Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina sucks

I found this link on Katie's site, and am very pleased to read about how Houston recreational and entertainment places are offering free or deeply discounted activities for folks from Lousiana, Alabama and Mississippi who will be spending time in our city who will arrive in approximately 500 busloads to the Astrodome. Related, I have left multiple messages for Audra on her cell phone and gotten no return. I expect she fled Mobile for Atlanta, but now her blog is down and I wish someone knew her whereabouts.

Last night I was worried a bit about how Spencer would sleep adjusting back to Central Time, coupled with a day of travel. Spencer appeared in the doorway of the kitchen at 5:30 while I was making dinner and said and signed "sleep?" It was so pathetic. Not wanting him to wake up at 5:30 the next morning, I did not indulge his request. But we did eat dinner promptly, followed by some brief playtime and bathtime, and put him down for the night at 6:30. And, I guess the poor guy was zonked because he slept until his usual time of about 7:15 this morning. Fingers crossed that this means he is fully adjusted!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

back in TX

Well, it's not surprising I barely got to blog in NY. The time when we are there is always so jammed packed. This trip included celebrating mom's birthday, a few visits with Spencer's great-grandma (he says and signs "great-grandma" very nicely now!) more visits with moms friends and most importantly for Spencer was a trip to the Chappaqua library for storytime! He was so excited to return to the familiar room and after the first toddler selected Spencer's favorite rhyme, he could hardly contain himself and exploded "YAY!" when it was over! We were next to choose, and the librarian asked "what would Spencer like to sing" and he promptly answered her! He was sitting in my lap so I hadn't seen his hand signal to communicate but then she said "ok, good choice Spencer," and we started singing another one of his favorite tunes!

Spencer's accomplishments this long weekend include:
- swimming in a lake for the first time (and getting nibbled by fish!)
- learning the color turqoise
- picking cherry tomatoes (and learning that he should only pick red ones!)
My accomplishments this long weekend include:
- Getting Mah Jong three times in a row
These were the first plane rides I think Spencer actually enjoyed (sort of.) He was definitely aware of the fact that we were at an airport and there were airplanes all around, and I think he understood that we were actually on an airplane as well. He was an excellent passenger both ways, but much of that has to do with the time of day and length of flight. Today's flight was exceptionally nice with good luck having an empty middle seat in our row. I'm not sure how I have never known until this trip that LaGuardia airport has a wonderful family restroom which makes navigating solo with a stroller a breeze.

Here are pictures from the trip.

Friday, August 26, 2005

plays nicely with others

Last night I called to RSVP for the birthday party at Spencer's school. I was surprised to learn from his classmate's mom that she had not invited everyone in the class. Rathe, she handed some invitations to the head teacher in the room and asked her to pass them out to the kids her son is friendly with. It's so cute that they have friends before they are two years old! And I know this boy is indeed one of his buds because I've heard Spencer say his name before. Sadly, the fact that it is his birthday coming up means that he'll be moving on to the next room at school.

Spencer and I are in NY now. He was a great traveler today (whew.) And he was thrilled to ride in an airplane and see so many at the airport too! Almost bed time for the little guy, it's been a long day.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spencer time

Spencer and I are going to have an awful lot of time together this weekend, but right now i'm missing the little guy very much. Due to an unfortunate collision of early morning meetings and untimely internet outage, I was up and out the door before Spencer work up today. I definitely felt that something was 'off' during the day not having seen him in the morning. I can't wait for Spencer (and Jim) to return home shortly so I can give him a big squeeze!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

cuddly book?

The last two nights Spencer has PLEADED to have his rainbow book in the crib with him. Not exactly a cuddly request, and his crib is getting a bit full with pillow, puppy, lion, blanket and now rainbow. But when I handed it to him he threw the blanket off and sat up so he could read. Good grief.

Today we received an invitation to a birthday party for one of Spencer's classmates at school. How nice! Jim and I were talking earlier in the week how we feel so much less connected at this new school. Before, we knew all of the kids and all of the parents. Spencer's world has expanded from an infant room with 10 babies 0-18 months, to his new toddler room with 24 toddlers from 18-24 months. So there are many more names and faces and the turnover is quite rapid. On the same hand, we felt that we HAD to stay tightly connected at the old school to keep an eye on things and decisions that were being made. It is so much more relaxing for us to trust in the staff and structure at his new school and know that everything is going great. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the party and meeting other parents.

Monday, August 22, 2005

busy weekend

It seems like there is not any other kind. With school underway for Jim, the weekends are quite tiring. We enjoyed last minute social plans to have dinner with friends and their son on Friday night. On Saturday, Spencer and I had company join us at the Children's Museum which was super fun. I forgot my camera, but thankfully Michelle took pictures. Jim was able to meet the four of us at Ruggles for lunch, and then headed off to Rice to meet with his team until it was quite late. Sunday morning was lazy family time: enjoying some date nut bread I had made the night before, and hanging around the house until lunchtime. After Spencer's nap, he and I headed to the outdoor pool at the Y for the rest of the afternoon. Until now he had been apprehensive of of the wall o' water that cascades off of the rooftop of the main play structure, but yesterday he ventured through it a few times and overall had a blast!

