Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The $9.95 Breakdown

You know those little annoyances in life that you could totally do without? The ones where you are at your breaking point anyway. You are holding on for dear life, trying to keep your head above water  and then something out of your control comes along and knocks you down that last peg?

This is one of those stories...

Our mortgage was transfered. Not because we requested it or tried to refinance or something. It was just sold to another company.

In nearly 10 years of "owning" this house, our loan has been transfered 3-4 times. Each time a new company with a new set of rules, new due date, new fees...This time, though, the mortgage company has ridiculous fees to pay my bill. Yes you read that right, No Matter How I Pay My Mortgage, They Charge a Fee. I called to pay over the phone - after hanging out with a lovely lady, forever. (She had to get us all registered in the new system) I was told it would be $20 to pay by phone. $20 and that was the cheapest option she could give me!! I bit my tongue and paid it that one time. Asking of course if there were other cheaper ways to pay in the future. She assured me there were.

Fast forward to June. I was told by that lovely lady that we would receive all of our new loan information by June 1st and we would be able to login, on the internet. Which would carry no charge for payments.

Great. The loan payment was due by June 10th. I received our new loan information June 17th.

That's okay, I remember the lady saying there would be no late charges or additional fees for the first couple months as everyone got settled into the new system. No worries, I will get it all figured out just as soon as I have a few extra minutes.

So, this is where I was at when I had an extra minute...After a very long couple of weeks of IB deadlines, a 4 day-physically demanding fundraiser, 3 children, still healing from knee surgery, complete with physical therapy appointments and of course the thoughts looming over Ian's health and upcoming surgery. To top it all off, my husband gets a call from work saying It has hit the fan. Not by his fault by any means, but he would need to help fix some things while still working on his original deadline. Which means long(er) nights, little(er) sleep, children that still wake up at 6:30 and more stress all by itself, than most people can handle without flipping out...

...After all that, I went to pay my bill...online...for free.

As I get to the site I see there are several payment options. Multiple ways to pay through Western Union, Auto Draft, Money Gram and something called Equity Accelerators. Now that sounded interesting! I could pay off my loan quicker with BI-weekly payments and no monthly fees! How could that be any better? So the next day I call to inquire about that option :)

After another painfully long conversation  where my name is read back to me as "Morsac" even though  I have carefully spelled it out twice. We finally get down to business and I am ready to sign up and make my payment! At - this - point I am informed that there will be a small, tiny really, one time sign up fee of $295. That they will kindly take out the next time we have a 3 paycheck month.

Are they serious?? Nearly $300 to sign up for a program to PAY my mortgage? How is it okay to charge people to PAY their bill??

Do you remember, years back when Taco Bell tried to charge people a fee to use their debit cards? Here in Bloomington it was something like 75 cents on top of your bill.

People got angry. They can't do that anymore!

Anyway, Since we are attempting to sell that home, I went ahead and opted out at that point. Choosing to go back to the online payment options. The least expensive being Western Unions "Web Payment" option.

The fee? $9.95 each month...I had no choice.

After pushing Enter on the payment, the world crashed down on top of me.

All I wanted to do was pay for my mortgage, like I have every month for the past 10 years. Faithfully. Just pay it. As easily and least expensive as possible.

Is $9.95 a lot of money? No, It's not.

But why, why after everything else that happens in our life on a daily basis, why did our mortgage get transfered? Why are there new numbers and login information that I have to remember? Why do I have to pay an additional $9.95 a month, indefinitely, to PAY my loan?

So I cried. Maybe a lot. Stomped my feet a bit and wrote some nasty feedback which the company will probably never read because they have a crappy website that gave me an error code when I submitted my well worded message.


Ladies and Gentlemen, that is the story of the $9.95 Breakdown. Please stay tuned for the follow up rant entitled "What I could have done with that $9.95"

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So...I didn't totally fail Father's Day

*Disclaimer: The title of this blog would have been much different, if not for my Best Friend, Alicia. She is one of a kind and I am not worthy of the time she lovingly puts into my family.   Muchas Gracias Amiga! 

So...I nearly failed Father's Day! It was the Friday evening before the big day and the only thing in our house that even pointed out a holiday on the horizon was the calendar (which I rarely have time to consult.) I hadn't bought a card telling my husband he was the best dad ever; There wasn't a single thing for him to open and I had no plans to change that.

Not because he doesn't deserve it. He does, truly. I could not have picked a better father for my children. He loves them and genuinely wants to spend as much time as he can with all of us. I can leave for extended periods, knowing he will take care of the Tinies (nearly) as well as I would! He is a great man and deserves the moon.

Also, it is not because I am a "bad" wife. I would say there is never a day I rank under "decent"...

