Saturday, June 24, 2006

swimming (again)

This morning I got a chance to go to pilates at the YMCA, and afterwards the three of us spent a few hours together at the outdoor pool. Spencer got to show off his swimming skills for daddy, and in addition to going down "the curly slide," Spencer thought that jumping in from the side of the pool was an absolute blast. We enjoyed using the new camera toy we bought this week too. As you can see, Spencer is quite fearless - and always smiling as he plunges into the water!

And here are other videos 1 & 2 & 3 and several still pictures taken at the pool, both in and out of the water.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

water play

Today, like every Thursday this summer, was water play for Spencer's class at school. Since water play is in the morning, the teachers request that we send the toddlers in their swimsuits to save a little time from having to change a whole classroom of kids in to, then out of, their suits. Spencer LOVES water play, and is acutely aware when Thursday rolls around. Jim, however, after rolling in late from Wednesday night hockey, forgot about this and started to get Spencer dressed in shorts and t-shirt after breakfast. But Spencer quickly corrected things and told him, "Daddy! We don't wear our shirt and shorts today! We wear our swimming suit for water play!" I guess as long as one person in the Leach family is keeping track of things then we're doing ok.

Monday, June 19, 2006

father's day

Last night we went out for dinner at Lupe Tortilla's which we like because a) food is yummy and b) they have a big sand area for the kids to play in. Spencer always says he's excited to play in the sand, but once we arrive he gets a little heistant once he feels the sand in his toes. After several minutes, he finally felt brave enough to wander in and play a little. Jim didn't exactly see what went down after that, but he saw Spencer's lower lip start to quiver and then suddenly Spencer was hysterical. It seems he put himself out there looking for a friend to play with and got rejected. We gave Spencer hugs while his whole body heaved and he sobbed repeatedly, "the little boy said 'no!' the little boy said 'no!'" My heart just ached for Spencer. Tears were flowing down his cheeks and he was so, so upset. We kept on giving hugs and telling him everything was ok, but seeing how devasted he was by this rejection (even if it hadn't been mean-spirited) was so crushing as a parent. My mind fast-forwarded a decade or so to a time when Spencer might face rejection from a girl he liked and wondered how I would be able to comfort him then. Last night he cried for nearly ten minutes over this incident, despite all of our assurances that he was all right. It really upset him to the core. Do kids learn to 'toughen up' or is this just an age-appropriate reaction? I guess rejection sucks at all ages.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

proud momma

Sometimes Spencer makes me so ridiculously proud, even for the little things he accomplishes. We just returned from a few hours at the YMCA pool and Spencer asked, again, if he could ride the "big curly slide." We learned on previous visits that he and I are not allowed to ride down together, but after his bravery at Splashtown last weekend I thought he would be ok to go down solo. Unlike the slide at Splashtown, this one empties into 3 1/2 feet of water so I put him in a life vest, and the YMCA requires any child wearing a life vest to pass a swimming test to prove they are able to swim to the ladder after sliding down. So, we asked the lifeguard to give Spencer the swimming test with his vest: swimming the width of the pool solo in 5' of water! And he did it! He did it! Sure it took quite a few minutes as he swam the best he could, more upright than horizontal, but he kept on going! He was beaming as he reached the other side and collected his bracelet to prove to everyone that he passed the test! I was so proud of my little big guy!

Monday, June 05, 2006

more catch up

In the time since the last post, Spencer and I went back and forth to NY for the long Memorial Day weekend. Some of the highlights from that visit included Animals & Acrobats at Van Cortlandt Manor, the local Chappaqua Memorial Day parade, and spending nearly an hour at the Jacob Burns Film Center just to watch this George Rhoads audio-kinetic sculpture. Here are some pictures from the trip.

This past Saturday was Jim's final class for the semester. After completing finals this week, he'll be able to exhale for about a month before jumping back in for the final year. Rice congratulated their accomplishments with a big end of year bbq for the MBA students. It was a family event, and Spencer had a blast - riding trains, watching a juggler, and eating ice cream on the lawn. I really enjoyed my time there too. Although I only knew about half a dozen people by name, it was easy to strike up convesation. Here are pictures from the Rice picnic.

And yesterday it was painfully clear that little Spencer is growing up fast. We had an absolute blast at Splashtown (stayed for four hours!) and when we were getting ready to go down a big slide together Spencer suddenly started to complain, "No, mommy, no! I don't want to go down together! I want to go down by myself!" I sat there stunned for a second, and asked the life guard if it was ok. He said 'sure' and off went Spencer - alone. He looked impossibly small on the great big twisty slide, but I could see a huge smile on his face from above as he rounded the turns, and when I arrived down after him he was so excited and beamed as he shouted "I did it all by myself momma!" Yes, you did, big guy!