Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Today was a special day for Staley.  Through State Farm, Zach got tickets to take a bus trip up to Chicago to see the musical "Annie."  Adelie spent the day with Grammie and Grandpa while Zach and I took Staley for her special day in Chicago.  She couldn't have been more excited.

We woke up early, dressed in our sparkly clothes, and headed to Bloomington to catch the bus.

Staley's smile is, unfortunately, her new "cheese" smile.
Here's hoping we can change that soon.

But being on a big, fancy bus up to Chicago gave us a true Staley grin.

Once in Chicago, we had a few hours before the play started.  We shopped at the Disney store, looked at the Macy's Christmas window displays, checked out a HUGE outdoor Christmas tree, and ate lunch at the Corner Bakery...complete with a humongous chocolate chip cookie for Staley.

Enjoying her time in the big city.

And lunch at a restaurant is always a treat.

I was excited to share one of my favorite childhood musicals with Staley.  And she was excited about being in a big, fancy theater and seeing the actors sing and dance on the stage. 

Staley's first big girl play

The play captivated Staley...for the first 45 minutes.  After that, she decided that the play was too loud and too long.  So after intermission, she and Zach watched the rest of the play on a small TV in the lobby where Staley could talk and move around and not be bothered by the noise level.  (I guess almost 4 isn't quite old enough to truly enjoy a full Broadway play.)  However, she still insisted that the play was her favorite part of the day.

Following the play, we boarded the bus for home.  We hadn't even made it a few blocks from the theater and Staley was already asleep in my lap.

An early morning, a drive up to Chicago, shopping, walking around downtown, lunch at a restaurant, and a 3 hour play.  It wore me out too.  But in a spending-an-extra-special-day-with-my-daughter kinda way.


It was a wonderful Thanksgiving day.  Family.  Food.  Football.  (Well, the football wasn't so good.)  But all in all, another fabulous Thanksgiving.  The best part, however, wasn't the food.  Or the time with family.  And especially not the football.  It was taking the time to be reminded, once again, by how truly blessed we are.

We have loving and supportive families, immediate and extended, on both sides.  We have stable jobs that we enjoy.  We have a warm, comfortable home.  We have plenty of food, clothing, reliable cars, fabulous friends, great co-workers, and nice cats.  We are healthy.  We are happy.  We are loved.  We have 2 wonderful daughters who are healthy and happy and bring so much joy to our lives.

And another blessing on the way.

Every day I am grateful for this life that I have.  But Thanksgiving is the perfect time to stop and truly reflect on how blessed our life really is.

Monday, November 24, 2014


We are becoming re-acclimated to life as our own little family again.  After about 6 months, my parents moved out of our basement and into their new home this past week-end.

It's taken a little getting used to.  Our basement seems empty now.  So does our refrigerator and pantry.  And yes, I do have 4 laundry baskets of clean clothes in the laundry room waiting to be folded. But more than that, we already miss the companionship.  We miss watching shows together in the evenings.  We miss a full table at meals.   The girls miss Story House and playing figurines.  Adelie still yells out "Grandpa?" whenever the back door opens.  And they haven't yet figured out that if they are crying or bored or want someone to play with, there will be no one coming up from the basement to save the day.

It was such a blessing having that time with my parents.  It was fun for us, but even more special for the girls to have daily access to their grandparents.  It worked out so well that, once my parents get settled, we might move into their basement for awhile.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Did I REALLY Have to Say That??

"Let's stop showing our belly buttons and finish eating our dinner."

I put that in the same category as:
"Do not put that mermaid in the potty."
"Don't blow your nose on that wipe.  You just wiped your front with it."
"I shouldn't have to explain why throwing yourself backwards in the bathtub is a bad idea."
"We do not stand on the laptop."
"Take your boot out of your mouth."

