Wednesday, April 29, 2009


He looks so tiny in the great big king size bed!

Mommy & her boys--hanging out at the hotel.

Science Spectrum--I think the daddies were having more fun than the kids at this point!

Jonathan & Rory checking out the treehouse.

Abby & Jonathan banging on the big drum.
This past weekend was an awesome one for the Merriss family! We met up with our very good friends--the Hanna family--and took a weekend-long roadtrip to Lubbock. We arrived around dinnertime, so after checking into our hotel we had dinner at the Japanese restaurant Ohanas (Lubbock's version of Kabuki). Jonathan was more interested in the chef cooking our food at our table than he was in actually eating the food! The chef really played up to him too--trying to get him to catch a piece of chicken in his mouth, playing with fire, making a volcano out of onions, and even spelling out "I love you" in the food. Jonathan started mimicking him halfway through the service, trying to cook just like the chef was. Jacob got his first taste of Japanese food and apparently loved it! I let the little guy have a sampling of my soup and he quickly became addicted. He wound up splitting it with me!
We stayed in a really nice Super 8 Motel. Our room had a jacuzzi (sp?) in it! (I soooo want one of those for our house!) It was the boys' first time ever to stay in a hotel. I think they had a blast. The kiddos got together for a "slumber party"--they stayed up until about 1:00 in the morning watching VeggieTales! Afterwards all four of us slept together in the giant king size bed. For as small as the boys are they sure do take up a lot of room! I had Jacob either on me or slightly off to one side of me all night long, and Jonathan slept in between John and me. Sometime during the night he wound up with his feet on the pillows and his head either down in the blankets or propped up on my hip. Yes, it was an interesting night. Needless to say, neither John nor I got very much sleep that night. After breakfast the next morning we tried out the hotel's indoor pool. John took both of the boys out in the water. Jonathan did pretty good until John attempted to put his head under water. After that, Jonathan pretty much wanted to stick close to the steps, where he could put his feet down (and he wanted to be wherever "my Taira" was).
After lunch we took the kids to the Science Spectrum, which is kind of like the Discovery Center in Amarillo only bigger and (I think) a little bit better. There are all kinds of exhibits and activities. You can also watch a 3-D movie on a huge screen with your seat moving to interact with the movie. (That part is called Omnimax. We decided not to go for the movie though; we worried the kids would be a little scared.) There's even a play room for kids under five. The kids did pretty good, but we went to Science Spectrum late in the day before heading back home and none of the kids had had a nap, so there were a handful of meltdowns (mainly from Jonathan). In the end, I think he had a pretty good time in spite of it all. Next time we'll remember to take the kids first thing in the morning! :)
We had a really wonderful weekend, and hopefully we'll be able to do it again soon. Now we have to get back in the groove of things back here at home. I'm trying to get the house somewhat back in order. Jonathan and Jacob are trying to get back into their routines. And John is leaving for California in the morning--thankfully only for a day (he has to do an inventory count on Thursday, but he's on a plane home first thing Friday morning). Reality is not nearly as much fun as a weekend getaway.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Midland & A Movie Weekend

This past weekend at the Merriss house was a long one. John's brother is getting married in June, so his mom and I went to Midland for the bridal shower. We spent four hours in the car, another four hours in Midland, and then four more hours in the car on the way back home. It made for a long, exhausting day but we had a good time. Kristin is a lovely girl, and I'm looking forward to having her for a sister-in-law.

John got the boys all day while I was gone. It was kind of a mixed blessing for me. On the one hand, I had a long break from the boys; on the other hand, I'm so used to having one kid attached to my hip and the other attached to my hand that I didn't really know what to do with myself. They didn't give Daddy too much trouble until about dinnertime. It was then that they decided to melt down. In the end, I knew John would be able to handle it. He's a terrific father. I don't think he's ever going to let me go away all day like that again, though (lol)!

Our church had a movie night this past Sunday. We watched the movie "Fireproof", starring Kirk Cameron. This was like the third or fourth time John and I have seen the movie. We highly recommend it for anyone who is married or even thinking about getting married. When we came home, we brought all the cheese and chili that was leftover from the concession stand with us. We've got enough to last us about a month! Anyway, "Fireproof" is an awesome movie with a really powerful message. We're doing a small group Bible Study based on the movie starting this week. John and I are leading a Sunday morning session. (Please keep us in your prayers!) It's a six week study, and I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to be awesome!

