Sunday, September 30, 2012


Sadly, Becky's mother Arlene passed away last week. Becky and Henry are down in Wisconsin for the funeral as well an extended family visit. Grandma Barnes will be sorely missed, and we are all the better for having had our time with her.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's a fort

Thanks to a wisely purchased warranty on the jogging stroller, the old stroller and its tears and kinks went back to the store for a shiny replacement. We were not deliberately hard on the original unit. It just developed some random tearing on the storage basket and our collective light bulbs went off as we smiled remembering the warranty sitting safe and sound in the drawer upstairs.

So we ended up with a purple rig in place of the old green one. Aside from the joy Henry experienced at helping assemble his new ride, his heart soared at the box left behind. It's a joy that has not diminished over the past 2 months.

Becky beamed that Henry had found a little house.

"It's a fort," I stated plainly.

Becky told a few stories about how she had used large boxes to construct play houses with kitchens and the like.

"Fair enough. But he's a boy and this is his fort."

She accepted this and let it sink in.

"At some point he'll need guns to defend it."

It's currently the home of his fire truck as well as the place he crawls when we let him have the blinking rear bicycle light. So perhaps it's a disco fort at times.

The only certain fact is that if we threw it away, there would be an uncountable amount of mourning time. The fort is staying.

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If Henry eats all his healthy meals like a good boy, he is allowed some sweets. Not many, but some. We combined peanut butter with a small chocolate chip recently and found a hilariously predictable jolt to his system.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

These things come in spurts, and right now Henry is pulling new tricks out of his hat almost daily.  Once he started walking well, he began running everywhere he could. Now he runs, occasionally stumbles into a face plant, quickly rises, and heads off on the next run. He won’t be denied by any rugburn. He has places to go, and he will be running to those places.

I caved into the inevitable and removed my crates of vinyl lp’s from the first floor.  They fit well enough on the third floor and Henry undeniable needs the extra space in the living room. Most importantly, he now has perfect access to the window via the baseboard heater.
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Fall is rushing into our lives with wind, rain, and swirling leaves. Henry loves standing out the window, following the shaking tree limbs with his eyes, and enjoying the birds that pass through. Thanks to the windstorm the insects in Anchorage are all out of sorts and everywhere they normally are not, namely our deck. The birds love this and feast on the deck buffet on a daily basis. While observing the feast with Becky, Henry promptly turned and headed for the bookshelf. Becky quietly watched as he scanned the shelves with his eyes before plucking a single book out and smilingly bringing it back to mom. It was Are You My Mother?, which is the only book we have with a small bird as the main character. Color us impressed parents.

When we carry Henry up to the second floor and pass a photo of 8 month old Henry we always remark, “There’s baby Henry.” Out of the blue last week we passed by without that remark and Henry quickly pointed and blurted, “ Bayyy – Bee.” He’s thrown down that word a few other places as well lately, and we always follow it with an atta’ boy.

He’s simply progressing along like the healthy, normal dude he’s becoming, but it’s happening in such a quick spurt lately that it is hard to hide the excitement.  He’s a happy guy and seems to delight in expressing words, sounds, and pointed fingers with the interconnected world around him. We’re delighted as well.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I guess it all started Tuesday night. The winds gusted as we returned from Hailey’s birthday dinner and as we stopped by Fred Meyer for Hank’s vitamin D milk we watched as the interior lights flickered and even went out for a few seconds. They were back on for enough time for me to make the quick purchase though. Something was blowing in and it was time to lock it down so we scooted back home.

Henry played around the living room as always, delighted in the swirling leaves and rain on the deck, and settled into his 9pm bottle, all while the lights inside dimmed and fluttered every few minutes. We pulled the flashlights out and put Henry down at his normal time.

I clicked on the tv at 10pm to catch the news and did not even make it to the weather. We were without power at 10:18 and the forecast was obviously for hurricane winds and random showers, and the hope was that a tree wouldn’t fall on our house. Becky and I peered through the blinds at the trees in amazement at the arcs they now bent. Hank kept sawing logs.

Becky slept poorly all night and I remember waking up several times in the hopes of seeing a flashing alarm clock. No luck. After my cell phone alarm woke me up I was in the shower at 6:15 with a flashlight balanced perfectly on a towel rack, giving me just enough light to move forward with my day. The power thankfully came back on at 6:30, though the phone, cable and internet would not for another 5 hours.

The circular road through our complex was blocked in most directions by downed birch trees, but thankfully my truck was untouched and I was able to find a path out to the street. The litany of downed trees and dark intersections continued all the way to my office, where I found a building with only generator powered emergency lights – no work here today for sure. After heading down the street to my home office I found even less – all darkness and no way to even get in via door card access. No work there either.

I ran a quick few quick errands (Walmart was filled with silly people buying flashlights and 20 packs of C batteries) and was home by the time Henry woke up. He was happy to have mommy and daddy for the whole day and even happier when we strapped him in the backpack for a hike as soon as he finished his bottle.

The bog behind our home was a bit of a warzone and the city was a symphony of chainsaws. Plenty of pictures here.
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Many folks in Anchorage are still without power thanks to the 130mph winds, so we will certainly not complain about daddy’s random day off.IMG_3824 (Large)