Friday, November 28, 2008

My First 'Real' Black Friday Experience

Today, for the first time in my illustrious shopping career, I truly participated in Black Friday. I have been shopping the day after Thanksgiving before, but not until late in the morning when the crowds have died down.

This morning, in the freezing cold pitch black, Jen and I made our way to Wal-Mart at 4:30 am. We were on a mission. Al has been wanting a laptop forever and we found a fabulous deal in a Wal-Mart ad. The nice Wal-Mart employees in Minnesota let us wait inside for the madness to start, instead of freezing in a line outside. Wal-Mart was already wall to wall people and Jen and I grabbed a cart and sped back to electronics. We quickly ditched the cart when we saw how impossible it was going to be to maneuver our way around. There were towers, row after row, of electronics wrapped in black plastic, stacked on palettes, waiting for the 5 o'clock go-ahead to reveal what was inside. Jen and I elbowed our way through the crowds, trying to spot where the laptops were hidden. We decided to divide and conquer, keeping in touch over our cell phones. Jen finally got the 'in' on the laptops and discovered that they were being handed out only at the electronics register. They were being safely kept behind the counter. So she held a spot in the chaos that was considered to be the 'line' and I waded through carts and people and finally spotted Jen. It was very close quarters there and I found myself sandwiched between a guy reeking of B.O. and a family emitting some kind of cabbage/B.O. combo scent. It was a little much for me at 4:45 in the morning and I tried super hard not to gag. You girls who are pregnant, or who have been pregnant, know what that heightened sense of smell is like...

5 am finally rolled around and the electronics were flying off the shelf. The mass of people closed in and I fought to hold my ground. Jen could see that I was capable of handling the situation and so she ran off to get her V-smile travel/gameboy type things. It was finally my turn at the register and I was able to get the laptop for Al!! They asked if I wanted the 2-year warranty thingy and I buckled and said okay. I wasn't prepared for that question and so Al and I hadn't discussed whether it was a good thing or not. I blame the decision purely on waking up at 4 and having to inhale cabbage B.O. Luckily it didn't add very much to the total.

I took off with the laptop and found Jen and we headed to the mile-long line. We grabbed a few things as we went (tupperware for Jen, a crock-pot for me for my birthday) and reached the end of the line. Al texted me at this point, wanting to know if I had gotten his laptop. I replied that I had, but that he owed me huge! There I was, almost 4 months pregnant, elbowing my way through in my sweats and no make-up, in the middle of thei night, chomping on pretzels trying to stave off hunger. But it was all so exciting!! I love getting good deals. Happy Med-school graduation to Al!!

The person in front of me in line got a text message from her friend that said, "Black Friday! Yes we can!!" I got a good laugh out of that one.

The line to check out was ridiculous, but Jen is a wonderful partner in crime and she scouted out a great spot for us in a different part of the store and we were able to make it out pretty quickly. We jumped in the car and headed to Target to get some more cheap stuff. Then we were off to Jo-Ann fabrics. Jo-Ann fabrics was insanely busy as well. No joke, people had 30+ bolts of fabric in their cart, some people taking up two carts with all of their bolts. And they weren't just buying a yard here and a yard there. We are talking 5-10 yards of each flannel and fleece that was in their cart. Jen was just going along for the ride at Jo-Anns as I ran around gathering the flannels I needed to make two baby blankets. I needed 12 different fabrics, but just 1 yard of each fabric. We could tell that the wait was going to be insane. My number was H 17 and when we got there they were on G 17. We had to wait for all the way through G 99 before they even got to the H's. We knew we were in trouble when we had been there an hour and they had only gone through about 20 numbers. I found myself multiple times wishing they would just let me cut the fabric myself at one of the free stations and I heard lots of other women muttering the same sentiment. Jen decided to leave me in line so she could head to Gymboree to get in on their early bird special. We played phone tag so we could update each other. Jen got me an amazing deal on a fleece outfit for Avery while I plodded along in my line.

