From bad to cursed

Jul 25, 2013

It seems like Murphy's Law is always waiting for my husband to leave in order to challenge my mental and physical capabilities. Case in point, Iraq deployment I had on going car problems that at 20 years old female had no idea how to handle. OCS I had my second baby while the husband was away, talk about testing the limits of what you can handle. Ranger School I broke my hand. Airborne school I was battling the worst morning sickness imaginable, as in I lost 7 pounds due to not being able to eat anything, needless to say I gained it all back and lots lots more! But this time around literally everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Saturday at about 2:30 am Avalon felt like a tiny little furnace laying next to me, I got up took her temp and called the doctors office for dosage instructions for Tylenol. That seemed to work until her fever came back around 11:00 am at which point I called my pediatrician directly and he told me to meet him at the hospital. Ok, great what to I do with the boys? There is no way they would be able to handle sitting in the ER. So I called a babysitter that I had only used a couple times while I was on bed rest with Avalon. The kids do not particularly like her, but I was desperate. She came over right away and Avalon and I attempted to leave....
Except you are going nowhere when your car won't start!!! Ace and his monkey long arms unfortunately can reach the light above his car seat which was left on for who knows how long. I called my roadside assistance and they sent the Rescue Ranger to come jump my car within 30 minutes. Perfect! Avalon was sleeping so we had some time to spare. This was the start of my panic for the day. Well this very nice Alaska native came and got my car started. Off we went. We got to the ER and they had us in the back faster then I could finish writing her first name on the paperwork. Her temp was 101.6 and for a baby under 3 months this is no good! They wanted to get labs done on her immediately since she had no other symptoms besides a fever. The lab showed up took blood and urine samples and rushed them to be processed. I was a mess at this point. Watching my little girl go through this was heartbreaking. Her fever was under control at this point so we sat and waited for the lab results. And we waited...and waited...and at 5:00 pm they came in to say they needed to retake the blood samples. WHAT! My heart sank, I did not want her to go through that again. But they took another sample, the doctor came in and said that they wanted to keep her overnight for observation and start an IV right away. I lost it! What do you mean keep her overnight? What is wrong? What do I do with my boys? My husband is not in the country, I have no family here, and do not know that many people that I could call to take my boys for the night. So we spent the next few hours convincing the hospital staff that my kids needed to be with me and stay the night as well. This was not easy...but we had no choices. I am breastfeeding exclusively so that leaves only me to stay with Avalon. 

1,550 feet of Boardwalk

Jul 19, 2013

So you think the Jersey shore has a famous boardwalk? Think again...South Anchorage has a boardwalk of its own. Except it is called Potters Marsh, and you will not find sand and a beach, but you will be greeted with a muggy smell and a whole lot of birds! The Jersey shore may have fist pumping Italians running around but if you are looking for a good time go to Potters Marsh and hang out with the avid bird watchers/ photographers, who just love toddlers running around them while they try to get that perfect shot! We decided to check this place out one night before the husband left, in an attempt to have the boys let out some energy. My apologies to all those people with very expensive cameras that my kids photobombed so many times.
Just like everything else in Alaska it is gorgeous during the summer! It was so fun to watch the boys run around on this boardwalk.  The baby slept the whole time, the joys of having a 2 month old! I will miss this stage. 
It turns out that Ace is the only smart one of this group. As we were walking he said "I need to stop" I said what's wrong? He said "mom I just need a snack ok". Here are the rest of us hungry, and the kid had snacks all along!! Did he share? No way. I wonder what else he keeps in that backpack...
Oh Alaska, we have a love/hate relationship with each other. I have loved you these last few months, but I know it will fade once I have to shovel my car out of the driveway. I also am loving that it only takes us an hour to get out of the house with these warm temps...Shorts in Alaska, who knew! Come winter we will be back to our average of 2 hours, well make that 3 hours, I have no idea how to breastfeed with 20 layers on. 

