Thursday, January 29, 2009
Well, the coffee machine was broken, so I had yogurt and an orange juice, but the playtime turned out to be a goldmine.
Seth, aka The Boy Who Knows No Strangers, made himself right at home with the other family (mom and two kids) who had the same idea as we did. And since he is such a charmer, and we were all bonding over french fries, the other mom, Lisa, and I began a conversation that turned into a 2 hour play date!
We really hit it off, have several things in common, and are planning to meet up at her house on Monday with some other moms/kids for another play date.
Whoo-hoo! I'm making friends. Yea, me!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Yesterday, Seth and I went to Pleasant View to have lunch with Sarah.
She made Toscana Soup, a hearty Italian soup--it was yummy (and somewhat [but not too] spicy).
And some panninis...mmm...good! I love her pannini maker (Thanks, Sarah's mom!)
You just can't beat a Monday afternoon lunch with a friend!
12 links spicy sausage (she used ground sausage)
1 T vegetable oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 T chicken broth
4 cups water (I substituted additional broth for this)
2 potatoes, halved and sliced
2 cups sliced kale
1/3 cup heavy cream
Cook sausage according to directions. If using links, cut into 1/2 inch slices when cooked.
Heat oil and saute onions until translucent, add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Stir in broth, water (or broth) and potatoes, simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are done.
Reduce heat to low and add sausage, kale and cream. Simmer until heated through.
(She added more broth and cream so that it would be a more "soupy" as opposed to "stewy")
Sunday, January 25, 2009
All is fine. There is just nothing noteworthy to report right now.
Friday night, we discovered I'm better at Wii darts than Jim is, but that he smokes me in baseball. I couldn't even hit the ball.
Jim worked on taxes most of Saturday, and Seth and I went for a drive and got sort of lost. Had really, really bad Taco Bell for lunch.
Good times at church on Sunday. We may be getting hooked up with a small group soon, and have an invitation to a SuperBowl party next week. We all took looong naps, and then installed cabinet safety locks and Seth's new forward-facing carseat. BBQ for dinner.
Monday, I'm having lunch with Sarah, and Thursday, I'm driving up to Louisville to spend the day with Daina. Our last girls' day before the twins arrive!!
So, yea, just life, plain and simple. There's nothing wrong with uneventful, in my opinion.
Friday, January 23, 2009
The view from the rocker. I still want to get something to hang over the changing table. I had planned to use the lovely footprint keepsake that Sara and Doug got us for Seth's first birthday, but....um, yeah. I think that those impressions are meant to be done on newborn tootsies. I tried to get Seth's footprint, but when I rolled the clay out wide enough to get his whole foot to fit, it wasn't thick enough to get an impression that would hold. So.... hmm. Back to square one.
Also, the barn to the left of the door was Jim's when he was little. We have several handmade toys, and now the toy box, too, that Jim's grandfather built for him. The thing is HUGE, but we love having it in Seth's room. I think I'm going to hang his quilt on the wall above the toy box.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Even if you are an avid blog reader who keeps up with a gazillion blogs, you have your favorites. Those handful that stick out to you because they are funny, well-written, insightful. If you're lucky, the women who write those blogs are also women who you just feel like you connect with -- like if you lived in the same ZIP code, you'd be the best of friends.
Well, Kendra is one of my favorites. I don't remember how I found her, or if she found me, but we somehow clicked. We faithfully read each other's blogs, and we've emailed. My only "criticism" of Kendra is that she, quite literally, lives on the other side of the country -- in Oregon. And that's just too far!
But she quite wonderfully redeemed herself for that on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Kendra posted about these adorable baskets she'd found for a steal. And of course, I loved them, and told her as much in the comments. Well, sweetheart that she is, she offered to pick up a couple for me and ship them to Tennessee. (See, another pitfall to living so far away is that we can't rejoice over great bargains together if we don't have the same stores. Another boo!).
Our e-conversation went like this:
Me: "Kendra, where are those baskets from? I MUST have them!"
Kendra: "Fred Meyers. Do you have that chain near you? If not, let me know and I would totally be willing to pick ya up some and send 'em your way..."
Me: (trying to be diplomatic and thrifty, even though I TOTALLY wanted to take her up on her offer) "No, I've never even heard to Fred Meyers. And although I appreciate the offer to send me a couple, I'm going to resist and just keep making do with the baskets I already have in my half bath that look just like that -- it was more the fabric I feel in love with. You're a sweetheart for offering, though!"
