Friday, April 29, 2005

Picture Day

Today is catch up day for pictures. I have oodles of shots that have just been lying around, waiting for their own post. So in the spirit of efficientcy, here is one big picture blog post!

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This is the state in which we found Peanut last Saturday morning. She is getting into that strip all your clothes off phase, and most mornings we find her in some state of undress or another. The was a new variation on the theme though. I wish I was flexible enough to pull off something like this. And believe it or not, we found her standing up this way. Sometimes I think that Peanut is actually a circus baby that was accidentally dropped off with us!

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This is our new tent. Actually, I think it should be referred to as a packable home. It almost has as much square footage as our real house! In fact, it has two closets and a screen porch. I can't even say that about our "real" house. This was an anniversary gift from my parents-in-law. And yes, we do enough camping to warrant this behemoth.

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The screen porch.

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One of the closets. And yes those are shelves!

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A side view

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These are pictures of Peanut's first attempt at licking the beater. In the end I had to pry it from her hand! And please pay no attention to the remains of lunch in the background, the baby is cute enough to need all of your attention! :)

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The shiny leftovers of pudding on Peanut's cheeks!

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My little glamour-puss and her first sunglasses. She is always snatching Mama's glasses off of her face and these were bought with the hopes of distracting her. So far, it hasn't worked, but she loves to play with these.

These last shots are of Peanut's Dr. Seuss hair. For a long time, my Peanut was a baldy, but now, her hair is finally coming in. It's at that strange stage though, where it is too thin to dry with a towel, but too thick to just let air dry. So here is our solution. Every night we comb it all straight up so that the air can circulate. But it leaves her looking like someone from Whoville!
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Friday, April 22, 2005

Somebody's in Trouble

OK. Who did it? I know you are out there.

Our weather forecast for the weekend is predicting 6 to 8 inches of snow.

Someone put away their winter clothes.

We actually have a winter storm warning out. A WINTER STORM WARNING! Last week it was so warm at night that I debated about turning the A/C on. One night, the house never dropped below 80 degrees!

Now, I have to drag the baby's winter coat back out.

Oops! Did I say "back out"?

Ok, you caught me.
Somebody's in trouble, and that somebody is me.
I couldn't help it.
I succumbed to the siren call of spring in Ohio.
I know better.

What was I thinking?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Your Opinion...

...if you care to give it.

I have been doing battle with a local doctor's office since before the birth of my daughter, 17 months ago. They are billing me for a meeting I had with one of their doctors, to interview her as a possible care provider for my then, as yet, unborn daughter. I have tried repeatedly to call and clear things up, but have not been able to talk to a real person nor have any of my messages been returned. Though their posted billing office hours are M,T,Th,F: 9-3, my calls at every time of day have been either been answered with the excuses of "just stepped out for lunch" or "I'm sorry, they are unavailable, can I take a message?". For seventeen months this has gone on. I think that the amount that they are trying to bill me for is outrageous, and of course, our lovely insurance won't cover it. I just don't feel they are justified in billing me $135.00 for chatting with the doctor for five minutes, especially as I had been kept waiting for 80 minutes beforehand. She didn't even take my blood pressure! (which is probably a good thing)

So, I am sending them a letter. I hope that I can finally get things cleared up. But I thought I would post my letter, to ask anyone else if they had an opinion. Does it sound too snobby? Am I being overly dramatic? Here it is:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have repeatedly attempted to contact your office billing department over the last 17 months to clear up this matter. It seems that regardless of the time of day that I call, your billing department is "Out to Lunch" or "Unavailable". I am sending this letter as a last resort to finally get some closure for both of us.

Your office has been sending me a bill for a "Preventative Visit" with one Dr. Wallace, on the date of November 4, 2003. The resulting bill is in the amount of $135.00. At the time I was nine months pregnant and interviewing possible general care physicians for my unborn child. The meeting was not a check-up visit, and there was no exam. I already had both a general practitioner and an OB/GYN for myself , and I was not there as a patient. When I called to set up the meeting, I had asked the receptionist to set up a time slot for me to interview Dr. Wallace.

