Mom’s Visit | Day 3

I picked out two shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a package of socks for Liam, and we found a cute sensory animal book for him as well. It has words I can read to him, as well as pictures of animals, and little patches of “fur” textures for him to touch. When you press on the textured spots, it makes the noise of that animal. I was excited, because I’ve been looking for a book just like that for him, and this was the first I had seen. It wasn’t until we got home that we realized that the whole back half of the book is a misleading block of fake pages, where the batteries and noise boxes are, and that it is actually only a few pages long. Very misleading, and definitely not worth the $13 it cost.

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[You can read about Days 0-1 here, and Day 2 here!]

Hello, friends. Despite yesterday being not-so-fantastic, today was pretty good! It was unbearably hot, and we had made zero plans for the day, but I knew I wanted to stay indoors as much as possible. I wanted a little bit of alone time with my son, just to bond and relax, so I told my mom that we could meet up later in the day, some time after Liam’s lunch and nap, and then maybe do some afternoon shopping. I made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for Liam and I for lunch, which had provolone cheese, parsley, avocado, and tomato (his was deconstructed, since he still doesn’t have many teeth), and they were so delicious. I haven’t cooked, or really made anything at home, in days!

We ended up meeting up much later than planned, thanks to some technical difficulties on my mom’s end with Facebook. Even though she was on it all day, she never saw any notifications for the half a dozen messages I sent her telling her she could come over at that point. After over two hours of waiting for her, I messaged Kyle and asked him to text her (I still don’t have minutes), since I knew she would get that right away. Sure enough, she did, then messaged me back immediately, very upset that she had missed all my messages. I was thankful for the time I got to spend with Liam (as well as a fantastic nap that I snuck in before lunch), but happy to finally get out and do some shopping.

She picked us up, and told me all about her morning and afternoon exploring the town. She went down to the waterfront, somewhere I didn’t even know existed, and relaxed by the water, sipping her coffee. We talked about possible plans for tomorrow, and I pointed out a few possible dinner options for tonight. We got to Walmart, and did a couple laps around the store. I picked out two shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a package of socks for Liam, and we found a cute sensory animal book for him as well. It has words I can read to him, as well as pictures of animals, and little patches of “fur” textures for him to touch. When you press on the textured spots, it makes the noise of that animal. I was excited, because I’ve been looking for a book just like that for him, and this was the first I had seen. It wasn’t until we got home that we realized that the whole back half of the book is a misleading block of fake pages, where the batteries and noise boxes are, and that it is actually only a few pages long. Very misleading, and definitely not worth the $13 it cost. Oh well.

I didn’t see anything there that I liked, mostly because Walmart only has three options for women: Too tight junior clothes in neon colors, workout clothes, and… well, clothes that even my 50 year old mother thinks are too old for her. So I got nothing, which was fine with me, since I’m still not comfortable letting her spend money on me. She bought some cute things for Liam, so that seemed to satisfy her urge to spend.

After Walmart, we went to Culver’s for dinner, since she had never been, and talked about the past. She asked me if I still kept in touch with the handful of friends I had in high school, which I do, and told me that she bumps into them every now and then. She asked me questions about my ex, and his family, and about our breakup, which I honestly didn’t mind answering. It’s not like I really have friends I can talk to about it, even though it was over 3 years ago, it was nice to be able to bitch about him and his family for a minute, ya know?

After dinner, we headed to the mall to visit with Kyle before he got off work, and Liam happily ran barefoot through the empty store. We decided that since Kyle has tomorrow off, we would head to one of the neighboring towns, where there is a huge indoor swimming pool, and do some swimming. It is supposed to be stormy and yucky for the next few days, so this will be a nice alternative, assuming it isn’t really crowded. The hotel pool where my mom is staying is still being renovated, and we spent a lot of money on swimsuits, and don’t want them to go unused. I am excited. Liam hasn’t had a lot of exposure to water, aside from the tub, and when he dumps his water cup on himself, so I am hoping he has fun. As for me, I haven’t been swimming in nearly 7 years. And I looove swimming.

