Saturday, January 31, 2015

Week 4 of Ski Lessons - Kellan Closes the Lifts

On the fourth week of ski lessons, I told the boys that we would take them up for a run after lessons.  They were super excited that morning but by afternoon, there is always a chance that they will be worn out.

When we walked up to get Kellan, he was sitting on the ground munching on snow.  When I asked him if he wanted to do a run he sprung up and was ready to roll.
This is the first time that I have skied with Kellan since the day we rescued him in lessons because he was terrified at the stop of the lift.  On this day, it was completely different.  He took on the hill like he owned it and I was blown away.  Of course, he talked the entire way down the mountain while he skied on.

After one run, Kellan wanted another run, so we jumped on the ski lift.
We took several more runs and closed down the lift.  It was awesome!
Kellan outlasted all of the other kids and adults.  When we got to the bottom of the last run he took his skis off, sat down and called it quits.  Luckily, Keith came to the rescue to get us all to our Apres Skiing location.  Kellan was amazing!!!

Oliver has a great last run in too but he went with Owen and his Daddy Patrick.  At the end of they day they got to hit the rails at the base.  They loved it!  

We've definitely got some skiers on our hands and we are SO fired up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SO CLOSE for Dwight and Eric

Months ago, Kristi got tickets to see Eric Church.  
I was excited to go with her, but when I found out that Dwight Yoakam was opening, I was SUPER excited!!!

She had General Admission tickets, which was a tad stressful for this planner, but it's all part of the fun.  Since we were there for Dwight, we were earlier than much of the crowd.  So early that we were THIS close!

Dwight was fine, but not the fun performance that I saw 12 years ago when I met Keith.  That's right, Keith said "Hello" while Dwight Yoakam was on stage.   No wonder love was in the air.

As Dwight left the stage, Kristi and I moved toward the stage.
As Eric Church came out, we were THIS close!

We were so close that I could see that he signs with his eyes closed, under those aviators.
We were so close that we could see the dirt on his boots!
We were THIS close!!  There were only 3-5 people between us and the stage, depending on the exact moment of the show.

Boots!  There were Boots! Boots on feet and boots in the air!
Eric Church played for 3 hours and pulled off the longest set of his tour.  
It was A-MAZ-ING!!!!!
I've had the fortune to see a lot of great shows but this is one of the top!

Thanks to Kristi for including me in this amazing event!!  It will definitely be one that lasts a lifetime in my memory!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Kite and Sailing Parachute Man

When we have sunshine, warm weather and wind in January... Daddy takes the boys out to fly a kite.
Oliver LOVES to fly his kite.  He asked for it years ago and Santa delivered it, just after we saw the Blue Angels fly in Grand Junction.  He loves the Blue Angels, Fighter Jets and Kites.
He also loves to strike a pose for Mommy's camera.
Having an engineer as a Daddy is so entertaining.
Flying a kite is not just flying a kite.  
First, you have to strategically place the parachute man on the string.
Then, the parachute man has to sail up the string with the wind.
Parachute man climbing high.
Still climbing.
Climb, parachute man, climb!
Then, with a flick of the string, the parachute man sails while the audience chases it down
Over and over and over again, the parachute man is placed, sailed and fetched.

The more the parachute man flies, the more Oliver strikes a pose.
Don't worry, Kellan got a change to fly the kite and the parachute man as well.

We love living here, where winters bring snow as well as sunshine.  Snow boots and heavy coats along with tennis shoes and sweatshirts.  Kites and sailing parachute men.

New Year, New Outlook

The story begins 32 years ago when I began wearing glasses when I was six years old and in the first grade.
I went through them all; the 80's kid glasses to the Sally Jessy Raphael blue frame glasses.

I wore glasses until I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade.  I was SOOO excited to transition to contacts.   

Mom and Dad weren't fired up about the idea.  My older brother had contacts and lost one.  In the 80's they were expensive and not disposable.  If one was lost, it was a major financial hit.

