Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jettwatch: Final wrapup.

Jett is back from the hospital. Although we are glad he had the surgery and were treated quite well, we're glad to be home. We're trying to get caught up on everything now, including sleep (we "may" have slept until noon today).

All-Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg far exceeded our expectations. The staff was amazing! We really felt more like guests, as opposed to patients or customers. So many times in these situations, you are treated like a number rather than a person. Not so at this hospital. They took what was a highly emotional and stressful event and made it so easy for us to handle.

I also fell in love with St. Petersburg itself. It's nearly two hours from where we live, but I'll definitely be back. I found out Florida's largest new and used book store is only a few miles from where we were at the hospital. It's called Haslam's Book Store and from what I've read, it's worth the trip.

This is the view from Jett's hospital room. The football-shaped structure jutting out of the hospital at the bottom of the photo is the cafeteria.
Also visible from Jett's room is the Salvador Dali Museum (indicated by the red arrow), another reason for me to go back to St. Petersburg.

Nearly every light switch and electrical outlet at the hospital was red. Every time I went to use one, I would pause, thinking a bunch of sirens and alarms would go off and the whole building would be alerted, which gave me a great idea...
Paint all of the outlets and switches in your house RED. That way people will be afraid to use them, and you'll save money on your electric bill!

Well, that about wraps up Jett's hospital visit. Be sure to tune in often, as I will be interspersing the regular Durkinworks stuff with the latest from Jett.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jettwatch: The Great Escape

And so it goes, and so do we. The hospital room has been cleared of our belongings, the car is packed and Jett is in his car seat ready for the drive home.

It's been a tumultuous 8 days. Were all exhausted, but grateful that the surgery went well and that hopefully this will mark the end if his heart issues.

Once again, we would like to thank all of you for your kind words, prayers and support. Be sure to stop by the blog, I update it every day.

I'm going to be interspersing the daily Durkinworks artwork posts with all the Jett news as it happens. Again, we thank you all so much!

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Location:5th Terrace S,St Petersburg,United States

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jettwatch: Day 6

Jett may be released tomorrow, I'm not going to jump the gun though, I learned my lesson yesterday!

"Mom, get that thing out of my ear!"

Jett's only down to a few wires. Speaking of wires, this boy is WIRED! He seems to have increased energy since the surgery. In fact, he's only sleeping a few hours a day, and the rest of the time, he's wide awake, constantly moving, laughing, fussing and kicking. Great for him, but right now, we're on NO sleep

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Location:5th Terrace S,St Petersburg,United States

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jett's last day. Updated: NOT

That's right, Jett is being released from the hospital today!

We can't wait to bring him home and experience the "new improved" Jett. We would like to thank everyone for their prayers, support and kind words. We appreciate all of you keeping Jett in your thoughts, and for visiting this blog. I'm still going to post every day as I always have, and besides the standard Durkinworks news, I will be updating you on Jett's progress as it happens. Please continue to stop by when you can, and thanks again.

Updated: The staff at the hospital have decided to keep Jett a few more days. He's okay, but because we live so far from the hospital, they would rather be safe than sorry, and are going to let him heal a bit longer before he goes home.

More to come...

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Jettwatch: Day 4

3:00 p.m.- I just arrived at the hospital a few hours ago, I had to work last night, and spent the night at home. When I got to the hospital, Jett was asleep.

He looks amazing! His color is healthy, with rosy cheeks. He's been able to leave the hospital bed to breastfeed, even though he's still hooked up to the monitors. All the draining tubes and heart wires have been removed.
He just woke up about a half hour ago and is breastfeeding (sorry gentlemen, no pictures). Mommy says he cries now for the first time like a real baby.
The biggest news, however, is because he is recovering so well, it is likely he will be released tomorrow!

More to come...

4:00 p.m.- Jett has finished eating, and is ready for the ol' burp 'n' cuddle.

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Location:5th Ave S,St Petersburg,United States

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jettwatch: Day 3

Noon: Jett has been up since about 7:30 a.m. He looks great!

