Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cuz It's Fun

Because Staley's day care provider was on vacation this week, she spent Tuesday with her Uma (Grandma Sancken) and today with her Grammie (Grandma Walles) while I was at work.  To add to the excitement of spending time with her grandmas, Cade (Staley's 7 year old cousin) was at Uma's house all day on Tuesday and Elliott (Staley's 3 year old cousin) was at Grammie's house all day today.  So Staley soaked up quality time with her cousins.

Apparently she just couldn't get enough of them.  She played with them and watched them play and followed them around all day  On Tuesday morning, she reportedly was having a blast bouncing on the bed upstairs with Cade.  After her nap later that afternoon, Staley was playing downstairs with Cade and Uma.  She crawled over to the stairs, signed 'more', and said 'bounce.'  So when Zach showed up to pick her up, she and Cade were bouncing on the bed, and Staley was squealing and laughing and didn't want to leave. And according to Grammie, the last word Staley said before her nap today was 'Ayet' (Elliott) and the first word she said upon waking up from her nap was 'Ayet.'  I'm so glad that Staley loves her cousins and had so much fun with them.  My only disappointment is that I didn't get the joy of watching them together.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Staley's First Christmas

I love Christmas.  And I love Staley.  So, of course, I LOVED Christmas with Staley.  We celebrated on Christmas Eve with Zach's family, Christmas morning at home, Christmas afternoon with my family, and the day after Christmas with the extended Sancken family.  It was a lot of Christmas, but Staley enjoyed it all.

Staley always loves spending time with family.

Cousin pictures are not always perfect...

especially when the cousins are distracted by ornaments.
Waterskiing with Papa is high excitement.

Spending time with Great Grams is always fun.

And although getting presents was good, the best part was...

...the unwrapping

...and playing with (or eating) the wrapping paper.

And even though Christmas was busy, Staley still found time to enjoy her presents.

Staley shared some literary time with Jake.

Staley was big stuff with her new table and chairs.

Beep, beep.  She's on the move.

And even new clothes can be fun.

Staley's first Christmas was great!  Family time.  Wrapping paper.  Lights.  New books, new toys, new clothes.  Christmas trees.  Did I mention wrapping paper?  There are so many things to love about Christmas...and now Staley loves them too. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!






Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No Means...Maybe?

Staley understands the word 'no.'  And to make sure that I realize that she knows, she will now tell herself 'no.'  Staley will crawl over to the DVD shelf, sit in front of it, look at me, and shake her head 'no.'  She will reach out, touch a DVD, pull her hand back, look at me, and shake her head 'no.'  She does the same thing with her wipes warmer.  She will open the top, close the top, look at me (because I think if I wasn't watching, she'd probably go ahead and empty it), and then shake her head 'no.'  Over and over again.  Eventually she'll take it a step farther (like pulling out one wipe and grabbing one DVD), I think just to test me--to make sure that it's still an off-limits activity.  (And it is.)

Staley is also starting to test some limits at meal time.  When she is done eating what's on her tray, she will grab a piece of her food, hold it over the edge of her tray, and look at me and smile. If I ask her to hand it to me, she generally will.  Otherwise she'll smile at me as she opens her hand and lets the food fall to the floor.  She does it with such a cute expression on her face that it's hard to stay stern.  But since Staley is testing the limits, we have to stay firm and remind her that no means no...not maybe.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'S' is for...

She may be an author.  She may be a journalist.  She may be an English teacher.  One thing is for certain.  Staley seems to love the written word.  Her love for books continues, but she has now developed a new love as well.  It's not just words that she loves.  Staley also loves her letters.  Staley has foam letters to play with in the bath tub.  We put about 10 letters in the tub along with her squirty toys, her bath cups, and her rubber ducky.  But although she plays with all her toys, lately her letters have been her favorites.  And the best letter of all?  S!  Staley can pick out her orange 'S' from the other letters in the tub and loves to say 'Esss.'  Tonight after bath time, Staley held onto her 'S' and her 'O' when getting out of the tub.  She didn't let go of them while Daddy carried her from the bathroom into her room.  She held one in each hand as she was dried off, lotioned up, and dressed in her PJs.  She fell asleep while nursing, still clutching an 'S' in one hand and an 'O' in the other.  Now I know what you're thinking.  'SO?'