Sadly, these are all statements that I've made in the last few days.  Even more sadly, some of them I've had to say more than once.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One More Perk

There are some benefits to having a scheduled c-section.  There is the predictability.  The ability to plan and prepare.  The quick delivery.  But this morning, when Staley asked me how the baby would get out of my tummy, I determined one more perk to having a scheduled c-section.  Explaining the surgery and how the doctor takes the baby out of my tummy seemed like an easier thing to explain than if I had to discuss the alternative.  I don't know that I'm ready to explain that yet...or answer the follow-up questions that I'm sure would follow.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I'm sorry, #3.  I have only taken one 'growing belly' picture as opposed to the weekly ones I took with your sisters.  There has only been one post about you on our blog so far.  (Here's making it two.)  We haven't come up with a cute little nickname for you, so right now, you are just "baby."  I have eaten more ice cream, cookies, and Halloween candy than is good for either of us.  But all that aside, I love you already.  I get excited about all your little movements that I can feel more and more frequently that remind me of your presence.  Your sisters talk to you and pat you frequently.  (If you're remembering the pats, Staley's are the more gentle ones.  Adelie's are more like thumps.)  And we are all excited about getting to meet you in just a few short months.

The story of you isn't lengthy or mysterious.  We weren't "trying for a boy", as many people have asked.  Boy or girl, it really doesn't matter to us.  (For the record, I kind of think you're a boy.  Of course, I also thought that at times with both your sisters, so don't put a lot of faith in my 'motherly instinct' when it comes to gender guessing.) We just love our little family and thought it would be great if we could expand the love one more time.  We're not getting any younger so as soon as we were able to try to add to our family, we did.  And you came along.  I still have my anxiety, born from our years of infertility and my years working at the hospital.  I worried until I could see you on an ultrasound, worried with each appointment until I got to hear your heartbeat, and worry about whether or not you're moving enough, whether or not I'm drinking enough, whether or not I'm eating too much.  I worry about your health.  I worry about what I know can go wrong.  I worry, but I also  pray.  I pray for you.  For us.  For our family.  For your health.  For your happiness.  And for the ways I know your presence will change our family.

What I know about you so far?  You made yourself known very early when I felt your first baby movements around 13 or 14 weeks, after a much-too-large meal of scrumptious Chinese food.  (I still don't know whether you really liked it or really didn't.  You'll have to let me know.)  You move a lot, as each time I have an appointment, the doctor comments on your movements as she has to continually move the heart rate monitor around to find a consistent spot to hear you.  You move a lot more when I'm sitting on the couch, driving in the car, and lying down in bed than when I'm active.  (That might be why I worry sometimes about your movements--there are days that I just don't get to sit down much.)  And I know that, with each week that passes, you (and I) are both growing more and more.

Baby, I apologize for the lack of pregnancy pictures.  I apologize for the lack of early blog posts.  I apologize for those brief moments that I get so busy with life that I almost forget that you are with me.  I apologize for that package of Swiss Cake Rolls that I just ate while I sit on the couch and type this.  (Although if you're anything like me, you probably enjoyed them too.)  And I'm sure there will be more apologies needed in the years to come.  But know that there is nothing I love more than my children.  There is nothing I won't do for you.  I will love you fully and unconditionally and fiercely.  I will continue to pray for you every day.  Even if I haven't taken enough pictures of you living in my belly, you are already living in my heart.

Staley Quotes of the Day

1.  Close call of the Day:
Staley:  "I know what makes Gage a boy."  (Yikes, yikes, yikes.  Not ready for this.)
Me:  "What makes Gage a boy?"
Staley:  "He's my brother and brothers are boys."
Crisis averted.

2.  Comparison of the Day:
Staley:  "Hairspray is like glue for your hair."
Especially true if she had seen my hairspray use in the early 90's.

3.  Easiest Christmas List of the Day:
Staley:  "For Christmas, I want a new toothbrush and a water bottle."
Done and done.

4.  Compliment of the Day:
Staley:  "Mommy, you are beautiful.  You look beautiful and you act beautiful."
I've been working hard to make sure my girls are complimented on more than just looks and clothes, because it seems like that's what little girls hear all the time.  I want them to understand that there is much more to a person than just how they look.  So this compliment was very sweet, but also showed that she's been listening.

5.  Compliment (sort of) of the Day:
Staley:  "Adelie, you are my favorite sister!"
I'm sure she meant it as a compliment.  And at least Adelie beat out the imaginary sister (Ariel) that Staley has.

6.  Conundrum of the Day:
Staley:  "For my birthday, I want to do a surfing show, but I don't even have a surfboard."
I'm thinking that the lack of a surfboard might just be one of several problems with that plan.

Staley amuses me all day, every day with the things that she says.  And this was all before noon.  :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder what children think about while they are lying in bed at night, unable to go to sleep?  Well last night Staley was awake in bed for about 2 hours before she could fall asleep.  After several requests for drinks of water and extra lullabies, she gave us a little insight into the deep, philosophical thoughts that keep a 3 year old girl awake at night.

