Sunday, October 30, 2005

closing out october

We continued our search for all things autumn this weekend. Today we went to Dewberry Farms and had a blast seeing the animals and going down the slide and wandering around the corn maze and seeing pumpkins growing on the vine. Spencer was a little confused when he tried to walk away with some gourds and discovered they were still attached to the ground!

Here are some more photos from our wonderful Saturday at a friends' neighborhood Halloween carnival, and the sandbox that Jim built on Saturday afternoon and today's outing to Dewberry Farms.

Fingers crossed that the rain holds off until after all trick or treating is over tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

education never ends

They say you get to learn things all over again through the eyes of your children. When Spencer was tiny and exploring his world we delighted watching him discover his own hand. First one, then about a week later the other. But now that he's a walking talking machine, even he has graduated beyond hands (his favorite body parts to talk about these days are armpits and elbows.) From a momma's point of view, it is required to learn about what is of interest to your children. And while I am more than up to speed on anatomy, I realized over the last few weeks that I don't know as much as I thought I did about large trucks. I guess if I had stopped to think about it I would have realized obvious differences, but it was never important to me. Until now. Because Spencer really likes trucks, and there is no shortage of construction equipment in Houston. As we drive to and from school each day, we have the opportunity to identify cranes, excavators, mini excavators, and front loaders. I mistakenly called his Little People front loader a bulldozer a few weeks ago and that label has stuck. Now when I try to correct Spencer, he thinks I'm just playing a game and insists that he's holding a bulldozer. Sigh.

Monday, October 24, 2005

family outing

Well, after a long weekend in NY, and Jim spending four of our first five days back down at Rice, we finally had time to spend Sunday together. We enjoyed the awesome weather at the Oil Ranch which was surprisingly completely uncrowded. Spencer is still talking about how he got to "ride the pony!" and "milk the cow!" And somehow we ended up bringing home another pumpkin to bring the total in our house up to seven. I guess that means we're carving this weekend! We took a lot of pics yesterday that are in a new album.

I not even embarrassed to admit that I really enjoy the new show How I Met Your Mother. Every week it makes me laugh out loud. Maybe it's because some of the actors are familiar and it is so incongruous to see Doogie Howser tell crude jokes. At least tonight provided some comic relief on tv after the Astros let us down over the weekend.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Spencer's twin?

This is a class week for Jim, which means that Spencer and I are on our own all day Friday and all day Saturday. Yesterday Spencer and I enjoyed the annual Fall Festival at his school, and they did it up right with tons of fun activites and even a petting zoo! In the end I was glad that Spencer wore his Elvis costume again this year (I am still not quite sure how it did indeed zip up!) because it was such a huge hit. His teacher even put him in it at 9:00am and paraded him around to show others! And at the festival he made so many other parents stop and smile, which made me happy too.

Today we checked out another pumpkin patch (sticking with my goal to visit one every free day in October!) And I did indeed bring my camera this time. The weather was spectacular - low 80's and not a cloud in the sky. We were right near Hooks Airport so Spencer was delighted to see so many small planes coming in for landing so close overhead. While we were sitting and resting and having a snack in the shade of a giant bale of hay, a woman approached and asked if Spencer went to xyz school. I said yes, and she continued "He is my son's twin! One day I went to pick up my son and they handed your son to me and even took a few steps out of the classroom before I realized that he wasn't my kid!" She kept saying that was exactly how her boy looked at that age (he's almost exactly one year older than Spencer) so it was kind of weird to see the two of them together and think that perhaps this is how Spencer will look in another year. You can see for youself in the pictures from today's visit to the pumpkin patch.

Unfortunately, my camera battery died when we arrived at Monique's house afterwards. Which was too bad, because Spencer had such a blast there playing with her dogs, riding a bike (with help!) petting their rescue horses, playing on big swings and slides in their spacious backyard. It was really good to catch up with Mo, we used to see each other regularly at spinning class, but I haven't gone in months. They were Spencer's very first visitors at the hospital after he was born, and got to see him when he was only about three hours old! It was a very special visit indeed.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

maxxed out

I think I am truly stretched right now with demands for work (HP & Baby Signs,) home, and Spencer at the limit on all fronts. Ack. One of the exciting changes on the home front is our new car! An opportunity presented itself over the weekend to sell our old car and it was too good to pass up. And coincidentally we noticed this morning that our next door neighbors got a new vehicle as well. Spencer's school is busy, and tomorrow is their big annual festival. I spent quite a while sewing (and ripping stiches and re-sewing) part of a costume, but in the end I think we're going to squeeze him into Elvis tomorrow so I can take more time to prepare this year's costume for next weekend.

Even though we had no empty seat on the return flight from NY, Spencer did pretty well. Just one more trip to visit Tracy in Atlanta next month and then we'll be buying Spencer a ticket and will be guaranteed a place for him to sit. I'm anxious for Spencer to get to enjoy hanging out with real life "big puppies" (his nickname for his giant stuffed animal at home) and also see Tracy's grand fishtanks as well.

