Blog Archives for category Fails

Thanks, Ecobee, we know. 

Our A/C died overnight but we didn’t really realize it until about 10am when we started moving around for the day. After a text to the landlord, it was a rush to close all the blinds and put up some curtains on the sliding door to block as much sun as possible. (It helped, but eventually got to 88° by the time they got here to fix it at 6pm.) It was actually somewhat nicer outside in the shade as there was a slight breeze. But our smart thermostat let us know what was going on: 

  

I couldn’t do this again if I tried for a hundred years.

I was trying to toss the ball over the railing. I watched as it went and saw it hit the top of the railing so I knew I didn’t make it over—I instantly recoiled thinking it was going to smash into the tile floor and break something and I didn’t want to see it. But nothing happened. No noise. No smashing. Huh? What happened?

Look closely…

  

Do you see it? 

 

We are bad doggie parents. 

We had to take Maggie in for a non-emergency emergency appointment. I’m glad I’d already researched local vets and had picked one… And that they could get us in within the hour.

We’re always a little lax on cutting her nails. Tom actually attempted it a few weeks ago before our move but hit the quick on one and it bled and bled and he obviously stopped and didn’t finish them.

Well, before then, I’d noticed one was getting very long and starting to curl around back towards her pad and I know I mentioned it but it got forgotten. Then the move happened, then vacation, etc. I noticed her licking and chewing on one foot but didn’t think much of it. Until this week and I rolled her over to look at her foot and OMG that nail had curled around and was growing INTO HER PAD.

Oh the horror and guilt we felt… We immediately cut the nail as best we could (we’d actually luckily unpacked that box) and it was bleeding a bit and we wanted to get it checked out to make sure it was okay.

The vet’s office was awesome. They gave her an exam, cut the rest of her nails, and gave us some antibiotic wipes. They said it wasn’t bad at all. (And in fact, it was pretty much healed by the next morning, so we likely could have skipped the appointment but of course we felt better going.)

Even though it was a regular appointment I was steeling myself for the cost. And it was only $59. It was $58 for the exam and $1 for the antibiotic wipes. Complimentary nail clip, complimentary tick pill. So we have a great vet now!!

And this is why we can’t seem to make progress.

Apparently they never put anything heavier than Kleenex on the hall closet shelves. All I’m putting on them is regular hall closet stuff like shampoos, lotions, cleaning products, wipes, towels, etc. 😣 THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T GET ANYTHING DONE. We have to keep stopping to fix shit. (And in this case I have to have Tom fix it and he’s obviously working and has a huge list of other stuff to get to that’s more important…) So now it looks worse then it did in the last photo because I had to take everything off two whole shelves. 

Sigh. 

 

OMG this house. THIS HOUSE.

Ugh. UGH.

I knew this house wasn’t perfect (I don’t think we’ve had a perfect house yet) but it’s always SOOO surprising the little things that are annoying as hell once you actually move in and start trying to unpack.

Here, it’s like the past tenants (actually the owners) didn’t actually live here and use things. Burnt out lights, outlets that don’t work, a ceiling fan so unbalanced the chains jingle loudly on every rotation, cabinet doors that can’t open because the fridge is too high (they actually hacked away part of the bottom of one cabinet so they could open the door halfway), and the fridge placed badly (the spot isn’t big enough for newer fridges) so that one side door can’t fully open and the nearby drawers and cabinets can’t fully open (and there’s obviously no other place to have it).

Let’s see. What else.

Katie’s “touched up” pink room looked like this:

[Note: Long story short, they’re coming to repaint. The owner had no idea what it looked like. His painter used the old paint and when it was wet it matched.]

The living room was “touched up” in the same manner:

Behind the stove (which we had to pull out because they left it unplugged):

The owners “cleaned” (I’m guessing just a basic surface clean) but there seemed to be YEARS worth of grime and food bits stuck on every surface and into the stove crevices. I really didn’t expect to have to deep clean my kitchen… But I mean, look at this. Barf. /shudder I literally almost vomited trying to clean this.

