Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Cutting Back Adventures

Have I mentioned that Cutting Back sucks?

Yesterday I went to Gymboree. For some reason it has always thrilled me to buy clothes for my children. Oh, obviously I still get excited when I get clothes for myself--I mean, I AM a girl--but there's something doubly exciting about buying an ultra adorable outfit my kids.

Maybe there's something wrong with me?

I don't know.

Gymboree does this thing where you can redeem Gymbucks. The Gymbucks take half off your order. I had earned three of them but after we bought the car, I gave one to my best friend. I was all set to beg her to take it: "Please please please, you MUST take it otherwise I'll be tempted, please please please.."

But she was all, "I'll take it!"



Anyhow, Natalie and I headed into Gymboree and I reminded her that she had to SIT in her stroller.

I made sure the seat buckle was on extra tight.

I mean, she could still BREATHE and all of that, don't worry.

I walked into the store and started to glance at all the clothes.

Oh my gosh! Too cute! Must have! LOOK AT THE MONKEY PURSE!

My mind instantly went on overdrive.

Much like women get excited over shoes, I imagine.

Oh my gosh! Manolos! Jimmy Choos! ARE THOSE MICHAEL KORS?

I'd probably get more excited about shoes if I could walk in them properly. My feet are usually safely inside a pair of tennis shoes--the few times I’ve attempted high heels I’ve teetered every which way or grasped onto Tom’s arm for dear life. Tom has told me gently that someday I’m going to have to learn to walk in heels on my own.

“Why?” I asked him, squeezing his arm. I had nearly collided into the wall moments before.

“Suppose we get invited to an event? It could happen since I’m in the military. It wouldn’t look right if we walked into the room and you’re attached to me as though you’re afraid of everyone,” Tom explained.

In high school I tried to get away with wearing flats when I’d go to dances. I think one time I wore heels and I stuck close to the wall. I sort of walked along it and yeah, people gave me odd looks but oh well. At least I didn’t go spinning into the punch bowl.

Anyhow, back to Gymboree.

So I had walked into the store and the worker gave me a warm smile because I’ve given them a lot of money.

As I was peering at a few dresses I heard a click and realized that Natalie had figured out how to unbuckle herself. She was starting to slide down the stroller.

“You need to sit,” I said sternly. I pointed to the stroller sharply.

Natalie shook her head. “No! NOOOO!”

The worker looked up from some papers she was looking through with a start.

I gave her an embarrassed smile. “I’m sorry. She’s two,” I felt the need to say. I’ve been saying that a lot lately.

The worker nodded her head and went back to her papers. It’s common knowledge that the age of two is no fun. Of course, I don’t know what I’m going to say when Natalie turns three.

“MONKEY!” Natalie felt the need to tell the entire mall. She pointed to a shirt and started making monkey noises.

“Yes. That is a monkey. How about you sit back down?” I asked hopefully, gesturing to her awaiting stroller.

“NOOOOO!” Natalie howled.

Trying to shop with a non compliant two-year-old was not my idea of fun. I’d start looking through some clothes and then Natalie would run off to the back of the store and scream, “MOM!” because she thought she was lost.

I finally decided on a dress and set it down on the counter to pay while Natalie raced into the back of the store again.

“MOM!” she shrieked as I pulled out my wallet.

“I’m over here,” I said and marched back to get her. I tried to look on the bright side. At least this meant that I didn’t have to work out. Because obviously I was getting plenty of cardio in.

I picked Natalie up and tucked her underneath my arm. Then I went back and realized that the worker hadn’t started to ring me up. She was writing something down so I cleared my throat politely while Natalie kicked and kicked.

“Oh,” the worker said in a surprised tone as she looked up. “I thought this was your hold pile. This is it?”

Usually I go a little wild in the store and I start to form a pile on the counter.

This time, however, I was walking out with one dress and one shirt for Tommy. I decided to use only one Gymbuck.

I can see why that would have been a little startling.

“I’m Cutting Back,” I said with a shrug. “We bought a new car and we have to make payments. So I can’t buy as much as I used to.”

The worker tossed me a sympathetic look. “I’m sorry,” she said. I thought for a moment that she was going to reach out and squeeze my hand.

I sighed. “Me too.”

The worker started to ring me up. She gave me the low total and I handed her a few bills.

“You smell nice,” the worker said politely. I wonder if she just said that to make me feel better. She may have been thinking the poor girl can’t shop as much anymore. I should compliment her.

“Oh. Thanks. It’s a scent from Dolce and Gabbana,” I said.

Okay, so she didn’t have to know that I had rubbed it on from the ad in the latest Glamour magazine.

