not great but for a four year old it works. Then Charlotte decided that Eliza should have pig tails and Ruby decided she wanted them too. Apparently pig tails are the secret to getting Ruby to leave her hair alone. When I do one pony she has it out usually in about 5 minutes and definitely the first time she is in the car. Today she kept her pig tails in through 2 car trips and 4 hours of school! This is a record! Who would like the job of informing her she needs more hair if she wants more elaborate styles. I'm not sure she is going to like that news and she can be quite a force to reckon with when she doesn't like something...

If you have any tips on girl hair I'd love to hear them. My bun consists of putting hair in a pony tail holder and then twisting it around the pony tail holder and securing it with a second holder. I can also do pig tail braids. I have no clue where to even start with french braiding or anything more elaborate. Do they have a book for that? or a web site?

Jenn, who does much better with boy hair.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Ants!

The ants arrived in the mail on 4/4. I didn't know what to expect in the mail but I thought they would at least be in a box. But no they were in an envelope. How crazy is that? Sending ants in the mail in an envelope.

This is what we found when we opened the envelope. The ants were in a small tube taped inside a piece of foam.Rehm inspecting the ants. Rehm checking out the ant farm while waiting for the ants to cool off. We also had to make a few holes in the gel to help the ants figure out where and how to dig.

The ants in the refrigerator. Yes, they are in with the eggs and insulin (for the cat). Apparently harvester ants can sting and are very active. To get them in the ant farm you put them in the fridge for ten minutes to get them nice and cool. This slows them down significantly and gives you time to dump them in the ant farm and get the lid on before you get stung.
The ants as soon as they were dumped in the ant farm. We were successful in getting them in without any escapees or stings.

The ants just six hours after getting dumped in their new home. The instructions said it could take up to 48 hours for them to figure out how to tunnel in the gel. Apparently they sent us very smart ants. It didn't take them anywhere near that long. Michael and I had a hard time deciding where the ants should live. We wanted them somewhere easy for the kids to see but not easily accessible. We really didn't want 25 stinging ants loose in the house. We decided the best spot was on the kitchen island. We needed something sturdy to put them on so the kids could see them easily. The only thing we could find was a container of almonds. It seems kind of cruel to have them sitting on top of a container of food but it was the best solution we could find.





Tunneling after 24 hours.













Tunneling after 48 hours










Tunneling after 6 days. They are not nearly as busy now. We seem to get a new small tunnel about ever 48 hours now.


We have had the ants 10 days. They are still very neat to watch. They do not dig as furiously now and seem to have definite rest times and work times. They even have a sleeping area the created at the base of the ant farm. It is directly above the third light from the left. Everyone is enjoying learning more about the ants and watching them work. According to the directions the ants should live from 1 to 3 months. So we should have live entertainment for several weeks to come.

Jenn

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Uncle!

There I said it. I give up! It just isn't going to happen this year. I kept deluding myself that I really would do it but I have finally admitted defeat. The box you see there, has been sitting on my counter for 4 months and 12 days. It contains my holiday cards. I was so proud I actually got them designed and ordered before Valentine's Day this year! Ah, the best laid plans...They came between Christmas and New Year's and life was busy so I thought I'll get to them after the kids go back to school. Then the cleaning crew "organized" my stacks and the box got put at the bottom of the stack, making it much less visible and in the way.

January came and went. I thought I'd put a cute Valentine's sticker on them and mail them in February. That didn't happen and I thought oh I'll put a cute little message on the envelop making a joke over them being late and send them at Easter. That didn't happen. Then I thought I'll send them so they arrive on April Fool's that would be clever and cute. That didn't happen. So finally this week after moving the stack and box for the umpteenth time I decided it was time to give up.

I am not super woman after all. I can't do everything. And this year one of the things that is getting skipped are the holiday cards! And I am not going to beat myself up about it. Hopefully, I'll do better next year or decide not to do them before I go to the trouble and expense of ordering them.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are having a great 2008. Here is a picture of the holiday card.

If you must have an actual copy to put on your fridge leave a comment with your email address (or just email me) and I'll put you one in the mail. Otherwise consider this your holiday card from our family.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy St. Patrick's Day, Happy Easter, Happy April Fool's Day, well you get the idea!
Jenn


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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A girl named Audrey

Yesterday Michael forwarded me a link to a blog he had stumbled across. It is a blog about Audrey Caroline. In January her family found out that she would likely never survive outside the womb. It is their journey of faith and family, of understanding and despair. It is beautiful. It is painful. It is sad. It is Audrey's story. Her very brief life. But she has and will continue to touch so many people. People like me, who didn't get the pleasure to know her, and people closer, her family who did get the gift of knowing her best. I sat and read and cried for over an hour last night for this family and their beautiful girl.

