Monday, May 31, 2010

Today was Dex's 10th birthday. Wow - where has the decade gone? I realize that I am no longer a mom of little kids. Even Cars will be 7 in a couple of months - that is not a little kid!

Anyway, Dex had a fun day today. It was pissing rain (as it has been every day since we returned last week from Toronto) so we just hung out at home and had a lazy day all together. Later, we went to Red Robin for dinner then back home for some cake with homemade chocolate icing. We'll do Dex's b-day party after school lets out (and after baseball season ends).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Miss me? It has been a while...

We just go back last night from a 10 day trip to Toronto for my mom's 75th birthday. The party was on the 22nd and all of my siblings and all of my nieces and nephews were there (as well as all of my immediate family). My mom had such a wonderful time and she was oh so happy to have us all there.

Here is a photo of my mom and her grandchildren:

We had also hired a professional photographer to take tons of photos and I cannot wait to see those pictures.

While we were in Toronto, we took the kids to the Hockey Hall of Fame, a MLB game (Jays v Twins), Stephen took the older two to shoot paint ball, we stayed in a hotel that had a waterslide by the pool. The kids went on a two hour hike with one of our neighbours and they loved seeing their cousins, especially the boys. The kids were sick of us pointing out the sights to them (that's the school I went to, that's the church we were married in, that's where dad played hockey, that's where my dad grew up, etc). We took them to the wood lot that is named in honour of my dad as well as showing them a boardroom in the hotel we were staying at named for my dad.

It was a good trip for the most part. Some small issues and a day I swore I'd never return to Toronto. But I got over it and I will go back one day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Teleflora = Hell-no-flora

I ordered flowers to be delivered to my mom and MIL for Mother's Day. When I placed my order, Saturday, May 8th was not a delivery option - probably because it was the busiest day of the year for florists, so I chose Friday, May 7th. I used because I found a coupon code for 15% off flower arrangements. Sweet!

Friday came and went and I did not receive a call from either my mom or MIL. I figured that perhaps the flowers were delivered late so they would call the next day. On Saturday, we had our usual busy running around with baseball games and then Stephen ran the kids out to get Mother's Day gifts for me. I went bathing suit shopping (OMG, I felt like Cathy, trying to stuff myself into bathing suit after bathing suit), so it was not until I got home at 5pm that I noticed an email from that was sent at 1:40pm (that is 4:40PM ET in Toronto) telling me that they are sorry but the flowers were not delivered "today". Um, today? They were to be delivered YESTERDAY!

I called them to complain and they offered me 20% off for not delivering the flowers on Saturday. I explained that they were to be delivered on FRIDAY so the upped the discount to 40% off and promised the flowers would be delivered on Monday.

Well, guess what happened on Monday? No flower deliver AND no email from telling me this.

I called them back to complain and they said "sorry" and now offered 50% off and delivery on Tuesday. I accepted the offer but was still mad and embarrassed because we had assured my mom and MIL that something would be delivered on Monday. I asked for assurances that I would be notified if the flowers could not be delivered on Tuesday and they promised me that I would get an email. In the meantime though, I used twitter to voice my frustration: Once again the flowers were not delivered - 3 days (not counting Sunday) & counting. I am telling everyone I know never to use #teleflora.

Lo and behold, within 10 minutes, Teleflora was following me on twitter.

@Teleflora tweeted to me to send the order numbers and they would help me. I sent a message telling them I was told that the flowers would be delivered on Tuesday according to their customer service. BTW, my tweets automatically update my facebook status so while I do not have a lot of twitter followers, I do have a lot of fb friends - who incidentally all had good things to say about so I will give them a try next time.

Tuesday came and went and guess what? No flowers delivered. No notification from I called to cancel the order. The customer service agent could not have cared less which irritated me to no end. Immediately thereafter, I sent @Teleflora another twitter message asking why did they bother asking for my order numbers if they were not going to do anything about it? Petty, perhaps, but I felt good sending that note. This was at 2pm PT (5pm ET - the timezone where the flowers were to be delivered). I also called AMEX to dispute the charges on my credit card.

