Big Boy Bed!

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So it turns out that my little baby … isn’t such a baby anymore! Today Daddy converted his crib into a toddler bed.

Lewis was very excited and had fun playing and climbing on and off the bed himself, but once bedtime came he went right to sleep with no attempts at climbing out!

Lewis was excited to jump right in and help out with the tools!

Lewis was excited to jump right in and help out with the tools!

Last week, playing in a crib-tent.

Last week, playing in a crib-tent.

Photo Friday

Hello! Photo Friday is back in action this week! I’ve been really slacking on the blogging recently, and have quite a bit of catching up to do. There will still be a few posts sharing all our Michigan fun, so I have left those photos out of this post. Even though a lot of time has passed since the last Photo Friday, it seems many of these pictures were taken all on one day – I must have been in super photographer mood that day! :) We’ve been having some really great weather and are enjoying lots of time spent outside.

Bubble boy.

Bubble boy.

He carefully hunted through my collection of buttons and beads (which is currently dumped out in his sensory bin at his request) to find buttons that were "portabella mushrooms" to cook on the grill. Yum!

He carefully hunted through my collection of buttons and beads (which is currently dumped out in his sensory bin at his request) to find buttons that were “portabella mushrooms” to cook on the grill. Yum!

Chalk and water art.

Chalk and water art.

Conducting careful experiments with spraying a spot on the sidewalk, then seeing how the chalk would draw on the wet area.

Conducting careful experiments with spraying a spot on the sidewalk, then seeing how the chalk would draw on the wet area.

"Mixing matching" with his lovely animal magnets that Grandma + Grandpa B. got him last Christmas.

“Mixing matching” with his lovely animal magnets that Grandma + Grandpa B. got him last Christmas.

Cuddled up in a chair after a fun time swimming.

Cuddled up in a chair after a fun time swimming.

At the playground, his first time climbing up one of the little ladders all on his own!

At the playground, his first time climbing up one of the little ladders all on his own!

Michigan Trip – Part 1

Hello! We arrived home from our trip to Michigan on Sunday afternoon. Apparently it is taking a little while to settle back in since I am just now getting to sorting through the photos and writing about our travels.

It was a great trip, and we all enjoyed ourselves while there – especially Lewis! We got to spend two weeks with Chris’ family which was lovely since the last time we were able to see them was Christmas 2012, when Lewis was only 3.5 months old!

The trip out is a long one, so we split it into two days and stayed at a hotel in between. Lewis loved the hotel pool!

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He’s getting more and more comfortable being in the water and has been doing a great job practicing his kicking. He also loves climbing up and down pool steps by himself.

We timed the drives so that he would have a couple hours awake, we’d stop for lunch, and then he’d nap for a few hours as we continued driving.

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This worked fairly well, although some of his car naps were shorter than we had hoped for.

Once we got to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and said hello to everyone Lewis got to check out some cool toys from Daddy’s childhood that Grandma had gotten out for him! His favorite was this Little People Main Street toy, which had the awesome feature of little plastic “mail” that could be put through slots on all the different doors. He played with this toy frequently throughout our visit. Later on he also got to join in on the exciting task of looking through boxes of stuff in the barn and seeing more of Daddy’s old toys and books.

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Lewis has pretty much outgrown his pack ‘n play for traveling, so this trip he got to sleep like a “big boy” on a trundle bed. I was a bit worried about how this would go, since he has only ever slept in a crib, but he did great with it!

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Lewis quickly made friends with Grandma and Grandpa’s miniature pincer Ruby.

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He also taught Grandma all about how to play games on the ipad.

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He had fun exploring the yard and walking/running up and down the long driveway.

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He also liked checking out the pond.

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And getting some help to dangle his feet in.

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We had a very busy two weeks, and it is much more than I can include in just one post! Stay tuned for more photos and stories about time spent with family, our visit to the Hands On Museum, the Zoo, the Reptile Zoo, and more! It’s going to take a little while to update about all of it, especially since we are traveling again this weekend (Fri-Sun) for a huge family reunion with my family in Vermont. I have also continued to make my ICAD cards, so eventually I will be catching up with posting all of those as well.

Photo Friday

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Friday! Our week has continued to be busy with preparing for our trip to Michigan. Most of the cleaning and organizing is done now, but most of the packing still is not. We leave tomorrow morning and will be gone for two weeks. It will be wonderful for Lewis to get to see his grandparents and everyone else on Chris’ side of the family, and he is quite excited about the trip! (Although I think he will be a little less excited once he realizes we are spending two days in the car before actually getting there!) We’ll have limited internet access and I’m not bringing my laptop along, so I won’t be updating here at  all in the next two weeks. But I promise lots of photos and stories when we return!

