Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Monday, January 30, 2017


This morning while she was supposed to be brushing her teeth, Staley was instead singing a song in the mirror...about how she needed to hurry or she'd be late for school.

Oh, the irony.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Theology 101

This evening, I asked Adelie to go upstairs and get her socks so we could go out for dinner.  She said, "But there is no one to go upstairs with me and I'm scared."  Then before I could say anything, she corrected herself.  "Actually, there is someone to go upstairs with me.  God will be there because he is always with me."  Then she added, "But he's in the sky so he'll have to use his x-ray vision to see me through the roof."

I think she might be mixing in a little God with a little Superman.  That does tend to lend itself to some theological flaws.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ornery Streak

I attended a parent-teacher conference at Adelie's pre-school yesterday.  And although not at all worried about how Adelie is doing at school, I was curious if all the parts of her personality make an appearance in the school environment.  Her teacher said things that I expected to hear, using words like "delightful" and "adorable" and "loves to be a helper" and "smart" and "sweet" and "lots of friends."  She also commented on how funny Adelie is.  She said, "Sometimes Adelie likes to tease me."  She went on to explain that sometimes when she asks a question that she knows Adelie can answer, Adelie will give the wrong answer with a big smile and a little twinkle in her eye.  For example, when she asked Adelie if she's a boy or a girl, Adelie answered "boy." Or if they are doing patterns, Adelie will intentionally give the wrong next item in the pattern, even though it's something her teacher knows Adelie has already mastered.  I got my answer.  My sweet, adorable, delightful, smart, social, helpful, funny girl also finds moments to showcase her ornery streak, even at pre-school.

Yes, my Adelie has a bit of an ornery streak.  It's not generally malicious or mean-spirited or bad.  With a twinkle and a spark, she just does her own thing, often to get a reaction or a laugh. 

She is my child that...
...will deliberately answer questions wrong when we are doing learning time together.
...will do the opposite of what we all want her to do when playing a cooperative game.
...will say I can pick out her pajamas/underwear/outfit/play activity/game, gives me 2 choices, and then will choose the opposite of what I pick.
...will deliberately play with a favorite toy of her siblings or grab something they were just about to play with for the sole purpose of getting a reaction.
...often sticks out her tongue or makes funny faces when I try to take her picture.
...when I ask her to get dressed/put on her shoes/put on her coat, will put on Staley's clothes instead.
...will do exactly what she has just been told not to do.
...has decided that, instead of the Bears, she likes the Packers.

Adelie is dichotomous.  On the one hand, she is so sweet and kind and thoughtful and snuggly and loving.  On the other hand, with her little twinkle and sly smile, she often displays her ornery streak.  When you add it all up, she is just my Adelie...

...and I wouldn't change her for the world.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Some days are long.  Some days are chaotic.  Some days are trying.  Some days I put my kids to bed at 7:15 because they can't tell time and I'm just done.  In the midst of tantrums and arguments and tears and messes, I do not always feel thankful.  I feel tired, or frustrated, or impatient, or even angry.  And even though each day I tell my kids that I love them...even though every night I pray for them...even though I love them with all my being...even though the mere thought of something bad happening to them brings me to tears, there are moments that I take for granted.  There are moments that I just want to skip over.  There are days that, instead of being in the moment, I am looking forward... looking forward to time without diapers or unnecessary tears or endless needs.  And then I am reminded.

Four local families have lost a child this week.  And whether from a long, medical battle or a traumatic event, four families I know will have to wake up tomorrow with a loss in their lives that I can't even imagine.  The mere thought brings me to tears.  I know these families would give anything to experience one more tantrum.  They would be filled with joy to referee one more sibling argument.  They would welcome a diaper change or cleaning up a spilled drink or consoling a crying child.  They would not miss an opportunity to leave the laundry and the messy house for a snuggle or a book or play time with their child. They know that each day, each moment is precious. 

There is no promise for tomorrow.  What we are given is today.  And today is a gift.   Even if it is a day filled with tears and messes and arguments and whining.  Even if I am tired and frustrated and overwhelmed by my to-do list.  Even if it's a day that I'm counting down the minutes until bedtime.  Every day, every moment with my children is not a guarantee.  It's a blessing.  And I am so thankful for the blessing of matter what it may bring.

My heart.  My life.  My blessings.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Question of the Day

Why is it that when my kids make a request and it isn't met immediately, they feel the need to repeat it every 10 seconds at louder and louder volumes?  Or, in the case of my youngest, just melt down into a screaming fit of rage?

Patience is a virtue.  My kids don't have it yet.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Six Years Old

This is my long, boring post about what my kids are like at certain ages.  Consider yourself warned.

