Monthly Archives: September 2016

Sydney’s 3rd Birthday Celebration in Colorado (August 27th)

We celebrated Sydney’s 3rd birthday in Boulder, at ABC Kids Climbing Gym, on August 27th.  At age three, Sydney has a collection of friends from various classes and her new school, and all of them came to celebrate with her!


The climbing coaches were about to welcome the group and talk about what we would be doing…. We were just waiting for Sydney (who was playing upstairs and about to slide down the big slide).


Sydney (and Allan) made a grand entrance!


Listening to the coaches…


Practicing climbing in place


Ready to go…


Sydney and Wyatt are off…


Valentino looks through the glass as Martha climbs way up there!


Violet, Martha, Lila, Redding, Wyatt, Henry. Evelyn, Sammy, Sydney, Etta, Cameron, Talia, Luke, Akashia, and Evie! (Too busy running around to sit for this photo: Tennyson, Bo, and Valentino)


Time for some pizza (Sydney, Talia, Evelyn, Lila, and Bo)


Most of the kiddos liked the party hats!


Sydney was excited to have her cousin Wyatt close by


And, Wyatt was excited to help with the candles


Henry also wanted to help


The cake was supposed to look like a climbing wall with a girl climbing up it. Only a few of us saw the girl because….


Sydney wanted to hold her


Who is ready for cake?


Sydney is!


“Happy birthday to you…”


Wyatt is ready to blow out those candles!


With help from Wyatt and Talia, the candles went out!


Sydney’s 3rd Birthday Celebration in NY (August 13th)

We celebrated Sydney’s 3rd birthday with our New York friends and family on August 13th at Lola and Popa’s house. As usual, Lola and Popa threw an awesome party and Sydney had a blast!

Ready to celebrate

Ready to celebrate




Got it!






Aunt JoJo and Josefa


Sander, Aspen, and Julie


Baby Angelo, Angelo, and Danielle


Sydney and Hannah


Jeff and Jill B


Jill and Remi




With Jill and Liz


Uncle Marty and Robin




With Papa


Fun in the pool


Randi, Donna, Lola, Josefa




Time for cake!


Ready for cake!


Pinata time! Go Sydney!


Sydney loved being surrounded by so many friends and family members. A fun afternoon!

Sydney’s 3rd Birthday! (August 4th)

Sydney’s birthday celebrations lasted the entire month of August, but these photos are from her actual birthday:


Sydney woke to find her very own dollhouse. She was super excited about it!


Another fun gift!


Sydney and I decided to try a rollerskating class on her birthday. Unfortunately, they would not let me walk Sydney out onto the rink, and Sydney was not ready to go all by herself, so she skated on the carpet for a while and then sat and watched the class (while snacking on cashews).


Watching the rollerskating class (with another child and his mom). We decided we should go to the rink another time, when we can skate together.  After a few practice sessions with mom, Sydney might feel more comfortable joining a class on her own.


Sydney remembered trying her cousin’s mac and cheese at Panera a couple weeks prior, so she chose Panera’s mac and cheese for her birthday lunch.


Ice cream cake to celebrate!

More Photos from Frisco (early August)

More photos from Frisco with Evie (and Sarah and Michael):


Sydney and Evie were born about 2 weeks apart, so we thought it would be fun to celebrate both birthdays with a small cake and song (8/1/16)


Two girls, with their backpacks… playing in the shower


Relaxing in the giant chair, at Copper Mountain, after we rode the chairlift up, hiked, ate lunch, and rode the chairlift down


Evie helped me give Sydney her bath… and then Sydney helped me give Evie a bath. They had SO MUCH FUN helping each other bathe!


“Show me HAPPY!”


“Show me GRUMPY!”


Sydney, wanting to be the “leader,” walking on the bike path, in Frisco, one day before her third birthday! (8/3/16)

July trip to New York and Sesame Place

Sydney and I spent the last two weeks of July in New York. Sydney had a great time at Lola and Popa’s house and she enjoyed our three day trip to “Sesame Place” in Pennsylvania.


Three cousins who all like to perform for an audience!


Luc read Sydney “The Sneetches” before bed. (It is one of her favorite books because she remembers watching Luc on stage as Sylvester McMonkey McBean in his school play.)


Luc, Sydney, and JJ with their “Build-A-Bear”s. Sydney’s creation is a doll named Elisabeth with the voice of Luc wishing her a “Happy Birthday!” It’s awesome!


First time on rollerskates! (7/18/16)


We drove down to Pennsylvania to spend a few days at “Sesame Place.”  Sydney enjoyed the carousel ride (4 times in a row).  (7/20/16)


Then, she flew up in the air in an Elmo car with Lola


Next, Sydney rode the swings with Papa (at least 3 times in a row). Here she is waving to me!


Papa is a good sport! After spinning around and around and around on those swings, Sydney took him right to the teacups with her. (Just watching them spin was making me nauseous!)


And, finally, the Pirate ship ride with Lola.

I thought Sydney would enjoy the live shows at Sesame Place, but she did not like the voices of a couple of the characters (Cookie Monster and Telly).  Instead, she enjoyed seeing (hugging) the characters (when they were not speaking).


Soon after we arrived, Sydney spotted Abby Cadabby walking into the gift shop… and Sydney ran in after her!


