Sunday, November 24, 2013

How I Almost Got Arrested at Key Foods.

To go straight to the juicy story, start reading below the photo.  If you're in for the long haul, begin here:

The most convenient, yet highly priced and minimal selection store near us is Key Foods. It is between our house and the subway, so it's easy to pick something up on my way home.  We have a C-Town within a few blocks which has a bit more selection, but it is still only half a block long and carries say, 2 cuts of beef and 4 salad dressing choices.  There are several other little bodegas- corner stores, if you will.   Each bodega carries different things and the prices really do vary.  If I want to spend as little money as possible (which I very much do) I could go to 7-8 different places to find the cheapest eggs vs. the cheapest cereal vs. milk.  Cereal is literally $5.49/box which is more expensive than Costa Rica!  We used to eat cereal as a cheap breakfast- now it's a total luxury!  There is also a fruit stand which gets the extras from the stores which is cheaper and usually good quality. I used to buy a carton of strawberries over the summer for $1 which is a win since I used to pay 2/$5 in Utah.  

Usually every other week, I'll walk 1.5 miles to Fairway-- the biggest and best grocer in New York.   They sometimes have good sales, but the main reason I go there is because they carry a wide variety of food options (have I told you about PopCorners?  World's greatest chip?) and good quality meat for the cheapest I've found (other than Costco, to which we don't have a membership).  I shove, squeeze and balance all my goods into the stroller for the uphill walk home (so dramatic, right?)  Sometimes I even make Tatum hold the milk.

Here is a little sneak peak from our photo shoot the other week.  We love the photos and have a Christmas card winner!!
In order to avoid the walk in the cold (have I mentioned it's cold here?  Thanksgiving day/My birthday has a high of 33.) I went to Rite Aid for a 2 for 1 deal on Cheerios.  They didn't bag my items, but knowing that I'd stop by some other stores who also carry Cheerios, I cognitively stowed my receipt so as not to cause a scene.  I think we can all see where this story is going...

I exit Rite Aid, pay cash for a few veggies at a stand outside and head over to Key Foods. The 2 cereal boxes and bagged veggies were in the bottom of my stroller, and I put all my Key Foods items in the reusable grocery bag I'd brought from home.  When it was time to check out, I placed my bag of groceries on the conveyor belt, made eye contact with the checker to tell her that since my stroller won't fit through the narrow check out line, I was going to walk around the front of the store and come around to pay, and collect my food.  I then hurried around toward the entrance, and back to my checkout line.  

Once I got there, the manager was looking me up and down and looking under the stroller.  "You're trying to get out without paying for these, huh?"  I was so prepared for this issue that I calmly said "Oh no, I actually bought those on sale at Rite Aid earlier today."  "Oh yeah?  What's in that black bag then?" I told him it was produce from the stand, and "Not to worry, I have the Cheerio receipt."  "Well where is it, then?" At this point, Tatum was crying, it was time for me to swipe my card, and now I was being interrogated by the manager and assumed a thief.  I quickly looked through my stroller console for the receipt, sure I'd put it there.  The manager was now calling over his friends, and making hand signals to the person in the booth, overlooking the store.  He asked me why my eyes were darty.  Obviously, because I'm in a stressful situation.  Times were tough.  Now, I'm scrambling, trying to calm T and find that stupid receipt!  I felt flustered and with each passing moment, I felt more and more like a criminal, even though I knew I didn't do anything wrong!  

The men started to circle around me, and I had visions of them taking my baby under custody and handcuffing me right there.  I finally found the receipt (right there in the console...) and showed him they were in fact paid for at another store, and I even told him that I'd bought a Dominican avocado, which Key Foods doesn't even carry.

I strolled T out, very frazzled and grateful to be going home.

Once I got home, my sister Heather called for the details.  She was basically outraged that he interrogated me like that and asked me questions to intentionally get me frazzled.  She thinks it was a shame that I apologized to HIM about the situation, and that I didn't tell him that "I will never shop here again and I'll tell all my friends to do the same."  Well the truth is, I will shop there again.  It is the most convenient place, and who knows how long we'll live here.  I don't want to burn bridges in the neighborhood.  Especially in Harlem, if you know what I mean.  

Scott got home from a long day, took off his shoes and started to relax.  When I finished the saga he got right up, put his shoes on, ready to march out the door and tell that manager to apologize to me for assuming me a thief and tell him a thing or two about how to treat me, and customer service in general.  It took all my pleading to stop him from going- like I said, I don't want enemies.  It was already a big enough ordeal, I don't want to make it bigger.

In other news, I now primarily shop at Trader Joe's to save money.  Who dos that?  I do, now. TJ's is about a 20 min subway ride each way, but the quality of the food and the price are both the best around!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Want to Know Why I Haven't Blogged in a Week?

