Tuesday, November 22, 2011

State Fair & Fall Fun

No Fall in Texas would be complete without a trip to the State Fair of Texas or Pumpkin patches. We took the kids on Columbus Day since James and Tammy had the day off work, and we had a blast! The kids absolutely loved riding all of the rides and playing the games on the Midway. It's a tradition that I plan on always keeping, and we made sure to eat lots of cotton candy and corny dogs to round out the full experience :-).We also had the opportunity to visit some of our local pumpkin patches with friends. We especially love this one out in Celina on a farm where you get to pick your very own pumpkin from a real pumpkin patch, take hay rides, and pet farm animals. Fall is such a beautiful time of year in Texas, and it was made especially sweet with the impending arrival of our new addition.

Showers, Fall Fun & Waiting

Several of my friends threw me the best baby shower for baby Vivian at the end of October. We had such a great time eating yummy food, opening gifts, and visiting. I couldn't have asked for anything more perfect, and I feel truly blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family who care about us all so much.
The kids had a new level of enthusiasm for Halloween this year, and it seems to just get better and better. They were so excited to put on their costumes and trick or treat. We trick or treated with Cody in the new neighborhood, and it was so much fun! The kids got far too much candy, and we are still working our way through it :-). We ended up celebrating Thanksgiving the Sunday before the big day since we were scheduled for inducing Vivian's birth the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We decided to have the kids decorate special Turkey cookies for the occasion, and the result was somewhat surprising. While they all enjoyed the activity, Hannah was definitely WAY more into it than anyone else. The boys decorated one or two cookies, and they were finished except for wanting to eat the candy. Hannah decorated at least a dozen and probably would have decorated more had we given her the opportunity. She was like a little assembly line, and it made me so excited for when she is a little older. I always enjoyed playing with my Easy Bake oven and decorating cakes, etc by myself. Now I'll have a buddy (or two soon) to work with on our little crafty projects.

It was wonderful to spend time with family, and we are now preparing to leave for the hospital in the morning to meet sweet Vivian. We are scheduled to arrive at 5 in the morning, and my friend Carrie, is going to be my nurse to help me deliver this baby. I can't wait to see her for the first time, and I am even more excited to see how the kids do with her. Greyson just started with a cough Sunday night so the kids won't get to come to the hospital, but we are planning on coming home on Friday so they will be introduced then. Pics to follow and lots of updates! We love you, Vivian!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Fall is in full swing, and the weather has actually turned cool (by Texas standards) over the last few days. We had a high in the 50's yesterday which was absolutely blissful. Bring on the chili and boots! We've been enjoying more fun Fall activities, and making ready for baby Vivian's grand arrival. Hannah also had a new set of tubes placed and her adenoids removed so things have been as busy as ever.

Here is Hannah at her 6am roll call for her procedure. When we arrived, Hannah's O2 saturation levels were only 94% so they were not going to do the surgery at all. With special approval from the director and reevaluation b the anesthesiologist, they decided to go ahead. Overall, the surgery went well, but they found more things once they got started. They think she may have some sinus problems, but they can't evaluate that until 3 months after the surgery. We are two weeks post op now, but she still has a cough which she has had for 2 months now. It is way worse in the evening and mornings, but it seems to let up for periods during the day. We'll see how it all pans out over time. Greyson took his first ever field trip with his Pre-K class, and he got to ride on a real honest to goodness yellow school bus! Let me tell you that he could have just ridden around on that bus for an hour and been just as happy, but they got to go to a cute Pumpkin Patch as well. My Mom and I met him there and enjoyed some one-on-one time with him. It's not often that I get to do things with just Greyson so it was so nice to spend some quality time with him before the baby arrives. He is super excited about having another little sister, and I can't wait for him to hold her. He has really grown up over the past few months, and I see such a tender, sweet and caring boy in him. He worked on a project the other day at school where he had to tell them what he wanted to be when he grew up. He told his teacher that he wanted to be a "good Samaritan." I found out when I was walking down the hall and was admiring his class's artwork. I asked him about it later to check his level of understanding about good Samaritan, and he said that a "good Samaritan is someone who helps other people when no one else wants to help them." It made me so proud, and I might have teared up just a little bit :).
Hannah's dance class celebrated Halloween by allowing all of the girls to wear their costumes to class this week. Hannah is Minnie Mouse this year, but she pretty much refused to take off her tutu outfit that she wore that day. It was still super cute, and she thought it was a better "costume" choice for dance class. I love watching her concentrate and try so hard to do everything Ms. Taylor teaches. I can't WAIT for her first recital this Spring. I will definitely be the annoying dance mom taking way to many photos and video. I had my 36 week checkup yesterday where I found out that I am dilated to 1 1/2-2cm but 0% effaced. I will continue to go for my weekly checks every Thursday until Vivian's arrival. I am scheduled for induction the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at 5am, but we'll see if I make it all the way until the 23rd. I plan on being pregnant until then, but I will be happily surprised if she makes her debut any earlier. Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall in Texas

