What were we thinking??

Have you ever had a moment where you stop, take stock of your life, then wonder what the HELL you were thinking?

Today I counted. I counted how many lives Jack and I are responsible for and I damn near had a panic attack.

We have eight kids. EIGHT KIDS. The mere thought of us having eight kids is enough to give unsuspecting people a massive heart attack.

But it doesn’t stop there.

We have three dogs, two cats, 6 fish, and a hamster.

When you add it all up:

8 – kids
3 – dogs
2 – cats
6 – fish
1 – hamster

… that’s 20 living creatures we’re responsible for. Except… wait. I forgot to count ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves too! So that is…. 22. TWENTY-TWO!

Some might think the fish don’t count… since they just swim around all day in a tank. But that’s not true! You have to clean the tank regularly, check and maintain the ph, the nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels and treat accordingly, feed them, etc. It’s more work than you think! And the hamster? Technically that’s Sissa’s job to care for but ultimately we’re still responsible.

I’ve never really stopped and counted just how many we’re responsible for. And when I did it today (I have no idea why….) I instantly understood why I get overwhelmed sometimes. TWENTY TWO.

I have zero regrets. NONE. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just such a large number and I couldn’t help wonder just what the hell we were thinking?! I don’t think I’m going to be so hard on myself the next time I feel bad about getting overwhelmed.

I love each all 22 of us and wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But still.

TWENTY TWO!!!

Ratdog 2.0

Ever since Cassie passed away, I’ve missed having a small dog around. Jack and I had discussed it many times and we knew that some day we’d get another small dog. We figured down the road… far far down the road.

Then yesterday an article came across my news reader that really tugged at my heart. It tugged good and hard. Words cannot describe the disgust I have for anyone who abuses or neglects an animal. And here is this article that discusses how hundreds of Shepherds and Border Collies were being left in the cold to fend for themselves. Thankfully the Oregon Humane Society rescued them. The article mentions that the Oregon Humane Society was also trying to find homes for another group of more than 100 rat terriers, taken in from a Tillamook, Oregon breeder who was neglecting the dogs.

I was so upset that so many dogs were found in this condition that when I read “rat terriers” I instantly thought of Cassie… and Boston Terriers. She was, after all, our little Ratdog. Then said, “wait? what? RAT TERRIERS?? What are those?” and googled it.

I went to the Oregon Humane Society’s website and read their article about the rat terriers (it appears to be gone now) that led to this video and that’s when I knew we reached the end of that not-so-long road.

I did quite a bit of research last night on the breed to be sure, then today Kayla and I headed to the Humane Society and found her. Unfortunately she was meeting with someone else so we were too late. We chose to meet a little boy puppy instead. While we were waiting for Jack to arrive, Kayla stayed back at the kennel with the puppies to see if the couple looking at the one we wanted to meet changed their mind. Just as it was our turn to meet the little boy puppy, Jack arrived, and Kayla came running out with the paperwork for the little girl we wanted. The couple DID change their mind. They felt she was too boring when out of her kennel. Scared is…. “boring”??? Whatever.

The handler said we could actually meet both but then couldn’t figure out where the little boy was placed. So we got to meet the little girl and it was all over from there.

Meet, Mia:
Mia

There’s absolutely nothing BORING about her. She’s beyond adorable and so very sweet. She loves our Golden Retrievers and hasn’t even had an accident in the house yet! She’s 3 months old and weighs about 2.5 pounds. We are all thoroughly in love.

Here’s a few more pictures.

Kevin singing

Kevin’s choir performed a few weeks ago and in one of the songs Kevin had a solo part. There’s two solos in this song. Kevin’s is the second solo.

Kevin's Fall Concert 2009

If the above doesn’t work, here’s a direct link to the audio file: Kevin’s Solo

Kevin has always loved to sing. In fact, when he was little he never went to the bathroom without all of us knowing it because while he was in there doing his thing, he’d belt out song after song (some he made up on the spot). When he got older and we’d tease him about it (lovingly of course), he would just shrug and explain the bathroom had good acoustics. 😀

By the way, this was recorded on an iPhone. iPhones ROCK!

