Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend

Would you believe I forgot to take my cameras when we traveled North for Sylvia's First Easter?  What kind of crummy Mom am I?  Psh.  I should lose my Mommy Photographer license.  Appalling.  Embarrassing.  Just downright irresponsible, really.

Lucky for me, Grammy had her camera out and ready all weekend long.  So here are a few pics of our weekend.

We arrived on Saturday.  Sylvia slept on the drive from here to there, so when we got to Mom's house, we told Sylvia we were getting back in the car to go see a butterfly exhibit, and she did not mind one little bit.  In fact, she was pretty excited about all the commotion:

The Butterfly Exhibit was absolutely amazing.  On the way in, the line was a little slow, so we posed for a family photo with some pretty flowers.  When we started walking again, my little cousin said to me, "I really hope we see at least ONE butterfly!"  Oh, sweet Abby.  Little did we know....


When we entered the giant plant-filled room, it was like walking into a swarm of butterflies.  It took a minute to get used to it, I kept dodging and squealing and pointing and laughing.  It was really amazing.  Then, while we were oohing and ahhing at all the pretty butterflies, Sylvia made a new friend:

The lady who let us in the door took one look at Sylvia's outfit and said, "Oh my.  The butterflies will LOVE that yellow!"  And sure enough, they did.  The one in the picture above stayed on her head as we walked around.  It was not interested in leaving, and it was probably a little upset that the yellow bow wasn't putting out any nectar.  Silly butterflies.  It didn't take long for another butterfly to be all, "Hey!  Are you having any luck over there?  Let me help you look for some sugary goodness...."


Sylvia's two new friends stuck around for quite a while until they realized that this giant yellow flower is not a flower at all.  I could almost hear them boo and hiss at us as they fluttered away. 

On Easter Sunday, we took Sylvia to church in her adorable Easter dress, but (as I described in my last post), she had a really, really hard time sitting still and staying quiet during mass.  The nerve, right?  She wasn't too concerned with the resurrection of Christ, only that it was NAP TIME and this wooden pew was NOT her bed.  Oops.  After communion, we made a mad dash for the door, but Sylvia figured out that we were trying to pull a fast one, so she punished us by puking all over her dress.  And her jacket.  And her Daddy.  Poor kid.  This would be the second holiday of her life where events became so intense that she had no other way to show her excitement other than to puke.  You know it's not a decent family get together unless a baby pukes.

We went back to Mom's for brunch, at which point Sylvia refused to sleep.  We put her in her clothes from the day before and let her join in the festivities.  The weather was just too rainy for any sort of games outside, so we stayed on the porch swing and took a few pics.

Here she is with cousin Charlie.  Apparently they called each other and coordinated their outfits.  Way to go, kids.

Another family photo.  We clean up pretty nice, don't we?  It's not often you find me in a pink sweater AND my husband in a pink tie, so I'm glad we have this evidence that we do, in fact, own nice clothes.

And this final photo is begging for a caption contest!  I can't give anything away, but I can give a cyber high-five to my favorite entry.   The look on Sylvia's face is priceless.  I expect to see a lot of this circa 2015.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Game Changer

We listened to this pretty decent radio show on the way to church this morning that helped me put Easter in perspective.  And I always welcome a nice dose of perspective, don't you?  We tuned in halfway through an interview with a guy....who wrote a book....about Jesus or something?  I'm really not sure who he was, but he was talking about Easter and Jesus and why he (the author) was led to Him (Jesus).  He said one, tiny, little thing that really stuck to me.  I'm totally paraphrasing here, but he said something like, "Well, in other religions, the prophets never claimed to be anything more than profits.  But in Christianity you have this very compelling figure who claims to be God's True and Only Son.  And the claim itself is not all that compelling, but his resurrection is what draws people in.  It's what makes people think there must be something to this claim.  For Christians, the rising is a game changer."

Ha!  I loved that, because it's true.