Staley:  "Mama.  Mama.  Mama.  Mama."
Me:  "What is it, Staley?"
Staley:  "Why is Mrs. Potts [from Beauty and the Beast] named Mrs. Potts?  That's just a funny name."

With these profound life questions to ponder, it's a wonder she ever gets to sleep.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


There are things that I find exasperating as a mother.  I really dislike picking food/silverware/cups off the floor during meal times.  Having to find and put back on Adelie's shoes, socks, hat, bow, and hair thing each and every time we get someplace in the car (even if it's only a few blocks away) can get old.  But one of the things that can be the most exasperating is how SLOW Staley is to do anything.

Staley is a cooperative and obedient child.  Her inability to do things quickly is not often deliberate disobedience or choosing not to listen.  She is generally independent, and when on task, can complete things like using the restroom or getting dressed or putting on her coat in a timely manner.  I think her never-ending slowness is more a product of Staley always thinking, always talking, always imagining, and always getting distracted.

Often Staley will get distracted while using the bathroom.  After several minutes, I'll check on her and will often find her sitting on the potty.  She's already gone, and sometimes even wiped, but is just sitting on the potty talking or singing, almost like she forgot what she was doing in there.  She'll turn on the water to wash her hands and then be looking in the mirror, forgetting to get the soap and finish washing her hands.  She'll sometimes get distracted in her closet while going to get her shoes, may get side tracked on her way to the back porch to get her coat, or takes her sweet time finding her way to the table for meals.  It's not uncommon for me to yell out, "Staley, are you going potty?"  or "Staley, have you found your shoes?" or "Staley, have you put on your coat?" several minutes after Staley has left to complete one of these activities and to hear her sweetly respond, "Not yet."  Sometimes she'll even get distracted picking up her toys after rest time, and I'll hear her resume her playing instead of coming downstairs for her snack.  If I'm not right there with Staley to help her along, getting out the door can sometimes be a painfully slow process.  And in the time it takes me to hurry Staley along, Adelie will often quickly REMOVE her shoes, socks, coat, or even shirt that I've already helped her put on.

Staley is many things.  She is sweet and kind, smart and imaginative, thoughtful and helpful.  But she is also slow.  Oh so very slow.  Sometimes painfully slow.  I hope that it improves with age, but I think it is, in part, innately who she is.  So if you ever have to ask, "Staley, are you ready?", just be prepared for the answer I'm sure will come next.  "Not yet."

Life is good when you're never in a hurry.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Silver Lining

This football season has been brutal.  There were high expectations for a strong Bear's football team this year, and they've been historically BAD.  It's been painful to watch.  It's no fun watching your team lose week after week after week.  (And not just lose, but get trounced.)

On the plus side,... girls still look super-cute in blue and orange.

And no matter what, they always find something to cheer about.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The End?

When you wake up and your outside temperature gauge reads 33 degrees, you worry.  When you look out the window and many of the trees are bare, you worry.  When you have to hang the winter coats in a more prominent spot, you worry.  Is this the end?  The end of crisp, fall days.  The end of daily outside play time.  The end of running out to do errands in just a sweatshirt.  You worry that each beautiful fall day might just be the last.

And so, at least at our house, we have tried to take advantage of these last, fleeting fall days.  We've been...

painting pumpkins,...

Yes, Adelie insisted on painting her pumpkin orange.

Staley's, of course, had to have pink.

raking leaves,...

and, of course, playing in them.

There has been lots of playing outside,...

Watching the city's "leaf sucker" come by to vacuum up our leaves.

Sidewalk chalk in the driveway

playground fun...

When she saw her sister doing this, she just HAD to try.

and walks in the woods.

This may not be the end.  We may still have a few more weeks of fall fun.  It's possible that winter is going to hold off just a little bit longer.  But just in case it doesn't, we have tried to eek every last bit of enjoyment out of these last fall days.  Because, let's be honest, this just might be the end.

But we're all hoping it's not.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sister Love

Staley got invited to have a sleep-over at Uma and Papa's house this week-end without Adelie.  She is SO excited to take a bubble bath where she can play without Adelie disturbing her, play the games that she can't play when Adelie is around, watch a Tinkerbell movie, and have Uma and Papa all to herself.

