Saturday, September 29, 2007

Six feet

What do you do if you have 3 children with bilateral clubfoot? Take them to Dr. Ponseti, and write a web site about the experience.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bugling elk

This is the time of year when the elk in Rocky Mountain National Park put their mating ritual on display. The dominant bulls gather a harem of cows, and then spend lots of time and energy keeping the young upstart bulls from moving in. The park is home to hundreds, probably thousands, of elk which are habituated to humans and not at all afraid of them since they can't be hunted (legally) in the park. The result is quite a good show, despite the crowds. Two years ago we got really lucky and got to watch a 7-point bull lord over a harem of 25 or so cows and nearly as many calves. The bull was about a hundred yards from the trail, and some of the cows as close at 10 yards away. Our luck wasn't quite as good this weekend, but it was still a good show, and we heard lots of bugling. Didn't get any good photos of the elk, but here's a shot of the family at the end of our hike.

Burrito face

We gave Elizabeth a bean burrito for dinner tonight, with a predictable but amusing result.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Ponseti web site

There is a new web site for the Ponseti International Association. According to their estimates, it costs only $100 to treat a child in a developing country using the Ponseti method. Thanks again to my friends and family who donated enough to treat 9 children!

Too early for fall colors

On Saturday, we joined our friends the Desmarteaus (Brian, Marnie, Katelyn, and Ethan) for a short hike and a picnic on 10,000 foot Kenosha pass. A few of the aspen trees are starting to put on their annual autumn spectacle of bright golden leaves, but not too many yet. By next weekend, I'm guessing they'll be in their prime at this elevation, but it will be a few more weeks until they turn at lower elevations.

Almost standing

Elizabeth is almost standing on her own now. She can easily pull herself up and enjoys standing while holding onto something. She'll step sideways around a table or chair, as long as she can hold on. She is still wearing her brace about 18 hours per day, and our doctor has recommended that we spend 5 minutes each day stretching her right ankle. I don't think it hurts her - it may be a bit uncomfortable, but she hates it anyway. Being immobile for 5 minutes may be the worst part.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Second tier amusement parks

Amy and I treated the kids to a 3 day weekend of kid-centric fun. Saturday's destination was Heritage Square, a rather odd jumble of separate attractions, owned by separate companies, anchored by a Victorian theme town. The highlight is the alpine slide, which is a lot of fun, and probably worth the $7 cost. Elizabeth thought zooming down the hill on a sled was the greatest thing ever. Her only disappointment was that the teenager and geezer on the 2 sleds in front of us seemed to be deathly afraid of breaking the 3 mile-per-hour barrier, so we had to wait for several minutes for them to get the hell out of the way so we could get some speed. We also rode the train that circles the place, which was rather lame but mildly enjoyable for the kids.

Sunday was lazy day at home. Andrew played most of the day with the neighbor kids, while mom and dad kept Elizabeth entertained.

Monday began with a 3-mile hike through Roxborough state park. This place has beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and great trails. Well worth the 30 minute drive from home. Our hike included a close encounter with a doe deer, who wandered within a few dozen yards of us as we rested on a bench, and then got spooked and bounced away after a couple of loud snorts in our direction.

Monday evening was the big event Andrew looked forward to all weekend: Lakeside amusement park. On their last weekend of the season, they offer 10-cent ride tickets, and kids' rides are only 1 ticket. That's cheap entertainment folks, even after you pay the $2.50 per person entry fee. It's probably no surprise that this somewhat dilapidated and very dated park doesn't attract the beautiful and well-heeled crowd. In fact, it seems to be a magnet for the obese, people with really bad teeth, and various other oddballs. It's really quite a freak show. My favorite sightings tonight were (1) the trashy-dressed young woman who used her cleavage as a cell phone holder, and (2) the overweight guy with a long red goatee wearing a kilt and an Iron Maiden T-shirt.