Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When Your Incompetency Becomes My Problem

Muffin has been in private therapy for going on 3 months now.

At his first evaluation with the Speech and Occupational Therapists we were told our insurance covered 50 appointments a year at our regular $25 dollar copay.

Two weeks ago it came to our attention that OT was a $75 copay.  What?  OK.  I guess we can deal with that.

A week ago I learned that the "girl" and I say that with as little respect as I can, that "verified" my benefits made a mistake.  Turns out, it's $75 every time I walk in the door no matter what kind of therapy it is.

I think my exact words to her were, "What?"

I'll never forget the way she said it.  "Sorry, your insurance company mis-quoted the copay."  She said it like it was the difference between $1 and $1.50.

I lost it on the phone with her.  I started crying and asking what the hell I was supposed to do about the unknown bill that I had been racking up.  Twice a week for 3 months and no one says to me, "By the way, do you know it's actually a $75 copay?"  3 months, $75 twice a week...you do the math.  I hung up on her.

I called my insurance company in hysterics.  The lady kept asking me to stop crying, I think she actually felt bad for me.  Turns out they record all the calls they have with those people that verify the benefits so they know exactly what was said.  She was quoted the correct amount but then called back 30 minutes later and then got the wrong info.

I'm waiting to hear back from the practice.  The whole reason for this increased copay is that the practice is owned by the hospital and not a physician.  Geez, I sure wish someone had mentioned that to me beforehand.  If it was your job to verify benefits, don't you think you would know to point out that the practice bills as a hospital and not a stand alone clinic.  Wouldn't you know that this makes a big difference in the amount that your clients have to pay when they receive treatment? 

The worst part...Muffin will never see those ladies that have worked such miracles with him.  Three months of getting to know him, down the drain.  He actually looks forward to going.  I feel so bad for him.  Now he has to start all over again with evaluations and scheduling and uggg.

Please pray that we don't have to pay this bill.  Please...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Funky Camera Strap!

Look what Santa left in my stocking...

It has super soft minky inside so it's so comfy on my neck!  Thank you Hubs Santa:)  You can get your own by clicking HERE!  I was not paid to say that, I just love it and thought all those photo addicts out there would like one too.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Through the Eyes of Child

I am so thankful for those that I love and show me and these precious boys love in return.  Merry Christmas:)

Sous Chef

Kir Royale


The Dog

The Family

The Reveal Christmas Morning

Stockings with Muffin.....Spongebob & Gary

Star Wars AT-AT

Finally, Muffin has his Castle

Sweet Star Wars Dreams...

Sleepy Thomas

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I couldn't have been happier than I was this morning in the kitchen with my little helpers.  We were baking up a blizzard:)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Personal Post: I'm not popular...

It's been a long time since I wrote a truly personal post, which was the original reason for starting this blog.  As the year ends and I begin to reflect back over the last year I thought it would be a good time to type out some of these thoughts.

I'm not popular and I never have been.

Throughout life people have used the same series of words to describe me...and usually serious, up front, and tells it like it is, come up in the conversation.  I have had countless woman say to me, "I thought you were a bitch when I met you, but now that I've gotten to know you, you are great!..."

I was never in the "cool crowd" in high school.  Don't get me wrong, I had great friends that meant a lot to me and I will never forget them.  But you know, that traditional cool crowd...that just wasn't me.

In college I was accepted into one of the most "popular" sororities on campus, but I never felt like I truly fit in.  Out of 120+ members I am still now close friends with only 2 other sisters.  I was elected President, not because I was popular but because everyone believed I could be objective and do a good job.  Unfortunately, an unexpected drop in GPA, prevented me from taking office and it was given to the runner up.  I was devastated.

Now at work, I've been there so long and seen so many wonderful people come and go that I guess I no longer make attempts to befriend new employees.   I feel out of the loop there just as I always have.

I don't know why it bothers me, but it does.  I am a real person, with real feelings.  I am the first to sing the praises for someone else or give them credit for a great idea.  I keep secrets.  I am a confidant.

I'm not popular in blog land either, not that it's important.  I blog for me, just like I live my life for me.  I always feel just slightly inferior and have my entire life.  Never quite good enough, always 2nd best.  Just because I'm 35 doesn't mean that I have it all figured out.  I've come to the realization that I just may never have it "all figured out".

This is me...

Paper Mama Photo Challenge - Winter

I had a really hard time deciding which photo to use for this challenge. We just spent all day at Busch Gardens Christmas Town so it was pretty much cold and wintery all day long! I chose this photo because I remember watching my son ride this same ride only months ago in a T-shirt and shorts. It started snowing 5 minutes before I snapped this shot. It's not as beautiful as some but the feeling I felt while surrounded by my family and watching my son with the snow falling...that was beautiful!

