Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dermatologist Visit

This morning I went to the dermatologist office after getting a referral from my new doctor. I ended up arriving early as traffic wasn't too bad and I didn't get lost! That is a major accomplishment for me. I went upstairs with K to the office and I filled in paperwork for the insurance and medical history questionnaire. We sat and waited until we were called and then went to a consultation room and waited for the Doctor. I think we waited about 25 minutes but it seemed like an eternity to K as she decided to create a new game called "Lets Go Home". Just as she was telling me how we played it the doctor arrived. (In case you are wondering it is very simple to play. You have to get in your car and drive home)

After a few questions about why I was there and if there was any history of skin cancer in my family I showed the doctor my mole. He took a close look at it, measured it and took a photo. Turns out he wants me to have it removed as it has all the classic signs of being a melanoma. However due to its location he is not sure if he would remove it or if I would need to see a plastic surgeon. So, he is going to show the pic to his wife, who I am assuming is a plastic surgeon and they don't get their kicks looking at pictures of peoples bottoms (that is where said mole is), and he will call me to let me know what happens next. I am of the frame of mind that it is being done as a preventative measure and not for any sinister reason. If nothing else it was an interesting morning out with K. Update will follow when I know more.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

I went to Carmel Elementary this morning with Ben and K to have the first Parent Teacher Conference with Z's Kindergarten teacher. The memory of the first one we had with his teacher at his old school in the UK is still very clear in my mind. This one went well. I am pleased to report that Z is actually doing well. He is really progressing with his reading and his number skills are good. I think this is probably due to the work that Ben does with him in the mornings before breakfast. We got a lot of flash cards from the teacher he had when he first started at the school and was in 1st grade. There are a lot of word flash cards and some maths ones. Ben alternates which ones he uses and Z has gotten into the habit of doing something every morning.

There are a few issues we have to work on with him. For instance his fabulous imagination stops him from seeing reality in some issues. He also only wants to draw and write about dinosaurs, even if he has been asked to do something about St Patricks Day. I didn't expect to go in and see his teacher and be told how perfect he is and there is nothing we need to work on. Now that would be living in a fantasy land!

Overall I am pleased how it went and feel a lot better that we made the right decision in moving him back to Kindergarten from 1st grade.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prizes and Surprises!

You may recall I entered K in a competition to be the new face of Next Direct in conjunction with its launch here in the US. Well she made the top 50 for about an hour then slid back down the rankings and ended up on page 13. Now the competition is finished and Next Direct are giving promotion codes to people who entered their kids in the competition and who voted. If you entered it you get a $30 credit with free shipping and if you voted you get a $20 credit and free shipping. I have used both of those, one to get K something for her upcoming birthday and something for Z as well. I used a few email addresses to vote so have had another 2 $20 promo codes that I have passed on to someone else to use. I am just waiting on the FedEx man turning up with the delivery.

You may also recall I have a new best friend and his name is Tom Cruise  and I mentioned before when he started following me on Twitter and even Re-tweeted something I posted. Well, he is also my friend on Facebook and the other day he ran a competition in conjunction with his new move "Knight and Day" with the prize being a Tom Cruise dvd. Well, I won! I got a message from his 'people' asking for my email address and mailing address so they could send me a dvd. I have no idea what one it will be but it'll be great. I don't often win things but it is a nice surprise every so often.

I went to Marsh last night to get some Bounty kitchen roll as we ran out and I stopped and got a lottery scratch card on the way out. I won $66!

They say things come in 3's so I think I have had my luck now.

Monday, March 22, 2010


So I had a doctors appointment last Thursday. I had the 'well woman' check up thing and have to re-arrange a blood test appointment after I forgot to fast and ate breakfast just before the appointment. During the appointment I mentioned to the Doctor a mole that I have and she decided to refer me to a dermatologist to get it checked out and possibly removed. This morning I got a call saying I have an appointment with the dermatologist next Monday morning! That was quick! I have never seen a dermatologist before so I don't really know what to expect. We are still waiting for an appointment for K at the Nephologist at Riley Childrens Hospital so if we don't hear by Friday I shall chase it up with them.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Turn at the Doctor

I have been putting it off for a while but I had to get it over with. I needed to go to see a Doctor as a prescription I had from the UK was about to run out and I needed to get it refilled. I made an appointment with a Doctor at the office next door to where Z & K go. My appointment was at 10am and I was told to fast for 12 hours beforehand so I could have a blood test. Guess who was sat at the dining table this morning eating a bowl of Special K cereal! Oops. I took K with me to the Dr's office and I filled in about 4 pieces of paper with various information, like insurance, past medical problems, disclosure agreement for them to contact my previous Dr to get my medical records (Good luck with that) then I was called to get my weight and BP done. I was then told to undress and put a medical robe on before the doctor came it. I was having a 'well woman' exam. Oh the joy! I had the usual throat, heart and lungs checked. I then had my first ever breast exam. The doctor was a bit surprised that I had never had one before but I said I thought they did them for older women in the UK. I then had a pap smear test. I hate having those done. But at least it is over with for a couple years. I also got her to check a mole I have and she decided to refer me to a dermatologist as it is a bit big and they may want to remove it. It is not in a place I can check easily myself. I then had a tetanus shot and got my prescription refilled. I was there for about an hour. I paid my $20 co-pay as the insurance company will pay the rest. On the receipt I was given it said the cost of my visit was $185. That is also about what the kids appointments cost when they went a couple weeks ago. I have to reschedule a blood test so they can test my blood sugars and cholesterol. It was an interesting morning but at least I have a doctor now. I got my prescription from the nearest pharmacy and because of the insurance we have I only had to pay $10. I have to go back each month to get it refilled and if I go to the same place I went this morning I will get a reward point, then when I get 10 points I get a $10 credit towards a prescription cost. It is all a bit different to the UK and the NHS!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

K Going to Kindergarten!

