This is the story of Sara, Brad, Nate, Micah & Riley Creighton. Well, to be fair this is only part of their story. Specifically, a bit of a documentary about their time in the year 2020.
Sara & Brad have really enjoyed watching the children grow and learn new things this year. Brad has really adjusted well to “no sleep ever,” but equally feels joy, laughter and frustration as a parent. Brad’s favorite part of being a Dad is watching the kids take pride in something they have accomplished. Brad has also witnessed hilarious scenes from the children that make being a Dad super fun. One time the boys disappeared and suddenly came back into the living room wearing capes, masks & underpants that were stuffed with more underpants. They were even singing, “Tra la la” and flinging underpants at everything to mimic Captain Underpants.
Sara loves seeing new things from the children every day, but she is not sad when it’s time for the kids to go to bed! She enjoys watching their different personalities play and argue together, and she especially loves when they are sleeping.
According to Nate, he is working on controlling his feelings. He is dedicated to understanding how he reacts to problems and how he can better respond in varying situations. As parents, Brad & Sara realize that he needs to learn his coping strategies through trial and error all on his own! Nate is an extremely smart boy and his emotions are his biggest challenge.
Micah states that he is “working on learning to be gooder at baseball.” Sara notices that he is also really working on reading and understanding what he is reading. Micah is very proud of how far he’s come with reading and loves to share his skills by reading to Mom, Dad or his siblings. Sometimes his siblings aren’t very interested in listening, but Micah reads anyways!
Riley is working on one of the most challenging obstacles that has ever existed. She is learning how to be 2 years old. Riley is transitioning from being a baby to becoming a young child. Her language skills are above and beyond and she puts a lot of thought behind her responses during conversations. She has very strong opinions. Brad & Sara really enjoy learning all about what their 2 year old daughter thinks about everything each day! Her parents asked her if she remembered a funny story from this past year and her response was, “We will, we will butt.” On Easter morning all three kids were singing, “Shake your butt baby!” Then, out of nowhere Riley says, “Shake your butt baby…. I poop.” Followed by a smile.
Oliver, a 9 year old orange tabby cat, and Jorgen, a 2.5 year old tortoiseshell cat, also live with the Creighton family at home. Micah absolutely adores the cats and is proud to have them sleep by him for a while each night. Oliver received his name from the movie “Oliver and Company” and Jorgen was simply given his name at the shelter.. Micah refused to let anyone rename him, so Jorgen stuck! The cats act like brothers and prefer to bicker on the daily and drink water from the sink faucet. Although Brad & Sara may get a break from the children once they go to sleep, this is also the time Oliver & Jorgen like to come out from hiding in their bedroom and ask for special attention.
The children have really special relationships with one another and others besides their parents & cats. Nate & Micah are best friends and share a room by choice. Up until last year, they used to sleep in the same bed every night. Occasionally, they can still be found sleeping in one bed together! They have the stereotypical brother fights, but at the end of the day they love one another and have endless fun together. Micah says, “I really like about Nate that he plays with me a lot.” Nate responded by sharing, “I like that Micah would be willing to do a lot of games and he always tries to help. I love that he likes to help me.” Nate recalls one time where they had too much fun together, “Me and Micah were in a pillow fight and I had to go pee and I ran over to the bathroom but Micah still thought we were in a pillow fight and smacked me in the face. And then I peed my pants.”
Riley loves her brothers and interacts with each of them in a unique way. Micah really loves to laugh with Riley and is very gentle with her and shares more common interests. “I think she’s cute and I like to play with her whatever she likes,” says Micah. Riley responded by sharing, “I like brobro and mini-golf.” Nate is very protective of Riley. Nate told his parents, “I love Riley really really much. She makes me happy when I get sad and she can always cheer me up. Sometimes she can make me more angry? Also sometimes she makes me feel a lot better. And I love just sitting around and snuggling with her. I like to play what she would play.” Riley responded with, “I like to play bubbles!”
Nate, Micah & Riley adore their grandparents. Prior to Covid-19, the kids were visiting or having fun with at least one grandparent each month! The kids also have their own friends outside of family. “Kaeden & Conner are my best friends,” states Nate, “They are my besties because ever since I met them it was really amazing when I was new and they became my friends. Kaeden helped me get used to living here and Conner and I can make eachother laugh.” Micah shares that, “Scarlet, Claire & Isaac are my besties. Ever since I was in 4K Scarlet was really nice to me and I just felt like we were going to be friends and we are. Isaac showed me around and then he said do you want to play with me and I said yes. Claire, we met and we decided we want to have each other for a long time.” The rest is history I suppose. Sara shared that Riley’s best friend is Nora, the neighbor’s daughter who is 9 years old. Since Riley was born, they’ve had a connection. Nora is a wonderful babysitter whenever they all hang out together as a family!