I struggle, folks.  I struggle with my Christianity and my faith.  But I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus is a total game changer.  He definitely, absolutely changed the world.  And he continues to change it every day.  So the radio guy really gave me something to think about while my child was screaming and crying through the homily at mass, refusing to sit still or cooperate for one little second, preventing me (or anyone within a twenty foot radius of me) from listening to anything the priest was saying.  As I tried desperately to wrangle my greased pig, I just kept repeating to myself, "Today, the game has changed.  Today, the game has changed!  Hallelujah!"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Season

I truly believe that spring is the best time of year to bring home a baby!  Nothing helps cure the "baby blues" that often come with having a newborn like sunshine and fresh air.  When the first few months of life are spent outside in warm weather, you know that kid's going to be super healthy!  Sylvia's spring birth was such a blessing because I got to stay home with her all summer and by the time the long nights and cold weather got here, we were well into a routine as a family and were able to suffer through the terrible winter!  I had some pretty significant blues going on for the first couple months, so I often wonder if it would have been worse in winter time.  Blech, enough of those thoughts!  I'm sure winter babies are pretty great, too.

Anway, I guess Sylvia really started a trend, because I have FOUR friends who are all due within weeks of each other!  To be fair, one of them has already delivered, and she went a little early, so Sylvia's first BFF has been here for a while.  When Sylvia picks up her baby cell phone, I always speak for her, and I used to say, "Hello? Grammy?  When are you coming to visit?!" but now I say, "Hello?  Scarlett?  Wanna go the mall?"  And Sylvia laughs and laughs! I'll post some sweet pics of Scarlett once I get motivated enough to get them off of my camera.  Congrats to Emily and Ben for making the world's cutest baby!  I'm sure Sylvia and Scarlett will cause all kinds of delicious trouble when the time comes.  I can't wait!

The rest of my baby-waiting list looks like this:
Laura and Pete - baby girl  - due RIGHT NOW, COME ON!!!
Megan and John - baby girl - due end of April
Emily and Michael - baby girl - due early May

That's right!  ALL GIRLS!!!  Sylvia is pretty stoked about all the new playmates.  The only couple who have nailed down a name so far are Megan and John, and as of our last lunch together, they had decided on Clover!  I think it's absolutely precious and perfect for them.  I cannot WAIT to meet her....or any of these babies!

Laura and Pete are starting to get a little antsy, since their baby girl was supposed to be here Tuesday.  Hang in there, friends!  She just needs a little more time, I suppose.  She's like that kid in my class who always finishes his tests thirty minutes after everyone else, and we all have to sit around and wait for him to be done.  But darn it, he has every answer right, so heaven forbid I try to rush him!  Sorry, I digress.

When we saw Emily and Michael at Sylvia's birthday party, they had narrowed their list of names down to THIRTY.  Thirty possible names.  For one child.  Which is exactly how they roll, and I wouldn't have expected anything different.  Emily says she wants it narrowed down to at most ten names before they go to the hospital, but if I had to place my bet, I'd say that baby comes early and they end up choosing a name that was never on their long list to begin with!  We'll see, though.  Only time will tell!

So happy babying, everyone!  I can't wait to snuggle with all of these precious GIRLS!

P.S.  I almost forgot!  Sylvia's first BFF is really Cecilia Grace, born to Ann and Andy in November.  She's proof that winter babies are just as sweet as spring babies!  So, for a couple months before she was born, I had four pregnant bridesmaids!  I think that's fantastic.  I'll have to post a picture of Cecilia soon, too.  She is the absolute clone of her beautiful mother!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Didn't Know I Was Waiting for This!

Things have been getting really crazy at work this week, and to top that off, Sylvain has been super duper sick (until today, thank goodness).  Our plan for this evening was for Sylvain to do all dinner and baby-related work while I ignored my family and worked on report cards.  Sylvia took a stellar afternoon nap when she came home, and ate a lovely, enjoyable dinner with us.  When dinner was over, I announced that I would, in fact, clean the dishes!  I know, how gracious of me, right?  I mean, a hard working Mom, taking time out of her busy day to do the dishes.  I really need a medal.

