I’m molting….

Or at least that’s what I’m calling it.


Approx. 3-4 weeks ago, Casa de Thomas was struck by Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (which  is in NO WAY affiliated with Mad Cow Disease….or cows).   We  think it started with M-Man, the weekend of June 21st.  He claims to have been “feverish ” and “not feeling well”…..although he didn’t tell ANYONE, yet proceeded to become the only Thomas to wake-board.

A few days later, specifically, June 24th, T-man came down with a HORRIBLE fever (along with headache, nausea……none of which Advil helped)…which lasted through the 26th.  He wasn’t able to participate in Large-Boston-area College Basketball Camp for those 3 days….so we are just calling his camp fee a “donation” to the athletic department. He attended Friday…..apparently  he declared himself BORED staying at home…but complained about blisters on his feet as we were driving home. I attributed the blisters to the new b-ball shoes we bought.  (and….to put it as politely as possible…..I didn’t really want to look at T-man’s feet —YUCK!)))

Friday, June 27th, Little Guy wasn’t feeling well…..run down and feverish (no other symptoms, appetite is OK)…..couldn’t tell if it was the same as T-man, or just a case of possible exertion/dehydration from the hoops camp.   On Saturday, Little Guy  had a birthday party to attend, and he claimed, and swore up and down, that he was feeling better. (Mom noticed slow movement and lethargy…but who am I to argue???).   Little Guy has been invited to so few parties this year…..I questioned him up and down on “how he was feeling”…..and he convinced me enough to send him to the birthday party.

The following day, Sunday, was Little Guy’s soccer team’s end of the season party.  We all went—big boys too (although begrudgingly).  After the party, Little Guy is complaining about spots/blisters on his hands and feet.  Once we get home, Hubby checks them….yes, Little Guy has red spots and blisters.  So I check out my trusty friend, Dr. WebMD.com, and when I put together “fever” and “spots/blisters”……the answer came up as Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease…….which is typically acquired by children 10 and under, primarily toddlers. [yes–I did the “right thing” and contacted all the parents who went to the party]

You wanna guess what’s happens Wednesday July 2nd????

I come down with a mongo-huge fever, no appetite, advil did ZILCH to take away the fever.  And it flows into July 3rd—-the day we leave for vacation.  Luckily, I am strong-willed enough to “cure myself” to the point where I can make it to the airport.

But the REAL FUN doesn’t begin until July 4th……where I start developing blisters, hot spots, peeling skin….molting….on my hands and feet……which as been going on for 3 fun-filled weeks now.  My feet are raw and tender, and walking (my primary form of exercise) is painful. So much for it being a 10 and under disease.

I have bought myself a $5 bottle of nail polish and given myself a home-remedy mani/pedi, because NO MANICURIST would want to touch my feet.   I spent 3 days putting Neosporin on the tender spots, kept my feet up, done little to nothing.  I take a decent-length walk, and my feet are BURNING in pain.  Today, I went to the beach, the hot sand BURNED my feet, the wet sand scratched my feet, and the cold water felt refreshing. My feet are actually worse now……sigh.

So I sit here and complain trying to figure out how in god’s name I will function with burning feet………


One step at a time.


The Adventures of Zorro

Back on December 25, 2012, a jolly ol’ elf left a special little gifty for our son T…..a Bearded Dragon named Zorro.  I’m thinking the jolly ol’ elf really has something against me; he keeps bringing gifts for my boys that mommy and daddy (well, maybe just mommy) wouldn’t normally buy for the kidlets.  But when it came to Zorro…. Really, what was he thinking!!!???!!!

Baby Zorro

Baby Zorro

Needless to say, it’s been an interesting year getting to know our little reptile. We are *all* fascinated by the little bugger. He is pretty cute. We enjoy watching him catch his crickets. Despite being told that Beardies (as they are called in the reptile world) like fruits and veg, we haven’t seen Zorro being very health conscious. Although, T did manage to video him chomping on some lettuce one night.

He has deemed me as the “pretty one.” He always diverts him attention to me when I enter the boys’ room, and when we let him “out-and-about” he does tend to crawl over to me.

