Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favorites: {Extra}Ordinary Moments...

HAPPY FRIDAY LADIES!!!! Whoo hoo!!! We made it! I'm headed to Downtown Dallas all weekend for a Dallas/Collin County Moms Blog Executive Retreat! I'm super excited, and my boys are actually equally excited to commence what they are calling the "Manly Man Weekend." Apparently there's gonna be lots of pizza, donuts, and I'm guessing camouflage will be worn at some point.

But first, I'm linking up with Erika today for the usual Friday Favorites! She's sharing some adorable back-to-school kids fashions today! 

We've had a fairly "low key" week, and now are just ONE week away from "school" starting back up!  I was telling a friend that as busy as we've been this summer, we've had equal amounts of time at home just hanging out.  The transformation from 2 year to 3 years has been astounding and fun and hilarious, (and all the other emotions you can think of.) 

But when I was looking through our pictures this week, and I'm just loving the regular, every day moments we are having.  The thing about parenthood though is that there really AREN'T an regular, ordinary days.  There are no days that look exactly like the one before, or just run of the mill. You can run on a routine, but 99% of the time, kids do something totally unexpected. They are doing new things, remembering things, and using that wild imagination to come up with the most hilarious conversations. Every day, there is something brand new and unexpected and well, ANYTHING but ordinary. And that's actually my favorite part of parenthood! 

On Sunday, we were hanging around at the house and me and Jeremie were just kinda running on empty tanks. G though, was full of energy and enthuse, so Jeremie got creative and made a "racing ramp" out of his truck ramps and some wood planks. That lead to building balance beams and forts and all sorts of fun.  These wooden beams lasted us the entire afternoon.  

Greyson is in FULL FORM in the mornings.  He often wants to bring a new "friend" downstairs for breakfast, and on this day, "Lion" (very original) ate with him in the chair.  

"Look at me, Mom! A hat!"
This week, Greyson has also been REALLY into turning on Pandora and playing "Cowboy music".  BUT, we also have to both put on our cowboy boots AND HATS. So we've had a few dance parties in our pj's this week. 

Most mornings, I TRY to have like 10 minutes of "Learning Time" where we got through the Alphabet and read a Bible Story.  (Listen, that's about all his attention span and my patience can handle.) Greyson is taking one from his school days and likes to tell me where to sit, and then he sits on the couch and is the "Teacher".  He says "We're going to to a story now. You ready?" And proceeds to teach and preach. I hear a lot of mumbling and then a random "Jesus" sprinkled throughout.  It's adorable. 

This week, we headed over to "Aunt Jorie's" after our morning playdate for lunch.  G needed little nap though and I totally forgot she has transitioned Preston to a toddler bed.  I was pretty sure G wouldn't know what the heck do and wouldn't nap.  But he totally cuddled up in that little bed and napped like a champ.  I thought he looked like SUCH a big boy in that bed! Made Mama so sad! I had to get a picture! Preston wanted in with his darlin' little Marshall robe! 

Speaking of Marshall, Greyson picked out some Marshall slippers yesterday and is OBSESSED.  (He's had a pair before and REALLY likes slippers.) We had a playdate that afternoon, and he WOULD NOT take them off, so I said what the heck. He's only young enough once to be out in public wearing slippers and people think it's adorable. 

So those are a few of my favorite and {extra}ordinary moments from this week! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and please link up and share YOUR Friday Favorites!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

10 On The 10th: Back to School Supplies

Last month, I linked up with Perfectly Port Family for "10 on the 10th".  I love all the different topics for each month, so I decided to join again this month!  This month is 10 Back to School Must Haves!

Even though Greyson isn't in "Grade School" yet, he does attend a Mother's Day Out.  And while I don't have to search kingdom come for a "Non-Perforated spiral notebook" and 12x18 WHITE drawing paper (this DOES NOT EXIST BY THE WAY), we do our MDO packing down to a science so I figured I'd share!

