Saturday, October 03, 2009

Red-faced, Traumatic Shopping Day

I again apologize for the lack of pictures. Work has not slowed down at all and we are still awful about taking as many pictures of Little Buddy.

By the time we get home from work, cook dinner, feed Keaton, play, bathe Carson (Keaton has still only had 2 baths, yes, 2, no comments please), and get him to bed, we are EXHAUSTED.

I have a stack of thank you notes to write and am quite positive that several people are missing from the list.

The house looks like a bomb went off. I can't keep up with it. Poor Jeremy gets a nervous tic when he walks in the door and has to play hopscotch to get down the hallway amidst all the toys, clothes, and bags.

But I digress. I logged in to tell you about my terribly traumatic shopping events.


I am a Craig's List (CL) junkie. It stems from the garage sale hunter gene I inherited from my mother. CL is ten times better because instead of spending all day Saturday driving from culdesac to culdesac and combing through someone else's treasures/junk, you simply shop from the comfort of your couch.

It's the same thrill of the hunt. Logging in, typing in your key search word and waiting breathlessly to find new postings. The really hot items go within minutes of listing and you have to be diligent about checking.

My latest hunt was for my sixth, YES SIXTH stroller. Not only am I addicted to CL, I have an unhealthy love of strollers. Each one has a purpose. Thank goodness we have a HUGE laundry room to house all of them.

One time I scoffed at the woman buying the $850 BugaBoo stroller at Segals, "Who would spend that much money on a stroller!?!"

Jeremy couldn't contain his disgust as he looked at me and rattled off how much I've spent on my embarrassing collection:

BOB Ironman Single $350 + $150 in accessories
BOB Revolution Double $550 + $150 in accessories
Maclaren Quest $180 (which just replaced my Peg Perego Aria)
Snap N Go Single $25 (used)
Umbrella Stroller $15

And then there is my latest addition. It popped up after many weeks of CL stalking. $150 for a used Joovy Caboose Ultralight. For the unfamiliar, this is a "sit and stand" stroller. Put the carseat or baby up front and the toddler can stand or sit on a platform in the back. AWESOME for an infant and 3 year old.

Only I couldn't be happy with the regular version with resells for $75-90. No, I had to have the Ultralight. Why? In hindsight, for dumb reasons.

But in the heat of the shopping moment, it is lighter by 5 pounds, has a neat drink/key holder, and ball-bearing wheels. Worth $150? I thought so.

So I dialed the number with lightening quick speed, arranged a "driveway" pick up in light of the recent CL murders, and flew down to West Linn. Which, by the way, is a LONG way from our house. A good hour drive. For a used stroller.

Got it home. Happy as a clam. Husband tolerating my addiction pretty well. I justified it by its excellent resale value and amazing uses and really cool accessories . . .

Wait a minute. Three days later I realized that I didn't get the accessories. My stomach did a little flip-flop. I got jilted. This lowers the value of my purchase. I jumped online and found the ad, which by some miracle was still posted.

Called the guy and explained that he must have forgotten to give me the accessories that day. He has NO idea what I'm talking about and says, "I dunno. I just copied and pasted the description from the Internet. We don't have any of those things you're talking about."

This should have been my first clue. You know that feeling when the butterflies start fluttering with increased urgency.

The little voice in my head said, "Kristin, find the model # on the stroller and double-check it. Because no where on the stroller does it say Ultralight."

But the days flew by and I didn't get around to it. Then yesterday I used the stroller for the second time. It seemed pretty heavy loading and unloading it. Red flag #2.

I happened to notice the model # as it was upside down on the ground. And fate intervened.

With great anticipation, I typed in 4-1-9 and hit search. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I had been duped. This was the regular old heavy, no fun accessories Joovy.

Resale value: $75-90.

I paid $150.

I freaked out. I couldn't fess up to Jeremy. The ad was no longer on CL. Too old.

OMG. I scanned my calendar to figure out which day I had been duped.

I found my old phone, which had one tiny minute of battery left on it and began calling all of the numbers from that day.

I got lucky. First number, "Hello?"

Me: Um yes, did you sell a stroller on Craig's List last week?"

Woman: Yes....

Me: Oh my gosh! This is so embarrassing but you sold me the wrong stroller!!

I nervously explained the situation and she was so sweet! Said bring back the stroller and I'll give you your money back.

But then I was torn. Did I really want to drive 2 hours roundtrip to get my $150 back, then wait online for the next one to post and hope that it was a good deal close by?

Or, after using this "regular" stroller several times, was it just fine to ask her to refund me the money for the cost of that model. Was I being ridiculous "needing" the best of the best? For a stroller that will probably get used twice a month.

My face was so many shades of purple now. Poor woman, I told her I'd call her back in an hour with my decision. Called several of my more rational friends and came to my decision.

In the end, I spent $80 on a lovely, lightly used, black Joovy Caboose without all the bells and whistles.

Moral of the story . . . sometimes the thrill of the hunt outweighs the necessity of the item.

AND life lesson #429 . . . know your model numbers and DOUBLE-CHECK them!!!


Yesterday I had to drag Carson and Keaton to show a house with me, an hour away. They did great. Then we drove back to town and visited new baby Aiden at St. Vincents. Carson was starting to break down.

I should have gone directly home at that point. But no.

Friday nights are pizza and movie night at our house. So we still had to stop by Blockbuster and Papa Murphys. BTW, "running in" to grab a to-go pizza with a 3 year old and infant carseat . . . not so easy.

I should have gone home immediately at that point. But no.

Gymboree Gymbucks were burning a hole in my pocket and I just couldn't let all those other mommies take the good sizes!! I dragged a low blood sugar, juice filled Carson and hungry Keaton to the mall.


Gymbucks are a science. You have to spend just the right amount to save. Plus I had an exchange so my math brain was working overtime. I too, had low blood sugar.

Then I ran into two friends. The clock was ticking WAY past naptime but Carson was sitting in a little chair with all the other kids watching TV so I pushed it even longer.

Then Carson comes running up. Stares at me doing a little dance. Looks a lot like his pee pee dance, which is easily confused with his happy dance.

Do you have to go potty? NO!

Then he ran off.

Then he ran up to me again.

Do you have to go potty? Yes!

I turned, put down the shirt I was holding, and as I was turning back around, I heard,

"Uh oh Mommy. Look."

And there it was. Pee all over the hardwood floor of Gymboree. Soaked jeans. Sopping wet shoes and socks.

I wanted to just melt into the racks of clothes. I had to ask the sales girls for a paper towel like I was cleaning up after a dog at Petsmart.

I was so flustered that I just got in line to check out. Never mind the fact that my math was off and I didn't get my Gymbucks refund right. The girl asks me if I want to keep shopping to fix it and I just stare cross eyed at her. Keaton is crying. And now Carson is sitting in the kid chairs again watching TV, smearing pee all over the seat.

That is the last time I ever choose shopping over naptime. Ever.

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