Saturday, February 16, 2013

How NOT to Sell Insurance

Have you ever had that call come just as you were putting dinner on the table? Maybe when the kids were in the bath tub...or say at nine o'clock at night when frankly, no one except an emergency should be calling. I was raised with the manners to never call anyone after 8:00 P.M. and never before 8:00 A.M.. I know there are exceptions and having family across the country we disregard that rule. Times have changed a bit, but you just don't expect, nor want, a sales call coming in while the kids are sleeping. I make myself laugh at how "old" I sound sometimes. "Back in my day...we didn't call after 8 or say 'yea' to an adult." Don't get me going there......

OK, I did ask for this call at first. However, bad manners followed. After my son's father was killed in a hit-and-run by a drunk driver this September I've been a bit of a mess. Not only was he one of my very best friends for the past 15 years but we were raising my son together, though in separate homes. One of those things you don't want to think about after such heartbreak is money. He was a budding entrepreneur which translates to not having life insurance. Thankfully my husband is blessed enough to have a good career. However, as a stay-at-home wife and Mom I have no income. We get by because we don't have any daycare or before and after school care to pay for and well...I do everything.

There is a financial value to that that would need to be replaced. So, I've been sad. I still cry a lot. I drink a bit of wine when I'm alone at night. I've been going through panic having the reality of how things can change in less than a second. I've been basically going crazy some days. I have to admit, I'm the not the insurance type since I pretty much don't feel like I have any of my own money to spend on it. In one of my moments I requested information. Yes, I am getting myself life insurance. I would be expensive to replace and I would want to feel like I could still be in some way taking care of my family. That being said I'm not going to jump right in to whomever tells me to buy their policy.

Here comes my ranting...(.as if I wasn't doing that all ready). This guy from AIG called me back a few days later. I was running one of the kids to one activity or another and my husband gave him my basic info but told him when I'd be home. He set a time to call me before we put the girls to bed. 8:00 P.M. He called at 8:45..What????? Really? Is it me or should I have put down "Three Billy Goats Gruff" and went running to the phone? He was told to call back the next day.

A week later he called again when I was running out the door to one activity or another...4 kids mind you keep you moving. He set a time to call. I am home all day most days. It's not like I'm that hard to get a hold of as long as it's not during after school activities. So, he was asked to call back. "So sorry I'm being difficult" I nicely tell him.

Another week later he calls at night. "Hey, this is Patrick" Who? "Your AIG director" Huh? A month or more has passed since I've requested a my computer said was going to email me immediately. I just wanted to know a ball park figure so I can start comparing. He was so familiar with me that I felt it was rude. We're not long time pals. You expect me to remember your voice?

I was very pleasant..because I can be nice sometimes:) I did say that I had expected to hear from him a long time ago when I was told to wait for his call. He set the times...then never called. I told him that I was no longer going to worry about it. He said "Well I won't worry about it either then" in a very snotty tone. Snotty....I have a teenager..I KNOW snotty..and that was snotty. Now, I don't know anything about AIG and I don't really have complaints about a company I don't know...and was unable to even hear anything about. However, I can tell you that I am finding my insurance someplace else.

Is it me, or have we lost our basic manners in our business affairs? "Back in my day......."

I'm done now:)

Monday, February 11, 2013

This blog was just what I've been looking for! I'm sure my boys aren't the only ones who spend more time complaining about chores than doing them.

This site was wonderful so I had to share.

Chores for Kids: A Guide to Cleaning with Kids

I have tried chore charts and I have to admit I let them go for a while and I wish I was more organized. I think I lost them's true. I'm going to use this advice and create a new plan. With 2 boys, 2 girls, 2 dogs, and 2 cats....I just really really can't keep this place clean on my own.

I'm open to any advice anyone wants to share with me....really...HELP.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Counting with Crafts

This was a lesson in number recognition for my 4 year old and a counting tool for my 3 year old. We "play school" in our craft studio and always use our crafting tools for part because they are everywhere. (I'm always working on my organization)

 It takes no time to prepare and I keep this on our school shelf with the basket of jacks for our "free choice" time. Once they understand what the tool is for they can go  back to it whenever they want. We like pink in our house if you can't guess, so I simply used a ruler to grid out 12 columns. We are working on 1-12, some use 0-10. My Moon Princess was getting stuck with the "eleventeen" and skipping 12 for a little while until she was able to really see them written in this concrete way. Numbers are very abstract and they really do need to see them in this way to connect the number and the quantity.

MP places which ever objects she chooses to equal the number at the top of the column. Sometimes you have to smooch them in when you use bigger objects.  I allow her to do this completely on her own and it takes some re-counting....which simple means reenforcing on her part. At first you can have them go in order and they can see how each column has one more object than the last. Once they are secure in this you can have them work backwards, learn even / odd numbers, ask for only specific numbers, or count by 3's or 4's. This becomes a game and with simply a sheet of paper and some odds and ends you have a very complete lesson and a lot of fun.

 My 3 year old focuses more on the counting of the objects for each column once her sister sets it up for her. One thing I am careful about is keeping tools like this only on the lesson shelf. It's important to learn respect for these things and I believe that leads to them placing a higher value on education. 

 At the end of each play school we enjoy free art time. We love water colors! expect me to smile?