1) Backpack: I actually got his backpack on sale at Pottery Barn this year, but this Wildkin Backpack has been a good this past year! (The pictures on Amazon don't really do it justice.) It has held up SO WELL! We use this DAILY, so backpacks really only last about a year around here.  Before potty training, of course it was full of diapers and wipes.  To me bacpacks MUST have a cupholder and front pouch for snacks! Wildkin has SO MANY PRINTS!

2) Lunch bag/box: The other great thing about Wildkin is that they have the matching lunch box! This one has held up really well.  I loved the inside net perfectly fit one of those flexible ice pouches. 

3) Napmat: Y'all, nap mats have come a LONG WAY since the red and blue ones of the yesteryear. (I overheard one mom ask another if they got the Memory Foam this year!.....WHAA..Me and Jeremie JUST got a memory foam bed!) Anyway, I WILL admit I tried to go cheap with this last year and it was pitiful.  After Greyson didn't sleep the first couple times at school, Jeremie made me buy a REAL one.  And HEAVENS, I would certainly be happy to nap on the thing.  It's the most plush nap mat you ever did see. 

4) Big bag to carry everything: This Medium Utility Thirty-One tote fits everything perfectly so I'm not trying to wrangle Greyson and carry 50 things at one time. If you know anything about Thirty-One, you know it's amazing and that they also have the Large Utility Tote (a little bigger) and even the Deluxe Utility Tote (the mama jama!) My BFF Mary sells Thirty-One, so if you're interested check out her website here!

I realize there's A LOT of prints going on here. Listen.  I would love everything to match as much as the next mama.  But that's just not reality for us, so we work with what we got. ; ) 
5) School Clothes: I LOVE  Carter's (they have great sales), but I also like to stock up on some cheap Garanimals brand clothes from Wal-Mart for school season. It's SO REASONALBE and let's face it, I'm NOT sending my cherub to school in a customized shirt when I know he's gonna be fingerpainting! 

6) "Bento Boxes": I mean, this Bento Box trend can be as expensive as you want. (Who went and named it, anyway...isn't it essentially a good ole fashioned divided Tupperware?!) Again, I admit, I tried to go with the good ole fashioned Ziplocks like my Mama did, but I can imagine that it's much easier and more time efficient for the teachers to pop a top off a Bento Box than unwrap every single thing form a Ziplock.  (Yes, last years teachers are probably still cursing me.) So I did find these on Amazon that reasonable and actually big enough to fit more than 2 bites in each compartment. 

7) Sippy Cup labels: These are obviously a MUST, and not only for school, but church too....or anywhere your kid goes! Last year, I meant to order some personalized ones from Inchbug (I want to try their orbit labels too), but I procrastinated and ended up finding some Cars themed ones at Wal-Mart. They actually withstood the dishwasher really well and I made it the whole year with one pack! I love these on Amazon too! They are "self-laminating"...

How clever is THIS?!
8) Planner: Now that we've got all the littles ones read, Mommy needs some "school supplies" too! A new school year means that there's 17 theme days that need to go on the calendar!

I am on year 2 or 3 of using the Mead large planner from Target.  I love this planner because it's flexible and BIG so I can fit all my dates AND my daily to-do lists! 

There's a large monthly view...


And then lots of space for each day to list individual tasks! Event extra space at the bottom for our weekly menu!

9) Small Notebook- I've also been using these Mead Five Star small notebook for years. Small and light enough to throw in your purse, but also has dividers with pocket for things like invitations and bills.  (And a pen holder!) 

10) A little inspiration: My Mother-in-law have me this book for Mother's Day and I absolutely love it! Emily Ley is a designer and creates of The Simplified Planner (which I want to try now) and this book is the neatest combination of faith based inspiration on how to make your life simpler.  From emotional clutter to logistical clutter! It's such a great and useful book! Definitely gets me in a fresh state of mind to start out a new "year"..cuz let's face it, the new year is the school year, right?! 

