24 June 2015

Playing for the Blue Monkeys!

Calista was begging us to play on a team for a while now, so I signed her up to play soccer... and volunteered to be her coach. Was this a wise decision? Mostly, I think yes.
Kick-off on the very first day!
When it is practice time, she is loving it.
 Dribbling and playing and having fun, can life get any better?
Her face would suggest not.
She is learning and getting better...
mostly in her attitude. When it is no longer practice time and becomes "game" time, Calista sometimes has some troubles.
She gets upset when the other players (sometimes on her own team) "fight" her.
Subbing out of the game for a bit to calm down.
And, for those not fluent in Calista-ese, when they "fight" her, all it means is they are playing and taking the ball away from her. No punches thrown or anything.
So, we've been working on being a good sport, and she's making progress. She even won an award for it (okay, I made up awards for the team).
"Most improved sportsmanship."

Craig loves to play too,
Or at least take Kyler on an adventure all over the field.
Sometimes he thinks he is one of the "big kids" playing on the team.

All in all, I think I'll consider putting her in soccer again... if she wants to.

21 June 2015

While Daddy's away...

We will play!

Kyler went out of town for a week (eight days, actually, but who's counting?). This meant, of course, a week of me being the sole parent to those crazy chitlins... and having to wash dishes! Needless to say, we were all very happy to have him come home.
To keep us from being too sad, I planned some extra special fun things to do. Because of course I did.

We dropped Kyler off at the airport Saturday after noon. On the way home, Calista was very close to crying. So, I told her that I miss Daddy, too, but how about we eat ice cream when we get home? That definitely helped to dry the tears, because ice cream solves all the world's problems.

The first real day Kyler was gone was Sunday. Craig woke up that morning, and wanted to see Daddy. When I told him Daddy wasn't home, he laid on the floor of my room crying. Poor kiddo. I was slightly apprehensive for church because Craig has taken a step backwards in Nursery recently (they saved his life when he was choking, and he took great offense), but it actually wasn't bad! I even went to some of Sunday School and all of Relief Society. After church, though, was when the real fun began. 
We started with a fort and a movie, and things only got better from there...

The next day we started off with breakfast and playtime at Ikea,
Then drove about an hour to the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton. I would love to go again, when I don't have two kids to keep track of and can actually read more of the historical stuff. I think the kiddos would be willing to go back again, too.
After all, there were hats to dress up in,
A flight simulator cockpit to play in,
(Calista decided the best way to "land" the flight simulator was to completely cut the throttle. Good thing it's not a real plane...)
And, of course, a couple of real cockpits to "fly" in,
Up, up, and away!
We then had a picnic in an awesome little park next to the museum, with sand as it's covering.
The kiddos had a blast, especially since there were a couple of little kids about their same age there.
I did come home looking like I got a little sun, though, in case you doubted the sky in this picture.
Lastly, we had soccer, which I was very anxious about, because normally Kyler spends the whole of it chasing Craig, while I coach. This time, though, Craig spent half of it voluntarily in his stroller - strapped in, even - and I felt the tender mercies of the Lord.

Tuesday was Calista's last official day of preschool - until September. They had a Preschool Pancake Party, which was a lot of fun. They also gave the kids each their memory books and said a couple of things about each kid.
They said Calista was enthusiastic! about each new task or project they would do, saying, "Okay! Let's do it!"
They also told me privately that she is very bright and picks up on things very quickly. Her teacher told me that it might be difficult in time, because if Calista doesn't have a challenge, she might get bored and seek other forms of... entertainment. Oh, I believe it...
Craig just liked to run around, eat, and play (in this case with the mirror).
We also went to the library, like every week, and visited with their pretend great-grandma... where they were insane and refused to listen to me. Sigh.

Wednesday was zoo day!
It was threatening to rain the entire time we were at the zoo, so the kiddos were decked out in rain boots and jackets.
It actually was rather pleasant, and a little bit quieter than it would've been had the weather been nice.
Almost as soon as we got into the car and started to drive home, it did start to rain, and while Craig napped there was thunder and lightning. Very excited.
We also had another day of soccer, but the fear of thunderstorms scared everyone away. We still went and played on the playground because it wasn't actually raining or anything, and I breathed a sigh of relief that the soccer games sans Kyler were finished.

Thursday was really, truly, the last day of 3-year-old preschool for Calista. They had a field trip and Hop, Sip, and Jump, and so she got to play (and roar at) one last time with all her preschool friends.
Craig came too, and he loved it.
His favorite part was the play kitchen here.
He also enjoyed matching the blocks to the correct color square on the floor.
Craig did this for every block he could find - he's definitely not colorblind!
He once again fell asleep on the way home, and then woke up from his nap way too early and was a bit of a grump.
But a trip to the mall to play, run, jump (and buy swim trunks),
And dinner at Dairy Queen (mostly) made up for it.

Friday Craig woke up in the middle of the night and wanted Daddy. After 20 minutes, I was able to get him down again, but then I couldn’t go back to sleep. 7:15 came way too early for me.
But it came, and we had things to do! First, we went to a kiddie pool. When we got into the pool dressing room, Craig freaked out, which I took as a bad omen… but I was wrong.
He loved it, and so did Calista.
She pretended some of the toys were dinosaur footprints - spinosaurus, giganotosaurus, and baryonyx, to be exact - and then declared that they were actually her footprints, because she is a spinosaurus.
Craig playing in the lockers while I got dressed after we finished. I didn't mind, since it kept him from running away from me while I was naked!
Yet again, Craig fell asleep in the car. That’s what happens when I try to exhaust them and we stay 1.5 hours at the kiddie pool!
After his nap, it was grocery shopping, park, then dinner, Slurpee run, and a different park.
 Somebody liked their (first??) slurpee...
Oh, and there was definitely a bath in there. Oh, the stickiness!
Whew! Trying to make sure they have fun and are good and tired at the day is exhausting!

