Tuesday, June 25, 2013

the homework honeymoon is over

Now that school is out for the summer, the kids spend a bit of time, every day, on a workbook that has been designed to help keep the wheels of their minds greased on concepts they'd learned this year in school.


Perhaps I've mentioned it before that our children aren't too keen about doing any kind of homework and it's often a battle to get them to sit down and spend the requisite 15-20 minutes required to work through a few pages.


So today when Charlie tasked the children with completing their allotted homework, he was amazed at how quickly and correctly the children had completed their assignment. This is the e-mail message that he sent me at work:
Your stinker pie children have found the answers in the back of their workbooks. OMG!!! They were flying through the pages and getting everything right!! Then Elizabeth told me their dirty little secret. Now William and Carolyn are mad at Elizabeth for telling me. Who do they think they're dealing with? Do they think I'm dumb?! I was already suspicious that something was amuck when they were adding and subtracting three digit numbers without showing any work or using their fingers to count. My sweet little Elizabeth turned in to the stool pigeon!!! 

These are some smart kids considering I didn't figure out that the answers were in the back of the book until at least sixth grade. 


Although I suppose with the three of them constantly working together, I shouldn't be at all surprised. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

the (lack of) slumber party

This weekend, we hosted our children's first slumber party. My good friend and her husband were celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary, so a few months ago, I volunteered to watch their three children so they could get away for a few days.  Their almost eight-year-old daughter has been in the same class as our children since kindergarten and is in Girl Scouts with our girls. And their newly turned nine-year-old son is in Cub Scouts with William. Their five-year-old daughter will be a rising kindergartner with Henry in the Fall ... and all seven of the children swim (and dive) on the same team.

While we've never hosted a sleep over before, the circumstances for this event were just right. Although, when I told Charlie about my offer that was accepted and we'd be watching seven children - under the age of 10 for a weekend - he was initially concerned. I think his exact comments were, "Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa. You said we'd do what? For how long?" 

That Charlie ... he's so funny! 

Because I believe that (just about) anything is possible with the right amount of planning and good attitude, I'd mentally prepared a laundry list of activities to do - including a trip to the pool and free children's concert - because I thought that for sure they'd get restless and we'd need to go out for an adventure. But since we only wound up watching the children for one night and the time went so fast, we never did leave the house.  Here are some photographic highlights from our time together.

Painting rocks from the creek.


A picnic, on an absolutely perfect day.


150 water balloons which took Charlie and I more than one-hour to inflate with water.


150 water balloons which took the children less than five minutes to toss and explode.


The garden hose, which was easier and much more saturating than water balloons.


The necessary gear to defend one's self against the garden hose...


When said garden hose is in the control of one's merciless brother.


Taking a remarkably well-behaved dog for a walk (I think he likes her hat and glasses)....


Henry, dressed in his knight costume, helping to set his tent up for the night, while being observed by a potential future prom date. Henry has many crushes but this five-year-old, who loves Spiderman as much as he does (as evidenced by the mask she is holding) really makes his little heart go pitter-patter.


She also loves ice cream ...


And dancing ...


And jousting. In the foreground, the girls having a hula-hoop contest; in the background, Charlie laboring on his, I mean the children's, new tree house.


Elizabeth, the first to stand on the floor of the new tree house. A big moment, indeed.




The little tent (on the left) that the boys slept in ... the big tent (on the right) where the girls slept. The girls needed more space, because in the boys' words, "Crazy takes up A LOT of room." Oh boys ... you have no idea.  


Although it was a cloudless night (with no forecast of rain) and a nearly full moon, we set up a path illuminated with lanterns from the tents to the backdoor so that the children could easily find their way back to the house in the dark, if needed.



Building dams, fishing and splashing in the creek.  Charlie and I sitting outside until past midnight waiting for the incredibly excited children to fall asleep in the tents.  Henry, waking up and coming inside at 3:00AM and declaring that he is cold and wants to sleep with us.  William and his friend waffling back and forth about sleeping in the tent? Or in the house? Or in the tent? Or in the house? Before deciding to sleep in the tent ... until they came in to the house at 4:30AM and woke me up because they'd changed their mind again and would be playing with Legos in William's room. The four girls coming in to the house at 6:01AM and asking if it was breakfast time yet because the sun was already up and they were HUNG-RY!  Me, going outside at 6:15 AM to extinguish the lanterns and feeling the first raindrops.  Me, throwing rain tarps on the tents, because taking them down would have to wait until after breakfast.

