Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where are all the pictures?

I hosted a baby shower for Megan in Tucson over the weekend. I know she already had Hadley, but the plan was always to have the shower after the baby was born. It was a brunch shower at my mom and dad's house on Sunday morning. I had my camera out and was going to take pictures, but I got too busy with the food and making sure everything was running smoothly. When Megan posts the pictures on facebook I'll copy them and show you some.

Last night was the first time since May that it wasn't too hot to take Spencer to the park. We still had to wait until after the sun set, so the plastic wouldn't melt his skin. I forgot to bring the camera. The park at our old house was 3 houses away. The park at our new house is 10 houses away. I think we'll be spending a lot of time there for the next 6-7 months, until it's once again too hot to leave the house for anywhere but the frozen food aisle. There will be plenty more chances for photos. I've seriously been thinking about moving out of state. Somewhere not so hot. Where should we go? Doesn't Montana just sound nice? Of course we'd have to contend with not playing outside because of ice and snow for 5 months out of the year. But you can always add more clothes, right? Once you're naked, you're naked. You can't take anything else off to cool down. I hate hot.

I can share these pictures so this post isn't so visually boring. Last week Michael was washing dishes and I was folding laundry and putting it up. Spencer was doing a fabulous job playing by himself. This is a relatively new phenomenon. Up until recently we have always had to be right there or Spencer just wouldn't play. He'd whine and follow us around. He was playing with his train set. I'd poke my head in and check on him as I walked around putting stuff in various closets and cabinets. Then I walked out to the kitchen. Then Michael and I noticed that it was quiet. Too quiet. Too quiet means that Spencer is being naughty and doesn't want to get caught. Smart boy.

We found him in the closet smearing my Bath and Body Works Pearberry lotion all over his legs, stomach and the carpet. At least it was a nice smelling mess. I did not gag and throw up as I cleaned him up this time, unlike the prior Poop Incident of '09 mess.

On a very happy and spectacular note, my fall break begins on Thursday at 12:30. I get 2 WEEKS off! How fabulous is that. Since I don't ever work on Friday, that means I get 17 days of glorious no working freedom. During that time we're going to go to Tucson, the Phoenix Children's museum, have a few playdates, go to Flagstaff and go to the Pumpkin and Chili Party. I feel like a 7 year old on Christmas Eve!

Friday, September 25, 2009

FlashbackS Friday

When Michael and I first got married we lived in a little 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in Tempe. I think it was 650 square feet. When we moved to Colorado, so I could attend graduate school, we moved into a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. It was over 1,000 square feet. It was definitely my favorite apartment of the three we lived in. There was a huge walk in closet in the entry hallway (yes, it had a real entry hallway!), 2 closets in the master bedroom and almost floor to ceiling cabinets dividing the dining room from the kitchen. The cabinets are those white doors below. They opened from both sides. There were such amazing storage options in that place. The apartment had a huge patio off the kitchen and the complex had a game room and indoor pool. We even had our own fireplace. I think our rent was around $700 a month, with all utilities included. And this wasn't that long ago. We lived there in 2002 and 2003.

This was early September 2003 when I decorated for fall

It must have been really early September (like, the 1st) because those photos appear in my album before my 24th birthday pictures on the 5th. We went to Ft. Collins and ate at Red Robin. The next day we drove up to Cheyenne, Wy. Cheyenne was only 45 minutes away, but we only went that one time. My school schedule (and no money!) kept us from doing as much traveling as I wish we had.
This is why it was appropriate to decorate for fall in September. This was October 30th. Not even Halloween and it was already winter.
I can't remember now if it was 2002 or 2003 that I fell on the ice walking to class and was mortified. Both years there was a big snow storm right at Halloween.

These were some of my little Halloween decorations, placed in a timly fashion in October. Seeing this picture really pisses me off. There I said it. It PISSES me off. When we moved back to Arizona our storage unit was burglarized and some real JERKS stole a bunch of my decorations. Those cute little Halloween characters on the little shelf were part of their loot. #1) Who steals some, but not all, of the decorations in a storage unit? What? Were they all not good enough for you? #2) For that matter, who steals decorations at all? They're cheap and mostly from Target. Go buy your own for the low price of $3.99. #3) I actually filed a police report. Those bastards stole close to $500 worth of stuff. At least 2-3 things from every holiday. Sadly, nothing was ever recovered.

