Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UPDATED Review: Samsung Won't Honor Warranty on $1500 Flat Screen TV

Well, here goes. Last year in March my husband purchased a Samsung Flat Screen TV. He also purchased a Sound Bar Surround System by Samsung, and we purchased a Samsung Bottom Freezer French Door Refrigerator. MAJOR Purchases. This year we purchased a Samsung Electric Convection (Flat Top Glass) Range.

And very soon after, we ran into our first warranty claim with Samsung. The first Three Samsung Appliances (TV, Surround, and Fridge) were purchased at Sears. The Range we purchased at a local dealer, because of our previous issues with Sears service and their warranties. We no longer purchase extended warranties from Sears because of the difficulty that we had with our dishwasher, which ended up being replaced as a lemon. Eventually. Most of you know all about that story.... and it's here if you want to read it.

I was sitting watching Masterpiece Theater one Sunday night, and Evan came home, and said "What's that on the TV Screen?" and I said, you know, that little red line? I noticed it but thought it was just something on PBS. He looked at it and was immediately concerned, he thought it looked like a dead pixel. The problem began to "spread" as the line widened a tiny bit and started to run down the screen, like blood.

I called Sears and was told the television was TWO DAYS out of warranty. Yes. Seriously. TWO DAYS. When I started to press the issue, I was repeatedly transferred, and when I said that it was TWO DAYS after the date of purchase, but not two years after the date the TV Was shipped to the store and picked up, they then started to look into that, taking their time.

In the meantime, I called Samsung and was immediately told that the television was in fact still under warranty. They told me that an authorized repairperson would be calling us to setup a service call. I was assigned a service ticket, #4008058931. Within One Day we had a phone call from United Electronics, a small, one-person repair shop Authorized by Samsung. He came out within about a day, and looked at the TV. Immediately he was stumped. There was no damage whatsoever to the outer shell of the TV, the frame, or the screen. NONE. (which we already knew. Nothing had happened to the TV. I don't even DUST the TV, only Evan touches it, and the issue was right at eye level when you are standing in front of the TV, in the upper left area.) He took the television apart. He couldn't find what was causing the problem. He said that he would be contacting Samsung and someone would get back to us. He called back and said that he needed to take photos of the screen issue. Again, he came to the house (one week from the last time, on a Tuesday, which meant again that I wasn't home) and took photos of the TV.

The first time that he came, Evan said that he was a nice enough guy, but didn't really seem qualified to be repairing the TV. When he left that first time, he left TWO SCREWS out of the TV and Evan couldn't see where they came from. Likely somewhere inside the TV. Evan moved them to the top of our Office Armoire and when he returned the second time, he gave the man the screws and asked him to put them back, which he did NOT do. Two screws are still out of the television.

Evan was also very concerned and appalled with the way the man pushed on the Television screen. Evan said he was tapping and pounding on the screen, and pushing on it very strongly. Evan was very concerned because he wouldn't even let me DUST the TV, let alone have someone push on it. He couldn't believe that they would be that rough with something that we had thought was so delicate.

The Television shows NO issues when it is off. You can only see the pixelation when the TV is on. In fact, I just took photos of that too. Smooth as glass. Not a scratch, ding, mark, etc. And now our concern is that with all the pushing and pressing and tapping on the screen, and with having the TV taken apart AND having screws not replaced, we might have more issues than if we had never filed the claim.

The repairman called back and left me a voicemail. He told us that Samsung was not going to honor the warranty on the TV, for repair or replacement, and that the repair ticket was being closed. He said that Samsung said the damage was caused by an external force or damage to the screen of the TV. We KNOW this is not true, we never have had anything hit or touch the TV, and the repairman was the hardest on the Television that we have ever witnessed. We also know there is no scratch, knick, dent, or mark on the Television, and the repairman said the same thing himself. He told Evan that if the TV had been hit, the screen would had to have been cracked or damaged on the outside in order to cause that much damage on the inside. In the voicemail, the repairman told me that if I had questions to call Samsung Directly.

Tonight I took some photographs of the TV. It isn't easy to do because you get these strange "lines" when you photograph a television. But I assume that my photos are probably better than the repairman's, simply because I have a D3000 and he had a cheap Kodak Easy Share.

I intend to call Samsung and ask WHO made the determination, and pursue the issue further. This is very disappointing. Evan and I thought we had found a brand that we could count on, purchased FOUR appliances from them, and now with our first warranty claim, it is denied.

Stay Tuned....

We have uploaded pictures of the television, that we personally took after Samsung denied our warranty claim. You can see the interior issue that makes the pink/red on the screen when the TV is on. There is no evidence of anything wrong anywhere on the outside of the TV. it is immaculate. I took a photo of the TV off also. we are absolutely unsure of where the alleged "damage" is. The red line is located exactly 5 feet off the ground, out of the reach of anyone under 30 in this house. There are no scratches, no breakage, and no imperfections anywhere. The repairman told us that there is no damage to the TV itself anywhere, and that if the line was caused by "damage" the screen would have had to have been hit hard enough to crack the glass, which obviously did not happen. Our photos are here:

UPDATE- Called Samsung Tonight (Monday April 11th, 2011. ) Ticket is being reopened and now handled by their Executive Customer Relations Department, someone from that department will be calling me tomorrow. New Ticket Number is #4008130514 - I also told the rep about the repairman tapping and pounding on the screen. Also about leaving the screws out. - Spoke with Claude in Customer Service.

UPDATE2- called Samsung again tonight (Tuesday April 12th at 9:30pm) as NO ONE from any Samsung Department called me today. I had left a voicemail with the initial customer service rep who opened my ticket, and no call back and no action on the ticket. I also had spoke to Claude who escalated the claim and reopened the new ticket, as above. The new customer service rep read the ticket and said it has been forwarded to that department and that the Samsung Executive Customer Service Department is now conversing with the "Authorized Repair Center" (the guy who pounded on the screen) to see what he has to say. Nothing like ignoring the customer. I told them I will wait for a call tomorrrow. She said "Probably wait till at least Thursday"

UPDATE: called Samsung again Tuesday April 26th because I had not heard back from them AT ALL regarding the new ticket and the Executive Customer Service Department. Of course I had to go through two people, and tell my story over AGAIN to each of them. I was finally told that they had "called me back" and I told them that I had NOT received a call back. I told them they have one telephone number for me and I have voicemail and received no message. They told me they left me a voicemail. LIE! I was told that again the TV had been determined as physical damage and that the problem was not covered by warranty. I told them AGAIN that I wanted to know WHO made that determination and that I want to speak with THAT PERSON and I want to know exactly where this physical damage is to the TV. I was finally told that they would "see if there was a supervisor available to speak with me." (this was about 15 minutes into the call.) At about 20 minutes into the call, she was still trying to locate a supervisor. at 10am. On a Tuesday. I was eventually transferred to Shauna who is a supervisor in the Executive Customer Relations area. Shauna told me that their technicians determined the TV to be physical damage. I calmly (proud of myself) explained that we KNOW the television is not damaged and we are positive that it is immaculate. I explained that I want to speak to someone who made this determination and I want them to show me the physical damage that they see in the photographs, because we see none and know the TV has been kept safe and high in the air. She told me that there is "no phone number or extension" for the technicians and they just can not be spoken to. (the great and powerful oz! *insert image of small balding man behind a large cubical here*)

So I asked Shauna what a person like me was to do next. What is my next step. She said that while she cannot override the decision made by the technicians, she can accept additional photos (which I have taken) and forward them to the technicians for review and they can look their decision over again. She said that I could then appeal the decision at a higher level, such as sending a letter to the corporate office. She then gave me email and mailing addresses to both. I will begin by sending Shauna an email with the photos and a description of the problem.

