Thursday, December 22, 2005

Family Christmas number one

Hello all,

Last week Christie's family flew out here to Seattle to spend an early Christmas with the grand child, Abigael, and her parents. Tom, Pat, and Grandma Myrtle flew from N.C. on Wednesday the 14th and left early on Monday the 19th. The three ladies and one little girl went out and spent lots of time together plundering the stores for the best deals on Christmas gifts. The grandparents and great grandparent did their duty in spoiling the Princess. On Sunday we had "Christmas morning" with present opening by Abigael. Once she got the hang of it she really got into the swing!! Abigael recieved clothes, books, a "Little People" doll house, a table and chairs set, and LOTS of Love! Mom and dad recieved some new sheets, comforters, some clothes, and a new printer!! Thank you so much from all of us! We had a great visit with family we do not get to see very often. It is awesome to see FOUR generations of women together. Here are some pictures from their visit!!

New potty more fun than the doll house

Oh, now I get it, you tear the paper!!

Like this!!

Here ya go little precious Princess, Merry Christmas!!

Four generations of women

Brandon's healing update


So I am healing slowly...VERY SLOWLY! The graft is incorporating and I do have so small amount of new bone growth. But I still have about THREE INCHES of bone to grow!!! I can weight bear up to 50% and I am doing PT with a cycling orriented Physical Therapist. I am also using electro-magnetic pulse stimulation to help regenerate new cell growth (It's called a Bone Growth Stimulator....huh huh he he ha ha huh you said "bone stimulator") for six to twelve weeks it can help growth by up to a 60+% increase over not using it at all!! I can also use the stationary trainer, isometric excercise, and swimming now. BEWARE ALL I WILL BE BACK AND STRONGER THAN BEFORE. Cat 2's & Master A's here I come!! Meanwhile I heal and train on Injured Reserve... For the whole story click here and here

Friday, November 18, 2005

My Name is...


Seems our little girl has a new favorite word (Her first three syllable word). We worked for months to get her to say her name. Finally, she gave in and started calling herself "Aba." Not too bad of a nickname if you ask me. Anytime you asked her name or who she was, she would respond with a confident "Aba!"
Well, this week Brandon took her to spend some playtime with her friend, Maxine, who is just two months older. Maxine is able to say Abigael's full name and apparantly shared the secret with our big girl. Now for the past two days all we've heard is "A-bi-gael! A-bi-gael!" It is sooo cute!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

18 Months Old!

Happy 18th Month Birthday Abigael!!!

I can't believe our baby girl is one and a half now. In some ways it feels like it has just flown by and in others like she's always been a part of our lives. We celebrated her big day by going to the doctor for her regular checkup and a flu shot... "Thanks Mom and Dad..." She's absolutely healthy and the doctor couldn't be happier with her progress. She's meeting or exceeding all the developmental milestones and continues to grow like a weed. Measurements for this checkup:
Height/Length - 31 inches (40th percentile)
Weight - 25 lbs 1.5 oz (60th percentile)

Happy Halloween

Here's our little Fairy Princess getting ready for her first trick or treating excursion...Mommy even made the dress with help from her mommy ;)

We were worried about the rain but good fortune smiled down on us and the weather cleared up for a couple of hours.

The Payoff!!!...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Annette Bednosky, Ultra Runner and Friend


This post is a tribute to our good friend Annette Bednosky. WOW is about all I can muster when I think about Annette. She just won the 2005 Western States 100 women's overall, here is a blog interview of Annette!! She has been running ever since I met her at Appalachian State University where she was one of my college instructors within the Recreation Management Department. Her husband and partner in life, George Santucci, is one of my best friends, my climbing partner, and mountain biking buddy. Annette and George live in Jefferson, North Carolina which is just north of Boone, North Carolina where Christie and I went to college. I just wanted to say THANK YOU ANNETTE, you have been and will continue to be, throughout my broken leg recovery, an inspiration to me as an athlete! YOU ARE A BAD ASS, KEEP ON KICKN' BUTT!!

