(Very) Short Stories from the Life of Spencer

Chapter 7:  August

I'm feeling devoid of creativity, but August is long gone, and my memories of it are fading fast.  I've got to get it "on paper" before it all evaporates into nothingness.

This month inaugurated quite an obsession with the sofa cushions.  Spencer loves to push them off, get behind them, jump onto them, and construct bridges from them.  When or if there are people sitting on the sofa, he wants to make them move off of it so that he can play with the cushions.  We're working on our sofa manners.

In order to keep up the mystique that has come to be Spencer Vinsant Kelley, his little body seems to always manifest some random skin malady.  Even as I'm typing this from my "Notes on August" today in the middle of September, I'm smiling because he's had 2 or 3 new, random skin abnormalities within the week.

While bringing in the climb and slide castle from the back yard was a great idea to beat the heat, it quickly bored Spencer who embarked on a new and much more exciting quest to dismantle it, piece by piece.  He also enjoyed standing on top of it and rocking it off the ground, back and forth until he could get it to tip over.  After it would fall, he would get up (from having fallen with it) and scream at me to stand it back up so that he could do it all over again.

He also realized he could do something similar with the pack and play that we had lugged out for road trips and lake weekends.  He's proved to me that it will NOT be a safe place to put a baby while I try to go to the bathroom or start the laundry.  I never questioned that he'd make life interesting.  My only question now is, "Just how interesting will it get?"

We had a great vacation at the lake, and Spencer acquired several new, life-changing skills.  The ability to wear a life jacket for more than ten minutes without completely going mad, the ability to ride out on the tube with Mommy, and the ability to hurl himself out of the pack and play.  This skill was further developed the first night home when he climbed out of his crib.  Yes, at 20 months.  I really shouldn't complain, though; he waited 'til he was a few months older than his mommy was when she climbed out of her crib.

All climbing aside, I think his favorite part of vacation was drenching me on the back deck with the water hose.  One morning, he was playing in the hose as usual, and he sprayed me a little.  I must have been feeling particularly "fun" that morning, and I very dramatically said, "Oh no!  I'm all wet!  Oh no, stop!  Stop!"  And he thought that was HILARIOUS.  He just giggled and giggled, and of course, repeated the behavior until I was soaking wet.  Not a dry spot to be found.  The water didn't bother me too much, but I eventually wore myself out with my own dramatics.  Yeah, no smart comments, please.  =)

One night, we tried to go out to eat, which is always a bad idea.  We actually got a comment from an elderly lady NOT swept away by the beauty of Spencer's curls.  I believe her exact words were, "Well, you're loud.

As I re-read the vacation section, I realized that I need to make a delineation.  His favorite activity was probably drenching me with the hose; by far his favorite part of vacation is having all his "people" around him constantly.  And, usually at his service.  He loves his aunts, uncles, Gigi, and Papa; and I blame them all entirely for his whole nap-refusal, climbing out of the pack and play exploits.

I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my friends, and there were balloons, which Spencer loved.  The next morning, when he woke up, he realized that the balloons (which were safely in the living room, far away from where he could be unattended with them) were deflated.  He grabbed them, and tried repeatedly to push them back up into the air where they belonged.  It was funny and sad all at the same time.

Spencer and I took a little road trip to Russellville to see some college / blog friends.  (Meaning, I knew them from college, thus knew they weren't crazies, but we've gotten to be closer friends by reading each others' blogs, etc.--I know, isn't life weird in 2010?)  Anyway, we had an uneventful drive there and back and lots of kidlet craziness while we were there.  Here's a link to Em's cute picture.  It's a pretty good representation of the day--in all ways positive, of course.  We took the kids to the visitor center, which had huge, floor to ceiling aquariums.  Spencer loved seeing the fish, and I loved hearing him try to say "fish" because it's basically a guttural aspiration sort of noise that attempts to mimic the "sh" sound in "fish."  Everyone's little ones were so adorable and so diametrically different.  You know it's true that no two people are alike, but then you observe little kids and it's such a dramatic illustration of that truth.  Again, in a good way.

The night we got home from Russellville, Spencer had a special delivery waiting for him.  I STILL have not formally made a thank-you call (SHAME!), so I don't know the details of this special delivery's origin or history, but suffice it to say that Spencer was thrilled.  So much so that the airplane only comes out of hiding on certain days, because Spencer insists that we ride on it with him.  Don't get me wrong, it's a fabulous toy, but the seat is made for little seat-sitters, if you get my drift.

In all the stories of Spencer's adventurous spirit, I don't want to paint him the wrong way.  This morning (September, but who's counting?), when he woke up, he was crying a little, which is abnormal, so I walked down to his room.  He pulled me into his bed and put his arm around my neck, pushed my cheek against his and hugged me--for about seven minutes.  When speaking about Spencer, I often quote a character on the Veggie Tales "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" DVD:  "[He's] sweet as sugar!"

They weren't kidding when they said little boys love their mommies.  And I'll take it!


Top Ten Lines from the Little Gym Today

"I love his hair."  --Most moms at the class

"He is ridiculously flexible."  --Miss Erin, the teacher who has been doing this for ten years

"He's really good at that."  --A mom of another boy in the class, in reference to Spencer climbing the toddler "rock wall" as well as the other side of the rock wall that is smooth, slick and not intended for climbing

"That's awesome."  --The daddy in the fire department t-shirt in response to Spencer climbing up the slick side of the toddler "rock wall."  His sweet daughter was laying on the mat underneath the rock wall.