I finally decided to just drop the whole thing and just go to the express line, which was still an hour wait, and where you are limited to two fabrics. I decided I would just pick my favorite two and leave the rest behind. I was in that line for about 45 minutes, just one person ahead of me, when a manager came and informed me that I was in the wrong line. I told her my plan and she nodded and said that I could take my two fabrics back to another counter that they had opened up. I pushed my cart to the back corner of the store, which was pleasently empty. A nice looking older lady was waiting for me. I picked my two fabrics and placed my order. The lady eyed my full cart and asked if I wanted my other fabrics cut. I asked her if she would get in trouble and she said maybe, but she didn't care. I felt kinda guilty that I had somehow scammed the system, but was elated at the same time. I quickly handed the lady each bolt as she finished her cutting, waiting to get caught, but we didn't! When I was just down to two fabrics the manager ambled back to check on things. I have no doubt that she saw my mounting pile of fabrics, but she did not say a word. My new friend finished cutting my last two fabrics and I was off to wait in the check-out line. Before I left I thanked her profusely for her help. She was a life-saver! By the time I got in the check-out line I had been waiting for over 2 hours to have my number called and they were still just on G 63. It would have been another 2 hours if I had had to wait in the other line. It was all worth it when I found out that I had saved over $52 in fabric. I would have never been able to afford the blankets otherwise. Now I will be able to make two baby quilt/blankets for under $10 each.

After Jo-Ann Jen and I hit the Burger King drive-thru to finally get some breakfast. Then we headed to the mall to check out Ann Taylor Loft. After a little shopping there we headed home to show the boys our treasures. Al had tunnel-vision for the lap-top, as did Derek, and I don't think they came near to reaching the level of excitement that Jen and I did over our successes. I am still smiling over it all. Jen and I took some much needed naps and I now I am taking my turn on our new laptop, typing up this blog. What a day!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Avery has something she wants to say...

We are so excited to announce that we will have another addition to our family!! I am just a couple of days from finishing the first trimester. Today I had my second doctor's appointment and I got to hear our baby's heartbeat! I had an ultrasound 4 weeks ago and was able to see the baby moving around and see the heartbeat at that time. Everything looks/sounds great!!

I am hoping to avoid the Cholestasis this time around. It made for a miserable last trimester. I felt awful and the worrying was off the charts. Not to mention that I got to know my way around the hospital super well with my 3 appointments a week. But only time will tell if I get it again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't!! The only good thing is that if I do get it than the baby gets delivered 2-3 weeks before the due date, and I'm all for shortening a pregnancy ;)

Anyway, as for now the due date is May 22nd!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween in Minnesota

Here is a picture of my niece and nephews in Minnesota, or Derek and Jen's kids. It's Allison, Dylan and Ethan.

Aren't these costumes great?!? Jen made them all. I just look at Ethan and have to laugh. What a riot.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween in STL

Avery had a great Halloween. She's been asking for the last couple of weeks if she could go trick or treating. Anytime we would see some Halloween decorations on somebody's porch Avery would say, "Mom, can we go trick or treating?" I think it was a long wait for her :)

She absolutely loved her costume. I think she would wear it every day if I let her. And she loved getting to wear a little bit of make-up on her face. We had a ward trunk-or-treat on Thursday night. There weren't too many cars there, but Avery still had a great time. The ward had a table set up with hot chocolate, cider, and donuts. Al and I took Avery around to the cars and then she spent the rest of the night either chasing or being chased by Spiderman. Spiderman is her friend Kaysen.

Al took the day off from work on Friday (ha ha ha) and so we got to spend the whole day together. We ran some errands and just enjoyed being together. That night we had Melissia, Finn, and Mike (Melissia's dad. He's in our ward and Diana was out of town)over for dinner and then we all set out to go get some candy.

The kids loved trick or treating. Avery had a blast. She got so much candy I don't know what we are going to do with it. Not to mention that we bought too much for the trick-or-treaters and still had two unopened bags of candy when the night was over. Avery's little pumpkin full of candy got so heavy, but she was determined to carry it on her own until the very end. Then I finally convinced her to let me hold it.