Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meet Our New Pet, Fancy

For as long as I she can remember, Chyenne has wanted a PIG, "a real live pet pink pet piggy".

Since Daddy insists on getting the piggy princess (and the dinosaur dude) everything most of what she wants...

Meet Fancy.

We bought her from some fantastic minature (teacup) vietnamese pig breeders in Savannah, GA. What a drive! She was 4 weeks old and completely potty trained when we got her. She's not ALL pink (in fact, she's mostly grey) but she sure made (and makes) our family happy. She doesn't shed and she will not get fleas. She gets a bath every week and we lather her up with lotion every other day. She is a snuggle baby who loves to sleep in the bed with us. She is very playful and extremely smart. We LOVE her.

Chyenne was SHOCKED when daddy brought Fancy home. I video taped her reaction and she seemed very nervous and anxious. Silly girl. She quickly warmed up and now Fancy is her new best friend (well second to her brother of course). Fancy was Chyenne's early birthday present (and the most expensive gift to date) for her 4th birthday.

I am excited to watch Fancy grow up with our family. Now, little Cohen wants either a COW or a DOG for his birthday. We'll see. ;)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Granny

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. -Albert Einstein.

My granny was {it's going to take some time to get used to speaking of her in past tense} an amazing woman who loved unconditionally with all of her heart. She and I were very close. We shared many great things and I cherish the things I have learned from her and those that I have gained genetically. I am STRONG like her. I am WITTY like her. I am KIND like her. I am SARCASTIC like her. I will learn to LOVE like her. I always joked with her that she was my "fragile granny". She was everything BUT fragile for much of her life. When I was pregnant with Chyenne I would take her to the store (the only task she didn't do on her own was driving) and she would gripe at ME for carrying her groceries for her. She was in her late 70s for goodness sake! She was tough.

Please bare with me, as this will probably get quite long.

Last year (2011) in November, my granny fell. She NEVER fell. She was NEVER ill. She NEVER complained of anything. But we came home to find her on the floor, face down on the hard tiles, screaming in pain, surrounded by blood. We thought the worst and called for an ambulance. I didn't know at the time that this would be the first step of my granny's rapid decline. The ambulance came and brought 2 {very rude, uneducated} EMTs along. They did NOT check her blood pressure or any other stats. They needed HELP from US (my sister, mother and myself) to lift her to her chair. She was only 130 lbs!!! She had a broken nose from her fall and her knee hurt really bad but the EMTs told her that it was just bruised and not broken. She was in pain, but didn't tell us. She said "well if they don't think it's anything to worry about, I am FINE!" Stubborn ole lady. I get that from her too.

So the next morning, she couldn't MOVE! Her knee was swollen to three times it's normal size and she had used the restroom on herself during the night because she was too prideful to call for help. We called an ambulance again and they took her straight to the hospital.
She had completely BROKEN her knee. My poor granny. She suffered ALL night because some EMTs didn't do their job! AH! So, because of her age (she was 80) she could not go through with knee surgery until they performed a heart cath on her.

She went in for her heart cath and before they were finished, they came and told my mom that my granny would be transferred immediately to St. Joseph's hospital for open-heart surgery. ALL of her major valves were at least 70% blocked. We panicked. But Granny didn't. She was as calm as could be. She said "I am GOING TO BE JUST FINE" and she was. She made it through her quadruple bypass amazingly. She was SO STRONG. Even with her broken knee, broken nose, bruises, and now broken chest, she was STRONG! She healed from that much sooner than the doctors expected. I AM SO PROUD of her. She is such an inspiration.

Less than a week later, still recovering from her major heart surgery, she went in for surgery to FINALLY repair her knee. She amazed the doctors once more and was recovering quite well. Again, my granny was strong. She was tough and she fought hard!

