Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday and so much more

6 weeks of Beginning ice skating served Zoe well; the kid is fast!
Today we ate, shopped and played, pouring money into the U.S. economy every step of the way (however modestly). Although I've never had the stamina for late-night/early morning Black Friday shenanigans, thanks to my friend (and Frugalistic Mom) Carrie's urging, I did stop at CVS with my hair still wet from the shower to pick up a cart full of Free after ExtraCare Bucks items: Chex, Cheerios, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, Kleenex and the high-class L.A. Looks hair gel ("X-Treme Value!") that I've been going through since becoming a Curly Girl Method devotee. Provided I remember to use all those ExtraCare Bucks, I probably came out 50¢ ahead, even after "buying" all that stuff.

By 8am Ada and I were done at CVS, so we swung by the house to pick up the later risers and head to the Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor for their annual Day-After-Thankgiving Waffle Breakfast Bar. Josh and I got the plain waffles knowing our kids couldn't possibly eat all the ice cream on their giant DIY sundae waffles.

We got home just in time for Patty, one of our favorite neighborhood sitters, to come by and watch the girls.

Then Josh and I drove to Kohl's, where I was able to pick up all the items on the ARK wishlist. I'd adopted three needy adults for Hanukkah: an older man wanted Dockers, a woman nonstick pots and pans and a teen girl a hair dryer. Kohl's had all of the above on sale, which meant the $35 maximum I was allowed to spend on each recipient went much farther than I anticipated. We also picked up Hanukkah gifts for the family: underwear for Zoe, pajamas and a musical jewelry box for Ada, and a Fiestaware platter for ourselves. Josh, who doesn't usually care for shopping, volunteered to hit more stores, but I'd had it after CVS and Kohl's.

We paid the sitter, wolfed down some delicious Thanksgiving leftovers (starring a turkey our friend Steve smoked for 6 hours on his back porch) and headed to downtown Oak Park to ice skate at Ridgeland Commons then go to the Lake Theatre to see The Muppets. Amazingly, that was also the plan of our friends Steve (yep, same one) and Jani and their kids--the very same family who had hosted us (plus two turkey-and-pie curious Austrians and a German) for Thanksgiving the evening prior. And while Zoe and Jani's 2nd grade daughter bickered all through said dinner and declared they never wanted to see each other again (potentially putting Jani and I in an awful position), they were two peas in a pod at the rink and throughout the movie.

And what a movie! There couldn't be a more perfect film for nostalgic Gen Xers to take their children to. It really is a delight and so unlike most kids' movies today--slower paced, few special effects and nothing sexual or scatological (save--perhaps--a Whoopie-cushion shoes joke), plus all the anarchy, chaos and random, ridiculous slapstick violence us Muppets fans know and love.

*Look in the very background of the photo and you can see me holding Ada's hand as we skated--although only Ada's arm and head are visible