What’s Up

I see that I have been neglecting my blogging duties so here is the latest in the world that is mine.
First topic, my knee.
It has been driving me crazy for almost a year now so I finally decided to go have it looked at. First the doctor said it was just pregnancy related. Go home and wait for it to get better. Didn’t work still hurts. And now I not only have the pain but it slips on me constantly and can be insanely painful when going up stairs or trying to get up off the floor. So I went into knee doctor again for an MRI. That showed no tear like he expected but did show an old sprain. So his next solution is Physical Therapy. Never had any kind of PT so we’ll see what its like. I go twice a week for 6 weeks starting this afternoon. I personally would rather get the cortizone shot and hope that does it but I will give this therapy thing a try.
Skiing sucks!
Let me elaborate. We went to Steamboat last week with our friends. I watched the kids while the others went skiing. I couldn’t go anyway due to the knee. Later in the week Brandon and I took the kiddies on a gondola ride over the ski runs. As I watched the skiers below me all I could think was, thank God that’s not me. Doesn’t look fun at all. Now I do miss just getting out on the slopes. It can be very peaceful if you are not constantly fighting to keep your skis in control to prevent the ineveitable crash and burn down the hill. Now snowboarding on the other hand looks like it may be fun. Next time I will try the board and leave the skis for those coordinated enough to control both skis at once. My right ski has always had a mind of its own. Causing way too many embarassing crashes in the trees. I figure on the board I can strap that right leg in and keep it under control. Or maybe I’ll just hate that too. Probably more likely. But, I’m up for the challenge. Once the knee is better of course.
Kid #2
After being told she was failing to thrive we have been on the mission to get this kid to start eating more. Finally the food part has been going really well. She is eating like a pig. The bottle on the other hand is still a no go. She hates that thing. Now she has drastically cut back on her nursing and of course with no bottle I don’t know how this kid is getting enough fluids. Her tests did all come back normal so there is at least nothing to worry about there. I have never met a kid so stubborn when it comes to eating. She definitely does not take after anyone in this family.
Cats
Miss Tibbs, the cat most of you know the best, has been diagnosed with a thyroid tumor. She has lost almost three pounds which is a lot for a cat. So we put her on meds to try and get her hormone levels under control. Once that is accomplished we will discuss our options on removing the tumor. This weekend she had some complications with her meds so we had to take her off the meds. She went back in today for more bloodwork. They fear it be may liver or kidney problems from the medicine. I am hoping it was just a really stubborn hairball. Tibbs is by far my favorite animal in the world so of course this would happen to her. We’ll just see how it goes.
Music
Brandon got setup on Sirius Radio this month and I have to admit it is pretty nice. Saturday we were listening to the Pulse, a 90’s station, and we were loving the music. It was bringing us back to the days before kids and all our other responsibitities starting weighing us down. Then it hit me. We are becoming our parents. You get into Brandons parents car and they are blasting 60’s tunes, very gay sounding if you ask me. Then you get into my parents cars and they have on Elvis or Patsy Kline. Brandon and I have long thought our parents were tards for not moving with the times. Music changes people. Am I gonna be stuck in the 90’s forever? I figure I am not completely lost yet. Many bands we liked in the 90’s are still around today. Green Day and Gwen both just won music awards. So we are still kinda current, right? And, I like a lot of the newer bands. At least I haven’t been lured by the tunes of the 80’s just yet. Well, maybe some GNR and the occassional Def Leppard. But, no Poison or Whitesnake yet anyway.
Braces
I have had the braces on the teeth for about six weeks now. The constant ripping apart of my mouth is not quite so bad anymore. I still have the occasional brace stuck in the cheek when I talk. But it doesn’t neccessarily have to lead to a major cut anymore. The part that really sucks is the eating. I have to cut up everything into bit size pieces, even sandwiches, since it hurts to bit into anything of substance. Then there is constant decoration of food in the braces after a meal. I’ll just say its not too appealing.
Spa
I had a complete spa day this past weekend. Brandon had both girls from 9:30 to 6:00. He was a bit grouchy when I got home but he did pretty good. Or I just didn’t care since I was so relaxed from my day. I had a haircut with highlighting, manicure and pedicure, seaweed jacuzzi bath, hydrating facial, hydrating body wrap, and ended the day with a hot stone massage. If you haven’t had a hot stone massage go get one now. I always have trouble clearing those voices from my head during massages. So its hard to get into that totally relaxed state so they can really work into your muscles. But, the hot stones have cured me of this “thinking too much thing.” First, you lay down on a heated massage table. Then they place the hot stones all over your body. Next they slowly move the stones over your mucles. You get so warm and the tracing of the rocks places you in a trance. Once you are in this state of mind they use the rocks and their hands to work deeper into the muscles. It was the first time I was able to completely clear those voices in my head and just relax. I was so relaxed that I actually caught myself drooling. It was awesome. Now I have to figure out how to convice the hubby that this massage needs to be added to my monthy routine. Any ideas?

