"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Now I'm Excited

Did you know that there is a website that will take your blog and turn it into a bound book? Now I'm really excited. One of the reasons I blog is to keep a record of our family life for our kids. I want them to know about the day-to-day activites of their childhood as well as the big events. Now if I can get this printed into a book (or books) how great would that be?

My only fear is that it will cost me and arm in a leg since I am so verbose at times :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Teach An Old Mom New Tricks?

Since I can't learn to play the hammered dulcimer, due to the fact that we don't own a hammered dulcimer and probably won't be buying one in the near future, I have decided to learn to play the drums instead :-)

Actually, Aidan just started taking drum lessons with the band (MPPB). Since I have to drive him to the lessons and wait for him to finish, I have decided to learn the snare drum with him (they are group lessons). We are having a great time practicing our new skills. It is great mother/son bonding time. I have the advantage of being able to read music. He has the advantage of being young!

Soon, we will both be able to accompany Evan while he pipes. Okay, not so soon, but maybe someday. And maybe, just maybe, this will all make me a better hammered dulcimer player someday :-)

Fashion Plates

This past week has shown the wonderful fashion sense of my children.

First, we have Nina, looking stunning in my lovely black and cream dress - awaiting her ride to the Celtic Woman concert (thanks, Tim & Trudy)...
Doesn't she look great?

Next up we have Zoe in an interesting combination of a flower-print jumper with sweatshirt cover-up and striped tights. This lovely ensemble is finished off with sparkly silver shoes.
You gotta love that girl! She'd wear a dress for every occasion if she could.

Sometime, I will assemble an entire blog post about the strange and bizarre things me kids wear and the fact that, yes, I do let them go out in public like that. I never have been one to be overly concerned with fashion or opinions of others :-)

Can You Tell?

Which one of these children had something done to their hair yesterday?Look carefully. This is a trick question....

Yes, the discerning eye will note that both children did something with their hair. Emily's hair was straightened by Auntie Monica and Evan's hair was cut by someone at the Cole's Salon. At least he tells me they cut it. You see, I was in the lobby area the whole time and for all I know he went back and had a little chat with the stylist for 20 minutes and then came right back out. Maybe he bribed her to say that she cut his hair. Who knows?

Regardless, they are both adorable, as always!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

He's Going Back

I know it is hard to keep track of where Chris is working (or not working) at any given time. I've gotten used to it after almost 20 years of marriage, but it probably makes your head spin.

Anyway, Chris will be going back to work at the Federal Reserve Bank in April. He worked there for something like five years (his longest time anywhere) and then left about a year and a half ago to go into consulting. While being self-employed has had its advantages (taking months off at a time); it also had its disadvantages (paying exorbitant rates for insurance).

His official title will be FedACH Director which is pretty much meaningless to me and the rest of the world, but it is a good job which promises him lots of challenges. To me, it means that we won't have to pay massive deductibles to get affordable insurance - that makes me happy :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

By Request

Well, I've had a reader request a picture of my laundry room to go with my previous post :-(

Since, I have no shame and everyone from the next door neighbors to the piano instructor have already been marched through this scary room in my house, I don't see why I can't share it with my blog buddies and facebook friends...

Okay, here we go...deep breath...this is so humbling....the things I do to entertain you all...

On the left we have the necessary machines that belong in a laundry room, on the right is the long table with bins of CLEAN clothes, under the table we have the very messy bins of craft items, drying thingie
THen we have the shelves with many unfolded blankets, folded towels, paint shirts, sheets, etc. with a tottering pile of clothes on the top...oh, and some sewing paraphenalia as well...
And lastly, we have my beautiful daughter, Molly, with Starburst. The bunny cage is off to the right and above that is my greenhouse. Behind Molly is the elliptical machine with Mansfield Park on it (proof that I really have started exercising), then moving right we have an ironing board and the freezer with assorted ironing stuff on top. Above Molly's head we have the clothes line (which amazingly doesn't have three pairs of pants on it right now).
There you have it. I have nothing more to hide. This is indeed the messiest room in my house.

My poor husband, even though I don't have any shame, he has to see his messy rooms displayed for the world to see.

Btw, anonymous who requested this, at least let me know your name :-) I've just taken you on a tour of my very messy laundry room, it's the least you could do :-)

My Laundry Room

Okay, this might be the epitome of dull for my readers, but I think it's rather humorous.

