Aug 20, 2015

Ultimate Disney Character Quiz

I saw this come up on my Facebook's hard to resist a Disney quiz.  I didn't score perfect...Mulan was never one of my favorites and therefore I don't remember the characters from that series.

I scored 86%

Leave your score in the comments!

Ultimate Disney Character Quiz

Aug 19, 2015

Home Sweet Home Ticker

Persephone is turning 3 & Hardy is turning 33

This is our last trip where Persephone will be FREE (which is 3yrs for those who haven't figured that out).  I'm so super excited....I've been listening to Disney theme park music for a while now on Live365 .  I already have that anxiety/depression of not wanting to come back home!

We are staying at the All Star Music Resort for 4 nights and.....

We have reservations at some places we've never tried before; Coral Reef at Epcot, Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano at Hollywood Studios and Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom.

This time I figured we may not be back for a while, so I bit the bullet and ordered the "Memory Maker".  It was an additional $169.00, but from what I understand any and ever photo/video Disney captures for you will be available at your discretion/use.  If you've visited Disney recently, you know you get a photo pass anytime one of the Disney Cast Members take a photo for you with their cameras.  Later you can view these photos online for a short period of time.  I want to say the 5X7 size photos are either $14.95 or $16.95...what a rip off.  But it's hard to turn away because a lot of the photos they capture are beautiful and at angles you could never get as a parent.

I do plan on bringing my cell phone in of course, but I'm not bringing along a camera this time.  It's too much of a hassle to get in and out of the bag and I don't always get the best shots anyway.

We are actually flying to Orlando this time.  We've never done it in the past, but I personally hate how long it takes to drive anywhere on vacation lol.  It takes away from your trip for one and it can make the voyage to and from a horrible experience.  I am a little nervous because this will be Persephone's first time flying so I hope she does well.

I didn't want to check a stroller.  A. I don't want it to get damaged and B. I just didn't want to have to worry about carrying it.

So we booked a stroller rental with Kingdom Strollers  it was $75 for a 4 day rental of a City Mini stroller.  They drop it off at your hotel and pick it up.  It even comes with a rain cover and name tag.  I will definitely post a review when we return! 

We are all so excited!!

Aug 17, 2015

Adventures in Alabama

The weekend of 7/24 Mimi and Pops came to get Persephone.  She stayed over there for three nights and had a blast.

Mimi and Pops took her to the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, AL.  It appears they have activities and exhibits for all ages.  Persephone spent a majority of her time in their Itty Bitty Magic City

Itty Bitty Magic City features:

  • Main Street: This area captures the look and feel of a downtown main street area complete with storefronts, sidewalks and street­ lights. Main Street includes a fire station, a farm, a veterinarian clinic, a market, a diner and a garage.
  • Tot Spot: The toddler area provides a secure space for McWane’s youngest visitors to explore and play.
  • Water Play: Water domes, ball vortices, squirters, pumps, damming activities, and an observation dome are elements sure to fascinate in the Water Play area.
  • Climbing Structure: designed to engage early learners at every skill and developmental level and encouraging them to safely challenge themselves physically.

The next day Mimi took Persephone to a local park to feed the ducks (mostly Geese).

She had a blast but we were so happy to have her back home!  Funny how you get a little excited for a break only to realize when your child is gone that's all you think about!!

Aug 13, 2015

We are potty trained!

I wish I had something more clever to say.  
Like everybody poops...and we all do.

Persephone has been officially potty trained since Friday 7/24/15!!!  We stopped pull-ups altogether unless she was sleeping.  She's only had a few accidents at school since, but only two of them were her refusal to go to the potty.  The first time she said there were bubbles in the toilet?!?  The second she just said she didn't make it.

We've been cutting her drinks off no later than 8pm because she normally goes to bed around 8:40-9:00pm and she's only wet the bed twice.

We are so super proud of this accomplishment.  We've tried a couple of times before, but only halfheartedly.  This time she was obviously ready and interested.  She's such a big girl!

Aug 12, 2015

Home warranties - what a joke

On 6/18/15 we woke up to no cold air in the house.  Hardy checked the copper line in the attic and outside and there was some ice build-up.  During the purchase of our home, the seller provided a 1yr home warranty through 2-10, the warranty we got with the purchase of our house.


