Leila Love

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Mommy: “Could you please take your hands out of your butt honey?” Leila: “Why Mommy?”

Mommy: “Oh Wrigley, I didn’t think you’d want dinner since you at all that poop.” Daddy: “Gross.” Leila: “I don’t eat poop!”

“I’m just going to stay right here with my dolls in case you need me. (Checking her bracelet/watch) It’s kinda late, but that’s okay.”

Discussing Baba Joon’s ability to whistle, “Okay, so, Mamani doesn’t like the louder ones. She likes the quiet ones better. But I like the louder ones. I don’t hurt my ears.”

“I think I’m gonna eat maybe four mangos, maybe one…I think I’m gonna eat four.”

“I need some privacy. Not Daddy or Mommy to come in. I need some privacy.”

“Today I’m gonna go to school and be a doctor. And after I be a doctor I’m gonna go to baseball, baseball practice. I pack my lunch.”

(And for those fond of Maggie Smith’s one-liners on Downton Abbey) Mommy: “Did you have a fun weekend?” Leila: “What is a weekend?”

In other news, Leila popped into a headstand (for half a second) in the bounce house and ate two bugs at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We’re in love with her adventurous spirit and bravery.

Cheap Summer Fun: Parks & Splash Pads

Our five-day wedding adventure is it for our summer travel. Although I will quite literally be itching to go someplace else by the time September rolls around, I am excited to stay put for the meantime. It gives us time to soak up all this city has to offer.

First summer essential – parks and splash pads. There are so many.

Hermann Park

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There is nothing not to love about this park, and thanks to the expanded parking near the new McGovern Centennial Gardens, lack of parking is no longer an issue.

Before this year, I had only visited Hermann Park three times (and two of those were to take photographs). I never ventured past Miller Outdoor Theater. Then one day after a Children’s performance, Leila and I wandered over to their playground. Their toddler-accessible monkey bars catapulted the park’s prestige in Leila’s eyes. I love how there are so many things in one place, and we can easily occupy ourselves here for several hours. This morning we went to the playground, cooled down in the splash pad, enjoyed a picnic and rounded out the trip with a train ride.

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Next week we plan on catching a show at Miller and enjoying a paddleboat ride.

PS The train is $3.25/person and the paddleboats are $10. Also, this Park is expansive. I definitely recommend bringing a stroller or carrier. I ditched the stroller for our walk to and from the train ride and came to regret it.

Discovery Green

I love this new(er) downtown nook. On the weekend this beautiful space is a bit too crowded for my taste, but on late weekday afternoons it is perfect. Between the splash pad and the mist tree there is ample opportunity to cool down, and now that Leila is older she can enjoy their minimalist playground. Like Hermann Park, there are tons of events going on year-round, but we enjoy our quiet pre-dinner excursions.

PS You can find street parking around the park.

Fire Truck Park

Or as Leila calls it, “Firefighter Park.” A friend of mine shared this park with me awhile back, and we have been enjoying it ever since. There is a fire truck to play on and plenty of fun playground equipment, but the main draw for Leila is their lower swing height. She made a request to go there today, but I diverted her for another time. It is a great park, but there is little shade other than the shade picnic table area.

PS It is gated all around, which I know some of my friends with kids that are prone to wander especially appreciate

Donovan Park

“Train Park” is also very popular with Leila. She could sit and play “driver” and “sitter” on the wooden train for what seems like forever. This is a nice park with ample playground equipment and a handful of picnic tables. Like Fire Truck Park, it is also gated all around. Unfortunately there is not much shade, so I like to save this for cooler months or much earlier hours.

What about you? What are your favorite parks and splash pads in Houston?