We live in a split-level house which is, shall we say, lacking on space (at least when you have ten people, a dog, two bunnies and two hamsters living in it). Because of this, there is not a lot of room for certain things and therefore, MY laundry room becomes the room of choice for those things that don't fit anywhere else.

So, what do I have in my laundry room today?

Well, there is the obligatory washer and dryer and a clothes line to go with them, since I have a lot of clothes that can't go in the dryer. Another necessary laundry item is the eight foot table to put the kids' bins on (where their clothes go while they're waiting to be folded).

Also, somewhat logically, there are bins of craft items underneath the said table and a rack to lay out sweaters and such that need to dry flat. And let's not forget the pile of mending and ironing or the bin of lone socks waiting for their mate to come back...

Next to the dryer there is a shelf with blankets, towels and sheets because we have no linen closet in the basement. On top of this shelf is a towering, tottering stack of clothes that currently do not fit anyone, but haven't been put in bins yet.

Oh, and then there's the freezer.

Now things start getting a little unconventional. Next to the table there is a card table with the bunnies on it. Well, bunnies come with all sorts of accoutrements, so that stuff is there too. Unfortunately when the girls want to show people their bunnies they drag everyone through a maze of clothes on the clothes line to get to the bunnies' cage.

Next to the bunnies is the elliptical machine which conveniently doubles as an extra drying rack. In the corner is my exercise ball and a variety of other miscellaneous stuff. Above this pile of "things" is the lovely new greenhouse shelf which will soon have wonderful plants on it.

So my laundry room should be more aptly named the laundry/storage/linen/pet/exercise/craft room. Now if I could just get a library put in there too.....

I've Decided It Is Spring

Those of you from Minnesota know that seasons on the calendar mean nothing in real life here. Winter on the calendar always comes a long time after it came in real life and calendar spring is often greeted with snow and freezing temperatures, but not this year :-) Happily, we really are having spring weather and so I have decided to take the bold step of putting away all our snow boots, pants and, gasp, maybe even our winter coats (although I'll have to think about that one more, as I hate to be cold).

Not only have I packed away the snow stuff, I have also started germinating seeds for my garden. This is the first time I have ever started my plants indoors! You would think after gardening for all these years I would have done this before. Many years I thought about it, but in all honesty, we just don't have much room for that. The only semi-south facing windows in our house our in our tiny bedroom, which certainly has no room for a mini-greenhouse, unless we decided to sleep on the couch for a couple months.

Well, this year, my dear hubby (he's so sweet) bought a shelf and a grow light and got it all set up in the laundry room, so that is where my little seedlings will be erupting any day now. I'll try to post pictures soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vote For Molly

Molly has submitted a peep diorama for the Pioneer Press Peeps Diorama Contest.

Vote for Molly!!!! Vote early! Vote often!


The First Haircut

Okay, so it doesn't look any different :-)

Zoe had her first haircut at a real salon today. What a wonderful experience that was! My friend Erin (actually Deb's friend who is also my friend) told me about an African American salon in Eagan, so we decided to check it out.

It was very fun and the woman who cut Zoe's hair (Loretta) was very encouraging. We white mothers need all the encouragement we can get when it comes to our brown kids' hair. She proclaimed Zoe's hair healthy and beautiful and she told me she'll only need it trimmed once a year. Now that's good news! Loretta even put some twists into Zoe's hair.

To those of you in the south metro area with African or African American kids, I would highly recommend No Limits Hair Design!

The Graduate

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quips For The Day

Well, I've got two quotable quotes for the day...

First conversation, driving in the car to Culver's to celebrate Raelea's graduation...

Aidan (contemplatively): Do you ever feel like you want to know more about something? Like have more clarification on something?

Dad: Yeah, I sure know that feeling.

Aidan (emphatically): I hate that feeling!!!

Hmm, not what we were expecting to come from his mouth right then.

Second conversation as we were trying to get the little ones to bed...

Molly (to Raelea): Did you have a good day, Raelea?

Raelea: Yeah, a really good day...a great day...a cardboard day!

There you have it. Never a dull moment around here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Raelea Graduates!

Tomorrow Raelea graduates from her speech class!

This has got me thinking about Raelea's journey and our journey as a family. In order not to forget, I need to write down where Raelea has been and how far she has come. This may get to be long, don't feel obligated to read it, it's primarily as a record for myself and for Raelea. If you do decide to read through to the end, I believe you will be encouraged by what an amazing and kind God we have, who holds our lives in his hands and faithfully carries us through all of our doubts and trials.

