Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yittle Yater

Zach's mom (Uma) watched the girls yesterday while I worked.  She shared this conversation that she had with Staley.

Uma:  "I think it's time for you to try to go potty."
Staley:  "I will try to go in a yittle bit ('little bit.')"
Uma:  "I think maybe we should try now."
Staley:  "I will just go a yittle yater ('little later')"
Uma:  "I have an idea.  I'll count to five and when I get to 5, then we'll go potty."
Staley:  "That's a good idea, Uma."  (Pause while she's thinking about this suggestion.)  "I have a great idea.  Let's count like this:  1, 2, 3, 4, 6."

Staley seems to have lots of great ideas when it comes to potty time.  And in the scheme of things, I like this suggestion better than putting her potty chair in her bed or using her bed as a litter box

That's my gal.  Always thinking.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Complimentary

From her infancy, Staley has always loved being around other people.  Her social tendencies have carried over as she's grown.  Nothing pleases Staley more than meeting new people and playing with friends.  She has a very sweet and giving personality.  She is great about sharing her toys, never hesitating to include others in her play.  One of Staley's traits that warms my heart is her complimentary nature.

Staley readily gives compliments to those around her.  She is always telling me that she likes an article of clothing or my shoes or my hair.  When we play beauty shop, Staley is quick to praise me for sitting still while she does my hair.  "You're doing a great job, Mommy."  When I go to the bathroom, she often gives me an enthusiastic "I knew you could do it."  But her compliments do not end with me.  She is quick with a compliment to other family members, friends, neighbors, and even kids that she meets on the playground or in the doctor's office waiting room.  Always sincere, it makes me smile to see her building others up.

Recently, however, some of her compliments have made me laugh.  The other day at breakfast, Staley looked over at me and very seriously exclaimed, "I really like your bagel, Mommy."  And while watching me use the bathroom the other day, Staley sincerely told me, "You are really good at wiping." 

It's great that Staley is so positive, and nothing makes me feel better than a sincere compliment.  I just don't know that my breakfast foods or my wiping skills are what I really want my daughter to admire most about me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Four Months

Adelie is 4 months old.  No longer a little newborn, my baby is smiling and laughing and rolling and grabbing.  She's weighing over 14 lbs now, and is still long, long, long.  She wears size 2 diapers, her 3-6 month wardrobe, and her 6-9 month pajamas.  She eats 6-7 times/day, takes 2-3 naps, and sleeps 5-8 hours at night.  She has successfully transitioned to spending time at the baby-sitters while I work.  She charms everyone she meets with her huge, gummy smiles.

My smiley girl
 
Likes:  Adelie is still my happy, contented, go-with-the-flow baby.  She loves being outside, spending time with people, going for walks, taking baths, chewing on her hands, playing with her feet, and pulling my hair.  She LOVES her big sister, smiling and laughing anytime Staley talks to her and diligently watching Staley whenever they are in the same room.  Adelie enjoys reading books, with 'Baby Talk' remaining her favorite.  She also likes 'That's Not My Teddy' and 'That's Not My Dragon.'  Her play mats are always entertaining, and she now enjoys activating her spinning alphabet ball and her sea creature musical toy.  Holding and eating rattles is a great way to pass the time, and watching ceiling fans and her mobile are still super-fun activities.  Adelie enjoys nightly music time with Zach, rocking out to everything from Slash to Johnny Cash. 

Standing up is fun stuff!

Dislikes:  Adelie generally only cries when she is hungry, tired, or cold...and sometimes when she is bored or feeling lonely.

Skills:  Adelie is on the move.  She rolls from back to tummy and tummy to back consistently.  She has good head control, and can prop sit for a few seconds at a time.  She still loves to stand up when she's held.  She reaches for toys and grabs anything she can get her hands on.  She is always putting her hands, fingers, or thumb in her mouth.  Adelie loves to activate her simple cause and effect toys.  She never stops kicking, and rolls and scoots herself all over her blanket.   Adelie is very vocal now, making a variety of squeals, coos, laughs, and grunts.  She generally has a lot to say.  Her new, cute skill is blowing raspberries.  She has also become quite proficient in the art of spitting up and drooling.

Rattles are fun...but keeping the feet close by as another great play option.

Adelie remains my smiley, happy, cuddly, adorable, wonderful baby.  She brings such joy to our lives.  What a glorious 4 months it has been!!

Adelie at 4 months.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Money Talk

Staley:  "Daddy, why do you have to go to work?"
Zach:  "When we go to a store to buy something, what do we need to give to the person at the check-out?"
Staley:  "Money."
Zach:  "That's right.  We have to use money to buy things like our house and our car and food and clothes and toys.  When Mommy and I go to work, we get money and that's how we buy the things we need."
Staley:  (long pause as she's thinking) "So when you go to work tomorrow, you could stop and buy me another mermaid."

