Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Big.... 2.

On Thursday, my darling, first-born baby boy turned two.

I know it's been quite a long time since I have updated Spencer's blog.   If you are my Facebook friend, you more than likely are bombarded with all sorts of Spencer (and Collin, his new little brother, born September 1) statuses and stories, so while I feel a little bad about neglecting his blog, I take solace in that fact.  It's been a hectic few months, introducing the new baby into our family, moving, and all sorts of other things.

Spencer is now 36 inches tall and 30-ish pounds.   He can count to ten, and partially to twenty, all by himself.  He can recite the entire alphabet by himself.  He can point out and name both numbers and letters when he sees them.  He knows red, orange, yellow, chartreuse, green, aqua, blue, purple, pink, black, gray, white and brown.   He knows circle, flower, star, heart, square, triangle, rectangle, moon, and oval.   He knows a ton of animals and their sounds.  He is learning words like crazy.   He's full of hugs and kisses, climbing and exploring, and of course, mischief.  He's an amazing boy that I am grateful for, every single day.   Yes, sometimes, I will admit, he drives me a little batty, but you'll have that.  

With that brief update, I will leave you with a few videos, taken on his birthday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spencer's first visit to the "big zoo."

Sioux Falls has a pretty... decent zoo, for the most part.  They're undergoing renovations again this year which will make it a little more awesome, I think.  Spencer has been there at least three times... possibly five or six.  I cannot remember exactly.  He enjoyed it when we went, for the most part, but he was a bit younger then and didn't really understand animals or have that much interest in them at the time.  Also, sometimes the animals in the zoo in Sioux Falls seem hard to see.   That's my opinion, anyway.  They have a pretty good variety, but it's not nearly as awesome a zoo as the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE.

Ever since Spencer started showing interest in fish (which he calls "wish!" very excitedly), I have had it in my heart and mind to take him to the zoo in Omaha, because they have a wonderful aquarium with an underwater tunnel.  I just always thought he would love it.

Spencer's fantastic daddy made it possible for the three of us to take a day trip to Omaha this past Sunday to visit the zoo.  While the temperatures climbed to over 100° that day, we left early enough to be able to spend a good five or more hours wandering the zoo.  We, by no means, saw it all, but it was our plan to attempt to see all of the animals out of one of Spencer's favorite books, "Where's Spot?" as well as the aquarium.

We accomplished that much, plus a few animals he hadn't heard of yet and a few others he had from different books he has.  He is 20.5 months old now and he knows quite a few animal names and noises, which made the adventure even more exciting, I think.  We definitely got to put his knowledge to the test!  He did so well!  And was so excited!

We first visited the desert dome.  We decided to start there while the temperature outside was only in the 80s and so it wasn't going to bake us. Spencer really liked the foxes, the jack rabbits, porcupines, and a few other animals that I can't remember.  He got really excited with the rabbits, and an elderly lady next to us just loved watching him squeak at them.   After, we went to the... night.... area... where the animals that love the dark are.  Spencer honestly loved watching the bats in the bat cave flying around overhead.  He would say "flap flap" as they flew.  He also got very excited about the snakes and frogs and made their noises for quite some time.   Then, we visited the swamp lands, and he got to see turtles and alligators, both in his book.

Then, I think, we went and saw the gorillas and monkeys.  Spencer was enjoying the monkeys from inside the pavilion area, where we were about three stories above ground, until we pointed out a monkey on the ground for him to look at, and we think he was afraid he was going to fall down there (because the glass was clear), and he started to get a little freaked out.  He enjoyed it again when we were on the main level with various other primates and the big gorillas.  I got to stare a gorilla in the face with only glass between us.  It was pretty intense.  He made a lot of monkey noises the entire time.

I think we then went through the aviary, but there weren't many birds hanging out.  We saw a few and a deer of some sort.

