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The day I gave up my voice.

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The day I gave up my voice.

[Graphic from Speed4Sarah website.]

As my part of the #whatwouldyougive? fundraiser, I gave up my voice for a day. The fundraiser, started by Sarah Coglianese, raises funds for ALS research by having participants give up one ability that an ALS patient might/will give up in the course of their disease. (I had to start a day early because I thought I’d be driving west with 2 kids and a dog starting 8/1.)

One type of ALS is called bulbar onset and starts in the bulbar region.

Progressive Bulbar Palsy (PBP) – was originally described by Duchenne in 1860. In approximately 25 percent of people with ALS, the initial symptoms begin in muscles innervated by the lower brainstem that control articulation, chewing and swallowing. Sometimes the disease remains in this form for years, but usually it progresses to generalized muscle weakness, that is, to ALS. When the disease is strictly limited to the bulbar muscles clinically and electrodiagnostically, it is PBP, not classical ALS. (from The ALS Hope Foundation website.)

For people with Bulbar onset ALS, one of the first things to go is their voice. This must be very strange when an otherwise healthy looking person is out in public yet can’t respond verbally to normal conversation. This has opened my eyes to handicapped parking spaces and placards too. How many times have we seen a healthy looking person parking in the handicapped parking space with a placard? I’ve been like, “Oh yeah, you look REALLY handicapped!” Now I suspend judgment.

Last Friday I gave up my voice as part of the #WhatWouldYouGive? ALS fundraiser. Here’s how it went:

7AM I woke up first. Kids came down around 7:45AM and remembered I wasn’t talking. They enjoyed the novelty of it – were uncharacteristically shy and polite to me. They also made a game of trying to figure out what I was communicating to them through gestures. It was fun at first – trying to remind them of all the things I typically bark out on the mornings we wake up late. (OK that’s been every morning this summer.) They had camp at 9 so had to eat, get dressed and get hair brushed (on odd days). G hustled them out the door and then took off to sell a kayak. Being alone for a few hours made this challenge super easy. The only thing that came up was during my morning (ie. weekly) jog was when people said hello to me I could only smile back. Did they think I was a snob? Usually I find any reason to talk to people especially if it gets me a short break from running.

G got home around 11AM. When he came in he acted shy and quiet. He barely spoke to me. I sat in the dining room on my laptop and emailed him suggestions for the day’s plans to his laptop in the kitchen. Otherwise he pretty much avoided/ignored me. Did he think HE was participating in the challenge? If so, why hadn’t he started a fundraising page? Or did he think that since I wasn’t talking I also couldn’t hear?

We agreed to pick up the kids at 12:30PM and head to G’s favorite BBQ joint – 12 Bones here in Asheville. We rode silently in the car but I did think to bring a pad of paper and a pen in case I needed to tell him something. When we arrived at the art museum (where the camp is) I realized it was the last day of camp and couldn’t very well go collect the kids without saying thank you and good-bye to the teacher. G understood so I waited in the car and he went to get the kids.

When they got in the car they remembered I wasn’t talking. They were still excited about it. We got to the BBQ place and stood outside in line. Usually I figure out what to order for the kids. So I wrote on my pad what I was getting then I decided to let G take care of the kids for once. I wondered what people next to us in line thought about me answering everything via writing on a notepad. When we got to the front of the line G had to order. The guy at the counter looked at me expectantly but I remained awkwardly mute. G ordered (I thought wrongly) for the kids. I was unable to remind the kids to say “Thank you” when he handed them their cups. I went to get water at the soda machine. It was crowded and I tried to wrangle the kids in a line in front of me but since I couldn’t say “Excuse me” or even “Sorry” it was more difficult than usual. When we sat to eat Bea didn’t like her sandwich at all. I smugly thought, “I wouldn’t have ordered that for her.”

After lunch the girls and I made a bathroom stop on the way out. There was one woman in line in front of us but Bea didn’t see her and raced in front of her to the bathroom door. Normally I would’ve nipped that in the bud but I couldn’t! So Bea tried the door to discover it was locked, looked at me and I was able to gesture for her to come back to our spot in line. M told her we had to get in line. Once inside the bathroom, it was impossible for me to remind the girls to hurry up. So they didn’t. M sat on the toilet chatting for a while. I tried gesturing in a circular motion with my hands as I knew there was a line outside. Ay yi yi. When she was good and ready she finished her business. I couldn’t even tell the next person that I wasn’t the one who stunk up the bathroom!

