Wednesday, July 29, 2009

a visit from the Disney fairy!

This first picture is just a cute Kiersten pic. It has nothing to do with the rest of the post, I just wanted Ben to be able to see it at work. Love those dimples. A few weeks ago, Ben was showing me some stuffed animals on disney.com. they were the ones we saw at disneyland for $50 or more. on the site, they were discounted to $40 and they were also buy one, get one free. I said I was cool with that, and picked out Dumbo for Kiersten. He mentioned later that he got a couple other things, but I didn't think too much about it. On monday afternoon, when we got home, Kara started freaking out over 2 huge boxes on the porch. (she loves getting packages) I brought them in, and made the girls wait for Daddy to come home, because he always likes to be there for those types of things. I couldn't figure why the boxes were so large for a couple stuffed animals. I would soon see why.
Kara got this cute Pooh Bear.
and Kiersten loves her new Dumbo.
They also got these adorable parkas. you can't really tell, but Kiersten has Tinkerbell, and Kara has Aurora.
Then, Kara also had this sweatshirt,
and this new bathrobe, and I'm not sure if you can see the Nemo flip flops,
and this tiara,
and these 2 sets of pajamas,
and this dress.
Since Kara got all those clothes, he had to get something for Kiersten too. (I guess they didn't have a lot of clothing in her size) So she got this princess shopping cart! Both girls love it. It came with a bunch of canned food and milk cartons. I thought it was funny that all the play food is organic. ha!
I hope they know how spoiled they are. Here are the 2 princesses enjoying one of the boxes that it all arrived in.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7/28/09

After Kara's dance class on Saturday, we went to PDZA with some friends and their 2 little boys. The girls always have so much fun. Here is Kiersten playing in a spinner. they have this fun splash ground that sprays water up. they only have it turned on during the summer, so the girls were surprised to see it with the water.
Kara loves jumping from lily pad to lily pad, and seeing if she gets wet or not.
the little boy in the white hat is their friend, Gus.
Kara loved holding hands with Gus and showing him around. It was his first trip to this zoo.
I thought these sculptures were neat. they are made out of grocery sacks.
Kiersten playing in the touch pool inside the aquarium.
Kara dressed up like a starfish.
Later that evening, Ben was taking a nap, and this is what the girls were up to.
They had so much fun, but I had to keep reminding Kara not to bury Kiersten's head.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

complainer!

