Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Saturday, March 31, 2012

St. Louis...In Staley's Own Words

We all had a WONDERFUL time on our mini-vacation to St. Louis this week.  The Botanical Gardens, Forest Park, Purina Dog Farms, the zoo, the carousel at the zoo, eating out, swimming at our hotel, visiting with friends and family,...  Did I mention the carousel at the zoo?  There were so many highlights.  To share our trip, enjoy these photos of Staley's highlights and captions (in Staley's own words)...

Flower.  Touch.  Gentle.

(See previous caption.  I couldn't decide between the two 'touching' pictures.  Staley loved gently touching all the flowers.)

Sheep.  Baaa.  Pet.
(We had to find these sheep again at the Botanical Gardens when Staley couldn't stop talking about them.)

Chair.  Sit.  Please. 
(This girl loves to try out any chair/bench/couch that she sees.  Worked out nicely that this one was already set up for a photo op.)

Bunny.  Treats.  Dance.
(The Easter bunny at the mall danced for Staley and gave her treats.  Now every Easter Bunny she sees is a dear friend.  MUCH better than scary old Santa.)

Swimming.  Splash.  Ethan.
(The last time we went swimming, it was with her friend Ethan.  Now swimming is forever linked with Ethan.)

Hi.  Baby.  (And of course...) Chair.  Sit.  Please.
(Looking like a big girl next to 7 month olds Maddy and Mason.)

Train.  Choo choo.  People.  Hi.
(Staley LOVED riding the train and waving/saying 'hi' to the people on the train everytime we saw it go by.)

And the award for best part of vacation goes to...

Carousel.  Puffin.  Up.  Down.  MORE!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taking a Break in Spring

 Zach finished his busy season at work, got caught back up at work with everything that fell to the wayside during busy season, and just finished another MBA class.  He needed a break.  I only work two days a week, but that doesn't mean I didn't want a break too.  So we took one.  And here I sit, lounging on a couch in a St. Louis hotel room with Staley napping and Zach out running in Forest Park.  What a fabulous break we are having!!

We didn't make any plans for our week off work.  We thought we might do some jobs around the house, take Staley to the park or the zoo, maybe enjoy a day or two in St. Louis.  We woke up Monday morning to a cold, dreary day.  The weather report for St. Louis?  75 and sunny.  So we packed, booked a hotel, and headed down a few hours later.  We booked our hotel for two nights, but have had such a fun time in the most b-e-a-utiful March weather imaginable that we extended our stay one more night.

I will post pictures when we get home, but here are some highlights to tide you over.

Staley:  gently touching the flowers at the Botanical Gardens, riding the carousel at the zoo (4 times!), seeing the Easter Bunny at Purina Farms, saying 'hi' and making friends everywhere we go.

Ellen:  eating pizza at Pi, visiting with my cousin Emily and my friend Jenny, the perfect weather, and the joy of sharing new places and new experiences with Staley.

Zach:  eating pizza at Imos, watching the dog show at Purina Farms, cold draught rootbeer from Fitz's, and (even though he's not back yet) I'm sure that running in picturesque Forest Park on a wonderful running trail in perfect weather will make his list.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Almost Fearless

Maybe it's a lack depth perception.  Maybe it's decreased understanding of how much it might hurt.  Maybe it's just an innate bring-it-on attitude.  Whatever it is, the prospect of falling from heights does not faze my little girl.  Walking around on the couch.  Leaning precariously over the edge of our bed.  Standing on the counter.  Walking quickly towards the top of the porch steps.  Apparently my daughter has no fear of hurtling off a high surface.  Head injuries.  Broken bones.  Bumps and bruises.  She apparently laughs in the face of these dangers.  But fearless?  Not quite.  Because grass...well that's still a little scary.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Little Jokester

Staley has officially made her first joke.  It may not make you laugh out loud, but it amuses Staley each and every time she tells it (which is quite often).  And who can resist smiling along when someone truly gets enjoyment out of their own joke?  So here it is:

Staley:  Uma.  Puppy.
Me:  Does Uma have a puppy?
Staley:  (Big smile and little head shake)  No.

Staley:  Papa. Puppy.
Me:  Does Papa have a puppy?
Staley: (Big smile and little head shake) No.

Staley:  Susan [her baby-sitter].  Puppy.
Me: Does Susan have a puppy?
Staley:  Yes!

Then we go through Christian/puppy and Taylor/puppy (Susan's kids who, in Staley's eyes, also have ownership of the puppy), and then we start again with Uma and Papa.  Hilarious, isn't it???  But one of the great things about this joke is that you can expand your joke repetoire with simple variations. Staley has already produced her own variation.

As I've mentioned previously, Staley always associates her cousin, Cade, with basketball.  She got to watch him play in several basketball games and clearly thinks he's the next Michael Jordan.  Everytime she mentions Cade, she mentions basketball as well.  The other day, she turned this into her next little joke.

Staley:  Olivia.  [Her cousin and Cade's sister].  Basketball.
Me:  Does Oliva play basketball?
Staley:  (Big smile and little head shake.)  No.

Staley:  Lila.  [Cade's other sister].  Basketball.
Me:  Does Lila play basketball?
Staley:  (Big smile and little head shake.)  No.

