Friday, March 28, 2008

Update on Tommie

I'm sending this post via email, so hopefully it will even post. I just wanted to give a quick update on Tommie.
He's doing (fairly) well in most ways. He's started eating again (Frosted Flakes and a banana yesterday) and is finally strong enough to actually get up (with help) to go to the bathroom and stuff. But now he's developed some sort of highly contageous stomach virus or something, so he's quaranteened at the hospital and all visitors have to wear gloves, masks, etc. Steve talked to him on the phone last night, and as soon as Steve said hello, Tommie started sobbing to him about how he just wants to come home, be normal again, etc.
Steve got him calmed down, but the poor kid really needs to get out of that hospital. Supposedly, once they get this virus under control, he could possibly come home (in around 2 weeks). So right now, we're all just praying that's the case. He's still VERY weak, but the sooner he can kick all of these other stupid viruses and infections he keeps getting, he can start to mend, ya know?
Anyway, that's the update. Continued prayers are welcomed!
My grandfather is in the hospital now too, but I'm at work and can't blog about that now. I'll update on him later. Sigh. But prayers for him would also be much appreciated!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


OK. So this post isn't going to be nearly as exciting as the title suggests. But if was fun for you for a few seconds at least, right? LOL! Gosh, I have such a hodgepodge of stuff to babble about. So bear with me. Go grab a drink (may I suggest some coffee if it's before noon where you are, and a Miller Lite if it's after 4:00 PM. If it's in between, well, you're on your own).

I'm so excited to announce that Jen Wilson (the digital scrapbooking designer I CT for) has started a new team blog. We're all really excited about it, and I'm pumped to start posting over there. I'm going to have tutorials, photo layout challenges, etc., so head on over if you get a chance and pay a visit. It's good stuff.

The Creative Life

(And speaking of which, if you're visiting here via the link on that blog, I'd like to apologize up front if you expected to find another scrapping blog. Although I often post my layouts here, I didn't start this blog for that purpose. I talk about my life, the funny things that happen, etc. I curse... I make fun of people (but only the ones that deserve it)... I bitch and moan... and I say it like it is. I'm truly sorry if this offends you, but all I can say to you if that's the case, that you shouldn't read it. I don't mean that rudely. I really don't. But I am who I am and have had this blog for years -- long before I even knew what digital scrapbooking was. So if you'd like to stick around and join the group of awesome readers I have, feel free. If not, well then, I wish you well anyway...)


Tomorrow, I'm working from home for the first time since starting the new job. At 8:15, I'm taking my car in for an oil change for the first time in very possibly a year. Um, I'm pretty sure I'm due for one? LOL! Ugh. I'm surprised my car is still running.

Then at 12:30, I have an appointment at the eye doctor. I totally don't want an exam, but I'm out of contact lenses and need an exam before they'll give me more. Bastards.

At 1:45 or so, Grace will be getting home from school (early dismissal) and then the girls are sleeping at my mom's tomorrow night. Grace has off for Easter on Friday, and I can't really ask off from the new job already, so my mom took off instead and is going to watch them on Friday. So they're sleeping over tomorrow night, allowing Steve and I to go somewhere and buy their Easter basket stuff, since we haven't bought a single, solitary thing yet. [sigh]

Oh, and every spare second in between, I'll actually be working, since I have so much to do at this job, I don't even know where to begin. And I mean that literally. LOL!


The day after that old barracuda lady hit on Steve at the bar, we went back to have dinner with my mother-in-law and her husband. Our favorite bartender was there again, and she told me that after we left the night before, Barracuda Lady got totally trashed, was lap dancing on the old guys there, and that she had to cut her off and give her Sprite. LOL! Nice. I'm not sure whether to feel sorry for the old broad or admire her, since I can totally envision being her in 30 years. ;)


Totally random, but when I just posted about my mother-in-law up there, it reminded me of when I blogged about how she had to leave Grace's open house 2 years ago because she was having digestive issues, and then had to pull over halfway home and "relieve herself" in her sister's neighbor's bushes. Seriously, I totally crack up every time I think about it.


