Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Carpet Guy

We are in the midst of some home improvement projects, trying to get ready for Peanut's arrival.  We are working on finishing the basement in order to move the office into the basement and turn the current office into a nursery.  This past week-end, we had some guys come over to remove our old radiators to make some more room for our furniture.  Staley was quite taken with the guys who took away our radiators (or in her words, "the workers who took our radios"), and continues to point out the missing radiators and ask about where they are now.

Tonight at dinner, Zach asked what Staley and I were planning to do tomorrow.  I responded, "The carpet guy is coming over in the morning."  Listening as always, Staley added, "The carpet guys will come and take our rugs."  It makes sense that if the radiator guys took our radiators, then the carpet guys will take our carpet.  I guess we're just lucky that the car guys, the furniture guys, and the money guys aren't coming over too.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

To Nap or Not to Nap

I love naptime.  Staley's naptime is my quiet time.  I do chores around the house.  I blog.  I make phone calls.  I relax.  As much as I love spending time with my little girl, I enjoy this quiet time.  It energizes me.  Rejuvinates me.  Makes me ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, Staley has decided that napping is not something she wants to do on a daily basis anymore.  For the past month or so, Staley has been choosing not to nap about 2-3 days each week.  She's not sad about it.  She happily goes through the pre-nap rituals of listening to songs and reading books.  She has no qualms about being laid in her crib.  She just chooses not to sleep.  I will leave her in her crib for an hour to an hour and a half, and she just happily talks and sings the entire time.  I think her active imagination is both a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, she can entertain herself without toys or books (except for a certain Yellow Bear) in her crib for over an hour without difficulty.  On the other hand, maybe if she got bored, she'd fall asleep.

I can't really complain.  Missing a nap used to mean difficult evenings, but Staley seems to take it in a stride now.  She doesn't cry in her crib or try to get out of her crib.  She tends to take slightly longer naps (2 hours instead of 1 1/2 hours) on the days she does nap.  And I still have a little time to get things done, although I can't really call it quiet time anymore since I can hear Staley's running commentary, stories, and songs through the monitor the ENTIRE time she is in her crib.  I do think Staley's a little young to be giving up naps, but she gave up her second nap early, so maybe she's just not a napper.  Unfortunately, it seems that Staley might be done taking naps about the same time we welcome home a little Peanut who probably won't want to sleep through the night.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  For now I'll focus on the fact that, since Staley didn't nap today, I'll probably have a few hours of quiet time tomorrow. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cabin Fever

We need to get out more.  Every day, Staley talks about all the fun things she'd like to do.  As soon as she wakes up, she asks to go to the zoo, the aquarium, Sea Land (whatever that is?), the Disney store, the park.  She asks to ride trains and helicopters and boats.  She wants to see fireworks and parades.  Like the sweet girl she is, she always invites me to join her.  "You want to go to the aquarium with me?"  Whenever I tell her it's just too cold, she always says, "We will go when it gets sunny."  Staley and I both can't wait for it to get sunny (and warm) again. 

To fill the void, Staley pretends.  She pretends...and pretends...and pretends.  The other day, we pretended to go to the zoo where Staley proceeded to put on a variety of animal shows for me.  (Not to be critical, but all the shows--from the hippo show to the beluga whale show to the wallaby show to the Dora and Boots show--where very similar.)  We pretend to pick blueberries on Blueberry Hill (and strawberries on Strawberry Hill and pineapples on Pineapple Hill).  We pretend to go on boat rides and train rides.  We pretend to play at the park.  Staley spends plenty of time riding her horse (a wooden dowel rod she found) around the house.  Staley's imagination amazes and amuses me constantly.  Our pretend play is generally not initiated by me.  Staley comes up with a variety of scenarios, and always takes the lead.  I love it!!  But sometimes I feel bad that her days are filled with 'pretend' trips and adventures instead of real ones.

The one new fun activity Zach and I have (inadvertently) provided for Staley is her new bedroom furniture.  We went to Ikea a few weeks ago to pick up a big girl bed and dresser and some shelves for Staley's big girl room.  We have yet to actually put anything together, so the boxes are stacked invitingly in our bedroom.  These boxes have become Staley's source of indoor adventure and fun, providing a whole new platform for pretending.

Climbing the 'mountain' is perfect for my young adventure-seeker.

