Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Monday, June 29, 2015

Imagine That!

While on vacation, there was a gas station called the Wishing Well.  Outside the gas station, there was an actual wishing well.  Staley was intrigued.  When I asked what she thought she'd wish for, she said, "I'd wish for magic that was really real."  On our last day, we stopped to fill up with gas.  I let the girls toss a coin into the wishing well and make a wish.  Staley wished, "I wish that I was a mermaid princess with real magic."  Then she asked, "How will we know when it works?"  (Still waiting on the outcome of her wish, but my wish that Briggs wouldn't scream the whole ride home did come true.)

Yesterday I asked Staley if she was going to finish coloring her picture that she was working on.  She responded, "I'm not going to color right now.  I'm going to do my spells because I'm magical and I haven't done my spells in awhile.  They might not work, but I'm going to try."

Her shirt says, "I'd rather be a mermaid."
In honesty, most days she thinks she is.
Staley doesn't need a wishing well for that.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Moving Out

Briggs has slept in our room with us since he was born, swaddled in his co-sleeper (or in the pack and play on vacation.)  His night time sleep habits have been getting increasingly worse over the past few weeks.  It's not uncommon for him to wake up every 2.5-3.5 hours throughout the night now.  And even though he eats quickly and goes right back to sleep, the multiple wakings is not ideal.  He generally cries when I start to  swaddle him because then he can't get his thumb in his mouth.  But if I swaddle him with his arms out, he sleeps even worse.  So last night, on our first night home from vacation, I let him sleep on his stomach in his crib.  He went to bed at 8:00 last night...and woke up this morning at 6:15.

And we were all happy about that!

Another First

While on vacation, Briggs checked off another first.  He rolled all by himself from his back to his stomach.  And as a third child, it was only fitting that none of us saw it.  We were in our cabin.  Briggs was playing on his back on his play mat while Zach read a book to Staley and I was putting Adelie down for a nap.  I came out to find Briggs on his stomach.  I asked Zach if he had rolled Briggs over.  He hadn't.  Staley piped in that she hadn't either.  And it wasn't me.  But Briggs didn't seem to care that no one saw.

He was pretty proud of himself anyway.


We just got back from a relaxing week in Michigan.  No TV.  No Internet.  Sketchy cell phone service.  Unplugged from the world.  Just a week of beach and family, family and beach.

Beach and family

The trip started out a little rocky.  Briggs did not appreciate the 5 hours of driving up to Michigan.  He napped a grand total of about 40 minutes.  He screamed a grand total of about 2 hours.  At one point when Briggs was screaming and Adelie kept yelling, "Mommy!  Mommy!  Briggs is crying!" and Staley kept asking for the movie to be turned up so she could hear it over the screaming and the yelling, I almost wasn't sure it was worth it.  But it was.  (And thankfully, Briggs did AWESOME on the way home.)

Way better than screaming

Most years we stay in a house with my brothers and their families.  However, since we have a light sleeper (Staley) and a multiple-times-per-night waker (Briggs), we decided having our own cabin with 2 bedrooms would work better than all of us sleeping in one room for this year.  As Staley noted, "A cabin is like a house for vacation."  The cabin wasn't perfect, but the location couldn't have been better.

The Lake Michigan sunset from our back deck

Staying in our own cabin didn't stop us from enjoying time with the whole family.  We spent part of each day on the beach with everyone (because the weather this year was B-E-A-utiful), shared our meals every night with my family (which worked out well since the oven in our cabin was a little sketchy), walked into town together for ice cream, and enjoyed extended family traditions of spaghetti night and s'more's night.

The cousins

ALL the kids (my kids, their cousins, and my cousins' kids)

All my kids loved the beach.  Staley and Adelie loved the water.

Mermaids + water = so much fun!

Floating with Elliott

They loved the sand.

Adelie spent lots of time digging holes in the sand, carrying buckets of water to fill holes that she dug in the sand, and mooching snacks off anyone who was eating.

Staley spent lots of time making sand pizzas and pies, building villages for mice, chasing seagulls, and playing mermaids.  One afternoon she spent about 20 minutes playing at the edge of Lake Michigan, running back and forth while making lots of hand gestures and singing.  When I asked what she was doing, she said, "Controlling the waves."

And they had so much fun with all the aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, and "beach cousins" (my cousin's kids) that they had to play with.

Adelie spent a LONG time on several days digging big holes in the sand with Gabby (one of my cousin's kids).

Staley and Liam looking for shells

Briggs was his usual happy, easy self.  He hung out on the beach, enjoyed the company of all the people that wanted to hold him, and napped every morning in his cabana.

Looking cute in his beach gear.

Pentwater never changes.  The town is the same.  The beach is the same.  The traditions are the same.  And I love it just the same as I did when I was a kid.  I'm so glad my little family does too.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Simply Irresistible (Almost)

Who can resist smiling when you see this sweet face???

Well, truthfully, I don't think I was smiling when this sweet face woke me up at midnight...and 2:00...and again at 4:00 last night.  And maybe not when this sweet face spit up all over my shirt and down my arm this morning.  But otherwise, he's pretty irresistible.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Gal with a Plan

The other day, Zach had a rough day at work.  When he got home, he had this conversation with Staley:

Zach:  "Enjoy being a kid when you can just play all day.  Some day you'll be a grown up and then you'll have to go to work every day."
Staley:  "I'm not going to work every day.  I'm going to work with Mommy so I'll only work on the days that she does."

Good plan, Staley.  A 2 day work week definitely beats 5.  I hope it works out for you.

Of course, by the time Staley is working, I may be on the no days/week plan.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Don't Want to Forget

I don't want to forget... Adelie talks in her cute little Adelie way.  Like singing the 'Ipsy, Bipsy Siber'.  Or how she pronounces her 'L's as 'Y's, so she talks about her cousins Yiya (Lila) and Yam (Liam).  Or how she loves her sister Saywee and refers to herself as Adawee.  And how she always wants 'yots and yots' of fruit at mealtime. Staley watched a little princess movie where Cinderella gave a 'gift from the heart' by singing a song to the king so now Staley will tell me that she has a special gift for me and then will get out her little microphone and sing me a song. if something is funny or silly or fancy or twirly, Adelie always quantifies it as 'super duper really silly' or 'super duper really twirly.' people making funny faces and noises at him will just make Briggs laugh and laugh. Staley and Adelie love to color and will always tell me who each picture that they are coloring is for.  Most often the pictures are for Zach and I, but they also color pictures for each other, friends, grandparents, and cousins.  I could literally wallpaper my office at work with the pictures that they've colored for me. when Adelie is playing with figurines or Barbies, her character will often say, "I'm so frustrated." every night at dinner when I tell the girls what we are having, Staley announces how much she loves whatever it is.

...the cute little sound that Briggs makes when he is sucking on his thumb. Staley still sleeps with Yellow Bear (now more often called Teddy and sometimes Drew) and Adelie now always needs to sleep with Little Green Bear (which is a miniature-sized Beanie Baby and much harder to keep track of). Staley is very encouraging about Adelie trying to use the potty and even made her a potty chart without any prompting from us and puts stickers on it for Adelie every time she tries to use the potty.  (Unfortunately, she is way more excited about Adelie trying to use the potty than Adelie is.) Adelie will always take her empty fruit cup, put it over her mouth, and announce, "I'm a goofball." Staley told me the other day that the thing she loves most in the whole world is her family. 

Me too, Staley.  Me too!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Big Day

As a kid, there are just some days in the year that you spend the whole year looking forward to and talking about.  There's Christmas.  And your birthday.  And, in our family, there is also State Farm Play Day.  State Farm Play Day is a carnival on steroids that is exclusively for State Farm employees and their families...and Staley has been talking about it and looking forward to it and planning it since last year.  For the past 2 years, we have taken Liam (Staley's cousin and birthday twin) with us and left Adelie home.  This year we still took Liam, but Adelie and Briggs also got to join in the fun.  The weather was beautiful, the activities were amazing, and the kids had a BLAST!!

Getting to ride an ACTUAL school bus to the park is a great way to start off the day.

So excited about getting started on the fun.
There were lots and lots of bouncy houses, games with fun prizes like squirt guns and glider planes, and a huge tent full of craft activities.
The kids had so much fun making sand art necklaces.

And temporary tattoos are AWESOME!
But after bouncing, gaming, crafting, and tattooing, the kids couldn't wait to ride the ponies...3 times!
Adelie loved her first ever pony rides.

And, of course, Staley was in her element.  Finally an activity where pink cowboy boots are actually appropriate footwear.  :)

And then it was time for the rides.  There were so many fun rides...the spinning apples, the ladybug ride, the train, the cars.  I did put Adelie on the roller coaster with the big kids...where she went from looking terrified to crying by the time the ride was over.  Oops!!   (She was also scared of the Nemo and the Caterpillar bouncy obstacle courses, but happily enjoyed the other bouncy houses and bouncy slides.)  Because she is so independent and tries to keep up with Staley, I sometimes forget how little she still is.
Staley and Liam thought they were big stuff going down the big slide all by themselves this year.

The big kids LOVED the roller coaster, riding up front.  Liam had his hands held high, while my more cautious daughter held on tight.

The little ferris wheel is always a favorite.


And then we grabbed a fruit smoothie on the way back to the bus.
And Briggs was his usual happy, easy self.  He spent the morning like this...
(happily soaking in the action)
and this...

Napping in his K'tan
And if that had been all there was, it would have been a great day.  But the day became absolutely amazing when we then got to go to a playground and splash park to celebrate our niece Caroline's first birthday.

So after a full and fun morning at Play Day, then there was lunch and cookies and cupcakes and playground fun and cousins and presents and lots and lots of playing in the water.

A full morning of Play Day fun + an afternoon of birthday party fun =

three very tired kids.
But it was SO much fun!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Three Months

Yes, it's true.  My baby boy is already 3 months old.  He's my smiley, happy, mellow, easy little guy.  He now weighs about 13 lbs.  He is starting to outgrow his 0-3 month clothes and is starting to wear his size 2 diapers.  (I'm still using up the size 1 diapers and haven't gotten around to washing up the 3-6 month clothes, but both will hopefully happen this week-end.  :))  Briggs eats every 3-4 hours during the day and about every 3-5 hours at night, usually waking up once between 1 and 3 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 a.m.  Thankfully he eats quickly and goes right back to sleep.  He usually takes 3 naps during the day.  And he still spits up lots...and lots and lots.  But that doesn't stop him from being one happy little guy.

My smiley baby

Likes:  Briggs loves baths, his play mats, and being outside.  He just lights up when people talk to him.  He is now happy spending time in his bouncy seat.  Briggs really likes music, specifically the music that he listens to with Zach.  Deer Tick is a current favorite...for both of them.  Briggs enjoys outings, and is generally very happy in his Baby K'tan and Baby Bjorn, either awake or asleep.  And he always enjoys the attention from his sisters. (Well, most of the time anyway.)

Quality play time with his two favorite sisters

Just hanging out

Dislikes:  Briggs generally only fusses when he is hungry and tired.  And he has to be pretty hungry or pretty tired before he'll let you know.  He also doesn't like wind in his face or really wet pants.

Life can be kinda serious sometimes.

Skills:  Briggs does great with holding his head up, both when upright and during tummy time.  He sometimes rolls from his stomach to his back, but it's not consistent.  He loves to bat and kick the toys on his play mats, and is getting better and better at grabbing toys.  He'll still only hold rattles or toys placed in his hands for short periods of time.  Briggs loves his right thumb, and can usually get his thumbs or his hands in his mouth.  We can lay him down for naps when he's awake, and he'll just find his thumb and put himself to sleep.  He does great on outings, being awake and happy or sleeping on the go.  Being a third child, it's good that he seems to be able to go with the flow.  Briggs has a contagious laugh and a smile (with a dimple in his left cheek) that just lights up his face.  He makes lots of sounds and coos when he's 'talking' to us.

Watching big sisters ride their bikes can be tiring.

Tummy time master

These past 3 months have flown by.  Briggs has already grown into such a happy, sweet, easy baby.  And he continues to fill our days with smiles and our hearts with love.

My little 3 month old

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Astute Observations by Adelie

This morning, my mom was changing Adelie's diaper and they had this conversation:

Adelie:  "I tooted."
Grammie:  "That was a stinky toot."
Adelie:  (matter-of-factly)  "It's not stinky.  A toot is a sound."

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Last

Today is my last day of maternity leave, and I'm struggling with it.  I do enjoy my job, but I enjoy being home with my family more.  I find the work I do rewarding, but the reward of motherhood far exceeds it.  I cherish the kids and families that I work with, but nothing compares to the time spent with my own kids and my own family at home.  And as much as it seems like Briggs has always been a part of our family, it also feels like he was just born yesterday.  How can 12 weeks have flown by so quickly??

Returning to work after each child has been difficult, but I'm finding this one especially hard.  Maybe it's because I know it's my last maternity leave.  Maybe it's because there have been some big changes at work that I'm not sure are favorable.  Maybe it's because we are heading into summer, and I just love all the outdoor fun with my kids during summer.  Maybe it's because my kids are changing so quickly right now and I don't want to miss a moment of it.  And maybe it's as simple as not wanting to have to set an alarm, follow a schedule, meet deadlines, and deal with stress that comes with working. 

Yes, I do enjoy my job.  Yes, the extra income is nice.  Yes, I feel fulfilled in helping others and using my skills.  Yes, it's only 2 days/week.  Yes, my kids look forward to time spent with others.  And yes, I feel so blessed that my mom will watch them one day and we've found a wonderful nanny who will watch them the other day that I work.  But today when Staley told me, "I wish you didn't have to go back to work tomorrow", I totally agreed.