Monday, December 24, 2012

California Adventure

Sydney was a cheap date. Due to his age, he can get into Disneyland,and California Adventure for free. Kinda like a drug dealer giving samples of his product for free. Get the little ones hook early, and you have a customer for life. Even if it was free for Sydney, we had some planning to do. Going to Disney isn't something to dive into blindly. We sure were not going to go on opening day, we managed to miss the summer crowds, we didn't go on a weekend, we planned the excursion for a weekday in early December. Consider it a stroke of luck, but the day finally came, and it was dark, drizzly and a little chilly... In other words- perfect weather. Apparently, the thread of rain kept the crowds away, because with the exception of one ride, there were NO lines longer than 5 minutes. Before leaving, I consulted with many friends with prior Disney experience, and asked for advice. The most succinct advice I received? 'Don't go'
We got to the park, and went straight for the Carsland Racers. Unfortunately, Sydney got turned away at the gate. Something about not meeting the minimum height requirement. This being the premiere attraction of the park, I assumed it was more of a case of 'Don't give away the milk, or else no one will buy the cow'... Mommy and Sydney shook off the disappointment and headed for Mater's Crazy Tractor and Luigi's flying tires. Tip of the day!!!--- Ca. Adventure has this feature called 'Baby Pass'. It works like this. One parent waits in line for a ride, while the other parent can request a 'Baby Pass'. When parent #1 is done with the ride, parent #2 can present the 'Baby Pass' and go straight to the front of the line. In this case, Daddy waited in the brutal 90 minute line with Casey, while Mommy and Sydney checked out the other attractions. Then, Mommy took Casey, skipped the line and went right back on the ride, while Daddy and Sydney...
ventured over to Bug's Life. We tried to get on the bumper cars, but once again, Sydney was turned away due to lack of height. We did ride the bug train. After we met Mommy and Casey, we all rode the flying something or anothers.. Dont remember exactly what it was called, 'cept I do know we mounted what looked like a giant Chinese Food to-go container for a ride in the sky. After that, we headed BACK to the bumper cars, cause Casey really wanted to go. Mommy stood in line with Sydney, and suddenly, I look back and they made it past the guard and into a bumper car! Don't know if Sydney hit a growth spurt in that 15 minutes, but whatever, it looked like Sydney enjoyed being a Crash Test Dummy! From there, we went back to Carsland and rode Mater's crazy tractors, and Luigi's flying tires. After exhausting Carsland, we rode the giant ferris wheel. After that, we got some ice cream before heading over the Monster's Inc. attraction. Our day ended with a front row seat for the Disney character parade. It featured characters from movies such as Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etc. Sydney took one nap in his stroller, and made it through the day without any fussing, and complaining. What a trooper!

Bug's Life Train
Merry Go Round
High Atop the Ferris Wheel
Bumper Cars!
Luigi's Flying Tires
Luigi's Flying Tires
Napping in his stroller

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween 2012

We recently celebrated Halloween 2012. This is the first one where Sydney had the ability to explore and learn on his own. Last year, he was confined to a stroller following his big brother around. Sydney had his first visit to the pumpkin patch. He was dressed as Tigger. Just to be safe, we made sure his costume was ready for any floods, just in case Hurricane Sandy touched down anywhere near us. (Sorry, too soon for Sandy comments?) Sydney has developed a habit of saying 'ouch' anytime he doesn't like something. It doesn't have to hurt, but apparently he has figured out if he says 'ouch' we'll come and remove whatever he is tugging at. In this case, he clearly didn't like the Tigger headpiece. And by the looks of it, the combination of the costume being a little small and his head being a little big, the headpiece wasn't very comfortable. We introduced Sydney to pumpkins, and he got to feed some animals. I think the animal tongues tickled his hand has they ate food out of his palm!
For Halloween night, Sydney resumed the family tradition of donning the Emperor costume. As soon as the Emperor exited his vehicle, he took off down the sidewalk. Perhaps he remembered the concept from last year, or maybe he quickly saw all the others traveling up and down the sidewalks, but he took to this trick or treating thing like no one's business. I didn't exactly have to twist his arm to get him to approach a strange house and stand by the front door. Granted, I had to do the knocking for him, and he can't yet verbalize "Trick or Treat". But once they held the candy bowl out in front of him, he KNEW exactly what to do. He reached in there and grabbed the KING SIZED 3 Musketeers bar. With a little prompting, he remembered his manners and signed "Thank You"... After that, he was off to the races. He proved to have more stamina than his older bro, as Casey called it quits and Sydney wanted to keep the night rolling.. Alas, the final tally showed Sydney scored a bigger haul than older bro! Not bad for a beginner!

Tigger is ready for the flood waters!
His tongue is tickling my palm!
Fences are for climbing!
Sydney the Emperor!
Pitching a Fit
Group Shot
Digging In!
Helping Hand
Trick or Treating is Hardwork

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Long Hot Summer

The summer of 2012 was a hot one. Even located near the beach, it got uncomfortably hot for long stretches of time. Often, we found solace at the pool or at the beach. Thankfully, Sydney got acclimated to water pretty quickly.

