Thursday, May 24, 2012

Class Pictures and a Kangaroo

A few weeks ago, the kids had their class photos taken at school. These overpriced images live in each child's bedroom, and it has become a favorite activity for Sydney to name all of her friends in the picture. Maybe by next year, I can convince her to keep her legs together. She is not wearing a bow which is funny to me, but apparently her bow fell in the potty earlier that morning (how exactly, I'm not sure). I'll take a bow-less picture over the alternative! :)

Collin also had a decent showing, and is one of the few not screaming his head off. I love that Ms. Jan is holding him. Ms. Jan is holding Sydney in her first class photo, too. I am not upset at all that teachers tend to love my babies! I'm also realizing how much bigger Collin is today than just a few weeks ago. Wow.

In other school news, Sydney had her first performance last weekend. The school's annual international dinner involves each class adopting a country and doing a performance and providing food from that part of the world. There were probably 300+ people there - it's a big fat deal, and so much fun! Sydney's grade level, Early Primary (18 mo. - 2.5), is the youngest group that participates, and there are three of those classes, then six Primary classes (age 2.5 - 4.5/5) and finally a a couple Elementary classes (K-6th grade).

Sydney's class chose Australia, and the teachers asked if any of the kids would volunteer to be kangaroos. My mom found this great costume on eBay, and Sydney was the cutest kangaroo ever.

I cannot figure out how to downsize the video from my phone (since my regular video camera was stolen and we haven't bought a new one yet), but here's the link to the video on You Tube. It's extremely shaky and bad quality, but I love it because you can see how Sydney wandered around looking for me, and once she saw me, she was happy and hopping right along. :) Randall was out of town so I was trying to video with one hand and snap still shots with the other - it was rough.

I am so grateful for such incredible teachers for our little ones. I don't worry about them at all, and I think they are loved almost as much there as they are at home. Plus, the Montessori philosophy seems to suit Sydney quite well. She has learned SO much. I hope Collin's experience is just as wonderful. Sydney will be moving up to a Primary class at the end of June, and I think we will both be a wreck for awhile. I get just as attached to her teachers as she does!

Friday, May 18, 2012

4 months

Forgive the Christmas blanket in mid-May. It's really comfy and we use it year-round :)
Collin is four months old today! He is the happiest not-so-little guy. At his check-up this week, he weighed 16 lbs. 1 oz. (75th percentile) and was 25.91" long (80th percentile). The doctor said he's perfect, and we couldn't agree more! He woke up a couple of nights recently to eat, but since his appointment, he has gone back to sleeping through the night. I was not looking forward to making him cry it out in the middle of night, so I'm glad he decided he actually doesn't need that 3 a.m. bottle ;-)

Collin is rolling over like crazy back to front and front to back and is going to be an early mover, I'm afraid! His little legs go crazy when he's on his tummy. I can tell he's ready to try to keep up with his big sister, and she is equally as ready for him to be able to do more. He will break his neck to watch her run around and play. And she loves to kiss and cuddle him. Normally I wake her up first and get her going with breakfast before getting Collin up, but today he woke up before her and she practically flew out of her crib, she was so excited to see him. I hope that continues!!

We'll be starting rice cereal and oatmeal next week, and I can't wait. Collin is currently eating quite a bit more than the recommended formula quantities for his age, so I'm hoping some baby cereal will help curb the appetite for his bottles. This may backfire and then he'll just be eating even more! Oh well, he's a growing boy, and I see football in his future.

This 4-month-old angel sure does make the ladies in his life smile!
You'll have to forgive the quality of pics for a little while. I'm using my phone. Our home was robbed earlier this week, and we are having to replace our camera and video camera, among other things. The police caught the four 18-year-olds who had a couple of field days in our neighborhood. Privacy fences are great for families who want to play in their backyards but even more convenient for sneaky little punks! Grrrr

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

This Mother's Day weekend has been perfect. My good friend Rachel and I had a quick girls getaway to Branson yesterday. We shopped until we dropped (almost literally!), had a yummy dinner and stayed overnight. It was such a fun treat. This morning we headed home to be with our respective hubbys and kids. I was very excited to spend Mother's Day as a mommy of two for the first time! I told Randall not to do anything special and that my little getaway was my present, but of course he didn't listen :-)

My gifts this year are so very special. I have always loved that my mom kept great photo albums for all four kids, and I enjoy looking back at pictures from my life. Today, it's so easy to keep everything digital, but I've been saying that I really want my kids to have photo albums with actual pictures in them, not just digital copies. Well, Randall did exactly that!! He found the exact kind of photo albums I wanted (with the peel back covers that you can arrange any way you want, not designated slots for a certain size photo), and he started both kids' albums. I know that since they are started, I'll keep them going!! I'm soooo happy to have this project under way, and I am certain our kids will love looking back through pictures (and of course they will have the digital files, too). I am infinitely thankful for a loving husband who would take the time to do something like this for me and our kids. Randall - you are the absolute best.

