Category Archives: News

What will he say next?

I’m not sure if it’s Will or that I would find all 5-year olds funny (it’s likely just Will for me). Here are two things he said today that made me laugh and feel the need to record them.

1. They had a Valentine’s Day party at school today and he came home with a box of Valentines and candy. He wanted to have some candy after lunch and I’ve decided it’s better to just get rid of it as soon as possible, so I said sure. He started with a sucker and moved on to some stale licorice. Next I heard him say, mostly to himself, “I’ll go see if there’s anything else I want to get rid of.” He was gone for a moment and came back with M&Ms. He said “I wonder if these will be circle or heart shaped?”, justifying the need to open them immediately. “Circles, I knew it!” – commence eating M&Ms.

2. Realizing it is February 12th I put some red Valentine-like dishtowels in the kitchen. Will walked in, looked at the one hanging on the stove, and said “Looks like you’re trying to fancy-up this family, huh?” My only reaction was to laugh, pick him up, and say “I love you, and yes, I am trying to fancy-up this family!”

http://photos.dspencer.net/2014/Fall-Winter-2013/36985579_cJk8Z9#!i=3071416415&k=BJ9cSGm&lb=1&s=A

Wednesday February 5, 2014

We woke up to another snow day today. Amelia has only had 3 so far but it seems like it’s been a long, cold, snowy winter none the less. Maggie slept pretty poorly last night, waking up every hour or two. I was taking her temperature this morning, really just double checking the obvious reasons for the long night, when Will came in and said “Oh, is she feeling over the weather?” I love when they have their own colorful sayings. Will also asks me to “un-stain” his clothes while doing laundry and starts every sentence with “Mom, I have something to tell you.” I just laugh in response now, that is instead of weep at hearing this statement for the 413th time in one day.

Maggie is 18+ months old. She often reminds me of an ant picking things up I wouldn’t think she’d even attempt to move, and a monkey climbing up on just about anything. She is going to be a daredevil on the playground when the weather warms up. She is becoming more and more adamant about walking places on her own, saying “walK” with lots of inflection on the “K”, and insists on sitting at the table in a regular chair for all meals. Yes, the messes are impressive. (And Will is concerned about me “un-staining” his clothes!)

Off to check on the sledding across the street. Thank goodness for wonderful neighbors and a great sledding hill!

 

Wednesday January 15, 2013

Today started out as “one of those mornings”. Maggie must be teething or just torturing us. I was actually awake at 5:38 am when she started crying. I’ve been trained. I was able to get her back to sleep by the time Amelia crawled into bed with us. She couldn’t get back to sleep after being rudely woken up by her sister. All of us slept/snuggled until 7, this was the highlight. Naturally we were a little behind schedule, so when the coffee came out weak I nearly threw in the towel. I packed Amelia’s lunch with a leftover Jimmy Johns BLT sandwich, her favorite. What I didn’t realize until we were on the way to school was that  was all I had packed her. I told her and her response was “That’s totally fine mom, I’ve got bacon!”. Oh Amelia, my love, thank you.

 

While Will and Maggie were eating lunch this afternoon, Will was asking Maggie to repeat a bunch of new words. It went something like this:

W: Maggie, say “John”.

M: John (in Maggie speak with the inflection usually in the right place. This goes for almost everything that follows.)

W: Maggie, say “Uncle”.

M: Uncle

W: Maggie, say “Soil Conditioner”

M: Soil Conditioner

W: Maggie, say “Combine”

M: PAPA – and this was clear as day and with a big grin!

Happy 2014!

Happy new year! Here is a recap of our 2013

In January Maggie reached the 6 month mark. She was still willing to be a prop for Will’s toys at that point.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2013/Maggie-Is-6-Months/27804101_PP7b6P#!i=2344834771&k=LvBtKVR&lb=1&s=A

In February we vacationed in Cozumel. Maggie really enjoyed the local cuisine.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2013/Cozumel-2013/28258973_HFWWth#!i=2390652782&k=JXj3cS2&lb=1&s=A

Things were a little cooler in St. Louis in March… no swim suits required here.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2425868541&k=XgtGzCX&lb=1&s=A

We spent Easter with the Pantazis crew, baby chicks and all!

