Just My Luck

The other day, we got a ginormous bill from the RE clinic. You know,
months and months after we were lucky enough to not have to go anymore.
Since I'd recently gulped, gasped and shelled out a ton of $ for what I
thought at the time were the bulk of the not-covered-by-insurance
expenses, this bill nearly brought me to tears. I'd almost paid off the
rest of round 1, was it possible that round 2 could be even bigger?

Not fair, since we're blessed enough to have kickass insurance that
allegedly covers my RE, up to $15k lifetime total, as an in-network
provider. So it seemed a little strange that I was being charged this
ginormous amount, never mind the 20% of out-of-network charges I'd paid
with round 1.

I called the (yes, for reals) fabulously nice lady in the billing office
at the RE. Who informed me that there was recently some sort of
weirdass contract negotiations between our insurance and the RE. And
during that period, charges were being processed as out-of-network when
they shouldn't have been, and were being summarily denied during another
portion of that same period.

Guess when the bulk of our IVF took place? That's right, smack dab in
the middle of that period. The nice Explanation of Benefits I had that
said 100% of my egg retrieval was covered was sort of useless in the
face of this contract issue.

Same goes for embryo transfer day. Good thing I'd thought to keep all
of the EOBs because I had to fax them over today.

In the end, I think it'll all work out fine. God willing, I might even
end up getting a chunk of the money I paid out of pocket back. At this
point, I'm hopeful that we won't go broke paying for this stuff
(especially when it should've been covered by insurance) and that we'll
be able to resolve all of this nonsense before said baby actually
arrives. Because her birth will no doubt create a whole new stack of
bills to deal with for months on end. I'd rather focus on one insurance
battle at a time if possible.

I'll keep you posted.



1. I am absolutely unable to hold anyone else's babies right now.
2. I was a 2 week old baby the other day and was quite shocked at how
small she was. Was Val ever really that small?
3. Even though George is becoming rather active at times, is almost
(oh-so-barely) viable, and, I'm guessing, is bigger than her sister was
at this point, I still don't quite believe that we'll actually have two
kids when all is said and done.
4. I cannot listen to/read about people *deciding* not to get pregnant
right now, since the economy is so bad (though, of course it makes
perfect sense and is a very reasonable thing for fertile people to do).
Thinking of all the months we spent sitting in that fancypants waiting
room at the RE makes such notions more than I can bear.
5. We are pretty much stuck when it comes to picking a name for this
kid, due to all of the above. I worry that we'll be headed to the
hospital, I'll pluck a Seriously Lame name out of the air and the kid
will be stuck.
6. I have a feeling that the first words I speak to this child will be
'what took you so long to get here??'



So I bought a new, fancier, color-screen Sirius receiver for my Brand
New Car and made an appointment to have it installed at Best Buy, a
preferred installer.

It took an hour longer than it was supposed but whew, it was finally
done yesterday. Val and I wandered around this giant shopping center on
foot, me getting more and more tired with each step while we waited.

When I got out to the car, um, hi, dude? It's pointing at the passenger
seat and is blocking an entire a/c vent. He said, oh, hrm, do you want
to come back
and we'll try something else?

No, not really since I'm not real pleased with this. But I've paid
already so I'm sorta locked in.

This morning, I called as soon as they opened (oh, how this makes me
feel like I'm becoming my mother) and spoke with the manager. Install
round 2 is set for Sunday and will be done by the Senior Installer.
Fine, great, progress. And I have Howard S.tern in the car now, even if
I can't reach the radio to change channels.

Later, I notice that now my CD changer doesn't work. Mind you, the car
is now 3 days old. Gah! I called again and had this latest malady
added to the list.

It's all I can do to just have faith that install #2 will go better.
But it's proving to be pretty hard.

That said, so far I'm really liking the car. The sliding door makes
putting Val into her seat easier and it's pretty zippy overall.

I hope that many moons from now, I'll have forgotten about what a pain
in the ass it was to get the Sirius installed in there.


It's Starting To Sink In

We're going to have two kids. For real.

Makes me a little breathless just to consider it.



I've been looking for a bigger car for a while. I realized that my
little Mazda 3 was really not sufficiently large enough to hold 2 kids +
hockey gear + the new ginormous fancypants stroller let alone an
additional adult at the same time. But, I so did not want a van.

Not because of any perceived hipness lost as a result of driving a van,
but because all the vans I like/could live with are waaaaay more money
than I ever see myself shelling out for a car. And they're really
bigger than I'd like.

So we've looked at the Scion xb, the VW Routan (which, fyi, is not
actually a VW, it's a fucking Dodge. No, not joking.) and a couple of
cars I seem to be blocking out. But nothing seemed just right - too
big, too small, too expensive.

Yesterday, we were at a party and found ourselves peeking in the windows
of our friend's Mazda 5. And though I'm not mad for the style of the
outside of the thing, it has everything I was hoping for - extra seats
for more adults if we need them, a/c in the back for the kids (kids!
Holy shit, I think we're actually, finally, miraculously,
brought-to-you-by-the-miracle-of-modern-science, going to have 2 kids),
more room than my squishy-but-charming Mazda 3 and bonus of all bonii,
rear doors that slide open like a van. Without actually being a van.

