Sunday, March 31, 2013

Soup Night lives on + some stats on the kiddos

Forgot to mention back in February that some of our friends hosted a soup night since we decided not to host them this year -- someone I used to work with at Urban Design Group (actually a "former U.D.G. employee")....

Every year at soup night, there's been a "F.U.D.G.E." reunion.  It was really wonderful that Alice and her husband David hosted the ol' gang!  The top photo is the only one that shows both host (at left with his mouth full) and hostess (partially visible seated next to me).  Isabella got to hang out at the adult table while Mercer hung out with the kids at the table in the kitchen.

Also, last week, we did end up hosting a small (private) soup night for my childhood friend, Susan and her kids.  She's never been able to come to one & wanted to partake.
(She was in town visiting her parents during their spring break, as they recently moved to Arkansas.) Maybe one day we'll venture out there to visit them, but until then, we will jump on any chance we get to hang out while they're here!  
Although we don't see them often, this is one family where Mercer instantly feels plugged in.  It's pretty cool how comfortable he is with them - but I think it has a lot to do with how welcoming Susan's kids are and how they make him feel like he's one of the gang! 
They are a great group of kids.  (I know Susan reads the blog, so I'm hoping she knows what a fantastic job she and Chad are doing with them!!) 
We really enjoy any time we get to spend with them! 

Friday, I took both kids to the pediatrician.  Mercer was up for his 5 year appointment / Isabella - her 4 month appointment.  Both kids did great -- both are progressing as they should be.  Mercer weighed in at 46 lbs and 46" tall (3'-10").  He's 94% in height!  He had a hearing & vision test which was required for school coming up in the fall.  He also had his blood pressure taken and had to pee in a cup.  I went with him / was really hoping that he wouldn't miss the cup - since I was holding it!  He did great.  The doc said that they look for sugar (for diabetes), blood in the urine, and about 6 other things which I can't remember.  
He passed all with flying colors.  During Isabella's portion of the visit, Mercer had to go potty, but had to go on his own, as I was holding Isabella during her exam.  One time the nurse took him & stood outside the door.  The next time, the nurse pointed him in the direction of the bathroom & told him to come right back.  As we were wrapping up Isabella's appointment, a different nurse came down the hall and asked:  there are two urine samples in cups in the bathroom.  Does anyone know whose they are?  (oh brother! I knew instantly.  "Mercer... when you went to the bathroom... did you pee in a cup?"  He hid behind the door, "yes."  Why?  "because it was fun!"~~)  

Isabella appointment went well too.  She is actually a little bit tall (long) for her age.  She's measured in at 24.75" -- which is 56% on the charts -- a little taller/longer than average.  Her weight is 40% (13 lbs, 12 oz).  And her head circumference is 67% at 16 1/2" in diameter.  She's holding herself up (with a little support at the core), she's scootching, she's rolling over a little bit, and she's scootching (as seen here in these couple of photos - although at night her scootching & turning -- while encased in a swaddle -- is much more impressive. She's all over her crib & ultimately faces all sorts of directions.

Both are progressing well and able to do the social / behavioral / physical things that were asked during the intake part of the visit.  We are so lucky & blessed to have two wonderful, happy, healthy children!

(And a teaser for an Easter post -- coming up hopefully soon!)  : - )   


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ode to baby girl...

I felt inclined to capture some moments that occurred this morning... some things I wanted to remember.  So, with one hand, I typed an "ode" to baby girl! 


crying in the early morning.  anxious to eat. 
bottle made. devoured.
wake up big brother.  watch him.  laugh at his antics as he gets ready. 
oh... getting tired with belly full.

drifting back into slumber.  bye bye big brother... off to school... but baby girl did not see the kiss he planted gently on her forehead as she is comfortable, resting, sleeping in mommy's embrace.
nor does she know the joy that mommy feels in her heart as baby girl rests in her arms.  watching baby girl's eye lids twitch as she is dreaming.... hearing the soft slumbering sounds of baby girl as she is breathes in and out.  safe in the loving hold of her biggest admirer.  


I really didn't want to put Isabella down.  I held her for awhile, but then had to lay her on the couch next to me so I could get some work done.  But - I was "rewarded" with smiles when she woke up (like clock-work exactly 4 hours after she had eaten earlier that morning.)