Well, let me tell you, I'll be bragging on this girl a little bit more in the coming weeks for reasons yet to be shared in bloggy-world, but y'all check this out:
So, there you have it. Our half bath, made all that cuter by Kendra's thoughtful and surprise contribution. Thank you, Kendra! I love them!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
He left for work, and as I lay there for the next several minutes, I heard this odd, yet familiar, sound coming from outside. But I was lazy, and I didn't bother to peek outside to investigate.
But when Seth and I went downstairs for breakfast, I was greeted with a welcome sight:
I know that all our family and friends in Ohio are sick to death of winter and ice and snow, but to this newly transplanted yankee, this white stuff was like a balm to my homesick heart.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a LOT less homesick than I expected to be. Not that there haven't been moments, even whole days, of wishing we were still in Ohio, but for the most part, I'm absolutely content here.
But still...to look out my window and see falling snow, to hear sleet hitting the window pane, to watch Seth gaze outside in wonder as the ground is blanketed....it feels like home. And that feels wonderful.
On another completely unrelated note, and more for the benefit of Sarah and Christy, I wanted to offer up proof that I really was making chicken pot pie from scratch on Friday. And I have to tell you, it was good. Girls, when we have our first "sister" get-together, this can be my contribution, I promise!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Harper Brown Stamps was born early Friday evening, but has been flown to Arkansas Children's Hospital in critical condition. She and Kelly will be separated tonight.
You can read more of Kelly's update here. Please join with us in prayer that God would choose to spare Harper's life and heal both her and Kelly.
I am thinking...about my inlaw's visit this weekend.
From the learning room...recognizing body parts. How many times in a day can I sing "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes"?
I am thankful for...nap time. It's been a rough week.
From the kitchen...homemade chicken pot pies. We'll see, it's an attempt at a new dish.
I am wearing...jeans and my favorite orange sweater.
I am reading...The Guardian by Dee Henderson.
I am hoping...that we are able to do some fun things this weekend, instead of just taking advantage of "free babysitting" to do chores and work on taxes.
I am creating...a new life here in Nashville.
I am hearing...silence. Sometimes, it's the sweetest sound of all.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Anyway, after reading Christy's comment, I felt compelled to email her for some further encouragement, to which, of course, she immediately responded, and after some more prayer, I knew what to do.
During Seth's nap on Friday, I pulled up the blog post, to have as a reference as I spoke to the hospital, and dialed the billing department. I really feel that the Lord had his hand on my spirit and on those that I spoke with. The gentleman that I first spoke with was kind, patient, and helpful, even though in the end, as I'd expected, he needed to hand me off to someone with more authority. But still, he listened, he apologized on behalf of the system, and he noted our account appropriately so that we won't receive any more notices until a final resolution is reached.
The next woman I spoke with also was unable to actually "help" me, but she, too, listened to the whole story, taking notes and sensitively asking questions. She let me know that a patient representative would be given my case information, and would be calling me back within twenty-four hours to further discuss.
Sure enough, at 7:30 Saturday morning, a sweet and oh-so-thorough patient representative called me, and again, listened intently to my recounting. She, too, apologized, and said that this case would go to the top of her list, and that we were completely fine in holding off on payment on any of our bills.
And Sunday...here is where things get interesting. Sunday, during dinner, the phone rang. Since Sarah and Mike were over, I almost ignored it, but I recognized the Toledo Hospital phone number. It was our rep. And she had some big news.
She had been able to locate the pathology report. The one we were told didn't exist. Obviously, that was good news, albeit surprising. She is sending me a consent form that I'll need to get back to her in order to release the findings to me.
I'm SO thankful that Sarah was over when I received this news, because it sent my mind in a million directions, and having been on the receiving end of a pathology report, she was able to help me make some sense of what I was feeling.
So, there we are. As much as I'm glad we'll have some answers, this in no way cancels out the issues of the hospital. If anything, it highlights the lack of communication and competence that went into my care that weekend.
We continue to wait, and that's fine. Because I feel that I am handling this right and in the proper way. And as a mom, it makes me feel like I'm fighting for my babies in a way that my body could not.
So there you have it.
Thank you all for your comments and love last week; it meant a lot. I promise to keep you updated.
Monday, January 12, 2009
We finally embarked on the find-a-new-church journey. Because we don't know anyone here, we didn't even have "real people" recommendations. No, we were going off really reliable information like "hey, their building looks nice from the interstate," or, "this seems to be about the same size as Westgate." Nice way to pick your spiritual home, I know. But don't judge.
