Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sydney's First Christmas

Before I get into Christmas, let me talk about a few other Sydney items. I mentioned after Thanksgiving about the problems Sydney suddenly had going to bed and Separation Anxiety. As of that post, however, she had one successful night and we were hoping it was over. Since then she had been sleeping fine. She went to bed fine and mostly slept through the night like she had been before Thanksgiving.

The Friday before Christmas, however, she did it again (after several weeks of being fine). We are guessing here, but we think we know why she did.

Anne was off on Friday. Everyone at her work had been bugging her to bring Sydney in so she decided she would. I was working early on Friday (at 10:00 am). Anne brought Sydney in to see me just as I was getting up around 8:00 am. We spent a couple minutes together, I said good-bye, and then Anne took her off to her work.

That was all I saw her on Friday (while she was awake). Anne was with her all day on Friday. All day. That night, Sydney had fits when it was time to go to bed.

So, we figure that her being with Anne all day like that (where Anne is normally working at least a third to a half of the day, depending on when Sydney wakes up and naps) it contributed to the separation anxiety. She hadn't seen me all day (where she spends the mornings with me which is a third to a half of her day depending on naps and when she wakes up), so that may have contributed to it some.

Anne was off again on Monday, but I spent a lot more time with Sydney. Anne didn't call me at work and tell me there were sleep problems tonight, so I'm guessing everything is good. I'll probably know before I post this. If it's different I can post, but if you're reading this Sydney went to bed fine on Monday. Yay!

On the tooth front, Sydney's bottom teeth are coming in. She already has her two middle bottom teeth. These are the next two out. They've been threatening for a few days, but we think they came in. She usually won't let us look in her mouth to tell, but Anne caught a glimpse of one on Christmas and said it came through. The other one didn't look like it had yet. A little more on that later.

And now onto Christmas.

We had a great weekend. Fun was had by all, even if Sydney really had no idea what was going on. She enjoyed playing with paper and ribbons and loved the sounds her new toys make.

Christmas Eve we had our friends over for a party. Our friends Mark and Jackie came with their boys Caden and Rylan. Jackie's Mom and Step-Dad, Diana and Ruffie (Russ), came. (We went to their house for Thanksgiving, as previously recorded.) Jackie's grandparents were supposed to come, but Grandma has been having some health issues and wasn't up to coming over.

Our friend Cathy came with her boys, Evan and William. Her new boyfriend couldn't make it due to a migraine. And her parents were supposed to come, but Mom wasn't feeling well so they opted out. Our friend Kyle was there, too.

We had a lot of food and stuffed ourselves. Overall, we enjoyed Christmas with our friends, had a great time, and got to open some presents before Christmas!

Sydney With Bow

Anne and I had already gotten our best Christmas present (Sydney) early. But that didn't stop us from enjoying it all the same.

Sydney likes everyone who was there and didn't have any problems. (Because she was at home and knew the environment?) Cathy spent a lot of time with her and held her a lot. Sydney always loves attention and ate it up. Cathy even let her play with her cell phone. She was fascinated by it. Luckily she didn't try to chew on it.

Sydney With Cathy's Phone

Jackie (Aunt Jackie) even taught Sydney a new trick. She just thought it was great to teach Sydney to bang her hand on the tray of her high chair while she was waiting to be fed. "Bang bang, Sydney. Bang bang," she would say while moving her hand up and down. Sydney would often follow her example. Sometimes she would do it just from the words and without the hand movement.

Jackie just thought it was wonderful that she could teach Sydney bad habits and then not be around to deal with the after effects. Of course, she has two young, impressionable boys. They may not be babies anymore, but I'm sure I could teach them something that would get her back.

(Oh, wait. I made them a "Weird Al" Yankovic mix CD for their two-week car trip last year. The boys made them play it over and over and over again on the trip. Especially "Yoda," "The Saga Begins" and "Ode to a Superhero." I guess I can deal with "Bang bang.")

On Christmas morning we got up and went to open presents after Sydney was fed. We started in the family room, opening our stockings by the fireplace.

Sydney With Her Stocking

Mommy and Daddy each have really big stockings we bought several years ago. We looked for one for Sydney this year but couldn't find one. In another year or two we're going to need to find one or else get rid of ours. But for now Sydney doesn't know the difference. In fact, she pretty much ignored her stocking and played with her good old plastic rattle.

Sydney Ignores Her Stocking

Before I could get a camera ready she pulled her card out and the toy cell phone out and immediately dropped them. She continued to play with her rattle. Mommy moved the stocking around so it was closer and more in front of her. She continued to ignore it. Mommy tried to entice her with the fuzziness of it. Finally, there was some interest.

