Friday, April 30, 2010

The Exciting News!

So last night before I went to bed I had to write SOMETHING!! But it was too late to go into detail. This morning I'm remembering other exciting things (to me) that I want to share, so this is just a whole lotta excitement in one post! I hope you can stand it! Haha :P

The most exciting to me is that my oldest sister is pregnant!! Squeal!! It's so exciting because they thought they couldn't have any more (they have 1 boy who will be 4 1/2 when the new baby is born). So this year I've had a baby, my 2nd oldest sister is due with their 3rd (a girl :) ) in August, and now my oldest sister is due early November! That means at our New Year's Day get together there will be THREE new babies in the family!! Oh, I am just so excited! Susannah will have 2 cousins her same age to grow up with! Ugh, that also means that probably NEXT New Year's Day we'll all be busy keeping 3 little crawlers/walkers out of stuff! Haha! I don't think they know what the new baby is yet, but I think it would be really fun if there all three were girls :) Plus they already have a boy so they need a girl ;) So yeah... that's pretty exciting!!!!

This should probably really be my number one exciting thing, but since I've been expecting it it's not quite as exciting - but VERY exciting still! Last night was the 3rd night in a row that Susannah has slept through the night! I think it's fairly safe to say that she's officially sleeping through the nights now, at 7 weeks. This means she's sleeping from about 12:30am to anywhere from 6:30 - 7:30am. 6:30am is not the time I want her to wake up every morning, I'm aiming for 7:30 or 8:00, but I will take 6:30 over the middle of the night any time :)

Let's see... what else. Wednesday afternoon I asked my MIL if she could keep Susannah during her afternoon nap, and I went to Goodwill. Since I'm nursing Susannah, I desperately needed some new shirts that fit better. I was able to get 6, some to wear around the house and a couple that are nice enough to wear to church. I will need to go again since my motto is to have enough clothes to only need to do laundry once a week, but it's a good start. Better than wearing maternity shirts :)

While I was out Wednesday, I also went to Target to use some gift cards on a diaper deal. I had coupons to sweeten the deal and I was able to get 6 packs of diapers (3 Huggies, 3 Pampers) for about $3.50 a pack. And with each 3 bought, you receive a $5 Gift Card. So I spent about $21(after I used the gift cards) and got $10 back. Target runs "gift card" sales on diapers every so often so I hope to keep rolling the Gift Cards. I needed to get some other stuff and while I was walking the baby aisles I saw a rack of clearanced Gerber Baby Food (the small jars). They were marked down to $.27 a jar and don't expire until 2012. There were probably 2 dozen jars. I meant to go look at the regular price to determine if it was a good deal (having never bought baby food before), but I totally forgot when I was getting my other things. That night on the way home from church I remembered, and asked Daniel if he could stop in and get what was left (he was driving separate), which was 10 jars. I plan to "make" my own baby food for the most part, but I know "store bought" will be very handy for things like travelling and such.

And probably the "least" exciting of all, but still exciting, is that yesterday I finally bought some Caffeine Free Diet Coke!!! Ahhhhhhh.... :) I have never made it a habit to keep Diet Coke in the house, because if it's here, believe me, I will drink it. Daniel prefers Pepsi, and I prefer Coke, so having his Pepsi stash here doesn't bother me - I don't drink it because I don't really want it. I drank very little Coke while I was pregnant (on purpose), and was really looking forwards to having Coke again after I had Susannah. In fact, I requested it a couple times in the hospital :) Anyway, lately I have been craving Diet Coke! I finally decided I was going to use some of my "own" money (we each get a little spending money each week - and I mean a little!) and buy some as a treat. Lo and behold, Kroger is running a sale on Coke this week - buy 3 (12oz/12can packs) for $9 and get 2 boxes of Ritz crackers free! Daniel does like Cherry Coke (and I do NOT!) so he asked if I could get him some. I got him a case of Cherry, and I got myself 2 cases of Caffeine Free Diet :) Guess what I drank on the way home from the store?? :D

And that's about all the excitement that's going on around here :) We're probably going to a party this evening so I need to throw the pork roast in the crockpot (for BBQ), and if Susannah is up yet for her next meal I'm going to jump in bed for a couple winks.

Very Exciting News!!

