Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Sunday, I noticed his left eye was red. Considering the day before he had dumped bubble solution on his head, I figured that was probably the problem. But by Monday morning, his other eye was also red and had some goo in it.
Headed to the doctor, where all 3 of the kids proceeded to take over the waiting room. This included the supposely sick child, who was leaping off chairs, and causing all sort of ruckus.
Dr said it was pink eye and also an ear infection we didn't know about. Thankfully we caught it early. Kept him home yesterday. His eyes were miraculously back to normal yesterday. No discharge, no redness. I think it may have been allergies rather than pink eye.
Anyway, they are back at daycare, oldest child is spending the day with her grandmother, and I'm at work.
Now on to my update on the bank saga. Let me see if I can recap this without my blood pressure going thru the roof.
Talked to the VP at the bank, who proceeded to inform me the charges are indeed legitimate because, well, these merchants had my name (nooooo, really?) and debit card information and therefore the charges were made either by me (no, it was not me) or my husband (who doesn't even know my SS#, much less debit card info).
To make a long story short, I gave him a piece of my mind. Yes, the merchants had my name and debit card because someone stole my IDENTITY. That's the reason I reported it as IDENTITY THEFT. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if someone steals your identity, they are going to pretend to be you. Maybe it does take a scientist because this is beyond the level of comprehension of the VP at the bank.
Also, his implying that I am indeed responsible for the charges because "I have bought other things online" is insulting to say the least. Yes, I have bought books at Amazon and a pinata for my kids at the Sesame Street store online. BUT I'm NOT disputing those charges. I made those, I did not make the ones I am disputing in my letter.
Besides, why would I go through all this trouble if I was indeed responsible for the charges?
So, I got some of my $ back. I am pissed off and let him know just how pissed I was. I'm opening an account at a credit union, and taking my money out of this stupid bank. Not before I find out the credit union's policy regarding ID theft.
Then again, I may just go back to using cash only.
Friday, May 16, 2008
This one, not so much. Consider this a public service announcement.
Since the end of April, we have been navigating the maze that is identity theft. Yes folks, ID theft. I wish it was as simple as someone stole my wallet, and used my info. It is not. This is one of those cases featured in shows like Twilight zone. At least it feels like I'm on the twilight zone. Some of you have heard most of the story. Now it's the rest of the story.
Since this is a LONG story, I'll give you the gist of it.
- Bank statement arrives in the mail. While checking it, I find out that there are charges there I don't recognize. I asked husband if he made those, he doesn't know where they came from either. Charges are made by Skype.com and EAuction.com, never heard of either nor have procured their services.
- I bank with a local bank in my town, and since I work in Jackson, husband went to the bank to report it (account is in both of our names). Bank person tells him the charges were made using my debit card information so I have to report it in person before they can reverse the charges.
- My debit card was still in my wallet. It was not physically stolen, someone stole the name and numbers off the card, and I still had the card. Bizarre.
- Took time off work to go to the bank and report the incident. I gave the bank person a letter with my signature saying these charges were fraudulent, I did not authorize them, someone has stolen my info. Bank person tells me they will credit the account and investigate. If the investigation shows the charges are legitimate, they will take the credit back. I'm certain the charges are not legitimate because I did not make them. I also had them cancel the debit card to avoid any future charges. I leave the bank in good spirits, thinking their investigation will reveal who stole and use the info.
- In the meantime, I called EAuction (their 800 # was on the bank statement). They tell me I bought some sort of websearch system from them. That was NOT me but they have my name and debit card on their system. They cancel the account and supposely mark it as FRAUD. What they forgot to tell me is yet ANOTHER charge was made to the account just the day before I called them. bastards.
- I tried to find a number for Skype but was not successful. I sent a message thru their website, asking for a phone number where I can properly report the fraud to them. 10 days later, I received an email asking that I send them the debit card number so they can tag the account as fraud. As if I'm going to fall for that one! and no phone number to contact them.
