Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Sunday, September 30, 2012


At 20 months and 18 days, Staley had her first sleepover away from her mom and dad.  And she LOVED it!!  While Zach and I trekked to Indiana for a no-kids-allowed wedding reception, Staley stayed over with her Uma and Papa.  Incriminating pictures of Staley eating Fruit Loops and evidence of a trip to the toy store were just the icing on the cake (or should I say, the ice cream for lunch) of a fun-filled night away.  First sleepover alone?  Success.  Thanks, Uma and Papa!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Questionable Taste

Driving home after dinner out this evening, Staley was in her carseat playing with the receipt from dinner. 

Staley:  "Put it in mouth."
Me:  "What are you putting in your mouth?"
Staley:  "Receipt."
Me:  "Take it out of your mouth.  That's yucky!"
Staley:  "It's tasty."
Me:  "Paper is not tasty.  It's yucky!"
Staley:  "It's not so bad."

Putting broccoli in her mouth.  Not a chance.  But paper.  Apparently that's not so bad. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Staley has been doing her 'Staley version' of jumping for the past several months.  Bouncing up and down.  Lifting one foot off the floor.  Cute.  But not really jumping.

Today at music class, we were singing a song about jumping.  Staley jumped up with both feet off the floor.  She looked as startled as I did.  Then she thought it was pretty great and did it again...and again...and again.  Most days in music class, Staley spends a good portion of her time dancing and twirling.  But not today.  Today she was jumping.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

She Says...

For several months, Staley has been learning about opposites.  She has several books and some cards with opposites, and she loves to practice telling us about her opposites.  The other day, Staley asked to play with two water bottles that were sitting on our bedside table.  One was empty.  One was partially full.  Staley said, "This one heavy.  This one light.  Staley have these opposites."

Last night, Zach and Staley were having dinner with my family while I was out of town.  The grown-ups were visiting at the table when all of a sudden, in her loud Staley voice, Staley began reprimanding her same-age cousin saying, "LIAM!  Not play with food."  (To be fair, apparently Liam WAS playing with his food.  However, that might have been a little hypocritical from one who has a penchant for playing with her own food.)

On that note, the other day at dinner Staley was sticking her fingers into her applesauce.  I asked her, "Staley, are you still eating your dinner?"  Staley responded with, "No.  Just playing now."

Zach and Staley went to Ackerman Farms yesterday while I was gone.  Before going, Zach asked Staley what animals she thought they might see.  She answered with, "Peacocks."  Zach said, "I don't think they'll have peacocks."  However, upon arriving at the farm, they actually saw several peacocks.  Zach told Staley that he was wrong and she was right.  There were peacocks there.  Later, Staley was at lunch with Uma and Papa.  Zach said, "Tell Uma and Papa what you saw at Ackerman Farms yesterday."  Staley responded with, "Peacocks.  Daddy was wrong.  Staley was right."  (Right?  Yes.  Humble?   Not so much.)

Whenever Staley chooses me over Zach (to hold hands when walking, to carry her, to play with), Zach always says that he's just chopped liver.  Lately, Staley has been figuring out the difference between girls and boys.  She loves to play a game when we tell her someone's name and she tells us whether it's a boy or a girl.  (She's generally correct about 90% of the time.)  The other day, we were playing the boy/girl game.  Cade is a...boy.  Olivia is a...girl.  Mommy is a...girl.  The we said, "Daddy is..."  And Staley's answer?  "Chopped liver."

Everyday with Staley is an amusing adventure.  I look forward to hearing what she's going to say tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Smarter Than Her Mom

Staley has a great memory, and she loves learning new things.  Her current fascination has been with trucks, trains, and construction vehicles.  We recently checked out several books from the library that had pictures of a variety of these vehicles.  Staley loved to look through these books and point out everything from the giant excavator to the dump truck to the car transporter.

The other day, Staley and I were playing outside.  A man from the neighborhood was driving down the street in a small construction vehicle.  The excitement was palpable.

Me:  "Staley, look!!!  Do you see what that man is driving?"
(All the while, I was racking my brain trying to come up with what type of vehicle it was so that I could tell Staley more about it.  I knew I'd seen it in one of her library books.  Was it an end loader?  A forklift?  I just wasn't sure.)

Staley:  "Man driving skid steer."

So there you have it, folks.  At 20 months, my daughter knows more than I do.  At least about skid steers.

