In case you were wondering, I stand corrected as there has been no word yet on the fate of new baby. That being said, I am starting to look into vacation options for me and hubby because we've saved all this money and vacation time and we're still pretty sure it won't be used for new baby. On the bright side, that means we have possible options for vacation, which we weren't thinking would happen for a long time. Not ruling anything out, but trying to look on the positive side. Now back to regularly scheduled programming.
We face quite a challenge having 4 kids - grocery shopping. It's not the expense that frightens us, though I suppose that could be an issue too, it's the logistical nightmare of making a shopping trip happen. We know relatively few parents with that many kids, so it's not something we see everyday and can glean tips and tricks for. One day, my husband and I were thinking of a family that we know with 5 kids and were wondering how they did it - then we realized she stays home and 4/5 are in school - we figured she probably does grocery shopping with one during the day.
That's not an option for us. Nor is leaving the kids home with one parent while the other shops. Our schedule just doesn't work out that way. So, we try to make grocery shopping a family affair. Usually on the weekend, we (all 6 of us) use 2 of the available 4 hours we have together to go grocery shopping. It's just what we do. We all pile into the car and head to the store, do our thing, and go home. Depending on the time we go it will usually fall before or during lunch so we plan accordingly by eating during the shopping trip or making something when we get home.
Of course, this means we are limited in where we go shopping. Though all of our kids can walk, you can imagine the chaos if they were all allowed to walk on their own in the store. Two of our kids definitely need to sit. One is highly recommended to sit because of impulse control issues. One insists on sitting because the other 3 are. We've come to appreciate Walmart because we can get McD's there and push around 2 carts (their "family carts" never have seat belts and only have 2 seats anyway)...each of the little girls sit in the seat-belted spots, one in each cart and each of the boy sit inside a cart while they eat. Or, we really appreciate the new Target nearby that has a 3-kid seat...two in the "family cart" part and one in the regular cart-seat. Of course then there's a major fight as to who doesn't sit (ironically). That kid gets a "treat"...an icee.
If you know anything about couponing you know that Walmart is not a great place (they don't double/triple coupons) and Target is a close second-not-best because it doesn't double or triple either but you can find deals when you match a Target and Manufacturer coupon together. That's pretty cool. We've been sacrificing cost for convenience though just for our own sanity. I prefer our local Kroger - I like shopping there and can do a good deal of couponing. BUT, they didn't seem to have an option for all our kids. They do have kid-sized carts, which our son loves, but that doesn't help with all our other kids too. That is until our kids insisted on sitting in one of those family-cart kid car cart things. The boys ran in and sat in one and although we were going to tell them they had to get out, as we approached we found that not only did it have two seats in the car (perfect for our boys), it ALSO has two seats in the regular spot on a shopping cart instead of one. So, now our favorite place to shop ALSO is the only place we've found so far with 4 legitimate kids seats. We've now switched to Kroger.
It's quite an interesting experience. I have one shot a week to do it together with my husband. Otherwise, it's all mie and all that craziness. We get lots of looks, but that's ok. We don't really care. We try to make the best of it and enjoy the time as a family. And for the most part, our kids are pretty good.
Still...it would be easier if I could go grocery shopping by myself while they are all in school like a SAHM...but then we'd miss this fun experience that not many people get to 'enjoy'.
By the way...I started writing this yesterday (wednesday) and got caught up in working. Since then we've had some updates on baby's case and indeed, as I predicted, there surely was decisions made and lines drawn and lots of churn over where the baby is going. Although the decision is not final yet, we do believe the baby will not be adopted by us and we are saddened, angry, and frustrated by the situation. That being said we are also trying to find the positive and wondering what God has up His sleeve...stay tuned for the play-by-play.