Leaving the restaurant for the parking lot there was no way to remind the kids not to run across so instead I had to grab their hands. Usually I just remind them, “We’re walking across the parking lot so we need to be careful of cars.”

It was over 90 degrees out so we headed to the pool. When we got there we discovered I had neglected to put the girls’ swimsuits in the bag so we had to go ALL THE WAY home to get them. Back to the pool – G had to take care of the payment when we got in. I took the kids into the changing room. After hours of quiet disciplined fun at art camp, sitting at the restaurant and driving around in the hot car, they went haywire – running around screaming, dragging the clothes/towels through the puddles on the floor, opening the door to my changing cubical. I forgot I wasn’t talking here and yelled at them, “KNOCK IT OFF! YOU’LL BOTH LOSE TV IF YOU DON’T STOP THAT!” which was not only breaking the no talking commitment but also just as effective as it usually is.

In the pool things were fine until my kids refused to share their pool toys. You know the little weighted squids and rockets you drop to the bottom of the pool and then retrieve? Bea acts just like Root Beer at the dog park. He has no interest in his tennis ball unless another dog wants to play with it. Then he become ferocious and suddenly the most tennis ball loving playmate you’ve ever met. Bea is like this with pool toys. Normally this is a teachable moment which I use to discuss playing out in a public park and that if we take toys to the park then we need to share them. If we take sidewalk chalk and paint brushes, they are for everyone to use. But I couldn’t say anything and the other children who wanted to play with our girls looked at me in a way I took to mean, “Do something about this!” G was off in his head about something and once again NOT DOING THINGS AS I WOULD DO THEM. (I.e. doing them wrong.) The only other thing that happened was the lifeguard asked M to keep the snorkel out of the pool. When another dad heard that he remarked incredulously to me but loudly enough that the lifeguard would also hear, “Really?? You can’t have a snorkel in here? Why not?!?” Instead of responding I smiled and swam away. What could I say? (Also, the only reason M had a snorkel was because G had brought it and we’d already been told no masks were allowed in the pool so it wasn’t really much of a surprise to me.)

That night it got harder and harder for me to not talk. I felt isolated, powerless and frustrated with how things were being done. (Sorry G!) Also, at the girls’ bedtime I realized I couldn’t read “Island of the Blue Dolphins” to them. I had gotten really into the book reading it to them now as an adult. I went downstairs to collect G so he could read it to them. G and I watched “Unbroken” after the kids went to bed. This was the most challenging part of the day in some ways as one of my favorite things to do is talk through movies and tv shows!

At 12:00AM I started talking immediately.

Reflections: During the day whenever I felt frustrated/challenged by being with family and strangers without my voice, I couldn’t help thinking about the reality of ALS – even Bulbar onset – being that the slurred speech/loss of speaking would be coupled with other losses. Would I even be able to eat at a restaurant or drink water? That jog I took in the morning, running down the stairs first thing in the morning, making a cup of coffee for myself, brushing my girls’ hair, hugging them goodbye.

It was a big challenge not using my voice but I had all my other abilities AND i knew I really did have my voice to use if I wanted to. I missed the deep sadness that would’ve been coupled with a true loss of my voice – knowing my kids wouldn’t remember what I sounded like unless I recorded it before it was gone. Some people don’t have time to record their voices since it’s the first symptom of ALS for them.

Thank you, Sarah for coming up with this fundraiser. It gave me just a fraction of understanding and empathy for what ALS patients and their families are going through. That is why I am writing this blog – to pass along what I observed to other currently healthy people who could be advocates for pALS (people with ALS).

We are still accepting donations for this fundraiser! $10 is a great amount and deeply appreciated if you can. Thank you to Andrew & Allison Cox, Libby Raccio, George Fitz, Lyn Bradford, Dina Vineberg, Lindsay Dietrich, Veronique Marachet, Mandy Sorenson, Kathleen O’Clock, Janice Reid, Lucia Quinn, Caroline Murphy and Jess Clapp Hennessey for your generous donations and support! Thank you also to an anonymous donor – it means so much!


**While typing this I asked G why he seemed to stop talking to me. He said, “I’d probably always be silent if you quit talking so much.”**

Interesting links:

Types of ALS

Every 90 Minutes : foundation started by pALS Jay Smith who is was diagnosed with Bulbar onset ALS in spring 2014.

Anthony Carbajal’s Facebook page : this young guy was diagnosed in 2014 and actually has fALS (familial ALS which is inherited through a genetic mutation). He was on the Ellen Degeneres show and had a well-known Ice Bucket video last fall.

