Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The State of My Dress 2014

So news flash, I have just discovered the miracle of high rise pants. I am talking the highest of waists. I pull them up into camel toe territory and then lower them ever so slightly. I CINCH them in place with a belt and seal it all in with a nice form fitting long tank top. It feels great and I makes my shirts and ass look better.  I'd call that a fashion win, but I'm far from an expert in that arena. (read on) it has me feeling so great I thought you'd all enjoy reading about my recent fashion musings in my blog.

I'm not sure why it took me until my 30th year of life to learn how to properly wear pants. I may be a little slow to catch on in the "how to wear clothes" arena. Or it maybe because during my formative fashion years, the approximate distance between crotch and waist of any pant was 1.25 inches. In order to avoid crack issues in pants that low of a rise you must remain completely upright and straight-as-a-board. Now to mention they look horrible on anyone with hips that don't lie.
Low Rise Disaster. Her Hips Don't Lie.
In order to solve the dilemma of chilly backs and whacky cracks, the shirt makers of America got together and decided amongst themselves to elongate their product. Hats off to shirt makers for cover the ass of pants makers who dropped the ball around the turn of the millennium. I still very much appreciate your elongated shirt products even though I now rock the highest waisted pants and as a result no longer have issues with crack.

I am not really talking about the trend where you tuck shirts INTO high rise jeans. No, that way of pant-wearing is only for the trimmest and fittest of women. I'm advocating for slimming the hips by covering them with the high rise pant and shirt.

Some of you will say, I am a couple years behind the high waisted pant trend. Touche. However,  I am also still learning how to tie a scarf and by the time I master it, the trend will be over. Even still, I will stubbornly rock them for at least a year after the last fashionista decides to donate her scarf collection to goodwill. (Has that happened yet?) When it comes to fashion trends, I am so "far gone" that there is little hope I will ever return to a place where I feel comfortable in any place you find trendy people. I am actually so far gone I'm not really sure where trendy people congregate these days. If I had to venture a guess I'd say, juice bars?

You know  that Stacey London show where they followed frumpy moms around and secretly videotaped their daily fashion disasters and then made them give up EVERY THING THEY OWNED in exchange for a couple of fashionable outfits? Can I Netflix that show? When I actually watched it I was not in need of a makeover. Now, I very much am the frumpy mom at which the stylists would scoff as I went about my day. My secret videotape montage would sound something like this:
"Are those elastic bottom sweat pants? THEY ARE! This is a whole new level of frump! The least she could do is buy some yoga pants." - "Look at the puke stains on her shirt. She left the house without changing her shirt?! - "Did she even brush her hair today?" - "Can anyone tell us the last time she DID NOT put her hair in a ponytail. Anyone? Anyone at all? - "Wait! Back up, is that a hole in the crotch of her sweat pants?" 
 -Btw I TRY not to leave the house in my holey crotch sweat pants. I'm not gonna say it "never" happens.

I am JUST NOW discovering that being stylish and being trendy are different things! I KNOW! I offer this as a defense, the last time I even thought about fashion was just before I was forced into my first maternity clothes, I was 24 and trendy.

Oh my gosh, you do not know how desperately I need a gay man in my life that can order my fashion world. I would wear pretty much anything he said so long as he approved of  high rise pants. If pants near the belly button have no place in the wardrobe of a stylish 30 year old, well then count me out. I am desperately clinging to them, and you will have to pry them out of my cold dead fingers before I give them up when I've only just discovered them.

In absence of a style guru or a stint on What Not To Wear, I executed an exhaustive fashion investigation...and by that I mean Google searched it.  So here's what I learned: being stylish is dressing to fit your body and your taste within some conventional parameters. To do that effectively you need really solid "pieces" in your wardrobe upon which you can build outfits for many "seasons" and only "accent" with Tim Gunn approved trends to stay relevant. Well...that sounds complicated and expensive.

There is also a whole other issue that won't be addressed in this blog but deserves a shout out. This quest to bring "style" to the masses is patronizing at its most basic level. Like, GOD FORBID anyone consider cargo Capri pants acceptable. If you can't be someone's friend because they wear cargo capri pants you just shouldn't be anyone's friend. Didn't we get over this all in high school?