My Mom agreed that I could ask the eye Doctor about contacts at my annual exam.  I was shy, but I asked.  He spent the next 30 minutes fitting me for lenses and then walked out to tell my Mom that there was no reason that I wouldn't be a good candidate.  To this day, I thank him for getting me into contacts so early and easy.  How could she say no to him after he spent so much time working with me?  I like to think that he was on my side ;)

I had an astigmatism, so they were gas permeable lenses.  This means that they were often uncomfortable and I was constantly using eye drops, but I was bound and determined to make them work.  Within a month or two, it was easy peezy and worth every ounce of effort.

I went off to college and discovered that disposable lenses existed for people with a astigmatism.  Once again, I was back at the eye Doctor and changing my lens preference.  This was the best change, EVER (at that time)!
Many years later, people began having corrective eye surgery.  Being the cautious person that I am, I was skeptical and not sure if this was the route that I wanted to go.

Two years ago, I asked my eye Doctor if I would be a good candidate.  With my astigmatism and near sightedness, she said that I was a great candidate.  Not only was I a great candidate for Lasik, but PRK was an even better option.  I spent the next two years debating, researching and deciding.

Most people I know have had Lasik.  There aren't many people who have had PRK.  Recovery for Lasik was far quicker and easier than PRK, but PRK was said to have better long lasting results.   I met with doctors, I read results online, I talked with friends.  Finally, I took Keith to the Surgeon that I had decided on and together, we decided PRK was the best choice for me.  I needed Keith on board because recovery could have been anything from easy to LONG.

Almost to the day, 32 years after my first glasses and 25 years after my first contacts, I took out my contacts for the last time.

For the next two weeks I wore my glasses to allow my eyes to relax and not be influenced by the shape of my contacts.

I even wore them on a business trip to Fort Worth, TX where I dined on In-n-Out.  YUMM!!!
I wore them for working, even when I was at home one day with a sick kiddo.  He was curious as to what I was doing, so he listened in on our conference call.  I think he prefers going to school over working.
Two weeks later, I wore my glasses for the last time.
On a Thursday, Keith and I drove to the Beyer Laser Center in Boulder for the PRK surgery.  I was excited and nervous!  Our wait felt like FOREVER.  When they called me back, Keith was able to join me.  They reexamined my eyes and gave me a Valium to relax while they finished their prep.

During surgery, Keith got to watch through the viewing window.  They had my eye projected on a big screen, so he got to see everything.  He LOVED it!  For me, it was actually relaxing and not bad.  Mentally, I knew what was going on, but I also knew that I had to be very still.  The Valium helped me mentally and physically just lay there very calmly.  

The surgery was quick and easy.  17 seconds on my right eye and 13 seconds on my left eye.  Easy Peezy!

Before I knew it, I was wearing some stylish new shades and we were headed home.
We stopped at Primrose to pick up the boys.  While I waited in the car, I took a photo of my new eyes.
That evening, the numbness wore off and the light sensitivity set in.  With PRK, you eyes are dilated and you stay dilated for a while.  I spent the next 48 hours sleeping (or nearly sleeping) in the dark.  During the day, I camped out in Oliver's room.  It can be made the darkest room in the house.  At night, I gave him his bed back and I slept in my own room.  The boys and Keith were awesome.  They brought me meals and would rub my feet.  The boys would occasionally come to check on me and we would just chat.
On Saturday night, the dilation wore off and I was finally able to see the light again.

From the surgery time and for the next week, I had to put eye drops in every 5 minutes.  The next week was Thanksgiving week, so following post op was easy.  I put in my eye drops and felt great.

By the time a week came up, the contact bandage that they had put on my eye was feeling cruddy and blurry.  I couldn't wait to get it off.  On Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), I went in for my second post-op exam.  The eye Doctor removed my contact bandage and she said everything looked great.

I was told that my vision could be blurry for a few weeks or a few months.  I didn't know to what extend I would be or what exactly I could see.  The reason for the blurriness is that for PRK, the lasering is done on the top of your eye.  For Lasik, they pull back the flap on your eye, correct your eyes then replace the flap.  The blurriness comes from the healing tissue on the top of your eye.  For Lasik, you don't see the healing because the flap is healing to the side.

