Saturday, February 17, 2018

Turning 9

Sora has had a resurgence of puzzle love lately. All of the puzzles we have are 100 pieces and are fairly simple for her, so we bought a 500 piece puzzle to do as a family. I thought that Kyle would be terrible at this kind of thing since he is color blind, but he was the best of all of us. Somehow when we were finished, we were missing 1 piece. It was very anticlimactic.
And then Sora turned 9. For her birthday, Kyle bought breakfast from the nearby Mexican bakery and I took her out to a European bakery for after school treats. We also went to her favorite restaurant (the one with the pizza dough to play with). She wrote "Thank you for the delicious food" in cursive on the paper table cloth. The owner walked by and loved it.
 Sora had another sleep over party, much like last year. Sora helped by mopping the floor.

This year we just stayed home and the girls made a movie. It took a while for them all to agree on what to do, so they didn't actually film the movie until the next day. They did all paint props together.
We didn't have a cake, but the girls made milkshakes instead with a milkshake mix-in bar.

Since there was no cake, the candles were tricky. I did find a few in a closet somewhere... 
 Then, just yesterday, we came home from school and Sora found a box on the porch. Her uncle, aunt and cousins sent her a present - it was such a surprise, especially since it was late, that it was even better than if it was on time! It was an edible science kit. Sora played with it all afternoon and made some disgusting, edible things.

We went to the doctor and Sora is a totally normal 9 year old. She's a little small, but that has always been the case. She is getting braver and had 2 violin performances at school this week (for a preschool class and for her own class) that she was very excited about. Her favorite TV show is Miles from Tomorrowland or Inspector Gadget. Her favorite colors involve gold and silver. She is forever saying the most grown up phrases which we all love to hear.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sora's Design Shop

Sora is really into designing things lately. She has a cute sign on her door about her shop (where everything is free). For Christmas, her grandma offered to paint her bedroom with her. Sora was excited to design the ideal bedroom. Sora and I went back and forth a few times, but eventually came up with a design we could both live with.

Sora helped paint her room, and luckily Kyle was home so he got to help too.
The colors are hard to determine from the photos - the above wall is actually purple.
 And here is a purple wall and a green wall.

We painted the closet doors pink.
 And the final product! Again, it's a bit more purple than it appears in the photo.
And the fun wall with the pink closet doors and mural.
 And a few extra photos: Sora is really into taking videos of her self-choreographed dance routines. So many videos. Here she accidentally took a photo instead - this is a strong glimpse into my life!
This weekend my parents were supposed to come to visit, but because of the pass they weren't able to. As a cancellation, I offered to take Sora to the trampoline park, the movies, or out to lunch. Of course she chose to go out to lunch. We went to a fancy Italian restaurant that lets kids play with pizza dough and then bakes it for them to eat. Sora loves it! We shared saccottini and salmon chowder. Delicious!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2 photos and 2 videos

Two important things that are consuming Sora's time recently: violin and cartwheels.

Sora has been asking for violin lessons since she started the piano in Kindergarten. She finally started in September and had her first concert this week.
Here is just a part of her piece (since I know that watching an 8 year old play piano is not for everyone):

She played 3 variations of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and ended with the theme. She has worked really hard on this (sometimes happily and sometimes not) and we are really proud of her. Her teacher had a 30 day challenge in December where students were encouraged to practice 30 days in a row. Sora was excited for the challenge (until about day 20 when I just made her keep going) and was one of only 3 students to complete the challenge!

And, in her spare time (every waking minute that is not filled with reading, dancing, violin, eating, etc), she is perfecting her cartwheel. She has been working on it vigorously since September when she started gymnastics. She only was able to take gymnastics for a few months, but kept working on the cartwheel on her own. Now she is really good!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year's

Over winter break, we finally were able to use the new magic carpet at White Pass. Of course both of our phones died so there are no photos, but we had a great time. Kyle broke his binding and had to take the lift down the mountain, and Sora took a while to get back in the swing of things. We contemplated skiing rather than snowboarding in the future, but of course they don't make ski boots in Kyle's size.
We played Settlers of Catan. I have had this game for over 10 years and haven't played it. We played it with friends before and I saw it in a "free junk pile" in our old neighborhood in Seattle before we had Sora. I remember thinking it was fun. I was wrong.
 We spent some time with my parents for New Years. We decided to check out the ring of fire at Birch Bay. It was way cool! I am hoping we go again next year because we learned a lot (like to be careful about breathing near the pretty car flares).
 It was a great place to see people's fireworks.
 The "ring" stretched all the way around the bay. It was pretty cool.

