The Mercado Family

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pinewood Derby Time!

I'll admit that I used to think that the whole pinewood derby thing was kind of lame. As I have said before, I was totally clueless about scouts until I actually had one under my care. I don't know why, but I just thought making a car out of a piece of wood and then racing it wasn't that exciting. As soon as I found out the date of the pinewood derby and explained what it was to Austin, I was sold myself! You get to make a cool car with a parent and if you do things right, you might end up doing really well in the race! What could be more fun for a young boy? Lucky for Austin, Jason works in the auto industry and he has had experience with creating with wood lately (updates on basement coming soon!) Austin planned it out and helped Jason carry out the necessary steps to build his car. Jason showed him videos and explained all the science behind what they would do to make his car the fastest they could.
Sanding the car.
 Last night was the practice run. Austin was really excited to go and Erik was too. Unfortunately, the main race is Friday when we will be at Gallimore for the Multicultural Event that we signed up to volunteer as Puerto Rico leads months ago. As this was Austin's first year doing it, I don't think he really minds missing the main race. He had such a good time last night and his car came in second place most of the runs, first and third a couple of times, and fourth one time. They are keeping his car to race it on Friday. Who knows, maybe he'll win a trophy?
Final product!

Today for school, he got to go to Geer School, the one-room  1880's schoolhouse here in our area that all the second graders attend as part of their Plymouth-Canton community history curriculum. Both the girls went, now it was Austin's turn. I was able to leave work a little early and meet him there for lunch. He had a hard boiled egg, homemade bread with butter, apple, homemade ginger cookies, and water. Here's what we were able to pull together for his costume.

Geer school lunch.

They all think the dunce hat is really funny.

What a fun tradition we have here!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Birthday Weekend

I have one final year in my 30s. That's kind of weird to me. Suddenly, numbers don't mean much to me anymore!

Thanks for all the cards, well wishes, and gifts! It was great to be remembered. We had such a busy weekend, again, that I just told my kids to cooperate and get their work done without complaint and that would be gift enough for me from them. I think the girls really did plan on buying me gifts with Jason, but it was Karissa's tech week for the play she was in, Fairytale Courtroom, and her play was the entire weekend, that she really had no time for anything extra. She was a trooper, though. I have never seen her keep her cool so well- ever! She's been getting her work done, piano practiced, food eaten, and to play practice with no complaint! Even interactions with her siblings have been so pleasant. Victoria had dance, a birthday party, and a "job" to do someone's hair for the Mormon prom, plus 5 chapters of STEM homework for the weekend (we're still trying to figure out why her teacher gave them so much for one weekend...), so her schedule kept up with Karissa's.

Obviously, it wasn't a restful birthday weekend with all the comings and goings with the girls. I took Austin to a play date in between all the other activities. I helped Jason with the shelves, volunteered at one of Karissa's shows, went to her cast party with her, and gave sharing time to the primary kids on Sunday, my actual birthday. Jason made me fish tacos for dinner, Erik and Austin chose and helped me bake the cake, we watched Karissa's play, and we watched Trolls because it happened to come in for us at the library just in time for our busy weekend. My neighbor moved and we got his table, which we still have yet to move into the kitchen and put our old one away. All this, and we lost an hour of time. I really wanted that hour!

Here are some pics and a clip of Karissa in her play. She had a small part, but it made for less practices, which was good for me. She's excited about next year's play, though, which will be Dr. Dolittle and will be a musical, my most favorite! I have to say, though, that her play this year was hilarious! I highly recommend it!

My flying monkey. 

Karissa and Zach, our carpool buddy. He was one of the little pigs and the Scarecrow in the play. He was also one of the other ducklings in when the girls were in the play Honk two years ago.

Victoria before her choir concert.

Natalia's hair. Victoria did it one try, no problem, and minimal bobby pins. I couldn't do that!

Licking the bowl after making my cake.


Fort making!
The clip is about 5 minutes long. It has Zach at the beginning of it becasue he's our friend and his part was longer so you can see how funny the play is. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Musical Fun

It's amazing how busy you can get if each kid participates in one activity, plus piano, then you add in the extra school activities or electives for each kid. We have had a lot going on and it just keeps going!

