Just for the record... a spoonful of sugar really DOES help the medicine go down.
What am I talking about? My recent absence.
Oh, I know. Most of you assumed I was just busy in New Baby World, right? Oh, we've been in New Baby World, alright, but we have also been in Everyone Has the Crud World.
Beans had some sort of vomiting/poop bug the week I gave birth to her sister. The following week, she caught a cold, then decided to add an ear infection to the mix. Not to be outdone, J decided he would also like to have the vomiting/poop bug. A week after I gave birth. I COULD have felt sorry for him, but I didn't. Instead, I huffed and puffed my way through those weeks I was supposed to be "resting and recuperating" and obeying midwife's orders to take it easy. But since we didn't obey any of her orders through the pregnancy to take it easy, I don't know why I thought I would be obedient AFTER delivery, ya know?
Nope. I ended up with some sort of cold/sore throat/ need an antibiotic bug. The antibiotics didn't work the first round, so I got another round of them.
And just to make sure she fit into the family, New Little Nugget decided she really wanted to go back to the hospital.
Yep. That's right. The hospital.
OK. Don't panic. She's fine now. But she caught some lovely little sniffle/cough bug from her very loving sister. And teeny little babies don't do colds so well. The doctor took a listen to her and admitted her for some testing and observation... and lots and lots of suctioning of Shrek colored goo out of her nose. Yeah, it was pretty gross.
The good news is: the family is on the mend (mostly). We are once again, home from the hospital, and sheesh... I really hope we keep it that way now! Half the family is on antibiotics (Beans and me). Half the family is drinking Imodium cocktails (J and Beans). Three fourths of our family are sick and tired of being sick and tired (J, Beans, and me). Half of our family could care less if anyone else is sick, as long as the breast milk shows up every couple hours. (Wanna take a guess on those family members?)
Things are getting better. And it just wouldn't be the Moose Nugget Family if there wasn't a "trial by fire" while getting settled into our new situation.
The end result is this: I am seriously relieved that J is going to go back to work next week. Don't get me wrong. I love him. A lot. And I really am glad I didn't have to handle two sick kids entirely alone. But...
He. Is. Driving. Me. Crazy.
Honestly. He NEEDS to go back to work. And not for the paycheck, but to avoid having someone coming to pick me up and put me in one of those white jackets and haul me off to a rubber padded room.
I used to look forward to all our retirement plans. Now, I am reconsidering. I think he should have a job forever. Even saying, "Welcome to Walmart" ensures that I get a good eight hours of peace and quiet in my house a few days a week, right?
Speaking of my wonderful spouse, he is currently rabbit hunting with a new friend of his. I literally threw him out of the house today, telling him to make good use of his rifle... before I did.
ANYHOO... this brings me back to babbling about Alaska.
Rabbits. J is out rabbit hunting, and I'm nervous. Oh, I've had bunny stew and bunny pot pie before. But for those that don't know, there are different types of bunnies. MOST bunny-eaters are accustomed to cottontails. (Yes, like, "Little Peter Cottontail, Hopping down the bunny trail...") He's hunting hares, which ARE different, and we have been warned by seasoned residents that not only are hares "a little more gamey" (interpretation: does not taste like chicken), End of Winter hares are particularly gamey, since they have been foraging for food and living mostly on bark and other roughage. Hmmm... time to come up with some serious seasoning, or find a good stir-fry recipe.
Side Note: The longer I live in Alaska, the more I notice that stir-fry becomes my standby recipe for meat that I otherwise have no clue how to prepare or any inclination to eat.
Hey, if it works for dog, cat, and rat, it can work for Winter Hare, right?
And speaking of food... I have to take a quick moment to make y'all giggle about how "Alaskan" we are becoming.
You know you live in rural Alaska when...
Wile "in town", you take your daughter to Pizza Hut, and ask what she wants on her pizza. Beans was quick to reply, "Moosh." When I explained that they don't put moose on pizza at restaurants, she gave me a confused look and said, "Ok. Boo-Boo?" (Caribou).
The poor girl just could not understand what kind of pizza place did not make moose or caribou pizza, and I had to lie to the poor girl and insist that the sausage pizza was indeed "Moosh and Boo Boo Pizza", like mommy makes at home. (And even mor impressive, she knew it wasn't, and decided she would just eat salad instead!)
