Saturday, October 27, 2012

Will be Back With More Later...

I posted these forever ago and just now have time to comment on them!  

This is the giraffe Owen made for a project at school.  It was my brilliant idea to use marshmallows, but, we waited until the day before to start on it and it didn't occur to me that we should let the marshmallows sit out to harden up.  Just an FYI, paint dissolves marshmallows and you end up with a gooey mess!!!  I had to powder his feet with flour to keep him from sticking to EVERYTHING!  Then, we had to stick him into a paper bag with three clues on the front, so, the kids in the class could guess what he was...I guess it worked out, but, OMG, what a nightmare.  Anyway, didn't Owen do a good job painting him (especially considering)? ;O)

I just thought these were cute.  The bath tub is the only place where I can get shots of her where it isn't forced, she's such a pill these days!  Just a few days after these were taken, her first tooth popped through!  It looks like she has one here, but, thats just shine off her spit...hehe!

Just two cute kiddos hanging out in Olivia's room.  We are trying to get her to do belly time, but, all we manage to do is really piss her off!  She's just not having it.  She screams bloody murder until you pick her up...and she can scream for a LONG time!  I've tried to wait it out, but, she only gets louder!! ;O)

Shawnie bought this little outfit in France, how cute is it!

Olivia actually has several Halloween costumes, but, every little girl needs to be a lady bug, right?

We were less than amused with pictures by the time brother got involved, but, still thought this was cute.

This was just for fun, but, I have been laughing to wanna know what the scariest thing in this picture actually is...the little monster in the corner! ;O)  I get a kick out of it when strangers ooooo and ahhhh over her out in public, they have no idea!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Pics From Denali...

I went through the pictures from our trip a little more thoroughly and thought I'd share a few more.  Although, there isn't anything especially exciting left! ;O)  

The trip was a total disaster from the start.  The night before we were supposed to leave, Dave got the stomach flu.  I worked late trying to wrap some stuff up that had to be done and got a call around 7 that I needed to hurry home, he couldn't watch the kids any more.  I think he was up until 2am that morning.  Prior to Dave getting sick, the plan was to be packed-up and leave directly from Owen's school around 11:30.  Instead, we didn't actually get out until 3.  We had planned to buy a cigarette lighter adapter thing that would allow us to plug in Olivia's bottle warmer...we grabbed one at Target on our way by, but, the bottle warmer was twice the wattage that the adapter could handle.  So, that was out.

By the time we got to the park and the cabins we were staying at, it was 7:30, bed time for the kids.  So, we raced into town and got some dinner and then headed back.  We had just got the kiddos bathed and ready for bed when the power went out...we had already been told that the pipes were freezing at night and if we wanted a shower, we should plan on doing it that much for that!  The water was apparently on an electric pump and obviously didn't work without power.  On top of that, Olivia gets one last bottle at night, so that was cold.

The next morning, we get up and head out.  By this point, Owen's cold is in full swing and he's gone through half a box of Kleenex, Olivia hasn't pooped for two days, Dave is still watching what he eats for fear he may get to relive it, and I am less than pleasant in general.  The kids did great on the drive through the park, but, we made it ALL the way to the Visitor's center, 4.5 hours in, without seeing anything but a moose WAY up the hill...we have moose in our driveway all the time, I'm not impressed!  On top of that, what would usually be breathtaking fall landscape is nothing but dried up and brown tundra.  We had hurricane forced winds throughout the state the weekend before and it ripped 90% of the leaves off the trees and shrubs.  Plus, it had been dropping below freezing during the night for weeks prior.  So, what wasn't destroyed by winds was dried up and brown anyway.

The permit we had was through a lottery system.  Typically, the only way to get to go into the park is to buy a ticket to get on a tour bus with about 30 other's actually an old school bus, emphasis on OLD! ;O)  Parks and Rec selects one 4-day weekend and allows you to pay for a chance at one of the permits.  You don't even get to pick the day you get within those 4 days, so, it wasn't like we could have picked a day earlier in the year to complete this little adventure.  Anyway, point being, we felt really lucky to actually get to see the mountain itself.  The following day, it poured all day long and it was so socked in, visibility was next to nothing, we couldn't imagine the people with lottery tickets saw anything, including the mountain.
On the way back out of the park, I made Dave stop so I could take a picture of this ground squirrel sitting on the side of the road.  I figured he might be the only "wildlife" we come into contact with! ;O)

I posted a similar picture of Olivia in my other entry, but, this one is cuter.

When Dave and I took the tour bus through the park 10+ years ago, there were so many grizzlies, the bus driver didn't even bother stopping for all of them.  They were right up next to the road in some cases.  So, that was what I expected to see this time and I was really hoping Owen would get the same experience.  Of course, I think that was in July.  We were not that lucky at all, but, there were two bears eating blueberries on our way out of the park and I don't know about Owen, but, I really enjoyed them.  You don't get how big they are until you see them up close and personal!!  One of the Park Rangers explained that the Denali bears are "small" because they don't have the unlimited supply of protein (salmon) like the bears that live near water (i.e. Kodiak Griz).  I can guarantee you, these guys are plenty big and their claws plenty long.  I would not want to camp/hike around the park like so many people do.  There are SO many bears, odds you encounter one up close and personal is probably close to 90%.  I don't like those kind of odds!