Sunday, December 26, 2010

10-Month Pictures (better late than never...)

9 Months
10 Months
Getting Ready

"I'll smile when I want to!"
We had to bribe her with food to sit still.
Of course...
The End


This post is a bit late, but I'm sure you can all appreciate how busy we've been getting reacquainted and enjoying our time together (especially at Christmastime)! Chet said, "I'm glad I came home at Christmas instead of July (or some other random month). It makes coming home seem more special!". I agree!
I'll describe the actual homecoming for you. It started out very organized. I left work early, went home and got ready, picked up Sydney from daycare (I dressed her in her "homecoming" clothes before leaving daycare), and we got to the airport in plenty of time. Sydney was sleeping in her carseat when we arrived at the airport, so I snapped her carseat into the stroller frame and we went inside. A crucial part of this story is that I had not actually spoken to Chet since he began his travels. We turned off his cell phone service while he was in Africa, and I hadn't turned it back on yet. I was able to track his flights, but his flight from Paris (to Atlanta) left almost two hours late, and I had no idea whether he had made his Atlanta-to-Jacksonville connection. So...when Sydney and I arrived at the "Arrivals" area where Chet would emerge, I woke her up and took her out of her carseat because I wanted her to be awake and me holding her when Chet saw us. So we waited...and waited. After waiting for 30 minutes, I knew Chet had missed his Atlanta connection (and by this time, Sydney was very hard to contain as she was crawling all over the floor and trying to twist out of my arms each time I picked her up). Thankfully, the people at the Delta Airlines help desk took pity on me and looked up whether or not Chet had missed the flight. They confirmed he had, but they also told me he was on the next flight to Jacksonville, scheduled to land at 6:36 p.m. Woo hoo! Only an hour away! I assumed Sydney was still tired since I had woken her up earlier, so my plan was to strap her back into her carseat and drive around until it was time to meet Chet. Yeah right...
Apparently, Sydney was NOT tired, and she just screamed in her carseat instead of letting the hum of the car lull her back to sleep. Also, I do not own a smart phone, so I was not able to track whether or not Chet's flight was on time, but I called my mom and she did it for me and kept me updated via text. And thank goodness for that, because Chet's flight departed Atlanta an hour late (which meant a 7:27 p.m. arrival instead of 6:36 p.m. instead of originally-scheduled 5:03 p.m. arrival...sigh). At this point it was still not even 6:00 p.m. and I was driving circles around the airport with Sydney screaming in the back, so I decided to take Sydney to the nearby children's consignment shop which I knew had a play area, and hoped that would keep her happy. I was right: it did keep her happy. I just had to watch her like a hawk, because often she would stray away from the toys and go for the crumbs that had accumulated in the corners of the play area. I have to be honest: the play area was quite disgusting, but it was keeping Sydney occupied, and I made myself feel better by sanitizing her hands every five minutes or so. After she was bored with the play area, I took her to the toy aisle of the store and ignored the giant sign that read "BUY before PLAY", but these toys-for-purchase were much cleaner than the others, so who could blame me? The time actually passed by quickly at the consignment shop, so before too long it was time to get back into the car to go to the airport. I was actually cutting it a bit close, and got on the wrong highway, so I was really rushing once we finally parked. I put Sydney in the stroller again, even though she was awake, because it was easier to run while pushing the stroller rather than run while holding her. And, yes, I was running. A few minutes after arriving at the "Arrivals" area again, my phone rang, and it was Chet calling from the airport USO (which was down by baggage claim). We had just missed him! So he told us to stay put and he came to find us, and we had our homecoming near the airport information desk. But that's okay, because by this point, we were all weary and ready to just be together and get home. Sydney went right to Chet and started "talking" to him and grabbing his face, which is a compliment, because she doesn't just grab ANYONE'S face. Oh, yeah, one more snag. I decided to bring our nice camera to capture the moment, and was snapping pictures, then realized they were all blurry. In the midst of all the excitement I had flipped the switch from "automatic" to "manual" focus, so we'd already been together about five minutes in these pictures.
Welcome home, Chet/Daddy! We love you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Pictures

"Helping" Wrap Presents

New (hand-me-down) Toys


Puppy Pajamas

Staring at Abominable Snowman Bubble Nightlight

Rubber Duckie in Mouth

Monday, December 20, 2010


For those of you who aren't keeping track as closely as I am...Chet comes home tomorrow! I played hooky from work today to clean the house from top to bottom (and get a pedicure) while Sydney was at daycare. It worked out quite nicely, and I love having a clean house on top of the excitement of Chet coming home. Sydney and I will pick him up at the airport tomorrow evening, and I'm still trying to work out which camera to bring (cumbersome Nikon that takes amazing pictures even when the subjects are moving or handy point-and-shoot that always gives us red eyes?). Also, do I ask someone sitting in the airport to take pictures to capture the full effect of the reunion, or should I worry that they'll walk away with our camera? Hmm...

