Monday, February 25, 2008

Running of the Reindeer!

Sunday was the first ever Fur Rondy Running of the Reindeer! Enjoy via the wonders of youtube:

Saturday, February 23, 2008


It was such a beautiful day today! The sun was out, the temp was a tropical 32, and the snow was sure to be fast fast.

In fact, the weather inspired this 37.5 week pregnant woman to waddle with sticks on her feet (i.e. ski). After going to a fantastic lunch at Kinleys (where the eggs benedict special was great and the desserts were even better), Frank and I took to the trails. We decided to do the first half of Besh together, then Frank would do hillside while I finished up Besh. For me, everything was pretty smooth, and I enjoyed taking my time enjoying being outside.

When I finished, Frank wasn't back yet, so I decided to take Puppy on his usual walk. During that walk, I noticed that it was a little slippery, so I was taking really small steps. At one point in the walk, I called for Galileo to turn around and the next moment I was in the air flying backwards, like I'd slipped on a banana peel. My head hit the ground hard enough that it bounced. Galileo stared at me as I curled up into a little ball and swore a few times while I took stock.

I was OK, other than my head and pride :) I got up and walked back to the car to meet Frank and explained what happened.

Now when you are pregnant, there are different rules than normal. Normally, I would have waited out to make sure my head was OK, but of course with Chikin it's most important to make sure she is OK.

Which is how Frank and I wound up in OB Triage on Doctor's orders this afternoon.

Triage was actually very nice. They checked me in (all my stuff is already preregistered) and got chikin hooked up to fancy monitors. They asked a bunch of questions, which is good because I think some of them I won't have to answer again since they are now in my chart. They also asked me a bunch of questions, I think, to make sure I didn't have a concussion. It was kind of fun to listen to Chikin trying to kick off those monitors too - I do not think she is very fond of them. After about an hour of that (and of watching college basketball), we got an ultrasound. Kira is still sitting in a good amount of fluid, with her hands right around her eyes. After that, it was back on the monitors for a little bit and then the doctor discharged us all.

All in all, it was a good experience, except for the massive headache that I will have for a while. Chikin is doing fantastically and so is my uterus. Frank and I now know how to get to the maternity ward and are all prepared for what triage is like. Oh, and I should be careful and not fall again :)

Monopoly: World Edition needs an Anchorage

Anchorage apparently has a real chance to be the Baltic Avenue of the new World edition of Monopoly! Help us out by voting today!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday is Baking Day!

For this week, I made Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Frosting. A little disfigured due to an unfortunate bundt pan to plate transition, but otherwise pretty successful (and a lot easier than banana layer cake). I haven't tasted it yet, but it smells good. Apparently it will be best three days from now, but I suspect it will not last that long :)
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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Alaska News

From ADN today:
Iron Dog: Our Governor's husband Todd Palin is the returning Iron Dog champion. I guess he took a pretty nasty spill in the race yesterday, but he is OK.
Moose News: Buzzwinkle, the aptly-named moose who during the Christmas season got stuck in town square's lights after eating too many crab apples, was seen with a big bruise on his leg. They think he was hit by a car, but he will be OK.
Ski Time!: It is a very exciting few weeks for skiing up here. The high school conference nordic ski championships are this weekend! Who will get the coveted title of "skimeister" this year? We also have coming up the Tour of Anchorage on Mar 2, which is the second largest ski event in the US, and the Junior Olympic Cross Country Ski Championships on Mar 9-15.

In personal news, you can see we have a projected 26 days to go until showtime! At this point, I'm pretty tired of being pregnant, so am looking more forward to getting on with the whole thing. Kira, as well, seems quite restless. She doesn't seem to like it when I set things on my belly (I mean, what's the use of having a belly if you can't use it as a shelf sometimes?) -- she kicks off magazines and tivo remotes.

Anchorage is just beautiful at the moment. The sunset last night was spectacular. I think if the snow lets up (we've got maybe five inches of snow on the ground, and another inch or so being dumped at a moment), I just might try to go ski again. It's horribly cruel that when it's the hardest to ski for me Anchorage decides to have warmer temperatures (mid teens, lower 20s) and lovely fluffy snowfall.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Some people...

...have a little more time on their hands than others.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rondy Time!

Late Feb/Early March in AK where the additional sun, the slightly warmer weather, and the snow all combine to make people just a little bit lightheaded and ready to have a little fun.

