30 November 2011

Sydneygrams: The Series

Seems this is going to be a regular thing here on the blog.  Enjoy yourself some Sydneygrams this morning.

The Woombie.  

A best of collage...

I don't think I've adequately expressed just how much I love this little baby.  She has brought me so much joy and happiness.  I am truly so blessed.

27 November 2011

Gobble Gobble

For Thanksgiving this year, we hosted the dinner for my side of the family.  We ended up having 14 of us {including my two littles} over to the house.  We had so much delicious food and have been enjoying the leftovers for days.  My aunt and uncle made an amazing turkey, sweet potato casserole, tossed salad, and cranberry/marshmallow salad.  My mom and I made corn, mashed potatoes, Paula Deen's green bean casserole, and a not-so-delicious Chocolate Coke Cake {not sure where we went wrong on that one}.  My brother got a yummy Honey Baked Ham and made some of my mammaw's southern spoon rolls.  As if all that wasn't enough, we had some fruit and veggies for appetizers  and my cousin's wife made the most delicious cheesecake I've ever eaten.  And, of course there was pumpkin pie.

We got to eat outside!!  How amazing is that?

Of course Olivia wasn't going to eat much of the things that we made, so I made her exactly what she requested - a quesadilla.  Except, I tried to make it a little more festive.

Her turkey breakfast.

Before we feasted, the men enjoyed a couple rounds of cornhole in the backyard.  I wish I had gotten some pictures of Olivia because she had a blast playing with the bean bags after dinner.

Sydney slept through most of the day - but we did get a little lovin' from her once everyone had left.  She was able to Skype with her grandma and poppa, her Aunt Marissa and her sweet cousins.  We were grateful that we could see them for a bit too.

I know it's a repeat, but look how sweet!

Post dinner!!!  Look at those cheeeeeks!  Love her!

Love this little turkey too.

We have much to be thankful for!

26 November 2011

The Best Things Come in Threes

On Friday, our precious little angel baby turned 3 months old.   Knowing that she will {most likely} be our last little baby makes each passing day bittersweet.  I'm eager for her to grow up so that she and Olivia can play more with each other, but I also want her to stay small and super cuddly.

This little turkey slept through most of Thanksgiving, but I was so grateful to be able to eat using both hands!

This is me when I was about 3 months old.  Any guesses where Sydney gets those scrumptious cheeks?

Sydney is truly SUCH a good baby.  But, she is the happiest when she is in her mama's arms.  I love that she is a Mama's Girl, but it sometimes makes it hard when I need to do something else.  I guess it just means that David will need to be the one to do the dishes instead of me!  

Out of habit, Sydney takes most of her naps either in the swing or in the Ergo if we are out and about.  I'm really lucky to have such an adaptable baby who will sleep on the go.  When she was a newborn, I would put her in her swing out in the main area so that I could keep an eye on her and so now that's where she sleeps for naps.  I know it's against what most baby sleep books say, but Olivia did it until she was 6 months old and now that girl sleeps past 9 almost every day! 

She is sleeping great again at night.  We had a little bout with her sleeping right after she turned 2 months.  She came down with a cold and was having trouble sleeping.  She ended up being snuggled up with me for most of each night and really liked that much better than sleeping in the bassinet right next to me.  She's back to giving me at least a 6 hour stretch of sleep per night.  {Knock on wood}  One of the hardest parts of my day is when I have to put her in the bed each night.  I usually nurse her in my bed and then once she's asleep, I transfer her to the bassinet THREE feet from my bed, but it's so hard because I want to stay snuggled up with her.  But, it's not a very good sleep for me when she's in our bed and I know it's better for her to be in her own bed too.  Once morning comes, she's back in bed with me for her morning feeding and we get to snuggle some more.  Love her to pieces, I really do.  

Sydney is getting much better at riding in her car seat, but we definitely have trips when she is crying for much of it.  It's usually after we've been out and she's been sleeping in the Ergo and then gets woken up only to be put in her car seat instead of being able to nurse.  We had one of those situations this afternoon.  Breaks my heart...

