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daddy cakes

Kivrin and I got Daniel some “daddy cakes” for his birthday. Kivrin didn’t get any of the supersized deluxe glamorous cupcakes for herself, but she eyed them with interest.

helping with green beans

Besides all of the other valid reasons for child labor laws, let’s face it, babies are not good helpers. Here Kivrin is helping me snap green beans that Carrie’s dad grew for us. While Kivrin likes to pull things out of the bowl even occasionally put things back into the bowl, she decreased the over productivity of our task by a large amount.

helping with ribbons

Kivrin was equally unhelpful with the ribbons of my fairy-skirt-making project, although she enjoyed them A LOT.

kivrin snuggling mommy

This was supposed to be a picture of Kivrin walking, but she came in for a cute little snuggle instead.

kivrin not walking at the zoo

This is also supposedly a picture of Kivrin walking at the Topeka zoo on July 11th (about a week after she took her first steps). We figured she would want to toddle around a bit,  so we didn’t bring in a stroller or sling, but every time we set her down, she plopped down and refused to move! So, we lugged her around the zoo the old fashioned way, in our arms.

waving to the elephant

I’m sure we’ve posted similar pictures before, but look, Kivrin’s waving to the elephant. That never gets old.

See all of these pictures on flickr here.



playing in the fountain

family at the gardens

watching a sparkler dud

feeding the koi

feeding ducklings

4x6 kivrin and mommy

Kivrin walked out to work off extra energy while we waited out the rain delay. The 3:10 pm game started about an hour late, which suited us just fine. The rain dropped the temperatures a bit, too!

4x6 kissing mommy

Mommy-daughter bonding at the baseball stadium. Kivrin spend the whole game in our laps and she was extra-snuggly, even in the heat.

4x6 baseball 2

Kivrin may be saying “Look at that play in left field!” while Dan smiles at the camera.  Traditionally Lissa has cheered for the left-fielder as her favorite player, but Ankiel started in left and Lissa could not bring herself to cheer extra for the wild-pitcher-turned-outfielder. Kivrin likes clapping and cheering, so we mostly cheered for everyone.

4x6 baseball

 Although we packed cheese cubes and peas and O’s, Kivrin also enjoyed a small piece of no-salt ballpark pretzel. Earlier in the afternoon, she succeeded in distracting Lissa long enough to get a big handful of nacho cheese, which did NOT go into her mouth, and by some miracle also did NOT get on anyone’s clothing. (Okay, the miracle was that Lissa had to lick cheese off Kivrin’s hand when we couldn’t find any napkins…) 

4x6 leaving during final out

Kivrin was asleep at the end of the game, and Dan carried the sleeping baby down the steps during the last out. Cards won, 7-1.

4x6 in the car after the game

We were all soaked with sweat after an afternoon at the ballpark but Kivrin was the only one who changed into clean comfy (Cardinals!) pajamas in the parking lot before we drove home to Topeka.

4x6 scoreboard final out

While I’ve kept a scorecard for the past 10 years or so when I go to a baseball game, I didn’t even attempt it with the baby in my lap. My facebook updates (from the iPhone) and this nice photo of the scoreboard right before the last out the game will have to do….

June 20 at 3:05pm
Lissa Staley is at the K, about to watch the Cards! Baseball, my friend, it has been too long…
     Brian:GO ROYALS!
     Leigh Anne:  No way! Go Cards!!! (says the girl who lives in Brewers land and almost went to the Cubs game in Chicago today!!)

June 20 at 5:06pm
Lissa Staley is breastfeeding in stadium seats. Go Cards!
     Amy: Hope you didn’t charge her eight bucks 
     Lissa : Ha ha! This is the best thing I’ve heard all day! The people around us were all cool with it, but your comment is delightful!

June 20 at 6:56pm
Lissa Staley has a perfect baby— we’ve sat through 8 innings already with no trouble! Go cards!

June 20 at 9:04pm

Lissa Staley baby nursed to sleep in the ninth inning but woke up when we got to the car and refuses to fall back asleep!

June 20 at 9:24pm

Lissa Staley classic baby- finally fell asleep at the Adams St. Exit back in Topeka, an hour past her bedtime.
     Cale: Was she crying for 30 minutes before that?
     Lissa: I was super-entertaining in the backseat. Just wish I had packed better books, because I flipped the pages on boring old “bright baby–animals” from Lawrence to Topeka!

Lissa Staley at 10:20pm June 20
I would recap for you, but it turns out that with a baby in your lap you can’t keep a scorecard. There was at least one HR, and the most exciting moment was when the Royals had full count, bases loaded, 2 outs, winning run at the plate in the bottom of the 8th. That is what baseball is all about!

stephen patterson on letterman with the white rabbits

It’s not every day that you can stay up late (11:30 pm!!!) to watch someone you grew up with performing on David Letterman. Our childhood friend Stephen Patterson is the lead singer and keyboard player in the band White Rabbits. Their second album It’s Frightening comes out today and is already getting great reviews. Their first album, Fort Nightly is even available for checkout at our library! We are so happy for Steve’s success and we love listening to good friends singing great music. Now if only they would put out an album of kids music…

We didn’t let Kivrin stay up to watch, but we play her the album and dance around. She loves to watch the video for Percussion Gun because there so much movement.