GEORGE SANTUCCI mountian biking at Mt. St. Helens

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Family update and Track Season Pictures

Hi all, I am SLOWLY healing up only 6 to 9 months to go. Basically it just sucks! Oh well, Thank you Moms and Dads for coming up here to Seattle to help spoil and take care of Abigael and myself. We love you all very much. These are pictures of me from the 2005 track racing season at Marymoor (Redmond, WA), Alpenrose (Portland, OR), and Kisenna (Queens, New York) velodromes. Season results are HERE. I finished 4th in the Master B's and 14th in the Cat 3's, even after missing the entire last month of racing. I was hoping to upgrade to Master A's and Cat 2 next season Oh well! The team is growing for the 2006 season and we picked up a new co-title sponsor AVASeattle Real Estate to form the new AVA/Counterbalance Bicycles racing team, stay tuned for awesome results to follow. Abigael turns 18 months on the 15th of Nov! Christie's birthday was the 7th she turned 23 ten and we had a nice dinner out at Mulleady's Irish Pub & Restaurant it was quiet and fun for the whole family.

Marymoor Velodrome, Seattle, WA

Marymoor again

Alpenrose Velodrome, Portland, OR
US National Elite Qualifier in Match Sprint 8th place outta 9!

Marymoor, Keiren race

Kissena, Queens, NY City, NY
Match Sprint during the 2005 CMWC

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

North Bend Photos

Here are some photos from when the King 20 Skyway Fire Department recruits went to the North Bend Fire Training Academy for their final weekend of live fire training. We, as a class, completed four training modules at North Bend Burn to Learn, Search and Rescue, Flammable Liquids, and Multi Company Operations. The first two were completed the first weekend we went to North Bend back in June and the final two were completed in July. All of the recruits passed the four modules and we were very whooped after each weekend was over, but EXTREMLY EXCITED to begin pulling shift in anticipation of our first real LIVE fire call.

A little late but oh well... Skyway Fire Department Recruit Graduation

Here are some pictures from Brandon's King County Fire District 20 recruit graduation on Saturday July 23, 2005. We had a small ceremony for freinds and family that lasted about 45 minutes to an hour. The instructors and the Chief spoke a few words and then the new recruits were given a certificate, and a new helmet, and their new King 20 badge. Then we took photos with the Chief and photos in front of the engine. After this ceremony the new recruits begin six months of probation inwhich they must complete certian tasks inorder to be sworn as full fledged firefighters in January. I unfortunatly was injured shortly there after and I am now on a medical leave of absence which I hopefully will be able to come back to light duty and start pulling shift (every sixth night) in January or so, but that will be up to the doctors.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tea Time!

Is this too cute or what?

Now if we can just figure out what language she's using...

Yep, you guessed it, we officially have a talker on our hands. It's like the little switch in her head (or mouth) finally turned on and Abigael is just churning out the words. It seems to be a combination between Pig Latin and some Slavic language. But thankfully Brandon and I have become "those" parents, you know what I'm talking about...
Before kids:

Adult: OK honey, that's really interesting (translation: "I have no idea but I want to be supportive.)

After kids:
Adult: Thank you for telling me that the "baby gave the ball to the dog and you enjoy playing with him."

Seriously, she has developed quite the vocabulary in the last couple of weeks. Some of her more regular words are:

DaDa or Daddy (a lot)
MaMa (occasionally)
Baby (pronounced Ba-bay)
Thank you (tank ou) (complete with sign language)
Dog/Zak (da/za/do-gay)
Cat/Matt (ca)
Ball (ba)
Eye (ey)
Nose (no)
No (unh-uh) (shakes head emphatically and clamps her lips together with a little grin...stinker)
Bye-Bye (bi-bi)
Hi (hey)

She's said several other words but there not quite as predictable yet. She's also very stubborn (big surprise) about talking. As soon as you ask her to say something, about all you can get out of her is "Unh-uh."

It's absolutely incredible how much she has progressed and developed in such a short time. The leaps and bounds are almost magical. Abigael is such a joy in our lives. While we can't wait to see what kind of person she becomes as she grows up, we're willing to wait and enjoy every second being with her today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Our Wonderful Family!

