Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's a Good Day!

Mondays are not always known for being good days.  They tend to get a bad reputation as the day that signifies the end of the week-end and the beginning of yet another work week.  Well, chalk one up for Mondays because today was a good day for this household of Sanckens.

Zach:  Today marked the beginning of a week off of work and school for Zach.  He was only able to take one week off work after Staley was born due to the onset of the busy season for his department.  He has now lived through the most hectic work period of his entire year and is taking this week to spend at home with his family.  So today, instead of sitting in his cubicle making spread sheets, he spent the entire morning reading books, playing on the floor, and dancing with his daughter.  Now, as she naps, he is out for a run on this sunshiney day.  And on his agenda for the week...more of the same.  It's a good day to be Zach.

Ellen:  I fit into my real jeans!!!!  For the majority of my maternity leave, I've just been hanging out at home wearing comfy pants.  On the few occasions I've had to look more presentable, I've still had to wear maternity pants.  But today, I was able to wear my regular jeans.  Yes, they are my biggest and stretchiest pair.  Yes, they are still a little snug.  BUT...I was able to pull them up, button them, and zip them.  It's a good day to be Ellen.

Staley:  Staley has spent the day playing, dancing, reading, smiling, eating, getting her picture taken, napping, and looking cute.  It's always a good day to be Staley.

So to all you who didn't know it was's true.  Mondays can be good!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Developments

Typical development is amazing to me.  In my job as a pediatric occupational therapist, I work with children who have various developmental delays.  Often I am working with children on general developmental skills like head control, bringing hands to mouth, moving arms and legs, rolling, or sitting.  The parents of these children have to work with them consistently at home to achieve these skills.  And, unfortunately, sometimes these simple developmental goals are not achieved.

Delayed development is what I have become accustomed to.  So watching Staley develop motor skills without having to be taught is truly amazing to me.  It seems like she is developing new skills every day!  She is lifting her head and holding it up when she's upright and during tummy time.  She can get her fist in her mouth, and is beginning to get her thumb or several fingers in her mouth occasionally.  On her play mat, she is starting to flail her arms and kick her legs more deliberately to hit her dangling toys.  She is following toys and faces with her eyes.  And she has just started "talking."  She is making lots of vowel sounds with intermittent grunts, squeals, and snorts.  I do think we heard her say "Urlacher" on one occasion!

Tummy time superstar

Loving her play mat

Hopefully toilet training, obeying her parents, and helping around the house come just as naturally!!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Slow Down!!!

Staley is 6 weeks old today!  And 6 weeks means that my maternity leave is already half over.  That thought almost brought me to tears today.  I have a great job that I love, and I am blessed that I do not have to return to work on a full time basis.  However, I love being home with Staley.  She is growing and changing so quickly, and I don't want to miss any of it.  At least I have 6 more weeks, and my goal is to enjoy all the moments.  And how could you not enjoy a moment like this?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Staley's Dedication

"I have stood in this place praying to the Lord.  I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.  So now I give him to the Lord."  (I Samuel 1: 26-28)

The biblical story of Hannah was one that I read countless times over the past few years.  Hannah was a woman who desperately wanted a child, yet was unable to have one, even as those around her had multiple children.  "In bitterness of soul, Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord."  (I Samuel 1:10)  After years of praying for a child, Hannah was blessed with a son, Samuel, who she dedicated to the Lord.

Staley and Liam were both dedicated at church on Sunday.  Staley is truly a gift from God and an answer to our prayers.  The dedication service was an opportunity to acknowledge the gift of Staley's life and, in return, declare our promise back to God to raise her with Christian teachings and guide her towards a life dedicated to God.

Staley's dedication

Liam's Dedication

Zach's family after the service

Friday, February 18, 2011

Giant New Water Bowl

Jake and Elwood get fresh food and fresh water every morning.  Nice, cold water in their very own bowls.  They do not have to search for this water or work for this water.  It has been in the exact same place every day for the past 5 years.  Why, then, do our cats now find it necessary to drink from Staley's bath tub...every time she has a bath?  It's a mystery to me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

For the Record Books

And the record is...13 hours.  My 5 week old girl kept herself awake today for 13 straight hours.  Apart from 3 catnaps of less than 30 minutes, she was awake from 9:30 this morning until 10:30 tonight.  She continues to be a superstar with her night time sleep habits, but has lately been demonstrating lengthy periods of wakefulness during the day.  I love being with her when she is awake, but her awake-and-happy limit ends at about 4-5 hours.  After that, her fussy-meter bumps up a notch or two...or eight.  As you can imagine, 13 hours means that the last several hours entailed a nice combination of eating and crying, eating and crying, eating and crying.  Around 9:30 (when we were both worn out from all the eating and crying), I rocked her in the dark and quiet of her nursery for almost an hour, assuming that there was no way she could sustain her sleep strike in that setting.  She was calm and quiet the whole time.  The repetitive motion was making me more and more drowsy, but each time I looked down at her, her eyes were wide open.  It was ridiculous!  Finally, at 10:30 (which is often her last feeding of the day), she ate one last time and fell fast asleep.

