Belated Pumpkin Fun

Now seems like as good of a time as any to relive our corn maze/pumpkin patch fun since the high for the day is whopping 15 degrees (with a real feel of -2).  We won’t dwell, though.  Onward to pumpkins and corn mazes!

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If there’s one thing to say about Minnesota in the Fall it’s that there are no lack of corn mazes and pumpkin patches.  We decided to go with one that seemed to have more included in the price and hoped it wouldn’t be too crowded. We also figured it would be a great time to break in our new wagon rather than bringing a stroller.

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It was our first corn maze, and surprisingly the kids didn’t even get bored – I think they were too excited about the wagon to care about anything else.  Phoebe usually likes being carried, but LOVED getting to sit facing her brother… even though he was being a little cranky.  Thankfully there was a helicopter flying around that made him happier.  The kid loves helicopters unless they’re the remote controlled kind, in which case he doesn’t even want to be in the same room with even if it’s turned off.

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Aside from the corn maze, there were a few attractions like a bouncy house, slide and pony rides as well as food.  Once again, though, we had to deal with some hornets (sigh) and Enzo had a minor meltdown. Seriously, what was with all the hornets this year? I’m actually a little glad colder temperatures have hit if only because there are no more hornets/wasps and spiders.  Anyhoo, oh yeah, there were pumpkins!

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Our front stoop is generally really boring and lacking in decoration (especially since we also never finished our whole landscaping plan), so pumpkins were a must this year.  We figured it would be fun to have Enzo help pick them out and he thoroughly enjoyed the process.  He’d copy his dad and brush off the dirt and attempt to pick them up to get a better look.  All in all, we got some fine pumpkins… that are now covered in snow. Whoops.

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At Como

So far this Fall has seemed fairly mild, and I’m okay if that is a continuing trend.  It just gives us that much more time to get out and do things before the cold weather sets in and all I want to do is hibernate.

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A few weeks ago we decided to go to the Como Zoo for a change of scenery, and managed to get there early enough so that while still busy, it was manageable.  We didn’t get many pictures of the day, however, and have kind of decided that Como would be better off charging a small admission rather than relying strictly on donations. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also could use work in areas.

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The last time we went we were childless, so a lot of things we were kind of oblivious to.  This time around, though, we stumbled upon bathrooms with wonky changing tables that weren’t in very good shape. More importantly, though, some of the habitats just seemed too small and sad at times.  We also had a run-in with some hornets that swarmed us for whatever reason… this happens on a regular basis, and poor Enzo is terrified.  We were setting up lunch when suddenly Enzo started screaming and I saw several hornets flying around him and his sister and hanging out on their food.  The last thing we wanted was a kiddo being stung, so while Josh tried to grab everything, I quickly tried to shoo the hornets away from Phoebe’s food (which she was still trying to eat) and quickly lead Enzo away.  We finally found a table that seemed decent , but little man would have a meltdown whenever a hornet came to investigate. Considering I have my own phobias when it comes to wasps and hornets (I am okay with bees), it was incredibly hard to sit still and try to carefully guide the kids away from them or to cautiously shoo them away from us in a calm manner while comforting Ezno when inside I was having my own mini freak-out.

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Seriously, though, what is it with hornets and us?  Are we just genetically more appealing or something because wherever we go they just hone in on us while other people are just happily eating or hanging out.  They must smell fear.

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Anyhoo, the day wasn’t a complete bust… it was absolutely beautiful and the kids got to see a few different animals than usual.  We didn’t really stop in Como Town (the game area for kids) even though Enzo might have enjoyed it. At that point we decided a nap was probably in order for both kids, considering Phoebe fell asleep while strapped to my front in the Ergo and Enzo had only had a short nap in the car on the way there.  Will we be back?  I’ll think about it. I do like the conservatory, which we didn’t see and I think the kids would enjoy all of the flowers, but considering what a long drive it is we will most likely stay closer to home.

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A Maze ‘n Farmyard

A few weekends ago we decided to go somewhere new with the kids, so after a little searching online, we found something we thought would be worth checking out.  It was a risk being an hour away, but the A Maze ‘N Farmyard ended up being a lot of fun for the kids.  We actually didn’t even see or do everything that there was to offer, which is always a good thing.  I also didn’t take as many pictures as I thought I would… whoops!

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One of the big attractions was all of the animals, most of which you are allowed to pet and possibly feed.  Enzo got to pet goats and feed them a bottle, but he also got to pet a cow, some bunnies, and most importantly – Bambi.  There was the sweetest little fawn that Enzo got to pet.  Call me paranoid, but I decided to just look at the animals with Phoebe rather than risk her petting everything and immediately sticking her hands in her mouth.  Oh!  Don’t forget the huge house of birds.  Enzo was a little skittish, but one of his favorite animal experiences was the house of parakeets – they just fly all around you, and amazingly we didn’t get pooped on.

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This was also the first time Enzo got to go on a pony ride.  He was excited at first, until he had to get on the actual pony, and then he didn’t want to, but Josh went ahead and put him on and after a few seconds he was okay and started to enjoy it.

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It may not look like he enjoyed it, but he did go back to ride again!

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Aside from the maze (which we didn’t go through) there is also a very large slide, which Enzo was excited about from a distance, but a tad reluctant about once they actually got to the top.