The Paper Mama

Tuesdays Around the World - Communal Global

Being a mom means having beautiful ornaments like this on your Christmas Tree:)

Check out what else is happening in the world at Communal Global!  Merry Christmas:)

Just click to vote!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, December 20, 2010

Show & Tell - Paper Heart Camera: {Bokeh}



This is one of my most favorite decorations in the house, a soft, warm, and casual angel. 

Come and see the other beautiful examples of Bokeh at the Paper Heart Camera by clicking HERE.

Photography love...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

*Christmas Eve is a week from today and I can't wait!  I think Santa may have gone overboard a little bit this year but hey, my kids won't believe in Santa forever...

*Tomorrow we journey to Busch Gardens Christmas Town!  The boys are going to go crazy over it.  The best part is that we are going with the grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  Muffin will be absolutely ecstatic over the train decorated in all it's Christmas splendor!  I'm preapred to ride it for hours, warmly dressed of course.

*I was really ticked off yesterday when schools closed an hour early due to snow but Puck didn't get home until his regular drop off time.  Did I mention we live 1/4 mile from the school? 

*It's time to get baking, it's the only real cooking I do all year.  My favorite?  Oatmeal Butterscotch...yummy!

*I love Perppermint Mocha Coffee creamer.

Be Good!  Santa Claus is coming to town!  Go unwrap some leftovers with the very festive Danifred.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa is a Diva

I was more excited about my kids getting their picture taken with Santa than they were!  It's something we do every year, a tradition. 

Anyone who knows me in real life knows my boys are insane high energy.  The prospect of waiting in a long line to see Santa terrifies me.  It's hard enough to get through the line at the grocery store without breaking into a sweat.

The only year I waited in line was when Puck was a newborn, not even 2 months old!  My best friend and I drank coffee while Puck slept for the hour plus that we waited for the big guy.  He was even sleeping on Santa's lap.  It's probably my favorite.

By the time the next year rolled around I knew I would never be able to wait in that line again.  So I went online and found out what time Santa "opened" so that I could be first in line.  I've done this every year like clockwork and been first every single time.  In and out Santa photos in under 3 minutes. 

I love collecting each years photos with the REAL Santa!  This guy is the BEST!  Click HERE to see the photos leading up to this year

I mistakenly assumed that this year would be the same.  As we approached "The North Pole" I saw a huge crowd of people and dogs.  Yes, Dogs.  They were taking photos of Dogs with Santa.  There was no note of this online.  I was informed that they were finishing up with the dogs and would be starting with the kids at 10:00 as scheduled but that I couldn't get in line yet. 

I was getting nervous.  I even remarked to the lady that I had checked the hours online.  She said they were giving numbers out and I was number 15.  NUMBER 15???  OK, that's not too bad I supposed.  I did have to use the ladies room so I dragged the boys down the corridor with me and their coats in tow.

When we got back....I almost had a heart attack.

There must have been 150 people in line to see Santa.

I grabbed my boys, and my number 15, and raced around the other side to find the lady that gave me the number...no where in sight.

I was in the verge of complete freak out.  One of the Elves told me to wait in line.  She asked the lady in front of me if she had a number, she said 2.  The Elf started to walk away and I said (pretty loudly mind you), "She doesn't have the number 2, she has 2 kids!!!  None of these people have numbers!!!" 

Everyone was looking at me now.

By some Christmas miracle I was whisked up to the front of the line.  I was thinking about Muffin since the last couple of years he screamed bloody murder.  I was thinking he might just refuse all together sitting on Santa's lap.

and just like that it's our turn.  Puck jumps right up and I set Muffin down, he doesn't make a sound.  Then I look up at Santa.

It's a DIFFERENT guy.  It's not the beloved perfect Santa of the past 6 years....

In true crazy fashion I turn around put my hands on the counter, lean over to the "Elves" and quietly whisper firmly through my teeth, "Where is the OTHER Santa????"

They started talking.  As it turns out he doesn't "do" dogs and wasn't coming in until 3:00.  OK, Santa is a diva.

We got the photo.  At least Muffin wasn't crying this year.

It just goes to show you...the best laid plans.  Puck didn't notice the difference of course and was as excited as ever....

Merry Crazy Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Heart Faces - Pet Faces

Neo, our Labradoodle

I was so excited about Pet Faces this week over at I Heart Faces.  Click HERE to see all the fabulous furry friends!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Surprise!

I was just thinking yesterday morning on my way to work that the older I get the harder it it to truly be surprised on Christmas.  I absolutely LOVE playing Santa for my boys and Hubs is a great gift giver, but it's not the same as when you were a little girl and you found the most amazing gift ever under the tree.  Now Hubs and I usually exchange lists with links to EXACTLY what we want including size and color, so even though you are getting a great gift, it's not a surprise.

It was really cold yesterday morning when I left for work and dark too.  I arrived at 7:30, my usual time when I'm in the office and not on location.

