The Day that Walmart Didn’t Suck

Last week my son and I headed to Walmart like we do every week for our grocery shopping. I was dreading it because well it’s Walmart and the place has a way of ruining your day. Either you get cashier a that’s been treated rudely or cursed out because of how there are only 4 cashiers working and a customer had to wait in line for more than 10 minutes, so that in return just makes them upset and not friendly. Or you run into bunch other shoppers that are just pissed because they are shopping at Walmart or maybe they’ve had a bad day. And some days if you’re really lucky you get to deal with both of these things.

After working for the Walmart Corporation (Sam’s Club)  and other retail jobs, I can tell you this: treating your cashier like poo because there aren’t more cashiers or other mundane things is uncalled for. It’s not their fault. They don’t make the schedule, a computer usually does that. If you want more cashiers, pick up the phone and give the manager of the store a call or call the corporate office. The cashiers are seriously just doing their job. Because of being a cashier and a consumer I always try to keep in mind that everyone has a bad day and sometimes that effects us in other aspects of our lives but we shouldn’t take it out on innocent people. Anyway that little rant has nothing really do with he story I’m trying to tell. So where was I…Oh yeah….

My son and I walk into Walmart. As soon as we get in there he sees the little ridding toys and video games, like always he ask if he can play. (This is usually where I lie and tell him no because they are broken. Seriously, I hope the man/woman that decided to put those things at the entrance, stubs their pinky toe and then steps on a pile of legos every day. I’ve tried telling him the truth, that results in a meltdown but if I tell him they are broken he’s like okay and I don’t have to deal with a meltdown. I know it’s bad Mommying but grocery shopping with a curious 3 year old is tough.So judge all you want.) For whatever reason this day I decided to let him ride one of the little riding toys. I even played the vending machine  and won two little toy balls. I let my son pick out the he wanted and I gave the other to another little boy.  When my son was finished with his little riding thing, we grabbed a buggy and did our shopping without hassle.

I was almost to checkout when I remembered that I needed olive oil. So we ran back down to the oil aisle. While there my son began asking me for ice-cream. I told him no because he had popsicles at home. He then started with the pretty, pretty please bit and batting those beautiful baby blue eyes at me but this Mama stayed strong.  Then this older gentleman who was probably in his late 70’s early 80’s turns to me and say’s  “You should get that young man some ice-cream, Mom.” (If you’re a parent in the South then I’m pretty sure you’ve heard some variation of that line before.) I smiled politely and explained that he had popsicles at home. Then the man started to reach for his wallet and I quickly stopped him. I tell him “You don’t need to that. He’ll be fine.” Then the older gentleman looks at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen in my life and says “Please, I don’t have a wife or a family. It’s just me and it would make my day to buy this handsome young fella some ice-cream”. I could feel the lump gathering in my throat, the tears swell  in my eyes and I knew I had lost a battle I won so many times before “Okay Sir, but you really don’t have too.” He smiled real big, opened his wallet and gave my son a dollar. My son thanked the man and he was so excited about his dollar. Then I thanked the man and he just smiled real big  and replied “Your Welcome”. Then he walked away in the opposite direction. I immediately walked my son over to the ice-cream aisle and let him pick the kind that he wanted.  On our way back to check out we ran into the gentleman again. I made sure he knew that we had gotten ice-cream and I thanked him again.  He smile still hadn’t faded.

Then while I was searching for a checkout lane, the cashier working the 20 items or less aisle motioned me over. To which I responded “Are you sure? I have way more than 20 items”. She said” Yes, honey it’s fine.” She let my son help her bag the groceries and turn to the wheel of bags thing. That kind of stuff is just the coolest thing to a 3 year old. She was so friendly and kind. After she rang us up, I told my son to give her his dollar for his ice-cream. He dug in his little pocket and handed her the dollar. She had another dollar sitting beside the register. She then takes her dollar and puts in the register and gives him his dollar back.  She tells him “Save your dollar for something else, sweetheart.” He thanks her and I thanked the lady and offered to give her, her dollar back to which responded “No, honey. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t want to”. We told her goodbye and to have a great day.