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eleven Months

 My baby girl will be a year old next month.  I can't believe it!!  At 11 months, Staley weighs around 20 lbs.  She is starting to outgrow her 6-9 month clothes.  She still wears her size 3 diapers and her 6-12 and 9-12 month clothes.  Staley eats 3 meals (with her 8 teeth), nurses 3 times, takes 1 nap, and sleeps for about 11 hours at night (8 pm-7 am).

Likes:  Staley is still social and likes being around other kids.  She loves water--bath time and swimming are great fun!  She loves to explore, eat things she finds on the floor, and pull things off shelves.  Her favorite activities are emptying her dresser drawers, playing with refrigerator magnets, looking at books, and playing hide and seek.  Her favorite toys (apart from anything in my purse) are her Little People toys, her mega blocks, and her balls.  She still LOVES all her books.  Current favorites include:  'Good Night, Gorilla', 'Baby Play Things', and any book with pictures of cats, balls, or kids.  Favorite foods remain Cheerios, Puffs, fruits (peaches, pears, apples, prunes), soup, pancakes, and grilled cheese.  Staley still gets very excited about Jake and Elwood, she is intrigued with our Christmas tree, and her favorite people in the world are Mommy and Daddy.

Dislikes:  Staley does not like vegetables or eggs.  She is starting to exhibit some stranger anxiety.  (Just ask Santa.)  She can get fussy about diaper and clothing changes, although gets over it quickly if she has something to hold or play with.  (Her Desitin is always a super-fun distraction.)  Being strapped in her carseat for too long is no fun.  And 'no' is her least favorite word!

Skills:  Staley amazes us on a daily basis.  She is a crawling champion, can crawl up stairs, pulls to stand, and cruises along furniture.  She will even let go when standing and stand alone for a few seconds.  Staley is starting to enjoy pointing and poking with her index finger.  She loves to gently touch the Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments, point at things in her books, and poke her finger in holes (which is why we have to make sure all the outlets are covered.)  She loves to put things in and take things out.  She is good at activating cause and effect toys, and loves to lift flaps, pull tabs, and push buttons in her books.  Staley is talking up a storm with 36 words and 4 signs.  Her favorite words remain 'up', 'book', and 'hi.'  Staley loves to imitate what we do and say.  She understands much of what we tell her.  She can identify or point to objects in books and pictures.  She can follow directions that we give her, like 'get your ball' or 'give me your bow' or 'put that toy in.'  She can identify her own toes, tummy, and nose.  She can identify eyes, nose, mouth, and ears on someone else.  She can tell us what the fish say, what the snake says, what the bunny does, and what the ladybug does.  She can give five, give hugs, dance,  blow kisses, do actions to 'Itsy Bitsy Spider', and raise the roof.  But the one skill I would list as my absolute favorite is the way she fills each and every one of my days with joy.

Eleven months of joy!

7 + 1 =

The number of teeth Staley now proudly displays when she smiles.  She now has 4 bottom teeth to compliment her 4 top teeth.  Hooray!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Word Explosion