The cabinets and drawers were also all sticky and had disgusting peeling cracked liner on them. We pulled off some of the liners because they were more disgusting then the shelves underneath…but both were still sticky. It was at this point I decided to hire someone…who spent THREE HOURS (with help from her daughter) deep cleaning a 10×10 kitchen. Yikes, I know. (Mad props to my awesome neighbor who had a cleaning lady who could come ASAP.)

Moving on.

The MBR closet racks look good but are somewhat useless in practice. None are tall enough for my dresses, the door can’t open all the way when filled with clothes, and there’s a useless knee-high shelf—I was excited to see a shelf but if you hang clothes on the rod above it, they reach the shelf. The light was also super old, not bright in any sense, and made a loud humming noise.

There’s about 164 different types of light switches, dimmers, slides, knobs, timers, etc., none of which are where you’d expect them to be and all of which are old.

The washer is nice, but…more cleaning required.

Every single outlet is sideways. [Note: I’ve learned that this is apparently an Illinois thing.]

Whoever stained the kitchen cabinets just left the appliances in place so the sides of everything are stained as well (which you can also see in that disgusting stove pic above).

Whoever stained the privacy fence didn’t protect the windows so there are tiny stain dots on them which we’ll have to clean because it will drive me insane to look out through them for three years.

We were happy to see they left a hose and reel. Except when we went to use it we saw it was a water-powered reel that was broken and completely useless so now we have to get rid of it.

They left a crap ton of leftover tiles, wood flooring, etc. in a jumbled mess in the basement which we get to clean up if we want to use the space.

There’s an annoying step on the first level (seriously, whoever designed it was an idiot—there is NO good reason for the step) that not only is annoying but is also slightly higher than a normal step height and is constantly causing us issues. Owen even noticed it was higher than normal.

The stairwell to the basement is a 180° switchback so it’s impossible to get anything big (like a refrigerator or a couch) down there.

There are about four different type of blinds throughout the house. Nothing matches. And some windows don’t have blinds at all. Same with curtain rods. Some rooms have them (but they’re not even basic curtain rods), some don’t.

The vents in the MBR are placed so that our king bed/head board/frame and/or nightstand sits directly on top of it—not over it, like we could use a vent deflector, but actually ON it—so that to avoid that (it’s too heavy) we have to put the bed right up against the wall (which we learned won’t work because every time you roll over it runs against the wall and makes noise) or pull it out about 8″ away from the wall which takes away walkway space and makes lots of unusable room. As it is now, we managed to get the bed placed beside the vents but then our nightstands are about 8″ away from the bed.

And silly/minor things like this:

Tub parts just sitting in the tub:

Fixes by a homeowner who isn’t handy (on the front porch):

A bunch of these door stops are missing. So we either replace them/ask for the landlord to replace them or risk ruining doors.

Missing storm door lock.

The master bedroom closet light that is so dim it’s useless. Now with bugs and a loud humming noise! (We’ve already bought the replacement light.)

 
  
I spent probably an hour cleaning the sliding door tracks. They were SO crusted with gunk I’m surprised the door even opened. I was using vinegar and baking soda, a toothbrush, toothpicks, and probably a whole roll of paper towels to get it all out.

Oh! I forgot! They fixed a few broken tiles and apparently also regrouted the whole floor…but did it wrong and it just crumbles like dirt. Fail! [Note: the landlord has decided to replace the entire floor with wood. It was too short notice to do it while we were planning to be gone so he’s going to have it done over Christmas while we’re away.]

And there is one single outlet in the entire garage. One. So we have an electrician coming and all I see are dollar signs…

Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe.

This is a brilliant moving hack…

Even more so if you actually remember to keep all the sticker sheets so you can label all the rooms at the new house. 😣 Oh well, at least all the boxes have dots and they should be able to easily find the kitchen, dining room, MBR, Pink bedroom, living room, and garage. 😂

  

[Note: The movers loved the stickers. One guy just couldn’t get over the idea. He took the sheet with him to show people. 😂]

Moving is never fun, but this one has the potential to be awful.

