Photo Friday

And I’m back with another Photo post on a lovely Friday afternoon! Hopefully I can actually get this up and posted since we’re almost at the end of Lewis’ nap time, and Anya doesn’t yet have any set napping time so could wake up at any inconvenient moment.

This post will finish catching us up to the present time with photos from our trip to the lake as well as a few since we’ve been home (which apparently I haven’t been taking very many of.)

Our time at the lake was of course lovely with lots of extended family around. The weather was mostly-good with a couple of rainy days and a few random showers on some of the nicer days, but we managed to keep busy and have fun the whole time. Lewis didn’t seem to remember anything from being up there a year ago, so it was all new and exciting exploration for him. We only swam a few times since the lake was a bit chilly and Lewis didn’t like the days with big waves, but he did have a lot of fun playing with the rocks on shore and swimming when the water was calm.

We are now well settled back into our home routines and have been having daily walks and plenty of art projects and sensory play as usual.

I still haven’t quite figured out how to keep the cleaning/cooking/dishes/laundry/etc. under control while caring for two little ones so I have instituted a new rule of “everyone cleans for 10 minutes after dinner” which has helped marginally. I turn on the timer and try to tell Lewis that it is a game and we have to race and clean as fast as we can before it beeps, but he is having none of that and just tells me he is a very slow cleaner and goes on to prove his point. My hope however is that if we keep it up consistently it will just become accepted fact that we do some cleaning after dinner and he will start to participate a bit more with it.

Anyway, here are some photos!

Lewis' first time fishing with Daddy and Grandpa. They didn't catch anything and it started raining while they were out, but he seemed to have fun anyway!

Lewis’ first time fishing with Daddy and Grandpa. They didn’t catch anything and it started raining while they were out, but he seemed to have fun anyway!

Building fairy houses under the trees, just like I did as a kid.

Building fairy houses under the trees, just like I did as a kid.

Rock cracking on shore with Diane. He has been using his toy hammer to play at fossil hunting since we've been home.

Rock cracking on shore with Diane. He has been using his toy hammer to play at fossil hunting since we’ve been home.

My two wonderful boys. <3

My two wonderful boys. ❀

Playing in a little tent that one of my cousins gifted to Lewis.

Playing in a little tent that one of my cousins gifted to Lewis.

Couch nap because the upstairs bedroom was much too hot to sleep in during the day. Anya loved looking at the patterns on this couch fabric.

Couch nap because the upstairs bedroom was much too hot to sleep in during the day. Anya loved looking at the patterns on this couch fabric.

Selfies with my babies. <3

Selfies with my babies. ❀

Messy fun with cloud dough.

Messy fun with cloud dough.

Dropper painting. This quickly deteriorated into color mixing in the cups.

Dropper painting. This quickly deteriorated into color mixing in the cups.

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Photo Friday

Happy Friday! Baby Anya is one month old as of yesterday, and of course I have no idea how the month has flown by so quickly. At her well baby visit she weighed in at 10 lb 11 oz, and was 23 inches long. This is fun because they looked up Lewis’ chart and he was also 10 lb 11 oz at one month, and was 23.5 inches long. He was an inch longer at birth though so he had a head start on his height.

Our poor little girl is all covered in a ridiculously terrible case of baby acne. When the first several dots showed up on her tummy and face last week I thought “oh, baby acne, no big deal” but as more and more dots showed up we started to wonder if maybe it was some other kind of horrible rash. Her tummy, chest, back, face, and even her scalp are completely covered, and it is starting now to spread onto her arms as well. The doctor has confirmed that it is baby acne and that we can’t do much besides gentle baths with plain water or a mild soap and just wait for it to clear up on it’s own in the next few weeks. She doesn’t really seem bothered by it, but I’m not sure if we’d know she was anyway since she can’t exactly tell us or attempt to scratch her own back or anything.

Lewis is enjoying our daily walks outside and the fact that he can climb off the stroller and explore while I push Anya back and forth nearby. He’s also enjoying turning the house upside down and dumping out every toy he owns while Mommy is trapped on the couch with a constantly nursing baby and can’t come clean up the resulting messes. He is also clearly loving the color red which he is wearing in nearly all these photos.

Playing with some "Sculpty Sand" which he is really loving and has been asking for frequently.

Playing with some “Sculpty Sand” which he is really loving and has been asking for frequently.

Sparklers for the 4th of July!

Sparklers for the 4th of July!

I love her intense gaze whenever she's studying someone's face.

I love her intense gaze whenever she’s studying someone’s face.

It's beautiful to see how much these two already love each other. <3

It’s beautiful to see how much these two already love each other. ❀

All set up for a water transfer experiment.

All set up for a water transfer experiment.

A beautiful mix of art and science. Lewis really enjoyed this, and I'm sure we'll repeat it in the future with different color combinations and maybe different jar arrangements.

