Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Two tired girls are taking their naps, the laundry is in the washer, and I just finished unpacking the last suitcase.  It's official.  Our vacation is over.

To keep this post as succinct as possible, I will forego a day-by-day vacation description and instead provide a top 10 list.

Top 10 Things That Could Have Gone Horribly Wrong, But Didn't:

1.  Having to pack almost everything we own to take ourselves and 2 children for a week to Pentwater, Michigan.  We never could have fit everything if we didn't have a van.  Lucky for us, we do...and it all fit.

Just not the kitchen sink

2.  6 hours in the car with a 2 year old and a 3 month old.  It could have been a L-O-N-G trip.  Instead, there was sleeping.  There was playing.  There was coloring.  There was snacking.  There was video watching.  Fortunately, there was minimal crying.  Hooray for my road trip troopers!!

Playing with Dora characters
Taking a little road-trip rest

3.  Living in a house with 7 other people (3 uncles, 2 aunts, and 2 cousins).  Staley and Adelie LOVED playing with their cousins, reading with their aunts and uncles, and always having someone to provide attention.  And Zach and I loved the shared meals, conversations, game playing, and movie watching.

Cousin book time with Aunt Carrie

Hanging with Uncle Ethan

4.  Staley, Adelie, Zach, and I all sharing a room.  I envisioned sleepless nights.  Instead, both girls slept great (except for Staley's 2-hour wide awake time from 1:00-3:00 a.m. on our last night).  Adelie didn't wake Staley with her early morning feeding and Staley didn't wake Adelie when she got up in the morning.  We all slept soundly.

5.  A 3 month old on the beach.  Luckily, Adelie was her usual easy self.  She hung out in her cabana, enjoyed the company of aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, grandma, grandpa,...  She napped every day on the beach and woke up happily smiling.

Cabana fun with Aunt Melissa
6.  A 6 hour drive and spending a good portion of each day on the bathroom-less beach...with a newly potty trained 2 year old.  Staley did great.  We brought her potty chair in the car (and yes, we did pull over to the shoulder for her to go to the bathroom to avoid having to make an extra stop), and her potty chair made a daily trek down to the beach.

(Someday she'll hate me for these pictures.)

7.  Two cold, rainy, overcast Michigan mornings.  Staley and her cousins got to enjoy a story time at a local bookstore and some strolling/shopping in a nearby town.  And both days cleared up to provide more time on the beach.

Story time

8.  A 4 year old, two 2 year olds, and an infant with only a small living room and a few of their favorite toys.  Lucky for us, the cousins played GREAT together.  They ran around in the yard, read books, colored, played trains, played princesses, went to the playground, watched videos, and took baths together.  Every morning, Staley couldn't wait to get out of bed and play with her cousins.

Adelie and Elliott

Liam and Staley

9. Spending our days and some evenings with my whole extended family (my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids.)  It could have been overwhelming.  Instead, my family ROCKS and it was great!!  We kept up all our usual Pentwater traditions--spaghetti night, smores night, and lazy days at the beach.

Adelie and Grammie

10.  Our first Pentwater week as a family of 4.  There were many things that could have gone wrong.  Instead, it was a perfect Michigan week.  We got to spend part of every day at the beach, which both girls loved.  We got to enjoy time with family, immediate and extended.  We had beautiful weather, great family time, and lots of fun.

Beach babe
Chilling in the cabana

Staley spent hours burying herself in the sand.

Adelie 'swimming' with Daddy

Good-bye Pentwater...


...until next year.


Staley:  "Lila calls her blanket 'dee-dee'.  I think I will call my blanket 'wee-wee.'"

Let's hope it doesn't stick.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Three Months

Adelie celebrated her three month birthday yesterday here in Pentwater on our family vacation.  She is my growing, changing, smiling, laughing, mellow, sweet baby girl.  She weighs over 12 lbs and wears her size 2 diapers.  She is out-growing her 0-3 month wardrobe, especially in length.  She eats 6-7 times/day, takes 2-3 naps, and sleeps for 6-9 hours at a time at night. 

Likes:  Adelie is a happy infant.  She loves to interact with others, always smiling and laughing when people talk to her.  Going for walks, being outside, baths, diaper changes, dancing, and music remain favorite activities. She enjoys watching her mobile and ceiling fans.  Adelie loves her play mats.  Her favorite book is 'Baby Talk'.  And she loves her big sister!!

Big sister + play mat = awesome!
Dislikes:  Adelie's dislikes remain being hungry, tired, and cold.  Other than that, she doesn't usually complain.

Skills:  Adelie's skill repertoire is growing exponentially.  She has good head control now, both when upright and on her tummy.  She can roll from her stomach to her back inconsistently and rolled from her back almost onto her stomach on one occasion.  She loves to stand up when held.  Adelie is starting to reach out and grab objects.  She will hold onto objects for short periods of time, although still sometimes hits herself in the head or face with her rattles.  She loves to suck on her hands, and is beginning to get her thumb into her mouth.  She still has a smile that lights up the room and a laugh that fills my heart.