The moving company only sent two people to pack us so there’s no way in hell they can finish in the allotted two days (it took one guy an entire day just to pack the kitchen—and he missed a bunch!). Tom called them and they said they’d try to send more people for day two. Nope, they didn’t. When they left at 4:30, they hadn’t even touched the basement. So now the plan is to have two people come back Friday and pack WHILE THE TRUCK IS BEING LOADED. And yes, you read that right: Friday. So we get to live out of boxes and suitcases until then. It’s a total cluster.

Listen, I know it’s their business and you would expect they have lots of experience with estimating, but it’s OUR house and OUR stuff and we’ve seen it packed and moved 4-5 times now so you’d think you’d put a little more stock in what we tell you—and we told them more than once we need a crew of at least four. 

This has FAIL written all over it and you can bet it will be reflected on our post-move survey. They could still turn it around but I don’t have high hopes. 

A few pics of the current status of our house: 

   
  
 

Not a good start to N Chicago.

I woke up to this series of texts from Tom:

After a bunch more texts about calling roadside and having to wait and the guy going to the wrong exit first…I got this.

Yeah. Turns out the fuel evaporation line was clogged which prevented him from filling the gas tank. He ended up getting into Gurnee about 6pm instead of the 3pm as we planned. So, not a great start. It could have been worse, though, so we’re still thankful (can you imagine if the truck couldn’t have been fixed and they had to send a new truck and everything had to be unloaded and reloaded?!).

Surprise! Today was Katie’s last day of Pre-K!

Yes, I said surprise. I had NO idea whatsoever—I just assumed they finished next week along with the rest of the school.

So, I dropped her off and a short while after I got home, I got a text from the class assistant (our friend) saying Whoops, they must have dropped the ball and forgot to send home the sheet about today being water day and could I bring a suit and towel for her. So I ran back to the school and dropped the stuff off and put her sunscreen on (they are not allowed to do it). Water day should have been my big clue since we also did it last year, but my brain is going in so many different directions that it didn’t even occur to me that water day was the last day of school. So I went to pick her up and saw her walking out with her art folder AND IT STILL DIDN’T HIT ME until the teacher said something about it being the last day and they enjoyed having Katie… Huh? What? Ahhhh, then it all became clear. Of course I was thinking WHAT THE HELL?!?! How could I not have known that today was the last day? Well, it wasn’t on the school calendar (and I live by my calendar). So I was bummed I didn’t have teacher gifts ready…so I will take them in Monday when I drop off some educational stuff for the classroom (donations as we purge).

KISS AND RIDE IS NOT THAT HARD PEOPLE.

  

Guess which dessert was yummy and which was not. 

 

Yeah. I had high hopes for the candy bar… But it sucked. Too much fake bacon taste, not even enough bacon, and very little chip flavor. 

Phew! Our house hunting saga is over!

I thought I had posted about this but looking back, I apparently didn’t.

About two weeks ago, our agent just sent us an unlisted listing—a client of hers who she happened to be sitting with. It looked really good…not perfect but good. A four bedroom/three bath, 3-car garage, ranch. Pets okay. Finished basement. On a dead end street. With a yard. In the approximate area we want. And he would hold it for us. And they’re military. And did I mention it had a THREE-CAR GARAGE? And it was a RANCH??!?!

But he wanted to start the rent at $2400 (already over budget) and raise it the next two years. We tried to tell ourselves the money would be fine. BECAUSE IT’S A RANCH WITH A 3-CAR GARAGE AND FINISHED BASEMENT.

We got more pictures that night (of course, her text came in at 11pm our time so there was no going to bed then) and our agent said she’d ask about the rent. But the more we looked at it and talked about it, it seemed really good. So of course we thought there has to be a catch because the odds of something good just dropping into our laps like this is not what happens to us. So we rushed to get a friend in to check out the house and take pics for us (our agent couldn’t be the one to do that because of stupid real estate rules so we HAD to have someone else do it). And there were some strange things about it, but overall they were all workable because DID I MENTION IT WAS A 3-CAR GARAGE RANCH?!?!

