Monday, March 31, 2008

Speaking of Interruptions...

Carter made his first ER visit yesterday. He had the stomach flu and got a little dehydrated. Of course, if it hadn't been Sunday morning, when all doctor's offices and urgent care clinics were closed, he could have just made a quick doctor visit for some anti-nausea medicine. But the nurseline nurse was adamant that we needed to get him to the ER immediately because he hadn't had a wet diaper in over 12 hours. As I predicted, he had a wet diaper just a few minutes after I paid the $100 copay. Throwing money at illnesses works wonders in our family. I can self-diagnose, self-treat, and put off going to the doctor as long as possible, but my children and I do not get well unless we pay a copay, preferably a specialist or ER copay. It isn't the treatment that heals us - it seems to just be the money. I had a weird bubble-like mass under my tongue off and on for months, and it went away the day after I visited the specialist (who basically spent five minutes explaining what the bubble was and how there was nothing he could do for it). Anyway, Carter threw up one last time in the car on the way home from the hospital and then got progressively better throughout the day. He was riding his tricycle by evening and seems to be perfectly fine today.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Writer...Interrupted... the title of the blog and web community created by one of the girls from the writers' group I'm a part of - or will be a part of when I get around to officially joining. I love the title because it sums me up in two words. Of course, my interruptions are also blessings and just a part of everyday life, but they definitely keep me from writing my novels. I've been so busy doing freelance assignments and taking care of kids (and cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.) that I haven't worked on my WIP (fancy writer's lingo for work in progress) in months. I've been psycho-analyzing myself today, though, and I think there are other reasons why I haven't been writing. Here they are.
  • I'm not very good at being my own boss. I don't listen to myself or follow my directions at all. I may need to hire someone to boss me around and make me get busy on my novel (no volunteers, please).
  • I'd rather start new novels than persevere and finish the old ones. I'm on chapter 6 of Sea Billows (title in progress), and I'm fighting the urge to abandon it and start one of five other story ideas I have in my idea book.
  • I'm overwhelmed by the very intimidating writing/publishing world. Most of this is just fear of the unknown, and it's getting better as I am around other authors more. At least I figured out what WIP means - it's a start.
  • I'm afraid that I'm wasting my time writing novels. I really love doing it, but that's part of the problem. I feel this weird "mom guilt" about spending my time doing things I like to do. I'm actually getting teary while I'm writing this. I may need to contact Dr. Phil about this one.
  • I'm terrified about the prospect of actually trying to get a novel published. I think I'm one of those people that doesn't try anything unless I'm pretty sure I'll succeed, and I have very little confidence about getting a book published.

Okay, so the list basically boils down to laziness and fear - two things specifically addressed in the Bible. Good thing I have one of those handy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mason and I officially have a new favorite movie. We watched Enchanted the other night (and the next day, and the next...) and LOVED it. This clip of Pip the chipmunk makes Mason wet his pants every time he sees it - literally. Oh, and Jas was friends with that guy in college - not the chipmunk - the prince (James Marsden).

Today is the 2 week anniversary of Mason's surgery. I realized today that he's eating a lot better than he was before. I just thought he was going through a light-eating phase, but there were many times that he complained about feeling sick at his stomach. Ever since they let him eat after surgery, he has devoured every meal and wanted more. He also still hasn't coughed at all - Praise the Lord!

Carter is eating better, too. I was having problems getting him to eat anything even halfway healthy - for at least a couple of months. He wouldn't eat any meat or vegetables - he just wanted the bread and fruit from his plate. He would also try to "graze" on snacks all day long. I have a childproof lock on the pantry, but somehow I would find Carter eating out of a cereal box every time I turned around. Since he's been back from G&G Camp, he's been eating just about everything I put in front of him. He even ate the Italian Steak and Pasta I made last night, even though it was pretty spicy. He scooped up the zucchini, mushrooms, and steak pieces right along with his pasta. Mason, on the other hand, promptly picked out the zucchini and mushrooms.

We started Operation No More Binky once again today. So far I've managed to convince him that his Binky is for bedtime - it's only been one morning, but he's taking it fairly well. He points to the counter and whines, "Biiiiinkyyy," every now and then, but he goes to another activity when I remind him that it's for bedtime. We'll see how long it lasts. He may be the only kid in kindergarten with a pacifier in his backpack.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Carter's Return

My baby's back home - sort of. We're in Norman again this weekend for Kathi and Randall's 30th wedding anniversary, but Carter is with us this time. We met Gigi and Grandad outside of OKC to pick him up. When he saw me, he ran to me and gave me the biggest, sweetest hug. I missed him so much! I didn't really miss his fits, but they come with the package, so...

