Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sylestine 2013 Holiday Letter


Hello Family and Friends,

This year has been pretty incredible and God has blessed us in many ways!

If you don't keep up w/ the blog, here's a quick update on where we are as a family.

Jeremy is still a prosecutor for the Travis County District Attorney's office. He works in the child abuse division of his office, so his job is hard, yet deeply rewarding. It doesn't make for good dinner conversation, but he loves what he does. In addition to his day job, he's also on the faculty for the UT Law School. Yup! In the fall, Jeremy leads a prosecution clinic on Wednesday nights for the interns in his office. He really enjoys the educational part of that job and it's great to be a mentor to the law students. Jeremy continues to lead our couples class at Riverbend, Couple Vision, and does a great job facilitating conversation and helping young couples grow their faith. In February, he will run another half marathon and most likely enjoy some ice cream and a good cigar afterward. This past year, Jeremy got to have some dude time in Ruidoso with his buddies and I'm hearing rumors of a Vegas trip or two in 2014.

Molly Ann quit her full time job! That was the biggest news of the year. I quit my job at Volusion in June to be a WAHM (work at home mom). I now work part time for Zirtual as a virtual assistant. Basically, I am an online assistant for a handful of people. Examples of things I do include: Salesforce administration, booking trips, editing content, shopping (my fave), scheduling meetings and doing research. It's fun, flexible and most importantly, I get to spend time w/ Q. I am still an active member in the Junior League of Austin, and my placement this year is with Breakthrough Austin. It's an organization that helps low-income high school kids who want to go to college. I continue to enjoy my BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) that meets once a week. I also help lead Couple Vision (sort of) and I am the room mom for Q's class at school. Since I quit my job, I have really enjoyed getting to know the other moms in my neighborhood. It has made me love our neighborhood even more and has me excited to see Q grow up w/ the kiddos we're meeting. This year I got to take two fun "mom only" trips. One was to Kansas City with some of my best girlfriends, Jill and Allison. The other was to NYC to hang out with some of my other best girlfriends, Stacey and Crystal. I love traveling and I hope 2014 brings lots more!

Quinn is 2 going on 21. My goodness that little toddler girl. She goes to school three days a week (MWF) and loves her teachers and friends. She talks a lot. Like a whole lot, and most people tell us how impressed they are w/ her language skills. She loves Cinderella, Snow White, Sesame Street, her Fischer Price Little People, being outside, doing everything by herself, eating avocado, Goldfish, apple sauce, scrambled eggs, ketchup and soup, she is highly entertained by Ella and still hates riding in the car. We're truly blessed with such a richly curious and sweet child, and are so excited to see how she grows in 2014!

Ella is just Ella. Poor sweet 6-yr. old Ella just puts up with so much from Quinn. She is still one of the sweetest, dumbest yet smartest dogs we know. She drives me crazy half the time, but then she looks at us w/ those "Precious Moments" eyes and we melt. We love that sweet dog and she'll always be our first child together.

Merry Christmas to you all! May the Lord bring many blessings to you and your family in 2014.

The Sylestines


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013


We had a blast in Livingston for Thanksgiving. We stayed with Jeremy's mom, Renae, and we got to visit lots of family.

First of all, we decided to compare a photo of toddler Jeremy and toddler Q. It's uncanny really. I mean c'mon.
Thanksgiving day, we watched the parade, hung out in our pjs and then got dressed for Renae's family to come over for lunch. We stuffed ourselves full of delicious food and then just hung around the rest of the day while Q napped. That evening we headed out to the reservation to see Jeremy's dad and some of his other family. Quinn got to play a little with her cousin, Annaleigh and then we headed back to Renae's.




Helping Granny feed the squirrels.

Loving the parade!


Barbie is going potty while Q puts her shoes on.


Q got the table set to have breakfast with Barbie.

We may or may not have eaten pie and ice cream for dinner that night.

