Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time Capsule

(I borrowed this from Erin but thought it was unique enough and fun to repost)

What is something you'd love to say to your younger selves of 2, 5, 10 and 15 years ago?

2 years ago - Don't make such a big deal out of things you can't control and won't have any control over. There's no use in worrying - until God gives you something to worry about.

5 years ago - SAVE YOUR MONEY!

10 years ago - You have so much potential and you don't even know it. Cherish your health, your body and your mind. Use all of them constantly and as much as possible. Don't ever get a credit card but know how to balance your checkbook.

15 years ago - You have no idea how fabulous you really are. Stand up for yourself and don't tolerate people who don't like you for who you are. Just because someone is older than you doesn't mean they are right. You have amazing amounts of courage - look deep inside to find it. Get to know that freshman named Erik Williams - he'll knock your socks off!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Thelma will be put to sleep tomorrow morning. As much as we all know it's time - It's still so sad. She was "my dog" as Louise was Mary's. Thelma would sleep with me in bed and come running back into my bedroom when there was a storm.

She always, ALWAYS would greet you with a gigantic, wet lick. She was so docile, patient and kind. Never snapped, loved all the kids and chasing squirrels when she could still run. She loved her belly rubs and wrestling with Dad's sock (while it was still on his foot).

I gave her extra pets and love tonight and even though I'm not supposed to - I got down on the floor and snuggled her soft face and ears one last time.

Rest in peace Thelma - and have fun being reunited with Louise. She's been waiting a long time to see you again. We love you!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cheap gas

If you need to fill up, stop over at my place for a visit and then drive about 2 miles down the road to Minooka where gas at the Pilot truck stop is $3.62 a gallon. That's not a typo.

Honestly, it's worth the drive from New Lenox, Mokena or Frankfort when gas out here is 50 cents cheaper than in the Lincoln-Way area.

I have no idea why anyone would live in those towns, pay those taxes and get screwed over by the price of gas.

I'll take my Grundy County corn and gas any old day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mortgage, money, debt, credit cards, LIFE

About this time last year, Erik and I put an offer on our current home. Financially, we were okay. Actually, better than okay. We were doing good. We were buying a home we could afford, keeping up with our bills and not racking up any more debt. Even with the impending arrival of Sadie, we knew we would still be able to stash some money here and there.

Fast-forward to now. Gas goes on the credit card which is payed with Erik's expense check - which used to be a large source of income for us each month. We keep the lights off, turn the air/heat down, recycle, eat our leftovers, conserve water, etc.

Yet our bills are higher than ever when we're conserving constantly. I started making Sadie's baby food from scratch as an effort to keep her healthy - now, it's primarily for financial reasons. There is no way we could spare the extra cash for store-bought baby food.

The economy is on the verge of collapse and big business is falling in on all of us. Erik's job is big business. His company is already on the second round of layoffs in less than two months. We're nervous.

I'm kinda glad I'm already just about done with Sadie's Christmas shopping. In Erik's family, they always go a little buckwild at Christmas with the presents - but this year, we can only afford to get one gift per person. And it won't be an expensive gift either. Same goes for my family.

I'm really glad, however, that we bought our house when we did and for the price we paid. It's just what we need and what we can afford (as long as Erik still has a job).

Hell, at least I have good insurance. We'd easily be over $150K in debt if we didn't. Thank's Aetna. We're really milking the crap out of our monthly payment.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sadie by the garden

Mmm. A snack of grass

My little sunshine.

So happy in the sun!

This is Sadie's signature look.

Kinda hitting a wall

I really want to go home. My leg is really starting to bother me all over again...but it's probably because I've been doing way too much.

But, it's hard to sit there in a chair and just look at your baby play alone on the floor. It's hard to watch someone else feed her. It's hard to just sit there and do nothing. I feel pretty worthless.

My mom says I'm not - and I know that, but I don't feel it.

This is hard. I'm away from my husband at night. I go to try and calm Sadie when she's crying, but she just looks at me holding her arms out - wanting me to pick her up and I can't. Holding her is getting challenging because she's just getting bigger and not so baby-like anymore.

I pretty much hate this.