My bosses arrive shortly after me with the usual company Christmas gifts to leave on everyone's desks.  Last year is was Florida Oranges and the year before I think it was Chocolate from someplace like Harry and David.

She places the box on my desk nonchalantly and walks away.  I don't touch it and keep going on about my work.  They pass out the rest of the beautifully wrapped packages and then they come back and say, "Well, open it, it's just chocolate we can eat it for breakfast."

Which makes perfect sense since last week she had me taste some chocolate that she had ordered.

I tear off the paper and see this...

Yes, really!  I think my first words were, "Is this a joke?"  It took a few minutes to sink in and then it was a lot of hugging and thanking and almost crying.  I was so taken aback, so surprised, and so touched at such a generous gift that was in every sense of the words, truly UNEXPECTED!  All 20 something employees got one just like it too:)  My bosses were as jolly as St. Nick himself.

Over the next hour as more and more employees began to arrive the same scenario played out again and again.  It was so much fun to see everyone's faces:)  It was a moment when the Christmas spirit was surrounding the whole office, and I'll never forget it!  So it just goes to show you that even as an adult, you can still be surprised and feel like a kid on Christmas all over again!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Show & Tell - Paper Heart Camera: {In My Home}

Muffin relaxing and playing at home just hours after Ear Tube surgery.
My little man got his ear tubes today!  It was a traumatic experience for this little man.  He didn't want to take off his Wall-e shirt, they had to sedate him he was so hysterical.  The surgery went great though.  I entered this photo because I think it shows just how resilient children are.  I wish I could bounce back so quickly:)

Please go visit Paper Heart Camera to enter your Show & Tell Photo!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tomorrow is the Day..Ear Tubes!!!

Yes, I am actually excited about this event.  I am excited that Muffin will be able to hear the way he is supposed to.  I am excited about any and all changes that will be coming his way.  He's been doing great the last couple of weeks and I think this is going to be such a huge hurdle to get over.

Oh you should see him with his short hair cut...it actually looked cute tonight even without all those golden curls...

Pulled from Bing Images
Wish us luck...

Here is a photo of what the tube looks like and where it is inserted.  It acts like a tunnel to drain fluid that is preventing the eardrum from vibrating properly.

I actually had this procedure when I was around 5 years old for the exact same reasons.

I've been told that aside from waking up from anesthesia there is no recovery, which is a very good thing.

If your child is having speech, language, or developmental delays I would highly recommend, from personal experience, a trip to the Audiologist.  I never would have guessed in a 100 years that Muffin was having hearing problems.  I actually remember thinking that I didn't want to have to make another co-pay for an unnecessary doctors appointment, and boy was I wrong.  I walked out of that appointment totally shocked.  The fluctuating hearing loss isn't based on volume but more often pitch.  Which explains why he could seemingly hear me when I was whispering.  Go see that Audiologist, you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Moms, What's On Your Christmas List?

I have such fond memories of my childhood Christmas'.  If my parents ever struggled to put gifts under the tree, I certainly never knew about it.  I remember each Christmas being more magical than the last. 

It was the same for me each year.  The excitement that had been building up in me for over a month made it nearly impossible to fall asleep the one night a year when kids actually want to go to sleep as fast as possible.  I would toss and turn over and over again while I waited for sleep to come.  It did and then I would wake up...usually in the middle of the night.  I remember my mom telling me that they would no sooner crawl in bed themselves (probably exhausted from some celebratory cocktails and hours of assembling toys with instructions printed only in French) when they would hear my feel running down the hallway. 

This is what I remember most...

Waking up in a quiet house with everyone nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads...everyone except for me that is.  I was creeping silently down the hall to the Christmas Tree to scope out the loot that Santa had left for me!  That moment when I would peer around the corner and the tree would come into view with the lights spreading just enough light upon the treasures and surprises that lie beneath...there was nothing more magical for me as a child.  One year I made coffee at 3:00 AM thinking it would rouse my sleeping parents, it didn't.  Even my younger sister couldn't have been bothered about crawling out of her warm bed until the Christmas when I shook her and said, "But there's bikes!  Santa brought bikes!"  That was a great Christmas.

I don't remember the youngest years but recall the stories my parents told me....My mom found me playing with my Barbie Dream House at 3:30 in the morning.  Back to bed I was sent.  One Christmas I emptied out the stockings that were laid for my sister and me and switched items that I liked better, not realizing that my parents would know the difference...Santa wouldn't know either, right?

Even when I came home from college for the holidays, I continued to wake early, walk downstairs, and checkout the pile of goodies under the tree...

Christmas got even more fun as I got older and started working and earning money of my own.  I learned the joy of giving.  I would put so much thought into the gifts I selected for my parents, wanting to give them the same kind of Christmas they had always given me.  Watching my parents open gifts from me, was honestly the best feeling ever.

