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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Insurance. Bah...humbug.

Okay, the more I have to deal with the mess of the medical system down here, the angrier I become. The claim from my nutrition course at the hospital (which, for the record, I did virtually with 6 other people)* just came through. In order to even sign up for the class I had to give the registration lady my credit card information over the phone. And even though I had verified that my insurance covered the class 100% this lady insisted that wasn't true.

It would be the case if I had already met my deductible (which by some miracle I haven't) and my out-of-pocket maximum (haven't hit that yet, either, though I trust by the end of the year we will). However, since I haven't met either of those two requirements I was responsible to cover the cost of the class. 

$420. 

Which, fine. 

I mean, it wasn't great timing to have to pay that fee because tuition had been due right around the same time (technically, my tuition has been waived as part of my compensation for working, but I was still responsible for paying fees, which are $$$), but we're solvent enough right now that while swallowing $420 for a stupid nutrition class wasn't fun, it didn't break the bank, either. 

But, as it turns out...my insurance paid for that class in full

So, as I mentioned, the hospital has put my $420 into their "credit" account for me, which is really fine because I know we'll end up paying them much more than that amount, anyway. According to my hospital's estimated price index, we could be facing bills like the following:

FETAL MONITORING DURING LABOR BY CONSULTING PHYSICIAN $609.00

TURNING OF FETUS FROM BREECH TO PRESENTING POSITION $1,902.00

FETAL NON-STRESS TEST $752.00

VAGINAL DELIVERY $4,048.00

LABOR HOURS $739.00 to $3,945.00

Naturally, these are just estimates and don't include what we've already paid our doctor. That's fine. Insurance will kick in 100% after we, you know, put down a couple grand. It's fine. And we're lucky to have insurance. I get that. 

But, like, here's the thing...

Admiral Boom

 I feel like all I do is count things and record things lately. 

Pregnancy: 30 weeks along. 10 weeks left until my due date. 9 weeks until my induction date. Fingers crossed we don't even hit that date because I'd prefer not to be induced. But we also want to make it to at least make it until November 11 (37 weeks).

Blood sugars: Fasting number upon waking up. Two hours after breakfast. Two hours after lunch. Two hours after dinner. 

Food: Measuring carbs, measuring proteins, checking all nutrition labels.

Exercise: At least thirty minutes a day. If I can't squeeze in time on the bike or a short walk or some "Ring Fit" after eating, a few leg lifts, knee lifts, arm circles, cow pose, etc. goes a long way.

Homeschool: Which child is on what lesson in any given subject? Are we as far as we should be to rationalize taking time off when the baby gets here? I think so, given that Zoë has only a few pages left in her math curriculum...for the entire year. As she says, "I'm just rocketing through this!" I have a backup curriculum for her to do. But is everyone else keeping up? I have an excel spreadsheet and haven't been great at filling it in. Mostly I feel like, yes! Yes! We are all rocketing through our given curricula. There aren't a lot of notes to take...yet I feel obligated to fill out the spreadsheet (which no one besides myself will ever see). 

Bills: How close am I to meeting my deductible? Did I pay the laboratory fees here? Did I pay the doctor's office there? Why did the hospital charge me full price for that nutrition class (that I had to take) and then give me a credit of $400 because as it turns out my insurance really does cover the class? Why is a 3-hour class over $500 in the first place?! I suppose they can just sit on that money. We'll consider it a deposit for future events.

Classes: Project due on Monday. Quiz due the Tuesday. Lecture on Wednesday. Paper due Sunday. Responses to classmates due Tuesday. Presentation due Sunday. Wash, rinse, repeat (in various iterations since there are three separate syllabi I'm juggling) weekly.

School in general: Plan next semester's coursework. What classes will I take? Figure out my advisory committee. Turn in my program of study. Fill out this paper work and that paperwork.

Work: Meeting on Wednesdays. Update social media. Remind everyone of various dates. This is due October 31. That is due November 6. This is due November 22. That is due December 6. Somewhere in there my own baby is due and I'll have to keep reminding people—hundreds of people!—to stick to these deadlines. But no pressure. It'll be fine. 