We stopped for a rest and snack, where there were little wild birds waiting for Spencer to drop his goldfish crackers.  He liked them.  Haha.  Then we saw the bears!  He really enjoyed watching the polar bear swim from atop daddy's shoulders.  He enjoyed the grizzly and sunbear, too, but I think the polar seemed to be his favorite.  He growled for the bears.

Then we went to the cat pavilion area.  Spencer watched the big tiger pace for a while, and roared.   He saw a few lions, panthers, jaguars, and a leopard, too.  

The last stop (I think) that we made was the aquarium, because it was getting to be to the point where Spencer was getting potentially whiny and needing to sleep (we woke him at 6 and he only slept 20 minutes out of the entire 3 hour drive to the zoo).   It was the part, as I said, I was most anticipating for him.  When we walked inside, I got the video camera out, and Jake put him down to run free.  He ran excitedly toward the first tank inside which had a bunch of fish (I don't remember what they were), yelling "wish! wish! wish!" the entire time.  He kept pointing and squeaking and running and LOVED it.  Here's the video: 

We took him to penguin area next.  He watched from right up against the glass for a bit, with daddy, until a penguin zipped by him in the water and made him jump. I didn't get to see it, but Jake and various other spectators did, and commented on it quite a bit.  He warmed up to watching them shortly after, and was mesmerized by their swimming.

Then, we took him to the underwater tunnel.  He sat atop daddy's shoulders again, fascinated with fish swimming overhead.  After a bit, we set him down right at the glass, and he watched more "wish" swimming, until a sting ray swam by his face and made him cry.   Then he wanted to be held, so I held him, and we watched sharks and others swim by us.  It was wonderful!

The final thing that we took time to see (other than a few other types of ocean fish) were the jellyfish.  Spencer was mesmerized by these as well.  The orange ones (again, I forget what they're called) were his favorite.  We stood right up against the glass and watched them swim in front of us.  He kept reaching out to the glass to "touch" them and saying "wow!"

By the time we got out of the aquarium, he was basically asleep.  :)

Because we didn't see it all (we missed out on many safari animals (like elephants, zebra, giraffe, rhinoceros) and rain forest type animals (macaws and such)), we decided that sometime, probably next spring when Spencer's brother or sister is a little older, we would go back and see more.

It was definitely worth the trip, I think.  We didn't have our camera with, but had our video camera, cell phones, and my sisters point and shoot, so we did get a few photos and videos to share with Spencer when he's older.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Small Town Vacation

Last week, on Monday, Jake (aka Daddy) took Spencer and I (Nicole, aka Mommy) back to my hometown, where we planned to stay the week.

Jake has a new job (if you don't know about it, feel free to read up on the change in my own blog), and is gone four days/three nights a week.  He's been working in my hometown area for a few weeks, so I thought maybe it would be an easy enough thing for him to just drop us off there while he was working, so we could have a change of scenery for a while.

I was a little nervous about Spencer adjusting to being there, sleeping at my mom's and not his room for four nights (we stayed until mid-day Friday), but overall, it was a wonderful trip.

Monday:  On Monday, we arrived around noon.  We were dropped off at Papa Web's house, where we waited for Auntie Sam to wake up from her nap and join us.  Uncle Bryan came also that evening, and brought bubbles! Yay!  After they were done with work, Uncle Dustin/Groovy and Grandma Anita came by.  Eventually, Auntie Allie came for a while, too.  We had a good afternoon/evening mostly playing with balls in the yard, as well as bubbles.  Wendell spent the night (and the rest of them) with Papa.

Tuesday:  On Tuesday, Sam and I went to the high school and visited Frau (my former teacher and now friend) and talked about the school yearbook.  Papa took Spencer to play at the park, and to see some of Papa's friends.

