Wednesday, July 3rd
After a stop by Target, one of my worst nightmares in life, we made it to my parent's house in 90-degree heat.
After a little dip in their new Target-aquired kiddie pool Martin took a nap with his Nana who refused to admit that she was asleep. Her contention is that she was sitting with her eyes closed for 90 minutes while holding Martin. As Martin is not talking yet we'll have to wait to see what his story is.
For dinner my Aunt Pauline made Dynamites, our peoples' traditional dish, and the Wombats got a chance to hang out in the pool for the second time that day with their cousins.
They also got their first taste of dynamite roll made by Dupras Bakery, the only maker of true dynamite rolls. And with this came their first exposure to high quantities of dough conditioner.
After a prolonged bedtime battle we took off to catch the fireworks. We arrived at 9:31 PM and they ended at 9:33 PM. With a free night to ourselves and no babies we decided not to let that opportunity go to waste and hit up the local watering hole for a couple of beers and the stark reminder that we were the oldest people out in the city that night by at least ten years.
Thursday, July 4th
On the 4th Jen took off to spend the morning shopping while the babies (and their daddy) slept.
During the day we had a lot of family over to see the babies. Their Great Aunt Pat brought them a present which Martin was excited to open.
Elliott, however, could not be torn away from his new favorite activity: trying to destroy my parents' DVR.
Later in the afternoon the boys broke the heat with another dip in the pool.
Martin was cautious and after a few minutes found it more enjoyable to hang out outside the pool and spectate.
To get them to nap we loaded them in the car to get them to nap and I got to visit Yankee Spirits, the place where I got my start in craft beer love back in 1998 when I went there for the first time. It had been nine years since I'd been there and the place is still incredible. I got a great selection of beers not available to us in New York.
Over the next few days I had a great sampling of local beers I had not had before and even snuck one in from Pennsylvania.
After their nap we went to another cookout to visit friends and family and the boys got yet another chance to enjoy some pool fun.
Elliott got to meet with one of his favorite ladies, Miss Madeline.
Then she broke his heart.
Martin was a bit more solitary as he played the beanbag toss by himself.
Even sinking a beanbag in the hole couldn't wash Martin of the deep existential dread he was inexplicably feeling that day.
Later he shaked this feeling to join his brother who was being entertained by Aunt Liza.
Friday, July 5th
Friday morning Martin awoke to say his first word. He looked me directly in the eye, pointed at me and said, "Dada." This was a very moving moment for me until he proceeded to spend the rest of the day pointing at everything he saw and saying, "Dada."
As they napped in the car we drove them to the other end of Rhode Island (about 45 minutes away) to visit with some more family. They got to see their Auntie Vi and Uncle Dick as well as their great aunts, and cousins Lisa, Steve, and Pete.
They also got to eat some delicious fruit.
The adults were less responsible and enjoyed a heaping plate of Allie's Donuts.
After their lunch they had a great time playing peek-a-boo with cousin Steven.
After an unfortunate tumble out of his high chair, Elliott and his brother accompanied us to the Redwood for another healthy meal: fried seafood.
Saturday, July 6th
Saturday started off with a leisurely breakfast experience at my parents' house.
Martin got to spend a lot of time with Grandpa Butch.
Grandpa was a big softie and played a lot of Martin's favorite game: touch the smoke detector. Martin called the smoke detector, "Dada."
Jen was not feeling too well in the morning but she played with Elliott by putting the blanket over his head and then Elliott had his first word: "Tada!" This was not something I would have thought that maybe this was a mistake except that he said it several times after removing the blanket from his head. Maybe he'll grow up to me a magician.
I just hope if he does that he gets some better tricks. Having your mother on stage pulling a blanket off your head is not exactly a show stopper.
Elliott took immediately to Jennifer who babysat me when I was little. Perhaps he would be a little more accepting of her desire to watch Solid Gold than I was in my youth.
In the afternoon we went to our annual cookout and Elliott found a spot in the shade.
Martin opted for beer instead of shade.
After a little bit I picked up Jen who was feeling a little bit better and she enjoyed some graham crackers with Elliott. She'd been hoping for more dynamites but didn't want to push it after her illness.
There was a great deal of reluctance for their afternoon nap but Nana was able to eventually rock Elliott to sleep.
Grandpa had no such luck with Martin on the swing. Martin was much more interested in watching the big kids play.
He was also getting along quite famously with his new friend Ava. Martin has a thing for older women.
It's worth noting that there was a right proper watermelon ice cream there, the staple of this cookout for longer than I've been alive. Much love goes to Dotti for keeping the dream alive with this staple of summers in Northern Rhode Island.
After eating the Wombats took yet another dip in a pool, this time with slightly more water toys.
After their dip they hit another staple of Woonsocket, RI: Wright's Dairy Farm. They got to have their first cake from the incredible bakery.
After making a huge mess I bathed them in the kiddie pool. This didn't turn out to be a very good idea as it just sort of coated them with a greasy cake-like film and made them smell of baked goods.
Without an afternoon nap Martin was asleep before we left the driveway which resulted in him being tossed into his crib with no bath, no pajamas, and no diaper change. Elliott, on the other hand, put up an epic two hour struggle against the tyranny of bed time.
Monday, July 8th
Sunday consisted of not much more than an intense journey home.
On Monday it was the boys' first birthday and Jen took them to meet me at work.
After lunch we took them to the Children's museum nearby.
They had a great time and so did we. We're already considering doing the annual membership. There's something very relaxing about taking them to a big place where they can wander freely and we don't have to be too worried about them destroying anything. The floors are even padded. We may just start going there for eight hours a day and seeing if anyone says anything.
It's also a great place for them to burn off some energy. They were completely knocked out for the ride home.
While they were asleep I took them to pick up the farm share where we were saddled with another huge dose of lettuce! This week we got summer spinach, scallions, escarole, Napa cabbage, basil, Jersey Wakefield cabbage, squash, and sugar snap peas.
After dinner Jen made some cupcakes for the guys that we had to chill in the freezer to get them to the right temperature to eat. After much running around we procured enough confectioner's sugar for Jen to frost them and they had a great time smashing them to bits. They smeared cupcake over so much of the apartment that I dare to think some of it may have even ended up in their mouths!
We gave them one of their presents, this octopus bath toy, that they got to put to use during their birthday bath. It serves a dual purpose of being a toy and distracting them from their never-ending quest to try to climb out of the tub.
After a particularly harrowing bedtime wrestling match Jen was able to finish up the cupcakes while I made dinner around 9:00. She frosted them all only to bring them to day care the next day and be told that chocolate wasn't allowed. We let the workers there have the cupcakes as we presumed the chocolate ban didn't extend to staff.
For dessert I had this L'assoiffe 12 from Brasseurs du Monde to celebrate twelve months of bubses. It was a really nice beer, perfect to honor two really nice insane monkeys.
A year and a day ago we were at the hospital after spending a lovely morning watching the Tour de France and also watching Jen's blood pressure creep to new highs. Less than twenty-four hours later these monkeys entered the world and brought with them a ton of love and a whole lot of work for mum and dad.
One year later the work has not slowed down but it's been worth it for all the love they share and to see how much people have taken an interest in their tiny, ridiculous baby exploits.
It's amazing what a year can bring. As parents we are still clutching onto a thin thread of control at the moment but I'd expect by this time next year they will have seized power and will be commanding me to get off the computer and spend more time meeting their unreasonable demands.
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