Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Tonight, as Zach was washing Adelie's hands and face after dinner, she reached out, patted his stomach, and said, "Baby.  Tummy."  Zach replied, "I don't have a baby in my tummy.  Only mommy has a baby in her tummy."  Adelie continued to pat on his stomach as she responded, "Baby.  Tummy.  See?  Big one.  Big one."

Poor Zach!  But at least, for once, I wasn't the recipient of the childhood honesty.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Countdown

5 weeks.  35 days.  In a little over a month, we will be welcoming the newest addition to our family.  I am officially scheduled for a c-section on March 5, so barring any decisions from this baby to arrive ahead of schedule, we will have 5 more weeks as our little family of 4 before we become Sancken, party of 5.

When we were expecting Staley, we had 9 months to prepare for the birth of our first child.  Of course, there was a lot to be done--picking out furniture, researching the best bottles/cribs/monitors/swings, registering, attending showers, nursery decoration, reading baby books, wondering about life with a child, worrying about how we would know what to do with an infant.  Then when Adelie was on the way, there was a lot to be done.  We were in the process of finishing our basement, so there was construction mess and chaos.  We had to purchase big-girl  furniture for Staley, set up her new room, repaint our office and convert it to a nursery, while also trying to clean and organize our just-finished-weeks-before-Adelie-arrived basement.  At the same time, I had so many worries about how I would handle life with 2 kids.

And now, with 5 weeks left until baby arrives, all I feel is excitement.  Sure, there are a few little things to be done.  Bringing the baby gear up from the basement, washing up and putting away the gender neutral 0-3 month clothes, making some freezer meals, coming up with a name.  We have to assemble the crib we got from one of Zach's co-workers so Adelie and Staley can become roommates.  But there are no major room changes that need to be done.  No major purchases to be made.  No redecorating.  And, maybe naively, I'm much less worried about the transition from 2 to 3 than I was about the transition from 1 to 2.  Sure, I still have my worries.  About the health of our baby.  About having Staley and Adelie sleeping in the same room.  About if my husband decides he doesn't like any of the name suggestions I propose.  But, for the most part, I feel at ease.  I feel excitement about meeting our new little baby.  I feel joy at thinking ahead to my girls meeting their new sibling for the first time.  And I feel ready.  Ready for #3.  Ready for this next milestone in our life.  Ready to meet our newest blessing.  Bring it on!!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Staley is a wonderful big sister.  She loves "being in charge" of Adelie and helping her out.  She is good about sharing with her, playing with her, comforting her, giving her hugs and kisses, teaching her, keeping an eye on her, and helping her when she needs it.  She loves to pick out matching outfits that she and Adelie can wear.  Staley is SO excited that she and Adelie will get to share a room when the baby comes.  She always looks forward to opportunities where she can help Adelie do something new.

In the same way, Adelie LOVES her big sister.  She follows her around, plays what she plays, listens to her, always wants to make her laugh, and likes to give her hugs and kisses.  Adelie loves to try to wear Staley's clothes and shoes.  If Staley is brushing her teeth, Adelie needs to too.  If Staley is picking out a headband, so is Adelie.  Whatever Staley chooses, whether it's what she wants for lunch or what she wants to wear or what she wants to do, Adelie usually chooses the same thing.  They are like two peas in a pod.

This morning, Adelie had her very first dentist appointment.  Staley was excited to "help" Adelie at her appointment.  She told Adelie what to expect on the way over, and she told me, the hygienist, and the dentist that she would show Adelie what to do.  The hygienist even let Staley sit in the chair next to Adelie during the appointment.  With the "help" of her sister, Adelie did GREAT.  She sat nicely in the chair, opened her mouth whenever she was asked, and let the hygienist and the doctor do everything they needed to without any fuss at all.  And when it was over, Adelie, of course, picked out the same prize from the prize box that Staley did.

