21 November 2017

At last I see the light!

Another 2017 goal I'm saying is complete, and this is probably the one I'm most excited by, and also most hesitant to post about, for fear of jinxing it all.
One of those goals for Craig was to have all poop and pee in the potty. For a long time, I couldn't see the light at the end on this tunnel. It felt more like we were in a cave, the entrance collapsed, with no light and no way out. Stubborn boy that he is, Craig told us for a while he wouldn't potty train until he was 10. Um, no. I don't think so. Then he amended it to when he was 4, which I was a little more okay with, but still scared of. Because I plan ahead, I was already thinking of when he starts kindergarten next year (!!!) and putting myself in a mild panic.
Anyway, Craig birthday came, and went, and we reminded him that he said he'd use the toilet when he was 4. It was a rough couple of days, getting him to actually SIT on the toilet, and there was lots of bribing involved - a new duplo set the first time he peed in the toilet
And Moana Legos the first time he pooped in the toilet. We spent quite a bit of money to convince this boy to do what we knew he could do.
Do you see this picture?
Do you know what is in that box, other than Craig?
NOTHING! There is nothing else in that box. That box, that used to be full of Craig-sized diapers, is empty, and it will stay empty. I haven't used them in a month.

Craig still has some accidents, but I can see that this is in fact a tunnel, there is an exit, and we are right at it, one foot in the tunnel, and one glorious foot feeling the sunshine and fresh air. And it feels fabulous.

02 November 2017

Fearsome Halloween!

Happy Halloween 2017!

My Fearsome Trio!
Oh, wait. Those are just toys.
Here we go! This is the right picture!
My orca, tiger, and rhino. Definitely not a bunch you'd want to meet in a back alley, am I right?
After all, if they'll eat each other, I'm sure they'll eat you, too.

I asked Craig what we should do on our watermelon jack o'lantern. "Oh, my favorite: the triangle!" And so, since Kyler is a pro carver, we made a triangle jack o'lantern.
Kiddos liked helping take out the "guts."
Well, Caleb just liked eating the guts.
And the end result?
Not too shabby.
Not too shabby at all.
Spooky Caleb!

Calista planned out the last several years of Halloween the August she was four. I've had some time to figure out what I was doing with this, which was good. Because she wanted to be an orca, and that's not a costume you can just buy at the store, or even a pattern you can find at the fabric store. I'd need to make it, using my own wits... and a couple of solid ideas online. My main inspiration came from this website, with some fin and teeth advice coming from here. I was excited and a little nervous to make the orca costume, because it was either going to turn out awesome or... not so awesome.
So, I bought 2 big black sweatshirts, white felt, some stuffing, and set to work. After some decent time on my sewing machine
and a little more time hand sewing than I originally planned - I decided it would look better with the dorsal fin hand-sewn - I had a finished orca.
And I'm pretty dang proud of it. It ended up almost exactly how I planned.
And Calista loved it.
Fierce face!
The only "mistake" I made was that I probably made the tail just a touch too low. It dragged on the ground a bit. Oh well.
Dorsal fin, standing tall.
Calista got to do some fun things as an orca, too, not just school and trick-or-treating.
Like, she got to go curling.
Preparing the throw the rock.
Away she goes. Form's not bad for an orca... or a 6-year-old.
All in all, the orca costume was a success. And everyone thought it was unique (way to go Calista!) and looked good (way to go me!).

Craig isn't like Calista. He bounced a dozen or so ideas around for his Halloween costume before deciding on a black cat. Then we go some hand-me-downs from his cousins, one of which was a tiger costume, and he changed his mind once more. "After all, a tiger is a type of cat!" That's fine. Less work for me. So a tiger it was.
Tiger got to go to gymnastics, and of course had excellent balance.
He's pretty good at climbing, too.
Those claws are super helpful.
And, of course, all cats love boxes.
And sleeping.
All cats love sleeping.