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Enzo started fighting Josh about going down, so finally he grabbed him, and off they went!  Enzo didn’t really warm up to it right away…

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That’s right… a GIF!  I’m entering new territory here. 😉  As you can see, Enzo had a death grip on Josh’s arm the whole way down.  He apparently enjoyed himself, though, because all he wanted to do was go down again… and again… and again.

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Phoebe and I enjoyed the nice breeze and watched Enzo enjoy himself on the slide, until Josh suggested that mommy take him down.  Honestly?  I wasn’t all that excited about it, especially when I got to the top with Enzo and looked down.  I won’t lie… part of me really wanted to back away. I pictured legs getting caught and broken (don’t you know you aren’t supposed to ride down a slide with a child?!?) and potentially rusty metal pieces slicing through legs.  I couldn’t let him down, though, so we went… and it was fun.

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We wandered around for a while until the sky began to darken and the kids got cranky. Apparently there is an entire bounce barn with several bouncy houses and castles we never made it to, but I’m sure we’ll go again this Fall.

How about one more slide gif of Enzo actually enjoying himself?  Glad you asked!

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MN Landscape Arboretum

It’s been a few weeks now, but we recently went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum… for the first time since we moved to Minnesota.  I don’t know why we waited so long to go, but there you have it.  I finally decided to take advantage of a Groupon so we could visit them while they have their butterfly exhibit happening because I figured Enzo would enjoy that.

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He enjoyed it, but not necessarily the butterflies. He wasn’t a big fan of them flying all around him and they made him a tad jumpy and skittish.  So, we spent a little bit of time trying to get him to warm up to them, and allowing Phoebe to watch them while in the carrier on my back before heading outside.

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We also made sure to grab a few packets of milkweed seeds to plant next year to hopefully attract some monarch butterflies to our yard.  I tried to plant some flowers this year to attract butterflies and bees, but for some reason my gardening skills this year were not up to par.

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We thankfully went to the arboretum on what turned out to be a fantastic day.  It was a little cool when we first arrived, but then warmed up to the perfect temperature for walking around.  There were also a bunch of really pretty glass sculptures everywhere, so part of our goal for walking around was to see them all.

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At first I was worried that with so many people it might get crowded, but there was actually plenty of room (even with the stroller) and Enzo was able to easily walk on his own without us worrying about him running into people or vice versa.

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Despite there not being much in the way for kids, Enzo didn’t seem to get bored at all.  He really liked looking at the different flowers and loved all the different walking paths that took you by ponds and little waterfalls and through shady trees.

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I really enjoyed the walking aspect as well, and getting to look the different plants and flowers.  I wish I was a better gardener and could more easily create an amazing garden, especially seeing so many pretty plant varieties.

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I still can’t believe it took us so long to go to the arboretum. I think we thought it might be boring, and never realized just what a pleasant place it is to go to, to simply walk around.  We also brought a picnic lunch with us, which made it much easier with the kids.  There were plenty of areas to spread out a blanket (as well as picnic tables), so we ended up eating first before we did any exploring.

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I even purchased more Groupon tickets for us to use before the summer is over, or the early part of Fall.  I’m a big fan of getting the kids outside and there really isn’t a prettier place in the area to do so.  Might as well go at least one more time this year, right?  If anything, it’s a nice change from some of our other destinations, and while it’s a tad spendy to go there on a regular basis, it’s nice for now and then.

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Chilly October Weekend

I’m definitely bummed that the temperatures have dropped so quickly.  I was hopeful that the weather would continue to hold, but alas… it’s been chilly and gloomy and this weekend we pulled out warm hats and gloves and decided to get out in between expected rain showers, so we went to the 101 Market, ate some food, visited the petting zoo and corn pit.

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This was the first time Enzo really wanted to pet any of the animals, so as soon as he showed interest, Josh went and bought some treats to feed the animals who didn’t always feel like cooperating. Enzo really wanted to pet the bunnies, the wallaby , and a couple of the other smaller critters. What he especially wanted, though, was the food pellets… yeah.  Josh handed him some to feed the rabbits and Enzo popped one in his mouth.  We figured he’d spit it out because it’s gross, but not long after while Josh was feeding another animal, Enzo reached over and grabbed some more pellets and proceeded to ask for “More.”

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I’ve apparently been spending far too much money on fancy organic snacks and should have been buying rabbit feed this whole time. Who knew??

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We were both actually really impressed by how many kinds of animals were in the “zoo.”  Neither of us have ever gotten to pet a kangaroo before and there were actually some porcupines you could pet as well, and can be surprisingly quite docile and cuddly. They also had your usual petting zoo animals like goats (never have been Enzo’s favorites) and these guys.

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They very badly wanted the snack cup, and jerk on the right decided to be greedy and grabbed it right out of Josh’s hand.  Notice the look of disgust?  (On Josh, not the llama).

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After the animal encounter, we decided to head inside and Josh joined Enzo in the corn pit.  I figured it might be too awkward for me since I’m so pregnant, so I passed in favor of watching from the sidelines and snapping a few pictures.  At first we weren’t sure if Enzo would just want to eat the corn or if he’d hate it, but he ended up having a blast. Who knew corn could be so much fun?

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Now we just need to start finding some indoor things to do as the weather gets cooler and cooler. We got him a snowsuit for day care, but I’m not a huge snow fan myself, so I imagine our snow play days will be far and few between on weekends, so hopefully we can find enough to do inside.