Friday, July 29, 2005

almost home

I think I did a good job this week to not dwell on how much I was missing the boys back home, and able to enjoy meeting and learning more about my co-workers from around the US, Canada & Mexico. I have truly enjoyed our hotel with walking access to many wonderful shops and restaurants. Tonight we walked to Krung Thai for dinner and it was quite good. We never eat Thai food at home, mostly because I don't know much about it and only go with others who know how to order.

Last night I drove out to visit Alli and Dave at their place. Not two minutes inside the door Alli blurted out that she's pregnant! I was/am soooo excited for her (and Dave!) So glad to know more of my good friends are becoming mommies. I hope that she will indeed come to Houston to visit for Rice homecoming this year, it will be exciting to visit as she gets closer to the end of the term!

Tomorrow I get to hug Spencer and Jim, and I can't wait!! I have been so happy with Jim sharing pics and video from breakfast and dinner. Seeing Spencer sign "I love mommy" was too awesome.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

on the road again

Sunday I arrived here in California, but not before Spencer and I spent a few hours at the World Series of Dog Shows in the morning. We enjoyed watching agibilty, flyball, frisbee and freestyle. Spencer's head was in constant motion to see so many dogs in on place! We were able to squeeze in a quick trip to Uncle Mike's for lunch to visit with family while they were in town (where Spencer was able to continue saying and signing "great-grandma") before Jim had to run off for MBA stuff and I had to get to the airport.

I forgot how much I really love the bay area in California. As long as I am stuck being away from my sweetie and my baby, this would probably be my first choice. And, as far as trips go, this is a pretty easy one as I'm here for training - no presentations to give, no team breakout sessions to define deliverables, just pay attention and absorb information. It's also great fun to get to finally put a name with a face on people I've worked very closely with for the past few years. We're based in a swanky hotel in the middle of the very trendy Santana Row which allows us to walk to dinner in the evening.

This will be the longest stretch of time away from Spencer since he arrived. I was so ridiculously happy when Jim sent a picture of him to my phone during a simple outing to the grocery store. Hopefully the week will fly by, and I'll be back in Houston giving him a big hug real soon!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

still traveling

Nearly another whole week has elapsed, geez. Mom called one night during the week and asked "tell me something cute that Spencer did." but nothing came to mind. I think the next day he provided some good gems. Like when he was eating salmon for dinner, and we told him it was fish, and he looked at the food in his hand as he repeated "fish" and the gave it a kiss! And picking him up from school is always in a big "show-off mode" at the end of the day. He picked up a tissue, said "tissue" and then said "AH-CHOO!" wiped his nose and then walked across the room to throw the tissue in the trash. His teachers and I were hysterical!

We just got back from a Leach family wedding outside of Houston. Spencer was a big hit, showing off his shapes and colors and letters and saying "great-grandma." Definitely had no patience for a service, but said "cheese!" as he smiled for the pictures afterward!

Monday, July 18, 2005


Well, Spencer did indeed have one of his best flights ever yesterday - but it started after spending over three hours in LaGuardia with flight delays due to mandatory crew rest. I have a sneaky feeling that one of the gate agents was sympathetic to my situation of chasing a toddler around the terminal for so long. Somehow there was miraculously an empty middle seat in our row, even though the plane was completely full and they had pulled people on from a standby list. Having the extra seat meant I was able to eat a bit while I put Spencer down for his nap. And later was able to put the laptop on his traytable and belt him in to watch signing videos. Boy were we both happy to see Jim waiting there in baggage claim for us when we arrived! :)

Spencer learned a lot during his trip to NY. He can now say "upside down" which he learned from a new book Silly Sally. But most notably is that now Spencer is able to open doors - ack!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

leaving NY

Our trips to NY always seem to fly by, and I can't believe it's already our last night here. Our trip to Montauk in the middle of the week was fun, but not the typically relaxing getaway I remember! We ate well at places like Gosman's and Duryea's and enjoyed some wonderful steamers, shrimp and lobster. Yum! We don't each much seafood at home, so I didn't realize how much Spencer enjoyed it too! (We knew he was a huge fan of boiled shrimp, but he loved everything else too!) We were able to spend one of our days out there visiting Joan & Dean at their spectacular home and swimming in their pool.

Yesterday, after morning storytime at the Chappaqua library, Spencer and I had a quick lunch at Susan Lawrence and were able to catch up with pop for the rest of the day. We went to the Bronx Zoo and had such a good time! We've been to the Houston Zoo before and I know it wasn't that great, so it was wonderful to visit a really nice zoo! Spencer certainly seemed to remember "poppa" from his visit to Houston last mont!

This morning we enjoyed a nice brunch at the house with some of mom's friends who I like to visit with during trips. Penny brought Emma and Jake and later in the afternoon Spencer and I headed over to her house to continue playing.