I'm not sure how to interpret this behavior.  Stubborn willfullness?  Faulty internal clock?  Fear of missing something really exciting (which is a very legitimate fear living in Eureka)?  Competitiveness (since 2 year old cousin, Elliott, skipped his nap today)?  Not wanting to miss one second of her quality time with me?   Whatever the reason, here's hoping that reaching 13 hours satisfies whatever goal she had in mind.  I don't know if either of us can handle a repeat performance.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grandparents' Day

I actually have no idea when Grandparents' Day is, but for blog-related purposes (since I have recent pictures), I am declaring today Staley's very own Grandparents' Day!  Staley is so blessed to have two wonderful sets of grandparents, as well as two great-grandmothers and a great-grandfather, all living within a 20 mile radius.  She has not gone a week of her life without seeing her grandparents, and we have not gone a week of Staley's life without relying on her grandparents for meals, errands, or providing company while Zach is at work or school.  We are so thankful and so blessed!

With Uma (Grandma Sancken)

With Grammy (Grandma Walles)

With Papa (Grandpa Sancken)

With Grandpa (Grandpa Walles)

With Nana (Great-Grandma Thomas)

With Great-Grams (Great-Grandma Sancken)
Four generations of Sanckens!

Everyday is a good day to celebrate the blessing of grandparents.  So...


Sunday, February 13, 2011


It's official.  My baby girl has given us her first voluntary smile!  What a perfect day-before-Valentine's-Day gift from our daughter.  Staley has been doing cute smiles in her sleep and when she's eating since she was born.  Over the past week, she sometimes looked like she was on the verge of smiling at me when we'd be talking or playing.  This morning, Staley was lying awake in her co-sleeper when I woke up.  I started talking to her and she looked right at me and gave me several huge, open mouthed smiles in succession.  I woke up Zach quickly so he could see too.  However, by the time he grabbed the camera (because we are THOSE parents who want to capture every moment), her smiles were more subdued.  So this was the picture we got...

And as cute as this little smile is, I will always remember those first big smiles from my baby girl.  I can't wait to see more!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

One Month

Hard to believe, but our little Staley is one month old today!  The changes and learning that have taken place over this past month (both for Staley and for us) is astounding.  Staley has already grown at least an inch in length and has put on almost a full pound in weight since being born.  She has outgrown her newborn clothes, grown into her big girl bathtub, and I've already had to move the straps up to the next slot on her infant car seat.  Amazing, as little as she still is, she's managed to keep our hearts full to the brim!

Likes:  Staley loves eating!  She likes bath time and getting her hair washed.  She enjoys diaper changes and having her clothes changed.  (Zach is concerned that his little girl, at one month, already enjoys trying on new outfits.)  Staley likes to be read to and sung to.  I think Staley's favorite book right now is "Olivia", especially the page where she is trying on all her outfits.  Staley attends to this page more than any other that we've found.  It may be the shared love of outfits or perhaps the vast amount of black, white, and red on the page--it's hard to know for sure.  Staley loves to be held and cuddled, and she would rather be moving (walking around, rocking, car rides) than sitting still.

Dislikes:  On the flip side, Staley dislikes being hungry, having a wet or dirty diaper, being cold, and having her carseat straps tightened.  She also has demonstrated an extreme dislike for the Green Bay Packers.

Skills:  Staley is still sleeping through the night (about 6-7 hours at a time).  She can drink from a bottle.  During tummy time, she can lift up her head for a few seconds and will turn her head from one side to the other.  She is getting better at lifting and holding up her head when she is upright too.  Staley is getting better at focusing and following things with her eyes, although she does the crazy baby cross eyes sometimes too.  She still prefers looking at lights and faces, but is starting to look at her books and toys.  She is constantly moving her arms and legs, and she always wants her hands up by her face (which does occasionally result in scratching herself or hitting herself in the face).  She will get her fist into her mouth occasionally.  Her primary skill at this time is still looking cute!  

