Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Growth Spurt

All my kids seem to be growing and changing so quickly right now.

Briggs is laughing and smiling and becoming a tummy time master and putting himself to sleep for naps (with the help of his right thumb.)

Adelie is doing her best to keep up with Staley.  She is climbing after Staley on all the playground equipment, going down all the slides by herself, and has recently learned to pedal her bicycle.  (Steering and braking...not so much.)  She also amazes, and amuses, me daily with things she says and things she knows, like using words like 'actually' or pointing out the moon in the evening sky.
But Staley is the one who seems to be doing something new everyday.  She has recently been wanting to do 'learning time' on a daily basis.  She knows all her letters and the sounds they make, sounds out words, and can write her entire upper case alphabet.  She surprised me a few days ago when she wanted to do math flash cards and she was about 90% correct with addition, even with problems like 5+4 and 10+3.  (She figured it out herself by counting.)  Staley recently has become very proficient at bike riding, is figuring out pumping on the swings, and can sometimes clip herself into her carseat. (She might be more consistent with it if her mother didn't insist on having the straps so tight.)
Staley now likes to smile and pose for pictures.  She continues to be a great helper with her brother and sister, keeping an eye on them and helping them and (usually) being a very sweet big sister. Last night, around 1:00 in the morning, Adelie started to cry.  I immediately heard Staley's voice singing Adelie a lullaby (that she made up herself).  After a few moments, Adelie stopped crying and they both went back to sleep.  So sweet!  There just seems to be some increased maturity and responsibility and understanding.  Don't get me wrong.  We still have some 4 year old opinions and attitude and tears as well, but she seems to be growing up so fast.  And I love it and dread it all at the same time.
My baby!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I Am a Runner

There are many things that I think define me.  These definitions shift and change over time with my life priorities.  I am a Christian, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.  I am an occupational therapist.  I am an outdoor enthusiast, a traveler, a camper, a reader, a runner.  Some of these things, like traveling, camping, reading, and running have taken a back seat over the past several years.  But in the past several weeks, with the help of my wonderful husband, I have started running again.

I used to run a lot.  I ran cross country and track through high school and college.  I ran consistently after college until we were trying to start our family.  During our years of infertility, the combination of activity restrictions after each procedure and my depression made my running sporadic at best.  I would try to resume running after the birth of each child, only to be met with the obstacles of finding the time (and energy) to make it a priority.

Zach, however, has made it a priority to help me get back to something that I love.  He comes home early enough several days a week for me to fit in a run while he watches the kids and gets dinner on the table.  He makes time for me to run on the week-ends.  And he even bought me new running clothes for Mother's Day, adding to my motivation to head out the door.

As I have slowly gotten back into shape, I find myself more and more enjoying my runs.  So many of the things in my daily life are things I am doing for others.  For my kids.  For my husband.  For my church.  For my job.  And I love all of that.  But running is something that I am doing for me.  And this past week-end, as I was out for a run on a beautiful Saturday morning on my favorite wooded trails with no time constraints, no need to get home for dinner, no impending nursing to be done, and not another person around, I realized how much I had missed running.  Running alone, with only my thoughts and an eclectic play list of music from my brother Ethan, in the shaded coolness of the quiet woods, I was peaceful.  Happy.  Fulfilled.  Energized.  And ready to go home and tackle toddler tears and stubborn opinions and being pulled in multiple directions at once.    Running is something I am doing for me.  It is something that makes me happy.  But it also makes me better for my family.  Because going out for a run means coming back more energized, patient, happy, strong.  I am a runner...and that makes me a better person.

Briggs' Dedication

Briggs was dedicated at church this past Sunday.  And how special for us that my dad was able to perform the dedication with our pastor, Gary.  Each of our 3 children has had the privilege of having Grandpa perform their dedication service, and I am so grateful for that.

And despite the fact that Staley hid behind Zach and I for much of the dedication... 

and Adelie told me about halfway into the dedication, "I'm all done", so I sent her to sit with Grammie...

and Briggs spit up all over the floor, it was still a wonderful moment of dedicating our son to the Lord and His service.

Briggs with Grandpa and Pastor Gary

It was also special that so much of my family and Zach's family were able to be there for the service.

