Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Events

Generally the events associated with New Year's Eve involve parties and late nights and staying up until midnight to say good-bye to another year and hello to the promise of what the next year holds.

Unfortunately, our New Year's Eve events of the day involved more hospital and less party.  My pregnancy with Peanut has been cruising along uneventfully, just the way I like it.  Yesterday I started having contractions.  Nothing regular or strong, but contractions nonetheless.  I rested, drank fluids, and they still stuck around.  I slept well last night and was a little unnerved to realize that they continued to linger this morning.  I called my doctor for a little reassurance, and unfortunately that's not what I got.  Due to the holiday, my doctor's office was closing early but my doctor really felt like I needed to be seen.  So Zach rushed home from work, his mom came over to watch Staley, and Zach and I headed over to the Labor and Delivery triage at the hospital.

After an hour and a half of monitoring and some tests by the doctor, it was confirmed that I was indeed having contractions but was not in preterm labor.  The verdict:  Go home, rest, drink lots and lots of fluids, and come back if the contractions continue or get worse.

Although that may not have been my first choice of how I wanted to spend my New Year's Eve day, I can't help but feel so thankful.  Thankful that Peanut is still doing well and staying put.  Thankful that I have a husband who will rush home from work, stay with me and entertain me in the hospital, insist that I stay here on the couch while he watches our daughter, and keeps bringing me fresh refills of my water.  Thankful that my mother-in-law is always so willing to help out, even at a moments notice.  Thankful that my parents offered to bring over dinner to make sure I continued to rest and relax.  Thankful that we have insurance and the ability to pay for medical care so that I don't have to weigh out whether or not my medical needs truly warrant attention.  Hospital visit may not have been top of my list of what I wanted to do on New Year's Eve and extra medical bills may not have been my choice of how to spend a little extra money before the new year, but all I am is thankful.  It's a good reminder as 2012 comes to a close that I am so blessed.  So my New Year's Eve wish for you is that you have a moment to stop and reflect on all the ways you have been blessed in 2012...and to hope that 2013 is just as good.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good-bye Christmas

Last night after Staley went to bed, Zach and I took down our Christmas decorations.  So this morning, as we were getting ready to go down the stairs for breakfast, I warned Staley that our Christmas tree was gone.  As she walked down the stairs, she began pointing out all the things that were gone.  "The garland is gone.  The tree is gone.  The angel is gone."  Since she seemed to be taking it all in stride, I joined in and pointed out, "Look.  The stockings are gone too."  At that, Staley looked like she was about to burst into tears and asked, "Where are my toothpaste and toothbrush?"

After reassuring Staley that her new toothbrush and toothpaste were still safely living in the upstairs bathroom, she was fine.  But really, how traumatic it would be to think that when Christmas was over, all the new things you had just gotten would be whisked away with the decorations.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Technology

I don't know why they call it a smart phone, because all it does is make me feel very un-smart.

I am not a technologically savvy individual.  I can check my e-mail.  I can google information.  I can post on my blog.  But if the computer doesn't do what I think it should do, I'm at a loss for how to fix it.  I don't download new software or problem-solve network problems.  When I call the computer help line at work, most times they just tell me something simple like restart your computer or click on this icon, and it fixes the problem.  But can I figure that out on my own.  Apparently not.  So why, oh why, did I think that I could figure out a smart phone???

Zach and I both got smart phones for Christmas.  I wasn't sure I was ready to say good-bye to my trusty flip phone with the keyboard, but Zach convinced me that it was time to join the 21st century.  In my first hour after activating the phone, I messed up my contacts list, set up my e-mail incorrectly, accidentally called someone (twice), and downloaded what I thought was a free app that actually was going to charge me $9.99/month.  Not a stellar start.  While Zach was whizzing away downloading apps and loving his new phone, I was struggling to set a ringtone and was still figuring out how to actually answer my phone. 

