Oct 24, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday Sydney!

Dear Sydney,

I'll admit this has been a challenging year with you. Then again, your dad and I have to keep reminding ourselves that you are only just now turning 4 years old. You can come across more like a 5 year old ready for kindergarten at times. And boy would you love it if you could go to kindergarten. The only way in which I don't think you are ready is knowing your letters, numbers, and days of the week. 

For this we blame you're old Daycare, as when you were supposed to be in a structured pre-school setting, you ended up being in a more glorified babysitting situation. We only realized the issue this last summer when we tested you on your letters and numbers and saw you didn't know them much at all. We also discovered you didn't know how to use scissors. We should have know - you had about 6 different teachers throughout the year. 

That's why we made the choice to move you to an in-home daycare closer to home with a mom we know from London's school and has a daughter close to your age. The trade-off with the in-home daycare is that you don't necessarily get the instruction I would like you to be getting, especially when I feel you may be already a bit behind. We are making our best effort to help you out at home, but we are considering getting you into another preschool around Christmas. This mainly depends on whether or not we decide to try and get you into TK or just wait for the year you can go into Kindergarten.  

On the flip side, you are o have a desire to learn. You love having "homework" just like your big sister. You do still get jealous of the time she commands when we work wit her on homework. And you have quickly learned how to use scissors at home. 

You're quite into art these days. Last time Grandma and Grandpa visited you insisted on 1:1 with Grandma to do art. The two of  you spent a good hour or two painting away.  

You're definitely a strong willed little person, though we could do without the tears every time you don't get your way. And we have resorted to some strong tactics and bribery to get you to clean your room. If you don't clean your room when we ask, you usually find many of your toys disappear into a black garbage bag in our room and then have to earn them back one at a time for doing other various tasks we request. We're slowly getting there. Of course, you love to help around the house when it doesn't involve cleaning your room.

On occasion you still sneak into our bed at night, but you have gotten much better. It has helped that you now sleep with Tulley most nights. Sometimes that's the only way I know you have crawled into bed with us - Tulley usually wakes me up jumping up and laying down on my feet. 

Your favorite color these days wavers between pink and purple. You love anything Disney, especially Princess and you are going to be Sleeping Beauty for Halloween this year. You chose this way back in June since the Disney Store was having their semi-annual sale and Princess dresses were 1/2 off. We needed to get the dress in time for your visit to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at Disneyland this year. You had a blast and loved getting that special attention. 

Your relationship with London these days is either hot or cold. And this can change from minute to minute. One moment you two will be getting along just perfectly and the next I'm breaking up some sort of squabble. Yet, when I try to separate you two, you're back together within minutes. 

You are very good at playing on your own. I love when I can hear you in your room making up little stories with your dolls and stuffed animals. You've definitely got a great imagination. And these days you love to make up stories about what you did "when you were a little baby." 

I'm very curious to see how this year goes for you, especially as we make decisions about your education. You didn't take the last daycare transition all that well - then again, we moved you away from the only daycare you'd ever really known since you were 11 months when you started there. At the same time I could see you liking going back into a more structured setting and possibly getting the 1:1 daddy time in the car you got all last year. Only time will tell. 

We love you!

Oct 22, 2016

Sydney's 4th Birthday Party

We had Sydney's 4th Birthday Party nine days before her actual birthday. Cameron is going to be gone hunting during the actual event and we wanted to make sure he was able to be part of some of the celebrations.  

This year I wanted to keep it simple. And when Sydney said she wanted a Bounce House, I knew exactly where the party would be: Bounce U. We knew if we tried to schedule one to be delivered to our house, it would end up raining. 

Plus, the girls have attended a couple of parties here. The parties seemed pretty easy on the parents and kids have a blast. And after seeing a great offer on their web site, I immediately picked up the phone and booked it.  

All I had to do was submit the number of guests, make cupcake choices and decide if any additions to the package needed to be made. Bounce U took care of everything else - including taking most of the pictures! 

The guest list was small, which worked out well. And since it was so low stress, all the adults in attendance also got to partake in the bouncing and sliding fun! Oh, and that prediction of rain? We were right, as the party landed on the second of four straight days of rain! I'm all for doing this again next year for both girls.