Getting Old

It sucks when you finally realize that just maybe you are getting older. Mine hit this last month. I was looking at the calendar at all the various doctor appointments I have had this year and it hit me. Only old people need this many doctors. I have the OB of course, General Practitioner for all the sicknesses that creep up from your kids, the Podiatrist for you don’t wanna know what, the Orthopedist for my bum knee, Dermatologist for removing all those growths showing up in old age, Optometrist for the failing eyesight, Periodontist for my receeding gumline, dentist, orthodontist to try and fix the teeth, and now a chiropractor for the constant backpain. I’m tired just from reading the list.
While on the topic of falling apart, my back starting aching while in Fort Wayne last month. The midback hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep and it felt like something was going to rip if I bent over at all. So I went and got a massage which usually helps. No luck. It didn’t help at all. And now I was also having a constant muscle spasm in my left shoulder blade. So I finally broke down and went into the chiropractor. Now this was a big thing for me. I have always been deathly afraid of chiropractors. The thought of someone cracking my neck totally freaked me out. With hubby by my side we both went in. They did a back scan which showed the problem areas. It showed that the nerves were unhappy in several areas, ok? So we met with the doctor. He said nerve problems result in pain, yep that’s me. He then pushed along my back where the scan showed problems and it was right on target with where I was hurting. So next he did the back adjustments. Not that bad if you totally relax your body first. But relaxing was hard after you heard how loud your spine cracks. Then he moved on to the neck. That one still really freaks me out, but I push through it. I had to go back twice a week for two weeks then down to once a week. The adjustments don’t hold too long if you haven’t done this that often. Now I am happy to say I am back pain free and down to a once a month visit just to keep things in order.
Now I love the chiropractor. He make my back happy.

House of Sickos

No fun around here this week. I have been sick for a week now, laryngitus and all. Now I am in that constant coughing stage where as soon as you try to lay down to sleep the coughing starts. And better yet now both girls have it as well. Brandon was out of town for a few days so he missed out on the infectious household. That was good. But not fun for me. At least now he’s back and taking care of his girls. At night he gets the dinner, sets up three vicks vaporizers, makes sure we take our meds, and lathers on the vicks. Thanks Daddy! Hope it pays off soon.

Gripey Baby

So I am slowly going insane here and need to vent a little. Once Reagan hit about five weeks old the almost constant crying began. She would make her body as stiff as a board, arch her back and was pretty much inconsolable. I was getting used to not sleeping much but the crying was starting to get to everyone in the family. Syd wasn’t getting enough attention, she cried whenever Brandon held her, and I was getting frustrated to say the least. I had taken about everything but pasta and fruit out of my diet…didn’t help. Mylicon drops did nothing. One day after 7 hours of straight crying I finally called the Pediatrician to make it stop. From her symptons he said she had colic. Very scary word for any parent to hear but at least I now know what is wrong with her. He suggested a homeopathic remedy that they have been using in China for hundreds of years called Gripe Water made by Baby’s Bliss. Its basically sodium bicarbonate, ginger and fennel. To our amazement this stuff really works. We would give it to her and within 5 minutes she was able to relax her body and sleep. We finally had a relatively happy baby. The last couple of weeks she has had no episodes so we thought we were at the end and able to stop using the Gripe Water.
Then this weekend it started up again big time. I have to hold her constantly or she cries uncontrollably. She cries even harder if we go outside in the sun so we are trapped indoors all day. We ran out of the Gripe Water and no store within an hour of us carries this magic potion. We finally ordered some online but it won’t get here for another day. I am now on day six of the crying and it is getting to me. You hate to say it but we can see how some people could lose it so much to shake the baby. We at least have each other and great neighbors who take her off our hands for a bit so that we can relax a little.
So yesterday I took her into the Pediatrician for another checkup. He could see no signs of a digestive disorder, no ear infections, nothing wrong at all. So we have to just hang in there until she outgrows it I guess. He did say she isn’t gaining weight as fast as most babies, but not to a level that we should be worried. She weighed in at 11 pounds at 4 months where Syd was just under 15 pounds at that age. He wants to see her in another month to check her weight gain. And if she isn’t doing better they may put her on a medication for acid reflux. Even though the crying is driving us insane we hate to put a newborn on medications just yet. The plan now is to keep a steady supply of Gripe Water at hand and get out of the house at least once a day alone. See what happens next month.