You know what show I would love to watch Tim Gunn's Goodwill Makeover. If he could walk into the Goodwill and build someone a wardrobe that was "stylish" on a shoestring, then I'd buy into the fashion world just a bit more. I just have a hard time with all the materialism that fuels the incessant need to make a statement with your clothes. But, that part of me is in direct contrast with the part of me that wants to look my best. I'm still working it all out and maybe that's another reason that for the better part of the last three years "comfortable" has been the driving force behind my fashion choices. I guess I can't blame it all on my kids.

I do plan to make some fashion improvements in 2014. Being "stylish" doesn't seem attainable nor am I convinced it's a worthy goal. If anything, I know that until I can wake up and have a reasonable expectation that I won't be puked on, or have snot or crummy hands wiped on me I'm sticking with a "wash and wear" wardrobe, which by definition is not stylish. I'm in the thick of it, and we're talking years here people. So as part of my New Year's resolutions,  I plan to look bit less disheveled and have maybe have three outfits that won't land me on anyone's frumpy mom list. On my budget that's about all I can reasonably commit to improving.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Cash For That

Hark, winter is upon us in all her majestic frostiness!

 If you have a kid of the age that still believes in magical Christmas then this time of year is once again fun for you. And it is every bit as exciting seeing it through the light of their sparkling eyes, until the part where you actually have to pay for presents. So extra congratulations to you if your child is currently in the even shorter age group where magical excitement and inexpensive taste coincide. Live it up while it lasts. And by live it up I mean buy them stuff from the dollar store. (Just don't let them put any of it in their mouths, because...China and lead.)

Luckily for us, J falls in this short-lived blissfully cheap category. He is just as excited about a new $1 Hot Wheel car as he is about a $25 remote control race car. When it comes to Christmas he's equally excited by the tree, the Abominable Snowman, and all the lights around town as he is the presents. He does have a "Christmas List" he will tell you about if you ask him. Here's a thrilling video just so you get a clear idea of the depth of his enthusiasm people.

So what he wants for Christmas is a basketball hoop for his bedroom (how he knows these exist or that we got him one a week ago and it is hidden in the basement, I do not know) a ball and two balloons. About every other day he'll add that he wants a race car with really big eyes to the list. Done and done on the cheap.

I've been to Toys R' Us one time since the holiday madness descended upon us in September (?) this year. J is growing like a beanstalk. Since we had gift card from his birthday I went there in search of pants. Clearance pants to be specific, because that's how I roll; I roll my cart straight to clearance in any store in which I step foot. Alas, they didn't have anything in his size. What they did have were half-crazed relations of children with very expensive toy habits. Have you seen the cost of the "Hottest New Toys!?!" Everything on those lists are upwards of $50 bucks. EVERYTHING.

Let me tell you the only time the words "HOT" and "NEW" excitement me is if you are talking about Krispy Kreme donuts. "HOT and NEW!"? No thanks. I'll take "FUN and DURABLE!" Or even better "GUARANTEED TO GIVE YOU FIFTEEN UNINTERRUPTED MINUTES OF PEACE WHILE YOUR CHILD PLAYS QUIETLY CLEARANCE!" Where is that aisle at Toys R' Us?

All this crazed damn-the-cost toy grabbing got me thinking about how to steer my kiddos away from extra expensive toys for the remainder of their childhood. Kids latch onto the most ridiculously priced things and for my liking there are way too many years between likes expensive toys and understands the value of a dollar. So here's my completely unrealistic masterplan to halt the development of expensive toy habits:

1. Never allow a child to play video games, because we'd have to sell a car to afford a new gaming system. Literally, most of us have owned cars worth less than the new Xbox thingamajig.

2. Similarly never allow a child to play with Legos. What begins as an innocent little Lego addiction inevitably grows and grows until they want this:

 Or God help you if your Lego lover ever finds out about this: 

3. Never ever allow a child to play with a Leap Frog Device. In fact, discourage technology all together...the Luddites were on to something. A one hour a week exposure to Oregon Trail can begin at about 10 years of age. This should be sufficient technology use until about 8th grade, then dig the TI-84 Scientific Calculator out from the box in your parent's basement, because an abacus just won't cut it these days.

4. Never allow a little one to have play dates with kids that have older siblings. Those little buggers know too much. You are risking exposure to very costly things, like technology (see #3).

