Sunday, May 24, 2009

Alaska: Nature

The scenery on our cruise was stunning, particuarly since we had sunny skies every day. We saw a couple of glaciers. As for wildlife, Denis spotted lots of eagles, a mink, and a humpback whale while kayaking. The only wildlife Sam and I saw were a couple of bald eagles, including this one.

We visited an amazing raptor center in Juneau, where they rehabilitate birds of prey to return to the wild. Some are so injured they must remain in captivity. I was mesmerized by the close-up view I had of this owl.

I was also very impressed with the bird enclosures, such as this one, for being so integrated with the natural rain forest landscape.

We treated ourselves to a guided rainforest nature hike to learn about the local flora. It was just like when we first got to know each other...except for the 3-foot-tall person running and chattering around our feet. There was no note-taking on this hike, but I loved the delicacy of these ferns.

I see more Alaskan hikes in our future for sure.

Friday, May 8, 2009

someone likes posing

We've entered a new stage of picture taking, and I don't know if the video camera, Skype, or our beautiful flowers deserve the credit. Sam will now stand still and look at the camera for a picture! Not always of course, but it is less of a monumental struggle than it used to be. Which allows us to behold a beautiful boy standing at a lovely spot in our yard, side by side with a purple bearded iris and a dark pink rhododendron (or azalea, not sure). In his hand is a tiny watering can that he uses to help water the strawberries and raspberries we recently planted. Then sometimes he waters the patio. So along the way we talk about drought, responsible water usage, and the properties of straw mulch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

happy birthday sofia!!

My sweet niece Sofia, Sam's cousin, is turning ONE today! Over the weekend Sam excitedly packed up some of his old toys and drew a card for his much-loved "Too-paia" (Sofia). Then he wanted to send his "burpday" wishes in song:

We need to do this for all the family birthdays that we can't celebrate in person, though I'm not sure how Sam is going to feel about these videos when he's a teenager. To the parents, two of my favorite people, from me: I am so happy for you guys! Excited to see you soon!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

dirty fingernails

Once upon a time I had perpetual dirty fingernails and hardly ever used a computer or talked to kids. Right now I am happily typing into the blogosphere, pausing every couple of minutes to wind up my toddler's train (and just had to calm tears when I distractedly let the train go before he said "ready set go!"), and noticing my lovely dirt-filled fingernails.

Earlier today we were outside, enjoying the fresh humid air and soaked soil after days of rain, and pulling weeds. Actually I pulled weeds while Sam played a game of "get me." This involves Sam removing himself to a distance about 12 feet from my weeding position, yelling "Mommy do 'get me'!", which prompts me to yell back "you can't get me!", and then he runs full-force towards me while laughing and screeching, and thrusts a big sloppy kiss on my face. Then we do it again about 20 times, while I somehow manage to get the whole sidewalk and more weeded, and every time he rushes towards me, his eyes and smile are the very picture of glee.

More good things:
*carrots, peas, cilantro, and 3 beets sprouting in our first garden bed of the season (see photo above, and yes, they need thinning)
*artichokes, homemade aioli, and veggie chili from the freezer for dinner
*bouquet of yellow roses on my windowsill and burgundy roses on my dining room table, both hand-picked from our yard
*fresh baked whole-wheat-molasses bread from our new thrift store bread machine (once upon a time I baked my own bread sans machine, but I really appreciate this convenient fresh-baked goodness now)
*Sam 'discovering' his crayons and easily spending a half hour drawing in his sketchbook
*ten-day vacation in Alaska and Seattle coming up!