Snippets of Spencer at 3.5

I asked him if he wanted to sign Jonathan's father's day card, and he took the pen and pretended to write with it.  While he pretended to write, he said, "Spencer Vinsant Kelley."  Precious.

Spencer spent the night at my mom's house, and he stayed in "his" bed for quite a while after he woke up that morning.  My mom and dad sat in the living room and listened to him talking to himself.  My mom said at one point, as clear as day, he said, "Oh my LORD" (with a medium-heavy southern accent, making "Lord" two syllables).  His pastor's wife mother publicly apologizes.

Every time Evelyn does something he doesn't want her to do, whether it's dangerous to her or not, he says, "No Evie, you could get hurt!"

After watching "Martha Speaks" one afternoon, Spencer turned to me and said, "I'm the only one without a talking dog!"

We are dog-stting for a few months while my sister finds a house in Nashville.  Spencer is loving it.  Saturday, he had to come inside and get dressed to go to a birthday party, Jonathan said, Spencer was sympathetically telling Dakota that she couldn't go to the birthday party and that she had to stay here.

We had a fish fry and concert at church Sunday night.  Spencer still loves music, so I thought he would really enjoy it, and I was right.  What surprised me was how much he enjoyed dancing to the music.  At one point, I stood up with Evelyn, to try to keep her happy.  Spencer immediately said, "Mommy!  You have to dance with me!"  He's misconstrued my placating bouncing of Evie as dancing, and he was convinced I was doing it with the wrong person.  This led to holding his hand while we "danced" Evelyn around the gym.  When we made our way back to our seats, he hadn't gotten enough.  I handed Evelyn to Jonathan, and Spencer and I went on to "ballroom dance" for quite some time.  It was really sweet, and I tried to hard to be "in the moment," so that someday I will actually remember getting to dance with him that night (as opposed to just reading about it and being sad I have no memory of it).

Today, on the way to the lake, Jonathan got a text message.  Spencer heard it, and said, "What's in that email?"

Spencer has had multiple helping-in-the-kitchen successes as of late.  I started thinking about doing things like this with him when he was two.  At 3.5 it is doable and enjoyable.  These are oatmeal muffins (which he did not like), he has also helped his Gigi make playdogh, pancakes, and sausage and egg breakfast casserole.  Even more entertaining was the day he helped me slice up a whole watermelon.  I convinced him to try one of the "small" pieces of watermelon (a perfect cube that was small so it didn't feel too "wet").  He liked it (he ate it all the time when he was younger).  He thanked me profusely and told me over and over again that he liked the "small pieces of watermelon."  "Thank you, Mommy!"


The Little Gym

Spencer's Thoughts on Baby Ruby

Natalie came over to our house a few weeks ago (about a week before her 20 week ultrasound).

We asked Spencer some questions about "the baby," and while I know I've already forgotten a few of his hilarious comments, following are the comments I remember.

Do you remember there's a baby in Aunt Natalie's tummy?
Spencer:  No.  Yes!  When can it come out and play?  I want it to come out now.  And I will hold her!

His eyes were sparkling as he said he would hold "her" and he made the most precious expression while making a hand motion to show us how he'd hold a little baby, then he looked up at us and cocked his head to the side.

I guess we all looked so endeared that he thought he'd convinced us to get the baby to him now.  Once he realized we were truly not able to "deliver," he insisted:  Now! Now! Now! Now!

(We then attempted to change the direction of the conversation)

Do you think the baby is a boy or a girl?
Spencer:  I don't know.

He then went on to refer to the baby as a girl throughout the rest of the conversation, including insisting that the baby is "a Ruby!"  So, we wrote him down in the pink column.

Never one to be easily "redirected," Spencer quickly started back in again with:  I want to hold her now!
We answered:  She is very little right now.  She has to grow while she's in Natalie's tummy.  She'll grow bigger and bigger and bigger until she's ready to come out.  She'll come out this fall.  When it's close to Thanksgiving--turkey time.  And there are pumpkins in the fall.  She'll come when there are pumpkins and turkeys.

Spencer:  But I want her to come out NOW!
Me:  Well, she's in Natalie's tummy.
Spencer:  We have to open up her tummy and get her out.
(We firmly asserted that this was not an option.)

Spencer:  Ruby's going to be grumpy!
Me:  She's going to be grumpy?
S:  I think so!
We all burst into laughter.

A week later, I was working on decorations for the gender reveal party.  Spencer asked what I was doing, and I told him I was making a wreath for the party for Natalie's baby.  To this, he replied, "For Ruby!  You makin' a wreath for Ruby!  I want to help you!"  We had not talked about "Ruby" since the conversation above, at least a week earlier.

I tried to explain that the baby wouldn't be named Ruby if it was a boy, and that we didn't know yet if it was a boy or a girl.  He wouldn't back down.  He's loved the name "Ruby" for months.

Nine Months of Evelyn...