It just surprises me how quickly time passes. As soon as I get one thing on my to do list crossed off, it is already to late to plan for the next.

This is where my Best Friend comes in! 

See if you would call a good friend a couple days before a holiday and tell them you have failed. They would probably say something like "It is okay, James knows you love him and that he is a good dad. He doesn't need you to get him a present." Which is all true. Life surely would have gone on, had I neglected my wifely/motherly duties this one time.

However, when I went to text my best friend, this was the conversation that took place:

Me: I have failed Father's Day.
Alicia: How do you fail something that hasn't even happened yet?
Me: Well, I don't have a present and have no plans to change that.
Waiting for a response...
Me: I should go out and get him something right?
Still waiting for a response...
Me: I should probably go right now, what are you up to tonight?
Alicia: Changing my clothes and wondering what store I should meet you at.

So we went. But just wait. Her awesomeness does not end there! She continued to be a great asset once we reached our Present Finding Destination!

Once inside James' favorite store, J.L Waters, I was having a hard time finding something that he would like. ...Well okay, I found several things he would like; Several things he has mentioned could be useful. Like a...

A giant tent.
A new pair of Keens.
A $400 "drop me in the middle of nowhere for a month and I will be fine" backpack.

Just nothing within our price range that he would truly love.

It was crunch time - The store was closing, the polite salesmen were trying to hurry us up a bit. We were 3/4 the way through the store and all I have is a bag to put this future, hypothetical present in...

Out of the blue, Alicia says all nonchalantly "There's a hammock. James likes hammocks."

OMGoodness to Pete, does James like hammocks! He says how much he would use one every other week or so. Annnnd they just happen to have it in his favorite color - Burnt Orange.

The Father's Day Hammock of 2013

All-in-All it worked out. 

The husband is happy, the children are happy and I didn't fail 
Father's Day. 

In the words of my BFF Alicia "I frickin' love Happy Endings!"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Chat with Mommy

Since Dillion was born we have a tradition. Every night at dinner we go around the table and say what we are thankful for that day. It is a great way to get everyone settled down. Get them into dinner mode and out of crazy kid mode! Something like "I'm thankful we got to watch a movie today" Or "I'm thankful I didn't get in time out" Or "I'm thankful Lily helped me today!"

When the kids are tiny we answer for them. Like when 4 month old Ian would insist on me holding him during dinner. At his turn everyone would chime in "Ian is thankful for mommy!"

Very true.

Then as the children get older the answers really start to take life and it is amazing to see what they come up with each day.

So if you have been following along you know that I have been down with knee surgery recently. I was taking pain meds pretty regular for a couple days. I was not able to put forth the full mommy effort that my kids need. However, over the weekend I was feeling much better and James left me home with just Dill for a bit while he ran to the store with Uno and Tres.

What did The Dill and I do? We talked. Simple as that. He told me stories and I listened. He asked questioned and I answered them.

4 year olds have a lot of questions and I missed out on them while I was sleeping off the surgery. He asked me everything from why are the walls cream colored to why do we have nipples. I answered everything to the best of my ability. We had the best time just chatting for about 45 minutes straight.

45 minutes well spent, that I will never forget! And neither will he.

As we sat down for dinner that night, Dill was tired and very resistant to taking a seat to participate. However, once he was coaxed into his chair, he thought for just a moment, his eyes got big, fixed on me. And he said "I am thankful mommy talked to me today!" His eyes were smiling so big as he said those 8 simple words.

And instead of feeling like a crap mom because I hadn't been awake and interacting with my kids for 4 days straight, I felt on top of the world! All I had to do was sit this tiny 4.5 year old boy on my lap, talk and listen. At the end of the day that is what really makes the impact. Not the blistering hot hours spent at the park where he seemed to have so much fun. Or the hour I let him watch his favorite Netflix show.

All children really want is our undivided attention for a short period to let them know that they are special! Just a few minutes spent talking about what is important to them. Even though he is small, there is so much going on in his beautiful, unique brain!

From that day forward, No matter what else happens, I will devote a tiny bit each day to that cuddled up chat time with my children. In the end, that is what they really remember!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

They Wanna Make Me Go To Rehab...

So I feel there were some things glossed over before my knee surgery.

1. "You will be on crutches like one day." Says The Doctor. Day 6 here and I am just now able to do anything more than hobble to the bathroom without crutches.  

2. The thought that I would be in less pain...It is possible that since this is the 3rd surgery on this knee  that I am taking longer to heal. Not sure, but I am still in a world of hurt.  

3. I got a call Thursday saying I would need to pick out a rehab facility. Now wait a second! Rehab makes me think a couple things - $$$ and Time. Things that I really can't spare. I remember the Dr saying I would need rehab if I did the major knee surgery, but there was no mention of it for this time around. Ugh.  - Pretty ready to be done with all of this.

