Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Sunday, April 29, 2012

ABC and 123

Colors and shapes, letters and numbers.  Learning is fun, and Staley does it well.   Identifying letters is something that Staley has been doing for awhile, but she has just recently started to recite her ABCs.  She has A, B, and C down.  The rest is a little sketchy.  It's not uncommon for me to hear Staley practicing in her carseat.  'A, B, C, B' is a pretty common sequence for Staley to recite.  'A, B, C, B, F, R' was one of her more successful attempts.  This morning, Staley's ABC recitation took a slightly different path.  She started out good... 'A, B, C'... and then finished with '7, fish'.  Yes, that's right.  'A, B, C, 7, fish.'  I guess we still have some work to do before kindergarten.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Love You!

Just when I think there is no possible way I could love my little girl anymore than I already do, she fills my heart yet again.  When I got home from work yesterday, Staley gave me a huge smile, a big hug, and said 'Love you!'  This was her very first unprompted 'I love you.'  And I took that feeling of pure joy that she gave me and stored it away in my heart.

Oh, sweet baby girl.  I love you too!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sickness: The Sequel

Staley's first true illness in February provided us a few lessons in parenting a sick child.  And, unfortunately, we've had to make good use of those lessons this week as Staley has been under the weather since Sunday.  A fever, a raspy cough, and a hoarse voice have been accompanied by lethargy, sensitivity, and tears.  She seems to be on the mend and a visit to Dr. Cross this morning revealed that her ears are infection-free, her lungs are clear, and there is nothing more that we can be doing for her.  So we just have to keep employing are sick-child guidelines and praying for a speedy recovery. 

The Sancken-Family Sick-Child Guidelines:
1.  You do not have to eat your vegetables or any other non-preferred food.  We just want you to eat.  And if you subsist on fruit, crackers, and yogurt for a few days, we're fine with that.
2.  Spending all day in your pajamas is totally acceptable.
3.  Because baths are fun (and because we tell ourselves that Johnson's Vapor Bath is helpful), EVERY night is bath night.
4.  The sick child chooses.  So if you want to read 'Pinkalicious' 8 times in a row or wrap up in a blanket on the deck to watch the tractors working in our yard, there will be no argument.
5.  We will dance you to sleep.  You do not have to put yourself to sleep when you are sick.
6.  We have no qualms about keeping you on a steady 3-hour rotation of Tylenol and Ibuprofin.  If it keeps your fever down and makes you feel better, we're all for it.
7.  The steam from the humidifier is fun to look at and touch, so we can pretend that the reason we keep it running non-stop is for your amusement.
8.  You can watch the 'cow movie' (almost) as much as you want.

Being sick is no fun.  Hopefully our guidelines make it a little better.  And as much as Staley LOVES the special treat of watching her cow movie, she may think the price of not feeling well is worth it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Colors and Shapes

Staley is starting to understand more and more concepts.  Colors and shapes are two of these concepts that Staley is working on.  She knows the names of colors and shapes, but consistently attaching the name to the correct color/shape...well, that's a different story.  Staley pretty consistently identifies pink, black, and brown (at least with her crayons), and she can identify ovals, stars, hearts, and diamonds (at least in her shape books).  However, she knows the names of other colors (blue, green, yellow, purple) and other shapes (circle, square, rectangle).  She will proudly label colors and shapes.  She will reach out, grab her red crayon, hold it up, and say "purple" with a big smile.  She will hand me the triangle from her shape sorter and exclaim "circle" as she's handing it to me.  I love that she understands what colors and shapes are.  But as she's walking around with her yellow Easter egg (which is her favorite) announcing 'yellow egg, yellow egg' and I get smug that my 15 month old is so good with her colors, she will turn to hand it to me.  I'll ask, "What color is your egg?"  And with all the confidence in the world, she proudly announces "Blue!"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

When Staley Grows Up

It's sometimes fun to think about what Staley might choose to be when she grows up.  Based on her current interests and skills, Staley may be...