Since the rocky start to our relationship, my new phone has been growing on me.  I have made phone calls, answered phone calls, texted, checked my e-mail, and even downloaded 3 apps.  I set my speed dials (although still haven't figured out how to actually use them.)  Zach helped me rearrange my home screen, and now my phone even tells me the outside temperature wherever I am.  I know there are TONS of things that my new phone can do, many of which I'll probably never figure out.  It still makes me a little nervous that my phone seems to be tracking my every move.  I would like to think of myself as a progressive individual who embraces change and keeps up with the times, but I've realized that I'm not that cool anymore.  I like the status quo.  I like consistency and reliability and the comfort of the familiar.  So although I've moved on into the 21st century (at least in the phone world), I think part of me is still clinging to the 20th.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas

Our tree is shedding needles and dropping ornaments, our recycling is loaded down with empty boxes, the playroom has been rearranged to accommodate the new toys, and all 3 of us took a 2 hour nap today.  I think it's very clear.  Christmas must be over.

Our Christmas holiday was fast and full, exhilirating and exhausting.  We started off on Sunday evening with the extended Sancken family Christmas, followed it up with a Christmas Eve celebration at the Bradfords with Zach's immediate family, enjoyed a cozy Christmas morning at home with our little family, and then rounded out the fun at my parents for the Walles Christmas bonanza on Christmas evening.

If you ask Staley what she got for Christmas, she probably won't tell you about her new kitchen and accessories or her princess castle or her new baby dolls or her bowling set.  Generally, she tells people that she got toothpaste and stickers.  We could have saved ourselves money and wrapping paper and the 4 hours Zach spent putting together the kitchen because the toothpaste, chapstick, and stickers in her stocking apparently provided enough excitement.  We started Christmas morning with stockings, and Staley didn't even want to unwrap her presents.  She just wanted to brush her teeth.  (Aunt Melissa must be so proud!)  With a little coercing, she did open her presents and has had a great time playing with her new toys.  When she finally walked into her playroom and saw her new kitchen, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "Look!  A kitchen!  A real kitchen!" She whipped us up a yummy Christmas morning breakfast of chocolate cake and bacon, baked together in a pot in the oven.  I'm sure she'll share the recipe if you ask.

Staley also got to experience the joy of giving this holiday season.  Zach took her Target and told her she could pick out anything in the store to get for me.  (Brave man.)  Apparently they walked up and down multiple aisles until Staley spotted a display of loofahs.  She immediately said, "This!  I want to get this!" as she proceeded to pick me out a very special orange loofah.  Being less brave than Zach, I took Staley to the Everything's $1 store and told her she could pick out something for Zach.  She immediately found a Cinderella puzzle that she thought Daddy would love...until she spotted some bubble bath in a heart-covered bottle.  We took that to the check-out, where she then changed her mind once again and decided that he would like some casino playing cards.  In the end, I think she picked a winner.  I will admit.  I got some nice things for Christmas, but my orange loofah may be the best gift of them all!

Spending time with family is always a highlight of any holiday.

Staley with her Bradford cousins

Staley and her two older Bradford cousins

Staley with her Walles cousins

Spending a little extra time with Uncle Ethan on Christmas Eve morning was another Christmas highlight.

Staley checking out her stocking loot.

Staley with her new Dora toothbrushes and Little Bear toothpaste.  Score!

Baking up a yummy Christmas morning breakfast.

My little chef (in her super-cute apron that Aunt Melissa made)

We had a very merry Christmas.  We move forward from another Christmas with special gifts and new memories and the joy of giving to others...and very clean teeth.  We wish the same for you!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 
Joy to the world!! 
May you celebrate the birth of our Savior surrounded by those you love!
 
 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Equation

Helping Mommy bake
 
+

cookie cutters
 
+

frosting and 'frinkles'
 
=

one happy little girl.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

All I Want for Christmas...

...is a fever and a cough???