Lord, she looks like her sister when she cries.  

Since she is awake for longer stretches these days, she's discovering more and more about herself and her surroundings.  Her little arms and legs are constantly moving and the more excited she gets, the faster they go.  She's smiling lots more and we've even heard a couple giggles come out of her.  She's talking and cooing like crazy and loves sitting in my lap or her Poppy's lap and looking all around.

I already have a huge amount of guilt because I've probably taken 1/3 of the pictures that I did with Olivia when she was a baby, but I just don't have the time to pull out my camera and snap pictures all the time when I'm juggling everything else.  So, I snap them when I can and a lot of times, it's with my cell phone.  Thankfully, there are some cool apps that let me make the pictures look sorta fancy.

We are so blessed to have this sweet little baby in our lives and with each passing month we are more and more excited to see what the future holds.

I've managed to take a couple videos of her over the last couple of days.  You can see those here and here

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Girl

21 November 2011

Skipping Ahead Just a Bit...

I know we haven't hit Thanksgiving quite yet, but our neighbors have already put up Christmas decorations and I heard Christmas music on David's Pandora today.  And to top it off, on Sunday, Mom and I found the girls coordinating outfits for Christmas pictures!  {Squeee!  This will be the first time for me to dress them in complimentary attire!}

I was SO pleased with the Sydney's birth announcements from Tiny Prints {you can see them again here} that I knew I wanted to use Tiny Prints again for our Christmas cards.  I've had so much fun checking out their site and trying to decide which will be our holiday cards this year.

Here are some of my current favorites {although it seems to change daily}!

This one is called Joyful Heart.  

I LOVE the bright colors in Holiday Rainbow!

 Naughty or Nice seems to be a running theme in our household!  
This Behavior Blocks card seems to sum it up nicely.

Even though it's 70 degrees here and sunny, I'm going to pour myself a cup of hot chocolate, turn up the Christmas music and search for some more holiday cards.  I suggest you do the same!

20 November 2011

Lonely Little Pictures

Mama's tired...

18 November 2011

A Few Pictures to Sweeten Up Your Friday

She sleeps longer and longer each night,
she smiles more and more each day,
she dances with her arms,
and cuddles with her whole body.

I could not love this girl anymore...

Happy Friday, Y'all!

17 November 2011

31 Flavors

Actually, one flavor and 31 months, but that will all make sense in a little bit.  Or maybe not.  I'm a wee bit tired.  And while I could be napping {since both of my girls are asleep!  At the same time!  In the same house!}, I desperately need to do a blog for my {mostly} sweet girls 31st {month} birthday!  I have also been wanting to blog about the discipline/rewards system that we have been doing with Olivia and update you on her potty-training SUCCESS!  So, you're getting all of those rolled into one big post.

Last night, when I realized that Olivia was turning 31 months today, it really hit me that she is growing up.  In five months, she will be THREE!  How can that even be possible?  Yet, at the same time, she is still such a little person who I think we sometimes expect too much out of.  Is it fair for us to expect her to sit quietly in a restaurant for 2 hours or to walk through the mall while we go shopping?  I really don't think it is, yet we do it and get frustrated with her when she acts like a two year old!  As a mom, I really need to adjust my expectations of her or else I am going to end up getting really frustrated all of the time.  When we are busy with toddler activities, she is typically really good and so I have been trying to come up with things for us to do to keep us busy.

We went to the playground twice on Wednesday and then met up with some new friends at a different park yesterday.  Today we went to the library and got new library cards and checked out some books.  {Even Olivia got her very own library card!}

To combat some of the problem behaviors we do have {sassiness, refusal to do things like nap or pick up her toys, and whining}, I started a rewards jar for her very loosely based off of the one here on Lullaby Lubbock.  David finished off a small jar of olives a couple of weeks ago so it was the perfect time to start.  I bought a couple of bags of craft pom poms at the Dollar Tree and we were set.  I explained to Olivia that whenever I saw her behaving well or doing something nice, I would reward her with a pom pom.  Since filling it all the way up might be too much of a delay for a reward, I decided that once it was halfway filled up, she could do something special with me.  For a couple of weeks, she got pom pom after pom pom for using nice words, cleaning up, obeying, or any other thing we saw that was deserving of praise.  She got {and continues to get} so excited every time she adds one to the jar.

