Thursday, April 29, 2010

Your happiness is the best revenge.

And my friends, my happiness comes in the form of hot pink flamingos.

You should all know the story of the camo tarp.

Still cringe at it, btw.

But...but...what is that in the distance where the small area without tarp remains?

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Wait...could it be...? It is!

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PINK FLAMINGOS!

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They enjoy their view.

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They are watching.

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Of course, they only fill in for me.

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And even if she pops for an expensive tarp without disconnects, well...

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We've still got our ways.

I plan on expanding my flamingo family as well. I hope to have that whole area a sea of pink by the end of summer. If anyone has any other tacky crap they'd like me to add, let me know. I can do it. I'll also take donations of ugly if you'd like to add something yourself.

And on top of this event, it's come to my attention that I'm special & have been nominated for fancy blog award categories that you can vote for me in.

My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

I'm as hot as a 7 month pregnant woman can be.

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!

My best parenting advice is teaching kids "we aren't going to the hospital!" I find that scares them into not jumping off the roof.

My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog!

The humorz, I haz them.

Vote for me, so I can feel good about myself & maybe get some sort of special icon or something.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Blair is going to chew his way out.

After today, I've decided that it's official...I'm pregnant with a weirdo.

Prenatal. Ultrasound. Well, switch that. Had a very nice ultrasound tech. I've only ever had one at this place before & she's nice, but she's kinda all business. This woman was a little more friendly & upbeat. I was nice & allowed a med student in with us. The woman working the window dropped her voice & told me, "I need to ask you something" when I checked in, which was a bit scary. But she just wanted to know if it was OK if the student came in. I said yes, without blurting out, "she's not going to distract the tech from making sure the baby is going to live, right?" but I didn't. I must be getting better at this whole pregnant after dead baby thing. Hooray, I always wanted to be good at something shitty.

The Blair has bladder, kidneys, heart, good blood flow, his fluid is just under 15, & his placenta is a grade 2. I choose be be scared by that, even though it's fine. Even when Joel died his placenta was still considered a grade 1, which is the best it can be I believe. But everything is working well. He scored 8 out of 8 for his biophysical profile. He's 4lbs 2ozs of bad ass fetus.

The Blair?

He's going to chew his way out.

How do I know this?

He was chewing on his cord.

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Can't make it out? That's fine, he continued to do it in 3D.

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Very odd to me. Never have I been told my fetus was gnawing on it's cord. Jules never did & he spent alot of his early life biting me. I'm scared of what this one holds for me. My nipples already hurt.

As usual, he stared.

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He did eventually pose for one decent 3D picture.

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Like Jules, he spent the better part of the ultrasound keep his face buried in, well, me.

He was very proud of his testes. Even in 3D. Odd...yet neat at the same time.

I personally find this to be the most neato picture ever.

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You can see legs & toes, one hand on the upper left & if you look at the bottom left you can see those testes I talked about. His face is in the background, looking like a panda bear peeking out of a tree or something.

We also got to see his eyes moving around, looking around all paranoid. As he, you know, gnawed his cord.

I go back in a week to do this all over again. I saw a midwife today because my doctor was booked up, she went over how we were doing this all again every week because of "well, you know, all that other stuff." No one wants to mention a dead baby to a pregnant woman, even a pregnant women who has had a dead baby. Of course I wasn't really into this woman. She is nice, I saw her a few times when I was pregnant with Jules, but the final straw that time was when I heard her tell her nurse when I was pregnant then that she was going to see how fast she could "blow through this" outside my door, then she ignored me when I told her I was having problems breathing & had been sick for weeks. Two weeks later, I almost ended up in the hospital with pneumonia & carried around an inhaler for a month so I could take in oxygen. Not fun. Next time I go back to seeing my doctor, who I consider to be broken in, so that's nice.

The woman who was setting up my appointment tried to make it for the end of next week at the earliest, meaning almost 2 weeks. I explained that wasn't going to work for me. I told her any time would work, if she just told me I'd be there. She finally found I could come next Tuesday at 2:30. Next week will be fun, on Monday I visit my dentist to get two fillings. Hooray! My dentist is also pregnant & due in June. She looks cute & put together. I feel bloated & want to throw up most of the time. Unfair.

In other news the swing set story is set to be up this week. Rejoice. I'm also painting my house, because I'm crazy like that. Our living room needed painted, as it had Jules written all over it (in scribbles) & my dad talked me into flat paint for some reason so cleaning it wasn't working. Plus, it was dingy. So the living room is getting painted, one wall is a darker gray with purple undertones (our dining room is barney purple & our kitchen is called "blackberry jam" so it needed to flow), then the other walls are a shade lighter. That lighter shade will also go up the stairs & in our small hallway. I adore the colors more than I ever thought I would. I couldn't be happier with it, it's kinda shameful how much I love it really. It's a good, clean color that makes everything in the room look much better than it did. Our 2nd bath is just now finally done, almost a year after starting it, so I'm pleased. Actually, 2 years for some stuff. Adam was going to put the trim up around the closet for TWO YEARS. I bought the trim. I stained the trim. I waited. And waited. Jules wasn't eating solids when we started that project. It finally took me telling him I'd just do it myself & that I'd found an ehow on how to do it myself to get him to actually measure, cut, & nail the trim up. TWO YEARS. And he told me I'd nagged him about it. I told him I was, & after 2 years I totally had a right to nag.

We're also going to paint our bedroom, which is currently a dark brown (moose antler to be exact) & it's going to be a medium shade of blue with some grey-ish mixed in. That will settle us until the baby is here, minus some touches to his room to make it actually his room. We've also been hardcore cleaning, including washing & scrubbing our area rugs in the house (I did that actually) & shampooing the carpets in our house. Oh, & we still need to tile the upstairs bath. We have all the stuff...just no will power to start the project.