Saturday the girls participated in Federation. Last year was their first year participating in it. I am not allowed in the room while they play their pieces, but I could hear them from outside the door. They both did very well. Victoria scored an Excellent and Karissa a Superior. I'm proud of both of them! After Federation, we promptly drove to the outskirts of Detroit for Victoria's choir festival. Her choir sang two songs, one of them was a song I sang when I was in choir, A Jubilant Song. They scored an Excellent, so it was an excellent day for Victoria!
Practicing Jazzy Cat and Spirit of the Stallion

Practicing Tango Dramatico and Steam hammer Stomp

 Austin performed in the second grade school musical last night. It was all about outer space and was educational as well as fun. He started piano lessons this year and is really enjoying it, even practicing! He's not ready for Federation, though. I think you have to have played at least one year for that. Erik loves plunking around on the piano since all of his siblings do.
He's the one in the middle with red and black on.

Erik had crazy hat day last week, as part of the Dr. Seuss week and Karissa had a dress-as-your-favorite-book character day. She also participated in her school's science fair.

A St. Patty's hat


There's always something going on around here these days!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Behind the Scenes

About a year and a half ago, while on a road trip listening to one of our favorite cds, Dog Train, my kids had decided that they wanted to perform a dance and lip sync to the Don't Give Me That Broccoli song, at our next ward talent show. I kind of got excited too and we shared some ideas and then forgot about it. 6 months later, we found out there was going to be a ward talent show, so we got all excited and put together something that we practiced a few times. The talent show ended up being postponed due to lack of interest, so we sadly put aside our act. It was finally rescheduled for last weekend, about 9 months later. We were so happy to know we could practice and perform it finally! Luckily, everyone remembered what we had practiced before, so we didn't have to do much. We added a couple of new ideas and practiced on the church stage and felt ready!

We're very happy that Erik and I were able to make the performance. He had a rash and fever the night before (not a good combo!) and I was sure I was going to have to have someone take my place and that he just wouldn't be in it. I talked to a nurse and to my sister (nurse in training) on Friday night. I was prepared to take him in Saturday morning to see the doctor, but my prayers of the night before had been answered. When I returned from my run Saturday morning, he was totally fine. No rash, no fever and he hasn't since then. It was definitely the weirdest and most short-lived thing ever. No one in his class had anything related to a rash, nor has since.

Needless to say, we all got to perform and I was so pleased with how it turned out! I couldn't believe that Erik actually went through with it! I thought for sure he would change his mind. The only hitch was the fact that I said my line, " ...and here's your broccoli..." just as the curtains had finished opening. I guess the music crew couldn't hear my cue, so I dished up a lot of broccoli while we waited! I thought there was maybe a problem with he music, but the kids stayed right in character. I was so proud of them! And Jason was hilarious!

If you haven't seen it on facebook yet, here it is!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Daddy Dates

Jason has been able to take the kids on some pretty fun outings lately. He and Austin went to the Blue and Gold banquet for Austin's scout troop. Austin didn't get any awards by then yet, but he had earned his Bobcat. Even though they didn't sit together (the packs sat together), I think Austin enjoyed going somewhere with Jason alone and he enjoyed the food there.

 Jason took both the boys to a scout outing to the Botanical Gardens where they made terrariums. They all had a great time and Jason was able to spend time with them at one of my favorite places to go with the kids!
Austin is the one with the paper on his terrarium and Erik has the white on. 

Karissa got to go to the daddy daughter dance with Jason, aka Butterfly Ball. It was the community one she went to last year since they don't have one at her school. Victoria is too old for it now!

Victoria and Jason went to a Red Wings game the other day. Since she got a 3.0 her first quarter at school, she qualified for a free ticket to the game. She was pretty excited and I think Jason was excited to go as well, since he hasn't been to see the Red Wings.

We all got to go ice skating a few weeks ago with a deal through groupon. It's always a blast to go ice skating with my family!

Erik went by himself, on the walker, later.

Bethany came with us.

Austin was enjoying speeding around with the walker.

Karissa was looking good on those skates!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Once There Was a Snowman

We've had the craziest weather this January and February! It's either unusually warm and rainy (warm: in the 40s or 50s) or pretty cold, with wind chills below 15, meaning no one gets to go outside at school. The cold days aren't near as cold as we've had previous winters, but they feel really cold when it's 45 one day and then 20 the next with those wind chills. We haven't had much snow, but we finally got a good snow storm a couple weeks ago that gave us some good packing snow a few days later.

