Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The Russian University ship, Pallada was in port the other week, and we got go aboard for a tour of this amazing ship. I realize from this 1st picture you are probably thinking OK, they must really be board up there to be so amazed and excited to walk around a boat but this was no ordinary boat. It was a SHIP, as in Pirates of the Caribbean, and it was amazing. However there was one slight problem, the people giving the tours only spoke Russian!!

Did I mention this was a really cool ship? and this isn't even a good shot of it!

Using the sails it could travel at 19 knots, Any guesses on how many sails there are??

So I find out the day before they were leaving that it was open to the public to walk on and look around. Of course however, Scott was on a flight to Barrow so I sucked it up and took all three girls by myself because I really wanted to check this thing out. Well I think this one guy must have really felt bad watching me waddle up the gang plank trying not to loose anyone in the water so after helping us on board he offered to show us around. He also taught me 2 Russian words, his name and Hi, I could barely pronounce them and definitely could not spell them, sorry. So this is "Jack", yes I know I had way too much fun with the whole Pirates of the Caribbean thing. (side note sorry * another funny story, there was a really nice expensive boat in town the same week as this one that was RUMORED to have Johnny Depp staying on it. lol sorry back to the Pallada)

So the 1st thing "Jack" showed me was this cool contraption that I don't know the name of. I guess it would be the maritime version of binoculars, as it made that island behind us look like we were standing on it. There was also a "museum" room that housed Russian artifacts and history on the ship, all in Russian of course. Jack's job was on the top crow's nest of the main sail, he kept watch out and helped pull in the sail and let it out.

This poor kid was 24 and had 4 brothers and sisters and barely spoke English! The girls fell in love with their new friend and he was picked on by every other sailor that walked by for having an American girl and 2kids that no one knew of!

Anyways back to the ship. Every year it enters contests and then posts the events it has been in and/or won around the world. It was built in the early 1980's ('83 I believe) and has sailed around the world twice.

When the girls weren't fascinated with the water or trying to talk the workers into taking them for a ride and leave the dock they worked on their climbing skills. Over all it was an amazing day and a blast checking out the ship. Oh yeah and in case you were wondering there were 26 sails!

Summer Time Fun

We have been having GREAT weather this year. Last year when we got here it stayed cold I think all summer, we might have had 5days that hit 70. This year however has been so much warmer and sunnier! The other day after several very sunny days I let the girls play outside for most of the morning, as we normally do on sunny days. After sitting out there for a few minutes it got very warm in the sun, I almost broke a sweat! I had a cooler of ice that we had taken out the day before but hadn't used, since I couldn't decide what to do with the ice I dumped it in the turtle and had the girls put on their swimsuits. After warming the water up a little with water from the house the girls spent the rest of the morning playing in their new "pool".

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Hike

We took our first family hike last week up Old Woman Mountain. Our housing area is built at the base of the mountain and it is supposedly named for the back half which is falling a about. This was not only our first hike up Old Woman but our first hike since last year when we found out I was pregnant. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to make it to the top however when friends told me about their 3year old climbing it I figured I could do as good as a 3year old. So off we went.

While it was a little steep in some areas my biggest issue was the rocks. I had Caitlyn on my front in the ergo carrier which made it a little difficult to see where I was stepping. The girls however had a blast trying to keep up with Lucy, the dog. This was probably the slowest hike Scott has ever taken. However, we had a great time checking out all of the future berry picking spots and talking with other hikers.

For the most part the trail was very thick with bushes however occasionally there was a clearing that allowed us to get great shots of the town of Kodiak as well as the base and our housing area. The first clearing we came to overlooked the base. We got there just in time to watch the afternoon trainer taking off. The girls loved it.

A girl and her dog

By the time we got almost to the top Alisha and Lucy were pretty wore out but still in good spirits. I thought Alisha would be fussy however attempting to keep up with Lucy kept her paying too much attention to being tired. Bri gave up her attempts at keeping up about half way up and finished the hike in the carrier. I was really impressed with how well they both did for having never really hiked before.


