Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Write the Best Maid of Honor Speech Ever.

Do it just like this:

It all started at the age of 2..we lived right across the street, I look back after all these years and realize how lucky we are we got the chance to meet.

From flushing towels down toilets to cutting each others hair, we did what we wanted and just didn’t care!

You were my partner in crime and I was the instigator I think, like the time we decided to poop in the sink :)

We fought each other rolling down a hill laughing at the end, we got into our fights but always remained friends.

Then the day came when I had to move away, no doubt we both didn’t want our friendship to end that way.

We lived 3 hours away which to us seemed like forever, but that didn’t stop us from getting together.

We’d write and talk on the phone but it’s our visits that were the best, we’d constantly beg our parents to get us together and wouldn’t give it a rest.

We’d always find entertainment in some sort of way, and usually get in trouble for it at the end of the day :)

Like the time on the white board writing profanity all over it, leaving it for my dad to find-WOW did he throw a fit!! (haha)

We definitely always liked a good party, even if it was in my parents basement drinking their Bacardi!!

We’ve had so many great memories and so much fun, I look forward to all the new memories to come.

When it comes to being a friend Ali you have been nothing but the best, but I would never expect anything less!

You have been there for me every step of the way, and here I am with you on your special day.

I am so happy for the 2 of you-your love is so rare, you compliment each other so well and really make the perfect pair.

Trevor I am really glad you came into Ali’s life, you are going to make her the happiest wife.

Thank you for making her so happy and bringing out the best in her, I know you two will enjoy spending the rest of your lives together.

There’s one last thing I’d like to say before I’m all out of rhymes, then we can all grab a drink have a good time.

Here’s a toast for today, tomorrow always and forever-GIVE IT UP FOR ALI AND TREVOR!!!!! Woooooooo!!

I was definitely speechless.  Well done, Angie, you rock! 

5 years.

Five years ago, I knew a lot of things.  I knew I was about to make a big, life changing decision.  I knew we made the right decision to wait and make sure Michelle could be there.  I knew Trevor would deploy in 12-18 months.  Despite being pretty darn cool, calm, and collected overall, I knew I should have gotten decaf.  I knew I was about to marry the right person and I knew all the great things we had planned for our life together.  As much as I thought I knew it all, there were a few things I didn't know.  (Besides the fact that we figured the five year mark would be a good time to go on a repeat honeymoon to Jamaica...ha!)

I didn't know that five years from that day I would be sitting on my couch alone watching Scandal and writing a blog post and not even able to have a beer or glass of wine.  Just hold your horses, this isn't a whiny depressing post, hang in there.  Despite how crummy that might sound, today was a great five year anniversary.

Trevor left for drill yesterday and will be gone until Sunday.  I actually haven't even talked to him today (standard for drill weekends) other than a quick text this morning.  I woke up to the sound of Myra rolling around in her crib and saying "hi!" to her baby and stuffed bunny.  We got ready and went to Toddler & Me class like we do every Friday morning.  The weather was perfect and we spent the last 15 minutes of class playing outside.

I didn't take photos of the other kids, but there were about 8 of them.  I don't know that they signed up for toddler class to be put on some mom's blog.

After class, I stopped by Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Make that a Venti!
As soon as we got home, it was right back outside to climb, swing, kick (the ball, of course), and play with the leaves!

Play time was followed by lunch time then nap time.  After nap, we ran a couple errands, came home and read some books.  We ate supper and Myra was rubbing her eyes so she even went to bed 20 minutes early.
So, here I sit in the only home we've ever known as a married couple...married to the best man ever who is spending the weekend with his Company...a sweet little girl asleep in her number two nudging and poking in my belly...sans beer and wine...and a tired out fur child snoring on his rug.  Since Trevor and I will be celebrating (just us!) on Monday with a Red Lobster dinner courtesy of some gift cards we've been hoarding, I can honestly say this is a fabulous anniversary!
However, I think we will need to really focus our efforts on Jamaica for our 10 year anniversary...

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's A...

...seemingly perfectly healthy baby! I know the techs can't give us the official stamp of approval, and even then anything can happen. That said, the tech did explain a lot during our anatomy scan today and as far as we can tell, all is well. I'm measuring right on schedule (19 weeks, 4 days) and baby is an estimated 12 ounces right now. 

