Sad Sad Day

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

                 B O S S
                             For one special Pitt Bull who quietly died today...

To have loved and then say farewell is better than to never have loved at all... You entered our life only a very short week ago, but it only took the first lick of your little tongue and our hearts were lost... Although your time with us was brief, forever grateful we will be for: those baby blue eyes; that perfect little nose; the way you would rest against our legs or thump your tail. How you would sit so peacefully while we rub your head or dash about with your brother Diddy, your perfect little mate. How you ate with so much gusto and played with even more... You were so small & cuddly with your tiny paws and soft fur. You bounced around the room with eyes flashing and ears flopping. Once in a while you'd let out a little yelp just to let us know you were there or to tell Diddy who was Boss. You were beginning to chew on everything in sight and when we scolded you, you'd just put your head down and look up with those innocent eyes. They say memories are golden and maybe that is true but we never wanted memories, we only wanted you. If love alone could have save you, you never would have died. If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane, I'd walk the path to Heaven and bring you back again.

So, although God has call you back much sooner than we'd planned, we'll brave the bitter grief and try to understand. We'll put away your bowl and the things you won't be needing; but I'll miss you little friend and those little puppy kisses.

We picked you up a week ago this past Saturday, you were just 6 weeks old. Your daddy Ken was heading out of town for a week so you and your brother came to stay with us and in just that amount of time our lives were forever changed and our hearts largely expanded. If you've ever been blessed to have new puppies in the house, then you know exactly what I mean. So we fed you, played with you, got up every two hours to take you outside (the 1:30am call was the toughest), cleaned up your poop, but you made it all so worth it. Then just a few days ago a bump started growing on your neck, and it got bigger each day but it didn't affect you in any other way. You were still eating & drinking well (never lifting your head from the bowl until it was completely clean), enthusiastically running around, playing with Diddy or one of the many Smith's (tug-of-war was your favorite), pooping (no problem there, twice to Diddy's every one). Your daddy got back to town and they took you to the vet on Monday and they felt that emergency surgery needed to be done to drain the bump of all the bacteria. You came through the surgery like a pro, and they took you home. Your mommy (Shamara) stayed up with you most of the night to make sure you were doing well and you did but then early this morning you stopped breathing... Your mommy called me and I rushed over but you were already gone. You left your paws upon our hearts and didn't even give us a chance to say goodbye...

But with all the courage that God could give me, I picked you up and took you to the veterinarian. As I held you my heart broke and rivers of tears streamed down my face... I know that you are safe now in God's home above, cradled in His arms and covered with His love. So BOSS, when the sadness becomes to overwhelming I will remember that where you are now the grass is always green, butterflies flit among the flowers and the sun shines gently down upon you.  I will remember that you can run, jump, and play til your hearts content. I will remember that you will never have to experience any sickness or aching joints  that come with aging.

                                             You will live in our hearts FOREVER!

Tennessee by Santana

Monday, August 30, 2010

Santana & Shamara went to Tennessee to support Ken in the Cardinals preseason game against the Tennessee Titans visit her blog here.

GI Specialist # 2

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today was my appointment with the second GI specialist Dr. Daniel Meline with Arizona Digestive Heatlh in Scottsdale. Once again going over the entire episode of August 17th. The one thing that I remember most about my visit with Dr. Meline was listening to him explain to me that most of the time when people pass blood it's never as much as they think it is but that when blood mixes with the water in a toilet bowl it turns the entire bowl red and people tend to think that they actually have bleed that much when they really haven't. As I'm listening to him explain this, I'm thinking okay I'm gonna let him completely finish and then tell him that although that is probably true, that is not what happened in my case... but I didn't get the chance to say anything because as he's giving me this little speech he happens to glance over at my discharge summary from Banner Good Sam and sees the part where it details just how much blood I had actually passed so he says, Whoa, I guess you really did lose alot of blood." I was like, "Yes, I did and I was going to let you finish speaking and then explain that to you."

From that point he took a whole different attitude about my experience and what needed to be done going forward.  I shared with him my visit with Dr. Sawyer on Monday and what tests he had recommended and tentatively scheduled.  Dr. Meline agreed with having the upper GI scope next but felt that depending on what that test revealed or didn't reveal, his next recommendation would be the Capsule Endoscopy instead of the medical imaging xray because 1) it's the newer technology and 2) it doesn't involve putting radiation in the body as does the medical imaging xray.  So my decision was made, I choose Dr. Meline to be my personal GI Specialist - and the upper GI scope is schedule for Friday, September 3rd, and will be done Scottsdale Endoscopy Center in Scottsdale.