Godzilla Turns 18

…And becomes the MONSTER of ROCK! 🙂

Eighteen years ago Jack came up with the idea of getting Godzilla, his favorite monster, playing Jack’s favorite guitar, a Jackson Flying V, tattooed on his arm. All he had for Dave as a model for the artwork was a six inch figurine of Godzilla, and his own Jackson Flying V guitar. Dave did a pretty darn good job, all things considered, and Jack’s guitar-playing Godzilla tattoo has become somewhat notorious. Jack is often stopped while out in public so people could comment on his unique tattoo. Sometimes people would even take pictures. In Disneyland last year, a whole family had us take pictures of them as they surrounded Jack’s tattoo.

Godzilla Gets an Upgrade

But the years had taken a toll on poor Godzilla and he wasn’t near as detailed as he once was. A few years ago when Jack and I were getting matching Celtic hearts tattooed above our own hearts (done by Dave of course) on our anniversary, Dave commented that he always wanted to do more to that tattoo. He wanted to make it better. Jack told him it was fine the way it was, but the seed was planted and Jack has mentioned a few times since then that he’d like to have it touched up.

This year for Jack’s birthday, Kaykay and Kat pitched in to buy him the “touch up”. So this afternoon we went by Studio X Tattoo where Dave now works and got not only a touch up, but a huge upgrade!

Godzilla Gets an Upgrade

Godzilla has never looked better! Thanks, Dave! (Kay & Kat too!) You can view all the pictures here: Godzilla, Monster of Rock or watch the slide show:

P.S. Yes I know I posted this on twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and now our blog… What can I say? I have always loved Jack’s tattoo and now it’s just even MORE f’ing BADASS!!! 😉

Pat Moore Quality Cars

Just over a month ago I promised I’d post my good customer service story sometime that week. So I’m a little late…

Before I begin this post, I want to provide a little disclaimer. I’m NOT being paid to write this post. Nor am I receiving any products or kickbacks. No one even asked me to write about this. I want to share what I felt was an awesome car-buying experience, something I feel is rare nowadays. It’s hard to find a GOOD car dealership who will treat you right. Pat Moore went above and beyond what I feel most dealerships would do.

At the end of May this year, we bought our Chevy Suburban at Pat Moore Quality Cars

New Suburban

I posted the horrid story of the dealership we dealt with before we found Pat Moore and I already posted about how awesome Pat Moore was, but their memorable service didn’t end there.

A few days after we brought home our ‘Burb we found the battery dead. We became a bit concerned because the battery was dead when we went to test drive it the day we bought it. The dealership had left the hatch up all day so the lights were on. We figured it might not have received a good charge so we charged it.

A week or so later it was dead again. By then I was beginning to think it was my cell phone charger. The lighter in the ‘Burb runs even if the car is off and the charger has a light on it that lets you know it’s plugged in. So it’s constantly drawing power. I made sure it wasn’t plugged in when not in use. I charged the battery again and it ran fine for several days.

Then I found it dead AGAIN. What made it worse is every time I found it dead, it was when I’d be heading out to take Miss H. to an appt. I had to call and reschedule that appointment THREE times due to the battery being dead all THREE times! I couldn’t decide if my new ‘Burb just wanted to mess with me, or if this was some sort of omen that Miss H. shouldn’t GO to these appointments, lol.

Technically we bought the ‘Burb as-is, but I called Pat Moore anyway just to see what they had to say after I had explained what was going on. Especially since they had killed the battery too before we bought it. I was surprised at their reaction. I fully expected them to tell me “too bad so sad”. (AS-IS!!) and I was ready to meet them halfway on a new battery or having a mechanic look at it. Instead they asked me to bring it in as soon as it was convenient for me and they’d replace the battery at their expense. (!!!) I went over there on my lunch break and they sent me down the road to a battery place. They had already called ahead for me and purchased the NEW battery. All I had to do was show up and get it replaced. The only cost to me was the gas to get there.

