4 Lessons to Learn About Working From Home Before You Accept the Job

“Work from home.”, they said. “It’ll be easy!”, they said. “Man, were they right!” – said no one ever.

Cat Clayton

8:03, clocking in late again. It seemed that no matter what Sophie did – she just couldn’t make it to work on time. Or anywhere for that matter. (But that is for another story, for another time.) Just this morning the dog threw up, right as she was walking out the door. She cleaned that up, gave her pooch a little love, and headed out the door. Exactly 8 minutes later and 10 minutes away from work, she got a call from the school nurse. Avery had a fever and she would have to be picked up. She made a call to her husband and asked if he could pick her up on his way home. Matt worked nights and was just getting off so it worked out pretty well. As she clocked in though, she thought, “I wish I could just work from home. Things would be so much easier.”

Sound familiar? Often times, when real life has its ups and downs, people tend to think that working from home would just make everything easier. That isn’t necassarily the case. You need to have a few things in good working order and a few select skills before you can make the transition to a work-from-home job. Let’s debunk a few myths:

Myth #1: If I could work from home, I would never be late.

Truth #1: Looking back at Sophie’s morning, you may be thinking that if she worked from home then it wouldn’t have mattered if the dog threw up because she didn’t have a commute to work, so she couldn’t have been late. And you may also be thinking that she could have just ran and picked up Avery.

Not true. If you work from home, you still have obligations to the work that you do. Depending on how you work from home matters too. Some companies will hire you for hybrid work but expect you to be at your home desk working during your normal shift. You would need to be logged into your PC during the hours you should be working. There are even a few companies that require you to use a camera that they can log on to anytime during your working hours to make sure you are present. Even if your company doesn’t require you to log in at specific times, you still have a workload to do and need to set office hours that are just that. Taking time to take care of life situations that you normally wouldn’t be able to while at the office, really puts a pause button on the amount of work you are able to get done and the quality of work you submit.

Lesson #1: If you work from home, you absolutely MUST set office hours and stick to those hours. If unrelated life occurrences pop up, you should treat the situation just as you would if you worked out of a corporate office. If you think you can just roll with the punches, you’ll find yourself out of a work-at-home job pretty quick.

Myth #2: PJ’s here I come!

Truth #2: Not so much. You may think if you are just sitting around doing data entry, it doesn’t matter what you are wearing. You’ll just live in your pajamas and get so much work done because you are so comfortable. Not true. Studies show that when a person gets dressed up as if they were leaving the house, it puts them in a more professional mindset. You will get more accomplished in your silk top than you will in your 20-year-old New Kids On the Block pajama top. (Don’t hate, I was convinced I was going to marry Joey McIntyre when I was like 12.)

Lesson #2: Get dressed everyday! When I was 18 and decided to give a local direct sales company a go, I remember one of their sayings was, “Dress for the job you want tomorrow, not for the one you have today.” That stuck with me and I tell all of my tribe to “Get up, get dressed, and go get the day.” However, if the company you work for is ok with it or if you are self-employed, give yourself permission to wear jeans on Friday’s, or maybe if you reach a big goal you get to wear the bunny slippers all day as a reward.

Myth #3: No more meetings!

Truth #3: Wrong again. If you work for a company, it is almost guaranteed that they are going to want you to make occasional trips to the office for a company meeting or briefing. Or they may want you to get very friendly with Zoom or another virtual meeting platform. Even last-minute meetings will pop up and you will have to make the adjustments to attend, just like if you were at the office. While you can probably get by with wearing the bunny slippers under the table, you will need to be prepared for regular meetings – with actual people seeing your face.

If you don’t work for a company and you’ve decided to take your mad skills and jump into the world of entrepreneurship – you will DEFINITELY have meetings in your future. Now you have to fight to find the clients and you will have to meet with them to tell them why you are the one they should choose to run their marketing campaign or water their plants or whatever your mad skills are.

Lesson #3: Be prepared. Make sure your technology is always working well. Practice talking in front of the camera if you are nervous. You can use apps like Marco Polo to pretend you are giving a speech and then get a friend’s input. No matter what, just remember meetings are one of the things that help the world turn around. Collaboration is a must – no matter what. You won’t get away from them just because you work three feet from your kitchen.

Myth #4: It will be so nice not having Joanie from accounting popping her head in my office every 5 minutes.

Truth #4: Joanie knows how to instant message. Also, remember your daughter Avery, who is now home with a fever. If you were at the office talking to Joanie, Matt would most likely be home taking care of Avery and not getting any sleep. But, if you are at home, you are most likely going to be the one taking care of Avery while trying to balance your work. You have to find a work-life balance that works and set boundaries for yourself and your family. You will need to pretend that while you are working from home, you are actually at an office. Otherwise, your Thursday afternoon, might be full of laundry and dirty dishes, instead of getting your expense report finished and emailed to Joanie.

Lesson #4: Put your home office in a room (or closet) with a door that closes. If this isn’t an option, buy a room partition. If you can’t afford that, write BUSY and COME IN on two sticky notes and stick the appropriate one to your computer monitor so that when your family approaches, they will know if it is ok to talk with you. You can also do things like put sticky notes on the dishwasher and washing machine (and right in the middle of the tv) so that if you find yourself getting distracted, your “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT” notes will get you back on task.