This is breakfast.


This is five minutes after breakfast when the rain (which had not been forecasted) was coming down in BUCKETS.  I'm just glad that it didn't start raining when the kids were still in the tents, or they would have only had an hour of sleep as opposed to a whopping two.


Making a three-foot anniversary card for their parents.


Marble runs, in a warm cozy house - after the kids exhausted their energy building forts out of couch cushions. I think they are asleep with their eyes open in this picture.


My friend and her husband said they had a wonderfully fun and relaxing time on their getaway.  We really had wonderful time, too. Albeit not a "relaxing" time since I suspect it'll take us several days to recover from the "fun" of just one night.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies

During our first visit to the pediatric dentist ... way back when the triplets were 18-months old, we were told that Elizabeth had a labial frenulum on her bottom lip. The dentist told us that one day, it might need to be clipped, if it caused any problem with her teeth.   


Even though I still brush (or closely supervise) the children's teeth brushing every night - I haven't really noticed that the gum surrounding one of Elizabeth's lower teeth was receding until the dentist pointed it out to me during our last visit.  And of course once I saw it - I felt like a dope that I'd missed it because it was so obvious. We were told that the frenulum needed to be removed and the lower gum needed a graft. But because our dentist doesn't perform those types of procedures in their office, we were referred to a periodontist. 

Elizabeth and I went for the periodontal consultation last month, because as it turns out - I need a gum graft, too.  My lower gums have receded as a result of this whole aging thing and I now have to carry a toothpick with me at all times.  The periodontist felt that Elizabeth's procedure was more time critical than mine, so she was scheduled to go first.  

Today was her procedure and I took the day off from work so I could be with her. 


The front office staff gave her an oversized toy toothbrush and stuffed walrus to hold, and the periodontist let her wear his glasses.  


They gave her nitrous oxide to take off the edge and as I watched her, she completely checked out. Her eyes were open - but she was in a different world.  After a minute or two, her eyes focused on me and she slowly said, "Mom ... I'm swimming in purple Jell-O!"

The doctor gave her a shot to numb her gums and unlike Henry, who had a minor dental procedure last month to remove an inflamed salivary gland and could be heard screaming two doors down, Elizabeth didn't flinch.  She just quietly said, "Ow. I felt that."


The nitrous oxide stayed on the whole time and everything was going fine, until the doctor cranked up the oxygen on the nitrous solution and as Elizabeth zoned back in to reality - she asked if she could look at her mouth. And before I could contemplate the repercussions of my daughter looking at her own cut and bleeding tissue, she was handed a mirror and all the blood drained from her face. 


Approximately 12 stitches later, she took one last look at the finished product.

We went to the store and bought ice cream. A lot of ice cream. And by the time we arrived home, my poor little one was in tears.  When I asked her if she would come with me and hold my hand when I had to have my procedure completed, she shook her head and said, "No, I'm sorry but I can't go back there. I'll be too freaked out." Then she picked up my camera and said, "Here, take a picture of me. You can look at this and imagine I'm there swimming with you in the purple Jell-O."  


Here's my little trooper tonight ... laying in our bed, eating her third bowl of ice cream, watching the Miss USA pageant while waiting for Daddy to come home with her prescription for Tylenol with codeine. 


The only thing I regret more than not having her prescription filled sooner in the day, is that I should have gone first so I'd know what to expect and could have been better prepared for managing her pain because Tylenol straight-up just wasn't enough.  Or, why didn't I do the procedure when she was younger, before her gums receded?  And why didn't I do more research about alternatives to skin grafts?  Surely there could have been other options. Just tonight, I found this

Ugh. It's so hard to see your children in pain so of course, the normal thing to do is inflict some of it on yourself. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the compromise might be a wetsuit and 1/2 dozen glazed

The kids have been in swim team for the past year and it has been a (to quote my sister, Beth) "metza-metz" experience.  Sometimes we love it, sometimes we don't.  Consider, we bailed out on the last month of our Sunday-night swim team because I couldn't keep up with the 7:00 PM start-time.  Now, it's summer and we're in full swing with summer swim team that starts at 9:00 AM.

While 9:00 AM during the week, is much more preferable than 7:00 PM on a Sunday, the problem with 9:00 AM swim in northern Virginia, in an outdoor pool surrounded by trees - is that ... well, it's chilly. Especially if you are one of my blond haired children and you reach for a sweater when the temperature drops below 80.


