Gerber Life Injustices?

I can’t help but feel like we are suffering an injustice here, even though it may turn out yet, I’ll know in 6 to 8 weeks. O_o

When Elijah was born, we got a Gerber Life Grow Up Plan on him for whole term life insurance. We thought if something happened, there would be something and that when he was older, we were told he could cash it in and use it for college. I have since found out this isn’t necessarily true.* That’s ok, though, because the premiums are more than affordable and supposedly won’t go up, so he can have life insurance until he’s 113 if that’s what he needs.

When Kayleigh was born, naturally, I applied for her, too. I did it when she was very little; not because I thought she was going to die (I always knew she’d be just fine), but because it was logical to me and I thought I’d better just do it before I forgot about it, and get the lowest premiums as well (they get more expensive depending on the age of the child at the time of application). Next thing I knew, they were calling me and asking me questions about her prematurity. Then we got the customary rejection letter.

I don’t remember exactly what the letter said, but it stated that I was welcome to reapply for her after she was out of the hospital and removed from all monitors for x amount of time. I want to say that that time was 6 months but it might have even been 3 months, or a year. Either way, she has been out of the hospital for 19 months and off all monitors for more than 16 months. I forgot about it for a time, but finally got around to reapplying this month. When I applied, they said their most popular policy was $25k. I decided to go for that one, but to make things equal for both my kids, I had to apply for an additional policy for Elijah. Of the three, that one will be the most expensive.

Last week, I finally got an email that he was approved and I was able to add it to my account. But I never got a response about Kayleigh’s despite it having been submitted first. Today, you guessed it, they called me.

The lady on the phone wanted more information regarding Kayleigh’s prematurity. Well, I think if she hadn’t woken me up from a nap and had me in a fuddled state of mind, I would have had the clarity to ask about this. The exact question on the application is as follows:

Were any of the children born prematurely or with abnormalities at birth? (SKIP this question if children are more than 1 year old)

Do you see where I am going? When I first applied for Kayleigh, I had to truthfully reply “yes” to that question. But now, since she will be 2 years old in April, I got to skip that question. Yet… they still called and asked me about her prematurity…

How is that right? According to that question, the slate is wiped clean when the child reaches age 1, yet they still had my kid on record so that they could ask about her problems at birth, 21 months ago.

The lady also wanted to know how much Kayleigh weighs. I told her 22 pounds. It sounds extremely small for a child going on 2 years, but her pediatrician-set goal for age 2 was 20 pounds. I told her that, too, and she said she made a note of that for the underwriters to illustrate to them that she is “ahead of schedule.”

This kid is healthy. Sure, she’s the strangest picky eater I’ve ever seen, but she is HEALTHY. She gets all the nutrition she needs. She has been released from the pulmonologist, the gastrointestinal doctor, physical therapy (that she didn’t need in the first place), other NICU check-up doctors, the neurologist, and now the ophthalmologist. She never had need to see a cardiologist outside of standard NICU checks (another question on the application, heart disease… nope). Except that she’s a bit small, there’s no clue that she was born at 29 weeks with lungs younger than that. She is healthy. Other than the every day risks that follow all children in the US (possible car accident, etc.), there is nothing threatening her life.

So now I’m left wondering if I should call their customer service department and point out that the application basically said prematurity didn’t matter if the child is over age 1, so what gives them the right to inquire into that? They’re technically not even supposed to know that. Or do I just wait and see what the final decision is? Maybe the underwriters will approve her, I don’t know. I guess if I sit on it and she does get rejected, I will be sure to talk to someone and point that out.