My 3 month old

Things I Love: Vacation Edition

Babies in bikinis

Girls dressed like giraffes

Family time at the beach

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Halfway There

It's been a month since we started potty training.  It took Staley exactly one week to figure out the peeing in the potty trick.  Since then, she has done great.   I still make her try on regular basis because when she tells me she needs to go, she REALLY needs to go.  Unfortunately, pooping on the potty hasn't come quite so easily.  She generally knows when she needs to go, and we've had our fair share of successes.  She rarely has a pooping accident in her underpants.  However, Staley has decided that she prefers to poop in a diaper rather than in the potty.  The result of this revelation: she holds it until nap time and then regularly poops in her nap time pull-up.  Not only is this interfering with Staley's potty success, it also seems to be interfering with her nap.  My inconsistent napper had been napping regularly for the past several months, but has only slept during nap time once or twice over the past several weeks.  (And judging by her evening behaviors and tears, she does still need a nap.)

I'm at a loss for how to remedy this pooping situation.  We are using a sticker chart, and Staley picks out rewards she is working for.  She gets a sticker for pooping in the potty AND for a clean nap time pull-up.  I have her sit and try right before nap time.  We consistently remind her that if she needs to go potty during nap time, she just needs to tell us because we can hear her through the monitor.  (She definitely understands this concept as she has no problem telling us through the monitor when she wants a drink, a hug, a kiss, a blanket back on, or when she is awake.)  To look on the bright side, at least I know she has bowel control, and better in her diaper than her underpants.  However, I'd prefer potty use.  So if anyone has any suggestions...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Oh, I Was Just..." Excuse of the Day

Zach:  "Staley, don't pick your nose."
Staley:  "Oh, I was just seeing what was up there."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Laughter is the Best Gift

Zach had a good Father's Day.  A beautiful day filled with church, lunch with family, a haircut, playing at the park, a nice family walk...  (He also mowed, but I don't know if that counts in the 'good Father's Day' category.)  He liked his desk organizer with a picture of the girls on it that I got him.  He loved his Father's Day painting that Staley made him.  (She would only paint in blue and orange, knowing that those are Zach's favorite colors.)  But his best Father's Day gift came from Adelie.  She gave him her first official laugh!! 

Every evening after Staley goes to bed, Zach and Adelie have some quality time together listening to music.  Adelie LOVES music and since evening music time is usually with Zach, her musical tastes are beginning to reflect those of her father.  Well, last night during music time, Adelie and Zach were interacting (talking, smiling, singing), and she laughed at him.  Three distinct laughs.  Zach was so pleased that he was the recipient of Adelie's first laugh.  What a great Father's Day gift!!

Official winner of Best Father's Day Gift 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dads Do It Different

(Disclaimer:  This blog post idea was taken from a children's book I saw at Barnes and Noble entitled "Dads Do It Different."  However, all the examples in this post are taken directly from Staley and Adelie's dad and grandpas.)

Moms are good.  We are fun.  We play, make believe, go on outings, read books, and do art projects.  We provide meals, healthy snacks, and a predictable routine.  We hug, cuddle, kiss, and love.  But we are not dads.  Dads do it different.

Dads are more fun.  They wrestle, hang you upside down, give horse rides, put you in 'the chomper', give 'fat-fat' rides, and let you ride on the lazy susan.  Dads let you take out all the toys without worrying about cleaning them up.  They make up games like 'blanket on, blanket off' and 'mad dog.'  They fly you like an airplane, let you water ski on their legs, and hang you from trees like a monkey. They read books with all the fun voices.  Dads are just fun.

Staley and Liam enjoying a Daddy horsey ride.

Staley 'water-skiing' with Papa

Beach fun with Grandpa
Moms provide good meals and snacks, but dads do it different.  They let you pick out your own snacks at the store, stocking the pantry with Fruit Loops, fruit snacks, Go-Gurt, and Apple Jacks.  They let you eat ice cream at breakfast and 5 Fig Newtons at snack time.  They take you for pizza and always let you have dessert.

Moms make sure your clothes are clean and matching.  Dads let you pick out your own outfit, even if it doesn't come close to matching, and they proudly let you wear it out in public. 

Moms have a schedule.  They make you ride in the cart at the store, stop fun activities for nap time, and structure time to get things done and get places (mostly) on time.  Dads are less worried about the schedule.  They let you push your own cart at the store, even if it takes twice as long.  If you are having fun swimming, nap time can pushed back an hour or two (or skipped completely.)  Dads will read extra books, play extra games, and won't say 'no' to extending a fun activity. With dads, nap time and bed time are negotiable.

