Wednesday, January 12, 2011

05/13/2010-Costco and Memories of Shopping Trips gone Bad!

So, I know a lot of women (well, most) that wait until their husbands get home to do their shopping. Or they do it on Saturdays. That's a great idea. Shopping alone is a joyous experience! However, I work Saturdays, and by the time Grant gets home I'm busy getting dinner ready, then getting the kids in bed. And once that happens, all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV. I have NO energy for shopping. I'm also not one who likes to sit around at home during the day. So a little trip to the store is like an adventure for us. There's usually some sort of bribe involved and the kids act pretty well. However, there have been many times when we have been out shopping and some kid has thrown a tantrum in the middle of the isle. I usually just walk away and let them scream all alone until they decide it's not worth it and come running to find me. There's been many times when I've left full shopping carts and grabbed a kid under each arm in football hold, kicking and screaming, while holding the hand of a third, ambulatory child.

The worst shopping trip to date was when Gunnar was just a baby. He was in his carseat on the handles of the cart. Abby was in the cart and Ashlin and Troy were sitting in the little attached car at the front of the cart. Ashlin and Troy started fighting about something and they were both crying (except Troy's cry is this piercing scream that can be heard throughout the entire store). Abby was complaining about not getting to "drive the car" and Gunnar all of a sudden woke up very hungry. He was screaming! I didn't have a bottle with me, and there was nowhere I could go to nurse, so I trudged along. I pulled Gunnar out of his carseat and carried him (still screaming) while pushing the cart. I had a hand full of coupons and they were about to expire, so I had to use them and was trying to figure out how much of which items I had to put in the cart. I finally got everything I needed and the kids continued screaming all through the check stand. The bagger usually ask if I need help to the car and I always say no. But this time the bagger said, "Do you need help to your car". And the check-out lady said, "Of course she does, just help her!" I let the bagger push the cart while I carried Gunnar. I got the kids in their seats, groceries in the car and then sat in the front seat nursing Gunnar. I was suppose to meet some friends at the park, so I called one of them up to say I wouldn't be there and I just started bawling. Believe it or not, I have gone shopping with all 4 kids again, but I made sure to feed Gunnar BEFORE starting, and I don't let the kids get their free cookie at the bakery until the end of the shopping! And I don't coupon anymore!

2nd worse trip was when we went to Ralph's to pick something up quickly. I never shop at Ralph's. It is never quick, and I knew that going in, but Ralph's was closer to where I was going then Vons. Gunnar was a little older and could sit up, so he was buckled into the handle bar seat. Ashlin and Troy were standing on either side of the cart, holding on (Abby was at school). The kids each had a bag of chips they were eating. I left the cart next to a display of wine and walked 3 feet away to the sandwiches. Ashlin stepped off the cart to come see what I was doing. Troy's weight tipped the whole cart over (Ralph's carts are a lot smaller than Vons', another reason I don't shop there) and he fell backwards into the display of wine. I tried to Pick the cart back up, but doing so was disrupting the display and bottles started crashing to the floor. Gunnar was tipped completely to his side being held in by the straps and Troy had a bleeding lip from the the cart wacking him in the face. I was holding on to the cart and trying to keep it from completely falling over and I yelled for help. Several people came running over. Troy and Gunnar had both dropped their chips in the middle of the pile and they were both crying because their chips were ruined. While pulling Troy and Gunnar back to safety, Ashlin stepped in the middle of the mess to retrive her brothers' fallen chips. She didn't notice the bottles that were now starting to come crashing down. She stood in the middle of it all while about 4 or 5 bottles of wine surrounded her, soaking her dress. Now she was crying from being wet. Once I got the kids calmed down and convinced them that they didn't need their chips, I left the mess for the staff to clean up. As we were walking around the store looking for popsicles for Troy's lip, an employee came and brought balloons and suckers for the kids. Seriously? Now you're trying to suck up so I don't sue you for the tiny/light carts and putting wine displays in the middle of nowhere? Anyway, then the check out took forever (another reason I don't shop there), and we were really late. Would have been faster to drive all the way to Vons. We don't go to Ralph's anymore, even with the balloons and suckers! (Okay maybe this one was the worst. Maybe I'll make it a tie.)

A similar thing happened at JoAnn's just a couple weeks later. Except this time Gunnar was in his carseat on top of the handle bars. When the cart came crashing down, Gunnar's car seat went flying. It rolled over about 3 times and landed 20 feet from the cart. Thankfully the handle bar was up and he wasn't harmed. He was just crying from fear. Everyone thought it was strange that I went straight to Troy to make sure he was alright and left the baby crying in the carseat. He had padding, Troy didn't. A nice lady got Gunnar out and held him for me. Another reason I went to Troy first. He wouldn't be happy with a stranger comforting him. That was my first time EVER in JoAnn's. I finally get up the nerve to do a crafty project, and disaster strikes. I made a vow to never do anything crafty again!

