no. 631 – PSA on SBS Scam

My husband asked me recently what I had to pay for my TypePad account. I told him it was than $50 a year. Why?

He noticed on our credit card statement a $9.95 charge for the past couple of months. The first time saw it he just figured it was something related to my blogging or something for XBoy. But a second time?

I looked at the statement and saw that the charge was associated with "SBS Fun Family Rewards". I had no recollection of signing up for anything so I did some internet searching and just by typing in that string of words, "credit card scam" and "unauthorized" popped up everywhere.

I called the number on our statement and after asking how they acquired our credit card information, I was told that based on an online purchase I made from JCPenney (for some items my Mom took to Jordan to give to her grandkids), somehow I had "agreed" to this program and that an email containing information was sent to us.

I was furious as I always try to make sure to unclick/click those damn default boxes for special offers and emails. In the meantime, Mr. DD saw that the charge went back four statements. I told the rep to cancel the membership and demanded a full refund. When he tried to protest, I countered that he can take care of it now or I can file a dispute through our credit card. He finally confirmed the cancellation and a credit.

SBS (Stonebridge Benefits Services) Fun Family Rewards appears to actually be one of those insurance/benefit providers that tries to piggy back many credit card programs. As I read many complaints posted about both the program and the telemarketers from this company, I wondered how many others are getting charged $10 a month and do not even realize it, or have only filed a complaint and not called to cancel their "membership".

Mr. DD and I pretty much take our statement for granted. I see things that I assume are related to his work and RC Racing and if he doesn’t recognize a purchase, he guesses that it’s related to my shopping/blogging/charity/XBoy purchases.  We’ve agreed to make sure to ask each other every time we see something that doesn’t jive, even if it’s a nominal charge, like this stupid $10 which could have easily turned into $120 because we each assumed the other knew about it.

Look over your statements. And if you know you’ve made one from Penneys online in 2007 or more recently? Be especially wary.

no. 630 – Is MYODB an Appropriate Answer?

One of my friends/coworkers had a business lunch with a couple of women from another department. One of the women asked my friend if my pregnancy was an "oops" or was it planned.

Thank god she was the one asked that question because I’m sure I would have answered, "It could be considered an ‘oopsy’ if I had wandered into a darkened room, tired and needing a nap and fell into a valium-induced conscious sedation, spread-eagled and bottomless, on an exam table with my feet resting comfortably in some stirrups….and if four other people with masks wandered in and just figured every vagina looks alike via a ultrasound wand….and the embryologist accidentally slipped some fertilized embryos from a pipette into my uterus…"

Yep. That’d be one hell of an accident. I’m trying to cut her some slack because not EVERYONE knows, right?

I guess I’m irked since the woman who asked has absolutely no personal interest in me, or at least has never shown it much less acknowledged my existence. Purely juvenile snoopiness.

Maybe I should ask her to be the baby’s Godmother since she’s suddenly taken an interest in my gestational status?

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A couple of you remembered I had my 24 week OB appointment yesterday. I didn’t mention it because it was uneventful, if not downright dull. Weight OK. Blood pressure OK. Uterine growth OK. I did ask for an iron screen, which came back ever-so-slightly below my doc’s preference so I’ve been given a script for an iron supplement.

I return April 30th at which time I will get another ultrasound to make sure Murdock is on target for growth and I go through the glucose screening. We even threw a couple of dates out there for the c-section (no VBAC for me and I have no desire to even try). He’s thinking about 7 days from the due date, but that could be problematic since I went into labor with XBoy 10 days early.

Maybe I should worry about getting through April, May and June first, huh?

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Things must be fairly tame around here since I haven’t udpated my password protected blog. Of course, I’m sure I’ve just jinxed myself.

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Remember how Mr. DD asked me to wait on buying any baby-related stuff? I just found out that my little impulse buying behavior is nothing compared to his: he bought a frickin scissor-lift from ebay a few weeks ago and I just found out. A scissor-lift! Yeah, like he’s going to have any time this summer to be messing with shop projects. What a twit. It’s a good thing I love him.

no. 629 – A Heavy Post About Lightening Up

I remember when I first saw the previews for the movie Juno. I really wanted to see it because it looked funny. My only worry (and certainly not a “real” one) was sitting in a theater watching some pregnant girl and trying not to involuntarily throw popcorn at the screen and think “lucky bitch”.