This Friday John is sitting for another section of his exam, then we're off to Lubbock for the weekend! It'll be the boys' first time in a hotel. We're planning to take them to Science Spectrum on Saturday. I've only been once myself, and that was about 14 years ago. I hope it will be a lot of fun for the kiddos.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family Update

Jonathan went to the doctor today for his three year check up. Thankfully we made it through a doctor's visit without anyone being sent to the hospital! He is just growing like a weed!!! At three years old, Jonathan stands at 37" and weighs in at 30 lbs. (He's in the 25-50th percentile for both height and weight.) His speech is really on a roll. He can even speak in small sentences now! He's at the age now where he's ready to start seeing a dentist. So we're looking for a good pediatric dentist. Our pediatrician gave us the name of someone we might check out. He acts like he can recognize some of his colors. We still don't know what he can actually see and what he has memorized, though. There's a 50/50 chance he's color blind. (My dad is color blind, and I carry the gene. Jacob also has a 50/50 chance of being color blind. Good times ahead!) My Nana has a test we can give him to check for it, but he may still be too young to be able to take it. Our pediatrician suggested taking him to an opthamologist; they might be able to do an early test for color blindness. She recommends waiting awhile on this though, because most kids don't really have their colors learned until the end of their third year. The poor guy also had a heppatitus shot today. He came out of that office with a sucker, a treasure from the treasure chest in the nurse's station, and a sticker from the front desk. Yes, he had quite a day!

Jacob is still trying to crawl. He hasn't quite taken off yet, though. I put him down for a nap the other day and laid him on his tummy like I always do. I could hear his pacifier drop, and then he started fussing so I went in to check on him. That boy had managed to push himself up into a sitting position (first time he's done that), and he was clear at the other end of the bed! Whenever I put him on the floor to play, he always ends up on his tummy. He'll start reaching out for something--moving towards it--and end up flat on the floor. He'll also get up on all fours and start rocking. (Jonathan did that right before he started crawling.) No, it won't be long now.

Tax season is finally starting to wind down!!! They're having a end-of-tax-season party at one of John's co-worker's homes tomorrow evening to celebrate. John is taking Thursday and Friday off so he can focus on studying for his CPA exam. Only 2 weeks to go until he sits for the next section. On Saturday I'm going to Midland with my mother-in-law. John's brother is getting married in June, and his bride-to-be's shower is Saturday! That's pretty much what's going on in our world right now. (Aren't we exciting?!?) Love and hugs to all our family and friends out there!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Jacob's 1st Easter!!!

Jonathan sampling the bunny cake Nana made him!

Coloring eggs

On an Easter egg hunt in Nana's backyard!


Jacob celebrated his first Easter yesterday!!! I wanted to put so many more pictures on here, but there just wasn't enough room! Our day started with Easter services at church. Both of the boys were supposed to wear suits, but Jacob had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction. (The suit shirt didn't fit, and I didn't realize the sleeve was missing a button until I put it on him.) When it was all said and done, Daddy and Jonathan wore suits to church; Jacob just wore a dress shirt and dress pants--which he proceeded to drool all over. There was an Easter egg hunt for all the kids ages three and up during Children's Church. Since Jonathan turned three on Friday, he got to participate this year! He was a little apprenhensive about going at first, but he eventually came around. He found quite a bit of goodies, but what he really wanted to do was run around the fellowship hall. (Needless to say, there were a couple of meltdowns during this hunt.) After church, we went to my Nana's house for lunch. Nana made a bunny cake for Jonathan--which he was delighted to sample! After lunch and bunny cake, Jonathan got to color Easter eggs for the very first time! He and Paw-Paw Davis even made eggs with their names on them. Afterwards, Daddy and Paw-Paw hid the eggs in the backyard and Jonathan got to hunt them. When the hunt was over we all helped Jonathan eat his eggs. Even Jacob found one to sample! Jacob only got to watch the excitement this year. (We actually tried to pose a picture of him coloring eggs too, but he got ahold of the dye bowl and dumped it out on the table. We all reacted to it and scared the poor little guy!) Maybe next year he can join in the fun, too. We had a wonderful Easter and we hope all of you did, too! :)