Spencer's words and signs are coming more and more easily. He has been putting two words together for a while, but now we are seeing the beginnings of sentences emerge, such as "Elmo dance on table" and "orange juice in Spencer's purple cup." Of course, when he says 'Spencer' it still comes out sounding like 'Bobin.' We tried working on that yesterday, saying "s-s-s-s-pencer" and as usual he repeated "s-s-s-s-bobin."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

backseat driver

Spencer has been able to identify stop signs for quite a while now. He is only too happy to point out "octogon - stop!" Then he pauses and says and signs "go!" But now he gets the gist of traffic lights too. After sitting at red lights and having him tell us "go!" we had to explain "red stop, green go." So now he sits and stares at the red light. He says and signs "red, stop, wait." And he waits. And when it finally changes, he excitedly exclaims and signs "GREEN GO! GREEN GO!" Good grief. I didn't realize driving to and from school this week would be so exciting.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Spencer remembers!

I was so proud last night at dinner at Spencer's ability to dig into his memory for an answer. Our Sunday afternoon outing took us to the Houston Museum of Natural Science where he got to see butterflies up close for the first time. While he was equally pleased to play in puddles on the paths, he did enjoy seeing the butterflies all around (after getting over his initial fear when they flew right at him!) At dinner I asked Spencer if he had fun at the museum ("mu-see-uhm," he repeated) and to tell daddy what we saw. He sat there and thought for a few seconds and then announced "butterflies!"

It was a great end to a great weekend. Saturday morning we celebrated Nicholas' birthday at Pump It Up. Having never been there before, I was a bit concerned because Spencer doesn't know how to jump! But he had such a wonderful time! I do expect that we'll be returning sometime soon, especially since it is so close to the house! Saturday afternoon and evening I spent back on Rice's campus and it felt great. I was initially taken aback at the nearly six hours of time planned for the Rice MBA spouse/partner orientation, but I enjoyed every minute. It felt good to be in such an intellectual environment again. For at least a second, maybe more like two or three, I wished that I were part of the elite program as a student again. Indeed, I met a few spouses that afternoon who had received their Rice MBA a few years earlier and were now supporting their partners through the process. But, as the spouse of a student in the class of 2006 commented, "we both tought the program is very valuable and right now she is enrolled as the student, but I can still read the cases too, get the benefit of stimulating discussions and don't have to write papers and take tests!" For now that is the attitude I am adopting as well, and I guess Jim and I will see where our priorities lie two years from now.

Pics from the weekend have been added to the August photo album.

Friday, August 12, 2005

joke of the day

Spencer's joke for the day today occurred at breakfast. He was goofing around while eating, and leaned all the way over to one side as far as he could, and then announced "upside down!"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Peee-ewwww!

Spencer's sense of humor is so entertaining! In addition to getting his giggles by trying to scare us, he also tries to think of things that we will find funny. Last night in the tub, he took the foam letter "V" and placed it on his nose, so that one point was on each nostril. He then sat back and declared "PEEE-EWWWWW! STINKY!" and laughed his little head off! What a goof!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Boo!

For a couple of weeks now, Spencer has enjoyed "scaring" us. Sometimes he'll realize that he's a few steps ahead of us going down a hallway, and will duck behind the corner to pop out and say "BOO!" when we get closer. It is very cute and makes him (and us!) laugh and laugh.

He is also excellent at giving kisses. (Finally - it was quite unappealing to have your baby lean in with open mouth and tongue out trying to lick your cheek. This morning after getting him up and out of the crib, we went in to say good morning to daddy. As usual, he insisted on bringing puppy, lion and blanket with him. When I asked Spencer for a kiss, he decided instead to place puppy on my cheeck and say "muuuuah!"

Monday, August 08, 2005

It seems as though I think about blogging every day, but by the time I get around to posting, another whole week has elapsed. Even though we have all been in town for the last nine days (hooray!) we are still on a tag team schedule. I have taught two Baby Signs Parent Workshops since the last post, so Jim and Spencer got quality time then. And Spencer and I have had plenty of quality time with Jim's MBA work - both group study sessions and getting away to allow for some quiet individual study time at home. This weekend we cooled off at the outdoor pool at the Y, and also met up with friends at Splashtown. Last night Jim & I got away for a nice dinner at Fleming's - yum!

Spencer turned 20 months old last week. Geez. His signs and language skills are continuing to explode. He knows almost the entire alphabet (V and Z continue to trip him up) thanks in large part to his daily play with foam letters during bathtime and listening to Here Come the ABCs on the way to and from school. We had started with a few at a time, and were amazed as we 'introduced' more than he already knew them! I don't know how I learned then, but I definitely remember my sister learning letters in kindergarten!

Monday, August 01, 2005

weekend in Houston!

Spencer and I had a happy reunion on Friday evening and I hugged him until he said "all done!" Over the weekend we had lot of quality (and quantity!) time together. With Saturday being a class day for Jim, Spencer and I were together for the entire day. Having finally adjusted to PDT, it still felt quite early to me when Spencer roused his sleepy self at 7:45am. We played around the house together in the morning and hit Wal*Mart before lunchtime. Spencer loves the large sign out front and shouts "W! M! W! M!" After his nap, we had a great afternoon together at the Y outdoor pool, and even ran into a friend from our Mommy & Me gym class from earlier in the summer. Back at the house, he did a great job entertaining himself for a bit to let me cook so the two of us could enjoy a nice dinner of chicken marsala. With just a couple of page turns left in Goodnight Moon, Jim came home in time to kiss him goodnight and cap off a great day. Sunday followed a similar pattern, but it also included Jim, which was very nice. Our mother-son afternoon outing was to the Children's Museum, and Jim met us for dinner at Niko Niko's.

We also caught up on a little tv last night, and I'm still very much in shock over Six Feet Under...