The bottom line is that working from home presents a whole different set of problems and solutions than working in an office does. Yes, there are a TON of PROS to working from home, but you need to learn how to navigate around the CONS.

There is something to be said about being able to pour your own Texas sweet brewed tea and having warm leftover meatloaf from the night before for lunch instead of having to eat a quick club sandwich on dry toast and drinking something that looks like sweet tea, but definitely doesn’t taste like it, from the local cafe. And stepping out into your home garden to pull tomatoes for dinner that night is a nice way to spend your 15-minute break. Also, being home to get the new Kate Spade purse you allowed yourself to buy as a reward for hitting your goals last month, and not having to worry about a porch pirate is nice. So go – get that work-from-home job!! Just make sure you put your little duckies in a row and stay on task. You’ll do great.

Now I’m off to check out the new Kate Spade sale. Super excited about it.



How to ROCK Wisdom Teeth Removal

Day 1 xray

My wisdom teeth came in a long time ago, but really never caused any problems.  Every now and then I had occasional pain when they would push through a little, but like a genius… I just ignored that pain.   Fast forward several years…

Now I’m 41 and my wisdom teeth have caused A LOT of trouble!  It got to the point where there were days where I literally couldn’t eat anything that I had to chew.  There were some days where I didn’t even want to talk.  When the pain became so troublesome that it was affecting my eating, my other half said it was time to get something done about it.  So I reluctantly made the appointment.

First, you should know I am TERRIFIED of the dentist.  Actually, no, it’s not the dentist I am scared of.  I’m sure most dentists are nice and take care in their work.  I am scared of the general act of dentistry.  While the salt water fish tanks are nice and soothing to watch in the waiting room, the idea of having needles stuck in my mouth is terrifying.

Secondly, I do not have dental insurance.  So anything I have done is self-pay.  That can be incredibly costly.  I am self-employed so I haven’t sought ought dental insurance because I honestly didn’t want to pay monthly for something I didn’t plan to use often.  Another dumb-dumb move.

There was a period of time last year where I took a position for a few months to further professional development.  It came with dental insurance so I used it and had a deep cleaning done.  Even with insurance it cost me like $300.  I had them give me gas so I wouldn’t be quite so observant during the procedure.  The worst part was the anxiety.  The second worst part was getting the shots in my gums to numb them.  The first few weren’t so bad, just little pricks.  The deeper ones weren’t painful, just uncomfortable.  If I have to be honest, the absolute worst part of the whole ordeal was when I went to pay at the end of the appointment and I drooled all over the desk because I couldn’t feel my lips.

I did talk to that dentist about having my wisdom teeth removed, but there was not enough time for them to refer me to an oral surgeon before my insurance was going to be ending since my job was only temporary.  So I just decided I would do it later.  However, because the dental work wasn’t quite as scary as I thought it would be, I was definitely open to seeking dental care.

Here we are a year later and ouch… I was miserable.  A friend of mine had an oral surgeon he recommended.  He, his mother and sister all had their wisdom teeth out by this dentist and he said they all had great experiences.  I checked out his website and the reviews, which were all glowing!  So when the Mr. decided he was fed up with me not being to eat the same thing as everyone else, I made the appointment with Gregory Scheideman, DDS.  Here is my experience…

I made the appointment with the intention of having all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed.  After talking with the girl who answered the phone we were finally able to find an appointment 3 weeks later on July 17th.  I wanted it on a Monday because I had done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people and everyone said I would probably only need one night off work.  As I mentioned earlier, I am self employed, but the Mr. is part owner of a billiards club so when they need an extra bartender to cover the shift of someone, I usually volunteer.  It’s kind of fun and the extra cash is nice.  I have been covering Monday – Wednesday nights for a girl who left to have a baby.  I wanted to plan it on a Monday because that is the slowest night and I figured I would be back to work after that.

MISTAKE #1: Having 4 teeth “surgically” removed apparently isn’t the same thing as having them pulled and takes more recovery time.  Also, I was about to find out that I was going to have more work done than I expected which meant more recovery time.

My Advice: Make your appointment on the best day that will give you 3-7 days of recovery time if your having them actually surgically removed.

Upon arrival to the office, the girl at the window checked me in, asked if I had someone to drive me home and said it would be just a few minutes.  We sat and enjoyed the huge salt water fish tank in the middle of the waiting room.  It was actually quite soothing and searching for all of the “Finding Nemo” characters took my mind off of the impending procedure.  However, it didn’t last long because after only about 5 minutes, they called my name.

We stepped into the room for the consultation and the nurse took me back for an x-ray.  I am happy to say they didn’t have to jam anything into the far corners of my mouth.  I just had to step up to a machine and bite down on a little stick while this large plastic orb rotated around my head and took the picture above.  I was taken right back to the room.

The dental assistant asked me the basic questions: Are you Cathy? (I’ve gone by Cat for so long it is really weird to hear people refer to me as Cathy.  I almost want to start looking around the room for my mom.)  I answered yes.  He asked if I had any medical issues the dentist needed to know about. Nope.  He confirmed what medications I was taking, which at the time was only over the counter ibuprofen for the tooth pain.  Then he asked if I had eaten anything in the last 6 hours.  WHAT?!  I was told I couldn’t eat anything after midnight!  My surgery was scheduled at 9:15 am!!

