Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Power to the Potato

As you may have noticed, I've hit an odd streak lately with my photography. My son must have been playing with his Potatohead and he was in such a great position for a photo. So I snapped it and it cracked me up! I may have to start doing a "Photo of the Week" or something.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I'll spare you the lengthy post on the incompetence of North Austin Medical. Let's just say that nothing is resolved, I am closer to getting an attorney on waiver and I am looking into filing a formal grievance with the hospital and with the Better Business Bureau. Will it help me plight? Probably not, but I figure SOMEONE should know how dissatisfied I am (well, besides all you nice people) and how incompetent NAMC's system is. I am halfway considering calling "7 On Your Side"! Slap 'em on the 5 o 'clock news, maybe that will start a little fire under them to get them motivated to actually follow through with the "review" they promised. What a total bunch of ASSHOLES!

Psyching myself up.

I'm sitting here, steeping my tea, trying to get myself psyched up enough to call the damn hospital and see what their "review" has done for me. I have to admit, I am so scared, I don't really know how to handle it. I have a friend, who is an attorney, backing me up. So far, she isn't charging me, but then again, I haven't used that trump card yet. I would really like this to resolve without taking them to court. But I am beginning to wonder if that will be the only way! The insurance company is backing me, which is odd, but good I suppose. They time and time again sat through lengthy 3-way conversations with these assholes at North Austin Medical. But I just don't see a resolution in sight. I am HOPING with all my heart that they have figured this out. I REFUSE to pay that extra $450. It's not fair! I figure they assume I would never waste my time or money taking them to small claims over $450, but I just might. Once again, it's the sheer principle. These big companies abuse the little person and nickel and dime them because they CAN!!! They figure most people won't fight, won't take the time or the effort to take them to court. But I think everyone needs to start holding the hospitals and the insurance companies to higher standards! Anyway, this rant may continue later, or who knows, you may not hear from me for days as I might be passed out do to sheer surprise! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't have to throw down the lawyer card!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wanna play along?

I have posted a photo on my other blog (see links and click on my "warmer, fuzzier blog). I won't say what I think it looks like on the entry, so you have time to interpret it for yourself, then you can go to the comment page and read what I think it looks like and I'd LOVE to hear what YOU thought it looked like too!

I'm bored.

It's pouring again today and we're stuck inside. So I was running around the house taking weird photos. My friend Jorge has started this thing on his myspace page where he posts a "photo of the day". That way he shoots something everyday. I think that's a great idea, except I'm having to use my point and click (as my good camera is on the fritz right now). Anyway, I took a couple of pics of my gorgeous dog and enhanced them a little and just thought I'd share. He is such a cool stinkin' dog!

Self Portrait in a Bowl of Dog Water with a Drowning Fly

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

She's growing too fast!

My baby recently celebrated her first birthday and of course I was overjoyed. She is learning so much right now, it is almost hard to keep up with her. She wants to know what everything is, constantly pointing and demanding answers, exploring every aspect of her world. She has quite an impressive vocabulary already and it increases daily. She knows more than she can say, when asked where something is, she'll point to whatever object you're asking for. She isn't walking yet, too busy trying to talk to worry about it, but she is cruising. Actual play is happening now as well, she likes to roll a ball back and forth, she genuinely gets and enjoys Patty Cake, she understands that when you count to three she's going to get tossed up in the air or dipped back or something fun, you can see the anticipation and excitement in her eyes! I seem to remember this being a wonderful age with her brother as well. There is just something awesome about witnessing the transformation from helpless, little being to mobile, verbal, interacting toddler!

But... there are the times that I realize I will never see this stuff again. Once she moves on to the next stage of development, that last stage is gone forever. It wasn't so bad with my son because I knew I would have another child one day. I'd be able to experience all of those wonderful things at least one more time. Then, after the birth of my daughter, I was sure that I had fulfilled my biological need to procreate and fixed myself. I don't necessarily regret this decision, it was the responsible thing to do. Two kids work for us, anymore would have us strapped financially and I want to make sure I can afford the children I have. I want to make sure I can provide college educations and family vacations, not to mention put food on the table! That being said though, sometimes there is that slight pang that I'm done. I'll never have my own tiny little baby again, I'll never witness that first smile again, or that first time to roll over, or see the reaction to tasting a lemon for the first time. It's heartbreaking in a way. There is part of me that is happy she is past all the "teeny baby" stuff, the colic, the 4 times a night feedings, the 10 diapers a day and all that, but then there is part of me that will miss this tiny little person, snuggled up against me at night or riding against my chest in her sling, or the awe at how small and delicate her little hands and feet were. And there is that feeling with a newborn, I think only a mother can understand, where you know with all your heart, mind and soul that you are "THE ONE", you nourish that baby with your own body, you warm her with your warmth, and you love her like she is an extension of you because SHE IS! So, I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't admit that I am sad I will never have another one. I KNOW it was the best decision for our family and I am so AMAZINGLY in love with and happy with the two I have, so there are really no major regrets, just lingering memories that sometimes make me long for another. I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only mother that ever felt this way, am I right?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We have a door... no thanks to Home Depot!