It was a good day. I got some alone time with my kiddo, as well as a nice nap. Kyle is home now, so we are going to cuddle up on the couch and continue watching The Adventures of Merlin on Netflix. I can’t remember if I recommended that yet, but seriously, you guys should check it out if you’re into magic and fantasy and lore and adventure. It is quite fantastic!

Hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday, thanks for reading!

Jan

Trolls, Stress Cleaning, and Milk Showers… Oh My!

Hello, friends! I know my blog has been quite bare as of late, but I promise that I will be back soon! After exactly 4 weeks of nonstop sleep regression and separation anxiety, resulting in what seemed like endless rocking in our very uncomfortable rocking chair, we are now on day three of kiddo getting himself to sleep without needing to be rocked, and sleeping through the night! I have slept more in the last three days than I have in over a month… at least, that’s how it feels.

I don’t have anything specific to talk about, and I can’t focus enough to do today’s prompt, so I thought I would just tell you a little bit about the crazy day that I’ve had.

My day started off with being fortunate enough to be able to sleep in until 7:30, the latest I have been able to sleep in since Liam got sick. Kyle decided to wake up with us, and he offered to make breakfast for the first time in… well, ever. So we had a yummy family breakfast of French toast, which was nice. I then spent the rest of the morning trying to convince Kyle to help me clean around the house, and that went absolutely nowhere, so on top of doing a huge load of dishes, I finally got around to taking all of Liam’s 12 month clothes out of his dresser, which haven’t fit him in months, and putting all of his 24 month clothes in with his 18 month stuff. I also cleaned his room, and organized his shelves, with his “help“, of course. It is absolutely insane to think that my sweet, little 14.5 month old boy is already wearing 24 month clothes. WHAT. HOW?!

I also spent much of today trying to get my son to keep his clothes on, as he has been stripping himself completely naked every chance he gets lately. I’m not joking. While I was doing the dishes, and Kyle wasn’t watching him, Liam walked up behind me, got naked, and proceeded to hug my legs from behind. I looked down and all I saw was a cute, naked baby! I didn’t get to finish the dishes, because Liam was being a clingy butt, but  he was ready for his nap, which he went down for without a fight. Once he woke up, I decided to walk to the playground with him after his lunch so he could burn off some oh his crazy, toddler energy. We were completely alone in the park, which made me feel really tired for some reason. It started getting chilly, so after nearly an hour pushing him on the swing (his absolute favorite, he will not let me take him out until he is absolutely ready), and several (almost) mouthfuls of rocks, grass, dirt, and twigs, we walked back home, stopping at Casey’s for a cheese stick snack for Liam, and a huge slice of veggie pizza for me.

After we got home, Liam played for a bit on his own, and I engaged in a war of words with several trolls on a parenting article about attachment parenting, and the CIO method, and other things. I really hate when I post a logical, thought out comment, and people just attack the fuck out of it, and pull wild assumptions out of their ass about me. So fucking annoying. So unnecessary.

Then, it was time for dinner! I put Liam in his seat so he could eat, went to the bathroom for no more than two minutes, and returned to find that he had given himself a shower with his milk. He doesn’t use a sippy cup anymore, he uses a regular cup with a lid and straw. Lately, he has been doing this thing where he takes his straw out, tips his cup upside down, and watches the liquid pour out. Today, he decided to do it on his head. Fun. I then wiped up the floor, his chair, and the table, all while he tugged at my hair, and gave him an early, emergency bath. I decided to stress cleaned my bathroom while he splashed around happily, so it worked out for both of us. My bathroom is now spotless!

Oh, why have I been stress cleaning you ask? Well, let me tell you. My mom messaged me a few days ago, and decided to inform me that, without speaking to me about it first, she went ahead and booked a plane ticket, car, and hotel to come and visit us for an entire week at the end of May. All non-refundable, of course.

