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    Thursday, May 31, 2007

    More About Me...

    Rayann, I'm totally stealing this from your blog:

    More About Me

    1. What is your occupation? MOM and freelance writer
    2. What color are your socks right now? No socks on these feet when I can help it.
    3. What are you listening to right now? My dog snoring in the recliner and Iron Chef on the TV in our room.
    4. What was the last thing that you ate? Fiber One Honey Clusters
    5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes and I miss it!
    6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Cerulean blue
    7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Mom
    8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? No one sent it to me, but I love the girl I stole it from!
    9. How old are you today? 34
    10. Favorite drink? Hmmm...Dr Pepper? Oh, you mean alcohol? Prolly vodka.
    11. What is your favorite sport to watch? There is no such thing
    12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes
    13. Pets? 2 wondermutts, Jake and Greta
    14. Favorite food? Mexican or Chinese, or anything Mom cooks
    15. What was the last movie you watched? Night at the Museum
    16. Favorite day of the year? 3 way tie between the kids' and Greg's birthdays
    17. What do you do to vent anger? Yell, cry and clean.
    18. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies
    19. What is your favorite fall or spring? Spring
    20. Hugs or kisses? Both
    21. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries
    25. When was the last time you cried? I honestly can't remember
    26. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes, belts, and probably one dog
    27. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Angie Schrier (Kirby)...since grade school
    28. What can I do to improve? Take better care of myself
    29. Favorite smells? Greg, and my kids after a bath, and lilacs
    30. Who inspires you? Mom, Rayann, and anyone debt-free
    31. What are you afraid of? Losing one or both of my kids
    32. Cheese, spicy, hamburger? Cheesy...I think...
    33. Favorite dog breed? MUTTS!
    34. How many years at your current job? Going on three years
    35. Favorite day of the week? Monday
    36. How many states have you lived in? two
    38. Favorite holidays? Hmmm...any ones that Greg gets paid vacation for?
    39. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? Used to drive a mini-bike as a kid, but that's it.
    40. Favorite place to go out on a date? ...what's a date? Wait, is that that thing you do without your kids? I remember those...not sure where we'd go on a "real" long as I'm with Greg, I kinda don't give a rat's ear where we go.

    A Hair Decision Pending...

    So I mentioned earlier in the week that I haven't had a haircut in a year. At least. I was pregnant with Jackson, and I think it may have been before my birthday, so probably more than a year. Needless to say, my hair is SHOT. Split ends o'plenty, and it's too long to have ANY body or fullness, and it looks especially nice after 1/2 of it fell out in the four months after Jackson was born. It's a good thing my kids don't care (yet) what Mom looks like, and that my husband looks at me with eyes of love because the's not happenin'. So real soon here, something's gotta give.

    I have ALWAYS wanted to shave my head. OK, not shave, yeah, shave it - for a quite a few years I was determined to shave it off, seriously. I always said I wanted to shave it off and start over and see how it grows back. I've had such lifelong dislike for my hair, I figure how much worse can it come back? It's thin, AND fine, AND it breaks off all the time, it is genetically inferior hair. Mom, Dad, sorry, no offense. Y'all gave me some shitty-ass hair. Notchor fault, not mad atcha, I just calls it like I sees it, folks.

    Anyway, the "shave it" idea has mutated into just wanting a REALLY short cut, like less than two inches long. Greg seems to think there is NO way I won't absolutely HATE it and refuses to help me, but says from his perspective it doesn't matter to him, he'll love me no matter what my hair looks like.

    Sooo, now I just have to decide if I REALLY have the guts to chop it off. I figure, what do I have to lose? I don't have to go anywhere I don't want to, I only see people I know when I choose to, it's summer so a short fun do might be cool...but I might hate it and go into a depression because I've made myself look horrible. But that goes back to "who cares? You're at home 24/7!" It'll grow back, whether I hate it or love it, so like most things in life, it's temporary, right?

    Can you think of any reason not to? I'm really trying, but not coming up with anything...details as they become available, stay tuned!

    OK, how about this one:

    And OK, so I don't have the cute perfect ears for it, but how about this one:

    And this one is longer than I want, and looks like a lot of work but is cute:

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Stinkin' Hospital Bills

    So about the end of January, maybe Febraury, we got this bill from UNMC Physicians (where Jackson was born), from the anesthesiologist, for almost 500 bucks. Mind you, we had JUST written them a check for over TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS for the ENTIRE bill that we owed them (our portion after insurance). I was slightly taken aback.

    Frankly, I paid nothing the first month because I hadn't incorporated it into our budget yet. This was the FIRST bill we received for this charge.

    Next month, early March. I received another bill, "due immediately". I called and explained that we had made every effort to pay our bill in its entirety because we were of the understanding that it was our entire bill. This new, late bill was somewhat of an unpleasant surprise, I explained. The not-so-friendly gentleman I spoke to explained that it was my INSURANCE company's fault as they had not responded until the beginning of January (and only paid 12 dollars, by the way...still need to ask them about that...)

