Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Friday, October 30, 2015

Family Pictures...Again

I had mentioned that the last time we had family pictures with my side of the family, Staley was 18 months old.  Well, the last time we had family pictures with Zach's family, Staley was only 8 months old.  So 4 years and 2 kids later, it was time for an up-date.

A miraculous big family picture that was good of everyone...even the trees.

Uma and Papa with the grandkids

Zach's sister's beautiful family

4 year old cousins who also happen to be best friends

No family picture day is complete without some less than stellar pictures of my kids together.

And let's keep in mind...

...that these 3 photos...

were the best options she had to choose from.  Ouch.

Luckily, my kids can be more photogenic on an individual basis.

Just wishing I had combed his hair a little better...or at least licked his cowlick down more.

Sweet, sweet smiles...

...from my sweet, sweet girls.

Another family photo shoot in the books.  There were some tears.  Some resistance.  Some attempts at smiles gone wrong.  Some funky hair issues.  But all things considered, I'm calling it a success...and already dreading next year when we have THREE mobile children with their own agendas.  Lord help us!

Monday, October 26, 2015

They Make Me Smile

We had an extra carseat installed in the back of our van for the week-end since we had our nieces staying with us.  On Sunday afternoon, I took Staley and Adelie into Peoria with me to run some errands.  I gave Adelie the option of sitting in the extra carseat that was still installed in the back next to Staley's seat.  Of course, Adelie chose to sit in the back by Staley.  Excitedly, Staley responded, "Yes!  And then we can hold hands the whole way."

And they did.  :)

Friday, October 23, 2015


He's learning new skills.  He is starting to wave.  He will shake his head 'no', although it's more a trick and less a mode of communication.  He will feed himself Puffs.  He's starting to drink from a cup.  He consistently pulls off his socks and hat.  But sleeping through the night?  Not so much.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Love This Girl

Staley said, "I'm putting on my thinking cap.  My thinking cap is a crown.  It's invisible so you can't see it or touch it."

Yep.  That sounds about right.

Growing Up

She now says spider instead of siber.  And Caroline instead of Carolion.  And just like that, my little girl isn't quite so little anymore.


Monday, October 19, 2015

St. Louis

This past week-end was our annual fall week-end get-away to St. Louis.  The weather was beautiful, all our activities were a hit, the kids traveled wonderfully, and to top it all off, Zach's parents joined us for our fun.  We couldn't have asked for a better week-end.

Instead of a play by play of our week-end, I'll just share some highlights (in pictures):

The girls love to travel.  They love packing their suitcases and staying in hotels and eating at restaurants and getting to watch movies in the car.

We spent our first afternoon at the Botanical Gardens.  And although the girls spent lots of time playing and climbing and sliding and exploring in the Children's Garden, Staley said her favorite thing was "walking in the jungle" (the indoor climatron) and Adelie's favorite was "feeding the big fish." 
Briggs was generally happy to be carried or to nap in his K'tan during our outings, but he did join in on some of the fun.  He didn't want to miss out when his sisters were climbing on the sheep statues at the Botanical Gardens, and he also enjoyed his first carousel ride at the zoo.
Since Saturday morning was pretty chilly, we enjoyed some indoor fun at the Magic House Children's Museum.  The girls liked climbing in the climber and sliding down the big slide and enjoyed lots of time in the Children's Village area.  Staley said her favorite thing (just like our last visit) was the pet clinic.  Adelie said hers was the fishing game.
Of course, a highlight of any vacation is eating out...and getting lots of desserts.
Because the zoo is a favorite for the whole family, we spent Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday there.  Of course, riding the carousel is always a highlight.  Like usual, Staley said that was her favorite thing about the zoo, although she also added the sea lion show as another favorite.

And the other zoo highlight?  Riding the train, of course.  The girls were even more excited that they got to sit in their own "kids seat" on the train without any adults.
Briggs was not a big fan of the train.  (We rode twice.  He cried twice.)  But hanging out with Papa?  Now that was more fun.
Having Uma and Papa join us was a definite highlight.  The girls were so excited to have a whole week-end with Uma and Papa...and we were too.
With 3 kids under 5, road trips and sleeping away from home and lots of meals out and having full days with limited/no naps can be a recipe for disaster.  The highlight of the week-end for me was just how smoothly everything went and how well our kids did.  I love to travel, and I'm so glad that my kids seem to too.  What a fabulous week-end we had!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Understatement of the Year

The other night, Staley was supposed to be putting on her pajamas while I was helping Adelie brush her teeth.  When I checked on Staley, she was sitting half-clothed on the floor, seemingly examining her clean pair of underwear.

