When we first moved out, when we were bored, my boyfriend and I pretty much hijacked my sister's Netflix account so that we'd all be able to watch NEW things. Then two short months after moving in, my apartment was robbed. They took the laptop, the Wii, the TVs, the PS3...you get the gist. We lost everything and really had no way to replace it all in one go. Slowly and, lately, thanks to our income tax returns we've started the process of restoring what we'd lost. I bought a Nook for myself in January and we had fun with that -- I read, a lot and solved crossword puzzles,. Isabella had some Read to Me books read to her and my boyfriend used Pandora and played chess (he's more of a gamer than a reader). Then the novelty wore off for them (mainly because I kind of became addicted and couldn't STOP reading). Around this time, I had expressed my interest in writing for GeekMom and I was contacted shortly thereafter to be a blogger for them (yes, I'm still totally geeked-out over that!). Which meant I would need better access to the internet and more often that every other weekend.
When I got my tax return, I went ahead and purchased a netbook for myself from Walmart.com. I knew at the time that my boyfriend would get his grimy boy paws all over it (even though I bought a girly-patterned one), so I offered to buy him his own, he shrugged it off saying he wouldn't need one. Fast forward to now and he's on it more often than I am and I've reverted back to using the internet on my phone or my Nook. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind sharing my toys, and I'll totally let him use it for as long as he likes and for what ever he likes with no nagging, just like he'll need to surrender it to me when I need to use it for an indefinite amount of time to post my blogs or if I get to it first and just want to do what ever I want.. I even refer to it as "the netbook" instead of "my netbook," so that he doesn't get all touchy about using "my" things. However, more than anything I like it when we can enjoy things as a family. Which is why when I got an offer in the mail from Netflix for a free one month trial, I jumped on it. We get both the DVD (note, not plural we opted for the just 1 DVD at a time deal because we'd lose them if we had more than one in our home at a time) and the watch it instantly selections that we can stream immediately on the netbook. Now we get to sit down as a family, stare at this tiny screen and get entertained for an hour and a half or two. When Isabella is asleep, we watch things we actually want to watch instead of Dora or the Wonder Pets. Sometimes we'll even stay up late watching movies that we wanted to see when they arrived in theatres but were unable to with a tantrum-throwing toddler in tow.
While having a netflix account with it's one DVD at a time and decent selection of watch it now movies and TV shows can't replace cable altogether it has provided a good few hours of fun diversion until we decide whether or not we're going to get cable in our house (I'm still iffy, since it's pretty expensive and I'd rather spend my weekends off taking Isabella to museums and libraries). On that note, it's doing a great job of keeping us from killing each other.