Just call us fairgoers

Aug 31, 2013

I said come rain or shine we were going to the fair, and well it rained...But this time we were prepared, unlike the blueberry picking. We invested in some new rain jackets for everyone in preparation for our fair extravaganza. We take outings such as this very seriously if you can't tell :)
And the fair calls for much more then a stroller to get the kids around, you need to break out the wagon for this! It actually turned out to be better then the stroller for getting the boys in and out. But then we saw people with these "chariot like" strollers. Have you seen those? They put every stroller to shame, the husband is convinced we are now inadequate parents for not having one of these. He has already been to REI to check them out...ridiculous! I have 4 strollers in my garage right now that we do not even use. Buuuut anyway... 
The first stop was this reptile cave. They had more snakes, lizards, and alligators in one place then I have ever seen. This was like a little boys dream. Pierce referred to everything as a "ninosaur" which made Ace utterly upset since he just had to correct him every time. It was hard to convince them to leave this creepy little place but we enticed them with fair food. 

Life Lately

Aug 29, 2013

  • Pierce is most definetly a hat child! He wore this one everywhere this week, the ladies at Target loved it :)
  • Ace is loving school!! As soon as he gets home he wants to hang his projects on the fridge for Dad to see. 
  • Pierce got a haircut this week, he wanted to be just like his big brother. Ace is all about the buzz cut. I happen to like Pierce with long hair, but I figured I would let him try this out. 
  • Avalon is finally big enough for her bouncer, which makes me so happy! I can actually have 15 minutes to eat or chug some coffee in the morning.
  • A little "back to school" reading for mommy! My favorite time of the year is upon us, time to break out the layers and boots. 
  • Nap time for the boys = girl time for us. I love how chunky this little girl is getting. 

-Four day weekend startsssssss....NOW!

Always Have a Back-up Plan

Aug 27, 2013

I was pretty excited when I found out the Alaska State Fair had opened last weekend, if there is one thing I love it is some fair food! I mean fried oreos, funnel cake...just anything to clog my arteries. We figured we would go on Sunday and it would not be too busy, fail! We were ten miles from the fair grounds and the traffic was at a dead stop on the freeway!! Ya right were my offspring going to wait, and then battle all these people for some cotton candy or what have you. The husband and I took one look at each other and made a very illegal traffic move to get us out of there. One thing I have learned in this thing called parenting is to always have a plan B. Once you get the kids out of the house you very well can not just bring them back in without doing something. We had bikes and scooters and strollers in the car so we decided to drive around, get lost and possibly find a place to play. 

Picture overload coming up
We drove around and started following a bike path which led us to a park that was completely empty!! This sort of luck never happens for us, usually we end up baby sitting a whole gang of unknown children at the park. Not because we are some kind of great parents or anything, but because we are glorified big kids. I think we have more fun at the park then our kids do. 
I do not remember playgrounds being this fun when I was a kid, or maybe I appreciate this kind of joy by watching my kids have so much fun. 
The boys will climb anything, I think it is some kind of instinctual trait that they have to be able to conquer whatever stands in front of them. Pierce was not quite born with this instinct as he had a complete meltdown because he could not figure out how to climb this hill! Haha!!!
We finished the 4 hour (!!!!!) play time with some bikes and scooters. This was one of the first days that it hadn't rained in 3 weeks, so we made the most of it. I am hoping rain or shine to make it to the fair this weekend!!! Come on state fair gods send me some fried food luck!!!

First Day of School

Aug 26, 2013

The time has come...my little boy is growing up. Ace had his first day of school last week. The night before he was so excited, there was no fight to go to bed because "school is in the morning mama!" I too was excited, I was excited for Ace to do something on his own. I wanted him to embrace this new adventure without having to share it with Pierce, or Avalon. School was the cool new mission just for him. 
I wanted to be prepared for the challenge of getting all the kids out of the house on time for his first day, so I got up extra early!! I prepared Ace's favorite breakfast, homemade pancakes (I pulled out all the stops no box mix for this kid). I laid out his clothes, along with the other kids. I restocked the diaper bag for emergency purposes. I showered and got myself ready before I woke up the troops. Once that happened my "plan" went to shit! Ace didn't want pancakes, he didn't want to get dressed, he didn't want to go to school. I tried to ignore all of this and just get him and the others ready and possibly get a bite of breakfast or two in his mouth before we took off. Once I loaded Pierce in the car Ace announced he had to poop, ok fine you go sit on the toilet while I load up Avalon. As I did that Pierce announced "mama nasty poop" which means he pooped. Alrighty then, I load Avalon, get Pierce out, and check on Ace. Boys are cleaned and poop free...to the car we go. As I get the last strap buckled, Avalon lets one go as well. What the heck did these kids eat!! I am trying to leave here. I thought to myself, the school is only 10 minutes away I am NOT unloading Avalon. But then the sane mom crept back into my head and I got her out. Now everyone was poop free! On we go...

