Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today, I'm Calamity Jane

It's been one of those days. I ordered a Christmas present online to be picked up at the Circuit City near us. When I arrived, there was one other guy waiting in line, but it still took the woman at the register no fewer than 20 minutes to acknowledge my presence and get my purchase. Then, they had to go looking for the rebate for the item. All told, I was at Circuit City for 30 minutes. I could've walked to the item and purchased in in less than 5. Yeesh.

Then I went to Wegman's for a quick lunch and to do some grocery shopping for Jo's visit this weekend. I bought my meal and managed to wrangle it, my soda, my shopping bags and T upstairs to eat. After I got him strapped into the highchair I realized that I forgot to get napkins and a fork. Luckily, the staff must've had a meeting in the room because there were cups of utensils and napkins at a nearby table.

I finished my meal and refilled my soda, only for it to crush and spill soda all over myself, the floor and T. A very nice man from Wegman's cleaned up my mess, walked me downstairs and refilled my soda for me (I think he was just afraid of what other damage I would do). I grabbed the soda from him right about the time that T decided to puke all over himself, me and my shoe. Ah, the balancing act of parenthood. I was finally ready to do my shopping when I realized the cart I had chosen didn't have the baby tie-downs in the front. I had to pick a new cart and transfer all the aforementioned items into the new cart. Meanwhile, the line of impatient shoppers waiting for carts was growing long.

Somehow I managed to do all my grocery shopping without further mishap. I thought about stopping to pick up a bottle of wine for the weekend, but thought better of it when I imagined the mess red wine could make in our car.

I'm not leaving the house again today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

T - The Thanksgiving Edition

We had a great time in Illinois over Thanksgiving. Everyone ooohed and aaahed over how big T has gotten. He's starting to crawl now, mostly backwards. He hasn't gotten crazy mobile, but I'm afraid we aren't far from it.

I also got a chance to reconnect with 2 of my friends from high school. It was really nice talking with them and catching up on what is going on in their lives. I also realized that they pass the beer test and it's a shame we all live so far apart.

Thanksgiving dinner was yummy as always, and T got his first tastes of turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes. For the most part he liked them, although this was often the first face.

Laurel and I went out in to the Black Friday craziness. We were only out for about 2 hours, which was plenty long, but it was actually pretty fun. Best Buy was wheeling employees through the store hawking the best deals. It was like live E-Bay. I also got some Christmas shopping done, which is good since our Christmas budget is wee this year.

We went back to NJ on Saturday. It's always hard for me to leave. I miss you, Oz.


I'm really tired of dealing with insurance companies. At the time T was born, we had 2 health insurers: BCBS and Aetna. One might think that with double insurance we might not have anything to pay out of pocket. One would be wrong. One might also think that the insurance carriers could work things out between them. Again, one is a horribly misguided soul.

Our biggest problem has been that we never added T to BCBS, so they are denying any claim having to do with him (even the hospital/birth stuff). Aetna is denying the same claims, saying that BCBS is responsible since the charges have to do with the birth and I was insured. I think we finally got this worked out with many hours spent talking to both carriers and the hospital. Why they all can't talk to each other is beyond me.

We've also learned a valuable little lesson about marketing and plan language. Aetna's 2007 brochure said something along the lines that all maternity was covered after the first doctor's visit and that women can stay in the hospital for 48 hours after birth. Seems like everything is paid for, right? Wrong, the brochure also says that the copay for a hospital visit is $500 per day. Sneaky how they leave that out of the maternity section, eh? When we called Aetna we might as well have talked to the automated service. The reps kept repeating themselves over and over without actually listening to what we were saying. So we're on the hook for about $430 we weren't expecting.

What amazes me is what the insurance companies actually pay for any given service. One of the bills for T's birth was over $19,000. BSBC paid $2,010. That was the contracted rate. Seriously, they paid a little over 10% of the original bill. How do people without insurance get along? One might think they get screwed. One would probably be correct.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

PSA: Carbon Monoxide Detectors

My mother has been experiencing some strange symptoms over the past several weeks. The other day she had her furnace serviced only to be told that it had a crack and had been leaking. Her symptoms were likely caused by CO poisoning. They didn't have a CO detector.

Please please please, if you do not have a CO detector, go out today and get one. Remember when you install them that CO is heavier than air and will sink. Make sure your detector is on the floor, not the ceiling. CO is scary scary stuff. Go today.

Tucker's Christmas List

A bunch of you have been asking what Tucker needs for Christmas. Here's his list:

  • 529 Contributions
  • Any Disney Classics – DVDs
  • Veggie Tales DVDs
  • CDs – Any non-obnoxious baby CD to play in the car
  • Clothes – 12 months for fall/winter – 18 months for spring/summer
  • Shoes – Sizes 4 & 5
  • Snowsuit – Small 12 months
  • Books – Rhyming books, especially the “touch and feel” variety
  • Toys –
    • Fisher Price – Any of the “stack and smile” series. He’s already getting the alligator from us.
    • Large Size Legos
    • Tub Toys – without paint, especially the leaded kind
    • Radio Flyer Wagon
    • Whatever looks interesting
  • Backpack carrier accessories from (sun shield, rain shield, etc).
  • Weather shield (rain shield) for Schwinn M3 jogging stroller.

Monday, November 05, 2007

What to exhaust next?

Since I quit my job, I'm starting to feel like the baby did, indeed, eat my brain. I've been reading a lot of fiction, including Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is an eye-opening look at intersex (formerly hermaphrodite) individuals. It's truly a shame that our culture feels a need to "fix" babies who don't look typical instead of allowing them to make their own decisions down the road. A seriously excellent read. I can't loan it to you ... borrowed from the library.

I feel as if I'm really getting my tax dollar out of our fair city's shared spaces. I walk in our little "Central Park" nearly every morning and frequent the library. It's funny that the fewer taxes we pay, the more we utilize the benefits of those taxes.

But I digress ...

I'm looking for a new topic to investigate to death. Previous interests have included neaderthals, mormonism and slavery during pre-civil war New Orleans. I need to feed my brain with some non-fiction, but nothing has peaked my interest as of late. Any suggestions? As a bonus for you, you'll probably get to hear all about it the next time we see each other. I'm going a meandering through the non-fiction section of the library during my next trip. Maybe something will jump at me.
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