Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Post-Christmas Post

We had a good Christmas. The short version: we all got way too much stuff (especially Sydney).

But before we do this Christmas let's revisit last Christmas briefly.

Last year Sydney got a Tickle Me Elmo. She never played with it much because it scared her. Sometimes she would play with it when it was turned off, but being stiff and mechanical didn't put it at the top of her toy list. But she did warm up to it as the year went by.

A little over a week ago she was playing with him and asked me to turn him on. She laughed and played with him and wasn't the least bit scared of him. Then she sat down in her Elmo chair, held him in her lap and sang him a lullaby.

Anne grabbed my phone to video it, but as soon as Sydney saw her with the phone she wanted to see the video.

This Christmas we spent Christmas Eve with friends. Sydney was upstairs in a play room playing with the boys. I snuck up, wanting to get a picture of her. She told me I had to go away. I told her I wanted to get a picture of her playing and then I would go back downstairs. So she promptly ran across the room and posed for me.

Sydney On Christmas Eve

And, yes, she wanted to see the picture after I took it.

We got home late and Sydney went to bed. Anne and I got things set up around the tree in the front room and then after Santa visited we took a picture.

Christmas Tree and Gifts

There's a lot of crap under (and around) that tree.

Sydney got up early on Christmas. We went downstairs. She was happy and excited as I carried her down the stairs, but we went and ate breakfast first.

After that we went out in the living room. I was waiting to record her with my phone as she came in. (The larger and unwrapped stuff was covered with blankets when we came down and we uncovered them while she was eating.) It was a nice little video as she came in and got excited looking at things as she walked across the room. Unfortunately, I failed to save it. (I didn't delete it. I just failed to hit the save button.)

Luckily Anne was following Sydney in with our regular video camera. And one of these days if I ever figure out how to get the video off the camcorder and onto the computer I'll be happy to post it.

Sorry about that.

Sydney had a lot of fun opening presents this year.

Sydney Opening Presents

She understood what was going on better, but still didn't want to wait her turn and we took turns opening presents. The first few she opened were small miscellaneous gifts by her stocking. After opening those she tore into her stocking.

Sydney's Stocking

One gift out of her stocking she particularly liked.

Sydney's Elmo Umbrella

We let her open the Elmo umbrella one time and then about every two minutes after that she wanted it opened again. We didn't and it got hidden put away in the closet at the earliest convenience.

Sydney had three "big" presents. One was a new tricycle from Grandma and Grandpa B.

She calls it a bike, so that's why I say that in the video. Anne saw it on Amazon and almost all the reviews said it was a great tricycle, except that the age range on it was too young. A lot of people said it was too big for their younger kid.

What? It's too big? That's perfect for our super-tall daughter!

With the handlebars fairly low and the seat all the way down it's just about perfect for Sydney. Now she just has to figure out how to pedal. And steer.

Sydney's New Tricycle

Sydney's second big gift was a kitchen set so she could play cooking. That was a gift from Mommy and Daddy.

Sydney's New Kitchen

It's amazing the price range that these things go through. This is the best one we found fairly inexpensively. (About $40.)

Luckily, Santa got Sydney some stuff that goes with the kitchen pretty well. She got a plastic shopping cart and a box of food. (You can see them in the tree picture behind the edge of the coffee table. When we were pricing those we found them for $15 and $10 respectively at Target. Luckily Santa saved us from having to buy them.)

Santa also got Sydney her third "big" present. It was a doll.

Sydney's New Doll

Yes, it's a doll that closes it's eyes when you lay it down. And, yes, Sydney is holding her eye open in the picture.

It came as you see it there with a change of clothes, a burp rag and a pillow. Santa also saw fit to supply two bottles for her. Sydney fell in love with her right away. When I asked the doll's name a little later she informed me that her name is, "Baby".

(Yes, I asked if Baby could dance. I also suggested that Sydney not put Baby in the corner. Just type "baby in the corner" into Google if you don't get that.)

Sydney also got some other dolls for Christmas. One of our friends gave her a plastic tub/bag pack of cloth dolls on Christmas Eve. It has a total of eight dolls in it. When we got home we let Sydney open it and take one doll out. Sydney held it tight on her way upstairs, making me carry Cookie, Teddy and Blanket.

The new doll got the place of honor right next to her in bed. Just even with the bottom edge of the pillow where she can snuggle it. That used to be Cookie's spot. Cookie got pushed up to the top of the bed, even with the pillow. And the doll's there again tonight. I'll try to get a picture of it for the next update.

All in all we got a lot of great presents. I would really be remiss if I didn't mention the awesome present Grandma and Grandpa B got me. It's a framed reproduction of the Ellis Island page from when my great grandfather came to the U.S. from Switzerland. He was my mother's grandfather and the man I was named after.

It was a very happy and merry Christmas here and I hope all of you had a happy and safe Christmas with all your friends and family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Here's a short, silly update.

Please click here: Tahville

That is my new cyber-ville/town/city/whatever. Once per day when you click on it my population grows by one person. So visit it each day, please. Bookmark it if you want, or I've added a link over on the right there.