I think we never finish things because we aren't sure what to do with ourselves if we actually finish & are happy with everything. Three years here now & everything is still a project. After we're done with the above, we'll take a break. Hahaha...I sound like a first time mom, I just said "take a break" when I'm expecting a newborn in a few weeks, silly me. Of course, last night I announced I thought it'd be nice if we painted our stairs. I'm not a fan of how they stained & I think the right color would look really nice. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm sure we'll eventually do that as well.

And no, this has nothing to do with "nesting" it's just my constant battle to get my house to be less ugly. I've almost got it to the point where it's not toougly, it's almost "nice."

If I ever get it nice, you're all invited over. And you can all see the animals, couches, kids, & the husband. I can even make him build something for your enjoyment. You're welcome.

Goodnight (or good morning depending on when you're seeing this) my dear followers.

BTW, I'm up to 93 followers. Once I hit 100, I'm totally getting a cake to celebrate. Any excuse for cake.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A quick discussion question about baby loss.

I forget what Joel looked like.

I have pictures, I can remember him from those.

But sometimes, just trying to remember him laying there, I don't remember his features. Just his hair & a small tear on the right side of his cheek.

I try to tell myself I don't really remember Jules, but that's a lie. I remember what he looked like in the hospital & as he grew. My memory, it's freaky like that.

Even his pictures are different than I remember. We got the hospital pictures first, which I'd looked forward to getting since we took no pictures ourselves. When I opened them, they were kinda upsetting to me. He looked...well, he looked not alive. I didn't think he looked that bad in person. I questioned if the pictures were bad or if I didn't really notice how he may have really looked in person.

He looks better in some shots from the photographer. Tonight, while going through things, I happened upon the envelope I don't think we opened again since getting them in...the hospital pictures. Looking now, I don't think they look bad at all. I think my memories of him, made in person, were biased based on the fact that I wanted a perfect, beautiful baby. He didn't get a chance to be everything he could have been, even at delivery, because even cleaning him up well could have hurt him. And now I sit here, suddenly liking the hospital pictures that once disturbed me. It's weird, very weird. I think it's taken this time to come to terms with my exact memories of him weren't perfect, like I said I was biased, so seeing him look anything different that quickly after sent me for a loop. After a year almost, I guess it's easier to understand.

But anyway...is any of this normal? I feel like I should have every moment we spent with him burnt into my memory. I remember everyone else, how everyone else looked & what everyone else did. I remember having sweet and sour sauce with my chicken strips that night. The kitchen just made me chicken strips & fries, but they tried to fancy it up as much as they could. I appreciated that, being told who you had to make something for must have sucked for them.

This is an ambien induced line of thinking. I hope I remember this in the morning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dead baby birthdays.

I'm a big party planner. It's rare I have an excuse to throw a party, but I do believe in going on out when I do have an excuse.

When Jules turned one, it looked like a prom at our house.

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And he gorged on cake.

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And I just add this picture, because I think it's adorable & makes me want to cry in my current mood.

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Life, as he knew it, was fabulous.

About now I would have already had things in motion for Joel's birthday party.

There are lots of things like this...

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They don't make a banner for what I need.

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Not that's it's the first angry shitty day, but the first that's banner worthy.

I have a hard time wrapping my head about his "birthday." It's also listed as his day of death, but that's not really true. We knew he died on May 26th, he was born on May 28th. So actually, things shouldn't just say May 28th, they should say "May 28 2009-May 26, 2009" but I guess that would seem like a typo. Personally I feel like this entire event in my life is one huge typo, but we all know that.

Different people mark their childrens days differently. Some do nothing. Some throw a party complete with cake. Others, somewhere in the middle. Personally, I think all the options suck, as I'm sure they do. No one wants to have to pull something together to mark the day of a child dying.

Personally, I want to have some attention whore get together & sulk. I want to get a cake, just so I can write, "this blows" on it. Then, after the cake, I want to go burn down the perinatal office I blame for Joel not having a chance to live. Everyone acknowledges, in passing of course, that this has been sad & even hard. But I'm pass that this is sad & hard point. I'm at that point where I'm bitter, angry, & want everyone else to be bitter & angry with me as well. I think it's great that so many families can pull together & make some beautiful celebration in their childs memory. Me? I can't. The only thing I can pull out of the entire experience is, as I already said, bitterness & anger, on top of traumatic memories of the entire situation, not just him but the craziness we dealt with from people after the fact.

Though I gave an example above about what I'd consider a good way to celebrate, I really have no idea what I'm planning on doing, if anything, around his birthday. I don't want people to think it's odd that we're doing whatever. I'm sure some people think we should be over the entire event, due to the time passed or the fact that my Eggo is preggo again. I don't want people to look at me sad. I don't want people to have another excuse to say stupid things about how he's in the arms of Jesus where he should be. I don't want people to go on & on about Blair because they think that'll make us feel better. I don't want people to stop by with gifts for Blair since it'll be close to his due date. It was bad enough people bought Christmas gifts to Jules at Joel's funeral (yes, seriously, 6 months late & at a funeral), but I really don't want another Joel day turned into a day for whoever or whatever else.

Of course, worse yet, I don't want people to forget. Part of me wants to do nothing so I can bitch & moan when people, besides baby loss people of course, don't acknowledge the date at all. I'm selfish, so not only do I want him not forgotten, but I want people to say, "wow Jess, this time last year you were going through something awful emotionally, including 26 hours of labor only to go home with a baby blanket. I'm sorry your life sucked so much then." That sounds weird, but I'd actually appreciate those words & say, "Thanks, it HAS sucked!"

So I have no idea what I'm doing. If I'm doing anything. The clock, it's ticking & tocking, I need to make some decision & then make plans if needed. At 3am I come up with things I think will be nice, but by morning I realize it's just the ambien talking to me as I drift off into la la land.

I mean, what I want is really fucking simple.