He loves to hang on peoples shoulders and just watch the world.

scott and zorro

During the times when Zorro is “hanging out” with his peeps, he can be entirely motionless for a long time, but then he ZOOOOMMMMS around the room. Quick little dude!  He has become “trapped” under couches, behind cabinets, and the one time we let him “roam free” in the yard ( lets just say we won’t be doing that anytime soon) he zipped over to the bushes and bark mulch and we had a very hard time finding him because he blended so well!

I think the biggest (and hardest) adjustment we had to make was the crickets that Zorro eats. It’s like a pet within a pet.  We have a cricket-keeper, where we hold about 100 crickets per week.  T is responsible for feeding the crickets and cleaning out the box. When Zorro was a baby (and that didn’t last long enough!) he ate “tiny” crickets. But at about 4 months, he graduated to the “large” crickets….aka…..the chirping kind.  I felt so bad for M (who shares a room with T). It’s one thing to have to deal with T’s snoring, or love of night-lights….which have now been replaced by Zorro’s red night lamp.   But to have to sleep with chirping crickets—-that boy deserves a medal!!

This summer, I turned into Cricket Warrior Princess. There was one cricket—I called him King Cricket–who made  nice home for himself in Zorro’s log. And he chirped and chirped and chirped…..LOUDLY every day and every night……for 2 weeks.  I would go into Zorro’s cage with a pair of tweezers to try to “fish out” the crickets from the log. Kinda help Zorro out finding his food (it got to the point where he stopped “hunting” for a while because he knew the Pretty One would get his food for him).  Anyway….I just couldn’t get King Cricket out.  And then….one night….I saw him. Holy Guacamole….he was HUUUUGGGGEEEEE!!!

I told Hubby that my plan was to cut a section of the log to create a bigger opening to go “Cricket Hunting.” Hubby thought I was nuts. And I was becoming more nuts with each passing day. The alternative was to send me to the funny-farm, so he gave me his blessing to cut the log. Funny, I wasn’t give the opportunity. M-Man wanted the honor.  As you can see from the picture, he (we) meant business!

Cricket Hunters

Cricket Hunters

It worked! Within 2 days, I was able to capture King Cricket, and I was never happier to watch Zorro chomp on a cricket! Luckily, since then the crickets have been on the “quiet” side.

Zorro is now about 10 months old. He is getting quite big. Almost outgrowing his 50 gallon tank. There are days where he is somewhat boring, sleeping most of the day. Other days he amuses us with his funny poses or smiles.  He kinda fits well with us!

Catching some rays...

Catching some rays…


My Love/Hate Relationship with Electronic Devices

I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with electronics…..especially actually when it comes to my kids.

Up until recently, my kids have not been video-game junkies. They have had Leap Frog game consoles, then we got a Wii, then Nintendo DS.  The Leap Frog and the DS were primarily used for car rides and restaurant trips.  Isn’t it nice to go out to dinner and have the waitress say “What well behaved children you have!”…..only to secretly thank the Japanese for their technology. At home, they have always had a nice mix of TV, books, games, creative play (LEGO, manhunt, pirates, etc), sports.  And some “gaming” thrown in too.  I was never worried or concerned about over-excessive thumb use.

Until recently.

This past Christmas, Santa was so kind to bring each of the big boys an iPod Touch each.

And it has been non-stop thumb work-outs. I’ve tried to set limits.  One hour per day.

They would wake up and play, and then I’d say “OK, one hour is up”…..one would complain that he only played for 1/2 hour (because he woke up later), so I would have to keep track of another 30 minutes. And then they’d go to school, do their homework, and whip out their iPods and start playing again, and get away with it, because I’m busy making dinner….they are quiet….and I forgot about the mornings One-Hour Rule.

And then I would have Little Guy complain “But I didn’t play for an hour!!”…..and sometimes he is allowed to play his bro’s IPT (as it is referred to at our house)…..but sorry, Little Guy…..I consider standing over your bro’s shoulder and staring at the video screen for two hours pretty much the same as actually playing.

