Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Of Babies and Grandmoms....

Phone conversation with my Mother this afternoon
Grandmom Lorraine:  "Mercer spit up today"
Jen:  "Really?, He never does that."
Grandmom Lorraine:  "Yea..Maybe I squeezed him to hard...I don't know."

Reminds me of that scene from "Of Mice and Men" with Lenny and the Bunny....

Luckily Mermie survived - he loves Grandmom squeezes!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cirque de la Junk

"To Circ or Not to Circ - That is the Question" - Shakespeare, as interpreted by the JenStar

I've kicked this around in my head 1,000 times and until Mercer is old enough to tell me that we made the right decision for him - I'll probably still question it….THE CIRQUE or his circumcision.  We missed the window of opportunity at birth to have it done, mainly because they wanted to make sure that he peed straight and if he didn't, they wanted to correct that and circumcise him all in the same procedure.  Now that I've had about 9 months to think about it - I'm really apprehensive about the idea of someone operating on my son's junk.

This decision isn't about religion - you can practice whatever the hell you want whether you're cut or not.  This isn't about hygiene anymore - it's 2011 AD, not 1200 AD - we have soap and take showers daily.  I'm sure you could get some great videos on the internet of how to clean uncut junk….and on second thought, let's not Google that.  This decision is purely cosmetic.  It's about how we decide our son's junk should look.  I feel like we're making a very personal decision for Mercer - one that, if given the opportunity, he may not have chosen for himself as an adult.  I feel like I don't know him well enough yet to make this decision for him.  And I think that bothers me more than ANYTHING else about this procedure.  I guess that's just the hippie-parent in me.

I will say that ALL of my guy friends have been VERY supportive…ALL of them have said, "He'll thank you when he's older" or "I wouldn't have done it as an adult if it wasn't done for me as a child because of the pain involved".  My Dad even poisoned my mind by saying, "You don't want him to have stinky d*ck , do you?  Get it done."  (SHUDDER)  EVEN AFTER - all of that - I still have doubts.  What if Mercer is the kind of guy who wants to wear a "helmet" into battle? 

To backtrack - Just the surgical consult was a lesson in pure composure for me, the "Amish" person that I am.  I had to endure a 20 minute discussion about my son's future sexual function (which is HIS business and not mine)..with the pediatric urologist (note…what makes someone choose that field, specifically).  And I made it through without laughing, flushing or passing out after hearing the doc use words like:  "hard", "erection", "climax" and "urinate".

And a date was set, and then rescheduled because of work travel and then rescheduled again because of illnesses.  So, here we are, on the eve of the eve of the procedure (scheduled for 2/24) and I'm still waffling. 

And I can waffle all I want, but it's still getting done.  And I guess that is, in part, what parenting is all about - making the Hard (pardon the pun) decisions, in an informed manner, in your child's best interests.  Or…in our case…the parents' best interests.  This procedure will avoid having us explain to a potty-training-3 year old why "Daddy's" is different than his.  Yeah - Let's Cut and Run.

Good Luck Moosie. We love you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

All I Wanted

All I wanted was to take Mercer to his first Yankees game (Spring Training) when we go to Florida next month...of course - every NYY game (home and away) is sold out.  Guess we'll have to do it proper in the NYC in May...

**Edited:   I forgot about StubHub!  Hmmmm.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thawing Nostalgia...

Each year, on the first warm day after a long cold snap, I love to walk outside with my face tilted toward the sun - soaking in the Spring to come.

And each year, on this day, without fail, I think "Today would be a great day to pitch (softball) outside."  Growing up, it was always a treat to practice outside in short sleeves in the middle of Februrary - after having been cooped up in gyms since November. 

It's been 14 years since I picked up a ball and hurled it towards the plate.  And, while my shoulder is better off without it, my soul longs for the smell of the fresh cut grass, the red dirt under my fingernails, the fresh, crisp breeze on my bare arms (because I hated wearing long sleeves) and that one hour with my Dad every day, one-on-one, to sort out all of (my) world's problems.  (thanks, Dad!)

I guess you can take the girl out of the game, but can't take the game out of the girl...

Play Ball!

JenStar in her tomboy phase that lasted until she was 18.

My Funny Valentine

This photo depicts Mermz amongst all the LOVE that we received via the USPS....
NOTE:  he especially liked his Valentine from Hannah.....
I can't read, but, I think this says that she LOVES me...

Our Valentine Dessert:  Homemade Molten Chocolate Cakes with Fresh Whipped Cream paired with Guava Mimosas....HEAVENLY!  Nom Nom Nom

Mark & I bought each other funny cards and totally practical gifts - I'm getting his VW detailed and he got me a lapdesk because I like to sit in bed and write blog posts ;).  My favorite comment of the night was when Mark said, "Jenstar - this is the most expensive lapdesk that Office Max carries - THAT'S how much I love you".
The most expensive lap desk in ALL the land...
 I hope you felt the love this past Valentine's Day - I know we did!