Staley going to 'art class' with her bears.

Riding 'horses' with Jake.

I truly enjoy and appreciate Staley's imagination.  I love that she can turn cold winter days at home into fun adventures.  It makes me laugh as her brood of imaginary friends grows to include not just the pink, green, and blue friend, but all the colors in the rainbow.  I hope she holds onto this ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.  She makes the most out of these cold dreary indoor days...and she makes them so much better for me.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ready?

Staley might not be ready for potty training...



...but apparently Yellow Bear is.


Monday, January 21, 2013

HUGE!

I am 30 weeks along with Peanut, and there is no doubt.  I am getting BIG!  The polite, politically correct individuals tell me things like, "Your baby is really growing" and "You sure are blossoming."  But I also get statements like, "You look like you could have that baby tomorrow" and "Are you sure you're not having twins?"  Even my Prompt Care doctor this week-end, when looking at my belly and listening to baby's heartrate said, "You sure look bigger than 29 weeks."

And it's an indeniable fact.  I took pictures each week of my growing belly with Staley, and I'm doing the same with Peanut.  Comparatively, my Peanut belly now looks like my Staley belly at about 36-38 weeks.  The other day, I was telling Zach that I feel like I'm as big now as I was right before I had Staley.  My ever-thoughtful, reassuring husband informed me, "You just don't remember correctly.  Right before you had Staley, you were HUGE!  I mean, you're big now, but you were HUGE!!"  Ummmm...thanks?

Me and Peanut...living large at 29 weeks

Along with my big-ness (and maybe related to my big-ness), there are several other differences I am noticing with this pregnancy.  I definitely have a few more pregnancy related aches and pains, which I never really had with Staley.  I have more difficulty getting comfortable for sleep, more back pain (although part of that might also be due to carrying around a 2 year old), and more numbness (primarily my right foot falling asleep frequently and some numbness in my upper back periodically.)  Peanut is also definitely a mover and a kicker.  Staley moved around quite a bit, and I never quantified it so I can't really compare, but I feel like Peanut moves around A LOT.  And not just dainty kicks and shrugs.  I think he/she is having a gymnastics competition in there.  I love all the movement, the reassurance all those somersaults and cartwheels provide, but with all that movement, sometimes I wonder...maybe it is twins???

Staley thinks so.  Whenever anyone asks her if she thinks she's going to have a brother or a sister, she generally answers, "I will have two babies.  One brother and one sister."  Of course, if my 2 year old knows more than my OB about the number of babies I'm having, I think I'm going to need to find a new doctor.  On the other hand, I may feel more justified about my belly size.  Because it's definitely big.  Apparently not yet HUGE, but definitely big.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Laments of a Sick Mother

It's a universal truth.  Being sick is no fun.  Feeling miserable, congestion, cough, fever, aches, chills.  (Official diagnosis:  Influenza.)  Nothing about it makes anyone want to voluntarily sign up.  But as I sit here on the couch after my fresh dose of Tylenol and dinner of chicken noodle soup, blankets on, hood up, I have been thinking about how illness is just one more thing that motherhood changes.  Because as yucky as I feel, my primary thoughts remain:

1.  Is my fever, my heart rate, my violent coughing fits, my medication going to in any way be detrimental to Peanut?

2.  Am I eating enough and drinking enough to keep Peanut nourished appropriately?

3.  I'm just so glad it's me and not Staley. 

4.  But can I keep Staley from getting this?

5.  Will she feel as sad as I do that we didn't see each other all day?  That I won't be able to kiss her good-night?  That she will probably be getting much more Daddy time and grandparent time than Mommy time over the next few days?

6.  How, oh how, do I sanitize myself and our home enough to keep Staley healthy?

7.  When will I feel well enough to be a good Mommy again?

There is nothing good about being sick.  But just like everything else I've experienced as a mother, things are different now.  My thoughts are different.  My priorities are different.  My concerns are different.  But the actual illness...it's not different.  Still sucks!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Games I Can't Win

I'm a game player.  I love games.  Card games.  Board games.  Athletic games.  I like them all.  And I generally have lots of fun playing games with Staley.  We play hide and seek.  We play Memory.  We play games of pretend.  But lately Staley has been playing a few games that I do not like.

