Aha, Mark is turning 8 months tomorrow! Just as with all other "birthdays" I can hardly believe it - 8 months already!!! Yay!!!! He's made so much progress over the past weekend. I credit my Mom and Dad with much of Mark's new skills. Seems like they provided "the tipping point" - new people, new voices, new games, etc. But first thing first...
Mom and Dad drove to Raleigh last Friday and stayed the ENTIRE weekend. Yay!!! As usual, they brought enough foodstuff with them to feed a small but disproportionately hungry village. This time a package of humanitarian aid included a loan from my brother - a book "One Red Paperclip" and some year-old mail.
Chris and I were a bit worried about the reception my parents would get from Mark. Ever since last month our smily baby turned shy and unfriendly towards strangers. He would try to hid his face or even cry when someone would approach us with the usual complements. Of course, he saw his grandparents several times before, but it was a while ago. He saw Grandpa 4 months ago and Grandma - 2 months; and that's a long time for a not-yet-8-months old. But Mark was great! He got a bit shy at first, but completely recovered after about 20 minutes. So much so that he was happily tagging Grandpa's nose and giggling. In return he was practically overloaded with love, attention, cooing, and such from both grandparents and spent most of the weekend in their company.As I mentioned earlier, it was all for the best. Sometime on Saturday Mark started doing the tummy-to-back roll. I mean, he did it before a couple of times, but since Saturday he's been doing it all the time in the most casual fasion. So now I call him "полный Колобок" because before that he was only "полу-Колобок". Even more exciting is his speech development. Again, since Saturday, probably influenced by endless torrent of endearments, rhymes, songs, and general chatter from grandparents, he started saying TONS of consonants. He now carries quite lengthy discources about things, such as (approximately) his latest on the state of "dla-da-de-poo-lya" and a poetic "pre-rrre-dle-da-dya". It's all very cute and unbelievably funny.
Grandma also made Mark some home-grown baby food. He got to eat a tiny, baseball-sized watermelon she grew this year. The next day he ate fresh apple sauce. And finally, on Sunday night, mashed potatoes made out of 3 small organically grown potatoes. He enjoyed most of it, too.
Upon advice from grandparents, and with their financial backing, Chris and I went to Babies'R'Us and bought Mark a potty. Yep, we're potty-training him already. So far it consists only of putting him on the potty, aptly labeled "King Mark's Throne" in the morning and in the evening for a couple of minutes. He hasn't done anything yet, but we'll keep you posted on the progress.