William and me, we're cut from the same thin-blooded cloth. Carolyn and Henry have no concept of "cold." I don't think I've ever seen either of those children chilled. The scientist in me thinks it might have something to do with the general difference in body composition. As for Elizabeth, she definitely gets cold, but could never stop moving long enough for such frivolity as putting on a coat. Pfft!  

Charlie is adamant that William get in the pool and swim - even though it's cold - because the more he swims the more he'll warm up.  My husband who swims all the time, has good experience with this phenomenon of an increase in body temperature as a result of an increase in heart rate.  As for me, ye who hates to be cold and out of breath, I think that William should just put on a pair of cozy sweatpants and sweatshirt and cuddle up with a cup of hot cocoa until he's good and ready to jump in the pool and not a minute before. I mean, it's not like we're trying to raise the next Michael Phelps.

Despite my opinion, Charlie thinks our eight-year-old needs to toughen up and fulfill his swim team obligation despite the fact that William is filled with absolute angst about having to get in to that cold pool every morning.  From my softer more squishy perspective, I see absolutely no good that comes from having an eight-year-old filled with unnecessary dread about something that is supposed to be FUN, so I've told my son that he doesn't have to go in the pool if he doesn't want to and why doesn't he just come with me and I'll buy him a nice donut and put some meat on those little bones?


And yes ...  of course he can live with me forever.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

it's the follow-through that always gets me

Today was the last day of second grade.


I don't know how it's possible that the second grade went faster than the first grade, which went faster than kindergarten. But it's true that these years are incredibly fleeting and I am in awe at how fast the time is going past.  Next year, they will all be in separate classes for third grade and I'm going to really miss the lovely convenience of having them in one class, with one incredibly magnificent teacher, who has been with them since first grade.  Time just keeps marching on...


We now have eleven (11!) blissful summer weeks ahead of us and in the Spirit of Seizing the Moment because my babies are growing up before my very eyes ... when I asked the children what they wanted to do this summer, they rattled off all kinds of things ranging from strawberry picking to visiting family and friends and Niagara Falls.

We've already started a list and I'm fully planning on executing as many of the activities as humanly possible.   To kick things off, this weekend, we're hosting three of the children's friends for a spend-the-night event (our first ever) while their parents head up to the mountains to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  I've been thinking that it would be really cool if we camped in the back yard, after we cooked dinner over an open fire and had a raucous game of night-time laser tag. We'd wear camouflage and paint our faces to match. This sounds like an amazing thing to do and I'm sure the kids would love it and remember it forever.  But I won't mention it to them just yet, because when the time rolls around to actually do it, I'll probably be exhausted after watching seven children all weekend and decide that the mosquito bites and tripping hazards associated with running around in the dark just aren't worth it. So it's likely that I'll instead make a huge bowl of popcorn and host a nice quiet Superman movie marathon.

See, my challenge is that I have the mind of a very hip mom.

And the stamina of a sloth.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

DAD = darn awesome dude

My husband epitomizes what it is to be a gentleman.


When we first started dating, Charlie would open the car door for me, and hold my chair when I would sit down. While I was certainly smitten with his chivalrous demeanor, I thought it was a behavior that would eventually fade. But 22-years later, unless I'm at the table or in the car before him - I can expect that my husband will be holding the chair or door for me .... and it still makes me weak in the knees. 


Whenever Charlie enters a building, he'll always hold the door open for others with a kind smile. He shakes hands firmly and looks people in the eyes when he talks with them. For women, the elderly, or handicapped, he'll willingly give up his seat on a full bus or train - and will not hesitate to help others load their suitcases in to overhead compartments on a plane.  And earlier this month, when he called his subcontractor to let him know that he had been charged $4,000 less than what he actually owed, he demonstrated that he is a man of integrity.  


Each day, I can see little things that my young boys are doing to emulate their father's behavior and it warms my heart.  It has been said that if you keep company with good men, good men you will imitate. So to Alex, Charlie's Dad, I say thank you for raising such a gentle man and for positively influencing your descendants.

dashing alex

Charlie spent his Father's Day at the lumber store where he bought all the supplies to construct a tree house and zip line ramp in our backyard.  I'm not really sure who is more excited about this project - Charlie or the children.


Mencius wrote, "The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart."