And now summer vaca has rolled around.  The first three weeks of their vacation has been pretty tiring (IMO….perhaps it’s just Mommy-Guilt). First week was basketball camp in 90 deg temps, 2nd week was non-stop 5 hrs of flag football camp, and last week was full day (8:30am-4:30pm) YMCA camp.  On top of that, they had soccer team tryouts, Wed. night Summer Basketball, two nights of fireworks, parties with friends.  Seeing how tired my 3 fellas were, I thought being a couch-butt wouldn’t be a bad thing. I  allowed them to play their electronic devices (the DS’s came back into action too….as well as their computer MINECRAFT game). And then I noticed….from 6am til bedtime (while not in camp) all 3 kidlets were on an electronic device.

But then, I realized that it’s summer.  Being stuck inside should be a winter thing.  I asked, requested, cajoled, instructed, and then finally DEMANDED they go outside.  It was as if I was asking them to enter Hades. And the temps aren’t scorching like they are in the rest of the country.  Mid 80’s at best. They would go out for 10 minutes, and come back inside for more thumb workouts. I hope this isn’t the redefined “summer vacation.”  Where are my creative, energetic kids?

Yesterday, we thought it might be a nice day to take the boat out—Hubby’s foot has been doing much better—we gave the kids a choice —go boating or spend the day playing video games (this was a test from Hubby).  T-Man answered….”Dad, we could have the best of both worlds–play video games for the 2 hr car ride up and 2 hr car ride back, and be in the boat during the day.” M-Man (my outdoors guy) ACTUALLY said he rather stay home because he can’t get wi-fi in the car!  The look of disappointment on Hubby’s face was indescribable.

So I have taken away all electronic devices for the entire week.

The car ride up to the lake? One hour of playing car games as a FAMILY, and one hour of reading.  One the way home–one hour of talking about what a great day we had, and one hour of reading/talking/playing. Absolutely fabulous.

This week’s VBS camp is only half-day, 9am-12pm.  Plenty of time to enjoy the fabulous 80 deg, sunny weather we will have this week OUTSIDE PLAYING.

Right now, as I type this….on my electronic device….I can hear the TV on in the other room…but I also hear them creatively role-playing. It is awesome.

I think we’re going to have a great week around here. And in the mean-time, I think the VP is going to have to re-work the Electonic Device Policy.

On the Job

I started my job on Monday!!

I have received many texts, emails, and FB posts from friends offering CONGRATS and Well Wishes, as well as questions of “How was your 1st (or 2nd) day?”

It’s a little too soon to tell, but for the most part….all is good.

The commute is great for me–it’s between 20-25 minutes in each directions–all “reverse” commute.

The two ladies I work for are very, very nice. Both mornings, the HR Director, once she settles herself in her own office, comes out and sits down across from me at my desk and asks me how things are going, asks about my boys, etc. She is being friendly and trying to establish a relationship. I very much appreciate it.

The Benefits Manager is very nice as well.  She is usually on “high” speed because she has so much to do, but she doesn’t mind if I interrupt her with questions or ideas. She stops and listens. I appreciate that too.

So far all I’ve really done is filing–all sorts.  Apparently, I’m very good at filing, as I finish my tasks within an hour and a half.  Each day I have provided suggestions or ideas that the HR Director and Benefits Manager hadn’t thought of, and they each wanted me to implement the change. Nothing monumental, but just something that was so intuitive to me, and it works!

Although my hours are 9am-3pm, I have been “done” with all my tasks by 1:30 each day.  I know it’s still the early stages of my employment and I am hoping that more “meatier” stuff will come my way in the coming days. Or maybe they just over-estimated how long it would take someone to do the tasks.  Hubby keeps telling me I have to pace myself better!

I think there was an expectation of sorts (by me? by Hubby?) that I would be tired from working 6 hours a day, PLUS coming home and helping with the Homework, making Dinner, doing Laundry, and everything else that falls under my umbrella. Surprisingly, I have had MORE energy!  I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch yet! When I come home and the boys finish their homework, I am *looking* for stuff to do.

So far the VP is happy, the boys are happy for me, and Thomas Inc. is running smoothly. All after 2 days.

