Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Maine Day 3: Ah Wilderness!

Quinn had a much better over night than last; Celeste, about the same. Both girls went down around 7:00 p.m. and Quinn slept through to around 4:00 a.m., when she needed a feeding. She fell back asleep, but I needed to come down to play with her for about 45 minutes or a half hour until she was ready to get back to sleep a little before 6:00 a.m.

Celeste had some rough patches. Around midnight or 1:00 a.m., I moved her from the Pack 'n Play to the big bed in her room and lay next to her until she fell asleep. However that plan didn't go to well — lots of tears, lots of shifting demands — eventually, however, she calmed down (singing "What Do We Do With the Drunken Sailor" helped soothe her). I think Evelin had had to go down a little earlier to check on her, too, and then she took a look at the 4:00 a.m. feeding and tried to get her back into her sleeping bag (Celeste'd crawled out). She woke again briefly when I came down to play with Quinn and build back up the fire.

The camp stayed a lot warmer last night. I lit the fire after Evelin and I came in from stargazing and stoked it and added a log in the middle of the night when I went to help Celeste. The first night here, since we didn't fire up the stove, it probably dipped below 50°F inside; last night, when I came down to play with Quinn, the thermometer read 56°F. Even if the thermometer only showed a few degrees difference in the morning, it still felt/stayed warmer overnight.

I do think, however, there is a different skill/aesthetic to building a fire for a wood stove versus building one for an outdoor firepit, campfire, or standard open fireplace. I'm not sure what the proper way to do it for a wood stove is, but I do wonder if a different mix of kindling and wood would have kept going longer/stronger/warmer.

After breakfast, we decided to make an earlier than not jaunt out. The one thing on my we-have-to-do list was take a hike. Since there'd been a bit of confusion about where exactly the camp was located, I didn't have the easiest time of pre-trip scouting possible/doable hikes, but I was pretty sure Sabattus Mountain would work for everyone involved. Looking at things on the map, although she was tempted by the covered bridge on the way there, Evelin thought Sabattus might be a little too far of a trip, so we opted for Douglas Hill instead. I'd seen the name of the spot before, we passed a sign for the trailhead on the way to the camp, and it was a good bit closer.

However, we had no trail map or any real ideal of which blazes were which trail. We thought it would be a short quarter mile hike with a 300-foot elevation change, but we ended up going for a bit longer hike than that and we never found the stone tower that is supposed to be at or near the true summit. We did get up to some good, albeit partially obstructed, views of Sebago Lake. We saw one pieleated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) and a few red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).

I carried Celeste and Dee Dee Bear in the Piggyback, and they did pretty good on the hike. Celeste spent a good chunk of the time up talking and this and that; on the way down she was quieter with occasional bits of "Celeste want go home now. We go in our gray car to Maine house." Evelin had Quinn in the BabyBjörn, and she was loving the outdoors. Every time I turned around to check on them, Quinn was bouncing, smiling, waving her arms and legs, and looking this way and that. On the way down, she ended up having a little 20 minute nap.

On the Hilltop

Thankfully, that wasn’t the only nap she got: After I made the lentil soup for dinner (it's always better if it sits for a few hours before eating) and we all had lunch, Quinn and Celeste both conked out for about two-plus hours, and I dozed for an hour or so. Evelin got some reading done.

Before I headed down for my nap, I took our trash to the local dump. After Labor Day, it's only open every other day or so and since there's no place to store trash outside here (much less wait for D--- to deal with it the next time he comes up to the camp), it had to go when the opportunity presented itself. I go there and the attendant was looking at my Maryland license plate when I asked him where I could drop the trash and he asked where it was coming from. I blanked on D---'s name for a moment before remembering and telling him that it was from D---'s place on Sand Pond. He looked at me and said, "Never heard of him," took a very well timed beat and then laughed and said to drop it over there, gesturing to one of the dumpsters.

Library!Wow. Celeste ended up sleeping about three hours. After a post-nap snack, we headed off to Celeste's favorite part of any day: The library. There is a library in Denmark, but I wasn't sure where, so we went into Bridgton; I'd passed the library there on one of my slightly roundabout and semi-lost trips to the grocery store. Of course, we drove past it at first, but eventually found the place. The children's room downstairs was very nice, with some tiered seats for storytime and lots of books, some familiar, some not. Celeste spent a good hour or so pulling different books off the shelves, looking at pages, asking for the book to be read, putting them back, and so forth. Quinn fell asleep on the way to the library, but woke up after a little while.

After dinner, things seemed to be going well as far as bedtimes. Celeste and Evelin went out to the dock to watch the fading light; they got to say goodnight to some ducks that were swimming past, as well as to a bat that was flapping around. After they came back in, Quinn went down while nursing, and Celeste went to bed fairly easily ... until she started crying hard, "Mumma get Celeste paci!" Celeste chewed through the pacifier part of her WubbaNub. The things aren't supposed to be used after six months or when the baby gets teeth, but Celeste has been very attached to her paci (q.v., Poor Paci) and we haven't felt it necessary to make her give it up yet, despite the occasional talk of Suttetræ. Of course, the only backup pacis we have are Quinn's, so we might be in for a rough forced pacifier weaning.
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On to Day Four

We dinnae get as good a look last night as we did the first night. On Sunday, we had a good bit of time to stand and look up at the Milky Way and try to figure out what other stars/constellations/Messier objects we were seeing, as well as to look around the lake for lights to see who else was here. Last night, we turned off all the lights in the house to help brighten up the view on the land side of the sky and as soon as we got out to the dock and lay down to look up at the sky, Quinn started wailing (we carried out the baby monitor with us, of course). As soon as we got back inside, she was solidly asleep; all we can figure is she felt it necessary to deploy the sibling-avoidance system ...

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