Ok! That's all I've got! Happy Back-to-School and I'd love to hear your favorite school supplies and tips too!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Summer 'O Fun Week 9

Well here we are in Week 9 folks.  And although we're having a blast, I can feel myself getting all angst-y for a routine.  There's only so long you can keep up the "care-free/schedule-free" state of mind.  There comes a point where it's time to send these little cherubs to Mother's Day Out and have a hot minute to yourself.  

BUT....I'm not quite there yet...we are still kicking the list and taking names and last week was no different.  

Monday, we headed to Altitude (the trampoline park) for come bouncy time with our buddy, Ford. I have no pictures from Altitude because Greyson was like keeping up with a real live Tigger.  G wants me to be INVOLVED with ALL THE ACTIVITIES, perhaps so I can get the full experience of what he's feeling. If I had to describe our time with a word picture, it would look like this...


I'm just sad because I had to pay $2 for the "special socks" and I haven't been able to talk to my Mommy friend the whole time.
So I became one with the trampoline, and the ballpit, and the balance beam, and he was even trying to talk me into the zip line....."You COULD do it Mom..."...almost like he was daring me. And I ALMOST fell for it.  

Listen, unless your child is great with "Independent Play Time", this is not the place you're gonna be able to chat it up with your girlfriends. 

We did get smart afterwards and took them to Chipotle...nothing will make them be still like a little Blaze and stuffing quesadillas down their mouths. And finally, the mamas got a real conversation. 

On Thursday, we joined the Dallas Moms Blog Playdate series at Jungle Joes in Frisco. This place is really a Mama's dream..they have wi-fi, coffee bar, full cafe with snack and lunch items, and a room full of indoor jungle gyms and play areas.  Greyson had a blast. Of course I had to navigate the jungle gym with him, but this one was small enough that I escaped down the slide and he actually stayed up there by himself for a while!  I didn't get too many pictures because I was actually able to chat with some friends while G played in their toddler area.  Super cute place! It was actually on LAST YEAR'S Summer Bucket List, and we never made it!

On Friday we headed to one of my FAVORITE places in DFW, Sandy Lake Amusement Park. This place is older, a lot of my Dallas original friends say they went there every year for a school field trip.  But it looks like it's had a little makeover and I think it's SO CHARMING. There's several little rides nestled under some trees and even swimming pool and splash pad on the other side of the property.  We stuck to the rides, that was about all we could squeeze in before nap time. I had several friends that were supposed to go, but everyone backed out that morning for one reason or another.  (#momlife) We certainly missed our buds, but I did enjoy my solo time with my boy.  I just let him go wild and pick whichever ride he wanted next for however many times.  With 2 weeks of summer left, I soaked it up....

He LOVED the race cars again....

And the boats....

But this time he was brave and rode the fishy ride and that is the new favorite! I think he rode it 4 times!

He was even big enough this time for the mini-roller coaster, which I was SHOCKED he wanted to go on! But we had a blast! He kept calling it the "Dino-Coaster"...a nod to a Blaze episode. I guess Blaze will single-handedly teach my son how to count and be brave. 

The coaster actually had a little speed to it!!!
For you locals, Greyson was able to ride 5 of the "rides" PLUS the pony ride, train ride! I don't know exactly how tall he is, but he's average 2.5 year old height! So there's just really a lot of options for the kiddos here.  (Especially if you make time for the pool!) There's also paddleboats and goofy golf. Most of the rides take about 3-4 tickets (tickets are $.50 each) I bought a book of 44 tickets for $20 and we still have about half of them left. On the back of the $20 is also a voucher to get into the park free (for up to 6 people) next time! (Admission into the park is $2/per person.) Their tickets NEVER expire too! I used some leftover from last summer! There is a concession stand with your typical pizza/corndog/chips stuff or you can bring your own lunch! I also love that this place is shady! If you haven't been, you should totally check it out! (P.S., This is totally not sponsored, I just love this place!

