Monday, October 21, 2013

Hall Family Farms 2013

2 weeks before we went to NYC, we took the kids to visit Hall Family Farms, our favorite local pumpkin patch. This was the last day we had Liam but didn't know it at the time. These will always be special pictures for us even if we didn't get any amazing ones of him.

We love Hall Family Farms because they offer hayrides and free games in addition to the pumpkin patch and corn maize.

The kids enjoyed the wagon ride to the pumpkins! Parker and Avery searched for the perfect pumpkins while Liam chilled in the wagon.

It's been such a warm fall that the pumpkin patch ended up having to buy some pumpkins from the mountain to meet demand. Parker was the cutest pumpkin in the patch!
In additions to buying pumpkins, our little pumpkins enjoyed playing in the sandbox, doing the toddler maize, and riding the cozy coupes around the field :)

Nana came with us much to the delight to the kids! Parker and nana have a special relationship! 

FALL is my FAVORITE season so I try really hard to get to every major pumpkin patch in the area. So far, we've made it to 2 of the 3 major ones. One more to go and I just scored a Groupon for it! Woo Hoo! Happy Fall!

Daniel and Taylor Take NYC

This weekend, Daniel and I flew to NYC to visit my sister who lives in Brooklyn. It was the first time we've been away from the kids together for more than 1 night. They had a wonderful weekend with nana and poppi! I'm not sure they even missed us!

I've been to NYC before but Daniel had not. We took a cab from the airport to my sister's apartment which began our NYC cabbie experience. Who knew 1 way streets were just recommended? We finally made it to the general area where Kelly lives and we begged to just be dropped off on this corner RIGHT NOW!

We freshened up (which is humorous when you think about it because our next stop was... the subway) and headed to dinner in the East Village. We ate a yummy dinner at Yuca then met some of Kelly's friends at a bar. This is about the time that we realized we are OLD because by 11, I was about ready to curl up on the bar stool like a cat. Kelly hailed us a cab, the cabbie made a pizza stop for himself and ate it while driving us like Mario Andretti back to Kelly's apartment in Brooklyn. By 11:30, I was OUT!

The next morning, we were refreshed and ready to take in all the sites of the city! We grabbed some breakfast, some coffee and headed for the subway while supporting our Clemson Tigers!
1st we stopped at Grand Central Station. It is SO pretty! My camera wasn't on the right setting so I didn't get any usable pictures there. From Grand Central, we walked to Bryant Park. They were setting up an ice skating rink which will be beautiful at Christmas time! Confession: I got so excited because I recognized Bryant Park from an episode of Dateline with Chris Hanson where he interviewed a guy he found on Craigslist who will "make someone disappear"... so a hit man. Forget that Bryant Park is where fashion week used to be (according to my vast knowledge of fashion... ahem... Project Runway)...and how beautiful it was... OMG Chris Hanson! Dateline!

I really should have written down where all we walked but next we walked by Radio City Music Hall according to my pictures. We are big fans of America's Got Talent (and Heidi Klum!) so it was neat to see the building where that's filmed.
Next we saw Rockefeller Center. I loved watching the ice skaters and hearing all the different languages people spoke.
 We couldn't resist visiting the Lego store at Rockefeller Center. We bought Parker a Lego Batman keychain, Lego cup and minifigure ice cube tray which he LOVED! They also gave us a free Lego Iron Man poster which we lugged ALL OVER NYC and attempted to not crush.... we failed... but Parker was still THRILLED!
We visited 2 beautiful Catholic Churches and passed by FAO Schwartz on our way to Central Park. Kelly was the ultimate tour guide! At this point, I was regretting my choice of only bringing this one pair of boots on my trip. Now I understand the tennis shoes with panty hose and suit look.