The lines have been removed from his arms now. He still has tubes and lines in his chest and legs.

We've had to put a shirt on him because he keeps trying to rip all of the tubes and lines out.
We are told that although Jett could be released as early as tomorrow, because we live so far away from the hospital, it is more likely that he will be released early next week.

4:00 p.m. -From field reporter Andi:

Hasn't eaten in a while which concerns nurse b/c she gave lots of diarrtics.
Gave morphine b/c will take out more tubes & wires. Then when he wakes from morphine will try to breastfeed. If he doesn't eat then will have to insert feeding tube! Hopefully will get appetite back! Was eating ravenously before this morning & playing.

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Location:5th Terrace S,St Petersburg,United States

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jettwatch: Day 2

Although we have a room at the Ronald McDonald house here at the hospital, last night we slept in Jett's room in the ICU. Around midnight, Jett woke up and several times during the next few hours, lifted his arms against the weights holding them down and ripped out whatever tubes attached to him that he could.

His color looks normal. There doesn't seem to be any swelling in his face or body. Even his incision looks better. They are taking him off of the "sleepy medicine" and have promised us that it's going to be a very "fun" day. So far he's opened his eyes and looked around, not sure if he recognized us or even saw anything, but at least his eyes were open.

The doctors just made their rounds, and among other things have decided that later today, he'll be ready to eat. We have a spongy applicator that we will be dipping in breast milk to feed him.

He's as strong as an ox right now and very frustrated that he's stuck in the bed. Plus, he's teething. I'm amazed at how much strength he has for having open heart surgery only 24 hours ago.

More to come...

3:00 p.m. Jett just woke up after sleeping for about an hour. Before that, he was awake since about 7:30 this morning. I "may" have "accidentally" taken about a two hour nap. He's eaten very well, skipping the sponge applicator and going straight to the bottle.

Okay, after about 5 minutes of fussing, and a satisfied "toot" Jett is back to sleep. He doesn't have the oxygen tube in his nose any more, and the doctor told us more tubes will be removed soon.

4:00 p.m. Jett awoke fussier than usual. His face and eyes were red. After some quick deduction, we determined that the hospital blankets, specifically the detergent used on them, was irritating his skin. I am now at the Ronald McDonald House laundering his blankets and clothes with the Seventh Generation detergent we brought with us.

So while I'm waiting during the spin cycle, how about a tour?
I actually worked at McDonald's for six years and I never knew exactly what the Ronald McDonald House was. I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised.

The "house" is located inside the hospital. In our case, it's in a separate building from Jett's hospital room, but only about a five minute walk away.

The inside of the house boasts a family room, play area, media center (seen above) and a fully stocked kitchen with all kinds of complimentary food.

These areas are so clean and spacious. The folks at the RMH really strive to make to feel comfortable and taken care of. The bedroom is actually quite small, with a bed, dresser, wardrobe and bathroom with shower. Well, time to put the clothes in the dryer. Stay tuned!

8:00 p.m. After a long period of Jett being awake, arms flailing and legs kicking the entire time, he's finally asleep again.

We had to put a sock on his hand because he kept trying to take all of his tubes and lines out.
When he wakes up again, we'll be able to change out his linens.

We finally had a chance to eat, and got some Kung Pao chicken from the cafeteria. I reserved the fortune from the fortune cookie for Jett. Here's what he got:

Just watch this kid folks, it WILL happen.

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Location:5th St S,St Petersburg,United States

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jett's big day

It's 9:30 a.m. and Jett is currently in surgery.

We are told that it should take between 6-10 hours. When he awoke this morning he was his usual chipper self, though a bit frustrated that he wasn't allowed to eat.

More to come...

UPDATE: Just before noon and Jett is out of surgery way ahead of schedule. It couldn't have gone better. We are now waiting to talk to the doctor and then we'll get to see the little champion.

UPDATE #2: In the room with Jett right now. These next 12 hours are the most critical. There are nurses and specialists flowing in and out if the room constantly. The various equipment and machines which monitor little Jett ceaselessly beep and buzz. There's not much else that we can do for him right now, so we're going to eat and try to get some rest.