Since I’m Cutting Back I won’t be buying perfume. But it’s okay because magazines always have free samples of perfume. So one day I can be wearing Dolce and Gabbana and who knows what I’ll be wearing the next day? I mean, the possibilities are endless.

“AHHHHHHH!” Natalie screamed right into my ear as the worker handed me my bag.

So then she rendered me partially deaf I couldn’t quite understand what the worker said to me as I turned to leave.

It sounded like she said something like, “I like the bay!” and even though I was confused I nodded and said, “Bays are great!”

Then she looked positively baffled and I realized that oh, she had probably told me to have a nice day.


It’s just, when you’re trying to hold a thrashing two-year-old it’s hard to make sense of things.

When we got home I asked Natalie if she wanted to try on her new dress.

“Cah-co-dat,” she said primly and held out her palm.


I guess the payment for getting her to try on clothes was giving her chocolate.

Most mothers may have shaken their heads and refused to give in.

But I found myself handing over a Hershey’s Kiss.

But it was worth it because I got some cute pictures:

Yes, I was making farting noises to get her to laugh. But this time I checked to make sure the new neighbor wasn't out. For those who don't know, the last time I was trying to get Natalie to laugh the neighbor had come out of his house and had given me a horrified look. I wanted to shout out, "That wasn't me! It was my mouth!" but I wasn't sure if that would have come out dirty or something.

We love farting noises in this family.

I'm off to make some Hamburger Helper for dinner.

Because Cutting Back means having lots of Hamburger Helper.



  1. I loved this post! I stumbled upon your blog through SITS this evening, and I'm glad I did. I totally get the same thrill out of buying clothes for my 14 month old son, and I, too, am trying to cut back, so I feel your pain! For what it's worth, when ground beef is on sale, meatloaf is a good alternative to Hamburger Helper - it's pretty comparable price-wise, and a heck of a lot tastier!


  2. Yes, clothes shopping for kids is way better than adult shopping - no over sized butt to accomodate!

    And farting noises? Get used to it! The older they get the funnier they become!

  3. She is ten shades of adorable! We are on a strict hamburger helper roman noodles diet. Cutting back is a drag!

  4. She is absolutely adorable. And I love the dress. Eventually I will be in Gymboree... not yet, Lincoln still wears jammies half of the time. But I do need to get that dress for my granddaughter. She is just 3 months.

  5. With the oven broke again!!! I will try out hamburger helper. I am just not in the mood to shell out cash for the oven. And grilling season is here!

    She is a cutie!! The dress is beautiful!

  6. You should see if you can get Gymboree to pay you for these photos. She could totally sell that dress.

    (And I'm "borrowing" your mouth-farting-noise-picture-taking tip. How could I have gone all these years without trying it? Shame on me.)

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday.

    Natalie is precious! I have my first granddaughter on the way - she's due to arrive in July and I am so EXCITED!! (My grandson, same mom & dad, will be 2 then)

    Oh and for the record, I'm retired and heels rarely grace these feet anymore! It's sandals, flip flops and Crocs for the most part these days. Totally glam don't ya think? ;)

    Have a great Friday,


  8. They don't even look up when I walk into the store anymore. I just know they are thinking, "Oh, it's the woman who looks, crys, and leaves." Uh huh.

  9. very cute!
    that sounds like shopping with my almost 2 year old! glad I'm not alone!

  10. Dude, where has your blog been all my life? I love you. Am subscribing immediately.

    I am a little angry that you made me look at those pictures, though. That dress? That girl? It's too much cute. I can't take it.

  11. Girl! That dress is too cute on your DD. I too am cutting back and have only 1 gymbuck to redeem, which my DH tells me is completely out of the question until I go back to work in May. What?? By then GBR will be over!!

  12. I think we'd get along great judging your last few posts!

    1. I loved your cheese shirt
    2. We, too, make fart noises (although most of them might be real. I said might be.)
    3. We've had to majorly cut back. Long story, moved last year, house never sold, blah, blah
    4. I think the best mom's stick their tongues out at their kids.

    Great blog!

  13. Hey, using the perfume pages in magazines is a big money saver! If I am out and I have forgotten my fragrance, I will just run into 7-eleven, find the magazine section and I am good to go! :0)

    Very cute little dress!

  14. how cute is she!?!?!?!? love that dress, too!

  15. Oh, she's ADORABLE! As the mom of three little girls I can attest to the fact that clothes shopping for kids (girls in particular) is WAY more fun than shopping for adults... the bows, leggings, dresses, headbands, sooooo cute!

  16. She is just the cutest thing EVER! Love the dress.


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