Friday, July 30, 2010

Followers !!

Just a quick update to say I am thrilled I have 15 followers! I feel so special! I hope everyone is enjoying my blog... It's been fun writing and I am trying to keep it somewhat entertaining if I can!

Here is a funny picture of my jack russell terrier mix... She is quite the interesting dog... she likes sitting this way on the sofa chair arm... she's a weird little dog. She is my own little furry follower!

p.s. I heard the "House Wren" baby birds chirping this morning! There is nothing cuter than baby birds chirping! I called for my husband like a lunatic to come running so he could hear them, and of course they went silent the minute he got to the window. I don't even want to get near the nest because I don't want to scare the Mama Bird... I hope I am lucky enough to get one photo of them sticking their cute little beaks out of the nest!

If you don't know what I'm referring to-
Click on my old entry on my Wrens:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Julianna - 10 Weeks Old - Progress and other random thoughts

This Sunday, Julianna will be 10 weeks old, so I thought this was a good time to report her progress for those that care to know...

Her 8 week appointment was this past Monday (she was 9 weeks).
She weighed 10 lbs and 6 oz... and is 22.5 inches long. She is right in the 50th percentile.
She got her vaccinations as well & she did not like that one bit - but what baby does?! She normally never cries and is always a very mellow baby, but man she did not like getting those shots at all! She screamed & cried ... I never saw her so upset!!
Luckily when we got home, she was so exhausted from the experience, she slept pretty much all night. We did have to give her some infant acetaminophen when she was uncomfortable... and that helped her a lot. She was a little fussy on Tuesday and yesterday. She actually had a meltdown last night where she was inconsolable (first time ever!), and we figured out she was in pain, probably her leg or legs from the shots still - so we gave her another small dose of the acetaminophen and that did the trick... The doctor said she could have side effects for a few days, so hopefully today she returns to her old self...

Julianna is smiling all the time now - she looks at Mommy & Daddy and smiles at us more and more.

She is grabbing things with her hands - it's still kind of random but getting the hang of looking at something and trying to grab it...

She just recently discovered her hanging mobiles. She has one above her crib and one above her changing table... and she loves them both - She can stare at them forever & smile, and she gets so excited; she kicks her legs, waves her arms and makes her happy panting noise!! It's so cute!

Julianna loves going for car rides (just like our dog! LOL!). Since day one, we have had her out and about, so she is very used to going in the car. She passes out the minute we get in the car now. And she is good to go for several hours since we have been doing weekend trips, she is a trooper on 4 hour car rides (or longer!)...

Julianna also loves her squishy soft dolly too - she grabs her braids and holds onto it for dear life! I am sure I could give her a Tupperware top to hold onto and she would grab it the same way, but it wouldn't be quite as cute! hehe!

Some other random things...

Julianna was fixated on the TV show "Quick Pitch" on the MLB Network this morning. A girl after my own heart. She smiled when they showed the Yankee highlights! I have trained my young Jedi well.

We found Day Care! We finally were able to find a daycare professional to watch our child out of her house. She is certified by the state, she is 2 minutes from our house, does not charge a lot, and we are able to use my flex spending pre-tax benefits (Dependent Care FSA) - Woohoo. Julianna will be starting full time daycare on Monday August 30th when I go back to work. It is a great feeling to know this has finally been settled and we got someone that we feel comfortable with & we can afford too!

We are going on another road trip to visit my inlaws this weekend, and Julianna will most likely be going for a swim again ...

I found someone to take all of J's Newborn clothes, someone that can really use them. I love the "Pay it Forward" theory! Good Kharma!

Update; 7/30/10
I forgot to add a very important thing- Julianna is holding her head up all the time now - Her neck is very strong. When we hold up to look over our shoulder, she can't get enough of looking around and holding her head up. She is so alert now and everything interests her - you can see her little brain working to try and figure out what everything is!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday's horrific 9 hour drive to New Hampshire

This past Friday, Brian and I, Julianna and our dog Pepper left our house at 1pm to drive up to New Hampshire to visit my father. Normally this would be a 3.5 to 4 hour drive... Well it wasn't even close! It ended up being the 9 hour drive from hell!

1:00 pm, Friday - left the house... dog & kid sleeping in the backseat.

3:00 - We got over the Tapanzee bridge & on Route 684 and it was time to feed Julianna... so we stopped to feed her and grab some snacks.