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2434839903&k=c3pnhms&lb=1&s=A

In April Amelia completed the St. Louis Read, Right, and Run Marathon, her first organized run (1 mile), with a finale that included thousands of students from around St. Louis.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2443324477&k=HDX2TZZ&lb=1&s=A

Amelia turned 7 on May 4th.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2506328254&k=HhVV9QV&lb=1&s=A

Maggie and I celebrated Grandma Kat’s 60th birthday in Washington.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2013/Grandma-Kats-60th-Birthday/29795150_jbXKdv#!i=2520188641&k=GNTDMR8&lb=1&s=A

In June Amelia, Vera, and Will went to Iowa for Gramma Camp, or Grandparent Camp like Will likes to call it. Maggie and I took a short road trip to hang out with Helen and Faye for some hot weather fun.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2574920233&k=j9XsVQ6&lb=1&s=A

We headed to Washington in July, non-stop action and Northwest beauty. Check out these kids!

http://photos.dspencer.net/2013/WA-Summer-Vacation/30907507_VMLpdL#!i=2631560859&k=Lfj4GJ9&lb=1&s=A

Maggie turned 1 on July 23rd.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2656609449&k=Z7JDXQX&lb=1&s=A

Summer wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to Green Lake, WI in August with lots of Spencer extended family.

 

 

In September we were back in the swing of school, soccer, and juggling activities with three kiddos.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2749563190&k=PFsL8dL&lb=1&s=A

(It can be exhausting.)

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2805568438&k=VZBtW7k&lb=1&s=A

October is Will’s favorite month of the year because he can celebrate his birthday, and it’s harvest season. He turned 5 on the 14th and let me just say, October lived up to his expectations yet again!

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2834142226&k=M8wvHth&lb=1&s=A

Plus the Cardinals made it to the World Series!

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2841913666&k=cpX5hcJ&lb=1&s=A

We took advantage of another beautiful St. Louis fall that took us through November. Bikes are really the best way to travel as a gang at this age.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2898959635&k=xQf3KgZ&lb=1&s=A

December was full of holiday adventures, including a trip for Amelia and me to Washington for Papa Mike’s 60th birthday, a post Christmas trip to Iowa City, and New Year’s with the Pantazis crew.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2979106977&k=tMndPg5&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2991596732&k=vCKKm3w&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=3001838269&k=QTGjvRx&lb=1&s=A

Wow! What a year.

 

 

 

 

 

We were working on our Christmas picture today. Here are a few that didn’t make the cut:

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954583879&k=3kg642N&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954581611&k=dzx2G9P&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954067365&k=CFjt5NB&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954058104&k=Rz7vGdN&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954056287&k=FgJLqHX&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954052575&k=K9cxqLx&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954046631&k=q9NLCLQ&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2953849384&k=8JptX5S&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2953847923&k=DLsHR8M&lb=1&s=A

Harvesting

Anne took some pictures of Will in the combine over his birthday weekend in mid-October. He is a happy boy working in the fields.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954591391&k=bPkWcFf&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954591254&k=nqR662z&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954591205&k=73dtCjj&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954590180&k=DMmTbdX&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954589850&k=jCkHbkx&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Camera-Awesome-Archive/28589861_SVCBP6#!i=2954588496&k=ZnzkRGp&lb=1&s=A

Cider Pressing for Helen’s Birthday

In late October we went back to Iowa for another weekend of harvesting, to celebrate Helen’s birthday, and to press cider. This is something we all love doing, and it doesn’t hurt that there are homemade donuts! I was looking through the cider pressing photos this morning and noticed Maggie always had one in her hand. (There was a very hungry and determined dog there that did steal a couple from her, but still.) Here are some photos capturing Maggie’s love of gramma’s homemade donuts:

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2868785923&k=j2KzQpw&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2868787375&k=jsJFmTc&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2868789379&k=Qdwrfrq&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2868789823&k=c6dWdJJ&lb=1&s=A

Maggie’s Expanding Vocabulary

Maggie is talking more and more. She can say several words and tries to mimic what you say. It’s pretty fun. Here are some of the latest words we can recognize:

Backpack – there are always several near the front door

Mimi – Her name for Amelia

Hat

Shoes

Eyes

Baby

More

Outside

Thank you

Please

No – This one is getting a lot of use these days

Up

People

People!

People!

What an amazing thing they are.

I wonder I wonder

How you make them.

 

This is a poem Amelia wrote at school. Both Dave and I loved it and figured we’d tackle that question a little later down the road.