Wednesday:  Wednesday was a fun day, in which Papa took Auntie Sam, Spencer, and I to Sanborn (SJ fell asleep on the way), and we visited my grandparents' grave.  Afterward, Papa decided we should road trip to the nearest Wal-Mart (about half an hour from where we were) and get Spencer a pool!  So, we did.  Papa bought him a pool and a squishy ball, and I got him a big blue ball to play with, too.  And some PediaSure since he was against eating while we were on vacation.  After, we went to Dairy Queen, and then the local park where they have some animals at the "zoo."  Spencer LOVED the ducks.   He would run up to them super excited like and yell "QUACK QUACK!" before running away, and back again, and away again, and back again... When we got back to Papa's house, he blew up the pool and "filled" with with a few inches of water.  Spencer got right in and played for quite a long time.  He didn't want to leave that night, but rather just keep swimming.

Thursday:  Early Thursday morning, Grandma and Auntie Allie took Spencer to the strawberry farm (about forty minutes or so away) to pick berries while I got to catch up on some sleep (because Spencer was staying up late and getting up very early on vacation).  He didn't so much help pick berries, I hear, but had a good time anyway.  After he got bored, Allie took him to pretend to drive Grandma's truck.  They came back mid-morning with a bunch of berries.  I tried to get Spencer to taste one... and he really didn't want to, but he liked to touch and look at them!  Then, Grandma and Allie went to Grandma's job so she could show him off and meet her co-workers.  He had a great time, I was told, splashing in puddles, running through rows of flowers (she works at a nursery), and climbing on rocks.  When they got back, it was nap time, and then back to Papa's for more swimming!  Spencer had a BLAST swimming on Thursday, especially since he discovered he could splash people by throwing balls into the water.  His favorite was to splash Grandma.  I have a cute video to share!

Friday:  Daddy came to Grandma's on Thursday night, so when Spencer woke up Friday morning, he was very excited to see him.  Grandma was at work, so after lounging around and relaxing a few hours, we headed back over to Papa's house to play in the pool one more time before driving home, and also to get Wendell.  By the time we left town, Spencer was super exhausted, and had fallen asleep on my lap in a matter of seconds after sitting down on it.  He didn't even wake up when Daddy put him in the van!

It was a great trip.  To be honest, I'm kind of sad we're back at home!  Spencer had a great time, as did I. I hope we can do it again sometime!

In other news, his fourth bottom tooth is FINALLY coming in, many months after the other three. I was beginning to wonder if it would at all!
Friday, June 1, 2012

He's already 19 (months old)!

Today, Spencer turns 19 months-old.  My slacking blogging skills mean that it's been a month since I last wrote about our little guy!  Yikes!

We've been keeping busy.  Spencer is on the go pretty much the entire time he is awake nowadays.  He's been doing "cute" toddler things, like lying on his tummy to play cars, and saying 'vroom vroom' as he drives them across the floor.

He's also been doing not-so-cute toddler things, like throwing a fit if he doesn't want to do something, like come in the house after he's been re-routed from entering the street four times in a row.

He's been doing funny and mischievous toddler things, too, of course.  Recently, he discovered he could re-position the rolling computer chair and climb in it so he can reach things off the table.  He also discovered he can take the computer keyboard off the desk and type.  He's been found using Google as well as trying to print things from my email.  Good thing we don't have a printer, I guess.

Overall, though, it's been a good month.

Jake started his new job, and Spencer and I went through a period of sleep-training where I would let him cry-it-out in his crib until he finally went to bed on his own.  The past two nights in a row, he cried a little on the way to his crib, where he went willingly, because I won't give him his milk in a cup until he gets there.  And as soon as I laid him down and gave him his cup, there wasn't another sound.  He just drank his cup, plopped it out on the floor, and went easily to sleep.  I was so proud.

He has been learning more animal sounds, too.  He has a See-and-Say that he got from Nana Mindy and Travis for Christmas that's been aiding in that, though he sometimes seems a little freaked out by it.  He also has been practicing them with a few books that have animal pictures.  It's been interesting, because even animals that don't really have distinct noises have to have some sort of noise or he won't turn the page.  So, we make them up from time to time.  So far, he's knowing goat, owl, horse, cow, duck, dog, cat, bee, bear, lion, snake, and a couple more that I can't remember.... monkey... and something else.