Adelie and Staley chilling in the dentist chair

It makes me so happy to see my girls get along so well and love each other so much.  I know not to count on this forever.  I know that there will probably be times of discord, jealousy, drifting apart.  But for now, my heart is happy and I can't wait to see the love they have for their new sibling too.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Totally Different

Apparently today is a big day in the Sancken household.  Staley decided that she wants to sleep without a rail on her bed.  Now keep in mind that Staley does sleep in a full-size bed that is only about 1-2 feet off the floor.  My father-in-law had a good laugh about the fact that I was actually putting a bed rail on her practically-sitting-on-the-floor bed in the first place.  Staley has been moving around less in her sleep, and if she does happen to roll out of bed, she really doesn't have that far to go.  So while I was changing the sheets today, I removed Staley's bed rail.  She couldn't have been more excited.  Here are some of her quotes:

"My room is so fancy now."
"I look like I'm 10."
"I just want to sleep today at rest time in my bed with no rail."
(While Adelie was crawling around on her bed) "Be careful, Ad.  Don't roll off.  My bed doesn't have a rail anymore."

And my favorite...

"My room looks totally different now."

Who knew that removing a bed rail could account for so much excitement???  Or could make a room seem so different???  I'm just glad that I could bring Staley a little sunshine on this gloomy January day.

Enjoying a little time in her railing-less bed

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bear's Trivia

Adelie has taken on her father's love of football.  Anytime she sees anything with the Chicago Bears logo (which is quite often around our house) she excitedly points to it and says, "Football."  "Football cup."  "Football shirt."  "Football blanket."  If we ask her what we say about the Bears, she proudly exclaims, "Go Bears!"  And anytime she sees football on TV, whether it's a game or a commercial or a movie, she is quick to point out, "Football."

Adelie has a little board book about the Chicago Bears.  It's one of her favorites.  It has pictures of various players, historical Bear's references, and a brief introduction to the game.  Adelie is starting to identify some of the things in her "football book."  She will point out all the footballs and helmets that she sees.  On the page that labels the parts of a uniform, she can identify the helmet, shoulder pads, socks, and knee pads.  On the page that discusses some of the rules, Adelie always points to the referee and says, "Grandpa."  But my favorite is, when asked to identify the Bear's mascot (Staley the Bear), Adelie always says, "Sissy Bear."

Adelie is at such a fun age, talking up a storm and learning new things everyday.  I love hearing her count and identify colors and use a few Spanish words.  But I think Zach is more proud that she is expanding her knowledge of football and that, even after the disastrous season, she is not ashamed to proudly exclaim, "Go Bears!"

Monday, January 19, 2015


I have learned, over these past 4 years, that kids go through many phases.  There are some things that are just a part of who they are, a part of their personalities.  But there are other things, many other things, that ebb and flow as they grow and change.  Sleep habits, eating habits, behavior patterns...many of these things are consistently shifting.  I've come to understand that, no matter how annoying or frustrating or dark things might seem, there is always a light and an end of the tunnel, because generally it's a phase.  And whether you want it to or not, it will probably change.

Adelie is going through several phases right now that are not my favorite.  And I just keep reminding myself that phases come and phases go.  I'm just hoping that these phases go quickly.

1.  Adelie, my wonderful eater, has been going through a more picky eating phase.  Adelie has always been good about eating (large amounts) of whatever is put in front of her.  Vegetables, meats, casseroles, soups.  Whatever it is, Adelie will eat it.  Lately, however, she's demonstrating her toddler independence...and her toddler opinions.  "Not like this" is something we now hear frequently.  She is eating less, and eating less variety.  And what makes this all the more annoying is that she will take a bite of something, chew it up, and then spit it out, often trying to hand it to you.  Food ends up on the floor.  Frequent requests for more fruit or more chips or dessert are made.  She is still a generally good eater, but I miss my put-it-on-my-tray-and-I'll-happily-eat-it little girl.

2.  Adelie, my play-hard, sleep-hard little one has not been sleeping quite as well as she usually does.  I've wondered about teething.  I've wondered about her getting too cold at night.  But whatever the reason, Adelie is waking up in the early morning hours.  Adelie used to go to bed without a fuss, fall asleep immediately, and we wouldn't hear a peep until about 8 or 8:30.  Now she's been crying more when we put her to bed, and has generally been waking for brief periods between 4:30 and 6:30 in the morning.  Sometimes she'll cry for a few minutes and fall back asleep.  A few days she's been up for the day by 6:15 or 6:30, not going back to sleep.  Sometimes she really doesn't want to go back to sleep, and will cry for 15 or 20 minutes after we've changed her pants, covered her back up, and reminded her that it's 5:30 in the morning and it's still sleep time.  And most days lately, even after she's gone back to sleep, she's been waking for the day by 7 or 7:15.  This doesn't translate into longer naps, unfortunately.  I don't know that these changes are exactly what I was hoping for a few short weeks before Staley and Adelie become roommates.

