Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tuesday Freebies

Yesterday after picking up Spencer from school we dropped off some knives at Sur La Table for their free sharpening promotion, and then went across the street for free ice cream day at Ben & Jerry's. Not a bad deal! The two of us shared some coconut almond chocolate chip. Mmmm. Spencer accidentally dropped a spoonful on the floor because he didn't want to put so much cold in his mouth! But we both thought it was quite a delicious treat.

Driving home down 1960 afterwards, an ambulance passed us with lights and sirens going off and Spencer asked "where is the ambulance going momma?" and I told him that it was going to an accident. He immediately responded "it is going to clean up the ice cream!"

Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday wrap up

Now that half of the candidates from The Apprentice have been fired, I'll go on record saying that I like Allie and Roxanne to be around for the end.

We had our parent-teacher conference at Spencer's school this morning. And while it was wonderful to see his progress documented on paper, what hit us the most was being told that Spencer's days in diapers are numbered. Ack.

Tune in next Monday night for Apprentice and Spencer follow ups.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Swim season is here

It's already getting to be pretty hot and sticky here in Houston. Today Spencer and I cooled off by meeting up with some friends at a splash park. The kids had an absolute blast - Spencer told me excitedly at least 50 times "I got wet all over the place momma!" But while the park is in a generally nice area of town, there were far too many unsupervised children that appeared to either have been dropped off or walked over from the nearby apartments. While it wasn't 'threatening' to have seven year old girls hover around for snacks, it was 'unsettling' to have them following us around. But Spencer could not have been more pleased about the whole afternoon - pics are uploaded here.

Friday, April 21, 2006

world geography

Spencer has always enjoyed staring at the giant world map on the wall every evening while getting into PJs. But now that he's getting older we (geeky parents that we are) add in some timely geography lessons. When he was captivated watching the Olypmics (namely curling!) we showed him where Italy was and now he too states the obvious "it looks like a boot!" And when the Peter, Paul & Mommy CD was in the truck for a few weeks in a row and he was learning "Puff the Magic Dragon" we showed him where to find Hanalei. But, I think the recent international trips for Jim and me really helped bring it all home in his mind. In March he learned to identify India while I was there, and all this week he has been telling me and showing me on the map that "daddy is in Amsterdam!" As cute as that is, I can't wait until this weekend to hear him exclaim "daddy came back from Amsterdam!"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Family Movie Time

Well, we tried again, and again confirmed that Spencer is still not quite old enough to enjoy going to the movies. We went to see The Wild, but Spencer needed a break walking around in the middle, and also needed to relocate to a new seat at another point towards the end. He still talks about the "tree falling down and the lion got a boo boo." And he really enjoyed when I dropped him off at school this morning and told him to have a "Really Nice Day."

This is the fifth of our five weeks juggling Spencer and travel. He has been bouncing around with a single parent for most of this time. With any luck, after next weekend all three of us will be in Houston together for at least a month, and within a few more weeks Jim will be on a short summer break and we will be able to kick back and relax.

And Jim and I also got to sneak in a visit with Katie to visit 12 day old Henry. He was sleeping sweetly the whole time we were there and just seeing all of the 'baby gear' around brought back memories...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

NY visit

Spencer and I are in NY for Passover. So far, it has been quite a trip. His most impressive new vocabulary word is "forsythia" - and gets to practice often as they are omnipresent with spring right around the corner.

It's funny how trips to NY can make me feel so comfortable and out of place at the same time. I can't help but feel frumpy at the park, as I see all of the other mommies in their oh-so-hip casual wear, and the kiddos in pint-sized Merrills. But, I also felt like I fit in knowing my Spencer was one of at least three tots there who had that name. Or at Big Truck Day on Tuesday (how cool is that we were here for this awesome event!) where my POS Graco stroller stood out like a sore thumb amidst a sea of Maclarens and Combis and Peg Peregos. Yesterday I went into the city (without Spencer) for a hair appointment Devachan which is known for curly hair. Instantly I felt at home. After doing some shopping at H&M in Soho (which I was secretly hoping to squeeze in on this trip after seeing that store as a favorite on What Not to Wear) I felt great walking around Manhattan. Really, really great. The city is so energizing, and despite having made recent comparisons when I was in India, the flow of the street traffic for cars and pedestrians was quite orderly. But then had to admit that I was indeed out of my element as I had to place a call to find out where to head to pick up the correct subway line (because I was confident I could make it around with no map.) Karl and I ate lunch outside at Le Zie and again it felt like this was an every day event to grab a bite. At the end of the journey, when I got back to Chappaqua, I realized it had taken all day to simply get a haircut and have lunch, plus $25 for transportation.

