September 29, 2010

Mommy's Morning Out

Saturday was Mommy's Morning out which meant that I got to spend the majority of the morning with my daughter alone. So I thought I would introduce our daughter to one of my favorite things to do Shopping. Yeah I know we are an atypical family in that it's the Dad in this case that has the bad shopping habit. But at least I don't pay full price for things as was the case for this lovely Saturday morning.

So the little girl and I packed up the truck early Saturday Morning and headed out for Cary where I had planned for us to check out the Consignment Sale at the First United Methodist Church. I learned from my last Kids exchange attempt that it is very important to be at these things early for the best selection. We got there around 9:00 am, an hour after it opened so a little later than I had hoped. I even negelected to stop along the way to get gas for fear of delaying more and by the time we arrived the gas light had been on for about 15 miles. So with a sigh of relief having just made it there on fumes I decided the best way to approach the sale was to put Olivia in my Baby Bjorn air carrier and then use the stroller I had brought along as a shopping cart.

When we got inside I was surprised to see there were still quite a few nice things left but we were on a mission for 6 to 9 month winter clothes for Olivia so I passed on the eye candy and headed straight for the clothing rack. I rummaged through the rack with the decision that for the most part I was looking for long sleeve onesies and jean overalls - pieces that could be layered together to make complete outfits. Most of the items I picked up were in the $1 to $2 range but I did splurge a bit on a pretty Christmas dress for $7. In the end I had picked out 19 articles of clothing all of which I was very happy to find. About this time having been there for about an hour Olivia started to show the signs of fussiness so I knew it was time to start planning my exit strategy. When I was checking out I came across a nice surprise - $5 Enfamil Gentlease coupons that could be stacked with manufacturer checks! So, my $45 clothing total will be partially offset by the savings on formula. I didn't want to get too greedy so I only took 5 coupons to get us $25 off our next batch of formula. So the clothes will end up costing us about $20 - great little surprise for me and the little girl.

After the sale it was time for Olivia to have a diaper change and eat. Fortunately, the day before I had purchased a used Dex Products Grab and Go bottle warmer from a consignment store in my neighborhood and would be able to now try it out. The product will heat the bottle via a wrap around bag of liquid that crystalizes and heats when a metal disk in the bag called a starter disk is pressed to set off the chemical reaction. The interesting thing about the product is that when you get home you can boil the bag for about 15 mins and it will dissolve the crystals and the process can be repeated all over again the next time you need it. I was surprised to find that it actually did heat the bottle up pretty well, taking only about 8 mins to heat a 6 oz bottle. The last portable bottle warming purchase (Munchkin) was horrible and was returned by my wife as defective! It took 30 mins plus and still did not really heat the bottle enough for Olivia to take it. The Dex brand is a much better product but is only good for one heating while you are out and about and there is the chance that you can accidentally set-off the chemical reaction before you are ready as my wife learned the next day. So I might try and get another one in the future to have as backup or to heat up another bottle on a longer outings.

Before feeding Olivia I needed to change her diaper and I had to get creative as there were no changing stations inside the church. I decided the tool box on the back of the truck would have to do and Olivia didn't seem to mind but I was very fearful of her falling off as she has gotten quite wiggly lately. After the diaper change I decided that park benches in the Church playground across the street would make a great picnic area. So Olivia got to go to her very first park. I can't say she did much other than eat but it was a park none the less and I did tell her all the fun things she had to look forward to doing at playgrounds when she is a bit older.

After her meal, I decided it was time for mine but first we had to get gas or we were going nowhere. After filling up we headed for Rudino's off Six Forks for the Pizza buffet. Olivia behaved wonderfully and since having just recently eaten she was content to sit in the carseat while I dined, a rare experience for me since I usually have to hold her while Shannon and I eat anywhere. After my meal I used the gigantic mural of Venice, Itally as a learning opportunity and I talked to her about Italy - the food, the geographic location and why people were traveling around in gondolas instead of cars. I know that she doesn't understand all this but I have read in numerous books that talking to the baby and describing things around them help increase their overall IQ later in life.

Our morning was coming to an end and it was time to head home and meet-up with Mommy. When we got home Shannon had not yet returned from her Book Club so I decided to surprise her with all the clothes we had gotten. I laid them out over the bed for her to see when she got home. I think she was impressed and she even admitted that a few of the things I got for Olivia are actually super cute. So all in all I think the little girl and I had a good morning together and Mommy got a break.

Good times indeed.

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