Early Fall, 2012


September is over, and autumn is here! In one weekend, Samantha learned to clap her hands and Marcus learned to ride a two-wheeler pedal bike--they're growing up, and we're just enjoying the days and weeks as they come by.



Marcus likes school, the bus (which he rides in both directions now), and Ms. B. He's particularly thrilled with the food: "They have chocolate milk at lunch! Except one day they didn't and I had regular milk then. And today they had macaroni and cheese with the cheese like from pizza!" He gets homework. The first night he had homework, I had to read a book with him and then ask him to write his name on a piece of paper. I wrote the date on it and the title of the book. I had to ask him who his favorite character was, and why, and write that down, and then he had to draw his favorite character. We got up to that last point without a hitch, but when I showed him the blank space he was supposed to draw the character in, he looked up at me: "But, Mommy! There's already a picture of him over there!" he said, turning back to the page in the book with the illustration. He was right, of course. I was at a complete loss to explain why he was supposed to draw the character again. He sighed heavily and, clearly humoring me, scrawled two lines in the box. "I'm done," he said wearily. And he is weary at the end of a day of school: at 6:00 we have to wake him up; at 6:55 he's on the bus; at 7:10 he's at school; at 2:30 the bus leaves school; at 2:55 he's off the bus; at 5:00 he's bathed and eaten dinner; at 6:00 or 6:30 at the latest he is sound asleep in bed.


Playtime Fun

We hardly keep our kids working all the time! There's lots of time for playgrounds, for climbing trees, for visiting with Great-Grandma Helena, and for just playing in the house with blocks or Legos or train tracks. One Saturday night we even went out to the mall for video games at the Microsoft store. Marcus was a fan of the Lego Batman two-player game, and Robert liked everything, of course.


Sam's Babysitting Adventures

Marissa has been watching Sam two mornings a week with Charlotte while the big kids are in kindergarten and I work with Marnie. It's been a lot of fun for everyone involved! They go to a baby Spanish "class" in the South End on Mondays and playgrounds, the Aquarium, etc. on Wednesdays.


Karate Lessons

We started back at karate lessons with Ken and Cindy in September. Alex and Jackson are in his class again, and he's always eager to participate. This year he's actually wearing the tee shirt, although not always the belt. Sometimes we take the bus there, or the train, to spare Samantha a car ride (she is still not a fan of the car seat, to put it very, very mildly); sometimes we have an Indian buffet with all-you-can-drink mango lassis afterward.


Urban Agricultural Fair in Jamaica Plain (aka Boston's tiny approximation of a state fair)

I'd always wanted to enter a tomato of mine in a fair (I'll cut to the chase here: I did, and it didn't win), so when I heard about this event I was sold. Marcus and Samantha and I headed out at 7:30 on a Sunday morning to drop off our produce to be judged. We got there before the organizer, Bill, and, especially in the chilly, quiet morning, we really appreciated the urban atmosphere.

Bill let us in--he's a great, quirky guy who is happy to talk to you about tapping neighbors' maple trees and paying for his own evaporator to make syrup; about his bees; about harvesting apples from trees around Jamaica Plain; and, really, about all sorts of urban agricultural adventures. We left our tomato with him and hopped back on the train for church.

Agricultural Hall is just a couple doors down from this very cool house with a year-round outdoor art installation.

After church we returned, with Robert and Sarah and Sean and about 10 pounds of apples and a big thermos jug, because Bill had an old-fashioned cider press there, and you could press your own cider and take it home with you. Sarah and I thought there'd be a huge line for the press-your-own, but we were one of only two parties all day who took advantage of it. Hey, free cider pressing? I'm there. I mean, I was, obviously.


There were also cornhusk dolls to make, wheat to thresh, a folk band to listen to, and bees to watch.

Here were the judges deliberating over the veggies. I don't know how things are done in a real state fair, but I personally think they should have at least cut the tomato. I didn't know they were judging solely on looks. Really, isn't the essence of a good tomato in its taste and texture? Sigh. Maybe next year.


Apple Picking and Sabrina's First Birthday

One Sunday we took a trip to the South Short--CN Smith Orchard and Amalia's house beckoned, and Samantha even mostly slept in the car, making it a fairly peaceful trip. We had a great afternoon together.



Marissa called Sam a "natural-born sleeper," and we do like our sleep in this house--it recharges us for all our other adventures!

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Created: 9/24/12. Last Modified: 9/24/12.