I’ll keep you posted if anything changes!  ;>)

Wine or Whine Not….A Psychic Night in

A fellow MOT (and new friend) hosted an event last night at her house……a variation of the traditional “MOT Night Out,” which usually takes place at a restaurant.  She dubbed it “Whine or Whine Not”…..nice play on words, huh? And to make it even more interesting, she had her psychic Gloria come and do 15-20 minute readings for each guest.

It has been approximately 15 years since I’ve had a “real” psychic reading. Back then, Vi came to my house and did an outstanding….spot-on….reading of things going on in my life and predicted things that did actually come true. Since Vi’s reading, I have been to a psychic once–probably about 11 years ago–but it was a very “generic” reading, i.e “you will be traveling soon, you have a great relationship, but past conflicts.” Because of all the STUFF going on at home and in my head, I found this MOT Night Out to be a MUST DO.

I was the fourth one to go upstairs. I went into the room where Gloria was sitting and introduced myself.  She asked me for my date of birth (month, day, year), and asked me to shuffle a deck of cards while she looked up my birthday in the Astrology book she had.  While I continued to shuffle, she declared that I am a true Gemini….all my moons/stars/planets are Gemini.  I found this a little odd, because although I am aware I was born when the moons were changing, I have always considered to carry Cancer traits.  Whatever…..I was still listening.  apparently, in the last 4 years Gemini has been in turmoil.  In the last 4-6 months, Gemini has been trying to correct itself and find balance again.

Gloria then asked me to return the deck of cards to her, and then take one card from a turquoise deck and four cards from a purple deck. Then my reading began.

Except that it didn’t.  She looked at the cards. She looked at me.  She told me that in order for her to have a successful reading, I needed to let my aura free.  At the time, I was sitting at the edge of my seat, sitting straight up, and holding my breath. TENSE. Upon her prompting, I moved to the back of the chair, closed my eyes, took deep breath, and tried to relax.

It helped.

Here is what Gloria said:

  • I am a private person who will listen to people tell their life stories, but I only reveal certain things to certain people. I must find the person to be trustworthy first before I give up any personal details/stories about myself.  I prefer to write down my thoughts/feelings/fears/ideas rather than talk to someone. I like to write all these things down, and go back to read and re-read and think about what I wrote.  (Hmmmm, blogger that I am……)
  • I am smarter than I give myself credit or let people know.  I am very intelligent.  I need to do something with that intelligence because what I am doing now is not cutting it.
  • I am in a state of antsy frustration. I need more than what I have, but I am not looking for financial gain or advancement. More of a mental stimulation and sense of purpose.
  • Gloria sees me going back to school.  Not necessarily to get another degree, but to learn something that would be directly  job related, to help advance the path I end up on.
  • She kept seeing me in an “institution”  (HAHAH!…..Ok, not that kind of institution!) There wouldn’t be any small kids, just adults. Maybe a college, a hospital. Somewhere were I would be helping people.
  • My spouse/partner is not being supportive, and it’s been a cause for additional frustration. He isn’t understanding what I need.  But regardless of what he thinks, I will forge ahead with my plans and all will work out.  This frustration is a rough patch in our relationship, but it will not last. I need to hang in there because he will learn that what I am doing is the right thing. She told me that the children will be OK and are old enough to take care of themselves.

At this point, I was in shock and awe.  The only information she had about me was that I was a mom of twins (she was told all the guests were MOTs), my first name, and my date of birth.

In addition, she stated she sees me writing/publishing a book. Not necessarily in the near future, but sometime in my lifetime.  She concluded that I need to go ahead with my plans to find happiness and fulfillment. It will calm me down and help me be “whole.”

After all that, I went back downstairs for a glass of wine……

I am Thankful for……

My husband who loves me. He has given me so much. Thank you.

My children who make me smile and remind me to remain young at heart. (yes they also test my patience and give me gray hairs, but I am thankful for that as well).

My mother….although  I can’t explain or understand why she does things, deep down I know she acts out of love.  And I’m lucky to have a mom.

My extended family and friends.  No matter what the problem, you are there for me.

Especially my BF-M and my quasi-cousin/sister A……who are *always* there for me….to share the tears and the joys. I am thankful we can just “be” ourselves and be there for each other.