Short Hair Don't Care

Aug 22, 2013

With my new hairdo I had an excuse to sit on Pinterest and look for cute ways of styling it. I probably would have done any one of these with long hair, but this short hair thing is way easier!! I am loving any and all braids, it is so quick to just braid my hair for the day and in the event that I actually leave the house it looks like I put some effort into it. 

And you cannot go wrong with throwing in some accessories. I love all the scarf and turban trends going around right now. I ordered a couple scarves off of Asos that I will be waiting forever for, because I guess Alaska is way behind in the fast shipping department. Headbands are another simple accessory that give off the appearance of looking put together. 

I need all the help I can get in that department, after trying to get all the kids out of the house on time for Ace's first day of school...the words frenetic activity come to mind! It was like the fire alarm was pulled or something, everyone was just running in different directions, screaming and yelling about fictional medical conditions! I swear one day I will get the hang of this mom thing, until then I will just play with my hair :)

Boy Crazy

Aug 21, 2013

It is no secret that I am happy to have another girl in the house, but these little boys make life so complete. They are both at such a fun stage, Ace has an undeniable sense of independence, and Pierce still looks at me for approval before he does anything. They have finally found a friend in one another rather then just a punching bag. They will only participate in something as long as the other one does. This is fantastic for most things, but when it comes to going to the bathroom I wish they could accomplish that without the help of the other. In a lot of ways they are complete opposites, but I think that is why they are so close. Ace is out of his mind adventurous, just like his Dad. Pierce is incredibly cautious, just like his mama. They both have a sense of humor like nothing I have ever seen in such little humans. I love standing outside their bedroom door in the morning and listening to their conversations, it is like a new thing for them. One will wake up the other and they will sit and talk for 10-15 minutes before they come downstairs. The conversation this morning went a little like this:

Ace: Hey Pierce time to get up
Pierce: Hi Pierce (yes he calls Ace his own name)
Ace: You sleep good Pierce
Pierce: No
Ace: You want some juice Pierce?
Pierce: No
Ace: You need to pee Pierce?
Pierce: No
Ace: Ok get up lets go
Pierce: No
Ace: Come on lets go downstairs
Pierce: uhhhh, no
Ace: Lets get some candy
Pierce: Ok come on Pierce come on come on! 

They always come running into the living room holding hands and laughing, this lasts for all of 2.5 seconds before one of them gets denied the candy the other had promised to get them out of bed. But at least for a short time everyday I can see the future for these two, they will always have a partner in crime and as crazy as they can be I love that for them. 

Weekend Recap

Aug 19, 2013

Whenever I see a three day weekend marked on the calendar for the husband I get overly excited. This is for many reasons besides just spending time together...this means I also can jam pack our Friday with any and all appointments that I have been putting off. So Friday was just that, shuffling kids in and out of the house, switching carseats, and sending each other text messages that emphasize the stupidity that is this day. Yes, it would be so much easier if we could find a reliable babysitter but finding one in Alaska is a joke! 

Ace was the first one up, a dentist appointment which we were EARLY for so we sat in the car and took a couple selfies :) And of course when we got into the office he refused to sit in the chair and we went round and round about how the dentist is not a monster that will steal his teeth. This kid has a vivid imagination, that the dentist did not seem to find funny. I thought it was kind of comical, which was not helping the situation. Sorry doc.
Next up baby A! She was an angel as usual...she finally finished all of her antibiotics from the hospital nightmare so she received a clean bill of health! YAY.  
While I was running around like a kid taxi service, Pierce found a new "hat". And the husband cooking with those socks and sandals!!! Killing me. 
Saturday was a day for mommy, but more on that later. Sunday was dedicated to all things related to shopping!! I had quite the "things we need" list going. And this daddy daughter duo had me smiling the whole day, I love seeing them together! 

I think we literally went to every shopping center in Anchorage! Everything is so spread out in this city, and it never fails that one kid will fall asleep before we get to the next destination which will only lead to a meltdown when said child wakes up and realize the non-sleeping child was taken into the store with the adult that lost at rock, paper, scissors. One day we will find a more efficient way to run errands in this family...one day, but not this day!

I so badly wish these weekends were spent differently. I want the three days that the husband has off to be relaxing, borderline enjoyable, without all the running around and chaos. I mean that is what Monday-Friday is for...never the less, Husband it was nice seeing you for more then just a good game pat on the butt in the kitchen when you get home from work. 