All the cousins (minus Elliott)

What a special day!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Few of His Favorite Things

He loves baths.  He loves his play mat.  He loves attention.  He loves music.  And now he also loves...

his thumb!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Lately we've been celebrating Briggs' firsts.  Rolling, smiling, laughing, grabbing toys.  So many new things each day as he learns and grows and changes.  But just as Briggs is quickly growing and learning, so are Adelie and Staley.  And on Tuesday, Staley reached a milestone too.  She finished her first year of preschool.  Not that I was at all surprised, but Staley LOVED school.  She loved her teachers, her helpers, her friends.  She loved learning and playing and coloring.  She always liked singing her new songs and would sometimes tell us about what she was learning.  She was always excited about school days, and was very sad about school being over for the year.

Staley with her teacher, Mrs. Roberts.

Staley's favorite afternoon helper, Miss Mandy.

One of the best parts of Staley's first year of preschool was that she got to go with her same-age cousin, Lila.  Being together two days each week took them from being cousins to being best friends.  I loved seeing their friendship blossom. Whenever I asked Staley who she played with at school, she always listed Lila first.  For next year, Lila has to switch preschools because of her mom's new work schedule.  I was very torn because I was so happy with their current preschool, but I also wanted them to have the opportunity for another year together.  I couldn't decide what to do, so I asked Staley if she wanted to stay at her same school with all her friends and teachers or go to a new school with Lila.  Without hesitation, she said, "A new school with Lila."

Cousins and best friends who also have the same taste in clothes.

It's fun to watch my kids grow and learn.  I love seeing them make friends and find things that they love.  But it's also a little bittersweet to see them fly by these milestones and know that time is only going to keep marching forward.  Can't we just keep them going to preschool, holding hands with their friends, and wearing their pink twirly dresses just a little bit longer???

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Another First

Tonight, Briggs gave us another first.  His first laugh.  He's always super smiley and likes to talk and coo at us.  For the past week or so, he's been on the verge of laughing.  But tonight as he and I were 'talking' on the couch, he gave me his first official laugh.

And it was beautiful.

She Says...

Zach often calls Briggs 'partner.'  He'll often say, "Hey, partner!"  The other day, I was taking the kids to help me pick out a birthday gift for my prayer partner at church.  I was explaining to the girls what we were going to get and for who.  Adelie, looking confused, pointed at Briggs and said, "This partner?"

Adelie, taking after her big sister, has started demonstrating more of a preference for what she wants to wear.  This morning, Adelie told me (like she does every morning) that she wanted to wear something "super fancy."  I picked out some pants and a sweatshirt since it was supposed to chilly out today.  Adelie burst into tears and said, "That's not really, really, really, super twirly."  (Luckily, I pointed out that the heart on her sweatshirt was super fancy and she got over it.  I don't know if I can handle two opinionated dressers.)

The other day I was holding Briggs up on my shoulder when he spit up all over me.  I said, "Oh, buddy."  Adelie asked, "Why you say 'oh, buddy'?  I told her, "Oh, Briggs just spit up all over my shirt."  Adelie asked, "That not being a good listener?"

And here is Adelie's bedtime prayer the other night:
"Thank you for Jesus and Mommy and my belly button."

And thank you for this little girl.
I love her from head to toe...including her belly button.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A First?

This morning, Briggs woke up to eat around 6:00.  (Don't get too excited, thinking he slept through the night.  He also ate around 2:30.)  He was wide awake and smiley, but after I fed him I put him on his stomach in his crib, hoping we'd both catch another hour of sleep before the girls woke up.  After about 15-20 minutes, Briggs started fussing.  When I went into his room, he was lying on his back.  I'm not sure how he accomplished it, but it's an official first--the first time Briggs rolled from his stomach to his back all by himself.

I'm a proud mama, but I think I'd have preferred the extra hour of sleep.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Yesterday was my 38th birthday.

When I was a kid, a great birthday involved a sleep-over with friends, cake, and presents.  Lots of presents.

As a teenager, a great birthday involved a favorite meal, new clothes, and cards with money.  Lots of money.

In college, a great birthday involved getting all your friends to go out to do something fun.  Lots of friends.

Before kids, a great birthday involved a fun week-end get-away.  Lots of traveling.

And yesterday, my great birthday involved a fun morning shopping and lunching with my mother-in-law, a long nap, a mint milkshake, time with my family, and a dinner with my parents and in-laws that I didn't have to cook or clean up after.  There were also texts and e-mails and phone calls from friends and family that made me feel so special.  And did I mention the long nap???

My, how times have changed.  But it was another great birthday nonetheless.

