Saturday Snapshot

IMG_20180309_112235

From earlier this winter – I stumbled across it today, and I still love it so much.

We had his cousin’s first birthday today, where we ate real cupcakes, and we gave her a tea set of her own. One that is pink and plays music, and is so adorable. I feel that there are many more tea parties in my son’s future!

 

SaturdaySnapshot

Saturday Snapshot is a weekly meme hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

What Wyatt’s Reading/Book Haul : March

What

I think this is really March part II, but oh well. Lol. Wyatt had a big book month! We are working on the 1000 books before Kindergarten challenge, which is fun for both of us! He absolutely loves books (like his mom!) This is what we read together this month, including books that he received for his birthday! (His own little book haul!)

 

Library List: Booboo by Olivier Dunrea, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. (not pictured Punk Farm)

Birthday Book Haul: Happy, Colorful World: Farm and Forest, Five Stinky Socks, Peep and Ducky Rainy Day, The Little Artists Collection, Seasons, Lift the Flap What Are Stars, and Big Fish Little Fish.

Wyatt’s Favorites: While he pretty much enjoyed them all, he absolutely loved Booboo, The Little Artists Collection (which we have to take with us everywhere), and of course, Five Stinky Socks. To Wyatt, there is nothing funnier on the planet than stinky feet and socks. So that book is one we read over and over. And over. As long as he is listening and loving it though, I will read it as many times as he wants. And Booboo – Wyatt is working on developing language skills, and he immediately said Booboo after reading this book. And would ask for it to be  read again, by name! This was huge for us. Words and sounds are coming faster these days – reading is so good for developing speech, so we make sure to read at least a few books together everyday. We will meet that 1000 book goal sooner than we think!

And if anyone wants to know my favorites from here, I loved Happy by Emma Dodd, The First Sticker Book Nature, and Paul Bunyan. My husband and I love the tall tale of Paul Bunyan, his ox, and those giant pancakes. Happy just makes me happy! Such a sweet book, great for cuddling and reading before bedtime. And the sticker book is amazing! I was so impressed by how cool the stickers look honestly. It is very well done. And seriously, who doesn’t love stickers?

We are already hard at work (hardly work, more like) on our April reading!

Still Waiting on Spring

Michigan is still waiting for spring, it seems. Sometimes we get a sneak peek, but then it hides away again. Today is sunny – but also 24 degrees. I have strawberry plants that have arrived and want to be planted, but the ground is still frozen! For now they are living in the house, but I am going to have to come up with a new plan for these guys, my awesome Viking strawberries.

Yesterday was sunny and mild except for the crazy wind. The wind was biting cold when it slammed against you, but when it wasn’t stealing your breath, the day was actually not too bad. Our family celebrated the return of the sun to our area by heading downtown to Belle Isle and visiting the aquarium and conservatory, where we not only got the sun, but we also had humid temperatures, tropical plants, heat. It was wonderful, despite the fact that we were dressed for winter but walking through a greenhouse.

It was jam packed there – I am guessing everyone in the whole metro area was out enjoying the weather. We have had gray skies for too long! This whole state has a Vitamin D deficiency, as we wait for spring.

The garden was beautiful, full of green growing plants, smelling of earth and warmth. We saw a banana tree, a lemon tree, an orange tree, a pomelo tree. Cacti. A ginger plant, pink puffballs. Giant leaves bigger than Wyatt, delicate fronds, wispy ferns. A water fountain. Even signs that a cat lives there somewhere, but not the cat itself, although I would have loved that, and Wyatt would have too. He loves his kitties.

It was a nice day, that we ended with pizza slices from Supino’s, which has the most amazing pizza ever. It was Wyatt’s first time eating there, and he kept asking for more. Another fan is made. We stuck with the basics but I love their pizza with basil – I love basil anything. The slices are huge, thin crusted, so you can just fold them over and eat. But there is something about the crust, some taste, some deliciousness we can’t put our finger on – that is where the magic is. In that crust. We had a car picnic so I didn’t get any photos, but next time I will.

I feel inspired! This week we are going to start seeds indoors. Normally it would be too late, but with this delayed spring I think we should be ok.

How about you guys? Any thing in particular you like on pizza? Are you a thin crust person or a thick crust person?

 

My YouTube obsessions

Lately, I have discovered the wonders of YouTube.

I feel like a tween. Or a teen. Sometimes though I want to just chill and veg but don’t have more than 15 minutes. And actually, they also have some pretty cool stuff for the boy too!

What I put on for the boy:

Sesame Street Celebrity Songs – Wyatt loves these. He constantly is signing “music, music, please” to us. I have to admit, I like these too..

Dave and Ava: These are also wonderful! Wyatt, who is working on gaining speech in therapy (and at home of course!) actually has started saying some of these words, along with the songs!

And then what I watch:

Zoella – I’m not into beauty or fashion really, but, for some reason I watch all of Zoella’s videos. I found her at Christmas, and loved her monthly favorites. And those were my gateway Zoella videos.