Me:  "Staley, keep moving."
Staley:  "I AM moving.  I'm just moving kinda slow."

Yep.  Story of her life.

Sweet she is.
Speedy she is not.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Question of the Day

If my younger daughter's bedtime prayer last night was "Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and unicorns", should I be worried that she considers unicorns one of the prayer-worthy blessings in her life or just flattered that I made the list?

I'll go with flattered.  (Especially since I didn't make the list tonight, but mermaids and bathing suits did.)  Flattered and thankful.  So thankful for my sweet little girl.

Sibling Love

My absolute favorite thing right now is the love that my kids have for each other.  Nothing fills my heart more than to hear my girls giggling and playing together, or seeing the way Briggs lights up around his sisters, or the joy my girls get from helping with their baby brother.

Such great big sisters.  And such great friends.

Staley and Adelie are still two peas in a pod.  And although we do have arguing and tattling and tears, they generally play really well together.  They love to chase and scream and wrestle, but they also like do crafts and dress up and ride bikes and play Barbies or figurines together.  They watch movies together and read books together and still often like to dress alike.  If one of them is cleaning up, the other one will help.  If one of them is helping with dinner, so is the other one.  Whether it's kids choir or story hour or just playing at home, Adelie joins right in with what Staley is doing.  And Staley takes her responsibility of keeping an eye on Adelie and helping her out very seriously.  Adelie gets so excited when Staley and I come home from work/preschool on Tuesday afternoons, but usually Staley is getting the first hug.  My girls will often hold hands, and they are quick to comfort one another.  I love the bond that they have.

My little helpers doing the dishes together.

My girls 'reading' their new library books together.
They love to match.  And they love each other!!

Briggs likes to get in on the sibling love too.  He loves to watch his sisters play, and they are quick to make him smile and laugh.  But they are so good with him too.  They bring him toys, wipe up his spit up, pick out his outfits, help feed him his baby food, and love to help with his baths.  They'll keep an eye on him when I'm making meals or showering.  He is never lacking for hugs and kisses.  The girls both get so excited when Briggs learns a new skill.  They'll roll a ball back and forth with him or dangle toys for him or play peek-a-boo with him.  If he's laughing at something I'm doing, they both want to do it too.  As Adelie is apt to say, "I love my baby brudder."

Adelie and her baby brudder

I love my kids.  And I love how my kids love each other.  It just makes my heart happy!!

Family Pictures

The last time we had family pictures taken with my side of the family, Staley was 18 months old and there were only 3 grandchildren.  3 years and 3 kids later, we figured it was time for an up-date.

Big family picture with all the kids looking at the camera and mostly smiling.  Winner, winner, winner!

Grandparents with the grandkids

My youngest brother and his disgustingly photogenic family
I love this picture of my oldest brother's family.
Uncle Ethan with all the nieces and nephews.  Adelie started this impromptu group photo by trying to get into Ethan's individual picture, and it ended up being one of my favorites.
Staley has gotten better about smiling nicely for pictures, but for some reason, looking at the camera is still hard for her.  I loved her sweet little pose in this one, even if she's looking somewhere else.

My sweet Adelie

Of all my kids, Briggs is probably the best right now at looking at the camera and smiling.  Of course, he's almost always smiling, so that works in his favor.
My little family looking in the right general direction and sort of smiling.  With our track record for family pictures, I'll take it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Seven Months

Another month has flown by, and Briggs is now 7 months old.  I feel like I blink and he's a month older.  He probably weighs around 15 lbs.  He's wearing his 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes and his size 2 diapers.  Briggs eats 2 meals, takes 2 naps, and nurses 4 times during the day.  I should knock on wood, but Briggs has been sleeping 5-8 hours at a time at night for 4 of the past 5 nights.  (Much better than the 3-5 hours at a time he'd been sleeping for the past 3 months.)  He's sweet and cuddly and smiley and playful and fun!!

And pretty cute too.
Likes:  Favorites still include bath time, being outside, and hanging out in his Baby K'tan.  Briggs' favorite toys are his stacking cups, Little People bus and ark, spinning alphabet ball, stacking rings, and activity table.  He likes books, and current favorites are 'Baby Talk', 'Dada', 'Peek-a-Who?', and books with big flaps or mirrors.  Briggs is a good eater and will eat all his baby foods, but fruits and sweet potatoes are preferred.  Peek-a-boo, belly zerberts, and silly noises can always make Briggs laugh.  He still loves being held, his right thumb, and his sisters.
Briggs' spinning alphabet ball is a favorite.