These are some pictures I took when I took the kids to Costco. Usually our shopping trips are uneventful except for the stares and accelades I get from fellow shoppers for having all these kids with me. Usually I get comments like, "Are they all yours?" or "Wow, you're brave!". To which I respond, "Or stupid!?!" Just trying to be funny! It doesn't seem that big of a deal to me, but when I see someone with 2 or 3 kids shopping I'm usually shocked and think, "Wow, I can't believe she can do that!" I forget what I must look like. So know I have pictures to remind me!

This is BEFORE we go into the store. By the time we leave the cart is completely over-flowing and both girls are walking and the boys have something they're carrying in their arms. How come I can come to the checkstand with my cart packed perfectly and when I'm done they're trying to put my stuff in a second cart? I thought they were professionals? I've yet to meet someone at Costco that can load my cart better then I! They always try to put the tp on the bottom. "No!" I say, "put it on last, trust me!" They try to argue with me, but I usually insist. A huge bag of tp can balance on the top of the cart waaay better then 20 different smaller items. And if it falls, it's just one thing to have to pick up. I've learned this from experience. And the Costco people aren't as helpful as the Von's baggers. They rarely want to help me to the car. "Sure, use 2 carts, that should be really easy for me to get 4 kids and 2 carts full of groceries to my car at the back of the parking lot all by myself!" PLEASE!

05/12/2010 Sue's Birthday Celebration

Another Girl's Night Out to celebrate Sue's Birthday! This time at Los Gringos Locos! She Loooooved wearing the sombrero!

Stacy C., Stacy A., Rita, Shauna, Susan
Leslie, Sue, Katie

05/09/2010- More "All-About-Me" Pics

Here's Gunnar's "Favorite Food" Picture for his book. I don't know that mashed peas is really his favorite food, but this was such a cute picture, I couldn't resist putting it in the book!

Apparently Abby and Ashlin think their beds are too big and they needed to squeeze in with Troy!

We did a little mini photo shoot taking turns with the kids for their "Mommy and Me" and "Daddy and Me" section of the book

We figured we could combine Troy's "Daddy and Me" and "Favorite Game" pictures in one!

Gunnar's putting up a pretty good defensive line!

I didn't put this in the book, I just thought it was a cute pic!

The kids with their teacher Miss JoAnn

05/05/2010-Dana Point

My mom called me one afternoon to say that they had been using up my Grandma's time share days at Dana Point with Scot and Brittany. They couldn't stay any longer, leaving a whole empty room. So I packed up and headed down after picking up Abby from school. We went straight for the beach. It was a little chilly, but the kids had fun!

And this is what Ashlin looked like after totally wiping out!

Then we went swimming in the pool where we discovered tar all over our feet and shoes from the beach. After a fun swim, we went back to the apartment, cleaned up, and ate dinner. While I was preparing dinner, Brittany helped Abby with her Ocean's Diarama. It turned out great!

A more up close view! Thanks Aunt Brittany!
I put the kids to bed, then hung out with Scot and Brittany playing games. We went home the next morning. Short trip, but fun!

05/01/2010-Michellie's Birthday

We celebrated Michelle's Birthday at Yang Chow's. A famous Chinese place in Pasadena (although the more famous one is in LA, but this one is close and much less crowded. But just as yummy!)

Red Velvet Cake!

Back: Katie, Lindsey, Felicia, me, Julie, Sue
Front: Shauna, Allison, Michelle, Donna

Random picture of Shauna and Allison. I'm sure there's some reason for taking this picture. Being silly, I guess!

04/30/2010- Train Trip

It's our annual Train Trip with Parent-ed. My mom joined me again, along with Aunt Brittany!

Ashlin and Troy with their Metro Ticket

"Hold Hands". Man, trains are scary for parents. We took the Metro to Union Station.

Then we took the Subway to Downtown LA...

where we rode "Angels Flight" that had just recently re-opend after like 10 or 15 years.

It's amazing that we all made it in here.
We took a class picture at the top.
Then we went across the street to the farmer's market and then the Subway back to Olvera Street. We had lunch and then watched a little performance. I bribed Brittany in to asking this guy for his picture!

He was thrilled to oblige!

Then we had ice cream before heading back home. Um, does this sound a bit like our San Diego trip?