Friday, May 15, 2015

As a preface, I should note that Henry really loves his new shoes -- really loves them. They aren’t very fancy for being regular Velcro shoes, but they have the Avengers picture on the side. Also, the Avengers light up when he takes a step. He has had zero exposure to the Avengers, so for all I know he thinks the superhero team’s superpower is creating flashing red lights. He loves these shoes, and took them to school for show and tell. It’s a sad time if we’re going somewhere muddy and he needs to put boots on instead.


After school this week Becky took the kids to the zoo for a picnic lunch and a quick lap past some of the favorite animals. At one point they found themselves on a wooden bridge near the wolf and tiger cage. Obviously the exhibits were not connected, but there was a section below the bridge that was fenced off. Not quite in the cages, but certainly off limits to visitors. When Becky was holding Henry up on the bridge railing to better see the tiger, into that connecting section went his right shoe. Down, down into no man’s land, behind an electric fence.
The tears immediately began flowing, and Becky soon determined that she couldn’t retrieve the shoe herself. After a few moments to calm Henry down, staff was contacted and a maintenance guy appeared. All was soon well, and Mom and Dad are happy to report that Henry thanked the man politely.

Piper just calmly looked around at the green buds on the trees during the whole experience.

Our Saturday Mother’s Day excursion to Girdwood satisfied our expectations (hiking and rain) and brought a few surprises (the hand tram). We started with breakfast at The Bakery, which is famous for a very large sweet roll. The food was fine, but most importantly our stomachs ended up full.  Throughout the meal I kept glancing outside, watching the rain alternate between drizzle and downpour. As we walked outside it nicely shifted back to drizzle.

IMG_6088 (Large)

Wisely, we geared up at the Winner Creek trailhead in anticipation of heavier rain. Henry slipped into his muddy buddy and Piper was positioned into the backpack such that she wasn’t in direct contact to any rain. The drizzle soon picked up, but the tree cover on the trail helped a great deal. We stopped here and there to jump in a muddy puddles, fling some sticks, and kick downed logs. We eventually made it to the hand tram, where to my great surprise Henry eagerly jumped into the tiny, steel tram. I had really expected some push back here.


Becky and Henry went across the gorge and hiked beyond towards the waterfall. I kept a snoozing Piper in the backpack while pulling the tram rope like a Good Samaritan for about 10 different folks. According to the hikers passing by, she eventually awoke and smiled while she bobbed back and forth during my huffing and puffing.

IMG_6082 (Large)

After returning from the waterfall (where Henry’s curiosity at the height of the falls got him a quick yank backwards from Mommy), we hiked back to the car, slammed a snack down, and then proceeded to head for the Girdwood playground. From the road it was always clear just how nice a playground this was, but once we were inside it, we found it even better than we had imagined. There were close to 20 donated Tonka trucks drifting around the empty playground.

IMG_6096 (Large)

Suffice to say, we had a hard time getting Henry to hit the road an hour or so later.


Lots of snoozing on the way home after a successful day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Life inches along here, usually with subtle changes; Piper is rolling over, Henry is wrestling down the tricky teens, etc. Sometimes a few big things happen at once and you feel a big step forward. The weather is much warmer (high 40s ), Piper is much more stable, and Henry is all the more brave and confident when it comes to climbing around the playground.

IMG_6054 (Large)

It all adds up with Piper happily in the backpack as I cart her around the playground and the bog. After a half an hour I can usually crane my neck to the side and see her pink windbreaker leaning forward, her snoozing head tucked down. She spends her time looking around quietly, bucking her legs into my back at any excitement, or snoozing away – all adding up to simple enjoyment for her.

Henry tries endlessly to master climbing the wrong direction up a slide, only to be thwarted by his new, too smooth shoes. Piper takes it all in, only to wear herself out.

IMG_6030 (Large)

Summer looks to be coming early for sure, and we’re out there enjoying all we can.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sometimes things just work out in a perfect way, seemingly out of thin air. A friend of ours mentioned that her husband, an Alaskan State Trooper, was going to be giving a private tour of the hangar containing their helicopter and plane. Would we like to come? Saying no would have scarred Henry for life!

As the copter is a bit open and high up, Henry took a bit of coaxing to crawl inside. At a glance down it doesn't feel like you're standing on much. He soon accepted that it was sturdy enough to crawl around inside, and even put on the head phones.

His eyes opened like saucers when the GPS system was clicked on, causing multiple monitors to flash and blink before displaying a colorful, contoured map of Anchorage. Henry was keenly accepting of its being turned off, as he knows all about what happens if you let batteries drain too low (ie. Daddy doesn't replace them right away ).

He seem to enjoy the small, two-seater plane the best. He was able to reach and manually adjust the flaps. It was a pretty fun, immediate sense that he was actually flying the plane.