Photo Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I just glanced out the window and noticed some snow coming down, but it’s ok because tomorrow will be warm and melt it all! The weather this week has been alright but not awesome. Fairly cloudy and windy and chilly, but not full on winter frigidity. We’ve still managed to get out most every day, but usually haven’t wanted to stay out in the wind for super long and have needed some nice warming drinks when we come back in. Lewis’ favorites are hot cocoa or warm milk with a little honey, vanilla, and cinnamon added. Mommy prefers chai or other tea, and when I offered some to Lewis he had to explain to me that “tea not a treat, Mommy!”

We had a bit of a rough start to the week since Lewis was hit with a tummy bug over the weekend. Nothing too severe, but he was fairly uncomfortable and unhappy and wanted lots of snuggles and down time. Once we got past that we’ve been enjoying a pretty busy week full of lots of Lewis-led learning and activities.

Shaving cream play day 1. A popsicle stick became some sort of puppet/ghost/monster.

Shaving cream play day 1. A popsicle stick became some sort of puppet/ghost/monster.

He had so much fun with the shaving cream he requested it again the next day. This time he didn't really want any toys for it, he just dug his hands right in and his messy hands became monsters/airplanes/people/creatures and most anything else you can imagine!

He had so much fun with the shaving cream he requested it again the next day. This time he didn’t really want any toys for it, he just dug his hands right in and his messy hands became monsters/airplanes/people/creatures and most anything else you can imagine!

After a snack of peanuts one day he suggested we make our own peanut butter. Headphones were required to block out the noise after we decided that he couldn't push the button with his feet while covering his ears with his hands.

After a snack of peanuts one day he suggested we make our own peanut butter. Headphones were required to block out the noise after we decided that he couldn’t push the button with his feet while covering his ears with his hands.

Our beautiful and yummy jar of mixed nut butter. We were short on peanuts so I just got out all our nuts and Lewis put together a specialty mix including peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and sunflower seeds! We also added a pinch of salt, 1 T honey, and 2 T olive oil.

Our beautiful and yummy jar of mixed nut butter. We were short on peanuts so I just got out all our nuts and Lewis put together a specialty mix including peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and sunflower seeds! We also added a pinch of salt, 1 T honey, and 2 T olive oil.

Making playdoh monsters. Lewis' favorite was this puppet creation he made with a popsicle stick. (Thanks for the idea goes to http://craftsonsea.co.uk/monster-play-dough-invitation-play/ , discovered through Pinterest).

Making playdoh monsters. Lewis’ favorite was this puppet creation he made with a popsicle stick. (Thanks for the idea goes to http://craftsonsea.co.uk/monster-play-dough-invitation-play/ , discovered through Pinterest).

Lewis "feeding" one of Mommy's monster creations.

Lewis “feeding” one of Mommy’s monster creations.

Black and white art exploration with charcoal.

Black and white art exploration with charcoal.

He had fun using different pressure to make lighter and darker marks, and of course smudging the charcoal around the paper!

He had fun using different pressure to make lighter and darker marks, and of course smudging the charcoal around the paper!

He's reached the stage of finding "treasures" while we are out playing and walking. Today's find: a long pink ribbon that fluttered in the wind!

He’s reached the stage of finding “treasures” while we are out playing and walking. Today’s find: a long pink ribbon that fluttered in the wind!

Photo Friday

Happy sunny Friday everyone! We have all finally started to emerge from the cold that was working its way through our household (minus some lingering coughs) and have also had a full week of beautiful play-outside-every-day weather! Lewis is loving puddle jumping, squelching through mud, and finding sticks and other treasures that are emerging from the snow drifts. Mama is loving not having to bundle us in so many layers, longer and more frequent outside play times, and sidewalks that are actually navigable by stroller! (There’s a bit of an ice sheet still left in some places, so at times it is more like ice skating down the sidewalk, but it is a huge huge improvement over lumpy messy frozen inches of snow and ice and slush that a stroller had no chance of rolling over.

The combination of daylight savings time and miserable coldy toddler did throw nap time and bedtime into a bit of a rough patch for about a week, but we are back on track now and Lewis is sleeping just as well as ever. Mama, on the other hand, is fighting with the lovely fun of pregnancy insomnia and lying awake in the night thinking of all sorts of random things plus occasionally being kept awake by the kicks and acrobatics of a growing baby. At least I can still fit in a nap for myself during Lewis’ nap time most days if I need it!