Wandering through the greenhouse at Altamont Orchards. He was unimpressed and just wanted to know where all the strawberries were.

Wandering through the greenhouse at Altamont Orchards. He was unimpressed and just wanted to know where all the strawberries were.

Brrr. Fun in the chilly pool last weekend.

Brrr. Fun in the chilly pool last weekend.

I asked Lewis if he would like a snack and he told me that it was summer and we should eat popsicles outside.

I asked Lewis if he would like a snack and he told me that it was summer and we should eat popsicles outside.

Fun new skill: climbing onto a chair. He doesn't trust himself to climb back off though, so he just shouts at us until we come help.

Fun new skill: climbing onto a chair. He doesn’t trust himself to climb back off though, so he just shouts at us until we come help.

"There's a spider on the ceiling! Bugs are amazing!"

“There’s a spider on the ceiling! Bugs are amazing!”

A little jelly for lunch.

A little jelly for lunch.

Jam-Packed Weekend Fun

Summer is such a wonderful time with so many options of fun things to do, and we have been very busy here trying to do a little bit of everything! We also are leaving this Saturday for a trip out to Michigan to visit Chris’ family, and planning and packing for our trip is adding an extra level of busyness to our days this week.

Lewis is at such a wonderful age right now. Old enough to have fun going out and doing things, and to really participate, but the world is still new enough to him that every little thing is still a fun adventure!

Saturday morning we were busy running errands. First a quick trip to the AT&T store, then we split up and Lewis and Daddy went to Pet Smart and Barnes & Noble while I went to get my hair cut. Lewis loves the pet store and all the different animals that can be seen there. Barnes & Noble has a fun train set and other cool things in their kid’s section, but unfortunately the one near us is closing soon. Once we met back up after my hair cut, we had to head over to Target for a few things (and yes, we came out with three times as much as what we went in for).

We went home, had lunch and a nap, and then on to the next busy thing: Lewis’ first trip to Hoffman’s Playland!  Hoffman’s is a small local amusement park with a lot of rides geared specifically towards young children. This trip was organized as a family day by Chris’ work. We ran into a few other family’s there but mostly wandered around doing our own thing.

First ever carousel ride!

First ever carousel ride!

We started out with Lewis and Daddy riding the carousel, then moved on to the boat ride which someone had recommended to us.

He loved ringing the bell in the boat!

He loved ringing the bell in the boat!

This was Lewis’ first time riding on a ride all by himself, and we were very proud of him for having fun and not freaking out that Mommy and Daddy were standing outside the fence.

After the boats Lewis and I rode a hot-air-balloon ride together, and then we discovered one of his favorite things at the park: A Humpty Dumpty statue!

He's so funny! Look at that big eye!

He’s so funny! Look at that big eye!

We went in the arcade area and Lewis sat on a couple of games there but we didn’t actually play anything. He also rode on a caterpillar train thingy with Daddy.

Lewis' favorite construction vehicle!

Lewis’ favorite construction vehicle!

We wandered around a bit more, then discovered that we had lost Lewis’ wrist band (which he had refused to use so it had been going in and out of Daddy’s and my pockets.) It was getting towards dinner time anyway so we posed with Lewis’ most favorite thing at the park: The Clown trash cans!!! We had just enough tickets for the three of us to ride the carousel one more time together, then we left to go get dinner.

Lewis kept wanting to go back and look at the trashcans over and over while we were at the park.

Lewis kept wanting to go back and look at the trashcans over and over while we were at the park.

Sunday was another busy day for us. We decided to go strawberry picking in the morning because it was pretty much our only chance to go: by the time we get back from Michigan and then go to Vermont for a reunion with my extended family strawberries aren’t going to be in season any more.

We normally go to Bowman’s Orchard for apple and strawberry picking, but they don’t open until noon on Sundays, so we decided to give Altamont Orchards a try instead. It was a bit farther of a drive, but we liked the atmosphere there and will probably go there again for our strawberry needs next summer.

Picking his own strawberry.

Picking his own strawberry.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Lewis, but he did great. He stayed on the paths between bushes, and asked me or Daddy for help when he wanted to hop over to another row. He also (mostly) only picked berries that Daddy or I showed him were good and ripe, and didn’t try to eat anything disgusting. Win!

Goofy strawberry-eating face.

Goofy strawberry-eating face.

After lunch and nap at home again, Sunday afternoon was time for a swim in the pool before heading out for our weekly grocery shop.

It was a very busy weekend, but definitely fun and worth all the busyness!

