Category Archives: Ordinary Life

It would be easier to come up with titles if I could stay on topic…

I love a good sunburn with such ridiculous lines, that most of my wardrobe will fail to hide my stupidity. But rather than take responsibility for my failure to apply sunscreen anywhere but my face, I will instead blame the organizers of the annual Miller Lite Chili Cookoff for moving it from the tree-filled shady location at Stone Mountain Park to the the black asphalt parking lots of Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. No trees. Just asphalt. I will give them credit for a larger space that made it easier to walk around, but I’ll push people out of the way if it means the return to the sheltered haven by the park.

We like to go every year, but we missed last year–the final year at Stone Mountain–for a most hilarious reason. My mom went to the ER. Yes, I just referred to my mom going to the ER as hilarious. You read that right. Ok, it wasn’t hilarious at the time–at least not for a few hours–but it’s an interesting story. It had been a stressful few months with Connor’s time in the NICU and diagnosis, and that morning, another stressful issue (nothing to do with Connor or us) came to light. I called and talked to my mom about it that morning. About an hour and a half later, we arrived at my parent’s house to drop Connor off. This was the first time we had ever come over that my mom didn’t come out to meet us at the car (something I often like to point out she never did when it was just me coming over). When she finally came downstairs, she looked surprised to see us. “What are you doing here?” I thought she was joking. I reminded her they were babysitting while we went to the cook off. “Did I know about this?” she asked, confused.

Forgetting Connor was coming over? Yeah right. Something is weird. She usually only blocks out memories that involve me as a teenager. She looks at Connor and says, “Oh, aren’t you cute,” in a way that indicates this is some random baby mysteriously propped in a chair in her sunroom. My dad and I look at each other. Then she asks why we’re there again. And when we answer her, she clearly doesn’t remember that we just told her. She also can’t remember what she had for breakfast, where they went for breakfast or what neighbors they ran into while they were there. She’s asking the same questions over and over, and clearly isn’t forming any new memories. And me? Great. I realize when I called her that morning I gave my mom a freakin’ stroke.

So rather than downing 900 samples of chili, we head to the ER. My mom keeps asking us the same questions over and over. She’s on a repetitive loop. Then she declares, “I’ve had a stroke! Self-diagnosis for you!” She repeated that roughly 647 times by the time we reached the hospital, and thought she was figuring it out for the first time every time. Once we reached the hospital, since she wasn’t able to retain new memories, she kept thinking she just woke up there and continued asking the same questions. It was the weirdest thing because she was looping like a tape recorder. Same comments and questions, same intonations, same jokes. Blood pressure was off the charts. Scans, an MRI, and a few hours of me battling the urge to video this insanity with my phone, and they come back with an answer. No stroke. In fact, everything looks great. Diagnosis: transient global amnesia. Lasts roughly 24-hours and can be caused by a stressful event. She will completely recover, and it is unlikely to reoccur. It is also extremely rare. Yay us and our predilection for weird rare medical crap. It’s particularly weird because though you forget a big chunk of time and events, you don’t forget the basics, who you are and the basics of your life. So sadly, I was unsuccessful in convincing her she had promised to gift us $25,000 and turn over the keys to her ’66 Mustang.

So then the rest of the day could be spent repeating what was wrong with her when she would ask every three minutes. “Well that will teach you to call and give me bad news again!” I heard that 87 times before we left the hospital. At this point I was embracing the hilarity of the situation since I knew I hadn’t caused irreversible damage to my mother’s head. Regrettably, I did not record her at all. Though you can find YouTube videos of other people with this, and they pretty much sound the same. Hilarious that is. Especially hilarious, since she was going home with my dad who would have to field the questions for the next several hours. I did write a bunch of stuff down in a notebook though so my dad could tell her to read it when she looped.

Some people will do anything to get out of babysitting.

We’re pretty settled in the new house at this point. The dining room is still a mess, but pretty much everything else is in place. Chris has informed me he will not be meeting my two-month deadline to paint the entire house. He seems to think a year is more appropriate estimate for completing all the rooms. “But Becky,” as my friend Cat said, shaking her head “you stay home. Can’t you paint?” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Have you met my husband? I paint like I vacuum, it would seem. Willy nilly without leaving straight lines. I am but a hander-upper of necessary supplies.