Email address to send to Shauna- snaecr_ag52@sea.samsung.com
1-800-522-7341 option 7 extension 85158

Corporate Mailing Address:

Samsung Electronics America
85 Challenger Road
7th Floor
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
Attn: David Choi

email: officeofpresident@SEA.Samsung.com

Let's see if this gets us anywhere. If they can show me the physical damage to the TV, I would understand. But there just isn't any.

I also went ahead and filed a complaint with the BBB, and the BBB of New Jersey will be handling the complaint.

BBB of New Jersey
(Trenton, NJ)
1700 Whitehorse Hamilton Sq. Rd St D-5
Trenton, NJ 08690-3596
Phone: (609)588-0808
Fax: (609)588-0546
Web: http://www.trenton.bbb.org

UPDATE: on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 I received an email from the Better Business Bureau regarding my complaint, notifying me that my information had been forwarded to Samsung in a formal complaint

From the BBB

Complaint ID#: 80184788
Business Name: Samsung Electronics America Inc.

Thank you for contacting BBB. Your complaint was received by BBB on April 26, 2011 and has been assigned case# 80184788in our files. Please make a note of this number for future reference.

Your complaint has been applied to the following business:
Samsung Electronics America Inc.
85 Challenger Rd Fl 7
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660-2118

Your BBB team has reviewed the case and sent it to the business for their response. Please note it can take up to 30 business days to resolve a dispute.

This business has an initial deadline of May 11, 2011 to respond to your complaint. If BBB does not receive an answer by the deadline, we will send a reminder to the company. You may contact our office after May 11, 2011 to check the status of your complaint.

We encourage you to use our ONLINE COMPLAINT system to keep up with the progress of this complaint. To view the details of your case please go to the following website address:


This email was received at 5:23am, and at 2:22pm today (the very same afternoon) I received a voicemail from Samsung Electronics asking me to return their call to 201-373-5429 regarding me BBB Complaint, and they gave me a transaction #3000646907. We were sleeping (naptime) so while the kids were eating supper I decided to give a call back in a moment of quiet. The voicemail that I reached said simply “Your call has not been answered.” And then gave me the option to enter another extension or to leave a message. I left a message. I then also decided to call back and try the other option to see what would happen next. I couldn’t understand the woman’s name in her voicemail, it was obvious that English was not her first language, and to be honest, even if I had understood her I don’t think I could possibly have spelled it. I am not usually concerned with anyone’s ethnicity, but the language barrier might be a difficult one when it comes to something like this. Her accent was very heavy, and I had to listen to her message three times to get the numbers correct. Hopefully I called the right telephone number. When returning the call the second time, and trying 0 for an operator, I did not receive anyone, but was instead directed back to the voicemail.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Almost Here!

Well, tomorrow is Easter! We are excited around here. Despite my recent injury, we have recently been able to accomplish most of the things that we usually do around Easter. We missed Palm Sunday, and I am still depressed about that, because that is also the Sunday that our church takes their annual group photo, and we will go another year without us being in the picture. I can't tell you how sad that is, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. We also missed passion walk... but that will happen again I am sure. AND we missed Lily's blessing.

We did get eggs colores, Easter outfits picked out and bought, the Mall Easter Bunny Visited, AND made it to the Community Club Easter Egg Hunt tomorrow. The kids opened their baskets from Grandma Susan and Grandpa Bob's, and we have every plan to be at church tomorrow. ALL of us. I am going to be Mary Magdelene (I know, right?) and discover Jesus missing body at the tomb. Then after churrch, we will head out to Grandma Deb and Grandpa Dave's for our annual Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Dinner. The kids know that since our yard has some space constrictions, and the Bunny knows that we will be there each year for dinner, he just leaves our baskets at home and then hides our eggs at the farm, where there is lots of wide open spaces :)

So, Happy Easter to everyone. We are laying low this afternoon. My ankle is bothering me after the egg hunt, especially all the walking in the grass and on the uneven ground and rocks at the playground. I have had my foot up all afternoon and evening. :) We are watching Movies and relaxing.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chickens, Broken Bones, Fabulous Friends, and much more.

I am so tired! Whew! It's not like I have done SO MUCH today. But man, it sure feels like it! This morning my ankle was really bothering me. I kept the aircast off this morning while at Home, and just stayed on the couch. I did some things online, read a little bit, tried to keep the kids from killing each other while speeding around the house on their riding toys, and pretty much just tried to stay put. I had a doctor appointment with Dr. Kim (gastroenterologist) that had been scheduled for next week, but when I was walking into the Orthopedic Specialist's Office yesterday (or hopping along on my crutches, rather) they called and said that Dr. would be seeing patients the following day and would I like to move up my appointment? So I said sure, and at 11am today went BACK to the hospital to see Doctor. So I took a long bath, during which Ardyn and Marek both wanted to sit on the potty. Marek came into the bathroom and wanted to get in the tub (per usual) and started to strip off his pants, and then tried to pull off his diaper. He got his pants down but not OFF is ankles, and then got his diaper off, but the velcro tab stuck to the back of his sweatshirt so he was hobbling around the house with his pants around his ankles and his diaper dragging along behind him attached to the back hem of his sweatshirt by the velcro. He was saying "Dadddddddy. I neeeeed go pottty." and I could hear him searching the house for daddy. I finally got him to come back so he wouldn't pee in the floor, and Ardyn located daddy, who came and put Marek on the little potty because by that moment Ardyn wanted to go too. Marek had tried to get on the big potty but he is WAY tooo short to accomplish that feat.

As soon as I put my aircast on to go to the Doctor... excruciating. It just touches the exact spot of the break, which happens to be very near the skin on the outside of the area of my ankle bone. When I put my tennis shoe on.... Yowza. I wasn't sure I could wear it at all. But by the time I had limped to the doctor and got through my appointment, it was tolerable, or perhaps just numb.

