Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

Remember when you could decide to go grocery shopping at the last minute late on a Sunday night?  Maybe you threw together a list, maybe you didn't.  Who cared?  If you forgot anything it was just a quick trip to swing by and pick it up.  Maybe you had a complicated dish you want to try, or maybe you just needed some snack foods for studying, but either way, grocery shopping was easy and almost fun.  Remember when you didn't almost want to take a vacation day from work just to grocery shop?

Man how things change, right?  Now I start dreading the grocery trip when I wake up on Sunday morning.  All through breakfast or church or football pregame, I'm thinking about it.  We have a great little app on the iPad that's linked to both of our phones, so I can tell Ryan's thinking about it too.  "Bananas" pops up on my phone.  Then "yogurt," "apples," "chips."  Ryan's adding things as they come to him.  The knot in my stomach gets bigger.  We're rapidly approaching the first big hurdle...

He's two Cokes and a bag of Doritos's about to go down
What's for dinner?  No single question strikes more fear in my heart.  I don't care if we're in town, out of town, eating in, or eating out.  I abhor this question.  Preparing for a week of groceries means you have to answer this question for the next six nights.  So I have to decide what we're in the mood to eat, what I'm going to have time to cook, and how many times we're actually going to cook.  And menu planning for a picky eight year old is no joke.  You wouldn't believe how many recipes I've crossed off for a single ingredient just to avoid a fight.  Getting Alli to settle down and eat at dinner is challenging enough - I don't need to be fighting her over what we're having.  So Ryan and I discuss the menu, and we probably settle on the same three or four things - spaghetti, a variation of pork chops, and a chicken dish.  Here lately with the baby taking up so much time, we've really taken a liking to the crock pot, which means we have a weekly rotation of about three dishes.  I wish I were more inventive in the kitchen, but I'm just not.

So once that hurdle is cleared, it's time to actually load up and go to the store.  This takes a lot more planning than it used to with Riley.  We usually time it right after she eats so she will either be happy or sleeping.  Once it's time, we head off to Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart is always an experience in itself.  Depending on the season and whatever Alli's latest obsession is, we probably have a whole section to browse through before we can even start shopping.  Today it was the Halloween section.  And somehow, I walked out with a 3.5 ft blow up ghost that you'll be seeing on my lawn in a week or so.  I'm not really even sure how it happened.

Ryan has a perfect system for Wal-Mart.  First he hits produce, then meat, then dairy, then chips and snacks.  Then he winds his way towards the front, hitting the aisles he needs to on his way back to the light (aka the exit door).  I'm sure without the three of us girls in tow, it would take him fifteen minutes.  But since grocery shopping is a family affair, this becomes an hour long ordeal.

Alli spends the majority of the trip acting like a ninja.  Not sure if you've ever met a ninja, but they are stealthy.  So a portion of this time, she's attempting to sneak up on or hide from Ryan and I.  She's peeking around the end caps, she's hiding behind the displays, and I am saying for the forty fifth time "Where's Alli?"

Have you ever actually tried to navigate Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon?  It's literally like walking through a battlefield.  Ryan's well-equipped for such things given two tours in Iraq, but Alli and I struggle.  While she's stealthing around, she almost gets run over twenty times by people in pajamas who seem to think they are in a bigger hurry than anyone else.  I mean really?  You're wearing pajamas.  Wherever you're going, it can't be that critical.  I've been bruised on the hip from a cart, had my heels run up on, and have sniped repeatedly at anyone who almost rams the ninja master.

Once we finally make our way to the checkout and we're only fifth in line behind people with carts as full as ours, Alli nearly always finds something she needs.  Never mind if we just bought her something.  Never mind if she already has something similar.  And never mind if it's just a literal piece of crap, she's decided she wants it and she's going to bring it up multiple times while you're in line.  "Hey, I really want that stuffed unicorn with a flashlight in its belly that neighs.  Remember that unicorn flashlight?  I really want it.  Can't you buy it with all of your money?  Don't you have lots of money?  Can't you buy it?  It's so cute.  I really want it.  It's a unicorn and a flashlight.  I don't want to save my money, can't you buy it?  I really want it.  I love it.  Remember that unicorn flashlight?  I need it."  At some point, the "No no no no no no no no" you've been repeating since she brought it up finally sinks in and she looks something like this:

Feelings were hurt in the making of this picture.  But no unicorn flashlights were purchased.
Cue the arms crossed pout for the next five minutes.  Or until the next toy comes along.  Walking out today, I spied a mom of three leaning against a beer display with her head in her hands.  Why, Arkansas, why will you not sell us beer on Sunday?  It's grocery day, and she's shopping with three kids.  This lady needs some beer.  Help her.