The rest of the weekend we visited with family at Jeremy's Aunt Debra's farm/ranch, Jeremy played golf with his dad, Jeremy and I went to the movie, Quinn and Granny played in the leaves and we got to go to church with Renae to see her debut on the conga drum (or something like that) for a choir song. She did a great job!







Cheesy girls!









We love having Renae back in Livingston. It's fun to visit a small town where most of Jeremy's family is centrally located. Plus, let's be honest, it's much more quaint and relaxing than Houston.

Driving there was okay but driving back was a bit rough. But, we did let Q partake in the tradition of getting DQ ice cream on the road. She got every last drop before sleep-crying herself to sleep. Haha!




Two Year Old Quinn!


Quinn turned 2 and I never wrote her official 2-yr. blog. Here are some great and some not-so-great things about little toddler Q. I can't believe it's been two years...holy cow!

Living Life in a Song
My mom tells me I used to sing all the time...sometimes w/out even knowing it. Poor Q inherited that gene and the girl sings all the time. It's like she always has a song stuck in her head...real or one that she made up. We'll ask her to sing a song and she'll say "Ok, it goes like this...". She wakes up singing to herself most of the time. Oh that sweet little singing voice...I could listen to it all day. (Oh wait, I do.) :) Also, she continues to be obsessed with the Sound of Music and knows pretty much every word to every song.




2-Yr. Molars. Yay.
These sucked. She was grumpy, wouldn't eat much, slept restlessly and was generally unhappy. She got the bottom ones first and about two weeks later the top ones. So it was like a month of Monster Quinn. That's all just sucked.

Almost Surgery
I'll keep this short. Q got a little pyogenic granuloma on her face. She scratched it and it bled and bled and bled and bled and bled. It seriously wouldn't stop. We took her to the pediatrician who referred us to a dermatologist who referred us to a pediatric surgeon. I decided to see a pediatric plastic surgeon who decided she would just keep scratching it and it would just keep bleeding. So, we went in for surgery early one morning and THEN the plastic surgeon decided it was getting smaller so he decided to have us just watch and wait. So we went and got pancakes instead and we'll just see how it does. Funny part of the story: I was out of town when she first scratched it and I got a text that said "Don't freak out but..." with the photo below. Mom freak-out moment.




Quinn Quotes
She is getting to where she says the funniest things. I love having conversations with her just for the surprise factor. Here are some of the great things she says (some of them very typical toddler quotes):

"No, stop it."
"Quinn do it by a-self!"
"Um, yeah." (we're working on yes ma'am and yes sir)
"No, I don't." (very matter-of-factly when we ask if she wants to do something)
"Mama, you okay?" (randomly...little parrot I guess because I ask her that sometimes when she coughs)

She also repeats a lot of what we say now so we have to be careful.

Mood Swings

That's it really...happy one second and complete meltdown the next. That is all. It's lovely. God bless Jeremy for living w/ two moody girls!


Literally 30 seconds later...



Telling Stories
Q's new favorite thing at night is for Mama or Daddy to tell her a story. We'll say "Once upon a time..." and then just make something up. Many times it's about a beautiful little princess named Quinn and her family and friends. Other times she specifically asks for stories. BUT, the funniest thing is the way she asks. I have no idea where she got it, but she says "I want a name about a story about...". No clue, but it's pretty cute. Also, when she asks for a story, she basically tells the story while asking. For example, she'll say "I want a name about a story about Snow White, handsome prince, cottage, seven dwarves, mean old witch, poisonous apples, Snow White, Doc, Dopey, mean old witch, seven dwarves?! Okay?" Sooo funny!