For my SIL B–who *always* offers thoughtful advice….because she has “already been there.” She lets me know that I am not alone.

I am also thankful for FB—-being able to find so many “lost” but not forgotten friends.  I am thankful you are back in my life.

Our beautfiul house, our many travels, our fun toys, our loving pets.

Our health. I cannot say how fortunate we have been with our health. Thank You God.

This wonderful country that we live.  We have freedom. We have a say. Although the government is falling apart, when things hit the fan, the people of America know how to come together for a common cause.

Our military. Thank you for risking your lives to protect ours.


And the other members of Thomas Inc……

T-Man is thankful for the food we get to eat.

M-Man is thankful for our home and family.

Litte Guy is thankful for Lily and soccer.

Hubby is thankful that we are all healthy, and for his loving, caring family.

Miss Lily is thankful for her tennis balls and that her family bought her a sweater for the cold weather.


Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving!

The Mature Puker

Yeah…..you just never know what topic the VP is going to throw at you,huh?

Fortunately, at Casa de Thomas, we have been blessed by having very few….very very few…..incidents of any type of stomach ailments….by any of our kids.  As a matter of fact, up until a week ago, Little Guy had never thrown up. Can you believe that? Six years and not a single puke.  Not even as a baby…no baby spit up.  Nothing. What went down, stayed down.  (Last week’s incident was situational rather than “sick”…..He had 2 tacos for dinner, ran around a  soccer field for an hour, drank an entire bottle of very tart lemonade…..ran around for another hour playing soccer…and then up it all came. Just a bad combination all around).

This morning at 4:15am, Little Guy came into our room and asked for Daddy.  “My tummy hurts. I feel like I need to puke.  Where is it better to do it? In the sink, in a barrel, or the toilet?”

You have to admit……at 4:15 in the morning that is a very lucid, mature, intelligent question to ask.  At any age. But very much so for a 6 year old.

And while he and Daddy were in the bathroom, waiting for Round 2 to make its appearance, I could hear Little Guy going over everything he ate on Sunday.  Again, very impressive at 4:30am.  And then he asked Daddy, “Were any of those a bad combination?”

Luckily, we were able to get him back to sleep shortly after 5am. And he’s still sleeping at 7:45am. No school for him today.

Deer In Headlights

The leaves are falling all around. I have been looking for the deer in our woods. I haven’t seen any yet. However, in our own household there are two deer in headlights.

According to Urbandictionary.com,  “Deer in Headlights” is  mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety, fear, panic, surprise and/or confusion[, or substance abuse].  A person experiencing the “deer in headlights” syndrome often shows behavioral signs reminding those of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights, such as widely opened eyes and a transient lack of motor reactions.

Yup, we got ourselves a couple of those around these parts.

I’ll start with me.

The last 2 months have been pretty rough on my mental and emotional state.

During this time period, I have been looking for a job. Remember my 4-part blog series “Lost and Found Identity” ? Although I sent a few resumes through the year, I decided to start the “real job search” when the boys returned back to school at the end of August.  So, I’m no dummy. I know the economy is in dire straights and that unemployment is at an all-time high.  I know I haven’t had a “real” (i.e. Paid) job for over 10 years. I know there are many qualified people out there, many of them recent college grads, looking for jobs.  I also realize that my job search has many limiting factors—location, hours, and experience level. So, I really *shouldn’t* be surprised with the lack of phone calls or responses. My resume, if not put in the circular file, is definitely at the bottom of any pile.

I read the job descriptions….and I KNOW I CAN DO WHAT IS ASKED. I tweek my resume on a daily basis.  I become transfixed with my lap top….constantly checking monster.com, indeed.com, Craigslist, staffing agency websites, professional group websites for new job postings.  I check my email. My voicemail.  NOTHING.  I can’t tell you how it has affected my self-esteem. Even if I KNOW the factors behind it. I KNOW it’s only been two months—some folks have been looking for  a job for two years!  But, in the past, I never had a problem getting a phone call for an interview……

It has turned me into a Deer In Headlights.  Anxiety. Fear. Panic. Surprise.