- Letter arrives from the bank telling me their investigation revealed the charges are legitimate. EXCUSE ME??? They have asked the "merchant" and they said it was legitimate so they are taking the credit back. WHAT?? Letter is on plain white paper and not even signed. Considering these people handle MY money, I expect a letter on letterhead and with a signature.
- In case you haven't noticed, by this point, there are flames coming out of my mouth and ears. Not only is the bank's letter less than professional, it offers no insight on the supposed investigation. That's when I decided to do some research on my own. I came across a website (ripoffreport.com) where people from all over the country have similar complaints about these two companies. Apparently, this is not an isolated incident.
- I also went to the MS Attorney General's website and found information as to what to do now. Filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, with the Attorney General, and visited the local police department. They still are not sure how to file the report since this crime is a cybercrime and I have no clue who stole the information. Still talking to police investigators and won't give up until a formal complaint is filed.
- As for the bank, they received a rather lengthy letter from me, retelling the story and asking for copies of all documents generated during the investigation. These are the documents supposely used to arrive to the conclusion the charges were legitimate.
I still have no debit card, because the new one I have applied for hasn't arrived. Still nothing has been resolved by the bank, and these people have gotten my money, to the tune of $150. I hope no one has to go thru this. I thought these things could only happen if you banked online (I don't) or if my wallet was stolen. Apparently thieves these days are experts at stealing your money without you even noticing.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
A manual would have come in handy yesterday.
I arrived at daycare to find one of the boys on timeout. Apparently he had decided to climb on a table, and when the teacher asked him to get down, he laughed at her. I know that routine all too well. He has done this before, he is a daredevil. Or may be he thinks he is Superman. I'm of the opinion it's never too early to teach your kids how to behave, so we have been using timeouts and whatever else works for a while. Let's hope it works.
Next stop was school, to pick up my darling daughter. As I walked into the aftercare room, the director tells me she needs to speak with me outside. Oh brother, this can't be good. I quickly try to figure out what could she possibly have to say. Have we paid aftercare? Did we forget to send something she requested? Quickly, I figure out everything should be in order, and with a clueless look on my face, I wait to hear what she has to say.
My sweet child was sent to the Headmaster's office yesterday. Her offense: She decided to moon the entire playground, along with 3 of her friends.
I stood in that hallway wondering if I had heard correctly. Are we talking about the same kid? My sweet, innocent, always polite and well mannered daughter mooned the playground? There has to be some mistake, she is a girl and girls just don't do that!
I picked up my jaw from the floor and thanked the director for letting me know what happened. She asked me not to be too harsh on the child. She thinks having to talk to the Headmaster will make the kids behave from this point forward.
As I drove home, I could not wrap my brain around the incident. What could she possibly be thinking? What am I suppose to do now? Had it been someone else's kid, I would have laughed histerically and wish them luck. Laughter isn't exactly the reaction I am experiencing. Did I fail her as a parent? Have I not taught her what she needs to know about modesty and good manners?
We arrived home, where I proceeded to notify her father of the events of the day. He is also flabbergasted.
I told the child we would talk after the twins were in the bed, mainly because I need to make a few phone calls and find out HOW to handle this incident. My manual is missing, and I'm not sure what to do!
Apparently my mom found her manual after we were all grown because what she suggested didn't sound anything like what she did when were kids. She said I should ask the kid why she did it and not be too harsh. Who is this woman and where is my mother? My mother would have punish me first and ask questions later, simply because no matter what our reason was, the end result was the same.
I told my mother (or the alien who had invaded her body for a few minutes) Thanks and went to my daughter's room to find out the details. I need to know what happened, hopefully the story will give me ideas on what to do next.
Apparently, the boy in the group asked the girls to dare him to use the bathroom in the playground. They did. As he was using it, they decided to stand with him in solidarity and pull their pants down. Not to relieve themselves, just to show their support I guess.