In other news, Sydney is pulling up to a standing position quite efficiently! Last Thursday I went out overnight with one of the ships, and when I picked her up Friday evening, her daycare provider reported that Sydney is constantly pulling up. I didn't know what she meant by that, because Sydney hadn't seemed TOO interested in pulling up when I left, but in 24 hours she mastered the skill! I figured she'd give us plenty of warning like she did with crawling, but now there's no telling what she'll do next!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Neglecting the blog...

I'm aware I've not posted in a while, even though I have quite a few pictures waiting to be downloaded from camera to computer. I'm just so excited for Chet to get home (4 days, 18 hours, 29 minutes) that I can't focus! I've needed to be productive around the house, but haven't been (but I'll blame that on being busy at work, he he). Anyway, there is quite a bit I still want to accomplish before he gets home, such as clean the house from top to bottom, finish the filing project that is currently taking over the kitchen table, and wrap more presents in order to make the Christmas tree area look more festive. I'm not going to work Monday, so I envision that being the day I get most everything accomplished (weekends are never ideal for accomplishing things since it's just Syd and I, and she's not always up for vacuuming and organizing).
I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week! Here is a picture to tide you over...

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Syd started crawling last Sunday! She gets better and better every day, and is just tickled with herself now that she's mobile!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Last week, Chet was able to get away from the base a take a trip (a safari, actually) to Tanzania! He left Djibouti last Friday and returned Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), and had a great time. In addition to seeing Africa's beautiful animals in the Serengeti, he visited a traditional Maasai village. There the villagers performed a welcome dance, gave them tours of their homes, and let them visit a kindergarten class.

Chet leaves again today for another trip. He will be in Naples, Italy for the whole week to attend a regional Civil Engineer Corps conference. Just 23 days, 9 hours, 42 minutes, and 51 seconds until he gets home!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1 Month!

One month from today...CHET WILL BE HOME! (My countdown clock reads 29 days, 4 hours, 18 minutes, 46 seconds, to be exact.) His travel plans were confirmed last week, and Sydney and I CAN'T WAIT!

The last five months really have passed by quickly for Chet and me both. Chet has had such a good experience working in Djibouti; we both believe it has and will do wonders for his career. And, as you all know, I've been quite busy, so time has flown by. The stress of the move and the responsibility of taking care of Sydney alone is what made the last few months bearable and strangely manageable. Hmm.

Anyway, I'm excited, to say the least. I'm glad the holidays are upon us, because I will be busy buying gifts, decorating the house, and introducing Sydney to the magic of Christmas. If I didn't have such things to focus on, I'd be too impatient to wait an entire month for him to get home...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

9-Month Pictures

My first attempt at Sydney's 9-month pictures didn't go so well. She was feeling under the weather, but she looked so darn cute I thought I'd give it a try. I was in such a hurry I forgot to put down the "backdrop", and Sydney definitely wasn't in the mood for a photo session, so the pictures didn't turn out very well. My second attempt was better...but not much. I remembered the backdrop and Sydney was in a good mood, but (and I may have mentioned this before) Sydney will no longer tolerate bows in her hair. Not even the teeny tiny ones that I'm sure she can't even feel but that her little hands find anyway. Oh, well. So here is her 8-month picture for comparison, both 9-month pictures, and some outtakes. Enjoy!

8 months

9 months, attempt 1

9 months, attempt 2

this was the very 1st picture i took, and she's already reaching for the bow...

and the bow is going...




bow is back on (look at all those teeth!)

turkey bottom

the shoe is off too!

of course, the shoe is in the mouth

Friday, November 12, 2010

Snazzy Outfits

Sydney wore some snazzy outfits last weekend.