Connor now has his very own playroom downstairs. It is chock full of fun and goodies for him, and secured so I can get stuff done. So what does he do?

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How am I supposed to get stuff done when he looks at me like that?!

Then his favorite toy, his jumperoo, finally gave out after extended use past the weight limit. It was a sad day. This is how he uses it now:

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I also decided the room I initially chose to be his was too small, so Chris got the honor of disassembling the crib again to move it. I’m delightful to live with.

Connor recently had a 30-minute EEG at his neurologist’s office, just to check in on the general state of things. Lo and behold, he actually had a seizure on it. Seizures are famous for not cooperating with EEGs, so getting one on a 30-minute test! Whoa. His neuro now believes what we have been seeing are complex-partials, pretty much what we’ve always battled, aside from infantile spasms. They are decreasing since putting him back on vigabatrin and hopefully we’ll get the just-right doses of vigabatrin and Onfi soon. He had his first ERG in quite some time on Friday. I’m not sure if he’s planning to be Miley Cyrus for Halloween or if he’s expressing his distaste for the boring peach-colored gown (where are my rockets?!).

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I’m still on my fruitless quest to get a detailed report from Boston on his MRI back in August. We have the basic results of no growth, but we’re also supposed to find out how many tubers, SENs and specific locations. So I will continue on my 9,000 phone calls quest that every person who deals with a medical issue knows so well. Why does everything have to be so hard with hospitals, pharmacies, insurance, doctors… The only doctor’s office that I feel comfortable with response time is his neurologist. But I have to play games with:

the hospital in Atlanta

now apparently the hospital in Boston (which saddens me cuz I gave them props earlier this year)

insurance

the ophthalmologist

the pediatrician

the mail order pharmacy

I hate when I like a doctor, but staff makes life hard.

My parents just adopted two kittens, and they seem even more fascinated by Connor than he is with them. And he loves kitties.

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Sunday was my birthday. A lot has happened in my 23 years. (Shut. It.) Pretty mellow affair that started with brunch with Chris and my sister-in-law Donna and dinner at my parents. It ended festively while I was in the shower that night and heard Chris yelling “Becky!” Oh my god. This is it. We’re going to the ER. Connor must be having a status seizure–something we’ve never had to deal with. I run down in my towel…nope. He vomited. Everywhere. On himself. On Chris. On the floor. On the new couch. So emergency bath time and snuggling. He was fine. Fortunately it was only once and he was perfectly fine before and after. Which makes me wonder if this is the stomach of a toddler issue or a vomit seizure. Either way, he’s great now and expending his energy on keeping me from doing vomit laundry.

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At least he’s helping spread Halloween spirit.

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If you need me, I’ll be following doctor’s order somewhere:

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My sister-in-law knows how seriously I take my health so she gave me this bracelet for my birthday:

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Happy anniversary to my parents!

Reminder:

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Informational meeting on financial planning for your special needs child this week! Wills, estate planning, a chance to ask questions, etc.

Thursday, October 10 at 7:00pm
Mount Vernon Baptist Church 850 Mt. Vernon Hwy NW Sandy Springs, GA 30327
Please RSVP to me at pin.the.map@gmail.com.
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Nobody is falling for this Xfinity garbage. We still know you’re Comcast and that you don’t know what you’re doing.

Nothing bonds people like mutual hatred. Perhaps a sad fact of human nature, but true. Whether it be a co-worker or a business entity, lifetime relationships can be built. In fact, 15 years later (ermagherd, when did that happen) I fondly recall the cold, unfriendly girl that lived in one of the single rooms on our dorm hall. She came and went, acting as if the rest of us didn’t exist. Her room happened to be painted purple, therefore she was dubbed “purple room girl.” That was the first bonding activity — talking about how rude and weird she was — amongst me and several girls I’m still friends with today. One-by-one, girls wandered out of their rooms to share an anecdote of how “purple room girl” gave them a death stare for brushing their teeth too loud. Okay maybe hatred is strong word…I didn’t hate her. She just made me uncomfortable. That is, until she left her alarm set for 2 a.m. one weekend while she was off with her equally creepy and unfriendly boyfriend. It blasted through the walls until I finally had to get the RA on duty to go in and shut it off. Then I hated her, and I think he did, too.

