There was a conference put on by my employer today. A co-worker and I walked over to the hotel where it was being hosted and spent the day watching presentations.

Toy food! Fun to play with!

Chris and Quinn went to Skyzone this morning. This place looks like so much fun for little kids.

I finally checked out the Artprize entries through the skywalk. The DeVos Place was pretty full of people. I feel like there are a lot more people wandering around during the week days this year. I didn't go last year so maybe the turn out was similar then.

I plugged in an old cordless phone with answering machine for Quinn to play with. The batteries don't hold a charge so he can really only play with the answer machine, but he had a lot of fun with it. He recorded himself quite a bit and would then answer himself when he played the messages back.

This morning we headed out to Critter Barn about 20 minutes west of us. It's a working farm that allows you to come through and visit with the animals. 
Quinn had a good time, but I honestly think I was more excited for the animals than he was. He was  very fascinated by buildings and machines and not as interested in the animals that were in pens.

There was a lot going on when we came home after Quinn got his flu shot. A lot of him walking around, grabbing his leg and saying "hurt". Overall he was a good sport about it and calmed down after about 20 minutes.

I walked around downtown a little on my lunch break to take in all of the new Artprize exhibits. It officially launched yesterday but I've been seeing things crop up over the past week.
There are plenty of big and small entries and they're all different types of mediums. It's was pretty packed today compared to what downtown is usually like. The event really does a lot of getting people into downtown Grand Rapids.

My parents are super awesome and drove all the way across state to watch Quinn so Chris and I could go out for my birthday. I got off work a few hours early, we had a bite to eat and watched the latest Star Trek movie. It was a fantastic night out. I'm so lucky to have my awesome parents.

Super hero capes are cool. Cool like Super Grover.

Pasta is a pretty easy dish to make and simple to put veggies into. He's still real hit and miss about pasta dishes. Some days he likes them and other days he turns his nose up at them. Days when he's willing to eat pasta feel like easier days.

We headed out to the John Ball Zoo this afternoon and finally tried the funicular. It was ok but not as scenic as I was hoping for.
It also scared Quinn a little. he was nervous about standing and moving in a train car.

Soldered a few projects I'd like to get completed for the Grand Rapids Comic Con. It was fun to spend the evening working on that and finally having everything come together. Adafruit makes such lovely hardware and their tutorials online are fantastic!

It's a pretty heavy arduino week this week but man, I'm on a roll. So I started testing something I'm thinking of putting together for Grand Rapids Comic Con.

A part I ordered earlier this week came so I did some soldering this evening. Now with everything wired up I can start programming this adorable 8x8 multi-color (red, yellow, green) LED matrix.

He really likes to help push things. The stroller is a little frustrating because he can't reach the handles, but he can push it from the front, which seems to satisfy his needs for now.

Sewing with conductive thread is kind of tricky since it feels a lot like sewing with wire. But it's good practice I suppose, since I have several projects I'd like to work on with that thread.

With the weather getting cooler, evenings in the park are pretty nice. Having awesome company certainly helps. These guys are great.

Tuesday night a large branch off of a neighbor's tree fell and crashed in our back yard. It landed on a few smaller trees we had back there but didn't do any real damage. It did need to be removed so that it would stop pushing on the other trees and potentially kill them.

So Chris's dad came out today with his chainsaw and cut the large branch into smaller more manageable chunks. Quinn and I spent our time watching from the deck.
After the majority of the work was done we headed out for a quick bite to eat. Quinn is definitely still not ready to sit still in a restaurant. He was ok for about 5 minutes but after that he wanted to get down, run around, climb on the table, and in general just explore everything!

He did enjoy some mac and cheese once food arrived. Progress on that front! I look forward to hiding vegetables in mac and cheese in the future.

Earlier this week I finished sewing up some slippers for Quinn. He really likes shoes so I thought it would be a fun thing for him to play with in the house. I pulled the pattern off of Darling Diapers after watching a video tutorial.

He thinks they're ok and will occasionally ask for them. I consider that a minor success.
We also made a few magnets for him yesterday. We were at Joanne Fabrics and they had a bunch of wood figures for 50 cents, so we picked up a few figures and a pack of magnets. We have a small bird magnet for our fridge so he's been especially enamored with the parrot figure.

