Monday, February 25, 2008

the fundrasier for AHOPE

Wow, our friends and family are a generous sort. We held a fundrasier for the AHOPE (African HIV Orphans: Project Embrace) of Ethiopia. The net was a nice palindromic $4343.

What is wonderful to consider is this is enough money to:

"just about the precise amount to pay for ALL the counseling and psychological care for the children for the year. (salaries are a fraction of what they are in the States as you can tell). I think that it is fair to say that if your donors want to visualize what their money is doing, you can tell them that kids who are grieving and/or are having a really hard time with their losses, the realities of their HIV status, teen angst, school problems, etc. are receiving help, thanks to their generosity. " --Kathryn, Executive Director, AHOPE for Children.

Thanks donnors for your kind support. Our money will be put to good use. And it is quite a needy cause. Because, depending on the data source, somwhere between 15 and 20% of orphans in Ethiopia (thats 100's of thousands of kids, teens, and now soon to be young adults) have tested positive for HIV or are afflicted with AIDS. And helping provide psychological help for them and their families is a great need for your contributions.

The funrasier was done as a casual party-gathering way that also had triple billing as a celebration for Alexi's adoption into our family and this old farts 40th birthday. I lost my camera just prior to this event but luckily a friend at the party (thanks Stacy) had her camera and took some photos.
Here is the blow-hard old fart weezing on the candles to blow them out.
and the smoky aftermath.

thanks again to all the generous donors.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Christy's mom came to stay with us and help take care of Alexi. This was quite the marriage saving god-send. Alexi's grandma stayed for 3 weeks and at every moment she was there to help. I highly recommend getting yourself a grandma and it should be put somewhere in bold, red letters in all the adoption manuals that should be included with all the placement kids. I tell you, there's many a time that I wish I could refer to the instructions manual. It would be a big help.

Grandma was everywhere. she almost always was First Responder at the scene. At any of Alexi's cries, her hands were there to comfort. In fact, Grandma was so efficient, Christy and I were starting to feel inadequate, and quite possibly, ......down right useless with her around. She would be there to towel him off after a bath. Or be there to hold and comfort him .....and that is no simple task.

Note the size of that belly.

And the level of vein-popping exertion in G'maw forearm.

Yes, grandma is tiny, but combined with big boy (he is only 8 months old here), we have a hard to believe proportionality. To hold Alex and jiggle him around the room, well it's nearly as much work out as an hour at the gym.

If you cant tell from the picture already, this boy likes to eat. We are certain that this man will have no food peccadillo's. He'll be free of food snobbery. Eating whatever finds his fancy, or come within sight and reach of his mouth.

I have asked wiffy, "Can a baby be too fat." I know a healthy baby is supposed to look "healthy" but this boy is really looking very "HEALTHY." When bottle is loaded in his tank, his paunch swells to give him the stately look of a miniature Buddha.
Here is the Lama himself in his saintly garb dispensing his sage advice telling us to "goo goo" and a "ga ga."

When I can figure out what that means, I will let you know.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

doing it on Grandeur peak

Been feeling like a slug lately. Probably not enough 5-HT in circulating the blood stream. The remedy was to get out for some serious exercise. And with the rumor of bottomless snow were alluring me, what better way to get the fix than to go hammer some backcountry action. So, hooked up with my buddy J for all day ski up on Grandeur peak. Our other friend, Weens, was able to join us for the morning and a good set of turns was found on the north shots in the AM.
Kuma dog (aka, powder porpoise) looking at her momma as if to say "lets go for some more!" In the rest of the afternoon, we linked up tracks for aprox. 7000 vertical. It was a stellar day of excellent powder conditions and beauty.
I hope my boy will get as hooked on this healthy kind of white stuff as I am.

10th mountain hut

Alexi's first multi day hut ski tour.Using the charitot sled in tow, we hiked the 6 miles into this pristine cabin in Sawatch range in the Colorado Rockies just outside of Leadville. We were there on the invite of our buddy, the good Dr. Smoak.Dr Smoak is one of those dihard free heel freaks. I guess he loves to be down on his knees....not that both knees at once thing, ....but more like the repeated marriage proposal stance, from one side to the other. With every turn, its "will you marry me, ....or you, ...or how about you, ....or maybe you.." over and over until something gives way.Me, I am too weak-in-the-knees for that kind of stuff. Oh, used to be a loose-healed swinger, but now I am wed to my AT gear. Locked down with my old standbys, they never do me wrong. And we get around together. They get me into places like this cabin. Where I can catch a beautiful sunrise far away from the noise and distractions of civilization.
That photo was made on a cold morning. The thermo was reading -12 F. By mid morning, it warmed up to a balmy zero. A bit nippy for the ski out to the cars. A kind of cold that gets at all exposed extremities. Luck for Alexi, he had his chariot, where he is cocooned in a down-filled, 3-point restraint. He slept the whole way out.

It was a memorable kind of cold and a scary snow pack making us native Wasatch Range skiers a little frightened. Why just the other day, Alexi was reminiscing about the trip (in between chomping on his sunglass lenses):"Yep, I tell ya, the kind of cold to shatter the nozzle on your camelback."

"And a snowpack like fried icecream. A foot or so of fresh, on 6 inches of hard, crunchy compaction suspended dangerously on 2 feet of faceted crystaline TG hoarfrost. Why that stuff would have been very precarious if the pack had gone isothermal"

(--yea, whatever he said.)

alexi first daycare day

It was a snowy day that Alexi experienced his first day at daycare. I packed him in the van and we headed off to "All about kids" daycare center. As we arrived the sleet seemed to pick up intensity (Those things in the pics that look like acid drops etching a photo are how the digi captures sleet balls cascading from the sky.)
A quick pause outside the entrance for a photo op, shows Alexi looking a little put-off by the cold, inclement weather. This made daycare a warm and inviting place to escape from the outside elements.
Putting Alexi down, he was awestruck at all the new sites, sounds, and smells.
The staff seemed to take to him immediately. Apparently Alexi was true to his character. Lots of giggles, squeals, and laughter in between his profuse mucous releases. I think Alexi is gonna like his daycare.