Things were fine for a month or so then the battery started dying again. So, I called Pat Moore back. Once again, they shocked me. They asked me to bring the ‘Burb in so they could have their mechanic look at it. They also offered me a loaner vehicle because it might take a few days. If I couldn’t get it running to get there, they even offered to come get it FOR me. But since we have a charger I was able to deliver it. True to their word, they gave me a mini-van as a loaner. FREE of charge.

It turns out there was nothing wrong with it other than operator error. If the doors don’t all get shut tight, the door light stays on. It’s got such good seals that the last door to get shut sometimes doesn’t latch all the way if you don’t shut it hard enough. And it’s hard to tell a door isn’t shut all the way if you’re not actually looking for that to happen. Ever since we’ve been diligent about making sure all the doors are shut 100% and haven’t had a single problem.

So in reality, the whole thing was our fault yet they went out of their way to buy us a new battery, give us a loaner car, and have it checked out all at their expense.

The tip of the iceberg? When we went to bring back the loaner and pick up the ‘Burb from Pat Moore, we arrived about 45 minutes before we said we’d be there. We were a bit stunned at what we saw when we arrived. We caught Pat Moore in the act of… washing our dirty suburban by hand. He was about half way done when we arrived and he looked a bit sheepish. He said “ah you caught me! It was a bit dusty so I thought I’d get it cleaned up for ya” … It was filthy because one of the roads on the way to the dealership was under construction and nothing but gravel for a mile or so. It got covered in dust when I brought it there to be looked at.

That … is what I call … Exceptional Customer Service. And from a car dealership no less! *Two thumbs up*

"And if you believe that"…

“I’ve got some ocean front property to sell you”.

This was said to me today by a Costco cashier. Thus ends a week of both some really awesome, and some really crappy customer service we’ve experienced. I’ll start with the crap first.

When we shop at Costco, we never walk out of there without spending hundreds of dollars. Since we have a large family it makes sense for us to buy food in bulk. It’s usually (but not always) the cheapest route, but most importantly: it’s the most convenient for us. It’s not unusual for us to go through a dozen GALLONS of milk in a week.

Occasionally we get a cashier who gets overwhelmed by our overflowing flatbed or multiple carts. Most of the time I make jokes or try to engage the poor cashier in idle chat to lighten the mood. Jack and I almost always shop together and we both unload the cart and will assist with reloading it if feasible. Jack’s careful to keep heavy items in the cart/flatbed and turn the UPC’s where they can scan them easily with their little scanner gun. We understand that overwhelmed feeling. Boy do we. Especially around the time they give us our total.

So today the cashier asked if we wanted boxes to carry out our purchases. As always I spare them the hassle and just ask them to box the small stuff. This must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for this cashier because it was quite obvious my saying, “Just the small stuff please” offended her. She rolled her eyes and made a huge spectacle of looking under her counter for a box. Then she slammed the one she picked down on the counter and started tossing my food into it. I watched in shock.

This photo has nothing to do with this post. I just really like it.

This photo has nothing to do with this post. I just really like it.

When she got to the grapes, she tried to fit it in the box, it wouldn’t go, so she snatched them up again and slammed them down on the counter next to the box. At this point I’m getting annoyed myself. I don’t want WINE when I get home, thanks very much. I thought for a moment how I wanted to handle this as I didn’t want her throwing around our stuff anymore. I decided direct was the best approach:

Me: “Having a bad day?”

Cashier (very sarcastically): “Ohhh EVERY day at Costco is a WONDERFUL day!”

Me: “…”

Cashier: “And if you believe that, I’ve got some ocean front property to sell you…”

Me: “…”

I should have asked, “In Arizona?”