5. Some parents ask potential playdate moms and dads about household guns or smoking, you ask potential playdate parents whether they own a Thomas the Train Table. Listen carefully, your little one must never be allowed to imagine these table exist outside of toy or book stores.

6. Never encourage children to play real hockey. Equipment and league fees will leave you poorer than a church mouse and...4AM ice times.

7. Read all books approximately 40 times before allowing into the home permanently. This has nothing to do with money except that therapy is expensive. Children do not tire of reading the same story over and over. THEY NEVER TIRE OF IT. You must make sure that cute innocent little story won't drive you into therapy when read 4000 times. Whomever blessed us with "A Crack in the Track" I could kill you with my bare hands. Not really, but almost.

8. Carefully cultivate your child's imagination, a love for the library and the great outdoors (as in just wandering around outside, not as in skiing, snowboarding, hunting or other expensive past times.) These things have only one thing in common...FREE!

9. Do not let a child watch commercials. DVR everything and fast foward through all advertising. Also in an effort to avoid advertisement exposure, immediately discard all junk mail.

Following these nine simple steps should ensure our boys remain oblivious to all expensive toys. In case of the small but significant chance that this masterplan fails and my children begin begging me for astronomically priced toys, fashions, or technologies. I have a back up plan. Here it is in six simple words,
"Ain't Nobody Got Cash For That!"
Yes sir, it's as simple as that. I heard  (a version of) it often enough growing up to make me aware of the value of a dollar. I grew up somewhere on the lower middle class end of the spectrum. There was money for food, sports, and clearance clothes. There is a reason I'm a bargain shopper. I got it from my mama.

I'm sure I bothered my parents at one point or another for things we couldn't afford. It wasn't that often though, because early on I realized there was no point to it. So just as soon as I could make money, I got busy making it. I worked my way through high school and college. It wasn't always fun but it was educational.

Living modestly is an excellent lesson to teach your kids even when your financial circumstances allow for more indulgence (ours doesn't). It is never a bad thing to know how to live inexpensively. Being upfront and honest about your family's financial circumstances helps show your children the things you truly value. There is no shame in being unable to afford material things. NO SHAME PEOPLE. Your children will adapt well to any financial circumstance so long as they are safe, well-fed, and attention is paid to them. Most of the people we look up to in this world started with very little. Many of them died with very little.
That being said J is getting three (smallish) presents from us for Christmas. Santa is bringing one big awesome castle set. But truthfully, Santa is being bankrolled by J's birthday gift cards. Whoever gave him the Amazon card last month, practice your HO HO HO because this year you a Yeager child's Santa. As for my other oh so adorable child? Well he's five months old. He is oblivious to the holiday madness, and he isn't getting jack from us for Christmas cause ain't nobody got cash for that!

Merry Christmas to you all and to quote the great Clark Griswald, when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down your chimney I hope he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bull In A China Shop

For all Gods blessings in my life, this wasn't how I pictured closing out my twenties. Not in any dramatic WOE IS ME way. I am happy, fulfilled, challenged, grateful and blessed. I have an awesome, hardworking, caring, dedicated husband. I have a safe and warm house, filled with lots of love. I have two awesome little boys that are my EVERYTHING. I live to smell them, hold them, hear them, teach them, this list could go on forever, I won't bore you. I am a parent, my kids rock.

So what I'm getting at is this, I NEVER pictured being a mother to boys. It it insane really. I mean you would think that I'd at least have considered the possibility since they are, I don't know, HALF THE POPULATION. I came from all girls, my mom came from all girls, my dad loved being a dad of all girls. We were just a girl family. We were the kind of girl family that played sports, did yard work and built things, so I'm no fish out of water over here in Boyland but...I am firmly encamped in Boyland.

So one of the things I never pictured having to deal with is how to keep my children from killing one another. Sure with girls there are some fights. There are some accidents where someone gets hurt. There are some, pushes, hits, pinches, that must be addressed. But on a whole raising girls, there is a whole lot less of the type of "fighting" or "playing" that can land someone in the hospital.

We are only at the beginning of this brother vs. brother roller coaster. But it feels like I have to maintain a constant vigilance, because J has begun taking MUCH to big an interest in his brother. Not like a "Good morning brother, how are you? Would you like to watch me play with my trains?" kind of interest. More like a, "Imma wrestle brother. Imma ride on brother's back. Imma shove leaves into brother's face, Imma feed brother my almonds," kind of interest.  J just doesn't seem to understand that his 3 month old brother doesn't wrestle or give horseback rides, and shouldn't eat leaves or TREE NUTS.