Happy Halloween. May the force be with you.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2874360673&k=KTHGHf8&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2874360102&k=Vq2PXwd&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2874359791&k=vfPbSHK&lb=1&s=A

Will’s 5th Harvest Birthday

Will’s birthday request has consistently been to pick corn. Thanks to an October birthday, a Pop Pop with a combine and several fields, and now being within driving distance to Iowa City, we have been able to fulfill this request. This year he also asked for a chocolate cake decorated with caramel frosting and candy corn pumpkins and strawberry ice cream. We had pizza on the screened in porch with Gramma Anne, Pop Pop Brian, Larry, and Uncle Dave. Another great celebration on the farm!

1st Birthday

http://photos.dspencer.net/2009/Harvest-Trip-2009/i-cbf3f6J/A

2nd Birthday

http://photos.dspencer.net/2010/Wills-2nd-Birthday-And-More/14302995_g85mDt#!i=1058266033&k=XshHQTZ&lb=1&s=A

3rd Birthday

http://photos.dspencer.net/2011/Harvest2011/19951909_Vs8ntc#!i=1570851258&k=x57k24C&lb=1&s=A

4th Birthday

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Fall-Harvest-And-Wills/26104453_PnsKdb#!i=2168895529&k=HLd76Wc&lb=1&s=A

5th Birthday

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2868796151&k=Cg7CfRF&lb=1&s=A

2013 Garden Bounty

This year we decided to compete against the Brentwood wildlife, which includes a plethora of squirrels, rabbits, and birds. Dave took to securing a varmint-proof garden and we choose many different wonderful seed packets to plant with the kids. The dream garden we planted included carrots, eggplant, brussels sprouts, beets, lettuce, arugula, green beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, zucchini, and more. As the season progressed and the animals got the best of several baby plants, our “bounty” ended up being 200 or more cayenne peppers, a few jalapenos, about 50 cucumbers, enough hops for one batch of beer, and two watermelons. Below is one of the small but tasty watermelons we recently ate. Better luck next year I guess.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2805567922&k=2d48Xfh&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2805568197&k=9GtWkdm&lb=1&s=A

Forest Park Balloon Glow

On Friday night the kids and I took the train and met Dave for our annual Balloon Glow outing. We realized we’ve done this every year since we moved here, so we just have to keep up that tradition. It can be tricky getting there and home because of all the people but I think we have a system that works – Dave drives to Forest Park in the morning, parks, and walks to work. We assume our truck won’t get broken into, the kids and I take the train in, we have dinner, walk to the balloon glow, and then drive home. Success!

Here we are at the Balloon Glow over the years:

2010

http://photos.dspencer.net/2010/09-18-2010/13817127_Sn3gGR#!i=1012273307&k=F3b739D&lb=1&s=A

We arrived too late to document in 2011.

Eryn was visiting and came with us in 2012

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/September-and-Visitors/i-VKdkp6f/A

2013

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/i-vLQGjmX/A

She’s coming right along –

Maggie is almost 14 months old and she is coming right along. Sometimes I think that she’s more independent that Will and Amelia! Here are some examples:

If she is hungry she will go to the drawer with her plastic cups and get a snack bowl with a lid and bring it to me.

If I take the blender out of the cabinet she immediately goes to the drawer and finds the cup with a lid, and then goes to the cabinet where the straws are stored because she’s certain I’m going to make her a smoothy.

If I ask her if she wants to go get Amelia from school, go the park, go the library, anywhere really, she giggles, claps her hands, and is looking for her shoes.

She also loves clothes and is constantly trying to figure out how to get them on by herself, usually over clothes she is already wearing. (Apparently I used to do this, maybe at 3 or 4, and my mom would find me in my room with several pairs of underwear, pants, and shirts on at a time.)

Maggie is also enjoying the great outdoors whenever she can. If  she hears a door open she is doing what is probably a full on Maggie sprint to get there and outside before it closes. I’ve started being very careful about saying “outside” because that initiates the same giggles and clapping and she cannot be persuaded toward any other activity at that point. I mentioned this to our neighbor and he laughed and said she sounds like the other kids and fits in perfectly in the Spencer family. He’s right.

She is very independent on the playground and can climb up stairs and go down small slides on her own. I just can’t believe how quickly all these things are happening. She is so happy being busy and so fun to watch. Oh how we love our Maggie Jean.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2757051834&k=rxPxFKv&lb=1&s=A

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/28590155_mJB5Qr#!i=2718661957&k=9gSQgHT&lb=1&s=A

 

I just walked into our bathroom and thought, “oh, the places you will find pee…”. It reminded me of Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh the Places You Will Go”. I have thought of several new titles related to parenting in the past few minutes, such as:

“Oh the Snacks You Will Make”

“Oh the Laundry You Will Do”

“Oh the Kisses You Will Give”

“Oh the Bandaids You Will Go Through”

“Oh the Veggies You Will Waste”

“Oh the Speed With Which You Will Run”

“Oh the Joy You Will Have”

As you can see, once you get started it’s hard to stop. Try it!

