Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day trip to Mirror Lake

Today we went out to Mirror Lake where Dan's company was having his company picnic. We got fortunate enough that the weather stayed fairly nice the whole day. It was a bit overcast when we got there but the sun came out within an hour or so and things warmed up a bit. It was a nice time getting to meet more of Dan's co-workers and their families. Two of the ladies that work in the office as clerical support were in charge of putting together some fun games that we got to participate in. The first one was a treasure hunt around the park area. It was total chaos as Dan pushed me along the grass and gravel really fast so we could keep up with our teammates. He wanted to make sure I participated though and was great about keeping me involved. The second event that we, the wives that is, made our husbands do was the obstacle course that they had set up. Dan and his two friends didn't want to do it because they were afraid of looking silly in the "tech" suits (aka garbage bags) so they decided to let that go as part of the rules. Dan, Buddy and John all got out there and "ran" the obstacle course mainly out of defiance I think. It was pretty funny to watch. The third event was the smashing of old computer equipment that three employees whose names were drawn got to do. Dan was one of the three and had alot of fun smashing up old printers and copiers to find the hidden gift certificate that he found. They also had water balloons for the kids as well as a pinata. It was a great day and a good chance to take lots of pictures of an area I haven't really ever been to before. Dan's company is really good to their employees and we ended up getting several gift cards as prizes.

I'll upload pictures tomorrow as right now it is very late and I'm pretty tired. So check back here in a day or two for more posts and pictures. I'm actually post editing our blog as I really haven't had the time in the last couple of weeks to post our major activities.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Update on my dad

I wanted to give everyone an update on how dad is doing. I haven't had the chance to get on in the last couple of days...sorry!

Tuesday we went up to the hospital to see him after Dan and I got off work. We took him a strawberry shake which he loved! He said he hadn't been too hungry, just really thirsty. He looked much better on Tuesday compared to Monday. They took his I.V out and had started getting him up for PT. He had managed to get up about 3 times on Tuesday. He said his butt muscles hurt more than anything else! He seems to be in good spirits and is getting back to is awnry self!

Yesterday I talked to mom on the phone and she said that he was still doing good. He has to watch his pain level though and not let it get out of control. He apparently finally asked for his pain medicine at about 5 in the morning and then felt better. He'd been up again doing his PT and had managed to make it around the nurse's station. Mom was getting all the equipment he will need at home and as soon as the lift chair gets delivered Dan will go over and help get it setup. Last night was Dan and I's 3rd anniversary so we went out to dinner since we expected dad to not be released until Thursday. However, mom called right as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant and said he had been discharged already and she had just gotten him home. We had planned to take him home in the van, but she said she might as well start learning how to get him in and out of their vehicle. She said he was able to walk into the house with his walker okay. We stopped by on our way home to see him and take mom something to drink. He was sitting up and had a friend over and was doing good. He is looking really good and his color is also back to normal. He will start his home health in the next few days which will include in-home PT for a couple of weeks and then will start out-patient therapy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Today was our 3rd wedding anniversary. Since we couldn't really take time off right now to go anywhere as we have the last two years and seems to be our anniversary tradition, we kept it fairly low-key. Next weekend we will be going to Fairbanks so it will be like a belated anniversary trip. Dan got me the patio bench I had been wanting to complete the front garden. He also got me a gift card to the spa I go to which I know will come in handy soon. I couldn't decide what to get him this year that was within my budget so I just opted for the easy way out and got him a gift card to Best Buy. He liked it as it will get him exactly what he wants. We went to dinner at Kinley's which is a nice new restaurant in town. We thought we would be okay having the night to ourselves as mom said dad would be in the hospital for one more night. However, right as we were leaving the restaurant mom called on my cell to say she had just brought him home. The doctor said he was doing so well that there wasn't any point in keeping him there when he could go sleep more comfortably in his own bed. So we stopped by to see him on our way home. He is doing very well but tires out easily still. He has his sense of humor back for sure and is really glad to be home.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dad's hip surgery

I don't know how many of you may know this, but my dad has been suffering from really bad hip pain for some time now. We finally got him to schedule his hip operation which was today. I took the day off to be there at the hospital with him and my mom so she would have some support while waiting for him to get done with his surgery. It was quite a different experience to see your own parent in a role that you've usually held. Walking into the pre-op room and seeing him all ready for his surgery definitely hit me harder than I thought it would. I am so used to seeing my dad being the big strong stubborn type that to see him laying there in such a vulnerable state was very hard. I knew I had to be strong though for my mom and for him. My dad just has never been sick before so this was quite a new experience.

The surgery went well, but longer than we expected. When the surgery was finally over, the doctor told us that dad's hip was "pretty nasty". It was much worse than he expected it would be. The bone was very soft. Usually for someone my dad's size and age, the bone should be much harder than it was. Mom and I went upstairs and waited for him to get up to his room. They were able to do a spinal anesthetic rather than a full general so it was suppose to be easier on his system. They also gave him a good sedative that would essentially make him take a nice nap during the surgery. Despite all that though, he still started coming out of the surgery right as they were finishing up so he did sense some of the surgery. He didn't necessarily feel pain or anything, but felt the pressure of them pounding in the new titanium parts. He also got pretty nauseated too after getting to his room. Mom and I stayed with him for just a little while and then went back to the lounge area because it looked like he was falling back asleep. About 45 minutes later I told mom that she might want to go check on him and sit with him for a bit. The rooms are so small at Alaska regional that we really could only do one person at a time in his room. She came back out the the lounge about 15 minutes after that and said he had gotten sick while we were out in the lounge and had vomitted all over his gown and pillow. He'd used his call button to let the nurses know he was sick but they didn't come at all. We were so upset that they let that happen. I wanted to go chew them up and down, but mom said they had gotten it all taken care of. I know if it happens again I will definitely be callling the CEO of the hospital who I happen to know because that is just totally unacceptable.

