Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Cup Runneth Over

The 23rd Psalm.  God really wanted me to read that today.  All morning, I was thinking about the statement, "My cup runneth over."  I know that in the context of this Psalm, God is talking about the overflowing blessings that He provides.  But in the context of my morning, I kept thinking about the fact that whatever is filling your cup to the brim will eventually overflow.  And so, when my cup is filled with fatigue and time frames and things to do and places to be and lists that keep piling up, then what overflows to those around me is frustration and shortness and demands and ugliness.  And this morning as I was apologizing to my girls in the car for getting frustrated with them as we were trying to get out the door, my heart hurt.  Because these days are precious.  There will be a day when my older daughter won't want to tell me every little thing that is on her mind.  There will be a day when my younger daughter won't need me to help her get ready.  There will be a day when my baby won't want to be held.  And when I decide to let my cup be filled with thoughts of things that aren't getting done or all the paperwork piling up on my desk at work or trying to make it somewhere on time, then I will continually have to apologize to my family for my frustration or my words or my sighs or my busyness.  But if I allow my cup to be filled to the brim with the many blessings in my life, if I allow God to help me focus on what is truly important, if I take the time to cherish the little moments (even if they are little moments that always make us late for everything), then what will overflow to my family will be the love and joy and time and focus that they deserve.
In the midst of my morning chaos, I needed to remember the words in this Psalm.  "He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul."  That's what I need.  To allow God to lead my heart and mind to a place of peace and rest.  I need to let God help me focus on what really matters.
Because my cup truly does runneth over...
...and I need to remember to always thank God for that!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

How Old?

Staley has recently been very interested in thinking about what age she'll have to be to do various activities that she's not old enough to do now.  She'll often ask, "How old do I have to be to ________?"  And that blank can be filled in with everything from "drive a car" to "play outside by myself" to "go to Disney World" to "sleep on a top bunk."  The other day, we had this conversation:

Staley:  "How old do I have to be to get a horse?"
Me:  "You'll have to have your own house and your own barn and your own money to buy a horse."
Staley:  "So I'll have to be a grown up?"
Me:  "Yup."
Staley:  "When I'm a mom, I'll let my kids get a horse at whatever age they want."

And I'm putting that in writing so if her kids read this blog someday, they'll know exactly where Staley stands on the issue of getting your own horse.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015


In the past, we've celebrated our wedding anniversary with elaborate vacations, Bear's games, romantic week-end get-aways, expensive meals, and thoughtful gifts. 

Celebrating our 6th anniversary in Hawaii
Yesterday was our 14th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated over the week-end with a nice dinner out while my parents watched the kids.  We were home by 8:00 to pick up Briggs, and then my parents kept the girls so we could enjoy a quiet night at home, a leisurely Sunday morning, and a relatively uninterrupted viewing of the Bear's first game of the season.

Pretty happy about watching the game with Mom and Dad

It's been 22 years since our first date.  We've been together for about 18 years.  And now we've been married for 14.  Life has changed a lot since our wedding 14 years ago.  College degrees.  Homes.  Jobs.  Vacations.  Kids.  But one thing has remained constant--I am married to my best friend.  And life with him just keeps getting better!!

Happy 14th Anniversary!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Duped by a Two Year Old

One of our recent parenting frustrations is our girls' neediness after we have put them to bed at night.  We've barely made it downstairs when the girls are calling to us with their needs.  "I need a drink."  "I need another hug and kiss."  "I need another lullaby."  "I need to tell you something."  We generally let them know that we are not coming back up and that most of these things can wait until morning.  However, Adelie has realized that when she tells us she needs to go potty, we usually come up.  And so "Mommy, I need to go potty" has become a several-times-each-night-after-lights-out occurrence.  She's got us in a sticky spot.  If she does need to go, we want her to tell us so she can use the bathroom rather than her pull-up.  And sometimes she does need to go when she calls us.  But often she doesn't.  Either way, she has figured out that "I need to go potty" are those 5 magical words that can get us back upstairs.