I am scheduling another scope, this time lower only, to check on the inflammation/colitis and see what exactly is the status. It's been just short of a year since my first one, and Dr. Kim is putting me on one additional med right now that is a fast acting tablet to soothe the acid in addition to the PPI. The PPI works great, with the exception of when I lay down at night. Dr. is giving me this as a supplement to the PPI, just for use on occasion when I feel that hard to swallow lump going on. He thinks that since things have been going well with the upper symptoms, we don't need to repeat the upper scope this time. So I scheduled the scope without my calendar because I am an idiot and didn't bring it with and haven't gotten everything into MobileMe yet... and of course I accidentally scheduled it so that the PREP is the same afternoon as the school zoo trip (uh-oh) and the actual scope is the day of Ardyn's Dance class Pictures, which she will wear her recital costume for. Just seems like a couple too many things going on those two days. So I think I will move it forward a bit, so that it's just AFTER recital weekend and BEFORE zoo day. Jeez. Doctor also has switched to a new Prep (MoviPrep) which (I know this may astound anyone) I am actually excited about. ha ha. I know. But it's all liquid, and seems to be LESS than the previous amount, and you can drink MORE Liquids of your choice, AND there is no "poop pill" that you need to take on top of it. About time. It also comes in a much more manageable container than the previous GIGANTIC jug. The girls at the office said that patients have been telling them it's much more tolerable and they get better test results as well.

So, anyway, after that fab appointment (I am not being sarcastic, it really was good) I got to see AO and CB for a bit, which was cool. Then I came home and my ankle was killing me! Off with my shoe. Sarah brought a casserole and Jamie brought lunch, we ate and then I went to the couch. Foot up. Then we took a nap, that actually lasted like an hour but took about 4.5 hours, because Ardyn kept waking Marek up, causing problems, and eventually was so exhausted herself (to bed late from coloring eggs and up toooo early) that she couldn't even function. We missed dance. I feel bad because I know recital is coming up, but my ankle hurt and Evan was gone and she NEEDED to be taking a nap. Then we got up, I got a casserole from Courtney and a loaf of bread, which went right into the oven and we ate supper. Then the kids took a bath and I put them to bed. Back to the couch. Foot up. Then I went down and sorted laundry. it took my SO LONG to sort that the load I started was doing it's final rinse when I finally got the clothes sorted. yay. Then I cleaned the chicken brooder and fed and watered them.

I just wanted to note, that I am so grateful for the food. The mail train has already been awesome. We have been eating well and we are in casserole heaven... and chocolate heaven :) I feel guilty because I have been given the "yes" to walking, but it is broken and it still hurts like hell, and I am trying to limit my time on it. Plus I have two weeks of laundry, two weeks of dishes, and a ton of other stuff to do... and I hope that I can slowly get some stuff accomplished while not being on my foot much. We have a big day planned tomorrow but hopefully not a whole lot of it will require me to be on my feet :)

I AM going for a second opinion. I called my family physician, and spoke to the nurse, who agreed that a second opinion was not a bad idea. She suggested seeing Dr. Perona at St. Margarets, who used to work with Dr. Sompalli. She mentioned that she was confident in Sompalli but that perhaps a second opinion can't hurt. I have had my records sent to the physician and checked that Dr. Perona is a primary care physician for insurance and that I can go see him so soon after just seeing Dr. Sompalli. So, next week sometime. they suggested that I might need to have another xRay because the xray will be over a week old by the time he sees me, and It may have healed or changed since then. So now we wait a bit.

Tonight Evan brought in the two bags of chicken food I got on Wednesday. I bought another 20# bag of chick starter and a 40# bag of 15% starter finisher. I have been doing a ton of reading about chicken health and nutrition, and several of the books that I have read, recommend that you move chicks of my particular breed to a grower/finisher at around 8 weeks, instead of 10. Then you keep them on the grower/finisher until they start to lay and then move them to layer. I wanted to get some more feed at TSC the last time I went, and when I told the lady that I wanted to buy some starter/finisher and asked her where it was, she tried to talk me out of it. In fact, she downright refused to show it to me because she told me that my chicks needed to stay on chick starter until they were 10-13 weeks old. Um. Okay. I was stumped because I had read a bunch about being able to move them sooner, and the chick starter comes in fairly small bags and I was about to finish one. I wasn't sure I wanted to go buy another bag of chick feed and then move to finisher after that. I had intended on buying the finisher, opening the bag to see if it was much larger (pellet) or more of a crumble, and determine if they can swallow it. She wouldn't even show it to me. Grrr. This was the samek woman who told me that I didn't need to buy pine bedding for my brooder if I already had cedar, because it didn't matter, and then a week later I read in like 5 places that cedar contains a dust that causes a lung disease that will kill chickens, and that young chicks are incredibly susceptible to it. Nice. So I ended up making my THIRD trip into the store for the correct bedding, that cost me $4.50 - less than the gas it probably took me to make the trips. So later that day, when I got home and started researching feed again, I kicked myself for not telling her where she could stick it. AND then this week I went back and got a bag of chick starter and a bag of finisher. When I opened the finisher, I saw that it was really small crumbles and then I was cranky because I had already OPENED the bag of chick starter (duh) and I probably could have gotten away with taking it back. These chickens are HUGE, but they are about 5 weeks now so I just tell myself that I will feed them starter for another 2 weeks or so and then whatever starter is left I will start to halve with the finisher and transition them slowly as recommended. They are eating a TON now. To give you an idea, when they were little, they ate 1/8 quart of chick starter per day, for the whole six of them. Now they are eating a full quart feeder of starter each day. I don't want to give them much more than that because they are a heavy breed and I don't want them to get overweight as they will get foot and leg problems. Right now they are eating just that much, and leaving a tiny bit in the feeder by feeding time. So they are eating EIGHT TIMES what they ate 2.5 weeks ago. Yep. And they drink 2 quarts of water a day. They are already technically outgrown their brooder, but so far they aren't really fighting, are very healthy, clean, and happy... and have great appetites. I do have one runt, but it doesn't really seem like she is being picked on. In fact I sometimes wonder if she might be a he. I clean the brooder and their feeders every day, so I am not as worried about the crowded quarters as I could be. They still like to roost on their perch (a tension curtain rod) and they also like to fluff their feathers big and full and kick around the pine chips to make a nest like impression in the bedding and lay down together. Too cute.

So, that's the scoop. I have an icky feeling that there will be water in the basement tomorrow. All the rain that is already making water stand in the yard, and the forecast for tomorrow is for severe storms and rain. Wind, hail. I hope this isn't so, but I tried to tidy up the basement a bit so that things don't get wet. I put all the chicken feed and potting soil up on the potting bench, and then I refilled both 5 gallon buckets with fresh feed and covered them tightly. The only thing I didn't get done was sweeping the floor a bit, but it's 1am so I think I might be okay to just sleep now.

And Yes, this is how I take it easy. If my body rests, even the slightest.... my mind RACES.
For example, if God promised to never flood the world again, what is this inevitable doom that seems to make me want to build an ark and protect my family. All this rain. The storms and the rain get worse each year. The ice caps are melting, and I believe that scientists might be right when they say that the Earth is in this natural life cycle where it cleanses itself of our bad influences to start itself fresh again. We could be wiped out like the dinosaurs. What's God's perspective on that? I don't feel very safe here right now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Color. Me. Confused.

So. This morning I get up with a soft cast from the thigh to toes. Intending to go to the orthopedic surgeon, and according to the ER physician, MAYBE they would cast me from the knee down instead.

