26 January 2015

These feet are made for walkin'

After debating for a long time, Craig has finally decided that he can walk. In fact, walking is now his preferred form of transportation, beating out crawling just in the last couple of weeks.
I've been wanting him to walk for a while now, and everyone I told that to said, "why? He's so much easier to deal with when he's not walking!"
I disagreed: he was crawling very quickly and climbing everything he could, so what would change when he's walking? I could put him down in places that I may not want him crawling but would be okay with him walking!
So far, it seems I am right. Kyler and I actually think he's easier to keep track of now that he's walking, partially because, right now at least, he's not quite as fast on two legs. He's still kind of like a drunk sailor, actually.
Which has its downsides... But overall, this is a good thing!

Calista likes it, too. Sometimes because she'll try to hold his hand...
Sometimes because she'll take over the stroller... he's not using it at the moment, I suppose. Because he's walking!

23 January 2015

Z-O-O spells Zoo!

Obviously, one of the big reasons we went on our road trip was to see family. Loradona herself was a huge draw, since I hadn't seen her since she left on her mission (and she'd never met Craig!), and my parents were fantastic. But when we had the chance to spend the day with my cousin Mariana, we jumped at the chance... and took a trip to the zoo.
With Aunt Loradona, too, of course!

Calista was begging to see the polar bears from the moment we got there. We don't have polar bears at the zoo in Calgary, so she enjoyed seeing them. And growling.
Craig didn't pay attention to the polar bears, because Kyler's hair is more interesting.

We saw basically everything, which is what you do when you don't have a zoo pass!

I especially liked the ocean/Stellar Cove area, I think mostly because there aren't really aquariums in Calgary.
Waiting for the water spout.

 With the Sea Lion.

Climbing through logs.

Everywhere Calista saw the word "zoo," she would announce loudly, and repeatedly, "Z-O-O! That spells zoo!"

Calista letting Craig be taller than her!

Because he was almost walking, at a number of the exhibits we let Craig out to get a closer look at the animals.
Like the crocodile.

My favorite moment of the trip was when we were at the condors. They were so interested in Craig.
The zookeeper thought it was because they thought he might be a condor - he had a black jacket and is about the right size... hopefully they wanted him to join them, not just to eat him.

My second favorite was seeing the little pygmy goats, Because it was winter, their exhibit was "closed," which means you can't go in and pet them, but they are still out in the yard if they want to be, and so we were able to see and pet them.
Calista thought it was so funny that they'd kiss her hand or something. Craig had to be convinced a bit to touch them.
Once he did, every time he'd touch one and the pull his hand quickly away, giggling.

And an honorable mention for my favorite moment of the zoo trip: In the aviary, one of the birds (a hamerhop), flew right down next to Calista.
She listened to us when we told her to stay still and not go towards it, and it hung around for a few seconds (long enough to take a picture, at least!), before moving on.

I'm pretty sure the highlight of the trip for Calista ended up being Marianna.
They were best buds.

PLUS, after we were finished with the zoo, we went out to eat with the whole family and got lots of yummy food... ahh, Mongolian Grill...

20 January 2015

Jesus Likes Orange

I've decided Christmas with a three year old is pretty fun. She's still little enough to get really excited but not selfish about things (too much), and big enough to say and do so many funny things. Seriously, Calista is hilarious.

For starters, at our Ward Christmas party, she informed me that she was going to sing. Uh, okay? I didn't quite believe her, but when the primary got up, my little still-in-nursery girl decided to join them.
She didn't know the words, so she just bounced around.
Also, sadly not pictured, when another little nursery boy tried to crash the song, too, she bodily removed him from the stage because he didn't belong. I guess she's ready to go to primary?

Before we left to come to Oregon, our neighbors started putting up decorations. This prompted Calista to want to put up our decorations, including our tree. She so wanted them up!
Like the Swedish chimes. She loves them every year.
Craig got to be fascinated by the fire this year, too.
They both love the chimes!
I told Calista that when we got to Oregon, we would go out and cut down a tree with Grammie and Grandpa and then decorate it. So we did.
It was basically exactly like this, except we only brought one home. But its heart was very happy, because it had a home.
And then, of course, we had to decorate it, starting with the lights.
Thanks for the help, Craig!
Then on goes ornaments...
Including the candy canes.
Any guesses who put them on?
Lastly, the star.
With Grandpa's help, little girls can reach the top of the tree, too.

Calista loves Santa Claus. I don't quite know where her knowledge came from, but it's there. She met him at zoolights, and when we went downtown to see my dad, she could've talked to him again, but she refused to go near Santa, even after he offered her a candy cane. We didn't push it, though.
 Instead we went and played on the little kid train.
Which Calista and Craig both loved.

