Walmart tried to kill my daughter!

That’s right, you read it correctly.  Walmart did in fact try to kill Aubrey.   Was intentional?  Probably not, but I would definitely call it premeditated. (for those of you who don’t understand sarcasm, just stop reading now)

On the 2nd of March, WIC finally changed our vouchers to the Alimentum Ready-to-Feed formula that Aubrey had been prescribed.  I was still in Kansas so Shane got the honor of going to Walmart to purchase the 26 bottles of formula with WIC.  I’m sure the cashiers saw him coming and said “Oh crap.”

Anyway, they only had 12 bottles on the shelf.  Not wanting to make another trip, Shane asked an associate if he could check in the back for more.  While waiting Shane checked the expiration date on the bottles he had.  (I’m an expiration date Nazi and have converted Shane)  About 20 minutes later the associate came back out with the 14 bottles of formula Shane needed plus about 20 bottles to stock the shelves.  Shane was irritated at this point because it doesn’t take 20 minutes to get formula and he could of been doing the rest of his shopping.  The associate puts the formula in the cart and Shane goes along his merry way.

Well, Shane didn’t put the bottles of formula up when he got home because he had no idea where I’d want to put them.  My flight landed the next day and I figured I would wait until weekend to tackle the insane amount of formula we had to store.  Saturday comes and I decide to put the bottles away.  As I’m putting them away, I’m checking the expiration dates so I can put the ones that expire the soonest towards the front.  (Told you I was a Nazi)  Well, about half way through putting it up I come across one that expired on March 1st!  I flip out and check all the other bottles.  Total we ended up with 14 bottles of formula that expired on March 1st.

At this point I’m pretty calm about it.  Shane checked the bottle in the fridge and it was fine, so she hadn’t been drinking the expired formula.  I call Walmart, thinking it shouldn’t be hard to just exchange the formula because it was their goof up.   One of the first questions out of the Customer “Service” Associates mouth is “Do you have a receipt?”  I replied, “Well, no I don’t because I’ve never been issued a receipt when I’ve made a purchase using WIC vouchers.  It’s always been stapled to the voucher.”  The reply I got was “Well, then you have to take it to the Health Department on Monday because it’s a codes violation for us to take it back from you.”  At this point I was getting slightly angry.  I asked to speak to a manger about this “codes violation”  I was supposedly transferred, but the phone conveniently disconnected.

Naturally, I call Walmart back.  I’m a little more upset now than I was to begin with.  I ask to be transferred immediately to a manager.  I speak to a young woman named Becky who seemed like she genuinely wanted to help.  I explain the situation and explain to her that I’m not trying to defraud them.  They are more than welcome to see that I have proof of the recent formula change.  They should also be able to look up the voucher for WIC in their system.  She apologizes and says that all we need to do is bring the expired formula up there and they will gladly exchange it.

Shane takes the formula to Walmart.  He stands in line for about 15 minutes and when he gets to the front, the customer “service” associate proceeds to ream him and tell him that she told “that woman” (being me) that she had to go to DHEC.  He explains that I talked to someone named Becky and she said we could exchange it.  She claims no one there goes by that name and calls him a liar.  At this point I’m not sure how he reacted because fortunately I wasn’t there.  She calls a manager over the radio, they tell her to exchange it and she makes him go get new formula.

This is where things get REALLY good.  There was convieniently 14 bottles of Alimentum Ready-to-Feed on the shelves.  Of course Shane checked the expiration dates before grabbing them.  Out of 14 bottles only 2 weren’t expired!!!  That’s 86% of the formula on the shelf! Shane said something to the associate working that department.  Well he said he would handle it “later”.  Shane went back to customer service and spoke to the same lovely woman.  She told him that he would have to just go to the health department and it wasn’t her problem.

Shane comes and tells me all of this.  Anyone who knows me, knows this isn’t something I’m going to just roll over about.  I called Walmart once again at this point.   I was so livid that I was actually crying.  Here is how the conversation went:

Associate: “Thanks for calling Walmart….blah, blah blah…….How may I direct your call?”

Me:  “Yes ma’am.  I need to speak to the store manager immediately.  I do  not wish to be put on hold as this is an urgent matter and if I don’t speak to someone now I will be calling a lawyer as well as the health department to report a few codes violations.”

Her:  Silence for a second, “Ma’am it will take me just a few minutes to get a manager on the line, but let me get your number if for some reason the call gets disconnected.”

Gave her my number and waited.

Bill:  “Thanks for calling Walmart, this is Bill, how can I help you?”

I explained the situation including the WIC, expired formula and the lovely customer service associates.  I also explained that I would be calling DHEC immediately after hanging up the phone because it is incredibly dangerous and illegal to sell expired formula.

Bill:  “Ma’am I will personally get this taken care of for you right now.  I apologize that you’ve had to go through this.  After raising 5 kids myself I know how expensive formula is and will do everything I can to get this resolved.”

He got my number and said that he would check their stock for formula and if they didn’t have it he would call the Walmart across town to get it and have it brought to his store so I wouldn’t have to drive any further.

