Friday, February 29, 2008

Cynical Me, Part 2

You may not know what I do. I administrate free vision clinics for children in rural areas in Ohio. I go to small towns, bring doctors and all of the equipment and we run free vision clinics…free to everyone…no cost. Come one, come all!

Last week I was in southern Ohio at a jam packed clinic. This is unusual because, if you were unaware, people often don’t show up for free healthcare. So, we usually double or triple book patience, because so many don’t show up for the FREE medical care. So we had more folks show than was normal. One mother came and brought her five children with her because one of them needed an eye exam. They had to wait over an hour to see the doctor.

By the time mom got in to see me she was irate. She was ranting and raving about how long she had to wait and why we couldn’t get our act together in order to shorten her wait. I have no doubt it was difficult to entertain her five children for such a long period of time…but her response brought to a head some of my stronger feelings about our current system and what is and is NOT working.

Why do the people I work to serve feel such a sense of entitlement for FREE services? They don’t pay a dime for their Medicaid programs, but I, with “great” insurance, pay a $15 co pay plus 20% of my entire medical bill. And when I take my child to the ophthalmologist, I still have to wait over an hour to see the guy!

In Ohio, we just revamped our Medicaid system, where private companies are running our public Medicaid program. One of the items that all companies must offer is “incentives” for patients. Meaning, if a pregnant woman who is on the medical card, makes and actually goes to her regular prenatal appointments she gets a prize….perhaps a gas card to speedway for doing what any responsible mother would do anyway. Your tax dollars at work.

“Anything the government does for its citizen that they should do for themselves makes us a weaker nation.” My last thought from my friend Brandon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cynical Me

Honestly, the older I get the more thankful I am for my slacker job. Good pay, good benefits, plenty of time to work on other things. As long as I don't have lapse of conscience and can conform well to the system (which has been my issue in the past) I'll get along well.

Anyway, I recently thought of Letterman like list of Top Five Reasons you Know you work for the government (I hope no one is reading this, like the Columbus Dispatch!As it's been quite a firey topic in the governers roundtable lately!)

1. You come to work, THEN do your hair and make up.
2. You come to the office early, so you can do your morning devotions at your desk.
3. You are finished with your day’s tasks before 9:15 a.m.
4. You got written up three times this year, but you still got your two annual raises.
5. You spend 85% of your work time doing paperwork to prove that you were working.

Of course, all of these things I have OBSERVED not actually done myself! ahem. They say to beware of whatever you put in print because it always come back to bite you in the butt. Let's hope not:)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Add it to the list...

There hasn’t been much going on in the Michael Household this week…hence the lack of bloggage. Last Thursday the daycare called me and asked me to pick up Isabelle early, she was running a fever. When I got to daycare, her face was all red and she was so miserable. When I took her home and put her PJ’s on, she just sat on the couch with me. Poor little thing. She ran a 102 degree temp all night long and we woke up every four hours to medicate her and sponge her off. It broke in the a.m. and she was fine as wine! So that was our Valentine’s day.

We visited my parents this weekend and ended up leaving Isabelle with my mom and dad Monday and Tuesday night , so we kind of celebrated Valentines day with dinner out on Tuesday night (A grown up restaurant with no highchairs or picking up silverware off of the floor ten times!)

On another note, despite my vehemently anti-mini van attitude, we bought a mini van this week! We traded in the ole’ faithful (and paid for) 1996 Honda Accord for a shiny 2005 Nissan Quest…with all the bells and whistles. You can officially add two things to the list of things I said I’d never do. 1.) Drive a mini van 2.) Have a DVD player in my vehicle. After a year and a half of crying baby car rides..I give in! And we got an excellent deal, thank you e-bay!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V Day

Here is a picture of our little valentine dancing to her cousin Shanti’s guitar playing! By the way, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard an Indian sing American Country Music. Classic…

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

On other fronts, we officially let our new house go this week. Actually it looks like they sold it out from under us last week! Can you believe that? We are okay with this. AND, on a happy note we got ALL of our deposit back (whoo hoo!) because our builder is pulling out of Ohio! They were in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Although the Columbus market is booming, the other two areas were doing so poorly they forced the builder to leave Ohio all together. Bad for our builder…good for us!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Product of the month

Although I like to scrapbook, like all of us, I do get a bit behind! I can only imagine this get's worse with more children...

