Monday, February 28, 2005

more babies

I forgot to blog congratulations on Friday as Rebecca welcomed her third son, Elijah River Miller, into the world.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

busy times

It's been a very busy few days since Tuesday's post. I'm happy to report some items I have now checked off the "start up my new business to do list" include: decided on company name, filed DBA, opened business bank account, established EIN with the IRS, registed domain name, set up email account, designed a website and found a (back up) place to host a Parent Workshop. Still open items include: secure a better (i.e. free) location to hold classes, get TX sales tax permit, order business cards, advertise class info and brush up on material. At least those are of most immediate priority!

Last night Jim & Spencer went to a birthday party for JB's three year old son Jack at the Children's Museum. In keeping up with the 'big kids' there, Spencer got to do a lot of activities outside of the Tot*Spot, including getting soaked head to toe by dumping a bucket of water on himself in the water play zone outside. Meanwhile, I was way up in The Woodlands as a volunteer judge for SCI://TECH science fair. It does give you some great feelings to see how 7th graders can put together an depth experiement: formulating a hyposthesis, designing the test set up, collecting data, analyzing data and drawing out results and conclusions. My assigned category to judge was health & medicine, and I loved to ask the kids what prompted them to pursue their particular project. One girl's experiement was to figure out which drink (water, coke, caffeine-free coke, or gatorade) would send you running to the bathroom the quickest, because she and her family were never able to make it through an entire movie without a break! Or the boy who conducted a taste test because he wanted to show his mom how cigarettes were deadening her taste buds. Or the girl who wanted to find the most effective antacid on the market because her mom suffered heartburn when pregnant with a younger sibling. Despite all of the publicity about the overall decline of excellence in the technology sector of our country, it was very encouraging to see what the minds of tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

That was quick!

I just got my first phone call from a stranger who saw the Baby Signs segment on Good Morning America and got my name from the Baby Signs website. She just can't wait to get started signing with her 13 month old daughter and want to know when I'll be offering Sign, Say & Play classes. Ack!!

Baby Signs are everywhere!

Ack! I feel like I'm under pressure to get things rolling. I am now an Indepenedent Certified Instructor to teach Baby Signs programs. I thought I would kind of ease into things and slowly get rolling, but apparently this timing is catching a HUGE wave of publicity. There was a five minute segment on Good Morning America today talking about Baby Signs, and following some of the (now) teenagers that were part of the research in the 80's which helped point to higher IQ scores for signing babies. Plus the signing baby in Meet the Fockers, and Debra Messing has been on the talk show circuit for her new movie and has been plugging the fact that she uses Baby Signs too! I'm still working on a company name, DBA, sales tax permit, website, and finding places to hold some parent workshops ASAP! Ack!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Car! Car! Car! Flower! Car! Car!

That's more or less the sounds heard from the backseat as we go driving around these days. Spencer now delights as he identifies everything on the road as a car or truck. And I never noticed how many flowers are planted on the roadside until Spencer started pointing them all out - mall entrances, gas stations, etc.

Today I took a vacation day from work so that Spencer and I could join some other mommy friends and their little ones at Collins Park. When Spencer and I were there two weeks ago they were working on the main play structure, but today it was open again and he had a blast climbing on it. Although it was cool and drizzly, it didn't ruin our picnic fun and I enjoyed getting out and socializing with friends! I dropped Spencer at school for a few hours in the afternoon, and picked him up early so that we could go swimming at the Y before dinner. While there, another mom asked if he was deaf because we were signing to each other. She said she has a very good friend who is deaf and recognized some of the signs. I explained that thankfully Spencer was not, but we use Baby Signs to help bridge the communication until his language skills are stronger. She was impressed at his knowledge. Pictures from today have been added to the end of the February album.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Bo

It's great that Spencer has now turned the corner and is walking. He holds my hand and toddles to get the mail with me, and is pleased as punch when I give him a piece to hold as we walk back to the house. And now he climbs up the steps of the stool Jim built so he can wash his hands in the bathroom sink before dinner (and breakfast if we're too slow in the morning to make it to school for breakfast!)

His newest word and sign is 'flower.' With an arrangement of valentine's day flowers from my two guys (red ones from Jim, and puh-pull ones from Spencer) on the kitchen table, he says and signs the word often throughout his meal. An interesting 'problem' has arisen by signing during mealtime which is that Spencer likes to sign the food he is eating, often in between each bite. On the surface that sounds ok, but the sign for 'apple' involves touching the face, so it contributes to his messiness. And tonight he enjoyed pineapple, but it was no neater of an experience.