3.  Adelie is impatient.  REALLY impatient.  When she wants something, she wants it NOW.  And if she doesn't get it when she wants it, her volume rises, the intensity of her request increases, and pretty soon the tears follow.  This is especially evident at mealtimes when she is done eating before the rest of the family.  "All done.  All done.  All done.  ALL DONE.  ALL DONE.  ALL DONE!!!"  Although we're working on it, patience is not yet in her vocabulary.

4.  Adelie has no sense of safety awareness.  Climbing and falling, walking into things, trying to do whatever her big sister is doing.  There is nothing that Adelie won't try.  The other night after dinner, I was cleaning up dishes and Zach went into the bathroom to get a washcloth to wash Adelie's hands and face.  She was not strapped into her highchair, and Zach emerged from the bathroom just in time to see Adelie standing up...on her highchair tray.  She has also discovered that, when walking to the garage from the house, if she runs towards the road, I will yell and run after her.  Good times, apparently.  So this has become a new game, of which I am not fond.

5.  And, of course, the phase of all phases, Adelie is firmly entrenched into her toddler drama.  We have plenty of tears around here these days.  Tears when she falls down, tears when she can't have what she wants, tears when things don't happen as quickly as she wants them to, tears when she is reprimanded, tears when someone else has something she wants, tears when I won't pick her up while I'm making dinner, tears when things generally aren't going her way.  Tears, tears, tears.  They are usually short-lived, but they are a constant in our day.

There are so many fun things about Adelie right now.  She is talkative and funny, sweet and loving.  She makes me laugh on a daily basis.  But there are also some phases she is going through right now that I could do without.  Let's keep the talking.  Let's keep the playfulness.  Let's keep the hugs and snuggles.  But let's hurry through these night waking, picky eating, road running, impatient, tear-filled days.

 Of course, fancy isn't a phase.  Fancy is a lifestyle.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Snow Day

We got several inches of snow a week or two ago, but it's been too cold out to actually enjoy it.  Yesterday, with the temperatures close to 40 degrees with no wind, the girls and I decided it would be the perfect time to enjoy some snowy fun before these warm temperatures melt it all away.  (Wishful thinking.)  Although the snow didn't pack well enough for snowman building, the girls enjoyed making footprints in the snow, throwing 'snowballs' (handfuls of snow), and sledding in the backyard.  This was Adelie's first time playing in the snow.  She liked the sledding and the playing, but was less than enthused about getting 'stuck' in the deep snow, falling into the snow repeatedly, and getting snow in her mittens.

Sledding was the highlight for the girls.  Not so much for Mommy who had to hike up and down the backyard hill, lugging a sled and helping a toddler who kept falling over and crying.

Walking in a winter wonderland

My little snow queen...

and the ice princess.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Am I THAT Old???

Staley:  "Mommy, how old are you?"
Me:  "I'm 37."
Staley:  "So when will you turn a million?"

Think we might need to work a little on our math skills.  And our etiquette.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Four Years Old

Disclaimer:  This is my yearly, lengthy, probably boring post about who Staley is right now.  These posts are definitely more for me to remember who my girls are at each stage in life than for anyone else.  So feel free to skip this post.  And if you do choose to read it, consider yourself warned.

Staley is officially a 4 year old.  She is my happy, loving, thoughtful, performing, imaginative little girl.  I'm not sure how much she weighs, but I'm guessing around 35 lbs.  She mostly wears her 4T clothes and size 8 shoes.  She does usually nap at pre-school, but does not nap at home.  She rests at home for 1-2 hours in her room after lunch.  She usually sleeps 11-12 hours at night.  Staley attends pre-school 2 days/week while I work, and she looks forward to Sunday School every Sunday.  She is currently taking a gymnastics class, although that ends this week, and she is excited about joining the Kid's Choir at church with her first practice starting tonight.