We just want to take a few minutes to thank and tell our parents and extended family how much we appreciate and love them. All of the help and support they have given us during the past six weeks has been such a blessing! There have so many that have given their time, assistance, and support, but we'd like to publicly tell a few how much they've meant during this trying time.
Brandon's mom, Kathie, was here visiting when Brandon was in his accident. Although she had been scheduled to leave the next day, she stayed another two weeks to help care for Brandon and Abigael while Christie worked. (I'm sure she didn't mind the extra time with her granddaughter.) Thank you so much, Mom, for everything!!! Brandon's dad, Cam, also spent a week and a half in Seattle. The chores he did around the apartment building for Brandon were above and beyond, Thank you!
Aunt Mary and Uncle Wayne have been an invaluable support team for us. From taking care of Zak to taking care of Abigael to never-ending moral support, they've been another blessing in our lives.
Wendi Chocholak and her boyfriend, Sam, have been so awesome! They've given up almost every Wednesday since Brandon's accident to take care of Abigael. Baby girl has had several adventures with them: picking blackberries, viewing real estate, attending an auction, and taking walks around Greenlake. Thank you too!
And this past week, Christie's mom, Pat, came to visit for a week, giving Brandon a little more time to recuperate before having to go it alone this week. They had a great time together and wonderful visit.
Over the last six weeks many friends and family have offered their support, help, and prayers. We have you in our thoughts and hearts and love you all!!

More teeth...

Abigael is now working on tooth number 8!! A couple of weeks ago her 7th tooth started coming through (3rd tooth on the bottom.) Then last night while trying to fish some food out of her mouth that she had been storing for a little while (pea skins...yuck), I felt something sharp on her top gums. It looks like her first molar is finally making an appearance. Rib-eye steak here we come!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Bike... OUCH!!!

Well here it is hopefully I will be able to get replacement cost for this bike as it is totaled!! Thank God for renter insurance!!! Total replacement value $1997.00!!!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dr.s Appt.

Well hello everyone,

The Dr.s appointment went very well. The Dr.s decided that my stitches should come out, yeah!!!! I have another appointment in three weeks on the 21st at that time I will have a series of x-rays to determine how much it has healed. The Dr.s will also schedule my bone graph surgery at that time, for probably the second week in October. Just in time for my birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.... The Docs say that I am healing very fast and my recovery will be very fast. I am now in a walking boot cast and I am allowed to put about 10% of my weight on my injured leg. I am still exercising my injured leg daily. I am also off of the hardcore narcotic painkillers!!! I have been stepped down to another pain med much less addictive. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts. The family is doing well. We can't wait for Christie's mom to come and visit, as well as Julian Chocholak! Friday night is also the last night of track racing at the Velodrome!!! Team Counterbalance teammates Jeff Middlewood and Todd McMeen will be racing on their brand new DeSalvo track frames!!!! Jeff almost has enough points to move up to Cat 3 with me next season. I will also post pictures of the bicycle I was riding when I got hit!!

Wow what a beautiful frame and one hell of a handsome man!!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Pretty fingers and toes

Abigael's first manicure!

Our little model.....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pictures of the golden child.... Abigael!!

Hey everyone! Here are a few pictures of our most irresistable little girl on the face of the earth!! She has been so much fun watching her grow and learn everyday she learns something new!! She has spent some real quality time with Grandma and Grandpa Lockwood over the past few weeks. She is still not fully talking yet, she repeats a few words like hi, dada, mama, and up, but she sure wants to speak!!!

More surgery ahead...



Hello everyone!! We just went to the Ortho clinic Wednesday the 17th. The doctors say the wounds look great and it is healing up well. The main wound (where the bone ripped through the skin!!) on the front of my shin was still a little weepy so they did not remove the steri-strips or the stitches, oh well. I should be able to start putting toe touch pressure in about 4 to 6 weeks!! Also I should be able to be up moving around and taking care of Abigael in about 2 months or so!!! I also found out, from one of the doctors that actually participated in my surgery, that because it was such a bad break that they had to remove a large portion of bone from my tibia about 6 to 7 cm of bone. This means that I have to have another surgery in 6 to 8 weeks to graph some bone into the empty area on my tibia. There are two ways to approach this graph. The old tried and true method is called an Iliac Crest bone graph where they take bone from your hip and place it at the graph site. This means two painful surgery sites and my Doc would rather not do this surgery. She wants to use a newer less invasive surgery where they use some of my own bone, some donor bone, some good medicines, and a protein mix and make a "slurry" that they will place at the graph site eliminating the need for two surgical sites. I agree and would rather have the newer second surgery. The chance for rejection is the same for either surgery. So I have that going for me....
Meanwhile all is well on the home front!! Brandon's folks have been a blessing and are still here helping out!! When they leave Brandon's aunt Mary will come over and help out while their kitchen is being remodeled. Then around labor day weekend Christie's mom will be coming out to visit and help out and that should take us up to the point where Brandon can start taking care of Abigael again, yeah!!!! Keep on praying and we'll make it through. The only bad news the docs gave me was that I have to put any and or all firefighting (tests, drill, or pulling shifts) on hold for six months maybe even a whole year because of the severity of the break and time it will take the bone to heal.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Broken bones and rallying families!

