My husband and I always wait for the huge labor day sale weekend before doing most of our shopping for the year. A lot of friends have laughed in surprise that we do our Christmas shopping this early, but hey — really… sometimes the discounts are worth the early shopping trip (To my family and friends who normally receive Christmas gifts from us, yes, your gift is already here).
This year we started the weekend shopping spree and headed over to the Tanger Outlet Mall in Mebane. The girls of course had to tag along, and all this time we were wondering how we would manage our shopping trip with two little ones to worry about. As we approached the parking area, the girls were still napping in the car so we had time to strategize and plan our route. My husband took this moment to share his game plan with me. “Don’t think to much. Just buy. If it looks good, get it.” That is quite surprising for the practical giver that he is. Normally we’d only hit one or two stores because he has so many things to consider before actually shelling out money for it! I didn’t complain though (In this instance I thought of my sister-in-law and our many shopping trips together. I always said she was a very efficient shopper who could buy so many things in a short span of time!), and so I just dove into the shopping, saying a silent prayer for his credit card not to reach its limit.
Several things helped make the trip relatively painless with the two girls in tow. The first of which, I’d say, would be the kid-friendly activities Tanger had. My husband and I “divided and conquered” — I took Jamie with me and did most of the shopping and he kept Sam busy with all the distractions available. There was even a giraffe in a costume outside the Toys R’ Us, and some ice cream stands which Sam definitely took note of and requested for after her lunch. We would only meet up occasionally when he needed to pay or fit certain things and I’d have to watch both of the girls. The only thing missing I felt, was a cool rest area where we could just sit, and I could even breastfeed. If you saw the crowd at the Outlet Mall, so many of them had their babies with them, that an airconditioned rest area might have actually come in handy.
Then of course, there were the contraptions of the sling and the double stroller. If you remember my previous post about choosing between the two, I will tell you now — we ended up getting both. The stroller held all the shopping bags (aside from the girls’ necessities and the girls themselves!) as well as a hanger for the shopping choices in each store.
We also used it to strap the girls down when we needed both hands, or we needed to take turns keeping both girls together. It also provided a moving chair for Sam to sit in when she got tired of walking.
Complimenting the stroller of course, was the ever trusty iPhone. We were able to access Netflix on it and Sam happily watched her shows while both my husband and I fit shoes in peace.
And then there was the sling for Jamie, which I bring with me wherever I go, even when I have the stroller. I’ve noticed that after a certain amount of time, Jamie complains to be let out of her carseat (that attaches to the stroller) and would prefer to be carried. Also when I’m out with both girls and this happens, I find that it is much easier when I have two hands free to chase Sam, without leaving Jamie behind. So I have learned to wear her. I did end up getting the K’tan and I’d have to say it’s a great sling. So far, over the past five months and Jamie’s increasing weight, it has hurt my back the least of all the slings that I’ve tried. And she is happy to sleep in it too. Jamie happily slept through our shopping trip and would really only wake up to feed and dirty her diaper. It made shopping a whole lot easier.
Voila! We were able to get 80% of our shopping done on this one trip alone. We survived 7 hours out of the house, the most we’ve really ever done with both girls (The Zoo was only 5 hours). The biggest casualties I’d say were my back (which is now aching for a massage), and of course my husband’s sanity.
Wait until he sees the credit card bill…