I want opening gifts & happiness.

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I want more opening gifts & to be confused, as I usually am anyway.

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But I'm a big girl (and I'm not referring to my cup size for once), so I know things don't happen like you want or plan.

And as a really blunt way of ending this blog, I'd like to once again announce that I really cannot believe this has happened to us, that we've had to live through it, & that this is forever going to be a part of our lives. I can't believe I'm going to spend the rest of my life missing someone I never got the chance to know. Yeah, it sucks.

And my insurance battle is still going on, btw, if you'd like to participate. I just got a letter today telling me my insurance is frozen (meaning they will pay no current or new claims, & if I or an office calls about my coverage, we'll be told there currently is none) until I sent a statement promising them that I have no other insurance coverage. Fun. Oh, & even when I do that I'll still be subject to the audit they are having statewide in the summer where we'll have to provide about 25 sheets of paper proving we're all related & entitled to health coverage. It's dated a couple days after my rejection letter. Lovely, huh? Maybe that's another building I can talk about burning down on the 28th of May.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I have the urge to throw hams.

Years ago I never really got why Sharon Osbourne threw things at her neighbors, including a ham.

I mean really...what could be so bad that you throw a chunk of dead animal?

Well, as I sit here typing this, I'm wondering if Kroger has any hams on sale.

This should come after the upcoming swingset blog (I've had drama, been busy, & I have like 100 pictures to share with you, give a girl time, it's being worked on) but this has just been too much.

You see, when we moved into our house, though it was move in ready on paper, there were lots of ugly. I've never really had people over & we'd been working hard to get things looking better. The big thing for me was the playset (see, I called it a playset unlike earlier), then I'd feel like while there was still a bit of ugly in my backyard thanks to it being an overgrown mess when we moved in. I have one neighbor that still likes his overgrown mess, then I have the other neighbor.

This woman, quite frankly, is crazy.

First & foremost, I'm convinced that most of these problems come from the fact that my husband doesn't want to have sex with her in her mid-60's glory. Before we moved in, Adam would be over doing stuff on the house to make it more liveable. Every time she saw him, she'd rush out & tell him her life story. Parts like, "I don't have a man who will come do this sort of yard work for me." By the time we moved in, he knew every thing about her, her family & lack of a man, that she said she "wore next to nothing" in the summer, & that her dog had hip displaysia. I thought that his was just a lonely old woman & that we'd both get to deal with this.

Oh, totally not.

I think I lived here almost a year before she said a word to me. If she was out with Adam, if I went out she's run away. If I was out there with him she'd never come out until I left. This is when I developed my "oh my god, she's a cougar not a lonely old lady" theory. Many laughs were had at Adam's expense over this. But still, there wasn't any drama...until about a year after we moved in. Here are some random, good time stories about dealing with this lovely neighbor over the past few years.

About 2 days after gushing to me one of the first times she ever spoke to me, that we were all so quiet & great, I go to my mailbox & I have a letter. It's from her. She's complaining that our dog is barking at 3 & 5am & we need to keep him better contained.

Problem? Our dog slept in the house & had for months. At 5am, he was in our bed with us. We live around many, many dogs. We can hear dogs one street over. I figured she was hearing other dogs & blaming ours. I wrote her a note back, explaining this, that it cannot be our dog because he's in our bedroom at night & we'd even been up at 2 & 3am & we know for a fact he's been asleep. I suggested a dog on the next street over, who sounded almost identical from our dog. She also has dogs who bark & go nuts all the time, as late as 3am, but I figure dogs bark so why complain.

After this exchange, she didn't even pretend to wave at me anymore.

More time goes by. In fall of 2008, at like 6pm, Adam comes upstairs where I've been vacuuming, amused. He tells me the neighbors new boyfriend had just come over. He was complaining about our dog. Now this time, he was right, our dog was barking at things. Like every other dog was at like 1pm. He wanted use to put a bark collar on the dog, he says this while their 3 dogs are barking & going nuts in their yard mind you, because earlier they took a bunch of xanax, got sleepy, & his barking annoyed them. They wait 5 hours to complain & basically just come to tell Adam about their drug use. Awesome.

Off & on during this time, she also complains to Adam about a couple trees in the very back of our property. She claims they shade her pool, causing it to turn green. Nevermind the fact that she brags that she doesn't use any chemicals in her pool so basically she's got a pool full of stagnant water, it's the trees about 30 feet from her pool causing the problem. The trees that actually never do shade anything near her pool. Of course, I'm amused that she's bitching about trees that far away from anyones living space when she lets vines & other nasty things grow up her fence & into our property & even had this huge thorn bush where we had to turn out cars around in every time we went out. She didn't care about those things, she didn't like the trees way far away from her. Me, I'm suppose to keep trying to keep her vines out of my yard & turning my car around in thorns. Good times, good times.

Last May, we went out shopping. We came home to drop things off & I couldn't pull into my drive way. Why? A small tree was laying there. A tree on our side of the fence had been cut. A very small tree, but a tree. It had then been drug down the hill & thrown in our driveway, left for us to take care of. We knew it had to be her. I was livid because I'm 9 months pregnant & livid is a way of life for me anyway. But I couldn't believe that they waited until we left that day to come into our yard, cut a tree down, then leave it in the way. I was mad all night. The next day, as I'm still angry, there is a knock on the door. It's her & her boyfriend. They've come to announce they are going to just go up there & cut those trees down themselves.

Nevermind the fact that I find that rude & annoying to just come & announce that you're going to cut someones property down, but I also find it scary. This woman has talked several times about how she has all these medical problems & has bragged about suing people, even the old owners of this house. And I know they are at least on xanax. I could hear my homeowners insurance guy screaming somewhere, even if I was alright with this idea. They were very annoyed we didn't let them cut those trees. And me? I was just livid again. Stop worrying about trees that are doing NOTHING to you or your house & cut some of that shit growing into my yard & is actually a hazard.

