Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Baby is Three

I know she turned three four days ago, but how did our first baby go from this: this: this (wild hair and pink-icing-on-the-shirt alert!): this:
 in just three short years?

I can't...but at the same time, I can...believe that she is three-years old.  The time flies, but this conversating (this is SO not a word, but I feel like it works, am I right?), opinionated, smart little girl is definitely not a baby anymore.  In honor of her third birthday, here are our three favorite things about Sydney Jo:

1. She is willing to try anything.  This little girl has no fear, and it's inspiring.  For example, most of the other parents in her dance class report that their children never want to go to class, but as soon they're in there they're okay.  Some little girls have to be carried in crying by the dance teachers.  (Sydney is the youngest in the class; I think the next youngest girl is four months older than Syd, but most of the little girls are already turning four.  I don't say that to brag; perhaps her young age and naivete put her at an advantage in this particular situation.)  But Sydney just saunters into the dance room with her little dance bag hitched up on her shoulder, giving the crying girls curious looks.  She also loves to talk to people; she's only shy if she's caught off guard.

2.  She's nurturing, which is evident in the way she takes care of her baby dolls and stuffed animals.  There's not a baby doll or stuffed animal on this earth that she doesn't immediately love.  There are dolls and animals "sleeping" all over our house (and they are usually swaddled in a blanket, sleeping on their bellies, ha!).  Sydney makes sure to remind us (by "shushing" us) that they are sleeping.  Yesterday afternoon she put her new Hello Kitty doll (thank you, Papa John!) to bed in the little wooden crib she got for her birthday.  We had to leave the house a few times for errands yesterday, and she reminded me in the car that Hello Kitty was sleeping in her crib, but that she would be ready to wake up once we returned home.  The first thing she did when we got home (each time) was run upstairs and check on her.

3. She has a great sense of humor.  She's extremely silly, which can get trying at times (y'all know what I'm talking about!), but I think it's a good trait, as long as we can teach her how to tame it over the years.  She recently started this thing where she smiles at me in this strange, closed-lipped way after I get on to her.  When I'm obviously perturbed, she just peers up at me with this ridiculous smile pasted on her face until I can't help but laugh (and sometimes it takes a while).  I have no idea where she got the idea to do that, but it sure is funny.

Happy birthday, sweet Sydney!  We love you!

(More birthday pictures to follow -- she received some wonderful cards and gifts that she just LOVES!)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Even though it's Syd's birthday...

...I have to post a couple of cute pictures of Lorelei that I've taken recently.

A couple of more of these to come (because this was taken the afternoon of Sydney's birthday), but Lorelei insists on wearing this bicycle helmet if she sees it.  I have to hide it from her when we go outside.

Syd's Birthday

This is going to be short, because Lorelei is awake and I need to get her up, but I wanted to post at least a couple of birthday pictures before too much time passes!

Saturday night (the day before her birthday) we decided to open the gifts that my mom (Didi) sent.  At first she was more interested playing with this Melissa & Doug cupcake decorating set (from our neighbor) to open gifts, but she finally came around.

Didi sent some snazzy shoes,

a snazzy dress and another pair of snazzy shoes,

a snazzy shirt and a snazzy blue-jean skirt,

and some (snazzy!) colored pencils.

The next morning she opened the presents from us, and one present from my dad (Papa John).

Lorelei got Sydney a new leotard for dance:
 Lorelei kept making this shocked/surprised look all day long...maybe that's the face we were all making?

She loved the doll bed we got her.  She put her baby to bed right away.

There are always babies or stuffed animals "sleeping" in our house.  Sydney is constantly shushing us because of this.  Hmm.

She loved her Hello Kitty purse from Papa John:

That morning, after presents, we had breakfast and some birthday cake and then went to church.  Later, after Sydney's nap, we opened the rest of the presents...more pictures to follow!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Week 3: 21 graces

1. Finding a really good bargain on kids' clothes
2. A 15-month old (who just learned to walk) trying her darnedest to run away from you...hilarious!
3. Supporting a small business
4. Lorelei learning to nod her head (now she always nods...and grunts in affirmation...when I ask her a question)
5. A perfect day for the playground
6. A post-dinner trip to the frozen yogurt place
7. Finishing a really good parenting book
8. Finding out that two (different) friends are expecting
9. Taking 20 minutes to plan out the week ahead
10. A Walmart date with Sydney (who loves Walmart)
11. A week of planned dinners
12. A 3-day weekend
13. A 4-day work week
14. Sydney saying, "I have an idea!" for the first time (does she know what an 'idea' is?)
15. Tackling a difficult task you've not been looking forward to tackling
16. Successfully completing said difficult task
17. A neighbor who can watch the girls in a pinch
18. Using your talents/strengths to serve others
19. The (out loud) musings of a two-year old as you wait in line at the (very crowded) pharmacy
20. A monthly gathering with friends
21. The ridiculously excited greeting you receive from your children upon returning home (no matter you were only gone a couple of hours)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

This post isn't exactly like the the "Thursday Thoughts" posts I started doing several months ago and have not kept up with...but it's Thursday, and I feel like I need to write something, so voila!