And Caleb, well, he didn't get a choice. I bought a rhino costume about 3 years ago in a post-Halloween sale. I hoped child #3 would fit it. And Caleb did!
Isn't he a very cute rhino?
But you better watch out! Rhino charges!
Caleb was funny about the costume. Sometimes he didn't mind it at all.
Other times...
You don't want to make a rhino mad!
But it wasn't the hood part that was the problem.
Sometimes he was happy to wear it alone. Whatever. He wore it happily for trick or treating.
Mostly because there was candy involved. As soon as he got his first thing in the bucket, a lollipop, he didn't want to keep going. He just wanted to hold the sucker.
So he spent the rest of the trick-or-treating in the stroller, holding his lollipop.

We've decided next year, though, if weather is at ALL decent, we're going to skip the mall. Lots of people, little candy. Instead we'll go around the neighborhood until the kids are tired and/or the buckets are full, which won't take long because the neighbors are pretty generous with their candy.

Anyway, Happy Halloween!

28 October 2017

Craig Year Four Retrospective

Craig is sweet. He loves to cuddle and gives the best hugs.
He loves quickly and completely, often talking about loving his friends from preschool, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...

Despite never singing in primary, Craig loves music. He knows all the words to the primary songs, often correcting me or Calista if we get them wrong. And when he wants to, he will happily sing too.

Honestly, most things need to be on his terms. Craig is incredibly stubborn, and if he doesn't want to play your game, paint the picture, go to bed, poop and pee in the toilet, etc, then he won't. There is no amount of logic or persuasion that can change him mind until he wants to.

I struggle with him on a daily basis. Craig thinks he should get anything he wants, and if he doesn't then he gets rather upset.
Occasionally he punches, hits, or kicks. It can be frustrating to see him switch from affectionate to violent because he was told "No, not right now."

Although he has a bed of his own, he rarely sleeps in it. I know I've mentioned this before, but it hasn't changed. Craig prefers a nest of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and his sleeping bag.
Usually he sleeps on the floor, sometimes with Calista.
A couple of times he's fallen asleep on the stairs
or in the hallway.
And rarely he sleeps in his bed.

Craig has grown so much in the last year. Literally, so much taller! We went from barely 3T last fall to nearly too tall for his 4T pants now. That did mean he had a while that he was constantly hurting himself. Like, 3 bloody noses and 2 bruised eyes in the space of a month.
Poor kid.

He is a bit fearless. We started him in gymnastics and he loved it. His favorite apparatuses are high bar and balance beam, though he does enjoy a mean somersault too. Gymnastics also gives Craig a good, healthy outlet for his energy and excitement.
We also put him in soccer, which he liked best when he was watching everyone else play.
Oh well.

He and I have struggled with naps the last year, with him wanting one and me not wanting him to have one because then he stays up too late at night and is a bear to wake in the morning.
But very recently I've decided to just let Craig be. If he falls asleep I let him, come what may.
I think it makes us both happier not to be fighting about it.

Obviously, we moved. This meant leaving behind friends and activities, but Craig took it in stride.
And he loves being so close to the spray park - with its sandy playground - at our new house.

Craig is an excellent brother to Calista and Caleb.
He loves to play with them, and misses Calista when she is gone all day at school. The first couple of weeks she was in Grade 1, after lunch he would remind me it was time to get Calista, over and over. And when she gets home, he rushes to give her a hug. However, if you ask him if he misses her, he denies it. Silly boy.
As long as Caleb doesn't interfere too much with Craig's plans, Craig loves to play with him, too.
(They didn't know I was taking this video, or watching them at all). 
And Caleb loves Craig right back.

He seems to be loving having me to himself for a couple of hours a day, though. It's a nice change of pace, to let him call the shots on our activities.

Craig did his first year of preschool and has now started his second.
He loves going and playing. When I drop him off, Craig usually doesn't even look back, he just heads on into the classroom, ready to go.

Craig is...

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

As much as this kid drives me crazy, I can't imagine life without him and his hugs.
I'm so glad he's been mine the last four years, and will be mine forever.
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