We spent Christmas in Bayside, with my parents and aunt and cousins, and had a really nice visit with everyone. Some of the highlights of the trip include the Korean stuffed pancakes I made for breakfast on Boxing Day (which you see Marcus eating with a fork here, below--he really does love utensils, that boy, and will almost not eat anything that he doesn't spear or spoon up on his own), and the numerous games one can play with the FreshDirect (grocery delivery) boxes, such as bumper boxes, box forts, and box towers. Marcus also got his first train set (a little Thomas one), some nice wooden puzzles, and a fabulous dog book for Christmas, and these of course made a big hit. Baby also got many wheelchair rides up and down the apartment building hallway, as well as around the apartment itself; at one point, though, Robert may have offended my parents' (Jewish) neighbor when she read Marcus's "I'd rather be eating bacon" shirt and seemed scandalized. "Why would it say that?" she asked Robert, and he replied vaguely that it was a gift.
Some pictures from the trip, above, plus a couple videos of Marcus playing with Pop-pop and the boxes. The second one is long, but has some really good baby belly laughs and close-ups in it, and both videos end the classic way--baby reaches for the camera, and everything goes dark--that Robert imagines a video of the apocalypse would end.
The Monday after Christmas we flew back to Boston to visit with Robert's sister Christine and her girls, Aurora (now 15) and Yasmine (6). We celebrated another Christmas with them and Robert's father and Grandma Helena at her house, and we celebrated Robert's birthday at a little sushi place on Route 1 the day after New Year's. We had a great time getting to see the girls--Robert and Yasmine built a gorgeous gingerbread house, Robert and Aurora played Warcraft together (ah, uncle-niece bonding time), and Yasmine and I took a fabulous walk all around Boston, picking up bottlecaps for her collection, watching the ice sculptures at Copley, playing with Marcus in the Boston Public Library, choosing several pounds of jellybeans in the mall, and then bringing home sushi and frozen yogurt for lunch on New Year's Eve.
Christine and the girls flew back to Illinois on Sunday the 3rd, in the midst of an ongoing snowstorm that lasted from Thursday to Sunday afternoon, lightly and intermittently, but ended up leaving us with another 6-10 inches of snow in all. After their plane took off, and the snow finally stopped, Robert and I took Marcus out to Titus Sparrow Park to go sledding on his little molded sled. Honestly, Marcus seemed to like being pulled along the flat, snowy path just as much as going "downhill" (a very gradual hill) with Robert, but it was a nice outing for everyone, and we got free birthday ice cream at Coldstone on the way home, then came home to eat it and play indoors. Marcus has more words this week--teeth, shoe, and ball--and he's been using them constantly, so we often interrupt a game of ball to go brush his teeth if he "asks" to do it. We ate leftovers for supper, and a very nice holiday week drew to a close.