Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh, watching an infant is so much fun!!

Some things that I could sit and stare at ALL DAY LONG:
     - babies sleeping on their stomachs with their bottoms sticking up in the air (and ruffles on their bottoms too)
     - Isabella waking up from a nap.  She will smoosh her lips together, arch her back, lean to one side, and stick an arm in the air... that's how she stretches.  It's so cute to watch!!
     - Isabella coo-ing and gurgling and trying to "talk"
     - Mercer rubbing rubbing or tapping her head kissing on his baby sister
     - toothless grins
     - smiling in her sleep
     - even when she poops in her diaper, she's cute (yes - caught on camera -- check out this expression!!!)

At 2 months old, Isabella is becoming pretty expressive.  She already seems to be a happy baby - as she smiles a lot (waaaay more than she fusses or cries). Let's hope it stays that way!  She may even be teething right now - a slight fever / drooling a lot / bulges on her gums in two spots... but she still has a fantastic demeanor.  (We will, of course, update the blog at first sign of a tooth)

This past week, we had some visitors at the house!  My mom passed through for one day on her way to her cruise in the Bahamas!  She came at a sort-of stressful time (mid-week) and I had to work a lot, but that meant she got to spend a lot of time hanging with baby girl!  We will try to do more things on her return trip as she's passing back through & snap some photos!

My dad and step-mom Charlie also passed through town -- stopping by on Friday night to visit their newest grand daughter for the first time.   

We ate dinner together, played board games afterwards, and they oogled at Mercer and the baby throughout the whole evening -- giving each lots of attention.
One thing that was kind of interesting... Charlie would tell Isabella "I love you" and her coo-ing sounded like she was trying to say the same back.  (genius!)  I was recently reading that babies try to repeat the "aah" and the "ooh" sounds as early as 2 - 3 months.  It was really amazing!

Mercer still likes taking photos with his new camera... and one of his favorite subjects:  baby sister~

Mercer has been playing basketball in a little church league up on the square.  It's pretty casual, but it's a good fit for him to burn a little energy, learn some basic skills like dribbling, and practicing his "listening" to coach and tyring to play as a team-mate. 

Here, he's actually playing with a neighbor, Luther-Gibson, in green and a former neighbor, Lily, in yellow. 

It seems (so far) that the little guy likes to leave his post / run / go get the ball (sort of like was happening in T-ball).  And - I did observe more than one pile-up at the players tackled & wrestled the ball out of another kid's arms -- even if the kid at the bottom of the pile was on his own team.  Oh well!

Todd's been plugging away working on Mercer's closet and the trim-work around the perimeter of Mercer's new room.  The goal is to get him in there by his 5th birthday.  We had talked about getting him a booster seat (instead of his car seat) when he turned 5, but we snagged a sale & went ahead and got some for our cars.  He is SO proud of his new seat!  Funny kid~

Mercer will be 5 soon.... yikes!  We've already been planning his birthday party.  More news on that will be in next month's blog.  (but there will be a lot of things to blog about before that, I'm sure!)

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 promises....

... to be filled with a lot of great memories.

I think I've mentioned before:  we're exhausted, but we couldn't be happier.  This year promises to be a year where a lot of great memories are made.  Namely memories of milestones of a little one and developing experiences of one that's not-so-little any more.  We are still SO GRATEFUL for the gift of Isabella that has been bestowed on us as well as the gift of seeing a big brother blossom.

I have LOVED watching Mercer be a big brother so far these past couple of months.  (He's making up songs and singing to her now!)  And - it will be fun watching Isabella respond to her big brother as time rolls on.  She will smile when Todd or I make little faces at her now.  She's also starting to "talk" or babble.  This is usually reserved for such interesting subjects such as the ceiling fan or her mobile that's spinning around above her.  It's great to hear her call out to one of these objects.  I wonder what she's saying??  I've tried to catch a video of her blabbing, but it's hard to get on tape.  This video of Isabella "exercising" her legs is cute though: 

This is the first New Year's that we've not done anything.  Literally nothing. 

After our trip - we were too wiped out and are glad to have had a non-eventful evening.  We let Mercer take a really long nap on the 31st.  He appeared from his room groggy around 7 pm.  It did not take long for the "fog" to wear off and he was up for ringing in the new year.  He kept saying over and over again -- I love staying up late.  He had dragged out ALL of his toys and cycled through them throughout the evening.  Isabella slept through the excitement on Todd's chest which made Todd happy to be such an important part of her first NYE experience. 

We also decided not to host Soup Night this year.  It's hard enough keeping the house sort-of clean + making dinner for the 3 of us -- let alone cleaning and cooking for 10 - 50 other people too~  Soup Night has been such a tradition, but the enthusiasts who have joined us in the past seem to understand!  Mercer has started to "help" with the cleaning as seen here.  (He's asked several times to wash the glass door and recently asked to wash the floor as well!)  

Although Mercer seems to want to help with the cleaning, we don't really have to space to host this year.  Our living room has been taken over with a pack-and-play, swing, a Svan bouncer, activity mat, and rocking chair.  The playroom upstairs has also been taken over with construction materials (Todd is building a closet in the (former) playroom so that we can move Mercer upstairs and move Isabella into the nursery). 

My job the past two weekends during construction is to keep the kids occupied.  Mercer and I have been on a pursuit to find furniture for his big-boy-room.  To do this, we must take a tape measure and a swath of fabric from his bedding to antique / consignment stores.  Mercer used the tape measure to self-entertain for 15-20 minutes measuring random things in the house before we headed out last weekend.  Shopping with a 4 year old for furniture is not ideal, however, these antique stores often have other unique finds.  I think Mercer would have preferred us buying this game instead of a dresser, however.

We wrapped up the last of the post-placement home visits last weekend as well.  A representative from the adoption agency came to "interview" us and Mercer about how Isabella is doing here in our home... she's doing great!  The paperwork should start soon for filing for a court date for the finalization.  We'll have an adoption day party again.  Stay tuned~

One final thing I worked on this past weekend:  moving out the "newborn" sized clothes and bringing in the 0-3 and 3 month clothes.  (This always makes me so sad!!)  Someone at church continued handing-me-down some little girl clothes in these sizes and the next one up too.  Love the hand-me-downs!  I also have some hand-me-downs from mom of my clothes and a couple of things from aunt Becky that grandma Moore knitted.

We did get out and do one thing so far in this new year that was fun:  we FINALLY went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden's Christmas Lights show.  We scored some free tickets as a part of our community garden "membership."  We wanted to go the previous year to this new show of over 1 million lights, but it's a pretty expensive show.  

So... when the ticket offer came... we jumped on it.  It was a little bit of a splurge because we went on a school night / Mercer got to stay up late / and we all got hot chocolate or white hot chocolate as a part of our exploration.  His favorite part seemed to be the model trains, as we had to visit that area at least three times.  It was cute, too, to see him bending over looking inside of the train tunnels trying to figure out where they went or perhaps waiting for the train to come back out??  Isabella slept through most of it, but did wake up for a little bit of the evening.  We think she enjoyed it because when we visit certain spots in the gardens where the lights were especially bright, her eyes would get huge! 

She's got great facial expressions as seen in the photos here!  Yes, 2013 promises to be filled with a lot of great memories, indeed!