It's been a few years since we've been to Frederik Meijer Gardens and quite a while since I've actually been anywhere outside. I've actually only been to the sculpture park and part of the children's area, so I wanted to take Quinn and see more of the gardens.
It's still the first week back to school for most kids so this was a perfect day to visit. The children's area wasn't too busy and the kids that were there were on the younger side.
I was really surprised at how much there was to the children's area. Aside from the water area there was a log cabin...
...And quite an elaborate tree house. I think we will definitely be coming back several times over the next few years.
They also have the sculpture from Northland Mall since that's now closed. I grew up going to that mall quite a bit and I loved this thing. I remember my mom yelling at me all the time not to climb it. So now I guess if I ever want to see it I can just go to the gardens.
After two hours of running around Quinn was doing so well we even went through the Japanese Gardens. It opened last year and I was curious to see what it looked like.
It is definitely not as kid friendly as the children's area, so we could only linger at certain areas briefly before the whirlwind of energy hurled a rock into a perfectly manicured area.
But all in all I really enjoyed it. It was pretty peaceful since there were only retirees out and about. And Quinn did really well for nearly three hours we were there. In fact, he napped for three hours after we left. That alone made the trip worth it!

This afternoon we headed out to Grand Haven to visit Corinne, who works downtown there. Quinn fell asleep on the ride over there and was pretty committed to his nap, even after we'd parked.
Once he woke up he was ready to go. He enjoyed pushing his stroller around on the boardwalk along the water. We had a great time catching up with Corinne and enjoying the outdoors.

Today is the day! I've been waiting weeks, months, ages! I'm super excited to go to the Detroit Zoo. I haven't been there in about 10 years, which is a shame because my parents live 5 minutes from it.

Today was senior day (where admittance is free for the tri-county area), so there was a lot of traffic getting into the zoo.
I was most excited to see the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center. I loved the old Penguinarium so I wanted to see what the new penguin exhibit looked like.

It's amazing! It was very crowded, but it was still amazing!
We took a break so Quinn could have a snack over by Amphibville. That section of the zoo today was not as popular as others (bingo was going on in the picnic area) so Quinn had the whole building to himself. It was a nice break from people for him and he really enjoyed the building. I was never very big on it myself, but its definitely going to be a place I make a point of stopping at for him since it's great for little kids.
It was nearly 90 degrees and sunny, so a big part of our visit was bouncing from air conditioned building to air conditioned building. We of course had to hit the classic reptile house.
 The Arctic circle with the polar bears and seals was a nice pit stop on our way to the train.
Quinn did really well on the train ride. He started to freak out a little bit but after a muffin to munch on he was fine for the ride. It was a great day and I'm already looking forward to our next visit.

In the morning we headed out to Millennium Beach. It's a sunny day and perfect beach weather. The water was a little chilly, but Quinn still had fun.

Deer Tracks Junction is about 20 minutes north of our house. I've been seeing ads for it on a kids activity website all summer and today we decided to visit.
They have two halves to their facilities. The first half we visited has goats, pigs, bunnies and more. You can purchase cups of feed and, if so armed, will be swarmed but adorable little animals.
Quinn had fun in the bunny house. There are also parakeets flying free in the building which provides a nice atmosphere. 
The other half of the place is a new area with deer, elk and more. They have safari rides at night as well.
The entire facility is very clean. With so many animals there are bound to be accidents all over the path but we didn't encounter any. They have staff out and about cleaning up constantly. They also offer baby bottle feeding for the different animals.
Out front they have a large play area. There is a train and a fort with an underground tunnel system. I'm a little jealous I couldn't fit.

It's a really nice place and we'll definitely be bringing Quinn back again. 

A few months ago we picked up a power washer on a good deal but we've been so busy or it's been raining that we haven't had a chance to try it out until this weekend.

We've lived her for four years and never power washed the deck, so it needed to be done.
We took turn, although Chris did most of it. Quinn really enjoyed his entertainment during lunch.
After 5 hours the deck was done. It looks a lot better. Hooray for finally getting this done!