January and February 2017

The last month has been busy! Helen is ten months old, almost walking, babbling a ton, and eating everything. Samantha still loves school, piano (she was composing a variation on "Hot Cross Buns," above), and orchestra. Marcus continues to devour books and adore Helen, carrying her around, talking to her, and building towers for her to knock down. I'm back at work, and our weekdays are falling into a nice rhythm. Helen is at daycare three days (more like half-days, 7:45-1:00) a week, and adjusting pretty well. They call her "Tameka's baby" because the one worker, Tameka, always has Helen on her hip--unless they're eating (she loves the meals and comes home smelling of sloppy joes and grilled cheeses) or playing in the big gym, when she can use various push on toys and cruise around some climbing equipment. The big kids get brought home from school by one of the assistant teachers on the days I teach, and go to a pottery after school enrichment class one other afternoon a week. On weekends, too, we've kept busy, doing a mix of fun events and serious ones.

First there was the Women's March. Sarah, Samantha, Helen, and I went together to the Common. I made my sign at home, and we brought crayons for Samantha to color mine and design hers and a couple spares.

The speeches ran long, and the sound system wasn't great, so we weren't really able to hear anything, and by the time we took our first step onto the street, we had been standing on the Common for over three hours. Samantha was enormously patient, having long since finished her coloring, eaten nearly all my snacks, and already asked a couple times, confused, "I thought you said we were going to march...?"

Once we started walking, we met up with Aria and her mother, from school and orchestra, and Samantha gave Aria one of our spare signs and the two of them walked along hand in hand, wearing their signs, and demolishing the last of an emergency baggie of Cheerios I'd packed for Helen.

At the end of the march, we put our signs along the Common fence with everyone else's (and were thrilled to learn, later, that they were going into an impromptu archive at Northeastern) and walked to Chinatown to sit down and eat something.

A week later, Sarah and Helen and I were back, this time joined by Sean and Marcus, to rally in Copley Square against the "travel ban" immigration order. This time we found some ACLU people handing out stickers and supplies to make a sign, and I dictated and Marcus decorated.

A week later, Robert took Samantha to a kids' card-making event at MassArt called "To Islam with Love, to make cards of support for a local mosque.

Elsewhere, we went to Arisia, the Boston-based scifi/fantasy/gaming/cosplay con in January. The kids love the "FastTrack" kids' area and Marcus loves the computer game room.

Samantha once again got an incredibly detailed face painting from the patient and talented man who is there, and she participated in the kids' karate class as well.

On Saturdays after her piano lesson, we usually go out to lunch, sometimes to Basho Express on Comm Ave, sometimes to the H-Mart, and once with a detour to a fancy new-ish bao place in Harvard Square (good bao, great viewing window, overpriced, terrible service, beautiful stuffed rooster, just skip it--despite the rooster).

Robert took Samantha to an Appalachian Mountain Club family winter nature scavenger hunt walk in Franklin Park, and then they walked through the zoo a bit.

We've had some rain and a bit of snow so far, but it's still been mild enough for playground days too.

We went to the big birthday party for USES, the United South End Settlements, at Harriet Tubman House on Mass Ave. They had an open bar with cotton candy "fizz" (Sprite and a strawberry over cotton candy), which absolutely enchanted Marcus, and kid crafts, balloon animals, lovely passed appetizers, and most of the South End present.

Helen goes along wherever we go, smiling, laughing, and sleeping.

We went with Sarah, Sean, and Roman to the MFA Lunar New Year celebration, and Samantha made screen prints of lucky money envelopes.

We celebrated Pop-Pop's birthday.

We watched Samantha "graduate" to a wooden instrument and then also got to go to an orchestra open house rehearsal morning for both kids.


And, amid fresh snow, we saw the Chinatown new year's celebration too.


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Created: 2/13/17. Last Modified: 2/13/17.