26 November 2016

Presenting Doctor Kyler, PhD

On November 10, 2016, we celebrated a moment that has been a long time coming:
Kyler getting his PhD in experimental psychology. Technically, he defended his dissertation, thus actually completing his degree, back in May before Caleb was born. Side note: apparently his adviser was worried the whole time that I would go into labor even though it was, like, 3 weeks before my due date. Kyler and I were not concerned. But this was the day we celebrated all the hard work and countless hours Kyler has spent working, writing, editing, analyzing data, reviewing, teaching, grading, learning, and growing the last five years.
And what celebration is complete without a string quartet?
This was Kyler's first convocation since high school. When he skipped out on walking for his Bachelor's, he promised my mom he'd walk for his PhD, and so here we are.
I was actually really anxious about coming to graduation with all three kiddos, 
until my mom told me she booked a flight and was coming, too!
Oh, did that decrease my stress levels about the impending ceremony!
Although, I really needn't have worried. Craig slept through half of it,
and all three of them were fantastic. People around us even complimented them (and me) on how well behaved they were. I tried not to act too surprised by their behavior...
There was a bagpipe, by the way, and I'm assuming that kilt is in the official University of Calgary tartan, because yes, the school totally has one.
I wasn't expecting to cry at Kyler's graduation. But when the Chancellor told the graduates to point to the people who deserve "the assist" (like in hockey after you score a goal! What? It is Canada.), and Kyler pointed at me and grinned, I started to tear up.
I was so proud of what he'd accomplished. What we'd accomplished, I suppose. Kyler has worked so hard the last five years, waking up at dawn (or before!), staying up late, spending countless hours poring over data and writing papers. And we were here. We were done!
And he was pointing at me and blowing me a kiss. And so I cried, grinned, and blew him a kiss.
He later got a real one.
After the ceremony was over, we headed out to get pictures.
And cuddle babies, while the pictures were being set up!
Of course, we had to get one of the classics:
The iconic parents flanking the grad pose!
And finally, Kyler, me, and some of his greatest accomplishments the last five years.
Congratulations, Dr. Rasmussen! I couldn't be more proud of you.

21 November 2016

Wicked Witch Halloween

Before Halloween this year, Craig and Calista fell in love with a book from the library showcasing different pumpkin carving ideas. Naturally, this meant they picked one for us to do with our pumpkin. So, Kyler got to work.
Neither Calista nor Craig liked the pumpkin guts, so it was up to Kyler and I to clean it out. Good thing I only got one.
While we were working on that, Craig decided to take the carving knife and chew on it.
Some days, I wonder how kids ever survive. Don't worry, he's fine.
Finally, our pumpkin was finished. Carving was by Kyler, accessories made by me.
Say hello to the wicked witch!
Calista posed nicely for a picture.
Craig... did not.

Getting him to sit still, look at the camera, and smile for a picture is a monumental feat.
And so, this is what I picked as the best picture of my three skeletons. Such is life.

Over a year ago, Calista made a list of what she would be for the next several Halloweens. This last one was scheduled to be Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty. I smiled and said, sure, whatever you want, and moved on. Calista didn't. So, I bought her a gown and let her wear a tiny bit of lipgloss and sparkly eyeshadow, and Calista let me take pictures.
Don't prick your finger, Princess Aurora!
Whoops, too late.
And now she will sleep for 100 years... or at least until we take the next picture.
My lovely Briar Rose.

One day, while walking through the zoo, Craig told me he was going to be an owl for Halloween. No, we weren't anywhere near the owls.
So, I set to work, first browsing the internet. I found a few ideas I like and combined them to make his costume.
Hoo, hoo!
He's an owl!
I had to convince Craig to wear his costume to preschool for their Halloween party. He kept insisting he couldn't because it wasn't Halloween. I forced his shirt onto his head anyway, despite his protests.
Once we got to school and he saw everyone else in costume, Craig was more than happy to be an owl for the day.

Caleb, my poor third child, gets to wear hand-me-downs for his first Halloween. Still, he looked stinkin' adorable.
And, of course, I got a picture of Caleb and Sven together.

Caleb also got to be a vital part of Kyler's costume:
He is dressed as a man-child, he said. What a punny goober.

Really, though I can't give Kyler too hard of a time for choosing a punny "costume."
After all, I dressed as a Witch Doctor, and decorated our car for the trunk-or-treat to match. Welcome to my magical surgical unit. Sterility is optional and your assistant is a bulldog when you're a witch.

All in all, it was a very successful Halloween, full of fun and costumes and candy, of course.
Group pictures might not have been as successful, though.
Someday my kids will all be old enough to pose nicely for pictures...

15 November 2016


Back in October, when Canadian Thanksgiving is, we decided to take a little trip to Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. Kyler and I had been there before, but not since the kiddos were born, and we thought that our fearless climber children would love it. So, I checked the weather before we headed down. It was supposed to be a little bit chilly, but tolerable. Just in came, I packed jackets, hats, and mittens for everyone, and we started to drive.
While we were driving, it started to snow. The temperature on our car read 5 C, then 4, then 3, 2, 1... and Kyler and I started getting cold feet, no pun intended. Did we really want to go, have a picnic lunch, and be outside when it was so close to freezing? So, we came up with a Plan B, which included stopping in Lethbridge and eating our picnic lunch inside at the mall. We decided that if it was under 5 C when we got to the exit for the mall, we'd take it and go to Writing-On-Stone another day. As we approached Lethbridge, the temperature gauge read 3. As we got closer to our exit, it read 4. And then, just before we were to make that decision, it read 5 C! Well, I suppose we're heading to the provincial park! ...and then, just after we didn't take the exit, the temperature reading went back to 4, then 3, then... and we started to get anxious again, thinking this is going to be a short trip.
But we continued. Until Calista said she needed to use the bathroom, still an hour from our destination. I asked her if she wanted to pull to the side of the road; we are in the middle of nowhere farmland, and there are no bathrooms. At first she says no, but then Calista agrees to go on the side of the road. Kyler pulls over and helps her... but she can't go. Back in the car and away we go... for a few minutes until she decides she really can't wait, and we pull over again.
This time, Calista was successful!