We found the perfect door, unfortunately it was at Home Depot. I don't know if I've mentioned this before in previous posts but we HATE Home Depot! All they offer is one giant screw job after another! Months ago my in-law's were kind enough to purchase a beautiful chandelier for my dining room and we needed HD to install it. I was informed that there would be an extra charge for the vaulted ceiling, but the girl said it was probably no more than a couple of bucks per foot. Yeah, it was like $23 per foot! The install was over $400, more than the freakin' light! So we swore we'd never deal with them again. We had our front door and storm door installed by Lowe's and they did a great job. We should have known, we are IDIOTS! Lowe's had some nice doors, but HD had THE door. So we sucked it up and decided to buy the door. They insisted they had to come and measure (even though it was an in-stock, standard-sized door). It took them 4 days to show up to do that, then I had to wait for them to call with the final quote, blah, blah, blah. Well the final quote was over $100 more than the advertised price in the store! HOLY shit! Luckily it was the hubby that took that call and man, he was kicking ass and taking names! I'll be honest, I was slightly turned on by my big, strong man taking care of business! RRRaaaaaahhhh! Anyway, we canceled that order, he fought hard and got us our initial $30 down-payment back.

So it was off to Lowe's (where we should have just gone in the first place) and ordered our second choice of a door. This was late Saturday and yesterday we got a call that they would be here first thing this morning, which they were! So I was able to get them out here, get the door installed and be done with it in 2 days less time than it took HD to come out and measure! JEEZ! So to all of you thinking about embarking on a home improvement project or if you just need a new weed eater, I implore you to PLEASE go to Lowe's or one of your local mom and pop hardware stores!!! Home Depot just does not deserve your business!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Observation of the day.

Why do people find it necessary to email me political propaganda? I get bombarded with this shit on a daily basis. And the worst of it, is it is mostly MY family! It annoys the hell out me! I realize that we all have differing political viewpoints, that's what America is all about, right? And I'm all for speaking your mind and free speech and all that jazz, however, I feel the same way about politics as I do religion... it's your business and unless I am specifically seeking you out for salvation or advice, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!

My father's side of the family (the main culprits) are very conservative in their views, which is fine, to each there own. As you all probably gather, I am more to the liberal side of things, however, I'm not a registered Democrat. Independent all the way for this girl as I feel bi-partisan politics are a freakin' joke... but that's another topic. Anyway, all of my cousins, my grandmother, etc... feel the need to send me all this stuff, ranging from bashing Democrats to wanting to shoot spotted owls. Yeah, nice. Of course they all know I'm a tree-hugger and this is a big joke for them. Whatever. I can handle the teasing, but it just annoys me that these people seem to have enough time to forward me all this political agenda crap-ola, yet most of them haven't called me on the phone or sent an actual note in over two years!!! I just find it weird that someone can take time out of their busy life to forward me a bunch of shit I could care less about, but they can't take the time to actually write me to see how I am, how the kids are etc... And do I send them a bunch of propaganda about my views on the environment or politics, NO! Because I have the decency and the couth to mind my own business and keep my politics to myself! Which enables me to have a diverse group of friends! I give them the respect they deserve and they do the same for me. Too bad my family can't seem to catch on to this subtle nuance of interpersonal communication!

It's raining, it's pouring...

