Sunday, February 20, 2011

whirlwind road trip

We decided somewhat last minute to take a quick weekend trip to the Low Country. It was SO NICE to get away from home and soak in some warm weather for a change.

We went down to attend a birthday celebration for some of our college buddies. Three of them were celebrating a milestone birthday by throwing a big party (kids invited) and hiring a guitarist/singer who we all used to go see a lot down in Savannah. It was held in a private park on the east side of Savannah. It was pretty laid back. We all had a good time -- Mercer really really enjoyed playing the African gongon bell (cow bell). And - he did a pretty good job keeping rhythm as seen here: The guitarist, Jude, had a big bag of percussion instruments. Mercer definitely found the one that made the most noise!

We were not in Savannah long - mainly just for the party. We ended up staying out on Hilton Head Island to try to take in a little bit of the beach while we were that close. It wasn't warm enough to get into the water, but it was definitely nice enough to play on the beach, sit with a picnic lunch, kick off the shoes, and get sand between our toes. We packed sandwiches and sun chips, but did not pack enough for our lunch guests - about 30 seagulls and a crow who ended up joining us -- well really surrounding us -- squawking for food. It was sort of funny. It was definitely a unique experience. (No - we never gave in... we did not feed them any of our food.) They did, however, get a little brazen when we all got up to play ball. Several of them kept going near our blanket on the sand... then on the blanket... and then very close to where our out-of-sight (but not out-of-mind) food containers were. Mercer saw them and ran to chase them away. He was very protective of our stuff!
The following morning, we went hiking with (and carrying) Mercer along a trail that went through a wildlife preserve. Many parts of it (vistas across the marsh) reminded me of the trip that I took to Bottany Bay in Edisto last fall. Makes sense - both places are off of the South Carolina coast. We went in search of various "treasures" hidden throughout the preserve. We have a family hobby called letterboxing -- finding hidden stamps in public places. Mercer is seen here with his stamp book in hand. He likes to help push the letterbox stamp on the paper in his book... He likes to scribble a little message in letterboxer's book which is stored with the "treasure"... and he likes looking through his book at the various images we've collected over the past year. He's still too young to solve the clues and find the boxes, but I think he'll grow into it. One nice thing about this hobby - it leads us to places we may not have explored on our own.

As mentioned, it was a whirlwind trip -- but was restorative and just what we needed!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Imaginary Things

I've been spending some time "observing" Mercer. Lately, when I'm putting him down for his nap, I've also been laying down for a nap of my own in the bed next to his crib. I have a habit of waking up 10 - 15 minutes after I fall asleep (sometimes, the power-nap is annoying, but for the most part it's a good thing). After I wake up, I lay there - pretending to still be asleep & get to listen to him talk, play, and sing as he's trying to wind down for his own slumber. It seems that I need that mid-day nap with him on the weekends for the benefit of the quick refresher and i "need" to be around to see these cute things that he's doing. It's really been a pleasure observing him!

- He talks to his toys or stuffed animals that are in his bed. He talks to the froggy. Here, drink water.
- He drives cars along the side-rail like it's a road.
- He has even put some of his toys in time out! (I didn't catch what they did to deserve their punishment.)
- He sings little songs.... most of which I don't recognize. Either he's making them up or he's learning new songs at school.

Outside of nap-time, he uses a bumble-bee rattle and shoots it like a gun, making shooting sounds. He has a olive-wood cross that a dear friend gave him for his baptism. He flies it around like an airplane and makes flying sounds. He "feeds" Todd and myself fake food and makes chomping sounds.

LOVE seeing his imagination coming out! It's something that's been developing over the past several weeks... and I'm excited to see what else comes to life.

Mercer is sporting a new haircut - as seen in these photos. Some of the pictures are random shots around the house and others are at his friend Jackson & Glady's house making valentine sugar cookies.

Yesterday, we went to a movie at the dollar theater called "Despicable Me."

*SPOILER ALERT* if you intend to see it, skip the next paragraph.

It's an animated cartoon about a villain who adopts three girls to help him with one of his evil ploys. They get sent back to the orphanage after he pulls off his feat, but his heart is softened. He misses the girls, so he goes back for them and they live happily ever after as a 'unique' family.

This is the first time that Mercer sat through an entire movie at the theater. (We tried a free movie last summer - Toy Story 3 - but he didn't quite make it all the way through that one.)

He got scared a few times during this movie over the weekend... the cartoon dog on screen would growl at characters in the film... or there would be an action scene or two... but nothing really violent. He would cover his eyes and hide his head in my shoulder. I got to spend a part of the film cuddling and comforting. (yay!)
Overall he liked going. Proof: this morning when he woke up, he asked to eat popcorn and watch a movie on the really big t.v. again : - )

Have a great week ahead~ Candice, Todd, and Mercer