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.

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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, but 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.

Photo Friday

Hello and happy Friday! Not much to report this week. They sprayed pesticides on the lawn Tuesday, so we have been avoiding any grassy fun and the pool as well since I am paranoid that all those chemicals drifting through the air must float their way into the pool water as well. We’ve gone for more walks instead (with and without the stroller) and spent some time at the library and in the library garden/hiking path, so we haven’t been completely locked up indoors. Chris has been working late nights as his team approaches a big deadline at work, so Lewis and I have been spending a lot of time with just the two of us home, including many dinners and bedtimes. 

I don’t seem to have been very photograph-y this week, so I’ve included a couple bonus photos from last weekend’s camping trip.

Sandbox fun with my shaggy-haired boy.

Sandbox fun with my shaggy-haired boy.

This fireplace is fascinating!

This fireplace is fascinating!

Hitching a ride on the wagon we borrowed to pull some firewood over to our site.

Hitching a ride on the wagon we borrowed to pull some firewood over to our site.

Stamping and painting with found objects.

Stamping and painting with found objects.

Granola bar snack on a bench in the library garden. He insisted on wearing his PJs for our walk.

Granola bar snack on a bench in the library garden. He insisted on wearing his PJs for our walk.

This bike rack looks like a great climbing structure!

This bike rack looks like a great climbing structure!

He found some poop in a fern leaf and had to poke it with a stick.

He found some poop in a fern leaf and had to poke it with a stick.

Dried beans in the sensory bin. Lewis of course decided they looked like eggs and had to be sat on.

Dried beans in the sensory bin. Lewis of course decided they looked like eggs and had to be sat on.

Lounging in the beans??

Lounging in the beans??

Camping At Verona Beach

This past weekend we were lucky enough to be invited camping at Verona Beach State Park. This was the third time that Chris and I have joined our friends for a weekend at this lovely little camp ground, but it was Lewis’ first time doing any camping and staying in a tent. He loved it and did absolutely great with tent sleeping!

Lewis had a wonderful time exploring the campgrounds, playing on the two playgrounds, gathering acorns, riding a bike trailer, making new friends, and eating camp food. Although the campground is on a lake and the park has a nice sandy swimming beach, we didn’t get to go swimming while we were there. The weather was a bit chilly and windy for most of our stay, and the beach was also closed due to blue-green algae blooms. We had a lot of fun and kept busy with other things though!

Lewis' first time in a real sand box. Too bad we can't build him one at our apartment!

Lewis’ first time in a real sand box. Too bad we can’t build him one at our apartment!

"We have to walk all the way to the end Mama!"

“We have to walk all the way to the end Mama!”

Making friends with a seagull.

Making friends with a seagull.

See-saw.

See-saw.

His favorite thing on the playground: The creepy duck, which he named "Quackington."

His favorite thing on the playground: The creepy duck, which he named “Quackington.”

The lovely view from our campsite.

The lovely view from our campsite.

Lewis and Cameron ready to ride the bike trailer over to the other playground. Later on they hooked the trailer to Cameron's bike and he pulled Lewis around for a bit.

Lewis and Cameron ready to ride the bike trailer over to the other playground. Later on they hooked the trailer to Cameron’s bike and he pulled Lewis around for a bit.

"I'm riding on a dinosaur! This is so awesome!"

“I’m riding on a dinosaur! This is so awesome!”

Campfire and sunset. Lewis was completely entranced by sitting and watching the fire and the sparks drifting up.

Campfire and sunset. Lewis was completely entranced by sitting and watching the fire and the sparks drifting up.

Michigan Trip – Part 3

Still playing catch-up here! 🙂 These photos will wrap up my post about our first week there, which means I will still need to share all about our second week! And since I seem to be dragging my feet on getting these posts up, I am also starting to develop a bit of a back log of other more recent events to post about as well. However, I’m sure you’ll all enjoy seeing Lewis photos and hearing about our adventures whenever I happen to get them posted – even if I’m still sharing summer photos in October! 😉

Most of the photos in this post are from July 4. We had a BBQ and got to hang out with more of Chris’ extended family and some friends of the family. Lewis was napping when everyone arrived and was a bit overwhelmed when he woke up to find a bunch of extra people there. He warmed up a bit to everyone, although he mostly stayed close to Mommy and Daddy and I didn’t really get any photos of him with other people. The exception was little Peyton, who he had a lot of fun playing with. It’s fun to have someone your own size to run around with!

Lewis and Chris were invited to join in on some fishing fun, and were given a little fishing pole to borrow. There was no line on it, but Lewis' world is all about imagination anyway and he probably had more fun with this than he would have doing "real" fishing!

Lewis and Chris were invited to join in on some fishing fun, and were given a little fishing pole to borrow. There was no line on it, but Lewis’ world is all about imagination anyway and he probably had more fun with this than he would have doing “real” fishing!

My little baby bird, mouth wide open waiting for Daddy to deliver the next bite of chocolate cake.

My little baby bird, mouth wide open waiting for Daddy to deliver the next bite of chocolate cake.

Wagon rides!

Wagon rides!