So, we go into the ortho office, spend 20 minutes filling out paperwork, get into the actual room, unwrap the soft cast and remove it, the Nurse Practitioner says that the bone is not a bone that they cast breaks, that the ER did a bit of overkill, and that they will give me a walking boot. Yay I think. Then Dr. S comes in and touches it, and says that I don't need anything. No crutches. No cast. No walking boot. No aircast. NOTHING. yes, you heard me. Nothing. I twist my ankle and fall down the steps twice in one week, pain, swelling, bruising, and a mild break.... and I need nothing.

My problem with this is that, while not having a cast is good news, not having anything is... well.... frightening. I have had bad ankles, excessive twisting, and twice have fractured bones (once in 2007 and again this past week) and I need... nothing.

In some ways I understand. He wants me to walk on it. He wants me to strengthen it. But does he not consider that I have two small children and that everything that I do is sort of hazardous? I don't want to be carrying my son and have my ankle give out. I said "Can't I wear my aircast for support?" and he said "if you want support, wear an ace bandage" and he proceeds to wrap my ankle. I learned with I was 17 that an ace bandage does not in any way prevent a sprain or twist of my ankles. I'd be better off in flip flops. I don't think that Evan understands my concern, he's probably just relieved to be off Mom Duty.

So today we came home, I ditched my crutches, and put my aircast back on. I have to have something for support to prevent my ankle from twisting. It bothers me that I can't get the ortho doctor to understand that these breaks are just secondary to excruciating sprains. I saw an Ortho Specialist in Peoria back when I was in college, and that is where I got my first aircast. He understood that the ace bandages and elastic ankle support braces are not enough for my problem. Maybe I should have gone back there instead. I just don't understand.

So, at this point in time, I don't know if I should just cancel the meal train? I can walk, I can drive, etc. I am planning on keeping my foot up as much as I can so the swelling will stay down. He said that the break will be painful for at least 2-3 months as it heals, and that is especially painful to the touch because the break is right on the outside of my ankle.

I am terrified that I am going to fall again. But I guess at this point I am supposed to be happy that I am walking again? Huh. Guess I am right back to square one.

Well, off to drive my van for the first time since Sunday, and pick up Ardyn from school and take Marek to get a haircut, and tonight I guess we will color easter eggs? Jeez this is strange.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mom's Night Out at Dora's Peruvian Chicken

Tonight the MOPS moms met at Dora's Peruvian Chicken for our Monthly Mom's Night Out. Earlier in the month I had started to hear a LOT of negative feedback about people's experiences. I had several friends on Facebook who had been there and been happy, and mentioned that the longer they are open, the more things they get on their menu, and the more they get kinks ironed out.

I have to say that I had been REALLY excited about something new and different coming in to Princeton. Evan and I had talked about taking the kids there and talked about going there for date night. I REALLY want this establishment to succeed. They have done an insane amount of work to this building and obviously intend to succeed (?)

Unfortunately, at the rate they are going, I don't think they will be there long. The expanded menu was.... weell.... seriously lacking. Seriously. Lacking. The prices of entrees range from about $12-16 per person. CB and I both ordered steamed tilapia, which came with rice and salad. It was a $12 entree. I love Pinot Grigio, which also happened to be their most expensive wine at $7 per glass. I don't drink wine often, and I am by no means a wine connoisseur, but I can tell you, that glass of wine was no $7 glass of wine. The majority of the other ladies had Sangria at $3 a glass. we inquired about pitchers of Sangria and did not (to my knowledge) get an answer.

Now, one thing I will say, up front, is that I really like the Waitress. She is a facebook friend and her family owns the restaurant. I think she is really sweet and I really hesitate to write this review because I don't want to hurt her feelings. But the more I considered it, the more I considered that it would be really a shame if a place with such great potential went under because they weren't providing what the people are looking for. And anyone who knows me should probably already know that all my blog reviews are NOT biased. Even if I get free product to review, I do not mince words and if I do not like it, I say so. I don't change my mind because I like you.

Firstly, when arriving at a restaurant, especially one that is new and considered (IMHO) Fine dining, the thing I expect first is a warm welcome. No matter what your ethnicity, language, or cultural differences, a big smile and a nice gesture to your table go a long long long long way. We received neither. In fact, there was a big lack of, well, talking. At all. No smiling, with the exception of our waitress. There was, essentially, no "host" or hostess behavior. The man who I assumed was in charge of greeting us also gave me a vibe that he might be a potential owner or family member, but when we arrived he was behind the bar and when we decided where we were planning on sitting, I don't believe he really made much conversation or eye contact with any of us. This was disappointing. I didn't feel welcomed, I didn't feel appreciated. I have to say that I am greeted better at McDonald's than I was at Dora's. Had it not been for knowing the waitress, I would absolutely, Never consider going back. Ever.

Overlooking that factor, We waited 25 minutes from the time of arrival until the time our orders were taken. There were about 4 other tables of 2-4 people at the time, and there was ONE waitress. ONE. She was in charge of taking orders, filling water glasses, bringing drinks from the bar, AND putting tickets in, delivering meals, clearing the table after the meal, AND taking the money up to the bar with our tickets. ONE. WAITRESS. Granted it was a Tuesday evening, but that is a bit silly. Even if you are trying to save money, if things aren't done in a timely manner, you aren't going to save yourself anything.

She brought us ice water right away, but it was 25 minutes until our order was taken, and after our order was taken it was quite a bit of time until we received our drinks. One of our ladies actually walked up to the bar and took a full pitcher of ice water, which had been just sitting there, and brought it back to the table because all of us had empty water glasses but the waitress was busy with other tables, some whose food orders were up, and some who were just coming in.

the bar was NOT full, the exact opposite in fact. The "bartender" was sitting behind the bar drinking (lemonade?) while we sat without water and waiting for our drinks. When the waitress took our order she let us know that the chicken would take 30 minutes to get done. She asked if that was okay. I don't know what would have happened if we said no, but of course we said "fine." After placing our order, we had our food in between 15-20 minutes. It really wasn't much of a wait... ONCE we had placed our order. A few people came in and left, because the sign on the door stated that there were no credit or debit cards accepted until their system was online. I can understand that... but it has been a few weeks since their opening. Checks and Cash were accepted. We witnessed one family, who finished their meal, and the father had to go out in the pouring rain and DRIVE to an ATM to come back and pay for their meal. If I had children with me, there is NO WAY I would have seen that sign on the door when ushering them inside in the rain.

A few moms had to pay other moms back because they weren't prepared for the Cash or check only situation.

Food. this can certainly make or break a restaurant :) I ordered the Tilapia, and it was, in fact, delicious. The portions were generous. The Tilapia had a delicious sauce and was marinated with some types of tomato/onion/vegetables (chopped and cooked) and really was quite tasty. It was quite possible the best tilapia I have ever had in an Illinois establishment. It was not the traditionally light, flaky, yet DRY fish.... It was incredibly moist. CB and I both questioned if it truly had been steamed. I almost thought it had perhaps been steamed but then sauteed in the sauce with veggies... it was delicious. Not something that I would be "dreaming of" in the future, but really quite good. Everyone at the table agreed that the rice sides left something to be desired. They tasted a little less delicious than the Uncle Ben's 90 second microwave pouches. This was not just my consensus, but more than one person said that, and agreed with that.