Rob Becker’s #WhatWouldYouGive? blog : he will use a wheelchair for an entire day as part of the fundraiser and documents his prep/experiences here. He is a friend of Sarah Coglianese’s.

What would you give to relieve someone’s suffering?

Last fall when I heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge I claimed to have felt bullied into donating since I didn’t want to make a spectacle of myself on Facebook. (OK, I was too lazy.) So while I was one of the two(?) grumbling Ice Bucket Scrooges we donated money without really knowing why or the specifics of the cause. Later that fall a New York Times article popped up on my Facebook feed. It was written by a young mom and writer who had ALS. Without the Ice Bucket Challenge putting ALS on my radar I would’ve skimmed right over it.

Sarah is smart, funny, quick to laugh at her own expense, stylish and pretty. She and I have daughters close to 5 (well, hers is 5 and mine will be soon.) Her experience of motherhood combined with her progressively terminal disease made me curious. I started reading her blog. Slowly I started understanding what the excitement was over the Ice Bucket Challenge – how huge attention and funds were finally being directed at one of the most devastating terminal illnesses around.

In a nutshell:

1. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a- means “no”, myo refers to “muscle”, and trophy means “nourishment.” The sclerosis part refers to the hardening or scarring. ALS occurs when the neurons connecting muscles to the brain degenerate. When the neurons die, the muscles don’t receive messages from the brain thereby atrophying. The muscles controlling motor movement are the ones affected. The ones that control walking, cooking, chewing, holding a cup of coffee, picking up a child, bathing, brushing one’s hair. ALS slowly paralyzes a person until they can no longer breath independently. It is a real life horror story.

2. There is no known cause and no cure. The only treatment is a drug which can extend survival by about 10% if taken early enough. It can cost hundreds of dollars a month WITH insurance and can give some people miserable side effects.

3. Most people with ALS die within 2-5 years of first symptoms.

4. ALS is sometimes called “The Bankruptcy Disease” due to the incredible costs involved in caring for a pALS (person with ALS). Not only does the equipment needed cost a lot (walker, support braces for ankles, power wheelchair, Hoyer lift, bed rails, bidet, home renovations to allow the wheelchair to pass through doorways etc.) but caregivers are not always covered by insurance. If the pALS has to stop working that income is lost too. It can cost around $200,000./year to care for someone with ALS.

5. ALS is not incurable. It’s underfunded. Because it is a rare disease it is grouped with other orphan diseases that generate little to no interest with pharmaceutical companies. Few patients = no profit.

6. pALS can’t advocate for themselves for long due to the loss of motor function. Their families can’t either due to taking care of their pALS. Imagine caring for someone who can’t scratch their own itch and needs help changing positions in bed, eating, getting bathed & dressed, putting makeup on etc. If there are children, add that to the regular chaos of caring for them. Some do all this while working full time. pALS need currently healthy people who are unaffected to advocate on their behalf (behalfs?) That’s where I come in.

7. ALS usually strikes people after age 50 but in Sarah’s case she was diagnosed at 33 with her symptoms starting earlier. Her daughter wasn’t even 2 years old. It can affect any of us.

In June Sarah started her #whatwouldyougive? campaign to see what people would give up to end ALS. Participants started giving up their voices, use of a hand or arm, one of her friends will use a wheelchair to take the BART to work. He’s started his own blog about it- the planning and challenges involved. All proceeds of her fundraiser go to ALS Therapy Development Institute, a non-profit biotech company devoted only to finding treatments for ALS.

As my part of the #whatwouldyougive fundraiser, yesterday I gave up the use of my voice for the day. Many friends, family members and even some people I don’t see much donated money to the fundraiser. Thank you!! We have gathered over $800 and still have another week left.

Stay tuned for my post on how yesterday went. Though it wasn’t a fraction of what an ALS patient goes through, it was eye-opening.

Sarah Coglianese’s #Whatwouldyougive? Fundraiser

4 B’s in 3R

A couple of weekends ago, my old friend flew west from Cambridge and, after grabbing Root Beer, we headed north to a little town just south of Sequoia National Park called Three Rivers. We went to stay with a mutual friend who has recently published her first novel.

Her writing partner was there – you see, they were preparing to leave to do research on the sequel in Vienna & London. WOW! Sure beats the research I used to do for Froot Loops commercials which entailed finding detailed photos of temples in Angkor Wat for Toucan Sam to explore.

I think I just dated myself. That spot is so old it can’t even be Googled. Great.