Anyway, Sylvia usually plays for a few minutes after supper before we put her in the tub and toss her in bed, but the warm weather and chirping birds were calling her name, so Sylvain decided to take her outside to play for a while.  Well!  Guess what happened to me?  I got all teary-eyed while I was washing the dishes!  I stand at that sink every. single. night. and wash dishes, staring out the window at the backyard and thinking of all kinds of crazy things.  When we first moved in to this house, and before we had a baby, I would imagine watching our kids play in the yard.  Then tonight, suddenly, out of no where...BOOM!  There was my vision, right in front of my eyes.  I wanted to write about it before it became common place, which I'm sure will happen very soon because Sylvia loves to be outside and the weather's really warming up.  It was a surreal moment.  There was my kid.  In my yard.  Playing.  Dishes.  Sunshine.  Soap suds.  Laughter.  It was awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that I stopped washing the dishes and ran outside to play.  I guess I'll give that dish washing medal back now.  Who needs it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Better Update

I was determined to get Sylvia's 12 month letter written before I went to bed last night, but that meant I didn't have time to put a *whole lot* of pictures on my computer.

Anyway, here are some great pics of our big girl! It's been a wonderful week around here, I haven't done a LICK of school work (tomorrow's going to stink!), and she's had a ball. I'm exhausted, but I love it.

We took her to the Zoo on Friday and she loved it!  The animals weren't doing much of anything, but she loved being outside and watching all the kids running around.  And there were a LOT of kids running around.

You can't see the gorilla in this picture, but trust me, he's REALLY close.  She squealed and kept looking around for Daddy!

Friday night we went to church for the Fish Fry, then came home to do a little yard walking.  She's just started getting confident enough to walk holding onto our fingers and when she gets going, it's a total walking PARTAY!!!  She giggles with every step.  Adorable.

On Saturday, we had her birthday party, and I'm still thanking my lucky stars that the morning storms were swift and over with by the time everyone showed up!  It turned out to be a lovely day and she had a wonderful time.  Here's my table.  I'm kind of in love with it:

 Here's a close up of the cupcakes and cake pops, which I made to look like flowers and chicks.  I wussed out and got her a mini-cake from Kroger to dive into, because I wanted her to dig into some chocolate and I made the cupcakes with yellow cake.  Oops.

When people started arriving, she started getting VERY clingy.  She wouldn't even go to Sylvain.  She wanted Mama and no one else, until....
Gran and Grammy showed up!

It was the cutest thing!  She wouldn't go to anyone, but as soon as Sally walked in the door, Sylvia practically leaped into her arms, and might as well have shouted "Get me away from these crazy people, Gran!"  She did the same thing with my mom!  They were the only two other people who could touch her for the first two hours. 

Then, there were the presents.

Tons and tons of presents!  Lots of stuffed animals, books, toys...everything a one-year-old could possible need, including:

A cup with a straw which she still hasn't put down, and this adorable quilt that my mom MADE for her!  It has kitties on it!  She's been playing on it all day today.  She absolutely loves it.  Thanks Grammy!

All that present opening was pretty intense, so we went outside for a relaxing wagon ride with Cousin Charlie.  They had a ball!

After the wagon, it was CAAAAAAKE TIIIIIMMMMEEE!!!!!  It took her a while to get going, but once she realized everyone was watching her and expecting her to smear it all over the place, she had no problem obliging.

Then she rounded out her day with a good gallop in Uncle Jordan's lap.  A great place for the party to end!

I had never seen this child so tired as I did last night.  She slept late this morning and played with her new toys all day long.  At some point I'll have to go through and separate them out so we can keep a reserve stash in the basement.  Then in a couple of months I can pull them out and she'll be all "Hey!  Look at these awesome new toys!  Now I don't have to empty Mommy's cabinets to find something to do!"

Seriously, though.  We are so blessed to have so many family and friends who would come from far, far away to celebrate this dear little Nugget of ours.  A big, fat, sloppy kiss to all who managed to make it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Twelve Months

Dearest Sylvia, Sweetest Nugget, Our Big Girl,

A year ago, you came into the world.  My heart still isn't, nor will it ever be, fully recovered.  You have changed me to my core.  Things were great before you came along, but somehow you've managed to make everything even better.  I used to think I knew what love was.  I used to think I loved my family and I used to think I really loved Daddy.  But once you showed up, I had to change my definition of love.  Because now, the things I feel for our family, and the things I feel for Daddy, are bigger and stronger than anything else I've ever felt.  So I guess that must be love.  Or new love.  Or baby love!  Who knows?  My point is, you made me love things a little bit more than I used to.  And you made me love people a lot more than I used to, and I've always loved people, so that's kind of a big deal. 