I love that at least once a week, someone finds my blog by Googling “Accredo complaints” or “Accredo pharmacy sucks.” More bonding.

So now let us bond over a mutual hatred of Comcast! Here, I’ll start.

We recently moved (why am I blogging about Comcast, when you want to hear about Connor and the new house? It’s coming soon, I promise). Chris is the only person I know who had nice things to say about them. No matter how many people I know that have it, he is the only one that would defend them. But they finally broke him.

First, the company that is famous for not coming out as quickly as you need them, shut off our cable early. Yes, Comcast, we actually wanted cable for the entire duration of living there. Since when are you early?

When Chris set up the transfer, he was told we could move the boxes ourselves if we wanted. They would have the cable already turned on for us. Guess what? It wasn’t. After 45 minutes on the phone the Friday evening we moved in, a couple things were established. One is that when he set up the transfer, the person who did it was supposed to transfer all the box numbers to the new house. So Chris read them all off and they were — supposedly — transferred that night. But when the cable continued to not work, the person on the phone figured the person never came out to turn it on. Shouldn’t who got dispatched and whether they did their job be documented? Then they couldn’t even get us someone the next day, though THEY screwed up. Not until Sunday. Chris missed the start of college football, and that’s when his Comcast spirit started to die.

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So when they got here on Sunday — oh hahahahahahahahaha! — I kid. Nobody showed up Sunday.  And when we called again, there was no record of any move/change of address apparent to the person on the phone. This is after we spent an hour waiting on hold before we gave up, then had to call back, then wait several hours for a callback. They couldn’t see where anyone had ever been assigned to come out. An entire football weekend gone. It’s clear at this point that there is no way we will see the final episodes of Big Brother, Dexter, the premieres of Mindy project or New Girl, or any of our other shows for the foreseeable future. My husband is wilting before my eyes without syndicated “Big Bang Theory” episodes, I’m horrified that I won’t be able to live status update about how this year’s BB winner was a floater and Connor is debating giving up his dream of curing cancer without the tutelage of Sid the Science Kid.

The person on the phone wants to solve the problem by setting up another appointment that presumably nobody will show up for (Dr. Phil taught me that you teach people how to treat you) so thankfully, finally Chris cuts her off with, “clearly you don’t want my business, so how about we just cancel the whole account.”

And so our relationship with Comcast was done. Oh, wait. Not yet.

Next we receive a bill of $1400 for all the unreturned equipment. We had already turned it in as soon as we cancelled, but what killed me was this bill was sent BEFORE all the issues and cancellation. They told us to move it, then they BILLED US FOR IT!

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Then we were done. Oh, nope! Not yet!

Next we receive a bill for the next month because they have started a new account for us (with Chris’s name spelled wrong–two s’s, really?) AT THE OLD ADDRESS.

I don’t dare to presume it’s over. I can only hope. When I write my e-mail complaint to the powers that be, I think I will merely send the link to this entry, rather than waste more of my time. It’s not like they’ll care. If they did, when you follow the Twitter and FB hashtags for #Comcast, you wouldn’t find an endless stream of complaints ABOUT THE SAME THINGS.

Also, hiring staff to monitor Twitter for complaints who claim to want to help, directing people to e-mail the ComcastCares address, claiming that executives will review the issue? Good one. Nobody responds from that address, in case anyone is out there waiting for an answer. But at least you can maybe a fake a few people out on Twitter, with a campaign to create the illusion of giving a crap.

And, oh my, I had no idea that Comcast does security systems! I imagine it works a little something like this: “Hello, I’d like to report an intruder stabbing me.” “One moment please. This security system should be available shortly. Ref Code: FUcustomerNobodyHereCares.”

Now you go! Let’s bond! Comment with your worst Comcast experience! Maybe they’ll read your complaint, too. Okay, obviously I’m being ridiculous, but it just feels so good to vent. Come on, everyone. Let purple room girl have it!

Why is Michael Bolton messing with my life?

Why does life have to be so damn frustrating? You know how everything just fell into place with selling the house? Of course it couldn’t be that simple. Also, I’m really struggling not to drop an F bomb in every sentence today.