1.  A sports announcer.  She loves to watch and talk about basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and track meets.
2. An artist.  She always asks to 'dot, dot, color, color' in her playroom, with the pens she finds in my purse, and on the driveway.
3.  A book critic.  She LOVES books, but is very specific about which book she wants to read.  Although based on some of her current favorite books that we read over and over and over, I'm not sure I would trust her judgment. 
4.  A housekeeper or a housewife.  Staley loves to help out with domestic chores.
5.  A back-up dancer in music videos.  Anytime Staley hears music, she has to dance.
6.  A saleswoman.  Staley has no qualms about walking up to a complete stranger, saying 'hi', and winning them over with her smiles and her charm.
7.  A treasure hunter/bounty hunter.  Staley truly enjoys playing hide-and-seek (as the all-time seeker) and looking for her Easter eggs.  She's getting pretty good at both.
8.  A veterinarian (or a zookeeper or a pet shop owner or a farmer or a safari guide).  Staley LOVES animals.
9.  Talk show host.  Staley is always talking, and she tells a pretty good story.  A few of her current favorites:  "Races.  Running.  Tay-tay.  Boom"  (Staley got to watch part of a track meet where her baby-sitters daughter, Taylor, was competing.  They shot a gun to start the races.)  "Family walk.  Vicki.  Lilac."  (When going on a family walk after dinner one night, our neighbor Vicki gave Staley a clipping of lilac.)  "Daniel.  Riding bike.  Wheee."  (Staley's little neighbor friend just learned to ride his 2-wheeled bike.  Apparently it looks like lots of fun.)
10.  A shoe designer.  Staley loves to try on all her pairs of shoes.  She will bring them out of her closet one at a time, and spend 15 minutes having me put on and take off various pairs of her shoes.
11.  The next Vanna White.  Staley and her obsession with letters continues.  Wheel of Fortune seems like the perfect fit.
12.  Accountant.  Staley loves a-counting.
13.  A dolphin trainer.  Swimming + dolphins + balls = awesome.
14.  All-time, official carousel rider.  I'm not sure how well this pays, but what could be better???
15.  Stay-at-home daughter...because although it's fun to look at Staley's future and know that her possibilites are endless, it's not fun to think about Staley ever leaving home without us.

And we can be fairly certain that Staley will not be a groundskeeper, a bathroom hand dryer repair woman, or a starving-herself-to-stay-thin model.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hazardous to OUR Health

Staley looks so cute when she walks.  Toddling around, unsteady on her feet, hands up for balance.  So cute until...WHAM!  Face planting on the driveway.  BOOM!  Hitting her head against the fireplace hearth.  BAM!  Tripping over her toy lawn mower.  Slipping on her books on the floor.  Getting blown over by the invisible breeze.  She's pretty tough.  Most times when she falls, she matter-of-factly says 'boom' and then gets back up and continues on her way.  But she ends up with scrapes.  Bruises.  Occasional tears.

I worry about her.  I try to keep her away from stairs, sharp corners, unforgiving surfaces, falling hazards.  And not just because I am worried about strangers judgementally eyeing my bruised and scraped little girl.  It's because it hurts me to see her cry.  To wipe away her big tears. To know that she is hurting.  And today, Staley fell down the stairs at her baby-sitters.  Head first down five deck stairs.  And I just get sick thinking about it.  She apparently recovered quickly.  My thorough inspection revealed a few new scrapes and bruises, but nothing major.  I thank God that she is okay.  I'm sitting here with tears welling up in my eyes, because the thought of something bad happening to my baby is more than I can handle.  She's okay.  Thank you, God, she's okay.  But me?  Staley falls and gets back up.  I'm the one still crying.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Zach!

In a perfect world, a man would have:

A job he enjoys and excels at.
Friends and family who surround him with love.
Enough money to travel and enjoy life.
Good health.
Affectionate, nice, low-maintenance pets.
A legitimate Super Bowl contending team to root for.
A warm, comfortable place to call home. 
(Ideally with a nice, new basement.)
A happy, healthy, beautiful daughter who adores him.
A wife who cooks, cleans, is always patient, never disagrees with him, and looks like a super-model.

I guess 9 out of 10 isn't bad.
Happy birthday to the man who (almost) has it all.  I love you!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And She Will Be Called...

Happy Easter.

Staley has recently been playing more with her dolls and stuffed animals.  Giving them hugs, carrying them around, sitting with them in her chair.  She has one in particular that she was attached to today.  This morning as Staley was carrying around her baby doll, Zach asked her, "What's your baby's name?"  Staley seemed confused.  Zach asked, "What do you call your baby?"  And Staley answered, "Happy Easter."  We moved on, figuring that Staley didn't quite understand the naming-your-doll thing yet.  But this afternoon, Staley was again playing with the same doll.  Zach asked again, "What's your baby's name?"  And Staley's immediate answer?  "Happy Easter."  Now when we ask about her baby's name, she always answers with "Happy Easter."  So there you have it.  It's unique.  It's cheerful.  It's named for something significant in her life.  And so we would like to officially introduce...

