Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Question of the Day

Why am I so tired?

Is it the 3 a.m. feedings?


Is it the boundary pushing and limit testing?


Is it the incessant talking and distractibility that results in taking forever to get anything accomplished?


Or is it the never-ending list of things to get done?

The answer:  All of the above.

And it's so totally worth it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Adelie Time

I knew that I would enjoy being off work for maternity leave.  I knew that I would need that time to learn about life as a mom of 3.  To figure out Briggs' schedule.  To have time to bond with my little man.  I knew that I would cherish that extra time at home with my girls.  But I didn't anticipate the extra one-on-one time I would have with Adelie while Staley went to pre-school, and just how much I would enjoy that time.

Adelie is the middle child.  She has always had Staley around.  And in many regards, that has been so wonderful for her.  She LOVES her big sister.  They entertain each other and play well together.  And now she LOVES being a big sister to Briggs.  She is always wanting to play with him and hold him and cuddle him and she really, really, really wants to give him a pacifier.  Being in the middle means there is always someone around.

The downside of Adelie's middle-childness is that I have had very limited one-on-one time with her.  Usually when we're home together, Staley is home too.  And before Briggs was born, when Staley was in pre-school, Adelie was at the baby-sitter while I worked.  But during my maternity leave, Adelie is usually home with me while Staley goes to pre-school.  Since Briggs spends a good portion of the day napping, I have had lots of quality one-on-one time with Adelie.  And it's been so fun!!

Adelie likes to pick out her own clothes, but is always agreeable if I just pick out something for her to wear.  When I ask her to do something, she usually does is happily and quickly.  Getting out of the house is generally quick and easy.  And she's so fun to play with.  When we play figurines or Barbies, she doesn't dictate what I say or do.  If my figurine says, "Do you want to go to the beach?", hers always answers, "Yup."  If my Barbie says, "Let's get ready for the ball", her Barbie always says, "Okay."  Although she often loses interest quickly in reading when we are reading Staley's books, she will sit on my lap for much longer periods of time to read books when we are just reading one Adelie book after another.  And when I need to feed Briggs or take a shower or get lunch ready, Adelie can happily entertain herself without difficulty.  She's just fun and easy.

I love having all my kids home together.  It's always fun to hear Adelie and Staley playing together and laughing together.  But I have really enjoyed my special time alone with Adelie.  I had thought that she might be more difficult without Staley to entertain her and keep her company, but our time has just been delightful.  I'm really going to miss these days when I have to head back to work (in just 5 more weeks), so I need to take the time to appreciate them now.

Because I'm just loving my Adelie time!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Maybe They're the Smart Ones

I don't know about you, but I can be a little judgmental when I see kids playing outside in nothing but a diaper or some underwear.  But now, as I have a never-ending (seriously, it's constant) cycle of washing clothes and folding clothes and putting away clothes, I am starting to think that maybe those parents have the right idea.

If you're not wearing it, you can't spit up on it.
Or spill on it.
Or get it muddy.
Or grass stained.
Or sweaty.
Or stinky.
Or dirty.

I guess maybe they're the smart ones.
And I'm the one stuck doing all the laundry.




Monday, April 20, 2015

In the Groove

Briggs is now 6 weeks old, and I feel like we're finally getting into a groove.  Briggs has a pretty predictable schedule.  I generally know when he's going to be hungry and when he's ready for a nap.  (He usually eats every 2.5-3 hours during the day, with a nap about 1 -1.5 hours after he eats.) We know what he likes and what he doesn't.  We know how to calm him down when he's upset.  And (not to jinx anything), but Briggs has slept for a 5-6 hour stretch at night for the past 3 nights.


The girls are in a good groove with Briggs too.  They play together really well when I have to feed Briggs or tend to him.  They love to help with him, whether it's entertaining him or bringing me things he needs or singing to him or just letting me know when he's awake.

Staley loves her little brother, and is such a good helper.

Briggs does a nice job of joining us on outings.  If we coordinate with his eating/sleeping schedule, he'll be awake and happy or sleep nicely for outings or errands.  He stayed happily awake during story time this week. He loves the Baby K'tan (baby carrier), and will generally fall asleep when I put him in there.  He's slept through all of Staley's soccer games this way.

