Friday, August 31, 2012

Isaac Update

Tropical Storm Isaac has finally left the building, and, thank the Lord, left the base we live on in great shape!  As I'm sure you know, other parts of Mississippi (not too far from Gulfport) and parts of Louisiana did not fare as well, but I think everyone was as prepared as they could have possibly been.

Chet was required to stay in the concrete bunker on base from Monday afternoon until late morning Thursday -- he was DEFINITELY glad to get out of there yesterday!  He didn't get much sleep, but I think we can all agree that a little sleep deprivation is nothing compared to what Tropical Storm Isaac could have done, right?

Like I said, the base fared well in the storm.  Many of the streets were flooded, but the water did not seep into any of the houses.  We also had power the entire time (I'm not even sure it blinked!).  In fact, the base fared so well...Chet is free to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, and is flying into Houston as I type this!  Woo hoo!  He arrives tonight, and we will all drive back to Gulfport together either Sunday night or early Monday morning.  (He hasn't been able to make it to Houston since Christmas 2010!)

Speaking of Labor Day Weekend...doesn't it feel early this year?  It really snuck up on me (Isaac was an obvious distraction).  And no offense to anyone who loves the month of August, but every year I am thrilled to see August go and September arrive.  September marks the beginning of my very favorite season (even though it's still blasted hot for most of the month), and I don't hesitate to put out my fall wreath.  And start eating candy corn.

Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend!
Isn't this picture hilarious?  This was taken last night; Lorelei wasn't feeling so hot, but Sydney made up for her lack of smiles, by OVER smiling.  LOL!

Thursday Thoughts

My second "Thursday Thoughts"...on Friday again.  I'll blame Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac this time.

This week I'll continue my thoughts on repetition with toddlers. 

We all know that you have to tell toddlers things a million times before they "get" it.  And that may be because it takes a million times for a certain lesson to kick in, or because they actively choose to ignore you 999,999 times before deciding to obey.  Huh. 

Deep down, I know that repetition is the name of the game at this stage in Syd's (and soon Lorelei's) development, which is why I try not to let it annoy/exhaust/get the best of me.

Every now and then Sydney dangles the proverbial carrot in front of me, reminding me that the repetition is paying off.  Like I said last week, I often expect instant results, but must remember to be patient, because patience is what really pays off when we're dealing with monsters toddlers.  (Please don't take "monsters" the wrong way...we have been lovingly calling calling Sydney "Syd Monster"...often shortened to "Syd Monst"...for a very long time now...probably 28 months of her 31-month long life.)

Here's one small example of how I know that Sydney is listening to what we say. A few months ago we started practicing with her how to answer questions from "strangers" (not strangers in a creepy way, just people other than us). Specifically, "What's your name?" (Sydney), "How old are you?" (2-years old), and "How are you doing?" (I'm well!).

At first she would give whichever answer she wanted to the question we asked, mixing them up differently each time.  It exasperated me, because she would just act silly during these "social training" sessions (now that sounds creepy), and I wanted her to learn the lesson so we could move on to bigger and better things.  She exasperated me so much I decided to drop the whole thing.

I'm not sure how much time passed (a few days?  a couple of weeks?) before I decided to readdress the lesson, but this time she answered all three questions perfectly.  Huh.  So she was listening.  And what I said did sink in (despite the fact that I "gave up" on her).  That made me feel like kinda jerky, so I resolved not to be so hard on her.

These days she's the one asking the questions.  She loves asking people (and asking me...over and over and over again, all day long), "What's your name?"  And then she loves getting asked the same question so she can tell people her name (she gives her full name now...first, middle, and last).  She also knows all of our full names (except she calls me Ashley Ann instead of Ashley Nicole).  When she asks Chet his name, he always says, "Daddy."  She says, "No, your name is Chester John!"  It's pretty hilarious and fun.  I shouldn't have been such a slave driver when we started this little lesson, because, obviously, everything turned out just fine.

By the way, when asked, "How are you doing?", her reply is, "I'm well!"  Except, instead of "well" she says, "welf."  Ha!

At the Children's Museum

She likes to bring me flowers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oh, Isaac...