Last night, Adelie was talking through the monitor, asking for various things, and we were letting her know that we weren't coming up and that she just needed to go to sleep.  A little later, Adelie called, "I need to go potty."  Zach went upstairs.  When he got in her room, he said, "Adelie, do you really need to go potty?"  Adelie responded, "Nope.  I just want a drink."  And there you have it.  Here's a girl who has figured out how to get what she wants.  Only two and a half years old, and she's already learning how to manipulate the system.   And here we are, 30-something years in and getting duped by a 2 year old.

Is this the face of a master-mind?
Apparently so.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bad Ideas

This morning while I took my shower, I put Briggs in his crib with a few rattles and his mobile on.  Although the girls do really well with him, I feel like he's safer confined to his crib rather than rolling around on the floor with his sisters running around, getting into whatever they might have inadvertently left on the floor.  When I got out of the shower, I went to check on Briggs.  He was happily playing in his crib...with an empty plastic zip lock bag.  Apparently Adelie thought he'd enjoy playing with it after she had dumped her toys out of it.  She was right.  *sigh*

Staley tells me every day about what she is going to be for Halloween and what she is going to do for her next birthday party.  It is never the same.  She will up-date me multiple times every day with different costume ideas and different party themes, including what type of face paint she'll use or what kind of cake she'll have or what the games will be. This morning she told me she was going to have a Disney World party for her next birthday.  I asked what a Disney World party is.  She replied, "It will be at Disney World and I will invite all my friends."  I guess it's kind of like a swimming party or a gymnastics party, only a bit farther away...and a few thousand dollars more expensive.

The other day, I was getting changed to go for a run.  Staley likes to run with me (we usually run/walk around the block, then she rides in the running stroller, and then usually runs the last block), so she asked if she could change into some running clothes and come with me.  I said, "Sure."  She went into her room to change out of her dress and came back wearing...a different dress. *sigh*

This morning, Briggs was playing on the floor.  He was lying on his stomach, playing with some toys.  Adelie walked over to him and proceeded to sit on him like a horse.  I reprimanded her.  She cried.  And then immediately tried to do the same thing to the cat.  *sigh*

My girls can have some good ideas.  They recommend fun activities, pick healthy snacks, and make some nice crafts.  But it's probably just as well that they are not always in charge.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Little Variety

He loves his right thumb, but sometimes a guy just needs to mix things up a bit.


Six Months

How can we be halfway through the first year already?  Doesn't it feel like my baby was just born yesterday?

But it wasn't yesterday.  It was 6 months ago!!  My smiley, happy, cuddly, social, lovely, easy baby is already 6 months old.  I'm not sure how much Briggs weighs (since his 6 month check-up isn't until Friday), but he continues to grow.  He still wears his size 2 diapers, but he's starting to wear his 6-9 month clothes, although is also still fitting into most of his 3-6 month clothes.  He nurses about 4 times/day (and usually twice in the night), and has just started having baby food once/day.  He usually takes 2 naps during the day and sleeps for about 3-5 hours at a time at night.  I get really excited if he sleeps at night for a 5-6 hour stretch.  He continues to spit up a lot and poop about once/week (although hoping that improves with the baby food).  But he has the best disposition and a smile that just lights up the room.
He's pretty irresistible, right?!
Likes:  Favorites still include baths, being outside, his right thumb, and getting attention.  Briggs enjoys playing with lots of his toys, but his stacking cups, spinning alphabet ball, sea creature toy, and rattles remain favorites.  He is showing more interest in books, particularly his 'Dada' book and 'Baby Talk', although often seems most interested in trying to eat his books.  He loves his sisters, his baby k'tan, and his feet.  And although he's only had prunes and squash, he seems to like baby food too.
Two of his favorite things:  stacking cups and his big sister.
Dislikes:  Briggs will get fussy if he is hungry or tired.  He has also started demonstrating his 'mad cry', which he will bust out when he is put down and would rather be held, or when he is lonely or bored and isn't attended to quickly enough.
Sometimes life is just serious.
Skills:  Briggs is a mover.  He rolls all over, and can get across a room pretty quickly.  He doesn't stay on his play mats or his blanket for very long.  He is sitting now, although loses his balance if he reaches too far, looks up too quickly, or gets too excited. 
My big boy sitting up all by himself
Briggs is grabbing everything he can reach, will hold a toy in each hand, and can activate his simple cause and effect toys.  He is a master at pulling hair and grabbing faces, which his sisters find very amusing.  Briggs continues to make lots of cute coos, squeals, and noises.  He giggles and laughs often.  He is fantastic at splashing in the bathtub.  And he continues to fill our lives with so much joy.  His sisters think he's the best thing ever...and I tend to agree.
My big 6 month old