Guess who said, “How old do I need to be to drive?”

Will and Amelia have great imaginations and sometimes even use them for good, like when they decide to play together nicely. Recently they were going to play their most popular imaginary game, “Brother and Sister”, yes, I know. Amelia said, “My name is Elizabeth and I’m 14.” Then Will said, “My name is John, and…Mom, how old do you need to be to drive?” I told him 16, and he finished his sentence with “My name is John and I’m 16!”.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2010/Springtime-Fun-2010/11838642_ZK4f5p#!i=836948151&k=pGPQcM3&lb=1&s=A

Go Cardinals!

The kids earned free Cardinals tickets through our library’s summer reading program, and we used them Monday night. It was great! The weather cooled off a bit and we were in the shade. Will and Amelia had lots of questions and followed the game. Whenever something good happened for the Cardinals Will would say “Yesss!” with enthusiastic arm movements. Maggie hung in there until the top of the 6th inning when she just couldn’t be entertained by walking around or drinking out of the water fountain any longer. Unfortunately we missed the incredible 7th inning grand slam for a win. Next time we’ll get a babysitter for Maggie and we’ll stay until the end.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Other/Lindsay-photostream/i-3B78mqj/A

Last weekend we went to a picnic at Dr. Ley’s house, one of Dave’s bosses. The kids wanted to know if it was Barry’s house, the boss they know. After explaining that he has more than one boss, Amelia asked “Which boss powers over you more dad?”. I like the way Amelia just says it like it is!

Yesterday Will and I were playing “I Spy”. He said “I spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter B”. I asked questions until he told me it was a helicopter. We talked about how helicopter starts with the letter H and then I asked where exactly he saw this helicopter in our house. He said “I see it in my heart AND in my brain”. Great, new rules for “I Spy” I guess.

Maggie is chatting more and more all the time. She isn’t saying “thank you” quite so much but does love to say “uPPP” whenever she needs to get somewhere. She uses it a lot when I’m making dinner and can’t really hold her much, tugging on my clothes crying, and when she’s hungry. She will stand by her highchair and say it over and over until I put her in her seat and give her a snack. She is a good communicator.

Just Another Wednesday Afternoon

We picked Amelia up from school today and the walk home included Will begging Amelia to hold his hand, he had just woken up from a nap, and negotiations between the two of them on what to have for a snack, as if they were making it themselves. As I was pulling a snack together, Amelia was telling me how she wanted to spend some of her birthday money. (Yes, her birthday was in May and she is still thinking about how to spend her money!) The conversation went a little like this: “Mom, I want to go to the Dollar Store because I want to buy a drum with some of my birthday money. Not the kind of drum that needs a stand but one I can have in my lap that makes a ‘tut-tut-tut’ sound. I’m just really into drums right now.” At about this point Will walked into the living room caring a screwdriver, 2-3″ screws, and the piece of parchment paper he painted at preschool today. Hmmm, it didn’t take long to figure out what he was planning. It took some convincing, but his art is now taped on the bottom of Amelia’s bunk so he can look at it. We decided the screws would just bother Amelia as they went through her mattress. Through most of this Maggie was walking from room to room wearing Will’s safety goggles on her head. She likes to accessorize with the goggles and Amelia’s headbands whenever possible.

Will is often the last one up in the morning. This morning I had to wake him up for breakfast. He was sprawled out in his bed and I kissed his cheek and said “I will never get tired of seeing your sweet freckled face.” As he was stretching and trying to open his eyes he said, “Keep reminding me that”. That is a moment to remember! (and why I’m writing it down so I do)

Will’s Highs and Lows

During dinner tonight I asked Will what the best and worst parts of his day were today. Here is his response:

“The best parts of my day were playing with Maggie and making her laugh and reading books with you. The worst part of my day was peeing in the trashcan. The worst part of my night was Amelia going to Emily’s birthday party.”

