Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Speaking of returning from NY, we just learned today that a new infant will be joining Spencer's class the very day we come back. I'm sure Spencer is looking forward to finally having someone younger around to beat up on, er, to play with. Not bad being in school for nearly four and a half months as the youngest dude! Hannah officially moved up to the toddler room so there are seven babies until Paul arrives in July. When Spencer started back in March there were ten in the room (capacity) so it's been noticeably more under control with fewer kids. Plus, everyone keeps getting older (profound) without any new little ones until now. Although Spencer joins everyone down in the lunchroom, he doesn't eat at the table with them just yet. But he is big enough to hold his bottle by himself and he's been flipping around on the mat a bunch lately too. Knowing that the new infant will require a lot of laptime from the teachers, the fact that Spencer is now able to feed himself plus get around on his own makes me feel better about the whole situation. Selfishly, I enjoyed the fact that he was the baby, and so much younger than all the others too.
Today's daily frustration - pharmacy wouldn't refill a prescription that will run out on my last day of the upcoming trip to NY. I tried to fill it today so I could leave it in Houston and have it the evening I return, but apparently that is too far in advance for them and I need to go back the day before I leave town... like I won't have enough other things to worry about that day. Sheesh.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Today I found another cool website that searches for recipes from many different food sites. Truth be told, I "found" this on the list of Time's 50 Coolest Websites. Another one on the list I thought was pretty cool was eHow.com which even answers questions like 'how to put your infant to sleep.'
We added a ton of pictures to the June album, including some from our outing to the pool this afternoon.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

At 5pm today Spencer and I finally left the house for the first time. It was only to take a walk around our subdivision, but it was good to get out and take advantage of the brief respite from the rain. I have to admit, though, it was a pretty good day staying inside. Spencer tried some hard boiled egg yolk for the first time and liked it. Per his pediatrician's feeding guidelines, this will be a new addition to his daily diet. I also found a great website today called BloggingBaby which has links to tons of interesting info out there for parents. We also caught up with Audra on IM and phone in the afternoon. I miss her not being in Houston. Today Jim spent a big chunk of the day repairing our ReplayTv which froze up and died last night. Those that have PVR's (Tivo, etc.) can understand the panic that set in when it went down. I am so impressed that my husband can hack this type of specialty equipment and rebuild the guts just as good as new. And tonight I made some mini mango cheesecakes. They are out of the oven and smell delicious!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Yesterday was one of those days that started poorly and finished great. I was feeling super-bummed in the morning. Now that I work from home, by the time Thursdays roll around I can get pretty burned out on isolation. Things took a turn for the better after lunch, as it was a great mail day. In addition to a couple of personal notes, there was a package on the front door from my friend Rachel. She had sent a cute little baby outfit with a short note to 'enjoy summer with Spencer.' We haven't even seen each other since before Spencer was born. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness and kindness. That set the tone for the second half of the day. When Spencer went in for his evening bath, I headed out to meet the girls for Mommies Night Out. I am grateful to have a social network of friends who are at the same place in their lives raising young children. It was great to see Rebecca who just returned back to Houston from South Dakota. (Not to be confused with Rebecca who also just moved back to Houston from San Diego.) Jim and I had just gotten married when they left, and now just a year and a half later, we are both mommies! Ronda was kind enough to bring Nicholas' old tub ring for Spencer to use now that he is sitting up so well. We used it during his bath this evening and he really seemed to enjoy it! Check out the pictures added to the end of the June photo album.

Spencer's new "big boy" convertible car seat finally arrived last night as well. Murphy's law prevailed, as this morning it was raining the first time I couldn't quickly click him out with the infant seat, and this afternoon he spit up on the shoulder strap. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Spencer isn't feeling so great these days. Last night he had a terrible time going to sleep. He is usually such a champ, but instead we had to console the little guy screaming on an off for about four hours before he finally gave in. Something was wrong, he was hurting and just couldn't get comfortable. Today was had to pick him up early when his temp climbed just over 100, but doc's office said to give tylenol and see what happens. So far, he's been in good spirits, and had no problem putting away dinner, and was especially fond of the peaches we introduced for dessert tonight.

It was good to visit with Katie here last night, but too bad Spencer was feeling so awful and wasn't much in the mood to play.

It's been raining all week and will probably spoil another Water Play for the infants tomorrow morning. Bummer.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Tonight Spencer had green beans for the first time. New food isn't that huge a deal to him; he didn't get the big belly he has by being picky! Nonetheless, after the vomiting early on, we are still sticking with Stage 1 commercially prepared food for now and only introducing a new food item every 3-4 days to check for reaction. His diet includes two grains - rice cereal (which he doesn't like much) and oatmeal, two fruits - applesauce and pears, two orange veggies - sweet potatoes and squash, and now two green veggies - peas and green beans. I feel bad sometimes that he's eating the same thing all of the time, but I guess when you eat three meals a day there aren't too many permutations!

