Saturday, June 27, 2009

Super Six!!

Today is Clay's 6th birthday, which is a fact that blows my mind because I'm certain that Mike and I just got married day before yesterday and I graduated from high school just last year. But, it's true. He's six. And in case you were counting, I'm not eighteen.

That last sentence was painfully obvious to me at 12:36 this morning as I finally finished the R2D2 cake that Clay didn't really ask for, but since he wanted a Star Wars cake, I figured let's do R2D2. He would have been happy with his action figures on a sheet cake. Maybe a "May the Force Be With You" written on it. But I found a blog post describing an "easy" R2 comprised of 2 sheet cakes and half a 9" round cake. The author swore she put it together while nursing her umpteenth child and homeschooling the others. "Heck, I can do this!" Yeah, right.

Mike said that for the time and cost I spent working on the darn thing, this cake represents a total expenditure of $160. At least that's when he stopped tallying. And then he told me that it looked pretty good, although it wasn't a technically accurate representation of R2D2. Had I not just spent 6 hours working on it, I would have chucked the cake at him.

But it turned out pretty well, and Clay was pleased. Drew couldn't take his eyes off of it, but he's got a sweet tooth as bad as mine. At one point this morning I caught him licking one of R2's feet. I'm pretty sure the neighbors heard my scream.

After cake and presents, we went downtown to the Pirates game. It was a GORGEOUS evening, and afterwards there were fireworks. Pittsburgh's a town mad for fireworks, and the show was spectacular.

It's 11:48 and there's 12 minutes left in Clay's birthday #6. He's playing with his new Nintendo DS. I'm letting him stay up until 12:01, and then Birthdaypalooza is officially over.

And in the future, I'm leaving the cake decorating to the local bakery.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart. You were and still are worth all the effort.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Does the one in my other pants count?

Since my birthday, I've become good friends with my insurance company. It changed in January, and I thought I was on top of those changes, but sadly not so much.

Around my birthday, I faithfully have a well woman exam. "Happy Birthday", said my doctor, "here's a slip for a mammogram". I dutifully accepted it and made an appointment right away. I'm not messing around with cancer if I can help it. Sign me up for any and every screening available, that's my motto.

While there, I asked about this patch of eczema that I've had for six years. Yes, since before Clay was born. And the only reason I asked is because Drew has eczema, and so I wondered if maybe I had an allergy that he also had (he's been tested, but only peanut had a reaction), and my doctor said "sure, why not" and referred me to an allergist.

The allergist said "see a dermatologist. You're a grown woman for cryin' out loud! Allergies don't manifest like this in adults." I may have paraphrased that last part, but I'm pretty sure she kicked me out of her office with a 30 second comment such as this after a 90 minute wait on my part.

And that is how I found myself at a HUGE dermatology practice. The doctor/resident looked at my spot and said: "Do you still have your uterus?" Confused, I explained that I was 40 and had my two kids and further children were unlikely and what the heck kind of phrasing was that anyway? She said she specifically asks female patients if we still have a uterus because if so, we could still get pregnant and the medicine she was going to recommend was SO POTENT that you couldn't even think about getting pregnant for 3 years after your last dose.

"Oh. Well, does the one in my other pants count?", I asked.

Dermatologists have no sense of humor.

"Of course we'd have to test you weekly because there are other side effects like liver damage and kidney failure. So are you interested?"

Less interested in my uterus but more so in my kidneys and liver, I asked if she had anything else. She shrugged. "Just some of the same stuff you have been taking, although there is this new cream that might not be covered by your insurance. I'll write you a scrip anyway. If it's not covered, I'll write you two others. Get those filled, mix them and it'll be almost as good."

I dropped off the three prescriptions and sent Mike the next day to pick them up. He called afterwards. "Did you know that one prescription was $500? So I asked about the next one and they said it was $100. So then I asked them what else they had and they said the third was a generic for $15. I picked that up for you." I thanked him, but reminded him that I needed BOTH for it to be "almost as good" as the $500 cream.

A few days later I went to the pharmacist. "Exactly how big is this $100 tube anyway?" She brought it out, and I inspected the merchandise. It would probably last me a long time. Was I worth it? Could I just continue to live with the scratchy patch? Ultimately I made the decision to buy it, not because I thought it would help me, but because I couldn't stand the thought of losing the $15 bucks on the one prescription I already had. Plus I considered it a 40th birthday present to myself.

It's helped, and I'm supposed to go back to the dermatologist in a month for a follow up. But I think I'll skip it. I could save the co-pay. But if I do go, I'm going to take my uterus. I might lock up the liver and kidneys, though.

Our Disney Trip

Way back at the beginning of March, we spent my precious annual leave hours for 2009 and drove to Orlando. We had to pay our respects to Double M, the Head Cheese himself... Mickey Mouse.

And so it was on an early Saturday morning we left the house and travelled 8 hours to Charlotte, where my college roommate Rhonda and her family hosted us for the evening. I could have stayed the week there, but no, there was Magic to be had and so we left Sunday morning.

Did you know that Disney World has a car care center? Well it does. We know because our front left tire nearly fell off. Fortunately, Disney replaced the wheel bearing for us (for a fee, of course. Nothing's free at Disney). But they did drop Mike back at the hotel, and pick him up at the Magic Kingdom when it was done. Service with a smile, for $500.

Did you know that Disney World has a medical service where a doctor will come to your room if you're sick? Well it does. We know this because Mike developed a kidney stone the night before we left. Here's how my phone conversation with the front desk went:

Me: Can you recommend a 24 hour urgent care center?
Them: Would you like a doctor to come to your room?
Me: (Pause) How much does THAT cost?

Turns out, it costs about $350. But they'll give you a receipt for insurance, who will happily tell you it's part of your deductible!

And that is how our cheap Disney vacation (a drive, Dad's Disney points, and only 2 parks) turned into a regularly priced Disney vacation.

Well, hello stranger!

While I wait for the iPhone 3.0 software to download, I thought I'd drop by and say hullo. Hullo!

It's 11:00, and I really should be heading to bed, but things have been preventing reasonable bedtimes, and blog posts, for several weeks now.

Here's a quick catch up...

I turned 40!

Mike and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary!

A dermatologist asked me if I still had my uterus! (My response: does the one back home in my other pants count?) More on that next...

I've been a gardening fool! But not so much a good one.

It seems I've done nothing but work, work, work!

The school year's over, and Clay's no longer a kindergartener!

The Penguins won the Stanley Cup!

I'd like a summer vacation, please.