Sunday, March 30, 2008

Grandma B Is Coming!

Hah! You thought that my last post would have the last of vacation stuff, didn't you? I fooled you with the "Vacation Wrap Up" in the title.

Apparently that was all a lie. But I think this little bit will be the last of it.

There are two pieces of art that we got on vacation that are now hanging up in Sydney's room. Both of them were bought at LEGOLAND, but, surprising, have nothing to do with LEGO. (They're both something that can be readily found and purchased in any amusement park.)

Sydneys Name Art

That is a scroll of Sydney's name painted in plants and animals. From left to right there are a koala bear, monkeys, a kangaroo, a giraffe, a kitten and panda bears. Anne went out and got the frame today and, since it's kind of a custom-sized picture, she got the colored paper to put behind it as matting. I think it turned out great.

She also picked up a frame for the caricature we had done of all of us together. I'll let it speak for itself.

Family Caricature

One of Sydney's favorite lullabies is Rubber Duckie. I'm not sure how that became a bedtime song, but it is. We only sing one (slightly modified) verse to her, though.

Rubber duckie you're the one.
Quack quack
You make bath time lots of fun.
Quack quack
Rubber duckie you're the one for me.
Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack

The other day Sydney was singing it so, of course, I had to video it.

The duck she's holding in the video is not a rubber duckie. It's a plastic duckie and you push the purple thing down and it will go across a flat, hard surface.

Our weather has been strange over the past couple weeks. It has almost constantly been above freezing during the day, but that hasn't stopped it from snowing. It usually doesn't stick, though, except at night when it's below freezing. Or, when it does stick during the day, it's not sticking on the roads and is usually gone within a couple hours of it stopping.

Friday night we got a good four or five inches of snow over night. It stuck around for a while, even though the streets were the first to melt and be gone. We did go out and shovel the driveways. After that I had to cut up some boards to fix the support in Sydney's bed. While I was doing that Sydney and Mommy made a snowman.

Sydney And Her Snowman

I should note that those are Mega Blocks on the snowman and not LEGO blocks. Jackie gave them to us in a little wagon when her boys outgrew them. But since nothing but LEGO is allowed in the house the Mega Blocks have been in the garage and designated as an outside toy.

As of this afternoon almost all the snow is melted. The poor snowman has lost almost all of his features and his head is tilted sideways and about to fall off.

This afternoon I was watching more basketball. Sydney curled up beside me and Anne decided she should get a picture.

Sydney And Daddy Watch Basketball

While we were watching basketball Sydney decided she wanted my hat. Then she decided she wanted her own hat and went and grabbed a plastic pail and put it on her head. She had a little plastic spatula from her kitchen set she held and pumped her arm and went, "Arr!" because she was a pirate.

By the time I grabbed the phone to record it she had decided she was a chicken whenever she had the pail on her head. So here you go. Sydney the Pirate Chicken!

Last but not least we come to the title of the post. Grandma B is coming for a visit. She'll be here on Wednesday and will be here for a week for Sydney's birthday (Saturday).

Sydney is very excited about Grandma B coming. When Mommy mentioned that we had to clean this morning in anticipation of her visit Sydney was all for helping. (I should note that Sydney is usually all for helping with cleaning or whatever we're doing. She was just extra exuberant today.)

She kept telling us that we had to clean "Grandma's house" for her because she was coming. Here's a picture of Sydney helping dust "Grandma's house" (our guest room).

Sydney Dusts Grandmas House

Finally, I have been tagged with a meme by MadCarlotta. It is "What's on my nightstand".

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.

Right. I'm in the office which is pretty much our default library. Since there are so many books in here and they are all close I was sorely tempted to just go into the bedroom and grab the book off my nightstand that I am currently reading. (His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman)

But then I happened to glance to my immediate left and look on top of the old television we have sitting here to see Legends of the Mountain State sitting right here. You might recall me mentioning it before. It's the anthology Anne's sister Marta wrote a story for. Her first published story.

For some reason Anne and I have yet to read the book (I did actually read a couple pages of Marta's story while I was waiting for something to download). Probably because all the copies we bought are sitting here in the office waiting for us to ship them off to Marta to have her sign them.

Anyway, that's the closest book so I'm going with that.

2. Open the book to page 123 and find the 3rd sentence.

You're not going to believe this. Page 123 happens to be the fifth page of Marta's story. Really! I'm not making it up. I'm not fudging the least bit.

Right. Found it. That wasn't hard. But since everyone else has actually typed out the third sentence I guess I should do that, too. I'll count the third full sentence since the first sentence is continued from the previous page.

"Don't know," the tramp whispered.