Happy Easter Sancken

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fifteen Months

I stopped doing month-by-month posts after Staley turned one, but Staley went for her 15 month check-up today, so I figured a 15 month up-date was in order.  My Staley is now weighing 22 lbs, 1 oz (38th percentile--I could have sworn she weighed more!) and is 31" (68th percentile).  She is a good eater, sleeps from 8-7 daily, and takes an afternoon nap.  She still only has her front 8 teeth, but is really working on her 4 molars.

Likes:  My Staley is still a happy-go-lucky, finding-fun-in-everything kind of girl.  There is so much that she enjoys that it is hard to make a list.  She LOVES playing outside.  Bubbles, balls, and sidewalk chalk are great!  She loves all her toys, but has lately been showing more of an interest in blocks and puzzles.  Books and balls are still at the top of her favorites list.  Staley loves swimming and bath time, going for walks, swinging at the playground, going on outings, and being around other people.  She loves playing with other kids!!  New loves include finding Easter eggs (which we've been doing around the house A LOT this week), riding carousels, and helping around the house.  Staley is a good eater, so it's hard to list favorite foods but she LOVES fruit.  Other favorites include goldfish crackers, graham crackers, fish, brats, pancakes, and (sadly) french fries.

Dislikes:  Staley does not like to take time out of her busy schedule for diaper changes or clothing changes.  Being strapped into her carseat without something to read/play with can get old.  Staley can be dramatic about putting away favorite toys, getting out of the bath, or saying 'good-bye' to friends.  She would rather walk than be carried.  However, Staley remains generally good-natured and her 'drama' only happens occasionally and is short-lived.

Skills:  Staley is a full-fleged walker.  She never crawls anymore, although she still walks like she's had a few too many.  She crawls up stairs and can turn around to crawl down stairs (with close supervision).  She is learning to climb onto furniture, and loves to climb on and off her little chairs.  Staley is starting to put pieces into simple puzzles (or at least partially in the correct spot).  She can activate all the levers on her pop-up toy, stacks 3-4 objects on top of each other, loves to scribble on paper, and can put shapes into her shape sorter.  Staley likes to put on her own hats. She is improving with feeding herself with a spoon, and is starting to try to use a fork.  She likes to help brush her teeth (although sometimes just ends up sucking off the toothpaste) and loves to wash her hands in the big sink.  She will also wipe off her face and her highchair tray after meals, and puts her cup in the dishwasher.  Staley talks all the time and I can understand MOST of what she says.  She has hundreds of words, and is consistently putting 2-3 words together.  She knows her full name and how old she is.  She can count to 12, identifies about 13 upper case letters, knows all her body parts, and asks for most of her books by name.  She can often finish sentences in her books and songs.  Staley understands most of what we tell her, and she knows the rules. (Not that she always follows them, but at least she knows them.)   She consistently uses please and thank you, gives wonderful hugs and kisses, is a super-cute dancer (think lots of arm swinging), and makes friends wherever she goes.  Staley amazes me on a daily basis, but what's most amazing is how full she makes our lives and how much joy she brings.  I truly LOVE spending time with my baby girl--I just can't get enough!!

Staley at 15 months

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Helping

'Helper.'  This is one of Staley's words and one of Staley's fun activities.  As we were preparing for our trip to St. Louis a few weeks ago, I was at the computer booking our hotel.  Staley walked into the office, a pair of Zach's socks in one hand and dragging one of Zach's t-shirts behind her.  She looked at me with a big smile and said, "Helper.  Daddy."  Now I'm not exactly sure how much help it was to Zach that Staley was taking off with the clothes he was trying to pack, but she was so proud to be trying.

Although Staley has always enjoyed being a part of the action when I am doing chores, she has recently been participating in a more helpful fashion.

Putting away groceries

Putting her cup in the dishwasher...

...and then closing it

Giving the cats their treats

She also enjoys opening the mail, throwing things in the garbage, and putting away the laundry.  And I don't care that now my groceries are in the refrigerator like this...


and the laundry is put away like this...



