Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Park Hoppers

Every day after I pick up the girls from the Montessori School, we go to the park for the free lunches. There are several parks to choose from: last week we went to the bike park (Tracey's nickname for it), and this week we have been going to Penny Park. The girls and I have really enjoyed spending the time at the park. Plus, it gets them really tired and they take nice long naps.
This evening we went to the park by Fort Bayard. The girls call it the helicopter park because of the helicopter on a stick nearby. We enjoy going to this park because it's much closer than the others and they've fixed it up really nice.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My very own X-Man, errr...X-Girl

So many of you know that Tracey has an issue with her left arm.

Originally it was diagnosed as a hemangioma. BUT, now that has changed. Her medical records were sent to Boston for review at the Vascular Anomalies Center. They re-diagnosed her as having a venous malformation. What is that, you ask? Well, in short, it's a genetic mutation (hence the X-Men) of her veins. Meaning they didn't form right. The vein walls are weak and expand and form blod clots and such.

So now what?

I recently had a conversation with one of the leading pediatric vascular surgeons in the country and she recommends a procedure called sclerotherapy. They will have to inject her veins with something to drain the bad veins and hopefully block them so they won't fill up again. Evidently there are backup veins to use. I should have paid more attention during Anatomy class in college. There will be a series of 3 surgeries to fix the problem. In. Houston. Texas.

As you know, my lovely X-Girl loves sports and is planning on playing volleyball this year. Remember, the malformation is in her FOREARM. The doctor said that was the worst sport she could play *laughs* but doesn't like to restrict patients. So she's got the go-ahead to play, but she has to wear a compression sleeve on her arm.

So there you have it...an update on our X-Girl.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day at the Lake

We made a spontaneous decision and went to Bill Evans lake today, and had a great afternoon. Kylee and Tracey enjoyed playing in the lake and Tracey and the bigger kids even swam out to the island and back. Krysten was at Grama's so she missed out. Next time.
" I wanna go with you Tracey"

My new best friend: she has chips and she's willing to share!

"Catch me, Brandon"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My baby is 2.

Happy Birthday Krysten!!!
We love you so much and you are such a sweet, wonderful little girl.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Missouri Tourist, part 2

St. Louis was so much fun!! On Saturday our conference was over at noon so we had the rest of the day to ourselves. I was so excited, I felt like a little kid. We rode the Metrolink to downtown St. Louis, where we caught our first glimpses of the the arch.

However we decided to tour the Anheuser Busch Brewery first. I hailed my very first cab and we rode down to the Brewery. The Brewery was too cool. We got to see the Clydesdales and Mickey, the dalmation from the commercials.

We saw several different places, including the Mash Tanks and the place where the beer is Beechwood aged.

Here I am sticking my hand in the Mississippi River. We hung out here for awhile while the guys in our group went up in the Arch. We saw a barge with a tugboat and a paddleboat that's now used for a dinner cruise. I think it would be so neat to go back in time and experience the river culture...it's so different from what we know out here in the desert.

This is the Eads Bridge. It was built sometime in the 1800's in an effort to revive St. Louis after the railroad diverted much of the commerce north to Chicago. We crossed the river on the Metrolink via this bridge. We decided to ride the Metro to the end of the line in Illinois. It was fun, but we ended up getting back pretty late.

We rode the little tram up to the top of the Arch. Yes folks, that's 630 feet up in the air. The tram is really this tiny little capsule that 5 adults squeeze into and you creak and grind and sway your way to the top. This ride is not for people who are afraid of heights or spend the whole trip imaging themselves plummeting to the bottom. But after our 4 minute death defying ride we arrived at the top. The view was awesome!!!! Since it was night we got pictures of downtown St. Louis all lit up.
Downtown St. Louis with Busch Stadium (where the Cardinals play) is in this picture.

Here is a picture of the arch at night with the lights reflecting off of it.

The Gateway to the West.

If you check out "Treb's Blog" on my blog list you can see more pictures of this same trip, since were were all in the same group. I am also trying to upload a bunch more pictures on my facebook page, so check there if you haven't gotten enough of my trip yet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Missouri Tourist, part 1

It's my second day here in Missouri and so far it's been great. The conference has been good too, but nobody wants to hear about that.

Last night we walked down to the Ameristar Hotel & Casino which is right on the Missouri River. Along the river gambling is only allowed on riverboats, so this hotel built a moat around their hotel. I guess that makes them a riverboat. Whatever. We ate there and I gambled away a whole $1. I won $10 but of course lost it again. But it kept me entertained for awhile.

Tonight we walked down to the historic riverfront area here in St. Charles (suburb of St. Louis). It was gorgeous. I can't believe all the vegetation and how thick the trees are here. And the lightning bugs are too cool. We walked out on a pier over the Missouri River. It just amazes me at how BIG it is! I tried to imagine what it would have been like to cross these rivers way back in the 1800's and I shudder to think of it. Yikes!!!

We then ate at a nifty little place. Great food...I had cajun shrimp...yum-o!

The girls...Kris, Rocio, and Karyn.
Along the Missouri River.

Kickin' it with ole' Lewis & Clark and their dog Seaman. There's all kinds of L&C stuff around here.

Here is the restuarant that we ate at. You guessed it...it was called Lewis & Clark's. It was 3 stories and we ate way up top on the balcony. We sat where that lady in purple is sitting, so we had a great table. The weather was great and we had a great time. The Missouri River as we viewed it from our table.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meason Fire

Aaron came home for one mandatory day off yesterday. He was the IC (incident commander) on the Meason Fire here in the Gila Wilderness (it was even on the news--KRQE). He left again today and he'll be out on the fire for 2 weeks. That's the way things go during fire season.
I uploaded a video but it wouldn't play--big bummer!

On a different note--
I think I am finally packed for my trip to St. Louis. I am going for a school conference. Unfortunately I can't really tell you much about the conference but I do know a lot about many of the places to visit in St. Louis.
I am home alone tonight. I don't know when the last time that has happened. Aaron's on a fire and the girls are at my mom's at the ranch.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ranch Girls

I've been away for awhile because I went to visit my parents on the ranch for a few days. It was a relaxing time and the girls loved it. Krysten is absolutely fascinated with the horses and the cattle. Every morning she could see the mares outside our bedroom window and she would watch them forever. Kylee is getting to be Papa's little helper, she's always very excited to go help feed.