Let me explain -Will’s greatest thrill these days is to make Maggie laugh. I finally broke down and read the extremely long book about motorcycle racing he picked out at the library. Will is probably like most 4 year boys and waits until the last nanosecond to go to the bathroom and you never know how that will go. Well, we all know how it went today! Amelia went to her first sleepover tonight for her friend Emily’s American Girl birthday party. Will misses her already and she’s only been gone for an hour.

Spring Break/Snow Day

Today is the first day of spring break, and for schools not on spring break, a snow day because of the 6″-12″ of snow that fell around St. Louis yesterday. It is quite beautiful, but also almost April… Will asked if “spring break” meant that spring would come this week. Hard to know! Along with playing in the snow, watching Dinosaur Train, and working on their Lego house, here are a few highlights from today.

Amelia wanted to do an experiment and gathered salt, ground coffee, a cup, and perhaps other ingredients. She was conducting her experiment in the bathroom for a few minutes. She exited, after much cleaning up, and said “well, that was an absolute disaster!” She’s not the first scientist in the house to feel that way.

Will has a pair of batman pajamas that are missing a cape. He asked me to buy him one today. Then he said that if I couldn’t get to it there was a fountain at dad’s work where you could make a wish, throw money into it, and your wish would come true. He would just have dad do that tomorrow.

Maggie is everywhere! She has become a proficient crawler in the past week and loves her new-found freedom. She’s goes from room to room, usually following the older kids. Spring break will also be a crash course in learning where Maggie is able to go and wants to go and what she will try to eat.

Tidbits

We have spent our daylight savings day at home, minus the time Dave spent at work. The kids have been busy and hungry for much of the day. Dinner is getting close but Amelia keeps trying to convince me to get her a snack. She has even resorted to asking for peanut butter on a rice cake. Her rationale is that it’s “basically peanut butter and air”. Will and Dave have started working on the Lego room that will be under our stairs in the basement. Will came upstairs pouting because Dave wasn’t willing to put a bathroom in right next to the new Lego room (there is a bathroom about 30 feet from there now). Will just thinks that’s too far to go when he’s working in his new room. Maggie is feeling a little under the weather with a low grade fever. I think there maybe a tooth coming. She is still a pretty happy baby making lots of hoot owl sounds. I think we’re all adjusting nicely to our longer day.

Maggie is 6 months old!

We can’t believe that Maggie is already 6 months old. Some of her newest tricks and milestones are giving very slobbery open mouth kisses to mama, eating some solid foods, sitting up and reaching for things you would totally assume are out of reach, and rolling – usually into or under furniture. We are continually trying to figure out and improve her sleeping habits, wish us luck!

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Maggie-Is-6-Months/27804101_PP7b6P#!i=2344835519&k=KdHNrj4&lb=1&s=A

Christmas Vacation

On December 27th we headed west to see our family and friends in Washington. The kids were outstanding travelers and the trip itself was pretty flawless. Little did we know that the one major bump was picking up a horrible stomach virus somewhere between St. Louis and Seattle. Unfortunately it plagued us from December 28th – January 8th. It takes some time to run through a family of 5, plus all the poor family and friends we passed it along to. We wish we could have seen more friends and family, but if you didn’t see us, count yourself lucky this time!

The highlights of the trip were introducing Maggie to all her extended family, a trip to Wenatchee to ski and hang out with Hilary, Nick, and Easton, and our ever so brief visits with the few friends we were able to see (sorry Geokezas for getting you sick!).

Hilary and I loved getting some time together, especially with our new little ones.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Washington-Trip-2012/27802932_fwWHcb#!i=2344746542&k=DmjWmLF&lb=1&s=A

I’m anxious to get back for a trip that doesn’t leave a trail of illness throughout the state! Until next time WA.

2012 Spencer Year in Review

Amelia is in first grade and is enjoying almost all of it. She has commented that her homework has more writing and less drawing than last year. You’re right! She’s reading, loves art, PE, and listening to books on cd with Will after school. She and Will continue to have fun together, especially when bedtime rolls around. Why not at 4 pm??

Will goes to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. He’s told me several times that he wants to go everyday, love that! He is very attentive to Maggie and does everything he can to make her laugh.

Maggie is perfecting “blowing raspberries” these days. She really picks up momentum when she gets tired. She is always entertained by Will and Amelia, lighting up whenever they come in the room. She is a happy little one and we can’t imagine our family without her.

Dave will officially finish his pathology residency in June 2013. He will continue doing research for the next few years. His hours are long but at the end of the day he seems to perk up when the kids run to him as he walks in the door. He and Will have been “smoking” (meat,that is) over the summer and weekends. It’s a hobby we all enjoy!