Well, so much for me mowing the front lawn today! It has been raining since early this morning. At first I was bummed, I am kind of sick of the rain. But the odd thing is after breakfast, I turned some lamps on around the house as it's pretty dark in here and the house seems very warm and cozy, somewhat comforting. If it wasn't so damn humid and hot, I'd start a fire and kick my feet up all day! But I have settled for the next best thing, sitting in front of the computer with a nice cup of hot English Breakfast Tea. I have one kiddo watching his favorite movie in the living room and one blissfully sleeping upstairs. I have the blinds open so I can see the rain and even with the movie playing in the background, I can hear the rain pattering outside. I hope it stays like this all day! After I'm done with this post, I'm gonna tidy the house up a bit for the weekend and then devote the rest of my day to rolling around in the floor, reading books, playing with my kids and possibly whipping out a batch of my AWESOME chocolate cookies!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stress, irrational fear and panic attacks.

What a pain in my ass, after 5 years with no problems, I am having panic attacks again. And not just little, annoying, pansy-ass ones--full blown, can't breathe, dizzy, anxious, debilitating. I used to be a chronic panic attack girl, they were mild, but enough that I sought medication to help. Then when I left my job in the operating room and embarked on life as a stay-at-home mom, they miraculously disappeared about 6-8 months after the birth of my son. Makes sense, I wasn't working hellish hours, I wasn't dealing with life and death situations, I didn't have a boss to answer to (or 12 anesthesiologists for that matter), I had one "boss" and that was my son. Not saying that having a new baby isn't extremely stressful, but stressful in a different way. Any bullshit or craziness I endured was for the betterment of him and that made things meaningful. So this trend continued until Feb. of this year. Feb. 5th was the day I thought I was literally dying. I ended up in the ER after loss of consciousness, chest pain and shortness of breath. It scared the shit out of me! And therefore started the ball rolling for these damn panic attacks to come back. Man, it pisses me off!

Since that day I have been absolutely plagued by an irrational fear of dying. At least once every day or so I am absolutely overwhelmed with this fear. Do I know I'm healthy... sure. Do I know my fear is completely irrational... of course. Does this help... no. It sneaks up on me, gets me all frazzled and then come the panic attacks. I am aware that we will all die, I am also aware that if I did die, my children will be loved and cared for. Still, this is no comfort. And if all this stupid crap weren't enough, the stress of fighting with insurance companies and hospitals, as well as remodeling my house, still trying to adjust to a new baby, having a complete asshole for a father and now having a husband that has to travel quite a bit for his job, seems two-fold. But what annoys me the most is I just can't seem to shake this proverbial monkey of my back! My life isn't anymore stressful than the next person's. I'm sure everyone has an underlying fear of death. But here I am, dealing with these damn panic attacks again! I am seeking out a therapist to maybe help. I don't know, I'm not a big fan of meds, not to mention I'm still breastfeeding and don't think my baby girl needs a healthy dose of Paxil along with me. Besides, meds will only mask my symptoms, it won't fix the problem. So off I'll go to spill my heart out to strangers... wait a minute, isn't that what I'm doing here? I have to admit, writing about shit does make me feel better and help to process things. But hopefully I can get my fears and stress under control soon, I have way too much to live for to waste so much time worrying about death!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Creationism and Dinosaurs

As I have stated, I am a homeschooler. I am involved in a very active, very diverse homeschooler group and I love it. For a long time, the majority of families in this group were pretty liberal and mellow, but there has been a more recent influx of religious, conservatives. OK, that's fine, I'm cool with someone believing what they want as long as they don't try to sell it to me. I am one of those girls that lives in the blissful area where I don't know what the hell there is. Maybe there's a god, maybe not, maybe there's reincarnation, maybe not, maybe there's nothing. Basically, I won't know what the ultimate truth is until I die. So I don't really bother with it. Anyway, I was reading my posts from my yahoo group this morning and came across a woman who was looking for history materials, mainly in regards to dinosaurs. OK this doesn't sound off the wall, but then the kicker, she wanted curriculum that discussed the dinosaurs in a creationist view. Really?!? I didn't realize that creationism took dinosaurs into account. So I surfed the web, because I'm not all that well-versed in creationism. Seems as though there are many different views, some believe dinos never existed, some cruel joke being played on us by Satan (or time-traveling Athiest scientists--I LOVE that idea by the way!) Then there are some that believe dinos existed, but I guess caught a ride on the Ark with everyone else, but shortly became extinct after the flood. Shit, if dinos were on that boat, I highly doubt it would have floated AND I'm pretty sure, no other animals would have arrived at the said destination due to being ingested by velociraptors and T-Rex's! It really does kind of freak me out how people can manipulate the facts in order to fit any scenario. "We don't believe in evolution, but those damn dinosaurs and prehistoric hominids really screw shit up, better come up with a story quick to cover our asses!" Anyway, I just thought the idea of discussing dinosaurs from a creationist viewpoint was just asinine! If you happen to be a creationist, by all means, enlighten me! I am interested to hear your side of things. Anyone else is welcome to chime in as well! Ciao!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gripes of the day.

