Monday, October 30, 2006

First Things Second

This is actually the second post of the day (even though the dates are off because it's after midnight), but the one I wanted to show at the top of the blog. Hence the title. Following closely behind this blog entry is another one about our recent trip to Michigan.

You may remember that on Monday, October 16 we had Sydney's six-month check up. That was the day before we were flying to Michigan and I didn't get to post her vital statistics before we left.

Sydney was 35 and one-half inches long. That's a half-inch shorter than three feet. I had someone tell me that a good way to guess how tall a child is going to grow is to take their height at two years and double it. We're still a little over five months away from that appointment, but it's a pretty safe bet that using that formula means Sydney will grow up to be over six feet tall.

Her weight was 27 pounds, 14 ounces. Her weight was in the 85th percentile. Her height was in the 95th percentile with an arrow up next to it.

Her head circumference was 49.5 centimeters. That is also in the 95th arrow up percentile.

Monday after her appointment Sydney took a nap while we started packing for the trip. When she woke up we went into her room and started getting her clothes ready. After I changed her diaper Sydney walked on her knees over to her crib. She pulled on the tail of her Tigger to try to get him out. Between the slats of the crib didn't work and I picked him up and handed him to her.

Sydney then pulled on her blanket. That got bunched between the slats, too, so I got that and handed it to her. Her Pooh was on the far side of the crib. She just pointed at him and gave the "I want that but can't get it" whine. I got that for her, too.

Once she had all three items she went over to her giant bear. She made an impromptu nest and snuggled up. I ran off to get the camera.

Sydney Rests On Giant Bear

I did stage Pooh and Tigger so they were in the picture better, but everything else was pure Sydney. After that she just kicked back and watched us gather her clothes up for packing.

While in Michigan Sydney generally got less sleep at night than she normally does. If she got two naps they were both short. If she got one it was medium length. So when we got back she was tired for several days and took extra long naps.

By the end of the week Sydney was back on schedule and full of energy. Then the darnedest thing happened on Friday morning.

Sydney was playing and I was lounging on the couch. I decided it was about time for me to head up and get ready for work. Sydney decided she wanted to stand up.

Sydney planted her right foot down and pushed herself up. She was in the middle of the floor and had no support. She got mostly vertical. Her left leg didn't get straight and she was on her toes/the top of her left foot. She fell back down.

But she did it again right away. And then again. And again and again. She did it five times and managed to stand on her own for a couple seconds at least two of the times. I clapped and gave her encouragement for doing it and she was very proud of herself. Trying to help her stand didn't lead anywhere, though. She was done.

I told Anne about it and Anne reported that Friday evening she tried it a couple more times with about the same success.

Sydney has also finally figured out how to get up on the couch by herself. She still wants help about half the time, but she is very capable of doing it herself. (Some factors that limit her, I think, are how tired she is and what she's wearing. If she can't move freely enough she can't lift her leg up to the cushion. And sometimes she just doesn't want to do it on her own. But if we pretend we're not paying attention to her she usually gets up pretty quickly.)

Maybe more importantly, Sydney has learned how to get off the couch by herself without taking a forward somersault off the edge. She will either slide down while lying on her back and then sit up at the edge and push off until her feet hit or she will slide down from her stomach. Sometimes she will do a combination of everything until she manages to get down.

On Saturday we practiced standing with Sydney some more. At one point Anne stood her up and then took her hands away. Sydney stood up on her own for several seconds. She looked at me, shuffled her feet and took three almost-steps toward me before flopping down.

We all smiled and cheered. Anne and I said, "You did it, Sydney. You did it," several times to her.

Sydney said, "I did it."

We weren't sure if she really said that. Maybe she was just mocking what we said. Except she said "I" instead of "you." Or maybe it was just babble that sounded like what we thought she said. But then she said it again so we knew she really said it and that she was really proud of herself.

Later on Saturday after being refreshed with a nap and meal we tried standing and walking again. Sydney didn't want much to do with it. She will walk around with our help. She has her hands in the air holding onto our hands. If we try to let go with even one hand she will just stop moving until she can grab hold again.

After a few unsuccessful attempts Anne took her out to the front room to play the piano. After Sydney was done with that Anne walked her back into the family room. I was watching television. Sydney walked in with her hands in the air holding Anne's hands. Halfway in Anne said, "Do you want to walk to Daddy?" She let go of Sydney's hands and Sydney walked almost five feet over to me. I held out my hands to catch her and pulled back slowly as she advanced.

Again she was very happy with herself. And we were very happy with her. We practiced some more with her and she walked a little bit, but nowhere near as well as she did those first five feet.

It wasn't until Sunday when we practiced a little more with her that we got a good attempt video taped.

I think Grandma B might be coming for a visit in a little over a week right at the right time. There's going to be an explosion of walking here very soon.

And last, but not least, for those wondering what Sydney will be for Halloween...