ICAD With A Toddler

As you have probably noticed recently if you’ve been reading my blog, I am having a lot of fun creating daily index cards with the ICAD challenge from Daisy Yellow.  Tammy, who writes the Daisy Yellow blog and runs the ICAD challenge each year is very supportive of the idea of children participating in the challenge too, and even has a special FAQ page dedicated to a kid-version of ICAD.  When I decided to do the challenge I knew I wanted to get Lewis involved too. He loves art projects, especially getting to explore Mama’s supplies.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

I’m keeping it relaxed with him, not pushing him to create when he doesn’t want to, and trying not to interfere with his creative process when he is creating. We’ve only missed two or three days so far, but he has also created multiple cards on some days so it actually evens out to him being approximately on-track with the challenge. When we first started I thought he would create maybe one or two cards here and there, but he’s really gotten into the creativity more than I ever expected.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

I love art and creative expression, and I try to keep art a part of Lewis’ daily life as well. He has his own “art drawer” alongside all of my art materials, and free access to paper, markers, stickers, colored pencils and washi tape. Pens, pencils, crayons, and chalk are all readily available for him to use as well. However, I’ve found that starting this challenge with him has made me even more open and ready to let him explore a variety of art materials at any time of the day. It’s so easy to grab an index card (or three) and sit down with a few materials to start creating. I’ve been trying hard not to say “no” if he ever asks for art materials or shows an interest in creating. He spots the glue stick up on the table and asks for it? Great! Lets sit down together, find some paper we can cut or tear up, and glue it on a card! He spotted me writing on the grocery list and wants to use my pen? Sure! Here’s an index card to ‘write’ on!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

Some days I suggest art materials or lay them out for him to find, other days I wait for him to find his own inspiration. Some of his cards have come from letting him explore the same materials I used on my card that day, other times it is just a case of him wanting to use his markers. For his stamped card I laid out a few stamps on the table one day and waited for him to notice them. When he did, I asked if he’d like to give them a try and we sat down together to explore stamping.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

The index cards seem to be a fun size for him to work on. I’ve seen some suggestions to give toddlers huge paper, big enough so they can paint or color in the full area of where there arm can reach, and of course this is fun and a good art activity sometimes. But, I think tiny paper is just as appropriate. He seems to have no trouble creating his art in the small space, and if I am worried about mess I just place the card on top of some bigger paper or a newspaper. Often these cards seem just-right for his toddler sized attention span. Sometimes he wants to continue creating after he’s done one, but there have also been many times when one card seems to be just the right dose of art.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

We are having such a great time creating art together and exploring all these materials. I can’t wait to see what Lewis creates throughout the rest of this challenge (and beyond)!

Photo Friday

Happy Beautiful Sunny Summery Friday everyone! It’s been quite nice weather here all week, so of course we have been enjoying as much outdoors time as possible. Last weekend we went to the Strawberry Festival. Lewis enjoyed some strawberry shortcake for his lunch (we had real food first, but he wasn’t in the mood for most of what Mommy and Daddy picked, and pretty much just ate part of a pickle and a few bites of hamburger, but once we got dessert he decided he was hungry after all!) Lewis and I also went swimming this week for the first time this summer. The water was still rather chilly which Lewis wasn’t sure he liked, but he did have fun sitting on the edge with his feet in and making wet hand prints along the side.

Feeding the goat at the Strawberry Fest petting zoo.

Feeding the goat at the Strawberry Fest petting zoo.

Lewis enjoyed the animals until the sheep started Baaing very loudly, then he decided he was done.

Lewis enjoyed the animals until the sheep started Baaing very loudly, then he decided he was done.

Checking out some animal statues outside a shop.

Checking out some animal statues outside a shop.

Lewis in his too-big swim suit. Bought it a while ago and thought he would grow into it a bit more by now, but he doesn't seem to want to do much growing.

Lewis in his too-big swim suit. Bought it a while ago and thought he would grow into it a bit more by now, but he doesn’t seem to want to do much growing.

He didn't want to get dressed one day and I had dishes to wash, so I gave him his own pan of water to "wash" some things too. Thank goodness for the towel on the floor!

He didn’t want to get dressed one day and I had dishes to wash, so I gave him his own pan of water to “wash” some things too. Thank goodness for the towel on the floor!

Cones & cars.

Cones & cars.

I built an obstacle course with rows of cones for him to step over. His solution? Kick them down!

I built an obstacle course with rows of cones for him to step over. His solution? Kick them down!

He helped me make granola this morning. As usual his main form of 'help' consisted of sampling all the ingredients. Here he is attempting to drink chia seeds.

He helped me make granola this morning. As usual his main form of ‘help’ consisted of sampling all the ingredients. Here he is attempting to drink chia seeds.