Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me

This past week-end Zach and I enjoyed a slightly belated 40th birthday celebration with a week-end get-away to Chicago to see Hamilton.

Three words.  A-MAZ-ING!!  I loved it.  I love going to the theater.  I especially love musicals.  And I apparently especially, especially love historical rap musicals about one of America's founding fathers.  If all of my history lessons in school were this engaging and entertaining, I would have remembered a lot more about them.

Although Hamilton was the highlight, the whole week-end was altogether lovely.  We slept in.  We went for a run along the lake front.  We ate long, leisurely meals at places that didn't have kids menus or high chairs and where the food looked like this...

...and tasted even better.

We wandered around the city.  We enjoyed street performers and people watched and talked and relaxed.  We met up with my brother, Ethan, for dinner.  And we even enjoyed a (very chilly) night-time skyline cruise where we got to watch the fireworks off Navy Pier from our boat out on Lake Michigan.

Thanks to my hubby for a fantastic birthday week-end!

And thanks to Chicago for providing the perfect place for it to happen.
What a great 40th!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Last Day of School

Tuesday marked the last day of school for both my girls. 

First day of Kindergarten

Last day of Kindergarten

What a fast and wonderful first year of school Staley had.  She loved school, loved her teacher, loved her friends, loved learning.  From navigating the hot lunch line to mastering all the monkey bars on the playground to becoming an excellent reader, Staley figured it all out.  And although she is excited for summer break and already anticipating first grade, I know that she will miss Mrs. Doty and her Kindergarten class. 

Mrs. Doty was the perfect fit for Staley.  She was very organized and structured, yet incorporated so much fun and exploration into learning.  She was sweet and kind, yet firm with high expectations for her classroom.  Staley loved Mrs. Doty!

First day of pre-school

Last day of pre-school

Adelie also had a great experience with her first year of pre-school.  She loved going to school and had so many little friends in her class.  She definitely learned lots, coming home from school singing songs, spelling color words, and identifying her letters and numbers.  Although confused about why she didn't start 4 year old preschool the day she turned 4, she is already excited about heading back to school one year older and wiser.  It was definitely good for Adelie to have her own experiences and successes and friendships forming while Staley was away at Kindergarten.

Adelie also had a teacher who was the perfect fit for her.  Mrs. Ferguson had boundless energy and enthusiasm.  She was always happy, always singing, and always positive.  Adelie loved her!

It's hard to believe that this school year is already over.  As quickly as it flew by, I have no doubt that I'll blink and we'll be heading back for another year.  Time to start getting on with our summer fun!!


Really?  You wanted to make a bug catcher so you emptied most of the Elmer's glue bottle into the sink and then began shoving leaves into it?  It didn't occur to you that there might be a better alternative for a bug catcher?  You didn't think that that might not be the best idea?  You didn't think to ask your mother first?  Really??

Sweet and exasperating, all rolled into one cute little bundle.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Really?  Getting you out of bed every morning for school at 7:15 was like pulling teeth, but now on your first day of summer break, you're waking me up at 6:45?  Really???

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Potty Training?

I was not looking forward to potty training Briggs.  I'd heard that boys are harder.  They potty train later.  It takes longer.  And I really don't enjoy potty all.  I hadn't intended to start thinking about it until after we got back from our family vacation in June.  And then Briggs just decided that he might as well go ahead and get the party started.

On Monday this past week, Briggs told me he needed to use the bathroom 2-3 times with enough time to make it there.  So I just started taking him on a regular basis.  Every time I took him, he went. He stayed mostly clean and dry the whole day.  On Tuesday I got him some big boy underpants.  On Wednesday we busted them out.  Briggs thought his Thomas undies were great.  Since then, he's been using the bathroom regularly when we take him and has had very few accidents.  He's not initiating much on his own and doesn't seem at all bothered when he does have an accident, but it's definitely been a successful (and pain free) start to the process.

And he sure does look cute in his undies.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Adelie Quotes of the Day

Adelie:  "Why are people called people?"
Zach:  "What else would you have them be called?"
Adelie:  "Walkie talkies because people can walk and they can talk."

