Sonja's Outdoor World

Saturday, January 28, 2006

"The Climb"

I recently finished reading "The Climb" by Anatoli Booukreev and G. Weston DeWalt. It was written in response to "Into Thin Air" by John Krakauer about the 1996 Everest expedition where 8 people died, including the famous guides Rob Hall and Scott Fisher. John Krakauer was quite critical of Anatoli in his book and it was nice to read another point of view. It was so heartbreaking to read about the strength and heroism of Anatoli, yet to know in the back of my mind that he perished in an avalanche on Annapurna on Christmas day a year and a half after the infamous Everest tragedy.

One paragraph in the book really caught my eye. Anatoli was talking about what a strong client base the Mountain Madness team had and he described Charlotte Fox:

"Charlotte Fox, thirty-nine, and Aspen resident ... was a highly qualified find for the Mountain Madness expedition. She had summited two 8,000ers [meters] in her climbing career and had climbed all fifty-four of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado. Unassuming and secure, she was a team player, and Fisher regarded her as a true asset, somebody who could perform with a minimum of maintenance. She knew how to take care of herself in the mountains."

This struck me because this could easily be my resume by the time I am 39, or even earlier. I identified with her (BTW she lived, but it was close) and it sort of hit home that I have considerable experience in the mountains. Troy always says that I am too modest about my climbing history, that he has to brag for me (and he's not much of a bragger, well not really much of a talker either). Reading this book brought out a flood of feelings in me about my own mountaineering experiences, especially my trip to Peru in 2001 with my dad. I am slowly coming to realize that I have done (and continue to do) some amazing things in my life. My love for the outdoors (fostered by my parents) is so strong. I am so lucky that my parents felt the need to foster and fund my outdoor trips growing up, they have such a sense of adventure and I am glad I inherited it! I had a conversation with Annabelle while on a hike last week about what I hoped I could pass down to her. I hope that my love of the outdoors will rub off on her and that she will find as much solace, and reward in the outdoors as I have.

I highly recommend "The Climb" to anyone who has read "Into Thin Air". It's the other, less draumatic/theatrical version. And most likely, much more accurate, being that Krakauer was "being rescued" and Anatoli was "doing the rescuing".

Off on a Big Trip Soon!

Monday I leave on a big trip!! Annabelle and I will be driving to California to visit my parents for several weeks. My mother in law, Marla will be riding with me all the way to Truckee, CA where she is living part time. We will be staying with my grandparents in Salt Lake City Monday night and then going on to Truckee and staying there Tuesday night, and then Annabelle and I will go alone to San Jose on Wednesday morning. On Feb 15th Troy is flying out to California to drive back to Colorado with us. We are going to be apart for two and a half weeks and it's going to be a little tough! I will miss you, Boo!! Kiss Kiss!
However, it's going to be GREEEAAATT to see my mom and dad. They recently got a new puppy, named Maggie, so it will be fun to meet her. From what I can tell she is quite the ornery rascal! Here is a pic of her:
It's wild to think I am traveling back home with my new baby. My parents house in San Jose really feels like home, and to have Annabelle there with me will be great! Dad and I plan on doing lots of hiking and exercising and cooking, and I'll try not to call him "grandpa" too much! It is going to be great to show off Annabelle to lots of people.
So, please think good travel thoughts for us as we make the trip across the states. I feel that we will have a safe and uneventful trip, but good thoughts along the way always help. I hope that Annabelle does well on the trip and that she is happy and peaceful. I will be updating my blog often while I'm gone!!
Happy Trails!!!

My hidden talent

I took a quiz on this "blogthings" blog and this is what it yielded, not too shabby ehe?? I especially like the part that says I have killer intuition. I have always had strong intuition and have been learning to trust and follow it more recently. I think as a mother it's an important sense to tap into.

Your Hidden Talent

You're super sensitive and easily able to understand situations.
You tend to solve complex problems in a flash, without needing a lot of facts.
Decision making is easy for you. You have killer intuition.
The right path is always clear, and you're a bit of a visionary.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

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I just wanted to write a little bit on how much I enjoy cosleeping.
1. I don't have to get out of bed and go into another room to nurse at night.
2. I catch Annabelle when she is getting fussy, way before she is in a full blown cry (which makes it impossible to nurse, until she has calmed down).
3. Troy has become a more solid sleeper now that he has learned to sleep through diaper changes, nursing sessions, and the light being turned on.
4. It's warmer!
5. We all get more sleep.

Power Nurser

I am happy to say that Annabelle and I have finally figured out our nursing issues. My little one LOVES plastic. We know that she has allays been fond of her pacifier, and has the tendency to prefer the bottle to the breast (much to my dismay). Last week we tried using a nipple shield (yea, scary sounding) and she LOVES IT!! I think that she is able to control the milk flow better and added to the fact that she loves plastic, we have had several days of extremely successful nursing. I am looking for my little 25 percentile (in weight, she's 75% in height...thanks to daddy) baby to start catching up now! Her nursing sessions have gone from 5 somewhat traumatic minutes, to 15-30 blissful peaceful minutes. There hasn't been a single session where she cried and refused to nurse, she sees the nipple shield and latches on right away. I finally feel like we are having Hallmark moments in the nursing department. AND, she is falling asleep at the breast, which has almost never happened. So yes, while it's a small step for babykind, it's a big step for our family!