MISTAKE #2: I was told I couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight.  I had dinner at like 9:30 pm and then sipped water until around 11:30 pm and then NOTHING!!!!  Apparently, it can be life threatening if you eat anything 6 hours before anesthesia .  But only 6 hours?!

My advice: If you’re dentist says you can’t have anything after midnight – eat at 11:45 pm!  By the time I had my surgery – I was starving AND really couldn’t eat a dang thing!!

While answering questions the dentist came in and introduced himself and asked how I was doing.  I told him I’d let him know in an hour or so.  He then laid the bomb on me.  As you can see from the picture above, my bottom wisdom teeth grew in literally horizontally.  I let it go so long that they rubbed up against my second molar’s (you can see which one I mean in the photo below) and basically destroyed them.  He said in his professional opinion, he believed they were beyond repair and wouldn’t likely cause more problems and I should have them removed.  I gasped and immediately tears sprang to my eyes.

MISTAKE #3: Which is really more like my first mistake: Even though I knew my wisdom teeth were causing problems and that historically they grew horizontally in my family, I still didn’t do anything about it until it was too late.

My advice: DON’T WAIT TOO LONG!! I promise your fear of dentistry is nothing compared to the pain you will have to go through when they start causing problems with you’re other teeth.  In addition, I now only have 12 teeth on the bottom.  😦

He said he understood my hesitation, and I had a couple of options.  He said I could just have the 4 wisdom teeth taken and then go to a dentist to see if the teeth could be fixed or I could just wait altogether until after I visited with a dentist or I could have them all removed at the same time so that I would only have to be put under once and go through one recovery.

I looked at the Mr. and asked what he thought.  He said, “Why don’t you ask them what you really want to know?” Then he looked at the dentist and said: “If she has the other 2 removed from the bottom row will it affect her eating?”  I burst into laughter!!  One because for once I wasn’t even thinking about food, I was worried about the extra cost since we were paying cash for this procedure!  Second, because he was absolutely correct!! That is a big deal to me.  So I looked at the dentist and said, “I do love me some food.  Will I be able to eat normally with them gone?”  He said most people can function quite normally with only 12 teeth on bottom and that if at any time I didn’t think I could, I could always go in and have fake ones put in.

He did say though that one draw back is that in 10 years or so I would probably need to have the same teeth pulled from the top because there are no teeth on the bottom for them to sync up to and it could cause problems long term.  But it sounded like the smart move for now.  I had waited 3 weeks for the appointment and I respected his opinion so I went for it.

Just a few minutes later they said my room was ready and I was shuffled off to another room.  They said the Mr. could stay until the IV was put in, but I knew he wanted a nap so I sent him on his way.  After a quick kiss and “Good Luck” from him, he was off to the waiting room and I was on the way to my room.

I sat in the chair and the dental assistant was back.  He again confirmed I hadn’t eaten in over 6 hours, took my blood pressure and applied 3 sticky monitors to watch my heart rate (I assume) during the procedure.  Since this was a surgery I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to change into a gown or something, but nope.  One monitor went on my ankle and I honestly don’t remember where the other 2 went.  I think on my left arm in 2 different spots.

The dentist came in and sat next to me and put a splint type device on my arm and explained it was to keep my arm straight during the procedure so that my IV wouldn’t come out.  He said the needle was the smallest available for IV’s and I would only feel a small pinch.  He had me make a fist and I turned my face away and a nurse that had magically appeared beside me stuck a big foam “thing” in my mouth.  I won’t lie.  This irritated me a little because there was no warning, she literally just shoved it in my mouth.  I’m lucky that it was on the side that wasn’t really hurting that day.  I did feel a little pinch, but that was literally it.  The dentist said in about 30 seconds I would start feeling sleepy and that was totally normal.  I said, “Ok.”.  He said, “How do you feel?” I passed out.

When I woke up, I literally couldn’t believe it was over.  I felt like I had just fell asleep for a few minutes.  However, I knew they were done because my mouth was full of gauze.  The next thing I know they were tying this huge white bow to my head with icepacks in it.  I didn’t even care.  The dental assistant walked me out the back door where the Mr. had parked and I only almost fell once! I will say it was really nice of them to have a private exit so you don’t have to walk out through the front drooling everywhere.

Day 1.png

The Mr. drove me home and then left to go get all of my meds!  There was apparently enough pain meds in the IV to last me a few hours and the big kids were watching me so I was fine.  This is a picture I took while he was gone.  You can see in my eyes I was still pretty loopy.

One mistake I did not make and my advice: They told me I could take one of the pain meds they gave me every 4-6 hours “as needed”.  Whether I needed it or not, I took the meds every time I was allowed.  I didn’t want to give the pain a chance to rear it’s ugly head.  I definitely recommend that!

They prescribed me:

Prednisone tabs: a steroid I had to take a lot of!  I had to take 4 the first day, 3 the second day, 2 the third day and 1 the 4th day.

Naprosyn: they pharmacy gave me Naproxin.  I had to take one the first day and then one in the AM and one in the PM every day through day 7.  This was an anti-inflamatory for pain.

