Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Christmas synopsis yet. Still working on that one. It'll probably come at about the same time I do a 2009 Family Newsletter.

We left for Christmas break December 20th and between then and now, only 5 days more than a month, Becca has learned to pull herself up to a standing position, cruise along furniture, stand for a few seconds at a time, crawl completely off her belly (as opposed to army crawl), cut two more teeth (making a total of 6), clap when we say "yay!!", and blow raspberries! It's been a busy month! We are all thoroughly enjoying being along for the ride.

We got back January 10th, 3 weeks later and jumped right into school the very next day.

Since then I've been thinking about music and studying music more than usual. I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise given how musical our household is. But since I'm not the career musician in the family, it's sometimes a surprise to me!

Sunday as I washed the dishes I started singing like the crazy person I truly am. I'm including links for anyone who doesn't know these songs. I gave The Long And Winding Road new lyrics that started with "the deep and endless sink, that is mine for life!". I also made up a parody of La Donna E Mobile that started with "Dish-es, I hate you so! I wish that you would go!" It made my work easier to bear and brought a smile to my face.

I got an email from a friend this week. Had to pass it on to Eric. He said it reminded him that he really does still love opera. Lately he's feeling burned out on that front (two operas in one school year = "what were we thinking?!") and more excited about the teaching he does. Here's the video -- it's fun!

After watching that one I was reminded of another and had to go hunt down The Sound of Music one that was done in Antwerp.

And after watching the wide-eyed Pavarotti sing La Donna E Mobile, I had to go get a fix of Rolando Villazon. Seriously guys, if you don't like opera and even only kind of like music, you'll still love this guy. I think he looks like Mr. Bean. Aside from that though, he is a phenomenal singer. First watch this hilarious rehearsal and then watch this gorgeous duet he does with Anna Netrebko. I'm telling you guys, opera can be really fun! If you're willing to give it a go, go watch The Elixir of Love performed by Rolando (Mr. Bean) Villazon and Anna Netrebko. A light comedy and excellent acting that even the most unmusical person can enjoy.

On a completely different note, look what I learned this week!

I learned this week that a shot glass (naturally a decorative one in this house!) looks much better filled to the brim with hand sanitizer. Don't ask me why. It just does.

I also learned that when a plate has a recessed center, that center is really in need of dish soap. Again, right to the brim. Why else would it be made that way?

Friday, January 15, 2010

I want to see if I can put a positive spin on my morning...

Esther has pink eye so we visited the doctor today.

A little background first though. When I set up our insurance and was looking for a doctor, I did so much research. Google, phone calls, word-of-mouth.

Google is not the greatest for getting info on doctors. There just isn't a lot out there. Or at least there wasn't a lot out there for the 30 odd doctors I was looking at.

Phone calls ought to be great, but have you ever noticed how busy the receptionist's are in doctor's offices? Yeah...only two offices were willing to answer questions about their doctor's policies/philosophies.

Word-of-mouth might be the very best way to find a doctor. I heard of a few stellar ones. Only hang-up was that they weren't accepting our particular plan.

So, this is probably pretty boring but it might get better. We'll see.

I picked a doctor for Esther.

Fast forward a few weeks and I discovered the other girls had a different doctor. And since I knew nothing about Esther's doctor, I decided to start the whole process all over again. Google, phone calls, word-of-mouth.

Finally I picked a doctor for the other three girls. A doctor I am 80% confident in. We'll see how she does after their initial visits.

That left Esther with a different doctor though. And I'm not a fan of driving to more than one doctor for my kids (unless, of course, it's a specialist). So I switched her to the new doctor, effective February 1st.

And then she got pink eye.

So off we drove to her current doctor, whom we've never visited.

I was really happy at first that they would see a sick child assigned to them when the child hasn't had a regular appointment with them yet. ALL the other doctors we have seen (and there have been many), would not see my children for sick visits unless they'd already been in for a regular visit. (Such a pain. Quite often that meant more "urgent care" visits...)

Maybe I should have been suspicious instead of happy.

They see sick children from 9-11am and 2-5pm. As I sat in the waiting room I wondered how that could even leave space for scheduled appointments of well children.

