27 July 2014

A Little Bit Blue

This amazing baby girl... was three yesterday!
Starting to not be so baby-like any more.

Calista's been talking about her birthday ever since Kyler's in May. She tried to say she was three already, so we told her after she blew out a candle on her cake, then she would be three. When it got closer to her birthday, I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. "A BLUE cake!"

So, a blue cake it was.

She even "helped" me make it, mostly by excitedly repeating, "My BLUE cake! I eat it now," every step of the way and stealing the lemons to lick them ("Yummy," she said as she made a face).

But she couldn't eat it yet. She had to wait until her after her presents!

What a haul this little girl got.

 More train sets, movies, bubbles...

Life is good when you're three!

Especially when you get to have all your favorite foods and play at parks with Daddy, Mommy, and Baby Craig!

But don't worry, Calista eventually got her BLUE cake.

And it did not disappoint.
 Once she blew out the candle, it was time to dig in.


Happy Birthday, (not so) baby girl!

16 July 2014

The Grand Road Trip 2014, part 3

When we last left our adventurous heroes, they were preparing to leave Utah, the land of their eldest's birth, and return to Canada, the land of the clan leader's birth. So, we shall continue with The Grand Road Trip, part the third: our trip back to Canada and Canada Day celebrations.

So, the return drive itself was fairly uneventful. We spent the night in Montana to avoid doing the 14 hour drive in one day with two kidlets... yuck.
Craig absolutely loved the hotel because it was some place new to explore. The rest of us just appreciated the break from the car.
What I didn't appreciate: while in Montana, I... threw up again. For those keeping track at home,  this is the third time since the morning we left Calgary I threw up. Yeah, I'm not a fan. But I've survived, and we survived the driving with 2 kids under 3. We made it to Raymond, and all is well.

We got into Raymond on June 30, so the next day was Canada Day.
Obviously we went to the parade, sitting with a couple of Kyler's siblings and their kids.
Calista sure loves hanging out with her cousins. We gave Calista this lecture about the candy during the parade coming from cars, and needing to be careful, so she didn't get hurt... and then she was afraid to step of the curb without Kyler holding her hand. Whoops.
Maybe next year we won't give her the lecture and just see if she needs us to set limits first. In spite of her fear, she still got more than enough candy and had a lot of fun.
Craig also loved watching, just taking in all in. We didn't give him candy, because we were mean.
In the afternoon, we headed to the carnival or whatever it is by Raymond High School. They had some yummy buns,
music to dance to, and sand to play in.
The sand ended badly, however, when a boy about 11 threw sand at his friend and instead hit Craig (who wasn't even in the sand!). Kyler and I totally became those parents who yell at other's people children. Thankfully, Craig is just fine, but we still took it as our cue to leave.
Calista also got to stay up and watch fireworks for the first time. She started out outside with her cousin Brooklyn, then it was outside with Kyler, and then she came inside with me, too. She didn't act afraid, but was just being a little cautious.

The next day, we all went out to lunch with Maria - her favorite, sushi - and then to see How To Train Your Dragon 2 at the theater. There were moments that Calista got a little scared, so she sat on Kyler's lap and every once in a while would say, "I need a hug!" It was cute. She loved the movie, though. And afterwards, Maria went to Toy R Us and bought her a little Toothless dragon stuffed animal. Calista definitely loved that.

On Thursday, I think we're at, we went to the pool.
Calista loved it and went down the slide all by herself multiple times.
Craig hated at first, and then decided, actually, this isn't too bad, and did really well.
The mosquitoes, though, were HORRIBLE. Being in the water protected you, but when Craig got hungry part way through, instead of sitting in the lounges poolside, I retreated to a wooden bench in the dressing room to avoid being eaten alive. Ugh. I hate mosquitoes.
After the pool, we went and had dinner with Krissy and the missionaries. Calista loved playing with her cousins, and mostly let them boss her around.
She does have her limits, though, and let them know when she was done being their little doll.
Craig got to interact with little Brock, born Aug 1. It was pretty cute to see them play and touch each other.
Craig got his mohawk pulled a bit, and couldn't even retaliate, because Brock has almost no hair. Ha.