I had to get a little proof that I made it to the top. Although I didn't make it as far as I wanted. There is a flag about another mile from where we were and just past that is a mountain top lake. The lake was our original goal however I was so relived to make it to the top that we didn't want to push it. We also figured the lake would make a nice goal for another day.

Berry Pickin

The berries are in full bloom, Salmon berries, that is. This time of year the island is covered by them. They are delicious and have a very unique taste, almost a combination of raspberry and blackberry. They also look somewhat like Salmon roe, hence the name. Our favorite picking place happens to be right off the back step of our little church. We noticed Sunday after the service that they were finally ripe enough to be picked. So a couple of days later we took about an hour and picked berries. Despite the girls best attempts at eating them before they hit the bucket (just kidding, they actually did very well not eating them until Scott said it was OK to have a few and they took that as a free for all on the berries) we were able to pick about 2-3gallons in that hour. We all had a blast crawling through the thick bushes and can't wait for another pretty day to get some more. Hopefully this year we will be able to get enough to get us through the winter. I'm still waiting for the blueberries to get ripe they should be ready any week now.

Working on filling our 5 gallon bucket.

Six Weeks Already!!

WOW! Six weeks already, where has the time gone? I can't believe how big my little cuddle bug is getting. It seems like Alisha and Bri were so much smaller longer. Caitlyn already has very good control of her head and pushes herself up when she's on her belly. She's still a great sleeper but loves to play after the girls go to sleep. It's almost as though she knows she will have mommy and daddy all to herself. The older girls are still being wonderful big sisters. They want to play with her every chance she is awake and have taken to caring for their baby dolls like they were real. Alisha has also become gentler with Bri as she has taken to caring for Caitlyn. Several times she has put her arms around Bri to comfort her or offered to hold Bri if she is upset about something. They are such a joy and we are having a so much fun watching our little family grow.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Introducing . . .

We had a baby!!! Yes I know I'm a little late in updating. However, our little Caitlyn Renae was born June 9th, 2011 after almost a day and a half of contractions and labor. Poor Scott had to sit down just after she was born I don't think he had sat down all day.

We were able to deliver naturally with just under an hour of actually pushing. I was certain by 4 o'clock they were never going to let me push and started asking Scott to request the C-section because I was done! Thankfully however he put his foot down and told me to relax I would be pushing shortly and we were. Shortly after asking for the section they decided I should be on oxygen I'm not really sure why. Anyone know if it is standard to put women on oxygen that mask was a pain when you try to push!

After she arrived it was wonderful! She scored all 9's on the apgar scale, was eating like a champ just 20 mins after being born and weighed in at 8lbs 4 oz and 20 1/2 inches. Scott snapped a couple of pictures then passed out on the little sofa for a 2min power nap. Earlier in the day I gave in and asked for an epidural so we had to wait for feeling to return to my legs before being moved to our postpartum room. Feeling didn't fully return until the next morning (it was a very strong epidural and not much fun) however with a lot of help from our amazing nurse I was able to shower and get moved to our room for the night. The hospital has a 1-1 ratio for nurses and patients so our nurse was pretty much in our room the whole day and did I mention she was wonderful!

After a very restful night Scott brought the girls over to meet their new sister. They fell in love immediately and I was very surprised at how well they did with her. They were very gentle and didn't push her away when they tired of holding her, they would ask us to take her and wait for someone to get her. Even now they love holding her, I have to watch Bri as she thinks she can pick her up when she cries.

The hospital staff on the postpartum floor was also wonderful, everyone we met was very laid back and professional. We both recalled how in Florida the staff was very strict on feeding every 2 hours and telling us the baby would die if we didn't attempt to feed every 2 hours. However, Providence hospital had the policy that as long as the baby was healthy and you documented when you attempted to feed they didn't pressure you to follow a specific feeding schedule. Caitlyn followed, what our nurse called cluster feedings, she would eat roughly every 3 hours during the day then give me a longer break at night and make up for it in the morning between 5 and 10 when she would "cluster eat" every hour to 2hours.