So, I’ve been losing my mind.

My mom and I are not close. At all. Never have been. In fact, she is the reason I moved halfway across the country. After not seeing her for a few years, I decided to surprise her for her birthday, and flew back home to see her. I was supposed to spend three days at her house, and one day at my dad’s…. well, that isn’t what happened. My mother is immature, passive aggressive, and just… I honestly don’t know. After one day of dealing with her, I couldn’t take it anymore. I spent the night at her house, but ended up spending the rest of the time at my dad’s. She didn’t seem to care.

That was four years ago. Now, I have a child, her first grandchild, and I can certainly understand why she would want to come and see him, but I am furious that she did not even run it by me first. She has been talking about coming out here for a whole year, but always cancels or flakes at the last minute, and spends her vacation time doing something else. Whatever. Not only did she spring this on me out of nowhere, but she ignored me telling her several times in the past that a week is way too long. WAY. TOO. LONG. For one, we live in the middle of nowhere. There is NOTHING to do here. At all. Nothing. Second, I am broke. Broke as shit, and I do not want her spending a fortune on me. Third, Liam doesn’t know her. He has never met her. He still doesn’t even want to be around the people he DOES know, but she doesn’t get that, and seems to think that she will get to spend all of her time playing with him joyfully. Nope. Not going to happen. Besides, he goes to bed at 7:00… what the hell are we supposed to do after?

So not only ALL of that, but she also tried to guilt me into uprooting my family, and spending an entire week with her in some lodge. Are you joking? No. Absolutely not. She got so offended when I tried to tell her that, not only can we absolutely not afford that, but Kyle is still looking for a job, and we have NO idea what will even be happening then.

Speaking of Kyle and work… still no luck on the job front. He had a Skype interview with AT&T, which went really well, but they ended up not choosing him for another interview. That was the only job, out of dozens, that even gave him a call back, so we are starting to stress. A lot. We have enough in savings to cover bills for this month, and for May, but nothing else. He finally has been getting house at his other job, but they have been cutting hours so badly for everyone, and it is so unpredictable. I have a lot of baby stuff that I can sell, but that takes time. I’m keeping my hopes up, but we’ve been here before, and it took months and months…

So there you go! That’s what’s been going on with me lately. Since kiddo fell asleep right away, I’m off to stress clean my living room.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Resale Woes: 7 People NOT to Be When Buying/Selling

What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

I’m all for saving money. I’m all for making money. I’m not ashamed to admit that lately I’ve been buying most of our clothes and baby items from thrift stores, clearance racks at Target or Walmart, and from local resale groups on Facebook (these are great for baby clothes and items especially). I almost never pay full-price for clothes, unless it is absolutely necessary. Especially when it comes to baby clothes. What’s the point? My son has been outgrowing clothes before he’s even gotten to wear them! But because I enjoy saving money and buying things secondhand, I spend a lot of time on Facebook browsing through various local resale groups, buying and selling used items (mostly baby stuff these days).

I’m fair. I’m nice. I’m accommodating. I’m patient. Because of I am all of these things, you would think that the majority of my interactions with people when buying and selling would be positive, right? No. Nooo. Not at all. I get it, most of us are short on money these days, and we join these groups to save time and money, so that we can take better care of our families. But there are some incredibly rude, inconsiderate people in these groups, who are solely looking out for themselves, and not willing to be a part of the community. Here’s a list:

1) The Re-reseller:
This person is a snake, and I see them all the time. Luckily, most of the Facebook groups that I’m in have strict rules against these types of people, but sometimes they slip through the cracks. For those of you who don’t know what a Re-reseller is, they prey on people who list very cheap/free items (usually posted specifically for people who are in need of them), buy the items, and then relist them back in the group with higher prices. Most of the groups I’m in have rules where you can relist an item you bought from the group, but only for the same price that you bought it at. It’s sad that rules like this even need to be made for groups like this, but, you know. People suck. I should note that there are people who make a living doing this type of thing on eBay, Craigslist, etc., and that’s fine. More power to you. But when you are doing it in a Facebook group for needy families, you’re an asshole. Period.

