Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Monday, January 30, 2012


I'm not one of those moms that thinks EVERYTHING Staley does is cute.  Dropping food off her high chair tray.  Not cute.  Screaming when she doesn't get her way.  Not cute.  Crawling quickly towards the top of the stairs when she has the chance, ready to launch herself down.  So not cute!  But objectively speaking, much of what my daughter does/says IS very cute.  So for your reading pleasure...

Top 5 Cute Things Staley is Doing This Week:
1.   Fake sneezing.  LOVE IT!  Ah, ah... (long pause)...too.
2.  Making oh-so-cute animal sounds.  She currently has sheep, cow, dog, and cat in her repertoire.
3.  Getting so excited about her cousin Cade's basketball game.  I wasn't sure if 2nd graders playing basketball would hold her attention, but she LOVED it.  She was glued to the game, kept reminding me what we were seeing (ba-ba-ball, Tade), and enjoyed clapping along with the crowd (although not always just when Cade's team scored).
4.  Sighing happily after taking a big drink from her cup.  AHHHHH!
5.  Being her happy, giggly, sweet, wonderful self.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Watching the World Grow

I am consistently amazed with how much Staley knows and understands.  New words emerge on a daily basis.  (So far today, her new words have been shampoo and pears.)  And as proud as I am of her talking, I am also astounded by what she understands and how she pieces things together.  She has done several things over the past few days that have impressed me.  Each time I see her make a new connection or understand a new concept, it makes me smile.  I never want to forget this time in her life.  I never want to forget these small happy moments that make up our days.

When Staley and I are home alone, she will play in the bathroom while I shower.  (Today she began emptying out my make-up drawer that I didn't think she could reach.  Guess I'm going to have to do a little bathroom reorganziation.)  As I was drying off (after confiscating a lipstick tube with the cap partially off), she looked at my towel and said 'hat.'  Since she doesn't say 'towel', I thought she just might be confused.  I said 'towel.'  She looked at me expectantly and said 'hat.'  And as I wrapped the towel around my wet hair,  she smiled big and again said 'hat', and I realized that she put together the fact that the towel I was drying off with is the same one she loves to see on my head.

One of Staley's favorite games is the empty-mom's-purse game.  It is fun for her, keeps her happy and occupied, and doesn't ever seem to get old.  The only rules for this game are that she is not allowed to play with the hand sanitizer (because I'm worried she might get it open and drink it) or my pencil (to avoid puncture wounds.)  Yesterday I was in the bathroom putting on make-up and Staley was in my room emptying my purse.  She suddenly crawled into the hallway carrying the hand sanitizer from my purse, held it out to me until I took it, and then crawled back into my room to continue with her game.  I hope this willingness to follow the rules even when I'm not present continues through her teenage years.  (Fingers crossed!!)

We do a lot of counting with Staley.  We count her snaps when we snap up her onesie.   We count objects in her books.  We count bites of non-preferred food before she can have something else.  Yesterday, I was beginning to count her toys as we were putting them away.  I said 'one' and Staley immediately said 'two.'  It took me by surprise, so I followed up with lots more counting games.  Staley doesn't say 'one' or 'three', but anytime we say 'one', she now follows up with 'two.'

Staley is also starting to participate when reading her books.  She has always liked turning pages and opening flaps.  More recently, she enjoys pointing at objects and labeling what she sees.  But in the past week or so, she has been helping us read a few of her favorite books.  One of her all-time favorite books is called 'Baby Talk.'  It has pictures of babies AND flaps to lift, so it's got lots going for it.  The first page says "This little baby is hiding" and then you open the flap and read "Peek-a-boo." Or "This little baby is happy" and the flap reads "Hee hee."  Now when we read the book, Staley will do the flap parts.  So I read the first part and Staley opens the flap and says 'hee hee' or 'mum mum' (for 'yum yum') or 'boo' for ('peekaboo' and 'boo hoo') or 'mama'.  Staley has another book where Mickey and his friends get lost on the way to the beach.  Each page has a different setting and asks "is this the beach?" and Staley will answer correctly with a shake of her head and a smile.  She can independently read her little 5 page book that just has a picture of a daily action and the word that accompanies it (eat, build, play, ride, hug) by saying each word without prompting when she sees the picture.  And she has two books that ask her to do something, like 'point to your tummy' or 'say cheese' or 'stick out your tongue', and she often does the action before we even say it.