The girls and I left Gulfport yesterday evening, just after 5:00 p.m., and headed to Texas to avoid the worst of (now) Tropical Storm Isaac.  It was the first time I had made the 6+ hour trip by myself with the girls.  It was definitely more challenging without another adult to help, but, thank goodness, it was mostly uneventful.  We pulled into my parent's driveway at 12:30 a.m., the girls were in bed by 1:30 a.m., and I was in bed by 2:00 a.m.  Thank goodness Lorelei slept until nearly 8:00 a.m. (Sydney slept until 9:30 a.m.).  I am tired, but very happy to be here!

Last week Chet and I started preparing for, not only Isaac, but for hurricane season in general.  We didn't do an ounce of hurricane preparation last year, even after Tropical Storm Irene blew through last Labor Day weekend and caused a ton of flooding in our area.  Maybe we were still shell shocked from our July move?  Maybe we were too preoccupied with Lorelei's impending arrival?  Who knows, but looking back, it was awfully risky not to have done any preparation.  Oh, well.

This year we got our act together.  Last week we purchased a good stock of canned food, MREs, bottled water, batteries for our flashlights, and a hurricane lantern.  Chet would like to acquire a generator too, but we haven't done that yet.  We don't have a perfect hurricane disaster kit, a perfect supply of rations, or a perfect plan in case we need to evacuate (again), but what we've done so far is much better than nothing.

Chet is currently in charge of the group of people on base who are on call to deal with disaster relief (in this case, hurricane relief).  We've known for a while that if evacuation was necessary, we would be leaving town without Chet, who is required to stay on base (in a very safe concrete bunker, thank the Lord).  All last week, while we were assembling necessary hurricane supplies, I was in the mindset to ride out the storm and deal with whatever power outages or flooding occurred.  Chet came home from work Friday and stated he thought the girls and I should head for TX, just in case (at this point the storm was still projected to hit much further east than it is now).  I agreed.  We decided we would leave Monday morning.

As we were casually packing on Sunday afternoon, Chet and I had the seemingly simultaneous epiphany that the girls and I should leave as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the morning.  Like I said earlier, we were on the road a little after 5:00 p.m., and only stopped twice.  There was no traffic, no lines at gas stations, and no bad weather to run from.

I'm not trying to be dramatic, but no one has any idea what this storm (or any storm) will do.  It could cause some rain and a little flooding and down a few trees, or it could be another Katrina.  Only God knows.  As Chet and I were scurrying around the house packing, I would tell him every now and then, "Just let me know if you think of anything we don't want to lose, and I'll take it with me."  Neither of us could really think of anything, which I take comfort in.  We have both considered the possibility that our house could blow away in this storm and that we could lose everything.  But that's okay, as long as we are all safe.  We are thankful for our house and the things we own, but we are not so attached to our earthly belongings that we are worried sick about the possibility of losing them.  Pretty much everything we own is replaceable, and nothing that we own will go with us to Heaven anyway, so we are at peace.

Okay, that got much deeper than I expected.  Some things I did pack that I don't normally pack when we go on trips is our wills, birth certificates, marriage certificate, and passports.  I also brought our external hard drive, which we regularly back up our computer files onto.  And Chet's (now Sydney's) Cabbage Patch doll, Bubba, who was "born" in 1982.  And our framed "love chit" (the document that Chet had to submit while we were at the Naval Academy, asking permission for him to switch to a different Company so that we could officially date...it even has an original sticky note on it...I'll take a picture of it some time to show all of you...)

I always struggle a little with natural disasters.  Basically, they terrify me, and I never want them to affect my family.  But I don't want them to affect anyone else either!  So what do I pray for?  For the storm to dissipate altogether?  For it to make landfall and do it's thing, but not hurt anyone or anything in its path?  My prayers surrounding natural disasters are always a little disorganized and intelligible.  But I believe God knows what's on my heart and hears my prayers, no matter how fuzzy they sound in my own mind.