SC said the chicken was good, and others said they wished they had tried something else, because their order did not overly impress them.

Our side salads came with our meals, but none of them had salad dressing on or with them. We all were quite puzzled. Several minutes later (8?) after many of us had already eaten half of our salads, the salad dressings arrived with each individual cup on a larger tray, much like a tray of drinks. they were left at one end of the table and we passed them out ourselves. Many of the ladies meals included french fries... and only ONE person got ketchup, because she specifically asked for it (?)

There were candle lanterns on the tables, but none of them were lit. There were silk roses at the center of each table. the tablecloths were white linen, but were covered with white paper, like butcher paper, that was replaced after each table was cleared.

Dessert "options" consisted of Sisler's Ice Cream. After eating, we were all looking for something sweet, but with the prices and the types of meals we had eaten, and the wine and sangria, we all expected a dessert menu, something with a little more to it. Something rich that you could split and sink your fork, and your teeth into. Something rich chocolate with whipped cream, or cheesecake. None of us ordered dessert.

It took so long for the bartender to get our money figured out and get the change back to the waitress that some moms thought that she had made off with our change.... but I had been watching all the trays with receipts sitting up on the bar and assured them that she would not take off with our money.

1. No One Greeted Us Properly
2. Everything Seemed to take an unacceptable amount of time
3. Everyone was wondering exactly what the bartender's job WAS, and if he was actually doing it.
4. The food was nothing to write home about. Especially for the cost. If the fish and chicken had some phenomenal sides, MAYBE. The sides left a LOT to be desired. The Salads were unimpressive and the dressing was late.
5. While the renovations were very nice, and some of the peruvian themed wall decorations were very nice, there were also some really poorly done fake flower arrangements, some hand blown glass "vases" that looked much like bongs, and a large fake fruit bowl arrangement on the bar. It would do better with a minimalist look than it would to have such a beautifully done style that was cluttered up with things that you would find looking quite plastic, tacky, and dusty in your grandma's old house.
6. If you are in any sort of a hurry, go somewhere, ANYWHERE else. I would not take your kids there. At all. There is no children's type menu, I would not pay $12 for my kids to even split the food, and there is no way they would sit through that type of waiting successfully.
7. It was HOT in the building, even though it was overcast and storming out side. Originally the people who had said it was hot had said they thought it was because of the big windows and all the sun coming in, but there was no sun and it was STILL hot. I had a sweatshirt with a tank top underneath and I ended up eating in my tank top and it was 40 degrees outside and raining.

There you have it.

I still maintain that this place could be SO COOL! They need people who are more willing to take initiative and help the waitress, or a designated hostess who welcomes you and handles drinks so that you feel like they actually WANT you there. The meat dishes seemed to be well done, but the sides were unimpressive and the prices were not in line with the service and package they were providing. The wine is overpriced. No refills on drinks like Lemonade.... The menu is very slim. There wasn't really much of an issue "deciding what you want" - it was more like "Deciding what you might like"

I hope that they take some of our suggestions to heart and make some positive changes. Princeton needs different places to eat. At this point I would rather go to McDonalds or Monicals or The Pizza Cellar than go to Dora's again.

My Bill for one entree and one glass of wine plus tip was $25 even.

Playdate at the laundromat

I am thinking that the next step for me is to get a real cast on this leg tomorrow, and then start on laundry. We had laundry mountain BEFORE I was declared broken, because I had been in an aircast for a week and didn't do laundry. Now it's pretty ugly. :)

I am thinking that the way to go is to have Evan load up the laundry and take me and the laundry and perhaps Ardyn (who is a helper at heart) to the laundromat this Thursday. I can wheel around on my knee scooter and Ardyn can help me put clothes in and out of the machines like she does at home. Then I can sit and fold and hang while we wait. The more machines means more clothes done at a time. And then I thought, maybe I should have a laundromat playdate and see if any of my SAHM friends want to bring their kiddos and we can fold laundry. But then I thought, do I really want my friends folding my granny panties? lol. So, maybe it would be better to ask my mom and do it in the afternoon. I was originally considering the Wyanet laundromat, but then I started to think, Princeton has more folding counters, bigger machines, and tell me friends, which laundromat has rolling laundry baskets, like we used to use in the 80's? Inquiring minds need to know. You know the ones that are on wheels but at waist level, and then have a bar across the top to hang clothes that are clean?

So anyway. Today we had a delicious lunch, thanks to Andrea Wiggim. Marek was super excited at lunchtime :) a far cry from his nuked hot dog in front of the TV yesterday. Ardyn came home and went from sweet to evil in about 20 minutes. Once the fighting started, I declared it naptime. It took me forever to get them to sleep because they kept getting out of bed, getting into each other's bunks, there was biting and fighting and whining and crying. Now they are asleep. I am considering a nap myself, but not sure. I have to shower and get dressed to go to Mom's night out tonight, and that takes FOREVER with one leg... so while a nap sounds good, it probably isn't the best idea. With the exception of lunchtime and putting everyone to bed and when I got myself and Marek dressed, I have had my leg up alllll day. Pretty proud of myself. I can feel how much the swelling has gone down because my ankle has all sorts of room inside this soft cast to wiggle now. :)

Well, that's all I can dream up right now, perhaps I will head for the bathroom and get cleaned up :)

Monday, April 18, 2011


yep, the rumors are true. My leg. Is broken. It is the Fibula of my right leg, which is the outer leg bone, and the ER doctor says that it's the very tip, the bottom of the bone in the ankle area, that is broken. Most of you who are Facebook friends know that Ardyn tripped me when I was going down the front steps, and I had walked on it for a week with the aircast on, pretty confident that it was another avulsion fracture of that ankle bone. Turns out that I feel again this Saturday, exactly one week (practically to the HOUR) from the fall on the steps. I was at mom's with the kids, after taking Ardyn to Eve's birthday party. Marek was asleep on the couch, and after I grabbed a bite to eat, I was going down the steps with Ardyn. I was holding her hand and turned sideways on the bottom step waiting for her to catch up in her "fancy dress gown" when my ankle completely gave out and I fell and took Ardyn with me. It hurt so bad, because I had re-injured what was already swollen and bruised. After that injury, it was painful to walk on again. It was my own fault because the aircast was really bothering my ankle, and it was rubbing and itching under there, and so I had taken it off for a bit and then of course my ankle gave out because um, hello, it was BROKEN. Well, my leg technically, but where all those bones meet to form your ankle. :)

So that night Evan had a gig, and I had both kids, and I was trying to figure out exactly how to get an Xray, because I didn't want to go through the ER thing, but you don't really have a choice after regular hours. Luckily my sweet friend Courtney put her kids to bed, and after mine were in bed she came over and slept on the couch so I could drive myself over and have it checked. When I walked in, they were all pretty confident, I believe, that it was not broken. Because people don't walk on broken bones. But.... people aren't me. :) She asked my pain level and I said 3 or 4 and she just looked at me like "Why are you even getting an xray?" So anyway. I figured they would do their regular "ice, elevate, etc" recommendation, which is why I did that for a week before going in.