I am not having a great day. Nothing too terrible has happened, but those little things have a tendency to stack up against me until I feel like breaking every dish in the cupboard! I thought blogging would be a better way to vent than throwing a tantrum in front of my kids.
I woke up this morning on Kara's bedroom floor. I could just not sleep through Ben's snoring last night and since my brother was here for the night, I couldn't go to the guestroom. Not sure why I didn't sleep on the couch, but I guess at 4 am it seemed like a better idea to throw the luv sacs on Kara's floor and sleep there. So things didn't start out too great. As I was finishing my cereal and waiting for the girls to wake up, Ben called to say he forgot his suit coat and needed me to bring it to him by 10. (his first appt. of the morning.) So I showered and got ready, woke the girls up, fed them, and got them both ready to leave by 9. I was right on schedule to be there at 9:45. I wanted to be early in case his appointment showed up early. But as I was driving up I-5, I suddenly saw a sea of brake lights. We were completely stopped for almost 3 minutes, and then it took 10 minutes to get through the traffic. I never saw an accident, so I have no clue why traffic was held up. it was not a spot that I usually have a problem. Anyway, I was freaking out, worrying about getting Ben his jacket. (silly, I know) And I admit to speeding a bit. I made it to the branch a few minutes before 10 and got it to him just as his client arrived. Then I got to turn around and head back home with the girls. That wasn't too bad a way to start the morning, just a bit of an inconvenience.
I needed to get Ben's car registered also, so I drove straight to the licensing place, only to realize I had forgotten to grab the emmissions report. Luckily, I was only 5 minutes away from home. I went home and got all the paperwork and headed back. When I got inside with the girls, I found that I can not register the car without Ben being present to sign a paper, since he is listed as the primary driver. They said they can't even accept a notarized signature if I bring it. So that was annoying. Especially since this same thing happened about 2 years ago with the buick, and I guess I had just forgotten.
I came home and fed the girls lunch. Then I needed to call our credit union. We recieved a letter saying that we had insufficient funds to pay our loan, and that we got charged $20 for that. Ben checked it out, and we were only $1 short and they took it out on a sunday. he had the money there on monday, so it just seemed silly that we be charged the $20. So I was calling to see if they would waive the fee. I spoke to Amber, who got really obnoxious with me. she just started defending their actions and asking me if I understood how banking and loans even work! I finally had to tell her that I know they had every right to charge the fee, and why they did, but given the circumstances, I wanted to see if they would take it off. I could not get any answer out of her other than a lecture about my being required to have sufficient funds at all times, and they can take the $ on a sunday if they want to. So I finally asked for a supervisor. she angrily said okay, then asked what she had done that was wrong. I couldn't even explain to her though, because she cut me off at every word with a reason why I couldn't be refunded. Finally, I was sick of talking to her and I actually said, "I'm not interested in hearing another word out of your mouth, please get a supervisor." (rude, I know, but nicer than what I really wanted to say) She agreed, and then after 4 minutes on hold, I got transferred back into the phone system! did she think I wouldn't call back?!? Anyway, I went through the phone tree again and got susan, who was able to see who had last pulled up my account a few minutes prior. She gave me the name of Amber's supervisor, and tried to transfer me to her. unfortunately the supervisor was at lunch, so susan came back on the line. I told her what I had originally been calling for, and she was surprised. She said of course they would take the charge off. in those circumstances it was obvious we were not being delinquent on the loan. She wondered why this other girl had a problem with it, seeing as we have been members there for years, and never had any late payments or any kind of problem on any of our accounts. so just easy as a mouse click the fee was removed. no lecture, no attitude, just done. She said she will email Amber's supervisor to call me back so I can make a complaint. (I always feel the need to complain about bad customer service. Especially about being dumped back into the phone queue!) I was steaming mad, but made myself calm down. who needs the stress? I had just sat down on the couch with Kara when my phone rang. I thought it would be the supervisor, so I answered quickly. It was a message from the hospital and it said, "If you are Rebecca Miller, press one" so I did, curious what they would be calling about. I was on hold for 6 minutes, but I didn't want to hang up, in case Ben was at the hospital. Finally I heard a faint, "hello?" so I answered with my own "hello" Then she asked if I was Christian Miller. I said, "no. but I have a daughter named Kiersten Miller, who is one year old, and doesn't take phone calls." I thought I was funny, but this woman didn't. She verified that I was actually Rebecca Miller and had Kiersten at the hospital over a year ago. That's when I knew why she was calling. grrrr! We have recieved all kinds of bills from the different hospital services for Kiersten's birth. It seemed like we might be getting billed wrong, but we just paid them all. Then we got a refund check because they had over charged us, which wasn't surprising at all. So about a month ago, we got a letter saying we had an unpaid balance of $80 and pay up or go to collections since this was seriously past due. I looked through all of the bills to ensure we had paid them all, and we had. So I gave them a call to see what this was all about. It was a very long phone call. The guy I spoke to had a hard time figuring out what the charges were for. He told me that the check we were sent as a reimbursement was a seperate acct # than the balance due, and he didn't know why they didn't just apply the overpayment to the other acct#. Who knowss why they would have different acct #'s for the same thing, but I just accepted that. I asked why this stern letter was the first I was hearing of the balance. he told me that the insurane company just barely made the decision for what they would cover, and that's why it had taken so long for us to be billed. When I asked when they sent us a bill, he said they DIDN'T. they could see in their system that they had never sent us a bill, and still felt the need to send me this letter! He couldn't tell me what the charges were actually for, because it is private info that he couldn't access. so I told him to send me a bill and I will pay it. he said okay and that he would put my acct on hold for now.
that brings us to today. Terry is who called me this afternoon. what she had to say was that I have a seriously past due balance of $80 and if I can't pay now, over the phone, I will be sent to collections and assessed late charges. I was surprised to be able to keep my cool, as I explained the situation to her, and that in the month since I had spoken to the last guy, I still have not recieved a bill. She said she could see his notes that matched what I told her. Then she asked, "so you didn't get the bill?" I asked her, "have you sent me a bill?" to which she replied, "it shows here that we haven't." I did not know what to say, the AUDACITY! she said, "could you please send the payment, or pay over the phone today?" that is when I LOST it on poor Terry. How could they expect me to pay the bill that they never sent? why would I pay a bill that I don't even know what the charges are for? Why would she call me up and demand payment if she could clearly see on my account that they have not sent me one single bill?!?!?!? I asked for a supervisor, of course, (that's my thing, ya know) and she said that she is the supervisor who has been working on my account for the past year, and that she had decided to call me herself since the account was so far past due. I explained to her that she could send me a bill, and I will gladly pay anything I owe. I also suggested that if they want people to pay, they need to actually send a bill, and that when she calls someone about their account, she might read over the notes, or actually find out what is going on and who she is calling, maybe get the name right, and ask for the parent, not a baby. She assured me she would not send it to collections, and reset the due date for the charge. I told her if I don't get the bill, don't expect me to pay. It's just $80, and I know I should have just paid it and be done with the headache, but who knows what would be next? I want my account straightened out, with no more over charges, or bills they expect me to pay without any knowledge that I owe them. I don't think I've been unreasonable. Take the damn $80, just tell me why I am paying it, oh, and tell me THAT I am supposed to pay it before you get after me for not sending the check!
So that is my frustrating day. I feel tons better now that I've whined and complained about it. I think I'll go sit outside with the girls for a while and not do anything. If my phone rings again today I am NOT answering it! unless it's Ben. COME HOME BEN! I need a hug!

