Tag Archives: communication

The Artist Formerly Known As…

The other day was my birthday so Jim took me out to lunch. Just the two of us! Seriously, we haven’t been anywhere alone together since our December 31st wedding anniversary. We don’t get out much because I can’t seem to find a babysitter that will actually show up. Maybe all of the babysitters in town read my blog and see that picture of Tiny-Small screaming and just get real, real scared or something. I don’t know, but other people have weekly date nights and we have bi-annual date nights. I am not complaining, at least not too loudly, because I am sure some couples out there don’t get date nights at all.

Artist Formerly known as Lillian Connelly
Background Step 1

You’d think since we don’t get out much that we would have intense adult conversations about important things, but no, we talk about silly stuff and spend as much time as possible laughing. We save the serious conversations for right before bed, to ensure we get the least amount of sleep as possible. This lunch date was no different, we talked about ridiculous things:

Jim: Did you hear Snoop Dog changed his name to “Snoop Panther”?

Me: Wait, I thought he changed it to Snoop Lion.

Jim: Really?

Me: Yeah. What if I changed my name? Like to, “The Artist Formerly Known As Lillian Connelly.” I want to be like Prince.

Jim: What if you changed it to “Princess Lion” instead? Although that kind of sounds like animal porn.

Me: Animal porn?!

Jim: Yeah, porn for animals. Princess Lion would be the star.

We were sitting on the same side of the table facing the window because that seemed sort of romantic (and also because we can’t hear what the other person is saying when we sit across from each other). We couldn’t hear (mostly) because it was a noisy, crowded restaurant, but also because we’re both going deaf. Jim with old age (haha) and me from listening to Nirvana too loudly on my Walkman in high school. Stupid teenage angst.

Background step 2 where I make it more intense by trying to tone it all down.

Just then, as we were laughing about my animal porn star name, a man with a motorcycle drove by in front of us nice and slow like. His dog was sitting in front of him, on the motorcycle. Jim and I both went silent and then burst out laughing. It was like a sign from the animal porn gods or something.

mermaid art painting
Coral Reef Mermaid progress shot Formerly known as: Step 3

So, please, refer to me from now on as The Artist Formerly Known as Lillian Connelly or as Princess Lion…soon to be “The Artist Formerly Known As Princess Lion.” Also, please do not take your dog for a ride on your motorcycle. Let’s leave those antics for the animal porn stars. They’ve been trained to do this nonsense, obviously.


Like this post? You might also like: I Want To Win A Gold Medal In Bed Making.

We Buy A Swing Set From Sears (Part 2)

Buying a swing set from Sears was difficult, but it happened. Seriously, the box is sitting in the back yard as I am typing this. If you haven’t read Part 1 of our adventure you might want to start here: Sears and Kmart: Please Let Me Buy A Swing Set.

swing set-family-life-Sears
Jim brings home the swing set.

After writing about my experience with Kmart and Sears we got a phone call from Robert, an executive from Sears who took on our case and made sure we were able to purchase a swing set. It turns out that the swing set purchase had gone through. It just didn’t seem to be connected to my account in any way. I didn’t receive any emails from them confirming the purchase. I’m still not sure why, but the good thing is, we now have a swing set. Yay!

Yesterday Jim went down to the Sears store to pick it up. An employee gave Jim a hard time about not having a confirmation email and didn’t seem to understand that we never received one. She insisted Jim needed to go online and print it out before he could take the swing set (even though we had already paid for it). Since we never received an email (and there was nothing about it in my online account) there was nothing we could print out. Jim finally concluded that he would have to cancel the order again. Luckily, a manager type took over and Jim was able to take the swing set home. He just had to let the manager make a photocopy of his driver’s license. I’m just glad the manager didn’t ask for a kidney and for our first-born child. I mean, if we had to give Tiny-Small up we wouldn’t actually even need a swing set. Just last year I bought six bookcases online from Kmart and I didn’t have any trouble at all. That purchase was way more expensive than this one. They also delivered the bookcases right to my house! So much can change in one year.

The email address linked to my online account receives email almost daily from Kmart/Sears about sales they are having and I have received email confirmations for other purchases that I have made through their website (like the bookcases). I am not sure what happened with this one. There must have been some sort of glitch. I don’t think I’ll be getting any reward points for this purchase either, but at this point I am just glad we have a swing set. I do wonder if someone else is getting my email confirmations and reward points. I mean, that stuff must be getting sent to someone, somewhere, right? Not to mention, when I go to use my rewards card at Kmart there are three different people listed on the cash register screen and they always confirm which person I am. They say, “Well, you aren’t José.” That seems strange too.

Sears-swing set
Now we just have to put it together (Cue horror music).

The manager at the store told Jim to order our big purchases through the store in the future (not to do it online), so we could avoid all of these problems. Jim told him that is exactly what we tried to do, but for some reason we still had to order the item online at the store. The manager seemed as confused as we were about the process. We’re not sure what went wrong, but we are happy we have the swing set home and ready to be put together. The only problem we have now is that we don’t have a receipt for it. Apparently, the receipt is the email we never received. We’re hoping we don’t need it for any reason. If all of the parts are in the box we should be fine. If they aren’t, maybe I can email José and ask him if he got my receipt by mistake. Otherwise, I have a feeling we’ll be at the hardware store searching for a replacement part just because it will be so much easier than trying to get the email from Sears.

