Saturday, February 27, 2010

Too much information

I am a relatively healthy person. I don't get sick very often. I rarely ever experience heartburn or constipation. I have no allergies, seasonal or otherwise. In general, I am very healthy. So I was completely flabbergasted today when it hurt to pee. I mean IT REALLY HURTS. It is a strange sensation. When I sit down to pee it doesn't hurt or burn, but when my bladder completely empties I feel a sharp shooting pain. Ouch! Oh, and I feel the urge to pee every 30 minutes. Fuckity, fuck, fuck!

After much googling, I have diagnosed myself with a urinary tract infection. I guess there is nothing I can do about it this weekend, but I will be making an appointment to see my doctor on Monday. I guess I'm going to get some use out of my health insurance after all.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Relieving stress

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. I have been stressed and angry and sad. I desperately needed a distraction. So on Tuesday I headed to the craft store to gather supplies for a few projects. I have crocheted tops for 5 sets of hand towels, made Porgie a new hat, and I am in the middle of crocheting a cardigan sweater. Using all of my excess energy, I crocheted the hand towels and the hat in one day. But I needed something more. That is when I embarked on the adventure of making a sweater. I am fairly confident that I am not going to be able to finish this pattern. It is really hard. However, it has proven to be a great distraction. I haven't called my insurance company in two days! Woohoo!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recital Sneak Preview

Porgie's ballet recital costume arrived yesterday. She was ecstatic. When I tried the costume on her, she begged to wear it during class. When I refused, she cried. Fortunately the teacher was able to distract her, and I hightailed it out of the studio. After class, she wanted to wear her costume again. I agreed to let her wear it for a few minutes. She pranced around the house, twirling and jumping. Before eating dinner, I asked her to take the costume off. My baby girl was devastated...Porgie eventually agreed to take it off, but she insisted on wearing it to ballet class next week. I told her I would think about it, but that was a lie. She can't wear it to class next week. She is going to be so disappointed. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she forgets.

Swagbucks is celebrating their 2nd Birthday! From what I've read, Swagbucks members will be receiving lots of rewards today. Personally, I am hoping to log-in and see at least 100 new Swagbucks in my account! (A girl can dream, right?)

If you haven't joined yet, you'll want to get started today. Since November, I have earn $85 in free Amazon gift cards just by using their search engine. I love free money!

Go here to get started earning today. If you join from this link, you'll automatically receive 3 Swag Bucks! 45 Swagbucks will earn you a $5 Amazon gift card, but there are hundreds of other gift cards and prizes to choose from!

Good luck! I hope you get paid handsomely today:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fuck You Humana

Have you ever tried to reason with an insurance company? It is beyond impossible. I spent my entire weekend working on a nasty letter detailing all of my complaints about my insurance company. I spent 50% of the time writing, 30% of the time whining to my husband, and 20% of the time being really angry about the fact that we pay so much money for such crappy insurance.

Yesterday, I spent 90% of the day on the phone with various doctors' offices and costumer service representatives. I spent the other 10% being annoyed with my children and husband.

Today, I have come to a realization. I am wasting my time and energy on a hopeless situation. My insurance company is going to screw me over one way or the other, so I might as well stop dwelling on the subject. I am soooooo tempted to just cancel my policy. I know that sounds crazy, but I feel like they are stealing my money. My insurance company refuses to cover most of our medical bills, so it seems more sensible to just save my monthly premiums. We pay over $4,000 per year for grossly inadequate medical insurance. They don't give a shit about me or my kids or the quality of the medical services we receive. But fear forces me to keep shelling out money to the greedy fucking insurance companies. "What if something bad happens..." seems to be my motto.

I guess I am just feeling completely overwhelmed. As I mentioned last month, my insurance company dropped our pediatrician AGAIN. But I don't want to switch practices. I want my kids to be comfortable with their doctor, familiar with the routine, and relaxed in the environment. So, we have decided to stay with our current pediatrician and pay out-of-network charges. This basically means that we will be paying hundreds of dollars for every visit. I want to cry when I think about it. We pay $400 per month, and we have almost no choice in our care. Now we are going to be paying $400 per month for essentially nothing. We will be paying for every doctor bill out-of-pocket unless we reach an $18,000 out-of-network deductible for the year.

It feels like we can never get ahead. And I am angry.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Motherhood is grand

Friday was a bad day. I began the morning by going to Kohls to look for a few hand towels (I have decided to make all of my SILs a set of crocheted hanging hand towels for Christmas). All of the nice hand towels were outrageous - like $10 per towel. What the hell? The hand towels at target are like $3.99 a piece. I scoffed at the prices and left the store empty handed.

