I love how the simplest household object can take on a whole new life and purposes in the eyes of a child. Yesterday while vacuuming I folded up the laundry rack and moved it into the living room to get it out of my way. Lewis immediately started playing with it, and figured out how to pop off one of the bars which he thought was GREAT. When I finished vacuuming I showed him how the rack folds and unfolds, and once it was lying on it’s side opened up he began climbing over and through it like some kind of jungle gym or obstacle course. Fun!
This has been a very quick week for us! We were in Vermont for Easter from Saturday through Tuesday, and all but one of these photos is from that visit. (I suppose I could have done a separate “Easter In VT” post but I never got around to it and don’t seem to have taken many more photos in the few days we’ve been home anyway.) The visit was lovely. All of my siblings were able to be there and we had a wonderful crowded house full of family and candy and yummy food. Lewis loved seeing Grandma, Grandpa, and all the aunts and uncles as well as spending hours playing out in the yard. He was quite wiped out by the time we came home since his sleep schedule was a bit off while we were there. I think he is shifting back towards normal now but he also may be teething which never does any good for his sleep. The warm-ish weather has continued and we are enjoying lots of walks and playing outside, with the best activities being digging in the dirt and hunting for ants and dandelions.
Happy Easter! We are headed out tomorrow for another lovely long weekend in Vermont with my family, and this time will be extra fun/crazy because all my siblings are able to be there too! Lewis is going to love seeing all those aunties and uncles and being the center of attention with so many people to entertain him. (I’m going to love it too as it means I will actually get some chances to sit and put my feet up while he runs off to chase cats with someone who isn’t me.) I’m a bit late posting today, mostly due to an interrupted nap time and a busy day of packing and going to the playground (which is where most of these photos were taken.) Schools around here have been on vacation this week so Lewis and I checked out the playground at the elementary school and have played there twice this week. He was a bit overwhelmed by the newness the first time, but today had a lot of fun exploring and climbing everything.
We have been having some beautiful almost summery weather this past week. Some might be disappointed that we seem to have skipped spring, but I am loving this! I’m also fairly sure that things aren’t going to stay this warm and we will have some cooler more springy weather again before getting into true summer temps. Anyway, we took full advantage of the temps this weekend by spending as much time as possible outside.
Saturday we went to the park and spent a good long time playing outside. Lewis discovered the amazing dirt on the baseball field area and ran all around digging his fingers in and proclaiming his new word “dirt! dirt! dirt!” He also got a bit braver playing on the playground area, climbed up a climby thing mostly by himself, went down the slide a bit, and actually requested to play on the swing! Whee!
Driving home from the park we passed by Felthousen’s Greenhouse and I noticed they had balloons out and a sign saying “Sun. 10-2, Easter bunny, live chicks, refreshments.” I mentioned it to Chris and then quickly forgot about it.
I’ve never intended to take Lewis to get his photo with the Easter bunny or Santa or anything similar. The mall areas always sound so chaotic and stressful, and the same goes for organized Easter egg hunts. I never did any of that as a child, so it isn’t on my radar as a traditional activity that we need to do each year.
But then Sunday morning rolled around with more beautiful sunny weather. We started talking about going out for a walk and as I told Chris about he Easter bunny decorations that Lewis has been enjoying seeing on people’s houses, I was reminded that we could go and see an actual Easter bunny with the bonus of cute little chicks and pretty flowers!
When we got there the bunny was standing outside so we got to say hi to him(?) right away. Lewis was a bit nervous and not sure what to think but he went over and gave him a high-five before we went inside.
It was fairly quiet when we first got there and we were able to wander around and explore without it feeling crowded or running into a lot of people. We were also given a balloon and a flower, which Lewis carried around for a while.
There was a fountain with some fake ducks which Lewis thought was really great.
And the chickies! So cute and fluffy.
More people and families started arriving and the bunny came inside. This time Lewis was very excited when he saw him and went running over to say hi!
He looked a little unsure when the bunny picked him up, but decided it was ok and we got to take a few pictures while he checked out the bunny’s big bow and soft fur.
At this point many more people had showed up and it was starting to feel a bit crowded in the greenhouse so we headed out to go back home. I’m so glad we decided to go over to this. It was such a perfect low-key little family event, just right for our shy but curious little Lewis.
Hello and happy Friday once again! We are having the most beautiful weather this week, it just keeps getting warmer, flowers are popping up, and today we spotted a hint of green grass! Lewis and I have been going for lovely long walks every morning and spending lots of time out playing every afternoon. I haven’t bothered carrying the camera around with me though, so these photos are all indoors. I also may have been slacking a bit on the cleaning this week, dishes especially, but I can’t see all that when I am outside enjoying the warm temperatures. 😉 More warm weather predicted for this weekend and we are planning another fun park trip with Daddy.
The weather is just getting more and more lovely and springlike, and we are so excited! Today was sunny and almost 60 out, and we took advantage of that by going to the park. Obviously a lot of other people had the same idea as it was a bit busy there, but we still had fun.