Monday, February 14, 2011

We Got a Groovy Kinda Love...

February 14, 2011 - VALENTINE'S DAY

TO ZANDI & LULA...who make me appreciate how close a sibling bond can actually be - I Love You.  You make me value my relationship with  your Aunt Andrea more and you make me seriously consider adding another little hen or rooster to the Seid-Brood.  You love us unconditionally, despite the fact that we kick you out of bed in the middle of the night, we don't allow you to eat bags of food at one sitting and we haven't  let you eat the baby (yet).  You guys are fur-covered balls of love and I can't tell you how much my heart swells and my smile widens when I talk about you.  WE LOVE YOU.

Luciele Veronica (Lu) & Zandi Opal - 2/2011

TO MY SON...Who has taught us a new meaning to "spending the morning in bed".  You are the cherry to our sundae - you make everything in our lives just that much more special.  Happy First Valentine's Day.  May you grow to shout love from the mountain tops and know love in family, friendship and flirtation.  And may you always be "man" enough to say, "I love you" or "I love you, man" (LOL).  We Love You, Son.
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday in bed

TO MARK:  A man - not so romanced by the traditional hoopla of Valentine's Day...I offer you this:
From "Danny's Song" by Loggins & Messina
Now I see a family where the once was none.
Now we've just begun.
Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun.
And even though we ain't got money (because of DAYCARE),
I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

And to that I will add that if Mercer kicked off  the 3rd chapter of our lives together, then, I cannot wait to read the rest.  So, let's continue to live out this perfectly imperfect love story together, day by day, hand in hand, until our ends of time.
I love you, Tar.  PS - All of this was spell-checked - I know how important that is to you.  ;)

June 15, 2002 - "I do"

December 25, 2010 - And Mercer Makes 3...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Driving" His Jeep

This is for Bubby & Grandpa.
Mercer is learning how to make his Jeep "go" and he's pretty damn excited about it!

You Say It's Your Birthday...

February 13th, 2010 - Andrea's 30th Birthday

I found my sister's birthday card this year about 9 months before her actual birthday.  It was so ultimately perfect, I could not resist. On the front, there was a picture of two little girls in swim caps and on the inside it reads:  "Happy Birthday to my sister, from the person that let you live to see this day".  For those that were around us growing up, well, that about sums up our childhood.
Dre & Jen in a rare moment of civility
And while in adulthood - we definitely have our own distinct views on the world; she's the white to my black, the type A to my Type B.  We are MUCH more friends than enemies - and that's just the way I like it.  (She now channels all her "fightin" energy towards Mark).

Happy Birthday to the girl that I shared my childhood and apparently my haircuts with (thanks MOM).  To the girl that tried to suffocate me with a bean bag chair.  To my student in the lecture hall of Grandmom U's basement.  To the kid who took the fast balls and wild pitches without flinching.  To Dad's clone.  To the Princess.  To the smarter of the two of us.  To the person that rivals Asian tourists in picture taking.  To the best Aunt in the whole damn universe!

New Mom, New Baby, New Auntie - June 2010
Happy Birthday to my sister and my friend; my son's "Dunta"..just kidding…Auntie!  You have the next 70 years to grow into the fabulous woman you've become in your first 30.


Look out world! - Love - Su Hermana, La Jenstar

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Porcelain Playpen

So - yeah - turns out - when you have to get ready in the morning and your son wakes up an hour before he usually does - you can use your giant, empty bathtub as a playpen.  Eventually, he'll learn to climb out of it, until then - we have him CONTAINED.  :)

Pink - It's a New Kind of Lingo

Breast Cancer has reared her ugly head very close to home.  Recently, our crazy-loveable, friend, Jane, was diagnosed.  She had a small tumor removed in December and February 14th starts her 6-weeks of daily radiation treatments. 

To know Jane, you have to know her past...her past lives, actually.  To sum up all 1000 of them, Jane is, and apparently, has always been, a WARRIOR.  And as she heads into battle to fight the "Breast Cancer B*tch" she trades in her sword for radiation and her cape for a hospital gown. 

I found this quote, below, and it reminded of the journey that she's about to embark on. 
Jane - you're not heading into this alone.  Look behind you - we're all there - swords at the ready, (pink) capes blowing in the wind, prepared to carry out your call to war.  Just take the first step...

"Take the first step, and your mind will mobilize all its forces to your aid.   But the first essential step is that you begin.  Once the battle is started, all that is within and without you will come to your assistance" 
 - Robert Collier

We love you - Jen, Mark, Mercer (and ALL the hens, I'm sure).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bananas 4 Bananas

Mercer's (over)reaction to his fruit....

Tooth Proof

Mercer spouted Tooth #2 - Here's the Proof!