I went to get my xray and after she was done, she said "well, you've got something going on, but I can't tell if it's an old or new injury (meaning the one from 2007 or a new one) and so the doctor came in and did some poking and prodding and I was a little "Ow" and he checked the Xray and came back in and said "It's broken" and within like 10 minutes I was in a soft cast from my thigh to my toes. Yeah. And they said "You can't drive, call for a ride home" except it was midnight, and Courtney was trapped at my house with my kids, and Evan in the middle of his gig, and parents all asleep... I called poor EK because I knew that if her kids were in bed and her husband was home, she would come get me, but I felt bad because hers wasn't home... lol. I ended up giving up, and a county deputy was going to drive me home. I had tried to call Evan but he doesn't get a message in the middle of a gig. I wanted about 40 minutes for a deputy and then he got another call and couldn't come. So I gave up and posted to facebook hoping that someone out there was awake and could just get me home! After I posted to facebook, I called my mom, and while I was trying to get her awake enough to understand what was happening, Kyle (BIL) Called and said he was awake and would come and get me. So he did, and I was SO grateful. And of course I hadn't thought about there being a real issue with my leg, so I didn't have crutches with me, and I was on E in the van so I needed gas. *sigh*

When I got home and woke up Courtney, and was sitting there in the chair with my cast on, it was comical because when I said it is broken, she just goes "Shut UP!?" and it still makes me laugh to remember that. She cracks me up.

So I had to send a text to Evan and let him know what was going on, and ask him to go to the basement to feed and water the chickens when he got home, and then I went to bed. It was so hard to sleep with this stupid thing on! I was to follow up with a orthopedic surgeon on Monday, and I had a heck of a time convincing them that I needed an appointment. I was able to get in this Wednesday, and I am just hoping that I don't take a hack saw to this stupid soft cast before then to make it below the knee. My leg isn't bent enough to easily walk on crutches, and I have to walk with my foot out in front of me instead of bent behind me. I already have bruises under my right arm from the crutches.

Yesterday Evan's parents kept the kids while he went to the Quad Cities, and he took me to mom's where Dad and I worked on the chicken coop. Dad more than me, but I was able to stand and help assemble the next box pieces that I had marked out and Josh had cut for me. I just stood on my good foot and propped my broken side up on the legs of the coop... it worked great. But eventually I got tired and hungry and cold, and mom made us grilled cheese and tomato soup which I wolfed down and then I fell sound asleep on the couch. When Evan came to get me they had to wake me up and I was totally tired. We went and got the kids and Evan had to carry everyone and everything into bed. I went down to the basement with my crutches and cleaned the chick brooder, which wasn't hard at all... and then Evan helped me fill their water and I put them back in their home. They are HUGE. No exaggerations. HUGE. I can't believe how much they grow in 24 hours. It's insane. They are eating a quart of food a day. They would eat more if I would let them!

I went to bed nice and early (before 11, I was in bed by 10:30 with two Tylenol PM) and I was so sore! My arms and shoulders and my good leg more than my broken one, just from hauling my ass around on crutches. Whew! It's too much work!

I had a heck of a time making lunch for the kids. I luckily had something leftover from the night before, so all I had to do was set the table and heat it in the microwave. Yeah. ALL I had to do. I couldn't carry anything with my crutches, and this is *supposed* to be a completely non-weight bearing injury. OY. I had the kids set the table, which they do on occasion, but this time I gave Ardyn 3 paper plates (all plain and identical white) and she came back like 3 minutes later saying that she gave Marek his, but couldn't tell the difference between hers and mine. Seriously. I had to laugh. I think I need a cart with wheels. I had the hardest time getting the leftovers from the fridge to the microwave. It was ridiculous. You just don't think of these things. You can't carry a glass casserole dish and walk on crutches at the same time. Seriously. I finally got it there and got it heated up, and had Ardyn push my chair from the dining room over to the front of the microwave so I could set the food on the chair and then she pushed it back to the table so I could lift it up to the table and serve it. Talk about crazy! And then, cleaning up wasn't exactly do-able. Marek and Ardyn had to do some teamwork to get the gallon of milk (even though it was half full) into the dining room and hoist it up on the table. Poor kids.

I gave them baths afterwards, but since I can't stand up on my own or kneel (cast is above knee) I had to sit on the potty lid with my leg up on their stepstool while they swam around and Ardyn helped Marek wash his face off from our spaghetti. They LOVE spaghetti. I didn't bother to wash their hair because I couldn't wrap my head around it.

Anyway. It's crazy. Luckily EK asked what we would like for meals, and started up a meal train for us, and I told her that I was not as concerned about supper as I was about lunch. Suppertime means daddy is here, but lunchtime means I am here alone with both kids, and don't know what the heck I am going to feed them. Today Grandma ended up picking up Ardyn from school and taking her to Subway for lunch. I wanted to beg her to bring some back for Marek and I but I didn't want to be a pain. She ended up keeping Ardyn for the afternoon and calling later to see if Ardyn could stay overnight. That was nice.

But Marek and I didn't eat lunch... until 2:30. Luckily the Perry Home Medical Delivery Guy came (and he was super nice and understanding, even when he had to walk over 5000 tractors and trains to get into the living room, and when I had on a pajama gown with no bra and had my hair sticking up) and he adjusted the shower chair in the bathtub for me, and adjusted the knee scooter to fit me. He was very polite and patient. I appreciated it so much. I can't drive, and can barely walk, AND I have Marek, so I had no idea how I was going to get this stupid gear home from Princeton. Thank GOD they delivered it. SO, after I got the knee scooter, Marek had a nutritious lunch of one hot dog and one piece of string cheese, and I had a piece of string cheese and a coke. Yum. Then I took a much appreciated shower. Wow. Love that chair. Just kept my entire leg out of the shower and covered it with a towel and then the shower curtain to keep everything dry. Will be SO MUCH EASIER if they cast me from the knee DOWN on Wednesday. Pray for that, okay? Otherwise I WILL be crazy!

I snoozed on the couch for a while as Marek played farm and watched PBS. Daddy is on his way home with a few supplies, and then I have a class Reunion Planning meeting to attend. Thankfully I have arranged for rides from friends to my activities this week, and Evan takes Ardyn to school and Grandma picks her up. Daddy will take her to dance on Thursday, and so this is all arranged. I just need to figure out what we will do on Wednesday, to get me to and from my appointment, and we also have haircuts that day. Grandma has offered to help, and Evan might end up taking me to the doctor... I am hoping someone out there wants to take Marek to playgroup on Wednesday while I am at the doctor.

So, just hoping at this point for a quick and efficient doctor visit this Wednesday, leading to a knee down cast and hopefully the news that I won't need any surgery.... !

If you want to participate in the meal train, the link is on facebook, and we are pretty flexible. My wishlist includes things that can go right to the microwave or right to the oven, and come right out and be served. I really want to be able to feed them lunch :( And the less I have to carry the better!

