Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum
1. Tuesday my teens came home from youth group and told me that they had been invited to participate in a dodge ball game with another youth group. My first response was, "That sounds like fun!"
Then I thought, "Noah shouldn't do it because if he hurts himself, again, he won't be able to even try to letter in his final season of high school track and field."
But then I thought about it further - Noah's broken clavicle cost my family, out of pocket $5000. That's what our deductible is per person, with $10,000 total per family. So if Izzy gets hurt playing dodge ball and requires surgery or extensive medical care, that could also put another big bite into our savings.
Just to recap, over the past three years, my family has paid, out of pocket, $15,000 for medical care by meeting individual deductibles for -
- my newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis (which I fixed myself by taking all grains, dairy and most bad carbs out of my diet).
- Izzy's semi-elective foot surgery to remove a growth from the bottom of her foot that made it uncomfortable for her to stand and walk.
- Noah's broken clavicle.
I just can't do it again this year, if I can help it!
Now, I can hear the voices out there saying, "But kids have to be kids!! You're not letting your teens have fun and be normal!"
and that's very true. But the new normal is that just a simple visit to the emergency room is over $200, and my family business pays over $2200/ month for health insurance. My kids literally can't afford to take the same silly risks we took when we were kids. Someone tell me again how affordable the affordable care act is?
Also, considering Noah broke his clavicle when I sent him to the church to watch a movie at the rectory, it seems reckless to send him someplace where people will be deliberately trying to hit him and his sister hard with dodge balls!
2. The other part of "new normal" is that health care facilities no longer allow you to pay your bills over a long time. No, they demand it all over the matter of a few months and even if you are paying monthly, you still get collection calls and threats over the phone. That's not how it was when I was growing up or even when my oldest children were little. This is definitely a newer development.
With that in mind, I do have some tricks up my sleeve. These are the supplements I take every day - two cranberry pills to avoid urinary tract infection, two vitamin D capsules, and a Biotin. Infinitely cheaper than trips to the doctor or prescription medication, and definitely better for my system than antibiotics.
3. My sister and some other contributors helped our parish to buy some much needed nativity scene statues for the front of the church. The old ones showed their age and the angel wings were broken. Someone found an excellent deal on this set, they looked lovely out front during the Christmas Season!
4. In our parish there is the big wonderful choir, that most of my children have participated in over the years.
Then there is a much smaller group of adept musicians who play at the later mass so that the choir and organist have a break. Mr. Pete and I are part of that group. We're a filler group, but sometimes we are kind of overlooked as part of the music ministry and it's easy to see why since we're literally crammed into a very compact space.
Yesterday I got the call that Father McDonough had specifically requested musical instruments from our group to lead the opening song for his funeral. Back in the day he always appreciated this small group and was one of its biggest supporters. It was nice affirmation from our former pastor and I was honored to be asked. I know we will do our best to honor his request and his memory.
5. Izzy decorated dozens of bottles last summer for the wedding, and now she is thinking of selling them. I need to go through them and save the ones I like the best, but these certainly would perk up any table with maybe some marbles in the bottom and a pretty flower or two in them.
6. Noah was asked to the prom this week by a girl at a nearby Catholic girls' school. He also might be taking my goddaughter to the prom at the local public school. He can't believe that these girls are planning for prom when it's four or five months away, but I totally get it.
In fact I started to think maybe I should take one of the suits his brothers can no longer wear and get it tailored to fit Noah! I also started to think about other prom expenses, like corsages.
When my older boys started to go to dances they didn't have a clue about what to order, how much to spend or how to match a flower to an outfit. So I would go and order the flowers for them, and I had a lot of fun doing it! I usually get my corsages here or here. Unfortunately, I found out later that one one of the recipients of these corsages hated it! and I was a little surprised. I thought each and every one of them was beautiful. Considering a corsage is a group of flowers, tape and ribbon artfully arranged to pin on or wear on the wrist, I'm impressed whenever a florist pulls it off.
7. For years I have wanted a mother's ring to represent my family and as a symbol of my motherhood. But as mothers of larger families know, it's not easy to find such a thing. Most mother's rings only hold four of five stones tops! I wanted to represent each one of my children, including the one we lost - so that would be a total of seven stones. Impossible.
But Mr. Pete solved this problem for me. He gave me this beautiful silver heart for Christmas. Inside there is a birthstone representing him and me, and then one for each one of our children, our granddaughter and even our new daughter-in-law! And the best part is that as our family gets better, I can take the heart apart and add new stones as needed.
What a thoughtful gift! I've worn it around my neck next to my miraculous medal, ever day since Christmas.