Fun Things About Soapfi

Magic Wand!

Look at me, doing the whole fancy scheduled post thing!  I’m hopefully all nerd-ed out, most likely safely on my way back home, and definitely missing Soapfi. Hopefully she’s been having fun with Daddy and playing magician:

Because magic wands (otherwise known as size Q crochet hooks!), capes (yep we’re the people that buy those NFL themed Snuggies knockoffs!), and top hats (okay we were fresh out of top hats, but a mommy made Jayne Cobb cunning hat is even better for the crafty sci-fi nerd in me!) are awesome!

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What Soapfi Loves

What she loves right now is vegetables. So much so that she can’t even wait until dinner is on the table to get to her peas & carrots. She ate half the bowl before we finally took it away (under much protest by Soapfi) so that there would be some left for Mommy & Daddy!

Oh, and she’s wicked good with devouring an entire cob of corn all on her own too!

I don’t know how long this whole veggie loving phase will last, but I plan to stuff her full of them while I can.

Things are kind of crazy around the house right now, and I’m getting ready for a road trip to nerd out with my friends at Nerdtacular 2012 in Salt Lake City.

Despite personally being out of school for quite awhile, I’m falling into the “school is out for summer” mindset when it comes to blogging, so apologies in advance for the lack of regularity in posting, and slow responses to comments. I’ll get my azz back on track one of these weeks!

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We Went To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

I think I’ve pretty much covered all the fun that happened on vacation, so now I’m a few weeks behind on what happened once we got back! The first weekend back from vacation was Mother’s Day and that Saturday was “Mommy & Me Day” at the Woodland Park Zoo.

It was actually a beautiful sunny day here in the greater Seattle area, so we joined what appeared to be every other mother in the general vicinity and tromped down to the zoo. We arrived only an hour after the zoo opened, and all five parking lots were already full – we managed to find some parking on one of the neighborhood side streets not to far from the north entrance, and congratulated ourselves on not having to pay for parking (we are good at turning a planning fail into a win!). We optimistically put Soapfi in the stroller, she had loved being pushed around in the doll stroller while on vacation, perhaps that would translate to the larger stroller (short answer – no!) and tromped off to join the faceless masses converging on the entrance.

As we waited in line under the bright shiny sun, we realized that we had our second planning failure. Sure, we packed sippy cups, a spare binky, diapers, wipes, even a few snacks, but since we’re so used to crappy Seattle weather we completely forgot things like sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen! So our first stop inside the gates was the gift shop to buy over priced sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.  Soapfi was immediately enamored with a pair of tiger sunglasses, and promptly played at being a tiger, but didn’t seem all that interested in actually seeing real tigers.

Once we were inside the gates the crowds dispersed and it didn’t feel nearly as crowded as the parking lots and the line at the entrance had implied. We started to roam around and within five minutes Soapfi wanted to walk. Which lasted five more minutes and then she wanted up. But not back into the stroller up, she wanted to ride on mommy’s shoulders. (Ugh, I had hefted her onto my shoulders once on a walk because it was *slightly* more comfortable than having her on my hip, was trying to get back home fast, and was trying to sidestep a complete total meltdown in public – i.e. I created a freaking “carry me” monster.) 

So since things come in threes, we naturally had a third fail – this one being parenting in nature instead of just planning – I caved and let Soapfi ride on my shoulders so we wouldn’t have to leave via a meltdown only ten minutes after dropping way too much money on sunscreen! We braved the creepy crawly house, Soapfi wasn’t all that keen on the actual bugs on display, but she did like the interactive part of the exhibit, in fact we spent about 15 minutes trying to coax her back out of that little cave!

In the spirit of a truly lazy parent, it was easier to continue to heft her onto my shoulders than do the whole “let’s give everybody a show with a complete and total meltdown in public” by trying to force her to walk or ride in the stroller.  Because, lets face it, I lose either way. I either feed the carry me monster, or I get looked at as the most horrible mommy ever with a kid she can’t control because all they see is a kid crying about wanting to be picked up and I’m the mean bitch who leaves her kid sniveling on the ground. (Does having the same failure twice count as a total of four failures for the trip or just a really extended third failure?)