But, only one more day!
Saturday started off with a trip to an awesome toddler park, because one simply cannot have enough parks in their life.
This particular park is the perfect size for little kids, so Craig and Calista can play to their hearts content.
And play they did.
It made for a lovely morning.
In the lawn right next to the park, they were having a beginning-of-summer event for little kids, including bubbles, sidewalk chalk,
and a little petting zoo. You would think that I planned this, to go to that park on that day at that time because of the fun things going on, but...
Nope, total coincidence. But definitely an awesome coincidence!
Craig and Calista loved it, and had a ton of fun, though it did mean the topic of conversation at dinner was poop - "Why did the goat poop on the ground? Why not a toilet?"
Then it was home for a nap, lunch, and, of course,
Making cookies!
And, for the grand finale, another movie (and some cookies)
 in our fort. And once they went to bed, I breathed a sigh of relief and waited patiently for Kyler to get home.
Yes, he is asleep while she is reading. She came down several times, to get books (including the one in his hand) and to complain that Craig wasn't listening to her: she wanted him to take care of her, but he was asleep. I told her I'd get her a couple of more books if she didn't wake him up!
I survived the week! It was not nearly as hard as I feared, mostly because of many tender mercies from the Lord and a couple of (most of the time) pretty good kids. I'm happy not to be a single mom anymore, though.

And finally, though he came home while they were asleep, the kiddos first got to see Kyler on Sunday morning... also known as Father's Day.
I don't think Kyler minded their celebrations one bit.

19 June 2015

When it rains, it pours!

A few months back, I realized that the Women's World Cup, like the real, official, highest level of women's soccer you can see, was coming to Canada. And not just Canada, but one of the several cities hosting games was Edmonton, just a short 3 hour drive from us. And Team Canada was playing their first two games there, in Edmonton. I have to go!
But... it's a 3 hour drive there. And back. The games were double-headers, starting at 4 PM and lasting until 9 PM. That seemed way too long to do with the kids who wouldn't want to sit still during the game anyway. 
So, a new plan was born.
Kyler's sisters, Kari and Krissy, drove up bringing two of our nieces and nephews with them, to serve as playmates for our kiddos. And Kyler and I, we left. We drove up to Edmonton, caught a train to the games, watched the games, spent the night in a hotel, and then went to West Edmonton Mall (quite possibly Kyler's favorite place in the world) by ourselves. For the first time since Calista was born.
It was amazing.

I would say everything went to plan, and that's why it was amazing, but not quite everything did...
 We made it to the stadium in plenty of time. It was hot and sunny and beautiful.
 We saw Netherlands v China (sadly China won, but oh well!)
 We got ready to cheer on Canada versus New Zealand...
 And then it started to rain. And then it started to pour.
But the game will go on! ...unless there is lightning. Then the game will get delayed and we will be told to leave the stands and go under the covers... which we don't mind because at this point we will be soaked to the bone and starting to get cold.
But never fear! The blue skies return and so do we to our seats. The game will continue!
In spite of, or because of?, the rain, Kyler and I had a blast. As you can see, we bought scarves, one for Canada, and one for the World Cup as a whole, with the flags of all the countries that qualified on it.
And, then, of course the next day we spent soaking wet again, but this time with more appropriate clothing.
It was so nice to spend a little bit of time, just me and him. It reminded me a little bit of our honeymoon, how carefree we were.
So, a huge thank you to the amazing aunties who care for our little ones. We knew they would have fun with them and their cousins, and so we felt free to not worry about them. Thank you, Kari and Krissy! We needed a mini vacation!

06 June 2015

Miss Fearless (and Grumpy-kins) go to the Amusement Park

For this summer, Kyler and I have splurged a little and bought season passes to Calaway Park. We got them before the park opened for the season, so we were able to get them for $40 each... instead of $110 each or $108 for a single day. Yeah, $40 doesn't sound so bad when you put it that way...
I've been wanting to visit "Western Canada's Largest Outdoor Amusement Park" for a while now, but I was always pregnant or had a little baby or something. So, this was it. Our opportunity. And we seized it.
We have been twice now (which means we're already ahead in $!), and it was been a lot of fun.
This little girl... she's fearless.
 From the very first ride (with daddy!)...
 Or the first one by herself...
She's been nothing but smiles.
During and after every ride, all she says is, "This is so fun! This is the best ride ever!"
Especially if she has some control!
Even the "scary" big-kid type rides that she's allowed on, ones that make other kids cry, what does she do?
Thumbs up, no fear...
I think she only started screaming because everyone else did. She thought it was funny.

Her brother, on the other hand...
 He seems to think sitting on a ride is torture.
 He sometimes gets better when it actually starts moving, but not much.
 His favorite "rides" are the height measure boards at every ride:
What a fun place it is! All smiles here!
And rocks. So, while one of us rides fun rides with Calista, the other watches Craig climb and throw rocks, and everyone is happy.

I'm kind of amazed by how many rides Calista is allowed to do, and even more impressed by how willing she is to try all of them. Maybe by the end of the season, Craig will be willing to do a ride or two, as well...
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