Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pumpkin Patch 2018

Fall is such a fun season, and I feel like going to the pumpkin patch is our first activity where I feel like "Okay - Fall is officially here".  Cooper and I visited a pumpkin patch on our trip to Atlanta for Fall Break, but we honestly didn't even look at the pumpkins.  We were there for the activities, and I wasn't going to buy one without being with the whole family.

The weather cooled off a little bit, but by the afternoon, it was starting to get a little warmer.  Nothing like visiting the pumpkin patch in shorts - haha.

These two were ready to find the perfect pumpkins!

They both love finding a few small pumpkins just for themselves.  Also - I wonder if this is the last year where they aren't the same height?  Cooper is gaining on LL -- and gaining rapidly.  I think there's a possibility that he may catch up to her next year!



This is real life - Momma measuring a kid while another wanders around with a pumpkin in hand.  :)

My best girl!  It's also not long before she catches up to me in height!


Cooper completely remembered "5 Little Pumpkins" and asked to get a picture on his own!

This boy.  He wears me out and has my heart all at the same time.


And this man tolerates my obsessive pumpkin grabbing and just gently suggests that maybe we should put a few back - haha.

When LL was about 6, we went through a "weird smile" phase.  Well, folks.  Here we are again.



No crazy smile on this beautiful girl!


My whole world!

This was our haul before Matt suggested we take a few out.


A look back through the years!






Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall Break 2018

When LL was about 3-4 years old, she and I started taking "girls trips" to Atlanta for random weekends here and there.  In fact, we just took our most recent this past February right after her birthday (and I got a stomach virus on the trip - FUN!).  Since school has started, I've been thinking that I wanted to start including Cooper in these one-on-one trips.  Now that he's older, there's no reason that he can't get in on the fun, too!  

Matt and I talked about it and decided that I would do a trip with one kid in the Fall and a trip with one kid in the Spring.  On the weekends that I'm gone to Atlanta, Matt will get to have a fun Daddy weekend with other kid in town.  By the end of the school year, we will both get a one-on-one weekend with each kid.  I really think it's going to work out well!  It also gives each kid a chance to spend time with Ben alone (which is also less overwhelming for him).  

I talked with my sister about it a few weeks ago and we got the first trip planned for me and Cooper to come up the first weekend in October.  It was Fall Break for us and for Ben, so it gave us a long weekend to go up and have fun.  Ben had Fall Break Thursday, Friday, and Monday.  We just had it on Friday.  As soon as school got out on Thursday, Cooper and I hit the road!

We got there with enough time for Cooper to play with Ben for about 45 minutes before he needed to go to bed.  Another perk of the one-on-one weekend with Mommy: snuggling in the big bed!

The next morning, we got up and ready for a super busy day!  First up was a local pumpkin patch.  We had talked about going to a much larger one about 45 minutes away, but we decided the boys would be just as happy with one right down the road.  We tried to go early before it got too hot.




He was, by far, the cutest pumpkin in the patch!

I've never seen an inflatable corn maze before, but we did it!

There was also an inflatable haunted house that ended up being super sketch inside - haha.  I think they hide people in there at night to scare people, but we just saw overturned chairs and a bunch of stuff randomly on the floor.

Just two boys jumping their hearts out!

They also had a bunny petting area!  Laura and I could have stayed in there for a long time, but the boys weren't nearly as interested as we were.



The bungee trampolines were much more their speed!



Just two sisters hanging out with our boys!


Something Ben has gotten in to lately is this magnetic car racing.  He's been saving his money and buying his own cars and stuff.  After the pumpkin patch, we grabbed lunch and then went to race some cars!  (And, yes, his shoes are on the wrong feet.  He didn't care, and I wasn't fighting the battle - haha).


Cooper was excited to learn what this was all about!

This is not a super flattering picture for any of us, but all of our facial expressions just cracked me up!

We let the boys do three races, and they had a blast!

After car racing, we went back to the house for a few hours to rest and get ready for our next activity: Stone Mountain's Pumpkin Festival!


