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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garden Rolling

Compare these photos of the garden to those taken just shy of three weeks ago. The change is amazing. The potatos are taller than they have been since 1999 (when we also got a lot of rain - guess potatos like water). We are eating greens out of the garden practically every night. Based on past experience the garden is in 'peak' phase. I have kept up with the weeds and all looks good. This will be followed by 'lush' phase when the peas generally fall over and the weeds get a little out of hand. It will begin to look more like a jungle. This Sunday I hope to be eating fresh beets, new potatos and a salad along with liver and onions (and of course bacon) with the season's first deer liver. My favorite meal of the year. It marks the beginning of Fall. Patrick

Monday, July 30, 2007

Home safe and sound

After arriving home I realized how sleep deprived I was and have been sleeping a ton!! My oh my. Photos are of Andie and Stuey on the ferry, Andie as the baby whisperer and Cathy with Stuart. Andie learned so much about babies on this trip, as she really hadn't babysat much before this. She learned how to put stuey to sleep by walking around with him and singing to him. Every time I turned around he was asleep in her arms. I'd say, "Andie, can you work your Andie magic on him?" and she'd get him to sleep!!


Mainland Road Trip Photos

The kiddos, Andie and myself arrived back on Friday, in one piece-thank heavens! The trip continued from Homer as we drove to Seward...a 3.5 hour drive which took us 6 hours. This was due to a Fred Meyers stop and lots of stopping for Stuart. He HATED the car seat with a passion. Poor Andie had to take some Ibuprofen to get rid of her headache. He screamed non strop for most of all the driving. I would stop the car every half hour, soothe him, feed him then back on the road we went.

We were thrilled to arrive in Homer where Julie and Ray have a cute B & B attached to their house. We stayed there and Julie prepared a meal of Halibut, salad and asparagus. (see photo of Julie, myself, Stuart and Lars).
After the kiddos were in bed, Andie and I took a hot tub, which overlooked the forest behind their house. Just LOVELY and so relaxing. Andie was in hot tub heaven. She is a water girl!!

The next day we went to the Seward Sea Life Center-quite a breathtaking place. So well done with fantastic exhibits-including Sea Lions, fish, birds. The center dout es a lot of animal rehab as well. At some point I'd like to return without kiddos. Most of the time was spent chasing Nora around as she pushed Stuart in the stroller. She was quite preoccupied with Stuart and the stroller. (see photo)

Julie and I also went for a brief hike up the Lost Lakes trail-where Julie runs-a gorgeous trail up a mountain.

The next day we headed out to Whittier early on so we could make the one way tunnel to Whittier in the car. It is a tunnel which used to only be for rail travel, but several years ago it was converted to allow vehicles one way. Every half hour it switches directions-all done by computer. Very cool. And long. I believe its the longest car tunnel in North America.

The Kennicott awaited us (see top photo) as well as a 24 hour ferry ride. We had a 4 berth cabin with a bathroom in it which made all the difference in the world!! Lots of room to move about. Between meals, running after Nora on the boat and going to bed early, the time passed quickly. And we all slept quite well-believe it or not!!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Com Arch Week 2

Well the second week of Community Archaeology is in the books. And it was a wet one! We actually only managed to dig on Monday and Friday. The rest of the week it was monsoon season in Kodiak (rained almost 6 inches in 3 days) and we spent the days in the museum lab cleaning artifacts and doing odd jobs. I threatenned that if we ran out of work somebody could always manicure Roxy the dog's nails and clean her teeth (I think I had Dianne in mind for this job). But it never did get that desperate, and Karen even found artifact of the day on wednesday while sorting through a drawer of 'Misc. Worked Wood' from the Karluk One site. She found a misidentified wooden harpoon head that would otherwise have never seen the light of day (the misc worked wood drawers are basically full of whittled sticks and rarely looked into).

And the two days we did get to dig were very productive! If you compare the top of L3 pan photo from last week with the one I took today you will see just how much dirt we moved. In the main block, Don found a hearth in what I think is a smoke processing structure while Lauren and Rose uncovered a 6000 year-old, red ochre smeared tent floor. We also discovered that the site is far larger than we thought. Chase crossed the driveway that leads to the KISA trailer and found that the site extends to the top of the mound and the ridge over there too. He even found a nice bayonet in one of his test pits (top photo). All and All a most productive week.