So, choice A yesterday was the looks-nice-from-I-65 option. Overachiever that I am, I made the first mistake of the day. We got to the church a little too early, and there were no greeters or ushers or anyone in the lobby -- they were all still in Sunday School. So, I felt slighted and unwelcome. Strike one (which, I know, is unfair, but it's how I felt). But we got Seth settled in the nursery, though I had some reservations when they put him in the 15-30 month room and he looked like a shrimp compared to the other toddlers. He jumped right in, though, running away from us, and choosing his toys.
We settled into the sanctuary, and my tears began to fall. I had a hard time explaining to Jim what was wrong, but I think it boils down to that this was the first thing that really made this move seem real. Instead of walking around being greeted by name, getting ready to get my mic for praise team, I was sitting, lonely, in a seat, feeling like a second-grader on the first day at a new school.
But things quickly began to turn around when the first person to come up and recognize us as visitors was the pastor. And he was great -- boisterous with a booming voice, and he quickly made us feel right at home. And the worship was great, and the sermon was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. I think we're both tempted to settle down right away, but we're going to give it a few more weeks and try out Option B and maybe a few others....but there is great peace knowing that there is a church close by that will fit our needs when the time comes.
Then we got to have dinner with Sarah and Mike. Sarah is as sweet and charming as she comes across on her blog, and she put me totally at ease to play hostess when my house is still in disarray and not all that clean. We shared a great meal; she bought this incredible salad that I pan to eat all week long, and Jim grilled steaks and chicken that even Mike, the Sarah-proclaimed grill master, gave props to. Yum!
I have a new friend, and I feel so blessed.
(I also think I have a cold, but that's another post.)
I know my blogging has been a little all over the place, both in content and frequency. Sorry? Stay faithful, dear reader, I plan to make it better.
Happy Monday, y'all.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
How strictly do you adhere to your expectation of good service?
When you take a garment to the dry cleaners? When you order a meal at a restaurant? When you have your car serviced? When you order something from an online retailer?
Do you expect that you get what you requested, in the time frame promised by the provider? Do you expect quality work? Do you expect to be charged a fair price for services rendered?
And, here, dear reader, is the question I'm really getting at: what do you do if you don't get the service you expect?
If your garment comes back still soiled, I suppose you could have them clean it again. If your meal is delivered incorrectly, you send it back to the kitchen, or maybe suffer in silence, but request a complimentary dessert. If your car is not serviced to your satisfaction, you ask that they continue to work until the problem is resolved.
But what do you do if poor service received is unchangeable? Irrevocable? What if something that you expected to have done properly and in order wasn't, and yet, you are still expected to remit payment in full, whether or not you were satisfied with your service? Do you refuse to pay?
Here is our quandary...and I guess, let me preface by saying that, yes, we have sought legal advice, and yes, we are taking some actions to address this situation. I'm posing the question more out of my wrestling with this on a moral level....
So here goes.
When I was taken to the hospital in October during the miscarriage of our twins, I received beyond-inferior care. Negligent and almost life-threatening care. Care that made me wish that, as horrific as the experience would have been, I'd just as soon have gone through it at home.
When I was wheeled into the emergency room, I was asked to fill out standard paperwork and "just wait" until it was my turn to be seen, regardless of the fact that I was hemorrhaging so greatly. I was losing so much blood that other waiting patients, stunned to see my life's blood spilling over the wheelchair seat and down the halls, began to panic and insist the nurses take notice. Had it not been for the fury of my father, who merely ignored the nurses' scolding and wheeled me past triage, screaming for help, I'm not sure how severe the outcome would have been. (And for the record, once we found a competent orderly to assist us, he assured my dad that he had done the right thing.)
Once I was situated in a trauma room, my care was competent. I was changed, medicated, monitored, and assessed, as best as they could, until my ob/gyn could be reached. As contractions began to intensify, the ob/gyn on call delivered Baby A. From this, she informed me she thought the pregnancy was between 8 and 9 weeks. I watched her contain Baby A, and she informed me that all tissue would be sent to the pathology lab for testing. I was sad, but relieved for this news.
About an hour later, I was informed that I would need an ultrasound to determine if I had delivered all the fetal tissue, or if I would require surgery. As my orderly wheeled me up to radiology, he informed me that he would be waiting in the hallway with Jim, and that the procedure would be quick and that the technician had been "fully appraised" of the situation, so as to make it as easy on me as possible.