Some other good things happened today too.  I received word this afternoon that - at work - we were bestowed a really impressive honor from the US Green Building Council.  Basically, we're in the top 1 1/2 % of LEED teams in the country and are piloting a process for them that they plan to roll out to all other LEED practitioners.  We found out about this last fall, but today, we've been notified that we have sifted to the top of that small group of professionals.  

Better than all of that, though:  my grandpa Nunn had some major surgery (a kidney removed)... and he's doing well.  Yay!

what a great day today has been~ 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Isabella's Adoption Day has been set plus....

... she will also be baptized soon too!
We have so much to be grateful for.

If you are able, please join us for this wonderful week - or - for the weekend if you can!

Adoption Finalization:  Wednesday April 17th - Cobb County Courthouse

Adoption Finalization Celebration:  Saturday April 20th - our house

Baptism:  Sunday April 21st - First Presbyterian Church
reception at our house following service

Friday, March 15, 2013

room renovations + some cute things...

Here the first attempt at doing baby girl's hair!  It's pretty fine and kind of does it's own thing, but today it was standing straight up on top of her head, so I stuck a barrette in it.  Thought it was kinda cute!

Like Mercer, Isabella has discovered that she can control her hands.  She'll hold up her hand, move her fingers around, and stare at it as it moves.  This was one of the things I found really fascinating when Mercer discovered... and it's still really cool now that Isabella is doing it too!

One thing she's doing with her hands that's not so cool -- she's constantly trying to suck on her fingers or thumb.  I catch her with her hands in her mouth.  Noooooo~~~~ we don't want to go down that road.  We were lucky that Mercer didn't suck his thumb, rather, used a pacifier.  And we were able to get him to give it up eventually.  Can't really do that with a thumb or finger!

Mercer has been saying some funny things lately.  The other day he came home from school and said his teacher told him he could fly to space and become an astronaut when he grows up (and he was very serious and adamant about this).  Then in the next breath:  "but I don't want to get married.  Ever."  Why not? I asked.  "Because married people are yucky."  Daddy and I are married.  "Well, you and Daddy aren't yucky." 

That was just one example that I can remember... wish I had been writing them down all along over the past month or so.  He's got a great imagination!

He's imagining things up in his new room, unfortunately.  He's been finding a lot of excuses to call Todd or I up to his room at night.  I get it... he's a little scared... but we've got to convince him that he's OK up there.  One day, he's going to love his room.  Once we finish cleaning out the upstairs, it will feel like a little apartment.  Futon, TV, fish tank, computer table.... he will never want to leave!  Guess it will take some getting used to. 

Here's a series of photos from his first night in his room.  (just before his birthday)  He was pretty excited then about it.  And - here are some photos taken since we've gotten a few more things finished in his room like decorations up / books on the shelf / closet "door" hung / etc.  He, himself, has converted his Thomas the Train table into a LEGO table... so he's adding his mark to his room too.

It took a couple of months to get to this point in Mercer's room.  Isabella's nursery conversion was quite a bit easier.  The bones were already there from when Mercer was in the nursery / converted toddler room -- we just had to convert the bed back to a crib and add a little finishing touch just above the crib:  the pink bow on the fish "girlies it up" a bit!

Isabella OFFICIALLY slept through the night her 2nd day of daycare (Monday, March 4th).  But - she hasn't done it again.  So... she let us know she could do it, but now chooses not to?  We shall see.  In the meantime, we're sort of sleepy here / schedules are a little out of whack~ 

We'll get there.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

more February memories + a March milestone

On the day Isabella turned 3 months old, she held her bottle by herself.  There was a post that day which reported this milestone of independence (Feb 13).  The following day (on Valentine's Day), she rolled over.  While I'm awake during the day, I let Isabella sleep on her belly because she seems to sleep better.  I heard some little grunts and noises, went over, and she was staring up at me... from her back. 

Later that day, I was changing her diaper and clothing.  I laid her in the pack-and-play.  By the time I came back, she was trying to flip over again, so I grabbed the camera.  She struggled and kept trying, but did not flip over on this attempt.  I got a few photos of her, however, seeing how she was trying to propel herself over (push up, swing leg, twist, etc).  Seemed like it was too much work / she was pooped out. 

It was almost 2 weeks later when she flipped over on her own again.  So - I grabbed the camera in hopes of capturing this special event.  Of course, she didn't do it again that day either.  She seemed too worn out to complete the task a second time.
The next day (Feb 28) she rolled herself over 2 times! (but I was working on Mercer's closet with power tools / didn't have a camera on me) It seems like she's getting stronger and she's got a little more stamina.... but I may not be able to catch this on film like I was able to do with Mercer. 