IT’S A BOY!

As long as I can remember I have always wanted to sponsor a child in Africa. I see and hear all the horrible stories of what the lives are like for many in Africa. It has always tugged at me, but what can I do to help? Well, we watched the movie Hotel Rwanda about a month ago. Its about the genocide that happened in Rwanda during the late nineties. Thousands were brutally murdered including children. But they were able to finally chase the rebels out who committed these crimes. Then about two weeks ago I heard that the same thing only in a much larger scale has been happening in the neighboring Congo. Again thousands are being killed but yet I had never heard of this before which I find odd. Is this not news worthy? I don’t pretend to know too much about politics but I find it insane that the US has not put a stop to this. One can only assume it has to do with the race of the people being killed. I hate to think that is the reason.
So anyway this has been on my mind a lot lately. Probably because I have kids of my own and I hate to think about the horrors those kids are going through. So I made it a priority to do my part for at least one kid. One of the reasons I have never done this before is because you never know what charities you can trust these days. How much of my donation actually goes to help these kids? After research I heard about the One Foundation. They are rallying Washington to increase funding to Africa, which they were successful in doing. At their website I found that they partner with the Save the Children Foundation. 90% of your money goes to the kids. Only 6% to fundraising and 4% to Management. Your donation is $28 a month, only $336 dollars a year. Not bad for what it does. I figure we can save this easily by eating out one less day a month. We eat out way too much anyway.
So last night I went online, picked out our kid and signed up to be his sponsor. Meet Moussa. He is an 8 year old boy in the Mali Region of Africa. We already have two girls so I figured this wouId be our little boy. Isn’t he absolutely adorable. Just look at those eyes and smile. I did my research. Mali is near the countries of Niger and Algeria. It is one of the poorest countries in the world where 125 infants out of every 1,000 die soon after birth. 2% of the population has AIDS. We will be getting letters from Moussa so it will be interesting to see how he lives.

Moussa.jpeg

Now next, I really want to sponsor a little girl from Bangledesh. The ones I saw online were absolutely adorable. If anyone is looking for a birthday or Christmas gift for me that would be it. I really don’t need anything else crowding up my house.

Excercise Update

I thought I had better do a little update on my 3 per week excercise sessions so you all didn’t think I quit. I am starting week 4 this week and still going strong. I just started to actually lose weight during week 3, finally! Only two pounds so far but I am noticing a slight change in my body in various places. I think I am starting to slowly lose the fat but replacing it with what people call muscle. You see my body has never seen this thing you call muscle before so we are entering into new ground here. Cindy, my trainer, says she often does not see weight loss until about week four so I am right on target.
I have also finally gotten to the stage where I actually enjoy excercise and feel better after the workouts. I have always heard people say this happens, but this has never happened to me before. In my previous lame attempts I was so tired and grumpy after workouts that I soon quit them all together. I definitely think having the trainer who actually knows what you are supposed to be doing is the world of difference for me. Definitely more out of the pocketbook, but well worth it in the end.
As an added plus I have been able to slowly add some veggies to my diet without cramping up Reagan’s stomach. I have only had the guts to try plain salads with maybe a few tomatoes but that seems to work. I dare not add anything more just yet. But I have cut out most sweets and don’t seem to crave as much food anymore. Which is probably contributing to the couple of pounds lost. Don’t worry, I am still eating lots in order to nurse Reagan but have been able to change what I eat just a little to hopefully make a difference. Now if I could just drop that one soda a day I would be set. You can’t take everything away from me at once. I think the one soda is deserved and can stay. It is caffeine free at least.