In the other photos - In the 3rd from top Milo, Mackenzie, and Chase excavate the newly discovered part of the site at 'Block E' across the trailer driveway. In the 4rth from top Rose uncovers 'OS18' the 6 or 7000 year-old ochre smeared surface. Finally in the bottom photo Jenny and Alicia plug away removing L3 mixed ash deposits looking for the elusive L3B. Patrick

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chocolate Woes, Monopoly, HOT Sauna Fire Alarm

An action packed day here in Homer!

The last 2 nights, Andie and I played a game of Monopoly-SO FUN! She won big time. She started putting up hotels and it was all downhill from there. It took probably 3 hours to complete the game. I forgot all the rules-with mortaging property, going to jail (losing 3 turns), the iron and shoe game pieces....Andie is a seasoned Monopoly player so she got me right up to speed.

I forgot to mention that yesterday Cathy showed Nora the lilac bush outside and she taught Nora how to smell the lilacs. Then when we went to Cosmic Kitchen, there were fake flowers on the table. Nora pointed to them, we took one out and she smelled it. I think she was disappointed that they didn't smell at all!! Its so fun to watch Nora learn all of these little "people skills."

I've had to give up chocolate-due to Stuey burping up HORRIBLY when I eat it. I'll slowly phase it back in, but the past 2 days have been much better without me eating chocolate. One day when I was eating lots of chocolate chip cookies, I had to change my shirt 5 times he had burped up so much. Ugghhh...yuck!

Tonight we took a sauna here at the house-I think we got it up to 180 degrees. It was so hot we couldn't even put our heads up into the steam. We filled up the adjacent jacuzzi tub and sat in that a couple of times to cool off. After we were done and cleaning up, the fire alarm in the hall way went off and neither kiddo went off. I was amazed! I guess setting the fire alarm off means it got fairly hot in the sauna! The thermometer stopped at 160 degrees but I think it got a good 20 degrees above that. It was so relaxing and I think I'll sleep well tonight!

Tomorrow we head to Seward to see Julie, Ray and Lars. More from there!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rainy Sunday

Rainy day here in Homer, but had fun nonetheless! The morning was a lazy one and we attempted to go swimming this afternoon, but the kiddos were just too tired. So Andie and I opted to grab drinks from the coffee shop and do a driving tour while Stuey slept in the back and Nora chewed on her straw. This evening Cathy and Mike went to a fundraising barbeque and the rest of us stayed behind, finished off leftovers, watched a Sesame street video from the library and cleaned a bit. Very relaxing.

Andie really wanted to have Starvin Marvin's pizza, as Jay Barrett had recommended it to her, so we ordered pizza for her as a second dinner (to fill up that hollow leg of hers....). Canadian Bacon and pineapple pizza made Andie quite happy! The pizza delivery guy made Andie less than thrilled, however. She was hoping for a 15 year old cutie....ahhh...I remember those days. Lets just say Andie didn't mind holding Stuey when we opened the door.


Summer Camping

Yesterday Mark, Gregg, the dogs Roxy and Jake and I went camping with Chase Tingle up behind Bell's Flats. Chase is an out-of-town volunteer for the Community Archaeology dig. He's from New Hampshire and likes to ski so we volunteered to show him what Kodiak's got for summer snow. As he has never skiied during the summer, and seems to like us, he accepted our invite enthusiastically.

We parked at 'little Kosovo' at the road's end at Sargent Creek - so named for the shot up and burned cars that litter the creek edge. It is always a little scary to leave one's car there for the night. Then we carried ski and camping gear for a hot and sweaty 2 hours to the alpine bowl where we made our camp. This time of year Kodiak's alpine country is superb. Gregg tried to convince me to sing 'The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music'. I declined (no Julie Andrews here), but the metaphor was apt. Kamchatka Rhodies, wild geranium, anenomies and various heath flower are all in a riot of bloom, set against the spring green of the Emerald Isle backcountry.

