Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Day in the Life

Sora is at such a fun age! She is understanding so much and is able to communicate a lot. She just recently started really remembering people's names and it's fun to see when she thinks of certain people (grandmas and great grandmas, she "calls" you on a daily basis to say that she's "okay"). She is in constant motion but is starting to understand that some times you can't go crazy (which is literally something she does when Kyle says "go crazy"). 

Last weekend, we explored a nearby town by eating at a diner (where Sora played with crayons):

Then we went to their museum. It was pretty cold out, so we didn't explore their train too much, but we did get some cute pictures:

Inside, she was really good about letting us hold her the whole time while we learned all about the history of the town and nearby area, complete with going to "school".

Sora's getting good at entertaining herself a little more. Here she is playing with one of her favorite finger puppets (named "guy") and baby. She often naps with guy and plays with him before falling asleep.
To end our weekend, we went to play broom ball at a nearby ice rink. We ended up playing ice soccer instead and Sora and I played our own mini-version while Kyle played with the grownups. Sora loved it! Until, of course she got cold. Then she hated it. Afterwards, we went to lunch at a friend's house where Sora played with their child's toys and pushed her around. As we left, Sora said goodbye to the toys rather than the other child. I guess social nuances aren't her strong point yet!

Not sure what mid-western hijinks we'll find next, but we'll find some soon, I promise! 

Dance lessons

Well I think this one speaks for itself. However Sora is slowly getting into music more. Some of this is due to the old school fisher price record player she got for her birthday. Here she is dancing with mommy. She still needs to work on front and back but she has side to side down.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tot School: S is for Sora

We've noticed that Sora has started learning a lot lately. She is still saying new words all the time and has started recognizing colors and a few letters as well. She's even begun counting. To help challenge Sora and to help keep her sanity, Maleah came across the idea of Tot School. She is running full force ahead and so far, she and Sora are loving it. 

Last week was a trial run, and this week they are in full force. This week's theme is the letter S. Maleah made 4 Tot Trays (in the box lids below) and a small sensory bin for Sora for the week. The trays and bin will rotate on a regular basis. 

Here's a close up of the sensory bin. It is full of S's and things that start with S (spoon, stamps, stars, snowflakes, and seashells). The filler is rainbow rice that Maleah made.

Here is Sora using one of her tot trays. This one involves transferring marbles with the spoon from one container to the Mancala board.

Here is Sora enjoying her sensory bin. Maleah is still working with her on the concept of not dumping everything onto the floor, so some things get put away for a while throughout the day. She's usually really good, but when she gets bored she starts making trouble (like her dad).

In addition to the trays and bin, Maleah tries to do 3-5 planned activities a day with Sora. That's a lot, so they don't always get to that many and they aren't always a hit with Sora (when that's the case they skip that activity). Here is Sora finger painting. Maleah sprinkled salt all over it for a shimmery look (and lots of s's). I oddly love to see Sora finger paint. I think she may be a female Rembrandt.

Another tot tray. This one involves putting pipe cleaners into a tennis ball container by color. Sora's pretty good with her colors but needs some practice with her fine motor skills.

Sora glued stripes on an S. She liked it more than she appears to in the photo, I promise. Today, she also sorted seashells (big hit - she can do bumpy and smooth and big and little), and sorted big and little stars (which Sora didn't really like so it didn't last long).

Sora's wall of craftiness. She's really proud of it and will randomly talk about something up there. Usually she made it for dad.  It is really sweet to have her point out the art she made me.

Here are some videos of her enjoying a tot tray and her sensory bin.
I am at work for most of Tot School but it sure seems fun. I think Sora is lucky to have such a fun teacher at school. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011


We have been amazed by how much Sora loves to eat everything. There has been very little she will not try. Last night we decided to celebrate the north Wisconsin tradition of a Friday fish fry. Here she is eating some perch that dad fried up. We also had a puree of ricotta cheese, garlic, butter and peas that was fantastic. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


In an attempt to beat the winter blues, we packed the Jeep and headed to a nearby 1st Annual Winterfest last Saturday. The town that was hosting the festival had just come to camp, so Kyle actually knew one of the organizers since he was a chaperone with the school group. It was small, but very festive, as many local events seem to be.  The big draw for us was the chili contest. There were 5 to taste, but most were delicious and we got to vote for our favorite. Kyle of course took notes as this was a very serious task. Sora liked all of them (not surprising), but the ones with beans were her favorites.

The weather was relatively warm and sunny! The outside attractions included a Chilly Cheeks Fun Run (which my father would have dominated - there were less than 10 runners total), gator rides, a snowy chip contest (golfing), and a ham shot put. Kyle dominated the shot put and won first place with an impressive 53 feet throw of one giant ham! Sora tried as well, but her shot was much less impressive.

She loved it though and would have done it all day if we would have let her!

After we were done, we made a quick stop at the pharmacy which has an impressive selection of fabric, craft supplies, and toys for such a small town. Kyle was thrilled that Sora was drawn to the army men and helicopter toys.

Elephant Tamer

Do to a series of fortunate events Sora is the proud owner of an elephant. Here she is trying to figure out how to make the elephant walk forward. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Playin' House For Reals Yo

So the big project that I have been working on for nearly a month is Sora's new felt play house. Kyle built a PVC frame that is 4.5" square and 4" tall. Sora loves it, which is a good thing since it takes up a lot of her play room.

Let me take you on a tour of Sora's neighborhood. 

Her front door, complete with opening mail box for her to receive mail and flowers for her to pick.

Her garden with corn and other veggies for her to pick.

Her dog door for her dog (and Sora) to crawl through.