These boots were made for Rain

Aug 14, 2013

Untitled #2

With all the rain we have been having lately it has reminded me that I need some new rain boots/ cold weather boots/ arctic feet warming contraptions. I have a pair of Hunter boots that I love, but they are getting discolored, even though they are black?? But I totally need to get a couple more options as the winter is quickly approaching, last year Anchorage got it's first snow in September!! I've said it once and I'll say it 1,345 more times, I am not a cold weather girl. I like to be warm. 

I never thought I would be searching the internet for "duck boots". But any excuse to shop is okay in my book (sorry husband). I found a couple options I am liking, but have yet to click the checkout button on anything. Decisions...Decisions...

Blueberry Pickin

Aug 13, 2013

Blueberry pickin baby! I don't think I could have chosen a better activity for my entire family...eating...outdoors...and eating! We love us some food, and free food? Don't tempt us with a good time, even if we have to work for it and by work I mean walk A LOT and climb into bushes, and get rained on in the process. Saturday marked the annual Blueberry Festival at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, AK. This being our first year in Alaska we had to check this out. 
Alyeska is such a nice hotel, and even though we were getting buckets of rain poured on us the whole time we didn't care. And by the way the husband and I are slacking in the kids rain gear department but we did our best. Look at these pictures of my husband pushing the stroller filled with youth. Now I understand the looks we get when walking around...I mean that is a wide load of children. 
The festival was fun and all, but we do better on our own. So we drove around a little bit until we found a nice little walking trail that the kids could run wild and free amongst the blueberry bushes. 

And then there were two...

Aug 11, 2013

This weekend marked one of the first days of consecutive rain we have had all summer, which I am told is incredibly unusual for Alaska. The husband and Ace decided to take advantage of the seclusion to the indoors and go see the new movie Planes in 3D, it appeared that it was detrimental to their health if they did not go immediately. I am always an advocate for a father son date so child numbers two and three were stuck with me :)
It's not often that I get alone time with Pierce, which I feel bad about. He is definitely my mama's boy. He is so mild tempered compared to Ace. He would much rather cuddle on the couch then run around recking havoc on every square inch of the house. I sometimes forget this with the everyday chaos that goes on around here. I have a tendency to lump Pierce into the 3 year old category with Ace simply because they are basically the same size. But Pierce is not even 2 yet! He is at that inquisitive stage and everything in the world is fascinating to him. I realized this on this first day of rain as he sat next to the window for a good part of the day pointing out every single rain drop to hit the window. It was so amazing to watch his excitement. I was so happy to be present in this moment, because on an average day I can almost guarantee I would have missed this. 
I realized that even though life can get insane around here, and I am the first one to want to pull out my hair, these little kids can humble me real quick. Just taking these few hours to sit on the floor with Pierce and Avalon and forget about the mounting dishes in the kitchen, or the 12 piles of laundry that stare me down every time I walk up the stairs, this was so self gratifying. Thank you Alaska for your unpredictable weather.

*On a side note it may appear that Pierce is never wearing clothes, but he does own some and likes to wear them about 46.8% of the time. It does not bother me as long as he keeps his diaper on 100% of the time, which we are working on. 

To Market, To Market

Aug 6, 2013

The Anchorage Downtown Market is a place I have been wanting to go to the whole summer. The husband and all his hours of working and shenanigans has limited our opportunities to go. But last weekend the stars aligned and we made it happen. I love this kind of stuff, outdoor markets, antique shops, one of a kind anything is right up my alley. I have heard that this market is all Alaskan all the way baby! It totally was...well the parts we were able to see. It never fails that when the parents or mommy more specifically wants to go somewhere it ends in a disaster. No matter how much I prepared to take all the kiddos out, they all had other ideas. Avalon who is a notorious sleeper when we leave the house decided that she needed no shut eye and more nursing time the second we started pushing the stroller. So I headed back to the car to fill her up while the boys headed to the market. When we met back up the husband found some fudge (to keep the kids occupied) and a very large cappuccino for himself.
We were able to walk up one row of vendors, which was like the calm before the storm. I was particularly impressed with the array of fur hats! I totally think I need one of those, maybe minus the fur? Would it be totally insulting to ask the man for some faux fur? Anyhoo Ace took a liking to all things dead animal related and would ask "mama what amminal was this?" or my personal fav "whoa mama that a lot of doggie tails". 

