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Random Ramblings

Last week as I was laying down to sleep the iPod shuffled this song that sounded so familiar, yet I just couldn't place it. So I had to have Ruben take a listen just so I could find out who it was. He was shocked that I had never heard the song before, or that I couldn't place the singer. The song was "Next Contestant"by Nickelback, from the album All the Right Reasons that was released in 2005. We have just about everything from Nickelback - I'm a huge fan and I thought that I had heard it all. That Chad Kroeger is an amazing artist - just about every song of theirs is a hit! It makes me wish Ruben was the concert goer type, cause I would have loved to see them perform with Seether and Saving Abel - but he's not really into the whole crowded arena thing, though it's not much different than going to a Saints game. Ah well, maybe next time I'll just go alone.

This past week or so we've been experiencing a lot of severe weather, though we aren't quite flooding like Fargo. We've had many tornado watches and flood warnings - lots of rain, thunderstorms, and lighting; problems with the drainage and pumps. Luckily we have not flooded other than the pool we accumulate in the backyard - but still that water is a good 10 feet away from the house. All the tornado watches worry me cause Ruben has been traveling both last week and this week, and when I sleep, I sleep like a log. In the past the tornado siren did not wake me. So it scares me knowing that I have to hear it and wake Natalie up should it go off. We also purchased a severe weather radio that is supposed to let us know what's on radar, but we won't know how well it works till it actually goes off. This weather is both good and bad - the grass is growing like crazy, but I think it's been a bit too much water for some of the plants. We may have to replace a few. I confess, I do not have a green thumb even though my mother grew up on my grandfather's farm. I guess not all things are genetic.

This weekend we went to one of the neighborhood kid's birthday party. Natalie had lots of fun playing with all the kids. It was a nice site to see them all getting a long. Even Ruben joined in the fun. He's just one big kid, and at the end of the day he was wiped out. I even managed to have a drama free afternoon around some of the neighbors I have problems with, but it was mostly due to avoidance. I felt a bit miserable at first, but then I decided to say screw it. The haters can go to hell for all I care. After I loosened up, I ended up spending the evening unwinding by the fire with my friend. It's so great to have a real friend that I can confide in and trust after all the crap that has gone on around here. She's the first friend that I have had in years and I'd do just about anything for her. Hanging around her is pretty effortless, everything just comes naturally. Even our husbands are alike. We all get along so well, we ended up spending part of Sunday with them as well. We were invited over for dinner, which was so freaken yummy. I've finally found someone else's enchiladas that I like as much as my mother-in-laws. They are different, but every bit as good. Perhaps one day I'll learn how to make them. I cannot cook Mexican food - and I dare not try as I would probably insult my husband. When we have rice or beans he makes it, cause I don't know how. I can grill some Carne Asada, cause I do know how to season it, but that's about it. My steak fajitas comes straight out of the frozen food section. I can however make a mean meatloaf, spaghetti, pork & beef roast, along with some soups and chilis.....ya know, your regular "American" food, except I am a really good cook when I actually cook. I can't stand slaving over the stove and doing dishes 7 days a week!

These last few weeks have really flown by. In less than a week I will be having my surgery. As each day passes, I grow more excited. Sometimes I think knowing that the end is near has helped lift some of my depression. We have a busy weekend planned leading up to my surgery on Monday. First off I have some doctor appointments this week, and I need to remember to get with the hospital for the pre-op stuff - they have yet to call, so I need to make arrangements. Don't want any problems come Monday! Saturday we're heading up to the Baton Rouge area for a company picnic. I need to hit up a grocery store, cause I'm down for bringing sweets. I think I'm going to make this chocolate sheet cake that's a family recipe. It's been forever since I made it - which means I will have to put some hours in the kitchen Friday after my eye doctor appointment. I'm also hoping to get in a movie this weekend. I'm really stoked about Fast & Furious opening, but I know I will be laid up resting for the next few weeks following my surgery. I should have planned out some meals for the next week, but we're just going to have to wing it. Hopefully Danny and Ruben can handle the cooking for a bit. We still have taxes to be tended to before my surgery....which I should be working on now. I'm thinking about going back to doing our own taxes again now that we don't have the complication of moving expenses. I'm going to run the numbers and see, cause if I can do it myself I'd rather save the $300 instead of paying Jackson Hewitt. Cross your fingers for a big return!
I'll try to post some pix from the party just as soon as I can!

Sometimes you just have to do what's right.

Today we were given an opportunity that we've waited nearly 3 years
for, and sadly we had to decline. We've been on the waiting list for
Saints season tickets since we moved here. Today a slot opened up,
giving us a chance to root ourself in the organization - but we had to
ask ourselves do we spend nearly 5k for football tickets in this
economy when we have a million home remodeling projects to be done?
It was hard reasoning such careless spending, so we stuck with doing
the right thing. It sucks ass, but at least we have a great 61" HD
flatscreen that we can watch the game on instead. Besides at home we
can pause for bathroom breaks :)
Hopefully we'll get another chance once this recession is over.