I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends

"What a wonderful thing; to come into this world and already have a friend"
 - Z. Kerezov


 Ayden & Anderson (2 weeks apart)

Hannah & Mercer (6 days apart)

It's amazing to think that these two sets of cuties above have the potential to know each other for their entire lives.  For Hannah and Mercer - Becky (Hannah's Mom) was pregnant before Mark and I even had our home study approved or chose an adoption agency.  I can remember her saying, "Wouldn't it be crazy if you guys adopted before I even HAD the baby?"  And (much to EVERYONE's surprise) that's the way it was scheduled to be…Mercer was supposed to be 3 weeks older than Hannah.  But, Hannah had a mind of her own and debuted at the end of May - six days before we welcomed Mercer into our hearts; they were friends at first sight.   Right now, their friendship is symbiotic:  Hannah enjoys using Mercer as a jungle gym since she's way more mobile than he is.; Mercer gets to relax and chew on her ring toys - which are his favorite of hers. 

I hope all 4 of these kids grow up together enjoying each other's laughter and continue to enjoy it and seek it out - well into their Golden Years.  :)

 - JLS

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mister Mom

Mark just called looking for Mercer's PJ's .
Mercer was wailing in the background.
I'm sitting on a bed in a hotel room, 2000 miles away- surfing the net - waiting to go to dinner.
And I feel a little lonely because we're not all together and little guilty because I can't help them from here.

I'm sure wine will make me feel better....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Random Baby Cuteness

Mercer's First Pair of Chucks...They're cute but difficult to get on him


Rock Adorable-ness - guitars and chucks

Mercer captured in VIDEO

For my Mom...
Mercer captured on Video doing cute things:

Mercer clapping... Mercer Crawling....Mercer shooing away the paparazzi....

1st Family Visit of 2011

Gram (Jen's Grandma) and Great Fairy Godmother (Jen's Aunt and Godmother) were the first to visit Mercer, oh I mean, Missouri in 2011.  Because this is the year of GREAT SNOWS, both in NJ and in MO...their flight was delayed by two days getting here and one day leaving. 

I'd like to think that Mark and I get along pretty well for ourselves when it's just the three of us.  And then you have two extra sets of hands (so that's 4 extra hands...) and you realized how much MORE you can accomplish.  For example, Mark and I can have a conversation while washing and drying pots and pans while someone else watches Mercer do his tricks (which include crawling and clapping).  Also helpful, having someone else around to change his poopy diapers - which have been known to be "epic".  Every night when we got home from work, we'd get a full report on his activities for the day - even down to a description of his drooling habits.  They're very thorough those Updike Ladies....

Because the weather was so bad - we were indoors and we talked about a lot of things - whether Mercer would get a sibling (undecided), what we'd do if we won the lottery (undecided), recipes, SNOW, and traveling.  I think one thing that we all agreed on was how much Great-Grandpop Ben would have adored Mercer.  Finally a BOY after 2's not crazy to think the man would have been be a ball of tears and a ball of laughs with his great-grandson.  And I do believe that "Somewhere over the rainbow" he's smiling on him everyday.

In all honesty, we can't thank AK and Gma enough for just being here with us and spending time with their "legacy". I know we had a great time and I know that they did too.

Pics of the Ladies Below...
 Jen, Gram and Mercer (height difference not exaggerated, she's in heels, I'm barefoot)
 Hey Good Lookin'...Feisty Redheads!  Mercer & his Great Fairy Godmother (her wand is in the shop)

Mercer and his Gram

A Promise Made is a Promise Kept....

I told my sister, when we first had Mercer, that I'd blog about our family adventures.  And I haven't.  So - I didn't really LIE - I just haven't had time to fulfill my promise....UNTIL NOW.
Call it a New Year's Resolution or what have you, I am committed to blogging about our MidWestern Adventures at least once a week.  This will also allow my mother to see videos of Mercer, as she's not up with the Facebook and has no desire to be (and some days, I don't blame her).


It's Official - We're Keeping Him

Friday - February 4, 2011 - Mark, Mercer and I participated in our adoption finalization hearing at the St. Charles County Courthouse.  What was made clear to us that day was that this hearing was for us, the parents, to commit in the court that after living exclusively with this child for 8 months, that we indeed, wanted to remain as his parents.  For some reason, that really hit home with us.  Having had this little human since he was a half an hour hold, I couldn't imagine, no matter what the circumstances, just giving him away after 8 months.  It would be our cross to bear - whatever fate had destined us to forge through.  And having just typed this, I realize that is exactly what our birthmom did - nurtured him in her womb for 9 months and then had the strength to give him away.  I thank God for her everyday - but it wasn't until just now that I truly realized how momentous the sacrifice is that she made for us.  Brooke...wherever you are...for what's worth - you have been and always will be one of my heroes - may the sun light your path through the rest of your life and lead you to the happiness equal to what Mercer has given us.  Godspeed.
Below are some pictures from our big day.
Mercer and his Mom - Division 5
 Daddy and Mercer having a pre-hearing appetizer...Don't know how to orient pictures in Blogger yet...
 Our judge and our "official" family
Our social worker, Hope with the Seidfamily