Halloween 2017

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. It’s fun to dress in costumes and go out to celebrate, and it’s even more fun with a little kid. Gavin loved Halloween this year. He was really into all the spooky decorations. It seemed all the stores we shopped had ghosts and monsters on display, which Gavin thought was fun and it was all he wanted to talk about while we shopped.

We celebrated a few different Halloween events this year. First up was the library storytime. The kids could dress up and they received a free book. A fun event, and all the kids dressed up were really cute. Gavin dressed as an astronaut. He loves space stuff and we had bought the astronaut suit earlier in the year when we went to NASA.

Gavin as an astronaut | rainerlife.com

Next was a Halloween event at a local brewery. We dressed as pirates, another of Gavin’s favorite pretend play characters. The event was fun, they were selling food and had live music.

Darinda, Gavin, and Michael as pirates | rainerlife.com

Gavin as a pirate | rainerlife.com

Darinda and Gavin as pirates | rainerlife.com

The last Halloween event was trick or treating. We had planned to go as pirates, but the weather turned cold and rainy. Since Gavin’s astronaut costume was warmer than his pirate costume, he went as an astronaut. Michael and I usually wear something to coordinate with Gavin’s costume, so since he changed costumes, we did too. The family costume was an astronaut and two aliens. Gavin had a blast trick or treating, and he keeps talking about it.

Gavin as an astronaut, Michael and Darinda as aliens | rainerlife.com

October 2017

Happy Halloween!

Our October was kind of busy. We had fun going to different events and places, plus we started a home remodel project.

Early in the month, Gavin and I went to the Red River Revel with his Grandma and Grandpa. We had fun looking at the arts and crafts, and eating all the junk food.

Gavin with his Grandma and Grandpa at the Red River Revel | rainerlife.com

Also early in the month, we went to Dogtoberfest. The combination of animals, beer, and family fun was irresistible. Lots of places that have animals for adoption were set up, and had animals with them ready to adopt. We’re not looking for any new pets, we already have two crazy dogs, but it’s nice to look at the animals and talk to the different rescue groups. The beer portion of the event was pretty good. They sold tickets for entry and you got 10 beer samples. Most of the breweries represented were from Texas, and lots of good craft beer is available in Texas. We enjoy trying new beers, and like events that offer different things we can’t find in the stores. The family fun portion was great for Gavin. They had a fire truck and firefighters there, and Gavin was able to get in the truck and talk with the fireman. He loved that. They also had face painting, which we tried, but she ended up painting his arm instead of his face because it tickled.

Gavin on a firetruck | rainerlife.com

Gavin getting his face painted | rainerlife.com

Speaking of firefighters, the library had a firetruck and firemen there one day at storytime this month. The kids got to talk to the firefighters, see what they wear, and get on the firetruck. One fireman put on his firefighting gear, which was a great way to introduce kids to a fireman in gear in a safe and friendly environment. A fireman in full gear (boots, pants, coat, gloves, mask, helmet, and tank) could scare young children that don’t know that is what firefighters wear. The firefighters were great about talking with the kids and letting them touch the gear.

Gavin high-fiving a fireman | rainerlife.com

Gavin with a fireman | rainerlife.com

Gavin on a firetruck | rainerlife.com

Gavin went fishing for the first time. His Honey and Pappaw took him fishing, and I think they all had fun.

Gavin and his Pappaw going fishing | rainerlife.com

Gavin fishing with his Honey and Pappaw | rainerlife.com

The weather was nice in October, so we went to parks a little more than usual.

Gavin at a playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at a playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at a playground | rainerlife.com

One pretty day, Gavin and I went to the zoo. It had been a while since we went, and it was a fun outing. We walked around, looked at the animals, had lunch, shopped the gift shop (Gavin got binoculars), and played in the playground area.

Lions at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Giraffes at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Pink flamingos at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the zoo playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the zoo playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Our home remodel project is in our living room. We hired someone to remove the paneling and built-ins, and put up drywall. We did not have new built-ins installed. I’ll post photos of the finished room in a future blog post. For now, here’s what it looked like while under construction.

Living room remodel | rainerlife.com

Living room remodel | rainerlife.com

We celebrated Halloween a few times. Gavin dressed as an astronaut for the library Halloween storytime and we dressed as pirates for a Halloween event at a local brewery. For trick or treating, Gavin dressed as an astronaut and Michael and I were aliens.

Gavin as an astronaut | rainerlife.com

Darinda, Gavin, and Michael as pirates | rainerlife.com

Gavin as an astronaut, Michael and Darinda as aliens | rainerlife.com

September 2017

Happy Fall!

Our September was really quiet. We stayed in a lot and enjoyed our home. We swam in the pool, played outside, read books, built things with LEGOs, and just had fun. We did get out and go to storytime at the library each week and visited a few parks.