Lounging on the couch snuggling his current favorite stuffed animal.

Lounging on the couch snuggling his current favorite stuffed animal.

Lewis photography: a portrait of Daddy.

Lewis photography: a portrait of Daddy.

Back to rice in the sensory bin. He loves making constructions with funnels and old yarn cones to pour the rice through.

Back to rice in the sensory bin. He loves making constructions with funnels and old yarn cones to pour the rice through.

He requested I take a photo as he poured.

He requested I take a photo as he poured.

Look, there's grass peeking out from the snow!

Look, there’s grass peeking out from the snow!

Puddle splashing and I love toddler outfits.

Puddle splashing and I love toddler outfits.

Another Lewis request, to take his picture as he ran through the room. He looks so big here!

Another Lewis request, to take his picture as he ran through the room. He looks so big here!

Painting the egg wash onto our Irish Soda Bread this morning.

Painting the egg wash onto our Irish Soda Bread this morning.

Photo Friday

Hello everyone! We still have lots of cold and snow and wind outside, but I think an end just might be creeping into sight. The temperatures this week have seemed just a teensy bit higher and we’ve managed to get outside to play a couple of times, and next weeks it looks like things will be warming up just a bit more. I’m sure we still have plenty more cold days and snow storms headed our way, but soon enough spring will arrive with melting snow, mud puddles, and eventually even some flowers poking their way up. In the mean time, Lewis is still loving the snow, except when the wind blows too cold in his face.

Starting things off right with a blurry photo. We brought Daddy to the MiSci museum last weekend to see the butterflies and other exhibits, but I forgot my camera and only took two photos on my phone while we were there.

Starting things off right with a blurry photo. We brought Daddy to the MiSci museum last weekend to see the butterflies and other exhibits, but I forgot my camera and only took two photos on my phone while we were there.

Fun in the snow digging tunnels and making a "castle" with Daddy.

Fun in the snow digging tunnels and making a “castle” with Daddy.

After getting introduced to baking soda and vinegar reactions with Daddy a few weeks ago, Lewis keeps asking to do "that bubbly experiment!", so I finally got the things out for him again earlier this week. We started off very carefully adding vinegar with a pipette.

After getting introduced to baking soda and vinegar reactions with Daddy a few weeks ago, Lewis keeps asking to do “that bubbly experiment!”, so I finally got the things out for him again earlier this week. We started off very carefully adding vinegar with a pipette.

Lewis quickly realized that he got much bigger and bubblier reactions by just dumping in the whole glass of vinegar.

Lewis quickly realized that he got much bigger and bubblier reactions by just dumping in the whole glass of vinegar.

Once the ice cube tray was full to overflowing I told him we wouldn't add any more ingredients, so he started transferring everything to the cookie sheet instead. He started by pouring all the vinegar in, then carefully scooped the "sludge" as he called it and dribbled it into the pan as well. Fun!

Once the ice cube tray was full to overflowing I told him we wouldn’t add any more ingredients, so he started transferring everything to the cookie sheet instead. He started by pouring all the vinegar in, then carefully scooped the “sludge” as he called it and dribbled it into the pan as well. Fun!

Our newest, and messiest ever, sensory bin material: shredded paper. My mess catcher sheet proved absolutely useless and there were bits of paper covering every bit of living room carpet and also spread into every other room of the house. We got to do a fun activity called "vacuuming" once he was done playing.

Our newest, and messiest ever, sensory bin material: shredded paper. My mess catcher sheet proved absolutely useless and there were bits of paper covering every bit of living room carpet and also spread into every other room of the house. We got to do a fun activity called “vacuuming” once he was done playing.

Immediately following clean-up of the paper disaster, Lewis told me he needed a squiggly line path on the carpet going all the way to the other room. We usually use washi tape or masking tape for this, but discovered that yarn actually works very well and can more easily reach long distances through the house. He had fun driving his car, running, and chasing Mommy and Daddy on his zig-zag path.

Immediately following clean-up of the paper disaster, Lewis told me he needed a squiggly line path on the carpet going all the way to the other room. We usually use washi tape or masking tape for this, but discovered that yarn actually works very well and can more easily reach long distances through the house. He had fun driving his car, running, and chasing Mommy and Daddy on his zig-zag path.

