On the Road Again (and yet Again)

Now that all our stars are aligned, I can break the not-very-secret news:  we’re moving again, this time back to Utica, and this time for at least two years.  

When Amos left his job at SUNYIT for one in Athens, Alabama, to be near my family, they asked him to reconsider resigning and submit a leave of absence instead.  We did, for several reasons.  Then, after being offered this incredible job by Samsung in Kansas City, we just couldn’t say no, so we moved again.  A scarce six weeks into the position we were told that we would be moving to New Jersey by Thanksgiving, and at that point we had little choice. Now, for many, many reasons that all revolve around Amos being able to spend more time with the family, we have decided to head back to Utica and take up again at SUNYIT.  He is excited to be a professor again, working with students, and we are both excited that he will step off the fast track and be able to spend more time at home, be flexible again in scheduling.  I think we’re all relieved this is happening in the beauty of upstate New York instead of the crowded, broken streets of New Jersey (very sorry, NJ residents – I didn’t grow up with crowds like this, it feels alien to me!).

In some ways I feel like we’re regressing.  I mean, we’ll essentially be back where we were two years ago, except in a townhouse this time and with another baby.  I’ll start my last semester of classes at MSU, the girls will go to preschool and daycare, and Amos will be at school.  It’s very much like 2009.  Because I’m totally a Debbie Downer, even though I try not to be, I worry about this.  But I have to keep reminding myself this is not about moving back, but about making a conscious choice between two known variables.  And for several reasons we’re choosing the slower-paced life that his being a professor allows.    

Anyway, we are all so excited to be back in Clinton, NY.  That is truly a lovely little village, with lots of great friends that have been so helpful in our coming back, and we’re really excited to see everyone again at the end of this month.  In between we have some fun stuff coming up, too:  grandparents are visiting from St. Louis, Hazel’s having an early birthday party, water days start at preschool (bathing suits, water play, fun), and we’re going to NYC at least one more time, plus I’m going to see Jennifer Weiner read at Princeton Library!  Our place in NJ really does allow for some cool traveling opportunities, and we’re taking advantage of those before we head four hours north to our other Clinton.

A Quick Note

I’m not giving up on the blog, but I have been bogged down in the end of semester work, Hazel’s weirdly increased social life (thanks preschool), and round after round of allergies, asthma, and sinus infections that have affected all four of us intermittently, plus Julia’s cutting five teeth.  Something had to give, and it was this blog!  After next week I’ll be done with school, and my plan is to edit the 4000 pictures on my desktop and get the blog back up and running, so check back in a couple of weeks.  See you then!

So Funny

This had me laughing ❤

Dude, I know.

It has been CRAZY up in here!  We are moving in just a couple of weeks, and thanks to some weird scheduling issues we are apparently going to rent a truck and do the moving ourselves.  Um, not awesome, to say the least.  Things like that are why I haven’t been updating at all lately.  But, here’s a quickie, and then you probably won’t see me until after our move on August 10th!  The girls are awesome, Julia is just about four months and very squealy, and Amos and I will be married 4 years on July 28th.  Whew!  We are going to be BUSY BUSY BUSY, but I am very excited to get back on here and talk about Kansas City, which is looking to be more fun than I originally thought.  Cheers and see you soon!

Insurance AGAIN.

Yet again, the insurance company/doctor has made me furious.  I’ve written before a bit about how our insurance has been incorrect since we switched (October 1st), and YET AGAIN we have to deal with the fall out from the mistake from the doctor’s office.  In short, my midwife’s office incorrectly billed my insurance listing our NY insurance as my primary and our AL insurance as my secondary after the date of change.  From that one mistake I have had nothing but problems, as it took 30 days from the time we caught the error to correct it, and then an additional few days for the claims that were denied in that period to be retroactively paid.  I finally took care of it, and the claims were finally paid (despite lots and LOTS of denial and sarcasm from the midwife’s office).