Oh, how lucky I am ... that the father of my children is such a great man!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

favorite thing friday: the quest for world peace (alternatively titled, the war against road rage)

This morning, I had to be in the office at 8:00 for a meeting.  Because I didn't return home last night until midnight (after having been on a business trip to Houston), I was feeling a little less than stellar when I woke up today.  But after I smothered the kids in hugs and kisses, I darted off to work.   On my less than nine-mile drive in to the office, I heard honking - no less than five times. Not just a "toot-toot" but a HOOOOOOOOOONK! If those horns could speak, they would be saying, "Get off the road, you bumbling fool!"  

At one juncture, the man in the car next to me was laying on his horn and honking so aggressively at the person in front of him, who had merely slowed down because she realized that she was in the wrong on-ramp to the freeway and needed to merge, my blood pressure instantly went through the roof and I started to honk at him, for honking at her, before I stopped myself and instead started yelling the Lord's Prayer.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us! And lead us not in to temptation! Please, please, please deliver us from the evil that would occur if I forced this dope off the road and into a ditch!!

Oh, I know better than to let other's reactions behind the wheel upset me. I've taken defensive driving for the past several years through the Smith-System Program, which I can not recommend highly enough.  And while I know that the horn has a purpose on the car, I very, very rarely use it because I think it is rude and obnoxious and stress-inducing. Why, I dislike horns so much and was so inflamed by all of the people that used them when we first moved to this area, this is my license plate:


If I'm sitting behind someone at a light and the light turns green, I'll give the person a few solid seconds before I tap my horn. And if someone is merging in to my lane, of course I'll slow down and let them in. Why would I speed up and honk my horn? What if the person inside is sick or sad or dealing with a terrible loss? What if they are a brand new driver and nervous, or what if they are elderly and tentative?  Or, what if they are transporting a brand new baby?  Or, what if they don't feel comfortable making a turn on green because the cars are coming a bit too fast from their perspective?

What do you think of that, over-zealous horn honker?

Two months ago in Virginia, just down the street from our house, there was a situation where a 57-year old man was driving a car and a 63-year old man behind him, was (purportedly) honking his horn.  He honked at him once when the 57-year-old didn't accelerate fast enough once a light turned green, and then he did it again at the next light.  As fate would have it, the 57-year-old man, who was a Religious Education teacher at a local Catholic school, really didn't appreciate being honked at and perhaps didn't think to recite the Lord's Prayer.

Instead, he allowed the 63-year old to go in front of him, and then he followed him in to a parking lot, climbed out of the car, approached the man and said, "One day, you're going to get your ass kicked...." before he PUNCHED him in the head.  Long story short, the 63-year old died a few days later from a brain bleed resulting from the punch to his head. Resulting from him rudely honking his horn at a stranger who wasn't going fast enough through green lights. Resulting from a general acceptance of behaving uncivilized on the roadways.  Resulting from a civilization that unquestionably needs more fiber and general kindness in its diet.

Here's what I think:  I think that driving is the most dangerous thing I do all day. And I think there's a rage in a lot of people that lays just below the surface, manifesting itself once people get behind the wheel.  This rage especially brews when people are busy and stressed. I think that in more crowded areas, people can completely lose track of their humanity. And I think that this rage, this scary rage, can make us do things that we might never even believe that we would be capable of doing. I know that my neighbors whose daughter goes to the Catholic school, certainly never thought that their education director would be facing homicide charges because of road rage.

It comes as no surprise to me that the drivers of Washington, DC (and the surrounding area), are among the worst drivers in the United States of America.  While I try to allow three to four seconds of lead time between myself and the car in front of me,  I'm always stunned at how fast and close people around here drive and how not a day passes that when I'm out driving, I'll witness some kind of altercation on the road.  As a result of those factors, drivers in this area are 107.3 times more likely to have an accident than the national average.  People are generally overworked and overwhelmed and so they take out their frustrations during their long and busy commutes.

Because I'm striving for a better world for my children, in addition to honing my defensive driving skills and demonstrating graciousness to fellow drivers, I'm adding a few of these Shticks to my car...


Already, I expect they will be a favorite thing. I figure, if they add any levity to the insanity that is driving in this region, I think their purchase will be money well spent.  I'm just hoping I don't inadvertently hold up the "Jackass" of "WTF!" sign when I meant to hold up the "Thanks!" or "Have A Great Day!"

