Friday, October 26, 2012

Jumpy Things.

Its been a crazy busy few weeks. On the list of things to do...
  1. Kids Market 50% off day (with the kids - blah)
  2. Prepare/pack to go camping
  3. Switch out kids summer and winter clothes
  4. Move furniture and all sorts of baby things around to make room for a new little nursery
  5. Meet Bethany at Play Place for jumpy things fun
  6. Pumpkin Patch
  7. Joy's Fall Party
  8. Camping Trip
Not to mention work and the other normal activities. So I've blogged about all the other fun activities. Now it's time to make sure we have a little blog about our outing with Bethany, my sister in law, and her sweet girls, Emily and Sadie. Austin was at school so we didn't get to play with him.

I have to admit, I am not a big fan of jumpy things. I have nightmarish thoughts about my kids getting trampled in them. Especially when there are billions of kids on one. And kids can be so elusive in them. I have lost my children several times looking for them to come out one side and they came out the other. In short, they kind of stress me. Soooo that being said...

This place was totally different. Partly because we went in the morning and aside from a few people that trickled in here and there, we literally had the place to OURSELVES! It was quiet, and non-stressful. Even little Brookelynn went on the biggest of jumpy things because it wasn't so crowded that she was trampled.

Haynes, Brookelynn and Emily had a great time. They played non-stop for two hours. Needless to say, they were worn out after that.

Playing with the toy cars!


Emily, Brookelynn, Haynes and Sadie

These pictures are all pretty bad because it's not well lit and these kids aren't gonna be still for a picture at a jumpy place. And Brookelynn was thirsty. For real.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch 2012

So...the Pumpkin Patch wasn't all I expected it to be. I had heard rumor that the pumpkins were just set out in a field and not actually grown there but when you see it in person, it is somewhat disappointing. But, I guess if you're 3, you don't know the difference. I got together with several good friends of mine and we all chose a last Friday to go on the outing. It was a cool, and blustery day that morning but the sun was supposed to be shining so it sounded like nice weather. We all packed up our kids (seven of them to be exact) and started on the rather loooonng trip to Hayden to our Pumpkin Patch of choice. By the time we arrived, it was a field FULL of kids on a field trip! Dun dun dun....
Oh there were little children everywhere and of course not enough adults to keep order as it was a field trip. As stressful as it looked, we braved the crowds and decided to first attempt to get some good pictures of the kids. After all, there were places for wonderful staged fall photos everywhere. The harsh sun and the annoying wind, not to mention my children's complete disgust at the idea of getting their picture taken that day made this photo op almost a total flop.

Here's a good one of my good friend, Kate, and her new baby girl!

And Joy!

And the cutie pies, Emma and Elijah. 

Next, we decided to go to the petting zoo. Petting zoos, to me at least, are always kind of a let down, especially when you have to pay to pet an animal that doesn't come anywhere near the edge so you can pet it. Aaanndd, my kids won't even attempt to pet animals in cages anyways so that was a waste of money. No pictures. Moving on. At this point, my friend Anna Kate her two littles had arrived. We went to the bouncy things next and of course, all the kids had a blast.

After the kids had their time in the jumpy things, we headed up for a quick snack and then headed to the covered wagon hayride and off to the "pumpkin patch."

Jonas, Lydia, Haynes and Brookelynn on the hayride.

The "Great Pumpkin Patch."

The perfect pumpkin. This is the one we have sitting on our front steps today. 

Jonas is helping us out with our pumpkin choices.
Attempting to move the pumpkin.

There's Rachel and Emma. So precious.

After the wagon ride, we made one last attempt as some good pictures. Again, it was not exactly a great and cooperative photo session. This one is my favorite. Almost all the kids with Joy. You can see in their faces how much it pained them for us to be attempting these pictures but we tried anyways.
Anna Kate had some photos taken with her two babies.

And my kids decided they would poke their heads through and be scarecrows,  just for one picture. 

