Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mom of the Year

Well, the votes are in and it's not my year...again.

The other day, Staley was going through the recycling, looking for a picture she had colored that she couldn't locate.  She stumbled upon a big stack of school papers, colored pictures, and drawings that were hidden underneath the newspapers and magazines.  (Oops!!)  Zach was in the kitchen making lunch and they had this conversation:

Staley:  "Oh no!  Why was this in the recycling?"  (holding up one of her pictures that she had found)
Zach:  "I don't know, honey.  I didn't put it there."  (Thanks, Zach, for throwing me under the bus.)
Staley:  "I think every little bit Mommy puts a bunch of my pictures in the recycling.  And they are nice pictures that I still like."
Zach:  "Well maybe it was just an accident."
Staley:  "Putting pictures in the recycling is not an accident.  It's mean!"

If my choice is between being mean or keeping every one of the literally hundreds of childhood artifacts created here on a weekly basis, I think I might just have to go with mean.  However, I'm planning to go with choice #3, which is a more discrete method of disposal.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Even though we were only gone a week, Briggs seems so much older in just that short amount of time.  He is saying more and doing more and understanding more.  One of the big changes that we noticed was that Briggs can now appropriately answer in the affirmative.  When we left, he was still saying "no" when he meant "yes."  Now he still doesn't say "yes."  He says "sure."  Do you want some more fruit?  "Sure."  Should we play trains?  "Sure."  Do you want to go outside?  "Sure."  It's very cute, but also much easier to determine what he wants and what he doesn't. 

Do I love this little guy so much?

Saturday, September 24, 2016


So tonight at dinner, Staley and I had this conversation:

Staley:  "Do you remember everything from before Hawaii or did you forget some things?" 
Me:  "Why would I forget things from before vacation?"
Staley:  "Maybe you had so much fun at Hawaii that you forgot everything from before."
Me:  "Nope.  We had a fun vacation, but I still remember everything from before we left."
Staley:  "Everything?"
Me:  "Yup.  Didn't forget a thing."

So then Staley proceeded to quiz me, primarily about an episode of a TV show that we "watched" together before we left.  Made me wish I had paid a little more attention.  Apparently I didn't remember EVERYTHING from before vacation.


State Farm said, "Hey, if you receive your CPCU designation, we'll pay for you to go to the conferment ceremony and conference.  Oh, and we'll pay for a guest to go with you too.  Oh, and the conference just happens to be in Hawaii this year.  Oh, and it also happens to be on your 15 year wedding anniversary."  So Zach said, "Okay."

A week of vacation without kids in Hawaii is kind of like a week at home except there were more palm trees and waterfalls and sleeping in and eating out and reading books and lying on the beach and hiking and running and lounging by the pool and snorkeling and dolphins and hanging out with friends and luaus...and did I mention the sleeping in and reading books?  And we made it through every meal without tears or screaming or food throwing or a spilled drink.  And we made it through every day without any arguing or whining or tattling or crying.  (Well, okay, I might have whined a few times when I was getting hungry or tired.  And Zach might have cried just a little during the Bear's game.)

When you're watching the sunset from the outdoor beachfront restaurant, there really isn't much to cry about.

The kids were not at all sad about us leaving.  When we told them that we were going on a vacation without them and would be gone for a whole week, there was much enthusiasm.  Like fist pumping and jumping up and down enthusiasm.  I'm not sure how that made me feel.  Regardless, at least we didn't have to worry about anyone crying or clinging to us or not wanting us to go.  They couldn't push us out the door fast enough. And although they were glad to see us when we returned, I think they would have been just fine if we'd been gone even longer.  Their grandparents, on the other hand, were VERY ready for us to be home.  :)

They probably needed more of these than I did.

Our week in Hawaii was beautiful and relaxing and fun and altogether fabulous.  We enjoyed a fun mix of activity and non-activity that left us feeling fulfilled and refreshed.  We definitely missed the kids while we were gone, but rested easy knowing that they were having so much fun without us.  (There were some days they could barely be coaxed to say 'hi' to us on the phone as they didn't want to be torn away from the fun they were having.)

The partial ocean view from our 27th floor hotel room balcony

We did several hikes and runs around the island that gave us some beautiful scenery and amazing views.

On top of Diamond Head crater

Manoa Falls trail...on our way to a beautiful waterfall

Hiking to another waterfall with our friends Alex and Dana

We took a catamaran snorkel cruise...which was an absolutely perfect way to spend a morning.

The breeze, the blue skies, the clear water, the beautiful scenery, the dophins, the exotic fish, the yummy onboard lunch...nothing about this outing could have been any better, except perhaps the way the world kept moving for the rest of the day after getting off the boat.

We watched the Bear's Monday Night Football 2:30 in the afternoon.

