Milestones or: How Elaina Learned to Stop Worrying and Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels

There are certain moments in the lives of your children that bring you indescribable joy when they are reached, such as walking for the first time, speaking their first word, or learning to tie their shoes, just to name a few. As the title implies, Elaina hit one of those milestones last weekend by learning to ride her bicycle without training wheels. As a parent, it both lets you know that you did something right and that your child is developing on schedule. I am so proud of her. And of course, as much as she denies it, Gabriella wants to be just like her big sister and tried it too (she is almost there).

“On your mark. Get set. Read!”
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Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Magic Wands – Take II

Earlier in the year, we brought out the fabled Disney Princess Cookbook to test out a few of the recipes. One that we tried was the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Magic Wands (Cinderella). While we had fun making them, the recipe involved sprinkles on flour tortillas, so it was not particularly appetizing. I have been thinking about ways to improve on the recipe to make them more appealing for the girls, so that is what we tried to do last weekend.

I mean, what kind of kid wouldn’t like sugar cookies with sprinkles?

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Elaina and Gabriella’s First Day of School (2020 Edition)

Today was Elaina and Gabriella’s first day of school.  Elaina started 1st grade and Gabriella started Kindergarten, and it was the first day that they would both be going to the same (real) school together, Colonel Johnston Elementary School.  While it is certainly sad seeing my little girls grow up, I could not be more proud of them.  Thankfully, the months and months they spent waiting for this day were definitely worth it.

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten…

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Looking Back on Last Year’s First Day of School

So tomorrow is the girls’ first day of school.  Elaina will be starting 1st Grade and Gabriella will be starting Kindergarten.  While I certainly will be posting about how the day went, when I went back to look over how I felt during Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten a year ago, I realized that I had not even posted about it.  Given that it was an extremely stressful day that also brought out the best in my being a parent, I figured I would share that today.

This feels like it happened a lot longer than a year ago…

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The Calkins Family is Back Together!

So the trip to pick up the girls was a big success and we are all now back under the same roof.  And I then immediately went into a week of leave which allowed us plenty of time to reconnect; it was not really necessary though, because apparently, they really missed their Dad over the summer.

They missed the trampoline too

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Saying Goodbye to Summer and Welcome Back to my Girls

There is a song stating that Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year.”  No disrespect to Andy Williams, but I disagree.  For me, the most wonderful time of the year is when the girls return home after summer vacation with their mother.  From Gabriella having her birthday to prepping for their return (the house and car are spotless right now), or to just me smiling and getting that spark of life back again, this is the best part of the year for me.

Someone looks ready to travel…

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Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Braid my Daughters’ Hair)

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about some of the difficulties of doing my daughters’ hair and how I overcame them… it is pretty much a ten-minute read on how to do a pony tail.  One thing that I briefly discussed was that I was absolutely terrible at (even attempting) braids at that it would be a while until I tried again.  Well, Gabriella asked me for a braid the other night after her bath, and even though I feared the result, I acquiesced to her polite request.  And succeeded.

I mean, it is not gonna win any awards, but…

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Dental Appointments

Conveniently, the girls had their dental appointments scheduled right after Elaina lost her two bottom front teeth.  Unfortunately, their appointments were cancelled due to COVID-19.  After Arizona started easing some restrictions and the dentist’s office had put the necessary safety and social distancing protocols in place, I was able to rescheduled their appointments.  And crazy enough, the girls were really excited to go.

(Note: Some of these pictures were from before COVID-19, and thus before the safety protocols were in place)

Dental hygiene doesn’t get much cooler than this

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