And just have to add that this is the first season I have watched American Idol and I am really looking forward to hearing Bo sing again next week!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Teething

It's been an up and down day for Spencer. We both had a great time this afternoon at the Children's Museum with Marcos, Diane & 13 month old Michael, and Oriol, Tracy & 8 month old Aurelie. I think they may start to join us more frequently for our Sunday afternoon ritual. Once we got home, however, Spencer's teeth got the better of him. He is clearly in the process of cutting a whole bunch and the poor guy was miserable in between orajel applications. Didn't help that we cut him off cold from the bottle this weekend. Spencer has been drinking out of a regular cup for a couple of months now, and it's a bit tiring to keep on washing bottle and treating him like a baby when he's not one. We also had to teach him to drink from a straw for going out in public. (He's good with a cup, but does randomly dump it over or stick his hands in when he decides to play around.) Overall, it seems to be a success to have moved away from the bottle at home, but we'll see how things go at school tomorrow when he sees other kids getting bottles. Mom told the story when they weaned Deena off the bottle: the next weekend they went to a farm and saw the baby animals being fed with bottles which she found to be a bit confusing...

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Busy Saturday

With the threat of afternoon showers (which never actually materialized) Spencer and I headed out early to Meyer Park. He just loves the energy from all of the people and dogs and ducks and nutria (!) and giggles so much while playing around on the toddler-size equipment. Even insisting on going headfirst down one of the baby slides!

Tonight we took some more pictures of Spencer with his new haircut - enjoying chili for dinner, his full naked belly after eating, and naked tush before hopping into the bath!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

#7

Spencer has had six teeth in his mouth (two bottom, four top) since October. No activity at all since that time. But we've been pretty certain things have been brewing underneath the gums recently. Last week there were a few episodes of crankiness, and a few middle of the night wakeups which we attributed to teething pain. Even the teachers at school noticed, and pointed out how the gums are getting wide, and a little less rosy as the teeth are pushing up underneath. Well, yesterday the tip of tooth number seven finally broke through on the bottom. We're pretty sure this is the first of several to come in rapid succession. We'll see how wise we are (or aren't) in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

he's a toddler, finally

Yep, that day has finally come. Spencer has been crawling since just before nine months, started taking a couple of well-balanced steps right after his birthday, and has even mastered walking the length of our entire hallway unassisted, but until now - crawling was his preferred method of locomotion. This weekend Spencer mastered the art of standing up in the middle of a room - not needing furniture or a wall or anything. He just plants his feet, walks his hands in while sticking his tush way up in the air until he finds his balance point and can lift his hands off the floor. So now he toddles everywhere. And loves it! And I love not carrying the heavy dude everywhere too!

Spencer has been 'socializing' with the older infants, who all are all toddlers, for several months now. They took interest in him once he started moving around and didn't just sit there like a lump of clay. He's one of the 'big guys.' So strange as he was by far the youngest baby in the room from March until July last year. Now there are only two older than him, and a whole slew of new little ones who are not even crawling yet. To prove the point, Spencer has now 'graduated' to one of the two big cribs in the room. Kind of like stepping stones. He was in a 'top bunk' crib as an infant, then moved to a 'bottom bunk' crib when he was able to pull himself up (and was pretty darn heavy to lift into an upper crib!) Now he's near the top of the chain. Unbelievable!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

mambo

Spencer has a new favorite book. After being partial to Goodnight Moon for the past four or five months, Spencer has suddenly decided that What Makes a Rainbow is the only book we should be reading at bedtime. He asks for it by name "mambo" to let us know he wants to read the "rainbow" book. (And I keep forgetting to look up the sign so I can teach that to him too.) He loves the ribbons threaded through the pages of the book, and we quiz him on the colors too.

A February photo album has been started with a few pictures from yesterday.

Friday, February 04, 2005

the apprentice

Today in Houston are the open call auditions for the next Apprentice. Not only for the upcoming season to learn under Donald Trump, but they are also interviewing for the new spinoff of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Maybe I should have sent in a ten minute video tape and driven down to the auditions. But then I look at my resume compared to those folks on the website and feel kinda lame.

Actually, I will be passing the audition site shortly as I return to my favorite hair stylist from years back. I stopped going to him when he left the chic salon on this side of town in favor of location inside the loop. But during a holiday party in December I met up with a friend who moved to Austin last year, and learned that she still drives back to Houston to see him. I thought to myself that it really wasn't that big a deal to drive a little bit further (and pay a little bit more) to continue seeing him at the swanky new salon. It's been years since I felt like I had a great cut - I'm so excited for my appointment!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

curls

This morning I was waiting in line behind two moms, each with a little boy about three years old. And these two boys had the most beautiful curly hair! I always expected my baby would look like they do, but Spencer's hair is clearly coming in straight. For now at least. We'll have to wait and see what he looks like when he is three, but I'm not holding my breath. Which reminds me, it's time to take the little dude for a haircut again - ack!