Unfortunately, I think she's got a good understanding of how this money thing works...and how her Daddy operates.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Things I Love: Summer Edition

1.  No school...which means playtime with school-age cousins, visits from my teacher friends, hanging out with Elliott and Uncle Erik, and a special day with Grammie one day/week.

Cousin play date with the Bradford cousins

Visiting with Avery (my friend Christie's little one)

*We've gone to the zoo twice with Elliott and Uncle Erik, and played over at Elliott's house once.  Shockingly, I have no photos.  If I did, I'd put one here. 

2.  Corn on the cob fresh from the field
3.  Lots of options for fun, outdoor activities

Feeding the giraffe at the zoo

Family Fun Day at the local nursing home

Playground fun

Running in the Kids Run for Fun race

Farm Park fun with Aunt Melissa and Liam
 
4.  Swimming

Staley and cousin Olivia

5.  Shorts, flip-flops, sundresses, and oh-so-cute little girl summer outfits

Looking cute in summer chic with cousin Liam
 
6.  Fresh fruit
7.  My new, super-awesome double stroller

Riding in luxery

8.  An easily amused 2-year old who can enjoy summer fun no matter where we are.

A favorite activity:  Playing on the colored 'dots' outside the local grade school.

Staley diligently working in her 'garden' of sticks and rocks

Riding her horse is a go-to activity when it's too hot or rainy outside.

9.  An infant who can go with the flow

Adelie enjoys many of our summer outings...

...like this.

10.  Spending lazy summer days with my two girls!!



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Things That are Hard

1.  Balancing the need to give Adelie naps at home with the desire to take Staley to do fun things.
2.  Finding time to run or read or enjoy a quiet 'me' moment in the hectic life of 2 kids.
3.  Keeping up with laundry and dishes and picking up around the house is hard enough.  Organizing the storage room, starting Adelie's baby book, staining the deck, landscaping around the house...those are just pipe dreams right now.
4.  Making time with my husband a priority.  By the time we have both girls to bed at night, collapsing on the couch with some shared popcorn and a TV show is about the extent of our quality time.
5.  Going back to work.  I have a good job that I enjoy, but my heart isn't there right now.
6.  Knowing that things like exercise and time out with friends and date nights with Zach and daily devotions should be priorities, but not yet figuring out how to make that all work.
7.  Watching Adelie roll and blow raspberries and outgrow her clothes, knowing that her tiny baby days are already slipping away. 
8.  When Staley asks, "Mommy, are you happy?"  as I'm cleaning up a pooping accident, and realizing that my 2 year old is attuned to my frustration and disappointment in that moment.
9.  Giving the amount of time and attention to each member of my family that they truly deserve.

I love my little family more than anything in the world, and I feel like they deserve the very best.  But it's hard, because I'm trying to be a mom and a wife and a housekeeper and a cook and an event planner and a friend and an occupational therapist and a Christian...and in trying to do it all, I'm not really being the best at anything.

Let's NOT Play That

While my mom was baby-sitting Staley and Adelie the other day, she and Staley had this conversation when Staley woke up from her nap.

Staley:  "I have pee pee in my pants."
Grammie:  (reassuringly)  "That's okay.  You are wearing a pull-up."
Staley:  (long pause)  "I have a good idea.  We could pretend we are cats and my bed could be the litter box."

I'm glad they decided not to play that game!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

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

This morning Staley was having difficulty deciding what to wear.  She didn't like the choices I gave her and was getting a little dramatic about getting dressed.

Me:  "If you cry, I'm just going to pick out something and put it on you."
Staley:  "Oh, I was just making a whiney sound."
Me:  "I don't want to hear any whining sounds either.  If I do, I'm choosing your outfit."
Staley:  "Oh, I wasn't making a whiney sound. It was just a regular sound."


Still Rolling

Friday was Adelie's first official roll from her tummy to her back.  Apparently she liked being one step closer to actual mobility because today she mastered the other rolling motion--from back to tummy.  She was very pleased with herself and did it multiple times, just to prove that she could.

On the way...
 
...and made it!

 

Friday, July 12, 2013

On a Roll

Adelie is a mover.  She was an extremely active in utero baby, and that hasn't changed.  She is constantly on the move.  I swaddle her at night, but her blanket is always off by morning.  In her crib for naps, she often ends up wedged with her face in the corner when I get her up.  On her floor blanket or play mat, she will end up 180 degrees from where she started.  I don't know how she does it, but my kicking, flailing, wiggling, scooting little gal just doesn't stop.

