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 nerdybaby.com 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?!