Now that my boys are getting old enough to understand who Santa is and what he does, well Christmas just can't be more fun then that!  It's like reliving the magic of my childhood all over again.  My boys however have been told that if they go downstairs without us that all the presents will disappear. Selfishly, we want to see their reaction to the pile of loot that we Santa brought for them.  I do regret denying that feeling to my sons that only a child sneaking to the Tree undercover of Christmas Lights can have...I'm sure they will outsmart us at some point;)

My parents always exchanged gifts, small tokens of love and pajamas.  I remember that my mom was never really happy with her gifts.  Sweaters that didn't match her style, pajamas that were the wrong size.  One year she just about threw a fit over a new set of Pots & Pans until my dad told her to look inside...hidden in a sauce pan was a diamond tennis bracelet.  Sneaky Santa!

Which leads me to current day.  Buying gifts for Hubs...SUCKS!  He is so particular that he has returned more gifts then I care to go into.  I also get a list of exactly what he wants right down to the color, size, and model number.  It's ridiculous.  Even on the few times that I have come up with something I think is personal and unique he'll shake the box and instantly guess it's contents.  It's like a gift-giving buzz kill. 

I never return anything that was given to me as a gift.  The way I figure, you wouldn't have it at all if someone who cares about you didn't select it just for you, so what if that hideous sweater hangs unworn in your closet for 5 years.  I don't know, I have very strong feelings about exchanging and returning gifts.

This year he asked me what I wanted.  I e-mailed him my list.  There were 2 things on it:  A  GPS Running Watch and Diamond Earrings.  Yes, you read that right, diamond earrings.  We've been together for 10+ years.  I've gotten just about every gift you can get from your husband:  slippers, PJ's, Bubble Bath, Foot Massagers, Scarves, Sweaters, cell phones, candles, etc.  Here's the thing...he is a quantity vs quality guy.  He would rather have a huge heap of presents under the tree, you know, lot's to unwrap.  At this point in my life I would rather have one really nice thing that I can't go out and buy myself.  We'll see what happens but I'm not holding out for the earrings.  He asked me for more items on my list but has since come up with reasons why those other items aren't good options....ok.

As a mom, what's on your Christmas List this year?  What is the one special thing you would love to unwrap under your tree this year?

Write your own post on Christmas memories or your Christmas wishes!  Leave a comment if you do:)

Tuesdays Around the World - Communal Global

Christmas Poinsettia 

Link up to Communal Global "Tuesday Around the World."  It's one of the most worthwhile place to visit in blog land!  Each week a new and fresh perspective from all over the globe:)Sorry if you've already seen this picture in a previous post but I just LOVE it and wanted to share it with Communal Global!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Muffin Update - SPD

Where are the curls???
I've been so busy getting ready for Christmas that I haven't blogged about Muffin much lately.  There is actually a lot going on with him...

The county school system has determined that he needs further evaluation.  I'm not sure that really helps anything except prolonging any services that he needs now.  We continue to pay for private Speech and OT twice a week.  Since the holidays are here everything is just taking longer.

Thursday is the big day for us.  Surgery for Tubes in his ears!  We are so excited we can hardly wait to see what, if any improvements this will hold for sweet Muffin.  At pre-op I learned he had an ear infection which was complete news to me.  He surely has a high pain threshold which I have read can be found in some children with SPD.  Let's just say it takes a LOT to take this kid down!

What continues to blow me away is his slow but steady improvement in personality and cognitive development.  Today when I picked him up from school he bounced into my arms and said, "I had a good day at school!"  Then he proudly showed me the little stamp on his hand he earned from his teacher.

Transitioning from one activity to another continues to be difficult for my baby boy.  He gets fixated on playing a video game or watching TV and turning it off for a trip to the store or to sit down for dinner is so difficult.  It's something we are working through.

Eating hasn't gotten any better:(

Muffin had his hair cut this past weekend.  It was traumatic for both of us.  He absolutely did not want a hair cut.  He sat on my lap and screamed and jerked the entire time.  The hair cut is uneven and she cut off too much...almost all the curls are gone.  I was so side tracked by his vehement opposition that I wasn't even paying attention to the amount of hair that was hitting the floor...I just wanted to be able to explain to him that everything was OK...I don't think I'll be making him get another haircut anytime soon.

Being Muffin's mom is a daily adventure in just about every emotion a mom can have...and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the whole world.

Trim A Tree

Yeah we're done:)  House is decorated inside and out.  Good thing too since it's freezing today!  Brrrr....

The boys had a blast... here is the proof!


see...free Poinsettia!

Puck, Hubs, Muffin

Me & Muffin

Ta Da!!!!

Decisions, decisions!

Our Pick

Tied down and ready to go!


Let's Decorate:)

Our Tree 2010

Pucks Favorite

My Favorite