UPDATE #3: 6:20 p.m. Jett is resting peacefully, being monitored now by his own personal nurse. The circus is over, and by doctor's orders for the next 48 hours, Jett is to have no stimulation. That means we can't talk to him or touch him. We are now sitting on a couch by his bed whispering as quietly as possible. The last time the doctor examined him he remarked how well Jett was doing. Looks like the little guy made it.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Jett's heart surgery is tomorrow.

I have just received word that Jett's heart surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow August 24th at 7:00 a.m.
I will be updating his progress on this blog, Facebook and Twitter over the next few days.

Please stay tuned and keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Durkin's Dragons: Pee Wee Herman in color

I think this is my last tribute I need to have the right amount for the next book. I'll let you know when it's ready.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Durkin's Dragons fan wall

I've drawn a lot of Durkin's Dragons commissions for a young couple who are huge fans of my work. Yesterday, they sent me a pic of their wall with my artwork framed and displayed.

Looks awesome! Big thanks to Colter and Ilea for being such great fans and for becoming such dear friends.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Powerpuff caricature

I've drawn plenty of Powerpuff Girls caricatures over the past 10 years at Disney, but somehow I've never had the opportunity to draw who I really wanted to draw from that show, Mojo Jojo. That is, until last night...

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Star Wars Celebration V wrapup.

Well, Star Wars Celebration V has officially come to an end. Alex and I had a blast! It was easily the best convention I have ever attended. Besides all the cool, free swag, I took over 200 pictures, and I am showing you some of my favorites. I can't possibly convey the massive scope of the convention, but I'll do my best.

The convention was chock full of vendors, seminars, exhibitions, activities, celebrity signings, artists and lots more. Among favorite things was the costumes. The fans really showed their skill and attention to detail, adding a fun, interactive element to the con. Here are just a few of the ones I saw.
Hmm...an awful lot of metal bikini pictures in here...
Hey, it's Elvistrooper!

Let me think about that, Jar Jar.


I think the costumed characters are funniest when they are engaged in the most mundane of activities.

Most of the Stormtroopers attending the show are members of the 501st Legion. According to their legion charter:

"...The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work..."
The 501st had their own room at the convention displaying some of their costumes and promoting their cause. These next pics are from their room.
Several of the international 501st garrisons provided Celebration V with life-size props and environments
The 501st is also in charge of the TK Project. The TK Project is a charity event for the Make A Wish Foundation. The 501st Stormtooper Legion is inviting our Honorary Members, Friends Of the Legion and a few 501st troopers to create one of a kind Stormtrooper helmets. Read more about the TK Project here.
Pictured below are just a few of the helmets.
There were many vendors and companies there, but one of Alex's favorites was of course the LEGO booth. Here are some life-size LEGO creations.
There were many seminars as well. Alex and I were so busy, we were only able to attend the Robot Chicken panel. Here's some shots of the hysterical Seth Green.

I have an affinity for astromechs (the type of droid R2-D2 is). There is an astromech building group which also had their own room showcasing their work.
The infamous R2-KT. Read about her touching story here.

This is how I like my Artoo. The grungier the better.

NOBODY puts Artoo in a corner!

A few miscellaneous pics:
I'm with the band.

These pics are from outside the Hoth Ice Bar. I regret not grabbing a drink here.

They even had a speed dating area set up...
I guess the men-to-women ratio at a sci-fi convention is severely skewed.
Although romance was still in the air.
That's the most striking thing I've come away from this convention with; Star Wars brings people together. The Star Wars Celebration was unlike any convention I've ever been to, because of the sense of community and family. The fandom crosses all genders, races and ages.
Its an exciting universe that sparks our imaginations and fuels our need for stories and mythology.
The next Star Wars Celebration won't be for a few years, and it most likely won't be in Orlando. I'm fortunate to have been able to attend and I'm glad I was able to experience it with Alex.