Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Rainbow Connection

So, as you may remember, we are cloth diapering. Actually, we do kind of a mix between cloth and disposables for a couple reasons – 1st, we got a ton of disposables at baby showers. And 2nd, we only had about 8 cloth diapers that fit her right now, which means a load of laundry every day and sometimes that just doesn't happen. 

I decided we needed a few more diapers so that I wouldn't be tied to the washer every day. The ones we LOVE are called “Blueberries” - they're actually made in Knoxville and they're wonderful. But they're, like, $25 a diaper, and mama's on unpaid maternity leave. So, I found a much cheaper option called Alva diapers- $5.00 each. The only hitch: they're made in, like, South Vietnam. So it was going to take 3-5 weeks to get here. I decided I was okay with it.



I ordered the diapers on July 13th. On July 19th, I got a shipping confirmation. “Sweet!”, I thought. “Diapers by early August!” Um, no. On July 25th, I get this email:

Hi,

 We are so sorry to tell you that we have not sent you order,because now that the A6 and M13 are out of stock in your order, could you please change them to others instead?  You can just tell us 2 replacements here.  After you changed.  We will send your order out.  Thanks a lot,have a nice day.
-Your faithfully, Rainbow.

Errrr......Rainbow? Interesting name. I picture a girl named “Rainbow” like this:



Obviously, Rainbow's on the left, wearing a rabbits face for a hat.
So, I'm pretty irritated by this, but I respond with a few alternate diaper selections for “Rainbow”. Here's what I got back:



Ok. Thanks. We will send out today. You can get it after 3-4 weeks, pls kindly wait.  :)

-Your faithfully, Rainbow.



Pls kindly wait my ass. I felt like this deserved, at least, some faster shipping. I replied:


Rainbow,

It would be great if you could express mail it, especially since my order has already been delayed by no fault if my own. 
 -Becca McCurdy



To which “Rainbow” wrote back:



Hi,

We are cuz your order is under 49 usd, so we can just ship it by normal airmail. Maybe if you can order 40usd, we will also send for you by Express in order to make up our delays. Is ok?

-Your faithfully, Rainbow


Um, nope. Is not "ok". I don't really want to order 40 more dollars in diapers from you so you can justify Express mailing my, already hella late, package. I replied:


Rainbow,


I understand that, but since your company messed my order up, I feel like you could make amends by shipping it faster. 
-Becca M 


To which Rainbow replied:


Hi,

We are sorry we have no right to do that. Also we did not mess your order up just because of our short time trip from June 13 to June 7 and the out of stock items, so hope can get your great understanding. Thanks.



Okay, lemme get this straight: it's not your fault my diapers are late because of....time travel? That's the most I can get out of this email. Also, notice that this one wasn't signed “Your faithfully, Rainbow”. I think I made Rainbow mad. :) But Rainbow made me mad! So, I unloaded on him/her (what gender is a “Rainbow”?) Well, as much as I unload on anybody:


Oh, Rainbow, but you DID mess my order up! I ordered on June 13th. On June 19th, I was sent an email saying my order had SHIPPED. Then, on June 25th, I received the email saying it had NOT shipped AND my items were out of stock. That's called "messing up my order".

It would make good business sense to provide me with either some kind of refund or faster shipping, since it was NOT MY FAULT that my order is now super late. It would make me a happy customer who would give other moms a good review of your business. But instead, I'll be telling other mother's this: Alva Baby is hard to work with, lies about shipping, blames the customer, and is unwilling to make up for mistakes.

-Becca McCurdy





BOOM. Suck on that, Rainbow! Here's her/his response:


Dear friend,

We are sorry for the delays. We do really know your feeling now. But after our trip, only past 2 days, our weekend was coming. So we back to work on June 23th.  You know, after several days, there are lots of order need to be processed, pls also stand by us and understand us. But even so, we also thought we have fault cuz our workmates a little bit less in this situation. We must do something to make up.  But now your package has been sent out by normal airmail, it is on the way to get to you. So how about sending you a gift or give you a discount when you order next time? Is it ok? Thanks.



“We really do know your feeling now” LOL

I don't know what the hell Rainbow is talking about with trips and weekends and time travel, but I know what he/she means by “gift”! :) I replied:



Rainbow,

Thank you. That was the response I'd been waiting to hear from you.

I would love a gift to make up for the error! I assume you have my address?