Chlorhexidine Rinse: This is medical mouthwash that helps to prevent infection.  I couldn’t use it on day 1.  But I got to use it day 2.  Although I wasn’t allowed to “swish” it in my mouth.  I was only allowed to let it roll in my mouth and then let it drool out of my mouth.  No spitting, no swishing.

Hydrocodone: Strictly for pain.  This is the one I could have every 4-6 hours as needed and I took one every 6 hours for sure.  It kept me comfortable.

Promethazine: This is for anti-nausea, but they only gave me 2 of them.  And while all the pain meds did make me nauseous, I didn’t want to waste them incase I really felt sick later on.

Irrigation Syringe: To clean out the teeth area, but the instructions tell me not to use it until after day 7.  Some dental websites have their patients using them on day 3.  But I have success so far following all of the other rules, so I’m going to wait until day 7.

And last but not least by far…

The ice pack sock: I don’t know what it’s called, but that’s what I call it.  It is a long sock that twists in the middle and an ice pack goes in each side.  The ice packs are made of water and rubbing alcohol.  The alcohol keeps the water from freezing solid, so it stays like a mush.  I was told to keep using these and replace them every 30 minutes for the first 48 hours.  I did just that except when I slept.  As soon as I woke up I would change it.

At the end of day the dentist called me to ask how I was doing.  Unfortunately, I was sleeping so I missed the call.  I was really impressed that he himself called me and told me to call him back if I was having any discomfort because that is what he was there for.

On day 2 I was feeling ok, but realized I had made…

MISTAKE #4: I scheduled my appointment on a Monday…we are huge fans of #TacoTuesday and I did not get to eat tacos on Tuesday. 😦


My advice: Schedule your appointment for Wednesday!!  So you can still have #TacoTuesday AND if you work a traditional 9 to 5 – you can take Wednesday through Friday off and still have the weekend to recoup before having to go back to work AND you should be healed enough to at least have soft tacos for the following #TacoTuesday. 😀

On day 2 I felt ok.  I kept up with the pain killers AND I got to use a soft bristle tooth brush to clean the teeth I do still have.  DO NOT USE a vibrating brush – trust me.  I was sad about the tacos and said because I couldn’t really eat anything “good”.  The paperwork suggested soft foods like mashed potatoes, soft pasta, or scrambled eggs and then gradually progress to solid foods as comfort allows.

MISTAKE #5: I had scrambled eggs.  Terrible idea.  Terrible.

My advice: You can’t really suck eggs down the canal of your mouth without them getting in your teeth.  Mashed potatoes – check.  Soft pasta – some of it worked out.  Short noodles like macaroni, not long ones like the ones in Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. The eggs had to be chewed sort of and here’s the real bad part.  As the space where your teeth used to be heal, a “scab” of sorts start to form.  It can be almost any color from gray, to pink, to white, to… you guessed it yellow – just like eggs.  And you are instructed to NOT pick at this because it is protected your wound.  However, I couldn’t tell what was food and what was not and I couldn’t pick at it or wash my mouth out.  I was terrified I was going to get egg into a whole I could never get it out of.  I did have Campbell’s cream of chicken and that was really pretty good when I thinned it out with 1 can of water.  I even took a piece of bread and tore it up into little pieces in my soup and was able to suck it down pretty easy.

All in all day #2 was mostly successful.  I had several friends reach out to me to send me well wishes, ask how I was feeling and offer advice on recovery.  My mom-in-law even brought me flowers. 🙂

fb thank you.png

The flowers were beautiful. 🙂

Day 3: Pain was a little sore in the morning so I started with the ice packs and a pain pill.  Around midday I went to the kitchen and my daughter looked at me strange and asked what was wrong with my face.  She took a pic and showed it to me and I flipped out.  Day 3 is supposed to be the start of bruising and such and I thought that is what was happening.  Here is what it looked like on both sides:

Day 3 ice burn

As it turns out it was irritation from the ice packs.  So I did some research.  I won’t list this as a mistake, but I will tell you what I found out.  The ice pack is really only good to use the first 48 hours.  It restricts the blood vessels and less fluid can come out of them, the less your swelling will be later.  After the first 48 hours, the ice is only beneficial for pain.  I put the ice away and within hours my skin looked much better.  Still a little swollen and red, but much better.

Day 3.png

Ok…so I did wind up getting dry socket in two sections, but I followed Every. Stinkin. Rule.  I have a pretty high tolerance to pain and I was starting to really be kind of miserable.  I had an odd pain that I couldn’t quite place and after doing all kinds of research on my own, and coming up with nothing, I finally called the dentist.  It was after hours so I left a message and he called me back within 15 minutes.  Then he told me to meet him at the office – that was closed!  I called up my bff for moral support and we headed to the office.

When I got in, he popped me in the chair, had a quick peek and said it was definitely dry socket – although from what I had read online, I thought it would feel much worse.  It was really like a big annoyance more than pain.  He took some gauze covered in clove oil and pushed it into two spaces and I felt immediate relief.  It was crazy!  #cloveoilbeliever

Over the course of the next few weeks, he had me come in 4 more times to remove and repack the gauze.  Finally the fourth time, he said he thought I was good to go so no repacking.  Each time he saw me there was no charge and it only took him 5 minutes.