Friday, August 24, 2012

10-Month Pictures

Lorelei was 10-months old last Friday -- I can't believe it!
  • She is still not quite crawling -- but she's so close!  She certainly can scoot around the floor on her bottom though; I think it's quite impressive!
  • She loves standing, and has even started walking if we're holding her hands.  I guess I'm surprised by this since she still isn't crawling.
  • She loves drinking out of straws.
  • We've had a breakthrough in the sleep department.  For the longest time she would sleep all night on her back, and wouldn't even attempt rolling over.  She never liked being swaddled, but she still liked to feel secure in her crib (what baby doesn't?), so I would lay her short-ways in the crib, right up next to the bumper.  Then I would wedge her in with the Boppy pillow.  Eventually she got too long to lay short-ways in the crib, so I laid her down long-ways, but still right up next to the bumper and wedged in with the Boppy.  Well, not too long ago, that got old, and you could tell she was yearning to move around in her crib, rather than staying in the same position all night long.  So I removed the Boppy, and she started rolling over on her side to sleep.  That worked wonders...for a couple of days.  FINALLY, Chet discovered that she treats her burp rag like a pacifier.  I always knew she loved those stained white burp rags, but not that much.  Give the girl a burp rag and she's as happy as a clam.  It's seriously like her pacifier (or her lovey/security blanket).  Even the ladies at the CDC know to keep a burp rag close, because it calms her down.  Wahoo!
  • She is super smart.  I'm allowed to say that because she's my daughter and this is my blog, but really...  She's not smart in a sense that she's already reading Russian literature, but she knows things, trust me.
  • We love her.
This month's photo shoot was completely ridiculous.  Just so you know, my deadline to take these photos each month is one week after her official "month day" (which is the 24th of each month).  I barely made this month's deadline because I was waiting for a mosquito bite on her forehead to disappear.  That backfired though, because she just got another mosquito bite on her forehead the night before the deadline.  Anyway, she would not sit still for these photos.  I have no idea why I'm surprised.  She is 10-months old.  I'll let the pictures tell the silly story...

(Also, I still don't know enough about my camera to take pictures that are not blurry while simultaneously capturing the good light.  So most of them are blurry...blah!)

9-month picture for comparison.

10-months.
See the mosquito bite?  And how she's not really smiling?  And the burp rag?  And this is one of the better pictures!

Early on we got in a burp rag tug-of-war.




Then she tried to crawl away, even though she can't really crawl yet...

...and did a face plant.


See the mosquito bite?

Then she rolled over onto her back, and laid exactly like this for a good 45 seconds.
 
I sat her back up and started waving the burp rag above the camera, trying to get her to look at me and smile.  All that got me was her lunging for the burp rag.

I quickly returned the burp rag to her and she gave me this look:

Then she laid back down.

This is how she uses the burp rag as a pacifier...by practically smothering herself.

I sat her back up for one more attempt.

She removed the bow.

She contemplated life for a few moments.

 


Then I found a toy horse that neighs, and held her attention with that for about a quarter of a second.

Then she reached for the horse and almost face planted again.

But I (gently) pushed her back into a sitting position and got this shot, which, in my opinion, is a perfect depiction of the entire photo shoot (no bow, hair sticking up, wrinkled "10 Months" sticker, and that dern mosquito bite...but somehow it's still perfectly adorable).
(See that tooth?)

Thursday Thoughts

I know it's Friday, but I meant to post this yesterday.  Our computer acted up all day yesterday and Chet didn't get it fixed until late last night, but by then I was too tired to write anything. 

Anyway, I constantly have these thoughts running through my head that I would like to get down on "paper", and many of them are blog-worthy (in my opinion, ha!).  So each Thursday I will share some random thoughts...as if I'm not allowed to share random thoughts on this blog whenever I want...

This week's Thursday Thought(s) will be on parenting.  Specifically on repetition with toddlers.  Does anyone else get annoyed at having to say the same thing over and over (and over) again to young'uns?  (I do, but I'm working really hard on not getting annoyed.)  For example, we're at a stage where Sydney has started playing with her food.  I have to tell her, at least 20 times per meal, "Sydney, that's called playing with your food.  And we don't play with our food.  That's not nice.  We can play after we eat."  (It's not usually that long-winded, but I say a variation of that every six seconds during meals.) 

Why can't she just "get" it after I say it only three or four times?!?!?!  Is that too much to ask?!?!?! 

Yes, it is.

I think we, or at least I, expect too much from toddlers.  I expect Sydney to "get" things too quickly, and get flustered when I have to keep repeating myself, because I know she understands me (I usually I feel like she's pretending not to understand me just to rile me up).  I so quickly forget that toddlerhood is about testing boundaries, and that it is up to me (and Chet) to stick to the boundaries that we establish.  And it might take 100 tests before she is satisfied that, yes indeed, that is a boundary that is firm and that Mommy and Daddy will uphold. 

As I'm sure you all know, consistency is the key, but man it's hard to constantly be consistent (ha!).

