Spencer has been making some pretty cool sounds for awhile now, but for some reason he was particularly talkative Tuesday evening, and I was lucky enough to catch a bit on video. He seems to be very interested in bilabial and linguolabial trills and fricatives.
For those non-phoneticians, bilabial means “with both lips”, and linguolabial means “with tongue and lips”. The difference between trills and fricatives can be subtle. Trills usually involve a repeated flapping. A common trill is the [r] in the Spanish word perro “dog”, as opposed to pero “but”. The latter is just a single flap. In contrast, fricatives tend to have constant friction. Sometimes some of these sounds are commonly referred to as “raspberries”, or “blowing a raspberry”. I personally have always thought blowing a raspberry necessitated one making these sounds on someone else, in particular the tummy. Does anyone else agree with me on that one, or am I all alone?
Spencer seems to be enjoying trying out all of these variations.
Spencer turned 6 months old last Friday, which meant he was due for his 6-month checkup, which we did today. He was his usual playful self. He didn’t want to lie on his back, and he only cried a little when he got his vaccinations. He continues to be pretty big for his age as well.
Yesterday I was playing bongos with Spencer on my lap when all the sudden he started standing up, leaning on the bongos for support. I tried it again this morning to show Clare and he did it again. This afternoon I finally captured it on video. He is pretty impressive. The most impressive is that he was standing up for about 5 minutes. I only included the most interesting parts in the video though.
On Sunday, we followed pretty much the same pattern as Saturday. Clare made crepes for breakfast. After we were all cleaned up, we headed out to Mt. Evans, which is only a 45 minute trip, instead of the 90 minute trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. On the way there we stopped for another basket lunch at a nice little spot by a creek. Then we hiked around Echo Lake a bit, and finally drove up to Mt. Evans. Unfortunately it was getting pretty cloudy by the time we got up there, but it was still pretty neat.
On Saturday we took Melanie, Christine, and Ian to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was actually the first time that we had gone as well. We have contemplated it several times, but decided against it, because it is about a 90-120 minute drive. Having visitors inspired us to make the trip though, and it was quite fun. We first stopped in Estes Park at the visitors center to get some maps. Then we had some lunch in the park on Riverside Drive. It will forever be remembered as the saltiest lunch ever. Friday night I had dumped the remaining ice and salt from making ice cream into the cooler to keep the food cold for our lunch. I put everything in plastic containers, but some of the icy, salty, water got into some of the containers. The garbanzo bean salad was the worst, and Clare ate a bunch before she realized what I had done with the salt. The cherries also got salty, which we decided actually tasted pretty good. Fortunately some of the pasta salad was still good, as was the cheese and hummus.
After lunch we wet to Bear Lake Meadows, and did some hiking. We hiked about 1 mile to Alberta Falls, which was very beautiful, though a bit more crowded than we had expected. We then hiked back to Glacier Gorge and took the shuttle bus back to the Bear Lake parking lot. On our way home we stopped at the Southern Sun brewpub in Boulder, where the beers were all tasty, and the sweet potato chips were endless, because when the waiter asked how they were, we mentioned that the guacamole that came with them was barely mashed at all, and they had yet to give us any silverware with which we could have mashed it ourselves. I think we ended up with 3 or 4 baskets of chips. As usual, Spencer was very happy while hiking, and we all had a very nice day. more pictures follow
We started getting home milk delivery a month or so ago, which has been quite nice, though it requires a minimum order of 3 bottles per week, which we haven’t quite been finishing. 2 weeks ago Clare made yogurt with the surplus. This week we switched the order a bit and got some cream, to try our hand at making ice cream. We thought that a great time to do it would be when our friends Christine, Ian, and Melanie were visiting.
Spencer and I picked them up Friday morning from the airport. Then we went to lunch at the Thai restaurant by our house, where we all delighted in the wonderful tofu dishes. Then we all took naps (except me), then we grilled dinner, and then got to making ice cream. There was only one hitch. We don’t have an ice cream maker. However, I had been reading online about different ways to make ice cream with makeshift materials.
One common way is to use 2 coffee cans. We don’t have any coffee cans though. Another way is to use 2 ziploc bags. You can only make a tiny bit like this though. Another way is to simply use 2 different bowls, or a bucket and a bowl. You put the ice and rock salt in the bigger of the two, and the ice cream mixture in the smaller bowl. The rock salt lowers the freezing point of water, so instead of having 32° F ice cubes, you get more like 28°F water. The cold transfers to the cream mixture gradually as you stir it. I thought that we could try putting a bowl under our kitchenaid mixer to get this effect. Unfortunately, it did not work too well. I think there was just not enough surface contact between the ice and the bowl. We continued trying different makeshift add-ons for about an hour. Eventually I got a bigger bowl, with high sides. We filled that with the ice and salt, and put the kitchenaid bowl inside that, and stirred it by hand. It probably took another hour or so, but eventually it did work. Next time I think we would start off with the 2 bowl method. Or perhaps we will get an actual ice cream maker, if we ever see one on sale.
I should note that all the pictures taken with the powershot were by Melanie, and all the ones with the 40D were taken by Ian. more pictures follow
Today is Spencer’s first day at daycare . He will be going 3 days a week for the next 4 months, since I will be teaching a course at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I have very mixed feelings about the whole affair. I very much enjoy staying home with him, but I do miss using my brain some. We’ll see how things go. Clare and I dropped him off together today, and we both definitely felt a big tug on our hearts.
Spencer really likes to put everything is his mouth these days. In particular he likes these foam toys that he has. He has some that are animal shaped and have letters in them. We also just found these puzzle pieces on clearance that he likes too. The puzzle pieces are nice because he can’t get quite as much in his mouth. He will frequently gag himself on the other ones and spit up. What a strange boy. He sure is fun to play with though.
The other day we were looking at the dinosaur outfit that Kristin got Spencer. He was too small for it while it was cold, and now it is mostly too warm to wear full body outfits. I was thinking he could wear it for halloween, but Clare thought he would be too big by then. So we decided to put it on him and see. Sure enough, it fits pretty well now, but will surely be too small by October. This week has actually been a bit chilly (highs around 70), so it was a good time for him to wear it. And he does look very cute in it.
A couple times I have had Spencer sit on my lap and listen to me play drums. He has even successfully hit the drum a couple times with the stick. Since he seemed to like the drums, but be a bit too small for them still, I decided to try the bongos with him. We can sit on the floor together and both play at the same time. He hasn’t figured out how to him them very well yet, but he likes to watch and listen to me play, and he can use the bongos to support himself a bit so that he is getting better at sitting up by himself.