Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Post For My Dad **

Oh my my my .. Where to begin? Blogging is kind of like writing in a journal for me. I'll be really good at it for a while then I just drop it. Hopefully I'll be back for a while now! The tough part about this is that I don't even know where to begin. Do I start off from where I quit and try to catch everyone up on what's been going on in my life? Or do I just pick something to talk about?

After several minutes of staring at my screen I have decided to write about my dad.

In 2006 my dad was injured in Iraq, he was working on an f-16 and the wing came down and hit him on the top of the head. Which has since lead to horrible back and neck pain, brain issues, and some memory loss. In the beginning I didn't think that it was too bad, but over the past couple months he has been going to appointments to meet with a neurologist, a speech therapist, and a couple more that I don't remember. He has had multiple tests done, including an EEG, a CT scan, an MRI and several others. For the most part I am the one taking him to and from appointments, because my schedule is the least conflicting and easiest to switch around.

In July he went and spoke to a group of people at a church. After he left he was driving home and he began feeling very weird (he said it was like he spun around 100 times and then stood still). He pulled over, waited for it to stop then went home. When we were on our way to Las Vegas he had the same thing happen again while we were waiting in line to figure out whether we were going to make it on the flight or not. He turned gray and his eyes were very weird and he just acted really odd. We ended up not making it on that flight and we got switched to a different gate. Dad said that he would not be able to walk, so we got him a wheelchair and when we got to the new gate the lady that pushed him had him sign this thing, that was like signing for a package, and his hand could not grab the stylist. It seemed like he had just had a stroke. I was immediately freaking out, he called his speech therapist and she told him to go to the VA in Chicago, but our flight was in 20 minutes and he refused to go. So, we went to Vegas and everything was fine and dandy. He told me he has had one more incident since then and that was in the garage at their house.

If he doesn’t write things down, he simply forgets what it is that ne needs to do and sometimes even say. For example, if he’s trying to recall a recent event, he’ll try to describe it then just say, “oh yah know, whatever, it doesn’t matter.” He does this, like all the time. You may not think it sounds bad, or that I might be exaggerating, but I am not.

Last week I decided to make him a schedule with what everyone was would be doing for the next month, practices, games, work, school, and whatever else I thought he might need a reminder of.

On Monday, he emailed me, and I decided that now was the time to bring up how much worse I think he has gotten recently. I am too much of a chicken shit to talk to him in person, so email seemed like a reasonable idea. I told him that as I know things are so tough for him, things are getting tougher for us now too. He constantly asks us where we are going, what we are doing, etc. even if he just asked us 15 minutes ago, he forgets some things that quickly. Which is why I made the calendar, but I think that maybe this whole traumatic brain injury may be worse than any of us think.

So, I suggested to him that my whole family go visit his neurologist or speech therapist, someone who could help us better understand what’s going on and what else we can do to make things easier for him. I haven’t heard if he has gotten a response yet, but I am hoping that they can come up with something to help us out soon. I really wish they could just figure out what the hell it is that is wrong, and fix it.

However, that is not happening right now, no matter how hard we are trying. So, I guess right now, I am just asking for your prayers for my dad and patience for my family. I know that we don’t make it as easy as we should for him, but we have never had to deal with anything like this before.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cleaning Lady .. That's Me **

As a part time job, I clean houses. I used to clean with my Aunt Karen, but she has recently decided to do her insurance job full time. When we were cleaning together we had 8 houses to clean. My aunt decided to keep 2 of the easier ones, until her insurance sales go up. So that left me with 6 houses. These are not small houses, by any stretch of the imagination. They are all occupied by families, where only the dad works. The mom stays at home with their kids all day, and we come to clean their homes every other week. Don't get me wrong I am by no means complaining.
We were charging $40 an hour, so 2 hour houses (which is almost all of them) were paying $80. So, I decided to just charge people the same that they were being charged previously. That way when I am doing the job of two people and its taking me about twice as long (sometimes less), it won't cost them any more. I found this to be reasonable.
I just started to clean these houses on my own last week. After I finished the first house, the woman approached me and said, "I have been talking to some of my friends and they said they have people that will clean their house for $20 an hour. It took you 3 hours, so thats about $27 an hour and that's kind of high. My husband and I are looking to cut back, and we know we can get it for cheaper, so.." So I said, that I understand and she said if I want to do it for $20 I can, but if not she's going to find someone else. I told her that I will think about it and get back to her. As a side note, this ladies husband is NEVER home, because he is always traveling with work. She does not work. How much do they honestly need to cut back?
Another lady scheduled me to come tomorrow morning, called me today and said that her and her husband are rethinking and they need to cut back. So, she decides this the day before I am supposed to be there and cancels. They have this huge, beautiful home and she only works, because her kids are grown and she has nothing to do during the days any more. She doesn't need to work.
Both of these ladies know that I am a college student, paying my own way through college, not that it is their problem. But you (at least I) would think that, couples that are that well off would be willing to help a young girl make it through. Especially because they both acknowledged that point and apologized for not being able to help me out. And not only will it be costing them a little more, but they know that I am trustworthy and that I do a good job. If they go to anyone else, they will have a different lady there every time, and who knows how they will do and what they make take when they go.
The other houses I have been to have been great! Very understanding and easy to work for!
But am I really being unreasonable?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Raven's First Bath

Miss Raven got her first bath a couple days ago .. and she LOVES it ! She loves swimming, baths, putting her head in the shower and liking the water, while I am showering ! It' a good thing she is such a good dog :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vegas BayBee **

On July 30th Doc Boz, her husband Jim, Aunt KK and Uncle Eric, mom and dad, Jason and I left for Las Vegas ! We had 3 separate flights .. Doc Boz and Jim left at 8 and got to Vegas at 1030. KK and Eric left at 630 went to Dallas and had plane trouble so were there for a couple hours .. before getting on another flight and got to Vegas around 3.

