Monday, May 24, 2010

Trip to Seward

What an awesome getaway! Lisa and her mom took the train down to Seward early Sunday morning. Me and the little ladies got up and got ourselves in the car and took a roadtrip to meet them in Seward. Here is 4 minutes into the trip.

The trip went GREAT! The girls talked with me and sang to me for the first hour but eventually faded off and took a nap. They woke up to waterfalls, giant lakes, and more beautiful scenery as we pulled into Seward to find Lisa and Eileen wating for us at the train station. LUNCH!

Meanwhile, Lisa and Eileen had an incredible journey down to Seward. Lisa has done this trip one other time and it was the first for Eileen. What is special about the trip is the train goes a different route than the road for about a third of the way down to Seward. I believe the only way to access this part of Alaska is by rail or flying in so it's a unique experience to see truly untouched land. I need to go through all of their are just a few.

They paid a little extra for the special treatment and a seat in the fancy new car. Lisa said that they were serving mimosas at 7am. MMmmmm!! First class all the way. The seats were also reversible and since the car wasn't completely full, they turned the seats around in front of them so Lisa could have her foot up. Not a bad idea at all.

A good shot at the car that they were in with the dome-style roof.

I love this one. It doesn't even look real. The Alaska Railroad should use this as an advertisement. It looks like to me that they are looking out at a fake picture.

The cabin wasn't quite ready after lunch so we found the toddler park and let the girls try and wear themselves out.

I really like this one that Lisa took

An incredible the girls were swinging away, a Coast Guard Hilo and small boat started doing some exercises. Unbelievable. I've seen lots of Coast Guard boats, planes, and hilos...but I've never actually seen them doing exercises until yesterday. AWESOME!!

This next one, the guy actually just jumped out of the helicopter! It's really hard to tell but if you zoom in, you can actually see a little orange near the water. I think I got him just as he was going in.

After he jumped in the water, the helicopter lifted up and circled a couple times before coming back to pick him up.

The guy in the water used a bright green flare and then this red smoke to mark his location.

And then up he came!

They came around and picked up and dropped off the guy in the water several times.

Afterward, we headed to the cabin for some games. Girls first lesson in croquet. They did great...except hitting the ball was too hard so they just rolled it. Whatever works.

Katy showing off a little plumber butt.

After some horsing around in the front yard, it was off to dinner with a view back at the harbor in Seward.

I took the girls down to the dock because we saw some sea otters swimming around during dinner. Unfortunately, they were gone by the time we got down there.

Then back to the cabin for a bonfire and marshmallows.

Great first day. The second day was just as exciting. LOTS of pictures to go through.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

fighting the urge...

I should preface this post with...I just took an ambien about 5 minutes ago. So it's a race against chemistry. My body (especially my brain) will be shutting down quickly so I'm going to try and make a post before things get too fuzzy.

The idea from this came from Lisa actually. She might question that...but she took a picture of me passed out in an ambien coma yesterday morning and I fear that if I don't take the bull by the horns, this picture could wind up being shared outside of my control. So I will proudly post this picture...since I get to tell the story.

Yesterday was my first night shift in 6 weeks. I'm pretty good at changing schedules and it not impacting my work but usually will crash pretty hard with the help of some ambien. I've been doing this long enough to know that I have about 15-20 minutes before I start to feel whoozy, and then all bets are off. At that point, I should find couch or bed. Yesterday, that window of opportunity was dramatically reduced to about 4 minutes. I don't recall much after I took the ambien and had a small bag of chips. Next think I knew, I was waking up to the sound of the girls going down for their nap at about 2:00. That's a serious nap!

But what I didn't know was that Lisa snapped a picture of me before she helped me to the bed. Her story and it's the one that makes most sense is that the girls woke up and saw me on the couch. They tried to wake me up and get me to play with them. When I didn't move, they thought I needed their bunny to continue to sleep. So Katy gave me her Bunny to snuggle while I was sleeping on the couch. So that's the story I'm sticking with. I could have said we found a homeless guy on our couch!

Nothing wrong with a grown man snuggling a pink bunny. Right?

Redemption...the girls playing some baseball with me outside.


Good times. Good night.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monkey Monkey!! Oo Oo Ah Ah Oo Oo Ah Ah!!

Ok I lied. I can't resist posting the pictures from the recital today. It was incredible. Seriously, the girls surpassed any expectations I ever had and were in this proud Dad's eyes, the stars of the show!

The show consisted of something like 25 dances...ages ranging from our girls age all the way up to an adult tap class (which was HILARIOUS!). But most of the performers were 5 to high schoolish. Our girls were one of a couple very young kids to perform. We had no idea what to expect. As you've seen on the videos from dance class, they do a decent job. Some days are better than others but over all, they usually participate to some extent. Yesterday at rehearsal on the big stage, they had two chances. The first one, Alyssa jumped up and down the whole time and Katy just watched. The second and last rehearsal, they both jumped.

I have to admit I was a little nervous for them because the crowd was HUGE!! I had no idea how they would react to having hundreds of people watching them. We thought about that from the moment we signed them up for this...they would probably just freeze up there and stand in awe of the big stage. This picture was taken about half an hour before curtain. By the time the first dance started, there wasn't an empty seat on main level and probably a third of the balcony was filled.

Thankfully Eileen was here to help us Lisa could just sit with pressure off of her foot, and I could get ready to take pictures. The girls were the 5th to perform so I had a chance to dial in on the settings. :)

This was our next door neighbor Hannah performing the cancan.

I found my way up to the balcony and waited impatiently for the girls turn. At some point while I was waiting and watching the other performances, I realized how incredibly proud I was and for the first time my eyes started to well up. I had no idea where that emotion was coming from but like any good Dad suppressed those feelings and focused on the task at hand...get good pictures!!

Alyssa (on the left) most certainly did not forget to move her arms today!

Shy little Katy who wouldn't even put on the costume the first couple of weeks suddenly came out of her shell. She kept inching her way up to the front of the stage all by herself. But then she would go back to her spot each time. It was phenomenal!

Katy inching up to the front again.


After it was over, Lisa looked up at me and I gave a huge fist pump (all that pride somehow manifested itself in a fist pump...I don't know). I was a very proud Dad and I know Lisa was feeling the same way because by the time I made it down to our seats, she was still wiping the tears away. Not a great photo but it shows how full the auditorium was.

We stayed the entire time...all 2 hours! The girls had to skip their nap so it was getting dicey there at the end. But they did pretty good overall. We mainly stuck around so we could see Hannah again and get a picture taken with her. Thank you Hannah!!

Favorite picture. This one is going to get blown up.

And here's the video of the performance. Lisa took the video from her seat and she apologizes for the shaky video but she said she was just too excited and getting all emotional watching them up there.

Sad face. Alyssa took a hit yesterday from a table corner. When Lisa called and told me she might have a black eye, I honestly thought she was exaggerating...I guess not.

One more story...I know, this is a huge post but I have to write it down while it's still fresh in my memory.

Tonight, Alyssa was having some ...pooping problems... she finally fixed it but was still having some pain. I don't know how to say it. Her pooper hurt. There.

So only 5 minutes after I put them down, Alyssa was yelling out. I went in to see what she was asking for and found Katy already sound asleep (it really was a long day). Alyssa tells me her bottom hurts so I go out and get the diaper cream. I come back in, apply the cream, change her diaper and she goes back to bed.

5 minutes later, she starts yelling out again. Not wanting her to wake up Katy, I rush in there pretty fast to see what's wrong and Alyssa says this to me..."I just wanted to say thank you for the diaper cream. My bottom feels much better now. I love you. Good night."

I'm so proud of my girls today.