Well, it turns out the whole thing was a debacle and a big fat fail. I can’t even tell you all the details because I think I’m blocking it from my brain, but basically, they were total turds and apparently the wife didn’t know the husband was planning on renting it? Or they were just casually thinking of renting it when our situation popped up so they tried to make it work but it didn’t (we think they were going to move to something cheaper while trying to make money on us so they didn’t have anywhere planned to go). So when we ended up being serious and asking about a few minor things (an above-stove microwave instead of the countertop one, a garage door opener for the third garage, leaving the carpet they wanted to replace but replacing the kitchen linoleum instead) they freaked out and said they weren’t going to rent. GRRR. I’m sure that saved us from future nightmares (because OMG there was some freaky stuff in that house, but not freaky enough to overlook it being a ranch with a 3-car garage). So needless to say we were really bummed.

We knew we had house hunting time scheduled, but we were still getting paranoid about getting something decent because houses are literally only on the market for HOURS, maybe a few days at most. And rentals that take pets are, of course, rare. So we knew we may have to act quickly if something we really liked came up.

So, fast forward two weeks and we happen upon a listing in Zillow that is nowhere else. Long story short, it was somehow mislabeled as an apartment instead of a house and we still aren’t quite sure how we ran across it. Call our agent, get some details, get more pics, yada yada, looks great, but we have to rush because two other people are set to see it later that week so if we want it we have to MOVE. So we beg our lovely local friend Scott to give us a Facetime walkthrough…which he graciously did…and we really liked it. So rush rush rush to arrange everything, deal with the owner (through our agent) who is not using an agent himself so that’s SO MUCH FUN (not)…and a bunch of real estate drama later we have a house! YIKES! We will still go up later this month to actually see it in person (though it’s ours at this point regardless) and register the kids for school and all that fun stuff but we can breathe a sigh of relief now…

Google earth shots—look at that yard! And how flat it is! HEAVEN!!!!

The neighbor’s fence. We will have two sides of a fence. :lol:

    

This is a living area/dining room. If our table fits nicely in the eat-in kitchen this will all be living space. I’m also thinking this is where my new tall Christmas tree will be going… ;)

        

Not quite the kitchen I was hoping for, though it is nice and I do like the wraparound counter and we will hopefully have room for at least two barstools and this will be the first time ever we’ve had a backsplash!

    Another living space—not quite sure how the TV will work because we won’t be putting it there.

Look at all the natural light! And it looks out onto the back yard!

The guest room! We thought it was the master but during the walk-through we learned otherwise.  

When we were watching the walk-through, Katie was sitting with us and when they got to the pink bedroom she exclaimed “That’s my room!!” There are four bedrooms (all upstairs). The basement has an office (or room without a closet), a HUGE storage room and separate utility room, and a decent sized finished area with room for a play area…and a pool table (!!) and big pool hall light that are staying. (I am sure we will end up using it, but Tom is already planning on building a cover for it to make me a craft table or something.) There was also a swing hanging from the ceiling, so Katie was VERY excited about that. Tom told her it would be going with them, but I said we could surely put one up now that we know where it can go! I don’t think there will be room for the bounce house, but at this house we can use it IN THE YARD!

So overall we’re happy. It’s a big house (2700sf) on a flat street with sidewalks and we have a long flat driveway. We have a big front yard, side yard, and back yard (Tom is already thinking about what mower he’s going to upgrade to since our little electric one won’t cut it—pun not intended but it was too good to edit out). We are under two miles from both the Primary (PK/K) and Elementary (1-3) schools and just under three miles from the Intermediate school (4-5). The schools will take some getting used to as they are HUGE! The PK/K alone is about 700 students (about the size of Owen’s entire elementary PK-5) and the Elementary is about 1700! YIKES. One small thing I’m bummed about is that Owen and Katie will never attend the same school—she will be in K when he’s in 3rd and then she will move to that building for 1st but he will be in the next building! GRRR! I guess that’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but right now I just envision it being an annoyance. Oh well, it will all be a new adventure for sure!

