Monday, August 30, 2004

As much fun as we had in CA, Spencer was also happy to be back in Houston to see his old pals at school today. The morning head teacher had not seen Spencer for three weeks, as she had been on vacation to Spain immediately before we left town! I stopped in to visit at lunchtime (to drop off formula, since we left none at home!) and all of the teachers were commenting how he would be crawling pretty soon. We didn't have to wait long: when Jim picked him up at the end of the day, Spencer crawled to him! And he crawled some more tonight at home! He's going to be absolutely all over the place before the end of the week
Now we're back in Houston and time to wrap up the last bit of vacation blog. Friday we decided to take another recommendation from Rebecca on a "can't be missed" breakfast at Brockton Villa in La Jolla. We sampled their famous Coast Toast which was absolutely amazing! So much so, that on Saturday (mom's birthday!) we made the drive back there again for breakfast! Yum! I had hoped to connect with Nikki somewhere between San Diego and LA, but that didn't work out. We were able to catch up on the phone, and I learned that Jill, our wonderful freshman advisor from Rice, had a baby girl just six week ago. I contemplated making a long day trip to LA with Spencer to visit, but her parents were in town for the weekend. Saturday afternoon was the wedding, the reason for the trip to San Diego, and Spencer and I made a brief appearance at the outdoor reception to say hi. Then, suddenly it was Sunday again and time to return home. Where did the week go??? Oh yeah, I guess I can just look back at the 200 photos we took! Or, look at Spencer's tan! You can tell he's tan because the chubby creases around his wrists, elbows, ankles, etc. are still white!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Vacation continues to be wonderful, as it should be. Spencer has learned a new trick - he now can sit on the side of the pool and "jump" into the water. He thinks this is tremendously fun! He just loves the pool so much, it's great to be able to walk outside and take him swimming every day.

On the tourist front, yesterday we walked around Balboa Park and ate lunch at the famous Prado restaurant. We didn't think Spencer would be too interested in the local art exhibits, but we did go into the sciece museum. He thought the toddler area was fun, and especially enjoyed looking at himself in the funny mirror. He even sat quietly through an Imax!

Today was SeaWorld! I've never been to the one in San Antonio, and wasn't really sure what to expect, but it was fabulous! Far easier to navigate than the vastness of the zoo, and many more shows for entertainment as well. We made sure to check out the dolphins, shamu, the penguins and the sea lions. Spencer thought they were all great and enjoyed watching. One time when shamu jumped up out of the pool Spencer was a bit startled, but overall he was captivated. At the tide pool he was just fascinated getting to see the starfish up close, and grabbed hold of one of its legs pretty tightly!

More pics have been added to our San Diego vacation album.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Omigoodness. A week since posting – lots to catch up on. Quick recap from last week: Thursday was fabulous as I was able to spend a few hours with Audra during her return to Houston. We kicked butt at DSW (her more than me) and she was also able to enjoy some time together with Spencer too before heading off to hockey. Friday evening was the annual luau at Spencer’s school. We were able to swim and socialize with a few other parents before Spencer was rubbing his eyes and yawning, so we called it a night.

Now we’re in San Diego! On Saturday mom flew from NY through Houston so we could all be on the same plane together to California. Sunday was a day to get acclimated (as Spencer is still on Houston time and woke up at 5:30 that morning- ugh) and spend most of the day enjoying the great pool at our awesome hotel. We ate dinner in Old Town at Casa de Bandini where I had the most phenomenal meal ever – a shrimp dish in a cream sauce over rice served in half a pineapple. Yum! Yesterday morning we walked to Mission Bay Park after breakfast and Spencer giggled like crazy on the baby swings. For lunch we drove up to Del Mar to meet up with mom’s friend Terri. Terri’s son David is getting married on Saturday, which was the excuse for the vacation. In the evening, on a recommendation from Rebecca who used to live here, we had a delicious dinner at Mandarin House.

