My husband and I love those shows where they throw a guy out in the wilderness and he shows how to survive in seemingly impossible situations. The more I watch them, the more I realize that I likely will never need to survive in the Sahara or the Sub-Arctic. I do however find myself feeling on an almost daily basis as if I've been cast out into a strange world full of obstacles to tackle and unknown creatures to cope with. This will be the chronicle of one woman trying to survive the jungles of parenthood.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grocery Store Survival 101

Just to give you an idea where I'm coming from I thought I'd share an old post off my previous family blog from when Sugar and Spice were 15 months and 1 month old about what a trip to the grocery store is like with two babies.  If you look closely you'll find lots of dos and don'ts sprinkled throughout. :D Looking back I realize that shopping is so much easier now roughly a year later so if you're still at this stage, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The concept of "running to the store" no longer exists for me so it's a good thing SD works there because otherwise I'm sure we'd end up with some pretty interesting dinners when a necessary ingredient was left out because it just wasn't worth the trip to the store. (Like the other day when I was debating about what I could use to frost Spice's 1 month birthday cake that didn't contain any butter.) If we don't need milk or diapers, I don't go to the store until we have a decent sized list going. I thought I'd share just WHY that's the case when dealing with our two little angels by telling about our shopping experience yesterday (the first one out with both girls since the grandparents left.) This was a GREAT shopping trip mind you, about the best I could hope for. We go shopping in the afternoon after nap and lunch are out of the way normally. We try to shoot for being done shopping right around four when SD gets off so he can help us get stuff into the car and then into the house without having to hang out there too long after he's done working. I started getting the girls ready to go at 1:00 p.m., shooting for leaving at 3:00 since we didn't have too long of a list today. We pulled out of the driveway at 3:40. Other than being late however, we were in pretty good shape. Both girls had been changed, the baby had been nursed and Sugar had a snack. The grocery list was totally written and I made sure I had my wallet and crackers in the diaper bag in case Sugar got the munchies. The strategy for getting out the door is to put Spice in the meitai, grab the diaper bag, pick up Sugar and check to be sure she's still wearing two shoes and then grab the keys with whatever spare fingers I can find to lock the door before getting them each buckled in their seats while Sugar is reaching over trying to tickle Spice. Upon arriving at the store (right next door mind you) I have learned to park beside a cart return that has carts in it. Then I get out, grab a cart and after checking to be sure it has BOTH ends of the seatbelt buckle intact and no bent or stuck wheels I throw the diaper bag in and put the buggy-cover on before getting Sugar out and buckling her in and then getting Spice out to tie her into the meitai. Once in the store, departments are hit by priority and temperature. If there are diapers on the list, that's first, otherwise it's just a matter of getting through everything as fast as possible in hopes of finishing before anyone melts down. Then there's the "mommy moments" that I still haven't gotten over yet. According to my mother, my memory and better reasoning skills are never coming back. For example, yesterday I found myself standing in the popcorn aisle staring at two kinds of microwave popcorn and wondering which had less calories, the kettle corn 100 calorie mini bags or the buttery 100 calorie mini bags... Thoughts like this make shopping interesting to say the least. Then at some point Sugar will see SD working down an aisle usually (she's always looking for him at the store, even if he comes with us) and will spend the rest of the trip going "Dad? Dad! Dad, Dad, Dad.." until locating him again. Also, when shopping with two under two, every third person in the store stops to chat. They ask how old the girls are, comment on how cute they are or, and this is my very favorite (sarcasm implied), say "Boy, you've really got your hands full!!" Also fun is the ever popular "You've got two!"  SD says I should say, "What? Where's the other one?" and take off running with a panicked look on my face. As if I didn't know that I had two and my hands are full. Sugar's newest shopping trick is to wait until someone who's had the audacity to pass by us without stopping to wave or comment and then suddenly SHOUT at the top of her lungs, just to see them jump. So once we've finally knocked out all the room temperature groceries on our list and gotten the last of the cold items in the cart, there are usually one or two things I'll notice we've forgotten and have to run back for as fast as possible while Sugar is turning around and banging on whatever frozen items she can reach and thereby thawing them out that much faster. By that time SD is almost always off work (since we never make it to the store as early as we're hoping) and he entertains Sugar while we finish up and check out. Checking out usually takes a while too because the cashier feels compelled to visit with Sugar, ask how old the girls are and of course let us know that "You guys really have your hands full!" Once we have made it back out to where the car is, I unload and strap in the girls, starting with whoever is the least cranky (they were both actually pretty good yesterday) while SD gets the groceries in. At home, I unload the girls while he starts bringing in the stuff and then I work on getting the frozen stuff put away first and then the cold stuff while the girls fuss and then hand Sugar a snack and a drink in her superyard before grabbing the baby to feed. I'm lucky if I get the room temperature stuff put away by bedtime and about the time the last things are in the cupboard is when I'll realize that I've forgotten at least one thing that was on the list. Yesterday it was potatoes. Guess we won't be having potatoes again until next week. :)

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