So that’s old news, right?  I’ve made my peace with it now, and I look forward to that 6-week postpartum appointment when I will tell the midwife and the billing woman why, exactly, I’ll never be a patient there again.  Well, yesterday I got a call from Hazel’s doctor telling us to pick up another form for blood work.  As it turns out, the lab screwed up her blood specimen (we’re testing her for lead, since we rent this old house), and so we have to go have her blood taken again.  When I got home with this news, Amos told me that he’d received a paper from the insurance company saying that they’ve denied Hazel’s well-baby visit claim until her primary insurance makes a payment.  W.  T.  F.  Apparently, when the midwife incorrectly filed the claim, the insurance company RECORDED US ALL AS BEING COVERED BY ANOTHER PRIMARY INSURANCE COMPANY.  So, as of yesterday the 30-day countdown begins for Amos and Hazel to have corrected insurance information, and then after that sometime the doctor will get paid, and in the meantime we have to look like idiots.

Alabama, I wanted to move back here, but you are making it very difficult for me to maintain a normal blood pressure.

Sick :(

I haven’t been very good at updating lately, mostly because of two things:  first, I’ve been writing a seriously huge paper, and second I’ve been taking care of Hazel, who’s had a really nasty cold, and then I caught that cold myself.  Today I even stayed home from school!  I know, it felt like a really big deal.  So I promise to update photos from Halloween soon.  Until then, here’s one I managed to squeeze in before all the writing and sickness struck the Confer household:

Because I’m wearing all black, you cannot tell that I’m pregnant; believe me, in person it was pretty obvious!  I was a witch, Amos was a NY taxi cab, and Hazel was Mrs. Brisbee from The Secret of NIMH, one of her favorite movies.  I am very proud of that costume, since I made it the night before Halloween.  Full story coming later 🙂

Luckily, I Plan Ahead.

I had a feeling that saving all of Hazel’s best things, and especially those baby things she never really wore, would be a good idea.  And it really paid off today, as we found out we’re having another little girl!  ❤  That makes two girls vs. four boys in the grandchildren on my side of the family, and two girls only (both grand and great-grand) on Amos’s.  How are Amos and I supposed to fend off the spoilage from grandparents with those odds???  lol

We were able to take a DVD video of the ultrasound as well as get seven pictures, which is the most ultrasound loot I’ve ever heard of.  I will try to get the video up and running, but that will take some help from Amos.  Below are a couple of the best (clearest) pictures!

And here is the best shot!  She kept looking at the ultrasound wand, meaning we couldn’t get a good view at her profile.  For just a second or two she turned, and we got this quick picture in between her movements.  She was a wiggly baby, which is no shocker to me, as she has been very active this entire pregnancy.

Hazel’s Growing Up

All this week I’ve been letting Hazel choose her own shirts or hair bows, and today I let her choose her entire outfit.  The result was adorable ❤

Supper’s Up!

Today I wrote a paper on Hemingway’s bitch characters (that always sounds funny, no matter how many times I type or say it, but it’s a recognized phrase for Hemingway criticism – see, funny!).  It was a short paper, only required to be up to 1250 words, but I finished way before I thought I would, in time for lunch, actually.  After lunch I just could not get motivated to do anything else, so I decided to take a break and watch the documentary Food, Inc. This is a great film; it is very accessible (i.e. not boring to those who don’t normally watch documentaries, I think) and really spanned the food industry business.  It definitely had an undertone of disbelief, but I’m telling you, after you watch this you will understand why.

After seeing the nasty treatment the animals undergo, and how all the mess they live in burns their skin and gets mixed up in the food (yes, I’m seriously serious) I was SO HAPPY that I usually can’t stomach meat from the grocery store and had made the trip to Earth Fare this weekend to buy organic, free range, hormone-free, happy chicken legs.  We had a great meal despite the stomach-churning footage I had just watched.  I love keeping up with this kind of research because it fuels my belief that how we are feeding our family is really the best that we can.

Happy chicken, green beans canned by my grandma this summer, and corn that Amos and I picked from their farm, shucked, scrubbed, cut off the cob, scraped (the milk from the cob), and froze this summer.  It was kind of a lot of work, especially compared to just buying some frozen corn from the store, but this wasn’t even cooked – not at any point in the process – and it is delicious, seriously mouthwatering.  I don’t even know that I’d share it with anyone because we only have about seven bags left.  Yeah.  It’s worth it.

The Rain Today

I was standing at the sink, washing dishes, and noticed that it had started to rain outside.  I opened the blinds to watch while I finished washing and saw that the wind was blowing the leaves out of the trees.  These marigold leaves were spinning down, mixed in with the rain, and it was whimsical and beautiful.

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