Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catch Up

Easter Sunday, 2009

Two nicknames stuck very quickly for each of our girls. When Sofia was a budding toddler at age 2, we nicknamed her stink pot for all of the little "tricks" she liked to play and her huge sense of humor. Sydnei's nickname came at a much younger age, Stink. She has had a mischievous flare to her since the day she was born. The funny thing is everyone seems to believe that Sydnei is our quiet, more reserved, mostly introverted child. And nothing could be further from the truth! Both of our girls are funny, love to play little jokes, and each of them have a funny little dare devil side to them that if you turn your head for a second, most likely when you look back you'll have some sort of disaster, I mean, surprise waiting for you!

Playing in the backyard, Spring 2009

These two little "momma's" (another nickname we use for both of them) are the sweetest, cuddliest, funniest, and flamboyant little girls I've ever known. Sure, I'm their Mami, slightly biased, but really they are!

Sofia on her 1st Day of School
September 9, 2009

Sofia is a big shot on campus in her Kindergarten class. She loves making friends and being the line leader. In fact, we had to have a talk about letting others be the line leader even if you were the first one to get to the door. One girl pushed her because she wanted to be the line leader. When Sofia told me about this, I asked what did you do? She, of course, responded: "I shoved her back!" Hence the "stepping aside and letting others be the line leader and how nice it is to do that for a fellow classmate" talk ensued. She has a BFF already, named Lilly. Note: Lilly is only her BFF at school, though. Natalie still holds the BFF overall title. I don't think that will change anytime soon. Sofia is speaking more and more Spanish again. Finally! She's gone through a phase for quite awhile now where she preferred to speak mostly in English but now that she has gone to school with so many other kids that speak Spanish, she loves being able to speak the language too! Sofia is thriving in school and we couldn't be more proud. On her first day of school, she received a "Cool Cat" award for being responsible and following the rules! The ironic thing about that was the weekend before, I was going through my Mom's things and found an award she had saved, which I received in 1983 for following the rules at school. Like mother, like daugther...to the max! Now, fast forward to the third day of school when Sofia informed me that I didn't have to walk her to class because she was a big girl now and could get there all by herself. So, I agreed, and stood on the sidewalk with tears streaming down my face as I watched our Sofia run across the playground and into the school with her backpack tossing back and forth behind her. It felt like a dagger when straight into my heart. Sofia is known for her strong independence and that is a special quality that enables her to put herself out there and not be afraid to try new things. I just wasn't ready as I so tried to be!

Like I said, Sofia loves to be the Line leader!
Here she is on her very first day!

"MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!! Sydnei's in the toilet!!!"
(Here's to hoping she'll potty train early just like her big sister did!)

Sydnei has come out of her shell quite a bit in the last few months. This little punkin' has quite the opinion about pretty much everything and is not afraid to let you know! She's warming up to different people more and more and loves to smile and make us laugh. Both of our girls do in fact, which, honestly has been something I've needed these last few months. Sydnei says more and more words: agua, Papa, Mama, shoes, yes, bebe, baby, and now when we ask who wants to say the family prayer before bedtime, she raises her hand just as high as she can! Her big sissy, Sofia, is so proud to assist her in this endeavor by standing by her to say the prayer as if she is "helping" Sydnei learn. Precious, indeed. She loves to walk around and hold a baby and pat her on the back. She would read books all day if she could and is constantly picking some out for us to read to her. Oh, and I don't want to forget that lil' Stink feeds herself all by herself. She won't let anyone help her and is always happy to finish anyone's food that is left over! Sydnei has quite the appetite and that's not surprising considering the number of calories she needs to replenish with all the running around that she does! I particularly love how she tries to mess with me when Ryan and I are together. I'll say, "Sydnei, can you say Mama?" And she instantly responds, "PAPA!!!" It's hilarious! When we're driving down the road and Ryan and I are both in the front seats, I'll look at her through the rear view mirror, she'll make eye contact with me, smile, and then shout, PAPA!!! I respond immediately with a MAMA and we go back and forth. Lil' Stink!!!