Fun to see Zoe at breakfast!

When Sydney saw Cookie Monster on the first morning, she was nervous.  He did a good job of imitating her nervous stance.  By the second morning, Sydney was ready to give him a hug!


Adios, Elmo!




Lila and Liam (and Parissa and Chad)

In July, Sydney finally got to meet Lila (age 6) and Liam (age 4), the children of longtime friends Parissa and Chad, who live in Minneapolis.  Sydney ADORES Lila and Liam and she LOVED having them in town for a couple of days!


Sydney was too excited to wait for them to come to our house, so we met them on Walnut Street, as they were walking over. Immediately, they each grabbed one of Sydney’s hands… Precious! (7/11/16)


So sweet!


Frozen tubes of yogurt were a bit hit!


Fast friends… sharing the polar bear rocker


They brought Sydney the same dress that Lila was wearing! Sydney LOVED matching her new BFF! 🙂


First stop… the animals on Pearl Street Mall


Second stop… the pop jet fountains… then on to dinner


Walking back from dinner


Outside the library. (We went to a magic/juggling show at the library that Lila and Liam enjoyed while Sydney screamed so everyone knew that she didn’t like it and needed to get out of there!)


Aspen (July 5-8)

We spent three nights in Aspen, this summer, with Sydney’s maternal grandparents (Lola and Popa), her four maternal cousins (Luc, JJ, Wyatt, and Henry), her cousin’s parents (Aunt Joanna and Cousins Eryn and Brian) and Joanna’s parents (Luc and JJ’s maternal grandparents, who they/we refer to as Gigi and Sammy). Since Luc and JJ live in New York and Wyatt and Henry live in Colorado, it was Sydney’s first time together with all four boys. They went swimming, played mini-golf, rode the gondola up to the top of Aspen mountain, played with toys, and shared many meals. Sydney had a blast!


JJ (age 6), Wyatt (age 6), Lola, Sydney, and Henry (age 4) crossing the street in Aspen


At Brunelleschi’s Restaurant, children can make their own pizzas (and pretzels) at the table. Sydney and Henry were more interested in sampling the uncooked toppings!


Luc made his pizza and pretzels quickly, while Henry (with help from Eryn) and Sydney took their time, sampling the toppings


After her pizza was complete, Sydney enjoyed making pretzels playing with raw dough.


Three little pizza/pretzel chef cousins


Sydney had a great time playing with the boys… with balls, hard hats with lights, and trucks!


Five little cousins!


Our final dinner… Sammy, Popa, Lola, Gigi, Devon, Allan, Sydney, Luc, Wyatt, JJ, Joanna, Henry, Eryn, and Brian. (7/7/16)


Fourth of July

Fourth of July with Sammy, Martha, and Nora (at Martha’s house)

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Evie and Sydney

From both classes and school, Sydney has a ton of “friends”. In reality, at this age most kids are still more into “parallel play” (i.e. not really interacting) than they are into playing with each other.

One clear exception to this is Sydney’s relationship with Evie. When the two of them get together, Evie and Sydney engage with each other constantly. Sharing is still difficult but, for the most part, they are constantly having fun with each other. This is especially rewarding to me as Evie’s parents, Michael and Sarah, were friends before we all had kids. And with their birthdays being only one week apart, the two are very suited to each other in terms of interests and abilities.

Sydney and Evie on hike May 29

On Father’s Day, we all (absent Devon who was home with a bad back) went hiking together. Sydney and Evie had a great time in both the backpacks on on their own feet, including a few rambunctious falls with resulting band aids. I especially appreciate the time we spend with Evie as she is a natural outdoors girl and it is a learning experience for Sydney being around her.

Evie and Sydney hiking Michael Fleetwood and Allan with kids in backpacks Sydney's bandaids after falling

In early August, just after Evie turned three and just before Sydney turned three, we six rented a house in Frisco, Colorado and spent three days together. Sydney and Evie LOVED the rental house our activities, and the meals and it was extremely enjoyable for the adults as well. I hope this continues for many years to come!

Sydney and Evie on top of Keystone

Wading in the lake

Sitting on the big chair

Wright Family Vacation in Oregon

Starting on June 28, we spent a week in Oregon with the primary focus being a four-day Camp Family reunion. The Camp Family is derived from my maternal grandparents, who had three daughters (my mom and two aunts), their seven kids, and now eight grandkids. We have been doing these reunions every two years, except when the schedule is thrown off by a family wedding, since (I believe) 2002.

2016 Family Reunion photo

We rented a huge house in the area of Bannon, on the very southern Oregon coast. Renting a house certainly requires some compromises with a group this large but it seemed to be a perfect way to spend time together. We spent the days sitting around the fire pit, sharing meals, doing a group hike and picnic, and having time on our own for excursions. There was even a yoga room and Sydney loved both participating and “teaching” yoga. I am extremely happy my family has been doing these regularly, as before we started them I don’t think we had convened as a group for 15 years or so.


After the reunion, Devon, Sydney, and I joined my parents for another three days traveling up the coast. That was equally rewarding, as the big group means individual conversations are hard to come by and I really enjoyed having Sydney spend more quality time with my parents. Here is one video and three photos from that portion of the trip.

Hiking on the beach

Sydney with grandparents

Sydney, Dad, and Grandparents