As I was loading the groceries into my car, I couldn’t help but to smile. I kept thinking this is the BEST DAY I’ve ever had a Walmart. It wasn’t because people gave my kid money either, it was because they were kind when they didn’t have to be. It was very eye opening, to what the world could look like if we were just a little kinder to each other.

How to get free stuff for baby

I had just quit my job to focus on my senior year of college when I found I was pregnant for the first time. My husband had a good job but that didn’t stop me from constantly worrying about money. (I guess you could say it’s one of the side effects of growing up poor. I don’t mean “I didn’t get the Gameboy I wanted for Christmas kind of poor” I mean the kind of poor where you are using the oven to heat the house kind of poor.) The thought of  “how in the world are we going to afford all of the stuff a baby needs?!” kept crossing my mind. Then I started digging around and found some codes that allowed me to get free things for baby. Because I now have another little one on the way, I thought I’d share with ya’ll how to save on stuff for baby and some codes to get free or discounted things for baby!!

Photo Courtesy of EskimoKids.com


THE CODES:

Carseatcanopy.com CARSEAT for $50 off

Uddercovers.com UCOVER for $35 off

Sevenslings.com SEVEN for $40 off

Nursingpillow.com NPILLOW for $40 off

Bellybuttonband.com  ONEONLY for $40 off

Babyleggings.com ONEONLY for $50 off

Breastpads.com ONEONLY for $35 off

Babiesfirstbooks.com BABYBOOKS 5 free books

Rufflebuns.com   ONEONLY for $60 off

Eskimokids.com WILDTHING for $35 off

 

The codes above either covers the cost of the product or greatly discounts it. There is a little catch to these deals though, the shipping on these items can be little high. The most I’ve ever paid was $15 and the least I’ve ever paid was about $7. However that’s way less than what you’d pay for the actual product so it’s still a really awesome deal.

 

Tips On Saving for baby:

1. Buy used:

There are plenty of second hand baby/toddler/kid high end consignment shops now. You can find name brand clothing, cribs, carseats, strollers, bassinets etc. Keep in mind however if you buy a carseat from a consignment shop you need to check the expiration date on it. Most stores do this but it never hurts to take a look for yourself. (I wish there would have been a baby consignment shop open before my son was born, luckily though one opened up right after. Now there are two great consignment shops in my area that I get to shop around before this new little one makes his arrival.)

2. Buy Not Only for Now but Also the Future:

Before Deklin  was born I decided to buy this crib/mattress/dresser/changingtable combo from Walmart.com. It was only $250 for the entire thing which is a fantastic deal considering that it transitions from a crib to a toddler bed into a full size bed. For the first year it  was great and it’s even been okay as a toddler bed. However there is no way in the world I transition it into a full size bed, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with my son sleeping in it. It just isn’t sturdy enough to hold the weight of a full size mattress and the weight of a growing boy. My husband and I plan on striping it down, repainting it, and reinforcing it turning it back into a crib. (If it’s durable enough) For what we paid for it and everything that came with it, I really shouldn’t complain. The cribs done it’s job over the last 3 years, I just wish that I would’ve thought about all of the stages of the crib and if it was truly going to last. Had I known what I know now I definitely would have bought something a lot sturdier than I did. If we do end up having to buy to a new crib, you can bet your sweet buns that I’ll be buying it from a consignment shop.

One smart thing we did do the first time around was buy one convertible carseat (a carseat that grows with the baby) and an infant carseat. The convertible carseat was placed in my husbands truck and the infant carseat in my car (considering that Deklin would with me for the majority of the day). We went with a cheaper infant carseat because we knew that he wouldn’t be in it for very long. (He was in it maybe 8 or 9 months, if that. Then we bought a convertible carseat for my car.)  The convertible carseats cost a little more up front but we probably won’t have to buy another carseat until he’s 4 or 5 years old.

3. Buy Gender Neutral:

     When we were shopping around for a pack-n-play and a baby swing there were all of these adorable blue and green boyish ones or these adorable little girl ones with the little canopy drops.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to get those. But I knew I had to be smart. We knew we wanted more kids someday and I didn’t want to have to go out and buy these things over again. I probably wouldn’t have done that but I would’ve felt bad. So instead we went with gender neutral on everything big. Then we packed it away for the next baby.