On Saturday, we were gonna do our regular pool thing, bug Jeremie got to looking at what was left on the Bucket List, and the Forest Park Minature Train Ride in Fort Worth was still un-checked! So he said Let's Go! 


This place was adorable and more bonus points for mostly being in the shad the entire time! This train ride is a decent length-like 30-45 minutes long with some great views of Fort Worth! Greyson LOVED going under all the bridges....he's obsessed with "Tunnels" ever since going through the one in Mobile on the way back from the beach! 

I love train rides, because they seem to keep the kiddos so entertained, yet SO STILL. PRAISE THE LAWD.

Greyson has never been to the Stockyards before, so we couldn't resist heading to Exchange Avenue to watch the Cattle Drive.  (I swear, I'm not promoting Blaze, but it just so happens that a new episode called "Cattle Drive" came out last Greyson was all the more excited to see a real one. Now I'm going to stop talking about a Nick Jr. show on my very riveting blog.) 

Greyson loves the idea of a cowboy, but WAS NOT a fan of this one. He's just not big on characters in general.  We tend to strike out with Santa, the Easter Bunny, and most CERTAINLY, the Gecko at Rainforest Cafe. 

His name was "Tex" (duh), and I thought he had a pretty striking resemblance to Kurt Russell when he played Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. 
Anyway, I still can't believe we found ourselves standing on the blazing streets of Fort Worth in the dead of summer to watch a handful of Longhorns walk down the road, but there we were. And of couse it was fun. If you've never been, you should definitely go to say you've been. 

I just love the Stockyards in general, because my grandfather "Big Jack" was a cattleman in his younger years, and hauled cattle and donkeys to the stockyard countless times.  He even taught himself how to be an auctioneer and that, along with managing a stockyard, was his lifetime career.  He would DIE LAUGHING to know that the Stockyard is totally a tourist attraction now.  

Especially to see the mini "gunfight" skit! It's been the same every time I've gone, but it's always a hoot. 

And that was Week 9! We're narrowing down the list and days left of Summer! G has even adapted a "Summertime" little song he sings, and when I mention school coming he says.."But it's STILL Summertime!"...and YES, YES IT STILL IS. ; ) 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Goodbye to July....

Well, I reckon now that we're a week into August, I'd better recap July.  : )

We had quite the busy month of summer fun here at home and traveling too!  

We kicked July off with the most darling 4th of July parade!  

We visited some sweet friends...

And came home with her Easter bunny ears....

Greyson was VERY INSISTENT on them.
We brought fanny packs in style.....

I figured if ALL THINGS 90's are coming back in style, why not fanny packs? Seriously, the plaid shirts, the mom shorts/jeans, the hightop, THE OVERALLS....goodness gracious, the OVERALLS. 
We spent a lot of time in the pool!

And took an amazing trip to the beach! Even though Greyson had been to the beach with me for a short trip when he was a tiny baby, this was our first family beach trip! You can read all about it here!

After a week with the family, Mama snuck away to to Destin with some girlfriends...and it was glorious.  Also my first Mamas-only girlfriend trip.  

We were still super excited to be back home and reunited with our friends.  

Isaac and Greyson are big buds.
We got dived right back into the Summer 'O Fun schedule complete with a Banana Split party, and a very exciting trip inside the Nordstrom dressing room.  Read all about Summer 'O Fun weeks 5, 6, and 7 here!

The fun continued into Week 8 with trips to a few malls, indoor play spaces, gourmet grilled cheese, and a very rowdy version of Storytime! 

We found a new favorite Mexican restaurant complete with live music! 

And attended Superhero Storytime at Barnes and Nobles with our Dallas Moms Blog playgroup! He's the cutest superhero I've ever seen. 

"With great power comes great responsibility." 

And that was July! WHEW! We are two weeks away from "school" starting up and squeezing all the fun we can out of summer! Just a couple more posts and it'll be THE SUMMER 'O DONE.  ; ).