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.

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t know

There’s a really good reason I haven’t been writing that much lately. That reason is morning sickness. Okay so that isn’t the only reason but it was huge contributing factor. We found out that we are expecting and our new little baby will make it’s arrival in November.

I’ve heard women say that every pregnancy is different and I don’t think they were lying. With my first pregnancy I only had a little nausea the first trimester that was it. The first trimester of this pregnancy I was either nauseous or throwing up. I’m 17 weeks right now and  thank goodness the sickness has slacked off a great deal. Another new symptom I’ve had this time is the sensitivity to smell. I had my eyebrows waxed the other day and the beautician had on a really sweet smelling lotion. It instantly made me nauseous and I had to ask her to wash her hands.

Aside from all the symptoms I’m excited but I’m also nervous. Not about the diaper changes or the midnight feedings or even being completely sleep deprived. I’m worried about how much our lives are going to change. Everyone tries to tell you how much your life will change when you have your first baby but of course most of us are know-it-all perfect parents, so we don’t listen. Then we are quickly humbled when the baby arrives. I think there is beauty in that.

This time I’m not a know-it-all unexperienced parent. I definitely know more now then I did before my first. But I also know that this baby could be entirely different from his brother and that’s the thing I’m worried about. I know that sounds silly because there are no two people on this planet that are exactly the same but it’s still a valid fear.

What’s it going to be like having two kids? I don’t know but I’m certain it will be a humbling adventure.

A Crying Toddler isn’t the Worst Thing.

  My son is at that stage where he wants to be more independent, so one of the things that we’ve started letting him do is walk beside the shopping cart instead of riding in it. There are stipulations that come along with Deklin’s new independence. He must stay near the cart and if he gets two warnings for venturing off, he has to ride in the buggy. Last week my husband, myself and our curious two (almost 3) year old were grocery shopping and he kept venturing off. So we put him in the shopping cart and he started crying and begging to get out. (But my husband and I were pretty firm) All of these people were staring, acting as though they’ve never witnessed a child crying before and some of them were even giving us mean looks.  It infuriated me.

People like to talk about how todays children and even my generation doesn’t have any respect and they/we act as though we are automatically entitled to everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a child (that’s old enough to know better) throw a fit in the store because their parent told them they couldn’t have something and then watch the parent give in because they don’t want people staring or they just don’t want to listen to the crying. Usually at about the same time the person beside me in line will lean over to me and say “If I acted like that when I was that age, I would have gotten my butt busted”. ( I would have gotten my butt tore up too.)

But here’s the catch, today’s society hates to hear children cry. I remember before I had my son being in a restaurant and complaining that there was a crying child. I remember all  the crappy things I said everytime I heard a child cry but parenthood has humbled me. Do I now love the sound of a baby/toddler/child crying? Absolutely not! Do you honestly think that I want to walk around Walmart with my screaming crying toddler?!  NO! I don’t, however, my son has to learn that if he doesn’t act like he’s suppose to or do what he’s told there will be consequences to his actions. Unfortunately sometimes these lessons have to be taught in public. We can’t just parent inside the home, it has to be everywhere. It’s the job we signed up for when we decided to become parents.

My child isn’t going to grow up to be a menace, he will have respect for others, and he will learn that entitlement is earned not given. So for now you’re just going to have to listen to my child cry. I’m not apologizing for it.

SIDE NOTE: I would like to thank all of the strangers that have passed me as I’ve placed Deklin in time-out (in public) and then come over and told me I’m raising him right. As crazy as it may seem you’ve given me encouragement and reassurance that I’m not a total screw up  at this whole parenting thing. 

About Last Week

I’m a planner, I always have been. I have backup plans, for my backup plans and even backup plans for those plans. Last week though no matter how well I planned and executed my DIY projects and recipes they failed miserably. I began to become aggravated and started questioning my ability. Then I took a deep breath and stepped back for a moment. I realized that I needed a week off from doing crafts and cooking. I needed a week off from blogging.