Unfortunately for Staley, that is what has arrived for her these few days before Christmas.  She woke early Friday morning with a fever.  Her fever stuck around all day yesterday, although couldn't seem to keep my little gal down.  She was her happy, active, playful self all day.  (Well, her happy, active, playful self that needed a 3 hour nap.)  And today, she woke up still hanging onto her fever and adding a little croupy cough to the fun.  Still happy.  Still active.  Still playful.  Just now happy, active, playful, fever-y, and cough-y.  Of course, today was supposed to be the kick-off to Christmas with Zach's family.  But because sickness is NOT what we want to be giving out for Christmas this year, our Sancken holiday celebration had to be postponed.  Not exactly the way we wanted to kick off our Christmas celebrations, but I'm not going to complain.  As I think about the children and families that will be spending their Christmas at the hospital, the individuals who will be alone this holiday season, those whose only Christmas list is to be healthy or housed or loved or safe, the families who have to face this Christmas with presents for their lost child still under the tree, all I can do is pray for them...and feel truly thankful.  I am blessed.  Our Savior has been born.  And no fever or cough or postponed celebration will ever change that.

Let It Snow

Staley has never experienced snow.  Last winter was so mild that we never had a true snowfall (and Staley probably wouldn't remember it anyway.)  She has several books that talk about the snow and the fun things to do in snow, so Staley has been enchanted with the idea.  She was SO excited about the snow as I was picking her up after work on Thursday evening.  "I getting snow on my coat.  I getting snow on my hat.  Mommy getting snow on her coat.  Mommy driving in the snow."  And since then, she has been asking to play in the snow.  So today we bundled up and headed out.

Ready to go.
(I do think the pink light-up princess boots from Uma may have bolstered Staley's extreme desire for it to snow.) 
 
I think the idea of snow might be a little more enchanting than the snow itself.  Staley's books expose the fun of sledding (we don't have one yet) and ice skating (not quite ready.)  They show large, perfectly shaped snowmen (snow didn't pack) and snow forts that look like castles (not going to happen).  Her very favorite snowy day picture is when Goose makes a larger-than-himself snowgoose.  (Again, my artistic abilities and the snow consistency made this dream an impossibility.)  Snow angels sounded like a good idea until Staley realized that she would have to lie down in the snow (decided against it).  We did make a few crumbly snowballs, but Staley's mittens made it hard to hold onto anything.  Although she still insists that she likes the snow, I'm afraid her 15 minutes of snowy day bliss might not have lived up to expectations.
 
First steps into the snow.
 
So this is what snow feels like.
 
Staley's winter wonderland.
 
 




Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Letter

Disclaimer:  Many of you have probably already received this Christmas letter, and there is still a batch on it's way.  However, because this blog is as much for Staley and our family to remember our day-to-day moments, I wanted to include our Christmas letter in the blog.  To keep you from thinking it was a waste of time to check a blog that is posting old-news information, I have included a new Christmas-y Staley photo at the end of this post.  Enjoy!  :)