Tonight after our family walk, Adelie was all tired out.  She sat down and exclaimed, "I'm exhausting!"
Sometimes, my love.  Sometimes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I recently blogged about Adelie's questions about getting married.  In that conversation, I had told her that she would have to be a grown up to get married and that she can't marry someone who is related to her.  The other night at dinner, Adelie was obviously still thinking about our conversation.  Out of the blue, she said, "Well, I guess I could marry Mr. Dick." 

Now Mr. Dick is a close friend and neighbor of ours who happens to be in his 70s.  I'm assuming that he was the first person she could think of that met the marriage criteria.  1.  He's a man.  2.  He's a grown up.  3.  He's not related to us.  Although a very cute and sweet thought, I informed her that Mr. Dick is already married and added another marriage rule:  You can't marry someone who is already married.  To reassure her, I said, "You probably haven't even met the person you're going to marry.  I didn't know Daddy when I was 4.  I didn't meet him until I was lots older."  Adelie seemed surprised by this and responded, "You didn't know Daddy when you married him??"

She's trying, but apparently she still hasn't quite grasped this marriage thing.  Lucky for all of us, she has plenty of time to figure it out.

Mother's Day

As a mom, there are many things I love about Mother's Day.  I love that I don't have to cook or clean up or do laundry.  I love that when my kids are crying or whining or making endless demands, I feel justified in saying, "Go ask your dad."  I love that my husband takes on all the diaper changes and sibling arguments and tears and needs so that I can relax.  I love that I can enjoy meals and conversation at family gatherings without feeling the need to supervise my offspring at the kids table.  And I love the joy my kids get in showering me with hugs and surprises and homemade gifts.

I know there will come a day when my kids are grown up.  They may buy me jewelry or gift cards or trinkets.  They may give me a nice, sentimental Hallmark card.  They might take me out to lunch or invite me over for dinner.  I know that I will cherish that as well.  But I also know that, as they grow, I will miss the sweet, misspelled sentiments and the handprint art and the time and effort put into making something special to give to me.

This year, Staley made a "lap book" for me at school.  It was a book all about me.  It had such wonderful sentiments like "I love my mom more than cats." and "She loves me because I wash the dishis." and "I love her because she loves me."  It also had very honest observations like "My mom likes to wear swet pants." and "She hates to fold lodry." Or my favorite, "My mom is always saying, "You wil be late fur shcool."  And my favorite spelling was when she wrote that I am an "ocupashinl therupist" and that I love to "ecsrsise."  Couple that with my handprint sunshine from Adelie, the cookbook that Staley's class made, and the multiple pictures and paintings that my girls created for me, and I couldn't have felt more loved.  Even more than cats.

Monday, May 15, 2017


The year I turned 30, I wasn't sure I was ready.  Moving from my 20's to my 30's seemed like a big step, and I struggled a bit with that milestone.  My way of dealing with the change was to celebrate in style.  We had a big party.  I went to Vegas with my friends.  I went sky-diving.  I ran 2 marathons.  It was a big milestone and I felt like it needed to be commemorated in a big way.

That was 10 years ago.  Yesterday was my 40th birthday.  I didn't want a big party.  I didn't need an epic gift or a lavish vacation.  I don't have any plans for a crazy adventure or new experience.  I'm not struggling with this milestone.  There are flowers on my dining room table.  Homemade goodies on my counter.  My mantle is filled with cards.  I got texts and phone calls from people I love.  I got special gifts from special people.  There is a week-end get-away with my husband in the near future.  And my children lavished me with hugs and love and homemade gifts.

I am not struggling because I'm right where I want to be in my life.  I'm not worried about the fact that I have more wrinkles, more gray hair, more pounds than I did 10 years ago.  I don't care that I have less free time, less energy, less traveling than I did 10 years ago.  I have an amazing husband who is thoughtful, devoted, and my true partner in life.  I have family and friends who always know just how to make me feel special and make me feel loved.  And the fact that yesterday was also Mother's Day just makes sense, because the biggest reason I am right where I want to be at 40 is no secret.

These 3 fill my life in a way that travels and adventures and parties never could.  My life is full.  My heart is full.  I am content.  I'm 40, and I am right where I want to be.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Love and Loss

I blog to remember.  This blog is a record of our life.  I try to blog fully and honestly so I can not only remember all the good moments, but also the hard ones.  I find it easier to blog about the funny quotes or sweet moments or big occasions.  At those times, the words come easily.  But it's in the harder moments or the darker times that I struggle.  Sometimes the words don't come.  There are times that words don't seem adequate.  There are times that the words can't encompass the emotions.  I want my words to reflect my heart, and sometimes they just aren't enough. 