In a word, no. No, it wasn't, and she hadn't been, at all. Questions that at first I tolerated as routine (i.e. "what brought you to the ER tonight?" and even "are you experiencing any bleeding?") quickly turned to "are you experiencing any pain?" and "have you passed any tissue?" I sat up on the table as best as I could, and as calmly as I could muster, said to her, "Miss, I know you are just trying to do your job, and it's late, and from the look on your face, you obviously don't want to be here, but I just delivered a nine-week fetus, so in answer to your questions, yes, yes, and yes. Now, I was informed that you were aware of this situation, and that does not appear to be the case. Am I correct?" She just looked at me blankly and then down at the chart and said, "I was just ordered to to a TV [transvaginal] ultrasound. I don't know about anything else."
I insisted that she confirm those orders before she put that wand anywhere near me, and I laid back down on that table and sobbed.
Once she returned, she did, in fact, perform the ultrasound, at which point we found Baby B. Somewhat redeemed herself by honoring my request to look, just once more, to make sure that there was no heartbeat.
I was returned to the ER, only to find my very, very angry ob/gyn yelling at the ER nurses. He eventually told me that there had been a "mix up" with my labs, and that they were refusing him an operating room to do my D&C, because, according to the blood work, I wasn't pregnant. Never mind Baby A delivered and sent to testing. Never mind Baby B still in my womb. The blood test said "not pregnant," so.... The nurses were all just standing there with blank looks on their faces.
So, they redrew the blood, and two hours later, I was laying on a gurney outside the OR. But even up until the last minute, there seemed to be confusion and chaos. Both my ob/gyn and the anesthesiologist looked upset and pensive. Thankfully, the procedure itself was quick and easy and by the next morning, I was back in the antepartum ward with a fantastic nurse. Actually -- and here is the one bright spot in this story -- the nurse I had after surgery is the same nurse that discharged us after Seth was born. And she remembered me! What a blessing Kathleen was in such a dark hour.
My recovery was relatively easy; my greatest pain afterwards was more from the intubation than anything else. I expected that once I had my follow-up appointment with my ob/gyn later that week, that we would continue to heal and move forward from this.
I knew something was wrong as soon as my doctor walked into the room at my follow up appointment. I doubted that he had pathology reports back on the babies yet, as it had only been a week, but I thought maybe he'd found something wrong with me. I resolved right there, I would do whatever he was about to tell me.
Fortunately, the path lab had not found anything wrong with me. Unfortunately, the path lab hadn't found anything. That's because they didn't test anything. That's because they lost the fetal tissue. Not only that, my doctor told me, but after he did some further investigating as a result of the "not pregnant" lab results, he'd found that my blood work had been mixed up, and that had he had to do a transfusion (which, at one point, was very likely), the results may have been fatal. He informed me that my case had been sent before a sentinel board (I'm still not entirely sure what that means), and that even the president of the health care system was aware of the severity of the case and the what-might-have-beens.
So, there, in a nutshell, is the experience we had with our last loss. No babies, and no answers as to what may have caused my body to let go of them. As I now prepare to find a new ob/gyn in TN, I wonder how far-reaching the effects of the negligent care will reach.
And I also am looking at the bills. We have received the bills from the hospital for my 24 hours of "care." It's not too bad, as far as the dollar amount; under $500, from the $18,000+. But it is the principle of it. According to them, I was "never pregnant" and without the fetal tissue there is no proof that there was a baby, so how can I be expected to pay for a miscarriage?
Anyway, we are working to resolve the billing issue. Basically, we are requesting that they waive the balance in lieu of us pursuing legal action.
But what would you do? How far can one take an expectation of good service, and are we in the right to refuse to pay?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, dear reader. And if you've made it through this whole post, I applaud you. I know it was long. Thank you for listening, as always.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
If you've gotten to this post by clicking on Jim's picture from the home page....you're probably going to be disappointed. =)
I don't yet have his "profile" post written, so, all you get are pictures of our wedding.
Know this, though. He is my Prince Charming.
One of the comments on Friday's post gets the credit for today's slide show. Some of you either attended our wedding, or at least have seen pictures, but most of you haven't, so....here you go. Most of the shots are self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, let me know? I'll be happy to chat about the day!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I thought I'd share one of our family's tips with you all this morning.
Ways to Save Money in 2009, ed. 001
Make sure your one-year-old doesn't know how to turn on the faucet in your master bath garden tub. That way, the water won't run all day long, and you'll save bundles on your utility.
I know, I know. Profound wisdom this morning. I'm sure you'll come up with some way to repay me for this brilliant insight.
Happy Saturday, interpeeps.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Joyel, me, Jana, and Jessa, spring 2003