Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moving Right Along

In Staley news...

Since Staley has mastered rolling from her back to her stomach, she is now working hard on some new skills.  Sitting is hard work, but she's getting there.  Staley can sit with her hands supporting her for about a minute and can sit without her hands helping for about 5-10 seconds before falling to the side.  Staley is also starting to help open, close, and turn pages of her books.  My new favorite, though, is Staley learning to blow raspberries.  I always blow raspberries at her (because she thinks it's funny) and lately she has been trying to imitate it back. She will purse her lips together and blow (although not quite making the sound) but it is so super-cute.  We often hear her practicing this skill in her pack and play or in her co-sleeper when she wakes up.

I will admit that I'm a little torn.  I love seeing Staley learn new skills and demonstrate increasing awareness of her world, but the helpless little baby that could do nothing but sleep in my arms 4 months ago is now rolling and almost sitting.  And before I know it, she will be crawling...then walking...and then she will be in school and driving and dating and going off to college...and I will lament the fact that I blinked and she grew up.  So as much as I enjoy each and every day and try to soak it in, Staley is still growing up faster than I am ready for.

Mommy's big girl!

And in house news:

The east wall is complete and they are now working on the west wall.  Our water and sewer are still unhooked, so we have been staying with Zach's parents since Monday.  And as much as I don't want time to fly by with Staley, I feel just the opposite about the house project.  The faster, the better!  I would love to blink and realize that I have a green yard, central air conditioning, and a beautiful new basement.

On the plus side, we don't have to mow the backyard anymore.

Excavating the back and working on the west wall

Chocolate milk?  Yep--that's evidence that we are still at Uma and Papa's.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Firsts

From the middle of May to the middle of June, Staley is going to experience a myriad of firsts.

1.  Staley went for her first run in Zach's new running stroller last week...and really enjoyed it.  She spent the first mile of the run looking around and chewing on her hands and then napped for the next three miles. We count that a success...although I'm concerned that it may take Staley awhile to get in shape if she's sleeping through her runs.

2.  Staley attended her first graduation party yesterday for our next door neighbor graduating from high school.   She was definitely giving the graduation boy some competition for 'Most Attention.'

3.  Staley posed for her first official outdoor photo shoot yesterday.  It was our third try for outdoor family pictures this spring (due to weather), it started raining 15 minutes into the shoot, Staley was tired and fussed every time we tried to set her down, and she fell asleep after about 45 minutes (of the 90 minute session.)  Success?  Here's hoping.

4.  Staley is preparing for her first sleep-over at Uma and Papa's house as we are having to move out for a few days while they unhook our water and sewer to tear out the west wall of our basement.  Staley is looking forward to staying up late, playing tea party, and eating ice cream for breakfast.  (All things I've been told happen during sleep-overs at Uma and Papa's).

5.  Staley will be taking her first road trip next week-end as we head up to Chicago for Memorial Day week-end.  Staley is a go-with-the-flow kinda gal, so here's hoping that 2 hours in the car, lots of walking the streets of Chicago, and her first night in a hotel flow just as easily.

6.  And in 2 weeks, Staley will be embarking on her first family vacation...which will include her first airline flight, her first out-of-state experience, possibly her first Elvis-impersonator sighting, and hopefully her first big win in the casino.  I'm just worried she would rather eat the poker chips than bet with them. 

Life is full of firsts, but it's so fun to watch Staley soak in the new experiences that occur on a daily basis.  She gets so excited about bath time and playing with her feet, so Chicago and Vegas might be overkill in the excitement category...but we're ready to take that chance.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Down, Three to Go

It's dirty.  It's loud.  We have no heat or gas.  Our yard may never be the same.  But by golly, I'm excited about our new basement!!

Our free floating home.

The first wall is complete.

Check out our new family room!

And because the basement project should never get more face time on the blog than Staley...

4 month Good Neighbear picture

I just love her expression in this picture.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Things We Take for Granted

I've been reminded recently about all that we take for granted in life.  Part of our basement project included removing all the pipes for the heating system.  In the middle of May, you wouldn't think that would be a big deal.  However, with current daytime temperatures in the low 50's and nighttime temperatures in the high 30's, heat is something that we dearly miss.  We've been moving our one borrowed space heater from room to room, limiting our living space to the living room during the day and our bedroom at night.  It's inconvenient.  It's no fun.  Bumping up the furnace a few degrees when I'm feeling a little chilled is something that I take for granted every winter.

Having a working dryer is something else that I take for granted several times a week.  Disconnecting the gas line for basement work means that I can wash all the clothes I want, but I can't dry them.  Lugging baskets of dirty laundry to and from my parent's house and Zach's parent's house makes me thankful that this is a temporary inconvenience (and that I have washers and dryers that I can borrow in houses I can stay in during the day to avoid the loud, dirty, COLD home that is currently mine.)