The first new game that Staley has been playing lately is called "Run Away."  The rules are pretty simple.  I want Staley to stay put or come to me, and she turns and runs in the opposite direction (generally giggling and saying 'I running away' while she does it.)  And when does she like to play this game?  Usually when I want to get her dressed/undressed, change her diaper, wash her hands for meals, or leave the house.  But my least favorite time she plays this game?  When I am trying to check out at a store.

The second game of Staley's that I REALLY detest is called "Noodle Legs."  In Noodle Legs, Staley makes her legs go limp like noodles so that she falls to the floor.  Noodle Legs is often played in conjunction with Run Away.  For example, Staley will play Run Away.  I will catch up to her and hold her hand to 'help' her remember the direction she should be heading.  Instead of walking along with me, she then merges right into Noodle Legs so that she is either a.) dangling from my hand by one arm or b.) falling into a heap on the floor. 

I think the thing I really dislike about both these games is I have yet to figure out a way I can win.  Picking her up and carrying her is effective, but not really winning since she is getting heavy (and holding her while trying to check out, sign a receipt, and carry my purse and bags is not super-convenient.)  Ignoring her is not always an option when she is running the opposite direction in a store full of strangers.  Stern words or distractions sometimes work, but can't always be counted on.  And the threat of a shopping cart or stroller is only available when I know I'm going to be able to follow through.

Games are usually fun, but only if there's a chance that I can win.  So if anyone knows the secret to winning at Run Away and Noodle Legs, please let me know.  Otherwise I'll struggle along, trying to avoid playing these games that I can't win.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Two Years

Staley is now an official 2 year old.  And, in keeping with tradition, I am going to include my 'what Staley is doing at a certain age' up-date.  This is probably more for me than for you.  (I definitely used these posts when filling in her baby book.)  So if this is a little too much Staley information for your liking, feel free to skip this post.

Staley had her 2 year check-up today.  She is now weighing in at 27 lbs (55th percentile) and measuring 33" (28th percentile).  She is wearing size 4 diapers, size 18-24 month clothes, and some of her 2T clothes.  She sleeps from 7:30-7:00 every night and takes 1 nap (mostly) each day for 1 1/2-2 hours, although in the past few weeks, Staley has been choosing to talk and sing in her crib for an hour instead of sleep during nap for a day or two each week.  The one thing that never changes about Staley is that she remains her happy, loving, easy-going little self.

So excited about helping pick out birthday balloons.

Likes:  Staley has a long list of 'likes'.  She loves playing with other kids (especially her cousins and friends at the baby-sitters), swimming, bath time, playing outside, going for walks, music, singing, dancing, Zoodling (her special after-dinner treat), watching TV (her one show/day during afternoon snack), coloring and painting, and going on outings.  It's hard to list favorite toys because she plays with lots of her toys, but her kitchen, princesses/princess castle, dolls/stuffed animals, new doctor kit, and trains are probably at the top of her list.  She loves, loves, loves to read anything and everything.  Her Dora books, any new book (gifts, from the library, or forgotten on the shelf for awhile), and her Princess Magic seek-and-find book are probably the ones we read most often right now.  Staley always gets excited about watching her television shows, but Dora and  Strawberry Shortcake are the most frequent requests.  Staley is a good eater, but favorite foods include fruit snacks, pancakes, chicken nuggets, fish, any and all fruit, and special treats (M&Ms, cookies, ice cream).  And, of course, Yellow Bear remains her most special friend.

Going on a 'boat ride' with all her stuffed animals (and her Polar Express bell).

Dislikes:  Staley doesn't like stopping preferred activities and being told 'no'.  She doesn't throw big tantrums, but will display the occasional short-lived crying when something isn't going her way.  She definitely shares her preferences about what she wants to wear and do, and she likes to do things independently.