A beautiful mix of art and science. Lewis really enjoyed this, and I’m sure we’ll repeat it in the future with different color combinations and maybe different jar arrangements.

She's already starting to look so big/long and losing that newborn look. Her giant cloth-diaper-butt means that she's going to outgrow all her 0-3 month onsies ridiculously soon.

She’s already starting to look so big/long and losing that newborn look. Her giant cloth-diaper-butt means that she’s going to outgrow all her 0-3 month onsies ridiculously soon.

Happy 1 month baby girl!

Happy 1 month baby girl!

Baby smiles make me smile. :)

Baby smiles make me smile. πŸ™‚

Fun with chalk in the rain.

Fun with chalk in the rain.

Happy Family Day!

Today is Mother’s Day. It also happens to be Chris’ birthday. I’m not overly sentimental about Mother’s Day, and tend to focus more on wanting Chris to have a nice birthday. He isn’t too excited about his birthday, and thinks Mother’s Day is the more important thing to celebrate. It evens out to turn our day into more of a nice “family day.” We do a lot of our normal weekend things, eat a few treats or special foods, and do something nice to enjoy each other’s company as a family.

Lewis has been very excited all week to give Daddy his birthday presents and kept asking if it was Sunday yet, so we gave Chris one early present last night and the rest first thing this morning. A little while later Chris asked me how it feels to shop for a giant kid. I hadn’t even noticed the trend, but all the presents we got him fall into the category of either “toys” or “books geared towards kids.” πŸ™‚ In my world there’s nothing wrong with grownups enjoying toys and games or books of any sort, so it didn’t occur to me that I was buying “kid” things, just things that he would like! Lewis was fascinated by one of the books Daddy got, and demanded he read it to him right away.

Love seeing my two cuties enjoying a book together!

Love seeing my two cuties enjoying a book together!

We haven’t really started getting into chapter books with Lewis yet, but he listened happily through the first chapter and seemed to enjoy it. They tried reading chapter two later on, which was a bit longer, and Lewis started getting very wiggly and distracted about half way through. I guess we’ll keep sticking to the picture books for now and maybe try some easier “chapter” books before diving into this one with him!

We enjoyed a tasty breakfast of waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and then headed off for a hikeΒ at Lisha Kill Nature Preserve.Β 

Lewis was very curious about the sign at the entrance.

Lewis was very curious about the sign at the entrance.

Even though Chris and I first connected through hiking and used to enjoy a lot of hikes together, we haven’t done very many since Lewis joined our family. We’ve done a few here and there, but overall this was a new-ish experience for him and one he was very excited about!

One of his favorite things right from the start of the hike was all the sticks he could pick up.

His first favorite stick was this nice tall one which he told me was a staff which helped him walk on tricky places. He quickly abandoned it though when he found a more interesting one.

His first favorite stick was this nice tall one which he told me was a staff which helped him walk on tricky places. He quickly abandoned it though when he found a more interesting one.

He started saying he was hungry as we left the house, and continued saying it as we got started on our hike. I had granola bars in the car but not along in the woods with us, so when we found a bench just a little way into the hike Lewis and I sat down and sent Daddy back to the car to get a snack for us. It seemed like a good opportunity to get a selfie with my little guy while we waited.

He's got his favorite bent stick which he carried for most of the hike.

He’s got his favorite bent stick which he carried for most of the hike.

When Daddy came back we tried to get a selfie with him in it too. It was a little tricky fitting us all in the frame!

When Daddy came back we tried to get a selfie with him in it too. It was a little tricky fitting us all in the frame! (And somehow was even worse when I turned the camera the other way.)

Chris and I have hiked this trail a few times before so we knew there was a nice little stream we would find, but it was very exciting and new for Lewis! We found a frog, tiny fishes, lots of rocks to toss in, and a little bridge to cross. There were also other families with kids playing and tossing rocks both on the way in and out of the woods. I enjoyed seeing so many other families out also enjoying nature today, rather than getting into the busyness and commercialization of Mother’s Day.

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Overall we didn’t really go very “far” on the hike, just a ways into the woods and then turned around and came back out, not all the way around the loop. But we had a lovely time and were in the woods for a little longer than an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Lewis did all his own walking even with many steep up and down hills. He had a few slight slips and needed to hold someone’s hand to keep steady on some parts, but he wasn’t deterred by any of it.

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I loved seeing Lewis enjoying the hike so much and definitely look forward to taking him on more hikes in the future. He seemed to really love all the sticks, bugs, logs, water, and everything else. As we were leaving he said he wanted to live in the forest! πŸ™‚

We had a very nice day as a family, and I hope everyone else has enjoyed a nice day today regardless of whether or not you are a mother, or it is your birthday, or whatever else is going on in your life!

