Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Screen-Free Summer

We've been having a screen-free summer.  For the past month, the kids haven't watched any television shows or movies.  We've always had limited screen time for the kids, but I thought taking it away completely would be met with some resistance.  Instead, I don't think the kids really miss it at all.  The other night, as a super-special family treat, we decided to take all 3 kids to see 'Cars 3' in the movie theater.  It was a special State Farm night with cheap movie tickets, popcorn, and drinks.  It was Briggs's first movie theater experience.  All three kids were super excited, and our night of family fun went perfectly EXCEPT...

1.  Briggs took an hour and half to fall asleep for his nap.  Therefore, we couldn't leave early enough to grab dinner before the movie like I had planned.  I guess popcorn and fruit snacks for dinner is better than nothing.
2.  Staley is always a little anxious about watching new movies, especially on a big screen.  She was covering her ears during the commercials before the previews even started.  She asked me no less than 20 times during the commercials and the previews if the movie was starting.  I had prepped her about the two more "intense" parts of the movie that I had read about, so she continued to ask me throughout the movie if it was time for those parts yet.
3.  Although I had mentioned to Adelie that she shouldn't drink her whole drink right away or she'd have to go to the bathroom, she drank it immediately.  Then she had a bit of a melt-down when she needed to go to the bathroom halfway through the movie because she didn't want to miss any of the movie.  Crying child #1.
4.  Briggs became a little bored about halfway through the movie.  He decided that the best way to combat boredom was to keep telling us he needed to go to the bathroom...because public restrooms and the chance to flush apparently are way more fun.  Briggs and Zach made no less than 4 trips to the movie theater bathrooms during the movie.
5.  Staley had what I can only describe as a panic attack when the movie ended and the credits began.  I'm not sure what triggers this reaction, but Staley always wants to leave or turn off the television as soon as a movie or show ends.  Because we were sitting towards the back of a crowded theater, I thought we'd just wait a bit to let the crowd thin out before getting up to leave.  My screaming, crying, hyperventilating, out-of-control daughter apparently thought that waiting was not a good idea.  Crying child #2.
6.  As I was already frazzled from Staley's epic melt-down, Briggs thought the best way to help the situation would be to scream almost the entire ride home because he wanted the toy train that had fallen on the floor that I couldn't reach while driving.  Crying child #3.

By the time we got home from our night of "family fun", I decided that:
1.  I needed a stiff drink.
2.  We really need to help Staley come up with some better coping strategies for movie anxiety.
3.  The rest of our screen-free summer should probably include movie screens too.

On the plus side, it was a cute movie that everyone seemed to enjoy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Growing Up

My kids continue to grow up right before my eyes.  It's fun to see them change and develop into their own little people, but it's also bittersweet as I see these innocent days of childhood slipping past so quickly. 

Staley is starting to grow up.  She wants privacy when she's using the restroom or changing.  Although she and Adelie still play together often, there are some occasions where she prefers to read silently in her room rather than play with her siblings. She's been asking about having a room of her own, and is starting to ask for new clothes rather than new toys.  Staley is starting to outgrow some of our favorite summer activities.  When we went to the Farm Park for princess day, she didn't want to dress up, opting instead for a tiara that she removed as soon as we entered the park.  She has requested not joining us for toddler time at the pool unless she can bring a friend. When we go to the park as a family or with one of Adelie's friends, Staley takes on a more "caregiver" role rather than a playmate role.  I see her interests changing as she becomes more and more of a "big kid."  I love her independence and her willingness to be a helper, but it makes me sad to see her leaving some of her younger ways behind. 

Although Adelie isn't changing quite as much as her siblings right now, she also continues to grow up.  She will now do quiet "reading" time in her bed or on the couch for 20 or 30 minutes at a time.  She wants to wash herself up at bathtime.  She is getting her shoes on the correct feet more and more often.  We have been doing "learning time" most days while Briggs naps, and Adelie now knows almost her entire upper case alphabet.  (She still usually misses one or two letters each time.)  Adelie is also growing in faith.  Of all my kids, she says the most heartfelt prayers at night and will often pray throughout the day for things like help finding a missing toy or for her leg to feel better after she's gotten a scrape.  Her sweet, thoughtful nature is still so evident in all she does.