Two weeks.  Two funerals.  Two conversations with our young children, trying to explain death.  Telling Briggs that it is not Mr. Mark mowing outside because Mr. Mark is in heaven.  Explaining to Adelie that Nana did not go to heaven in her wheelchair because people don't need wheelchairs in heaven.  Helping our kids understand that death means they will never see these individuals again.  Tears now even as I type this, thinking about the love that these two people shared with us and our children.  The impact that they made on our lives.  The sadness that, at their young ages, my children might not remember this love and the moments that were shared.  And that is why I blog.  So one day, even if their memories have faded, they can read this and know.

Love comes in all forms.  Mr. Mark, as my kids called him, was the next door neighbor and friend that everyone wishes they had.  His mowing always included a few swipes in our yard, his leaf blower consistently kept our driveway and sidewalks clear, his snow blower often found it's way down our sidewalk or into our driveway, and anything we needed to borrow, he was more than happy to share.  He always had time to chat with the kids or admire their sidewalk chalk art or compliment their new bike or take a break from watering to try to spray them with his hose.  I want the kids to remember how they loved when Mr. Mark was outside, knowing he'd always welcome them running up his driveway to tell him something or show him something.  Knowing he'd never care if they ran into his yard to get a ball.  I want them to know that they loved him, and he loved them.

My kids only knew Nana after her stroke, when she was primarily confined to her wheelchair and living at the nursing home.  But they knew Nana would always have toys in the bottom drawer of her dresser that they could play with.  That Nana would often send them home with a new stuffed animal to add to their collection.  They knew Nana would always wheel down to look at the fish in the fish tank with them.  They knew that Nana would always be happy to see them, no matter how chaotic the visit might be.  But I want my kids to know what a strong woman their great-grandmother was, leaving home and getting married at 16 to build a better life for herself.  Raising 4 beautiful daughters and living out a faith that was so evident to everyone around her.  I want my kids to know that Nana prayed for them, she cherished their hugs and kisses, and she always had pictures of them to show her visitors.  I want them to know that, as babies, she would hold them for as long as she possibly could. I want them to remember that she dressed up for Halloween when she knew they would be visiting.  I want them to know just how much she loved them.

Loss is hard, no matter what age you are.  But I want my kids to know that before the loss, there was love.  So much love.  And that is why I that they can remember this love.

Monday, May 8, 2017


The other day, Adelie was asking questions about when she would be old enough to get married and who she could marry.  I told her that she'd have to be a grown-up before she could get married.  I also informed her that you can't marry someone in your family, like your siblings or your cousins.  Disappointed she said, "AWWWW!!!  I was going to marry Briggs."  Then, thinking for a second, she said, "But you married Daddy and he's in our family."

Life can be confusing when you're 4.

But it's also lots of fun!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Jungle Book

This past week-end, Staley's Stage Kids class that she has attended all semester performed their production, "The Jungle Book."  Staley was a bumblebee and a baby monkey.  Although she didn't have any individual lines in this production, she was on stage for most of the show, singing and dancing and looking adorable.

Staley loves being on stage.  She never acts nervous or intimidated.  She gets so excited about costumes and make-up and face paint.  And she loves spending time with her friends in class each week.

What an adorable little monkey!

The set and costumes were incredible.  As one of the youngest in the class, it always catches me off guard to see how small Staley looks on stage with the rest of the cast.  I'm so used to her being the "big kid" at home.

Staley loves when people come to watch her perform, so she was thrilled that she had grandparents and a cousin and aunt and friends and even her Kindergarten teacher all in the audience to support her.

I'm so amazed at the confidence that Staley has on stage.  I am so glad that she has found something that she loves to do.  I am so grateful for the friends and mentors that she has found in this class.  And I am so proud of my little performer.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Question of the Day

Which is the more ridiculous thing to argue about?

1.  Hypothetical plans (for plays, parties, sleepovers, events, activities) that will never actually happen, but generally result in Adelie somehow being hypothetically excluded, thus causing her to cry...


2.  Who gets to hold the empty fruit snack wrapper?

Don't worry.  Both of them happened today. 

Welcome to the ridiculousness that is my life.