3:30 - Got back on the road... Should only be 2 hours more til our destination ... and just like that - traffic was dead stopped on the highway with no relief in site! Let me just say I hate traffic! I have grown to loathe it since I work from home now!! I am spoiled.

5:00 - Yeehaw, Still sitting in the same traffic 1 and 1/2 hours later - we had gone maybe 15 miles...

6:30 - Yup you guessed it - still sitting in the same traffic. We had now gone, if we were lucky, 20 miles since 3:30. Kill me now!! Julianna then started to fuss - it was time for her to eat again. So we pulled off the next exit (the only exit!) to feed her; at some disgusting gas station where people were peeing behind the dumpsters b/c the bathroom line was too long. Thank goodness I can hold it!! No way was I doing that scene! Some local guy told us there were 2 bad accidents and that's what was holding up the traffic for so long. Arghhh! p.s. Brian took Pepper out to pee, and she started munching on some nasty rotten chicken bones that were in the grass- Who knows how long they were there for! Ugh! It probably used to be someone's chicken that escaped from their farm 5 years ago!

7:00 - back on the highway - The traffic picked up - and we were moving. FINALLY. We got on route 91 north - and here comes the rain! Hard!

8:30 - I had to go to the bathroom and we were hungry...We saw a sign for KFC and got off at that exit. It was my bright idea to go to KFC my husband would later remind me.
Followed the signs to KFC through a not so nice area, but hey, we just wanted to use the bathroom and get drive-thru KFC .... (yeh I know, grease & fat galore, so not on the diet!)
I went into KFC to use the bathroom first and it started torrentially down pouring - the kind where you look like you jumped in a pool after being outside for 15 seconds. I got drenched... went into the bathroom (it was disgusting but when you gotta go, you gotta go - you hover over the seat & don't touch a thing!) I got back in the car drenched. Then Brian went and he couldn't even go in the men's room because it was so gross. He went in the women's room. LOL
Then, we drove over to the KFC drive-thru line so we could order some chicken strips.

9:00 - Still pouring down rain. Still in line for KFC drive-thru and we didn't even get to the part where we could order - we were blocked in by curbs and landscaping. There were only 3 or 4 cars in front of us when we got on line, you would think it would only be a few minutes wait. NOT. Apparently every family in this town goes to KFC on Friday night when it rains because when we turned around, there were 10 cars behind us.
Then ... Julianna started to cry, no, she started to WAIL - and I mean full blown screeching where her voice was going hoarse and she sounded like she might throw up any second from screaming so hard. So while we were in line
STILL WAITING FOR THEM TO TAKE OUR ORDER, I crawled in the backseat of the car to try and calm this child! Pepper (our dog) is looking at me like "She's crying - do something now!" ... I tried it all. I sung to Julianna, played with her, gave her a binky; No Success. She wailed even louder!! I made the parental decision to unstrap her and remove her from her car seat (yeh I know - I'm a bad parent!) so I could change her diaper - it's not like we were going anywhere any time soon.
Picture this - the child is SCREAMING ... I am in the backseat with her... I take her out of her seat - I am rocking her, soothing her, talking & singing to her... She is screaming louder & louder. I was ready to jump out of the car if it wasn't raining so darned hard! So I changed her diaper - no good - screaming louder now! LOL Oh and while all this is going on - Brian finally got to pull up to the microphone and order our 2 measly chicken strips. He couldn't hear the guy, I could hear Brian angrily saying "What? What? Speak up" - He was getting drenched - the child is screaming - I am trying to sing to her ... all at the same time ... it was a freaking nightmare.

Then I started to scream along with Julianna like a psycho & that was it - We had to get out of there, who cares about the stupid chicken!!
I screamed to Brian (my very incredibly tolerant husband) "Put it in 4 wheel drive now & Hop the F***ing curb NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just go - GO NOW!!!!!!!"
So because I probably scared the life out of him, he promptly put it in 4wd, turned the wheel and gunned it over the curb. Ba-Boom - crunch - We plowed down the KFC landscaping bushes & rocks... and ended up on the main road and turned down the next road so I could buckle in Julianna. Kids, don't try this at home. Yes I know it was illegal and wrong but too bad. I couldn't take another second waiting in that line with poor Julianna screaming!

We suspect the guy in the car behind us got our chicken strips. LOL. Imagine his surprise. Although imagine his surprise when he saw us tear over the curb & bushes like a bat out of hell. It's ok - we're from Jersey!

