Friday, November 28, 2008

N is for NUTS

N is for NUTS! Also known as Walmart on Black Friday.

I've never been shopping on Black Friday, but this year, I've been trying a lot of new things, so why not go join the huddled masses and try to snag a few bargains?

Now, I've been doing my Christmas shopping since, well, October. I'm all about Christmas this year. Maybe it's because Mini Me is *almost* old enough to have lots of fun, maybe its just because without the stress of a full time day job, I have a lot more time on my hands to enjoy the simple things. Either way, I'm having lots of fun.

Anyway, I had been searching online for a couple of weeks to see where the good deals were going to be. See, I didn't really have anything in particular in mind. All of Mini Me's shopping is done. But, a bargain is a bargain, right? I don't usually shop at the local Walmart. It's kind of sketchy, there's always really weird people in there buying an assortment of odd stuff, and I always get stuck in the checkout line behind someone whose cart is full, and inevitably has 2 credit cards declined and ends up only getting the pack of cigarettes and leaving everything else.

But, today, they had the best deals. Towels for $1.50, 500 thread ct. sheet sets for $19.99, a 5 qt. Crock-Pot for $15, and kids pj's for $4. So, while I didn't NEED any of these things, how can you pass up a deal like that???

So, at 4am the alarm went off and I headed out the door. (See, I had gotten dressed before I went to sleep. So, a quick brush of the teeth, hat on my head and I was out the door.) I got to Walmart about 4:30. The line was already about 800 people deep (or so the Walmart employees were estimating). Standing there in the dark and the cold with 800 of my newest friends, we watched as more and more people got into line. Then a second shorter lined formed right up by the door. Can you guess where this is going?

At 5 am the doors opened and as the line began to creep forward, shouting started to emanate from the front of the line. The Walmart employees were letting people from the newly formed line in before those who had been waiting upwards of 3 hours. Not a good move. As the angry mob shouted, people just gave up on the line, and a few hundred die-hard bargain hunters charged the doors. Me and some of my more laid-back counterparts just stayed in line, and out of the way. Seriously, if I don't get a crock pot, my life isn't ruined. Honestly, its not.

But, someone must have had the foresight to call the police, because just as it started to get out of hand, 2 cop cars come rolling in and the police stop the madness and restore a sense of calm and order. Everyone files into the store as the new security team, and the (in)famous Walmart greeters reminded everyone to "just have fun" and "no need to fight, plenty of deals". Once inside the store, most people ran to electronics. Which, while I was hoping to pick up a couple of flash drives that were on was not worth my life. That was one dept. that I ended up skipping. Holy Cow! (Side Note: before I even got into the store, someone who obviously had been one of the first in, was already running out of the store with a TV)

But, I did end up getting my crock pot, towels, and sheets. I didn't even have a cart (really, it just slows you down since there's no where to go and the aisles are too packed) so I just balanced my stuff and headed to the checkout. NO LINE!!! I had what I needed and was out of there by 5:30am.

What happened next, I don't know. Maybe it was my sleep deprived state, but for some reason, as I put my bargains into the trunk, something possessed me to head back into the madness to actually look around to see what else they had. So, I headed back in (much to the annoyance of the people stalking me for my parking space. oops)

I grabbed a few random things, and found the pj's. I almost skipped them, because there was a small mob around them and I thought the chances of finding the right characters in the right size would be a bit difficult. But, as I walked past, I happened to spot a package with our good friend Dora on the ground. As I looked closer, I realized they were the right size. Could it be? Could I really have just found the EXACT thing I was looking for, without even having to look? YES! So, got the pajammies!

Now, it was 6am and I decided that it was time to be done. I headed to the checkout and HOLY COW! Where did all these people come from??? As I was standing in line the woman behind me was on her cell phone, complaining about the lines and actually said, "I can't believe I've been standing in line for 15 minutes. It's taking forever because all of the immigrants are buying TVs".

Um, wow! I tried to stand as far away from her as possible in case fists started flying. Then when I finally got to the register, the guy in front of me who was buying a GPS couldn't decide if he wanted the 1 year warranty. Seriously, its a yes or no question. He asked the cashier if most people get them, he asked for my opinion. You want my opinion? My opinion is that you have 5 seconds to make a decision and get the heck out of the way before you cause a riot for holding up the line even more. (FYI-He decided not to get the warrant)

I ended up leaving Walmart at 6:30. I hit Dunkin' Donuts for some coffee and ran a few other errands since I was out. I also scored at the local drugstore that had wrapping paper and assorted stuff for real cheap. (Cindy & Bill, have I got a surprise for you!) Overall, I had a lot of fun. I certainly won't be attempting to buy any electronics on Black Friday, but for a few good deals, it was worth it.