As hard as it is to believe, Staley is now 6 years old.  She is 45" and 42 lbs.  She wears her size 6/6X clothes and size 10 shoes.  Staley sleeps 11-12 hours at night, going to bed between 7:30 and 8:00.  She is not a morning person and enjoys sleeping in until 8 or 8:30 on the week-ends.  Staley has lost 3 teeth and has 3 more that are loose.  She is in Kindergarten with Mrs. Doty and is participating in Rising Stars (a singing/dancing show choir group) and Stage Kids (an acting group.)

Likes:  Staley has a variety of likes.  She loves singing, dancing, and acting.  At home, she and Adelie love to play pretend together.  They often play with their stuffed animals, dolls, and figurines.  Staley also loves arts and crafts, drawing, and learning.  She loves to read and be read to.  Outside favorites include doing monkey bars at the playground, riding her bike (without training wheels), climbing trees, and swimming.  Pretend play extends to her outside play as well as she enjoys playing house, pet hospital, or building fairy houses outside.  Staley loves her American Girl doll and all her stuffed animals.  Playing games is a favorite past time with current favorites including Apples to Apples, Guess Who, Spot It, Memory, and Ticket to Ride.  She is still sensitive about scary parts in movies, but currently likes Zootopia, Ice Age, Secret Life of Pets, and DC Superhero Girls.  She also still likes Barbie movies and American Girl movies.  We don't watch much TV, but her current show of choice is The Freshbeat Band of Spies on Nick Jr.  She loves any and all books, but likes chapter books, particularly the Rainbow Fairy series.  Staley is a very good eater, eating most everything except veggies.  Chewing gum is a big treat, and she gets SO excited about it.  She has lots of friends, but she and Adelie are still the best of friends.  Staley has a number of friends at school and plays with a variety of kids in her class.  It's hard to even list them as she seems to be playing with someone different every day.  She also has friends from church (Laynie, Tenley), our neighborhood (Emmaleise, Peter, Blake, Brody), and big kid friends from her Rising Stars and Stage Kids group.  Her cousins remain some of her best friends.

Staley and Grace

Staley and her best friend

Dislikes:  Staley has definite opinions about many things.  She remains sensitive to how things feel, sound, and smell.  She does not like uncomfortable clothes, including jeans, tight elastic sleeves, itchy/stiff material, puffy coats, and flip flops.  She does not like loud sounds, but can now tolerate fireworks, sirens, and dryers without covering her ears.  Staley does not like being told what to do, preferring to make her own decisions.  She is not a fan of vegetables, waking up before she's ready, or moving quickly.  And wearing a life vest or puddle jumper to go swimming is just not going to happen.  Staley prefers to know what to expect, sometimes getting anxious about new situations.

Skills:  Staley is not the most coordinated child, but she is very persistent when she wants to master something.  She can now do all the monkey bars at her school playground, ride her bike without training wheels, and swim underwater.  Staley is getting to be a good little artist.  She loves to draw and color and create.  She writes well.  She is getting more and more independent.  She takes her own showers, gets dressed including fasteners and tying, and likes to do her own hair.  Staley also loves to help around the house.  She can make simple meals and bake with only a little help to read the recipe and manage the oven/stove.  She also helps with her siblings, cleans up, and helps with chores around the house.  Staley does very well in school.  She is reading more and more fluently, does addition and subtraction and some early multiplication, counts by ones/twos/fives/tens/hundreds,  and loves to write notes/lists/stories. 

Helping in the kitchen

My little artist

Staley is very kind-hearted, thoughtful, and loving.  She is generally very sweet to her brother and sister.  She still loves to snuggle, and is quick to give a sincere compliment.  She is a rule follower, and is quick to let us know when someone isn't following the rules.  She is quick on her feet, and will often come up with a fast excuse before getting into trouble.  She also has a mind of her own, and will have a bevy of arguments to try to convince us to see things her way.  Her days now are usually tear and drama free, but she can also dig in her heels when she has made up her mind about something.  I am so proud of the little girl she is!

My big 6 year old

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Dells

On a long week-end in January, what's a good way to avoid the cabin fever of being stuck inside for a few more cold, dreary, rainy, icy winter days?  How about a bus trip to Wisconsin Dells for a week-end of family swimming fun??

I won't pretend like we had a perfect trip.  I mean, we were traveling with 3 kids aged 6 and under.  Did we have some tears?  Sure.  Difficulty falling asleep with everyone sharing the same room?  You bet.  Spilled drinks?  Of course.  An hour of pouting and crying on a pool deck when one stubborn child did not care for the rule that all children at that particular pool under 48" had to wear a life vest?  Had that too.  But at the end of the week-end, we had 3 happy little kids who declared the trip a success.  What more could we ask for?