Clutterbug! I just found her stuff the other day and love it! I am so busy reorganizing and redoing our little house, and I love all her tips. I also discovered that Billy and I are butterflies. We are not messy, we just are trying to use methods that don’t work for us! And that is my story and I am sticking to it, thanks to Clutterbug!

Living Big in a Tiny House: I am fascinated by how creative these tiny houses are! I am in love with this one. So cute and adorable!

Little Book Owl: I watch a few book bloggers on YouTube, but Little Book Owl is my favorite. And if you read my book blog (Quixotic Magpie) she is the reason Billy and I read Nevernight, one of my new favorite books!

I’m open to suggestions too! Anyone have any recommendations? I would love to hear them!

 

Third Birthday Celebration

My little guy is three. Three! I can scarcely believe how fast these years are going by. It seems like just yesterday he was a tiny peanut in the NICU.

The day Wyatt was born was the coldest day of the year that year. This year, we had a severe winter storm alert the night before. Schools were called off, big snow, ice and just generally crappy conditions were forecast. We were disappointed since Billy had taken the day off of work for us to celebrate as a family. And when we got up, the weather was pretty nasty. But within the hour, it began to warm up, and thaw. And melt. Huge snow clumps were raining from trees and telephone wires and house awnings, like enormous snowflakes. The sky was blue, the air was not blisteringly cold, and there was no bone chilling winds. So, we loaded up with multiple coats and layers to prepare for the day and whatever it might throw at us, and headed out into the blue.

First stop was Tim Hortons. Our guy loves doughnuts, and as a special treat, we had doughnuts for breakfast. Wyatt devoured a doughnut with sprinkles, most of his father’s sour cream glazed, and then followed that up with a few bites of Timbit. Not his normal breakfast obviously, but a special birthday one. I had a giant coffee and my favorite chocolate dip. Billy had the remnants of the doughnuts that Wyatt didn’t eat. I guess I lucked out since Wyatt is not a chocolate fan. 🙂

Once Wyatt finally stopped eating doughnuts, we set our sights north to the Detroit Zoo. We have a membership to the zoo, and we love it. One of the things we love most about it is that with a membership, we never feel pressured to “do” the whole zoo in a day, if we don’t want to. We can show up, walk around for an hour or so, just visit our favorite animals. We do of course visit all the exhibits some days, but most of the time we amble about, taking our time. And we love to go on weird off days, when we have it mostly to ourselves. And Wyatt’s birthday was perfect – almost empty, probably due to the fact that it was midmorning on a Friday, and that the weather had been miserable in the morning. Plus, you know, it is winter. Lol. So, we had the zoo to ourselves.

First stop was the amazing Polk Penguin Center. It is seriously awesome, with a 4-D experience to enter, like you are on a boat headed to the Antarctic, complete with day and night changes, storm simulations, and even a little rain and water spray. Wyatt loved that part, getting wet in the spray. He loves the penguins, probably because he can get face to face with them!  That little trio of Gentoo penguins waddled on over to preen and show off and pose – the volunteer told us that the Gentoo are the friendliest and love to have their photos taken! If you want to see the penguins in action, you can check out their webcam feed.

From the Penguin Center, we headed further in, toward the River Otter habitat, one of our family favorites. This little river otter family is so delightful and entertaining, the way they zoom around, and play. We could stand and watch them for a long time, and we were the only ones there besides the volunteer for a good while. She shared some pretty fun stories, and the exhibit itself is relaxing, made of solid wood like you are in a cabin up north. It was a good moment, watching the otters play, in the brisk air, the scent of pine around us. We were so delighted by them we didn’t take photos!

Next we had planned to go through the Reptile house to warm up, but it was way too humid in there, and after being out in the cold, it was too much of a temperature change so we headed back out. At least the reptiles were comfortable though!

We decided to just walk a little further before leaving – the zoo is pretty huge and we didn’t want Wyatt to get too cold. So our last and final stop were the camels. Usually this family is sleeping or just relaxing all together on the ground, but today they were up and at ’em, super active. There was one right by the wall too, we could hardly believe it! They are pretty cute, especially the babies! Wyatt was entranced. He is usually a ham, posing for the camera (just like the Gentoos!), cheesing it up, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the camels to look at me long enough for a photo!

All in all, it was a fantastic visit, albeit short. Next time we will see more, the Red Pandas, the lions, the wolves, the kangaroos, the polar bears (our Nuka just got a girlfriend!). All favorites of ours. One thing I love about the Detroit Zoo is how many of their animals are rescues. They do such a great job, and while I don’t know the percentage of their animals that they have rescued, I do know that a great deal of them were. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area!

We headed back home and had one of Wyatt’s favorite dinners – fish sticks and macaroni. The night sky even showed off for his birthday, with a clear sky and a giant brilliantly bright moon. My boy loves to be outside at night, stargazing, so this was the perfect ending to our day.

