Cutting Ties

Ben and I had a pretty crappy Wednesday.  It all started on Sunday night when I noticed a strange $20 withdrawal from our savings account.  We use our savings account to temporarily ‘hold’ money until we need it again.  I set aside our entire paychecks into that account, divvy it up between a whole bunch of categories, and transfer whatever we spend that week back into our checking accounts.  I don’t think we’ve made a withdrawal other than transfers from that account since it’s been open.  Needless to say, it set off an internal Kristy alarm.

I sent a secure message through our bank’s website  Monday morning to see what’s going on, but was told that because the status of the transaction was ‘pending’ they could do nothing for us yet.  I sent a message on  Tuesday after the amount had clearly been processed.  I called customer service on Wednesday and was told that it was my husband’s name on the withdrawal slip and that, “No ma’am, the handwriting on the account number does not match the numbers in the date or zip code.”  I ask them to fax me a copy of the withdrawal slip and the guy has the nerve to tell me that my HUSBAND will need to verify that he didn’t make that withdrawal because it was he who supposedly initiated the transaction.  I was livid.  I talked with a co-worker who used to work at a bank and he let me know that sometimes thieves will do a small transaction as a test to see if it goes through.  If they’re not caught, they then wipe out your entire account.  I called Ben and we made arrangements in the middle of the day to physically go to a bank branch to get it all hammered out.

Walked into the branch and waited until we could talk with ~Bob~.  Now ~Bob~ usually did investments but today he was going to help look into our potential fraudulent activity.   ~Bob~ was in way over his head.  Eventually he conferred with the bank manager and realized that the withdrawal slip was not in my husband’s handwriting and there was indeed a mistake.  Duh.  What ~Bob~ told us essentially happened is that there is another person (several, actually) with my husband’s name that has an account at the same bank.  When the teller looked up that guy’s account, she mistakenly pulled ours up instead, wrote down the account number on the withdrawal slip incorrectly, and gave him our $.  Double Duh.

Here’s where it gets extremely interesting.  The guy with the same name as Ben and banks at the same bank  just happens to live on the same road in a small rural area north of the city as my parents.  I would feel better if it was a different suburb of Columbus and it was a mistake, but to have the address on the withdrawal slip be an extremely rural country road just 2.2 miles from my parents was a little too hard for me to swallow.  I couldn’t help but wonder if our credit report had been accessed and bits and pieces of the information contained on there woven into some new identity.  I also checked the Delaware County Auditor’s Website and couldn’t find that name as a registered owner of that address; sometimes having a PDA phone comes in handy!

~Bob~ tried to play it off that we were all happy and life is good and no worries because it was just a ‘simple mistake, no harm done.’  Ben and I had discussed during his lengthy absence that we were going to close the accounts and move to another bank.  I had been doing some research because Ch@se had been nickeling and diming us on account fees so we made plans to head to National City (soon to become PNC Bank; we’ll be able to get Steelers debit cards – yay!).

Anyways, poor ~Bob~’s face fell when we told him that no, having them credit our $20 back to the account was NOT the end of it, but merely the beginning of what we needed him to do.  Soon he panicked and got the bank manager to talk with us.  She was definitely in closer mode – she needed to retain our accounts.  She asked why we were leaving when it obviously was a ‘simple case of switched account numbers.’  Ben and I just firmly repeated that we didn’t feel comfortable banking there anymore.  She then asked us where we were planning to go and I told her that I honestly didn’t know.  She and ~Bob~ then told us what they could do to put extra security on our account – bells, whistles, and red flags so that the tellers will scrutinize ID more closely when dealing with out account.  I looked at her and was like, “Um, aren’t you supposed to do that in the first place?”

She treated us like lepers when we asked for our funds as cash, not a certified check.  She didn’t do much to try to retain our business and we felt much better when we were gone.  We had to leave Ben’s checking account open because pending items are still clearing out of it; they were supposed to close it today (Thursday).  Funny thing happened though – that $20 they needed to credit us back is now in there.  Can they close it the account now?  I’ll have to try to transfer that $20 to my checking account and see if it will let me.  Why can’t they make this shit simple??