Took K into Carmel Elementary yesterday to register her for Kindergarten in August. It took about 10 minutes for them to check all the paperwork was filled out correctly and take copies of stuff. We were given an appointment to bring her back for 'Kindergarten testing' in May and then we were good to go.

I had a hair appointment at Salon01 in the morning before we went to the school and K had to sit around in the hair salon for about 2 hours whilst I got my hair cut and colored. She was very good and patient with me. We also went to Marsh and Wal-Mart before we eventually got home. Tomorrow she is accompanying me for my visit to the Doctor.  She leads an exciting life doesn't she?!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another Day Another State

We decided as the weekend was expected to be nice we would go out of State again. As we had gone to Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago a few weeks before, we thought we would head in the other direction and go to Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.

We packed up a bag for snacks on the way and an overnight bag for everyone just in case we decided to stop at a motel over night.

We headed off and trusted the sat nav woman to get us where we wanted to go. Once we crossed the State line from Indiana into Ohio, Ben decided that the landscape looked different. He decided it looked more 'hilly'. Indiana is quite flat.

K and Z were in the back of the car with the camera and were taking shots of the journey. They mainly got bits of road and trees (as you can see from the attached pictures!).

When we arrived at the zoo it was quite sunny but not especially warm. It was a bit milder to the weather over the previous weekends though.

We had a nice wander around the zoo and saw a few more animals than we did in Chicago. At one point I was looking at a monkey with K when it decided to hang from a branch, put its feet on the window and wee over it! K turned to look at me and said, "that's yucky mummy". I couldn't have said it better myself!

Not many places were open to get food so we ended up at a pizza place and got 3 slices of cheese pizza. I made the mistake of balancing all the paper plates on top of each other and we ended up scraping the cheese off the bottom of 2 of the plates!

At the end of our visit we made a stop at the Zoo gift store so the kids could get something and then headed back in the direction of Indiana. At least we did for a little while. We made a quick stop at IKEA in West Chester where we bought a few bits and bobs and had a quick dinner of hot dog. We then headed back home and got home around 10pm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

K in a Model Competition

I have entered K in the Next Direct child model competition. The top 50 kids get to go to LA for the Finals at the end of April. You can vote for her by going here. Thanks for your votes! This is the picture I have uploaded. Some of the other pics there look more professional but I took this in our front room. Voting closes March 15th.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading Books

At Z's school they have a '100 Books' club. They want to encourage kids to read more. They give each child a booklet to record their reading in stages of 25 books. At each stage you get a reward.

Once he read 25 books Z got: a pencil
Once he have read 50 books he got: I am not sure as I don't remember seeing anything.
Once he read 75 books he got: a voucher for an ice cream treat in the school cafeteria.
And when he hits the 100 books read he will get a t-shirt. Z has finally hit the 100 books mark today. It took a while for the booklet to come back to us after we sent it in when he got to 75.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First US Doctors Visit

I am just back from taking the kids to see a paediatrician for the first time ever in the US. I was not sure what to expect but I came out the other side with my sanity in tact. I was recommended this particular Doctor by another British Expat I have met over here. 

Once I got to the correct office I had to give my drivers licence and the medical insurance card so they could copy it. (Assuming this was so it could be held on file) I then had to complete two forms for each child with details of me and Ben and who was the insured person (Ben as we get the insurance through his work) I had to call him to ask what his SSN was. 

We then went through to get their height, weight and BP done. Then we waited for the Doctor to come in. I think we waited about 15 minutes. The kids each had their ears, throat, heart checked and Z had his 'undercarriage' as he calls it, checked. Chatted with Doctor a bit about their medical history. As Z has an eye issue and I have been given the name of a Doctor to take him to, but Doctor we saw today said to take a letter I had from the hospital in UK that we went to that details Z's problem as he may not need to see him and he may be fine seeing an optician. Also getting referred to a pediatric nephrologist for K's kidney problem. Z got somewhat surprised by the fact he had his final Hep B shot but recovered quickly when he was given stickers. K has a nurse appointment in May to get her shots for Kindergarten, this will be free apparently. I was given the names of Doctors in the neighboring office that I could see. We were there about an hour and as we have a co-pay I had to pay $40. The kids enjoyed the visit and the Dr gave them both stethoscopes for them to listen to their hearts with whilst he asked me questions about their medical history. They took copies of all the letters, test results etc that I had brought over from the UK.

I had never been in a Doctors office in the US before and was a bit worried as to what would happen and how much I would be asked to pay but it went alright. I can relax now. I just need to make an appointment for a Doctor for me as my prescription I got in the UK is almost finished and I 
need it re-filled.

I also picked up the KG enrolment papers for K to start school in the Fall. Got to have the filled out for Registration Day on March 17th.

14 year olds & Green Cards

Did you know that you need to get a new green card when you turn 14? Do you know the reason why? No really, I'd like to know why. ...