We managed to see about 1/3 of the zoo before it was nap time and she was too cranky to go on, no matter if she was up on my shoulders or in the stroller. We did manage to see a few fun animals like the giraffes and monkeys. Of course the phrase uttered most often by Soapfi was “more cow”, her favorite part of the zoo was the Family Farm, followed closely by the ice cream stand!

As we are prone to do, we still looked back on the day fondly during the ride home, because we were bound and determine to turn failures into wins and consider it an overall good day!

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Stroller Queen

One of the great things about vacationing with another family that has a kidlet near the same age as Soapfi was all the new and wonderful toys. Sure we brought along some of Soapfi’s favorites, but they weren’t nearly as fun as the *OMG* portable ball pit, and *SQUEEE* doll stroller.

Soapfi was instantly enamored with the doll stroller, she was having great fun pushing the dolls up and down the hallway, and then she made a discovery. She (barely!) fit in the stroller too. And even better, she could convince both Daddy and Penzilla to push her around.

We did eventually manage to force her to reciprocate and push Penzilla around, ONCE. Turns out Penzilla didn’t care much for riding, she wanted to be the driver.

If only Soapfi had stayed as enthusiastic about being pushed around in a stroller when we were at the Zoo for Mother’s Day Weekend…. but that is a story for next week!

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Behold the Power of Cheese

By the end of the week we were running out of places to go, but the wonderful ladies at the Spa recommended we take the kidlets to Morningstar Farm, home of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.

Best. Idea. Ever. It is basically a working farm where they let you tromp around on your own. They even have a cute little scavenger hunt set up for the kids.  You walk around the farm attempting to find all the stamping stations to earn a prize from the general store .

We were amazed how much unsupervised access they gave you. They posted rules and trusted you to follow them – like please close the door behind you so you don’t let the bunnies out of the hutch when you come in to visit them. Penzilla was brave enough to give bunny petting a try.

Obviously they didn’t allow access to the machinery in the milking barn, or let you climb into the pig pen itself (i.e. they were mindful of the truly dangerous stuff).  But the amount of freedom to meet the animals was a nice change from a typical petting zoo setup. If we hadn’t been stymied by a quagmire of mud, we could have walked out into the field with the goats and sheep. The girls were enchanted with getting to pet the baby cows, and wave at the horses. And to Soapfi’s delight there were chickens and ducks everywhere.

Like any good place geared for kids, there was all kinds of stuff for them to climb on, they loved playing with the knobs and dials on the old tractor, and took turns with who got to steer. And although we had a momentary set back trying to find the stamp for the milking barn (it was hiding behind an open door) we did manage to find all ten stations and claim our rewards (Cherry Blow Pops).

We also tasted a lot of mighty fine cheese. I thought Soapfi was going to eat them out of all their samples as it was a litany of “More cheese please” after the very first bite. She loved them all, from their Monterey Jill (they say it’s like Jack only softer – I say it’s freaking YUMMY!) to their longer aged Rathtrevor Cheese, Soapfi was a cheese tasting machine (she liked the Cheddar the best).

I controlled myself and only bough four 6oz blocks of cheese  (Monterey Jill, Tispsy Jill, Cheddar & Rathtrevor) and a bag of cheese curds so Daddy could make some Poutine that night, but I wanted to buy so much more! Do not underestimate the power of cheese!

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Goats *Not* On The Roof

Our vacation was very low key, besides actually making reservations for a place to stay we did *zero* planning (as evidenced by the whole ferry fiasco on the trip home). Our trip was really meant to be a chance to get out of town and let Soapfi spend time with her Godparents and their daughter (henceforth known by her nickname Penzilla (the reference to Godzilla is purposely ironic as she is so tiny & sweet)). We stayed in a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen so we could have family style meals and the shorties could be together constantly.

The grown up ladies had a few spa days (yeah!), the boys had a few rounds of golf, and the little ladies demanded we get the hell outta the suite at least once a day even though the adults were perfectly happy to sit around watching hockey or reading our Kindles!

So on one of the days the boys were golfing, Soapfi’s Godmother (henceforth known by her nickname KK) and I decided to go check out the Old Country Market in Coombs, whose touristy gimmick was having goats on their roof. We bundled Soapfi & Penzilla into the car and headed north in search of goats.