Likes:  Staley is easily amused and easily entertained.  Her favorite things to play with are her Barbies (including her Barbie-sized princesses, fairies, and mermaids) and Barbie horses.  She also loves playing with princess/fairy figurines and dressing up in her dress up clothes.  She can spend a long time building houses, castles, and churches with MagnaTiles.  Staley enjoys playing games with Candyland, Memory, Spot It, and her new Princess Cupcake game as her favorites.  She likes puzzles.  Doing arts and crafts is another favorite activity, and she can spend long periods of time coloring, painting, sewing, cutting, or making creations.

Hard at work painting Christmas pottery

Staley enjoys a good outing, but is often very content to stay home and play.  Playing in the bath, wearing her pajamas all day, and watching morning movies are always a fun treat on stay-at-home days.  But she also loves going to other people's houses, gymnastics class, Sunday School, pre-school, swimming, story time,...  Staley rarely complains about what is on the agenda for a day.

A day at home just means more time for dress up clothes and performances.

Staley is very out-going.  She loves making new friends, playing with her friends, and spending time with her cousins.  Her same-age cousins Liam and Lila remain two of her best friends, although she also enjoys playing with Adelie.  Her imaginary brother and sister, Gage and Ariel, also remain a part of her conversation and play.

Staley loves playing with her cousins.

Singing and dancing are constants around our house.  Staley loves to put on shows.  Staley is great at sharing and playing with others, but she is also very good at entertaining herself.  Imaginary play with her Barbies and figurines keeps her busy during rest time, but she also likes playing with her stuffed animals and making forts/nests/beds/boats with her blankets and pillows.  Although we haven't been outside much lately, Staley enjoys going to the park, playing on our play set, going on adventure walks, coloring with chalk in the driveway, and is looking forward to learning to ride a big kid bike.

Staley loves changing the outfits on her Barbies, as well as her magnetic mermaid doll.

Staley LOVES books and enjoys being read to.  She will sit for long periods of time and listen to as many books as you will read to her.  Current favorite books include stories from her 'Storybook Classics' (classic Disney stories) and 'Princess Adventure Stories' (Disney princess stories).  But any book that's new she will ask to read over and over again until she has it mostly memorized.  Then she enjoys 'reading' her books to Adelie, to us, to her stuffed animals, and to herself.  Staley also looks forward to her after-rest television show/movie time.  Current favorite shows include 'Sofia the First' and 'Paw Patrol.'  But more often she wants to watch part of a Barbie movie or less often a Tinkerbell movie.

Reading with Papa

Staley is a good eater.  She loves fruit, waffles, grilled cheese, quesadillas, burgers, brats, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, soups (particularly potato and tomato), cheese, and almost any sweet treat.

Favorite outfits include dresses and tutus.  Anything pink and sparkly is a plus, and the "fancier" the better.  She does love her sparkly glitter shoes and her pink cowboy boots.

Sparkles and fancy = one happy little girl

Dislikes:  Staley does not like most vegetables or crunchy foods (like raw apples or raw carrots).  She is not a fan of loud noises, still covering her ears with firetrucks at the parade or fireworks.  She is particular about her clothing, preferring soft clothes that she can move around easily in.  She does not like tights with feet.  Staley is not a morning person and often does not like to be awoken before she is ready.  Staley does not like parts of movies that have bad guys, often requesting to fast forward through the "scary" parts.  She generally controls her emotions well, but does have her moments of drama, sassiness, and temper tantrums.  Staley also gets distracted easily and can be very slow to do what she's asked.

Skills:  Staley is getting bigger and more independent every day.  She can reach most things she needs with a step stool.  She can do a somersault, walk up and down stairs without holding onto the railing, and pedal a tricycle.  Staley is very good at coloring in the lines, and is starting to be able to cut out simple shapes with scissors.  She can work her new kid's sewing machine with minimal help.  She can write the letters in her name (capitals only), although still has difficulty with the 'S'and 'Y', doesn't always connect the 'A' at the top, and will sometimes make the letters face the wrong way.  She can draw simple pictures (people, faces, suns, animals) that generally resemble what she's trying to make.  She learns new games quickly, and can play a game from beginning to end while following the rules.

