Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tonight Spencer took dancing to a new level. Literally. He was up on his knees when Jim started up the tunes and he just 'stood' tall rocking back and forth.

I'm so proud of how the big guy has learned to eat his Cheerios so well! He used to get 1/10 in his mouth, and now I'd say it's more like 6/10! Most of the misses account for the fact that he still has to check his fist a few times between the tray and his mouth to make sure the Cheerio is still there. Sometimes, when he sees it still stuck in his hand, he uses the other hand to help the first hand maneuver it into the mouth. Very clever guy. Sometimes the Cheerio falls out during the check. It's a bit painful to watch: yes, Spencer, you did have the Cheerio until you opened up your hand and let it fall to the floor.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Spencer had a little dancing accident this evening. He was sitting down and bopping back and forth to the music like he loves to do. Apparently he got so excited, that he rocked a little too far back, and toppled backwards landing flat on his back. He was on the carpet, but the poor baby cried and cried. It took a lot of hugs and kisses before he was able to continue enjoying the music.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Another Yom Kippur has come and gone. While we were at services, Spencer was happy to be able spend the day with Ms. Tatiana at temple again, and she was equally happy to see him! I guess they won't get to visit again until next year. We are happy that Spencer will be learning at a Montessori school, but it is frustrating that we don't live closer to our temple. They have a wonderful school, but it would mean an extra two hours in the car each morning and afternoon, and that just does not fair to us or to Spencer right now.

Today Spencer and I visited with Jen, Emma (2 1/2) and Jacob (10 months.) We walked to the Children's Museum and it was the BEST! Omigoodness! Even though it's a bit of a trip from our house, I am definitely signing us up for a family membership. That place is just too perfect for Spencer right now and I hope we'll be able to go down there a few times a month over the next year or so. Here are some new pictures of Spencer having fun today at the museum.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Spencer and I did some dancing last night! I wanted to see what he really enjoyed, and I decided that with 80+ music channels at our disposal through Directv, we could figure it out. First attempt was showtunes. He was instantly pleased with music, but the song was a little too slow moving, (I think.) So, then we moved to a Big Band channel. Instantly, he could feel the charge of the music and the big brass sounds coming from the television. After a little while, I switched to a Golden Oldies channel. There was an Elvis song which had just started ("I Need Your Love Tonight") and Spencer just could not keep still! He was bouncing and shaking all over the place with a HUGE smile! He thought Elvis was simply the greatest! I know that (my) pop will be very proud to hear how much Spencer enjoys 'his' music!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Spencer's got rhythm! (Quit laughing, Audra!) And it is too cute for words! He has always enjoyed music and singing, but this week he took it to the next level. While Spencer was sitting down playing with one of his favorite musical toys, he suddenly started rocking back and forth in time to the music with a huge smile on his face! The music stopped, and so did he. And when it began again, he resumed rocking and smiling! His teachers at school have commented on his new favorite activity. He just loves to dance!

Spencer's top two teeth are breaking through the gums, and he's been a bit uncomfortable this weekend, but over all it's been a good one. On Saturday, Spencer entertained many visitors - Katie, her mom and future sister-in-law came for brunch. Pat was so delighted to finally meet Spencer and enjoyed feeding him lunch. Later in the afternoon Heath, Kim & Chloe stopped in for a visit. It's been a while since Chloe and Spencer have been able to 'play' together. Today our family of three went to the subdivision park for a (very) short trip, as it is still in the 90's here. Some pics from our weekend have been added to the end of the September album.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Yesterday was a big day as the three of us went to temple together for the first time as a family for Rosh Hashanah services. Actually, that's not quite true. Spencer spent the time with other little kids in one of the day school classrooms while we were in the sanctuary. Our temple membership is enormous, and yet we always manage to run in to people we know: yesterday we were able to wave hi to Spencer's pediatrician seated just a few rows away. When we returned to pick him up after services concluded, Spencer was peacefully sleeping on one of the teacher's laps! They said he was a delight (we know) and ate all of his lunch (no big surprise!) It makes us glad to know that going to school has certainly helped him get accustomed to socializing with kids and adults. (Just put him on a colorful mat with some toys and he's a happy camper!)

