Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Mercy Girl!

Today was Mercy's third birthday.  It's hard to believe that three years have flown by so quickly!  However, the rate at which she is growing, learning, and changing most definitely attests to the fact that she is no longer a baby.

Mercy's 1st Birthday

Mercy loves "school."  We have several Kumon books that we work on most mornings.  She is progressing well at learning to read and write the alphabet, her numbers, and in coloring, tracing, pasting, and cutting.  She doesn't ever let me forget that it is time for school!

Mercy's 2nd Birthday

Most recently, Mercy has begun vocalizing her faith and what she understands of what she's been taught, which we love.  In fact, yesterday, on a trip back home from my mom's (6 hours away) we made a potty stop, and while taking care of business, Mercy proceeded to preach a sermon.  Ryan had taken her potty, so I got the story second hand, but it goes something like this:

Mercy (in a near shout): "I go potty!  I make Daddy happy.  I make God happy.  I obey God. God is everywhere.  God is in heaven.  Jesus go up in the sky to the clouds!"

Ryan said he basically "yes, honeyed" the whole way through.  We realized then that when you teach your toddler what you believe, there is no keeping it secret!  Not that we do, but we'll be "witnessing," if you will, on a rather regular basis now if she has anything to do with it.

Mercy was the official frosting test-taster.

Me frantically trying to finish the Pooh Bear cake on time.  In my new maternity apron from Bon Appetit Aprons.  I have the privilege of doing a review and giveaway on my Gluten Free Motherhood blog soon!

Mercy enjoying her new Ergo doll carrier from Uncle Patrick, Aunt Krista, Timothy, and Lilli.

Opening her new non-spill bubble bucket from Gilead.

Opening her new carpet sweeper from Mommy and Daddy.

It really works!

Trying out those bubbles.

A new piano from Grandma and Grandpa!

The finished Winnie the Pooh cake.  Sorry it's sideways.

Blowing out candles.

Gilead enjoying his cake.

The past three years of being Mercy's parents have been a privilege and a blessing.  We look forward to many more to come!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hospitals and House Sale Prep

Earlier this week my mom spent some time in the hospital for severe abdominal pain.  We'd been planning on going to spend a week with her to help prepare her house to go on the market, but we'd all been sick and were waiting to get over our plague.  Her hospitalization sped up plans, and we came on Wednesday.

Mom was released Wednesday morning, and, though not 100%, is much, much better.  So we commenced preparing the house for market.  There are some things we aren't able to do--like refinishing the floors.  But we can certainly help with organizing, rearranging, painting, and other things that simply make a place more attractive.

We decided to tackle the hardest, most dreaded places first.  You know, the ones that collect stuff, whether you intend for that to happen or not.  We started with "the hole."  Otherwise known as the mudroom, but dubbed "the hole" thanks to the fact that it is a couple of steps below the level of the rest of house.

"The hole" also has a nifty loft bed option.  A few years ago it was always ready for company, but the bed eventually migrated off of the loft and into a bedroom, which meant another bed had to go into the basement.  After the loft space was cleaned up, we relocated the bed back to it's original home.  This allows this two bedroom house to sleep company with relative ease!

The bottom portion of "the hole".  That desk on the right will migrate to a different room once the room it is moving to is ready for it.  The random stuff on it will also be relocated...

Next, we set to working on the basement.  There are still some things there that need to be relocated.  But like the desk, the places they are moving to aren't ready for them yet.

Still, it's shaping up nicely--especially for a basement!

And, the current project, is the second bedroom.  It is being painted as I write.  It was determined that this pregnant woman shouldn't paint--especially since I've had problems with contracting too early in the past.  Here it is in the prep stages.

Mercy on her way out to the garage to "help" Daddy.

Gathering the painting supplies from the garage. 

Tearing the old, yucky carpet out of the bedroom.


Gilead putting in his two cents.

Mercy had to help, too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yard Sales

In Moscow yard sale-ing is a very competitive sport.  Sales are usually Saturday only affairs, and start as early as 6am.  People wait on the sidewalk, ready to descend upon your property as soon as you give the okay.  If you aren't there when it opens, don't count on finding the treasures advertised--particularly if baby/kid stuff is involved.

Despite that, we got to be pretty decent at it, and just about all of our children's books and toys are from yard sales.

Here in Silverton, yard sales are an entirely different sort of deal.  Everything seems to be very casual, and sales start as early as Thursday and always seem to run both Friday and Saturday.  8am is an early start time.  We're just getting it figured out.

This was the first week I remembered to look for ads before Friday.  So I mapped out the sales Thursday and was at the most promising looking one at opening on Friday morning.  I was the only one there, and they had all sorts of high quality children's things for low prices.

We came away with this folding table and chair set for the kids.


We eat outside a lot when weather permits, and will do so even more as the weather, house, and this pregnant lady heat up.  Ryan and I do fine in our camp chairs, but the kids need a solid surface.

We also got this, which will be a birthday present for Mercy from Ryan's parents.

This is a stock photo from Melissa and Doug, but ours looks exactly the same, is in great shape, and they only wanted $15.  That's a $140 toy!  It's currently hiding in a closet...

I have no idea if this is typical for yard sales here, but we'd be thrilled if it was.  Now to find some good kids clothes for next to nothing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Big Girl!

I began potty training Mercy when she was ridiculously young--15 months.  But she took to it quickly, and by 17 months she was in panties.  We had a brief hiatus at 20 months when Gilead was born and she had pneumonia all at the same time, but six weeks later she was back in panties.

Then we moved in August.  After about a month she was back on track.  Then we moved again in December.  And every one to three weeks after that for three months.  This was not helpful in any aspect of life with small children, let alone potty training.  Mercy no longer slept through the night and had lots of accidents.  I threw in the towel and we used pull-ups most of the time.

We've now been where we are for nearly two months.  I switched Mercy back to panties while at home about two weeks after we got here, and while she had a couple of accidents a day, panties were still much more economical than pull-ups, so I stuck with it.  However, there has been so much going on that I also haven't really "focused" on the potty training thing the way I did the first time around.

And all of a sudden, about four days ago, when I was sick and Ryan was letting me sleep in he went to put Gilead down for his morning nap and heard Mercy yell "I go potty on myself!"  Well, as it turns out, what she had actually said was "I go potty all by myself."  And sure enough, she had.  And continues to do so.  There have been a couple of accidents, but overall she takes herself, wipes up, and then rewards herself with a sticker.  We're not complaining a bit.  Such a big girl!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

20 Week Pictures

There's been so much going on this pregnancy that that, combined with the fact that it's my third time around, has resulted in almost no pictures.  So, here are a few that Ryan snapped tonight, at 20 weeks 5 days with Abel Valor.

While that last one was being snapped Mercy declared that she needed to potty and proceeded to water the lawn...