Imagine my surprise a few months later when I received a bill for a "Preventative Visit", which, of course, my insurance would not pay for as I already have a personal physician. This visit was only to ask Dr. Wallace questions about her background and experience, and judge how well we could work together for the health of my child. I'm not sure if it was a mis-scheduling of time or a misunderstanding of purpose, but I did not expect to be charged for the visit.

I would like to add that I was very impressed with Dr. Wallace herself, but that the general atmosphere of disorder and disarray in the office had definitely thrown up some red flags in my mind. The waiting room was dark and dirty, the bathrooms were unclean, and I had to clarify who I was and why I was there several times for the receptionist. Not to mention the fact that although I arrived 20 minutes early for my appointment, I was kept waiting for an hour past my scheduled time. At nine months of pregnancy, an hour and twenty minutes is no small amount of time to wait on uncomfortable chairs in a dirty, dark room with other patients coughing, sneezing, and smelling strongly of cigarette smoke. In fact, my waiting experience was so unpleasant and contrary to what I was expecting, that I was honestly planning on leaving if my name wasn't called in another 5 minutes. Oh, that I had!

So, I am stating, unequivocally, that I have no plans to pay this bill. There should have been no bill in the first place. If your office was more organized, this matter would have been cleared up months ago. Dr. Wallace was a pleasant, experienced woman who was recommended very highly to me, but the lack of service and general confusion of Dr. Oliverio's office prevented us from taking her on as my daughter's physician.

Shannon Foster


So? What do you think?

I would just like to add that we did try to use Dr. Wallace (she really was that good) once my daughter was born. Peanut was born jaundiced and had to have multiple billirubin tests done after leaving the hospital. I was in no condition to schedule these, so the task fell to my poor husband. He called their office, and tried to set up the tests, but they kept on insisting to know Peanuts name and account number. After trying to explain, MULTIPLE TIMES, that she was only born a few days before and wasn't registered in their system, my husband finally hung up in mid argument. This place was a real nightmare, and it really wasn't fair to Dr. Wallace, because she was great, but the newest member of the practice, so she had little say in what went on.

I'm really glad they were so horrible though, because Peanut's present doctor is a dream.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ohio's Trick Weather

Well, here we are, in the lovely summer days that sometimes mark April in Ohio. It has been beautiful and warm, with birds singing and nice breezes. But mind, that doesn't mean we aren't in for some early May snow, no sir! Nobody in Northern Ohio may put away their winter coats until late June. HH says! Otherwise, you are just asking for a blizzard!

But I am progressing well. My cough is almost gone. I can see now why a century ago, people convalesced from a disease for months. I feel like I have been through Consumption and back! I have been out working in my yard, barefoot, despite all dire warnings of "Pneumonia!" and "Catching my Death" from my hubby and MIL.( I insist in gardening in my bare feet, I'm just toooo bohemian that way! ;) ) I've also put in the majority of my seeds for the kitchen garden, for which I was also given dire warnings of "Too Early!" and "The frost will kill them". But I subscribe to the do-it-when-it-feels-right school of gardening. Besides, any plants that can withstand my neglect, need to prove themselves hardy early on. What better way, than to weather a frost or two!

Peanut is enjoying all of this outside activity. She is definitely not an inside sort of kid. She is digging and lifting and doing whatever she can to get into trouble, but she's just so cute doing it! Today was also a banner day at the library. Our children's section is at the top of two flights of steep stairs, so Peanut and I usually ride the elevator up. Not today. She refused. Peanut wanted to climb the stairs like the other kids. So we climbed all the way up and all the way back down. She was less winded than I was!

I can't believe how big she is getting. My baby is changing into a little girl!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Rejoining the Land of the Living

First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you guys out there who read my blog, (I had no idea that I have more that two or three readers :)) your get well wishes both posted here and emailed to me privately were wonderful!