Nail + Screw = New tires

So, this happened:

Of course, it was the exact tire that had the last nail… And apparently since it was close to the edge, the guy said there was a chance the repair might not hold and it would split. GRRRRRREAT. How am I supposed to feel comfortable driving on that?!?!?! The tires are original and they are 2-3 years old…so we talked about getting new tires. And then as fate would have it, Costco was having a sale on Bridgestone tires, so off we went and $800+ later I feel safe driving again.

Where are my iFly pictures and videos?! (Part 2)

This is a combined post with four days of waiting and replies.

April 10—4:34pm

The next day they replied that they had found them and emailed them all to me free of charge. Except they were all of Katie! (Looking on the bright side, I now had like eight free photos of Katie instead of paying $5 a piece.) Soooo I emailed back and asked about them again, saying I hated to be such a pain about this but this was my bucket list experience and I had really wanted the photo. They replied with links to pictures…but they were the same photos of Katie they had already sent! So I fired off another email thanking them for all the pictures but explaining AGAIN that they were not pictures of ME.

April 12—1:51pm

Two days go by with no response so I email them again, casually asking if there was any update. 

April 14—12:54pm

TWO DAYS LATER I get an email apologizing for the delayed response (she had been off work) and saying “Unfortunately I was unable to find your photos, but we would be happy to send you a voucher for you to come back and fly for free so that we may find your photos.”

April 14—2:05pm

I receive the email voucher for two free flights.

And then I proceeded to write this strongly-worded feedback for their survey—which I also emailed to their corporate office.

Our instructor was awesome and we all had an amazing time and I was thrilled to check something off my bucket list. I do, however, have two HUGE suggestions (I will also be writing corporate as I believe it would be beneficial company-wide).

One, kids under a certain age should be required to do a practice run on the bench in the classroom to get the feel of it. While there isn’t much to remember, even I (as a 42yo) kind of forgot everything the first moment I stepped into the chamber. So you can imagine what happens to an 8yo and 4yo! They did well and had fun, but my son had spaghetti legs one whole flight and the instructor spent an inordinate amount of time wrangling him. I think had he practiced on the table first, he may have had a better idea on what to do.

Two, guests with long hair should be strongly recommended or even required to have their hair braided, in a cap, or at the very least tucked up inside their helmet. You could even provide a cap (like you provide earplugs). I have long hair (to the middle of my back). I did ask the best way to deal with it and was briefly told a braid or a low ponytail. So I opted for the easy solution of a low ponytail. BIG MISTAKE. I didn’t realize until after we were done that my hair was a huge knotted mess. When I tried to deal with it the following morning, it was a nightmare trying to get 8″ of thick hair untangled. Granted I should have thought more about it and realized that wind was obviously going to mess up my hair and taken my own precautions—but with the excitement of the day and having asked and received a quick answer, I thought I’d be okay. I literally spent HOURS painstakingly trying to comb out all the mats and knots with a head full of conditioner, leave-in conditioner, detangling spray, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.—anything to help the process along. And eventually just gave up and used brute force and pulled out a ton of hair. This was a very disappointing end to an awesome experience which I believe could all have been easily prevented with a simple cap, helmet tuck, or requirement to braid.

Lastly, we had an issue with our videos and photos that we’re still trying to work out. We were a family of four and when we went to check out our media, my name was listed but the media was of my daughter (whose name wasn’t listed). A call to your staff had them researching the footage and I did eventually get my videos, but am still waiting to see if they can find my photos. I know mistakes happen but I have to say it was upsetting to realize I initially didn’t have any videos or pictures of my bucket list experience. I will say, though, that dealing with your staff regarding this has ended up better than I’d expected—emails were answered quickly and my issues thus far were solved efficiently. I am hoping to resolve the photo issue quickly as well. (I am wondering if there isn’t some way to scan your wrist band before each time you step in the chamber, which would trigger the recording with your name. It would seem you have some similar type system since the videos were mostly attached to the correct person…but then I’m not sure how my flights were all missing.)

All that said, I will say that overall we were very happy with our experience…and we will be back. But I would strongly suggest adding both the child-practice sessions and the long-hair issue to your pre-flight information and lessons.

Thank you!!

