Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Friday, September 27, 2013

Inheriting the Curse

Zach's sister and her family wanted to visit some friends in St. Louis this past winter and spring.  They tried...and tried...and tried again.  Every single time they planned their trip, one of their kids would get sick.  This didn't happen just once or twice.  Nope.  I think they tried five or six times before they had a successful visit.  Did they finally break their St. Louis curse?  Well, they finally made it down for their visit, but I don't think the curse is broken.  I think they just passed it on.

We decided that it would be fun to take the girls down to St. Louis this fall for a mini family vacation.  A few months ago, we picked this week-end as the perfect time for a trip.  Zach knew it would be a less busy week at work, and we assumed the weather would be beautiful.  Zach took today off work so we could have a nice long week-end away.  Staley has been excitedly talking about going to the zoo for the past week, discussing in detail everything she would like to see and do.  (For the record, she wanted to ride the train first.)  We were all set to go until...

Staley got sick.  A fever, a headache, fatigue, and lots of tears.  Instead of spending an almost perfect fall day at the St. Louis Zoo, our day looked more like this...

Watching TV on the couch is the only perk of being sick.

I know there are lots of viruses going around.  Staley could have gotten something at the baby-sitters or from Sunday School.  Zach or I could have brought something home from work.  There's no conclusive way to know where the illness came from, but I don't blame the germs.  I blame the curse.

First Foods

Tonight was Adelie's official introduction to real food.  Her response?  A little confused.  A little unsure.  But interested.  Definitely interested.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Six Months

I used to think half of a year seemed like a long time until I blinked and my baby who was just born has reached this milestone.  Adelie is officially 6 months old.  My growing, changing baby weighs 15 lbs and is about 26.5" long.  She is wearing her size 2 diapers and 6-9 month clothes.  She eats 5 times/day, usually takes 2 naps, and sleeps from 5-9 hours at a time at night.  She now has 2 teeth and is steadily growing more (light) hair.

Happily playing with toys

Likes:  Adelie remains my happy, social, smiling, easy baby.  She loves being around people, going for walks, being outside, hanging out in the Baby Bjorn, baths, music, playing with her feet, and grabbing anything she can get her hands on.  She LOVE, LOVE, LOVES her big sister.  Adelie is happy to play with any toys, but stacking cups and musical/light up toys tend to be favorites.  She continues to prefer books with textures, sounds, and flaps.  She enjoys going to music class with her big sister, and seems to like being around all the kids at the baby-sitters.  Adelie loves our cats, especially when they unwittingly get close enough for her to reach.  Playing peek-a-boo, watching her mobile, and anything Staley does consistently make her smile and laugh.

Playing with big sister Staley is always fun.

Dislikes:  This list doesn't seem to change.  Adelie dislikes being hungry, tired, and cold.  She sometimes fusses about being in her carseat or getting lonely/bored.

Skills:  Adelie is still on the move.  She is a proficient roller, can scoot a little on her belly by using her legs, and loves to stand when held.  Her legs never stop moving, and she is starting to get onto her knees or her feet while on her belly. She is a great sitter, sitting for long periods of time to play with toys.  She is starting to use more of a controlled fall when she is done sitting.  Adelie will grab anything she can get her hands on, and she has a surprisingly long reach.  She can activate her cause and effect toys and is beginning to try to roll a ball back and forth.  Adelie continues to squeal and talk, but her new sound is a low growl (which Staley thinks is hysterical).  Our lives are brighter and fuller because of Adelie.

My 6 month old

And Coming in Second... Adelie's bottom left center tooth.  Two down, eighteen to go.

Not quite a toothy grin, but she's working on it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First Day of School

Sunday School, that is.  Today was Staley's first day attending her 2 year old Sunday School class.  She was SO excited.  She insisted on wearing her backpack.  She decided that she needed to pack a pencil and some paper, and then decided to throw in her Dora potty book for good measure.  Upon my suggestion, she also brought her Bible.