I was just perusing my HOA website as my neighbor had forwarded the link so I could read up on why the pool is closed. Turns out we have vandals that decided to scale the fence and rip up the filter and cause general havoc. Little bastards. I don't know what it is about people. Are we that bored or that stupid that we can't find anything better to do than screw things up? It's like the hackers, why do they write horrible viruses that crash peoples' computers? Because they are bored and just want to see if they can. Seriously, people need to get jobs and get lives. Go to the library, go to Sonic and get a coke, go bowling, but for cryin' out loud, STOP SCREWING WITH SHIT! Use your knowledge or your angst or whatever motivates you for the good of the world. If these vandals (whether real world or cyberspace) would put half the effort into doing something constructive for our planet, maybe we would have figured out how to power our vehicles without relying on foreign oil, or maybe we might have a grip on global warming, or possibly figured out how to wipe out diabetes or HIV! And what makes people so apt to be assholes? I don't know, could it be the fact that practically every show on television is this "reality" bullshit that basically shows a bunch of people being assholes to each other. Trying to screw each other over in order to get the money or the man or the fame? Sometimes I feel like the only shows worth watching are my son's shows. At least the little characters help each other, help animals and strive to be good little citizens. We as adults could learn alot from these values!

OK, bitch number 2. On this HOA website, I also found out that someone is trying to get a portion of our rural area re-zoned for commercial space. I understand that this part of town is growing, there is alot of development going on. This area was zoned specifically to offer a buffer between the commercial land available on the main road and the neighborhood. But whoever bought the land next to the main road wants to purchase this land to expand the Asian marketplace that is scheduled to go in. OK, first of all, the land they have for this venture is plenty big! It could be a massive shopping center, why do they need more? Mostly since not more than a mile and a half away is a brand new Asian marketplace that is HUGE!!! It kind of seems like overkill to me. Like having two malls within 2 miles, what's the point? I welcome a small and quaint center with some new cuisine and possibly a nice market, it sounds great, but I don't at all want some huge paved giganto commercial space backed right up to the neighborhood. So I guess I'll be sending my email to the zoning people and telling them so. Maybe there will be enough people in the neighborhood bitching that they'll get the point. But I'm not terribly optimistic. Seems like commercial business pretty overrides just about anyone and anything in this day and age. After all, ask the folks off Anderson Lane who didn't want that gargantuan 24-hour Wal-mart in the middle of their neighborhood! They petitioned and boycotted and wrote to city council, showed up for the meetings and did everything they could, but in the long run, Wal-Mart had better lawyers and more money so they prevailed. I am interested to know just when private citizens became the bottom of the heap. We hire politicians to speak for us, yet they are funded by big business, so it seems as though no one is looking out for the little guys (Average Joe and Jane aka you and me!). Pretty messed up if you ask me.

What a pain!

So, I've been trying to add a photo as a page element for like a month now and it never seemed to take. The hubby decided to take the photo, send it to the web and try to post it that way. Well, we made some progress, but I was never actually able to save it! I began to wonder if it is a glitch between blogger and Mac, so I forwarded the link to my photo to myself, ran upstairs to my son's room (he has a PC) and tried to post it that way. Well, as you can see, it was successful. So it must be a Mac thing. I guess PC's are good for something after all!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Trina's seriously random observation of the day... shaving SUCKS! I really hate shaving, it is a pain in the ass, wobbling around on one foot while wielding a sharp object in one hand and trying not to fall on your butt while you strive for optimum smoothness on your legs! Armpits aren't so bad, no balancing act there. I am sure there have been many women that ended up in the ER after busting ass in the shower trying to shave! At least guys get to stand on dry ground and look in a mirror.

