Photo Friday

Hello! You may have noticed the absence of a Photo Friday post last week. This is because we were on our way to my parent’s home in VT to celebrate my sister’s wedding! Hurray! It was a lovely weekend spent with family, and the wedding was beautiful and perfect. Congratulations Cyndie and Dave! Lewis did as well as can be expected from a two year old. He sat through most of the ceremony and then we stepped outside briefly, but came back in to see them walk out. He enjoyed all the food and said that his favorite part of the whole thing was the cake. :)

This week has gone by very quickly, I think because the weather has been so lovely and we are spending lots of time outdoors, although apparently not taking the camera along while we are out.

He love popcorn just like his Daddy.

He loves popcorn just like his Daddy.

Toilet roll painting and stamping with autumn colors.

Toilet roll painting and stamping with autumn colors.

Hanging out with an auntie and an uncle in VT.

Hanging out with an auntie and an uncle in VT.

All dressed up and ready for the wedding.

All dressed up and ready for the wedding.

Just cuteness.

Just cuteness.

He is loving Halloween so I set out all his dress up clothes as an invitation to play. He picked out all these things and declared it his "witch costume." Yesterday he made himself into a "pig butterfly" with a pair of blue wings and a pink belt tied around his waist and dangling down behind him.

He is loving Halloween so I set out all his dress up clothes as an invitation to play. He picked out all these things and declared it his “witch costume.” Yesterday he made himself into a “pig butterfly” with a pair of blue wings and a pink belt tied around his waist and dangling down behind him.

Very intent on hacking apart a piece of styrofoam with a plastic knife.

Very intent on hacking apart a piece of styrofoam with a plastic knife.

He stole an apple seed from my scrap bowl and ate it, which he thought was hilarious.

He stole an apple seed from my scrap bowl and ate it, which he thought was hilarious.

My applesauce helper!

My applesauce helper!

Photo Friday

Hello everyone! We are enjoying some truly lovely warm fall weather this week, and it is supposed to be even nicer this weekend. This will be an extra bonus for us because tomorrow we get to enjoy a visit to Liberty Ridge Farm, thanks to Chris’ work. We love all the family-friendly activities that they plan for us! We went last year and had a blast, and I know Lewis will just enjoy everything even more this year.

We have had a fun day today as well. Lewis had us up a bit earlier than usual this morning, but I decided to take advantage of it. Lewis and I left the house a little before Daddy today (often I’m still in PJs when Chris heads to work) and caught the bus to head downtown. We went and visited the big central library and had a lot of fun seeing the different toys there, eating a snack outside, and also visiting The Open Door Bookstore while killing time before catching our bus back home. The bookstore has a little play corner with toys for kids which Lewis enjoyed, and he also had fun looking at the toys for sale.

I hope this lovely fall weather continues for a while – I am enjoying the sunshine!

Lewis is super excited about all things fall and halloween-y.

Lewis is super excited about all things fall and halloween-y.

"Lewis are decorating. Turned Halloween now." (He doesn't like it when Daddy and I tell him that Halloween is still a month away.)

“Lewis are decorating. Turned Halloween now.” (He doesn’t like it when Daddy and I tell him that Halloween is still a month away.)

After nap one day he insisted that he needed to sit on the couch with a bowl of cereal like Daddy does in the mornings.

After nap one day he insisted that he needed to sit on the couch with a bowl of cereal like Daddy does in the mornings.

Lewis loves wind-up toys. He got some new ones recently as part of a birthday present, and insisted on them sleeping in his crib for nap one day.

Lewis loves wind-up toys. He got some new ones recently as part of a birthday present, and insisted on them sleeping in his crib for nap one day.

Wheee!

Wheee!

Magnetic letter wall at the library today.

Magnetic letter wall at the library today.

More library fun.

More library fun.

Apple Picking

We have finally reached some kind of end to the super-busy times at Chris’ work. He was able to take yesterday and today off from work to help catch up on missed relaxing and missed family time. Yesterday morning we took Daddy along to story time at the library and he got to join in on stories, songs, and a scarecrow craft. After coming home and having a quick snack we headed over to the blood-draw lab.

When Lewis had his iron levels tested a year ago they were at the low end of normal, so when we went in for his 2-year check up this year the doctor requested that we get a follow up test done just in case. The difference between last year’s appointment and this one was phenomenal. Last year he was crying before the needle even touched his arm, had to pinned down by both me and Daddy, needed to nurse afterwards to calm down, etc. This year he sat on my lap and was so brave. We barely had to hold him still, he hardly flinched and didn’t cry at all. I think the big difference was that he actually understood it somewhat and knew what to expect this year because I was able to explain it to him ahead of time and warn him about what would happen. He got a sticker afterwards and went home happy as could be and excited that he got to drink from a water fountain and ride in an elevator.

After nap yesterday we had fun playing outside with our neighbor-friend J, and Daddy made delicious peanut butter cookies for everyone to enjoy. (We also made some yummy veggie enchiladas, but Lewis was less excited about those.)

And today, we went apple picking!

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We headed over to Bowman Orchards, which is one of the two local orchards that we switch between. Bowman is a pretty large orchard with lots of apple types, and it is always VERY busy. It is quite commercialized and has a lot of family things besides apple picking. There is a petting zoo, play area, bake shop, gift shop, food trailer, pony rides, cow train ride… We went today because we knew that a week day would be much less busy than the weekend, but it was still quite busy with families and several bus trips from various schools/groups/whatever. There was one weekend we tried to go last year when we waited out in the road for half an hour before even being able to turn into the driveway, and eventually gave up and drove to Riverview Orchard instead. Riverview is a bit smaller and much more low-key. It was still busy when we went but without the feelings of craziness and overcrowding. If we go picking again in October that is most likely where we will go.

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We started off with picking today. Lewis wasn’t too keen on picking apples from the branches – he much preferred just munching away on any apples that Daddy and I passed his way to try. He made sure to snack on every type we passed, and seemed to enjoy them all equally. I think there were around 10 types of apples being picked today, although we didn’t hit up quite all of them.

"Mommy says this sign has a funny apple name on it!"

“Mommy says this sign has a funny apple name on it!”

We picked a huge heap of apples (over $40 worth!) and plan to use them both for snacking and also for baking. Once we make some space in the freezer I will get to work on a nice big batch of homemade apple sauce. Yum!

We finished up picking around 11:00 then headed over to the shops and play area.

Lewis loved this bear statue and checked it out both on our way in and out.

Lewis loved this bear statue and checked it out both on our way in and out.

He was excited to go over to the play area, and played around a bit but was rather overwhelmed by all the bigger kids running around.

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We also had fun feeding some corn to the animals. Lewis wanted to feed the alpacas, but they dissed us and a greedy goat came over instead. (Which is fine with me – I love goats!)

IMG_7537Finally, we headed over to the bake shop to get a snack and some donuts to bring home.

We each chose an item from the bakery counter and ended up with an apple turnover, an apple fritter, and a cappuccino muffin to try. Chris also got his absolute favorite thing that they have: Apple Cider Donut Ice cream! Lewis was also a big fan, while I opted to skip having any ice cream and just enjoy my baked treats.

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We stopped briefly in the other shop, where I bought a pretty basket and Lewis picked out two teeny tiny gourds, and then it was time to head home.

Once we got home Lewis realized that he had forgotten to bring his toy caterpillar along, and proceeded to have his biggest tantrum yet yelling and crying at the door saying we needed to go back to the orchard so he could bring his toy there. Thankfully, all is happiness again now after his nap and he has enjoyed a lovely evening playing outside with Daddy.

 

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