For those of you that have asked... Tommie's doing better. No more ventilator... no more catheter... and he's basically awake now. He did awesome yesterday, had some pain today, but considering how bad he was, we're, for the most part, happy about his condition. He's starting to talk more, which is also good. He definitely still has a VERY long road ahead of him, but we're no longer cringing every time the phone rings, anticipating the worst, so that's good. Thank you all again for your continued thoughts, prayers, emails, phone calls, etc. You all kick some serious ass.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oh my...

Steve & I just got home from a bar down the street where we went to have a few beers, since we don't have the kids tonight. Um, while there, a 60+ year old woman (who admittedly, looks good for her age) hit on Steve for a good hour. Bought HIM drinks (but not me), wouldn't stop talking to him, told him about the "tattoo on her ass", etc. I was sitting a few stools down with an older friend of ours, and he and I couldn't stop laughing our asses off. We were taking bets and everything. Steve doesn't wear his wedding ring often, so we're pretty sure that at first, the old broad didn't realize we were together. But even after she realized it, she didn't let up. It was freakin' hilarious, and Steve just wanted to leave, but I kept ordering more beer so I could watch him squirm in discomfort (because I'm sweet like that).

While Steve was sitting there in pure agony, the friend and I were acting so freakin' stupid that we couldn't stop laughing. PLUS, it was karaoke night, so people were there singing REALLY badly. The friend (Skip) and I considered going up and singing "Tiny Bubbles" for reasons I don't feel like getting into right now, but we were too enthralled with Steve's little romance to leave our bar stools.

Seriously, my town kicks some serious ass. Everyone should move here. LOL!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stopping by to say hello...

Hey gang. Sorry I haven't been around. I'm in BRUTAL all-day training all of this week at work. I'm mentally and physically exhausted. LOL! They're basically teaching us in 5 days, what it literally takes 6 months to teach our clients, so my head is swimming. Oy. But I found out today that I can get a bunch of stuff from our clients AT COST, so I'm all pumped! (Our clients are all high-end companies in the fashion apparel industry, so let's just say that your little Alien is going to sporting LOTS of Birkenstocks this summer. WOOHOO! LOL!)

I've finally got some good news on Tommie. They haven't closed him up yet, but they did put mesh over his incision. Today, they removed almost all of his tubes and woke him up (sort of). My BIL and MIL were there with him today and he was awake almost 3-hours with them. Because he had the ventilator down his throat for so long, he's having trouble talking and swallowing, but he managed to whisper a few words today. They're bringing in a speech therapist tomorrow to work with him. Apparently, this is all very normal, and he'll be fine eventually in terms of that. After being in an induced coma for almost 2 weeks, he's obviously kind of out of it yet, but he's at least on his WAY to getting better.

He's still got a huge, long road ahead of him. And he's not completely out of the woods yet. But apparently, all of your prayers worked, because for ONCE, we're all a little more optimistic that he's going to pull through this and eventually be up and around again. Huge, HUGE (cautious) sigh of relief going on in the family today, lemme tell ya. I'll continue to keep you posted, but once again, thank you all SO much for all of your thoughts, prayers and comments. Words cannot describe how thankful and appreciative we all are. You guys kick some serious ass. :) Just keep 'em coming until they can close him up and give him the thumbs up that he's out of danger. He'll be in the hospital for months, but we're all hoping that's for recovery, and not for the life-and-death situations he's been scaring all of us with lately.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Quick check in...

Hey gang. Sorry I haven't been around much. This working full-time thing is seriously cutting into my free time. LOL! Between that, Tommie, and birthday parties out the wazoo that the girls were invited to, I seriously don't know how I'm finding time to breathe, let alone blog.