2) The WIC Fraud Fools:
This one seems to be a touchy subject for people, and it also seems to vary by county and state. In my county, it is against the WIC program rules to sell any formula, food, or baby food that were purchased with WIC checks. This should be self-explanatory. You got these items FOR FREE from a group that exists solely to help supplement families in need, and you then sell them for profit. Sketchy. I see this ALL the time. And the groups I’m in don’t really have rules against it. But, for those of you who are in the WIC program and are guilty of doing this, the rules and consequences are listed VERY clearly in your WIC folder/pamphlet. It is a real offense, and it is called WIC fraud. Don’t do it. Now, this varies by county as well, but there are rules against giving away your formula and food bought with WIC. But it really can vary from office to office. Our local office does allow you to donate your formula to a food pantry, church, etc., but it has to be given away, so you’re not getting anything in return.

3) The Haggler:
I’ll admit that being able to haggle well is a useful skill to have when it comes to saving money, but you really need to know when to quit. This is probably one of the most common types of people I seem to interact with. As I said before, I get it. We’re all trying to save money, that’s why we’re here on these groups. But, while you’re trying to save money when buying used baby clothes, I’m trying to make money by selling used baby clothes. I can not even tell you how many times I’ve had this exact conversation while selling things:

Me: Selling ______ for $4, bought new for $35, pick up only, blah blah blah.
Person: Will you take $3.50?
Me: I’d really prefer to get $4 for it.
Person: Really? It’s 50 cents. What are you going to do with it?
Me: What are YOU going to do with it?
Person: Uhh…
Or:
Me: Selling ___ for $5, ___ for $3, ___ for $4, and ___ for $7.
Person: Will you take $9 for all of it?
Me: Um… no…

So. Irritating.

I can be really flexible, within reason. Recently, I listed a baby swing for $85. After a few weeks of it not selling, I added “OBO” (or best offer) to the post, as well as dropped the price to $75. The first offer I got? $40. I rejected and said it was too low. Her second offer? $42. Seriously? I eventually sold it to a VERY nice lady, who was more than happy to pay $65 for a practically brand new swing, which retails at $160. Done deal.

4) The Vulture:
Luckily, I’ve only encountered this type of person a few times, and in ALL of the groups that I’m in, this type of behavior usually results in getting banned. Recently, I listed a TON of baby stuff on Facebook, including baby clothes, a baby bath, stroller accessories, some shoes, etc. I woke up the next morning to see that several people had commented on various posts stating that they were interested, or asking additional questions. But I also saw this commented on half my posts:

Person: I AM SELLING SIMILAR ITEMS FOR MUCH CHEAPER, SEARCH FOR MY NAME.

Or some variation of that. So, so rude. We are all just trying to sell our stuff and make some spare change. If your stuff really is so cheap, people will buy it. You don’t need to spam other peoples’ posts to advertise it. Why you gotta be like that?!

5) The Unwanted Advice Giver:
I’ve seen this type of person comment on both buying and selling posts. While not against the rules, it is super annoying:

OP: Looking for a Britax stroller!
Person: Britax sucks, don’t get one.
Or:
OP: Selling a Baby Bjorn carrier!
Person: I had one, hated it.

Folks, this is not Amazon. We’re not looking to read your review. All that you’re doing is making it harder for that person to buy/sell the item. Unless you are their mother-in-law, or partner, or they are buying the item for you, lay off with your opinion. Chances are, if they are looking for a specific item, then that’s the item that THEY want, regardless of what YOU think of it. Same with selling. There are people who are looking for things that maybe you did not like. What works for one person may not work for you, and visa versa. So stop it.