    I assured him we were willing to pay it if we owed it, and stated the monthly payment we would be able to pay. He said that just wouldn't work, and offered a payment three times as much. I said that wouldn't work. He said it had to, or our account would "proceed through collections". I said it still wouldn't work. He then said I could have him send me the "financial assistance forms" to see if we might qualify for some type of discount. I said, yes, please. More than a week passed.

    I received the forms. I filled them out, copied the necessary financial documents, made copies of all, and sent it all to the address on the form, as instructed. As in, the form stated "MAIL TO:...".

    That was early April.

    The form, and the aforementioned not-so-friendly gentleman, had told me it would take at LEAST 30 days to process our forms. He had told me that once they received our forms, it would put a "freeze" on our account and keep it from collection. So I was not surprised I hadn't heard from them yet. Their oh-so-reliable form assured me I would hear from them.

    Weeks passed. Today I received a statement in the mail from "ACS". Something-or-other-CREDIT-Services. Here's the jist: "UNMC Physicians has placed your account for collection with us. Cough it up or else." OK, so that's paraphrased.

    Needless to say, I called UNMC. Explained the whooooole situation. They said "OH, we never received any forms back from you." I told her when I had mailed them, and to where. She said "OH, well THAT'S why - you sent them to the wrong address." I explained that I had sent them to the exact address the form instructed me to send them to. She said "Yeah, they need to stop putting that on there,that's wrong." GEE, YA THINK????

    So I emailed scans of the forms to her (another reason I keep copies of EVERYTHING I mail), and Greg just went to drop hard copies in the mail. She is going to try to pull the account from collection. Then it'll be another "AT LEAST" 30 days before we hear anything again, but hopefully the VERY nice lady I talked to today will process our forms quickly so we can get this taken care of.

    I HATE outstanding bills, it drives me nuts.

    And getting a letter from a collection agency made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Filth flarn foul foul filth.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    There Goes the House Payment...

    Our taxes and insurance come out of escrow every month, so they are part of our house payment. Our APR is fixed so generally our payment doesn't fluctuate much...

    Unless the Douglas County Assessor's office decides to increase the supposed "value" of our house by TWENTY SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS in ONE YEAR.

    I keep looking for new fabulous landscaped parks or new roads, new schools...ANYTHING that would cause property values to go up around here that much in one year. Nope, no such luck. They just apparently decided that the folks living in old houses up in Benson weren't getting sucked for enough taxes just yet. Either that or they're trying to tell me that having one pine tree removed from my front yard increased my whole neighborhood's property value by over 40%. I don't think so, Tim. And please don't tell me it's the new Targets they built up on 72nd. They are not that great. And not that close! And now I REALLY can't afford to shop at them!

    Grrr. Can't WAIT to see the new statment for taxes next year...anyone wanna buy a house?

    Just for the sake of talking...

    So apparently I have more to talk about than I thought. Shut up. I do NOT talk all the time IRL.

    Hmm, what else can I divulge? I am a HUGE laundry failure - how's THAT for a confession? I suck at it. I keep enough clothes washed to keep us clothed...most of the time. For a long time, Greg did a lot more laundry than I did, but I think he gave up on "helping" me, when he realized that mostly he was helping uh, nobody. He does his own work clothes, and I handle the rest. And by "handle" I mean ignore as much as possible and wash when necessary. Sad, isn't it. I should REALLY care more about laundry but A) we don't have anywhere to be most days anyway that we NEED to be spiffy for and 2) did I mention how much I HATE laundry? It's the most pointless, neverending, thankless, perpetual dirty job in the history of the world.

    But one of these days. One of these days I'm gonna catch up on it. If only for a moment, until Samantha spills strawberry milk on her shirt, or Jackson has a blow-out, or Greg comes home and sheds his work clothes...for one moment, I'll get it caught up. I just KNOW there's a floor in that laundry room. I'm sure of it. And then it'll start over'll pile up faster than I can wash it, it'll slip my mind for days at a time. The bedding will get changed. The towels will get used. And the hampers'll fill up. Until Greg quietly, knowingly and kindly asks "Do I have ANY clean socks?" And then I'll remember why I never bothered to "catch up" in the first place.

    Op - the dryer just stopped, I should go get those clothes out. Eh, maybe I'll just restart them...again...they could use one more "fluff"...

    My Velveeta Boat

    Some have heard this story, but not all and I KNOW if you haven't, you're just DYING to!

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    Seriously, it's a boat made of Velveeta. It's no longer with us but the pictures remain. We'd had this block forever (unopened), and I didn't realize JUST how long it'd been in there till one night a couple of weeks ago ~ Greg saw that it expired two years ago. So needless to say we were not going to eat it, but I wanted to see what two-years-past-the-expiration-date-Velveeta looked like, so we opened it. Then I went to get SKC ready for bed.

