Monday, July 30, 2012

Back to School!

If you're on a "big" computer, you can see my new back-to-school background.  School starts so early here in south Mississippi -- August 8th!  I'm not personally affected by it much since our girls are still young, but I can nonetheless feel the excitement in the air, and I love all of the back-to-school accessories in the stores.  I especially like the college "gear"...perhaps because I never had a dorm room to decorate.

Our rooms at the Academy were supposed to something look like this:

But mine looked more like this:

And after searching for this picture, where you can barely see my desk and bed in the background, I realized that I never took pictures of my room at the Academy.  Sad.

I also like back-to-school season because it means fall is right around the corner...even though it will continue to be 90 degrees until the end of September.  But that's okay.  The heat doesn't stop me from hanging my autumn wreath September 1st in an attempt to push summer out of the way.

Searching for the first picture on Google made me nostalgic, so here is a shot of the front of Bancroft Hall, the name of the dormitory where all of the midshipmen live for all four years at the Academy.  It is is the largest single dormitory in the world:

And this is what you see when you walk through the front doors:

And here is an aerial view (all of those green-topped buildings constitute Bancroft Hall): really is a beautiful place...

Yes, this post was random.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 27, 2012


Sydney is learning responsibility.  She had better learn young if she wants continue living here for free (just kidding)!

Recently, for about 10 days, we took care of our next-door neighbor's dog, Olive.  Syd used to be a little scared of Olive, but now she's completely comfortable around her.  She loved playing fetch with Olive, taking her for walks, and ordering Olive to eat her dog food after we filled up the bowl.

She likes to feed Lorelei.  This is actually a big help when I really need to finish doing something, because it keeps them both occupied.  However, there is always a mess afterward.

Chet had her help fold laundry (and she is obviously simultaneously engrossed in something on TV).

The other day I asked her to help empty the dishwasher.  She was in charge of the silverware.

I'm not sure I explained myself well enough, because when she was "finished" the silverware tray looked like this:

...and the dishwasher basket looked like this.

She helped me prune the shrubs this week, too.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Give 'em stacking rings, an empty yogurt container, a burp rag, and a remote control and they're happy as clams.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Prima Ballerina

Well, not quite, because the definition of prima ballerina is "the principal ballerina in a ballet company", and Sydney is not quite there yet, BUT Sydney did start ballet and tap class yesterday! I am super excited, and Sydney absolutely loved it!

Most places require children to be three-years old to start classes, but I called a place that has been recommended to me by a couple of people, and the owner (it's a very small dance academy) said she would like to meet Sydney to determine whether or not she was ready. So last week we went by there and the meeting went great! (That was last Wednesday.)

All week we talked about "dance school" and shopped for the required dance items, so Syd was raring to go by the time we showed up for her 1 p.m. class (it's 45 minutes long, and they start out doing ballet, then switch to tap halfway through). I had dropped Lorelei off at the Child Development Center (for the very first time) at 10:30 a.m. to help simplify things, but I had to pick her up at noon, right before we headed to dance, because she was too upset to stay at the CDC any longer. I still plan to take her to the CDC on Tuesdays so Syd and I can have that time to ourselves; next week I will take her at noon and pick her up around 2:30.

Since we had to unexpectedly pick up Lorelei before dance, we were a little pressed for time getting there. I had to change Syd into her dance clothes in the trunk of the car, and as we were changing, the previous class ended, and lots of little girls dressed exactly like Syd were exiting the building and heading to their cars with their Mommies. I think Syd liked seeing everyone dressed alike.

We went inside (it's a very small studio, just a waiting room and the dance room) and waited with all of the other little girls for the start of class. The class is for 3-5 year olds, so some of the girls were a little older, but Syd likes older kids, so she was enthralled. Syd kept saying, "I want to go in there", pointing to the closed door that led to the studio (she remembered it from our visit), but we had to wait for all of the little girls to show up before anyone was allowed to go in. Once everyone was there, they all lined up and went into the studio, wearing ballet slippers and carrying their tap shoes...leaving all of the adults in the waiting room.

By the way, we cannot watch the class. There is a window that looks into the studio from the waiting room, but they keep the blinds closed. The owner is very adamant that children do best when their parents are not there. So I have no idea what went on in that studio! That's okay, though; I knew we could not watch before I signed her up...but obviously I really want to, ha! (There is a recital every year in June, so I'll AT LEAST be able to see about a year.)

Anyway, Sydney was thrilled when she went into class and thrilled when she came out. Here are a few pictures I captured throughout the week. Most of them are terrible because they were taken indoors with my iPhone, but I still have to share.