Ready for Sunday School

Based on the huge smile on Staley's face and the glowing report from her teacher (including the observation that Staley loves to sing and jumped right in with all the songs), Sunday School was a success.  We've hung up the picture she colored, talked about the 'fire' symbol of the United Methodist Church, and sung her new Sunday School songs.  Staley is already looking forward to next week.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Staley Quote of the Day

"If it's a chip and it's chocolate, then it's a chocolate chip.  If it's a chip and it's not chocolate, then it's sour cream and onion."

Big Ideas

We met Aunt Jill and Lila at Ackerman Farm this morning.  I wanted to wait for Zach to go with us to pick out our big pumpkins for carving or decorating, so I let Staley pick out a mini pumpkin today.  As she was climbing into the car with her tiny pumpkin, she had a few ideas of what she wanted to do with it.

Staley:  "When we get home, let's make pumpkin ice cream with my pumpkin."
Me:  "I don't know how to make pumpkin ice cream."
Staley:  "Maybe we can just carve my pumpkin when we get home."
Me:  "I think your pumpkin is a little too small to carve."
Staley:  "I can just use my wand to make it bigger and then we can carve it."

Despite all her great ideas, Staley had to settle for simply painting her mini pumpkin.  Although using her wand to make it bigger was a great second choice.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's In

Adelie's first tooth came through today.  Her right bottom tooth is here.  And since I've been blaming her inconsistent night-time sleep and her poor napping habits on that tooth, I'm anticipating rock star sleeping from now on.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Napping Woes

Staley has never been a great napper.  She had pretty consistent napping habits as an infant but gave up her second nap before she was one and has gone through periods of no napping on and off since before her second birthday.  But lately my napping woes have been coming from another member of our household.

Adelie has lately been deciding that napping interferes with her day.  So although she'll still take 2 or sometimes 3 naps, they have recently only been little cat naps.  She used to do that occasionally, but then would make up for it by taking longer naps the next day.  But for the past week or so, this hasn't been the case.  I can almost set my watch to it.  I put her down and hear her 30 minutes later.  Nap after nap.  Day after day.  No matter how tired she seems.  How crashed she is when I put her down.  And she doesn't wake up fussy, like she still needs to sleep.  Nope.  Wide awake.  Squealing and 'talking'.  When I go up to get her, she's generally playing with her feet or peeking over the crib bars at me.  She's still happy and smiley during the day.  She's still sleeping well at night. But that can't be enough.  I want to blame teething.  I want to blame a growth spurt.  I want to blame congestion or a room that's not dark enough or a phase or getting off schedule.  I want it to be something that I can fix.  Something that will fix itself.  I want it to be something other than a daughter who just doesn't need daytime sleep.  Because daytime sleep is important.  For health.  For development.  And for a mother to have a little time to get things done.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Twelve Years

There is no better way to celebrate 12 years of wedded bliss...

 than by watching the Bears play...

 6 rows from the field...

in an exciting 4th quarter comeback victory.

Happy Anniversary to Us!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Question of the Day

Which is worse?

The fact that I'm probably the reason my daughter has walking pneumonia...

or the fact that it took me 3 weeks to finally take her to the doctor to find that out??

Either way, I think my 'Mom of the Year' award is well out of reach.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Cried

I thought yesterday was a bit of a rough day.  I complained about it to my husband when he came home from work.  Staley woke up around 6:30.  Too early.  So she was tired.  Therefore, she was emotional and a little sassy.  She was testing some boundaries and pushing some buttons.  Adelie had a huge diaper blow-out in her car seat on the way to music class.  She barely napped at all.  I thought that an emotional toddler and cleaning up massive amounts of baby poop and wanting my infant to sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time made for a rough day.

