Sunday, June 12, 2011

Insurance Companies: Modern Leviathan

Oooo...there is nothing that makes my blood boil more than the mind spinning run around the insurance companies give you.  I feel so blessed to have medical insurance, but sometimes I want to scream at the illogical and incomprehensible way in which claims are dealt.

I have a theory that insurance companies have a triumvirate formed between themselves, cell phone companies, and elevator music distributors because of the amount of time you are put on hold and when you finally speak with someone, it is always the wrong department.  You then have to be reconnected, stay on hold again, bypass the computer generated voice options, speak to a human and then be told you need to speak to someone in a different department (pantomime head exploding).

My favorite experience dealing with the insurance company happened yesterday at the doctor's office.  The receptionist at the clinic was trying to help me muddle through the insanity of the insurance claim.  She called me over to the window in a hushed tone and began to explain....

She was explaining that there are sometimes exclusionary clauses for things that are not covered.  She lowered her voice, looked cautiously from side to side and whispered, "Things like anxiety and mental health issues..."

As much as I appreciate her desire to protect me from the public shame associated with anxiety, I wanted to scream, "I came in two months after having a baby.  My hormones were exploding out of my ears..... of course I was nuts!!"

Dear doctor's office lady,
Thanks for trying to keep my "shameful secret" under wraps.  I did not realize that having the baby blues was equivalent to being a modern day leper.

Dear insurance company,
If you are not going to cover mental health visits, then you better be willing to provide copay for happy hour.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pain to Gain Ratio

Growing up, I hated running errands.  The word "errands" was synonymous to a baseball bat to the forehead.  I have memories of sweaty afternoons driving all across town with my mom, trying fruitlessly to take a nap while my head leaned against the vibrating car window.  

But, today, I have a kind of "love/hate" relationship with errands.  I crave the freedom of leaving the house and finding any opportunity to distract my little man.  Not only do errands serve as an "educational tool" for my son by exploring colors and shapes of the jewelry at Target, it is also retail therapy for Mommy Dearest!! 

This is what I feel like most of the time!!
As much as I love getting out and about, I loathe what I like to call the"trial of transitions".  These are the 10 minute increments of time pre and post errand that can turn a 30 minute trip to the store into an hour and a half epic crusade....... (more on "trial of transition" later)

But today, I had to really evaluate my pain to gain ratio.  After schlubbing my child all over creation, in and out of stores, dragging my purse, diaper bag, and cart cover behind me, I finally got in the car and headed home.  I was barely out of the parking lot onto the highway when I realized I left my sunglasses in the cart at the store.

Now I am the cheapest (I won't even try to class it up by referring to myself as frugal) person in existence, but in that moment I did a quick calculation of the pain to gain ratio in my head.  Were those $12 sunglasses worth the effort of turning around and pack-muleing it back into Hobby Lobby?  Not even the threat of cornea damage and premature eye wrinkles from squinting at the sun could turn my mini van around.  So long tortoise-shell Mossimo sunglasses... you were a faithful friend.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Treasure Hunt

Getting your child out of bed in the morning is like a treasure hunt.  You never know what little treat is in store for you. 

Sometimes, it is the array of stuffed animals and pacifiers that litter the ground around his crib.  It's as if he was on a sinking ship and he threw out any non essential items in order to lighten the weight of the ship.

Other times, my little Picasso has created a new "print" on his sheets in poop.

But my favorite surprises are the little treasures I find in his jammies.  Frequently, I will find a pacifier or two lodged somewhere inside his footed pajamas. 

But, my favorite has to be the gem I discovered the other morning....  I had fed Colton and was in the process of changing his pajamas, when, lo and behold.... a quarter fell out.  Now, I know my kid has a million dollar smile, but I had no idea he could make change.  The best I can figure, is that during the wash, a coin became lodged in the foot part of the pajama.  Some magicians can pull coins out of their ears, but my boy can pull a quarter out of his foot!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Morning Workout

I treasure nap time.... It is the few precious moments of the day when I can pretend I am not a mommy (not that I don't love being one :)  But my little darling feels the complete opposite about nap time... he loathes it!! 

But lately, due to his new mobility, he has decided to use nap time as  his own person work out time:

  • He practices shot put by tossing his pacifiers out of the crib.
  • He summersaults around the bed.
  • He practices his trampoline routines on the mattress.
Maybe I should be  grateful that he is honing his athletic ability, because that may be the only way he can pay for college.....
The view from my monitor every morning...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sign Language

There are certain activities I have always dreamed of doing with my child.... not just dreamed of, but had this misplaced expectation that I would be amazing at it.  One of those is sign language.  I had these visions of feeding my child, and communicating back and forth about our need and emotions; we would be walking down the street and sign back in forth about the birds and dogs that we encountered. 

Reality check... I suck at sign language... why did I think that it would be something I at which I would excel when I barely passed high school Spanish class? 

This beautiful interchange of communications was quickly shattered.  Instead of learning the sign for "more" when we are eating, my son just likes to slap the spoon out of my hand in his excitement.  Instead of signing "finished" when he has had enough food and is satiated, he spits the remainder of what is in his mouth right into my face, very often getting in my eye. 

I hope my child will not be stunted by my sign language incompetence... but, guess what.... my mom never signed to me, and I somehow learned to communicated.  So.... lets see how this unfolds.  Hopefully I have not scarred my child and kept him from getting into Harvard.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm not really hip...

I finally did it.  I decided to make my own baby food.  I was kind of hesitant about the whole thing because there was still a part of me that thought I would be tipping the scale and fall into "crazy Austin mom" zone.  I thought this would be the "gateway drug" that pulled me into the world of organic food and biodegradable cars (I made that one up... but is sounds Austin).

So, why did I decide to make my own baby food?  Simple... I am not cool or super organic, but I am super cheap... I am so cheap that on many occasions, my husband has compared me to a 90 year old depression survivor.  Here is a shout out to all those thrifty mamas out there.... checkout our adventure:

Amanda and Kinley

homemade vs. store bought

Our receipts to make sure we saved money

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cool Chic Austin Mom part 2

Yet another reality check that I am not the "cool-hip" mom I always dreamed about being.....

Not-so Queen of Green
  • Disposable Diapers-  I hang my head in shame... I use disposable diapers.  The closest I have come to going green is occasionally when changing my son's diaper, I've checked it, shrugged and slapped it right back on.  I mean, if it doesn't weigh 10 lbs yet, it still has some life in it.  It's my little way of saving the environment, one quasi-wet diaper at a time.

  • Composting-  In Austin, gardening is really BIG right now.  Composting is a natural way to create fertilizer to enhance your organic garden.  My only compost pile is the rotting banana stuck between the trashcan and the liner... 
  Fitness Follies 

  • Yoga-  I have started routinely going to yoga, but I can't say that it is because of the way my body is strengthened and my muscles are elongated.  It's really for the 10 minutes of quiet relaxation at the end.  Lights are out.  Soft music is playing.  You're laying down.  And free childcare :)
  • Workout Clothes-  You can create an illusion of being super physically fit by just wearing workout clothes all the time.  No one has to know it is really because those sweatpants actually double as pajamas, and a pony tail masks the fact that you can't find your hair brush.

Next "cool-mom" merit badge:  Making homemade baby food..... will keep you posted!!!