Following her surgeries, she was doing therapy for both in order to COME HOME! BUT the doctors suggested that she go to a rehab facility to GET WELL. So, we made arrangements for her to go to a "rehab" place at a local nursing home. Biggest mistake and regret ever. She spent Christmas 2011 there. She soon got bronchitis and then pneumonia that sent her back to the hospital. Before she was completely over that, she was discharged from the hospital and back at the "rehab". We celebrated her 81st birthday in the "rehab" place with cake, family, and lots of love! With only a MONTH at the "rehab facility", we noticed a BED SORE on granny. We took her out and she went to live with my sister Jennifer (who stays home with her kids all day). Home Health Care came every couple of days to check on Granny. Her spirits were up and we were determined to get her better! She was doing well despite not being able to walk unassisted.

Then she took a turn for the worst and was back in the hospital for her bronchitis. Oh my sweet granny. She was beginning to look OLD... she was beginning to look FRAGILE! I could barely stand to see her like that. She came home once again on breathing treatments and we were once again determined to get her better. THEN, she took another step downwards. Her bed sore, despite being cared for every day, was getting much, much worse. She had developed an infection in her bloodstream. She went back to the hospital with extremely low blood pressure. Oh my granny. When I got to the hospital with her she said "Now all of my girls are here, I can go home". Tears welled up in my eyes as I stared at my FRAGILE granny surrounded by my mom and two sisters. She looked so weak. She was in ICU and the doctors explained to us that this was probably the end of her life. So much pain, so much heart ache. I spent much time with my granny in ICU. We talked, we laughed, we cried. She told me that I was "her strong one and I shouldn't cry". What do you say when you're sweet granny is lying in bed, ready to die!? Oh my. BUT something clicked and granny started to GET BETTER! She was TOO TOUGH to let all of this get her down. She had been through SO much in just a few short months. It was February now, just 4 months from her fall. :( WAY TOO FAST.

So she was sent home from the hospital once again. We just KNEW she would GET BETTER! She had been SO TOUGH and despite having so many hurdles to overcome, she DID! She kept doing better. BUT her bed sore kept getting worse and her body stopped fighting for her. Her white blood cells were not performing and her medicine was not working. Home Health Care sent the wonderful people of Hospice to us. She wasn't going to make it. We didn't know then how long she would have. We hoped for much, much more time than God gave us. BUT we cherished the last bits of time with her. Her grand children (myself, my sisters, our cousins) and great grandchildren (my kids, my sisters' kids, my cousins' kids) spent much time with her. It was precious time that we will never forget.

Then, late one evening, she called us all to my sister's house because she knew it was time to "go dance with Jesus". We waited, we prayed, we held her hands and kissed her head. She didn't eat for 3 days. She slept a lot and her blood pressure got lower. We had promised to keep her out of pain, so that's exactly what we did, with the help of her wonderful Hospice nurses. For several days, my sisters, mom and I waited with her. We held her. We loved her. She got really sick. She began releasing her bowels without knowing and vomiting profusely (in my hands because it was so sudden). I held her and apologized for her being so sick and in pain. She cried. Then she got some better the next day. We called family to see her to say goodbye. She laughed, she cried, she gave advice (to me she said "if the oil gets too hot, turn the heat down"...... hmmmm). She then slept. Her Hospice nurses gave her a maximum of 72 hours to live and I didn't go back home. I stayed with her. I held her hand and talked to her. Her breathing slowed and got deep. She was no longer talking or waking. She just slept. She trembled and then got the most peaceful look on her face. I knew she was going home. I called my sister and mom into the room. We all knew she was going home.

My oldest sister and I held her hands and my mom {quite frantic} listened to her heart beat its last beats with a stethoscope. Her breathing slowed and slowed and she never breathed again. She's not in pain anymore. She is watching over us now. She passed at 9:22pm on March 23rd, 2012. Just 2 days before Chyenne's birthday.

Oh my sweet fragile granny. Our time together was not enough but my memories will last a lifetime.  We buried her on Monday, March 26th in a plot that she had beside her parents and brothers. RIP my granny. I love you forever.

