Saturday, July 30, 2011

She's on Her Way... I think

Last week while I was doing this...

Ari was donning her hospital scrubs and getting ready for her first day of "Summer Scrubs".
This is a fabulous program that is offered to a select group of high school students that have an interest in learning about and being exposed to all aspects of human health. In order to be chosen the student has to have two written recommendations from two teachers ( one of which must be a science teacher), a GPA of 3.5 or higher and the student also must turn in a written essay as to why they would like to be chosen for the program.

Summer Scrubs is totally free so anyone can apply, you just gotta get accepted. Ari applied in mid-winter   
at the prodding of her mother because she was super excited about doing the whole application process and was even more excited about hanging out with all the sick people.
I think she likes the sight of blood and was hoping to get a glimpse of something gory. Or maybe her mother is a freak ambulance chaser wanna-be doctor and thought her daughter might be interested in learning more about human health since she  knows her daughter wants to be a vet. Honestly I knew Ari would love the experience and I really thought this might light a fire in her belly and trigger a calling that she didn't know existed. I'm all about exposing them to as much as possible so they can find their passion and their calling... no matter what it is.

Trust me... If I can beg our vet to let her shadow him for a few days I'll have her there too. I'll make it happen, just give me a little time.

I don't understand why she wont let me take her picture!! she's such a brat.

that's better. She gets her kiss and hug from Ted and off she went. 

Her first and most exciting day was  getting to spend all her time in the NICU at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Mobile.
She absolutely love it. The nurses tried to get them in to see a live birth but no babies were born while she was there.
She really felt at home in the NICU changing diapers, feeding babies, holding and doing whatever they were allowed to do.  
The next day she was at another major hospital in the vascular lab watching lots of testing of arteries and stuff like that.
The next day was the Orthopedic center.

She quickly realized how difficult is was to eat her lunch with a cast on her wrist.
She stood in on a surgery and got to see just how gentle those orthopedic surgeons are when trying to remove a 10" pin from a teenagers arm. The Doc actually climbed up onto the table to get a good YANK on the pin to release it. 

The last day was wound care. I don't need to anything else about wound care except for this...

The nurses who do this everyday should make a crap load of $$.
the end.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another Day of FUN

Had my first colonoscopy yesterday.
Almost a year from the last MAJOR ulcerative colitis flare up.

Remember this? last Fall I got a nice long stay at the Hotel de Hospitale

My GI doc wanted to wait this long to do it so I would be healed enough that he wouldn't do any damage to my large intestine while having a looksie.

I spent all day Sunday drinking this.

Yep it's a full gallon of lemon flavored ocean water. Lucky for me the pharmacist told me I could add lemonade powder to it to make it more palatable.

So I made an entire gallon of Country Time lemonade flavored ocean water.
It wasn't so bad, I gulped it down large glass by large glass. Ari kept refilling my glass even when I wasn't ready for it. She's super sweet that way.

Ted dropped me off at the surgery center and then went home to take care of the little punks.
My apt was scheduled for 9:00am so I had to arrive at 8:30.

The nurses got me all snuggled up in my gown and bed and covered me with warm blankets.
Next the nurse started my IV in my right elbow. I knew as he was doing it I should speak up and tell him that I HATE having an IV in my elbow because I then cannot bend my arm and it hurts and pulls.

An hour later I squawked and asked him to move it to my hand. Ya know it's bad when I beg them to poke me again! He said that he was driven to my elbow by my big juicy veins and he couldn't help himself. I tell him know I was teasing him with my large beautiful elbow veins but I said "NO" nurse... "NO", you may NOT have those veins. I will give you a hand to find a vein so that I can bend my arm thankyouverymuch.

meanwhile I check the clock of my iPhone ( yes we are allowed to have our phones) and notice that the good doctor is running a bit late. All they can tell me is that he had an emergency and is running late. They will let me know when he is on his way.
FOUR hours later, a lot of face book, twitter, bad TV and a small nap, they finally tell me that the Doc is on his way. I say It's about time. I've been waiting all day for my milk of amnesia and tell them that I deserve and extra large dose for my troubles.

In they wheel me and get me comfy. I give the Doc a little bit of shit for making me wait and then float off into dreamland.

The Doc tells Ted that my large intestine was about 80% involved from last year's flare up. NOT GOOD. He took a few polyp samples and sent them off to the lab. We will know more in a couple of weeks. I know it is only a matter of time. He told me this last year. It's not IF i get colon cancer... it's WHEN. Last years flare up was so bad that in increased my chances of having cancer by 100%. From now on I will have a yearly colonoscopy.

Ted takes me home and steers me into bed. All he has to do is stand me up next to the bed and push me with one finger and down I fall. Like the leaning tower of Piza. TIMBER, i fall into bed without even a grunt and I'm off into my deep sleep.

This morning I feel great. Slept great and have a ton of energy. Don't feel sore or anything.
Until next year...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blueberry Picking & a Southern Seatbelt

Christine had a great idea to take all of our many house guests to a local blueberry farm and do some picking.

We loaded up into our three cars and headed that way. We were all coming from different directions as I had to drive Ari to the DMV to get her drivers license first. 

