perhaps i need an suv or a semi-tractor trailer

Just so you know, I do have some very informative posts that I am planning to write in the next few days on important topics that I know will be highly interesting and possibly even award-winning.

For example, I have been trying to find time to write about the new purse my husband bought me in China, as well as my new nail polish color — which I consider to be next to perfect — not to mention an explanation of WHY my husband took his power tools and sawed our kids’ swing set in half over the weekend.

But, alas. Those will have to wait another day or more because so many other awe-inspiring events happened today that I really need to unload on you right now.

They mostly have to do with shopping, which was the inspiration for the title. My mini-van was barely large enough to hold everything and I couldn’t think of another title.

For starters, tomorrow is Field Day at school. And for the second year in a row, I signed up to be in charge of purchasing all of the food that we will cook and serve for lunch for all of the students, staff and volunteers during the day-long team competitions.

Buying the food for Field Day is a lot like childbirth. If the pain of the experience from the previous year didn’t dull in your mind, leaving you with only the memory of the children’s smiling faces when they were consuming their hot dogs, you would never do it a second time.

I should point out, though, that this entire school year I have been the hot lunch coordinator, which means that every Wednesday, I order, bill, and serve hot lunch to the entire school. I also have to collect all of the orders from every student each trimester, print out color-coded tickets to tell the hot lunch moms who gets what, negotiate prices with local restaurants and make sure the school office gets all of the invoices.

So, how hard could it be to go to the store and buy enough hot dogs, buns, chips, applesauce, bottled water, mid-day snacks and popsicles for 150 people? (It’s a tiny school. Good thing.)

Actually, this year’s shopping experience was a piece of cake compared to last year when I didn’t have a Sam’s Club membership and drove to about 9 different Wal-Mart and Meijer stores trying to collect enough of everything at a reasonable price.

Sam’s Club had it all. And it was all cheap. But pushing the cart was another story. Who knew that much food would weigh as much as a couch and take up nearly as much space? Half way through the store, the two little kids and I had to ditch our regular, mega-sized extra large Sam’s Club cart for that big flatbed trailer shopping cart that most people use to buy furniture.

Part of the reason I signed up for all of the food-related jobs was that until this year, my child was the only one at the school who had any food allergies. About halfway through my shopping, I realized that there also are kids this year at school allergic to eggs and milk, plus another family that restricts all artificial flavors and colors.

Believe it or not, I only had to make a few exceptions and I was able to buy everything that fit into those criteria. I was so happy.

Next, we were off to find a purple shirt for my oldest son because his team on Field Day is the Purple Gems (or something like that). We do not have a speck of purple boy clothes in our house. And it turns out that most major retailers don’t carry purple boy clothes either. We finally landed a bright purple polo at Wal-Mart for $4. How great is that?

Oh, I forgot to mention that before all of this happened, I popped by lunch to drop off 150 popsicles in the freezer for tomorrow. A LOT has happened this year and we are nearly sure that the boys won’t be returning to their school next year. (This is ANOTHER post that WILL be written shortly.)

When I went over to say hello to my son and all of his 2nd grade lunch buddies, a couple of the little boys had tears in their eyes. “I didn’t know that (your son) isn’t coming back next year,” one said to me plaintively.

“Gabe said he’s going to cry,” my son told me.

“Me, too,” I told his sweet little friend. Then I rushed out of the lunchroom and did cry, somewhat hysterically, for the next 20 minutes.

By the time we got to Panera Bread for lunch, my eyes were so foggy with tears that I ordered the Forest Mushroom Soup. I just wanted to mention this because it was the WORST CHOICE EVER. Please don’t be tempted. Unless you like eating a big bowl of brown gravy with mushrooms in it. If I had a side of mashed potatoes and some turkey to absorb some of the soup, it might have been delicious. Otherwise, no.

While I was running around town on all my shopping adventures today, I noticed that a new Wonder Bread outlet store had opened. I think it might be on North Aurora Road? Anyway, after reading this post on my friend Lara’s blog, I just wanted to let her know. I realize I could call her, and I almost did, but I thought it would be more fun to just tell her this way. Plus, I’m super lazy.

Finally, I decided that because my kids don’t know the names of half of the vegetables on this planet and the new revelation this week that my son thought ALL cherries were MARACHINO cherries, we should start a new program at our house of trying new fresh veggies every week. I started tonight with a green pepper.

As I was giving each of them a slice, my mouth, on it’s own, told the children that we were going to have a vegetable-tasting contest and at the end of each week we would rank all of the vegetables and choose the best-tasting veggie.

I amaze myself sometimes. I really don’t know where I come up with this stuff. But it totally worked. They got very excited and they all wanted to make sure they tried their one little sliver of green pepper. I couldn’t convince anyone to eat a second slice, but at least they have a miniscule amount of whatever vitamin resides in a green pepper in their system. And for that I’m grateful.

However, I realized my plan to put the family on a gluten free/casein free diet with no artificial flavors or colors could be even more difficult than I even imagined.

Before I started writing this post, I set out a Hershey’s chocolate pie from the freezer (since the diet hasn’t started yet and we need to celebrate the fact that it’s Field Day tomorrow). The instructions said to defrost for 7 minutes. And then, “CONSUME IMMEDIATELY”.

So, I guess that means I better run.


  1. Just making sure I’m still reading your blog, huh? Yeah, I’m a day late. But that’s great news about the Wonder Outlet! And it’s even closer to hubby’s work (this is a VERY good thing since he usually makes the bread run for me ). He tells me he saw it today when he took the van in at the muffler place next door. So why didn’t he come home bearing loaves of bread? Hmmm…maybe he just got the Hostess stuff and stashed it at work!And do be sure to post about your new purse and new nail color soon! I’m waiting anxiously to hear (unless you want to phone and tell me about them).

  2. I am so impressed… coordinating food for the whole school!? I know the other parents of allergic children really appreciate you. Recently, I have been asked to be in charge of a couple of food events at my son’s preschool and at church. It’s tiring but it makes everyone (including me) less nervous. I love your idea for a vegetable contest! I may have to try that with my boys.

  3. You never cease to amaze me. When I make food shopping trips like that, I tend to forget about the food needed at home and we end up eating Top Ramen or something delightful(?) like that.

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