Thursday, July 22, 2010

mr. independent

My mom came down for a visit, but we were so busy doing stuff that we didn't get any photos!

Possibly the highlight of the visit was the three of us (Todd, mom, and me) going to the beautiful, historic Fox Theater to see the Phantom of the Opera. It was an excellent performance & we are all glad we saw it / got a little culture in our lives.

While mom was in town, we all went to a pancake breakfast fund-raiser for a "friend-of-a-friend" who is in the process of adopting two girls from Latvia. We took an adoption class earlier this spring to learn more about additional avenues for adoption. It was there that we even learned that people did fund-raising for adoption. We're not sure the direction we're pursuing / if we would need to go down that road, but it was interesting to meet this family (who already has 5 or 6 kids, two of which are adopted) and talk about ideas with them.
Also, we provided mom & Mercer some one-on-one time while Todd and I were "forced" to go out to a movie. : - ) I think we wore her out, but we know she enjoyed seeing the little guy.

A couple of pics just before & just after the weekend capture two things that Mercer LOVES doing now. He likes to "drive" my car and play with the buttons on the dash, the mirror, the overhead light, the seat belts, opening the console, etc. There's also a sunglass holder above the driver's seat. His glasses were in it, so he put them on - upside down - but he's pretty cool with his shades on. (Oh yeah - I take the keys inside the house because I have a proximity sensor for my car & don't want him to accidentally turn the car on while he's playing!)

The other thing he is really into: playing with cars. He recently got a pack of matchbox vehicles (thanks grandma & grandpa groves). He is so enamored with them that he takes them to daycare with him... rushes to the car-park as soon as he gets home so he can play with them... and even takes them to bed with him. I can't recall if I've written about this, but Mercer is becoming quite demanding. He wants Todd or myself to come play cars with him. He'll run & grab us, "come" "come" as he's pulling on our hand. "Play" "sit" "sit on bottom" (if you're squatting or not really sitting down he can tell).

He's also becoming very independent. Most anything he says "I do it" (sometimes screaming and wailing 'til we un-do what we did so that HE can do it). He doesn't want to sit in his booster seat anymore. He takes his dishes to the sink sometimes. He carries his (almost as big as he) daycare bag into school. He's starting to TRY to pull his shirt over his head. Take off his own shoes. He is becoming very independent about most things - but still wants us around to play with (which is ok, as we like playing with him!)

His speech is really pretty good for his age (we think). He seems to try to repeat almost anything we tell him. Recently, he tried to repeat ridiculous / he slowly said "re-dic-us" with a slight inflection at the end - as he's a little unsure. That's a big word for a little kid. There are dozens of others like that which he at least takes a stab at saying. The development is AMAZING to watch.

We heard from his birthmother, Danielle, last night via email. It's been maybe 4 or 5 months since we've heard from her? We don't know too much about what she's up to because there's not much in the email - mostly how is Mercer doing? We gave her a full update right away & hope she is doing well. We'll send a scrapbook page in the coming month as Mercer will be turning 2 1/2. YIKES!

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

busy busy weekends.

Two weekends have passed since the last post. Mercer is ALL BETTER. (so am I)

We delayed our 4th of July trip by one day to make sure neither of us were contagious any longer. We're really glad we went on our trip instead of cancelling. We went to Tennessee to visit my childhood friend, Susan, and her family.

After a picnic in the gardens of the Chattanooga Choo Choo & a quick visit to the miniature train muesum, we continued on to our friend's house. They took us to a nearby town for dinner, a walk around the downtown area, and for frozen yogurt. Mercer warmed up immediately to Susan's kids. Here he is seen holding Caeli's hand. It was really cute to see him grab her hand -- he shy about it and kind of brushed her hand a few times before grabbing it. After walking, we spent quite awhile in a church courtyard where Mercer, Hunter, Caeli, Rune, and baby Saber played "tag" with each other. (Yes, the kids are soaking wet!)
The next day, we went to visit a children's museum - but because it's the 4th of July - it was closed. Instead, we played on the grounds of the museum which had a water feature. The highlight of that visit was feeding 5 baby ducks broken-up Goldfish crackers~ We actually had a very relaxing visit.

