Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Even the Best Laid Plans...

I've seen it in action.  The frantic parent, searching high and low for the beloved stuffed animal.  The screaming child refusing to go to bed without it.  The consistent checking to make sure it is in the diaper bag, the vigilant care to make sure it doesn't get left at the baby-sitters, the sneakiness with which the mother has to pluck it away from the child every now and then to wash it.  These are all parenting scenarios that I am content with not experiencing.  And even though Staley is easy-going and generally drama-free, I didn't want to take any chances.  So I made a plan.  A good plan.  An easy plan.  A fail-proof plan...or so I thought.

We recently let Staley start sleeping with a stuffed animal at bedtime and naptime.  My plan?  Give her a different stuffed animal each time she lays down.  That way, she gets the enjoyment of going to bed with a stuffed animal without the attachment issues to one specific toy.    Brilliant, right?  Unfortunately, it only worked for the first few days.  And then Staley grew Pink Bear, Yellow Bear, and Blue Bear.  I tried to sway her.  I'd give her a cute little dalmation puppy before nap.  She would get in her crib, hold the puppy up to me, and sweetly say...'All done, puppy.  Blue Bear.'  Or getting ready for bed, I'd pick the cuddliest lion from the stack of stuffed animals.  Staley would respond, 'No lion.  Yellow Bear.'

And so we now have Blue Bear, Yellow Bear, and Pink Bear.  Staley doesn't throw fits if she can't find them, but she consistently asks for one or more of them at naptime and bedtime.  So now we take them to the baby-sitters.  They join us on overnight trips.  We sometimes take them in the car.  Blue Bear, Yellow Bear, and Pink Bear have a good life.  They get lots of hugs, kisses, and tickles from a sweet little girl.  They get to sit on her lap when reading books.  According to Staley, they sometimes lick her hands.  And I can't complain.  Staley doesn't get upset without them.  There are 3 of them, so we have options in case one of them gets lost or ruined.  And they are Beanie Babies, so presumably they are easily replaceable.

I do like Blue Bear, Yellow Bear, and Pink Bear.  And Staley likes them too.  But I liked my plan better.
Pink Bear, Yellow Bear, and Blue Bear
(Bet you can't tell which is which.)

Blue Bear getting a little extra love.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012


We just returned from a fun overnight excursion to Chicago.  And just like everything I do as a first-time parent, I learned something new.  And this is what I learned...

1.  I learned that we don't HAVE to get a hotel suite when we travel, because Staley did great falling asleep and sleeping all night while sharing a room with her parents and grandparents.

2.  I learned that Staley enjoys watching the 'fast runners' finish the 10-mile race inside Soldier Field.

3.  I learned that saying 'good job, Daddy' and 'good job, Grandpa' are well within Staley's abilities.

4.  I learned that pushing a stroller allows you to use the accessible entrance at the Shedd Aquarium, thus avoiding the extremely long line to get in the front door.

5.  I learned that the $8 general admission fee for the aquarium allows you to see almost nothing...thus requiring you to instead spend $28/ticket.  Highway robbery.  But the $28 tickets did allow Staley to enjoy the sharks, the dolphins, the penguins...and her favorite, the beluga whales (that surface and spout water into the air).

6.  I learned that the sirens during the Memorial Day parade on State Street were a little worrisome, but not enough to keep Staley from enjoying the parade.  And I learned that the drums are AWESOME!

7.  I learned that even balmy, crowded, small hotel pools are super-fun!!

8.  I learned that a 20 minute nap in the stroller is enough rejuvination to keep Staley from napping in the car on the ride home.

9.  I (happily) learned that Staley can stay awake and entertain herself for a 2 1/2 hour car ride without getting fussy once.  All she needs is some catchy kid's music, 2 stuffed animals, several books, a few princess figurines, and her socks and shoes.