Pics from the week are in this album.

Tomorrow is another flight. Fingers crossed this one goes as well as the trip up!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

in NY

Well, Spencer and I made it to NY yesterday, and I have to say that he was a pretty darn good traveller. He fussed a bit on the plane when I thought it should be naptime, but he decided he'd rather keep on watching the signing videos so I indulged him. He decided to stay awake for the entire plane flight, and only sleep for final 30 minutes - closing his eyes as the captain annouced that we were starting our descent in the NY area.

We made our (usual) first stop at grandma's for dinner, and Spencer impressed her with his version of the words "great-grandma!" He showed off all around, acting cute and saying "hello!" to everyone around. Fortunately, he was fairly hungry which translated into well-behaved at the dinner table.

Today was great. My cousin Hedy, Michael and their kids Sophia (8 1/2) and Ethan (6 1/2) stopped by for several hours in the afternoon. They had been at a Bar Mitzvah yesterday and were able to visit while in NY before heading back on to Maryland. Despite their five year gap, Spencer and Ethan seemed to be quite fond of one another. Ethan is thrilled to have a boy cousin (although there is another one on the way next month) but wishes Spencer didn't live in "that other country, Texas." And Spencer was equally delighted to call out "E-tan" to get his attention. They played together with legos, and kicked a soccer ball in the backyard (sort of.)

Spencer was sooo tired that he started saying "sleep" around 6:30. Adjusting for the time zone difference, that's almost an hour and a half earlier than he usually starts his bedtime routine. Nonetheless, we started up his bath, put on pj's, read a story and put him down. He complained for a few short minutes, and was sound alseep by 7:00. Wow.

Tomorrow we're off to Montauk for a few days (back in time for weekly Mah Jong game!) No knowledge of internet connectivity, so probably no photos until the end of the week. Here are a few pics from yesterday and today.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

bad and good

Last night's plan was to pick up the pottery that we painted at girls' night out last week. Jen and I decided to have dinner first, with the boys. Spencer was soooo bad. Not "bad," but rahter unpleasant. He threw food, he threw toys, he pushed himself back from the table, he screamed... I was so embarrassed. We ate fairly quickly and then left. Hardly getting a chance to really enjoy my first trip to Berryhill Tamales. Whose $0.99 "happy hour" tamales were very yummy! And, to top off the bummer of our evening, the pottery place had closed early that night. Argh!

Today was at the opposite end of the spectrum. I was able to pick up my pottery piece during lunchtime (and was pleased!) then on to lunch with friends. The three of us went out to dinner out and met up with a larger group, and we all had such a good time. I was initially very anxious after the painful experience the night before. But Spencer had a good nap today, and was very well behaved at dinner, staying mostly focused on his food and toys. His friends Chloe and Brian were both excited so see Spencer, as he misses out on seeing them weekday lunches.

Now he's in bed, and every once in a while we hear him squeezing his puppy to play "twinkle, twinkle little star." How cute!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

kitchen toy

I have gotten a bit tired of taking the pit out of cherries for Spencer using a paring knife. It's so tedious. Yesterday I finally stopped in Sur La Table during lunchtime to purchase a cherry pitter. I was able to try it out when I got home on some big, beautiful Rainier cherries and it worked even better than I had hoped! Spencer was equally pleased at dinner to enjoy eating them!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

hot 4th

With temps reaching 100 every day this holiday weekend, we hit the water everyday. Saturday Spencer and I checked out the YMCA outdoor pool for the first time after my pilates class. It was a wonderful pool and Spencer had so much fun! Sunday included a visit to Splashtown (possibly our last one for the month of July!) and Spencer rode the dolphin slides like a champ - barely even holding up the line as he climbed the stairs and took his turn. Yesterday morning we were invited to join friends at their subdivision parade - although we had planned to swim, the kids just had so much playing we never went. But in afternoon we swam in Jack & Lori's pool, where Spencer displayed his 'no fear' attitude just walking up to the edge and jumping in. He is still doing a great job putting his face in the water and blowing bubbles as he learned in Mexico. Here are a few pics from the 4th of July.

At night when he gets in his bath, you can see such a brown line between his tan back and his white tush. And he also has some funky tan areas on his feet from the water shoes that he wears. Thank goodness he seems to have inherited Jim's good skin genes, and not mine which might have caused him to be quite crisp by this point in the summer!

Friday, July 01, 2005

he keeps on growing

Not that it's surprising, but sometimes Spencer seems to get larger by the minute. I finally accepted the fact that my not quite 19 month-old can no longer fit into his clothes. Yesterday he said and signed "hurt" when I buttoned up his shorts. Sigh.

Jim came home last night, and we're all together for the long weekend -hooray! It's July 1 and already we are overbooked for the entire month ahead. It is making me tired just thinking about it!