Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Confessional Friday

I’m linking up with my fabulous SIL’s popular Confessional Friday!!

 

  • I confess that I got a call  yesterday afternoon that Reed was running fever. It was up to 102. I also confess that I wanted to scream, curse, and cry because this just isn’t a good time for him to be sick, but when is it ever really? Zach had a game last night as well as other things that were supposed to be done, but those all get pushed aside when you have a sick baby who needs you.
  • I confess I drove all the way to the walk-in clinic (his pediatrician’s nurse said they didn’t have ANY appointments) and I could take him there. Lo and behold, the clinic won’t see kids under 12 months old. He’ll be 12 months old….. in 9 days. Ugh.
  • I confess as I called another clinic and got the same answer, and then his pediatrician to find out HE was already booked for TODAY, I cried a big, ugly cry. Sometimes things just get to be overwhelming and a cry is what you need. Fortunately, I was able to get him an appointment with a doctor in the practice for this morning.
  • I confess that this poor boy just feels awful. And it makes me so sad. :(IMG_5866
  • I confess that my mom and I argued for 10 minutes over her keeping him today on her day off. I feel guilty that I need to be at work, feel guilty that I’m not with him, and feel guilty that she has to spend her day off taking him to the doctor and not getting her stuff done. She argued with me to let her watch him now while she is here and still can. Zach is going to school for his morning classes and will pick him up this afternoon. My mom will love on him and get him to the doctor to find out what’s wrong.
  • I confess that I have MAJOR WORKING MOMMY GUILT over not staying with my sick baby. I know that he’ll be in good hands, but I feel like I should be there even though I know this plan at this time is best. It’s so hard working and being a mom at times and letting others help.
  • Speaking of letting others help, I confess that this is something I ALWAYS have a hard time with. I hate asking for help or accepting help/offers/whatever from others. I just feel guilty about putting people out. I expect them to let me help, though.
  • I confess I am working on this. One of my favorite church songs has the words, “Brother, let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace, to let you be my servant, too.” Yeah, I get it. I’m trying to be better about this.
  • I confess I’m not looking forward to this weekend. We have our school fundraiser and it’s going to be insanity. On top of sick kid, I’d like to skip through the next two days.
  • Last confession: not sure why I spend my time confessing/blogging/such. It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone out there reading anymore! I do like knowing we have a detailed account of these very busy days with young babies and my kids will be able to look back some day and see what our life was like when they were little.

Happy Friday, friends! Have a blessed and wonderful weekend!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dallas weekend!

The weekend before last, Ava and I made a super quick, super impromptu trip to Dallas to meet up with some of our favorite girls!!

We headed out early Saturday morning and got to the big D around 11:00. While I was excited for some girl time, I knew I’d miss my boys, especially little man.  IMG_5593

We met up with Jill and Candace at Candace’s home before heading out to have some fun. It’d been way too long since I’d hugged these girls’ necks and it’s so nice to just be with friends with whom you can be 100% yourself.

Our sweet little girls had the best time playing together. When we decided to head to the mall to hit up the Disney store for some princess action, they all wanted to ride together. We hooked the little ladies up into Jill’s car and left her to fend with the hooligans sweet angels.IMG_5616

When we arrived at the mall, it was so sweet to see this girls so happy to be with each other! They had met once before but there were more people and lots more going on.

Big Ava (Ava Lea), Little Ava (Ava Mackenzie), and SophieIMG_5613

 

Getting some mom and Ava time in was so good for us!!!!  IMG_5596

First stop! DISNEY Store, aka Little Girl Heaven! :)IMG_5598

After letting their little hearts check out all the goodies to behold in Disney, we headed to eat lunch. Afterwards, we saw a set up for the children’s library and there was a live exhibit going on. These dncers in elaborate costumes performed and it was so neat to watch!IMG_5602IMG_5603

Sophie didn’t want to get too close so she stood back with the moms! Look at this precious face!!!!!IMG_5604

They asked for people to come dance with them and Ava Lea was ALL about it. My Ava, however, was not. She came to stand close to ensure she couldn’t get out there!      IMG_5605IMG_5607

After dancers, Ava Lea did a little shopping and I took the little girls to a toy store! They had so much fun playing!

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After shopping, we went to check into our hotel. We knew the girls were going to swim later, and both Jill and I forgot floatation devices for the girls. So, while jill braved being alone with the girls again, Candace and I headed out in search of floaties. We also picked up some snacks and dinner and we had a picnic in our hotel room!!!!

This little lady cracked me up! We took this picture and she looked at it and then at me and said “You’re the prettiest!” I said, “NO! YOU’RE the prettiest!” She looked at me and batted her eyes and said, “I know!” :)     IMG_5617

After the girls ate, we headed down to check out the pool, which was an awesome one! They had a blast!  IMG_5627IMG_5629IMG_5628

After swimming, we had some more fun with glow stick glasses and wands! The girls thought it was funny to sit in the window and try to “scare” people outside the window!IMG_5801IMG_5800

We woke up the next morning and while we had some very fun times, we also had some tired girls! Poor little Sophie! :(

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We headed to have brunch at a nearby restaurant that was SO good!!! We really enjoyed it!

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Sweet friends!!!!!!  IMG_5638

Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye and head home!!! :( Ava was pooped. She was out before we even got out of the city!!  IMG_5648 

And this little dude was sure happy to see his mommy and sister come back!!!!IMG_5654

   We had soooooo much fun!!!! I can’t wait to do it again. And next time, Kristy better join us!!!! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wealthy Wednesday #2

It’s nice being able to plan out things that will happen and how we pay for them. Unfortunately, one thing we can never seem to predict is medical bills. And they can add up to be astronomical, even with insurance.