The rest of us left at 12 and flew to Chicago .. where we were on an overbooked plane and didn't get on .. originally they were offering a $300 bump .. and since we involuntarily didn't get on we were offered two options .. $130 cash or $198 voucher .. we were not happy .. at all but took the cash. We got to vegas around 5 .. We were going down the escalator to get my moms suitcase .. and I saw a sign that said Happy 21st Birthday Kaitlin ! My group had surprised me and got a limo !

So, we all got in and rode around for awhile went to a bar and got our picture taken in front of the Vegas sign .. then he took us to the hotel !

When we got to the hotel, my mom did some negotiating and got the 4 of us a suite ! Holla !

It was 1500 square feet and we stayed in Ballys .. pretty nice .. it has a bar and 3 toilets .. but only one shower :/ All in all it was pretty darn good :)

The rest of the pictures are pretty self explanatory .. so I'll just comment as I see needed .

Dinner the first in the Flamingo !
Jason and me in Caesars Palace .. Really incredible place !

Jason and I walked down to the Stratosphere .. longest freaking walk ever .. It was 112 degrees and a 2 mile walk .. I was burning up and had blisters on my feet :( But it was totally worth it to ride the rides and the view was outstanding !

That night we went to Imperial Palace and the dealers there dress up as famous people, and then perform .. it was really neat, but this was the only good picture that I got .. Michael Jackson .. kind of scary though :/
Since I had all those blisters from walking to the Stratosphere .. I chose to walk home barefoot that night and this was the result :/
Jason and I went to Margaritaville to eat lunch on Sunday around noon .. we had just gotten our food and these sirens started going off .. next thing we know, we were asked to calmly evacuate through the front door .. this was the crowd, come to find out the kitchen had caught on fire .. everyone hung around for about 10 minutes then started leaving .. some carrying plates or glasses with their drinks in them .. we stayed for about 30 minutes and had no updates, so finally we just left .. so that was the beginning to our lucky day !

Then we were walking around with everyone else and came upon this man painted in gold .. to get him to move, you have to put money in his box .. good thinking ! It was awesome and he motioned for me to go up by him .. and me being the shy chicken that I am .. almost didn't go .. but I did and he acted like he was kissing me ! Then he gave me these 2 passes to win $2,000,000 .. I was tempted to just throw them away, but since it was so hot out I decided to take them in and use them ..

I gave one to Jason and we had to walk all over Planet Hollywood to get players cards, then find the HUGE slot machine .. we each got one spin .. I went first and got .. nothing ! Then Jason went and got 3 7's .. she said, "Congratulations, you won $50 in free slot play." Then we had to go find the lady to hook us up with that .. she explained the rules and we went and found a machine. Sat down .. went back and forth between $1 bets and $3 bets at a $1 machine .. won $12.00, $10.00, $20.00 then with 9 credits left Jason hit max bet ($3) and we hit $200.00 !

We decided to go back and thank all those involved .. then went back to the man in gold and gave him a generous tip and thank him as well !

The fountain at the Bellagio .. soooo neat !

All in all we had a great trip .. I love Las Vegas and my new goal is to move there .. at least for a little while !

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kaitlin Johnston Turns 21 **

I turned 21 on Monday July 13th .. since it was a Monday, I decided to go to two bars, close to my parents. I knew that most of my friends had to work on Tuesday, so we are going out this weekend :) P.S. I was NOT drunk when I posted this .. I just do not know how to line the pictures up with the words .. I tried .. Sorry !
Alex, Me and Jack before I opened my presents !

Lighting the candles !

I blew all 21 candles out !

Jason and Me

Jason, Jack and Me

My first legal drink .. a frozen margarita :)

First legal shot .. Water Moccasin compliments of Jason !
I had a Lemon Drop Drink after this .. but no picture ..
and that was from my parents :)

Kamakazi compliments of Pence !

Sandy Shandy compliments if Nate !
After this I had a Godmother .. compliments of Tim ..
but no picture :/

My momma and Me

Aunt Amy, Me and Naked Tracy

Doctor McGullicuddys compliments of Naked Tracy

Me and Jason

Jason .. driving :/

My momma and me :)

Thumbs up :)

Shot of Hot Damn compliments of Aunt Amy !

Shot of McGuillicuddys compliments of Aunt Jackie :)

Me and Aunt Jackie

Buttery Crown compliments of Biz :)

Buttery Crown compliments if Aunt Lisa !


Getting ready for yet another shot :/

Lunch Box compliments of Derrick !

Chuck up the deuces !!

:/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/

uh oh ..
unfortunately I have no pictures of me puking
outside of the bar .. well maybe not for you guys !

Passed out on my parents bathroom floor .
The perfect end to a perfect birthday :)