I put Julianna back in her carseat, and we took off, got back on Route 91, watching and waiting for flashing police lights behind us the whole way. Can you see it? "Uh, sir, we have a report that your RAV4 hopped the curb, ran over and destroyed KFC property .... can you please step out of the car?" LOL. Somewhere in Massachusetts today was one underpaid pissed off KFC worker trying to salvage the bushes and fix what we plowed down. haha!

Once we started going - Julianna stopped crying immediately. It's like she knew we were in a bad area... and wanted to get the hell out of there! haha! She was asleep in less than 5 minutes. We were cracking up that's all it took to calm her!

Brian and I got on the highway and just looked at each other, and started hysterical laughing and couldn't stop laughing. I was crying because I was laughing so hard!! LOL!

We finally made it to our destination in NH around 10pm! What a day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Date Night

Well... it's finally here - Tonight is date night.
Brian and I are going out without Julianna. He is taking me to a butterfly exhibit and then a bite to eat. I'm looking forward to it & I'm going to enforce one rule - that rule is that we don't talk about baby stuff at all. Not once. This needs to be for us & about us.

Julianna is 8 & 1/2 weeks old... and this will be our first real date night. We went to a friend's wedding a couple weeks ago and had a nice time, but it's not the same as spending time with each other alone.
I hope this is the first of many to come. Before we got pregnant, one of the most important things we talked about was making sure our marriage doesn't get neglected because of the baby. I have seen it so often over the years with people I know, acquaintances, on tv, & work associates, etc.
That scared me a lot and I won't lie, it's one of the main reasons I did not want to have kids at all. Not to sound greedy or self-centered, but I didn't want to lose my husband and lose how special our relationship is, because of having a baby. That is something that was as important to him too. So we both are making a conscience effort to focus on us as well as the baby. Date night is something that has to happen no matter what. We always will need to make time for us.

A happy marriage is the root of a happy family. If Mommy & Daddy are happy, that trickles down to the baby... the baby is then happy. It's pretty simple. If a child sees mom & dad stressing out or fighting... then that creates stress on the baby. Even very young babies are aware if there is stress in the household - not like they'll know you are fighting over who will do the food shopping - but they will know there is tension and the harmony isn't good.

I also feel that an 'absent' dad (defined as; a father that is around but doesn't do shit; such as doesn't change diapers at all, doesn't help with feedings, doesn't help with the household, and doesn't spend time with his wife and child, and feels that working and 'making money' is plenty enough contribution) is picked up on by the baby at a very young age as well... and can create issues, resulting in feeding problems, sleeping issues, crankiness, etc... These are all important things (for us) that we decided early on we would never let become issues. This is just MY opinion of course - keep that in mind. Perhaps that does work for some??

Well that was too easy to go off on a tangent - Back to Date night - I am looking forward to tonight and spending some quality time with my husband, and not having to worry about if the baby needs to eat, or if she is crying, etc...

I love my daughter of course and wouldn't change that for anything...
I do sometimes miss when it was just me and Brian. I am not afraid to admit that. I am also not afraid to admit it is important to focus on us and not let 'raising the baby' consume our lives to the point where we lose the 'us' in our relationship. I beleive it is possible to do both successfully.

Thursday 7/23/10 - Update
We went on our date night last night and had a fun time! We got a bite to eat at Franks Pizza after we dropped Julianna at Michelle & Matt's house. (p.s. they loved watching her!)
The butterfly exhibit was great - the guy who did the presentation was a butterfly expert and supplies butterflies to movie sets, tv, weddings, funerals, etc.... His name is Rick Mikula
It was interesting and funny too. It was nice to get out and not have to worry "Oh it's 8pm, time to feed Jule!" -
I will admit, I was a little anxious thinking about julianna for the first hour maybe, but then I got over it and enjoyed myself. That's exactly what we need to do!

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Baby Belle" 2010 Summer Tour

Well it's official - Julianna is 8 weeks old and has already been traveling like a RockStar on tour! We are going to our friends & family's houses on this "Baby Belle" 2010 summer tour!

When we had Julianna, Brian and I made plans with family & friends outside of NJ, to go visit for the weekend, so they could see the baby. I was a little nervous & anxious at the time, thinking about bringing her all over and not knowing if she was going to be a good baby, if she would sleep at night, or if she would cry the whole time in the car! If she was not a good baby, these weekend trips could become very painful, very quickly! Well it all worked out in the end...

