Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sam's club-am I the only one they piss off?

I have a Sam's membership. I have had this for several years. I go there pretty often. I spend lots of money there. However, they always seem to piss off. Their customer service sucks there. We have a costco right across the street from Sam's. I have looked online about switching to them but they just seem so much high in price. For example the membership fee at Costco is $50, Sam's is $40. I checked the price of diapers on line at both places since I but plenty of diapers. Costco is $52 for a box of huggies. Sam's is $38 (although this varies every time I am in there between $32-$39) for the same thing. That is a huge difference.

Sam's has pissed me off so many times. Once, about 2-3 years ago, I had Sam and Joe in the cart plus everything I had planned on buying. The cart was full, but I had it all crammed in there pretty good. I had enough time to check out, load the car and then go get Max from school. I check out and the lady starts putting my stuff in a different cart. She loads up the seats where the kids sit. I told her I would prefer just one cart and for that space to be open. After-all, Joe was a baby at the time and I was not going to be carrying him, pushing a cart and making Sam walk. If you have ever pushed a cart full of stuff along with 2 kids in it, you know how hard it is - now make that 2 carts and it gets crazy. There parking lot is somewhat up hill , by the way! Well she told me I could have someone help me out. I asked her to go ahead and call someone up for that. She told me to ask at the door. OK, the door was about 7 feet away. Really, would it not be better to call ahead so they are ready? Guess not. So I spend $400. I go to the door and ask for someone to push my 2nd cart out. I was told nobody was available to help me. Umm, yeah, there will be! So, she ask this other guy about it. He says he can help me in about 15 minutes. NO! I ask for a manager. She was just as worthless! She was saying nobody could help me right then. What was she doing??!! SO an older couple saw what was going on. They asked me if they could help push the other cart. I said yes. So off we went, the manager standing there staring at us. She follows us out and tries to back pedal. We are pretty much at the car and then asks, if there was anything she could do to help. I told her something along the lines "no, these people were nice enough to offer help and and I don't want help from someone that was as rude as her." I look at her name tag and say, "Shelley" -- Just so she knows, I know her name. I tired to take this high up but got nowhere.

The store has not gotten better. In fact, the same door people still work there. They do things all the time that make me so mad.

I went to Sam's on Monday of this week. It's cold here. It is best to park by the exit so when I come out I don't have as far to go, pushing a full cart plus 2 kids, going up hill and hoping the cashiers put my stuff in the cart good enough so it doesn't start falling out. The cashiers suck at this by the way. I generally help load the cart just so things don't fall out in the parking lot. I park by the exit then generally walk over to the entrance. Like I said though, it's cold. So I was going in the exit that day. I would rather get the kids inside the building as fast as I could. I have gone in the exit once or twice before. (I was leaving the exit once when someone was coming in it and the door lady said- they can wait on you, cause they are coming in the wrong way- as she gave them a dirty look and tired to ignore them). So I know the door people are not big fans of this. OK, so I go to the exit, an older guy is going that way as well. The door lady says (pretty much directed to the guy) "You can't come in this way." He asked "since when?" and she said "this is the exit, the entrance is over there." "well, I know that," he said. The entrance is at the other end of the building. He stands there not sure what to do next. By the way, this man is old and barely walks. I watched him limp up to the store. I told him I was going that way anyway. I was loading a cart up and waiting for some people to get out of the doorway that were coming out. The man is standing there when someone inside saw this and called his name to come in. This person knew him and saw what pain in the butts Sam's was being so she helped him out. I later saw this guy in the store in a wheel chair (the ones Sam's offer). I was all geared up to ask for a manager if they tired that crap with me. I walked in and kinda waited. I asked Joe if he wanted in the cart to stall. They never said anything but gave me some dirty looks instead. I was really ready to take it out on that manager if they said a word to me.