Fall Fun

Spring is good.  I like spring.  The end of winter, the re-introduction of spending time outside.  T-shirts, flip-flops, the park, long walks.  Summer has its perks.  Swimming.  Going to the beach.  Backyard BBQs.  Winter is alright.  It has Christmas.  And....  well, it does have Christmas.  But fall is where it's at.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love the beginning of school.  Football season. The crisp air, the changing colors, the pumpkins, the apples.  Crockpot meals.  Jeans and hoodies.  Hayrack rides and bonfires.  Fall is cozy and comfortable and altogether lovely.  And so it is with open arms that I welcome fall back to Eureka once again.

We kicked off our fall season of fun with the Morton Pumpkin Festival last week-end.

All decked out and ready to go.

Dancing at the Julie K. concert

Staley got to ride the carousel AND a train at the festival.
(For the not-so-bargain price of $4/ride, she only got to ride once.)

What can captivate and hold a 20 month old's attention for
2 straight hours?  The pumpkin parade.

And we enjoyed an action-packed morning today with Melissa and Liam at the Rader Family Farm.

Ride 'em, cowgirl!

Barrel train rides?  Nothing could be better!!

Seriously?  How cute is this??????

And this???

Monday, September 17, 2012


First Comes Love...

Prom, May 1995

Then Comes Marriage...

September 15, 2001

Then Comes a Baby in a Baby Carriage (or carseat)...

Staley, January 2011

And before you know it, you're celebrating your 11th wedding anniversary and you wonder "where did those years go?" and "how did I get so lucky to end up with such a blessed life?"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Bird's Best Friend

When taking rides in the car, I often let Staley have some Cheerios as a snack while riding in her carseat.  When we get home from wherever we were, we always pick up the stray Cheerios out of her carseat, and Staley will throw them into the yard for the birds to eat. 

The other morning on the way to Staley's baby-sitters, Staley was in the back having an early morning Cheerio snack.  I looked back to check on her just in time to watch her turn her snack container upside-down and dump all her Cheerios into her lap.

Me:  "Staley!  Why did you just dump out all your Cheerios?"
Staley:  "Give to birds."

I love that my daughter is a thoughtful, generous, food-sharing animal lover.  However, if this keeps up, we'll have a much higher grocery bill, a hungry little girl, and the best fed birds in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Music Class

Staley and I attended our first Music Together class this morning.  There were 6 other little kids (ranging in age from about 6 months to 4 years) with their moms in the class.  Most of the kids sat on their mom's laps or stayed close to their moms throughout the 45 minute class.  There was one little girl, however, who didn't need the comfort and safety of her mom's lap.  She made the rounds of the room, greeting the other kids and moms with an enthusiastic hi.  She then spent most of her class time dancing alone in the middle of the room and gave her new music teacher a big hug at the end of the class.

Can you guess who that little girl was????

If she's that comfortable on Week 1, I'm a little nervous to see what she'll be doing by Week 10.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Potty Time

For the past few months, Staley has been showing an interest in the potty.  (I think it started when a little boy at her previous baby-sitter was getting potty trained.)  She has been randomly telling us at various times that she wants to sit on the potty.  (Never going.  Just sitting.)  After a few weeks of holding her on the 'big' potty everytime she asked while trying to keep her from falling in, we decided that getting her what she refers to as her 'own teeny-tiny potty' would be a lot easier on everyone.

Staley now loves to sit on her 'own teeny-tiny potty.'  She did actually pee in her potty a few weeks ago, but she didn't even realize that she had gone, so I don't really count that as success.  For the past week or two, Staley has been telling us that she needs to 'poo-poo on potty' right after she has filled her pants.  That's progress, right? 

This morning, Staley and I were playing in the playroom.  Staley stopped her play and told me, "Go potty."  We headed on upstairs for a little potty time.  Staley's diaper was clean and mostly dry.  She sat on her potty and asked to read a few books.  I read her several books and after sitting for about 8-10 minutes (with no action), I asked if she was done.  She said, "Still going potty.  More books."  I walked into her room to grab a few more books and a few moments later, my bare-bottomed little girl walked in after me saying, "Pee-pee potty."  We went back into the bathroom and, sure enough, she had gone.  Oh, the excitement from Staley that she had "water in own teeny-tiny potty" AND that she got to flush it down the 'big potty.'  Of course, she's had a wet diaper since and, when asked before nap, did not want to sit on her potty.  I don't think we're going to start potty training boot camp or invest in big-girl underpants quite yet, but it's a start.  Maybe that will be Staley's Christmas gift to us.  Here's hoping!!