Over the summer & into the fall, my dad had come over to help remove stuff we'd cut down in our yard. Since he was a man, she rushed out there & make small talk & tell her how she & her boyfriend broke up & she has no men to do work for her now. She also went on to say lovely things about Adam, how he's just the bees knees basically, but me? I'm an evil shrew who never comes out of the house & how I make him do all the yard works & that I'm lucky I have someone to put up with me, to paraphrase. My dad was then proud to announce, "Yeah, well, that's my daughter." He wasn't proud to announce it because he thinks I rock, but because when she found that news out she left him alone the rest of the time he was out there. Lucky bastard. And yeah, I don't do yard work. I also don't take out the trash or shoo away bugs. Sorry to set the womens movement back 50 years, but it's not my job. Adam knew when he married me I'd never do those things. He obviously didn't mind that much. When I grow a penis & become a man, I'll get right on those things. As well as having a bunch of random sex with women, but I'm just curious about how that would be. But that's another story for another blog.

A few months ago one of her grandsons stopped me & said, "when our dogs bark at your dogs, it makes them bark back, which upsets our dogs. Can you make your dogs stop?" Catch the funny part of that? They bark at my dogs, they bark back, & it emotionally scars her yappy dogs. BTW, her grandsons bark AT our dogs when they are in the back yard. Yes, that'll make my dogs love you. Bark at them. Then look at me like you're confused as to why they are now barking at you. Assholes.

Basically, it's been a passive aggressive pissing contest on her part. The real issues didn't start until that note about our dog...which happened the weekend after we got a brand new paved driveway & parking area, replacing the ghetto dirt that was there before. Every time we've done something to our yard, she's rushed out & try to do something more for hers. I plant flowers, she's out within 48 hours trying to plant more. We wash our front porch down, she's out the next day scrubbing hers. When we uncover our pools, last year she kept asking our water temperature, as if she was trying to track whose gets warmer first.

So yeah, there is some history there. And it leads up to the playset.

A couple weeks before we started it, I'd seen her out & I told her we'd be building one in this flat area near her yard. It's no closer to the fence than her pool. If we can deal with weirdos swimming, she can deal with laughter of children. I thought. I'd actually joked all along that she'd hate it. Little did I know I was correct. Not sure why I'm surprised, I'm always right.

As it was being built, she asked Adam, as he is surrounded by slides & other playset materials, if he was building a floor for our cheap pop up gazebo we had up in the back yard for my pregnant ass to rest under when Jules is playing outside & there isn't much shade. I get hot & dizzy easy even when not pregnant. He explained no, it was a playset. As it was built, she stared at it. Well, stared as much as she could as she spoon fed her dogs on her back porch. Once it was built, she started bringing other neighbors in her yard to point & whisper. I find her horror over it pretty funny considering her other neighbors scream, cuss, & yell at their children all day long & she doesn't mind then, she talks to them & they all love each other. Of course the big daddy over there never wears a shirt, so maybe that's why she likes her view so much.

Last week Jules & I had a lazy day. It didn't involve going outside or anything that hard in the house. We just hung out until it was time to go outside to get in the car & go to my doctors appointment.

I opened my back door & was met with a horror. A horror I'll also have nightmares about.

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A silver, cheap ass tacky looking tarp hanging from the fence.

I stood in total shock in my doorway. HOW?! WHY?! What would I do, how would I explain to people I was planning on inviting over for a cook out? "Yeah, my neighbor hates us so she put up this ugly ass eyesore. Who wants a burger?!"

I was seriously ready to cry. All of our hard work on our house. Being proud of everything we'd done. THIS is what we have now. A silver tarp. With duct tape on it. And if that wasn't classy enough, she used NEON ZIP TIES.

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NEON!

Oh, & she or whoever put it up, came into our yard to do so. A bunch of the ties were tied from our side & the gate wasn't secured shut like the husband left it. So, to add insult to injury, she also just left her trash in our yard.

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We found like a dozen of those things just laying around the yard.

I was angry. I vented the rest of the day. I had no idea what to do. It's HER fence, so I can't do anything. We are planning on putting a privacy fence up, but that is on the agenda for next spring, not now. I finally came up with an idea of putting a cheap, quick growing hedge up. I figured it was better than nothing & while it wouldn't cover all the tarp this summer, it'd cover most. The day after the silver tarp came up, Adam & I talked about this in the backyard, the hedge I mean. With her barking dogs, who now bark more because they can hear us but they can't see us, I announced I felt like I lived next to the animal shelter with that cinder block color tarp & the yapping. We went in on the edge of dark, around 8:30. Adam pops out & back in to tell me, "she's taking it down!" I figured my hedge talk scared her. The woman obviously hates plats, hence her hate for my trees. Adam burst my bubble minutes later to tell me, "she's putting it back up...she's expanding it." So now she's making it cover the entire fence. Lovely. It was pitch black out so we couldn't see anything. We assumed it was the same tarp.

Oh no friends, we were wrong.

I wake up the next morning to see that Adam had left me a text message as he left that morning. "The neighbor put up a fucking camo tarp."

I open the door & almost screamed. The silver had been replaced with CAMO.

Growing up in a rural place, I saw alot of camo. That was a plus for me moving a few years ago, camo isn't nearly as "popular" as it was in my past living area. Thankfully, as I've never been a fan of it. But now? I'm living beside a full coverage camo tarp.

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And I'm horrified by it. No one needs camo unless you're hunting or on an episode of My Big Redneck Wedding.

Camo.

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Ugh.

I feel like I should learn to play the banjo & find a cousin to marry. Thank you, neighbor, for reminding everyone we live in West Virginia.

This is not what I'd planned for my summer. My plan for the summer included watching Jules play & swim while drinking my Simply Orange brand lemonade while feeding my living, breathing, newborn. You know, like a god damn juice commercial or something. I've never even watch MASH, but now I feel like I'm suppose to reenact scenes from it.

