Saturday, May 22, 2010

Run to the Shrine 10K

The Displaced Duthican asked me if I wanted to do the Run to the Shrine with her a few weeks ago.  I'm never one to pass up a race, so I agreed, and then told her that we should do the 10K.

Ummm.....what was I thinking?

I thought that there would be a hill to climb, but couldn't imagine that it would be that large.  Maybe I need to spend more time at the zoo.  Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only zoo that is built into the side of a mountain.  Where did I get the idea of running up a hill?  Let me assure you, it's a mountain.

We arrived bright and early at the zoo this morning and luckily the Dutchican knew the history of the shrine, which is pretty interesting, so I think we'll plan a trip up (in a car) before Gunner leaves.

The views were spectacular, and since there was an 8.5% grade increase and the altitude increased almost 1000 feet, I should have brought a camera because I could have taken pictures at the rate that I was speeding struggling to get up that hill.

I did finish the race, where the Dutchican was waiting at the finish line.  (I'm telling you, she's a machine!)

I'm glad I did it, but I think that the Pikes Peak Ascent is off the race schedule for a few years.  I've got a long way to go before I can hike up an incline like that at an efficient speed.  All in all, I would do it again, even the 10K (as I thought the 5K had a wimpy finish line), but I would have to get outside and run more, train with hills, and do the mini-incline by my house on a regular basis.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I love her

Abbie started LENS treatment a few months ago.

The results were not exactly what we had hoped for.  It was devastating.  During this time she learned all the parts of the brain, all the locations that they used, and understood LENS better than I did.  The doctor in charge didn't know what hit him when he started.  

During one of her treatments, they noticed some characteristics of a seizure.  They called me in immediately (because of course Gunner is gone) and they gave me the news.

We waited months for an appointment with a pediatric neurologist.  We had the appointment yesterday, and since Gunner got pulled for a class, I had to take Junior with me.  Big mistake.  I don't think that doctor knew what hit him.  Abs was full of questions about anything and everything related to his position.  He had the patience of a saint, even when Junior (who was napless) was a handful.

Basically all the neurological tests that they (her amazing pediatrician and the neurologist) have done indicate that she is okay for the most part (meaning they don't think there are any brain tumors or anything).  They will start with an EEG which we will have done in July.  From there, we will decide what needs to be done next.  (They told me that they need her to get no more than 5 hours of sleep before the test--like that's a problem!  Most parents will have to stay awake to keep their child awake, but we can just turn her loose on the wii and provide pizza, since she is up all night anyway).  

There are so many different types of seizures, and so many different treatments.  It could be that we are dealing with nothing, but it is better to be safe than sorry.  I am nervous, but then if this is what is happening, it could be the reason that Abs doesn't sleep, or explain even more of her behavior "episodes".

I've only noticed on "episode" that concerned me, but then I wasn't sure what to look for before.  

If anyone has any experience with this, please let me know, I'd love to hear all outcomes, you can email me.

I love this kid, and I would do anything for her, so until we have answers, I'll be sitting at home, volunteering at her school, and trying to figure out the best way to help her.  There have been so many stories here in Colorado lately of people that have killed children, and I am so thankful that Abs was given to me.  She might give me gray hair, give me a run for my money, keep me trying to stay one step ahead, but she knows she is loved unconditionally.  

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Remember how Junior thinks that the dandelions are his Grandpa?  Well today I was washing the dishes (miracle) and Junior went outside on the patio, like he always does.  He ALWAYS stays out there and never wanders away.

I still go out there with him though, and I turned off the water, dried my hands, and went outside.  The gate was open and Junior and Sammy the dog were gone.  I look over in the above field of dandelions as I am running out of the yard and see Junior rolling on the ground and Sammy dancing around him.

I got everyone back in the yard and asked him what he was doing outside the fence.  He told me "I wanted to be close to my Grandpa".  He's obsessed with the man he never met.

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Em "knows" fashion

Abs had a 3rd grade show yesterday.  Em decided to help her get dressed.  Apparently I don't know anything and you have to be "beeeeyooootiful" in order to go to one of these shows.  It was a cute show, but I did make her remove the lipstick gloss.  I thought maybe she needed a crystal ball

After it was over, I came home with Abs while Gunner and the other two kiddos went to get dinner.  Abs proceeded to tell me that the way she was dressed made her move from the "outer circle" of Jordie's friends, to the "inner circle of the outer circle" of friends.

I had to take a deep breath.  We had a long conversation about how people should like you for what is inside of you, and not what you wear or anything else.  Where did I go wrong?

Abs has a really hard time making friends, because they don't exactly think like she does, so she really wanted the other kids to like her.  But just the thought of inner circles of outer circles, makes my skin crawl.

My grubby son, who was a Soldier that night.  He got kicked out of the Y daycare for stomping on other children's feet because they "won't be my bestest friend".  Apparently my children need a lesson in friendship.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whose idea was it to get a dog?

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Recipe Blog Hop

So I am not much of a cook.

I couldn't think of anything.

I have been craving pasta salad, so I found this recipe on recipezaar, which is my go to for almost everything.