An hour later I get a call back from his assistant, Stephanie.  Stephanie explained that the other Walmart had no formula on their shelves that wasn’t expired.  She seemed genuinely pissed at the entire situation and apologized profusely.  She was appalled that this stuff was even stocked.  She offered to let me return the formula for a cash refund and then I could go to the store of my choice to get Aubrey’s formula.  I agreed to this and went to Walmart.  When I got there she apologized once again.  I got my money and left.

The moral of this long story is to ALWAYS check the expiration date on any formula or anything you buy.  This isn’t the first time I’ve bought something for Aubrey that ended up being expired.  A few weeks ago I bought baby cereal from Piggly Wiggly that had expired the previous month.  They gave me no hassle with returning it though and even gave me double the price back for my trouble.  My issue wasn’t with the money as the formula was purchased with WIC.  My problem is that they are selling formula to families that could potentially harm our children.  My problem is that they refused to acknowledge their mistake until I threatened to report them.  My problem is that Walmart doesn’t issue a receipt with WIC purchases so I have no repercussions.  You can be that I will no longer be purchasing formula at any Walmart.  They have lost a customer for life.

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How to grow a monkey…

You take 1 part Shane, 1 part Ashley…….mix well, add a ton of cuteness and voila!  You have got one of the most adorable babies in history…

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Haven’t posted in a while, but there were TONS of requests for this recipe.  So, here ya go ladies.  Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Yumminess

  • 5-6 baking potatoes (about 3 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 ½ cups of milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen broccoli florets (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes with a fork; bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool.  (You can peel if you don’t like the skins, I usually don’t peel them though)  Cut into cubes, slightly mash.

Gradually spoon the flour into crock pot; gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.  Stir in soup, whisk.  Add cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in the sour cream, onions and broccoli (if used).  Add potatoes.  Give it a good stir and let it cook for 2 hours in Crock Pot on Low, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile: Broil slices of bacon in the oven to use as topping.  Serve soup in bowls and top with sour cream, chives and bacon.

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The Joy of a Child’s Laughter

It seems that no matter how bad my day is, one little gummy smile and giggle from Aubrey makes everything better.  I never really knew how much joy such a simple thing could bring.  I’ve been having a lot of issues with my back lately (4 herniated discs to be exact) and just leaning over to pick Aubrey up can be excruciating.  All it takes for me to ignore the pain is one little giggle from her.  It is really amazing how that little gurgly giggle can make all the pain worthile.

I’m still pretty frustrated over the issues with my back, but I’ve come to realize that there is nothing I can do at this point to change it so I’ve got to keep on trucking.  I am actually surprised at myself I have a nightstand filled with all kinds of medication for pain relief and I’ve maybe taken 2 in the past week.  I know that whatever I take passes through my breast milk and can affect Aubrey.  They can tell me it is safe all they want, but if it makes me sleep what will it do to the baby?  I’m pissed that my doctor tells me not to lift Aubrey in the car seat, not to carry her up and down stairs. I don’t think she realizes how unrealistic those demands are. I’m home alone with Aubrey all day.  Am I to not go downstairs to eat?  Am I not to carry her in her car seat for doctor’s appointments?  I can’t avoid carrying her which I know doesn’t help my back, but what choice do I have?

Aubrey goes to the doctor this morning and I cannot wait!  I’m praying that they don’t balk when I say I want to do a delayed vaccination schedule.  She’s my child and it is my decision.  Had I of not been so out of it from surgery she wouldn’t have received the Hep B vaccine right after birth that made her miserable.  I’m excited to see how much she weighs now.  I’m willing to bet she’s about 9 pounds.  I’m praying she’s a bit over because that means the Zantac is helping.  I’m so frustrated with her reflux it is unreal.  I know she’s frustrated too.  We’re going to talk to the doctor today about supplementing her with a formula that has rice starch in it.  I’ve tried it since the 4th using a can that I bought with some coupons I got.  It seems to be making a difference, but WIC doesn’t cover the formula.  I am hoping that if Dr. Minter writes a prescription for it that WIC will cover it and let me exchange the cans I have now for it.  If not we’re screwed because I simply cannot afford it.  It is so frustrating that we can’t afford formula, but it’s expensive.  I may just end up having to add cereal to her milk which is what I was trying to avoid.

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One Day at a Time

I’ve tried taking life one day at a time, but it seems several days attack me at once.  I had my 2nd MRI today after the one last week that they apparently screwed up.  I was done by about 9:30, came home and crashed in the bed with Aubrey.  After we woke up I went about my mommy duties and cleaned the house.  Apparently, while feeding Aubrey my cellphone was ringing off the hook.  My doctor’s nurse was trying to call and left me like 3 voicemails saying I need to come in TOMORROW to talk about my MRI results.  What the frick? I have an appointment Thursday.  What the hell is so important that I have to be there first thing tomorrow morning?  What is so important that you had to leave 3 seperate voicemails telling me to come in tomorrow?