Suggestions for a rehab center would be appreciated. I have never been to one before so I am turning to you all...

Where have you been? Did you like it? Would you recommend your rehab facility to a friend? 

PS. It is a surprise with the amount of pain pills they give you after surgery that more people don't end up needing a different kind of rehab! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

30 Day Abs!

I had some requests after my post last night from people wanting to know more about the 30-Day AB Challenge. So here it is. Feel free to join us! Just start at Day 1 and every day do just what the calendar says.

Easy as that! Let me know if you are going to participate and what your results are at the end!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's be done with these surgeries already!

Surgery #2 is out of the way! It was actually pretty quick and relatively low on the pain scale. The surgery center had us out the door 2 hours and 15 minutes after I went back for the procedure. And so far the pain has only been a "6" out of 10.  On a typical day my knee is about a "4-5" on the pain scale anyway, so not to much difference. (Update, I wrote most of this yesterday and since then the pain has gone to a "9" at times, especially when I woke up this morning. Thank goodness for pain meds!)

Recovery is going to be super quick I think, the hardest part is not being able to do my fair share around the house. I hate sitting on the couch looking at something that needs to be done or hearing one of the kids ask for a drink and not being able to jump up to get it for them. Even if  could jump up to get it, I wouldn't be able to carry it because of these oh-so-fun crutches! Oh well, next week the kids will be out of school for the summer and I should be better than normal. So we will be able to enjoy an active, fun filled summer break!

In related news, James talked to the orthopedic Dr after surgery and he said fingers crossed for no additional surgeries. We should know more after my post op appointment next week. And then he wants me to give it a couple weeks to walk around and see if the pain comes back. If not, then I am done! That would be amazing! I was thinking maybe 6 weeks of healing time from the next surgery would be doable. But after 2 days of not being mobile I am over it already! 6 weeks would be bad for my mental health for sure!

Moving on, in exercise news, I did a 15 minute High Intensity Interval Training video yesterday before surgery. Then I thought it would be a great idea to take a lap around the circle we live on last night, it is a 1/4 mile. Now my upper body is super sore from using the crutches in addition to my leg already being sore. (I don't think my leg was made any worse from the walk, it was really just along for the ride.) My goal for today was 1/2 a mile. I highly doubt that is happening. Oh and I am also doing a 30 day AB challenge with some girls on FB. It has a calendar with little things to do each day. Then by the end of the 30 days you are able to do 125 sit up, 200 crunches, 65 leg raise and a 120 second plank. So far so good!

Finally, my biopsy from surgery last week came back and it was bengin as we had hoped! Also the gene tests came back and I do NOT carry the cancer gene. So that is all amazing news! I could not be happier to hear both of those things! I know that it doesn't mean I have no chance of getting cancer, but a normal risk of 12% is a lot better than a cancer gene risk of 87%! Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and kid care assistance you have offered up recently. It is truly appreciated!

So ending today happy as always :)

Yours Truly,
The Pain Meds

Sunday, May 26, 2013

One less problem!

Good Afternoon Everyone and thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during my surgery last week! The whole experience went really well. The Doctor said she expects the pathology report to come back negative. (So no cancer!) And hopefully that will be the last time she operates on me!

The only hiccup all day was the IV, I hate those things and the burning medicine they put through them. So that has made me a little nervous for the surgery next week. However, I am very happy that the bothersome little problem is now gone and I can feel a little more normal :-) I am sure I will be happy when my knee is taken care of as well!

So a few weeks ago I had a MRI of my knee. It showed a couple issues. Tuesday morning at 6:30 I go to the surgery center to prep for a quick knee surgery. The Doctor will be fixing something in my knee called a Discoid Meniscus. It is just a little anomaly that is causing my knee to "catch" a lot. A nuisance that will be great to not have anymore! Also he will be looking around with a scope to see how to best fix a cyst that has formed deep in my knee. Right now he is thinking that towards the end of summer I will have a second surgery. They will take a piece of cadaver bone and use that to replace the part of my knee that the cyst is taking up. The healing time from the first surgery should be just a couple of days. However, the second surgery will be more like 6 weeks on crutches. Eek! I can not imagine being off my feet that long!

I am hoping to be in better shape by the time the second surgery takes place! To prepare I am keeping up with my daily 5:30 exercise and have started using an app to track my calories. That has been eye opening to say the least. It has forced me to measure things out and actually be concerned with serving sizes. I am only on day 4, but I have already dropped a quick 6lbs just by using accurate portions! If I can keep all of this up I should be about 20lbs lighter by the time end of summer comes around. Just losing weight alone will help with my knees, but combine that with fixing the internal issues...and I will be ready to run my first 5K by next Spring!