Staley is talking up a storm, adding more words to her vocabulary on a daily basis.  Zach and I sat down tonight and wrote out the list of words that Staley says.  By our best count, Staley currently has 31 words and 4 signs in her vocabulary, about 25 of which she uses consistently and spontaneously.  Now some of her words may sound the same--'hi' and 'hide', 'dog' and 'duck', 'up' and 'apple'-- and some have her own special pronounciation--'bose' for 'toast', 'Ayet' for 'Elliott', 'yaish' for 'yes'.  Many can only be understood in context.  I will spare you the entire list, but Staley's favorite words remain 'up', 'book', and 'hi'.  She must be partial to the men in her life because Mama is the only female on her word list, while Daddy, Papa, Gabe (her friend at daycare), Elliott (her cousin), Cade (her other cousin), and Jake (our cat) all made the cut.  And although I'm not sure how useful this is in daily language, Staley will say 'burp' after she burps, which I find very amusing.  Her two new signs (along with 'more' and 'drink') are 'help' and 'please.'  And when all else fails, Staley will try to get her point across by yelling or screaming.  When she does this, we tell her 'use your words.'  And although they may not cover all the bases, she does have 31 to choose from. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stairmaster

We were curious, so we let her try.  We wondered, "Can she?"  And the answer...

Yes!  She can.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Meeting Santa

The concept of a large, strange man hidden behind a mask of facial hair who spys on you throughout the year and then sneaks into your house once a year is creepy. 

Staley agrees.

Now the sleigh and presents...that's okay.

I'll be honest--since I can be on my own blog.  I think the Santa thing is overdone.  I'm not sure I like the idea of tricking my child into believing something that's not true.  I prefer the idea of teaching Staley about the true meaning of Christmas.  I wasn't sure about doing Santa pictures this year, but State Farm decorates the atrium with different Christmas backgrounds, lets you take pictures with Santa, and gives a gift to the children of employees, so we took advantage of the opportunity.  Staley liked seeing the other kids.  She liked her gift.  The jingle bell that the elf was ringing was pretty fun.  So the overall experience was positive.  But Santa...well, we both still think he's a little bit scary.
 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Setting Boundaries

Now that Staley is mobile and exploration is the key to her happiness, our role as parents has amped up a degree.  We have entered the parenting world of boundary setting.  We want Staley to explore her world, examine her surroundings, and discover how things work.  We are okay with messes.  We are okay with extra clean up.  We are okay with the occasional bump or bruise.  We are trying to keep our off-limit activities to those that are unsafe, unsanitary, or that will pose problems in the future.  Emptying clothes drawers?  No problem.  Emptying BBQ utensil drawer?  Unsafe.  Pulling to stand and playing at the refrigerator?  Sure thing.  Pulling to stand and playing at the toilet?  Unsanitary.  Removing DVDs from the rack?  Fine for now, but poses a problem in the future when Staley learns to open DVD cases or gets tall enough to pull the top row of movies down on herself.  Unstable tables, glass knick knacks, lamps, cords, cat food bowls, stairs,...why are all the most fun things off-limits?? 

Unfortunately, with our boundaries, we've had to add a new word to our parenting vocabulary.  "No!"  And Staley has already discovered that she does not like this word.  When she is crawling towards or playing with an off-limits item and we say 'No!', she will generally stop, look back at us, and continue on her way.  However, when we remove her from the area or take away her off-limits item, the drama sets in.  I hope this isn't a preview of future melt-downs and tantrums, because her lower lip, big tears, and tortured cry would make one think that the only thing in the whole wide world that Staley ever wanted to do was stand at an unstable table and play with a lamp.  And being the boundary setting parents we now are, we must stifle that dream and just say 'No!'

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hide and Seek

Staley has a new favorite game.  And really, who doesn't love a good game of hide and seek?  If you want to play Staley's version of hide and seek, however, you'll have to consult the Staley rulebook.  Rules are as follows:

1.  Staley is all-time seeker.  No questions asked.
2.  Staley does not have to close her eyes, turn away, or count as you hide.  Watching you hide is part of the fun.
3.  Hiding places must be within crawling distance, away from potentially dangerous distractions, and easy to get to.  Behind partially closed doors that she can open is preferable, but not necessary.
4.  Using the same 3 hiding places throughout a 20 minute game of hide and seek does not ruin the fun.
5.  If Staley is having difficulty locating you (like forgetting to look in the third of the 3 hiding spots), auditory hints are encouraged .
6. After finding you, if Staley emphatically says 'hide' or signs 'more', that means the game is not over.
7.  Squealing and laughing required!

