Monday, September 23, 2013

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

A couple weeks ago, Princess heard a dripping noise coming from the hall. Seemed our a/c unit was leaking... onto our laminate flooring. Ace called ServPro, who promptly sent a project manager out to take a look & assess the damage. He told us to call our home owner's company and file a claim, then call him back when we had a claim number. We also called Columbia, who we have a service agreement through, to get out here asap & fix the leak. ServPro had their guys back out here within an hour to start pulling up our flooring, and drying out the problem areas. Columbia tried telling us that because the a/c still "technically worked" (you know, as it's pouring water all over our floor), it's not an "emergency" and therefore, they couldn't get someone out here for three more days. I said, "No. You'll be out here tomorrow before noon, or I'm pulling my contract, and filing a lawsuit." At this point, it was over 90` outside, and when we shut off the a/c for 10m, got up to 86` in my house. Ace was, obviously, still stuck in the house; no way was I going to make him suffer for three days. Anyway, I think they knew I was pissed, and serious about my threat; they were out here by 1030a the next morning.

Everything was fixed, and dried out, so the next step was a contractor. My insurance company gave me three companies I could call, but of course, I can call my own guy, if I wanted. Ace did a little research, found some reviews on some different places, and called one from the insurance company's list. He was out here Thursday of last week, took a look around, and told Ace he'd have a bid to us "early next week". Looks like, because of how it was laid (& for batch match), our entire main living areas' sub-floor, flooring, baseboards, & quarter-round will all be replaced, along with some of the trim for a couple of doors. Luckily, the flooring company still makes the same stuff (since we obviously love it), but if they didn't, our policy would cover replacement of ALL our floors (bedrooms, too, because they match).

Last week, Monday (the 16th), Ace had another follow-up. At this appt, he had another set of X-rays and put a little weight on his right foot, just to see how well he's healing. Dr D said everything looks great. He then had him do some up & down, side to side, and bend his toes. He can stretch up & down just fine, his side to side is about 1/2 of what it should be, and he can't fully bend his toes. So, his instructions are as follows -- put 1/3 weight on his foot; gently & still using crutch-assistance (for at least the next 10 days). After those 10 days (which puts us at this Thursday), he's to use one crutch, and try for 2/3 weight. We go back four weeks from today for another check, but if he continues with his progressive (& aggressive) at-home PT, as instructed, he will be released back to work Oct 24th.

Last week, Wednesday (the 18th), we finally met with our attorneys. We definitely have a good case. Since the driver of the other car (a rental, no less) is not an American citizen, we're unsure how (if at all) this will affect our claims, but we're pretty confident that within a year, we'll have a settlement. Ace & I have some "homework" to do over the next couple weeks -- keep a journal of all the ways this accident has affected our lives. They want missed events, day to day changes, etc. We also need to gather our financial info for the last few years (so they can get a good idea of his loss of income), send copies of all the pics we've taken related to the accident, and copies of all medical & motorcycle repair bills. I didn't know not to throw out the ruined gear, but I did get pics before I did so, so those will get sent out, too.

Last thing for now -- my meeting with Brian will happen tonight. I honestly don't think it'll do any good, and things probably won't change, but I have to try...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Youth Football & Cheer (DIS)Organization

One of the most annoying things to me is when other people's disorganization affects my life. I am a very organized person in every aspect of my life. I plan out my calendar months (and sometimes, a year, if necessary) in advance. My work calendar is scheduled three months out. When an organization I am a part of is NOT organized, and it affects my life -- especially my WORK -- I get pissed. I'm warning you now; this is a rant post... and I will be sending a modified version of it to the president of the association:

1. We were given less than two weeks' notice regarding getting our children's sports physicals done... in the middle of July! You do realize it's SUMMER, right? And, people go on vacation? It is my opinion that we should be given at least a month's notice (since most doctors have many children in need of sports physicals, making it difficult to get in, & we can't even try on uniforms if we don't have the sports physical paperwork signed). Or, a notice regarding "scheduling your child's sports physical..." should be included in our registration paperwork, with a reminder in early June.
2. We were given less than two weeks' notice regarding the uniform fitting date... also in the middle of July! Only three hours on a Saturday?!?!? (Side note - the football players got two, 3hr gaps, on Saturdays; one of which was the same Saturday as the cheerleaders.) And, when we got there, they had both football players' families & cheer families in the same line, only to send them to different spots when they got to the front of the line. Here's a couple of ideas: Have TWO lines; one for cheer and one for football. Have TWO available dates. Saturdays are fine, if we have more than 2 weeks' notice... Perhaps add a weekday evening, too, for those parents who work odd hours & times... like ME on SATURDAYS (I had to take the day off)!
3. The "Mandatory Parent Meeting" -- for both cheer & football -- is an hour long discussion about FOOTBALL!! Yet, the cheer parents (or a representative sent in their place) must sit through the whole thing, or our girls can't cheer the first game. This is ridiculous. I have two suggestions for this: (A) Parents come to the school, sign in, take a packet with the Code of Conduct, etc on it, leave, sign it at home, and turn it in to their child's coach at the Jamboree. OR (B) Have the coaches go over the packet with parents at the Jamboree (those who don't show up can have a packet sent home, and can sign prior to the first game). This will give the coaches a chance to meet/see their team's parents, introduce themselves, answer team-specific questions, etc. {Side note - my daughter was part of the local soccer club for 7 years, and this is how her coach handled things... parents loved it! He would send an email, which the Youth coaches have never done, introducing himself & giving us a little info about his experience. He would then request that parents come to one practice 1/2 hour early so he could do this parent meeting.)
4. Team pics were scheduled for the middle of August, originally... on a SATURDAY... the same week that practice started... with no official uniforms. I sent the president an email, which went unanswered for a month. I resent it, with a little more irritation, and received, "It will probably be rescheduled, since we don't have uniforms yet." Um, whose idea was it to schedule it so early in the season? How about from now on, we just assume we'll have uniforms by JAMBOREE, and schedule it for the Monday after that? It can then be rescheduled if needed, but that gives the uniform company a little more time, and parents less stress.
5. "Cheer Clinic" was scheduled for the middle of August, as well... on a Thurs & Fri (after the *first* Mon/Wed practice). They were supposed to get their Practice Uniforms (consisting of a team tee & a pair of black shorts) during clinic. First real game starts today, they've had four weeks of practices, and they STILL DON'T HAVE THESE!! If we don't get them, I feel we should get some sort of refund of our fees, since these were supposed to be included.
6. We were told the last week of August that due to having only three girls in the 7th grade team, the coaches decided to merge 7th & 8th grade squads. We were also told we would have the finalized game schedule (since they couldn't exactly go to BOTH games every Saturday) by that Monday. This didn't happen. THIS screwed up my Saturday work schedule, making me look unprofessional.
7. JAMBOREE was on Sat, Aug 24th. The girls got their uniforms Wed, Aug 21st... However, they were missing pom poms & cheer socks. Two of the girls' shells were missing their letter. Those were fixed in time, but they cheered without poms, and had to provide their own no-show socks (another item that is supposed to be covered by our fees).
8. Last year, hair bows were also part of their uniform (included in our fees). This year, we were told at Jamboree that the new ones were $11. Why the change? Why the last minute additional fees? I think they're awesome, but that is something that should have either been part of our original fees, or parents should have been asked for input (with more warning).
9. September's game schedule was finally emailed to parents Friday 30th, with the promise of October's on Wednesday 4th (as Monday was a holiday - no practice). I proceeded to put it in my calendar, and confirm my tentative Saturday clients. Wednesday, I get the rest of the schedule, and two of the four September games/times were CHANGED AGAIN! I had to reschedule, yet again, two clients. I CANNOT PROPERLY RUN A BUSINESS THIS WAY! The *FINALIZED* schedule should have been set by the end of August... at the LATEST! Additionally, why are we playing games so far away, without a game bus available to us? If the games are not within the immediate area, there should be a bus for the team, and a bus for the girls. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the kids aren't there, or are late, because of this.
10. It is now the date of their first game... They never received practice uniforms or cheer socks, and we're supposed to get poms TODAY. This is horrible planning on SOMEone's part. I know this is a volunteer organization, but we've been part of multiple volunteer-based organizations for the last 10+ years, and not one of them is this poorly run. I sincerely hope the association fixes these problems, because my daughter plans on being a part of it for at least four more years (this is her last year as a Youth, but she hopes to coach as a Freshman next year, and continue coaching every Fall through high school).

Monday, September 2, 2013

Life Update

Yesterday marked six weeks since our motorcycle accident. Since I last blogged about it, Ace had surgery on his ankle. He had interior & exterior stitches, and was wearing a splint. He now has a metal plate & five screws permanently attached to his ankle bone. He was in a lot of pain for about a week. At the two week mark, we went back for his follow up, when they removed the outer stitches, and told him he could now get it wet. He was also put back into the boot, which he will wear at least until his next follow up (mid-September). At that point, we're hoping for a brace, which will mean he can start to put weight on it.

My own healing is going well. I went back for my follow up at the four week mark. At that point, the only pain I was in was my lung & my right arm. Doc said the bruised lung can take up to three months to completely heal. I actually was pain-free there for three days in a row, forgot about it, tried to lift myself off the floor without being careful, and tweaked it again. That made life interesting for another couple days... My arm is another story. All the bruising is gone, but it can take up to a year to know if I'll get feeling back. Doc thinks the twinges & pinching I've been feeling under the skin is a good sign; she thinks that means the nerves are repairing. I guess time will tell, but for now, it feels weird having a numb spot there.

The "bad" news is that Ace won't be accompanying Princess & I to my sister's wedding at the end of October; his release back to work date is the same day we leave. We're also super-bummed that half our summer (the half we had planned on utilizing for camping, motorcycling, minor home fix-its, etc) got taken up, instead, by healing. The "good" news, though, is three-fold: (1) He can remove the boot a few times per day to do his at-home physical therapy, (2) The bike came home all fixed last week, and (3) We're planning on a bigger family road trip/camping next summer.

Tomorrow is the unofficial first day of school for Princess (her official first day is Wednesday, but she has a half-day tomorrow to welcome 7th graders). She's not only "big man on campus" -- being an 8th grader now -- and in a leadership role, but she's also a member of the Varsity Youth Cheer squad. She made honor roll both terms last year, and has plans to do so again this year. She's smart, kind, and beautiful; inside & out... and I am very proud of the young lady she's become.

Work has been busier than normal. I've worked close to 40hrs every week, starting two weeks after the accident. Add to that the fact that I am the only one who can drive -- Princess's activities, camps, visits, trips to the mall, etc... Ace's doctor appointments & some trips to the grocery store... my own work, other trips to the grocery store, other errands, etc. -- and you get some sort of idea of the crazy-busyness around here.

Oh, yeah; forgot to mention -- We've decided to sue the woman responsible for the accident. No idea what will come of it, nor how much, but at the very LEAST, Ace has a valid claim for income loss, and we both have Pain & Suffering. We'd like to have the insurance company reimbursed as well, but nothing is guaranteed.