Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Good-bye, August

The end of summer vacation and the start of school marked the major changes that August brought with it.  However, the unseasonably beautiful weather and some big highlights made August a fun and full month for our family.

Our month started off with the St. Jude Run, which is the culmination of another year of hard work and planning as Zach is the co-coordinator of the Eureka to Peoria Run.  It was an amazing day!!  Zach and I both ran the entire 30 mile course, and celebrated a record-high earning for the Eureka team.

The St. Jude Run is a family affair, and we loved having the kids meet us along the course (with Grammie) to cheer us on.

Having my dad run with us for the first half of the day was another highlight.  At 68, my dad ran 12 of the first 16 miles.  He's amazing!!  I love sharing this passion for running with him.

Stopping along the route at the home of a St. Jude patient is always a great reminder of why we run.  The added surprise that the patient was someone I know made the moment all the more special.

The St. Jude Run is one of our favorite days of the year.  Being a part of something so much bigger than us and seeing so many individuals come together for a common cause is just amazing.

 Although the St. Jude Run was a definite highlight of the month, we have squeezed in lots of other fun events and activities along the way as well.
We took two trips to Sugar Grove Nature Center with cousins before school started.

We had never been, and the kids had a blast playing outside, climbing trees, and exploring.  We went on a Friday and had such a great time that the kids went back with Zach 4 days later.

Although there were swings and treehouses and creeks and a zip line, Briggs found the diggers and the sand and didn't want to do anything else.

We fit in a last trip to the pool with friends.

This little gal started her first ever soccer season.

Zach and I enjoyed a fun night out at the wedding of a friend of mine from work.

Zach took Briggs to Dozer Days.  It was an opportunity for kids to ride in and experience heavy machinery. Briggs loved seeing all the vehicles and sitting in them, but was hesitant about actually riding in or activating some of the equipment.

While Briggs and Daddy went to Dozer Days, we had a girls lunch out.

We went to the Community Bash at Aunt Jill's church, which is always an August highlight.

Face painting, horse rides, bouncy houses, petting zoo, hayrack rides, food, crafts, and spending time with cousins.  What's not to love??

There were also emergency vehicles, a helicopter landing, and fireworks.  Winner, winner, winner!
(For the record, staying up 2 hours past bedtime to catch the fireworks made for a few tired, cranky, emotional kids the next day.  #notwinning)

We enjoyed a trip to Tanner's Orchard with grandparents and cousins while the big kids were in school.

It's so fun living close to family!!

A few recent trips to the zoo, picnics, library outings, and playing at the park have rounded out our month.

August has been fun and packed full of highlights.  And with its unseasonably pleasant weather, it's already starting to feel like the beginning of fall.  And since fall just happens to be my favorite season, I say...bring it on!! 

Good-bye, August!  It's been fun!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Third Time's the Charm?

We've been trying to get Briggs to stop sucking his thumb for a few months now.  He rarely sucks his thumb during the day.  However, night time and nap time are a different story.  We initially did hand socks, which worked well for a few weeks until Briggs got tired of them and would just take them off.  We then taught him to tuck his hands under his body for sleeping, which he did dutifully every night as we put him to bed.  But recently he fessed up that his tucking only lasted until we left the room.  So a few days ago, I introduced "knot hand."  I put him in one of Adelie's long-sleeve t-shirts and tied a knot at the end of the right sleeve.  This was VERY unpopular the first time I introduced it, resulting in 20 minutes of screaming "I WANT TO SUCK MINE THUMB!!"  However, he's since adjusted and now happily puts on his special shirt before nap and bed.  Maybe this will be the strategy that works.

Third time's the charm, right??

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Little Things

At any given time, there are a million little things about my kids that make them unique.  They are constantly growing and changing, and I always want to remember the little things about them at each moment in time.  Some of their little things are cute, some are frustrating, some are funny, and some are exhausting, but they are all things that are a part of who they are right now.

Things like... Adelie is still my messiest eater.  The table, chair, and floor around her seat are always covered in food.  She inevitably ends up spilling her milk, getting food in her hair, and sporting a fair amount of food on her face after every meal.  It's not uncommon for me to be wiping yogurt off her forehead or brushing pasta sauce out of her hair.

