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Hits And Misses This Week.

by J. Money on Friday, September 21, 2012

jury duty sketch

A lot of awesome, and not-so-awesome, stuff happened this week in my little finance world over here.  Figured I’d just blurt it all out and see what you make of it? :)

Hits From The Week:

  1. We got a $7 credit from our fridge ordering! Woohoo! Haha… I had received a follow up email from Sears.com asking if everything went okay with my order (which it did), but when I glanced at the details I realized I had paid for some 5 ft hose to connect the fridge to our water line which never showed up.  Seems like I was really paying attention, eh?  Turns out we didn’t need it anyways though, so I just hit “reply” to the email hoping a real live person was on the other end and explained the situation to them, and a few hours later I get a response that my credit card will be refunded promptly!  Man, talk about good customer service!  No fuss, no debating, no proving anything, just a quick credit back and that’s that.  I tip my hat to you, Sears!
  2. We’re going to get a $150 rebate check for our fridge too! At least I’m 99% sure we will (those rebate forms always scare me because there’s sooooo many things you need to do in order to get your money, and I’m always paranoid I’ll forget something and it’ll wipe away the entire thing. Which I know 100% that they do on purpose cuz often times people won’t even bother.) So HUGE thanks to reader Brian for sending me that link about Energy Star rebates associated with the power companies cuz that’s apparently who we need to go though!  I owe you beers now!
  3. I got a $165+ credit (finally) for Baby $’s circumcision surgery. Which should have gone through the Baby’s insurance from day #1, but due to logistics had to be paid 100% in full by us first, and then have a claim submitted to refund the portion our insurance doesn’t cover.  Which happened to be about $140 of the $300 procedure. Two months of waiting around and poking them though, and we get our money back!

Moral of the stories: Pay closer attention to things, do your research, and always be persistent when someone owes you money! You’d be amazed at how often  you feel like just ‘forgetting about it” and moving on with your daily life.  It’s definitely the easier way to go, but MAN does it feel better when you stay on top of things and ride it out.  Not to mention giving you more money in the end too :)

Misses Of The Week:

  1. We got a notice from our home owner’s association to get rid of the green moss all over our house.  Ugh… It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s definitely annoying because right when you fix ONE thing w/ the house, something else comes up :(  Even though, yes – our house should be clean so it doesn’t affect all our neighbors/etc (who ALSO better be getting some notices too!). Like always though, it is what it is, and now we figure out if we want to spend the time doing it all ourselves, or hire our handyman friend to do it for us… I’m thinking it just needs a good ol’ fashioned power wash considering we haven’t touched the outside of the house in 5 and 1/2 years ourselves.  Who knows when the previous owners did either?
  2. I got summoned to Jury Duty. Which I usually LOVE to do because not only do you get off work and do something different for a while, but you’re also filling your responsibility as a responsible citizen of the United States :) The only problem this time around is that not only am I self- employed right now, but Baby $ is currently being watched at home by yours truly and the fabulous Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy. Who’s starting a fellowship around the same time jury duty is calling (next month) and we’ll have to figure out care for him. And since I’ve already put it off twice now (the first when Love Drop was launched and were heading across country, and the other during the week the baby was literally about to be born!), I’m stuck going in on this one… Just one of those things I’ll have to figure out, I guess. Maybe the ‘hawk will be extra spiky that day? ;) I can’t get onto some crazy long murder trial! Who will be manning the fort? (In case you’re wondering, like I was, you *cannot* get out of duty just because you’re self-employed. Which makes sense, but also sucks.)

Moral of the stories here: Life keeps “happening” no matter how hard you try and control it, so it’s good to fully understand this and pre-plan for the unexpected as much as you can as it’ll always be one thing or another. And sometimes the unexpected is GOOD over bad, so you just do your best to roll with the punches when it’s not in your favor this time around.

How about you guys?  Anyone else want to divulge some hits or misses from the week? Anyone just KILLING it in the money department right now? Tell us all your secrets down below – I promise it’ll make you feel better ;)

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Photo credit: sketchblog


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies September 21, 2012 at 6:58 am

In our area, Home Depot rents tools, and their power washers are only ~$35 for a few hours and they’re not hard to use. We use one about once a year to wash off our duplex and our house to make them fresh and clean =)

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2 Lance @ Money Life and More September 21, 2012 at 7:14 am

Those energy star credits are awesome. Congrats on looking into it for some quick $$$.