We set up camp, dropped gear and continued up to the top of the run we call 'Double Surprise' - so called because there are 2 unexepected, surprisingly steep drops before you get to the bottom. The run drops down towards Sheratin Bay away from Bell's Flats. So we dropped 1600 feet away from camp, skiing on bumpy corn snow. The snow cover is 'surprisingly' good this year and we ended our run with an extra 500 feet or so of vertical into a ravine at the end of the run. High walls and lush summer vegetation with a thread of dirty snow on the bottom to follow. Then the long climb back to the top and a ski back to camp. We all watched Gregg rip 'Sweet Pea' a very steep shute that I declined to take the dogs down for safety reasons.

Back at camp the dogs had done enough chasing and immediately sacked out in the shade of the 'Mega Light' teepee. Gregg cooked up a 'Rice-a-Roni Mexican Surprise' dinner with lots of cheese, and life was good in the warm, seemingly never-ending Alaskan evening. Earlier we spotted a sow with 4 cubs playing on the snow and eating new forbs on the slope across the way. Mark had brought a spotting scope and we had the kind of bear viewing I like - not up close and personal! Not many deer though - we ended up seeing 7 bears and only one deer. Deer hunting in the alpine might be a bit tough when it begins in two weeks.

Glorious evening, but rain by morning. At 6:20 AM we all awoke to Gregg's declaration, "I am going home". Good thing home is only 2 hours away. But Gregg did decide to join us for coffea in the mega light teepee and more importantly shared his half and half cream before he departed. Mark, Chase and I ate a hearty breakfast of jambalaya with peppery sausage before we too departed, and headed back to the low country.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Beach and outdoor time

A GORGEOUS day in Homer today. Sunny, breezy. Just spectacular. This morning we went to lunch at the Cosmic Kitchen-my favorite Homer restaurant. Yummy big burritos and mexican food, as well as breakfast, hamburgers...a bit of everything. Cathy, Andie and I took turns chasing Nora around as we waited for our food! A few beans and tortilla later, she was much happier.

This afternoon I went to Eric Waltenbaugh and Jen Chappelle's wedding. It was high on the cliff behind Homer and the ceremony overlooked Kachemak bay, the mountains, glaciers-breathtaking. The bridesmaids were in gorgeous navy dresses and Jen was just stunningly gorgeous. The weather cooperated for them!!!

I brought Stuart to the wedding and Cathy, Andie and Nora went to the beach, then out for ice cream and down to Cathy and Mike's boat. Evidently Nora had an opinion on which ice cream flavor she wanted. Andie and Cathy said she pointed straight to the chocolate. Thats my girl!! Her shirt had little chocolate stained drippings on it. So cute. She had a scoop and a half.

This evening Andie and Nora played outside with sidewalk chalk that Andie brought from KOdiak for Nora. Andie was more into the chalk and drawing on the cement and NOra was more into picking up the gravel rocks and transporting them to the cement pad. She did that for about half an hour!

The trip has been fun thus far. Lots of smiles and laughs from Stuey. We've discovered he likes unpredictable sounds, movements, etc.....he starts belly laughing if you all of a sudden say, "Boo" out of nowhere. It is so funny. I would think it would generally upset a baby, but he LOVES it!! He has the grandest time.

2 more days in Homer-still lots to do with swimming at the pool, more beach time, perhaps another trip to the library....Nora is really starting to feel comfortable at Grandma and Grandpas house-going up and down the stairs (something we don't have at home!!), getting her juice box out of the fridge, sitting in her booster seat at the table and enjoying all her meals at the table....

I talked to Patrick tonight and he is camping with the guys. I think he is enjoying his bachelor time!!! Yet he misses putting Nora to bed and his routines with her. The other night when I was laying with her trying to get her to sleep, she pulled out her binky and said, "DaDa" twice. It was precious. She knows that daddy is usually the one who puts her to bed-and hes MUCH better at it than I! Thats for sure.


Friday, July 20, 2007

First Week of 'Com Arch'

The first week of Community Archaeology is in the books. Every summer for 4 weeks I lead an archaeological excavation on Kodiak's Roadsystem that is open to the public. The high school, with Exxon oil spill money, helps us by funding high school interns. They get paid to do archaeology and can get high school and college credit to boot. A great many local volunteers join us as well. For me it is the major event of the whole summer. When the dig begins Summer is just starting and after it ends Fall is in the air.