GI Specialist # 1

Monday, August 23, 2010

At 12:00PM today, I went to see the first of two GI Specialists. Today's visit was with Dr. Rob Sawyer with Mesa Gastrointestinal Associates. Basically, I went through the details of my experience (should of just had him read my blog post), the hospital stay, what tests they performed, etc. We talked about the color of the blood I passed which was very black & clotted, and he explained to me that black blood usually means that there is an upper GI problem such as a bleeding ulcer. Because of this, he didn't understand why the doctors at the hospital hadn't performed the upper GI scope which they had originally said they were going to do.

Dr. Sawyer's recommendations were to first do the Upper GI scope or endoscopy which will visualize the interior of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. This will be done at a surgery center as an outpatient procedure tentatively scheduled for September 7th.  The second prodecure that he wants to do is a medical imaging xray of the small intestines and this one is tentatively scheduled for September 14th.  The thing I remember most about my visit with Dr. Sawyer was him telling me that we could just wait to see if it would happen again. I will visit the second GI specialist on this Thursday and wait until then to make any definite decisions...

You Wanna Giggle?

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is just the cutest video of Trey that I capture earlier in the month. I promise it will make you "GIGGLE."

Anything but a Normal Day

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today was anything but a normal day...

My alarm went off at 3:00AM, I hit the snooze a couple of times and rolled out of bed about 3:10. As soon as I stood up beside the bed I could feel something wet dripping down my leg. My thought was that it was odd because I had just had my monthly cycle. I walked to the bathroom, sat on the toilet and immediately I began what I thought was a bowel movement (I hadn't turned the lights on at this point.).  It flowed fast and was totally watery so I was thinking that it was diarrhea due to food poisoning. The reason I thought it was food poisoning was because I had it before and it was the same experience and I had also been having stomach cramps for the past two nights that had kept me awake and so I thought that I had somehow gotten some bad food.

But then I started to feel like I was losing control of my body, I tried to lift my hands but they would just flop back down. At this point I knew something was wrong. I flipped on the light and saw that what I had been passing was blood. I stood up and started to walked toward the sink, but knew almost immediately that I wasn't going to make it even that far. I lowered myself to the cold tile floor and could tell almost immediately that the coolness from the tile was reviving me a little - I do believe now that is what kept me from passing out completely. I laid there for about 5 minutes until I started to feel that I was getting ready to start passing blood again and I knew that I needed to get back to the toilet. I pushed myself up on my hands and knees and realized then that I had never stopped bleeding, there was blood on the floor. I got up and made it back to the toilet and the blood continue to flow - it was as if someone had turned on a faucet. I began to feel again as if I was losing control. I got up and again tried to walk to the sink but knew that I couldn't make it. I began to call Mark's name again and again as I once again lowered myself to the tile floor.

When Mark came in he was like, "Oh my God, I've got to get you to the hospital." I said to him that no he needed to call 911. He ran for the house phone but was so nervous he couldn't dial. What he was actually doing was dialing but then instead of hitting send he kept hanging up the phone and couldn't understand why the phone wasn't working. I remember telling him to grab his cell phone...

The police arrived first, and his first question to me was, "Where did you hit your head?" I told him that I hadn't hit my head and then explained what had occured up to that moment. The girls were awake and I can remember telling them to please not wake up Bri because I didn't want her to be scared. Amazingly they were all calm, no hysterics but I could definitely see the worry on their faces.

The paramedics arrived next and began to assess the nature of my condition while trying to determine if I had any pre-existing medical conditions. They took my blood pressure and seeing that my pressure had dropped to 60/40 they began trying to stabilizied me. They gathered and recorded my vital signs, started an IV and administered potassium I believe in an attempt to get my blood pressure up before preparing me for transport to the ER.

The ambulance arrived and the EMT's placed me on the stretcher and secured me in the ambulance for transport to the emergency room. During the transport one EMT drove while the 2nd one monitored my vital signs. Shamesha rode in the ambulance up front with the driver while Mark & Reggie drove seperately following the ambulance.

Once we arrived at the hospital, they passed on my information to the attending physician(s)/emergency room personnel and they left. Once again I had to explain what had happen and they like the paramedics the hospital staff began to moniter my vital signs, and in and out came the parade of nurses, doctors and other hosptial personnel. We were told that they needed to do a blood transfusion as soon as possible, so we signed the necessary paper work to get the process started.

In this picture you can see the first blood transfusion had already started...

At some point I was told that I wasn't going home for at least a few days and that someone from ICU was coming down to transport me there where they would run additional tests and keep a close eye on me.  They weren't messing around and before long I was admitted to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment and swept off to ICU for my 3 day stint...