I started snoring during my second year of grad school. I had never snored before. I went to an ENT. He told me my tonsils had grown to the size of tractor trailers in my throat. Tonsils are graded by numbers. 0 would be normal. 3 would be "getting pretty big". 4+ is usually regarded as the largest tonsil ever. Mine were 5+. They actually crossed midline. The ENT recommended immediate removal. Aparrently my tonsils had been infected for years, without me ever once having strep throat. Who knew such a thing could happen? This is a few days after the surgery in mid-October. Let me make a suggestion to my readers- Never have your tonsils taken out as an adult. It just sucks.
One last story. Up until we bought our house we had been using my childhood dresser for Michael. It looked like a kid's dresser. I got the idea that we should strip it an repaint it. This is a before (right) and after (left) shot.

We decided to do this project inside of the apartment because it was cold and windy on the patio. I gave Michael this big, long lecture about being careful and not dripping paint and not carrying the brushes over the carpet. We laid down all the drip cloths and I reminded him again that paint safety was of the utmost importance. Then, 30 seconds into the project, I kicked over the FULL bucket of ruby red paint onto the pale green carpet. We used 2 bottles of carpet cleaner and about 6 rolls of paper towels to do the initial clean-up. Then we rented one of those carpet steamers/shampooers that we ran over the paint spill about 48 times.. We actually got it to the point where it looked like carpet in a high traffic area. When we moved out we got our entire deposit back. Our landlords even made a note about how clean we left the place. I'm sure, though, that they eventually pulled up that carpet and it looked like a murder scene.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Slippers

Spencer had these really cute bear slippers last winter. I had to drive him, still wearing pajamas, to the baby-sitters at about 7:30 in the morning. He refused to wear footy pajamas and socks lasted 10 seconds before he would rip them off. Even in Phoenix, 7:30 am is chilly in the winter, so I thought that maybe bear slippers would be a little more appealing to keep his feet warm. This picture was the first time he wore them. It was October and still like 98 degrees outside.

Spencer found those slippers when we were moving. He was really, really disappointed that his feet no longer fit so we bought him a new pair for this year. They didn't have bears so we got alligators. There is a little bell in them, so Spencer jingles and jangles while he walks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The pumpkin frame

When we lived in Colorado I started decorating for fall in September. September was "general fall", October was Halloween and November was Thanksgiving. In northern Colorado it is not unheard of to wear a sweatshirt during the day in September. It was not at all unusual to put pumpkins and scarecrows and candy corn out in the 9th month.

Here in the Phoenix area it's still well into the 100's in September. I cannot, in good conscience, put my fall stuff out in September. However, Maryellen gave me this great pumpkin frame for my birthday. It seemed silly to put it out in the garage with the other fall stuff for just a few weeks and then bring it back out on October 1st. So I put it on a table a little early. Can you see it over there in the corner?

I put a picture of Spencer from Halloween last year in it. I hope to get a new picture at the Pumpkin and Chili Party to put in it this year.

Thanks again, Maryellen.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Opinions. Strong Opinions.

One of the things that I was very, very wrong about before I became a mother is that all babies just kind of go with the flow and don't really care about what goes on around them. This may be true about some babies, but it was not the case with my baby. Spencer has had strong ideas and opinions about life and the world around him since the day he was born. I remember watching him toss his head around and grunt and cry while laying in the bassinet in the hospital room the DAY he was born. He wouldn't quiet down until I picked him up. Somehow, at 4 hours old, he knew the difference between "being held" and "not being held" and he very, very, incredibly much preferred being held.

These are some of Spencer's opinions and beliefs about life from when he was younger. They were absolutely unbreakable truths in his mind.

1) Don't let other people hold me. I know it's not you, mom and dad, and I don't like it. These very well may be lovely people, but until they give me back to you I'll be forced to wail. Loudly.

You are a really slow learner aren't you mom?I don't care that I am related to them. I don't want ANYONE but my parents to hold me. For 9 months. #2) I don't do well around crowds. Even small crowds. That other baby may be sleeping and this kid may be smiling, but I need you to take me (right now!) into the laundry room, the closet or the bathroom, close the door and stand in a dark, quiet room with me. I am VERY easily overwhelmed. You will pay for this social gathering for the next 4 days. That's how long it will take for me to recover from the sensory overload you have inflicted on me.#3) This little co-sleeper that you got as a gift is a big waste of money. I will never sleep in it. It's stupid. This is better. Get used to it. We'll be sleeping like this for 10 months. If we don't, I just won't sleep. I'm totally prepared to stay awake for 6, 12, 22 hours. Whatever I need to do to prove my point. #4) This crib? No. Not until I'm 18 months old will we even broach the subject of sleeping in here. I really don't care that you just spent 2 hours and 45 minutes trying to get me to sleep. The second you put me down, even if you do it really gently and keep your hand on me, I'm going to wake up and cry for another 2 hours. #5) Do you think I can't tell that this bouncy chair is not your arms. Pick me up. Immediately.