Photo Friday

Happy Friday once again everyone! We have been enjoying some lovely family time recently. We had a very nice trip to VT where we got to see all of my family, and Lewis adored having so many people to play with and keep him entertained, plus the benefit of a nice yard to play in. We got back here Tuesday and Chris had work the next two days but he got a surprise day off today, which means an extra day I can put him to work helping get this apartment back into some semblance of cleanliness. πŸ˜‰ It also means extra fun times spent playing together as a family. This morning we went out and puddle-splashed for a while, and Lewis also had an excellent time chasing Daddy around the house pretending they both were monsters. As might be expected most of these photos are from our trip to VT, with a few from the past couple days in our own home.

Fun and silly bouncing game with Auntie Anna.

Fun and silly bouncing game with Auntie Anna.

Easter morning Lewis was excited to have a "treasure hunt" to find his Easter basket. Not sure what all the silliness in this photo is about, except that it is fun to be silly!

Easter morning Lewis was excited to have a “treasure hunt” to find his Easter basket. Not sure what all the silliness in this photo is about, except that it is fun to be silly!

Stories and laughter with grandma. <3

Stories and laughter with grandma. ❀

A fun (but windy) family walk, and a bit of silly stepping by Lewis.

A fun (but windy) family walk, and a bit of silly stepping by Lewis.

Wearing a hat we discovered in the house, and using a watering can to water all the snow because it was "thirsty."

Wearing a hat we discovered in the house, and using a watering can to water all the snow because it was “thirsty.”

Smoothing out the snow with croquet mallets is important work.

Smoothing out the snow with croquet mallets is important work.

A photo of Higgins, taken by Lewis.

A photo of Higgins, taken by Lewis.

Back home in his perch by the window. This is the perfect place to spy on neighbors and also to wait for Daddy's car to pull in in the evening!

Back home in his perch by the window. This is the perfect place to spy on neighbors and also to wait for Daddy’s car to pull in in the evening!

Collaborative watercolor painting by Mommy and Lewis. We covered just about every inch of the paper, which is now hanging on our wall.

Collaborative watercolor painting by Mommy and Lewis. We covered just about every inch of the paper, which is now hanging on our wall.

Bonus Photos – Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is looking forward to a nice Easter weekend with good food, plenty of candy, and time spent with friends/family. We are excited about our upcoming trip to VT, both to see my family and because it means a break from the very busy work schedule Chris has had the past few weeks.

Last Sunday (Chris’ one day off in the past week) we went to Felthousen’s Florist for their little Easter celebration. We went last year and were impressed with how quiet, low-key and family oriented it was. Nothing like the craziness of standing in line waiting to see the Bunny at the mall! We were very happy to be able to go again, and Lewis enjoyed it just as much. He loved seeing the Easter Bunny and kept going back to say hi, sit on his lap, blow him kisses, etc. He was also very excited to see the baby chicks and eat a cookie and some jelly beans. We also had fun coloring eggs together a few days ago. Today we went to the “Spring Bunny Parade” at the town hall which was pretty much a bust, but oh well! Too crowded and overwhelming for Lewis, so we participated in the parade (which he did say was fun) and then went for a walk instead of getting his face painted or waiting in the giant line to sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap for 5 seconds.

A hug for the Easter Bunny!

A hug for the Easter Bunny!

Waiting patiently for Mommy or Daddy to help him hold a chick.

Waiting patiently for Mommy or Daddy to help him hold a chick.

Petting a soft little chick with Daddy. He also gave it a kiss on its head.

Petting a soft little chick with Daddy. He also gave it a kiss on its head.

Hanging out with his buddy the Easter Bunny again. After we got home he told us he wanted the Bunny to come to our house and also that he wanted to visit where the Easter Bunny lives.

Hanging out with his buddy the Easter Bunny again. After we got home he told us he wanted the Bunny to come to our house and also that he wanted to visit where the Easter Bunny lives.

Egg coloring! His preferred method was to plunge his hands in and grab the eggs to move them from cup to cup. His skin was rather an interesting color after this activity.

Egg coloring! His preferred method was to plunge his hands in and grab the eggs to move them from cup to cup. His skin was rather an interesting color after this activity.

Coloring eggs soon became much less interesting than pouring colored water back and forth between different cups. Color mixing and pouring continued until Mommy declared that there was quite enough mess on the table.

Coloring eggs soon became much less interesting than pouring colored water back and forth between different cups. Color mixing and pouring continued until Mommy declared that there was quite enough mess on the table.

Our eggs!  We started off with brown eggs, so the colors aren't as vibrant as on white eggs but they are still pretty and we had fun.

Our eggs! We started off with brown eggs, so the colors aren’t as vibrant as on white eggs but they are still pretty and we had fun.

The line to see the Easter Bunny after the parade at the town hall. Lewis firmly told me that he did not want to wait to see the bunny and that we should go for a long walk, so that is what we did. We enjoyed seeing a robin and listening to red-winged black birds and other birds as we went.