He was a happy little boy.

 

What Wyatt’s Reading

What

Reading is huge in our house. I grew up with my nose always in a book, and I read whenever possible now, even if all I have time for is an article or two online. My parents were readers, and now, my son loves to look through books and is always asking me to read them to him. We went to the library tonight and brought home a huge haul! He usually picks a few out, and then I pick some out. Do other parents do this? I can’t help it. I used to work in an elementary school library. I have favorites I want to share. Oh, I guess I answered my own question. We all probably have favorites to share!

Here’s what we checked out:

cecil the peteaster micegnomelittle white rabbitlittlest bunnyminerva louisemy gardenpeas

I did most of the picking out today…Wyatt was exploring the library with his dad, socializing and then looking for me in the stacks. I adore Kevin Henkes, so I had to get these two super springy looking books. And Little Green Peas looks adorable. And I needed to get some Easter ones too, right? Then Wyatt’s birthday is this weekend and his party is gnome themed, so let’s read a gnome book. And finally, Cecil. I saw it on the shelf and was intrigued. It does not look like a typical children’s book. So I checked it out. More for me than the boyo. And I read it immediately when we got home, while making dinner. (just spaghetti, but oh so good spaghetti! Ask me about this later)

I freaking loved Cecil, the Pet Glacier. Loved it. I need to own it. It is so wonderful and different and quirky and not typical, and that is exactly why I love it, and why it is so fantastic! I say read it. Go on, get it. So good.

So the spaghetti. Billy and I usually hate spaghetti, but Wyatt loves it, so we eat it. I have not ever made my sauce (I know, eek right?) which might be why we don’t like it? Although neither of us has ever liked it, even as kids when our parents did make their own sauce. So maybe not. Anyway. I bought Newman’s Own Tomato and Basil Bombolina sauce. It smelled amazing when I popped the top, like summer in a jar with all the basil. That alone was awesome. But then Billy did this trick that he learned on Binging with Babish, a youtube show about cooking. When the noodles were done (we used egg noodles, Wyatt’s favorite), we drained them, then added some butter, and mixed it up. Then slowly, Billy folded in the warmed sauce into the noodles. Finally, we topped it all off with freshly grated parmeasan cheese, and seriously, it was the best spaghetti I have ever eaten in my life.  We both went back for seconds, it was so good. Never before have I enjoyed spaghetti. So thank you Babish.

And wouldn’t you know it? Wyatt hated it. 🙂 Ah. Toddlers.

 

Book Club – January

Bottle of WineBook Club

Last night we had our book club night. It’s a night I wait all month for – sometimes it is honestly my only night out! We were friends before we were a book club, and are more a girls night out than a book club sometimes, but we do usually have a book to discuss, and at least one or two of us read it. When we started book club, we all read the book, but as years have passed and we all started having more babies and jobs started getting more serious, that part of our night has not become as important as just catching up with each other.

I had so much fun last night. Alyssa hosted, and she welcomed us into her super cozy, super beautiful newly redecorated front room. I felt so comfortable, amid the grays and whites and blacks, the oversized furniture, the giant carousel lion. Alyssa always has cool stuff, and I really loved her new decorations. We all settled in amongst the pillows with our glasses of wine, missing our friend Jill, who is a respiratory therapist and extremely busy with work during this year’s flu season. It didn’t take long for us to start chattering away, talking over and around each other, sharing about our lives and catching up, elegantly shoveling crackers and cheese and fruit and hummus into our mouths. There was also soup and chocolate biscuits for dessert, which we devoured as well, like the pack of she-wolves we are.

We also had two reasons to celebrate!! Our friend Kelly had done something very brave, and our friend Chrissy finished her Masters Degree!! We toasted them with some pink bubbly, which seemed perfect for our setting.

IMG_20180201_192237

Everywhere I looked last night there was a super tiny cutie running around! Alyssa is involved in animal rescue, and currently has a few fosters – two tiny Chihuahuas and a chunky little Siamese kitten. The Chihuahuas are strays she rescued from a shelter after Harvey, when pounds were filling up. They both have heartworm and are being treated, and are the most adorable little things! Dallas is a spitfire, with silky floppy ears, while Zoe is a sweet pea, a little lap dog who loves to wear clothes. If I had room for another pet, I would have stuck one in my coat pocket as I walked out the door, they were so sweet. Although, I think I would have had to fight Kelly for this little one…

IMG_20180201_190933 (1)

Sorry for the terrible photo of this cute girl! She just wouldn’t hold still! Lol. She did spend the rest of the night curled up on Kelly’s lap, like a little cat.

The book we read this month was The Marsh King’s Daughter, which was phenomenal. Set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a place many of us in book club are familiar with, and it was the edge of your seat kind of book that I love. I personally could not put it down, and absolutely loved it. It was so good! I definitely recommend it.

February is my month, and I have picked two short books – Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, and also We Should All Be Feminists. I am really looking forward to reading them!