She Says...

Attempted Lesson of the Day:
Today Staley and I were playing a game together and had this conversation:

Staley:  "I'm better at Spot It than you are."
Me:  "It's not nice to say you are better at something than someone else.  That might hurt their feelings."
Staley:  "Then I could just say that I'm the greatest at Spot It."


Random Comparison of the Day:
Last night before bed, Staley said, "I'm as tired as a bumblebee at midnight."


Not Quite Right Word Usage of the Day:
Last night getting ready for bed, Staley said, "If you read Adelie her book while I'm trying to put on my pajamas, I might get extracted."


Almost the Birthday Gift of the Day:
Yesterday Staley was having a hard time picking out what she wanted to wear for school.  We had this conversation:

Me:  "I know.  As a special birthday treat, maybe I could pick out what you wear today.  I think you should wear that cute striped dress that I bought for you that you've never worn."
Staley:  "Maybe I'll just pick something else."
Me:  "You can pick something else, but I want you to wear it sometime because you've never worn it and I paid good money for it.  It would be nice if you'd wear it for my birthday."
Staley:  "Well, maybe I'll wear it tomorrow."


She's Definitely Been Listening Quote of the Day:
The other night, Staley picked out monkey pajamas for Adelie to wear, but Adelie wanted to wear her princess pajamas.

Staley:  "Okay Adelie.  You can wear your princess pajamas, but I want you to wear your monkey pajamas sometime soon because you never wear them and I paid good money for them."


Sunday, May 10, 2015

How Do You Say Thank You?

How do you say thank you for all she's done over all these years?  How do you say thank you for all the sleepless nights, calming me as a newborn or waiting up for me as a teenager or worrying about me away on a camping trip with friends?  How do you say thank you for the discipline and rules and boundaries that were set to help guide me into making the right decisions and mold me into the person I am?  How do you say thank you for the endless support, for all the track meets and basketball games and cross country meets that were attended, the listening ear when trying to make a decision, knowing that she would always be in my corner?  How do you say thank you for the unconditional love, laughing with me, crying with me, praying with me, and building me up just when I needed it most?  How do you say thank you for the patience in the midst of toddler tears and sibling arguments and teenage attitude?  How do you say thank you for teaching me about the love of Christ, not just through church attendance, but through the daily example of words and actions?  How do you say thank you for the love that has been lavished on my children, the time and energy that has been invested in developing that relationship?  How do you say thank you for the past 38 years of selfless love and unconditional support?

How do you say thank you for the way she raised your husband?  How do you say thank you for setting an example of thoughtfulness and generosity that is so evident in her son?  How do you say thank you for the way she welcomed you into the family and loves you like a daughter?  How do you say thank you for the way she is always available to help, no matter the time or circumstance?  How do you say thank you for all the times she pops over to help with the kids or drop off a meal or bring a little surprise?  How do you say thank you for the tireless way she plays with your kids while you get a little reprieve during family get-togethers?  How do you say thank you for always putting her family's needs before her own?  How do you say thank you for letting me be a part of that wonderful family?

How do you say thank you for the answer to years of prayers?  How do you say thank you for the gift of my children?  How do you say thank you for trusting me with the responsibility of being a mother?  How do you say thank you for filling my heart time and again to overflowing with the love I have for these 3 that have been given to me?  How do you say thank you for this amazing life I've been blessed with?

There are no words that can express it.  There is no gift that can repay it.  There is no way to say thank you for all they have done.  So I do the only thing I can think to do, as inadequate as it seems.  All I can do is say...


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Birthday Plans

This morning, Staley had Raisin Bran cereal with cranberries for breakfast.  After taking a few bites, she said, "I really like this cereal.  I want to have this for my next birthday!"

So I hope no one comes to Staley's next birthday party expecting cupcakes or ice cream or baked goodies.  Just bring your bowl and spoon, and we'll provide the rest.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Two Months

Briggs is now 2 months old!  He is a mellow, smiley, cuddly, happy little guy.  He weighs about 12 pounds and wears his 0-3 month clothes and his size 1 diapers.  He eats every 2.5-3.5 hours during the day and usually has a 4-6 hour stretch of sleeping at night.  He naps 3-4 times during the day, going to sleep about 1-1.5 hours after he eats with a longer awake time in the evening.  He continues to spit up regularly, but I like to think it may be diminishing a little bit.  (That might just be wishful thinking.)  And he's starting to lose the hair on top of his head.  Regardless of the spitting up and hair loss, he's still adorable!  And I'm only a little biased...