For the past month or so, Adelie will inconsistently roll from her stomach to her back during tummy time.  It seems deliberate and she will sometimes do it over and over again, but I've never counted it an official 'first' since we help position her arms under her for tummy time.  Today, however, Adelie rolled from her stomach to her back all by herself.  I'm counting it her official 'first roll.'  I put her down for her morning nap on her tummy and when I went to get her up after her nap, she was happily lying on her back.  Kudos to my little gal!!

Losing hair and gaining skills daily

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Make Them Talk

Pretend play has been an integral part of Staley's playtime for the past year or so.  Imaginary friends.  Pretend adventures.  Making up stories.  These have all become part of our every day life with Staley.  One of Staley's favorite activities is to have us make her stuffed animals or her princesses or her Dora characters or her Thomas trains talk.  When playing together, she will hand us a toy and ask, "Can you make her talk?"

One of the perks of this favorite activity is that Staley is often much more receptive to suggestions from her toys than she is from us.  So if Staley doesn't want to wear a particular outfit or isn't in the mood to take a potty break or is dawdling on her way to breakfast, having the suggestion come from her Emily train or her Yellow Bear can make her much more agreeable.  And it's amazing how Yellow Bear and I are so often on the same page.

I do enjoy pretending with Staley and have fun making her various toys talk, but I am less enthused about another twist on this play activity.  Lately, when reading books, Staley doesn't want me to read the stories.  She just wants me to make the characters in the book talk. We have to go page by page, but instead of reading the story, I am in charge of making the character on each page talk to Staley.  We do lots of reading, and I'll be honest.  I consider reading time as down time for me.  We can sit together on the couch and I can mindlessly read book after book after book without much effort.  Making the characters talk requires considerable more thought and imagination.  And although Staley doesn't seem to mind, I run out of things for the book characters to say to Staley and begin to feel redundant.  It can be a nice way to reinforce lessons like being nice to friends or being proud of potty use or being helpful when the book characters are in sticky situations, but it can get a little old.

I love that Staley has a great imagination.  I enjoy playing pretend with her.  I don't mind making her toys talk.  And making book characters talk isn't all bad.  But sometimes, just sometimes, all I want to do is sit back, relax, and read the words.

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Cousin, My Friend

Staley and her cousin, Liam, were born on the same day.  Birthday twins!!  Staley loves all her cousins and all her friends, but she and Liam have a special bond.  Of all the kids Staley plays with right now, she and Liam play the best together.  Not just side-by-side playing, but actually playing together. They share toys, mimic one another, chase each other around, hold hands, and have inside jokes that always make them laugh.  Their favorite joke:

Staley:  "Liam, what does Animal [from the Muppets] say?"
Liam:  "Rar-rar-rar...drum!"
Cue Staley laughing hysterically.
Repeat.

I love watching Staley and Liam play together.  Since Liam's mom also works part-time, we try to make time to get the cousins together to play on a regular basis.  With my maternity leave and the nice weather, this summer has given us lots of fun opportunities to spend time with Liam and Aunt Melissa.

Feeding ducks at the Farm Park

Riding horses at the Farm Park
 
Playing at our house
 
Water table fun
 
Running in the Kids Run for Fun race

Water play at a splash park
 
I hope that Staley and Liam continue to hold onto this friendship as they grow up.  There is nothing better than having a best friend.  And having a best friend who is also your family...well, nothing can compete with that!!

Cousins make the best friends!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ending With a Fizzle

Our 4th of July started out strong.  Staley was so excited about the parade and the fireworks, and we were all looking forward to a fun family day.  Zach woke up early to run in a 4th of July race with his sister while I stayed home to get the girls up and dressed in their red, white, and blue.  I attempted sister pictures on the porch, but trying to make sure Adelie stayed safe, get both girls to look at me, convince Staley to smile, and actually take the picture proved to be a most difficult feat.

This was the best I could muster.
 
Following my failed photo attempts, we headed over the Zach's parent's house to watch the parade and have lunch.  Staley was excited about the parade, but covered her ears the moment the parade was in view in preparation for the fire trucks.  We tried to explain that the fire trucks didn't come until the end of the parade, but Staley insisted on keeping her ears covered until after the fire trucks (and therefore, the rest of the parade) had passed.  She seemed to enjoy the parade nonetheless.  Adelie also enjoyed the parade UNTIL the fire trucks blasted their sirens.  Then she cried and cried and cried...and fell asleep.
 
Staley catching her first glimpse of the parade

Worn out from her parade viewing
 
Following lunch and play time with cousins, we headed home for naps.  Adelie, Staley, and Zach all took nice, long naps in preparation for a late night of fireworks viewing.  After nap time, we tried some more 4th of July pictures (much easier with 2 adults), played, ate dinner, and went for a long walk.  The entire time, Staley kept asking if it was time for the fireworks.  We had told her that the fireworks would start when it was dark, so she kept insisting, "I think it's getting dark now."
 