"Whoever said winning isn't everything never had to fight cancer"


Sent from my iPhone


Some of Louisiana's Finest

Home grown strawberries from Ponchatoula. Mmm. I'd bet just about
anything that these taste better than the crap we bought at the market
this weekend!


whatsa been going on around here

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog lately. Did you miss me? It started out as necessity, as I had to send my laptop into HP for some repairs. I had other computers I coulda used, but the desktop screen in my studio generates so much freaken heat - and that's not really something you want to do when the weather's warmed up and the air is on. So basically I took a bit of a break, and amazingly enough I found that I could live without it. Does that mean that I'm quitting my blog? Hellfreaken no! I just took the time out to enjoy life, and to be honest every since I was struck with cancer in 2005, I think I had forgotten how to live and have fun.

For the past 4 years I've basically holed myself upstairs away from everyone and everything. I didn't have much family time except for maybe once a week and it was my own fault. Dealing with depression is hard. It's even harder when you eat your feelings, cause the fatter you get the more depressed you get. It's all a vicious cycle, and I'm ready to break free of it. I'm just not sure how to do it yet. Which is why I've already decided on Lap Band surgery. That way I can just start new. I'll be forced to develop new eating habits - and quite honestly working out alone just doesn't cut it. I've tried to eat good, I gave up soda, I walked and none of that shit worked. I have too many things working against it all. They don't perform gastric bypass really anymore, so my only other option is a gastric sleeve - but it's a relatively new procedure and the Lap Band just seems so less complicated. Plus I figure if I'm going to shell out my $750 out of pocket expense to get my one surgery done, I might as well get all the procedures I can that I need done this year. I just have to find out if the insurance will cover it, but I'm doubting they will deny it since I have had cancer twice, among other things.
Anyway, these last few weeks I have spent more time with my family - we've watched movies (Bolt, Twilight, Role Models, Zack & Miri, Step Brothers and a few others), we've played video games (Guitar Hero WT, Street Fighter 4, Resident Evil 5, Bolt), we started and finished our landscaping for now (we did our part stimulating the economy with our 2 trips to Home Depot), we attempted a nice Saturday at the zoo (but little did we know it was Earth Fest and the 27,000 people in attendance turned us away after a 2 hour drive to try to get there....traffic and parking were a complete mess.) I've enjoyed a bit of time to myself, meaning my schedule was pretty open compared to my 3 or 4 appointments a week. I've developed another new addiction in the form of fragrance lamps. I've bought 3 within a week, and have already been through 2 bottles of oil. I was skeptical at first, but a neighbor let me use her lamp and I found it's so much better than a regular candle. My favorite scent is Creme Brulee for Orleans Candles. I'm still rocking the glasses, but I'm hoping that will all change tomorrow. I've been sporting them for a month now! My head hurts every night....not to mention my neck, but I'm still not sure why I've had this neck problem. I still think it's cause my expanders are crushing everything and pinched a nerve. Speaking of my expanders, my right one hurts like hell! Ruben and I were throwing the football around Saturday and I missed the ball and it hit me in the chest. I know, it was completely stupid of me to do - and I am paying for it now, believe you me! It hurt so bad the first night I thought maybe I busted the expander or was developing a hematoma....but I never did bruise, so I guess all is okay. I see my plastic surgeon this week for my pre-op. Only two more weeks, yay! I'm hoping that my Vitamin D count is back up enough so it won't interfere with my surgery, as I've really been making an effort to get some time in the sun as of late - and so far it has not really affected my rosacea, though I still have some healing red marks. Yup, life has been pretty good these last few weeks, I'd even go as far as to say great except for the damn pain I've had. Oh and I've still got the insomnia. For some reason unknown to me, I can only fall sleep listening to my iPod now.....and going to bed with Skullcandy earbuds in is not exactly comfortable. I'm hoping that it's just the pain of everything and the stress of waiting for surgery that is giving me sleeping trouble.
Oh yeah, I was one of those crazy Twi-Moms that was standing in a line, winding around the floor of Wal-mart of 100 or more at midnight on Friday. I think just about all the tweens in my lil suburb town were there waiting for 12:01. The two girls in front of me were squealing so much I had to put my earbuds in and listen to music cause I just could take it anymore! I made Ruben and everyone watch it Saturday night, and as I expected Ruben not only disliked it, but he talked crap all through out it. Every time Edward would come in view he called him George and cracked jokes. Yea, I will admit the movie is a bit cheesy. I think the books are far better. Ruben just thought it was a real cheesy chick flick and totally failed to see the love story underneath it all. He just doesn't get that all girls want an Edward - not a vampire, but a man that is hopelessly and endlessly in love with them. I guess I'm a bit of a romantic at heart. There was no doubt that Natalie loved the movie and is officially Team Edward. Can't say that I blame her, though Jacob is cute too - but those boys are much too young for me, even though they are legal. But who doesn't like a lil eye candy from time to time?
We also got Natalie's hair cut this weekend, so here's a shot of her hamming it up, followed by some pix of the yard.....I just realized I've really been lagging on taking pix too. Now that it's spring maybe I can get some good ones outside this next weekend.


