Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome Collin Randall Strickland!

Collin Randall joined our family January 18, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.! He came one day earlier than our scheduled repeat c-section, but everything went perfectly smooth and the entire process went as well as we could have ever hoped. We came home today, and our family feels complete and happy :-) My recovery has even been much easier, so I have zero complaints.

I took a photo in the same outfit as the day Sydney was born so we could see a comparison of both pregnancies on the final day. I did gain about 7 more pounds with Sydney than with Collin, and he weighed 5 ounces less than her.
The surgery went quickly, and we were so happy to finally see our precious baby boy!
We each got a photo with our little boy - it's amazing how quickly you can fall in love with a 7 lb. 7 oz. person!

 Lots of friends came to visit us during our stay, and my friend Rachel snapped a few great photos while she was there. Here's a favorite:
 After two nights in the hospital, Sydney came to meet her baby brother. She spent those two nights with Kenny & Amanda - a gigantic help to us. (We are constantly reminded how lucky we are to have such a fabulous support system here!!) Sydney is quite a fan of Collin and hasn't shown any signs of jealousy yet. She thinks he's pretty entertaining, and she is overly concerned if he cries. Here's our first picture as a family of four.
We were able to Skype with family from the hospital, which was great, and finally, we were ready to go home. We took our time at the hospital and took the full three nights they offer to c-section patients. Collin's original going home outfit was way too big, so we opted for something more casual but still adorable (we think). I think the original outfit will be used for pictures down the road.
This is what our backseat looks like now --- love it! 
Here are two videos. The first is from my first visit with Collin after I got out of the recovery room. The second is from Sydney's first meeting of Collin. She wasn't ready to interact too much on the first day, but she was very sweet and seemed to be just fine with the idea of a new addition - a relief to any parent with worries! 
Bringing Collin into the world was such a special experience for our whole family. We can't wait to watch Sydney and Collin grow and learn ... and we will grow and learn right along with them. I feel like the luckiest wife and mother in the world. Now, to find out what our first night at home will be like... :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

American Idol

We love to watch American Idol (it starts up again this week!), but sadly I don't think we'll be seeing our sweet daughter on that stage. Nevertheless, we love her voice and she does too. And maybe she'll end up a huge superstar and I'll have to eat my words ;-)

This first video is a bathtub rendition of "Rain, Rain, Go Away"

And video #2 is a playroom take on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, complete with her goofy deep voice she brings out from time to time.
Sydney and Mommy enjoyed a day off today for MLK. We played at home, had a ladies lunch with a couple of friends and did a little shopping. She was an angel, and it was very special to have one more full day with her before Collin arrives Thursday. I thought she looked so cute so I took a quick pic with my phone when we got home. The boots are slippers that were a Christmas gift from her Meme so she had just changed into those after our outing, and the outfit was a Daddy's pick on Black Friday. I could eat her up!
Looks like a great big sister to me!! xoxo

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sydney Drew Turned TWO!

Was it really two years ago when we said hello to this little angel?
Apparently it was, and it's just mind-boggling! We celebrated Sydney's 2nd birthday Dec. 30, and the celebration pretty much started Christmas Eve and I'm not sure it has ended yet. Just this week, she came home asking for presents --- hmmm, need to work on that.
Sydney's big gift from us was an outdoor cottage/playhouse and it has been a hit! The un-winter-like weather we've had has also made it possible for her to use it a lot - both on the deck and out in the yard.
(She begged me to get in, and that was challenging enough. Getting out was quite the picture, I'm sure!)

We decided against having a traditional party since Sydney is overwhelmed by a lot of our friends coming over at once, and we didn't feel like she was old enough (or we were brave enough) to start having her school friends over, but we still had several visitors over a few days' time, and it worked out great. Sydney had a blast. Several of our out-of-town family/friends sent gifts too, so she was just as spoiled as you can imagine.
Loving the new ponytail!
Sticker books were a big hit!
Fortunately, our friends were smart and asked if we wanted a family picture, so we got this one right before she went to bed on her actual birthday.
The only other birthday touch was a bit of Dora the Explorer - Sydney's current obsession. She won't touch sweets, but we got cupcakes/cake for anyone who stopped by. They were so good; that girl's missin' out! We also got balloons, and the Mylar ones are still thriving. I think I may say farewell to them tonight. ;-) We see more than enough Dora on a regular basis; I need her not hanging out in my kitchen day in and day out. Ha!
Our sweet little baby is now such a little girl. She has moments where I think she seems five and other times she has a total toddler meltdown and I'm reminded she's still just little. I think she will seem soooo big when we welcome Collin into our lives in less than two weeks! I'll leave you with this video of her playing in her cottage for the first time.