Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sibling Love

The other morning the kids woke up and climbed into bed with Zach to read books.  Briggs got in trouble and Zach told him that he couldn't pick a book to read.  Briggs cried about his consequence.  Suddenly, Staley got up, walked out of the room, and came back with a Thomas the train book from Briggs's room.  She said, "I don't really like Thomas books, but I'm kind of interested in this one.  I am picking this for my book."  Then Adelie left the room and came back with one of Briggs's favorite shape books.  She said, "I don't really like shape books, but I'm kind of interested in this one.  I am picking this for my book."

Today was Staley's first day of school.  I left work early to pick her up on her first day.  When we got home, Adelie was waiting in the playroom.  She had decorated the playroom with streamers, turned on some music, helped Grammie make cookies, and had set the playroom table with cookies and drinks.  She had planned the whole thing as a first day of school party specifically for Staley. 

I love my children.  I love seeing my children love each other.  And just when I don't think I could possibly love them any more...

...I do.

First Grade

Today was Staley's first day of first grade.

Staley is so excited about this year.  She was very excited to get Mr. Garber as her teacher because "he's the only boy teacher in the whole school."  Of course, that's not including the PE teacher and the music teacher and the special ed teacher and the school counselor, but who's counting?  Staley got up easily this morning, got dressed quickly, and was ready for school with time to make a first day of school sign to hold up in her picture.  I'm not counting on that kind of speed every morning, but it was definitely a nice start to the year.

I walked Staley to school before heading into work this morning.  When we got to the front door, she said, "You don't have to come in with me."  I told her that, since it was her first day, I wanted to walk with her to her classroom.  She consented.  After she hung up her backpack (and posed for the obligatory picture), she said, "You don't need to walk with me to the gym."  However, since it was on my way out, I insisted and made her stop long enough for a hug and kiss before heading in to sit with her friends.  I love that she's excited about school and so confident going into this year, but it also makes me a little sad seeing her grow up so quickly.

I have no doubt that this will be another wonderful year of school for my little girl.
Hooray for first grade!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Life Well Lived

Yesterday we celebrated a long and full life of Zach's grandmother who passed away at the age of 94.  Her memorial service was the perfect way to remember her.  It was a service filled with love, laughter, and fond remembrances.  Her family was her first love, so it was only fitting that her family was central to the service.  Her great-grandchildren read scripture.  Her grandchildren shared memories, musical gifts, and read some of her original poetry.  Her sons told stories and played music.  It was such a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman.  I'm sure she would have been pleased.

Last night as we were putting the kids to bed, Adelie was saying her bedtime prayer.  This was what she said:  "Dear Jesus, Please help us to remember Great Grams really hard and please help people keep her in their loves.  Amen."

I know her family and friends will remember her really hard.

  And I know that each time we think about our loves, she will be right there in the midst of them. 

We will always remember and be thankful for a life well lived.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Best Day

Yesterday morning Staley burst into my room and declared, "Today is going to be the best day of my life.  Well, so far. I might have a better day sometime in the future."  I did not think to confirm the best-day-of-my-life status at the end of the day, but it was indeed a full, exciting, and wonderful day.

Since Uncle Ethan was in town for the week-end, we started our day with family brunch.  Yummy food, great company, and play time with cousins made for a fun start to our big day.

Adelie and Zach then slipped away so that Adelie could celebrate the birthday of a pre-school friend at her waterslide birthday bash.  So fun!! 

Staley then went for her much-anticipated haircut.  I generally only take the girls to get their hair cut about once a year.  Each time I take Staley, she asks for a short haircut.  We've gone progressively shorter each year, but I've always made the final decision on the length.  This year Staley once again asked for a really short haircut.  Instead of trying to talk her out of it or overriding her decision, I decided that if she really wanted a short haircut, then a short haircut she should have.


...and after!
Staley LOVES her new haircut (and the glitter that Ms. Tianna put in her hair after the haircut.)  I love that my daughter knows what she wants and pursues it.  And I think she looks adorable!

As exciting as the day was already, we hadn't even enjoyed the main attraction.  Last night was opening night for Staley's summer Stage Kids production of "The Little Mermaid, Jr."  Staley was the seahorse and was so excited to have an individual line and a solo laugh.

She delivered her line and her laugh with gusto!

It was a wonderful production and, of course, was one of the highlights of Staley's summer.

Staley has so much support, and was so excited to have aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and siblings and friends all in the audience to watch her.

Since Uncle Ethan is also an actor, she was especially pleased that he came down from Chicago to watch her perform.

