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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!! This just so happens to be one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I cannot wait for our special day of trick-or-treat fun. We celebrated our first Halloween in our home four years ago, less than a month after moving in. I didn't exactly grow in a normal household, and my Halloween experience was pretty limited. Since owning our home, I have made sure to make the very best out of this holiday. Pumpkin carving -- check! Awesome candy -- check! Costumes... eh, I'm working on that one. 

Halloween 2010 
Totoro & Vampire Hello Kitty Pumpkins

E was 6 months old for his first Halloween adventure. Even though he was pretty young, he did enjoy watching trick-or-treaters come to our door. He was probably a little too busy learning how to use his walker to fully appreciate the kids dressed in costumes. 

Elliot the Dino DSC_0005-2

Fast forward a year later, and Little E at 18 months old was much more hands on with his Halloween experience. He was able to help me carve some pumpkins and loved dressing up as a lion. He was even more amazed when we left the house and visited our neighbors to ring their doorbells. The whole concept of ringing a doorbell to have someone answer with candy was beyond his comprehension. Luckily he wasn't too sure what was going in his basket, and we didn't let him know that the candy was edible. It was just another toy for him to play with in his pumpkin basket.

Checking Out the Pumpkin Halloween 2012 Elliot the Lion Halloween Family 2013 Pumpkins

With my due date only a week away, I'm really hoping that Negi stays inside just long enough so that I don't have to spend my Halloween at the hospital. I want to see E dress up in his giraffe costume (his costume of choice) and bring him to the houses on our street. I bet it will be even more exciting next year with two kids. Hehe.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Milburn Orchard - Fall 2013

I didn't realize how many places have become a tradition for us to visit in the past couple of years as a family. While I was pregnant with Little E, H and I started to go to our local orchard on Columbus Day. It's a holiday that H has off, and usually it's a low key day at the orchard, which is perfect for us. It puts us in the perfect fall mood and preps us for Halloween right around the corner. This year marks our fourth year, and each year our experience changes a bit to reflect our growing family.

It's hard for E to stay still, and in his usual fashion he was ready for lots of running, even before we left the house. He likes to be silly and run back and forth on the sidewalk. On days that we walk out to the field he likes to pretend that we're trains. He is usually Thomas, and I'm either Annie or Clarabel (Thomas' coaches). 

10468158415_3a4ac4ac6a_o Running Outside

This year we were welcomed by a huge crowd of families, which was surprising. Usually the orchard isn't too busy. Columbus Day isn't a common holiday for people to be off of work, and it's a Monday. I later concluded that many of the kids were on school field trips. The crowds made it more difficult to fully enjoy, but we tried to make the best out of it.

"How Tall This Fall?"

How tall this fall? Well it looks like E grew quite a bit since his very first visit. Hehe. While he wasn't enthusiastic about posing for photos, he is pretty good at standing back and letting us take a picture. Occasionally he will even say, "Cheese." If we're lucky, he'll even look at the camera. 

Surrounded by Pumpkins

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! While this orchard didn't have a pumpkin patch, they did have a lot of pumpkins to choose from. The first two years we purchased from them, but we have since decided to save our money and buy them from Trader Joe's. Charging by the pound can get really pricey. Buying two normal sized pumpkins and one mini one used to set us back $40+. Instead we spend $4 per pumpkin at Trader Joe's. We're considering going to an actual pumpkin patch next year just to experience it and see if there are any major differences. 

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Farm animals! Cows, chicken, smelly pigs, and goats were all on display, and E enjoyed looking at them but it didn't last long. His attention span was short, and he was immediately drawn to the open space around him. Can't blame him. He knows what he likes, and he just loves to use his legs and run.

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One big difference this year was the installation of tunnels in the big hill. I thought E would be afraid to go in the tunnel by himself since it's pretty long and very dark. He had a blast, and fear was the last thing on his mind. The tunnel made for some cool pictures as well. Some tunnels were narrow and others were big enough for adults to fit inside too. Very nice addition.

Corn Maze 10541784346_aa5b4eeecb_oMilburn Orchard

With E being 2.5 years old this year, he was able to fully participate and go through the corn maze. It was fun figuring out which direction to go, and he had a great time running around. Occasionally we would bump into people, but they usually walked around us as we took our time around the maze. We made it all the way around to the finish point!