As far as jury duty, I don’t remember if it was a high school teacher or my law professor but they said if you mention the words jury nullification they’ll send you home almost immediately. Look into it and see if it would work for you if you want to pull that stunt. Ask how it works or something like that and they won’t like you anymore haha.

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3 Justin September 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

Man, your experience with Sears.com was completely different than mine.

Last year my fridge was slowly dying, so I looked at their website and found basically me and my fiance’s dream fridge, and it was on sale for a decent price. So I added it to my cart, went to double check that that was absolutely what we wanted to buy, then double checked my cart to make sure everything in it was right. I placed my order on October 11.

I’m no idiot, I’ve shopped online plenty. There was only a fridge in my cart. So I ordered it and payed extra to have it rush delivered because my fridge and freezer were loosing their performance fast. In the confirmation email I see a 5 foot water hose on the order. I scratched my head a bit, especially considering you pay the rush delivery charges PER ITEM, but I decided for simplicity’s sake, just leave it as it is so I can get my new fridge ASAP.

Now on my order confirmation it also said that the delivery date was October 12, the next day, with AM delivery. I also received a call from an automated system that confirmed October 12th at 9am.

So on October 12th, I had my dad come over since I had to be at work. We emptied the dying fridge and freezer of all my food, and I left for work. By 10:00 they still hadn’t delivered my fridge, so I called Sears. The lady on the other end said that my fridge wouldn’t be delivered today because while the fridge was ready to ship, the 5 foot water hose was not.

I asked her to please cancel the hose because not only did I not want it in the first place, but I have the old one and really don’t need it anyways. She said she could not cancel the item. At this point I was pretty furious. I pointed out that both an email and phone call confirmed the delivery for today, and that now all of my food was sitting out in my kitchen ruining. As a condolence she offered a coupon for my next order. I told her to take her coupon and shove it, in so many words :)

Once I calmed down I called again and got somebody else and told them to just cancel the order. After work I went to Home Depot and found a $600 two-door cheapy, and took it home just like that.

And on top of all of that, in the confirmation email they give you the email address of the “Senior Vice President of E-Commerce” so I had the bright idea to email him (or her, the name was “Imran”). I’ll post the emails below because they highlight some issues that I forgot to bring up above:

Imran,

I have since cancelled this order but I thought this should be brought to your attention. This order was placed on October 11th. I chose the 12th as the delivery date and received this confirmation email and later on a phone call confirming the delivery for the 12th between 7am and 9am.

As a small backstory, the day I placed this order, I noticed my fridge and freezer weren’t keeping everything cold enough. Eventually, the freezer couldn’t keep anything frozen. I searched online and found this great deal. It’s exactly the type of fridge I wanted and in the right color too, and just within my budget!

This morning since I had to be at work by 8am, I had my dad come over to wait. Around 7am, we unloaded everything from the fridge to make the installation and haul away as quick as possible, and I left for work. At 10am my dad called and said they never came by, so I called the number in this email (1-800-sears47) and was surprised to find that my estimated delivery was for the 13th, tomorrow.

Apparently the problem was a water hose that I didn’t even realize was in my cart to begin with. The fridge was ready to go by the 12th, but the water hose, which I didn’t even need because I had the old one, was causing the problem.

Why was I given not one but TWO confirmations for the 12th if my order wasn’t ready? The person on the phone didn’t even seem to acknowledge my reason for being upset. I was told the hose couldn’t be taken off of my order to expedite things, and I was refused an offer for a refund for my preferred delivery. I paid $20 for the fridge and $20 for the hose to have it delivered this morning, how was I not entitled to a refund on this?

Like I said above, I eventually just cancelled the order. I WAS offered a 10% coupon off of my next order, but honestly why would I order something else after a screw up like this? My food is ruined. It’s been sitting out all day, and at this point I’m driving to the nearest store after work and just grabbing a fridge myself. This has been hands down the worst online shopping experience I’ve ever had.

I have two documents/confirmations for a delivery on the 12th and when they don’t show up, I call and the operator acts like it should be obvious that I shouldn’t expect the delivery until tomorrow.

I’m in no way blaming you, but since this seems to be your department, I figured you would want to hear this. Thanks for reading, and make sure this doesn’t happen to someone else!

Sincerely,

Justin Passmore

Here’s the response I got.

