Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve and Cookies for Santa!

Our Christmas Eve festivities included watching TWO moose in the backyard, a 'quick' run to Target, leftovers for dinner and making cookies for Santa. It was my first time allowing Carolina free reign on decorating, and it was MESSY! But she had a great time. We've had company-Rendon's sister and dad-for the past week. We had a great time sight seeing and spending time with them. Candice left last weekend and his dad left early this morning, so today was lazy time. When Carolina went to bed she said "Where's Grandpa", she really misses having him around.

Around noon, we saw a female moose RIGHT over the fence in the backyard, and then a hour or so later as we were getting ready to head to Target we saw a young bull moose. Both watched me as I first went outside, but then just went right about their business. I was about 10 feet away from the female, with the fence between us. The male was about 20 feet beyond the fence, so to try and get closer I went around the fence. I probably could have gotton closer, but didn't want to push it.

Checking out her Photographer

Young Bull

One of his antlers (one on the left in the pic) appeared to be broken.


Making cookies for Santa!


Using all her strength!!



Showing me that she needed to wash her hands


Taste testing the icing. She approved!


This was her first one decorating. She starting right out putting a face on Santa! A difficult task with an icing bag. Then she took the red, and tried to go over the white icing she had just done, but the red was a little more runny, so it covered up Santa's eyes, nose, and mouth.





Concentrating on making a face for the's a nose and an eye....


Got another eye, and his smile!


We were impressed with her icing skills!



Finished product! Once she realized she could squeeze the bags harder and MORE icing would come out, her goal was to make as big of a blob of icing as she could.


Right before bed, we had her put some on a plate for Santa!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Alaskan Randomness

I know I've been promising trip pictures, and I'm making my way through them. All 900 or so of them. Unfortunately, my camera reverted it's date back to Jan 1, 2000 midnight around the beginning of the drive, so when I uploaded everything I had no idea where the pictures were taken. I wasn't sure on dates, and especially in Canada, not sure what lake or mountain ranges we were looking at. So I'm going through 'The Milepost' (Canada/Alaskan travel guide), trying to pinpoint what is what.

So I'll go a little out of order, and just do a quick update post!

We're all enjoying Alaska a lot; especially now that Carolina has been convinced we're actually IN Alaska. She would insist that we weren't for the first couple months, because there wasn't any snow. And she loves the snow; and warming up to the idea of skiing. As long as she gets to go on the chairlift, rather than walking up the bunny hill she is a happy little camper. Of course, for Rendon, skiing down a green/blue run with her is more demanding than the bunny hill, but she insists she wants to 'go fast!'. Rendon just got hired on at Alyeska Ski resort as a part time instructor. He will work 1 day a week teaching 2 hour lessons. It will work out great for us because he gets a free season pass, and we plan on going up there with him so when he's not teaching a lesson he can work with Lina. They have 2 bunny hills, both with a magic carpet (a moving sidewalk that's level with the snow to take kiddos to the top), so hopefully she'll be more receptive to that idea.....

The house is coming along, we've got about 1/2 the painting done, a dishwasher, and new toilets. We've postponed the hardwood floors until after the baby is born. It's been a little challenging finding a place for everything, and I had to consider the space when shopping for Christmas this year. It's about 1000 sq ft. smaller than the house in San Antonio! I'm entering into the 35th week of the pregnancy, which seems unreal! For so long I was concentrating on everything but being pregnant so it has snuck up on us. I gained a lot (for me) weight at the beginning but it has slowed down, so I don't think I'll end up gaining too much more than the first 2. Maybe 35 lbs rather than 30.....I think I've carried this one totally different--started showing sooner, but it was more of a baby 'shelf' than a 'bump'. Once I rounded out I just seem to be getting bigger and bigger! I remember with Carolina I wanted to show sooner, because I wanted to 'feel pregnant'; but this time I definitely feel pregnant and now understand why everyone else was always so uncomfortable.

And now for the good stuff, pictures! (There's quite a few, so maybe it was misleading to call this a quick update....)