I have more to say on this subject, but must get my thoughts in order before posting them...I'm experiencing a bit of writer's block...happy Friday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Syd's Famous!

My dear friend Angela recently started a hi-larious blog called "Why Doesn't He Call?", where people submit photos of themselves (that's the rule -- all photos must be self submissions), "Mainly to answer the awkward question that seems to permeate conversation in the south, 'Why are you still single?'" (that's a direct quote from the FAQ section of the blog).  The site is super funny -- I roll on the floor every time I read a new entry.

Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this is because after Angela saw the picture of Sydney holding the copy of the magazine "PC Gamer" in this post, she asked me if she could use the picture for one of her posts.  I immediately agreed, and couldn't wait to see what she came up with.  (I'm about to go into a super-long explanation about one of the pictures, so, without further ado, here is the link to Angela's blog post featuring Sydney, just in case I lose your interest and you don't make it to the end of my rambling blog post.)

http://www.whydoesnthecallme.com/

A couple of days after that conversation took place, the girls and I were at the library, and Sydney brought me, of all the books in the children's library, a book titled Rot and Decay: Decomposing and RecyclingReally, Syd?  She lost interest before I finished reading it to her (its content was a little over her head), but I thought it was a hilarious choice.  So I snapped a picture of the book and texted it to Angela.  Later that night, Angela asked if we had checked that book out, and if so, could we take a picture of Sydney reading it so she could add it to the blog post?  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I had not checked it out, but we were going to be near the library the next day before dance class, so I told her we would try to get a better picture.  (The first picture was of terrible quality because, little did I know at the time, Lorelei had gotten a hold of my phone and slobbered all over the tiny camera lens.  Thanks, L.  I took many more, very blurry, pictures before figuring out I needed to wipe the lens.)

On the way to the library that next morning I explained to Sydney what we were about to do:

Me: Sydney, guess where we're going?
Syd: Um...I don't know!
Me: The library!
Syd: Yeah!
Me: And guess what we're going to do there?
Syd: Um...I don't know!
Me: You're going to read a book!
Syd: Yeah!
Me: And Mommy is going to take your picture while you read the book!
Syd: Yeah!
Me: And then we're going to send the picture to Aunt Angela!
Syd: Yeah!

We had that conversation three or four times during the short ride to the library.  I wanted her to cooperate, and she usually does when you let her know what's coming.

We arrived at the library, walked straight to the children's section (we were the only ones in the children's library besides the two librarians), I plucked the book from the shelf (thankfully, I saw where Sydney had pulled it from the previous day), and went to straight to a table for her to sit down and pretend like she was reading it.  I only had to take one picture, because she was a perfect model.  Then we got up, put the book back on it's shelf, and left.  I'm positive that I am now on some sort of "library watch" list due to my sketchy behavior, but mission accomplished!

Obviously, Sydney was not aware that her magazine and book choices were so dorky and hilarious...who knows her reasoning (if any) behind her choices.  Thank you, Angela, for using Syd's pictures for such a cute/funny post on your blog!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom

Chet's mom sent this link to my sisters-in-law and me yesterday.  It's a letter written to the stay-at-home mom (or ANY mom for that matter!), and I thought it was amazing and wanted to share it.

I've been meaning to share these annoying interesting endearing habits Sydney has picked up lately.  They really are annoying, but I try my darnedest not to let them get to me, because I know one day I will look back and laugh, and wish I had not squandered these days by being annoyed.

1. "What's that?"  This is her current version of constantly asking "Why?"  (Although she has not done the constant "why?" thing yet.)  Sometimes she asks, "What's that?" legitimately...most of the time these days she knows perfectly well what "it" is (like her knee, for example).  Last night she was served chickpeas (among other things) for dinner, and she picked up every one and asked, "What's that?"  She also constantly asks me, "What's that?" when we're in the car and I am driving.  I patiently (sometimes impatiently) repeat over and over something like this: "Mommy can't see what you are pointing to because Mommy is driving, remember?"

2. "What am I doing?"  This is an awkward game, because Sydney will do something completely random and ask, "What am I doing?"  Sometimes it's not clear what she wants the answer to be...it could be as obvious as jumping up and down to as discreet as clenching her jaw...so we have to guess several times until we get it "right."  She's okay only about half the time with us turning the question around on her.  This is another question I constantly get in the car, so I have to repeat something similar the one above: "Mommy can't see what you are doing, Sydney, because Mommy is driving, remember?  YOU tell ME what you are doing."