Then I went to work today.  I love my job.  And although many of the children and families I work with are in sad or difficult situations, I can see the positive.  I can focus on helping children improve.  My job is to help children and families not dwell on what they can't do, but on what they can.  But there are some cases that affect me.  And today I cried at my desk as I was reading a chart review on a child I was scheduled to see.  A child not different than my own.  With parents no different than us.  And a devastating diagnosis.  Devastating.  And I cried.  I cried for that family.  I cried for that child.  I cried because it could just as easily be my child.  My devastation.  And I realized that yesterday was not a rough day.  It was a blessing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Growing Up...Fast

She's too big for her co-sleeper.  She's too mobile for her bouncy seat and her swing. She refuses to sit back in her baby bathtub.  She's out-growing her 3-6 month clothes.  The straps for her infant car seat are in the highest slots.  I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was bringing my baby home from the hospital.  And she is still my baby...

but she's definitely growing

Monday, September 9, 2013

Things She Knows: 2 1/2 Year Old Edition

*Bragging Alert*  I just want to blog these things so I don't forget, but it may come across as bragging.  If you'd rather skip this post (because no one likes a braggart), feel free.  And if you go ahead and read it, then you can't label me as a braggy mom type, because were warned.

Staley has a great memory.  She loves to learn.  I'm proud of the things she knows and remembers.  And because her memory is better than mine, I have to blog these things so that I don't forget.

When Staley has decided that she wants to learn something (like the Pledge of Allegiance or the words to a song), she will ask us to recite or sing it several times.  With each repetition, she jumps in a little more.  It usually only takes her about 4-5 times before she has it mastered and then she insists on doing it herself several times.  This often happens at the table during meal times, which is a fun way to spend our meals but does sometimes result in much slower eating.  I never thought I'd hear myself saying, "I'm not saying the 'Pledge of Allegiance' again until you take a few more bites of your dinner."

What Staley Knows:

1.  Staley knows all her colors (including descriptors like 'reddish-pink' or 'bluish-green'), her basic shapes (although she does sometimes get mixed up with triangles and rectangles), most of her upper case alphabet, and can recognize a few of her numbers. 

2.  Staley can count to 20.  She is also able to count objects appropriately by pointing at each one while counting, although sometimes double counts or lets her finger get ahead of her numbers.

3.  Thanks to Dora, Staley has an ever-growing Spanish vocabulary.  She knows about 6-7 colors, can count to 8, and has about 15 other words or phrases in Spanish.

4.  Our down the street neighbor has a beautiful yard that she is always working in.  She has become a special friend to Staley (and our whole family.)  Miss Vickie has been teaching Staley the names of plants and flowers, and Staley can now recognize and name about 10 different plants/flowers including zinnias, daisies, queen anne's lace, lambs ear, mums, basil, lilac, blue salvia, and morning glory.

5.  Staley can recite her pledge of allegiance.  (Although her nation is invisible instead of indivisible.)

6.  Staley can recognize and identify the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower.

7.  Staley has an ever-growing repertoire of songs she knows.  Recent additions include 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame', 'Bear Down, Chicago Bears', and the first verse and chorus of 'American Pie (by Don Mclean).

8.  Staley knows how to spell her name.

9.  On a slightly different note, Staley has now mastered pooping on the potty.  Hooray!!  So although she's still generally wet after naps and in the morning (and I do still make her try if it's been awhile or if we're getting ready to go somewhere), she has otherwise conquered potty training.

10.  I do love that Staley is bright and interested and analytical and articulate.  But more importantly, I love that she is thoughtful and happy and loving and kind. 

I love this little girl!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

All Girl

Staley is all girl.  She loves to wear dresses.  She likes to have her hair done.  Bows are a necessity.  And her favorite colors?  Pink and purple, of course.  So it's no wonder that when we gave Staley the choice between wearing a blue and orange Bear's jersey (just like Mommy, Daddy, and Adelie) or a pink Bear's jersey with sparkles, there was no contest.  She said, "I will wear the pink one and I will let Cade wear the blue and orange one."  When I told her that Cade already has a blue and orange jersey, then she decided that she'd let Olivia wear it.  After she was informed that it would probably be too small for Olivia, then Staley determined that it would fit Lila.  (Translation: "I'm happy to share my blue and orange jersey as I will definitely be wearing my pink one.")  Then she wanted to wear a skirt and her sparkly shoes with her jersey.  When she was all dressed, she twirled around and said, "I'm a baseball ballerina."  At least she's in the ballpark...sort of.