For those that have been asking, no more real news on Tommie. They're going to close him up tomorrow and hope for the best. They left him open after his surgery because his colon/intestines were SO swollen from the infections, that they felt it was best to leave him open and hope that the swelling went down a bit. But tomorrow, they HAVE to close him up and just hope that his body starts fighting off the infection. We need some hard prayers this week, guys. We just need his body to find the strength to fight it off and work towards some sort of recovery. So whatever you can muster would be so greatly appreciated.

In other news, today, Grace asked me if she could have a puppy for her birthday, and Hannah declared that she wants to be a big sister and that I need to have another baby. Hannah's even named this future, non-existent sibling (Sawyer or Dido (?!?!) for a boy... Sarah for a girl...). What was so funny is that 10 minutes after talking about it and moving on to other things, Hannah declared, out of the blue, "Hey mom. I'm serious. You ARE having another baby. I'm not kidding around here." LMAO! Oh darling, if it were only that easy. LOL!

And now, I'm off to bed. I have a brutal week ahead of me at work and need to get my ass to bed if I have any hope of surviving it. Thanks again for all of the thoughts and prayers for Tommie! Words cannot describe how much we all appreciate it. And I truly mean that...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Update on Tommie...

Please keep in mind that when I get these "updates" that they're coming from like 2 or 3 different family members, all after passing through Steve. So when I use extremely non-medical terms and descriptions, it's not my fault.

So, today, they cut back on his ventilator, just to force him to breathe a bit more here and there on his own. He did just that when they knocked it down to 6, so this is a good thing. Keep fighting, Tommie!

They put a tube in his right lung today in order to drain the fluid that had developed in there, and he came through that surgery just fine. (Again... good.)

Now keep in mind, they still haven't closed him up from his surgery a week ago because his bowels/colon/intestines are SO swollen from his infections right now, that truthfully, they probably wouldn't fit back him in right now. So he's basically been wide open for a week. They have his wrists strapped down so that if he does come to here and there, he doesn't reach down near his abdomen.

Anyway, they said that he had a very, VERY slight decrease in swelling today, which again, is good. Tomorrow, they're going to basically going to(here's the part where non-medical terms are used) lift out his intestines and "scrub them down" to try to get rid of the infection. They're supposedly going to use the standard solution, as well as add some kick ass stuff to really try to beat this infection. At this point, it's not the Crohn's disease that's causing the problem, but the infection that has developed from his other surgeries, etc. So tomorrow, they'll try to clean him up.

They're also going to take him off antibiotics tomorrow to try to make his body fight off the infection. He's had so many antibiotics pumped into him the past few weeks, that they're starting not to work, so I guess they think that maybe if they take him OFF of them, his body will start to fight the problem on its own.

Anyway, then early next week, they'll repeat the surgery of cleaning his insides and then (god willing) may be able to put everything back in and close him up. It would still be a long healing process, but at least at that point, they'd be able to wake him up and start the road to recovery.

So he's not out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot. And so much could change in an instant. But for now, we're hoping that he's starting to heal. And we're optimistic that the doctors seem to have such a solid plan to try to make him better.

Thank you all so much for the thoughts, prayers and comments. They mean the world to us. And if you could keep them coming, we'd all really appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

OK. I'm back because I couldn't sleep.

Not for any particular reason. Just because I decided I'm not tired. Sigh. So I figured I'd go into a little more detail about my nephew, Tommie.


That's him in the picture. Right now, we're just hoping he can hang on to life. He's been living in hell for months now, and it's not getting any better. I'm going to make this as short as possible, because if I get into all of the details, I'd seriously still be writing this post tomorrow morning.

OK. About a month and a half ago, he was admitted into the hospital for bleeding out of his rectum and severe abdominal pain. Now when I say bleeding, I mean bleeding. Like running down your legs, filling up buckets bleeding.

Anyway, they diagnosed him with colonitis, dosed him up with antibiotics and sent him home after a few days. He did ok for a few weeks, but the symptoms returned. Back to the ER, where the stupid f*cking jerks gave him some meds and sent him home the same night, even though he had blood running out the bottom of his pants legs and passed out from the pain he was feeling. Assholes. Every last one of them.

