Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thrill Seeking Toddler

I have been waiting to go to Bay Beach Amusement Park ever since we moved to Wisconsin in the fall. Today was finally my day! The park is run by the city parks department, so everything is super cheap instead of being run for profit. Most rides are 1-2 tickets with only 1 ride requiring 4 tickets and tickets are $.25 each. We spent $5 on tickets and rode all morning. Amazing! It is geared towards younger kids, which was perfect for us. I was very nervous as to how Sora would do in such a crazy environment, but she was a rock star.

We started off easy with a quick helicopter ride. 

Next was the ferris wheel. This one worried me a bit, since it's so long to get off if Sora freaked out. She was a little upset at how sunny it became while we were on the ride (Kyle's convinced she's a vampire with how much she freaks out about the sun), and was ready to finally get off after some confusion about when they would get off, but most of the ride was spent in bliss. In fact, when I later asked which ride was her favorite, she said "the blue one with daddy". Before they went on the ride, she decided she wanted to ride in a blue car. Luckily, that's the way it turned out. Maybe she has some kind of ESP...

After she rocked the first two rides, she was ready to go it alone. She started with driving a ladybug.

Then, driving a boat.

Then, shooting someone (not sure who) on the airplane ride.

It's hard to see, but she chose to ride a chicken on the carousel. She looked all around and said (while pointing) "Horse. Horse. Horse. Horse. Sora has only chicken."

Sora's last ride of the day was the train ride. The wait was pretty long, but she enjoyed the trip.

Oh, and did I mention that Bay Beach is right on Green Bay? It was a pretty sight. The location used to be home to a for-profit amusement park with swimming, but the bay was closed to swimmers a long time ago because it's disgusting. Maybe it comes from all the toilet paper that Green Bay factories are famous for making. I read a story that they used to rent out swim suits for $.10 and demand was so high that they'd be wet when you rented them and filled with sand since they had no time to clean or rinse them first. Can you imagine renting a wet, sandy swimsuit? Yuck!

While Kyle rode the big roller coaster, Sora played in the adjacent park. She saw the swing rides and was obsessed with them, but she was too small to go on the junior swing ride, so she settled for the swings at the park instead. She loved it and totally forgot about the rides.

We did some shopping while in town too. Here is Sora filling up on some water at Target.

On the way home, we stopped at another park. This one has the largest playground in town. Sora loved it, but again spent a majority of her time on the swings.

A happy kiddo after a long, fun, exhausting day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Terrible at Surprises

Since marrying Kyle, I (we) have become increasingly terrible at opening presents on time. If there is a present in my house, I can smell it a mile away and must open it immediately. It's like not eating a box of girl scout cookies. Impossible. Having said that, now that Sora is getting older, I've been trying a little harder to wait until the actual holiday or gift-getting event to open my/our presents. I say all of this because I must admit to opening my present from my mom early. In my defense, it did last over 2 weeks in my house unopened. I used her adorable present to create a new dress for Sora (click here to read the post about the dress on my craft blog). Sorry mom (but thanks!!).

Monday, May 23, 2011

May Showers

We have had a lot of crazy weather here the past week, with a lot of rain and thunderstorms. Luckily, it has been warm overall, and we are well prepared for rain. We have not been photo journaling very well lately, and you will have to trust me that we have taken Sora on a canoe and also a paddleboat to enjoy the warm weather (I'm sure we'll get pictures eventually). 

The moments that make Kyle the most proud are days like this past Friday and Saturday where Sora would throw off her shoes the instant she was outside and run around barefoot all over camp.
 I am trying to teach Sora names of flowers and trees so that she can be the youngest naturalist ever! She already has Trillium down pat! This pretty flower is in bloom all over camp. In the picture above, where Sora is exploring our tulips, you can see traces of trillium behind her.
 I'm not sure if she is playing hide and seek here or just hugging a tree. Either way, you can see how much she loves being outside and you can see  her bare little feet.
We had a very low key weekend, spent alternating between seeking shelter from the rain and running around at camp. Hopefully these thunderstorms (and terrible mosquitoes and ticks) are almost behind us so we can enjoy the few weeks we have left in Wisconsin before our big road trip!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Camping (take 1)

Kyle and I are eagerly awaiting our road trip to Washington in less than a month and are trying to slowly prepare for it. One of the things on our list was to take Sora camping once to get used to sleeping in the tent. We went up to Door County for a work party day on Saturday and we thought that would be the perfect time to go camping. The only problem is that it was 45 and miserable all day. Luckily, we took advantage of the indoor space at Camp Wabansi and pretended we weren't inside. It worked really well!