We had 3.5 hours each way on a bus for playing, reading, napping, snacking, and watching movies.

At our resort, there were 4 waterparks, a big indoor playground, arcades, ropes courses, go-karts, mini-golf, and restaurants.  In our less than 48 hours at the resort, we found our way to all 4 waterparks, most of the restaurants, and the playground.  Briggs's favorite water park might have been the Wild West waterpark that had some fun little waterslides.  He couldn't get enough!!  (And I love the picture with Staley cheering for him at the bottom.)

Adelie declared Cubby's Cove her favorite park.  It was the least crowded and had a pool with bubbles (a whirlpool) that she thought was great.

Staley LOVED the wave pool.  That was hands down her favorite part of the trip.

Zach found his way to a couple of the sports bars in the resort to catch play-off games after bedtime.  He did not love the fact that we were in Packers country to witness the Packers achieving a miraculous play-off victory.

It was a fast, full, and fun little get-away.  We came home with 3 exhausted little ones, but made some fun memories in the process.  And really, a few nights of 7:15 bedtime to catch up isn't all bad either.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Birthday Celebration

I always find Staley's birthday a little hard.  It comes so quickly after Christmas that I never feel fully prepared.  This year Staley wanted to have a friend party.  However, the logistics of making that happen a mere 3 days after she was back at school seemed a little daunting so we settled on a birthday activity with a friend on Saturday and a low-key combined family party for Staley and Liam on Sunday.

For her birthday activity, Staley initially wanted to go ice skating.  The frigid weather made us re-evaluate that choice and we decided on roller skating instead.

Thank goodness for the skate helpers. 

Although the nostalgia of the roller skating rink filled me with warm and happy childhood memories, I was also wary of how well the activity would go over.  When Staley and her friend Emma initially got up on their skates, they immediately fell down.  And then they fell again.  And again.  I wasn't sure they would make it 15 minutes, but they persevered, improved, and had a great time.  We skated for over an hour and a half, leaving with everyone in one piece and smiling.  Success!!

Emma was Staley's first new friend in Kindergarten.  Although not in the same class, they played together at recess the first day, love that people ask if they are twins, and have declared each other best friends.

Adelie's little skates didn't roll nearly as well as the big girls, but she didn't seem to mind and she had no trouble staying up.

We followed up our skating activity with play time and dinner at Chuckie Cheese.  Chuckie Cheese is not my idea of a good time (or a good dinner), but I guess the day really wasn't about me.  Despite my feelings on the place, the girls all had a great time. 

They do really look like they could be twins.

Since we had planned a big birthday outing, I had decided to keep Staley's family party low key with simple decorations, a simple game, and a simple meal.  Staley was excited about having a "Staley and Liam Together Party."  It worked well that she wanted a Superhero theme because Barbie or American Girl might have been a little harder to pull off for a shared party.  The night before her party, I put up some streamers and a little Superhero sign.  When Staley came down the next morning, she looked around and asked, "Is this ALL my decorations?"  Apparently she was not impressed.

To appease her, I did add in a few balloons and a handwritten welcome note on her easel.

Everyone had fun trying to identify pictures of a variety of Superhero characters.  Both birthday kids were among the winners who knew them all.

And all the kids had fun playing with their cousins.

Cake, presents, and fun time with family.  What more could you ask for??

It was a full week-end of fun, but Staley's actual birthday was yesterday.  She had fun bringing treats to school, wearing a birthday hat all day, and having all the Kindergarteners sing to her at lunch.  

Birthday lunch date at school

Both sets of grandparents joined us for Staley's requested dinner of burgers and brats grilled out in the rain, her chosen dessert of ice cream with toppings, and a few more presents.

What fun we had celebrating our 6 year old!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happy Birthday, Staley!

Six years ago today, my world was forever changed.  It wasn't my birthday, but I received the best gift I could possibly imagine.  Staley made me a mom!

I still remember holding the baby I had longed for and hoped for and prayed for and being astounded by how something so small could fill me with a love so fierce.  Six years has flown by, but I am still consumed daily by my love for this amazing little girl.

Happy Birthday to my Staley!!
It's your birthday, but I still get the greatest gift--being your mom.

