Thursday, March 19, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

After a week of high 30s temperatures, we are back to single digits and perhaps highs in the teens. Winter is still here, the mushy ice is gone, and the sun isn't going down until 8:45 right now.

Teased with hot chocolate in the thermos, Henry and I have been hitting the rink most evenings, usually watching the sunset as we pack our gear away. We have the rink all to ourselves and Henry's skating is getting better rapidly. Most importantly, he smiles the whole time and laughs quite a bit. It's just a good time.

A long ways back, in an effort to make even falling on the ice fun, I would chirp "Man down!" comically whenever Henry took a spill (all in the hope of avoiding frustration settling in). Well, Henry really took to it.

Whether he slips to the ice deliberately or accidentally, I am always instructed between giggles, "Daddy, you're supposed to say 'Man down!'"

"Man down! Man down!"

The good times never end.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Becky and Piper were still a few days away from shaking off their congestion, so I took Henry to his schoolmate's birthday party on Saturday afternoon. I knew two of the mothers and always have a great time chasing Henry around, so I was happy to go. No worries about the other 14 mothers being strangers to me.

The kids tore around the gymnastics room, bounced and bumped into everything, and smiled the whole time. Any bumps or slips were quickly shaken off.

I enjoyed watching the hide and go seek game the most. As the seekers counted to 20, the hiders spilled across the room in every direction before eventually settling into one of two piles under some large mats. Once the seekers found one of the nests, 50% of the kids were found. All the adults giggled incessantly.

After 3 pieces of birthday cookie cake and a helium filled balloon, we headed back home to eagerly tell Mommy all about it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

These kids love their Badger gear! Next to his Bigfoot pajamas, Henry can't get enough of his Wisconsin t-shirt. It's riding a little tight these days, but we'll remedy that this summer during our visit to the Midwest.

Piper started the day in her Wisconsin shirt, which meant Henry immediately removed his shirt and demanded his Badger shirt make an appearance.

It all added up to some good pictures and a few more notes of support for the basketball team.

Similar to Ray Milland, this has been a lost week for us. Everyone has the same nasty cold. As Henry was sick first, the finger of blame goes squarely towards preschool. There were a few mild fevers, plenty of sniffling, and quite a few days of playing solely inside. We're on the mend now, but it did give Becky the chance to pull out some of our indoor, more in depth toys.

We now have plenty of psychedelic crayons afoot.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The ice skating these past few weeks has been simply spectacular -- no new snow, temps around 30, and no wind. It could not be easier to be comfortable cruising around Cheney Lake.

Henry has always had a mild interest in skating, but lately he's had an extra spring in his step for it. His bike helmet no longer fit well enough over his winter hat to keep him safe on the ice, so we upgraded to a proper hockey helmet. I make no assumptions about any hockey aspirations he may have, but the fact is that this style of helmet is the safest way to be. So he ended up pumped up about having a proper hockey helmet, which fed into leaning hard into his skating helper and skating as fast as possible all over the lake. His confidence soars and he loves telling Mommy all about how fast he skates.

So we head to the lake as often as possible, Henry beams about playing for the "championship cup," and we always have a thermos of hot chocolate in the truck when finished.

When he stops thinking about it and gets caught up in the moment, he fails to realize that he's been drifting around without holding onto the helper. He may not see it, but his progress keeps inching forward.

I'm certain that there will be troubled waters over the next 20 years amongst the kids in our home, but those are not the days we find ourselves in now. Henry is an incredibly sweet big brother to Piper, and Piper only wants to watch Henry run around and perform silly things to feed her laughter. Looking below, you'll see that before digging into his barn, Henry paused to kindly give Piper a delicious horse.

Even though our winter is still almost non-existent, the Fur Rendezvous festival is in swing. In a few years we'll spend a fair amount of time at the carnival, but right now we tend to focus on the model train show and the fireworks.

Henry must be over 40 lbs by now, or at least it sure feels like it. I'd rather not search a thesaurus for a pile of adjectives, so suffice to say Henry is bananas for trains and I'm the one holding him up. The trains on display tend to be the same each year, which speaks not to laziness but rather to how large and well designed these dioramas are. They are enormous and snake smartly around the Alaska Railroad lobby. Henry can't get enough.

We stumbled outside for the fireworks, pitched our gaze towards the ocean and Mt. Susitna, and enjoyed 10 minutes of booms and flashes.

Even Piper enjoyed the lights flashing across the Alaskan sky.