3. Post the next 5 sentences.

"Ghost ate me. There's a fire in the furnace you know."

"I'll get some food. Sit tight," Joe said. He shuffled to the lockers and retrieved his lunch pail.

4. Tag 5 people.

Nope. Won't do it. If you feel like doing this meme feel free. (I half expect my mother and grandmother to do it since they're big readers. And at the same time I half expect them not to.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Vacation Wrap Up and Easter

Well, I never went back and proofread my vacation post. Oh, well.

In that post I mentioned that we did some stuff over the few days we were still home after we got back from the trip. Before we went on vacation we had been shopping for beds. Sydney's (main) birthday present this year is a new "big girl" bed.

We had decided on looking at bunk beds. We wanted one that had storage built into it. We found a few models that we liked as we shopped around. The weekend before vacation we were at a store and they had available one of the models that we liked. They had to order it, but they offered a really good price on it so we went ahead.

It arrived while we were in San Diego and we had it delivered on Thursday, the day after we got back. We didn't pay for assembly, but apparently the guys in the warehouse were slow and bored one day and put most of it together for us.

During vacation Sydney enjoyed sleeping on her own "big bed" (roll away) in the hotel room. So when we explained and showed her that she was getting her own bed she was really excited. We shopped for new sheets and a comforter, cleaned and re-organized her room and got everything set up.

The bed takes up most of her room, but it is worth it. She loves it and it gives us extra storage space in there. Especially since she's still too young for the top bunk and we can stick all of her stuffed animals up there. (Except the ones she sleeps with - which varies since every few days she puts one back and pulls another one down.)

Sydneys New Bed

The bottom bed is a full/double. It's plenty big enough for even our tall daughter to grow into for years to come.

Sydney has a new hiding spot when we play Hide N Seek.

Of course, I have to help her stack the pillows up around her, so it's not too difficult to find her. But I pretend it is. One day after I stacked the pillows around her she was peeking out of a hole between pillows. She looked so cute I had to get the camera to take a picture.

Sydney Hiding In Pillows

And she thought a picture was such a great idea that she had me go get her camera so she could take a picture.

Sydney Takes A Picture From The Pillows

The camera was a Christmas present and Sydney loves taking pictures with it. (There are a lot of floor/feet shots, but not as many now that she has figured out where the button is so she can push it will looking through the view finder.) And some of you may be wondering why you haven't seen any of Sydney's great pictures.

Well, mainly that would be because, to be a durable children's camera, the batteries and memory card are in a compartment that is screwed on. So it's a bit of a pain to get the card out. Plus I usually forget about it when I'm planning blog posts. Sorry.

And to answer the other question I can hear everyone asking, yes, we did take the camera on vacation with us. Unfortunately, it stayed in the backpack almost the whole time. As we were packing things each morning I'd see it and think that we need to give it to her when we get to where we were going. And then I'd forget. And I don't think Sydney gave it much thought, either.

Last week I took Thursday and Friday off (in addition to Saturday and Sunday). It was mainly to watch basketball since the NCAA basketball tournament opening rounds were those two days. There was other stuff to do (like take Sydney to her play class on Thursday morning), but when I was home I was mostly watching basketball.

So you can imagine my distress of having a young little girl want to play Chase or Hide N Seek and having to chase her into other rooms of the house while I'm trying to watch the exciting end of a tournament upset. What's a loving father to do?

Why find a game that can be played in the living room, of course!

So I had Sydney go get the pillows out of the front room and I built her a fort out of pillows and blankets on the couch. She loved it. (And enjoys knocking them down when we're done almost much as she likes playing in them.)

Sydney was very excited about Easter, as you might imagine. The Easter Bunny was coming. He was going to hide eggs for her to find and bring her an Easter basket full of goodies.

We dyed eggs on Saturday. Sydney mostly enjoyed it though the waiting part was hard. Between the egg being put in the dye and taking it out there wasn't much to do. And between taking the egg out and waiting for it to dry so it could be further decorated there wasn't much to do. But she made due with "stirring" the egg in the blue dye and she seemed happy with that.

Easter morning arrived and she was very excited. She came in our bedroom to get us. We normally snuggle in the mornings when all three of us are home, but she wasn't having much of that. We went downstairs and found the Easter basket the Easter Bunny had left on the coffee table in the front room. Sydney saw it right away as we came downstairs.

Sydney Sees Her Easter Basket

We sorted through the various goodies that were in it.

Sydneys Easter Basket

The item Sydney is holding in that picture was her favorite present from the Easter Bunny. It's a little egg wand. When you push the button on it the little wheel inside the egg spins around and the colored lights on the wheel light up and flash in simple patterns. She barely let go of it all day on Sunday.

