Saturday, March 30, 2013

Signs of Spring

This has been the longest winter since we've moved here and now I am desperately waiting for spring to arrive. I thought that feeding the ducks would remind us of spring, but I forgot how much ice was still on their pond (and how terrified of the aggressive geese I am).

Sora found the play area at the wildlife sanctuary and tried out life as a spider and a squirrel. It's tricky for squirrels who live on plastic trees when it's so wet outside!

We tried to go to our local easter egg hunt in town, but got there too late for any egg hunting (the early kid gets the egg). Sora was happy with the consolation prize of a chocolate bunny and a stuffed bunny.
Now that we can actually see the ground in a few places, we have been trying to spending more time outside. Sora is excited to not have to wear snow clothes outside, but we're still working out the best way to get all of the mud off her clothes.

As you can see, there is still a lot of winter left here, but hopefully spring is just around the corner!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Winter Continues

I think we are starting to get the winter-is-never-going-to-end blues here in Wisconsin. We've been spending way too much time inside. Luckily, we have plenty of ways to fill our time. Here are some of the latest:
 According to Sora, this is a drawing of a sun with worms or snakes involved.

This is a picture of a fairy and her papa (her dad who has the red snow shovel in his hands) outside their house. The papa is of course shoveling snow. I'm not sure where she gets this idea as I don't think she has ever seen her dad shovel snow once in her lifetime.

Sora loves taking pictures. She has her own camera (a real one and a pretend one) but of course prefers to use mine. Here is life from her perspective:

 After being inspired by Word World, Sora decided she wanted to build a rocket. Here we are selecting the perfect button and computer materials to use. Somehow her astronaut apparel looks like her fireman's vest.

 We had limited boxes on hand, but it looks like she'll have to grow into this rocket ship a bit.
 And just when you think: it snowed on Saturday, March 16, so it must be done snowing, you are proved wrong with another 2"+ inches of snow which piles quite nicely on the foot of snow that is still remaining on the ground.

It's hard to appreciate the true essence of snow that this picture captures. First, we have the 2 new inches of snow. Then, we have the entire winter's worth of snow that has been plowed onto our yard and of course never melted. I think the base is made up of the igloo we created on Solstice. Anyway, it has turned into one of many "mountains" that Sora loves to climb on at camp. She climbs to the top and says "I claim this Mount Sora" then slides down on her bottom.

With spring just two days away, I think perhaps it is skipping over our house this year and we'll just be catching up with everyone else once Summer arrives.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Professional Skiier

Just another thing to add to the long list of things that Sora will not be as she gets older. Okay, there's still a possibility, but her skiing career did not start this weekend as I had planned. Kyle and I spent the weekend snowboarding up near Lake Superior. We had signed Sora up for 2 ski lessons and had planned on skiing with her (well, we would be snowboarding) but after about 15 minutes of the first lesson, Sora decided she had absolutely no interest in the rope tow. I can't really blame her - it scares even me! Anyway, after a failed attempt with her instructor and more failed attempts later with me and Kyle we decided that this is not the year to debut Sora the downhill skiier. Hopefully next year the conditions will be more right - a magic carpet instead of a rope tow, snowboarding instead of skiing, and a female instead of male instructor, a 5 year old instead of a 4 year old, and I think we might have the perfect makings for a professional snowboarding start. We'll keep you updated.

The rest of our ski vacation went smoothly with a nice dinner with friends, a nice swim in the hotel pool, a decent drive (considering it was 3 hrs each way), and a 4 year old who was very content in daycare. Overall a nice end to our winter (although we got another 3" of snow overnight, so winter clearly isn't over yet).

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sewing 101

This week, we are focusing on The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills (we've been using Five in a Row for the past few weeks and we're really enjoying it). I thought this would be the perfect time to get Sora started on sewing! Emily, Sora's Raggedy Ann doll, has been without a mattress pad in her crib. I picked out the scraps, Sora sewed them, I cut them into squares while Sora threw away the extra fabric. She arranged them into their pattern, then determined the right side and wrong side of each fabric, pinned them together, and operated the foot portion of the sewing machine. After we sewed each piece, she raised the needle and the presser foot and snipped the threads. She sewed the entire quilt top with me yesterday. After she went to bed, I added some quilt batting and back fabric and put it on the crib. Perfect fit! Emily told Sora she still needed a pillow, so hopefully we'll be sewing again soon!

On a side note, Sora hasn't typically been a doll kid, but she is really into Emily and Walker (AKA Raggedy Andy). I love that these are the dolls she has decided to become attached to.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lucky Day

Sora and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the Kids Food Event at the children's museum last night. We were even luckier because the circus was in town the same day. And, as luck would have it, there was also a Leap Day event at the stadium next door to the circus that involved a lot of fun free bouncy houses.

Sora loved the circus. She really liked the flying butterflies. There were a lot of aerial tricks and death defying feats (the cage with the motorcycles reminds me of Wild Hearts Can't be Broken - now that was a circus!). Sora loved them all, although every time I tried to capture her joy, she saw the camera right away and gave some scowly faces.
Of course, after paying $6 to park and $18 to get into the show, I told Sora we only had $5 to spend and that she should get something that we wouldn't have anywhere else. This lead to her first cotton candy experience. She was a big fan! Luckily, I had wet wipes in my purse, so we were happy and clean afterwards. Shockingly, she didn't ask for anything else during the circus, even though they were pushing those $15 elephant rides pretty heavily.
Kyle hates the circus and zoos because of the animal treatment, and this one was no exception. There were protesters outside, which was tricky to explain to an inquisitive 4 year old, and the elephants looked pretty sad. Sora was very concerned that the tigers would eat her, and was unimpressed by the camels. The dogs were pretty great though. Anyway, I have no intention of ever returning to the circus, so I hope Sora remembers this visit for the rest of her life!

After the circus, we walked across the parking lot to the stadium and enjoyed the free bouncy houses. Sora is terrible in line - she gets so excited she starts bouncing and knocks into all the kids, then forgets about moving along in line and lets a bunch of kids cut because she's not paying attention.

Afterwards, we ate at a restaurant across the street at a local icon. Sora was excited to push the button for service and eat soup. A Green Bay specialty is a meaty chili with spaghetti noodles at the bottom. Delicious!
 After running a few errands, we made our way to the Children's Museum. A large health care company sponsored the event so it was only $2 each and even more fun than the normal museum! The Y had a station, in the Packers exhibit, where Sora got to practice "stretching", as well as some football drills including practicing her Lambeau Leaping skills.
 Of course, the regular museum was open too, so Sora fished, played in the sandbox, rescued people from fires, "ate" in the diner, was a piece of carrot and went through the digestive system complete with being flushed in a toilet, and more!
 And there were some food related crafts.

 We built a house, but it wasn't very stable and fell down too soon.
The highlight of the event was the chef tasting. There were 6 chef tables with healthy snacks and meals. We tasted all of them and voted for our favorite. Mine was the flat bread with turkey and veggies that Sora is eating below. Sora's was apple crisp. There was also a delicious Italian soda "root beer float" and a yogurt/teddy graham version of the dirt cup.
 After a full day of play, and a full meal of delicious samples, we headed home and went to bed!