One of his new favorite past-times, I think, is watching Hot Air Balloons launch.  His uncle Jesse and honorary aunt Samantha help crew hot air balloons for her family that owns them, and invited us to watch two weekends in a row.  The first time we were pretty close to the action, but when the fire started, he got scared.  The second time we were about 100 yards away or so (I'm bad with distance, so just guessing) and he stood, silently, happily, and mesmerized for about 15 minutes while the balloons were inflated and took off.  It wasn't until he couldn't see them in the skyline anymore that he first moved.  It was SO cute.

Last weekend, he got his hair cut for the fifth time.  This time, my aunt opted to try the clippers.  He did NOT like them at all.  So, she switched to the scissors for the main part and then trimmed up again with clippers, and then the scissors once more.  He looks like he's three now, I think!  But goodness, he's handsome!

Next week, he and I are going to stay at my mom's house and visit my mom, dad, and siblings for four days while Jake works his new job in my hometown area.  I'm really excited.  I hope he does fairly well sleeping, I am a little nervous since it'll be not at home, but I think it'll be okay.  And then, in two weeks, my sisters are both coming to stay.  Yay!

The pools opened in town now, too, so I bet we're going to start swimming quite a bit, as soon as it gets hot again.  It's been pretty chilly this week.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One and a Half!

I woke up this morning in complete disbelief. It's already May 1st!  That means...

Spencer is 1 and a HALF.  Officially.  He's closer to 2 than he is to 1! What?!  No way!

Yes way, he is.  Haha.  And, he's starting to definitely act like it, in my opinion.

What do I mean?

Well, he's into everything, for starters.  He crawls only to be silly, and to stick his butt up in the air and look through his legs, like a downward dog yoga pose.  He RUNS.  He doesn't walk often, he's on the run.

He's a total daredevil and likes to climb on the back of the couch, and try to stand there.  Or stand on tables.  Or walk across picnic tables. He also tries to scoot off the highest places on playground equipment, so I have to make sure to always be close by.

He asks "what's that?" frequently.  And of course, it's almost always about things he can identify himself, his daddy, the dog, windows, doors, balls, lights, balloons, etc.

He went through a period of refusing to eat... ANYTHING, for the most part.  Fortunately, the past few days, he's eaten at least one decent meal a day, if not two!  And he usually eats at least something for breakfast!  Thank goodness! I was getting really worried.

He loves balls.  He has really good aim while throwing.  He can nail you in the face if he wants (which is really frustrating) and throw a ball almost across the whole room.  He loves to play basketball, too.

Bubbles.  BUBBLES!  They're his favorite.  And, lately, he's been wanting to be really independent and blow them himself, especially if I'm holding the wand.  So, he's been given two empty bubble containers, and he carries them around the house saying "bubble" and pretending to blow them, daily.  Often.

He can say a lot of words now, too!  Since the last time I posted, I think he's added "bubbles," "please," "juice," "Judah" (he has two friends named Judah), "Izzy," (another friend), "again," "Elmo," "Blue's Clues," "Larry" (from Veggie Tales), and a few more that I can't think of.  Hmm... what are they?

He also knows some animals noises!  In fact, if I call him a monkey, he squeaks like a monkey. Haha.  He also knows dog, cat, lion, snake, fish (glub glub), and duck noises.

He's starting to get a little stubborn attitude.  Oh, who am I kidding, he's had one all along, but he's more persistent now.  Naps are a pain, and usually pretty short.    And, unfortunately, as he displayed last night at the dog park, if he doesn't get his way, he can throw a fit.  It was actually a little funny last night, because it wasn't even really crying, just rubbing his eyes like he was crying, while walking away from me, facing slightly backward toward me so I could see that he was upset that I wouldn't let him play in a big muddy mess.