Check back later ;) It's midnight and I still need to get the groceries in and put away the cold stuff. Daniel was going to do it while I pumped but he fell asleep... and while he's on Zyrtec, once he's asleep he does.not.wake.up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Insurance Shminsurance

I think I would have better luck if I simply put all the money I pay towards premiums into a sock and then paid cash for Doctor visits and services.

After Susannah was born I called our insurance company and spoke with a customer service rep. (hereby called "lady #1"). I told her I'd just had a baby and needed to add her to my policy. I didn't know what all I needed to do so I asked the lady "What do I need to do to have her covered?" The lady said "send a fax requesting Susannah to be added to your policy." So I did.

After her next Dr. visit I received one of those nice "explanation of benefits" informing me that her well visit isn't covered under my policy. What!??! I called the Dr's office and they said that all her "sick" visits (weight checks) had been covered but her well visit had not. Weird. I don't like the sound of this. Not to mention that at her 8 week visit she'll get some shots and that Dr. visit will cost me $500-some if insurance won't cover it. YIKES!!

I call the insurance office. I speak with a different lady (now called "lady #2") and ask her what in the world is going on because I had added Susannah to my policy just like the lady said I needed to. Lo and behold, Susannah was added only as a "dependant." And as a dependant only sick visits are covered. Well visits and vaccines are not. As a dependant it costs me a whoppin' amount each month. To have her well visits covered I need to spend another $40 a month and add the Well Child Rider. I'm afraid I, uh, might've sounded a bit very upset on the phone when I learned all this. Lady #1 NEVER mentioned the Well Child Rider. I said as much to lady #2 and asked if there was any way it could be back-added to cover her visit. Nope. Not a chance. I have to pay for that visit out of my pocket. But she was very helpful (at least acted like it) and told me what I needed to do to add the Well Child Rider. I also talked to her in more detail about 2 claims that had been denied (for Susannah's newborn stuff at the hospital). She said she was going to call that Dr's office and get it straightened out for me. And she was going to call me back "next week" - which is now LAST WEEK.

Yesterday, having given her ALL WEEK to call me back like she said she would, I called and asked to speak to lady #2. I got her voicemail. I left her a nice (really, I was polite) message asking her to call me back to let me know what's going on with the 2 claims. Have I heard from her yet? Nope. Not a chance.

Today, having given her a nice grace period of 24 hours, I called again. Uh-oh, I got lady #1. The lady that didn't tell me about the Well Child Rider. I bit my tongue, as much as I wanted to let her know I didn't appreciate her costing me a Dr's visit of money. I was calm, cool and collected, and asked about the Well Child Rider. It had not been added to my policy. She didn't even see the fax I sent in the system anywhere. The fax # I'd sent it to was one of their fax numbers. So we agreed that I would re-fax the request, attention to lady #1 this time. Then I asked her about the 2 denied claims that lady #2 was supposed to call me about. She said the system showed the lady is "working on it" and "is going to call you about it."

I'm waiting by the phone waiting for it to ring any second. NOT.

So I faxed the original fax AGAIN, with a note on it that it was the second time I was faxing it, so on and so forth. Lady #1 said she was going to call me back if she didn't get it. The phone hasn't rung yet. I'm going to give her a day or two to get THAT straightened out and I'm going to call again. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and this wheel's squeak is going to get a whole lot louder if I don't get some serious grease here soon.

This has been a recording. Thank you. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

6 Weeks

Our little Susannah Faith turned 6 weeks old this week! Time is flying, and while some days I want her to hurry up and ____, most of the time I want to stop the time because each week is one more week of baby Susannah that I'll never see again. *sniff*

Thursday morning she weighed 10lbs and 3oz, and is loosely 22+ inches long. I haven't had the heart to hold her still and stretch her out with the tape measure so I eye-ball it when she's stretching on her own :P

This week she has really started to be awake for longer stretches of time, usually once a day in the morning or evening. The past two days she's also taken a "real" afternoon nap from about 1pm until... I wake her up. She still isn't quite sleeping through the nights yet, but I know it's coming. How long she sleeps depends on how well I can get her to wake up and eat at midnight. Some nights it's a lost cause and she wakes up between 4:30 and 5-ish, and other nights when she eats more she'll go to 6 or 6:30.