What's really amusing is that the fence is not put up well. Not at all. It's bent & ugly, hence us planning on our own fence. But now we're just waiting for it to blow through the air when a good storm hits since that lovely tarp blocks the airflow. I'm hoping it blows my way. If so, I'm running outside & laying on the ground, pretending it hit me so I can sue.

And as I've told the husband several times...if he'd just had sex with her years ago, we may not be dealing with this right now.

So as I sat, staring in disbelief, I tried to think how this can be a good thing. I finally decided that we can use it as a movie backdrop.

Yes, seriously. I came up with some Culver Productions.

"Dino vs. Dino"

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A tale of two dinos, one badass named Spike & another paranoid, scared cartoonish creature named Rex. Will these two be able to learn that while they are each different, in the end they are both dinosaurs & doomed to extinction so they might as well get along already? On a side mission, the pair hunt down Kirk Cameron & yell at him, "See, we exist!" Because dinosaurs can talk.

"Toy Story Army"

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Woody, Buzz, & Jesse decide that there is no real honor in being Andy's toys. Seriously, they are all just yard sale material waiting to happen eventually. So they decide to bravely serve their country! But little do they know, that the evil Zurg has followed them!

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"This Would Have Never Happened If He Wore Pants!"

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Led by the beloved childrens character with pants, Mickey...

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Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, & special guest star Fozzy Bear, go on air strike missions when they get they must rescue Donald, whose been arrested as a sex offender for walking around all the time without pants. Mickey always told him to put the damn pants on & stop running around with those young "nephews" of his! And even Fozzy Bear is like, "WTF?!" at his backdrop...

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"You're Lion-in"

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A face off of a lion & an elephant lead to an unlikely friendship.

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The elephant loves his new friend, even though he's a rare midget lion. Lionel, the elephant, sees the lion for who he is on the inside. Get your tissues out now, it's a tear jerker.

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But only because the lion is an evil backstabber, who only befriended Lionel as a dare to enter a local gang. Sadness. Gang violence...it's everywhere.

And don't even ask what that is up the lions ass.

"Lionel's Resurrection"

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Thanks to the bravery of a young jungle boy, Lionel is given another chance at life. Yay, jungle boy!

"Ode to Glenn Beck"

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Self explanatory I think. And yes, that's a children book. It's the only Glenn Beck propaganda in the house. Buddy dog is a faithful follower.

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"My Husband Loves Rambo"

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He also loves shutting, but not locking the windows in our house so I'll get murdered. And throwing all his dirty clothes in front of the empty washer or hamper, not in either of them.

"PeeWee Gump"

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To redeem himself & his penis play, PeeWee joins the army. Bubba Globe didn't make it.

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He died in PeeWee Forest's* arms.

*Is it just me, or is "PeeWee Forest a really funny name?

"Platoon: The Remake"

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VS.

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It's 2010, we're remaking every movie ever made. Even Freddy Kruger is coming back. Why not Platoon...emphasis on the "toon."

These fine features will be coming soon...or I'll just go nuts & the ugly ass tarp down when I'm tired of making MASH jokes, claiming to know nothing of it & blaming vandals in the night. Redneck vandals. It is West Virginia, it could happen.

May 2010 Neighbor Update: My neighbor, she's still nuts. Knowing it was the weekend of the 1 year mark of our sons death, she decided it was the perfect time to announce that we'd flooded her basement when we drained our pool a couple weeks ago. Our pool is on the other side of our house. And we drained it into a storm drain directly. And we'd drained the pool the same way for years. But she now confronts us with the news that we flooded her basement, she knows it was us, & she's got the pictures of her flooded basement that she wanted to show Adam. It couldn't have been that, you know, week of raining & area flooding that caused her basement to flood. Nope, it was my pool being drained a week before, far away from her house, & draining into a gutter that takes the water into a storm drain. It's amazing really. I'm awaiting a lawsuit when we refuse her request for money, which I'm sure she'll make eventually.

**Edit to add. My husband is whining about how I "stole" his funnies, so I'm putting a disclaimer now to give him his due. Many jokes were bad between us were used in this blog. I didn't know either of us had ownership of them. It was a joint effort, & now he's paranoid he's just seem as one of my minions (which he is, but don't tell him that). So he's not, he's a man of his own lameness. He's also such a cry baby. :b I think he's just crying about it because my blog was posted first & I didn't realize he was doing a similar blog. And now I think he's worried that mine is funnier. I'm sure it is, but give him some love, too. You know, tell him how funny his wife is & stuff. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Help a dead baby family convince insurance they were "enhanced & protected."

On April 17th, 2009, we found out Joel might have a health condition. Then we were told it'd all be fine. Then he died a few weeks later. It sucked. Alot. Coming up on the 1 year mark of everything that happens, well, sucks in it's own way. I should be planning a birthday party, not dealing with all of this crap.

I'm asking for a favor. Yeah, another.

As I've talked about, since Joel died, I've had to deal with lots of crap. Crap from doctors, crap from hospital, & crap from insurance. Every battle has been settled, except for this battle with insurance that I've been fighting for months. Basically, they don't want to pay Joel related bills. Just because. I've submitted, I've called, I've complained. I talk to people on the phone & have to have a 5 minute discussion first about if I delivered a baby in May 2009 or not. That's always fun. I've appealed. I've written professional, smart sounding letters about my son dying & used technical terms for unimaginable things done to his body during the autopsy, which they also refuse to pay for. They've refused to pay for blood testing to find out if any disorders could have contributed to his death that we could prevent in the future. They even refuse to pay for basic services they usually do with a delivery...like someone visually looking at my placenta after delivery. We were charged like $400 for that honor.

Simply put, they are the perfect example of why some people hate insurance companies & think they are the devil.