Interview with a 6 Year Old

Favorite color:  Teal
Favorite food:  Chicken tenders
Favorite dessert:  Ice cream
Favorite toy:  Grace (American Girl Doll)
Favorite stuffed animal:  Teddy (formerly known as Yellow Bear)
Favorite animal:  Kitty cat
Favorite game:  Spot It
Favorite TV show:  Elena of Avalor, but I don't really like TV shows.  I only watch a show when Adelie and Briggs are watching it.
Favorite movie:  Hero of the Year (DC Superhero Girls movie)
Favorite place to go:  School
Favorite thing about school: I have lots of friends
Favorite place for vacation:  Disney
Favorite thing to do with Adelie:  Play a game where I'm the big sister and she's the baby
Favorite thing to do with Briggs:  Play cars and fire trucks
Favorite thing to do with Mommy:  Read
Favorite thing to do with Daddy:  When Daddy teases me
Favorite book:  Grace
Favorite princess or superhero:  I'm not really into princesses, but my favorite superhero is Big Barda
Favorite outfit:  Supergirl shirt
Favorite pajamas:  My cozy ones with the penguins

What do you think you'll be able to do when you are 6?  Get a better score on the MAP test
What are some things you're excited about doing when you're 6?  Be in first grade, Rising Stars, Stage Kids
What are you scared of?  Heights
What's the best thing about you?  I'm pretty
What are you good at?  Balancing on the tire at the playground
Who is your best friend?  Emma (a friend from school) and Adelie
What do you want to be when you grow up? Police officer

Does the fact that she wants to do better with academic testing balance out the fact that she thinks the best thing about her is being pretty??  We might need to really bring focus to those other positive traits we're trying to instill so that the fact that she's smart, brave, kind, generous, thoughtful, helpful, and sweet might come to her mind next year before being pretty.  Not that I should really over-analyze a top-of-her-head answer to a 6 year old interview, but that answer made me feel like I've failed just a little bit.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

That's My Boy

As I mentioned in a recent post, Briggs has some very "boy" qualities.  However, he also has 2 older sisters that he adores.  It's not uncommon to see Briggs walking around wearing a headband or a necklace or carrying a purse over his arm.  His vehicles are often driven by princesses, and his dump truck can be seen carrying loads of palace pets or Calico critters.  His entrenchment into the world of girls has led to some amusing assumptions that Briggs has made.

At Christmas time, Briggs got a little shirt with a bow tie.  The first time he wore it, I put on the shirt and then started to put on his bow tie.  He immediately patted his head and said, "Bow.  Head."  Yeah, sorry bud.  That's not really how this one works.

This past week-end, we had Staley's birthday party.  (Don't worry.  That post is coming soon.)  Since it was a superhero party, both girls were wearing superhero shirts and tutus. As I was putting on Briggs's Superman shirt, he asked, "Wear tutu too?" buddy. 

Although Briggs seemed excited about wearing a Superman shirt for the party, he kept saying "Wearing Supergirl shirt."  Close, but no cigar.

Cars and trucks, bows and tutus.

Yup. That's my boy!!

Word Play

Today after school, Staley and I were playing a word game.  We would take turns writing a word on the easel with the letters scrambled and the other person would have to figure out the word.  One of Staley's scrambled words was "i-t-s-h". 

Did you immediately think "this"?  Yeah.  Me neither.  Fortunately, after a little studying, I did come up with "hits."

Sunday, January 8, 2017


As Briggs continues to get bigger, we continue to learn more about raising boys.  When driving, I am always on the lookout for buses, diggers, or tractors to point out.  When Briggs is done eating, his uneaten food consistently turns into vehicles that drive around his tray.  He loves to wrestle with his sisters, often turning a hug into an opportunity to pull them to the ground.  And last night, we learned something else about boys.

While Zach was getting Briggs ready for bed last night, he said, "Poo poo."  Zach said, "Do you need to go poo poo?"  Briggs responded, "Poo poo.  Potty."  So Zach took him into the bathroom and sat him on the potty.  Briggs then started to pee...all over Zach and the bathroom floor.  Although proud of our son's first (mostly) successful use of the potty, we've learned something else about boys.  Potty training is also going to need to incorporate aiming.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Bad Idea

Today at lunch, Adelie and I had this conversation:

Adelie:  "Can I have some more ketchup?"
Me:  "We're out of ketchup.  We'll have to get some the next time we go to the store."
Adelie:  "Can you go to the store right now and get some?"
Me:  "And just leave you and Briggs at home?"
Adelie:  "It's okay.  I can be in charge."

Part of me is sort of intrigued by what Adelie in charge might look like.  The realistic part of me, however, would be terrified. 

Don't let this angelic face fool you.  This girl is a firecracker!

Monday, January 2, 2017


Based on the behavior in our house today, I am led to assume that my children's resolutions for 2017 include more arguing, more attitude, more tattling, more tantrums, more whining, and more crying.  Or they are just out to sabotage my resolution of having more patience.  Either way, here's hoping this lasts about as long as most people's New Year's diets and exercise regimens.