Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why the Mall and bathing suit shopping are considered "fun".....

There are very few things that I am allergic to in this world. At least, the kind of allergic that produces hives, shortness of breath and a severe need for an epi-pen.

The Mall is one of those things.
Bathing suits are the other.

More on the why of these facts may come later.

This was my quandary daughter is going to camp.
A camp where swimming is one of the activities.
And she just outgrew her swimsuit 30 seconds  before she started packing.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself..."Surely all you had to do is head to your retail job, shop the clearance rack, whip out your stack of discounts and walk away with a $5 bathing suit."   And I would totally love to report that those sequence of events happened.

Except it would be a bald faced lie.
 In the first place, the suits don't go on clearance for a few more weeks.
In the second place, we are simple people and have few issues with picky eaters or dressers.  Unless it comes to bathing suits. 
My daughter likes to use her suit to:  swim
Shocking, I know.  But her suit has to actually have more than 1/16 yd of fabric and stay in place should she decide to do something crazy... like...move...
This eliminates 92% of the bathing suits in the kid's dept and 99% of the bathing suits in the women's dept at my store.  (The remaining 1% being suits that even I refuse to wear for at least 20 more years, if at all)

Which left us with two options:
1) Go to the local, over priced sporting goods store that carries suits for people who plan on actually  swimming in their pool attire.

2) Go to the mall, where the out of my league nicer department stores are, and hope their suits went on clearance early.

The things I do for my children.   Sigh.

We went to the sporting goods store and found a  suit that fit all her criteria and didn't give me heart palpitations after looking at the price tag.  We then searched high and low for a sign to appear that said ALL SUITS 90% off.  

Nope.    Sigh.

We then searched high and low for ANY clearance sign.   And found one!
And there were two suits!
Too big. :(

So, I swallowed my couponing, discount hunting pride and brought the full priced suit to the register.
We made our purchase and moped  our way to the car where we made the decision to (gulp) head to the mall and see if maybe we could find the same type of suit for less $.

And we went.
And I got out of the car.
And I stepped foot into the mass of humanity and pre-teen day care unsupervised chaos mall.
And I did not die.

We made it through two stores before the perfume counters and  glossy non-clearance price tags caused my head to start swimming and my breathing  to become shallow.
I became so distraught and disoriented that my DD had to remind me which level and entrance we came in and ever so gently escort me to the life-giving fresh air of the parking lot.

We then decided to head for home.

It was on the way home that I realized how I could salvage both the day of shopping and my penny pinching fiscally responsible reputation.

I had coupons (of course).
Coupons that matched a cereal sale at the grocery store.  The same grocery store that also had a coupon for $3.50 off a gallon of milk if you bought the cereal that was on sale. 
And since cereal and milk are the two things we are most definitely NOT allergic to and always using at our we went to the grocery store!

And to make it all better...the cereal boxes had more coupons stuck to them.
Yes, we might have done a little happy dance in the aisle.  :)
So we headed home with our coupon cereal:

Our coupon milk:

And my much needed coupon coffee:

And tried to recover from the whole ordeal.

I gave my DD strict instructions to NOT take the tags off the full priced bathing suit.
I still have 3 days to find a suit for less $$  And a new, full bag of  coupon coffee....

Now don't you fret.  I did not leave the cheaper of the two clearance bathing suits on the rack at the sporting goods store. You will be just the right size for camp next year, and it was 75% off.

Cause while I may have slept through it this year, I did not completely miss the class on kids outgrowing their specialized sporting clothes just before they really need them.
And I DO NOT intend to ever have to go to the mall again!

****Even though they should, because I could be their best spokesperson,  none of the manufacturers of the pictured products paid me for the mention of their brands.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mid-west weather.....
This winter was cold.
The kind of cold that makes you want to hibernate for six months.
The kind of cold that has you lusting after 100% wool underclothes.
The kind of cold that makes you say things like..."I'll even be thankful for 100 degree temps in July..."   
Then Spring came....I think......
As near as I can tell, Spring is just a milder form of  Summer, with tornadoes and flooding thrown in for extra excitement.
Yesterday we were scheduled for some of that "excitement".

In order to keep my mind off the impending disaster and my ears from thinking they are hearing the sirens of doom, I decided to write a "How To..." manual for those not yet used to surviving the mid-west version of  panic inducing adrenaline rushes know as Tornado Watches.

Step 1.
Notice that in spite of diet changes and proper caffeine consumption, that nagging headache just won't go away.  Guess what the barometric pressure reads, then log on to to see how accurate your sinuses are.

Step 2.
Start checking the skies and the radar every 20 min.  Starting at 8 a.m.
For the storm that is predicted to arrive at 8 p.m.

Step 3
Take the dog for a long you are  he is too tired to freak out when the storms come.

Step 4.
Start your caffeine consumption plan.  Too little = a possible disastrous nap during the 2 a.m. radar check.   Too much = too many potential bathroom trips during a tornado warning. I, for one, have a paralyzing fear of being stuck on the throne when the sirens start going off. 
Now you know my deepest darkest fear.
We should probably move on. 
Step 5.
Scour the house and garage for buckets and baskets that can be used to cover delicate seedlings in the garden.  Baseball sized hail has been fore casted.
Make children help.

Step 6.
Make children clean the garage to fit at least one car.
Make the difficult decision as to which car will be left outside as a "sacrifice".

Step 7.
Make children and husband heave move the amazingly heavy  nice lawn furniture up against the house, to avoid "donating" lawn furniture to your next door neighbor.

Step 8.
Plan and prepare dinner so that if the electricity goes out, you can still eat. Because there is nothing more important than proper nutrition during times of stress....

Step 9. 
Plan your shower around the radar timing predictions so that if anything happens you'll at least be able to show up at the ER in clean underwear.  Just like mom told you.

Step 10.
Make sure you have your lap-top battery  and phones fully charged to have as many radar checking sources as possible while you scurry to the basement.

Step 11.
Check your sump pumps and make the boy child move ALL the LEGO bases off the floor of the basement so that they will not clog the pump or cause you excruciating pain as you stumble around in the dark. Since a basement is lovely during a tornado warning, but not so lovely during a flash flood warning...but the two seem to happen at the same time. :(

Step 12.
Spend ALL NIGHT watching the radar, because, you know, that will ward off the tornadoes.

Step 13.
Head to bed at 2 a.m. after an uneventful night, confident that all your preparations are what convinced the storms to seek out lesser prepared, more sane mid-westerners.

Step 14.
Spend all the next morning cleaning up the mess that you made of the garden, putting back the patio furniture and opening the garage to find the van you tried to protect from the hail, instead fell victim to a stray nail finding its way into the tire.
Check the weather forecast.
Plan for the next weather event. 
Because it is Spring in the mid-west,
and now you have had the class on that :)

Photo credits to my wonderful husband who braved the terrible natural disaster that befell us got a little wet in the rain shower that passed over us last evening.