I get done shopping and go to the exit door to get my receipt checked. The door guy was up there when this was going on earlier, he clearly remembers me. (BTW, this is the same guy who said he could help me in 15 minutes- years ago- his name is Ernie). He usually draws a smiley face plus a 'halo' over it on the receipt and gives to the kids. It drives me crazy. It takes time, people start lining up and really, my kids could give a rats butt about it. SO this time, he looks at my receipt, looks at the cart, puts a line on the receipt and hands it to me. That was it. No words, no smiley face. SO I guess, to make him stop with the annoying smiling faces, I just have to piss him off.

Does anyone go to Costco? What do you like best about it?

Also, I am going to throw this in the post so when people search "Sam's club review" they know that the Sam's club in Lenexa, Kansas sucks on customer service!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Ike had his eye appointment yesterday and the doctor said everything looked great. I can stop using the antibiotic ointment as well. I have talked with the store manager about the whole thing and gave him a copy of my one receipt that i had at the time. I have another one for him then I will be getting the ER bill in the mail soon. He is talking to the regional or corporate manager about reimbursement. Really, $300 or so is nothing to a big company so hopefully that will work in my favor.

Max has had his new communication device for almost a week now. He played with it for the first 2 days but hasn't touched it much since then. I send it to school every morning then once he gets home it stays in the bag all evening. I charge it up every night. I'm sure he uses it at school though. I do know that he doesn't use it in class yet. This morning I turned it on so I could check a few things but he said "NO," pointed to himself and promptly turned it off! At least he has taken ownership of it! There is a meeting with the teachers and the tech lady tomorrow so it will be modified a little. Then next week there will be more changes. There is SO much on it that it can be confusing- to me!

I need to pick up the kiddos from school now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ike will be the death of me..

And if not- I will blame him for gray hair when I'm old!

Remember just 3 weeks ago he had to go to the ER for busting a hole in his lip with his tooth??

Every Friday after Sam is at school, Ike, Joe and myself pick up Pete from work and go eat lunch. Last Friday we got done, I dropped hubby back off and had about 1 1/2 hours till Max and Sam got out of school. There is a clothing store near Pete's work that I rarely go to but they always have great deals so I thought I would check it out. We are almost done in the store. I was checking out gloves and that sort of stuff. Joe was behind me playing with something and in his own little world. Ike was in front of me and the cart. He was carrying a little stuffed star. I have no idea what it really is for. Anyway, the aisle we were in had shelves. Ike dropped the thing he was carrying and bent over to pick it up. He stands back up and is screaming. I wasn't looking right at him when he did this but I could see him out of the corner of my eye. I look at him and he has a hanger sticking out of his eye. I rush over to him and think that this hanger really can't be in his eye. The hanger was on the shelve, sticking out before Ike bent over. When he bent over, he caught it-- or it caught him!

So I try to pull the hanger out straight. It would not move. Trust me, about a million thoughts are going through my mind at this point (I know you shouldn't pull a toothbrush out a throat, but what about a hanger in the eye? ;Is it in his eye of just by his eye? ; Will he be able to see? ; I even picture the freak accident pictures- like this one that has a boy with a fork stick in his nose!). Since it wouldn't budge straight out, I needed to pull it up. I was holding the hanger and it turned. It was a plastic hanger with the the metal hook that swivels. The metal hook was what was stuck in his eye. When it turned I could see the hook under his skin, below his eye. It was not sticking out of the skin but the skin was sticking out with it. It was all sorts of gross! I finally got the hanger out by hanking REALLY hard. It was not bleeding and the eye looked OK. I held him and he calmed down some. I tell Joe we needed to go NOW. He ignored me. That's Joe! Ike's eye was starting to swell already. I ask the cashier if they fill out accident reports. She barely spoke or understood English. She told me no and asked what happened. I told her and she just said "Sorry." I didn't have time to mess around asking for a manager. I needed to figure out if Ike needed to go to the doctor or the ER and also needed to get Max and Sam before I did any of this. Ike calmed down pretty fast. So I called the doctors office and got an appointment there. I would much rather pay a $25 co pay than a $200 ER co pay. This happened at 2:45. The kids get out of school at 3:30ish and the appointment was at 4:15. The timing was all good. Ike went right to sleep when we got in the car. He was tired!