I feel like I could and should say more, but I hear someone climbing in and out of the dog kennel, and that's just icky.

Gosh, I love him!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mister Mischief.

Spencer is definitely entering toddler-hood. Not that we didn't know that already, but lately, it's seeming more and more evident that he's not so much a baby.

I say this because, lately, he's been getting into a lot more mischief.

No, I wouldn't say he's a naughty boy. He's curious. He's inquisitive. He's exploring. And he's learning boundaries. It's pretty normal for a child his age.

Here are some examples of his current mischievous acts:
  • On Saturday of this last weekend, Spencer was sitting in his high chair, finishing up his lunch, while I was standing in front of him, starting to work on our lunch dishes. I had my back to him. I periodically was checking on him to see if he was finished, and sometime in between the check-ins, he did finish, and decide that it was time to get out of his high chair. The picture to the left is how I found him. Scared the heck out of me!
  • Also on Saturday, he was flushing the toilet, just for fun, while the naughty dog had stuck his head under the toilet seat (ugh) and was trying to drink from it.
  • On Monday (yesterday), while I was going to the bathroom, he went into his bedroom and pulled the strand of Christmas lights we use for nightlights off the window (they had been falling down... or he had been pulling them down, not sure) and into the hallway. He then pushed the bathroom door open to show me.
  • On Monday, a little bit later, I was in the bathroom again, and I came to the kitchen to find that he had emptied 3 desk drawers onto the kitchen floor. There were file folders, pens, envelopes, and highlighters all over. He did not want me to clean it up.
  • And, this morning, I am not sure what I was doing, but I came into the kitchen to get us both some juice, and I found that he had used a blue crayon and gave the fridge door a little makeover.
And yet... I just love him to bits. That's a good thing, right?

On a side note: He learned to say "There you go!" which sounds more like "Tay-go," and he spent much of yesterday handing me... anything he could find, and saying that to me. It's his new favorite game, it seems.
Saturday, February 11, 2012

15 Months!

Spencer is already 10 days past 15 months old! Wow!

He had his well-baby check this past Wednesday. His daddy took him, because I had to work.

He weighs 24.8 pounds, and is 32.25 inches tall! He's definitely getting taller, but also slimming down some. Most likely due to all the running and dancing he does lately!

Unfortunately, while they were there, it was discovered he has RSV. He seems to be doing okay with it, though it's been kind of a rocky week. I think, well, judging by today anyway, it is finally maybe starting to go away. We can hope!

Starting yesterday evening, Spencer and I are now staying home together, full-time, until it is no longer possible for us to do so. I am very excited! I'm looking forward to being able to focus more intently on his needs and his learning. Some things I hope will become more noticeable is his ability, attention, and desire to help clean up toys, to say please, and you're welcome. I would like him to work on using his eating utensils, and hard-topped sippy cups.

As a treat for him on this new journey, I purchased a car ramp and a few matchbox cars for him yesterday. He loves them, and has been playing with them for the better part of the day today!

Let's see.. what else. Spencer has molars! Three of them are in the process of breaking through. I can see them, but they're not all the way in yet. Not sure where the fourth one is hiding (well, I know, but it's not making it's way quite yet). We've been fortunate that the molars haven't affected his mood too much.

He can say "Happy Birthday!" Too. We taught him that on January 23, for his auntie Sam's birthday.

He says "What's that?" probably 100 times a day now, and I've been working hard to clearly identify what he's pointing at and give it a proper label. He seems to really like lights and windows. He also likes to say "no way," and what sounds to be "uh-oh-dear."

And, lastly, he LOVES walking around outside. I don't think I could get him to happily stay in a stroller anymore. We go on walks around the block, with Wendell, when it's nice enough out. He walks the entire way. Sometimes we'll walk for an hour. He had been trying to use driveways and corners as an access point to the street, but after many times turning him a different direction, and saying "turn around," he's pretty much got it figured out, I think.
That's all for now. Time to read a book it seems!