...have treated us quite well--especially Spencer.  I just noticed a few days ago that we'd been having such a great week.  I realized that he seems back to his little pre-Mommy's-pregnancy self.  I missed him so!  He's feeling safe, secure, and heard again; and he is really starting to enjoy Evelyn.  It's been so fun for me to watch.  As soon as she started pulling up, he started picking her up (and attempting to carry her).  I'm disappointed to say that I'm fairly confident he's dropped her a few times as well (when I wasn't there to disallow the 3 year old carrying the 8 month old).

It hasn't slowed her down nor decreased her intensity or zest for life.  She is all. over. the. place.  In one month's time she has started "for real" crawling, sitting without any surprising tips or falls, and pulling up everywhere, all the time.  She falls, and she tries again.  Yesterday she let go of the sofa and turned to face the living room all in one fluid movement.  She just stood there for a second, then someone caught her before she fell.  That girl is going to try to walk!  Spencer asks where she is, he asks to hold her, he says he has to play with his "wittle sister Evie," and he LOVES to get into the bath tub while we're bathing her.  Getting to watch them enjoy each other is easily worth a month of nausea and vomiting.

We sent Spencer to his room the other night, and he was crying and carrying on; and Evelyn crawled down the hall and sat by his door.  She looked really confused and concerned.  She reminded us of a puppy.  She thinks he hung the moon (that makes two of us).  He's not interested in sharing his toys, and Jonathan and I figured out yesterday that each of us had been requiring him to share quite differently.  Jonathan was making him share with Evie if she had a toy that he was not playing with.  End of story.  I, on the other hand, told him that if he wanted his toy that Evie had found and was playing with, he needed to go get her one of her own toys, and then he could nicely trade out his for hers.  Spencer had not been strictly adhering to either policy, however, he preferred his own grabbing-while-saying-"mine" alternative.  It does have a certain ring to it.

Evelyn loves to play in Spencer's room.  She will crawl in there even when it's pitch black, find some of his toys, and play so contentedly.  That'd be great if she wasn't simultaneously trying to pull up on everything or pull the veneer off of his bedroom door--no splinters so far.

Evelyn slept through the night five times this month.  Four of them were in succession.  I know getting a baby to sleep through the night should not be the goal of their upbringing, but let's face the facts.  It's so nice when everyone in the house sleeps all night.  Someday that will happen here.  It's a dream worth having.

Evelyn loves to eat "real" food--avocado is still a favorite.  She gets furious if we are eating something we won't give her.  She fights us tooth and nail to hold the spoon the entire time we try to feed her.  She wants to do it all by herself.  She is also in full out bottle refusal (brings back lots of memories).  She is just so busy.  And taking her to her room, sitting down in her rocking chair, lights dimmed just makes her angry.

Evelyn has had lots of opportunities to play with friends and family this month, and she's loved it.  She loves people and kids.  She has stayed with her Nana and G-Dad as well as her Papa and Gigi, and she's done great for all of them.  She and her daddy do GREAT together--sometimes I'm fairly certain she prefers him to me; but she has been going through a bit of a "Mommy" stage this month.

She survived another road trip this month, and did slightly better in the car this time around, although she certainly didn't love it.  She also slept slightly better in the "congo" (as Spencer so fondly called the condo).  She loves the bath, and she loves the pool.  She's squirmy, but she still likes to steal a little cuddle every now and then.

We saw the dermatologist this month who told us to stop the steroid cream.  Thank goodness.  He said it would get worse before it gets better (which it did), but that it should get better eventually (which it is!).  Thank goodness.  He told me she's atopic (which we knew), and that she'll have stuff like this until she hits puberty and then she'll have acne.  Ha.  I'm choosing not to worry about adolescence quite yet.  One stage at a time, please.

Hairbows, sadly, are seeming to become a thing of the past.  She does not seem to care for them--at least not for having them on her headband on her head.  I can't say that I blame her.  But, all of you online onlookers know that we've had a good run.  =)  I was quite the bow-hater myself, so it'll be interesting to uncover her preferences and opinions.  Her brother will still wear whatever I get out of his drawer, no questions asked, although occasionally, he'll complain if he thinks something is too big or too small.  I wonder when she'll start telling me she doesn't like what I've picked out for her to wear?

Evelyn Rose, you still have grayish green/brown eyes and light brown hair.  You still have a little tuft of newborn hair on the top of your head that curls up in the humidity.  The rest of your hair has come in lighter brown, straight, and so soft all over your sweet little head.  You have just about outgrown your 0-3 month shoes, but your 3-6 and 6-12 month ones are still really big.  Your are a perfect, precious little size.  At your 9 month well-visit, you weighed 17 lbs. 8 oz. (26th percentile), were 27 in. long (31st percentile), and had a head circumference of 17.5 in. (65th percentile).  Your growth curve plateaued a little bit, but you are in the 50th percentile for height for weight, so Dr. Martin was not concerned.  She said sometimes average or big babies slow down by 9-12 months and start on a growth curve that is more where they will stay from then on.  She said it will be interesting to see what your twelve month stats are.

