Monday, October 28, 2013

We headed off to St Elizabeth's Trunk or Treat on Friday night not knowing completely what to expect. We had a sense of the concept, but were not sure what to make of the requirement to decorate your vehicle. We were unsure if this meant you could only participate if you decorated your car, which made us wonder if we would be out of place with our plain 4Runner. So, we brought candy anyway in case our trunk ended up being in the mix. It all ended up being too much thinking about a simple thing. 90% of the vehicles merely brought kids to the party, while a minority tricked out their trunks and handed out candy. We happily walked Henry through the circuit in the lot where he whispered "Trick or Treat" and "Thankyou" to each person.

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Even better, he happily kept his costume on with zero fidgeting. People waved at "Bob the Builder" all night long, but I must confess that we only intended Henry to be a construction worker. He wore work boots, Carhartts, a helmet, and sported a hammer and a mustache. We often reminded him that he was "on the job."

We met up with Casey and spent a little time walking around the Halloween party. We even took another pass through the Trunk or Treat parking lot with Casey (no, we didn't double dip). The party inside was filled with kids of all ages, though it seemed that 3rd and 4th graders were the majority. I did enjoy a table littered with scary stories the 4th grade class had written for any one's perusal -- lots of "Haunted Castles" and "Spooky Graveyards". My favorite was "The Zombie in the Dark" -- I love that the zombie had to be in the dark to get it done. Great people, great event, and fun stories.

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Come Saturday afternoon I needed my construction helper to fix the cabinet under the sink, so Henry was dispatched to find his tools and help Daddy. We know he never misses a chance to use his drill. After a few laps through the living room a deep sadness crept across his face, followed by a trembling lip, and a growing wail. It was a deeper sadness that the usual terrible twos occurrences we usually find ourselves in.

Becky identified it immediately."Oh no! We'll find your drill!" And it was soon found. The poor guy was facing a future without a drill to help Daddy. Close call.

The one thing to be sure of was that he would be digging in immediately, as you can see in the video below. The only question that remains is if properly bonded workmen are allowed to report for jobs without any pants.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The odd weather continues and our daytime temps remain in the 40s, so we keep heading back to the playground with Casey as often as possible. Our bodies are shifting to winter as the crock pot is on more often and Henry is enjoying more indoor activities (like the musical instruments now in the rotation). Henry always loves the drums shown in the above video, though much of the time they are declared "alternators" and inserted underneath the big plastic fire truck. Hank is always on the job when it comes to fixing trucks.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nothing lasts forever, especially alternators. On the drive home Monday my battery light kicked on and after some multimeter tests the diagnosis was final. Hank and I hit Auto Zone for a rebuilt alternator and we planned for Randy to come by and help within the next few days.

Randy arrived, headed to the bathroom to change into some work clothes, and left standing his orange bucket filled with sockets, pry bar, and a light. Henry was excited in a 100 different ways so I decided to give him a clean socket wrench for him to click away. Daylight was burning so off we hurried. Henry was told to stay inside, finish his dinner, and wave goodbye to the guys that were going to fix Daddy's truck.

Becky reported that he made it halfway through dinner before running around the living room, collecting up his plastic hammer and drill, and heading for the door. Soon Randy and I were welcomed by the curious foreman. Henry spent some time staring at us, the dusty engine, and our filthy hands.

It all worked out and after a jump the engine roared while the multimeter read thumbs up. Randy and I did not speak it out loud at the time out of fear of invoking a curse, but it was way too easy -- 40 minutes with the jump.

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It's all sled dogs, butterflies, crackers and fruit chewies up here.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I really wonder what zips through Henry's mind all night long. What makes him bolt out of bed upon waking up and declare that he needs his boots? Once he made it downstairs he dragged them out immediately, ignoring the usual milk and breakfast. Hunger can wait. Boots cannot.


One theory I have heard is that aside from the needing to let their bodies grow and recover, toddlers need lots of sleep to develop their brains. Adults have their routines and experiences programmed deeply in. For example, we do not even think about how to handle our morning commute. Toddlers are still building those grooves and need a long night of dreams to relive the day and parse through the experiences and memories. They're filling up their changing brains.

I have no clue how accurate that is, but it doesn't sound too bananas. And it doesn't sound like there is any harm in believing it.

I have noticed that like my 5 cd changer, I can occasionally program his dreams to a degree. On Friday nights I often tell Henry upon bedtime that tomorrow morning he'll see Maggie at Saturdays with Daddy, so he needs to get a good night of sleep. It's not odd to hear him stirring to life on the monitor at 8am uttering, "Maggie. Maggie."

This is all very charming, but where the boots come from is beyond me. I know that a smiling Henry is never more than 1 or 2 random sentences away from graders, excavators, or trains. The guy loves the construction site more than anything else, so my money is that he anticipates hitting the job site as soon as he wakes. I'll try to remember this zeal in 15 years when he's sleeping till noon at every opportunity.

Friday, October 11, 2013

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"Do again. Throw up in air."

Henry's sentences are getting longer, more specific, and even more demanding. Thankfully the game of chucking the toddler into the sky is easier on my back than running around with monkeybear. The problem with the new game as you can see is that Henry loves kicking his legs at the height of his toss. I have to navigate the scissors as they tumble towards my face. So far I've been nimble enough.


It's getting chillier each day, but the snow on the mountains is unable to accumulate thanks to the rainy days. With a little luck we'll get the bike trailer out in the next week or two for some final trips. It's just been hard to dodge the rain showers here and there.

Henry's costume is largely ready; a tribute to his first love these days -- construction worker. We already have the carhartts, plastic hammer, fake mustache makeup, and boots. After buying a yellow helmet, we only need to perform some modifications on my freebie hunting vest to create a vest for our excavator driver. As long as the weather holds up, we have a chance at actually walking around in a visible costume, rather than one under 2 layers of clothing.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our brief snowfall came and went in a blink and the regular Alaskan fall of crisp mornings and yellowing leaves is back in full force. Almost all of the leaves are now on the ground and the snow on the mountains is leaking down a bit more every few days. The days have been more dry than wet so we've found ourselves at the playground a fair amount. Henry's windbreaker has been mothballed and he now hears "Go get your barn jacket" when it's time to head out.

When people say toddlers have a challenged attention span, they clearly have not made caramel apples. Henry tuned out the world and intensely unwrapped each piece of candy before dropping them into the saucepan. He wasn't as interested in the caramel dipping process, which was fine by the two safety minded parents. As an even better bonus, his love of apples has renewed. He gobbles up granny smiths as quickly as I can slice them up.

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Last week we checked out the middle school cross country championships at Kincaid park to watch Hailey give it her best. The pack of 8th grade girls huddled up at the starting line, high-fived each other, rubbed their hands up and down their chilly arms, and took off at the sound of the gun. I placed Henry on my shoulders and while be did enjoy it for a few moments, he quickly became wiggly. He usually runs his fingers through my hair and checks for ticks, but this time he sprinted directly for my glasses. Fair enough, down you go.

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Hailey finished with a strong kick and a very red face. Volleyball practice is calling her name next week, and Henry can't wait to get the sled out for October's inevitable snow.

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