Another first this weekend took place on Saturday night. It was the first time Spencer pooped in the tub during his bath. Yuck.

And although Spencer has been mentioned in the 'Classroom News' section of his school's weekly newsletter before, it was the first time Jim was mentioned! Not by name, but it specifically talked about how the annual Father's Day breakfast on Friday was so mellow, and they "particularly enjoyed our three fathers who were here for the first time with their infants."

And I have to share this "awwww" story my cousin Hedy sent to me about her seven year-old daughter, Sophia.
Sophia takes art lessons. For the past few weeks they have been studying Romare Bearden, an artist who made many collages that were pictures of memories that he had from when he was a child. So the girls (there are 4 total in her "class") had to make a collage of a childhood memory. Sophia chose your wedding, stating that this was a special memory because "we were adding another person to the family".
How sweet is that??? We don't visit often as they live in Maryland, but we are looking forward to being able to introduce Spencer to them during our next trip to NY in July. For those who live in the northeast, check out when you may be able to see her husband Michael in an upcoming public performance.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Pop's on a plane back to NY now after a great weekend together visiting in Houston for Father's Day. We ate well (no surprise) and Jim and I are just now getting around to dinner, staying full all day from a fabulous brunch this morning. Here are some pictures from the weekend, including various Father's Day gifts.

Friday, June 18, 2004

I am feeling much more at ease now with Father's Day details more or less sewn up. Pop is heading here today for our traditional get together on Father's Day weekend. I think this year, however, we may have to pass on our favorite outing to Fogo de Chao, as men running around with knives might be a bit much for Spencer. Right now, we plan to get our steak fix at Taste of Texas.

This morning Jim was invited to Spencer's school for their traditional Father's Day breakfast. Apparently not as many daddies were able to attend as mommies did on Mother's Day, but it was a social event nonetheless. Pictures of the event will be posted sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Spencer had two firsts this evening. He got his first green veggie: peas. Definitely didn't like them as much as orange veggies or fruit (which involves him lunging towards the spoon and complaining that we can't shovel it in fast enough) but he didn't spit them out either. And, while sitting in the high chair after dinner was over, we heard his first clear consonant sound "BAH!"
While running errands at lunchtime today, I saw a woman pull up and princess park in the fire lane outside the entrance to the grocery store, run inside and kneel down to plunk some quarters into the candy machines! Good grief.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Today started off a bit sad - it was the first day I didn't have enough milk to send to school with Spencer and had to make up the difference with some formula. I should be doing a little happy dance that we hit the six-month mark which is the AAP's recommendation, but the little (big) guy just needs more than I can give. Today was also the first day we sent Spencer to school with some solid food too. He ate everything like a champ, but that's not really any big surprise.

Tonight Kim and Carol came over with their babies for dinner. I took some pictures this evening and added them to the newly created photo album for June. (After checking out the pictures of Spencer in his swing grabbing the little creatures over head, click back to the January album and compare how small he was, and how impossibly far away they seemed!)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Spencer & I had some adventures together today while Jim was busy climbing through the attic running cable. He must have thought today was just one of the best days yet in his life, because this was the first time we fed him three meals of solid food. Man, this little dude can eat! After breakfast (oatmeal + applesauce) and lunch (squash + applesauce) Spencer and I headed over to the local library to watch a puppet show and he thought it was great fun! The Three Little Pigs was 'narrated' from a recording with music and Spencer enjoyed the sounds and lights, and especially all of the other children in the room! After the hand puppet show was over, there was a short marionette skit. Towards the very end was a jack-in-the box surprise and poor Spencer did NOT appreciate the loud noise. He immediately let out a loud scream of his own and we had to jump up and leave the room. (Actually, we had to go outside in the 90 degree heat, because there is nowhere inside the library where it would be ok to have a young baby screaming!) Fortunately, he calmed down very quickly, and we returned within a couple of minutes as the show concluded.

Friday, June 11, 2004

After Tuesday's visit to Spencer's pediatrician, we have made a much greater effort this week to try and feed him solid foods on a more consistent basis. We have abandoned the idea of home-made food for the short term, fearing that something he ate may have been the cause of his rounds of vomiting. We plan to stick with commercially prepared baby food until we are through 'stage 1' and Spencer's body has begun to adjust. So far, he has been enjoying breakfasts & dinners with rice cereal, sweet potatoes and applesauce. We'll bump him up to three meals a day over the weekend, and (probably) begin to let them feed him one meal at school starting next week.