I never got to see the movie. The hype that started surrounding the whole adoption issue irked me, to say the least. I didn’t expect a movie to expand my opinion or educate me on birth-mothers and adoption processes, but that’s what it turned into for just about everyone in blogging who has been touched, whether negatively or positively, by adoption.

My desire to see the movie was based on my wish to be entertained. I had hoped that my husband, who probably considered the movie a “chick flick”, would come with me and we would get a babysitter for XBoy and we would eat stale, salty popcorn iced in fake butter, eat Mike & Ike’s and drink enough soda to send us to the bathroom at least twice. Ahhhh, Paradise.

That didn’t come to pass because I had been inundated with the controversy. How could I sit and watch that movie passively?

Now there’s another movie coming out: Baby Mama, about surrogacy. I love Tina Fey. I love Amy Poehler. Both brilliant comediennes. But already it has started. You may have seen the Newsweek article on surrogacy that was recently on MSN’s home page. I actually came away after reading it without the icky taste in my mouth I normally get when news articles try to discuss topics of infertility. The article on donor eggs made my skin crawl in comparison.

In the former article, it does reference briefly the stereotyping that surrounds surrogacy and how the movie, Baby Mama, caricatures that with the casting: “She hires a working-class gal (Amy Poehler) to be her surrogate. The client is a savvy, smart and well-to-do health-store-chain exec while Poehler is an unemployed, deceitful wild child who wants easy money.”

To me, this is pure Hollywood razzlematazzle to exploit how many people think. If the film industry wants to provide more reality, then they would promote a documentary. Those interested in a more accurate portrayal would then go see said documentary. If you want fact, don’t spend your hard-earned money and see a movie that happens to be categorized as a “comedy”, e.g. Juno.

If I really thought I could get an education and opinions from the entertainment industry then I would find myself believing that ancient Romans spoke English; that a form of martial arts would allow me to fly; and that hobbits walk the face of the Earth.

I would never expect Hollywood to provide me anything but a bang for my buck. Education isn’t their responsibility and to blame them or have higher expectations from the entertainment industry is like pointing a finger: when you do, there are always three pointing back at you. Simple reminders as to who is really responsible for knowing the difference between fact and fiction.

We should welcome a laugh whenever possible and we deserve to have simple joys, even if that means giggling at the joke that no one else gets. Infertility is a fucked-up joke, and you can’t tell me that while you are reading through your list of blogs that someone along the way doesn’t make you smile, or even guffaw outright, while describing something infertility-related.

Reality can be too painful as it is. Enjoy the improbable and the ludicrous. Take a break from that reality once in a while and eat some overpriced and crappy popcorn.

no. 628 – Breaking Ground

XBoy: When I eat food it goes through my body and comes out my poop hole.

Me, correcting him: Anus.

XBoy: And when I drink something, it goes through my body and comes out my penis.

Me: Hm-mmm.

XBoy: But when you drink something, it doesn’t come out your penis ’cause you don’t have one. It comes out of your poop-…anus.

Me: Uh, well, no. Girls may not have penises but their pee comes out a different hole.

* break ground with shovel *

XBoy: Where?

Me: Do you remember when you would help changing the girl babies’ diapers at daycare? They have a vulva and in the vulva are two holes, one is a urethra and the other is the vagina. Girls pee out their urethra.

* start digging hole *

XBoy: What’s the vajna (sic) for?

Me: Babies come out of a Mommy’s tummy through the vagina.

* continue digging *

XBoy: No they don’t. They come out of the tummy after the doctor cuts it open.

Me: Well, that’s how you came out, but most babies come out of the vagina. You had to come out through the tummy because the doctor said you weren’t going to come out the other way and you had to come out quickly.

* still digging and telling myself to just shut the fuck up already *

XBoy: Oh.

XBoy: Mommy?

Me: Yes.

* holding my breath and wondering just how the hell did I end up in this discussion *

XBoy: Can I have a WebKinz?

Me: Of course!

* breathing sigh of relief as I crawl out of the deep hole I had dug myself into *