Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Wheelin' Season Has Officially Ended!

I am more than disappointed that the first "real run" of the season has officially become my last. I did great out at Knik with the clean-up and had little to no discomfort while riding on the trail. However, this weekend was a MUCH DIFFERENT STORY. But before I get into all of that, here is a pic of all the rigs on this run. We are the first rig on the left.

The snow got a little deep at the top, so we turned things around a little earlier than planned... which by that point, was more than ok with me. Here is a picture of a few of the rigs that got into the deeper stuff. This is actually the best kind of wheelin' because it doesn't tear anything up that won't melt away and reveal the pristine environment that is my back yard... well, technically about an hour behind my back yard.

We ran into a few problems with our tire... the trail proved a little rockier and rougher in parts than our sidewall could handle and a bit of mud got into our bead. When we stopped for lunch, I heard this hissing sound coming from the fron't tire. This is the fix it process on the trail. Not sure how they did it, but we don't need to do any more fixing and it was all done with what we had between us on the trail... my guess is some form of lighter fluid and a match. BOOM! Anyway, it worked out and we all got home safely.
After all the muddin' and rockin' and rollin' we headed back to the creek for an Alaska Car Wash. This is one of the highly modified rigs... yes it is a wagon, but it's got some 40" boggers on it... and they are completely under water. FUN STUFF! After a few runs through the river, most of the undercarriage is cleaned and the mud is out of the axles and breaks... the rest of the car is better left dirty as the mud is a badge of honor that proves that our rigs don't just look good on the highway but actually get out and PLAY.

I knew that this kind of rough play was going to be a little risky before we even headed out because I had been having more of those Braxton Hicks Contractions than I should be at 32 weeks... mainly because I had been overdoing it with the yard-work and chasing down Kaia to prevent potential drownings, rescue searches and toddler/vehicle collisions. But I had pretty well recovered from those and thought it would be worth a shot to see if I could get out of the house and play... besides, how hard could it be to sit there and "supervise" the boys while they try stuff they shouldn't?

Well, it was a LOT tougher than I thought it would be. About 1/2 way through the first planned trail run, I was feeling achy and crampy, by the end of the day, I was getting out for any unnecessary roughness. Knowing that was a possibility before even going out, I planned ahead and convinced Ben to let me drive our other rig out to base-camp just in case I needed to come home early... and I did. What was supposed to be a 4-day weekend of playing in the hills/mud/rivers/snow turned out to be 24 hours of "THAT was a bad idea."

After 3 days of rest and a late-night visit to the Birthing Center, I am NOT in labor and have posed no real risk to baby or myself. However, I have been put on Modified Bed Rest which means no sex, no driving, no stairs, no picking up Kaia, no shopping, no yard work and no exercise. Basically, I can get up to pee, shower, eat and well, that is about it.

This is going to be really tough because my bedroom is upstairs... really steep stairs, and Ben just left for the slope. I guess that will make not having sex easier, but how do I avoid driving, picking up Kaia, shopping or having to chase after a runaway toddler? If I let Kaia out of the house, I will definitely have to do some chasing, and she is going to go nuts if I don't let her out. The good news is that Mom was super excited about hopping the first plane up here to help out so it won't suck as much as it could. Things will work out, but I gotta admit that I HATE that I really need the help.

If any of you have ever been on bed rest, or partial bed rest, I could sure use some pointers on how to keep my sanity. This is going to be a really tough 8 weeks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Muddin' in Alaska

Last weekend we had a great time helping with the Knik clean up. Every year the off-road clubs from all over the state of AK get together to clean up one of the most frequently used wheelin' grounds in South Central AK. All sorts turn out for this big event, mostly 4-wheelers and dirt bikes, but a few creative and generous souls bring out their big guns to tow the heavy stuff... like burned out vehicles, refrigerators full of last year's catch and other crazy junk.
Here is one of my favorites. This VW van would be perfect with giant lime green flowers on the tires and psychedelic flames down each side.

Here is our not so flashy rig tearing through the mud and the muck that is Knick Glacier sand and silt. Kaia LOVES the bumpy rides but isn't quite such a fan of the articulation. When she is looking out her window at either the sky or the ground, she starts to hang on to the edges of her car seat and make nervous noises. I don't know how much longer I can handle the bumpies though. I was a little uncomfortable with all the weight I have sitting in my lap, but overall, it was a great trip. We will see how this weekend goes with 2 big bouncy trips planned for Saturday and Sunday. The good news is that there is enough stop-and-shoot-the-bull time to recover. Grandma thinks it is the fool-proof way to go into early labor... I guess I will just listen to my body and not be afraid to speak up or turn back if I need to.

I love this picture of the river and the glacier. This is God's country and I can't believe how generous he was to us last weekend. We had perfect weather and amazing scenery to contend with as we did what we love in the great outdoors. This view is only 30 minutes from our house and we have actually been all the way out to the face of the glacier several times. On a good day, you can drive right up on the ice... It's a good 3 hour drive from where this picture was taken to the glacier face through 3 river crossings, a pretty serious maze of beaver ponds and a whole lot of bumpy rock climbing over the terminal moraines. SO VERRY WORTH IT THOUGH... if you have the right rig. :)

Here is a classic example of what Alaska does to kids. This new shiny jeep showed up to help out with a vehicle drag out and Kaia climbed right underneath to check out the components. Most of these rigs are so highly modified they can't be driven on the road, but Kaia loves them all. I think it must be like a fantastic jungle gym for her to be around so many big toys... I know it is a wonderland for Daddy. The funny thing is that anyone new to AK off-roading will ask "Is that normal?" And to that, we respond "for her, YES!" What more can we say? She is her Daddy's little girl.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

This is a fun clip that has been floating around the e-mail box for a while and I thought I would pass it a long to all the moms out there in case some of you haven't seen it. Enjoy your big day.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Unconsious Mutterings

I found this on Smile, Play, Dream and thought it would be kind of fun. To play along click here.

  1. State :: Of mind
  2. Lively :: Conversation (does 2-year-old jibberish count? It's definitely lively, but is it really conversation?)
  3. Valet :: Parking (now where would I go that would even have a valet option?... hummm.)
  4. Traction :: Device
  5. Official :: Basketball Ref.
  6. Red hot :: Chili Peppers (I really like their new cd!)
  7. Powder :: Puff Football
  8. Replies :: E-mail
  9. Flagrant :: Foul (humm, you would think I was a sports fan, but alas, I watch home improvement shows. misleading, I know... maybe I need to jock it up a little and get out of my flower beds.)
  10. Tweet :: bird

This has been kind of surprising. I can't just go from one word to the next without trailing off into a tangent of other thoughts. I realize now that I may have been suppressing my inner athlete. Nothing like a big pregnant belly to lose my foothold on staying in shape... oh well, I can't be pregers forever. 11 weeks and counting!