Photo Friday

I can’t believe it is Friday again already. I’m really not sure where this week has gone. We played, both outside and inside, did some cleaning and cooking and mess-making, went to the library multiple times, did a bit of shopping… Pretty much a typical week for us.

On Sunday the three of us went to the annual Carrot Festival. It was a lot of fun, but Lewis was baffled by the fact that there were no carrots anywhere to be seen. It really is more of just a fall festival or harvest festival sort of thing. Craft vendors, good food, animals, lots of booths with things for the kids from local businesses. Lewis got to see alpacas, llamas, and various reptiles. He also got to make a pasta necklace, play with a glue stick and crayons, color a picture, and play with an array of musical instruments. It was really fun watching him go right in and interact with everything with barely a hesitation. There were a few other booths we could have visited too, but after a while he started saying things like “Done coloring. Ready pick carrots.” We had to explain that there were no actual carrots for us to pick, and so we went over to the big veggie tent and showed him that there were carrots for sale there as well as many other local fruits and veggies. He was pretty interested in the gourds, although we didn’t buy him one yet. We will probably get a few whenever we make it to the orchard for apple picking.

This week our library story times also started back up after a month long break. We have moved up to the 2 year old’s group now, which is a bit different. The story and song part lasts a little longer and afterwards there is an organized craft project instead of play time. Lewis was very excited to make an apple tree using a glue stick and pieces the librarian had cut out of paper. He got to add red stickers for the apples and then color it with crayons as well. We do a lot of art at home, but I think it was fun for him to be doing a project with someone besides Mommy leading, and he also liked that it tied in to an apple song we had sung during the story time.

Anyway, enough chatting! Here are your cute photos for the week:

Hello alpaca, you have something in your fur!

Hello alpaca, you have something in your fur!

Feeding the alpaca.

Feeding the alpaca.

Yum, apple cider donut! And a glimpse of the pasta necklace he made.

Yum, apple cider donut! And a glimpse of the pasta necklace he made.

He put all his mini trucks in the back of the big truck and told me it was a mommy truck with babies in its belly.

He put all his mini trucks in the back of the big truck and told me it was a mommy truck with babies in its belly.

As we walked home from the library he picked up a stick and started walking with it and calling it his cane.

As we walked home from the library he picked up a stick and started walking with it and calling it his cane.

He stood popping pieces out of his alphabet puzzle. I asked him what he was doing and replied matter-of-factly "Making more mess there."

He stood popping pieces out of his alphabet puzzle. I asked him what he was doing and replied matter-of-factly “Making more mess there.”

Trying out his new potty seat. He's had a little potty of his own for a long time, but he has been wanted to use the big toilet more and more.

Trying out his new potty seat. He’s had a little potty of his own for a long time, but he has been wanted to use the big toilet more and more.

Cutey handsome boy, posing with his hippo who happened to match his shirt today.

Cutey handsome boy, posing with his hippo who happened to match his shirt today.

Michigan Trip – Part 4, Binder Park Zoo

Hello! It is time for another flash-back to July and our trip to Michigan to visit Chris’ family. The Sunday after the 4th of July we enjoyed a fun trip to the lovely Binder Park Zoo.  This was Lewis’ first zoo experience, and I think he enjoyed it. He did have a rather short attention span though and once he saw an animal was more interested in moving on and seeing what was next than in sticking around and observing the current animal or learning about it. Oh well! We had a good time and got to see some neat animals. Obviously this is a bit off a photo heavy post since I have to show off both cute Lewis and cool animals.

Lewis was pretty willing to pose on this big ant statue, but once we got to the llama statue, the triceratops statue, the giraffe sculpture, etc. etc. he got pretty sick of sitting on things and posing next to things!

Lewis was pretty willing to pose on this big ant statue, but once we got to the llama statue, the triceratops statue, the giraffe sculpture, etc. etc. he got pretty sick of sitting on things and posing next to things!

Lewis wasn't a fan of getting up close and personal with the goats, so he hopped the fence to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma while Mommy and Daddy where petting the goats.

Lewis wasn’t a fan of getting up close and personal with the goats, so he hopped the fence to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma while Mommy and Daddy where petting the goats.

Mr. Peacock was showing off for the ladies.

Mr. Peacock was showing off for the ladies.

The zoo even had real live dinosaurs! Oh wait, maybe that's just a big statue.

The zoo even had real live dinosaurs! Oh wait, maybe that’s just a big statue.

Hello llama!

Hello llama!

One of Lewis' favorite parts - the Trolley ride over the the Wild Africa section.

One of Lewis’ favorite parts – the Trolley ride over the the Wild Africa section.

This zebra decided to stop and pose for me to take a picture.

This zebra decided to stop and pose for me to take a picture.

Daddy's favorite part - feeding lettuce to the giraffes. (Too bad the photo turned out so dark.)

