September 2014

September's over, fall is here--we've had great fun, even as the days are getting shorter and a bit cooler. Our softball team lost in the playoffs (everyone makes it to the playoffs: we actually lost every single regular-season game, too--except for the two games we forfeited due to a lack of players, sigh), we celebrated Bob's birthday and Bob and Marcus's back-to-schools (the big "6" comes from an orientation group Bob was helping lead, but it worked for Marcus, so we taped it up in the dining room for a couple weeks), and we're settled back in a routine with orchestra and school and the bus home and piano lessons.

Marcus weighs 46.5 pounds and is 46.5 inches tall. He likes Henry and Mudge books and Amelia Bedelia books, which he still has some of to devour, and he's already zipped through Frog and Toad and George and Martha. He entered first grade reading level "H" graded reading books and has already moved on to level "I." At his six-year well-child visit, the pediatrician said his height, weight, hearing, and vision were perfect, and his reading what would be expected at an eight-year-old visit. He pronounced Marcus "superlative," gave him the flu mist in his nose and a book about a picky eater goat, and sent us on our way.

We went to the Chinatown Autumn Moon festival, where the kids got little salt-dough figures and got to watch karate demonstrations and splash in the Chinatown fountain on the Greenway. We all had drinks or smoothies from Tea Do, and skewers of lamb from the tent on the plaza, and then some dumplings and little cakes.

We went apple picking with two other families from church, at Honey Pot Hill.

There was a lot of ladder-climbing--possibly more than there actually was apple picking!--and then we got cider donuts, burgers, and chili dogs to wash down our apples.

We stacked the ladder with kids: there was Samantha, who'll be three in December; a little boy almost exactly a year older; then a one-year gap; and then a child in each of first, second, third, and fourth grades. We couldn't arrange them perfectly in either age order or size order, and Samantha kept wandering away from the group shot, but we all had a lot of fun.

We went with friends to the Cambridge Tennis Club (it turns into an ice skating rink in the winter) and Robert and Marcus got to play some tennis against dad Juan Carlos and kid Juan Carlos, respectively, before they all played some father-son doubles.

When it started to pour, we went inside and played ping pong for awhile before finishing off the evening in Harvard Square with burritos and JP Lick's ice cream.

One Sunday we went to the MFA family art day after church, with Grandma and Pop-pop and Aunt Mary (on her scooter) joining us as the kids made coins and shields inspired by the Greek galleries, and sat in on a drawing class by Raul the Third, an engaging comic book artist. After the museum we said goodbye to one set of grandparents and went over to Allston to have an early dinner with Robert's father. Samantha rode around on the ladybug toy Great Grandma had given her nearly two years ago, which now lives at Grandpa Richard's house.

Near the end of September, Marcus started back at karate with Ken and Cindy in JP, which he'd been eager to get to do. We met up with Rebecca and went to the South End Berklee Jazz Festival after karate, for a few hours of free cotton candy, lemon ices, popcorn, face painting, airbrush tattoos, balloon animals, bouncy houses, instrument petting zoos, drum circles, and of course, all the background jazz you ever wanted to hear. We bought giant coconuts for $6 each to drink the water out of (you could go back later and they'd split them open for you to eat the meat out of too, but though the coconut water was delicious, the flesh was nowheres near as good as what we'd had fresh in Thailand and Panama), and we got a big box of West Indian chicken curry roti to eat on the bleachers of the tennis courts. After spinning some free wheels and walking around some more, we went inside to cool off, as it was an 80-degree Indian summer day, and then we went back out around 5:00 to hear the headliner Sheila E., try for a last spin in the bouncy house, and buy some discounted, end-of-the-day Puerto Rican food (oddly chewy but not unpleasant pork ribs, a great giant fish fritter, crispy chicken legs, and rice and pulled pork) to come back upstairs and eat together for supper. Marcus ran into Oliver and Hudson from school, so he even had some "friend" time in the middle of the day, and we all had a great time.


On weekdays we keep busy too--there is always a lot of reading, pretend school (Samantha), piano practice, and paper airplanes (Marcus) to occupy us after homework and before bed.

At the end of the day, with all our fun and hard work and outings and fresh air, we all sleep well (with the possible exception of Robert, who is just not a good sleeper under any circumstances). Samantha sometimes falls asleep playing with her favorite PlayMobil dollhouse, and Marcus sometimes drifts off while I'm reading to him: either way, both wake up happy and ready for another day of school.

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Created: 9/30/14. Last Modified: 9/30/14.