She still to spend time on the play mat that she has, but I think I've determined that it's too hard. She is as happy as a clam on the changing table pad but fusses and cries on the play mat/jungle gym. Tuesday Daniel put together her Pak'n'Play and she spent some time in it yesterday - much more content than on the floor. We have hardwood floor and the play mat isn't extremely padded and she's bumped her head a little bit a time or two when she turns her head from side to side.

Speaking of her head, she is getting much better with her head control and will actually turn her head to look at you if she wants. Yesterday I was holding her and Daniel walked up beside us and she turned her head to look at him :) She follows well with her eyes, too. On the topic of her eyes, they seem to be turning brown. They aren't as blue as when she was newborn, they are more a gray-blue and have some brown spots and specks (if you look closely). I have really green eyes, Daniel's are mostly brown but kinda brown-green.

One unhappy development has been that this week she has started to swallow air when she eats, and then she cries and cries and cries, usually swallowing more air in the process. Thankfully she doesn't do it every time, but at least once a day. I haven't figured out what is making the difference, I wish I knew!! So we're getting LOTS of burp time nowadays :) The rest of the time she is still very much a happy, content baby - except when she's hungry.

It is amazing to see her change from week to week, sometimes day to day it seems. It is still a wonder to know that she's MY baby. I was thinking last night that it's been about 12 1/2 years since I was around a baby 24/7 (my youngest brother), but still, this is so different. She's MINE. I feel weird when I think that I have a "daughter" - that makes me feel old. Instead I like to think I have a baby girl :) Her life is such a miracle and precious gift from God and some days my heart just... well, I don't know how to describe the feeling, knowing that He gave her to Daniel and me to be her parents. Enough of the mushy-gushy, let's move on to the fun :)

Here are some pictures I took this week:

Cute baby mouth. Who can resist?!?!

Sleeping in the swing. She looked like a porcelain doll-baby!

Daniel took these pictures, looking down over my shoulder.
She was wide awake and just looking around at whatever she sees up there!

Bathtime :) She really doesn't mind it a whole lot!
In fact I can usually have her smiling for some of the time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weekly Grocery Trip 4/22/2010

No picture, but it's a pretty minimal amount of loot that we got this week.

With the meals that were given to us we didn't have to cook as much (notice the "we?" :) ). But what we did use we needed to start restocking - meat and mayonnaise :P

All from Kroger:

(2) 18 ct. eggs
1 qt. Mayonnaise
1 qt. Miracle Whip (again, his 'n' hers)
1 gal. Orange Juice - $2.99
1 pint Sour Cream - $1.00
2 pkgs (3pc. ea.) B/S Chicken Breasts ($1.99/lb)
4.2lb. pkg. 80/20 Ground Angus Beef (Markdown) - $8.90

Total OOP - About $35

Daniel picked up the stuff without a price over the weekend and I know it was $13-ish, and what I got last night was $22-ish.

It's nice to have meat in the house again! Last evening I used the last 2 chic. breasts on supper, and we didn't have any beef. We do have odd and end meats in the freezer - like a whole turkey, some breakfast sausage, and 2 porkchops... but not the staple beef and chicken. I hope to do something with the turkey sometime soon and make some food to freeze.

Friday, April 16, 2010

You Can't Measure Love

...but my Daniel can put love in a measuring cup :)

Daniel doesn't often rarely buys me flowers, which is probably ok because they aren't in the budget too much anyway, but I do like getting flowers from time to time.

I'm not sure how, but last week flowers came up in the conversation and the fact that I like flowers. The next day it was well into the day (and he was at work) when I noticed a measuring cup with flowers in it sitting amidst all the dirty dishes and clutter on the kitchen counter. I immediately knew where they were from and it made me feel so special and loved. That is how Daniel frequently brings me flowers in the spring and summer. It might be a couple buttercups, some of these blue flowers, or a rose off our rosebush when it's blooming. They aren't very big, they aren't a beautiful arrangement of different kinds of flowers, and honestly sometimes they are really just a flowering weed, but they sure do get the point across:

He loves me, he thought about me, and he wants me to know.

And for that, they are the most beautiful and you couldn't pay all the money in the world.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Month Old :)

Susannah is one month old!!!

