Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

Here are some pics I meant to post before we left town, but didn't have time.

Mercer and I tried making a gingerbread house this year. Unfortunately the little staunches that were to hold up the roof fell right off & the whole thing collapsed. Mercer had fun anyhow. He discovered that red hots are actually hot. He ate one and it took him several drinks from his bottle before his mouth wasn't burning any longer. Also, he discovered that he enjoyed eating gum drops more than sticking them in the icing on the house. Here, he is acting like he's about to put it on his house, then last minute pops it in his mouth. He thinks it's funny to trick us now. (Is this devious or cute?)

A week ago we had a little Christmas celebration at our house. Mercer's grandparents sent an art easel down & he enjoyed playing with this. He ran right to it and drew all over it. Later, he opened a Toy Story toy that we had gotten him and a little nativity set we got him as well. We're now on our trip to NC and NJ. I'll blog about that later, but wanted to get these pre-holiday pictures posted.

Merry Chirstmas to All.......

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We are in the thick of baking, packing, wrapping, and sending cards. Yes - Christmas is upon us. Don't have a lot of time to write, but mainly here to post some seasonal pictures. Enjoy!

We made it to the lighting of the tree up on the square. Santa and Mrs. Claus come to this event every year and stick around for a little while afterwards to talk to little boys & girls. Since we were having a slice of pizza with friends (as seen on the previous blog) the line to see Santa was short by the time we made it to the square. He actually got to spend a little time with him Mercer didn't say anything to him because he was being shy, but did sit with the big guy for a minute.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

finally done with the turkey & stuffing

Well, technically, some of our turkey & extra turkey stock is now stored in the freezer, but we are DONE with it for awhile! We had a nice Thanksgiving and we have A LOT to be thankful for. My mom came down for a visit. We had a traditional Thanksgiving meal... shopped on black Friday... and ate left-overs for days on end (even found some creative ways to re-make leftovers). Here, "grandma Gloria" & Mercer pose for a pic before we dive into dinner.

After eating leftovers for a week, we went up to the square to grab a slice of pizza at the local pizza joint and ran into our friends, the Ragan's. Of course, we had to grab chairs and all crowd around a table so that we could all eat together. These are Mercer's best buddies right now, as he always talks about Glady and Jackson. they like him a lot too -- especially Glady!

Mercer is doing some cute things....

I took a trip for work to Chicago the week before Thanksgiving. Mercer hugged me and said, "your my friend mommy." He also likes to pull up his chair at dinner over to sit next to Todd or me... or asks one of us to come sit next to him. He says, "come, play with me." Todd and I feel like he really enjoys our company.

There's another side of him too - as mentioned on previous blog posts - he's also independent. He "demands" sometimes that he does things FIRST. (Don't know why "first" but we know it's a way for him to exhibit control.) He is also adamant about trying to put on his own clothes. Here, he is insisting that this red shirt goes on his legs. The next week, he is insisting that these blue & white striped pajama pants go over his head. (I think on this one, he was actually stalling at bed-time while also trying to be funny.) But, we enjoy it none-the-less.

We're starting to move now into the holiday season. Right after Thanksgiving, we set up a tree and only got the lights on it. The next morning, he was amazed. The following day, I added ribbon and Mercer was amazed that something new appeared on the tree while he was asleep. The following day, he & I hung up shatter-proof ornaments.

Todd put up some lights on the outside of the house & he is amazed / excited by them every time we drive home at night.

This is, indeed, a great age!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We had a really great weekend!

Saturday, we went up to a local farm that turns into a tourist attraction each fall. They have a pumpkin patch (which we visited a couple of years ago for some nice photos of Mercer amongst the orange backdrop)... and they have a corn maze. We didn't realize that they now have "bouncy pillows" -- sort of like a bouncy house, but instead, it's a giant inflated pillow that comes out of the ground.

Mercer needed help to get up on the big bouncy pillow, as it was quite steep (here he's coming off of it as a slide). The small one - Mercer could run up to on his own.