Today’s outing was to the San Diego Zoo. We had no problem getting there in time to hear “Welcome to the world-famous San Diego Zoo” when the gates opened at 9:00am. We started off with a guided bus tour, and then went back around to re-visit some of our favorites. I wasn’t sure if Spencer would be too young or not, but he was certainly intrigued by the animals. Not necessarily more or less interest than he showed in Terri’s Lab Beowulf the day before, but the animals did hold his attention. He was most pleased to see them up close at the petting zoo, inside the children’s zoo. Good thing those goats don’t mind getting their coats pulled by little kids because Spencer liked to grab on tight!

Pictures from San Diego have been published to a new ofoto album.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Unrelated, Spencer tried broccoli tonight for the first time. We laughed as he made a funny face, similar to his intial reaction with asparagus. I don't know if it was the taste or the texture which he was responding to. He did slowly open his mouth for more, although he didn't seem overjoyed. Then, after about 7 or 8 bites, he threw up. It wasn't pretty. Up came the broccoli, and the 'vegetable turkey dinner' which he had just finished. Thanks Janet for the super-awesome bib from Canada that caught everything in the pocket and made clean up a snap! No more new food introductions for a while...
I work from home almost exlusively now, only going in to the office a couple days a month. I was there today, and it was quite somber. I learned that Glen's final downturn was very quick, he had been at work as recently as two weeks ago. Geez. I feel awful that I will not be able to attend his funeral as we will be heading out of town this weekend. I hadn't mentioned that Glen was not an old guy - he was exactly the same age as I am.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Over the weekend, while Spencer and I were walking to the park, my thoughts drifted to my close friend Tracy. She plans to be spending a bunch of time in the upcoming months traveling across the country to be with her friend/co-worker who will be going through nasty chemo treatments (not her first) and has a poor prognosis. I then thought about my co-worker Glen who went through chemo last summer while I was pregnant. When I returned to work this spring, he told me that unfortunately it had not done the trick, and he was in the midst of a second round. I made a mental note during my walk to send him an email today and see how he's been doing. Sadly, instead I got a phone call saying that Glen passed away last night. I don't even know what to do with this news right now.
Our great weekend with a happy, happy Spencer continued into Sunday, and was capped off with a totally awesome visit to the Parkhill's late in the afternoon and evening. We thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to relax together as a family and spend quality time with our friends. Before kids, Jim and I would get together with Bari and Blair every Tuesday night for dinner and to watch NYPD Blue. But somehow babies have gotten us out of that routine! Yesterday, the seven of us played in the pool for hours, which absolutely delighted Spencer. There are tons of great pictures added to the end of the ever-growing August photo album.

Developmentally, Spencer has hit some big milestones. He is now able to get from lying down to sitting up all by himself! He is so pleased, and so are we! He is up on all fours and rocking back and forth, but no forward locomotion just yet. As school, they tell us that it's right around the corner!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Spencer and I had a great day together today! We took advantage of the fabulous weather this morning (high 70's in August was delightful!) and walked to the park in our subdivision. He had so much fun swinging, sitting in the tunnel, and sliding down the slide! Pictures have been added to the end of the August photo album. We then took a trip out to visit Maggie while dropping off my skates for sharpening. She was so thrilled to see and hold Spencer after seeing his pictures in the locker room on Wednesday night. Our second stop was to visit Angela (one of Spencer's teachers at school) at CostCo. She was absolutely delighted to see Spencer and insisted that we send him to school with his adorable hat! After lunch (new food introduction = kiwi) and a nap, we went to the subdivision pool and enjoyed having it all to ourselves! Spencer was having so much fun that we stayed for an hour! Evening followed the usual sequence: dinner, playtime, bath, story and bed and he only fussed for one minute in his crib before going to sleep. Overall, it was a fabulous day for us.