We get to excavate cool archaeological sites too. For the past three summers we have been digging at Salonie Mound, a 3 to 7 thousand year-old site at the head of Womens Bay. The top of the site (3 to 4 thousand years ago) appears to have been a salmon processing camp, and we found a great many split cobble scrapers, U-shaped abraders and other tools used for fish processing. Old fire pits litter the top of the site where the inhabitants lit smudge fires to dry their fish for the winter. Deeper down in the site we are finding evidence that the earlier inhabitants (5-7 thousand years ago) were hunting sea mammals and living in tents.

The top photo is from today and shows part of the crew digging into 'L3' the 4 to 5 thousand year-old layer at the site. The next photo is of interns Karen, Dianne and Lauren entertaining my dog Roxy during a 'energy drink' break (note the 'full throtle' in Karen's hand). In the third photo Lauren carries a bucket up to Mark Rusk at the screen. Mark helps me run the dig (he did last summer too), but I am never sure if he comes up for the archaeology or the deer hunting. The next photo is of Mark and I with the interns Dianne, Alicia, Karen, Lauren and Mackenzie. Finally in the bottom photo Don Clark rests while local volunteer Jill is hard at work. Yup, we got Don Clark back up for another summer of archaeology. He is the same Don Clark who basically wrote the book on Kodiak Archaeology. He has been doing archaeology on Kodiak since 1951. Patrick

Mainland Road Trip

We arrived safe and sound in Homer yesterday after a 12 hour ferry ride to see Cathy adn Mike. The ferry left Kodiak at 10 PM, and it took a good 45 minutes for Nora to go to sleep in her playpen. I felt so badly, as I couldn't do much to help her get to sleep. She would stand up and see Stuey and I in the bunk and start crying harder. So I opted to sneak out of the room with Stuey for a few minutes until she went to sleep. I went down the hallway to the stairs and I could hear her cries very loudly-it sounded like there was an exorcism going on. :(

I told the people I was talking to, "yes, thats my daughter. Shes in the room with my mommy helper and having a hard time going to sleep." Fortunately once she went to sleep she stayed asleep! Phew. 9 hours later after a smooth crossing, we were in Homer.

Andie Wall, Mike and Christy Wall's daughter, is with me and she is so fun, helpful and easygoing. What a blessing to have her along to help with the kiddos. Today we went out the Homer spit, drove around a bit and went to the library this morning. The library here in Homer is absolutely gorgeous! A fantastic kids section with lots of kid chairs which Nora enjoyed re-arranging and insisting that we sit in. She was less interested in reading the books than she was in taking them off the shelves, stacking them up and re-organizing them.

We'll be here till Tuesday when we head to Seward to see Julie and Ray for 2 days. Then we'll head out on the Kennicott from Whittier-a 24 hour ferry ride home to Kodiak.

The weather is gorgeous here and yesterday I realized that Nora truly is a water girl. We went to the beach and she insisted on wading in the ocean. It took all 3 of us to peel her away. She gravitates to water. My water baby!!!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Summertime Fun

Today was a balmy 65 degrees. Perfect weather-sunny and gorgeous. The kiddos and I went to Bosche's beach with Karen. She set Nora up with a banana, seltzer water, goldfish....the whole nine yards! And Nora took her first official swim in the ocean today. She went diving straight in with her clothes on. No fear of water!! My oh my. I suppose those months of aqua tots I took her to (over a year ago) stuck with her somehow.

This afternoon Mark, Nora, Patrick Stu and myself sat on the deck for about an hour. Mark is sporting his cool California guy sunglasses. All went well with the first day of the community archaeology dig! Yeah!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Life Ring

The house is quiet-my favorite time to reflect on the day and the days to come. Tonight Patrick and I watched in amazement as Stuart fell asleep on his own next to me in bed. He just looked around the room and before we knew it, he was asleep.
Just heavenly.

As Stuart snoozed quietly away, I had tears not only of sadness, but joy as I reflected on the almost 2 years of breastfeeding Nora. It has brought her (and I!) health, happiness, security, trust....I could go on and on.