Play, Learn, and Grow

Aug 5, 2013

Preschool, that is what it is all about...playing, learning, and growing right? Ace had his preschool open house the other day and I am pretty sure I was more nervous then he was. Ace has been begging to go to school ever since he found his favorite backpack last year. I cannot for the life of me believe we are at this point already, a part of me wants to keep him home for another year, then the more sane part of me is saying it will be a much welcomed break. Not too mention good for Ace to be able to socialize. The husband keeps reminding me it is only twice a week for a few hours at a time, and it's not like I will be alone...I still the rest of my offspring to keep me company. I have been thinking of all the things I could do while he is at school, I could go grocery shopping with just 2 kiddos!!! I might be able to go to the bathroom without an audience! For those few hours I will not be yelling "don't hit your brother", "Ace please do not sit on Pierce", "guys five minutes, just give me five minutes with no fighting!!" Oh the peace of mind that might come from this. 
Pierce will probably be incredibly lonely at first, but I am sure after the first few days he will relish in his new found power of being the man of the house. He was not too thrilled that he was not invited to the open house, hence the outrage he displayed in his diaper. But, this is just the beginning of these kids growing up and finding their small glimpse of freedom, and oddly enough I am getting quite emotional. Can you picture me on the first day of kindergarten? Or college? Yep, I am turing into that mom. Cue the water works...

Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Alaska

Aug 2, 2013

I will admit I knew nothing about Alaska prior to moving here. I mean what is there to know? It's cold, there are bears, Alaskan salmon, king crab....yep I think that covers the first things that came to mind. Chris assured me that everyone he knew that had been stationed here LOVED it, and it was going to be great. And to be honest it was here or Fort Drum, NY. So since there is insanely cold winters in both places it did not make much of a difference to this warm weather lover. But there are many things I wish someone would have told us before driving from Georgia to Alaska!

-High cost of living! We knew it was going to be quite the increase, but the spike in rent was a shock. If living off post, housing will cost you an arm and a leg! Rental properties are extremely limited as well. Or at least for us and our growing family. We moved here in November and there were literally 3 houses that could accommodate our family size, that were also within a reasonable driving distance to post for Chris. I would suggest starting your search very early, and if you find a house that you like, take it immediately because there are probably four other families looking at it as well. 

-Food!! We are a family solely driven by food. We spend a ridiculous amount of money on food a month. With that being said groceries are stupidly expensive here, $5-$6 for milk (shop around though, Fred Meyer, Target, Safeway) the commissary is not always the best buy. I know in other parts of Alaska it is higher but come on, you might as well buy a cow and milk it yourself. 

-Internet Usage. It couldn't possibly be any different from all the other places we have lived, right? Think again! In Alaska you pay for data plans. Pretty much like on your cell phone, except in your house. It is once again ridiculously expensive. And if you go over your allotted data you pay a very large fee, and if you go over a certain amount they just turn off your internet! Let me just tell you that we went well over our plan the first 24 hours we lived here, our bill was $460 FOR INTERNET. We called and fought it and pulled the "we aren't from here" card, which bought us a free pass. This also depends on what you are doing with your internet of course. We four iPads going on any given day, we stream movies, Chris and I both work on our computers a lot, so it really depends but we happen to use the internet constantly. 

-Sunlight or no Sunlight. If you have small children this is an issue, at first. When we first got up here the sun never came out. My house is positioned in such a way that the sun never makes it over the mountains. This takes a toll on you especially if you are pregnant like I was. I thought I was hormonal before, now I was hormonal and clinically depressed popping vitamin D pills like they were skittles. Then you transition to the summer and the sun just never goes down. The solution is blackout shades which we have in all the bedrooms, but your body does not feel tired. If you happen to be under the age of 4 and living in this house you have developed insomnia!

-The locals refer to anything south of Canada as the "lower 48". A term I have adopted into my vocabulary and my family and friends find it hilarious! 

-WINTER! Enough said...I am from Vegas we don't have winter. We have "oh it's not 110 out must be winter time, better put away the flip flops weather." Nothing could have prepared me for an Alaskan winter. But you adapt, and you get a great workout every morning just trying to get your car out of the driveway. 

Now there are many great things about Alaska as well, if you like the snow and cold weather there is a never ending list of things to do. My husband being one of these people thinks of Alaska as his playground. You will have no choice but to embrace the outdoors, if you don't you will go bat shit crazy like I did the first 5 months I lived here!

This picture is from when we lived in Arizona

-Guns...ya like guns? Come to Alaska! Guns are like toothbrushes here, you can get one anywhere, everyone has one or two, some people use theirs more than others! But a bear gun can be handy when on the trails. Bear spray will also become your most fashionable accessory!

I am still adjusting to life with three littles in the great outdoors. I am hoping that I can awaken the sleeping Annie Oakley in me and really enjoy the next couple of years here. 

*an update on living in Alaska after 2 years can be found HERE!

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