Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from our Little Turkey


I'm thankful for Mercer's daycare.  It's a sacrifice we make to allow for our careers and to serve as the catalyst for Mercer's love of learning.  He's talking, he starting to say his letters, numbers and colors, he's obsessed with reading and he's learning that, because there are other kids in his class, the world doesn't revolve around him (a lesson that his Mother should also learn...someday).

But what we really love about daycare...espescially at holidays, are the lessons and art that focus on them.  Fall has brought us lots of art, themed with pumpkins and tractors.  November has focused on Thanksgiving.  His teachers at daycare taught him to "gobble" like a turkey (and of course, we reinforce this at home).  And in the past week we received this beautiful fall tree and this Thanksgiving card - all made by him.
Note:  He did the art - the letters were done by his teachers.  We're raising a Picasso, not an Einstein.  :)

Sometimes, in a year filled with things that may not have worked out in your favor, you have to give thanks for the little things.  In addition to being thankful for Mercer's school, my heart just swells with thanks for the smiles that I get daily from my little guy and big guy.  It's those smiles that makes life worth living.

Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!  Love - JenStar and her SeidmEn

Mercer's felt pilgrim hat and his Turkey Card!
Fall Foliage as interpreted by M. Benjamin

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I’m loving my little parrot.  Yes, PARROT.  He enjoys saying everything we say.
And while I know many of you are cringing at this because you  know that I don’t have the cleanest mouth….
I can honestly say that he hasn’t entertained us with his potty language just yet (insert giant sigh of relief).

98% of our conversations go like this.  He actually wakes up asking questions.  Example…
Mercer:  What dat?  (Points to chair)
Jen/Mark:  Chair
Mercer:  (smiling) chair…..

Sometimes he stumps us with his questions as neither of us (he, nor, I) quite know what he’s asking for...
Mercer:  What dat? (Points to air)
Jen/Mark:  Huh?
Mercer:  huh?

It’s funnier to watch if he can’t say the word.  This prompts him to repeat sounds (under his breath) that HE thinks sound like the word we said. 
Mercer:  What dat?  (Points to vacuum)
Jen/Mark:  Vacuum
Mercer (quietly):  oooom……. (smiles)

Similar conversations take place when he does something and then we explain it to him, which he then repeats.  Example:
(Mercer farts)
(Jen Laughs)
Jen:  Mercer!  You tooted!
Mercer:  TOOT?
Jen:  Yea…you tooted out your butt.
Mercer:  (Pointing to his butt)  TOOT?
(Jen continues to laugh while in the back of her mind noting that she’s going to have to teach him to excuse himself)

Also new to his vocabulary are “NO!” and “MINE!”. 
Sometimes he uses them together…like when the dogs have him backed into a corner in an attempt to steal his mini muffin
Mercer:  (grasping mini muffin to his chest, while using the other hand to point his finger at the dogs) NO….MINE!

And now some adorable photos of the Parrot.

Dear Santa Fairy Godmother...THANK YOU FOR MY BIKE!

Helping Daddy with his Jeep

Organizing the pantry

Climbed up there by himself

Morning Cuddles

Helping Daddy assemble his Bike

The finished product

Liking the box just as much as the bike...oh...a TUNNEL

Everyone's Park

There’s a park about 20 minutes from our house that is relatively new. 

It was constructed to enable play for all kids…those with disabilities and those without.
I love this concept...nurturing our kids to look past each other’s handicaps and just see that on the most basic level, we are all just human.  Kids are Kids.

The equipment is brand-new and super cool.  There are 3 sets of swings and massive jungle gyms with different themes.  There are outdoor percussion instruments, which I will admit, I enjoyed more than Mercer.  (Really, how often do you get to play an xylophone?).

What I realized in watching everyone is that the park isn't only designed for kids of all's designed for adults of all kinds.  We saw a man in a wheelchair who didn’t have legs.  And because of the way this park was constructed, with wide paths and sturdy rubber “flooring", it  made it easier for him to enjoy pushing his son on the swings.  They had these giant smiles on their faces as he pushed him higher and higher.  It made my heart swell so much and I got all teary watching them.

Mercer was a little small for a lot of the equipment.  He loves the swings and the roller slide.  But he mostly enjoyed having the freedom to run and having Mom chase after him.  This is normally pretty easy…except when I realized he could run under things way shorter than I can.  During one of the chases, I was about chasing him on my knees as he ducked under a low jungle gym (laughing all the way).

On our way out…we met up with our Wheelchair friend and Mercer was admiring his wheels.  And when I mentioned this to him, he just smiled and said, “All the kids love them” and wheeled off.

What a sweet afternoon - pics below.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Anything can happen on Halloween

...a kid can turn into a monkey.

Halloween Highlights and Low-lights.  Because that's how life is with a toddler, right?  A day filled with turbulent emotions.  The most giant of smiles and the loudest of giggles, followed by a full-on temper tantrum thought to be brought on by a green bean on his dinner plate, of which he ate 100 of yesterday.

I've been told that this lasts through puberty.  JOY.

But I digress, Halloween.

  • Pizza Party at School. This is where we were informed, the kid housed some pizza.  Note - hearing him say the word "pizza" just melts the Jersey part of my heart.
  • Being a monkey.  He knew what he was the minute he put on this costume, without even looking in the mirror (weird).  He ripped through the house making his crazy monkey noises and cracking us both up.
  • Wagon ride through the neighborhood.  The king was pulled in his chariot by his favorite donkey (his Mom).
  • Running up driveways.  I haven't really figured out what it is about driveways that he loves so much, but he gets crazy excited by running up them.
  • Running into people's homes.  I think with his ability to sweet talk his way into hugs from the neighbors....he's a shoe in for delivering the Publisher's Clearing House prizes (or maybe a talk show host)!
  • Picking out the candy from the candy bowl.  He tried to take more than one.  Mom tried to teach him manners (except when Skittles or Reeses are involved).

  • Sir Monkey Pants would not really smile for the camera the entire night.  While he didn't look like he was having a terrible time, he's in the phase where he hates stopping to do ANYTHING, including paying attention to the one million, "Smile!" or "Say Cheese" requests that come from his mother.
  • Rude pre-teens.  Mercer was toddling his way to the candy bowl and 2 rude and oblivious pre-teens stormed up the porch and knocked him down.  It's like they never saw him.  He's a giant monkey with a glow bracelet on his can you NOT see him?  No "excuse me-s" or "sorry-s" were said.  I hope the Acne Fairy catches up to them.  Nerds.

In other Cool Mom News - my friend and co-SuperMom, Bonnie, made her kids into Sushi for Halloween (sounds macabre...but it's not).  This landed them in the front row of Live with Regis & Kelly...Link to the tape is below.  You can see to two pieces of (delicious) sushi in the front row as soon as the hosts walk in.  Bonnie MADE these costumes...she is awesomely talented and I felt she deserved a shout out!

 Bonnie's Sushi Snacks

Enjoy the pictures...some are from before Halloween when we went to the Pumpkin Patch.

The Great Pumpkin

Animal Magnetism


With Daddy on an antique John Deere

His pumpkin...that was later snatched off our porch

Mermie the Monkey

Monekeys loves Na-na's.

Daddy & his Monkey

the King of the Jungle in his Chariot


Loving being able to CHOOSE what he gets....(he chose a Dum Dum)

Can you spot the monkey on the lose in our yard?