Afterwards, however, we went on an adventure like none that we had tried before. We have begun a new hobby called letterboxing. It's sort of like geo-caching, but it's all about stamps in books. You look up clues on a website of where people have hidden boxes. Most of the people have hand-carved a stamp to put in their letter box. You take an ink pad and make an impression of their stamp in your own journal. There's also a journal inside the letterbox in which you're supposed to put your stamp in / sign / add a message. Our first letterbox was one in which you had to follow clues (requiring you to go through a small city park / around metal sculptures / by a water feature / then dig to retrieve the box out of a bush next to a bench. There was a man eating a tub of ice cream on the bench... so we couldn't retrieve the box until he left (one of the letterboxing "rules" is to be discrete so no one sees you with the box. People who don't know what it is may take it).

Enclosed is a picture of the journal and the stamp. Mercer likes the stamp we picked out for him (a frog) and he likes looking in his own journal with the stamp impression from Tennessee.
This weekend, we went on another letterboxing journey - this time to a field of sunflowers. Earlier in the day, the three of us got up early and drove to a state park. Todd played a round of golf with a friend of ours - Mike. His sons and Mercer decided to help their daddies with their practice round on the putting green before the first tee. Mike's wife, Sara, and their boys (Aaron & Alex) joined Mercer and me at a park playground, then at the park's beach. We beat the crowds and the heat by going early. By lunch-time the guys were playing golf so we all had a picnic lunch together.

Following lunch, we all parted ways. Todd, Mercer, and I went on our 2nd letterboxing journey. The box and stamp were hidden in an accessible area of the foundation of an old sharecropper's house located at the front of field of sunflowers. It was pretty easy to find -- not as exciting a hunt as our first experience -- but it was a beautiful place & we're really glad we went. The immediate grounds surrounding the house were lush and covered in thousands of blooms of various types. Then there were acres of sunflowers small and large that you could go though & cut. There was a table with plastic vases on it, clippers, and a box for depositing money for the sunflowers on honor system.

This site, as we have learned, hosts an annual sunflower festival every 4th of July. If you're east of Atlanta during the summer, we would certainly recommend a visit! The letterbox stamp - of course - was a sunflower! We think this will be an interesting hobby for the little guy. He likes stamping the impressions in the book... but we think that it will add a level of adventure in his life and create some unique experiences.

We've got to look up a location for a letterbox here in our town so we can go on another journey next weekend~ Have a great week.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

sickness in the house

A quick post to say "WHAT A WEEK!" and it's only Thursday...
Sunday afternoon we noticed a rash on Mercer's face. Sunday night after his bath noticed that it had spread... so began the research on rashes. Sunday - middle of the night when checking on Mercer - the rash had spread more & the original rash had changed to blisters. By Monday morning some of the blisters were crusted over and there was more rash / more blisters appearing.

Middle of the night Sunday / Monday morning we were thinking that Mercer had chicken pox. We called the pediatrician and she told us not to worry about anything... he's contagious... keep him away from others.... but bring him in if he's infected or if it gets on his eyelids.

All right. Here we go.... Chicken Pox. By Monday night, Mercer had one bump on his eye & by Tuesday morning it was bigger. Todd called the pediatrician and off they went for an office visit. But... Mercer didn't have the pox. He had a "really really bad" post-viral infection. Upon further research on his papers from the pediatrician - a bacterial infection called impetigo. The picture here looks way more like c.pox than what I've seen of impetigo (in fact - impetigo pics look way way worse / much grosser than what his rash / what c.pox look like!). I was very suspicious 'til the antibiotic cream for his face actually started working & healing the blisters. Sooo...... Mercer's fine. He's acting his normal self (has been for the past couple of days).

I've been feeling bad the past couple of days, though. I learned after switching my research gears to impetigo that it can come from the streptococcal strain of bacteria. So, I put a call into my doctor after looking up some symptoms I've been having... and I officially have strep throat! I'm on antibiotics now, so hopefully in the next day or so our family is feeling 100% back to normal?!

What a crazy ride it's been~~~~~~