> > >>
>
>>>>>>>>>>>
Good Morning Justin,

>
Thank you for contacting Sears.com regarding the ” 24 7 cu ft French Door Bottom Freezer Black” on your order # 267245382. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

>
I understand that you have not received the item even after getting confirmation emails. I apoligize for the inconvenience caused to you in this matter.
After reviewing your order I see that the order was cancelled on 10/13/2011. I am sorry to hear that the item was not delivered on 10/13/2011.
>
I am sorry that you have not received the item. I suggest you to place an order again and we will deliver the item on the date as expected.
We want to make you happy. Take our survey to tell us how we’re doing.
Don’t forget to visit sears.com often to check out our Deal of the Day.

>
Don’t forget, if you find a lower price on your items within 14 days, we have a Price Match and Price Protection Policy to ensure you always receive the best price.

> Remember, you can buy with confidence from Sears with our 14 Day Price Match Plus Policy. So don’t delay, place your order now to make sure you get your items.

>
Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore , NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.

Shop http://www.sears.com now to pick up great products for the season.

>
Sincerely,

>
Mayer. (sjunai0)
Sears Customer Care
webcenter@customerservice.sears.com
1-800-366-3028

>

What a horrible response. I could tell he really didn’t care either way, just like the customer service rep I spoke to. And what’s the deal with the formatting of that email? Why are there greater than symbols everywhere? It looks like the formatting of a spam mail.

Anyways, just wanted to point out a horrible experience I had. I’ve since made it a point to avoid Sears.com for anything.

Thinking back, the biggest slap in the face was when I accepted defeat and just asked that since my order was NOT rush delivered, that I be refunded the $20 per item I paid. And I was flat out refused. These people showed they’re only out to make sales, not serve customers.

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4 Stephanie September 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

Regarding those rebates: You are 100% right. Rebates are a really effective way of getting people to buy things they normally wouldn’t purchase at full price while only having to provide the actual discount to a small percentage of customers, because so many people don’t follow through on claiming the rebates, or forget until it’s too late, etc., as opposed to coupons and sales and such, where you’re offering a discount up front.

Financial hits for me included hardly spending any money on anything at all this week, even though I had two baby-doctor appointments – one anatomy scan (baby looks healthy, yay!!) and one 20-week OB appointment. Because I’ve already met my deductible and those particular visits weren’t subject to copays, insurance covers both of them 100%. The one miss I had was spending $80 on alterations for a wedding I’m in two weeks from now. It would have only been $60, but I decided to spring for an extra $20 to let the waist out a smidge, since I’m a little worried about what my waistline might decide to do over the next couple of weeks. ;-)

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5 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com September 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

How many times have you been called for jury duty? I’m 27 years old and I’ve been registered to vote since I was 18, and I’ve never been called. Weird.

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6 Heather Stephens September 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

Hi J! No win’s for us this week, just misses: In the craziness of getting out the door to go to FinCon, trying to make sure my mom had the rundown on all 3 kids schedule I gave her a check to pay our property taxes. Bone-head that I am, I wrote the tax check on the wrong account and it bounced (twice). So we had to pay $68 in overdraft fees and $40 more to the county because after bouncing, our taxes were late. Adios $108. A frustrating and totally avoidable mistake. I never write checks because I pay everything online so I always order the cheapest plain checks. Maybe it’s worth the extra effort to pick out a couple of designs so I know which account I’m using at a glance. :)

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7 LB September 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

Miss- My phone broke and even wiping the whole thing didn’t help
Hit-My hubby flashed the OS and reformatted it and so far it’s working better.
Hit- I was without a phone for a few days and absolutely loved it :) After looking at price tags for phones I threw up a little and vowed not to get another. (Mine was $70 because I fixed the screen and I have no contract)
Miss-My 18 year old fuzzy kitty died and I have to go on a long crap-tacular road trip to bury her.
Hit-I was in a funk and let myself be. In doing so I came up with a business plan I am slowly trying to enact.

I guess the moral of my story is there is always good at the end of the road even if something seems to suck up front. lol :)

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8 DebtKiller September 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hey, that Jury Duty could turn into a hit. That could be a $5 paycheck just waiting for you!

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9 Money Beagle September 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

Our big miss was having to buy shoes for both the kids. Good heavens are those ever expensive. And in a few months they’ll need new ones!

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10 Michelle September 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

I’ve never been called for jury duty, but I have a friend who has been called 6 times!

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11 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager September 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

Hit: Got a notice that natural gas prices in my town are going down. Which is great since fall starts tomorrow.

Miss: Got a notice that my insurance isn’t going to cover some things. Going to figure out why soon.

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12 Ben Edwards September 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

We have a crazy circumcision story. The hospital billed us $800 for our baby’s circumcision…. Kind of strange considering she was a Girl!