 Many people were sending up paper lanterns. This reminds me of Rapunzel (the Disney version). I am hoping we start this tradition next year.
 The lanterns stayed lit forever! In this picture you can see 5 if you look closely.
 We also headed up to Canada to check out the holidays at Fort Langley. I might have been the only one who loved it, but what matters here is that I LOVED IT.
 I got my first pair of leggings.  I'm still not sure this is a going-out-in-public outfit...
 Sora's aunt and uncle were kind enough to get her a gift certificate to the trampoline park. They must know how cheap I am and that I would never take Sora (which is totally true - we have only been a few times). Sora loved jumping, cartwheeling, and challenging herself on the wobbly ladder. Lucky for Sora, her certificate will allow her to go at least twice more.
And then it was back to school. Life resumes as usual.

Friday, December 22, 2017


This year we celebrated Solstice in town rather than up at camp. Both are nice for different reasons. This year it worked out well, since one of Sora's presents was a new door for her dresser. She had been requesting this (the dresser is from my childhood and the door broke off right after Sora got it 3 years ago) as well as a magnet board so Kyle cleverly combined the two into one awesome present.

There was a lot of other craftiness, including sewing for Sora and knitting. 
 I designed some blank Munchkin cards which we got to create ourselves. It was fun to think of what cool modifications we wanted in our game. This is a game we play a lot lately and Sora is really into it.
 Of course there was some snuggly reading time, as there is in every day at our house. There were also tears and violins (which is another combination there is a lot of at our house).
 We decorated our Dogwood tree and Lilac bush in our front yard for the birds.

After our tree decorating, we went on a walk. Our walk took us to the Mexican bakery nearby which was a fun treat!
When we got home, we played a lot of games. Sora played Monopoly for the first time. Kyle was not a fan (although he won the first round), and Sora won the second round.
 For dinner, we had seafood and Mediterranean orzo.
Our solstice cupcakes were a major flop this year - I used a recipe I wrote when I was 12 and apparently I made some major mistakes. We got the correct recipe later and we are looking forward to trying again!
After dinner, our evening was spent oscillating between reading and games. Not a bad way to spend a day together as a family!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Solstice Countdown

Every year we do some type of December count down to Solstice. This year, while I tried to talk Sora out of our tradition, is no exception. Here are a few things we've been up to so far.

Ice skating at open skate this weekend.
 Enjoying the luminaries at the arboretum. We got to ride a city bus for this event as an added bonus!
 We got there early before it was too crowded, so Sora enjoyed the kids craft and owl pellet dissection.
 Cutting snowflakes.
 Decorating our living tree. Last year our living tree didn't make it through the summer, so we hope to be better plant owners this year.
Sewing fleece hats and scarves for the homeless. I am pretty proud of this - I was just going to have Sora do the scarves which are no-sew, but she insisted on sewing the hats with me. Yeah!
There will be more to come, but we are almost half way to solstice!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Tourist Weekend

Kyle and Sora's rainbow Thanksgiving feast was a hit! Sora took a day off of school to go with Kyle to the farm to get the turkey and be his sous chef for the day. That meant on Thursday she got to play with her cousins while Kyle put the finishing touches on the food.
 Sora and her cousins made up a song. It was hard to follow, but they wrote notes and everything. Most importantly, Sora was excited to play her violin and felt knowledgable, so that is awesome!
On Friday we headed over to Seattle for a tourist weekend.

We enjoyed the zoo (Sora had never been and loved it).
 Kyle and I enjoyed hot chocolate. Sora was not a fan.
 The view from our hotel.
 Sora got to snuggle up in the hotel robe.
 We bought a needle felting kit and Sora and I made a pumpkin.

 Here is Sora reading the directions and hard at work.
 Sora played at the Artist Park at the Seattle Center.

 And we rode the monorail.
 The holiday carousel was set up downtown.
 We shopped at Pike's Place Market.

 Sora and Kyle played a quick game of ping pong at a downtown park.
 Cookie decorating at the market.
 Kyle and Sora endured the art museum for me.
Our hotel room was so shmancy! It was a suite. We paid $120 for free internet, parking, breakfast, all within walking distance of downtown and Seattle Center. It wasn't sketchy at all (which is what I thought it would be) and it was awesome!
We also went to my favorite toy store and got presents taken care of for all of our nieces and nephew. We ate amazing meals, such as fancy pizza, fancy ramen, and our favorite pho.

Our weekend was so great that it might be hard to come back to reality of work and school tomorrow. Wish us luck!