Saturday, July 12, 2008

It Really IS Christmas in July (Well, Sort Of)

Sorry for the brief absence, my blogger friends, but this Mama's been busy!

The girls finished their last day of their activities yesterday, and both celebrated with little ice cream treats handed out by their instructors, and certificates which they proudly accepted.

Since yesterday was my husband's payday, after doling out money to the various companies that keep our lights on, our phone and computer running, and our washing machine and dryer going, I took the pittance that was left and headed off to K-Mart, to put my first layaway down for Christmas.

My mother squelched my initial plans by "announcing" that she was coming too. I wanted her to keep my oldest daughter with her, and I'd take my little one with me. Three-year-olds are still pretty oblivious when it comes to the holidays, but my nine-year-old has eyes like a hawk, and she doesn't miss a trick -- especially when it comes to her Mama putting toys in the carriage.

I watched her as carefully as I could without her noticing me, and saw what she was picking up and playing with, or really excited about. After I either distracted her, or asked her to go see what Nana was up to, I'd quickly scoop up the toy, take a look to make sure there were no parts that would poke an eye out or dismember anyone, and if it met my "Santa standards", I shoved it underneath something in the carriage before she came back. I got a few things tucked away that way, until the boxes just got too big. Then I had no choice but to just put them in the carriage and hope that she'd be distracted enough to not notice so much. (Yeah, right!)

After finishing up in the toy department, we headed over to electronics. My hope was to find an XBox 360 (my husband and I always buy one BIG present for each of our children from us, and this was the designated present for my oldest daughter this year). As luck would have it, they did have one in stock, so the man at the electronics department carried it down to the layaway desk for me.

Once we were done, we all headed off to get our layaways in place (my mom asked me to pick out a couple of things for each of her grandchildren, and she put it all on layaway there, too). Any semblance of deviancy I had with my oldest daughter went right straight out the window as I was loading my stash up onto the counter. Ole' hawk-eyes was spying every single thing, getting more and more giggly and excited as she caught a glimpse of every toy being put up there. Of course, she thought that yesterday was her payday too (what nine-year-old doesn't want to be paid in a mound of new toys?). She quickly went from being bubbly and bouncy to dismayed and forlorn when my mother and I told her that none of these new treasures were hers (I know.... my heart just broke as she sat there crying, but what else could I do?).

The gal behind the layaway counter was very sweet, and tried her darnedest to be as discrete as possible, whisking everything off the counter with her nimble little fingers as fast as lightning. It just wasn't fast enough for the likes of my pouting, sad little 'tween.

I had to do something to redeem myself, and give my daughter a reason to not feel so sad about all of those "already claimed" toys being tucked away, with nary a one being brought home for her. So.... after finishing at K-Mart, we made the LONG drive to Chuck-E-Cheese, and let the two girls play to their heart's content (or should I say, until the tokens ran out).

We were there for a good 2 1/2 hours, and that was about two hours longer than I wanted to be there! But, I tolerated the noise and the bedlam for the sake of my daughter, who was once again apple-cheeked and smiling from ear to ear. That is...... until I made the announcement of death...."Okay, time to go, girls". Then, the waterworks flowed once again!

The good news is, the second round of it didn't last for long. They were both so tuckered out from all of their running around, and from being out of the house since shortly before 10:00 a.m., that they both passed out in the car about 20 feet after I left the parking lot! :)

I hope everyone's enjoying their weekend! :)


Erica said...

aha, chuck e cheeses!

I liked how you wrote about your day. I didn't know Kmarts did lay-away anymore. How does that work anyway?

Mama C. said...

You go pick out whatever it is that you'd like to put on Layaway, then bring it all to the layaway desk once you're done. They ring it all up, give you the total, and then calculate the amount you need to put down for the initial payment (I think it's something ridiculously low, like 15 percent). You have to make a minimum payment (which they calculate for you, too) every two weeks, and the layaway has to be picked up by a certain date. Easy peasy! :)

I think K-Mart is the ONLY place that still does layaways. I know Toys-R-Us stopped, as well as Wal-Mart. Not nice! :(

Susy said...

I am a big fan of layaway. It keeps out the presents till the Christmas season and that is the best.
I go and get my layaway while the kids are at my nieces . Store them in the closet, that has 1 key that is on my key chain. I try to wrap,and get as much done before I have to go and get the monkeys from captivity. I love it.
This is a typical routine after I pick up my layaway.........
I put Christmas music on, drink a Starbucks venti hot chocolate with mint flavor and whipped cream. Then I am swept away by the spirit of the season. Thanks mama, I needed that calming memory.

by the way missed ya!

Mama C. said...

Awww, thanks Sus!

I know I've been absent for a few days, but I had a LOT planned for yesterday (well, except for the Chuck-E-Cheeses excursion! I was planning on taking them sometime in the near future, but not that near! We had fun, though! :). My mom's birthday is also this coming Monday, so I have to run out at some point tomorrow to get her a card from me, and one from the kids. I also have to go grocery shopping tomorrow.... our cupboards are BARE! :)

It's nice to know I'm so admired, though! :)

Don said...

I have to say... gifts twice a year.... I see nothing wrong with that. :)

Mama C. said...

Shhhhh.... don't you DARE encourage her, Don! ;)

She got enough of a "present" at Chuck-E-Cheese, that's for sure! She had a blast.

And, we went out yesterday to run a few errands, one of which was VERY important. Before we went to that one, we headed off to the recycling station, to turn in more of our bottles and cans. I cashed in all of the receipts I had in my wallet, and got $2.50 back. I told her that if she was good at the "important" place, I'd give her the money for helping me with our recycling. I was practically blinded by the halo sitting bright and shiny on top of her head! :)

She gets her little "treats" once in awhile, trust me. But, it's also really good to let them hear the word "no" once in awhile.