Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tea Party Fun

So for Christmas Sora got a beautiful tea set from Grandma and Poppa Barney and she absolutley loves it. i am still working on getting some video of this. She really enjoys making the slurping sounds when she drinks her tea. And she is a good hostess making sure that everyone's cup stays full.

When she was younger Sora really was not that interested in stuffed animals or dolls. Recently she is loving them. With tea set she has a fantasti reason to get them all out to play.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Green Bay Adventures

We decided to celebrate Boxing Day with a trip to Green Bay. We like to take advantage of our YMCA membership whenever we're in town, so we started off swimming. Sora loves to swim, and we went to the most child-friendly pool of the 4 choices. She loves jumping in and the bucket of toys on the side. 

We also wanted to spend some Christmas gift money at Cook's Corner. While it claims to be the largest kitchen store, it was surprisingly not that large. We aren't really sure how the contest of Nation's Largest Kitchen store works, because we're not sure they should really win.
 Despite or lack of amazement, we did get the items we were looking for. I've become quite the baker while staying at home with Sora and my skills were being diminished without a sifter or a butter cutter, so now I have no excuse!
 Sora (in her super cute hat from Aunt Kami) had a long day! We also went to Target and a giant beer store that actually impressed Kyle - the first he's been to in Wisconsin!
 Our errands had us drive right next to Lambeau Field. Normally this isn't a problem - we have never been in any traffic at all in Green Bay so far (I don't think it exists, but we haven't been in all neighborhoods at all times of day, so I can't be positive). Of course, this time, we were driving through the area just before a big game! We tried to get some crowd pictures, but couldn't get the impressive tailgating shots we were looking for.
 Here is the field on game day.

After Sora's nap, she had fun playing with all of her new toys and being a crazy kiddo! She has had a LOT of ups and downs emotionally lately which just proves how much of a 2 year old she already is!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Dinner 2010

So just like Thanksgiving I was extremely excited to be creative and fun with the food this year. We started the day having whole wheat cinnamon roles for breakfast. Delicious and nutritious. Then after we were done opening presents and using skype to visit grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts I went to work on dinner. So those of you who caught my post about Thanksgiving dinner know I did a stuffed turkey breast. I thought I would make it a theme this year. So I took a pork tenderloin and butterflied it out. Then I pounded to a half inch thickness. I stuffed it with a saute of caramelized onions and mushrooms and bacon. Then I rolled the whole business up and crusted it with a mixture of ground almonds, garlic, sea salt and bread crumbs(made from home made bread). Then baked it. It came out amazing.  
 Here it is resting before I slice it. It was hard to wait the ten minutes.

 Along with the pork I made a rye bread and sausage stuffing (again with homemade rye bread). Then I added green beans with onions and bacon and cinnamon and brown sugar. And pictured below in the front is the best dish possibly. I made a layered sweet potato and regular potato gratin with cream and cheese. It came out really nice. The whole meal was fantastic. Sora had a hard time waiting for dinner and had eaten some snacks before dinner so she did not eat a ton but she like everything, especially the green beans.

After Sora and Maleah took a nap we had dessert. This was something I was super happy with. It is dark chocolate and banana and almond bread pudding. It was so rich an amazing. It is so fun to cook for the holidays.

Merry Christmas from the Team

Our holidays this year were quiet, but still filled with wonder and excitement. When we woke up, Sora was excited to see our house was rearranged for prime present-opening comfort. Sora opened her presents while we skyped with my parents and Kyle's mom and her family. It was fun to see our nieces enjoy Christmas morning as well. Our niece Dylan (9 mo. older than Sora) wanted Santa to bring her a birthday cake, which he of course did. It was so cute to see how excited she was about this cake!
 Sora loved everything about the day, especially the new toys! Here she is showing off her new stroller and baby doll. The baby has a diaper which Sora is now obsessed with taking on and off (but mostly off, like her own diaper).
 She also got a new kitchen, which my mom scored from a garage sale for $5. I am so proud of this find (on her behalf). I had these big visions of making a play kitchen from an old night stand, but I had to buy a night stand, and it would have been more than this amazing already-made wooden kitchen!
 As expected, Sora also loved the food. Here she is enjoying the desert that daddy made.
 After our nap and desert, we took advantage of the nice weather and went for a walk. Sora and I stood on the ice for the first time! The ice on the lake is now 10" thick, so I felt pretty safe. It isn't smooth at all though, so I'm not sure how ice skating will work out. Hopefully the camp has some sort of Zamboni or something...
 The snow is still much too dry to make a snowman, much to Sora's dismay. Everything is "snowman" to Sora. When it's snowing, or she sees snow on the ground - even Santa is "snowman"! Although it's not the same, we've been trying to get her to enjoy snow angels instead. The dry snow is perfect for them!