3.  "Do it like that!"  This is similar to #2.  She says this when she wants to you copy what she's doing, but, again, most of the time it's not clear exactly what she wants you to copy.  It ranges from as obvious as spreading out your arms and pretending to fly, to tilting your head in a certain way.

Let me add that all of these phrases are repeated over and over again, in rapid succession.  She doesn't ask, "What am I doing?" two or three times per car trip.  No, Sirree.  She asks about 50 times in two minutes.  Yikes.

I know these quirks are part of learning and growing up, which is why we try REALLY hard not to show how they annoy us.  I don't want to squash her creativity, but we've had to put boundaries on these phrases, like at the dinner table.  I have to keep reminding her, "That's a game, and we will play it when we're all done eating."

I have more parenting "thoughts" I'd like to share, but I'll have to wait until later to post them.  I had better get moving this morning!

(She is a nut.  But we love her.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saturday & Sunday

Man, I'm tired.  I think I was on my feet all day long, except when I was in the car and when we were sitting in church.  I'm ready to put my feet up and watch some "Army Wives!"

Before I talk about the weekend, here is a picture and a video.  Sydney must have seen the picture of Lorelei with the witch's hat on her head, and wanted a similar picture of herself (notice she's even sitting in Lorelei's baby bathtub).

Recently, Lorelei started making this weird sound with her nose.  It started in response to us wiping her face clean after she ate, but now I think she does it because she knows we think it is funny.  (Excuse her blank stare in the beginning and the whining at the end -- she was ready for a nap when I took the video.)
video

Saturday was pretty low key.  We stayed in the house all morning, except for Chet and Sydney, who ran to the jewelry store to drop off my engagement ring and wedding band to get cleaned and inspected.  Then it was nap time for Syd.  After nap time, Syd's friend Jaterrica came over for a couple of hours.  By the time she left, we were all starving and decided to go to Dairy Queen for dinner.

After DQ we went to the outlet mall, specifically to the Croc store.  They were having a buy two, get one free sale.  I bought Lorelei a pair of tiny yellow Crocs (they probably won't fit her for a few months yet), and Sydney a matching pair of yellow Crocs, but in her next size.  Syd also got a pair of bright pink Crocs with a bright green heel strap, also in her next size.  (She currently owns three pair of Crocs that fit her.  She honestly wears the heck out of all three pair.)  I wanted to go to the Carter's store next, but we made a Good Parenting Decision and went home instead.  Woo hoo for us!

This morning we went to church, and also became members of the church today.  We had been regularly attending FBC Gulfport since December, and knew we wanted to become members for quite some time.  We are excited, and plan to start attending a Community Group (that's what they do instead of Sunday School) on Sunday evenings.

After church we went through the Starbucks drive thru, then home.  Lorelei fell asleep on the way home, so only Chet and Sydney went into the house, and I turned the car around and drove to the Carter's store (they were having a sale, and I had a coupon).  I didn't buy anything for Lorelei (she has PLENTY of clothes), just Sydney.  After we got home, I finished sorting/purging Lorelei's clothes, which made me feel GREAT!  (I love organizing.)

By this time it was a little after 4:00 p.m., and we needed to go to Walmart.  Sydney and I went alone; it was nice to have some one-on-one time with her.  (And for Chet to have one-on-one time with Lorelei).

We fixed dinner as soon as we got home, went for a short, bug-infested walk after dinner, and then did the bath time/bedtime routine.  Now here I sit. 

Thanks for reading this week!  Hopefully you enjoyed the glimpse into our every day lives...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday

We had one of those mornings where I felt like everything was out of sync.  Lorelei woke up just before 5:00 a.m. to nurse, so of course I was tired when my alarm went of at 6:00 a.m.  I pressed snooze (as usual...Chet loves that), but at some point I must have acknowledged the alarm, because Lorelei woke me up squawking and it was 7:15 a.m.  Well...  Obviously my body needed the sleep, but it put me in a little bit of a tailspin.

We got dressed to go to the to the gym, and were ready to walk out the door a little after 9:00 a.m.  Lorelei was just starting to act cranky, so she might have gone down for a nap had I tried, but I was itching to get out of the house (and she might not have napped anyway).  So I loaded them up in the car. 