I anticipate that snafu might cause some trouble.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

yet another moral dilemma

So Louie. Our dog?


We adopted Louie almost two years ago during a trip to South Carolina. Whereas our previous dogs, Monty and Molly, were pure bred AKC Labrador Retriever puppies ... Louie is a conglomeration of who knows what.  When we adopted him from the shelter, we were told he was a Cocker Spaniel - Mountain Cur mix but I'm sure he has some other breeds in there, too.  From what I've researched online, Mountain Curs were bred specifically for treeing small game but they have also been known to tree bears. I'm not surprised.  Louie will spend hours every day peering out the kitchen window whimpering at the squirrels and deer racing around our backyard and whenever the door opens, he'll fly around the yard like a banshee. I'm surprised - no, shocked - that he hasn't caught a squirrel yet.

Surely it's just a matter of time...

Last year, we took him with us to Michigan and things were great. A few weeks later, when I (sternly) corrected him for eating a stick of butter off the counter, he cowered away and then came at me with teeth bared, growling and snapping.  For several weeks afterwards, I was ready to take him back to the shelter.  But I instead, blamed his response on MY behavior, and read Cesar Milan's book, cover-to-cover with the goal that I would be a more calmly assertive (emphasis on the "calmly") dog owner.

I'm sure Louie sensed that his future with our family was uncertain because his demeanor changed almost instantly. Perhaps he realized that he was on thin ice because he became more keen to listen and please. Except for when he's on leash and then, even with the gentle lead, he's awful.  But he ceased snapping at the kids and became more playful and fun.  Things were certainly going better and I again began to imagine him with us forever.

Then he turned on me again, albeit not nearly as bad. It happened when I was trying to get him to roll over so I could put medicine on his stomach for a rash that he'd developed running around the backyard. I was trying unsuccessfully to flip him on his back and was beginning to get cross. He snarled. I backed off, petted him gently, and told Charlie I had a job for him to do.

(My husband's much better at flipping dogs on their backs than me.)

This past March, our neighbor Tom had to put down his nine-year-old pure bred German Shepard.  This was his fourth German Shepard that he's had to put down before they reached the age of ten and he was devastated.  While his wife was trying to convince him that at 72-years of age, the last thing he needs is another dog ... Tom did not agree with his wife and brought home his new 8-week old AKC German Shepard puppy last month.  Tom really knows his way around dogs and told us that once the puppy was a bit bigger, he'd like for him to meet Louie.

Today was that day.

And here's how it went...

But wait .... first I have to tell you how we took Louie to go fishing today. In my mind, this would be a FUN thing to do. A beautiful day with the dog at the lake, what could be better?  I'll tell you what could be better: A beautiful day with NO dog at the lake. For two hours straight, Louie was yanking on his leash, whimpering, yanking, whimpering, yanking, whimpering. Like it's not challenging enough to go fishing with four children who nearly gouged themselves (and others) as they were casting their lines ... now add a hyper dog to the mix. Sometimes I wonder how I've survived this long without medication? When I felt like hanging Louie from a tree, Charlie scowled and asked, "Remind me again why we have him and not a LAB?"


So then we arrived home and less than an hour later, Tom is at the door asking if we'd like to introduce Louie to the puppy?  Sure I thought. Maybe Louie can redeem himself in our book of good graces. We walked Louie over to meet the new puppy who has doubled in size and is now slightly bigger than Louie.  Louie, who typically does well with other dogs once he realizes that they are much bigger and more dominating than him, wagged his tail. Things looked promising. Until we put them in the fenced yard together and the puppy started to jump around and chase Louie.  That's when Louie said in dog words, "Me Not Like You."

Looking back, I see that once again it was my fault and I should have immediately taken Louie out of there. But I thought that he'd warm up to the puppy, because isn't that what dogs do?

Well, I thought wrong.  After the puppy tried to leapfrog over Louie's face, Louie went primal. He turned on the puppy, snapping, and once the puppy started shrieking in pain from an obvious bite, Louie went even more primal - running after him, snapping.  I jumped in to the fray and grabbed Louie - who immediately looked guilty - put him on leash and had the children take him out of the yard.

Meanwhile the puppy, who was still shrieking, ran and hid behind a garden hose. When Tom and I went to the puppy, we saw that Louie had taken a chunk out of his face.  The beautiful AKC puppy now only has one and three quarters of an eyebrow.

