Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Summer O' DONE

Do you remember about 12 WEEKS ago, when I announced the beginning of the "SUMMER O' FUN".  I was all EAGER. ANTICIPATING. FULL OF ENERGY.  I even made a logo.  

It is cute.  And listen.  It WAS fun.  LOTS of fun.  Lots of laughs.  Lots of new adventures, lots of old favorites.  Lots of sunscreen.  And pool time.  And pictures. And memories made.  It was one for the books.  (Or the blogs, if you will.) Our Summer 'O Fun lived up to all my expectations and I even though I feel exhausted, I look back at what all we squeezed into 12-ish weeks, and I'm more exhausted! 

I never recapped Week 11, but we went out with a bang, and one of them probably won the "Activity of the Summer Award".....

And that was the Dallas Firefighters Museum.  Located in the old Fair Park Fire Station that was built in 1907, this place is truly a historic jewel and TODDLER fantasy, if that makes any sense.  It is filled with antique firetrucks and equipment downstairs, and amazing memorabilia upstairs. (There is also a little kids theatre upstairs that shows darling little safety videos!

There is a full "locker room" of kid-sized fireman jackets and hats and the kids are free to climb aboard the firetrucks! It was seriously a dream come true for all our little people! 


Admission is free to the museum and they do tours, most of which we didn't get to catch, but would love to in the future.  The gentlemen hosting the tour is a former firefighter and was actually on duty when J.F.K was assassinated. 

Everyone in the museum was SO friendly and they even gave all the kids little goodie bags with badges, coloring books, and fire hats. 

They also have a wonderful gift shop full of perfect things for your little firefighter.  We got a book and we read it EVERY NIGHT.  Sometimes twice. 
    The museum was such a treat and we will definitely be back!                       

On a whim last Saturday, we headed to the Dallas Farmers Market in downtown. And oh my goodness, we LOVED IT! I can't believe we've never been here before! Definitely marked this one on in the "Surprise Finds" in the Summer 'O Fun category!  

Along with the traditional outdoor Farmer's Market pavilion, there was a huge indoor pavilion with amazing food vendors and boutiques! 

Only at the the Dallas Farmers Market will you find large chandeliers. 
We ate the most delicious pizza ever!
And swooned over the macaroons! 
The following Tuesday, our Summer 'O Fun officially ended as we did meet the teacher and had our 2nd Annual Mother/Son lunch afterwards at Mcallister's across the street.  (They have the best $.99 kid's menu!) 

I am happy to be back on a schedule, and even Greyson kept saying he was "Ready for Schooltime!" Looking back over all of our Summer 'O Fun posts though, it's hard to pick favorites! We loved our trips to Mississippi, the beach, Greyson's first trip to the movies, the arboretum with Dad, lots of time with friends, G's first trip to the Stockyards, Sandy Lake, Rainforest Cafe, and so on! If you wanna catch up on all of our summer can find them here:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Weeks 5, 6, and 7-ish
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10

I hope you had an amazing Summer! As we were out and about, I still found even MORE things to put on next year's list! So when that time comes....Summer 2018, I'll be ready for ya!

Until then....this Summer is 'O Done! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Favorites: Summer Shenanigans (At Home)

WHOO HOO and HAPPY FRIDAY Y'ALL! We officially wrapped up the "Summer 'O Fun" this week as Greyson started Mother's Day Out.  And the all the Mama said...AAAAMMMMMEEENNN!!!!  I have had the best time with that little stinker, but even he was ready to go back to school! 

Today, I'm linking up with Narci, who is sharing some darling "transition" pieces, as we are about to move into that very awkward time where it'll soon be Fall, but still be blazing hot. Not summer enough to sport the Lily Pulitzer, but not Fall enough to wear a sweater. 

Since we are wrapping up The Summer 'O Fun this week, I'll share some of the fun "at home" activities that have been most popular in the Wells household this summer.  Even though I've mainly been posting about our big outings and activities, we actually DID have a lot of time at home together  which has been so much fun! Even though I would LOVE to get out and about every day, this little cherub does ask to "stay at home" often.  And I'm always glad when we do. Here were some of our shenanigans around the house...

1) Firefighter Play: If this child doesn't grow up to be a firefighter, I don't know what he'll be.  He's obsessed.  So EVERY DAY, we MUST do something firefighter related....respond to emergencies, rescue cats out of trees, and on this particular day, the solo cups were our "masks".  He ALWAYS gives me the cheapo flimsy hat and says: "Here, you get to wear the SPECIAL hat

Nice try buddy... but I wasn't born ain't foolin' me...