Staley's own teeny-tiny potty

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Opening Day Interview

Today was opening day for the Chicago Bears.  In celebration of this annual Sancken family holiday, I interviewed Staley about her knowledge of the Chicago Bears.  And if I do say so myself, her knowledge base is pretty impressive for only 20 months old.  If her father puts as much effort into teaching her about math and literature and history as he does into teaching her about the Bears, school should be a breeze.

My interview with Staley:
What did we watch on TV today?  The Chicago Bears.
What were the Chicago Bears doing?  Playing football.
Who plays for the Chicago Bears?  Jay Cutler throwing.
And what is Jay Cutler?  Quaterback.
Who else plays for the Chicago Bears?  Snow White.  (Said with a big smile.)
Who's your favorite Chicago Bear's player?  Urlacher.
What do we call Walter Payton?  Sweetness.
What do we say about the Bears?  Touchdown Bears!
What do we say about the Packers?  Booo!
What do you do when the Bears make a touchdown?  Spike it.
What do all the fans say?  Let's Go Bears!!

Let's Go Bears!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Beginnings

Staley started her new baby-sitter yesterday.  Staley and I both had out checklists of how to determine if the new baby-sitter was a success.

Staley's Checklist:
1.  Other kids to play with.  Check!
2.  Toys that are new and different than the ones at home.  Check!
3.  Dogs that let me pet them and sometimes lick me.  Check!
4.  Song time.  Check!
5.  Lots of new books to read.  Check!
6.  And someone to read them to me.  Check!
7.  The chance to watch big kids get on a school bus.  Check!
8.  Outside play time...with bubbles.  Check!
9.  Arts and crafts time...with paint AND glue.  Check!
10.  Sleeping on a cot at naptime like a big girl.  Check!

My Checklist:
1.  A nice, clean home where Staley can roam and play.  Check!
2.  Sweet, well-behaved children for Staley to play with.  Check!
3.  A nice, quiet place for Staley to take a good nap.  Check!
4.  A fun, safe, loving, stimulating environment.  Check!
5.  A little girl who is excited when I drop her off and happy when I pick her up.  Check!

Staley had a great first day!!  She had so much to tell me on the ride home about her new friends and the dogs and the toys she played with and the things she did.  She came home happy and well-rested with an art project in tow.  And they must have talked about the month of the year in Circle Time, because Staley told me on the way home, "Go to Miss Megan's house September."  Yes, Staley will go to Miss Megan's house in September...and I'm so glad she's excited about it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tomboy? Or Girlie-Girl?

Growing up, I was probably what you would call a tomboy.  I preferred sweat pants to dresses.  (And let's be honest.  I still do.)  I could keep up with the neighborhood boys climbing trees and running races.  My middle and high school time was spent playing sports rather than hanging out at the mall.  Backpacking and camping in beautiful places has always held more appeal to me than a spa get-away.  And make-up, french braiding, and the importance of name brands remain a mystery to me.

I want Staley to be well-rounded.  I don't want her to be pigeon-holed into dolls and princesses if her real interests lie in trains and trucks.  But if she prefers frilly dresses to comfy hoodies, I want her to know that's okay too.  I want to her to explore all her options and choose the things that make her happy, regardless of what others may want to choose for her.  I cherish my days of climbing trees, sweating through track practices, cutting the sleeves off my t-shirts, and sleeping under the stars with my friends.  I don't want Staley to miss out on any of those moments that will shape her into the woman she becomes just because it's not what others are doing.

And so far, Staley is marching to her own little drummer.  She loves her princesses and baby dolls, but she also fills her days playing with her trains, her trucks, and her tools.  Her Little Tykes car must not be performing up to her expectations because she has to 'fix' it on a daily basis, 'just like Papa.'  (Although I'm not sure that Papa usually fixes cars with a hammer and a screwdriver.)  Staley is just as happy in a onesie or a Sunday dress, but often insists on wearing her necklaces and her bracelet.  Staley is still dainty about playing in the grass, but loves to play in puddles, in sand, and with rocks.  And Staley always gets SO excited about seeing firetrucks, police cars, helicopters, garbage trucks, and construction vehicles.  (Hearing her talk about seeing a high-hoe or an end-loader always makes me smile.)  She loves going shopping and helping around the house just as much as she loves playing sports and watching her cousins play sports.  Well-rounded interests.  Check!

I'm glad that Staley is developing her own interests.  And who knows?  Maybe one day my baby girl will be happily driving a bulldozer on a construction site...while proudly accessorizing with 6 necklaces and a bracelet.

Staley and her 'bling'