Monday, November 3, 2014

A Very Princess-y Halloween

We kicked off our Halloween festivities with a trip to the pumpkin patch. Because of our recent travels, and subsequent illnesses, we were a little late getting into the spirit and kept it kind of low-key this year.

Though we really like Lombardi Ranch and have had a great time there in the years past, we decided to try another pumpkin patch that everyone raves about. It always seems so much farther away, but a quick map comparison showed that it was pretty much exactly the same distance we travel to Lombardi Ranch. So we thought we'd give it a try and Underwood Family Farms did not disappoint!

We hit the corn maze first. We've had some cool weather already this fall and I was really hoping for a trip to the pumpkin patch that wasn't blazing hot, but alas, it was around 85-90 degrees that day and felt every bit of it. It was so cool in the shade of the maze, I just wanted to crawl in and lay in the shadows underneath those glowing green stalks and listen to them blow in the breeze and shhhh-shhhh-shhhh-shhhh me to sleep...

Not the first time they will disagree on which path to take...
Brandishing a fallen stalk.
 Poor Ivy was so hot and she wanted to walk by herself but she wouldn't move fast enough to keep up with us. And we were hot, so we were kind of itching to get to the end. We were also literally itching because we did not wear pumpkin patch appropriate footwear and had lots of dirt and rocks and straw in our shoes... Bugsy consented to a shoulder ride, just for a little while.

 We finally reached the end, and the straw bale pyramid! We just had to get up to the top!
We had a great view from up there, we could see the whole farm, and the huge block of corn stalks we had just wandered through.

 We figured we'd better pick our pumpkins before we passed out from heat stroke, so it was off to the field.

 Alice was like a whirling dervish in there. I could barely get her in the frame, let alone keep her in focus...
 She was really into these things this year, and kept ruining other families' photos. They're all going to wonder who that random face is...

 I had a really tough time choosing my pumpkin this year, I normally don't have so much trouble. They were all just so big and round and each one was lovelier than the last I saw. We finally loaded up our wheelbarrow with way too many, and took off to see the rest of the farm with Jon heaving the wheelbarrow along behind us.

There were some fluffy chickens. Alice tried to feed them, but they had a hanging basket with an unlimited supply of feed, so they weren't too interested in the handful she tossed to them.
 The girls both had a great time playing on a fun wooden train, climbing from the engine to the caboose through all the cars in between.

"I drive train!"
 There were some cranky, hungry-looking emu there, with not nearly enough separation between fences to keep little fingers out of their cage. Ivy definitely wanted to hang on the fence and I had to drag her away before she lost a hand.

There were also lots of goats with the absolute coolest goat climber. There were a couple of fenced-off pens connected by these catwalks goatwalks.
This goat had just been hanging out at a landing spot where you could put food in a little bucket attached to a conveyer belt and use a hand-crank to wind the bucket up to the top and dump the food out. Alice spent a long time cranking that bucket around.

 Alice wanted to ride the ponies, so we ponied up for $10 worth of tickets. Parents couldn't walk alongside, so we handed Ivy off to the nice girl and hoped for the best. She was so pleased, riding all by herself like a big girl.

 We were hot and tired, so we paid for our haul and hit the road.

Trunk full of pumpkins.
There was a Habit Burger nearby, but we wanted to beat traffic home so we stopped at our local restaurant for our traditional pumpkin patch meal. 

We didn't have time to carve our pumpkins until Halloween, so we squeezed it in between school pick-up and baths and costumes before heading out for the evening.

We let Ivy color on her pumpkin while were hollowing ours out, but she moved off of that canvas and onto the table and her own body...
I opened up her pumpkin for her but she was not interested in sticking her hands in that mess
Alice wanted to carve Minnie or Mickey Mouse into her pumpkin, but I convinced her that a nice, traditional jack-o-lantern would be easiest to carve herself. She conceded and went to town with the carving tools.

After pumpkins, it was costume time! I didn't have any inspired ideas for family costumes this year, at least none that I could talk Alice and Jon into. My old office is full of insanely creative and well-executed costumes and has a fun costume contest and lunchtime party. It was always really inspiring to come up with a fun costume and to bring the family in to play, too. I actually stopped by the office that morning to borrow a stuffed Dopey for Ivy's costume and saw some of the awesome costumes - the amazing Baymax costume was walking in as I was leaving and I was completely wowed, it was a spectacular costume!! You can see some great photos and videos of that, and some other great Disney employee costumes here.

Anyway, I didn't have a lot of energy left after all of our traveling and recovering, so Alice wore the fancy coronation dress she got for her birthday (back in May, when she said she wanted to be Anna for Halloween!), and Ivy wore the Snow White jersey play dress I made for our WDW trip. Their little sidekicks completed the look!

I realized they covered the entire history of Disney princesses, from the very first to the most recent!

I even managed to recreate Anna's coronation hairstyle, thanks to this great tutorial (I even went out and hunted down a braided hair headband while I was seething mad at my adorable, perfectly-behaved angel).  Behold, the original:
Image found here.
And the real version on a human head with a ton of baby-fine hair... Not bad!
With our princess dresses on, we headed to our church and nursery school carnival for some super easy and friendly trick-or-treating.
And for lots of beanbag-based carnival games. Alice loves these games and Ivy was super keen to play, too, but not super keen to wait in line!
She also didn't really get the "skill" aspect of the game, she would just march right up and stuff the beanbag into the hole. But, hey. She's a baby.
We saw quite a lot of Elsas running around, and a few other Annas in the winter traveling outfit, but only one other coronation Anna. So we had to take a photo! Later, we even saw a girl in a great Olaf costume with a tutu skirt!

Ivy was pretty pleased with the prize she won!
Alice was pretty pleased with her prizes, too, especially her "first yo-yo" and these Groucho Marx glasses. Sadly, they broke in a tug-of-war with her sister the very next day. A tough lesson to learn when we're working on not ripping things out of other people's hands...
It was starting to sprinkle and get dark, and Ivy was starting to melt down, so we decided to head out to trick-or-treat. We were planning on going around in the neighborhood near church, but the streets are steeper and the houses farther apart, so we chose to head home to our little neighborhood instead. 
We made it up and down half of one block before Alice pooped out. Ivy seemed like she was good to go all night, but conceded to come home with us.
Heading home.
At home, we turned on "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and dug into our loot. 
Alice put away a good quantity of candy in no time flat and was looking a little green around the gills (to my eyes, anyway), so I told her she could stay up for a bit longer if she ate some carrots... 

She LOVES passing out candy and would leap to her feet in a mad scramble anytime someone came to the door. 
Just before we sent Alice to bed, we got word from the carnival that Jon had won the chili cook-off for the second year in a row. This year, the winner was determined by the carnival goers who voted with their dollars to raise money for Imagine No Malaria. I can't wait to see how much was raised!

And with that, we took our pumpkins in and blew out the light on another Halloween. 
Jon's kitty, and Ivy's marketed masterpiece.
Alice's happy jack-o-lantern.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I've fond memories of going to a place like this as a child, and we had good intentions of taking our daughter to one before Halloween. Ah, but life intruded. Glad you had such a super time. Happy Halloween!


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