2) The Chore Chart: I decided that if G was smart enough to remember what a "hydraulic boom arm" is in a Blaze episode, he's smart enough to get the concept of chores and allowance. So I purchased this very fancy chart with stickers from the Dollar Tree at the beginning of the summer, and every time he'd help me with something, I'd let him put a sticker on the chart and I'd give him a little money. (We started out doing following the days of the week, but I'll be honest, fell off of that! ) We kept his money in a little monkey coin pouch and at the end of the week, I'd take it with us to a store and let him pick out and "pay" for a toy.  Normally, he would spot something in Wal-Mart or wherever we were at the beginning of the week and remember it! He'd talk about all the way until we broke down and went back for it on Friday! The Chore Chart was really surprisingly successful and one of my favorite things we did this summer.  He grasped the concept much more than I really anticipated and when he really had his heart set on something, he'd say: Let's do some chores and get some money!" 

FYI-The "chores" I asked him to do were very simple.  Like taking a few boxes to the recycling bin, throwing clothes into the washing machine, wiping the banister with a wet rag, etc. We will certainly keep the Chore Chart alive.  

3) Bear Hunts: Greyson's little cards from MDO used to say that "Today we went on a Bear Hunt!" I never knew what exactly that meant, but sounded super fun! So one raining day, we got a flashlight and went up to Greyson's room, which is dark because of the blackout curtains.  I would gather all his stuffed bears and hide them around the room while he waited outside the door.  Then I'd let him in and he'd search for the bears with his flashlight.  I started simple with my hiding, and then would get more advanced, like putting one in the dresser drawer with just the foot hanging out.  
It was SO much fun that we would do all kinds of groupings of animals he had....Monkey Hunt, Doggie Hunt, Turtle Hunt...(he has a LOT of stuffed animals.) This activity kept us occupied MANY a day. 
It's hard to get a picture in the dark...this is the best I could do! 
4) Bunny Hunts: Our Bear Hunts then inspired Bunny hunts outside since our neighborhood is OVERRUN with little Peter Cottontails.  We have had some pretty hot weather at the end of the summer, but honestly, the larger portion of it wasn't terrible. I really like to get out of the house, so this made a normal walk around the neighborhood much more enticing to G! Greyson asks to go on a "Bunny Hunt" almost every day! And now that I think about it, we could apply this to anything and all seasons....Bird Hunt, Flower Hunt, Acorn Hunt, etc....

Despite this picture, Greyson really enjoyed riding on his bike this summer while we'd walk and count bunnies. 
5) Home Playdates: And finally, I feel like we just had friends over to play at home a lot this summer, which I loved. While I intentionally planned a lot of outings, I also left a lot of space free to say YES to last minute playdates or spur of the moment get togethers. I feel like those are sometimes the most fun because everybody's sort of in a natural element..the kids just get to play with toys and I actually get to chat with my friends without watching G like a hawk. 

The sandbox and ice cream for the win.....

So that was our "Summer in the Meantime", if you will.  It's not far from me that our summers together are precious, valuable, and limited.  Once camps, tournaments, and other summer activities start, our long days together will dwindle. So I'm glad I was able to have this time with G this summer and I know I'll look back on our shenanigans (event the tacky fireman hat) and cherish these times!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Serious Conversations

Lately, Greyson has been really into a Mississippi State snow globe that I gave Jeremie for Christmas a long time ago.  He loves to hear it play the fight song and shake the "snow" in it.  We also tell him about all the buildings on campus that are in the snow globe and the fun memories we've had there...


The Drill Field....where the brick is that has our names and wedding date inscribed. I revealed it to Jeremie on the day of our wedding....

The Football Field...where we've spent countless hours tailgating and cheering on the Bulldogs...

Lloyd Ricks...the Agricultural building where I took all of my classes...

The Coliseum...where basketball games are played and where we walked across the stage with our diplomas...

Lee of the oldest buildings on campus....(which also happens to be "Pop's name", I tell him) 

The Chemistry Building...where both of us STRUGGLED (I'll admit, Jeremie was in much harder chemistry classes than I

And of course...The Chapel Of Memories...where "Mommy and Daddy got married"...

I keep telling Greyson that maybe one day he'll go to school at Mississippi State and make his own memories on campus.  

Meanwhile...he's soaking this all up more than I know.  

Today while he was looking at the globe, he says...."I go to Mississippi State?" And I said...."Sure long as you don't go to Ole Miss another school up North". 

He pointed to a building we don't talk about much (because I wasn't smart enough to be in it), and said: "What's that place?" I told him it would make Mama VERY PROUD if he ended up in that building, because that... is the ENGINEERING BUILDING. 

And he quickly replies "NO, I wanna go to the football field and watch the Bulldogs play."  Okay. Seems like we have a boy who is already destined to skip class for sports.  