What compounds it is that I am SO BORED at home. I don’t have any pressing projects–no more remodeling/redecorating, no upcoming travel plans, no kids at home.  I could probably do my “home chores” in the space of one day. Maybe half a day. But I say “space it out throughout the week.” So I end up sitting and playing Free Cell on the computer.  I don’t want to leave the house. But I need to.  I should.  For my sanity. Each morning, I get anxiety butterflies in my stomach because I DREAD the nothingness that lies in the day ahead.  When I told my Hubby about this anxiety, he suggested I make lists to get through my day (he thought I was anxious because of my workload).  HELLOOOOOOO…..has he not noticed the line of sticky-notes at my table or desk with “Things to Do”? Are the essentials not getting done—laundry, dishes, cooking, bathrooms? Everything is getting done. I am just bored and tired of it all.   I NEED MORE. (I’ve had friends and Hubby suggest volunteering or going back to school….I’ve been volunteering for 10 years now, and I don’t think “additional” education is going to help me at this point. I already have an over-priced brain).

Which leads me to the other Deer in Headlights at our house. My Hubby.  And if you recall, that is exactly how I described his reaction when I asked him 10 months ago if he might possibly have a copy of my resume in his files or computer.  It hasn’t gotten any better. He claims that he has accepted the fact that I want a job and that I am sending out my resume.  However, for a man who used to be so supportive of my goals, he has shown little or no interest in my job search.   He used to send me flowers each time I took the Bar Exam to wish me luck.  Not once has he asked to see my resume. Rarely does he ask how the job search is going.  Actually, I’m not sure he does. But if I say something about a job posting I saw and responded too, he will make the appropriate “Good Luck” comment. And he has made it pretty clear that if I do find a job, everything will still be on me, and I will have to sort out the kids and schedules the house, etc…..especially if he is travelling or working late.

I understand that he is busy. He has a LOT on his plate at work. But with each passing day, I feel that my role in his life as a partner is becoming less significant.

Remember the scene in “Pretty Woman” where Richard Gere’s character says to Julia Roberts, “I’ve never treated you like a prostitute.” She responds “You just did.”

I’m NOT saying that Hubby  treats me like a prostitute.  However, when I argue that he wants me to stay home to continue my “maid-like” responsibilities and take care of his (and the kids) needs–dry cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc—he denies it.  Then, a couple of days later, he makes a statement “My truck needs an oil change.”  Is this a request? A demand? A statement? Or when he doesn’t ask me what I have planned for the day. Or when he doesn’t remember that I have an appointment scheduled for that day. About a month ago, he went FOUR DAYS without asking me anything about my day (either in the morning or after work).  How do you think that makes me feel? Like I’m just here to make sure the kids are fed, dressed, off to school, that his dry cleaning is picked up/dropped off, and the oil is changed in the cars. My life doesn’t count. When I confront him with these feelings, rather than providing positive encouragement to improve my life, he suggests that maybe we move so that “dealing with move would give me TONS to do.” OR…….”Maybe you can join a country club, play tennis, make friends and have lunch with the ladies.”  REALLY?!??  That is the type of woman you married? One who wants to go to a country club? This while I hear at least ONCE A WEEK from him “I got a great compliment today on my presentation from my boss.”  OR  “I am working with a really great, intelligent bunch of people.  When you hang around smart people, it rubs off and motivates you to work hard and do better.”  Really….tell me more….because I really have no idea what you are talking about.

I sit and think about why Hubby isn’t more supportive? Years ago, I know some of the reasons he fell in love with me was because of my independence, my education, my goals, my ambition. Granted, my goals have changed. My outlook has changed. Maybe it’s become more realistic.  Wanting to be a US Senator was a fantasy of a 16 year old girl.  Becoming an attorney was a dream of a college student from 20 years ago.  Maybe it was something  I wanted to do to make my parents proud of me. Maybe I wasn’t ready to find a “real career” so I used eduction as a way to postpone it.  However, I never signed-on to be a full time SAHM for such an extended period of time.  I expected us to be partners. Both of us would be successful working parents. Hubby knows that. But he’s become comfortable with the way things are. I don’t see him changing his habits or thinking–his job will always be more important. He’s the successful one in the relationship, and I have helped and supported him become successful because as VP of Domestic Affairs, I’ve always taken care of the daily mundane stuff. And if I go back to work that will change. He’s become A Deer in Headlights.