So I signed in and requested a service call through our warranty.  The next day a company by the name of Solution Heating & Air (out of Lawrenceville) showed up.  It was two gentlemen, both Hispanic.  One could speak English and the other never spoke I word so I assume he couldn’t.  The older man who never spoke, remained outside the entire time around our A/C condenser.  The younger man asked to come inside so he could see the A/C housing, which for us is located in the attic.

I showed him where the attic stairs were.  One of the previous owners had an electric furnace filter system installed.  Basically you don’t have your normal filters you can buy at Publix.  It consists of two reusable plastic filters and two metal cases.  So when installed, an electric current “zaps” unwanted bacteria and particles from the air.  ***Which I also learned from the recent HVAC tech are dangerous filters.  Whoever installed it put it right underneath the evap coil...what do you think will happen if the evap coil leaks fluid?  It drips down onto the electric cases and POOF.

The younger technician didn’t even know what kind of filtration system we had or how to advise they be cleaned.  I would assume, being a certified “HVAC” technician you should be familiar with these sorts of things.  He brought the filters and the electric cases down from the attic and told me they needed to be cleaned.  I proceeded to take them outside where I WASHED THEM MYSELF with a water hose.

The older man who had been outside said the condenser was dirty and needed to be cleaned, which would be $89.00.  I said by all means go ahead.  The younger guy never went back into the attic.  When they finally “finished” and the A/C was working, I thought we were golden.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, 8/9/15…we get home from church and as soon as I walk in the door you can feel something is wrong.  The thermostat read 85 when our desired temp is 76.  Persephone was down for a nap, so I asked Hardy to check for ice on the line indoors and out just like last time and he confirmed it was frozen again.  I had seen several neighbors on Facebook have used a company called GeorgiaSpec and had nothing but positive things to say so I asked Hardy to call and see if they could come take a look.  Unfortunately since the system was frozen, it needed to thaw.  This meant they wouldn’t be able to look at it until the next day.  That night our house was a blazing 89 when we went to bed.  It was miserable.  I even tried opening the window in Persephone’s room and placing a fan in front of it – no help.  I slept with a desk fan blowing directly in my face.

The next morning, I contacted 2-10 HBW and explained we were having the same issue with our A/C unit, but this time I would prefer to use someone of my own choosing.  They gave me a work order # and explained the contractor would need to call their 800 # and explain the diagnosis/issues and then they’ll decide how much they’ll pay towards the service.  At 10:00am, I met Phil with GeorgiaSpec at the house.  He was already testing/checking the outside condenser when I arrived, so next stop was the attic.  I remained on the stairs to the attic the entire time he did his inspection and he explained everything he did and why.  He asked me what the previous company had done in June, so I even showed him their invoice (See below)

It states:
Found filters dirty.  Condenser is dirty, needs to be cleaned.  No leak found in coil or condenser.  Cleaned condenser.  System is working fine.  Charged with 2lbs of Freon.

The young man who came out in June that went into our attic NEVER checked the coil.  This invoice is a lie!  And you really gave me 2lbs of freon for free?  Because you claimed the $89 was just the cost to clean the condenser...sooo where did the fee for the freon go?  Or did you even put 2lbs of freon in the damn thing?

The proof is that when Phil was out Monday, he literally had to cut away tape from the creases of the housing for the evaporator coil before you could even test it for a leak.  So he removed the tape, took the screws off and took the door off the housing.  Before even performing the ultrasonic test you could clearly hear the leak even from a few feet away.  He explained you would have to replace the evap coil…there’s no “repairing.”  He contacted his supplier and was able to locate the evap coil for our particular unit and said he could get it fixed as early as that night.  I told him by all means go ahead.  Not only do I HATE being hot at any level, thick warm air makes it harder to breathe.  Since Persephone was recently diagnosed with asthma this had me really concerned.  Hell is her asthma a result of the shotty A/C work we had in June?  If there's been a coolant leak for all this time, that certainly can't be good to breathe in!!! We can’t afford to put ourselves up in a hotel for a few days.