Dads make meal times more fun.  They make their food talk, pretend to throw you grapes to catch in your mouth, pretend to talk with their mouths full, and aren't as worried about vegetables before fruit.  They turn your spoon into an airplane, motorcycle, train, and car.  They introduce fun games that make eating not-so-fun food more enjoyable.

Moms give hugs, kisses, and cuddles.  Dads do too.  Dads love just as much as moms do...they just do it differently.

Staley and Adelie couldn't be any luckier to have a dad, two grandfathers, and one great-grandfather who love them so much.  Thanks, dads, for doing it different.  Our lives are richer for it!

Happy Father's Day, Zach!

Happy Father's Day, Grandpa!

Happy Father's Day, Papa!

Happy Father's Day, Pop!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Too Busy

Late this afternoon, Staley and I were playing with her water table on the front porch. 

Me:  "Staley, we need to go inside now so I can start dinner.  Do you want to help me make dinner?"
Staley:  "Oh, I love to help you, Mommy, but I'm kind of busy right now."

Oh, I Was Just...

Staley is very verbal.  She's quick on her feet.  She doesn't want to be in trouble.  And so the phrase I hear repeatedly throughout the day is "oh, I was just..."

"Staley, don't throw the rocks."
"Oh, I was just tossing them."
"That's the same thing.  Don't throw or toss them."
"Oh, I was just letting them fly in the wind."

"Staley, don't hit the window."
"Oh, I was just tapping it."

"Staley, did you just hit me?"
"Oh, I was just patting you."

"Staley, come here and get your pajamas on."
"Oh, I was just reading this book first."

The other night at dinner, Staley swatted at Zach with her hand.  In a stern voice he asked, "What was that?"  Staley responded immediately with, "That was an accident."

I find Staley's 'oh, I was just...' excuses amusing, but it also frightens me a bit.  If she's this quick with an excuse at 2, I hate to think what we'll be facing at 13. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sensory Processing

In my job as an occupational therapist, I work with a lot of children with sensory processing disorder.  This diagnosis is given when children have responses to sensory input that disrupt their daily life.  They may be over-responsive to sensory input, demonstrating seemingly exaggerated responses to every day stimulation like the individual who can't handle the sound of a flushing toilet or the feel of anything messy on their hands.  They may also be under-responsive to sensory input and therefore require more intense and frequent amounts of sensory input like the individual who can't stop moving or picking or touching.  When I evaluate a child to determine if they have a sensory processing disorder, I always tell parents that we all have sensory quirks--things we like, things we don't like.  It's only when these 'quirks' interfere with daily functioning that it becomes a disorder.

I have my own sensory quirks.  I hate the sound of Styrofoam.  The feel of cotton balls makes my skin crawl.  I don't like wool or turtlenecks.  My favorite clothes are yoga pants and super-soft t-shirts and hoodies.  I love how the freezer smells.  Eating ice makes me feel happy.  Weird?  Maybe.  (Okay, probably.)  But can I function in my daily life.  Yes.

As Staley is growing up, she is starting to demonstrate her own sensory quirks.  Like her mother, Staley has a distinct preference for what she wants to wear.  And that preference is all about comfort.  Staley will not wear jeans (without some drama.)  She will not wear khakis.  The first thing she does when trying on a pair of pants is squat down to see if they are in any way restrictive or binding.  If so, she takes them off.  What does she want to wear?  Yoga pants.  Sweat pants.  Leggings.  Soft knit shorts/skirts.  Knit sundresses.  T-shirts.  If it's binding, restrictive, scratchy, or rough, it's not going to happen, no matter how cute her mother thinks it is.

Along with her clothing preferences, Staley is still funny about the feel of grass, finding ways to avoid walking barefoot in grass and even avoiding touching it too often with her hands.  And I love to watch her walk out onto the front porch barefoot because she goes to great lengths to not step on our scratchy welcome mat that is right outside the door.  Staley is also sensitive to sound.  She still often cries when I vacuum.  (Lucky for her, I don't do it nearly as often as I should.)  She loves to help cook, but generally covers her ears when I use the mixer.  She is scared of thunder.  And she has demonstrated a recent fear of slides.  She loves the idea of slides.  She likes to climb to the top of the highest slides at the playground, and always enjoys going down on our laps.  But on her own, she will stand at the top of the slide, touch the slide with her hand, and tell me it's too hot.  That's generally her reason for not wanting to slide down on her own (even if it's cloudy and she's wearing long pants.)  I don't know if she had a traumatic hot slide experience or if that's just an excuse for some other fear.  For now, it's just one of her quirks.

