Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ambiana- 6 months and our Chicago Weekend

6 months...can it be? it seems like just yesterday Ambiana was growing in Colleen's Belly. We have just returned from our quick vist to Chicago. We left last Wednesday evening and drove to Webster NY where I lived from 1974-1978.

We spent the night and early morn the next day with our wonderful friends Jan and Bill Scahill. Eileen came over in the AM with donuts and muffins and her son Cole (Melissa & Lauren were sleepin' in!)

Here's a cute pic of me and Eileen back in the 70's

We drove the next day all the way to Chicago stopping twice, once on the Lake Erie shore and again in Toledo for a quick visit with Patti.

We arrived in Chicago at 1am and bedded down on the floor of Dale's old room. Colleen had Debbie's bachelorette party to go to on Friday evening and it was up to me to put Ambiana to bed for the very 1st time. Colleen left at 5pm and didn't arrive home til past 3am, by far the longest she's been away from Ambiana.

Me and Ambi had a grand old time, we strolled the backyard listening to the Red Sox/White Sox game, Grandpa came home and took Ambi in his arms for awhile, then at sunset it was time for a pre-bedtime jog around the block. Once back i got her ready for bed and gave her the bottle which she can hold by herself so I left her to it in Dale's room. After 20 minutes of hoping I'd successfully put her down I heard her squeal and found her on her tummy. I rolled her over and gave her the bottle again and skidaddled. Once again 20 minutes before she squealed. I then wore her in the Snugli and she went right to sleep and slept as I watched the Red Sox defeat the White Sox on TV.

Click Play for some 100% Pure 6 month Ambiana!

After the game Ambi kept right on sleepin' and by 12AM I wanted to lie down myself but she would have none of it so we went outside and strolled under the waxing moon. I tried to lie her down again at 1AM, still no go so back to the moon walking, By 2AM she still wouldn't sleep on her back but she was content to play while i dozed beside her waking to roll her over and re-insert bottle when she demanded I do so. Somewhere in there we both fell asleep and Collen found us thus when she came home past 3am, both passed out on the living room floor.

The next day was the Bridal Shower for Colleen and the Red Sox/White Sox game for me. Ambi went with Colleen to the shower and I was dropped off in the vicinity of the ballpark. It was a good game, the lead exchanged several times and Big Papi hit a 2 run homer and the Red Sox won 9-6. Colleen met me after the game and we went home and spent time with Grandpa and his gal Karen on the blanket in the backyard.

On Sunday we drove north to Palatine and Colleen met her birthmom Kris and her new sister & brother Melissa and Matthew. Melissa left for work before we could get a picture of her:( They all including step-dad Bill were very nice and it was super emotional and was hard to leave but we know they are in our lives forever now and in time we will spend more and more time with them. Kris really took to Ambiana and it was sweet to see Grandma and Ambi playing on the couch while the rest of us sat at the table and talked.

We started back Sunday night carrying a few things of Debbie's with us. We stopped for the night in Toledo and stayed with Patti, driving on the next day to stay with the Scahill's again on Monday night and stopping off on the way for a quick look at Niagara Falls. We arrived back in South Hadley late afternoon on Tuesday; 2300 miles in 7 days. We are becoming Masters of the Short RoadTrip. Ambiana is much more content now in the car that she has use of her hands and can reach and grab and hold and play with stuff; her favorites being the seal which watches over the road for us from our dash and her flexible mirror which she loves to squeal at and booby!

Click Play to join us on our roadtrip!

Niagara musings...

Niagara Falls in an awe-inspiring place. It is a shame it is surrounded with so much excess and development. Bridges, Towers, Roadways, walkways, ladders, lifts and attractions. Boats full of blue-clad piligrims, for that is what they are though we call them tourists in this age and bilk 'em of their monetary funds, turning everything including our spirit into material coin. 350 years ago when the Senecas lived on its banks and Joliet and LaSalle came through it was unspoiled, a great gorge, whirlpool and cascade, a portage between one great lake and another, a stategic place for a fort to fight for the fur trade. 600 years ago before civilized man made it here it was a mighty waterfall upon a majestic river between to large bodies of water a portage and avenue of travel and trade. Then as Now a place of the spirit, where the WaterSpirit runs mighty and strong and her magnificance is exhalted. Pilgrims from all over Gaia, especially Asian and many in their colorful dress from India where the Ghanges is proclaimed divine.

We perch on the lip, we take our pictures, some devout go over in barrels or even on a jet ski. There are boats fully loaded motoring into the mist, below us on a wooden walkway built before the face yellow clad pilgrims are washed with the moist breath of Grandmother Falls. Throw off those plastic garmets I cry and bathe thyself in the holy water, our collective soul in need of a scrubbing. Monuments to the power man has extracted from the falls dot the place, saw mills, hydropower, even Tesla has a statue but no tribute to the Great Grandmother herself, to the water within. For the Earth is thy body and the water thy blood and what one does to the other one does to thyself...despoil the earth and thee is despoiled as well.

Gaelen: Approaching the
Commencement of Orbit 6

As we were on the Road and Gaelen was in Ohio visiting his Grandma and his Poppa Al and Poppa Nick we did not get see him this past Sunday :( In 2 weeks Gaelen will be turning 5. It's hard to believe that it has been half a decade since the little guy came into and radically turned my world upside down. He is the reason we are in South Hadley and each Sunday with him is precious. It will be hard to move away when we do but we take comfort in the fact that he is only going to get older and more independant and our relationship will grow accordingly.

Building the Canoe

Earlier this week I opened the resin, mixed it up and put a sealer coat on the canoe. I mixed in some Micro Fibers to help seal but all they really did was spread out over the hull. There is an art to workin with the resin and fiber and I am learning it. I used Epoxy Resin as opposed to Polyester Resin which is what I must have used when I fixed the Mirror Dingy in the workshop beneath the dining hall of the Summer Camp I worked at in the summer of 1983. The fumes were so strong that they had to open every window in the hall and lucky for us there was a good breeze. Not so with Epoxy Resin though Colleen begged to differ. I had opened every window in the basement, threw open the bulkhead doors and installed a fan to move the air. Even then I hardly detected an odor and was confident that there was no threat from it.

As evidence of the validity of my case I pointed out that our Upstairs Neighbor Donna had not said one thing about any odor although she had walked by the open bulkhead, had been upstairs and most certainly would have said something if she had any concerns. Again Colleen begged to differ, her maternal instincts srong and her child's safety uppermost in her mind she made her concern known. So today I fiberglassed the Stems while she and Ambiana were at the Farmer's Market following the same precautions as before and setting up our tent in the shaded backyard for their morning nap when they came home.

Running Thru Flowers: a short mochi-film!