Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

We have a wedding coming up so I go into Ann Taylor Loft (always a favorite and some stores even carry maternity) and here's how it went:

Me: "I'm looking for a dress. Do you carry Maternity in this store?"

She looks at my Carolina belly.

Her: "Why do you want to buy a dress when you barely have any time left?"

And that's when I gave it to her- the "Saleslady of the Year Award". Way to go. Lose a sale and make me feel humongous. All in one shot.

And yes, I did proceed to tell her I had over three months left and yes, she did turn red. Bright red.

And that is the story of the last time I ask for any more help while I am pregnant and shopping for clothes. No more dumb sales ladies.

Update: I just have to clarify that I didn't really give her the "Saleslady of the Year" Award- though I would have loved to! I've learned that saying politely that I still have a LONG time left is usually embarrassing enough to where hopefully they won't say something so thoughtless to any more sensitive pregnant women!

They're Like a Box of Chocolates....

Today we got a package from Pottery Barn Kids. Now, this may not seem very entertaining to anyone else but at my house it's always a fun event. You see, there's always a surprise. I have ordered three times from them and all three orders have something I didn't order (and are missing something I did order).

My first order was for some overalls for newborn Clay. We received a flowered dress size 12-18 months. He looks great in it. Next, I ordered a monogrammed Christmas tree skirt. We received a pink canvas storage bucket monogrammed "Bug". Cute.

Surprise # 1: A dress for my son
Surprise #2: A pink storage container for my non-existent child "Bug"

This time I ordered a Navy Gingham Jumper for Carolina and Navy Gingham Shortalls for Clay. This took me FOREVER to order because I had to get the right sizes for next summer and have matching colors AND pick both of those out of their remaining sale sizes and colors. I got it right and placed my order.

When I opened my package today, I found a Navy Gingham Jumper and DARK Gingham Navy Shortalls. Dark Navy is really dark (like almost black). Navy is not so dark (like royal blue). Not.what.I.ordered. Again.

Surprise #3: Matching outfits that don't match

So I called Pottery Barn Kids, explained the deal and they're sending me a Dark Navy Jumper. Still not what I ordered but at this point at least the kids will match. And the icing on the cake- they're scheduling a pick-up for the Navy Gingham Jumper. I don't even get to keep it for my troubles. Boo.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Frustrating Signs of the Times

It seems like so many of the conversations Mike and I are having lately are about how things used to be. How gas used to be less than a dollar and places weren't shutting down from lack of business. I guess I'd always heard about what a bad economy does to everything but I just didn't think it would happen when I was 28.
Today we had some errands to do in Plano so we thought we would stop into Plano Tavern and have some lunch. Just a little over a month ago we were there and purchased a $25 gift card since they were giving you a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase. Surely, with our OB/GYN/Hospital being across the street and the fact that we are in Plano at least a couple of times a month, we would use the gift card soon. Well, we planned on using it today until we drove up to an empty building with a "Closed Forever" sign on the door.

I was SO annoyed that they were selling gift cards just last month and now they're closed. We could have just thrown our money in the trash but this is the second time this gift card thing has happened to us this year. Earlier, we bought one for Don Pablo's and the location a couple of miles away from us closed within weeks too.

Last week, Mike wanted to go to Bennigan's for lunch since they have that great $4.99 lunch menu. We decided on something else and that night I saw that Bennigan's had shut down all of their non-franchise locations (or most of their locations). It's so crazy that these places that have been open for years are closing down all of a sudden like that.

A couple of weeks ago we drove over to Richardson to a baby boutique where we purchased several things for Clay and they were closed for business, too. I have definitely noticed that baby boutiques close down frequently (this is one of three that I've seen since Clay was born) but I'm always having to find another place (like online) to get the stuff I love.

One of the other changes I've noticed with the economy is how baby items have risen in price. The price to beat on diapers when Clay was born was .19 cents per diaper. Now it's .23. It doesn't sound like much but when they use 4-6 diapers a day it adds up!

I know everyone's seeing the markups on food and even Clay's Gerber meat sticks have gone from .96 a jar to $1.22. Yikes!

The Boppy Newborn Lounger is one of those products that I always wanted with Clay but just never did pick up at the store. They were $29.99 when he was born. Fourteen months later, they're $36.99. That's an increase of almost 24% and it's the exact same product!

So many of the products that we used for Clay and now want to purchase a second one for Carolina have gone up. Our Diaper Champ, changing pad covers and so many other things have gone up by at least $5 without any visible improvements.

I don't know if it's just something that happens in life and you just get over it but I keep wondering if things will ever stay steady again. Are prices going to continue to rise and things shut down? Mike's already told me there will be no more gift card buying for us (unless it's some place we REALLY want to shut down!)

Is anybody else noticing the crazy price increases or places closing down? I'm curious what everyone else is seeing...