Saturday, February 28, 2009

Here I am

Last Friday I had a doctor's appointment. A good friend of mine spoke very highly of this doctor, so I found the doctor on the internet, called, gave out a whole lot of information over the phone, and made an appointment. I have not heard much good about Kelsey-Seybold clinics (basically just big and impersonal), but I trust this friend and have put off going to the doctor for too long.

So Robert and I trooped all 5 kids out to a big, shiny (read: overpriced everything) office I normally would never set foot in, only to discover 10 minutes later that my appointment had been cancelled.

I said, "I didn't cancel it. Who cancelled it?" The receptionist looked at me funny, then after glancing at her computer again said, "Oh, the doctor did; she's on emergency leave." I asked something to the effect of why didn't someone call me and she rattled off a whole slew of numbers that sounded like my phone number, and I nodded without thinking, then Robert came up behind me and said "no that's the wrong area code."

Houston has at least 2 area codes, so you have to be clear when giving your phone number out, and I always am. I remember telling the guy on the phone my entire number, but when the receptionist repeated it, it sounded like he had assumed I had the opposite area code and put that in, automatically adding the first 7 numbers I said onto the end! At this point I'm thinking, "What a dork!", but I'm cool. Then the receptionist proceeds to tell me that they rescheduled it for me for a Tuesday, and I'm thinking, "YOU rescheduled MY appointment, without asking me when was good for me?" But I digress.

And we reschedule for next Friday. You see, Friday is Robert's day off, so he can come to help me corral the kids and to be my emotional support and to remind me of any questions or details I forget to talk to the doctor about. We confirmed my phone number, and left disappointed b/c I was looking forward to seeing the doctor.

Fast forward to today, finally. I was worried when I didn't receive a reminder call yesterday, so I called this morning to confirm. They told me that they did call, but there was no answer, so I didn't get a reminder. Apparently it's not an actual PERSON who calls you, it's a "service" (read: machine) that only reminds you if you answer. Well, I don't answer my phone if I don't know who it is, and my so-called caller id only gives me a number, not a name unless I have put it in my phone book. GREAT. I gritted my teeth and confirmed my appointment, for the right time, with the right doctor.

We showed up early, the receptionist confirmed my information and the doctor, took my insurance info, then told us to wait. We waited. Watching the stupid tvs on 3 different channels all with the sound turned too low to hear, though there were less than a dozen people in the cavernous waiting room, not to mention (oops, mentioned) they all had signs that said "no channel requests" on them. So we didn't make a request, but changed the channel ourselves (who really watches cnn?). We waited for about 15-20 minutes (standard, right?), but my girlfriend had noted that this doctor is one who will spend time with you regardless of other appointments if needed, so I was patient, b/c I knew it meant I would have a doctor who would give me all the time I need. And I need time.

They called my name, we gathered the impatient children, we went up to the nurse-type lady and she acted confused. She said she didn't call my name, and was talking with another person. I stood there, children circling like little vultures (had I fed them lunch? no... duhn duhn duhn), she finally talked to me and asked me about my appointment. I said I have an appointment with so and so at 2:45. She looked at me funny (this is never a good sign) and said, "No you have an appointment with a different so and so, your so and so isn't in today, and she is still out on emergency leave." I pointed out that I didn't come to see different so and so, I made an appointment with original so and so! Original so and so is the person my friend recommended, not her practice, her. She looked at me funny. "You don't want to see different so and so?"

You ALL should be very proud of me. I said nothing for probably 3 full seconds. I wanted to strangle someone, or at the very least yell at one of the 3 separate people who NAMED the doctor when confirming my appointment. I said very calmly to the lady, "I really wish the receptionist would have said something when I told her the doctor's name or the person I confirmed with on the phone today." She looked a little like I did shout at her. I was looking anywhere but her face, b/c I knew if I looked at her I would cry or scream. She disappeared for a full five minutes to go talk to someone in the mysterious back room. When she came back "they" had once again rescheduled MY appointment without asking me when was good for me! Guess when?