Everything was going along swimmingly until Michael Bolton showed up at my house. Well, at least some guy trying to look like the 1989 version of him, hair and all. The appraiser of our current property. After a few days of him dragging to turn it in, we all had the distinct feeling he wasn’t going to meet the sale price. We began to prepare for the possibility that we needed to make some more cash appear on our money tree in the backyard. We threw around some figures that it might be. None of those figures was as high as $20,000, but indeed, that is how much he undervalued our house by.

So now everything is a mess. A mess for the people buying our house, for us, for the people whose house we are buying, and the people whose house they are buying. Good old Michael Bolton wannabe has jacked all of us up big time.

Our realtor is fighting the appraisal. Especially since he used a pending sale as a comp (a comp has to be closed) and he did not use one property from the Autumn Lake neighborhood (remember the one I complained about stealing all our buyers because they have the same builder and floor plans and are right behind us?) He is ignoring her at this point and she’s talking to the supervisor. But if we can’t get this one adjusted, we have to get another appraisal, which ain’t free, plus, now we are looking at major time restraints, which mean that to continue we must reschedule the inspection of our new house that we cancelled for fear we’d be paying for it for nothing. We will have to do it without knowing if a second appraisal will do us one damn bit of good.

Basically, I’m making the call to potentially flush more money down the toilet that could go into fixing up our current house if this blows up in my face. My anxiety has me feeling like I could throw up. We’re both frustrated, and Chris is at the point of just wanting to fix this house up. But I can’t let go of the fact that if we can make this work, I think long-term, the new house might be the better solution. But the thought of continuing to flush money makes me want to throw up. What if I’m making the wrong call? If we can’t get this appraisal raised, should I just throw in the towel? To even make a second appraisal work, the buyers would probably have to change lenders, too.

Thank you, Michael Bolton, the appraiser. But a couple days ago I was feeling positive and excited. Now I want to punch someone. You.

Have a lovely undervalued day, sir.

“You’ll feel more rested if you get up at the same time every day.” LIES!

I’m having a terrible time keeping up with the blog now that I’m doing some other writing for meager pay to support my eBay habit. I’m trying, I swear! If I could just become a morning person, I could get so much more done. But almost 17 months of consistently getting up at 8 a.m. and I still can’t function properly until 10. Grover taunts me every morning with his chipper, go-getter attitude.

The big news is that Connor just started crawling the other day while we were in Blowing Rock, NC with my parents. He’s not doing it consistently, still doing a lot of commando crawling, but at least we know he can do it now. We are very excited. The cats are not. He’s also now demanding far too much attention after having Chris’ parents stay with us for the half a week leading up to the trip, and then another half week with my parents.

I think Connor would really enjoy having pet ducks in our backyard. Chris disagrees.
I think Connor would really enjoy having pet ducks from Blowing Rock in our backyard. Chris disagrees.
Swinging with Grandpa in Blowing Rock.
Swinging with Grandpa in Blowing Rock.
Meeting the giant doggie at Mast General Store in Boone, NC.
Meeting the giant doggie at Mast General Store in Boone, NC.
The dog makes a great rug.
The dog makes a great rug.

He also just added aquatic therapy to his regimen.

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We are so loving how attentive he is to what is going on around him these days. He had a delightful meeting with the Chick-fil-A cow recently, and also cheered up some not-so-enthusiastic waitstaff at Texas Roadhouse during their obligatory hourly line dance. His clapping and enthusiasm had the embarrassed, Man-I-really-need-the-money staff smiling.

I like ladies. I like music. This is some sweet line dancing.
I like ladies. I like music. This is some sweet line dancing.

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We had an appointment with his neurologist this morning and I requested we try name brand seizure meds (Trileptal and Keppra), in place of the generics since we continue to have breakthrough seizures. Many people swear by them as generics can vary in potency so much, so I’m hoping it makes the difference. I’m sure insurance will be delighted. But after they just sent me the private info of three people by accident…well, let’s just approve it, seeee (in gangster voice).