Sydney The Giraffe

That's a giraffe costume. Anne's not sure where she's going to take her out to, but she will take her out for a little while. She's probably going to go in the wagon. The stroller doesn't seem right for trick or treating and the walking isn't progressing that quickly. (And I'll be working in case you were wondering.)

Don't forget to read the next entry below this one about our recent trip to Michigan.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


On October 17 we flew to Michigan to visit my family. We were only there for a few days and we flew back on October 21.

The trip went amazingly well. Sydney was great on the plane. She had her own seat and we took her car seat. She's used to being in it so even though she was in it for very long periods of time she was fine. She did have one minor meltdown each way, though.

On the way there Anne told her not to kick the seat in front of her. She thought she was in trouble and started to cry a little. Combined with being tired from being woken up at least two hours before she normally would have gotten up and probably being hungry she had a minor crying meltdown. But Anne comforted her and she was her happy self once again within a couple minutes. We even got complimented on how well she behaved from the flight attendants. (Of course, there was a real screamer on the flight, so it was an easy comparison.)

On the way back she slept most of the flight from Minneapolis to Spokane. But about 45 minutes before we landed she woke up. She was in a strange place and couldn't get right back to sleep. She started crying. Comforting didn't work so Anne took her in the bathroom and changed her. (I'm too tall to be comfortable in airplane bathrooms by myself, let alone try to change Sydney's diaper in one.) She was fine when they got back and then stayed awake the last half hour as we landed.

This trip was partly to see family and partly to take care of some things related to my father's death back in June. It was a good trip and I'm glad we went.

Grandma B is coming out for a visit in a little over a week. Having Sydney visit her was good warm up for that. Sydney also got to meet family members she hasn't had a chance to meet before.

Sydney Meets Grandpa B

Grandpa B is my stepfather. He's not a flier so probably won't be coming to Idaho for a visit anytime soon. Sydney was glad to meet him and I was glad to see him again and be able to have a talk with him.

Sydney Meets Tom And Judy

Sydney also got to meet my friend Tom and his wife Judy. Tom was one of the groomsmen at our wedding. Tom was my high school marching band instructor. After I graduated from high school I stuck around and helped out as the marching band drum line instructor for several years. Tom and I became good friends over that time. And while I'm very comfortable calling him by his first name now it is very weird transitioning from calling a teacher Mr./Mrs./Ms. Whatever to calling them by their first name.

Sydney, Daddy, Great Grandpa B and Jean

Sydney also got to meet her Great Grandpa B. He is my father's father. The lady on the sofa with us is a friend of the family. She came to help out around the house when Great Grandma B passed away a couple years ago (which was apparently shortly after Jean's husband passed away). I'm not sure of the whole situation and I'm not sure I want to know, but she was a very nice lady.

Sydney And Cousin Kimmy

Cousin Kimmy met Sydney last August when Sydney was four months old. Sydney probably didn't remember it.

Cousin Kimmy inherited her mother's curse. No matter what kind of picture is being taken, no matter how aware they are of it, no matter how much they try to look and smile nice for the camera they always end up having some weird look on their face. It doesn't matter. It just happens.

Sydney And Cousin Kimmy 2

But there's a good picture of Cousin Kimmy. And the cat is Cocoa (or Coco?).

We were in Michigan very close to Cousin Kimmy's birthday. Because of that we took her out shopping to buy her birthday present. We then met up with Grandma B and Great Grandma M for a birthday dinner at Chili's. I suggested that we could find a perfectly acceptable present at the Good Will store, but I got over ruled and we went to Target instead.

Sydney, Daddy and Aunt Heather

Here's Aunt Heather's obligatory bad picture. The look on Sydney's face is priceless. I'm not sure if she's wondering what's wrong with her face, if she's really related to her, or both.

But to be fair, here's a much better picture of Aunt Heather:

Sydney, Daddy and Aunt Heather 2

And here's everybody after the birthday dinner. (Except Mommy who took the picture.)

Sydney And The Clan

At the hotel room Sydney really liked the large mirror they had on the wall. She was always playing in it. There was a smudge on it where she kept kissing herself.

Sydney Kisses Herself

And as much as Sydney loves dogs the trip wouldn't have been complete without a trip out to Grandma B's house to meet her dogs.

Sydney Meets Sunny And Pappy

Sydney loved the three dogs. Sunny and Pappy are the two papillons in the picture. Glory the lab isn't pictured here, but has a picture in the photo gallery (link to the right). Sydney got to feed them all liver bites. They normally get them as rewards at doggy school, but Grandma B figured it would be a good way to make friends fast. Sydney loved every second of it. And the dogs did, too.

We had a lot crammed in to the little bit of time we were in Michigan. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of everyone. I missed out on a picture with (Step-) Grandma B (my step-mother and father's widow) and her little dog Jasmine. Jasmine loves children and Sydney was no exception. They tuckered each other right out playing.

We also met up with my Aunt Bev and Cousin Lesli. We all got to meet Lesli's four-year-old son Hunter for the first time. (The three of us, not Aunt Bev.) I also got to see Kaylee, my Cousin Alan's daughter (she's Aunt Bev's granddaughter) again. And I saw Cousin Alan for a few minutes in passing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do I Need A Title?