This morning I woke and Audrey and her family are still very present in my mind. I know her parents are suffering the loss of her but are also elated because they finally got to meet her, hold her and love on her. They got to make memories with her for such a brief time, but those memories will last them a lifetime. They will comfort them when they miss her so much they don't know how to take the next step. They will make them smile when they see something that reminds them of her. Those memories are all they have and they are precious. But those memories are not the end of Audrey's story for she will touch more lives than her parents will probably ever know. Her brief and beautiful life will change people, people close to her and people who never met her.

We are all blessed to have the families God has given us. He has not always given us the families we asked for. But what He has given us is good, and right, and perfect just like Audrey.

Today and every day I am,
Sam's Mommy

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Happy Birthday Rehm - A little late (oops)

The birthday boy!

Rehm turned seven a week and a half ago! I was waiting for the party before posting about it. That was a week ago. Then I got a little busy and well what can I say? Here we are a week later.

The morning of his birthday he came upstairs to ask when he could open his presents. I wished him a happy birthday and asked how it felt to be seven. He said, "Mom, I'm not really seven yet. I won't be until 7:13 pm." I asked if we should wait until he was officially seven before opening presents. He didn't think that was necessary.

Here are some of the things he received from family and friends:Sponge Bob MP3 player , a calculator, a fly guy book, pokemon cards, ant farm, some science experiments, a very cool Frisbee, a fishing rod that shots the line out into the water - it looks interesting , a clock radio that projects the time on the ceiling, a cover for his bible, a Toys r Us gift certificate and some Pokemon toys. If you haven't received your thank you note I promise it will be in the mail just as soon as I get the Christmas cards out that are still sitting on my counter.

On his actual birthday Cici and I went and had lunch with him at school and took cupcakes for his class. I actually made the cupcakes this year instead of buying them - granted I used a cake mix and bought frosting but it is still a step in the right direction, right? He requested yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

Rehm with his Olive Garden birthday cake

For dinner Rehm got to pick where we ate. He chose Olive Garden. He LOVES their fettuccine Alfredo. He took his new calculator with him to dinner. I finally had to tell him he had to put it away and actually talk to everyone as they were there to celebrate his birthday. [Both sets of grandparents joined us for dinner.] After dinner they sang happy birthday to him and we all enjoyed Olive Garden's very reasonably priced birthday cake. I am actually being serious here - the waiter said they had a little cake that we could do since we really didn't all want a lot of dessert but when he brought it out I thought "that's more than a little cake, I wonder what that will cost." But surprisingly it cost about what any single dessert item on their menu cost and we were all able to have a small piece.

Rehm and his friends playing glow in the dark golf

For his birthday party he wanted his friends Lael and Will to go to main event and play glow in the dark golf. The three families plus Grandma and Grandpa had lunch and let the kids play golf and video games. Then we had cupcakes - again homemade but this time with homemade chocolate frosting (because I'm a frosting snob) and Sponge Bob candies on top.

So here is a run down of Rehm's favorite things at seven.

TV Show: Bingo America
Game: Pokemon Cards
Food: Bacon and Pepperoni Pizza
Subject at School: Science
Computer Game: Pokemon Pokedex
Sport: Basketball
Bible Story: The Golden Calf because he likes gold
Book: Eye Witness Rocks and Minerals
Song: Pokemon Theme Song for Season 1
Thing to do on a sunny afternoon: Go swimming
Thing to do on a rainy day: Splash in puddles (but my parents don't really let me do it)
Best thing about school: Going to the library
Drink: Orange Sprite (Fanta Orange Soda mixed with Sprite)

Enjoy,
Jenn
Restaurant:
Number:

Martha Stewart and Home Repair

Friday, Charlotte had a friend over for a playdate. I decided to make a special snack for everyone. I made brownies. No they were not from scratch but they did have chocolate chunks in them. About the time the brownies were done the electrician found why the circuit breaker tripped every time we tried to turn on the ceiling fan in the family room. He needed everyone out from underfoot while he cut several holes in my ceiling. I can't imagine why he didn't think it was a good idea to proceed with 5 children running around - the oldest of which just turned seven.

