Friday, March 30, 2012

Puppet Show

Sora's latest obsessions involve dress up and puppet play. I love all the creativity, even if 90% of all this play involves being a doctor. The patients, played by dolls, puppets, animals, and Sora, are sometimes sick, but also come in for their regular check ups. 
I'm hoping that by expanding Sora's dress up box, the pretend play will take a more diverse route soon! Today, she was a caterpillar who became a butterfly and also an aviator. She couldn't quite understand why her 19 mo. old friend Walker didn't want to use his plate as the steering wheel it was intended for and rather chose to use it to eat his mid flight snack with.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cathedral Pines

 One of our favorite places nearby for "hiking" (less than a mile) is Cathedral Pines. This is the first time we have made it here this year, and it was perfect!

Sora loves to do "balance balance beam" on anything that resembles one. She also loves our family nature walks, which is good since we do them almost nightly around camp. She is really into wildlife this year and is mesmerized by the frogs croaking, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and more. She can name some of the most common trees and is always pointing out beech trees to Kyle, since he told her they were his favorite. At this particular spot, there are 40+ Great Blue Herons, which Sora enjoyed watching as well. Spring is definitely here to stay in the Northwoods!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Playground Decathlete

One of the downsides to life in Wisconsin is that we can't go to an outdoor playground from mid-October until Mid-March (or later). In Washington, unless there is a downpour or freak snowstorm, playgrounds are a year-round affair. Anyway, I was surprised to realize that Sora now believes that all playgrounds are inside malls and she has literally forgotten how to play on a playground. We went for the first time last week, and she just kept asking what to do and how to do it, then claiming that she "couldn't" do many things she could easily do in the fall. Bizarre!

Kyle and I took advantage of our 80 degree weekend to help retrain Sora in the wonderful world of playgrounds. Hopefully she will soon forget that her poor mother resorted to the mall as a source of playground entertainment during the winter. Hopefully next winter, the children's museum will be up and running and that will replace our mall excursions.

Sora's favorite things to do right now include swinging, especially when accompanied with spinning (yes, the tire swing was a favorite) and balance beam walking. She sings "Balance Beam" by Laurie Berkner Band every time she does anything remotely resembling a balance beam. She is currently a fan of sliding (as long as she can see the bottom and doesn't think it's too dark or scary). We are encouraging more climbing, as these are the type of things she seems to have forgotten about. Yeah for parks!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Preview

With all the grandparent visits over and with cousin Dylan gone, Sora has some mixed emotions.

We are cautiously optimistic that spring has arrived. Last year after we thought we were in spring, we still had 3 big snow storms. I'm hoping this year will be different. It has been nice enough outside to play without heavy jackets and Sora is enjoying exploring all of the trees and camp again.

We also brought out the Tinker Toys! I had been saving this toy for Dylan's visit but the girls were so busy with other toys that I forgot all about this surprise. After playing for the evening with just the 3 of us, I'm glad we didn't have it out when Dylan was here - it makes a big mess! This toy won this toy study that I was watching the other day, since it elicited the most interaction, vocabulary, etc. than any other toy. Sora loved creating (here she is with a variation on her original salt shaker) and so did Kyle. I'm not sure who like the toy more!
 Kyle's dog (Sora helped him in his creative process)

Hopefully spring is here to stay and you'll be seeing more outdoor pictures soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend of Fun

 The long anticipated visit from Sora's grandma and papa Barney and cousin Dylan is now, sadly, over. We all had a great time while they were here. Sora and Dylan got along well and there was relatively little fighting for two 3 year olds spending 3.5 days together. Here are a few highlights of the trip:

The girls went sledding and exploring in the snow (as seen in the last post). Dylan also went ice skating for the first time! Sora chose to watch - I think she's a little skated out. My hopes of turning her into an Olympic skater will have to wait until next winter since this was really the last weekend to skate outside.

The girls played at home a lot. Sora has a ridiculous amount of toys for an only child, and Dylan was excited to explore them all. Here they are making up rules to a game. Apparently one rule is that you must only wear panties and one sock.
 The girls had a tea party, complete with fancy cucumber sandwiches, cream puffs, and of course real tea, sugar and cream! This was adorable and the girls loved playing with the playdough cupcakes and blowing out their birthday candles at the end of the party. In true opposite cousin style, Sora chose to "dress up" by wearing pajamas (rather than just panties as most of her around-the-house time is spent) and Dylan chose to wear a fancy dress.

 Of course, both girls loved playing with Kyle. Here is is giving them both a helicopter ride.

 All this playing wore them both out! Sora even napped 2 of the days they were here!
Fighting over Sharing grandma's tablet.

There were other adventures as well: restaurants for Friday Fish Fry, breakfast, lunch, and coffee - all the major eating times of the day. The girls each got to pick out a toy at the toy store courtesy of great grandma (Dylan chose a pink doll and Sora chose a kick ball). There was a visit to the candy store (where both girls were extremely well behaved) as well as a playground.

Overall, it was a great visit - Sora had a hard time last night knowing everyone was leaving today. Dylan was a lot of fun and her and Sora wore all of us adults out with all of their running and screaming!