Elaina’s favorite meal is lasagna. She loves it so much in fact, that she has consumed an entire large size microwave lasagna in a single sitting on multiple occasions. But since I am lukewarm on the dish and it seems a little difficult to make, I have never cooked it in my life. One of Elaina’s homework assignments this month was to cook a meal with her parents. She chose lasagna, which put me in quite the quandary: Cook a meal with her that I have been putting off since I was able to pick up a wooden spoon or try to convince her to do something easier (with the possibility of disappointing her)? Spoiler alert: It was a pretty easy choice.Continue reading “Elaina and I Cooking her Favorite Meal Together”
Since about March of 2020, the girls have been begging me to go up to Phoenix to visit the zoo, the aquarium, and/or Great Wolf Lodge. Until recently though, I just have not felt comfortable enough to spend time in major metropolitan areas. Even when we go to Tucson, we are hitting no more than two stores and staying quite the distance away from everyone. It has been a year though and the girls are doing very well with wearing their masks and staying away from crowds, so I figured it was time to take the plunge and head up to Phoenix for the weekend. And since the Great Wolf Lodge cost/benefit analysis did not come up positive, we were headed to the Phoenix Zoo and the OdySea Aquarium.Continue reading “Our Trip to Phoenix – Day One (Phoenix Zoo and Game Night)”
As living in a COVID world becomes more and more like the new normal, we are slowly trying to branch out and try new things around Fort Huachuca and the surrounding area, of course, all while implementing our mitigation strategies. Last week as I was posting the weekly announcements for my unit, I saw an advertisement on the Fort Huachuca Facebook page about an event at the Fort Huachuca Arts & Crafts Center called Pick-It-and-Paint Ceramics. It sounded like a fun, cheap activity for the girls and I, so as we headed back home from our Saturday errands, we decided to stop in to see what all the excitement was about.Continue reading “Arts & Crafts on Fort Huachuca”
So by now, most of us are probably bored out of our minds being stuck at home. While I still have to go in to work (being mission-essential and all), the girls are definitely getting tired of being cooped up in the house most of the weekend. But, pandemic or not, good parenting never stops and we are still driving on with our routine (albeit a safer one).
About two weeks before COVID-19 changed everything, we were busy preparing Elaina for her talent show at the Seifert School Age Center (SAC). She was planning to sing “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II with some of her friends, so we brought out the karaoke machine that she got for Christmas and started practicing. Yep, it is another post about taking time away from your busy day at work to support your child and their activity.
During this time of uncertainty, sometimes it is really tough to think positive. But we must carry on and try to find the silver lining in all this. In the Army, we call this “Hunting the Good Stuff.” In essence, you may be in a bad situation, but try your best to look on the bright side. And we do, because that is how the Calkins Family does it.
In the wake of the girls’ mother leaving, the last thing I wanted to have was a birthday party with friends. It just ended up being the girls and I. We picked out a cake together, I bought them presents, and we just spent the evening together. Two years later, my birthday routine has become something of a tradition, one born out of a sadder time in our lives, but one that means a lot to all three of us.
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.
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.
I put in a lot of hours at work. I am pretty good at time management (and work through lunch on most days), so I still get off by 5:15pm every day, but the time spent at the office definitely adds up. While anyone can tell you that breaks need to be taken, it is important to ensure that those breaks are effective, meaning that they replenish you and allow you to refocus once you return to work. I do not take as many breaks as I should, but they are almost always effective. The best break? Going to one of my daughters’ schools and surprising them for lunch.