Once settled in ICU, I was poked and prodded some more. but the nurses that took care of me were EXCEPTIONAL! They were so loving, kind and caring throughout my stay. A few different doctors came to visit and it was decided that I needed a second blood transfusion to stabilize my hemoglobin and that they wanted to perform a Colonoscopy as well as an Upper GI Scope that day. So in order to prep me for the colonoscopy I needed to drink a gallon of this white chalky powder stuff (I think it was called GoLite) which my nurse (Marie) mixed with 1/2 water and 1/2 apple juice. She was truly trying to help me by mixing in the apple juice but I don't believe that anything could have helped to disguise the disgusting taste of this stuff. So once she had the GoLite all mixed really well she brought me 3 cups of ice and a 3 straws and instructed me to start drinking it as fast as I could. Uggg, after the first taste I knew I was in big trouble. I am VERY sensitive to smells and taste. But she wouldn't let up, she kept telling me that I had to get it all down within a certain amount of time so that they could start the colonoscopy or else it would get to late in the day and we'd have to wait until tomorrow and I'd have to drink the stuff again. I was like there is NO WAY I'm EVER going to do this again.

So, I started drinking, trying it with the straw first; then trying to plug my nose and suck through the straw. Then my nurse feeling sorry for me went and found some ground coffee and told me to hold it under my nose and take a few deep breaths so that when I was ready for another drink I would be smelling more of the coffee than the GoLite. DIDN'T WORK! Next she brought me a few cans of Sierra Mist and told me to take a drink of the GoLite and then quickly take a drink of the sierra mist to wash it down. Ahhh, that help a little and so I kept doing it but then about 1/2 way through the gallon I was beginning to feel too blotted from all the GoLite with the sierra mist on top of that. So then we switch from the sierra mist to apple juice but at this point I was miserable because my poor little stomach was so much fuller than what I'd normally eat in a week...

At this point if I wasn't strapped down to that hospital bed with all the tubes and monitors, seriously I would have taken this disgusting drink and started pouring it down the drain or the toilet in my room and believe me I got out of bed a few times and tried to stretch as far as possible to reach across for that sink. I even comtemplated calling someone and telling them to bring me a plant so that I could start watering the plant with some of it, but you can't bring live plants/flowers into ICU. Ahh well it was a really good idea...

FINALLY, Finally, finally I finished it all after about four hours, and I'm not about to even go through the details of what that stuff does to your body. That is just way to nasty, but if you're that curious just click on the link I provided above (colonoscopy) and I'm sure it will provide some details. So now it's almost 5:00PM and I'm ready for this test but my nurse Marie comes in to tell me that they are going to wait to do the test tomorrow morning. I said to her, well you just need to let the doctors know that I'M NOT DRINKING THAT STUFF AGAIN! She just laughs at me but she did relay my message to the doctors and they sent her back with instructions that that was fine but I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything until tomorrow after the test. I was like, WHAT, they even give pregnant women ice chips. But that's okay when the night got long and I got hungry, I just chewed my gum unbeknown to my care givers...

Well, here I am settled in for the night. Mark brought the girls by for a visit. My poor little Bri, to wake up and find out that mommy was in the hospital and then to have to make it through the entire school day and after school activities until someone could bring her up to see me so she could see for herself that I was okay. Not something I ever want to have her experience again...

The day and night shift switches off and my new nurse is Lance and if I thought that I was being treated like I was the patient of the year with Marie, I don't even know how to explain how much more Lance took care of me throughout the night.  At some point he had asked me about family and I told him that we had six kids, and he was like no way and we moved on to other conversations...

So in the morning when he came in to take my vitals he told me that he hadn't believed me when I told him how many kids I had, so during the night sometime he went and checked my medical records. Haha! I thought that was toooo funny!

Unfortunately, during the night my hemoglobin levels and my blood pressure kept dropping so I was told that I wouldn't be going home today. At some point, the doctors came in with all their big machines to get me ready for the colonoscopy and the upper GI scope. They told me what the procedure would be and then put the sedative into my IV and off to sleep I went... When I woke up, they were all done, the machine and doctors were gone and I don't remember a thing. I was told that they had only done the colonoscopy and not the upper GI scope but I wasn't told why they decided not to do the second one???  The doctor came in later to tell me that the test had revealed nothing... They continued to monitor me throughout the day and as evening approached they felt I was stable enough to be moved out of ICU into a regular ward in preparation to be release tomorrow. YEAH! At this point I was feeling pretty normal and was ready to go home.  After dinner (my first meal since being admitted) they rolled me out of ICU on down to floor 9 with more fabulous nurses who tucked me in for a second sleepless night (Did you know that when you are in the hospital, you don't go there to get sleep? Hmmm, I'm just sayin!).