However, I'm starting to make plans for Sadie's first birthday party. And guess what? It's going to be big and over-the-top and I don't care. We didn't really get to celebrate her actual birthday - and a giant black cloud of sad hung over us for a while - so damnit - we're gonna celebrate!

On that note - I'm kinda happy all of a sudden. So off to bed I go.

*Confidential to my sister Mary - You always make me laugh when I need it most and I love you to death for it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NO this is not happening

Please let it just be pure paranoia. But, there is this noticeable lump under my incision. Not nearly as big as the one under my c-section was, but big enough for me to notice and big enough to hurt.

Maybe it's just some wierd swelling, but it doesn't feel right at all.

The last back surgery I had may have gotten infected, but we caught it soon and I was put on antibiotics. The c-section - well - we all know what happened there. So I think I have just cause to be really paranoid right about now.

I don't get in to the doctor until Wednesday so we'll see what happens between now and then.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Went for a very small walk today and my leg didn't hurt at ALL. No searing pain, no pulling, no feeling like it was being ripped off.

I can't explain what it's like to do something you do every single day in pain - then suddenly - have that pain completely taken away.

My back and upper leg/butt are still sore, feeling like a pulled muscle...but it's only been one week since surgery and we're doing good!

Also - yay for The Hills tonight. I missed it last week so I need to make up for lost time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Smoke gets in your eyes...

We stopped in at Nick's tonight to pick up carry-out and show off the baby...Everyone gushed and whatnot over Sadie and we ran into some old friends.

These old friends, however, literally LOOKED OLD. People - stop smoking. Really.

I'm so glad I quit (and pretty darn proud!).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moving back home...

I am still kind of shocked at how sore I am after surgery. Totally normal - but I guess I didn't realize that it would be a little different this time around.

Compared to the c-section and wound vac incident, however, the pain is much more tolerable and I'm able to shower, walk and sit pretty well.

Staying over here has been interesting to say the least. It's a HUGE adjustment for everyone but we're doing good. Emotionally, I'm handling things much better than I thought I was going to. I've had a few moments, but they're mostly out of frustration and not sadness!

My mom and dad just love Sadie. They sit out on the swing with her and take her on little walks in the stroller. I snuck some pictures when they weren't looking so when I get my computer I'll have to post them up here.

Dad took her for a ride in the big girl swing and I got a video - she was going F A S T - but hey, he didn't kill any of us.

The weather is beautiful out here and if we were at my house, I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. We have bistro chairs and they aren't very good to sit on after spinal surgery. I love sitting here and doing the crossword, looking outside and hearing the birdies. So does Miss Sadie.

I miss my husband a lot and I know he misses us. We've gone through everything else together so being apart is a slight adjustment. But, 20 years from now - we'll look back on it all and realize that it made us stronger.

Over and out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sore, but home :o)

Got home late last night around 10 p.m. - I could have stayed that night, but felt that the more I layed around, I would have a higher risk of developing a clot...plus, sleeping in a nice, non-hospital bed sounded like a dream.

The surgery went well and the doctors gave me anxiety medication before the procedure because I had gotten pretty worked up. It took the anesthesiologist about 8 sticks to get the IV in my arm. He ended up having to numb it because he was jabbing around so much. That was the only time I got upset - just because I wanted to get it all over with.

Next thing I remember was them pulling the tube out of my throat and apparently, I was screaming and hollering for Sadie. The nurse said I kept asking if Sadie was okay, where was Sadie, bring me Sadie...guess you could say I still have a little post-traumatic stress from the last hospital stay eh?

Before I knew it, I was up again and groggy - and in a lot of pain, but the nurses were very quick to help and give me medication. I was up to my room and napping in no time. I got up about 2-3 hours after the surgery to use the bathroom (something the nurse was pretty much against) but I knew I was ready and could do it. Compared to the c-section, the pain was much different and much better.

The nurses popped in every hour and I only had to hit my call light once. The resident neurosurgeon was in the room every two hours to discuss my pain and see how I was walking. He said I could go home that day but that it would be late. I wanted to no matter what. I never sleep well or recover good in the hospital. No one really does.

I'm just a little surprised at how sore and achy I feel. The surgeon told Erik that I would be sore for a few weeks instead of a few days since this is the second time around on my poor back. I guess there was a lot of calcium deposits on the spine too - perhaps the cause of the deterioration in the discs. Why? No one really knows. Once it starts, you can't stop it.