In the midst of our work-related inconviences, we also lost use of one of the most essential amenities in any home.  May our DVR rest in peace.  We lost all of the movies we had been saving and all the shows we hadn't gotten a chance to watch yet.  More unfortunate, we had to watch the 'Survivor' finale last night WITH commercials, AND if we had to use the restroom during the show, we couldn't pause.  Oh the horror!! 

And, although these 3 losses in our lives have had a profound impact, I know that there are individuals who deal with struggles like this on a daily basis.  Individuals who don't have the money to pay their heating bill or can't afford to get their dryer fixed, who haul their laundry to the laundramat and huddle around their one space heater to keep warm.  There are families who can't afford to buy their children a book or a toy for Christmas, let alone provide the convenience of a television or a DVR.  I am continually reminded how blessed I am in my life.  There was a time that I took for granted that I could have children or start a family when I decided I was ready...and God taught me patience and trust as I learned that the ability to have children is not a certainty.  And although I know many people are thankful for their children, my experience with infertility makes me realize each and every day what a true miracle Staley is.  I will not take for granted the blessing of each day with Staley...just as I will try to remember to be truly thankful for heat, for dry clothes, for running water, for a bed to sleep in, for a family who loves me...and for the ability to fast forward through all the boring commentary and Kirstie Alley dances on 'Dancing with the Stars.'

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can You Find the Baby?


And yes, hidden among the stuffed animals and blankets and toys (all shared with love by her doting cousins) is one sweet baby girl.  Staley had a wonderful morning yesterday playing with her cousins...although she did need a 3 hour nap to recover from all the attention.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rolling Queen

Staley rolled from her back to her stomach ALL BY HERSELF!!!!  She has been rolling onto her side from her back over the past few days.  This afternoon as we were playing on the floor, she rolled from her back to her stomach.  Then she did it again...and again...and again.  She was so proud.  And, of course, so was I!!! 



And after all the rolling, now she is napping!

Giving New Meaning to the Term 'Open House'

Our basement project is underway.  There's no turning back now.

Our newly redecorated backyard

Come on in!

Or if you prefer to enter through the side...

Those poles and blocks are keeping our house from collapsing.
Reassuring, right?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Four Months

I know, I know.  It doesn't seem possible, but our Staley is already 4 months old.  She is growing like a weed, weighing in at 14 lbs and measuring 24.75 inches.  She is in size 2 diapers and her super-cute 3-6 month wardrobe.  She still sleeps in her co-sleeper with us at night (primarily because I'm not ready to take that step yet), but she sleeps like a champ in her crib for naps.  Social and inquisitive, Staley enjoys new people and new places.  We've learned not to expect her to sleep while we're out because she doesn't want to miss a thing.  Our happy little girl is learning and changing quickly, so we just have to hold on and enjoy the ride.

Likes:  Staley loves her Mommy and Daddy.  Hearing us and seeing us always makes her smile, and seeing her smile always makes me smile.  She's still a great eater, sleeps her 6-9 hours at a time at night, loves bath time, and enjoys clothing and diaper changes.  She still loves her play mat, ceiling fans, and her mobile.  Her current favorite toy is probably her spinning alphabet ball, although she enjoys all her rattles and musical/light-up toys.  Her favorite books include her baby books ('Baby, Baby' and 'Baby Talk') and her touch-and-feel books.  And, of course, music of any kind is always fun.

Dislikes:  Staley generally only fusses when she is hungry, tired, needs a diaper change, or is cold.

Skills:  Staley is getting so good at grabbing things and bringing them to her mouth.  She loves to taste her toys, books, clothes, her hands, our hands, and just about anything else that she can pull towards her mouth.  She can activate her cause and effect toys (as well as try to eat them) and is great at tummy time.  She can sit with only a little help from us, and is rolling from her tummy to her back pretty consistently.  Over the past few days, Staley has started to roll from her back to her side, even rolling onto her side to sleep (which is really cute.)  Feet are another fun new discovery as she is starting to grab at them.  And Staley has learned that kicking and splashing makes bath time much more fun.  With all these new skills, Staley has stopped playing 'so big'.  It was such a cute game, so hopefully she rediscovers the joy of it again soon.

Feet AND a polka-dotted skirt.  Life is good!!

Staley at 2 days

Staley at 4 months

Monday, May 9, 2011

One Tough Cookie

Today was Staley's 4 month doctor's visit--also known as Vaccinations: Part 2.  And our little girl (well, not so little in the 73rd percentile for height and the 61st percentile for weight) proved that she is one tough cookie.  After charming the nurse with her smiles and grabbing her doctor's stethoscope while he examined her, it was that dreaded time again.  But three large vaccination needles weren't enough to bring our little girl down.  She didn't cry until after the second shot and was done crying about 10 seconds after the third shot.  She was calming down even before we picked her up off the exam table, and she even gave the nurse (the inflicter of the pain) a smile before the nurse left the room.  Every day I can add a new adjective to describe the perfection that is Staley--adorable, fun, happy, inquisitive, social...and today I'm adding a new one.  Staley is TOUGH!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I really struggled with how to focus my Mother's Day blog post.  This day brings so many people to mind and I wanted to dedicate this post to each and every one of them.  So I am going to...