Thanks for all the phone calls and the offers for help. Right now I am most concerned about keeping toys picked up so I don't break my other leg, and also laundry (ack) I am trying to convince Evan to take me and the laundry to the laundromat so I can do all of it at once, and just sit there and fold it. That would be so awesome! :)

Okay, time to move around for a few minutes so I don't get bedsores.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is there any topic I don't touch on?

It's strange that we have been so busy, but I don't feel like I have anything to write. This morning I am trying to get some things done inside, because we have been gone so much that I am again getting behind. I am having a hard time convincing Marek that he does not need to be outside every second of the day, particularly because mom sometimes has things like laundry or dishes that need to be taken care of. Although, despite all my green efforts and lack of paper plate use over the past two years, I am seriously considering some heavy paper plate use this summer. It would be so much easier to keep up on dishes if summer meals were on disposable plates!

Today is the second day that we have our new friend Asher over to play. It has been going well, he is a sweet little guy. Marek doesn't really do well with Asher being the small one, but whenever Marek even looks at Asher or tries to talk to him or play with him, Asher starts crying... so that's probably not helping much. LOL. But they are excited to see each other in the morning, and so that is a good start.

I am going to start trying out a new iPhone app, called Home Routines. I am hoping it isn't like the other apps that seemed like a good idea but I could never keep up with, like Grocery IQ, Groupon, Mealboard, etc. The Idea by home routines is much like Flylady, or Motivated Mom's Planner. Another mom brought the Motivated Moms Planner to MOPS last month, but I missed the meeting, so I didn't know about it until I saw Facebook talk. I googled it and looked into it. It seemed very promising, except that it didn't have the ability to customize, and if you want it customized, you might as well make your own planner. On the Motivated Mom's Planner website, I was looking at the cost ($8) and saw that they had an iPhone app. the app is a little more flexible and also costs about the same. But then I saw that there were other similar apps that were higher rated, specifically Home Routines, which allows you to fully customize your tasks if you choose to, and edit them, and also allows you to add your own tasks, your own zones (which can also be edited) and has options as to when your chores reset, which zones happen which weeks, etc etc. It was also less than half the price, and had more and higher ratings by users. I decided to go ahead and give it a try. It's great because I have morning chores, afternoon chores, evening chores, and weekly chores, and I can even add other things if I want to. The zones are so nicely customizeable, not just WHAT your zones are (I put the bathroom in the same zone as the playroom and kids' bedrooms, because we always tend to work on those three together) and I appreciate the fact that I can add a front porch, back porch, and pantry to the pre-programmed list of zones. I can cluster rooms together (like dining room and living room, because ours are sort of one in the same) and that I can edit exactly what I want to do in each room, like have the kids pick up their crocs and put them in their baskets, or replace the hand towels in the bathroom, or take the recycling to the van on a specific day so that it makes it's way to Princeton when we are already heading that way for preschool. I can even create a morning chore that reminds me on that day to take the recycle OUT of the van and to the recycle center.

Now the thing is, I can still ignore tasks if I want to. So it all boils down to WILL I DO IT and WILL I KEEP DOING IT. I hope they come out with a motivation app sometime soon.

I am currently working on my Farmgirl Badges. This week I am hoping to get to Hobby Lobby to get some transfer paper so I can print out the badges I have earned so far.. and start embroidering them. I have Crochet beginner and Crochet Intermediate, Shopping Green beginner and Intermediate, Gaining Ground Beginner, Backyard Farmer Beginner, First Aid Beginner, and Aprons Beginner. I have several more that are partially completed. Once I get them all embroidered, I have no idea where I am going to attach them. Some put them on a denim jacket (which I don't want to do) and some on a tote bag (eh. I dunno)

We went out to the farm yesterday to work on the coop. the weather was beautiful and there was plenty to be done, but dad was working on seeing the hay ground, so I could only do the things that I could accomplish without any help. I took the roof off the chicken coop and pulled all the nails. Then I drew out the nest box measurements on the plywood. Last night I brought the plywood home, hoping that I would be able to cut it in the garage after the kids went to bed, but that didn't work because I couldn't find the circular saw. Someone must have taken it out of the garage. I found a the battery powered one, but it just couldn't cut it, which was SO frustrating. I ended up starting and having to leave it uncut. Grrr. Today Evan looked for the saw and said it is missing from the garage. Boo. SO now I am trying to determine if I want to feed everyone lunch and then load up all three kids AND the plywood and try to go to the farm and get it cut, or just wait till sometime later. Problem is, chicks are growing fast and weather is about to turn cool and rainy again, and I would love to be moving forward. Before we can side and roof, we need the nest box assembled and attached, and the holes cut in the back wall of the house for the hens to enter the next boxes. I need the side access door cut in the wall of the house, and a front and side door built and attached. The legs need to be put on.... and then I can work on siding. There are so many things that I feel like I can do if someone would just show me how to get started, but it's hard because dad has lots to get done too when the weather is nice. I know I should just be patient, but patience means full sized birds crammed in my basement.

This morning I got a call from the Gastroenterology Office about arranging payment for my bill. I had just opened it last week and thought it was awfully high, but what else is new. I hadn't gotten a chance to look up all the EOB's yet. I decided to go ahead and call the insurance company. Come to find out, all 4 claims were processed as out of network and nothing was paid.... because the Doctor's Office is not including the last two digits, the suffix, of the Tax ID number, in the physician's OR the group's billing information. This resulted in the insurance company's system NOT finding the physician or the group he practices with, and therefore made all the claims be denied for me. So the insurance company has corrected all of his tax ID numbers in their system and resubmitted them all through their system in order to have them reviewed and hopefully paid accordingly. So I tried to call the physician's office back, and they are at lunch. Of course. With no voicemail. I have such limited time to make a phone call without being interrupted by an ornery, screaming, hungry, persistent, or tired child... I hate when I can't at least leave a message so that they can call back later if they need more information. It sometimes takes me weeks to get a phone call completed.

For example, when I was on the phone with the insurance company, Marek decided he needed a banana. He had already had breakfast, AND a snack, and I was in the process of making lunch. The last thing I wanted him to have was more food because then he wouldn't eat lunch. Then 20 minutes later Ardyn starts asking me who I am talking to, and question after question, and then tells me that she needs to talk to that insurance lady about doctor bills because her ankle hurts and she wants to go see the doctor. Oy. This is why I get so cranky when my husband says "can't you just call" as though I am the person with all the free time on my hands. What he doesn't understand is that I have no QUIET on his hands. I am hoping that the new app will help me remember to make phone calls during quiet intervals.