Apple Festival, Champoeg State Park, St. Paul, Oregon
October 3, 2009

"Two Sissy's"
Champoeg State Park, St. Paul Oregon
October 3, 2009

We're all settled into the new school year and schedule. The girls both arise at 6:30am each morning and we leave at 7:30am to head for school. Bedtime is at a beautiful hour of 7:00pm, which has been our favorite part! :) It's nice to have some peace and quite in the house and wind down before we go to bed. It's a great time to converse about the day and everything going on--uninterrupted! AND, it's nice to have two very rested and energized little girls the next day.

David Ryan Staley, in all his glory
"Would you stop taking pictures of me, Storm?!?!"

Ryan is all settled into his last year of graduate school. He's quite the busy man, teaching Advanced Spanish, Composition, and Literature at the NW Academy, a private school in downtown Portland, and two undergraduate Spanish courses at Portland State University. He's taking three graduate courses of his own so needless to say he is BUSY. Seriously, every hour of his day is scheduled in iCal! Time management will prove to be the key to his success in executing and completing all of his classes and responsibilities successfully. I know he can do it! The best thing of all is that he comes home happy. He has found his passion in life and is well on his way to progressing academically and professionally in a field where he can be in his element and love every second of it not too mention a field that is and always will be high in demand. I'm so proud of him!!!

Me. Indulging in some hot dutch oven apple cobbler, featured at the Apple Festival in St. Paul, Oregon
Champoeg State Park
October 3, 2009

Since Sofia started school, and Ryan started to school, the hours and days go by so fast. I work hard to maintain Sydnei's napping schedule while fitting in music together clases, errands, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, and a soon to be added Gymboree class. Trying to hold down the fort, keep things organized, and ensure we all at least have clean underwear, fun things to do when we're together, and sanity at home are among my daily duties (love the alliteration there). :) After all, it is the place we all return to--to relax and find comfort with the ones we love.

Me and my dreamboat.
I was 36 weeks pregnant in this picture!!!
May 26, 2008

I love being a stay-at-home Mom. It was quite the transition for me three years ago but I did it. I knew the benefits that it would provide to me and my family. It was a challenge to transition from full-time career Mom to stay-at-home Mom but just like everything else, took some time, patience, and had a learning curve of its own. The balance we have as a family is priceless and the time I get to spend nurturing, rearing, and teaching our children is forever rewarding. And just in case you are wondering, yes, I do have my days when I want to pull my hair out, the times when I look at our girls when they're acting all sorts of crazy in public or private, and think to myself: "geez, some peoples' kids!"...and then pretend to not know them. Oh, and the times, when I'm just not in the mood to clean some HUGE mess for the 50th time. But hey, it comes with the territory!

It speaks for itself. Priceless.

Now all that said about me and my perspective and experience on being a stay-at-home Mom, I want each of you faithful readers to know that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for all mothers: stay-at-home Mom's, part-time working Mom's, and full-time working Mom's. I've been on both sides of the fence and respect the efforts that every Mother makes to take care of and provide for their children and families on so many levels. It really bothers me when people pass judgment on other mothers who have chosen to do things "a little differently" than they have. There is no "one-size fits all" for every family and I would hope that each Mom would feel confident in their choices to provide for their family and not worry about what other people say or think. I certainly love and respect all of my friends that are mothers no matter whether they're working or not. I'm so proud of them and all they do. They're inspirational to me for many different reasons. :) *Warm fuzzies*

Family Picture taken at Memory Grove in Salt Lake City, Utah
June 2009
by A&D Photography

So there you go. A bit of catch up on things happening in our little world. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I am proud I actually took the time to type all of this out! Boy, did ya'll get an earful or what?!?!? I guess I never really have been the kind of person to be at a loss of words!!!