In other awesome news, as Connor was approved for the Katie Beckett Medicaid Deeming Waiver, we were then also able to apply for HIPP. which is a Medicaid program that helps pay your private insurance premiums in cases of serious health issues, as it is in their better interest to make sure you keep you private insurance, than lose it and resort to full Medicaid. We were approved, and this allows us a lot more income to put towards any other needs we want to meet for him. And my wine. I’m so thankful that Connor’s Early Intervention program people have been so good at making us aware of these programs. So if you have a kid in EI, make sure you have applied for Katie Beckett, and if you have done that, make sure you apply for HIPP (I don’t know what the variation is from state-to-state. I know we are lucky that such services are easily attainable here in Ga compared to what I hear about some other states, particularly in the midwest).

As for the house, I kid you not, we told our realtor toward the end of the month that we were taking it off the market July 31. We finally got an offer on July 27. So this house is under contract and we are under contract on our new house, as well. We will finally have a room we can dedicate to Connor’s mess–I mean, toys.

Don't feel bad! You've been a good house.
Don’t feel bad! You’ve been a good house.

I swear this has been the most humid Georgia summer of all time, but others have told me I’m insane and it’s always this bad. At any rate, I’m ready for fall and to wear my new scarf that my sister-in-law Donna made for me from Chris’ old shirts.

The King of Izod has some extra space in his closet now.
The King of Izod has some extra space in his closet now.

Also, two events I want to make sure TSC families are aware of in the area:

298465_187704037963818_1579148_nOn Saturday September 8, we are having a family bowling event. Cost is $10 per person, which includes shoes and unlimited bowling. Food will be provided. Details here.

On Thursday October 10, we are having an educational meeting on financial planning for your children with special needs. Details here.

 

There’s even room for a beer fridge on the porch!

So that neighbor I told you about? The one the put his house up for sale? They got a contingent offer of some sort. So I’m annoyed they got one first, but at least they are now out of the running. Plus, according to my realtor, they aren’t set to close until the end of July. At least if they accepted a lowball offer, and I have no idea if they did, it won’t affect our comps. I’ll be curious to see what they get though. We attempted a walk through with our realtor, but when we got there, there was a note that said not to enter without showing instructions. Uncertain what that meant, and if there was an alarm, we didn’t go in as we were unable to get the realtor on the phone (the house is empty). I can tell you there is a lot of rotten wood on the porch.

In the meantime, we continue to have plenty of showings, but no luck yet. I’m starting to hate the Autumn Lake neighborhood near us which shares our floor plan, and has a ton of homes on the market. I know one of our weekend viewers bought one over there because it had a master on main. She didn’t even know she wanted that until she saw it. It was otherwise very similar. Stupid, stupid Autumn Lake.

We’ve had three people come back for repeat showings. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. One of those was also this weekend. We were in her top 3…number 3 of course. She ended up choosing a house on a lake even though at the original showing, she was so afraid of snakes coming up, that she wouldn’t even go in the back. Well, alrighty then.

We went house hunting yesterday for the first time and of course I fell in love with a house. It has everything I want, though the price requires some negotiation. So far, I have been the chill one about having the house on the market, while Chris has been very antsy and agitated. Now I’m irritated. Let’s move this along already. I WANT that house. It’s more space, a screened in porch, and all the upgrades I could want.

In happier news, Connor is crushing it–life, I mean. He just got himself into a sitting position on his own for the first time a little bit ago. He’s babbling mamamamama, too. His newfound mobility has proven to be quite the life adjustment for us. I know everyone goes through this, but we’ve had 15 months to develop lazy habits about where we could set him down. Now his new hobby is hurtling himself off furniture. First it was the couch, which startled him, but he was okay. Then he made it off our bed, landed in a sitting position, and thought it was hilarious. But then it was the changing table, and while he wasn’t hurt, I think he scared the crap out of himself. I know I certainly stopped breathing when I heard the thunk. All I did was turn away to grab a diaper! So now I have to keep reminding myself that he cannot be left on anything at all even for a second.

I’m also excited that after years of trying to have kids, my friends Giovana and Damien are down in Colombia to pick up their son David. More on that when they return in 5-8 weeks…

Gio and Damien's mustache-themed baby shower.
Gio and Damien’s mustache-themed baby shower.

To Quote Ice Cube, “It Was A Good Day!”