Her tree with apples for her to pick and put in the basket, and more flowers to pick (and a giant window).

Here is the inside: There's a vase for her flowers on a table behind her.

Here is her dog hanging out on a pillow near his door.

Her fireplace, which now has a bunch of pictures on the mantle for her to rearrange (with velcro).

Her library complete with spaces for her to put her books and cards.

Grandma Barney got Sora a bean bag chair so now Sora can sit by her fire and read a book in style and comfort.

 Sora decided the fire was too bright so she needed her shades.

Sora's Birthday Weekend

Sora's 2nd birthday fell on a Monday this year, so we celebrated all weekend long. On Thursday night, we went to pick up Grandma Barney from the airport. The Green Bay airport is my favorite airport ever! It's small and parking is cheap and you can wait ALMOST at the gate! Sora ran around and played while we waited and we could even see the plane pull up to the gate. Bonus: I also got a ton of errands done before the airport!

Sora loves to eat, so on Friday, we went to our favorite nearby restaurant (which of course is a bar that happens to cater mainly to snowmobilers).

Sora's current favorite food is soup. She'll eat almost anything, but if she thinks it's soup, she'll like it even more! I think that's why she loves yogurt in the morning as well. She devours bowl after bowl of yogurt in the morning and soup at lunchtime.

Grandma Barney came bearing presents! Here is Sora showing off her new ballerina finger puppet and her new Central Washington University sweatshirt. Kyle loves this sweatshirt and has made Sora wear it almost everyday since.

Oh, and Grandma Barney does hair too! She came up with this ingenious idea (which should be patented) to let Sora sit on the bathroom counter with her feet in the sink and the water running to keep her occupied. Sora has been asking for braids or "conies" almost every day since Grandma left so she must have loved it!

Every morning that grandma was here, Sora would wake up and say "book. grandma" and run to the bookshelf for a book or two and then run to the guest room to have grandma read her a morning story.

For Sora's actual birthday we had a sledding theme party. Sora loved sledding with daddy!

After she got too cold and snowy, we headed inside for cupcakes and other fun. I bought a tub of insta-snow and filled a big under bed storage box with the snow and other sandbox toys. It was a huge hit. Between that, some window clings, and just running around the dining hall, all of Sora's friends had fun and Sora had a blast!

After Sora's nap, we opened presents from family members (her party was a no-present party which worked very well and allowed me to invite more people). Sora loved her books and turtle from Grandma & Papa D, her stamps from great grandma, and her record player from her other grandma and papa.

This picture also shows off the sweet shirt I sewed and screen printed for her birthday (notice the sledder on the snowy 2).

That evening, we headed over to the Fish-o-Rama at the lake we live on. The entire lake is of course frozen over and everyone is out ice fishing and driving all over the ice. It's hard to see in the first picture, but there's almost a little town out on the lake! There are roads as well since there is still snow all over the lake. Kyle was excited to drive across the lake which of course freaked me and Grandma Debi out.

Kyle's favorite ice fishing shanty.

That night, there were fireworks which we could hear from our house but didn't go see. This is an annual thing for the Fish-o-Rama, so hopefully we'll catch them next year. The Fish-o-Rama was one of the most midwestern experiences we took Grandma Debi to. There was a "warming" building where everyone was drinking cheap beer and standing around (on a crazy muddy concrete floor) with tickets hoping they would win a giant package of bacon.

Sunday, we went to Green Bay and showed Debi the sights while she took Sora birthday shopping and we played at the YMCA kid zone. We watched the first quarter of the big game in Green Bay, but it wasn't really the huge Packers experience I had hoped for. We drove home in time to see the half time show and rest of the game. In the words of Sora, "Go Pats Go".

Sora was in an awesome mood all weekend and we had a ton of fun! She was pretty warn out by Monday and showed us how cranky she could be, but overall a happy two year old!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sora's all grown up!

Sora and I spent the day in "town" yesterday on an epic Mother-Daughter day running errands and being all grown up.

First up was the doctor's office for Sora's 2 year check up. Sora weighed in at 23 lbs 2 oz (with a wet diaper on - so a little under 23 lbs naked) and was 34.25" tall. This puts her at the 50th percentile for height and the 10th percentile for weight. No surprises there. She was afraid of the doctor, also no surprises there. And she didn't cry at the finger poke/blood draw until she had a band-aid on and wanted it off.
 Next up was her first salon hair cut. We went to one of those kids salons where Kyle predicted they would pacify her with TV. He was right. Now that she's officially 2, I don't care quite as much if she watches 5 minutes of TV while her hair is getting cut, but still a little disappointing. Here she is enjoying a snack of pears afterwards.
 Behind her you can see the pink car she "rode" in during her cut and the "choo-choo" she played with before and afterwards. The hairdresser did french braids with sparkles and I was thoroughly impressed. The bonus is that this was literally half the price the same service in Seattle would have cost.
 Next we went to a fabric store and to an amazing bakery all in the same building. We bought 2 cookies, a scone (which Sora is eating), a day old chocolate croissant, a treat for Kyle, and a chai tea for less than $8. Another reason I love Wisconsin!

 After our snack, we went to a nearby toy store, which is our new favorite! I am a toy snob, even though I rarely buy anything for Sora, so it is hard to find a store that sells the brands that I like best. Sora did score a new finger puppet, a magnet toy, and some paint.

Sora fell asleep almost immediately on our way home for a good  nap, although I didn't get to nap since I had to drive an hour to get home. When we got home, we made valentine's day treats for the camp staff.
 We relaxed at the end of a busy day, complete with dinner in the dining hall with daddy and about 80 kids, by doing puzzles in Sora's new beanbag chair (thanks again Grandma Barney).