Thank you,
Rebecca



To which Rainbow replied:



Thanks. So kindly of you. But is it possible to send you a gift together with your new order? Your faithfully, Rainbow



HA! Rainbow, you jackass. I'm not ordering more diapers from you! You crazy. I wrote:



Rainbow,

Well, I don't have a new order, since I just placed my first order and haven't received it yet. So, you can go ahead and send the gift. Thanks!
-Rebecca 



To which I got: 
Hi,  

Pls kindly keep waiting for your package. One of our workmates will go to America on July 19, I will ask her send the gift by USPS for you after you got your package.Is ok? Thanks. Your faithfully, Rainbow.



LOVE that Rainbow is going to make one of her/his “workmates” carry my “sorry we effed up your diaper” present all the way to the US just to save on shipping. Rainbow's a man/woman after my own cheap ass heart.



Eventually, my Alva diapers arrive. They're cute and work just fine, despite Russell's constant jokes about them being made by a 5 year old in a sweatshop. I say, that 5 year old does a damn fine job.



After this last exchange, Rainbow and I went back and forth for awhile: “Did you receive the gift?”  “No I did not”   “Please let us know when you receive the package”   “I have not received the package.” Finally, Rainbow replies that he/she will send it again. Sigh. By the time I receive the diapers, Claire will be potty trained. He/she also tries to get me to buy MORE diapers which he/she will include with my gift. I pass. :) It's now August 21st and I'd pretty well given up on getting my gift, but as it turns out, Rainbow had the last word.



We are trying to wean Claire off the swaddle when she naps and she's really fighting it, so naptime (and nighttime) have become pretty rough. Today, after an hour and 40 minutes of nursing, she FINALLY went down for a nap. I tiptoe out of the room to change into real clothing (It's 2 in the afternoon). Right when I've stripped down, the doorbell rings. Sidenote: if you haven't heard our doorbell, check out this post with a video. It's pretty cool, but also super loud. Anyhow, Bijou loses her mind, runs downstairs barking her face off. I throw on clothing and run after her, as the nursery is directly below the front door, where she is having a complete fit. It's the mailman. I throw open the door, shushing Bijou frantically. He needs me to sign for a package. It's from China. 

 Rainbow....



As I walk inside with my free diapers, I can hear Claire start crying. And I can almost hear Rainbow start laughing, all the way from China.




Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Very Lovely Life

This past week, I had a pretty cool experience. You may not know this, but I have an Etsy shop where I sell vintage - specifically vintage linens. I actually reserved the shop name back in 2009, but didn't actually start selling until late 2011. When I started, my focus was vintage kitchenware, like Pyrex. But pretty soon, I started to become interested in old sheets. I just love the patterns and colors on vintage sheets, plus I love that "worn in" feeling. And when you ship sheets, there's no chance they'll arrive broken because the USPS guy kicked them over a fence. :)

My favorite way to use vintage sheets is in what I call a "remixed" set - it's really hard to find a complete vintage set with no missing pieces, so I take the "orphans" and put them together to create a set where each piece coordinates with each other, but doesn't necessarily match. I love seeing the different patterns together - I think it gives the set the feeling that it was collected over time.

So, a few months ago, I was approached on Etsy by Jann Jones, the craft editor for the magazine "Mollie Makes": a UK magazine that has recently come to the US. She told me that the magazine would like to feature my vintage remixed sheet sets in their upcoming September issue and asked if I'd send her a picture. Um.....yeah? I sent the picture on, but honestly didn't think much of it and assumed I'd never see it actually happen.


Last week, I'm in Target, and I see "Mollie Makes" in the periodical section. I flipped through it and, lo and behold, there I am! Page 40! Not gonna lie, there was a lot of shrieking and I think I scared some Target customers. I know it's not the front page of Better Homes and Gardens or anything, but it was pretty dang exciting!   

that's meeeeee!!
It's weird to have your guest bed pictured in a national magazine.

Anyhow, it will be fun to see if this goes anywhere! I've seen an increase in "views", meaning more people are looking at my shop. My sales have stayed pretty much the same, so I guess I won't be quitting my teaching job to run the sheet biz. :) But hey, if you're cleaning out Grandma's closet and you come across her sheets, hit me up! I'll gladly buy them from ya!






Monday, August 4, 2014

Here's your sign

 
So, last week, I celebrated my birthday. I'm 34. I have a friend who has “stuck” at 29 – she refuses to turn 30. Every year, she just says “I'm turning 29 again”. I think this year will be her 5h time as a 29 year old. Not me, man. Personally, I like my 30's. Your 20's are, frankly, kinda rough! You have to graduate from college and figure out what the heck you're going to do for money. You have to figure out health insurance and whether or not you're a dependent anymore. You're probably dating, which means blind dates and first dates and, worst of all, being set up with some dude who works with a friend of your moms friend's cousin and starts the date by telling you his frat brothers nick-named him “The Donkey” because of the size of his, um, manhood. TRUE STORY, FOLKS.