I had already decided that today was a good day for a donut, so I was hoping Lorelei would fall asleep in the car on the way to the gym.  If she did fall asleep, my plan was to stop at the donut shop first (they have a drive-thru window), drive to the library so I could return two overdue DVDs, and enjoy a donut with Sydney in the library parking lot, letting Lorelei sleep as long as possible before arriving at the gym.  The reason I was so hellbent on her having a nap is because sometimes she freaks out in the gym daycare when she is super tired, which cuts my workout short.  I did not want that. 

But here's what ended up happening: Lorelei was still not asleep by the time I reached the donut shop, so I bypassed it and drove straight to the library, jumped out of the car to put the DVDs in the outdoor drop box, drove slowly through the streets of Long Beach, Mississippi, thinking she would fall asleep at any second, which would still allow Sydney and me to swing through the donut shop and enjoy our pre-gym donut.  But the longer I drove around the more my plan unraveled, so I finally gave up and drove to the gym, praying that she would be happy enough to let me work out.

I was able to finish my workout (2+ miles on the treadmill...could have been better, could have been worse) without them tracking me down while holding my screaming child.  (Are you wondering why I go to the gym to run on the treadmill when I have a perfectly good double jogging stroller at home?  The reason is, I would certainly pass out from heat exhaustion if I ran outdoors between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.)  The Olympics was on television during my run, specifically men's 200-meter single canoe races.  Wow, it looked tiring.  In fact, I think I started breathing harder than usual during my run because it made me to tired to watch them.

I revised my donut plan (because a donut was still a must on this Friday) and drove to the donut shop after we left the gym.  We even went inside to eat our donut instead of going through the drive thru.  There was an older couple in there, and the man commented, "Wow, that's a chubby little guy" (talking about Lorelei).  His wife hissed at him, "That's a girl!  See, she's wearing pink and yellow!"  He said, "Okay, well she's chubby."  I agreed with him.  He wasn't being rude (although it sounds rude now that I type it out...poor Lorelei, I hope her baby thighs don't create a life-long complex).

We went home after the donut shop.  Chet was home for lunch, so he entertained Syd while I went upstairs to feed Lorelei and put her down for that nap she refused to take earlier.  By this time it was noon.

Syd went down for her nap at 1:15 p.m., at which point Lorelei woke up.  Sometimes I feel like all anyone does is nap around here!

Syd woke up at 3:00 p.m., and Lorelei went down for another nap (just 30 minutes, but see what I mean about someone always sleeping?!)  After Lorelei got up at 3:30 p.m., we left for the Discovery Center.  We arrived a couple of minutes after 4:00 p.m. (they close at 5:00 p.m.) so it was just enough time to play.  I got several (poor quality indoor iPhone) pictures of Syd, none of Lor.

Syd in the really cool climby thing.

Isn't it neat?!

Syd shaking her maracas in "Mexico."


Syd asked Chet, "What's that?"  Chet answered, "A tamale." 

Syd thought it was for brushing her hair.

Syd pretending to eat an empanada.


She loved putting it in her mouth for real when she thought we weren't looking (gross, right?).

She was hiding in the clothes cupboard.  Every time Chet opened the door she would SCREAM.  Yikes.

We headed home for dinner when the Discovery Center closed at 5:00 p.m.  Leftovers for dinner (woo hoo for me!).  After dinner my neighbor Amy and her daughter Maddy invited us out for a walk.  Syd and I left Chet and Lorelei at home.  Here are Sydney and Maddy at the playground.

This picture is blurry, but they had their hands over their hearts (sort of) while evening colors was playing.

At bath time, Sydney put this hat on Lorelei's head.  You're supposed to put it on the bathtub wall (it's sort of a paper doll set, but not paper).  I'm not sure Lorelei even noticed, ha!

Now they're in bed, and I'm still itching to watch that episode of "Army Wives"...

Thursday

Today was a great day, but ended busier than we should have let it end.

This morning the girls and I met my friend Emily and her daughter Maggie at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Bear Cub Club at 10:15 a.m.  It was our first time to go to Bear Cub Club, and I think Sydney had fun (there were parts where she seemed a little out of her element, and other parts that she loved).  We ate lunch at a picnic table on the museum grounds after BCC was over (which, in my opinion, was even more fun than BCC itself, because Sydney and Maggie were able to play together and Emily and I were able to chat).  The only negative was that it was raining, so the girls (and the adults) got pretty muddy on the walk to and from the picnic table, and the girls weren't able to play on the outdoor exhibits.