And click here, too, please: murphyzVille

That's my friend murphyz. I found out about MyMiniCity from him, so it only seems right that I link his city, too, right? I put a link to his over on there right, there, too. And a link to his blog.

And if anyone else would like me to link to their blog feel free to let me know. I'd be happy to add it onto the list. But I don't want to start linking people without their okay.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Picture And Video Post

I don't have very many new pictures of Sydney up, but I have as many new videos of Sydney as pictures. And there's at least some kind of story to go with most. So here we go.

This one is too awesome and heart-warming not to share first.

This past Friday evening while I was at work Anne wrapped my Christmas presents. Sydney helped, of course. Anne let her pick out which things Sydney wanted to give me and let Sydney write on the tags. Anne wrote the translation on the tag.

On Saturday morning Sydney showed me that I had presents under the tree. Sydney seemed to remember what she wrote on one particular tag. With very little prompting she told me that it said, "To Daddy, from..."

A couple weeks ago we were shopping and saw a shirt that we had to get for Sydney.

Sydney's New Shirt

The shirt says, "Grandma's Reason To Brag," in case you can't read it.

As I've reported before Sydney is not a climber. Especially in her crib. She will stay in her crib and not try to get out. She will rarely even sit up until we at least walk into her room to get her.

Lately, though, she'd been trying to climb in and out of her crib. (Only when we're there, though.) When we came to get her she'd stand up and kick her leg over the side to try to climb out. She'd get stuck and we'd have to lift her out. Even going to bed she'd want to try to climb up the side of the crib to get in.

So two weeks ago I asked Sydney is she wanted to take the side off the crib and have a big girl's bed that she could get in and out of on her own. She did.

Sydney's Big Girl Bed

So Sydney now has a big girl bed. In the bottom right of that picture you can see part of Giant Bear's head. We moved him up beside the bed in case she falls out. We also have her old nursing pillow sticking out a little under the other half of the bed for cushioning just in case.

In the middle part of last week I was downstairs watching television about a half hour before I went to bed. Over the monitor I heard Thump and a soft, tired, "ow". I waited for a few seconds to see if crying would ensue. It didn't and I went upstairs a little bit slower than I would have otherwise.

When I got to Sydney's room she was sitting on the floor in Giant Bear's lap between his legs. She was facing her bed and sucking her thumb with a confused, half-asleep look on her face. She was none the worse for wear and went back to bed with little problem.

Last week Sydney and I went out to do some Christmas shopping in the morning. As we were leaving the mall we went past the coin-operated rides. Since Sydney has had a thing about choo choo trains recently (chuga-chuga chuga-chuga woo woo!) I put her in the little train. She was all smiles while riding it. (Wait. When isn't she all smiles?)

On Thursdays we go to a class called Romp & Roll held by our city's Parks & Recreation Department. It's really more of a big play date for young kids. There is an arts and crafts project each week (that Sydney may or may not do) and lots of different toys and things to play with.

The week after Thanksgiving Sydney and one other boy were there. It was also the first week that stick horses were there to play with. They were Sydney's favorite that week.

Sydney has a friend she met at Romp & Roll last year named Hunter. You may remember him from a previous entry about a play date they had. They also took swim lessons together for a while. Last weekend was Hunter's third birthday party and Sydney was invited. Here she is with the birthday boy.

Sydney And Hunter Party

Sydney and the other kids really loved playing with the balloons at the party. They batted them around, kicked them, played catch with them and various other games. So when we were out Christmas shopping that evening and stopped at Applebee's for dinner it should be no surprise that Sydney was very excited to get a balloon when we left.

Sydney, Mommy And The Balloon

The balloon was the play object of the week last week. Or at least the play object of the three days or so that it still resembled a balloon before it deflated into a rubber blob that we threw away.

And just to post all five of the new pictures, here are Sydney and Mommy hugging. This was taken shortly after the one of Sydney in her new shirt above.

Sydney And Mommy Hug

One day while playing Sydney was running around the house. Her favorite thing seemed to be to go out in the front room and then run into the living room and run into/jump onto the sofa. it looked something like this:

Another morning after we got up and had breakfast Sydney surprised me by, well, doing this:

She was wrapping her blanket around her shoulders like a cape and running around like she was flying. Anne would later tell me that the episode of Dragon Tales that she watched before bed the night before had Max (the little boy) running around in a similar fashion. (It's also where she picked up the train noises mentioned above, I believe.) So Sydney remembered it when she got up and started playing it herself (she hadn't done so the night before).

I got a clip off the refrigerator to hold her blanket on and free up her hand. When I told her I wanted to get a video of her running around she was very happy to cooperate. As you can see from the video she was happy to run around and "fly," only stopping after three revolutions to come over and see the video.

The even funnier part of this is that, while she apparently picked it up from Dragon Tales, after we were playing this for about fifteen minutes she started yelling out a Sesame Street reference. So whenever she wants to play this she calls it "Super Grover".

And, yes, I got to take my turns wearing the cape and running around. And Doggie got a turn, too. That's a little, black stuffed dog she has. Every time we play Super Grover she has to have the dog play, too. My turn and dog's turn with the cape are usually a bit shorter than Sydney's turn with it. Especially if I pick her up across my arms and "fly" her around.