She’s gone from:

Kayleigh Virginia

and:

Holifields 4 by The Jeremy Project

to:

You tell me that’s not progress.
The whole thing is really ridiculous, not to mention the questions they ask, they are not getting a full history. I told the lady that K had been released from all those doctors, but that wasn’t part of a question. So not only are they going by her prematurity, they aren’t asking for enough information to really see how she’s doing, to really see if she is a risk to their insurance or not. They are going by, “well, is she ok?” and “how much does she weigh?” Like that’s all there is to life, weight. Why is the health of children often determined by how much they weigh?? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

Well I guess if she is rejected, we will try at the company that holds my policy, and Steve’s. I am going on a policy my parents set up for me when I was 6. Not sure about now but several years ago it was sort of an elite club thing, seriously, lol, they only let Steve in because he’s married to me. Maybe they won’t ask questions about prematurity there since she’s older now. I don’t want the child to not have life insurance, though. Not, again, that I expect anything to happen, it’s just common sense, in my opinion, and if they get it now, helpful for them when they are older, they won’t have to worry about it.

In retrospect, I should not have applied when she was so young. I’m not sure what was going through my mind, but I honestly don’t think that rejection ever even occurred to me. Even if it did, I didn’t foresee it being an issue at this point, too. However, even though I dropped the ball there, they shouldn’t be holding it against us now, all this time later!

———-
* I know that we were told they could use it for college at something like age 18 or 21, not sure which. Well, apparently, sure, he can cash it in, but he doesn’t get the amount that we were originally led to believe. He only gets the exact dollar amount that we’ve paid into it; so on his new policy, at something like age 25, he could get a whopping $2.4k. Yeah, that’s going to pay for college. Guess it’s one of those “if it’s too good to be true…” things. At the time I guess it made sense that he’d be able to cash in and get at least close to the full amount, but I guess I never actually did the math. Either way, again, even if he can’t cash it in for that amount, it’s still helpful to him in the end… and my grandchildren. O_o

———-

Updating to add that yesterday I got a welcome packet from Gerber so Kayleigh has been approved. I did not, however, get the same welcome email that I got for Elijah. I still think it is wrong that they took her prematurity into question this time around but at least it’s over and she’s approved.

the Green Hornet

Got to get a few hours out of the house tonight and spent some time with my awesome sister-in-law. I felt like a total spaz ’cause I had to ask her to drive out of her way to pick me up. Steve’s truck is on the fritz so he’s been taking my vehicle to work. I’m not used to have to rely on people for rides, I either do it myself or I do without. My mother-in-law and other sister-in-law also drove in to watch my kiddos. Of course, I think that’s better, ’cause all their stuff is here and it’s easier for them to get K to sleep here than at their house.

My sister-in-law and I went first to dinner which actually turned out to be hilarious. We went to this place I had a pretty good coupon for, neither of us had heard of it before. Turned out to be this total guy place, like Hooters, only the waitresses dress even more skimpy. So here we are, two females in there, and she is like, “uhhh those people are staring at us…” But the food was good and it gave us jokes to last through the rest of the evening.

From there to the movie and we actually went in and watched it without popcorn or soda! Gasp! She cracks me up because she can eat like a bird at other times but can really put it away during the movies. I give her crap about it but we were both so stuffed this time, we actually managed some willpower. Good thing, too, cause it cost the two of us $25 total to see the movie…

The Green Hornet was my second movie in 3D and we loved it. I don’t know what the reviews said and we have friends that said they really didn’t like it at all, but my sil and I really liked it. Of course it’s not realistic and of course it’s goofy, but hey, it’s a night out to relax. I did really enjoy the humor, though, you know – the gas gun we’ve all seen in the commercials? That was great. And so funny to see/hear super heroes saying “we don’t know what we’re doing!” and acting like real people might do if suddenly thrown into extraordinary situations. Not like Batman, he’s always got it together. I loved how they worked Bruce Lee in, too, the original TV Kato. (At least original as far as I know!) I’d like to see some of the old series, actually. I heard a guy on the radio last week saying SyFy had a marathon of it but, of course, on one told me until the day after…

Well, we had fun. The next one will probably be the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie though I’ve promised Sarah she can go to that one and will probably take Elijah and some brothers, too.

changes

Where does the time go? I can’t believe another week has gone by already.