Old habits die hard

Jul 18, 2013

       picture circa 2006

It never fails that when the husband leaves I always revert to the first time we had to say goodbye. It was a much simpler time, I was a freshman in college, he had only been in the Army for about a year. There were no kids to comfort, there were no power of attorneys to take care of, there was far less sleepless nights. After 7 years and countless times apart you would figure you would get used to it. I am all too familiar with the leaving part, and I am pretty good at taking care of things while he is away. But I am not used to the pit in my stomach that appears days before he leaves, or the lump in my throat before we say "see ya safe". I know that I am lucky enough to not be dealing with a deployment right now, if I never have to do it again I will be incredibly thankful. I have too many friends going through that, so I am not complaining about the short time he will be gone. But any time apart is hard, especially when you add kids into the mix. I don't always know how to answer their questions, the only thing that will comfort them is Dad. Then there is the worrying part, the not knowing what is going on. I mean in the age of technology can a wife get a text saying her husband landed his jump safely? That is all I need. Then I can just worry about my own paranoia of being in the house alone. I don't know if all wives go through this, but it has become routine for me. When the man of the house goes to play G.I. Joe I make a battle plan of my own. I make sure I barricade the doors that we do not use, you know just put bikes in front of them or some other noisy toy. Then I make sure I have a well stocked arsenal, and spread my weapons of choice around the house so I cannot be caught empty handed. Speaking of which...I need bear spray! I do not sleep well when he is gone, I wake up to every sound this house makes. Maybe its OCD, extreme paranoia, the Italian in me. I don't know, but I have done this song and dance one too many times to stop now. Ace asked me "mama why is there a bucket of legos over there?" Well son, have you ever stepped on a lego at 2am? I would rather give myself 100 paper cuts! Where is this post going...point is the husband is gone, I miss him, I will probably go crazy, the end.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Jul 15, 2013

The Army lovingly gave us a few days of leave a couple weeks ago which was wonderful! We all really needed some Dad time especially these crazy little boys, because lets face it mom     doesn't cut when it comes to things with wheels and a motor. We had heard about this transportation museum out in the valley and the boys waited all winter for the snow to clear so we could go see it. 
If you have little boys in Alaska, this is the place to go!! There are a few trains that you can go inside and climb on. The lady told us to stay off of some of the "older" looking things because well "they just might fall apart". I can tell you right now our family likes to learn the hard way, and when Dad is involved everything is a YES he is the lead singer in this boy band. 
From the looks of it the place it is a glorified junk yard, but once you start looking around they have some pretty great things. Not pictured are planes, and coast guard helicopters that the boys attempted to get into, but got yelled at :) The baby and I had to make a quick escape for the car when it started raining, but not before snapping a few more pictures. 
Ace had the best time being our tour guide, this was his dream come true! Pierce really could have cared less, he was just happy Ace was nice enough to let him tag along. The husband really enjoyed himself as well, every Dad cannot wait for their little boy to get to the I love cars and truck phase. 
The old commuter bus was my favorite! It was a great hiding spot from the rain, and mom and dad needed a few minutes to catch their breath. It is always refreshing to have the husband spend a few days in a row with all the kids because it never fails that he will say "I do not know how you do this everyday" well yes my love it takes a crazy person! These are the moments that I am constantly waiting for, since moving to Alaska life has been nonstop. And when the Army is in control, the mission dictates. It is times like these that make for a very happy, non screaming, clean and showered mama!

An Apple a Day...

Jul 12, 2013

...Keeps the doctor away! If only that were the case for little kids. Friday marked the first time I went to the doctor with all three kids, solo! It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but for anyone who has gone out of the house with a 3 year old, and 21 month old, and a 2 month old, knows you would have an easier time wrangling wild horses! But the kids need well check ups or so I am told. We made it from the parking lot to the office all holding hands, and smiling it was beautiful. We checked in at the front and the nice lady said, "Good morning Ace how are you?" to which he answered "no, no doctor today" I knew we were in for a treat. 
Here we sit awaiting the doctors arrival, every child is occupied, we just might make it through this outing in one piece. Until the doctor arrived and Ace wanted no part of this. I told him you have to get a check up so you can have fun at preschool, he said "no mom I don't like school you go" ok sure. Pierce left the coloring behind and demanded a snack, Avalon was awake at this point also wanting some food. 
The doctor was going over all the kids stats to which I heard none of, I guess if they were really unhealthy he would have repeated his findings? Possibly? Then he said the only word my toddlers and I recognized, SHOTS. That was the end. All hell broke loose, Pierce ran for the door, Ace was saying "ok mom time to go home, time to go home now!" I did what any upstanding parent would do, I tried bribery! Lollipop...anyone? Park, after those tiny pokes we can go play? Please, please children let's calm down before CPS is called. 

