Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Becky's birthday fell on a Thursday this year so we again headed to Simon and Seafort's for dinner. Henry was happy and content to plow through chocolate milks while gazing at the ships moving about in Cook Inlet. Piper's eyes popped open, only to begin drifting away as the bottle was plugged in. Everyone was well behaved and I didn't have to tip too heavily for the cleanup of our usual bread crumb cloud on the floor. It seems we're getting just a little bit more tidy -- progress.

Becky chose the bacon wrapped meatloaf and I jumped on fish (cod) and chips. Yes, we both chose old favorites in the face of plenty of great options on the menu. Old habits are just that.

When the actual day of Halloween came, Henry asserted that he no longer wanted to be a fireman, and would prefer to be an astronaut. So off he went to preschool as an astronaut (Ms. Debbie was given a heads up that the buckle and long zipper might need help in the bathroom).

The picture below is what you might call an upfront in show business. It was a warmer than average Halloween for us -- 25 degrees -- so we scooted outside to take a picture before the sun set. Henry quickly put on his snow pants and jacket before the loose fitting astronaut outfit was layered on  top. Once we had a few reflective stickers in place and a blinking bike light clipped to his back, off we went into the dark, Anchorage Halloween night.

Becky and Piper stayed home though, eagerly waiting with a well lit porch and a flickering pumpkin outside. They only ended up with one group of kids the entire night. Townhouse complexes are funny things on nights like this.

Henry and I targeted the neighborhood just across the street. About half of the homes had their lights on, which added up to about 90 minutes of trick or treating, though at the end I had to carry our NASA employee a bit (no fussing though).

We started out very strong and needed little prompting. "Trick or Treat...Thank you."

However, as the evening wore on and more folks began asking Henry questions on the fly about his spaceship or if he had been on the moon, his ability to remember the trick or treat script waned. To his credit, he fell back on his strengths.

"And are you flying to the moon? Where is your shuttle?"


"What candy do you like the best?"

"Thank you."

All polite, positive words, so you won't hear any complaining from Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween this year is probably a strong harbinger of the years to come -- numerous safe events capped off by actual trick or treating. I completely appreciate the goal of trunk or treats and indoor events to keep the kids warm, supervised, in well lit rooms, and filled with candy. However, it all needs to culminate in trudging up and down a city street with a bag for the holiday to be legitimate.

Henry had the choice of either being a fireman or an astronaut, thanks to some costumes that were lent to us. He immediately picked the firefighter jacket and proceeded to wear it everywhere, everyday (thankfully it's lined). Piper fit warmly in a hand me down bear suit and seemed to like it just fine.

At Henry's preschool fall festival (I guess somebody at some time was uptight with it being a Halloween party) his badge and hat were in full effect. If you look closely you will notice Piper wearing a pumpkin orange shirt.

There were quite a few games, a silent auction that quickly rose too rich for our blood, and plenty of candy that didn't make it home that night.


The daytime temps are no longer making it over 32 degrees, but our first snow dump has not yet found us. A dusting here or there, sure, but not a permanent layer. So we continue to hike and tramp around Cheney Lake and point out the eagles in the trees.

I should have known it after observing how good Henry is getting at manipulating Legos, but he was perfectly up for digging slimy pumpkin seeds from the belly of our carved friend below. We chose the face of the Jack O'Lantern from one of his favorite stories (Five Little Pumpkins) and I did all the knife work. Henry took his sweet time digging out each little seed like a surgeon. It all worked out well and soon the pumpkin was sitting on our 16 degree deck with a tealight flickering inside.