Thursday, May 28, 2009

Did she think I'd fall for it?

Tonight after getting Katy in her jammies, she and I cleaned up her room. She is wonderful at cleaning, by the way. It's very sweet. She's usually very good at staying on task (unlike her brothers...). This time, though, she picked up a Blues Clues book and got momentarily distracted. I told her to put it on the couch (futon) and we'd read it at bedtime. She did. Then I went downstairs to check on David's progress (Ryan and Daddy were making a Walmart run). Katy followed me down a few minutes later.

Twenty minutes or so later, Katy and I went back to her room to get her to bed. And I found the Blues Clues book that we were supposed to read...with 9 books on top of it! I pointed it out to Katy, and she hurried and put one more on top. So here's the pile of 11 books Katy thought she'd trick me into reading:

I wasn't totally cold hearted. We did read 5 of them before I really had to get her to bed. I need to remember to get started on the bedtime routine earlier so we have time for lots of stories!

(Hmm, do you think I told Katy to smile, or to say "cheese!" And yes, she is eating a pretzel. She was hungry.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

an unexpected con to living here :-(

I just found out that doctor visits cost more here! About a week ago I saw online that David's visit (to get a new prescription, ADHD meds only get prescribed a month at a time) cost way more than I was used to. I wasn't sure how much of that was being a new patient, how much was being in a more expensive area, or if we were just unlucky in our choice of doctor. And I wasn't really sure how to find out.

I started by calling the doctor's office, and they went through a list of various charges (established patient 10 min, established patient 15 min, etc.). But then there's an Aetna approved charge, and Aetna told me on the phone that I would have to call each doctor's office individually to find out what theire contracted prices were. That was going to suck! So I started looking on the DocFind to find which doctors to call, and I found a little tab I've never noticed before - "View Rates for Aetna Members." Yay! That made it way easier!

So then my bit of OCD (don't we all have a bit?) took over, and I looked at the first 47 Family Practice doctors close to our zip code. And made a nice excel sheet to show the costs listed - New Patient Office Visit for Moderate Problems, 3 levels of Established Patient Visit, and Well Visit for an Established Patient ages 18-39. I grouped together the ones that are in the same office and have the same charges (not always the case), so my averages aren't perfect and it isn't worth really figuring out, but it looks like the place we chose is right around average - $159.02 for the new patient visit when the average is $161.96.

Nope, can't do it. I had to figure out the actual average. It's a bit higher - $168.89. Yuck. There are a few that are $141.99, maybe I'll drive by those and make sure they look okay.

Oh yeah, so the reason this is so sad? I looked up Dr. Peterson, who we've been seeing since my first prenatal appointment with David, so April 2002. His charge for that same visit? $114.17! Did we just get lucky in Utah? Nope, I looked at 5 or 6 other random offices, and all were either that same cost or $118. Dang it!

Obviously we're not going to be new patients all the time, but the other charges are all higher. The established patient low-moderate problems is $103.71 at the place we went, $92.60 at the cheapest ones in the area, and $62.04 at Dr. Peterson. A Rapid Strep Test is $14.37 in Utah and $28.82 here. Even a Urine Pregnancy test is $7.51 there and $15.20 here. Rude!

I guess we just better not get sick.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SuperKaty, with the power of high fevers!

Katy has a tendency to get high fevers, usually with no other symptoms. Last spring/summer I kept track, and she had one about once a week for like 6 weeks in a row. It hasn't been that frequent before or since, but it still happens sometimes. One time it lasted more than a week and we ended up having some blood work done, but then it went away without any results. So there's a part of me that's worried that she has some weird chronic disease or something, but it's probably just how her immune system handles germs.

Sunday morning Katy was fine. She was a bit cranky as we got ready for church at 1, but we attributed it to it being nap time. She was very excited for Nursery, like always. Then when I picked her up at 4 I could tell that she was a bit hot. I took her temp when we got home, and it was 101.7. Not a big deal, but sad that she could have just exposed her Nursery class to some illness! How am I supposed to be super vigilant about not passing on germs if she comes down with something DURING Nursery? So, at 7:15 that night she fell asleep on our bed while watching a movie, and we measured her at 102.0. She'd had Tylenol at 4:30, so we gave her Ibuprofen then, and put her to bed.