He continues on and spots the "America Flag", and water tower, and then his next comment split my soul in two....

He pointed to the Chapel and said: "And I could get married there, too"...

And I about lost it all right there. I told him "Yes, you could, baby." And in my head I'm thinking GOD BLESS THE GIRL THAT TAKES MY BABY AWAY.  Just kidding. Sort of.

But this "conversation" has me envisioning him growing up.  Being school age.  Then High School age.  And then I pictured him actually walking around campus with his backpack (No, not a Pottery Barn one with dump trucks and his name adorably embroidered on the back).  And even though I KNOW he won't be a toddler forever, sometimes it seems like it.  Sometimes I don't prepare for the next stage because I'm just trying to get through this one.  

And even though it made me sorta weepy, it was actually encouraging.  Because it gave even more purpose to our days. (Besides mastering potty skills and putting food on the table.) I am literally preparing him to be a "BIG BOY"... a disciple, a gentleman, a student, a professional, a grown up...and yes...hopefully one day, a husband.  (Lord have mercy, I'm tearing up as I type it!) 

If his thoughts are this complex at almost 3 years old, what will he be thinking at 5...6...10...16? 

This little mini-conversation gave me a fresh perspective, new goals for our future "conversations", and definitely some details that I can start praying about in his life that just haven't been on my radar.  

I found several quotes about children growing up (another great way to cry your eyes out), and I especially loved this one...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites

HAPPY FRIDAY! I'm a little late posting, but better late than never, right?! 

OH, Friday, how I love thee.  The moment that Jeremie's truck rolls up on a Friday afternoon is about my favorite thing in the world. Of course, I'm always excited to see that handsome face, and Friday means a weekend of family time together, but let's be real, it also means two extra hands.  Because this week, the little bandit has turned into a "Threenager", as they say.  

Regardless, we've had some good moments, so let's recap them, shall, we? Today I'm linking up with Erika, who is recapping her fab trip to L.A., and reviewing her trip to Warner Bros. Studios, which looks SO FUN, and something I'd love to do one day! 

1) Last Friday, I said PEACE OUT to the fam and headed downtown to our Dallas/Collin County Moms Blog Executive retreat.  I felt like I had gone through a time-warp when I arrived at the swanky W Hotel.  Hours before I was at the splash pad full of toddlers, and now I was standing in the lobby with the Harlem Globetrotters. (No kidding. I did not go fan-crazy though and get pictures.

Our suite literally overlooked Victory Park! 

I had the best time working, planning, and chatting with these ladies and eating multiple meals with two hands! 

2) Meanwhile, Jeremie FULLY REVELED of being the FUN PARENT. 

I was getting pictures like this....

Building a truck ramp complete with a loop-de-loop...
And this...

Beignets and bacon for breakfast.
And this...

J took him to buy the Paw Patrol gloves and the Rocky toy he's been eyeing....
So it's safe to say that Greyson was probably a little disappointed when I walked in the door on Sunday afternoon.  I did notice that he seemed to have been in the SAME outfit ALL weekend (based on FaceTime and pictures), and Jeremie confessed that he TOTALLY FORGOT to put him in his pajamas on Saturday night.  Like it didn't even hit him until the next morning when he woke him up and G was still in his play clothes! I laughed SO HARD.

3) This week G and I took a trip to Costco for a few items (I bribe him by telling him they'll be samples.) Costco typically overwhelms me because nothing is ever the same OR in the same place.  But we got what we needed and I seriously could have bought my entire Fall wardrobe there.  Just look at this long sleeve tunic top and puffer vest.  You can't see the vest well, but it's a soft cotton fabric and is actually flattering for a vest, because its kinda rouched. (Spelling?) Anyway, I'm pretty sure this will be my fall/winter uniform. 

Greyson picked out a little fishing hat. And ate 7 samples of the smoked sausage. 

4) So my little cherub has been giving me a really hard time with his nap this week.  Like, it's been miserable. One day he just didn't nap at all.  Another day he SCREAMED like a banshee.  I tried all the things to help comfort him and realized none of it was working.  So he screamed until he gave up.  And another day he took to gymnastics in his crib.  Like he was trying out for Team USA. 

SIGH. It's an understatement to say that a difficult nap time makes for a difficult mama. Apparently it's something in the moon (or the upcoming solstice everybody's all talking about), because apparently several of my friends with similar ages kids were doing the exact same thing this week! Heaven help. 