A few pics of Sydney enjoying pool time!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Remedy or Torture?

I witnessed a horrible, heartbreaking scene tonight. Sydney has been sick for about a week now. Saw the doctor today and she recommended a saline flush 2x daily. I didn't have a clue what this entailed. Well, here it is. First you get two towels. Wrap him tight in one. I'm thinking, why? Its about 90 degrees today; what about this process is going to make him so cold that he needs to be wrapped tight in a towel? I soon realized this towel wasn't for warmth. It was more like a strait jacket. Think mental hospital patient, or super max security prisoner- it was so he couldn't use his arms and legs to flail and escape. Next was a towel spread out under him. And finally was the saline bottle. Reminded me of a canister of compressed air, like the ones used to clean computer keyboards, etc. Except instead of compressed air, this canister held saline solution.
Now for the application. You have to straddle the victim child, and use your body weight to keep him from escaping. You are assisted by the fact that you previously put him in the strait jacket. Then, you stick this canister up his nose and pull the trigger. It pretty much floods the victim child with saline, effectively cleaning out the system of all snot, flem and boogers. Kinda like an enema or a douche, except different orifice... It was right about this time when I figured out what the second towel was for. The saline/snot/flem/booger mixture came pouring out of his nose- like a faucet left wfo. (wide-f&^%^%ing-open) It just pours out and soaks the towel beneath him. All the while, victim child is crying hysterically and really uncomfortable. It broke my heart to experience this... all constrained, helpless and miserable. After what seemed like an eternity, the flushing was done, and his breathing sounded much better. Hopefully he's headed for a peaceful night sleep, uninterupted by a snot induced failure to breathe!
Good night little man, I hope you feel better soon!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fighting back

Growing up as a younger sibling is tough. You get constantly picked on and taken advantage of. Take it from me, I know. I am a younger sibling myself. Sydney, if you could understand my words of advice right now, I'd tell you... Hang in there little man. It'll get better. Right now, older bro dominates you. But as time passes, the age gap will proportionally shrink, and your size differential will lessen as well, (if not outright disappear one day).
Don't worry, I see all the stuff he does to you. Taking your toys, pushing you, tackling you, dragging you, etc. But KNOW THIS; your big bro loves you. You may not realize the times he acts very concerned with your well being. He is protective of you. There are times he is the first one to see you fall, he will drop what he is doing, and run over to you and see if you are OK and console you. There was the time where we had two small bags of candy. Big bro took one, and I was about to eat the other. He took it from me, and said, 'No Daddy, that one is for Sydney!'

All that said, it must feel great when opportunities like this arise...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy 80th Bday Nai Nai

Sydney accompanied us on a trip to SD recently. We all gathered in town to help celebrate Nai Nai's 80th birthday. For someone with such a big number attached to her birthday count, she sure was active with the little ones. She helped teach Sydney how to beat the heat by getting the garden hose and watering. (OK, so he got much more joy out of just squirting the hose, but whatever) Maybe someday we'll take to gardening like Ye-Ye. If there were two traits used to describe Sydney, they would most likely be his smile and his burp rag. That boy is always smiling. He can brighten my whole day by cracking that huge smile when I come home. I can get really p!ssed at him, and he busts out that smile. That's just not fair. And those burp rags. There are tons of them scattered around the house. No matter where he is, there is likely one within easy reach.

That trademark smile!

Can't ever get enough of that smile.

There's that omnipresent burp rag!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Growing up fast

They say the 2nd child grows up fast. I would imagine this is partly due to self preservation. Being a younger sibling myself, I remember the need to protect myself, fend for myself and stick up for myself. Another trait common to a lot of younger siblings is achieving milestones faster than older bros and sis'. I would imagine that has a lot to do with 'monkey see, monkey do'. When Sydney sees big bro doing all kinds of cool stuff, he wants to try too. Sometimes this desire exceeds both fear and ability. That's when it gets a little dicey. For the most part, Sydney has been doing pretty good. He's navigating his way around the jungle gym at the park pretty well on his own- Climbing up, and sliding down the big boy slide, climbing up and down the inverted ladder all by himself. So cool to watch him develop and master skills!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thanks Cuz

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with family. Casey and Sydney had some quality time with their cousins Chantal and Elena. Maybe because they are both younger siblings, but whatever the reasons, there is no doubt that Elena and Sydney formed a bond. When Sydney was napping, Elena asked me, "Can I go wake him up; I miss him and want to play with him". She volunteered to take him outside and play, and would follow him, and make sure he stayed out of danger. She went with Sydney to the park, and escorted him on all the equipment. And oh yeah, she even changed his diaper.. A poopie diaper no less...

It's all you, Elena

Plug the hole so nothing comes flying out

Diggin' in!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sneaky Little Guy

One day, I was watching Sydney... and then... I wasn't. I turned around, and he was gone- poof. I searched high and low, and found him up to no good. Kicking it in a little space between two pieces of furniture, playing with electrical cords. When he saw that I was on to his game, he promptly flashed that smile of his...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Family Vacation

Sydney was too small to enjoy some of the water park features, such as the waterslide, but he had fun regardless!