I followed the GPS to the Tee to get to the blueberry fields but it landed me in a run down old property with jugs of moonshine and overgrown vines everywhere. I even ventured out of my truck to knock on one of the many doors to see if I was really at "Lyrenes" blueberry farm. When I got to the door I knocked and then looked in the door window. There was a 150 year old man asleep in his barcalounger in his boxers.

Don't think I was in the right place.

Waited for Christine and her crew to get there so we could have a conference about what to do next. I did send her a text to let her know that the address of the farm was more of a shit hole than a berry picking farm. I'm just sayin.

While we were driving around trying to locate the blueberry fields, the kids entertained themselves.

At some point Harrison jumped into our car. We happened onto a large piece of property that looked like it might be the blueberry farm.

Harrison jumped out to have a closer look.

Then he got back in on the car and we headed down the long drive.
This is what we in Alabama call a "southern seat belt".
What it really means is...


Of course when he let go I had to take off and leave him. Had to amuse myself.

That's him running along side my truck

Then I punched it and took off. He looks like Forest Gump.

When I finally let him catch up to me he hopped on top of the truck.

Another Southern Seat belt

I did eventually let him back in my car. I'm nice like that.

The rest of the day was spent picking berries. I dropped off the family and then ran Ari over to the DMV to get her drivers license.

My friend Christine looks so cute in her boots.

The little punks picked 8 lbs of fresh blueberries.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Fun

We had some tiny fireworks left over from the 4th of July.

Alex has been bugging us ever since to light them.
Yesterday they little pack of boys that live in and around our house decided to amuse themselves...

With a hand full of bottle rockets and a lighter ...

in the woods.

Now on a normal day this probably wouldn't be that big of a deal down here in the Deep South.

But we are in the middle of a serious shortage of rainfall ( down 20") this year so far.

It was 92' yesterday in the shade and it has been very HOT all Summer.

We Mommas got wind of this activity and had to go yank them out of the woods by their ears and give them a harsh talking to.

I had to chuckle but it really wasn't funny. We told them that they could have caught the woods on fire and worse yet a house or two ( or more).

they all walked away with their cute tails tucked under.

I wonder what they will do to entertain themselves today.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Junior National Volleyball Championships 2011

We made it home!!

Ari experienced her first ( hopefully not her last) trip to Nationals. Cousin Holland also went with her team from Santa Barbara.
Ari and I got there a day early to watch Holland play.

Drove around forever to find the local Smoothie King. The perfect between game pick-me-up

I just love downtown Atlanta. It's so close to the Georgia World Congress Center and the hustle and bustle is so cool.

Every now and again a little on-court meeting is necessary.

That's our girl in a great action shot. She has been playing in the defense position all year and it seems to be a good fit for her.

That's Ari in the middle.

Our girl is #7

That's cousin Holland up in the air. Just warming up.

Another blurry pic of Holland.


That's Holland at the net. Bending her butt.

One of our Mom's is also an ex Pro-VB palyer. She has an adoptive daughter that is growing up on the vb courts. 

Nobody is exempt from a good lesson. It's never too early to learn. 

Ari keeps asking if she can take this baby home but I say NO. No Ari you may NOT take that precious baby home. You are too young, but you can love on her all you want.

After several days of vb, Ari and her teammate Jordan were pretty beaten up. They were covered from head to toe in ice packs. These girls spend a lot of time rolling and diving for that ball.

Feel sorry for them, feel very sorry for them.

We got to go out for a nice dinner one night. The girls all got to sit at their own table. Of course they had their bills sent to our table. Brats.

We found a great place for breakfast in midtown Atlanta. It's called West Egg. Some of the best breakfast food ever!! We went there twice while we were there. Funny but Ari didn't so much want me taking her picture in the mornings. She's so difficult.

My bro-in law Tony sits in the stands when the girls play but when it's Holland and the score is too close for comfort, he must get up and pace. While he's pacing, he will always find someone to chat with. Even if it's the Gold Medal round finals game and his child is playing... he will always find someone to chat with. He's super chatty that way. He kept me and all of our team parents entertained and well informed on all things volleyball.

The gold medal winners.

Holland gets " All Tournament"

Her very proud daddy.

In the meantime, Ari has another day of play before we are finished. Holland and Tony hung around so they could drive back to Alabama with us.

Teammate Jordan curled up and rested with us in a hallway.

Jordan's Momma and I have TONS of fun when we are together. Shes TOTALLY my tribe.
I can't even remember why she was flipping off but I'm sure I deserved it.

Tony and I went for coffee one morning while the girls slept in. We chatted for and our over Starbucks and then went for breakfast and got a text from the girls saying that they were hungry. We told them to walk down and meet us at the local breakfast place.

They were REALLY hungry. Holland ordered eggs Benedict and a large cinnamon roll. Ari had a huge breakfast that included grits.

That child still wont let me take her picture in the morning. I gave birth to her. She should have to do whatever I ask of her.

See?? She's much happier AFTER her grits. That's my baby. So proud of how she played and conducted herself. 
And now for some professional photos of my baby from the tournament.

On behalf of my baby, we would like to thank all of those friends and family near and far that helped us to get to Nationals. We couldn't have done it with out your support and donations.
We love you and are so grateful!!!