I know you are laughing. I would be too if it wasn't my kid.
I told her why her behavior was wrong, and why I will not tolerate any more of it. I don't want to hear again that she has visited the Headmaster's office, unless she is being given an award. There will also be punishment and extra chores for her to do around the house.
Let's hope the punishment and my speech will teach her a lesson, and we don't have to worry about this ever again.
I'm still looking for the manual that should have come with her, and definitely need the one that should have come with the twins. God knows I'm going to need all the help I can get.
So if you have a manual, do you care to share it with me?
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I received the most current Runner's World issue in the mail yesterday. I'm not sure exactly what triggered the memory, but I flashbacked to a year ago, when I was training for the Chicago Marathon.
I have not ran since Chicago. I didn't think not being able to finish would have such a big impact in my life. After all, it wasn't my fault. I didn't quit, the marathon did. I still believe I would have finished if given the chance.
The months following Chicago were difficult. I had trained so hard, for so long, and didn't get to accomplish the goal I had set for myself. I had sacrificed time away from my kids and my husband to train for this event, and it was all for nothing.
It has been 7 months since then. The wounds have healed. Even though I didn't finish the course, I came closer than I ever thought possible. I know I can run 22 miles. I know how far my body will go if I ask it to. I know I could have gone another 4 miles if allowed. I still call myself a marathoner.
So why haven't I ran in 7 months? Guilt, laziness, take your pick. I feel guilty to take time away from my kids to run. And yes, I rather sit around with the kids than get out in the humid afternoon and run a few miles.
There was something about holding that new issue of RW that sparked that desire to run again. I crave the sound of my feet pounding the pavement, the feeling of freedom, even the sweating. I like coming home after 30 minutes with a new boost of energy and being greeted at the door by my children.
I decided it's time to bring my running shoes back into rotation. My daughter is now old enough to go with me. She may not be able to run as far or as fast as me, but she'll be good company.
My goal is to run the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon on January 3. With my vacation coming up, I want to start running before we leave so I can start training once we return. Hopefully I'll be able to run the entire Chicago Marathon in 2009
Thursday, May 1, 2008
This isn't their first birthday, but I've found myself thinking more about the day they were born than I did on thier first.
Maybe it is because the first year was harder, I was physically and mentally exhausted, and that milestone didn't really registered in my tired brain. I don't know.
All I know is 2 years ago today I became "a mother of three" and not just any three, a mother of twins.
The story goes something like this. We wanted a second child, and decided to let nature take its course. We had agreed early on we would not do any fertility treatments if things didn't happen naturally. Instead we would look into adoption.
Two years later, I had begun to research adoption, and that's when I found out we were expecting our number 2.
We told our daughter, who was 4 at the time, that she was going to have a baby brother and sister and her reply was "no, you are having 2 babies".
Little did we know she was right! On my first appointment, I asked the doctor (who is my good friend since our years at Ole Miss) if it was too early to see if there were, indeed, 2 babies in there. There are twins in my family, and well, I had a hunch. Lo and behold, there were 2 in there!
The pregnancy went better than expected. I had to go on bedrest but that's fairly normal for multiples. At exactly 34 wks and 1 day of gestation, the twins were born. One minute apart, 5 lbs and 4.5 lbs, 19 inches long.
To say my life has been changed forever would be an understatement. Anyone who is a parent has had their life changed.
It hasn't been easy, but then again, best things in life aren't always easy. Night feedings, diaper changes, laundry, everything multiplied by 3.
So are the hugs, the kisses, the "I love you", the smiles, the moments that you wish you could capture in film but will stay forever in your heart.
The boys are 2 now and have forged a bond that is hard to describe to parents of singletons. They are each other's "ying yang". They laughed together, cry together, and they say their last words before drifting to sleep to each other.
And they adore their big sister more than I could have ever imagine, and she adores them back.