Playing 'Hungry Hippos' at Christmas with Uncle Ethan, Adelie, and Liam

Staley is getting independent with many of her self-care activities.  She takes herself to the restroom (including wiping and washing hands), dresses/undresses herself, puts on her socks and shoes, zips her coat, and can button large buttons.  She still needs help for thoroughness with brushing her teeth, brushing her hair, and washing up in the bathtub.  She can work the CD player and the DVD player.  Staley is good at sweeping, dusting, washing dishes, putting her cup in the dishwasher, and helping with cooking.  She loves being a big sister, and is a great helper with Adelie.  (The other day when Adelie was crying because of some tummy pain/constipation, Staley brought her toys, washed her face with a wet wash cloth, rubbed her tummy, and consoled her the whole time she was crying.  It was so sweet!!)

Staley and Adelie watching their after-rest television show

Staley continues to have an amazing memory.  She knows all her upper case letters, most of her lower case letters, and identifies most of her numbers (1-10), although still gets mixed up with 6 and 9.  She can sound out 3 and 4 letter words, can determine the beginning letters of words, and is very good with rhyming.  She can count to 39 unprompted, and then needs assistance for the tens column (40, 50, 60...) up to 100 and beyond.  Staley has many of her books, shows, songs, and movies memorized.  She also remembers things that were done or said a long time ago.  She is very inquisitive, always asking questions and trying to figure out what people are talking about or why things happen a certain way or what certain words mean.  She has a very good vocabulary.  Staley's mind never stops working, and she is quick with an excuse, an argument, or a suggestion.

This sweet girl definitely has a mind of her own.

It's amazing to me how much changes in 4 short years.  I love the increased independence, the helpfulness, the growing knowledge, the decreased drama, and the fun personality that Staley has at 4.  Each year is a blessing, and I'm looking forward to all that this next year holds for Staley.

My 4 year old!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

She Says...

Adelie is talking up a storm, and she is daily amusing us with the things that she says.  And although we all find many of things Adelie says funny, no one enjoys her more than Staley.  Adelie can always make Staley giggle, which keeps Adelie going and going and going.

Adelie is learning more and more.  She knows many of her colors, as well as knowing that 'amarillo' is Spanish for yellow and 'verde' is Spanish for green.  She can count to 13, usually skipping 5.  She sings many songs including 'Let it Go', 'ABCs', 'Twinkle, Twinkle', 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat', the hot dog song at the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, 'Jingle Bells', and 'Happy Birthday'.  She knows most of the Disney princesses and characters from Mickey Mouse, Sofia the First, and Sesame Street.  She asks for most of her books by title.  She knows all her body parts.  Her knowledge and vocabulary are expanding every day.

Adelie's favorite phrase is "Adelie do it."  She wants to do everything for herself, from washing her hands to putting on her shoes to reading her own books.  "Adelie do it" is a constant phrase in our house.  She also frequently says "need that" when there is something she wants that someone else has or that she can't reach.  We hear "oopsie daisy" often, usually as she's deliberately dropping things off her highchair tray onto the floor.  And "Sissy go?" or "Sissy doing?" are constant questions as Adelie always wants to be doing what her big sister is doing.

For several months, Adelie has been letting us know when she has "stinky pants".  Over the past few weeks, Adelie has been occasionally letting us know when she needs to use the restroom before she goes.  She will tell us, "Poo poo potty."  She has successfully peed on the potty twice and pooped on the potty three times after letting us know.  The other day, Adelie headed into the bathroom saying "Poo poo potty.  Poo poo potty."  As I tried to follow after her, Adelie emphatically told me, "Adelie do it!"

Adelie has gotten much more opinionated about things that she likes and things that she doesn't.  She will often tell us "Like that." or "Not like that."  She has opinions on everything from her pajamas to her food to her song and book choices.  Now when we sing to her, she will tell us exactly what songs she wants to hear.  Lately her consistent requests have been "Let it Go" (shocker, shocker), "Jingle Bells", and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer."  And since Sunday, "Happy Birthday" has been added to the mix.

