Friday, January 25, 2008

Cardio Update

It looks like we'll be going to Dallas to have Mason's surgery instead of St. Louis. Our cardiologist talked to the surgeons at Dallas Children's Hospital, and he recommended going with them. Of course, we would go to Timbuktu if that's where the best pediatric heart surgeons were. But I'm glad that some of the best ones are in a city we're familiar with.

I'm putting off actually thinking about the surgery until I absolutely have to. I can't really even think about it long enough to pray, which is why I'm glad I have so many wonderful friends and family members praying for us. Occasionally, though, a stray thought hits my mind (without my permission) and the tears take over. Like today, I was thinking about how I would keep the kids occupied this summer while I write, and I got a picture in my head of Mason and Carter at the pool. (No, I won't be writing while they're at the pool...duh!) It suddenly occurred to me that Mason will have a scar, maybe a pretty big one, on his chest this summer. Before I could stop myself, I was overcome with fear and dread. Then I remembered a) He's a boy - boys think scars are cool, and b) He'll probably have a life jacket on. Most importantly, God is still in control, even if I can't talk to Him about this.

On a lighter, weirder note, Mason told me tonight that he wanted underwear with Satan on them. You know, Spiderman, Batman, and Satan - they're all on underwear, right? I think the Bibleman show has him a little confused. Mason now thinks that Satan's helpers look like the bad guys on the show. And all of them look like comic book characters. I'm just wondering why he didn't ask for Bibleman underwear. Maybe he thinks Spiderman and Batman are bad guys, and you only put bad guys on underwear? In any case, we're not getting Satan underwear, even if there is a company that makes them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What a difference a week makes!

Last week I was simply a home daycare provider. This week I am a professional freelance writer with my first paid assignment - an ebook about The Family Dog. If I get the article assignment from Thailand that I applied for, I'll be an international freelance writer. Doesn't that sound impressive? I may have to buy fancy sunglasses or something if I go international.

Last week I was battling AT&T and contemplating legal action against them. This week I received confirmation from the AT&T exec. that I will receive every penny they owe me in the form of a bill credit. No February or March phone/internet/satellite bill to pay!

Last week I was praying that Mason wouldn't have to have mitral valve repair surgery this spring. This week I'm interviewing pediatric heart surgeons and praying that we can schedule it for spring break. His cardiologist said that he does need the surgery "sooner rather than later," which apparently means before summer. We've prayed every night for two years that his heart would be healed. We were hoping for a Red Sea style miracle, but I guess a repair surgery would be a healing, too. I would do just about anything to keep him off of the operating table, but since it seems to be inevitable, we're just asking for our friends and family to keep Mason in your prayers.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Corporate Saga

You'll never believe who called me this morning. An executive from AT&T -from the CEO's office. I have never been so shocked in my life. I've been battling AT&T customer service reps over the phone for months trying to get them to honor their promise of 6 months free Dish Network service. Months of conflicting information, being transferred from one agent to another, and listening to Frosty the Snowman while on hold - OH, and being hung up on! It has been a NIGHTMARE, to say the least. At some point I quit caring about the money and started pursuing it for the justice factor - they shouldn't be able to make promises and not follow through with them. I reached a boiling point yesterday after talking to the supervisor of the reward center, who told me that I had cancelled out my 6 months free offer by accepting a one-time $50 cash offer (which I ONLY accepted because another agent told me I had to in order for my 6 months free offer to show up in the website). I decided it was good old fashioned corporate fraud and contacted the FCC and local news Problem Solvers team.

Then I did the one thing I was sure wouldn't work. I emailed the CEO, Randall Stephenson, and asked for his help. I found his email address on the blog of another person who had a similar experience with AT&T customer service (I found several similar stories on the internet, actually). I was so sure no one would read the 5-paragraph message that I didn't proofread it very well - now I wish I had. Oh well. I'm just glad someone read it and took me seriously. The exec. I talked to didn't make any promises, but she said someone would investigate my case. She even gave me her full name and direct phone number. Wow! We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Carter has decided to bring back the shrill, ear-piercing scream that he perfected a few months ago. Lucky for us, he seems to go through periods when he forgets to use it. Jas calls it his 'weapon.' It's quite maddening, especially when he goes into a full-blown fit. What brings on a fit? Not being able to watch the Barney "deebeedeebee" (DVD) for the hundredth time. Not being able to sit on the counter while I cook. Having juice instead of milk in his cup - even though he specifically asked for juice. The simple word "no" is enough to bring on the Rosemary's baby act. Where is Super Nanny when you need her?