Today, I drove the thing and dontcha know, it drives great. Pretty
zippy and sooo spacious inside. The 6 seats can be configured in all
kinds of ways - up, down, out of the way. There are top tethers for
carseats in all 4 rear seats (lower LATCH anchors on 2 of the seats).
The one I drove just happened to have all of the shit I like - CD
changer, sunroof and well, that's kinda it.

So I made a decent offer and through a series of polite but firm
negotiations, wound my way down to a pretty fucking fantastic deal. I
installed the True Fit (which, really, I can't stand but keeps my
long-legged girl rear-facing comfortable for a while longer) and we
headed out.

The biggest compromise of all is that it's an automatic. Yes, for the
first time in my adult life, I'll have a grownup transmission. But I
knew that was sort of inevitable so I was prepared. Doesn't mean I'm

Everything else is so right about it that I'll survive.

I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get my Si.rius radio
out so I just left the harness thing in and went to Best Buy and bought
myself the model with the colored screen I'd been eyeing. Installation
is Tuesday night so I'll have to live without Howard until then.

So far, so good. I left the 3 there at the dealer, full of puffs and
cracker crumbs. Didn't even look back.


Go Figure, I'm Right

My correctness was bound to happen sometime. And it seems to have
happened now, at least in a way that matters to me.

After listening to my muted rant about not not not wanting to schedule a
c-section for any date prior to 39+ weeks, my dad stumbled onto an
article in his local paper about just that. Turns out that doctors,
hospitals and insurance companies have started to realize that
delivering babies earlier has a direct correlation to increased NICU
time and in turn, higher bills for insurance companies to pay.

So in my hometown, anyway, there's a new initiative between doctors and
hospital to not deliver babies much before their due dates if not
medically necessary.

It remains my most sincere hope that George makes her arrival on her own
time, somewhere around 39+ weeks. My OB is still listening to me about
this so I'm hopeful that it'll all go as close to plan as possible.


Ah, Yes

As of this week, I'm finally starting to look pregnant. It's starting
to seem real.



I don't remember being this lost about a name for Val at this point in
my pregnancy with her. Maybe we were and I've just blocked it out.

I feel like we hit the name jackpot with her - a name everyone knows but
isn't used by every kid at school. The one nickname, we like and boy
does it suit her.

How the hell are we going to do that well again??


Ohio Tour 2009

It seems that I've managed to make my trips here into an annual event.
When my Grandma was alive and I had a better job, I'd come several times
a year. But now, without her to pull me back, I'm less inclined.

Last year, I wore myself out carting Val around hither and yon. We went
to the zoo! We saw Things! This year, pregnant and possibly a little
smarter, I cut out much of that. We saw Grandma, we ate meals (after
the 1st day, when neither of us ate or drank enough and I tried not to
grow alarmed at the cramping I started to feel or at the lack of time
between events that day that seemed to prevent me from getting water
when I really needed it), we saw Great-Grandma and Grandpa's house, we
ate more decent meals, we went to the frigid cold boring pools of my
hometown, we saw Amfam and we went shopping twice.

All of these things, we did in small doses. 2 hours or less at a shot.
No schlepping around the zoo or feeling tired the instant I walked into
a kid's museum. So yeah, we missed the Sights but I'm going into our
flights home a lot less wiped out than last year. And I'm pretty sure
Val's overall satisfaction with the trip remains high.

She's visited so many places and met so many people that she's mixing
them up. She's seen (and I think, charmed) almost everyone I have a
connection to here. She's also been kind enough to personally reveal
the following news:

She's going to have a baby sister.

We could not be more thrilled. We also could not be more lost when it
comes to names. At least we have all the correctly-gendered gear.

I've bought a few things for wee George so far but not enough as to be
accused of hubris, no, just a few things. Some tiny red pants, 3 cloth
diaper covers instead of the 8 that the cloth diaper experts suggest
makes a full set. A long-sleeved pink onesie. Some pottery barn kids
washcloths since all of Val's are now nas-tee. The girls (!) can share

I picked out the sling I'd like, I'm guessing it'll be a very helpful
thing, what with nursing a newborn girl (!) and chasing after her (!)
big sister. This I did at a lovely store called Sprout Soup. If you're
in town and need stuff, go there. They have it, they know their organic
type baby gear and they're Very Nice.


Travel Highlights

Val and I braved the airports today and made our way to Ohio. Here are
some highlights:
- getting to the airport 45 minutes before our flight, then being told
by the gate agent to get there earlier, 45 minutes before flights. Um,
- breezing through the longest security line ever and just making it
onto the plane. So we could taxi 10 minutes early and sit at the end of
the runway, waiting for the 6:30 am clearance to go.
- Val asking me if all these people were going to Grandma's house as we
boarded the final flight.

We made it here in one piece. Now I must sleep.


I Must Confess

I'm eating so many Lucky Charms these days that George is likely to
emerge as a wee half-Chinese leprechaun.