Yesterday (and every Thursday this summer) is 'water play' for the infants. Jim said it was quite cute indeed seeing all of the babies wearing their little swimsuits and ready to go. We'll take pictures next week.

Alexa's newest word is "illegal." I'm not sure why, or who taught her that.

I *finally* got around to trying to mail Kimi's wedding gift off yesterday, only to learn that it would cost $117 to ship, AND she would likely be subject to paying tariffs (i.e. bribes) once it arrives in Dubai. Hmmmm...

And since it's Friday and folks may be sloughing off at work, here is a link to a mindlessly entertaining game Deena had sent quite a while back.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The book Georgie recommended which I ordered while in NY arrived today: "Too Much of a Good Thing Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age" So far I've already completed the first section, and although the theories aren't earthshattering, the data is absolutely fascinating. It really forces you to stop and think - I will have to keep this book out and remember to re-read it every year as Spencer grows up.

In the meanwhile, there are still small issues to be dealt with while Spencer is an infant. Jim and I are not big fans of one of the women in the infant room in the mornings. She just doesn't seem to love being there as much as everyone else does. She acts a bit 'sloppy' too: occassionally forgetting to relay messages to the woman in charge in the afternoon, accidentally mixed up nipples and put a 'high flow' one on Spencer's bottle when they came back from the dishwasher, and this morning I observed her feeding one toddler's cereal to another. It's almost embarrassing, in a way. (But after reading Jenn's post today I realize there is something to be gained by being open about personal/private topics.) We did a lot of research when selecting Spencer's school, and you would think that for $10k/year the care-givers would be top notch. For Spencer's sake, we could not remain silent. We were assured that there would be some conversations to take place tomorrow. Tomorrow will also be Spencer's first day of water play at school - we've got the swim diapers ready to go!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Oops, I got mom in trouble. When we said goodbye to 3 year old Emiliana last week, I told her she could come play with Spencer another time. Well, yesterday she walked across the street to come and visit, and was crushed to find out that he was gone! Mom had to explain that he was not there, but would be back next month and she could play with him then.

Great Grandma Evelyn thought that young Spencer would enjoy this. I was quite surprised when I opened the box yesterday.

I also had occassion to talk with Amy back in NY yesterday. Unfortunately, it turns out that young Zachary came down with some form of coxsackievirus and she wanted to give us the heads up. Spencer already had a scheduled appointment this morning for his six-month well-baby visit, and the doctor said there was no need to pull him out of school at this time just because he was exposed. (Whew.) I guess Spencer must have had a wet diaper when he was weighed quickly the other week because today his naked weight was 19 pounds and 9 ounces (75th%) and he measured 27 1/2 inches in length (85th%.) We were also lucky enough to be there on a day when the office had some pneumococcal vaccine, so Spencer has received two rounds and is done. Can you believe that they have now revised their recommendation from four doses to two because this vaccine is in constant shortage?

Monday, June 07, 2004

How did the week go so fast that we are back in Houston already? On Saturday mom and I took Spencer to storytime at the Chappaqua library. The librarian read books and sang some nursery rhymes. Spencer thought it was great for about 5 minutes, and then became a little impatient about sitting still. We'll try again on our next trip (attending an infant-only class) and see how that goes. At the nearby Strawberry Festival mom picked up some cool pottery for next to nothing: ceramic students had a big 'studio cleanup' and instead of throwing things away, they sold them at a booth to raise money for a local women's' shelter.

I bet Spencer can not wait to see his friends again! Friday evening before his bathtime we walked across the street to visit neighbors that used to live in mom's house and their three little girls. They could not get enough of him, especially 3 1/2 year Emiliana just wanted to practically eat him up. I tried not to laugh as she (at 30+ pounds) was asking if she could hold Spencer!

On our flight back home yesterday, Spencer was the best little traveler! He took two little naps early, and although required more entertainment at the end, he was still quiet, more or less, for the rest of the ride. A couple of strangers even made sure to compliment us on what a good traveler he was. Jim had originally been upgraded to first class, but it wasn't hard for him to convince the passenger seated next to me (middle seat, row 20, on a completely full plane) to trade places!

Unfortunately, the evening was capped off on a sour note as Spencer projectile-vomited again. This time we gave more serious consideration to what he ate when we got home, bananas, but he had successfully eaten bananas three times in NY. So, that didn't make much sense. Maybe baby bananas are 'different' than regular ones? We considered that perhaps the bottled water used to thin the mashed fruit caused the problem, as it was opened the night he got sick before we left (but then that doesn't explain Jim & I getting sick the following day if it was a food reaction.) It happens to have been our gallon of "Y2K water" that we had never opened. Can water go 'bad'? It that just silly? As I type now, I'm watching Spencer sleep sweetly in his swing, as we decided to keep him upright for the rest of the evening.