Maggie shared her umbrella with Sydney.  They probably got just as wet had there not been an umbrella at all, because they walked   s   o      s   l   o   w   l   y   (right Emily?).


(It was pretty hard to photograph them while they were walking and I was walking/carrying two bags, Lorelei, and an umbrella myself...pretty umbrella though, right?)

I like spending time with Emily and Maggie...the girls play great together, and that always makes me happy.  :-)

Lorelei fell asleep in the car on the way home, so I left her in there just long enough to unload the car and put Sydney down for a nap.  After I retrieved Lorelei from the car I started to feel super sleepy.  I was hoping she would want to go down for a longer nap so that I could lay down for a few minutes myself, but it didn't look like that was going to happen.  Finally, at 3:00 p.m., just 20 minutes before Sydney needed to get up from her nap, Lorelei started acting tired, so we went to her room so I could nurse her and put her to sleep.  She faked me out; she did not want to go to sleep, but I was so desperate for a short rest that I put her in the crib wide awake.  By this point I had 12 minutes before Sydney needed to get up.  I decided 12 minutes of rest was better than nothing; I just hoped Lorelei would entertain herself for a few minutes and not start screaming.

The master bedroom is right across the hall from the girls' bedrooms, so I could easily hear Lorelei rolling around, and I heard Sydney wake up a few minutes later.  Sydney waking up was a very good thing -- I don't like Sydney to sleep longer than 2 hours at nap time, because I think it interferes with bedtime.  And Sydney is great at entertaining herself in her crib, so her being awake bought me a few more minutes of rest.  And wouldn't you know it...a couple of minutes later, Lorelei fell asleep!  Woo hoo!  I was able to rest (I dozed a little, but never fell into a dead sleep) for 30 minutes, and it made all the difference.  I almost never nap during the day, but there are times when I reach a point where if I don't rest...things might get ugly.  When I find myself desperate for a break, I pray for time to rest...and I simultaneously pray that if rest isn't possible, that God grace me with renewed energy and patience...because I know that I'm out of both at that moment!

After Chet got home from work, we decided cooking dinner and cleaning up the kitchen was not desirable, so we went to Logan's Roadhouse instead (I had a coupon).


I've decided we're never going there again.  There are just too many things that are not desirable about that restaurant (I don't know if it's the whole chain, or just our location).  I'm never very impressed with the menu, the service isn't awesome, the high chairs are always dirty, and the tables are too small.  Why do restaurants put so much STUFF on tables nowadays?  Salt, pepper, sugar/sweeteners, drink menus, dessert menus, giant pail of peanuts (in this particular case).  There's not room for the basket of rolls, the pre-dinner plates, and then the dinner plates!  And Logan's doesn't clear anything from the table throughout the meal.  There were too many times that Lorelei almost got a hold of my dinner knife or swiped the roll basket onto the floor.  Plus, I had to change Lorelei's dirty diaper in the bathroom, and that always puts me in a punchy mood.

Okay, rant over.

It was raining when we left the restaurant, and we got into the car at 7:21 p.m.  Smart parents would have driven straight home, but we were near Dollar Tree, and I needed some sponges.  So we went.  It wasn't pouring down rain, but it wasn't just sprinkling either.  We were in and out of Dollar Tree pretty quick; all I needed were some kitchen sponges, a box of Whoppers (for Chet), and a pink loofah in the shape of a pig (for Syd).

We noticed a rainbow after we left Dollar Tree.


The self-serve yogurt place is just a couple of doors down from Dollar Tree...so that was our next stop (crazy, crazy parents).  Chet and Lorelei sat down at a table while I helped Sydney fix up her yogurt cup.  When we joined Chet and Lorelei at the table, Chet looked at me and said, "We have a problem.  I've been shat on."  He said it exactly like that.  It was a little crude, but he definitely could have been more crude.  And it was hilarious.  And gross.

Thankfully it had stopped raining by this time, so I took Lorelei to the car and cleaned her up.  We went back, finished our frozen yogurt, and headed home. We had the girls bathed and in bed in record time.  After they were in bed we cleaned up the toy/art supply explosion that we had left laying out before we went to the restaurant.  Then we watched the season finale of "Dallas."  And I did not blog, which is why this post is being written right now.