Four hours later, my phone rang and it was Cassandra from Teleflora calling me to apologize for the whole mess. I told her I was mad and embarrassed that they flowers were not delivered but most angry because I was not notified any day other than Saturday that the flowers were not delivered, even though I was promised that I would be told on Tuesday. "Blah blah blah some complaint was left open so no automatic email could be generated" and we are so sorry. She said they would still like to send the flowers and upgrade the product and send chocolates and a letter of apology to the recipients, etc. I told her that I did not actually believe they would send anything and if I did so, how much would they charge me. She said it would be free of charge. Hmmm... I explained that I did not want any upgrades. I did not want any boxes of chocolates. I just wanted the flower arrangements that I ordered to be delivered to my mom and my MIL. Cassandra assured me that they would be delivered on Tuesday along with an apology from Teleflora to my mom and MIL for the delay in delivery.

So, here is it, Wednesday. No flowers yet but it is still morning here (and in Toronto - late morning there). We'll see what happens. If they do get delivered, I will be happy to tweet that Teleflora made things right. If not, I will tweet about Teleflora's broken promises and poor customer service probably many, many more times.

edited to say my mom called at 2:30PM ET to let me know her flowers arrived and they were lovely. Not long after there was a message from teleflora apologizing for my MIL's flowers not arriving yet but promising that they would be delivered. My MIL called later that evening to let us know that her flowers arrived. I am now in Toronto on vacation and I have seen both bouquets. They are nice arrangements. Will post photos later.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

May is the busiest month of the year and every May I tell myself "Next year I am not going to do blah or blah" in order to make the month less busy for myself. And every year I forget that I promised myself not to take on too much.

This year, we are going away again (however, unlike last year when we went to Maui, we are only going to Toronto). Also, we had to squeeze in that trip to Great Wolf Lodge. There is no school on Friday so we are having Jax's belated birthday party. And now I am starting to fret about Dex's birthday because it always get lost in this crazy month. Never mind that Mother's Day is this weekend and have I sent cards? Um, no.

And my mom's birthday (we are going to Toronto for her 75th birthday party). And baseball, baseball and more baseball. And friends' birthdays and parties and teacher appreciation and end-of-year wrapping up of things, etc.

Also added this year is the good-bye gift for the principal. She has been at the school 7 years and this year's 6th graders were her first kindergartners at the school. So, I had this bright idea that, at the 6th grade promotion meeting, instead of flowers, that the class presents her with a fingerprint bead necklace. So, I have had the lovely task of making 180 little balls of polymer clay, piercing them with very sharp wire, meeting with the 6th graders to have them press their fingerprints into the beads, baking the beads while keeping track of whose bead is whose, Modge-podging the beads and winding the little wires into loops. I have one more class to go tomorrow. And after all that, I have to somehow design a necklace with 90 beads (the rest will go to make necklaces for the 6th grade teachers).

I really love these necklaces because I think they are special for the teachers but they are indeed a lot of work. I have one mom helping me herd the 6th graders while we make the fingerprints but all of the work before and after I have not delegated (control freak).

And before we go away, I need to get Jax a new pair of shoes, he needs clothes and and and and ... it just won't stop raining and hailing and being cold and I wish we were going to Maui instead.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

We took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge on Sunday and came home yesterday. As if my kids are not going to be missing enough school this month! Anyway, we had a great time. It was nice to be the yesterday because it was not crowded at all. Guess that happens when most kids are in school!

I did get a scrape on my knee from the wave pool that is still weeping today. It smarts! And I was going to go for a pedicure before we went but my scraped toenails are glad that they just had my slap-dash polish application on them.

Cars was sleepwalking or something on Sunday night and at 12:30AM tried to get out of our hotel room! It was freaky because Stephen kept asking him what he was doing and why he was trying to open the door and Cars replied first that he was hungry. Then he said he had to go to the bathroom and thought that was the door. Then he said something about buying something. Stephen was freaked out because he could tell Cars was not really awake even though he was talking. I think this really is the first time that one of our kids had been sleep walking. Weird!

Stephen forgot his license (we realized when we got there and they asked to see his ID when we checked in) so I had to drive both ways. I was miffed because we had arranged in advance that I would drive there and Stephen played his gameboy. I had big plans to read the paper on the way home but instead I had to drive. It was just under 2 hours to get home. Man, I hate driving through Tacoma. What other city has a major interstate running through it and PERMANENT signs warning of slow traffic. It is maddening driving so sloooow through there. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it! Aargh!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

How is it that Stephen and I can submit our passport applications the same day (our appointments were 45 minutes apart) yet his is processed and arrives 5 days before mine?