The pumpkin patch was quite small, so we didn't get any good fall pics, but Mercer instead got to play on a tractor next to the pumpkins - which he was much happier about, I'm sure! We set him up on the pumpkin scale. He clocked in at a whopping 35 lbs (with shoes & clothes)!!

We also let him "direct" us through the corn maze. He loves giving directions now when we're driving (he knows alternate routes to his daycare in the morning: "go this way (he points to the left) i want to see the crane." There's a construction site at the hospital near our house. So - he was in his element at the corn maze. We let him go for it. He didn't go too far into the maze before turning around, so we did not get lost.

After leaving the farm, we stopped by a neighborhood arts festival. I did not participate in it this year as an artist with a booth or managing the children's art tent. Instead, a woman who started a business called managed the children's tent. She had science experiment stations set up. One was color mixing with dyed waters. Another had soluble materials that would expand upon hitting the water. Another station had a box of dyed water and translucent colored paddles that - when used together to scoop things out of the water - would appear to change colors. Mercer had fun playing at all stations, but when he was "scooping" (or really stirring) the contents of the box of dyed water, he was tagged by the local newspaper photographer. 2 years ago, Mercer was in the newspaper at this same event playing with chalk in the street. There are some of the other kids on the street captured in the article including a feature about an adopted girl whose mother wrote a book about their adoption story. She was selling the book there, but I didn't purchase one as Mercer's adoption story is so different. Maybe it will inspire me to continue working on the coloring book pages I had started years ago and make a series featuring Mercer?? Who knows!!

Here are some additional photos at the farm. Mercer likes to tackle & wrestle now. It's great on a bouncy pillow... but at home on the hardwood floor... that's a different story! He also likes to tumble now & likes for us to tumble with him. (NICE JOB, TODD!!) As you can see, Todd & I had a great time too jumping and playing on the bouncy pillow!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The weeks after our vacation

Unfortunately, I went right back to work as soon as we rolled into town (well, a few hours after we got back, I had to be downtown for an event).... then travelled out of town for a work trip.... then came back home to some crazy crazy stuff:

A few of our neighbor's houses were selected for a Georgia Lottery commercial. The crew transformed part of our street into a winter wonderland and the kids got to play in the snow (as they were setting up) then watch later as they were filming the shoot. They had big blocks of ice that they ran through a wood chipper then sprayed on the yards & roof. The premise of the commercial (we think) is that a snowman had a winning lottery ticket, ran away with it, then got hit by a truck. That's all we could put together as they filmed this sequence from about 8 pm - 11 pm. Then they moved down the street and filmed a different segment into the night (and around 6 am when I woke up & was checking on them, they were filming yet a different segment down the street just a little bit more! They wrapped everything up around 7:30 am, were packing up the trucks and left by day break!

That last picture you can see our house in the background - undecorated - and see where the action started next door. Pretty cool!! The snow stayed on the ground for that day, but afterwards - it was pretty much gone. (LOTS of excitement- and we can't wait to see how the commercial turns out! Don't know if that means that we'll be buying a ticket, though.)

Here, one of our neighbors put the scene together & you can see the fake snowman running and the real snowman getting hit by the truck / ice splattering everywhere:

The next day, we headed to NJ for Todd's class reunion. It was a very short trip, but we got to see Todd's parents, one of his brothers, his sister, and several of Mercer's cousins. Todd got to take a tour of his old high school and see what has changed and what has not (some of the same furniture and finishes are still there *twenty* years later! Todd enjoyed catching up with people from his class (except there was one who didn't come he had hoped to see) & overall, he is glad we went. There were some events one day (meeting on the playground behind the elementary school) and going to the homecoming football game that we all went to as well. I have wanted to go to his hometown in the fall - so this was great timing!