The last two weeks I’ve been doing my best to get up and work out around 5am. Then I spend some time with my Bible and in prayer, then a nap most of the days. Been going good so far. I think I’m going to take it easier on the weekend, last thing I need is to get burned out. It can be hard to do this so early in the morning and then to chill out and get a nap, but this is the best time. I found out the first day that if I were to try and do any exercising at all during the late morning, it was too much of a distraction for Elijah during school. So to the early mornings we go, at least on school days. So far I’m told I’m down a couple of pounds, but I’m not sure how accurate that is. I’m also trying to quit soda… again. Some days I do really well, other days I fail miserably.

Part of this getting up early thing, too, is going to bed earlier. I’ve actually been doing well with that, too. My goal is to stop everything by 10:30 and be in bed by 11. In between approximately 11 to 4:30 then 6:30 to…?… I should have enough sleep. The schedules of my family members make it impossible for me to get a straight block of 8 hours anyway.

I failed with this the other night though, and was up until 1 working on mine and Stacey’s photography website. Of course, that found 4:30 nearly impossible and I only managed a weigh-in and body test before crashing again.

Speaking of photography, we now have 4 weddings for 2011 booked with another possible and a possible 2012, even. There was a 5th, but they canceled it last minute due to “military complications,” it would have been tomorrow. I know 4 doesn’t really sound like a lot but I think that’s pretty good considering we only really set this business up in September. We’re also booking other sessions and events, too, including the local women’s health fair in February. That will give us a chance to get our name out locally and start a customer base here. We didn’t think we were going to get into the fair at all, due to loyalties to this town’s one existing photography studio, but Stacey has quite the charm, and we’re in. So yay! :)

And just a little fyi, I am getting very tired of comment spam that tries to guilt me into approving comments! No, dearest spammer, I am sorry you have no page rank and “desperately need help,” but you’re not getting your junk comment on any site that I control!

K’s Eating Issues

So this is getting really old.

Since she first started with solid food, aka not baby food puree, Kayleigh has been extremely picky. At first, we thought it was a texture thing, but now I wonder if it’s not just pure stubbornness and habit.

We had an occupational therapist come see her. One thing she said was, “I’m bad with feeding issues.” Then she corrected herself to say she’s not bad, just that it’s not what she is best at. Whatever. She had no idea really. She gave me an idea of putting something like peanut butter or sour cream on something that K does like and will eat, but that really doesn’t do any good. K found very quickly that she could bite off and spit out the offending piece, then eat the rest of the item. Other than that, the OT didn’t really tell me anything and then said she would get us a speech therapist.

I think the speech therapist came in expecting to see a child with chewing, swallowing, or choking issues. But that’s not the case, K is an old pro at eating. She just refuses to. The speech therapist couldn’t tell me anything either. She had some nonsense about letting K’s hands be dirty with food but I don’t think that’s done anything. She seemed to be more concerned with the fact that K isn’t talking in words yet. Her report said that it was “very concerning” and then noted, “mom is not concerned.” No, I wasn’t concerned about that, she babbles plenty and makes plenty of noises and she will talk when she’s ready. Not to mention, DOCTORS are telling me not to worry until she’s older than two or certainly at age three. So no NEED to worry now. That was offensive and while I won’t turn away speech therapy, I think she needs more work with eating than talking (and I don’t think I want that therapist at all).

So what does she eat? She eats some Gerber and Parent’s Choice items such as puffs (little cereal-like finger foods with many flavors), crunchies (similar to cheesy poofs but healthier and softer), freeze dried yogurt bits, freeze dried bananas, and things like most types of crackers but those chicken flavored ones, Goldfish and Whales, Cheerios and maybe Chex. That’s pretty much it in the way of feeding herself and what she will voluntarily take in. I do make sure she gets the right nutrition by way of purees still so she gets chicken and other meats from that, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Here’s the thing, it’s not just a refusal to try certain things or anything new, it’s that she automatically THROWS whatever she doesn’t want. This is one reason I think it’s not really a texture issue, I will give her something that’s similar to or seems to fit the criteria of what she likes, the only thing is that it’s new, and she will still immediately and automatically throw it. It took me forever to get her to try the freeze dried yogurt and now she loves them. For instance, today I gave her a Gerber cookie. It feels like a cracker, looks similar to a cracker and even comes out of packaging that looks just like the Gerber freeze dried yogurt (oh yes, be ye not deceived, she even watches the packaging), yet she didn’t even give it a try – just threw it.