All in all, it was a long and busy day, full of children everywhere, but we can all say we did it. We went to the pumpkin patch this year and rode the covered wagon and bought a 7$ pumpkin just for the experience. And our kids will have one more little memory to add to their brain.  I think it will be a good one for them. I'm sure that's what they all dreamed about as four little angels snored in the back of my van on the way home. The all fell asleep within minutes of beginning the trip back home. It was a nice and quiet trip, full of good mom conversation between Rachel and me.

Camping with Toddlers - Part 2

The camping fun continues. At this point in the day, we are getting a little tired of the whining and dissatisfaction of the children. They aren't enjoying it quite as much as we'd hoped. In all fairness to poor little Bea, she developed a very runny nose that morning and it was obvious she was getting a cold. I know she didn't feel great. That was her problem. I actually think she would have had a blast had it not been for her stuffy little head. Still, there was fun to be had and they weren't going to ruin the trip with grumpiness. So I pulled out all the entertainment cards I had to offer.

Haynes and I decided to go on a bear hunt. We made sure to take his binoculars, just in case one was far off.

Brandon got started cooking supper in our new cooking pot. We LOVED this! It was definitely worth buying for our trip. In my excitement about the trip, I went internet hunting for some good campfire food recipes. We combined a few of the recipes and made some adaptations and came up with something that sounded good. To me, cooking over a campfire is such a satisfying feat. It worked great and it was so much fun.

Adding a touch of red wine... Aren't we fancy?

While dinner was cooking, I gathered up the leaves we found on our leaf hunt. I think they were all pretty.

Before we left, I grabbed one of Haynes' Highlights magazines from our cabinet. At camp, I opened it up and it just so happened to have a leaf hunt article in it! What luck. So Haynes and I read about the different leaves and compared ours with the pictures. Thanks for the magazine subscription Trish! It always has something entertaining for Haynes to do.

Then, Haynes got creative with the pine needles and started sweeping up the campsite. It was all fun until he started using it as a weapon. BOYS!  

Here's our stew just a simmering. This just makes me happy.

It wouldn't be right for me to leave out such an important part of our camping experience. I will call this particular part of my post POTTY TRAINING TODDLERS in the GREAT OUTDOORS! Oh my heavens, how entertaining this was! After spending the better part of a year potty training with Haynes (a very tough year mind you), and Brookelynn showing major interest in the sport, I couldn't let one weekend outdoors ruin our progress by reverting back to diapers. Sooo..... we took our little travel potty and set up a make shift potty training area. Complete with lysol wipes, baby wipes and toilet paper. It worked great and the kids really got a kick out of going potty outside. I will say, it was really quite an odd sight.

Finally, the stew was ready! We all were ready for something hot. I had forgotten to bring two of the ingredients I needed but it still tasted quite good.

After supper, we climbed in the tent about an hour before bedtime (because I knew it would take that long to settle them down). We played in the dark tent with our new flashlights and glow sticks from the dollar bins at Target. This was really fun. Armed with warm, fuzzy footie pajamas, cheap flashlights, glow sticks, glow wands, and glow necklaces, those kids partied 'til the sun went down. Our tent looked like a disco ball.

Then it was time to be quiet. We have a book that projects pictures up on the wall if you shine the flashlight on it just right. This was the best camping book ever. It worked perfect on the walls of the tent. See?

After one more story on the kindle about another camping trip, Haynes and Brookelynn were finally settled and snuggled in their sleeping bags and warm blankets. I kissed them goodnight and climbed out of the tent. They were quiet in no time. Brandon and I had plenty of time by the fire, just the two of us. We discussed the events of the day and what we could have done to make it better. There are some more camping things we would like to buy. A bigger tent for one. But I think the day went about as good as it's gonna go with toddlers on a camping trip. It wasn't so bad. Just different than a camping trip with just the two of us. And we decided we would have to go camping with just us one day soon... so we could sit by the fire and do NOTHING else.