And now, it brings me great joy to bring you Mia's Family Day 2011. It's hard to believe that it was really two years ago that Travis and I traveled to Ethiopia and were united with this awesome little baby girl. How time has flown.
Last year, we celebrated her Family Day, but really more for us and tradition's sake than anything else. One tradition I did start and decided to carry-over is balloons. Last year we were way into Elmo, but this year was a bit more tricky. She likes lots of different characters, but I can't say we have a favorite. We also haven't wanted to push the princess thing too much, so I decided to steer clear of those lovely ladies and went traditional with Mickey Mouse. So after I went up to get her this morning, she found this surprise waiting for her downstairs.
She really was excited to see her balloons, but our Miss Attitude didn't want to pose first thing in the morning. We also watched the video of her "Gotcha Day" in Ethiopia and her arrival home at the Indy Airport. Although I know she doesn't really understand what she is saying, I'm excited that she talks about "E-opia".
It also just so happens that the Indiana State Fair was going on, so we had been planning to take her on Family Day. I did feel a bit weird about going after Saturday evening's awful accident, but we decided that life does go on, so we would make the most of the day.
This was Mia's first trip to the State Fair, and we started out in the kids' discovery farm area. I had heard about this from other friends last year, and it was seriously the coolest thing ever for the little ones. It's supposed to teach them about life as a farmer. When you start out, they give you an apron and basket. Then at the first station, you "pick" some corn and soybeans to add to your basket.
Then off to the chicken coop to add some eggs to your stash.
Next, you have to "feed" your livestock by giving them the corn and soybeans you picked earlier.
And they even give the kids free farmer's hats in John Deere green!
As you follow the chicken's tracks along the path, you come to the garden and plant a "seed" that they give you.
And then the fruits of your labor! Time to pick a vegetable from your garden...
and an apple too!
At some point, we also sheered our sheep and collected some wool and rode our tractor around the fields. And of course, you can't forget about your cows. Off to the creamery to "milk" the cows.
Well okay, maybe not really, but it did seem really neat.
After our farming experience, we had a horrible-for-you-but-tasty lunch, followed by an apple cider slushy for me and (free!) ice cream from the Turkey Run tent. We were on our way to the Midway when we saw this cute little station set up to feed the goats. Mia loves all animals, and I have to say I am very proud of her for stepping right up. I don't remember being that gutsy as a kid. (You notice that it's her daddy helping her feed them, right? Maybe I should rethink my career change...)
The one thing she has been talking about since we told her about going to the fair was the carousel (or kill-your-self in Mia-ese). She *loves* them with a passion. So we bought some tickets and were quickly on our way. (Please ignore how goofy I look in the left picture...but she looks absolutely adorable!)
After the carousel, we had 5 tickets left, and Mia decided she wanted to ride the big slide with Mommy. Travis actually video taped this, so this isn't the greatest of pictures, but Mia thought it was so much fun! I was bit worried that she would chicken out when we got to the top as she's just now started going back down slides on her own. But my worries were needless; I heard her giggling the entire way down! If only the tickets didn't cost an arm and a leg, I'm sure we would have done more. Maybe next year.
We finished our day by looking at the cows, horses, pigs, and sheep, and even saw some elephants. There was a circus exhibit, and all I could do was think about Water for Elephants which my bookclub recently read. Not quite the same, but still.
By that time we had on very sleepy little girl, so we took our time heading home to give her a chance to rest in the car. We had a nice family dinner and then played at the playground at church while Daddy had a meeting. All in all, it was a great day, and what I enjoyed most was making awesome memories with my family. I hope that she can in years to come look back and remember the ways we celebrated the day we were united as a family.