Raelea wasn't talking at two. Not unusual, in and of itself, but it was more than that. Not only wasn't she talking, she was hardly making any sounds at all. The pediatrician said to wait until she was 2 1/2 and see how she was doing then. My heart told me that something wasn't right. It's not like she was my first child and I was an over-worried parent. I knew she wouldn't be talking at 2 1/2 either. I mentioned Raelea's speech delays to a friend and she told me that it sounded like apraxia. I had never even heard of apraxia, but after my friend mentioned it I did a little research. One defining characteristic of apraxic children is that they cannot mimic sounds - you know how you usually say ba-ba-ba to a young child and they will say ba-ba-ba back to you. Apraxic children can't do that. So, I decided to do a little test and see if Raelea could mimic simple sounds - she could not.

It was then that I decided not to wait until she turned 2 1/2 to get her tested. Everything that I read said that the sooner an apraxic child begins intensive therapy, the better the prognosis is. Initially we contacted our school district and had her evaluated by a speech pathologist and then we brought her to a private speech pathologist. Both therapists came to the same conclusion. Although they will not officially diagnose a child under three with apraxia, they both were quite certain that Raelea was severely apraxic. Not only wasn't Raelea speaking, she was was making fewer than five SOUNDS. The only word she would say was "ma" and she would use it for pretty much anything she wanted to communicate.

She could not stick out her tongue, spit or kiss. She also could not mimic simple physical actions (sometimes apraxia affects motor skills as well as speech). Her receptive language skills were normal (she understood things at an age appropriate level), but her expressive language skills were nowhere near where they should be for her age. Here is a great analogy of what apraxia is
One of the best non-technical descriptions of apraxia is comparing the act of speaking to cable television. In order for you to be able to watch a cable television show, the television must work correctly, the show must be broadcasting correctly from the station and the signals transmitting the show must be working correctly. For a child with apraxia, the mouth does not have any physical defects (the television) and the brain knows what the child wants to say (the cable station), but the signal connecting the mouth and the brain is not working correctly. The child is unable to correctly send the message from the brain to the mouth and form the words that they want to say.
Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/special/articles/15651.aspx#ixzz0iaUGHJBm

Most kids with apraxia do eventually learn to speak, but not all do. Because of the severity of Raelea's case her therapists were not certain that oral communication would be something that was achievable for Raelea - at least not for a long, long time. Although this diagnosis is not the worst thing we could have heard, it was hard to hear nonetheless. I longed so much to hear Raelea say, "I love you" or to tell me what she was thinking and at that time we didn't know if that would happen ever.

Often, when apraxic children try to talk they don't get the feedback and encouragement for their efforts, so they just give up trying and become silent. That is where Raelea was. After being diagnosed she began speech therapy four days a week. The initial goal was to just get her to make sounds. Any noise whatsoever. We would pour on the encouragement whenever she made any attempt to communicate. We would send her to "tell" her siblings it was time to eat. She would find them, make some totally unintelligible sound and they would all say, "oh it's time to eat?" and off they would go to the table. As soon as she realized that she "was communicating" she began making more efforts at "talking." Pretty soon she was "praying" as well :-) and although we hadn't the faintest idea of what she was saying I am certain that God heard and understood every one of her prayers.

While all this was going on, we were feeling lead by God to adopt a sibling group from Ethiopia. We were concerned, however about how that would affect Raelea's speech progress. The new kids would require a lot of attention and time and Raelea needed a lot of attention and time. Just trying to figure out what she needed or wanted required intense attention on my part. Would adding two new kids in the midst of all this be detrimental to her speaking? There was no way of knowing. We just prayed and prayed and prayed and still felt lead to adopt, so we went ahead and did that, trusting that God knew what He was doing.

Shortly after Zoe & Marcus joined our family Raelea's speech took a HUGE jump. One day she just started speaking more clearly - not perfectly, by any stretch of the imagination, but at least somewhat understandably. Her therapists were at a loss for what had happened - they could not explain why she suddenly could say things that she hadn't been able to just a few weeks prior. I knew what had happened. God had confirmed to us that He would take care of Raelea. That adding Marcus & Zoe to our family at that time was not a mistake and that Raelea would not suffer as a result of it, she would thrive!

