Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pot o' Gold

Apparently, the pot of gold was only 5 houses down from us this whole time! :-)

An early evening rainbow in Flagstaff during the Monsoon season.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hen and Chicks

A black and white photo of the hen and chicks plant that we recently planted in our front garden. I loved the contrast of leaves and figured it would make a good b/w photo. I think I was right! :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

April Snowfall

I guess these a little late in the coming, but these photos are from a late, late April snowfall (April 29th) here in Flagstaff. Early and mid-April had been beautiful, getting into the 60's during the day. My wife had already planted her annual hanging baskets and we had put out the deck furniture, then the snow came. None of it stayed for very long, but it was still weird to see it coming down this late in the Spring.....at least at this latitude.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Torch Lily

A macro shot of one of my favorite plants in our garden, the Torch Lily (aka Red Hot Poker). They bloom between the beginning of June and mid July here in Flagstaff.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Schultz Pass Fire

The Schultz Pass Fire as seen from FMC

The biggest news around Flagstaff in the last couple of weeks is the Schultz Pass wildfire. It started on June 20th and continued to burn for about 2 weeks. By now (July 7th) it's been completely contained by the hard work of over 800 fire fighters, but it ultimately burned over 13,000 acres of some of the most beautiful and heavily utilized national forest in Northern Arizona. The above photo was taken from the back parking lot at Flagstaff Medical Center on the day the fire started. I apologize for the quality, I took the photo with my cell phone. Below is a better quality image of the smoke plume as seen from my son's bedroom in our home. My wife took it.

The Schultz Pass Fire as seen from our house

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hiatus

Wow, quite the hiatus I took. But bare with me, I have a good reason.

Five days after my last post, my son, Dane Alexander, was born. This was pretty unexpected since he was not due until Feb 24th, but arrived on Feb. 14th (Yes, that's Valentine's Day!). My wife did great and the delivery went smoothly. However, we were shocked to learn only minutes after his birth, that our son Dane has Down Syndrome. We never had any genetic testing done during the pregnancy, as we were not technically "at risk" for a Downs baby, and nothing about my wife's pregnancy suggested that anything was atypical about the baby inside her.

We were reeling after his birth. We knew little to nothing about Down Syndrome and didn't know what it meant for the future of our son or our family. To make matters worse, about 12 hrs after he was born, he was admitted to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). With my wife and I both working in healthcare, we knew the gravity of what that meant. Dane was having trouble keeping his blood oxygen level up and refused to feed from my wife or a bottle. We found out later that this was caused by a number of things, most of which were not related to the DS and could happen to any baby born at 7000 ft above sea level. Over the next several days, Dane displayed problems eating, most of which were a result of his low blood O2, which made him extremely fatigued and too weak to eat the amount of calories he needed.

Without going into too many details of his condition while in the NICU, he was neither the healthiest nor the least healthy baby in the unit. After about 10 days he promptly "turned a corner", decided he wanted to eat and most of the problems keeping him in the NICU disappeared and we were able to bring him home 17 days after we was born. He was still on oxygen for a couple weeks after that, but each day he got stronger and more active.

The above photo is one of my favorites of him. My wife took it, so I can't take credit, but I wanted to share it with you. He is now about 4.5 months old and doing GREAT! He is small for his age, but when measured on an adjusted DS growth chart, he is doing well.

So this is why it's been so long since I have posted a photo. I hope to get back to posting regularly again. It is summer in Flagstaff right now, and the land is beautiful. I may not post every day as the title of the blog suggests, but I will do my best to post as frequently as I can. I realize I have probably lost most of the my regular visitors, but for those of you who find your way back here (or arrive for the first time), I hope you will be patient and check back from time to time to see how my blog is going. Thanks so much and I hope everyone is having a great summer.