After a full day of recovery we were discharged to return to Kodiak. We left Anchorage that night in order to catch the ferry. We had tried to catch one later in the week so I would have more time to rest however all of the ferries were already booked up for the the next several weeks due to transfer season. So we loaded up and headed home. Thankfully we had calm seas and a large berthing room so I was able to still mostly stay in bed. We also met a couple of new families that were new to the island. Overall it was an amazing experience and we have an amazing little girl. She has so far been the most laid back and easy going, even more than Alisha and I didn't think that was possible. She is already back up over her birth weight and easily 10lbs now. We have been so blessed with all of our little girls I can't wait for her personality to start shinning through.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Anchorage Vacation

It is hard to believe we have already been home in Kodiak 3weeks. We had an amazing time in Anchorage waiting on Caitlyn to make an appearance. Scott followed us up about a week after the girls and I had been there, so we were able to get a feel for the area before he arrived and get some of the shopping out of the way that he wasn't thrilled about going to. After he arrived our weeks were filled with adventures our favorites included hiking and enjoying warmer weather and sunshine.

While exploring we found this wonderful waterfall that rain under the road and the opportunity for some hiking and cooling off in the water, which was VERY cold!!

We also discovered how much fun it was to pan for gold. This mine was a blast to explore and supposedly had quite a bit of gold in the river, although we didn't find any we once again enjoyed playing in the water.

These were the original building for the gold panning. The area was beautiful.

This wasn't at the same area, it was more of a tourist trap but the girls had a blast playing in the water and it sparked our interest in panning.

Panning provided ample opportunities to play in water. Generally it is too cold on Kodiak to enjoy playing with water. In Anchorage however we had several very sunny days in the 70's and at least one day almost hit 80. I think that was the day we were here at the river. Alisha and I got home with a little more sun than I had intended.

Brianna has an odd attraction to the water. Everytime she gets near it she ends up falling in which is generally a little traumatic for her. I don't think I had even finished putting our things down when Scott walked up with a very distraught and wet little girl. She spent the rest of the day on Jaime's back bundled up.

Aside from playing in water we also say a ton of wild life as can be expected in Alaska. This eagle was practicing being the flag pole topper for the Alaska zoo, I'm pretty sure he sat like that for over an hour.

I was very impressed with how active the animals were at the zoo. This polar bear paced infront of us for several minutes then would go to the gate and roll his head. There was also a badger that was running laps in his cage for a good 20mins. The bear cubs played in the pools and threw balls at the fence and wolf pack chased each other in their cage wrestling and howling. It was the best visit I think I've had to a zoo.

Aside from caged animals we also saw a wide range of wild animals. AFter arriving in Homer at midnight Jaime offered to drive to Anchorage for me, she wasn't driving 5mins before I hear this quite, "Oh my goodness, That's a moose!!", I opened my eyes to see a moose's very large rearend pass by my window. At one park we didn't even get out of sight of the car before running in to another moose resting on the path. I also learned that Moose are more dangerous than bears as more people are killed by moose each year than bears, although that is most caused by people hitting them with their cars. Moose with calves however are very dangerous and generally avoided by all.

Other than hiking and animal viewing we also went glacier viewing, hiking and jumping.

While I couldn't do much glacier hiking I enjoyed the view will Scott and Jaime explored. They also taught Alisha how to properly jump over cracks and water.

She had a blast coping Jaime

We also got to experience fresh from the glacier water, which was slightly warm by the time they brought it back to the car to me. I was told it was amazing though.

Yes the black "dirt" is actually ice and very slippery. Scott and Jaime also had a blast jumping.

To end our vacation we treated Jaime to her first King crab dinner. She was then attacked by her crab. However she beat it and from my understanding loved it.

We had too much fun and too many adventures to put into one post but at least these were the hightlights. The best adventure of the trip however came from the little bundle that we got to bring home.