Thursday, October 29, 2009

we are so ready for candy

it's frankenstein, duh! not only did punkin cooperate while making this at occupational therapy, he actually enjoyed making it. the heart-shaped thing is supposed to be on the bottom as his feet, but i kind of like how punkin reinterpreted frankenstein as a warrior.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

well, poop

i hit "publish" on yesterday's post and started to drift off to sleep -- okay, i hacked for a solid 10 minutes because i was sleeping on one pillow and this insane cough still isn't gone -- and i startled, "BUT IS HE COVERED?" i never checked to see if this amazing new chiropractor was in my network.

i checked the insurance website, which is very out-of-date, and his name wasn't listed. i called the chiro's billing office today and they said that they've been paid by my insurance in the past. i called the insurance's number to check in-network providers. the woman on the phone used the same out-of-date website i had used the night before and said it was a no-go. i asked her for a paper copy of my benefits booklet to be mailed to me and she told me to call my insurance company.

my silence must have spoken for itself, as she then explained the SHE was simply a branch of claims services and had nothing to do with my actual insurance company. she couldn't even give me the number to call.

so i found the number and called myself. the woman said the same thing; the doctor is not in-network and that over 240 other ones are. i would need to choose one of those instead. fine. i can ask this guy for a recommendation. i don't like it, but fine.

then i asked her for a benefits booklet, with which she of course cannot provide me. because asking someone at my insurance company to print off a copy of their policies from their own computers that sit on their own desks defies logic. the logical place for ANOTHER COMPANY'S POLICIES is MY HR department, which doesn't have them yet, even though we've been with this company since july 1.

someday things like this will make sense. and that is the day i will need an intervention.

(by the way, our benefits booklet is available online, but the website doesn't work. it is plain-old just defunct. so i have no idea how much things cost, when my deductible applies, ect. it's all a coin-toss. SURPRISE!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

if i stop going to the doctor, they'll stop finding things wrong with me

There's a bone at the top of my neck and now that I've told three people what it is I can't remember the name of it. Anyway, best as I can understand, it's shaped liked a smooshed donut and my spine sits in the center of it. Maybe it starts with an A. Anyway, it's wreaking havock on my body -- has been for some time, apparently. It's settled itself closer to my right ear than the center of my neck, and the pressure to my spinal cord is causing headaches. Not migraines, just ordinary headaches. I've become so accustomed to them that I hardly noticed anymore until recently to say, "I have a headache, but not a migraine."

Well, somehow this silly bone is causing everything in my body to be off, and is contributing to my hip problems. Or rather, my Right Leg Is An Inch Shorter Than My Left Leg Problem. It's not actually shorter, but the muscles in my belly are pulling my hip out of place and my back has "succomb to gravity" as the the chiro so eloquently stated, and it appears that way. So now I get to lay on the floor twice a day and press really hard on a certain muscle that hurts really badly all the way down my leg when I press on it to try and relax it into submission.

I am also supposed to try to sleep with only one pillow. HA!

This chiro specializes in accupuncture. He used a vibrator-type thing on me today, but he may use needles in the future. I REALLY hope he does because I am so curious about that. I wish I could have someone take pictures. Who wants to take pictures?

I like this new chiro, he's super nice, but I feel like I'm cheating on my other chiro. I started going to this one because he's in the office of my neurologist and she recommended it. I feel so GUILTY. Plus, they never made me pay my co-pay, and this guy will for sure. And I'm guessing it will be hefty. WHY DO I KEEP TRYING TO SOLVE MY PROBLEMS? Why can't I just take an Advil and live with it?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

you're going to go home and write about this on the internet, aren't you?

Last week was a pretty busy one for Punkin. On Wednesday we went to his school's Fall Fest for dinner, crafts, and Trick-or-Treating and on Thursday we went to Batty for Books. Somehow they combined hot dogs, a free book, and a woman from the local bat shelter into one event. Logical.

Anyway, this is what I saw:

For a Show and Tell Event, the night was heavy on telling. 50 minutes worth, in fact, before the woman brought out a furry turd also known as a small bat to personally show each of the 47 children in attendance. Poor guy only had one wing.

Punkin wanted NOTHING to do with any of it, thankyouverymuch.

After the glory of wearing his Woody costume and scooping up free candy the night before, sitting in the gym listening to a stranger talk about rabies just didn't cut it for entertainment.

meanwhile, he won't take off the orange muscle shirt with the shark on it

One of Punkin's many new perseverations is the episode of Spongebob where he forgets how to make a Krabby Patty (see the poll along the left-hand side below the ad) when a picky eater accuses him of forgetting to put pickles on his sandwich. Krabby Patties are basically hamburgers, btw, and Spongebob is a fry cook.