Pumpkins everywhere!  I was in Heaven!



With our admission, we also were able to complete the ropes course!  We didn't get any pictures of us on the course because we had to put all of our stuff in a locker.  I did take this picture (of other people) so that Matt could see what we completed!  I was so proud of Cooper and Ben.  We were so high up (12 feet and 24 feet) and they both were so brave and had so much fun!  Laura and I had a blast, too!

We tackled it together!

After we did the big course, we let the boys play on a smaller course they had behind it.


We ate a small dinner so that we could save room for something really fun...

A pumpkin funnel cake!  It also had whip cream, caramel, and nuts.  I'm not a pumpkin fan, but this was amazing!

We did glow-in-the-dark mini-golf and a train ride before heading home.

You know it was a fun time when this happens on the way home!

We got back super late from Stone Mountain, so I just gave Cooper a super fast bath before bed.  When I was drying him off, I noticed he had a rash all over his whole back and shoulders!  I think it was from the soap that I used (it wasn't a children's soap and it was exfoliating), but I'm not 100% sure.  It wasn't severe (we did Benadryl anyway), and it took another 3 days to go away!

The next morning the boys hung out and played for a while.

We came up to Atlanta for Ben's birthday party in August.  He had it at SkyZone, and he also got some passes to come back with his party package.  We went Saturday morning to let the boys get some energy out!


That evening, Gino offered to watch both boys so that Laura and I could go out for dinner.  I had never been to Ponce City Market, so we headed there.  I loved looking in all of the stores and co-ops, and these walls were so fun and beautiful!


We had reservations at a fancy place, but we ended up cancelling so that we could have something lighter.  I got an acai bowl (my favorite!), and Laura got a french ham and cheese sandwich and we shared them both.  They both were so good and it was a good choice for dinner!


The whole area was just so neat.  I loved it!


They also had this cute little outdoor area set up in the middle of the parking lot.

We ended up going to the roof to hang out for a little bit.  This is us behind the big "Ponce City Market" that we took a picture in front of a few pictures back.

The views of the city and Buckhead at night were just gorgeous!


Not too shabby, ATL.

We took Laura's convertible, and I had fun driving us home!

While we were out, Gino and the boys had fun eating pizza and going to the park!


I came back to a sleeping, snuggled up boy.

Cooper and I got up the next morning and hit the road pretty early to come home.  I've been really trying to turn myself into a coffee person lately (I seriously need some caffeine in my life that isn't soda), and Emily recommended the Vanilla Iced Coffee from McD's.  I tried it, and it was a winner!

While Cooper and I were gone, LL had a fun weekend in town!  Thursday after school, LL hung out with Grammy and Pop until Matt was done working.  I just got a class pet, and he came home for the weekend.  LL had a blast showing off Ronald Reagan to Grammy and Pop!


Ronal Reagan got some outside time in the wheelbarrow - haha.


That night, Matt and LL went on a date to Texas Roadhouse. (although LL refused to call it a date - haha.  Hello, pre-teen!)

LL hung out with Gigi on Friday while Matt worked.  (Side note - that bear beside LL used to be mine when I was little.  I was obsessed with him and took him everywhere with me - even well into highschool.  He's LL's now and she is just as obsessed with him as I was.  I love it!)

LL ended up spending the night with Gigi, so Matt got some hunting in.

Matt started feeling pretty crappy on Saturday with some allergy mess, so he and LL had a chill day at home.  She's studying the Solar System at school, so he ordered this model kit for them to paint and put together on their weekend.  Football on the TV and a Science project going - you can tell it's a Daddy weekend!


LL was so so happy to have a whole weekend with Ronald Reagan with no one else (aka Cooper) to split that time with.  She and RR got some good bonding time in!


The finished product!

Aspyn and I don't always get along (she can be pretty annoying), but she is so good to these kids!  

Matt and LL headed to church while Cooper and I drove home!

Even though the weekend came with it's fair share of struggles for both me and Matt, we both really enjoyed our one-on-one time with our babies!!  We're all looking forward to switching and doing this again in the Spring!