27 January 2018

Christmas with Loradona

My sister came to visit us for Christmas, and it was so much fun that I simply have to blog about it. Obviously.
But first, a couple of things from before she got here...
We're trying to get in touch with some our our ancestral roots, so on December 13, I made a "saffron" bread wreath for St. Lucia Day.
And Calista got to wear a crown with "candles." Fun, and tasty.

Craig also had his preschool concert. He was dressed as a shepherd, and refused to sit still for me to take a picture of his adorable self.
But I did get this. Craig, during Little Drummer Boy. He's hiding, and then popping back up at the chorus. Why? I have no idea.

After Loradona got here, Calista had a concert, too, and she did wonderfully.
Except the lights were so bright in her eyes!
She actually wasn't the only kid that stood in that spot and seemed bothered by the light.

Loradona and I also did some shopping
and headed to an antique mall - where Craig did not break anything! - and to see an enormous Stanley Cup...
mostly because it just happened to be in the same parking lot.
Still, Craig loved it.

In between concerts and Stanley Cups, we got ready for Christmas.
This obviously included getting presents out from where they were hidden and wrapping them, and also baking.
Lots and lots of baking. Ham, rolls, chocolate crinkle cookies, gingerbread cookies,
pizza, cinnamon ring rolls, and orange birthday cake,
because Jesus likes orange.

In between all the baking, concerts, shopping, and wrapping, there was also lots of playing with Aunt Loradona.
All of the kiddos were so excited to have her come visit: they've been talking about it for months. And they all warmed right up to her, playing, laughing and cuddling with her. They definitely want her to come visit again.

The Saturday before Christmas (Christmas Eve Eve, if you will), we headed to see a live nativity. I made sure everyone was prepared with boots, gloves, hats, snow pants, coats... I was actually a little worried I'd gone overboard. And then it started to snow.
A lot. Like, I got off my chair to take a few pictures, and there was noticeable accumulation on my seat when I went to sit back down.
It was kind of cool, actually. And after the nativity was over, there were cookies and hot chocolate inside the church, and the snow tapered down a bit for the drive home, too.

Christmas Eve, we got all dressed up, and headed to church. But not before taking lots of pictures.
This was probably the most cooperative our children have ever been taking pictures.
Sure, I did bribe them with M&Ms.
And I feel no shame about that.
Because, seriously, how cute are they?
The whole family, for good measure.
And, of course, one with Aunt Loradona!!

After church was yummy dinner,
new pajamas, and prepping for Christmas morning.
Oh, how I love Christmas morning with the kiddos. They get so excited for everything.
And, of course, need to "help" Caleb open presents.
From "Santa," everyone got books.
Which means we had to take a little break mid-presents to look at them, obviously.
The kiddos also got a present from The Anna Maund. She's a little old lady, over 90, that fell in love with Calista, and every subsequent child, at church in Calgary. Sister Maund mailed me a check and told me to buy the kids a present.
So I sneakily had them pick their favorite stuffed animal at the zoo and bought them without letting them know. Then I wrapped the stuffies up and kiddos got them Christmas morning. They were thrilled.
Everyone was pretty thrilled, mostly.
Caleb got lots of toys, some of which make noise and he loves.
Craig opened his present, which he had never seen before in his life, and announced, "It's just what I wanted!!"
Because what 4-year-old doesn't love dinosaurs and hammers?
Calista was a little disappointed in her haul. "It feels like I didn't get many presents." We told her that she sounded kind of selfish, and then the next day, we had another "present" for everyone.

Which was going to West Edmonton Mall, and more specifically the waterpark. I have no pictures of this, because we left all devices locked up. Just trust me, it was a lot of fun, despite the walk to a from the car being at -27 C (-17 F), and also despite losing Craig in the first 30 minutes or so... he tried to follow me and Kyler as we went up the stairs to do a couple of slides. We had no idea, but he made it all the way up to the top where the lifeguards sent him back down (accompanied) to wait for someone to come looking for him. And, of course, we did certainly come looking for him and thankfully found him and were able to continue the rest of the day.
All in all, we spent 6 hours at the mall, both the boys had naps, and everyone had a good time.

The day before Loradona left, we headed to the Conservatory, so we could trick our bodies into thinking we were outside.
And look at pretty flowers.
We didn't know ahead of time, but they also had a scavenger hunt for the kiddos, and Calista and Craig each got a candy cane as a reward when they finished.
After the scavenger hunt, we enjoyed looking at the rest of the pyramids and taking family pictures.
Why not, right?
Craig just had to show me that there were bugs under the rock. He was pretty proud of himself for finding them.
And Caleb loved the waterfall.

We loved our first Christmas in Edmonton, most especially because Loradona came to spend it with us. Hopefully she (and any other family that wants to!) can come visit again soon!

23 January 2018

Eighteen months, better late than never!

Everyone always says the middle child is neglected, and maybe that's true, but I think I probably neglect child #3 the most. Case in point: this is a blogpost about Caleb being 18 months old! Yay! ...at the beginning of December. Well, at least I'm doing it eventually...
So, yeah, this boy. He's 18 (19... 20...) months old now! And we absolutely adore him.

His hair. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: it's curly, guys.
The boy has dimples and curly blond hair. Be still my heart.
Caleb hasn't actually had a first haircut because I just can't bring myself to cut off those curls. Someday it'll have to happen, I know, but... today is not this day!

Of course, Caleb is reaching the age where he is talking more and more.
Favorite things to say: Momma, no, hug!, and there you go.
But uses tons of words, (wee!, go, stop, please, nana (banana), Amen, hi, bye, hello... to name a few) and mimics even more.
He said his first sentence the day Kyler went back to work after Christmas break, all two words of it: "Where's Daddy?"

Sleeping has had its ups and downs,
but the last several weeks he's slept through the night. Maybe I've finally arrived.
Maybe I will begin to have a few days when I can have seven hours (or more! Dream big!) straight of sleep.

Caleb loves to eat, and usually eats just about anything we give him.
However, he has started to throw food when he's done with it, which annoys Kyler - the man who does the majority of the sweeping - especially.

As previously mentioned, Caleb is mobile! He has learned to go up and down stairs (crawling),
learned to walk,
and now is learning to go up and down stairs
(walking, heavily assisted by the stair railing).

One of my favorite things is Caleb giving kisses. Occasionally these kisses looks more like a headbutt while making a smacking sound. Still adorable, albeit dangerous.

Caleb is starting to play a lot more, both by himself and with others.
I'll often realize I haven't seen him in a while, and find that he's playing happily by himself in the playroom.
He loves to be read to, and turn the pages of books.
Loves to play with Craig and Calista.
Caleb loves to go outside, and gets upset if people go outside without him.
Since it's winter, our outside time has been a little bit... rare.
But he still loves it, and will love it all the more come spring!
He's also discovered videos and loves especially KidsTV123.

We are definitely beginning to see his preferences and likes. Among the things Caleb likes: hats,
shoes, and playing with items in the kitchen.
Like all of our children, he also enjoys playing the piano.
It makes noise music!

He's been all over:
four National Parks, roadtrips to Idaho
and Oregon,
moving to Edmonton,
and of course tagging along to whatever activities his brother and sister have.

I simply adore this kid. I'm so grateful I've been able to get to know him the last year and a half. 
He's my buddy, especially while his brother and sister are at school.
I love his loving smile and look forward to watching him grow into an awesome kid.
And handsome, obviously.
But, uh, maybe not naked...!
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