Anyway, due to the success of these creative endeavors, spirits were high! Wine was drunk (and so were 4 women), no diapers were changed, nobody was bathed or read to in bed. Everyone was a winner, working hard equalled sure success, the non-writers’ future careers were chosen, global warming was stopped & cancer was cured.

The next morning we did some calisthenics outside in the shade of a [insert name of shade tree that grows in that exact climate here].

Beer made himself at home.

Lynchie’s mysterious writing partner dubbed the weekend “Four B—–s in Three Rivers.” Who could top that?

Saturday morning we were served fresh pomegranate juice. Fresh from frozen that is as it’s not pomegranate season for a few more months but Lynchie picked these from her tree & used a friend’s press and froze it. A refreshing elixir made from my favorite fruit!

Once we got the hair off our tongues Neen and I visited the park. We got a late start and became a bit lost a few times by being flighty & chit chatting instead of paying attention to where we were. I wasted further time by insisting on a large Dagwood sandwich which was only procured by taking a shuttle to Lodgepole.


The vegetarian version of a Dagwood is a lot less impressive. Basically a perfectly fine humus/veggie wrap is what it was.

Getting lost can be nice, actually. We got off one of the shuttles too soon and ended up strolling by Crescent Meadows a few times. Picture yourself walking through tall sequoias when suddenly a vibrant green meadow appears through the trees on your right. Long rays of sunlight streaming down, illuminating the changing bunches of wildflowers. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to have seen a few fairies & elves flitting about from bluebell to bluebell. WOW! If you ever get there in the spring or summer, check out Crescent Meadow!

This guy climbed the steps to Moro Rock (which we also did) and has some nice pix of the most popular areas of the park.

After FINALLY finding our way back from the park, Neen and I met the other duo at a wonderful dinner party. We were late & really hungry from stumbling about the park all day. In addition to EVERYTHING being amazing, gorgeous & tasty, there was a beautiful barley salad which I’d like to try to recreate soon. Nina, what else besides avocado was in there again? How I wish I’d snapped a pic on my phone.

Sunday morning we did our calisthenics again while the dogs patrolled the perimeter.

Dogs at work. Work, dogs, work!

They took a few breaks as the sun heated things up.

Dogs at play. Play, dogs, play!

We were sad to leave but so happy for 2 of the B’s and their well-deserved successes after a LOT of hard work. We were jealous and wished we were going to London & Vienna only without having done any work.

Kaweah Post Office

On the way out we finally got an ice cream at Reimer’s. It was closing in on 100 degrees by then.

You know what would be perfect in this weather?

Alas, I missed a ton of photos this weekend – namely the park as I left my cell in the car. But an ordinary camera really can’t do it justice anyway.

Thank you, Lynchie & Meg for a wonderful weekend! It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been able to start and end a conversation though I definitely can’t vouch for my listening skills.

Incidentally, I’m slowly posting recipes to my new blog “Real Housewife of Santa Monica” and it should go public within the next two weeks. Stay tuned!

What I’ve been up to

I’m behind on my salad postings. I’ve been on the phone/instant chat with Sears’ customer service. I think I’ve spent around 5 hours at this. My new hobby!