Friday, September 4, 2015


It's hard for me to say that we are done having kids.  I don't know why.  It's just hard.  In my head, I know that it's the right decision.  I'm almost 40.  We have 3 kids under 5.  I'm usually exhausted by the end of the day.  Our bedrooms aren't really configured to add another child.  Three was always our ideal number.  There are a hundred logical reasons why it makes sense for us to be done.  And Zach is absolutely, positively, without-a-shred-of-a-doubt certain that we are done.  I understand it.  I know it.  It makes sense.  But for some reason, the finality of it is just hard for me.

I've been trying to understand why I feel this way.  I don't know if it stems from the years that we were uncertain about our ability to have a family.  I prayed countless prayers about having children, so it almost seems like if God wants to keep blessing us, who are we to shut that door.  (I know.  I know.  That's how people end up with 8 kids...or 19.)  It might just be that I love our little family so much and I know we have plenty more love to give.  Our kids absolutely adore each other, and I know they would be thrilled about adding another.  I try to remember the anxiety and discomfort and total exhaustion that comes from pregnancy and having a newborn, but all my heart remembers is those feelings of joy and overwhelming love.  My head knows we're done, but my heart keeps hinting that there is always room in there for more.

I've already sold all my maternity clothes.  We're done.  I'm planning for a spring garage sale for all our baby stuff.  We're done.  We are happily down to one child in diapers.  We're done.  We already have a big, child-free vacation on the books for next fall.  We're done.  I'm looking forward to all those activities that we can start once the kids are a little older, like camping trips and bigger vacations and sports activities.  We're done.  I know it.  I understand it.  It makes sense.  We are so, so blessed with the three happy, healthy, amazing children we have.  I couldn't love my little family any more.  I know that it's time to move forward to the next phase for our family.  I know that we are done.  Now I just have to come to terms with the finality of it.  We're done, and that just makes my heart a little sad.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why We're Always Running Late

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, Staley and I have the same routine while we are getting ready to leave for pre-school/work.  After I help her get dressed and do her hair, we come downstairs.  Once downstairs, her 3 "jobs" include going potty, brushing her teeth, and putting on her shoes while I finish up packing my lunch, making our breakfast smoothies, and getting everything ready to go.  This morning Briggs woke up as we were coming downstairs, so Staley was doing her jobs while I was feeding Briggs on the couch.

After several minutes in the bathroom, I hear the toilet flush, the sink water running, and then Staley comes out into the living room.  Impressed by the normal-person speed in which this occurred, I commented:

Me:  "Great job, Staley!  Did you wash your hands and brush your teeth?"
Staley:  "I just washed my hands.  I didn't brush my teeth yet."
Me:  "Okay.  Go brush your teeth."

Staley goes back into the bathroom.   I hear the sink water running and a few minutes later, she comes back out into the living room.

Me:  "Are your teeth brushed?"
Staley:  (sheepishly) "Oops.  I just washed my hands again."
Me:  "Okay.  Go brush your teeth now."

Staley goes back into the bathroom once again.  By this time, I'm done feeding Briggs and getting things finished up in the kitchen.  I hear exuberant singing from the bathroom, but no running water for a minute or two.

Me:  (calling from the kitchen) "Staley.  Are you brushing your teeth?"
Staley:  "Not yet.  It's too hard.  I can't get it off."
Me:  (walking into the bathroom) "What can't you get off?"
Staley:  "I can't get the top off the toothpaste.  It's too hard."
Me:  "You should have just asked me to come and help you get it off."
Staley:  "Instead of just standing here playing?"
Me:  "Yup."
Staley:  (legitimately as if she'd never thought of that before) "Oh.  Okay."

Maybe this is the turning point, the light bulb moment that Staley needed.  Maybe she just needed someone to tell her that asking for help to get things done is better than just playing around.  But more likely, it's just another day where it takes her 20 minutes to do what most people can do in 5.