She had more supporters come watch her at her next performance as well.

Brunch and parties, haircuts and performances.  From beginning to end, it was a wonderful day for our family.  And for Staley, it just might have lived up to the hype.!!!  Well, at least for now anyway.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mama Said...

The other night during a storm, the girls were asking about why we shouldn't be outside when there is lightening.  I was explaining about how when lightening is really close, it can hit the ground and if you are by it, you could get really hurt.  One of the girls asked if you could die if lightening was by you and I told them that yes, you could die if you got hit by lightening. 

A while later, Zach was putting Briggs to bed.  Very seriously, Briggs told Zach, "We might die in the thunder.  Mama said."  Zach reassured him and said, "Don't worry, buddy.  We're safe inside the house."  Briggs responded, "Mama didn't say that."

Sometimes I feel like there's a fine line between being honest with your kids and scaring them.  Looks like I didn't walk that line very well this time.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Favorite Moments

I love when I can sit on the couch, relax, and get some things done while listening to my girls play and giggle together in the playroom while Briggs naps.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Good-bye, July!

It's hard to believe that July is already over.  In just two more weeks, school will start back up and summer break will officially end.  Luckily we filled up our July by checking lots of things off our summer bucket list.

Zoo fun with cousins
(Notice all the kids standing behind the rope except one.)

We enjoyed the Emergency Expo, which was a free event where we got to check out fire trucks, police cars, helicopters, ambulances, police horses, Coast Guard boats, and other emergency vehicles.

As you can imagine, one member of our family was particularly excited.

Adelie enjoyed her horse riding lesson.  The girls also did a free trial karate lesson.  Staley didn't really care for it.  On the other hand, Adelie loved it.  Not a surprise.  Even though Adelie really enjoyed it, I'm not sure we'll continue with lessons.  I'm not convinced that teaching Adelie how to punch and kick is the best idea.

There was a cousin sleepover.

Playdates with friends.

The kids enjoyed swimming in our blow-up pool on one of those uber-hot days.  I got so hot watching the kids in the pool that I decided to join them, clothes and all.

We fit in a bunch of our appointments and check-ups, including Briggs' first dentist appointment.  He did amazing!!  The hygienist commented that he was the best 2 year old check up she'd ever had.

Remember my post about Staley's face paint kit and my realization that it would consume the rest of my summer??  I wasn't wrong.  We've had plenty of costume parties and plays.

We've been enjoying plenty of ice cream treats on hot days.

And when it's too hot to play outside, a trip to the children's museum is a great way to stay cool.

The kids had sleepovers with their grandparents.

The sleepovers concluded with Family Fun Day at the Apostolic Christian Home.  The kids came home with prizes, treats, and (of course) face paint.

While the kids had their grandparent sleepovers, Zach and I went to St. Louis for a Guns and Roses concert.  One of us was a huge GNR fan growing up.  One of us was super-excited for the concert.  One of us LOVED the fact that the band played for 3.5 straight hours.  One of us really enjoyed the 10 minute guitar jam solos.  The other one of us was game to go along and found it enjoyable, although would have been happy to call it a night after the first 2 hours.  #thatonewasme

A fishing trip has been on the girls bucket list for the past few years.  Zach finally made it happen.  They were so excited.

I thought they'd last 15 minutes, tops.  Zach dragged them away 3 hours later.  Both girls caught a couple of fish, no one got snagged by a hook, and they had a blast.  Although Staley was disappointed that none of the fish were big enough to eat, it was a highly successful trip.

We made it to Peoria for a Chiefs baseball game. 

In addition to baseball, hot dogs, and mascots, it was also Super Hero night at the ball park.  Winner, winner!!

Briggs has a Green Lantern stuffed toy and brought it with him to the ballpark.  He was scared of most of the Super Heroes, but was excited to see Green Lantern.  I think Green Lantern was pretty pleased to finally be the main attraction.  #suckitbatman

We've also found plenty of time for things like chasing squirrels, building fairy houses, riding bikes and scooters, going to the library, swimming, and going on family walks.

It's been a very fun and full July!! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

They Say...

Briggs spent the night with my parents last night.  After dinner, he had a cookie.  This morning while eating breakfast with Grandpa, he asked if he could have another cookie.  Grandpa said, "We don't have cookies with breakfast."  Briggs replied, "I was asking Grammie."


While Briggs stayed with my parents, Adelie and Staley (and 2 of their cousins) stayed with Zach's parents.  Adelie couldn't fall asleep and was keeping the rest of the girls awake.  At one point she came downstairs and told Uma, "I really want to be quiet, but I just have to be loud."