She went back to throwing my food around. I was so stunned I just kept my mouth shut and didn’t say another word to her. Jack missed it all because he was still unloading our purchases on to the conveyor, organizing as he went as he always does to make things easier on the cashier.

I mean it’s one thing to be frustrated or unhappy about your job, your day, having to ring up over $500 worth of food, but come on. In our current economy, she’s lucky to have a job and whatever her issue was, wasn’t MY damn fault. I thought of a few things I could have said to her. I even thought about telling her to stop touching my stuff since she couldn’t stop throwing it around. But I was in a good mood, and I really didn’t want her to bring me down. Most of the stuff we bought was pretty durable anyway.

I did complain about her at the customer service desk though. Despite having one other bad experience at Costco, I really LIKE Costco. I love seeing what new things they’ll have on display, I love the free samples, I even love the way our Costco smells (coffee & baked bread.. mmmm). Most of the employees are very friendly, and on many occasions they’ve thanked us for “helping the economy” (lol).

I don’t think this cashier realized HOW she offended me. I wasn’t offended for me, or my grapes. I was offended that she’d speak so rudely about her own employer and try to give me the impression that Costco sucks. I’ve never worked there so I can’t say from experienced, but I’ve been told it’s not a bad place to work. And one thing I’ve noticed is most of the workers I see have been there several years (their name tags all say what year they started). What if that was my first time there? I might have never come back.

Tomorrow Hopefully some time this week, I’ll get around to the AWESOME experience we had. Hint: Pat Moore Quality Cars

TGIF … seriously.

This week… can totally kiss my butt.

Started off Monday with some drama. Drama I didn’t ask for, didn’t want, didn’t need. It only caused me stress… and took a few days to shake off and make decisions about, that hopefully will bring a lot less drama and stress in that regard in the future.

Tuesday was pretty OK. Got to spend the day with Lil Miss H at the zoo, ran a few errands afterward, spent some family time together in the evening.

Wednesday I got some sort of food poisoning or a strange 8 hour bug or something. Around 1 PM or so, I started feeling like crap, continued to feel like crap while spending lots of time in the bathroom until about 8 PM. Then I miraculously felt better and ate some soup. I’m leaning toward food poisoning.

Thursday we had this meeting to go to with the State of WA Children Services (adoption red tape stuff), which almost didn’t happen even though we drove clear across town because we brought the younger kids with us. My olders couldn’t babysit because they had rehearsals for both of their choir concerts that were both happening simultaneously at two different schools. Found a solution to the kid situation and had the meeting.

During the meeting we had this freak thunderstorm. The room we were in didn’t have windows but we heard thunder a few times and at one point when the thunder shook the walls in the room we were in, we took a break to watch the lightening from another area in the building with a window.

When the meeting was over Jack drove to one choir concert while I drove to the other. We compared notes via text at all the debris and stuff we saw while we were waiting for the concerts to start. The area looked like it’d be hit by a storm that lasted several days. Not only a few minutes…

When we arrived home I noticed our stone patio table had moved a good two feet and wasn’t straight.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 011

While I was marveling at who or what moved our table and cleaned off all the gardening crap we’d left on it from all the yard work we’ve been doing the past few weeks, the corner of my eye was registering another item out of place.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 003

It began to sink in that it was more of what moved these items rather than who.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 004

The debris here started to paint the picture.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 005

It was dark last night as we were investigating what exactly happened, but we could see enough to realize a really strong and extremely powerful wind from the storm caused this.

This morning I took the photos. You can see our gloves that were in a neat pile on the table blown into the BBQ pit and onto the ground. The pop can I was drinking before I left for the meeting and left it on the table, a mysterious black clothing item, (we think one of Cody’s shirts he likes to take them off when he gets hot while playing outside and has a habit of just tossing them wherever), the dog shampoo bottle from the bath the dogs got last weekend, the 20 lb bag of potting soil that was originally on the table too but when we got home it was upside down on one of the chairs. (Jack moved it before I took pictures so none would spill out.)