Mercer's been saying some funny things. (It's interesting to see his vocabulary grow and him trying to put sentences together.) When he wants help, he says "I help you" or when he wants one of us to pick him up he says "I carry you." Obviously, we know it's the opposite of that, but it's sort of impressive to see him try to put that together, I suppose! And - I would be remiss if I didn't mention that his favorite number is 5. He wants to take 5 cars to bed with him. He would normally eat a whole bowl of grapes before dinner, but if you offer him 5, he is content with that. (It sounds like a lot, I suppose?) When asking him how many of almost anything - his answer of course - is 5!

The following weekend was Halloween. Mercer has really been into monkeys lately (thanks to Curious George) so we dressed him in a monkey costume & tried to get him to say "ooh ooh ahh ahh" but he kept roaring like a lion! oh well. You can see here his "banana bag" that we made for him to collect treats (yes, a little bit of candy, but mostly raisins, fruit snacks, and granola bars thanks to our willing neighbors). And - Todd & I dressed up a little bit - here I'm donning bug eyes & antenna... which Mercer ultimately ended up with.

He was NOT happy about being in his costume at first, as he kept tugging at the ears trying to get the hat part off of his head - but once we went up the street to a neighborhood party and saw that his friends were dressed up, he seemed ok with it. The neighbors who host every year have a playground in their back yard - and a good "rolling" hill in the front yard. Mercer and his buddies went down the hill over and over again. Here's a good shot of Mercer his good friends (buzz) Holden, (bumble bee) Glady, and (crazy chicken) Jackson. It looks like he may be making monkey noises in this last one, but who knows?!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A couple of weeks have passed

Our beach vacation sadly came to an end - but we knew it would. Thankfully, Todd snapped some really beautiful shots at sunset on one of our last days there that we will certainly cherish. We tried to walk the mile-and-a-half to an inlet at the opposite side of the island to collect shells... but with a 2 1/2 year old... that was a pretty lofty goal. We did snag some shells along the way. (Mercer was mainly interested in throwing them in the ocean, however, so if we saw something we wanted to keep - we had to hide it or else it was destined to swim!)

While we were on the coast of South Carolina, we took a trip into Charleston -- about an hour away. Todd & I haven't spent much time there, even though we lived fairly close when we lived in Savannah. We played "tourist" and did things we thought Mercer would enjoy. We think he had a good time. He saw dolphins in the water, boats, horses, and roosters. (There were some chickens & roosters wandering around the street in one part of town where the horse stables were. Mercer tried to say cock-a-doodle-doo. To our amusement, he said "ca-ca-doo-doo." : - )

We rented bicycles one day. We rode to the beach in the morning... to a playground on the other side of the island... to eat ice cream at one of the few retailers on the other side of the island... and continued on to the SC State Park beach to look for sea shells before wearily riding back to the condo. When asking Mercer what his favorite part of the day was -- he said the ice cream. What?!!? We can do that anywhere! Oh well!

The last day there, Mercer wasn't feeling well. He laid on the couch with Todd all morning, so I went to a part of the island that's been turned into a nature preserve. Botany Bay Plantation is now owned by the state and open to the public. It is a unique undeveloped parcel of land approximately 4700 acres which spans marshes, farm land, and beaches that look the way that the coast looked before the other area shore-lines were cleared for beach-goers 70 years ago. It boasts one of the most diverse array of wildlife of any other place in existence (according to some educational information on site). I saw several dozens species as small as sand crabs... as large as heron in the sky... to dolphins in the water. Most of the plantation structures are no longer there, but there are a couple which are interesting: A Gothic ice house & gardener's shed.

I can imagine that sunrises at the plantation would be AMAZING. We will have to make it a point to get up early and go out there sometime, as we have already decided that we want to go back to the island, as it's one of the last non-commercial beaches left on the east coast.... nothing to do but play in the sand.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Couldn't resist posting these real quick

We're on our way to Charleston this morning & I need to get our things ready, but this was a funny series & I wanted to post quickly:

We're sure that many a men have been defeated by the ocean....
We promise... he IS having fun on this trip

(with the occasional *blip* from the sea)