#6) I absolutely refuse to ride in the snugli until I'm old enough to face out. If you put me in there I will scream so loud you will be afraid the neighbors will call CPS.
#7) The car seat? More like the devil seat. I will scream, at the top of my lungs, each and every time you put me in that thing even if we are going for a 2 hour drive to Tucson. Don't like it. Don't have to. Especially don't like it at night. Yes, I'm 2 months old, but I can tell the difference between day and night. And at night, I'm gonna scream even louder.

#8) Don't dress me in weird clothes. Because I have no problem with crying through the entire Christmas eve mass and then the entire Christmas dinner even after you take me out of this outfit.
Seriously. Spencer has been opinionated since Day 1. He is the child for which "pick your battles" is the theme, the rule and the saving grace.

These are some of Spencer's new, more recent opinions:

#1) If I take a bath, I will drip dry afterwards. If I take a shower I want to be dried off with a towel. A towel with a hood. And only dad can do it. After the bath only dad can put my eczema creams on but only mom can dress me.

#2) I don't like the outfits you pick any more. I will dress myself daily from now on, thank you very much.

#3) I will continue eating with my rubber baby spoons, but forks need to be from the adult set. I will refuse to eat, even my favorite foods, unless you abide by this.

#4) No more sitting in the grocery cart. I know I did it and did it well for well over a year. I've changed my mind now. You can carry me or I'll help push.

#5) I'm not sitting in the booster seat anymore. I'm just not. No explanation needed.
I'm dubious about this big boy "not a booster" that mom and dad built for me out of wood, quilt batting and extra fabric. I may reject it. I may not. It's anybody's guess.

When Spencer was 3 months old and I was seconds away from a nervous breakdown/needing to go on anti-anxiety medication I found a bunch of information on Dr. Sears' website about high needs babies. One thing was a list of 12 characteristics that distinguish a high needs baby from other, lower needs babies. Spencer had all 12 characteristics. All 12. It was like reading a list written about him. I have been told, by multiple people, and in reading multiple books that really difficult babies/toddlers grow up to be really bright and engaging kids/teens/adults.
God I hope so.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday night

Michael and I went out for a date night last night. Spencer stayed home with his grandparents (Michael's parents). This is right before we left.

We went to Postino Winecafé. I didn't take this picture- it's from their website. For all of you in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend this place. Good menu, cool environment, nice people. We went to the Arcadia location. We'll be going back.While we were gone, Spencer built this robot with his grandparents.
As we found out on Friday, Spencer is 34 and 1/4 inches tall. That's one tall robot.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Should I be really pissed at my curious 2-year-old for doing this? Or should I sigh really loudly, take pictures, clean it up, put him down for a nap and then blog about it? I think you can figure out that I just recently sighed really loudly. And that Spencer is now sleeping.

He didn't just take the make-up out of the organizer. He actually knocked the entire thing off the bathroom countertop. It made a loud crash. He said uh-oh. I get to buy new blush now. Totally unrelated, but amusing never the less. Apparently Ginger is made out of 90% beagle and 10% day-glo.
She looks simultaneoulsy evil and cuddly. Spencer had his 2-year check-up this morning. He's 27 pounds 1 ounce and 34 1/4 inches. He only gained 1 pound 1 ounce since he was 18 months but he did add 2 inches. He got his 4th and last haemophilus influenzae type b shot. I think he trusts me about 60% less since I was face to face with him while they thrust that needle in his leg. Childhood is so hard!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Kitchen

I realized tonight that I have not posted pictures of the kitchen yet. I've been waiting for the countertop to be totally cleared off before taking pictures. It never stays like that for more than an hour (OK, to be honest, it never stays like that for more than 30 seconds) so I'd never take pictures if that was my criteria. Anyway, this is the kitchen.

If this pot shelf had a guard rail and a ladder we could use it as extra living space. That's how big it is. I could seriously fit a couch up there.

We also rearranged some furniture since the last time I posted pictures. We moved the couch so that it acts as a divider between the family room and kitchen and put the chairs where the couch was. I like it much better.
The cursing of the food has begun. This is what it looks like most days.
Poor Ginger has a tumor. A purple, bumpy, clustery tumor. Oh wait. It's just some plastic grapes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2-year-old pictures

We went to Sears Portrait Studio on Saturday and had Spencer's picture taken for his 2nd birthday. I couldn't narrow the pictures down to my favorite one or two, so I'm sharing all twelve. But first, look at the startling difference between last year and this year. Our photographer said that all the numbers are the exact same height. The difference is the height of the baby!

Last year we spent most of the session chasing Spencer down and taking him back to the little x where he was supposed to be sitting. We got there on Saturday and Spencer walked right over to the background, sat down and posed. I'm surprised we don't have any with his fist resting under his chin. That's how good he was. Amazing.