Overall, I would say the entire experience was a success.  I am now wisdom teeth and pain free.  Because we had to take out the extra teeth on the bottom, I will eventually have to have the ones above it removed or posts put in the bottom so that my teeth have a place to meet.  The really exciting part is getting my bottom teeth straightened!  It makes me so happy to think about a smile with straight teeth!  I credit the success 100% to my surgeon, my amazing other half who literally followed a schedule to make sure I took all the right meds at the right time, and myself for following the rules.

Most important advice:

  • Don’t wait!!!  If you are having problems with your wisdom teeth – go talk to your dentist or an oral surgeon!
  • Do. Your. Research!  Make sure you research the heck out of surgeons!  Ask your friends on social media (and in real life) for referrals.  Make sure you look up each referral online and look for reviews!  If you have even 1% reservations about a specific surgeon – keep looking!
  • Follow the rules after surgery!  Take your meds.  Don’t use straws.  Don’t smoke.  And if you break all of those rules, manage to stay pain free and you don’t wind up with dry socket – please do not share your experience with someone looking for advice – because your situation was not typical!  You must have some kind of magical fairy dust in your sock drawer or something.

Bottom line.  I did it and I’m a giant baby.  If I did it, you can too. 🙂


Allowed Amount – Medical Billing Terminology

Hello and welcome to another issue of my blog!  Just as a reminder I have 4 kinds of blogs and you can find out all about them at the bottom of this post. 🙂

This post is for my medical billing series.  Whether you are in the medical industry or not, this post IS FOR YOU!!  Everyone visits doctors – either because they are sick are trying to prevent sickness.  Either way, this series is to help you understand the crazy world of medical billing.  I will be posting on everything from billing terminology to crazy diagnosis codes.

img_5317Today, I am discussing something that many people do not understand – Allowed Amount.  What does this mean?

If you read my post, How to Read Your Medical Bills – Is it Even a Bill? then you may already understand what this means.  (And if you haven’t read it, you should grab a cup of tea – or coffee if you aren’t allergic to the bean like me,☹ find a comfy spot and read it.)

However, whether you have read it or not, I Continue reading


I am angry!!

Let me give a little recap… (this is about the medical billing issue I’ve been seeing – please continue to read!)

I am a mom and for years I enjoyed casual blogging for fun.  I recently decided that I wanted to get into it again, but more seriously this time.  So… I hopped on my laptop and started a new “Welcome 2018” post.  It went well, I enjoyed it and hit Publish.

Then I thought to myself, “You know Cat, you’ve been away for quite some time.  You should reach out to each one of your followers, say hi and give a few of their posts a read.”  So I started to do just that.  But, with each click of the mouse and swipe of the screen, I kept finding accounts that haven’t been posted on in months – in some cases more than a year. 😦

So, I decided to look for some new friends to follow.  I went to the main WordPress page and thought about what to search for.  Aside from occasional art and hanging with my kiddos, my 3 favorite things to work on are my 3 businesses.  Two of them are hobbies, first, selling children’s books for Usborne Books & More and second is Photography.  The third is my profession: Medical Billing.  For whatever reason, I chose the latter.

I typed “medical billing” in the search box expecting to find another soul that is as intrigued by medical billing as I am.  (I know I am a giant nerd, but I am totally cool with it.)  The very first thing that popped up – was quite the opposite. It was an article titled, Billing and Bullshit (I will be happy to link back to the original article once given permission) complaining about a recent medical bill.  Or a set of them actually.  One where the patient was charged $86 for a procedure and then $43 for the exact same thing.  Also, $22 for a different procedure and then again $12 for the same one.  What?!

Now, without actually reviewing these bills and the procedure codes associated with them, I can’t say that there is an error.  What I can say is that all of that is confusing as hell, especially to someone who doesn’t do medical billing.

Then I came across another article titled Dollars and Senseless.  (Again, I’ll be happy to link back if given permission.)  This one was also frustrated with their bill.  One specific irritation was the “adjustment” amount of nearly $30,000.  I actually do understand that one without having to see any coding.  And when this person called to fight their bill, some charges were removed, but others were not.  When medical records were requested for review, it was going to cost $4 per page for over 40 pages.  So, since the original costs were less expensive than $160, they just paid them to avoid the higher cost of the research.

Not only is this an injustice and unfair to the patient, but also, if those charges were indeed incorrect – the insurance company now has incorrect information as part of that patient’s medical record!  And if the procedures were listed incorrectly – what about the diagnosis codes?!  What about the medications (which in this case was specifically what it was).  That could affect the patient’s overall healthcare! #Unacceptable!

One follower posted a comment stating that a doctor once told them that medical billing is more difficult to understand than medicine.  That is probably true in some ways.  I left messages for both authors and for a few commenters on both articles.  I told all of them what I often explain to other people.  Doctors are amazing!!  They go to school for years to learn how to save our lives!!  They are not taught specifically how to bill for it.   Sure, they learn a little along the way on coding and billing, but it just isn’t the same.

Coding and billing guidelines change quarterly – that is every 3 months.  Doctors are busy saving lives and learning the new technologies and sciences behind how to do it better every day.  There are some that do get certified in coding so that they understand this side of things better.  Most do not.  That is why they hire coders and billers.  There are a lot of crooked people in the world – some of them are doctors.  But honestly, that isn’t the biggest problem.  The biggest problem is the staff that is not trained properly to know the best practices for coding and billing!

