Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hawaiian Vacation: Part 1

Sora and I are having a great time on our adventures. She has been having fun playing with grandmas camera, watching the turtles and whales, and of course spending time with her grandparents. I lost my luggage because I foolishly gate checked it when I shouldn't have and spent the first day of our trip anxiously waiting for my bag to be delivered. Other than that, our travels were very smooth and Sora has mostly been a sweet happy little girl.

Here is Sora at the airport in Maui. She was so excited to see her grandma and papa D! I had some baggage snags which made for a long discussion with a nice baggage lady and a 24 hour delay on my main baggage, but Sora was happily distracted by grandma to even notice (although she keeps asking me to tell her the story of my lost bag). Luckily, less than 24 hours after landing, my bag was driven to me to be reunited once more. Thanks United!
Dad and I celebrated my bag's return with a run! My mother, of course, is responsible for the matching outfits.
We were lucky to have this happy turtle hang out on the small beach in front of our condo a few times.
We took Sora to the aquarium. It worked out well, as there was some rain that day, and Sora got to see a lot of fish, sharks, eels, sting rays, turtles and other local sea life. Mom and I learned about coral and got to see a lot of it up close and personal when we went snorkeling while dad played on the beach with Sora later in the week.
Here we are walking under a sting ray. We also got to see a diver in the shark tank who could talk to us which was really cool. He was feeding one of the sting rays, so that was neat to watch too.
Our condo had a small beach right out front. Here are Sora and dad building sandcastles. This is the first day we were here, because later that day, she got knocked down by a big wave and was terrified of the waves afterwards. She wouldn't set foot near the ocean on our wavy beach after that!
Luckily, not all the beachces were so rough. We found a beach near by with a protected swim area that Sora loved.
These pictures were for Kyle - I thought he would be proud of his adventurous daughter! She did fall off a tree later in the week, but at least she was up there chasing the boys.

My wonderful parents who let us crash their relaxing vacation with a not-so-relaxing little girl and didn't complain once!

My mom promised Sora shaved ice everyday we were in Hawaii. Really! That is a promise only a grandma could make. We did miss a day, but made up for it with ice cream under the shaved ice. Sora's favorite, of course, was rainbow. We also saw a few rainbows while we were in Hawaii, of course, but didn't get any pictures.
When we got off the plane, after finding grandma, Sora wanted to know where the hula dancers were. Since we weren't planning on going to a luau until later in the week, we watched a free show at the mall. I'm not sure how much Sora liked it, but there were 3 little 10 year olds and 3 grown ups and I thought it was pretty cute.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Typical Week

Here is a glimpse into our typical activities. 

Basket heads with some friends.
 LOTS of Wedgit building.
 A little face painting. Sora made herself into a clown and me into a cat.
Sora plays birthday several times a week. This typically involves her playing pin the tail on the horse or donkey (this is a horse) and musical chairs. I made the mistake of teaching her how to use the remote to the computer so she likes to skip and pause songs often. This works well for musical chairs and for annoying her mother.
I also recently taught Sora how to use the camera. She is still finding her viewpoint, but as you can see it involves taking extreme close ups of ordinary things. We could make it a game of guess what since some of them are a little tricky to figure out.
It has been extremely cold lately with highs below 0 (F) so we have spent much of our time inside (and are obviously now reaching extreme levels of entertainment).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hawaii Vacation (Pre trip trip)

Sora and I are preparing for our real vacation by taking a pretend vacation to Hawaii. We read Luka's Quilt and made leis with lots of colors. 
Then, Sora practiced making her own quilt. She picked out the fabric from my scraps while I bit my tongue. Then, I modge podged them onto magnet sheets, cut them into triangles and Sora went to town.
We read The Woman in the Moon and made tapas by pounding brown paper bags and stamping them with paint and various kitchen utensils to try to make nature patterns like flowers and leaves.

We read Punia and the King of the Sharks and practiced surfing while watching surf music videos. We also decorated our surf boards.
We read Hawaii is a Rainbow and practiced our hula skills. There were some happier scenes before this, I promise. We also did some weaving after being inspired by the book.
 I hope our real trip is as eventful as our pretend trip was. I have a feeling it will be all this and more!
And this is the face of an almost 4 year old on a daily basis. It's a little irritating, especially when these tears are about the desire to eat every 20 minutes all day long. It's a good thing she's so stinking cute. And funny.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back to Normal

After almost two weeks, Sora and I are both flu free. Luckily neither of us had more than a nasty cold and a few other side effects. There was a lot of sleeping involved, even naps several days in a row which is a true sign of sickness with Sora. This week, Kyle's been gone at a conference so Sora and I have had to fend for ourselves. Today after Sora's gymnastics and swim class, she had the choice of going to a fun toy store (the kind with all of the toys to play with AND buy, not like Toys R Us where you just look at stuff in boxes) and spend $5 or go to the kid's museum. I thought this would be a no brainer, but she had a hard time making the decision. She was leaning towards the store, which surprised me, but then remembered the fire pole at the museum. She loves the fire pole.

There was a lot of dramatic play, of course. Fire fighting:

 Football playing:
 I had her say "Go Hawks" so that she wouldn't be too brainwashed by the Packer's exhibit.

Restaurant Chef:
And fisherman:
 There was also a lot of sandbox exploration, including many sand snow angels.

We worked in the lighthouse, guiding a sailboat to safety, explored a tree house and found many woodland animals, bought and sold flowers at the flower shop, and measured feet and matched shoes at the shoe store. Just another full afternoon at the kid's museum!

Friday, January 11, 2013


We have listened to a lot of crying, whining, complaining, coughing, and general unhappiness lately. After 4 days with a fever, Sora and I went to see her doctor yesterday who confirmed that she has influenza. While this is a much better diagnosis than the whooping cough that he initially thought, we are counting the hours until we will be flu-free and able to resume a relatively happy life again. Luckily, this flu seems relatively mild with vomit limited to cough-induced and very few other fluids involved. Today is not our day, but Sora's coughing is getting much better, so hopefully it is not too much longer. We'll update you when something fun or adorable or just non-sick happens. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Winter is finally here with a vengeance. The snow from solstice is still on the ground, and a few more inches fell this past weekend. The temperatures are too cold to even say out loud, so there is no chance of any snow melting any time soon. For the most part, our family loves winter! Kyle and I love to cross country ski, and have a great trail system right here at camp. Sora loves to sled, snowshoe, ice skate, and just play in the snow in general. This past weekend, we had some campers here for the first time since Halloween. Sora was excited to see all the kids and eat meals in the dining hall. She even befriended a few of the girls, which doesn't happen often, and whenever we were outside, we had to find them and once we did find them, Kyle and I ceased to exist to our daughter. She sat at the girls' table for meals in the dining hall and when Kyle and I came to check in on her, she would say (with as much attitude as a 13 year old girl), "Go away." I'm sure it's only a matter of time before that statement is followed by "You're embarrassing me."

The kids have left and now we're just left with a bunch of snow on the ground, a rink on the frozen lake, a kid who loves playing outside but HATES getting dressed to go outside, and a very cold mom and dad! To entice getting dressed without tears, I created a game with cards of items that we need to put on. This weekend was the first time Sora tried skating on the lake this year. She has graduated from a double bladed skate last year to hockey skates this year. She practiced with her "friends" from camp this weekend, and she's getting a lot better.