Last night as we were taking this all in, Cody leaned against the table and it wobbled. This is… er… was… a sturdy table. It probably weighs 200-300 pounds. Jack looked under the table and found this:

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 002

😦

That’s the leg off the support structure. It was broken clear off the rest of the structure.

This morning I got a better look at what all was under the table:

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 008

This really boggles my brain. First the planter was on top of the table as well. How did it get blown off, then under the table, through the chairs to rest against the umbrella pole? Same with the towels. Those were folded on top of the table. Now they were under it and wrapped around the pole?

Even more boggling, see the two plastic packages? Those are packages of foam weather stripping. Two different kinds. Both very lightweight and both half empty. Those were also on top of the table as Jack just installed our A/C unit. How did those almost featherweight packages get blown under the table to stay put? While a 20 lb bag of soil gets knocked off? There was a ceramic dish (for the bottom of a flower pot) that was tossed off the table and broken in two. A lighter that was on the table is just gone into the oblivion, along with who-knows-what-else.

And the barbecue? How the heck did it get ripped out of the pit to just lay there hanging by the tubes that connect it to the propane tank?

We’ve had many windstorms but none that could break the heaviest item in our backyard. I’ve been told this was could have been a downdraft of some sort. There were unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds during yesterday’s storm.

We don’t have the money to replace the BBQ and the table. I’m not sure attempting to fix the structure is an option given the table was likely lifted off the ground, then dropped. There’s no other way to explain how it broke. Who knows what other weak spots have been created? The table alone is so heavy I’m not sure I’d trust the supports to just be fixed. I’d want them replaced. I’m not sure you can just replace the structure? The table was purchased at Costco during a seasonal event in 2006. I doubt we’d even be able to find parts for that exact table. We have homeowner’s insurance… but it may not even be worth the claim. I called anyway and have someone coming out in a few days to take a look.

All that said, I actually feel fortunate that’s all the damage we have to deal with. It could have been a lot worse. I’m glad we’re not having to deal with this or this, or this. I’m thankful my dogs were inside as I’m sure that would have freaked them out.

And after the crazy week we’ve had, I’m very thankful it’s Friday.

Update: Here’s a closer look at the damaged legs / support for the table:

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009

Upon closer inspection, the other leg has a crack in it too. 😦

Suburban

As I posted Friday, we started looking for a new rig. We thought about a passenger van but we wanted something a bit more rugged, something that could go over a mountain if we wanted it to. Something with four wheel drive.

I did quite a bit of internet research and had my heart settled on a Chevy Suburban. Jack is more of a Ford man and wanted an Ford Excursion. Either would work. While rare, both have versions that seat up to nine people. The only problem is the larger sized Excursions seemed to be very rare. At least around here. There were far more Suburbans to look at.

We looked at an ’06 Suburban on Friday at some sort of “close out” event at a local dealership. The salesmen weren’t actually from Vancouver, though. They were just using the (otherwise empty) dealership to sell their stock of repossessed and lease-returned vehicles.

The ’06 Suburban was feature packed, but seemed a bit rough on the ride. If there’s one thing Suburbans are known for, it’s their comfortable ride. It was hard to put my finger on it, but it just seemed like the vehicle had seen some hard times. It had fairly low miles (64,100) for an SUV (most we looked into had 80K plus miles, even newer used models), and it seemed in good condition, so I chalked up the ‘rough ride’ to not being used to riding around in a “truck”. It only had 8 seats, something I wasn’t thrilled about. But at that point we realized how hard it was to find the 9 seat versions of these SUVs. We decided to make an offer anyway.

I’ve dealt with car salesmen before. Actually I should say Jack has dealt with car salesmen before. But these were the most sleaziest sales guys.. EVER.

