Every year since J has been walking we have been pumpkin picking. This year was no different, although we went armed with a wheelbarrow as I’ve learnt from previous years J likes to pick the biggest one she can find!
Life has been so busy the past few weeks I’ve struggled to have time out and record our ordinary moments. The past week has seen 2 conferences, training, birthday parties and an off colour J to start it off. That naturally slowed our evenings and weekends down but our little tornado of energy returned towards the end of this week and so we set off on Thursday to stretch our legs and play in the fallen leaves
I’ve been meaning to write up our adventure in the New Forest for a while as it was a perfect day prior to J starting school. We went to Bolderwood in the New Forest to see the deer and do the Gruffalo Spotters Trail, something we’ve done in Cheshire but not in Hampshire
After hunting online for a maize maze I found one in Basingstoke at Manydown Farm. The skies looked moody on Wednesday but as we’d never been before and I had both J and her cousin we decided to go ahead with our plan. J had been asking to spend a day with her cousin for weeks and when we told her that we’d booked it in she screamed with excitement
Last year we visited Camp Bestival for the first time, J was 3 and we weren’t sure if it would be a good weekend for her or not. It was – she loved every part of it – the camping, the music, the kids activities and the rides – she was a festival convert and has since spent the year asking when she could go back
I have driven through Bath many times and every time I have said I wanted to stop and visit it. From the car it always looked majestic and one of those places I knew I would fall in love with. In February the hubster surprised me with a grown up trip to visit this beautiful city without the stresses of a 4yo in a city and my oh my it didn’t disappoint
You know when you have a day that goes so well that you wish you could run it over and over again, remembering every moment again and how it made you feel? You want to desperately cling to that day, the atmosphere, the experiences and most of all, the little being that just makes it all it is. This Wednesday was one of those days
J woke me up at 715am with a big smile and cuddle, and we chilled together on the bed with breakfast and our devices for a while, snuggling up to watch her cartoons and laughing at the silly jokes within them. We had made our plans the night before; J had asked to go and pick a pumpkin, then go for a walk, before having her swimming lessons, and thats what we set out to do
We have been going to pick your own since J was little and I have always been an advocate for it – we don’t grow our own vegetables and I hate the idea of J thinking food only comes from a supermarket shelf, so for her to be able to go and choose her food and pick it fresh, well that for me is perfect. It also gets her excited about eating fruit and veg which is pretty amazing too!
As we pulled up she set her sights on pumpkins by the farm shop and I explained to her that she was in fact picking one from the field as we have done previously. That initially took a little persuasion until she saw the wheelbarrow we would be using and she instantly wanted to push it. Before long she gave up pushing it and climbed in and we sang songs and giggled in the Autumn sun. I really am loving the weather at the moment, the days may be getting shorter, and rain is probably just around the corner but this is by far my favourite season
We soon arrived at the fields and my they really are a sight, rows and rows of what looks like abandoned pumpkins. They look beautiful in the sun, and pretty spectacular in all of the photos I have seen over the last few weeks
I tried to help her choose one but she instead decided that was her responsibility and instead spent ages choosing the ‘right’ one for me, settling on a rather large one without a stalk
Having never picked corn on the cob with her before I also decided that we would also head to the rows and pick what was left after the summer season. This was initially daunting for her and it did feel claustrophobic at times, but she soon found her stride, choosing the best corn and collecting as many as she possibly could in her little arms
We ended up leaving with 10 freshly picked corn on the cobs, which she was so excited about eating that we ended up having most of them that evening. All in all we came away with 2 pumpkins, the sweetcorn and a butternut squash, all for less than £8 and she kept telling everyone all about her trip to the pumpkin and sweetcorn fields and showing them her treasure
We then took a drive up to her favourite place for a walk, laughing as we climbed the hill, playing ball games and chasing each other, before stopping for a car picnic which is also one of her favourite things to do, and then a swimming lesson in the afternoon
With working full time I often worry that I may miss out on key moments with her, but actually I think it pushes us to make the most of the time we have together. We didn’t do any large scale activity or anything ridiculously expensive, but it ran so smoothly and we both had such a lovely time, that it really will stay in my mind for a long time (and so will the masses of pumpkin we are working through!)
Linking up with Katie at mummydaddyme for the Ordinary Moments link up
And Fiona at Coombe Mill for Country Kids
I was in a cruddy mood last weekend. We had come home on Friday afternoon after just shy of 3 amazing weeks away to our town which is full of traffic, queues and charges for carrier bags (that stumped the hubster after shopping and paying with card due to no UK cash before realising bags were needed!)
After telling the hubster how down I was feeling we decided to have a chat about how best to improve our home life, declutter and destress, and most importantly how to find a better balance long term. In the short term and at that moment in time we both knew that some fresh air would do us good and improve not only mine but his mood too
There was a pumpkin festival at Victoria Country Park on Saturday and last year a record had been set for the largest pumpkin in the UK. We decided to head along this year and see the giant pumpkins and whatever else there was on offer. It seems everyone within Hampshire thought the same and the queues backed up onto the motorway some 4 miles away
We parked up in a nearby village and took a slow family walk with my mother-in-law to the country park to have a look around. Sneakily I spotted some pumpkin curry for a very reasonable price of £3 but J had other things on her mind, a bouncy castle she had spotted as she entered the area. She played on it for her allocated time and as soon as her time finished and she got off she asked to go on it again but we wanted to see what else there was and to look at the giant pumpkins
On a Wednesday I like to make the most of the day with J and on this occasion it was business as usual. We originally thought about going to the beach although the weather forecast was not looking promising so we decided to visit a country park instead
My day began at 6am this morning, strangely not because of J waking up though – she slept in until 6:30, but because I was excited about the day ahead. Today was daddy daughter day, I don’t get many like this so I was eager with anticipation to get started!
As a full time working parent, you are at a bit of a disadvantage, you get the same two days off each week as everyone else – wherever you go is heaving with people, there are queues for everything, and the staff are stretched to the max – so getting the best experience is often not possible
Today was different, its term time and a weekday – you don’t get much better than that combination!
I started my day with J when she woke up, by putting Despicable Me on the TV, and watching it with her – no phone, no tablet, just me and my girl. I did her breakfast, Rice Krispies as usual, and started packing for our day ahead – its amazing just how much stuff goes in the bag!
Wifey stayed in bed (she’s not very well), so I got J washed, dressed and raring to go before heading out the door at 8:30am. We drove to a trampoline place in Camberley called Gravity Force, where we were booked for a 10:30am start. They do a ‘Toddler Takeover’ morning a couple of times each week and this was J’s first time. J loves trampolines, so I was eager to see how she handled a place full of them – even on the walls!