Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Counting video and Christmas!

This post would have been solely dedicated to our Christmas Day, but the day after, we finally got Sydney to display her counting skills while being filmed. Check it out - English and Spanish! Following the video, there are highlights from our Christmas - which used to be just a morning and has turned into an all-day opening/playing/crazy day! No complaints though...especially because we realize things are only going to become crazier in the future :)
And here are some photos from the day. Sydney had a blast and is still getting used to all the new stuff. I culled her toys while she was at school yesterday, so the house is somewhat manageable again. It was amazing to see the number of things she has outgrown at just almost-two years old!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

...and all through the house, the Stricklands were preparing for a wonderful Christmas Day! We started out with a fun afternoon at the park. Sydney was dressed to impress, I might add.
 Randall cooked a fabulous dinner of standing rib roast, candied carrots, roasted potatoes and green bean bundles. YUM.
 Sydney had eaten a couple of hours earlier, so she joined us at the table with peaches for dessert :)
 After dinner, we continued with our tradition of opening one gift. Sydney had to put on her shoes immediately (a gift from us), even if they did look ridiculous over her footie pajamas :-)

Randall opened a button-down shirt from my mom, and I opened a book about mothers and daughters and a set of stationery, also from my mom. Randall read The Night Before Christmas and we put Sydney to bed.
The rest of the night involved Randall - who should be hired as Santa's lead elf! - putting together Sydney's kitchen...a five-hour task. But, when we went to sleep at 2 a.m., the living room was beautiful and ready for one sweet little girl.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas cards

This year and last, my designer friend at work of Elle Bee Designs (Find her on Facebook!) has worked on my Christmas card. There are a million options for designs online, but I love having the flexibility of a custom design. We still have last year's on our fridge, and I cannot get over the change from last year to this year. Is that even the same child?!

Christmas 2011
Photo credit, Rachel Krest

Christmas 2010
Photo credit, Alice Dawson

P.S. I'm realizing from this post that I work with a lot of talented people. All of the photos were taken by work friends, too :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quick pic catch-up

Sydney loves my many scarves, and we're always finding new ways for her to wear them so she isn't falling all over the place. This is Randall's latest idea and it's so stinkin cute.
Yesterday, we had a very busy day (after Sydney woke up at 10:45!) and beautiful weather to go with it. We did a little shopping and spent a lot of time playing at a park in a neighboring city - which is also right next to their library so we stopped in and got a few things there, too. I just love pics of  her playing at the park. It was busy with kids (big, rough kids), but she was less shy than normal and jumped right in. I'm laughing because these pictures make it look empty, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
After we grabbed a quick dinner, our plan was to ride around and look at Christmas lights (or yights, as Sydney says), but she was so exhausted, she slept through it. We'll go again Friday or Saturday evening right when it gets dark so she won't be as tired. Randall and I still enjoyed it, though!!
Speaking of our little sleeper, it's 9 a.m. and she's snoozing away. She really does catch up/save up on the weekends. She only has two days of school this week, so I'm looking forward to lots of time with her very soon!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday's Mama - blog feature!

I had the special opportunity to be the featured "Monday's Mama-to-Be" today on the blog A Girl in Pearls.

My co-worker nominated me, and it worked out perfectly. Such a fun experience and another neat way to document one phase of this coming-to-an-end pregnancy.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Top Chef and a Birthday

I think Sydney may follow in her daddy's footsteps and enjoy cooking. She loves to play in all of the kitchen stuff --- lining up and naming the larger cooking utensils, playing with oven mitts, eating...

I never did a post about turning 30, so I'll give a recap here. One of my best friends from college, Wendy, flew out the weekend before Thanksgiving and we went to Kansas City for good food and good shopping. Our search for both was a success! We had the best time catching up and just having some quality girl time. It's always so special to have that kind of time, especially with friends that I normally only catch up with over email or the phone.Having her here for a couple of days was a great way to hit this milestone of the big 3-0, even if it did have to be scaled back to late-in-pregnancy-appropriate activities. Ha!
Sydney also had a birthday of sorts a couple of days ago - hitting the 23-month mark - and the only huge change to mention is that we've officially started potty-training --- meaning, she has worn big-girl underwear at school all week! Some days she had many accidents, one day she had none, and yesterday she only had one. She has been using the potty for a couple of months, but this was the official switch out of diapers during the day. We'll see how it goes. I still think she's kind of young, but her teachers say she is totally ready. Time will tell!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gobble Gobble

How is it already after Thanksgiving?! My mom and step-dad were here for the holiday (Grandma and Pop), and we had a delicious feast followed by a couple of days in Branson - shopping and such. Sydney was a doll the whole time and it was obvious she loved having them here. There were many comments about kidnapping her and taking her back to Virginia.  :-)  It wasn't as hard saying goodbye this time because my mom will be back in two short months to meet baby Collin!
 Sydney brought home this adorable project last week. They are always doing the cutest things in her class.
We got home Saturday evening and decorated for Christmas! In my opinion, there are few things better than relaxing in the evening with the Christmas tree lighting the house. And today I made good progress wrapping gifts. Sydney had fun decorating, too, and she loved inspecting each and every ornament as we unpacked them. :)
This will be our last Christmas as a family of three, and it's hard to even imagine what next year will be like at this time! Here's one final pic from my phone of Grandma and Sydney on the playground near our condo in Branson. Not great photo quality, but a sweet moment.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nursery - ready for viewing :)

It has been so much fun getting sweet Collin's room ready for his arrival. We are losing our guest room, so decided on including a twin bed with the crib in the room. Eventually, Sydney's crib will transition into a full-size bed and we'll have more guest options - aside from the blow-up mattress that can fit in our den - but for now she sleeps so well, and we are not going to mess with a good system! So, we essentially will have two nurseries for awhile longer. It's so fun to go into the hallway with the kids' rooms and see girl to one side and boy to the other. I hope our new addition likes his home :)

Credit goes to Elle Bee Designs for the Collin sign above the crib. I'm so fortunate to have such talented designers right in my office!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Farewell, Super Girl

This will be my last Halloween-related post for 2011. We had so much fun this year! Here are a few pictures from Sydney's school's fall carnival and a few from trick-or-treating. I love the photo of her on the playground ... like she was about to take flight. :)

During trick-or-treating, she was shy for the first few houses but then caught on and wanted to go all night! Heaven help the people who just left a bowl of candy sitting out on the porch. She wanted ALL of it.