I get to the school and debate about pulling Max and Sam out early or just waiting. I decided to wait. It was only about 10 minutes early and by the time I unload Joe and Ike (along with waking him up), drag them in the school, tell the office to get Max and Sam, etc... It would be no earlier than the normal time they get out. So we waited. After they get loaded up we head to the pediatricians office.

The doctor seemed somewhat concerned that I had to hank pretty hard on it. She talks with a pediatric ophthalmologist from Children's Mercy Hospital (CMH). Our doctor takes Ike (and me) into a dark room to look into his eye with her light so she can see the back of his eye. She says it looks OK but she will ask the ophthalmologist 'what next.' A few minutes later she comes back and this time puts numbing drops in his eye, waits then rubs a strip of dye on his eye. She takes a black light and looks all over his eye. That procedure was pretty weird! His eye was florescent green. Again, she see nothing. She gets back with the other doctor. Everything seems fine, she says come back Monday morning and writes a script for antibiotics.

As we were checking out, CMH ophthalmologist calls back. They talk with the doctor again and decides that yeah, maybe they should see him as well. But this can't be the closer CMH to us. The one with the ophthalmologist is at CMH downtown Kansas City. Fun! We go home (after a melt down from Joe b/c the office didn't have the right sticker), I grab some food for the kids, change Ike. He was dirty from lunch and had a nice diaper for me! I left the other kiddos with Pete while Ike and I drove to downtown KC to go wait hours in the ER room. I was not too excited. We got there about 6:30. They check him out, call in the pediatric ophthalmologist, we wait, and wait some more. That doc did the same stuff but also dilated his eyes. He also poked around with a cotton swab. We wait some more. Finally at 10 pm we are free to go! His eye looks fine. YAY! He prescribed antibiotic ointment for the eye and told us to follow up in a week with a pediatric ophthalmologist.

The follow up doctor happens to be Max's ophthalmologist. They called this morning to make that appointment (yeah, they called me!). That will be Wednesday as the doc is out on Friday.

Ike's eye was puffy and a little red but really it looked great the day afterwards. Today, however it is getting bruised. He is getting a black eye. He did awesome with all the doctors, nurses, drops, poking and lights - he never cried or even struggled!

I called the store Saturday morning and talked to someone. They DO take accident reports and the store manager only works Monday thru Friday. I spoke to a manger later that day and she took the report. I should hear from the store manager today. I will also be asking about reimbursement. I ended up paying the $25 co pay, will be billed the $200 ER copay, the meds (they were cheap- but still!), and will be following up with the specialist with a $50 copay.

But the best thing is that Ike is just fine!! He is in the running for beating Sam's ER visits.

Here he is right before he headed to the ER. Not too bad for having a hanger stuck in his eye only a few hours before! Can you see the little dot under/beside his eye? Right by that, there is a bump- that is where the hanger was sticking out at. The other has a scratch under it as well- but I'm not sure what from.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The mom song

I'm sure most of you have seen this but it is so funny and true I thought I would share it here as well. Enjoy...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Communication device

As a baby Max never really babbled much or even tried to imitate words or sounds. He started speech therapy I think around 9 months of age. I switched SLP (speech language pathologists) a few times. None really worked that great with him or they would except too little from him. Then He got one that really seems to click with him and he did a little better. Then he started school (Pre-K) and had another really good SLP. She knew how to bribe him with fruit snacks! Still he had very little sounds or words. His first word was either Nah for no of Gee for Go. So word approximations, really. He has been adding more and more sounds and words, but VERY slowly. Right now he is 7 1/2 years old and just recently has started putting 2 words together. Those are simple ones, like- Joe NO, or Ike NO -- You get the idea. He still doesn't have a ton of words. Even the ones he does have most of them are approximations.