More successful the second time

 


Although Staley's 4th of July outfit when she was an infant would have fit Adelie, I didn't want Adelie to feel slighted that all her special occasion outfits have already been worn (and photographed).  So I bought Adelie her own, new 4th of July outfit.  However, when she had a major diaper blow-out, it worked out well that I had a second 4th of July outfit waiting in the wings.  Sometimes things just work out.
 
Adelie's 4th of July outfit

Adelie's 4th of July outfit, take 2.
 
After the long, fun day we had, it was FINALLY time for the main attraction.  Staley was SO excited!  We loaded up and headed down to the lower lake for fireworks.  Because it was almost Adelie's bedtime, she cried and cried from the time we put her into her carseat until we almost made it to our viewing spot.  Then she calmed down and didn't seem at all phased by the booming practice shots.  Staley settled onto Uma's lap and the fireworks started. 
 
Waiting for the fireworks to begin
 
We made it about one minute into the fireworks when Staley declared, "I don't like the fireworks.  I want to go home."  Literally one minute.  We asked multiple times if she was sure and finally, about three minutes into the fireworks show, we loaded everything back up and headed home.  We offered to just sit in the car and watch the fireworks without the noise, but Staley still wasn't interested.  She just said, "I want to go home and go to bed."  I'm not sure if it was the noise or just the fact that it was 2 hours past her bedtime, but I was so looking forward to watching Staley enjoy the fireworks.  I thought our 4th would end with a bang...but it just kind of fizzled out.



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let It Go

When I was younger, I was adventurous and spontaneous.  I was a world-class procrastinator, working best under the pressure of a deadline.  My room was a disaster.  I was always up for anything, anytime.  I didn't believe in budgeting (which didn't always work out for me).  I didn't understand those Type A personalities around me.  Where was the fun in schedules and planning and organizing and alphabetizing and working ahead?  Life on the fly was the way I liked it.

Somewhere along the way, however, my mindset started to shift.  Maybe it was when I got married or got a house or started a real job.  Maybe it was closer to the time that we wanted to start a family.  It wasn't a sudden change, thus taking me awhile to realize it was even happening.  And now I look at myself, realizing that I'm the Type A fuddy-duddy that my younger self would shake her head at. 

The current me likes order.  I need my calendars and my lists.  Everything in my home has a place, and when piles start to form, I need to sort them and put them away.  I can't leave dishes in the sink.  I find real pleasure in cleaning out closets.  Organizing makes me feel happy.  I am now a firm believer in schedules, in planning ahead, in shopping in advance.  And I've found that when chaos or clutter starts to form in my life, it causes me anxiety.  When things aren't done in a certain way or in a certain time, I worry.  And anxiety and worry make me lose some of the joy in the every day.

And so my new mantra is to 'let it go.'  Dishes in the sink?  They can wait.  Poop in the naptime pull-up?  Nothing to get frustrated about.  Late bedtime?  The girls can handle it every now and then.  Missing a nap?  Not the end of the world.  Sweets?  Melt downs?  Clutter?  Chaos?  That's part of life with children.  And if I'm going to enjoy these fleeting moments as my children grow up so fast, sometimes I'm going to need to put down the list, throw out the schedule, and just let it go.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

When Staley was born, she had a head full of hair.  She kept her hair for about 3 months, and then began to lose it.  Staley lost all the hair on her head except for a section down the middle, giving her a natural Mohawk for several months.  If you don't remember this rockin' look, feel free to revisit this post.  In the same way, Adelie was born with a nice head of hair.  And in the same way, Adelie is now losing her hair.  Unfortunately, Adelie is losing all the hair on top of her head and only keeping a section around the bottom, giving her a very end-stage-of-male-pattern-baldness look.  Luckily it's nothing that a hat, big bow, or well-placed accessories can't fix. 


 
And if anyone can rock the male pattern baldness look, it's my little gal. 
 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Adelie's Dedication

We had a special end to our vacation week.  Yesterday Adelie was dedicated at church.  Most of Zach's family and my family were there to support us.  Although retired from full-time ministry, my dad was able to perform the dedication service as our current pastor is a close friend of his.  The service was very nice, and Adelie did great.  Staley did fine in front of the church until she noticed the video screen where she was able to see herself.  Then she began to preen and pose, watching herself the whole time on the screen.  Although not really disruptive, I don't think she was catching the true meaning of the moment.

Adelie's dedication (with Staley watching the video screen)

I don't think this acrobatic feat was a planned part of the service.

Zach's family

Our little family
 
Pretty happy about her special day