Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Today we had lunch at the Busy Corner restaurant and we were commenting on how it is, indeed, always busy.  Staley chimed in, "Maybe it used to just be called Corner before it got so busy."

Maybe so.  Although saying "I'm going to head on over and eat at the Corner" doesn't have the same ring to it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Things I Love: July Edition

1.  Swimming in the yard.

Especially when it's topping off a fun cousin sleepover.

2.  Outings like the Farm Park and the 4H fair.

Farm Park fun with Avery and Isla

3.  A good excuse for ice cream treats and popsicles.

4.  Getting to watch big cousins play baseball/softball.  (Or getting to play with younger cousins while the older cousins play baseball/softball.)

Suckers and cousins and playing outside.  What's not to love about ball games??

5.  Trying out new playgrounds

6.  Lots of chances to rock sunglasses, sun hats, and cute summer outfits.

7.  My best friend, Christie, was home from Virginia for 2 weeks with her girls.  We had tons of fun getting the kids together for playdates, but a girl's night out in Peoria was a highlight.

8.  A super fun morning playing at Grandma Judy and Grandpa Randy's house (Christie's parents) with horse rides, petting the bunny, golf cart rides, tractor rides, and spending time with Avery and Isla and Aunt Christie was a July highlight.

When Staley was telling Zach about our morning of horse rides and golf cart rides, she said, "It was just like a carnival!"

For the rest of the day, Briggs kept saying, "Grandpa.  Tractor."

Avery, Staley, and Adelie hanging out in the barn.

9.  Going to swimming pools...where Staley got to practice all her new swim lesson skills.

10.  Sleepovers.  We hosted a cousin sleepover, and the girls each got to do a solo sleepover with grandparents.

Adelie all ready for her Grammie and Grandpa sleepover

We've had a full and fun July.  Pools and parks and playdates.  Story hour and swim lessons and sleepovers.  And although we've had plenty of outings, there has also been plenty of time for going to the library and playing in the sprinkler and water table fun and extra special movie time when it's too hot to play outside.  Summer is such a fun time, but just like the rest of life, it's been flying by.

Question of the Day

Which is the most annoying mealtime habit?

Whining incessantly about and then choking down vegetables like you are participating in a Survivor food challenge...

Constantly having to be told to sit on your bottom in your chair and keep your hands to yourself...

Or throwing your food on the floor and then screaming about not having anything to eat?

Each of them is trying on its own, but the trifecta?  Now that's a truly special experience.  Dinner guests, anyone?

The Middle

I'm realizing more and more that sometimes it's just hard to be in the middle.  As the middle child, Adelie sometimes gets the short end of the attention stick.  Staley had 2 years as the only child before Adelie came along, and Briggs will have a few years as the only child at home when both girls are in school.  But Adelie doesn't get that.  She always has to deal with divided attention, and truthfully, her portion is probably the smallest.  Not by choice, but more by design.  Staley can't be ignored.  She is always talking and planning and has strong opinions and big ideas.  She won't let herself be ignored.  And Briggs...well, he's still apt to fall down stairs or eat something off the floor or pull something big over on himself, so he still requires close supervision.  But Adelie.  She follows along with Staley's plans and can play on her own while I'm attending to Briggs.  She doesn't necessarily make herself heard like Staley or require close supervision like Briggs, so sometimes she just ends up with less.

In the same way, Adelie hasn't had as much time to develop her own interests and desires.  Again, growing up with an older sister, many of her pursuits are those that Staley pioneers.  She does kid's choir and Shining Stars because Staley does.  Staley liked princesses first...and mermaids...and twirly dresses.  Many of Adelie's clothes were Staley's, so they were not bought with Adelie in mind.  I'm not saying that Adelie doesn't have her own thoughts and opinions and favorites.  And she gets super-excited when I bring up her "new" clothes or shoes from the basement or from the bags that she gets from her cousins.  She definitely is working to find her own way, but it's probably hard to really determine who you are when you are constantly living in the footsteps of your big sister.

Adelie definitely has her own unique personality and her own strengths.  She's so confident and brave in many ways that Staley is not.  She is coordinated and fast and athletic.  As Staley becomes more shy and withdrawn in new situations, Adelie continues to flourish socially and embrace the new.  I know that she loves having a big sister as a constant play mate, and she loves being a big sister to Briggs.  Being in the middle has taught her to go with the flow, entertain herself, keep up with the big kids, and never back down from a challenge.  There are definitely perks to being in the middle, but it's also hard.

The more I understand these middle differences, the more I am trying to be deliberate in the way I parent Adelie.  I know that some of her boundary pushing behavior is just innate to who she is and the limitless energy that she possesses.  But there are definitely times that she is engaging in negative behaviors for the pure purpose of getting a response.  And so I am really trying to find times to focus on Adelie.  I try to find little moments in each day where I can give her my full and undivided attention.  I look for opportunities to focus on her positive qualities and praise her for those.  I try to compliment those traits that make her uniquely her, letting her know what makes her unique and special in my eyes.  When she is within earshot, I try to make sure that I am talking about all the wonderful things about her or sweet things she's done during in the day rather than always focusing on the wild, crazy, tiresome, negative things that might first come to mind.  I am really trying (not always succeeding, but trying) to keep my responses to her negative behaviors in check so that she doesn't get the satisfaction of knowing she's pushed me to the brink.

Being in the middle can be tough, but I'm hoping that if I can parent in the middle accordingly, Adelie will realize that being in the middle can also be a great place to be.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Question of the Day

Why is it that my kids slept in until 8:45 for the baby-sitter yesterday but were up at 6:45 for me this morning?