We're coming up on the halfway point of the semester—suddenly, already—and so far I've felt like this is manageable, but for whatever reason this week is crushing me and I'm just so tired. 

And this doesn't count piano lessons or laundry or tidying up, or any number of things.

Counting library books, for instance. Our books are due tomorrow so I've got to get those sorted out.

Oh, 10:00! Time for my prescribed evening snack.

I'd love to stay and chat but I have to go measure out my popcorn and nuts. 

With how precisely I'm running my life by the clock, I feel like I'm living in Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane....I could use a Mary Poppins.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Are sleeping positions genetic?

After a lengthy labour (mentioned the other day), our newest little cousin has arrived on the scene (and she's so sweet)! David and Ruth were a little concerned about how she keeps twisting onto her side to sleep (you're supposed to put babies on their backs to sleep!) so I sent them a few pictures of our kids sleeping the very same way. 

Look at these cousins sleeping virtually identically 14 years apart! 


Babies're just going to sleep how they're comfortable, in the end.

Anyway, I'm so excited for David and Ruth to be parents. They're going to have so much fun! 

(I should also mention that these sweet little sleepers were also both 7 lbs. 7 ounces (and Rachel has been my only dark-haired baby) so they're alike in more than one way!)


Monday, September 20, 2021

Happy medium

After a couple of rough nights with Zoë and Alexander storming into our room every hour or so, I sat them down before putting them to bed last night and sternly told them that they had to stop doing that! 

It's normal to have periods of wakefulness during the night. And during those times you just say, "Self, it's still nighttime. Go back to sleep."

Do not fling Mom and Dad's bedroom door open and turn on all the lights. Just...don't

We also talked about how when they're put to bed they need to just be in bed until they fall asleep. 

If Zoë continues "needing" to go to the bathroom twenty times between 9:00 and 10:00, for example, I will be forced to make an appointment with the doctor to have her tested for Type 1 diabetes because having to pee that often is not normal

Remarkably, they stayed in their beds. 

"I don't know if they're just really tired from not sleeping themselves or if I scared them into submission," I remarked to Andrew as we were going to bed, "But I haven't seen a child all evening!"

And no one burst through our door all night, either. 

And no one came in to pounce on us in the morning. 

In fact, I was shocked when my alarm clock went off (time to check your blood sugar!) because I haven't been woken up by my alarm clock in...a long time (since I've been woken up before my alarm clock). 

I went to check on the kids and found Alexander wearing nothing but underwear and his pyjama top. 

"What happened to your pants?" I asked.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

This cake is not about you

One of the best things that I've learned about life, which I'm probably still learning, is that the world isn't about me. Life isn't about me. 

People who do things typically aren't doing them to me. 

Most people in the world haven't considered me at all. 

And...that's okay. 

Considering others and how your actions influence them is important. But at the same time...everyone is just out there living their life and no one is living their life "at" you. No one is living their life "at" me. 

I'm good at some things and those things that I'm good at? I don't do those things "at" anybody else. I typically do them because they bring me joy and fulfillment. I don't think I should have to not do those things—or talk about those things—because other people feel threatened by them. 

Right in the face

A few weeks ago, I kicked our poor cat right in the face!

Allow me to explain before you burn me at the stake. I had just been in the other room doing some preschool work with Alexander when I felt a little tickle on my foot. I looked down and there was a spider on my foot, so I shook it off and was still suffering from the heebie-jeebies a little bit when I went into the dining room to see how the older kids were getting along with their schoolwork. 

That's when I felt another little tickle on my foot.

Instinctively, I gave my foot a good shake and...nailed the cat right in the nose...for she had simply come to sniff my toes (as she's wont to do) and her whiskers were the tickle-y culprit, not a spider. 

She ran off to angrily cower somewhere and I pretty much just started crying on the spot because I had just kicked my cat (in the face, no less!), but hadn't meant to at all!