My baby girl is so pleased with herself when she helps me out.  And I love my little helper.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Making Friends

Introverted.  Shy.  Clingy.  These are words that definitely DO NOT describe my baby girl.  Staley has always been a people person.  Even as an infant, she loved being around people.  She never liked to sleep on the go because she didn't want to miss out on the action.  And with her newly aquired mobility and language skills, making friends has never been easier. 

Staley has many, many words, but her very favorite word is 'Hi!'  Anywhere we go and anyone we see gets greeted with this simple, two letter word.  At church, at parties, in the store, at family gatherings, on the playground.  No matter where we are, Staley is making friends.  She will walk right up to people, look up at them, and say 'hi!'  It doesn't matter if she knows them or not.  I think she sometimes takes people off guard.  You generally don't expect to be boldly approached and greeted by a toddler while shopping in the canned foods aisle.

Staley enjoys being around adults, but she LOVES being around other kids.  There is a family with 4 young kids who live next door, and Staley gets so excited about them.  She talks about them all the time, always wants to look out the window or walk over to their house to see if they are outside, and cries when they go inside.  She loves playing with her cousins, her friends at day care, and our neighbors.  Boys.  Girls.  Her age.  Older.  Younger.  It doesn't matter.  Other kids are awesome!!  I took Staley to the zoo a week or two ago.  The lion was sitting right up at the glass at her eye level.  A crowd was gathered to look at the lion.  Staley was standing right up at the glass, but was turned away from the lion so she could say 'hi' to all the people.  Up close encounters with exotic animals or meeting new friends.  In Staley's book, apparently there's no contest.
 
My little cheeseball

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter

Last year, Staley was vaguely interested in her Easter basket, sat quietly through an Easter church service, slept through part of Easter with the family, and was a mere spectator when it came to hunting for Easter eggs.  So much changes in just one short year...

Finding her not-too-tricky 'hidden' Easter basket

A little before church try-out of her new Easter toy

A picture with the Bradford cousins with everyone looking in the same general direction and mostly smiling.  SUCCESS!!

Hunting for Easter eggs took a little practice...

but Staley caught on quickly.

And by the second egg hunt of the day, she was a pro!!

Easter baskets, church, 2 family gatherings, 2 egg hunts, lots of play time with cousins...

Who can blame a gal for being worn out???





Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Watch What You Say...

...because little ears are listening, a little mouth is repeating it, and a little mind is remembering it all.  My talkative little girl is adding to her vocabulary by leaps and bounds.  I stopped keeping track a long time ago (because I just couldn't keep up), but she probably has several hundred words that she uses spontaneously.  She repeats so much of what she hears now, even things we don't think she is paying attention to.  Which is why she has referred to me several times as 'Ellen' (a habit I am NOT encouraging), has called her Grammie Walles 'honey', has found humor in repeating a part of Uma's funny story (over and over again), and even mentioned the 'stalker' that Zach and I were talking about.  That's right.  The word 'stalker' is now in my 14 month old's vocabulary.  Oops!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sad

I have so enjoyed each and every moment and milestone of Staley's almost 15 months.  I can't be sad about her growing and changing because I'm so amazed at the little person she is becoming.  I loved newborn Staley and I loved baby Staley and I love my little toddler Staley.  Each phase brings so much new joy and excitement as I watch Staley's world grow and expand that I can't feel sadness...until this week.

I can honestly say that I felt my first true twinge of Staley-growing-up sadness this week.  Staley is done nursing.  And that has been hard for me.  She has been losing interest over the past month or two, but I continued on--mostly for my own sake.  She never fought it or refused to nurse, but talking or looking around or becoming distracted by the cats/Zach/the ceiling fan/random noises began to take precedence over the nursing.  I gave up night nursing last month because she REALLY wasn't interested with a full belly of dinner, but I'd kept her morning nursing time because I just loved starting our day off together in that peaceful, bonding moment. 

Staley hasn't missed it at all.  She doesn't ask for morning milk or seem at all concerned that our nursing time together is over.  But I miss it.  I do.  I miss the closeness.  I miss our quiet morning moments.  I miss looking down on my baby as she looks back up at me.  I miss our special time that she couldn't share with anyone else.  And I'm sad.  I won't dwell on it, but I need a moment to be sad.  Just a moment to think back about how much has changed in the past 15 months and how quickly it has gone.  And then I'll move on so that I can fully enjoy our moments together tomorrow and the next day and the next, because the next 15 months are going to fly by just as quickly...and I don't want to waste any of that precious time being sad.