Friday, February 13, 2009

Moose Patrol!

Hey, y'all!

So, we seem to suddenly be overrun by moose this past week. Two large females hanging around the backyard, a group of three (perhaps mom and her twins from last calving season?) hanging around the parking lot, and a lone and VERY large female hanging around our front door. Literally.
J was on his way to take out the trash and I heard the door open, a brief expletive, and the door shutting again in a hurry. He spooked the poor gal, who had been happily licking Ice Melt off our front porch. She took off to the back yard, but once she realized J was gone, resumed her position on our porch. Beans and I had a good time watching her, and she stuck around for over an hour in the front yard, licking salt and grazing on any grass roots she could kick up in the yard.

Speaking of Beans, she is full of words these days! Her sign language vocabulary grows every day... over 30 words, maybe? And her verbal language is growing quickly, too.
I mention this because long after I grew bored watching our moose friend, Beans stayed in the window, saying, "Moooooosh! Moooooosh!"
I was absentmindedly agreeing with her, "Yes, Beans... MOOSE. Do you see the moose?" as I cooked dinner, and poked my head into the living room to check on her. This time, it was MY turn to be shocked, as the giant moose had decided to climb a snow bank in our front yard, and was happily staring back at Beans, um... into our second story windows!
Part of me wonders, was she standing outside practicing her own vocabulary? "Beeeeeeens, Beeeeeens".
Beans and I dimmed the lights to get a better view, and snuggled in the rocking chair to watch our new moose pal, watching us, until dinner threatened to burn and Madame Moose decided it was time to find another salt lick.

I don't know if it means spring is on the way, but moose are really out in droves lately. Our trip to Fairbanks last week proved the importance of moose patrol, as they seemed to be everywhere, and completely oblivious to the Human Element. We are seeing groups of females, and lots of moms with yearlings, and a few youngsters starting to run around without the watchful eye of a parent. There were even a handful of reports that moose are venturing into the city these days... a sign of spring? Or a sign that food is growing scarce out there, and they are showing up closer to us people for a better chance of a nibble?

Well... in the family report this week: the midwife visit went well. Another negative FFN, so barring any major medical emergency, we shouldn't be in any danger of having a baby for the next couple weeks. I am getting pretty excited about that these days. This last FFN should take us to 33 1/2 weeks gestation, which means we are within days of being able to deliver in Fairbanks instead of being sent to Anchorage. That's really good news. And if we can get another FFN after that, we should be past any serious danger of prematurity for the Little Nugget. Very good news all around.

Also in the family report: my nesting instinct has taken on a mind of it's own. The reality of a baby appearing sometime in the next 10 weeks has made me aware that I might need to start preparing things for the little one to show up. The week has been spent washing teeny tiny clothes, diapers, and various other itty-bitty things, and getting organized for managing "two under two".
The reality of that endeavor (two under two) is beginning to set in, and I am already begging J to take, oh, two years of paternity time. *grin*


Well... it's been a pretty easy going week or so around here. Not too much exciting to report in terms of Alaskana... other than the fact that we have very near "normal" days again now.
Today, the official daylight is 8 hours and 30 minutes. "Civil Twilight" adds an extra hour to that, giving us almost 10 hours of light.
As Beans and I drove J to work at 7:40 this morning, we caught glimpses of the beginning of sunrise, and by the time we were on our way back home (8 am), the sky was already glowing orange and pink over the horizon.
The lengthening of days has an interesting effect... it gives an air of excitement, kind of like those first glimpses of daffodils or jonquils in warmer climates. It feels like something NEW is coming, or right around the corner. The longer afternoons give off a faint memory of the incoming spring and summer, the days when the windows will be open all day, with a crisp pine scented breeze blowing into the house.

I didn't really think I would be looking forward to winter leaving us, but I AM starting to daydream of all the fun that warmer weather will bring with it...
I am excited about being able to get back to exercise and jogging, and plan to (hopefully) be ready to take on a couple 5Ks this summer. Last year, Beans and I walked the Mosquito Meander in Fairbanks, and I was secretly envious of those who could participate in the Midnight Fun Run, which I skipped because Beans needed to be in bed. This year, I'm thinking, "What's the big deal if they sleep in the stroller for one night? Really?"
I also don't plan on sitting on the sidelines for the Ft Greely 5K this summer. I longingly watched J leave the house for that "little jog", and since he has been letting his cardio practice slide (lifting weights instead), I was secretly calculating if I would have been able to beat his time. No doubt, if I ran without the kids, I could... with the kids in the stroller, I probably could have kept pace with him.
(Ha ha! Just a little jab there, for my sweetie. And if I can get my postpartum fanny into shape fast enough, we'll put that contest to the test this summer.)

Can you tell our family has a slight competitive streak? *grin*

Ah... spring coming also means walks with the kids, trips to the outdoor playground, walking to the post office, and grilling out.
Not that we don't grill out occasionally now. J likes the "challenge" of grilling in 30 below. But I am fondly thinking of the smell of the grill, the scent of mosquito repellent, and hanging out in the yard with the kids and some good friends.


MEANWHILE... I am still feverishly crocheting tiny little baby things for the New Little Nugget, as well as for a few friends who are expecting. There is an urgency to crocheting these days, as I know my weeks are numbered... it won't be long before the crochet projects have to take a back seat to nursing TWO hungry little ones (yep, Beans is still at the breast...), chasing a toddler, keeping a baby happy, getting back into shape, meeting friends, and various spring and summer activities. And somewhere in there, getting the house ready for the summer visitors... grandparents, uncles, and various other people who love the fact that we live in a cool place to come visit.

On the upcoming agenda: well, not much. Now that I am the size of an infant beluga whale and beginning to waddle like a fat little penguin, our pace has slowed to the minimum level of physical exertion possible. If y'all want to bear with our boring pace, I'll keep posting... but I hope you aren't expecting too much exciting in the way of adventures. Even J has been warned that his activities have to stay within cell phone range (that's not really far, here!), so other than a couple hockey practices in town, his days of ice fishing and snow machine trips are about over for this year. Poor guy... he's really pouting about that, but he does understand that he just might "accidentally" fall through the ice if he chooses to go fishing and his wife goes into labor and can't reach him by phone.
Besides, someone has to be here to help me get shoes and socks on, since I can't see or reach my feet anymore. I tried making Beans do it, but she thought it was more fun to throw my shoes down the basement stairs, then watch me waddle down to retrieve them. Even the cat seems to find amusement with watching me try to reach to the floor and fill his food and water dishes. (We fixed that with a self-watering, self-feeding style bowl. HA!)

Well, folks... that's the moose report from here. I've got to waddle myself to the potty (for the millionth time this morning), then waddle myself and Beans to playgroup, where she can run off some of her energy. That is, if Madame Moose will kindly let us leave our house. We apparently have a pretty comfy front porch.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!


Tammy Kauffman said...

Glad to hear you are doing great. I remember waking my kids up at 10:30 p.m. One night to look at the moose next to my daughters room. It was amazing to see, especially it being our first year. Glad you are having fun. Take care of yourself. Can't wait until little nugget is born so you can get out there and whip your hubby's butt in the Midnight Sun Run. I didn't really have a curfew for the kids during the summer because I wasn't working so we would ride bikes at 10:30 p.m. Being cooped up all winter you have to have fun in the summer.

Can't wait until next post.


Karla said...

I'm so jealous! The best wildlife I have on my front porch is a percocoius little squirrel. :) I can't wait for my version of Madame Moose! Happy summer dreaming...