We also just discovered The Jellydots and have been listening to their album “Hey you kids!” on repeat all weekend. I highly recommend it for kids and parents alike.

The circus was in town, and Grandpa Staley was in town, the very SAME weekend. How could we resist…

kivrin and lissa at the circus

Lissa and Kivrin at the circus, posing before we walked down to the pre-show activities. We attended the Saturday afternoon show at the Kansas Expocenter.

k and dan watching circus

Kivrin and Dan watching the pre-circus jump rope athletics.

kivrin and mommy at ringling bros

Kivrins surprised face at the circus

Kivrin watched everything with interest, sometimes laughing and smiling but sometimes just looking surprised!

kivrin enthusiastically waving

Kivrin got excited with the music and the crowd clapping. She waved her cloth around in the air! The lighting at the circus is designed to draw your attention to the action, and it really helped her focus on the acts in the ring. After enjoying the clown antics, a woman climbing a rope, and a funny guy on a bicycle, Kivrin decided to nurse and take her afternoon nap during the trained dogs, the elephants, the intermission and the tiger acts. She woke up right after the animals were gone, and excitedly watched the rest of the show. She especially loved the gymastics and the opening parade and the music.


Kivrin slept through these elephants.

kivrin napping at the circus

(not really) funny story about trying to breast feed during the circus — Kivrin is still using the silicon shield to nurse, so I got it out and we started nursing, and then a loud noise distracted her and she popped off and turned her head, sending the shield flying…somewhere…in the dark…at the Expocenter. I usually have an extra shield in my purse, but I left my purse at home so that I wouldn’t have to keep track of it at the circus. Losing the shield momentarily happens regularly at home at night, and I quickly ran my hand across Kivrin, my lap, and everywhere else I could reach. Kivrin wanted to keep nursing but without the shield she can’t, so she started to fuss. Dan got his phone out and used the light from the screen to try to find the (small, clear, silicone) shield in the dark of the crowded seats. After a few minutes of frantic searching, I spotted it…down the seat in front of me, behind the super-cool tween girl with the multi-colored hair extensions (which Kivrin had tried to pull earlier in the afternoon). Not wanting to freak out the girl by accidentally grabbing her butt, I let her know my daughter had dropped something and then quickly reached down to retrieve it! We were back in business for nursing, Kivrin was asleep a few minutes later and our trip to the circus was saved!


Kivrin slept through these tigers.

circus family

Our family at the circus!

NOTE: those nachos in Dan’s hand are actually a present that he just bought for me. What a wonderful spouse!


blintz-brunch-2 traditional-jewish-singing2

The annual Blintz Brunch at Temple Beth Shalom drew us out of the house on a stormy Sunday morning.  Dan and I loved the food (blintzes, kugel and rugelah) and Kivrin loved the smiling at crowds. She also enjoyed her front row seat for the traditional Jewish singing.





Our entry illustrates the poem SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA STOUT WOULD NOT TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT from the book Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein. It might look like we just dumped trash in a box, but we only used foods mentioned in the poem and even had to make a late-night trip to the grocery story to get some “supplies”.


 Hooray! We were awarded the “most disgusting” prize based on the votes of everyone who attended!


 Our friend Megan had a bonding moment with Kivrin. Babies love her!


“I’m getting you, Nana!”


“Surprise, it’s Colin! And Kivrin!”


“I love clapping with Nana. Everyone works so hard to make babies laugh. I like that!”


“Oh yeah. Check me out. I’m sleeping in Nana’s arms. That’s a pretty sweet deal.”


“What’s this stuff? Is this Nana’s stuff? I wish I could reach it. I would eat it.”


“Oh, I see. When the baby is too big for the lap, the Mommy turns into a lounge chair!”


An artsy photo by Dan, with Colin showing Kivrin his paper crane.


Colin ate some grapes, but was hesitant to pose for a picture.


Colin was amazed by this paper crane that Uncle Lee made.


Colin is guarding the entrance to the castle. The pillows are the hard castle walls. It was a complicated scenario.


“I’m happy to be here!”



Independent play at the Lego table (which we smuggled home in our trunk — don’t tell Colin!)


Colin trying to blow a raspberry on Kivrin’s head.


Crocheting (Lissa, in the background) with a three year old (Colin, in the foreground) is a stupid idea, which some people (Leigh Anne, who is asleep on the couch with yarn tangled in her toes) must have already known.


“Uncle Dan, will you open these stickers for me?”


“Look at my stickers!”


Kivrin is too little for stickers. But she likes them anyway. She admires Colin and Dan’s stickers instead.


Colin tickling Kivrin’s toes.


This is a photo of the very first time Kivrin scooted backwards into a sitting position. Not that you can tell, really. But it is. Look, that is Lissa, pointing excitedly on the left, and Colin cheering her on.