When you finally do make it out to the car alive, it dawns on you.  You totally forgot toilet paper.  When you got near the toilet paper aisle, your kid was fake whirling nunchucks and almost took out a toddler.  After someone tried to run her over.  Before you almost lost track of her for the third time, but after she saw the Ninja Turtle activity book she thought she needed that you said no to.  And you think to yourself, "We can go another day or two without toilet paper, right?"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Riley {Three Month Update}

Another month has flown by, and yesterday Riley turned three months old!  Can you believe it?  She spent the day home sick with her very first cold, but last night after her bath I was able to snap a few pictures.  She wasn't really in the mood to smile, but when you're dealing with a baby you work with what you get.

Key words to describe Riley this month:
  • Adjusting.  There's our favorite word again!  But really, this month has been full of firsts for Riley - first Arkansas football game, first week at daycare, first swim, first time being sick...  And I think I can report that we are finally out of the "fourth trimester."  She's finally figuring out that life outside of the womb isn't so bad.
  • Smiling.  This is without a doubt the smiliest baby I've ever seen!  She has the sweetest little face that can quickly turn into the biggest melt-your-heart grin.  She saves her best smiles for her family, but she's not afraid to share a gummy grin with her daycare teachers.
  • Exploring.  Playtime is getting more and more interesting!  She's found her hands and brings them to her mouth quite a bit.  She also stares really hard at them.  She laughs and coos at toys, and spends a lot of time flirting with the monkey on her bouncy chair.  She's even rolled from her tummy to her side and back a few times.

Riley is starting to be more and more aware of the world around her, and she wants to be a part of it.  She cackled aloud when she and Alli were in the pool and Alli popped up out of the water.  She's noticing our pets a lot more, and she can see longer distances.  She's focusing on objects and following them really well, and she's even swatted at a toy or two.  Yesterday, she rolled from her tummy all the way to her back, and she's using her legs to push up - which makes getting her out of her carseat difficult.

She's slept as long as eleven hours at a time for nearly two weeks, but her recent cold has thrown off her sleeping habits some.  She's still eating 6-8 times a day, and her teachers at daycare have accomplished the impossible and can get her to nap for an hour at a time 2-3 times a day.  Trying not to let my pride hurt me on that one...

Riley's still a little trooper, attending horseback riding lessons, taekwondo, soccer, and even the kickoff of a Razorback game.  She (almost) always does it with a smile on her face, and she's absolutely a blessing and a joy in all of our lives.  We are totally smitten!!  Happy three months, Riley Roo!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Little Piggy's First Game

This weekend marked a huge milestone in the lives of all football fans (especially Razorback fans who marked the beginning of the Bret Bielema era), but none more special than Riley's first Hog game!  With temperatures soaring to 98 degrees and heat indices even higher, we cancelled the tailgate and headed straight for the game.  I decided to take Riley despite the heat because our seats are under the overhang, and I was prepared to jet out of there as soon as she seemed ready.  Ryan got his gameday walk on with Riley strapped to him.

The closer we got to to stadium, the uglier the looks got at our audacity to bring a baby in this heat.  I started letting it get to me, and it made me feel a little panicky.  But we trekked in, sat down under the overhang in the shade, and I turned the fan on her.  She was a little pink from the walk, but seemed okay.  But by the time the band was marching onto the field, I had decided I was going to high tail it out a few plays into the game.  At the first Hog call, Riley cried at the noise, and Ryan decided we were going to leave after the Hogs ran out.  We just couldn't handle the heat AND the noise AND the glares.  So Alli went to sit with her grandparents, and after her first flying A and a quick photo op, Riley exited Razorback stadium, missing her first Arkansas touchdown by mere minutes.

About thirty minutes later, our view looked like this:

Our friends Dave and Lindsey came over (they made it just a little longer than Riley did) and had pizza and watched the rest of the game in the AC with us.  And even though Riley's first game was a little bit of a bust, I still got these awesome pre-game pics.

These sweet pictures and a Hog win equals a victory in my book.  Woo pig, y'all!!