Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mark and Monkeys at the Zoo

Hooray-hooray, we are going to the zoo today! Actually, we just got back. It was Mark's first trip to the zoo. Frankly, I understand why kids under 2 get in for free - otherwise it would be a total waste of money. Mark wasn't much interested in the animals. I think it was because most of the animals were a) behind the glass, like the pythons or b) far away, like the elephants or c) sleeping, like the lions. The only ones he really liked and paid attention to for a little while were meerkats (ok, so they were super-cute). He did like the zoo overall - ran around for a while, was interested in trees, flowers, water fountains... In fact, he was so engaged that he forgot to take his nap and started getting very cranky. So after about 2 hours at the zoo we got back to the car and headed home. Mark fell asleep 1 minute into the car ride...
And he stayed asleep for about 25 minutes, until we stopped at the apple orchard. Our plan was to drive up to the store, I would go in and get the apples and then we would continue on our way, without waking up Mark. Sure thing... it didn't work as planned. The babe woke up the second we turned off the road into the parking lot and he was ready for action. So we all got out of the car, grabbed a couple of baskets and wandered off into the orchard to pick some apples. And then we sat in the shade of the huge trees cooling off (it was a very hot day today), swang on a tire swing and tried (unsuccessfully) to climb up the tree. Best of all, after paying for all the apples ($1/lb - a bargain worth driving for), we even bought some fresh apple cider slushie (the best idea ever). And it was tons of fun for Mark since now he drinks out of the straw.

So Mark spent most of the rest of the day running around, climbing up and down the furniture, screaming his head off, saying things like "aisee-yaisee", "woooooow", and "trheeeh" (we don't know what he means, but it sounds very important and fun).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Busy Summer

Ok, so I haven't posted in almost 3 weeks. But that's because, as usual, we're very busy here. I can't really think of any particular project we're busy with, just lots of small daily stuff. Although we did go to a Mediterranean-themed BBQ party at Sean & Stephanie's and then had a little cook-out of our own the following weekend.

Mark's got a couple of new toys, quite a few new scratches and bruises, and he's kissed a girl! He finally weights more than 20lbs, but just barely - 20.48lbs to be exact. And he grew a bit taller and is now full 31 inches. He tries to run, climbs stairs whenever I'm not watching, and absolutely loves sliding down the big slides (ok, I have to go with him). No talking, but a lot of pointing, tagging at clothes, and babbling. Favorite games include chase, peek-a-boo (he actually hides now), and a game where Mark is a bull and Chris is a bull-fighter.

A couple of weeks ago I took Mark to the Russian school. It's only a part-time school - once a week for half a day. Most kids in the youngest age group are still much older than him - 3-4 year-olds. He didn't care much for learning new things mostly because he didn't want to sit down even for a second. So I had to take him out of the classroom and to the playground. Still it was a good experience because he got to be around kids and adults who spoke Russian. So we'll try to go again every Saturday, if only for an hour.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Back from NY

Sorry for a long dry spell... We're finally back from visiting Mark's grandparents in NY. Tons of things happened and most of them were very good (even though the trip began with us getting locked out of the house, me getting sick, everyone else getting sick, Mark cutting a new tooth, etc, etc). Anyway, Mark had tons of fun. He spent most of the days outside - on the deck, in the splash pool, walking up and down the stairs, in the garden. And he hardly sat down at all! I mean, from about 6am to 8pm with only one short - 30 min - nap, he kept walking, climbing, crawling, standing, and running. He was so busy exploring the surroundings and enjoying himself that he didn't bother to play with any of the toys I brought with us from home! Here's a video of a little game he came up with while in NY.