It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

While developing a routine for yourself and your children is absolutely critical to being a successful single parent, anything that falls outside of that routine needs to be made into an event, to be lifted up as a spectacle.  Whether it is going to Grandma’s house, the zoo, or the children’s museum, every event needs to be celebrated and made into something uniquely memorable.  Christmas itself is enough to celebrate, but it is important to make all the little things that are a part of Christmas an event themselves.  Here’s to the 3rd Annual Calkins Family Christmas Tree Decoration Event!

I hope the girls know that this is the “before” picture…

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Princess Baking

While we were eating dinner the other night, Gabriella was thumbing through one of last year’s Christmas gifts: The Disney Princess Cookbook.  While debating on making Bull’s-Eye Pizza (Brave) or Ham and Cheese Biscuit Braids (Tangled) in the future, the girls simultaneously saw something that they both wanted to make.  Since it was easy and we had all the ingredients, it looked like after dinner the Calkins Family would be making Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Magic Wands.

They love any baking that involves sprinkles

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Fundraisers

As any parent will know, your children are always watching you and picking up things from your behavior (for better or for worse).  Because of this, you always need to be on your toes to ensure that your children are picking up the right values.  Sometimes you get lucky though and can show these values through your normal actions.  This happened a few weeks ago when we attended back-to-back fundraisers, with my daughters learning the values of helping support others.

And this is why I still carry wet wipes with me, because sometimes napkins will just not do.

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Play Dates

A couple weeks ago, Elaina’s best friend, Elora, invited Elaina and Gabriella over for a play date with her and her sister, Emma.  Since we had not already planned our activity for that Saturday, the girls gladly took them up on the offer, “scheduling” a home-and-home (for all you college football fans) with her parents for this and the following weekend.

From this perspective, I just realized how expensive this activity looks (it is not)

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The Great Calkins Cat Adventure (Part II)

So the big day finally arrived to pick up our kittens from the Pima Animal Care Center.  Yes, you heard that right: plural.  We ended up adopting two of them, both roommates at the center (in fact, the girls had me already calling the center before I completed my previous post).  In my opinion, it could not have gone any better.  Here are the first 24 hours with the newest members of our family, Merlissa, a six-month old female Tortie (Tortoiseshell)/Brown Tabby, and Aurora, a six-month old female Orange Tabby.

And if you cannot believe it… all four of them are potty-trained!

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The Great Calkins Cat Adventure (Part I)

My girls have wanted a dog for a while and we have slowly been inching towards adopting one.  They want a Chihuahua and I want a Beagle, Bassett Hound, or Labrador Retriever, so obviously we had to meet somewhere in the middle.  Unfortunately, after the fifth visit to an animal shelter, they finally figured out that maybe a dog is not right for them at this time (“Dad, why is there so much barking?!?”).  So, also for the fifth time, we took a stroll over to the cats, and Elaina and Gabriella met the (soon to be) newest member of our family.

Be mindful: I hear cats can smell a loving family.

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