The salesman and the sales manager sat us down in a tiny stifling hot room, whipped out their scratch paper and started writing numbers down all over the place, circling the numbers here and there, and basically doodling on the paper while trying to seem like they were working hard on “figuring out the numbers”. It took an effort on my part to not laugh in their faces while telling them to STOP with the hokey dramatics.

Despite the fact that we told them they would not be pulling our credit and that we had our own financing, they made us sign this paper stating that we’d drive the vehicle away THAT DAY if we all agreed on the terms. We hesitated at this. Why do we have to sign for anything before we even really talked numbers? They explained “the bank” (the ones who owned this supposedly repo’d or lease-returned vehicle) required it. We obeyed, then made the mistake of giving them our phone numbers.

We had already looked up the value of the vehicle at kbb on our iPhones. (kbb.com is iPhone-friendly by the way.) We already knew the ballpark figure we’d be offering. The salesmen saw what we were doing so grabbed their kbb printout of the vehicle and told us their sticker price. It was $2k higher than the suggested retail on kbb. We were like “wtf?” They just continued talking out their ass, avoiding our questions, giving us a bullshit runaround while doodling on their paper.

I have to give them this: They could write numbers and make circles really really well. My 6 year old would be proud.

What we offered was dead center of the high and low values on kbb. It was a fair price based on our research. They balked at us, but remember, their sticker price was $2k over the norm with no reasonable explanation as to why. The sales manager claimed the bank would not take the number we offered as the vehicle was going on auction on Tuesday and they would not take less for what they could get at the auction.

Jack and the “sales manager” bickered back and forth about that for a while. It wasn’t a public auction, it was a dealer auction. Did they really think we are stupid enough to believe that a dealer would pay 2k more than the kbb value at an auction? Call me crazy but that doesn’t make sense at all.

The sales manager did the “have to talk to the bank” crap and kept leaving the room to “try to get our offer approved”. We know damn well he went into another room, picked his nose, then came back. That’s how they work.

Jack stuck to his guns, stating over and over the only price we’d pay. The sales manager left the room one last time, then came back claiming he talked to the bank and the bank counter offered with 1.6k more than our bottom line. He had written it in big letters on his doodle paper, and put a few circles around it. We said sorry and turned to leave. He and the salesman chased us down to the parking lot, continuing to show us the big number and circles. We kept saying, ‘sorry. not happening. We offer this and only this and that’s that”.

He changed his tone to be that of someone who understood so he was going to work with us. Then he pointed to the SAME number again and said “we agree on this right?”.

Um… NO? Didn’t we JUST tell you 60 times NO NO NO? He was like “but come on? We AGREE!” Jack was like “no, WE DON’T AGREE”. The guy practically whined saying ‘WE ALL AGREE!!’.

Was he trying to do some Jedi mind trick on us or something??

Then he tried to guilt-trip us. He said the salesman who assisted us worked hard for us and spent a lot of time with us. So we should all AGREE on their number.

First of all, the salesman didn’t do shit. He just followed Jack around like a desperate starving puppy while Jack waited for me to arrive to the lot. Second, there was NO GAS in the vehicle. NONE. And the salesman couldn’t get their company gas card to put gas in it to allow us to test drive it. WE drove it to the nearest gas station and WE put $5 in it. Out of our OWN pocket.

That reminded us. They owed us $5.00.

The weird freaky sales manager dude with his uber Jedi mind powers (haha) kept trying to convince us that WE ALL AGREE while the sales dude went looking for $5.00. I think our eyes WERE glossed over at that point, but it really wasn’t because his Jedi mind powers were working like I’m sure he thought they were.

We got our $5 and tried to make a break for it. Jack beat me to his vehicle first and hightailed it out of there back to work. I had to buckle in a child so I didn’t escape so easily. The sales guy chased me down and tried to get ME to buy the Suburban for the number WE ALL AGREE on. I played dumb telling them my husband did all the numbers in the household and I was clueless. He tried anyway repeatedly the whole time I was getting in my car, buckling my seat belt, starting the car, and backing out. He practically chased me down the street!