Fall just started here in Texas, but we are taking advantage of the sub 100 temperatures. Grandma and Grandpa are off on a 2 1/2 week trip through Europe so we tried to fit in a last minute trip to the Botanical Gardens with Grandma before they left. It was a beautiful day, and we got some great shots. Enjoy!

We headed straight for the pumpkin patch upon arrival, and they had some really cute princess stuff set up. Greyson struck a super awesome pose I thought :-).
These kids are just too cute for me :-).
Hannah insisted upon getting her face painted like a "purple princess." She was so patient and couldn't stop admiring herself in the mirror lol.They had a blast running around and playing together

This was probably their favorite part. They just love to get barefoot in the super soft grass and go crazy. We were just along for the ride and for pictures ;-).Hopefully this is the start of many more trips to pumpkin patches and other Fall activities. We have a busy next few weeks planned. Hannah is going to have her tubes redone, and she is getting her adenoids removed on the 14th. The parents are out of town for a while, pumpkin patches are in full swing, and the State Fair is in town. Whatever will we do first?

Trying new things...

We decided that with the start of school we would let the kids pick an extracurricular activity to do this Fall. Greyson chose to start karate, and Hannah chose to begin dance lessons. Greyson is taking a mixed martial arts class at USA Martial Arts here in Frisco, and he is doing such a great job. He goes twice a week for 3o minutes each time, and they are really helping him develop so many different skills. They focus on developing leadership skills, self discipline, confidence, and martial arts training. It's really made a difference in his ability to contribute to our home, and we are loving it.

Hannah is doing a combination tap and ballet class once a week for an hour at Legacy Dance Centre here in Frisco. I wasn't too sure about her staying engaged and participating for a full hour of class at only 2 1/2, but she absolutely ADORES it. She asks me almost every day if she can go to "bawake" as she calls it. We had to go buy a little pink leotard, pink tights, tap shoes, and ballet shoes, and she is pretty much the cutest thing I have ever seen. They don't really do a lot of pictures at karate class, but I have gotten a few of Hannah at dance class. Enjoy!

Greyson was giving her some posing tips while dawning her tap shoes :-).Our little angel.

First Day of School

I just can't believe how much our little kids are growing up. Greyson started Pre-K this year, and Hannah started Mother's Day Out for the first time. Greyson is still going Tuesday through Thursday like last year, and Hannah is going Tuesdays and Thursdays. They absolutely love it, and we couldn't be more happy with their progress. They are both going to First Place at First Methodist Church of Carrollton this year, and they are learning so much. Greyson is focusing on learning to write and prepare for reading in his class while Hannah is getting adjusted to learning in a group setting and following a routine at school. Greyson's teacher, Ms. Becky, is great with him, and he just loves to go to school each day. Hannah is our little sassy frass, and her teachers, Ms. Linda and Ms. Jean, are blown away by Hannah's chatterboxy self. It really just doesn't surprise me at all that she is the most talkative girl in the bunch. I remember vividly getting in trouble for "excessive talking" in class growing up. Hannah is in class with Annelie, Ander's (and Greyson's best bud), sister, and she is enjoying every minute of it. It gives me a chance to go to doctor appointments (which are getting much more frequent these days with Vivian's impending arrival in 7 short weeks), going to the grocery store, and running errands. Here are some highlights from their first day.
Greyson walking in to school
Hannah and Daddy making their way to class.