Gavin front and center at storytime | rainerlife.com

Gavin on a park slide | rainerlife.com

The East Texas State Fair was this month, so Gavin and I went to check it out one day. I think his favorite thing was a kiddie pool with magnetic fish to catch with a little rod and magnet. I had a hard time getting him away from that activity, but he had fun with some of the other stuff too… there was a robot that he was really interested in and the petting zoo is always fun.

Gavin fishing at the Fair | rainerlife.com

Gavin and the Fair robot | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the Fair petting zoo | rainerlife.com

We did have some sad news this month, Michael’s father passed away. There was a nice Celebration of Life visitation. Thank you to our friends and family who were able to make it.

August 2017

Happy Almost Fall!

Our August was fun and relaxing! Gavin celebrated his birthday in early August, and we took him to Dallas for a couple of days to have some family fun. I wrote about our Dallas trip here. We were home on Gavin’s birthday, so we celebrated the day with lots of pool time and by going out to eat.

The birthday boy - Gavin turned 3 years old! | rainerlife.com

For the solar eclipse, we went to the local science place. They were handing out viewing glasses and had a few informative and fun activities. Gavin had fun, but he didn’t really understand the whole solar eclipse thing. We also went to the science place another day when it was less crowded. Gavin loves playing with the different activities they have available for kids to learn new things.

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

A new bookstore opened in town at the end of the month. Of course, we were there on opening day and managed to find a few books to buy. I got a lot of reading done in August, and have started reviewing books here on the blog. I’ve been reviewing books on Goodreads, but wanted to start including some reviews here. I’m mainly posting reviews of new books here on the blog.

Half Price Books | rainerlife.com

Reading with Rocky | rainerlife.com

We also spent a lot of time at home this month. We enjoyed the pool on nice days. We played with toys inside when it was too hot or too rainy.

Gavin playing pirate | rainerlife.com

Family Fun in Dallas

Gavin turned three years old earlier this month! To celebrate, we took a short trip to Dallas to do some fun stuff. We spent two days (one night) doing fun-filled activities with Gavin. We went to the Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas.

We drove over on a Wednesday morning and did Legoland Discovery Center, which is in the Grapevine Mills mall. That took a few hours for us to do everything and give Gavin plenty of time to play. He was too young for a couple of the activities, but he did play in the Duplo Village and with the earthquake tables, walked around the Miniland, rode two rides (Merlin’s Apprentice and Kingdom Quest), and saw the 4D movie. They have a coffee shop inside, so we had a snack break while we were there. Of course, Gavin got a couple of new Duplo sets on the way out. Lego Duplos are his favorite toy, so we knew he would have tons of fun with all the Lego stuff.

Gavin at Legoland Discovery Center | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Legoland Discovery Center | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Legoland Discovery Center | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Legoland Discovery Center | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Legoland Discovery Center | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Legoland Discovery Center | rainerlife.com

When we left the Legoland Discovery Center, we walked through the mall to the Rainforest Cafe for a late lunch (okay food and service). It’s a fun restaurant to eat in, and we all enjoyed looking at the animals. We didn’t shop the mall, but it was busy and seemed to have a lots of good shopping options. Okay, I may have dragged Michael and Gavin in the Books-a-Million, but that was the only store we shopped. After the mall, we went to check into our hotel and rest a bit. After getting our second wind, we headed out for dinner – we ate at the Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse (okay food, great service) that is part of the nearby Bass Pro Shops. We spent the night in Grapevine, and stayed at the Hyatt Place near the mall. We were exhausted after a very full day of activities!

Gavin having fun at Rainforest Cafe | rainerlife.com

We headed to the museum on Thursday morning. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science was very nice! Gavin had fallen asleep on the drive to downtown, so we put him in his stroller (he’s really too big for it, but we’re still making it work) and Michael and I enjoyed looking at some of the exhibits that wouldn’t have been much interest to Gavin. Those were the exhibits on the second and third floors that were about discovering life, being human, engineering, energy, and minerals. We woke him up to go to the fourth floor, which were the exhibits on space and dinosaurs. After seeing the fourth floor exhibits we went to the children’s museum on the lower level. We spent a lot of time in the children’s museum while Gavin played and explored. This area of the museum was designed for kids under the age of five, and has a wonderful selection of activities for the little ones to learn and play.

Perot Museum of Nature & Science | rainerlife.com

Perot Museum of Nature & Science | rainerlife.com

Perot Museum of Nature & Science | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Perot Museum of Nature & Science | rainerlife.com

Perot Museum of Nature & Science | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Perot Museum of Nature & Science | rainerlife.com

After we left the museum, we drove over to the Spaghetti Warehouse (good food, great service) and had lunch. It was a good restaurant choice for us because Gavin loves pizza and pasta.

It was a busy two days, but lots of fun. Gavin really enjoyed the Legoland Discovery Center, and I think it’s somewhere we will take him again. The same is true for the museum. We’ll definitely be going back. They had an amazing selection of hands-on activities for older kids, so I think Gavin would really love it in a few years.