Skills:  At 2, Staley is happy and active.  She walks up and down stairs by herself, holding onto the wall or railing.  She loves to jump, dance, and twirl.  She can climb onto and off of chairs and couches.  She loves to do things by herself.  She feeds herself with silverware, although often resorts back to her fingers.  She can drink from an open cup well.  She loves to help me cook and clean.  She likes to help brush her teeth, wash herself at bathtime, and wash her hands.  She can blow her nose into a tissue.  Staley can take off her socks and shoes.  She can put on her own coat and hat.  She is not potty trained, but will let us know when her diaper is dirty (and sometimes wet), and still sporadically sits on the potty.  Staley is getting good at doing puzzles, drawing lines and circles, and using the touch screen on the Kindle.  She is starting to play games (like Memory), is great at sharing, and loves to include others in her play.  Staley is always engaging in imaginary play, and we don't need to the leave the house to go on walks, boat rides, trips to the zoo, or parades.  Staley loves to sing, and has a wide repertoire of songs and nursery rhymes that she sings in bed, at the dinner table, in the grocery store, in the car, and when playing around the house.  (Pretty much whenever, wherever the mood strikes.) 

Staley playing her new shape matching game.

Language and memory have always been strengths for Staley.  She talks in sentences, tells stories, uses pronouns well, and correctly uses words like almost, not yet, mostly, and yesterday.  She says things like "my manners are impeccable" or "I need to find the seam" (when unwrapping presents).  She is starting to rhyme, although her rhymes usually include a nonsense word like 'thunder' and 'munder.'  She can sing her alphabet, count to 18 (inconsistently)/ 13 (consistently), knows all her colors, knows most of her upper case alphabet, knows about half of her shapes, can recite her months of the year (leaving out November), and knows most of her days of the week.  Staley can spell her name (although sometimes leaves out the 'L, E') and knows her address (although always says '123' instead of '321' for the house number.)  She knows her birthday, the birthday months of Zach and I, her age, and the towns we visit frequently.  (For example, she knows that she lives in Eureka and Grammie and Grandpa live in Morton.)  From reading her books and playing with her toys, Staley knows the names of all the princesses, Dora and all Dora's friends, all the Sesame Street characters, Mickey and friends, and many of the Thomas the Train characters.  She can also name most of the skill position players for the Chicago Bears, including quaterback (Jay Cutler), running back (Matt Forte), kicker (Robbie Gould), tackler (Brian Urlacher), and long snapper (Patrick Mannelly).  She knows the names of most animals, sea animals, construction vehicles, and people in her life (like friends, neighbors, music class classmates, librarians, and grocery store workers we talk to frequently.)  Staley has a great memory, and has memorized many of her books that she likes to read to us, herself, and her stuffed animals.  The things Staley knows and remembers often astound and surprise me.

Staley 'reading' her new library books.

Staley at 2 is so much fun!!!  I love spending time with her, playing with her, watching how her mind works, and seeing her world grow.  I know she will be a great big sister, and I can't wait for her to have one more little person in her life to make her smile, feel her love, and want to play with her too.

Staley at 2.

Three cheers for turning 2!!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Birthday Girl

Turning 2 is great fun!  Staley started off her birthday celebration week-end on Friday (her actual birthday) with a special day spent with her birthday twin, cousin Liam.  A trip to the Bloomington Children's Museum, lunch and nap at Aunt Melissa's house, and then play time with all of Liam's toys made for one happy 2 year old.

The birthday girl.

Water fun at the museum.

Our little artists busy at work.

The birthday king with his queen.

The birthday kids!!!

Saturday morning brought about the long-awaited event...Staley's birthday party.  She's been talking about her party for weeks.  She brought many birthday party requests to the table.  Staley wanted cupcakes and ice cream, party hats, games, and a Sesame Street balloon.  All her wishes were granted.  I then took the liberty of adding a few touches of my own.  (Well, "my own" courtesy of googling 'Sesame Street birthday party' and borrowing some cute ideas.)

Happy 2nd Birthday, Staley!

Party hats?  Check!

Cupcakes?  Check!

Games?  Check!  For the grown-ups...


...and for the kids.


And, of course, the much anticipated Sesame Street balloon.

And who can resist Sesame Street pom pom characters...

...and themed party food,

including Ernie's rubber ducky punch.

And to top it all off, there were even presents!!!

What a sunny day we had!!!
















Thursday, January 10, 2013

Friends

Staley loves her friends.  She has friends at the baby-sitters.  Her cousins are her friends.  She loves the neighbor kids.  She is friends with the children of my friends and co-workers.  But lately, she's also been spending some time with a few other friends...her imaginary ones. 