I have always used sign language with him. Really it is total communication. Signs and words together. Pete isn't into sign language but whatever! Daddy had no idea what Max is signing most the time because he doesn't want to learn it. They are simple signs, not hard to do or learn. Max uses signs has his basic way of communicating. He can finger-spell faster than anyone I know too! Granted, I don't know anyone else that finger-spells! He can count using signs up too- I have no idea how high. He does his ABC's pretty darn fast too. He signs all his sight words as well. When Max learns a new sound or word, he drops the sign. That is how signing is supposed to work. Kids sign the words until they can speak it. Generally that is a lot younger than 7! But anyway, he is getting there. SLOWLY, but hopefully surely!

Examples- Max drinks orange juice, all the time. He used to sign for it (sign 'orange'). I started making him say "O" then added each new sound. That took a LONG time but he now says orange. Same with Pizza. He signed it, I had him start making a "P" sound and continued on. Now he says "Eizza." Still working on the "P."

When Max was in Pre-K, I think when he was 4 ish, he got a communication device. It was a simple box that was a "seven layer" system. It could be programmed with 4 maybe even just 2, pictures on up to 16 pictures. He pushes the button, the device says the word. The words were recorded by a person, as in whoever was setting it up could change the words and record new ones right then and there. The 7 layer part is that you could have 7 different 'screens' that were switched out manually. It was quick and simple to do but still took time. It didn't have sentence building capabilities. However, he didn't need them either. He used it at school and not really at home. He would bring it home at times but he never used it. I generally know what he wants. I understand his sounds, signs and gestures- most of the time. Max has outgrown this device. So school and myself had a meeting a couple months ago to get him a new one that could grow with him even more. We all decided on the DynaVox V. It is basically a mini computer! Check out the website if your interested. We had a meeting this morning (at 8:30!! that is early for my kids!) about how to program and use the thing. We covered some of the basics, and it took an hour and a half. We have another meeting in 2 weeks. Max got to pick out the color. What color did he pick?-- black. I guess he didn't like the green one, like me.

I think Max will really like this device. There are several voices to pick from (including your own!), it has sentence building, it can download games and misc stuff from online and takes a variety of pictures, including digital ones. When it is first turned on it goes straight to the communication part- that is picking out the pictures to "talk." However, if you push (it's touch screen by the way) a certain key it takes you to a normal looking desktop, complete with a 'start' menu. I'm sure he could cause all sorts of havoc once he got there. So we decided it would be best to password protect that part! It can be updated without it being right there in front of you. But it does need to be sync'd for it to download the changes.

He will get it tomorrow right before school gets out. He has the whole weekend (3 day weekend by the way) to play with it and check it out. I'll try and write more about it in a few weeks after we use it to tell you how we like it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

curse the Moon Sand!

I hate moon Sand!

My mom has about half a ton of the stuff at her house that is my nephews. My kids liked playing with it and making huge messes. My sister has some for her son (one of my other nephews) and they seem to like the stuff. She claims that it is not that hard to clean up. So last summer my sister asked me if Joe would like Moon Sand for his birthday and if I would care if he got some. My answer was immediately NO. However I then decided it was very nice to tell her what NOT to get him. She said good b/c he was getting anyway! So he got it. I decided it could be an outside toy only. Sam and Joe played with it on the deck for the first time shortly after we got it. About 80% of the sand was lost through the cracks in the deck and just from it being EVERYWHERE. I hated the stuff even more. I packed it up and put it away up high so no kids could get a hold of it. It has been there for over 6 months now. Target had some MoonSand on clearance so I thought we would give it another try. Today I got the MoonSand back out of hiding so Joe and Ike could play with it while I unloading groceries. I put a big plastic shower curtain down on the table. I really figured I would regret not putting it on the floor instead. However I did not want sand all over the "homework" table. Joe loves the stuff. He had the normal color sand, some red, green and some glitter blueish color sand. I gave Ike some yellow sand. Joe did pretty well keeping it contained. However, all those pretty colors now look like a big ugly blob of blah! You know, like 10 different colors of play doh when it is mixed up. Ike had yellow everywhere. He is only 16 months though! So I start picking up some yellow sand from the carpet when Joe decides his Moon sand dump truck needed to take a load off. On the carpet, all over the place. I tell him not to do it and warn him he won't be playing with it if he acts like that. Just to show me up, he takes the truck that still has more sand stuck to it and threw it on the floor. He had to pick it all up then sweep it up with the swivel sweeper. I packed it all up and it may be in hibernation for many, many months.