You can pick up finger foods really well.  You like to clap and peekaboo.  You say, "dadadada," and you like to blow raspberries conversationally!  You make noises and laugh at strangers until they look up from what they're doing to see your sweet little smile.  You sometimes wave "hi" and "bye," and your Nana is sure you're saying "Yea!"  (I think she's probably right).  You have one tooth, and I think you have more working their way in.  You take one or two naps a day and wake up at least once a night--the only time of day you ever take 6 oz. at a time.  You're a funny, sweet little girl, and we are loving our new normal with you.


Summer Fun Days

Here you are all dressed and ready for your first "Summer Fun Day" at First Christian Preschool.  You've never gone to Mother's Day Out or preschool before, so this is your first of this sort of "first."  You were excited and nervous.  You went from 9-2 one day a week for five or six weeks.

They have a 4th of July celebration and parade on the last day, and you had a great time.  It was really hot, but you rode your tricycle around the circuit at least three times.  


What Will It Bee?

My baby sister, Natalie, and her husband, Levi, found out this week that they have a healthy not-so-little 20 week old baby GIRL on the way.  Nat has unfortunately carried on the Vinsant-girl tradition of feeling horrible and vomiting often (even a bit again today, I hear), so Hillary and I really wanted her to have a fun night with friends celebrating the baby (and the fact that the past two weeks have not been as nauseating as the previous 18).  

It was so much fun.  One little boy I know was so excited he could not contain himself.  He couldn't contain himself all night.  He basically ran laps for hours, although he stopped long enough to have cake.

I feel compelled to share that neither the gender-reveal party nor the "What Will It Bee?" theme were original to Hill and me; however, we did our best to put our own spin on it with some personal touches.  We love our Nautilus, and we certainly could not have pulled it off without our mom who helped with the party and helped move Hillary and her husband out of their house the day before the party.  (Also, a big shout out to Jonathan for watching the kids all afternoon.  And finally, I have to thank Evie Rose, for taking a few good naps for just the right amount to finish up a few projects.)

Guests picked which antennae to wear based on what they thought the baby was going to be.  The girl antennae had bows, the boy ones didn't.

Sisters.  Hill and I both guessed "girl."

Guests filled out "Who Will Baby Look Like Cards" and "Wishes for Baby" cards.  Her friends were so fun, and they really got into the wishes.  Many wishes were sweet, and quite a few were hilarious.

While planning the party, I found a print by an artist who sells on Etsy that Natalie had pinned.  It went with our theme so perfectly, so I put it in a very basic frame for the party.  It's not overtly "baby," so it would be cute anywhere in Nat's house whether or not it ends up working in the nursery.  I didn't know if she would recognize it or not, but she immediately did.  She's such a deliberate, responsible pinner.  

Hillary skewered tons of blackberries and pineapple--yummy and quite bee-ish.

To be completely honest, the cake was disappointing.  I used a bakery I've had success with in the past, but this time, they didn't follow my directions, what they did do was done poorly, and the cake itself wasn't very good.  You win some you lose some, but they did put the correct icing color inside, so it served its purpose.

We had pizza, salad, and fruit, and then it was finally time to cut the cake.  I had them use chocolate cake and blue or pink icing.  I worried that pink cake would just look burn-ish brown; and I thought blue cake might look dull.  I figured the colored icing had a better chance of showing up next to a dark cake color. Where my mom was standing, she was able to see the icing color before the rest of us.  I love her expression.

Speaking of cute expressions, Nat had the next one.  It's a girl!

Spencer had insisted it was "Ruby" as soon as we told him "Ruby" was going to be the baby's name if it was a girl.  The week leading up to the party, he constantly talked about "Ruby's party," "Ruby's wreath," and that Natalie was having "a Ruby."  He was right!  He was really hoping he would get to meet her at this point.  He started to pull up Natalie's shirt after this shot.

The available cake was a nice distraction from the disappointment of (again) not getting to meet the baby yet.  He had the first piece.  I apparently no longer have any shame.  I just grabbed it, and immediately got him all settled eating.  I think it's called survival.

Everyone settled in and talked, ate, and laughed.  It was really a sweet time.  The men ended up in one area, and the women in another.  The precious kiddos ran (literally) between, among, and around everyone and everything for most of the evening.  

I've learned to listen to whatever size the cake place tells you that you'll need (based on your number of guests), and then go down two sizes (meaning, go down two inches in diameter).  Then, you won't have half of the cake left over.  

I love parties where the kids come and hang out too.  It reminds me of my childhood when my parents got together with some other surgery residency families.  The moms would talk while the dads fell asleep, and all of the kids ran wild for the evening.  Those get togethers were one of the highlights of my childhood.  

These kids seemed fond of the concept themselves.  Pretty soon we'll have another little one to add to the mix.  We've been telling Spencer the baby is coming in the fall, when it's time for pumpkins and turkeys.  This information is never well-received.