He then called my cell phone later that evening. Fortunately I missed the call so he left a voice mail saying they really wanted our business. Their offer, the number WE ALL AGREE on, was still good. I didn’t return his call.

What part of WE DO **********NOT********** AGREE did they not understand?

Yesterday we did some more research online, looking for anyone who had what we were looking for. No one really did, or if they did, the mileage was way too high for us to consider. So we went scouting local dealers ourselves. And found her. The ’04 Suburban that seats 9.. .the ONE we’ve been looking for. The mileage was 4k less than the mileage on the ’06 the freaks tried to sell us, and it was priced fairly.

It also had some gas so we could test drive it without having to fork over some cash. That’s always a bonus.

I drove it first and instantly I knew THIS is what a Suburban is supposed to feel like. It was smooth, like butter and exactly what I envisioned it would feel like. That “rough” feeling was not there at all. The engine was clean, the interior in excellent condition, and had brand new tires. Overall it was in better condition than the ’06. It had the ninth seat and… it was priced seven THOUSAND dollars less than the ’06 from Friday.

I realize two years on a vehicle can make a difference, but this had LESS miles than the ’06 and was in better condition. I don’t think I’m so crazy thinking the crooks were asking way too much for the ’06.

We didn’t snatch it up though. We wanted to be sure. We spent the next several hours scouting and calling around. NO ONE had a 9 seater. Some dealers tried to sell us passenger vans instead and one even told us for a low ten thousand dollars we could convert a passenger van to a 4WD (lolz).

We looked at Expeditions, Excursions, and Explorers. We looked at Tahoes, other Suburbans (lots of Suburbans) and none compared. It all came down to the ’04.

On top of the that, the dealer selling the ’04 was good. It was the actual owner of the dealer working that day and we could tell he was reading us and acting accordingly. He recognized we wanted to be left alone and stayed away keeping himself busy but still nearby if we had a question. He let us do our little iPhone research and didn’t butt in. Even when we left to do more scouting, he didn’t give us any hassle. He just thanked us for our time and off we went. Of course we came back, with an offer in mind. STILL he didn’t push us. He let us look over the vehicle some more, talk, etc. He left us alone to make our decision.

When it was time to talk numbers, there was no scratch paper, no numbers, no circles. He told us he tried to follow Costco’s way of pricing and mark up all his vehicles a certain percentage (15%) and that was that.

The price he was asking for the ’04 was more than fair, yet Jack still managed to talk him down a bit and we all settled on a price. It was THAT easy with this guy. And guess what? WE ALL AGREED. 😉

A short time later we drove this home:
New Suburban 008

We grabbed the kids and took off for a family member’s birthday party in Portland. It wasn’t a big trip… but… WE ALL RODE IN THE SAME VEHICLE. There was no figuring out who was going to ride where, or who could go or stay. We just… went!

And for those naysayers worried about how much gas this thing is guzzling (yes we’ve already been teased for this), we’re driving ONE vehicle to haul our kids around instead of two. So we’re really not consuming any more than we were before. 🙂 We’re keeping our minivan for the times when it’s just the 7 of us, and for around town driving. The Suburban is our weekend vehicle.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention the second phone call from the sleazebags. Just after we finalized the deal on the ’04, Jack got a call on his cell phone from the sales guy from the ’06. He called to let Jack know that their offer was still standing. They were still totally allowing us to drive their crappy ’06 away for $1600 more than we wanted to pay. Wasn’t that nice of them?

Jack told them, “I just bought an ’04 in better condition and with less miles for $7000 less than your piece of crap. Don’t call us again”.

It made his day.

Exercise only affects 5% of weight loss… WTF?

First, the good news.

I got my pathology results today and there was no atypia or malignancy identified in the tissue that was removed. So that’s a huge huge HUGE relief. My incision is healing fine and everything there looks good. The THINGS are truly NO MORE! I go back in six weeks for another check. After that I’ve been instructed to be checked every six months, with every other checkup being a mammogram. They want to keep a close eye on me.