From that point on Raelea's speech just took off. Soon she was talking in sentences. At first she was very hard to understand. It was painful to watch other children shun her because they could not understand her. It was painful to have well-meaning adults assume that she was lacking in some way intellectually because she could not speak. We just held on to the fact that she was progressing and rejoiced that we could now understand her about 50% of the time.

I have to say that through it all, I don't remember Raelea once getting impatient with not being understood. She would repeat herself and repeat herself over and over again. She would have to come up with new ways to get her message across and sometimes nothing worked. She just wouldn't get what she wanted because no matter how hard she tried, we just couldn't get it. Not once, never, did she pitch a fit or get frustrated. God gave her the perfect personality to go with her disability :-)

Now, three years after she was diagnosed, Raelea is graduating from her speech class. Her expressive language is in the normal range for her age (and, boy, does she have a lot to express). She is still not saying all the sounds she should be able too and she still needs to think about "how" to say things. She may always have to do that. She can't answer questions quickly. She may deal with that her whole life. That's okay. She is an amazing little girl. When she stands up in church and recites a verse, I cry. I know what an amazing thing that is! My little girl who could not talk - at all - just three years ago, can memorize and recite Matthew 5:3-25. It's a miracle. It truly is.

I've learned a few things these last few years from Raelea -
- I've learned how to listen. To really listen. To stop everything I'm doing and give her my full attention. It was the only way to understand her for so long.

- I've learned how wonderful it is to hear what your children are thinking. Even when they talk incessantly - praise the Lord, they are talking!

- I've learned how hard it is to learn to talk when you can't just pick it up the "normal" way. I've learned where your lips and tongue have to be for all the sounds. Air flow. Approximations and substitutions. I've learned more about speech than I ever knew there was to be learned.

- I've learned a new appreciation for parents and kids who have to face much more challenging disabilities than we have faced.

- I learned to rejoice that my child can now spit! This is a good thing!

- I've learned that we have a very good God who will look out for me and for my kids!

So, Raelea, as you graduate from your speech classes, I want you to know how very proud we are of you. You have worked so hard and you continue to work hard. God has been very good to you and we love you very much!

Tea Time

She had to wait a couple weeks, but Raelea has finally received her cardboard French press courtesy of my sweet friend, Stephanie, and Raelea's wonderful dad who can make anything out of cardboard.

Now we need to make some paper tea leaves and she's good to go.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

He's Still OUR Bagpipe Idol!

He's A Rock Star

Evan's day started with playing the bagpipes for Bagpipe Idol (on KS 95 - airing at 8:20 am - although they taped it around 7 am)) and will end by playing with the band at First Avenue. In between he will do the St. Paul & Minneapolis parades and too many pubs and bars to count. If you want to catch the band while they make their rounds you can find their schedule at the band website.

And a Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Thankful

Today I am thankful for people who do not password protect their WiFi :-)

No, I don't have any devious intents, it's just that sometimes when I'm out and about I need to get internet connection and I don't want to stop at a Caribou (or maybe I need to find the nearest Caribou). This used to be difficult, but no more. Now all I need is my iPod and some nice person who has WiFi with no password protection. Conveniently, I have discovered that in most neighborhoods there are several such nice people :-)

Just today, I was wondering while wandering around Shoreview, "Where is the closest McDonald's, because I am really craving a Shamrock Shake?"

Drive, drive, drive. Believe it or not, no McDonald's in sight.

Swerve into a neighborhood. Drive one block and park in front of my new friend's (the people with the Wifi). Presto! I have now found the nearest McDonald's. I feel like I should have left my new friends a thank you note :-) or at least brought them back a shake.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


For months Emily has been asking to have her hair straightened (with on iron, not chemically), but since we don't own a hair iron we haven't been able to do it...until today. Nina was at a friend's house and borrowed a straightening iron. We're not really sure what we're doing, but Emily got her (almost) straight hair today. It was kind of frizzy when we were done, so I'm not quite sure what we're doing wrong. I'm open to advice! Anyway, Emily is enjoying her new (almost) straight hair :-)
However, about halfway through the process we realized that tomorrow she has swim lessons...so, her hair will promptly go back to this....which, to be honest, I prefer :-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Today, it is my pleasure to bestow praise upon a very worthy company. One that has gone above and beyond my expectations in the area of customer service and helpfulness. Today, I introduce you to Warner's Stellian. Those of you in the metro area are probably already familiar with them.