And so it goes.  Humor abounding at the Sancken house.  So the next time you need to lighten the mood or liven up a party, feel free to mix it up with Staley's joke recipe.  I know at least one little girl who will be thoroughly amused!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Goodbye, Old Blue

Based on my vast knowledge of helium balloons, the average lifespan of your run-of-the-mill, multi-colored, latex, helium-filled balloon is about 2-3 days.  Which makes this feat all the more astounding.  Last night, we FINALLY said good-bye to the last remaining balloon from Staley's birthday party.  Staley's birthday party that was over 2 months ago.  65 days ago, to be exact.  Yes, I did pay the extra $ .30 for the high-float (to make the balloons last a little longer), but never did I expect Staley to get so many months of enjoyment.  It was a little sad to say good-bye, but I don't think this balloon could complain.  He was a birthday party attraction.  He was the delight of a little girl.  He got played with and talked about multiple times each day.  He was not exposed to the elements, stuck away in a corner, or popped before his time.  It was a full life, and we were glad to share it with him.
The glory days

Basking in the love and admiration of a little girl

Good-bye, Old Blue.  You will be missed!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Letter to a Dear Friend

Dear Spring,

Boy, how I've missed you!!  I didn't realize exactly how much I've missed you until you showed up at my doorstep this week.  Warm and sunshiney, you make the world a happier place.  I love putting on my t-shirt, kicking off my shoes, and playing in your presence.  I have been spending some quality time with you and your friends Porch Swing, Playground, Sidewalk Chalk, and Stroller.  You bring out the best in me!  I feel more relaxed, happy, energetic.  You motivate me to work out.  You beckon me to blow off housework and laundry.  You are the reason I skipped my errands today and went to the zoo instead.  I am so thankful that you are here, but I know that our relationship is a rocky one.  You may leave without warning.  You will eventually let the hot summer sun run you off.  I wish I could convince you to stay forever, but I know that thought is futile.  So I am going to enjoy my time with you, however long it may be.  Thanks for making my week so wonderful.  Thanks for reminding me to enjoy the simple pleasures you bring.  Thanks for always coming back.

Your forever friend,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Mind of Her Own

My Staley is growing up.  She has an ever-expanding vocabulary and an impressive understanding of the world around her.  And she has a mind of her own.  Firmly set, unwavering belief in what she wants and doesn't want...and she is not shy about letting us know.  'No' is a powerful word, and Staley has learned to use it with force.  Reading a book she doesn't want to read at that moment.  'NO!'  A request to take another bite of vegetables.  'NO!'  Time to stop playing with sidewalk chalk at the baby-sitters and go home.  'NO!'  Bath time is over.  'NO!'  There are sometimes tears.  There is sometimes drama.  But there is no doubt that my baby girl has spunk.  And as easy as it would be to have Staley agree with me 100% of the time, I love the fact that she is developing a strong personality.  I want her to grow into a strong woman with the self-confidence to fight for what she believes in, to stand up for those who can't, to boldly share her ideas.  And if that all begins with arguing against vegetables and for longer bath times, then bring it on!

Monday, March 12, 2012

And the Loser Is...

...the number 9.  Speaking in reality TV terms, the number 9 has been voted off the island.  The number 9 has not been given a rose.  The number 9 will not be holding a mirror ball trophy, singing in a finale, or receiving a million dollar check.  Staley loves to practice her counting, and she has gotten very good at counting from one to ten.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the number 9 was lost.  So although America hasn't voted, apparently Staley has.  And the number 9 just didn't make the cut.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Baby Proofing?

Can you really say you are 'baby proofing' if you let your baby play with the cordless drill while you install the gate for the stairs?

"Helping" Daddy install a baby gate

Friday, March 9, 2012

Down and Up

Down and up.  Just the name of the game makes it sound so fun!  Down and up.  The rules are simple and there are no limits to the number of people who can play.  Down and up.  Staley invented this game, and she'd be so pleased if other people got the same enjoyment out of it.  Down and up.

Staley is becoming a walker.  Yes, she took her first independent steps almost a month ago, but it has really been in the past few days that she has begun walking more than crawling.  I'd say she has a 75% walking percentage now.  Until a few days ago, Staley would walk until she fell and then crawl the remaining distance to her desired location.  Then 'down and up' was born.  Staley began practicing squatting down and then standing back up.  Down and up.  She would take a few steps, squat down, stand back up, squat down, stand back up (smiling the entire time because 'down and up' is so fun) and then take a few more steps.  This evolved and today (for the first time) she fell down and then stood back up in the middle of the room all by herself.  Down and up.  What a great game for my big girl!!  And what a fun 'first' to add to Staley's ever-growing list.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Free Association

Everyone has participated in a little free association game at some point in their life.  You know how it goes:  I give you a word, you tell me the first thing that comes to mind.  Well, life with my talkative little girl is an on-going game of free association.  Usually whatever I say prompts a free association response from Staley--sometimes she responds with the same word that I said last, but more often she responds with her own connecting word.  She also will free associate with herself.  She'll say something and then follow up with the word that she connects with her previous word.  Sometimes the associations she makes truly amaze me.  So welcome to Staley's world of free association.

I say ________________ and then Staley says ____________________ .

Aunt Carrie-Elliott
Cade-Basketball (or ptschh or bounce--words that Staley associates with basketball)
Princess-Tiana and then Belle
Bear-Sneeze and then ah-choo (because of her 'Bear Snores On' book)
Rinse-Owww (another book association where a little boy rinses his hair and gets soap in his eyes)
Drama-No (because Staley knows what we say about the drama)
Movie-Cow and then booo (because the only movie she knows is her farm video)
Train-choo choo
Strong-shampoo (because the first time I told her she was strong was when she was trying to pick up and hand me a full bottle of shampoo.  She remembered this, even when I didn't initially make the connection.)

Happy is one of Staley's newer words.  And now when she says 'happy', she follows up with 'mama.'  What an accurate association, because she is so right.  Staley makes me SO, SO happy!!!!