Monday, November 13, 2006

10 Moons

Ambiana, 10 moons, we can not believe it. She is a social little creature. Enjoying any attention she can get from anyone. She will go anywhere and try to get anyone’s attention. She is starting to pull to stand, and this is her new favorite thing to do. She has even started to bet brave and let go with one hand. Maybe walking is coming soon? She still loves to sing and dance. And we encourage her by doing heaps of it here at home and in the community. Ambiana and I visit three or so music/story community groups each week. Ambiana knows them now and when we arrive she looks around and starts to sing and dance. Ambiana loves to play our instruments here at home. She is a professional now at the kazoo and recorder and can distinguish the different things she needs to do to get a sound out of each. She loves the guitar and haharpsichord Now I just need to learn how to play the guitar well enough to lead some tunes. Maybe Ambiana will be my inspiration? Canning and harvest is done, but I am in a bunch of sewing projects now...but guitar for the winter task...I will think on that...

Ambiana wakes up each morning by sitting right up and saying "ball", every morning, it is quite funny, everything is a ball or a dog. Her new game at bedtime is to crawl out of the room and entice me to crawl back with her into the bedroom, she will crawl a few paces and then turn and look at me and when I crawl up to her she laughs and laughs. We go to the library 3-4 times a week and she loves these walks, bouncing up and down in the baby bjorn and waving her arms at everyone and everything. The library ladies love her and when we walk through the door she squeals in delight and starts to wave like a madwoman. They love it and wave right back which only gets her going more. Her favorite thing to do at the library is to crawl to the stacks and pull as many books off the shelf as she can before daddy can get to her.

SeaCoast Half Marathon

Colleen, Ambiana and I camped out Saturday night along the Massachusetts seashore at a State Park. It was in the high 50's; overcast, balmy and the rain began the next morning at 6am but tapered off by the time we got up and did not return until after the run. I LOVE sleeping in a tent, it feels like the right place to be like living indoors is really camping and home elsewhere. The run was in Portsmouth NH founded 1677 and wound along the seashore, over inlets, beside tidal basins, among a quaint little neighborhood with 300+ year old houses. It was a beautiful course. 800 people ran it, we met Aaron and his brother Luke in the cafeteria of the local high school where the run began and ended. We started as usual at the back, there was one other stroller that we could see with a 3.5 year old in it. Ambiana was not enjoying the first few miles, we stopped at the 2 mile marker beside a low-tide bog so Colleen could nurse her. We realized that we had neglected to fill her up before the run as we left the campsite upon rising and there was too much to see and crawl to in the pre-run cafeteria scene. Once satiated she settled right down into a nap and didn't awaken till the fanfare along the final stretch.

Our stopping put us dead last which wasn't so bad as it is more fun to pass runners than be passed. We heard encouraging words as we moved back up amongst the pack and several glad tidings that our child was now peacefully asleep. I tried to stay with Colleen, I really did but began pulling away by the 6 mile mark. The miles just rolled by, I didn't have any "%@*#!!-i-got-x-miles-to-go" moments. It felt good, the waterstops were entertaining what with kids on stilts and ladies in wigs and the horde of shrieking girls at the last one. We rolled across the finish just over 2:07 which was better than the 2:10 I had hoped to run. Aaron was in the chute returning his chip and I saw Luke just out of it, he having broken 2 hours! Ambiana and I positioned ourselves to cheer on Mommy who came by 15 minutes later and did me proud by running THROUGH the finish for a respectable time of 2:22. It was not her best run, she struggled, I'll leave it to her to relate her experience.

The post-run soiree was way better than the Tarzan Brown after-run: we were given bottles of water at the finish, Colleen almost got a medal which they were giving out to all participants but we were not registered so she declined, it was enough that she had actually crossed the fish line this time. Inside the cafeteria there were boxes of orange slices, a table to vote for the best water station (the shrieking girls at mile 11 won in part because their place so late in the race was ripe for the uplifting the choir of their voices gave the wave of runners who were struggling towards completion. We found Aaron & Luke and then we found the food. While I mowed down on pizza Colleen loved it all; the pasta, the chili, and did I mention the raspberry crumble??? run and yum, our favorite! The winning time was 1:14 and a 70 year old lady finished in 2:01 (but she wasn't pushing a stroller :)