Let's take a little walk through our purchasing and delivery of our new (lovely) refrigerator. Chris & I spent quite some time picking out our new refrigerator on the show room floor. After you've looked at half a dozen stainless steel refrigerators, they all start to look the same. Finally, last Friday we decided upon a lovely 25.8 cubic foot, GE model. Free delivery was scheduled for today.

They called last night to let us know when they would be here.

I unpacked our old refrigerator.

They called this morning about an hour before they would arrive. Then the very friendly and helpful delivery men arrived and promptly informed me that he didn't think our new refrigerator would fit in the refrigerator opening in our kitchen. According to the dimensions listed on the outside of the box, the fridge was several inches too tall and about an inch too wide :-(

The delivery man Tony, I believe, and I sat and pondered the situation. We called Chris and pondered the situation. Finally, we decided that he should just bring the fridge back to the warehouse and we would have to figure out what to do.

I put all the food back in the old refrigerator.

As Chris and I discussed this dilemma further, we both felt like there must have been a mistake. Surely we would have noticed if the refrigerator was that big when we looked at it on the showroom floor. So, Chris came home from work a little early and off we went back to Warner's Stellian. We located the refrigerator with tape measure in hand. We measured, we read the label, we had not been mistaken. This refrigerator would indeed fit in our opening. For whatever reason, the measurements on the outside of the box were incorrect.

Off we went to see our sales rep, Chris. Chris, puzzled as we were by this dilemma, quickly got on the phone to the delivery dispatcher, who promptly contacted the delivery truck (which still has our fridge on it). We raced home and quickly empty the old refrigerator again and a half hour later Tony & Rick were back in our kitchen (very apologetic) removing the old fridge.

They removed the old fridge, installed the new one and got us all set up. They don't know why the box was marked wrong and it certainly wasn't their fault, but they were apologetic nonetheless. We thanked them for their very helpful service and sent them on their way.

There you have it, a fine example of how it should work.

It should be noted that we have purchased all of our appliances from the Warners for as long as I can remember and never, not once, have we had a bad experience with them.

Doing Our Part

...to stimulate the economy.

Out with the old...
...and in with the new...It didn't work quite that smoothly, but nonetheless the state of MN has coaxed us into buying a new refrigerator :-) Isn't she bea-u-tiful??

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finished My Book

Just finished the book I was reading....you all know what that means....I'm looking for new ideas for books to read :-)

I think it's time for a classic again, any recommendations??? Btw, I'm kind of in a melancholy mood (I think it's the days and days of rain we're having), so keep that in mind when making suggestions.

I'm Whole Again

Now, many of you have thought in the past that I might not be all there. Well, for the last month you would have been right, as I was missing part of my tooth. You know, the one that succumbed to the Tootsie Pop while we were in Alabama.

Anyway, after almost a month, my tooth has been repair and I am, once again, a whole person.

In the process of becoming whole I discovered that our dental insurance does not cover crowns - at all. So, in order to avoid paying almost $1000 on my mouth, we opted for a filling instead which came in at a little under $200. Hopefully it will last until we have better dental insurance :-)

No matter how you look at it, it was an expensive Tootsie Pop.

What A Difference A Few Years Makes

I was looking through old photos and I came across this one from the Summer of 2006 (Yellowstone). Isn't it amazing how much the kids change in just a few short years?

The other amazing (sad) thing is that when I looked for a current picture of all the kids together I couldn't find one :-(

**mental note to self*** get all the kids to stop moving long enough to take a picture of them together****

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cute Bunny-ness

They're So Crafty

Dear Molly has caught the quilting bug! It was bound to happen. My grandma was an avid quilter and my mother and sister have made their share of beautiful quilts as well. I would love to quilt, but I am quite sure I don't have the time for it right now :-(

Anyway, someone gave us all these squares already cut out, so all Molly has to do is sew them together and then quilt them. It will be beautiful, I'm sure, when it's done.Then there's Emily. She and Nina purchased some paint by numbers the other day and they have been painting every chance they get since then. Emily finished hers first and here it is.
She did an excellent job! I'll post Nina's when she finishes it.

Just In Case

Just in case you were beginning to think that we are a relatively normal family, I decided to let you know that you couldn't be further from the truth.

