Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Equinox in Alaska

Happy Spring, everyone! At least, officially, right?
I was eagerly awaiting this morning, the first official day of spring. I hope everyone else woke to a beautiful spring day, Lower 48 style. Alaska style meant a "balmy" 3 below zero this morning, and either a light dusting of snow, or a layer of frost on the cars and roofs in the neighborhood.

I received some beautiful pictures from a friend in California the other day... wildflowers in bloom on the mountains, and even news of her officially breaking ground on her annual garden. She also sent me a picture of some beautiful jonquils, and I teased her about making me sad.
Jonquils are one of my favorite flowers... where I grew up, it was the first official sign of spring, followed by the larger yellow heads of daffodils. Those two flowers meant an end to winter, and soon, things would begin blooming.
On the other hand, it is nice, experiencing the first dawning of spring without my usual hay fever symptoms. This will be the first spring in my life that I don't need sudafed or benadryl to keep me breathing. *grin*

This past week has been a busy one for the Moose Nugget Family. We returned from the midwife's office with news that we should definitely be prepared to have to head to Fairbanks at any time now. Seems that there is some progress in the direction of labor and delivery after all. (Hooray! Oh, glorious day!) Hopefully just a few more short weeks. Or less. Less would be nice. We've been told that IF we make it to our next prenatal appointment, we should be prepared to stay in town, as the midwife wouldn't feel too comfortable with our returning home at that point.

In other quick baby news... we had to fire the doula. Um, yeah...
Well, she "forgot" that we had an appointment this week. This is the second of three appointments she has forgotten. And she offered no real apology, just "Oops. I forgot." Aside from the fact that I was pretty irritated (having driven up a day early for the sole purpose of meeting with her, AND skipping Beans' nap, AND meaning dinner and bedtime would be late too)... this was kind of a "third strike, you're out" deal. The first appointment she missed, we chalked up to an accident. The month it took her to return my calls and tell me she accidentally deleted my birth plan (that I only wrote to humor her, since MY idea of a birth plan is: Have baby, recover, go home), that really hit a raw nerve, but since she's also a dog musher and was "out of town" we chalked it up to a miscommunication about how long she would be out of town. But forgetting a third time? Just unprofessional. So... we terminated that contract. Back to "Plan B". Have a baby, recover, go home.

For family and concerned friends: Everything will be OKAY. The midwife plans on being there through the whole birth. J will take Beans to a nearby hotel and keep her entertained, and they will visit the hospital after the New Little Nugget arrives. The "plan" is still to attempt a drug-free birth, but the new "Plan B" is to throw "Plan A" out the window if we have to.
And besides... birth plans are a little silly, in my humble opinion. God and babies are not in the habit of following directions. I know. I have a toddler. And once or twice, I might have tried to order God around, too. It really doesn't work out so well, for the record. Kids and God pretty much do whatever the heck they feel like doing. (grin)

SO.... ANYWAY...
Our busy week continued. I will shamelessly admit that in an effort to jump start labor, I allowed J to drive me down every bumpy road in Delta Junction, under the guise of "house hunting". Yep. It's official. We like it here enough to stay.
That said, after days and hours of bumpy roads, peeing in the woods (bumpy roads and bladders with babies sitting on them don't mix well, for the record), and a handful of contractions but no spontaneous labor later... we didn't really find anything we liked this time around. Lots of fun, er... "project houses", but as far as move-in ready or meeting our criteria, not this time. We gave up the search for now, and decided to just wait out the housing market a bit.
But it was a good way to kill some time this week!

On one of our bumpy road travels, we saw an amazing sight...
Yesterday, the sun was shining bright in a slightly hazy, overcast sky. A rainbow formed a full circle around the sun, like a halo. It was beautiful, and made me (once again) wish I had remembered to stash the camera in the car.
Can any of the locals tell me: Is that a "sun dog"??? We weren't sure, exactly.


In other news... well, there's not much other news. I have officially given up the van this weekend, since driving is getting a little more difficult with this belly of mine. Not to mention, J should really have a way to get back home from work, when I DO have to make the "Honey, it's time" phone call. Beans and I are "stuck" in the house for the weekend, though if the weather is nice enough (as in, above 20 degrees or so), we'll likely venture out for some playtime in the snow, or a little walk around the neighborhood.

Other than that, I am wrestling with strong nesting urges. The intense desire to clean out kitchen cabinets, closets, and various other places in the house that probably don't make a difference in the universe, but just CAN'T be allowed to stay cluttered or messy. I mean, seriously, who can bring a baby into the world when the pots and pans are not perfectly aligned in the cabinets and the spice cabinet is not in alphabetical order? Really.

In the coming weeks, we are waiting for the obvious (duh!), as well as a couple packages at the post office, including some fun books on cold weather gardening, as the gardening bug is really starting to weasel into my daydreams these days.

I hope y'all are having beautiful spring days, and enjoying the dawning of a new season.
Until Next Time,

Happy Moose Trails!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Night Lights

Susan- thanks for "Heads Up"! Amazingly enough, it paid off last night.

Poor little Beans has caught yet another cold. Good grief. I think we are destined for every single virus this winter.
What that means for me... a few restless nights and an increase in nursing (which is increasing contractions, BTW, something I'm sure the midwife is going to be just thrilled about.)
Last night was no exception. Around 11 pm, right around the time the Tylenol wore off, Beans was up and calling for "Mama", only with a stuffy nose, it sounded more like, "La Bamba". After nearly an hour of nursing, she was finally dozing off again (and I was contracting about every 3-5 minutes, and finally decided I had enough of that). She thankfully accepted being put back to bed, snuggled in with baby and blankie, and I tiptoed out of the room to visit the potty.

On my way back to bed (midnight-ish), I glanced out of the spare bedroom window at the night sky, and I'm glad I did. The sky was dark, with that alien green glow moving along the night sky. They hovered just over my favorite constellation, Orion (my favorite, because it's one of the few I can actually identify, plus, knowing Orion once helped me win a Trivial Pursuit game for my mom and her team, ages ago). Orion's position in the sky, along with the aurora made it look like he was pointing his bow and arrow directly at the lights, poised and ready to hunt them down out of the sky.
As an added bonus, pressing my aching and contracting belly against the cold window (it was below zero again last night) had a soothing effect on the contractions, and I stood, feeling a bit like a hokey hippy, but letting Alaska soothe me enough to return to bed.

The days are numbered, where we will see the aurora. Days are getting longer and longer, and you can almost tell a daily difference in the light patterns. I was amazed when I put Beans to bed last night around 8 pm, and discovered there was enough daylight left to read by, and it was after 8:30 when I had to finally turn a reading lamp on to finish my book. This morning, another trip to the potty around 6:15 already had dawn-light peeking through the windows, and streaks of color beginning to form in the sky. It wasn't long after that the brilliant sunrise colors started up, and the sun filled the house again.

Oh, I have mixed feelings on it, of course. I am beginning to look forward to my little part of the world thawing out, and blooming and softening enough to be working the soil again. On the other hand, I also know it won't be long before I am nursing a new baby in the wee hours of the morning, confused as to why the sun is trying to creep into any crevice and crack it can find in the shades, blinds, door jams, and windows.

Meanwhile, I definitely plan on taking the advise of my friend Susan, and keeping my eyes to the sky in my hours of insomnia. The light show last night was worth having to be out of bed.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!