Shopping Shenanigans

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Oh groceries.  How I love thee!  So much excitement over a newly opened canister of coffee!  New yogurt flavors, new applesauce containers.  Yum!!  So much fluster over those flipping plastic bags that seem to procreate on their own…  O.o  “They have babies!”, my stepsister-in-law says.  They do accumulate.  I’ve tried several “styles” of shopping lately trying to solve various obstacles I’ve found myself up against.

For a while money was my biggest obstacle with groceries.  For a couple of years we were on such a slim budget that I created an excel sheet pricing grid and kept up with sales and pricing to the penny.  It was tedious!  Also weirdly fun in a way?  As a result, I still am able to tell you where the best prices on various items are within a few miles of my home.  It helped and amazingly, we got by.  ( I never did figure out how to do some of the awesome couponing I’ve heard about.  What’s it called?  Super-couponing?  Supreme couponing?  Something like that.)

Over time, our budget somewhat smoothed out and just in time, I hit a new obstacle, my anxiety disorder.  As mentioned in previous posts, due to “life” I was off of my anxiety medication for a period of time and eventually decided I didn’t need it anymore.  (I was mistaken.)  Very very gradually, my anxiety increased to the point where I would have occasional panic attacks while out shopping with my children in tow.  It was not fun.  I one time had to leave a shopping cart full at Target and dash out of the store (once the dizziness had passed and I was able to safely leave).  Thinking back, it probably wasn’t the best time for me to be driving home, but well, there I was.  So – for this issue it was medication that solved most of my problems and I began to find stores that for whatever reason, I felt more “comfortable” in.  I began to steer clear of traditional grocery stores, but instead would hit big box stores and bulk stores.

As my children got older, it became a little harder for me to put them ALL in the cart when I was shopping and around this same time we got a diagnosis for M and we began to learn what some of his triggers were for his difficult behavior.  Some of them are: buzzing and yellow overhead lights, echoing sounds from a  warehouse-type of building and the motion and low rumble of many conversations at one time.  I learned where I could and could not shop very easily.  There are probably 2 brands of grocery stores that I simply do not take M inside of because I think it is actually rather hurtful for him.  We just don’t go there.  There are also probably 2 stores that he can handle for a short few minutes that I can bring him, and my other two children of course, in and grab a few necessities when I need to.  Honestly, this wasn’t that big of a deal for me.  Some people like red apples, some like green – whatever floats your boat.  I feel lucky that I live in an area with a variety of groceries stores to choose from.  Truly, its helpful.  But then the growing started.

Oh the growth spurts.  My stars but my children can eat.  As many of you probably know of children they will eat you out of house and home while growing and then seemingly be not so peckish for a few days off and on until they start those mad growth spurts again.  My mother-in-law had been measuring the children for clothes that she makes them and while we were visiting over the summer, we compared some of the charts.  The boys had grown almost 3 inches taller in the span of 6 months and Miss S was not far behind.  Their arms were much longer (no wonder that new shirt I got Mr A lasted only a couple of weeks).  Their feet were bigger.  They were bigger!  I digress.  So, we were flying through our groceries and I was constantly trying to figure out how to fill the pantry while managing our schedule and over-stimulated and wiggly children in the store.  And then I re-discovered Peapod.

I used Peapod briefly a very long time ago when it first was offered in our area, but now, now I felt like I really needed the assistance with getting the food into the house.  As I mentioned, I previously was shopping at some bulk grocery stores and big box stores.  (Target is a favorite.) This was lovely, but then often, I wouldn’t actually be able to get the groceries out of the truck and into the house with any timely manner and sometimes because I just couldn’t lift it.  I began to bring in the perishables and then leave the rest for when I could manage it.  It was frustrating.  It was inconvenient.  I needed to fix this weirdness.  I began ordering Peapod again and oh the happiness of being able to just open the door and have my groceries come all the way into my kitchen was amazing.  I heart grocery delivery so much I got the “pod pass”.  Did you ever hear of such a thing?  You basically pay for all of your shipping for 6 months so then you have free (or discounted shipping) for your orders.  Amaze!!  (I know, I know, I’ve been watching too many Barbie cartoons with Miss S.)  Still.  There were a few things I could not get from Peapod.  Hmmm…. Amazon?  We’ve been Amazon prime members for a while now and I highly recommend it.  Especially for the holidays.  Ok, this sort of filled that gap, but there were still a few things missing…. And then…..Amazon Prime Now.