At my cousin’s wedding shower last weekend, she was saying, “Oh can I give her some cake? How about some icing. This is sweet, she will like this.” My end of the conversation was going something like, “she won’t eat it, she’ll just throw it. Good luck, if you can get her to take a bite from you, I’m all for it.” Just like I predicted, she refused it all and pushed my cousin’s hand away and then got mad when she was offered anything more. If I want her to eat from a spoon (she takes most of her purees in a feeder where I don’t even think she tastes them because she’ll actually eat things like chicken that way but not on a spoon if she doesn’t like it), I literally have to hold her hands down and force her to take that first bite. When she realizes it’s bananas or something, she’s all for it, but she’s still quite difficult for every bite. It’s like refusal is such a habit that she can’t turn it off.

Here’s an example of the packaging. When K is in her high chair, she watches everything I do, very intently. She was already eating those Stauffer’s Whales which are similar to Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers. E loooooved the Whales when he was little, too, and we’ve gotten them because they are cheaper. But I had the bright idea of trying the colored Goldfish as an encouragement that just because it changes color doesn’t mean you won’t like it. I am to understand that all the colors taste the same. So I bought a big carton and I gave her some. She looked at them on her tray, looked at the carton, looked at her tray, the carton again, then threw them off her tray. She didn’t even try them. I had to go somewhere that night so I put some in this little container I keep in her diaper bag for taking snacks with us. I told Steve that while I was gone, try to give them to her again, but only give them out of that container. He did and she tried them right away and now eats them just fine, even seeing what container they come from. However, this does not work all the time – it didn’t work with the cookie today.

Speaking of the cookie… I tried several methods to get her to try it but she just kept throwing it. She got angry with me and I put it on the kitchen table just out of her reach. This also made her very angry because all she wanted to do was throw it. But she ignored it there for a little while. I left the room for a minute and when I heard a noise, I peeked around the corner and could see that she’d broken her high chair again and had the tray in her right hand and was banging it on the table which is to her right. So I headed in there to get her out before she could fall and when I entered the room I saw that she had the cookie in her other hand (guess that’s how she broke the tray off again, E broke it the first time and I had “fixed” it) and she was sort of tasting it without biting it. As soon as she saw me? She threw it. So maybe the issue is all me, I don’t know. I don’t think this is the first time she’s started to try something then thrown it when she’s seen me.

Do I even need to mention how I have to sweep the floor 50 times a day? Even the dog gets sick of Cheerios after a while.

if you find my brain, tell it to wait here for me

Sometimes I just really gotta wonder what’s wrong with me.

Last evening, I took the kids and headed to the nearest JC Penny, aka a half an hour away. I didn’t even get to head out until 6. First we had school, then my sister-in-law stopped by to pay me for my brother-in-law’s phone bill. Apparently she’s as brainless as I am, haha, because she’d forgotten her checkbook and left to go to the bank. While she was gone, UPS arrived with the wedding book I’d made them. She returned, paid me, took her book and only then would Kayleigh finally take a nap. So it was 5 pm before K got up and we could get started out the door.

Drove out there and took the kids to Sonic because OF COURSE I didn’t get us anything to eat for supper before leaving, then we were in the car wash getting rid of all the salt and snow grime that built up over this last snow, when Steve called. The whole reason I had to go to Penny’s was to return some things I bought online that arrived and totally did not fit. Guess what? Yeah, I’d left them on the kitchen table! My purse had been sitting RIGHT by them and somehow I managed to get that.

Elijah wasn’t phased, of course, he was on a mission to spend his Christmas money. Well, the Christmas money he knew about. :P (Really, my kids have enough stuff as it is, they don’t need to just run out and spend all their money when I can save some of it for them for a rainy day or whatever.) So we went to Walmart so he could spend his $15 on – you guessed it – a Transformer.

I made a list before we left. Apparently I can’t even do that right and I forgot to write down several things and forgot several of the things I needed from there. Ugh!

I used to have this great memory, what happened??