Friday, August 22, 2014

Goodbye Paci!

He did it! Tonight was the night we decided to finally devote to saying goodbye to the pacifier. Nolan really was on attached to it at nap time and bedtime, at home. He doesn't ask for it at daycare, Aunt Ginnie's or anywhere else. He knows he can find it in his bed and so he depended on it at home. Earlier this week I watched a video of a little one with their Paci tied to some balloons and having a big send off. I thought to myself this is great! I showed Nolan the video and he wanted balloons and wanted to wave bye bye almost immediately. We didn't run out and get them though. Instead we took our time this week and continued to talk to him able where the Paci would go and how it can't come back. I also briefly mentioned the "Paci fairy" watching over him and delivering a present if he is a big boy and let's go!

After about 30 minutes in our backyard and a few "get it off" (referring to the balloon strings tied around the Paci) and "I don't want to!" he finally did it. He let go of the balloons! Only problem was we were too close to a power line and tree!!!!! So they didn't go to far and we can't play out back because he will see his Paci and want it!! (Don't worry we plan to retrieve it and throw it away)

Anyways, I panicked and needed the perfect send off for him so I quickly ran to Giant and bought more balloons! We had 1 more identical Paci that we rotated between and attached it to the balloons. No backing out now because we don't have any backups. So this time we went out front and gave another countdown and Nolan released his Paci into the sky!

The Paci fairy left a big boy certificate and ribbon, play doh, sidewalk chalk, Dora camera, animal crackers and M&M's!

Nolan loved all his goodies and we played with everything tonight. At bedtime we let him play around in his room a bit extra before going through his bedtime routine. He asked for Paci a few times. Of course during the extra playing he fell and smacked his head (he's ok!) on the corner of his bed and started immediately crying for his "Paci make me all better!!" He got extra cuddles and some extra milk and all was well. He cried and whimpered for about 30-40 minutes tonight asking for it. Ryan went in the first time to comfort him and I did the second time. After that, he has been sound asleep since! I am thankful everyday for my amazing little sleeper. Let's all keep our fingers crossed it stays this way!!

And what is the reason I am still awake and just now blogging? I put this video together as his farewell to Paci (and "baby" Nols)...and may have shed a tear or sobbed. The Paci comforted Nolan for 2 years. He had it during so many major moments thus far, his first trip to Disney, first hair cut and so many other "firsts". We are embracing him growing up and loving every minute, but watching that Paci fly away sure was emotional. So proud of my big boy.




One last thing, my vacation post is coming!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Worst money I ever spent.

We all have bad experiences with companies in life. Normally, there is always someone else you can talk to and like it or not, there is a resolution. Everyone experiences these things. It’s part of life. Now, I can get mad, but there is one company in particular that has made me go from mad to hatred. From this experience I have learned to research before purchasing and it really has made me think twice before using Groupon. Now, Groupon is not the company in question (per say), but they were the company that advertised this business and although Groupon was professional and efficient I am still hesitant to use them.

Let me take you back to June. Yes, June. Well really, early May. I purchased what seemed like an amazing deal on Groupon because after all, all the deals you see are amazing on there. I did not hesitate and clicked buy when I saw a 4 hour inflatable rental for somewhere in the $40ish ballpark. I thought to myself, brilliant! We will have an inflatable for Nolan’s birthday party at the park. I called the company Jump N’ Play and scheduled the inflatable immediately to ensure I would get the appropriate date. Of course I had to pay a $45 service fee and an additional $20 fee to be in a park. The deal already was starting to not look as good. I spent a month contacting the company asking for a Certificate of Liability Insurance which was required by the Recreation & Parks Department to have the inflatable on their grounds. This was a very normal request and the company repeatedly informed me that I would have the certificate by the time I needed it which was at the very, very, very latest June 6th the Friday before the party. The week of the party I was still following up with the company asking for the Certificate. It was that week they told me they would not have it in time.
In my line of work I actually work with Inflatable companies that are rented for events where I work. We require the very same certification and I have had companies get it to me within the hour—no joke. This was over a month which is extremely alarming and raised so many red flags. Needless to say, it was a mutual decision between me and the company to cancel the inflatable because THEY could not provide their certificate.

Well, wouldn’t you know it Jump N’ Play has a no refunds policy. However, in this situation they agreed that they would process me a full refund because THEY couldn’t provide the necessary documentation. I asked for an email to have in writing that I would receive my refund. I received this,