Next we went to the dollar store, where my son had a completely melt down over a yo-yo. I have a one toy policy in that store, but apparently Izzy doesn't give a shit. He wanted a baton and a yo-yo. We bought the baton. I ended up carrying my flailing child out of the store as he screamed "YO-YO! YO-YO! YOOOO-YOOOOOOOOOO!" I know the damn toy only cost a dollar, but I wasn't giving in.

When we got home, and I put both kids down for a nap. I thought I was going to have a chance to rest and relax, but my children wouldn't go to sleep. Both of them whined off and on for an hour. It was the exact opposite of relaxing.

After getting the kids up, I decided to call my insurance company to check up on a claim I had appealed. It did not go well. The woman I talked too was rude and completely unhelpful. And I think she hung up on me! After arguing with her for 10 minutes, the line went dead. It could have been an accident, but I am fairly certain that she hung up on me. Bitch.

And for the remainder of the evening Izzy was a terror. He kept pulling my hair and hitting Porgie. I knew it was because he was overtired, but that didn't make the situation any better. I yelled, he cried. Then he went to bed, and I felt bad about my horrible parenting skills.

Unfortunately, the weekend wasn't much better. They didn't have cocoa powder at the grocery store, I went to buy my mother's plane ticket and was shocked to discover that the prices had DOUBLED in the course of 24 hours, and I spent way too much money at various stores this weekend, thus blowing the February budget.

I have my fingers crossed that things will be looking up this week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Do you see what I see?

My kids were playing with a Care Bear today...
Izzy told me that the bear had a heart on his belly...

Porgie said that the bear had a stocking on his belly...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Things I thought you should know

1. I never go to the doctor unless I have a problem. The last time I went to see a doctor was when I had my gallbladder removed two years ago. Why do I keep paying for health insurance?

2. I love the show Big Love. More specifically, I love the second wife (Nikki). She is so evil.

3. I have made a decision regarding grocery shopping. From now on, we are only going to shop twice a month. Until we can get some of our debt paid down, we are going to have to be more conservative with our grocery bills.

4. Speaking of paying down debt, we used our tax return to cut our credit card debt in half! If we can stay on course with our budget, we will be credit card debt free by August. Summer can't get here soon enough.

5. My mother may be coming to visit us in April. As usual, I have mixed emotions about her trip. But I am happy that the kids will get to spend some time with granny. She spoils them rotten, and they love every minute of it.

6. Back to finances again. My season passes for the Aquarium and Paws Farm expire in April. And we have no money to purchase new passes. Makes me sad.

7. Izzy REALLY loves the snow. He begs me to go out and play every. single. day. He also really enjoys eating snow. I tried to teach him to avoid the yellow the spots, but I am pretty sure he wasn't listening.

8. Our town is hosting a magic show at the elementary school. Admission is $10 per person. Isn't that INSANE? It would cost my family $40 to attend. Unless that magician can make money magically appear in my wallet, we will not be attending that performance.

9. I am not sure Porgie enjoys ballet class anymore. I would let her drop out, but I already paid $75 for her recital costume. She is going to perform in that recital whether she likes it or not.

10. I am fresh out of valentine's day candy. Life is cruel.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Presidents Day Kicked My Ass

On Monday, I woke up and realized that I desperately needed to mail a few things. I got my packages ready, bundled up the kids, and drove to the post office. When I pulled into the empty parking lot, I was baffled. The post office is closed? On February 15th? What holiday is on February 15th? I didn't realize that is was Presidents Day until later that morning.

Fast forward to the afternoon. The weatherman was forecasting a few inches of snow, so I decided that I had to go to the library to get some good reading material before the storm hit. I bundled up the kids and drove to the library. There was only one car in the parking lot, which I thought was strange. We walked to the front of the library. The doors were locked. Once again, I was baffled. Why would the library randomly be closed on a Monday? I didn't realize that it was Presidents Day until I was driving home.

In closing, Presidents Day is lame.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dentally Retarded

As you know, I am in the process of having my teeth fixed. I haven't explained the extent of my problems, because honestly, I find the whole thing to be extremely embarrassing. All of my dental problems are genetic, so I don't know why I harbor so much shame, but I do. Today I am going to talk specifically about my problems (gulp).

Unfortunately, I am congenitally missing 5 adult teeth (It is a condition called Hypodontia). This basically means that 5 of my teeth never developed. As a result, I never lost 5 of my baby teeth. Since no adult teeth formed under these teeth, the baby teeth simply never fell out. The good news is that 4 of these teeth are toward the back of my mouth. Upon meeting me, you would never notice these teeth (they are my 2nd premolars). To remedy my dental problems, I need to have my retained baby teeth pulled (I had 4 of the teeth removed last month), wear braces for two years, and replace my missing teeth with dental implants. I may also need veneers to widen my lateral incisors.

