Sadly yesterday marked the last lazy day of the summer for Liam, Atticus, and me. The boys will be back at daycare this week, and I’ll be back at work on Thursday. Since I was a little girl, summer has always been my favorite season.
Like David Letterman, I decided today’s post would reflect My Top 10 Memories of the summer. So without further ado…
- Weddings are always a wonderful way to get family and friends together for a good time, and my cousin Veronica’s wedding was no exception. Liam especially loved picking the perfect props for the photo booth. The “Kids Only” table was definitely a big hit with him too. I think he spent more time underneath the table than anywhere else in the venue. Atticus and I enjoyed the music and dancing, and our little man partied way past his bedtime, but it was well worth it. Congratulations, love birds!
- Summer is always the best time to knock out doctor’s appointments because you don’t have to worry about the kiddos missing school. Liam’s dentist makes dental appointments a breeze. Even when he had to get a cavity filled, we were in and out within 40 minutes. I wish my dental practice operated under that same level of efficiency.
- Unstructured playtime is undoubtedly one of the most carefree parts of summer. In fact, Liam told me his favorite part of summer was just being home and playing. Yeah, a point for me, for ensuring plenty of that happened. Atticus found the most joy playing with his rings, stacking cups, and maracas. I have truly loved watching his sense of curiosity and wonder develop. Big brother spent most of his time playing with Transformers and Legos. In the afternoons when Atticus napped, Liam and I also enjoyed some one-on-one time playing games. Almost daily we challenged each other to Uno, Guess Who, Operation, and Connect Four. He’s grown so much in both sportsmanship and skill- two qualities I’m very proud of him for improving on this summer.
- Outings out gave us something to look forward to. When my mom was in town last week, we took Liam and Atticus to the Rainforest Cafe. Liam was in absolute awe with every step he took. He raved about the elephants, gorillas, and the birds.
- As a school counselor and former teacher, summer wouldn’t be complete without opportunities for learning. In fact, my elementary summers included reading and writing book reports for my mom and spending “quiet time” listening to cassette tapes of Hooked on Math. Following in my mother’s footsteps, Liam and I spent time doing activities to review phonics and numbers this summer. He worked really hard and made great strides in his handwriting, letter recognition, and early reading. This Mama Bear can proudly say that before starting kindergarten he is decoding basic words like dog, cat, hop, and fan.
- Morning walks quickly became a summer ritual for us. We’d set out most mornings after breakfast with Atticus in a stroller, and Liam running alongside or ahead of me. We’d usually venture to one of the neighborhood lakes to see the turtles or burn some energy at one of the nearby playgrounds. Atticus enjoyed some quality time on the swings and the slides with his brother. I have to brag on Liam a bit. He is such an amazing big brother. He dotes on Atticus constantly and is very attentive to his needs.
- Playdates save the day and give everyone something to look forward to. I know I needed them just as much as Liam did. They provided great opportunities to catch up with my closest friends in a fun setting for the kiddos. One of my favorite playdates was at Levy Park in Houston with Ruby and Stephanie. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, I cannot say enough great things about it. It has great climbing spaces, and beautiful open areas to run and play. It’s a must visit even for my single friends.
- Summer wouldn’t be summer without a vacation. My vacation highlight was a trip to South Padre with the boys. Atticus took his first dip in the pool, Liam has a blast on the water slides at Schlitterbahn, and I loved catching up with close family and friends. No trip to the Valley would be complete without raspas (snow cones) from Mr. G’s or nachos from The Vermillion in Brownsville.
- Museums offer an interactive way to beat the heat and learn something new. We’ve been members of The Museum of Natural Science for the last two years but hadn’t had a chance to visit their satellite location in Sugarland. They had an exceptional Paleontology Hall that Liam enjoyed along with a dinosaur dig that was very interactive for him. My favorite exhibit was “Sweet- A Tasty Journey” that highlighted the history of candy. Liam’s fascination with the Pez display was the cherry on top for me. “Mom, look at all of these ‘old school’ Pez candy.”
- The lazy days of summer wouldn’t be complete without ice cream. Ice cream was a fixture in our freezer almost the entire summer. We sampled and loved Blue Bell’s Cookie Two Step, the perfect marriage of cookies and cream and cookie dough. We also baked homemade sugar cookies and then filled them with Rocky Road marshmallowy goodness to make ice cream sandwiches. So it’s no surprise that we ended our final day of summer on a high note with a new ice cream novelty, Subzero. Liam was awed by how they used nitrogen to freeze his ice cream. He enjoyed a chocolate concoction with brownies and fudge, and I indulged in a decadent mix of dulce de leche ice cream, cinnamon, caramel, Twix, and Heath. If you have a Subzero near you, it’s offers a fun outing that won’t disappoint.
Sadly the summer of 2017 is in the books. I loved spending so much quality time with the boys. It was by far the most carefree I’ve had in awhile because I wasn’t also trying to juggle the rigors of graduate school. But as the old adage goes, “All good things must come to an end!” With that, it’s time to shift gears and move into a back to school mindset.