Lately, Staley has been talking a lot about her 'friends' coming over or her friends being at her house.  They sometimes eat with us, sitting at the table in specific chairs assigned by Staley.  She will talk about playing with her friends or having her friends come to her birthday party.  Much like naming her bears, Staley has named her  new 'friends' according to colors.  She has 'the pink one', 'the green one', and 'the blue one.'  She has told me that the pink one's name is Katie, but this isn't consistent.  What is consistent is that Staley seems very fond of these friends.

Yellow Bear is also a very special friend.  Yellow Bear goes most places we go.  Yellow Bear spends all naps and bedtimes in the crib with Staley.  Although all her bears sleep with her now, Yellow Bear is always the one that she cuddles up with as she's going to sleep.  He eats with us, plays with us, reads with us.  Staley often includes Yellow Bear in her play or reads books to him.  One morning, Staley and I were walking down the stairs for breakfast.  I heard her sweetly say, "I love you."  I turned around to tell her that I loved her too when I heard her say, "You want to eat breakfast with me?"  She was looking down at Yellow Bear as she carried him down the stairs, and I realized that she was talking to Yellow Bear, not me.  And tonight as we were putting Staley down for bed, she said, "Hi, Yellow Bear.  I like your ribbon.  It's very nice."

Yellow Bear enjoying some of Staley's cooking.

It's sweet how much Staley loves Yellow Bear.  I enjoy watching Staley's imagination come alive with her new 'friends.'  But I also think that maybe my company just isn't meeting all of Staley's play and social needs anymore.  It's probably a good thing that Peanut is on the way...before the pink one, the blue one, and the green one decide to set up a permanent residence here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Favorite Age

When Staley was a newborn, I thought that was my favorite age.  She was so snuggly and cuddly.  I could spend hours just holding her while she slept.  She was so tiny and helpless, making me feel like my only job in the world was to love and protect her.  Those tiny fingers.  Those tiny toes.  I couldn't imagine anything better.

Then when Staley was 6 months old, I thought that was my favorite age.  She was learning so much.  She was sitting and rolling and playing with toys.  It was so easy (and so fun) to make her smile and laugh.  Her schedule was set, and it was so fun to take her new places and show her new things.  Everything was new to her, and it was amazing viewing the world through a fresh set of eyes.  I couldn't imagine anything better.


But at one year, I was sure that THAT was my favorite age.  Staley was becoming her own little person.  She was walking and talking.  She could understand what I told her, and could communicate what she wanted.  She was learning new things everyday, and it was so amazing to me how someone so small could absorb so much.  I was astounded by the daily learning and growing, the connections that were being made.  I loved the little person that Staley was becoming.  I couldn't imagine anything better.


Then I determined that 18 months was my favorite age.  My little talker was amusing me daily with what she could say.  She was starting to pretend, to take turns, to be so fun to play with.  She loved going places, and I loved taking her.  She found such pleasure in all the little things in life--in puddles, in sticks, in treats, in animals.  Independence began emerging, and I watched my baby girl start to grow into someone who wanted to do things 'all by myself.'  What a fun way to recapture all the little joys in life by watching my daughter's eyes light up with new discoveries.  I couldn't imagine anything better.



Until now.  Staley will be 2 on Friday.  And I love, love, love this age.  It's definitely my favorite.  Staley is my happy, loving, funny, joyful, singing, dancing, social bundle of joy.  I love that she wants to be independent, yet still wants to cuddle and hold my hand and sit on my lap.  I love that she can engage in a conversation with me and tell me all about her day, yet still needs me to explain things to her and answer lots of questions.  I love that Staley has her own sense of humor and makes her own jokes, yet I can still always make her smile and laugh.  I love that Staley can pretend and 'read' to herself, yet still always wants to include me in her play.  I love that Staley enjoys playing with her friends and spending time with her baby-sitter, yet still runs to greet me with an exuberant smile and hug when I pick her up.   I love that Staley naps (mostly) and sleeps so well, yet still wakes up happily asking for her 'mama.'  I love that Staley has her own opinions, exerts her independence, and speaks her mind, yet still remains her easy-going little self.  My little Staley fills my heart and my life each and every day.  I can't imagine anything better.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Memory Lane

It's amazing how fast time flies...and how quickly she grows...and how I just can't get enough of my baby girl.