His first ever s'more. He also had his first ever marshmallows the same day, and decided he prefers them 'raw' over messy sticky roasted ones. Mostly though he would just like to steal the chocolate bars for the s'mores.

His first ever s’more. He also had his first ever marshmallows the same day, and decided he prefers them ‘raw’ over messy sticky roasted ones. Mostly though he would just like to steal the chocolate bars for the s’mores.

These two little ones had a lot of fun chasing each other around and around and around!

These two little ones had a lot of fun chasing each other around and around and around!

My little story teller.

My little story teller.

Another day, playing with the giant beach ball Grandma bought him.

Another day, playing with the giant beach ball Grandma bought him.

Lewis thought it was hilarious when Daddy was throwing the ball up onto the top of the tree!

Lewis thought it was hilarious when Daddy was throwing the ball up onto the top of the tree!

Photo Friday

Hello wonderful people! You may have noticed I didn’t post last Friday. We were busy spending a long weekend at my family’s cabin on lake Champlain! It was a lovely little mini-vacation, though it never feels long enough. As usual Lewis loved the lake, the rocks, the outdoors, and all the relatives. I’ll be doing a separate post about our trip (sometime, when I manage to get around to it…) but I’ve included a couple of sneak peek photos.

You’ll also notice from a couple of these that Lewis has developed an aversion to clothes. He fights getting his wet diapers taken off, and fights even harder when it is time for a clean one and clothes. He is spending a lot of his time naked recently. This isn’t a big deal when we’re just spending time at home, but it becomes a battle every time we need to go outside (to play or to go somewhere). Since we live in an apartment complex with a lot of neighbors and a lot of people passing by every day I’m not comfortable letting him go outside naked, although we made a bargain that he could go out in just a diaper a few days ago. Hopefully this clothes-rejection phase passes before the weather starts getting cold!

Dish washing in the nude.

Dish washing in the nude.

A lovely rainbow over the lake. We didn't see any actual rain while there, just beautiful perfect weather.

A lovely rainbow over the lake. We didn’t see any actual rain while there, just beautiful perfect weather.

Lewis and Auntie Ellen exploring the rocks on shore.

Lewis and Auntie Ellen exploring the rocks on shore.

Naked chalk art time.

Naked chalk art time.

"There are puddles and I can wear my rain boots? I guess I'll let you put some clothes on me just this once."

“There are puddles and I can wear my rain boots? I guess I’ll let you put some clothes on me just this once.”

We collected black walnuts from a nearby tree, and decided to attempt cracking them open to see what was inside. They were messy!

We collected black walnuts from a nearby tree, and decided to attempt cracking them open to see what was inside. They were messy!

New birthday shirt and new slippers!

New birthday shirt and new slippers!

Michigan Trip – Part 2

As promised I am trying to get back on track with regular updates and especially with posting the rest of the photos from our trip to Michigan! I’ll just pick up this post where I left off with the first. 

It was very wet and rainy while we were in Michigan, and they had been having lots of rain for several weeks before. The ground was completely waterlogged so each time it would rain there would be water just pooling everywhere in the grass, on the driveway, etc. because it couldn’t soak into the already-soaked ground.

Splashing in a puddle of water on the deck near the fire pit.

Splashing in a puddle of water on the deck near the fire pit.

We had plenty of sunny days as well, but everything was damp. Each time it looked like the sun was finally drying out the lawn we’d get another rain storm and everything would be soggy and mushy again. It didn’t stop us from spending lots of time outside though!

As I mentioned in my first post, we also went on lots of day trips to different places. One of Lewis’ favorites was the Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor. They have one big room designed specifically for younger kids, and that is where we spent most of our time. We met up with one of Chris’ high school friends and his daughter, but she is a few years older than Lewis and they basically went their own separate ways within the museum.

The “Preschool Gallery” had a lot of fun things to explore, including places to climb, baskets full of toys, puzzles, a big water table, and Lewis favorite: a big interactive ball machine with lots of paths for the balls to follow and tons of balls for kids to carry around, put onto the path in different places, see them get sucked up a vacuum tube, etc.

Lewis and I discovered a bucket of big plastic bugs which were right up his alley. He loves bugs!

Lewis and I discovered a bucket of big plastic bugs which were right up his alley. He loves bugs!

Carefully placing a ball at the top of a ramp.

Carefully placing a ball at the top of a ramp.

Sending a ball down a spiral path. He could have played here all day!

Sending a ball down a spiral path. He could have played here all day!

Back at the house there were lots of fun things to explore outside on our non-rainy days. Lewis loved Grandpa’s tractor and lawn mower!

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He practiced climbing up on a ladder with a little help. (A skill that he is now getting more and more confident with on our recent trips to the playground.)

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Grandpa showed him where to find some yummy ripe black raspberries.

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He did a little digging in the garden with grandma’s tools, although most days it was too muddy for this!

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And we all had fun blowing bubbles together with a big bubble set that grandma picked up.

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There are more photos than I even realized we had taken, so you can look forward to at least two or more posts about our trip! Coming up next: our 4th of July BBQ with Chris’ family, and more fun playing outside.