We have been trying to teach Calista about the WHY of Christmas. It's not just about presents, but about Jesus. For one of our FHE lessons, we looked at pictures of her and Craig's birthdays, and I told her that we celebrate the birthdays of people we love... like Jesus, and that's what Christmas is about. She decided then that Jesus needed a cake, and since she's three, we decided to humor her. Then Calista declared that Jesus needed an orange cake: "Jesus likes orange." Um, okay then. Who can argue with that? An orange cake it was.
A chocolate orange cake. Chocolate cake "moistened" with an orange syrup, chocolate orange ganache filling, and orange cream cheese frosting. It was a monster of a cake that Loradona and I put together, with a little help from Calista. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good. It also inspired Loradona and I to want to make a youtube channel of us trying out new recipes. I mean, it'd be awesome to watch us, right? RIGHT?

Grammie also wanted to make cookies with the grandchildren, so they did.
Both Craig and Calista helped make the dough, kind of. And then it was time to roll it out.
After Grammie showed her how, Calista did it herself.
What a big girl!
Then it's time to cut out the shapes, and finally, the best part:
Decorating! Calista loved painting the cookies and putting sprinkles on... maybe a little too much. Our cookies were definitely not lacking in sparkly colored sugar.

Grammie May bought Calista a Christmas dress, and Craig a bow tie, to wear the Sunday before Christmas. So we clearly had to take pictures.
And our children cooperated fairly well!
Funny looks on occasion, but still cooperative.
What a big girl, in Aunt Loradona's heels.
Don't I have adorable children?

A few days before Christmas, Kyler gave me my present. It was time-sensitive, so it had to be done ahead of time. What Kyler gave me was this:
This book, As You Wish, by Cary Elwes. But more important than the book, was the little yellow ticket he got with it: a place in the line to get my book signed (and my hand shook!) by the Dread Pirate Roberts/Wesley himself.
Kyler also stayed home with the babes so that I could have a fun evening with my mom and my sister. It was an awesome present!

And now we've finally reached Christmas proper.
There were plenty of fun things to play with.
Craig and Calista both got new pajamas,
And absolutely loved their stockings. Well, Calista loved it. Craig liked it.
Craig also liked, not loved, opening gifts.
And once Calista helped him open a car, he no longer cared about anything else, until after it was open. At that point, he cared again.
Calista definitely cared. Kyler and I, not really related to Christmas, got new jackets for ourselves on this trip. While at the store, Calista fell in love with this purple jacket. She was heartbroken when she realized we hadn't bought it.
When she opened one of her presents to discover it, though... that was pure joy. "I love my purple jacket!"
She got a lot of things, including a pink river dolphin and a very cheap fake barbie doll (from a sweet little old lady in our ward). It may or may not have made it home...
...or even through Christmas morning. Seriously, the girl took it apart like a puzzle. I was kind of proud.
"I was horrified!" - Susan Chowderhead.

And now, I will end this rambling Christmas post with a joke, made up by Calista herself:

Why did the wisemen look for the baby?
They couldn't find him.

Merry Christmas!

17 January 2015

Beach Therapy

Since I've left home to go to college, I have lived in parts of the country that are landlocked. And every time I go home, I make sure to take the time to visit the beach, to be near the ocean. It does wonders for my soul, and other than my family is what I think I miss most about Oregon. So, obviously, we took a day trip out to the beach.
It was the first time Craig has ever seen the ocean, and we all loved it - especially since it was nearly 60 degrees! In Oregon! In December!
First we headed out to Cannon Beach, and upon realizing just how gorgeous it was, spent some time on the sand before heading to lunch.
Looks like Craig enjoyed his first beach experience, wouldn't you say?
Lunch was Mo's, because of course it was. I let Calista choose what to eat, and she wanted fish. I was a little hesitant to let her decide, because sometimes she's three, but she ate more than half of her fish and was very happy. Craig was pretty happy, too, until he fell off the bench and Kyler dropped his pop on him. Sorry, no pictures of that... we were too busy cleaning it up, with the help of management.
To make it up to us (though it was totally our fault and not theirs in any way), the manager gave us a couple of Frisbees, which we took out to the beach again, because it was seriously beautiful!
Frisbees and the ocean breeze are not always the easiest things to deal with, but we had fun.
I even helped Calista and Craig make mini sand castles.

And after we were done making them, I let them destroy them, too, because isn't that part of the fun?

We also spent some time at a little park just off the beach before heading to Tillamook Cheese Factory.
Driving the Loaf Love Bus
I love cheese. And ice cream.
Craig watching the cheese on conveyor belts. "I want to eat it all!" he's thinking.
Calista wanted purple ice cream, and decided on the blueberry flavor. Again I was hesitant because she's three, but she loved it and happily ate the whole thing. And Craig happily ate bites from Grammie.

What more from a beach trip could one ask for? Oh, I know... chocolate.
Calista enjoying the chocolate she picked out.
We did that, too, at Bruce's Candy Kitchen. So for about six months or so, I have my coast fix. It may not be enough, but it'll do.

Seriously, my soul. It yearns for the water and the breeze, the expanse and beauty that is the ocean.
And I am at peace.
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