Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the blue tube

The blue tube is what Jim was handed during the Rice commencement ceremony in early May, and the actual diploma was only ready about a week ago.

This past spring, Spencer became more tuned in to the fact that Jim was spending long days finishing up his MBA program. As graduation approached, we talked up the fact that Jim was almost done and wouldn't have to go to Rice University all the time any longer. Spencer asked quietly from the back seat "and then he'll be home more?" "Yes," I told him. And he cautiously asked "will you still be here too, mommy?" "Yes, baby, we're all going to be together." And he smiled big and looked out the window.

After Jim's last class, we explained to Spencer that daddy was going to go back two more times "so they could tell him 'Good Job!'" And Spencer took pride in the presence of the blue tube that appeared at the end of the day.

This Monday, a large envelope arrived from the business school with a class photo of everyone dressed in cap and gown. Spencer took one look at it and asked "is that from when you went to get the blue tube?" Our jaws dropped. He had seen the graduation gown hanging in the closet, but never even seen it worn. How he knew to tie those symbols together was a bit of a mystery.

And last night made me frown in sadness. Jim left for hockey after tucking Spencer in bed. But about 20 minutes later, Spencer was upset about something and when I told him daddy was out he cried "I thought that daddy didn't have to leave any more now that he got his blue tube!!" :( I guess that made much more of an impression on him than we realized...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

another swim day?

I think we should have accepted the fact that Sunday was supposed to be the only swim day this month for Spencer and me. Yesterday on the ride home from school he asked if we could go swimming, so today I sprinted home from work and packed up our swim bag before picking him up. I started to get a bad feeling watching the outside temp from the car display start to tick down 90-89-88-87 during the time it took to get to the Y. While we got changed in the locker room, the temps kept falling and the sun disapppeared. It was windy as we stepped into the pool, and a mere three minutes later we heard the lifeguard's long whistle telling everyone to get out. Spencer was so sad and ran over to Jim who had just arrived to relay the disappointing news. We changed gears and went out for a family dinner. But I wonder when, or if, we'll get to go swimming again this summer...

Monday, July 23, 2007


It has been well over a month since Spencer and I have gone swimming due to the ridiculous amount of rain in Houston during June and July. So when temps hit 90 and the sun peeked out a little yesterday afternoon, we quickly put on our swimsuits and dashed off the the YMCA. It even rained during our short drive there, but was sunny again when we arrived. It felt great just to relax and enjoy the water and the sunshine. We played together in the deeper water, and I watched him entertain himself in the shallower kiddie area - where I needed to keep reminding him to pull his swimsuit back up after standing under the waterfall! He went on the slides, and I asked as we waited on line if he wanted me to go down first so I would be there when he got down. He turned around and said "Well, here's the thing. I'm in front of you in line, so that means I go before you do." Duh, mommy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 4th

Luckily, the morning rain didn't prevent Spencer from having a blast swimming with friends in the afternoon. He helped decorate some chocolate haystack firework cookies to bring to the party. They were tasty & festive. It was the first year Spencer was old enough to stay up until dark to watch fireworks, and he was impressed and amazed.

I thought of a few more recent conversations with Spencer that made me laugh out load.

The set up: driving to school one morning Spencer asked "where are the dust fans on that truck?" I kept repeating "dust fans?" to make sure I heard correctly. "Yes," he insisted "dust fans." I was completely at a loss, until he continued, "you know, so that they don't get other cars dirty." And then the lightbulb went on for me. "Ohhh, Spencer, you mean 'mud flaps?'"

The set up: For now anyhow, Spencer loves helping out out trash days. Full cans are a bit heavy, but he insists on bringing the empty ones back to the garage in the afternoon. One morning, the can was already at the curb and I sent him down with a small bag containing his overnight pull-up. As he opened the lid to toss it in he announced "trash sure is smelly!"

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"Did you hear what Spencer said?"

The set up: Jim and Spencer were playing in the living room with an inflatable ball. Jim sent the ball over his head, and Spencer explained that was not the correct way to pass it to him. He exclaimed, "No, no, no, no, NEGATIVE!"

The set up: at the end of a fairly typical weekday, we were all having dinner together and Spencer was running his mouth non-stop. It was humorous as he told stories and probed for answers (why? what does that mean? is tomorrow splash day?) Suddenly, he stopped and announced "I'm sure asking a lot of questions!"

The set up: Spencer opened a door a across his sandal foot and did a little damage to his big toe. He told Jim, "I lost some skin on my toe. Can you help me find it? I think I left it in Galveston."

This weekend I took Spencer to Moody Garden to give Jim some dedicated time to do demo and construction in the guest room. We had a blast with friends at their man-made beach and water areas. Here are some pics of Moody Gardens.