...and a new addiction was born...

A few weeks ago Ruben brought home something that brought back many fine memories of 1992, which coincidentally was the same year that I graduated from high school, lived in Hawaii, and worked on a submarine - the year I was re-introduced to gaming. Up till this point I hadn't really played much of anything since I was a teenager playing Super Mario Bros. on my NES back in the mid 80's. I'm the first to admit that I am the furthest thing from a "gamer". On occasion I might play some Wii family games or use the Wii Fit, or even go as far as totally sucking on Guitar Hero. But I rarely ever play other games cause I seriously lack gamer's thumbs. But this new Street Fighter has totally made an addict out of me. I've played so much in the last few weeks that I developed a major callous on my thumb, which is now an area consisting of hard, dry skin. There's no doubt that a few rounds will have my thumb throbbing in pain - but does that stop me? No. I don't know if perhaps we've just found a game that I really do enjoy cause it's not overly complicated (like Resident Evil 5!) or if this all began out of boredom cause my laptop was in the shop for repairs. All I know is that I have been playing it non-stop like some kind of junkie, and I think I dreamt about it last night. LOL. Even right now as I sit here and type this I am just itching to go downstairs and start playing, but I have so much more to do now that my computer is back. I really must get this document put together of all my medical expenses and mileage so we can have our taxes done - like before the deadline, or better yet - before my surgery! LOL.
Oh and I just wanted to throw out there just how much I think the PS3 SUCKS! Every freaken time we put a game into it it takes AT LEAST an hour to install it, which is the main reason we buy most games for the XBOX or Wii. It's total bullshit and takes all the fun out of wanting to play something. I'm officially boycotting the PS3. It's nothing but a $400 piece of shit!


It's been a rough week!

This last injection has really done me in. I can't manage to get comfortable for anything and it's making me miserable. Not only does my chest hurt - but my shoulder blades and ribs do too. And if that weren't bad enough, now my neck has been so stiff that I can barely manage to move it at times. I'm in so much pain that my pain meds aren't doing their job. I haven't slept well all week, which worries me. I was a total insomniac for like 3 years, then my doctor gave me this medicine to help me sleep at night. It used to knock me out, and make me sleep through the whole night. Now I'm having problems falling asleep and staying asleep and I don't know if the medicine has lost it's effectiveness, if it's stress, or if I'm just in too much discomfort to sleep soundly. Not helping matters is the fact that no matter which way I lay I hurt. I have rib fractures on both sides and too much pain to sleep on my stomach or back. I'm concerned that one of these expanders may have caused a pinched nerve causing my neck the pain that it has. I just keep telling myself just a little over 3 weeks left and hopefully most of the pain will be behind me - I can't safely say that Ruben is tired of hearing me bitch about my pain - and I can't blame him cause I'm certainly tired of having it!
Earlier this week Danny came out from Vegas to help out with my upcoming surgery. His flight arrived at 12:30 am, which didn't help sleeping matters any. But needless to say, everyone is happy Uncle Danny is back! He's always such a big help around the house. Last night he helped me prepare dinner - he's getting into cooking, so it's nice that he can help out some with that aspect, cause sometimes you just need a break from standing there cooking and cleaning - especially when you're in pain! His first full night here, Ruben made him sit down and watch both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight since he hadn't seen either and Ruben is really into a Batman phase right now. Well we're sitting there and we're getting ready to watch the second movie. Now remember a few weeks back all the hype over the whole Christian Bale tirade? Well Ruben and I will quote the classic line "oh good for you" whenever it's appropriate. Well Ruben was joking around about something and out of no where Natalie chimes in with "oh good for you" and we started laughing so hard I nearly wet myself. She's never heard the tirade, just us joking around but to hear her quote some classic line is so awesomely Ruben. LOL. Speaking of "Rubenisms" the XBOX 360 wasn't starting up right and Ruben started to freak out that he was going to get the ring of death, though the ring color was green instead of red and I walk up to it and the Scene It controller is plugged into the USB port. I undo it and the problem was fixed. I didn't even know what I was doing, or what was wrong as I don't play video games much. But Ruben was so happy I fixed it for him and it was just a total role reversal cause usually I'm the one that freaks out and he's the one that calmly pulls out the most obvious fix. I guess after 10 years we're starting to rub off on each other! Speaking of the XBOX - tonight is game night. One of the older neighborhood kids is coming over tonight to play Street Fighter 4 with Ruben and Danny. Street Fighter was once my favorite game back in the day. I had it on Super Nintendo in like 1992 - and I thought I was pretty good at it, but I'll tell you not only do the characters in this new version look like they are on steroids, but it is a whole lot harder to play! I'm no gamer, that's for damn sure, so I had to start practicing so I can play tonight - and what happens? I wind up with this HUGE callous on my thumb. All that hard work and I might not be able to play tonight after all. Bummer! I haven't popped it yet cause then it will peel over and hurt even more. Danny says there is something you can buy to put on the controller for people like me who can't play well.....seriously, I am a button masher. I can pull off tricks, but don't ask me how I do it cause I just keep pushing buttons till something works. I even went through the challenge area to try to learn how to do combos, but I don't think I retained anything it taught me. So on that note, it's time to jump in the shower so we can run to Game Stop. Hopefully they carry this thing I need. Otherwise I will really be hurting tomorrow!


