Monday, June 30, 2008

Canoe Trip

Yea! We finally got a Date Day! So very exciting. We usually try to not to put the kiddos in Day Care just to have a day to ourselves - but every now and then parents need a break! So this was our break. The kids enjoyed themselves playing with their friends at school from 9-3 while Mom and Dad enjoyed a day of relaxation!

We went canoeing down the Chena River. We only did 6 miles which we thought would take us a few hours so we didn't do the longer version we had planned out first. Let me tell ya, Google Earth is pretty neat. I saw Jeff work on it really fast! (He uses it often for his work). After a late start - and the Sportmans Wearhouse opening at 10 (why doesn't it open at 9 like we had planned?!?) we went in the Chena a little before noon.

It was a nice and quiet float down the Chena River. The sky was blue, the birds were chirping, minimal to no mosquitoes and beautiful scenery. We did however see no wildlife! We were hoping to catch a glimpse of a bear or a moose grazing. There were plenty of GIANT dragon flies though. Never in my life have I seen them this big. I tell ya, things grown differently up here in Alaska! haha.

Another weird thing we saw during our float are plenty of cars. Cars there were in the river. Im dead serious. They were old cars, like '50s '60s cars which were embedded into the embankment of the river. They had to have been there for years because they were all rusted out. I tried to get a great picture of one car in particular that was sideways, sticking out of the dirt right above the water line, but they came out all blurry - so this the one that turned out decent enough to share. Isn't that the weirdest thing you've ever seen. (Well maybe not weirdest, but up there!) They were lined up about 1/4 mile down the river road. I tried to research it on the Internet, thinking that there must have been an article about it somewhere in the paper - but nada. Im intrigued, I'll let ya know if I find anything out...wait for an update!

We finished our trip and while loading up the car we seemed to have made two friends. Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum. They came out of nowhere while we were tying down the canoe to the Jeep. They must have lived on a farm or some sort because they were domestic. They didn't run away when we chased them or threw pebbles at them. At one point Jeff and I were able to pet them. And after we would try to chase them, they would waddle away and we turned around to walk away they would follow us. I had to yell at them because they were trying to eat our car at one point! As we were driving down the dirt road back to the main road I looked back and Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum waddling after our car. If we had a pond at our house we totally would have snatched them up and brought them home to be the newest edition to the Harmon Family!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Daddy Time

We have a nightly routine that we try to stick to daily.

  • Dinner at 6pm

  • Bath at 7pm

  • Pick out books

  • Then read books with Mommy & Daddy

  • Bedtime at 8pm

We have been trying to stick with this routine. With Jeff leaving for NTC soon, and then deploying...we really have to stick to normal - and then me continue with this routine after he goes. So here is Jeff reading a book to Ian, and Jeff & Blake time. Very cute! (Also great pictures that are going into each of their Daddy & Me Books that I will give them when Jeff deploys.)

Our Mini-Vacation

So you think that you will do good while your father is visiting and plan a little stress-free vacation down south. Well stress free doesn't exist when you have a toddler and an infant and you have to travel in the car for more than 30 min at a time. We left Friday morning behind schedule. I wanted to leave at 6 am to make it to Anchorage by noon so we could bum around the city and explore and eat and relax and play in a near by park. Well that was nixed due to kiddos not sleeping very well which caused the parental units to get little sleep. And we all know that you need sleep to drive a car! Well, our departure time was then delayed to 9am. Took a little longer to pack up the back of the jeep with the new double jogger (which is the best buy ever!) and the luggage.

So we start our trip....We brought the dvd player so Ian could watch some movies in between nap time so we wouldn't drive us bonkers during the drive. That went well. Actually the drive down was really beautiful and the boys did outstanding. My body didn't do outstanding! I was smooshed in the middle of two car seats with Jeff driving and Dad in the front passenger seat. Oh the things you do for the ones you love.On to Anchorage, we bum around- eat at Mooses' Tooth ( a great place recommended by every nurse I talked to that had ever been to Anchorage. Its a Pizza/Brewery Joint. FABULOUS pizza, great beer. Go to the two shops that I had been to the previous trip to Anchorage to pick up some pieces to my moose collection and back in the car to Girwood, AK where we check in at Hotel Alyeska. (

