Pardon My French

May 29, 2016

Alaska to Georgia | part 3

And we are back for the never-ending road trip....we have now made it to British Columbia! Honestly, not one of these pictures below will do this place justice. And I just don't think any camera could capture the beauty that is Banff, Canada. If you have never visited this place, please for your sake, add it to your travel wish list. Chris and I did not want to leave. So much so that we added another day to our stay. Even living in Alaska for four years, I have never seen mountains like this. Jasper National Park is breathtaking. We kept pulling the car over and just staring at everything around us. This clearly pissed off our children to no extent. 

Let's just get to some pictures. 
Jasper National Park, Canada
Moraine Lake, Jasper National Park
First was a drive around Moraine Lake, which was when I think we truly started to lose our children. The allure of the trip started to wear off at this point. The "where are we?" "how much longer?" "why are you taking a picture of another mountain!!!???". I think Chris and I just turned up the music really loud and continued on this 40+ mile scenic overload. It was magical, and I wish I would have been thinking straight enough to get my camera out more. 
Ice Fields, Jasper National Park, Banff, Canada
Ice Fields, Banff, Canada
Another awesome place that we drove reallyyyyy slow through were the Ice Fields. In Alaska we went to all the road accessible glaciers, and they were awesome. So seeing some in a different place, with entirely different landscapes were incredible. If it didn't start snowing while we were driving around we probably would have unloaded everyone (against their will) and hiked around. But, we were losing daylight (something we aren't used to in the summertime in Alaska) and the kids were declaring war on our sanity as they would not stop fighting and our patience was running on empty, so we called it a night and headed to our hotel. 
Fairmont Hotel, Lake Louise, Banff, Canada
Fairmont Hotel, Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Fairmont Hotel, Banff, Canada
We knew immediately upon researching hotels that we wanted to stay at the Fairmont Chateau, right at Lake Louise. When we got in at night, we saw nothing. So you can imagine our loss of consciousness when we woke up to these views! Beyond stunning. Beyond. It also happened to be my birthday, and Avalon's the day before, so this was like the best birthday present ever. I guess for me. Avalon was more or less asking for a princess dress and a "willy willy bid take". Thankfully the shops in the lobby had a pink embroidered dress and matching purse that Avalon spotted from a mile away, that only cost us her middle school tuition, so that was cool. But really, what a way to ring in 29 for me. 
Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Banff, Canada, Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Banff, Canada
After we took in the views from the room, we decided to hike around the lake. It just got more beautiful with every step. Chris and I have now made a plan to come back to Banff as some sort of celebratory consolation prize if we can get all of our kids through high school without a stint in juvy. Setting the bar real high!

This was also probably one of the funniest outings we had with the kids. Lake Louise is a total tourist hot spot. So many people taking pictures of this magical place. But then the attention turned to our little family. Or what we consider to be little. The tourist population happened to think that we were a very large family. So many people stopped us to ask if all the kids were ours. How far apart they are in age. If I gave birth to them all. And if we would mind if they took a picture of us. Just the WEIRDEST thing ever. But hilarious. It didn't matter if we laughed off the picture and kept walking, people still snapped away. So now I can just imagine as they show their family back home their trip to Banff.......here is Lake Louise, just so beautiful. Here is the jewel colored watered that needs no filter whatsoever, oh and here is this family of six with a dog. 
Fairmont Hotels, Banff, Lake Louise
Speaking of Caspian, we did something I never thought we would do. We got a dog sitter. Yes, that is a real thing for a hotel stay. For my birthday we all really wanted to go out to dinner, so the only logical thing to do was get a sitter for Caspian. The Fairmont has sitters that will come in and watch your dog, so that was a bonus. We all got dressed, the sitter took Caspian on a nice walk, and we headed to dinner. It was such a treat to have a nice night out when on a road trip. 

It was all worth it, and I seriously cannot wait for the day that we get a chance to go back to this place. I feel like we could have spent a week or even two, and not soaked in all that this place has to offer. 

Bananas! Take me back!

But alas, it was Georgia or bust....so back in the damn minivan we went. 










May 26, 2016

break time with the babes

J Crew Ruffle Sleeve Top
J Crew Striped Ruffle Sleeve Top
Ruffle Sleeve Top Outfits
Spring Trends- Ruffle Sleeves
Mom Style- J Crew Ruffle Top
striped top // shorts (super old, just ordered these) // hat // shoes (similar here)

Hello Friday! I hear there is a long weekend brewing, but truthfully I barely know the date. We are coming to the tail end of this trip now, logging three weeks on the road! WHAT! It is crazy. What's crazier is that Chris and I are kind of sad it is going to be over. The kids are ready to be done though. They just want to get into their new house, sleep in their own beds, and play with all their toys. Can you blame them? No. 

But Chris and I have been having so much fun, that the thought of resuming real life is slightly depressing. So let's not even go there for now. 

I think some of the funniest moments with the kids have been when they are finally let out of the car to play. We always find a place where no one is around so the kids and Caspian can do whatever they want. The challenging part is trying to teach the boys that they are no longer in the back woods of Alaska, and dropping their pants to be one with nature when nature calls is indecent exposure, to which Pierce says, "I don't know what that means, can I pee here or not?" as his pants are around his ankles. 

We are a work in progress. 

I guess the one thing that takes the sting off of this trip ending is, I get my closet back. I have truly missed my shoes. Rotating between just a few pairs is not easy for me. I know...I know...first world problems. Chris makes fun of me enough as I sit in the passenger seat shopping online and having items sent to family, since living out of my minivan is not an acceptable address. But when the kids are fighting in the car and no one can hear over one another yelling, retail therapy is the answer. Or maybe intervening would have been the correct parental answer. 