    Meanwhile we had discussed earlier that I missed my favorite FN show "Ace of Cakes", where they make the really cool cakes that look like stuff. He felt bad that I missed it, so he said, "Here, honey, since you missed your show, I made you a Velveeta boat!" SO funny. Guess you had to be there, but trust me, it was funny...he does the funniest stuff just to see me smile, it's so sweet...

    When I told the story elsewhere, people expressed great disgust about the cheese. OK, so lemme explain about the cheese. It was unopened Velveeta, so it was in my pantry, way in the back. It doesn't need refrigeration before it's opened. It does keep for a long time, and we are NOT big Velveeta eaters, so that's why we had it so long. I think I originally bought it for a dip recipe, and then never made it, and it just kind of got buried. Greg was digging in the pantry and found it. I knew it was there, but just kept ingnoring it. OH, and the biggest reason I had bought it was b/c it came with a cheese-shaped container, so I wanted that!

    But it's not like we had some nasty-ass cheese laying around opened for two years, LOL. I'm not THAT gross. . .but don't look in my fridge, there is prolly some shit growing in there and then you'll call me a liar...

    Children's Cancer Research - Need Your Help!

    On Saturday, June 9th we will be participating in the MileStones Walk at Village Pointe here in Omaha, an event to raise money for childhood cancer research. We dream of a day when all kids diagnosed with cancer will survive the #1 disease killer of children.

    This cause is so important to us because our good friends Amanda and Bill Schultz have a son, William, who was born about the same time as Jackson, and he has spent most of his short life fighting cancer. It could have just as easily been Jackson, or Samantha, or any one of the other children we love fighting that fight. Imagine how different the last year would have been for you if had been through what they have been through. We will walk on June 9th to raise funds so that children like William will ALL survive this illness. William is growing and doing well right now, but we know a true cure is his best hope for a long happy life! For more information on William's story, see his website:

    Participating in the MileStones Walk is a way for us to make a difference in the Schultz family's life by giving them hope for a cure. We are writing today to ask you to sponsor our walk. It's very easy to help!

    1. You can donate securely online right now by clicking the link below, or

    2. Download a sponsor form at . Then write a check and mail it to: CureSearch, NCCF MileStones Walk, 4600 East West Highway, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Every donation counts, no matter how big or small, and every dollar takes this cause one dollar closer to a cure! We truly appreciate your support!

    What is the MileStones Walk? MileStones - The CureSearch Walk for Childhood Cancer is a pledge walk that unites people in the fight to reach the day when every child with cancer can be guaranteed a cure. Its goals are to increase awareness of childhood cancer and the critical need for research, and to raise the revenue needed to support the Children's Oncology Group's collaborative research network at work in member institutions from coast to coast.

    All proceeds will go to CureSearch to support lifesaving research conducted by the Children's Oncology Group, the world's largest pediatric cancer research organization. Please feel free to pass this on to others who may be able to help raise money for William's Warriors!

    Thank you for your support and God Bless You!

    Click here to visit our personal page If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: ;s_tafId=1171

    Click here to view the team page for William's Warriors If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: _tafId=1171

    OK, So Now What...

    So I started this blog, with the intention of having a page "for me", but I'm thinking that may be a little bit harder than I first thought. I am a full-time SAHM, as you all know, and it pretty much consumes most of my time, and I like it that way. Greg and I are, as always, attached at the hip unless he's at work, and after almost 10 years, we still like it that way. My kids are in almost every waking thought I have, and I chose that and am content with it being that way. But my life being what it is sure doesn't leave much time for me to talk about/think about/write about just plain ol' ME. Maybe this blog will help with that.

    Not that I would change my life, I really wouldn't. And I don't say that because I'm afraid my husband will see this, or my kids will find it someday printed out and tucked away in a file. I really love my life. I adore my husband, more and more every day. He really is the best man I know. Our children are my very breath, and without them I would be missing a huge part of myself. They have completed me in a way I never knew was possible. Who could ask for more than that? I'm certainly not. I'm just thinking that a little bit more time spent taking care of ME might benefit them, too...that reminds me, I haven't had a haircut in a year, it might be time for that...I think this blog will contain LOTS of rambling...which may be a good thing for those who usually have to put up with listening to it you can read it at your leisure!

    With any luck, there'll be lots more to come from me on here. Feels good just to start it, I hope I stick with it!

    It's Your Fault, Cave...

    ...and that's what I'm telling Greg. I had TWO private boards (shout out to my BGA and my 806 girls!), TWO kids' websites, ONE myspace page, and Greg was SURE that was plenty of stuff for me to spend my online time being a part of. Little did Greg know I would decide that I need a blog, too! Thanks, Matthew!