My little baseball ballerina

On the other hand, Adelie was more than happy to proudly wear her blue and orange.

Loving her first Bear's game day

And with a Bear's opening day win, there is plenty to smile about.

NFL Seasons Greetings

Happy Chicago Bear's Opening Day
From Our Family to Yours

May the 2013-2014 NFL Season bring you joy...
and a Bear's Super Bowl win.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Little Miss(es) Independent

Staley is becoming more and more independent on a daily basis.  She likes to walk down the stairs without holding onto the railing.  She climbs in and out of the van and in and out of her car seat by herself.  She can take off her clothes by herself and put on her clothes with minimal assistance.  And today, Staley went potty all by herself.  She told me she had to go and then told me to stay in the playroom because she was going to go potty all by herself.  The reason?  "I need some privacy."  Really???  So she went into the bathroom, pulled her stepstool over to the toilet, removed her shorts and underpants, climbed onto the toilet, and went to the bathroom all by herself.  She unrolled about half the toilet paper roll trying to tear off toilet paper for wiping, and she still can't reach the knobs to turn the water on for hand washing by herself, but she was otherwise very successful.  Increased toileting independence will be nice.  For example, I won't have to worry about straining to hear if Staley is yelling, "Mommy, I need to go potty" while I am showering or putting Adelie down for a nap.  On the other hand, each step Staley takes towards independence is one step further from being my baby...and one step closer to being a girl who 'needs her privacy.'  And I'm not ready for that step yet.

Definitely no longer a baby

Adelie doesn't want to be left out of the growing-independence game.  And so she has earned the title of 'Independent Sitter.'  She still doesn't always catch herself when she reaches too far or gets too excited, but she can sit for relatively long periods of time while playing with her toys now.

Still a baby...but sitting up like a big girl.

I love watching my girls grow and learn.  It's fun to see the pride when they do something for the first time...whether it's rolling over and sitting up or dressing and toileting independently.  I'm proud too.  And filled with love.  And only a little sad at how quickly they are growing up.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Into the Blue

I think they are staying.  I wasn't sure.  I kept waiting for them to change.  But we're over five months in and they are as blue as the day she was born.  And so I think it may be official...Adelie may stay my blue-eyed baby girl.

I have brown eyes.  Zach and Staley have green eyes.  We all have brown hair.  So Adelie can thank her two grandfathers for the blue eyes.  And the light hair??  Perhaps she'll come by it naturally...just like her Aunt Jill.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Wish I Could Say That

One of the greatest things about a toddler is their sweet innocence.  The way they get so excited about the simple joys in life.  How they only know to answer a question honestly.  How a hug, a kiss, or an 'I love you' are just as likely to be shared in the grocery store aisle as they are at bedtime.  And how they have no filter when it comes to saying what's on their minds. 

This morning we went to the zoo in Bloomington with Liam and Aunt Melissa.  Before heading for home after our zoo morning, we were sitting in the shade outside the entrance of the zoo while Liam and Staley played together.  While playing, a man and a woman went by, going for a walk.  The man was shirtless.  You know the type.  Shirtless, unnaturally tan, obviously spends most of his free time at the gym, more visible ab muscles than is humanly possible.  As they walked by, Staley said (rather loudly since I'm sitting a little ways away),  "Mommy, why is that man not wearing his clothes?"  (Louder since I didn't answer) "Why is he not wearing his clothes?"  (Louder still since I'm now too busy laughing to answer.)  "Why is he not wearing his clothes?"  Not wanting to be left out of the conversation, Liam exclaims, "I'm wearing my clothes.  I'm wearing my clothes"  (as he proceeds to tug at his shirt as evidence that he is, indeed, wearing his clothes.)