She looks so little in Kyle's snow angel!

Hope your holidays were just as merry and bright!

Christmas Dance

I think this pretty much sums up how Sora felt about Christmas this year...

Santa Visits

One of the gentlemen who works with Kyle dresses up each year as Santa and visits local families. He even brings his daughter as an elf! So, when he called and offered his services, we were super excited. I had hoped to be able to have Sora meet Santa first to see how she would react, but the local Santa arrival was delayed by the big blizzard we had a few weeks ago, and we didn't know that they had rescheduled.

Had Sora met Santa before Christmas Eve, I would have found out how terrified she is of him, and we might have skipped the whole Santa-at-our-house experience.  As I had no such knowledge, we welcomed them with open arms.

Santa did an amazing job of sounding realistic when he arrived, complete with sleigh bells and a short discussion with his reindeer, who of course had to wait outside. Once Santa was inside, Sora clung to me for dear life.
 I thought the presents Santa brought might win her over, but she refused to take them directly from Santa.

 She did look semi-unafraid for a millisecond before the picture was snapped, but it didn't last long enough!
Sorry for tormenting you Sora. Maybe next year will be better.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sora Grey

Sora Grey

Click on this link to watch a really cool video from a really fun website.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Traditions

Since this is our first holiday season away from our friends and family in Washington, Kyle and I are coming up with our new family traditions. Some will change as Sora gets older (I am excited for an advent "calendar" like the Dyks do next year), and some will change as Kyle and I change our minds. So far, the biggest hit, one that for now we vow to always keep, is homemade eggnog. Neither of us had made it before, but I found a recipe that we couldn't refuse.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sora and Daddy's Morning Adventure

This morning Maleah needed some time to work on some projects so Sora and I decided that we would go explore the world outside. We had  a great morning and Sora was really fun. I brought the camera along and captured most of the fun.

 Sledding has become Sora's absolutely favorite way to travel. She is really good at holding on. We sledded all the way down to the lake so she could go for her first exploration on the ice.

 So in Wisconsin there is this crazy thing called ice fishing. This is a portable ice fishing shack out on the lake. There was only one today but I am told there will be tons of them soon.

 Sora's first steps walking on water. She was not a big fan of the deep snow on the lake.

 A view of camp from the lake. It is so crazy to walk on a lake that I will swim in later.

 She still has not decided what she thinks of all of this taxidermy business.

 Walking in the snow is tough work and Sora was happy to sit and have some water while we had a mid adventure break.

 We stopped in my office to look for some fun and Sora decided she was going to take a net and start catching things around the office. Here she has snagged a hockey puck.
 Sora's favorite game is called Mr. Mouth. She loves to try and throw the chips into the spinning mouth. A great 80's game.

Grammy Barney sent us a little elf that sits on the shelf. It came with a great story book and will be a fantastic new Christmas tradition. We found this elf with all of the Christmas presents from Grammy Barney at my office. Sora named the elf Back Back. That is how she says quack quack.

 The dining hall has a room on the side that has this old piano. Sora may not be baby Mozart but she did really enjoy playing some tunes for me.

 Santa Sora thought it would be fun to put all of the presents that got delivered on her "sleigh" so she could deliver them to our house.

  I spent some time teaching Sora about winter camouflage. As you can see she became a master.