When I met with my oral surgeon, he suggested that I might have a mild form of an ectodermal disorder. Basically, these disorders develop before birth and result in the abnormal development of the skin, hair, nails, teeth, and sweat glands. In my case, only my teeth were affected, which makes me incredibly lucky (I guess). The dentist assured me that he has seen much worse. He even mentioned having to fit 9 year-olds for dentures. He also told me that many of these people have little or no hair, and they can't sweat. So no matter how sorry I feel for myself, I keep reminding myself that it could have been much worse.

So there you go. Now you know about my horrible, shameful secret. I am dentally retarded.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Look at all my new stuff!

Look what Johnny bought me for my birthday day...

A fabulous new purse and a coupon organizer (because I am fiscally responsible sometimes)! I love them both, although the purse is a little smaller than I had anticipated. I am one of those crazy people who likes to tote around a HUGE handbag. If I can't fit half of my earthly belongings into my purse, it is too small. And this one happens to be a little too small. But I love the way it looks, so I guess I'll just have to start carrying less with me.

In completely unrelated news, we are supposed to have more snow tonight. The weather man only predicted a few inches, but I am really starting to get sick of all this damn snow. I can only sit in my house for so long before I go STARK RAVING MAD. To make myself feel better about the impending snow, I bought myself a pair of boots today...Now I can play in the snow for more than 2 minutes! YAY! My ratty old gym shoes just weren't cutting it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I was talking to my cousin on Friday. I mentioned that I was going to buy my husband some candy for Valentine's Day. The following is a transcript of the conversation we had...

me - "John loves this little specialty chocolate store near our house. I am going to go buy him some butter creams for Valentine's day. I can pick out the candies he likes and get him the perfect box of chocolates."

Cousin - "Awwww...that is really sweet. So I guess you really do love your husband?"

me - "Ummmm...yes, I really do love my husband."

I know that I can be a bitch. I know that I complain about my husband sometimes. I know that I don't display lots of physical affection. But I love John wholeheartedly. It made me sad that she thought otherwise. So in case you were confused too, I love my husband.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Better Know a Cupcake 4

This is the 4th installment of my 75 part series, Better Know a Cupcake. Today I am featuring Boston Cream Cupcakes. The fighting Boston Creams!I made these little beauties to celebrate my special day. Yes, today is my birthday (fun fact - it is also Abraham Lincoln's birthday). I may be getting older, but I am sure as hell not getting any skinner.

P.S. These were the most labor intensive cupcakes I have ever made, but they were soooooo worth it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A hasty departure

When I was a senior in high school, I moved out of my mother's house. I left out of necessity rather than a desire to be independent. At the time, I was living with no running water and no electricity. When I left, I took very little with me - my canopy bed (because I thought I might someday have a daughter who would enjoy it) and my clothes. I left everything else behind. Unfortunately, over the next few years my mother managed to lose most of her earthly belongings, including all of my childhood artifacts. I have no adorable outfits from when I was a baby. I have no artwork from my childhood. I have none of my awards from school. I have very few pictures of me as a child. Everything is all gone. It is like my entire childhood never existed (on paper, at least). Although I would like to casually shrug it off, it bothers me. I wish that I had at least grabbed a photo album before I left.

I now find myself obsessively taking pictures of my kids, stashing away all of their artwork, and saving every cute article of clothing they have ever owned. It is hard to find a balance. I try so hard not to be like my mother, that I end up being obsessive. When I try to throw away goofy pictures my kids painted or even a simple page filled with scribbles, my heart aches. I love everything they do, and keeping all of these little creations will help me to remember. I never want to forget a second of their childhood.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The weather outside is frightful

I can't believe it, but it is supposed to snow again. They are predicting 18-24" inches of snow tonight. I think I am starting to understand the concept of cabin fever. I am so freaking bored. Maybe I should clean the house or something? Nah, that sounds like entirely too much work.

I received a letter from my dental insurance requesting more information/proof that I needed to have those 4 teeth removed last month. This makes me incredibly nervous because I elected to have those 4 teeth removed. There was no pressing medical reason to have them removed. Basically, they were preventing me from getting braces. I have a really bad feeling that the insurance company is going my deny my claim. Translation = I am going to be stuck with the $1,000 bill. I have been fretting endlessly about this issue.

I got a new vegan baking book. I have been experimenting with lots of different recipes, but things haven't gone quite like I had hoped. The muffins are always too wet and the cookies are too soft. It seems like I have to cook everything for 5 minutes longer than the time specified. And unfortunately, things still aren't turning out right. However, I haven't given up hope yet. She has a recipe for "gas station pies," which sounds amazing. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Potty training isn't going very well. I finally convinced Porgie to wear underwear again, but it didn't end well. She refused to use the potty all morning. Before nap time, I asked her to go pee on the potty. She cried and screamed for nearly 20 minutes, and she never peed. So, she went back to diapers AGAIN. Sigh. I feel like we are never going to get potty trained.

