Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Crown of Prince Edward

Logan has a thing with hats. He’s never really shown an interest in wearing them for longer than a few seconds, but he likes to take them. Sometimes he begs for them, among other things, but he never really did anything with them. Other than throw them on the ground.

A pleading request
You could put a hat on his head, and if you were quick enough, you might get a picture of it. I’ve rarely been that quick. He just didn’t seem to get it, which I always thought was weird for a kid with so little hair. Surely his head was getting cold? I know mine does.

Concerned about the hood
At first, he wouldn’t even tolerate the hood on his jacket. Like any other offending head gear he’d pull at it. When the hood failed to come off, he’d get upset and frustrated. Eventually he either gave up, or accepted it, and now regularly walks around with the hood up.
Playing in the backyard
Still wouldn’t wear hats though. Until last weekend, when he earned the Crown of Prince Edward.
Scrutinizing a leaf

Somewhere (not here) there is a picture of me wearing this hat when I was about Logan’s age. The Crown of Prince Edward was crocheted? Knitted? Fabricated for me by a family member or friend. I’m sure I’ll be chastised for not recalling the specifics. I wore it for a time when I was a toddler, and it then it got stashed away in a box for a whole bunch of years.

Playing ball
My mother brought it around for Logan some time ago, and until Saturday, he’d demonstrated little interest in it. Like any other hat he’d doff it as soon as he was forced to don it. Maybe it was just cold enough on Saturday. Maybe he’s finally accepted that sometimes people make you wear things on your head. Whatever the reason he wore if for the better part of an hour while adventuring in the backyard.

Playing Ball
And so the Crown of Prince Edward was passed from one generation to the next.

Build a Bear

Over the course of the Holidays Logan had received a gift card to Build A Bear. Since it was a rainy and gloomy weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to go to the mall and use the gift card.

Cautiously optimistic.

I have mixed feelings about Build A Bear. On the one hand, it’s a cute and endearing way to create a personal bond between a child and a stuffed animal that’s entertaining for the child. On the other hand, they’re expensive and the shop relies on aggressively patronizing marketing to insure children are emotionally indebted to the product and the accessories for it. And let’s be honest, given half a chance most kids will form an emotional bond with a stick they find in the drive way, giving it a name and creating an elaborate back story for the stick rich in royal intrigue and adventure.

Very concerned about the bear

They are cute bears though.

Hugging our new pal
Logan was reserved throughout the process, seeming mostly confused by the entire process. He demonstrated the most interest in the hallway that led to the bathrooms.

A new friend!

Naturally, we selected some Jedi robes for the bear. The consequence of this is that Logan was more interested in the Bear’s lightsaber than he was in the bear itself.

Build a Bear mission successful. Jedi bear acquired.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Here’s a Valentine’s Day greeting from Logan.

Come at me bro

What’s up ladies? Looking for some loving?

A little assist

With our weeknight schedules being so tight, Cameron and I knew we wouldn’t have any time for something special tonight. It’s a shame, but that’s one of the challenges of being a parent. To make up for it, I planned a picnic lunch adventure at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

Spring Mountain Ranch

Spring Mountain Ranch is inside the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas. The ranch has a colorful history as a way point on the Old Spanish Trail and was the base camp for several well known outlaw raids. Sitting directly under the eastern cliffs of the Wilson Range, the ranch sports a number of natural springs for which it was named. Sitting at 3800 feet above sea level, the ranch is well above most of the rest of the Las Vegas valley in elevation, and the result is a significantly cooler local climate.

Spring Mountain Ranch

A number of historic buildings are preserved on the ranch and are home to living history programs that feature costumed guides, demonstrations and reenactments of historic events. In the summer the ranch hosts a night time theater program that’s having it’s 35 season this year.

Picnic lunch

I’ve lived in Las Vegas for seventeen years now, and I’ve never been.

Spring Mountain Ranch

So I raided the pantry and packed a picnic kit with the essentials. Some nice crackers, bits of cheese, olives, salami, roast pork medallions and a bottle of Pinot Noir. We would head out as soon as Logan was done with his nap, cutting it a bit short to accommodate for the day’s adventures. To start the morning off though, we ran some essential errands. And that’s where things started to go wrong.

Picking out new tools

Things went well at the hardware store. I got what was on the list, and Logan picked out a cordless reciprocating saw. He was disappointed that I wouldn’t let him keep it, but was instantly mollified when we let him play with a yard stick.

Story time

A trip to Barnes and Noble to use a gift card was in order, and while Logan got some new books that he seems to enjoy, the Starbucks wouldn’t take my gift card, and I got so irritated by the long line at check out that I forgot to use the gift card for the books. The long line also meant we were off schedule to get back home in time for nap, which meant nap ran long.

Always so serious

The drive out to the Ranch also took longer than expected, closer to an hour than the half hour I had estimated. We puled into the ranch at 3:20. Closing time at this time of the year is… 4:30.

Exploring Spring Mountain Ranch

We rushed out the picnic area and made the best of it, trying to take in the mountains and the clean air while Logan did his level best to step in all the food. The wine helped.

Picnic lunch

We let him wander in the grassy meadow for a bit. Not straying far, he would occasionally return with an interesting looking treasure; a stick, a rock, a discarded cigarette butt, some horse manure. He seemed to enjoy himself, but eventually, and too soon, the park was closing and he had to be reined in.

Overalls are also an effective handle

On the way out we stopped at nearby Bonnie Springs. Bonnie Springs was another way stop on the Old Spanish Trail, now gussied up as an old western town and petting zoo. I hear they stage gunfights in the street and have regular hangings. We seemed to show up just as everything was closing down. We had just enough time to wander around a bit, let Logan fall into a merry go round and bust his lip, and then get locked up in the city jail.

Locked up at Bonnie Springs

The adjacent petting zoo featured the largest number of free range peacocks I’ve ever seen. Wandering the grounds, perching on vehicles and scratching in the dirt for seeds, they were something of mystery to Logan. He spent a good deal of time point at them, softly exclaiming his toddler word for bird and making them nervous.

Spring Mountain Ranch

I was a little disappointed that the trip didn’t go off as planned, but such is life. We can’t plan for everything, only try and mitigate the disasters as they occur. So we stopped at Havana Grill on the way back into town for Cuban food. Roast pork will cure any ill.

Picnic lunch

The knelling of the garbage disposal

Logan was having his afternoon snack while I was cleaning up the kitchen in the background. I turned on the garbage disposal to flush some waste down the drain, and this was very concerning to Logan. You can see the emotions overpower his features. At first he’s concerned about a scary noise, the source of which is a mystery. Then, within seconds he resolves that the scary noise is not impacting his food source, and quietly goes back to his snack. Hopefully, he will demonstrate the same resolve on the off chance a tiger escapes from the zoo and pounces through our back door.

All cooped up

Cameron and I both took two weeks off to stay home during the Christmas break. For nearly a week it rained or drizzled more or less constantly. While we left the house almost daily to perform what seemed like an endless series of errands and appointments, the weather was such that Logan didn’t really get much of a chance to play outside. Playing outside is something that Logan seems to love more than anything else. He can spend an hour or more just wobbling around rearranging leaves and rocks, making small piles and redistributing them.

Naturally, as soon as the weather cleared he had to go out and move some leaves around. Listen to how excited he is.