Saturday, July 31, 2010

1 .

If the Heat Doesn't Kill You, the Prices Will!

My mom called me first thing this morning to see if the kids and I wanted to check out the Farmer's Market with her downtown. I didn't have anything planned, so we went.
I won't lie. I had visions of making my two-year-old daughter walk so I could fill the stroller plumb full of fresh produce, Hutterite baked goods, and beautiful plants.
We got lucky right off and found a close parking spot right at the entrance. I should have known it was an omen. Extreme good has to be balanced out with an equal amount of bad juju.
The first fail of the day was the temperature. As soon as I stepped out of the car, enormous beads of sweat formed on my forehead. Since it is July, I went with it. We had several water bottles filled with ice water, so I figured we'd survive.
As we started walking from booth to booth, I nearly lost it. I thought maybe the sweat dripping in my eyes was impairing my vision, but no. The prices were truly...I don't know. Heart stopping? Ridiculous? Definitely not affordable to the average Joe.
I'm all for supporting my local growers and I LOVE fresh produce, but if I have to get a home equity loan to pay for it, I will just stick to Sam's Club.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The FSA Saves the Day...Again

We took our four kids to the dentist yesterday. They all had appointments at the same time, which I love. We arrived early with our paperwork filled out and insurance card in hand, all ready to go! (This is no small feat for me.)

They took the three big kids all back at the same time, and when they were nearly done with their cleanings, we went back with the littlest little to have her teeth checked and talk to the doctor. All four of them did a great job, and only two needed further work.

Our oldest has always had an underbite. He reminds me of a little pirahna. :0) Anyway, we were told not to worry about it until he got his permanent teeth to see if they grew in the same way. Well, that time is now, and they did. They are going to fit him with an incline plain to correct his underbite. It looks like a wad of chewed up bubblegum that will sit on top of his lower front teeth and force his top teeth forward when he bites down. This should only take a few weeks.

Our second oldest has been complaining of tooth pain for two weeks, so I wasn't surprised to hear that she had a cavity. What I wasn't expecting to hear was that she doesn't have sufficient space for permanent teeth to come in. His plan was to fill the cavity, shave a little off the sides of her lower canines, and fit her with a metal device to help make space.

We were lucky because someone called while we were there to cancel an appointment. They could get both kids back in that afternoon to get started.

A lot of people would be a little panicky at that point because the doctor expects payment at the time of service. We are lucky though. My husband's job offers us the chance to pay into an FSA (Flexible Spending Account). It is basically money taken out of his checks pre-tax and put into a savings account for us to use on medical expenses and OTC meds that are NOT covered by our insurance. We have a credit card linked to that account. It felt so good yesterday to be able to take the open appointment, have the necessary work done on our kids' teeth, and not have to worry about how we were going to pay for it. Especially since it totalled over $1800.00, and our portion was almost $600.00.

We left the office, grabbed a quick lunch, dropped C3 and C4 off at Grammy's for a nap, let the pups out for a potty break, and headed back to the dentist. It took another two hours to get everything done on both of them.

Now we just have to wait for their "appliances" to come in so they can be placed.

*If you don't know if an FSA is an option for you, ask your employer. It has been a lifesaver for us many times. When our last two babies were born. When my husband had to have knee surgery. Any time that any of us are sick and our only option is the ER. We don't have the panic over medical bills anymore.