My mother bought Porgie this bike for Christmas. We didn't give it to her, because we didn't have a bike to give Izzy (we also stored it away because it was cold outside and there is no room for her to ride a bike in the house). My mom emailed me the other day to tell me that she is buying Izzy this bike. YAY! I can't wait for his new bike to arrive. The kids are going to flip out!

Monday, February 8, 2010

To be a kid again

We had a lazy weekend at home, filled with lots of snow and hot chocolate. When you're a goofy kid, life doesn't get much better than this...

When I was a kid, I never owned a snowsuit. Before heading out into the snow, my mother would simply dress me in multiple layers of clothing. I always stayed warm and toasty. And now that I am an adult with my own kids, I never want to waste money on snow gear. Some years we get a ton of snow (like this year), and it would be totally worth it. But other years we barely get any snow, and then it seems like a waste. But how are you supposed to know which type of winter you are going to have, until you are already in the thick of it?

I didn't buy snowsuits this year (although I realize now that I probably should have). So, we have been kicking it old school. This weekend my kids were dressed in footed pajamas, topped with pants, shirts, rain boots, winter coats, scarves, mittens, and hats. Fortunately, they don't seem to mind.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Just another snow storm

We had another huge snow storm this weekend. We received 28.5 inches of snow today. Whatever happened to global warming?Although snow can be a pain in the ass sometimes, I love it. It is such a magical feeling when you wake up to find the world white and fluffy and beautiful.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Although I don't quite understand how, we are once again in a very tough situation financially. Apparently, the beginning of the month is a bad time for us. The mortgage is due. Our credit card bills are due. The cable bill is due. Dance school tuition is due. Ever since we upped the amount we are paying monthly on our BIG credit card, we seem to have no money to spare.

So, once again we are skipping the grocery store next week. Which is fine, but it worries me. My husband is working so hard to pay off our debit, while I am in the process of accumulating a TON of debt. Dental work is expensive shit. After insurance, my dental surgery still cost us nearly $300. And unfortunately, that one procedure used up my entire maximum for my insurance (we have a $1,000 maximum). So, for the remainder of this year I have no more dental insurance. Gah.

Honestly, I have never worried about money this much before. In the past, taking on new debt didn't phase me. But now it does. I am constantly thinking about investing for retirement and starting college funds and saving for home improvement projects. Having this dental work done, although I know that it will do wonders for my self esteem, feels like I am frivolously wasting money on vanity. I hate that I am going to be placing such a huge financial burden on my family. Especially since we seem to be barely making ends meet as it is.

But it is now or never. I've already waited too long. So I guess I am going to take this leap, even if it isn't in the best interest of my family. And that my friends, is a tough pill to swallow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Holy Shit!

I was browsing around on New York and Company's website last night, and I stumbled upon these...Seriously? Stirrup pants? What is wrong with the world? Before you know it, we'll be french rolling our pants again...
And wearing fanny packs...God help us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Did Betty Crocker have all these distractions?

Okay, enough whining about my teeth. Today I want to talk about cooking. In the past, I despised cooking and all the work that it entailed. But lately, I have taken a liking to cooking. More specifically, I enjoy baking. I like making muffins and cupcakes and corn bread. And I don't mind popping a casserole into the oven.

However, I still seem to suffer from an inability to actually pay attention to what I am doing. I burn rice ALL THE TIME. What is so hard about setting a timer? I also burn spaghetti on a regular basis. My husband thinks this is hilarious. He always says, "I didn't even know it was possible to burn spaghetti." It is definitely possible and I'll explain how. At 5:30, I start boiling some water and add the pasta. At 5:33, Izzy will ask to go to the bathroom. At 5:37, Porgie will have a meltdown over a balloon or a crayon or some other completely insignificant thing. While I am trying to calm her down, Izzy will appear in the living room wearing his father's watch. I'll retrieve the watch and go put it back in its proper spot, when I notice that the cat puked in the middle of the hallway. While I am cleaning up the cat puke, Porgie will come tell me that she has pooped and wants me to change her diaper. While I am changing her diaper, I'll smell something burning. I'll glance over at the clock and realize that my pasta has been boiling for 30 minutes, instead of 10. Fuckity, fuck, fuck!

See? It is very, very easy to burn spaghetti. Or rice. Or ANYTHING. I blame the children.

Monday, February 1, 2010


1. Do not have four teeth pulled at one time. What the fuck was I thinking? And how can a doctor do this to a person in good conscience?

2. Do not stop taking your pain medication UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. This may mean that your children will have to fend for themselves for a few days.

3. Do not console yourself with Ben & Jerry's ice cream. You will not be able to chew the gooey brownie pieces or crumbly cookie chunks.

4. Do not expect other people to have sympathy for you. If they can't see the gaping wounds, they will automatically assume that you feel fine.

Any questions? Class dismissed.