Daddy’s favorite part – feeding lettuce to the giraffes. (Too bad the photo turned out so dark.)

Huge tortoise keeping cool in the mud.

Huge tortoise keeping cool in the mud.

Another of Lewis' favorites - the "mine shaft" tunnel we got to walk through.

Another of Lewis’ favorites – the “mine shaft” tunnel we got to walk through.

Sleepyhead wolf.

Sleepyhead wolf.

Another of Lewis’ favorite parts was the gift shop at the end, where we found some realistic toy bugs to buy for him. I guess it was a good purchase because he is still playing with them regularly now two months later!

Chris has still been quite busy with work, but I am going to try to make an effort to make some time to catch up with my posting here. There will be at least one more post about our time in Michigan, as well as several other posts catching up on all that we’ve been doing between then and now.

Photo Friday

Happy Friday everyone – here are some cute photos for your viewing pleasure! I almost forgot about this today, since I wasn’t thinking about what day it was. My schedule seems all out of whack with how busy Chris has been at work recently, but that is nearly finished and things will be back to normal for us soon. Lewis and I have been keeping busy as usual despite missing Daddy a bit.

He woke up from his nap just as I was finishing the batter for his birthday cake, so he got to "help" me clean off the spoon.

He woke up from his nap just as I was finishing the batter for his birthday cake, so he got to “help” me clean off the spoon.

"Wow, look at all these presents! Who knew birthdays could be so awesome!"

“Wow, look at all these presents! Who knew birthdays could be so awesome!”

Mama's shirt makes a pretty dress.

Mama’s shirt makes a pretty dress.

We traced Lewis on a big paper and colored with markers when Grandma + Grandpa were here. Later Lewis and I added some paint as well, and Lewis enjoyed using the watercolors to paint all over his real body too.

We traced Lewis on a big paper and colored with markers when Grandma + Grandpa were here. Later Lewis and I added some paint as well, and Lewis enjoyed using the watercolors to paint all over his real body too.

Confetti art! Lewis also stuck it all over his leg, told me he was decorated, and then explained that it was "probably Christmas."

Confetti art! Lewis also stuck it all over his leg, told me he was decorated, and then explained that it was “probably Christmas.”

We've discovered that the sidewalk out front is just the right slope for rolling things down. We've enjoyed using acorns, black walnuts, balls, and toy cars.

We’ve discovered that the sidewalk out front is just the right slope for rolling things down. We’ve enjoyed using acorns, black walnuts, balls, and toy cars.

Hard at work in the mini construction site.

Hard at work in the mini construction site.

Birthday Letter

Dear Lewis,

Happy Birthday! You are turning two today, although in some ways you seem much older than that. You are so smart, funny, creative, sweet, and imaginative. You bring so much joy to every day for both me and your Daddy. I can’t believe how much you have grown from when we first got to meet you, and I can’t wait to see how much you continue growing and learning in this new year of your life.

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You are still my little baby in some ways, still breastfeeding, still waking once or more in the night, still need lots of love and reassurance at times. But in other ways you are becoming so grown up. You decided a week ago that it was time to start wearing underwear, and you are rocking that decision. You have been dry all day the past two or three days, including during your naps. You are also becoming more and more social and comfortable talking to and interacting with people outside of our family. You are a wonderful and sweet little man (although you do get a bit wild at times) and you are starting to show that you are learning some wonderful manners. I love hearing your little voice say “Tank you Dada” or “Tank you Mama” when we give you something or share something with you. You are also remembering to say “please” more and more often when you want something or need our help.

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Play time with his new Little People fire station and some of his other new toys. Grandpa was having almost as much fun playing as Lewis was.

This time of year it is hard for much of our family to come visit us, but we were lucky to have Grandma and Grandpa B stop by for a few hours on Sunday. It was just enough time for a yummy birthday lunch and cake, opening up your presents, and some fun play time together. You were clearly loving every minute with them and have already been asking me when they will visit again. The visit seems to have brought other family to mind as well since you have also been asking about your Aunts and Uncles, and requesting to go to Michigan to see our family out there. Luckily for you we will get chances to see everyone again over the next few months, including a trip to MI for Christmas.

You seem to be really enjoying all your new presents equally, and I am pleased that Daddy and I were able to choose so well for you. You didn’t give us much to go on – when I asked you what you would like for your birthday your response was “cake!” And yes you got a yummy cake and since there are only three of us to eat it up there is plenty more to have some tonight on your “real” birthday. You requested chocolate, and so I used my family’s standard chocolate zucchini cake recipe, but it turned out your favorite part was the buttercream frosting on top. I decorated it with bugs on top and thought I did a pretty decent job, but you apparently thought my ladybug was a melon so now I’m not so sure…

Melon beetle?

Melon beetle?

"Yes! This is what I've been waiting for!"

“Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for!”