Trip to the Beach

We took the kids to the beach for the first time this summer with several of our friends. 1 house + 18 adults + 19 children = CRAZY FUN & CHAOS! The house had nine bedrooms and was located in Surfside Beach about 30 minutes from Galveston. It was the perfect place to go since we pretty much had the beach all to ourselves. During the day, the kids would wear themselves out playing in the sand and ocean while the adults watched on. In the evenings, we'd put the kids to bed, play fun games like glowstick golf and swim ourselves. It was a blast, and I hope we get to do it again next year. We escaped with only a few "incidents" including one where James went swimming with our car keys and lost them in the Atlantic. That turned out to be an expensive mistake, but we learned a valuable lesson that day. Looking back, it will be a fun story that we can look on in the future and bug Daddy about for year to come ;-). WE didn't take too many pictures as our camera was on the fritz with the sand and all, but here goes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Fun Continues

This summer has been filled with vacations, outings, camps, and more! Here are some of the ones we actually caught on camera :-). I need to get better about taking pictures so I can capture these memories for the blog and for future reference. We also sold our old house, built a new one, and moved in last weekend! Sounds like a pretty lazy summer, right? Oh, and I'm growing a baby so there's that.

I took the kids to Adventure Kids, and I guess they were having some face painting. Hannah was pretty proud of the results and so was I :-). She also did some modeling in her new raincoat and boots for all to see.

Some friends and I took the kids to this super cute little farm over in Irving one morning. Luckily it had lots of shade so it made the heat almost bearable. The kids got to pet all sorts of animals and had such a great time.We purchased our first house, and we are so excited to show all of you. Here are some pics from the big day. We closed in the morning, and then I made the builder take a picture giving me the keys. It was super nerdy, but how often does this happen? The kids are THRILLED with their new rooms, and we're busy unpacking and making it like home. More pics to come once we've gotten fully settled.The last day of summer camp featured an "art show" for our budding little artists. Greyson made clay sculptures, string paintings, splatter paintings, and more. He sure does love to craft!

I am working on getting some pics from our family reunion in July so that will be up later. Enjoy and try to stay cool in this hot Texas heat. It's been 100+ for 38 days and counting. The high today was 109. It's pretty much too hot to do anything including swimming so we're staying inside as much as possible. We're headed off to the beach next weekend with some friends, and were so looking forward to seeing the kids sink their toes in the sand for the first time.

Summer Camp

Things have been insane around here in Shelton Land, but I will attempt to do some quick catch up. The kids had a chance to go to a few summer camps this summer at First United Methodist Lewisville. Greyson went last year and had such a great time so this year Hannah was big enough to give it a try. It was the first time Hannah had ever been in any kind of a "school" setting so it was a big day! She LOVED carrying her big girl backpack and her special lunchbox. She cried a lot at drop off the first day, but she did progressively better throughout the week. It was a great way to get ready for the start of Mother's Day Out this Fall when she will be going twice a week. More posts to come....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The First Annual Shelton Summer Vacation

We decided to take the kids on our first vacation as a family. We have gone on a few extended weekend trips with friends and the big family reunion trip with my whole family, but we had never attempted a solo Shelton family trip. We had the BEST time! The kids were beyond excited to have us all to themselves, and we soaked up plenty of quality time enjoying the water and playing together. Since New Braunfels went so well last year with the Wilhite Family Reunion, we decided that would be a good starting point for us. We rented a cute two bedroom condo right down the street from Schlitterbahn and started the festivities. We got there Sunday afternoon and took it easy the first night. The kids had to share a room so they were having a little trouble falling asleep with no big tiring activity for the day. Hannah ended up having to sleep in the pack-n-play in the bathroom for the first night, because they just couldn't calm down enough to sleep.