10.  I learned that traveling with Staley remains easy...and fun...and well worth doing again and again and again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Double Digits

Top left molar.  Tooth number 10.  This little girl continues to grow up way too fast!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let's Call It a Tie

When arguing with a 16 month old, it's hard to declare a winner and a loser.

Me:  Staley.  It's time to put on your pajamas.  Go pick out which pair you want to wear.
(Cue Staley opening her pants drawer.)
Me:  That's your pants drawer.  I want you to get your pajamas.
(Cue Staley closing her pants drawer and opening her hat drawer.)
Me:  That's your hat drawer.  You need to open your pajama drawer.  It's pajama time.
Staley:  Hat time. (As she removes a hat from her drawer.)
Me:  No, it's pajama time.
Staley:  Hat time.  (As she puts on a fluffy white winter hat with ears.)
Me:  Okay.  I'll pick out your pajamas, because it's pajama time.
Staley:  Hat time.

And that's why Staley drank her milk, brushed her teeth, danced with Daddy, and read her bedtime books while wearing her frog pajamas...and a fluffy white winter hat with ears.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Not Important

'S-T-Y' spells Staley.  At least it does when you ask Staley how to spell her name.  Apparently the 'A-L-E' are expendable.

Counting to 13.  Piece of cake.  The number 9.  So unnecessary.

Saying the alphabet.  Fun times.  Start with A.  End with G.  And who really needs 'E' anyway?

Learning your address is tricky.  The street name?  No problem.  The numbers?  Irrelevant.

Staley doesn't sweat the small stuff.  Dropping letters from her name, ending the alphabet at G, still denying that the number 9 exists.  In the grand scheme of life at 16 months, those things aren't really that important anyway. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

There's Always Something New

Top 5  (+ 1) Cute Things Staley is Doing This Week:

1.  Singing.  Staley enjoys sharing her singing voice with the world, and joining in with songs that we are singing or songs she hears on her CDs  is something she is starting to do frequently.  She sings along with bits of songs ranging from 'Home on the Range' to 'Happy Birthday' to 'Wheels on the Bus' to Justin Bieber.  And no, I am not at all only a little ashamed of the fact that I did buy a Justin Bieber song off I-tunes (and that I listen to it enough that my daughter knows the chorus.)

2. Climbing off furniture or down stairs.  As her overly cautious mother, I have been providing constant reminders to Staley about safety around stairs or on furniture.  So now, ANYTIME she is getting ready to go down the stairs or climb off the couch, she provides a verbal play-by-play.  'Sit down.  Turn around.  Feet down first.'  Good advice for all of us to follow.

3.  Making up her own word mash-ups.  Staley is a great talker, but pronounciation and pauses still require some fine tuning.  When Staley is asking for something, she will often use one of her favorite Staley-phrases-turned-words.  'Haveit.'  'Wantit.'  'Holdit.'  For example, 'Ipod.  Havit.' Or  'Cup.  Holdit.'  She gets her point across and leaving out the pause between words does save a little time, so that she can 'haveit' or 'holdit' a little more quickly.

4.  Taking turns.  Staley is understanding the concept of taking turns.  So if she wants to do something or have something that someone else has, she will say 'Staley's turn.'  But she is also good on the flip-side, and will readily let other people have their turn too.

5.  Pretending.  Staley enjoys pretend play, and she will now share in a tea party or a picnic (complete with sound effects), talk on her toy phones, rock and hold her babies on her lap, and make her princesses dance and jump.

6.  Loving her friends.  The other day, the 4 little neighbor kids were getting out of their van in the driveway next door.  Staley abandoned her toys we were playing with in our driveway and made a bee-line towards the neighbors house, all the while saying in her sweet little Staley voice 'Hi friends.  Hi friends. Hi friends.'  So cute!!

How fun would life be if we all just let our friends know how excited we are to see them, sang along with great songs no matter where we are, took a break from reality for a little pretending, and made up our own words.  Staley does it.  Now it's your turn.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Gifts, cards, meals, pampering.  That's all nice.