So I guess by now almost everyone has heard what happened to Brandon a week ago Friday. If you haven't, I am not sure what rock you have been hiding under. So here it is, written out so everyone can read it, and Brandon does not have to tell the story again!! On August 5th, Brandon, Christie, and two of their close friends, Sean Wellnitz and Kyle Snow, all rode their bicycles out to West Seattle for an annual gathering and ride called the "Dead Baby Bicycle Downhill". While everyone in the group was going to ride the downhill, along with the other 500 people present, Brandon decided to ride the Messenger Challenge. This is a multiple point to point, semi-competitive ride with about 20 other cyclists. The Messenger Challenge kicked off shortly after 7pm with all riders heading south. After the Messenger Challenge participants left on their quest, the Downhill started and ended with a party at "the Big Building" at Spokane and East Marginal. Brandon was heading south on 40th Ave Southwest and was fast approaching Southwest Morgan St. with Brian from KNR in tow. Brian called out for Brandon to make sure the intersection was clear. Brandon started slowing his momentum down to look and clear the intersection. Brandon looked left (east) down 40th and saw that it was clear (no cars), but that there was a slight rise in the road. Then Brandon looked right and saw that there was an Explorer a little over a half a block away, plenty of time to scoot through the intersection. While Brandon started to pedal back up to speed (after slowing down to check for traffic) he kept his eyes on what he perceived as the most immediate threat, the Explorer, and not looking back to the left because "It was clear!!". Brandon started through the intersection and when he was just about all the way into the first lane of traffic, looking right, he got hit by a red car (It WAS a red Mazda Miata)!! At this point Brandon remembers most of the details but some things might be fuzzy. The shock and suprize of, "Where did that come from!" hit him first as he was cartwheeling through the air and quickly followed by "DAMN I just got hit!" Brandon is not sure what kind of damage happened to the car. Brandon got hit in his left lower leg sending him into one and a half cartwheels over the vehicle and sending his bike in the opposite direction onto the SW corner sidewalk. Brandon is pretty sure he landed on his feet, it is really the only way to explain the fact that he has no other injuries except some scrapes to his right knee, no damage to his helmet, head, neck or spine. Brandon looks down and sees his left foot out at "a not right angle!!" reaches down with both hands to stablize it, sees that it has broken through the skin, and falls to the ground. Brandon lets out a few loud yells and moans as the injury is immediately painful. Brandon can remember wanting to lie down on his back so the FFs and Medics would not yell at him about his c-spine but everytime he tried to do that his foot would just flop over to the left so he just laid down on his left side. Suprisingly enough Brandon then reached up to his Nextel radio, dialed up his wife Christie and beeped her. Brandon said in a very calm voice; "Christie, I just got hit by a car, I have broken my leg and I am going to the hospital." (You may not believe it, but he was cool as a cucumber when he called. I kept waiting for him to say "I think my leg is broken.", as quoted from the Austin Power's movie.) By this time ,many bystanders and the vehicle drivers have stopped and 911 had been called. Brandon took off his messenger bag and hip pack. Soon the Seattle Fire Dept engine arrived on scene.