Crazy bananas.  You just download this little app on your phone and you can order a gillion (ok, not a gillion, but a lot) items to arrive to your house in 2 hours for FREE, if you’re an Amazon Prime member.  Yeah.  I’m going to let that sink in for a minute.  ::::::::::::::::

This will change my life.  Oh!  Oh!  And…. they will take away the silly plastic bags to have them recycled!  Woot!  Save the planet – check!

:::doing the happy dance::::  Silly shopping shenanigans….I got it down.

Be Fierce.  #saneshopper

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

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Closing one door, opening another…

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We have dealt with all manner of surprising situations since being blessed with our special needs child. Regularly and often we get to see just how strong and or talented or smart we actually are.  Our convictions and morals are put to the test on such a regular basis that we really don’t have the time to be “wishy-washy” on many issues.  We have to pick a side and just stick to it!  Sometimes of course, we make a bad decision or one that just wasn’t too smart.  We learn fast, pick up and keep going.  We are in the process of making the difficult decision of whether to stay with our current church or pull our family out due to lack of support for Mr. M in Sunday school classes.  We have not had good “long term” church-going experiences.  When we lived “in the city” we found a church close to our home that we loved and could walk to.  We loved the pastor, we loved the people, the location.  It was amazing!  Then we had a baby.  (dun dun dunnn)  Then the pastor left.  Then the personality of the church began to shift and many of our friends left.  Then we had a second baby.  (dun dun dunnn) The baptism of our second child there was so bad we still issue heartfelt apologies for it whenever it is brought up within our family.  He’s 7.  (wah wahh)  Then we moved.  We “church shopped” and found a church in our town that seemed to fit well with our values and our family needs.  We love the pastor and his family, the church is adorable and their children’s programming for little ones is lovely!  The problem is that for older children, the religious education is much more… fluid.  It isn’t a big program because the church doesn’t have a lot of families.  It is a very lean program and while they are willing to support Mr. M to some extent in his class, the special needs families are expected to do much of the heavy lifting with respect to teaching, classroom support and communication within the children’s program.  I hate to be the person that’s all, “this is too hard, I can’t do it”.  But… this really is too hard, and I can’t do it.  I understand that many people do not see all that I do within a school year or even over the summer, but I do a lot and I cannot take on any more responsibilities.  I just can’t.  So.  It is looking like we are going to be changing churches again.  I am upset.  I am upset for the children.  I am upset for me.  I am upset for DH because he finally found a church where he felt at “home”.  For the next 14 years however, its not just about DH and I, its about the 5 of us and what works for the 5 of us as a group.  I am constantly reminding my family (my own family mind you) of this when we come to visit for an extended stay in the summers.  My warnings go like this:  “Don’t forget that Mr. M can wander and he is sometimes difficult in large groups because of the sound.  You may have to repeat instructions to him umpteen times and still, we may not be able to do all the activities that your group does.  Miss. S is still a toddler and pretty much talks continuously unless she is asleep.  Mr. A can be very loud and hyper-active.  There are 5 of us!  That’s a lot of people in your house!”  This is my life.  This is my group.  We go as a package or we don’t go at all.  So… we’re looking at possibilities for our family to join a new church.  There is a church we have been “supplementing” our children’s RE programming with because they are a large church and have a much larger children’s program, so we will most likely end up there. They have more staff, more support and many many families.  They are used to children and they welcome them.  They have a school-age  mid-week “club” for kids and one for younger toddlers too.  They even offer a couple of camps per year.  The downside is that I don’t know that DH and I will fit in there as well as we do at our current church.  Oh well.  See?  This is where I get to test my convictions.  Do I really act as I say I do?  Well, yes, I do.  Or at least I try to.  I know in my heart this is the right decision for our family and well, at least we’ll have a common thread at the new church.  Its a start.  A new start.

Be Fierce.  #OpenANewDoor

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly