Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - For Reals

Since today was Halloween, Sora put on her fancy bee costume and headed for the places she was guaranteed candy: the dining hall, another staff house (on camp).

It also helps that all these women really like Sora so she got lots of attention and treats (she was their only trick or treater after all).

After we exhausted all of our friends with our company, Sora and I headed out to the nearby town to gather candy in masses. Where we live is extremely rural so door to door trick or treating isn't an option (unless you drive 30+ minutes to another town), so all the local businesses get together and pass out candy at the town hall. It's very quick and each group gives a TON of candy. In less than 7 minutes, Sora's basket was overflowing with goodies and she was ready to leave.

She made a sign so that she wouldn't have to talk to any strangers. This was both adorable and effective. She did run into a few friends at the town hall and was side tracked by a mummy hot dog, so we had to stay a few extra minutes, but our Halloween was extremely short. It was also raining very hard - maybe next year if Kyle is here we will all go to a more traditional experience together!

Interesting side note: I didn't realize how tiny our pool of local kiddos was until recently. The school district we live in is roughly 300 square miles and a total of 4,000 people live in it. That's a density of just 13.5 people per square mile. There's less than 500 kids in preK - 12 (less than 36 kids / grade). Obviously you can't compare that to Seattle (the last school district we lived in), but the "rural" school district my dad grew up in (outside of Bellingham with no town included) has a population density of 281 per square mile. This "rural" district has 4 times the kiddos and just over 10% of the square miles. Crazy! This definitely justifies my feeling that I live in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Family Trip

Sora and I took our annual trip around the lake this past weekend to visit my brother's family while my parents happened to be in town too. Kyle happened to have a trip to New Orleans planned with his beer buddies for this same time frame which was very convenient.

It's a 9 hour drive or a 3 hour drive + a 1.5 hour train ride + a 2 hour layover + a 3 hour train ride. We chose the train ride so I could entertain Sora. She loved it.
She also loved dancing to the street musician outside of the train station in Chicago. This kid will dance anywhere!
On Saturday, Sora and her cousins went trick or treating downtown. They were all dressed as princesses (although the oldest was the queen).
 Sora, ever cautious of strangers, of course could not be convinced to say "trick or treat" or even "thank you", but did watch her cousin with much better manners.
 No trick or treating is complete without dunking cookies in hot chocolate.
 The girls all got along fabulously and shared grandma (and her iPad) nicely.

 There was a trip to the bouncy house, the park, the city pool, and a birthday party to keep them busy.

 And then it was over. My parents dropped us off at the train station.
Sora's big on paper dolls, which I love. She was also fascinated by all of the Amish on the trains and enjoyed people watching. We met several nice conductors (Amtrak is amazing - I only wish they had more options and it was a little faster and cheaper so we could ride them more often) and even a policeman in Chicago.
After a long trip yesterday, we are home and are already missing all the relatives!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Leaf beds and silly hair

We have been spending a lot of time raking the leaves lately. Sora prefers naps over hard labor.

After our trip to the pumpkin patch last week, Sora and Kyle carved a jack o lantern. This was the first year Kyle followed Sora's drawing. Unfortunately, all the pumpkins we bought were a little over ripe, so they are going to the compost pile pretty soon.
Sora started a "real" dance class a few weeks ago. She has to wear a leotard and tights and the whole thing. One of the rules is that her hair has to be pulled back. Sora traditionally hates having anything done to her hair, but lately she has been requesting a lot of French braids. I'm still perfecting my technique and Sora's still perfecting the skill of sitting still. Today she chose half French braid, half pony tail.

While she is currently in an uber girly stage filled with princesses, unicorns, purple, pink, sparkly, Barbie, dancing, and all other pretty fluffy things, she also still does a good job of dancing to her own beat. She constantly reminds me of that with her silly mismatched outfits (often backwards or inside out) and funny hair.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall in the Woods

We've had a few cold days, but for the most part this fall has been beautiful! The leaves are falling at camp and at our house which means that I can rake for over an hour on one day and then three days later start back at square one (but if I ignore it completely then it's way too big of a job by the time the leaves are all down). Sora is of course trying to hold on to summer as long as possible by wearing flip flops and going barefoot whenever possible.

She recently found an abandoned Barbie (one of the camp staff found it while cleaning a cabin and Sora is the natural inheritor of all girly toys left at camp). Sora is very taken with "Cinderella Barbie" and she goes everywhere with Sora.

The barbie got a seahawks outfit so that she and Sora can match. Sora's a big fan (of the Hawks and the outfit).

Today was our annual pumpkin patch trip with our play group. The weather was perfect and of course Sora loved every part of it.
We have never played in the giant sandbox - the past two years were too cold! This year she and her friend could have spent hours there. Sora was busy making chocolate ice cream for her chocolate ice cream store. I hate to be a tough critic, but the ice cream did taste pretty sandy.

That pretty much sums up our life lately! Sora was a little under the weather last week, but is back to her mostly happy self now and is enjoying the fall with a lot of thoughts on Halloween costumes, jack-o-lanterns, and pretend spooky things.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Messy Girl

Spontaneous chocolate cake baking for a party in Sora's room. I'm pretty sure she ate her dolls portions as well as her own.

 Spontaneous hand and face painting so that Kyle could match Sora.