Of all my kids, Briggs is changing the most quickly right now.  He is leaving behind his baby-ness and is becoming more and more little boy every day.  He is done with diapers (when he's awake).  He is done with his high chair, now wanting to sit in a booster seat at the table.  "I do it mineself" is something we hear all the time, whether it's taking off his clothes, washing his hands, or climbing into his carseat.  I feel like every day I'm cleaning out clothes or toys or books or baby items that he has outgrown.  I love his growing independence and his little personality and his ever-increasing verbal skills, but my baby is leaving behind his baby ways.  I want to hold on, to slow it down, because all too quickly he'll be the one too big for toddler time and I'll be the one wondering where the time went.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Summer Fun

June is over halfway over.  How did that happen?  We've been having a wonderful summer, but it already seems to be slipping away.  I think about our bucket list--things we still want to do, friends we want to see, places we want to go--and wonder if we'll have time to fit it all in.  So far our summer has been a perfect combination of unstructured play time and planned activities that has filled our days.

We enjoyed a family trip to Wildlife Prairie Park

We've gotten great enjoyment out of Eureka Rocks, which involves finding and re-hiding painted rocks all over town.  We even added some of our own originals to the hunt.

Adelie and Briggs enjoyed a splash park while Staley was at her summer Stage Kids class.  Briggs was a little hesitant about getting wet, primarily enjoying filling up and dumping out his container in the little fountain. 

Adelie, on the other hand, was soaked from head to toe.

Staley has performed a few times with her Rising Stars show choir group.
(Doesn't she look so tiny??)

We've done lots of playing outside in the driveway, the yard, and the sprinkler.

I won 2 free horse-riding lessons at a silent auction, and Staley LOVED her lesson.  Adelie gets to have her lesson sometime next month.

We enjoyed the Farm Park with a few friends.

We also found our way to the Washington pool for toddler time while Staley went to a day camp at State Farm Park. 

Staley loved her day of swimming, doing crafts, playing games, and meeting new friends.  Briggs and Adelie loved their day of swimming, eating at McDonalds, and joining me at a baby shower at my work.  (I'm not sure how much they loved the shower itself, but they got to have dessert, so I didn't hear any complaints.)

We've found time to go to parks with our friends, enjoy the library summer programs, eat ice cream, and relax at home.

Hooray for summer!!!
Here's hoping the last half is just as fun as the first.

Happy Father's Day

I am so thankful that my life is filled with wonderful fathers, and what a wonderful day to celebrate these amazing men.

I am so thankful for my father, the man who has always provided me with love, guidance, wisdom, and support...with just a touch of goofiness on the side.  I am so grateful for my father's constant presence in my life, and in the lives of his grandchildren.

I am so thankful for my father-in-law, a constant and stable foundation for his family.  He taught my husband how to work hard, support his family, and show his love through his actions.  What a great role model for his children and grandchildren to follow.

I am so thankful for my husband and partner in this parenting journey.  He is an incredible father, full of love and patience and fun.  He always puts his family first and works hard to build a wonderful life for us.  Zach is so devoted to his family, and I feel so incredibly lucky that our 3 little ones get to call him "Dad."

I am so blessed by the amazing fathers in my life. 
Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Little Victories

Briggs didn't scream tonight when I cut his toenails.

Adelie didn't break any dishes or get hurt when she was standing on the kitchen counter trying to get a cup out of the cabinet.

Staley wore the first outfit she put on this morning.

Sometimes in life, you just have to celebrate the little victories.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Potty Trained

It was super easy.  He mostly did it himself.  I can't even call it training.  But Briggs is officially potty trained.  He's had a full week without any accidents, and had very few the week before that.  He wears his undies all day (except naps) and has done great, even on big outings like State Farm Play Day.  He still doesn't tell me often that he needs to go, generally just holding it until I take him.  He still wears a diaper for naps and bedtime, but is dry about 75% of the time after naps and about 25% of the time when he wakes up in the morning.  I had thought he'd be harder, take longer, and train later than the girls.  It was just the opposite.