Sensory processing disorder can really interfere with a family's daily life.  Lucky for Staley, she doesn't have to sit in the grass while wearing her jeans as I vacuum in a thunderstorm.  Otherwise we might have some real problems.  As it is, these are just the little quirks that make Staley who she is right now.  And if I can make it through life with my weird cotton ball, Styrofoam, wool issues, I think Staley's going to be okay too.  We'll just happily spend our days together in yoga pants and t-shirts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Now I Understand

Last night Zach and I were reminiscing about when we were dating in high school and anytime we watched a movie at my house, my dad would join us.  Laughing, I told Zach, "You'll be the same way with our girls."  He replied, "If Staley or Adelie want to watch a movie with a boy, I'll be watching it with them...while I'm cleaning my guns."  Lucky for all of us, we have quite a few years before we have to worry about that...and for Zach to get some guns.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Off the Charts

Adelie had her 2 month check-up today, and she received her first ever score of 100%.  She is in the 100th percentile for length, measuring 25.25".  I'm trying to decide if we want to focus more on basketball or volleyball skills right now.  I'm leaning towards volleyball as flailing arms and limited upper extremity control seems like a bad match for learning to dribble or shoot.  Luckily we don't have to fit in sumo wrestling activities as her 12 lbs, 3 oz put her solidly in the 55th percentile. 

Apart from her exceptional score in the length category, the remainder of Adelie's 2 month exam was unremarkable.  She charmed the nurse, the resident, and the doctor with smiles and coos.  She remained her happy, mellow self throughout getting weighed, measured, and checked over.  Her red-faced screaming during her vaccinations began after the second (of three) shots and was over before the nurse had even left the room.  What a trooper!

Well, I'm off to set up some bump, set, spike drills.  Let the training begin!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Growing Up

Staley is growing up...and growing up fast.  When I call her 'baby', she always corrects me and tells me that she's a 'big girl.'  And she is.  She sleeps in a big girl bed.  She wears big girl underpants.  She doesn't want a lid on her cup.  She doesn't want to wear a bib.  She likes to sit in a regular chair at the table.  She likes to do things all by herself.  She's growing up and growing up fast.

Staley is getting taller.  Staley is getting heavier.  Staley's hair is growing longer and longer and longer.  (Like Rapunzel, much to Staley's delight.)  Staley is getting faster and braver and stronger.  She loves to run, and it's getting harder and harder to keep up.  Staley loves to help, and has become quite proficient at helping us cook and clean.  (Banana bread and pancakes are her specialties.) Staley is a great big sister and loves to make her baby sister smile.  She's growing up and growing up fast.

Staley knows the days of the week.  She knows the months of the year.  She knows the colors of the rainbow.  She knows her colors and shapes and most letters.  She spells her name.  She memorizes books and sings a multitude of songs.  Staley is growing up and growing up fast.

At State Farm Play Day, I wasn't sure that Staley and Liam would be able to ride the ferris wheel by themselves...but they did.  I wasn't sure Staley could safely swing on a big girl swing, but she can.  I didn't know if Staley could pedal a tricycle, but she's learning.  I didn't know that time could fly by so quickly, but it can.  Oh, it can.

Swinging with Aunt Melissa

Riding her tricycle

Little sis and big sis

My big girl...growing up so fast!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Great Idea

This morning Staley and I had this conversation.

Me:  "Let's take off your bedtime diaper and put on your big girl underpants.  Your bedtime diaper is sopping wet."
Staley:  "Why is it wet?"
Me:  "Because sometimes you go pee pee when you sleep.  That's why you still wear a diaper at bedtime."
Staley:  "I have a great idea.  You can put my potty chair in my bed when I sleep so that I won't have to go pee pee in my diaper."

I don't know if I'd call it a 'great' idea.  I do sense a few potential flaws in her plan.  But it is an idea.  Maybe not practical, but she definitely gets points for thinking outside the box.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Play Day

State Farm hosts an annual play day for its employees and families.  And like a good neighbor, they offered a day of amazing fun.  And not swim in the pool and play on the playground fun.  We are talking carnival rides, ponies, inflatables, petting zoo, funnel cake type fun.  We weren't sure that Adelie would truly appreciate all there was to offer so she stayed home with Grammie while Liam joined us in her place.

The day started off with a bang as both kids were THRILLED that we had to park in the corporate parking lot and ride a shuttle to the park.  And the shuttle was...

a school bus!!!!
We weren't sure that anything at play day would top the excitement of riding on an actual school bus.  However, the school bus ride was quickly trumped when the kids got to ride...
And there were so many other fun activities like...
the petting zoo,
the train,

driving cars,

and riding motorcycles.
And although Staley and Liam enjoyed ALL the activities at play day,  Liam said his favorite activity was...
the big slide.
And Staley's favorite...
the ferris wheel.
My favorite part of the day was seeing two huge smiles with everything we did and watching these two birthday twins enjoying their day together. 
Hooray for play day!!