I am home with the kids. It’s been busy with baby Maggie but we’re in a good groove with a long nap from time to time. We get together with friends throughout the week and continue to explore new places throughout St. Louis. A highlight this fall was the Pantazis move to Effingham, IL, a mere two hours away! Helen and I are trying to recreate our Seattle experience, only it’s 100 miles instead of 2 to get together.

We are looking forward to adventures throughout 2013. We are very grateful for our healthy, happy family of 5 – WOW!

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Winter-fun/27802726_sP4RzZ#!i=2344720362&k=3CSWzKj&lb=1&s=A

 

Will is 4 and oh, so fun!

Will’s birthday request was to pick corn, so we celebrated his 4th birthday and the conclusion of harvest in Iowa City in mid-October. Brian even quit a little early the day before we arrived so Dave and Will would have a full day of picking. Will loves riding in the combine and tractor and takes pride in never falling asleep–even when they go out for a 10 hour day! Amelia also likes taking a turn in the combine, but she informed us it’s not really that exciting: “just back and forth, back and forth”. This season Will asked Brian why he always got to drive the combine. Brian had several reasons, such as seeing how the crops looked and knowing what the yield was. A few hours later, after Will had obviously been thinking more about this, he told Brian that he drove the combine because, “it is your combine and it’s special”. Brian couldn’t agree more! Coincidently, those are the reasons Will drives his toy combine, too. Needless to say, Will’s birthday weekend was just what he wanted.

Will is such a fun, thoughtful, and sweet little guy. He has informed me he doesn’t like the name William and I can only call him Will. When I asked why, he said “Will is spelled w-i-l-l and William and is spelled w-i-l-l and some other letters, including M, and I don’t like the letter M.”

He absolutely loves Maggie and is always, and I mean always, right there whenever she makes a noise or he feels it has been too many minutes since he’s showered her with kisses. Luckily Maggie is starting to find him pretty entertaining and smiles when he’s around.

Here are a few recent Will and Maggie stories:

  • Will told me he just wanted to “fry her up and eat her” because he loved her so much. He must have been hungry.
  • It never fails that when I’m trying to quietly put Maggie down for a nap, Will comes running into her room and starts singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in what he considers a whisper and I consider normal volume. In true St. Louis manner he says “root, root, root for the Cardinals…” It is Will’s form of a lullaby and he refuses to leave the room until he’s done. If I try to get him out he just sings louder.
  • Last night he was giving her a kiss before she went to bed and said “good night my little sweetheart”.

Happy 4th Birthday sweet Will! We love, love, love you.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Fall-Harvest-And-Wills/26104453_PnsKdb#!i=2168895529&k=HLd76Wc&lb=1&s=A

New Maggie Pictures

We posted some new photos of Maggie (and the other kids too), including many that our expert photographer friend Jessica took (thanks, Jessica!) and some of Grandma Kat and Pop-pop Mike’s visit.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/New-Maggie-Pics/24859894_J2vX9M#!i=2049153502&k=XrRkDcz

Margaret Jean Spencer!

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A new addition to the Spencer family is finally here! Margaret Jean Spencer was born on July 23, at 8:26 am. She was a week overdue (and came only after many hours of induced labor), but she is healthy and doing well. She weighted 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. Amelia and Will have met her and have already been fighting over who gets to hold her. Lindsay is recovering and also doing well, although she is quite tired of course. Check back for more photos!

 

Recent comments from Will

“Mom, why do people walk funny when they get old? You and dad are a little bit old. I’m still new.”

“Vegetables make you grow big, sugar just makes you stay medium.”

When I give him a time limit, such as 5 minutes his response is always, “can I have a long five minutes?”

32 weeks and Summer Vacation

The quick update here is that baby Spencer is growing well (as you can see) and we are at 32+ weeks now. Everything is going great and we are heading into summer….today. School is out at noon for the year and the temperature is suppose to get up to 91. Kindergarten has been a great experience for all of us. So great in fact that Amelia has told me several times that she’s not looking forward to the last day because she’ll miss her teacher so much. (She cried when we got home today because she just wanted to go back!) Will did not cry on his last day of preschool, but had a big hug for his teacher who was wonderful. Our summer will start with a visit from Helen, John, and the girls this weekend, lots of time at the pool where Amelia will be doing swim team, and a trip to Milwaukee and Chicago next week. Getting ready for wicked hotness!