She's getting more and more picky. She won't eat meat unless we give her a big glop of ketchup to dip it in and even then she won't eat much. She still eats some healthy stuff, but most the time I think she could live on carbs. I puree spinach and/or grate squash in eggs, smoothies and soup so she can get some veggies. Sneaky Mama! Here are her faves at the moment:

Nutrigrain bars (which she calls Nutrigranny bars)
PB&J (Peana-jelly samich)
Smoothies (Smoovies)
Hot dogs
Turkey/Cheese Sandwich
Apple sauce packets
PB and banana
Apple slices
Beans and rice (yes we eat Mexican a lot)
Cucumber and ranch dressing

"Watch Something, okay?"
Sometimes Q will want to watch TV. Really anything...she just likes sitting on the couch w/ one of us and watching something. Her faves include (thank goodness for Apple TV and YouTube):
-Heigh Ho (from Snow White)
-Someday My Prince Will Come
-The final scene from Cinderella (she always screams "HANDSOME PRINCE!!" and "FITS PERFECTLY!")
-Sesame Street songs with guest artists
-Hakuna Matata
-Spoon Full of Sugar and Supercalafragalisticexpealidocious (spellcheck)
-Opera songs

Mama Quinn
Q is already so maternal. She still rocks and covers her babies and lately she has been standing and rocking them and singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" before she puts them down for bed. So sweet!

Humble Chatty Quinn
The girl doesn't stop talking and she'll talk to anyone. She likes to show off. When people come to our house to do things like our maids (whom she calls Maria and other Maria), carpet cleaners, etc., she follows them around narrating and telling them all about her life. Everyone hears about her "beautiful princess dress" and all her toys, their names, our pets, etc. People think it's funny and then they say "wow she talks really well". We hear that a lot...she enunciates and speaks very clearly for a 2-yr. old apparently.

Quinn has lots of real friends but she also plays very well with her pretend friends. Some of them include: all the Little People (Snow White, Cinderella, Seven Dwarves, etc.), Dot, stuffed animals like Princess Sparkles, Lucy, Baby Rose, etc. Yes, we name everyone and she knows them very well. I love hearing her play independently in the living room while I'm working in the kitchen. She's usually lining everyone up and singing songs, using her doctor kit on them or telling them to eat dinner with their little table.

Don't ask.












Nighttime Fun
Lately, Q has been waking up and wanting to play in the middle of the night. She whines and cries and then gets out of her crib and gets scared walking around in the dark so we get her and put her back. When we ask her why she's crying she says "I want to get down, I want to go downstairs and play". Um, no. Not at 3am. Thanks. She's also getting really good at delaying bed time. If she's not throwing a fit, she wants to say good night to everyone and everything before we put her in (including inanimate objects like the door, the kitchen, the couch, etc.) "I say goodnight to kitchen and downstairs and door and couch and rug and Christmas tree and other Christmas tree and Ella and Daddy?" makes me laugh but I know what she's doing.

A few other things to note: 
-Q is suddenly obsessed with the Curious George storybooks we have. We have to let her pick a couple to read before bed.
-The car is getting a little better, but not great. She gets in a little easier now if we let her buckle the top buckle. Road trips still suck.
-She's started doing this thing where she just looks at Jeremy or me at dinner and smiles really big. Hearts. Melted.
-She eats in her tower a lot. I have to mention that because that eye sore is one of the best purchases we've made (thanks Craigslist). I love that she can watch me cook, play with play dough, eat, color, etc. while I'm doing stuff in the kitchen.
-Clothes: 2t bottoms, 3t tops (she has a long waist like me), size 7 shoes, size 6 diapers
-On that note, we are talking a lot about the potty but she's not interested yet. I'll push it more when she shows interest.
-She likes to pretend she's a ballerina and when I tell her to plie she does it!

We love that sweet girl so much and she makes us laugh all the time. She acts so grown up sometimes and it makes me a little sad that my baby is getting big. But, every new stage of her life has been so much fun despite the challenges. Parenting is hard and awesome at the same time. I wouldn't trade my mom body or sleepless nights for anything in the world. I love that sweet girl!

Lovely school photo proof. I forgot it was picture day and she apparently wasn't smiling anyway.