Sydney Crosses The Yard

Sydney was outside playing when she suddenly decided to crawl across the yard. What could possess her to do such a thing?

Why Grandma and Grandpa M were visiting, of course.

Sydney Visits Grandma M

Grandma and Grandpa M arrived just after Labor day and left again about a week ago. The plan (they say) is to get the final things done at their house in Las Vegas so they can sell it and get moved up here full-time.

Sydney was actually a little hesitant around Grandma and Grandpa M for the first week or so. She didn't want to go to them and generally gave them a wide berth.

A lot of that we think was because a few days after they arrived Anne and I went out. Sydney stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. She wasn't too happy about watching Mommy and Daddy leave without her. So every time Grandma and Grandpa came over she was probably a little leery that we would leave again.

But it eventually all worked out and she was happy to have Grandma and Grandpa around.

Thursday, October 5, 2006, was Sydney's 18-month birthday. We were going to take a picture of her specifically for that occasion, but forgot. So we were going to do it on the weekend. And forgot.

Her 18-month check up is actually next Monday, October 16. That's during our vacation time so we plan on doing a picture to correspond with that. I will also try to get an entry posted with her statistics and any other important news, but there's no guarantee. We fly to Michigan early Tuesday morning so packing and getting ready may interfere with that.

Last Friday while I was getting ready for work Sydney wanted to get up on the bed. When Mommy gets home from work we go upstairs and while Mommy changes Sydney and Daddy usually play on the bed tickling, laughing, crawling away and getting dragged back and so on. I figured she wanted to play a little early. I was getting ready for work, though, and couldn't put her on the bed right then.

She had woken up later in the morning (7:30-ish instead of 6:00-6:30-ish) so I hadn't given her a morning nap. She's also starting to transition to one nap a day sometimes.

I had told her we would play on the bed after I got ready for work, so when I was dressed I picked her up and plopped her on the bed. She proceeded to crawl back to the pillows and fall back, resting comfortably. After a minute she sat up, reached for the covers and tried to pull them over her.

I snuggled with her for a few minutes before we went downstairs to greet Mommy.

On Saturday while we getting showered and dressed for the day Sydney wanted up on the bed again. When we finally could she plopped back on the pillows again.

Sydney On Mommy And Daddy's Bed

When Sydney wakes up in the morning she usually starts making noise before she's fully awake. By the time she's fully awake I usually am, too, so we get up to have breakfast.

On the weekends Mommy is usually awake early (because of her work schedule) so she hears Sydney when she's first waking up. She will go get her out of her crib and bring her into bed to snuggle with us while we wake up.

Sunday Sydney wasn't quite ready to be out of bed yet and fell back asleep. That didn't bother Daddy one bit.

Sydney And Daddy Asleep

I usually eat breakfast after Sydney. I'll usually eat a bowl of cereal a little later in the morning while she watches a show on PBS Kids. (Usually Big, Big World. She likes the music.) Of course, when we try to eat when Sydney isn't she wants some of what we're eating. I've started putting a little bit of her dry cereal in one of her bowls and giving it to her as a snack when I eat to keep her out of my cereal. That usually appeases her.

Last week, though, Sydney decided to see what I was eating. I was sitting on the floor in front of the sofa on a pillow, but holding my bowl up. Sydney came over, put a hand on my knee, pushed herself up onto her feet and let go of my knee as she looked in my bowl. She stood on her own two feet for about two seconds before toppling over.

We're practicing walking with her daily but she isn't on her own yet. She holds our hands and walks around supporting herself on us. She will sometimes move a few steps around the sofa or some other surface she stood up to reach. There's progress, but no walking on her own yet.

She still goes on her knees without a problem. (Even over cement and rocks. Ouch.)

Vocabulary is slowly expanding. Anne said yesterday (Tuesday) she was trying to say "hi," but it came out "eye." Anne was trying to help her but and Sydney would keep going "eye" and laughing.

This past Sunday she was going around going "ow" and then laughing.

When I changed her diaper the one morning after she woke up she patted her stomach (belly) and went, "buh, buh." I said, "belly," and then it looked like she mouthed the word. She didn't say it out loud, but her mouth moved to look like she was saying the word. She now regularly pats her belly while she's being changed so I say, "belly" to her.

"Bye" has become a more regular word for her. Saturday we had lunch at Applebee's. (We don't go there that frequently, but there usually seems to be a good Sydney story that comes from going there. Maybe we should go more often.) Half-way through our meal the table behind Sydney and Anne left. Sydney turned around and intently watched them leave. After they had walked around the bend she turned back to our table and started waving and going, "bye, bye." For the next couple minutes she waved and said bye to every person (mostly wait staff) that walked by our table.

There's probably more to tell, but I can't think of it right now. I'm writing from work on a slow night while I'm answering phones and it's almost time to leave. So I'll end here.