8/5/2005 7:36:42 PM F050074651 1

M32 Sw Morgan St / 40th Av Sw Medic Response
8/5/2005 7:36:07 PM F050074651 1

E37 Sw Morgan St / 40th Av Sw Medic Response
Engine 37 and Medic 32 arrived and good old Brandon started to give the FireFighter's his own SAMPLE short report. The FF's asked how I knew all of that info and "why do I think my c-spine is clear?" Brandon told them that he was an EMT and a volunteer FF with King 20 in Skyway, WA. The Medics started a 16g IV on Brandon's right AC (started an IV on his right arm) and pushed Morphine and Valium, WHAT A FEELING!!! They cut off all of Brandon's clothes (which he was not entirely happy about) and were amazed they did not find any other injuries. The FF's then backboarded Brandon and put his leg in a vacuum splint to stabilize it. Brandon does remember once, onscene before the leg was realigned, someone saying that his foot had no pulse. But it was quickly recovered before being splinted. Brandon was put in the Medic rig and a cop came to talk to Brandon. He said that he was not going to find fault and I was one lucky guy and I had enough to worry about with healing up. He was a very nice guy!! By the time Brandon got to the ER at Harborview he was loopy and in good spirits. He went through all the usual at the "Zoo" including CT scan, X-ray, and laying on the backboard for over three hours. The Docs cleared Brandon's c-spine and his body and the ortho docs said that he had a compound (multiple) open (through the skin) Tib-Fib (Tibia and Fibula) fracture. The important part was that they could put his leg back together again. Brandon wanted surgery ASAP! The Docs were very busy that night, but they said they would take me to surgery that night. Christie and Brandon's Mom arrived at the ER at some point and were a huge help to Brandon. Christie was ans still is the most important "solid as a rock" figure during this whole ordeal. She has had help but she has also had to deal with our car getting stolen from the party Friday night and then recovered only to find it in the impound yard after three days, a very energetic 15 month old girl, work five days a week, and helping Brandon in his gimped state. CHRISTIE IS AWESOME! Brandon was taken to the seventh floor (admitted to the hospital) room 711 bed one sometime late in the night. Christie even slept on the floor of the waiting room that night waiting for Brandon to goto surgery!!! Around 5am it was time for surgery. The surgery took about three and a half hours! Boy oh boy! Brandon was sore after his surgery. They had Brandon laying on his right butt check for three and a half hours and somehow his tongue received a huge sore (probably due to the ET tube??) , but his leg pain was relative to the injury and surgery received. The surgeons drilled out Brandon's Tibia and inserted a Stainless Steel rod to hold it together. (I hope to have copies of my before and after x-rays soon!!) Then they opened up the left outer side from Brandon's ankle knob to the bottom of his tattoo to insert the SS plate that they used to put the parts of his Fibula back together again. They packed it full of antibiotics and left it open (unstitched), but covered and splinted the leg. Then Brandon laid in the Hospital and the "Families" came to his and his family's rescue!!! Brandon's dad flew back from Alaska (he was done) on Saturday and his mom, aunt, and uncle all helped to care for him and his wife and daughter. Pretty soon the word started to get out and over the weekend the fire department started to overflow with support. The same on a smaller scale with the messenger family. On Monday morning, Brandon was taken back in to surgery to clean the open wounds, remove the antibiotic capsules and stitch the wounds closed for good if it looked like there was no infection. After about one and a half hours in general surgery, they said all looked great and they would be starting PT (Physical Therapy) on Tuesday. The pain is intense at times but the drugs help! They started PT with a walker on Tuesday and Brandon walked about 10 feet total!! On Wednesday, they had Brandon back up, this time on crutches and he walked all the way around the unit and up and down some mock stairs. On Wednesday, the hospital gave Brandon an ultimatum, either have a ride ready to pick you up at 1:30pm or go wait in the waiting room??!! So, prayerfully Brandon's mom was on the way and one of Brandon's FF buddies , Brett Omri and family, helped to get Brandon out of the "Zoo". One of Brandon's Messenger friends, Bryce Weaver, met them at his apartment to help him down the stairs. Together Brett and Bryce helped his mom get Brandon settled on the couch. Ever since Brandon has been getting better and healing up. Brandon's parents spent the week here helping like crazy and Abigael is handling the whole situation quite well. As is Christie she has been the BEST throughout all of this. Brandon says it is pay back for when Christie broke her foot/leg last fall, but he is only joking around.