Sunday, July 24, 2011

One week and going strong...

Mercer has been going to the potty exclusively for a solid week now! We "upped" the ante.

On this - our third and hopefully final attempt - we have been giving him stickers on a calendar and more lately also giving him "fruit candy" (fruit juice chews). It had been working and getting him in the habit of going, but not all the time.

Todd thought - since a wrapped present worked in getting rid of the pacifier earlier this year - that another one might work to seal the deal on potty-training. The deal on this one: make it 5 straight days without "going" in his diaper and he would get a present.

He made it 4 1/2 days last week.

Happy to say that he made it 5 days straight as of this past Friday... and that he's been wearing thick cotton training pants ever since! And - he's been enjoying his prize...a Cars 2 video game. (Todd's having fun with this gift more so than the matchbox car prize from earlier in the year!)

Because of the potty training, we decided to stay home this weekend. I ended up cooking a lot of our seasonal / local fruits & veggies. Earlier this week -- making several different kinds of veggie lasagnas & later in the week -- canning Georgia peach & local strawberry jam as well as canning three pepper jelly (one of the three varieties from our own garden). It's SO much work canning... but I've really enjoyed "researching" unique recipes on foodie blogs.

Mercer asked if I was making the peach & strawberry jam for him. Yes. "Thank you mommy." He's been saying that phrase a lot lately to Todd and me both... (Well, for him it's "thank you daddy." WE LOVE IT!

We'll have a more eventful post next time, as there are already a couple of things on the calendar for next weekend.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the past two weekends, we didn't have plans but...

...we ended up doing some great stuff!

Last weekend, my friend Susan was passing through town and gave us a call. She and her kids stopped by the house for awhile then we all went bowling. We have been wanting to give this a try. We thought -- rolling a ball & crashing things -- Mercer would love it!

And - he did enjoy it for the most part. The hardest thing for him, however, was waiting his turn. But - all of the kids did great... and Todd bowled a really good game too (probably because the gutters were blocked by the bumpers!)

This weekend, we had an impromptu offer to go for a boat ride... which we gladly accepted. Our neighbors Pam & Orie have a pontoon boat which is perfect for cruising around the lake just north of where we all live. We tooled around the lake for a couple of hours 'til the sun set. Orie let Mercer "drive" the boat a couple of times -- adjusting the throttle, steering the wheel, and honking the boat's horn. He's giving the experience a thumbs up!

Mercer enjoyed it so much that this morning, he put on that coy smile... squinted his eyes and said "I have to tell you something, Mommy." Usually he wants something... a treat. Well, this time he wanted a different sort of treat: "I want to drive Orie's boat again!"

Mercer's language is really pretty good for a 3 year old. There are a couple of things that he says that are really adorable, though, that I don't want to forget. "Shosslate" translated is chocolate. "Lellow" is yellow. We'll have to take a video of him singing his ABC's and singing You are my Sunshine. Kids have the most adorable high-pitched voices that make these songs absolutely priceless. We'll see about trying to post some video of that sometime soon.

We don't have plans next weekend either. Who knows what we'll end up doing?! Have a great week.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Some things don't go so well... some do.

Meant to post these Father's Day pics in the last post. I changed that blog post title and put in this title that some things don't go so well:

We went for a hike, however, Mercer didn't do too much walking on his own. He seems too distracted to stay on the trail and move forward. Much of the walk, Todd ended up having to carry Mercer. We reached a new bridge that was recently built that was under construction (with a big crane) the last time we went hiking on that trail.

Better than making it to the new bridge -- was watching Todd teach Mercer how to skip rocks under the bridge. Little guy was more interested in throwing rocks in an making big splashes, however.

It was hard to pull him away from the water, but it was late and time for lunch / a nap for Mercer when we got done with the hike. One problem with trying to get a tired & hungry toddler to walk back is that tiredness and hunger override listening & moving. Once again - Todd ended up carrying Mercer almost the whole way back. It was a tough hike on father's day, but we did see a deer along the way which was pretty cool. Amazingly, he was not that afraid of us and took his time eating leaves.

On a more positive note, this weekend, we camped out in the back yard -- and -- Mercer slept in the tent all night!! Yay.... it went really well!

When Mercer was 1 - we went to a friend's mountain house. He was too distracted by all of the noises to sleep, so we moved him inside (in his pack-and-play) under the watchful eye of our friends who were inside.

When Mercer was 2 - we tried to camp in the back yard of one of our neighbors. It didn't go so well because there was still a lot of activity around the camp fire and a lot of noise -- he cried and cried so I brought him home not to distract the others trying to sleep in the tents around us.

But now that Mercer is 3 - he did it! It probably helped that we have the white noise from the pond to drown out most noises... but also that his friends who came to camp out with us also went to bed around the same time.

I think the kids wore each other out... Jumping on the air mattresses (although they kept saying that they weren't jumping)... catching fire flies (and each other)... and running around. Earlier in the evening, they also participated in a little artistic project -- which I borrowed the idea of doing from the lady who has the company Nerdy Baby. We weren't sure if the kids would like it... THEY LOVED IT. (basically mixing primary colors of water in ice cube trays with other primary colors to make greens, oranges, purples, and browns) it was messy - but perfect activity for outdoors.

I think that we're going to give "real" camping a try soon. (It would - of course - be fabulous if he were 100% potty trained. We'll keep working on that!) He is very concerned that we are happy. If he goes poop in the potty - he asks "are you happy mommy?" Yes I am. "Is daddy happy?" Yes, Mercer, he is happy. "Is everyone happy?"

Another phrase: Mercer will do something bad so we get onto him. Next he'll say "sorry. I not mean to." or "sorry. I not do it again." Which - unfortunately - we know that he did "mean to" do that thing... and he will do it again. But it is funny that he thinks this is what we want to hear.

One final anecdote: Mercer is very into his ABC's now. Loves singing ABC song, but really loves reading books (over and over) about ABC's. We've bought a few, but have also checked out ABC counting books, ABC car books, ABC alligator & animal books, ABC spider books. Interesting what a voracious learner he is!

And - we'll wrap with a post about something that took place this week: Mercer took an "intensive" series of swim lessons. Over the past couple of years, we've been taking him to group swim lessons. We thought things were going well... he became unafraid of the water when he was young... he learned to blow bubbles... he can climb out of a pool... he can pretty much float on his back by himself. He would sometimes jump in the water unassisted, but mostly not. He was progressing, however, he was still not swimming.

This "intensive" series taught by a woman with a pool in her back yard was half-hour lessons 4 days in a row. It was basically one-on-one (sometimes she had a helper so it was two instructors for the one kid). After his 1st half-hour lesson, Mercer jumped in by himself into the arms of the helper. Then he swam from that guy over to the woman unassisted... about 8-10 feet. WHAT? after 1 half-hour lesson?! By the end of day 4, he can jump into the pool and start swimming... and can swim across the short end of the pool!

She recommends that he come back next year for a refresher and to learn some more skills. SOLD! We liked the other place, but he was so distracted and not getting that personal attention -- which he apparently needed & thrived from! Cool~~

Tomorrow - for the 4th of July - we're going to watch some fireworks up at Marietta Square with a group from church. If there are some good pics / good stories to share, we'll post again soon. Have a safe & happy holiday! (No blowing off any fingers!)