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Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year from the fun and spooky decorations and activities to the over indulgence in chocolate. I love decorating the house in Halloween decor and taking part in the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, corn maze, haunted houses and of course eating all that chocolate. This year we are hoping to to take Ziya trick-or-treating seeing as she will older and hopefully able to enjoy the day a bit more than last year. Last year she was nearly five months old so we just went to the mall – which for the record was nothing like I would’ve expected. Nearly all the stores did not partake in giving out candy/chocolate and had these signs plastered all over their store windows stating ‘no trick-or-treating’. I thought it was a bit silly considering many parent(s) who have very young children are made to believe the mall is the place to go, but it was such a disappointment and not the Halloween experience you would’ve thought it would’ve been for a first time parent celebrating their first Halloween with their baby. Hopefully it was just our mall and this isn’t the case elsewhere. This year she is nearly a year and a half and it will be fun to see how she takes it all in. So far the decorations aren’t a huge hit. She is actually afraid of some of the skeleton decor that is set up around the house and even though she is okay with it all being there, don’t you dare take her close to them, she will freak out and literally grab a hold of you for dear life, and scream NO. This year she is going to be a fun little monkey. One of the first things I wanted to do to get into the spirit of the spooky month is take a picture of her in her outfit and to ensure that it fits as best as a one size fit all can fit. It is also something I purchased it before she was even born, since I knew it was something gender neutral, so basically I was hoping that it fits this year otherwise off to the mall we go to find her an alternative…sadly when I put it on she only allowed me to capture a few shots before she got was over wearing the head portion of the costume. I am thinking this outfit may not work for the big day cause without the head piece it just doesn’t do the costume justice. Isn’t it funny that when children are actually aware of what is being put on them, and if they get the slightest inkling that they look cute or funny or that they just straight up don’t want to wear it, they tear it off of them faster than we can blink. So despite the Halloween decor being too scary and the costume being a bust for our toddler, the picture I was able to capture – out of the 50+ taken – I was able to captivate a brief happy moment. Are your kids ecstatic about their Halloween costume and trick-or-treating? I know my little monkey is excited about trick-or-treating, but only because I told her she gets chocolate, and if anyone knows Ziya, knows that chocolate is her vice in life.
The next thing on our spooky to-do list was hit up the local corn maze. Its a tradition we take part in every year and even though I am nearly due it wasn’t something I wasn’t about to miss. We went without the little one for a few reasons, firstly it is generally cold out and it is best to go when it is close to your little ones bedtime. Secondly it is not only too cold for them, but it isn’t a place where you can bring a stroller. The ground is wet and muddy which makes it slippery. Probably not the best place for a pregnant woman either, but it was something I insisted on doing and promised to be VERY cautious. Baby wearing is something that is possible, but that, like being pregnant would be a bit challenging as you are walking and maneuvering through the muddy trails and avoiding big mud puddles by sometimes sifting you way through corn stalks that you would probably end up smacking your baby while trying to get through the mess. If anybody has been to a corn maze, it isn’t a place for a small toddler who is walking, it is not only really mucky and you can at times get stuck in the mud, but it is dark and you need to be willing to walk through and around things to get places, this ends up being a bit daunting for a smaller child I would think. I know this probably doesn’t sound appealing but I promise you it is worth doing, at least once. This winter hasn’t been too bad so we didn’t need to bundle up as much as previous years which was a nice change, but the rain had accumulated enough over the weeks that the mud was quite mushy and slippery. Since you are in the middle of an open field filled with nothing but tall stalks of corn and the moonlight, you need a flashlight. EACH PERSON NEEDS A FLASHLIGHT…of course we always tend to never bring enough flashlights, so this year we came prepared, or so we thought, except 1 flashlight never ended up working….fail, so we had to rely on 3 flashlights among four people. Not too bad given a few years back we had not even thought of a flashlight because we had never ventured out to one before and clearly had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, that all we had to rely on were our cell phones and the moonlight. If you have never done a corn maze before, it is an absolute must, they may be a small drive out of the city, they provide you a map that is difficult to follow, and you find stations that provide you a question with multiple answer choice questions and based on your answer you would go left or right etc. It seems rather easy, but it isn’t. Half the time the questions don’t make sense, you feel like you are going in circles and sometimes you feel like there is NO WAY OUT, but it is so much fun along the way and it is something that everybody needs to do during the month of October to get them into the spirit of Halloween. The mazes are well thought out and put together and even though they may require a few hours to get through, lot of walking in the process, and of course some mud ridden shoes it is worth every penny. We have finally started to get the hang of them now since we have done them for the past few years, but still find ourselves lost and never have enough time to complete the entire map because we end up getting to the maze too late. All in all, they are initially a bit difficult to maneuver around and feel rather daunting but once you get into a rhythm you start to really enjoy the concept and feel like you can actually make it out of the maze. Three words – TOO MUCH FUN!
Another must-do during the month is the pumpkin patch. Each patch is different but they all have the same concept. A hay ride, pick a pumpkin from the patch, entertainment, petting zoo and lots of fun areas for pictures. We decided to try a new one this year Laity Pumpkin Patch because we had heard some great things about it being very child friendly pumpkin patch. Their pumpkins were amazing and so was their prop area for taking pictures, the hay ride was not anything to rave about, as it just went around in a small circle so I felt like you really lost the whole experience around that part of the pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch we went to last year Richmond Country Farms was awesome because they have an enjoyable hay ride that drives you to the patch, and during the ride gets everyone involved by singing along to farm-type songs along the way. They give you the whole pumpkin patch experience…this new one lacked that despite having a lot of fun kid friendly areas to walk and play around and the opportunity to take pictures along the way. They also had a lot of fun pumpkin varieties, from colours, shapes and sizes. I guess each patch has their pros and cons…so if you have time go to a couple of them to get the whole pumpkin patch experience, I would recommend it. Our little Ziya loved looking at everything and was pointing at the pumpkins and the Disney characters in the forested areas where we took loads of photos. Definitely something worth doing with the family during the season.
The next fun activity that is a must do is pumpkin carving. We always make it a tradition to get together with my cousin and a couple of friends. It just makes for a fun time and gives us the opportunity to hang out with some good laughs. Now of course Ziya couldn’t partake in the carving so we just occupied her by giving her some paper and pencil crayons and that entertained her while we carved. Thinking next year she will be able to draw more so perhaps I can give her some markers and she can decorate her pumpkin. I am sure she will love that and it will be nice to see what she ends up doing to it. For now drawing on paper it is. Its not a clean job, but it is one that has to be done because it wouldn’t be Halloween without a pumpkin. Google and pinterest are great for ideas on what face to carve, they are even lots of stencils you can print out, but we just get our ideas and then modify them as we go and by modify I mean attempting to follow the picture and then making a mistake that cannot be fixed and the pumpkin ends up being something much different than we had started with It is all good, that is what makes every pumpkin unique, much like its shape and size.
This year haunted houses were out since they do not allow pregnant women into the houses…which I can understand. Nobody wants to go into labour from a scary creature flying in front of them while they are in a dark house. Since my due date is 4 days away we wanted to make sure we got to take part in all of our usual Halloween festivities, even if that meant some of them were earlier than we normally do them. Now we look forward to the birth of our second child and trick-or-treating on Halloween. So what do you do during the month of October to celebrate Halloween and all of the spooky fun that surrounds it. This is what we have done so far! Now for another piece of chocolate. Nom Nom