In all my 10 years living here with kids, I have to say that I've never made a "real" snowman before. Yes, many times we have gone out pushed a bunch of snow together and tried really hard to make a tall snowman, but they end up being more like snow hills with hats, scarves, and faces. Don't get me wrong, we have loved them and named them, but we just never had one that we rolled. Actually, a few years ago Victoria did with Bethany, but I wasn't outside and I missed it! I always blame the fact that I grew up in California and never learned the art of building a snowman. Everyone tells me you have to have to right packing snow, which happens on a slightly warmer day, I have learned. I think I've always gone outside the wrong days. Finally, a couple weeks ago, we went outside after school and rolled the snow. It worked! It rolled and rolled and we became rolling fools! We made the biggest snowman ever! Victoria made the bottom, Austin made the middle, and I made the head. It took Victoria and I to pick up the middle, it was so heavy. Karissa helped with forming and sculpting it just right at the end. It was great!
We named him Sherlock. 

He was even taller than me!

 Now, it has melted.
All gone...

At least it was sunny and nice on Valentine's day! It's a different story today- icy and cold. 

Jason spoiled me with these beautiful roses and my favorite- chocolate covered strawberries! He gave the girls their own bouquets as well. The boys got balloons and they all got their favorite candy. I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we had a delicious cod, shrimp, and tomato Italian dish. It was a pretty busy evening, though, so we were happy to eat together and for the cards and gifts we exchanged. Some of my kids were very generous and kind with their gift giving. No money spent, but favorite toys were exchanged, it was very sweet. I have been somewhat moody this week, but we have had some good moments in between my nagging spells.
That was our picture a couple of years ago. This was our 18th Valentine's Day together. It's right when we started dating 18 years ago.

The girls got fun socks from me, but I know the flowers were their favorite!
The boys got a some lego guys from me, but they sure loved the balloons!
February is halfway over, hooray!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Story of My Ear

About 30 years ago was the first time my ear drum ruptured. I remember it very well- where I was sitting and what I was wearing, since the pain was so intense. I would say it's definitely more painful than childbirth or running a marathon. Think of a bad ear infection and multiply it a few times. It draws you to tears!

It was fixed a couple of times, but I have the hole still, Each time it ruptured it was just about as painful as the first. The doctor used to say I couldn't get water in it ever or I would lose all hearing in that ear. I've lost some hearing. I have gotten water in it here and there, but I'm usually pretty careful. Since we have moved here to Michigan, some doctors have said that a drop of water is bigger than the hole, so it wouldn't make a difference. Some doctors have said that the hole "wants" to be there because it keeps coming back. Maybe it's helping with drainage (think of a tube in some one's ear). I've gotten lazy while here and not seen the specialist to get it cleaned out every time. Sometimes the regular doctor has done it, which was always a mistake. The specialist uses a vacuum, which hurts and always made me cry when I was a kid, I dreaded it. However, when it's done at the regular doctor's office, they shoot water in it, which makes it pop and fizzle. It's like acid being shot into my ear. I think it hurts even more than the vacuum. Plus, it's water, so every time I go there (I've only done it twice and I forgot about how bad it was when I returned the second time) it takes my ear a few days to recover, or more, from getting cleaned out. I basically get an ear infection just from getting my ear cleaned out.

Before Erik was born, so over 5 years ago, I looked into another ear plug. (The putty plugs do nothing!) I have always wanted to do a triathlon, but I need a better plug. I did a duathlon years ago and it was great (run, bike, run), but I want to try something different, just to challenge myself. When I looked into the ear plug years ago, I found out that they make them for your ear specifically. It's made of silicone. they cost $100. I had decided when I would have to time to get to a pool, not an easy thing around here at the most convenient times for me, and when my kids were old enough for me to get away for that training, then I would get the ear plug and do it.

Last Tuesday I got my plug fitted so I can do my first sprint triathlon this summer! It should be here in another week. I just hope it's worth it. The fitting was awful! My ear is still recovering, 6 days later, though it's almost back to normal (normal for me). She pushed a bunch of foam in my ear and then filled it with putty. It went in farther than the plug will so it could get the full measurement of my ear canal. She left it in there for 3 minutes. It hurt the whole time. I think it surprised her that it hurt me so much. She said it was probably because of the pressure. My ear killed that night, was draining all sorts of stuff onto my pillow (I know, gross!), and clogged right up, like it always does when I have an infection. It is still ringing slightly and slightly clogged, but luckily the ringing has abated a ton.

I'm excited for my ear plug and can't wait to start swimming! I hope the ear plug works well enough for me to just swim some laps without getting water in it.

 I can't complain too much about my ear since this has been my only big health issue I've had to struggle with. My doctor says I'm the "healthiest person he's ever met", so I should be grateful for that, and I am!