To make a long story LONGER,

Esther, Becca and I left the house at 10:05am
Signed in at 10:18am
Were shown into an exam room at 12:23pm

Yeah, I wrote that right. More than two and a half hours later.

Saw the doctor 37 minutes later.
Left six minutes later.

Went to the pharmacy.
Arrived home about 2:30pm. Over four hours later.

Now I realize we didn't have an appointment.

I also realize the majority of the other people waiting didn't have appointments either.

That's just kind of how those things work sometimes.

I also realize that some cases are more urgent than others. Yes, please, if your baby is having trouble breathing -- I am happy the nurse is seeing you before me. You know...stuff like that...

What I didn't realize and still don't understand, is how:

  • a doctor's office can be so dirty
  • a doctor's office doesn't mind that a highly contagious, PINK EYE patient is in the lobby and not an exam room
  • a doctor can think it's okay to give my 3-year old FIVE suckers
  • a doctor can think it's okay to give my 10-month old a sucker!
  • a doctor can ask, "So, how did she get it?" (Some of the snide responses I made, mentally, "Um, isn't that your department?" and "She's dirty!! She's three!" and "She sucks her thumb and doesn't always remember to wipe!! Gross, isn't it? Don't remind me! I chase her down but I'm sure there are times where she gets away with it. Someday she'll learn to care about that...")
  • a doctor can say, "Well, I'll just give you a prescription for the ointment. And the drops. Do you need anything else? Any motrin?", like I'm placing an order at Burger King. (Yikes, I'm feeling snarky.)
And top of the list of things I don't understand --

Why I end up at the doctor's office for almost three hours to see a doctor for SIX MINUTES. Six minutes that are drawn out to make me feel better but could honestly be reduced to TWO minutes because, come on, we both know it's pink eye and you know what the prescription is for that.

I have never been so glad to be done with a doctor's appointment.

I am so thankful that we have insurance. Good insurance. And that we can switch doctors. And that I had already requested a switch.

When it's all said and done, I am also grateful for several other things. I think this next part is the positive spin I was hoping for, now that I've "unloaded".

I am grateful:

  • that the doctor was competent enough to know what kind of medicine my daughter needed and what was wrong with her
  • for the pacifier clip that kept Becca's pacifier safe from that waiting room floor
  • for the Ergo carrier that kept Becca from thinking she needed to touch and explore that same waiting room floor
  • for the inspiration that led me to use a mini M&M tube and my necklace to entertain Esther. Slide the necklace in, close the lid, shake. Take the necklace out and repeat.
  • for three adorable children who chatted with me (and a bit with Esther) and watched me blow bubbles with my gum. They made the time pass more easily.
  • Esther stayed DRY through the entire ordeal.
  • she didn't whine for food from the mother who didn't bring a snack.
  • Becca was content to sit in the Ergo in my arms.
  • I have a HUGE bottle of hand sanitizer in my van.
  • Eric could be home with the big girls.
  • He helped them do their schoolwork.
  • Rite-Aid (who takes our insurance) and CVS (who does not) are only right across the street from each other.
  • Rite-Aid had a bathroom for Esther (and me!).
  • Rite-Aid sells king-size Snickers bars (because you know I needed one after all that!).

I am also grateful for wonderful friends who will read this and be able to sympathize or empathize.

And now I'm off to make the most of what's left of my day.

My awesome sister Rachel took family pictures of us when we visited over Christmas break. These have been a LONG time comin'! It's been such a long time since we've had some good family pictures. Rae, you are the bestest!

(You can see more of our family shoot on her photography blog.)

First, some shots of Eric with Esther & Becca. I love these.

Isn't that just the funniest expression?


My girls

I have another picture of her looking up at me, but I think I love this one even more!

TEN years this May!

Showing our true colors...

"Business as Usual"

Our family tree (hah hah...)

I think this is the main family picture we'll hang up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today, I...

Today I learned that my baby has a greater arm-reach than I suspected. In the future I don't think I'll leave the table when she's sitting by a bowl of yogurt.

Today I also realized there were two pairs of little girl underwear hanging from the top of the swingset, which goes higher than our backyard walls.