So, while there were some bad parts (the hair thing and the missing media thing), overall I would still recommend it…plus I get two extra flights during which my hair will be tucked so far up in my helmet it won’t budge. And I will have Tom taking pictures and videos the whole time.

Where are my iFly pictures and videos?! (Part 1)

April 9—5:26pm

So we get home and I pretty much went straight to the computer to check out our photos and videos. If you recall, our iFly tickets each came with a free video and then Tom and I added on the High Flyer experience which came with a photo. So I login to get our videos and pictures…and guess what? There are exactly ZERO of either for me. Everyone else has a video (or two). Everyone else has a bunch of pics (Katie and Owen each had like 15). I HAD ZERO OF EITHER. The way their site is set you click on your location > date > flight time > name to see your associated media. Except Katie’s name wasn’t listed and my name showed all of Katie’s photos and videos! I flew right before her so had no idea how they could possibly have skipped me…twice? Including a high fly experience AND a double-length flight?!

I called them immediately and told them what was going on and they said they’d have to look into it and call me back. It didn’t sound terribly promising. They did call back within about 15 minutes to ask what color shoes I was wearing—I’m assuming so they could scrutinize the video feed and try and find my media. So I was a bit upset…but in a holding pattern hoping they would come through.

And what really gets me is that I didn’t take (or have Tom take) one single picture or video with my phone!! Why not you ask? Because I was thinking I didn’t want to keep it in my pocket while I was flying…but DUH I could have easily handed it off to Tom because we obviously weren’t flying at the same time. I was so pissed at myself about that for quite some time.

April 9—8:32pm

When we hadn’t heard anything back from them, Tom called to see what was going on. They assured him they were taking care of it.

April 9—11:24pm

I checked my email before bed and discovered they had sent the download links for two videos (so I actually got a free video!) but…they didn’t send any pics (!!) so I had to email them back about that. And after watching the videos…it’s two snippets from one flight and not a video from both flights! (Believe me, I’m very happy to have gotten the videos at all, but I am still very much hoping there’s a picture or two since they are much clearer than the video.)

These are not replacements for Samoas. 

Who doesn’t love a chewy chocolatey coconutty Girl Scout Samoa? But who wants to pay $4 a box? So when we saw these at Costco for $8 for three boxes, we were all over it. 

   
 

Yeaaaahhh. Not so much. :(

They were similar but definitely not replacement quality. So the kids get the cheap ones and we’ll easy the good ones. :)

Do not buy lemon cookies at the dollar store. 

These? Suck. They’re horrible and not one of us liked them. They went straight into the trash.

These are what I hoped they were like—just a cheaper version. I was wrong.

 

On what planet is this a legit pizza?

The local pizza hut didn’t have good yelp reviews but Owen had a free personal pan pizza coupon for competing his February reading so we ordered. Yeah. Look at this pathetic Meat Lovers pizza.

Where’s the meat? Hell, where’s the cheese?! 

Never again. If Owen gets another coupon it will be just his pizza. 

Laundry transfer fail

This is what can happen when you ask your 8yo to switch his laundry (remove pants from dryer and move clothes from washer to dryer and start it). Keep in mind he’s successfully done this before.

You will notice that in addition to all the socks that never even made it into the dryer, the dryer door isn’t. even. shut. (so it never turned on). Yet he did remember to turn the dryer to permanent press and put in a dryer sheet.

This won’t be happening again.

Katie didn’t like dinner tonight (sloppy joes) but she wanted more chips and the M&Ms Owen got for dessert so we told her she had to finish her sandwich half. She didn’t HAVE to finish, though…just if she wanted the extras. 

Guess how long she sat there eating her half a sandwich? Ten minutes? Twenty? Thirty? Ha! Try ONE HOUR. (And I think it only ended then because I told her it was getting ridiculous and I was setting a timer. So she had five minutes to finish or lose the extras.)

This is the first time she’s sat there/we’ve let her sit. Normally the table is cleared when dinner is over and if she’s hungry later she can eat her dinner then. This hour business won’t be happening again, that’s for damn sure. 

 #tinybabybirdbites #whymomsdrink