This hotel is supposed to be a resort. The pictures looked better online (Don't they always do?) Well, it is a pretty hotel and I go to check in. They tell me that my room ready. Great! Check in was easy...until she says we have one King. HA! I say no, I wanted 2 Queens and a crib for the infant. They say the 2 queens will be a different rate and a different room and would be $150 more dollars a night. Im like fine - b/c all of us can't sleep in a King and nobody is sleeping on the floor. Well, they say they have the room - wait it just has one KING - ARGH. This time Im pissed. They then tell me they can give me 2 double beds and the crib will be $30 a night. I say Im not paying that money for the crib because they didn't tell me it was an extra charge on the phone when I specifically asked if there was a charge (if not I would crammed my own pack-n-play in the back of the jeep for free). Then I ask for extra linen because I'll make a bed for my toddler on the floor. And they suggest a cot and I say "Yea what charge is that, $50 a night?". Needless to say that I didn't get charged for the crib or the cot! So we check in, do the kids baths, and relax in the hotel room.

The next day we wake up early eat an expensive breakfast and drive down to Seward, AK to do a glacier cruise. That was awesome. Despite some parking issues and Jeff wanting to strangle the teenage chick giving us directions. It was a pleasant day. Ian loved the boat, was so excited to see 2 humpback whales and birds and sea lions. Blake did well and fell asleep halfway thru it. We only did the three hour tour because we weren't sure how the kids would react. Ate dinner at this awesome restaurant with the view of the Bay and drove back to the hotel.

Our plans were for the next day to take the tram up the mountain and eat lunch at the top. The package for the hotel included 2 lunches and 2 tram tickets. I went to go and get the vouchers and the guy at the front desk messed up and gave us 4 tickets and 4 lunches. SCORE! So we had a nice lunch complimentary of Hotel Alyeska. :) The weather was overcast and actually on top of the mountain it was snowing. Ian was so excited to see snow. You would think that living in Fairbanks and having snow about 8 months out of the year he would enjoy no snow. Nope he liked the snow. (Fast forward when we get home: He was asking for his snow boots and snow jacket because he wanted to play in the snow!! ) We get eat our lunch and hope for it to clear up so we can do some hiking - it doesn't so we decide to check out early and head back to Anchorage to go to the Mall. A girl has to go shopping doesn't she?

Well we went to Gymoboree because Blake is in dire need some some PJs since he is a growing weed. Hes growing to fast and all of Ians 18 month clothes are fall and I needed 18 months summer. (Fast Forward: esp since in Aug we are going to Vegas for a week YIPPE) So I hit up the clearance rack. Do a browse through JC Penny and the boys have just about had it. So no shopping trip for the mommy. So sad!!!

The trip home was ok. I snoozed on and off and so did the boys. We arrived home at midnight.

So in summary. Trip went well minus a few mishaps, but honestly, when does a vacation go off without a slight speed bump?!

This was a trial run to when we actually leave the state and go to Vegas...lord help me! :)

The Harmons on the Boat. So hard to get everyone to look at the Camera!

Humpback Whales Tale

Us on top of Alyeska Mountain

Great shot of Seward - by the Water

Blake having some fun in the Hotel Room

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The neverending drive for one sign

When I plan a trip I like to research how long it will take to get there - maybe stops along the way - gas stations - ask around if there are other things to see. Pack the car accordingly to what I have discovered about our adventure we are about to embark. Well this was not the case for this spur of the moment trip to the Artic Circle. My husband reassured me it would be a quick 2 hr drive because he heard it was only 90 miles from Fairbanks. I had heard that it took 6-7 hrs from a friend who went last summer. (It took her that long b/c of construction). So what did I do - listened to my Husband who is the Army man, right?! I packed the boys bag (diapers, wipes, snacks, baby food, back up formula, small sandwich for Ian) and three PB&J Sandwiches for the grownups. Grabbed the 5 gallon gas jug 'just in case'.

Well it took almost 4 hrs to get the Artic Circle. The weather was on and off sunny, rainy, overcast. The road I had heard was not paved - well at least when you got the Dalton Highway anyways. Now, the Dalton Highway is partially paved. I would say about 80% of it is. It goes - dirt road, paved road, dirt road, paved road. So to make a long story short - Saw the pipeline along the road, no animals, the Yukon River (which is a wooden bridge to cross this MASSIVE RIVER) and the Artic Circle. OH don't let me forget the mosquitoes that are huge. I mean large enough to carry Blake away if I wasn't holding on to him for dear life. Thank goodness I have a spare family friend bug spray in the car at all times. You never know about where you are going here in AK- always carry bug spray!