We went away for 5 days to my inlaws house on July 4th weekend - she did great! She sleeps the whole time in the car and also slept in her "pack & play" all night - every night - and slept through the night.
We just got back from our friends house in Maryland (Natalie & Jim) this weekend and she was loving the car ride, and we managed to keep her on her schedule and she even slept to 9am on Saturday - How bout them apples?! Woohoo!
Nat & Jim have these 2 crazy dogs named Bunson & Bella - they are both about the size of a lab. They are best friends with Pepper (our dog) and all 3 of them play like 'crazies' the whole time we are there.
When we first walked into their house, Bunson & Bella gave a sniff & a lick to Julianna - then pounced on Pepper. Julianna was so not interesting to them because she can't interact with them at all - That registers as "boring" in their simple little dog minds!!
We went out to Amish country on Saturday to go shopping, and Julianna didn't wake up once except when we had to feed her. She loves her stroller luckily!
We also got to see our first Amish people-and they were just like I remember in the movie "Witness" LOL. Yup, that is how I know Amish people - only from that movie. Sad, I know! Am I sheltered? Perhaps!!
Oh - We went to some shops (including a yummy place called Kettle Kitchen) in Intercourse, PA. No, I am not kidding! That really is the name of the town. We ate lot's of crap and walked around.

We have 4 more weekends 'away' planned for Miss Julianna this summer - I feel pretty confident she will do just fine! We are also looking forward to the Sussex county fair in a few weeks - Even though Julianna won't know if she is looking at a cow or a goat - it will still be fun because Mommy & Daddy can go there and pig out on all the awesome fair food and 'walk it off' by pushing her stroller around - haha!

Bella, Bunson & Pepper below
(No! we did not get any pictures with the baby and the dogs, of course we forgot!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Growing up Yankee

Today seems like a fitting day to talk about the New York Yankees. Rest in Peace George Steinbrenner.
I always loved the Yankees as a child as far back as I can remember -

When most adults recollect their childhood, they remember school plays they were in, the bike they rode, the dolls they got for Christmas, the house they grew up in, or their first dog they had.

When I recollect, I remember watching the Yankees games with my father, going to the games, and I remember when Thurman Munson died in August of 1979. I was at day camp and the camp counselors said he died in a plane crash. To this day, I still get teary eyed when they do a tribute on TV or at the stadium. Funny how I can remember that, but I can't remember what I ate for dinner last night.

My father and I used to watch the games on WPIX (channel 11) with Phil Rizzuto & Bill White doing the play by play. Scooter was the best Yankee announcer hands down (in my time). I don't think, back then, that all games were broadcast on TV. Today all 162 are on TV and I don't miss any of them!

I grew up a die-hard Yankees fan and still am today. When I was a kid, my father took me to a few games every year. We used to drive into the Bronx real early, and go get breakfast at the breakfast shoppe off of River Ave - right under the Elevated subway. I wish I can remember the name, I think they are still there last time I was over on that side.

After breakfast, we would walk around the outside of the stadium and my dad would find someone to buy tickets off of. Little did I know we were 'illegally' scalping tickets for each game! LOL - What did I know? I was just the innocent child tag-along! I will say this- my father always got us great seats! He was a "Wheeler & Dealer" (typical salesman!). Back then, you could get 2 tickets right behind the Yankees dugout for $100 from a scalper. Now-a-days, forget about it, you have to take out a 2nd mortgage to get tickets in the same spot! And I would be too terrified to try and buy scalped tickets LOL.

Even if we didn't get great seats for some games, back then, you could still go into the stadium as soon as they opened the gates, and walk right down to field level and park yourself against the padded walls for batting practice. There was no security guard locking 'the peasants' out of the field level like there is now. The best part of the game was seeing batting practice and being 2 feet from the field! I never did get a ball or an autograph though! Now I have to be satisfied to watch batting practice from my seat in the upper deck.
Some of my favorite players from back then were; Don Mattingly, Willie Randolph, Dave Winfield, Reggie, Rickey Henderson, Thurman Munson, Guidry...

Some of my favorite players now are; Jeter, Arod, Pettite, Mariano, Mark Teixeira, Bret Gardner, Nick Swisher, Cano, CC .... well, I guess I could just name the whole current team couldn't I? LOL.