Jim's big project that consumed his time today was working on building a wall to block Spencer's access to the back of the television.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm a little bit sore today, but it felt soooo good to lace up and get back on the ice last night! I can't believe that I had not skated at all since April of last year. This was also my first real aerobic activity of any kind since Spencer was born, and I was soooo tired out there. But it was a rush, and the new rink at Memorial City Mall was cool, as there were many 'fan' stopping by to watch the action. Although I've seen some of the folks during my 16 month hiatus from playing hockey, it felt great to be greeted with so many smiles and 'welcome backs.' I am definitely looking forward to getting my body back in shape, and getting my game back, at least whatever game I had...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Yesterday I stopped in at CostCo during lunchtime to pick up a few things and saw Dr. Mintz, the mohel who performed Spencer's circumcision at his Bris. Excitedly, I went over to him to say hi and show him recent pictures of Spencer. Sadly, he didn't have a recollection of the baby (who certainly looks nothing like he did at eight days of age!) and he didn't seem to clear on the details of who I was either. He confessed he's probably seen about 200 baby boys since then, so it's understandable, but it made me a bit disappointed nonetheless. I sent him a quick email from home later on, and attached a photo of Jim, Spencer and I along with him and Rabbi Walter from the Bris. He replied almost immediately saying that after leaving the store he did remember who I was, and was so glad I had said hi, and thanked me for sending photo. So I felt better.

At CostCo I picked up asparagus as part of our dinner, and steamed some separately which I pureed for Spencer. At first he wasn't sure what to think about the new taste (new fruits are always good, but new veggies can be interesting) but within a couple of bites he was opening wide for the next mouthful!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Over the weekend I finally got around to reading the weekly newsletter from Spencer's school. No mention of him in the classroom news this time, but it was next week's upcoming enrichment curriculum that held my attention this time: Biomes. "What the heck is a biome," I thought. It sounded vaguely familiar, perhaps something related to math, like a binomial? Then I scanned down to the related Show and Tell for next week which said "Bring a picture of a biome different from ours." Hmmm. OK, clearly not related to math. I gave up. I confess here publicly that I ended up having to do a web search to find out what exactly is a biome. It did all come back to me, but I don't think I've heard that word since learning about it in school. (Here is one link that gives a good basic definition.) I think/hope that Spencer may end up like that kid in Jerry McGuire by the time he's three.

This afternoon we went to Monique's to check out her awesome new kitchen. It was actually Spencer's second visit there, as we had brought our tiny bundle of joy to their housewarming party back in January. Today, healthy eight-month old Spencer was able to enjoy the pool with us and half a dozen kids who were friends of Grant and Zoe. I think this was (at least?) Spencer's fourth day in a row to go swimming. Backing up to Thursday which was water play at school, then Friday after work Carol & Brian came over and we went to the subdivision pool with the two babies. And yesterday we brought Spencer with us to the YMCA where he'll be starting up swim lessons next month. I'm so glad that he's reached this age at this time of year when we have access to so many swimming opportunities.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Spencer and Jim looked so cute dressed alike today that I just had to take some pictures before they went off to school/work. (Pics at the end of the August album.

Update on Spencer's sleeping, as it has now been two weeks since we have begun working with Spencer on the Ferber method. For the last four nights in a row, Spencer has gone to sleep with any crying or complaining. And he has stayed down all night, putting himself quietly back to sleep when he wakes up. Whoo hoo!

Yesterday I met Rebecca for lunch to catch up. Her two little boys are so sute, and will have a young brother or sister to play with in early 2005! And she also mentioned that their business NurturedFamily.com is continuing to grow and now has a gift registry. When we met up with Tracy and baby Aurelie last month, she just couldn't say enough good things about the Fuzzi Bunz she had bought from them!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Tonight we put shoes on Spencer for the first time. Kinda silly, since he can't even crawl yet. But Jim had read how it can be helpful for babies to get used to wearing shoes before they learn to walk. Spencer thought his little sandals were absolutely fascinating. Jim played around trying to hold him up and "help" him to take some steps, but Spencer was far more interested in checking out his feet up close. He tried to inspect the sandals while walking, while sitting, while eating... Check out some funny pics added to the August album.

Monday, August 02, 2004

OK, I guess it's a bit tedious to ramble on with daily updates on Spencer's sleep progress. To sum up, in the last four nights he has gone to sleep without any complaining twice, and one time only about 30 seconds of half-hearted cries. We are feeling quite good.

Since August is here, time for a new photo album! Yesterday afternoon Spencer played in his little pool from Grandma Eileen in our backyard. Rain was pending, but he was able to enjoy a nice half hour of goofing around before we came in for the evening.