Mason is having a great time showing all the relatives his "zipper" (surgery incision). He's so much more energetic now. He's also testing the limits a little in the discipline area, but I think that will get better when he goes back to school and really gets back into his routine.

I have yet another business idea that popped into my head this morning. I've had a plethora (Three Amigos reference) of ideas over the years, but haven't acted on most of them. I come by that naturally - my mom always has bright ideas that she doesn't follow through with. She swears she invented Pull-Ups in the 80s, and someone stole her idea. Anyway, I'm excited enough about this one to start working on it, but I may be too busy with freelance writing to do much with it for awhile.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Deep Thoughts (sort of)

Earlier today I was looking at a website that offers, among other things, a spell-casting service. It was a site I was supposed to review for a client, but I opted to politely decline. Anyway, it struck me that the witches and warlocks (who are completely serious, by the way - some even Wicccan) were all offering spells to "get what you want." Want to get a new job, win the lottery, afflict your ex-boyfriend with some terrible disease? They have a spell for that (no money-back guarantees, though). I've always said that Satan is very unoriginal, and this is further proof of that. His big lie is that getting what you want will make you happy. Isn't it interesting that God's truth is exactly the opposite of this? If we exchange our petty desires for God's will, we find true peace, joy, and happiness. Maybe I'll get brave and PM that to a few witches on that website (probably not, but you never know...)

On a completely different subject, I realized today why women haven't historically been involved in politics. I had to do a Google search to find out who Ron Paul was when I saw several bumper stickers with his name and the words 'President 2008.' I thought it was that cross-dresser from the 90s, so I was very confused. But then I realized that I was thinking of Ru Paul. Anyway, I was embarrassed to be so clueless, but then it hit me. I've been too busy with real life to follow the political scene very closely - even if it is an election year. I know about Obama's pastor, Hillary's ratings problems, and McCain's...well, I know he's running for president. But other than quick media soundbites that I catch in passing (when Diego and Elmo aren't on TV), I don't know much. So, my theory is that women throughout history have always been too busy taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, milking cows, darning socks, etc. to pay much attention to politics. I'm sure there were very intelligent women who didn't recognize George Washington's name when he was nominated for president. Now that he's on a quarter, he's easier to recognize.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Camp G & G

Carter is away at 'Camp Gigi & Grandad,' and I'm really starting to miss the little guy. Life is drastically different without him around. Granted, it's an easier life, but there are no little chubby cheeks to kiss. Gigi sends us pictures every day and lets Carter talk to us on the phone. He's developing a Texas Panhandle accent - he says 'bye' as flat as any West Texas ranch hand. We have to get him home soon before they teach him to give the 'hook 'em horns' sign with his hand!
Mason doesn't look like a kid who had open-heart surgery 6 days ago, dooes he?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Has it just been a week?!?

We are in Norman this morning, preparing to leave for home in a few hours. I can't believe that it was just one week ago that we were headed toward Dallas for open heart surgery. Mason is so active that I almost forget how helpless he looked in his hospital bed a few days ago. There has never been a little boy so covered in prayer, and we can't thank everyone enough for that. I've had a peace about this surgery from the beginning, but I never could have imagined he would do so well. Thank you, Lord, for being with us through this and helping Mason recover so quickly!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Great News

It looks like we'll be discharged tomorrow. We had planned to stay until Sunday, so this is a nice surprise! Mason turned a corner this morning, and he's been a new 'man' ever since. When we wet for his echo cardiogram this morning, he realized that he was completely unhooked and could walk around. He does still have the monitor wires on his chest, but they gave him a little portable monitor to wear around his neck. He immediately announced that he was going to the gift shop to spend his money. He earned a dollar for each small procedure (x-rays, blood work, echos, etc.) and $20 for the surgery. His echo tech thought that was funny when he saw us give Mason a dollar on Monday after his echo, so he had a dollar waiting on Mason's pillow in the exam room when we went in for the echo this morning. So nice!

