Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas by Owen

HELLO, Santa, I see you coming!

ALL of the cookies and carrots are for me, not Santa or the reindeer

I have a feeling this guy is related to me.

My new bike, worth more than mom and dad's put together!

Got my guitar and went Axel Rose!

Dinner of butter, followed by chocolate, chocolate cake

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a little tiny snowman

Past week: snow, ice storms
that knock out power for three days, insurance calls, and a toddler who does not like the camera, but here are some photos.....

Look mom, I built a tiny snowman and I'm adding raisin eyes!

I wonder what would happen if I eat this raisin.

Yes, I bribed Owen with chocolate chips for this picture. And it didn't even make the Christmas card cut! The things I said I would never do....I love this picture but I thought I needed a semi-smile for the card--and that's what I got.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

and it happened....

One of my worst possible fears as a mother that is… Let me start by saying that Owen is totally fine throughout and after this incident (although I wasn’t).

Let me digress for a moment, some of my anxieties about having cancer have manifested themselves into nightmares about Owen being in harm’s way. It’s some kind of Freudian displacement, or something like that. My reoccurring nightmare is about Owen getting out of his crib in the middle of the night and helping himself in chocolate milk or some other snack in the kitchen. I started having this dream when he was a year old and he wasn’t even walking then—hence it wasn’t even possible). I went to an acupuncturist who told me I should go to a “dream worker,” which is just a little too “new ageie” for me. So, the dreams are just bottled up now despite my bets efforts and come back every now and then.

So, this very much felt like a nightmare. I was switching cars with my mother-in-law and Owen got locked in the car with the car running OUT of his car seat (all the windows were rolled up too). It’s too complicated to explain how this happened, but it was a complete fluke. I’ve always heard of this happening and tried to be vigilant—like I never let Owen hold the keys to the car, etc. But all my best efforts couldn’t prevent this.

After the shock and screaming of obscenities, I went to look for my cell phone in my car (which was unlocked) it was nowhere. I couldn’t even bare to see the little face of my two-year-old locked in the car. It was such a vulnerable moment and I was so fearful. Worst of all, I felt completely out of control, especially without a cell phone. I looked 100 yards each way—I had the choice of running to a dark highway, running to a convent (yes, we were switching cars in the parking lot of a convent) OR attempting to break the window myself. My flight or fight response kicked into full gear. I looked for possible weapons around the car like a rock—nothing. I went into my mini van to retrieve a stainless steal coffee mug and started attacking the driver side window. My efforts were fruitless, so I grabbed cross country skis from my trunk. I forgot how light cross country skis are compared to downhill, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I got a running start while my mother in law looked on panicked, and used the skis like a pole vaulter. I couldn’t break the window. I threw the skis on the ground and ran for the quiet convent.

While running I was screaming for help and worried that no one would be around. I rang the doorbell of the convent incessantly and finally a woman (who I believe was a nun) came out. She called the police and then came out to help. Her calming presence was a relief. She came out and talked to Owen along with my mother-in-law. If I tried to talk to him he would start to cry, it’s something about being yourself more with your mom.

The policeman arrived, and Owen’s eyes widened with curiosity. The officer was alarmed by the situation and I immediately begged him to break the window. I didn’t know he had that ability or not, but I thought he probably did. He tried the whole locksmith route and I quickly rejected that. Owen had already been in the car for 20 minutes, a locksmith could take another 20 minutes, maybe longer. The police officer decided that given the circumstances, he would break the window.

My mother-in-law gave the ok for him to break the window, since it was her car. It took the officer at least five tries with a special tool—so I don’t know what I was thinking with my cross country skis. At this point, Owen was scared and started to cry. I got him out and held him tight, “He said, “hoodu” which means “hold me.” And then he latched onto me like a koala bear and wouldn’t let go.

Only later did I think about what the officer must have thought about the skis strune on the ground or if he put them in his “report.” Or what the nun thought of everything, including the skis. One thing is for sure, that while I acting swiftly, I wouldn’t have changed my plan of attack. Maybe I could have been a little calmer, but I don’t really care about that right now.

