Our Sweet Sarah Beth


Darling Little Debbie


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to handle a telemarketer?

We've been getting calls from a debt collection company (United Cash Loans, or UCL) now for months. Each time they ask for Patricia, and each time I tell them they have the wrong number. After the first couple of times, I just started ignoring the calls.

But WOW if these scumbags aren't persistent.

They have seriously upped the ante. They call every single day, and it's starting to drive me insane. The last few times, I have answered and insisted that they take our number out of their call system because there was no Patricia here, nor did I know anyone named Patricia, nor did I know anyone stupid enough to take out a payday loan. Yesterday I asked the lady what her name was and asked to speak to her supervisor, which she wouldn't allow. I told her I would be filing a complaint with the FTC and the AG if they called again....which they did today. So I filed a complaint, but I somehow get the feeling that making these idiots stop calling me is not at the top of the FTC's priority list.

Now I'm ready to get creative. Please submit your suggestions for dealing with these morons. I have considered putting SB on the phone to chat with them, but they usually call during nap time. Maybe I'll just start singing next time. Song suggestions? Other ideas? I guess I could just go back to not answering, but this might be more fun.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I love you but

I guess I've been a little tired lately in my final weeks of pregnancy. Poor Sarah Beth is suffering the consequences of having a lazy mother. Most days she is forced to play by herself or with little participation from me during tea party.

After a particularly boring session of "playing baby" with SB and bunny, SB sighed and said,

"Mommy, I love you, but....when is Daddy going to be home?"

Never soon enough.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Free* Chicken

I had seen the rodeo advertised on television, but we aren't exactly rodeo people. I've never been, and I've never cared. However, this past weekend, the rodeo was in town, and there was a free petting zoo beforehand. As much as SB loves animals, I knew she would love to do something like that.

So Saturday afternoon, we drove out to the horse park to see the animals. Before we left, I double checked the web site to be sure of the time and cost. Here is what the site advertised for the day:

Saturday: Gates open at 5 pm for free petting zoo and pony rides and show begins at 7:30.

SB was so excited. We had to park pretty far away, but Sarah Beth was undaunted by the uphill trek. Animals awaited! She peppered us with questions about what kinds of animals we would see.

Will we see horses? Yes. Sheep? Yes. Pigs? Probably.... on and on she went.

We finally made it to the arena and walked right inside. You could smell the excitement, or maybe it was just the horses. When we walked in, an EVENTS jacketed lady asked for our tickets.

Me: Uhhh...we're just here for the petting zoo.
Her: You still need a ticket.
Me: Ok...but we aren't staying for the rodeo. The web site said the petting zoo was free.
Her: You can get a ticket outside.
Me: Thanks for your help.

We followed Jack outside to the ticket booth. Jack was trying to explain to the ticket salesmen that we didn't want to go to the rodeo. We were just there to let our precious little 3-year-old pet some animals. For free.

They were trying to explain to us that the animal petting was only free with paid admission. Even for adorable children whose spirits would be crushed to leave empty handed.

I was trying to explain to them that I had looked on the web site and made sure before we made the 20 minute drive that the petting zoo was free and that we definitely didn't want to stay and watch horses chase cows around a poop-filled arena.

They were trying to explain to us that we still had to buy two adult tickets and one child ticket in order to visit the free petting zoo. I finally told Jack to forget it, but SB was so excited that Jack couldn't bear to break her little heart. I suggested that one of us go in with her and the other wait outside in the free area. Jack asked the ticket lady if we could at least give our tickets to someone else when we left. Sorry, she said, they take your tickets at the door.

A nice lady, overhearing our conversation, pulled two tickets out of her pocket. "Here," she said, "I have 2 tickets. You can have mine if you just buy one for your little girl."

Now that was a really nice thing for her to do. We could pet the animals after all!!!

We did not protest. After thanking her profusely and buying another ticket for SB, we hurried into the arena so as not to waste a minute of petting zoo time. We had to be home in less than 1.5 hours, and we wanted to be sure we had plenty of time to see all the animals.