Anyway, we got the cash, we scooted to Ntl. City, opened our accounts, and are now waiting for the debit cards, checks, and online account access to arrive.  For the time being we’re subsisting solely on cash – an admittedly foreign concept for the both of us.  I’m liking it better than whipping out the debit card any time I need to make a purchase; it’s keeping me grounded.  Debit cards aren’t quite a tool of the devil, but the easy availability of funds gets me into trouble.

I’ve kept my checking account open for the time being so that I can let my automatic payments clear and start scheduling them with the new checking account.  No *wonder* the banking industry calls them sticky accounts – it’s such a pain in the ass to change all these automatic payments that you’ll stick with them no matter how badly your financial institution is taking advantage of you.  No more for this girl!

Have a fraud or horrible banking story?  I’d like to hear it – sound off!

~k

Oh What a Night…

It’s not December and it’s not sixty-three, but tonight was a good night.  I think my tooth situation is under control -excessive grinding exacerbated a crown that needed replaced.  I wore away all the porcelain and the grinding/clenching caused the tooth next to it to be damaged.  My dentist hooked me up today with a filling and started the work to replace my old (now) bare metal crown with a gold one.  I have a temporary crown and will get the permanent one replaced in two weeks.  Thank God for modern dentistry; can you imagine the pain our founding fathers went through with their rudimentary dental work?  So yeah, I’m not getting shooting crazy pain and tingling feelings through the left side of my mouth/face.  That alone makes today a good day.

I picked up Mallory at the babysitter’s at 5; she was partially through a bottle so we sat and BS’d for a while.  Got home at 6 and lo and behold, a miracle had occurred at our house!  Ben went through and did a LOT of stuff that made my life easier this evening.  He cleared off the entry way table, emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, dusted the living room, cleared all the clutter from the coffee table and bookshelves, and arranged everything he picked up into categorized piles on the dining room table.  He also fed Little Miss Squishy Pants later in the evening while I cooked dinner -mushroom ravioli with alfredo sauce.  Don’t think I’m some kind of gourmet; the ravioli was frozen and the alfredo was from a jar 🙂  Don’t get me wrong – Ben is a good guy and I don’t want to make it sound like he never helps out around the house, but to walk in the door and have everything I would have wanted DONE before having to tell him was a great experience.  His whole reasoning behind it was so that I could have time to play Wii with him later.  We made an agreement that we would only go downstairs and play Wii when everything around the house that needed to be done was complete.  Tonight we headed downstairs with LMSP at 7:18 – that’s our time to beat for tomorrow! 

Did a load of laundry, took all the hanging clothes from this weekend’s marathon laundry session upstairs to the bedroom, and even had a few minutes to make three thank you cards for gifts received after M was born.  They’re made, filled out, and even have <i>stamps</i> on them!  WTG me 🙂  Played a few rounds of the Wii – beat my high score in archery (108/120 on the beginner level with a perfect score of 30 on one round) and got pissed off playing frisbee golf.  I keep throwing it some wonky way and it just flies off into oblivion.  Gotta work on that one, I guess.

So yeah, all in all it was a pleasant evening.  And now it’s bedtime 🙂  ‘Night!

Weekend Plans – The Reality

We’ve got a fairly low key weekend planned with not much structure.  That usually leaves me wondering “What the hell happened to my weekend?” around 7PM Sunday night, but that’s okay.  I’m tag-team babysitting Timmy and his brother tonight so that their parents can celebrate their anniversary.  My friend and co-worker, Matt, is awesome with the six year old, but pretty uncertain what to do with a 4 month old baby.  I figure I can take Mallory over there and we’ll all hang out watching Harry Potter movies and eating pizza.  Ben might come over too if he gets to feeling better.  The Olive Garden from last night didn’t set too well with him…

Babysitting went well – Timmy is a really laid back baby.  Took a bite of pizza the wrong way and was in instant tooth pain.  Luckily, Matt was there so I ran Mallory home so she could spend some time with Ben, grabbed some pain relief, and headed back over there.  Got Timmy his medication, last feeding of the night, and then he was down for the rest of the evening.  I fell asleep in their recliner while Matt and I watched O Brother, Where Art Thou?  I’m such lousy company.   Got home around 11:40 and just crashed.