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13 J. Money September 21, 2012 at 11:47 am

Keep ‘em coming everyone! Hoping y’all have way more HITS than MISSES going forward ;)

@Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies – Really? That doesn’t sound bad at all actually… How do you know which settings to use and what not so you don’t crack siding or do more damage than good? (And also don’t fall off the big a$$ ladder you’ll need? haha…)
@Lance @ Money Life and More – Hah! I might keep that in my pocket just in case ;) I remember once in NYC I told the judge I couldn’t do it because I was literally MOVING that day and he told me too bad. Everyone and their mom has an excuse, he went on to say, and it was my duty to sit there like a good little boy (I was 21 at the time). So I did. For two days straight and then I was excused… was kinda fun actually – Ethan Hawke was apparently there around the same time although I didn’t see him – but it did screw up my moving plans ;)
@Justin – Wowwwww that response is JACKED up man! I can bet with 99% certainty that each of those “sections” of the site w/ those weird marks are probably plug and plays where you just select the sections to throwin the email using some customer service platform, and then it spits it all out into one main email back. The guy totally didn’t listen or pay attento to anything in your message other than the facts he could pull up on his screen, so I agree they totally failed you there. Good for you for not only canceling it all the way, but at least taking the time to LET THEM KONW about it in hopes it would server future customers properly. Like me :) Maybe your email single handedly changed things and you just don’t even know it? Haha… Just pretend so it makes you feel better :) Either way though, you handled the whole situation like a champ, and as a seasoned manager of customer service departments myself, I could tell you that the way you presented yourself – esp in that letter – is beyond awesome compared to how the averger person deals with this stuff. People don’t seem to get it that when you curse someone out and piss all over them, that they all of a sudden don’t want to help you ;) So way to stick to your guns while voicing your concerns in a professional and helpful manner. Just sucks they didn’t return the favor… Maybe they’ll read this since I’ve linked back to them?
@Stephanie – Awwwww, that’s a great $20 expenditure though – your baby’s gonna be so much more comfortable! Haha… how exciting!
@Kevin @ Thousandaire.com – At least 10 times by now. Which is crazy, considering I’ve lived in about 8 different counties in the past 10-15 years! Haha… Maybe they like the newbies? ;)
@ – YIKES! That def. sucks, I’m sorry to hear :( Totally get different-looking checks for the future though, I had to do the same thing with our house DEBIT card vs. our house CREDIT card cuz they were too similar looking and I’d always use debit by accident instead of credit! (I budget everything using credit cards, and LUCKILY leave enough padding in our checking account for stupid moves like this)… I now also write in large black Sharpie – “CREDIT” and “DEBIT” on the cards just to double make sure ;) Hope you have a better weekend, my friend!
@LB – Awwww, no doubt about that. Life is a cycle of ups and downs, and we can only do our best to help make more UPS overall ;) And get better with dealing with the downs as well. It seems your fuzzy kitty lived a long and prosperous life! He/she will be in Pet Heaven with our dear Bob cat :)
@DebtKiller – Right? I could be a millionaire in 200,000 days!
@Money Beagle – I bet! Kids freakin’ grow soooo fast! Our 10 week old is now going to bed in 9 mo. old pajamas – it’s crazy.
@Michelle – Your friend and I have lots in common :) It’s a great experience to have though at least once, just not so much when the timing is off.
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Your hit probably overrides your miss though, so yay! Now will your new kegerator increase energy costs? ;)
@Ben Edwards – HAhhahahahahhahhaha… now THAT is a good one, haha… SCORE!

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14 G. Jones September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Hit: my bonus at work came thru
Miss: they taxed the @$#%4 out of it but oh well it was free money!!

Hit: saved more for a down payment on my house.
Hit: going to happy hour after I get off my second job.
Miss: an ex left a call me note at my door and on my car but oh well that ship has sailed.

Overall, this week was pretty awesome!!! Free money, which has led to an awesome happy hour. Love the blog!

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15 MB @ 12 Year Career September 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Semi-Hit: Got some major kudos at work this week. Hopefully that will be a hit come performance evaluation time!!!

Semi-Miss: Literally no activity to report on the financial front. But I guess no news is good news?

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16 Brent Pittman September 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I served Jury duty in Los Angeles, but didn’t get assigned for a case. In cases expected to go longer than a week, you COULD ask to not be assigned to those based on self-employment. I guess its a state by state kind of rule.