Yes, I am still alive in bloggy land. I'm more a lurker these days than a blogger, but my blogging side ran off with the housekeeper. And the housekeeper is just starting to come back once in a while, so hopefully she's bringing my blogging side with her ;)

Life with Susannah for the past month has been nothing short of a learning experience :) And we're still learning! I imagine we'll be learning for years and years and years to come. She is absolutely wonderful and we love her sooo much. I can't imagine not having her in our lives, though I do dream of sleep-filled nights often :P

There have been minutes, hours and days where I've doubted myself, wondering if I'm doing the right thing. Is she eating enough? Is she sleeping enough? How long do I let her stay awake before I put her down for a nap? Did I let her stay awake too long and is that why she's fussing instead of sleeping? Did I eat something to make her fussy? Is my milk supply enough? Is it good quality or poor quality? Why did she wake up half-way through her nap?

All I can do is do my best and trust that God will bring us through :) And remember that for as many poopy and wet diapers as I change, she can NOT be starving and HAS to be getting enough to eat!! She is still overall a very content baby. She still loves to sleep more than anything else, even eating, but we're working on that.

A few days after she turned 4 weeks we started letting her sleep as much as she would at night. She's doing very well, so far she's sleeping between 4 1/2 and 6 hours. It's wonderful!!! We're still working at figuring out what feeding schedule works, but generally she eats about every 2 1/2 - 3 hours in the day.

She's also growing like a weed. She's grown out of some of her clothes already. She also grew out of the Newborn sized diapers. I realized that the day after I bought a big box of them. My little baby is growing!! Last Thursday she weighed 9lbs. 4oz. and is somewhere around 21+ inches long.

Around 3 weeks she started smiling in response to our smiles. She is so cute when she smiles! Especially her big, squishes-her-eyes-shut grins! A couple days ago I was holding her while she was sleeping and she laughed out loud. She hadn't done it before and hasn't done it since, but it was so fun to hear. She doesn't "talk" very much yet, but I'm looking forwards to hearing her coos and babbles.

Here are some pictures of our growing girl:

Last week after her bath I brushed her long hairs into a mowhawk :)
She wasn't too pleased that I was fooling around taking pictures instead of getting her dressed! We finally had the camera at the right time and got pictures of her smiling :)Her big, squishes-her-eyes-shut grin! I love it!!She makes this face alot. I often wonder what she's thinking?

I can't put her cross-ways in her crib anymore. When she stretches out or wiggles too much she ends up running into the side-rails.

And that's our sweet baby girl :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Getting Into a Routine

It hardly seems like it was more than yesterday when I was still pregnant with Susannah. But instead it's been a whole 3 weeks, almost 4. As I told someone the other day, the days have been fast but the hours long. Thankfully the hours aren't seeming as "long" now that she is nursing faster and it doesn't take as much effort to wake her up and keep her awake to nurse - wooohooooo!!!!

I think we've settled into a pretty good routine with Susannah, and now that she's eating faster I get to sleep more :) And since I get to sleep more, I feel more human when I'm awake :) And since I feel more human it means I feel more like doing things around the house that Daniel's had to do the past month.

All that said, I hope to start working my way around the house again this week. Last week I did a couple things here and there, mostly unloading/loading the dishwasher a time or two. This week I hope to get back into the laundry routine (poor Daniel had to wear the saddest undershirt to church because it was the only clean one, and it was one that was on it's way to the trash!) and stay on top of the kitchen.

My sister made TEN loaves of bread for us, so I won't have to jump back onto the bread-making wagon as soon as I thought I was going to have to (and buying bread was starting to look good...).
The meals from our Sunday School class were great - they got us through a good 2 weeks, and yesterday we picked up several more meals from my MOPS group. They should get us through this week, but I may do a little cooking this week to ease myself back into cooking and stretch the MOPS meals out a little bit. Hmm, but that would mean I'd have to go grocery shopping, so we'll see :P

I still enjoy several naps each day, usually in the mornings and early afternoon. I hope to start going to bed earlier (a simple matter of DOING it!) so I can feel more awake in the mornings and then do my napping in the afternoons. We'll see. Right now I crash into bed about 5am (after the 4am feeding) and the alarm for Daniel goes off about 1 hour later. I'm so out of it that I haven't been getting up and making his breakfasts and lunches yet, and that's something I really want to get back to doing soon. It's a little way I can show my love for him, and it's important to me to do it, though I know he knows I still love him when I don't do it :)