Saturday brings all kinds of new fun because Mallory and I are going to help my mom pick out stuff for their new house.  They’re custom building on 13 wooded acres in Morrow County.  Yes, that’s where we were cutting down trees last weekend.  It’s a pretty cool concept; the builder has contracted with a company that provides all the floor, countertop, paint, fixture, and other amenity samples so that you only have to go one place to see it.

OMG – that place was *so* awesome!  There were literally walls full of tile, carpet, and neat stuff that makes any do-it-yourselfer drool.  There was an entire SECTION of the glass tiles I want behind my stove as a backsplash.  This is the cool stuff you see in magazines, not the limited selection that you find at your Home Depot and Lowe’s.  Mallory slept almost the entire visit.  She woke up  just in time to pick the paint color.  We managed to knock out the tile throughout the house, the carpeting, the tile in the master bath, all the bath fixtures, and the paint color.  A pretty good day if I say so myself.  We then went to Red Robin where I had the most amazing Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken sandwich.  Ah, a little bite of heaven.   

I have some thank you cards I’d like to get made so I’m looking to Sunday to do that.  I’m going to try very very hard not to do any housekeeping over the weekend that’s not basic maintenance (ie – dishes, vacuuming, laundry).  I need to stop killing myself trying to cram all the housekeeping, decluttering, and other crap into Friday night / Saturday / Sunday.  My house didn’t get in the shape it’s in over one weekend and it’s not going to get resolved in that short span of time either.

This is where I got into some trouble.  I *knew* I shouldn’t have let Ben go to GameStop by himself to put down money on the Bioshock 2 Release; it always ends badly.  He went in, was mesmerized by the new Wii Sports Resort Game, and played it with our pal, Steph.  Needless to say, when Mal and I walked through the door on Saturday afternoon he was all chatty about it and had even figured out how we were going to pay for it and why it’s such a good idea.  His parents came over to visit for a bit, we had some pizza (yes, this was a very pizza-y weekend) and then they headed home and the sales pitch began in earnest.

“We can use it for family time, and it will be our workout – you always say we don’t exercise enough.  I’ll trade in all my old XBox games and do you even play your DS anymore because we could trade that in too.  They have a new controller with a GyroScope and Kris, you’ve *GOT* to try it.”  I don’t know what made me give in – the need to spend time together as a family, the realization that I’m not going to go out and walk in the neighborhood, or because I just didn’t want to hear about it anymore – but we went to GameStop and picked one up along with pre-ordering the new Wii Sports Resort.  He spent Saturday night configuring it while I picked up the family room and worked on the never-ending pile of laundry.  

 I’m going to work on cards and haul out the  stuff to put together the piece of jewelry that’s been tumbling around in my head for a while.  Now, that’s easier said than done, but I hope to have progress to show on Monday’s blog post 🙂  If not, feel free to kick my ass.

Laundry – yeah, that got done along with dishes.  Nothing else was even touched because the time I had set aside to get it done on Sunday morning was eaten up by going to the grocery store, picking up the new Wii release, and cleaning up the kitchen.  Mal got a bath – hooray for babies that smell awesome – and we spent the rest of the day goofing off and playing Wii.  It’s true – it really is cool.  Ben knows how to motivate me to play – he gets a score on a game (archery, frisbee golf) and then taunts me because he knows I’ll play it til I beat him.

I *might* get around to starting that jewelry project tonight if I find the time.  I’m having a crown replaced this afternoon so I might be down for the count the rest of the evening.  I told Ben that there are going to be minimum requirements for us to sit down and play the Wii every night – dishes done, house picked up, etc. because I don’t have time to play the Wii like he wants me to along with doing everything else I normally do.  If this works out it’s a win-win:  I play Wii with him, he helps me pick up the house, Mallory gets to watch us look like idiots and laugh.