I decided to take everyone outside to play and have snack. Of course the two dogs are in the backyard so I couldn't make several trips out with food and such or the dogs would have had a yummy snack and I would have had five very upset and hungry kids. So I found a wooden try (a wedding gift that I might have used two or three times previously) and loaded it with plates, brownies, grapes and cups. I took it out, raised the umbrella and set out everyone's snack. All I needed was a creative centerpiece and I really could have won the title of the "Martha Stewart of Playdates."

I mean how many people have playdates with the electrician in the house and still bake and present things nicely? Maybe there are lots of this type of mom out there but if so don't burst my bubble. Obviously this is not something I do often. Normally I would have sent them outside and handed them a box of goldfish on the way out the door and told them if they fought over them I was feeding the rest to the dogs!

I am now sporting the newest home fashion - geometric patterns in the ceiling and walls. I will be sporting this fashion until the drywaller can come in a week or two to patch all the holes. The electrician determined that the problem with the fan was a short in the wire between the switch and the fan. To run a new wire, since this is on the first floor of my house he had to cut the holes to get the wire from point A to point B. The good news is there is once again a nice breeze in my family room. The bad news is well, obvious.



Oh and did I mention that in the midst of all this the anxiously awaited ants arrived and had to be refrigerated? More on that later.
Jenn

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Quiet Time

Every school day Charlotte comes home and has about 45 minutes of quiet time. Today in the car she made the following observations about it.

I like quiet time! There is nobody to boss you around. Nobody to tell you what to do. You can do whatever you want. Your brother can't bother you or talk about Pokemon and oceans and stuff. No one messes in your stuff. It is really quiet.

Amazingly by the time she gets home from school and it is time for quiet time she will react like I am sending her to a torture chamber and beg to come out.

Jenn

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Irony


Today I had the exterminator come out because we have little black ants in the girls' room. We've had these ants before and they are very hard to get rid of. So I wanted to take care of it right away. Not long after the exterminator left, Rehm and I excitedly went to the mail box to see if the ants we ordered for his new ant farm had arrived. They have not.

So I'm killing ants while spending extra money to bring more ants into the house. Hmm. Maybe my logic isn't any better than the toddlers in my house.
Jenn

Disclaimer: I did not buy the ant farm. Cici and Papa did. But it looks really cool and I'm sure will be the topic of several future posts.

Toddler Logic

Food is for putting on the table, not your plate.

Your plate is for putting on your head like a hat.

Shoes are to be thrown or chewed on but never worn.

Socks are for hands not feet.

Someone else's sock are much more fun to wear than your own.

Ketchup is for sucking off your fingers not dipping food into.

Diapers are toys to be stacked, sorted or thrown but not put on your bottom.

These are all observations from just the last 24 hours...Ah the joys of toddlerhood.
Jenn

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Joys of Grocery Shopping

Yesterday was grocery day. I made my list, printed it, packed snacks, and got the three girls ready to go. The grocery list was surprisingly short and I thought it would be a quick, cheap and uneventful trip.

We pull in the parking lot and I reach for the grocery list. It isn't there. I know I had it. Where is it? Search the car for a couple of minutes, can't find it. Decide I can shop without it since we didn't need much. Besides there was no way I was turning around driving 10 minutes home to get the list and coming back to the store. So winging it would have to do.

Charlotte was upset that she didn't get to ride in the cart. Even with the big cart with the extra two seats, it just doesn't work for her to ride. And she is 4 1/2, she is big enough to walk.

About a third of the way through the store she had a shoe issue the top half of her sandal came off. If she had actually buckled them properly that probably wouldn't have happened but that is probably a different post altogether. She stopped to fix it. I looked back to see a set of shelves (about 2 feet wide and deep and 6 feet tall) starting to fall. I yell "Charlotte, NO!" She starts screaming and rights the shelves. Of course there are now 10 or so Snapple Water bottles on the floor, half of which are spilled as the lids broke in the fall.

At this point I think "now what?" Luckily an employee saw it and radioed for clean up. I offered to help and to pay for the Snapple but was told they would take care of it. I made Charlotte apologize and dried her tears. Then for the rest of the shopping trip I'm having a silent battle in my head - "I really should pay for those spilled drinks," "they really shouldn't have had so many heavy bottles on something that unstable." Back and forth and back and forth. Finally, I decided it really was their fault. All Charlotte had done was reach out with one hand and slightly leaned against the shelves just enough to reach over and buckle her shoe. I was very impressed that she was able to right the shelves and the whole thing didn't crash to the ground.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The grocery bill was only $70! Woohoo! But I did get home and realize I forgot the sandwich baggies and string cheese. Oops.

Alls well that ends well,
Jenn