Today we received what is our next to last response, meaning we only have 1 appeal left before the matter is considered done & over with & we're left with debt up to our eyeballs. Also, another fun fact is that since it'd been 6 weeks & I was suppose to get an answer within 4, I called the insurance company at 4:30pm last Thursday (the 8th) & was told they still had no idea what they were doing & it'd be a few more weeks for a decision. The rejection letter I got? Dated for April 8th, the same day I called. Some how that get on my nerves.

The verdict? They have the deepest, sincere sympathies for Mrs. Culiver (Um, that isn't my name), but they aren't paying for any of it based on the fact that none of it "would protect or enhance any current person on the policy." Meaning us living folks.

Finding out if could have had Joel some rare disorder that Jules may have or pass onto his kids that we just didn't know about yet...not enhancing or protective.

Finding out that we have a high chance of this happening again so maybe we shouldn't get pregnant again...not enhancing or protective.

Keeping me from going through hours of labor to produce yet another dead baby because we didn't know what caused Joel to die could happen again....not enhancing or protective.

Apparently, it's all pointless in their eyes. None of it was done for any reason I guess.

Something about that is more offensive to me than just telling me, "sorry, we don't cover dead babies." I sure didn't opt to testing & an autopsy to bring Joel back from the dead. I did it so I wouldn't want to slit my wrist because I may have done something wrong. I did it to make sure I didn't get pregnant & have to look at my husband again when they told us our baby was dead. I did it so Jules wouldn't have a lifetime of wondering if his kids would all die, too, if maybe he was the fluke here for living. To say it wasn't going to enhance or protect anyone, quite frankly, is bullshit.

I'm obviously dealing with people who've not had term stillbirths, which is great for them because no one deserves that shit, for them to tell me that everything was basically pointless & that I guess we should have had him them just went home like nothing was wrong. Gee, I wish I knew that BEFORE I had to go on medication to try to cope with daily life.

Last time I faced something like this, an insane amount of people stood up & helped me out by contacting a hospital that was refusing to give me a bill to even try to get insurance to pay me back. After everyone contacted the hospital, I had a bill fed-ex'ed to my house the next day. I'd link to the story, but I'm fired up right now & can't do anything but this at the moment.

I have 60 days before I have to submit my last appeal attempt & I would like some help. I'm suppose to submit "evidence" that their decision is wrong. Since insurance is saying the entire reason they aren't paying a cent is because they think everything done wasn't to attempt to "enhance & protect" people involved, I'd like them to hear from others, not just me since I'm biased in their eyes. Be it people who just care & know that for us it WAS enhancing or protecting to try to find out what happened with Joel, or people who've been in this awful situation themselves & know that trying to find out what happened or if it can be prevented in the future did enhancing & protective things for themselves.

If you or anyone else would like to make my appeal have to be delivered in a package instead of a small, basic envelope, or you'd just like to share your anger at my insurance company, I will gladly accept letters of support of us or hate for them to submit as evidence in my claim. Whatever stance you rather take is fine.

I'm asking that by May 20th, Joel's due date, people help me gather evidence that testing & such should be covered, as it was to protect & enhance us, the living people on the policy. If you'd like to write a quick letter or a long essay for me to use as evidence as to why exams, testing, etc. was to in fact protect & enhance usnow & in the future, please feel free to submit it to me...

Evidence for the Culver Family
PO Box 73
Huntington, WV
25706

Oooohhhh...it's my mailing address! I'd offer to let you email it, but I figure something with a fancy, real life signature would look better. I'd also direct you straight to my insurance company, but they can't even spell my name right so heaven knows it'd just get lost in the shuffle of stupid people in an office, so I plan on sending everything all together in one big package.

Please feel free to spread the word about this, tell you friends, share this link, whatever that will add a couple pieces of paper to my stack. I, of course, will explore avenues in my little part of the world to get this out as well. Though I don't hold much hope for the news or anything, as I'm fighting the state employee insurance agency that is untouchable it seems.

I'm off to stew some more & try to spread the word. If you happen to spread the word on your own blog or anywhere else & would like me to list it, feel free to let me know & I'll add a link to a list.

Edit...

Mel made a facebook group for this effort if you're interested in keep tabs.

Kudos go out to Mel from Lost & Found Connections Abound for adding this effort to the daily new post.

Thanks to the baby loss peeps & peeps in general for caring & helping us out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A fun filled week of appointments I didn't want to go to.

Last week was exciting. A prenatal visit with that previously forgotten glucose test & a couple days after that mess, the toddler went to his first dentist appointment.

Yeah, go ahead & laugh now. I like to pretend I go through these things for people to laugh at. Makes me feel like I'm doing for the good of the world.

Anyway, Tuesday I had the joy of wanting jelly again. Actually, I didn't. I was fine, I didn't really care for anything. Of course I can blame that lack of an apatite on my mother calling & acting like nothing was wrong for that 2 minute long "we're here if you need anything, OK bye!" convo.

I load up & get me & the toddler there on time. The plan was for Adam to come pick him up after work & then run to Lowes with the lumber list to get it all ordered. For some reason, he decided to make it my job to bring the lumber list instead of taking it himself. I carry it to the back door only to realize I can't find my keys. I get down the street & realize I'd forgot the lumber list. So it's extra impressive we got there on time. Of course, I managed to leave my cell phone on the table so I had no way to contact anyone, remind Adam to go pick up his new car's title, or even tell what time it was. Good times, good times. This time I go right to the window, wasting no time, & tell them I'm here for that glucose test, I want my drink, I need my drink, last time no one got my drink. Give me my fucking drink.

"OK, I'll find out whose suppose to give it to you."

...I wish I were kidding.