The line to see the Easter Bunny after the parade at the town hall. Lewis firmly told me that he did not want to wait to see the bunny and that we should go for a long walk, so that is what we did. We enjoyed seeing a robin and listening to red-winged black birds and other birds as we went.

Photo Friday

Happy spring and Happy Easter everyone! We have had a lovely week of beautiful weather and Easter-themed activities. But, you won’t see any Easter photos here because I took too many photos this week and they will need a post of their own. Not sure when they will be posted since Lewis could wake from his nap any time now, but I will attempt to get them up either this afternoon or this evening. We leave tomorrow for a lovely long-weekend in VT where we will get to see my entire (giant) family. Some of Lewis’ aunties and uncles we haven’t seen since my sister’s wedding in October, so it will be nice to see everyone again! And Lewis, of course, is looking forwards to a visit from the Easter Bunny. πŸ™‚

I finally got around to ordering a roll of butcher paper for art projects, so I had Lewis put it to the test with some markers. We still need to test how well it holds up to paint, but we have been too busy playing outside all week!

I finally got around to ordering a roll of butcher paper for art projects, so I had Lewis put it to the test with some markers. We still need to test how well it holds up to paint, but we have been too busy playing outside all week!

Once he got a bit bored with coloring on paper Lewis decided to decorate himself instead. He was quite proud of his colorful nose and cheeks.

Once he got a bit bored with coloring on paper Lewis decided to decorate himself instead. He was quite proud of his colorful nose and cheeks.

Surprise snow Saturday morning, and such a contrast to the sunny 65 degrees we have today! Lewis was very excited to go help Daddy scrape off his car.

Surprise snow Saturday morning, and such a contrast to the sunny 65 degrees we have today! Lewis was very excited to go help Daddy scrape off his car.

Snuggly snuggly story time. <3 My belly is getting to big for him to sit on my lap and read in the glider chair where we normally have stories, so we have moved most of our reading out to the couch.

Snuggly snuggly story time.

Playing with coffee grounds "mud." He made some lovely mud pies which were apparently very oozy and full of worms.

Playing with coffee grounds “mud.” He made some lovely mud pies which were apparently very oozy and full of worms.

Exploring!

Exploring!

Disorienting upside-down photography courtesy of Lewis.

Disorienting upside-down photography courtesy of Lewis.

Lewis' selfie.

Lewis’ selfie.

Warm enough to play outside without jackets today!!

Warm enough to play outside without jackets today!!

Photo Friday

Hello blog land and happy Friday! Actually, I’m a little amazed that it’s Friday already. This week has flown by due to Chris being off work on Monday and only working a half day Wednesday. (Although Wednesday probably felt like the longest day of the week since Lewis was sick and miserable all day and hardly napped…)

Last week Lewis and I were lucky enough to get to go visit my family in VT for the week, while Daddy unfortunately had to stay here and work as normal. He drove out to meet us on Saturday and spent one night there before we all headed back home on Sunday. Besides seeing his Grandma and Grandpa, Lewis also got to spend time with three of his aunties while we were in VT. And two cats! He had a fun trip and didn’t seem bothered at all to be traveling again or to be away from Daddy, but he was very excited when we got home on Sunday and he realized we were back in our own space! That is probably all the traveling we will be doing for a while now, and our next few visits to anywhere will just be for long weekends, not a week or longer like these past couple trips have been.

Christmas stocking #2! When Grandpa and Auntie Anna came to pick us up the brought along our stockings and a few extra presents from everyone in VT. Lewis zeroed right in on the bags of gifts almost as soon as they got here!

Christmas stocking #2! When Grandpa and Auntie Anna came to pick us up the brought along our stockings and a few extra presents from everyone in VT. Lewis zeroed right in on the bags of gifts almost as soon as they got here!

Making some tasty Buckeye cookies. This is typical of how Lewis and I cook together: I do the work and he helpfully samples all the yummiest ingredients.

Making some tasty Buckeye cookies. This is typical of how Lewis and I cook together: I do the work and he helpfully samples all the yummiest ingredients.

That face? That's him yelling at me not to take his picture. He's becoming less and less tolerant of photo taking recently.

That face? That’s him yelling at me not to take his picture. He’s becoming less and less tolerant of photo taking recently.

My mom and one of my beautiful sisters. <3

My mom and one of my beautiful sisters. ❀

Best present of the year: Play doh! And he was lucky enough to get some from both sides of the family!

Best present of the year: Play doh! And he was lucky enough to get some from both sides of the family!

My poor sick little babe, fast asleep in my arms on Wednesday after struggling to stay asleep for his nap in his bed.

My poor sick little babe, fast asleep in my arms on Wednesday after struggling to stay asleep for his nap in his bed.