On our drive back up to Calgary, we took a little detour and went to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. It's a Provincial park and interpretive center. It was really interesting. We told Calista about it, and she kept saying, "Buffaloes fall off rock. Buffaloes fall off sedimentary rock (her addition) and get hurt. Buffaloes die." Yup, that about sums it up, kid.
Of course, in the days since, Calista has been "falling" down every once in a while, and then saying, "I falling like the buffalo." She is also saying, "Buffaloes fall down and get hurt... we got to help the buffalo!" I'm not sure she quite understood the concept of the buffalo jump.
It was cool, though, they had a movie of a buffalo hunt, and a whole bunch of stuff about the Native American tribes in the area, and their cafe, which we didn't eat at, had bison burgers. I was satisfied with that.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip, though we are glad to be back home. So is our cat. I think she's forgiving us for leaving her all alone (with friends to check on her and feed her, don't worry!).

Now planning for the next big trip begins. What will it be? Christmas? Next summer to the Oregon Beach for the May Family Reunion? Hawaii after Kyler gets his PhD? All of the above? Vote in the comments below!

13 July 2014

The Grand Road Trip 2014, part 2

So, now that we've talked about Idaho, it is time for The Grand Road Trip 2014, part the second: our trip to Utah.

We left Idaho Monday morning, and headed down to Salt Lake.
We spent the afternoon on Temple Square, hitting up all the traditional sites: North and South Visitor's Centers, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Tabernacle, Conference Center...
Calista actually took this picture. A couple of women thought it was adorable that she was trying, and the volunteered to take one of all of us.
So we did.

Calista was so excited to see the temple,
the giant Christus statue, and the "President Monson buildings," as she called the Tabernacle and Conference Center.
She kept asking where President Monson was. Sorry, babe, I don't know. Calista was a little tired by the middle of our Conference Center tour, but the tour guide bribed her with a couple of pennies to throw into the fountain on top if she was good, which was her favorite part of the tour.
Kyler thought it was fitting that I was nursing Craig while being "watched over" by this statue.
Then we headed down to Lehi to stay with Tim and Maria. Both kidlets fell asleep on the drive from Salt Lake to Lehi, so they were a little slow warming up to our hosts, but definitely did in time.
Plus, Tim and Maria have puppies.
And Calista loooooves puppies.
And Craig likes trying to eat puppy food and play in their water. So, win-win all around.

Tuesday, Calista and I went on a date to the aquarium. It was a lot of fun.
I love spending time with just me and her, and she gets so excited every time we tell her she's going on a date with either me or Kyler.
"I want to go there!"
She and I did a little photo booth together.
I picked the seahorse background because she was so excited to see them.

Wednesday, we headed down to BYU, wandered campus for a bit, and then had lunch with Calista (Read!) and her husband. I sure do love J Dawgs, and my Calista(s).
Playing in the grass a bit after eating at J Dawgs (while Craig nursed)

While wandering campus, we stopped in at the ballroom, which meant dancing.
Or running around being silly. Obviously.

Then we headed up to the Bean Museum. When we got there, Calista took my hand and ran across the room shouting, "Mommy! It's a hippo!"
She was so excited, and that moment alone would've made the whole museum worth it. But the rest of it was cool, too. She loved seeing the animals.
Playing at the gift shop. We saw these stuffed snakes everywhere, and Calista absolutely loved them!

Craig loved that we let him crawl around. They had a new play area, including a cave...
...with a BEAR in it!

After completely wearing Craig out, we headed to go buy some ice cream. Calista wanted "pink ice cream" and didn't want to listen when we said strawberry, so we told her it was pink.
It was her very first ice cream cone of her own, and she did really well.