The Bear's game left much to be desired, but we did enjoy some good food, an open-air sports bar, and the company of some of Zach's State Farm friends.  (As you can see, the enjoyable parts of the game had nothing to do with the actual football we endured watching.)

We spent a lovely day with an old friend and her husband who currently live in Hawaii.  We hiked, beached, ate, visited, and explored.  It was altogether wonderful sharing the day on their island.

Dana and I enjoying some delicious Hawaiin shaved ice.

We got to experience history with tours of the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor (where WWII started) and the Missouri Battleship (where WWII ended).

And we definitely found plenty of time to lounge by the pool, eat wonderful local food, walk on the beach, and spend time with some of Zach's State Farm friends.

Lying on a chair under a palm tree by the pool while listening to the ocean AND reading a good book while sipping a fruity libation...yup.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon...or two...or three.

What a wonderful week we had, relaxing and reconnecting and celebrating 15 years of us.

Aloha, Hawaii!  And Mahalo!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Not Horrible

Not a horrible way to spend a morning...

...or an afternoon.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cheers... another day in paradise!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why Not?

When the world asks, "Why would you wear a monkey hat at the dinner table?", Adelie answers...

"Why not??"

Monday, September 12, 2016


On Saturday, I got my hair done.  The stylist dried and straightened my hair.  When I got home, Adelie told me, "Mommy, your hair looks so beautiful!"  I thanked her for the compliment.  Then she added, "Because it looks really bad when it's curly."


Eighteen Months

Briggs is now 18 months old.  I just love this age!!  Briggs is so fun, learning so much, and developing his own little personality.  As of his 18 month check-up on Friday, Briggs is 32" (34th percentile) and 22 lbs (18th percentile).  He is wearing his 12-18 and 18 month clothes, size 4 shoes, and size 3 diapers.  He takes a nap every afternoon, generally for 1.5-2 hours.  He sleeps about 11-12 hours at night, from about 8ish to 7ish.  He smiles big with his 12 teeth.

My happy, smiley boy

Likes:  Briggs LOVES trucks, cars, buses, fire trucks, trains, diggers, and tractors.  His favorite toys are his trucks/cars, our train table, and his Paw Patrol vehicles and figures.  He loves to read with his favorite books being those with (shockingly) cars, trucks, tractors, diggers, buses...  He does also still like the princess and mermaid figurines, his Little People toys (especially the bus), and most things that his sisters are playing with.  It's not uncommon to see him walking around with necklaces or purses or bows on.  If he gets to choose the after-nap show, he usually picks "Ryder.  Marshall."  (Paw Patrol).  Briggs likes going on outings, playing outside, baths, animals, and his water table.  He loves to climb. When we take Staley to school, Briggs always gets excited about seeing the school buses and the fish in Staley's kindergarten classroom.  Briggs is a pretty good eater with favorite foods being waffles, fruit, rolls, fish, crackers, and anything sweet.  He sleeps with his Cookie Monster and now also asks to be covered up by a blanket.  He still sucks his right thumb when he's tired.  He remains a bit of a Mama's boy and he love, love, loves his sisters.

Briggs cheesing it up with his necklace on.
(He's my only child who will look at the camera, smile, and say "cheese" when I take his picture.)

Sand, a shovel, and a dump truck?  Life doesn't get much better than this.

He's something of a Mama's boy, but he sure does love his Daddy too.

Dislikes:  Briggs definitely has a temper and will let you know when he's not happy.  Patience is not his strong suit.  He will throw fits when he doesn't like the food on his tray, when he has to stop playing a preferred activity, when someone takes something he's playing with, and when we won't pick him up when he wants to be picked up.  He is a pretty good eater, but does not like most meats or pastas.

Skills:  Briggs walks well and is trying to run and jump, although hasn't quite figured those out yet.  He can crawl up and down stairs, and loves to climb on step stools and ladders.  He tries to do everything his sisters do, including somersaults, running, and wrestling.  Briggs likes to figure things out, like turning on/off switches, activating pop-up toys, and putting together magnets.  He likes to scribble and put stickers on paper.  Briggs feeds himself with silverware, drinks from a spout cup, brushes his teeth, puts a brush to his hair, and helps get dressed/undressed.  He often lets us know when he's pooping or peeing.  Briggs is getting so smart.  He understands so much of what we tell him and follows directions well.  He is great at cleaning up his toys, throwing away garbage, getting his shoes, or finding a specific toy/book.  He can recite parts of books and songs.  He made up his own knock-knock joke and makes great connections, like seeing a St. Jude emblem and saying "Jude runners."  Briggs is talking up a storm.  He has hundreds of words, and is now putting 2-3 words together to express an idea like "Adelie cry."  "Briggy's shoes."  "Daddy mow tractor."  He talks very clearly and even has a few 4 syllable words in his vocabulary--"guacamole" and "Pocahontis."  Briggs can identify most of the Paw Patrol characters, Shimmer and Shine (from one of the girl's favorite shows), Nick and Judy (from one of the girls' favorite movies), some of the Mickey characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy), and some Disney princesses (Aurora, Belle, Elsa, Pocahontis).  I love hearing the new things he says every day and the new connections he's making.

