Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Fall Weekend In Des Moines

 Fall is a wonderful time of year here in Iowa. The humidity (usually) subsides and makes way for crisp mornings perfect for sipping hot coffee and gorgeous afternoons for playing outdoors. This weekend we spent plenty of time outdoors and enjoying the fall activities around Des Moines.

 The kids and I began our morning with coffee (for me) and donuts (for them) at home, errands, and brunch at Perkins. Elizabeth kept things lively by playing with the creamers and jam on the table. Each on had a name and went on hikes across the table. My kids are never lacking creativity.

After brunch we went to Living History Farms for their yearly Apple Fest. We went a few years ago and loved it. We also seem to be busy on the weekend it's held, but this year I made a point to clear our calendar for the event. Usually our visits to LHF is spent touring the 1900's farm (it's their favorite), but this time went spent all of our time in the 1875 town (also where Apple Fest was taking place). We really had a great time taking our time exploring each shop and watching demonstrations.

 The newspaper has always been a favorite of mine. 

 We went to the church and cemetery. Harrison pretended to be a ghost in the graveyard and jumped out at people. 

 The two youngest minis were upset that we weren't planning on the farms, but the sheep in the town helped that upset. Even better that they got to pet the sheep and feel their wool coats.

                                We got to watch them make a horse shoe in the Blacksmith shop.

 The school house is one of their favorites, but it was crowded so we didn't stay long. They were especially ready to leave the school house when I informed them they had to follow the 3 rules: sit up straight, stand to recite, and be respectful.

 At the top of the hill was Apple Fest! We got to watch demonstrations (and even try out a few things) of them making apple butter and apple fritters, they bobbed for apples, and played a few apple games.

 LHF's bobbing for apples was pretty genius: no worries about the kids getting wet and it gave all of the adults a good laugh as we watched our kids getting whacked in the face by the apples they were trying to bite. Max did not try it out because of all of his missing teeth, or in his words "how would I even bite it mom???!!?"

 The kids got to help out with some wash. This made me even more grateful for our very modern and efficient washer and dryer.

 Elizabeth got to churn butter.

 We had never toured this house before (it was an 1875 business man's home) and it was really interesting to walk through. The funniest moment of the day came as we were leaving the house and the kids saw the cellar (we had just looked at the outhouse). The kids peered down and started asking questions as to what a cellar was. Then this question came: "so mom, what did your outhouse and cellar look like when you were growing up in 1875?" Thanks so much Max. Harrison then one upped him with the question "did you ever just poop in your yard if your outhouse was too yucky?" We left shortly after that.

 The kids got to go to a friend's birthday party at the park. The kids were so exhausted from their busy day that they were in bed by 6:30 p.m.! It was a very relaxing, date night in for Hubs and I. We got take out and caught up on the first week of fall t.v. Being the party animals that we are, we were asleep by 11:30 p.m.

 The early bedtimes on Saturday paid off to give us happy and very energetic children on Sunday. We spent most of our day at the Iowa Outdoor Expo at Water Works Park and we made a quick visit to Iowa Orchards.

 The Iowa Outdoor Expo was great and had TONS to do (more for kids older than 9). Elizabeth and Harrison couldn't do a lot of the shooting and such activities, but they did enjoy the Kids Corner. One of their favorite things was minnow racing, but that had to be stopped when Elizabeth tried beating the minnows with the sticks.

 Max's words "I think we really need to get a snowmobile for the winter time!"

 Max shooting a sling shot (pictured above) and me shooting a cross bow for the first time ever (pictured below). I really enjoyed that there was a wide range of activities to safely try out. I was (as was Max) disappointed that there wasn't more that he could do. Most of the archery area was for 9+ years and most of the other shooting areas were for 12+ years.

                                          Read about our visit to Iowa Orchards here.

 The kids went to bed nice and early again Sunday evening, but not before goofing off. We call this their energetic overly tired phase of the evening.

Next weekend will be just as busy, but with (at least) FOUR pumpkin patches involved!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tour of Pumpkin Patches: Weekend 2

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Let Me Call You....Pooper???

Recently I've had several conversations with moms about their children's nicknames. One mom admitted to calling her son "little pooper poo" during diaper duty at 3 a.m. when he was a newborn. The name stuck. That child is now over six and is still called "little pooper" ("but only at home," confided mom. Not that it makes it any better). This got me thinking about the ridiculous nicknames parents come up with for their kids. we've come up with for our kids.
Take for example our kid's nicknames/pet names/whatever you call them:
Real name: Maxwell JohnVarious nicknames: Max, Maxie, Maxie Pie, Maxi Pad (I can not believe this one came out of my mouth...numerous times), Maxity, Maxie John, Buddy, Big GuyThe low down: Before Max was born, we agreed to call him Max. Thankfully that name stuck, but there's always a few Maxie's and Big Guy's thrown around
Real name: Harrison JamesVarious nicknames: H, Hee, Hee Boy, Hee J, Big HThe low down: We  didn't have any pre-approved nicknames before he was born, but we threw around Harry and Sonny. But Harrison is NOT a Harry or a Sonny. Matt called him "H" one day and the name just stuck.
Real name: Elizabeth AnnVarious nicknames: Bup, Buppy, Buppy Ann, Lily, Lils, Lily AnnThe low down:We had plans to call her Liz or Lizzy, but two year old Harrison calling her Liz-Bup quickly earned her the name Bup for the first two years of her life. Since then, she goes by Lily.
Now I want to know: what are some nicknames you've given your child/ren? What are some ridiculous nicknames you've had? I would LOVE to hear them!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekend Planner

Welcome to our weekly Thursday morning post about what's going on in the Des Moines, Iowa area. We'll share what we'll be doing, great finds, restaurants to eat at, shops to drop some cash at, and just all the great things Des Moines has to offer families.
What We're Doing:
Other Happenings:
  • Children & Families of Iowa's Princess Party at Jordan Creek Town Center
  • Latino Heritage Festival
  • Fun and simple breakfast spots: La Mie Bakery or Capes Kafe in the Des Moines Social Club (great donuts and tons of coffee)
  • Looking for a pumpkin patch? Try out Geisler Farms. We were there last weekend for our first stop on our Tour of Pumpkin Patches and we loved it
  • Ledges State Park is gorgeous this time of year

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Festivals Weekend