I reminisce on moments where breastfeeding got us through-during sickness, travel, day to day life. It was my little life ring I could throw out to her in times of need. She would gladly snatch it up and gaze up at me with joy and thanks. I never imagined breastfeeding would be such a gift for US.

I always loved how when she woke up in the morning she would come running to find me, opening and closing her hands (the sign for milk) and get a huge smile on her face upon seeing me-knowing that she could have time with me as she woke up.

As I wept to Patrick tonight, he was empathetic to my tears of sadness.

"There will be more moments like this.." as I sobbed quietly...."like when she goes off to kindergarten or graduates from high school..."

The image of little Nora toddling off on her way filled my imagination. I can see my girl growing up. Its a wonderful thing, but as any parent knows, bittersweet.

Thus begins the next phase of our journey together-Nora and I. We'll find a new life ring to bring along.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kiddos asleep and MANNY arrives

Ahhhh....Kiddos are finally asleep. A moment of peace.

Mark Rusk came in tonight from California-when he arrived at the house, Patrick said, "Yeah, our MANNY has arrived!". Mark has 2 girls at his home in California and we enjoy making jokes about him babysitting while hes here. He has endured several years of chunks of time with our kids. Bless his heart. We consider him to be a trained professional in dealing with our kids sleep and behavior issues.

He'll be assisting with the dig starting on Monday. Helps take pressure off of Patrick with organization, people management, etc...

Day 2 of weaning went wonderfully with Nora. I had a bottle ready for the moment she woke up which really worked. She didn't even ask to nurse. Yessss....I was thrilled. No tears this morning.

I hear Stuey making noises in the monitor. And a canon goes off once again on Mill Bay Beach. Somehow the 4th of July festivities linger on. HOW ANNOYING. SO ANNOYING. Oh well.

I escaped to the bar for 1 hour for Melissa D's birthday happy hour. So many people came and it was fun to catch up folks I hadn't seen for a while. A babysitter and Megan took the kiddos for a walk in the stroller. PERFECT>both the kids fell asleep during the walk. It felt really nice for me to get away without either kid for an hour.


Weaning Nora

The time has come to wean Nora. Nursing lately has constantly ended in her crying, as she wants to nurse longer than I let her. Even though she only nurses once in the morning, it puts a bad strain on our day to start off with her crying.

I am pleased that we made it to almost 2 years. I think its helped her through many colds, travelling, hard times with greater ease. Many people along the way believed I should have done it sooner. Patrick didn't want me to wean her-he wanted us to make it to two years. It makes me proud to have a husband who is so supportive of breast feeding.

There is serious social pressure to NOT nurse longer than a year in this country. The World Health Organization recommends that every child in the world be nursed for at least 2 years because of the health benefits for the child AND the mom. In our culture it is such a small percentage of kids that are nursed for longer than a year that its not understood by people. I was probably that way before kids, too.

Today is the second morning and it is going well. I give her a bottle with milk, which she likes. It takes her a while to drink, which I think she also likes. She is a gal who takes a while to wake up in the morning.

She and I were both ready for her to wean, I believe.

I don't feel as sad about it as I thought I might. However, I'm still nursing Stuart and plan to for up to 2 years as well. I imagine when the time comes when he doesn't nurse any more the emotions may run higher.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Nora's computer magic

Well, Safari seems to be working once again, but I don't know that our computer will ever be the same after Nora worked her magic on it last night. Nora was on the computer for 2 minutes max and she rearranged several of the icons. Patrick proceeded to later throw the Safari (internet) icon in the trash and dump the trash. Whoops. So no internet today. Somehow it is working right now. Not sure how, but I'm glad we're back on for the moment. iphoto seems to be having problems opening so no photo on this post.

Been a good couple of days. Mark arrives from California tomorrow to help Patrick with the community dig which begins on Monday. July is going to fly right by-I can already see it! Wow this summer is going fast.

In talking with Ella, it seems that her experiences with Zeke are SO similar to Stuart. The similarities are uncanny! His 6 week growth spurt, rapid weight gain (Ella said he is 16 pounds now!!!), overall disposition. Pretty wild how Stuey and Zeke have been the mellow ones in our lives. A very good thing with energetic Leo and Nora!

