Medenblik Family | An extended family session at the Arboretum in Clinton, Iowa

I first met Selena and Chad when they were expecting baby Leighton. It was cold and wintery at the time so they were all in for indoor maternity, and later, newborn photos. Now here we are, a little over a year later, and the weather was far from wintery! I think we picked the hottest day of the year so far for their extended family session, but luckily it was still pretty nice out first thing in the morning.

Looking back, one of my favorite moments was when baby Jude finally smiled! He was Mister Model-face most of the time, but when dad put him on his shoulders, the cheesin’ could no longer be contained. And what a beautiful smile he has!

And something I learned this day… the Medenblik family is incredibly photogenic! Several family members were unsure about this whole professional photo shoot thing, but you would never know that they don’t do this ALL the time! For real, I was super impressed. They all knocked it out of the park and I had a blast capturing these family memories for them!

Throwback to last Summer with the Wiebenga's

We could all use a little reminder of sunshine and the great outdoors on another cold, February day! Even though it’s been the longest Winter ever, I feel like I JUST did this shoot! It was so much fun hanging out with this cute family.

Easton and Gabriel are right around the ages of my boys so it felt very familiar! I’m so glad I was able to capture their relationships with one another and the adorable way little brother copied everything big brother did. They were seriously so cute! Even though I’m sure these two bicker just like my kids too, I can tell they’ll always be the best of friends!

I’m definitely crossing my fingers that we’ll get to do this again soon! :)

6 Local Places to Take Your Toddler

 

If you're looking for something fun to do with your little one, read on! 

 

If you have toddlers at home, you know as well as I do that they need to get out of the house! My kids have been bouncing off the walls and gave a whole new meaning to the phrase stir crazy! I've found so many fun toddler activities to do locally. Most of these are in Clinton since that's where we live, but I'd love to hear more ideas in the Quad Cities if you have them!

Check out this list of toddler-specific programs I put together, all geared toward getting your toddler to think, play, socialize, and learn!    

  • Discovery Center (Clinton, IA)
    Funtime Fridays are every Friday from 10:00-11:00AM. The kids can learn and play, read stories, and have a blast! Discovery Center members get in free, otherwise admission is $4 per person (children under 2 are free). If you haven't been here before, it's definitely worth exploring! There is so much for kids to do; both of my boys love it! 
     
  • Sawmill Museum (Clinton, IA)
    An early childhood play group gets together here on Thursdays from 10:00-11:00Am to play, sing, craft, and have fun! It's free from 10-11, and if you'd like admission to the museum it's only $4 for adults, $3 for children 4-12 and kids 3 and under are free. This program goes through the end of May, so you still have another month to play before they take a break for the Summer. 
     
  • Clinton Public Library (Clinton, IA)
    Story time for toddlers is on Tuesdays from 10:00-11:00AM, they're on a short break but will be back in June. We love books in our family so this is a really awesome program for us! They're not strict at all, the kids can listen to the stories or wander and explore. And another perk, it's free! 
     
  • YWCA Swimming Pool (Clinton, IA)
    Toddler Time is from 10:30-11:30AM on Wednesdays & Thursdays through June! Dates/times may change with the Summer hours and I'm not sure yet what they'll be. Members are free or you can pick up a day pass for $5 per day per person, $15 per family, 3yrs and under are free.
     
  • Niabi Zoo (Coal Valley, IL) -
    Zoo Tots is typically on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 9:30-10:30AM. The price is $12 per adult/child pair (or $6 for members) and includes admission to the zoo! This fun, one hour program is for children ages 2 to 4 and their caregivers. At each Zoo Tots session, you'll make a craft, do fun learning activities, and get up close with an animal. I haven't personally attended this one yet, but I may be more excited to go than the kids are!
     
  • Family Museum (Bettendorf, IA)
    The Family museum is so much fun! They have several drop-in classes throughout the week, such as Music in Motion & open playtime (Monday/Thursday 9:15-11:00AM), Tiny Tot Clay art class (Tuesday 9:30-10:30AM), and Listen and Learn Playtime (Wednesday 9:30-11:00AM). The price is $8 for admission, children under 2 and members are free. I definitely recommend checking out their website for even more awesome activities to keep your littles busy!   

So as you can see, there are tons of things to do out of the house for these little humans to keep busy. It's been a long Winter and with the nice weather comes the added benefit of outdoor entertainment, parks, and sunshine! But for those unavoidable rainy days ahead, keep some of these great local options in mind.