"Nah!  Nah!"  --Spencer's response every time it was his turn to do any specified activity with his teacher

"I thought my kid was active.  How do you keep up with him all day?"  --Mom of a little girl in the class, to whom I replied, "I don't know.  Sometimes I don't."

"Don't kick your teacher."  --Me to Spencer when he was running so fast on the mat that he fell and then proceeded to repeatedly kick the person standing next to him, which happened to be his teacher

"More!  More!"  --Spencer in response to a song where I am supposed to bounce him all around and end up flipping him over my head

"How old is he?"  --Many of the moms, to which I politely reply, "Twenty one months," all the while thinking, "Same age as your kid, that's how the class works..."

"Bye Bye Bye Bye"  --Spencer trying to open the door to leave because he's so exhausted--with fifteen minutes of class to go.  He's not great at pacing himself.  I have no idea where he got that.


Nat's Wedding

Was beautiful.  And I realize that I've continually referred to it as her wedding, when it was obviously two peoples' wedding.  Levi was very much a part.

The ceremony itself was reverent, simple, engaging (don't you hate it when weddings are boring?), and spirit-filled.  Jonathan and Lewie Clark, a family friend and Levi's uncle co-officiated the service.

This was EARLY that morning, so early that I don't know what time it was.  Natalie looked gorgeous, and was a very calm, low-maintenance bride (she was also a calm, low-maintenance baby...)  Where do we order those?

The morning was sunny and bright, just like our little Nautilus.  She and Levi both seemed cool as cucumbers the whole time.  Marriage was certainly just a natural progression in their decade-long relationship.  But all of us were glad to watch it all become "official!"

Spencer was not the happy care-free toddler that he can be, but it was early and hot, and we'd left him multiple times during the week leading up to the wedding.  And, he's a toddler.  So, as people ooo-ed and aww-ed at his beautiful hair and adorable suite, he screamed in their face and turned the other way.  Better yet, he would dramatically shrink back from their touch and burst into tears.  It. Was. Awesome.

Thankfully, my in-laws were there to help me in whatever way I needed help.  Unfortunately, Spencer would let no one "help" with him but me.  It made for an interesting morning.  Eventually, it was time to walk down the aisle (he was the younger, pseudo-ring bearer), and he did, holding my hand and sucking his paci--I'd gotten a yellow one to match his tie.  It was sweet.  And time stood still for a few seconds.

The reception was also beautiful, and much cooler than the outdoor July wedding (hot even at 10 am).  Spencer was allowed to "mingle" for a short time before we shipped him off with his grandparents to go home and take a nap.  He fell asleep in the car, woke up in the transition, and refused to nap the rest of the day.  Good times.

Thankfully, back at the ranch, everyone at the reception was having a blast.  And before we knew it, it was all over.  I hate it when celebrations like this are over.  I just want them to go on and on.  True, I was exhausted and aching (due to heels and other garments I don't usually wear), but the atmosphere and the people abated (most of) that.

Then, Levi and Nat were off!  Poor Natalie accidentally left most of her luggage in Little Rock and didn't realize until they'd driven all the way to Florida.  You win some, you lose some.  At least that was a fairly benign one to "lose."  She definitely won on July 31st.  Congratulations, Nat and Levi, we love you two.


When I Dedicate My Life to Something

It doesn't turn out half bad.  That's what I've learned.  However, I have to do it to the exclusion of all else.  I'm telling myself it's a metaphor for my life as a whole right now.  I take care of Spencer to the exclusion of all else, but hopefully he'll turn out not half bad.

Spencer climbed out of his crib last month.  This set into motion a whole chain of events leading us to rearrange our house and our lives again in his honor.  I am in the middle of getting his "big boy room" all set up, but parts of it are so cute I can't help but share.  Even in it's IMPERFECT condition.
From the door.  The dog's bed from the nursery has to be recovered, so he's sad right now.
The built-ins to be reckoned with.  Filling these attractively yet functionally has been my obsession for the week.  Embarrassing?  Yes.  But confession is good for the soul.
I think the "S" needs to be yellow and the frame needs to be brown.  Not sure I have the wherewithal to redo it.
 Cases and decorative pillow from Tuck & Cover.  
This lamp and shade made my week.  Again, I know that's pitiful, but it's true.  It's just perfect in the room.   The dresser it's sitting on has to be painted.  Not sure when that's gonna happen.  Maybe when Spencer turns ten.
Where all the magic happens.  Oh yeah, and his bed's on the floor right now.  The fabulous antique big boy bed was just an ER visit waiting to happen.  We'll try again in a few more months.
Still needs the final touches, but I'm no longer repulsed every time I walk in the room.

I've finally reached the point that I've stopped neglecting the basics of running a household or being a human for that matter.  I even vacuumed today, and you KNOW that doesn't make the room look any cuter.  So, it looks like I've pulled through my single-mindedness with no casualties (other than my family's nutrition and cleanliness).  There's plenty of time for all of that nonsense now that his room has a clear direction.  Now maybe I can fall asleep at night.