Of course it's the perfect time for the Fur Rondy! It's a lot of fun, with lots of strange events, like the outhouse races, the first ever running of the reindeer, snow sculptures, world championship dog sled races, a foot race and a parade. It's just a lot of fun, and a good excuse to get outside and do something wacky.

Look, there's even funny ads this year.

Of course, it's also time for the Iditarod to start. Despite being pregnant, I am still itching to get out on March 1 to see the ceremonial start. It's such an event, and just in general impressive.

Now of course, there is a downside to Fur Rondy, and that is that during or soon after these festivals are over, we all hold our breath for breakup, and then the drying up of the icky post-breakup mud and trash left over from months under snow. This is when people get cranky and irritable. It doesn't especially subside until the last traces of ice and snow fade. Suddenly, usually in June, the town goes into tourist mode -- the pickup crews, the sand people, the empty princess buses that slowly turn into full princess buses.

Oh and the joy of the tourist season. We enjoy watching giddy people in oversized colorful parkas with ALASKA written on it wandering around downtown looking for moose and bear. They will fill the local tourist restaurants we enjoy in the off season and now will avoid during the summer. They will walk into our grocery stores shouting "MARGE, LOOK AT HOW EXPENSIVE THESE TOMATOES ARE!". Some of them, I'm sure, will be out late basking in the midnight sun. And sometimes, they will watch us, trying to determine if we are "Real Alaskans".

But I'm happy that these people come -- they are here because it's a once in a lifetime adventure. Seeing AK through other people's eyes makes you realize how incredibly lucky you are to be living in someone's vacation.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday is Baking Day!

Baking a three layer banana cake with cream cheese frosting? Not trivial.
Baking a three layer banana cake with cream cheese frosting while pregnant and attempting to get the frosting to stick to the sides? Next to impossible.

This is actually my first attempt at a layered cake. I've made angel food cake before, and sheet cakes, but never an actual layered cake. After one attempt, I decided just to lump all the extra icing on top and not mess with the sides.
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32 days!

Is a month a long time? To me it's a little fast. That's 30 days of inturrupted sleep to savor, but I also have, if I'm lucky, 8 more mornings of being able to sleep in without an alarm clock. Kinda scary.

So how's the pregnancy going?
On the other hand, I am looking forward to quite a few things. Like being able to eat like a normal person -- currently I keep dropping food onto my belly, which is gross. I would also like to be able to wear clothes in my closet again, now that I have to wear a lot of Frank's clothes (my shirts tend to pop out, exposing my lower belly to the elements--not good). I'm also looking forward to wearing socks again -- which I have banned except for skiing. It would also be very nice to be able to pick up things off the floor in a non-comical way.

One of the things I miss the most is being able to taste things "right", or the way they used to taste. Everything has tasted completely different for about eight months, and not in a good way.

On the positive side...
Hey Anchorage Museum has a pretty awesome exhibit starting up, all about native Alaskan technology. To survive out there in the frozen north, certainly one has to be clever.

I also caught Clinically Wild: Alaska last night -- the show Galileo is supposed to be on. All the action takes place within miles of our house. As usual, it's very weird to realize that others think that Anchorage is this weird place with weird outdoorsy people, moose, guns, and dogs. So far, no Galileo sightings, but there was a pretty fantastic set of scenes where the vets got to pull porcupine quills out of two dogs.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Galileo's TV Debut

Don't miss Galileo's TV Debut in Clinically Wild, an Animal Planet series which was shot down the street at the PET Emergency Center in Anchorage

Now, I don't know how they are using him, but we had to sign a waiver form, so we'll all just have to wait and see :)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Super Tuesday in AK

For a hoot, I looked up how to vote here in AK in the upcoming Super Tuesday ruckus. Because our state is SO BIG, voting kind of becomes an issue.

The democratic party (let's face it, it's small) has a caucus on Super Tuesday. In order to be a part of the fun if you reside in Anchorage/Eagle River, you have to get to Begich Middle school, which is way over on the other side of town, during rush hour. Of course, I am complaining about a small thing. Imagine you want to be involved, and you live in one of the interior villages, a HUGE area? You have a choice of Ft. Yukon or Nenana.

The republicans hold a "preference vote", and you have to drive downtown to the Egan Center, unless you live in district 21, which is meeting in the How How restaurant.

UPDATED: More information on Tuesday in AK here.