Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who's a big girl?

Sydney got lots of brownie points with Mommy and Daddy last night. Why? Because SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! Being in a perpetual state of teething, Sydney's had a rough couple months, which means so have the rest of us.

Just yesterday, I was talking to a client who just returned from maternity leave. Her 3-month-old son is doing really well at sleeping. This was not something I really wanted to hear, considering my 13-month-old daughter had slept miserably the night before, waking up three times. Sydney's ears must have been burning!

Thanks, Grandma Elouise for sharing this photo. It's about time I posted another story about Sydney. My last few entries have all focused on her big brother.

Monday, July 28, 2008

WEEEEEEE love the tire swing!

Add this one to our list of favorites: the playground next to the Bong Heritage Center in Superior. Two different (and elaborate) jungle gyms, diggers and a tire swing. Lake Superior is right next to it, so the setting is gorgeous.

Addie and Lily joined us there Saturday morning. Sydney was there, too, but just didn't make the picture because she's not quite ready for the tire swing.

As kids tend to do, they pretty much ignored each other for the first half hour or so. Then, when we said it was time to leave, suddenly they became the best of friends. Lucky for them, we decided to have lunch together, so they had lots of time to play together.

Mommy learned two important lessons about sunscreen on Saturday. Remember to apply it to the back of your neck if you're wearing your hair in a ponytail. (Yes, I am a red neck.) And the facial moisturizer with SPF has a hard time working if you forget to put it on. Lovely!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jack of all trades

What do you want to be when you grow up? The multi-faceted AJ seems headed in several directions: Army soldier, doctor, Bob the Builder and football player all at once.
Considering he put this ensemble together himself, I think it's safe to guess that his future career will NOT be in fashion design.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ruling the world will have to wait a minute

The vanity/grill has yet another use. Tipped on its side, it now serves nicely as a bulldozer. AJ pushed it into the kitchen declaring as authoritatively as a three year old can, "I will rule the world! I will bulldoze the world!"

He then abruptly stopped and announced, "Mommy, I have to go potty."

And off he ran. A few minutes later he was back, ready to conquer all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Show me those muscles!

He's got the physique, the moves, the charm... look out for this one, he's going to be a lady killer. This photo was taken on the beach of Burt Lake, where we stopped to play after rafting down the Sturgeon River.
AJ enjoys the beach. Not so much because of the water, but because of the people he can meet. Earlier in the trip, we stopped at the beach across the street from our hotel. AJ introduced himself to two gorgeous young women wearing incredibly skimpy bikinis. I repeatedly tried to coax AJ away so that he'd stop bothering them, but they thought he was cute and insisted, in their rather thick accent, that he was no problem. (I learned later they were from Molrovia.) At one point, AJ picked a wildflower and presented it to one of the women. For the next several days, AJ was very proud to tell people, including strangers we met while waiting for elevator, "I met some ladies on the beach. I talked to two girls on the beach."
I'm sure there are young men five times AJ's age who can only wish they had that kind of luck with the ladies.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Magical Mackinaw

Ahhh... our vacation is now just something to look back on with fondness. But what an awesome week it was! It was so much fun to watch AJ and Sydney play with their cousins. It was as if they picked up where they left off when we visited them last February.
Our adventures included a tour of historic Fort Michilimackinac, trips to the beach, swimming in our hotel's waterpark (once we switched to decent hotel, but that's a story for another day), a raft ride, more playground visits than I can count, and, of course, a ferry ride to Mackinac Island.
As we drove home on Saturday, AJ said he didn't want to leave Michigan.
I answered, "I know, but we have to."
"Because vacation is over."
"Why does it have to be over?"
Welcome to reality, sweetheart.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Daddy's spaghetti

One of Jeff's cooking specialties is meatballs. He uses a mix of hot sausage and hamburger. They're huge. They're awesome. But when you're a kid, nothing can compete with sucking in the noodles. I'm pretty impressed with Sydney's dexterity. For the last two months, we've been eating lots of wider, easier-to-grab noodles. Guess we don't have to worry about that anymore.

If you look closely at AJ's arm, you can see his mystery rash. These photos were taken Tuesday night, which was day two of the rash, when it had cleared off his torso and migrated to his arms and legs. Thankfully, the rash is gone now. We never did figure out its cause.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A little help from a big brother

The allignment seems to be slightly off on our bubble-popper riding toy. Or, more likely, Sydney hasn't quite mastered how to steer it.