Holiday-wise, this trip has been great. We celebrated two wonderful seders with fabulous food and friends and family. And Spencer was a huge hit each night asking (part of) the four questions in Hebrew. He was such a show off with a captive audience!

Here is a photo album with pictures from NY.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Healthy Kids Day & Bluebonnets

Saturday was the second annual "Healthy Kids Day & Bluebonnets" outing for Spencer and me. The weather could not have been any better at the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day. Spencer had a BLAST swinging golf clubs, throwing baseballs, throwing footballs, dribbling soccer balls, coloring kites and puzzles, checking out a fire truck and science tricks. After a glorious morning, we headed out to Brenham to take pictures and stop at Bluebell for some ice cream. Horrible traffic 20 miles from our destination forced us to turn around and discover a wonderful new field slightly closer to Houston. Spencer was not at all cooperative taking pictures (more or less refuse to sit down) so I'm glad we didn't spend the extra time/gas to continue our journey to Brenham. There are a few really nice shots of Spencer in the pictures from our wonderful day.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Henry is here

After a valiant effort, Katie delivered Henry via c-section on 04/05/06 (cool b-day!) The big guy weighed in at 9 pounds and 12 ounces! Oof. Get some rest momma - you earned it!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reverse Psychology

Every time we enter into this battle of wits with Spencer, my mind always flashes to Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd arguing about 'wabbit season.' Like any two year-old, Spencer can be amazingly stubborn. But it (almost) never fails that when we can't get him to yield by asking politely, we can take the opposite stance and he immediately delivers what we want. For example, yesterday, no amount of coaxing could convince Spencer to eat the potatoes on his plate. But when we said "Spencer doesn't know how to eat potatoes" he instantly shouted "YES! YES! YES! Spencer knows how to eat potatoes!!!" and then stabbed a piece with his fork and shoved it in his mouth, as Jim and I grinned across the table at each other.

It is great to have our little family all together in the same city after several weeks apart (and after this we will be spilt again until late April.) On Saturday Spencer and I checked out the Houston Children's Festival which was amazing. We primarily went to see Rachel from Signing Time and I don't think it could have gone any better! Spencer was called up on stage to sign and sing along to a few songs he knew, and I got to talk with Rachel afterwards and was pleased to hear that she had nothing but good things to say about the Baby Signs Program. Spencer also saw his first juggling act ever and was completely mesmerized. He has been practicing juggling at home every day (video will follow soon.) Just wait until he gets to to see his cousin Michael again! Sunday was family time together picking strawberries up at King's Orchard. It took Spencer a little bit of practice to not shove his thumb into them, but he was a champ by the end and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Here are pics from our great weekend.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

home in Houston, looking back

It's good to be home. At breakfast, Spencer paused while eating and said, "mommy came back from India!" That's right, baby.

The travel was rough, to say the least. Flying home took just shy of 24 hours - 16 hours from Delhi to Newark, almost 4 hours laying over, and almost four more hours on a plane back to Houston. Not to mention the incredible amount of domestic travel we did while we were there, an additional four flights in seven days. Ouch. I think we added up that we spent about the same number of hours in meetings as we did in planes.

A few thoughts on the journey:
- Simply driving around the cities was such an experience. Transportation and traffic in India is governed by a completely different set of standards that can only be experienced first-hand. I had heard all of the stories from co-workers about cows in the road, and anything with wheels is fair game, but until you feel what it is like to be a part of it, the description doesn't make sense.
- Some of the hotels there were the most fabulous ones I have ever seen in my life. Absolutely stunning. I had no idea that level of opulence would be found on the trip.
- Dining was its own experience. I kept an open mind and tried many new dishes - some I did enjoy, others not so much. I was laughed at once by my co-workers when I thought one of the side dishes on a flight was too spicy, only to learn that was supposed to be the 'refreshing element' of the meal!

As my boss joked, I did quite poor with jetlag management. I'm still not fully adjusted, but am glad daylight savings time has arrived this weekend, because I am tired!

Although it is long as we visited many cities, the India photo album is updated with pictures from our final days in Delhi added at the end.