I forgot to say yesterday that Mason told me the doctors and nurses were trying to kill him. They kept taking off the dressing over his chest tube hole, and he didn't think they needed to do that anymore. When the nurse left, he told me that the doctors and nurses thought they knew what they were doing, but they really didn't. When I told him that they were trying to help him, he said very emphatically, "They're NOT trying to help me, they're trying to kill me." He wasn't very happy with me when I laughed. He's been very friendly and talkative with everyone today, though, although he thinks they should just let us go home today if we're going home tomorrow anyway. I know he's back to normal when he's being bossy and opinionated. Gotta' go - people waiting for a computer in this lab.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Long Day, Longer Night, Better Now

It may have only been 2 days since we checked into Children's for Mason's surgery, but it feels like it was a week ago. He was very nervous the night before and wanted me to read him the "Kate's Heart Operation" coloring book that the hospital sent. We dragged him out of bed about 6:00 Tuesday morning and he went in the operating room about 8:00. The surgery went well, but the surgeon said Mason's valve was more abnormal than he thought it would be. He did the repair and took him off of the bypass machine, but then realized that the valve was too tight. So they put him back on the machine and "revised" it with a different technique. The whole thing took about 5 hours. It was such a blessing to have our families here, and our friends who took time out of their week to spend a day in Dallas with us.

The worst part of the day was when Mason woke up with the breathing tube still in and freaked out. I was a nervous wreck until they got that out. Actually the very worst part of the day, and night, was the fact that Mason couldn't have anything to drink or eat for 4 hours after surgery - even though he was terribly thirsty and asked for a drink every 30 seconds. When he did finally get some sips of water and ice chips, he threw up. So we had to wait until morning to try again. Even this morning, when he was supposed to be able to drink and eat, we had to wait for the nurses to take out his wires and tubes before they would let him have anything. It was so sad to see his poor little, pitiful expression when he asked for the ten thousandth time if he could have a drink.

The good news is that he is now able to eat and drink without throwing up, and he has all of his lines and tubes out - except his main IV. He's in a regular room - out of the noisy ICU. We had a small issue with his chest tube "hole" - it was bleeding really badly for awhile. But the surgeon came right away and helped us get it under control. Everyone here is unbelievably kind and attentive. We feel very blessed! Thanks so much to everyone who has sent us prayers, and support - we appreciate it more than you'll ever know!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Early Morning Whistle Stop

We had a great time at Carter's Diego party #2. He actually had a cake this time! Then we woke up early to get Mason and Mimi to the Norman Train Depot on time. They're riding to Dallas on the Amtrak Heartland Flyer. Did anyone notice the irony (heart surgery/Heartland flyer)? Anyway, Mason was playing it cool on the way there. He acted like I was totally nuts for getting so excited about the train. But when the train came barreling down the track, whistle blaring, he just about jumped out of his skin. His eyes were as big as saucers - he was so excited he could hardly stand it. He called from the train about 30 minutes later to tell me that he had seen a "yucky river and some cows." Maybe the scenery will improve in Texas :-) Still no word from the ICU about availability. I'm going to call them right now.

Okay - I just called, and the nurse to to go ahead and go to Dallas. The ICU situation is still "tight," but Dr. Leonard wants to do Mason's pre-op tomorrow morning as planned.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another Midnight Post

I'm going to be tired tomorrow, but I thought I'd post a quick blog entry while I'm already at the computer - even if it is after midnight. I feel so much better today than I have all week. I completely lost my voice Tuesday. I really hate when that happens. You don't realize how much you use your voice until it's gone. Reprimanding kids is almost impossible - the "mom" look is a poor substitute for the "mom" tone of voice. Ordering at Sonic is totally impossible - I tried it and had to leave empty-handed. Talking on the phone...well, obviously not an option. Jas was probably glad for the peace and quiet, but he missed out on some very interesting stories that I started to whisper, but didn't have the energy to finish.

Speaking of Jas, it's his birthday today. Or...yesterday, I guess, now that it's after midnight. He's getting a Go, Diego, Go pizza party this weekend with Carter in Norman. I can't believe it's already this particular weekend. We leave for Dallas from Norman on Sunday, and Mason's surgery is Tuesday. How did the time go so fast?

There is actually a chance we'll have to postpone the surgery. Mason's illness/fever carried over into the "10-day window" before the surgery that he's supposed to be completely healthy. He went for a blood test and checkup today, and everything looks good so far. The doctors in Dallas will be the final judges of the prognosis, though. Also, the ICU at Children's is full, and we have to postpone Mason's surgery if it's still full by Sunday. Should be interesting.