First Mother’s Day

First Mother's Day

Had Parker been born just 3 weeks earlier, I would have celebrated my first Mother’s Day last year. But instead, I celebrated being an almost-mama; one of my last quiet, lazy Sundays for a long, long time.

This year was quite another story. Life as Parker’s mom is anything but quiet and lazy, and Mother’s Day was no exception. Zach surprised me with a family weekend in St. Louis, so we headed down on Saturday. Our day started at the St. Louis Zoo with thousands of other families who had the same idea. It was crowded, but we had so much fun introducing Parker to all the animals. He loved them all, but his favorites by far were the birds. Go figure!

First Trip to the St. Louis Zoo

After a few hours at the zoo, all three of us were ready for a relaxing, low-key afternoon. We wanted to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather, so we headed to the botanical gardens. I really could have spent the entire day there! (And we almost had no choice — Zach lost his keys and we spent the last half hour tracing our steps with no luck. Fortunately, someone turned them in to the front desk.)

First Trip to Botanical Gardens

Our next stop was the hotel, where we rested for a few minutes before getting ready for dinner. Zach’s sister suggested we try Bailey’s Range, which was within walking distance of where we were staying downtown at the Hyatt. All I can say is OMG. Our dinner was amazing, and I haven’t stopped daydreaming about it since! Parker was an angel all the way through our meal, and then he fell asleep just in time for dessert. Perfection.

Dinner at Bailey's Range in St. Louis

We headed back to the hotel after dinner and went to bed early. The next morning, we had a yummy breakfast at the Hyatt before hitting the road back to Springfield. We spent Sunday doing family stuff and getting more fresh air before I taught my Church Mice music class, and then had dinner at Zach’s parents’ house.

It was a nearly perfect first Mother’s Day weekend. The only thing that could have made it better would have been getting to spend part of it with my own mom, but she was in Phoenix meeting my new nephew, Alec. Luckily she lives just down the street and I see her all the time :)

One more little surprise from Zach: this adorable video he put together and played for me on Mother’s Day. It made me cry and feel SO incredibly blessed to be the mother of the most amazing little boy.


Parker at 11 Months Old

When Parker was born and we decided to take weekly growth photos until his first birthday, it seemed like FOREVER away. Now all of the sudden we are just a mere month from taking one last photo in the chair next to Mr. Teddy. Parker’s thoughts on this: “Thank goodness!”

My thoughts are a little different. I’m really sad to be moving out of the infant stage and into toddlerville, because this year has been so wonderful. Stressful, exhausting, overwhelming, and wonderful. Not that the next year won’t be all those things, but I’ve never been good at change.

But I’m trying to accept the fact that my baby is turning 1 and get excited about it. He’s hit so many new milestones these last couple weeks, and it’s so much fun to watch him turn into a little person. Here are his latest party tricks:

  • Walking. Running. Everywhere.
  • Shaking his head no.
  • Waving hi and byebye.
  • Saying “mama” and “dada” and knowing their meaning.
  • Throwing balls.
  • Dancing.

Parker is getting more and more adventurous with eating, and will usually at least try whatever I put on his tray. We’ve been giving him little bits of whatever we’re having, and so far his favorite foods seem to be cheese, yogurt, banana, and meat.

He’s still nursing as much as usual, but our pediatrician told us we could start transitioning in whole cow’s milk this month. The plan is to replace the only bottle he gets (in the afternoon, while I’m working) with whole milk, starting next week. That means I can stop pumping, which will help with the weaning process. I’m going to wean completely right after his birthday, since I’m going on my first baby-less trip a week later. It’s sad to think about being all done, but at the same time it will be really nice to have my body all to myself (for the first time in almost two years!).

Parker's 11 Month Collage

One more month of babyhood, and then we have a fun summer to look forward to with our big boy. Lots of swimming, traveling, and outdoor adventures are in our near future.

“Spring Into Summer” is Here!

Spring Into Summer Digital Songbook CollectionI knew I was excited about this project when I actually looked forward to staying up late transcribing my songs into sheet music and designing the layout. I haven’t gotten much sleep over the past two weeks, but the finished product is worth it.

I wanted to create a resource that reflects the sheer joy I’m feeling now that spring is here, which no doubt will carry into summer (my very favorite season!). I chose topics that are synonymous with the warm weather months: Mother’s Day, flowers, school getting out, Father’s Day, swimming, traveling, playing outside, the list goes on.

Spring Into Summer Songbook

This digital songbook includes the melody line, chords, and lyrics for 10 songs, including the never before released title track. It also comes with the mp3s and instrumental tracks for all 10 tunes, since I always encourage you (and your kiddos!) to create your own versions of Listen & Learn songs.

“Spring Into Summer”
“Thank You, Mom”
“Grow Flower Grow”
“Riding My Bike”
“Summer Break (Let’s Shake!)”
“Going on a Car Ride”
“Summertime Tune”
“Happy Father’s Day”
“In the Swimming Pool”
“S is for Summer”

Purchasing the lead sheet and mp3s for each individual song would cost you $3 a pop; multiply that by 10 songs and you’re out $30. But since I’m all about sharing the love, I’ve priced Spring Into Summer at a mere $10. Get it now and instantly increase your arsenal of warm weather songs for kids.


Join me in celebrating what is left of spring and preparing for the start of summer. There is so much to look forward to at this time of year, and music is a great way to help children understand and be ready for all the excitement to come!

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