Spring Forward

Here it is Daylight Savings Time again - thank goodness! The lab work my doctor ordered last week, the 10 vials of blood they took and did practically every test under the sun on came back with an extreme Vitamin D deficiency, I now need to take medicine for 3 months to help get me back in range. Now that the days are longer maybe I'll be able to get a bit more sun and in return Vitamin D. I know I should be taking some kind of daily multi-vitamin supplement, but I already take so much medicine that I just really can't stand to take anything else in a pill form - and with having Rosacea I don't spend much time in the sun or heat because it triggers the symptoms. I'm hoping that this medicine will help me get the deficiency in check before my surgery on April 6th as I really, really don't want to have to post-pone it. A 4 year wait is long enough. I can't believe the time has finally come to take the next step for reconstruction surgery - which means now that I have completed all my saline fills my schedule in the coming weeks will be open. Yay, cause this past week of running around was especially exhausting! I had more doctors appointments than what I care to have. I put about 175 miles on my car just from going back and forth to my appointments last week. I was driving around so much I swear I started getting road rage - but that's to be expected since they have the main bridge into town closed to one lane. It totally sucks, but more so for Ruben cause he has to battle rush hour traffic day in and day out.
This next week shall be fun. So far the the clocks on our cable boxes have yet to change. I'm just hoping I can get up tomorrow as I have not been able to sleep comfortably in the last few days. Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment, Tuesday I have my follow up with my eye doctor. I am sooooo hoping that I can go back to contacts soon. I swear my glasses are giving me a headache! This week I need to pack up my laptop and send it off to HP. I'm going to be so lost without it - we have an old one to use in the meantime till both our laptops come back, but it is so ancient it needs a wireless card and it doesn't have a spare USB port to charge my iPhone. It so sucks, but it reminds me of the days when things were so much simpler - our first laptop, when our worlds didn't revolve around computers. Now everything is computer related - paying the bills, banking, blogging, all my pictures and music. Seriously, how in the world did we ever live without such great technology?


Banned to glasses

My eye doc cancelled my appt for tomorrow and rescheduled for next
week. The antibiotics and steroids are working but I still can't see
as crisp as I should in my left eye. I really hate wearing my glasses
as my eyes are just too sensitive for the sun.
I think my dermatologist should be happy today to see how much my face
has cleared up. Still some faint red marks/scars from the rosacea but
overall a major improvement. Yay!
Tomorrow I see my plastic surgeon and get what should be my last fill.
Double yay! Hopefully we'll schedule surgery in a couple weeks. I
can't wait! My current tissue expanders are cock-eyed. One is up high
and centered. The other low and towards the underarm. I feel like I
look freakish. Then again I haven't really had boobs in 4 years. Now
if I could just lose my belly but I don't think it's going anywhere so
I'm going to a seminar next week to learn about the different
bariatric procedures. I'm thinking that since I can't get my tummy
tuck with the breast reconstruction - cause we're using implants
instead of a flap procedure; that I'll get a lap band instead so I can
lose weight. With menopause and all my meds trying to lose weight is
an uphill battle. I'm tired of being fat and disappointed that I
gained most of the 90 lbs I lost in 2004 back. So I think I'm going to
do this even though I've been so against it since my mom died of liver
complications as a result of some gastric procedure she had done in
1980. It doesn't hurt to get info though, right? Wish me luck!


A hospital with a hotel and pool

The view from the parking garage. This hospital has a hotel AND pool.