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.

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

Photo Friday

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! Things have been pretty much business as usual around here with art projects, baking, playing outside, and strewing toys all around the apartment. Our most exciting news this week is that Lewis has decided to start wearing underwear! We bought a pack for him about a month ago because we were having many many struggles at diaper change times, but he was uninterested in trying out underwear. This week he finally got brave and gave it a try, and he has realized that he much prefers it, mostly because he doesn’t have to lay down and be confined to the changing table to put it on, he can just step in and run off to play! He is doing really great overall. We’ve had a few accidents of course,┬ábut we are very proud of the progress he is making!

Eww, this melon feels slimy inside!

Eww, this melon feels slimy inside!

Cooling off with some water play.

Cooling off with some water play.

My big boy in his new underwear!

My big boy in his new underwear!

"These tongs are the perfect tool to eat my lunch with!"

“These tongs are the perfect tool to eat my lunch with!”

Balloon-face baby.

Balloon-face baby.

Mmmm, homemade popsicle snack! Lewis' favorite.

Mmmm, homemade popsicle snack! Lewis’ favorite.

Growing And Learning

It seems that Chris and I are always commenting to each other about how amazing Lewis is with all his new accomplishments, interests, etc. Today Chris updated his facebook to say how proud he is of some of Lewis’ newest things he is learning and doing. I had been thinking of updating my facebook with something very similar, but then realized if I posted it here I could say more and would also have more of a “record” of it to look back on!

I really love how with all the billions of humans currently living and also those who have lived in the past, babies and children never stop amazing us. Every single human who has ever lived goes through the same development, learns to walk, to talk, to run and jump and cook and write. And yet, each and every one is amazing all over again. It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time parent or an old granny who has seen a hundred babies grow up – when you see a child learning or doing something for the first time it is a wonderful moment. And of course, when it is your own child and you watch them figure something out for themselves, suddenly doing something they weren’t just yesterday, it seems like the most amazing thing of all.

"Look, I unzipped it myself!"

“Look, I unzipped it myself!”

My favorite new skill of Lewis’ is something I have been waiting for for a long time. He has finally started saying Mama! (It started out as “Mum-um” or “Mum-um-um-um,” but is already sounding more like “Mama”) He has said it a couple of time for me this morning and I overheard him practicing in his crib after I laid him down to nap. He has been saying Dada forever, and also would call me Dada, so it is nice to finally have my own name!

Along the same lines of adding new vocabulary, he is also figuring out how to nod his head “yes.” This has been a very tricky motion that has been baffling him for the longest time. He has been able to shake his head “no” for months, at first just doing it because the motion felt neat. We have tried to show him “yes” and he could never figure it out, sometimes bouncing his entire body up and down in an attempt. He is still polishing up the movement and still gets his whole body moving with it sometimes, but he is getting a lot better at it and you can see how excited and proud he is of himself. He’s not using it with meaning/to answer questions yet, but I’m sure that will come soon!

A recent favorite game for Chris and Lewis is to basically play “I Spy” while reading his books. Daddy will look at the page in the book they are reading together and ask Lewis to find something in the picture. “Where is the lion?”, “Can you find the banana?”, “Do you see any flowers in this picture?” etc. Lewis loves this and is surprisingly good at it. Some of them he knows immediately because they are books he has read a hundred times and we have talked about what is in the pictures, but he also does quite well even with new books from the library. He will sit and study the picture very seriously until finding the object and pointing to it with a smile. If he can’t find it after studying the page he gives Daddy a serious look and shakes his head “no.” So cute!

He is obsessed with stars and can point to a star shape. When he sees a star he will do twinkly star hand motions like the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” song, sometimes without any prompting or being asked about stars. He loves that all his socks have stars on the bottom as part of the no-slip stuff. He occasionally also points correctly to other shapes and some colors, but I think for the most part this is just lucky guesses.

He has been working on walking backwards and entertains himself with practicing this.

He is also finally figuring out how to sit down onto something the way you would sit onto a chair, rather than having to climb all around an area to get sitting where he would like.

We recently ordered a little potty chair for him (although it hasn’t arrived yet) because he has been showing a lot of interest in toileting for the past month or so. When I change his diaper I usually ask him if he would like to use the toilet. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes no. He is definitely starting to understand when he actually needs to pee/is peeing in his diaper/etc. He has done a little tinkle in the big toilet a few times but he seems uncomfortable being held over it (hence ordering him his own potty). Often he will sit for a few seconds, squirm to try to get down, and then run out and very purposefully pee on the carpet. Peeing on the carpet is obviously not ideal, but I do love that he has so much awareness of it already and seems to have some control as well! His diaper is still wet most of the time and only once in a while will he actually ask to go potty, so I’m not expecting him to be potty trained any time soon (I worked with two year olds – I know how long this can take!) but I do want to encourage the interest as much as possible and even one pee in the potty a day is a step in the right direction.

Signing "more" to ask for more chocolate Halloween night. (We didn't go trick-or-treating but when we paid rent the people in the office gave him a couple mini chocolates.)

Signing “more” to ask for more chocolate Halloween night. (We didn’t go trick-or-treating but when we paid rent the people in the office gave him a couple mini chocolates.)

His eating seems to have taken off recently as well. All my family who saw him over the summer got to witness his entertaining way of “eating” which has been to mush the food around in his mouth, maybe swallowing a bit, but eventually spitting out most bites before putting in the next. (This is quite normal with Baby Led Weaning, not sure how it compares to babies with traditional weaning.) He has finally mastered swallowing most of his food, and has been impressing me with the amount he now chows down at lunch and dinner. Breakfast he still only snacks a bit since he likes to have a huge nursing session when he wakes in the morning, so his tummy is full of milk.

Well, that’s all that comes to mind right now for his recent accomplishments, although I’m sure there are plenty more things I have forgotten at the moment!