4. Save as Much As you can from your First Baby

My husband called me a hoarder for saving so many clothes and all of the big stuff. I didn’t save every outfit but I did save all of the really adorable ones. (There are outfits that I saved that Deklin never even wore because he grew so fast)  Now that we know we are having another boy, he’s thankful I did. Saving the big stuff also saves us a lot of money because lets face it the price of things aren’t going to decrease, they are just going to continue to get higher and higher.

 

So there you have it my tips on how to get free/discounted stuff for baby. Please leave me a comment letting me know if these tips and promotional codes were helpful.

 

 

 

 

A Cheesy Post

Today my husband and I have been together for 6 years (We’ll be married for two years in October.)  We met while working at Sam’s Club in 2009, we flirted a little and I just remember thinking his blue eyes were the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen in my life. I was crushing hard but I thought he’d never be interested in me. (Also I don’t take rejection well.) Fast forward to January of 2010, I left Sam’s Club to move to Chicago for school. One night after I got there I decided (or it could have been the liquid courage that decided for me) to send him a message on Myspace to tell him that I liked him and thought he was cute. After all if he didn’t feel the same I wouldn’t have to see him again for 5 months.  His response was “Now you tell you me. Now that you’re over 2,000 miles away. I like you too.” (I would later find out that the reason he never made a move is because he thought I was in a relationship with one of my best gay guy friends.) We talked on the phone and texted back and forth the entire time I was there.  We decide early on that when I came home for the summer that we’d go out on an actual date.

The end of May came and it was time to come back home to Mississippi. It was time for our date. Our first date together was wonderful, we had this instant connection and honestly that terrified me. I came home and told my sister that I didn’t think it was going to work out because he was too nice. When I came home from the second date, I told her that this was the man I was going to marry. She just looked at me bewildered and started “but you said…” ” I know what I said but I’m telling you this is the guy I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”

2010


By the end of June I had a job working at Forever 21 and Sam’s Club. It turns out that going to a really nice private art school and being completely finically independent means that even after you receive finical aid, take out the max amount of student loans for the semester you’ll still owe the school two grand. Working two jobs taught me a lot but it mainly taught me that I don’t want to work two jobs for the rest of my life. So I worked my butt off to get that paid off and decided to enroll at The University of Southern Mississippi in January 2011.

That same January my husbands lease was up on his apartment and one afternoon we were talking about it. He looked at me and said “Why don’t you and I move in together?” He must have read my face because he quickly followed up with “You don’t have to give me an answer now. Just think about it.” The truth is it scared the crap out me and I thought I was going to throw up. I had all of these thoughts going through my head. “We’ve only been together for 6 Months! What if it doesn’t workout? What if we hate living together? Is this too soon?!” So I turned to my 3rd Mom, Mrs. Candy, for advice. She basically told me that I should go for it and if it didn’t workout, it didn’t workout. And that I could always come back home. (I honestly believe that she knew, Shae was the one for me the first time she met him.) We moved into a small one bedroom apartment together and it was awesome. To this day I have never regretted that decision.

In October of 2012 we found out that we were going to have a baby. I was terrified to tell him, hell I was terrified in general. I had my entire life planned out, kids weren’t supposed to happen until I was 30 and here I was just turned 24 in August. I was in my senior year of college, I had plans of going to straight to grad school. I was having all sorts of thoughts and fears. I called him while he was at work to tell him, on his birthday I might add. I was freaking out. He was so calm and just reassured me that every was going to be alright and that he’d be right by my side no matter what. When he got home he told me that he had plans to propose before I told him I was pregnant. My response to that was “For the love of God, please don’t propose. People aren’t going to care that we’ve been together 2 and half years or that we actually love each other. They are going to think the only reason we got married is because we’re having a baby.” (We had talked about getting married prior to this but not until after I finished my degree because it was really important to me to have my last name on my diploma.)

