Thursday, July 20, 2017

Yesterday... and today

Yesterday was our FIRST GROCERY TRIP as a mama+4. It was... an experience. 

The trip started, in my opinion, when I rolled out of bed at 5:45 to start the day. I wanted to be completely ready to go before the kids woke up. (Including gathering library books to drop off, packing up Amazon returns to be mailed, getting breakfast ready, and getting dressed myself.)

We arrived, right around 9:45, blessed with a great parking space on the other side of the handicap spaces, right next to a cart corral. I sat Mac into the Moby, seated Neva in the front of the cart, and let Barrett sit in the big part. William walked. I dropped off a prescription, picked out some toiletries and necessary makeup (concealer, and also my eyeliner suddenly dried out on me!) and returned the baby girl outfit we'd bought a few weeks ago.

(This was the only picture I took)

We headed to the opposite side of the store, picked up the kids' free bakery cookies and then, as promised, headed to the toy section for them to play for TEN MINUTES ONLY. On the way, we admired the fish. Will is so curious: "What's that one called? What's that one?"

I had told the boys they could each pick a treat- a donut (or other food item) or a Hot Wheels car. Barrett chose the donut, Will chose the car. Once in the toys, it took him a long time to pick one, but to my credit I remained very kind and patient as he deliberated, discussing the merits of each one. 

I was very antsy in the toys. I had a big list and desperately wanted to be done before Mac, asleep in the Moby, woke up. But once Will was done picking out a car, I set the timer for 10 minutes and let them play as I reviewed my list. The second the timer went off, it was momma's time. 

Long story short, Barrett and William walked behind me and behaved very well while I filled up the cart to a heaping mound. Meijer was running their 10 for $10 sale on lots of items that I needed. By the time we got to the produce, there was hardly any room left in the cart. Thankfully, the cart corral was close and I was able to grab a second cart (one of those half size carts) for William to push. I filled that cart up with fruit. (The cherries were on sale and Brian wanted to get six bags.) Meanwhile, an older gentleman, whose wife was shopping, was just standing there aimlessly in the produce section, needing a job. He decided to talk to me, a person who had more jobs than she could handle at that given moment and clearly did not need a conversation. His voice was loud and booming. "Wow, you've got your hands full!" he said. (A phrase I heard probably - seriously - 50 times that day. I got it often when I was pregnant, but it was said to me on this trip by almost EVERYBODY who saw me. I always say, "Thank you!") "How old is that baby?" asked the man. "He is two weeks," I replied distractedly, trying to keep Neva sitting in her seat and trying to pick out cherries for Brian and plums for Will. "You have at least one girl then, right?" he asked, dismayed by Mac's sex. "Yes," I replied, "and three beautiful boys." At that moment William, wandering around the cart, tripped on the rubber floor mat and hit his head on the cart. The man exclaimed all sorts of sympathies: "Wow! you really bumped your head there! Are you OK, buddy? Are you going to cry, buddy?" He wasn't mean at all, but it was rather annoying. When he finally walked away, another shopper, a mom with two kids a little bit older than mine, walked by and said, "Some people should mind their own business. You have beautiful children." I smiled, rolled my eyes a bit and said, "Yes, and at least I got one girl, right?" She laughed. 

With our two carts, we wheeled to the checkout lines. Of 30 lanes, there were probably three or four checkouts open. I stood behind two other shoppers and waited my turn, but I pity the poor fools who wound up behind me. It took me forever to unload both carts onto the belt. I hadn't finished unloading both, so the cashier got a third cart and began filling it up. Since my first cart had been puzzled together so cleanly, and mounded so high, there's no way the bagged groceries were going to fit in the same way, so by the time I was finished checking out I had two full-size carts filled to the top. William and Barrett tried to help putting things on the belt, but they are still little and did not necessarily expedite the process. I heard one woman behind me say to another, "And she's not even done unloading yet." In retrospect, I don't think she meant it to sound as nasty as it did, since she gave me a warm smile as I was leaving, but at that moment I felt like the scum of the earth clogging up the checkout lane. Oh Meijer, why must you be so stingy with your cashiers? The cashier, Kris, was super sweet-  she really likes me- and kept commenting on how good the kids were. Bless her heart. A long time ago, when I was pregnant with Neva, she told me that she had lost her little baby girl when she was 10 months old, and I never forget that. She's always so bright and friendly to me, but I wonder if seeing my kids ever makes her sad.

Pulling two full-size carts, I dragged everyone back to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Fortunately, the kids forgot all about riding the horse and I was able to dodge that bullet since Mac had let loose a huge poop in the Moby wrap while I was standing in line to check out, and was now squirming, awake. As I stood in line to pick up the prescription, I fed the kids blueberries, fresh from the produce section and obviously unwashed, into their mouths with my fingers like hungry baby birds. Prescription in hand, I dragged the carts and the babies, followed by the boys, out to the parking lot, thanking God with every step that it was summertime. 

Mac was not at all happy with his full diaper, and of course I had forgotten to put the wipes back into my bag that morning after changing him on the dining room table, so I couldn't even change him. He screamed the whole way home. Neva wailed too, having skipped her morning nap and dropped her baby doll on the car floor with no one to get it for her. What a racket! As soon as we got home, I got everybody out of the car, hurried into the house, changed the baby's diaper, and sat to nurse him. The other three patiently waited until I was done for their lunch. It wasn't until at least an hour after pulling into the driveway that I was able to finally unload the groceries. Thankfully I hadn't bought any Popsicles or ice cream. But it was done! I did it. And I can do it again, too. (Though hopefully not too soon.) It sure was a good way to break up the day, I tell you what. Nothing like visiting Meijer with four kids to make the following day feel like an easy breezy vacation day.

Today (July 20)

Shortly after getting the kids out of bed this morning, I was relaxing with them, playing pets with the boys on the bottom bunk, reading books to Neva intermittently, when I began wondering what day it was. When I realized it was Thursday, I thought to myself, Isn't there something going on today? Then suddenly, I remembered. I'm actually shocked I remembered because I hadn't thought of it since Monday morning. Sheryl and the boys! They were coming over for a play date at 10:30! Sheryl had told me she would be bringing lunch for us, so thankfully I didn't have to worry about cooking. I fed the kids breakfast and we straightened up the house. I even had some time to relax with Mac. 

It wasn't like I had that much preparation to do, but I'm so thankful that she didn't show up to me going, oh yeah...

Not only had she brought us lunch (chicken salad and croissants for her and me, mini corndogs for the kids, fresh vegetables, hummus, and pretzels for everyone, and Popsicles for dessert) she had also brought dinner and dessert for me, Brian, and the kids- lasagna casserole and homemade apple cake.

You better believe I ran upstairs and got a sleeping Mac out of his bed, because she had darn well earned the right to hold a sleeping baby as long as she pleased!

They stayed for several hours and it was such a lovely time. The boys always play so nicely and I always enjoy visiting with her so much. What a blessing to have friends who are willing to drive all the way out here to see us!

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