But today I decided to get up and out. I have had enough of being sick. So, Peanut and I went to the county Home and Garden show with my parents-in-law. It's nothing grand, mostly like a mini county fair. But the real attraction is the Rubbermaid warehouse sale. We bought so many totes and hampers and things, that we filled the bed of the truck! Maybe they will inspire me to get started on my spring cleaning and organizing, but for now, they are sitting in a big heap on my livingroom floor, amid the piles of toys, books, and shoes. Today's little excursion tired me out enough that I just let Peanut run wild all afternoon and decided to deal with the consequences later. Now that it is later, I've decided that my plan is a bust. What was I thinking?!

Oh, and my husband just called to tell me that he is getting paid overtime to sit and do nothing at work today. He is waiting for someone to finish the first part of whatever he is doing, so he is just sitting 20 feet in the air and snoozing. And when it is actually time to work, all he will be doing is pushing a button back and forth. He tells me this while I am standing in my shambles of a livingroom, trying to comfort a grouchy 17 month old who refused to take a nap today, and coughing my head off.

Why exactly did I quit my paid job with vacations, sick days, and weekends?

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Oh yeah, That's right!

Friday, April 15, 2005

It's Been How Long Since I Posted?!

I can't believe that I haven't posted to my blog in a week. There is just no way that I have lost that much time. I'm still sick, and the days are slipping through my fingers like water. There is so much that I need to be doing. I can't wait until I can sleep the whole night through without coughing.

I guess the true test of time passage is my little Peanut. Yesterday morning, she stood at my bedside and cheered each new movement of my sorry, tired body as I climbed out of bed. She was so excited to see me pull back the covers and put my feet on the floor. I guess Mama has been spending a lot of time in bed.

Friday, April 8, 2005


Sickness, again, but this time it is me. My, oh my! What a winter this has been for sickness in our household! I am starting to feel better though, so I'm enjoying all of today's lovely sunshine. My spring bulbs are all up, and I'm fighting the urge to cut all of the flowers and bring them in the house. They last so much longer outside, but those hyacinths smell so good! I think that heaven will smell like hyacinths.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2005


If you have a good husband, get up from your seat right now and go and thank him. If he is not around, say a prayer of thanksgiving to God, and thank your hubby later.
And I don't mean he has to be a "perfect" husband, but one who shares your trials and triumphs, leads you in the direction that you should be moving, and provides a safe harbor for you (and your children).

Due to recent circumstances within my extended family, I've come to have a new-found appreciation for Brian. I have often overlooked his good qualities, in favor of nagging about his more annoying ones. It is often (very often, I'm ashamed to admit) so easy for me to gripe and complain that he has dropped the ball, when actually, it's me who has created the situation with my own attitude and reaction problems.

I am so blessed to have the husband that God gave me. He really is a stand-up guy. I haven't always thought that. In fact, there have been lots of times that I was convinced that God sent me to Brian to teach me some lessons on meekness and patience. But my eyes are being opened recently. He really is the husband that God meant for me. He is a good match.

I love you Brian and thank you for all that you do for me as husband and head of this family!

Saturday, April 2, 2005

The Great Outdoors, Indoors

Our family took a little spur of the moment trip to a fun store in Wheeling, WV today called
They carry all sorts of camping, hunting, and fishing gear, and they have oodles of other things too. But the most interesting parts are the dozens of preserved animals that they have on display, including elephants, zebras, and lions along with the normal (for my area) taxidermy fare of deer, ducks, and bears. They also have several aquariums of local freshwater fish and a trout pond where you can watch them feed the trout by hand. Best of all, everything is snuggly indoors, so it made a perfect outing on this day of winter's revenge here in Ohio.

We were able to find the baby carrier backpack that we were wanting, in the clearance section. We had a great lunch in their restaurant. I found the perfect present for my husband's birthday. And Peanut had so much fun looking at all of the animals, and practicing her animal sounds. Aside from the weather, it was a great day!

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The biggest selling point of our new backpack. Posted by Hello