Sunday, October 31, 2004

A great Halloween weekend finished up today with a trip to the Children's Museum of Houston. Rebecca and eight month-old Brianna joined us today. I was not aware that this was truly THE place to be for kids on Halloween. It was so much fun (for the adults!) to watch the little kids play around in costume. Spencer's costumer was a big hit, and he seemed to be having a great time. Pics added to the Halloween album.

Tonight we dressed Spencer up again and went to visit a couple of neighbors to show him off. He definitely seemed a bit confused to still be awake. Even though we've been working this week to slide everything later, poor guy was a little over-tired, and the trick-o-treaters continuing to make noise after he was in the crib did not make for a good night. Poor guy CRIED so much. He's sleeping now, but Halloween aligning with the first bedtime following the end of daylight savings was not a good thing.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Yesterday afternoon was the Halloween carnival at Spencer's school and he was such a hit! Parents we didn't even know were checking him out and taking pictures. Spencer's classmate Nico was an adorable little dragon. And former classmates Hannah and Alexa (now in the toddler room) looked fabulous too! After Spencer was in bed last night, Jim put his artistics talents to the test and carved an incredible Jack-o-lantern, or, should I say Spencer-o-lantern! Pics have been added to the Halloween album.

Friday, October 29, 2004

For those of you that have asked about Spencer's Halloween costume, here it is. If you think about it, Spencer's body was made for this. Bonnie did a great job making this from scratch too...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Tonight I was back on the ice and scored my first goal since Spencer was born. It felt sooooo good! It made me realize that most of the time when I feel good about myself lately, it's because I've done something good for Spencer. But tonight was a great feeling of accomplishment and it had nothing to do with him. It felt good.

So many huge things have happened since the last blog entry:
  • Jim and I had some wonderful time to reconnect without Spencer. We went out for a romantic anniversary dinner where we were married and it was soooo delicious. And, then we got away for an overnight with Karl & Heather to their country house in Barryville. (My first small plane ride in a couple of years.) We've both had occasions to be away in the evening when the other one would put Spencer to bed, but this was the first time for me to wake up without Spencer. It felt odd. It was also the first time in a year and a half I had more than half a glass of wine and that also felt odd the next morning. (Not in a good way.) It's possible, however, we were a little off from helping to plant over 500 bulbs Heather had ordered.

  • We returned to Houston where I discovered that Jim had installed a hardwood floor in the study during the days Spencer and I were in NY without him! He had completely cleaned it out and re-organized the whole room top to bottom. Kind of like While You Were Out and Clean Sweep all in one. It rocks!

  • Spencer cut his fourth tooth.

  • Spencer cut his fifth tooth.

  • Mom taught Spencer to smack his lips and give kisses on verbal request (not just by mimicking.)

  • Mom taught Spencer to say "Mmmmm" after taking a bite of food. Very cute!

  • Spencer said his first intelligible, spontaneous word! I'm not sure if that's a developmental milestone to say something on his own (rather than just trying to repeat stuff back) but it seemed pretty darn cool to me. We were driving to school yesterday, and Spencer was happily sitting in the back seat and banging two blocks together. I heard one of the blocks tumble down, and then I heard Spencer say "uh-oh!"

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I omitted the fact that the Children's Museum of Manhattan was actually pretty lame for tots Spencer's age. I think our photos capture almost everything there was to do. Today's outing was completely different. We drove out to Norwalk, CT to spend some time at Stepping Stones Museum for Children and it was wonderful! It's not as large as our Children's Museum in Houston, but I would say it is equally nice and Spencer had so much fun. I would definitely like to bring Spencer back during future visits when he's a little older. They had a super cool water play zone that looked really fun! Pictures from the museum have been added to the end of the new October in NY album.

Nasty traffic on the ride back to NY prevented us from squeezing in a visit with Amy and Zachary this afternoon, but perhaps they'll swing by to say hi tomorrow when Jim is here too. I bet Spencer will go berzerk when he sees his daddy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

October in NY is beautiful. Yesterday Spencer took his morning nap in the stroller as we walked to the Chappaqua library for story time. Great Grandma Evelyn joined us for dinner and she just couldn't get over how mobile Spencer has become! Today we visited with my pop for the afternoon while we and ate lunch and played at his house. Spencer had a blast meeting little Gabrielle (toy poodle) and playing with toys. Tonight was another first for Spencer - his first taste of Grandma Eileen's chicken soup! Yum. More pics from that past couple of days have been added to the album for this trip.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Although we've made several trips to NY before with Spencer, today was his first visit to the city. We walked around the upper west side - starting with brunch at Josie's, then the Children's Museum of Manhattan (did not have as much toddler stuff as our Children's Museum in Houston) and then a successful bit of shopping at Crafts on Columbus. We passed back and forth by Karl and Heather's apartment about five times, but unfortunately they were out of town and could not join us. Here are some pictures from our trip so far.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I haven't blogged about this much yet, but the last week at Spencer's school has been quite stressful. Both the morning and afternoon head teachers in the infant room were out for a few days to tend to personal matters, and the staff backfilling their spots hardly came close. Jim and I have been incredibly frustrated and stressed over the situation, to the point where we went and looked at other schools to know what our options are if we decided to pull Spencer out. I've been talking on the phone to other parents at Spencer's school, and the school that would be the most likely place we would move him to. I learned that other parents at Spencer's school are also quite unhappy and have also been talking to the administrator on a regular basis. I also spoke to a parent at his school who did actually pull her two children out last year, and brought them back within three months. She said that despite some of the frustrations, the school's education is top notch. (Explained that her son had already learned two digit addition, but the school the moved him to wasn't going to be covering that until next year.) In the 11th hour, I found out from the administrator that they have just hired a new full time teacher for the infant room. The current head teacher in Spencer's room (whom Jim and I think extremely highly of) said this person is fabulous, and is very much looking forward to working with her. So, for now at least, we'll keep Spencer where he is and see how this plays out.

