Wednesday, December 28, 2005

blogging from vegas

We're here in sin city, without Spencer! But we can't stop talking about how much he might enjoy the sights of the city and what he might say upon seeing them, "that's a blue fountain!" "that's a giant excavator!" "that's a big lady, be careful!" And unlike me, Spencer is someone who could certainly eat his money's worth at these buffets! We are a bit surprised by the number of folks who did take their little (little!) ones are pushing strollers up and down the strip and inside the casinos. While the break from Spencer and absence of a schedule is nice, it definitely feels weird. Especially for someone like me who is used to living by the clock and managing schedules at work and at home.

One celebrity sighting so far: the Rev. Al Sharpton inside Dior at Wynn.

Spencer has definitely gotten into the swing of things at home with Hanukkah underway. He has been staring at a pile of presents, assuming all of them were for him, since the beginning of the month. He's a pro at ripping paper now too! He loves trying to spin the dreidels, and spotting all of the menorahs around the house. We look forward to rejoining him toward the end of the holiday to finish it up together!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

'PENCER!!!

Although we are pleased that Spencer no longer calls himself "Bobbin," the pronunciation still sounds more like "'encer." His young friends Landon and Brian are able to say "Spencer" quite well, and so can other classmates at school. Today when I picked him up, they were all playing outside. When I stepped through the door, I saw Spencer playing on the far side of the playground, but the little girl right nearby looked at me and hollered down to him "PENCER!!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

'tis the season...

...for packages! I'm working at home today, and our doorbell has rung three times in the last hour. First Fedex, then UPS, and just now USPS came to drop off packages. Thanks in advance to all of the kind folks who sent gifts our way! Although most are addressed to Spencer, there is at least one box here which says "Leach Family!"

I have a little dreidel

Last year, Ellen gave Spencer a plush stuffed dreidel and within the last couple of months, he has learned the four letters on it. He even can identify those four letters when he sees them in other places too. He has played with it throughout the year, but this week we have started to get ready for Hanukkah, and dreidels are now everywhere! We have been singing the dreidel song, and Spencer knows it too! It is so darn cute to listen to him sing!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

smoking at school?

Yesterday I was completely grossed out and annoyed when I picked up Spencer from school. The parking lot has incredibly tight spaces, and, when possible, I try to make sure I'm parked next to an empty one on the passenger side to make it easier to get him in and out of the car. I was lucky enough to find such a parking spot, but when I returned outside after picking him up, I was a bit bummed to see a big SUV had filled that space. As I got closer, I realized that the adjacent SUV was actually full of adults, and both the driver and the backseat passenger had their windows down and cigarettes hanging out - less than a foot from our car! I paused, and sized up the situation realizing that even if I made a fuss about moving their cigarettes so we wouldn't get burned, it would still be quite unpleasant as it takes careful maneuvering to get Spencer into his car seat when the door can not be fully opened. So, I was left with the option of crawling through the back seat from the driver's side with Spencer. It was well worth the minor inconvenience to avoid that toxic nastiness. As we drove away, I couldn't help but think about the poor kid(s) who would have to ride home in that vehicle.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

nap time

It's nap time on Saturday, and right now Spencer seems to be doing everything but napping. I can hear him in his bedroom occassionally jumping in his crib, or singing happy birthday, or asking his stuffed animals questions. I have even heard him announce, "it's nap time, time to sleep." But so far, it is not quiet yet.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

gyro night?

In a million years I never would have thought it possible to make gyros at home. And as much as we enjoy them, we just don't get down to Niko Niko's that often these days. (Maybe more so during the winter when we start returning to the Children's Museum on a regular basis.) But I am a devout fan of Alton Brown's show Good Eats on Food Network. And when browsing around the archive of his shows and recipes, I stumbled across his recipe for gyros, that can be made in the oven, along with home made tzatziki sauce. I just had to try this out; if it was at all possible to have them at home I needed to know! The verdict? They were very good! Even Spencer gave them big thumbs up, although he did initially think we were eating tacos. This dinner is not quite as quick to throw together as taco night, but I know that we'll be having gyro night again soon!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

home sweet home

I like our house. Sometimes I wander around thinking it is too small, but at the end of the day, it really works well for everything we need. Last night the layout was ideal to enjoy social time with friends and collectively wrap dozens and dozens of holiday gifts. Spencer's eyes grew wide this morning when he saw them piled high and said, "presents!"

Speaking of houses, now is the time for making gingerbread ones. I've watched the ultra-impressive competitions featured on Food Network, but I was equally floored when I saw the houses that Bari created with her friends and family! I'm anxious to get her gingerbread recipe so we can make some here too! They are so inspiring! Not sure Spencer will really get the idea this year, but I'm sure it will be fun!

Monday, December 12, 2005

getting bigger every day

Well, things are noticeably different at home now that Spencer has turned two. The high chair has been giving its final cleaning and has been put away. (OK, that's not quite true, it hasn't actually been put away yet, but it is out of the kitchen.) Spencer really enjoys his new booster, and so far seems to be a bit less physical at meal time because he doesn't want to fall out!

At his two year check up, they confirmed he is growing quite well - having moved from 80th to 90th percentile in weight. (I knew my arms have been feeling sore!) After he asked if Spencer knew and used 20 words, the developmental milestone checklist ended a bit abruptly when Spencer pointed and said "that's a stethoscope!"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Big day!

Monday started off with a laugh as I entered Spencer's room in the morning and found him standing up in his crib just wearing a diaper. He apparently had unzipped his footed fleecey sleeper and it was down around his ankles! We laughed about it together, and then started getting ready for another big day: Spencer's first day in a new classroom at school with two year-olds! There was a note attached to his daily report last night that said Spencer had a super first day! He only cried for about a minute, and was (again) featured in line time as he was introduced to the other kids in the class, and overall had a great day! That made us feel great! Our little guy is growing up!!

I had hoped to finish the day with a laugh too, and was bummed that "How I Met Your Mother" was a repeat.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Happy Birthday Spencer!

Two years ago this evening Spencer joined our lives, and we can hardly recall how things were before he was here with us! The celebrations began at school on Friday with their traditional globe ceremony. It was such a great feeling as a mom to see Spencer be the focus of attention during line time, and also to watch him help the earth move around the sun two times. The teachers decorated the tables with birthday messages, and he had a wonderful birthday crown to wear too!

This morning, after Spencer opened some presents from mom, grandma, and cousins, and after he put away a tremendous portion of challah french toast, he and Jim went to the party store to pick up balloons for the big day. And Spencer was very specific about which ones he wanted: a sparkly purple star, and big football, and a green one with lots of 2's on it! Interesting assortment, but it made Spencer happy! The fun continued into the afternoon at his party - something he's been talking about all week! A group of his friends joined him in celebrating, and Spencer's face lit up as each one entered the room! When the candles were glowing and everyone sang "happy birthday," Spencer knew that it was for him, and he was so, so happy. I know this party is something he'll definitely be talking about for a long time! And in case he forgets, the birthday photo album can certainly job his memory.

Happy Birthday Spencer! Your mommy and daddy love you so much!!