Monday, August 31, 2009

this post is past-due!

Two weekends have passed.

Last weekend, we were surprised by a visit by my Aunt Becky & Uncle Tony. They were in town just to "get away" from home. It was her last weekend before her work / her school year started where they live and she wanted to have one last hoorah for the summer. They came to see Mercer (oh yeah - and us too). We went and had breakfast up at the square then walked around the farmer's market on Saturday. Then they headed to the Aquarium downtown as we headed up to the mountains. It was a nice surprise... and as uncle Tony would always say: "I'm glad YOU got to see ME." (that comment kinda goes with the saying on his T-shirt, doesn't it?!)

Our friends had the use of a mountain house on a lake in Blairsville; they invited us up. One day while we were there, we all went to Vogel State park and to a beach that they have built on a lake there. Mercer got to try a new swimming experience... quite a bit bigger than a pool / surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of the mountains. He was in his floaty and did pretty well.

Mostly we hung out at the house on the back porch. Mercer's been climbing a lot lately and had fun climbing into the rocking chairs on the screened in porch... and then ultimately rocking them back-and-forth. (Yes, Mercer is still drooling a lot as seen on his shirt. I asked about it at a doctor's appointment he just had and she said it was fine.) It was kind of interesting how Mercer and his buddy, Jackson, were doing the exact same thing at the exact same time - as seen in this series of photos!
It probably went something like this: The boys climbed up onto the chairs... We told them to get down... They sat down... in unison!

Oh how Mercer is growing up! He turned 18 months old last weekend.

He had his 18 month appointment a few days ago. The doctor said he was doing really well -- progressing as he should. He kept taking her books for her to read to him. She commented on how he really seems to like books. "Is he climbing," she'd ask. OH YES. "Is he talking?" OH YES. "Is he really into boy stuff like cars and balls?" OH YES! "Is he into everything?" OHHHH YESSSS!!! She used a number of words to describe him throughout the office visit as he was running from one end of the room to the other... a "firecracker," a "whirlwind," "exhausting." She used that exact same word - exhausting - at his 15 month appointment. Guess she really means it!

He has always been following the growth chart along the 75% curve. This visit, he strayed a little from that curve. He measured in at 33 1/4" tall and 26 lbs 14 oz. He's in the 80th percentile for height and 65th percentile for weight. He looks less like a baby and more like a little boy already. *gasp*

He's nodding now. You can ask him a question and he nods his head up and down now. (He's known "no" - the side-to-side nod for awhile.) Probably the cutest thing he says now: "cockle." He says that when he sees a motorcycle or a bicycle. (I'm shameless... I kept pointing out each & every motorcycle we saw in the mountains last weekend. We saw a TON of motorcycles and I still love hearing him exclaim "cockle!") He also screams when he sees a tractor (or a bulldozer) now. "acker" "acker" And he really goes nuts when he sees flashing lights on a police car or ambulance.... squealing and screaming.

It has been interesting to see how excited he gets by these things. Another thing I noticed recently - in a rain storm how "magical" it was for him for us to open an umbrella over the three of us this past weekend. His eyes just absolutely lit up and he smiled in amazement. It's beautiful to see things through his eyes.

A nice shot of Mercer gazing out over the lake last weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mercer is 18 months old today!

We gave him a little treat tonight: a new bath toy (Thomas the Tank). We're trying not to give into the characters / themes, but we know that choo choos make him very happy. He has no idea that it's the "Thomas" brand. Todd said that he was SO upset after getting out of the bath tonight. Guess he likes it! (That makes us happy.) Also, we're happy that the past 1 1/2 years of our lives have been INSANE. It's been great! : - )

There's a blog post from yesterday morning (wicked early -- middle of the night post). Be sure to check it out. I'll blog again later in the week. We had a surprise visit from some family and a weekend trip. Also - Mercer's 18 month appointment is later in the week. We'll have some new stats to report. Have a good one. Candice

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Can't sleep tonight.

So, of course... it's time to blog!

Here are some photos that were on a different camera. More water photos! A couple of weekends ago, we went to the Botanical Gardens for a visit to see the art exhibit there (Henry Moore sculptures) and to introduce Mercer to the children's garden. There are things that kids can run through and explore, but the highlight of the garden -- for kids at least -- is the fountain. He was nervous at first... wanting me to hold his hand... but once we both put our hands in the water and splashed around a bit, he was ok. From that point on -- he wanted to splash around all by himself; he didn't need me/us anymore!

It's interesting how he's apprehensive at first and wants one of us to lead him to the activity, then how independent he becomes.... and so quickly. (We've noticed this at other times as well.)

Mercer got to do something else new this past week. Some of the neighbors / neighborhood kids went to a play-place. It is a place where kids can go do gymnastics (it looks like it's geared towards competition, as there were a lot of trophies around). During the week - for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon - they have a thing called open play. They have bouncy houses blown up, bring out objects for younger kids to play on, and allow kids to use some of the gymnastics equipment -- mainly a series of built-in trampolines. Unfortunately, I'm just now discovering this place as I'll be going back to work M-F... but Mercer was probably too young to play / explore / enjoy it 'til recently. He was - again - nervous at first at this endeavor (I can imagine that this place was overwhelming... 30 or more kids running around, screaming, playing, music streaming, and lots and lots of activity). Of course, he warmed up and had a good time in the end. (It's too bad that I didn't take our "good" camera. The camera I took isn't good on action shots / a lot of stuff ended up blurry. But - you get the gist of what the place is like and that he did enjoy himself over all.)