I know taking time off from blogging isn’t what a lot of popular bloggers would suggest. Especially, if you want to turn your blog into a business like I do. But sometimes you just need a reset so you can come back at your best. I love blogging and I enjoy making DIY crafts and food. I don’t want to ruin it by stressing myself out about it.

After taking a week off to just hangout with my husband and my little boy, I feel great I can focus creating new things. I have a ton of new blogs planned and can’t wait to share them with you. I guess sometimes you just need to take a break to return to something you love. Until next time.

Bird Nests

One of my earliest school memories is of being at an end of the year class party and eating a Haystack for the very first time. It was amazing. Years have passed and I’ve often thought of that delicious piece of candy. However I haven’t had another one since. So the other day that memory popped in my head and I instantly knew what I had to do. I had to make some Haystacks but since it’s almost Easter I decided to be a little festive and make Bird Nest Haystack. Needless to say they turned out absolutely mouth watering. Today I’m going to show you how to make Bird Nests/Haystacks.

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Here’s what you’ll need

1 Bag of Butterscotch Morsels

1 Cup of Peanut Butter

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla

4 Cups of Chow Mein Noodles

1 Bag of Egg Shaped Candy ( I used Whoppers Robbin Eggs)

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Start by placing the 4 cups of chow mein noodles in a large bowl. Set aside. Then in a separate microwavable bowl pour the butterscotch morsels and add the peanut butter. Melting the mixture in 30 second increments. Be sure to stir after each 30 seconds.

Once the mixture is complete melted stir in the vanilla. Then pour it over chow mien noodles. Stir until the noodles are covered.  Using cooking spray, spray your muffin tin.

Next spoon the mixture in to the pan. Using your spoon dig little ditch into the center of each nest. (This is so your eggs will sit down inside of the nest, instead of on top of it.) Then place your eggs in the nest (This allows the eggs to stick in to the nest) Chill the Birds nest for about an hour.

Then using a butter knife remove the nest from the muffin pan and enjoy!!!

 

DIY Bunny Mask

It’s almost Easter and with the weather being crazy here my toddler is getting restless and so am I.  Honestly, there is only so many episodes of  P J Masks I can watch before I start twitching. (But at least my child’s not into Caillou! I can’t stand that show with that whinny little kid. I’ve literally dive for the remote, whenever I hear that dreaded intro song.) Today I wanted to mix things up a little bit with my little guy. Go a little old school by making Bunny Mask  and using our imaginations instead of turning on the tv. I’m going to show you how to make your very own Bunny Mask.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Sheet of White Construction Paper

1 Sheet of Pink Construction Paper

Hot Glue Gun or Elmer’s Glue

3 Black Pipe Cleaners

1 Cotton Ball

Scotch Tape

Pencil

Hole Puncher

Scissors

String/Ribbion

Bowl

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Grab the pipe cleaners and cut them in half. Set aside. Then trace the bowl.  (You’ll want to pick a bowl that’s about the size of your child face.)

 

Next you’re going to slide the bowl up to the top of the circle you’ve already made. You are going to trace the one side of the bowl. Then move it over to meet the line you’ve perviously created. (This will be the rabbit ears)

Then you are going to cut the rabbit out and trace only the ears on the pink piece of construction paper. Once you’ve traced the ears, you’re going to draw the inner ear. (I just free handed it. It doesn’t have to be perfect just fun.)  When you’ve drawn the inner ear cut it out and glue it on the bunny.

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Using something small and round trace the eye holes. ( I used my reusable K-Cup thingy) Cut out the eye holes. ( I personally hate cutting the eye holes. They are they worst but I didn’t want my kid running into things.)

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Next you are going to glue on the nose and whiskers. Draw the mouth of the rabbit.

Lastly you are going to apply a piece of scotch tape on each side of the mask. Then punch a hole in the tape. (This insures that when you tie the ribbon or string to it, it won’t tear the paper.) Tie a piece of ribbon to either side of the mask. Then place the mask on your little one (or yourself) and let imagination and giggles take over. Enjoy!!