Poor Lewis is a bit deprived and this is actually only the second time we’ve gone to the park to play with him. There are lovely outdoor areas at our apartments and lots of nice things within walking distance but unfortunately a park is not one of those things. This means that our only chance to go is on the weekends when Daddy can drive us. (Although there is a park near the museum we visited earlier this week, so I think we will plan more adventures on the bus to go there this summer!)
When we first got there Lewis was a bit overwhelmed. We started off with the swings but he did not want to ride on one. (Not really a surprise. He didn’t like swings any of the times that we tried them last summer either.) We wandered around and checked out all the different parts of the playground, but he didn’t really engage with any of it. When he did start playing on something he would freeze up whenever any other kids came anywhere nearby. Eventually he discovered a storm drain nearby, and we thought maybe this was going to be his favorite part of the playground.
After we wandered around some we went back to the swings and Chris sat on one. Lewis’ face lit up seeing Daddy playing, so I handed him into his lap and sat on a swing myself. Lewis thought it was the greatest thing seeing me swing and riding on the swing with Daddy! Next he tried the tire swing on Daddy’s lap. (Had to be Daddy. He refused to let me sit on it.)
Part of the playground is set up to look like a train, and Lewis decided he wanted to play on the engine. (He has a word for engine, but not one I can translate into writing.) At first he wanted a lot of help going up the steps at one end and trying the slide at the other, but then Chris started coaching him on doing it himself.
He got better at the slide very quickly, and was going down like a pro in no time, although he still needed a little help getting into proper sitting position at the top. He ended up going down backwards a couple of times because he couldn’t figure out how to sit.
We had fun on the slide for a while but then a couple of other boys came over and Lewis froze up again. It was just about time to head home anyway, so we went for one more ride on the tire swing and then got in the car.
We weren’t really expecting him to be so shy and nervous, but we ended up having a good time anyway. Hopefully with more park trips throughout the summer he will get more confident both with playing on the equipment and with having other kids playing around him.
Happy Friday everyone! Bonus post and lots of photos today since I had to blog about our trip to the museum but of course also have to do the usual Photo Friday post to show you how cute Lewis is and what we’ve been up to this week! (Mostly spending our time outside.)
A few weeks ago I mentioned to Chris that I had come up with a “crazy idea” to take Lewis on an adventure. Since I don’t drive we generally are limited to going places that are within walking distance, or waiting for the weekends when Daddy can drive us places. We are lucky to live in a wonderful area with many things in walking distance including the library, post office, doctor’s office, co-op, Starbucks, and grocery store, as well as lovely neighborhoods that are perfect for going for walks. However, there are plenty of wonderful places to go that are not walk-able, and it can be hard to find time on the weekends to do all the things we would like to do.
I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be fun to take Lewis to a museum. There are a few in the area that are good for children, although I hadn’t been to any of them myself. I’ve recently heard the miSci museum in Schenectady mentioned by a few different people, and one day it occurred to me that the bus route that comes by our apartment also passes the museum, only a 10 or 15 minute ride away.
I took a quick look at bus times and the museum info, and filed the idea away for slightly warmer weather since I decided it wouldn’t be fun to have to wear our big winter boots, carry heavy coats and hats with us, etc. I also wanted to take our little umbrella stroller which wouldn’t have done so well on icy or snowy sidewalks. I didn’t plan a specific day, but I did think it should be sometime soon since the museum has a butterfly exhibit going on but only until April 19. This morning I announced to Chris that I thought today was the perfect day for our adventure! This was my first time taking Lewis on the bus (although I used to ride it daily myself to get to work) and I think Chris was more nervous about us going off than I was. He kept reminding me to make sure my phone was charged, call him if we “got lost”, etc.
Since I had never been to the museum before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. We were given a map when we paid at the entrance, but ended up pretty much just wandering around and exploring. (Unfortunately this meant that we didn’t discover the little kids play area until we were almost ready to leave, but we still had a lot of fun with what we did explore.
There was a van full of seniors just arriving when we did, some of them in wheel chairs which Lewis found a bit interesting, and a couple of families there with young kids. The museum seemed to be the perfect level of busy without feeling crowded or overwhelming. We were able to explore pretty much whatever exhibit we wanted without any waiting, but there were also people there using everything very soon before or after us. I’m glad it wasn’t any busier since Lewis was comfortable walking around on his own most of the time, but if there were more people I would have needed to carry him a lot more. (We abandoned the stroller by the coat rack at the entrance.)
Since we spent most of our time exploring the area designed for adults/older kids a lot of it was up above Lewis’ head. Most things he was able to reach upwards to get at the buttons/knobs/etc. and many of the things also had stools by them that he could stand on to play and see what was going on.