Regardless of the reason, Sydney had a few problems running into the rocks in our garden. But never fear! Big brother AJ was happy to come to her rescue over and over again, pushing her up and down the sidewalk.

AJ often tells me that Sydney is his "best friend in the WHOLE world." I'm writing this down so I'll be able to remind him of that in years to come when he complains that she's bugging him.

I have to give him credit. He continues to show amazing patience with her (except when she grabs the remote and changes the channel in the middle of Sponge Bob), and sincerely shares in our excitement when she develops a new skill.

One last note – if you click on the photo at left and enlarge it, you can see how hard AJ is working. His tongue is hanging out!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mommy's new hairstyling doll

No real story here. Just a photo that's so cute I HAD to post it. I'm having so much fun putting little rubber bands and barrettes in Sydney's hair. I tried doing this back in December, but Sydney's hair was so fine that the barrettes just slid off. Then, one day last week when I arrived to pick up the kids from daycare, I found Sydney with a little binder in her hair, courtesy of Melissa, one of the teachers. So of course I had to go out and buy a bunch of "hair pretties". Thankfully, Sydney's been pretty patient with my efforts.

A side note... we bought a new camera on Sunday, and it's allowed me to capture some amazingly sharp photos of the kids. The zoom lens is awesome!

Grilling a cow named John

Recently, Grandpa David and Grandma Elouise found a cute Little Tikes vanity for Sydney at a garage sale. Just don't tell AJ that's what it is.

While Daddy was busy grilling steaks, AJ grabbed a spatula and went to work at his new "grill", making me an imaginary pizza, complete with pepperoni and "hangaber" on top.

Later, as we ate dinner, AJ held out a piece of his steak and asked if it came from a pig or a chicken. I told him it came from a cow. He slowly chewed the steak, then asked, "What's the cow's name?"

I told him I didn't think the cow had a name.

AJ didn't buy that. Just before taking another bite he announced, "I think his name is John."

How do you like your creativity? Rare or well done? AJ seems to have mastered both.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Look what I can do!

Look out world, here she comes!

Sydney set a personal best Saturday night, toddling 12 steps before finally losing her balance. Even more impressive, she seems to have decided that walking is now her preferred means of transportation. When she falls down, she gets back up again and continues on her way. And boy is she proud of herself when she reaches her destination.

Life as we've known it has changed forever.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our little patriots

Firetrucks and army tanks and more candy than we could eat in a year! And Grandpa David and Grandma Elouise came with to share in the fun. In AJ's words, "It was a GOOD day!"

We love the 4th of July parade in Cloquet. AJ's bucket was two-thirds full of candy by the time the last float had passed by. Even Sydney got in on the action. Hanging onto my hand, she toddled out to grab her first tootsie roll. Way-too-smart child that she is, she quickly figured out it was much easier to grab candy from her brother's bucket than to chase down some of her own.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just average is just fine

Our chunky little sweetheart isn't so unusually chunky anymore.

At her one year weigh-in, Sydney tipped the scales at 22.8 pounds. That puts her just above the 60th percentile. Quite an achievement considering her weight was off the charts at six months. Like all good weight loss success stories, Sydney didn't diet. She just adapted a more on-the-go lifestyle.

Meanwhile, her height has remained consistently in the 50th percentile range, and her head circumference is still off the charts.

She's still not walking, but gets closer every day. Last night she was traveling 3-4 steps solo before lunging for something or someone to hang on to. She can't wait to climb and chase after AJ at the "castle" park (the playground by Esko's school).

Think inside the box

I've always considered myself to be a fairly creative writer. Having a three-year-old, I now realize that I'm really just a pretty conventional writer.

With the exception of a big stuffed duck, which he apparently felt he needed to use as a pillow, AJ pulled all of his toys out of his toybox. He then proceeded to climb in and play peek-a-boo with Sydney, lifting the cover up and down. Sydney absolutely loved the game and squealed with laughter each time AJ would pop his head up.

Writer that I am, I immediately started envisioning the caption for this photo to be "AJ in the box". I must have said something to that effect outloud, because AJ stopped and corrected me.

"No, Mom. Not a box. This is a rocket ship."

Of course it is. THAT'S creativity.