January 2011

January 2012

January 2013


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Interview at 2

As hard as it is to believe, my Staley will turn 2 on Friday.  In honor of Staley's birthday week, I interviewed her yesterday.

When is your birthday?  January 11
How old will you be?  2
What do you want at your birthday party?  Party hats and games and cake and ice cream and a Sesame Street balloon.
What kind of cake do you want?  A 'frinkle' (sprinkle) cupcake.
What kind of ice cream do you want?  I will have vanilla and you will have vanilla and Daddy will have vanilla and all my cousins want chocolate.
What is your favorite color?  Yellow.
Who is your favorite princess?  Snow White.
Who is your favorite bear?  Yellow bear.
What is your favorite food?  Bacon and eggs and pancakes.
What is your favorite animal?  Zebra.
What is your favorite song?  As I was walking down the street...
What is your favorite toy?  This one (as she looked around her room and picked up a seahorse rattle that was randomly lying on the floor.)
You like the seahorse rattle better than your kitchen?  I yike (like) my kitchen too.
What is your favorite movie?  Strawberry Shortcake (although she had just watched it for the first time earlier in the day.)
What is your favorite book?  (Again looking around her room, she picked 'Peek-a-who' off her shelf and said) I yike this one.
Who do you like to play with?  Cade and Olivia
What do you like to do with Daddy?  Play.
What else do you like to do with Daddy?  Go to the pool and go to the park and swing and slide.
What do you like to do with Mommy?  Go swimming at the pool.

So that's Staley at 2...in her own words.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Still Not Ready

Alternative Title:  Potty Time-Take 2

Several months ago, Staley showed an interest in using her potty (which has been well documented in this blog here and here.)  She lost interest and returned to her blissful existance of diapers and sporadic potty sitting when she felt the need for an M&M.

On Sunday of this past week, I had to go into work for a few hours in the morning.  Apparently, when Zach was getting her dressed for the day, she said, "I don't need a diaper.  I wear big girl underpants."  So when I returned home from work, Staley happily told me all about the Cinderella underpants she was wearing.  She wore her underpants all day on Sunday (except during nap), successfully used her potty once, and didn't have an accident until the very end of the day.

So Monday morning, we picked right up where we left off employing the potty training tool kit--underpants, potty sitting, M&Ms.  Unfortunately, despite multiple potty breaks, Staley had not one, but two accidents Monday morning.  After her second accident, she said, "I don't want my underpants.  I want my diaper."  And since then, she does not want to wear her big girl underpants and has generally been asking to sit on her potty only when she wants an M&M.

She's still young.  We're not rushing her.  I know it will come.  But apparently right now, she's still not ready.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Potty Talk

This evening before dinner, Staley and I were in the living room with Zach.  I excused myself by saying, "I'll be right back.  I just have to go use the potty."  Immediately Staley said, "I come with you.  I read you a story."  She then proceeded to grab one of her books, follow me into the bathroom, and 'read' to me while I went potty.

I guess she thought I was missing out since, for Staley, potty time is also reading time.  It was so sweet of her, although I was kind of hoping she'd offer me an M&M when I was done.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Lorax

'The Lorax' is one of Zach's favorite Dr. Seuss books.  Before Staley was even born, we bought that book for her collection.  Over her first 2 years, we've read it several times but it's always been a little too long and little too wordy for Staley to make it all the way through.  It's never been a consistent request and it's never been one of her favorites...until now.

So why does Staley now love 'The Lorax'?  Well, I've determined that it's not the moral of the story that she relates to.  It's not the great illustrations, the flow of the words, or even the silly Dr. Seuss-y rhymes.  Nope.  It's the length.  Staley consistently asks to read the Lorax (one of her longest books)...before nap or bedtime. 

Lately Staley has been working pretty hard to put off bedtime and naptime.  Asking for one more dance, one more story, or one more song has become a regular part of her bedtime routine.  We've caught on, so we give her the plan up front--3 dances, 2 books, 1 song.  So now, when it comes time for her final book, she always asks for 'The Lorax.'  In the same way that when we tell her she can choose one last Zoodle game, she usually chooses the never-ending game 'Higgledy House', Staley has figured out how to put off naptime and bedtime a few minutes longer.  It's a smart plan, and I can't argue or complain.  I enjoy the truffala trees, brown barbaloots, and a useful thneed as much as the next person.