Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pickett's Junction

One of the most beautiful spots near the cabin is Pickett's Junction. At this junction, highways for several major mountain passes converge in the amazing Hope Valley. The high meadow here is as good as it gets. There are still a bunch of trails we want to try in the area, yesterday, we checked one off of the list.

Nature Can be Comfortable

Many people are afraid of "nature" because they think that any experience in the wilderness means roughing it to the extreme -- no beds, no toilets, no stoves, no water, and even only stumps or logs as seats. Not true. Experiences in the wild do not have to be so primitive. Exhibit A: Ashe in her new folding chair complete with giant sun shield. Exhibit B: Rai in his fancy hiking backpack -- hiking in comfort and style. And yet, Dad is still stuck lying in the dirt.

When Spring Comes Late...

It is no secret that Spring has come late to the mountains. Record snow falls extended the ski season through the Memorial Day weekend and the last snow of the year fell in June! This has been good news for skiers and for filing reservoirs, but bad news for summer hikers like us who still have no access to most of the wonderful high country hikes in our area. The late Spring also means that wildflowers will be delayed a month or more. With no wildflowers in the valleys, we had to find our own way to bring some color to our favorite meadows...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hotspring Falls

After months of showing Rai pictures of snakes in books and Rai having long since mastered the "hisssss" of a snake, Rai finally got to meet his first real snake the other day. On the trail up to Hotspring Falls, we found a rattlesnake relaxing in the sun. Instead of him slithering off into the grass, it was us who had to get off the trail -- he just would not move and kept that rattle shaking until we were out of sight!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's New with the Boys?

You may be wondering: what's new with Rai and Kotaru?
What are they up to? Have they learned any new tricks?
Sure, I see them growing on this site every day, but what skills are they working on right now? Well, dear reader, this post is the one for you. Watch the videos below to see that Rai is ready to say his ABCs (yes, he does a pretty poor job of it in this video but in reality, he's quite good!). And, don't forget about little Ko who is on the verge of crawling. We anticipate a real crawl within 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life in a Housecoat

According to Rai, the best part of living just a few minutes walk from Baker Beach is that when we have visitors come by, we can just walk right down to the beach and you don't even have to worry about changing out of your housecoat. You're right, there's nothing quite like strolling on the beach in your custom-tailored, black robe, with Batman emblem embroidered on the chest. I'm sure Bruce Wayne walks the grounds of Wayne Manor much the same way. And, thanks to Jacek, you've got some amazing red and white Polska socks to complete the outfit!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rai: 26 Months Old,..Kotaru: 8 Months Old

Recently, Kotaru turned 8 months old. As always, the picture below compares Kotaru to Rai at 8 months of age. As the months go by, the difference in our two boys becomes more and more apparent.
Today, Rai turned 26 months old. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, using some aging software, we're able to look into the future to see what Ko will look like at 26 months old. Wow, check out that hair!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kotaru is 250 Days Old Today!

Two hundred and fifty days sounds like a lot when we look at our little Ko who is very much the little baby in this house (Ashley excluded, of course). On the other hand, Ko is so much a part of our lives now that two hundred and fifty days sounds like nothing at all. How could someone capture our hearts so completely in just two hundred and fifty days? Who knows, but he's certainly done it. He celebrated 250 today by giving us about 250 smiles and since smiling requires about 26 different muscles, he needed to go straight to bed after that.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gratitude to Fathers

There isn't a day that passes that I don't feel an unbelievable amount of gratitude for having Maciej in our lives. For the past 26 months, he has stood by me through it all, through the tears and the joys, supported me in every decision I have had to make, been by my side through all the mishaps and complications, loved me and our sons unconditionally and made our home full of fun and non-stop laughter. I realize today, and every day that I am the mom I am because of Maciej and everything he does for us. I can be very patient and calm even during the most difficult situations because Maciej has always comforted and fed our sons in the middle of the night, taken the early morning shifts in our home which usually begin around 4:45 a.m., has read hundreds (if not thousands) of books to the boys while I have slept, and has played with the boys for hours while I relaxed in the next room. He even does all the cleaning in the house while I put my feet up. For over two years, Maciej has always done anywhere from 60-90% of the share of work it takes to take care of our family and by doing that he has given me the greatest gift of all -- he has made it possible for me to be the best possible mom I can be to our two amazing, little boys.
On this day, I would like to thank and honor Maciej and all the fathers out there who give everything to their family and ask only for a little smile and some laughter in return. You truly make this world a better place.
Thank you Macius for all your sacrifice, your love and great sense of humor. Our boys are full of love and laughter and will be great fathers themselves one day because you are always there for them and for me. Happy Father's Day, my love.
Maciej would like to add: I enjoyed Rai saying "Happy Father's Day" so much today that I made sure he can count the months until this important day comes again. Below, the video of Rai reciting the months of the year. We are so proud of him!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Family Boat

Things just keep getting better for this family.
First, there was the new family car. Now, there's the new family boat. Knowing that we'll spend several months per year at the cabin and that there is no shortage of alpine lakes all around us, it was just a matter of time before we got a boat. Buying another vehicle -- that's a big deal for this family. It may not be an 80-foot yacht, but even an under 10-foot inflatable dingy is considered a serious watercraft in our household.
The mountains had a long, long winter this year so finding a navigable lake was tougher than expected. Our favorite is Woods Lake but the road down was still snowed over. We had to settle for Red Lake. With snowy peaks all around, it was hardly settling. Now, if we could only get Rai to accept this new and scary sport...