But this baby girl.  She's the real gift.  All my days are happy because I get to be her mother.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not Really a Compliment

I don't usually work on Fridays, but the therapist who generally works on Fridays had a baby this morning.  As the emergency 'on-call' person for today, I had to go in to see a patient.  I spoke with the nurse on the phone to find out when would be a good time for me to come see this patient.  I explained that our usual OT had a baby this morning, so I was covering and could come in later in the morning.

When I showed up, the nurse looked at me and said, "You look AMAZING for having had a baby this morning!"

Which begs a few questions...

1.  How does looking amazing a few hours after giving birth translate into normal people looks?  I'm not sure I want to know the conversion table, because my thought...not too good.

2.  Should I be worried by the fact that this nurse thought it was even plausible that I had given birth earlier in the day?  I know my mid-section is still not pre-baby, but maybe I've been too easy on myself.

3.  And do we really want to be trusting the health and safety of our sick children to nurses who think that someone would return to work mere hours after giving birth?

I'm still just not sure how to take this...but I don't think it's a compliment.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's Always Mother's Day Around Here

When talking with other moms about Mother's Day, it seems pretty universal.  On Mother's Day,  moms want to be recognized.  They want to be pampered.  They want a little time to themselves.  They want dad to step up and realize how much a mom really does in a given day.

When hearing about what other moms want for their special day, I realized that EVERY Sunday is Mother's Day at our house.  We sleep in until around 7:30, when our 16 month old alarm clock wakes us up with happy talking in her crib.  Zach gets Staley up and fed while I take my 'long shower' (something I look forward to all week) and get ready for church.  After church, we come home and I play with Staley while Zach makes his famous blueberry pancakes for lunch.  Zach puts Staley down for her nap.  If I want to go running or read or catch up on e-mails or watch something on television, I can.  When Staley wakes up, we spend fun family time together--playing in the driveway, going for a walk or a run, visiting the park, hanging out in Staley's playroom.  Every Sunday, I have time for myself.  I get pampered.  I change very few diapers.  I don't cook.  I get to spend time with the family I love.

I'm not trying to make anyone jealous.  I'm not trying to rub it in that when Zach is home he is actively involved in everything from diaper changes to bath time to play time.  I'm just sharing the facts.  And the fact is...ZACH ROCKS!!  So happy Mother's Day to me...every week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Loves

Things that Staley has recently discovered she loves:

1.  Stomping and splashing and playing in puddles.  Grass is still not her favorite, but she has no problem sitting down in the middle of a muddy puddle.  From a laundry perspective, I would prefer grass.

2.  Painting.  It's serious business.

3.  'Helping' wipe during diaper changes.
4.  Looking on the back of her books to see pictures of other books...and then requesting those other books at the library. 

5. Playing with my underwear. She will walk into my room, point at my underwear drawer, and ask for my underwear by color. 'Black underpants.' 'Pink underpants.' 'Blue underpants.' She generally needs two pairs before she is satisfied.  Carrying it around and putting it on her head like a hat are current favorite activities. (I should have a picture of this, but I don't yet.)

6.  Reaching previously unreachable items.

7.  Her princesses.  Staley has a set of 7 miniture Disney princesses.  They are her current favorites, and they are the perfect size to take in the carseat, to restaurants, or to the baby-sitters.  She loves to make them jump up and down, and make them dance.  She also likes to have Zach and I kiss them.  'Daddy.  Kiss Belle.'  'Mommy.  Kiss Tiana.'  Hours of fun for the whole family.

8.  Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries.  In fruit salad, she asks for each berry specifically by name.  My fruit-loving girl LOVES her berries.

9.  Watching 'Staley Movies' that we take on the video camera.  It makes it harder to take videos now, because Staley will stop what she's doing to request 'Watch.  Staley movie.' 

10.  Her raincoat.  Staley has several really cute spring coats, but rain or shine, she ALWAYS wants to wear her raincoat.  