Staley about an hour after birth

Staley on her one month birthday

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dinner Date

Staley loves to eat.  From birth, eating is something that she has done well.  Zach is very involved in all aspects of Staley's life, so he was anxious to be able to help with her feeding as well.  I had been warned by more than one person that waiting too long to introduce a bottle to Staley could result in a difficult transition or even refusal to take a bottle, thus being detrimental to my eventual return to work as well as our social life.  With Staley's feeding routine well established, we decided that it was time to try giving her one feeding by bottle each day.  So this week, on Staley's 4-week birthday, Zach got to participate in Staley's most favorite activity.  And after a quick initial learning curve, Zach and Staley both got the hang of it.

Now we can add drinking from a bottle to Staley's ever-growing resume of skills.  Next we're going to work on Staley's ability to keep her socks on.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Accessories are necessities

Thank you, Natasha, for the super-cute hat for my super-cute girl!!

Family Ties

Dysfunctional families seem to be the norm in today's society.  Lucky for us, Zach and I come from two surprisingly functional families.  We have parents that are loving and supportive.  We have siblings and their spouses that are some of our closest friends.  We even genuinely like and enjoy spending time with our extended families.  Shocking, isn't it??

This week, Staley got to spend time with some of her aunts and cousins.  Both Zach and I had cousins close in age that were also some of our best friends growing up.  Staley is lucky to have cousins living close by so that she has that opportunity as well.

Staley with Aunt Jill

Staley with cousin Livy

Staley with cousin Cade

Staley with Aunt Carrie

Kisses from cousin Elliott

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sometimes It's Hard Being a Baby

I've mentioned several times in my blog posts about how Staley has a mellow, happy personality.  I think I've used the phrase "rarely fussy" and have posted a variety of cute pictures of our happy, contented baby.  Today, Staley spent almost her entire morning showing us the other side of the coin.  She fussed and cried, cried and fussed.  We did everything we could think of to make her happy.  We held her and bounced her and patted her and changed her diaper and put her in her swing and laid her down and picked her up and talked and sang and read.  We even changed her outfit, thinking maybe she wasn't feeling the purple giraffe onesie.  The only thing that seemed to calm her was eating...and I can only do that for so long.  It is a very helpless feeling, not knowing what to do to make things better for your child.  I'm sure this is the first of many parenting moments where I eventually throw my hands up and say "I don't know."  So, when all else fails, you just have to take a deep breath, take out the camera, and capture the moment.

And after a good, long afternoon nap and a few full diapers, our happy Staley returned to us.  Thankfully!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Story Time

Staley has a shelf full of children's books, so Zach and I have been reading to her on a regular basis.  Last night as I was getting ready for bed, Zach and Staley were hanging out together.  I heard Zach reading to Staley, which always puts a smile on my face.  However, as I listened closer, I realized that he was reading to her out of the textbook for his current MBA class.  Yup, that's right.  My daughter was wide awake and quietly listening as her father read to her from his "Information Systems" textbook.  Maybe I am holding her back with books like "Hop on Pop" and "Goodnight, Moon."  We might need to start adding some literary classics, history books, and medical journals into her repertoire.  If nothing else, she already knows more about information systems than I do!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

No, I'm not talking about my baby girl being spoiled rotten.  I'm talking about Zach and I.  Staley has eased us into the world of parenthood so nicely, and I am not taking it for granted.  Staley was a good eater from the start, she is rarely fussy, and she is a great sleeper.  From about 4 days of age, Staley has been an amazing night time sleeper.  I would actually wake her up after 4 hours of sleep each night to make sure she was getting enough to eat.  However, after speaking with her pediatrician, he gave us permission to let her sleep at night as long as she would like.  She has put herself on a very nice schedule that includes 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.  I know this is a blessing, and we appreciate it every morning when we wake up rested.  Hopefully her easy early infancy isn't setting us up for difficult toddler tantrums, toilet training troubles, or defiant teenage rebellion.  For now, however, we will just enjoy the moment and occasionally take the time to wake up and watch our little Sleeping Beauty...which, by the way, was one of several baby name suggestions from Livy (our 3 year old niece) along with Sarah, Pocahontis, and Rapunzel.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three Weeks

It's hard to believe that Staley is 3 weeks old today.  It's an odd feeling because it's hard to imagine life without her, yet it's hard to think that her first 3 weeks of life have already flown by.  She's growing quickly!  At her 2 week check-up, she had regained all her weight and had already grown a full inch in length.  I can tell her hair is getting longer too.

I took this picture yesterday.  This was her 'going-home-from-the-hospital' outfit.  Her newborn clothes still fit her weight, but obviously her length is turning her pants into capris, especially in her one-piece outfits.  Luckily, it's a balmy 72 degrees inside our house, so capris are acceptable. 

I know everyone talks about how quickly children grow up.  I do not want to take one day with Staley for granted.  This is our time together, and I'm trying to soak it all in before her capris turn into shorts.