Sunday, August 27, 2006

Giant Bear!

A week ago today (Sunday) we were out shopping and we ran into Laura. Laura is one of the Operators at the Resort. She's a very nice lady. I work with her usually four nights a week (I'm her department manager) and we get along very well.

Laura asked if Sydney would like a giant teddy bear. Two of her granddaughters had outgrown it. Laura's daughter was going to get rid of it but Laura told her she would do no such thing and took it.

Laura also informed us that the bear was too big for her to bring into work so we would need to stop over and get it sometime. We said sure.

Laura called just as we were pulling off the highway on our way home. She lives in the same town we do so we headed over.

When we got there Laura brought the bear out. It is a giant teddy bear without trying to exaggerate the word 'giant' one bit. If it could stand it would easily be five feet tall.

We sat and chatted for a little while and Sydney enjoyed playing with Laura's dogs.

When we got home the bear ended up between Sydney's crib and toy box. That was really the only place there was room for it.

On Monday or Tuesday I took some pictures of Sydney with the bear. I would plop her in front of it and then scoot back and grab the camera. She either thought it was a game, really wanted to be with me, or was scared of the bear. She would almost immediately crawl over to me.

Sydney Escapes the Bear

For the record, she isn't scared of the bear. And there was certainly no fear in any of her actions. But she also didn't really hesitate much to get away from the bear.

After several failed attempts to get a picture of Sydney with the bear I tried a different tact. I actually told Sydney what we were doing. I asked her to go over by the bear so I could get a picture of her with it. So she did.

Sydney Snuggles With The Bear

You can see that she was still a little hesitant about being near the bear. And as soon as I snapped the picture she crawled right back over to me.

I asked her to go back over to the bear for one more picture. And I asked her to hug it. She did.

Sydney Hugs The Bear

That picture is actually the tail end of the hug. I was a little slow with the camera. At the point of that picture she is done hugging and is moving to crawl back to me.

Over the next few days Sydney would play with the bear foot. You can see in the second picture how it sits on the corner of the quilt on the floor. That's the quilt we put Sydney on when we change her upstairs. Sometimes she would roll on her side and hug the foot. Sometimes she would put her face on it. Sometimes she would just stroke it or hit it with her hand.

This morning (Sunday) she actually crawled over to the bear to kick back and relax. Mommy got a good picture of it.

Sydney Relaxes With The Bear

And that is Sydney's giant bear. It doesn't have a name yet. I figured Sydney will name it when she's ready (and is actually talking).

There are some other, new non-bear pictures in my photo album, too. Link to the right.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Levels

Saturday morning Anne got up with Sydney. They went down and had breakfast while I snoozed a little longer.

After breakfast Sydney was at the bottom of the stairs. She will sit there and stare up if she wants to go up. She will sometimes try to climb up but has never gotten past putting a knee up on the first step.

That morning Anne came up behind her and asked, "Do you want to go up and get Daddy?"

Sydney nodded and said, "yes."

Then Sydney started climbing the stairs. Without help. Without support. She just went.

I guess she decided she was just ready and went for it. She's been climbing them since.

(By the way, if anyone has any good advice for teaching a baby how to go down stairs please let me know.)

Last weekend (the first weekend in August) was Art on the Green/Taste of Coeur d'Alene/Coeur d'Alene Street Fair. It's actually three separate things, but they're all together.

The Street Fair is on Sherman Avenue (the main downtown street). It is vendors and booths (no rides). It's mostly businesses, though a few crafts and some food. There's a lot to look at.

A couple blocks away, Taste of Coeur d'Alene is in the city park. There are some more booths of crafts and such there, but mainly the food is there. My favorite Italian sausage is sold there every year. That's why we go there every year.

This year Anne bought some noodles to share with Sydney.

Sydney and Mommy Eat Noodles

It also gave a good opportunity to take a picture of Sydney drinking with a straw.

Sydney Drinks With A Straw

She's pretty good at it, though she doesn't get a lot of chance to practice. And shortly after that picture was taken Sydney blew bubbles with a straw for the first time.

We didn't go to Art on the Green this year. It's about a half-mile walk to North Idaho College where it is. And most of the art in the booths there isn't of interest to us. Though we do like the giant sandcastle they have built every year.

Sydney likes to play at the piano. She'll pull the key cover off, stand at the bench, lean over it and bang on the keys. If she's really lucky Mommy will turn it on for her so her banging actually produces noise. And if she's even luckier Mommy will put her up on the bench so she can poke at buttons and bang on the keys.

Such was the case on Sunday.

Sydney At The Piano

She sat there happy and content for several minutes banging and poking. She would have sat there longer if we hadn't pulled her away from it. If she's that dedicated when/if we make her start taking piano lessons we'll be lucky.

Sydney likes to sort laundry. Actually, she likes to pull clothes out of baskets (clean or dirty) and play with them. This afternoon I had clean work socks strewn across the floor and sofa.

Several months back when she was "sorting" some clean towels she grabbed a washcloth. It's white with pink Baby Snoopy all over it. This washcloth has stayed in her downstairs toy collection ever since.

Sydney knows that I will put it on her head so she can grab it off. She also knows that I will put it on my own head for her amusement. And she thinks it is quite funny.

She will crawl up to me with it in her hand and put it in my lap. If I don't do anything with it she will snatch it back. She then plays with it for a few seconds and then gives it back to me. She takes it back again if I don't do anything with it.

A couple weeks ago she had snatched it back three times. The fourth time she gave it to me I put it on her head. She snatched it off her head and plopped it in my lap. I put it on my head. She laughed and started to crawl away.