So, all in all, I like my 30's! However, I'm starting to feel less like a teenager and more like a mom. Yikes.

Signs you're getting older:

1. You are excited when a new store opens, only to find that you are too old to shop there. I'm looking at you, Urban Outfitters. We recently got one in Knoxville and the first time I went in, I was like, “Oh. This place is for teenagers.” It may as well have been a Gymboree - nothing in there was for my age group.

Perfect first day of school outfit, right? Maybe when I was a 6th grader back in 1990.

Not you, Forever 21. I don't care how old I am, cheap sunglasses are my spirit animal.

2. The people in charge of your kids seem like kids themselves. My friend (actually, the same friend who is still 29) recently dropped her kids off at day camp. She filled out the medical form and asked the teenager working the desk where to hand it in, to which the teen replied that she could give it to the nurse. My friend looked around and, seeing no nurse, asked again for clarification. The teenager then pointed to the girl sitting right next to her, who, according to my friend, looked about 13, and said “This is the nurse!”. Yikes.

3. Cute college boys now look at you like you're their mother. The other night, we were walking by the river and passed a group of young guys. One of them approached us and asked if we could take their picture. Right as I'm agreeing to it, a girl their age runs by, and no joke, the kid could not abandon me fast enough. Funny thing is, I totally thought all these kids were in about 9th grade, but Russell pointed out to me that they're probably college freshmen at orientation. Oh my lord.

4. Everyone calls me “ma'am”. The waiter. Guy who sprays our house for bugs. The Starbucks guy. It's unsettling when I'm all “wassup, bro” (on the inside. I don't actually say that out loud) and he's all “Ma'am, you can't park your power scooter here. Can I help you with your walker, ma'am?”

5. We had some big storms the other night and my knee throbbed so much, it woke me up. I've become one of those people that says things like, “Must be fixin' to rain, 'cause my knee's been singin' all day!" Yuck.

6. When we first got married, Russell and I talked about stuff like what's for dinner or what's happening on LOST tonight or how much it would cost to put a pool in the attic. Now, we talk about 529s and 401ks and making a will and saving for college. Remind me why 9 year old me thought growing up was cool? 

The scariest part of all of this is not the act of aging. It's the realization that we are the grown ups. Us. I still laugh at fart jokes. And carry cherry chapstick instead of lip stick. I'd rather re-read Harry Potter for the 12th time than watch a documentary. If no one was watching, I could go without eating my vegetables for days. The other day, I bought grape flavored Big League Chew (which, incidentally, I do NOT feel bad about because, duh, it's amazing.) 
 
Yeah, I play in the big leagues.


But at the same time, I'm almost old enough to run for President. PRESIDENT. By my age, Michaelangelo had completed the Sistine Chapel. Edison had invented the phonograph. And I still don't know how to curl the hair on the back of my head. Sigh.

This week in baby-dom:
How old is Claire?: 16 weeks! I can't believe it!

How Claire is eating: Pretty well. She went on a bit of a “breastfeeding strike”, the little union worker, but she got over it in about 24 hours.

How Claire is sleeping: Oh, not at all! So, here's a little gem they don't tell you when you're picking out sweet baby blankets and dreaming of nursery paint colors: your baby's a little jerk. Seriously. They'll fool you by sleeping through the night and then, just when you're starting to feel a little human, BAM. Asleep at 8. Up at 11. Back to sleep at 11:30. Up at 1. Down at 2. Up at 6, for the DAY. Naps? Psh, naps are for CHUMPS now.
"Mother, really. This again?"
How much Claire weighs: Around 12 pounds.

How much weight I've lost: Do you know the sad part about this statistic? I have to do the math every. Single. Time. With a calculator. THAT'S HOW BAD I AM AT MATH. Anyhow, I've lost 38 pounds. 10 to go!

How Russell's doing: Well, Russell is back at work full time, which is an adjustment for all of us, but so far it's going well. Claire is such a daddy's girl, so she's super excited when he gets home every day, which is precious. 


Milestones this week: Claire had her first big laughs this week. :) She's made laughing sounds before, but never in response to something funny. This week, we had genuine laughter. ADORABLE. I'm working on uploading a video, but that requires patience and some kind of internet magic I don't possess.