Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quick Update

Well, A's hearing checked out okay, and he's finally got a diagnosis - apraxia. I guess it's good that we know what the probem is now. The bad thing is apparently this is a disorder that can be quite serious, and it could take a long time before A is up to where he should be. The other problem is that we don't qualify for state funding thanks to our screwed up insurance. Because our insurance doesn't outright deny coverage, we don't qualify for state funded assistance. Unfortunately this means we have to pay out of pocket until we hit our $3000 deductible. Isn't it great that I pay for the top tier health plan. I love how that's working out for us*

In other news, we got Hubs' financial aid package from the school and it isn't quite as comprehensive as we had hoped. So we're scrounging for a quick plan to cover the rest of the costs *sigh* Also, I'm leaving tomorrow to go back to CO, then I head to Ft Worth for a conference for a few days. Poor Hubs, the bad news just keeps coming for him, lol!

*have I mentioned how much I had to shell out for J's dental work?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


No, really, actual Insanity is here...this is not just a clever reference to my life, lol! I started this new program from Beachbody today, and I am very, very excited! It is only a 60-day rotation, so I am very hopeful that I will actually stick with it!

In other news, I found out about a program that state of FL has for early intervention speech therapy which may eliminate or at least reduce the cost for us since our insurance doesn't cover it. I called and gave them all my information and was surprised to have a therapist call me back the very same day. She is coming over tonight at 1730 to visit with Alex and evaluate him for herself, and I suppose we'll find out what services we qualify for at the same time. So keep your fingers crossed for us!

My dad wrote a recent post about how to travel well, and, while I definitely appreciate the advice, I have to defend myself a bit. Because I am generally traveling on behalf of the military or my civilian company, I don't get to make my own travel arrangements. I have to go through our company's travel coordinator and the AF has its own travel agency that sets your itinerary. I do have frequent flier codes that I can apply to build up my miles, but I'm not cool enough yet to qualify for any particular gold club (although I'm close with a few!). This also means that if my flights are delayed or canceled due to weather or other circumstances, I have to call back to either travel agency for them to change my flights. If I try to do it on my own, I won't get reimbursed! Also, my trips are often combined, meaning I'm going to more than one place on a particular trip, so I have to pack more than will fit into a regular size carry-on. Not to mention the fact that once you've put combat boots and BDUs into a carry on suitcase, you really have no room for anything else. Also, my travels for the military happen to fall over a Monday, I also have to bring my blues (another uniform), so I am forced to check my bag (one good thing is that most airlines will wave the baggage fee if you are military traveling on orders, so at least I don't have to pay for it!).


This is a Brazilian stew recipe I adapted from several sources (most notably Rachel Ray & Eric Ripert), but there are many different variations. I like this recipe because it is super easy, not a lot of work (just a long cook time), and you can leave out the spicy stuff so the kids will eat it :)

Pu's Fejoada:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb dried black beans
1 lb pork roast, cut into 1" chunks
1 lb sausage (linguica, chorizo, whatever), sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
8 cups of water
1 8oz ham hock
Cooked long-grain rice to serve it with
salt and pepper to taste

Fry up 1/2 of the chopped onion in the olive oil in a large dutch oven until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook about 1 min more (don't let it brown!). Then add the pork chunks and sausage and brown them on all sides, about 6 min or so over med-high heat. Add the rest of the ingredients except the other 1/2 cup of chopped onion, the water should just cover all of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for about 2 hours. (Hint: as the stew cooks, take a taste every 1/2 hour or so and add salt and pepper to your taste remembering that the saltiness of the ham hock and sausage will start to seep into the liquid later in the cooking). At the 2 hour mark put on whatever kind of rice you've chosen (I usually have Basmati and Jasmine around the house, so that is what I use for this recipe). Place the remaining 1/2 cup chopped onion into a small pan and cook it over medium heat until the onions really caramelize (that lovely yellow-brown shade), about 10-15 minutes. Take about 1 1/2 cups of the cooked black bean from the pot and add them to the cooked onions and mash with whatever tool you see fit (I use a potato masher since I don't have an immersion blender *sob* and it turns out just fine). Return the mash to the stew and continue to simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the stew thickens. Remove the bay leaves and ham hock before serving over rice.
You can also add accouterments such as sliced jalapenos or a true salsa (i.e. freshly chopped and not from a jar!), but my kids like just the way it is.


So for this new Insanity program there is a fit test included to help you figure out how much progress you've made as the weeks go by. Since today was my first day (no, I couldn't wait until Monday to start!), I did the fit test, which is only about 27min long, so I will probably add on some yoga or pilates tonight. You get 1 min to do as many of each exercise as you can. Here are my stats:
Plyo Kicks - 60
Plyo Jacks - 45
High Knees (L) - 88
High Knees (R) - 80
Power Jumps - 20
Globe Jumps - 10
Suicide Jumps - 18
Push-up Jacks - 16
Plank Knees - 55
You are supposed to do the fit test every two weeks, but that seems a bit like overkill to me, so I may only do it every 3 weeks or so to track my progress.

Things Recently Heard in the House on Pu's Corner:

Me: What are you doing out of bed again!
Small 3-year old child: *very placatingly* I'm just taking a dump, Mom.