Brad works with a non-profit called Volunteer Fox Cities. He is the Community Engagement and Events Coordinator. His position is part-time and allows him to have flexible hours to manage the kids schedule. Sara states, “Brad anchors this family. He tells me what to do for the morning routine if he has to go in early. He makes and takes the kids to all their appointments for the most part.” Sara is a pediatric/fetal cardiologist with Children’s Wisconsin/Herma Heart Institute. Sara is still in awe that she is an attending physician. She went on an 11 year journey and loves what she does. She adores her patients and taking care of kids. She knows that she was meant to do this for a living! Although her hours can be long, she makes it to the “big stuff” for the kids such as games and sporting events. Their family makes sure to emphasize when Sara has to miss something they all know that it’s because she is taking care of a sick kid or has a very good reason to be gone. The children have never known differently, so they’ve adjusted to this routine well!
Brad has a hobby. A hobby that has consumed their bedroom closet. Over one hundred board games live in the closet and don’t come out nearly as often as Brad wishes they would! Brad also has a bobble head collection and likes to Geocache! Sara wishes her hobbies were as cool as Brads, but nonetheless, she enjoys reading, baking (especially cookies), running so she can eat dessert, and gardening! As a family, they love playing mini-golf together. They play a lot on vacations, the weekends, and whenever they find extra time. When the Creighton family first moved to the area, Brad and the boys golfed 22 days in a row!
What are each of you most looking forward to the rest of the summer?
Micah: “Mini-golf. One time I got a hole in one. Wait, one time did I get a hole in one?”
Nate: “I’m looking forward to family vacation.”
Riley: “Odd squad” The Creighton’s are actually watching a show called Odd squad right now so the validity of that is questionable.
Brad: “Trying to piece together a family vacation although it’s not what we planned and still making the most of it. Hoping no one gets car sick…”
Sara: “I always love family vacations. They are my favorite.”
The Creighton family typically takes annual vacations each summer. Last year they took a road trip to the Badlands, Devil’s Tower, & Windcave National Park. They went to a mammoth dig site which was spectacular. Deadwood was another stop because Brad loves a good touristy town! They happened to be there over the 4th of July during a tornado warning, aka “nature’s fireworks.” This year they were going to go to Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains but postponed it and decided to plan a Tour of Wisconsin trip instead. In the future, they have plans to visit some National Parks and go back to Disney world once Riley is potty trained. Brad & Sara were supposed to go to Switzerland this past May, but Covid had alternate ideas. They’re planning to go next year instead! Each year on Brad’s birthday they take an adult trip with two other friends to get away. Adult time is much appreciated this time of year! The Creighton family also hopes to visit their family in the Chicago area and get down to Milwaukee to visit the zoo, museum, Belair cantina or cheer on the Brewers!
Sara grew up with a lot of family traditions, so they are very important to her to pass onto her family as well! Fall always includes picking apples and pumpkins around Halloween. Brad cooks for Thanksgiving and goes shopping with his mom on Black Friday. Each year for Christmas they cut down their tree at a family owned tree farm in Wild Rose. They love to hide a pickle in the tree for friends to find! Christmas also involves time with extended family. New Year’s Eve is spent with Sara’s sister and her family. The cousins have a sleepover and everyone plays board games until the ball drops. The kids have a “dark party” which includes glow-in-the-dark items and lots of dancing! To top off all the traditions, each “birthday person” gets to pick out dinner and dessert on their special day!
One of the funniest stories that Sara recalls happening recently was on New Year’s Eve going into 2020. The boys were eating pizza and Sara and her sister were taking pictures. The girls asked the boys to give them their best Elsa face. Four of the boys laughed and made a silly pose, but Micah…Micah took this one request to heart. Micah stood up, put his hip out, placed his hand on his hip and turned his head over his shoulder and gave the fiercest stare either of the girls had ever seen. No smile. Straight out of “America’s Next Top Model.” As Sara & her sister couldn’t stop laughing, Micah stated, “What? You told me to give you Else. This is Elsa.”
Riley’s Five Favorite Things
Micah’s Five Favorite Things
Nate’s Five Favorite Things
Why do you want to be a paleontologist?
“Well, I wanted to be a paleontologist because I’ve always had an interest in dinosaurs even though it’s died down recently. It’s kind of become something that would help me understand more and it would be me an experience of discovering a new dinosaur. But right now I mainly want to get to know how their ecosystem ran.” – Nate
“Because I like dinosaurs.” – Micah
Riley plans to be a purple bee. Nate thinks she will own a company and Micah thinks she will become a professional sass maker. If anyone could define a new career such as “professional sass maker,” it’s Riley. Brad knows Riley will do whatever she puts her mind to. Sara thinks Riley will do something great, with spunk and enthusiasm.
The Creighton’s have a special way of surviving the world. It’s called the “New Rules of Life.” The rules started in 2017 as Brad & Sara were joking with the kids about important things to remember. They have expanded significantly since then and the goal is to create books of the rules ‘being broken’ by Brad & Sara. Each child will hopefully get a copy of this “rule breaking” book when they graduate high school to take into adulthood with them!
“Kidlets – take care of each other as we aren’t making you any new siblings. This is what you get. Treasure your time together as your family teaches you how to love.” Love, Mom
“Be kind to your siblings. They can be your best friends and biggest allies. And be true to you. Don’t put too much into what other people want you to be.” Love, Dad