Hope everyone is having a great 3 day weekend!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surgery Day #1

Woke up this morning and did my 5:30am workout. Trying to pretend like it is any other day so I don't get nervous. The only thing missing so far was my big glass of water because I was told not to eat or drink after midnight. James and I have to be in Greenwood this morning at 9:45 to prep for the procedure, by the time the actual surgery starts I should be starving!

So what is being done and why?? I found a lump in the scariest of places for a women, 5 years ago when I was pregnant with Dillion. My OBGYN checked it out and said it needed further testing. I was sent for a biopsy which came back normal and I was told that unless it got really painful or larger to just ignore it. Well for about the last 6 months it has become increasingly painful. The kids are always climbing on me and it gets bumped and squished a lot. Not to mention, it is 2.7cm (about an inch) long at this point and just needs to be gone! My plan is to feel as good as I can day in and day out! This uncomfortable little lump is not fitting into that plan.

About a month ago I went to my family doctor to set my plan into motion! We discussed a few issues I am having and she set me on the path to getting them fixed. My options for the lump were to stay here in Bloomington and she would send me to a general surgeon who would just take it out and be done. Or she could send me to Greenwood to a breast specialist who would really look into it. As well as look into any possible genetic disposition I have to breast cancer. I chose the second option because I don't want any feeling of "could I have done more" in my life. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32, which is very young. So there is a good possibility she had some kind of genetic predisposition which could have been passed onto me. If I have "the cancer gene" I want to know about it so I can be proactive and not just sit around and wait for it to be my turn. So I had the gene testing done and it was sent off nearly two weeks ago. I should have the results late this week or early next. And honestly I wouldn't say I am nervous about that either. There is so much going on right now that I don't have time to sit and think about the "what ifs" Which is a good thing! I am just getting as much done each day as I can, eating healthy and trying to get some weight off so I feel better all around.

My expectations for today...I imagine it will be very uneventful. Okay, I hope it will be uneventful! It should just be a lot of me and James sitting around waiting for things to happen. Then I will get to take a nice afternoon nap and wake up with one less problem to deal with :) It all sounds gravy to me!

Keep us in your thoughts today if you would. Little Ian has a slight fever and I hate to leave him. But I know he will be in good hand with his Grandma Marsha. Oh goodness, she is probably going to need more thoughts and prayers than the rest of us today! Two lovely little boys for 7+hours with 11 meds to give during that time. I think she will sleep well tonight :)

Have a Lovely Day Everyone!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Health for Life!

Dear Friends and Fellow Bloggers!

Time to start up the old blog again! It has been right at 3 years since I made a post here on Documentations On Life. Documenting isn't exactly something I have a lot of time for anymore...However, it is important to me to make time for this! I love looking back at the blog from years ago and remembering so clearly what things were like then, bringing back the same emotions I felt then! Plus I have recently recommitted myself to being healthy and I want to remember this journey. So I am making the time with hopes that this blog will inspire someone else to change their life for the better as well!

Over the next few months I am going to be posting about some life changing measures I am taking to improve mine and my families life's. Measures that will make us all healthier as well as happier! Currently there are 3 surgeries "on the books" for our family this year with at least one more likely to be added. I have started a new exercise program that I am very excited about! And of course I will be posting about our constant search for healthier foods and ways to live our life's!

So why am I doing all this? Why am I "voluntarily" going to the trouble and expense of doctor appointments and surgeries? Well, because as you all probably know I lost my mother 3 years and 1 month ago today. She was in failing health...well really all my life. I do not ever remember my mother without a limp, eventually going to crutches and for the last 8 years of her life a wheelchair. When I recently asked a team of doctors about how a certain disease I have would progress they told me that the best way to find out is to look to my mother's health. Well that of course scared me pretty good! She was so young when she died and was in so much pain for so many years. That is not the way I want my life to go, so I am taking matters into my own hands. I am addressing each problem I have and fixing them as quickly as possible!

The first problem I am addressing is an ongoing pain in my left knee. It has been there for at least a year and a half and I am so ready for it to be gone! Then a mass in my right breast which I found about 5 years ago when pregnant with Dillion. Then of course my weight. I have been overweight for longer than I can remember, truly. From pictures it looks like around the time I was 5 I started to really chunk up. It is time to conquer this problem and put it behind me for good!

Each of these problems will come with it's own blog or two in the coming weeks. So I hope you will stick with me and read about my journey. I could really use the help with you all keeping me accountable! Feel free to comment so we can chat about how things are progressing!

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: All blogs will be written with 2 young boys pulling on my arm or at the end of the night when I am only half sane. So bear with me and any ramblings that don't quite compute  :-)