Katy woke up crying at 3:30 with a temp of 104.4, and had thrown up a little bit. I gave her more Ibuprofen, cleaned up her bed, and put her back down. She woke up 3 hours later at 6:30, up to 104.9 this time, so I gave her more Tylenol and she stayed with me in my bed until 8:30. My wonderful husband stayed home, initially to help get David to school, then decided to stick around all day. Which was good, because I may have forgotten to get him from the bus if he hadn't.

The temperature went up and down all day, peaking at 105.5 around 10:00. Poor little thing was so miserable! She just kept whining/crying whenever she was awake. It was so sad! I suppose we should have taken her to a doctor, but more than likely they'd just tell us that it's a virus that she needs to fight off, and watch for signs of dehydration. And I kept telling myself "When she wakes up, if her temp is over x degrees, I'll call a doctor." Then she'd seem better for a while. And we've only had one doctor visit since living here (to get David's ADHD prescription), and I just saw online that they charged way more than any other doctor we've been to, even the initial visits in Kent. So I need to find out if they're just more expensive and we need to find someone else, but I'm not really sure how to go about doing that. So, I didn't really even know who to call if we did want to call a doctor.

We worked very hard to keep her drinking water (she wouldn't drink anything else except a bit of chocolate milk), and kept offering popsicles. She only ate about 1 1/2 all day, which was one of the biggest signs to me that she was really feeling miserable. What almost-2-year-old turns down a popsicle? It was very sad. And she made me hold/carry her at all times. I don't think she walked more than a few feet all day. If I put her down at all, she'd ask me to "Hold you!" So, I watched a LOT of Little Einsteins, Dora, etc. yesterday. My baby needed me.

At bedtime last night she was at 103, we gave her Ibuprofen again (it sounds like we gave it to her a lot, but it was only 4 times in a 24 hour period), and she slept almost 11 hours straight. She's still not feeling perfect - the picture is actually from today. but she woke up at 103 still, with all medicine out of her system. She seems to be feeling MUCH better. The most obvious sign to me that she's feeling better - she ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast! She's been walking around a bit, not just laying there like a newborn like yesterday. I'm so glad she's doing better. It was so hard to see my little one feeling so yucky!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I've decided that we made the right choice

Today was a running day, and, as usual, I spent much of my run/jog thinking about blogging. Usually I forget long before I'm home, showered, and presentable. Today I remembered!

Several times I've thought about blogging on the things I do and do not like about living here. There are definitely some of both! But something occurred to me today while I was running (is it okay to call it running if I average a 9 minute mile? Or should I call it jogging?). Most of the cons about living here are specific to the smallish apartment, not the Vancouver area. On the other hand, many of the pros ARE about the area. Let me explain further:

Things I like about living here:

Being fairly close to my parents. Next weekend David has a 4 day weekend (not sure why they get Friday off as well...), so we're heading up to visit them. It's nice that it's so easy!

The weather! While it has rained quite a bit, it isn't as much as I expected. So either it rains less here than in Kent, I forgot how much it rained in my almost decade in Utah, or it's a less rainy year than usual. Maybe it all got used up in the snow. Anyhow, for about a month now there have been several days a week that are gorgeous outside. Like 72 degrees with a light breeze type gorgeous! That just doesn't happen in Utah. It's too cold, then almost overnight it's too hot. I'm loving the comfortable temperature here!

And connected to the weather, I love the scenery. Lots of beautiful green trees and grass everywhere you look. It's just lovely.

I like not having my ward and neighborhood being one and the same. I'm not sure why it's nice, but it was really getting old to have it that way in Utah.

And, this one isn't WA specific, but could have been fixed by moving out of Eagle Mountain - I love being close to civilization again. Fred Meyer is only a bit over half a mile away. McDonalds is even closer. We have a nice library (part of a pretty big library system) and Community Center less than 10 minutes away. It's great!