Mason is going through an interesting theological stage. He brings up fairly deep Biblical and spiritual concepts at random and proceeds to explain them to me. It wasn't that long ago that he thought God was in his tummy, so I have to say that I'm amazed at how well he seems to understand the Bible. The other day he rattled of a series of statements that were so profound and on target that I almost got the video camera and asked him to say it again. I'm pretty sure he would instantly turn on the silliness if I actually did get the camera, but I might try it next time just to see what happens.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend Recap

Friday was a wild and crazy day with EIGHT kids at my house (slight mix up on the daycare numbers), so I was very ready for the weekend. Mason put away his electric train "all by himself" after a week of playing with it, and we replaced it with the bed tent. He actually sleeps in it! Unfortunately, Carter loves the tent and doesn't know why he can't sleep in it, too. I guess the days of getting one thing for one child and not another are over.
We went to Norman on Saturday to spend the night with Mimi. Jas and I went to an actual movie - the kind at the movie theater. We saw Charlie Wilson's War - very interesting - I give it three and a half stars (out of four). The half-star demerit is for the language and slightly racy content. We came home this afternoon to a messy house with laundry waiting to be done and a completely empty pantry. I really do need a new maid. SO I put the kids in bed and hopped off to Wal Mart (I'll skip the part of the story where Jas called 10 minutes after I left and begged me to come back because Carter figured out I had left and started crying - Carter was crying, not Jas). The grand finale of the weekend was the moment I got pulled over for speeding - the first time in fifteen years. It's not the first time I've sped in fifteen years, just the first time I got caught. The friendly officer ran a check on me and kindly asked me to watch my speedometer. No ticket, no warning. I'd say it was a great weekend!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Stew Bid

Mason: (speaking quietly, mischievously to Carter) Hey Carter, can you say 'stu...' (stops mid-word when he sees me come around the corner) Mom, I promise I wasn't teaching Carter to say bad words. I was just teaching him regular words, like 'stew' and 'bid.' He can say 'stew' and 'bid' can't he?
Me: (trying not to laugh) Do not teach your brother to say parts of naughty words OR whole ones. I know I'm smiling, but I'm serious. Do you understand me?
I'm sure he understood perfectly.

It was at least 70 degrees today, and now there's a tornado warning in the area. In January? I just told Mason the other day that there aren't ever tornadoes in the winter. I stand corrected.

I'm writing a short story called The Bridge to enter in the Tulsa Library's adult writing contest. Not my best work, really, but they don't have a category for my two best genres (young adult fiction and Christian contemporary fiction). I like the story, but I don't think about it all the time like I do my novels-in-progress. I'll have to get someone to read it and tell me if it's interesting. Any volunteers? I need someone brutally honest. My mom is probably the best one for that job.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dead Computer/New Computer

I didn't realize how addicted I am to the computer until I went a few days without one (might have just been one day, but it seemed like more). We returned home from Borger to find that our computer wouldn't turn on. I took it to a repair place, where the computer nerd on duty graced me with his brilliant diagnosis. "It's an E-Machine. It's dead," he said with a bored, condescending tone (anyone remember the SNL 'computer guy' parody?). SO, now we have the latest thing Dell has to offer, which will be outdated next week, I'm sure. I do love it, though, especially the movie-making software that Windows Vista comes with. I can't wait to get my own YouTube account. I'll start by posting the hilarious video of my dad and Buddy the dog. It's a surefire ticket to fame - I'll be on The Ellen Show with Buddy in a few months talking about how surprised I am that my video got so many hits. (Okay, maybe it's not THAT funny.)

Picture taken after Gracie's High School Musical 5th birthday party at the Funhouse (hence the icing spot on Mason's lips and shirt).