We spent the morning at a nearby park, which we had all to ourselves. The next few pictures were taken with my iPhone, so forgive me if they are a bit blurry!
Here Anders is showing off his skills on the monkey bars. Okay, so he didn't actually swing from bar to bar here, but he hung on like a champ.
One thing I love about this particular playground is that the equipment is covered, meaning Aksel is able to relax in the shade. There's nothing like lounging on a blanket over some cozy astroturf to start the day off right.
The park also boasts a splash pad. Anders utilized his morning to perfect the art of shooting a water gun, much to Aksel's dismay. Try as I might to encourage him to aim his water elsewhere, he found it most entertaining to use Andreas, Aksel, and me as target practice.
Later that afternoon we headed to a Fourth Festival in a nearby neighborhood. The first activity we enjoyed was sponsored by a local business with a sense of humor. I Like Big Bundts provided mini-bundts for young kids to frost, with a little assistance of course.
After adding some festive icing, Anders quickly got to business. I'm pretty sure he enjoyed eating the cake more than decorating it, but that's just a hunch.
From there we moved on to the face-painting station. Being Anders' first time, I was curious to see how he fared. I was hopeful since he had managed to sit still at the dentist, and he did a great job. He was so excited to see the result (Just trust me. He was too busy watching a cover band to give me a smile.)!
Anders made a pit stop to join Andreas and Aksel at a covered table while I perused vendor tables, signed up for raffle prizes, and collected a few free goodies like sidewalk chalk and bubbles. Anders charmed his way into a few freebies of his own, picking up some glow necklaces to demonstrate his patriotism.
There were also rides, bounce houses, games, and a water slide at the Festival, but Anders was a little too young to indulge. Instead we stopped by a food truck to pick up some delicious sliders for dinner, which we devoured on a green lawn amongst hundreds of others who were camped out waiting for the fireworks show. We completed the feast with our favorite summer treat, a strawberry daiquiri shaved ice with gummy bears. Don't knock it 'til you try it. It's amazingly good!
We opted to skip out on fireworks this year. Even though I love fireworks, it was evident after a quick parental cost-benefit analysis that it wouldn't be in the best interest of the boys. Why do kids do that thing where the later they go to bed, the earlier they wake up the next morning?! Luckily, Andreas and I still managed to catch a decent show from our front sidewalk after the kids were asleep.
Andreas took the following Friday off to extend the holiday into a 4-day weekend. Knowing that it would be less crowded on a weekday, we decided to cash in our Groupons to the Dallas Arboretum. I know, wandering around acres of flowers during mid-July in Texas may not sound like the brightest idea, but it was a mild 95 degrees!
This summer's attraction is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Anders isn't familiar with the story, but he still appreciated the topiary houses. And the flamingos playing croquet. He thought they were awesome.
And even though he didn't know who the White Rabbit was, he was happy enough to take a picture by a white rabbit nonetheless.
Even though I had an unfortunate mosquito bite between my eyes and any makeup I had applied in the morning had long been sweated off, it's not often I get the chance for a mommy-son photo op so I had to take the chance.
We strolled around enjoying the scenery, and Aksel took in the view from his carseat.
The Arboretum has a special kids' area set up for the summer, so we decided to try face painting for the second day in a row. This time, however, we decided to go for something a little more advanced. Frankly I could think of nothing cuter than my toddler painted up like a puppy dog, so I strongly
There was also a petting zoo complete with a chicken, rabbit, a cow that Anders was particularly enamored over, and a few goats amiable enough to allow small children to brush their coats.
We ate a picnic lunch, let Anders play in small water feature area, and headed home for much-needed naps.
It was a busy couple of days, but so fun to spend it as a family!