Monday, September 29, 2008

Wishful thinking

For the past three or four weeks, Louis and I have received lots and lots of mail from Harrah's Laughlin, where we stayed for three nights this past July for our 2nd wedding anniversary. Every single letter or flier we have received has been for FREE ROOMS. F.R.E.E. When the first letter came, I begged and begged Louis to take me back there. It was rather pathetic. I thought this was a big rarity that we had to take advantage of, pronto. I was sorely dissapointed with his response:

A big, fat, NO!!!

Louis's reasoning?
1. We didn't exactly come home with cash overflowing in our pockets from our last hurrah there. Rather, we wound up losing quite a bit in the casino. We know when to stop gambling, but let me just say that we spent our ENTIRE gambling allowance for the trip. He's not too keen for a repeat excursion. Thus, the trip would not be FREE. Especially when you factor in gas money (Expedia gave us a $50 gas card when we booked our anniversary stay; we would have to pay for it all this time around), food, and other entertainment.
2. The rooms were only good weekdays, and Louis didn't want to take any more time off of work during the week right yet. Boo.
3. The rooms were for November. It was HOT when we went in July; it's sure to be COLD in November. Definitely not river weather. Which leaves us with the only entertainment option of... gambling! Which brings us back to point #1.

Then the letters kept coming. One right after other, giving us free rooms for various reasons- blackjack tournaments, impersonation concerts, slot tournaments... and they kept coming. Nearly ever single day. We just got another letter in the mail today. It's kind of funny, actually. Hopefully this will keep up next year for our anniversary; although I doubt they're going to be sending freebies our way during the high tourist season.

Truth be told, I"m not all that anxious to go to Laughlin other than the fact that Mommy needs a vacation every once in a while. I know I just had one a few months ago... but a girl can dream, can't she?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, Craigslist!

I am the kind of girl that lives for getting good deals. It is very rare that I buy something (especially groceries and clothing) for full price. I shop the sales... buy off-brand when applicable... and clip my coupons! I am both of my grandmother's granddaughters in that sense (or at least in the first and last part!) I am so proud of myself when I look at the bottom of my grocery receipts and see exactly how much money I have saved, especially if I wound up getting something for free by using double coupons back to back with a sale.

Louis introduced me to Craigslist back in April, I believe, when we were shopping for a washing machine and drier. We needed one, and wanted a good one, but after looking at the retail sales, decided that we couldn't afford a brand-new one. So to Craigslist we went. We found a brand new (used for a MONTH before the owners moved and wound up with the wrong hookups!), TOP OF THE LINE Maytag washing machine and drier for $300. Total. We couldn't even find A washer or A drier for that price, let alone a set. A brand new fancy set. And then we found a brand-new window air conditioner for $100. The people paid $500 for it months before and decided to install central air. How lucky could we be... twice?!

One of my friends, Michelle, has a son who is just about Jeremiah's age; almost two months older. This boy has practically all of Toys r Us inside of his house. Going to his house to play is such fun for Jeremiah because he doesn't have a whole lot of toys at our house. Sure he has some but I am not one to spend a truckload of money on toys, and the toy sales at Toys r Us and even Target are rare and usually only 10-20% off retail. After our first visit to his house I went on Craigslist and found deals upon deals galore... lots of the bigger items that Braden has for just a fraction of the cost. Jeremiah's toy stash is now very well padded.

Anyway, so about a month ago I branched out to selling things on Craigslist- a toaster oven that Louis and I bought when we were engaged but never opened (or ever planned to; we have an awesome toaster), a Sunbeam stand mixer (engagement present from my grandma Sally, but my Grandma Arlene gave me her Kitchenaid mixer, which has a lot more features), and most recently, a few boxes of used baby clothes from newborn-2T. My mom's neighbors gave me three huge trashbags full of them that their grandson used for Jeremiah. I went through them and found FOUR things that I wanted to keep for him. I threw away a lot of the stained stuff and was left with two bags full. I wanted to donate them to my brother's church for missions trips but there were no pending plans for them, so I posted them onto Craigslist for free, minus the newborn-6 month stuff. I posted a whole box of those (which were in better condition than the rest) for just $10. I gave the free stuff away very quickly, and had a response for the $10 box on Saturday night.

Sunny, the lady that responded, had some sob story about how she is due with her first child in just 10 days, has nothing for the baby and no money. She wanted the clothes and for me to meet her to give them to her, and she would reimburse me some gas money. After finding out that she lived an hour away in a BAD part of LA, I said no, she has to come to me. She then asked what I could donate to her because she was so bad off. I told her I'd give her a few receiving blankets (ones that I didn't intend to use for our future children because they weren't large enough for swaddling Jeremiah as an infant), but then she had the nerve to ask me for his STROLLER! Perturbed, but still wanting to sell the box, I told her I had nothing more to donate but to come over anyway.

She said she'd come Sunday night. No Sunny.

Then it was Monday night. She said she' d be there by 7:30. No Sunny.

Tuesday night... I was on the phone with her "husband" back and forth for hours. NO SUNNY. I let her have it at 11:00 pm, spent about 10 minutes yelling at her for keeping me waiting, screwing me over, and having me cancel my evening plans to sit around and be stood up again. Her husband swore they'd be there the next day at noon.

I posted the box back up for sale, not thinking they'd ever show up. I had four hits within the hour.

He showed up at 3:00 p.m. I was in a state of shock that he even came! As I was getting him the box, along with a few other things I told her that I would sell her (again, dumb things that I had no intention of using again), Husband told me that Sunny had the baby at 4:00 that morning and wanted him to get as much free things from me as possible.

For once in my life I was NOT a pushover to somebody with a sob story. I think being a substitute teacher to snotty kids has given me a backbone.

My stroller is still in my garage.

So there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly of my experience thus far with Craigslist! It's been quite a week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hi, Everybody!

Welcome to my new blog! I decided that it was time for me to retire my Xanga and start a new journal. As you know, (or maybe you don't if you are tuning into my blog for the first time) I have the most ADORABLE 9 1/2 month old (10 months next week!) son, Jeremiah. Like him, the posts in here are probably going to be short and sweet. My days are spent keeping up with him- he is a very active little boy who loves to spend his time exploring the world (and sometimes getting into mischief here and there!). I will blog when I can, but usually my posts are cut short when Jeremiah wakes up from his nap (like he ironically is doing right at this moment). So welcome, enjoy and I am looking forward to writing in here! Drop me a line when you read this just to say hi or leave a little comment!