6) The Unwilling to Travel:
I don’t drive. The only time I am able to travel to meet people when buying things is on Kyle’s ONE day off that he gets a week, as long as it is within a reasonable distance. But also, because I do not drive, it means that when selling things, I am unable to meet people to sell them the things that they want to buy. I always make sure to specify in my posts that all of the things that I sell are for pick up only in my town. If someone is interested, I message them and ask if they would mind meeting at my apartment, where I would meet them outside. Generally, people are pretty okay with it. It’s just like a store, if you want the item, you have to go and buy it. Right? Right. I know that if I see something I want, but the post specifies that it is for pick up only in a town I know I can’t get to, then I just move on. Sometimes, people really don’t understand thought. Just this morning, I had this conversation with a woman who messaged me about some baby clothes I’m selling:

Her: Interested in buying 3-6 month baby boy sleepers, do you ever come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t, it’s all pick up only. I’m actually only selling those clothes as a lot also, not separating. It’s $35 for the entire thing (both of these things were also specified in the post).
Her: Okay, if I buy the lot will you come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t drive. That’s why it is pick up only.
Her: Well, that’s too far.
Me: Okay, sorry.
Her: How about I give you $30 and we meet in ___?
Me: No… I don’t drive. Sorry.

First of all, her message was wrong for all sorts of reasons. She disregarded everything from my original post. I looked up both of the towns that she wanted me to meet her in, the first was 40 minutes away (where she actually lived, she wanted me to deliver them to her), and the second was 30 minutes away (and she wanted me to lower the price because it was inconvenient for her). That is not how this works, honey. If you really want the stuff, come and get it. Oh, and join a group for YOUR county while you’re at it.

And finally…

7) The Liar:
The worst of the worst. This person flat out lies about the items that they are selling, whether it be condition, brand, size, etc. I actually just went through this myself very recently. I was buying a crib bumper from a woman, and she only sold me one panel of it, which we did not discover until we got home. After two weeks of messaging her back and forth, she agreed to meet me to give me a replacement crib bumper. And she never showed. She stopped responding to my messages. I contacted the admin, who messaged her and was also ignored, and had her banned from the group. So now I have half of a crib bumper, and I’m out a few dollars.

Recently, in one of the groups I belong to, a woman was busted selling VERY damaged goods to people. She advertising that all of her items were in good condition, but the pictures she posted (if she even posted pictures) were from the manufacturers’ sites, and not of her actual items. What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

* Bonus *
8) The (Nearly) Full-Pricer:
It really does suck when you have to spend $249.99 on a crib, knowing that you will never get your money back. I get that. I’ve been there. But people certainly do try. If something is open, missing product, or used, you should not be selling it at full retail price. Ever. If you can’t return it for whatever reason, then I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. No one wants to spend the same price that they could be getting it at in the store, but getting less of the item/poorer quality. Listing a crib that you bought for $249.99 for your child 3 years ago for full-price is just wasting everyone’s time. No one wants to pay full-price (or nearly full-price) for something that has seen poop, pee, spit-up, drool, and teeth for the last 3 years. Heck, it probably also sat in your garage for a little while while you were trying to sell it. So add dust, dirt, and spiders to that list. No. Just no.

The same thing goes with designer clothes. People in resale groups typically can’t afford to go out and buy brand new designer clothes for their newborn, that’s why they are there in the first place. So selling a large lot of clothes and jacking the price WAY up (like $150 for 40 pieces of used clothing) because a few of the pieces are from such and such designer, is silly. Sell them separately if you want that much for them. I see this a lot with Jordan stuff. We just bought a pair of Jordan sneakers for Liam for $10. I didn’t want to spend $10 on used sneakers, but Kyle insisted, because they were Jordans, and $10 isn’t that bad. Ugh.

So there you have it, a nifty list of some of the worst people that you can run into when buying and selling used items on Facebook. Or Craigslist. Whatever you use. Please, don’t be one of these people. If you are one of these people, please know that what you’re doing is not okay, and that you’re a dick.

Thanks for reading!

Jan