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17 Josh D. September 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

For Jury Duty, if it is a problem to go next month, call the jury clerk and ask if you can come in next WEEK instead. Then your wife can watch the little one, and you can get your service in at a time that is convenient for you.

Your court may be different, but everytime I have been summoned for jury duty the clerks were helpful in scheduling a replacement day if I was busy on my assigned day. As long as you aren’t trying to avoid going altogether they might be willing to work with you.

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18 Joe @ Retire By 40 September 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I’m being a single dad this week and it’s nuts. Baby RB40 is throwing tantrums like there is no tomorrow. Our internet went down this morning and he screamed his head off while I was on the phone with Comcast. He wanted to play with my cell phone….
Mrs. RB40 is coming home in a few hours. Thanks goodness.

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19 Jennifer Dunn September 22, 2012 at 10:01 am

@Kevin I’m 32, have always been registered to vote, and have never been called for jury duty either! Weird!

I had a miss this week and I wonder if anybody has any ideas! I’m moving (into my first house-that-I-own -yay!) and was calling to switch over all my utilities. The current home owner uses Georgia Natural Gas & I also use Georgia Natural Gas. Ideally, there would be no need for anyone to come out to the house to switch the gas off and back on, right?

So I got myself transferred to some different department to get them to waive the $60 transfer fee since no one would be coming out. They came back and said the transfer fee was because I’m a new customer. But wait, I’m NOT a new customer – I already have Georgia Natural Gas. My rep disappeared again and came back saying basically the $60 fee is just the way it is.

Has anybody had any success getting a company to waive this ridiculous fee? Georgia Power only charged me $30, which I find a little more doable. (After all, there is a small admin cost to moving my info, giving me a new account #, etc.) Or maybe I’m just haggling over something that can’t be haggled. :(

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20 Mikayla September 23, 2012 at 4:32 am

Okay J$, my fingers are crossed that when you call to see if your juror number group is selected you aren’t in that group haha. I’ve been lucky 3 times in a row now with that so maybe my luck will rub off on you… wait, maybe I don’t want to give you my luck, cuz then I might actually have jury duty LOL…. oh no i’m sure it’s in the mail as we speak!

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21 Pauline September 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Well it’s time to make friends with neighbors who have babies and start a baby-sitting exchange in the neighborhood!

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22 Dena September 24, 2012 at 1:15 am

Hit: Hubby and I worked six long hours last Saturday,cleaning up our front and back yards at our new house.
Miss: We both have poison ivy.
Hit: We tore down and rebuilt a new porch and painted it this weekend.
Hit: It didn’t cost us anything other than time.We reused the decking from our old house and the paint we used was in the basement from the previous owner.

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23 J. Money September 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

@G. Jones – Haha awesome! I get the $hit taxed out of me too on things like that – it’s not fun, but also usually not avoidable ;) Hope happy hour was fun! Thanks for stopping by!
@MB @ 12 Year Career – Yup! No news = nice and on track :) As long as you’re following a game plan, which I know you yourself are.
@Brent Pittman – You may be right on that one – I’ve never had to deal with it yet, and hopefully I won’t!
@Josh D. – Yeah, that’s true. Only problem is that it’s a problem EVERY week, haha… at least until after the sememester is over. I think we’re gonna start looking into babysitting options for a day and see what happens with me getting called back or not… should be interesting!
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Oh wow! I haven’t been on duty for more than 3-4 hours by myself yet, so I can’t even imagine what that’s gonna mean, haha… I may need to call you up! :)
@Jennifer Dunn – Tricky one! I’d maybe try and talk to a manager and see if you can give it one last shot, but after that just let it be. The most important thing there is getting everything in YOUR name and info/etc so it has nothing to do w/ the older residends anymore. As long as that’s done well, I’d be pretty happy. Give it one last shot though :)
@Mikayla – If you DO get a notice, that would be crazy! Haha… I’ll be sure to let y’all know how it goes though :) Really really hoping it works out!
@Pauline – I know right? That would be ideal.
@Dena – Nice!!! Well, not with that poison ivy, but a tiny price to pay for all that awesomeness :) Can you come to my place next? I have lots of beers and no ivy!

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24 Jamie September 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm

So not sure if it’s too late or not, but in my state (Florida), you are excused from jury duty if you are the primary care giver for a child 2 or under. Might be worth a try! Good luck!

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25 J. Money September 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

Oh, really? Hmmm… well technically I’m not the primary caregiver on ALL days, but I will be on two of the days each week? Does that excuse me from only half of them? Haha…

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