There was something that we learned earlier this week. One of the little girls up the street - August - told her parents that Mercer was her best friend. It's been awhile since they've hung out (so it came out of the blue) but it is evident that the two of them do enjoy hanging out. Her parents told us previously that both of their daughters (who are generally shy) really come out of their shell for Mercer... that we will will have to watch him around the girls when he's older! We've ended up at their house many a time on a weekend night. One time we found him and the girls rolling around together, giggling. It's all good now, but in 10 - 15 years from now... not so good. : - ) Also, the feeling is mutual. When we drive by or walk by their house, Mercer waves -- even if they're not outside playing. He recognizes the house.

The last blog ended with a climbing story. So shall this one about Mercer climbing onto a chair. He just started that a week or more ago and has become extremely proficient at it. So much so that he wants to stand in the dining room chair... and climb ever-higher. To the dining room table! YIKES....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday afternoon post

As promised, more water.

Mercer seems to do ok in swimming pools outdoors. At a pool a couple of weekends ago / after about 10 minutes of clutching onto me, he lightened up... maybe because of the kids who were playing with him? These are 2 of Tana's children - Phoebe and Pierce. (I went to high school with Tana -- and she is one of a very few people I keep in touch with.)

But, unfortunately, he's still not that thrilled about his swim lessons. He went to his first official one a couple of days ago. He was the only child in the class (woo hoo - private lessons for the price of group lessons!). I thought that the noise level of the other kids playing and screaming / the acoustics bothered him during his trial lesson. But, there was no noise. There were no other kids around. He cried and clung to me and/or the instructor for much of the lesson. There were times when he seemed comfortable, but then would become afraid again. The teacher kept getting him to "high five" which he liked. We're hoping that he'll be more comfortable with each lesson. One of her goals (and ours) is to get him to the point to know how to float on his back -- face up in the water.

My mom was in town over the weekend. She snapped the pics at the swim lesson. We hung out at the house a lot, we went to the square for breakfast, to the farmer's market, and to a children's consignment sale. Most importantly, she got to spend a lot of time with the little guy. Here, they're playing with trains.

She also let us have a night out. Todd & I ended up scoring some last-minute (bargain-priced) tickets to the Paul McCartney show here in Atlanta Saturday night, so we went to see "a beetle" sing, got rained on, stayed out real late, and had a great time overall. We needed it. Thanks!

Todd's been working a lot this past week, as he has a deadline next week. I've been working a lot over the past few weeks as well because of some presentations and travelling. I've been doing my 2 days of work from home still, but am a little sad. Soon, I'm going back to work full-time. I'll be adding 8 more hours per week - 40 hours, but I don't think that I can do any of it teleworking from home, unfortunately. 8 more hours a week doesn't sound like that much, but I'm already trying to figure out how to make everything work... how to manage "life." Tons of people do it, though.

Maybe the sadness comes more so from the realization that he's growing up? Today, he pulled himself up onto our dining room chair... pulled himself close to the empty plate that was on the table. Grabbed the (adult-sized) fork and started stabbing at the plate with it. I put some pieces of blackberry pancake down for him to stab and he was able to hook it on the fork and get it into his mouth a number of times. He ate from a real chair on a real plate with a real fork.

Monday, August 10, 2009

quickie post...

I'm out of town for work and really should be going to sleep, but it's been SO long since posting last. I'm sure stuff has happened, but I've been working a lot / crazy / so am tapped out for some content.

I have more photos of DIFFERENT water activities than posted previously, but haven't downloaded them. I'll try to do another post in a few days. But - I have some cute pics that I've never posted of Mercer and a toy he got somewhat recently. Oh, I hope that he still thinks this is fun years from now!

Also, some things that are really endearing:

- LOVE LOVE LOVE when Mercer will get a book off of the shelf and will bring it to me. He'll carry it so far, then turn around and back up 'til he bumps into me. He knows that it's time to sit down on my lap when he bumps into my leg. (I can't remember if I blogged about this before.)
- We're working on discipline. Mercer 1 - doesn't know how to express himself fully so he gets frustrated and 2 - gets overly excited sometimes. He (accidentally) smacked me and it actually hurt, so I sternly told him no - it's not nice to hit mommy. He stopped dead in his tracks. Went directly into an (adorable!) crying fit. After a minute or two I asked him if he was sorry... he walked over and hugged me. Oh, it was awesome! How does he know how to do this?
- he is trying to help us out around the house. he sweeps with his broom. he loves his broom, actually! he tries to wipe up messes with kleenex or paper towels. and - if he catches us as we're emptying the dishwasher, he's in there grabbing things and handing them straight up above his head to us. it's a little frightening when he's handing us a (breakable) plate, but he's pretty determined to help. (these photos were pre-haircut a few weeks ago)
finally, speaking of kleenex.... we are trying to get him to blow his nose. we can hold a tissue up to his nose and he'll blow (and spit) into it with his mouth... but make the "right" noise as if he's blowing.
oh yeah - he's very into noses... and ears... and eyes... pointing and touching the various parts of the face as he tries to say the words.
well, i should run, but thought i'd get something quick posted. have a great rest of the week.