I go sit down, in defeat. I wait. And I wait. I waited 20 minutes before someone calls my name. It's 3:20, the lab closes at 4:30. It's my drink & 4 people are there to give it to me. How many people had to get it exactly? It was red. I take it. It was "cold" as in below room temperature. They tell me to drink it in about 5 minutes & let the girl at the window know when I'm done. I asked for a warning when I got close to 5 minutes since I have no concept of time on that day thanks to no phone. I hear they use to make these things called "watches" but I'm not sure of that weird science.

On my walk over to my chair again I look at my little 10oz red bottle. Fruit Punch. Here is a little known fact about your favorite blogger (that's me, btw) I hate fruit punch. Really, hate. I'd rather practice animal sacrifice & have a 10oz bottle of goats blood than fruit punch anything.

So yeah, hate.

I viably cringe on the way to my seat, when a woman sees my face & tells me about how the test isn't that bad. Funny to me since I have kids already, the proof of that calling me mommy with me. I explain to this woman, with the cute live baby around 9 months old, that I know, but it's fruit punch & I just hate fruit punch. I also wanted to tell her to stop making her baby dance in the air in my direction, because it felt like she was saying, "ooohhh...look, my baby is alive."

I have a complex. I know.

I drink my drink while my toddler cries for it. I never thought the drinks were that bad, I've heard people talk about how sweet & stuff they are but I never really had that issue. My issue is more that I'm drinking something that taste like something, but at the same time taste like nothing. At least nothing I know. It was "fruit punch" in it's own right, but it was just...off.

I finish it & go to the window to wave at the girl on the phone to let her know I'd finished. She didn't seem to realize what I wanted at first, then I saw a light bulb come on over her head & she gave me the thumbs up. Not sure why I got a thumbs up, I guess I did a good job drinking that 10ozs of fruit punch that wasn't fruit punch? Let's go with that.

The husband gets there & takes our son off with him to Lowes after a few minutes. It dawns on me that I now look like a weirdo sitting at the kiddie table since I have no kiddie, so I gather my stuff, along with my shame, & walk over to the grown up chairs. That was thrilling because right after I sat down, walking cigarettes sit all around me. Nevermind that one was obviously pregnant, I was too busy sneezing, weezing, & wiping my eyes. Thankfully the nurse calls me back. She was back, this was the real nurse, not that weird one from last time. I like her. She asked how my day was. I asked her if she ever had one of those days where everything seemed to go against whatever you were trying to do & even the simple things were complicated. She said she knew those days well...I told her I'd had about a week of that. She felt for me. I get sent to the bathroom with my neato solo cup & come out to the sight of my doctor very confused & looking for something. He wasn't sure what, he just knew it was suppose to be there somewhere, & talks to the nurse about how he's not found anything all day & he's fed up with it all. He realizes I'm behind him watching him (OK, I was watching but in my defense they were kinda blocking me in there at the time) & ask how I am. I laugh & tell him I'm happy to see someone else whose having a rough day. He talks crap about how he's a man & can't find anything because men are dumb. I agreed. Then I told him about how my husband went outside to look for our dog one day & right after he walks out of the house, the dog walks out from right beside where he was sitting. He was more impressed that the husband went looking for the dog at all since he wouldn't have bothered.

I go to my room & wait for the nurse to come in & do my blood pressure. It was 107/60. Amazing. I remind her that I'm on the glucose time clock, she tells me she knows & ask if 4:20 was right. I told her I had no idea & explained my lack of phone, therefore my lack of time. She comes back in a few minutes later, bringing me paperwork that she forgot about. It was my consent forms for labor & delivery. A set for each hospital, plus their own "fact sheets" about each type of delivery, I'm to read them & when the doctor comes in he'll go over it all with me. She tells me it goes over the 3 kinda of delivery. I stop her & tell her I know 2 ways babies come out, but I'm not sure the 3rd. She'd meant 3 pages, she promised there were only two exit ports for a baby. I was kinda disappointed, I'd wanted to hear my 3rd option. My belly button maybe?

I start with the hospital consent forms. The first line goes like this, the bold parts are where blanks were & the info had been typed in.

"My care provider *insert every name here* has told me and explained to me that I am pregnant with a baby and that I will requirement treatment because I will deliver an infant."

...

Really?

After I laughed hysterically at that news, I went on to sign my life away. No, really, I did. I basically signed something that says, "Yep, I could die. My baby could die, too. Whoever is there will try not to let that happen, but I realize that it can so I should bring my living will with me, just in case. Oh, & I give permission to you to give me blood if needed."

The doctor came in & asked how I was doing, to which I responded with, "Oh, just reading about lack of oxygen to the brain." I tell him I really enjoy that consent form for treatment since I'm going to deliver an infant. He laughed & agreed it was ridiculous, then told me how before they started doing the forms in advance, he'd always get calls after deliveries from OB nurses basically freaking out that he hadn't co-signed forms & the baby was already born. He told me he'd always ask, "what if I don't sign it, will you want to put it back in?" I enjoyed his response. We talked about delivery. He offered to let me do whatever, including a c-section if I so desire. We talked about the school system. Baby had a heartbeat, I measured...uh, fine. I didn't ask & he never tells me unless I ask. But I assume it was fine. He ask how much longer I have until I need my blood drawn, I tell him I have no idea. He goes to make my copies of the papers I'd just signed while I make an appointment. As soon as we walk out of the room, the nurse tells us the lab had come looking for me, & instead of making my appointment I need to go to the lab first. I ask if I should run, she just looks at me like "uh oh." I don't run, because no one is chasing me with a knife, but I walk briskly. I get to the lab window & she opens it, asking if I'm the glucose girl. She then says, "you're late." I tell her I have no idea, but I didn't think so. She stared at her watch. Then my paperwork. Then back at me. I think she wanted to make me late. She takes me back & I get my blood drawn. The lab worker ask "where do you want it." I tell her where it will not hurt. She tells me that won't happen. I tell her that's not the best thing to say to a patient before you take their blood.