Over the past 2 months I have called and emailed the company on numerous occasions to check on the status of my refund. Originally, I was told that my refund was delayed due to the 4th of July holiday – understandable. I followed up the following week and was told “there would be a rush delivery put on it”. Once again, great news. Needless to say, all of this was complete BS. I followed up daily for far too long and was told so many excuses, they need to check with finance department where the check is, the check was sent to the park and had to be returned and resent, call back in an hour, they will call me back (never once did I get a call back), they are in a meeting, the system is down and the list goes on. Additionally, I was denied the ability to talk to anyone else because “she was the person handling me case”.   
So, yesterday (Aug 14th) I once again called to check the status of my refund to which I was put on hold for 10 minutes and told that “we re-evaluated your case and you actually will not be getting a refund anymore. You can reschedule an inflatable with us because the reason was due to the park not having power” Um, obviously this set me off…I had been so calm every single damn phone call to this woman and now she has the nerve to for one say “we re-evaluated” and two tell me no you don’t get your money. Who the crap is “we”??? I have asked for someone else numerous times and been denied. Additionally, I have in writing that I will get a refund because THEY couldn’t provide insurance.
Anyways, I am thoroughly convinced that this woman (Cheryl) is running a shady business and the phone number is just her cell phone. She is using children’s birthday parties to steal from people. I filed through the Better Business Bureau (really wish I would have looked there before I purchased) and she is an awful person. So many complaints about not refunding, inflatable’s not showing up for the parties and so on.
Although to some, it is not even that much money I had to spend ($69) because the Groupon, but to a business it should be nothing. What happened to customer service? Also, there is a principle. I was ensured I would get my money and now I am being told something completely different. I have spent far too much time these past 2 months trying to track down something that was never even in the works. She wanted me to forget about it, but I am still not willing to do it. What she did is not right. Sadly, she is doing it to others.
Her company is actually located out of Georgia, but the Groupon stated serving Maryland, Virginia and DC. However, the only phone number is Georgia (once again I think just a cell). I am pretty certain this woman is a scam. I am doubtful an inflatable would have even shown up. I guess I can find out now that I can reschedule one, only problem is I have tried to call 3 times today and she doesn’t answer my calls. Screening my calls? Possibly.
The phone number to this horrible “business” is 404-695-8440. Do with it whatever you wish.   
I think I just work for a Department that prides ourselves on customer service and maybe my expectations are too high? I don’t think they are in this case, but maybe.
I have learned from this and awhile I am staying away from Groupon (even though they were great with customer service and did refund my purchase) I really wish they did more research before advertising such horrible companies like this one.
I just wish something could be done because this woman is awful.


Friday, August 1, 2014

NYC / Turning 30

Do you ever type something up and think you have hit save but only to find out that you didn’t? Well, this is why it has taken me so long to post anything on the blog. I wrote a post about our anniversary trip to NYC this year and was saddened to find out that I didn’t actually save it.

Let me try to recap this all over, again.

Back on July 17, 2009 Ryan and I got married in our church and then had our reception at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was the perfect location for us. Since then we decided that every year on our anniversary we would visit a different ballpark and make it our goal to visit everyone of them, together. Prior to getting married we had already visited a few of them together (Ryan likes to count them, but I think we should visit them again as a married couple to count them). This year we headed back to New York to see Yankee Stadium.

Anyone and everyone that knows us, knows that we are very, very, very far from being Yankees fans, but spending a night in Manhattan and checking out the stadium really did not seem like that bad of an idea.

My sister agreed to watch Nolan for us from Friday – Sunday. Friday night we went out on a double date with the Jackson’s and had dinner and a movie. Let me just tell you, I have not been to the movies since May 22, 2012. Why do I remember the date? Because Ryan and I went to see What to Expect when you are Expecting on Nolan’s due date (worst idea ever). Anyways, being that it had been over 2 years, I was counting dow nthe days until I would sit in the theater and chow down on that movie theater popcorn. Well, I did just that. We saw 22 Jump Street and laughed our butts off. It was a great way to kick start the anniversary weekend.

On Saturday morning we left bright and early and headed to Manhattan. We walked around the city for a little bit and then we hopped on the subway and headed to the Bronx for the 1:00pm Yankees game. The weather was gorgeous. For mid-July we were lucky to have a breeze. We walked around the stadium, missed out on Monument Park because it was already closed by the time we got there and then watch the Yankees crush the Reds (unfortu nately).

My other favorite thing to do when we go to a new ballpark is check out their signature foods. It appeared that a Nathan’s hot dog may have been the big thing. We both opted for something different. Instead we tried pork nachos and garlic cheese fries. Both were interesting and delicious.

FaceTime with our little bugaboo!

After a subway ride back into Manhattan, we got checked into our hotel and ready for a night out. We walked around for what seemed like over an hour looking for a place to eat (seriously, we were in NYC and there were 291381 places to eat, why can we never make decisions?!?) only to end up in a pizza shop. We got some NY pizza and delicious sangria and then walked down to the Hudson pier where 311 was having a concert that night. We did not have tickets, but like the other 30+ people, we sat in the park outside the pier and listened and enjoyed.

Crazy lady walking a chicken. And carrying another chicken.

It was a great weekend getaway and I am thankful for my sister taking great care of Nolan and allowing us to get away for a few days! :) As sad as it is to leave Nolan overnight I know that it is good for both him and Ryan and I. Besides, coming home and seeing the happiness on his face may be the best thing ever.

Happy 30th!

And then before we knew it, Ryan turned 30!!

I think he had a great birthday. Nolan and I got him a rocking chair and we spend his birthday at the Bowie Baysox minor league game. Seriously, I am really starting to realize we go to a lot of baseball games.The best part, Nolan loves them!

In line to run the bases!

On Saturday evening we had a cookout at our house to celebrate the old man. I don’t think the night could have gone any mor eperfectly. It really was a wonderful evening spent with family and our dear friends! There was a chaotic mess of toys everywhere you walked which was a sign that the kids were playing hard. There were hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, food for days, beers in hands and a delicious cake. The weather was great and I have never seen our backyard so jam packed. The little ones partied just as hard and Ryan seemed so thankful for everyone that came out and celebrated with us!

I started dating him when he was 19 and now he’s 30. I have been with him for 11 years and although there are times I cannot stand the guy,nevery ounce of me loves him and will always be in love with him. Cheers to your 30’s, babe!