Chyenne says that Granny is her angel. She and granny talked about that. Granny told Chyenne that she would see her again in Heaven. Cohen still talks to go see Granny & boy do I wish I could take him to see her again. I miss her like crazy and it's so hard to imagine life without her. I am hurting. I am sad. I am being selfish but I NEEDED more time with her. Her decline and passing was far too quick. Just 5 months. All from a stupid fall! A stupid fall that was most likely caused by her heart. A stupid pair of EMTs that didn't get her to the hospital. A horrible "rehab" facility that didn't properly care for her. Too many struggles for my sweet granny.

Oh granny I love you and I will always cherish everything about you until I see you again. Thank you for showing me love. Thank you for teaching me about life, thank you for being you.

Pics soon to come.

Spring Has Sprung!

It's no surprise that spring came so soon... heck we barely had a winter in GA. We have LOVED spring... despite the awful pollen, rain that produces giant crocodile tears from a certain little girl, and higher gas prices.

Yes, my sweet Chyenne has a fear of RAIN (and all that goes with... wet grass, puddles, storms, dark clouds, thunder, lightening, mud...). One beautiful spring day, we were sitting on the rocking chairs on the porch, just admiring the world when it began to rain (and by rain, I mean sprinkle). I thought it was a perfect time for Chyenne to play in it. On the wet side of the porch of course... she couldn't possibly have fun in puddles and wet grass. SIGH! So here she is, enjoying a bit of "rain".

She really had SO MUCH FUN!
 BUT Cohen?! Well he perfered to stay far away from the action and my camera. Little stinker.
 Chyenne had to run inside & get some rain gear! (She desperately needs a pair of rain boots and a rain coat...)
 But she had a blast none the less. 
 I hope... FOR MY OWN SELFISH SAKE... that playing in the "rain" helped ease her fear. Giant tears, wailing cries, and a little tremble is NOT how I want to see my girl every time it rains.

Our Spring has been so wonderful. We've enjoyed very high temps that made it perfect for a little {redneck, white trash} pool party on the back porch because of course our real inground pool wasn't prepared for such an early spring. :)
 My kids LOVE to splash.
 My little man's green eyes melt my heart!

Watch out Spring and Summer!

Another Pageant

I struggle daily with letting Chyenne be... CHYENNE. She is SO different from me in so many ways (yet exactly like me in many other ways). She is the girliest, prissiest, most sensitive little girl I have met. She ADORES getting dressed up, putting on a show for people, and looking pretty. Those three things are far from what my dream day would be. Since (she totally rocked) her last pageant, we have been getting TONS and TONS of pageant offers. Offers to be in Glitz pageants and offers for Toddlers and Tiaras (you may as well pronounce me dead before she does any of THOSE)! Not too many offers for simple, natural pageants. When we got the opportunity for a BENEFIT, ALL NATURAL, SIMPLE SUNDAY BEST Pageant, we couldn't resist. Best part? It was held just 5 minutes from our house.

So here are some pictures from Chyenne's 2nd EVER pageant. The Beauties For a Cure benefiting Relay for Life. Awesome.

1. All excited to walk in. 2. Cohen's new "troll face". 3. Mommy & Chyenne  4. Ready to go on stage; she said "I do NOT want you to go on stage with me, you stand and take pictures because THIS IS MY SHOW!" okay... diva.  5. Chyenne with her awards!

Overall the pageant went well. Chyenne was VERY anxious to get on stage but (mommy fail), she didn't know what to do on the x's on stage... so instead of showing her personality, she stood there with her hand on her lips, turned a little, smiled a little, and just looked nervous! LOL! She was darling.
She won Prettiest Dress and 1st Runner Up! YAY! Now, had she have known what to do on stage, I'm sure she would have taken the crown. ;) We're so proud of her. One day though, I WILL be watching her win something for a REAL sport. *sigh*