Central Park was my FAVORITE part of our trip! It's SO pretty! The leaves are changing and I saw a few families taking family photos. We only saw a small amount of the park but I could have spent our whole trip exploring the park and zoo!
We stopped for a street pretzel before heading to the museum of natural history. You could spend HOURS here so if you ever go to NYC and you really want to visit this museum, allot at least half a day. We didn't have that much time so Kelly and I dragged Daniel through the museum and hit the highlights so we could get back outside! It was too nice to be inside looking at the evolution of man from apes etc... especially if you don't believe in all that crap. I did; however, enjoy the poisonous frog exhibition and watching my sister attempt to debate a curator over the age of the earth and how ridiculous it is to think that alligator anteater looking animals evolved into whales. It was also neat to see where "Night at the Museum" was filmed.... I did not; however, see Teddy Roosevelt or Sacagawea (yes I had to Google "Indian girl in Night at the Museum" for the spelling of that one!)
My pictures kinda stop here because we were TIRED and Daniel was officially done with photographing ourselves at every street corner :) He was a trooper, though!

We walked to Little Italy and ate then strolled through China town quickly because it is a pungent area of the city! Kelly hailed my poor feet a cab and I was happily in my PJs by 7pm, on the couch ready for the Clemson game. By 9, it was clear that my Tigers forgot to show up for that game and I passed out until 11 hours later. We woke up Sunday and toured my sister's area of Brooklyn where we got to see less touristy stuff. We "brunched" at Lokal and visited the Williamsburg Flea Market.
We began our "adventure" home by hailing a cab, only to have it blow a tire and then still charge us for the ride and leave us on the side of the road with our bags to find another cab. Thankfully, we did fairly quickly and made it to the airport without almost dying like our other cab rides! We were flying standby and all the flights to Charlotte filled up so we squeezed into the last 2 seats on a flight to DC in hopes of getting to Charlotte sometime Sunday! Once we got to DC, we ate the most glorious meal... Five Guys greasy burgers and fries. NYC has some great food but nothing beats the delicious grease of Five Guys. The gate agent told us that there was no way we were going to make the Charlotte flight because it also filled up, so we sat at that gate and ate while waiting for a Greenville SC flight. At least we would be closer to home, right?! God must have known how badly I wanted to get home to my babies because a family of 4 no showed and Daniel and I got on the last 2 seats on that flight too!

We really enjoyed visiting what seems like another country compared to where we live! MY sister loves it there and I can see why! It's so "her!" I understand why so many young single adults enjoy living there but other than the Upper West Side, I just don't think I could live there. I need trees, and backyards and a room for the kids trampoline! haha NYC is a great place to visit but I couldn't imagine raising a child there. Obviously, people do but I about had a heart attack each time I saw a child scootering by themselves down the street toward a busy intersection. I can see where summers in the parks would be fun but the winter months would be brutal! I loved seeing my sister and her city life but it reaffirmed my love of the suburbs with these 2! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Painting

Where did September go? Well, wherever she went, I welcome October with open arms! I love all things pumpkin, crunchy leaves and fall! I couldn't wait to buy pumpkins for the kids to paint! I always have these grand mommy moments in my head about how fun these activities will be... and then someone eats paint. That perfect vision quickly vanishes and I panic because one kid's eating paint and the other is painting herself but that's life with 3 toddlers! 

We grabbed some pumpkins on sale at HT ($5 for these big pumpkins! Holla!) put on some mismatched play clothes and got to painting... or eating it if you're Liam ;) 
We're working on some tactile issues with Parker so I thought we'd give finger painting a whirl. The pumpkins weren't the prettiest but he surprised me with how willing he was to try it, even if it was a messy project.

Avery is ALL about some art! She loves to paint. She painted her pumpkin for twice as long as the boys. 

Liam didn't understand. I mean, the paint was on a plate... obviously it means it must be eaten, right?  Thankfully, it's crayola washable non toxic paint ;) But goodness gracious... those eyes!

After our pumpkin painting, the kids stripped off any paint covered clothes and played in the backyard. If you don't have a nice Tonka truck for outside, buy one! All the kids love this dump truck!
Liam LOVES the dogs! He enjoys chasing them around the backyard. When he runs and is excited, he closes his eyes which works out for him about 0% of the time. Bless his heart. Check out how tall he's getting!
 Even though my visions of Pinterest perfectly painted pumpkins wasn't exactly reality, it was still a fun activity! Also a plus, using washable paint means I can clean them off and we can go it again as many times as we want :) 

Happy Fall Y'all!