I have to assume that the man heard the conversation.  And he probably couldn't miss Melissa and I laughing about it either.  And although I didn't verbalize it, it's a valid question.  At 11:00 in the morning on a beautiful not-too-hot day in a public park where you are not running, mowing the lawn, or using your shirt as a tourniquet to help an injured stranger, is it really necessary to walk around shirtless?  My daughter, in all her sweet innocence, was just asking the question that we all wish we could.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Let's Talk About Mermaids

Mermaids are a current favorite of Staleys.  She loves all things mermaid.  Mermaid dolls.  Mermaid clothes.  Mermaid books.  Mermaid videos.  I will admit.  I count down the days until the 'Dora Saves the Mermaids' video and the 'Dora Saves Mermaid Kingdom' book are due back at the library.  And I insist that we wait at least one visit before checking them out again.  You know, so other kids can have a drive their parents crazy with excessive reading of the same book and watching the same Dora episode every single day.

Tonight, Staley was telling Zach how she would like to get a Marianna doll.  (Marianna is the mermaid in the 'Dora Saves the Mermaids' movie and book.  If you'd like to know more about the characters or the plot for this title, I am very well-versed.) 

Zach:  "I don't know if they make a Marianna doll."
Staley:  "Yes they do.  They just don't sell them at garage sales.  Mommy will have to buy it somewhere else."

Yes, I do love a good garage sale.  But where does she come up with this stuff???

Staley has decided that, with her love of mermaids, she would like to be a mermaid for Halloween.  So last night we were having this discussion:

Staley:  "Let's talk about our costumes."
Me:  "Okay.  Do you still want to be a mermaid for Halloween?"
Staley:  "Yes."
Me:  "What do you think Adelie should be?"
Staley:  "Adelie can be a fish."
Me: "That's a great idea."
Staley:  "And you can be a mermaid too.  I will be a Staley mermaid and you can be a mommy mermaid."
Me: "Good idea.  And what about Daddy?  What do you think Daddy should be?"
Staley:  "Daddy can be a...(long pause as she's thinking)...caterpillar."

Wouldn't we be a cute little themed out family.  Two mermaids, a fish, and...a caterpillar???

I can't help but laugh at some of the things my daughter says.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


There are things I had forgotten about 'babyhood' in the short time it's been since Staley was there.  I'd forgotten how quickly they outgrow their clothes.  I'd forgotten how socks and shoes never stay on baby feet.  I'd forgotten how I am perpetually wearing spit up and drool.  And I'd forgotten how inconsistent life with a baby can be. 

Looking back, I glowingly remember Staley being a baby who always slept through the night and had a very nice daily schedule from an early age.  Reading through my Staley-as-a-baby blog posts, however, reminded me that she had at least several periods of time where her sleeping habits were lacking.  I now remember how she wouldn't nap if we were out and about.  How if she fell asleep in the car, I'd drive around town for 30-40 minutes because if I'd try to carry her inside, she'd wake up and be done napping.  How we'd rock her or nurse her or dance her to sleep...and how sometimes that took quite awhile.  Our days were not as consistent in those early months as Staley tried to figure out life in the world and we tried to figure out life with a baby.

Adelie is many things.  She is mellow.  She is happy.  She is smiley.  But consistent...we're not there yet. Some days Adelie is up for the day by 6:30.  And some days I wake her up at 8:30.  She can sleep 8-9 hours every night for a week, and then last night she woke up every 3 hours.  She will nap 5 hours one day and less than 2 hours the next.  I can't complain.  Lack of good sleep or decreased napping doesn't change her demeanor.  She is still mellow.  She is still happy.  She is still smiley.  But consistent she is not.

As with so many things in baby world, since Adelie can't tell me why she's not napping or why she's waking at night on certain days and not others, I just have to speculate.  And because really, how many things can it be, I assume it's either a.) a growth spurt or b.) teething.  So stay tuned.  If she has her first tooth sometime in the next week or two, I'll go with teething.  Otherwise, I'll guess growth spurt.  Either way, I'm probably going to go to bed early since I may be up at 12:00 and 3:00 and 6:00 again.  On the other hand, I may get to sleep until 8:00.  Because smiley she is...

...but consistent she is not.