Likes:  Briggs is generally a happy little guy.  He likes to eat.  He loves bath time.  He really likes being outside.  He enjoys his play mats, his swing, and his bouncy seat for short periods of time with his play mat and his swing keeping him happy longer than his bouncy seat.  He enjoys music and loves being talked to.  He definitely prefers to be held than to be laid down, and he enjoys being in the Baby K'tan and the Baby Bjorn.  He uses a pacifier occasionally when he's fussy or tired, but is fickle about when he wants it and when he doesn't.

Happily hanging out in the Baby Bjorn

Bath time is awesome!!

Dislikes:  Briggs generally only fusses when he is hungry or tired.  He doesn't like to be left alone, only tolerating his bouncy seat or play mat or swing for short periods of time (5-10 minutes).  And he prefers having dry, clean pants.

Skills:  Briggs is growing and changing.  He is very smiley when people talk to him.  He can swipe and kick at his hanging toys.  He will hold onto a rattle for several seconds.  He can lift his head for brief periods during tummy time, and holds his head up well when upright.  He happily splashes the water out of his bathtub.  He's still a very good eater, a good sleeper, and very tolerant of all the love his sisters give him.

Showing off his sleeping skills

Enjoying play mat time

What a great 2 months it's been!!  What a blessing he is!!

Our little 2 month old

Monday, May 4, 2015


Staley's soccer season is officially over.  Her enthusiasm for soccer diminished towards the end of the season.  As one of the youngest on her team of 4 and 5 year olds, I think she got discouraged as the older kids on the field tended to be faster, better, and more aggressive.  She never scored a goal and was always a little behind the action.  On the morning of her last game, I asked Staley if she liked soccer.  She responded, "Not really.  All you do is kick the ball."  (Not exactly sure what she thought she was signing up for, because yeah.  That about sums it up.)

Regardless of her lackluster enthusiasm about the sport, she did seem to enjoy herself, got a little better throughout the season, and was always super-excited about the snacks that were handed out after each game.  And when asked if she thought she'd play soccer again next year, she answered, "Yes."

Looking stylish in her bright orange shirt and hot pink socks.

And getting a medal is always super-fun.

She may not end up being a soccer star, but that's okay.  Because really, it's only kicking a ball.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pushing It

Adelie has always been an active girl.  She was my most active baby in utero.  As an infant, her legs never seemed to stop kicking, making it nearly impossible to keep her swaddled.  She crawled, walked, climbed, and destroyed quickly and efficiently.  She's just always been a busy little girl.  And now, although she enjoys playing more quiet activities like figurines and Barbies and baby dolls, she still is often running from room to room, climbing on the furniture, jumping off things, and wrestling with her sister.  She's a sweet, happy, fun little one...but she is busy.

And in the past few weeks, Adelie has started testing the boundaries that we've set for her more and more.  A common question she asks now is "This not being a good listener?"  as she is engaging in an activity that she's not supposed to.  "This not being a good listener?" as she climbs onto the table.  "This not being a good listener?" as she pours her milk onto her plate.  "This not being a good listener?" as she climbs onto the back of the sofa.  "This not being a good listener?" as she is kicking her legs while I'm trying to change her diaper.  "This not being a good listener?" as she eats her ketchup with her spoon.  The other morning at breakfast, I told Adelie to stop putting her fingers in her syrup.  She looked me in the eye, dangled her fingers a few centimeters over her syrup, waited several seconds, and then dipped them back in with a mischievous grin.  Or the other day at Staley's soccer game, I told Adelie that she couldn't cross the white line onto the soccer field.  She walked right up to the line, put her toes on the line, and then took one step over the line.  I have a feeling that's going to be our life--us drawing the line and Adelie taking one step over it.

When we ask if Adelie understands a consequence that she will get if she continues misbehaving, she always answers, "Yep."  And she generally takes her consequences or sits in time out willingly, as if doing what she wasn't supposed to was totally worth a few minutes of sitting on the couch or not getting to listen to music before nap.

Adelie's busy-ness has always kept me on my toes.  And now her boundary pushing has added another dimension.  But her fun-loving, exuberant, happy nature just makes me smile...even when she's jumping on the couch and asking, yet again, "This not being a good listener?"

She may not always be the best listener, but she definitely brings so much joy to my life.
And gray hair.