Three days later, he was admitted again. They did what they could, gave him pain meds, etc. FINALLY, after several days, they admitted they didn't know what else to do, and transferred him to a bigger, better children's hospital 90 minutes away. The specialists there were furious with the first hospital's actions and said if he hadn't been transferred the night he was, he'd be dead.

The new hospital diagnosed him with Crohn's Disease, and immediately began working on completely shutting down his colon, so it could rest and start fighting the infections that had developed. After a week or so, they did a cat scan and rushed him into surgery to open him up and see what they were dealing with. They cut out some of the infected areas of his colon, found several perforations of his colon and fixed those, and managed to reattach everything, preventing him from needing a colectomy, where he'd need a bag.

All of our hopes were up, thinking he'd avoided the worst, and that now, it was just a matter of healing and moving on. He was starting to do much better... was up walking around, was in better spirits, etc.

But the very next day (this past Friday), he was in hideous pain again. They did another cat scan, and immediately rushed him into surgery again. This time, they couldn't avoid it, and had to attach two bags to him. They said the bags would be on for at least 3 months, and then they'd re-evaluate the situation to see if they could reattach his colon again, or if the bags would be permanent. We were all pretty upset, but figured we'd all deal with it.

Now Tommie still hasn't really woken up from that first surgery. They couldn't close the incisions from the surgery for a bunch of reasons. He had more perforations... one of his lungs collapsed during surgery... he was filled with fluid... etc. So they left him open and have had him knocked out and on a ventilator since then. The plan was to close him up today at 1:00 PM and see how he did.

But when they took him in for surgery, they found that instead of getting better, he was getting worse. The infections are still spreading... both lungs were filled with fluid and so now, they're draining those too, which involves more tubes... his insides are SO swollen from the infections, that they probably couldn't put everything back inside if they wanted to right now... they even had to scrape some infection off of his ribs...

So now, we wait. We wait and we pray. They still haven't closed him up, so he's still knocked out and on the ventilator. He has tubes and bags and drainage everywhere you look. They're waiting until Thursday, when they'll again, check him out and PRAY that the infection has stopped spreading, so he can begin to heal. If it doesn't stop spreading, I don't know what will happen, but it's heartbreaking to even think about it.

He's like the son we never had. He idolizes Steve in ways that surprise even me. He's big into hunting and fishing, and him and Steve go hunting and fishing together all the time. For awhile, he slept over at our house every weekend, sometimes to wake up and go hunting and fishing with Steve, and other times, just because. That photo up there was taken on our back patio after Tommie caught that huge fish. He's a GOOD kid. Yes, he drove me nuts sometimes, as I imagine all teenagers do. And I used to get so pissed because he'd eat the last of all of my favorite foods when he slept over. But NO ONE deserves what he's going through right now. And especially a kid his age.

So if you could all just keep him in your thoughts and prayers, it would mean the world to us. Just pray he makes it through this and that we don't lose someone who is truly a light on this earth. Thanks guys.

Can I get some thoughts and prayers?

I won't go into details right now (just because I'm tired... not because I'm trying to be secretive), but we could really use any extra thoughts and prayers for my 17-year-old nephew, Tommie. He's in the hospital and at this point, we're just hoping he makes it through the hell he's living in right now. It's not looking good at this point, so ANY extra thoughts/prayers/etc. you could offer up would mean the world to me and the rest of our family. I'll get into more details tomorrow (or sometime soon), but for now, just the prayers would be good, OK?

Forgot to Post This Layout

I must say, this layout totally cracks me up. It was for Jen Wilson's Laundry Line challenge #2. Complete credits can be seen here.

Laundry List Challenge #2

Monday, March 03, 2008

Checking in again...

Hello bambinos! (Are you noticing a Spanish theme here? What's up with that anyway?) How are y'all?