Today in school we were learning about Henry Ford, whom I find quite interesting, but the children find rather dull. Anyway, in the book we are reading it mentioned that Henry and the wife built a new house (read mansion) and named it Fair Oaks (or something like that). Well, that caught my kids attention...they had no idea that people NAMED their homes! So, history class was soon forgotten in the frenzy to name OUR house.

As of today, our house has been officially christened "Freddy" by the kids.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All Is Well

Once again, a little public complaining goes a long way :-) I e-mailed Eric, my new friend at Charter Communications yesterday and promptly received this reply :

Hello Barb,

Thanks for taking the time to contact me. Our Process Management team is currently working on a solution for the issues with Autopay on the first bill. It is not uncommon for Autopay to take up to 30 days before it starts; however, we definitely need to prevent any penalties, such as collections notices, when customers are registered for Autopay. I will make sure this issue is addressed as the Process team works to improve our Autopay system.

What is the current state of the account? Are you still receiving notices? I can make them stop.
Were there other issues I can address for you?

Thanks again for your time...Eric

Now that is how a customer complaint should be handled. Eric has been a shining example of good customer service. The only question that remains is why did it take a public rant to get this sort of response? And why, oh why, were the customer service reps and supervisors so unwilling to go beyond their pre-printed script and actually provide service? I guess that will remain one of the great mysteries of our time.

Okay, I'm done with Charter posts now. I will move on to more pleasant topics :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ooo, I Think I've Touched a Nerve

Well, well, well, I guess it should be no surprise to me that an internet service provider would monitor blogs. Apparently Charter Communications has an employee whose job is to find complaints that are going public and quickly deal with them. Here is the comment I found after my first post about Charter -

Hello Barb,
I am so sorry to hear you were not given the service you deserved. We would be happy to resolve any issues you have. Please send an e-mail with the Name, Address, and Phone Number on the account to Umatter2Charter@chartercom.com, and we get you taken care of.

Thanks, Eric

Eric Ketzer
Social Media Communications Manager
Charter Communications
Now, I will keep you all posted on my communications with Eric, but my real question is why did it take my complaining on a public forum to gain the attention of someone who could help me with my problem?

Perhaps it is because of this video by someone who had a complaint with United, Oh, how I wish I was as talented as this guy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Two Words

Here are my two words about how NOT to run a business: Charter Communications.

There you have it. If you want to know what to do to have unhappy new customers follow the example of Charter Communications.

Since it's my blog, I will take this opportunity to vent. Feel free to just skip this post :-), but you won't be able to say I didn't warn you.

So, here you have it. We signed up with Charter about a month ago, to take advantage of some sort of deal on internet and phone service. When we signed up for service we signed up for Autopay, so they could just take the payment out of our bank account. Simple, right? WRONG! Apparently, because THEIR system can't implement Autopay for at least 30 days (or some ridiculous number like that) we are now getting nasty phone calls about not paying our bill. ???? How exactly does this work? We signed up for Autopay and your failure to get it "up and running" is somehow OUR fault, complete with late fees and all?

Now if this ridiculous situation wasn't enough, their customer service reps apparently skipped that class about the customer is always right and the one about going out of your way to help the customer. I kid you not, I had a rep tell me last night that she COULD NOT, under any circumstances deal with this account issue if I didn't provide her with the account number (she had the info on the screen in front of her, by her own admission and I had provided her with all sorts of identifying information) and the rep I talked to today managed to get right to discussing my account without even ever asking for my account number. Hmmm, how could it be impossible for the one rep. to discuss my account with me, yet the other rep. had no problem doing so?? Maybe they had a staff meeting last night :-)

So, maybe the supervisor would be more customer oriented? NO! I had a supervisor tell me today that she could not give me the phone number for their corporate offices and that I would have to look it up on-line. Oh, yeah, that's really customer service oriented...um, go do it yourself, I have it right here, but I'm not going to tell it to you.

So, my recommendation to you all is, avoid Charter like the plague, but if you have to save a little money to sign up with them, be prepared.....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Many of you already know of Raelea's affinity for cardboard, well, in addition to her cardboard iPod and laptop, she also has a cardboard microphone and GPS. Anytime we empty a cereal box her eyes light up and she BEGS to have some new cardboard device.

Today, she outdid herself though. After she watched me make my tea here's what I heard, "Mom, could you make me a cardboard French press?" Um, no, I cannot make a French press out of cardboard, sorry :-( Okay, Nina has just declared that SHE can make a French press out of cardboard. Stay tuned to see if she is up for the task...