Having a newborn in a house with a three year old is like having a bull in a china shop, except the china shop is ACTUALLY YOUR BABY. 
I think this is why F immediately rolls to his stomach when he is on the ground, why he is trying to crawl already. What we think of as determined, adorable, albeit agonizingly slow army crawling, is really just a desperate attempt to escape.

No amount of parenting, gentle correcting, conjoling, pleading, compromising, bribing, or punishing seems to make a difference here. I am hesitant to limit brother to brother contact but that feels like the logic next step. I don't want F getting hurt. So far, thank God he hasn't, but at this point it is possible.

J isn't particularly aggressive or anything, but he is STUBBORN. I think it is his stubborness that drives most of his unwanted behavior toward his brother. He knows we don't like it, so he does it for attention. I tell you what man, three is a challenge. I am 14 days in people, and there ain't no turning back.

TERRIBLE TWOS? Lies. It must be evolution or something because at some point since the dawn of man the Terrible Twos shifted to Terrible Threes, and no has bothered to correct it. The threes are MUCH worse than the twos. Experienced parents will almost always support this claim.  Parents of two year olds, myself included, tend to think they have an angel child when they breeze through the first nine months of their child's second year. I am sorry to tell you, shit hits the fan much closer to three. You have not escaped your brief stay in hell. Someone just gave you the wrong dates, sweetheart.

 Let's just stop this nonsense shall we? Call a joint meeting of the Big Six,  pass a resolution, whatevs. Just so that innocent parents don't feel like a thief in the night came and stole way their sweet little angel and replaced him with a mini dictator. I make a motion to BANISH the Terrible Twos from our tongues and replace it with the Terrible Threes. We are evolving or devolving, most assuredly, it's one of the two. It's definitely a sign of the times. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Stop Slappin' Bees Son!"

J developed a habit of slapping bees this summer. The first time he did it on the playground, he slapped a bee into the slide and crushed it. I admonished him NEVER EVER to do that again.
"NEVER SLAP A BEE SON. It will sting you! You'll cry!"
This lesson, WHOOSH, right over head. Not a week went by before he crushed a bee against my car. Bam!
"I got you bee!" He squealed with delight and complete ignorance.
"J! Do not SLAP bees son!"
"Imma slap beeeeeeeeees mama! I got you bee!" 
Pride comes before the fall people. Pride before the fall. Lessons learned the hard way have a way of sticking. From his gleeful declaration I could tell no amount of admonishing was going to work.

A week or so goes by and then on a nice walk at Parker Mill. Lindsey, J, and I encounter a swarm of bees by the river, A SWARM. Listen, I was nine when My Girl came out. I lost my shite when Thomas J died.

My J gets to stompin'. He's fixin' to get him a bee. (My Gram would say.)

No nooooo and no.

Do not stomp on, near, or around a swarm of bees. We were two women with a newborn and a child and we were running.  This wasn't the time to let J learn the hard way. We are grown ass women. We don't trifle with bees.

So the summer rolls on and the bees are getting more aggressive, but so is J. He gets another one at the park. He gets one at the apple orchard, crushes it right against the little bench we are sitting on enjoying our cider mill donuts. Since I wasn't done with my donut, and I have heard bees can sting posthumously, I broke a little twig off and let him examine the bee with it.

He was very proud and rattled off a little,  "I got you bee" tune. He wanted to take bee home and show daddy, so wrap we it in a napkin and stored it in the donut bag. At this point I'm starting to feel a little pride in his bee slapping abilities. I wasn't encouraging it, but by the fifth or so kill my strict admonishing had turned into a slightly exasperated,
"Stop slappin' bees son!"
The day of reckoning came early last month. After a long beautiful day of playing and hiking, and making new friends, we were packing up the car to head home. I picked J up to say our goodbyes and had turned for the car when a bee flew between us. This was an end of the year bee, the kind of bee that will buzz around, all up in your grill. I turned away from the bee but not fast enough for Sir Speedy Hands.