Milburn Orchard

Yes, we're one of those parents who makes their kid pose in front of cut outs. Our excuse? Tradition! E has grown so much over the years, and I will still make him pose behind the cut outs when he is a teenager. Okay he probably won't come with us anymore, but I'm holding onto some hope that he never grows up. 

10541766405_e50314cf97_o train time 10541764415_cd734b39c6_o 10541807864_02d9aa7cab_o

Can you tell E loves trains? Hehe. With so many kids around, it was actually really difficult for him to get adjusted and comfortable. He doesn't really know how to interact with kids, especially older ones who generally push around to get their way. He patiently waits his turn, and usually that means his turn doesn't come. Poor E. He actually did make his way to the wheel only to have a big kid take over. The big kid did apologize, but the damage was done and E backed away. E and H returned later to find that the wooden train was completely unoccupied. E had the time of his life! H's strategy was to protect E and sit with him inside. 

Milburn Orchard 10541989113_7eedbb48c4_o 10541761165_1a157cb497_o

We spent a good amount of time inside the orchard, and E was getting tired. I was ready to continue our day and run a few errands. We stumbled upon this horse, and E thought it was so cool that there was a blanket on top of the horse. It's the little details that amuse him. Hehe.

Milburn Orchard

To make us appear like crazy parents, we conquered going into the big city the day before. Talk about a jam packed weekend. We were running on very little sleep and a lot of adrenaline, which wore down by the end of the day.

Now I can't wait to see how our experience will change with a toddler and a baby next year. I'm sure it will be even more enjoyable. 

P.S. Check out some of our photos from previous years!

Last Year...

Surrounded by Pumpkins Milburn Orchard Inflatable Animals Are More Fun

The First Year...

 The Beginning...

  Showing Off Pumpkins!
{fall 2010}

Oh it doesn't stop there. We had our engagement pictures taken at the orchard a few months before...

Engagement Session with Jubilee Photography Engagement Session with Jubilee Photography

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DE Museum of Natural History

Back in March (ages ago, I know) we went to the Delaware Museum of Natural History during PNC's Free Sunday Morning event. It gave us the opportunity to check out a museum that we pass by almost weekly and to see how kid friendly it might be for Little E. He was 22 months old at the time, and we were pleasantly surprised and impressed by the museum. Keep in mind that it's still a very small museum in comparison to what you will find in New York or Washington DC, but it is adequate for our small state. Can't wait until he is old enough to spend the day inside the Natural History Museum in NYC. It's a lot of fun for me so I can just imagine how much E would enjoy it.

We were welcomed in the parking lot by this turtle. I'm not so sure if E was impressed.

Hi, Turtle! 

Once we got inside, we headed to the dinosaur gallery. I'm a big sucker for anything dinosaurs, and secretly I would love if E became a paleontologist. How cool would it be for him to go on archaeological digs in search of the newest and greatest?

Dinosaur!! Dinosaur!! Dinosaur!!

We went around and checked out all of the animals on display. I tend to talk to E on a level that is usually beyond his perceived understanding. I like to explain and describe objects and actions as we can communicate back and forth and have a great discussion. I know it's weird, but I do think that he catches on to most of what I say, even if I can't determine if the knowledge sinks in his head. 

Delaware Museum of Natural History

It's amazing to see how much E grows and learns everyday. Even though he is a little behind in verbal language, it's fascinating to see him use his words to describe what he sees. He loved the dinosaur skull and pointed out the pointy teeth.

Delaware Museum of Natural History Check Out the Dinosaur Head! Sharp Teeth

Kids were drawn to the underground aquatic display. E was a bit perplexed and wasn't sure how he was able to stand on top of the glass. He enjoyed pointing out the fish, especially the most famous clown fish of all, Nemo. We spent a good 10 minutes looking and observing.

Delaware Museum of Natural History Delaware Museum of Natural History

Next up was the hall of mammals. E recognized a lot of these animals and loved to take a good up close look at them. My favorite was the polar bear. At this point E just wanted to walk around and just take in whatever was at his eye level. 

Elephants Delaware Museum of Natural History Delaware Museum of Natural History

We were smart to start the day early and arrive as soon as the museum opened. By noon, the museum was crowded with families, and it was time for us to make our departure. E enjoyed his fun morning at the museum, and he was ready for a nap to refuel for the rest of the day. 

There is another free event coming up this weekend for Bank of American credit card holders (free during the first full weekend of each month), and maybe we'll bring E back to see the new exhibits. This time he can actually hold conversations with us, and I'm sure he will have a lot of questions to ask us.