Bleh. Now I know why one should never go shopping the day after Christmas. Sigh... it was a mad house. I was pleased with some pretty ornaments that I got at Jo Ann's marked down super low and I enjoyed my meandering in there. I also finally remembered where I'd stashed the Jo Ann's gift card that I bought for my friend Patty. However, once I entered the mall proper, that's another story. I dropped in at Old Navy to get Kitty a sweater with the last little bit of her Christmas money, chose one from a display clearly marked sale and then was told by the checker that it wasn't on sale. When I asked about the display, she said that it only meant some pants. Then why did the sign mention all items? She just looked at me.

And Macy's... Ooo, don't even mention that store to me. I had already stopped in at Ross to get some flannel sheets for the kids. We've dropped the temperature back down at night now that they're no longer sick but I still wanted to be sure that they stayed as warm as possible. It took me a bit to find what I wanted but in the end I was satisfied. When one wants to take advantage of Ross' low prices, you have to take what they have, which changes on a constant basis. James got Sponge Bob, Deedee a delicate pink & purple floral on cream, Charles' is lots of dogs and I got a new set for us as well with strawberries. Kitty already has a set on her bed, if she'd ever deign to use it. I also picked up an extra cream colored set with the thought that I might tie dye it. So by the time I got to Macy's I was pretty burdened with a couple of heavy bags. I haul them into the kids section, perused the rack that had the cutest stuff at the lowest sale price. According to the sign, it said 60% off. I chose a couple of cute outfits (like she really needs more cloths, I know) did the quick math, liked what I came up with and got in line. Big mistake. A woman had just come in with a huge pile of returns that didn't fit her daughter properly. There had to have been at least 20 items. Sigh... Goddess protect me from women with too much money and not enough brains. Not only had this woman not gone through and matched the items to receipts, she wasn't even sure she had the proper receipts! The checker started to just scan the tags but no, that wouldn't do the woman. Every item must be matched to a receipt. Grrr.... So I stand there for almost twenty minutes and finally another associate offers to help me at a register in a different department. And the stuff rings up at a price other than expected but I assumed that I must have added wrong, paid for the stuff and was on my way.

Of course it took me the whole way back across the mall, to the van to drop everything off and then to the grocery to pick up garbage bags to realize that I had paid more than I was supposed, at least $10. So back I go, and the cashier agreed with. Did I get my money back? Nope. She said that yes, the items should have been included in the sale, wasn't sure why they weren't but there was nothing she could do. Huh? Fine, she could keep the money but that's the last time I go in there.

After I got home, we loaded the little buggers up along with every single item of their bedding and made our way to the laundromat. We spent the next two hours there but smart momma I am, I was smart enough to bring a large tote full of games and toys just received for Christmas so they were well occupied for the most part. Every single blanket, comforter and sheet made their way through the ringer and the dryer. Even our sleeping bags. The kids have been so sick lately that their bedding had taken on a decidedly ripe air and there was no way I'd ever get that much done with just my lone washer. Still, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In the end, it was less than $30 and we had budgeted $50. And it's nice to have sweet smelling bedding on their beds again. Deedee especially was pleased to have her large wool blanket back and snuggled right up with it tonight at bed time. Charles the little rat immediately made a nest for himself so I don't know why I even bothered making the damn bed. I should have just piled everything on and let him have at it.

James was so well behaved and helpful, that we gave in and let him play Runebound with us. We drastically simplified the rules, and did only the super easy battles and adventures. The harder stuff wasn't even on the board at all so he didn't miss it. There are actually several stages to a battle, but we kept it at just one for his sake. But, it was a good opportunity to push counting, as well as money sense since he bought a few items for his hero. He had a lot of fun. Still, even as simplified as it was, it took the better part of an hour before he reached the 10 experience points he needed to win the game (our house rule for his game, certainly not the actual way to beat the damn thing or there'd be nothing to it) and that was even with Carey and I avoided the little areas on the map where one might encounter an adventure (and so, experience points). He was quite pleased with himself, and went quietly to bed.

Carey and I went sledding again but it wasn't as fun as it was last night. I'm not sure why but we came in after only 2 1/2 runs (the 1/2 was me, I came to an early stop). Still, I did enjoy it. We came in and played more of Runebound. We saw no reason to completely restart the game, so the different town markets were left with their interesting items and henchmen for sale, and we kept the experience points we had gained (they're used to pay for better abilities for our hero's). Carey also switched characters. The one he had was fine for James little game, but when it came to the bigger stuff that we were going after, it really sucked. Still, we enjoyed ourselves and I look forward to playing it again soon.

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