Even though he is a big boy now, Colin liked most of Kivrin’s toys. She was pretty nice about sharing. This trip anyway.


“Wow. Look at that. I wish I could do that with my mom. That looks like fun. Heck, I wish I could do that with anybody. I can’t wait to grow up and wrestle people.”

We enjoyed a Christmas lunch at Jim and Gwen’s house with all of the Staley family.


Colin and Kivrin hanging out together.


Kivrin was eyeing Colin’s new toy as he made the train go around the track.


Uncle Gary and Aunt Carol  have lots of grandaughters so they are experts at appreciating little baby girls!


Kivrin had a blast hanging out with Aunt Gwen.


Sitting with Dan, Kivrin watches Grandpa and Colin playing with a helicopter.


The Staley tradition continues – dominoes around the dining room table after dinner.


Kivrin thought her cousin Allan was very amusing!


Colin holding on to Uncle Lee.kivrin-with-grandpa-and-uncle-jim

Kivrin sitting with Uncle Jim and talking to Grandpa.


It’s a flying baby santa Kivrin!


Kivrin wanted to be clean and good-smelling for Santa on Christmas Eve so she took a bath in this makeshift bathtub on Grandpa’s kitchen counter!



A family picture under the Christmas tree (with the treats for Santa).


 Winding down on Christmas Eve, we snuggled up in Grandpa’s basement to watch WALL-E together (well, not Kivrin… when she kept turning her head, she got her view blocked by a combination of boxes so that she couldn’t watch the TV).

Our favorite neighbors from the old house on Village Drive, Kara and Jeff, came to visit and hang out with our kiddos.



Kivrin wasn’t too cooperative when Jeff offered to hold her, but we figured out that she wanted to play instead. Kara entertained her with tissue paper and that reliable standby– swinging hair!!

kivrin-loving-her-new-singing-bookLater on, Grandma Denise came for a Christmas visit.simpsons-ornament-traditionHer traditional gift to Dan– a Simpson’s Christmas decoration– was a cool ornament this year.


 Kivrin can’t wait to grow into this one — an Illinois sweathshirt just like mom and dad’s!


Kivrin had fun playing and opening her presents.


Colin got a floor hockey set, which was the funnest thing ever! He and Grandpa had to play it right away.

 Did Santa come? I think he did! Colin, Leigh Anne and Grandpa all rush to the living room to check under the tree… 


Once we were reassured that Santa had delivered some presents, Colin took some time on Christmas morning to enjoy some milk and play with baby Kivrin before he opened his packages.


 Kivrin was happy to sit in the high chair with us at the table while we had breakfast. Since she doesn’t eat solid foods yet, we call that thing in front the “toy tray.”


Colin gave Kivrin a colorful jacob’s ladder toy; he was showing her how it works.


Kivrin got a special “Money Savvy” piggy bank from Grandpa – it has FOUR coin slots, for save, spend, donate and invest. Right now, Kivrin just likes to look at her own reflection in the shiny surface, but we will teach her how to designate her money for saving , spending and sharing with others. 




Dan’s big present this year was a robotic dinosaur. Colin saw it early, before we got to town, and was supposed to keep it a secret until Christmas. Alas, it was just too exciting, and the first words out of his mouth when he saw Dan were about the robot dinosaur…Dan still had to wait until Christmas morning to open his present though!


Colin did a great job of playing with his cousin and handing her the ball over and over when she dropped it. Kivrin really likes to play with him!

A verbal snapshot of Kivrin’s life

  • Kivrin can count to ten! And she does. Frequently! 12 years ago
  • Later, no thank you, now, one more time, almost done, excuse me, please. All powerful words from the mouth of a toddler... 12 years ago
  • Kivrin is two years old today! Happy Birthday baby girl, we are so impressed and amazed by the person you are growing up to be! 12 years ago
  • Toddler logic: Blowing on the outside air on a sweltering day will cool it off enough that mommy will agree it's not too hot for a walk. 12 years ago
  • Toddler logic: Kivrin skinned her knee, therefore her baby doll needs a bandaid. 12 years ago
  • Kivrin switched from the terse "hi" on her play phone to a more elaborate "ay-yo" hello style greeting. Verbal skills increasing daily!!! 12 years ago
  • This morning Kivrin choked on a cracker and made a mess of her shirt/carseat on the way to school. She named the incident her "big cough." 12 years ago

RSS See Colin Grow

  • October 2, 2010 - Apple Holler with the Reas! February 20, 2011
    Colin started his Apple Holler adventure with a donut the size of his head! Brendan, Katie and Colin in the corn husk mazeColin and Mama in the apple orchardBrendan and Colin, buddies since they were born! Who doesn't love bowling with pumpkins?!?

RSS Kate & Family

  • March 14, 2009--St. Pat's Parade
    One Saturday while I was working, Aaron took the girls downtown to see the St. Patrick's Day Parade. They both seemed to enjoy it and have been playing with the beaded necklaces they received ever since. Addison loves looking at all the balloons!

Flickr Photos