And the gas can full of gas helped us out at the Artic Circle. So I am Happy to say that we made an 8 hr round trip for a couple of pictures. So, now I can say that I have been to the Artic Circle and will never go there again! The kids were great in the car - just the last 30 min were bad. We stopped and ate at Silver Gulch. One of our favorite places to eat.

So here is the summary:

Gas for trip: $75.00
8 hr trip: Got a flat butt/headache from last 30 min in car with kids crying to get out
Taking picture of Artic Circle with Family: Priceless

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birthday Party

So it is now 123 am and after a long trip to the Artic Circle Blake won't go to sleep so I am blogging away. Catching you up on what we have been doing the past couple days since my dad flew into town. We had Blakes 1st Birthday Party early because in July Jeff will be training in California for about 5 weeks and all of our friends (all the wifeys) are going down to the lower 48 to visit with family while the husbands are gone. So I thought we would do his party early so all of our friend could partake in this special day. First thing - this was kind of a last minute party/BBQ so where I usually order all the party decorations couldn't get me the supplies I needed in time so off to the local party store. If I need to remind you that I am in Fairbanks, Ak - that should say it all. Really not a good place to shop for things. So I was disappointed in what they had, but when with a cute napkin and table cover and got different color plain plates and silverware.

OH I should start out by saying that I worked Thursday/Friday and this BBQ was going to be Sunday and my Dad flew in on Saturday and it also was our 6 year anniversary so I had to have Jeff go on Friday to go get the cake. Because we were going to be busy during the weekend. When I said go get the cake I didn't realize that if you tell a man that they will just go and get any cake. I think I told him to get a First Birthday Cake - so instead of ordering a cute baby First Birthday Cake. He comes home with a plain sheet cake with "Happy Birthday Blake". So I was bummed a little bit with that because it wasn't what I had envisioned. Then add on the stinky choice of decorations at the party store.... Ians party I had planned and went all out for and I said that I would never jip the 2nd child! Well, he got jipped I feel.

All and all we had a fun time - our friends came out to enjoy a BBQ and enjoyed watching Blake eat his first piece of cake. Blake had a wonderful first birthday party and that is all that matters! We spent the day with family and friends that we care very much about! :)

Finger Painting

So a lot of my friends have been talking about painting with the kids and Ian loves to do it at school so I went out to get some washable finger paint and then we had some fun outside on the deck! Ian loved it - however, it was quite cute- when I squeezed out the paint onto a paper plate he kept calling it a jelly bean. (It sure did look like one!) and he kept asking for more Jelly Beans. He had a blast - clean up wasn't fun for me, but at least he had a blast. And Blake had a great time watching him paint and getting all messy. Enjoy the pictures.

Ian Doing hand Prints

Wondering what to do next with his paint

Blake is loving watching Ian paint.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Sleep, or should I say lack there of! This sucks, BIGTIME. I have an almost one year old who still won't sleep thru the night. He is still nursing at least once during the night. He usually goes right back to sleep right afterwards. But then Ian, almost three, still wakes up MULTIPLE times a night. He hasn't slept thru the night EVER. Well maybe I can count on one hand. Just last night he went to bed around 9pm and was up at midnight, two and then up for good at 430am. I thought about letting him cry, but then he would wake up Blake and then I would have two pissed off children. I am at wits end right now. I haven't had a decent amount of sleep going on three years. I know that may sound selfish, but enough is enough. When will my kids sleep? Ian usually wants something like water, or says hes hungry or is just screaming, I mean blood curling screaming with real tears for MOMMY. Daddy won't do - if he goes in there - he is usually more pissed off to see Jeff. This especially sucks a big fatty when I have to wake up at 5am to get ready for work. I usually have everything ready so all I have to do is shower, get dressed - make a sandwich and then get the kids ready for daycare and then nurse Blake. I love my kids dearly, but please, for the love of God - let this woman get a decent nights rest. And they don't nap at the same time during the day because for some reason if all the housework was done by the housework fairy I would be able to take a nap. But this RARELY happens! Im seriously thinking about getting a cleaning lady once Jeff deploys. Another set of hands would help me out TONS and I won't be as stressed....ok now Im getting onto another tanget...sleep...all I want is sleep. So as I finish typing this I am hoping Ian will go to sleep and that 5am doesn't come to quickly because I have to work tomorrow. However, my dad is coming up to visit for two weeks so maybe he'll be a great dad and get up with the kids one morning so his daughter can sleep...that is all I think about..sleep, sleep , sleep!!!! zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZ

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rain Rain go Away!