Oh yeah, I’ma gonna make brownies because Mal turns 3 months old today.  I’m an adult; I can have brownies for dinner if I want. 

Um, brownies didn’t quite happen.  They may be in our future still.  OH YEAH!  Mallory is trying to roll herself over.  She gets so incredibly pissed because she can’t quite tuck her shoulder under her enough to get all the way over.  It’s funny to watch her try though 🙂 

What are YOUR weekend plans?  How was YOUR weekend? 

Weekend Plans

We’ve got a fairly low key weekend planned with not much structure.  That usually leaves me wondering “What the hell happened to my weekend?” around 7PM Sunday night, but that’s okay.  I’m tag-team babysitting Timmy and his brother tonight so that their parents can celebrate their anniversary.  My friend and co-worker, Matt, is awesome with the six year old, but pretty uncertain what to do with a 4 month old baby.  I figure I can take Mallory over there and we’ll all hang out watching Harry Potter movies and eating pizza.  Ben might come over too if he gets to feeling better.  The Olive Garden from last night didn’t set too well with him…

Saturday brings all kinds of new fun because Mallory and I are going to help my mom pick out stuff for their new house.  They’re custom building on 13 wooded acres in Morrow County.  Yes, that’s where we were cutting down trees last weekend.  It’s a pretty cool concept; the builder has contracted with a company that provides all the floor, countertop, paint, fixture, and other amenity samples so that you only have to go one place to see it.

I have some thank you cards I’d like to get made so I’m looking to Sunday to do that.  I’m going to try very very hard not to do any housekeeping over the weekend that’s not basic maintenance (ie – dishes, vacuuming, laundry).  I need to stop killing myself trying to cram all the housekeeping, decluttering, and other crap into Friday night / Saturday / Sunday.  My house didn’t get in the shape it’s in over one weekend and it’s not going to get resolved in that short span of time either.  I’m going to work on cards and haul out the  stuff to put together the piece of jewelry that’s been tumbling around in my head for a while.  Now, that’s easier said than done, but I hope to have progress to show on Monday’s blog post 🙂  If not, feel free to kick my ass.

Oh yeah, I’ma gonna make brownies because Mal turns 3 months old today.  I’m an adult; I can have brownies for dinner if I want. 

What are YOUR weekend plans?

And you wonder why we call her Squishypants…

So today my Mom came over to watch Mallory since our steady babysitter’s son had a medical test today.  I thought I’d eat lunch at home today to pop in and see how Mal was doing during the day without her mom.  It would be weird if I did that with our usual sitter, because she’d probably think I was a crazy lady checking up on her, but it was nice to be able to come home for lunch and see the two of them.

Mal usually takes a pretty decent morning nap, but had only slept for 20 minutes when I walked through the door a little after noon.  Mom kept her busy on her floor mat so she didn’t have time to sleep.  I tell you, if sleep wasn’t necessary for survival I doubt my kid would ever close her eyes.  Or wear clothes, but that’s another post for a different day.

While I was home my tooth was REALLY bothering me so I ended up calling my dentist and getting an emergency appointment.  Turns out that my bite guard (yes, that sexy dental appliance that keeps me from damaging my teeth when I clench them in my sleep) wasn’t balanced correctly.  Plus, I have a reaaaaaally old crown that needs replaced.  Not so good news, but nothing that I didn’t know was coming.  Now that I know about it, I can budget for it *sigh*.

I got home a little early because my house is on the way to the dentist office; it made more sense to work from home the rest of the day at 4:15 than drive the extra 10 miles to the office.  Driving down the street I saw my mom and Mallory out for a walk in the break between the clouds.  I did a doubletake – I can’t believe how BIG she’s gotten recently.  Mom met me back at the house and we came in to catch up on stuff that’s going on at work, baby stuff, and other things.

We got to talking about how low maintenance Mal is and how she still hadn’t had a BM.  Not 5 minutes later she let something rip from within her soul and had a super blowout.  We’re talking up the back AND out the leg holes.  Immediate stainage on the onesie and pants she was wearing.  It was such a mess that we gave up on wipes and ran a quickie bath for her in my bathroom sink.  My mom just laughed the whole time – I’m glad she has such a good sense of humor with her.  I’m not sure, but she may have gotten poop on her jeans…

So yeah, that’s how she got the reputation for being Squishypants; one diaper at a time.

