29 September 2013

Dear Calista

I finished writing this post the last day that Calista was an only child, it turned out. I didn't get the chance to actually post it, though, so here it is now! Next blog post will be about how she is NOT an only child any more!

Oh, my sweet baby girl, you are growing up so fast. There are so many things I am forgetting about you and your life, and you're only 2!

Touching a dinosaur at the zoo.
I remember how the very first time you sneezed, you cried. It was so pathetic, so cute, so sweet, so unexpected. But you've gotten used to it now.

You used to need to be held anytime you had the hiccups. Little spasms through your body made you upset, unless you were in our arms... then you were fine.
2 days old
I love the way that you always want to sing and dance... even if there are times I'm tired and would prefer to just relax a minute on the couch.

You are so sweet every time you hear us cough or sneeze: you ask, " 'Kay, mom?" and keep repeating it until I answer, concern on your face.

When you really want our attention, you put your hand on our face and gently force us to look at you, in the eyes.

Before you go to bed, you tell us "Buh-bye, doodnight." If we don't repeat in kind, you will start to yell it and refuse to sleep until we do. Once we tell you, "Buh-bye, goodnight," you happily settle into your bed.

When your father and I are both at the grocery store, you refuse to let me push the cart. It is Daddy's job, not mine.

When you were a few months old, every single evening included you spending at least an hour, if not longer, crying inconsolably. Your daddy would hold you and basically force you to go to sleep, because we didn't know what else to do.

You are so good at going to bed and sleeping now, and some people have commented that they want their children to be like you. I agree with them... right now. But when you were six months old and sometimes were up five times a night, insisting on nursing and refusing to go back to sleep until you did. Eventually, we started having Daddy go in to calm you, and sometimes you'd go back to bed for him, sometimes you still wanted milk. You were still waking up once a night to nurse at even a year. It was hard enough that I said she didn't want to have a second child until you consistently slept all night. Thank goodness you finally did.

I remember when you were probably only a week or two old, and Aunt Loradona was holding you while she and I chatted. You managed to turn your head towards to sound of my voice. Loradona turned around a little, and you turned your head towards my voice again. A third time, as an experiment, Loradona turned, and you followed suit, facing my voice

When you were first born, you hated bathtime. You hated to be naked. You screamed and cried and we bathed you as quickly and infrequently as possible. But you got used to it, you started to enjoy it. It got to the point that your dad would go turn the water on for the bath, and you would start crawling as fast as those baby arms and legs could take you towards to bathroom. You learned to sign "bath" so you could request it, and "bath" was one of your first words. Now you love to pretend to swim, splash, and play with your toys.
Playing in the bath
Driving home from church just a month or so after you turned 2, you suddenly said, "popcorn." I looked back at you, wondering what you meant, and I saw you were doing the "Popcorn Popping" hand motions. "Do you want to sing Popcorn Popping?" I asked, and you gave a huge grin. So we did.
You can also request "Itsa" (The Itsy Bitsy Spider) and do its hand motions, "Star Song," (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and "Patta-Cake."

You are not always so good at sharing. When there is another little kid at the park, you generally don't want them on the play structure at all. You pitch a mini-fit. But sometimes, you are so good at sharing, you pass crayons back and forth with other kids at the library and share your goldfish with your daddy.
When we come home, as we come up the driveway, you will go to the side of the driveway in the shade, and insist on walking in the "dark."

You absolutely love to play with the lamp we have by the piano. You will turn it on and say, "light!" with a big grin, and then flip it off and say, "dark!" You will repeat this over and over and over again.

You don't get out of bed, even though you can. You wait for us to come get you, calling out for Mama and Daddy over and over.

You like to jump all the way down the driveway when we go to the car, saying "Bump (jump), bump, bump!" over and over.
Jumping (and falling) on the bed.
We like having a relative chill kid, but sometimes we wouldn't mind if you made more of a fuss. At least three times you have thrown up in the middle of the night, and instead of crying or letting us know something is wrong, you have rolled over to another part of the bed and gone back to sleep so we only know after you've woken up. I hate that you've slept with vomit in your bed all night, but what can I do about it?

You are really good at saying "please (pease)" and "thank you ('coo)," but sometimes you aren't quite sure what to say, so after we give you something, you just say both: " 'coo, pease." All your bases are covered.

Whenever I am making dinner that includes pasta, you beg and plead for a couple pieces of uncooked spaghetti. I've started keeping an open bag just for you in the pantry.

Let's be honest: you're not a perfect angel all the time. You have tantrums. But somehow, we've managed to have it be the expected thing that when we ask, "are you having a tantrum? Where do you go when you're having a tantrum?" you leave and go to your room!

You saw a picture of the Statue of Liberty, and raised your arm to mimic her.

You absolutely love The Avengers, which your father enjoys. You can point out Hulk (Bruce Banner), Green Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor and get so excited to see them.

People used to ask your daddy why he looked so tired... when you were 8 months old. He had to tell them that you decided to be awake for three hours in the middle of the night, but in spite of that, it was worth it.
That smile is definitely worth it.
We love you so much.

22 September 2013

Banff-ing it up

For Kyler's and my sixth anniversary, we did something I've wanted to do since we moved to Calgary: we went to Banff! It's only about an hour and a half from where we live, and I am so glad we got off our butts and actually went.
First stop, Lake Minnewanka for a picnic lunch and some exploring.

Calista loved both the food and the water, because what's not to love?
Kyler and Calista playing at the water's edge.

With the squirmy girl!

This is me, 8 months pregnant, and the soon-to-be big sister!

Calista kept trying to touch the water, and if she succeeded, she tried to drink it off her fingers. Yum?

Happy 6th anniversary!

The whole family... for now.

She wanted to walk into the water, so we let her.
With bare feet, after testing the water. She didn't want to go back in.

She did, however, want to throw sticks.
Over, and over, and over again.

After lunch, we headed into the actual town of Banff and were all touristy.
Calista attempting to buckle a toy bear up in her stroller. We made her put it back after.

Who doesn't give bears more than twice their size hugs?

We went to a little museum and had fun wandering around.
Calista got to pretend to drive, so she was happy.

Me, being touristy with Mountie Moose!

We also stopped by a park in the city, and let Calista run around a bit.
This is the river in the park. Yeah, this is just kind of on the edge of downtown Banff. Beautiful, no?

And then for dinner, we ate tasty Cajun food...
...complete with a skull vase. I was happy. The food was good. Spicy and tasty and yum.

The second day, we went on some hikes. One was a laid back hike within Banff city limits, and the other was a hike in a canyon.
This canyon.
It was seriously breath taking.

Calista enjoyed being in the carrier, but we also let her walk.
She probably ended up walking about a half mile, which I didn't think was too shabby for a two-year-old.
It wasn't too shabby for me to do the hikes, either, being 8 months pregnant!
And the view we went to see? 
Totally worth it.

So, to recap: yay Banff and National Parks and beautiful hikes and tasty food and fun and family and anniversary!

04 September 2013

Water everywhere!

For Calista's birthday, we wanted to go to a spray park, but things didn't quite work out. So, instead, we went to a spray park the next weekend (yes, that means these pictures are from the first weekend in August. Don't judge me and just be happy to see cute Calista, okay?).
Calista was a little hesitant at first, but she was more adventurous after a few minutes. Because that's my deliberate little girl, cautious until she knows what's going on. Once she figured out that it was actually fun to run through the water, she was happy to.
She ran through this archway of water probably a dozen times. She loved it! We played and got wet and had a grand old time until Calista started to get a little cold. Then we went to the grass, wrapped her up in her towel, and ate banana bread.

All in all, a very successful outing!
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