At 5:00AM I rang for the nurse on call and asked if I could take a shower, there is only so much a girl can take okay! She was happy to accomadate me and went off to collect towels, soap, lotion and anything else I would possibly need. Did I mention how GREAT the nurses are at Banner Good Sam? So showered, dressed in my own clothes (I was going home today.), breakfast delivered, I started asking for the doctor.  When he finally arrived, checked me out one more time and then told me that I was free to go after lunch. I couldn't dial Mark's number fast enough. So I was discharged with instructions to maintain my regular diet; to do activities per my tolerance; follow up with a primary care physican within 2-3 weeks (I don't have one!) and to follow up with a GI specialist also within 2-3 weeks.  Mark arrive a little after 3:00PM and homeward bound we went...

Will follow up with reports once I see the GI specialist...

Hurkey - Toe Touch - Pike

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grace Patriots are here to win...
You can't beat us so think again...
Step back, relax, prepare for the show...
You know who's the best...
Go Patriots Go!

Yes, that's right, we have a NEW cheerleader in the house... CLICK HERE to see the pictures of before, during and after tryouts and MY SIDE OF THE STORY!

Santana's 25th Birthday

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Santana came for a birthday visit so she could celebrate her 25th birthday with us. So today we celebrated, well actually we started celebrating last night with dinner at ....

the Melting Pot in Ahwatukee.  We weren't represented by the entire family this evening because several where either out of town or on their way back to town but that didn't stop us from having a grand old time...

Okay, so now about our Melting Pot experience - a first for all of us who attended and a very nice, memorable & different dining experience. We were served four-courses over the extent of the evening which featured: 1) a creamy cheese fondue - mixed right at the table; 2) a lively salad - caesar for us; 3) the entree - a variety of steak, chicken & seafood with dipping sauce and veggies which we cooked right at our table by dipping into the different sauces/breadings offer and slipping into the pot to cook and 4) the chocolate fondue (MY FAVORITE) including fresh strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, marshmallows, pound cake & brownies dipped into either milk chocolate or white chocolate. Mmmmm SINFUL!

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For Santana's birthday outing we went to the Cardinal's 1st preseason game against the Houston Texans.

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Happy 25th Birthday Santana! My world changed forever when you came into my life. No one could have prepared me for the depth of love that sprang into my heart from the moment you were born & I don’t know how its possible but you become more dear to me with every year that passes. With my heart full of memories today I want you to know that the love we share has made being a parent the greatest feeling I have ever known. You are the hugs & smiles from my past, the hopes & dreams of my future. Having a daughter as special as you are makes me happier than I will ever be able to say. Love Mommy!

Cardinals vs Texans

The Cardinals opened their 2010 season tonight in front of a sellout crowd at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium with a 19-16 win over the Houston Texans.

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After falling behind 16-0, the Cardinals reserves gave the fans a thrilling finish as they led Arizona to a 4th quarter rally and the eventual win.
Cardinals 19 Texans 16

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2010 Football Camp

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Way I See It - Kenny Iwebema

Watch this video of Ken talking about life, football, family, friends, the future and "The Way He See's It!"

Our Lil' PILOT!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another cute picture of our Little Man "Trey" sitting in the pilot seat of his uncles plane - maybe flying in his future? See the story on Shannon's blog.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Enjoying a few days at the beach with his mommy, GiGi, Auntie Shayla and big brother Trey...


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Okay I AM SO DONE with this garage sale… this is the 3rd and final day & as if we didn’t have enough excitement around here with the video yesterday we gotta have this vistor. We are sitting in the garage, door up, 2 customers shopping & 2 customers walking up when the guy inside w/his girlfriend says, “Ok I think we have a problem !  I’m thinking he’s getting ready to say our prices are too high - not possible since 95 percent of EVERYTHING is only $1.00 - OR that his girlfriend is taking too long shopping & it’s way too hot to be standing in someone’s garage… but instead he says, “Nobody panic but there’s a snake.” At the exact moment he says those words I hear the rattler; the mail I was sorting thru went flying in the air when I jumped up and ran into the house… I am just soooo thankful that nobody has a video camera on me at these moments, ENOUGH said!

Well at least what I was thinking was better than what Shanel thought the guy was getting ready to say.  She thought that when he said "nobody panic" that he was getting ready to rob us... Hahaha!