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Parenting First #872

I've officially made my first call to poison control. 

Why, you ask?  Because one of my children (any guesses??) decided to "drink" the toothpaste out of the tube while I was getting her brother up from his nap.  When I asked her why, she said, "I was thirsty and I couldn't find a cup."  Really???

She was fine.
In the meantime, I just grew a few more gray hairs.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Growing Up Three

Not to be left behind, Briggs also continues to grow and change so quickly.  He is making new connections, saying new words, and doing new things on an almost daily basis.

He is now a sturdy, steady, all-the-time walker.
He knows how to turn around to crawl off furniture and down stairs.
He loves to climb on playground equipment and go down the slides on his stomach.
He can feed himself with silverware.
He has over a hundred words that he uses to express himself or identify things.
He LOVES cars, trucks, tractors, trains, and buses.
He loves to play with his sisters, chasing them and wrestling with them and always wanting to be included.
He now goes in the church nursery without crying.
He usually lets us know when he has a messy diaper.
He is starting to do simple puzzles.
He sings songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", "Baby Mine", and "Let It Go."
He says grace before meals.
He asks if his food is hot by pointing and saying "hot?"
He will say "night night" and "love you" at night before bed.
He now sleeps with his stuffed Cookie Monster, snuggling it as he goes to sleep.
He gets upset if someone is having a cookie or ice cream or treat and he doesn't have one.

My snuggly, sweet, lovely baby boy is making his way into toddler-hood.  It's fun and exciting and sad all at the same time.

Growing Up Too

Staley isn't the only one growing up right before my eyes.  Adelie has very recently been maturing and changing rapidly.  We've turned a corner with better listening, fewer tears, and improved behavior.  (Oh, so refreshing!!)  But that's not all...

She can swish and spit with fluoride without swallowing it.
She can count to 30 (combining 13, 14, 15, 16 into 14, 14, 16).
She can spell her name.
She knows all her colors and shapes.
There are way fewer tears in her days.
She got to attend Vacation Bible School, dance camp, and story hour this summer...and loved them all.
She can usually get dressed and undressed by herself.
She only sleeps at naptime about half the time now.
She tries to use critical thinking skills to reason out why things are the way they are.  It's pretty amusing and often far off base, but I love that she's trying to understand things.
She can color in the lines.
She can snip with scissors.
Her drawings are beginning to actually look like things.
She will get to go to pre-school in the fall.

I love this age with the boundless enthusiasm, unabashed love, and sweet innocence.  I'm not sad to be leaving behind the endless drama, but it does make me a little sad to know that the rest of what makes this age so magical will slowly leave us too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Growing Up

She has a loose tooth.
She bravely got her Kindergarten shots without crying.
She is too big to go to the church nursery in the summer, now sitting in "big church" with us.
She just attended her last ever pre-K summer story time.
She can count by 2s, 5s, and 10s.
She can tell time on a digital clock, and is learning to tell time on an analog clock.
She can do addition, subtraction, and is starting to do some multiplication.
She can read words (not yet books) and loves to practice writing.
When Adelie asks questions about Jesus or heaven, she can answer them.
She is riding a 2-wheeled bike all by herself.
She doesn't want to hold my hand anymore when crossing the street.
She refuses to wear her puddle jumper for swimming.
She paints her own fingernails and toenails...and does a good job.
We can discuss daily clothing options without tears.
I can tell her "no" without tears.
Actually, we make it through most days without tears.

She is sweet and opinionated and helpful and stubborn and social and loving...and growing up way too fast.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


As we were getting ready for bed after the fireworks on the 4th of July, Adelie and I had this conversation:

Adelie:  "Is tomorrow July?"
Me:  "Yes, tomorrow will still be July.  But it won't be the 4th of July anymore.  Tomorrow will be July 5th."
Adelie:  (throwing her arms in the air with excitement)  "And we'll go trick or treating!!"

I love this girl and her enthusiasm for life...even when it's misguided.

Fourth of July

We had another lovely 4th of July full of family, food, and fun.  Our 4th of July recipe is pretty easy to follow:  get dressed in cute themed outfits, enjoy the parade with friends and family, eat too much at Uma and Papa's after-parade cook out, nap/rest, enjoy more family time, and then finish off the day with the fireworks.  Oh, and take lots of pictures along the way.

Briggs loved the 4th.  He spent the entire parade waving, clapping, and pointing out all the cars and tractors.  And he was enthralled by the fireworks, sitting so still on Uma's lap to watch the entire show before cuddling in to fall asleep at the very end.

The kids were so excited to have cousins and friends to watch the parade with and play with at Uma and Papa's.   And getting to enjoy the fireworks with their cousins was just icing on the cake.

The cousins posed for a pretty darn successful annual 4th of July picture.
(Probably should have had Adelie take off those sunglasses.  :))

Now that Staley and Lila don't get to play together every week at pre-school, they were so excited to have a fun day of playing together. 

Staley watched the parade and the fireworks without covering her ears or wearing ear protection.  Progress!!

On the other hand, Adelie wore Staley's ear protection for the fireworks and declared that she didn't like them because they were "too loud."  She was also very concerned that the fireworks were going to fall on her.  Her favorite parts of the day were the parade candy, playing with her cousins, and the glow jewelry that she wore for the fireworks.

All in all, it was another fun, festive, family-filled 4th!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016


Staley:  "Mommy, you're really neat."
Me:  "Thanks, Staley.  I think you're really neat too."
Staley:  "Yeah.  Like you are always putting things away.  And when you put my new sheets on today, you even folded my blanket and put my bear next to my mermaid."

I guess it's still a compliment.  Right??