I am so thankful to my mom, Erik and Mary for being there for me. I don't know what I'd do without mom helping with Sadie. She is so good to her - comforting and loving. I never worry. Although, I tend to try and be a little controlling, I need to just relax and get better and not sweat the small stuff.

I also wanted to thank my cousin Denise again for sending me very inspirational verses from the Bible for encouragement. I read this verse before they separated me from Erik and it truly brought me peace. I'm so happy to have my faith...

"So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

Trying to get a lot of rest but my neck hurts so bad from the vent that it wakes me up pretty easily. Even so, at least I get to see Sadie. This experience has been so different from the others we've been through this year. It's actually been good. No setbacks, no sadness, no frustration. Recovery is long - two months, but I know with my faith will keep me strong. Thank you for all the kind prayers and thoughts!

*And thank you Erin for the big ol' hunk o' dark chocolate - It's the cure for what ails ya!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

In about 10 hours...

I'll be heading into surgery. And I'm okay with it. I always panic, stress, freak - right before life-changing events. But when it comes to facing it - I usually do so with a calm that comes not only from inside me - but from God.

My cousin Denise sent me a beautiful message today. She truly lifted my spirits and put things into perspective.

Yes, we've gone through more bad than good - but the good was always better than the bad. We have our baby, my infection is healed and soon - my back will be good as new.

We've put so much into God's hands (some wonderful advice Cerise Smith gave to us when Sadie was sick) and we will continue to do so. He only gives us what we can handle - and apparently, he thinks I'm pretty strong. Hopefully, this is a new beginning - for all of us!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

If I had a knife, I'd stab you

Dear Illinois State Toll Highway Authority:

Thanks for sending me a bill for $750 for not using the I-Pass you said didn't exist. Thank you for also spelling my name Michile. Thank you sending it to my address on Bradle Path. Thank you for not sending me a bill after the first violation which was in October of 2007. Thank you for having the wrong license plate number.


5 a.m.

I just about can't take it anymore.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good news about FVL (for once!)

Went to the blood doc today and since the surgery is minimally invasive and I'll be up and around within a day of the surgery - he doesn't see any reason to put me on blood thinners after the procedure. If I was getting something like my hip replaced, then that'd be different.

So this means that I should be out of the hospital within 1-2 days instead of 3-4. Yays!

He also didn't see a reason to test Sadie until she hit the point in her life where she'd be taking birth control/trying to get pregnant. So that's a relief!

Basically - he said I have a ten-fold chance of clotting over a normal person. Things that GREATLY increase this risk even more are smoking and using contraceptives (both of which I have completely cut out of my life). Major surgery and pregnancy are the only times I need worry. So until then I'll sit back, relax and let my blood do what it's gonna do.

*(Disclaimer) If I do for whatever reason get a clot - this guy's going down. I pretty much hate him. He took over for my other doctor who I adored. Annoying.


So it's either that time of the month or I'm just nervous about everything coming up - so for lunch I ate:

An entire bowl of salsa with chips, a bowl of turkey chili, a piece of velveeta cheese, applesauce, one cracker, a piece of chocolate cake - and washed it down with a can of pop (which I NEVER drink).

I'm leaning toward the first guess, honestly. Never was like this till after the baby. But, I'm not getting any fatter so it's okay in my book.

(and the chocolate cake has that low-fat, whipped cream frosting - so it's even MORE okay)

Thank you Mrs Jenkins

Hyland's teething tablets have changed my life. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So yeah - my surgery has been moved to Monday.

And I was just saying last night how things were going so smoothly...

Sadie Senses

Sadie has been waking up screaming for the past two nights. She's already over her ear infection, doesn't want a bottle...

I honestly think she's sensing what's up. Probably getting the "freaking out" vibe from her Mama right about now. I'd better start to calm down so she can relax too.

It's just that I'm going to miss her more than anything. I think that's what's got me worked up more than anything else. At least I know she'll be somewhere warm and comfortable and that my mom will take good care of her. She loves Grandma T.

I feel really bad for Erik too. He's been busting his ass at work to be able to be with me Thursday and Friday. He feels responsibility to Sadie, his job, me...It's really taking a toll on him. When he gets nervous he eats too. He ate a lot when he got home.