Insurance

Let me start off by saying. I HATE dealing with hospitals and insurance companies. That said, I got a bill from the hospital saying we owe money on Reagan’s birth. First off, our insurance Cigna pays 100% of all preganancy and birth bills. Second, I have the insurance explanation of benefits in my hand and it says they paid 100% of the bill. Then as I look on, I notice that the hospital billed the insurance twice for my part of the birth and the Cigna paid it twice. The second billing just had some additional charges added to the same ones already billed and paid. So, I call the hospital. Tell them that I have the papers on Reagan and the entire bill was already paid. In fact, it says in bold that patient owes nothing. I am then told that the hospital is saying the bill was for one amount but the insurance is showing it submitted for another amount. Hospital amount is higher so they want me to pay difference. Um, NO! After more fighting she sees that there were additional charges added about two weeks after my stay that were not submitted to insurance. Better yet, she had no idea what the charge was for. So, she wants me to call insurance company to see if they know of charge. Ok, how would they know, but I’ll call.
Next, I tell them about the double paying of my bill. She looks in her computer, sees the double payment and it shows a credit on my account due to Cigna. She then tells me that I have to call Cigna and tell them to ask the hospital for the credit amount back to them. OK, this is my responsibilty how? I call the insurance company.
I am first supposed to tell them about additional bill on Reagan to see if they received it. Nope. They want me to call back hospital and submit new charges. Second I tell them about my double payment. She also sees double payment on her end. She then tells me it is responsibilty of hospital to send them credit. But, hospital just told me the opposite. Nothing she can do just call hospital.
Ok, I call back hospital. They will submit additional charges on Reagan, done. Onto double payment. I tell her Cigna says it is your responsibilty to send them the credit due. Makes absolute sense to me, right? The girl actually laughed at me and literally said. Yeah right, we are just supposed to send back the money without them requesting it. They have to ask for it first. Ok, what world do you live in lady. Screw you all. I am out of this. I was trying to do the right thing and let Cigna know about this double payment. You always hear about the rising cost of medical bills and how it is breaking the insurance companies. I have called you both. Told you of this double payment, and neither of you give a crap. Hospital thinks they can just keep it. Cigna doesn’t care if they get it back. We are talking about $7000 bucks here. Seems like someone should care about it. I am just keeping records of everything. If they ever say I’ve reached a limit or something I can throw this in their face. Though, they probably won’t listen.
WIth Syd, it was the opposite. Blue Cross wouln’t pay the bill for some reason even though covered by the plan. This was much worse. It took me calling the hospital and Blue Cross over and over for a good 6 months before they would pay. Ended up just being some typo by girl submitting claim. At some point you would think the hospital could just call the insurance or vice versa. This middle man just starts to get ridiculous. No wonder people finally go in with the guns on these things.

New Weight Loss Plan

This past weekend I discovered a new weight loss plan and thought I should pass it on to you. You must follow my directions exactly or it may not work for you. First, go to Red Robin and order a turkey burger for dinner. Once you get the burger take notice that the inside of the burger looks peachy colored meaning it is not cooked fully. Then tell yourself you are just being paranoid since you don’t really like eating meat anyway and tend to be overly picky with it. So just eat the thing. Phase one done.
Next, wake up the next morning and just shrug off those weird stomach feelings as hunger and eat some cereal. Take kids to the local festival where it is 102 degrees and sweat your a** off. Notice the stomach gurgling, headaches, and lack of appetite but just ignore them once more. Finally head home and spend the next several hours on the toilet completely cleaning out your insides. Very important step here. Try to lay down between baby feedings and take notice that you are absolutely freezing even though the thermostat says your room is 80 degrees and you are covered in blankets. Finally put two and two together and take your temperature. Mine spiked at 102, it was just a coincidence that this was the outside temperature that day. Your temp could vary slightly. Take hot bath to sweat a little then lay down again. Phase two complete.
Finally, ask hubby to take kids and lay down for the night. Notice that now you are feeling clamy, no longer freezing, and will constantly wake up in cold sweats. Wake up next morning still feeling queazy in the stomach but overall much better. Your temperature should now be back to normal. Next you need a good shower to make you feel better. Oh, and don’t forget to accidently shit in the shower. This was my favorite part. Phase three complete.
Finally, get kids ready and head downtown for lunch at Cheesecake Factory. Your food will probably have no taste at this point which is a shame because their food is so good. You will only be able to stomach a few bites anyway. Head over to the theatre for the live showing of Dora the Explorer’s Pirate Adventure. Note, you may have some nervousness about crapping your pants during the show, but this did not happen to me, luckily. Phase Four, the final step, is now complete.
I know many of you are thinking this all sounds good except Phase Four. You may think about skipping this phase. But how could you? This was Syd’s first show ever. And it was her idol, Dora and all her friends. We even had VIP tickets. About 4 rows from the stage. It was a little nerve racking but very worth it. Her little face just lit up when Dora came on stage. “Oh, Oh, Oh, It’s Doh.” Too precious to miss.
Oh and I forgot. Wake up next morning for workout with personal trainer. This one consisting of trade offs between weights and kickboxing. Sure to give you a slight headache and plently of heavy breathing. But you should feel pretty much back to normal by day three. This plan results in a pretty miserable weekend for you. But I gaurantee you will lose a couple of pounds. Worth it to you?