Is an alien going to burst out of my back at any time now?  Am I going to explode?  Did the surgeon leave his keys in me during my c-section? I’m attempting to remain calm, but leaving voicemails like that 5 minutes before the office closed pisses me off.  Of course now I get to sit all night and think about all the possibilities.  I’m assuming it’s something bad.  If the MRI showed nothing they would let me keep my appointment Thursday right?  Yes I’m being a negative nelly and I do not care.

On a good note though, I am going to Kansas!!  I’ll be going some time next month.  It looks like it will be from around the 13th to the 21st.  I’ll be taking Aubrey with me.  Shane has a definite lack of mammary glands so it’s best if she travel with her source of food.  I’m nervous as hell about taking a baby on a plane.  I’m so excited that I get to see everyone though.  I haven’t seen any of my family there in over 2 years and I cannot wait.  I’m going to miss Shane, but it will be nice to get away from South Kackalacky for a while. 

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The ramblings of a sleep deprived mommy

Well, it’s 5 in the morning.  Have I slept yet?  Absolutely not.  Want to know why? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.  Aubrey has slept all night and for some illogical reason when she sleeps through the night I’m incapable of sleeping.  I have no idea why this is, but I am sure I will be a grumpy gus today.  Poor Shane.

So, it is 5 in the morning and I’m sitting here thinking about all that lies ahead this month.  First off I’m going to start selling Thirty One.  I’m actually really excited about this since I love the products, but I’m nervous about letting myself, Shane and my sister-in-law Becky down.  I’m so worried about doing sales in Florence because I don’t know anyone here other than Shane’s family.  The plan for now is to drive to Sumter where I know people and I know I can get sales, but what about afterward.  I’m not going to want to drive an hour a few times a week for parties.  Who knows maybe one of these days I’ll make a friend here.  It is so lonely living in a town where you don’t know anyone.  I spend my days locked in the house with Aubrey.  I’m not necessarily complaining, it just gets a bit depressing at times.  I feel like a lonely 8th grader standing against the wall at the school dance while everyone else has a great time.  I love my life at home with Aubrey and Shane, but I can help wishing that I had someone my own gender and my own age to share some of this with.  It would be nice just to have someone here to go grab a bite to eat with, go workout with and actually have an adult conversation with.  I can do all of that with my husband yes, but it’s not the same as having a friend.  I have Amanda, who I love dearly but she is an hour away.  I wish I had an Amanda in Florence.  She is the best friend I have and it kills me being so far away from her.

Well, I’m super excited about starting to sell Thirty One and I’m even going to sell Avon too.  I may not make a lot of money off of it, but I should make enough that I won’t have to go back to work outside of the house.  I loathe the thought of a daycare raising Aubrey.  I know that a lot of mom’s have no other choice and I may end up having to put her in daycare one day, but for now I want to spend every moment I can with the blessing that God gave me.

We’re also moving in a couple of weeks.  We have an apartment picked out and as soon as taxes roll in we’re moving!  Words can’t even describe how excited I am.  Shane’s parents have been wonderful enough to allow us to stay here for 6 months, but it’s time for us to leave.  I’m so happy!  It will be nice to feel like an independent adult again.  I’m going to miss Shane’s mom so much though.  Peggy has really been a blessing and Aubrey is going to miss seeing her every day.   Peggy has spent time with Aubrey virtually every day of her life.  Yet, my mother hasn’t even met her youngest grandchild.  I’m so hurt and disappointed by that.  It really bothers me that my mother can fly to Ohio to visit my sister, but she cannot drive the hour and fifteen minutes to meet her youngest grandchild.

On a positive note:  Aubrey has her 2 month check-up this week and I think the little chunker has finally hit 9 pounds!  It’s sad that most babies are born weighing that and she’s just now getting there.  She’s perfectly healthy though, just petite.  After she gets her shots and everything it’s off to get her ears pierced.  I can’t wait to see them done.  Well, I can just because I don’t want to hear her cry, but she’s going to look so pretty.

All in all this is going to be one busy month, but a great start to the year.  We’re moving, I’m starting a job that I think I will love and Aubrey is 2 months old.  Well, I suppose I should go to bed, it’s still dark out so maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep.

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What’s in a name?

Why the Peek-a-boo Chronicles do you ask?  When I made the decision at 3 in the morning to start a blog I had to of course think of a name for it.  What would be the perfect name for my blog?  What would represent me and this stage in my life?  Well, the way I figure it with a new baby I will probably be playing quite a bit of peek-a-boo in the coming months and years.  Since Aubrey is my favorite child, by default, I will most likely spend my time blogging about her.  And Peek-a-boo Chronicles was born at 3:30 in the morning on a Monday.  I wanted an easy way to chronicle the adventures and misadventures of this lovely journey called motherhood.  My daughter just turned 8-weeks-old and in the course of those 8-weeks I have discovered that when in doubt: “wing it”.  I envy the mother’s who make being a mom look easy.  This is by far the toughest job I have ever had.  It is also the most rewarding.  Every day I spend with Aubrey makes all the pain, tears and lack of sleep worth it.  Every smile makes me thankful that I have these precious moments with her, good and bad. 

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