Walking on the balance beam, just like his sisters.

Briggs is so much fun.  He is growing and changing so quickly, but still remains my sweet, snuggly, loving little boy.

My big 18 month old

Saturday, September 10, 2016

St. Louis

We have an annual tradition of taking a week-end trip to St. Louis each fall.  Now that we are working around a school schedule, we decided to take advantage of Labor Day to enjoy our long St. Louis week-end.  Note to self:  Going places on school holidays means everywhere you go is way busier.  And going places on school holidays when the weather is beautiful means everywhere you go is way, way busier.  Despite the crowds and lines (and the 2 a.m. hotel fire drill), we had a great week-end.  And Zach's parents joined us again this year, which made it all the more fun for us.

The St. Louis Zoo is always a favorite.  Briggs LOVED seeing and riding the train.  The girls always love the carousel.  And, of course, we saw plenty of cool animals too.

Grant's Farm was our second day outing.  Another carousel, a tram ride, a pony ride, exotic animals, an elephant show, and a junk food lunch topped off with ice cream made for an exciting day...and wore the kids out!

The girls even got to ride a camel!

After the day at Grant's Farm, we went back to the hotel for naps and rest.  After an Adelie nap and a Staley rest, I took the girls to the pool while Briggs and Zach finished their long naps.  Hotel pools are always a treat, even when they are cold, tiny, and frankly kind of disgusting.

The Magic House Children's Museum was Staley's top request for the week-end.  Although the weather was nice, a heat wave on Monday and Staley's consistent request made it an easy decision for our last day in the city.

The model train room at the Magic House was Briggs's favorite.

And just like the past 2 years, the pet clinic was Staley's favorite area.  She literally would have stayed in there all day.

Adelie spent her week-end attached to Papa's side.  She always wanted to sit by him, walk with him, and hold his hand wherever we went.

The kids always enjoy the little things about our vacations.  Playing at Turtle Park, hanging out in the hotel, eating at restaurants, watching movies in the car,...all the seemingly little things make our trips special for the kids.  Even the middle of the night fire alarm that dragged us out of bed (and down 8 flights of stairs) was memorable for the kids.  Briggs was thrilled about seeing all the fire trucks pull up in front of our hotel.

Although it wasn't full of great family photos, our week-end was full of fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Question of the Day

Why is it that my son will chew on his shoes, suck on wet dish towels, lick the handle of the shopping cart, and eat things off the floor, but refuses to eat most meats and pastas?

It's obviously not his discerning palate.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Another First Day of School

Today is Staley's 14th day of school, which she will be quick to tell you if you ask.  That has been 14 long, long days where Adelie has been anxiously awaiting her turn to start school.  Adelie has been counting down until "after Labor Day" to start pre-school.  She has been consistently talking about her new teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, and wondering what she looks like and sounds like.  After I had met Mrs. Ferguson at pre-school orientation night, Adelie's first question was, "What does she sound like?"  That's a hard question to answer.  I went with "nice."

So this morning Adelie bounced out of bed, put on the special outfit she picked out for her first day of school, put a couple of pictures that she had colored in her backpack (because she was very concerned that she didn't have anything in her backpack), and sort of stood still for a few first-day-of-school pictures.

What a ham!

Adelie had absolutely zero apprehension about starting school.  We walked into the building that she'd never been in before, found her classroom that she had never seen before, briefly met her teacher who she had never met before, and headed right in with a group of kids she didn't know.  Big smile.  Big wave.  Big girl!

Hanging up her backpack

This morning Adelie was only at school for an hour.  (Normally it will be 2.5 hours.)  She told me that Mrs. Ferguson was nice, that there were baby dolls and blocks and animals to play with, and that she made a friend named Lola.  Apparently Lola shared her people with Adelie and Adelie shared her animals with Lola.  Although Adelie was a bit concerned that they didn't have a snack today, she otherwise seemed enthused about her first day and said that she is excited about going back on Thursday.  Since Staley started Kindergarten, I've felt that Adelie just needs her own thing to be excited about.  I'm glad she has that now!

My little pre-schooler

Friday, September 2, 2016

Questions of the Day

Why is it that my one child who has the inability to just lie quietly in bed and snuggle with me while I try to wake up is my earliest riser?

Why is it that my one child who is my slowest moving is the one that has to be up, ready, and fed every morning by 8:00?

Why is it that my one child who doesn't want to be held and insists on walking when we are trying to get someplace quickly is also my child who screams when I won't hold him while I try to shower, use the bathroom, or make supper?

Ah, universe.  I'm not sure I always appreciate your sense of humor.