If I wasn't adverse to looking like a Wookie, I wouldn't do it all. But as much as I hate to admit it, I think a woman with slick, hairless legs is gorgeous! There is something about the shape of the calf that is so much more enhanced when there is no hair present. The pains we go through to accomplish this though. And it isn't like there are good alternatives to shaving. There is Nair and the such, but I prefer to stay away from that stuff, it's so nasty it should be used in chemical warfare. And then waxing, yeah, not a big fan of someone slathering me in hot wax and ripping my hair out by the follicles. I subject myself to waxing for my eyebrows and can't even imagine having that pain transferred to a much larger surface area! I think technically, eyebrow waxing hurts bad enough that it makes you go blind for like 12 seconds! And I don't even want to think about bikini and Brazilian waxing, some areas should just be left alone! (Not to mention I'm not too keen on having strangers in those areas!) And as much as I never want to get waxed there, I never want a job where I am administering wax there, EEWWW! But I digress... I suppose there is laser hair removal, but who can afford that? I'm thinking spending like a buck a follicle to have someone singe it out of existence with a laser is a little much! I also remember in the late 80's there was something called the Epi-Lady, a supposedly pain-free alternative to shaving. Yeah, pain free if you were a PARAPLEGIC!!! My best friend got one as a gift, I tried it once and determined it would be better used to subdue criminals!

So I guess I'm stuck, teetering around in the shower, cursing whoever came up with the idea of shaving, at least until I'm old enough not to give a shit anymore and let my Wookie flag fly!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Question for the ladies...

My neighbor's daughter is turning 10 years old next month. She is compiling a book for her that is to contain bits of wisdom to help her through her teenage years. She is asking each woman that is participating to share an experience or some information that we think is important for her to know as she becomes a young woman. I have a few ideas, of course, but was curious what some of the rest of you might think is an important thing for a girl to know. Here are a couple of my ideas:

1. Never believe you have to define yourself by a man. Too many young women that I see are so caught up in making sure they have a man, many get pregnant to keep their man, many put up with abuse and others just cling all because society or culture says that a woman HAS to have a man. I'm not saying she shouldn't strive to find love and happiness, but she needs to know that a woman is a powerful and important entity all on her own!

2. Don't get caught up on physical appearance. As long as you are a good and beautiful person on the inside, it will emanate and reflect on the outside. Women of all sizes, shapes, and colors are BEAUTIFUL!

One that I would love to address is never be fooled that lust is really love. Many boys will say they love you just to get in your pants! Don't believe them! If they truly love you, they'll respect your boundaries and allow you to explore your sexuality in your own time. However, I'm not sure my neighbor would be too keen on me talking sex with her 10 year-old!

And 3. Believe you can do anything! There are no limits, be who and what makes you happy! Although, financially it may be alot smarter to get a degree in accounting or engineering, if this isn't something that truly makes you happy, it will only fill your pocketbook and not your heart!

OK ladies... what are your thoughts?!?!

Friday, July 13, 2007


So my hubby has been in Oregon for the past 3 days on business (he'll be back tomorrow, yea!). Anyway, we used to live in Oregon and I miss the crap out of it! Granted, he's in Bend and we lived in Portland, but still, he's in the Pacific NW (where my heart belongs) without me! I know it's business, but... NO FAIR, NO FAIR, NO FAIR!!!!! He called me on his first day there and was like, "Well Bend is pretty small, not many places to eat, guess I'll just have to eat at McMenamin's or Pizzacato!" If I could have, I would have reached through the phone and bitch-slapped him! So he got to have a nice pint (or two) of Terminator Stout at McMenamin's yesterday, not to mention the fact that he had lunch at the Deschutes Brewery where he had Black Butte Porter (holy shit that stuff is good!). So he is up there drinking great micro-brewed beer while I'm here trying to kick my coke habit! Maybe if I had Black Butte Porter to drink, I wouldn't want a coke so bad! I really need to get an Oregon fix soon! I keep hoping next year will be the magic year. The baby will be 2, the boy will be 6, and it would be an enjoyable trip for all! Then I will be swilling down stout with the best of them and eating luscious, juicy, Irish Dip Sandwiches followed by marionberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream! (Please picture Homer Simpson, head back, eyes rolling, tongue out and drooling, AAAAAggghhhhhhhhh!)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Serenity NOW!