So anyway, I call back after lunch, and I wait on hold for a little bit, no big deal. I get to the person who called me earlier and I told her that I had printed out all my EOB's and that I had them all in front of me, and had called the insurance company. I verified all the dates of service with her, and then I explained that the insurance company did not receive the last two digits of either the physician OR the group tax ID number. I told her that they were resubmitting each claim into their system with the corrected information and that it would take 30-45 days for the claims to be reprocessed and paid. This is when she started to get a little defensive. I told her that the claims had been paid as out of network providers. I told her there was one other issue that I wanted to share with her, and that the insurance company told me that the very first date of service, which was the time that I was an inpatient at the hospital and the surgery department called the gastroenterologist in for a consult, that the visit had been billed to the insurance company with an incorrect code for outpatient consultation, when it should have been inpatient consultation as I was an inpatient in the hospital. Then she got angry with me and started saying that this isn't possible, and she's looking right at the code and the location and I stayed calm and said "that's fine, I am just relaying what the insurance company is telling me, and they pay differently for outpatient consultations than for inpatient, and they may require you to resubmit the claim with the correct code." And then she said "But I am saying that is NOT possible and I don't know why they are telling you that" and I said "Listen, I understand what you are saying. I have done my part and called the insurance company and looked up all my EOB's and I am just telling you what the insurance company is doing and how they are now handling it. If you have a problem you are more than welcome to call the insurance company directly and discuss it with them." - Kind of like putting the conversation to an end.

What frustrates me is that most insurance companies and physician offices expect that every person that crosses their path has no idea about their rights, their insurance claims, and the potential (the very HIGH potential) for mistakes and incorrectly filed claims. I am not saying that the doctor's office made a mistake, I am saying that somewhere there is an ongoing miscommunication, every date of service from August 2010 until March 2011, and that this problem is not going to be fixed by continuing to do what they are doing. Obviously.

I am fortunate (I think) to have worked in healthcare, and learned a bit (and just a bit) about insurance and coding and health billing. I was also fortunate to work in the office of a REALLY particular and stingy insurance salesman (no, not related to me at all :) Who went over every single EOB and medical bill with a fine toothed comb, comparing each thing and even taking a calculator to each one to be sure there were not mistakes. And I can tell you, he found a mistake on at least 3 in 5 EOB's. This taught me that there is a very high chance you are being incorrectly charged, billed, OR reimbursed. So, hopefully this gets all straightened out with the insurance and the physician, because I have another appointment with the gastroenterologist and probably also another upper and lower scope coming up in the next month or two.

My ankle has been killing me today. I think it's because yesterday afternoon I was just sitting around here with the brace off because my leg was sweating and itching under it, and then when I left home initially I forgot it. Walking on it without the aircast felt fine, but I ended up having to come home and get it because it started hurting. Then when I was on my way home after MOPS Tacos, my ankle started to itch again, so I took it off, and forgot it in the van. Well, I have been walking on it this morning without the aircast and it hurts pretty dang bad. I am going to have to take myself outside and get it pretty soon. When Paige gets Asher I need to have Ardyn all dressed for dance class and ready to go soon after, so I keep hoping that if I just sit here with my foot up I can just go out and put the aircast on when we leave. But man is it hurting! stupid weak ankles.

Well, Marek wants to cuddle and rock, he's a tired guy today. Later :)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Happy Birthday!

What a great birthday celebration! The cake turned out great, the decorations were cute, and Marek was excited when he arrived at the party. We had lots of family attend and it was just plain fun for the kids. Marek got lots of cool stuff. Lots of cute summer clothes, and a couple of hooded sweatshirts that will be so handy for the cool evenings and windy days ahead. (like the fact that it was 70+ degrees yesterday and is headed for 30 tonight and 24 tomorrow with wind chill)

He got a Lightening McQueen Fishing Pole and Gas Can for his Cozy Coupe, Thomas Bathtub squirters, The Melissa and Doug Fold and Go Barn, The Learning Curve for John Deere "BIG Red Barn," A Monster Truck that does wheelies, Chuck the Dump Truck, a Wall-E Pillow, A couple of Red Tractors, some new books, Cash for new socks (which we got today, along with some little undershirts :) Some Caterpillar Sandbox Toys, and.... let's see, mommy's favorite toy, Bill-Ding blocks. We had the Bill-Ding men when we were kids, actually they were at my Great Grandma's and Liz and I along with our cousins used to play with them all the time. I assume that my dad played with them when he was a kid, and perhaps even my grandpa? They are so much fun, and the company that purchased the rights to them still makes the wooden men. My cousins Danielle and Jessica were so sweet to get them for Marek, it's a fun toy and it brings back lots of memories for me :)

We got Marek a John Deere blanket and two little Tractor Pillows, and some die cast John Deere, and a Tractor shaped carrying case. We also got him some tractor clothes and some shorts and bibs, and a box of Cars Stickers. Ardyn was really excited because Grandma Susan brought her a little miniature Lalaloopsy from Wisconsin (which she is loving, she already has the tea party set) and Darrell and Leslie brought her a princess Zhu Zhu Pet that is pink. She was so pleased and it was SOOOO Sweet of them to think of her during such a big event.

So anyway, Marek was of course infatuated with the big red barn. With both barns, but the one that he could drive his tractors into was awesome. He's been playing with it nonstop. It was just the perfect gift :) Thanks to Jodi and Mike for taking the trouble to assemble it for us too, it made it just awesome to have it right there to play with!

Friday, April 01, 2011


This is what procrastination looks like. I am supposed to be cleaning the kitchen and baking Marek's Birthday cake and cupcakes. See how well I am doing? The kids got up around 10, and I gave them baths and got them, dressed, and did a few loads of laundry, which is ongoing... but I have been purposely ignoring the kitchen. Oh boy. If I could just be motivated! It might be better if the sun was out, but then I would want to be outside, and so would the kids... so it's probably just as well that it's rainy and overcast.

I also still need to figure out what Marek is going to wear for his birthday, and make the shirt if I am gonna do it. AND I need to get the key to the community center. AND I need to wrap his presents. Oy. The day is half gone and I haven't even begun. Oh well.

Marek's birthday was a fun day. We did all the things he loves to do. We went to the farm and he rode tractors and 4-wheelers and trucks. They played outside and we watched daddy and grandpa burn the prairie plots. Then we went to Farm and Fleet to get some hardware cloth for the chicken coop, and then to take Ardyn to dance. While she was at dance, Marek and I went to the John Deere dealer and he got lots of tractor time, and he picked out a new toy for his birthday. He had such a great time that we were late picking up Ardyn from dance because I had to drag him out.

Then we came home and made mini pizzas for the kids at Marek's request, and after putting them to bed, Evan and I got some Chinese takeout and ate and chatted in peace and quiet. Then Evan went to sleep and I cleaned out the chicken brooder and spent some time with my favorite chick, who is now the largest, with the most feathers, but is also the most bold and curious, and loves to be held. I am thinking it might be a rooster based on it's forward and fearless personality, but secretly hope that it's a hen, because I really want to keep this bird! Ardyn and I have already decided one chicken's name. One of the hens that we keep will be Gwen the Hen... and now I am just hoping that this one can be our Gwen. I guess if it's a rooster we can call him Glen. Glen and Gwen :)

Anyway, they are growing SO rapidly. It's amazing. They have full wings now and most of them have tail and neck feathers. Their feet have seriously increased in size, and they have long necks and their combs are beginning to form. I haven't seen wattles yet, but there is still a bit too much fluff to see clearly. I am so excited about building the coop that I can barely stand it. I want to get started but I really need to wait until next week, after Marek's birthday party gets over.

I think it's about time that I start a movie for the kids, and make their lunch and start on the kitchen cleaning. *sigh* No fun I say!
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