With Spencer continuing his nap in the stroller, we walked over to the Zoll's afterwards to join their family and friends for lunch. There were so many babies! Jen had made the trip in from Zurich with 10 month old Jacob and 2 1/2 year old Emma, and we also met Michelle's 8 month old daughter Lindsay who was just as cute as could be! Last time we saw each other (last Rosh Hashanah) we were both quite pregnant. It was great to be able to show off Spencer to everyone, especially with him on his best behavior!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Spencer is done nursing, and it truly is bittersweet. It's been a long, hard road. We managed to hit the first six and half months exclusive, before starting a gradual transition to formula. I had heard horror stories about pain associated with weaning, but tapering down over the past few months helped to avoid that. And now we're done. And it feels weird. And sad. And part of me is definitely happy - I look forward to the hormone levels in my body evening out, and to really focusing on getting my body back in shape, and having a drink would be nice too. There was a great opportunity to celebrate my first drink in a loooong time at Mommy's Night last week, but it had only been a couple of days since we stopped and I still hadn't fully admitted to myself that it was really over. The other week at Carol's we discussed with friends that being a nursing mom really enters you into a 'club' - that there are things that just can not be understood by someone who has not walked in these shoes. The struggle during the first several weeks to hit a groove together with your baby, the frustration of not knowing how much milk your baby is getting, the excruciating pain of needing to nurse, and the woeful feeling that you only exist to feed your baby. I surely don't miss those emotions, but I did find it tremendously rewarding to see Spencer gain weight and thrive on what I was able to provide for him.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Until Spencer arrived, I didn't really understand what it meant to have your happiness so tightly tied to someone else's well-being. Today I am in the best mood after learning this morning that one of Spencer's teachers is no longer working at the school. We didn't like her style very much, and we really didn't like the fact that her daughter was in the infant classroom with her as well. (Yes, there is a rule against this, but the toddler room was full, so they were making an exception.) The poor 18 month old daughter could not understand why her mom, who had stayed home with her up until this point, suddenly had to pay attention to other kids. The little girl cried a lot, which created additional frustration for the mom, and took attention away from the other kids. Although Spencer didn't seem to mind (yet,) it bothered us, and now we are happy that situation no longer exists.

A new September album has been posted with pics from the first few days of this month.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Yesterday was Spencer's nine month well-baby visit. He weighs 23 lb 6 oz (85%) and is 29" long (75%.) He also received two immunizations, which he took like a champ, before disaster in the lab for routine blood work. Apparently, Spencer seems to have inherited my crummy veins instead of Jim's great ones. Poor baby SCREAMED for five minutes while they tried to draw blood from his arm. Then went to the other arm where he SCREAMED for another two minutes before they stopped trying. Finally, they had to do a finger stick and he SCREAMED some more while they squeezed the site to collect the blood. It really, really sucked. Spencer zonked out for a late nap on the ride home, but Jim and I were still a bit shaken.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Some people have said that they were unable to see the Spencer crawling video, so I am also posting it here as a flash video. Sorry for the relatively poor quality of the video in this format.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I have to confess, I've always thought of yoga as a kind of hippie activity. Now that I'm turning my focus towards getting my body back in shape, it seemed like a good way to ease back in to exercising. (Plus, what new mom couldn't use a little relaxation time in the day.) On Saturday, Spencer and I went to the Y for an early morning pilates stretch class. It was great. The stretches and strength moves were hard, 55 minutes flew by, and although I didn't really feel like I had just worked out, it did feel good. Well, jump ahead 24 hours and my muscles were SORE! Oh my! Pilates focuses on strengthing your core, and I felt like someone had kicked me just below the ribs and completely bruised that whole section. My calves felt like I had been climbing a few hundred stairs. By today I had recovered enough to venture back to the gym with Spencer to try a "yoga ball" class (yoga with one of those big resist-a-balls.) It was tough. Like Saturday, there were some times when I actually laughed out loud at the directions being given by the instructor - knowing there was no way I could push the stretch any further, or lift a leg off the ball, or continue holding the pose balancing on one hand.

One great part about the trip to the Y on Saturday was running in to Brett & Liana with 10 month old Brynna. We hadn't seen each other since we were both pregnant working out in the weight room last summer. It was so cute that our babies got to play together in the child watch area.

After Jim golfed with some hockey buds during the day, we all met up at the Furze's in the afternoon. Spencer thoroughly enjoyed their pool and their Golden Retrievers - giggling when they gave him kisses. I was so pleased he was in a great mood the whole time we were there. I know it will be harder to socialize when he's a toddler, so I'm just glad for the wonderful stage we're in right now.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Spencer has been mobile all week now. We have replaced all the outlet covers with child-safe ones, contained potential cord hazards (including building a wall,) attached a toilet lock and are getting ready to re-install the kitchen cabinet locks we removed (and saved!) when we moved in to the house.

Also this week, Spencer has figured out how to eat Cheerios. It's been tremendously entertaining to watch this learning curve. Even once he got better at picking them up, he still had lots of trouble figuring out how to release them into his mouth. His inital solution was to take the other hand and use it to help shove the hand with the Cheerio further in his mouth.

He seems to enjoy flipping toys upside down. Particularly his larger toys, like the Kick 'n Play bouncy (from Audra, Heidi, Kim, Katie & other Girls' Night friends) and the Musical Activity Walker (from a couple mom sees during her annual summer vacation to Quisisana.) The teachers at school say Spencer does the same thing there too - just too look for some kind of switch to play with. Ah, the offspring of two engineers...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

For those that haven't had patience to flip through our entire online vacation album from San Diego, I just wanted to share this one pic of Spencer showing us that he really knows what it means to relax!

And here is some video of Spencer crawling we took last night - a mere 24 hours after his first attempt.