I made it.

I tasted it.

It's really good.

Be forewarned, it makes a lot, but then, I can eat a lot, so it works out.

Perfect Pasta Salad

1 lb box of tri-colored pasta (so fancy)
2 cups green peppers (I used red)
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (I did about 3/4 of a cup, and made them large--when in doubt, pick it out--     for the kids)
1/2 lb cubed provolone cheese ( I even went to the commissary with a hungry Junior to get this)
1/2 lb slice pepperoni
1/2 cup black olives

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used less)
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (I used splenda and used less)
1 tablespoon oregano (oops, I forgot this)
1 tsp sale
1/2 tsp pepper

1.  Mix together dressing first and set aside until sugar is dissolved completely.
2.  Cook pasta.
3.  Cube the pepperoni.
4.  Mix everything but the cheese.  (I forgot and added the cheese)
5.  Pour dressing over it and mix well.
6.  Chill's in the freezer because I forgot to cool the noodles first and it started to melt my cheese.  Did I mention I am not a cook?

Trust me, it is excellent.

This led to me making the kids carrot cake for dessert.  Next stop, I'm making hummus.  I've got some carrots to eat.  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Colorado isn't so bad

I was in a slump and hating Colorado, but I am beginning to turn it around.

I think it was my lack of activity.  A big part of my life in Texas was training and racing with fellow teachers and friends.

I have a race with a friend scheduled this next weekend.  Today was the half marathon with Gunner.

I joined a running group, and there are plenty of opportunities for me to run, if I just had the time!

The girls will start a new school that I am really excited about, and they are too.

I will visit Texas in the next two weeks, get my fill of mexican food, take the girls to camp, see friends and family, and return home to Colorado.  Home.

Sometimes it takes me longer to settle into places than others, and while I won't say that I am ready to stay in Colorado the rest of my life (there is a state income tax mind you!), I can say that I will make the best of my time here.

There's plenty to see.  Plenty to do.  I need to get over my shyness and get out there and enjoy everything that this state has to offer.

This is the first time we have PCSed and the girls are old enough to remember me putting myself out there and making a new life for ourselves.  I need to show them that you can make every place that you are, a home.

Now if I could just teach them how to match socks and clean their rooms...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Since we were just running through the museum briefly because we had packet pickup and I had a conference in the afternoon, I let Junior lead the way. Well that, and I forgot the stroller. (It was a mile each way to get the packets, and he was done by the time we had to head back.)

The museum is free to military families!  You do have to pay for the IMAX and the special exhibits, but I didn't have time for that this visit.  Here's Junior checking out a movie on dinosaurs.
There are huge exhibits of dinosaurs, which will be right up Abs alley.

We visited with the mummy.  The boy has watched too much Scooby Doo.
They have a discovery section for the kids, so Junior wanted to spend more of the time there.  
Puzzles to do.
They could become paleontologists.  
Take apart a human body.
There is definitely a lot to do, plus it is right next to City Park, so when I take all the kiddos we will pack a picnic lunch.  There are also water jets in the back of the museum that the kids can play in during the "heat" of the summer.  

We did have to swing by the gift shop on the way out and Junior picked out a space helmet.  He said he is using it to go visit his Grandpa.  Sigh.

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Where did the time go?

I sure hope Gunner's deployment goes as fast as time as flying by right now!

Friday I took Junior to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Pictures to come.

I picked up our packets for our half marathon on Friday as well.  They had a glitch with the database and so our bib numbers did not match out names.  Enter Stephanie and Cindy.  Gunner was lucky enough to be Cindy Frothingham.  (There was one guy who got stuck with the name Princess!)

The race was packed and it took us forever to get across the starting line, but the route was well manned and well marked with plenty of water.  There were tons of spectators and lots of cheering.  Once I hit mile 6 I decided I would take 100 steps when I hit mile 7.  Mile 6 lasted f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  The next sign I saw was mile 9, so I got rejuvenated and didn't take those 100 steps.

I coughed the entire way.  It was awful, but I just kept trucking.  We didn't train for this race, and I had never run this far before.  Wimpy I know!  In the end, we both finished and feasted on beer and BBQ.  I almost felt like I was back in Texas, except for the beautiful running weather!

The people there were amazing.  Everyone was encouraging, from the spectators to the police guards, so the race volunteers.  The spectators would read your names on your bib and should out encouragement, who cares if they called me Stephanie, they still told me I was doing a great job!

I am sore, my feet are covered in blisters, but I succeeded.  I love the distance and am already seeing when I can fit another one in!  I am trying to talk Gunner into a marathon in October 2011 when he gets home.  He won't shake my hand on that deal....yet.

I attended a Women's Military Spouse Conference this weekend on Friday and Saturday.  I met some great people, and even met the woman behind Cowgirl & Combat Boots and without knowing it met another blogger over breakfast, The "D" Word.

I hacked through the entire conference.  I should have gone to the doctor, but I am going to have to go this week.

I met some great people, received some great resources, and enjoyed some time talking to people that don't poop in their pants.  Always a bonus.