Please wait for a Sears Customer Service Representative to respond. This chat may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes. Thank you for holding.
Hi, my name is Bourne, and it is my pleasure to assist you today. May I have your name please?
Christina: Christina
Bourne: Good Evening Christina!
Bourne: I appreciate the opportunity to help you! How are you doing today, Christina?
Christina: Fine. Thanks.
Bourne: You are welcome.
Bourne: Good to hear!
Christina: I have a few questions about an order (you have the order number.)
Bourne: Let me know how may I help you today, Christina?
Bourne: I will be glad to answer the questions that you have in your mind regarding the order.
Bourne: Do you have an order number, Christina?
Christina: 1. There were several mistakes made on my order (you might be able to see. Sears ended up canceling the hood (that was for store pickup.) That is fine but it hasn’t shown up (You already have my order number – that’s the first thing they asked me on the chat.)
Bourne: Thank you for confirming the order number.
Christina: Anyway, it’s been at least 8 days since the hood was cancelled (2/29/12) and the refund hasn’t appeared on my credit card.
Christina: That’s question NO. 1.
Bourne: I am sorry to hear that the order which you placed for the hood for store pickup has been canceled.
Bourne: I’m sorry for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.
Christina: I’ll wait for the answer to NO. 1 before I go any further.
Bourne: I will surely check on the status of the order and will help you regarding the refund of the order.
Bourne: Before we continue, please verify your full name, complete billing address and the email that was used to place the order?
Christina: It’s 100% fine that the hood was cancelled. However, I was told the amount would be refunded to my credit card within 3-5 days. It’s now been over 8 days.
Christina: ——————
Christina: ——————
Christina: ——————-
Christina: ——————
Bourne: Thank you.
Bourne: I am sorry to hear that you haven’t received the refund on this order as it is been canceled.
Bourne: Just a moment while I check on the refund status and help you in getting the refund.
Christina: Ok
Bourne: Thank you for staying online. I appreciate your patience.
Christina: Well, I want the refund.
Christina: And I have a few other questions after that.
Bourne: Christina, I have reviewed the order and understand that the order for the item “30 34 Convertible Range Hood 5205″ is canceled.
Bourne: I am forwarding the request for the refund on this order.
Bourne: Please allow 3-5 business days for the refund to reflect on your card.
Christina: The refund needs to be expedited IMMEDIATELY though. Not in another 3-5 days.
Christina: Please talk to your supervisor if you need to.
Christina: B/c otherwise, Sears is holding my money for longer than the terms imply.
Christina: Do you think it’s right that I have to wait 3-5 days? That means I will have waited 11-14 days for the refund when Sears’ policy explicitly states that my refund will appear within 3-5 days.
Bourne: Let me check with my supervisor regarding this matter.
Christina: Thank you.
Bourne: You are welcome.
Bourne: Thank you for staying online. I appreciate your patience.
Christina: Ok
Bourne: I have checked with my supervisor and we are sorry that the refund processing is taking slight delay.
Bourne: I’m sorry for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.
Christina: Ok. Let’s not use the word “sorry” anymore.
Bourne: Please need not worry.
Christina: I just want my refund immediately.
Bourne: I understand that the sorry word is not worth for this inconvenience.
Bourne: I understand your frustration with the way you feel. I don’t blame you for feeling disappointed.
Christina: Question: can I get the refund immediately?
Bourne: To be honest I would feel the same way if I was in your situation.
Christina: I am not “disappointed” I am considering getting legal counsel.
Bourne: We have forwarded the request to our refund processing team to process the refund.
Christina: I would like your supervisor to get the refund expedited ASAP. LIke today.
Bourne: I absolutely understand how you are feeling right now and to be honest, I would have felt the same.
Christina: Please tell your supervisor that I am going to get legal counsel regarding this matter if my refund is not made TODAY.
Bourne: I wish that we could have processed the refund right now to you but since it takes 3-5 business days to reflect the refund on the card we apologize for the slight delay.
Christina: No, it doesn’t take 3-5 business day. It takes 11-14 business days.
Christina: Please pass this chat to the supervisor right now.
Bourne: I completely agree to you and it is completely an inconvenience regarding the refund and hence I certainly agree to you that waiting for these many days for a refund is not acceptable.
Bourne: I am taking the chat under the supervision of my supervisor.
Christina: Then please make it right.
Christina: Thank you.
Christina: Thank you.
Bourne: You are welcome.
Bourne: Please stay assured on it, Christina.
Christina: What does that mean: “I am taking the chat under the supervision of my supervisor”
Christina: Does that mean you are passing the chat over to your supervisor?
Bourne: We have forwarded the request to our concerned department and you will receive the refund for this order.
Christina: When will I receive the refund?
Bourne: Yes, I understand and we will certainly take care regarding the refund.
Christina: When will I receive the refund?
Bourne: All I suggest you to wait for 3-5 business days.
Christina: No.
Christina: That is unacceptable.
Christina: What if 3-5 days pass and it still hasn’t posted? Should I then just wait another 3-5 days?
Christina: Please get your SUPERVISOR.
Christina: I am not kidding around.