Although, as I type this, I have to say that the craziness and mobs rushing the door is really not necessary and I think Walmart (and probably other stores too-I JUST as I am typing this, heard of a shooting at a Toys R Us in California--really? come on people!) need to do a better job of planning and providing better security before the chaos starts. (Walmart workers should not have to die, just so that someone gets a good deal on a tv.) That's just incredibly sad and unnecessary.

This afternoon, we actually ventured back to Walmart to pick up an item that we had shipped to the store. The parking lot was no busier than a regular weekend, and even though they were marked back up, some of the doorbuster items were still on the shelves. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks.

Let the holiday season (officially) begin!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

M is for Mini Me's Muffin Mayhem

M is for Mini Me's Muffin Mayhem.

So, as it is where all of you live, its COLD! (To BFF in LA- we all hate you. hugs and kisses) And, since we aren't hanging out at the park or going for walks anymore...we needed something to do.

I wasn't feeling into "art" yesterday, but decided that nice warm cupcakes would be nice. I 'thought' it would be fun to have Mini Me "help". Seriously, what drugs did I take? Am I possessed by some evil demon? Why on earth did I think this was a 'good' idea?

(And, yes, in the title I said 'muffin'. I really mean 'cupcake', but that didn't flow as nicely, ya know? Nothing like a little alliteration to start your day)

Back to the story: Mini Me wanted NO part of the preparation of the 'muffins'. But, when it came time to deal with the frosting....oh, boy! As I do with most things, I tried to use the activity as a bit of a teaching moment. Mini Me has been doing great with colors (or: colours, for those of you North of the Border) lately, so I thought we'd have some fun and broke out the food coloring. I divided up the frosting and made a few different colors.

As you can imagine, Mini Me was not so much into putting frosting on the cupcakes as she was just eating it. She did articulate a preference for the 'green' frosting, however the blue turned out to be a bit more messy. So, color reinforcement lesson plan successful!

Of course, what would an activity be (especially one involving treats) without the trademark 'end of the activity' tantrum, where Mini Me thrashes on the floor in tears for no less than 30 minutes shrieking "green, green!"? Ah, well. At least we have yummy muffins, I mean, cupcakes.

Pics to follow, and yes I've giving up on trying to use all of the letters of the alphabet before repeating.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

B is for Bond, James Bond

B is for Bond, James Bond.

What could this possibly have to do with almost 21-month old Mini Me, you might ask? Well, it appears that Mini Me has an affinity for Bond films.

This afternoon while having a tantrum of epic proportions as a result of my refusal to let her watch a second episode of Dora the Explorer, Mini Me was frantically pushing the buttons on our cable box with the hopes that she might restart her show. She's had luck with this in the past, so, couldn't hurt to try, right?

So, as I watch her from across the room (because honestly, when the tantrums hit this level, all you can do is watch and wait for the crash and burn) I see the screens changing and different titles become highlighted on the screen. Next thing I see is "press ok to buy" and before I could get to the other side of the room, Dr. No started playing.

Yes, Mini Me succeeded in ordering a Pay-per-View movie, something that I have yet to be able to do without much cursing and swearing when I keep inadvertently hitting the exit button instead of enter. So, I turned it off and had to contact the cable company to explain that my toddler had ordered a James Bond movie by accident and got them to remove the charge from our account. They politely reminded me that I should set the parental controls to prevent unauthorized ordering in the future.

Yeah, thanks. I'll get right on that!

Monday, November 17, 2008

L is for Lunch

L is for lunch. Also known as "nap time". We are trying to establish a new routine for Mini Me so that her days are consistent. So, that means pushing her nap a little later in the day. We ALMOST made it, but apparently, lunch was just too much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Pictures

Enjoying some cake for Grandpa's B-day!

Just relaxin'

Getting ready for preschool

Monday, November 10, 2008

C is for Christmas

OK, so yes it is only November 10th. I do realize that. But, they have been playing Christmas music in the stores since BEFORE Halloween, Santa is already at the mall, and local radio stations have switched into 24/7 Christmas music mode. If you can't been 'em, join 'em! So, I'm "decorating" this blog for Christmas!

W is for Wow

W is for Wow. As in, " Wow, its been a long time since this blog has been updated!"

No, we have not fallen off of the face of the earth. I have just been busy doing....well, stuff. Mini Me is starting a pre-preschool program, we had family portraits done, and hubby has started a new job. So, all in all, things are going well.

Grandma and Grandpa C. were just here for Grandpa C.'s 60th birthday. Mini Me had lots of fun with them! She's also in love with the balloons.

Mini Me is adapting well to her "big girl bed" and seems to be enjoying it. We have had a major breakthrough and she is now able to recognize and say several colors. And, thanks to our friend Dora, is learning some words in spanish!

So, that's the short version of what we have been up to. But, I promise to be better about updating this. And, I realized that I'll probably be better about updating it, if I know people are reading it! So, I'm sharing this blog with family and friends in the hope that the "peer pressure" will keep me on top of things and help everyone not feel so far away!