Now, the things I don't like abut living here:

You know what, I think it's practically ALL about our apartment! All our appliances are smaller - washing machine & dryer, dish washer, and fridge & freezer. And our sink is small, with only one section and no sprayer. We don't have central heating, just a separate heater for each room. And no AC at all - hopefully we just won't need it! We don't have a separate play room, so the kids rooms are always messy with toys. The computer is right next to the TV so I don't get as relaxing of a break while the kids watch a show and I play online (and there isn't any other good place to put it). The closet doors come off their tracks on a daily basis (at least in the boys room), and are designed so a couple feet on each side can't ever be fully opened to. And I miss having a garden.

I miss the stores and other places that I know - the Sara Lee bread outlet, Albertsons (although I just found out that the closest one is 14 minutes, which would be okay for an occasional good sale) with Pinching your Pennies to tell me the good deals, Thanksgiving Point, Lehi Legacy Center, our family doctor, my cute optomotrist (I got horrible contacts at the one I used in Kent!)...I think of things like that fairly often.

I miss my friends, especially Gayelinn. I'm getting to know people, but it's hard. And most of the people here have been here for quite a while and aren't on the lookout for a new bff (look how hip I am for using teeny-bopper lingo!).

And Dan & I don't like our callings. Cub scouts for me, ward missionary for Dan. He got a call last night asking him to teach Gospel Essentials on Sunday. He is quite un-excited about it.

So, most of the cons will probably go away with time. We'll hopefully buy a house when our lease is up, and all those apartment cons will go away. And I'll find my new "places." We already know we love the OMSI, we have a doctor appointment on the 26th and will hopefully love the new doc, and there's an Orroweat outlet near Costco. I'll figure it out. And I'll make new friends. Probably not another Gayelinn, but hopefully at least someone to trade babysitting with and invite over despite the mess. The callings...well, we'll probably have those until we change our attitude! I'll try...

So, all in all, I like it here. Not so much here in this apartment, but here in the Pacific Northwest. It's so pretty.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

right place at the right time!

Despite my tummy troubles (which are like 95% gone...Dan thinks maybe I had mild food poisoning after indulging in my Big Mac craving yesterday...but I stand by my earlier post that people need to be more careful about spreading diseases!) I had to make a quick stop by QFC to pick up some chicken. It was $1.99/lb, which isn't fabulous, but good enough for a couple pounds. So I picked up 2 packages, then went straight to buy them so as not to be too much of a hypocrite about spreading my possible germs. The cashier asked if it was okay for Katy (the boys waited in the car since I was only getting 1 thing) to have a balloon that was up front. Heck yes! It says Happy Mothers Day on it, so they couldn't very well sell it for $3.99 anymore, could they? But does it look like Katy minds that it is for a holiday she won't celebrate for two decades? Not at all! In fact, I tried for quite some time to get a good picture of her with the balloon, but she just couldn't hold still! SO exciting!

Oh, and this morning I asked her if she wanted to wear the shirt that Aunt Miriam picked out, or the one with a flower on it. She said something that sounded kind of like "the one that Aunt Miriam picked out," and has mentioned it several times since then. So Aunt Miriam, she likes you and the shirt you picked out!

One more thing about the little girl. Several times in the last couple days she has insisted that we call her "Kafryn." I always assumed she'd go by Katy, then maybe Kate as she gets older. But for some reason she already has opinions at 23 months old. Kathryn it is!

a pet peeve of mine...

We all get sick. It's part of life, part of having a mortal body. But when we do get sick, we should stay home! Take a few days off from normal activities. Do NOT go to a yoga class at the church, talking about how you'd thrown up a few days ago then had bad diarrhea since then (Who wants to hear about you having diarrhea anyways?). Especially when it's ball day, and everyone is rotating through the stations, touching all the same exercise balls. Because if I get an upset tummy 4 days later, I know whose fault it is!

I tend to be a little more lax with kids with some cold symptoms. Staying home every time a toddler has a runny nose would be just too much. But only when they seem to be feeling fine, despite needing their nose wiped more than usual. If it's obvious they don't feel well, it's time to keep them and their germs home.