I had just loosened his straps to let him finish his nap once we were home.  (In case anyone was worried.  :))

I love that we are getting into our new groove as a family.  I love that Briggs is such a happy and mellow little guy (when his needs are met).  I love that my girls have taken this big life change in stride.  I love that our days are a little more predictable.  

And I sure do love this little guy!!




Sunday, April 19, 2015

SURPRISE!

Staley is very big into surprise parties.  Although she has never actually been to one, she talks consistently about the surprise parties that she is planning--for us, for Adelie, for grandparents, for cousins, for friends, for neighbors.  For the past several months, she has been telling Zach how she was going to throw him a Chicago Bears surprise party for his birthday.  (So maybe she didn't quite understand the surprise element.)  She talked about the decorations, the games, the gifts, the food.  And so, instead of just idle talk, we decided to make it happen.

What a big heart my little girl has.  She was SO excited to make this a special day for Zach.  She made decorations.  She picked out everyone's outfits.  She chose Zach's favorite dessert--and made sure she served him first.  She made very thoughtful gift selections.  She couldn't wait to hide in the closet and jump out to surprise him when he got home from work.  It made me so happy to see the way she was putting someone else first, and putting so much effort into making someone else so happy.  And Zach was truly surprised.

Staley and Adelie colored a bunch of Bear's pictures and put them up around the house.

Streamers were a necessary part of Staley's party plan, and she was very excited about the "streamer tunnel" that we made.  She also picked out blue and orange balloons, while Adelie decided we also needed some white ones.

We got Zach's favorite dessert--Busy Corner cherry pie.

When I asked Staley what she wanted to get Zach for his birthday, she said, "A Bear's jersey and Bear's chapstick."  However, when we went to the sports store to pick out his gifts, she took her time walking through the whole store, looking at each and every Bear's item.  Then she narrowed down her selection to the Bear's football and the Bear's flag.  We decided to get them both.  (I also got Zach some Bear's glasses...mostly because we are running low on glasses.)

Staley wanted to make sure that everyone wore Chicago Bear's outfits for Zach's birthday, so she picked out what everyone was going to wear.  Luckily, it wasn't too tough finding blue and orange in all our closets.

Zach told the girls that he has had 37 birthdays, and this was his most special one.
I would have to agree.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Not Ready

There are so many things I love about parenting, but I do not love potty training.  The vigilance.  The messes.  The constant bathroom breaks.  I am not looking forward to doing all that again...twice.  Since Adelie always wants to be just like Staley, I'm kind of hoping she just does it on her own.  (Wishful thinking, I know.)  Adelie has shown signs of readiness.  She lets us know when her diaper is wet or dirty.  She will often tell us as she is going to the bathroom.  She has asked to sit on the potty and gone successfully on several occasions.  And although we have not started the potty training, we talk about big girl underpants and using the potty like sissy.  We offer her opportunities to sit on the potty before bath or if we think she might need to go.  And during diaper changes, we let her know that when she goes on the potty like a big girl, she won't have to have her diaper changed anymore.  With all this groundwork, I figured Adelie would be itching to wear big girl underpants and use the potty like sissy.

So yesterday, as I was changing Adelie's dirty diaper, we had this conversation:

Me:  "You know, if you tell me before you go poo poo, you can go on the potty and then you wouldn't have to get your diaper changed.  You could go poo poo on the potty like Sissy does."
Adelie:  "I'm fine.  You can change my diaper."

Ready to take on the world?  You bet.  But potty training?  Apparently not yet.

THIS is my Adelie!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Newborn Pictures

We had Briggs' newborn pictures taken the week after he was born.  He stayed wide awake for his entire photo shoot, thus not cooperating for any of those sweet, sleepy newborn poses.  And although Staley preferred to use her own little camera to take pictures as opposed to being in them and Adelie was 2 days into hand, foot, and mouth disease (we thought it was teething), our photographer did a great job of capturing our sweet little baby and our new family of 5.

Adelie's mouth was hurting and she didn't feel well, so her expression looked like this in most of the pictures.  And, of course, no family photo these days is complete without Shell, Adelie's mermaid Barbie.

My sweet baby with his big sisters

My beautiful baby boy

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Lasts

With both my girls, I was always looking forward to their firsts.  First smile.  First time rolling over.  First steps.  First words.  I was always anticipating those next milestones.  Sometimes I even wanted to speed them along so we could experience what was to come next.  But with Briggs, it's a little different.  Yes, I'm excited about his firsts and will celebrate each one that comes along.  But it's a little bittersweet because, with Briggs, I will also be more aware of his lasts.  As a woman in her late 30's (let's be honest--pushing 40) with 3 kids under the age of 5, another baby doesn't seem to be in the cards for us.  And so, with each phase of life that Briggs passes up, it will be a last for us.


I know that all the lasts won't be filled with sadness and nostalgia.  I probably won't be sad about our last middle of the night feeding.  I'll probably handle it okay when we've experienced our last diaper blowout.  And I won't shed a tear about the last time I get spit up down my shirt.  But I know there will be a last time my little baby falls asleep on my chest.  I know there will be last time that he can wear those teeny-tiny diapers and itty-bitty socks.  There will be a last bath in the baby bathtub.  There will be a last time he wraps his little hand around my finger.  And eventually there will be a last time he sits on my lap, a last time he calls me 'Mommy', a last bed time story, a last lunch I pack, a last graduation.


And so, I am trying to appreciate these little baby moments.  In the midst of the craziness of our life, I'm trying to take the time to hold and cuddle this little bundle that fits so nicely in my arms.  I am trying to soak in Briggs' baby-ness.  Because, before I know it, my last baby won't be a baby anymore.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

They Say...

My girls are so fun right now.  (Well, except for when they are crying about ridiculous things, arguing, or tattling on each other.)  Adelie talks so well, and she continually cracks me up with the things she says.  She has lots of little phrases that are so cute, like how she always says "pick up me"  instead of "pick me up."  Or how she says CaroLION instead of Caroline when talking to/about her little cousin.  Or how she always says "a tiny little bit" as in "I wear my Sofia nightgown for a tiny little bit."  (This is her way of asking if she can wear her nightgown a little longer before getting dressed in the morning.)  She still generally answers affirmatively with "yup."  And in her agreeable way, if I ask her to do something, she'll often answer "Sure."  When we ask if she needs/wants to use the potty, she'll often decline by saying "I'm fine."  Since her birthday, when Adelie says her bedtime prayers, her 'thank yous' now generally include "thank you for my birthday party."  And, of course, if Staley is saying, doing, or singing something, Adelie is usually right there with her doing it too.

"I play soccer for a tiny little bit."

Staley has her own Staley-isms that make me smile.  When picking out new books or movies at the library, she will often proclaim, "I'm really curious about this one." or "I'm really interested in this one."  And, according to Staley, her favorite colors are now pink, purple, rainbow, and cheetah.


Staley has had 1 practice and 3 games for her soccer season.  She really enjoys playing, but has been known to kick the ball towards the wrong goal or get distracted by other things going on around her.  She always runs after the ball (sometimes with reminders), but is not very aggressive and is pretty gentle about how hard she kicks the ball.  At her last game, she was busy hugging one of the other members of her team while the other team was scoring.  She has not scored a goal, or really even come close.  However, after her last game, she told Zach, "I think I scored a lot of goals."  Maybe not super competitive, but at least she's making friends and feeling confident in her abilities.

My little soccer player

My girls always make me smile.  With who they are.  With the things they do.  And with what they say.  My life is full... more than just a tiny little bit.

Monday, April 6, 2015

One Month

As hard as it is to believe, Briggs is already one month old.  He's no longer a little newborn.  He's filling out and growing on a daily basis, already weighing about 10 lbs.  He has outgrown his newborn clothes and newborn diapers.  He doesn't need the newborn insert in his tub, and I probably should remove the newborn insert for his carseat.  It's not surprising that he's growing so fast as he eats every 2-3 hours during the day and for the past several nights every 2.5-3 hours.  (For his first few weeks, he would sleep 3-4 hours between feedings at night, but he hasn't been doing quite so well the past week.)