Anyway, he's taken to acting out the episode in his play. In this video he's not just continuously making a Krabby Patty, he's playing out the part where Spongebob is standing in the kitchen, trying to figure out the order of ingredients: Lettuce, bun, hand, patty, ketchup, bun. NO! Bun, ketchup, mustard, shoe, patty, bun."

He's clearly paying attention to the movie and emulating it just like he's done in the past with the videos his amazing teacher and speech pathologist made. I really need to get on the ball and make one for pooping in the potty. I'm REALLY tired of buying diapers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a pumpkin for a punkin

On Sunday Oma and Opa took us to the pumpkin patch. The hayrack ride was a big hit; at first I thought Punkin was sad, but he was watching the ground move between the slats of the floorboards.

Punkin was more interested in the vines than the pumpkins, but eventually I convinced him to go pick out a little one with me and carry it to the wagon.

We painted it last night. It was QUITE the experience. The stove and floor ended up purple as well. =)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

there's a snake in my boot!

Last weekend when Punkin and I went to my college's homecoming, he had a bit of a meltdown when a few of us went to the mall to wander around later in the day. At one point he and I were sitting against the wall outside Bath and Body Works, he was sprawled across my lap, and I was tickling him and teasing, "No money! No water! No money!" See, he REALLY wanted to go back and see the fountain (water) with the pennies (money) in the bottom, but we needed to wait for our friends. And whenever he gets riled up lately, it helps break the cycle to give him a good tickle. I can only imagine the scene we made.

Now fast forward to this past Saturday. My sister and I, with monetary assistance from Oma and Opa (thanks!), make impromptu plans to meet for lunch and whatever else the day brings. Punkin is stoked. He is ready. He is also hungry. I decide that the hour and a half trip warrants a "snack" from McDonalds. He's four; he requires a pre-lunch. Anyway, I pull up to window number one and realize that in my hurry to rid my purse of unecessary clutter, I have rid it of my wallet. We drive the few minutes back home, during which there is not a breath taken between Punkin and I as he asks, "Burger?" and I assure him that, yes, we ARE going back. YOU WILL BE FED.

He begins to doubt me when we pull up to the apartment and I get him out of his seat to go inside. Coming out of the building there are tears -- little ones. As I hoist him up and tickle him into his seat he blurts out in a gruff voice, "NO MONEY! NO BURGER! NO CHIPS"

My four-year-old and I have an inside joke. This is awesome.

The trip was delightful. We ate pizza and "SALAD?! SALAD?!" for lunch. Ranch dressing is Little Man's new favorite food. Then we headed for the downtown area and rode the free trolley. That's when Auntie got the bright idea of taking our lives into our hands and riding THIS:

The Cable Car of Death. It may not look very steep in this photo, but trust me when I say that it is STEEP. And there are no seat belts, no locks on the doors, no person monitoring how many individuals board the PLAIN WOODEN BOX. You just hop on, ride it up, pay the man $2, and ride back down. It was fun, but it's probably good that Oma wasn't there.

After we finished thanking the Dear Lord in Heaven for sparing us, we bought chocolate-covered oreos at a candy shop and headed back to the car. We had looked online and saw that a local mall was hosting a Trick-or-Treat to benefit an organization that helps kids with disabilities, so we thought we'd check it out. It was pretty fun -- once Punkin agreed to wear his costume.

I'm not sure I can describe accurately what it was like to see my sister and I on the floor of a public restroom trying to convince Punkin that wearing weird clothing over his existing outfit was a good idea. There was kicking. Some yelling. "NO YELLOW! NO PANTS!" The lady in the stall must have thought the two of us were crazy when we started laughing.

We finally decided to go walk around un-costumed. We found a bunch of mechanical toy cars and while he was playing, I just slipped his shirt on. At first he said, "No," but I reminded him that this was the gateway to Candy Land. He conceeded and allowed me to put on the pants.

After that he did great. He has two or three more opportunities to Trick-or-Treat, so hopefully it gets easier every time.

I know, Oma did great, right? She got it in Disneyland. Jerk went without me. =)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

but it was only $5.99

Sorry the posting has been light, y'all. Truth is, I just don't feel good. After that week where the migraines seemed to be letting up, they are now back in full force. The one Monday night was the worst yet pain-wise. And today at school it just zapped all the energy right out of me even though the pain wasn't actually that bad. It's just odd. I put in a call to the neurologist, so I am waiting to see what she says. And yes, the sleep study is scheduled for November 13th. Hey Oma, can you sleep over on November 13th?

I'll be sure to leave the Spongebob DVD sitting out, the one I'm regretting buying. The one that he used to just watch start to finish. The one that now causes my head to roll as he lounges on the counch eating chips, chugging juice, flapping his arms, and shouting, "Twabby patty! Twabby patty! Twabby patty!" until I fast-forward to episode four. Seven minutes into episode four it starts again, "DA ONE DA ONE DAONEDAONE! TWABS! MIDDER TWABS!?" I go to the episode menu and make him point to the one he wants. That one barely finishes and, "JellyFISH. JellyFISH." As Spongebob and Gary lead the jellyfish back to the field, the cycle continues, "Twabby patty! Twabby patty!"