Yesterday was a pretty good day. We had our first buyers come through and check out the house. A man came with his realtor in the afternoon, and he brought his wife back in the evening. Even if they don’t buy, that feels like a good start. We had another guy come through today. I got the impression he might be single, as Chris was when he bought the home, so GOOOOOO bachelor pad! I had intended to leave, as the realtor said she would call when they were on the way, but she didn’t and he blocked me in. Connor and I hung out in the 180 degree Georgia heat in the meantime. Fingers crossed. Making the bed AND sweating.  Somebody come buy this house!

Yesterday was also a good day because Connor did something new. He has been able to roll over for quite some time. But he really only uses it to get off his stomach, which he doesn’t tolerate for very long. He can actually scoot backwards on his belly, but I have to block him in to keep him from rolling over. Well, yesterday. for the first time, Connor rolled back to front. I’m not sure how long I stared at him before I processed that it really happened.  Chris finally turned to me and said, “Did he just…” Then he began to scoot backwards. A voluntary attempt to be mobile! Score!

I just attempted to do some physical therapy with Connor, but he refused to cooperate and would just collapse in every position. I swear he smirked at me, too. He definitely knows how to play us. He knows we are way too tired at 3 a.m. to parent properly, so he puts up a fuss and gets to snuggle into bed with us. He always smiles real big the second we set him down.

I really want to shower after today’s sauna session, but I’m afraid another realtor will call…

Please click the icon to Top Mommy Blogs to the Right. That’s all you have to do. Your vote helps my blog climb the rankings, and I get more referrals. The more referrals, the more people that learn about TSC!

Don’t forget to click the link at the top of the page and enter my Dermagist giveaway. Time is running out!

Anybody Want to Buy a House?

IMG_3661Connor had a good report from the physical therapist today. She was excited to hear he is pivoting in the sitting position, and he was also much more cooperative in making transitions. We’re at a point where he can maintain a crawling position, rock back and forth in it, and reach out for objects, but he needs assistance getting into it. He’s getting better at sitting back down on his own. He can also maintain a standing position, but needs assistance transitioning into that position as well.

Working on his physical therapy just got a whole lot more aggravating since we put the house on the market this weekend. Decluttering the house meant moving all his PT equipment into the garage. Making myself do PT with him is already hard enough–not because I don’t love spending time with him–but because therapy isn’t exactly what you envision doing with your child when you decide to have one. Going to get something from the garage really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but that’s me. Not to mention, my attention span has become so awful that a million things distract me on the way and I forget what I wanted.

I spent a good portion of today cleaning scuffs off walls and doors and trying to turn the shower floor back to a non-vomit inducing color. Plan of attack for the shower: Chris laid a coat of Comet with bleach on it at 6 a.m.  and every so often I run some water and re-cover the surface. Twelve hours of this should do the trick, right? This is pretty much the last resort.

A couple did a drive-by on the house and I got down on all fours ninja-style to watch them watch the house. My life is pretty exciting.

Yesterday we got so carried away working on the house, that changing Connor’s diaper slipped our mind for an extended period of time. It wasn’t until he was bouncing in his jumperoo, and the downward motion would cause a cascade of urine to gush out onto the floor from his drenched diaper. I’ve always been grateful that the state of his diaper has never been a source for fussing, but I’m realizing that with my easily side-tracked state of mind, it would actually be beneficial if he’d give me the heads up once in a while. Yes, I really just blamed my baby for over-wetting his diaper.

I’m very rarely seeing any seizures with eye movement, but we’re seeing 1-2 a day in which he slumps down, turns his head to side, puckers out his lips and stares. They last 10-20 seconds, and he snaps right out of it.

Fingers crossed we start getting people looking at the house soon. I really hate making the bed for nothing…

Since I didn’t post much during May due to hosting so many guest bloggers, here are some highlights from the past month:

We went to Florida to visit Chris’s parents.

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Connor went on the swings for the first time. The swing was hot so I finally got to prove to Chris that it IS good to keep “crap” in the trunk.

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Connor rode up in the cart for the first time.

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We watched Cousin Cody play baseball.

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We had coffee and watched trains with my parents in downtown Norcross.

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Seriously, it’s making me sad that nobody is entering my giveaway. You don’t want to make me sad, do you?