We woke up bright and early the Monday morning and hit Schlitterbahn for tons of water park fun! Here are some highlights from our first day. We started off at the Blastenhoff section of the park, and Hannah immediately took to the big slides with no fear. Greyson was more cautious (which is so nice) and decided to hang out with Daddy on the River Rapids ride (kind of like a lazy river but with big waves). We then headed over to the Original Schlitterbahn portion by bus which has tons of great little kid areas. One of Greyson's proudest moments was when lady bug landed on him. He completely loves them, and he was thrilled that this one chose him :-).We came back late in the afternoon, and Hannah passed out for a nice long nap. Mommy was WAY too tired to cook so we went and had the yummiest pizza place. We decided we'd go for the gold and take the kids swimming at the pool at the condos to really wear them out. It worked, and both kids slept in the same room with no problem at all.

We headed back to Schlitterbahn Tuesday morning and decided to start off at the Surfenberg portion of the park to change it up a bit. There is just nothing bad I can say about this place. We LOVED it! They have so many kid friendly attractions and fun things for adults as well. Greyson and Hannah had so much fun playing on the pirate ship and submarine. We ended the day by going back over the Blastenhoff to see if Greyson would give the slides one last try. He saw Hannah go down a few times, and he decided he was finally ready to give it a whirl. He was over the moon happy when he made it, and he played on them for a while after that. We took the kids back swimming and enjoyed more family time before crashing early since we were headed to Sea World in the morning.
Sea World is such a great place, but it was a little more difficult that we had anticipated. It had stormed for the better part of the night so James and I had not gotten much sleep. The kids were cranky and tired so they weren't feeling the whole wait in line and go see shows thing. Once we scrapped that plan all together and high tailed it to the water park, things were GREAT! We have decided that our kids are just so much happier in the water, and that's where we're going focus our efforts in the future. We had lunch at a cute little cafe in the water park and saw a dance show with Shamoo and penguins. Hannah had to get a shot with the penguin, but she thought Shamoo was a bit much. Overall, we had such a great day, and we're ready to go back again soon :-). The Wilhite family reunion is back in New Braunfels so we'll be enjoying the same activities in another month.

Happy Summer, and happy travels!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

End of the Blast Ball Season Party

We had the best time at the end of season party for Blastball this year. Dave and Barb (Kim's parents) were gracious enough to open up their home to us for a fun pool party to celebrate a great season. The kids were SUPER excited to get their trophies and play in the pool together. Here are some highlights...
It needs to be pointed out that Hannah HAD to hold the trophy and pretend it was hers :-). Bathing suit tops are highly overrated :-).

New House

With our expanding family, James and I made the difficult decision to sell this house and look for new digs. We searched high and low at existing homes, but we ultimately decided to build our own dream house :-). It's been so much fun so far, and we're looking forward to seeing it all come together. We'll be moving to Frisco which is not too far from our house now, but we'll have almost twice as much space! WOOHOO! Here are some pics of the house in process. We are supposed to move in at the end of July, and we are in the final stages of selling our current house so things are pretty busy here in the Shelton household. It's time to PACK!

This is how the house looked when we picked it out. It already was in process, but we were able to get in at just the right time so we could pick out everything from paint colors, flooring, counter tops, cabinets, doors, etc! It's going to be gorgeous, and we can't wait to spread out and make room for baby :-).

I thought these would be fun to show the kids some day so they could see what our house looked like before it was fully built on the inside. It's got a ways to go!

I went by two or three days after the above pictures, and they had already almost finished bricking. It's crazy how quickly they can get things done. More pics to follow as we follow the progress at 1108 Gentle Wind Lane :-).

