Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When will Swine flu reach Alaska?

My sister called me a bit ago wondering if she should take her planned trip to Texas in a few weeks.  I really wasn't sure what my opinion was on the matter, especially since within a few weeks we could and probably will have cases in Alaska.  So I googled "swine flu map" and discovered they have a Google map of reported cases.  This map here was updated about 5 hours ago, but it is hard to see much without being able to zoom in, so you best go to the source at Google maps.

It does not seem like Swine flu is anywhere near as virulent as the 1918 flu eidemic, which did reach Alaska and Kodiak Island, and even my home village of Larsen Bay.  It does get you thinking about what the "big one" will be and when.  I have read a lot of books in the post-apocolyptic genre, and while pandemics and nuclear war are high on the list of scenarios, so are zombies. Why is that?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Returning, Recovering

We got back from Maui early Sunday. Kelly threw me an amazing birthday party Sunday afternoon and took care of all the details (Quyanaasinaq!).  Emmy's B-day was yesterday and we had a party for her at the Furio home.  I am diving back in to work.  May take a few days off posting, since we are also moving back in to our house this week (Kita-ruq!).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Review: Casanova's Restaurant, Makawao, Maui


We went to Casanova Restaurant in Makawao tonight to celebrate my early birthday. It was by far the best meal since we have been to Maui. The Filet Mignon with a peppercorn brandy demiglaze may have been the best steak I have ever had. I don't usually even order steaks, but I couldn't pass this up. The salad was simple and fresh. We ordered the calamari, and asked for some cocktail sauce since we weren't in to the aoli sauce, and they made some for us on the spot since thy usually don't have any on hand - and it was perfect. Somehow we had room for the ice cream with espresso poured on top for dessert. Highly recommended.

The sun even came out for a few minutes today which I tried to take advantage of. Don't be expecting me to look all tanned though. It just didn't happen for us on this trip!

Not liking the weather

So, after 3 days of clouds and rain, we now have heavy rain. I prefer the cold rain of MY island to this sticky humid clammy stuff. I checked the forecast all around Maui and there is no escaping it. Tomorrow the forecast calls for rain as well. And tomorrow evening we fly back to Alaska. And I will turn 30.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Travel #3 report



Today we visited the Iao Valley State Park. It was rainy, so you can barely see the Iao Needle (top photo). It was beautiful up there, and really close to where we are staying. Emmy felt like a real princess getting carried in her stroller up and down the stairs. It has been cloudy with occasional rain the past 3 days, and in our remaining few days they are not predicting sun. It is very warm still though. We were walking around in the rain today and not feeling cold. Nothing like Kodiak rain at all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Travel #2 Report

E liked the fishes at the Maui Ocean Center.

Wedgie removal during the shark presentation

With Daddy on the whale watching cruise. We had a great trip.

The Pacific Whale Foundation uses biodiesel on all their boats, and the drink cups are compostable.  Jeremy found that they did not keep track of the 2 free drink limit.  They fund whale and dolphin research all around the world. Seems like a great organization.

This was the only humpback I actually caught on film. A baby whale with mama nearby.  We spoke to the captain at the end - turns out he used to fish out of Kodiak as a crewman. He was asking what kinds of whale watching cruises they have up in Kodiak.  We definitely could use something like they have at the Pacific Whale Foundation!
Who is this man?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Travel #1 report

We stayed in Anchorage for one night, just enough time to see the sisters, brother in law, and niece. We brought Ravenna & Emmy to Bouncy Bears (Rita's idea - she was at work - but it was a blast). It was good to see everyone even though it was so brief. Here are a few pics from Bouncy Bears. The thing that surprised me the most was that the adults got to play too! Ravenna liked jumping on the giant air "pillow" trampoline and Emmy liked the slides - a daredevil. Wonder where she gets that from?And then yesterday we flew in to Maui. We are staying in Waiehu, near Wailuku. We are staying at this condo called Lilihua Shores. It is not fancy, but we have two bedrooms, a full kitchen, etc. Everything we need to set up a good home base as we explore the island. No air conditioning, which I would say is the ony drawback today since my family and I are used to Kodiak temps. We are on a beach with good surf, but it is not a touristy area due to the rockiness. Jeremy discovered this firsthand today...or should I say first foot, as he was surfing and stepped on some sharp coral or something. We had dinner at Paia Town at a great restaurant called Cafe Mambo. Jeremy had the fish burger and I had chicken fajitas. Both were great, and Emmy had a good time despite her sleep schedule being obviously off. We may go back to Paia tomorrow as they are having a free Earthday festival with live music.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vacationing