We've had a very full week, one where Chet and I actually sat down Sunday night and planned out/wrote down exactly what we were doing/where we needed to be each day so we wouldn't miss anything.  It has worked great, and has helped us maintain a little sanity, so we have decided to do that every Sunday night from here on out!  (I have decided we will do that...Chet doesn't know that yet, but how could he possibly resist?!  It's fun!!)

Anyway, it's been a full week, but not necessarily ridiculously exciting, except for yesterday.  Yesterday Chet had his oral board with his Commanding Officer in order to earn his SCWS pin (I mentioned that back in this post).  This is how it works: Tuesday he received his assignment, and he had 24 hours to plan the mission and prepare a brief for the CO (which is not nearly enough time, but is sort of the point).  Yesterday, he had 45 minutes to brief his plan, followed by a few hours of questioning from the CO and her staff.  No one ever plans a perfect mission, but Chet did fantastic.  There are two portions of his mission he needs to tweak, and then he will officially have earned his pin!  We are so proud of him!

In other random news, the girls and I went to the Navy Exchange (NEX) on base the other day, in search of a plain white shirt for Sydney.  They did not have one (at least, not one that I liked), but I did buy (all for Sydney):
  • 3 ribbed tank tops (black, turquoise, and purple)
  • 3 pair of play shorts (black, turquoise, and purple)
  • a pink "dressy" t-shirt with a butterfly on it
  • a pair of plaid shorts
  • a summer romper
...all for $20.01!  Fist pump!

Sydney's birthday is Sunday.  We made a countdown chain out of construction paper a couple of weeks ago to help her understand what it meant when we said, "Nine more days until your birthday!"  Now, since it's just three days away, I am telling her, "The next time we go to church, it will be your birthday!"  We are not going to have a party for her; just presents and cake.  I think she only cares about the cake anyway.

I suppose this concludes my random thoughts.  I should have been showering instead of blogging, because Lorelei is squawking from her crib, but I deemed this more important...sorry L!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Week Two: 21 graces

1. The base's Child Development Center...the perfect place for Sydney to have fun on a Friday after being cooped inside all week (due to inclement weather)
2. Our property manager (in FL...he is an absolute joy to work with...seriously)
3. Getting things done you didn't even know were on your to-do list
4. An unexpected block of time to weed the flower beds
5. A trusted babysitter
6. An outing with my husband to celebrate his birthday
7. Getting our act together in time to make it to early church
8. A husband who hangs pictures perfectly (he tolerates, and often exceeds, my impossible picture-hanging standards)
9. Small changes around the house that make you smile
10. Mailing off refinance paperwork
11. Completeing a small art project with your children
12. A delicious (and easy!) crock pot dinner
13. Sticking with a discipline plan
14. Delicious crock pot dinner leftovers
15. Family Readiness Group meetings (for many reasons, but, in this particular case, to catch up with friends!)
16. Peppermint hot chocolate
17. Errands with well-behaved children
18. An evening workout (because usually I talk myself out of working out by the time evening rolls around)
19. Snow in Mississippi...not southern Mississippi, but close enough!
20. Dunkin' Donuts (the only one is nearly 20 miles away...but I was close enough to swing by there this morning for a cup of blueberry coffee!)
21. Good health care

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snazziness (is that a word?!)

The girls have been wearing some snazzy outfits lately.

Lorelei wasn't wearing the denim skirt that goes with this outfit, so she ended up looking like a purple inmate, ha!

Snazzy outfit, not-so-snazzy attitude.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finally Walking

Lorelei is finally walking!  I suppose she officially starting walking December 26th, but she still preferred to hold someone's hand while walking, and would often crawl.  But just in the last couple of days she has starting walking everywhere.  Good job, Lor!

***Warning: These videos will probably only be of interest to grandparents!  And ignore my crazy voice at the end of the second video.***

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baby Diva

This baby diva wore these sunglasses for a heck of a lot longer than I thought she would today!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Chet!

For those of you who don't know, January is birthday month in our household.  Chet's birthday was yesterday (Saturday), Sydney's is the 27th, and mine is the 31st.  Lorelei is a lone ranger, born in October.