What nicknames do you have for your kids / significant other / pet / boss?  Sound off! 🙂

Can’t Get Enough of the SquishyPants…

Some of you have asked about what arrangements we made so that I could go back to work.  We were lucky and found a really great babysitter through a friend of mine at work.  His best friend’s wife had a baby 5 weeks (to the day!) before Mallory was born and was thinking  about opening an in-home day care instead of going back to her job.  We sat down with them 2 weeks after he was born, hammered out some terms and answered the major, “What Ifs,” and got everything figured out.  It’s such a win-win for both of our families.

I went back to work 8 weeks after her birth and completely LOVE our babysitter.  I get a form every day letting me know when she slept, when she ate (and how much), as well as the results of her diaper changes.  She’s also great at making sure she has enough tummy time and other developmental necessities.  I like the fact that I can ‘look ahead’ to the milestones that Timmy is achieving and have a rough idea of when Mallory should be doing those things.  Plus, Sam is an awesome resource when I have first-time-mom questions.

Timmy’s already rolling around and resting on his elbows.  Mallory is content to chill on her back but is showing more interest in getting on her belly.  Sam sent me these pictures today of the kids hanging out.  Timmy rolled over to be closer to Mal ‘hey-baby-what’s up-style’ and fell asleep holding on to her blanket.   Pretty soon Sam is going to have her hands full with both little ones being mobile!

Mom is going to be babysitting on Thursday because Timmy is having some testing done.  He has a narrowed aorta and will be going in for surgery in the near future.  Mom and Jamie will be filling in while he’s in the hospital recovering.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts; we certainly are.

Little Miss Squishypants Update

I can’t believe she’s going to be three months old on Friday.  Wow – that can’t be right, can it??

Mallory

That picture was taken on Saturday at my parents’ property where we were put to work clearing trees so that my parents can break ground on their new house in August. 

A few things to mention about that photo:

  • No, it wasn’t PhotoShopped. 
  • No, she’s not sitting up on her own.  My sister’s hiding behind the stump propping her up.
  • No, she’s NOT that close to the fire!  She’s over 15 feet away from it; the height of the stump plays an optical illusion that she’s closer than she is.  The stump is about 4 feet off the ground at its base.
  • Yes, I really did dress her in a cardigan sweater.  It was barely 70 degrees on Saturday!
  • Yes, that’s still the hair she was born with.  She’s lost a lot of the hair on the sides but still has her cowlick.
  • No, she doesn’t have shoes on.  Those are socks imprinted with Mary Janes.  My good friend Allison made sure she was styling with those – we have them in every color!
  • Yes, she *is* that cute all the time, even when she’s screaming.
  • Yes, everyone thinks she looks like Ben *sigh*

She’s now almost 13 pounds, close to two feet tall (oh my!), and loves to kick the crap out of the animals on her bouncy seat.  She’s starting to make the motions that she’s ready to roll over – rocking to one side, moving her legs, and scooting herself around in her crib.  Last night Ben put her to sleep in one position and when I got her out of bed she was rotated 90 degrees.  It’s only a matter of time (a few weeks?) before she makes that huge developmental breakthrough. 

She also loves to sit up – assisted, of course.  Don’t try holding her over your shoulder or cradled like a baby.  She wants to be sitting upright and facing forward so she can see all the action.  You would have thought she would be upset by the sound of chain saws and heavy machinery (a backhoe and front loader), but the only time she got squawky was when those noises stopped and it was quiet.  I have a wonderful well-adjusted child 🙂

P.S.  I just had the funniest thought for a caption for this picture.  I gotta have Ben make it happen.  Future Liberal Tree Hugger – FAIL!  Have a better caption?  Let me know!  Send it to your friends, make it a contest.  We’re short on cash so the winner gets a free dirty diaper!  I’ll even have Mal personalize it. 🙂

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