Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Chez McPherson

This year we spent a nice quiet Christmas near our house. We visited with Kyle's boss and friends and family on Christmas Eve and went over to a friend's house on Christmas Day. We tried to live in the moment and took very few pictures, even though we had a lot of fun and there was an adorable, but very tired, little girl.
Sora was the only child under 16 on Christmas Eve. She got a lot of personalized adult attention, which she always loves.

 She also got some teenager attention, which she also loves.
Every year, there is a different country highlighted at this annual meal. This year, it was Luxembourg. We enjoyed several courses of delicious Luxembourgian cuisine, although dessert was definitely our favorite.  
Sora is obsessed with the Nutcracker after seeing it earlier this month. There was a large display of nutcrackers around the piano which she was very excited to see.

These are the few Christmas day photos we have. Here she is with the pink color crayon that she asked Santa for. She originally asked for it to give to her friend Walker but she seems to have forgotten about that part of the wish.

A happy, well loved kiddo. We visited with some friends on Christmas Day and Sora loved chasing around their 5 and 7 year olds. Kyle liked trying to beat everyone at Kinect (although of course I was the secret champion).

Yesterday, Sora went to her first party at the YMCA. It was a 90 min. "Ballerina Princess Tea Party". There were 4 other kids, and of course I didn't take any pictures. She chose a ballerina outfit and decided to be a monster ballerina all day. They made a few little crafts, "perfected" a dance to show off to the parents, had tea and cookies and seemed to have a great time. We also hit up the bird sanctuary at the local wildlife sanctuary (we usually go to see the rest of the wildlife and skip the birds). The ducks and geese that live there are NOT afraid of people which freaks me out, but it was fun to see all of the other animals, especially all of the raptors they had.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Lights

We have all been enjoying the beautiful winter weather this weekend! Kyle and I both went cross country skiing two days in a row - I don't even think I went two times all of last winter! The weather was warm enough to have fun in the snow, but cold enough to keep the snow nice and powdery. Sora has been perfecting her drawing skills lately and many of her drawings are resembling what she means for them to look like. She is constantly coloring, drawing, writing, and scootering around our house. She loves playing in the snow, but hates getting bundled up to go outside. She often throws big fits about going outside but once we're outside, she loves sledding, snowshoeing, eating, shoveling, and just tromping around in the snow.

We finally saw the lights at the local botanical garden this evening and we were all impressed.
 This show was timed with the Linus and Lucy song.

Sora was obsessed with playing with these lights and wanted to count or tell us which colors they were was we were walking. It was cute, but they were every foot along the path and it was 15 degrees outside, so we had to stop the cuteness too soon.

The display was very well done and nicely themed. One of the displays involved rain and lighting with thunder sounds. Sora reassured me that it wasn't real and it was just pretend. Of course, her favorite part was the hot chocolate afterwards, but in true Sora form, when we asked which display she liked best, she said "all of them".

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Solstice

 So Solstice is actually today, but we celebrated yesterday at our house. It was a perfect winter day, complete with a mild blizzard and all.

We celebrated our new tradition much the same as last year. We turned off all electronics, including lights, for the day. We ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast and snuggled by the fire.
 We decorated a tree near our house with food for the birds and squirrels as well as some pretty stars.
 Of course, thanks to the blizzard, all of our decorations were quickly covered in snow.  On our morning walk, the snow was blowing pretty hard.

 Sora loves to eat snow. Last year I was crazy and tried to ban all snow eating. This year, I'm encouraging it only when the snow is falling or "fresh" (like the next day).

 After our walk, we opened presents and made sushi for lunch. Sushi was Sora's idea and it was perfect!

 Yum. After our sushi, we made some muffins for later.
 Here is Sora playing with her presents. I made her the train table, the doll high chair, and the doll crib (in the background). Kyle bought her the hat and gloves and we both got her the Wedgits (which have already seen a LOT of use).
 After lunch, we went outside again for more snow fun. We went sledding at the sled hill and worked on making a fort in our front yard. Snow at our house is rarely wet enough to pack, so we had to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

 Here is Sora filling up on snow.

After our walk, we iced our muffins and sang "We Wish You a Happy Solstice".

 After that, the evening came pretty quickly. We played restaurant and other games in the toy room.
 When it was really dark, we all snuggled in the bed in the living room, read books, and played with Sora's new toys.
We all slept in the living room by the fire and got a good night sleep (especially considering we all went to bed so early)!

Friday, December 14, 2012

More Wintery Scenes

We've been busy enjoying our 5" of snow. Now there is only 1-2", but it's still enough to have fun with. Sora loved shoveling - a great skill to have in the Northwoods!
 Because the real snow is very dry and not conducive to snowmen or snowballs, plus it's very cold, we made some snow dough with corn starch and shaving cream.

 It was messy but popular.

We also finally got our tree. Sora loves using her snowshoes and I'm glad we bought real ones this year.

 Sora chose a small tree again this year, which fit our small house perfectly.
Of course, it's also time for parent day at Sora's dance and swim classes. Kyle got to come this time, and Sora was in an extra crazy/cranky mood.

 Here are some toe taps.
Here is her "pretty barre" turn.

We were too busy swimming with Sora to take pictures of her in the water, but she's getting better and better with water confidence. The other day, after swim class she was telling me all about 9-1-1, so they're definitely teaching her something!

Sora has decided to do gymnastics instead of dancing next time, so there might be some cute gymnastic photos in 10 weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Nutcracker

This year, Sora is finally old enough to see the Nutcracker and actually sit through most of it!

We went down a little early and ate lunch at a nearby cafe. Sora was very excited to see the Sugar Plum Fairy in the lobby of the cafe.
 Maleah was very excited to finally see a lot of snow. It started snowing when we left our house at 10:30 and continued until midnight to snow 5" of snow!
Sora was a little over excited and over tired, so we didn't get many good pictures, but she loved the ballet and did a very good job at following the plot line.

 It wouldn't be an outing with a 3 year old without a few minor tantrums, but overall she was happy and excited. She thought the Russian dancers were supposed to be boats because of their hats, and they were her favorite. Her doll (currently named Pippi after Pippi Longstockings because of her braids) enjoyed the show as well. I am not a doll lady, but I was definitely surprised at the age of some of the girls who brought their dolls to the show.
And as an added surprise, this is how Sora looked after her quiet time the other day. I made the mistake of giving her dry erase markers (although she has had them several times before with no mischievousness) and let her play alone for an hour. I should have guessed quiet time was too quiet. I just hope that seeing Kyle and I laughing doesn't encourage an encore performance!