In April 2013, he was about to fly out for work, I was huge 7 months pregnant and we went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants on the coast. After dinner as we’re driving back to the hotel he says to me “Why don’t we stop at one of the beaches? It’s such a nice night.” My fat pregnant self is all like “Babe it’s so humid right now, I don’t really feel like it.” He said “Are you sure babe?” “Yes, honey I just wanna cuddle and watch a movie.” He just said “Okay, babe.”But I felt guilty so I decided to stop at the last beach before our turn to go back to the hotel. We walk out on the beach and we were looking out at the ocean talking. He was right, aside from the humidity it was a nice night. I remember looking at the ocean and him saying “Wouldn’t it be a nice night for a proposal or for us to get married?” I said “Yeah but it’ll happen when it happens” then I turned to him and he was down on one knee. My 7 month pregnant self started jumping up and down, giggling, smiling from ear to ear asking “Are messing with me?!” then he asked and obviously I said yes. I graduated in May 2013 and our son, Deklin was born June 19th, 2013.

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Photography by: JoCo Foto

We finally got married in October of 2014. It was a beautiful ceremony and we had so much fun. That entire first year everyone kept asking “What does it feel like now that you’re married?” I told them the truth “It feels exactly the same, except I have a new last name.”  I think from the moment Shae and I started dating he’s always been my husband and a wedding just showed that publicly.
I truly feel like God made Shae for me. He’s always calm when I’m freaking out and knows exactly what to say to help me calm down. He’s my protector but he also knows I can take care of myself. He may not understand my love of the arts but he respects it. He’s never told me that I had to do something or that I couldn’t do something. He encourages me and gives me that extra push when I need it. He’s honest with me. He still surprises me with the little things he does. He loves me unconditionally. My husband is my best friend. He’s a wonderful Daddy too. (There is this beautiful picture my sister-in-law took of Shae looking at Deklin right after he was born, it’s absolutely my favorite picture of them. My husband is grinning from ear to ear and you just see so much love in his eyes. It makes me cry happy tears every time I look at it.)  I had an emergency c-section with our son so for the first two weeks of my son’s life my husband basically did everything because I was trying to recover and he never once complained about it. Even after I had somewhat healed he still got up with me in the middle of the night to help take care of our son. There are mornings where he’ll take Deklin in the living room so I can sleep in just a little longer. There is no doubt in mind that he’ll be doing the same with our new baby when he makes his arrival.

 

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Photography by: Laken E-Photography

One of the things that I love about my husband is how brave he is. I’ve been with him in a resturant when someone has started choking in a restaurant and people are just watching in horror and without hesitation Shae will jump right in. We’ve been driving along, passed an accident that just happened and my husband will turn the car around, run to help them and wait until the ambulance gets there. (I should mention he does have some medical training). He always shrugs it off when I’m in awe of him jumping into one of the situations. He’s like “It’s what was right thing to do, it’s what anyone would do. It’s no big deal” But it is a big deal to me. I tell him all the time that I don’t know what I’d do if I came up on some of the situations he has. I’d like to think that I would just jump in and do the super hero thing, but I don’t know that it’s true. But I’m so thankful that our boys have him to look up to though, someone who isn’t afraid to lend a helping hand in a scary situation.

A few months ago I was talking to a friend/mentor of mine. I was telling her how it makes me feel really proud when I meet someone Shae grew up with or went to school with because the first thing they tell me is how he treated everyone with respect and how he’s a great guy. I instantly apologized to her because I felt it impolite to be bragging. She then told me something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. “Brandy, you should never apologize for bragging about your husband. You should always take pride in him.” That just floored me because up until that moment I thought that it was rude to brag to other people so I tried not to do it. But not anymore I want the world to know my husband is freaking amazing!! I’m so thankful that God brought him into my life. He’s truly the best thing to ever happen to me and I love him more than he’ll ever know.

There is this cheesy quote that I love that goes something like “Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.” I don’t think truer words could define how I feel about our story. I wouldn’t change anything about it. It’s crazy  to think about how much life has changed in 6 years. Happy Anniversary to my AMAZING, FANTASTIC, ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, HANDSOME HUSBAND, SHAE! I LOVE YOU!! I  can’t wait to see how much our love story grows over the next 80 years.

2016