By the end of last week, her jar was about halfway full.  So on Sunday, she and I went on a solo Mommy/Daughter date to FroYoNa for some yummy frozen yogurt!

Mama got rewarded too!

Do you remember these games??  I want one now!

The system seems to be helping and it's a lot easier to bribe, errr remind, her about the pom poms than it is some other special treat.

One of the big issues we were having after we moved out here was her refusal to take naps.  We got in a really bad habit {but, oh how I loved it} where I would rock her to sleep for her naps when I was pregnant and I would enjoy a little nap with her before I put her in her crib.  Well, once Sydney was born, that wasn't really a possibility, so she was really struggling with her naps.  SOMETHING had to be done because I could not go a day, especially multiple days, without her napping.  And, she was a Crankopotomus Rex by early evening.

So, one day, I pulled up Microsoft Word, "drew" a table with five boxes and slapped on a piece of Clip Art and printed off a few copies.  I told Olivia that every time she took a nap {or at least laid quietly in her crib} without crying, she would get a sticker.  Once she filled up the chart she could get a special surprise from Target.  Well, knock.on.wood, it has worked!  She has completed her collection of Strawberry Shortcake miniature dolls and is about to go pick out a new toy after filling today's chart.

As far as the potty training has gone, it has actually been pretty painless!  We started with the big girl panties exactly one month ago today and have only had about 3 or 4 minor accidents.  She wears her "nighttime panties" which are really pull-up/training pants for naps and at night, but is probably dry about 90% of the time.  The last couple of nights she has woken us up asking to use the potty and if she is wet in them, she does not want to keep them on.  {Which is not how she was when she was in diapers.  But, gosh, think about it.  It probably feels so much better now for her and now that she knows the difference, why would she be okay sitting in a wet diaper?}

The biggest issue we have had with the potty training is {TMI ahead...} going #2.  At first, she would hold it until her naptime or bedtime and go in her pull-ups.  When we went in for Sydney's 2 month check-up, I asked the pediatrician for some advice.  She had me get some Miralax (which is a powdered laxative) and told me to put it in Olivia's juice/water/milk in the mornings and it would basically force her to go so that she couldn't hold it anymore.  Well, of course my girl is about as stubborn as they come, so it took several days of doing that before she finally went on the potty.  We were offering double jelly beans, double pom poms and I even bought her a bigger Strawberry Shortcake doll to reward her thinking that would do the trick, but we were still struggling.  I read somewhere that you shouldn't pressure them to go, which I totally was.  I felt like all I was doing was asking her if she needed to go poopy on the potty.  They said that it needed to be on her terms and to explain that her body makes a poop a day and it is her job to put it in the potty.  I printed off a calendar, hung it by her potty and bought her a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse sticker book.  I told her that she could put a sticker on the calendar each day that she went on the potty and she has gone every single day since then!

Who knew stickers could be so motivating?!  She has even done great with going potty in public places.  I am SO proud of her every time she goes.  It's so amazing that someone so young has caught on to it so easily.  {I know most kids are around her age when they are potty-trained, but when you think about it, it is a BIG DEAL!}

David and I are going to read the Love and Logic book again to work more on a set discipline system with her.  We really want her to be well-behaved and we know that the more effort we put into it now, the easier it will be for everyone in the long run.

*I hope this doesn't come across as sounding like Olivia misbehaves all of the time because that isn't the case at all.  She acts like a very typical two year old who thinks the world is all about her, her, HER!  But, she is also so incredibly smart, funny and loving too. And we are so incredibly blessed to be her parents!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!