Speaking of food, on a good note, I had some great desserts over the weekend, including some white cherries, fresh cannolis from the best little Italian bakery in town. And, the most awesome creme brulee cheesecake cupcake mom picked up from Susan Lawrence. Yum!

Here are pictures from the whole trip.

Friday, June 04, 2004

What a wonderful day! Mom's friend Gail, and her daughter Amy, and Amy's 15 month old son Zachary came by this afternoon for a visit. Spencer was clearly delighted to have another little boy around to play with. (I think he misses his friends at school.) I was also delighted to have company my own age to socialize with as well! Not that I don't enjoy hanging out with grandma and my mom's friends, who are great, but it is nice to make friends so that future visits will be more enjoyable as well. Little Zachary is just too cute and smart - he said a bunch of words/animal sounds as well as sign language. As Spencer is now SIX MONTHS OLD TODAY, pretty soon we'll start teaching him to sign too - I'm excited!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Yesterday Jim had the chance to get up to Westchester and it was great for Spencer and I to sneak in a visit during the work week, as he has been driving to Jersey from the city every day - ugh. He joined us for lunch, with Irene here as well. In the evening, the two of us snuck out for an indulgent dinner alone (great grandma's treat!) while mom and Spencer played together. We returned as he was finishing up his bath, and seemed to be having another fabulous time in the tub. I know this is not unique to Spencer, but this baby sure does love taking a bath!

Great Grandma Evelyn came over for lunch today and was able to spend some time here in the afternoon as well. She gets such delight out of the little one, and enjoyed being able to lull him to sleep by gently pushing his stroller back and forth. Today Spencer has been taking all his naps in his stroller outside in the beautiful weather. This seems to be work much better for us, as he is able to (finally) get some sleep which wasn't happening the first couple of days in NY. Poor guy has barely had a chance to adjust, being shuffled from place to place. On a positive note, we have been able to successfully re-introduce a sweet potato into his diet during the course of the week. Irene helped feed him yesterday, and I fed him during our lunchtime today while great grandma watched with amusement. This boy sure does love his food! Mom bought baby bananas for the baby which we'll probably puree tomorrow for him. (I consider myself somewhat of a foodie but I have to admit that this was something new to me.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Mom and Spencer are out for a walk now. Not sure exactly where, but they've been gone for about 45 minutes, which gave me time to take a shower in peace which was very nice.

Traveling with Spencer has been a bit tough. Jim and I being sick last Friday on the flight to Pittsburgh was miserable. Holding a cranky infant on your lap who didn't sleep and needed constant entertainment (when all we wanted to do was crawl in bed and rest) was incredibly draining. When we landed in Pittsbugh and met Jim's mom in the city for dinner, the waitresses at the nearly empty Italian restaurant all fought to take turns holding him, which allowed the three of us to have a wonderfully relaxing meal in peace. Back at the hotel, Grandma Sandy shared many, many adorable "big boy" outfits that should fit Spencer later this summer. Plus a little flight bomber jacket which we expect he'll be able to wear this winter. Too cute!

On Saturday we introduced Spencer to his Great Grandpa, Jim's mother's father. (His late wife Jane is for whom Spencer's middle name "Jacob" was chosen.) It was absolutely spectaular weather-wise and Spencer was more or less in a good mood most of the time which made the whole day that much more pleasant.

After saying goodbye on Sunday morning, we re-boarded another ERJ for Newark. The flight consisted of us, one businessman, one elderly couple and approximately 35-40 young Jewish teenagers getting ready to spend the next few weeks in Israel. It was entertaining to listen to them so full of energy at the start of what would be a very, very long day. Spencer was a champ on this flight: nursed a bit then fell asleep before takeoff, and stayed down the entire hour we were in the air. After a good ride home to Chappaqua, we were able to set up camp here at mom's house. Great-grandma Evelyn came over in the evening, along with my sister Deena who *finally* got to see her nephew for the first time. Spencer was a big fussy-pants most of the night and did not make a very good impression.

On Memorial Day we had every intention of taking Spencer out to the parade which went right by the end of the block, but we were not able to get mobilized in time. Probably for the best, as the fire engine noise may have frightened the young baby. Deena and I met up with pop at Starbucks later in the afternoon to catch up for a short visit.

Last night mom had "the girls" over. Spencer was on his best behavior and flirted like mad with everyone. He cooed and giggled, and sat happily in a bouncy on the floor next to the table while we enjoyed dinner. After we ate, Spencer bathed in front of an audience - quite a show, as Georgie even brought her wine & some cheese in to watch him kick and splash and have a grand old time!