So. Um. 


Tonight I went online to read about what provokes dogs to attack puppies. And the next thing I know, I'm on a website that is selling pure bred AKC Labrador Retriever puppies.


There's a part of me, a big part, that says, "We tried. We really did. It's time to give Louie a shot at life with another family that might be a better fit."  But there's another part of me, an equally big part, that says, "You can do better. You owe it to Louie. You owe it to the Universe."

So I jotted down the pros and cons.

Here are the Louie pros: 

He's smart. He's cute. He's good with our children. He's a nice size and can be transported easily. He's finally housebroken and doesn't chew things that he's not supposed to chew.

Here are the Louie cons: 

He's skittish. He's jumpy. Even with different collars, harnesses and leashes, he's very difficult and frustrating to walk. He can be extremely hyper / obnoxious around other people and dogs. He has a track record of snarling and snapping when provoked. He bites harmless puppies in the face and takes off chunks of flesh.

Unlike the situation I posed on Thursday, this time I'm really conflicted on what to do.  Charlie, not so much. He'd be perfectly content bringing him to a no-kill shelter first thing tomorrow. As an aside, regarding that situation on Thursday, Charlie took my advice and called the subcontractor Friday morning and told him about the incorrect invoice. The subcontractor was enormously grateful and said he owes Charlie one.  

Ah yes... Perhaps the SUBCONTRACTOR would like a mixed breed Cocker Spaniel - Mountain Cur that sometimes responds to the name of Louie. 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

a moral dilemma

So Charlie.  My husband?

He has a little business that he started a few years ago and his little business has grown. It hasn't grown tremendously, but it's been a nice supplement to our revenue.

Charlie recently completed a job for his client and on that job, he had a subcontractor working for him. The subcontractor does "niche" work which means that it is highly specialized and there aren't very many companies that provide this exact service. Because there is relatively no competition in the region, Charlie is limited with who he can work with and so this niche subcontractor has worked with my husband for the past two years. For the most part, the subcontractor does fairly good work. Although, they tend to be a bit sloppy in their reporting.

For example, with almost every analytical report that Charlie receives from this subcontractor, there are errors.  Some of the errors are significant enough that the results would indicate his client has failed critical testing and would need to pay substantial governmental fines for non-compliance.  However, because my husband is very thorough with numbers and is quite handy with a calculator, during his reviews of the draft reports, he'll usually identify that the subcontractor forgot to carry a one, or is off by a decimal.  And nine out of ten times, that simple error will make the difference between a passing test and a failing test.  Or, the difference between compliance and non-compliance - the latter of which is accompanied by fines with lots of zeros.

A few months ago, Charlie received a cost proposal from his subcontractor to do work for him. And Charlie scanned the proposal briefly and thought it looked in line, so approved the work.  He did not go back and look at previous proposals to evaluate if the cost was consistent. Last month, Charlie executed the work and today, he received the invoice from his subcontractor for services rendered.

It was only tonight when my husband sat down to pay the invoice that he realized the invoice was off by several thousand dollars relative to what the invoice had been during the last sampling event.  But when he compared the invoice to the cost proposal, he saw that they were identical. It would therefore appear that the subcontractor had made an error in the cost proposal, by potentially underbidding the work, and either didn't notice the error, or noticed it but decided that it was too late because the proposal had already been approved.

Needless to say, Charlie is conflicted with what to do.

Does he call the subcontractor and let him know that it looks as though he underbid the project in the proposal and then, didn't invoice him the amount that Charlie was expecting from previous events? Or does he not say anything because the invoice is consistent with the proposal?

We were discussing what all of our former consultant employers would do, and without question, we know that they would pay the invoice as is, even if they recognized the possible error, and pocket the extra money with a smile on their face. That's life in the business world ... your mistake is my gain.

My recommendation is that he call the subcontractor and tell him that from one business man to another, he'd like to point out that over the past few years, he's observed a lot of errors that could have significant negative ramifications for his clients.  And now, he's noticing that there are errors in his bookkeeping practices that could have significant negative ramifications for him (the subcontractor). Then, I'd tell the subcontractor that it appears he has underbid the project based upon past invoices and ask if he'd like to submit a revised invoice?  Heck, that might be a good segue to suggest that the subcontractor hire Charlie as a quality controller to review all of his future reports and proposals.


As my husband "sleeps" on his options, please tell us ... what would you do?