The Christmas Letter 2012
A literary work by Staley

My life is very busy.  I have toys to play with, cats to pet, naps to take, Tupperware to remove from the cupboards, songs to sing, baths to play in, and I’m still expected to be in bed by 7:30 every night.  In the midst of all that I have to accomplish in a day’s time, now my mom expects me to write a Christmas letter AGAIN!  I know last year’s letter impressed a few readers with my grasp of the written English language, but now that I’m almost 2, I’m worried it will be more difficult to live up to the expectations.  But because it was either writing this or putting away all the blocks I just dumped out in my playroom, I’m going to give it a go.  (At least with letter writing, I get to play on the computer.  And trust me, I dumped out A LOT of blocks.)
We’ve had a very good year around here.  Last year, I was just a baby.  Now I’m a big girl.  I’m fast.  I’m adventurous.  I’m talkative.  I’m opinionated.  I’m social.   I’m happy (although, for the record, I’m always happier when I’m getting my way.)  I love playing with my friends and my cousins, reading books, pretending, swimming, playing toys, singing, and keeping Mom and Dad on their toes.  And, of course, I’m a huge Chicago Bear’s fan.  Mom likes to keep track of everything I’m doing, so she writes about me and puts pictures of me on our family blog.  If you want to know more about what I’m up to, you can check it out at http://ezsanck.blogspot.com.
Mom and Dad have lots of favorite things, but I am at the top of the list.  Mom still works 2 days/week at the Children’s Hospital in Peoria as a pediatric occupational therapist, and that gives me time to play with my friends at the baby-sitters.  Otherwise, we have lots of fun playing at home and going on outings together.  Dad works all week, so he just has to live vicariously through my stories of trips to the zoo, the pool, music class, the grocery store, and the library.  He’s sad to miss out, but he really likes his job as an accountant at State Farm and always finds time to do fun things with me when he gets home.  Dad also finished his MBA in June, so now he’s not in class every other week-end anymore.  That’s a bonus for me!!!  He’s still on the Eureka City Council, teaches an accounting class, fixes things around the house, and makes the best pancakes ever.
Jake and Elwood are my best friends.  They sleep a lot and stay out of my way when I’m running around, but I love to pet them and share my toys with them and give them treats.  I give them lots of love.  Someday maybe they’ll reciprocate.
I got to go to the beach for the first time this year.  We spent a week in Pentwater, MI with my aunts and uncles and cousins.  Sand is awesome!  Water is awesome!  Staying in a house with my cousins is awesome!  To sum up, Pentwater was awesome!  We also went to St. Louis, Chicago, and Madison, WI.  I haven’t met a zoo, aquarium, Children’s Museum, or hotel pool I didn’t like.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that by April, I’m going to be a big sister.  I love my baby dolls and I like playing with other kids, so I’m guessing I’ll like having a baby brother or sister.  I don’t expect life to change around here for me too much when the baby comes.  It’ll probably be like having a new toy, only better.  Right??
Well, I think that about covers what happened around here this year.  Hopefully Mom has picked up all my blocks by now.  I think I’m going to go dump them back out.  I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

With love,
Staley (and my parents too)

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Great Nap Experiment

Hypothesis:  Staley no longer needs an afternoon nap.

Experiment:  Staley will skip her afternoon nap, and we will observe the results.

Most recent date of experiment:  Yesterday

Set-up: 
1.  Put Staley down for her afternoon nap.
2.  Staley will happily talk and sing in her crib for over half an hour.
3.  Attempt quiet music, dancing, and lying in her room.
4.  After over an hour with no nap in sight, give up and get Staley up.

Observations:
Staley proceeds through the 4 stages of No-Nap Syndrome.

Stage I:  Utter Happiness
Upon discovery that she has won and nap-time is over, talking, smiling, laughter, and energetic happiness ensue.

Stage II:  Mellowing Out
Staley will proceed to melt into the couch while eating her snack and watching her snack-time television program.  Eyes become glassy, movement is limited.

Stage III:  The Second Wind
In order to combat the mellow tiredness, Staley will become overly active.  Attention to toys and activities is limited, and Staley will instead run aimlessly, do laps around the dining room table, and stay in constant motion in order to not fall asleep.

Stage IV:  The Melt-down
When active pursuits are halted (aka:  sitting down for dinner), bring on the melt-downs.  Make room for sensitivity, tears for no reason, and the inability to deal with even the smallest of disappointments.

The result:  Bedtime occurs at 6:15 instead of 7:30.

Conclusion:  Staley still needs her afternoon nap.

Future Experiments:  Staley decides that this experiment is worth repeating every month or so.  The results are always very similar, but Staley is determined to prove her hypothesis.  Here's hoping that after this current trial, her scientific curiousity is satisfied for a nice, long time.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Math Lesson

Staley and Zach were playing together in the play room and had this little math lesson.