He's a deep thinker, even when he's sleeping.

Likes:  Briggs likes eating, sleeping, and baths.  If he is not hungry or tired, he's generally a happy little guy.  He prefers to be held, but can be content in his bouncy seat, pack and play, or play mat for short periods of time.  He seems to do well with car rides and in his stroller as long as there is movement.  He likes listening to music with Zach with Waylon Jennings as a current favorite.

My little mellow man

Dislikes:  Being hungry or tired.  When Briggs is hungry, tired, or unhappy, he will definitely let you know.  He has limited patience when his needs are not met immediately.

Skills: Briggs is a good eater.  He can sleep through some very loud household noises.  (Think two sisters running past him sleeping in the pack and play, squealing and screaming while he soundly sleeps through it.)  He is strong, lifting his head really well when he's held or on his tummy.  He will turn his head side to side during tummy time.  He has limited control of his arms, but is starting to sporadically hit at his hanging toys or rattles.  Briggs is also a master at spitting up.  He happily spits up consistently, and has christened some of his favorite people.  (Here's looking at you, Aunt Melissa.)  Smiling is a relatively new skill, and we generally see more smiles in the morning than the evening.  And Briggs added another new skill tonight.

He took a bottle like a champ.  Apparently eating is eating.  He's just big on milk.

Although his skills are still pretty minimal, Briggs has already mastered looking cute, cuddling, entertaining his sisters, and filling our lives with joy.

Our little one month old



Easter

What a fun and full Easter week-end we had.  Our Easter festivities started on Saturday with brunch and an Easter egg hunt with my family.  A highlight for all the kids was getting to play with Uncle Ethan, who came home from Chicago for the week-end.  (I think Ethan needed a nap after spending the morning playing with all his nieces and nephews.)

All dressed up...

for Easter fun...

with cousins.
(Isn't she looking so grown up??)

On Saturday afternoon, we gave the girls a special Easter treat.  Big girl bikes!!  We had actually gotten one for Staley for her birthday (in January), but then decided it was kind of cruel to give her a bike that she couldn't actually use for several months.  After further thought, we decided that Adelie should probably get one too since otherwise she'd just want to ride Staley's all the time.

Checking out their new bikes.

Adelie hasn't quite gotten pedaling figured out yet, but she's still pretty excited about her Minnie bike.

Staley is good at pedaling, but steering is still a work in progress.  She looks pretty snazzy on her new princess bike, even if she's veering off in the wrong direction.

On Sunday, we started our day with church.  The girls then found their Easter baskets while Briggs had a morning snack.  They were pretty excited about their new Paw Patrol figures.

Not the stellar Easter sibling photo I had hoped for, but it was worth a try.

Adelie wasn't too keen on picture time, but Staley was more than happy to pose for me.

And Briggs never complains about having his picture taken.

We then headed over to Zach's aunt's house for a scrumptious Easter lunch and an Easter egg hunt.

A successful cousin photo.

Both girls loved hunting for eggs.

After a quick nap/rest time, we then ventured over to my aunt's house for some more family time and yet another Easter egg hunt.  Luckily, the thrill of finding plastic eggs doesn't seem to fade for either of my girls.

Adelie found a slinky in one of her eggs.  Winner, winner!

Briggs spent much of his Easter like this.

We even managed a Walles family photo.

We had a wonderful week-end of spending time with family, riding bikes, finding eggs, eating good food, playing, laughing, and celebrating the good news that our Savior lives!

We are so very blessed!





Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Miracle

It's the Easter season.  That joyous season where we celebrate the miracle of Jesus' resurrection.

Well, we had our own little Easter miracle today.

A picture.  Of all 3 kids.  Looking at the camera.  And smiling.  (Well, I give Briggs a pass on the smiling.  He did only just figure it out 2 days ago.)

It really is a good Friday!

Say Cheese!

For the past week or two, Briggs has shown some signs of smiling, but I was never sure it was voluntary.  I'm a stickler about firsts, so I want to make sure it's an absolute before I make the declaration.  On Wednesday this week, Briggs gave his first definitive, voluntary smiles.  And he's been practicing ever since.  

My smiley boy!