 

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Belly-32-weeks/23154432_Tr4c4L#!i=1865538809&k=T8ZnBC4&lb=1&s=A

Amelia is six!

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Amelia turned six today. She had a nice party last weekend with her friends, aunt, uncle and cousins and grandparents. Today we went to Fitz’s for dinner and had chocolate pie for dessert. She said it was the “best day ever”!

Belly photos

Some belly photos, by popular request.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/BabyNumber3Belly-1/22179069_8J5Mwm#!i=1771106227&k=gqK8xvv

Baby Number 3

We have some important news! Lindsay is expecting and due this Summer (July 15th). Everyone is very excited, especially Amelia and William. They both have their own ideas about names, gender, etc. (Will told Lindsay we should name the baby Lightning McQueen if its a boy.)

Here is a photo from the 20 week ultrasound. Thumbs up!

http://photos.dspencer.net/2012/Late-Winter-2012/21669652_Qjv7FX#!i=1728559478&k=svKQ5kF

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from our Sweethearts

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Amelia has been working on a valentine for me since last night. This morning she told me that she made me three this year because she loves me 3%.  I asked if she meant 300% and she said “no, I meant 30%”. I’ll take it. Will has not gotten into the spirit of the holiday like Amelia. He told me he wanted to skip his party at school today and stay home to drive his equipment, very typical. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Amelia and Will Skiing!

We went to Utah with Mark, Faith, Spencer, and Jonathan Parts, The Grandparents and the Pantazis’ for a couple days of skiing over the holiday. As usual, we didn’t take as many videos as we should have… but here a few choice clips of the kids.

http://photos.dspencer.net/Videos/Features/10646206_FXnhNv#1659578205_3QCn39P-A-LB

Mark Twain’s Holiday Sing 2011

In early December we had the pleasure of attending our first Mark Twain Holiday Sing. The two Kindergarten classes sang “Snowman in the Yard” and “I have a Little Dreidel”. Everyone had a great time. Amelia was excited to be back on stage.

http://photos.dspencer.net/2010/Holidays-2011/20712534_zNb3Wf#1643375526_CGZJXzt-A-LB

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Halloween 2011

The kids have had nonstop Halloween celebrations this year with school parties, parades, and a friend’s birthday party. Amelia dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood for her school festivities. It was a costume she’d come up with using a red coat and hat from her dress up box. After being asked over and over what she was that day she decided to go as a butterfly for trick or treating instead. Will knew months ago that he wanted to be a lion. However, the morning after I ordered the lion costume, he said, “I think I want to be a giraffe”. Too bad.

We trick or treated around our neighborhood in perfect weather. It was a clear cool night and lots of people were out on their porches or standing around bonfires with friends enjoying wine and handing out candy. It is a St. Louis tradition to tell jokes when you trick or treat, and this year Amelia was ready. She had several jokes ready and enjoyed telling them to eager adults. Dave and I couldn’t stop smiling. The best part was after making the rounds, the kids insisted on sitting at our front door handing out our candy to trick or treaters. It was a night full of entertainment.

 

http://photos.dspencer.net/2011/Fall-2011/19951539_CcPHWG#1570904886_5HFcf3q-A-LB

Notes from Preschool

Each day Ms. Katie sends home a little note that tells how much the kids ate of their snack and when they went potty. Recently there have been personal notes from her on Will’s sheets.

9/15/2011 – “Will talked all about his full name and tractors. Ask him about pretending to make a boat and going wake boarding.” Will and Amelia have been pretending to wake board and water ski since we got home from Green Lake, WI. They use their train on wheels as the boat, a long piece of yarn with a toilet paper roll as the handle for the ski rope, and off they go. Will likes to pretend he is swimming and asks to make sure we all have life jackets on. Apparently he likes it so much he wants to do it at school!

9/20/2011 – Will didn’t eat any of his snack today, which is quite unusual because snacks are his favorite meal. Ms. Katie wrote “He said I don’t like American cheese, I like cheddar.”

A New Smile

http://photos.dspencer.net/2011/Dog-Days-2011/18604723_8xRWH6#1437488008_cJBDXRk-A-LB

Amelia lost her first tooth on Wednesday! She was so excited and proud. Unfortunately I heard her screaming frantically in the bathroom only moments later after she had accidentally dropped it down the drain when rinsing it off. I took the drain apart, quite gross, and did my best to try and find it. No luck. I promised Amelia I would write the tooth fairy a note to explain the situation. The next morning, well actually the middle of the night, Amelia found a letter from the tooth fairy with a dollar bill. The most amazing part is that I was in Will’s room the next day and stepped on something – yes, her tooth! The tooth fairy is magical.