If you think you can master these rules, come on over.  Hours of fun await!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving

Each and every day, I thank God for the blessings in my life.  For Staley.  For Zach.  For our families.  For our friends.  For our stable jobs.  For our home.  For our health.  And for a God who surrounds us with love. 

Thanksgiving gave us a long week-end to enjoy many of life's blessings.  The whole week-end centered around family.  We soaked up quality time with my extended family in Indianapolis on Thanksgiving day. Staley and Liam enjoyed playing together and swimming together at our hotel on Thursday night.  (Staley, Zach, and I 'bonded' from 2 am-6 am during Staley's fitful sleep at the hotel as well.)  Throughout the remainder of the week-end, we spent time with my parents, Zach's parents, and enjoyed celebrating Elliott's third birthday.  We have much to be thankful for!

My family

Sharing story time with cousin Liam

The big pool was fun, fun, fun!

Conductor Elliott...

...and his train party.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Let the Exploration Begin

Staley is becoming increasingly mobile.  She is now primarily crawl-crawling (good-bye inchworm), and is getting faster and more proficient.  Fast, proficient crawling means that her world is expanding.  She can also pull herself up to stand at almost anything stable (and, on some occasions, not so stable), which increases her exploration zone all the more.  And Staley has a profound love for opening things, closing things, taking things out, and putting things in.  If you put those skills together, you get...

Staley's new favorite game.

Friday, November 18, 2011

To Nap or Not to Nap

For Staley, that seems to be the current question.  Staley has always been a good night-time sleeper.  Her daytime napping habits are bit more questionable.  For the past several months, Staley has been taking two naps during the day.  Her morning nap averages about 1 1/2 hours and her afternoon nap averages about 45 minutes to an hour.  Over the last few weeks, however, Staley will not take an afternoon nap for me.  She will usually take an afternoon nap for her baby-sitters and will often fall asleep in the car if we are driving home from afternoon errands, but it's not pretty if I try to put her down for an afternoon nap at home.  Crying, screaming, standing up in her crib, red eyes, snotty nose.  So there have been a number of days lately where Staley only gets one nap--and that's usually her hour or two in the morning.

What to do?  I could run errands in Peoria or Bloomington every afternoon to provide 30-40 minutes of napping on the ride home.  I could hire a baby-sitter to come put her down for her afternoon nap every day.  Or we could move her nap later in the day and make the transition to one nap.  Option 3 seemed the most logical, so I decided to put the plan into action starting today (which would give me 4 days to trial a new schedule before my next day of work.)  Staley woke up at 6:30, so my goal was to have her nap around 11:30.  She made it to 10:15.  Guess maybe we'll have to run some errands in Peoria this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crawling

As much as I love Staley's little worm crawl, it makes me happy to say that she has finally figured out how to move using the 'regular' crawl.  However, if she's in a hurry or has a long way to go, the inchworm is back.  We get the best of both worlds:  we can acknowledge that Staley knows how to crawl-crawl, yet still enjoy watching as she worms her way across a room.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Instead of Gifts

On Staley's 10 month and one day birthday, she didn't get gifts.  Instead, she got:

1.  Her 7th tooth (bottom right)
2.  Her crib mattress moved to the lowest setting
3.  Her first big bump/bruise on her head.  Apparently her pop-up toy is more fun to play with than to fall onto.  (She got over it more quickly than I did.)

Gifts would have been better.

Ten Months

The last ten months have just flown by.  Staley is over 18 lbs of pure joy!  She wears her size 3 diapers, her 6-9 and 9-12 month clothes, and her size 2 baby shoes.  We had to move her crib mattress down and baby proof our house.  Staley still (usually) takes 2 naps, eats 3 meals, nurses 4 times, and sleeps about 11 hours at night (8 pm to 7 am). 