Adelie is starting to say her own bedtime prayers.  She usually prays for 4 people with Elliott always leading the way.  She typically prays for Elliott, Liam, Grammie, and Grandpa.  However, lately, instead of saying "Dear Jesus" to start her prayers, she will often start "Dear Elliott."  So not only is Adelie praying for Elliott, apparently she is also praying to him.

Yesterday at breakfast, Staley kept exclaiming, "I'm 4!  I'm 4!"  Without missing a beat, Adelie piped in with "I"m 6!"  Staley found this hilarious, so of course, Adelie kept doing it.  Last night we were heading upstairs to get ready for bed after dinner.  I was already upstairs, the girls were both on their way up, and Zach had gotten side tracked downstairs by looking at something he found in the mail.  I said, "Now look who's the dawdler in the family.  It's not any of the girls."  Zach said, "I'm appalled."  I replied, "I'm annoyed."  From the stairs, Adelie said, "I'm 6!"

Adelie is so fun right now.  I love hearing her talk more and more.  Who can amuse me on a daily basis?  Adelie do it!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Birthday Girl

Staley had a fun and full birthday week-end.  The festivities started on Friday when we had a little swimming play-date with several of Staley's cousins and friends followed by lunch at Firehouse Pizza.  Elliott and Lila, along with Staley's friends Makinley and Payton, met us for some swimming.  Staley, being Staley, did play with her cousins and friends, but also spent a large amount of time playing with a new friend she met at the pool that day.  (Staley did inform me that her new friend's name was Geiser.  Upon further investigation, I learned that the girl's name was Islyn, not Geiser.  But it made me laugh when Staley kept talking about her new friend Geiser.)  Either way, Staley had a great time swimming and eating with her friends, old and new.

On Saturday, we headed over to Bloomington to help Liam celebrate his birthday.  (As Liam and Staley are birthday twins, we always have to decide who is having a party which day.)  The girls had a great time at Liam's shark party, where they pinned the fish in the shark's mouth and fed a shark with bean bags.  They also ate shark cupcakes and had a great time playing at Liam's house.

Liam's table of shark-y goodness

How cute are these??

Staley (in a tiara, of course) pinning the fish on the shark.

Adelie tossing a bean bag into (or not so much) the shark's mouth.

The birthday boy

Then Sunday was the time for the main event.  Staley was SO excited about her birthday and her birthday party.  She woke up at 6:30 on Sunday morning exclaiming, "It's my birthday.  My whole birthday.  I'm 4!!  I'm 4!!"  She enjoyed Sunday School, ate out for lunch (complete with ice cream dessert), and then rested.  We decorated for her party while she was resting, and when she came downstairs and saw her decorations, she exclaimed, "It's so much like I wanted it."  We aim to please.  :)

Staley decided a few weeks ago that she wanted to have a pirate fairy party.  So a pirate fairy party we had.  There were pirate fairies guarding the food.

Cupcakes, brownies, fruit, and pixie dust punch

Zarina keeping watch over the cupcakes.
Per Staley's request, we had vanilla cupcakes with strawberry icing and blue sprinkles.

Tinkerbell with her bowl of pixie dust.
Zach was a little concerned that someone at the party might try to eat the bath salts and glitter that I put on the food table.  I had a little more faith in our guests.

Staley was very excited about the decorations we made and took it upon herself to show them to each guest as they arrived.

I spilled some gold glitter on the floor while making this poster.  When Staley saw it the next morning (as I'd been too lazy to vacuum it up the night before), she got very excited about seeing pixie dust on the floor.  So I thought, why not sprinkle gold glitter on the living room rug before the party to make it a little more festive.  BAD IDEA!!  After sprinkling it on the floor and realizing that I was then tracking it through the house, we attempted to immediately vacuum it back up.  Not as easy as it sounds.  So for future reference, maybe refrain from deliberately sprinkling glitter on the floor.

Staley was most excited about the pirate ship and the sea.
She's all decked out in her pirate costume, ready for the guests to arrive.