Turns out, we shouldn't have worried. I captured the entire petting zoo in this one shot:

Here is SB standing next to the sheep, with a miniature horse and a goat in the background. To be fair, there was a cow sleeping in a stall in another corner of the arena, but you couldn't reach it, so I'm not positive it was meant to be a part of the zoo.

Oh yeah, also there was a small cage with 3 chicken crammed inside, but touching was not recommended or even possible.

All I could think about was how this scenario would fit perfectly into a Mastercard commercial:

SB's admission to the free petting zoo: $5
Jack's admission to the free petting zoo:$15
Emily's admission to the free petting zoo: $15
Seeing a sheep, a goat and a miniature horse tied to a fence: Priceless

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meet Hoscott

We have gained another non human family member. To this one, however, I have no objection. It's Sarah Beth's imaginary dog, Hopscotch. She has had (and still has) her share of imaginary friends, but for a while, I wasn't sure what she was saying when I heard her talking about "Hoscott." She recently discovered the sidewalk chalk game of hopscotch, so I didn't know for sure until recently if this was a new friend or just the game.

Turns out, it's a friend of canine proportions. All I really know is that he is blue and he seems like a very nice dog. Nice enough that we let him stay inside and travel in the car with us. Jack met Hopscotch for the first time a few weeks ago when he and Sarah Beth were walking down the hall towards the kitchen. When they reached the kitchen, SB started giggling and pushing something invisible off of her leg. "Hoscott, not now! I'm trying to eat!"

A few days later, SB was in the basement playing when she called upstairs to me:

SB: "Mom!"
Me: "Yes?"
SB: "Is Hoscott up there?"
Me: "Ummm. I'm not sure."
SB: "Well, if you see him, can you tell him to come down here, please?"

What else could I do? I called out for Hoscott and told him to go downstairs to see Sarah Beth. Good dog.

With a little practice, SB has gotten much better at pronouncing his name. She has also gotten pretty good at talking for him. Hopscotch loves to play hide and seek, curiously one of SB's favorite games as well. I was hiding while SB counted to ten, and this is what I heard:

"...eight, nine, TEN! Ready or not, here I come! Oh, hey Hopscotch. Want to play hide and seek?...Ruff, ruff!...Okay, let's go find mama....Ruff, ruff!"

For our final Hopscotch tale of the day, it might be helpful to know that SB also recently had children. Six of them to be exact. SB has assured me on several occasions that Hopscotch is a very good dog and would not potty inside the house. But apparently he had an accident yesterday. SB told me Hopscotch went poo poo in her room (what is it with my kid and pooping dogs??). I asked her if she cleaned it up and she laughed at me as though her cleaning up after him was the most absurd thing she could imagine. She laughed, waved me off and said, "No way. I had one of my kids do it."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Officially Official

Meredith is free and clear. Her MRI this morning showed the "spot" on her liver was nothing at all. Thanks again to all who prayed for healing. God is truly in the miracle business!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lymph Node: CLEAR!!!

Praise God from whom all blessing flow! Meredith's lymph node and tissue results were cancer free! God is so good! He is so merciful! All indications at this point are that Meredith's body is free of cancer, and she will not need additional surgery or any treatments!

We are so thankful for this great report, and we are so thankful for everyone who prayed for Meredith through this time. Our God is an awesome God, and He has carried us through this storm and brought us to the other side with great mercy! We want to thank God today as strenuously as we petitioned Him on Meredith's behalf for the past week.

Meredith will have an MRI tomorrow morning at 9:30 just to make certain the spot on her liver is nothing to worry about. The doctor felt that since the tissue and lymph node were clear, it was extremely unlikely that the spot on her liver could be cancer.

Thank you again for all of your prayers, comments, thoughts, phone calls, texts, etc. Every encouraging word has meant so much. Now we can celebrate!