On Thanksgiving day, my vision seemed great.  I could see with no problem.   I was SO relieved, but I kept waiting for the healing blurriness.

When I went in for my two week post-op, my vision was measuring at 20/15, which is exactly how I saw with contacts and what the surgeon was aiming for.  I asked the eye Doctor when the healing blurriness would occur and she said that it already had.  I had healed up and I never noticed.

I just went in for my eight week post-op and my vision is holding at 20/15 and the eye Doctor said that by looking at my eyes in the microscope, you can't even tell that I had PRK.

I couldn't be happier with the results!!!  The only reason I can tell that I had PRK is that my eyes are a bit dry in the mornings.  This comes with winter in Colorado and a bit of the adjustment that my eyes are making.  This too shall pass.

Considering how much skepticism and uncertainty I've had with PRK, the results far exceed my expectation!  I'm so glad that Keith, my eye Doctor and the Surgeon encouraged me to pursue PRK.  With all of the vision decisions that I've had to make, this was is by far the best, EVER!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pre-Post Skiing Light Shows

We tried something new for a ski lesson day, we drove up the morning of the lesson instead of staying over the night before.  It causes anxiety since traffic can be bad so to mitigate the stress and risk of missing the lesson, we left before dawn.

The gorgeous advantage of a 6 AM departure of getting to see this sunrise over the mountains.
After a very cold day of skiing, we crashed the Martin's condo and the boys got to take a dip in the hot tub.

Kellan, Owen, Oliver and Cole
As if the hot tub wasn't enough, we were pleasantly surprised by a huge firework show just outside of the condo window.  It was awesome!

Just as it was time to depart, I spotted these three cuties playing a game by lamp light.  I'm not sure how this even came to be, but I thought that it was so sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Undie Lounger

One fine Saturday, this was at the bottom of our stairs.
He's so cute and he would be so embarrassed if he knew that I posted this.
Oliver is our sensitive one who blushes and embarrasses easily.
Regardless, these are the simple moments that I want to remember.  The moments when we have quiet weekend mornings where we all find our happy place.  It may be in an individual location with an individual activity, but we are together.  It fuels our introverted sides.  We all have one, they may just be different sizes.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rolling Like Mr Peabody and Sherman

In August, Kellan got a pedal bike for his birthday.  He had been riding Oliver's hand-me-down Stryder and it was working well for him, but it was time for him to take the next step.  He sat on it for ten seconds and decided that he would ride it when he was five.  Five as in 365 days later.

We have been trying to get him to ride his pedal bike ever since and he always responds the same, "Mmmm...  when I'm five."

Today was a gorgeous January day and we decided that we needed to get outside.  The boys wanted to ride their bikes so we told Kellan that he was way too big for his Stryder (which is basically true) so he would have to ride his pedal bike.  He thought about it for a minute and said to his Daddy, "You can hold my seat like Mr Peabody does for Sherman, then, you can let go."  It was a novel idea!!  One that Daddy had been suggesting for months!  

Whatever it takes.  If Kellan's ski instructor can be Cindy Lou Who, his bicycle instructor can be Mr Sherman.  Mr Sherman is also a dog and Kellan is very fond of dogs, so it's all good.

Out in the culd-a-sac, Kellan was ready.
He got a bit of a pep talk from Mr Sherman, which included a demonstration of how close his feet are to the ground. 
Around the culd as sac they went.
We did have to ask Oliver to not ride right in front of him with a reminder of how little he liked that when other kids would do that to him.  How soon we forget these things.
Seat and handlebar assistance.
Seat only assistance.

While Kellan practiced, his big brother showed off.
Look Mommy, one hand.
Peace out, Lady!
Doing the rounds and smiling ear to ear.

No hands, no hands!
Free Styling!!!!
Less than five minutes of help and he's like a pro!
We knew that you could do it, Kellan!
Way to go, Big Guy!

Look Mommy, no feet!

It all ended on such a sweet moment, the two brothers riding side by side.
This is just the beginning to many of these side by side ride and chats.
This is what brothers are for.
2015 is off to a great start for Kellan.  First he takes off on skis, now he's free styling on his bicycle.  What possibly could the next eleven months bring?
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