Before I knew it, J had slapped the bee into his cheek. I immediately ran for the grass to lay him down. I was SURE that he could not have performed that action without consequence, but there was none of the crying and carry on I would expect from a child who had just SQUASHED a bee INTO his cheek. I peeled back his hand to reveal little red dot.
"J are you okay? Did the bee sting you? Can you hear me?" I asked fearing he maybe in toddler shock.
A slow smile spread across his face. The red blotch spreading up his cheek had reached the underside of his shining brown eyes.
"Bee got me Mama! Bee got me!...I got you bee!" He said.

Wait, this was supposed to be the moment the lesson sank in. There was no crying. Sinking in, it was not. I could tell the lesson was still floating somewhere in the stratosphere. After a summer of slapping bees, the bees were supposed to have won. J still looked for bees to slap through October, but as it got colder they got harder and harder to find. As near as I can figure, the score for the summer was J- 5 Bees-1.

It's November now so all the bees are long gone. Hopefully this will all blow over by next summer, and he will develop a proper respect for bees. Even then, "stop slappin' bees" will be in my vocabulary. You can use it too. It is a flexible phrase used in place of "don't tempt fate." I promise if you use it you'll sound cool.

Every Square Inch

For modern American standards we live in a small house. According to the Federal Census site the median square feet of new home builds in 2010 was just over 2100 square feet. The mean was slightly large than that. We are four people and two cats living in 900 square feet.  Don't get me wrong, we are blessed. I am gratefully for every square inch but, I COUNT EVERY SQUARE INCH. Sometimes I see a toy and want to charge it rent.
Dear Enormous Elephant Given to  My Son Before Birth,
The only purpose you serve is to sit by J's door and get pushed over and laughed at 3-5 times a day. It is a cruel world that you inhabit, this ain't Toy Story. You are taking up entirely too much room in my little old house. So if you are going to stay, Imma gonna need more from ya. Mmm kay?
For ten months of the year I can usually combat my feeling of being buried alive by toys by breathing deeply and remember that MOST of the rest of the world has the opposite problem. There are SO many kids in this world that would see our modest house filled with all these toys and consider us rich. It helps to remember that and be grateful for it.

But, then the weather gets gets colder and the trees drop their leaves and shiver along with us. We get out our woolly socks and house shoes. We greet the day by heaping on our layers in a futile attempt to replace the warmth of the bodies and blankets that we left behind in bed. The shorter days and colder weather drive us indoors where we wonder why we ate sooooo many cider mill donuts in the month of October and complain about the pitfalls of less exercise and holiday gluttony. Then WE DESTROY the living room with our Hotwheels, trains, Legos, books, balls, airplanes, STUFF. It is a simple fact of life that more indoor play means more mess. 

J's birthday ushers in November and my seasonal panic attacks. This is followed by December which means Christmas. Again, we are blessed. This isn't a complaint more than it is just a fact. We have lots of people that love my boys. For the better part of the last three years J has had the distinguished role of being the only child in either of our immediate families. That is until Freddie came along this summer and knocked him off his high horse. But, having such generous family and friends means J got A LOT of new toys for his birthday last weekend. They are currently residing on our basement floor. I have not the nerve to move them upstairs just yet.

In anticipation of my "there is crap EVERYWHERE I look" seasonal panic attack, last year we specified "No Gifts Please" for his second birthday party. At that point J had no idea what a birthday was. I knew he would not miss the presents. Guess what. People. Still. Brought. Gifts. And not just one person or two people, EVERY PERSON. I lost that battle. I fear I am losing the war. When F gets old enough to receive his own toys. I may need a brief stay in a mental institution.

I severely limit the number of toys I buy for J and F. For the most part J has gotten useful items from us for birthdays and Christmases. In the past we have given new shoes, snowsuits, a balance bike, toys that drive them outdoors, toys that can be stored in the garage, toys that I don't have to look at strewn across my floors, toys that I don't trip over in the kitchen, I am VERY into these type of toys. But, I recognize that kids need some toys they can play with inside. They also need new toys to stimulate their brains and encourage new types of play. It is nice that we can restock on new toys for J's birthday and Christmas and that we have family members that enjoy giving him those gifts. I am simply looking for a balance that feels right for everyone.