Lewis was quite interested by the butterflies, but I didn’t get any good photos since I was holding him the whole time we looked at them. The were in a small room with glass on all sides so you could watch them from outside as well as go in to experience them. The room is full of flowers and Lewis was quite interested to see the plates of fruits that were set out for the butterflies to enjoy. None landed on us, which I think is good since he was very startled when one flew by close to his head. We also saw some teeny tiny little Monarch caterpillars which I think would have been more interesting to him if they were a bit bigger.
After wandering through much of the museum we finally made our way to the children’s play room. There were blocks, trains, books, music toys, a play kitchen, and of course the sand tables! We played with the sand and with the music a little bit, but the sand was his favorite and he kept going back to it. In a way I’m glad we didn’t find this room right away since I think we would have ended up spending our entire time here and missed out on the rest of the museum.
We were at the museum a bit over an hour which I think was just the right amount of time for today. We were up early this morning and I could tell Lewis was getting tired by the end of this, although he would happily have played with the sand a while longer. I don’t think we saw quite everywhere in the museum, but we had fun with what we explored. I had thought about going out to lunch somewhere, but we ended up coming home to eat and he very nearly fell asleep before we even had our lunch. We had a fun trip and will definitely plan on going back sometime, probably with Daddy along, although I think Lewis will be disappointed not to find the butterflies again!
Spring is here! The snow is nearly all gone, I’ve spotted flowers (daffodils and others) beginning to poke their leaves up through the ground, and I heard geese flying by today. As usual we are loving the chance to spend more wonderful time outside, both playing around the apartments and going for walks. Lewis is so busy these days, so completely a toddler, that I am finding (and have been for a while now) that I don’t have the time or energy to update this blog nearly as much as I would like. So many projects, activities, games, and random daily happenings that I could share but which just end up as a snap shot in a Photo Friday post, or which maybe never get mentioned at all. It occurred to me recently that it has been a while since I’ve done a post just sharing where Lewis is at right now – his interests, abilities, etc.
He’s reaching for more and more independence recently. Choosing his own clothes more often, sometimes with interesting results. Venturing a bit farther from Mama when we are out and about, playing by himself while I stop to chat with a neighbor, or wandering off a bit in the library while I check out our books.
He is saying more and more new words every day, but also becoming increasingly frustrated when he says something and I fail to understand him. He says a word, I attempt to translate it but get it wrong, suddenly he is saying “Nah! Nah!” and kicking his feet with an angry and upset look on his face. It is a deep personal offence that I have not understood what he is trying to communicate. Luckily these little instances don’t last long. I either figure out what he is telling me, or we manage to move on fairly quickly and the moment is forgotten. I can see that he is beginning to learn the skills of having a tantrum, but we luckily have not entered into full tantrum territory yet. I’ve continued to invite him into the kitchen more, giving him small tasks to help with as I cook or get dinner ready. He helps carry things to the table, puts things away in the fridge, sprinkles spices, stirs and mixes. Yesterday we made garlic bread together. He sprinkled garlic powder, oregano, and thyme into the soft butter, I mixed it in a bit and then handed it over to him to continue stirring while I checked the food cooking on the stove top. I turned back around to find him eating gobs and gobs of butter off the butter knife. Yum! Together we spread the butter onto the bread, and then he took over the empty dish and knife, sitting in the living room and licking out every last bit of butter he could find. He chose not to eat any of the bread once it was toasted though.
Ever since he has been mobile we have had silly time after dinner/before bed when we all run around and play together, often chasing around and around in circles through the apartment, or pretending to be airplanes, or popping out and scaring each other. Sometimes Daddy or I will go in the other room or behind the couch and then pop out to startle Lewis, which he thinks is hilarious.
This past weekend we introduced the concept of playing hide-and-seek. We have a big box in the living room that has been used for many play opportunities, and this has now become our counting base. It started off with Lewis and I (or my head anyway) in the box counting to ten, and Daddy hiding. Then Daddy took turns helping him count while I hid. Sometimes he quickly starts running around looking for the hider, other times he demands to be picked up and to have help looking.
He had a lot of fun playing this on the weekend and has now started initiating it himself. Sometimes he will say “hunt Dada” (and he was saying hide one day but then hasn’t continued saying it) and then he sits in the box and says “Nine. Nine. Nine.” It’s a little tricky when I am the only one home with him – I have to count to ten from the other room, say “ready or not come and find me!” and then quickly hide myself. Still fun though. Yesterday evening we all were playing and when we would count with him he started saying “Ten!” after we finished counting, but I haven’t heard him say it yet when not just repeating it.
When we were in Vermont a few weekends ago he learned the word “spooky” from Daddy, used mostly to refer to dark rooms. He has been applying this to our hide-and-seek games and won’t go into a dark room to look for someone. He declares “Booka! On! On!” to let us know it is too dark and we must turn on the light.
Mostly, he continues to be extremely cute and wonderful and fun. I’m sure there are a million other sweet little stories I could share, but it is late and I think I should take advantage of something called “sleep” while I have the chance for a few hours before he decides to wake up needing Mama milk.