I have been certified through the AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) as a CPC – Certified Professional Coder, CPB – Certified Professional Biller, and a CPMA – Certified Professional Mecial Auditor.  I am sitting for my CEMC – Certified Evaluation & Management Coder certification in 2018 and eventually my CPC-I – Certified Professional Coder – Instructor certification.  THAT is my passion!!  I want to educate!!  I want to help audit physician’s offices and educate them and their staff on the proper coding and billing guidelines.  More importantly, I want to help educate… YOU!!  Anyone reading this that is not in the billing industry!!  I want to help explain medical billing and the “mysteries” behind it.

So, in 2018, with my fun little hobbies and hopeful vacations – I really truly want to open my own medical billing education business.  I’m just getting started, and it may take a minute to find all the moving parts and get them all put together, but it will happen – and I can’t wait.

I know I can’t save the world and fight every crooked doctor out there and I can’t train each person that is currently billing incorrectly.  But, I can help educate other people and together we can make a pretty good dent in it.  And I can help educate people in general – so that they can be their own patient advocate.  No, it’s not saving the world – but it’s a start.



Welcome 2018


Ok….so I’ll admit… I’ve been kind of MIA.  It’s a crazy thing when your children start getting older and your days start getting busier.  You tend to lose, well… yourself!  That is what has happened to me.  There are days when I wake up with a start, and my brain screaming, and my mouth uttering something along the lines of, “What day is it?”  Usually, it’s those days, when I actually have no obligation to be anywhere anytime soon – which is really irritating once I realize that.  Once I have tumbled out of my sleepy stupor, the fact that I woke up so confused also really irritates me.

I want out.  Not out of being a mom or having a crazy schedule.  I actually love that and can’t imagine my life “simple”.  I want out of the bit where I can’t find… me!!

Last year I posted a challenge on Facebook to my friends and family to comment with a #OneWordResolution.  I chose the word “Laugh” and I really think I stuck to it.  At the end of 2016 I felt frustrated – almost as if I had woken up in that sleepy stupor every single day.  I did not want that for my 2017.  So I laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed.  When times got me down, I laughed.  When I felt like my buttons were being pushed, I laughed.  When people cut me off on the freeway, sat through green lights, drove toward me with their brights on and rode my tail end, I laughed.  When co-workers pulled me down, I laughed.  The more mad things would generally make me, you guessed it, the more I laughed.  And I’m happy to say… IT WORKED!! My 2017 was actually light-hearted and joyful – mostly.  So, I decided to make it part of who I want to be and will carry it over to 2018 and every year following.  I realize there are some things you can’t laugh at, but it helps in a lot of situations.  It’s hard to remember that you can’t control everyone and everything, so sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh.

Moving on to 2018, I decided to get crazy and go with a whole phrase!!  So I again challenged my Facebook friends and family, but this time to comment with the quote or phrase they want their 2018 to model.  Originally I chose, “Have Less, Do More”.  While that is definitely still the plan – it’s more of a personal goal.  I have come up with another that I love and I think it is really going to help motivate me.  “Just get up and do it.”  (I’ll tell you where that came from in a few minutes.) So moving in to 2018, those two things will be my “live by” words.  I feel like 2018 is just the beginning. 🙂

So… where did I come up with “Just get up and do it”?  Well, I’ll be honest – it didn’t come from this momma brain.  I heard it on TV.  When I have some downtime and can do something for me – I like to watch HGTV.  My three favorites are Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines, HomeTown with Ben and Erin Napier, and Property Brothers with Jonathan and Drew Scott.  (Clicking on those links will take you to their twitter feeds, but all of their social media links are listed below – make sure you follow them if you don’t already!)  Anyways, I watch them as often as time allows.  I’m super excited about Drew’s upcoming wedding to Linda Phan, Chip & Joanna’s #5 baby on the way and Ben & Erin’s new little bundle of joy, Helen. ♥ In one of the most recent Home Town commercials, Erin looks right at the camera and says, “Just get up and do it.”  Those words really spoke to me (Thanks Erin!!).  So that’s what I’m doing!  Getting up and doing it!  #everyday

Here are my plans: (There are a lot of them – don’t fret – I’ve got this!)

  • Re-launching my Usborne Books & More business.  I enjoyed this so much when I started it in 2011.  I let it slip through the cracks because other things got in the way and I lost sight of my passions.
  • My daughter Alli and I, really plan to grow our photography business this year.  Both, the personal – Calli Brooklyn Photography and corporate – Shutterbug & Co sides have taken a hit this year with my “schedule” going wonky.
  • Continuing my path on my medical billing journey.  I enjoy medical billing so much!!  I plan to add at least 1 more comma to my credentials this year as well as get my medical billing/training business going.
  • Working on my YouTube channel!!  We are revamping WAHMCat!!  I will be doing regular videos and Alli and Liam are both going to have segments that they are really looking forward to.  Maybe I’ll even get Blake to chime in a time or two. ☺  My channel will be unboxing from our favorite subscriptions AND we will probably be trying a new one every month.  I will also be doing recipes, DIY’s, tutorials and so much more.  I’m even planning to do a storytime segment for the little ones.  I am so stinkin excited.  I currently have 50 subscribers and need 100 to set up my custom URL.  So… wanna help a girl out? Subscribe here. 🙂
  • Blogging every day!  I need to get back into my rhythm.  I’m looking forward to some of my blog plans.
  • #KnowledgeIsPower – I want to learn… a lot in 2018.
  • I would like to travel at least once this year – somewhere – anywhere.