Okee dokee here in this neck of the woods. Well, yes and no. The immediate family is kicking ass and taking names. We've all been in good moods lately (for the most part), getting stuff done, rolling with the punches, and working together to all adjust to the whole thing with me working full-time again. Steve and I are getting along better than we have ever before. I swear, since the whole financial thing came out and we talked about it, it's like we're newlyweds again. LOL!

Oh, and I feel the need to clarify (and I'm not sure why), that what I did didn't really involve getting us into "debt". I wasn't buying things I couldn't afford (or buying anything at all really), wasn't racking up credit card bills (since I don't have one), etc. I was just paying bills way late, paying one bill and not paying another, transferring money from one of our several accounts to another to try to cover bills, etc. The "debt" that resulted wasn't really THAT much, relatively speaking, but it did mean that we have a few months of bills to catch up on, some of which aren't exactly small. But we have enough in other accounts, savings, etc., to cover it. We'll be back to square one within a month or two. It just sucks that it even came to that. The lying part was what was killing me (literally... I was a mess). But Steve and I are both actually excited now that the whole shock of it has blown over. Like I said, we haven't gotten along this well in years. Now that I can finally relax and breathe and be honest again, it's like nothing can stop us. God bless that man, because the way he reacted to the whole thing tells me that he truly IS my soul mate. OK. Enough of that crap. I just didn't want y'all thinking I was out buying diamonds or Eddie Bauer clothing or  iPods or shit like that when I couldn't afford it. Moving on...

Uhh.... I don't think I have anything else to move on to. LOL! It's late and now that I'm a working girl again, I need to get to bed at a decent hour. [sigh] I'll try to check in again in a day or two, hopefully with a better post, because this one kind of sucked. LOL!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hola Chiquitas (and Chiquitos?)

Wassup? <---- Seriously, how cool is that word? Wassup? I feel all cool just saying it like that. LOL!

Er, um, anyway...

I feel like I've deserted you all lately, and for that, I apologize. I must say, getting a "real" job after 3 years, where I actually have to drive TO the job is kicking my ass. LOL! And it's been a little crazy trying to figure out what to do with Hannah some days, getting Grace on the bus, having someone here to get Grace off the bus, etc. Nuts, I tell ya. All I can say is god bless mine and Steve's parents, because without them, we'd be screwed. Grandparents RULE.

Um, today I spent three hours of my life at a Spongebob birthday party for the son of friends of ours. Steve had to work and my parents took Hannah to see "Disney Princesses on Ice," so it was just me and Grace. I should preface this by saying that I despise children's birthday parties. Hate them. I can deal with running, screaming children for about 2.5 minutes before I want to rip my own face off, just because I think it would be less painful. It wasn't too bad, just because the mom had enough games, prizes, etc. lined up so that the kids were mostly occupied the whole time. But THREE HOURS?!?! Dear lord, woman, you're killing me. LOL!

All in all, not TOO bad, but there were 8 billion other things I would've rather been doing today.

I also haven't been around much because all KINDS of crazy personal shit was going on. Like, holy shit, my life is crumbling down around me type stuff. All brought on by me... all stuff I could've avoided... all things I'm not proud of... and all things that were slowly turning me into a person I didn't want to be. (And before y'all go start gossiping and thinking I'm some two-bit hussy that was having an internet affair or something, breaking up someone else's marriage, etc. I hate to disappoint you, but it wasn't anything like that at all. It ALL had to do with stupid, evil money.) Anyway... I hit a brick wall (figuratively, not literally) this past week, which, as painful as it was, was also one of the best things that could've happened. I can FINALLY move on with my life and my marriage and just "me" in general. I can finally "breathe" again after about 1.5 years of truly living in hell. So watch out, girls, because to ol' Alien is back. :D

OK. I have some stuff I have to go do before I head to bed. I've got scrapbooking challenges to catch up on, people to chat with, etc. I'll be back soon. Promise.