Just as a precursor, I want to assure everyone that I ADORE my little boy. He is the most amazing thing on the planet, smart, funny, totally silly and without a doubt the coolest 5 year-old I know. That being said, HE DROVE ME CRAZY today! And I don't mean that he kind of annoyed me... he drove me full-on, stark-raving, wanting to pull my hair out or catch it on fire and run down the street naked, kind of crazy! There are three main issues that have just persisted the whole day, well, until now when he is sleeping soundly over on the couch. The first being the "Mommy what's your favorite _______?" Favorite food, favorite animal, favorite safari animal, favorite number, favorite type of t-shirt, favorite piece of furniture, favorite car, favorite leaf, and the list goes on (infinity!). OK, this was slightly endearing the first couple of times he asked, but it has now been going on for months and he asks me the same shit all the time! I have already answered my favorite soup, my favorite book, my favorite town in NM, etc... I wish he would ask something different, or better yet, just drop the favorites thing for like a week to allow my brain to recupe from this heinous abuse! Of course what's funny is he offers to tell me his faves, yet he doesn't seem to quite understand the concept of favorite. He has 8 favorite foods and 3 favorite animals, and six favorite places. Anyway, after awhile, I hear the word favorite and I want to gouge a fork into one ear, through my brain and out the other ear!

Now the second issue is truly sweet and I feel like a heel that it makes me crazy, but he has been following me around for days telling me how much he loves me. "I love you to two-billion!" "I love you to outer space and back and back out and back home and back out and back again!" I love you as high as that airplane!" And the clencher is, "I love you more than you love me!" I HATE that one! I try to explain it's not a contest. I tell him I love him more than anything and I am happy he loves me too, but I'm not going to compete to see who loves who more! I know he's only 5, and this concept of love, and who you love versus who you like versus who you don't like, is kind of gray right now. He tells me he loves everyone he's ever met. Sweet, but so naive! I just wish I could convince him to just tell me he loves me, that's all I need, no frills, no comparisons, just that he loves me is all I ever need to know.

The third issue is one that I don't see getting resolved anytime soon. Anyone with children I would assume has this same issue, but it was just that it was compounded with the other two today that threw me over the edge. He interrupts what I'm doing to ask me a question (this is actually NOT a problem, questions are always welcome). However, halfway through the answer he either starts talking about something else or you can tell he is paying attention to anything else but me. OK, why does he ask the question if he doesn't want to hear the answer??? Is it just to get my attention, is it just because I'm doing the dishes and he wants to interrupt what I'm doing, or am I just that damn dull that I can't keep his attention for 2 minutes? But that's not the kicker... he will ask the question, not listen to the answer and two hours later ask me the SAME FREAKIN' QUESTION!!!!! AAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!

Oh well, tomorrow is another day. And like I said, he is totally conked out on the couch and looking so blissful and sweet, I certainly can't stay aggravated with him. He is a punk and he drives me crazy, but he's mine and my worst day WITH him is better than any day I ever had without him! So I'm off to carry his 40-lb. ass up the stairs to tuck him in and give him a kiss.

Signing off.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Too good to be true!

Seems as though my mega-happy dance and celebration over the resolution of my woes with NAMC were a bit premature. The receipt they promised to send stating "PAID IN FULL" arrived, however, it showed I paid my $34 yet I still have a balance of $455! And people wonder why, in this day and age, people freak out and go totally postal! I have wasted countless hours over the last year arguing with these assholes and I finally think things are finished, kaput, finito, but NOOOOOO!

I tell you what though, this mild-mannered, suburban mother is about to become a full-blown, raging, ass-kicking bitch with these people! I called them this morning and they are giving me some bullshit about how BCBS paid $550 then turned around months later and recuped that payment, so therefore NAMC is recuping their contractual adjustment of $455. OK, whatever, I still don't see how that affects my bottom line in the least. If the initial bill (and mind you, I have a fully itemized bill FROM THEM) was $1596 (which is what they billed the insurance) and the insurance subsequently paid approximately $1437, leaving a balance of $159 that was my responsibility and I made $125 payment in Jan. and then a $34 payment last week, how the hell can they say I owe them any more money?!?!? I swear, if I didn't think most attorneys were as bloodsucking as the hospitals, I would be contacting and attorney to deal with this shit. But that's all I need is to have money conflicts with a goddamn lawyer! The lady at NAMC said she would send out a work order, so they can "review" my situation and I should call back in 7 days. I am halfway tempted to drive my ass to San Antonio and show up in person in 7 days and not leave until they hand me a freakin' receipt! Can you picture this? Me standing in their offices with a handful of paperwork and call logs (you damn right, I have made notes and written down the name of every person I've spoken to over the last year!), a manic 5 y.o. running around and a crying, crabby baby on my hip, tapping my foot and giving the evil eye waiting for them to provide me with a resolution to this issue. You think they'd deal with me or just call security?

