- With Justin being a graduate student and instructor, the school covers his healthcare, but not mine or the kids'. Crazy, I know- thanks UC Berkeley! So because we make so little money, the kids are covered through the state (children under 18 are guaranteed medical coverage in the state of California - thanks Hilary Clinton!) But have you ever applied for any social service? It is impossible! Every year they send you a packet to fill out to make sure you still qualify, so when Leo turned one they sent it to us, I filled it out and mailed it in. Well, supposedly they never received it and I got a letter saying that Leo no longer has medical insurance. Also, Belle was covered through a program called Healthy Families so we pay a monthly fee for her healthcare but apparently Healthy Families is no longer a program - California budget cuts - so apparently they sent her information to medi-cal so she could get coverage like Leo's... but they never received her paperwork either. All of this to say that a couple of weeks ago Justin had to take a day off of working/writing so that I could drive to Oakland to social services, sit around for three hours to fill out a piece of paper to get the kids the healthcare coverage that they already had. Then I get 4 letters in the mail telling me that they do/don't qualify for different programs. I call my case worker (one that I can actually get on the phone!) and she clarifies everything and then asks for me to mail Justin's proof of income - to prove that we really don't make a lot of money. A week later I get a letter saying they didn't get the proof of income that I mailed to them. I call to clarify that it actually was received - and it was. Finally! Something went right in this process. Then the case worker asks if the pay stub that I sent from Justin's job is a weekly paycheck or a monthly paycheck... Sadly I laughed and said that indeed, that's the amount of money he makes monthly. And now we wait for further instructions...
- Our car registration expires in May. Typically we get a notice in January to pay it, however, possibly because we moved, we never received our notice. But being as proactive and on top of things as I am, I looked up our registration on the DMV website and paid our registration. In March. I also updated our new address. Well, halfway through May our registration stickers were still not in our mailbox. I looked up our registration information on the website again and it says that they mail the stickers within five days and at this point it had been two months! So I call the DMV - the part of the website that gives instructions for lost stickers apparently doesn't work, go figure! - finally get someone on the phone and they tell me that I need to come into the DMV - to do what I already did online. Luckily I was able to make an appointment so I didn't have to wait in those horrid DMV lines, but the only DMV that had an appointment within a week was one in West Oakland. I live in North Berkeley, so not close. So Justin graciously took another day off of working/writing so that I could drive a half hour down to the Oakland DMV to get the stickers that I already paid for.
- You probably remember in this post about the traffic ticket that I paid for in December was accidentally used to pay someone else's ticket and I had to spend another entire day driving down to Fremont (an hour away), standing in line for two and a half hours to get it all sorted out. Sidenote: there seems to be a theme of me needing to take entire days to sort things out that I've already taken care of, it's like the universe is telling me "you don't have enough to do, let's make things harder". Anyway, another day was wasted and the ticket was finally paid correctly and fortunately I was eligible for traffic school to keep it from showing up on my record. So for the past two weeks I've been doing traffic school online a little bit every day, usually while kids are crying at me or needing me to help with something. So you know, I've been able to really concentrate and take it all in. And knowing my luck with such things, I ended up paying extra money for copies of my certificate of completion and confirmation that the traffic court received and approved my traffic school completion. I did the eight hour course and at the end you take a test and need at least a 70% to pass. After two grueling weeks of the most boring course I've ever taken in my entire life and not being able to concentrate on it for more than five minutes at a time, I passed with a 76%. And now I question my intelligence.
- In that same post I mentioned how I took on the job of summer school administrator for Belle's school. It has turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare. You see, at Belle's school each family is responsible for participating one day a week so that on any given day, between parents and teachers, there are about seven adults for a class of 26 kids. It's a great system and it keeps the parents involved in the school and really fosters a sense of community. Except when it comes to summer. Long story short, the school also offers aftercare and naturally parents sign up their kids for aftercare on days that they are not participating. No one told me that there's a maximum number of kids that can do aftercare on any given day, so when I found out, I had to contact the last families to sign up to tell them that there was no spot for them in aftercare for those days and naturally it affected their participation days. I guess if you don't know how the school is run, it's probably very confusing, but anyway, summer school starts in five weeks and people are still trying to change their aftercare/participation requests and some families are trying to pull out of summer school altogether because they cannot get the days they need. This means the staffing and the budget for summer school is now all screwy and it's up to me to fix it.
- And it keeps getting better! I went to check our bank account on Monday so that I could update our monthly budget and I found almost $300 worth of small purchases over the weekend from Walmart, 7-11, McDonald's, Jack in the Box and Rite Aid! First of all, I have never been to a Walmart in my entire life. I have also not been to a 7-11 since high school (12 years ago!) and have not eaten fast food in more than six months. I also do not live anywhere near a Rite Aid. Looking at the purchases, they were all made in Fairfield. I have never been to Fairfield. So I guess my debit card that expired that I cut in half and threw in the trash was found, taped together and used! Multiple times! I immediately called the bank, had the card cancelled and had to file a report claiming that my card was stolen and used without my consent. To the tune of almost $300. Luckily the bank is really good about this stuff and issued us a temporary credit for the amount pending an investigation. Provided they cannot find proof that I authorized the purchases (which they most certainly can't because I most certainly did not!), then they'll refund all the money permanently. They also said that because the purchases were all made in the same places that it's likely that they'll find the person and would I be willing to press charges? Um, yes!
- We are also slowly getting news that five different friends and family members are in the process of coming back to the Bay Area all within the next year! This is really exciting to me because I love having everyone be close, but it really makes me sad to think that a year from now we could be moving away and leaving even more people behind. We've really come to love all of our friends and family that live near us and I am really excited for that circle to grow, but in the long run we'll have to do what is right for Justin's career, and hey, we'll always be able to come back and visit and it'll be awesome to have everyone in one place.
So that's what I've been dealing with the past couple of months, every day something new. When the bank account thing happened, I though "of course!" Because everything else is finally sorted out, why wouldn't this happen? I really just have to laugh because at the end of the day, I have my family and we are all healthy and happy. We have food in our bellies and a place to call home and really that's all that matters. I just take each crisis one day at a time and luckily I do not stress out very easily.
But in better news, I am really looking forward to our three day weekend! This weekend we have a lot going on (as usual)...
- On Saturday we are going up to Napa (for the second of three Napa weekends in a row - woohoo!) to eat lunch at our favorite chicken and waffle place and to celebrate the third birthday of one of my favorite boys in the whole world, Marco Amadeus! I can't wait.
- On Sunday morning, Belle's school is having a music fest - if you live in the East Bay, email me and I can give you the info if you'd like to come! And in the evening we are going to Justin's adviser/friends' home for some drinks (with the kids).
- On Monday we are going to a Memorial day barbecue and pool party at my in-law's house for the day.
I can't wait! And only 40 more days until Hawaii - 47 days until I turn 30!!!