Likes:  Staley likes going out--shopping, out to eat, to church, to the library, to the grocery store.  She just loves being around people.  She still plays with her toys, but her current favorite activities are pulling to stand (on anything), walking with her stroller or our hands, and cruising along furniture.  Favorite toys are her activity table, her stroller, and her Noah's Ark (although she still loves cell phones, remotes, and computers as well.)  Her absolute favorite thing to play with right now is books.  Her bath books, her 'So Big' book, and her set of 12 miniture books that come in a box with a handle are top of her list.   Favorite foods include most fruits (except bananas and pumpkin), Cheerios, Puffs, pancakes, grilled cheese, and soup.

Dislikes:  Staley does not like vegetables, cottage cheese, pasta, or eggs.  She can get upset about nap time, and occasionally diaper changes and clothing changes are a bit traumatic.

Skills:  Staley is on the move.  She still inchworm crawls and rolls, but also loves to pull to stand, cruise along furniture, and walk with assistance.  She transitions into and out of sitting like a pro.  Staley has recently learned to point at things with her index finger, and she has several books where she will point out objects (primarily animals.)  She is very proficient at pushing buttons (on toys, cell phones, and remotes.)  She can activate two of the levers on her pop-up toy.  She loves to put things into containers and hand things to people.  Staley has an ever-growing vocabulary of words.  Her two favorite words right now are 'up' and 'book.'  She also says 'daddy', 'mama', 'kitty', 'apple', 'yes', and 'hi' regularly without prompting.  We have also heard her say 'bath', 'nap', 'bug', 'ball', 'bye', 'papa', 'bow', and 'more' in context.  (She's big on the 'b' and 'p' words.)    She still signs 'more' and 'drink.'  Staley also understands so much--too much to even put it all into a blog post!  Some of the highlights:  she 'answers' the questions of 'what does the fish say?', 'what does the snake say?', 'where's your tummy?', 'how big are you?', 'where does a hat go?', 'where's mommy's/daddy's nose?'.  She holds out her hands to clean them after meals, puts away her toys when we sing the 'clean up' song, gives hugs, dances (by bouncing up and down), claps, waves, and gives 'high fives'.  With her Noah's Ark animals, she can correctly identify them most of the time by grabbing the one we ask for and handing it to us.  It's just incredible to me that our tiny, helpless baby was born into the world and 10 months later, she is mobile and talking and truly understanding so much.  What a miracle she is!!!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

#1 Fan

Even though Staley wasn't able to stay up for Monday Night Football this week, she still proudly supported her favorite team.

Monday, November 7, 2011

When Bad Things Happen to Good Skills

I wanted Staley to be able to transition into sitting by herself.  I worked with her on transitioning into sitting by herself.  I cheered for when she started transitioning into sitting by herself.  She smiles and claps for herself when she transitions into sitting.  Transitioning into sitting is a good thing...most of the time.  Over the past few days, when Staley wakes up in the morning or from her naps, we will go in her room to find her sitting up in the middle of her crib, smiling at us over the top rail.  It's very cute and she is very pleased with herself.  This morning, I put Staley down for her morning nap.  She cried for a few minutes and then stopped.  However, she hadn't drifted off into peaceful dreamland like I thought, because a few moments later I heard her happily talking to herself.  I looked into her room and she was sitting up in her crib.  I went in, laid her back down, patted her back, and left again.  She cried for a few minutes and then stopped.  Fast asleep?  Nope!  She was sitting up in her crib again.  I tried one more time, although this time she was sitting herself up even before I left the room.  So my little girl got to stay up for another hour before falling asleep while nursing, exhausted from her delayed morning nap.  I guess I just need to explain to Staley that transitioning into sitting is a good thing...but so is napping.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mommy's Little Bookworm

Staley LOVES her books.  She loves when we read to her, but she also loves to 'read' by herself.  She has lots of fun toys, but she will often disregard the toys around her, look at her books, and sign 'more.'  She reads during play time, reads before naps, reads in the tub, reads at bedtime, reads in the pool, reads in her carseat, reads in her stroller,...  And although I'm not sure what memories I might have lost to make room for all the catchy children's book rhymes in my head, I love that my daughter has found joy in reading.

