Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two Year Photos and a Special Addition

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It's been pretty quiet around here lately on Minne-Mama. While the wonderful warm summer weather and all the fun activities away from home that go along with it have been a lot of the reason, there have been some other exciting things keeping us busy!

Our Skyler turned two in June, so last week we went to one of our favorite places, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, to get some two year photos taken. As you will see from some of my favorites pictures, we had a special guest along for the photo shoot as well! 

Oh hey, baby!

We are so excited that we will be adding another little boy to our family this holiday season! Skyler is thrilled about being a big brother (That sweet shirt he is wearing is from the Etsy shop 4BlessingsCreations. We also used it back in April to tell our parents about the new baby - how fast this pregnancy has gone!) In the beginning, I was completely exhausted and constantly nauseous. Luckily, I have been feeling better in my second trimester, but my motivation to create has been pretty much wiped. I am hoping to have more activities on the blog again soon (and more activities aimed towards babies in the near future I am sure), but right now I am loving spending this summer with my THREE favorite guys! 

All photos (with the exception of the final canvas shot) were taken by MJ Fotography, Inc.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Something I Never Want to Forget

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Snuggles in bed with Skyler at one month old.

Skyler never slept in our bed. He has always been a great sleeper, and actually did better at putting himself to sleep than being rocked to sleep, even as an infant. In the morning, he will often come into our bed to snuggle for a bit, but it usually consists of a bin of books, a quiet toy, or some precious iPad time. Last night Skyler woke up at midnight crying and screaming, so strange for my 7pm-7am sleeper. I went into his room and when I asked him what was wrong, he quickly stood and said "I snuggle! I snuggle!" After trying to calm him and having him lie back down, he cried even harder, so I pulled him out of bed without really thinking about it, and brought him across the hall and we snuggled in the middle of the night.

Of course, right away he asked for books and the iPad and I told him it was still time to sleep. For the most heavenly 5-10 minutes, he curled into my body with his head facing mine on the pillow. He said "I hold Mama's neck" and wrapped his whole arm around me. Then I watched as he fell asleep for a few minutes. It was so wonderful. Skyler is an excellent cuddler - always giving me random hugs and kisses, but it is not often that I get to really snuggle with him other than right before I put him to sleep or when he has just woken up. Most nights I will go into his room before I go to bed to cover him up with his blanket (since he has always moved to a different spot in his crib) and watch him sleep for a few seconds, but I can't remember the last time I cuddled with him while he slept. Although I really appreciate what a wonderful sleeper he is, that time was so precious. He woke up after a little while and smiled at me, then he turned over onto his stomach and started running his legs along Joe's back, saying "That's so silly!" When he started rubbing Joe's head with his hand and saying that he wanted to get up and play, I decided our night of snuggling had to be over. I laid Skyler back in bed and he was asleep within minutes, and out for the rest of the night.

It was such a strange half hour, but I hope that I will be able to remember the feeling of his arm around my neck and his yummy Skyler smell, his slow sleepy breath on my face, and his warm little body all curled up in mine forever. It was such a perfect moment with my baby boy.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Story Book Summer Guest Post

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I am excited to be taking part in the Story Book summer over at Rainy Day Mum. We have been big fans of Barefoot Books since discovering their fun YouTube channel filled with song versions of their great books. For Skyler's birthday last month I bought him some of our favorites.

This version of A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea was a fun way to tie in an activity with his new water table that was another birthday gift.

Check out the full post and tutorial at Rainy Day Mum here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer in Minnesota: Concert Series

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Hands down, the thing I missed most this winter was outdoor concerts. Skyler and I loved going to concerts last summer and I was excited to find many kid-friendly concert series in our area. These are the three that we have enjoyed going to, though I am sure there are many more. Not that it is any surprise, but I took a lot of pictures of Skyler last summer. Here are some pictures from the concerts we went to in these series, mostly from last summer, and a few from today :)

Centennial Lakes kiddie concerts every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. The concerts take place at a cute little amphitheater and there is some space right near the performers to put up blankets in the shade. I don't think Skyler and I missed a week last summer, sometimes we went both days. The genres of music are varied and last summer we even saw an animal show that was the most packed I have ever seen it. It can get really hot with little one's if you can't get into the shade, but my absolute favorite thing about this location is getting there a little early and taking advantage of the beautiful lake for a walk! The full summer concert schedule can be found here.

The concert we went to today was the first Centennial Lakes concert of the summer for us. The performer was Red Yarn and it was a lot of fun. The nice thing about this time is that we bring a picnic lunch and Skyler either falls asleep for nap in the car or I put him down right when we get home. It was funny because at one point Skyler said "I see the Okee Dokee Brothers" and I told him that we weren't seeing them today, but after the show Red Yarn said that one of the Okee Dokee Brothers was in attendance. I noticed Skyler staring behind us a couple of times, and he must have recognized him :)

                              My brave boy even went right up to the front when one of the puppets was brought out!

Staring Lake Kidstock concerts Tuesday's at 10:30am. We went to many of the concerts in this series last year, usually with our ECFE class (and unless we were spending our Tuesday at Centennial Lakes). The amphitheater is right next to Staring Lake Park, so it is fun to head to the park and play after the concert is over. There is very little shade at this location and it can get extremely hot, but it is fun to meet up with friends and have a snack while listening to some live music. The event calendar that includes all of the Kidstock concert information can be found on the City of Eden Prairie website here.

Klein Bank concert series on Thursday's at 7:00pm. These concerts are not part of a kid series (though we did see the Okee Dokee Brothers last summer), but all of the concerts were a lot of fun and Skyler enjoyed all of the genres of music. I enjoy this later concert, even though it is right at Skyler's bed time. The weather was always beautiful and my husband came along to all of the shows last year. We put Skyler in his jammies and we were ready to go home right after and read some books before bed. I always made sure to bring some books, toys, and a snack just in case the music style didn't really appeal to Skyler. The list of performers can be found on the City of Chanhassen website here.

We have gone to a few concerts at Lake Harriet, but haven't taken enough advantage. There are always fun things going on at our favorite place!

There are also a lot of concerts at the Landscape Arboretum, though we have not gone to any.

If you live in the area and have or know any children that would enjoy some live music in the beautiful summery Minnesota weather, I highly encourage you to try out these three concert series. I am so looking forward to a full and fun summer of music with my boy!