Sorry creepers, no details or photos of genitalia ;) We will let you all know when we find out in February!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All The Exciting Things We Did This Week.

Well, these posts seem far less exciting when they cover one week at a time rather than one season.  Surprise, surprise, I still got ramble-y and tangent-y.  Trevor is still plugging away one dental school applications, shadowing local dentists, school work, Army work, you get the idea. 

In addition to the usual excitement of grocery shopping, dishwasher unloading, dog walking, and the like, I/we kept fairly busy this week.

Myra randomly started doing this pose a while ago, and when she does we call it "yoga."  Here she is doing "yoga" with Daddy.

I work, as in actually go to work, one day per week.  I work as needed/sporadically from home the rest of the week, too.  I am a case manager for our local transitional housing program which is something I love.  We provide housing subsidies on a short term basis (up to two years) while meeting with the recipients regularly to help them get back on their feet (that's pretty vague because that can mean many things...whatever they need to accomplish, we do what we can to help).  Grandma Christy comes to watch Myra and they have all sorts of fun. 

Myra had a semi-rough night Tuesday night.  We're leaning towards blaming our barley trial, but she's got some teeth coming in so it's really hard to say for sure.  Barley has a fairly low pass rate among FPIES kids, but there's no knowing until we try.  She loves it and we need more grains, so we'll see how the rest of the trial goes.  Regardless of the cause, lack of sleep and/or interrupted sleep turn me into a slacker the next day.  Although I was a total monster, I got used to never, ever sleeping during Myra's first four months, but I'm out of practice and growing a human now.  Side note: some day I will post the email I wrote to Tosha in the middle of all that CRAZY about everything we had tried and how desperate I was.  I'm sure it's littered with profanity and "I don't like my baby" (it was a horrible, awful time, even though I loved Myra and I knew something was wrong and it wasn't her fault, it was all around ugly).  I digress.

Speaking of her FPIES, I recently learned many FPIES kids do just fine with Dum-Dums suckers.  Since we are a family of multi-generational dentists, I haven't really been on a search of candy she can have, but the girl deserves a treat sometimes!

Thursday was a busy day.  We had a WIC appointment right away in the morning.  I always schedule them right away to get it out of the way, so I don't have to plan my whole day around it...then I wish I hadn't.  I just have to say this: WIC is an amazing program.  They have single handedly saved us.  The cost of formula varies a lot based on how it's purchased (confusing, I know, click here to read the specifics).  Although Myra's formula intake has gone down a little as her food options have increased, WIC still pays out $491.20/month for Myra's formula.  Because of insurance contracts and other exciting stuff like that, we would still have to pay $207.79/month out of pocket after insurance if we would have to purchase it ourselves.  That's not including the cost of Myra's special foods (we have to get certain brands and some "novelty" food items because of all the hidden ingredients in other brands).  Bottom line: WIC has been a huge help.  They are now providing her Neocate Splash, essentially a hypoallergenic nutritional supplement/Boost type drink, in addition to her formula ($132/month).  ANYWAY...we had a WIC appointment Thursday morning.  Our little smarty pants has figured out that doctor's appointments go like this: nurse comes in, doctor comes in, nurse comes back=shots.  Apparently she's narrowed it down even more because she was totally fine with the WIC nurse until she put on gloves.  Then she got really nervous, wanted to sit on my lap, and eventually started crying-all before the nurse was even ready to do her finger poke (hemoglobin and lead test).  Myra was a pretty tough cookie and there was minimal drama after the fact, but the anticipation is not cool.  We had lunch with my boss at Applebee's and Myra spent her time jammin to the music and finding all the apples (in the logo) she could.  She had a view out the window, so she pointed out "truck," "car," "cycle (motorcycle)" the whole time, too. 

Myra isn't the only one with food allergies.  Rowdy is on a grain-free lamb food.  It was easy when Myra couldn't have any of the foods Rowdy can't have (he gets itchy, gnaws on his paws, flaps his ears all day).  Now that she can have corn, she loves to feed him her Kix and Chex.  We're working on it, but in the photo above she thought I couldn't see her feeding him if she didn't look at him while she did it...

ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) is back in session this week!  I'm on the Advisory Council, which is tons of fun, and we had our first meeting of the year.  We started planning the events we'll be doing this year, divvying up duties, and learning about some really cool new programs coming to our area (like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library).  On Friday, Myra got to start school.  She is in the toddler class for one year olds.  We go every Friday for an hour and fifteen minutes.  The first fifteen minutes is free play then circle time (welcome the kids, sing a few songs).  After that, the parents go to a different room (separated by a divider left open just a tad, so the kids can come find us if they want).  There is a topic/focus for both kids and adults every week (kids: physical motor skills, sensory activities, listening and understanding, exploration, etc. adults: what to expect at one, one year old play, food and nutrition, how to get stuff done with a toddler in the house, etc.).  Myra loves going, the kids get to play and explore while having a focus topic; I meet wonderful people and love learning new things.  In fact, we still get together regularly with the moms and kids from our very first ECFE class (0-3 month newborns).

First day of school 2014!

Saturday was babywearing meeting day!  (I will soon be putting together a post on our group's blog about what exactly happens at meetings--I will link it here)  We have learned so much and met some awesome people from our group, so when it works out to get to a meeting we love going.  Myra likes playing with the kids, we get to try other wraps and carriers, and I get to help other care givers learn about babywearing.  In a nutshell, we start with introductions, have a demo (this month we talked about soft structured carriers, the backpack style ones, then split up into small groups to help people learn what they came to learn).  The photo below shows about half of the people who were there.

And a couple extra photos from this week:
Our little book worm.  She's reading a book called "Birds Have Beaks" all by herself.  She turns the pages and says "beak," "beak," "beak."

Always a little bigger by the end of each day.  No surprise, but a bit bigger than I was at 18 weeks with Myra!

Medical Need Formula Letter.

These auto-post to my Facebook, so to those of you reading it because you saw it posted there: sorry (maybe).  This is a letter Myra's allergist asked me to write to help him fight the nonsense of medical formula costs for these tiny humans who really need it.  It's a messed up system.  Read on if you'd like, but I'm posting this just so I can refer back to it in another post and share with other FPIES families.  This was written on February 5, 2014.  Myra is now on a toddler version of this same formula and it lasts her slightly longer, but the point still stands.

To whom it may concern:
I am writing to make you aware of the costs for the amino acid based formula my daughter, Myra, needs due to her Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis (FPIES).  She is currently on Neocate Infant with DHA/ARA.  Our insurance company is Tricare, specifically TriWest, managed by United Healthcare.  While they do cover the formula when purchased through a medical supply company, Tricare only pays 80% of the costs.  The remaining 20%, our cost, adds up very quickly since one can only lasts Myra 2-3 days. 
There is a substantial discrepancy in cost based on where the formula is purchased. 
$162.29/can from Apria Healthcare (insurance pays 129.83, we pay 32.46)
$94.47/can from Edgepark Medical Supplies (Insurance pays 75.58, we pay 18.89)

If we had the option to purchase the formula with insurance coverage directly from Neocate’s website, or if these medical supply companies followed the same pricing as Neocate’s website, both Tricare and I would save a considerable amount of money.
$38.75/can from Neocate’s website (when purchasing 1 case) (insurance would pay 31.00, we would pay 7.75)
$38.00/can from Neocate’s website (when purchasing 2 cases) (insurance would pay 30.40, we would pay 7.60)
$36.10/can from Neocate’s website (when purchasing 2 cases at their auto-reorder rate) (insurance would pay 28.88, we would pay 7.22)
Myra has been going through 12 cans per month, give or take a couple cans.  If we used Apria for her formula, it would cost us $389.52 out of pocket every month after insurance paid $1,557.96.  However, if we were able to purchase the formula directly from Neocate’s website and still receive insurance coverage, it would cost us as "little" as $86.64 per month after insurance paid $346.56.  Clearly, purchasing this formula through a medical supply company is costing families and insurance companies a significant amount of money.  It is worth noting that this amount is for one month and many children with FPIES, Myra included, will need to be on their formula well beyond their first birthday.

Click here to read about Myra's FPIES (journey to her diagnosis, food trial info, recipes, and more).