Still, the temperature, wind, and rain didn't bode well. Finally, we got to the park (and found a bathroom that wasn't just the side of the road), and found a fantastic fall playground.
Leaves every where, overcast skies, but not a breath of wind.
In fact, when we headed first to the beach and river, Kyler and I were amazed at how calm the water was.
Kiddos were pretty happy to be out of the car. Caleb fussed a bit until we put some mittens on him, and then he was happy to be with Kyler in the carrier.
Craig got tired walking from the beach to the hoodoos. He didn't want to come.
So, I decided to humor the boy and carry him. It was actually kind of fun for a short way.
And it only needed to be a short way, because once we got to the rock formations, he was happy to climb and scramble by himself.
As was Calista. I was impressed with how well they both did, though I probably shouldn't have been. Craig is my little climber, after all, and Calista is determined and capable.
We had so much fun exploring the hoodoos. The kids probably could have stayed here for hours.
In the end, Kyler and I were wrong, I'm happy to say. It was a fantastic trip, and we were so glad we went.
I highly recommend Writing-on-Stone in the fall. It was quiet, not too hot (kind of cool, but nothing we couldn't handle!), and simple gorgeous, seeing the leaves and the rocks.
Though, I'd recommend stopping somewhere for a bathroom break that isn't the side of the road...
They said these hollows were dinosaur nests.
Still, we all had fun, and I can't wait to go back again... once the snow melts, I think.

05 November 2016

Craig Year 3 Retrospective

Craig's sleeping is strange, to say the least. I've posted about it before. Most of the time, he loves to take naps. Most of the time, he heads to his bed (or falls asleep where he is) happily and naps well. We love naptime. Bedtime, however... that's another story. It is not unusual for us to get Craig ready for bed, in pj's, story read, tucked in, around 7:30 or 8, and it's also not unusual for Craig to stay awake until 9... 9:30... 10... 10:30... and while he is awake, he is wreaking havoc in his bedroom, or the playroom, or wherever he ends up.
And then, come morning, he is a beast to wake up, because he was up until TEN PM.

He can be very stubborn when he wants to be. Yes, I know, you're thinking, "Hmmm, I wonder where he got it." For example, though, Craig won't pray. It's not that he doesn't know how to; he totally does. The very rare times we get him to even discuss prayer, he knows what to do. But he won't do it. Primary is going to be fun next year...

Craig is one of the best people to ask for a hug. He is excellent at giving them, and loves to cuddle.
However, he is sometimes difficult to convince to sit still, and seems to believe anything is free game to use a jungle gym, including people.
It's quite the dichotomy, with as sweet and cuddly as he can be, be can also be violent at times. Sometimes Craig hits things (or people) and says something like, "bumma!" while he hits. When you say, don't hit, he'll say, I wasn't hitting, I was bumma-ing. Okay, fine, don't bumma then!

Craig simply adores Calista, and is influenced by her - if she says she doesn't like dinner, he suddenly doesn't like dinner.
Which makes things very frustrating...
They also mostly play and get along really well.
Which can be really nice. Obviously, there are times they fight, but on the whole, I like them together.

Like Calista,Craig likes watching videos and video games, though he has less patience for sitting and watching them than Calista. Probably because he doesn't have a ton of patience for sitting still in general. In spite of his movement, Craig loves to read by himself or be read to, and has more patience for playing alone than Calista did at his age.

Craig is a little better about running away/into the street... a little... but doesn't usually listen very well.

Craig is now a big brother! Craig likes to talk about Caleb as being so cute or adorable.
He loves to notice the similarities between them, pointing out if they both have striped pajamas or something. "He's little, and I'm big. He's wearing pajamas like me, but I'm big!" Craig also loves to point out when Caleb is smiling at him.
Most of the time, he is pretty good with the baby. Sometimes he's a little careless, but we're working on it. When I am nursing Caleb, Craig loves to climb into my lap and inform me that there are two boys on my lap, so I am trapped.
Thanks, buddy.

likes to pick out his own clothes, and if you pick out something he doesn't like, he'll have a meltdown. "I wanted the rainbow shirt, remember? I wanted these pants, remember?" Um, no, I don't remember, since you never told me...!

When he was a baby, I said Craig never cried without being easily solved (feed, change diaper, etc) or having a clear reason (Calista smacked him). now he tantrums semi-regularly, but I could probably still solve them if I was willing to give him whatever he wanted. Too bad I don't.
He always flings himself onto the floor/ground when he is tantruming, no matter where we are. Sidewalk, at the zoo, middle of a store, or the front room, it makes no difference to him.

Don't call Craig anything other than "Craig." One Sunday, I called him handsome, and he broke down in tears. "I'm not handsome! I'm Craig!" Whoops, I'll never make that mistake again.

Paw Patrol and Dinosaur Train
Making messes

Not getting his way
Being called something other than his name

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

Thanks for being a part of our family, little man!
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