2018 is going to be amazing.  So for those of you that have been a subscriber, thank you!  If you are new, welcome!

Here are the links to my favorite HGTV stars:

Property Brothers: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
The Scott Brothers Website
– Jonathan Scott: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
– Drew Scott: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
– Linda Phan: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Fixer Upper: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – Couldn’t find an official Twitter feed, but here is a fan site: Fan Site
– Chip Gaines: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – Couldn’t find an official Facebook account, but you can search his name on Facebook and find other people that enjoy his humor too!
– Joanna Gaines: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
– Magnolia Market: InstagramFacebook, Website – I have personally ordered from here and can’t wait to order again!

Home Town:
– Ben Napier: Twitter, Instagram
– Erin Napier: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – this Facebook account is for Ben & Erin.
Laurel Mercantile Co. – Their website – And Erin’s journal, which she is taking a break from.  However, it is really interesting to go back and look at their 2017!

Stay tuned and I’ll do a post later this month with my favorite YouTubers, Vloggers & YouTubers! 🙂

Here is where you can find me all over the internet…. I’m kind of all over the place – both literally and figuratively…lol.

My blog. 🙂 – I know you are here, but this will take you to my home so you can subscribe. Currently: 1,550 followers ♥ 2018 Goal: 3,000 followers

Youtube – Come see me! 🙂  Our YouTube channel is going to grow leaps and bounds this year.  We would love to share our videos with you! 🙂 Current: 50 subscribers & 2,427 views as of today ♥ 2018 Goals: 1,000 subscribers & 50,000 views. #FingersCrossed

Twitter – I post my family stuff and fun things I want to share with the world.  This is also the Twitter account I use for Usborne.  Currently: 388 followers ♥ 2018 Goal: 1,000 followers.
Photography Twitter – This is where you can find some pics from our photo shoots.  From both our Calli Brooklyn Photography and Shutterbug & Co. sessions!  We are just getting it started though. Currently: 2 followers ♥ 2018 Goal: 1,000 followers
Medical Billing Twitter – I tweet total Medical Billing stuff here.  If you are into medical billing at all – you’ll want to follow!  This is pretty new too. Currently: 14 followers ♥ 2018 Goal: 1,000 followers

Instagram – I use this account for my family photos, Usborne, photo shoots, and just random photos we take out and about.  We started another Insta for our photography business, but honestly, we post just about everything here.  Currently: 427 followers ♥ 2018 Goal: 1,500 followers
Usborne *FreeBookFairy* Facebook – Not only do I post specials and book reviews here, I will post the links to my story time videos, special events and interesting facts about literacy, as well as fundraising tips and ideas.  And of course, I’ll tell you how you can get free books. 🙂  Currently: 224 followers ♥ 2018 Goal: 3,000 followers (I know – that’s a big jump – ☺)

– Free Book Fairy Website – This is where you can go to order books, or contact me to set up an event for your home, school, church, library, etc. One of my most favorite websites.  *As of today 01/07/18 – the site is under construction, but will be going again soon.  I’ll make the link live when it’s working again. ♥
 – Calli Brooklyn Photography & Shutterbug & Co. – This is our site that showcases our gallery for both Calli Brooklyn Photography & Shutterbug & Co.  Calli Brooklyn Photography is for personal photos like family, engagement, maternity, new baby, senior and birthday type photos.  Shutterbug & Co is for corporate events like corporate holiday parties, corporate headshots, daycare photos, etc.

Ok, so that’s it.  I’ts a lot… I know.  Again, I’ve got this. 😀





How Important is it… Really?

Soooo…. here it is.  4:17 am on a Monday morning.  What am I doing?  Trolling the internet looking for networking and business building ideas in and around town this week.  I always start with my notifications and then the things going on in the Events section of Facebook.  It never fails that I always find myself lost in some article that I found from clicking on a link somewhere on Facebook.  I have learned some pretty amazing things and added a billion things to my useless knowledge bank from these clickable links.  However, I have also wasted several…. hours (ahem) minutes, reading through these articles.  Today I was lucky enough to stumble upon a gem… I think.

The link that I saw said, “7 Surprising Signs You’re Not Getting Enough…”  So, I clicked on it to find out what I may or may not be getting enough of.  This took me to an article at healthissues.pw about not getting enough… WATER!  At this point, I figured I had taken the time to click the link so I might as well see if I had any of the signs.

One of the first things it states is that your body is mostly water and even goes so far as to give percentages of water that different body parts are.  Percentages like, Your brain and heart are 73% water and even, bones are 31% water.  I’m not sure where they got that information or if it is even true.  However, I did find several websites that stated the same facts like water.usgs.gov, factslides.com and reference.com.  I generally hate to read things on the internet that force me to click 72.3 billion pages to get all of the information, but this one only had a few pages and also had already grabbed my attention with the opening, so I was willing to click each page to read the full article.