What happened to the days of customer service and ethics? Long gone I suppose, it's every person for themselves. But this little girl ain't backin' down. I'm in it for the long haul!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Shaking a bad habit, or at least trying!

Seven months into my last pregnancy, I began to crave Cherry Cokes from Sonic (sweet nectar of the gods!). My developing fetus was bombarded with food coloring, carbonation and caffeine every afternoon for the duration of her stay in my womb! In fact, by the time she was born I was so addicted that the first thing I asked for on my way out of the hospital was a Cherry Coke from Sonic. And so the trend has continued. Granted, I can't afford my Sonic Cherry Coke habit, so I settle for Coke Classic in cans here at home. It gets me the caffeine and it still tastes pretty good. It has been an integral factor in my motivation to work on home improvement projects! I wasn't always like this. In fact, before that craving kicked in, I very rarely drank carbonated beverages of any sort. I'm usually more of a tea, water and milk kinda girl! But I am now in the grips of a full blown Coke addiction and I need to shake it... BAD!

Saturday afternoon was my last Cherry Coke at Sonic. I savored every last little drop! Needless to say, the rest of Saturday was fine. I had my good afternoon buzz and life was swell. Then Sunday afternoon came around and that old familiar feeling hit. The need for a good caffeine rush! I was out running some errands and thought, well, it wouldn't hurt anything if I just grabbed a coke out of the cooler at Lowe's and drank it while finishing up my business. They only had Gatorade and water. You know, if I had just bought the water, life might not have sucked as bad, but I was pouting. On the way home I had to stop at Walgreens so I figured I'd pick up a cold one while I was there. Imagine my dismay when I found that the Coke cooler had only Vanilla Coke, Diet Vanilla Coke and Diet Cherry Coke. I'm sorry, but I'm a purist, I will only consume a flavored coke if it is a flavored FOUNTAIN coke, these imposters in a can just won't do! So I left without a coke. It seems I was not destined to consume a Coke yesterday, some weird karmic quirk to keep me on the wagon. Once I got home I was on the edge! I wanted that coke so bad I could hardly stand it! And if my craving wasn't bad enough, my hubby went out to the garage fridge and cracked open a Diet Coke in the other room. I heard the tab pop and I all but lost my freakin' mind! When I yelled at him, he smiled, held up his Diet Coke to offer me "cheers" and then said I was more than welcome to help myself to a Diet Coke. Curse that EVIL, EVIL man!

So, I made it through the afternoon and last night. I am fine now as I have just downed an ENORMOUS cup of English Tea. But I am dreading the afternoon. I better make a pitcher of iced tea (my methadone for caffeine addiction!), it's not as satisfying, but I'm hoping it will get me through the day. I figure if I can make it a week without a coke, I'm home free! Unfortunately, my poor little boy will be going through withdrawals with me, as addicted as I am to Cherry Coke, he is to oceanwater and Cherry Limeades! So if you see a frazzled mom with a twitching eye and a deranged 5 y.o., just stand back and try not to get in the way, we can't take responsibility for our actions at this time!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In addendum to last post...

I was just thinking that the best thing about the end of my whole insurance and medical facility debacle is the fact that I persevered! I did not let those assholes push me into paying a penny more than I owed! It sucked, it was stressful and I sometimes thought I would rather just pay the damn thing off and be done with it. But I didn't, I fought my ass off and it eventually paid off. So if any of you are faced with this same type of thing, being bullied by the giants of insurance and medical care, don't give up! Maybe if more of us dig our heels in and decide we aren't gonna take this shit anymore, things might start to change! We all deserve good medical care and we shouldn't have to put up with this bureaucratic bullshit to get it!

Glory, glory hallelujah

This started out to be one of my more piss poor days. Cranky baby, dirty house, broken microwave handle (what the hell is up with that, flimsy piece of crap!), not to mention just a general case of the doldrums. Maybe it's all the rain, you would think after living 4 years in Oregon, rain would pose no problems, but it is the sheer amount that killin' me! In Oregon it's usually a gentle mist, not pouring cats and dogs! Anyway... I digress.