5) And today, my child truly AMAZED me.  We've been keeping a "Chore Chart" this summer, and Greyson has legitimately been helping me with simple tasks like taking the recycling to the bin, throwing the clothes in the wash, or wiping down the banister, etc.  He gets a little "chore money" each time, and at the end of the week, we take it to a store and I let him pick out a toy.  (Usually, he's been eyeing a certain one he's seen before.). Sure enough, ALL week, he's been talking about this "Ambulance" that he saw "at Superhero Story Time."  We DID go to Superhero Story Time at Barnes and Noble TWO WEEKS AGO, and I had NO RECOLLECTION of any ambulance. But I decided to trust his iron-sharp memory, and today, we trotted into the book store and sure enough, he walked straight to the kids area to a display of toys from the Cars 3 movie.  And there it was, plan as day....the Ambulance.  He said "That's It!" and I seriously had to pick up my jaw as it had dropped to the floor.  He has been happy as a lark with his new purchase today.  

That's all I've got today! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Summer 'O Fun Week 10!

We are down to the wire here people and just rounded up week 10! This week (Week 11) is our LAST "official" week of the Summer 'O Fun before school starts! I can't believe it! We have had an absolute BLAST, but it's about to be the Summer 'O DONE.  Time to get back to a routine, people.  

Anyway, we checked out a couple new places on our bucket list during Week 10, but also did some repeats!  

The Little Elm Beach went on our list pretty quick this year because a lot of my friends had mentioned it! We finally got around to visiting on a cloudy day, which was actually pretty fabulous since it wasn't blazing heat.  This beach is adorable! It has a large sandy area, beach volleyball, and I think you can rent kayaks. There's a couple of restrooms and stations to wash the sand off your feet before you get in the car! There's also a little cafe that is super reasonable and smelled great! (We didn't eat there, cause we planned to go to Hula Hut!) 

This place totally quenched our beach desire here in Texas! As far as Greyson was concerned, we were at the real beach! He enjoyed playing in the sand, and the water was actually really nice too! On the same property (within walking distance) is a darling playground too! Little Elm has really designed this park/playground well and there's SO MANY Events and Activities to check out on the beach like Movie in the Park, Autumn Fest, Christmas at the Beach, and a Kids Fishing Tournament.  You can find all their events here! We will definitely be back!  

About a mile down the road, and situated on the other side of the lake is the most darling Austin based restaurant, called Hula Hut

As you know, I'm a sucker for atmosphere, and this place certainly has it! It's the wildest combination of Mexican and Hawaiian.  In fact, on their website it's called "Mexonisian". The decor is laid back and fun and there's an awesome outdoor area you can walk around with ducks, a volcano and dolphin fountain.  SUPER ENTERTAINING for the little ones. Our waitress even gave Greyson some duck food because he was melting down being so charming.

We didn't have to wait, but there's some cute stuff out front if you did! Our food was really good and the overall experience is just super fun and family friendly! I definitely recommend it! 

The next day we made another appearance at Sandy Lake Amusement Park with our friends. This place just never disappoints! So fun and charming! 

They had even opened up the "Rocket ship Ride" which Greyson rode THREE TIMES.  He had to experience from the driver's seat AND the shooter's seat! 

That afternoon, we headed over to my friend Jorie's house for lunch, nap, and play! I totally forgot that Preston has transitioned to a toddler bed, so I had no idea what G would do.  MUCH to my surprise, he laid right down and napped like normal! This helps me wrap my brain around transitioning! I had to get a picture when he woke up! He looked like such a big boy! 

After nap time, we played on Preston's new and very exiting water slide! G was a little apprehensive about this, but they had a good time.  Of course I went down it and thought it was a blast! ; ) 

Later in the week, we joined Dallas Moms Blog on their Playdate tour at Polka Dot Party + Play. They had ALL the fireman gear, so guess what G did for an hour and half.  He ESPECIALLY enjoyed reporting the "Emergencies" into the play walkie talkie.  

And yes, those are Paw Patrol slippers.  We bought them at Target earlier that day and he REFUSED to take them off.  I resigned to the fact that he's still young enough to wear slippers in public and people still think it's cute. 
And finally, we took lunch to Daddy's office! This was on our Summer Bucket List and we've done it maybe 2 other times this summer.  We really love seeing him during the day, and he says it definitely brightens his day, too. And even though Greyson doesn't fully understand, I think it's good to expose him to Jeremie's office and see where he is all day. Eventually he'll catch on and understand that this is "Work."  (It also reminds ME how hard he works every day!)

At one point during lunch, Greyson was playing with an unplugged phone, but Jeremie got a real phone call....and I had to snap this picture....

Working lunch....
This is definitely something I want to do more all year round! 

And that's it! Week 10 is in the books and next week will be my LAST Summer 'O Fun post! We're trying to finish strong and stay sane! I'll let you know how that goes next week....; )