Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching Up! Halloween 2009 :)

I am so far behind on blogging right now it's not even funny!

With all of the Christmas shopping, decorating, visiting, partying, and general merry-making I just haven't had a lot of extra time lately, and to be frank, I haven't really been in the writing mode... I absolutely love the holiday season and I have really been enjoying it and putting some energy into it this year. Being able to combine my new hobby- couponing and deal seeking- with the holiday preparations like SHOPPING and cooking is so much fun! Plus, what little extra bits of time I have found here and there have been totally eaten up by trying to keep my house clean- (HA! yeah right, every time I clean up one mess another one sprouts in a different location, it seems) and spending quality time with my amazing little Ruggle. But I am really trying to get back into the swing of things now and my goal is to be all caught up with major event posts (ie, Halloween, Thanksgiving, tree decorating, and Christmas itself) by New Years.

So, without further adieu, here are the photos from Halloween this year! Bendy wanted to go as a bumblebee at first, but we agreed on a spider costume, since her two middle names mean "spider fairy" :) That is a long story in itself, which I'm not sure if I've told on here or not, but will have to wait for another day if not.

Later, as we were explaining to her the meaning of her names, she decided she actually wanted to go as a spider fairy! I told her she could wear her light-up wings and bring her wand, and she'd be the only little spider fairy trick-or-treating in town... So she started off as a spider fairy, in the beginning of the night:

At home just after getting dressed!

Full look at the costume. I am absolutely in LOVE with Old Navy's Halloween costumes. They are made of fleece, so they're nice and warm- awesome for those of us in climates where snow on Halloween is really possible- are very reasonably priced, and super cute to boot. See the little baby spider sticking out of her pocket?

Before we even left our house, though, she had shed the wings and wand. Which was fine by me- fewer questions about what she was going as meant less explanation, which meant? More. CANDY! ;) Oh and also less for her to carry, which turned out to be a very good thing.

We started out our trick or treating at the Powerhouse Mall. We did the same last year because they start their trick-or-treat earlier than most of the other places in our area, and it's also nice because it's sort of small (each store has a couple of employees sitting out front handing out candy)... So it's a good place for the kiddos to get a feel for how the whole trick-or-treat deal works, in case they don't remember, it doesn't take a long time to get through, and is inside, so if there is questionable weather, which there was this year (we ended up finishing trick or treat in a drizzle) you don't have to worry about it!

Here are some pics from the Powerhouse:

In the parking lot with Daddio waiting to go in...

One of her first stops in the mall! She wasn't sure if she wanted to grab that candy or not... But after a couple minutes, she really started getting the hang of it :)

Walking through the mall holding Daddy's hand.

She kept on grabbing Dum-Dums out of every basket in the mall... I was trying to hint to her to grab the Reese's and Snickers, but she loves lollipops so much she wasn't listening... Kind of stinks cuz Dum-Dums cost what, like a buck a bag or something?! lol... I would have happily bought her a bag of Dum-Dums to trade for a bag full of Reese's, Snickers and Starburst ;) Although in a way I'm glad she went for the lollipops, then I wasn't as tempted by her stuff, and my thighs don't need more chocolate! lol

While we were at the Powerhouse, we ran into one of her friends from daycare, whose Mom also happens to be a coworker and friend of mine. I wasn't too surprised, because she's the one who tipped me off to start at the Powerhouse, so I knew she'd be heading there too at some point! Here's Illy bug and her friend, "M" posing for the other camera! I couldn't manage to get one with the both of them looking at me and smiling, so this was the best shot I could find:

And this was the other one I tried getting before they ran away, but I was just a second too late, Illy was already done posing and pointing in another direction... At some candy? I think. lol.

Then it was time to head back home to Enfield and do our town's trick or treat. We went out with our neighbors and their kids, "K" and "B", who were dressed up as a princess and a cowboy. The pictures of the three of them together are just precious:

Hmm.. Take 1: B's hat is missing, Illy is zoning out and playing with her face... Nobody is looking.

Take 2: B's hat is on, but I got his Dad's hands in the pic! Only Illy is looking. Let's try this one last time...

Take 3: Cheese! I think this is the best of the three... I think? lol. B has his hands on his face... Illy is looking up but not at the camera. But K has a great big smile and everyone's costume is on and complete. I call that a win :)

We thought the rain might just miss us, because as we were getting ready to go, it seemed like it was holding off, but as soon as we started walking down our road, the drizzle began. Luckily for us, it was pretty warm out, and the rain stayed at a light drizzle all night, so we were able to finish our trick or treating comfortably, with some minor adjustments:

This was the "cumbrella" (as she called it) that Illy carried around all night. It's K's, but they were nice enough to let us borrow it because we don't have one (whoops!). Even when it would stop drizzling for a while, she needed to have it. To be carrying it at ALL times when she wasn't gathering candy. Definitely prolonged the trick or treating a bit! lol.

Ilyana also made up a little ditty to sing as we walked in between all the houses, and soon all three kids (okay, okay, me and Will too!) were singing it: "We're on our way to trick or treat, trick or treat, trick or treat, we're on our way to trick or treat..." It was so cute listening to them sing and being so excited about the night! I think it made Illy feel pretty cool too, that she made up a song that K was singing, since she looks up to K as the bigger girl. :)

So we walked around a couple of neighborhoods in our area, gathered a good amount of sugar booty, and then headed down to the Fire Station. They were giving out candy and cider and doing some crafts with the kids... But the coolest reason we were headed down there had nothing to do with the events that they were holding for everyone... We went down there for THIS, in particular:

The pictures aren't great (I was trying to take them through a rainy windshield in the dark... gimme a break! lol) but they are of Illy and B sitting in the firetruck! Yes, our neighbors happen to know one of the firemen, and he was nice enough to let our little pumpkins sit in the big red seat and pretend they were driving! They loved it, and it was the perfect topper to a wonderful Halloween night.

