Got CT Scan yesterday

I have been coughing for over a year. It’s very hard to get insurance pre-authorization to get CT scan in the US, according to my primary care doctor. She said if I am willing to self-pay, it’s not too expensive. So yesterday I took the plunge, I went to Metro Imaging directly, paid the fee from my credit card, and got my scan. I used to see this CT scanner on movie/TV, and see my daughter Yoyo did it once. Now it’s my turn. A bit of mixed feeling though as I did not want to hear the bad news. The scanner looks something like this. It’s also interesting I used to work for Siemens :-)

Siemens CT Scanner

The good news is the results is negative (I got results right away, I think this is the way medical testing should be). The bad news is I still need to figure out why the cough persists? There are two theories: allergy or acid reflux (from stomach to throat).

    Couple deals : Charmin bath tissue and Huggies diaper

    Charmin and Bounty at Target
    $4.50 off regular price for 30 double rolls, $5 eGiftcard when one buy 2 (can mix and match). Here is the link to get to Charmin. Use Target Redcard to get 5% off and free shipping.

    Huggies Snug and Dry Plus at Costco
    $6 off large box (was $38.99 for size 3), here is the link to size 3. I ordered one box a week ago, and it arrived today. So far it seems work for my younger daughter. I recall we used mostly this diaper from Costco for our elder daughter. This promotion runs till Jan 25. Limit 2 boxes per order. Costco offers free shipping for this.

      Diapers, diapers, diapers

      Baby Sophia is almost 5 months old, and she is on size 3 diaper (16 to 28 lbs). I recall she was born at 7 lbs and 3 oz, quickly reach 10 lbs which also outgrew new born size diaper. Similar thing happened to size 1 diaper, she reached 14 lbs at 2 month mark, and now we have both new born and size 1 surplus diapers :-)

      Things slowed a bit since 2 month, she was about 15.5 lbs at 4 month checkup. Nonetheless we used all size 2 diapers (12 to 18 lbs), and started size 3 (16 to 28 lbs).

      As to diaper brands and type, we used huggies natural new born, pampers swaddler new born, huggies snug and dry size 1, a store brand size 1, huggies little smuggler size 2, and pampers swaddler size 3.

      Thinking switch to huggies snug and dry size 3 in the future, that’s what our elder daughter had most of time, and it sells for $39 per 210 at Costco. A bit cheaper than pampers swaddler.

      How to set bluetooth on Toyota Sienna minivan

      2012 LE, basic radio.

      Set the language from Spanish to English
      (it says Corolla, but it works for Sienna as well, as they have very similar audio equipments).

      Setup bluetooth

      My tip: so I followed the instruction 1 and set up bluetooth audio for my iPhone 5s with the minivan, and later on I tried to add the bluetooth phone, and I was not successful during the step where the phone tries to connect to the bluetooth audio (car multi-media). The fix is to forget the car multi-media in the iPhone, and set up again for both phone and audio (“device type” in the car audio prompt).

      Trying to be frugal, ready for Kindergarden

      I have been in “austerity mode” since late Sept., and so far my main approach is “shop at Aldi, and global food market”. I found Aldi has most of the grocery and basic daily stuff, while global food market has the fresh veggies and sea food. Occasionally I shopped at Sam’s club, Target, Trader Joe’s and Chinese grocery store for specific stuff: bottle water, paper towels and fruits at Sam’s, Hawaii King rolls and baby diapers at Target, pot sticker and beans at Trader Joe’s.

      Aldi has changed quite a bit in recent years, when I first came to the US as a “poor” graduate student, sometimes we joked Aldi is for the “poor people” (it seemed we excluded ourselves”). Not anymore. I found a lot of people shop at Aldi nowadays, in the Aldi near our home (Olive and 270), which is previously a Borders’ book store. It was mostly busier when I go there. Sometimes I go there too much (like 3 times in one afternoon). It was almost like some people indulge on the trip at Costco. I do have the Costco membership, but found myself have not been there for months :-)

      On a separate note, my elder daughter is 4 years and 9 months old, and we are getting ready for her to go to kindergarden in public school next fall. The school will be very close to our home (school boundary map). Our younger one, is already 4 and half months, and can stand her head up. In this holiday season, there are always friends gatherings, and we always talked about kids, education etc.

      Not an easy week

      It’s Friday again. I had to admit this is not an easy week for me. After a lot of back and forth, I finally decided to withdraw my elder daughter from Montessori school, mostly due to financial reasons. As a father, I felt I am giving up something for my daughter due to my limited earning power. Both of us liked the school, and we have been there for a little over 3 years since she was 1.5 years old. From toddler house to pre-school. She had some good friends there. My original plan was to bite the bullet and stay there until next May, but due to some costs associated with new baby, I decided to look elsewhere. I don’t feel comfortable to put all this in a credit card, and begin to pay back until next summer. This also bring up another point, about emergency savings, and life style choice. I felt I did not do my best job in this aspect during last 3 to 4 years. Now I learned the lesson the hard way. I guess there are two sides of an equation, save more (which is usually more meaningful), and increase earning power (not as efficient as government took a cut from any increase in paycheck).

      I will share more when I give it more thought on this topic.

      (11-5-14) Yesterday was serenity’s day 2 at new school. My wife already had second thoughts on this :-( But we think at this moment let’s stay put, rather than rush to conclusion. There is an old Chinese saying that is applicable here: it’s easier to get from poor to luxury, rather than the other way around. (need better translation here :-)

      Big baby, little baby

      My elder daughter Serenity finally used to sleep in her room recently. The trick is I decided not to co-sleep with her. Also, she still needs her mommy watch her falling asleep, which usually takes an hour or so, since she gets up sometimes: ask me questions, etc. (delay tactic).

      Little baby Sophia is getting big, she weighs about 14 lbs in 2 month check up, which doubled from her birth weight. She likes to sleep on my shoulder. Today my coworker told me one reason is she like to feel heart beat. Also sometimes she sucks my neck or upper arm. It’s normal in baby growth, I just found out from web, although I am second time dad. Never stop learning.

      Found out why I missed 25000 miles Alaska Airlines from credit card

      I signed up the BoA credit card 50,000 miles promotion last Dec. But I forgot to spend $1000 in the first 3 months, I spent $995 in the first two months and then stopped. The reason was I thought I had reached this limit. But I forgot one thing: to check my spending at both BoA and at Alaska Airlines websites. I did not go to the latter because I thought I did not have the mileage plan number.

      Today I found out on my credit card I do have the number. But the 3 months has long passed. They now offer 25,000 miles for bonus opening their credit card.