Thursday, March 28, 2013


Dear Jack,

When I am putting you to bed and I gently whisper "hush" to you, kindly refrain from shouting "HUSH" in my ear for the next seven minutes. It kind of defeats the purpose.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things I Actually Said

So I need an MRI of my head*, and my health insurance isn't being very helpy.  I find myself calling around town and talking to various MRI-scanners asking for price quotes, and they range from about $520 all the way to $3982.  Needless to say, I don't need $4000 pictures of my head.

Anyway, I'm on the phone with the last place (the $4000 place) and I said, "I've called you, and Open MRI, and IU Health - are there any other places in town that do MRIs that I should try?  I see that St. Elizabeth's has a breast center, but my breasts are fine.  Actually, they're fabulous..."

Pretty sure she's still laughing.

* My migraines which have always been very predictable, are suddenly LESS predictable and more frequent, and they've changed where they happen and when they happen, and while the doctor is fairly certain that <Arnold> **It Is NOT a TUMOR </Arnold> he still wants me to go have exceptionally expensive pictures taken of my head.  Just in case.  I am cheap, though, and I do not want to pay $1000 (which is the amount of my deductible) for pictures that aren't even suitable for framing, which is why I'm cracking jokes to poor unsuspecting MRI center phone answerers all over town.

On the phone with the last option as I'm writing this.  Their cost?  $5129.  10 x more than the cost at the Open MRI place.  THIS IS THE BROKEN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.  (Click through, great article, I'd probably understand it more if I didn't have this giant tumor**...)  If I were sick, would I really be able to call all over town and find the lowest price available?  NO.  I would go to the nearest hospital, and pay the highest price. UGH.  So frustrating.

By the way, our health insurance for our healthy family of 5 costs our small business $21,245.64 per year.  And apparently that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.

Monday, March 18, 2013


"Hey, you're a pirate, Grandpa.  You always say 'arr arr arr!'"
                                                 ~Mary Grace


"Roy G. Biv is the guy who invented the rainbow."
                                                      ~Mary Grace

Red Handed

Jack helped himself to Claire's leftover birthday cake this morning. I caught him red handed. Haha!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Mary Grace:  Mommy, what's for dinner?

Me:  Well, I can either make "rotten" potatoes (au gratin potatoes) and sausage or sausage and spicy rice (Zatarains Jambalaya).

Mary Grace:  That's not really much of a choice.  It's just potatoes and rice.

Me:  ...

Mary Grace:  Can we have hot dogs?

(You know, because those are fundamentally different from the turkey smoked sausage that goes in the rotten potatoes and sausage/spicy rice in some way.)

Me:  Is there anything else you'd like to say on the topic of dinner?

Mary Grace:  Mommy, "au" is underlined red.

Me:  It's fine.  The computer doesn't speak French.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Sixth Birthday Claire!

Dear Claire,

Holy cow, you're six.  How time flies!  

You are doing wonderfully in school.  You have the same teacher that Mary Grace had for Kindergarten, and we all love her.  You are learning to read, and your writing is really impressive.  We are so proud of how hard you're working and how well you're doing.

This year your birthday falls during Spring Break, so I sent chocolate chip muffins to school with you last Friday and you celebrated with two other friends whose birthdays are during the break.  We're having a "friend party" next Saturday - the theme is Hollywood because you wanted everyone to wear fancy dresses - and we're having your "family party" on Sunday.  I went on the internet while we were all stuck home with the flu a couple of weeks ago and ordered all the party supplies.  Mommy might have gone a little bit crazy.  It's going to be a heck of a party!

You love your brother and sister SOOO much.  One of the best parts of being a parent is watching the three of you and your wonderful relationships with each other.  Jack is always the first person you say hello to when you get home in the afternoon and the last person you kiss goodbye when you leave in the morning.  

You also love being a Daisy Scout.  We have had a lot of adventures together this year - the pumpkin patch, the symphony... we have a bunch of science stuff planned for this spring.  It's been really fun and interesting being your leader.  I've learned a lot about you, watching you with your friends. 

You are really looking forward to soccer this spring, and to Girl Scout camp this summer.  It's hard for you to watch Mary Grace do things first, sometimes.  You are very good at being patient and waiting your turn, and I admire that about you because I know how tough it must be.

You are such a fantastic person, Claire.  Dad and I are so proud of you, and we love you so much.  

Your favorite toy for playing is: Starfall, ABCya, and other educational websites on the computer

Your favorite toy for snuggling is: Biscuit, still!

Your favorite food is: "Panda Chicken" (orange chicken from Panda Express), and crepes with Nutella

Your favorite book is: Green Eggs and Ham

Your favorite activity is: Wrestle Night 

Your favorite place to go is: Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Busters

Your best friend is: Jack, Mary Grace, Jocelyn, Emma, Caitrin, Juliet, and Cameron, and UNCLE CHUCK

Something new that you're doing: reading!!!!

Something you've mastered: fashion - you have a strong sense of your own personal style

Something people say about you:  Your teacher told us that she wishes she could have a whole class full of Claires!

Something that you're saying is:  you're SINGING.  You are really good!  You have a natural ear for music.  I can't wait for you to start piano lessons next January.  You're going to be amazing.

Something Dad and I are proud of you for: you have such a loving heart, and such a curious mind.  It's so much fun to watch you grow into the wonderful person you're becoming.

Something surprising about you: you are very, very consistent.  Some of the answers on this checklist have been the same for years and years!  

Love, always,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Busy days

I finalized my reports for the troop's Girl Scout Cookie sales and turned in my report last week, and it was a huge weight off of my shoulders.

Jack can't be trusted around iDevices of any kind - he steals them.  He's very good at using them, too, and I've had to double check my settings to keep him from buying every train app in the App Store.

I've been reading a lot.

Jack calls most women older than me, including his grandmothers and his speech therapist, "Lady."

Mary Grace and Claire attended the Daddy Daughter Dance for Girl Scouts with Daddy and Uncle Chuck.  I had tickets for a concert that night, so I wasn't home when they left, and therefore this is the only picture:

The concert was SUPER fun.  Karen, Shannyn, Renee and I went to see Indigo Girls in Indianapolis.  The last time I saw them was 21 years ago.  That's hard to believe.

The girls are on Spring Break, and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to entertain everyone for the next week.  I just hope everyone stays healthy.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bedtime Stories

One of the girls chose a songbook for her bedtime story, so BJ is reading it, but he refuses to sing. So he is sort of tonelessly saying 'woah woah woah' in his baritone voice. I can't decide if this is cute or creepy.