Friday, October 31, 2008

Spiderman's Secrets: Revealed! (Part VI)

Secret #6: He is quite proud of his physique:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Soren Can Draw!

Looks like he's learning something in pre-school. As I've mentioned frequently on this blog, there are plenty of things that surprise me about kids. One of them has been drawing. I mean, I knew Soren wouldn't be able to pump out Picasso's at birth or anything. But I did expect some actual shapes to make sense when he started using a crayon or marker. At least some sense. But he's just never shown an interest in trying specific shapes or even just tracing things. He just scribbles. Acually he's not really that interested in drawing at all, but will do it on occasion when I duct tape him to the kitchen stool if I need to do something in the kitchen and want to keep an eye on him.

I've heard that this is a boy-girl difference, but who knows. I have a friend with a daughter Soren's age and she was writing her name - Lorelei, no less! - when she was like 2 years old!

Peter has saved some pictures to show me Soren's genius at drawing our family. He insists that they show Soren's great observational skills. But I think that is just daddy-pride because really they are a bunch of squiggles. Maybe there are three distinct bunches of squiggles, one for each of us, but still...just a bunch of squiggles.

That's why I was so surprised and impressed when Soren told me he wanted to draw a face on his pumpkin...and then did it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spiderman's Secrets: Revealed! (Part V)

Secret #5: Spiderman would make an excellent babysitter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Time!

Remember that pumpkin seed the Soren planted waaaaaay back in the spring? Well, Sunday we carved up the biggest of the pumpkins that it produced. He was pretty proud of himself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Residual Beach Vacation Expectations

Me: Soren, what do you want for lunch? Peanut butter & jelly?
Soren: I want a crab!

I guess he misses those crab shack dinners as much as I do!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Spiderman's Secrets: Revealed! (Part IV)

Secret #4: He's not above pitching in with the housework:

But he is not a fan of the paparazzi when they blow his secret identity:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun with Pilots, Vomit Bags, and Hair

We're home! Yippee! After a long and fun-filled trip it feels great to be back home again. It did take some effort to keep us all entertained on those long cross country flights, but you'll see we managed just fine...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Busch Gardens

Not really sure how to summarize our experience at Busch Gardens. I mean, it was a very nice park. Lots of really amazing animals. And some fun carnival type rides. But since we weren't there for the adrenalin-pumping rides (and there were many of those) I think that we kind of missed the point of the park. For us it ended up being a very expensive trip to the zoo with a few state fair rides thrown in for good measure. Know what I mean?

We did have a great time though. Soren doesn't get any happier than when he gets to ride any type of kiddie ride.
Or climb on any play structure...
Or plan his day with the help of a map...

Or get to eat junk food...
Or especially when he found out that they had a train that we could ride all the way around the park.

So, all in all, we enjoyed Busch Gardens. I think it was probably impossible to rival all the thrills we'd had at SeaWorld in the previous days. Maybe we'll try Busch Gardens again in about 12 years when Soren will be up for all the big coasters. Hm, but will he still be willing to be seen with us at that age? :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Florida Makes You Grow

Now that we're to the bottom of the clothes supply for this 12 day trip, we're pulling out the things that we don't choose too often...the other night we pulled out Soren's jammies and discovered that they were too small. Way too small. Funny how that can sneak up on you. Peter improvised and cut holes through the feet...with a nail clippers!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Beach x 2

The weather has been unseasonably warm since we've been here. In the high 80's every day. Perfect beach weather. So, we've taken advantage of that the past few days. On Monday we went to St. Pete Beach, yesterday we went to Clearwater Beach. Both are gorgeous long stetches of beach with soft white sand. Perfect!
It wasn't only Soren who found the beaches fun and relaxing. Check out Peter, reading the Wall Street Journal, no less!
Clearwater Beach was bustling. Which meant lots of kids to play with, some of whom had cool tractors and shovels to share!

This photo captures one of those rare moments when Soren isn't doing his best to smash Peter's attempts at building a sand castle.

It is funny that while both trips were intentional - I mean we actually planned to go to the beach - somehow we were ill-prepared both times. One day we packed Soren's swimsuit, but didn't get him changed on time. While splashing around with daddy he drenched his clothes. Which meant he didn't have any proper clothes to change into when we went out for dinner. The solution...

He went to the restaurant wearing Peter's jacket - the only thing we had in the car that was remotely suitable! We had terrific "crab shack" kinds of dinners both nights, at fabulous restaurants overlooking the ocean. Turns out that Soren, I suppose like all kids, love getting food that comes in shell, or with big crab legs or lobster tails! Yum...and fun to play with!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


What a great weekend. The dilema for us always in Orlando is which park to choose. There are so many great options. Being total Disney junkies, we tend to go back there again and again. And then there's Epcot, Universal and a myriad of other choices. This time we thought we'd try out some parks we'd never been to before - SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. So we started at SeaWorld this weekend.
The Shamu show was absolutely incredible. Somehow I found that surprising. Afterall, we've all seen clips of the show on TV throughout the years, right? But it was jaw-droppingly amazing to see those creatures and their trainers. Soren was just disappointed that he didn't get to go up and be a part of the show!
You'll see in the picture below that Soren is carrying a small plastic bag. They were doing trick-or-treating in the park this weekend! If we hadn't already fully surpassed any reasonable level of sugar consumption this certainly drove us well over the limit!
And of course there were the requisite characters to hug and shake hands with.
Seriously, Soren is always on the lookout for a princess or a character to hug. He totally loves it!
Of course, covering such a big park in only two days (and still fitting in some naps) required a good deal of logistical planning...
And there were many more than just "sea" animals to talk to:
Alligators to pet!
And the best thing of all - Dolphins to feed! This was so awesome! Soren and I went in and bought some small trays of fish. You could then hang over the wall and have the dolphins come up, open their mouth, and then you'd drop the fish right down into their mouth.
It was incredible! We spent almost about a half hour petting them and feeding them. Along with Shamu, this was without a doubt a highlight of our visit.
Oh, and we can't forget the rides! There was a great kiddie area with rides, climbing toys, and sandboxes!

It was a stupendous weekend. We moved to Tampa this afternoon though, were I have work starting on Tuesday. But tomorrow we're heading to Busch Gardens. We'll let you know what we think.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"The Best Waterpark Hotel EVER!"

Yesterday we hit the road fairly early to head down to Orlando (what's a Florida trip without a stop in Orlando, after all.) Soren said good-by to all the friends he made at our Georgia hotel. Especially, his beloved Debra. She helped out at the breakfast each morning and served Soren his "chocolate bagel" (how funny that he doesn't know the word donut yet) after he'd eaten a good healthy breakfast. She also gave him a cool watermill toy...a perfect thing for out next destination.
Here in Orlando our hotel has an enormous waterpark right in the middle of the hotel! We didn't waste any time and jumped right in!

At the end of the evening we had to spend a few minutes in the hot tub in order to "un-blue" Soren's lips. He was shivering but didn't want to get out of the pools. And then upon getting back to our room...guess what came next? More water time!
Our fingers and toes are going to be shrivelled to raisins before we leave Orlando! Today Soren woke up from his nap and said "This is the very best hotel waterpark EVER! Thank you so much for coming here!"