Christina: My brother is an attorney. Do you want me to get him involved?
Bourne: Just a moment while I ask my supervisor to assist you regarding this.
Bourne: Just a moment while I transfer this chat to my supervisor.
Christina: Ok
Bourne: Please allow me 2-3 minutes while I transfer this chat to our supervisor.
Christina: As long as it’s not 3-5 days
Please wait while I transfer the chat to ‘Bryan’.
Hi, my name is Bryan, and it is my pleasure to assist you today. May I have your name please?
Christina: Christina
Bryan: Thank you for staying online. Christina
Christina: Hopefully you have all the information from “Bourne”
Bryan: Yes, I am reviewing the chat for you.
Christina: Hi Bryan,
Bryan: Good Evening. Christina
Christina: The hood I ordered was cancelled by my local Sears store on 2/29/12. The refund was supposed to be posted to my account within 3-5 business days. That would be today.
Christina: The refund has still not posted. Please advise.
Bryan: Sure, I will check and get the information for you.
Christina: Thanks
Bryan: You are welcome.
Bryan: I checked the information for you, the refund should have been processed. However, there seem to be an issue.
Bryan: I have forwarded the concern to the concerned department so that refund is done at the earliest.
Bryan: We will get back to you within 2-3 business days.
Christina: What seems to be the issue?
Bryan: I am sorry, we do not have the required information. Hence, we have the forwarded the issue to the concerned department.
Christina: Do you realize Sears cancelled the hood by mistake on Friday the 24th? And STILL didn’t post the refund?
Bryan: I am sorry to hear that the hood was cancelled.
Bryan: Yes, I understand your concern.
Christina: I contacted Sears cust. service last week who assured me the refund would post w/in 3-5 days. It’s now been 9 days since they cancelled the hood on my order.
Bryan: Yea, I am sorry for the delay. I will make sure you get the refund at the earliest.
Christina: What is the required information you don’t have? Why don’t you call the concerned department right now.
Christina: Can I ask you the other two questions?
Bryan: I am sorry, we do not have the option to call the department. We have forwarded it to the concerned department.
Bryan: Sure, please go ahead.
Christina: Question 2: Can you refund the installation fee since the Sears delivery guys were unable to install it?
Christina: (the range)
Bryan: I will check the information for you.
Bryan: May I have the information to which appliance you are referring to?
Christina: Don’t you have my order number?
Christina: ————-
Bryan: Thank you.
Bryan: Yes, I will check the information for you.
Christina: Model# ——
Christina: Thanks.
Bryan: You are welcome.
Bryan: I checked the information for you, I am sorry, we have not charged installation fee on this order.
Christina: Oh Ok.
Christina: Thanks.
Christina: Question 3 (the last question):
Christina: We DID pay for “haul away” but since it couldn’t be installed, they couldn’t haul away the old range. They said they could come back when it was ready to be picked up. It’s now ready to be picked up. Can we arrange for the haul away now?
Bryan: Yes, you can do that. You just need to call the delivery team at 1800-732-7747.
Christina: Ok. Thanks.
Bryan: You are welcome. Christina
Christina: You said I will hear from Sears within 2-3 business days. How will I hear from Sears? Via email or phone?
Christina: B/c last time I was told I’d hear from Sears, I didn’t.
Christina: They didn’t even call the day before or day of delivery!
Bryan: We will reach you through email.
Christina: Who?
Bryan: You will get email from the billing team.
Christina: Ok. Thanks.
Bryan: You are welcome.
Bryan: May I help you in any other way today?
Christina: No. You really haven’t helped that much. No offense! I have nothing but mistakes from Sears since the beginning.
Christina: I hope you can find a new job when Sears goes bankrupt.
Bryan: I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. We will make sure that you do not experience the same situation again.
Christina: I doubt it.
Bryan: Thanks for chatting with me regarding order issue! Thank you for choosing us today; we appreciate your business. Good bye and have a great day!
Christina: We are going somewhere else for our appliances next time. I have wasted about 5+ hours just trying to sort this out.
Thank you for chatting with us. Please click the “Close” button on the top right of the chat window to tell us how we did today.

Bogged down

I haven’t posted that much on the blog lately though I have loads of material. Why not?

Because of this:

Ever present Laundry. Won't you disappear?


If I (god forbid) have a third child, I will use Pampers.


My dresser. There is an explanation (read: flimsy excuse.)

And this:

Unfinished (and unstarted) projects

Things to sell on eBay. Yeah, right.

Ay yi yi!!!!!! (The neat little desk on the left is not mine.)

1. I have the majority of my mom’s stuff that we got out of storage a couple of years ago. We moved 3x in one year without bothering to unpack the boxes but now it is time to settle in.

2. Now that the kids are into everything – I just place breakable/precious things on the highest surfaces possible.

3. I don’t put things back. I think I will forget about things if I put them out of my sight so I leave them out but then I don’t get to them anyway.

Sort, go through, give away & sell anything I can.

1. No new projects till all the old projects are complete.
2. No book purchases (except for the kids). Library, LIBRARY, LIBRARY!
3. Put things back.
4. Sort out one bookshelf/closet/box a day (only on the days the kids are in daycare!)

I have the most patient husband in the world. But I still don’t want the house to look like this when his mom gets here next week.

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