Friday, February 24, 2012

4 times around the sun

Happy Birthday, Mercer!
(argh... missed posting ON his birthday by 2 minutes!)

I had the pleasure of going to Mercer's daycare today.  I read one of our favorite books to the class called "Stop that Ball."  The narration was complemented by Mercer piping in with "WHACK" and "BOOM BOOM BOOM" in the appropriate spots in the story.  He was very into it and his classmates seemed to enjoy it as well.  The reading was followed by an activity that is apparently common in Montessori schools:

The teacher, Ms. Neda, lit a candle and placed it on the floor saying "this represents the sun."  She had Mercer carry a globe around the "sun" 4 times -- one trip around for each year of his life.  She asked that I tell the class about the day Mercer was born on his first trip around.  She asked about his first birthday during his next trip around.  She asked about what he was doing when he was 2 on the next time around and then highlights of his 3rd year of life on his final trip around.  Afterwards, she announced that Mercer is 4 years old today and asked the class to sing Happy Birthday.  Next, he blew out the "sun."

It was an unexpected, but very cool experience!  Another great thing happened while there.  Ms. Neda told me that Mercer is the kindest child in her class.  Ahh... that made me VERY proud!

This kind kid said that he wanted party hats and chocolate cake at his celebration at school.  He picked out the hats seen here and also got to pick a friend to sit next to him, Gabriel. 

After school (and after work), he opened presents here at home.  He got a lot of great things including a bicycle!  We were given the bicycle by a stranger 1 1/2 years ago at our local post office!  We added training wheels and it was ready for him to take a spin.  He did not enjoy it so much his first time on the bike, but we're sure he will warm up to it in no time. 

We have a party planned for him at a local nature center in a couple of days.  There will be more photos to follow as we welcome Mercer's 4th year of life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Back at Christmas, Mercer and I tried to make birdseed ornaments.  We tried several different "recipes" found on the Internet, but they ALL failed miserably (well - except for seeds stuck in peanut butter on pine cones or dried out pieces of bread).  For Valentine's, we tried another project:  marbling paper.  Tried a couple of different kid-friendly processes....and, yup... that failed miserably too.  Oh well!
We ended up sending some of the "marbled" hearts out -- unlike what we had to do with the gelatin-filled bird seed clumps (trashing them).  So - in case you were a lucky recipient of one & wondering why there are oily splotchy pieces of paper in envelopes... there you have it.  Mercer did have fun, however, and he kept asking to "do the thing with the water."  I suppose that's what's most important.
We tackled a project that we were supposed to do around Christmas this week:  make cranberry & popcorn garland for the birds and squirrels.  This project finally happened; it's now "Valentine's Garland."  Here's a picture of him in front of the garland hanging on our little maple tree.

Mercer had a nice day at school -- exchanging valentine's with his classmates.  We also celebrated as a family tonight -- partaking in a great dinner of french onion soup, dinner crepes, and dessert crepes.  ~yum~

We hope that each of you are surrounded by *extra* love and loved ones this month!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

oh the times are a changing...

It seems that we are starting to lose our good eater. We knew it would happen one day, but it's hard to watch (and it's hard to deal with at dinner time).

Pretty much every meal begins with "I don't like that."
We have to remind him that he's had the meal before... he likes it... and/or it's new & he has to try it. For the most part it works. It's tough to not give in, though.

He's been refusing to get out of bed in the mornings too. "I don't want to get up. I'm still tired." ugh! FLASH FORWARD 10 YEARS... bet those words will be spoken then too!
We are hoping that Mercer is going through a phase and that these negative phrases will be eliminated from his vocabulary soon!!

We've found something that motivates him: earning pennies on a behaviour chart that we have. He gets a penny taken away when he does something bad. We add a penny when he does something good. Thank goodness he doesn't really know what the value of a penny is. It seems to work (much like stickers did when he was potty training). Ahhh... it is refreshing that simple things like this work to encourage him to do good things.

On a separate note, Mercer has learned how to snap now and will walk around totally impressed that he can do it. He's learning the days of the week and learning his seasons of the year.

Here are a couple of cute photos of Mercer and "his gang" in the upstairs play room during Soup Night last week. Six kids snug on a couch. They all fit! (Mercer is pictured here (L to R) with Jackson, Jude, August, Glady, and Skyla) We really LOVE our neighborhood, LOVE these kids, and LOVE hanging out with their parents! We look forward to bringing another child into our home and into this neighborhood. Blog-readers, please keep us in your thoughts & prayers. Let us know if you hear of any opportunities that we can pursue / research / etc.

We have been diligently working on our homestudy process. Our social worker has made some suggestions for us in terms of paths to pursue - but none of them are the clear choice at this point in time. We're hoping that the RIGHT opportunity presents itself, as we know we cannot use the same consultant we used for Mercer's adoption due to her fee + the agency cost.

It really stinks that this is a barrier. There are so many children that need homes. But in doing research, this is not just our barrier -- it's pretty commonly cited as the reason why people who want to adopt cannot.

Here's a nice way to end the blog: Mercer trying to make us laugh. Here, he is taking -- rather, "faking" -- a nap:

Have a great week~