With each day that passes, Staley's world is expanding.  In Staley's world, towels are more fun as hats.  The only important number is 'two'.  Hand sanitizer is not a toy.  There is nothing better than a good book.  Cows still say 'booo.'  And I've determined that Staley's world is my absolute favorite place to be. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ghost Cows?

With the ever-growing vocabulary in Staley's arsenal and her love of animals, I've been surprised that Staley hadn't started imitating any animal sounds.  Well, never fear.  Staley's animal sounds have emerged.  If you ask, Staley will tell you that a sheep says BAAAA and a cow says BOOO. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Obsession

It's always interesting to me what people get obsessed with.  My 3 year old nephew knows WAY more about trains than I do, and my husband can recount specific plays in Chicago Bear's games that happened 10 years ago.  Everyone has that one topic that they can talk about endlessly.  And whether it's trains or sports or music or travel destinations, I admire the passion and enthusiasm that each individual can bring to their favorite topic.

Staley discovered a new obsession on Saturday...and she has been talking about it ever since.  Staley spent part of the day on Saturday with my parents.  My dad was watching a basketball game on TV, and Staley was mesmorized.  When Zach went to pick her up, Staley was excitedly talking about it.  Ba-ba-ball.  (Basketball)  Up.  (They shot the ball up in the air.)  Done.  (The game ended and the TV was turned off.)  Zach thought that the game had just ended, but apparently she had been going through the same sequence (ba-ba-ball, up, done) for the past HOUR since they had turned off the game.  She mentioned it a few times yesterday, and then could barely finish her lunch today as she kept telling me about it.  Ba-ba-ball.  Up.  Ptschhh.  (The swish sound that Grammie taught her that she just started doing yesterday.)  Done.  I'm not sure what it was about the basketball game that captivated her, but I love the excitement and enthusiasm she displays when talking about it.  I love how she is putting several words together to tell a story.  And although ba-ba-ball, up, done is a pretty short story that leaves out a few small details of the game, it makes me smile to see my daugher so excited...and I love that she wants to share her excitement with me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mommy's Little Helper

Staley LOVES to 'help' me do household chores.  Serious excitement ensues when I start folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher, putting away groceries, or sorting the mail.  The other day, I was folding up Staley's 6-12 month summer clothes and putting them into a bin for storage.  And Staley couldn't help herself.  She just had to get in on the action.

Yes, I ended up re-folding everything at least 3 times, but how can you refuse this kind of enthusiastic help?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Looking Forward

I've had a number of people ask me if Staley turning one was hard for me.  And to be honest, it wasn't.  Am I amazed at how quickly this year has flown by?  Definitely.  Did I love each of the little stages that Staley has already passed through to hit this milestone birthday?  You bet.  I couldn't get enough of my newborn baby falling asleep on my chest and napping there for hours.  I cherished those first few gummy smiles.  I shared in the joy of Staley discovering her hands, her feet, her toys, her world.  I was so proud when Staley rolled over, sat up, stood up, clapped, crawled, said her first word.  But I don't dwell on those stages because each new day brings us more joy, more pride, more memories to cherish.  I still can't get enough of my baby girl.  It's hard to believe that Staley is one, but it's not sad.  It's not hard.  It just makes me grateful for the year we've had and ready to experience what Staley's next year will bring.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hello, Hello...Hat?

When Staley woke up this morning, I heard her through the monitor talking and playing in her crib.  I heard her saying 'hello, hello' (which is her 'word' for phone) and then 'hat.'  Over and over.  Hello, hello...hat.  Hello, hello...hat.  I was confused.  Usually she talks about things she can see, but I knew that her phone was in her diaper bag and her hats were in her dresser.  I looked in her room, and Staley was sitting in her bed with her socks off (of course.)  She was taking her sock, putting it to her ear, saying 'hello, hello' and then putting it on her head and saying 'hat.'  Hello, hello...hat.  Hello, hello...hat.  How fun to see Staley's imagination emerge!!  And how good to know that not only can a sock keep my foot warm, it can also help me stay in contact with friends and keep the sun off my face. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Questions and Answers