Jonathan's 3rd Birthday Party

The birthday cookie

Jonathan & Rory Hanna

Waiting to open the presents

Paw-Paw Davis & Jonathan--putting together a remote-control car

We had Jonathan's birthday party over the weekend! I was afraid it was going to be a disaster. We had already had a long morning, and we got right up to the time for the party to start and still didn't have everything ready! But in the end I think it turned out okay. Jonathan still wasn't too sure about what was going on; he just knew all the attention was focused on him--and he liked it!!! Instead of a birthday cake, we had a giant, double-layered chocolate chip cookie with cream between the layers. It was yummmmyyyy!!! The punch was made out of lime sherbet and 7-up. At first it didn't seem to have much flavor, so we added a little more sherbet and 7-up.... That gave it a little more kick! :) Jonathan didn't seem as interested in opening his presents as I thought he would be. He was more interested in playing with everything--and everyone. Anyway, I think we all still had a good time. It was wonderful to see everybody. Thank you to all of you who made Jonathan's 3rd birthday so special (even if you couldn't make it to the party)!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yippee!!! Look Who's Three!!!

Birthday hugs from brother....Well, sort of! :)

Vrooom, vrooom....

The Birthday Boy!

"I'm three!!!"
Today is Jonathan's 3rd birthday!!! (I can't believe he's already three!) Earlier this week we had the boys' pictures made for Jonathan's birthday and for Easter. Today is going to be an eventful day for our little man! He's been watching the VeggieTales Silly Song Countdown (literally) all morning (since 8:00). Unfortunatly, John will still have to work late tonight. I'm going to let Jonathan stay up a little bit later, though. When John gets home from work, Jonathan and Daddy are going to make a homemade pizza for a late dinner. Then Jonathan gets to open one of his birthday presents (a VeggieTales movie), and he and Daddy are going to watch it together! We're having his birthday party tomorrow afternoon. This year, we decided to have his party up at the church. (There won't be enough room in our house for all our guests!) I'll post party news and pictures tomorrow! On Sunday our church is having an Easter egg hunt for all the kids ages 3 and up. This will be Jonathan's first year to participate. Yes, you guessed it...I'll have some exciting Easter pictures to post later this weekend! For now, I'm off to smother the birthday boy with more hugs and kisses!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Update On My Future CPA (Yes, I Mean My Hubby!)

By now you've probably heard that John is slated to lose the credit he earned on the Audit section of his CPA exam this June. With the grade he got on the last section he took, there's no way he can get three more sections passed by the June deadline. He had an interesting conversation with his boss today, though. Back in January he took a section and the score he got back was a 74. I had asked him when his grade came in if he could challenge it and he said he could, but that it was expensive and in the end would probably not do any good. This subject came up again this afternoon in the discussion with his boss, who is just as desperate for John to pass this crazy exam as his entire family is. Well guess what? He's decided to go ahead and challenge it! On the off-chance that this turns out in his favor (the odds of a passing grade resulting from this challenge are 1 in 100), John will need to pass the section he's taking in a couple of weeks as well as the one he's planning to take in May on one try each. Then, with the credit he's already earned and the passing grade that would come out of the challenge, he will have earned his CPA license by the end of the Spring! :) It's a long shot yes, but at least this way--no matter what happens--John will know that he did everything he could to hang on to that credit. Please pray that the Lord will be with those regrading John's test, and if there is just one more point there they will find it. Also keep John in your prayers. He says that he has a peace in his heart about all of this; pray that he keeps that peace no matter the outcome of the challenge. It will take 4-6 weeks to hear back after the grade is challenged, which will put the result coming back to John sometime in May. We'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just Blowin' Off Steam

It's been a couple of days since I last posted. Things have been pretty hectic around our house this past week. Jacob wasn't sleeping too good there for a couple of nights, but he seems to be getting back on track now. I have been worried sick about him relapsing, and I came to the conclusion just a little while ago that I cannot sit here and just stress about it. I will go nuts!!! (I've been putting my ear to his back the last couple of nights, trying to detect the slightest hint of a whistle--even though he's not showing any symptoms of the bronchitus. I even threw in a breathing treatment this morning, just to see if I could hear a change in his breathing. I couldn't.) I'm just going to have to relax. If he starts to get sick (I keep trying to tell myself, anyway), he'll show some kind of symptom and I can go from there. As long as he's symptom-free and he's breathing counts are normal, why should I stress out about it and keep that poor little baby from just being a baby?!