I texted Josie about it because she's a cat owner, too, (and a very sympathetic listener) and she assured me that these things happen (cats are always underfoot, it seems). She admitted that once she was trying to put something away in a cabinet but the door wouldn't close all the way, so she just kept repeatedly trying to close it. She rearranged the items she just put in the cabinet, and tried the door again. No luck. So she opened it again and made sure everything was tucked in nice and neatly and tried the door again. No luck.

And then she realized that her curious kitten had popped into the cabinet as well and had left some little body part dangling, which was propping the door...that my sister had been repeatedly trying to slam shut...open.

But her kitten is fine. 

And our cat is fine.

She even seems to have forgiven me, though it did take her awhile to resume sniffing my toes.

Accidents happen.

Park Paradise

Drizzly weather meant that we had the park mostly to ourselves. We first went on a long walk through the woods and then stopped to play at various playgrounds on our way back to the car. While the kids played, I read articles and wrote (which honestly has been a dream of mine since starting grad school, though the dream involves a little more afternoon sunshine than afternoon showers, but I guess that doesn't matter because the dream is hardly ever realized, anyway). That's another perk to having pool season be over and playground season begin; there are more opportunities for "the dream."

Today I only had Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander, who insisted on dressing up as an owl even though it was nearly 80°F! He had on that darling (if I do say so, myself) crochet had and his hood the entire afternoon until he got so flushed that I forced him out of it.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Pool Season is Over

On Wednesday I washed all the pool towels and all the swimsuits and put them away. 

I'd washed them periodically throughout the summer, of course, but never all at once, and never with the intention of putting them away until "next year." 

So I guess fall is really upon us.

The pool doesn't technically close until Sunday, but knowing the weather forecast for the rest of this week ("cold" and rainy), we called Tuesday our last day of the pool season and convinced Daddy to take a couple hours off of work to come swimming with us (since he hadn't been to the pool with us since May).

Spooky Christmas Songs

Zoë and Benjamin have both finished their primer levels of piano and have moved on to level 1. We've also moved on to Christmas music (because things take time to learn and they always want to learn a lot of Christmas music). However, with Halloween coming up first, Zoë has taken to transposing her pieces into a minor key...so it sounds spooooooky


How she's able to just sit down and...do this...is a little beyond me. Miriam was the same way at Zoë's age, always transposing pieces up and down the scale, so perhaps we've got another little musically-minded person on our hands.

No complaints from me about that!

Other than the fact that she'll likely surpass my skill level sooner rather than later, requiring us to hire yet another music teacher (and those...don't come cheap...but on the other hand, maybe we can just get Miriam to teach her).

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Last woman standing

As it should be because, well, my due date isn't for a couple of months...but this has been an exciting year for babies in our family! While I've had babies overlap with babies on Andrew's side of the family, meaning they have cousins their own ages (what a concept!), I haven't managed that sort of thing with my side of the family until this year (and it was completely by accident, too!).

I got a great-niece in May and a niece early this morning, so Phoebe will be well-endowed with cousins on my side of the family, which is kind of nice since my kids have always existed as...their own little pack...on that side of the family.

To be fair, my family is complicated (as is evidenced by the great-niece being the same age as my niece and daughter), so I do have some great-nephews around Alexander's age and a great-niece between Benjamin and Miriam. But that's still a tricky relationship for me to navigate (as their mom was raised in an adoptive family and only got back into contact with us in more recent history, so although we count her as family it's still feels a little more distant to me somehow (it probably would help if I'd seen Amy more than twice in my life)). And technically the twins exist; they're a year older than Rachel (but they live with their father, who doesn't allow them to have much contact with our family at all). So in essence, my children have been in what we call a "cousin hole." There just haven't been any cousins for them to associate with when my family gets together.

They can never remember if Rosie is their cousin or their aunt (they usually default to referring to her as aunt) because Rosie (my niece) is a few years younger than Josie (their aunt, who is nine years younger than me). My brother is two (and a half, as he loved to point out our entire childhood) years older than me. And their oldest babies and my youngest babies will all be the same age!

So that'll be fun!