I love reading with my dad. 

Upside down is not too bad.

I can read books in the water.

Mom can read them to her daugher.

I can read them on the floor.

My cousin Cade will read some more.

Reading is such fun to do.

I bet you can do it too.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

Luckily Staley felt much better today and was able to enjoy an evening of trick or treating fun.

The cutest little football ever.

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snotting and Sneezing and Fevers, Oh My

Unfortunately, we are experiencing another first for Staley...her first illness (including a low-grade fever).  And although her nose is constantly running and her eyes are glassy and her cheeks are flushed, Staley is being a trooper.  Napping is difficult since it's hard to sleep when you can't breath well, but not sleeping well and not feeling well hasn't seemed to keep Staley down too much.  Staley has generally been her happy little self.  A little more subdued and a little more sensitive, but happy nonetheless.  Missing her first Walles family Halloween party was a bummer, but I guess staying home all day with mom and dad, reading books, and even getting to watch a Baby Einstein video hasn't been all bad.

Remedy for illness:  Cuddling on the couch with Daddy and a good book

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Transitioning to Sit

I think Staley is out to prove me wrong.  After her pulling to stand success this morning (see previous post), she then proceeded to transition into sitting on her own three times this afternoon and evening. 

Pulling to Stand

I guess Staley was a little offended by my post yesterday with the mention of all the things she's not yet doing on her own.  So this morning she decided that she no longer needs help to pull herself up to stand at her activity table.  She did it all by herself, and of course was so proud.  Then, being the mean mom that I am, I made her do it by herself 6 more times.  (Like I've mentioned before, I want to be absolutely sure before I declare something a first for Staley.)  But now you can officially  retract my statement from yesterday--Staley no longer needs help to pull herself up to stand.  And if a blog mention is all it takes to motivate Staley to start doing something new, maybe I should mention that she's still in diapers and not yet potty trained.  : )

Friday, October 28, 2011

One Step Forward

Although Staley has yet to discover how to make her arms and legs work together for crawling, she has realized that the legs working alone are easier to control.  So what is Staley's new favorite activity?  Walking!  (With help, of course.)  She is still doing her inchworm crawl, although much faster and more efficiently.  She is almost transitioning into sitting and pulling to stand, but she still needs a little help.  But really, who needs those foundational skills?  Walking is way more fun!!

Notice the look of intense concentration.

With her walking toy, Staley will walk across the living room (about 6-7 feet) with someone keeping her walking toy from getting away from her.  She's not a speed walker and she occasionally steps on her own feet or stops to wave at the cats, but she loves to practice. And although as an occupational therapist, I should probably insist on equal practice time for her crawling and pulling to stand, when Staley looks at her stroller, signs 'more', and says 'up', I just can't help myself.  I guess proud mom trumps practical therapist this time. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cute New Skills

Top 5 Cute Things Staley has Started Doing This Week:

1.  When we ask, "Where's your tummy?", she pats her tummy.
2.  When we ask, "What do the fishies say?", she opens and closes her mouth repetitively.
3.  When we put out our hand and say, "Give it to me," she will hand us what she's holding.  Then she smiles big as we thank her and waits expectantly for us to hand something back.
4.  When we sing the 'Clean Up' song and hand her a toy, she will put it in the container.  Of course, then she will often try to remove another toy from the container.
5.  She gives high fives.