But tonight, this was Staley's bedtime prayer:

"Thank you for Grammie and Grandpa.  Thank you for Mommy and Daddy.  Thank you for Uma and Papa.  And please be with Adelie that she is still happy when I go on my sleep-over."

Even in her excitement, she is still thinking about her little sister.  And I love that!

Compliment of the Day

Staley:  "You are the sweetest mommy I ever had."

Not sure the competition was too stiff, but I'll take it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who Needs Toys...

...when you've got your imagination.

I love that Staley has a huge imagination.  Even if she sometimes confuses people with her matter-of-fact talk about her imaginary friends or flying horses.   (Staley's baby-sitter was shocked when I told her Gage was an imaginary friend.  She always assumed he was another cousin.)  Even if she is constantly making up songs and singing them proudly wherever we are.  Even if she can be slow as molasses to do what she's asked or get out the door because she is always in the middle of telling me about something.  (Sometimes I have to tell her that she can't tell me anything else until she finishes putting on her shoes/washing her hands/putting on her coat/...)  Despite all that, I love her imagination.

I love that Staley can entertain herself for long periods of time with limited supplies.  She plays with her Barbies and her figurines, making up scenarios and imagining magical worlds.  She loves to dress up.  But she's also just as happy playing fairies/princesses/Diamond castle/monster, making up stories or songs, or inventing any number of made up games that don't require anything at all.  She also loves doing arts and crafts, but now her pictures and crafts are starting to reflect her creativity.

Today I gave Staley a stack of catalogs we got in the mail that she could look at during rest time.  There was the big Toys r Us Christmas catalog, the Target Christmas toy catalog, and several others that were filled with a variety of interesting toys and play things.  She also has one catalog left over from Halloween that is filled with extremely beautiful (and ridiculously expensive) Halloween costumes that she has looked at multiple times.  After rest time, I asked Staley if she wanted to keep any of the other catalogs in her room to look at again later.  She responded, "Just my costume one.  I don't really care for the toy ones."

I love that Staley doesn't want, want, want, want.  I love that she doesn't need boundless toys to keep her entertained.  I love that her imagination keeps her world full and exciting.  And I love that, even when she is all alone, she has a multitude of friends (and flying horses) keeping her company.

I love this girl...and her huge imagination.

A Smile to Brighten Your Day

It always brightens mine.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Just about every day at our house, at least two members of our family put on a princess dress, a crown, or a set of fairy wings.  So to have a day where you do that and get candy for it???  Now that's our kind of holiday.

A few months ago, you may remember me blogging about how Staley wanted to get supplies and make a butterfly queen costume.  I helped her concoct this...

Well, luckily Aunt Sandi came to the rescue before Staley decided she might want to wear THAT out in public for Halloween.  Aunt Sandi let Staley design her butterfly queen costume, and Staley was VERY specific about the colors, the bling, the need for glittery sparkles.  Aunt Sandi then used her talents to create Staley's vision, and Staley was in charge of putting the bling on the wings.  Staley couldn't have been more excited about wearing her original design.  (Thanks, Aunt Sandi!!!)

Staley's butterfly queen costume

Staley's job was blinging out the wings.

Our Halloween fun started last week-end at our church's Pumpkin Patch Party.  The girls had a great time playing games, doing crafts, and getting treats.  And it's always more fun when they get to share the time with cousins.

Fun times with a Ninja turtle

The cutest little Batgirl ever!

On Halloween day, the girls started off wearing their costumes to gymnastics class.  They weren't ideal for somersaulting, but who can pass up the opportunity to wear glittery dresses out in public??

Adelie with her teacher and friends

Staley working on her vaulting skills

After naps and rest time, the girls then enjoyed visiting with their great-grandparents at the nursing home.  When Pop gave Adelie some Smarties, she insisted on carrying them around with her for the rest of our visit.  She kept saying, "Pop.  Treats."

Visiting with Nana

And even though the weather was extremely cold and windy, it didn't stop us from going out to do a little trick or treating.   When I told Staley that we were going trick or treating, she said, "Under the moon?"  I said, "Yes, it will be dark."  And she replied, "But then how will I see the eggs?"  (Apparently it's been too long since Halloween AND Easter to remember all the specifics.)  

Adelie ready to get some treats.

Fun costumes, visiting a few family members and neighbors, getting treats.  What's not to like??

It was a another happy Halloween.