It may sound like I am complaining still, but the good thing is Sears seems to be paying attention to their customers. When I wrote about our experience on my blog I had no idea an executive would contact me and offer his help. I have to say that, despite the trouble we had trying to purchase a swing set, it was nice to know that someone cared and was willing to take the steps to ensure we were able to do so. If Robert had not called the store ahead of time I have a feeling we would not have been able to pick up the swing set without the email confirmation. The manager mentioned an executive had called about our purchase. He seemed impressed that we had such an important ally (or maybe annoyed, we will never know for sure). Jim told him I had a large Twitter following (just not large in comparison to Justin Bieber as Jim likes to remind me) and that Sears pays attention to Twitter, apparently. Jim said the manager probably thinks I am an annoying trouble maker, but I don’t care too much. I just wanted to buy my daughter a swing set. I don’t think it should be harder than buying a car. I am glad the executives at Sears think it should be easier too.

We’ve been shopping at Sears for years. It’s nice to know Sears still cares about our business. I mean, Robert tracked me down through my blog post and called me to straighten it out. That is pretty impressive service. I don’t know how he got my phone number. He obviously has stalker type super powers. I’m just glad he is using them for good and not for evil. Anyway, Robert rules! I think he might be my favorite thing about Sears now. Hopefully, the online glitches and store policies will evolve and become more customer friendly. With people like Robert working at the top I have a feeling the company will be improving. At least I really hope so because we are going to need a new oven soon, but that’s a story for another day. I just hope Sears is up for the challenge, I mean purchase. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best and thanking Robert all at the same time.


When Family Conversations Just Go Wrong

birds circling our head-family

I’d just gotten Tiny-Small buckled into her car seat. I was sitting in the drivers seat trying to catch my breath when my phone rang. Sometimes family conversations just don’t go well.

Let me back up a bit here. Last night we had tickets to go watch some Irish River dancing, except they were called “Rhythm Dancers” because they were not THE River Dancers. Tiny-Small and I were meeting Jim at the theater because he was coming straight from work. The hours prior to getting into the car had been hectic because Tiny-Small woke up from her nap cranky, did not want to eat anything we actually had in the house and refused to shower. She had to shower because she had oatmeal glued into her hair with honey. We were a whirlwind of drama and trauma and ballet dresses by the time we got out of the house and into the car. I’d felt like I had run a marathon and the night was just beginning.

So, I sat in the car for a moment doing some deep breathing and fantasizing about staying home (even though I am so tired of staying home) and the phone rang. It was Jim. I put him on speaker phone because I was getting ready to go down the driveway.

Me: Hello?

Jim: Did you leave yet? I am leaving now.

Me: We are in the car, leaving now.

Tiny-Small: We go to the dance, Dada!

Jim: What?

Me: She said, “We go to xokcojpfjnsdknkf.”

Tiny-Small: Dada, we go to hsjdhfefqbvl;qdnjv. (we were speaking at the same time).

Jim: What?

Me: We are leaving now. She wants you to know we are going to watch dancing.

Tiny-Small: Is Memé coming?

Me: No, Memé is not coming.

Jim: What?

Me: She wants to know if Memé is coming.

Tiny-Small: Waahhh I want Memé to dance…wahhhhh!

Jim: What?

Me: She wants to know if Memé is coming.

Jim: Who?

Tiny-Small: Memé go to dance too …Wahhh! Wahhhh!

Me: Memé. She wants to know if Memé is coming.

Jim: Coming where?

Tiny-Small: Where Memé? Wahhh I want Memé.

Me: Memé is not coming. She is home.

Jim: What?

Tiny-Small: Memé is home?

Jim: Memé is going with us?

Me: NO! MEME IS NOT COMING! SHE IS NOT COMING! (Yelling, probably foaming at the mouth).

Tiny-Small: I want Memé Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (infinity).

Jim: You don’t have to yell.

Me: We’ll meet you there.

Jim: What?


Jim: Why are you yelling? I can’t hear you.

Me: I’m sorry. I am just tired of saying everything twice.

Jim: What?

Me: I’ll meet you there. I’ll meet you there!!!

Jim: OK!

Tiny-Small: Where my Memé???! Wahhhhh……

Me: She is home. She’s not coming.

Jim: Where are you now?

Me: Still in the driveway.

Jim: I hope we get there before it starts.

Me: I’ll meet you there.

Jim: Where?

Me: I’ll meet you in the parking lot.

Jim: What?

Me: We will meet you there. I am hanging up now.

Jim: OK. See you in the auditorium.


We made it to the theater. We watched the dancing and singing. A fun time was had by all.


Want to read a few more conversations we’ve had? Read this – Communication: Is It Important For a Marriage?