While continuing to hold and shake her rattle in her right hand Sydney grabbed a DVD from the stocking with her left hand. She pulled it out, raised it over her shoulder, and dropped it. She barely even looked at it as she did it. Mommy tried again. Sydney did almost the exact same thing with the other DVD. (The Muppet Movie and A Muppet Christmas Carol, in case you're wondering.)

Once the toy cell phone was pulled out of the box and turned on to light up and make all sorts of neat sounds Sydney did finally put down the rattle and play with it. She has figured out to push the buttons to make the sounds. And she's even figured out how to slide the on/off switch back and forth, though we're sure she doesn't realize exactly what it does yet. But when it gets turned back on it makes noises and that's good enough for her!

Mommy and Daddy opened their stocking presents and then we all moved into the living room. Sydney sat down near the tree and amidst all her presents. Some she had received on Christmas Eve from our friends. Some she had just gotten some in her stocking. But many were still under the tree - some even needing to be opened (some were never wrapped - and there's nothing wrong with that. We didn't wrap most of her presents from us).

Sydney Ready To Open Presents

Sydney got lots of loot. (This is everything she got.)

Sydney With All Her Loot

Sydney got so much stuff that we're not sure what to do with it. Some of it we think we're going to put away. We can pull it out in a few months when she needs new toys and stimulation. Some of the things she got are developmental. They will do her more good in a few months where right now they just make fancy noises for her - which she gets from other toys. She will not lack for fun things to do, though, that's for sure. It's going to take us a few days to sort and figure out what she is interested in now and what she may be better off having in the future. (And by then she'll have birthday presents to play with...)

A full list of all the fun and neat things Sydney got will be down later in this post. Mommy and Daddy got lots of neat things, too.

On Christmas we went over to Diana and Ruffie's house again. (We went there for Thanksgiving.) We immediately knew that Christmas would be better than Thanksgiving because Sydney took an afternoon nap. We left to go over when she woke up.

Mark and Jackie and their boys were there, too. (They had gone to California to be with Mark's family for Thanksgiving.) Jackie's grandparents (Diana's parents) were there, too. (They live right next door, so it was easier for them to be here than to go all the way to our house on Christmas Eve.)

After Jackie taught Sydney to "Bang bang," we thought it fitting that we make her play with Sydney with one of her new toys. The Leap Frog Learning Drum! We brought it to dinner specifically for this reason.

Sydney and Aunt Jackie Drum

Overall Sydney was very good while we were there. She got fussy a few times. She would cry and whine for several minutes, but then would settle down and be happy. We think her two bottom teeth may have been bothering her, but we're not sure. At times her cheeks did get very red, which happens when teething. And Anne got a good look in her mouth during a crying fit to see that one tooth had come at least partially through, but the other hadn't.

I tend to think it was the fact that she was in a somewhat strange place with a lot of activity around her, even if they were people she knew. She tended to be her fussiest when she wasn't getting attention, especially from Mommy or Daddy. (But not always.)

While we ate she was sitting on the floor behind Mommy and Grandma (Jackie's grandma). She cried and whined and fussed. Grandma got down and played with her a little. It appeased her a bit, but not completely. When Mommy finished her first helping she got seconds and held Sydney on her lap while she ate it. Daddy helped try to entertain her since he was sitting next to her. This mostly helped keep Sydney calm while everyone else enjoyed the meal.

Overall it was a good time. It was nothing more than anyone would expect from Christmas dinner with an eight and a half month old.

Sydney managed to stay up a little later than normal on Christmas. We left around 7:00 pm and she fell asleep in the car on the way home. She woke up a little when we got home, but went right to bed and fell asleep without a fuss.

And now, the list of presents that Sydney got for Christmas:

Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics
Leap Frog Learning Drum
Fisher Price Peek A Blocks Shape Sorter
Dance Baby Dance Classical Stacker
V Tech Baby Phone
Your Favorite Seuss Book Collection
My Little Library
A pink bear
A white bear with A Children's Place gift cards
Snuggle Up Sleepy Ones book
Titan (dog) Beanie Baby
A sweater
A top/onsie
A sippy cup
A Lego-brand stuffed dragon. (Because I collect Legos and Anne collects dragons and Jackie thought it was great. So do I.)
The Muppet Movie DVD
The Muppet Christmas Carol DVD
My-Oh-My Octopi
A cloth doll
Christmas Country and Chritmas Shapes books
Leap Frog Little Touch Leap Pad
Leap Frog Leap Start Learning Table
A cow bank that makes a loud "twinkling" sound when something is put in it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

How To Destroy the Earth

Merry Christmas.