After that fun, I get my paperwork & my appointment. I go back on, uh, Tuesday I think. After that I get an ultrasound in 2 more weeks. Dork promised me a scan for the next appointment, but he bumped it up until the one after that.

To cheat & tell you how the glucose test story ends, Thursday evening I realize I missed a call at like 5:15 from my nurse. The rest of the night I'm angry & annoyed, telling Adam I'm going to eat Nerds no matter what. I call the next morning when they open only to be told my doctor isn't in, so I may not find out anything until the following week. Grrrr, anyone? Finally, I get a call back after a couple hours & someone finally tells me I scored a 125. So ha! I may be fat, but I can eat as much cake as I want.

The following I'm typing while eating an ice cream sandwich. Nom nom nom...

A couple days after my fun filled glucose adventure, Jules had his first dentist visit.

Taking a 2 year old 30 minutes away first thing in the morning?! Where can I NOT sign up for that?!

Jules went to bed early the night before, so I figured he'd get up with plenty of time to spare. I was wrong.

I woke up, dressed myself, prepared him some breakfast to eat on the road since he was still asleep, let the dogs in & out, & fed the cats before he woke up. He finally wakes up when I'm getting ready to break down & just wake him up myself. I think he was confused that mommy was not only up & dressed, but also really perky & cheery. I tried to stay perky to keep him happy with the process. Being happy first thing in the morning isn't my thing. Actually, being happy isn't my thing at all, but enough of that.

After some potty back & forth, I was able to get him dressed & out the door. As we drive down the road, I start him on something yummy...cheese.

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As usual, we hit traffic.

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You'd think I'd be use to this by now.

Thankfully, there was a speed limit sign to keep us all in check.

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I think I can handle that.

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This is the "work" on the road.

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Then I followed this thing.

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While driving, I realized I wore a shirt that wouldn't stay on my shoulder & posed a possible boob peek a boo exposure.

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Guess I was looking for a discount.

I had no idea, so I kept my directions handy.

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We get there...10 minutes late...& I'm greeted with this.

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We are not only at the dentist...but an orthodontist. Speaking as someone who had braces twice as a child & who made a child with someone who should have had braces with a child, well, I felt like I should just sign over my soul now to these people.

Jules wasn't too impressed either.

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I tell them who I am. When I made the appointment, they insisted on getting all of my insurance info then so they could call & confirm the coverage before the appointment three weeks before the appointment. Well, she looks at me & tells me they have no idea about my coverage, they just tried calling but they are gone to lunch. I just blink & wonder why I had to stay on the phone 5 extra minutes to give insurance info they weren't going to call & check about until the minute of my appointment. Weird.

The room had a slide.

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And video games.

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We get called back, so I have to pull my kid away from the fun to go sit in a little room.

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He decided since he was at the dentist he'd practice his underbite.

Doesn't he look excited?

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Of course, I can't blame him for being weirded out. I don't like creepy looking machines either.

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But Spiderman was there for comfort.

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Eventually the dentist comes in & fall out of his chair. Seriously. And no, I didn't get a picture. :( He ask if things are good, I tell him yes. I tells me they are just going to look & count teeth, make sure they are clean & free of cavities (cheese isn't a cavity, thankfully). Then he sent us off to let Jules pick a toothbrush. They have Spiderman, Buzz, Woody, & all sorts of things. Jules? He picked a blame, random toothbrush.

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Hey gave his teeth a clean bill of health. Then he mentioned how shocking the crowding of his baby teeth were & he asked if I'd ever had braces. I laughed & told him twice. I'm guessing he put a big fat "$" on my chart after that news.

Jules got a good bag, including a littel bouncy ball.

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He dropped his ball.

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He also got a certificate, which says he started his good dental health in April 202010. No, that isn't my typo, that's really what it says.

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As we left, he decided to go down the slide again.

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Meaning he perched.

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And perched.

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And perched some more.

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He finally went down the slide though.

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Then he left out of their little child sized door.

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When we made it to the car, I told him I was going to take his picture again. This was his response.

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This is how I felt.

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On the drive down the road, my batteries died. So we had to stop for stuff.

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WALGREENS!

We got drinks, batteries...

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And, of course, an ice cream sandwich.

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On the way home, I asked Jules if he wanted to see the Easter Bunny. For once, he said yes. So off to the mall we went. Walking up to the bunny picture stand was weird, because it's kinda giant.

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And Santa works the booth. Well, the guy who prints my pictured looked like Santa.

Jules was into the idea of the bunny...until it was time to take the picture. The 13 year old working told me, "just sit him up on the bunnys lap." Something off about being told to throw you kid onto the lap of a stranger in a bunny suit. If it wasn't the mall & at easter, I think it'd be illegal. Jules wants no part of it, so I sit with it. It was, uh, weird. Made weirder by the fact that in the picture Jules is slowly by surely pulling my shirt down to expose my, uh, ample cleavage. By the time the picture was done, the bunny had a very good view of what I didn't want the dentist to see. Oh well. After our picture, the bunny & the 13 year old who took the picture went to the bathroom. Sadly, I was unable to get a picture of that sight.

This is what you get for $22.

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Three pictures. And a couple paper frames.

Of course, we also got this.

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A free cookie from the cookie shop. That totally makes up for the bunny seeing my boobs.

Jules was happy to name everyone in the picture.

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And being so proud of his dentist trip AND for naming me in the picture (because, you know, that's shocking that he knows me), I took him to the Disney Store. Because I'm a push over like that. We did get some really good deals though thanks to it being a couple days before Easter.

He was pleased with MORE Toy Story toys...

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I got a couple balls since he always wants everyone elses (write your own joke)...

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Jules picked a couple as well...

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I was left with a bag of trash.

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And me?

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I was officially done.

Of course, humor would soon ensue as Adam was going to start working on the playset. And that, my friends, is a story I'll share soon.

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