Lewis' first sewing project! He saw me use my sewing machine yesterday and this morning was pretending to use a toy barn as his own sewing machine, so I got out some plastic canvas and yarn needles and showed him how he could really do some stitching of his own.

Lewis’ first sewing project! He saw me use my sewing machine yesterday and this morning was pretending to use a toy barn as his own sewing machine, so I got out some plastic canvas and yarn needles and showed him how he could really do some stitching of his own.

Photo Friday

And I now return you to your regularly scheduled post of Lewis-cuteness on a Friday!

We had a couple of “warm” days this week when Lewis and I were able to get outside while it was all the way up to 15 or 20 degrees and no wind, instead of the -25 with windchill that we’ve been having! We played out in the snow on Tuesday and walked the the library Wednesday, and were both very happy for the chance to get out of the house. Yesterday and today have returned us to the land of mega winds and sub-zero temperatures however, so we are stuck back inside. Here are a few photos of how we are keeping busy this week!

A bubble bath, and a look of intense concentration as he watched the water pour out the holes of the cup.

A bubble bath, and a look of intense concentration as he watched the water pour out the holes of the cup.

Lewis has recently started actually building things when given different types of blocks and building materials, rather than just waiting for us to make a tower he can knock down. I was washing dishes as he played and when I came over to see what he was up to he proudly told me he had made "Uncle Kenny on his ski mountain." (These are magnetic Tegu blocks. We love them!)

Lewis has recently started actually building things when given different types of blocks and building materials, rather than just waiting for us to make a tower he can knock down. I was washing dishes as he played and when I came over to see what he was up to he proudly told me he had made “Uncle Kenny on his ski mountain.” (These are magnetic Tegu blocks. We love them!)

Bubble blowing! This was a favorite outdoor activity in the summer and we are now loving it as a way to keep busy inside as well. Lewis is getting better and better at actually blowing the bubbles!

Bubble blowing! This was a favorite outdoor activity in the summer and we are now loving it as a way to keep busy inside as well. Lewis is getting better and better at actually blowing the bubbles!

In-air shot as he leaps onto a pile of pillows. Wheee!

In-air shot as he leaps onto a pile of pillows. Wheee!

Another action shot.

Another action shot.

A glimpse at our messy living room as well as the ridiculous number of pillows we own, seen here fashioned into a very long caterpillar.

A glimpse at our messy living room as well as the ridiculous number of pillows we own, seen here fashioned into a very long caterpillar.

 

Photo …. Sunday!

Well, I’ve missed posting on Friday again. I think that is something like three weeks in a row that I have missed, so I’d better play a little catch-up! Not sure what is up with me and Fridays, it always seems to be something different that makes me miss out on posting. This week I sat down to do it a bit late and Lewis woke up a bit early and so it didn’t end up happening. Another week I just completely forgot that it was Friday and the thought of a Photo Friday post didn’t cross my mind until a few days later. And of course there are the days where I am just worn out and would rather have a nap! I am starting to feel a bit more energy though and have been napping less often and managing to feel a bit more productive. (Although I’m sure soon enough my belly will start ballooning and I will once again be feeling exhausted….)

We’ve been having lots of weather that is cold, snowy, and windy. The snow this year is deeper than I’ve ever seen it in this area, and it seems to keep coming down. We make it outside to play a few days each week, but most of our time has been spent cooped up indoors. We’ve been keeping busy with lots of art projects, sensory play, hide-and-seek, and indoor chasing games. We’ve also enjoyed some Valentine activities this past week, including a valentine sensory bin, valentine bath with red bath water, and baking some heart shaped (and airplane shaped and cat shaped) sugar cookies, then decorating them with pink icing and red sugar. So…. here are the photos I know you all have been waiting for!

Finger paints on cardboard - a full body painting experience!

Finger paints on cardboard – a full body painting experience!

I shortened the handle on the carpet sweeper so Lewis could clean up his own mess after playing with rice in the sensory bin. He loves it!

I shortened the handle on the carpet sweeper so Lewis could clean up his own mess after playing with rice in the sensory bin. He loves it!

More painting, this time with watercolors.

More painting, this time with watercolors.

Baking soda and vinegar experiments with Daddy!