Right now I need to go get dressed for the day (evening? it's 4:10pm) and figure out what we're gonna eat for supper. Then I may tackle the mish-mash of clean laundry that needs folded and put away before it consumes the laundry room.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter :)

A day late :) But since Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of my Lord, I can should celebrate every day, right? :)

Yesterday was a big day. We had church in the morning, of course. Since I was singing in the choir yesterday morning (I usually sing, but since Susannah has been born I, #1 haven't been to a Sunday morning service yet, and #2 I'm taking a leave of absence until she's a bit older to hopefully ward off nursery germs :) ), Susannah got to spend the morning in the nursery. It was the first time I actually left her in someone elses care. It was really hard!! I totally trust the nursery workers, it just tugged at my mommy-heartstrings to walk away from her like that!

After church we came home and I was able to get a 25 minute nap until it was time to nurse Susannah again and then we went to Daniel's parent's for the rest of the day. Daniel's sister, brother, and their families were there for the day and it was really nice to spend time together. It had been over a year since all the siblings were together!

My brain was running on fumes from about 12-noon on and I was pretty tired, but I kept mustering up gumption and plowed on through :) I usually sleep in the morning and early afternoon and yesterday I didn't get any extra sleep, really. I slept great last night!!!

It was a long day for Susannah, too. She had at least 2 naps in her carseat (poor thing :( ), and it was just a long day for her. Last evening she was soooo tired but wouldn't fall asleep. She wasn't fussy, really, just not sleeping and I knew she should be. She did finally fall asleep in my arms and got a decent nap. She did really well last night - I was a little worried that she'd be fussy still, but she went to sleep right away after we got home, and didn't fuss too much after her 4am feeding. This morning she woke up a little earlier than she usually does, but that was ok. I wasn't ready to get up :P but I did and she had a really great wake-time before she was ready to go back to bed. I'm hoping that with the day off to such a great start there won't be too many aftershocks from yesterday! I think I should mosey on back to bed myself. I know that I'm going to feel the aftershocks from yesterday, even if she doesn't! LOL!!

Yesterday morning before we left for church we took pictures of our pretty girl in her Easter outfit. It's the same dress and sweater she wore home from the hospital. The pictures turned out great as far as light, etc. Of course we had to take several to get one with her looking at the camera and not wiggling around making blurry spots :) I wish we could've gotten one with her smiling because she's so pretty when she does, but getting her to smile in response to us is still pretty iffy :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - April 1, 2010

for today, Thursday, April 1, 2010

I am thinking... about a bunch of things. That I could be taking a nap, cleaning off the table, doing laundry, cleaning up the kitchen... I'm thinking :)

I am thankful for... The warm sunshiney day :) For allergy meds that don't make Daniel fuzzy-brained :) For eyes to see all the color bursting forth with spring :) For good food and tastebuds to taste it :)

From my kitchen... The dishwasher is clean :) That's about all I can say :P The counters need de-cluttered, the trashcan is piled high and starting to smell, the non-food groceries from our Saturday shopping trip are in the middle of the floor waiting to be put away...

I am going to... take several naps today :)

I am reading... Preparation for Parenting by Gary & Anne Marie Ezzo, in spurts. We took the class, what, a year ago? and I'm working my way back through the book.

I am hoping... Dude, I just paid the bill for mine and Susannah's health insurance. I really hope Daniel gets a raise soon so we can afford to keep Susannah!! (Just kidding on the keeping her part, but the wallet can only stretch so far!)

I am creating... LOL! Lots of milk for my baby to drink :) That's about as creative as I've been the last 21 days. Yes, she's 21 days old today! Wow!!!

I am hearing... I am LOVING listening to the birds! They are so pretty sounding!

Around the house... are lots of signs that the housekeeper has been otherwise occupied lately :P Nothing a quick pick-up couldn't handle, but I haven't taken the time to do that yet.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Feed Susannah, eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. Give Susannah a bath and get a shower myself sometime in there. And go to the Easter morning service at church :)