More immediately, we'll continue visiting pumpkin patches here in Houston for the weekend. And one final class at the Y, which he loves. There are at least four different things I wish I could do tonight (lecture at temple, lecture at Rice, homeowners meeting, dinner with Mark) but I think I will be stuck at home. Sigh.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

October in NY

This time of year up here is awesome, as always. Although a three hour weather delay started the flight off on a less than ideal note, Spencer took it all in stride. And we were rewarded yesterday with brilliant blue skies and the sun shining brightly for the first time in over a week. Spencer and I met up with pop for a big family festival at Teatown which was a hit. He got to see animals and pumpkins and took a hayride. There was an awesome display of raptors (eagles, hawks, falcons) and we were able to get very close! Here are some great pics from the day, including an impromptu visit to a large pumpkin patch nearby. You can certainly see the difference in the size of the pumpkins grown locally up here versus the ones that are sold in Texas.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oprah Rules

Last Tuesday night I watched a recorded episode of Oprah and saw stories about highly disturbing child predators. As a victim of child molestation herself, she has taken to highlight this disgusting trend of offenses against children. She showed numerous wanted photos from the FBI and offered a personal reward for any info leading to an arrest. And right now I'm watching this afternoon's recorded episode and feel so good to learn that TWO people were captured by the FBI within 48 hours of that show airing. And Oprah is continuing to push legislation through in the states to change penalties to make sure convicted predators are never allowed to walk freely again. Go Oprah! I just can not imagine what these parents of victims experience. It's incredible; the tremendous feeling of protectiveness that develops when you know you have a child to protect. Today's show helped make me feel a bit better knowing that people like Oprah are aggresively trying to make our country a safer place for our children.

Monday, October 10, 2005

pumpkins

Spencer is in love with pumpkins. He thinks they are simply awesome - and how luck he is that this month they are everywhere. I bought a couple at the store last week, one large and one small, and he talks about them every 10 minutes. He enjoys carrying the "baby pumpkin" around, even though he occassionally drops it and proclaims "hurt toe!" but that doesn't stop him from trying to pick up the big one too. After repeated attempts he simply says "too heavy" and brings the smaller one back so the "two pumpkins" can be "next to" each other. Yesterday we went to the Pumpkin Fest and Spencer was simply in heaven. He might have been equally happy at a simple pumpkin patch, but this setup had him grinning all afternoon. The highlights were "painting pumpkins," getting to "play in hay" and righting all of the larger pumpkins that had fallen on their side to make sure the "pumpkin bottom" was down and the "pumpkin top" was up. Unfortunately, we arrived without a camera, but a few other pics from the weekend added to the October album, including pictures of his painted pumpkins. (Which now bring the total in our house to five!)

Rock on Astros!

Friday, October 07, 2005

busy week!

Man, I want to exhale now that this week is behind us, but with it being a class weekend for Jim, I've got Spencer solo for today and tomorrow. Tuesday we all went to temple for the holidays, Wednesday was *finally* the return of HNL and yesterday was our anniversay. Poor Spencer has spent the last 48 hours drugged up on Benadryl to keep him from scratching open the dozens of bites on his arms and legs. So far, so good. Added help with the temps dropping 30 degrees since yesterday and now he's wearing long sleeves and jeans to school today.

I bought a couple of pumpkins last weekend and Spencer LOVES having them around the house. Some of the costume ideas that have been brewing mught have to be put aside in favor of a pumpkin, as Spencer can't get enough these days. We'll have to see.

Spencer is so darn funny these days and makes us laugh all of the time now. A few of his favorite games includes 'hiding' toys, for himself. He'll throw something over the couch, and then walk around shrugging his shoulders asking "where did it go??" Or he also likes to take the cover off of the back of tv remotes and ask "what happened??" This morning it was super-windy and the wine chimes outside our front door were clanging around. Spencer stood in the middle of the room and declared "I hear ding-dong!" I was also able to put his busy self to work this morning as he helped me load up the washing machine and annouce everything as he put each item in: "daddy's sock! Spencer's shirt!"

I'm sure as he gets older we'll have more things to laugh about, like this story which cracked me up!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

must see tv

I have to confess, I am pretty excited that new episodes and new shows have returned to primetime. Two new ones that I have started watching (and like very much) are "How I Met Your Mother" and "Commander in Chief." They are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. And although I could probably find better use of my evening time when Jim is doing homework than watching more tv, these are pretty good distractions!

bug bites

Poor Spencer got eaten up by mosquitoes pretty badly yesterday. So far, he hasn't been scratching too much (thank goodness) but we sent him to school with Benadryl just in case. Of course, this happens the day before class pictures. They are mostly on his arms and legs, so hopefully they won't show up on the photos.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

October?!?

I can't believe October is here already, but even more incredible is that when I flipped the page on the calendar I discovered that this month is already jam-packed. I was thankful for having so many activities lined up this weekend which freed up my brain from having to plan. Jim was in class, needing to make up the 20 hours missed last weekend due to the hurricane. And Spencer and I were out and about - from gym class at the Y, to a backyard BBQ, to a birthday party, and capping it off spending this evening with friends.

And I forgot to publicly say congrats to Heath & Kim & Chloe who welcomed baby brother Cade on Thursday! I was able to greet the litte guy and hold him before he was even 24 hours old. I can't believe how much I have already forgotten about taking care of babies; it seems so distant from where we are now with Spencer.

Pictures from October are here.