The other news isn’t bad. But it’s weird and I need your opinions, thoughts, etc. But first I have to back up a bit.

Wednesday last week I woke up with a sore throat and a headache. It wasn’t horrible, just annoying. Then the morning of my surgery I woke up in a coughing fit. It subsided by the time I got to the hospital but I let them know anyway. They weren’t concerned after listening to my lungs and finding them clear. I was pretty much fine till Sunday when I started coughing again. I proceeded to cough during the night, and had several coughing fits Monday. My throat has been hurting off an on all week as well.

No one else is sick in my family. No sore throats. No sniffles. I don’t even have a sniffle. Just this weird and annoying cough and the occasional sore throat.

I mentioned the cough to Dr. S (the one who did my surgery) at my post-op appointment today. He said if it persists I should see my regular doctor. I then asked him about Dr. D. (the one who was supposed to do my surgery but got sick and canceled). It turns out Dr. D got really ill with a cough. It was so bad she had to be hospitalized (she’s pregnant) and put on medication. I just saw Dr. D the week before and now *I* have a cough. Interesting.

I asked Dr. S if he knew if Dr. D’s cough was viral or not. He wasn’t sure. Then he caught on to why I was asking, so he joked and said, “Who got who sick? “Maybe YOU got HER sick?!” Who knows? Who cares? I was just asking out of curiosity since that is a coincidence and it’d be nice to know if she had a virus that was contagious. (No I haven’t been to Mexico.)

But that’s not the weird part.

While I’m still talking to him about this cough he cuts me off and asked if my regular doctor is working with me on my weight. This was completely random and out of the blue. I stammered a bit and eventually said no, but I starting a walking routine recently and…

He cut me off again and said “walking won’t help”.

Jack and I both gaped at him.

I replied, “it’s not just walking, it’s a full cardio workout.”

Dr S. replied with a wave of his hand, “exercise doesn’t do anything. It only affects maybe 5% of weight loss”.

Again Jack and I gaped. Only 5%? WTF is he talking about? This is a DOCTOR and he’s telling me that exercise isn’t going to help me lose weight? So I asked him if he meant I needed a diet change.

He was pretty vague in his answer. He said that people rarely lose weight on their own and usually need some sort of program. He said I should talk to my regular doctor about it.

It’s bugged me all day. And I can certainly understand now why my sister didn’t like this doctor.

How can a doctor who claims to have 26 years of experience say exercise won’t help me lose weight? I’ve tried to wrap my brain around it and I can’t. It could be that he means that exercise will help me lose weight, but unless I exercise forever it won’t stay off? I know it’s hard to keep the weight off and maintain. I know this quite well as I’m a yo-yo when it comes to my weight…

Or maybe he was trying to tell me that he thinks I overeat and no amount of exercise would help me? Maybe he’s one of those kind of people who just assumes all overweight people sit on their ass all day and eat as much as they can stuff in their mouths? Or maybe since he’s a surgeon, he was hinting at some sort gastric bypass surgery or something?

He then went on to tell me that with the history in my family, losing weight is something I should really think about as breasts don’t like fat. (I thought breasts were primarily fatty tissue, but HE’s the doctor…). He pretty much was all about talking about my weight after that.

Jack and I were so shocked that we didn’t really get to ask any questions about the surgery, including the most important one: why did I have these clogged ducts and masses in there. I know the answer would have likely been, “who knows with these things” but I still would have liked the chance to ask. Instead I felt like I was being accused of something and felt a little offended. I really wanted to tell him that my sister was not overweight and she got breast cancer, asshole.

So what do you guys think? Especially about this exercise thing? Were we justified in being shocked at what he was saying? Do I have a right to feel slightly offended? Or are we completely missing something (besides that we both know I’m overweight)?