Monday, July 20, 2009

love the weekend!

I was just leaving costco friday afternoon around 1, when Ben called to say he was done with his test early and on his way home. That was exciting, so we hurried home and got there just a few minutes after he did. It was such a great afternoon, and I kept getting confused and thinking it was saturday. We decided to take the girls to the drive-in to see Ice age 3 and Night at the museum 2. It was fun, but I wish we had remembered bug spray! Ben and I both have a few mosquito bites. Luckily, I don't think the girls got any. we took a couple pictures, but they're on Ben's phone, and he's at work, sorry.
Here is a cute picture of Kiersten, showing off her little tuft of hair. I just like this picture, how Kara snuck in the back and looks crazy! We woke up early saturday to go to NW trek with a friend of Ben's and his son. I like this picture of Kara looking up at Ben. This was while we were waiting for the tram.
Kiersten and mommy waiting for the tram. Above Kiersten's hand, is John and Zack.
Kiersten checking out a mountain goat. I guess I was already done looking at him.
They came back to our house for lunch, and the kids played. They were so cute and happy. It was lots of fun. Ben grilled some hotdogs, which I usually don't like, but these ones were good. I actually would have eaten a second one if we'd had any left.
That evening we decided to go to dinner with the girls. We ended up going to outback. I love the Sydney's sinful sundae dessert, but since they ran out of the toasted coconut that goes on it, we got it on the house. Always a good thing. Here they are playing ring around the rosie while we were waiting for daddy to finish his nap, so we could go.
Kiersten is so cute singing the little song. I love when she says, "all fall down!" of course it sounds more jibberish-y, but I couldn't think of how to write it like she says it.
Sunday, Ben finally mowed the back lawn. (he hasn't done it since we came back from idaho!) I dug up some dandelions and broke down cardboard to go in the recycling bin. we planned on going to the nursery to get the trees we still need for the yard, but Ben decided he wants to change plans back there. so now we need to wait for estimates before we decide on anything. Our neighbor was having their carpets cleaned, which we really needed to get done too, so Ben went and asked if they could do ours. He said he would come do ours when he was finished there, so we cleared the furniture out of our bedroom, Karalee's room, the familyroom, the playroom, and the livingroom. I love having nice, clean carpets again. While he was working, we put Kiersten down for a nap, and sent Kara to the guestroom to watch a movie. I headed out back to work on my never-ending project, the fence. I finally finished all but 2 sections. I did the front side and the gate right before Kiersten was born. Then, by the time I felt recovered from having her, and we were done travelling to show her off, it was in the rainy season, so I couldn't get it finished. I started working on it again in may, but I have to do it on the weekends, so the girls can stay inside with Ben, and usually on nice weather weekends we like to take the kids somewhere fun. So I have been out there staining 4 different times, and still not quite done. the part of our fence that the neighbor built really soaks up the stain, and is hard to cover. It's just not very good wood. Hopefully I'll be able to finish up the next time I get a chance to go out. Maybe this week I can get both the girls to nap at the same time, and just take out a baby monitor with me.
Both girls have been coughing yesterday and today. Kara was up all night, coughing and crying. I've had a really sore throat all weekend, so I think we may have a bug. I figure I'd better not take them to the gym this morning. I am going to call the pediatrician today and see if I should bring them in. It doesn't seem like the right time of year for this to be starting!