Isabella's tummy muscles definitely are developing, as she's been doing a ton of "reverse sit-ups" pulling her legs up. She has been spending a lot of time the past couple of days with her feet in the air. 
In fact, she was staring at and grabbing at her toes yesterday.  SO CUTE!
A little more on Isabella:  she has spent the past few nights sleeping in her nursery.  She and I did ultimately end up back out on the couch, however, the first couple of nights to finish out the remainder of our sleep as we have for the past 3 1/2 months -- my arm propped up so she won't roll, her head over my heart.  But, her 3rd night in the nursery, she slept almost all night.  We heard her & saw that she was awake at some point, but she went back to sleep on her own.  So - does that qualify as her having slept through the night??

Speaking of the over-sized comfy couch... she and I have spent a lot of time there during the day too -- here's a picture of Isabella and me at "work."  

Sometimes, she would lay on me as I worked (but she's getting too long and it's harder to do this).  Sometimes she would lay on the couch next to me while I worked or she would lay in her pack-and-play in the living room.  We have been VERY close these past few months.  We have had lots of bonding.  That's why I'm a little sad that she's starting to sleep in her own room.  I knew the day would come when we would move Mercer into his room upstairs and we would convert his old room back into a nursery.  But it's still a little sad!  

As of March 1, she entered into the world of daycare.  Here's her 1st day of daycare photo!  She is going to the same school Mercer goes to (and that he attended ever since he was 3+ months old) while I work in the office 3 days a week.  It will alleviate the stress of "will the baby start crying while I'm on a conference call?" (which DID happen a few times) -- and -- theoretically I should be getting more work done in the office, so I should be getting more sleep instead of working in bits of work in the middle of the night (which usually occurred between 2 - 5 AM depending on when she would wake at night).  I will still have Isabella with me at home 2 days a week; these should be more "relaxed" days because the bulk of my work will now be in the office.  It feels like a monumental transition, however, that both her sleeping in her room and her starting daycare occur within days of each other.  She's moving onto her next phase... the next chapter of her life.

Mercer's room is almost done, but he's been sleeping there for about a week and a half now.  The first night, Todd slept in the other twin bed that's up there, as Mercer was scared.  Earlier this week, I had to stay up there with him 'til he fell asleep... again... something scared him & he couldn't drift into a slumber.  We'll post photos of both Mercer's new "Big Boy Room" and the "converted nursery" soon as there's still a few things to finish in each space.  

Mercer had another birthday celebration, but this time at school with his classmates.  It was a Spiderman party complete with some Spiderman paper products, Spiderman Cheeze-its, and cupcakes with Spiderman plastic rings on top. This was his specific request -- for the rings.  Last year, he asked for party hats.  He actually said that next year, he wants a Dr. Seuss birthday party.  GLADLY!!  I'd love to plan that party.  (Let's see if he's still agreeable next year?) 

At his school, his teacher Ms. Zoica conducted the same sort of birthday discussion as his teacher did lat year -- bringing out a candle to represent the sun, asking Mercer to hold a globe, then walk around the sun a number of times to represent his journey as each year passed.  i brought the blog book this time so that I could remember some milestones at each year's passing.  Funny how easily these things are forgotten as time goes on.  SO GLAD to have been writing down these memories all along!! 

Rose Marie went with us to the school and noted how intent Isabella was watching the birthday-around-the sun event.  

Grandma "G" also got to partake in another celebration while in town... going to Mercer's last basketball game and party (Yes, there was another party... Mercer had cupcakes every day for 3 days straight!)  

He was excited to get a trophy at the end of this winter season sport and really seemed to enjoy basketball overall.  The one major thing he learned was how to dribble and run.  I feel certain that we'll sign him up for this sport again at the same spot next year.  As they get older, the baskets are taller and perhaps he'll pick up some more skills?

We registered Mercer for spring baseball.  Already this week, we got an email... the first practice happened this Saturday (in a little snow flurry)!  Wow - no break between basketball and baseball, although, I am glad that one has officially ended before the next starts. 

I am happy to usher in a new season.  It feels that the winter has stuck around so long this year.  (I've been very bound to the house each and every day -- also we've all been home more so at night and on the weekends as we haven't wanted to expose Isabella to the outside world during one of the worst flu seasons on record.) 

Oh, I can't wait to come out of hibernation and witness a season of renewal and growth!