To combat the gluttony of stuff we have, we do a toy exchange and store half them in the basement. If it were strictly my call I'd donate half our toys. But instead we rotate them every few months. We are going to have to make some tough decisions. My husband built these incredible and large shelving units that line our storage room in the basement and the free wall in the garage. But, those shelves are lined with bins that are full of stuff. We are quickly approaching maximum capacity, and with Christmas right around the corner, I foresee trouble...And a sparse room with four white walls...maybe a straight jacket and a little plastic cup of pills.

Is it in your heart to talk to your children about the dangers of over consuming? When can children BEGIN to grasp these concepts? I don't think J is there yet but I will be looking for ways over the next year that I can start having these conversations with him.

Have you set gift giving boundaries with generous family members? Have you donated your kids old toys? Or are you holding on to them for future children? 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

IKEA I Wish I Knew How to Quit You.

I live 30 minutes from IKEA. It is the reason I have a never ending supply of luxurious dinner napkins. Did you know IKEA has the most cost efficient quality napkin in the known universe? And they have these:

IKEA for these specific and trivial things. I love you.

But, let me lay this down mathematically for you:
Proximity + Budget = It looks like a Swedish warehouse store threw up in my living room.

IKEA I hate you.

IKEA I wish I knew how to quit you!

I very recently took a trip to IKEA for blankets. You see 'round these parts when you find yourself in need of about 10 fleece blankets and you have a budget of about $25 dollars the only game in town is IKEA.

This was supposed to be a quick trip. I had Halloween and J's birthday party two days apart. I had very little time but I needed those blankets in a bad way. I planned an outdoor baseball party in November in Michigan because I'm special. So when the weather called for 48 degrees with possible rain, I did what any logical person would do and went to IKEA for blankets. You know blankets to put in the basket. Like I saw on Pinterest. Because it is cute.

But people, there is no such thing as a quick trip to IKEA. Anyone intent on a quick IKEA run is liable to wind up in need of a therapy session. Especially if said trip occurred on the weekend.

(Hush now. Listen. Gather round. Let me impart unto you a wise lesson. NEVER go to IKEA on the weekend.)

Quick trip eh? It. cannot. be. done. IKEA will suck you in, chew you up, and spit you out at a bare minimum of an hour later. That is if you utilize the "shortcuts" and run through the store at mock speeds. It helps to watch a few episodes of Super Market Sweep first.

The whole IKEA concept will warp your mother loving mind. One should not be able to furnish an entire apartment with furniture that fits in one's sedan.


First of all, there are two floors and to get to the first floor you have to go to the second floor. You have to go up to come down. Issac Newton must have consulted on the floor plan. It is not ingenious. It is stupid. And endlessly frustrating when what you want (the blankets) are on the first floor. The master plan is to force you have to wind through the entire one billion square foot sales floor to get to the registers.

Hoping to improve my odds of making it out alive I asked the young gentleman in the snappy yellow polo for directions to the blankets.
"You are looking for bedroom textiles?" 
"Yes, specifically the cheap fleece throws."
"Hummina Hummina Hummina, the cheap one." 
"I'd guess you are looking for the POLARVIDE. It is the most popular of our inexpensive throws."
"Right, cheapest. Where?"
"Go to the END OF THE EARTH. When you get there make a left. Pass through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, look to your right. You should find them there."
So here I am winding 'round and 'round like a crazy person, weaving through hordes of people with those RIDICULOUS crazy wheeled carts. Ugh those carts! What is with those flipping carts? Are they Euro-Carts? I am pretty sure someone has blown out a knee trying to maneuver those suckers. It is NOT helpful whatever is going on with the wheels on those carts that makes them not REGULAR.

To top the shopping experience off, there are no windows or clocks on the sales floor because time does not exist with in the four walls of IKEA.  You can go in on a Monday and come out shaking and confused on Wednesday. Wondering,  "What the hell just happened? Do I need a rape kit? Where the f is my car? And how am I going to magician all of these reasonably affordable home goods into my passenger vehicle?" (Might have to strap a kid to the roof. No! Do not take children to IKEA. Do not. Seriously just don't. )

I thought I was making good time. I was not. I came out and it was dark. It should not have been dark.

You know how IKEA used Nazi Prison Camp laborers to build furniture in the 40's? Horrifying, I know. They have since apologized. (Ya think!?!) Well it is certainly no surprise to me that the same company that thought that was a good idea would also design a store like this. Heartless bastards. Makes you want to kick 'em in their Swedish meatballs.