Anyway, I found this great website, called How Fast They Grow. It let's you create very cool 12x12 full glossy pages for $7.50 each. A bit pricy, but it might be worth it for a few pages a year. I don't like this product because it offers limited creativity, but again, thier layouts are phenominal!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another Proud First

I am happy to report that we experienced another proud first in the life of Isabelle. Sunday morning we got up early (as is our custom since adjusting from jetlag) and started getting ready for church. I threw Isabelle in the bathtub and went about getting ready for the day. Suddenly I heard Conrad yell for me. “Come quick!” I knew what it was, instinctively.

It was morning and our little girl has bowels on a strict time table. Morning, after a fresh diaper change and during her usual breakfast time is her first bm of the day. Sure enough, I had left her in the tub to play just a little too long and she felt the urge, while bathing…
Conrad said he found her playing with it and it took him a few minutes to figure out exactly what it was. Luckily, I had gathered advice from friends before hand on how to clean a tub of this particular refuse. So a quick shower for the little one and a few minutes of grunt work and we were back to square one. I figured this had to happen sooner and later, right?

Also, today is Isabelle’s first day in the toddler class at daycare! She has been transitioning for the past week into this class. She has always loved this classroom, and going into it has always been a “treat” for her, so she transitioned pretty well. Also this means no more naps in the crib…she’s on a cot now. What a big girl she is!

Not to mention we are VERY excited as this means her weekly tuition goes down $50 a week. Whoo hoo!

Friday, February 08, 2008


While Conrad and I were planning our wedding back in good ole’ 2005 (ahem.) I kept questioning him about Indian traditions that we could include in our wedding. After much prodding and poking and google searching he convinced me that most Indian traditions were steeped in Hinduism and wouldn’t be included in our wedding. Bummer.

You all know what tradition I was hedging for, right? I always always wanted to get henna tatoo’s on my hands and feet. So while I was in India I found out that I have a Henna Buddy. Conrad’s Sister-Cousin (I’ll explain that title in another post!) Suzanna loves henna! So, one afternoon Suzanna, Anthony Mary (my sister-in-law) and I went to a little salon for pedicures and henna. I had it put on m feet only, knowing I would be peppered with questions and a complete distraction to the little ones I would be seeing in my vision clincs the next week if I agreed to henna hands!
Suzanna had henna put on her hands, and Anthony Mary decided to skip this excitement and took a nice nap while our she waited for us. Consequently, she’s in grad school full time and the mother of an energetic seven year old.

You will notice in these pictures the fruit of one of my other favorite items while in India…tailored clothes! I got three new outfits tailored while I was there and got my dad 5 tailored shirts, which he was ecstatic about. All for less than $10 each. Don’t you just love the exploitation of the labor class in third world countries??? (okay, I hope you hear this statement laced with sarcasm, but that doesn’t always come across in a blog, does it?)

A Little Slice of India

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I have so much to write about and great pictures to post, but I am too busy to get to these things. It will have to suffice to tell you that we have arrived home saftely. All is well. We left at 2:00pm (EST) on Thursday and got home Sunday at 12noon. It was a LONG trip with a toddler. She started melting down about one day into the trip. We are exhausted!

I am trying to remember if I have ever been so glad to see my house as I was when we arrived Sunday afternoon. I don’t sleep much on planes, so I had a lot of sleeping to catch up on. But I am so exhausted and sleeping so heavily that it’s almost not restful..have you ever felt that way? Not to mention we have all been getting up at 3:30 – 4:30am every morning. Such is jet lag!
More stories coming soon….