After our ice cream break, we headed to another museum, BYU's Paleontology Museum (if you've never been there, you should totally go. It's small, but awesome.)
Craig again loved that we let him crawl around,
and Calista loved all the dinosaurs. She also followed another little boy around for a while, calling him, "my cousin." I've no idea who he was, but Calista liked him well enough.
Then we headed to have dinner with some friends, Wayne and Angel, and their two kids. It was yummy and fun, though we probably stayed way too late and didn't get our kids to bed at any decent time... we'd pay for it the next day...

...in Salt Lake again!
We first to This Is The Place monument, and looked at all the different statues and plaques honoring the Pony Express and the Old West and everything.
It was nice to look at and think about how different life was 200 years ago. Crazy.

After that, we went to Legends, our favorite sports bar, and watch the Germany-US World Cup game while eating some amazing poutine.
Craig trying to eat the menu. Yum!
Then we headed to the Church History Museum (can you tell we like museums? And we're not done yet!).
Calista didn't have much patience for reading the plaques (what child that can't read does), but enjoyed herself anyway...
Inside the building that Kyler and I made.
until we reached the children's area and she wanted to try dancing with a blue skirt and all the blue skirts were too big. A pink one just simply wouldn't do. She started to have a meltdown, so we decided it was best to leave. Outside, on a plaza-type area between the museum and the Family History Library, Calista had a huge tantrum. Kyler and I just sat back and watched her, partially because we don't believe in engaging her when she's like that, and partially because we're lazy. Kyler did take a picture, though.
And the people who walked past us were very understanding and empathetic, not judge-y, so we waited for her to mostly calm down and then asked her if she wanted to go play in a fountain.

The answer was yes, so to Gateway Mall we went. Craig got stripped down to his onesie and Calista got into some shorts, and we let them play. Craig... hated it.
So he instead got to watch, eat, and be held by Mommy.

Calista, though, she loved it.
She got soaking wet, and I was very glad that we had brought an entire change of clothes for her.

Finally, we headed back to have dinner with our hosts: Rodizio's, complete with grilled pineapple. Again, Calista loved it. She's a meat fan, so what's not to love?  Craig loved it, too, especially the extra attention from Tim and Maria.

And, speaking of our hosts, the next day, our last big one in Utah, we went to Thanksgiving Point with Tim (Maria had to go out of town for work that morning). First we went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity... in other words, and children's science museum. It was a lot of fun. After we paid our admission, Calista just walked up and grabbed Tim's hand. Kyler said, "I've been replaced..." which wasn't quite true, but she definitely found a buddy in Tim.
They had all sorts of things, like a wind tunnel thing,
a water table for babies,
tons of places for children to play, climb, and explore,
Craig exploring!
as well as a little kid zipline! We weren't sure Calista would want to do, but she did!
We told her to hold on tight with both hands, and after she was done, Kyler basically had to pry her hands off. She was being very obedient at that moment and holding on tight!

After the museum, we went to Thanksgiving Point's farm. We shook a little container of cream until it turned to butter (and then put some on bread and ate it, yum!), saw cows and horses and sheep and goats, Craig fell asleep, and Calista rode a pony.
She said it was her "blue horse" because of the harness, I think.
Finally, we headed to the Museum of Ancient Life. Yes, another dinosaur museum. Quite a bit bigger (and more expensive, but worth it) than BYU's, it was a lot of fun. There were a lot of interactive exhibits that Calista enjoyed playing in, including a sandy area where you could could dig and uncover "fossils."
Calista loved it.

Finally, on our last day in Utah, we took it pretty easy, just hanging out at Tim and Maria's,
going to the park, and making sure everything was ready to go back home, via Montana.

It was nice to see some of our friends again, and to revisit the old stomping grounds. Visiting Salt Lake was especially nice. We really did love the time we lived there, and (depending on how things go) would consider living there again. But, for now, we are in Canada, which is where the next edition of The Grand Road Trip will take us!
...to be continued...
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