Special Greyson Time

James and I took Greyson to a Frisco Roughriders game a few weeks ago with a big group of friends. We decided to leave Hannah behind, and we made a day of just spending time with our big boy! It was a big treat, and we indulged in EVERY baseball snack imaginable while we were there :-).
I also ventured out to Northpark with just Greyson for a special Cars tour promoting the new movie. It was almost 100 that day, and the line was CRAZY long to get your picture taken with Mater and Lightening so we made the best of the situation with some ghetto photos taken from afar. I took him to the Disney store, let him pick out a toy, and then he decided he needed to pick out something for Hannah which was super sweet. He picked out a water bottle and a shirt for Hannah which she absolutely LOVES. He's such a good big brother, and I can't wait to see him blossom with his next little sibling. I feel like he will be such a great helper, and I know he'll enjoy it more this time around now that he's more aware.

School's Out For Summer!

I can't help thinking of that old 70's tune when I pick up Greyson on his last day of school. I need to get that on my Ipod so I can play it on the way home next year :-). Greyson finished another great year at First Place with an end of year program. He was quite the singer and dancer! It was so cute, and we can't wait to see him start Pre-K next year. It's hard to believe that we almost have a kindergartner. I am just not ready for that *tear*. He l0ved his teachers this year, Ms. Sandy, and Ms. Samantha! They were great, and he had a great time in his class of 11 boys and 3 girls :-).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hooray for Easter!

Easter was full of new surprises this year and the start of new beginnings for our family. We found out a few weeks before Easter that we were expecting another Shelton baby! We are beyond excited to be expanding our family :-).

Greyson was especially interested in the story behind the holiday, and it was fun to hear his version of the Easter story. He informed me that "Jesus wakes up and comes out of a rock." I guess that's one way to put it :-). We celebrated Easter a few times it seems. Hannah went to an Easter playdate at our friend, Colin's house, while Greyson had his big Easter egg hunt at school. She had fun with all of the kids looking for eggs and finding magic candy inside. I told her she could only have two pieces, but of course, she kept sneaking off and opening TONS of candy to eat. Gotta love that girl!
Easter morning, James and I surprised the kids with Easter baskets of goodies. They were beyond thrilled, and they think the Easter Bunny is just as cool if not cooler than Santa. We had a hunt in the back yard in our jammies before heading over for the big festivities at Grandma's and Grandpa's.
The kids all had such a great time at Grandma & Grandpa's house. They hunted for eggs, played like crazy, and rode in the cars out in the green belt. Grandma's house is just the coolest as far as the kids are concerned.

Springtime at the Arboretum

We decided to take our annual trip to Dallas Blooms at the Arboretum this year on the perfect Spring day! Tammy took the day off work so she and Cody were able to come with us. We brought a picnic, stopped and smelled the roses, and ran like crazy! It's such a beautiful place, and we love visiting every year. Here are some of the highlights. Enjoy!

Spring Fun

Spring time was beautiful here in Texas as always. We started off with a trip to Sandy Lake Amusement Park. We took them both last year, but this year was even more fun, because Hannah was big enough to ride the roller coasters so they could enjoy things together! They had a blast, and we can't wait to go again soon. It is so nice to have this place so close to the house and so affordable :-).

James took the kids to one of our friend, Pierce's, 2nd birthday party. They had a petting zoo and pony rides, and the kids had a great time getting in touch with their inner farmer ;-).
James took Greyson on a special Daddy/Son outing to ride go-karts for the first time. Greyson LOVED it, and he was a pro from the first lap!
I took the kids for their first swim in Grandma & Grandpa's spa. It was far too cold to swim in the big pool, but the kids were happy to just be in the water. I will have to get a comparison shot from my Mom, but the bathing suit Hannah is wearing is one that she wore when she was 4 months old (it was a little big then and a little tight now), but it's so cute to see how grown up she is now. We've since graduated to full summer swimming mode, but that post will have to come later.
More updates to follow!