This just reminds me how much we moms have great ideas/intentions of how we want to raise our babies, and then they come into the world, and they dictate everything. I never thought that following the lead of my child would result in pacifiers and nipple shields!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Annabelle Update

Annabelle is getting to be quite fun! She has discovered several things the last few days.
1) She can fit her hand in her mouth!
2) Her tongue is cool, and even cooler when she sticks it out!
3) She can scratch herself :(

I have added photos of all of these new milestones. Sorry that some of them are fuzzy, taking pictures of a moving baby is tough!! It's so neat that she is smiling and interacting with us now. We make funny faces at her and she gets the biggest kick out of it. It's really rewarding to see her little face light up and to see that huge toothless grin.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Game Weekend

Troy and I had a great weekend playing games! On Saturday Mr. Pid (Troys bro) came over and we played some really cool games that he picked up from Cheap Ass Games. This is a way cool company that puts out fun games at an affordable price. The games are well thought out and fun, but don't have a lot of fluff and fancy colors to them. We played a game called Deadwood, where you are a dead beat actor trying to make money. Instead of fancy game pieces, your dude is a 6 sided die, and the number facing up represents your rank. I thought it was a smart idea! So don't pay bank for good board games any from Cheap Ass Games!

On Sunday, Troys friend Chris came over and we played Skip Bo and Settlers of Catan, two of my all-time favorite games. I won both...duh! I believe I am undefeated in Settlers, and I'll give you my must secure the longest road!

New ring Sling

I made a ring sling this weekend. Ever since I saw one of my friends wearing her baby in a Maya Sling, I have been wanting one. I looked into them new ($54) and checked out all the consignment shops for one (no luck). I was checking out the Maya sling website and they have a "Low Cost Options" section. Here they had directions to make your own Maya sling! So I picked up some fabric at the fabric store ($8) and I had already purchased some rings a few months ago ($3). I followed the directions and an hour later I had a new ring sling. Here is my homemade sling. Not to bad huh? Annabelle looks quite cozy!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Troys Actuarial Exam Results

We found out today that Troy did not pass actuarial exam #5. I know he must have been really close to passing. He studied so hard and knew a lot of information, and I am so proud of him for all his hard work. He puts forth such a dedication to these exams because he knows every one he passes will help his family financially. Annabelle and I love him and think he is the best daddy and husband in the world. We know he will have continued success in the future with his exams, and that everything will work out in the end. It's great to see Troy's new found interest in all things financial, he has really taken a liking to specific areas of actuarial work. At least Exam 5 helped him to narrow down his interests.
The Society of Actuaries is converting it's exam process. So this is the last time Exam 5 was offered. Since Troy did not pass he will now get to take a series of online modules that will satisfy the Exam 5 requirement. He is going to really enjoy the modules and he is going to fly through them easilly. I look forward to taking some pictures of Troy doing the modules with Annabelle on his lap. Being on the new exam system will give him more time to spend at home with us, so we are really pleased about that.

Troy: We love you and are so proud of you. You continue to put forth an effort that is unparalleled to others. Thanks for balancing all of your life obligations so well. Hug hug, kiss kiss kiss
Love Sonja and Annabelle!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Elimination Communication

Today after attending a local AP group meeting Annabelle and I decided to try a little Elimination Communication. A very nice lady in the group was practicing EC with her daughter (also named Annabelle) and once I got a chance to see what she was doing I thought it was worth a try. I checked out this really cool diaper free site and read the information on getting started. Basically you try to catch as many pees and poos as you can during the day. They say to start with trying to catch after feedings and upon waking. You just hold the baby over the sink or toilet and when/if they go you make a sound like "ssss". The key is to start looking for cues to when they are about to go so that you can start to read your baby. Also start following your intuition. So far Annabelle just gets fussy and upset. After a nursing at 1pm I held her over the toilet and she peed! Then later I held her over the sink and she didn't go, so I brought her back into the living room and she went!! Oops, I didn't give her enough time. Later we were upstairs and she got fussy so I held her over the sink and she pooped and then several minutes later peed! It was awesome. After Troy got home I took her to the toilet to show him and she pooped again (the picture shown)! Then we nursed at 7, and I took her to the sink afterwards and she peed. So, I am feeling like we had an overly successful first day at trying! It's really important to me that Annabelle and I get out and do hikes often, so I know that we won't be a diaper free family, but if we can catch a few while we are at home then I consider it a successful relationship. I hope it allows me to be more in tune with my daughter, to learn to recognize her cues.

As I was writing this, I suggested that Troy give it a try, he took her to the sink and she peed! He is pretty jazzed and thinks it's really cool!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mountain Mamas

I joined a group called the Colorado Mountain Mamas. I saw a pamphlet at my HypnoBirthing instructors house and it sounded like something I would enjoy. I've been going on hikes with this group for the last two weeks and I love it! They have baby hikes, toddler hikes and stroller walks. I go on the baby hikes and the stroller walks. Each hike has a leader that is certified in infant CPR. Today they had a stroller walk and we did two laps around Washington Park. I love that park. It's great to be able to meet other moms and to share stories.
I talked to Joy, the owner of Co Mountain Mamas about becoming a hike leader. It seems that there are several moms that want the job, so she will have to make a decision on who gets it. I don't envy her having the task of making a decision.

Wow! First Post

Wow, my very own blog. I got the idea to do this from a good friend Amy who has her own awesome blog here. Being that I am now a stay at home mama, I thought it would be good to have a spot to keep in touch with the world. Speaking of Annabelle, here is her debut:
Annabelle was born on 11/15 at 10:13 am and weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. and was 20 inches long. She has my coloring, hair, and eyes, and she has Troy's nose, cheeks, lips and face structure. It's taken a bit of getting used to for Troy and I. Neither of us do too well with a lack of sleep, we both need our beauty rest. However, now that we are used to things a little more we are having so much fun with her. She is now smiling from things besides gas, like us playing with her. She is so close to being able to grab her foot. Every day she gets a little closer and I hope to capture it on film (or digital memory).