Here is a picture of Colleen at the end of 13.1 miles. She writes "My half marathon wasn't my best for sure. Beautiful it was good energy and fun rest stops...but I just was not mentally there. Ambiana fussing the first few miles, her crying and then having to stop to feed her threw me off a bit. The night before my sleep was not great; Ambiana woke a few times and was huddled on top of me all night. I worried about her through the race. Up until mile 8 I was cruising okay, but I hit a slump. I started convincing myself I had only a 5K left (a little untrue, but I was convincing myself okay), until my contact slipped off my eye and my gut exploded. I gave up...but I did keep running and ran past a women who ran the last couple miles with me. We talked and ran. Mile 11 was filled with techno music and dancing and enthusiastic girls...I stopped to dance and my spirits were up a bit. The last mile I was home free and I was concentrating on running through the finish line as Michael has requested! I did it. Next time will be better...I hope."

When we had eaten enough post-race we loaded up the car and headed South to Boston where we spent the afternoon with my mother in her Copley Square apartment. She is lumping it and who wouldn't be who has a big old family yet lives alone. We are not solitary beings and no amount of medication, prescribed or self-medicated is gonna cure what ails her. She puts on a brave face and it was nice to see her but the absurdity of leaving her alone there rankles me. What the F*&k kind of community have we become?

Katie and Maya came over and it was sweet to see the two little cousins interact. Maya is a coming attraction for us; Ambiana in 9 months, she is walking everywhere as Ambiana soon will be. We rolled Momma next door to Bertucci's for supper. Ambiana was a fussy-butt having has no nap since 11am and even walks around the restaurant to see everyone couldn't replace the wails for mommy's arms. Maya too was more interested in cruising through the restaurant and up the ramp with her hand on the bannister. In hindsight we should have ordered in but it was good to get Momma out of her box, hoping to jump start the mental action by applying a physical one. Momma was mulling driving to Ohio this week to spend time with Patti and do some baking for the Thanksgiving Take Out we are having at my Dad's house next Thursday but she just called and asked if she could ride with us to Ohio next Tuesday and we are happy to have her along so Jan prepare to welcome Kathleen along with us in a week!

We dogsat Debbie & Aaron's puppy Dudley last week. Ambiana was thrilled but Dudley would not stay off her, his first act was to pull off her sock while she was sitting in her chair at the table, so they spent alot of their time checking each other out through the bars of his crate. At night we let Dudley out and he nestled with us like a sweety-pie. He loves to get a grip on something with his bitty mouth and thrash it. We only had him for 2 nights.

Click Play for Dudley, Running & Boston footage!

Gaelen's Steiner school hosted a Holiday Craft Fair in Great Barrington on Saturday and we spent our visit with Gaelen there. Colleen baked some cookies for a bake sale and had made some pocket gifts for the PocketMan. Each room in the school was devoted to some enterprise all which required a ticket or 2 which cost a dollar each. Even the games out back were ticketed. There was nothing that didn't require a ticket. $$$$!!! Where was some participatory activity or event that didn't require an act of commerce? Not our kind of fair. We did enjoy seeing more of Gaelen's school and there was a nice tree out front to climb. Gaelen liked the PocketMan who wore a cape which when opened displayed row upon row of pockets each stuffed with a little present which required one ticket to liberate. There was also a little people's store where kids could shop for a 1 ticket handmade gift. Gaelen got a walnut-shell/felt mouse and a birch stick wand with a felt sewn star atop it. There was a candle making room (3 tickets) a crafts room which Gaelen didn't want to go into, a silent auction, 2 school shops one selling pricey commercial stuff, the other pricey handmade crafts, a jester show and a puppet show which we attended and admired the beautiful elelaborateet. The games outside were ping pong and foosball and there was food for sale. It was a beautiful warm day and before we knew it Molly, John and Eden were there and it was time to go.

Join us at the Holiday Fair!

My sweeties took a nap on the way back home from Great Barrington 'cause they knew it was going to be a long day what with our trip to the NE corner of the state come evening.

Gaelen painted this dolphin for me and gave it to me as an early sousltice present. I love it so much and him so much!

Canoe Update

I have taken advantage of the warm evenings and am entering the homestretch with the canoe. The decks are installed and have been shaped and sanded along with the gunwales. I broke out the jigsaw and carved out the thwart and sanded it up too. The next step is to sand the canoe completely and apply several coats of varnish to it. I think I am going to use my yard sale woodworking tools to carve something into the thwarts and the decks. Then I need to buy the plastic cane and string the seats. A Winters worth of work nay I plan to give her a test run before the soulstice :)