No internet.  For 7 long days.  The internet kind of rocks my world.  
Anyway, we got it fixed tonight.  T was charming as ever with the repair man, toddling after him everywhere he went and waving "hi" and "bye bye" non stop.  I totally love her!  

This has been a good week.  Many frustrating moments-- 2 hours each day that I spent on the phone with the internet company, and possibly even worse than that:  The WIND.  It is seriously, seriously cold here.  The air is cutting me.  After walking 2 blocks you feel like you can't breathe--shortness of breath if you know what I mean.  You're probably wondering if I am dressing appropriately, and the answer is No.  I can wear all the sweaters and wool coats I want, but I need goose feathers.  This may all sound very dramatic, but it is true.  I've emailed a few trusty fashion consultants of mine as to which of my 2 best options are the better of the two bad (big black and puffy) choices.  Surely you will see the outcome in photos because I am sure that once my coat arrives, I will not take it off for approximately 5 months.    

In other news, T got caught up on her immunizations (FINALLY) which was a very traumatic experience for both of us.  I can officially eat my words about nursery because her first sunday was a fail-- she cried and screamed and regardless of my desire to go cold turkey, the nursery leader asked me to stay with her.  We will see what happens this next week. 

I spent way too much money on groceries this week partially because I didn't want to walk the 2 miles to the cheaper store (did I mention it is COLD?) and I bought juice for the first time since we've lived here.  Man is OJ delicious! 

Both Scott and I got callings in our church- we are a Relief Society teacher and an Elders Quorum teacher-- 2 of the very best callings in the church, in my opinion!  My first lesson is in 2 weeks, and I have no idea when Scott teaches.  

We are really liking it here.  

 It is pretty funny being here with all the tourists.  All these people stopped on a normal walking path to photograph
pigeons and squirrels.

HA!  And then I did too. (Just for the sake of this post, I assure you.)  I've been thinking of starting a weekly post called "UNBELIEVABLE" showcasing all the truly unbelievable things that happen here.  Really, it is unbelievable the things people do.

T and her BFF Fiona.  There was 1 more girl at church her age, but they are moving this month!  
 And, last but not least, Lambie and Blankie still run the show around our house.  
That's all for now!  It's time to go buy my coat :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Long Island Day

One of our favorite New York days wasn't in Manhattan (Gasp!)  We're suckers for the beach.

We took a drive out to Long Island last Thursday.  One thing about being married to Scott is that you NEVER know what will happen once you get in the car.  You could think you're going to the beach, and the next thing you know, you need a snow coat.  (That really has happened.)  He thinks I'm crazy for packing so many car snacks, a change of clothes for T and a few extra things, but it's a good thing I did last Thursday, because we ended up driving out to the very point of long island!  

Brenda is so good to hang with us, baby toddler and all.  Our first stop was in a cute little town- East Hampton.  As in "The Hamptons." Brenda thought she was kind of a big deal :)

 Like I've said before, this is the story of our lives.  Both Scott and I thought we were the star until T came around:
This photo marks the first day *ever* that T has willingly held my hand.  I've always wished she was a bit more affectionate and then one day it happened!  She just reached up and grabbed my hard to walk along together.  Total butterflies :)
 And then we found the beach.  A sandy, warm, empty beach.
It was heaven.
We'd been on Manhattan island just short of 3 months and we had the itch.  The day trip wasn't nearly long enough, but it felt SO SO GOOD to look far out on an empty space and to feel the breeze and the sand and the earth.  Manhattan has a lot of good to offer, but open spaces isn't one of them.
 We need to get this girl back to the beach asap.  (Preferably the Caribbean :) She LOVES running in the sand and taking off for the waves.  She just laughs and laughs and runs and runs.  This is heaven for our baby girl.

She spent a fair amount of time collecting shells and sticks.  I swear, everything she does is "the cutest thing" to me!
 Always eager to pet the "DOG!"
A stop for fish and chips was a must.  Really good, fresh fish!

And we ended the day with a drive out to the point, Montauk.  The lighthouse was pretty cool, especially once it started hailing.  It was the first lighthouse in New York State built in 1792.  It looks like they've kept up the paint!
This was a day for the books!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Carving 2013

Carving pumpkins almost passed us by this Halloween.  I don't usually let things like that happen, but this year I just kind of thought T was too young to enjoy it and it is messy and our 3 pumpkins are cute just as they are.  But, we had an hour to kill before bedtime this week, so we decided to dig in.  Get it?? :)

She was a bit confused at first, but quickly got the hang of it.  Also, this is kind of a good shot of those teeth- there is a molar coming in right where that hole is on the bottom.

Pumpkin guts don't taste that good, apparently.

P.S.  Can you believe how much she's grown since last year?  Can you believe we put her in a pumpkin?  Still tallying that as a good decision :)