Staley enjoyed spending time with her cousins and family for her birthday party.  The kids went on a treasure hunt, where they found blue pixie dust, chocolate gold coins, necklaces, pirate swords, and fairy wings.  The grown-ups tried to match fictional fairies and pirates to the movie/tv show/book that they came from.  

A little foam sword fighting, in fairy wings, of course.

Then there were cupcakes to eat, presents to open, and cousins to play with.

Staley got so many fun presents.  Adelie was a little confused.  Since we just had Christmas where there were gifts for everyone, it didn't make a lot of sense that Staley got them all.  Adelie found one particularly intriguing present with Anna and Elsa wrapping paper and asked, "This mine?"   She tried to open a few, but did a good job of not getting upset and giving the gifts to Staley instead.

Fun time with dress-up clothes, of course.

Staley had a fabulous birthday week-end.  She loved everything about it.  So much so that's she's already talking about "next January 11th when I turn 5."  Let's not hurry that along.  I'm still getting used to 4.

Staley's Thoughts On Being 4

Last night while Zach was tucking Staley into bed, she confided in him, "I don't really know how to be 4."  Zach responded, "Well I think you're off to a great start.  You did a great job being 4 all day."  Staley replied, "I think I talk a little differently."  Zach responded, "You think so?"  Staley laughed and then, stopping short, said, "I laugh differently too."  A little later, Staley noted, "All of my outfits are too small now" and then asked, "Did I sound a little different when I said that?"

Apparently turning 4 is a big step.  Talking differently, laughing differently, spontaneously outgrowing all your outfits.  It's a lot to take on.  We have also mentioned to Staley that 4 year olds don't throw fits, are always good listeners, and do things more quickly than they did when they were 3.  It probably seems a little daunting, but so far, Staley's off to a good start learning how to be 4.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy Birthday, Staley!

It's hard to believe that my baby... already 4 years old.

Happy Birthday to my little girl who will always be my baby.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Interview with a 4 Year Old

Staley turns 4 tomorrow.  In honor of her birthday, I interviewed her to get a sneak peak into the mind of a 4 year old.  My 4 year old.

What's your favorite color?  "Pink and purple"
What's your favorite food?  "Waffles, soup, and sandwiches"
What's your favorite treat?  "Skittles"
What's your favorite holiday?  "My birthday"
What's your favorite toy?  "Barbies"
What's your favorite outfit?  "My sparkly gray dress from Grammie"
What's your favorite dress-up outfit?  "All of them"
What's your favorite place to go?  "The park"
What's your favorite thing to do with Adelie?  "Read her books"
What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy?  "Play together"
What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy?  "Play tag"
What's your favorite thing about pre-school?  "Making new friends"
Who's your best friend?  "Evie [from pre-school]"
What do you want to do when you grow up?  "Work at the hospital with Mommy"
What is your favorite movie?  "Barbie and the Diamond Castle"
Who is your favorite princess?  "Anna and Elsa"
What is your favorite book?  "The Grinch one" (although this was the book we had just finished reading before I interviewed her)
What is your favorite stuffed animal?  "Drew" (which is what Staley has renamed Yellow Bear since she has now decided that Yellow Bear isn't a real name)
What do you think you'll learn when you are 4?  "To ride a big kid bike with training wheels"

My 4 year old in her favorite outfit

Friday, January 9, 2015

Worth the Argument?

This morning Staley and I had an argument.  We were getting ready to go swimming with a few friends and cousins.  Staley informed me that she didn't need to wear her Puddle Jumper (swim floatie) in the deep water today because she's almost 4.  I informed her back that she doesn't know how to swim and even though she's almost 4, that doesn't mean that she can swim without her Puddle Jumper.  She then countered back that she can swim AND breathe underwater because she is a mermaid.  I felt obliged to point out that she is not actually a mermaid and that she still needs to take more swimming lessons before she can swim without a floatie.  At this point, Staley defiantly stated that she is a REAL mermaid and mermaids don't have to take swim lessons.  As I was about to make my rebuttal, I stopped.  Was I really wasting my energy on THIS argument?  About whether or not my daughter is a real mermaid who can swim?  Because, unfortunately, although there is no doubt that I was right, I also know my daughter.  She was not going to be swayed by anything I had to say.  She would have a quick and firm counter-point to any argument I made.  And, in the end, she would be wearing her Puddle Jumper in the deep water at the pool, regardless of how firmly she believed that she could swim without out.