We are off to Maui today. We will have internet while there, so I may post some pictures, but then again I may be too busy laying on the beach drinking piƱa coladas...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Inspiration

This video, from Britian's version of American Idol is so inspirational.  Susan Boyle, 48 year old and "never been kissed," lives her dream and wows the judges.  She practically gets jeers when she first walks on the stage, and yet she finishes with a standing ovation.  It is awesome.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Siska
1997 - 2009

Other aliases: Mr. Whiskers; Butters; Biggy; Skinny Cow; Chico; Chico Tobiko; Buddy; Big Buddy; Hairy; Sire; Big Boy; Biggy Wiggy; Horse Killer

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Projected adult height

Emmy is a few weeks away from her 2nd birthday, so tonight we decided to measure her.  She is currently 34.75 in. tall. I had heard you simply double their height at age 2 to find the adult height.  I checked on the internet though, and among the calculators available online, her projected adult height was as short as 5'5.5'' and as tall as 5'7''.  I am surprised at this, as I am 5'10.5'' and Jeremy is about 5'8''.  The one that took our heights into consideration was the 5"7'' prediction.  Apparently doubling the height at age 2 works better for boys, and with girls it is double their height at 19 months.  If you look at her height on a percentile chart, it charts out to somewhere between 5'6'' and 5'8''.  So check back on this blog in 16 years and we'll update you on how accurate these predictions were.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Emmy is a BIG GIRL

Today we got Emmy's school pictures.  Yeah, she still has a few years before she is old enough, but we have "connections" at a local elementary school :-)

She looks so grown up!

And as the real final final update on the training...only one accident at daycare ALL DAY.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What a weekend!

I don't know what possessed me to do this toilet training when Jeremy was out of town, and unable even to reach by phone most of the time (He is setting up the Arctic Man competition).  Emmy has shown remarkable progress today though.  Since we are barely following the book I have to adjust my expectations a little bit.  Right now my goal is to have her accident free by the time we go to Hawaii. Considering she was not potty trained whatsoever before 24 hours ago, I think she is doing really well.  Now I believe I will finish the rest of this highly public rite of passage without any new updates.

So what else is going on?  I have a paper on Alutiiq research to get a draft of before we go to Hawaii.  And a week after we get back from there we are having a workshop in Old Harbor for the language program, which is a pretty big deal.  I haven't been back to Old Harbor since I was pregnant with Emmy.  Last time I got stuck for 3 extra days with a fantastic Fall storm.

And what is this? Fairbanks is suddenly surpassing us in temperatures.  Spring must be on the way...up there anyway!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Update...

Well, I am not going to say I am a failure at the one-day potty training thing, since I didn't even last the average 4.5 hours...We had to stop after three hours because I ran out of training pants.  She went through 12 pairs of "panties' in three hours, plus two pairs of pants.  After that I put her in some pull ups feeling very discouraged and headed to my mom's to do laundry.

So...We try again in the morning.  What I have learned so far is that even though the directions are very explicit and complicated, no amount of rereading and preparing will leave you ready. Emmy is much more stubborn than I realized, and may not have as much bladder awareness as I thought. I didn't predict I would be trying to get a toddler to pull down her pants as she tried to melt into the floor in a tantrum.  She did have a number of "successes" probably due to the gummies I used as rewards!

Potty training in one day?

I got this book, Toilet Training in Less Than a Day and have been trying to get up the courage to try it out with Emmy.  This isn't really a new method - this book has been around for decades and is based on clinical trials.  The average time it takes a girl is 4.5 hours. Afterwards, if I am successful, I won't have to watch her face for signs, or ask her every five minutes, or make her sit on the potty for hours. She'll just go on her own. My only worry is if I don't follow the directions properly, because although they are not stressful for the child, it is a lot of work and focus for the parent...for those few hours anyway. But think of how much work it will save me in the long run. The first step is to have your toddler train a doll that wets. Today is the day...stay posted for an update!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stevens charges dropped...

Just because they have dropped former Senator Ted Steven's conviction doesn't mean his record is suddenly spotless. The fact that the prosecutors in has case made some seriously bad and wrong decisions does not mean that Stevens would have been acquitted. We just don't know what could-have-but-did-not-happen. Therefore, why the big push to get the democratically elected Senator Begich to step down? I am just so surprised, actually no, I am not surprised that Palin and the Alaska Republican party are saying Begich should resign. Do they REALLY think he will? What are they REALLY trying to get out of this? Do we need our Alaskan politics to become even more of a national joke?