A typical Adelie breakfast Staley is so ready to be more and more independent and grown up.  She wants to play outside by herself and go into public restrooms without me and ride her bike further down the sidewalk and help me coach Adelie's soccer team and make meals by herself and use the hairdryer.  She loves when I ask her to be in charge of her siblings while I shower.  Some of it is so nice, and some of it I'm just not ready for. Briggs can now get himself onto the potty.  It's quite an ordeal.  He will take off his pants and underwear, push the stepstool over to the toilet, and climb on.  He will then proceed to use about half a roll of toilet paper, or as much as he can get done before I catch him and make him stop.  The increasing independence is nice.  The increasing toilet paper bill is not. all three of my kids deal with disappointment in different ways.  If I tell them 'no' to something they want to do (or when I tell them to do something they don't want to do), Staley will tirelessly argue with me and try to convince me to change my mind.  Adelie will often cry, or she will put her hands on her hips, stomp her foot, and sassily say, "FINE!"  Briggs will generally throw himself down in a screaming, crying fit.  My favorite is when we get all 3 at the same time. Adelie is now super-picky about not having her food touch on her plate at mealtimes.  Sometimes she'll even put her fruit or part of her meal on the table instead of her plate to avoid them getting mixed together.  (Probably doesn't help the neatness factor with her eating.) Staley wants to go running with me.  We've gone together several times and she can usually run for about a mile with only a few short walk breaks. Briggs still has lots of cute little sayings.  We always have pancakes after church on Sunday.  We have pure maple syrup, regular syrup, and powdered sugar on the table with our pancakes.  Briggs likes the pure maple syrup, but he calls it "powdered maple syrup."  If I ask him something that he doesn't want to do, he will often take a page out of Adelie's book and sassily say, "Fine!" as he stomps off to do it. right now Adelie thinks she wants to be a doctor when she grows up, Staley wants to be a movie star, and Briggs wants to be a fireman. Briggs freaks out if his food is too hot (or even slightly more than warm).  Screaming, crying, and repetitively demanding that I blow on his food is not my favorite part of a meal. Adelie prefers to be barefoot, and takes off her sandals or shoes the first chance she gets including at the playground or in the car and always, always, always as soon as she walks in the door. Staley is still picky about how her clothes feel.  She now insists on wearing a cami under any shirt that has an applique or a zipper, or stitching that she can feel.  Although the picking out clothes/getting dressed drama has decreased significantly, her sensitivity is still there. Briggs still loves to carry around tiny things.  He always has something in his hands wherever we go, whether it's a small car or stuffed animal or plastic dinosaur.  One of his favorite activities is putting small puff balls from our craft supply box into any of his cars or vehicles that have doors or windows that they will fit in. all 3 kids have so much fun playing together.  Staley and Adelie love to play Barbies and figurines, playing together for hours at a time.  Adelie and Briggs have a game called Mommy Poo, Baby Poo which involves Magna Tiles and cars/trucks and sometimes stuffed animals.  I'm not really sure what the game entails, but they always have a great time together. 

I know many of these little things are phases that will soon be gone.  And although I won't miss all of them, I don't want to forget them either.  It's the little things that make our days memorable.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


I purchased a photo package at a silent auction a few months ago.  I didn't read the fine print, and after winning the item, I realized that the amount that I won for the package wouldn't go very far.  I decided to forego attempting family pictures and just did some kid pictures.

The photographer worked well with the kids and got some great shots of them.  My kids still aren't the easiest to photograph all together, but it does seem to be getting slightly easier.

Briggs is still my child who smiles the easiest and is always game to get his picture taken.

I love this picture of Adelie.  Such a happy, fun, pure-Adelie expression.

Staley looks so grown up in this picture.  It makes me happy and sad, all at the same time.

My little stair steps.

And this was my favorite!!

I was initially disappointed about the photo package and the limited amount of photographs that it would allow me to purchase.  However, I was so pleased with the outcome.  I may not be able to afford to display many of these pictures in my house, but I love that they can live here for me to enjoy.


Although we've been trying to break him of the habit for quite some time, Briggs still occasionally sucks his thumb.  Usually when we put him down for bed at night, he tucks both arms under his body and then we'll cover him up with his blanket.  The other night I was putting him to bed.  He stuck his thumb in his mouth, and I told him "Tuck your hands under, buddy.  You don't need your thumb."  He immediately took his thumb out of his mouth and tucked his hands under his body while I covered him up.  Then he said, "I will suck mine thumb after you close the door."

And I have no doubt that he did.

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.