Today the girls were playing house together and had this conversation:

Adelie:  "I want to be the teenager."
Staley:  "No, I am the teenager.  You can be the mom."
Adelie:  "I don't want to be the mom.  I want to be the teenager."
Staley:  "I know!  You can be a teenager who is a mom."


Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I've determined that screen-free summer has had a bigger impact on me than on the kids.  Without TV time, there are very few moments where all 3 kids are occupied, silent, and not needing something.  They don't seem to miss it.  Unfortunately, I do.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Briggs Says...

Just like I hope I'll always remember how Adelie refers to night-time as "bed-night" or how she pronounces privilege as prigalive, I hope I also remember this time when Briggs is filling my days with cute little quotes that always make me smile.  I don't always remember to blog them in the moment and some just don't translate into writing, but here are a few recent gems:

Briggs still always says "mine" instead of "my."  One of his favorite questions is:  "Where are mine sisters?"

The other day at lunchtime, we had some unnecessary Adelie tears.  I told her that if she continued to cry, then maybe she was just too tired and would need to take a nap after lunch.  After we had eaten, I told Briggs that it was time for his nap.  He responded, "But I'm not crying."

A couple week-ends ago, I took the girls swimming at State Farm pool while Briggs went over to play with Grammie.  Last week-end we were getting ready to go to the pool as a family.  Zach was putting on Briggs's swimming suit.  Briggs looked down at his suit and then said, "I'll just play at Grammie's house."

When Briggs is doing something he's not supposed to, I will correct him and then tell him what his consequence will be if he continues with the behavior.  I always finish with, "Do you understand?"  Instead of answering with "yes" or "I understand", Briggs always responds by saying, "Got it."

Whenever we drive anywhere, Briggs is always letting me know whenever he sees any kind of exciting vehicle, like a train or a tractor or a digger.  I must always respond to him in the same way without realizing it.  The other day while we were driving, Briggs said, "I see a digger!"  I responded with, "I see it too."  Adamantly, Briggs corrected me.  "No!  You say, 'Awesome, buddy.'" 

One time Briggs used a public restroom that had a big, loud flush that startled him.  The next time he went into a public restroom, he asked if it had a scary flush.  Zach told him that this one would be better.  Now, anytime we use a public restroom, he asks if it has a scary flush or a better flush.

I sure do love this boy!
He always keeps me smiling.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Little Fish

All 3 of my kids are comfortable in the water.  They enjoy water-based activities, love bath time, and are always excited about opportunities to go swimming.  We aren't one of those families who gets to the pool every day during the summer, but we usually find our way to a pool every week or so throughout the summer.

This past week the girls had swimming lessons.  Staley and Adelie have both had some lessons in the past, but their lessons this week were amazing.  They were intense and all-business, but both girls made tremendous progress in their swimming skills...and had a really good time doing it. 

Adelie with her swim instructors Miss Gretchen and Miss Lisa

Today we went as a family to State Farm pool.  The girls had a great time showing off their new swimming skills.  Briggs' favorite activity was jumping off the side of the pool while holding our hands and then swimming back to the side by himself (with his Puddle Jumper on).  This was the first time he felt confident enough to "swim" without us holding onto him.  He thought he was big stuff!!

In lessons this week, Adelie was learning to float on her back and was starting to swim a few feet underwater from one instructor to the other.  At the pool, she loves to swim with her Puddle Jumper on.  She has no qualms about swimming off on her own.

Staley was in her element today.  Of all my kids, she is the one who LOVES the water.  In lessons this week, she went from doing a little underwater swimming to swimming across the pool.  She is always so determined child, not giving up until she meets her goal.  Today she taught herself to do a front flip under the water AND she jumped off the diving board by herself.  She'd jump off, pop up, and swim to the side...again and again and again.  She was so proud of herself.

I'm so glad that my kids are comfortable in the water and are learning how to swim.  And although it's a long time off before I can sit in a lounge chair and read while they enjoy the pool, I feel like we are one step closer.

Friday, July 14, 2017


It was my fault.  I jinxed it.  After 2 weeks of waking up dry in the mornings and 3 nights of successfully sleeping in underwear, I wrote the diaper-free post.  That night, Briggs woke up in the middle of the night with a wet bed.  And then again the next night.  After writing that post, he was wet 3 out of the next 4 nights .  And so I must retract it.  We are back to being NOT a diaper-free home.  We are a daytime diaper free home.  And I'll make darn sure we are completely and utterly diaper free before tempting fate by writing another post about it.