Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

These last two weeks since I updated last have been challenging to say the least.

Training my replacement should have been easy, but it hasn’t been. Getting Hun’s truck fixed should have been easy, but it hasn’t been either. Purchasing new clothes for the kids for our cruise should have been a piece of cake, but that’s been a struggle as well. I’m going to start in order of the weirdness and depending on how long this goes I may post the madness in increments, so hang on tight!

Let’s start with shopping for clothes with the kids since it started the madness.

Due to the logistical nature of having 4 kids, we buy a LOT of clothes for them. Yes, yes – we could go to Goodwill or any number of other thrift stores, but instead we go to a chain store that gives pretty good sales and discounts for being such valued customers. We can usually buy them everything they need for less than $100 each – that still works out to around $400 at a time, 3-4 times a year (summer, beginning of school, and winter clothes with necessities scattered throughout depending on growth-spurts).

Wednesday two weeks ago, the perfect storm regarding clothing shopping brewed up. Not only are the sales descent on Wednesdays, but I also have an extra 30% off coupon, and the weather is dropping 30-40 degrees overnight, so the kids HAVE to have jackets and pants for the next day. Why didn’t we buy these things sooner? We’re in Texas AND we just got finished with the 2nd hottest summer on record AND I missed the weather reports several days before this date. WHAT? I do have other things to do besides watch the news you know!

Stressor #1 – LaLa and Buddy both had orthodontist appointments at 4:30pm across the street from the store we shop at. Off work early, pick up LaLa and Monkey from the house by 4:00pm, but Buddy and Rowdy are nowhere to be found. Hightail it to their school – find Rowdy goofing off with friends and Buddy tutoring a kid in band, pack everyone up and off we go. We’re now running late.

Stressor #2 – Drop LaLa and Buddy off at the Ortho right at 4:30pm (not sure how we got there on time!) and take Rowdy and Monkey across the street. Drop them off with very specific instructions – find at least 3 pairs of pants that will fit you (properly!), a jacket, a couple of long sleeved shirts and a nice buttoned down shirt/dress for formal pictures on our up-coming cruise. They’re 11 and 13 – they can handle these seemingly easy instructions…..right?

Stressor #3 – Drive back to the Ortho office where LaLa and Buddy are being worked on. This takes way longer than needed because Buddy had brackets broken off his teeth that he didn’t tell us about. It’s now after 5:00pm before we leave the office.

Stressor #4 – Show up at the clothing store with LaLa and Buddy and give them the same instructions as the others. Go to check on Monkey first – she’s got a cart load of clothes, none of which she’s tried on yet and all of them too small. Back to square one for her.

Stressor #5 – Check on Rowdy – he’s got a jacket only. He can’t find pants that will fit him because he’s still looking in the men’s department instead of the kids department. He HATES the fact that Buddy can wear men’s sizes in pants, but he can’t. Suck it up buttercup – back to the boys department he goes.

Stressor #6 – Buddy comes over to me holding one, ONE, pair of pants that he THINKS fits him. And oh, Mom, by the way, they are only $80, they’re normally $150, so they’re on sale – is that okay? ARGH!! NO! It’s not okay!! Go find something cheaper! Take a glance at the time – it’s only 5:45pm at this point.

Stressor #7 – Back to Monkey and FINALLY, she’s on the right track for picking out clothes that fit properly. Now she’s being picky about a dress for the cruise – she wants FANCY, not fancy and school appropriate. We both finally settled on one that we both found acceptable for our own reasons. Did I mention in all of this that I’m criss-crossing the store to find everyone since they all wear different sizes in different departments?

Stressor #8 – Back to Rowdy and he’s FINALLY found some pants that fit him, but can only find one pair. Dig through the piles of pants to find him one more pair but that’s all they had. Check the watch – it’s now after 6:00pm. Send him off to find a tie or formalish type shirt for the cruise.

Stressor #9 – Find Buddy searching through the men’s pants, again, and he’s finally on the right track as well. Picked him up a couple of pairs, he grabs a jacket, claims he’s good on shirts so off to the dress shirts we head. Rowdy and Monkey converge on us as well as they are finally done and we all trek off to the ties.

Stressor #10 – At this point, Hun is starting to call wanting to know where we are. He’s home, he’s hungry, where’s his family and dinner? I’m beyond frustrated at this point with the whole shopping experience, so he’s getting only clipped one line answers from me and is being hung up on more than he deserves.

Stressor #11 – Finally! Get the boys formal shirts and ties and then we attempt to find LaLa. As the oldest, she knows how to shop but can be the pickiest of them all. She appears out of no-where with 2 pairs of pants – AND THAT’S IT! With the caveat – they’re too long, you can hem them for me right? AARRRRGGGHHHH!!! We’ve been here over an hour and a half and you only have 2 pairs of pants that only half-way fit you!?! What the hell have you been doing all of this time? She jumps into high gear with my help, finds a formal shirt, 2 pairs of pants that fit right, a jacket and we’re done. It’s now 7:00pm.

Stressor #12 – Checking out…need I say more? The lady in front of us is applying for a credit card and her information isn’t going into the computer properly. We get called to another register, only to be helped by the lady-in-training; it’s her first day, can’t remember her password and is slower than molasses. Finally out the door and it is 7:15pm, no one has eaten, and I’m on the verge of tears.

The last straw happened while attempting to pick up dinner. Pull into Chicken Express with a line around the building for the drive-thru with no one waiting inside. Park The Beast, tell the kids to stay put and run inside. Hold it together long enough to ask the lady at the register for this, this and this, with this, that and the other for sides. “I’m sorry ma’am; it will be 6 minutes before the tenders are ready.”

<<WAAAHHHHH!!>>….ummm…<<hic>>…..I….I….<<tears pouring>>….I….I…..ummm…..<<wipes tears away>>….don’t….mind….me….<<hic>>….it’s….<<hic>>….not…your….<<snivel>>…..fault…..<<more tears streaming>>….I’m……just…..<<blubbering>>……have…..having….a…..bad…..<<hic>>…  <<sobbing>>…Just…..umm….just…..<<hic>>….give….me….<<takes napkins handed to me from lady at register>>……what….<<hic>>….ever…..<<wipes more tears>>…….have.

Looking at the incident with eyes 2 weeks in the future, it was really quite comical in a sad sort of way to watch yourself from afar having a breakdown in the lobby of a fast food restaurant. The poor guy workers had no idea what to do and I remember seeing them scatter the moment the tears started. The lady at the register (she couldn’t have been older than 20 at the most…probably only 17 or 18) was as sweet as could be, offered me a drink (on the house!) and I think only charged me for half my order. She even offered to carry the order out to my vehicle for me if I would just show her the way.

By that point, I wanted to die of embarrassment and just wanted out of the place as fast as possible. I need to write a letter of commendation to the company for that lady and her service above and beyond the call of duty in dealing with me that day.

At this point, our vacation cruise is at around day 46 and counting. Vacation isn’t getting here fast enough it seems.