Here is Sora enjoying her brat for dinner (because we are in Wisconsin after all):

And Kyle making Bananas Foster French Toast in the morning (super yummy!):

Sora did sleep most of the night in her sleeping bag and actually stayed on the sleeping pad for the most part too.

And just to prove we were really indoors:

This was the view from right outside the building. It seemed really strange to not smell salt water. 

On Sunday it did warm up a little, so Sora got to enjoy a playground.

Kyle did too.
Unfortunately, I left my wallet at this playground and just received a phone call from the Door County sheriff a few hours ago that they found it. I am amazed that they were able to find me, but it made me think that I really should carry some type of contact info in my wallet, especially since I'm still using my Washington State Driver's license... Yeah for Door County! I can't wait to go back again when it's nicer out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Kyle and Sora gave me the Mother's Day gift of sleeping in (and not having to get up in the middle of the night - but that was a gift more from Kyle than Sora). After I was well rested, we enjoyed the beautiful weather with a family bike ride to the county park. I haven't seen any other kids here before, so Sora rules the place.

 Sora surprised us by climbing up a ladder all by herself. It's hard to see in this picture, but it's how she's getting to the top of the slide.

 She still needed a little help on this one, but got to the top without any help - just needed help figuring out how to actually get to the play structure from there.

 On the way back, we saw the largest turtle ever just chilling on the trail.

And of course there were Canadian Geese.

 We had dinner outside. Here is Sora enjoying her avocado as an appetizer. 

 Cheddar brats from Starzer's Meats - my new favorite meat source. I made some homemade buns to go with them, and we also had some quinoa burritos (totally random, I know, but all was delicious).

And this guy joined us for dinner. Sora (and Kyle and I) love all of Kyle's staff and will miss them as they go on to other things. Phil is one of Sora's favorites and he apparently plays a mean game of backgammon. Sora and I also got to test out our semi-natural bug spray in the nice weather and it worked pretty well. Sora was running all over with her little bare feet and even "peed in the woods like daddy does" for the first time ever. Since we'll be doing a lot of camping this summer, this is a skill we want her to have well practiced!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Sora and I left Kyle behind to do some hard work at camp while we enjoyed the good life in Chicago with my family. My dad flew into Green Bay so that I wouldn't have to drive so far by myself, and we met my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces in Chicago. The last time we saw my brother and his family was at Christmas a year ago, so obviously Sora didn't remember the girls from that trip and was excited to "meet" them. We hadn't met baby Kamryn (6 mo old) yet either, so it was great to see her!

Sora freaking LOVED her cousin Kylie. She's 3 and a half, and the perfect playmate for Sora. They got along fabulously and would hold hands and walk around everywhere! We didn't take a ton of pictures during the five days, but here are some highlights:

We went to the best children's museum! Sora loved exploring and kept us on our toes. Here she is rock climbing with Papa.
 She is trying to uncover some ancient dinosaur bones during a short archeological dig. She was surprisingly successful!

I don't think she really understood the concept of sound traveling through the tube instead of just the air.

Here she is riding on the kids town bus with grandma. She also got to drive the bus and make it play the wheels on the bus song (which she now is obsessed with).

Sora was a little Miss Mimic during the trip. She did everything Kylie did and anything funny that grandma did. Here she is in a laughing fit with Kylie and grandma.

I made the girls matching dresses for a photo shoot my mom arranged. We'll wait to see how successful it was, with two crabby toddlers, but here is Sora in her dress. My mom was smart to have some photos taken in the park where the girls were in their natural environment. Sora is addicted to slides and wanted to go again and again and again.

We also hit up the free zoo. Sora was very stylish, as always, but not really all too interested in the zoo itself. Just in the popcorn.

One of the highlights of the trip for Sora was the amazing jet bathtub which amplified Sora and Kylie's bubble baths. She is still asking to take another bath with cousin Kylie. I just hope the next time they get together they're not too old for a joint bath since Sora loved it so much!

We got back on Sunday night and Sora is still recovering from the trip. Sora was sick while we were there, complete with fever. Unfortunately, it spread fast and I got sick as well as everyone else there! It's too bad because I didn't get to hold the baby enough (I was trying to restrain myself since I was sick) and I'm not sure if she'll be a baby the next time I see her! She was the happiest, most easy going baby I've seen in a very long time. I hope Sora learned a thing or two from her baby cousin Kamryn (and from her cousin Kylie as well).