Sadly I lost interest with the Yankees in the 90's (of all times to stop paying attention!) Around the time Mattingly stopped playing, I lost interest for a while, not sure why - and I missed the big championship years of the late 90's. I knew what was going on but I certainly did not follow my team like I used to. I wish I could go back and watch some of those games that I missed.

Enter Brian Fillmore.
When I met my husband in 2001, he was/is a big Mets fan (No one's perfect!). I am really not a Mets hater at all. He will be the first to tell you that. (He did own a Red Sox hat when I met him. I have since made it disappear 'by accident'.)

I went to one game right before I met Brian in 2001... but before that, I hadn't been to a game since I was probably a senior in high school (1988).

Brian and I got tickets for a game in June of 2003... I remember the feeling I got when I walked into Yankee stadium that day - I felt like a little kid all over again. It made me think about my father. The stadium had a way of making you feel like a kid - you would walk around with wide eyes and look around at everything, taking in all the names of the players that have played in that house! Some things have changed since I was a kid - Back then, a hotdog and a soda was probably about $5. Now, you can easily drop $100 on a couple beers, a hotdog, pretzel, and some peanuts. LOL. The darned scorecard alone is $10 now - and of course we need to buy one for every game we attend!
The game we went to in June of 2003 ended up being Roger Clemens 300th win - What a game to resurrect my love for the Yankees!!

After the "Clemens 300-win" game, I started to reconnect with my childhood and remembered how much I loved the game and my team - and how much fun baseball can be! And I am so thankful my husband feels the same way! Brian and I have faithfully gone to Yankees & Mets games every year - and we don't miss a game on tv or radio ever. I even count down the days to spring training in the winter!
Brian & I were in Florida last October during the ALCS playoffs. During dinner, I had my blackberry setup to MLB Mobile so we could follow the Yankees/Angels game. How's that for a super fan?!

We also went to the first ALDS playoff game last year (2009) vs. the Twins - Yankees won obviously & went on to win their 28th World Series. We splurged a little and got great seats and it was an amazing game! I had never been to a playoff game before. When Jeter hit that homer, the stadium went nuts, it was shaking. That was, technically, Julianna's first game. I was 4 weeks pregnant at that game! No $10 beers for me - darn!

All of this stems from my father's love for the Yankees - and he passed it down to me and I plan to pass it down to my daughter. I won't have to try too hard. Recently I reconnected with my father after many years... and one of the first things we did was watch an afternoon Yankees game on tv like old times. That was fun!
I want Julianna to enjoy the baseball experience like I did so she has her own memories to look back on and always remember. I want her to always remember going to the baseball games with Mommy & Daddy. It's America's past time for a reason.

We will tell her that she can like any team she wants - as long as the team colors are navy blue & white with pinstripes, and they play in the Bronx. She already has a good head start with many Yankees onsies, hats and t-shirts already! Thanks to my friends & family for that!

A note on New Yankee Stadium -
Yes, the New Yankee stadium is modern and accommodating. The seats are bigger, there are more food vendors, it's open & much more room to walk. The upper deck even seems much closer to the field.

Is it the old Yankee stadium? Not even close. You do not get that 'feeling' like you did when you walked in the old cathedral. Maybe it's b/c going there as a kid was so very special for me?

The great Mariano...

Monday, July 12, 2010

8 week milestones

Julianna is coming up on 8 weeks old & I thought this was a good time to talk about some of the milestones that Julianna has reached... or even just the fun stuff she has been doing to make us smile!

About a week ago, Julianna gave us the best gift any baby can give their parents! She gave us the biggest gummy smile ever!
Up until last week, she had been giving us what we called, "Sleep smiles" - she would smile when she was falling asleep. It was cute but we know it wasn't a real smile.
Well she finally gave us the "Real Deal" last week and it was awesome! When your baby smiles, there is nothing in the world that's better! No matter how bad your day is going, that smile makes everything in the world right!

She is doing a great job batting toys with her hands when she is lying in her play (activity) gym. She loves looking up at her toys hanging down over her, she amuses herself quite easily. She is loves her red, back & white Sassy Bug toy... she could stare at it all day.
She also follows us with her eyes when we walk past her. She is very alert and looks around at everything in the room wherever she is.
She held a rattle today and shook it (probably just coincidence that she shook it).
She grew out of her newborn clothes - it's official. It's sad having to take the small stuff out of her drawer and put it in the attic.
Julianna also rolls onto her side rather easily.

