Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is It Just Me, Or Is It Brighter These Days?

Life has been busy in the Moose Nugget House, trying to establish a new "normal".
Little Nugget Update: Her echo cardiogram came back OK, so it's not her heart. THAT is good news. The down-side, we still have no idea what's wrong with her. More good news though: she has gained 9 ounces. So hopefully this means she might start growing again. We are (literally) weighing in twice a week now. She's still got the feeding tube, but her appetite is getting better and she is back to her usual antics which include... taking her first two steps!

Meanwhile, Alaska is moving in it's cyclical way with no notice of the Moose Nugget Household. A couple days ago, I had a rare opportunity to "sleep in" (thank you, J, for getting up with the kids!). I startled when I woke. The grey dawn was already pouring into the room. Panicked, I thought SURELY I did not sleep until 10 am?!? As I rushed down the loft steps to check on my babies, the clock told me to relax, it was only 8:30. It was a relaxed morning (for a change in our recent hectic pace), so I poured a cup of coffee and snuggled with my girls as J and I chatted the sunrise away. My day threw me for another loop in the evening time. I have become accustomed to the dark signaling when nap time is over, or when it might be time to think about dinner. I am already suffering from what I call "Summer Syndrome"... where the daylight tricks you into thinking it is earlier than it really is. We've had several late dinners this week because I am still letting the darkness dictate when I prepare the evening meal. And not that I care about eating a late dinner, but anyone can surely understand that a late dinner means a late bedtime for your kids. And not that the KIDS mind a late bedtime, but it sure puts a dent in my "Mommy Needs Personal Space" plans.

I can hear my friend Susan cheering in my head... the return of light means a lot to her, and other Alaska residents.
But for me... well, the end of dark winter always makes me a little sad. It means that the "busy season" is approaching. The snow will (eventually) melt. The ice will break. Break-up will be upon us. Then the summer, full of gardening, outdoor fun, berry picking, hiking, visiting family (they only come in summer, ya know) and (hopefully) livestock.
Don't get me wrong! I'm not lazy or afraid of work. Nor am I part vampire or a hater of summer fun. I actually love Alaska for it's extremes. But in our neck of Alaska, it seems like the dark JUST arrives, then it goes away again. As the daylight returns, I know my knitting needles will return to the shelf for a few months. Cozy semi-lazy days by the wood stove will come to an end, and all the books I promised myself I was absolutely positively going to read this winter will go back on the bookshelf. Goodbye, old friends! *SNIFF* See ya after then next snowfall!

Meanwhile, it's time to break out the room darkening shades. If I have another opportunity to sleep past 8 am, I am going to make sure I'm in the dark to do it. And even though there is still enough light outside to see the tree line, I'd better start putting some thought to dinner, so I can actually have my family fed before 8pm today.

In other news: we've had a yard visitor. And this guy likes to get in close. Dog-like prints, too big to be a fox and too small to be a wolf. I'm hoping (OH GOSH AM I HOPING!) that it's just a domesticated dog that has taken interest in our yard. I'm erring on the side of caution and thinking it could be a coyote. I haven't seen him in full form, but we did make eye contact in the dark, as he was trotting up the driveway while I was Northern Lights gazing the other evening. It scared me in that, "I think my stomach just fell into my shorts" kind of way and I dashed inside just about the time the startled canine starting growling in my general direction. He's been back a couple times, leaving fresh prints in our yard, dangerously close to the house and cars. (Please, for the love of goodness, just be one of the neighbor's dogs!)
If any of my neighbors are reading, I apologize, but the next time this critter gets that close to me, it's gonna be a hunting trophy on my cabin wall. Unless it can prove itself friendly and harmless. Domestic or not... a canine-like animal brave enough to growl at me in my own yard is going to get a reminder of who's name is on the deed.

So that I don't have to end on such a macabre note... I'd like to add that one exciting thing the daylight DOES signal... it's almost time for the Ice Park! (End of February, if I remember correctly?) And Beans is old enough to REALLY have fun with it this year. AND since I'm not a lumbering eight month pregnant woman this year (thank goodness), I'll be able to join the fun with her. We've had an unusually warm winter (for those of you snickering, "only" 10 below really IS pretty warm for us this time of year!). If the weather holds out, the park should be really enjoyable this year, because we'll be able to stay longer than an hour before freezing our toes.

Light snow is falling, and the grey sky has once again lulled me into believing that I have more time in my day than I really do...

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!


JackDaddy said...

What a good post, full of good news and stories! I can't imagine trying to live with only a short amount of darkness!

Anonymous said...

So glad that Little Nugget is doing well. I had a friend whose son and daughter gained very little wait their entire first years, and now one is a happy healthy 6 year old and the other is a stought 3 year old!! I also am going to miss the darkness too. It is so weird driving home from work everyday in the sunlight again!

Susan Stevenson said...

YAY! The sun is coming back! *grin* I love this time of year when the days grow longer, and the cold isn't as bone-chilling.

Like you, I am always so happy to return to AK. I was in Madison visiting my kids and just got home yesterday. What a treat to watch the gorgeous sunset from an airplane above this beautiful state.

I am continuing to keep you all in my prayers as you and the doctors figure out the situation with Little Nugget.

We'll be traveling at the end of Feb, but if you find your way to the Ice Park in mid-March and want to meet for coffee (or want company while Beans plays on the ice slides), give me a hollar.

Anonymous said...

You're living the adventure my husband would like to live! We're Michigan natives but the economy zapped us. Now we're in the Middle of Nowhere, Iowa! What a ride. Check out our adventures at

Melisa said...

My son was a failure to thrive baby, when weighing in at 9 lbs @ 4 months of age. He is a happy, healthy 10 year old now- though he is still small and being monitored for growth yearly. It was due to allergies (very severe milk/dairy- even to the hypoallergenic stuff) and then again later from celiac disease. (remember me now?) :) You can mommymail me on babyfit if you want more info. I hope Little Nugget continues to gain and congrats on the good news of the heart.

Hayley Burns said...

First of all, I am glad your Little Nugget's echo cardiogram came back ok. That is good news. Also, don't know if this will help or not, but my daughter was very sick when she was born and stayed for a short while in the NICU. Things seemed really scary then. I watched her chest heave and at abnormally rapid rate and prayed the infection in her lungs would clear and her breathing would slow so the tube could be pulled from her nose and she could come home with me. She is now a very healthy, (meaty even) 4 year old. Kids are know that.

Secondly, I AM MOVING TO DELTA JUNCTION!! My husband accepted a job today and, God willing, we will be there April 1st. I would love to talk to you directly. If you find time, email me directly at

Kathy said...

Happy to hear it isn't Little Nugget's heart! Will keep her in my prayers! Glad she is gaining some weight!
Hugs to keep you warm!
an Alaskan-wanna be

Estra Reynolds said...

I am Hayley's mom and following your blog. I have been researching Delta Junction trying to get some feel for the place my beloved daughter and son-in-law will be taking my beloved granddaughter. I found your blog and told Hayley.....this girl sounds just like you. I like her and feel much better about DJ now. Her reply was Yeah she is my friend. I said Whattt?? She said she just doesn't know it yet. Anyway I refresh your blog everyday in hopes of finding something out about your Little Nugget. You haven't posted since Jan 21 and I have enough to worry about without worrying about you in Washington with Lil Nugget. You both are in my prayers.

Hayley (your friend you haven't met yet)'s mom.

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April said...

Another family is worried about you guys. I hope and pray everything is okay with Little Nugget and hope you can post soon.

April said...

Doesn't seem brighter at all without you blogging. Miss you blogging!