Dan got to the hospital about 6 after he got off work. By then dad's nausea had calmed down and he was pretty much asleep so we went and got mom some dinner. When we got back he was still pretty much asleep as he had started using his morphine more since the spinal block was wearing off. So we said good-bye for the evening so he could sleep. I'll go back up to the hospital tomorrow after I get off work and post how he is doing.

Thanks for keeping him in your prayers.

Happy Summer Solstice

This past weekend was Summer Solstice which is the longest day of the year. This is especially true here in Alaska where it means that the sun either never sets or only sets for a few hours depending on where exactly you are in the state. Yesterday was very busy. We've been trying to gather things up for another garage sale and just get rid as much junk as we could. This weekend we finally got around to having it. Friday we didn't get to bed until almost 2 in the morning because we were busy setting up for it. We got done setting up about 10:30 at night, but we wanted to get the signs up that night because the weather report turned on us and it looked like it might rain on Saturday. Putting up the signs was fun. I just rode around with Dan and he got out to put them up. We had to run back to the house and grab some more signs. As soon as Dan ran inside, something caught my eye and I turned around and there was a moose running down our street! It's a common site actually but they are usually just strolling down the street. This little guy was booking it though to somewhere! It was a site to see for sure. I love living in Alaska!

The garage sale went pretty well. It did end up raining in the morning, but we still got some die hard people that came out. We made enough money for part of our trip to Fairbanks that we are taking over the 4th of July. Then we took a drive toward the inlet near the ocean to watch the sunset. I got some pretty good photos. Even though the mosquitoes were pretty bad, Dan indulged me long enough to take a picture. The young man that took it for us should have let us know we needed to move over a bit so that the sun wasn't shining directly on us still!

We left that area and stopped for gas. Since the sun was still setting or had set but the colors were still out and very cool looking, we drove up to the parking area of Flat top for a better view of the city at night. We walked all the way up to the one major lookout spot and got some pretty neat pictures. For those that live here or have visited, you know what an awesome site this is. It's even more spectacular at night. It's one of the best places to see the whole city skyline and mountain range. Then we started walking back down and stopped at another little spot on the way down to take another look. There was another young couple that we stopped to and wish Happy Solstice to (it's a big day up here!) As we were watching the view, that's when we noticed Mt. McKinley was out and visible. It's a rare site to see it so clear from Anchorage and I have never gotten to see it at night. This was Dan's first time seeing it too, but I can't wait for him to see it more up close when we drive up to Fairbanks (maybe then he'll see what all the fuss is about) I got some pretty descent pictures, but wish I would have grabbed my telephoto lens from the car.

So that's more about our weekend and life in Alaska! Happy Belated Solstice everyone!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our New Blog

Well I wanted to try out blogspot as a new blog site to see if it was any better and easier to use. We still have our other site at so I am not sure which one I'll keep around since I do the majority of the blogging for the family. Please let me know which one you like better!

This past week and weekend were quite busy. I started back to work on Tuesday on a part-time basis. I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday doing pretty much nothing but going through e-mails I missed out on for the last three months! Friday I had therapy appointments all day long so I didn't go into work. Friday night mom and I went to the Elton John concert here in Anchorage. It was undoubtedly one of the top three concerts I have ever been to in my life! He truly is an amazing and gifted performer! For about half of his songs there was an accompanying laser light show used for the backdrop that was just amazing to watch! He sang and played for nearly 3 hours straight! The concert started at 8 and we didn't leave till after 11 p.m! I highly recommend his concert to anyone and everyone that can go to one.

Saturday I slept in some after getting home so late from the concert. After finally managing to get up and showered, I got ready for the jewelry party I was hosting that evening. After Dan got back from Costco we ran to Wally World to get a few things we needed and take some medicine to a friend of his who was sick with a migraine. We got back to the house and finished cleaning the house up. I got done with my filing project with an hour to spare! The jewelry party went great! I LOVE Lia Sophia jewelry and if I can swing it, might get into selling it part-time. Dan and I watched Iron Man afterwards. It was another long night and I didn't get to sleep until almost 1 in the morning! Today I didn't even get up until noon....yep, decided to be lazy! I watched a good bit about Niagra Falls on the Travel channel and now I want to go there even more than ever! Dan tried his hand at making some chocolate fondue with some extra stuff we had left over from last night. It turned out okay I thought. Then we went down and had hamburgers with mom and dad for dinner. We took our Wii down there so we could all play the new trivia game we just downloaded. It was lots of fun. All in all, it was a great weekend. I love summers in Alaska and especially now that Dan doesn't have to work on the weekends for most of the time we can actually get out and enjoy doing things on the weekend!