Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Family resemblance

From the moment Sydney was born I thought she looked just like her dad. Over the last 12 months, however, she has slowly changed. I noticed her lips were Ralston lips and she had a little curl to her hair, but nothing major resembled me or my side of the family.

Then at Christmas one of my sisters-in-law made the remark that Sydney looks like my mom. I started to think about it and I noticed little things here and there. When my parents flew out for her first birthday they brought a picture of my mom when she was 1 year old, and then I REALLY saw what my sister-in-law was talking about.

See for yourself:

Here is my mom

And here is Sydney

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A night out...

Last night we went to the Fun Center with two of Donnie's brothers and their families. I must admit I din't really want to go. I haven't skated since I was 8-ish and Sydney can't even walk yet, so I thought we would be really bored - I was wrong. That doesn't happen very often, so you might want to make note of it.

To my surprise, there was more to do than just skate. They had an arcade, a huge area filled with inflatable jumpers/bouncers (I'm not really sure what they're called), a skating rink, and a skating track. The track was less crowded and lit with more than strobe lights. Plus you didn't have to deal with the loud disco music and couple skates.

The rink and track were not limited to skates either. You could ride a scooter, a tricycle, a Fred Flintstone car, a stroller, or a pogo stick. They had those listed, with pictures, at the entrance.

Donnie skated with Sydney and we let her play a few video games - anything that she could press a button or smack uncontrollably. She even rode a "rollercoaster" with her cousin.

I think she enjoyed all of the noise and people. She didn't cry at all - even though we stayed for 3 1/2 hours. Her favorite part definitely was skating with Donnie though. One lap she started clapping and laughing. She thought it was great!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Elmo TMX Elmo

My parents bought Sydney this for her birthday. The adults were just as entertained as the kids!

It's party time!

We had Sydney's FIRST BIRTHDAY party today. It's not her actual birthday, but it's close enough. My parents, grandmother, and twin sister flew cross country for the big shindig, so it was really nice. They were all here when she was born too. Donnie's two brothers who live close to us brought their families too. It was nice to celebrate with so many people we love - and that love Sydney!

We made a big funfetti cake for the adults, and the kids, Sydney included, ate mini funfetti cakes. I wasn't sure if Sydney would attack the cake or just cry, but thankfully she knew what to do!

After she "frosted" her hair, my sister convinced her to rub her belly too! She had enough frosting and ice cream on her tummy to cover a small car.

After a much-needed bath, Sydney opened her presents. She liked her first toy so much she didn't want to unwrap anymore! (Thanks Jeannette and Dustin!) She received a lot of clothes - which makes me happy, two of the cutest books ever (My Baby and Caterpillar Spring Butterfly Summer), and toys, toys, and more toys!

Here are a few shots of the big day...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm a big girl now...

Although she is still a week shy of her first birthday, Sydney has already decided she is big enough to do many things by herself. I have spent the last 2 weeks struggling with her - "keep your bib on," "don't swat the spoon away and send broccoli flying all over the kitchen," "please do not use your hands to wipe your bum while I am changing a stinky diaper..." the list goes on and on.

Anyway, today I finally decided that maybe just maybe I would let her do her own thing. As I looked on in fear - and at times disgust - I learned that she quite capable of doing some things on her own.

She can read herself a book.

She can feed herself lunch.

She can even clean her bowl when she's done.

She made a total and complete mess. Even worse, she screamed and cried for the entire 10 minutes it took to get the applesauce out of her hair (I tried pretzels, crackers, and dried fruit first, but she wanted the applesauce I tried to feed her). I am hoping that this stubborness... um I mean persistence... will soon pass - the way her fear of bathtime did.

What are the odds that this is all due to her top left tooth finally coming in?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Unforeseen blessings

I must admit I have received a lot of help in my life - from my family and God - but just when I think I can't possibly be lucky or loved enough to receive more, days like yesterday happen. I guess I should start from the beginning...

We went out of town for Christmas with Donnie's family. We were planning on driving straight from the cabin to home on December 26, but at the last minute we decided to stay with Donnie's parents for a night to cut the drive in half.

When we got back to his parents' house we took my rings to be soldered - something I've wanted for like the last 2 years, but we never got around to it. We thought we would then head home Wednesday morning. Later, the jewelry store said my rings would not be ready until Thursday or Friday. So we stayed in town a little longer.

On Wednesday night Donnie's sister was going out to eat with some friends she met online - it's a group of moms who all live in that area and get together every month. Anyway, she invited me to tag along since we were still in town. At dinner I sat beside a girl who happens to be a car seat safety inspector (i didn't know they existed either). We started talking and she volunteered to check out Sydney's car seat - since I drove to the restaurant. She came out in the freezing snow and spent a good 15 minutes adjusting straps and making sure the seat was nice and tight and properly in the car.

I didn't think much about it and then when I returned to my in laws I told Donnie how Sydney's seat was really loose and installed improperly, but a car seat tech fixed everything and now it's perfect.

Fast forward one week to last night. Sydney had a fever for 3 days and it was pretty high yesterday so the nurse told me to bring her in to see the pediatrician. So last night we went to the doctor and had her checked out. At about 6 p.m. Sydney and I left the doctor's office and started our way back home. We were maybe 2 miles from the doctor's, sitting at a red light, when I heard a loud noise. At first I thought the car beside me backfired, but then I felt a huge jolt and realized I was just in a multi-car accident. Apparently I stooped, the car behind me stopped, but the third car came at about 50 mph and didn't stop until she hit the middle car.

So here is where the blessings come in. The second car, a 1980-something Monte Carlo, not only had a trunk roughly the size of my bathroom, but there was a full-sized spare tire in there. The trunk was completely smashed, but the police officer said that the tire actually absorbed a lot of the force from the impact. Our car - a mid-size SUV - received some damage to the back end (about $2400 according to the body shop), but the tire in the middle car saved us from a lot more.

The other 2 cars had to be towed and the driver-at-fault's sister, a passenger in the car was taken to the ER on a stretcher because she couldn't feel her legs (I talked to their mom later and she said they were fine).

Sydney and I were checked out and she has a little muscle strain, but will be just fine in a few days. We are giving her Motrin and she'll be just fine. No permanent damage, no broken bones, nothing. I can't help but think if we would have returned home as planned and if I never met the car seat lady, Sydney would have been strapped into a seat that was improperly secured in our car and would be a lot worse off.

I have a cervical strain - the muscles and ligaments in my neck are injured - but I will be fine in about 2 or 3 weeks. I have a neck brace - which I will not wear - a heating pad, and lots and lots of Tylenol.

So the random decision to stay at Donnie's parents a few days, the random meeting of car seat lady, and the random tire that the middle girl happened to put in her car a few days earlier, saved my daughter from any major injury. I guess it's not so random after all.