We found the market, but despite all the advertising along the roadway, in the travel brochures, and on their actual sign, no goats were on the roof. But the did have cookies and all kinds of fun wooden toys inside the market, so they were amused…. for about 15 minutes.

We wandered around the general area and found a strange little courtyard full of a mishmash of statuary and a rusted out shell of a car with plywood seats. So we spent about 45 minutes letting them climb all over everything. They even had one of those mini-carousels you can still find outside of KMart. For a mere Loonie they had two full minutes of joy going around in a circle riding garishly painted plastic horses that didn’t even move up and down.

We did eventually find the goats, they were out back in their winter home, turns out they only live on the roof in the summer, we were just a few months too early.

In the end though, all that mattered was that they had cookies and ran around enough that they conked out for naps as soon as we got back to the suite!

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Sittin’ On A Rock In The Bay

The resort was on a nice inlet off the Straight of Georgia with a decent shoreline that had plenty of stomping ground even during high tide.

Soapfi was having a blast because her lovely rain boots were among the stuff we crammed into the car.

She found her first sand dollar, turned over rocks to find crabs, enjoyed throwing the turned over rocks into the bay, poked at some seaweed (the verdict: eeewwwwwww) and generally just enjoyed stomping around.

Soapfi had so many new things to explore she couldn’t make up her mind what to do next or which way to walk, which means I *finally* captured her “I don’t know” shrug on film!

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Bad Cinematography

We have a *very* cheap, carry it in your back pocket, people laugh at us and don’t take us seriously, video camera. It works moderately well inside, sometimes things are a little on the dark side, no matter how many 100 bazillion watt light bulbs we turn on, and it seems to pick up background sounds better than Soapfi’s voice even when she is two inches away. All that being said, it serves it’s purpose and has captured memories we will eventually treasure forever and share with the GPs… once I figure out how to use Movie Maker better, or break down and purchase “real” video editing software.

This weekend we discovered a new limitation on the video camera – it actually works like complete crap outdoors. Granted there was some “Micheal J Fox off his Parkinson’s meds” (too soon?) cinematography going on by the hubby – but the camera would just go bat shit crazy over the slightest changes in the natural lighting. And the teeny tiny LCD screen shows you jack in sunlight, so half the time he was either filming dirt, the top part of the fence, or what seems to be a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Which makes me sad, because we had sooooo much fun doing yard work as a family, and thought we had captured some fun stuff on camera.

Alas, Soapfi’s first encounter with a worm will have to live here in old fashioned text form with no pictures. We were turning over the dirt in the raised beds when we found one of the longest, fattest, and *fastest* earthworms I’ve seen. It was nearly nine inches long and it cruised around the outside of the garden bed at Mach 5. Soapfi was dutifully scooping up dirt from one bed and bringing it to another to “help” (aka making a dirt trail through the crushed rock between the beds). She spotted the worm, softly whispered “oh boy, look”, started hissing, and then greeted the worm with “hello snake”. (We have apparently not exposed her to enough Richard Scarry books with the little worm guy.) After watching the worm cruise along the edge of the bed getting farther away from her, she dumped her little shovel full of dirt on top of him and cheerfully waved “bye bye snake”. I’m not sure if I should just settle with being amused, or concerned for when she encounters a *real* snake – luckily snakes, not even garter snakes, aren’t all that common around our place.

I was able to salvage some bits and pieces of video, poorly edited, for your viewing pleasure:

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Wordless Wednesday by Art of Subtlety – 5mo Old Smiles

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Soafi is more and more fun every day. Her imagination continues to grow, and her curiosity is unrelenting. Her current thing is “Juice Party”, which is basically her version of Tea Party. She has yet to involve her stuffed animals, but has found willing accomplices in Mommy and Daddy.

We drink a lot of fake juice from tea light holders. She has basically taken over the cabinet full of my Partylite hardware and has turned it into what she considers the best juice serving set ever! She will pour and serve juice for hours on end if it wasn’t for pesky things like eating and diaper changes.

Her favorite part is clinking the “glasses” together and saying “Cheers”. It sends her into unrelenting giggle fits, which of course make us start to giggle, and it just goes from there. She gets very exuberant when toasting, the force transferred between the cups makes your hands sting! I made a few futile attempts to take pictures as all this toasting transpired, but all I captured were some silver blurs!

If you need some juice, just swing by our place, we have plenty!

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