Samantha is eleven months old!

Sam is close to taking steps on her own--she will "walk" holding onto a finger or your hand, and stand on her own for awhile, even while clapping or watching something. She has a few proto-words, too--"Mom-mom" for me, "Dada" for Robert, "Na na na na na!" for a very emphatic "no," and "Dat! Dat?" for yeah/yes and "that," as best we can tell.

She's become a big fan of apples, ribs, and other foods, and she's been loving all the playgroups and things we've been taking her to while Marcus is at school.

On Mondays Marissa takes Sam and Charlotte to a Spanish "class" in the South End, and often a playground as well if it's not too cold.

On Tuesdays our new sitter/nanny, Anna, takes Samantha to a music group at Isis at the Pru. On Wednesdays I've been bringing her to the "Little Bookworms" story hour and playgroup at Angell, where Samantha is fascinated with the animals they bring out each week.


On Thursdays I just started a signing class with her at Mama and Me in the Brewery at Stony Brook, and on Fridays I or our sitter bring her to one of the BPS Play-to-Learn playgroups at Marcus's school, run by the very sweet Miss Josette.

Marcus, now four and a quarter years old, has developed a real love for coloring and drawing since starting school. He can now recognize all his letters, read his name, and spell out words on signs he sees on the subway and other places. He's starting to ask what a given word says, or how to spell another word, and he is always coloring, drawing, or writing in his free time. He got his first library card this month, since the school library is an actual branch of the Boston Public Library, and as soon as kids can write their names on the card and have completed a library orientation, they can get their own cards.

Here are a couple of his artistic creations this month. He is very prolific, and while he loves color, often filling every inch of the page with color, he also has been drawing pretty realistic houses, especially given where we live--he got the number of floors and windows almost exactly right!

We all liked the time change, because it meant it's dark out when Marcus goes to bed (still around 5:30-6:30 on weeknights, as he's tired from school) and light out when we go out to wait for the bus in the morning. This picture was taken one morning before the time change, when it was rainy and dark at five to seven. On weekends we've been keeping busy too--as long as it's not too cold or wet we try to work in chances for a bike ride, and we've also gone to Clarinda's first birthday party at Miriam's house and Elliott's fifth birthday party at the Coolidge Corner movie theatre, where the kids saw "Horton Hears a Who."

Marcus has been enjoying karate on Saturdays (he got a third orange stripe on his belt last week), piano lessons on Thursdays (he can tell you where C, D, and E are and he's working on using correct fingering), and cherub choir on Sundays (he belts out the songs enthusiastically at the oddest moments).


The kids have had light colds, as the seasons change, and Samantha's been getting a lot of rest to help with the cold and with the three more teeth she has coming in all at once.

Despite Hurricane Sandy's devestation, one good thing that came out of the storm for us was that Uncle Michael and Cousin Matt were stuck on the east coast for an extra four days while visiting Lexi in Rhode Island. One day they drove up to Boston and spent the day with us on the spur of the moment, and we had a great time getting a bonus visit in with them.

Above right, you see Samantha entranced with "Mirror Baby," much as Marcus was at this age.

On Election Day, Robert and I brought Marcus to the bus stop and then walked over to our polling place with Samantha. We waited an hour and twenty minutes to vote on paper with magic markers and a "privacy folder"--forget booths and voting machines, we've never seen those around here. I cheerfully voted for Jill Stein, since it was pretty obvious our district would go for Obama no matter what. Sam had a good time smiling at the older women in line with us, and later that evening she liked sitting on the couch with Robert, after Marcus was in bed, and watching election results.

Another weekend we also went apple-picking one last time, with friends, and had a lot of fun enjoying a summery, warm day outside.

When the weather got colder, Marcus kept busy building all sorts of things at home.

He and Samantha can really play together now, and they enjoy each other's company around the house.

On a beautiful, 60-degree Sunday, we went to the food trucks at the SoWa market on Harrison after church, and then to Peters Park. Hot dogs, lobster mac and cheese, cupcakes, fried cauliflower, and clam chowder--combine them with sunshine and play structures, and it was a great afternoon.


Marcus started feeding Sam some clam chowder, which he also loved.


And finally, some more pictures from our day in the orchard earlier this fall, gorgeous professional shots courtesy of Emily Photography!

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Created: 11/13/12. Last Modified: 11/13/12.