I hope you are having a truly fabulous birthday my darling, and that this coming year continues to bring much joy, love, and excitement for you. I am looking forward to more art, stories, games of tag and hide and seek, play time in the snow, and adventures to new and wonderful places. I love you so much, and love all of our time together.

Happy happy birthday my darling!

Love, Mama

Photo Friday

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! Things have been pretty much business as usual around here with art projects, baking, playing outside, and strewing toys all around the apartment. Our most exciting news this week is that Lewis has decided to start wearing underwear! We bought a pack for him about a month ago because we were having many many struggles at diaper change times, but he was uninterested in trying out underwear. This week he finally got brave and gave it a try, and he has realized that he much prefers it, mostly because he doesn’t have to lay down and be confined to the changing table to put it on, he can just step in and run off to play! He is doing really great overall. We’ve had a few accidents of course, but we are very proud of the progress he is making!

Eww, this melon feels slimy inside!

Eww, this melon feels slimy inside!

Cooling off with some water play.

Cooling off with some water play.

My big boy in his new underwear!

My big boy in his new underwear!

"These tongs are the perfect tool to eat my lunch with!"

“These tongs are the perfect tool to eat my lunch with!”

Balloon-face baby.

Balloon-face baby.

Mmmm, homemade popsicle snack! Lewis' favorite.

Mmmm, homemade popsicle snack! Lewis’ favorite.

Photo Friday

Hello and happy Friday! Not much to report this week. They sprayed pesticides on the lawn Tuesday, so we have been avoiding any grassy fun and the pool as well since I am paranoid that all those chemicals drifting through the air must float their way into the pool water as well. We’ve gone for more walks instead (with and without the stroller) and spent some time at the library and in the library garden/hiking path, so we haven’t been completely locked up indoors. Chris has been working late nights as his team approaches a big deadline at work, so Lewis and I have been spending a lot of time with just the two of us home, including many dinners and bedtimes. 

I don’t seem to have been very photograph-y this week, so I’ve included a couple bonus photos from last weekend’s camping trip.

Sandbox fun with my shaggy-haired boy.

Sandbox fun with my shaggy-haired boy.

This fireplace is fascinating!

This fireplace is fascinating!

Hitching a ride on the wagon we borrowed to pull some firewood over to our site.

Hitching a ride on the wagon we borrowed to pull some firewood over to our site.

Stamping and painting with found objects.

Stamping and painting with found objects.

Granola bar snack on a bench in the library garden. He insisted on wearing his PJs for our walk.

Granola bar snack on a bench in the library garden. He insisted on wearing his PJs for our walk.

This bike rack looks like a great climbing structure!

This bike rack looks like a great climbing structure!

He found some poop in a fern leaf and had to poke it with a stick.

He found some poop in a fern leaf and had to poke it with a stick.

Dried beans in the sensory bin. Lewis of course decided they looked like eggs and had to be sat on.

Dried beans in the sensory bin. Lewis of course decided they looked like eggs and had to be sat on.

Lounging in the beans??

Lounging in the beans??

Camping At Verona Beach

This past weekend we were lucky enough to be invited camping at Verona Beach State Park. This was the third time that Chris and I have joined our friends for a weekend at this lovely little camp ground, but it was Lewis’ first time doing any camping and staying in a tent. He loved it and did absolutely great with tent sleeping!

Lewis had a wonderful time exploring the campgrounds, playing on the two playgrounds, gathering acorns, riding a bike trailer, making new friends, and eating camp food. Although the campground is on a lake and the park has a nice sandy swimming beach, we didn’t get to go swimming while we were there. The weather was a bit chilly and windy for most of our stay, and the beach was also closed due to blue-green algae blooms. We had a lot of fun and kept busy with other things though!

Lewis' first time in a real sand box. Too bad we can't build him one at our apartment!

Lewis’ first time in a real sand box. Too bad we can’t build him one at our apartment!

"We have to walk all the way to the end Mama!"

“We have to walk all the way to the end Mama!”

Making friends with a seagull.

Making friends with a seagull.

See-saw.

See-saw.

His favorite thing on the playground: The creepy duck, which he named "Quackington."

His favorite thing on the playground: The creepy duck, which he named “Quackington.”

The lovely view from our campsite.

The lovely view from our campsite.

Lewis and Cameron ready to ride the bike trailer over to the other playground. Later on they hooked the trailer to Cameron's bike and he pulled Lewis around for a bit.

Lewis and Cameron ready to ride the bike trailer over to the other playground. Later on they hooked the trailer to Cameron’s bike and he pulled Lewis around for a bit.

"I'm riding on a dinosaur! This is so awesome!"

“I’m riding on a dinosaur! This is so awesome!”

Campfire and sunset. Lewis was completely entranced by sitting and watching the fire and the sparks drifting up.

Campfire and sunset. Lewis was completely entranced by sitting and watching the fire and the sparks drifting up.