I went back to work, asked Phil to contact 2-10 HBW and explain his findings.  The work HAD to be done and I didn’t trust the people 2-10 sent out in June.  I was even second guessing all of the companies they contract with.  2-10 called me back shortly, explained they were only willing to pay a grand total of $690.00 to do the work.  They claimed that when you remain “in-network” and use one of their partners, they have price discounts on parts.  If the homeowner chooses to use a contractor of their choice, they’re subject to pay any cost above and beyond what 2-10 HBW finds warranted.  I explained the whole purpose of todays visit is that the company THEY SENT in June doesn’t know what they’re doing and/or they don’t give a crap.  

All the first lady could do was bark the guidelines of the warranty I have and tell me because I chose an outside contractor I’m subject to retail pricing which will always be higher than the deals they have with their people.  I kept repeating that shouldn’t be my fault.  I asked to speak to someone over her, so she transferred me to a man.  I repeated my story to him, he asked if I could pay $600 or $1700 for a job, which would I prefer.  Since he was catty with me – I got catty with him and said I would pay $1700 if it got the job done right.  He scoffed at me, so I asked to speak with someone above him.  He was irritated, but agreed.  After a few minutes another woman got on the line.  

By this time, I was so angry I began to cry.  I couldn’t stop being emotional which made me even more irritated.  I kept explaining our daughter has asthma, your contractors are untrustworthy, our house was 89 at TEN O’CLOCK, I found someone who can fix it TODAY and you’re telling me I’ll still be responsible for essentially $1,056 of the replacement.  She started reciting their guidelines..etc etc they kept referring to their warranties like health insurance.  If you stay in-network, you’re golden.  If you choose to go out of network you’ll have to pay additional costs.  BLA BLA BLA.  If I could trust the people you send out I wouldn’t have even bothered finding my own HVAC people.  This last lady even went as far to say her son has asthma and she doesn’t have A/C – but it wasn’t sympathy it was “I’m doing it, so can you.” 

I gave up on this 45min phone call between three people.  I told her to give me whatever money she felt I deserved…either way my A/C was getting fixed TONIGHT with no help of theirs.  She had me on hold for about 5-10min, finally came back and said they would give me $690.00 + a $300.00 “customer service gesture” since our daughter has asthma.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  How can you put a price on my daughters’ health and well being?  She acted like she had to pull teeth even to give me that additional $300.00.  Convo ended.  During all three of these conversations, not ONE…I repeat NOT ONE of these representatives ever offered to put me on hold so they could try and find one of their partnered companies who could fix our issue same day.  That was all I kept arguing.  I have someone who can fix this today and you’re not willing to help me get it done.

My sweet realtor who helped us sell our home and move into our current home plead my case to a local 2-10 rep who was kind enough to FWD the info to their main office in Denver, CO.  I got a call last night from someone in the “presidents office” who as I explained my case repeatedly said “I agree 100%” or “I would have done the same thing” 4 or 5 times plain as day.  Yet, still ended the call by stating they weren’t willing to offer me any further compensation.  I was nice to her because she was probably nicest of them all…but it still didn’t get me anywhere.   

Do I think the President and/or CEO of 2-10 will hear my story? No. 
Do I think they’ll look into changing their warranty guidelines or partnerships? No.

I even spoke to a customer at work who has owned his own HVAC business in Dawsonville for 20+yrs.  He said I was charged fairly by GeorgiaSpec for the entire repair/labor.  He laughed when I mentioned what 2-10 was willing to give me towards the work.  Even stated he cannot stand home warranty companies because they deal with fly by night contractors who don’t care about quality of work.  I wasn’t even paying this guy for his opinion; he was openly, honestly giving me his two cents at no obligation.  

So did we have to pay a lot?  Yes…but I feel 100% confident in the work provided.  Phil was at our house for 4.5 hours on Monday replacing the evap coil, vacuuming the coolant line and adding new r-22 refrigerant and the total was $1746.00 out of my pocket.  2-10 HBW will graciously (I say this with as much sarcasm as I have in my blood) reimburse me $990.00 - - remember that last $300.00 is a “customer service gesture.”

Complete and utter BULLSH*T.  They take your money, when you need something repaired or replaced they pay lowest dollar amount.  They use after market and used parts.  They contract with not even sub-par companies to do the work.

I will not shut up about it.  While I certainly appreciate the few people who have attempted to help me…I’m not done.