About a month ago, Mommy and Daddy had a relaxing get-away to a swanky oceanfront resort. Quiet meals, scenic hike and rest and relaxation... Sitting on the balcony, overlooking the family pool and Pacific Ocean, we both had a realization: we both kinda missed our boys. Isn't that ironic; we FINALLY get away, and we miss the kids. At this moment, an idea was born. Family vacation to a resort hotel. After a month of research, recommendations and planning, we ended up at a resort near Palm Springs, CA. Its major attraction was a giant kids pool complex, complete with water slides, lazy river and kids pools. The 2 hour drive went pretty fast, Casey talked virtually the whole way; calling out trucks and construction equipment. Upon arrival, we hit the pools. The original plan was for me to take Casey in my lap down the water slide. Once we climbed to the top of the slide, that plan went out the window. Only one rider allowed at a time. Additionally, riders needed to be a min. of 42" tall. Thankfully, Casey wanted to go by himself. And more thankfully, he BARELY cleared the minimum height. When he got to the bottom, his first words were, "Let's go again".. So we did, over and over. We also had a great time in the kids pool. We did lots of Casey bombs, both forward and backwards. We also did Sydney bombs. The little guy had tons of fun jumping into the pool. We spend some time at a friends house. He and his son have quite a car, truck collection; it was one of the highlights of the trip for Casey and Sydney. We also ran into some friends at the resort, so Casey had the added bonus of splashing in the pools with his friend Cassandra. Each night, the boys were so worn out, they fell asleep without a fight. Alas, it wasn't all fun and games. One day as we were leaving the pool area, we momentarily lost sight of Casey. We looked around for him, couldn't immediately find him. We enlisted our friends' help in locating him; no luck. We asked the lifeguards and gate monitors about the missing boy; they put the call out on walkie-talkies and had the hotel staff looking for him. A good 15 minutes passed, and he was finally located. He had exited the pool area, took a 5 minute stroll along the path that led back to our hotel room, somehow deviated off path and ended up in the hotel lobby. Thankfully, this being a hotel resort that caters towards families, a family saw him wandering around alone, and they escorted him to hotel security. Alls well that ends well, but he put a scare into Mommy and Daddy :(

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Father's Day 2012

We took a trip south to San Diego to celebrate Father's Day with Ye-Ye. Sydney got a ride in Nai-Nai's laundry basket.

Sydney hanging out with Ye-Ye

Ye-Ye reading his Father's Day card from his grandsons.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sydney's park adventure

Today, Sydney and Daddy went to a park alone. It was good for him to play and explore without his big bro Casey dictating the pace and destinations. Sydney was free to roam and meander where ever (within reason) he wanted, and however fast, or slow he wanted. And he took full advantage. He first went for the jungle gym, where he climbed stairs, springs, and metal ladders. He was so brave, trying these without fear. Daddy was there to catch him when he slipped, but undaunted, he kept trying once he was reset. He ventured down some slides by himself; strangely enough, the one apparatus that caused him to repeatedly pause was the suspension bridge portions of the jungle gyms.

From there, he wanted to swing on the swing. So Daddy loaded him in and was pushing him... higher and higher. Sydney had his trademark smile on his face, but above that, he was so happy, he was squealing happy sounds. After he dismounted, he pushed the empty swing, (just like he saw Daddy doing for him)

Next was basketball. He saw big people playing basketball and he fearlessly strolled right onto the court. His game right now consists of passing the ball to Daddy, and praying that I actually make a shot, so he gets credited with an assist. Um, lets just say that neither of us filled the stat sheet today...

After that was a stroll around the park; over the bridge toward the waterfall. He was about to walk right into the pond when I stopped him. Then he started chasing squirrels.

All this resulted in one tired puppy. Little Sydney fell asleep on the short car ride home, and when straight to his crib for a nap, all dirty, sweaty and full of sunscreen. In other words, he went to sleep HAPPY!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pony Rides

Recently, we were invited to a birthday party that featured Pony rides. Apparently, Sydney isnt too fond of pony's at this stage in his life. He does enjoy blowing kisses to people.

Blowing kisses!

Future running back? Looks like he just picked up a fumble and is taking off for the endzone. The football (Dad's water bottle) is safely cradled in his forearm, close to his side. Perfect form!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

F*%K IT (Fork it)

Sydney is developing new skills. Until now, whenever we fed him food, he would 'request' a spoon of his own. To hold, chew, and drop on the floor. But recently, I gave him a fork, and he used it to 'stab' his ravioli's. He stuck one, lifted it to his mouth and ate it. Then he apparently felt that it was too much trouble to align the loaded fork with his mouth. So, he would use the fork to stab the food, then he would grab the ravioli with his free hand and place it in his mouth..

Using a fork to stab his food
Got one on the hook

Hey, I found my mouth!