Right after we got to Alaska Rendon's squadron had a fish fry at a cabin on one of the lakes on the back of base (which is essentially wilderness). The acting chief of his department loves to go deep sea fishing, so he had lots of cod, halibut, and salmon he caught this fast summer and frozen. He cooked it up with his homemade batter and it was delicious! A little boy had his fishing rod there and Rendon took a turn catching the little fish that were swimming close to shore. Carolina was enthralled, and Rendon showed her how to do it. At first she wouldn't touch any of the fish, but at the very end the little boy caught one and she got brave enough to touch it with one finger, haha.

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This was the first night we had our stuff in the house. Carolina's room was the first we unpacked and organized, so that she would be occupied while we worked on the rest of the house. In about a hour, her room went from perfectly neat to THIS. lol, she was so happy to have her bed and toys back, and felt at home right away.

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Moose hanging out on base right outside the hospital.


And now for a few pics of my growing belly!

27 weeks, about the time I finally rounded out from my baby shelf....


30 weeks, classic 'in the mirror with cell phone' pic

nov. 11th

35 weeks (this was today)

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A few pictures from our first snow. Roxy loved it; Dixie and Slinky hated it at first, and are just now getting to where they will venture out into the yard. Poor Slinky, there's about 8 inches in our backyard now, which is taller than he is!

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I think Carolina's favorite thing about the snow so far is making foot prints. She loves when the snow is fresh on our driveway and she can make all new ones.

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Trying to make a snowball

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Throwing snow on Roxy, who now tries to catch it and eat it, but hadn't figured that out yet here.

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The first day the small ski area near our house was open we headed out there to try it out. It didn't open till 3pm, so it was getting dark when we got there. And it was about 5 degrees. Carolina pretty much whined and cried the whole time, and kept begging to go on the chairlift. She seemed to have decent balance for her first time though.

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The second time went much better. She laughed a lot and wanted to go on the chairlift asap. Rendon made about 3 runs with her on the bunny hill, but they didn't even have a tow rope so Carolina tired of hiking up the hill quickly. So on to the chairlift we went!

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Second trip down the bunny hill.

Carolina kept asking for us to hook up Rockband. So once we did she rocked out on the drums.

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The sun rises fairly late and sets early this time of year in Anchorage. Thankfully we're far enough south that we don't have any days of complete darkness. But once the sun rises it pretty much rides along the horizon until it sets. When there's not a heavy fog or snow, it makes for some spectacular sunrises and sunsets out our window. These pics haven't been edited other than cropping--the colors were just that vivid! Since we're right up against the mountains, the sun doesn't pop out for us to see for about 20 minutes after the official rise time. This was sunrise last Tuesday about 10 am. When I pointed the sky out to Carolina she said "wow! it's pink like my crayons are pink!" As the sun got higher it kinda looked like a fire was making its way over the mountains.

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And sunset the next day. About 3:45 pm.

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Decorating of the Christmas tree. Carolina was really into it this year and could hardly wait for us to get the lights on it so she could start hanging ornaments. I tried to encourage her to reach a little higher, but she put the majority on the bottom branches. And she remembers where she put them, because I tried to spread some out and the next morning she was asking where so and so ornament went, lol.

She had intense concentration the whole time, took it very serious!

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Proudly showing me how she 'DID hang this one up high, Mommy!"

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Finished product! Since we've never had a fireplace before I hadn't worried about having matching stockings, and one seemed to have disappeared since last year. So hopefully I'll find time to get 4 that look nice together.

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For the past week an 'ice fog' has been hanging over Anchorage. We haven't seen the sun or mountians since it started. At times it was so thick you couldn't see to the trees at the back of the clearing behind our house! Since it's essentially tiny ice crystals floating around, it coats everything in white. Unlike snow which just sits on the top of branches, the ice fog coats all the way around. It truly looks like a winter wonderland up here. I was hoping the fog would clear out and we would have at least one day of blue skies to take pictures of everything white and glittery, but the fog wasn't lifting and they were calling for snow the next day. Even though the show sparkles, the ice fog crystals will sit on top of the snow and create short upside down icicle type things. It makes everything sparkle even more. But I had to settle for these pics instead, just to give everyone an idea of what it looked like, now that it's snowed on top of everything.

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Look closely along the top of the leaf....

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About a week ago the dogs started going crazy, and in trying to get them to calm down I realized there was a moose right out over the fence. The pictures didn't quite do it the justice the video did. (This video was taken at about 11:30 am, at the end I zoom all the way out and you can kinda tell how low the sun stays all day.)