February 2013

At fourteen months, Samantha is now in daycare three days a week, while I'm at work, and with Marissa and Charlotte one morning a week, while I work with Marnie.

Her interests include toothbrushing, which she is very serious about; Marcus and trying to do anything he's doing; and eating, pretty much anything, ideally on Robert's lap. She is also getting surprisingly good at peeling clementines and taking off her shirts, and she's practicing putting on shirts and hats. Her newest trick is patting her head if you ask "Where's your head?" or "Where does your hat go?" and she loves the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," getting positively giddy whenever she hears it.

Marcus is four and a half and celebrated his 100th day of kindergarten by counting to 100 in his classroom. He can also say a few words of Chinese (I don't really know how good his intonation is) and can count to five and say things like "Sit down" and "Stand up" in Spanish. While I know his school has Mandarin as a "special," it's unclear to me if the Spanish comes from Diego (he's interested in, but not obsessed by, him at the moment), formal school instruction, or just the informal interaction with Spanish-speaking kids and aides at school.

Marcus is soaking up everything and learning facts and making connections like mad. He's learning to read music now for his piano class, and he can talk about line notes and space notes and middle C and quarter notes and half notes, and while it's pretty labor-intensive for him to mark up a few bars of music, he can do it, and once he's done it, he can play simple melodies. He started back up at karate again after a prolonged break for Christmas, Thailand, and snow, and he seems to have really missed it--now he's an orange bar on a white belt, and the next step is an orange belt.

In short, everyone has had a good month. Robert is traveling again for work, we had a big blizzard with school cancellations for both Marcus and for me, and we are all managing to find a balance of work and play so far this winter.

On February 2nd we went out to Drumlin Farm to watch their resident groundhog, Ms. G, do her thing. Sadly she saw her shadow--and we did end up getting more snow afterward. There was a rally to get Ms. G appointed official groundhog of the Commonwealth, and there were snacks and groundhog stories by a fireplace and groundhog crafts. All that, plus a cute little woodchuck? We had a great morning.

From Drumlin we went straight to Max's second birthday party at Barefoot Books in Concord, where Rik and Damaris had a nice little party including story times and paint-your-own wooden trucks as well as pizza and juice boxes.

We had two sleeping kids in the car as we left the party, so we went to the H-Mart in Burlington and I ran in and went crazy buying stuff while they napped as close to each other as Samantha's carseat would allow. The birthday boy kindly gave us one of his balloons to take home, and Samantha adopted it as hers the following week.

The next day, we had Sarah and Sean come over to watch the Superbowl, and we all ate pork ribs, Korean fried chicken, and then kalbi with all the fixings, plus s'more whole wheat brownies (sorry, they didn't fit into my theme) during the very exciting game--lots of records, an accused murderer and all sorts of scandal, and a power outage? Wow, that was my kind of football game. Samantha couldn't get enough of the smoky, greasy ribs, and Robert was in heaven with a little meat-eater on his lap. Meanwhile, an exhausted Marcus, in bed, slept straight from kick-off until 6:00 the next morning.

On the third snow day off from school, Marissa and I took all four kids to the Aquarium to get out of the house a bit. Marcus and Alex spent about forty minutes at the touch tank with an educator there, learning all about sharks and rays and the different environments in the tank. They were of course wet up to their armpits, too, but very happy. Samantha waved at the rays and called them all dogs. Ray? Dog. Shark? Dog. Seal? Dog. Sea lion? Dog. She and Charlotte mostly just ran around in circles, but we all had a great morning.

While Marcus is at school, I have Thursdays home alone with Samantha, and I've taken her to the Copley library (unofficial baby playgroup) and the Children's Museum on her own on these days.

On Presidents' Day weekend, we went to the AAAS family day science fair at Hynes Convention Center. It was free and very exciting, with lots of cool scientific experiments for kids to do. We sampled nitrogen ice cream, Marcus controlled an underwater robot, we built a balloon-powered hovercraft, and Marcus built a paper rocket and launched it across the room. Ben and Lise and their girls (Lily and Miry, eleven months older than Marcus), in town for the weekend, met us there, and we all had a fun time.

Afterward we walked over to Pad Thai on Boylston Street and all had dinner.

On Sunday of that weekend, amidst another snowstorm (but no real accumulation, just a lot of wind), we went for dim sum and to celebrate the Year of the Snake in Chinatown with the lion dances.

On the holiday Monday, we braved the crowds at the Children's Museum and went all four of us, along with Jon and Alex and Charlotte, and had a lot of fun. I dressed the kids in matching outfits--yellow tops, purple pants--so they were a bit more easily spottable in the madhouse there. Marcus and Alex went into the giant climber and didn't come out for about forty-five minutes. The golf ball room and the science room with the turtles were also a hit.



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Created: 2/28/13. Last Modified: 2/28/13.