Staley is always discovering new things she loves and enjoys doing.  Lucky for me, I already know what I love more than anything else... wonderful baby girl!

Friday, May 4, 2012

13.1 Reasons Why

My dad is 63, a long-time runner, and just completed his first 1/2 marathon last week-end.  He did great!  I was impressed with his training, his time, and the fact that he was running again 2 days later.  My dad helped instill my love for running.  Running together was something special that we always did together.  I ran the last 3 miles of the 1/2 marathon with my dad last week-end, and was reminded again of all the things I love about running.  My running has been sporadic (at best) over the past 4 years.  During the 'infertility years', I took a break from running, and since Staley has been born, I've had a hard time working running into my schedule on a regular basis.  Running with my dad last week-end reminded me of how much I miss it.  And here's the 13.l reasons why I love running.

1.  Running comes naturally to me.  It's a God-given gift, and I need to use it.
2.  Running is the perfect stress-reliever.
3.  I love the feeling of accomplishment after a long run or race. 
4.  Running keeps me healthy.
5.  I'm competetive by nature.  Really competetive.  Running gives me a healthy outlet for that.
6.  Running gives me time to think.  Some of my best problem-solving, gift ideas, made-up song lyrics, winning arguments, and work-related presentations came during runs.
7.  Running makes me feel strong.
8.  Running takes me back to so many happy memories.  Running was something special I always did with my dad.  Cross country and track filled many of my hours through high school and college, and provided me most of my closest friends...and Zach. 
9.  Running lets me eat my desserts and still wear my skinny jeans.
10.  Running is an individual sport, but it brings people together.  It's like being a part of a secret society that no one else quite understands.  I like being in the club.
11.  Running keeps me in shape for the other things I enjoy--hiking, playing, swimming, sports.
12.  There are very few times in your adult life when people cheer for you.  When you run a race, they do.  Loudly.  And it feels good.
13.  Running makes me happy!

and the .1 reason I love running:  It's part of who I am.

I think when Staley gets up from her nap today, we'll go for a run.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teeth, Time, Singing, and State Farm

So what do these 4 things have in common? 

Staley has a new tooth.  FINALLY!  After a few months of working on her molars, her bottom left molar has broken through.

And speaking of new-ness, Staley has a new skill.  Singing.  She sang her very first song today--a Staley version of 'Happy Birthday.'  Unfortunately, it seems that Staley may have inherited the Walles musical ability.  On the plus side, off-tune singing for a 15 month old is adorably sweet.

Adorably sweet, you say?  What else is adorably sweet?  A 15 month old trying to understand the concept of time.  A few weeks ago, Zach told Staley that I was going to be home from work in about 10 minutes.  Since then, if I'm not home, Staley always says 'Mommy.  Home.  About 10 minutes.'  Earlier this week, as Staley was informing Zach that I would be home in about 10 minutes, Zach corrected her by saying that it would probably be an hour.  So now, when asked 'when will Mommy be home?', Staley either guesses 'about 10 minutes' or now '10 hours.'  At least she has options.  They may not always be practical options, but they are options nonetheless.

And while we're on the topic of practicality, what could be less practical than a cow in a cubicle?  When Staley is asked, 'where's Daddy?', she generally answers with 'work' (although she will occasionally respond with 'running' or 'meeting'--two other viable options).  The other day, I told her that Daddy worked at 'State Farm.'  She smiled big, said 'State Farm', and then said 'cow.  pig.'  I don't want to be the one to shatter her vision of her Daddy on a tractor or hanging out with her beloved farm animals.  Because really, sitting at a computer working on a spreadsheet isn't nearly as cool.

Our days are never dull.  New teeth, new skills, new understanding, and a new way to market State Farm to the under 2 crowd.  I'm sure Staley will be making me smile with something else she does in about 10 minutes...or 10 hours.  Probably both.