Top 1 Not-So-Cute Thing Staley is Doing This Week:

1.  When we feed her something she doesn't like (vegetables, plain cottage cheese), she opens her mouth, sticks out her tongue, and shakes her head back and forth until the food falls out of her mouth.  Effective, but not so cute.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Happiest Man Alive

Zach is the most wonderful father!  His love for Staley is so evident, and she enthusiastically loves him right back.  Zach makes sure to fit in lots of Staley time in the evenings and on the week-ends (not to mention the days he takes off work, just for a little more family time.)  He can always make her giggle, giving the best horsey rides, making the most realistic animal sounds, and making the silliest faces.  Dancing time with Daddy is a part of the bedtime routine, and Staley loves play time, running time, and reading time with Daddy too.  (And I also love all the feeding time, changing time, getting ready for bed time, putting down for a nap time,... that Zach is so willing to do as well.)  So last night, Staley gave Zach the biggest gift she could.  Staley started saying 'Daddy'.  She said it 4 times last night and twice more this morning.  And her proud, doting, loving father could not be any happier.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Working For It

When you work hard for something, you appreciate the end product so much more.  You are more proud of the 'A' you got on the paper you spent so much time on for the really tough teacher.  Giving the gift that took you hours to make brings a touch more excitement than handing over the one from the store.  The view from the top of the mountain is more amazing after you've spent the last 3 hours hiking to get there.  The great campfire meal tastes that much better because you made it without kitchen conveniences...well, and because you just spent the last 6 hours hiking to the top of a mountain and back.

Staley experienced this same feeling of satisfaction while playing this evening.  After spending about 5-10 minutes (which in 9 month old time is the equivalent of about an hour) trying to remove a box of rattles from her shelf, Staley then spent the next 15 minutes playing with the very same rattles that hold her attention for about 30 seconds when they are handed to her.  There is definitely something to be said for enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If You're Keeping Score...

...then the top teeth are definitely winning.  Staley just cut another top tooth two days ago (top right), so now she has 4 top teeth and 2 bottom teeth.  And true, this picture has nothing to do with teeth (since she is keeping them under wraps), but it can be tied into the theme of winning (since the Bears won yesterday).  And who doesn't love to see a cute little girl in her Bear's outfit??  (I bet even Aunt Jill can't deny that Staley looks good in orange and blue!)

Go Bears!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nine Months

Yes, she is.  As hard as it is to believe (and trust me, it's hard), my baby girl is already nine months old.  At her 9 month check-up this morning, she weighed in at 17 lbs, 14.5 oz (33rd percentile) and was 26.75 inches long (23rd percentile).  She is in her size 3 diapers and her 6-9 month clothes.  She shows off her 5 teeth when she smiles.  She now takes her baths in the big tub, eats her meals in her high chair, and thinks she's big stuff riding in shopping carts.  Staley nurses 4 times a day, eats 3 meals, takes 2 naps, and sleeps for 10-11 hours at night (8 pm-6:30 am).

Likes:  Staley is still a very happy baby.  She likes being around people, especially other kids.  She enjoys swinging at the park, going for walks/runs in her stroller, looking at animals, and watching parades.  Wind in her face apparently is a great feeling.  And, of course, she loves to smile and wave to the cute baby in the mirror.  Her favorite toys are her activity table, her toy kitchen, her Little People Noah's Ark, and her monkeys in a barrel.  She still is most interested in 'toys' that don't belong to her--cell phones, laptops, magazines, sunglasses, CD cases.  And much to my delight, reading remains a favorite activity (both by herself and with us).  Staley loves all her books, but ones with babies and animals still seem to be the best.  Staley is a good eater, and favorite foods include fruits, Cheerios, Puffs, and toast.  (Like her mom, Staley doesn't love her veggies.)  She gets giggly with tickling, peek-a-boo, and when Daddy acts crazy.  Mommy and Daddy remain her two favorite people, and Jake and Elwood remain her two favorite cats.

