Monday, March 20, 2006

Ambiana- week 10

Ambiana at 10 weeeks. She is gaining a bit of control over her arms and reaches ever so slightly out for her swinging friends when placed on her Animal Friends pad. She is also laughing really hard which is so sweet coming out of such a little smoo. She's filing out her clothes and is almost ready for new ones. We got a big box from Colleen's co-worker Wendy who has a four year old daughter Hannah. This coming weekend we are going to Boston (Our biggest trip yet as a 3some) for cousin Maya's 1st Orbit party and to visit Grandma who is in rehab from her latest leg operation.!

More Ambiana!

Gaelen and his sister. We spent Sunday indoors as it was so cold out. Winter gettin in her last licks. Gaelen and I played Mousetrap and improvised several different scenarios involving creative arrangements of the pieces using furniture, Gaelen really has a creative mind and likes to try his ideas out.He is also very good with the magnetic ball and stick pieces and makes all kinds of shapes and identifies them.

We played CandyLand 3 times, Gaelen's a little sneaker. I won the 1st game and he purposely pulled the cupcake card on his first turn of the 2nd game so as to get way ahead. I called him on it but did not make a big deal about it, karma intervened and he pulled the plum card several turns later. I emphasized that we play for fun not to win. We also played Twister, he loves this game and laughs really hard when he's twisted in a knot, he's very flexible.

We had QuesadillaS and fruit for lunch and then b4 nap we had a slideshow of pictures from Ohio in 2004, New Zealand and Alaska. Gaelen enjoyed being able to push the button to advance the slides and he also liked being able to jump into the picture which was projected above our bed. It was during this that he took a tumble off the bed, he was more scared than hurt and reacted by immediatley wanting to take his nap. He made his bed up himself and got his book and wanted to be alone so I left him, When I went back 45 minutes later he was awake and said he couldn't sleep.

Gaelen was very interested in Ambiana and vise versa, he still does not want to hold her though. He was fascinated with her Animal Friends pad with criss/cross hangin animals and spent some time with her shaking the bugs and squeeking the birds and talking about the mobile at his house for his soon2b 2nd sister He even crawled under it and pretended he was a baby.

Since Monday is the 1st day of Spring we had a Spring ceremony. Gaelen and Colleen planted some tomatos and peppers in tiny pots so now Gaelen as 3 pots of plants in our window which he can care for and watch grow over the coming months, he's a good little gardner and of course is a good plant waterer!

Can You see the I-moch in G-man? We played again with the slides and Gaelen got a big kick out of projecting them onto himself, his belly and my belly. We also spent alot of time wrestling, he LOVES to wrestle and so do I so we get along well, here his imagination is strong too but along the superhero storyline. Rescue, save the world, I'm invincible kind of stuff...

More Gaelen


We received Flat Brianna in the mail from the daughter of Colleen's friend Anne Clancy in Illinois. Flat Brianna is on a journey around the planet to collect info about the places she visits. What follows is our report sent back to Brianna in Chicago. We sent Flat Brianna on to Colleen Sharkey in Japan!

Flat Brianna went to South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts where she spent a short time with her friends Colleen, Michael and Ambiana. To get to Massachusetts from her home in Illinois she traveled about 895 miles. Massachusetts is located on the East Coast of the United States of America. This means that part of the state is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. There are about 6,416,505 people who live in the state of Massachusetts. The capital of the Massachusetts is Boston. Massachusetts has many forests, mountains and rivers. Flat Brianna visited the largest of these rivers on her travels, the Connecticut River. The Connecticut River is across the street from the home that Flat Brianna visited in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

The Falls of South Hadley were a spot where the Native Americans who lived along the river for many generations would gather each spring and summer to catch fish. Shad and salmon would collect in the pools at the base of the falls as they tried to get up and over to spawn upriver. When the Europeans came to the valley they drove the Native Americans away and built their farms & towns along the river. In 1759 the first canal in America was built around the falls so boats could get upriver to bring the crops down to the sea where they could be shipped to other cities in America and across the sea.

In 1849 a dam was built atop the falls in order to divert the water into the canals of Holyoke. Holyoke was America’s first planned city. The city was built around the canals. These canals provided water power to run the paper mills that lined the canals. In the late 1800’s Holyoke was the paper capital of the world, making most of the paper used at that time.

Thousands of immigrants worked in the mills and lived in squalid brick tenements next to the mills while the mill owners, who grew rich from the products produced by the mills and the labor of the immigrants, built luxurious houses up on the hill over looking the river. At one point over 25 paper mills were in operation in the city, and the population exploded from 4600 in 1885 to over 60,000 in 1920. In the mid 1900’s the mills began to shut down as the corporations that owned them moved West to cut costs and be near cheaper labor leaving the workers of Holyoke destitute and poor. The true face of Capitalism which places the profits of the few above the welfare of the many can be seen today if you wander the canals across the river from our house where you pass one abandoned mill after another, vacant lots, and trash strewn streets.

Holyoke as it looks today

South Hadley, Massachusetts is also the home of Mt. Holyoke College, a prestigious all women’s college. Springfield (the nearest large city, about 15 miles from South Hadley) is the birthplace of basketball and is home to the basketball hall of fame.

The city of Holyoke (which is right across the river) is the birthplace of volleyball and is home to the volleyball hall of fame.