Zach:  (Holding up 2 cards)  "How many cards do I have?"
Staley:  "Two."
Zach:  (Adding another card in his hand) "I had 2 cards and I added 1 more.  Now how many do I have?
Staley:  "Three."
Zach:  (Adding yet another card)  "I had 3 cards and I added 1 more.  Now how many do I have?
Staley:  (Thinking for a second)  "Plenty."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fallen Angel

Staley Milestone #582:  Staley was put in time-out at her baby-sitters for the first time yesterday.

I think it's starting.  The limit testing.  The boundary pushing.  The I'll-keep-doing-it-if-I-want-to-do-it-even-when-you-tell-me-no.  The bossiness.  The demands.  We are entering THAT phase of toddlerhood.

So far, Staley has been such an easy toddler.  I'm not one of those parents who is afraid to correct or punish my child.  I have high standards for her actions and obedience.  I don't think her easy toddlerhood has anything to do with a fear of telling her 'no' or a reluctance to discipline.  She's just been easy.  If we tell her to do or not to do something, she generally listens.  If we give her a consequence, we follow through.  Usually a related consequence works to curb her behavior.  Standing up in the bath?  Bath time is over.  Playing with her fruit?  No more fruit.  Being rough with her toys?  Toys are taken away.  It's been pretty simple...so far.

Recently, Staley has had a fascination with time-out.  This is the discipline method employed by her baby-sitter, so she has become familiar with time-out by watching her friends do their time.  Lately, if Staley gets reprimanded at the dinner table for playing with her food, she will say, "I get in trouble.  I sit in time out."  We'll ask, "Do you want to sit in time-out?"  Her reply is always "yes."  The other night at dinner, continued food playing and yelling at the dinner table resulted in an actual time-out.  She didn't like not interacting with us (and she didn't get to zoodle after dinner), but otherwise she seemed unphased.  And yesterday, when I picked her up from the baby-sitter, her baby-sitter mentioned that Staley had been disruptive during circle time after repeated warnings and had to sit in time-out.  She also mentioned that Staley seemed pretty pleased with being put in time-out.

And so here we are.  We have the beginning of some limit testing and boundary pushing...and a little girl who apparently likes time-out.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rebel...with a guilty conscience

I am a rule-follower when it comes to parenting decisions about Staley.  Part of it is because she's our first child and I'm still trying to figure it all out.  Part of it is because I work in a children's hospital and see what can go wrong when some of the 'rules' aren't followed.  Part of it may be my controlling tendencies.  Whatever the reason, I follow the rules.  We followed the new-food-every-3-days rule when starting solid foods.  Staley was on her back to sleep until she figured out how to roll herself over.  Hand washing.  Water temperature regulation.  Breathable bumpers.  Absolutely no co-sleeping.  If there was a checklist for following baby rules, I'm sure I'd get a gold star.

Until today.  Today I broke a baby rule.  And not just any baby rule.  I broke a carseat rule.  I am a carseat safety technician.  I have spent the last 10 years keeping up this certification by checking other people's carseats and making sure they are installed and used correctly.  I have always been a stickler about Staley's carseat and carseat use.  The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new recommendation a few years ago that children should ride rear-facing in their carseats until they are 2 years old.  (The previous guideline was 1 year old and 20 pounds.)  Staley is currently only 23 months old...and I turned her carseat around.  (I will now pause while you gasp in shock and disapproval.)  And it wasn't even for a legitimate reason, like her surpassing the rear-facing weight limit for her carseat or anything like that.  We took Staley to the Festival of Lights tonight, and I wanted her to be able to see the lights better.  That was my reasoning.  I blew off the AAP recommendation because I wanted my child to have a better Christmas-light viewing experience.