The carnations were a gift from my mother-in-law! Such a surprise. She chose pink for Sydney, blue for Collin and red for Randall --- very thoughtful and pretty! Here is our attempt at a Mother's Day photo with a squirmy toddler who just wanted to play in mommy's jewelry boxes and a little one who was clueless! I so love these little rascals, and I'm very proud to be their mom.
Both kids went down for naps at the same time, and Randall went grocery shopping. The spoiling continues! Life is good :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Smiles, Sun Hats & More Smiles

Collin has been all smiles and giggles lately. There is nothing sweeter than a happy baby. Here are some video smiles for you, too.

In our last post, the stroller picture was a clear illustration that our kids needed new sun hats. My mom saw that, and immediately came to the rescue. Their new hats arrived in the mail just yesterday, and they are CUTE! I could have just run to a store here, but grandparents love opportunities to help from afar, so we let them ;-)
And for the "more smiles" part of this post, Sydney and Collin each brought home Mother's Day gifts for me from school today. What a sweet start to the weekend. Here's Collin's gift --- a precious photo with a "frame" made out of little hand cut-outs.On the back is a poem about the bond between mommies and their babies.

Sydney's gift is a little flower pot she decorated. My instructions are to water it, and something will grow. Attached to it is a photo of our two kids. Sydney's teacher walked her over to Collin's building and got their photo together. So thoughtful and precious!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We will survive

Please excuse the dramatic title, but I'm feeling quite accomplished today! Randall and I both work full-time, so the blocks of time either of us spends with both kids alone are fairly short. Four or five hours while Randall plays a round of golf / a few hours while I'm at a Junior League meeting or work event. Easy peasy. This weekend, Randall is away at his annual boys camping trip, and I was a little anxious going into my first weekend as a single parent of two! (Shout-out to every single parent out there, by the way!!).

I kind of cheated last night and had friends over, which was very fun and helpful. Today, neither child slept in (6:15 for Sydney - her normal weekday wake-up schedule - and 7:00 for Collin). We played this morning and Sydney and I watched The Care Bears Movie and went outside to practice pedaling on her tricycle that she isn't into while Collin took his morning nap. We then went to a very shady, smelly, tiny, hot and creepy local establishment - The Reptile Museum. Sydney has developed an interest in snakes and snake-like things, so I thought this would help me earn my Mother of the Year award. There were turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, an ALLIGATOR ... all in a space no larger than our bedroom. Having Collin in his carrier on my arm was no help (the stroller would not fit). I didn't take pictures, but Sydney loooooved it. The owner is totally strange and Criminal Minds-like, but he was kind of nice in an odd way, and seemed to think it was cool (or pitiful) that I brought them there alone. Anyway, the only way I could convince her to leave was to tell her we were headed to the park.

We stayed there awhile, and then went home where all THREE of us took 2-hour naps. Yeah!
After dinner, we got sun-screened up and went for a long walk around the 'hood. Then, baths, books and bed. Both were tucked in and sleeping by 7:45. (We have early-to-bed kiddos, but they sleep all night so I'm sticking with what works!). This picture reminds me that sunhat shopping is in my future. Sydney's is too small and Collin's is one of Sydney's with lots of pink.

I really don't know how stay-at-home moms do it. I so loved today, but I could not do it every day. And since I don't do it every day, it's more of a challenge and adjustment to do it sporadically.

Randall would never be as dramatic about "doing it all," but I think parents should give themselves pats on the back sometimes. It makes up for all the times we doubt ourselves and think we're failing. I get at least an A- for today, and the kids get a glowing A+. I'm very much looking forward to having my oh-so-wonderful partner in crime back in the mix. Sydney wasn't too thrilled with my version of Randall's nighttime song medley. Now that I think about it, maybe that A- should be a B+ instead! (Since you made it through this long post, here's a bonus splash of cuteness!)