So here’s a few things that can help you manage those bills:

  • If you have the benefit, USE a flexible spending account or a healthcare savings account. These are a little different, but both offer you to save your money PRE-TAX (comes out of your pay check and reduces your taxable income) to use for qualified medical expenses. The main difference between the two is that with an FSA, you set aside the money and must use it in that year. If you don’t use it, that money is forfeited. It’s important to try and estimate your expenses but not go over. With an HSA, you can set aside the money and use it when needed, with no deadline. If you don’t use it for a qualified medical expense set by the IRS, you will face taxes and maybe penalties. The nice things about these accounts is that you reduce your taxable income, therefore reducing your taxes, and it creates a fund that you can use to pay those unexpected bills. Many employers offer these accounts to their employees so check to see if you have one available. You can also set up an individual HSA. (not related to medical bills, you can also use an FSA to pay for daycare. This means you can pay your daycare expenses with pre-tax dollars. If you have questions on this, let me know).
  • Another way to help with your bills is call and negotiate. If you have a large bill, most practices will be happy to set up a payment plan as long as they are getting something. I’m not sure about all of them, but the ones I have encountered do so without charging interest.
  • If you have a bill that is somewhat large, you can often call and negotiate a discount in return for paying the balance in full. We did this both times with our hospital bills when the kids were born. I think depending on the balance, how things are going, etc determines the discount. I think with Ava, we only got a 15% discount and with Reed we got 25%. Even if you aren’t paying in full, ask if the bill can be reduced. You never know.
  • Most healthcare providers offer discounts for insurance carriers, reducing the amount of charges. These discounts typically don’t apply when you don’t have insurance, so using this knowledge, you can possibly try to negotiate a lower bill.
  • Review your bill. Mistakes can happen. You should use this tip with everything, not just medical bills. Don’t just take it for face value and pay. Unfortunately, there are even companies who try to sneak charges in on you, and they do it because so many people don’t review the charges.
  • You could possibly qualify for assistance for your bills. If you have high bills, you may speak to a financial counselor at the hospital to see if you qualify.
  • And as always, you can set aside money in a monthly budget to use for medical expenses and keep it set aside until you need it.

Obviously, not all of these will work for everyone. There are ways to help soften the blow that comes with medical bills. I hope you find these helpful, and I’d love know any other topics you may want me to discuss!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A birthday celebration!

Sunday afternoon we celebrated Ava’s birthday, along with our cousin Caroline’s. Caroline is my first cousin, and was actually born on my birthday, 25 years later. She and Ava are 4 weeks apart and are great friends, so it seemed natural to have them celebrate together. They see the other little girl cousins celebrate together and it was finally their turn.

My grandma took charge and made it a princess party to remember. Let me just say there was a ton of pink and princess stuff! The cake had ruffles like the bottom of a princess dress – so cute. And tasty, too!

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These don’t look like very excited birthday girls!!!IMG_0892

Wearing their cute matching princess shirts from Pumpkin Butter Kids!IMG_09052 

Blowing out candles!IMG_0903

Ava had a blast opening her presents. She got a lot of fun new toys, many of which I put away until she is bored with some of the others. She noticed though – she asked me “mama, why did you hide some of my birthday presents?!” ha! Smart girl!IMG_09072

It was a fun day! Ava is a a lucky little girl that so many people love her and enjoy celebrating her little life. We opted to keep it simple this year with family only and it was nice to just kind of sit back and just let her have her fun. I hope you had a great party, sweet little Ava!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ava’s Birthday!

I think it’s safe to say Ava had a GREAT birthday! It started VERY early (like, before 6:00 a.m.). ha!

A couple nights ago I said I needed to do something for her birthday and she asked if it was balloons, so we blew some up for her to wake up to in her bedroom. She was SO excited, even though she looks half asleep!IMG_0845

She woke up and said “YAY! I’m FOUR!!!” then turned around and looked at me said “right? I am 4?” It was cute! We had to take some pictures of our sweet four year old. She’s very proud of her age!

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I asked Ava what she wanted me to bring to her class for her treat and she wanted chocolate cupcakes. They ended up being a little messy but the kids loved them. I’m so grateful that my work allows me to leave to do things like this.IMG_5712IMG_5716 

She had dance this afternoon and after that we had dinner. We asked her last week where she wanted to go and she said Chick-fil-a. We asked her several times and gave other suggestions and she only wanted to go to Chick-fil-a. So that’s where we went! :)IMG_5740 After that we went to my mom’s to have some cupcakes and let her open her gifts. She was certainly ready for that!IMG_5741IMG_0856

My brother had an old iPod he told me he’d give Ava we just saved it for her for today and when she got it tonight, she was SO happy.IMG_0855 

While Ava was opening presents, Reed was enjoying a Cozy Coupe ride. He’s getting fearless!IMG_0859 IMG_0858IMG_5736

Ava was happy to blow out candles but she wanted to play with her toys so she didn’t have time to eat a cupcake!IMG_5739IMG_0879 I would say this girl had a GREAT day. Thanks to everyone who wished her a happy birthday. She definitely felt loved. We are celebrating this weekend with a joint birthday party with my cousin Caroline who just turned 4 as well. I know the girls will have a great time!!! I’m so glad this girl had a great birthday. I love seeing her excitement over everything. It was just as fun a day for me as it was for her!

The Edwards Family

The Edwards Family

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