Figuring the game was over I took it off my head. When she turned around and saw that she crawled back over to me. She grabbed the washcloth and then handed it back to me. I put it on my head and left it there.

Sydney laughed and started to crawl away. Before she got to the end of the sofa she had turned to look at me at least twice. The washcloth was still on my head. She then crawled around the end of the sofa and played with some other toys. Every few seconds she would peak around the end of the sofa and laugh.

I'm not sure how long I sat there with a washcloth on my head being the source of my daughter's amusement, but I know I finished reading my magazine before it was over.

Sydney Has A Washcloth On Her Head

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So Much Stuff

This post is almost two weeks overdue. I wanted to write it the Sunday right after the trip to the beach. But things have come up, it's gotten busy and...blah.

Anyway, I apologize once again for the long delay between updates. I have a lot to report and I'll apologize in advance because I'm sure I'll forget something along the way. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you want to know or think I forgot something. I will answer as I can.

Each year one of the doctors that works in Anne's lab invites co-workers to two parties. One is a Christmas party. I haven't been to that one in two years since it is an adult party and I get to baby-sit. The other one is in the summer and is at his house on Hayden Lake.

This year he had it a little early (he usually has it in August). But it was a welcome relief since it came right in the middle of our two-week long 100-degree-plus weather.

Sydney enjoys the water and had a good time. She wasn't scared of the boat-wake waves when they came up like she was last year. In the past year she has gotten to really enjoy baths and Anne takes her to a baby swimming class every Thursday (for about a month now).

As much as she disliked the life jacket the first time we put it on her (at home to get it adjusted) she was fine with it at the lake. And she really liked the boat ride. Especially after we got going and the wind blew on her.

Sydney At The Beach

Sydney and Mommy played at the water's edge for a little while. Then Mommy went out on the boat and got pulled around on an inner tube so Daddy got to play with Sydney at the water's edge.

Notice the rocks in that picture (they're the whole beach)? Sydney really liked playing with them. She would move them around and make her own little piles as she sat at the edge of the water. Eventually she turned to Daddy and handed him one rock.

Then another. And another.

Daddy had a handful of rocks before long.

When she turned away I would put the rocks down and she would start over. One rock right after another went into my upturned hand.

After a little while the sun crept around so we weren't in the shade anymore. So we moved about ten feet down the beach. Sydney picked up where she left off and kept putting rocks in my hand. Except these rocks were bigger, heavier and didn't stack in my hand as well.

The larger ones I started tossing out into the water so they wouldn't be within reach for Sydney to give back to me. Sydney was fascinated by the KER-PLOP of the rock. She watched me throw another one. Then she started throwing rocks in the water.

No more rocks got handed to Daddy.

When Mommy got back we moved a little bit back from the water. There was still a little shade back there, but not for long.

We put a towel down and put Sydney on it. She still found the rocks, though.

Sydney Collects Rocks

Sydney spent the rest of the day piling up rocks (notice the ones in the chair behind her). At least until we climbed the hill to the house for dinner. She had fun, though.

And for anyone wondering, we did have a bathing suit for her. But it was so hot we decided to just leave her in her swim diaper. She was slathered in sunscreen and only had one little splotch on her check under her left eye that apparently got missed and was a little red. But it faded (didn't peel) in a couple days.

Sydney is now using a fork fairly well when she eats.

Sydney Eats With A Fork

She can't get the food onto the fork very well. She jabs at the plate/bowl and gets lucky sometimes. Usually we have to stab the food for her. But once it's on there she knows how to get it in her mouth. She still likes eating with her hands just fine.

Sydney still pulls herself up on the sofa. Or her toy chest, as the case may be.

Sydney At Her Toy Chest

She is walking.

On her knees.

If she wants to be upward and mobile she will scoot around on her knees. (Especially helpful if she's trying to move around with a toy in her hands.) On her feet, though, she still isn't really trying to walk. She still has a tendency to be on her toes or the tops of her feet. (See the picture.)

Sydney still is not speaking a lot. At least not any English words that we can understand. She does do a lot of her babble.

She does understand us pretty well, though. She can shake and nod her head to answer questions. She can answer if she's hungry. Or full. If she's tired and ready for a nap.

I haven't tried if she needs a diaper change yet. I'll need to do that.

She can (usually) point out several body parts. Head, ears, nose, eyes, tummy and toes are her best. She knows mouth and hands less frequently.

She will give us a kiss on the cheek almost on request. Sometimes even when we haven't asked.

She knows dog and no well. While she can nod yes she doesn't know it to say it (or at least not that she's admitting). She might know thank you, but I doubt it. I've only heard it once and I think that was in repeating it after I said it a bunch of times to her.

As I pick up her breakfast plate she will hand me her fork and sippy cup. Then she will pick up the pieces of food from her tray and place them on the plate. With each one I say thank you. As I turned to the sink one day she said, "ank oo." But, again, that's the only time I heard her say it.

Last weekend when we were feeding her she decided not to eat much of her food. She apparently didn't like it. Asking if she was hungry got yes nods. Asking if she wanted more (and offering a fork of the food) got no shakes. One time she babbled a short sentence in her babble talk. Since that wasn't the yes or no answer Mommy asked her again. She then babbled the exact same thing again. Same sounds, same inflections, same everything. I was amazed. She was obviously communicating, just not in the same language.

She loves throwing either of her balls around. In swim class one week they got to throw a ball in the water and since then she throws hers all the time. She would kind of fling them at us before and roll them across the floor. But now she likes to throw them up into the air.

There's probably something I'm forgetting to mention here, but I'll be darned if I can remember it at 12:30 at night.