Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dear Readers,

Killisnoo, one of my five brown bear buddies.
It seems pretty difficult for me to get around to "putting pen to paper" so to speak, but here I am. So much has happened in our world since my first/last post [See "News from Nicole (No foolin') if you missed it]. I cried uncle about the third week in July and left the job at the Fortress of the Bear. I enjoyed working there, but as time wore on the physical aspects of my job were too much to "bear". Fortunately, there was a young man interning for the summer who worked with me to see that I didn't overextend myself and did most of the heavy lifting for me while learning about animal care. I was able to provide part time interpretive service, but we had a member on staff more suited to that type of work, so I mainly served as an alternate. In the end, everyone there was very supportive of my decision to leave, and I may continue on with them in some capacity in the near future. It was pretty interesting to meet so many people coming from all over the world off of the cruise ships that make Sitka a port-of-call or visiting relatives and friends of residents.

August 19, 2012
I spent the last weeks of my pregnancy preparing and pampering for the birth of the baby. It all went by in a blur, and of course, we still weren't ready when labor beset upon me. Madeline arrived on her due date, apparently a much more punctual person than her mother.

Time is spinning ever faster now, and 10 weeks have passed since Madeline's arrival. The time has been memorable and enjoyable, but having a child IS a big adjustment, just like everyone says it will be. Somehow I had convinced myself that such exaggerations were not going to affect my outlook or approach. But, alas, I have found there to be no exaggeration in the assertion. Albeit challenging at times, certainly with many ups and downs, we are finding our way and making a happy little family.

I like crinklies. Thank you!
Even the cat is making the necessary adjustments in her outlook and demeanor. While by no means happy about the very loud, noisome addition to the household, she is coming to terms in her own way. The process for her is a slow one, and one that involves caution and distance (from baby at least) and that is just fine with me. She is very pleased, however, with all the wonderful gifts coming in the mail for her. Invariably most packaging ends up on the floor for a day or two for her enjoyment, and she is very appreciative.

A picture speaks a thousand words.
While Greg was home with us for the first three weeks, we all got to know each other a bit in our new roles. But Greg is now back at work full-time, and that makes life a little more challenging in some ways. For Greg misses spending the valuable hours with his family, and his family misses his reassuring presence and support during the working day. Madeline makes the most of it though by putting her best face forward when Daddy interacts with her morning and evening. Now that she can, she is always ready with a smile, and often times they can be heard having little "conversations", he speaking to her and she cooing and gurgling back. Too precious!

Since many of you are here for pictures of Madeline, I will forgo rambling as I am prone to do (have already done?) and finish out with some pictures with captions.

September 29
Our little "milkaholic" milk drunk once again.

October 14
Aren't I just darling?

October 18
In the alcove of downtown business on Lincoln St. waiting
 for the Alaska Day parade to begin.

October 18
Madeline has now outgrown the hat and bunting she was wearing
 this day, in addition to several of her first outfits.
She is clearly distressed about it.

October 22
One of Madeline's first grins captured for posterity.
When she smiles, the room lights up.

October 22
The personalized onsie was created by a long-time Filipek
family friend and neighbor.  Unfortunately, Madeline has
just about outgrown this one as well.

October 23
One of Madeline's favorite activities- studying for her mid-terms. Ha!
The book is a gift from the local library's "Babies and Books" program.
We love our library!

October 24
Another precious moment.

October 31
All dressed and ready to go trick-or-treating downtown.
Sitka really pulls out all the stops on Halloween, and we saw
 so many really creative and well done costumes on both
the parents and children, it was definitely a treat.
Well readers, that concludes this particular effort at keeping you informed and entertained. I hope that you found it to be gratifying in some way, and would be happy to hear from you. Again and as always, thank you for your interest.

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