Friday, July 17, 2009

7/17/09

I can't figure out where this week went. I had every intention of getting to costco on monday to do some grocery shopping, and now it's friday, and I still haven't had a chance to go. I guess part of it is because my gym changed their kid's club program from paying per visit, to paying monthly for unlimited visits. The $40 that used to get me 10 visits, now gets me a whole month, so I've been going to the gym every day instead of just tuesday, thursday, and sunday. What happened to the rest of my time, I still don't know. I'm sure all the errands Ben needed done didn't help my cause either. maybe next week will be a quiet week, we'll see.
Today Ben is taking a test for work, and when the test is done, he gets to come home. I am hoping he'll be done by 2 or 3. That will be so nice to have the afternoon together. The other good news is that the branch hours are changing to 8:30-5. He will get to sleep in longer every morning and get home earlier every night. I'm sure he wont always leave by 5, but some nights he will, and I'm excited to think about having dinner at 6pm instead of 8.
Here are some recent pics of the girls to brighten your day! Ben took this picture as part of a joke with a co-worker, but it's still a funny shot, even if you don't know the reason behind it.
my cute Kiersten- ator! I just LOVE this girl!
I just LOVE this girl too. See what her blocks are spelling out? Daddy helped her, obviously.

a cute drawing. 3 year olds are so creative. What I love about 3 year olds, is they lke to do everything. Teens and adults usually have more focused interests, but Kara loves to draw, write, dance, sing, make up songs, make up stories, play every sport, read books, watch movies, swim, go any place you'll take her, and whatever else she can think of doing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kara's new dance class

Kara started her new toe, tap, and tumble class today. She did really well, especially with the ballet portion at the end. She instantly made friends with this little girl, Sara. They wanted to be right next to each other with no space to move between them. This new teacher is a LOT better than her last teacher. She is a lot more patient with the girls, and doesn't have as hard of a time keeping them in line. She also prefers that the parents stay to watch the class, but doesn't expect or need us to discipline the kids to make them pay attention. I also like this class better because she gets to learn tumbling and tap dancing along with ballet. Oh, and I also like it because it is on saturday so I can leave Kiersten home with Ben, or he can take her if I don't want to go. Kara had to wear her church shoes (or as she calls them, her "fancy shoes") because I just signed her up on thursday, so I didn't recieve the information yet in the mail. I wasn't sure if she needed them or not. No big deal, she'll have them next week. Kara is 4th from the left. (the one whose mom obviously forgot the tights!)
they are sooo cute. She already learned so much in her first class. I don't think she learned as much in her full 6 weeks of creative movement ballet. Again, she is 4th from the left.

they learned a cute seahorse dance. Kara was the best at pliƩs.
this was part of the tumbling portion of the class.

finally the 4th of July pics!

Kiersten with her first sparkler. She had fun til she got it too close to her face, and she decided she perferred to watch Kara.
Kara sparklering.
4th of July Parade- From the left in red- Nancy, Aerik's neighbor girl, Kiera, Kara, Me, Kiersten, Katie, Brooke's Niece, Brooke, Chase. Aerik and Ben were in the back, his seat is empty because he's taking the pic.
I love sleeping baby pictures!!!
Kara catching flies...
At the fireworks Ben went and bought the girls both a light up toy. Kara got the butterfly wand and Kiersten the binky.


Friday, July 10, 2009

More from Idaho!

We had a bbq with Ben's friend Aerik. they have this fun bouncy house that the kids played in all night. They sure had a fun time.

We took the girls and Katie to Rigby lake. The water was pretty cold at first, but we all had lots of fun. Kara even dunked her head under the water. There were lots of people there.
Here she is playing in the sand.Ben was not a fan of the cold water. We bought that yellow floatie you can see on the sand, but Kiersten absolutely hated it. Kara was too heavy for it, so that was a pretty good waste of $$.
Katie let Kara throw sand all over her.a picture of us before our sunburns showed up. they actually weren't too bad. I guess we should have been more prepared, but we just aren't used to having to worry about the sun here in good ol' washington.