Compared to everything else this should be a walk in the park. Within a few more days, the pain in my leg will be GONE (after seven long, horrible months). Normally, things seem to blindside us but this time we've been able to prepare for what's coming. It's actually kind of nice.

Besides, I'm just carrying on the family tradition! Grandpa had two back surgeries, my mom had two back surgeries - and here I am. Glad to take the torch from the Shanahan's on this one. Hopefully, the flame will die out by the time Sadie grows up. I'll probably be on her constantly for sitting up straight and slouching - just like MY mom was.

Mary randomly stopped by tonight and scared the living daylights out of me. I looked a hot mess too lemme tell ya. No shower, clothes from yesterday (everything else is packed or in the laundry)...but she did bring me ice cream. That always makes me feel better.

I'm really excited because I'm going to WalMart with Sadie today too. I haven't been out since last Friday so I'm kind of looking forward to it. It'll be hard with my back, but I have to get the stupid cat some food and pick up her 6 month pictures. Yays!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hot Pockets vs Aldi

as if i have nothing better to write about...

But, seriously folks - name brand Hot Pockets suck in comparison to Aldi's similar version. And for the record - the Aldi pockets are MUCH cheaper, MUCH bigger and come in healthy varieties as well!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I'm starting to get more and more scared about the surgery. Really, the surgery isn't too big of a deal. I had it done before. But, I'm just so damn scared of something going wrong since that's the way things seem to be happening for me lately.

I'm already very sad that I'll be gone from Sadie. Even though it's just for 3 or 4 days, it never gets easier. I hate saying goodbye to her. I hated being away from her when I had the infection. I hate not being able to take care of my own baby.

I know in a few weeks I'll be better. It's the anticipation that messes with your brain.

I think back to a year ago and if someone told me what was going to happen in the upcoming months, I would never have believed it - let alone thought I'd get through it.

I'm a firm believer in the fact that God only gives us what we can handle but that doesn't mean that I won't be an emotional wreck in the meantime.

I don't know what time the surgery is on Friday. They'll call the day before to let me know. I'm so thankful that Erik will be there with me through the entire weekend. He is my heart and compared to everything else we've been through - this should be a walk in the park (I HOPE!).

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sickly Sadie

Poor Sadie baby girl. She's got an ear infection, throat infection and we think she's even more miserable because her teeth are just about to pop. After giving her some Baby Orajel - she FINALLY laid down and fell asleep. She hasn't slept all day the poor thing. Erik and I are starting to feel a little better. The sudafed really does wonders. Let's all hope Sadie is over the hump in this sickness and that she gets on the road to recovery before I have to part ways with her for a few days.

Friday, September 5, 2008


The change in weather always messes with me. I hate mother nature sometimes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Factor V Leiden and Sadie

Oh yeah - the doctor asked if we've had her tested for FVL. It's not a bad idea seeing as she is having surgery coming up.

She said waiting till she was in her teens was okay - but probably best to find out now. So, I think we'll get it done at the next appt. I don't think it's covered by insurance, but I don't care. It's important to know if your child has it. And since there is a 50/50 chance of just ONE positive FVL parent to pass it on - I think it's a smart idea.

What the...Explained and the IMD Guest House

Took Sadie to the doctor today just in case it was something worse - and my instinct was right. She has a nasty ear infection and a very red/swollen throat. The doctor said it would have been a lot worse if we waited, so I'm glad we went.

She'll be on antibiotics for about 10 days - then back to the doctor to make sure everything is OK. Even though we're so far past her little scare when she was born - we can't forget that her immune system is still not up to par with other babies. Probably have to be really careful with her this winter. Just hope there isn't some superbug floating around.

Anywho - after a dose of antibiotics and some saline drops - she's finally sleeping and went down without screaming (and let me tell you - she was screaming like i've never heard before).

On another note........

We found this absolutely wonderful place to stay by Rush University Medical Center before and after the surgery. The discectomy is on Friday, but on Thursday morning we're checking into the IMD Guest House - a place for patients and families. For only $40 a night, we get our own studio apartment (with bed, sofa, TV, fridge, microwave, laundry, etc...) with free shuttle to the hospital 24/7.