* The photos are from my trusty iPhone, I had to capture these precious moments

Clearly my bribery was not working, Pierce lost a shoe. Maybe he thought he could run faster without them. But the shots were imminent! It took just a few more nurses then expected to get the job done. The first nurse thought she had it handled but after saying, "wow strong kid" a few times she called in back up, and that was just the 2 month old! By the time she got to Ace she said "you have your hands full!" Yes...thank you! After all that I decided follow up appointments were not necessary to book today.LET"S GET OUT OF HERE. But when I do make those appointments they will be made It's moments like these that I wish I lived near the grandmothers :)

Hiking The Falls

When I first heard we were getting stationed in Alaska a few things ran through my mind, what is there to do's cold...I do not own clothing suitable for the tundra! So I did what anyone would do and googled things to do, I made a list of my findings. Hiking, hunting, fishing, these were the three most recurring things. I cannot say I am well versed in any of these. But the husband on the other hand was determined to make a wilderness woman out of me. 
First up, hiking! My excuse of being ridiculously pregnant came to an end, and since we live right next to this lovely tourist attraction, I gave in. 
Since my better half is a lean mean wilderness machine I volunteered him to push the jogging stroller while the baby and I brought up the rear. It is very sad when your 3 year old is running up the trail and you are trying to catch your breath. When he would say "come on mom, you so slow" My excuse was that I was taking in all the beauty! The scenery is just that, beautiful. The boys love all this outdoor time, they are soaking it all in before the winter sends us back into the dungeon!

After making it to the top we were feeling frisky and decided to hike down to the bottom of the waterfall. The mosquitos loved that we choose to do this! Side note - I thought the bugs in Georgia were bad, but Alaska you are blowing those southern bugs out of the water! Hike number 1...check. According to trip adviser we only have 325,234 more to go before we can call ourselves true Alaska residents. 

Day Trip

Jul 11, 2013

Day trips are pretty much the only trips we can take with a newborn, so off to Girdwood, AK we went. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a great place to take toddlers, or any kid for that matter. You can get so close to the animals which is a blessing and a curse if you have a curious husband... I mean toddlers. You have the option of walking the park or driving. I opted for driving since it was pouring out but the boys choose to walk for the most part. Which means I sat in the car and breastfed a lot!! 

There is a bridge that you can walk on near the bear exhibit that was pretty awesome! All the animals at the park were rescued, which made me feel better since you can see moose and bears going to the grocery store. 

Driving around here kind of reminds you of Jurassic Park, except the dinosaurs were replaced with bears and musk ox! The boys ran back to the car saying "mama bears they eat you". 

Moose! Since moving to Alaska I have become fascinated with moose. Especially when I see them watching traffic in south Anchorage. Also seeing these pictures makes me realize my body is holding on to some baby weight for dear life...remind me to thank you Avalon. The trip was fun, and the bakery in Girdwood is amazing! They serve Shrek like pastries, I kid you not one ham and cheese croissant fed four of us. The brownies are to die for as well. Ok, Avalon I apologize for blaming the baby weight on you, clearly it is my lack of self control and that bakery!! 

Welcome to Alaska

Jul 10, 2013

Alaska! The Last Frontier, the 49th state, the frozen North, home of Sara Palin, more importantly home to Deadliest Catch! 

Alaska, the place that we now call home. This is our fourth duty station and the coldest place I have ever been! The three months of no snow that we are currently in, also known  as spring, summer, and fall, is amazing. Alaska is breathtaking in the summer, the kiddos love the opportunity to be outside all day everyday. The 22 hours of daylight right now allows you to do so much. It also messes with your sleep schedule, I don't think I can count the number of excuses Ace has come up with to not go to bed until the sun does. I find myself negotiating bedtimes with a 3 year old, that kid is going places if he chooses a career in law! So far I am 0 for 1000, the kid just stays up. 

I am still getting used to life in Alaska, I think it will feel like home just about the time we get a 
new duty station. But that is normal in this crazy Army life! To quote my mom "life is an adventure", I hated when she would say that growing up but it has been the thing I tell myself over and over while screaming obscenities into a pillow. Welcome to our family blog...

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