Dislikes:  Briggs gets fussy when he is tired or hungry. He is starting to demonstrate a bit of a preference for his mother, and will sometimes cry if other people are holding him when I am in the room.  He is also showing his temper when he is put down and wants to be held.  It seems like consistent times when he gets mad about playing on the floor is when I'm trying to make a meal, serve a meal, or eat a meal.  He will scream and cry, and then immediately stop as soon as he is picked up.

This was tonight when I was trying to make supper. *sigh*
Skills:  Briggs is now very mobile.  He will roll across a room and can pivot on his stomach to get what he wants.  He sits really well, and can go from sitting to lying down with a controlled fall.  He can stand at his activity table for short periods of time.  Briggs is great at grabbing everything and anything within his arm's reach, and he has a surprisingly long reach.  He can activate his toys, bang toys together at midline, and put everything in his mouth.  He will also help turn pages and lift flaps in his books. 
Briggs is a good little eater.  Messy, but good.
Briggs makes lots of cute noises and sounds.  He has made sounds like 'dadadada' and 'mamamama' and 'hi', but nothing that is a first word.  When he wakes up happy in his crib, he makes the cutest little happy squeals.  And I just love his laugh.  I think he's starting to understand some of what we tell him.  But one thing is for sure.  He's a cute little bugger, a happy little guy (unless I'm cooking, apparently), and a joy to our family.
My little 7 month old

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Question of the Day

What do you end up buying when you let your 4 year old pick out her own new fall coat?
Cheetah print with hot pink fur lining might seem like a bold fashion choice, but my little gal isn't afraid to rock it.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Perfect Imperfection

I love my children.  I love my children unconditionally.  I love so many of the little things that make them who they are.  But at each stage of childhood, there just seem to be things that I do not love.  My kids know that I do not love the tattling or arguing or drama or not listening or crying for no reason that seem to happen fairly often around our house.  There are many things about my kids that I love, and then there are those things that I just don't.

I love how Staley is so sure of herself.  I love how she makes friends wherever she goes.  I love how she loves to help around the house and with her little brother and sister.  I love her big imagination, her ability to entertain herself, and her love of reading.  I love her caring nature and how in-tune she is to how others are feeling.  I love her big heart and her thoughtfulness.

I do not love how slow Staley is to get things done.  I do not love how she has been talking in a baby voice and putting her fingers in her mouth and acting shy around people.  I do not love how Staley insists on calling her sister Addie, and how I know she's doing it because she knows that we don't want her to.  I do not love how Staley will sometimes mope and sulk when people don't want to play how she wants them to play. 

But I sure do love this girl!

I love how Adelie is so enthusiastic about life.  I love the cute way she talks.  I love how she is very sweet about giving people compliments.  I love how she is comfortable around people and makes friends easily.  I love how she is so easy-going, shares so nicely, and is generally happy to follow along with Staley's plans.  I love how she gets so excited about doing 'big girl' things like wearing underpants, using "spitty toothpaste", drinking from a cup without a lid, and going to Sunday School.  I love her big hugs and sweet kisses.

I do not love how Adelie is constantly moving and climbing and hanging on us and has a hard time keeping her hands to herself.  I do not love how she does things like spreading her yogurt all over herself or putting things in her mouth or climbing on things, just to get a reaction from us.  I do not love how she generally resists using the potty when we ask her to, even when we know she needs to go.  I do not love how Adelie is prone to her toddler tears over ridiculous things.

But I sure do love this girl!
I love Briggs' big smile that lights up his face.  I love when he wakes up in the morning squealing and talking and happy.  I love how Briggs just loves his sisters, and will giggle and get so excited about seeing them.  I love how Briggs is so content to hang out in his Baby K'tan, never getting fussy about being on an outing with his family.  I love how Briggs nestles in right under my chin when I hold him.

I do not love how Briggs still wakes up regularly through the night, every night.  I do not love how he continues to spit up all over everyone and everything.  I do not love how Briggs will throw a massive screaming, crying fit when we put him down and he wants to be held...and how it immediately stops as soon as you pick him up. 

But I sure do love this boy!
I love my kids.  My heart is full every time I think about them.  I love them with every ounce of my being and can't imagine loving them anymore than I do right now.  But my kids are not perfect.  There are things about them right now that I do not love.  That works well, because I am definitely not perfect either.  And I sure do love my perfectly imperfect family.