We would all get sick less often if others were more considerate about staying home when they're contagious.

Friday, May 8, 2009

it's a good look for her

Katy likes her Little Einsteins jammies. She found them on the floor and tried to put them on. This is as far as she got.

Monday, May 4, 2009

the happenings of this Monday morning

Well, we're going to start this post with more evidence that I'm losing my mind. On Saturday I went out to run a few errands (by myself!), and got the mail on the way out. It had a Little Einsteins DVD from Netflix, and I almost took it back home so Katy could watch it while I was gone. But I figured I'd only be gone a little while, and she could watch it later that evening. Except then I couldn't find it. I wasn't sure if I'd brought it inside and stuck it somewhere or if I'd left it in the car. My car is pretty messy, so I looked a couple times Saturday and Sunday. Still no luck. So one of my main things I wanted to make sure I did today was thoroughly clean out the car, hopefully to find that darn DVD!

Then I went to Netflix's website today, and noticed that they received the Little Einsteins DVD today! Um, what? At first I assumed maybe I'd dropped it out of the car and some kind person mailed it back. Then I was just checking again, and noticed the my DVDs hadn't been received yet. They're in one envelope since I couldn't find the other one (this post is making me sound bad...), so my first thought was that maybe that made it take longer to get them checked in for some reason. But they should've gotten there today if I'd mailed them on Saturday like I thought....

Run over to my purse...feel down to the bottom...yes! It's there!

So, I got the mail, went to Great Clips (pictures of that later after I shower...), got a couple things at QFC, then went to the post office/gas station, where I mailed back the DVD that I'd just gotten from the mailbox! Fail!

But besides being a little crazy, it's been a good day so far. I've been working on getting a good running routine going. I hate not eating until lunchtime, but I thought my only other options were to run before Dan leaves - did that a few times, I like my sleep too much, or to run right away after David leaves, but it's colder then and I don't want Katy and Ryan getting cranky. It occured to me that if I don't run until 10:30 or 11 that I can probably eat a bowl of cereal just fine at 8:00. I did it today, and it worked great! In fact, I'm pretty sure that was why I had such a good run today. I made it to 2.0 miles, and I felt like I had a lot more energy. Duh, I had some food in my system!

The only problem with this plan is that it's noon and I still haven't showered. But I'm in clothes, they just happen to be exercise clothes, so that's better than still being in jammies. Well, it's a work in progress. We can probably go earlier as it gets warmer. I'll just need to find the sweet spot where eating breakfast doesn't make me ill and I can still make it to get David at 11:42ish!

The other highlight of my morning is kind of a silly thing. We originally decided to not have TV here, but caved really easy to the sales pitch when we called Comcast to sign up for internet. We signed up for a triple plan of internet, TV, and phone. We were getting about $165 worth of services for about $106 (with tax). I've been trying to figure out if cancelling phone and maybe downgrading TV would counteract the deal enough to drop that number. Turns out the discounts on the three services were put on separately, so we were able to just cancel the phone while keeping the internet and TV discounts! Yay! That saves us about $27, and we still have the TV package we've had!

Ooooh, but now that I look at the numbers again, we should probably still downgrade TV. We're spending about $56 with the $15.50 discount. We could drop it to $44 if we downgrade to the Family Tier & basic channels. Or if we dropped the Family Tier (which has Nick, Disney, Sprout..basically all the channels we use), we could go down to $26. That would pretty much just have the local channels. $9 of all of these numbers is the DVR, I'm not willing to pay for TV without paying for the DVR. I'm just too spoiled, it's too nice to be able to turn on the shows we want whenever we want them. it worth $30 a month to have the extra channels? Or we could go back to our plan of not having TV and go down to only $23 for internet for the promotional period (6 months). It's why we have Netflix, after all, we shouldn't spend the money both places. And wasn't I just posting about how we should have less screen time? Not paying for TV would kill two birds...

Hmmmmm...I'll have to think about that...In the shower, which I should go take. Now.