I've been staying up late quilting the past few nights and loving it. I have to make myself go to bed. Gosh it feels so good to be quilting once again!

We had Katie, Matt and Natalie over for dinner tonight and Nora pushed Natalie around in her pushcart. It was too cute. Natalie was SO tired, you could see it in her eyes, but she kept going and going. Nora got such a thrill from pushing her around. Matt got some good video footage. It was fun for Katie and I to see the girls truly playing together!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Garden

It's finally mid July and time to dote on the garden. Still good skiing to be had close to town, but the garden is taking up more and more of my energy (rather whatever energy is leftover after after 'baby wrangling' with Nora and Stu). As you can see the plants are still a wee bit small. You folks checking in from the lower 48 are probably even wondering what I have in my garden to be excited about. You should have seen it 2 weeks ago! It's only in the last two weeks that the garden has finally taken hold and started to kick in. We are finally getting to harvest kale and lettuce and the peas are blossoming.

It has been a cool spring. In years past I have harvested peas on the 4rth of July, and I am usually harvesting lettuce by the 1rst of June. Just not this year. We are about 4 weeks behind my 'normal garden benchmarks'. Last Sunday (the 7th of July) it got down to the mid 30s, and out at the rifle range there was a hard frost! Ice crystals on the shooting tables! So I should be excused if my beets look a might puny right now. Just wait until August - I'll be eating new potatos, beets and a fine salad with the first deer liver of the hunting season. My favorite meal of the year. Patrick

Monday, July 09, 2007

Noras first speech therapy session

Today Nora had her first speech therapy session and it went better than I would've expected. The therapist is right-kids often dish out more speech for people other than their parents. Not that she was speaking with words, but her signing came out stronger and she was verbalizing more-ie imitating words to get what she wanted.

This experience with Nora in speech therapy gives me an appreciation for several things-

1st-home exercise programs for home therapy with kids would be very difficult to carry out. Today I asked Nancy, the infant learning lady, do I need to be setting aside specific times of day to do games with Nora, because that could prove to be challenging some days with Stuey and Nora. She said, "No, make it all functional communication. All the skills we're teaching you to use with her can be used in functional, eating, dressing, etc...situations." thank heavens. Make me realize how my work in physical therapy should always have functional basis. For the most part when I give out home programs, I try to make them functional.

2nd-What a huge difference between Nora and her peers the same age with vocabulary. Wow. By this time nora should be speaking 150-200 words and shes barely at 10. I know she'll catch up, thats not it. Knowing these little facts, however, makes me feel more bummed that Nora's not where she needs to be-even though we're doing everything right. Every child is different. This gives me insight on how parents with kids who are slower in one area of devlopment feel.

3rd-Yes, our daughter has a stubborn streak to her. I always joke that this is the Saltonstall side of the family in her...he, he,he...she tends to withhold saying something because she knows that we know what she wants. Pretty amazing how she is working us already at a young age. The infant lady today said, "Toddlers are teenagers in training." Nooooo!!!!! I don't want to hear that already!

All in all, patrick and i are light hearted and positive about it all. Nora is such a sweetie ( or at least we think so, but we're completely biased) and she makes us laugh so much every day. Kids are amazing that way-they can brighten your world more than you every imagined. Zoya

Friday, July 06, 2007

Teletubbies Tele Time

Ahhh...never a dull moment here at the Saltonstalls.

I am temporarily "giving up" on getting Stuey to sleep in his play pen at night. Perhaps I"ll muster up energy to try again in a few days. As my friend Erin reminded me tonight (see photo of her with Stuey), Stuart may not be ready for it quite yet. So in the meantime, hes in bed with us, and happy about it.
Actually, I'm not bummed about it. He is this small only once and what a joy to have him right next to us, just a little whimper or squirm away. He is quite cute in the middle of the night if he needs a diaper change or feeding-he just squirms and wiggles till he gets my attention. He doesn't even have to let out a cry to get my attention. In the grand scheme of things, what is another month or two of him in our bed?

