Saturday, January 30, 2010

we survived soup night!

the last soup night of 2010 just ended. it was actually an early night.
we were trying to remember when we started soup night. i think it was in Jan 2002. it begun b/c i had read an article in cooking light magazine about a woman who had been doing this for 20 years one night a week for 3 months. and, after 9-11 2001, it was really important for us to connect with friends that year.

i found on one invitation where we were "bringing soup night back" - which means we didn't have it the year before (due to the renovation to the kitchen. our living room was full of boxes with the kitchen cabinets in them -- and the kitchen was gutted / we didn't have a stove.) doing a little bit of math, i think that this soup night was the 8th one we've done. CRAZY that we've been doing it this long! the demographics have changed quite a bit. the volume is a lot louder as kids run around & scream!

these are some pics taken at the very beginning of the year that we haven't posted yet. mercer is sharing his train with mommy's old teddy bear.

here's a few things going on with the little guy:
mercer is not afraid of the crowd of people at soup night. he does really well. he's pretty social.
he's also become quite the entertainer lately. he has pulled todd and me to sit on the step at the kitchen while he dances around the room. we're his audience and sometimes, he has this funny expression that he does when he's trying to figure out his next move.
  • he says "ok" a lot. you ask him a yes / no question... his answer is "ok" - as if you've talked him into something.
  • he tries to count. it usually goes something like this: 9. 3. 9.
  • we have to step up our baby-proofing efforts soon. he's able to open the door to the hall now.... which mean that he can get to the stairs where his train set is.
  • we're branching out on new foods again - exposing him to nuts and chocolate in little bits. chocolate chips in his pancakes & some pumpkin bread that a neighbor brought over... and walnuts in some "carrot cake" pancakes that todd made. so far / so good. don't think he's allergic to either, but we're still going with a little caution. if anyone's interested, here's a link to a recipe that looks similar (ours came from cooking light)
  • there are some video links that i meant to post in an earlier blog... last year, mercer was into bows on packages. this year, he was into the paper: and into attacking todd's sister, tonia:
  • at the end of the 2nd video - he's pointing at his nose and his ears. he loves doing that - pointing to his eyes, teeth, hair... and your eyes, nose, ears, teeth, etc
  • his vocabulary is growing exponentially. it's pretty amazing to watch. one day he walked over to the wall in the kitchen and it sounded like he said "this is the wall." he was hiding behind me and todd asked: where's mercer. sounded like he said "i'm over here." the phrases aren't totally clear, but - cool that he's putting little sentences together
  • we caught a glimpse into the future: one night, mercer threw his pacifier out of the crib & we couldn't find it. (actually, almost a week later, we still haven't found it!) we decided to try to make a go without it. oh - it was painful. after almost an hour of off-and-on crying, we just got another one. as soon as we did, he immediately fell asleep. we've been weaning him off of it a little bit and not let him go to daycare with it (he's in the toddler room now / they don't allow it). sometimes it's a struggle, but he does ok -- and takes a nap there without it. oh - we're not looking forward to the total ban of the paci!
  • finally - daycare sent artwork home in his bag on friday. i'm really happy about that!! he got to glue stuff onto paper. he got to do some finger-painting. he got to scribble with crayon. yay! so exciting! can't wait to see what he brings home this week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

This is the 200th blog! Mercer is 23 months old tomorrow.

Wow. 200 blog posts (according to the blogger dashboard!)

Mercer has changed so much over the course of these posts. He's not a baby anymore. He's not yet two, however, he's got "terrible twos" nailed down! He's mastered tantrums. He can go bone-less in a second and drop to the floor. Oh - it's been such a trying week for Todd and me as Mercer has now added biting to his repertoire. So far we've been able to avoid damage.

I think part of why it's been such a tough week, too, is because we're more in tune with what all is going on in Haiti after the earthquake. Watching it unfold has been heart-wrenching... especially seeing the children coping with the disaster. Don't know if it's because now I'm a mother that I think about the children... and the stories of mothers digging through the rubble searching for their babies. It's incomprehensible. I feel helpless here - but I can't imagine what it's like there on-the-ground. Obviously there are ways to give... I just learned about one that was interesting: providing solar cookers and water pasteurization systems for families.

Speaking of cooking... Mercer has taken a real interest in activities in the kitchen. We've rigged a booster seat in the bar stool so that he can sit up high and watch me cook (a safe distance from the stove or the counter where I'm chopping veggies). Here, he's helping out with pancakes (he pats them with the turner after we flip them).
We got him a little set of wooden vegetables that he can chop himself. He seems into it. He's always saying "I do it."

Mercer jumped on the bed for the first time this week. Last week, I saw him picking his nose! (But I didn't make a big deal about it / haven't seen him do it again). He drew on the wall for the first time this week. He keeps pointing to it and saying "Daddy." Is this the first time he's blaming someone for something? We're trying to teach him to say I love you. Sometimes he whispers back to me something that sounds like I know. He's taking an interest in potty-training. So far, he's just sitting on the little potty in his diaper. He also keeps putting toys in the pot. We'll have to make sure he stops doing this once he's sitting on it without his diaper!
Here, he and some of his friends have jumped on Todd at a soup night. It's been tough wrangling with the little guy, but he's definitely a lot of fun. It's hard work, but great at the same time! We'll see what adventure awaits us in the coming weeks. - candice

Monday, January 11, 2010

a new year

Since it's been so long since I've blogged - I'm sure a lot of details will fall out from the past two weeks... but this might not be a bad thing. (Some of the previous posts were too verbose; I'll try to be more succinct in the new year!)

We wrapped up the end of 2009 in our home spending time with neighborhood friends & their kids. We made it to midnight - but, of course, we put little guy down before the year's end.

We enjoyed the long weekend at home settling back in. (After the unpacking & laundry, that is.) We took Mercer to the Georgia Aquarium. (He's seen here in a bubble behind one of the tanks.) He hasn't been since his first birthday. He was impressed, but - unfortunately - not at his best. Maybe he was tired? Or since it was a holiday weekend, maybe there were too many people around? He threw quite a few tantrums. We'll try to go again soon, as he "oohed" at a lot of things... and was excited by the fish.

A couple of our friends from out of town stopped by one night and brought their 10 month old. They went out to dinner while we watched the baby. It was interesting to see Mercer react to Todd or me playing with the baby. (He was jealous at times.) Sometimes he had a hard time sharing. If the baby started to play with something, then Mercer would want to play with that exact item! Here, Mercer is sharing daddy's hat with Saber, putting it on him. Overall, the two had a good time together... and we enjoyed the time with the two of them.

As has been our tradition for a number of years, we have begun the new year with friends - and now a lot of kids - in our home. Soup night has begun! We'll post about the soup events later. Goodnight!