This one was a Sidewinder - the exact same one but much bigger than the last Sidewinder that was in our front courtyard back in May - you can see that story by CLICKING HERE!

OH! and all this was right after & just before I went down into the garage to sit with Marcus & Shanel, when I picked up my purse off the floor in the office a LIVE Scorpion was UNDER it... YIKES!

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

I've spent the last several days since LAST Saturday, cleaning, throwing things out, making give away piles and moving things around in my office in an effort to make room so that I could move 75 percent of my scrapbook room into the office combining the two rooms into a office/scrapbook room. There are at least a couple of good reasons why (which I'll talk about in a minute) I am doing this and so I have had to remind myself what those are many times since getting started...

This is a picture of my scrapbook room back when we first moved into the house and so it doesn't do justice to what the completed room looked like up until this past Monday. However it's the only one I could find soooo I'll try to be a little descriptive...
Up against the window wall, I had stacked 2 high under the window and 3-4 high beside the window these scrapbooking paper storage cubes. If you are a scrapbooker/crafter then your imagination will fill in all the wonderful things that filled those cubes. It was total organization! I LOVED MY ROOM!!! 

On the green wall where the credenza sits (it's still there for now) it held my Touch Smart PC, Circut, Slice and a few other items. There is a TV on the wall just to the right of the credenza AND on the wall to the left of the window WAS THIS! I called this my "Wall of Inspiration" just a random collection of signs, symbols, sayings and other stuff that I just liked and put together to create this space. I loved looking at it whenever I was able to sit and scrap in my scrapbook room, it would inspire me to create some great pages...

Below is a part of the wall with these really BIG letters that spelled out S C R A P I N and then a quick peek into my TO DIE for closet that could literally hold a set of twin size bunk beds. The closet/mini room is filled from floor to ceiling with???  Yes you GUESSED IT! Scrapbook STUFF!  Or it was but we'll come back to that later.

Now back to the real reason for this post, the following 2 pictures are of my office BEFORE and AFTER. There is not much variation but if you look closely you can now see the addition of another computer, my Circut and even the Slice. OH! and my window coverings are UP (another story, another day)!

And a couple more BEFORE and AFTER photos of the corner in my office which BEFORE only held my tree and Diamond Girl's (our Yorkie puppy) bed and now ABRACADABRA! some of my scrapbook cubes holding some of my scrapbook GOODIES!

And this snap shot is a look into another of my fabulous "to die for closets" which now also holds more of my scrapbook goodies sharing space with my office necessaties since this closet is in my office. So since I've mentioned about my closets twice now I feel as if I owe you a little inside tip. When the house was designed one of my design requests was for BIG SLEEP IN (walk-in) size closets in every room (ENOUGH SAID Right?).

OK, now that all the pictures have been shown I'll get back to the reasons for doing all this. 1) There are many mornings I wake up and there are a few extra bodies sleeping AROUND the house. Just this week I counted one on my family room couch and one on Sabriya's bedroom floor. 2) With Santana living out of town, when she comes home she doesn't have a permanent bedroom so she shares with her sisters. 3) Shamara lives half at our house, meaning half of her stuff somehow finds a place to live here (that's what's now occupying the other 1/2 of my scrapbook closet)... and 4) I just can't seem to find enough hours to make it to my scrapbook room to scrap SO I thought that by combining my office into an office/scrapbook room and my scrapbook room into a craft/guest bedroom I could solve all of these issues. So there you go problem solved orrrrr half solved, NOW all I have to do is work less and SCRAP MORE!  I'm really thinking that I should be able to roll on over to the other side of my desk and sneak in a little more scraping time while still being near the phones and my work computer to do what needs to be done. WELL at least thats the plan.... and then of course to talk my ever loving husband into the purchase of a Murphy Bed for the craft/guest room....  You know what that is right - a bed in a wall or a hide a bed where you hide the bed in plain sight and you still have use of your room for other things. GENIUS!

And SO that's how here at Lyfe as a Smith we ended up having a 3 day garage sale, because as everyone knows when you start moving things around you are certain to find things that you haven't used or don't need anymore and then one thing leads to another and before you know it you have piles and piles of STUFF and in the midst of all that other people living in the house with you catches the fever and they start adding their stuff to those piles and somehow somebody talked us into having a GARAGE SALE and then after 2 full days of sitting in a hot, humid garage with these folks you live with and still 1 more day to go you get talked into doing something stupid LIKE THIS:


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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This was such a cute picture of Trey at a friend's birthday party, I just had to copy it from Shannon's blog and share it with you all.  He's a BIG 2 year old now!

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