Trying on her ballet slippers at Payless.

Trying on her leotard at Academy.

In the car, right before class (Chet asked if she drove herself, ha!).

On the bench in the waiting room before class.

Immediately after class ended. She was wearing her tap shoes, carrying her ballet slippers, and holding a Tootsie Roll in her right hand (I think they get one at the end of every class). She was so happy, and kept hopping around on her tap shoes!

A more posed picture after class. Still clutching that Tootsie Roll. She held it until we got home, and then I finally convinced her to eat it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More 9-Month Pictures

As I mentioned in the "official" 9-month post, Lorelei was not the happiest during this little photo shoot.  She was tired, and she is teething, which means she had her finger in her ear for most of the pictures.

(By the way, all of the pictures are in sequential order, and all taken in about a seven minutes. Just wanted to put that out there so you could get a feel for the emotional roller coaster, ha!)

She started out like this.

Then she fell over.

And this is what she looked like when I put her back in position.

But she soon started to smile again.

Then got SUPER happy.

But that quickly changed once she started contemplating something.

She must have been contemplating getting rid of the blanket she was sitting on.

But Chet distracted her...

...for half a second.

Then she shared her "tired" smile.

I almost stopped taking pictures at this point, but managed to get a few more that were pretty cute.

I finally stopped when she did this.

We love you, Lorelei Ann.

Monday, July 23, 2012


...was our 6th wedding anniversary!  It was a quite normal Sunday.  We went through the Starbucks drive through on our way to church, the girls napped after church, and we went to Walmart after naps.  Tonight we hired a babysitter so that Chet and I can go out to celebrate...we're still not sure what we're going to do...we're sort of giddy at the prospect of not having children in tow for a couple of hours.  (We really wanted to see a movie since we never get to anymore, but the only thing we want to see is the "Dark Knight" movie...and it's a little too long to sit through at the theater.)

Here are a few random pictures from yesterday:

Syd wore the adorable dress that "Aunt Dani" bought for her at the Little Italy Farmer's Market in San Diego.

Lorelei wore her adorable dress from the Farmer's Market also, but I did not get a picture of her.  Here she is when she tried it on while in TX.

I did get a picture of Lorelei yesterday in her Farmer's Market bib though.

Lately we've been dancing a lot to songs on the iPad.  Sydney likes the iPad, but sometimes gets confused and tells us, "I want to go to the iPad" (she means "splash pad").  Syd's current iPad favorites are "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble, "Tomorrow" (from Annie), and "Hey Mickey You're So Fine".  We love to make Lorelei dance.

Chet and I did not exchange anniversary gifts, but we did buy new living room furniture!  We sold our couch, chair, end table, coffee table, and lamp (we kept the rug that goes with the set), and are replacing it with a couch, chair, and ottoman.  We did not buy any tables, because we currently don't have space in the living room for a coffee table.  Here are the girls, at the furniture store, on the new couch. 

Oh, yeah.  We already sold our furniture, and the new furniture isn't getting delivered until Wednesday.  So we are enjoying the empty living room, filled only with a twin-sized aero bed, ha!  (Before&After pictures to follow of the living room.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

9 Months!

Since she is 9-months old...3/4 of a year...I will recap all of her monthly pictures.

I almost grabbed the exact same bow as the 6- and 7-month picture, but decided to change things up at the last minute.  :-)  I usually take these pictures right after she wakes up from a nap, so she is usually in a great mood.  This time I took the pictures right before a nap (a nap she ended up refusing to take), so they're...varied (I almost said bipolar, but that seemed a little extreme).  Anyway, I'm not sure how much time I have right now, so I may end up needing to do a separate post of the varied pictures...they're pretty funny.

In Lorelei news, she is still not crawling.  Like Sydney, she will learn to crawl by scooching around on her bottom.  Sydney crawled at 10 months; perhaps Lorelei will too! 

She is FINALLY sleeping through the night.  She learned that while we were in TX.  I implemented two changes in her life simultaneously, so I'm not sure which did the trick, but I'm not going to change either, ha!  (One change was giving her a 4 oz bottle of formula at night in hopes that it would make her more full.  The other change was flat out ignoring her in the middle of the night if she cried...she always falls back to asleep within 10 minutes.)

She LOVES the pool.  She would float all day if we'd let her.

She's had her two bottom teeth FOREVER.  For the last four months I've been saying her top teeth are going to come through any day now...yet they are still not here.  Her poor top gums are so swollen, and her temperment lately proves that she is uncomfortable.

I think those are the only newsworthy items to report.  We love our little pumpkin, and can't believe her first birthday is speeding toward us!