Who ever invented this stuff must not have had kids, and more than likely never allowed that stuff in their house. It gets everywhere!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

delurking day

OK, So I guess yesterday was delurking day. If you stop by my blog, let me know you visited.


Does anyone use this program? Max uses this at school. It is a sight word/reading program. I am not sure why some of the words are chosen to be on the first 150 words, but whatever. He seems to be doing pretty well with it. He already knows roughly 45 of the words. He signs them, then attempts to say the ones he knows how. Part of the program are some coloring sheets. I will have a paragraph or so and say what color something is. Then he has to read it, figure out what color what item should be. He seems to like it. For example, one might look like this...

The little girl put the green ball and the car in the box. The boy put a yellow airplane in the box. I see a green fish in the box. etc....

Then he looks at the picture, finds the ball and colors it green. All the words used in Edmark build sentences and progress further with each word added.

So, does anyone use this? If not, do you use anything special on teaching sight words/ reading?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What a week!

Last week started off a trip to the ER. Last Sunday Ike was trying to push Joe off the stool in the kitchen. He's 1 and what he wants, he thinks he should have! He either got mad and threw him self down (which he does A LOT!) or slipped while pushing on Joe. Either way, he hit his mouth on a drawer I had open or the floor (not sure which). He started crying (loudly) so I say to him, "yeah, you fell, didn't you?" in a tone- maybe you should not be pushing people off chairs/stools. I bend down to pick him up and the bottom of his mouth was full of blood (this was only about 3 seconds after it happened, by the way), and I noticed a little slit under his lower lip that was also seeping blood. gross. I give him a wet, cold washcloth. I take him downstairs, hand him Pete and ask him to check if he jabbed his tooth through his lip. I had to sit (ok, lay) down cause the blood was making me sick. I am a wimp. I felt like I was about to pass out. So Pete agrees, it looks like he split his lip open- by way of his tooth. I didn't really think they would stitch that up being the place it was. I also knew that calling any doctor or hospital and asking about it they would say-- bring him in so we can look at it. SO we call my sister, she's a nurse. granted, not ER nurse, rather a neurosurgery nurse. Still she may know. Her son split his lip open a couple years ago and he got stitches. I take Ike to the ER. We were out of there in about an hour. The admitting nurse told me they don't stitch lips up unless they go up and down and actually include the lip. As in, split all the way up. That was good to hear. When we saw the ER doctor, he left it up to me. He said he "had the time" if I wanted it stitched. But really he didn't need them. Well, if he doesn't need them, then he is not getting them. The next day you couldn't really tell anything happened. It is almost completely healed now, a week later.

So an exciting beginning of the week. To make the rest of the week fun, everybody but Pete has had a stomach bug. I think we are finally getting over it. Saturday the weather was beautiful and we were feeling pretty much better. It was in the 60's here. Not common for Kansas in December!! We went to the zoo, walked around and saw some animals. Got done, went and ate dinner and the weather was really cooling off. Alright, it was cold by evening time. I don't think it got above 30 degrees today.

Kids go back to school Wednesday. I am dreading that morning already!