I just sit and play Crickler crosswords; my handicap is down to 12.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

this is the real reason i got him the big bed

Fits more toys AND bigger toys! By the way, could he BE any sweeter?

i've been out of college for FIVE YEARS, people

The trip to my Alma Mater on Saturday didn't start off so well:
But things improved quickly and we stopped by some local hot spots with my sorority sisters, one of which is The Rock. Students are free to graffiti it as they wish. If I still remembered my tour guide trivia (I worked in the admissions office for four years), I would tell you how much it weighs and how long it's been on campus. But all of that information has been taken over with sensory diets and the best way to remove ketchup from small hands and faces.

Then we headed down to the football game (brr!!!) where they were selling these old helmets. Punkin was intrigued.

It was nice to see familiar faces and places. I would have liked to have seen a few more, but oh well. Someday! This one's for you, Lion and Boo:

Monday, October 5, 2009

do you see a bear?


Punkin's favorite activity and best distraction lately is to sing the children's song "Going On a Bear Hunt." We like the version by Greg and Steve. We don't have it on cd at home, but we've both sung it enough in our respective classrooms that we have it memorized. We've been seen "Bear Hunting" at local restaurants, on trolley cars, on sidewalks waiting for trolley cars, at Cubs' games, church, the grocery store, the bathroom -- well, you get the idea.

Friday, October 2, 2009

blinded by the light

So I'm sitting at the neurologist's office telling her, as best I can in my raspy bronchitis voice, that I haven't had a migraine in almost a week and the fluorescent light above me started stabbing me in the eyeball. STABBING ME IN THE EYEBALL. The headache was short-lived, but it happened. I hate that light.

Every time I go to the neurologist's office she asks me, "How do you sleep at night?" I don't know if I look exhausted or guilty, but apparently she thinks I don't sleep well and need a sleep study done. My mother has HORRENDOUS sleep apnea. We're talking shaking the house, people. Her c-pap machine can't keep up with her.

Anyway, I don't snore unless I'm drunk or sick (I don't think I do, anyway; Punkin hasn't ever complained). But I do have trouble sleeping unless I take some sort of drowsiness-inducing medication. And even then it can be a challenge to fall asleep. And I do grind my teeth. And again, without the meds, I have very light, restless sleep with lots of bizarre dreams. With meds, I'm usually okay. As my sister said earlier, I sleep like a log. A heavy log. I'm always tired, but I just chalk that up to parenting.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't know if I need this test. I've already met my deductible for the year, so I would just have to look and see how much my insurance would pay -- which is probably 80%. I'm thinking if they tell me anything it's just going to be that I need medication to help me sleep, which I already take. I don't know. I JUST DON'T KNOW, PEOPLE!

This is something I wanted to have done for Punkin, not me. He's the one with the crazy night-waking episodes, though they aren't as frequent now. He's the one who had to be put to bed 37 times in one evening.

Okay, okay, we are cut from the same pattern. I also know this is an "FXS Issue." But what should I DO?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

oh noes!

First, on Saturday I woke up with a drippy nose and one of those headaches. You know, a cold headache? Where your brain feels like it's swimming inside your skull if it's not completely upright? But it wasn't a migraine headache. And I haven't had a migraine since. So that's SIX days. At first I was skeptical; I thought maybe the discomfort in my chest and sinus cavities and the swimming feeling were just distracting me. And it's possible I've had a few minor episodes of increased pressure on my right side. But for all intensive purposes, I have been migraine free for nearly a week. After having a migraine every day since April 17th (and pain for 6 of those weeks), I'd say six days is pretty sweet.
Second, the cold turned (rather quickly) into bronchitis. And despite my hacking cough, I totally rallied for my Cubbies on Wednesday. Oma, Punkin, and I drove to Chicago to meet my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents in a skybox suite ('cause we're awesome like that) for a little family reunion. There was an inside area with tables and an outside area with seats. And food. Lots of food. Punkin ate the grapes and the "dot dogs."

The biggest surprise? Punkin wore his Cubs hat The. ENTIRE. Day. The least surprising incident? He threw two items over the balcony. The first being, of course, his hat -- which I fetched -- and the second being, wait for it, the OTHER toy boat we own(ed). "Oh NO! BOAT OH NO! MY BOAT! DA BOAT! NO NO! I FROWED IT!" I let it go. My guess was it didn't survive the landing.

The dessert cart had little plastic hats for ice cream bowls, but Punkin, being the literal little man he his, tried to wear it as a hat. He even tried to make Bus wear it.

Oh, ya. Third, Oma brought me Pizza tonight. Thanks, Oma. And thanks Uncle M and Aunt K for the awesome time!