We had a blast this year- it was so much fun watching the girl get the hang of trick or treating and actually understand it fully- she was really too young last year to totally grasp what was going on. Even with the drizzle, it was a great night out in warm weather with friends and my wonderful family, and it won't soon be forgotten. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple Picking at Wellwood Orchards, 10/11/09

I love apple picking.

My Dad used to take me every year when I was younger, and it's always been a tradition I knew I would continue with my own children. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and being out in nature, with the crisp, cool air uniquely smelling of fall and the gorgeous views... Well, it's just incredible.

Watching the leaves turn around you as mother nature begins her preparations for the deep freeze puts things into perspective and reminds you that the old adage "This, too, shall pass" is not just a silly phrase.... And yet, while life continues to move along, with so many things changing, and my little bend continues to grow "bigger and bigger each day" (as she would say!) , some things will be the same, year after year.

We went to Wellwood Orchards last year and absolutely loved it. With all they had to offer- the u-pick apples, pumpkins, the petting zoo, wonderful views, hayrides, freshly made cider doughnuts and various other goodies... It was a no-brainer that we go back there again this year.

It was a chilly, overcast day, but through our whole vacation last week, this was the first day that seemed to have promising weather (read: no rain). We decided to tough it out and figured we could warm ourselves up with hot cider if needed :)

We were struck by the old look of this barn against the clouds when we pulled up, so Will took a couple of shots of it. I'm pretty sure he's going to enhance this one in photoshop, but I already like it.

There was a pretty hefty breeze right when we arrived... luckily it warmed up soon after, but in this picture the poor Bend was freezing her little bum off. Hence the funny face. We decided to go into the store to warm up, grab our apple bag, and get some fresh doughnuts and hot cider to warm our bones :)

She thought this was the funniest thing!

She actually wanted to be a honeybee for Halloween originally... I had decided we would go with an Old Navy costume again this year because last year the one we got was really good quality, really warm, really cute and a really good price... So I had her go onto the website with me and try to pick one she liked. Well, of course she picked the honeybee, which was the ONLY one not on sale! You know me, can't pay full price for something when I could get it cheaper... So I had her pick her next best fave, which was the spider. And since her two middle names mean "spider fairy" I told her she could wear fairy wings and bring her wand, and be the only little spider fairy trick-or-treating! So it worked out in the end... But she definitely got a kick out of being a bee for a minute here!

She was trying to look down to see how her body changed into a bee... lol!

Going to say "hello" to one of the chickens that escaped from the petting zoo! And some random lady's butt. Sorry about that, but there wasn't really a way to crop it without cutting off Bend or the chicken. *sigh*

Pumpkins and squash and tractors, OH MY!

Ilyana hanging out with Daddio, waiting for the "hay"ride. They didn't actually use hay on this one... They opted for the more high-tech option... Benches!

Ilyana and I... on her first hayride :D She had a blast, absolutely loved it! She kept asking all day if we could go back on the hayride...

For posterity! This is what your first hayride looked like, Bendy Rugg :)

And this is the view, looking back down onto the store, from the hayride up into the orchard.

Ilyana and Daddy, scoping the trees for the best apples left! Turned out, this was the second to last weekend of u-Pick apples this season, so most of the types had already passed. Good thing we made it!

Taste test... Result? Semi-bitter but yummy! We grabbed a couple of those for baking...

I absolutely love this picture of Ills and her Dad. It's a little dark, I need to have Will touch it up still since I'm not as good in photoshop as him... But still, one of my faves from the day. Can't you just feel the love?!

Through the leaves shot of me and the Bendy. I like this one :)

She was getting frustrated that she couldn't get the apples down, so I was showing her how to twist them off.

The best apples are always up high, where they get lots of sun... So we find creative ways of getting at them! Here's Bendy sitting on my head trying to reach one...

And here she is getting a lift from her Dada.

For about half the time that Will and I were picking apples, Ilyana was busy playing "Where's Ruggle?" She thought it was awesome to keep running away from us and hiding between the trees. Ahh, sweet freedom!!

Bendy hider...

There she is!

"I finally caught you, you crazy little bean!"

Or maybe not... She went limp like a rag doll and didn't want me to pick her up. Apparently "Where's Ruggle?" was far too fun a game to give up so easily.

But then I told her Daddy needed her help. And since she LOVES to help with anything grown-up, she rushed right over. She was standing next to him. He would grab the apples, hand them to her, and she would drop them in the bag. Now that's some good teamwork. :D

Whoops, dropped one!

Gorgeous views of the mountains. Here we're looking down on the store- on the bottom left- from up in the strawberry patch area.

More views... And my handsome hubby :)

She was a little crabby here... Something about not wanting to share something that wasn't hers with another little boy there. Yes, we're working on sharing... lol

"What's that?"

Pretty girl. Finally has enough hair for it to blow in the breeze! :)

Dada and the Rugg

Watching the hayride head back down...

We were sort of trying to do a new version of last year's apple bin photos with this next series... But with the bad lighting on this overcast day, we didn't have as much luck. These came out good, but not as good as the ones from last year... Those are still some of my all-time favorites of her :)

Why are you taking so many pictures of me??


Nom nom nom...

And here she is trying to pet chickens that escaped from the petting zoo... Those tricky chickens are masters of evasion, though!

And this is just a bunch of bins full of apples, stacked up together. I thought it looked cool.

We had so much fun at Wellwood this year, and we'll definitely be returning again! Hopefully next year with some family and/or friends... It's an experience for sure, and those cider doughnuts are DELICIOUS!
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This work by Jaden Brulotte is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.