So glad this little guy proved me wrong.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Going for the burley train conductor look

All dressed up for preschool prom

Rocking the too-small-fox-stocking-cap-in-summer look

The ever popular is-she-wearing-pants? look

Nothing screams fashionista like a bathing suit and pink cowboy boots

I've always said that a Bat-mask completes any ensemble.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

2 + 1 = 3 tired children

In the course of 3 days, we've had 2 fun water-based cousin birthday parties sandwiched around one awesomely fun State Farm Play Day.  A huge week-end like that is just what summer is all about, but results in 3 very tired children...and 2 worn-out parents.

Friday afternoon started off our fun.  The girls got to enjoy celebrating their cousin, Lila, turning 6 with a cake, ice cream, and a swimming party. 

Hanging out with cousins and friends
Even though my girls didn't know many of Lila's friends at the party, they jumped in, had fun, and made some new friends along the way.  I love the social confidence that my girls have.

Adelie never ceases to entertain.

Staley and Lila enjoying some cousin swimming fun.

Saturday was State Farm Play Day.  It's one of our favorite days of the whole year.  So many fun activities and great experiences packed into one full, fun day.  Although it was a hot day, we didn't let that slow us down.  We stayed from the time it opened to the time it closed.  We were all hot, exhausted, and happy!!

Briggs was SO excited about riding on the school bus from the parking lot to the park.  Always a fun way to start the day.

Rides are always a highlight, so we started off the day with those.  The very first ride the kids wanted to do was the roller coaster.  We put Briggs on the little roller coaster with his sisters, which made him cry.  Oops! (I think we're now 3 for 3 with kids crying on that little roller coaster.  You'd think we'd know better by now.)  After that he was a little apprehensive about rides until we found the train.  He rode the train and the little cars at least 5-6 times each and LOVED them.

On the other side, Staley decided she was too big to ride the train this year.  She did ride a few of the little rides with Briggs and Adelie, being very helpful and attentive with Briggs.  However, she was more interested in riding some of the bigger rides, so she and I did several of the "bigger kid" rides like the Scrambler and the Tornado.  She also wanted to wait in the long line to do the bungee trampoline.  The bumper cars were another new highlight this year.

We played lots of carnival games (and won lots of little prizes), made some crafts, and the girls got their faces painted.  I don't know what it is about face paint, but it's always a top request.

There are always a TON of inflatables.  One of the inflatables this year was this one (pictured above) where you had to leap from one red ball to the next to get from one side to the other.  Staley was SO determined to do this.  She did it about 6 or 7 times in a row and finally mastered it.  I just love her determination.  And not to be outdone, Adelie tried it a few times too and made it all the way across as well.

Unlike his sisters, Briggs was freaked out by the inflatables and didn't want to go in any of them.  He just hung out in the shade, watched his sisters, and played with some of his little prizes.

The hamster balls were another hit.  Briggs was again not interested in joining in, but the girls each went about 4 times.

We enjoyed lots of good food, including some mid-afternoon ice cream to cool off.

All 3 kids loved the pony rides.  Since we saved them for the end of the day, there was no line.  Briggs rode 3 times before being done, but the girls rode them about 7 or 8 times in a row.

While waiting for his sisters to be done riding the ponies, Briggs made some new friends at the petting zoo.

Briggs didn't even make it out of the parking lot before falling asleep.

And Adelie was close behind.  Another successful Play Day in the books!!

And if that wasn't enough, we rounded out our week-end of fun with Caroline's splash park party today.  Since Briggs was still exhausted from Play Day, he stayed home to nap while the girls and I partied some more.

Another perfect summer day for cooling off at the splash park.

The girls had a great time eating lunch, playing with cousins, enjoying cupcakes, and watching Caroline open her presents.

And getting a chance to hit the piñata was a fun highlight...although getting candy once the piñata was open might have been even better.

What a fun day celebrating this big 3 year old.