Holy cow, it is HOT out there. The high temperature for Baltimore for tomorrow says 109. That isn't summer. That's hell. The last time I checked, it's around 97 here. It's just like stifling hot out there. It's been like this for a week now, and it is brutal. We haven't gone out of the house during the day all week. I sat on my front porch this afternoon for a few minutes and the cement was burning my butt. I haven't even wanted to go to the pool. I can see the parking lot from my house, and it has been packed. I don't like when it's that crowded. It's not relaxing, just annoying. I prefer the air conditioned indoors.
Yesterday morning, my dad picked up Princess and Pirate and took them to his house to spend the night. Princess has gone there before a bunch of times, but this was Pirate's first sleepover. He was so incredibly excited! He normally sleeps with around 75 stuffed animals on his bunk bed. He picked up about 50 of them to take for the sleepover. We were able to narrow it down to two. Thankfully he has an overnight bag and I told him anything he took had to fit in there. Princess is a pro at packing now, so she knew exactly what she was taking. The kids left around 11:30, and suddenly I only had three kids at home. Although Princess and Pirate are the "easiest" to care for, it still made such a difference to only have three kids. Rest time was great because all three little boys slept and I had 'Me Time', which unfortunately consisted of doing dishes and folding laundry, but at least it was quiet!
Usually my husband goes to the grocery store Thursday evening after work. He just goes on the way home to get it out of the way so we don't have to go during the weekend. I am very blessed in the husband department! Yesterday we had so many leftovers from our 4th of July cookout, he said he would go after work today instead. This morning, he had to get up at 5am to go to work, but was going to get done early, stop at the grocery store, and come home early to start the weekend. At 7:30, he texted me that someone called out and he had to stay through and work the dinner shift. I guess that's the downside to being the boss. So, since he's working 13 straight hours today, I thought the least I could do is get the grocery shopping done. Well aware of the fact that it was 300 degrees outside and I'd have to take three kids three and under with me, I decided it was still better than being at work all day.
My original plan was to get out the door by 9. Even with only three kids here, I couldn't get my act together, and we didn't leave until close to eleven. The big kids were going to be home around one, so I had to move it. Thankfully Curly just gave up his morning nap so I didn't have to work around that. Once everyone had shoes on and Superchunk was in the carrier, we headed to the van. Usually I make a couple trips to load everyone in, but today I was determined to do it all at once. I carried the carrier and held Curly's hand and hoped Trouble wouldn't run out into the street. Once everyone was buckled, I blasted the a/c and crossed my fingers that the little bit of gas I had would be enough for the trip to the store, because more than one stop was out of the question.
I was under the assumption that the store wouldn't be too crowded, but apparently when it's a zillion degrees out everyone goes to the store. I got a spot close to the cart return so I wouldn't have to carry everyone too far. Bonus, there was one of those carts with the bench seat on the back of it. It's not a car cart like Trouble really wanted, but it was one big enough to hold everyone. I parked that bad boy right up next to the van and unloaded the boys, then buckled them into the bench seat, pushed them around to the other side, unloaded the carrier, and hooked Superchunk onto the cart. This particular kind of cart is great to hold all of my kids, but weighs about 1000 pounds and is hard to push and maneuver. I really wanted to take a picture of it, but trying to fish my phone out of the bottom of my purse while steering this cart wasn't happening. The novelty of the fun cart wore off after about five minutes in the store and Trouble started asking to switch to a car cart. While it would have been really fun to walk to the entrance of the store, transfer three kids and some groceries to a different cart, and finish shopping, I passed on that idea. Trouble needed to make his own fun, so he held onto the strap that was hanging off of Superchunk's carrier, said he was on a train, and made a "Choo-Choo" noise as loud as possible for the rest of the trip. Curly started whining, I guess because he wanted a strap too. I gave him one of Superchunk's toys, and we played a fun game of 'Throw-the-toy-on-the-ground-and-have-Mommy-pick-it-back-up" for a few aisles. Somehow Superchunk slept through all of this. I maneuvered my giant cart that progressively got heavier through the store in record time. There was no backing up or going back to an aisle I already left. If I missed something, I'm going back alone to pick it up another day!
Finally, we made it to the checkout section. For some crazy reason, although the store was crowded, there were only three cashiers open - one of which was an express lane. Clearly this was not an express trip. And doesn't it figure, as soon I got close enough to start unloading my groceries, two more cashiers open registers. Such is my luck! The checkout was the hardest part of the trip. Even though this cart was enormous, I could still keep it in the middle of the aisles so that Curly and Trouble couldn't reach anything on the shelves. But at the checkout, it is very narrow. Trouble was right up on the candy section, touching everything. Curly was reaching for a balloon. Trouble started asking me every two seconds for a balloon, for a pack of M&Ms, for Skittles, for gum, for a different balloon... you get the picture. Curly started whining for Goldfish he saw. Superchunk started crying. In my head, I was cursing the cashier for being so nice to the person in front of me that they wanted to have a long conversation. She was super sweet to us too, despite the meltdowns that were beginning. When she was giving me my receipt, she asked if I needed help out to the car. I was tempted to ask if I could get help once I got home, but I didn't. I pushed the ginormous cart out the door into the sweltering heat and wished I could snap my fingers and be home. After I walked the 10 miles to the van, I loaded the kids back in, piled in the groceries, returned the cart (smart to park by the cart return!) and blasted the A/C. I was beyond a hot mess. Sweat was just pouring off my face. I looked back at the boys, and they seemed completely unphased by the heat. Burger King is in the same shopping center as the grocery store, so I told Trouble I'd get him some fries for being so good in the store. I knew deep down that the prize was really for me for surviving the store trip!
Driving home, the gas light came on, but I knew I could make it home. No more field trips for today! When we got home, I took the kids in the house first. Then I really wished I had brought the grocery store helper home with me. I piled as many bags on my arms as possible and got everything in the house in two trips, again sweating like crazy. Before I put anything away, I fed the kids and inhaled my own Kids' Meal. Fast food always makes things better. Now I have no intentions of leaving the house anytime soon!