Yep, a Tuesday.

I calmly pointed out to her that I can only come on Friday. I should have sounded it out like dealing with a lip reader, but I contained myself. She pointed out that she might have Friday open, but original so and so wouldn't be back until Monday, so would I like the Tuesday appointment? I gave her TMI about my personal life, husband, and children. She disappeared again. What is in this room? It must be the supercomputers that can make reminder calls but only if you answer the phone, or is it the robots who can reschedule appointments only according to what's good for the doctor? I gave her until Robert got back from changing 2 separate kids' diapers. A different lady came back with 10 seconds to spare, handing me a new appointment card and explaining to me the date and time like I was four years old. I avoided her eyes (again with the possible crying and screaming) and walked out, calling everyone else to straggle along behind me.

Robert made some comment about how we should complain as we got off of the elevator, but I knew that would only make me more upset, b/c he had already spent half of his usual day off at work, then we wasted over half an hour of what was left of our day at a nonexistent doctor's appointment.

I'm not mad at the doctor. I assume someone actually died or is really sick in her family to take over a week off so suddenly. I'm not even mad at the idiot who "took" my phone number. I even understand that doctors routinely fill in for other doctors when they can't make appointments. But the receptionists should at least tell the patient that they will be seeing a different doctor. This is why I avoid large practices, with large waiting rooms, and mysterious back rooms.

Maybe they are the real reason for my needing to see this doctor... discuss amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In Case You Were Wondering...

these knives...

... are sharp.

Seriously, that's not a picture of my actual finger (although the first pic IS of my actual knife). I got it from here (where you can learn to make your finger look like that, too!), but it felt that bad and still stings. I'll post a picture once I take the bandage off, so you can all get your sick kicks. 3 stitches, baby!

My first stitches ever; aren't you proud, mom?

But really for real seriously, first rule of knife skills people: Always pay attention! (translation: when the baby is screaming, don't let her in the kitchen while you are making dinner!)

And here's a shout out to Ginger who dropped everything to come over when I thought I might pass out with no other adults around and 5 kids to care for, and a shout out to Marsha for coming over and watching said kids while Ginger drove me to the emergency room. Thank you, sisters. It's good to be loved by you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two Posts in One Day: Aren't You Blessed?! OR My First Blog Contest! (Sort of)

I couldn't pass up this offer with the accompanying challenge from Tiffany, so here goes.

First Five Gimme Gimme

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! my choice. for you. this offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

2. What I create will be just for you.

3. It’ll be done this year. {translation: you may be waiting a little while}

4. You have no clue what it’s going to be … it may be cards, a poem, a bookmark, something yummy or a complete surprise to you (and me!) … who knows? not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

6. Most importantly, you must offer the same deal on your blog - the first 5 people to comment on your blog (or if you do not have a blog, facebook) get something made by YOU!

7. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did, win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me …

So, let's see if you are in a commenting mood!

There's a Kitty on My Lap, So You Get a New Post otherwise entitled: A Couple of Things I've Done Lately

A while back, I got really tired of the projector "screen" (a big piece of Black-out fabric) hanging on the wall in the living room. It was just ugly. So I went to my good friend, Google (yes, we are on a first name terms; little know fact: He does have a middle and last name, but I can't reveal them due to copyright infringement) and discovered he knows a lot about making your own projector screen. Big, clunky, I want my living room to be a Home Theatre projector screens.

His knowledge of a working screen that still says "people live in this house" was woefully absent.

Then it dawned on me: I had seen exactly what I'd like somewhere before... now where was it?

Oh yeah, at church.

Am I the only one who finds this weird?

I believe I was probably the first person to use this screen in years when I rolled it down for the Ward Christmas Party. It is awesome, perfect for a huge presentation as it is ginormous! Much bigger than I needed, otherwise I may have been forced to "borrow" it for a bit, in order to figure out how to build my own.

However, being the good mother of 5 children and wife to a very handsome man, I carry my camera everywhere I go and was able to take pictures of the mother screen and come up with my own plans. Here's the original.