Staley is starting to understand the concept of answering questions.  For awhile now, she has been able to answer questions like 'how big are you?', 'what does the fish say?', 'what does the snake say?', 'what does the bunny do?',...  She can also point to body parts and identify people/objects in books or pictures when we ask her to.  Her two newest answers, though, are more complex...and super cute.  When we ask Staley what it's like outside, she says 'cold.'  The best part, though, is that she always adds a little shiver when she answers.  (And, unfortunately in Illinois, this answer will probably be true for a few more months.)  And now when we ask, 'what's your name?', she smiles and answers 'Tae', which is how she says 'Staley.'  Her understanding of language and the speed at which she learns continues to astound me.  At this rate, I may run out of things to teach her before she's 2.

Monday, January 16, 2012

One More Reason...

When we had our downstairs bathroom redone a few years ago, we debated between putting in a tub versus a walk-in shower.  We came up with a variety of reasons to put in the walk-in shower:  we are both shower people, we already have a tub upstairs, a shower takes up less space, a shower is more accessible for when we get older, the configuration of the bathroom worked better for a shower,...  We didn't even consider the reason that Staley discovered.

Apparently crawling in and out of the shower, hiding behind the curtain, and playing in the shower is lots of fun and can keep a one year old amused for long periods of time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Twelve Months

Well, here we are.  I didn't think this day would come so soon, but apparently time doesn't slow down just because I want it to.  Our little Staley bear is ONE YEAR OLD!   At her one year check-up on Friday, Staley weighed in at 20 lbs, 12 oz (45th percentile) and measured 28.5" (31st percentile).  Staley still wears her 6-12 and 9-12 month clothes, and is beginning to wear her 12-18 month clothes.  As of yesterday, Staley is nursing only 2 times/day.  She eats 3 meals (and one snack), takes 1 nap, and sleeps for 11-12 hours at night.

Likes:  Staley loves to explore--especially if her exploration includes stairs, shelves, and drawers.  Bath time and swimming are still fun activities.  In the kitchen, Staley gets excited about 'helping' unload/load the dishwasher and standing up at the open refrigerator (which goes back to her love of taking things off shelves.)  Staley likes to play with all her toys, but some of her current favorites are her Little People toys (house, bus, zoo, Ark), her toy phone, all balls, her push toys, her bath toys, and of course, her books.  It's hard to list favorite books since she loves them all, but her 'Tails' book, her 'B is for Bear' book, and her sets of little books are at the top of the list.  Socks and keys are awesome.  Bouncing on the bed is always fun.  Dogs and cats are exciting, and Staley loves to play with her well as the kids at her baby-sitters and the kids in the church nursery.  Favorite foods include soup, grilled cheese, fruit, Ritz crackers, yogurt, pancakes, quesadillas, chicken, and fish.

Dislikes:  Staley still does not like her vegetables (unless they are mixed with applesauce), eggs, or pasta.  Getting clothes changed or diapers changed are not her favorite activities, and Staley generally does not like to be strapped into her carseat.  Being told 'no', having her face wiped off after meals, nose sucking, and having preferred items taken away can all result in drama.  Staley sometimes cries when I walk out of a room, but I must admit--this kinda makes me feel good.

Skills:  Staley is still crawling (fast), crawling up stairs (well), cruising along furniture, walking with a push toy (alone), and standing alone for a few seconds.  She is now putting her rings on the stack, starting to put her shapes into shape sorters, and starting to understand that puzzle pieces go into the puzzle (but not necessarily in the right place).  Staley loves to put things in, and she likes taking things apart (megablocks, stacking bowl balls) and trying to put things together.  Staley likes feeding herself with a spoon, although she usually reverts back to her fingers before too long.  Staley is talking up a storm.  She has between 60-70 words (everything from 'Mama' to 'help' to 'cheese' to 'cold'.)  She has 7 signs (more, help, eat, drink, please, thank you, and all done) and can identify 5 letters (S, O, A, L, H).  Staley understands so much of what we tell her.  If she asks for a drink or a cracker during meal, she understands if we say '3 more bites and then you can have your cracker/drink' (and then generally takes her bites without complaints.)  She identifies her eyes, nose, teeth, ears, hair, tummy, and toes.  Staley gives the best hugs, blows kisses, bounces, dances, and can bring a smile to my face without even trying.  For years, Zach and I prayed for a child...and the answer was more than we could have ever hoped for!