It's been a while since I've updated. That's partly because I've been busy at work, partly because I've been busy getting ready for the holidays, partly because I've been busy with family matters, and most of the rest because I've been busy with some online things with some friends. Nothing too exciting or anything that I will go into here because very few who read this would be interested, and those who would be interested probably already know what it is.

Anyway, because it's Christmas I figured I'd return to posting with something truly in the Christmas spirit. It's a nice little web site that tells you How To Destroy the Earth.

Someone on a message board I frequent (which has to do with the online stuff - but How To Destroy the Earth does not have anything to do with my online stuff) posted this link a month or so ago. I found it extremely clever, interesting and humorous. I hope you do, too.

You may have noticed the icon in the upper-right corner of my blog. It's a Current Earth Status indicator brought to us by the Earth Advisory Board. If you ever think that the Earth has been destroyed you can come to my blog and check that icon. It will be updated in the case of Earth Destruction. (You can also click on that link to learn more about the Earth Advisory Board. Though it's just a sub-page of How To Destroy the Earth.)

My apologies again for the delay in posting anything new. I also haven't taken any pictures of Sydney since my last post, which is another reason for not posting. We did get some Christmas Eve shots and I will be taking more on Christmas. I will post an update in the early part of the week letting everyone know about our Christmas and other little things that may come to mind that have happened since the last post.

Merry Christmas. And enjoy learning about How to Destroy the Earth.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


We had some professional photographs taken this past Saturday. Most of them were of Sydney, of course.

There are 48 proofs on the web site to look at and choose from. We're not even sure where we're going to begin in choosing. We're not even sure which package of pictures we'll get to know how many poses to choose.

Anyway, take a look and enjoy the shots. Let us know wht your favorites are. Anne will be going back on Friday to pick and order. I'm not sure how long this web site will stay up to look at.

Enjoy Sydney's Professional Photographs from Big Picture.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Eight Months

Sydney turned eight-months old on Monday, December 5.

Sydney at Eight Months

She is incredibly long. I have no idea where she gets it. I mean, sure. Anne and I are both tall. (I'm 6' 6" and Anne is about 5' 11".) But that's height and Sydney has length!

(Yes, that was a joke.)

And just for comparison, here was Sydney at six months. You can see how much she's grown in just two months.

Sydney at Six Months

Sydney has developed a touch of Separation Anxiety. I think Thanksgiving really kicked it off (see last post), but we didn't really see it very much until Grandma and Grandpa M left last Wednesday. There was almost always someone around her then, but since she gets left alone from time to time we're noticing it more.

It was really prevalent at night when Anne would put her down to bed. Sydney just started crying and crying. She wouldn't calm down and couldn't be soothed. I think the first really bad night of that (other than Thanksgiving) was a week and a half ago Monday when Grandma and Grandpa were still here. Last night (Monday), however, Anne said she went down fine and without a fuss. Anne was sound asleep when I got home tonight, though, so I didn't get an update about how it went.

Sydney had been sleeping and going to sleep so well for several months now that it was rather jarring to have her suddenly start doing this. But this, too, shall pass, as they say.

Another sign of the Separation Anxiety was when Sydney would be out of eyesight from us. She wouldn't do a full-out cry like when she went to bed, but she would whimper and moan a little bit, wondering why she was alone. She would do it while playing in the living room even though I'm just in the kitchen. Or if I was in the shower and she was in the bathroom sitting in her bouncy chair.

This also seemed to be "better" today. Just like she went down easier on Monday, on Tuesday she didn't seem to have as much of an issue with this. She still did it a little bit, but it was seriously toned down from what it had been.

And the funny thing about all this that when Sydney was going down for her naps she would be fine and wouldn't cry at all.

Regardless, it's a normal part of her development and we'll deal with it as best we can. And Sydney will still be a happy baby like she always is.

Since it was Sydney's eight-month birthday on Monday I took some other pictures, too. I really liked the picture I took last month with her sitting on the bed with Fievel, so I did that again. This month, though, Sydney wasn't having any of this "sharing the spotlight."

Sydney Clobbers Fievel

First Sydney clobbered Fievel backward and out of the picture just as I went to snap it. She's a smart one!

That apparently didn't work, though, since I just set him up again.

Sydney Pushes Fievel

So the next time she tried to push him forward and off the bed just as I snapped the picture. She didn't get quite enough into the shove and he just flopped over face first.

So we tried it again.

Sydney and Fievel

This time the picture was a success. Sydney has a maniacal-looking laugh going. I'm not sure what she was plotting for Fievel, but I got the picture. She can do what she wants now.

Oh. And I have a nice 800x600 version of the picture of Sydney on the bed with Fievel (both this month and last motnh). If you would like either one to use as a wallpaper just email me and I will get it to you.