And here's the still needs tweaking full-on instructions to Build Your Own Roll-up Projector Screen on Google Docs.

All rights reserved, you may only make copies for personal use and if you sell it to anyone in any form I will be forced to be not happy with you. Whew (my lawyer makes me say all that)

And here are a few random pics of the process. The first is me using a staple gun. It's just fun.

This one is Robert trying to get me to smile and staple my fingers at the same time.

This is a shot of my messy cutting table in my "office slash craft room", but really the point is to show how the fabric is all crumpled up while I staple it on top before adding the pipe on the bottom, and the rope, pulleys, etc.

And here it is,


and here it is, up!

So you can all see the pointless "Preacher's Bar" and built in bookshelves which hold that and so much more.

I haven't put up a cleat for it yet, b/c I am lazy and just haven't bought or made one, so I'm using the connectors for the gate we took down once EJ could go up and down stairs by herself.

It works.

Next project: After Robert and I went out on Valentine's Day I got the chocolate bug. I'd wanted to make some treats for Relief Society, so I went overboard.

It was a nice swim.

Our cute babysitter, Ashleigh (hope I spelled it right), stayed and helped, and Molly even came over to facilitate us making more of a mess!

We ended up with mint truffles,

chocolate chip truffles, almond truffles, cocoa truffles, non-pareils, chocolate dipped graham crackers, chocolate flowers (also some white chocolate flowers),

and chocolate dipped strawberries... Ashleigh especially enjoyed the drizzling with white chocolate process.

Don't forget, if you'd like to drool some more, that you can click on all the pics and get them full resolution!


Want the recipes? I am a sharing chef, not a Swedish Chef.

OK, some days I'm a Swedish Chef, "Schmork de schmork!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flashback in February

In November, Oliver celebrated his 9th birthday by having a small party with a few friends. He wanted a 5 (!) layer cake, so I did my best. It turned out looking like a chocolate fountain, so that's what I called it, and the kids bought it...

They did the usual: Snacks, cake, played some wii, opened some presents, and handed out some goodie bags when the kids left. Oliver had fun, and that's what mattered most.

A couple of weeks later, Horatio celebrated his 3rd birthday (although he insists when asked how old he is that he is "O"; I have no idea why). 3 years old is a little simpler to please than 9 years old, and he was happy with a cupcake enjoyed in the middle of Christmas cookie making. This was probably the first birthday where he actually blew out the candle. YAY!

For Posterity's sake (and arguments sake for next year), I must note here that Oliver put the Angel on the tree this year. We always use the big beautiful angel that the Wacasers gave us when Tiffany was decluttering before they went to Sweden. Our tree is kind of short, so the angel makes it a good height. We did try making it taller at first by putting it up on some boxes and taping it to them, but the kittens knocked it down a few too many times and we eventually gave up on that.

A good friend of mine (our Relief Society President) invited some of us moms (including all 9 of our kids!) over for a home-cooked lunch. She made some yummy, cheesy soup and rolls. Most of the kids poo-pood it, but the moms loved it, and we were able to chat while letting the kids play. The coolest thing (for the kids especially) was my girlfriend is one of those people that has a huge porcelain village for Christmas complete with a train running around the whole thing. It was really fun to watch the train go around and the lights on in all the little buildings; Life is all about the simple pleasures, right?

Last of all for this post, some good friends of ours offered to watch the kids one night (Thanks again Ellen and Jay!), so we could actually get our Christmas shopping done. When we got there to pick them up, we found the boys halfway through a game of Risk, and EJ and Horatio like this. Now let's see if I can sack out like that before it's tomorrow.

Maybe next post I can catch you up to February!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another Answer: 9

Question: How many pictures...

does it take...

to get 5 kids in focus...

just to show off...

the boys' haircuts?!

This 1 is my favorite.

Angel and Oliver look like superheroes (too fast for camera!), Isa looks disgustingly cute, Horatio looks like he's up to something, and EJ looks like she's throwing up (I assure you she was not).