We'll never know. 








I miss breastfeeding...there I said it.

Yep, I am one of those crazy people that loved/loves breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a personal choice, and I will never be the person to tell another human being what to do with their nipples. Hell, when I got pregnant with Ace I was 21, the thought of breastfeeding kind of creeped me out. I was like....umm....I don't know. Now my mom on the other hand was like, no you will breastfeed and here are some books to read and articles to skim and scan, and here is the number to a lactation consultant in your area, and a years supply of oatmeal to keep that production up....and I was still like, ehh we'll see. I will try anything once. Well, almost anything. So when I had Ace and he immediately latched on I was like, well okay then, we are doing this. And the love affair began. 
I miss breastfeeding, there I said it.
For all my babies I was an on demand milking machine. I never did the schedules, or wrote down feeding times, I just reacted off their cues. Ya hungry? Lets eat. Is that the right way to go about things? Who knows. I will never claim to be any kind of expert in the parenting field. That just seemed to work for us. We also co-slept (and Odette is still in our bed) so breastfeeding was just easy in the middle of the night once I mastered the old roll over and let baby nurse laying down thing. Chris will be the first to admit that he probably has gotten up a total of five times in the middle of the night in six years of having babies. Not that he wouldn't, or he didn't when I would wake him up. But at night I always felt like that was MY time. I loved having that alone time with each baby, when the house is quiet, it is just you and them, you can hear their little gulps as they hold on tight to your finger. Those moments were mine. And no matter how tired I was during that time, I miss it. 

I wrote this post about how I felt about my boobs after Avalon stopped nursing. Little did I know two days later I would be standing in my bathroom with a positive pregnancy test. I did in fact get lucky enough to breastfeed another baby! 

Breastfeeding is a lot of work! And there were times with Odette that I thought we would never make it. Not because she didn't want to, but more because my other children would burn down the house at some point. With three children running around, breastfeeding was no longer that relaxing time when baby and mom could sit down and catch our breath. We had to breastfeed on the move! Chasing Pierce around the house. Grabbing Avalon off the counters. Standing while helping Ace do his homework. I cherished our time at night even more. 

I was hoping that Odette would give me more time than the other kids. All my other babies cut ME off around ten months. Avalon gave me close to eleven. And Odette went a year. But they all decided when they were done. Which I guess in hindsight is for the best. I never had to wean any of them. They rejected me. How? I am not totally sure. My only theory is that I never stopped them from eating or drinking when they were interested in real food. Each older child would leave a sippy cup somewhere and a baby would pick it up and discover a magical substance inside, not breast milk. So on and so forth. They just wanted to be part of the pack and when the sippy cup hand out was going on, they wanted to be included. Again, since I nursed on command, if they were full from something else obviously we wouldn't be nursing. As this continued they all just lost interest. It was heartbreaking for me each and every time. But at the same time I was usually getting my first signs of morning sickness as well.

This is the first time in six years that I have stopped nursing without being pregnant again!! I kind of don't know what to do with myself. It is liberating in a way. My body is mine, all mine, I am not milking or incubating or anything. I can wear clothing that doesn't have to be altered in anyway to accommodate a belly, or an easy access point for a baby. It feels good, but at the same time I can't help but feel like this chapter just can't be over.....can it?

And no. This is not a precursor to a pregnancy announcement. I am cooking nothing but caffeine in this body. These are just my thoughts. I miss you a little breastfeeding and that's okay.


May 24, 2016

downtown

lace top nordstrom
braided jeans
lace tops for spring
nordstrom blogger outfits
topshop shoes-nordstrom lace top- cropped denim flares

Downtown, downtown, doooooowntoooown. Did I get that song stuck in your head? Sorry. Happy Tuesday. I wouldn't mind being back in Seattle, walking around down town with my coffee and my gang of children. Oh and my dog, who has an affinity for eating anything and everything left on the sidewalk. His poor insides at this point. 

But, back to downtown and all of it's amazingness. I think it goes for all cities that their downtown is the place with the most character. I loved growing up in Vegas, and all the First Friday events would be down near Fremont street. All the local art artists displaying their pieces, tattoo shops opening their doors, some of my favorite streetwear stores blaring music, and all the people walking the streets. Good times. I was happy to see that Anchorage had it's fair share of First Friday events, although I was only able to sneak away from my broad for a few, it is still such fun to see people so passionate about what they do. 

Now, walking the streets of downtown with my family is different but oh so good. The nights have turned into days, and my children are the first to point out the interesting things. Like the man on the corner playing the piano, and how beautiful he sounds. And Avalon stopping to dance. Or the mural of gum on the wall that has my children wondering why I don't let them chew gum at all. Or what about the lady with her head phones on that is keeping her jogging pace up at the red light? Ace said "mom, she is not messing around right now". No she isn't, and isn't it wonderful to see? Or the man patrolling the streets handing out one parking ticket after another? Clearly not making someones day, but all part of being downtown right? 

I think this trip has been great for Chris and I because selfishly we are going to places that we have wanted to go. But the best part is seeing these places through our kids as well. Their interpretation of everything. The comments, the tantrums, the adventure. 

Loving every minute of it. 

That's a lie. Loving about every other seven minutes of it. Because seven minutes it probably how long it takes me to get everyone buckled back in the car.