Today is the first time in a month that I felt like crying.  My BF remembered I have an interview today and she sent me a Good Luck text message.

The Fridge….continued….

On Monday, Mr. Refrigerator Expert, John, came to our house to check on the (bleep) Electrolux refrigerator.  Within seconds, John hear the “click” of the compressor turning on and the pop, pop pop that lasts 10 seconds or so right after.

John looked at me, and said “That’s normal.”

We went over the other noises. “That’s normal.”

On page 31 of my owner’s manual is a diagram of the insides of the fridge. John went over each part and described to me the purpose and operation of each part and why it makes the noise that it does.

The only thing he wasn’t “happy” with was the sound of the fan–he agreed it was too loud. So, he ordered another one to be replaced on Monday.  (Personally, I think he thought that if something was replaced to validate my claim that my fridge is a lemon, I would be happy(er)).

We went on to discuss my previous Maytag, his Amana, and all the other manufacturer’s.  He looked me straight in the eye and said “It doesn’t matter who you buy from, they are ALL going to have issues.” Thanks.  As with the Chris, the first repairman, John conceded that in the long run, it is a good fridge and it will last me many years.  I replied that I find that hard to believe when straight out of the box it is making noises–hard to have faith in the thing.

I now have to live with a click and a pop, pop, pop, pop….every hour on the hour.

Dear Electrolux Executives and Kelly Ripa,

Thank you so much for promoting your Electrolux kitchen appliances over the past few years as premier appliances that will make me (and my kitchen) even more amazing. 

I spent four months–May through August–researching a new refrigerator to replace my 9 year old Maytag which had been making noises for about 5 years. During its time in my house, the Maytag had 2 product recalls, had a compressor replaced at the 4 year mark, and the 2nd compressor was failing as well–the refrigerator temperature was off (same as the first compressor failure) and the refrigerator made an almost-constant “popcorn popping” sound in the back of the fridge.  The popcorn became a “normal” background noise in our house for the last 3 years.

My job as VP of Domestic Affairs is to find appliances for home that will be reliable as well as suit our growing family and my our needs.  Hence the four monthsof research.  I quickly learned that unless I went with a french door refrigerator, there are very few side-by-side models to match the 27.3 cu ft Maytag I would be replacing. I would be going (slightly) down in size.  OK, I can live with that.  Looking at all the possible model choices on-line wasn’t good enough for me. I have to get touchy-feely.  The week of July 11th, while my boys were at Church camp, I spent 5 days from 9am-12pm, driving to various appliance stores in the North of Boston area, getting “touchy feely” with refrigerators.  I asked LOTS of questions to several appliance salesmen.  I kept changing my mind. I read HUNDREDS of reviews online.   I couldn’t decide if only the bitchy, cranky people posted (negative) online reviews (and hence the happy appliance owners didn’t post reviews) or if there were just THAT MANY DUDS out there.  I was experiencing INFORMATION OVERLOAD.

Finally, after our vacations were over, I knew it was time to make a decision.  I narrowed it down to the $2000 Electrolux IQ Touch side-by-side refrigerator and a $1600 Kitchenaid Architect series side-by-side.  I honestly couldn’t decide. They both had features I liked….and didn’t like. Either refrigerator met most of my criteria. The $400 difference really didn’t bother me–it was more a  question of getting what would work best for our family.  In the end, Hubby decided on the Electrolux because it would match our new range and microwave.

I went to Barron’s Appliance in Salem, New Hampshire to buy it.  From all the appliance stores I had visited, this store had the best selection, and a salesperson that I decided I trusted. I had paid Mr. Bill at Barron’s three visits with LOTS of questions (he was impressed with my research and knowledge), as well as 2 additional phone calls. 

On August 17th, I ordered and paid for the Electrolux IQ Touch refrigerator–to be delivered on Wednesday August 24th.