You've changed quite a bit in one short year.  When you were a newborn, Daddy and I used to sit on the couch with you on our laps, and you didn't do anything but stare at us and look around a little bit.  I think you probably made some gurgling sounds.  Looking back, I guess you were pretty boring, but we thought you were the most amazing and interesting thing we'd ever seen!  But I guess back then, we didn't know what you'd be like in a year.  NOW you're the most amazing and interesting thing we've ever seen, because now you laugh and play and squeal and hug and kiss and walk and reach and point and eat and eat and eat and.....I could keep going.  You do lots of amazing things. 

We've really loved watching you grow, Nugget.  And we're so excited to watch you grow some more!  I know you're going to be a really fun and exciting kid.  And I can only imagine that you'll be an amazing adult.  Now that your first year is over, I can say with confidence that you are going to do some wonderful things in the world.  And you're really going to shake things up while you do it!  We love you.  Happy Birthday.

With all my love, forever and ever,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Thought Your Kid Was Cute...

...but I'm sorry.  Our kid is the cutest kid on the planet.

Maybe it's because her first birthday is approaching (yipes!), or maybe it's because my iPhone has an awesome video camera on it, but I find myself whipping it out all the time to catch the super cute things she does. It also helps that we're on Spring Break, so I've had a chance to catch her doing cute things when other people are playing with her.  Here are a couple videos from this week:

Usually when we put Sylvia in a chair that does not have a feeding tray attached, she lunges forward and slams her head into the ground.  But the other night, Mom and Jay were sitting on the back porch, so they put her in this cute little green chair.  I guess since they were both "rocking," she decided that was the cool thing to do.  She's clearly in her "I want to do what everyone else does" phase, so.....don't offer her any drugs, please.

I am not responsible for teaching her this terrible trick.  I'll give you a hint: it's the person who watched her all day on Monday.  And if anyone from day care calls to say that Sylvia has been HEAD BUTTING the other kids, I'm giving them Grammy's number.  Sheesh!

Friday, April 1, 2011


We're all a little excited around here, and I think Sylvia has picked up on the March Madness Fever.  When we're watching basketball in the basement, we put her in the pack-n-play with a bunch of toys, including her plush Wildcat that plays the UK Fight Song.  Which.....................might have been her bedtime lullaby for the last two weeks.  I'm pretty sure it'll be the first song she ever sings!  It turns out that there's only one place where we can position the pack-n-play so we can see her AND the game at the same time - right in front of the giant light and color show that we call a TV.  She freakin' LOVES it!  When the rest of us start clapping and cheering, she stops what she's doing (i.e. chewing on something), and starts clapping and shrieking like she knows what the heck is going on.  It's totally adorable.

Hey neighborhood!  Don't you know the Cats are on?  
Look at my gigantic teeth!  They can crush some carrots like the Cats are going to crush UConn!
"On, on, U of K!  
We are right for the fight today! 
Hold that ball and push that line.  
Every Wildcat STAR WILL SHINE! 
We'll fight, fight FIGHT,
For the blue and white,
As we roll to the goal, Varsity!
We will kick, pass and run,
'Till the battle is won,
And we'll bring home the victory!"
Go Cats!

As it turns out, her second favorite activity is standing up against the front storm door and screaming at every bird, squirrel, leaf, or car that happens to drop into her field of vision.  Sometimes she gets so excited that she just lifts her arms up into the air and actually stands on her own two feet for a few seconds.  Then, I can literally watch her brain go, "OH MY GOSH I'M NOT HOLDING ON TO SOMETHING I MIGHT DIE!" and she bends her knees to lower herself safely to the ground.  


This kid is so close to walking that it kills me.  I try to trick her (I mean, GUIDE her) to walk, but once she realizes she's on her own, she FLIPS OUT and drops to the floor.  Oh well, I should thank my lucky stars that she hasn't figured it out yet.  She's hard enough to keep an eye on when she's crawling, I can only imagine the rowdiness that will ensue when she's on two feet!


P.S.  Have you noticed my ticker in the top right corner???  My kid is almost a year old!!!  Ack!!!!!