Ashby Crawls on Water!!

Ok, so she hasn’t crawled on water (yet), but Ashby did start crawling last week. Right at 10 months. She has been mobile for at least two months now, but she would propel herself about by what I can only describe as log-rolling. She would roll from one end of the room to the next, which had to make her dizzy. She is so darn big I think it’s been difficult for her to master crawling. Now she is trying to master climbing up the stairs.

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Tommy and Brenda were down this weekend. Tara and I broke the news to them that we’re very likely moving to San Diego at the end of February. Needless to say that was rather emotional. It’s been wonderful living so close to them and Tara, Ashby and I will all miss them greatly. I know Tara takes great comfort in having her folks so close by. Moreover, Ashby loooooves Tbone and PorkChop. To be honest, they’re really our closest friends. We generally spend two weekends a month with them and I’m going to miss having them nearby. Also, I know Tara and Ashby are going to miss our wonderful neighbors J.J., Ron, and Alla. Tara and J.J. have grown close in the last few months (as have Ashby and Alla) and Tara doesn’t easily open herself to new friends. I’ll admit I have allowed myself to fantasize about Alla and Ashby growing up together and remaining close for many many years, even though I knew we almost certainly wouldn’t be around long enough for that. Alla is Ashby’s first friend though and they’re so sweet. End the long term I’m certain it’s for the best though.

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We went to Buca’s in Maple Grove. I’ve never been particularly fond of their food–it’s ok, but it’s a great place when you have young children. It’s loud and there’s lot to look at. While waiting for a table I took Ashby into the bar (non-smoking) and sat at the bar and had a drink while waiting for Tara and her folks to park the car. The place was totally packed and it was the only place I could sit down and keep Ashby somewhat sheltered from the throng. I got some disapproving looks, which I thought was odd. So, what’s the protocol now that most places disallow smoking? Who cares if I take my daughter into a non-smoking bar? Does she soak the sin of drinkers by way of osmosis? It’s not like I’m tying one on nor was I driving. She certainly enjoyed it.

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Ashby, as always when she is on the go, had a blast. I believe she’s been to Buca’s at least five times since being born. The chain started here in Minneapolis. As an uninteresting side note many many years ago I opened a 350+ seat restaurant that was a total Buca’s rip-off. It was called Bella Vita. I didn’t know it at the time being I had not been to a Buca’s (I think there was only a couple around back then). Anyhow, I guess that’s another reason I like it. I had opened Bella Vita just months after meeting Tara (over 10 years ago). I started out as Soux Chef and then about 6 months later took over as executive chef. The former chef was a complete moron. Then 6 months later Tara and I took off and backpacked Europe for several months having very quickly saved enough money. It was kind of a funny thing. I remember I had just been promoted to Executive Chef and was making really good money (for how young I was and where I lived). Tara and I were talking outside of Bella Vita, smoking of course. And somehow we got on this conversation about how we should go to Africa. So, we decided we would save for the next 5-6 months and split to Africa. After a little research we discovered Europe would be lots cheaper to fly to. At that time I made it a practice of working for no longer than a year before splitting into the woods or on a road trip for a prolonged period of time. I miss that. I can’t believe I’ve lived in MN for just over two years now and I only made it into the BWCA once and only did one white water canoe trip (which Tommy and Brenda still swear they’ll never canoe with us again since that trip–gooood times). Lame.

I can’t wait to take Ashby abroad. I’ll never forget that American fellow we met in Pompeii. He was there with his wife and ~5 year old son. I believe he was a gemologist, or diamond merchant, or something odd like that, but related to gems. I remember thinking how damn cool it was that he was able to just take off and travel Europe for several weeks with his wife and son. With two kids this would be really hard, I think. If not impossible. I think we’ll stick with one child.