She also loves bath time- that is our favorite part of the day when we bathe her. I think it might be her favorite part of the day too! She loves to be massaged with her Night Time Lavender lotion too! I think that's what makes her sleep so long through the night -

Speaking of Sleeping Through the Night - that is the best milestone we have reached. She goes from about 10:30 or 11pm through 6am. I mean, it's not 12 hours or anything - but at her age, I consider that to be sleeping through the night! We'll take the 7 hours for sure!
She has always slept well at night, so it was no surprise when we 'stretched' her out, slowly that she is now going this long.

She is able to hold up her head during tummy time and when we hold her in our arms. Her neck is getting very strong. We always do some kind of tummy time daily with her.
She also loves when we read to her.
Julianna recently found her fingers too. She now loves to try and stick her whole fist in her mouth and thinks it's pretty funny.

I know these are all things every other baby in the world has done at one time or another- but when it's your own baby, it's so much more important! haha!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"I love the Pool!"

Julianna's first swim.
I can't say she loved it - but I can't really say she hated it either. We really want her to get used to going in the water from an early age! She cried for a quick minute and that was it. It took us 45 minutes of slathering her up with baby sunblock, and wriggling on her bathing suit (which I just love!!) and her sunhat - all to get her in the pool to take pictures for 5 minutes! ha!

Julianna giving some thought about going in the pool.

"I think a nap sounds better than going in the pool"

"Yup a nap would really be better - hey it's bright out here!"

"Why do we always have to smile when we get our picture taken Mom?"

"No pictures please"

"Did you people not hear me? I said no pictures"

"Get me out of here now"

"This is me with the family at Club Sasso!"

"I'm all bundled up by daddy after my pool experience. It was OK I guess"

"That wasn't so bad Dad!"

NJ Disability Rant

I will start this out by saying that I am on week 7 of my maternity leave, and my NJ Disability pay is still not correct. (You are technically out on disability when you go out on maternity leave). This has been the most frustrating process EVER! All I want is to get paid for my leave. Should be pretty easy, right? NOT!

I'll back up a bit -
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I called my company's "Leaves" Department. This is the group that handles all the Maternity Leave, FMLA, Forms submitting, etc... I wanted to make sure I knew what process I had to go through. It turns out there was quite a bit of paperwork but OK, I was getting it all done wayyyy ahead of time, so I thought that should have been good enough right?? Ha! You would think!

I called my Leaves group, Payroll, and another private 3rd party group that handles the actual approval of our disability ... AND NJ State as well - to confirm I had all my ducks in a row. I called them several times in fact!
Yep, in case you're counting, that's 4 different groups that have to get their stuff organized for me to go out on leave and get paid correctly for it. I called each one of these groups any time I had questions during my pregnancy - all to make sure i got all my info right and submitting the right forms in order to paid accordingly while I was out on maternity leave.
Sounds Easy enough? hahaha!

My Leaves group is the one responsible for submitting my forms to the state of NJ ... and I trusted them. That was my first mistake. They submitted the wrong dates for which started the downward spiral of many other problems with my actual maternity leave- the dates were wrong (which means I did not get paid for those days from NJ disability), then I was shorted actual pay from my company due to the date changes, then my leave was approved with (yup you guessed it) the wrong dates... I can not tell you what hoops I had to jump through to get those dates corrected - I spent what felt like days on the phone getting this fixed. ARGHH!

Then I found out my company took their sweet time faxing over my forms to the lovely state of NJ (who in and of itself moves at a snail's pace to begin with!) - I did not get my first disability check until I was out on leave for 5 weeks, and it was a partial check at that! Partial? Really folks? I bet the Mortgage company & Car Loan companies don't take partial payments do they? Turns out there is a 3 week waiting period on top of that! So I just received my 2nd check after 7 weeks out. Nice huh!?

Oh and since I had a C-section, I get 2 more weeks out on disability (8 total)- and yes, you guessed it, I had to get the dates changed again with all 4 groups of people handling my disability, since the default is 6 weeks. Between the faxes, phonecalls, waiting for people to return my call, & calls to my doctor to get the Medical forms faxed again to the right people, I was ready to lose my mind. Oh and let's not forget, I am taking care of a newborn during this whole barrel of fun!