If you have children, talk with your husband or partner about how you’d handle these kinds of emergencies—I think the big ones are: choking, head trauma, and I would add a car lock out too (for a young child). The chance that you will be alone in “a situation” is high. I wish safety and protection for all, and I hope that you never actually have to use your devised plans.

And God, "Thank you for sending a nun to me."

Monday, December 8, 2008

I’ll balance bill you

I’ve been neglecting my blog because in my spare time, I’ve been busy talking to two different insurance brokers, two insurance companies, and pestering three doctors and their secretaries. I’ve been trying to decipher the difference between HMO’s, PPO’s and POS’s, in-network vs out of network, and my favorite—balance billing. Stuff that many patients deal with at some point, although, I’ve not had to, until now when I want to go out-of-network using my POS. Basically my insurance company is poised as a gatekeeper, and THEY will decide if I want to go out of network. This makes me want to say that they are a bit (ok a lot) evil, but I haven’t heard the final outcome, so I’m being Zen about the whole thing.

I have a good ability to get to the bottom of things, but this is taking a toll on me. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but the loop holes and bureaucracy have left me deflated. On top of this, I have a deadline—Dec 15th. Because if my insurance doesn’t approve out-of-network care, I will need to buy a plan through my husband’s business by the 15th. This will involve switching my husband’s and in-law’s insurance (oh lord, help me) because they all get coverage through his business. I currently get my insurance through my employer (paid 100% by them). So, if I did go over with my husband, I would be forfeiting a huge benefit and then paying out of pocket for my share.

I’m hopeful, because the things that have worked out for me seem to do so at the very last minute. I’m also being peaceful because I’ve seen some pretty impossible stuff fall into place.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Thanksgiving took us to an Inn in Dorset, Vermont with the grandparents, after I ran a Turkey Trot 5K.

We played with puppets at the Inn.

And took a family photo (this is NOT so easy to get anymore).

Stopped by a Christmas tree farm to chop down our tree… This has been a longstanding tradition in my family to get our tree the day after Thanksgiving.

I have one grievance about the farm. All of the trees had been over pruned into perfect triangles. I was looking for a mangly Charlie Brown tree and the owners just laughed! I guess that's not the en vogue look for trees this year. Maybe next year.

Happy thanksgiving everyone!

pre-thanksgiving crafts

Owen is starting to craft and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve proudly displayed hand turkeys made by Owen in our kitchen. Owen says: “hANd Turkey.” (with an accent on the A and N that makes him sound British)

I have a crafting book for toddlers and I’ve learned that I have to start collecting and holding onto all kinds of crazy stuff that I would normally throw away to use for craft projects like: dried up markers, shoelaces, cork screws, bubble wrap, containers of all sorts, pasta (wagon wheels and rigatoni), white paper plates, cotton balls, the list goes on. If you know me, you know that I HATE to hold onto stuff, especially items that appear to be garbage, but if we want to craft, I have to be a pack rat. And then there are some crafting staples that I have to buy like, pipe cleaner, googley eyes, feathers, felt. I have a running list that I’m slowly chipping away at.

Then you need to organize all of this stuff. This is the only way I can keep my sanity. So, I had an excuse to go to Target for clear storage containers for craft organization.

So, Owen is 2 years and 3 months now and the crafting has been moving along at a faster pace, thanks to a kid sized table from babystyle that I had been obsessing about for awhile. Oh… I love this table because it's covered in polka dots, one of my most favorite things! and the chairs can support up to 200 lbs of an adult! or turkey, monster, whatever.

Here are a few favorite crafts right now. Painting….
threading rigatoni onto a thick string, this kept him occupied for awhile.

But this was the biggest hit of all. Something that I’d only do now because I enjoy life more and I sometimes throw my previous inhibitions out the window.

It's along the lines of ok, so Owen you want to go get ice cream, let’s go…jump on the bed before bedtime, I’ll hold your hand…. Want to draw on your face?! ok, I'll help you.....

Let’s make ourselves into CATS! Meowwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the look on his face—this was so worth it. Life is more fun when you’re impulsive.