Moving right along in our Alaska Family update:
Spring really IS here! Granted, it's not like any spring I have ever really experienced before, but it's here! The days are growing longer... we are officially over sixteen hours of daylight now, and dawn and twilight have stretched our days with visible light from 4 am until close to 11:30 pm.
The days are downright balmy compared to our winter days- hovering in the mid 40s to 50s during the day. That said, we woke to off and on snow flurries today, as temps were in the mid to upper 30s.
Our recent driving to Fairbanks has revealed melting rivers and streams, and the roadside ponds are becoming visible again. Nothing turning green just yet, but I can't wait. Last year's green-up was amazing, with our weekly drive taking on an entirely different look each time we made the trip.
The weather has my green thumb itching to get something planted. J brought home a potted plant for me, but it wasn't enough. I picked up a few seed packets this last trip to town, and plan on starting a few things indoors this week. We won't be able to set out plants until the last week of May or first weeks of June. This year, I'm planning on a salad garden (carrots, and a few lettuce varieties), as well as trying to grow broccoli and kohlrabi, and a few varieties of peas, which I have been told will grow wonderfully here with our cooler weather.
We've been spending as much time outdoors as we can, in spite of being sick. After a long and cold winter, it's impossible to see any current reason to stay inside. With Nugget bundled up and in the sling, and Beans in a jacket and boots, we have gone on long walks around the base to see snow melting, play on mostly thawed out playgrounds, color with sidewalk chalk, splash in puddles (which we have lots of these days!), and meet other neighbors who have been waiting for the world to thaw before venturing out as well. Beans has been enjoying being ppushed around on her new tricycle, and J and I have had fun seeing all our friends and neighbors who also have new babies, or soon will... thanks to Alaska's most efficient way of keeping warm through the winter. (ha ha) Seriously, what else are you going to do when it's 40 below?
I know I said I love winter here. And I do. But I love spring, too.
I got to thinking about it, and I think what I really love about Alaska is the extremes of it. When it's winter, holy smokes! It's WINTER. There is no escaping the dark, the cold, the snow, the ice. When it's summer, it's SUMMER. There is light and life everywhere you turn. There is a flurry of activity, as everyone tries to fit in as much outdoor fun and recreation as the short season will hold. Spring and fall are constantly changing. Each day, you look out the window to a different Alaska. There is very little "same-ness". The same thing that attracted me to a career as paramedic (the fact that every day was going to be different and have it's own set of unique factors) is the same thing that attracts me to Alaska, and keeps me interested. Every day is different here. You keep your eyes open because you don't want to miss what's coming next. (Um, you also keep your eyes open all summer because the sun never goes away and makes it impossible for dark lovers like me to sleep, but that's a different story.)
As another little side note, we are quickly coming up on our one year anniversary in Alaska. This year has gone by so quickly that I can't believe it myself. Our journey into Alaska began May 12th. I have recently been reflecting on our last year and been amazed at all the things we've seen, done, and experienced... and this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. It's amazing to have lived and grown so much over this last year, and then more amazing still to realize that we have really had to miss out on a lot of things because the pregnancy limited what we were able to do, or residency rules limited what we were able to fish, hunt, and various other things.
This coming year promises to be pretty adventure filled for us, as we finally establish official residency here and lose some of our limitations. Moose Nugget Followers should look for exciting stories this year of hikes with babies (and hopefully without bear sightings!), more exciting hunting and fishing stories, more road trips, and more "Alaskan Living" stories, as we enter our second year of our journey into Alaska.
A little closer to the anniversary, I'll blog-reflect on our last year here more in depth. But for now, I am still awed by Alaska, and so glad we came here. And this coming year, we are better prepared, from appropriate winter gear, to room darkening shades for the summer. We are armed with more knowledge, more information, a tiny little bit of experience, and a couple of decent rifles and a shotgun.
Meanwhile... I discovered the best way to bribe an 18 month old to take an antibiotic that smells (and tastes) like strawberry vomit is to promise a handful of jelly beans if she'll just take her medicine first. I'm off to bribe children and quite literally nurse everyone back to health, and put everyone to bed under a well-lit Alaskan night sky. For the record, it's 8:35 pm and we have a good two hours before sunset.
Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!