By the end of the day the batteries were going. On Monday morning it was time to replace the batteries and I had to tell her that I would have to get them on my way to work so she couldn't play with it the rest of the day. So I got new batteries at Radio Shack on my way to work on Monday. Then on Tuesday morning Sydney came in to get me when she woke up (extra early), told me it was time to get up, and (repeatedly) told me we had to go downstairs now "to put the batteries in". Luckily I had done that when I got home the night before, so it was all ready to go.

Aaaanyway, the Easter Bunny did a fine job hiding the eggs we had dyed. (And he didn't seem to have a problem finding them in the refrigerator, though I'm sure he's used to having to get eggs from there.) He hid the eggs throughout the four downstairs rooms and Sydney found them all.

Sydney Finds Easter Eggs

After the egg hunt we went back about our usual morning routine. But then Sydney happened to look out the back patio door and saw an Easter egg outside. The Easter Bunny had apparently hid some plastic eggs outside in the back yard again this year!

Sydney Easter Egg Hunt Outside

So we (kind of) bundled up and went outside to look for more eggs.

Sydney Has All The Eggs

Once the egg hunt was over we went back inside to open the eggs. Sydney got some snacks, but the Easter Bunny also had some larger plastic eggs that had little Sesame Street figures in them.

Later that day we went over to our friends' house (Diana and Ruffie - Jackie's mom and step-father) for Easter dinner. Sydney got another Easter basket from Diana and a third one (in a little purse instead of a basket) from Donna (mother of our friend Kathy). You can probably imagine that she was quite excited about it all. Though I don't think she ever let go of that light.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Catching Up

All right. Let's catch up on some stuff I've had back-logged.

First, back in early January was Anne's birthday. It was on a Thursday, and Thursdays are usually the morning Sydney and I go out. We go to her class/play group if there is one or, like that Thursday, we go out and run a few errands.

I explained that it was Mommy's birthday. I told her that we were going to get Mommy a birthday card. Sydney could sign (scribble in crayon) hers. Then when Mommy got home from work we would say, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" and give her the cards (and presents that were already bought). Sydney didn't think that sounded very fun and said she didn't want to do it.

We went off to the card shop anyway and picked out cards. When we got back in the car Sydney had changed her mind. She could now hardly wait for Mommy to get home so she could tell her, "Happy Day, Mommy!" (Her way of saying happy birthday.)

Toward the end of the football season our friend Kyle would come over on Sundays and watch some of the games with us. He is self-proclaimed to be not much of a reader. So when Sydney corralled him and had him read with her I had to get a little of it on video.

Sydney has discovered a little music box that Mommy keeps on her dresser. It plays Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera. She likes to dance to it.

And the last video of this update involves Sydney getting tickled silly. I assure you that despite the screams (you may want to turn the sound down for the first bit of the video) she is having a great time and thoroughly enjoys being tickled my Mommy.

In Sydney's Christmas stocking was some Play-Doh. She enjoys playing with it and squeezing it. This was one of the first "sculptures" she made with it.

Sydneys Play-Doh Sculpture

When we were buying autumn/winter clothes for Sydney we got a pair of pants with a belt. Sydney liked the belt and would carry it around and play with it, but didn't really want to wear it.

Over this past week she starting wanting to help me get my belt down when I was getting dressed for work. I would pick her up and tell her if I needed my brown or black belt and she would grab it.

Well, except for the fact that she calls it a "seatbelt".

Then later in the week she remembered her own seatbelt and has wanted to wear it everyday when she gets dressed. So, pink outfit or not (it's a pink belt), she's had on her seatbelt all week.

A couple weeks ago I got out of the shower while getting ready for work. When I went out in the bedroom Sydney jumped up off the floor and said, "Look, Daddy. A playhouse. I built a playhouse."

She had taken all of the toys, stuffed animals and some books we keep in our bedroom and arranged them in a circle on the floor. She sat with her back against the bench/sofa thing at the end of our bed and was encircled by the toys.

I offered appropriate praise at the wonderful playhouse she had built.

The next day I got out of the shower while getting ready for work. When I went out in the bedroom Sydney once again had all of her toys, stuffed animals and books in a circle around her and she sat with her back to the bench at the end of the bed.

Of course, I knew it was a playhouse, but with the level of excitement she had shown the day before I figured I would ask and let her tell me what it was.

"Wow, Sydney. What's that?" I asked.

Sydney looked at me, looked at the circle of toys and said in a rather matter-of-fact way, "It's a mess. A big mess."

And last thing for today, here's a nice picture I just took today of my two beautiful girls.

Sydney and Mommy Snuggle and Play