I went out to run a few errands, got new bathroom stuff for the kiddos, that made me a little happier as I got to pick out bright orange, blue and lime green towels. I mean really, can you get a color scheme much cheerier? I think not. But alas, the littlest munchkin got tired and wanted to come home for a nap, however I did stop to get my mail on the way. In amongst various pieces of shit mail, there was an ominous something from Blue Cross Blue Shield (the insurance company I had when I gave birth to my daughter in June 2006). I did NOT want to open it as I have been fighting with them and NAMC for, well a YEAR, over expenses accrued due to infant care. It has been a nightmare! NAMC filing and claiming that BCBS denied, calling BCBS and asking "what the hell?" and them saying they never received a claim for said amount, then getting nasty calls from NAMC's national office that handles collections. Those guys are a serious bunch of assholes and they are lucky they are located in freakin' Minnesota or somewhere up north, cause if they were within driving distance, one or two of them would have needed to have my foot removed from their asses! I just don't understand why they had to be so stinkin' mean! I was doing everything I could to resolve things... well short of paying for something that wasn't my responsibility! So for over a year, calls to and from BCBS and NAMC, being told by the hospital I owed, being told by the insurance I didn't. No wonder I ended up in the ER in February with chest pain!

Anyway, with fear and dread, I opened the letter, and much to my surprise and subsequent breakdown into a gushing, bawling mess, someone FINALLY got it right, billed it properly and my insurance paid what THEY owed. Leaving me with a balance of $159 of which I had already made a payment (to avoid going to collections 6 mos. ago) of $125, henceforth a remainder of $34 was due. I called NAMC rattled off my account number to verify that all this stuff was true and they said "yes", I posted my payment of $34, insisted on a receipt stating "PAID IN FULL" which they will mail tomorrow and my day has now become the 4 best day of my life!!! And if NAMC thinks I will EVER go to them for my medical needs, they are sadly mistaken. They can absolutely kiss my lilly-white ASS!

Great Quote

This was in the signature of an email I recently received and I really liked it, so I thought I would pass it along!

"Heaven preserve me from littleness and pleasantness and smoothness. Give me great glaring vices, and great glaring virtues, but preserve me from the neat little neutral ambiguities. Be wicked, be brave, be drunk, be reckless, be dissolute, be despotic, be an anarchist, be a suffragette, be anything you like, but for pity's sake be it to the top of your bent. Live fully, live passionately, live disastrously. Let's live, you and I, as none have ever lived before."
-Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West, Oct. 1918

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bitch is back!

Ok, that may be a little over the top, but it sounded like such a great title! The trip to NM was great, my kiddos had a blast, but I have to admit, I'm glad to be home! Traveling just kicks my ass! I used to drive this trip, before my daughter came into the picture, and it was quite enjoyable. My son and I would stop and play at parks, have a picnic and I had the opportunity to stop and take photos of crazy, old, decrepit buildings and farmhouses. It was great! But now I have to fly because 12 mo. old baby who is just becoming mobile doesn't dig being strapped into her seat for 9 hours (can't imagine why?!) But there is absolutely no joy in flying these days! ESPECIALLY if you're traveling with kids. When it was just one, it was a breeze, but flying solo with two rugrats SUCKS! It seems that there is no such thing as an underbooked flight anymore, so in my case I inevitably have to sit next to a stranger. I prefer my son to take the window seat because as much as I love him, I know he can be an annoying little turd sometimes! So I take the middle seat and the stranger gets the aisle. Well, if it isn't awkward enough having to sit elbow to elbow with a perfect stranger, try having to whip out a boob right next to them in order to placate an over-tired, screaming baby! As soon as you start getting situated, you can see the look in their eyes followed by the telltale sigh that signals they wish they had sat ANYWHERE else but there! Oh well, the choice is booby...screaming baby, booby...screaming baby, call me crazy but I think the booby is the lesser of the two evils!

I will admit though, that on the flight back, I did have a nice "single-serving" friend. She was another mom, heading home from a business trip and she was very kind and understanding. She even helped me soothe the crabby baby by letting her punch buttons on her iPod! But when we landed I was so glad to be on solid ground, so happy to breathe fresh air that hadn't been recirculated countless times, and SO glad to regain my personal space! I mean really... I don't even like being that close to people I know and love!

Next trip I think we will try to drive it and see if the Little Missy can maintain for a cross-state trip (especially now that we have the Mac-Daddy of carseats, you can't imagine how cushy that thing is!) All we can do is wait and see. But I think I'll just enjoy being home for awhile, wearing my shoes wherever I want to and carrying 20-oz bottles of Purell and needle-nose pliers in my diaper bag!