Anyway, Chet had a nice birthday.  I'm glad it was on a Saturday, and not during the week.  He woke up to the official birthday banner and a card and presents:
We have been hanging birthday cards he has received in the mail on the twine art display (along with Sydney's and Lorelei's masterpieces): 
January is when I put out the cupcake Scentsy burner:
As well as a picture from Syd's first birthday shoot -- I try to display pictures that are seasonally appropriate, but sometimes I get behind.
Chet got a new t-shirt and sunglasses for his birthday: 
(As you can see, Sydney likes to put on a bow and a necklace as soon as she wakes up, even though she's still wearing her pajamas.  Obviously, my brainwashing has paid off.)
Here's what Lorelei was up to while all this was going on: 
That evening we hired a babysitter so we could go to dinner and a movie (a new-ish seafood restaurant that opened this past summer and "Gangster Squad").  It is always so nice to get away for a few hours without the girls, if only to be able to have an uninterrupted conversation!
Here's the birthday boy at dinner: 
***Tangent: Can I just say that I am so, so, so, SO glad I am pushing 30 and not in middle school or high school anymore?  We went to a 5:10 p.m. movie, and the theater was more crowded than I expected it to be at that time (I suppose it was Saturday night).  Anyway, I saw a lot of young people, which made me glad the movie we saw was rated R, because it meant that none of those young people were in our theater.  (Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with young people, I like them, they just all seemed very talkative.  And talkative is no bueno when you're trying watch a movie.  And at home I always have the Closed Captioning function turned on, so I have to pay extra close attention when I'm in the theater since the words aren't printed on the screen.  Wow, I sound like I'm 99, not 29.)  Anyway, all of these talkative young people, the talkative young girls specifically, were dressed in short shorts.  They all looked very adorable, but I'm so, so, so, SO glad I do not feel the need to wear short shorts to a freezing cold movie theater.  In January.  Thank you.***
Happy 31st birthday, Chet!  We love you so, so, so, SO much!

Friday, January 11, 2013

21 graces

A few months ago I was happy to stumble upon the blog of the talented Jordy Liz (via my friend Jess), and I am linking up with her today (and hopefully every Friday) for her "21 graces" challenge.

Without further ado, here are twenty-one of the moments of grace/blessings that I experienced this past week:
  1. The instant forgiveness of a child after you lose your temper
  2. Catching up with a friend at the park
  3. A Chinese food buffet for dinner after a really long week
  4. Having no weekend obligations
  5. Catching up on laundry
  6. Realizing, after doing said laundry, that there is, in fact, not an urgent need to buy more clothes for each of your family members
  7. A church home
  8. Dressing your girls in matching outfits
  9. A freshly mopped kitchen
  10. Sunshine after a weekend of rain
  11. A Monday morning workout
  12. Sending your child to her room as punishment...and finding her later wearing a pink camouflage baseball hat and tap shoes
  13. A 2-year old in a tutu
  14. Finishing a good matter that it's one you've already read
  15. An evening wagon ride with two giggly girls
  16. The flexibility to change your "daily plan" on a whim
  17. Discovering you still have a half full cup of coffee (when you thought it was gone)
  18. A next-door-neighbor who is a really good friend
  19. A good thunderstorm
  20. A husband who, after a long day of work, will gladly stay home with the children so you can go to Walmart alone
  21. Staying up late to catch up on your favorite television show
Although I am aware that my life is brimming with grace and blessings, I had to be deliberate in actually naming them.  Some days it was more difficult to do that than others, but I know this will become easier with time.  Thanks for the challenge, Jordy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

I don't know about y'all...

...but it takes me forever to get back into the swing of things after returning from a trip.  Combine returning from said trip with tons of new Christmas presents that need to be sorted and stowed away, seemingly stale Christmas decorations that need to be taken down (I have a hard time enjoying Christmas decorations once the 25th has passed), and the self-imposed task of revamping my entire system of storing holiday (not just Christmas, every holiday) decor...well, you can imagine the mess we've been living in for the past several days.

We returned home from Texas late on the 28th (my dad/Papa John's birthday!), and Chet did not have to return to work until January 2nd.  Normally he would have corralled the girls while letting me unpack/reorganize the entire house, but he was busy studying for his upcoming boards (which were occurring January 2nd, the day he returned to work) to earn his Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist pin.  So Chet studying was definitely the priority around the house, and I had to just take a chill pill on the unpacking/reorganizing front.  (Guess what?  Leaving half-unpacked suitcases in the living room for a few days did not cause the world to end -- who knew?!?!)

But yesterday morning, I had had enough.  The Christmas tree was finally undecorated and ready to be taken outside, and I simply couldn't wait for Chet to have some free to time to drag it out of the living room for me.  So, I did it myself, and like a true hillbilly, deposited it here:
Hopefully the yard-of-the-month committee didn't drive by between 6:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

My mind is completely disorganized right now, so here are some random tidbits:
The girls love when Chet comes home:
Sydney looked sweet the day after Christmas (I wish I could say "Sydney looked sweet Christmas day", but, truth be told, none of us changed out of our pajamas that day):
She's wearing her new Nikes with that dress.  As if she's a business woman who walks to work, then changes into her pumps.  Sigh.
It's been cold here, but we go outside anyway:
Lor's pointing and saying, "Mama!  Mama!" in this picture.  I think that was her way of saying she wanted to play with the camera.