First Day of School

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Amelia started kindergarten at Mark Twain Elementary and Will started preschool at the Brentwood Early Childhood Center on Tuesday August 16th. It was quite the exciting morning: Amelia was the first one up and very excited and ready, and after some first day of school pictures (see the Dog Days of Summer album) we all walked one block to take Amelia to school. She kept walking a little faster and a little faster as we approached. Her teacher gave out name tags and then they filed into school. It was a slower, more reserved walk home after we dropped her off. Dave mentioned that it was hard to see her start kindergarten, and I couldn’t answer due to the kindergarten lump in my throat.

Next I took Will to preschool. He was being as brave as he could and nodded when I said I’d see him after school. It went great! He has a wonderful teacher as well. When I asked Will about school he said “They don’t have a backhoe.” He said his favorite part of the morning was playing outside and that he didn’t play with any kids, just the dump truck. When Will woke up from his nap that afternoon he gave me a big, tight hug and said “I missed you at preschool”. I missed him too! I think two mornings a week is plenty for both of us.

Amelia is LOVING kindergarten. Every part is “amazing” and her favorite class is PE. She’s feeling pretty good overall because she told me that sometimes she makes mistakes but Ms. Tadrus said kindergarten is all about making mistakes. We are all looking forward to a great year.

A Destroyer

Dave’s pager went off recently and Amelia said, “I think we should call that a destroyer because it destroys the good times and brings back the sad times.” Apparently the sad times are when Dave retreats to the basement to answer calls.

Funnies

Will just walked out of his room, wearing one of Amelia’s pink dress-up dresses, and asked “Do you know where my flatbed truck is?” I think he is turning out to be very well rounded.

He recently saw a woman smoking in her car and said “Hey mom, why does that lady have a candle with fire on the end in her car?”

Will was looking through an empty toilet paper roll and came over and said “I’m keeping my eye on you”.

 

I got dressed up for a brunch this morning and Amelia asked “why do you look so beautiful this morning?” Very sweet. She was looking through my jewelry box and wanted to put on some “creations” too. I asked what that meant and she said it meant “to get your beautiful on.” I like her modified language.

When Amelia talks I’ve started noticing a little whistle from time to time. Her two front bottom teeth are loose! We aren’t ready for a child old enough to loose teeth. Last night I was getting the kids in the car and I told Amelia I couldn’t believe how old she was getting, what could we do to keep her young? She assured me that it would be fine and there was absolutely nothing we could do to stop her from growing up. I said maybe we should have another baby to make sure we have a little one for awhile and Will said “NO, I want a dog!”…….not likely buddy.

Background information about this funny: 1. Amelia likes to narrate her life throughout the day. 2. She listens to a lot of books on cd. So today I heard her start one of her narrations with “Recorded Books Presents” and then whatever title she’d decided for this episode of Life According to Amelia.

*7/19/11 9:05pm – We just finished the last Little House on the Prairie book. Amelia said “Last chapter, please don’t go away. What am I going to do without these books?”

9th Anniversary

We celebrated our 9th Anniversary on June 29th. The kids and I were all dressed up and the table was set with our china when Dave got home. He loved his fancy family but said, sheepishly, that he couldn’t bear to put on his fancy clothes. The combination of the warm weather and having to wear nice clothes to work were good enough reasons for me. Dinner was great and the conversation with the kids was even better. We told them all about our wedding day. Amelia hung on every word and when she had to go check on something she said “pause, pause, so I don’t miss anything”. After all the details we had to take a look at our pictures. Dave and I felt so lucky and loved when we saw everyone who celebrated with us that day. Wow! It was an amazing day and has been a wonderful and fast 9 years since.

Pool Time

We invested in a pool membership this summer, which has made the Missouri summer much more bearable. We can walk to the pool from our house and several families from the neighborhood belong. The kids have no problem just jumping right in. Amelia is life-jacket free, although she must be constantly supervised and close to a wall if she gets tired. She has held her breath for up to 8 seconds. Will, wearing his pink goggles, likes to count to 28 (skipping a few numbers between 1 and 28) and then say “step on the gas” before jumping in. If you can’t find or get a hold of us, we’re at the pool.