Our little one year old

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Party Time

Staley makes every day a joy.  And a year full of joyous days--well, that's something worth celebrating!!

The celebration started on Staley's birthday on Wednesday.  Getting one year pictures taken may not be every child's idea of a good time, but Staley enjoyed spending the morning with Kara (our photographer). It helped that Kara let Staley play on the stairs, read her books, and play with a birthday cake.  To make the day complete, both sets of grandparents shared in Staley's favorite dinner:  soup, grilled cheese, Ritz crackers, and applesauce.

Staley's birthday week culminated in her birthday party this morning.  Party hats, balloons, cousins to play with, family and friends to bestow attention, wrapping paper (and the presents that came with it), cake for breakfast...what's not to love?  And although Staley showed limited interest in her cake (touching it gently, spitting out the cake and frosting that I fed her, and shaking her head 'no' when offered more), the rest of party seemed to be a success.

Ready for the party

Cake for breakfast

Watch me grow!

A friendly welcome from the birthday bear

Playing "Can you think like a one year old?"

Reading a fun card

Ignoring the cake, but enjoying the birthday Ritz.

In the end, it's not really about the party.  It's not about the balloons or the cake or the gifts.  It's about celebrating the blessing of Staley...and what a blessing she is!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Staley!

One year ago today, our lives were forever changed for the better.  I look forward to each and every day because of this baby girl!  

 Happy Birthday to our little one year old.  We couldn't love anything more!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Go Socks!

Staley loves socks.  Yes, socks.  She has an indefinable infatuation with them.  Like most little ones her age, she is constantly removing her socks.  However, that is just the beginning.  She then keeps a tight grip on them, showing them to people, talking about them ('ots, ots'), and tasting them.  She can often be seen crawling around the house with one sock in each hand.  And not just her own socks.  Oh no.  Daddy's dirty socks she finds on the floor or clean socks she steals from the laundry basket are just as fun.  What the appeal is, I can't be sure.  But there is true excitement in her voice and an urgency in her crawl when she sees socks.

When Staley wakes up in the morning or wakes up from her nap, she usually has 5-10 minutes of play time in her crib (as we make sure she is truly awake and not going to fall back asleep) before we go get her up.  We can usually hear her happily talking and playing in her crib.  Invariably when we go in to get her up, she has both socks off and is holding them proudly.  Generally her first word to us is not 'hi', not 'up', not 'mama/daddy'.  Nope, her first word of the day is generally 'ots' as she is excitedly showing us her prized possessions.  Zach went in to check on Staley before going to bed the other night.  She was sleeping soundly with both socks removed, clutching one in each hand.  And after her nap a few days ago, I was listening to Staley happily talk and play in her crib while I finished unloading the dishwasher.  All of a sudden, Staley began crying loudly, which is very unlike her.  I hurried upstairs to find Staley reaching both arms through the rails of her crib, crying as she peered forlornly down at her socks that she had dropped on the floor.

I know that all kids have their favorite toys.  Trains.  American Girl Dolls.  Video games.  Dollhouses.  Bikes.  If I had to determine my criteria for the perfect 'favorite toy', it would be something safe, cheap, and quiet that does not require batteries, does not take up lots of room, and is easy to replace if needed.  I guess Staley and I can agree.  Socks are winners!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spoon vs. Hand

Learning to use a spoon...

but still thinking the fingers might work better.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

O, Yeah!

Staley's letter fixation continues.  Foam letters in the tub are still great fun, but Staley also has been loving her magnetic letters that she got for Christmas.  She has been identifying 'S' for several weeks now, but Staley now can identify another letter.  'OHHHH.'  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good-bye 2011

2011 was the best year ever!!  And I don't need a top 10 list of why 2011 was so great.  I only need a top 1 list. 


Zach and I were so blessed this year with our happy, healthy, growing girl.  I can't believe that this year has flown by so quickly, but since 2011 was such a joyous year, I can only hope that 2012 brings more of the same.