Spencer and I had a nice break from this headache with a trip to the Oil Ranch. We went with a huge group of mommies (from my monthly Mommies Night Out dinners) and their little ones. It was wonderful. Spencer was too little to appreciate all it had to offer, but he really did enjoy himself and is always happy to get close to animals. Here are some pics from the outing.

Now we're in NY. Spencer (thankfully) was a great traveler today. He took an extra long nap (!) on the plane which gave me a chance to eat and relax. Traveling solo with a little one is tough. We drove straight to grandma's for dinner so she could show him off to all of her friends. Man, did Spencer ever ham it up! He smiled at everyone, and clapped hands on request, and did his famous 'dancing' by swinging his head all around. It was pricess watching him pull up to a standing position holding on to grandma's walker. Ha!

Monday, October 11, 2004

I've thought about blogging almost every day, but we've been so busy somehow a whole week slipped by! Spencer was home with me most of last week due to his diarrhea. I'm happy to say that things are much better in the diaper now, and this weekend he finally got his appetite back too! After six days of messiness, we went to the Dr. just to make sure there wasn't something else we were missing. He confirmed Spencer seemed fine, and after getting a flu shot, we dropped Spencer back at school.

This weekend we all went to the Greek Festival on Saturday. Spencer got to enjoy some music and dancing, while Jim and I enjoyed the fabulous food - especially the baklava and kourambiedes! Since we were nearby, we drove over to the Children's Museum so Spencer could do as he pleased for a couple of hours before we went to Brian's first birthday party that evening. I can't believe his little buddy is one year old! That means Spencer's birthday is not too far off, oh my. Ronnee came by on Sunday to spoil her nephew with clothes & toys, and hug & kisses.

Speaking of celebrations, Jim and I celebrated our second anniversary last week. He was so sweet in secretly planning an evening out without Spencer (dinner at Americas - yum!) plus gorgeous flower and chic new clothes to wear for the occasion! It was also sweet for others to also acknowledge our special day - we received cards from my mom and Audra, plus online wishes from Kim and Bari. Last year our anniversary was a bummer for many reason (I was big & pregnant, it was Yom Kippur, and Jim had to go in to the office for an hour before services to lay off an employee) so it was nice to truly have a day to just focus on us and reminisce about our awesome wedding. For an anniversary gift, my mom is treating us to dinner at Bernard's Inn at Ridgefield where we got married. I can't wait for that meal!

Spencer seems to be learning new tricks almost every week. He has mastered crawling and pulling up, and dancing is no longer quite so risky. He has figured out how to clap (especially during diaper changes, not sure why,) how to wave hi (although he usually does it 'backwards' and waves at himself!) how to turn off a light switch, and how to open dresser drawers. I realized last week that this is something he practices at school. They tell us that he stays 'very busy' all day. Montessori schools use the term 'work' to refer to the different learning toys that are used from infant through primary classrooms. One day a couple of weeks ago we brought Spencer to school before breakfast (we usually feed him at home, but our schedules were tight that day) and the head teacher commented "it's a good thing Spencer came to school early today because he just had so much work to do!"

A new October photo album has been started.

Monday, October 04, 2004

After having a baby, you find that poop is a common topic of discussion. Well, Spencer has diarrhea, and it's pretty bad. It came on strong Saturday morning, with about eight or nine diaper changes already by noon that day. And, we experienced our first real bout with diaper rash. Yeah, his tush has been red before a few times, but one application of cream and it was gone by the next change. This was different: he CRIED every time he had to be wiped and it was horrible. Except for the diaper area, he was happy and playful, as if nothing else was wrong. We pumped pedialyte in him, and by Sunday morning his poop had improved to 'sticky.' So, thinking we had turned the corner, Spencer and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the Children's Museum with Carol and Brian. Another sticky poop diaper change at the museum was a relief. But last night it was back to watery. And, I won't go into details, but just know that Spencer got a bath at 5:00 this morning. We wondered what to do about school today. Do we send him or not? He was perfectly happy, but kept filling up icky diapers. We decided Jim would bring Spencer and the pedialyte to school and let them know to check frequently. Jim IM'ed after dropping Spencer off that "3 diarrhea diapers in a row = go home, and don't bring him back until it's gone!" Good grief, I thought. He had already gone through three diapers before leaving the house! Miraculously, Spencer managed to hold out until 12:30 this afternoon before his third at school. So, he came home and my work day ended around 1:30, with a brief break to run a meeting during his 30 minute nap from 3:00 to 3:30. Tonight was no better, poop-wise, and I'm wondering about tomorrow. Right now, I am thinking that we'll just run some errands and perhaps check out story hour at Barnes & Noble. I feel like it would be playing hookey from work to be out and about, but the truth is I wouldn't be working at home, except during his two 30 minutes naps, so we might as well get some stuff accomplished instead of hanging out here all day. We'll just have to see. For now, he's sleeping soundly, and I hope tonight is better than last night.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Well, Spencer has yet to do his best moves on camera, but he will always dance to his favorite song... The Theme to Sanford and Son... Don't ask! You can also see here that while he is still bops along without regard for his own safety, he has learned some nifty recovery moves...