August has been lovely so far! It's been a month of both work and play, but very productive on both fronts.
Marnie and I finished our (second!) book and sent the manuscript off to our editor at UMichP, ahead of schedule--in addition to doing all our conference and paper work and preparing for the Fall semester, of course.
Earlier in the month, we celebrated Grandma Helena's 97th birthday with a trip to Ipswich for fried clams and ice cream, where she was only too happy to play with Marcus in the air-conditioned car during the long wait for clams.
Robert then threw me a semi-surprise birthday party; I'm notoriously not good at handling surprises, but this was a low-key dinner with friends with some nice grilling.
Our farm (the CSA) has been great every week, full of fruit and veggies, and we've been eating lots of steaks and burgers from "our" cow from Vermont. Meanwhile, our (actual) garden has been growing well, too, and we've been eating 3-4 big tomatoes (red, yellow, and orange) and a pint of cherry tomatoes about each week from our rooftop containers.
Marcus and Robert continue their swimming classes; the final one is this coming Sunday, when there will be boating in the pool for even more fun.
There have also been other baby birthdays--we went down to West Falmouth to the most gorgeous private beach to celebrate Isis baby Casey's first birthday at the beginning of the month. It was Marcus's first exposure to the beach, and after standing on the sand for awhile, he dropped to all fours and started charging into the waves. Thankfully, a) it was a bay with only very gentle waves, and b) baby stopped as soon as the waves got high enough to come up to his chin. He loved it! (And yes, I love these beach pictures so much that there are bigger versions available when you click on them. Here are baby and me testing out the sand at first, baby and daddy splashing around the water, and baby asleep on me under an umbrella after a walk down the beach--my hat got wet, but fortuitiously so, and then I draped the wet hat over Marcus to cool him off.)
We had a great day on the Cape, despite traffic on the way down, and on the way back stopped at Taqueria el Carrizal in Brighton for chilaquiles, platanos maduros, and tacos. The restaurant experience just capped off our day--first a Mexican man who spoke literally no English smiled and smiled at Marcus across the restaurant, and ended by handing baby (who of course accepted--he will grab anything you hand him) six rolled-up dollars as he left. Robert, startled, ran after the man and ended up thanking him and shaking his hand, because there was a total communication breakdown, and all Robert could figure out is that the man would not take the money back. We put it in Marcus's piggy bank, and when we move it from there to his bank account we think we'll institute our policy of matching funds for baby.
This month Marcus got a brother--a milk-brother. Through a woman on a listserv I belong to I heard about another woman from a different listserv who had just adopted a newborn who had been exposed to drugs in the womb. The new mom really wanted her baby to have breastmilk, and through different donors she's been cobbling together a supply. She came over one Friday night with two coolers and left with 450 ounces of frozen milk--just under a three-week supply for her baby! Since Marcus has been refusing all milk at the daycare since May (he'll typically have yogurt, juice, water, and some Cheerios there during the day), I don't think he minded sharing his frozen stash with this baby, and we just hope the other baby grows well and thrives on it.
Developmentally, Marcus is right on track. He's getting two more teeth (the top two, on either side of the very front ones--they are just poking through as of Sunday morning). He can stand without holding onto anything for almost as long as he wants, and he can even stand unsupported and do deep knee-bends, showing off his leg strength, or centered clapping, showing off his balance and coordination. On Saturday 8/8, at Robert's softball game, Marcus took three steps in a row on his own--that's his record, so far, but he's been taking one step here and two there all week. It's especially good when he's holding onto something that requires two hands--like a softball--because then he is forced to walk on his own. (I like these softball pictures so much there are bigger versions available when you click on them. At left you see Marcus looking like any other fan, hanging onto the fence and watching the game casually; at right you see some beautitful shots taken by a kind friend at the game.)
Robert and I also had a quasi-date this month: one Friday when Marnie and I finished work early, I met Robert downtown for lunch while baby was still at daycare, and we had our second outing together without Marcus (the first was to Alex's wedding in NY) since last August 21st. It was a weird feeling--I kept thinking I'd misplaced my baby! After lunch, Robert took half a day off and together we ran to the daycare to pick up our baby (who was actually very confused by the appearance of the two of us together at daycare, when usually Daddy alone drops off and Mommy alone picks up). We spent the afternoon in a playground and getting my free birthday Coldstone and then grabbing a Zipcar, picking up Sarah and Sean after work, and jaunting out to Kimball Farms just because.
All in all, my baby and I have just been enjoying the summer, with dinner out with Bob, dim sum with some softball friends, a Wellesley Moms Group potluck event, more playground visits, lots of sprinkler park fun (ahem, even though Robert derided sprinkler parks as "very inner city"), and fortification stops at City Feed and JP Lick's--we love August!
Below you see the obligatory sleeping baby pictures of the month--I can never have enough of those. I was commenting to another Wellesley "Mom" I met this month that I don't believe in schedules (sleeping/eating/nursing) for Marcus. "I'm not a very schedule-y person," I said, and then stopped, confused, as I heard myself say the words. "What are you talking about?" Robert asked, voicing the exact thought soundtrack in my head. "You are too a very 'schedule-y' person!" I managed to clarify--something about loving schedules and organization and predictability for myself, but not needing that with baby, just letting him eat and sleep when he wants or needs to, and just relaxing and enjoying him. "Hm," Robert observed, "Motherhood has given you a bit of a Zen quality, that's for sure."
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Created: 8/12/09. Last Modified: 8/12/09.