So that brings us current - and it turns out NJ state still does not have my correct date that I went out on leave, even though they had the correct form faxed to them 2x. I am still owed 4 days of disability from our wonderful state of NJ. I have been trying to call for several days now, only to get greeted with their annoying recorded message that their 'representatives' are too busy right now. They don't even give you the courtesy of having you sit on hold for an hour- the automated message cuts you off and tells you basically, "Sorry A**hole, we are too busy to bother with you because we are understaffed and overworked. Call back another time". and then it disconnects me. Click. Meet Dr. Dialtone.
Understaffed & Overworked... Now that does sound familiar... Hmmm... Well that's another blog all together.

Here I am 1 week away from having to file forms for the 2nd part of my leave called Baby Bonding time (thank you Governor Corzine!) - but since my dates are still incorrect, I am unable to file for the extension - It's like a catch22. I think these people play games with you on purpose so they can watch you slowly and painfully lose what is left of my already disintegrated mommy brain.

The icing on the cake is this: Yesterday I had to call my health insurance company for something, and the lady happened to mention that Julianna is no longer covered by my insurance. No longer covered? That just made my day! Arghhh! This was my absolute favorite part to this whole disability debacle is when I found out yesterday that her health insurance coverage was canceled as of May 31st... Well I certainly did not cancel it, but you can be sure I have still been paying for it!! Aetna told me it was canceled by my company. Are you kidding me?
So that lead to yet another phone call to my company's benefits group- and they said they need to investigate and would get back to me in 48 hours. What? Gee Lets hope I don't need to bring her to the doctor or hospital in the next 48 hours. That's the other thing- any time I Had to call my company for any of these issues (and believe me, I had to call ALOT!), I had to talk to a call taker that couldn't answer anything or help me- and then told I would get a call back from someone else in the next 48 hours... which never transpired, and it led to me calling them back again to chase them down - only to get told someone from the next level of support would call me back ... yeh OK! You see where I'm going with this. It was torture. Still no resolution today!

So, once I actually get to speak to a living human being at the State of NJ Disability office, and get the dates finally corrected - I will then have to wait for the "retro" check that I'm owed for those 4 days, which if I'm lucky, I might see it by December!! Yes I did say "check" by the way. Our state does not believe in direct deposit. They send paper checks. WHO does that?! Paper checks? Come on NJ, get with the times! I am surprised they don't send the check by carrier pigeon.

Ok well... I know I'm not alone in this, and I know everyone has a sucky experience with getting paid while out on leave, but It is still annoying and eats away at your brain one molecule at a time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This should be illegal

This should be illegal. It really should.
It should be illegal to publish or post online pictures of a perfect supermodel's flat stomach 12 weeks post-postpartum.

Hey Gisele Bundchen, more power to ya for being able to show off your perfectly flat skinny stomach 3 months after having a baby, but for the 99.9% of the population that will never look like that after (or before) they have a baby, it makes me want to scream when I see that picture.

It's bad enough my bellybutton will never see the light of day again ... and the fact that I feel like my stomach can touch the ground when I walk... and I want to throw something at the mirror when I look at myself naked (ahhhhhhh!) - but now, I am subjected to this picture and vogue article about how Gisele has muscle memory and that's why her body went back immediately. Muscle memory? Really? Seriously? My muscles lost their memory years ago.
And I don't want to hear , "Well she had a tummy tuck, she has a personal chef, and a trainer" - Lemme tell you, if I had the spare coin right now, I would be getting my ass & stomach pulled tighter than Joan Rivers' face.

Am I jealous? Yup, I absolutely am LOL! There is no shame in admitting jealousy! haha!
I am not going to lie and make some feminist statement that I love my lumpy postpartum body - because I just do not. Sorry, but I wouldn't mind looking like Gisele 12 wks after having a baby.

I am going to chant "Love thy body" over and over, as I roll around on my bed trying to pull my jeans unsuccessfully over my postpartum hips that have magically spread out since 10 months ago. Someone call the TLC Cable channel, because I think I might be able to go on that TV show about the people that have to be lifted out of their house by a crane.

Yes, I know she is a supermodel and us mere mortals couldn't possibly ever look like her - but for one minute in my life, I can dream, can't I?

Yeh yeh, I know, work out, eat right, bla bla bla - that's just not the advice I am looking for with this. I know all that. Today, I would rather wallow in my own misery for a while and eat a brownie while checking out skinny postpartum celebrity pictures LOL.

Here is the article in case anyone cares to check it out


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