This time around, working at the store has been harder on the girls than in the past. I'm not sure if it is because they are older or what, but it has definitely made me think about doing this again in the Fall. Since starting work on March 16th, I've managed to work nearly 80 hours in 11 days. This does not include driving the 3 hours round trip (3 x 11= 33 hours on the road). Add in the screwy sleep times and inconsistent meals, and it makes for 3 tired and cranky little girls. Not to mention a tired Mama and Daddy!
If there is one thing I can count on, by working at the store, my kids get sick. With all the other (sick) kids there and knowing that not everyone disinfects their items before selling them, there are bound to be germs floating around the place. Youngest is walking around with a yucky, runny nose; Middle coughs; Oldest has some kind of virus that is giving her diarrhea and tummy aches (but that could be from not eating home cooked food, too). They are getting better now, and we are home from the store with a much needed 2 day break. How nice to be able to cook meals and keep a better eye on what is going in their tummies food-wise and to tuck them into bed at their proper bedtimes.
On the other hand, the pay-off for all this upheaval, will be shopping on Wednesday night for us staffers. With my hours (plus Hubby's hours), we have more than enough to buy the things we will need for the new baby, some summer clothing and shoes for the girls, and a couple of other items-- like a few books and games. We do hardly any other shopping elsewhere for the things the kids need and we pretty much shop twice a year for their clothing and shoes.
When I had my other kids, I nursed them and faithfully used a Boppy pillow for support. With the last one, my old Boppy was getting ripped and stained and I made a new one from scrap cloth and recycled the stuffing. I have since got rid of it and I had contemplated making another one instead of buying one, but at the store, there is a pile of Boppys and the cheapest one is $5 that also comes with an extra cover. At that price, I'll go ahead and buy it instead of making my own.
I've talked with Hubby and we both determined that our budget for this sale will be $200. Less would be better, but the maximum is $200. I've told the girls that they can each pick out 5 outfits and 2 pairs of shoes (with Mama's approval) and a few other little things. I think staying within $200 should be no trouble because I know at the end of the sale, I can go through the items that people didn't pick up, and I can pick out what I want for free. This is when I will be getting baby clothing-- some girl, some boy, and some gender-neutral outfits. There's always lots of nice items left and it's a great chance for me to pick up extra outfits for those outdoor days when they are busy cooking up mudpies or out working in the garden with me.
**Thanks to everyone for leaving comments on my previous posts. Normally I respond to all of them, but it's been crazy around here lately. I'll start replying to comments when my time at the store is over, after April 20. Until then, I have read each and every comment and I thank you for them. :o)