Its Spring here in Fairbanks, AK. And so far all it has brought is rain and mosquitoes! Not all days are rainy and overcast - but a majority of them are. The weekends so far have been nice and we have gotten up to the 70's before! Shorts weather for sure. But as I type this its overcast, drizzly and sprinkling. Not good weather for the kids to go out and jump in the bouncy thing or ride bikes or crawl around in the dirt and explore...long day for us! The only good thing about this rainy weather is that our grass is finally growing and with the almost 24 hours of daylight its time for us to get the lawn mower out (or buy one at least). Last year we had to do some landscaping because we were having some major drainage problems due to breakup. Here are some before and after pictures:

We used to have a drive way here.... they took it out and made our hill nice and pretty!

Now with all the rain and sunlight - our hilly is nicely green (with some bare spots) but we will fix that soon! (Pictures taken this am - doesn't it just seem gloomy?)
Ok - the thing sticking out of the ground is our well thingy - there used to be a sink hole right by it so it was VERY dangerous especially for our adventurous Mr. Ian.
And now - look at all the green. Makes me very excited. We have to put up some sort of retaining wall or something to keep the mud from sliding. That is the bear spot to the right of the well.
So our front yard is covered in grass which means only one thing. When my father is visiting (he comes in for 2 weeks on Sat). My husband and him are going to take a trip to Lowes and go buy that cool wooden swing set. They just don't know it yet! I will let you know the progress this weekend. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fun Sunday

So every Sunday we have the same morning. We usually wake up around 7am - try to read the paper before the kids wake up. Then we get ready for our weekly breakfast club. We look forward to every Sunday! We meet up at this North Pole Diner. The waitress there knows us because we have been going there close to a year now. We get the same drinks and she sees us in the parking lot and then she gets them and they are at the table before we can unload the kids from the car. We all (Dawn & Jeremiah, Chelsey & Jeff and Jeff and I and Ian) get the same thing - sometimes we throw off our waitress and change it up a bit. Anyways... I enjoy spending time with our friends and chit chatting away. Makes for a great Sunday morning. Here is our Breakfast crew in front of Angle rock that we hiked last Sunday.

OH! Here is some exciting news: Blake has finally gotten his bottom 2 teeth and I was FINALLY able to get a picture! He also had some fun playing with Maggie and Trooper while Ian was sleeping on the couch!! We had a fun Sunday!!

Monday, June 2, 2008


I must say that Ian does have quite an imagination for being almost 3 years old. But maybe its normal because Im not around a lot of three year olds! Just today I was walking thru one of my favorite (and only stores in Fairbanks) Fred Myers. Here is our conversation:

Ian whispering: "Mommy we need to go fast"

Me whispering: "Why?"

Ian: "Because there is a monster in there" (Pointing with his middle finger!)

So I speed up the cart. "Ok did he go away"

Ian Pointing with his middle finger "Pshhhhhhhh Pshhhhhhhhhhh"

Me: "What are you doing?"

Ian: "Shooting fire"

Me: "Out of your finger?"

Ian: "Yes mom. I protect you. I superman"

Today we had such a fun day. Jeff had off, we both got our errands done (separately and kid free) and enjoyed playing with the boys. Always nice to have a great day!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jeffs First Fish

Forgot to say that after we went hiking Jeff went fishing with one of his buddies, Jeff. (I went home to relieve babysitter) Whom we also when hiking with. (He's in our breakfast club) And Jeff caught his first fish fly fishing! He also caught a few more, but neglected to take a picture. I feel that this is going to turn into a must do weekend event and I he will learn to love his canoe and fishing more than me! haha

Angel Rock Hike

So Jeff and I along with 3 other couples went out for a "beginner hike" up to Angel Rocks. It is out near Chena Hot Springs about an hour away from my house. It was classified as an easy hike and that this "loop" was about 3.5 miles. We start off and it is easy - but then the hard part happens. Its like climbing up a damn mountain! It was not easy at all. I thought I was sorta in shape and this hike sure showed me that indeed, I am not. However, I thought the hike up was difficult and sure the hike down should be easy. Well, not on this trail! It was horrendous! I mean going straight down on loose dirt/pebbles. It was easier to walk through the thick of the woods rather then walk on the trail! I did take a fall and almost take out Jeff, which was quite entertaining for everyone to watch. We did encounter TONS of moose turds along with some Bear poopies which made me walk a bit faster down the trail to the car! It was quite an adventurous day trip with out the kiddos. We then ate an overpriced lunch at Chena Hot Springs - thought about taking a dip in the hot springs and decided not to. Here are some of our trip!