Here are the 7 signs they list as common symptoms you may be suffering from but not associating them with dehydration:

  1. Sleepiness. – WHAT?!  That’s like my middle name!  I have lengths of time where I only sleep 3 hours a night for weeks and then there are sometimes that I sleep an entire day away (and then hate myself for wasting such valuable time.)   It said that water allows your brain to focus and when it can’t it shuts down by inducing sleep.  That explains a lot!  Ok, now they really have my attention.  I definitely suffer from this symptom.
  2. Hunger. – WHAT?!  Do you even know me?  Food is like my favorite thing ever!!  Especially if it rhymes with paco, saco, maco… you get the idea.  But seriously – I am ALWAYS hungry!  So things like hunger and cravings for sweets can mean your body is actually craving water.  Hmmm, interesting.
  3. Blood Pressure Spikes. – Okay, so I don’t really struggle with this ailment, that I know of.  There have been times where I showed signs of high blood pressure and have checked it only to find I was normal.  Well… as normal as the kiosk in Walmart said I was.  Just incase though, I think I’ll try drinking a glass or two of water next time I have those symptoms.
  4. Headaches. – Everyday since I was 18.  Seriously.  Except for that one year when I went to the chiropractor 3 times a week.  Which seriously helped the headaches go away.  However, I quit going because it was quite pricey and also I was honestly terrified he was going to snap my neck.  Seriously, it terrified me.  Maybe I’ve watched a little too many crime dramas with people getting their necks snapped, but still.  The “crack-a-lack-a-lack” in the neck region really scares the poo out of me!  So as soon as I stopped my appointments the headaches came back and I get at least 3-5 every week.
  5. Constipation. – Maybe a little TMI, but my guess is everyone suffers from some type of bathroom issue from time to time.  So I can’t discount this as a possible symptom of not getting enough water.
  6. Bad Breath. – According to this article, saliva has antibacterial properties and dehydration prevents your body from making enough for it.  This leads to a virtual playground in your mouth and according to my 5 year old, who doesn’t mean to be rude and just speaks the truth – I may have a little issue with bacteria causing bad breath.
  7. Dry Skin. – Ok… well it is winter so I do suffer from dry skin a bit here and there, but I wouldn’t say it’s a chronic issue.  But, maybe it isn’t a winter ailment after all.  Maybe it’s because I’m not drinking enough water!

So after reading the entire article, identifying with most of the symptoms listed, and looking to see if the “facts” were listed on other websites – I’m self diagnosing myself with persistent dehydration.  As for the cure… water, of course.  So for the next 30 days I am going to drink nothing but water.  No sodas, no tea, and no…. sigh… Monster’s.  Starting today, Monday February 20th, 2017 and going through Wednesday March 22, 2017 – I will drink nothing but water.

On an average day I drink 1 glass or bottle (probably about 10-12 ounces) of water, one or two sodas or glasses of tea (usually Starbucks – because it is sooooooo yummy), 1-2 cans of Monster if I need the pick me up and every now and then a cup of hot tea from my trusty Kuerig.  But, for the next 30 days it will be only water.  The only exception I will make is to flavor the water from time to time with Kool-Aid Liquid Drink Mix, like these:


They offer a flavored water with zero calories, carbs or caffeine!  So I feel justified in adding this to my water while completing this challenge.

I would like to challenge YOU to play along!  Start today, start tomorrow – just give it a try.  Follow my journey on the Facebook page I created: 30 Day Water Challenge – Is H2O the Answer? or type in http://fb.me/H2Ofor30days in your browser page.  I’ll be posting anything I notice – or don’t notice – changing over the next 30 days.  I’ll also include a few healthy recipe’s and exercises throughout the journey – please feel free to do the same.

Look forward to seeing you out there and seeing if I notice a difference in things when only drinking water.  Now I’m off to finish my Yeti full of ice water, go potty for the 3rd time since I began writing this post, finish this episode of Smallville and maybe getting a few hours of sleep.  I’m starting our kitchen makeover this week and need the rest!

BIG Texas hugs,




Ipsy Review December 2016


I really loved this bag this time!  Can’t wait to see how #Ipsy treats me in 2017!!

Interested in getting Ipsy for yourself?! Only $10 a month and the value of my products is usually at least $30 – $40!!  If you want to give it a try, just CLICK HERE!

Find me here:






It’s almost time for 2017!!  Thanks so much to all of my followers and subscribers!! I will be posting much more often this year so please share my blog with your friends!  My blog is all about my magical life of being a work at home mom and how I juggle it all. See you soon!

♥ Cat


Embrace Your Geekness Day!! #MondayBlog

Are you a geek?! Do people call you for help with their phones? Computers? Cheat codes for whatever games they may be playing?

Celebrate it!! 

Relish in the fact that you are awesome and quite possibly the smartest person on the face of the Earth.  Okay maybe not…. But still. Celebrate who you are today!!

#ThisOrThat Game

Which would you rather live without?

Technology or Meat

Comments below please!! And as always… #HaveAnAwesomeDay!! Don’t forget about your #MondayBlog!!

Big Texas hugs and I’ll see ya’ll next time!!