Dislikes:  Staley is getting a little more vocal about things she doesn't like.  She is primarily fussy when she is tired or hungry.  She does not like being strapped in her carseat, getting dressed or undressed, lying down for diaper changes, going down for naps, or having her face wiped off after meals.  Veggies (especially broccoli) often get spit out, and meat hasn't been a big hit either.

Skills:  Staley is making changes on a daily basis.  She is now forwardly mobile, doing her inchworm crawl--hands and knees, hands and feet, lunge forward onto stomach, repeat.  She can transition from sitting onto her hands and knees, and is getting close to transitioning from hands and knees into sitting.  She tries to pull up to stand, but still needs a little help.  She loves to stand, and is starting to practice lifting one leg and then the other, although she doesn't actually go anywhere.  Staley is getting good at opening and closing things, putting toys in and taking them out, and activating her toys.  She can activate push buttons on her pop-up toy and on her toy kitchen consistently.  She picks up small objects with her thumb and index finger, and loves to examine tiny things (like pieces of hair, fuzz balls, lint--it's amazing what she finds!).  She feeds herself Cheerios/Puffs/toast (and the occasional leaf, stick, or carpet fuzz), and will hold her own sippy cup to drink.  Staley has perfected the art of removing her socks and hair bows, which also apparently taste very good.  Staley will sign 'more' and 'drink'.  Her current favorite word to say is 'up', although not always used in context.  She will also say 'mama' and 'mum' (for more), although not as consistently as she used to.  Staley has also said 'hi', bye', 'kitty', 'book', 'bath', 'papa', and 'apple', in context but not consistently.  She LOVES to wave.  She still claps, plays 'so big', and covers her face for peek-a-boo.  Her understanding is amazing to me.  She knows that bows and hats are on her head (because when you say the word, she reaches up to her head.)  She knows apple is fruit (because when eating fruit she will say 'apple' if she wants more.)  She knows that signing 'more' gets her something she wants.  Telling her it's nap time will sometimes prompt crying.  And I love when I ask for a hug and Staley puts her head on my shoulder.  I sometimes feel sad at how quickly Staley is growing up, but a sweet head on my shoulder and a toothy grin makes my heart fill with joy...every time.

My 9 month old girl

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unceremonious Entrance

I have heard horror stories about teething.  I've had friends who have dealt with sleepless nights, screaming, runny noses, fevers, and very fussy babies.  Luckily, like most things in life so far, Staley has taken teething in stride.  Yesterday as Staley was looking up at Zach and laughing, I caught a glimpse of a new tooth.  Upon further examination, we realized that she had cut yet another tooth recently.  (On the top left next to her front tooth, for those of you keeping track.)  Apparently it just slipped right in without us realizing it.  And I'm just fine if all the rest want to sneak in the same way.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Big Girl Bath

Yesterday, Staley graduated from her baby bathtub into the big girl bath.  She loved it!!  More room for toys, more water for splashing, and more opportunities for me to take pictures.

Feeling proud in the big girl bath

Cheese!

Who thought bath time could get even more fun??

Friday, October 7, 2011

What's Not to Like?

I love fall.  I've always loved fall.  The start of a new school year.  Cross country.  Changing leaves.  Jeans and hoodies.  Bonfires.  Hayrack rides.  Apples.  Football.  Crock pot meals.  Thanksgiving.  And now I can add a new reason to love fall...super cute fall picture opportunities.  On Wednesday, Zach took the day off work and we had a fun family day that included a trip to Tanner's Orchard.

Pumpkins are awesome!

Riding the tractor with Daddy is fun...

...but so is going solo!
(Waving at the other kids is fun too.)

I know this picture just begs for a cheesy caption about quality time with mum(s), but I'm not going to do it.

Ride 'em, cowgirl!

Wild hair.  Cute smile.

Worn out, but still holding her super-fun McDonald's cup.