Baking soda and vinegar experiments with Daddy!

Lewis has been practicing his photography skills, and I love finding gems like this on the camera! I should probably look into getting him a more kid-safe camera of his own.

Lewis has been practicing his photography skills, and I love finding gems like this on the camera! I should probably look into getting him a more kid-safe camera of his own.

Can anyone guess our current favorite color? He wears this pants as soon as they come through the laundry, and the shirt nearly as often.

Can anyone guess our current favorite color? He wears this pants as soon as they come through the laundry, and the shirt nearly as often.

Valentine sensory bin with dyed rice and random red, pink, and purple objects.

Valentine sensory bin with dyed rice and random red, pink, and purple objects.

Another Lewis photo. Maybe I can get him to take one of my big round belly!

Another Lewis photo. Maybe I can get him to take one of my big round belly!

Photo Friday

Happy Friday and Merry Christmas everyone! I know Christmas is almost a week away, but we’ll be in Michigan and I’m not making any promises about trying to post while we are there. We leave tomorrow for the two hour plane trip, which Lewis is very excited about, and will be visiting Chris’ family for two weeks. Lewis is hoping for lots of presents and treats, and looking forward to playing with the dog Ruby.

Since we didn’t want to attempt traveling with a huge pile of presents, we had an early Christmas here last Sunday and opened all our family presents. In Michigan we will have just a couple small Santa gifts and of course a stocking for Lewis to open.

Lewis has been practicing his photography skills, so I’ve included a few of his photos again for you to enjoy.

Our lovely little tree with its little heap of presents.

Our lovely little tree with its little heap of presents.

Lewis choosing the first present. He did a great job "reading" the labels, recognizing that the ones with "M" were for Mommy, "D" was for Daddy, and "L" for Lewis. :)

Lewis choosing the first present. He did a great job “reading” the labels, recognizing that the ones with “M” were for Mommy, “D” was for Daddy, and “L” for Lewis. 🙂

Unwrapping.

Unwrapping.

Lewis' "big" present, and everyone's favorite to play with all week. A marble run! Lewis has always been in love with marbles, so this was an obvious choice.

Lewis’ “big” present, and everyone’s favorite to play with all week. A marble run! Lewis has always been in love with marbles, so this was an obvious choice.

Photo by Lewis.

Photo by Lewis.

Lewis' perspective of Mommy and Daddy.

Lewis’ perspective of Mommy and Daddy.

Selfie. There are about ten of these on the camera, including some pure white ones of just the ceiling, and some with just a tuft of his fluffy hair.

Selfie. There are about ten of these on the camera, including some pure white ones of just the ceiling, and some with just a tuft of his fluffy hair.

Photo Friday

Happy Friday! I hope you all are well, and looking forward to a lovely Thanksgiving holiday next week spent with friends/family and yummy food! Chris has the week off, and we’re looking forward to traveling to my aunt’s house for some lovely time with the family. Also, pumpkin pie. Yum!

I’m bringing you a special edition of Photo Friday this week, featuring some of Lewis’ own expert photography! He has been very interested in stealing the camera recently, mostly enjoying turning it on. And off. And on. And off. And on. And pushing random buttons. But today I asked him to bring it to me and instead he decided to take a few photos of his own. Enjoy!

We moved the chairs out of the way to vacuum, and suddenly we had a choo-choo train! Lewis thought this was great and we have been playing at train all week.

We moved the chairs out of the way to vacuum, and suddenly we had a choo-choo train! Lewis thought this was great and we have been playing at train all week.

Another train incarnation, this time a blanket draped over one end of the couch became an enclosed train car.

Another train incarnation, this time a blanket draped over one end of the couch became an enclosed train car.

Not a huge amount of snow yet, but it has been bitterly cold with the wind blowing! Lewis and I have given in to the allure of winter coats.

Not a huge amount of snow yet, but it has been bitterly cold with the wind blowing! Lewis and I have given in to the allure of winter coats.

Interesting camera angles, from Lewis.

Interesting camera angles, from Lewis.

Feet.

Feet.

A lovely mess of dried beans.

A lovely mess of dried beans.

Little fingers over the lens.

Little fingers over the lens.

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!

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!

IMG_7481

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.

IMG_7504

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.

IMG_7568

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.

IMG_7584

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.

 

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.