Staley loved facing forward.  Her legs weren't shoved up against the back of the seat.  She could see so much more of what was going on around her.  It was much easier to hear what she was saying.  And so...I think we're going to leave her seat facing forward.  And I'll be honest.  I'm feeling a little guilty.  I may only be breaking the rule by 1 month.  In one month, the AAP will say, "Sure.  Turn her around.  Perfect timing."  But for this next month, I'll be driving my daughter around with a little more caution...and a guilty conscience.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Christmas List

Most years, I can come up with at least a few items I want for Christmas.  Clothes or books or something for the house.  My Christmas list over the past several years hasn't been lengthy, but it hasn't been blank either.  This year, I struggled with a Christmas list.  Sure, there are things I want.  But the things I want can't really be wrapped up nicely under a tree. 

My Christmas List
1.  I want our house projects to be completed before Peanut arrives.  We are in the process of finishing our basement, which will then house our office so our current office can be a nursery.  Having that all completed prior to bringing home a baby in April would be so nice. 
2.  I want Peanut to continue to grow and develop into a healthy and happy infant.
3.  I want to feel confident that I have the ability to parent both a newborn and toddler...at the same time.
4.  I want more time.  Time to complete projects and organize rooms and clean out closets and spend time with friends without taking away from my time with my daughter, my husband, or my sleep.
5.  I want new toys.  For Staley, yes.  But also for me.  I'm so excited about what Staley will be getting for Christmas, partly because I know she'll love everything she's getting and partly because I'm getting tired of playing with her current toys.  One of the downsides of a January birthday is there is a long hiatus before a surge of new toys occurs again.  Staley and I are both ready.

This is my Christmas list for this year.  So if Santa can figure out how to make all that happen, I might reconsider my stance of believing in him.

And really, when I already have this...

 
how could I possibly need anything more???

Friday, December 7, 2012

Silly Me!

Staley and I were playing with a book that has a magnetic puzzle piece to correspond to each letter of the alphabet.  We had taken out all the pieces, and were in the process of putting them back into the book.  As we were nearing the end, we couldn't find one piece.  Looking around, I asked, "Staley, where's the octopus?"  Staley's reply?  "In the ocean."  Silly me!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Experiencing the Magic

Christmas time is here!!!!  I love Christmas!  It's one of my favorite times of year.   I still experience the wonder of Christmas, and I'm so excited to see it through the eyes of my child.  The lights, the music, the decorations, the cookies, the joy, the giving.  I believe in the magic of Christmas, in celebrating the birth of our Savior with joy and love.  I can't wait to share this magical time of year with Staley.

We kicked off our holiday season in style this year.  On Friday evening, we drove to Monticello to take a ride on the Polar Express.  A train ride, hot chocolate, cookies, music, dancing, a conductor who punched your golden ticket, a visit from Santa, your very own bell...what's not to love?!

According to Staley, Santa getting too close is what's not to love.

But other than a little short-lived Santa sadness, Staley was all smiles and laughter.

Pretty pleased with her golden ticket

A little family trip to the North Pole.

Holding tight to her new bell.

And I must still believe, because I heard her bell ringing throughout our car ride home until one tired little girl fell asleep.  And because one tired little girl insisted on sleeping with her bell that night, it was the sound I awakened to in the morning as well.

The Polar Express was the kick-off, but our holiday festivities were just beginning.  On Saturday, Staley got to enjoy a Santa visit and photo ops at State Farm. 

This Santa was tolerable...

...but the rocking horse was way better.

State Farm Santa also gave Staley a $10 gift card to Toys R Us, so we followed up our visit with a trip to the toy store.  We gave Staley some pretty cool $10 options to choose from, but she found a tiny stuffed kitten for less than $1 that she decided was what she wanted.  Her deciding factor?  "It's just my size." 

And to top off our Christmas extravaganza week-end, we also went to pick out our Christmas tree.  Staley was quite taken with the flocked Christmas trees, but unfortunately for her, she was out-voted. 

Notice the 'just her size' kitty in her right hand.

Celebrating Christmas has always filled me with joy.  But watching Staley experience the wonder of Christmas...well, nothing can compete with that!