Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Oh my goodness! I can't believe that Ken Jennings is no longer the champ! We've been watching him every night since the new season began this fall. What an impressive run! Yesterday was quirky to recognize a classmate from Rice as a competitor, but today really left me in shock.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Saturday was a wonderful surprise visit with my cousin Michael for a few hours. He is performing this week on the Grand Princess cruise, which departs out of Galveston. During our Philly trip in July, we only overlapped with him for about 15 minutes, so it was great to spend more time together during his short time in Houston. A few pictures have been added to the end of the November photo album.

Friday, November 26, 2004

We took an afternoon walk to the park and on the way we passed an extended family also out for a walk, including kids and dogs. Spencer enjoyed seeing the two puppies (obviously!) and even did the sign for dog before we said anything!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I love Thanksgiving. After so much crummy weather recently, today was simply gorgeous here in Houston. This morning Spencer and I danced around to the Elvis songs performed in the Macy's parade. He thought it was so much fun! In the afternoon, we went to Katie's to join her and her family and other friends for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. Although the oil wouldn't cooperate for frying the turkey, we still had a delicious dinner with all of the traditional side dishes.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Today was Mitzvah Day. "Mitzvah" is a Hebrew word which roughly translates as "good deed" and today's citywide event, proudly coordinated by our temple, included a huge collection of volunteer projects. As time was short for us today, Jim and I 'took turns' participating. This morning Jim went to the temple to give blood, and brought bags full of clothing with him where other volunteers sorted it for donation. In the afternoon, Spencer and I headed over to Seven Acres - an assisted living center for Jewish seniors. Knowing what a hit Spencer is when we visit (my)grandma in NY, we thought this would be a perfect fit. Folks were delighted to see a baby, and Spencer brought big smiles to many faces. It was cute watching him crawl around and pull on the walkers and wheelchairs! He was so beat after our time there that he actually took a third nap on our ride home!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Today, again, Spencer took another midday nap for two hours and forty minutes. Holy cow. I don't let myself get too excited about this being the possibility of a new pattern emerging. Today was probably just attributed to the tryptophan in the turkey meal they served today. Spencer's 'report card' indicated the following about his meals today: breakfast (TWO bran muffins and pear) and lunch (LOVED lunch!)

The other night Spencer and I were playing and I asked him if he wanted me to take off his shoes. I repeated 'shoes' a few times and also signed it to him. He responded by bending over and touching his shoes. I wanted Spencer to show off his comprehension of this word at school, and when I picked him up yesterday I asked him (verbally) to show the teachers his shoes. Well, instead of touching them, he SIGNED the word shoes, which was pretty cool! They said he had crawled up to them that day, made a few motions with his hands, and then crawled away. They were desperate to know what he had 'said.'

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Yesterday was a big day. Spencer took a nap for TWO HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES! This is a guy who normally naps so predictably for 35 minutes you could set your watch. As he has matured, he has gone from 3 naps, to 2-3, to 2, to 1-2 where we are right now. But until very recently, the length of his nap has remained unchanged. Occassionally, only within the last four to six weeks, on those one nap days he pulls a 'double' and stays down for about an hour and a quarter. But nearly three hours just sounds ridiculous to us! We've read it's around their first birthday when kids settle in to just one nap a day. Could we finally be approaching that point? While it makes the weekends tough with very little downtime Jim and I have no complaints about sleep as Spencer is wonderful sleeping long hours overnight.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Spencer signed to me this morning! We had been up and playing for about an hour when I thought to myself, “it must be time for Spencer to have breakfast pretty soon.” I looked at the clock and confirmed it was indeed time to feed him. When I looked back at Spencer he was staring at me, and then he did the sign for ‘eat!’ Wow! (His variation is fist to the mouth, instead of just fingertips, but it was loud and clear.) What a smart dude! And, later on in the morning, Jim said Spencer started crawling towards the kitchen, turned back to look at him and made the sign for ‘drink.’ (He has adapted that one to be index finger to the mouth, instead of thumb, but also clear.) I guess it’s no surprise some of Spencer’s early signs are driven by his belly!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Tonight Spencer had his first taste of TexMex. We made plans to go to Pappasito's this evening, to be a part of their birthday celebration and pick up a commemorative margarita glass. Something we've made a point to do for the last six years. Spencer was behaving so well and eating his dinner nicely, that we complemented his meal from home with some rice and beans. He LOVED them (especially the beans!) and even started doing a happy dance while eating. It was a great finale to a fun family outing to the Children's Museum this afternoon.

A November photo album has been started.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Spencer reminded me this evening that I omitted a few words from his vocabulary review earlier. He was so exited about his dinner tonight (some goldfish as an 'appetizer,' followed by some leftover lasagna, and kiwi for dessert) that he kept shoveling fistfuls of food into his mouth, forgetting about chewing and swallowing. I finally had to remind him "Spencer - chew!" and he did indeed stop and move his jaw open and closed to show me he was chewing. He didn't really get the concept that it was supposed to help mash the food, I think he just thought it was a game of opening and closing his mouth at the table. Nonetheless, he got a lot of practice as he was reminded "chew!" many times during the meal!

I also forgot to mention that he has now truly mastered "uh oh." Sort of. He thinks that is what you say when things fall to the ground, no matter if it was an accident or intentional. Not so funny to watch him deliberately pick up an object, drop it, and say "uh oh." But it is funny if that object is something like a Cheerio, and it is still stuck to his palm and hasn't actually even fallen down when he says those words.
Spencer has so many new tricks these days. He predictably responds to a request for a kiss, or asking him to clap his hands. He also claps for himself to celebrate accomplishments like getting a shape to fit through the correct slot in his jumbo shape sorter. He is very good at flipping off the light switch when we leave a room. (Turning on is trickier for him.) Jim has taught him how to safely dismount from the sofa or the bed, by turning onto his tummy and sliding his feet off until they hit the floor. (Then he sometimes claps for himself and falls because he can't stay standing up without holding on for supprt!)

Spencer now understands many words and their signs, including: light, stars, shoes, socks, bath, eat, drink and diaper. So far, the only signs he has voluntarily made back to us are light and bath. We've been using the book Baby Signs which my cousin Hedy gave as a gift when Spencer was born. We read that getting started can take months, so we keep trying.

Monday, November 08, 2004

It's been a good birthday weekend. Lots of calls & e-cards from friends and family, and great gifts like a day of Spa pampering (from my sweetie & baby) and a Mah Jongg set (from mom.) Jim and I had an 'adult' dinner out without Spencer last night (far cry from our 5:00 reservations on Saturday night when we went out with friends from Spencer's school!) And celebration continued into today as Carol made a birthday dinner and cake. It was such a wonderful evening as Spencer and I joined Carol & Brian and Kim & Chloe. Usually I meet the girls for lunch sans Spencer, so it was nice for all three of the little ones to get to play together for a change.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Spencer got a haircut last night. It's been in his eyes and over his ears, so last night I gave him a trim. Next time, I think we'll take him somewhere to get it done. Check it out - Spencer's a big boy now!

Jim and I voted this morning, we hope everyone else has too.