I dedicate this post to the God who blessed me with the unending joy of being Staley's mother.  For the answer to prayers, the perfect timing, the child who was planned just for us, the blessing of every day with Staley...thank you!

I dedicate this post to my mother, the woman I aspire to emulate.  My mother is the most amazingly selfless, positive, joyful, energetic, loving, accepting, understanding woman of faith that I know.  I am so blessed that this incredible woman is my mother, my role model, and my friend.  I love you, Mom!

I dedicate this post to Zach's mother.  I often hear complaints about mother-in-laws, so I feel doubly blessed that I have an easy and loving relationship with Zach's mother.  She is generous and loving, thoughtful and fun...and she has a knack for raising wonderful children!  Staley is so lucky to have an Uma who loves her so much, and I am so lucky to have not just one, but two loving families to be a part of.

I dedicate this post in memory of my grandmothers and in honor of Zach's grandmothers.  Each of  them is a strong woman who raised a beautiful family...women deserving of admiration and love.

I dedicate this post to the other 'mothers' in my life...to aunts and my friends' mothers, women of the church and family friends.  Your influence in my life has shaped me into the woman, and the mother, that I am.

I dedicate this post to my friends and sisters-in-law who are wonderful mothers.  I count on you to answer my questions, give me advice, share my parenting journey, and teach me by example how to be a great mother.

I dedicate this post to my friends who are mothers-to-be.  I love sharing in this journey with you!

I dedicate this post to my friends who are not yet mothers.  On past Mother's Days, I have left church crying and sobbed my way out of family gatherings, finding it too hard to celebrate when all I felt was heartache and longing.  For each of you, I pray the same prayer I prayed for myself...for peace, for patience, for strength, for faith, and for the beautiful family that you will one day have. 

And finally, I dedicate this post to my Staley.  My life is forever changed, richer and fuller than I could ever have imagined.  Love has a bigger meaning to me now, and it is you!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Putting it to a Vote

A girl needs to accessorize, but I am also a firm believer in comfort.  (Just ask my mother about the 6 years I spent in nothing but sweat pants.)  I found these bows for Staley that are really cute, but with a super-soft and stretchy headband that seems so comfortable.  I am hoping to buy a few more, but here is the dilemma.  Which size?

Small?

Or large?

As a doting mother, I think she looks so cute in both.  So I'm putting it to a vote.  Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section.  You may also cast your vote via phone call, letter, e-mail, or text message.  Only one vote per person.  Standard text messaging rates do apply.  Of course, if Zach votes for "Does she really need more bows?", that won't count.  : )

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

There is nothing quite as peaceful and calming as watching a sleeping baby.  And there is nothing quite as beautiful and heart-warming to me as watching MY sleeping baby.

So angelic!

Cuddling with Grandpa

I love her thumb in her mouth, bum in the air, and one sock missing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our 3 a.m. Escapade

Five years ago, 3 a.m. escapades would have likely involved one of the following:  a vacation, a party, a movie marathon, or New Year's Eve.  Last night, our 3 a.m. escapade was a bit different.

Staley does not usually wake up in the middle of the night.  This morning around 2:30, however, I awoke to Staley 'talking' and kicking in her co-sleeper.  She was wide awake, happy as a clam, and watching the ceiling fan.  For about 10 minutes, I watched and waited as she happily kicked her legs (with one sock on and one sock off), sucked on her hands, and talked.  I finally determined that she was not going to go back to sleep anytime soon, so since we were now both awake, I figured I'd feed her and we'd both sleep in a little later in the morning.  Everyone wins. 

It was a good plan until I looked over and saw a large wasp hovering around our bedside lamp.  (Plan diverted.)  I woke Zach and the 3 of us headed into the hallway, shutting the door behind us.  A minute later, Zach re-entered the bedroom armed with 2 fly swatters, a garbage bag, and paper towels.  To sum up the next 20 minutes:  Zach looking, wasp hiding, Ellen helping, Staley mobile watching, wasp disappearing, Ellen and Zach giving up, wasp winning, Ellen and Zach worrying, Staley not concerned. 

After the 30 minute diversion, we returned to Plan A (feeding Staley).  After Staley finished eating, I prepared to swaddle her up in her blanket so we could all go back to sleep.  As I reached around the blanket to tuck it under Staley, my hand brushed something.  And there, sitting on my daughter's blanket (the very blanket that I was about to wrap her in), was that wiley wasp.  I grabbed Staley out of her bed, Zach pounded the wasp with one of his two fly swatters, and Staley (still wide awake) happily watched the whole scene.  With the wasp safely flushed away, we were all able to go back to sleep and only one of us had to wake up 2 hours later to get ready for work.  (Luckily, that was neither Staley nor I.)  Hopefully that will be the last of 3 a.m. excitement for awhile. As my high school curfew indicated, nothing good happens after midnight anyway.