October and November 2011

Stories fill Marcus's life--he loves reading the "When You Were a Baby" book I wrote for him, and is currently obsessed with Where the Wild Things Are, and also loves to tell stories of his own: "Once upon a time. . . Daddy was a little boy, and Pop-pop was a little boy too!" He'll also ask for specific stories from us: "Grandma, tell me again the story about your geese!"

He's also in a very physical stage, with lots of jumping and dancing (which sort of looks like attempts at break-dancing, actually), and lots of cries of, "Hey, hey, look at me, watch me, look what I can do, I can do a really cool trick!"

(these four great shots by Emily)

We've also been visiting Great Grandma Helena in the hospital, and of course Marcus always manages to cheer her right up.

Meanwhile, we've been having lovely Tuesdays with Alex (it's like an "If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium" thing, apparently), including playgrounds and Pinkberries and much fun, and some nice weekend events, among them Drumlin Farm with Grandma and Pop-Pop when they came up one October weekend to visit.

Marcus's daycare/preschool had a potluck Halloween party, and we had a lot of fun at that. He wore his costume for most of the evening, actually. According to Marcus, he was a monkey, but our grand plan had been for him to be Caesar the chimp from the new Planet of the Apes movie, with Robert as the James Franco scientist character and me as the vet.

The next night, on Saturday after a pumpkin-carving afternoon and amid an evening of (a dusting of) October snow in Boston and all sorts of panic about the weather and people who bowed out of our party for reasons large (Miriam had her baby two days before) and small, we did all three put on our costumes, but we never got a picture of the three of us in costume all at the same time. Sarah and Sean came over, bringing Elmo/Garrison and his grandma Peg, and we were also joined by Bob and H and a family of Smurfs (Valentina, Israel, and Andrei).

Then on that Sunday after church we went to the Pru Boo (trick-or-treating in the mall for a local kids' charity) with Alex and Marissa and baby Charlotte. It was really crowded, way more so than last year, and both of the big kids were getting tired, but I think we still had a good time. All 3-4 year-olds with us, though, refused to wear their costumes entirely. Marissa and Robert were very critical of the kids' candy-choosing skills, too ("She picked that over a Reese's Peanut Butter cup?" Marissa exclaimed at one point). The drawing on a Zipcar, as well as the Pru escalators and revolving doors themselves, were also highlights.

Monday night, on Halloween proper, we went to a neighborhood party at Titus Sparrow Park that we've gone to every year, and then (for the first time) we actually trick-or-treated around the neighborhood a little. In the South End, people sit out on their stoops, often with bottles of wine for themselves, and bowls of candy for the kids, and children troop in the fences and up the steps, while parents wait on the sidewalk. Marcus got into it, announcing himself as "half a monkey" to whoever asked (he was indeed only wearing the bottom half of his costume, but since that was an improvement over the day before, we ran with it) and sometimes telling people that he was going to save a lollipop from his stash for his baby brother or sister. Uh, sure, whatever.

A week after Halloween, I had a blessingway/women's potluck brunch/"not a shower" for me for this new baby. Sarah, Miriam (with Clarinda, nine days old), Natalie (with Luke), Ren (with Sabrina), Jin Yoon, Valentina, Sandra, Marissa, and Kelley (with Kareem) came over to help me celebrate, and we had a henna artist decorate my belly and all of their hands. Kelley and Sarah read poems they had brought, Miriam and Ren shared special memories, and it was all just really lovely.

Then one Sunday we went to the MFA for Marcus's friend Elliot's fourth birthday party. There was a gallery tour set up as a scavenger hunt for various animals, but Marcus was melting down from hunger/exhaustion at that part, so we mostly chilled in a lobby and met up with the rest of the party for an art activity, lunch, and cake. It's always really nice to see all the kids together, though, and to get to talk to their parents for more than a minute or two randomly at drop-off.

On Veterans' Day weekend, Grandma and Pop-pop came back for another visit while Robert was away (in Naples, Florida, at the wedding of Christine and Mike, pictured above), and we went to the zoo together to meet Alex and her mom on Saturday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving brought another of cousin Jocie's hockey games, lunch out (Indian buffet, also known as all-you-can-drink mango lassis) and karate lesson with Alex, and an open house at Sarah and Sean's (also known as playtime with Garrison). He recently saw a series of pictures and a newspaper article about a mom and baby elephant rescued from the mud by a tractor, so one of his favorite games now when he's just home with us, apart from his friends, is to play Baby Elephant Stuck in the Mud, where I'm Mommy Elephant. This has also become generalized to Baby Kitty/Mommy Kitty and most recently Baby Giraffe/Mommy Giraffe. His favorite videos these days are episodes of "The Backyardigans," which, compared to some children's TV (ahem, bald whiny Canadian boy) are positively charming. Marcus is also charming when he talks about Tyrone and 'Niqua and the other small, multicultural animal characters.


Videos from the past two months:

Drumming with A. at the Jazz Fest

Playing in the bouncey house at the Jazz Fest

Playing with A. at the Fenway Open Our Doors event

Eating Ko-fro-yo at home one night

Singing songs at the school Halloween party

Clowning around in his Halloween costume

At the Touch a Truck event from last month

At his first karate lesson

"Cheers" with mango lassis 

At Drumlin Farm, riding horses

Eating oatmeal

Christina: "Here you go."

Marcus: "Oatmeal!"

Christina: "You guys made oatmeal at school, right?"

Marcus: "I don't like oatmeal at school."

Christina: "Okay."

Marcus: "Because, I just like your oatmeal."

Christina: "Thank you."


(last row, photos 2-4 from left, maternity shots by Emily)

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Created: 11/11/11. Last Modified: 11/30/11.