Leki's basket broke off of the top of his tower earlier this week. He's finally taken to napping on top of the square near the top, which is almost as high as the basket was.

He had a lot of fun laying in his merman tail arguing that it isn't time for bed.

Today was the funeral for a co-worker today. I hadn't worked with him for very long, but he was a nice older gentleman who always helped when I asked. After work we all went out for drinks and food at a nearby bar in his honor.

I decided to try running on a treadmill today as opposed to the track I normally use. It was a very disorientating experience after 30 minutes of running. I'm sure I'd get used to it but I didn't really like how I felt after I got off the machine.

I tried to do yoga with the toddler. He was an interesting obstacle.

I'm slowly making progress in the Metroid Returns DS game.

 Today I finally upgraded the snail mail notifier we've been using since 2012. The original setup (on the left) involved an Arduino Uno, ethernet shield, and a TPLink-701 router modified to run OpenWrt. There were wifi alternatives, but they were expensive at the time and this was a cheaper solution.

This newer version (on the right) involves just an Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266 which is a board with built in wifi. Adafruit's Feather boards are arduino-compatible, so the changes in code were minor to account for the different wifi chipset.  
Chris wanted to keep the original box even though the device footprint is much smaller. Quinn helped by typing on his computer and playing with some switches I set up for him to toggle. He had a lot of fun, and now we have a smaller and less power hungry device for mail notifications.

I finally pulled the carrots we started growing several months ago. Using the little City Pickers box we picked up earlier this summer I knew these wouldn't grow very big, but I thought they'd be a little bigger.

My work has a lot of fun activities they promote. This month it's related to Art Prize and people are encouraged to create something. I don't sit by the rest of the PMO team so the programmers and their group always adopt me for these events, and this time was no exception.

Our theme was space dinosaurs and everyone painted something (thanks to a co-workers large stash of spray paint and stencils). Mine is a pterodactyl and Saturn, in honor of Cassini.

Today is my birthday! A co-worker brought in these delicious pumpkin cupcakes. I ate several!
 When I got home we celebrated, complete with cake. Quinn was very excited.
The best gift was the card Chris made. He wrote down everything Quinn while they were working on a message. This is the best! I love "mommy will be happy with her photo of her white car", which was included with the card.

Chris took the car today so I did a loop around some parking lots at work. It's not as nice as walking in downtown Grand Rapids, but it will work.

Its nice to see the sunset, even if it is from behind the wheel of a car this time.

The toddler spent a big part of the morning telling me he'd like to get rid of this blue car for a nice, battery-powered red car he saw over the weekend.

 I finished the C25K program earlier in the summer and I've been running several times a week since. Today was the first 5K I've signed up for.
 Quinn and Chris came out to watch and see the festivities 
My only goal was to complete it with running only, which I did. I averaged a little over 12 minute miles and I'm ok with that. 

If it had been 10 degrees cooler that would have been awesome, but 65-70 degrees is not too bad.

We went to a friend's wedding reception today. Lynn looked wonderful and her husband is delightful. I'm so happy for her!

Who can say no to cupcakes for breakfast? Apparently I can't.

I'm really enjoying the demo of The Octopath Traveler (which is a terrible title). I love the SNES graphics in a 3D environment. Nostalgic yet fresh.

Quinn is starting to get the hang of the buttons on video game controllers. He gets very insistent that I let him try to move characters.

It's sunny and warm out today at lunch.

My co-workers had a little surprise for me when I came back from a week off...

Tonight is the premiere of The Orville, which is a Star Trek-like comedy. Adam and Comfort came over and Quinn stayed up to watch the "space show."

Quinn has really been enjoying this bench Chris put together the other day.

Today is a fun day for toddler time at Skyzone. It's been awhile since we've all gone together.

Quinn had a lot of fun jumping and bouncing around. 
After we drove over to Robinette's for some apple cider and doughnuts. Delicious!

We are back home in the Grand Rapids area so the first order of business is to run a few errands. I really love stores that have some sort of car setup with their shopping carts. Quinn is so great with these and has so much fun. It makes getting stuff done easy.
In the afternoon Quinn organized his cars, having fun with the new tabletop Chris made last week.
Even though it was a low key day, it was still too much activity. The last few days caught up to him and he had difficulty understanding the word no.
An eventual nap for both of us solved the problem. All in all a nice day.

Breakfast at the hotel went well, although Quinn is always excited to see older kids eating.
After breakfast and a quick stop at my parent's house we headed out to Michigan Sea Life Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing. We met my Father-in-law for some fun filled activities.
 They had a lot of cool creatures and educational blurbs about conservation.
Quinn enjoyed looking at everything and seeing other kids playing. I think he will really enjoy Shedd Aquarium in Chicago next year.
After the aquarium we walked around the mall a little. Quinn got to enjoy his first taste of gelato ice cream! He picked out vanilla but as soon as he tried Grandpa's caramel he dove into that (leaving vanilla for Chris to finish).

In the afternoon we headed back to my parent's house to finish grilling the last of the salmon I picked up, fueling up before our drive back home.

Legoland isn't too far from my parents house, so we drove out to Great Lakes Crossing for some brick building fun.
 They had a nice elaborate cityscape of Detroit that cycled through night and day.
Quinn had a great time driving cars around everywhere he could.
 We came back to my parents house in the afternoon and I cooked some dinner on the grill.

After dinner we headed over to my mother-in-law's house to visit with her and Scot. Quinn had fun being a Quinn-dog, asking to be pet and snuggling with everyone.

We left early this morning for Holly, MI and the annual Michigan Renaissance Festival!
 We all dressed up, including Quinn in his little pirate costume. 
 We did a lot of running around, checking out all the sights, including the mermaid which Quinn was afraid of.

We left and stopped at my parents house for awhile. 
Then we headed over to Grandma Karath's house for dinner and fun cartoons!

I saw this fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric and I couldn't say no. It is perfect for making a merman tail, or an aquatic dragon.

So last night after Quinn went to bed I taped a few of his drawing papers together and cut out a mermaid tail pattern.
I cut out one side of the mermaid tail, just to get it started.
Today I went back out to Jo-Ann's and swapped out the fabric for the tail, picked up some stiff interfacing to use for the fin, and started to sew.

Quinn hung out a little bit, although he was more interested in other things since he couldn't help me cut.
But finally this afternoon I was done sewing. Its very large (20" wide by 45" long just for the body), but I figure that's more than enough room for him to grow into it. Right now he can use it as a sleeping bag merman tail.