Something like this would have been so absolutely wonderful when Sadie was at Children's. We were offered a room at the Ronald McDonald House after a week - but had to turn it down because it was just a one-person suite and I needed help to do everything after the c-section. Plus, I really couldn't fathom being alone at night. So, this guest house will probably be another little something we'll put on our list of places to donate to in the future. Every hospital should offer services like this.

Here is a link to their site, it's pretty awesome! http://www.imdguesthouse.org/index.html

What the...


Sadie is really sick and couldn't be with better timing. We have so much to do before next week and - go figure - she comes down with some bizarre bug.

Throwing up, can't sleep, running nose - the pediatrician said to bring her in right away. Every time we lay her in the crib she starts screaming like I've never heard.

Now I'm getting the sniffles too - which isn't good before surgery. Yay.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Finally relief

Having surgery next Friday at Rush. Didn't think the doctor would be all gung-ho about it but apparently, it's pretty bad.

I'm not feeling the nervous, typical pre-surgery worries. I'm just very scared. Especially after everything that happened before and especially because I have FVL.

I really like this guy and the procedure is very minimally invasive. Normally, I'd be in the hospital just that day or maybe overnight...but because of the blood issue - it'll be longer than that.

Hence - I'm. Scared.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My governor sucks

Gov Blagowhatever decided to just close some of the most beautiful parks in the state. One of them being in my backyard. The state parks were one of the biggest reasons we moved to this town. We've gone on so many walks and mini-hikes with the baby since she arrived and at times, it feels like we're on vacation here.

If you can, help me tell our awesome governor what a moron he is. Take just ONE minute and send him a note asking him NOT TO CLOSE CHANNAHON STATE PARK!

Click here: http://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactthegovernor.cfm

Please help my friend Mary

My friend is pregnant with her first child after battling breast cancer a few years back. She has other health issues too that require her to take Lovenox shots twice a day among other things to keep this baby healthy. Her insurance at her place of employment is a joke and her husband is having an extremely hard time finding any work. He does design web sites and here is a recent plea from Mary looking for anyone who might be able to help her family. And if anyone knows of any work openings around the Will/Cook county area - please email me at mktarrant@gmail.com or call. Thanks for your interest and if you'd like to copy this and email others, please do!

My husband is looking for a job. He's builds websites and is quite good at it.He doesn't have a degree but works cheap and as I said he is quite good!If you want to check out a site he did (via phone and emails with the gentleman he built it for whom lives in NY) go to Iheartstuffz. com (and if you don't mind click on the ad's, for my husband gets money for it (it may be just pennies but it ads up.)

And please tell all your friends to do the same, even if they don't need web building. You won't get charge or be expected to pay anything. This is just money for hosting an advertisement.And if anyone would like to submit an article to this website please go to it, click on contacts and send it to Larry.

Anything would be appreciated!It is desperate times for us! So please if you can help that would be great!!!Please we really need the help now!!! Thank you!

Love always

The nerve...

I'm feeling very anxious about my trip to the doctor tomorrow. Mostly, because I'm hoping I can get in soon to get this surgery done. I really can't imagine waiting until after Oct (which is what I'll have to do because of the cruise my mom and dad are going on).

This surgeon is one of the best in the country - so I know he won't jump into it if he doesn't see a reason to. Probably best that it didn't work out with the guy here in Joliet - but at the same time it'd be over with by now.

I really really hate surgery. Honestly, being awake for the c-section was just about the only positive from that experience. I felt in control, I would know if something went wrong...

I HATE being put under. You have NO control and if something did go horribly wrong, I'd never know about it. Well - that could be a good thing too I suppose.

What I'm really getting worked up about is the FVL issue. I'm assuming I'd be on lovenox or heparin again after the surgery. I'm pretty sure no one else cares about this besides me - sometimes you just need to let it all out.

This hurdle will be my final. From Feb 28th on there's been nothing but pain, pain and more pain. Can't wait to start feeling better and running after Sadie. I really can't wait to join the gym again and work on losing another 20-30 more lbs. I was very, very fortunate (in a wierd way) to not have to worry about losing baby weight. But I would feel even more fortunate to keep on the right path toward feeling great about myself!

I simply MUST do this (you should too)

a FANTASTIC way to get rid of all those unwanted letters in your mailbox!