We got the bill in from Jacob's hospital stay the other day. (I have been dreading this one.) My wonderful husband made a few quick phone calls for me, and we found out that we can get this bill tacked on to one we're already paying (from when I was in the hospital this past December) without seeing an increase in our current payments. You have no idea what a relief this is for me! We are praying nothing like this happens again. Jacob has a check-up next month; we're praying he comes out of it with a clean bill of health. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Jonathan's birthday is practically here!!! Our little guy turns 3 next weekend! (Can you believe it?!) Now if I could just get it in gear and get his party rolling... It was one year ago this week that we moved him from the crib to his toddler bed. And over the course of that year, the little squirt has been in our bed more than he's been in his own! If anyone has any advice on getting a toddler to go to sleep in his own bed--and getting him to stay there all night--I'm all ears. We've tried putting him back in his bed when he comes in our room, and anywhere from a few minutes to an hour later, he's right back in our bed! I may just have to cave in to John's suggestion to put a baby gate up... Just not sure if I can do that.

Poor John. That's really all I can say about him right now. He's been working like mad to get those overtime hours in. He's going to come pretty darn tootin' close. If Jacob hadn't gone into the hospital for two and a half days, he'd make the hours right on. (I don't think they'll give him a hard time about missing the hours because his son was sick.) He and I are both ready for tax season to be over. Only about a week and a half or so to go!!! After tax season winds down and John sits for another section of his exam, we're planning to join up with some good friends of ours and take our kids on a road trip to Lubbock. Not exactly a trip to the Bahamas, but it's a start. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Late Night Floor Walkin'

Last night was a pretty rough night at our house. After a virus scare, we were up later than we should have been, trying to make sure our computer was secure; then we got into a TV show and ended up staying up til midnight. It wouldn't have been so bad; we still had the potential to get a pretty decent night's sleep. Jacob, however, had other plans.

That poor kid. I don't know what his deal is. He's been having a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep the last few nights. I'm keeping an eye out for potential problems--teething, ear infection, etc. Of course, the last time he got into a pattern like this we found out he had bronchitus. I've gone three full days now without giving him any breathing treatments. He's done okay so far, but now with the sleep problems I'm on alert. I keep checking for a rattle or wheeze in his lungs, and a persistent cough would be another big clue. Jonathan seems to be coming down with a cold or allergy attack, so that has me on high alert too. (What am I, paranoid?)

I'm beginning to understand what my parents went through with me when I was a child. Jonathan's newest addiction is to the VeggieTales movies. We only have three of them at the moment, and that boy will watch all three of them three or four times a day! (Thank goodness the movies are only about 40 minutes long!) When I was about nine, I went through a phase where I would watch The Ten Commandments every single day--at least once, sometimes twice, depending on when I started the movie. (That's a 3 and a half-hour-long movie.) I did the math and figured that if Jonathan were to watch "Moe and the Big Exit" (the Veggie's version of Ten Commandments) at least five times a day, that would be the equivalent of one viewing of my movie. I pointed this out to my mother the other day, and she got a pretty good laugh out of it. :) The most he's watched "Moe..." so far has been four times in one day, but he's getting close! (Like mother, like son.)

I felt around Jacob's gumline yesterday, and it feels like he may have another tooth trying to come through (which I'm hoping is the reason for this disruption in his routine)--this one on the bottom! Yea! He needs more bottom teeth; the top teeth way outnumber the bottom! I've been cranking out the teething tablets and Motrin. Maybe somehow he'll find a little comfort soon. Maybe then our routine can get back on track.