Nora rather enjoys Teletubbies every once in a while. We got it on DVD before the Maine trip, but she was too young for it at that time. It is a rather bizarre program, but interesting how things are from a baby perspective. Seems slightly psychodelic, Patrick notes. It grabs Noras attention like no other video. Well, theres that video and an annoying Elmo video as her options, so its no wonder she chooses teletubbies over Elmos grating voice. Patrick admitted the other day that he put the DVD in, thought it was playing only to realize 20 minutes later that the "Menu" screen was on repeating itself over and over. And Nora was entranced with that. Hmmmm.... We really don't plant in her in front of the TV very often. Perhaps every other day. I'm glad we don't have the tv on much at all around here-especially since its summer. No Apprentice or other reality TV for me to watch.

Patrick and I went to 3/4 of the movie Ratatoulle last night-what a great flick! We had to leave before the end-Stuey called us on the cell phone. Needed us home ASAP (I could hear the screams in the background).
When Linguine (the main character-a human) talks to the rat, the rat shakes his head "yes" or "no" as communication-he can't speak back to Linguine. Reminds us of our daily communication with Nora. Still only "yes", "no" head shakes. But some speech therapy should take care of that soon.
I know that once she starts talking, Patrick and I will ask "Why were we in a rush for this?".


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Getting to be Summer

It's the 4rth of July and hunting season is just around the corner. Time to get the deer rifles sited in and to practice, practice, practice shooting the things. You want to drop every deer with just one shot. In the top photo Lisa shoots the 22 hornet at a metal plate we had set up down range. Shooting at the range can be a tad boring - so we set up the plates. It's immediate gratification when you hear the bongggg of a good hit. In a month we will be hunting deer (with rifles a bit more powerful than the 22 hornet).

But ski season is still with us too - today I took the doggies up Pyramid for a 4rth of July ski. It's been a while since we've had this much snow on the 4rth of July. Pyramid is close to town and usually melts out by the end of June. Today a bunch of my friends took a helicopter ride to go ski camping in the backcountry behind Bell's Flats. We'll have good skiing back there all summer (it's still totally covered in snow in the backcountry). But near town, on Pyramid, it's still not bad. And rain is in the forecast - so perhaps Pyramid is the place to be!

Today I dropped down into the north bowl and skiied down to 920 feet - that 's 1300 vertical feet! (I skiied from 2200 feet) The middle photo shows what it looked like when I got to the bottom. I was in a ravine filled with snow and green all around. The bottom photo shows the dogs leading the way back near the top of the ravine. In the distance you can see the top of Pyramid and where I started my ski.

Another amazing thing about the snow this year is how far you can still ski back towards the car on Pyramid. I skiied down to almost 1100 feet. I know - enough about skiing - I promise that my next post will be about the garden, or something more appropriate for the season. Patrick

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Evening Parenting

Seems like the bright Midnight Sun in Alaska is getting the best of us and our kids. Nora has been more difficult to put to bed recently, as well as Stuey. From 8-10:30 PM its intermittent cry time between the two kiddos. We put them down, they wake up, we go back in because we don't want them waking up the other one. Its that cycle for a good couple of hours.

Ahhh...the baby years. Tonight my friend Carrie and I were discussing how if kids were born sleeping through the night, we'd be more apt to have even more kids. Some peoples kids do sleep through the night immediately. The babies must have an incredibly mellow disposition OR there is some serious crying it out going on. Not my parenting style to let Stuey cry for hours on end. :(

I'm ready for some darkness again, I must say. I NEVER THOUGHT I"D HEAR MYSELF SAY THAT!!! We even have black out shades in the nursery, but light peeks through and the fireworks continue to explode away on Mill Bay beach.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bosche's Beach

Yesterday morning we went to Bosche's beach-or so we've named it! :) It is the beach in front of Karen and Jeremy's new house. The tide was out, which makes tidepool exploring a must! Nora was less interested in sea creatures and MORE interested in running to the waters edge. Between Patrick, Jeremy and Karen it was a team effort to keep her from getting too wet.

Meanwhile, Stuey took his morning nap in my arms as I sat on a piece of driftwood and enjoyed the company and the rays of the sun.

Nora discovered the stream down the beach, which i forsee her spending much more time in on future Bosche's beach trips!!

Karen and Jeremy brought their breakfast down to the beach and graciously shared lots of their bananas with Nora.