Me: *watches 9 and 10-yr old stash the already confiscated GameBoy under a couch cushion* Really, guys! Why would you do that!!??
9-yr old: *wide-eyed and innocent* Do what?
Me: *lifts couch cushion to reveal the evidence* Why is this under here?
10-yr old: But, Mom, that was already there.
Me: *exasperated* I just watched you guys do it!
10-yr old: Oh *pauses* well, you didn't say that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The sweet sigh of life.

Dear Timothy:
Congratulations! I am delighted to inform you that you have been admitted to Eckerd College as a transfer student for the Fall Semester 2009. You are to be congratulated on the outstanding record which has made this decision possible. We are confident that you will find in Eckerd College a challenging and stimulating academic environment conducive to your growth and the achievement of your personal and career goals.

Pre-Med - Check

To celebrate, some cheerful music, always right there to make us happy..

Lively it up!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Surprise Post

Well, you're probably all surprised to see me posting right too! Turns out the magical pony gods of travel truly have it out for me. They must have seen my poor suffering husband (alone, at home with 5 kids) and decided that I should be punished for daring to leave (they might have also heard my maniacal laugh when I walked out the door Friday morning, lol). I made it to the Springs without a hitch, but the second leg of my trip has been nothing short of disaster. The flight from CO to Atlanta was very bumpy, not quite as scary as my flight to Denver last month (I don't think I blogged about it, but I really thought I was going to die on that flight!), but not comfy and I don't fly well even when there's perfect weather. My seatmate probably thought I was a nut job (I have been practicing using yogic breathing on scary flight so that I don't burst into tears or embaress myself in some other way!). Of course, the reason the flight was so bad is because a huge thunderstorm was headed in meaning I got stuck at the airport for an unexpected 6 hour delay while we waited for it to blow over. That meant that I didn't arrive in Charlottesville until 2am. Charlotteville has be the tiniest airport I have ever seen, even smaller than CO Springs or Buffalo, so when my luggage didn't show up, natch, that meant there was no one there to help me. It is 0230 in the morning, I am exhausted and crabby and the entire airport is empty except for me! Finally the security patrolman found me standing in front of the Delta counter (I refused to leave until I found someone to help me with my luggage) and went back to find someone. I filed my baggage claim and the guy assured me that my bag would be on the next flight out in the morning from Atlanta. Fine, I think, that means I will have enforced extra sleep since there is no point at getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the conference with no clothes.

After taking a cab to the hotel, I fall asleep instantly to this thought (and I'm staying at the Doubletree so at least I got a warm cookie for my trouble!). Today I wake up and wait until 11am (the flight was supposed to land at 1030) before I break down and call Delta. I am on hold for almost half an hour, using up copious amount of my cell phone battery (charger is in my luggage, of course) where I proceed to learn that somehow my baggage went from the Springs to Denver and was supposed to go to Atlanta and then on to Charlottesville from there. Unfortunately the lady on the phone is unable to determine whether my bag is still in Denver or if it made it to Atlanta. It is truly, truly lost...along with all my toiletries, clothes, work stuff, etc. Oh, and they have no idea when I'll be getting it. Yip-ee. So I am now stuck at the hotel in my stinky clothes sans undies since I showered and refuse to put on dirty underwear from my 13 hour trip yesterday (after I worked nonetheless)* I did manage to walk over to Wal-Mart (I love the convenience of the East Coast!) and score some underthings and necessary toiletries to tide me over since it is looking like I will be lucky to get my bag at all today. If I don't get it by 6pm tonight, I will probably break down and go shopping for an outfit for tomorrow. Delta is giving me a whopping $50 for my trouble, but that is barely going to cover my Wal-Mart shopping spree much less having to buy a whole new outfit that is appropriate for the conference I'm supposed to be attending right now. I was able to get a hold of someone at the conference to let them know I am here and plan to attend tomorrow, so I should (hopefully) not run into any trouble when I show up tomorrow morning. But, with my luck so far, that does not bode well :(

So does this kind of stuff happen a lot when you are traveling so much? I am really traveling much more now (on average 2-3x a month), but I seem to be running into such bad luck almost every time I travel. I'd love it if those of you who travel frequently could chime in because I'm really starting to think there is some kind of curse on me!

*I know, I know, TMI!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Yes, the summer invasion is here. Not much time to post, I'm afraid. De-I was commenting that I never write about all the funny little kid tidbits that I pick up throughout the day, and I ealized I haven't had any time to post stuff like that since A was born! So here's one for ya: if you are three the pinacle of reaching adulthood is apparently the ability to keep gum in your purse without getting into trouble! In other, not so funny news, I took A to his speech evaluation on Monday and the therapist agreed that he was deifnately behind where he should be and she recommended that he start coming to therapy 2x/week for the next 6-9 months and then we can reevaluate at that point. Unfortunately my insurance doesn't cover speech therapy until after my $3,000 deductable is reached :( That means it is actually more cost effective to pay the upfront, uninsured rate ($60/session) than it is to have my insurance billed ($90/session). We were totally freaking out about this huge, unexpected cost when my wonderful parentals stepped in to help out. It was such a wonderful and generous gesture, and I promise when A starts talking his head off, their house is the first place I will ship him in order to get some peace and, I mean, I will show them the end result of their generosity...yeah, that's it ;)

Also, the parentals were here for a few days before the invasion landed (they almost made it out in time!), you can read about their exploits here on De-I's blog since one of my little angels just got out of bed again (for the 5th time tonight). Wish me luck for the summer!!