I love that my daughter is sure of herself.  I love that she has a mind of her own and is not easily swayed by others.  I love that she isn't afraid to stand firmly behind what she believes in.  But sometimes it can be a little exhausting.  And if she's like this at 4, God help us when she's 13.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Party

This morning when Staley woke up, she asked what we were going to do today.  I informed her that since it is still snowy (from the several inches of snow we got 2 days ago) and RIDICULOUSLY cold (like windchills-around -25 degrees-cold), we were just going to stay inside all day.  Staley enthusiastically said,  "I have a great idea!!  We can have a winter party."  When I inquired about what we would do at a winter party, Staley informed me that we should do a fun morning play bath and watch a special morning movie.  Then she said, "And we should all wear fancy dresses."  I responded, "You can wear a fancy dress.  I'm just going to wear my warm, comfy clothes."  Disgusted Staley replied, "You always wear comfy clothes.  Except when you go to a play."  Staley's love of fancy dresses and tutus is definitely not a direct genetic inheritance from her mother.  I'm happily sitting here on the couch in my fleece pants and sweatshirt.

So, stuck inside for our first blisteringly cold winter day, we had a winter party.  The girls spent about an hour playing in the bathtub this morning.  They watched a special morning movie.  And apparently no winter party is complete without putting on dress up clothes.  (Truthfully, no day spent around our home is complete without putting on dress up clothes.)

Elsa apparently already worked her snowy magic around here.

And it only makes sense that dress up clothes need to be accessorized with rain boots and an umbrella for a winter party, right??

I'm not sure what the second half of this winter party has in store after nap time/rest time, but I'm sure it will be off the hook!

 Hope this winter-y day gave you an excuse to do whatever it is that makes you happy, whether that's soaking in a warm bath, watching a movie, or wearing your rain boots.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Merry Christmas to Me

I didn't have a lot on my Christmas list.  There was nothing I really needed.  And so Zach's big gift to me was a week-end away.  He made hotel reservations, got tickets to a show, arranged for baby-sitting, and planned a fabulous little get-away.  (A big thanks to both sets of grandparents for watching the girls!)  As Zach looked at our family schedule, he realized that the only week-end that would work for us to get away before the baby comes was this past week-end.  (He actually realized that, between his busy season at work, having a baby, and having a breast-feeding infant, the only week-end between now and 2016 that would work for us to get away sans kids was this past week-end.  Yikes!!)

And so...we went.  We spent a fabulous week-end up in Chicago.  Although drizzly on Saturday and snowy on Sunday, the temperatures and wind were quite mild for Chicago in January.  (So grateful for the mild temperatures since I don't actually have a coat that I can zip.)  We got to Chicago around noon on Saturday.  After checking into our hotel, we walked around, did some shopping, and then relaxed in our hotel while watching some play-off football.  On Saturday evening, we ate a fabulous steak dinner at Ditka's restaurant (although, sadly, 'da coach' didn't make an appearance) and then, from the 4th row center stage, thoroughly enjoyed the musical, "Newsies" followed by a disappointing fancy dessert at our hotel restaurant.  (Word to the wise:  If you don't quite understand the menu or what you're actually ordering, maybe save the money and opt for a vending machine candy bar instead.)  We slept in until 9 on Sunday morning, had a leisurely breakfast, and walked around Millenium Park before meeting my brother for some Chicago deep dish pizza and then heading for home.

It was such a nice, relaxing, fun week-end away.  And after a morning of two little girls crying, whining, arguing, sassing, and complaining, I'm about ready for another one.

Merry Christmas to me!!

Friday, January 2, 2015


Sometimes there is no need for grand resolutions.  Sometimes there is no need for huge life changes.  Sometimes all you need to do is slow down, take a deep breath, put down the lists, let the house go, and find joy in the little moments that each day brings to you.  Because it's the little moments that life is really about.

This year I resolve to appreciate the little moments.  And hopefully to lose about 40 pounds..and gain a baby.  :)