On August 25th, about 24 hours after delivery, my BRAND NEW refrigerator starting making the SAME FREAKING POPCORN POPPING SOUND as my old Maytag.  Actually, I didn’t hear it at first, because I was so used to the “background noise” that it had become. Hubby pointed it out to me. My eyes popped out of my head. It couldn’t be, could it?

We heard it again Friday morning, and intermittently throughout the day.  We left in the afternoon and didn’t return until evening–when we heard the popping again.  I know, I know….at this point I should have called the store. But in both of our minds, we were hoping the refrigerator was just “breaking in.” Saturday and Sunday we were hit by Tropical Storm Irene–we were home most of Saturday and all day Sunday–listening to our refrigerator pop.

Monday morning, I called my salesman, and explained the situation. He said “Hold on” and transferred me to the Repair center. The earliest appointment I could get was Thursday morning. Really? Is this how it’s going to be any time I have a service call–a 3 day wait? They said it was an increase of calls due to the storm. I was skeptical, but what do I know?

Between Monday and Thursday, the refrigerator started to make MORE NOISES.  A HISSING SOUND, as well as a LOUD FAN. When the fan finished its cycle, there would be a LOUD CLICK.  Oh yeah, the popcorn noise continued.  (I was able to record that sound on my iPhone)

Thursday morning, Mr. Service Guy comes around. Checks out the entire interior of the fridge/freezer. He hears my popcorn recording. During his visit, he actually HEARD THE HISSING SOUND.  (YAY).  He asks me for my user’s manual; I hand it to him.  He flips to page 31, where he proceeds to show me an ENTIRE PAGE titled “Normal Operating Sounds and Sights.”  The opening paragraph reads: “Understanding the Sounds You May Hear:  Your New, High Efficiency Refrigerator may introduce unfamiliar sounds. These sounds normally indicated your refrigerator is running correctly.”  Then it lists thirteen of the “possible new sounds.”  My Brand New refrigerator makes four of those sounds. Four out of thirteen.

Mr. Service Guy basically said my refrigerator is running normally because the temperature in the fridge and freezer are correct.  Electrolux (and other manufacturer’s, I have learned) put a CYA page listing “new” noises. AND THERE IS NOTHING HE CAN DO.  Period.

I talk it over with Hubby. He’s disappointed, but says “If it’s normal, it’s normal. We’ll learn to live with it.” Whereas I am sick to my stomach that a $2000 refrigerator is making POPPING, HISSING, CLICKING noises straight out of the box.And there’s nothing that can be done. Somehow that’s not good enough for me.  How can I trust this new refrigerator when it sounds broken to me?

Friday morning, September 2, I call Electrolux hotline.  I speak to Charles, employee #7402, who is somewhat sympathetic after my rant. He agrees that a new refrigerator should not be making so many noises. He states he will contact Appliance Repair Center to contact me by the end of the day to schedule another appointment. Imagine my surprise, when no one calls on Friday….or Saturday. 

On Sunday Sept 4, I take a chance and call Electrolux again. This time I speak with Natara, employee #1786, who does find a record of me calling Charles…..but who DID NOTHING.  And because it’s Sunday AND a holiday weekend, the Appliance Repair Center can’t be contacted until Tuesday morning. Thanks for nothing, folks.

And what about the store? Well, they have a 7-day return policy WITH a 20% restocking fee PLUS the cost of re-delivery.  That’s over $500.  Are we willing to eat the cost? Hubby’s not. (He’s afraid the next fridge will make noises too. Then what?) I think I am.  And I think/hope I can fight the 7 day policy since I was handicapped by the storm and the holiday weekend and Electrolux’s incompetence. 

I just don’t know what to do.

I invite the Electrolux Exectuives, Mr. Jack Truong, the new CEO of Electolux Appliances of North America, and Electrolux CEO/President Keith McLoughlin, as well as Ms. Kelly Ripa to come spend a few hours in my home and let me know if the noises they hear coming from my AMAZING new fridge are “normal.”  I’m sure if this unit was placed in their multi-million dollar home, it would be replaced within hours.


The VP of Domestic Affairs