Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkins and Princesses

I love this time of year. I think the transition from summer to fall may be my favorite time of year... or maybe it's spring. I think it changes depending on the season.

We made the trip a few miles north to a local Fall Festival. I get excited about these things. Andy, not so much. But, he humored me and went, knowing just how much the kids and I would enjoy it. Some friends of ours, along with their two boys, joined us for the fall fun.

The first thing Ava saw when we entered the shindig was an entire princess play area. Her eyes lit up as she pointed and excitedly announced that "we MUST go over there!" So, she pranced over. Her little friend Reid, being the totally laid-back kid he is, decided the princess area was okay by him because it had a jumping castle, even if said jumping castle had Disney princess all over it. While Reid jumped, Ava played dress-up. An entire section of the princess playland was devoted solely to dress up. So, Ava put on a Cinderella dress (who else?) and climbed aboard a real carriage. Really, it's actually the one used by Disney at the NYC premier of the movie when it was re-released a few years back. Not too shabby, eh?

I love her princess pose

It took some coercion to get Ava out of the carriage (along with some tears) and promises that we would return. Although, the rest of the afternoon she reminded me repeatedly that she was ready to go back to the princess area.

After all the girly stuff was out of the way we mosied on over to a farm-themed playground,

duck races,

haybale maze

and kid-sized corn maze. Ava and Jax didn't quite get the concept of the haybale maze and instead just kept going in and out of the same tunnel. Fine by me, I had to practically bend my body in half to get through that thing! The corn maze was less painful (for me) and Jax was in heaven -- free to run amok, surrounded by food (or so he thought).

Mmmmm.... corn.

BLAH! What is this? Get it off my tongue!

Rather than sit int he wagon, he chose to pull it.

This reminds me of Edith Ann on Sesame Street

All the kids were excited about the cow train, and it kept Ava's mind off of princesses for awhile. As the train drove by with another group of passengers, I rattled off the names of all the "cow cars" to Ava. She chose Daisy, the caboose, while Jax and I hitched a ride on Angel.

Waiting patiently for their turn

Next to the train sat a giant blow-up monster. Ava was intrigued because it gave the false-impression that it was of the dinosaur species. So, she decided she wanted to go inside. I, knowing better realized it was a "haunted" monster. However, she insisted. I, wanting to be the mom who lets her children make well-informed decisions, grudgingly agreed. So, she Andy, Reid and Reid's dad, Nate all went inside. A few minutes later, out came two daddies carrying two crying kids. Apparently, she was fine until near the end a clown jumped out at her and something came down from the ceiling and went, "Psssht" at her (her description, not mine). I held her, we talked about it. I explained that I knew she was scared, but that those things were just pretend. She, as well as I, was worried she'd have bad dreams that night. So, we talked about our bedtime plan: scriptures, prayers (special prayer for good dreams), books, singing and then good dream spray. Good Dream Spray is something I concocted when we first moved to Utah and Ava was having a bout with bad dreams. Really, it's a small bottle of smelly body spray, but it's pink so Ava is happy. We recite a little saying, "Twinkle, twinkle little sprinkle. Wish I may, wish I might have nothing but good dreams tonight." Cheesy, but it works. Then, a few mists of the spray and discussion of all the happy things she'll dream about and problem solved. She slept great last night!

So, back to the fall festival. After the monster debacle we decided to take a break and play some tetherball. All was good and fun until Andy accidentally hit Ava in the face. She just kept telling me, "Daddy hit me in the face with the tertherball. That is NOT how we play tetherball." Poor thing.

Once the tears were gone and Ava was speaking to her Daddy again, we took the kids to the slides. Good idea. Any and all tears were soon replaced by big smiles and lots of giggles.

Daddy even sent Jax down one all by himself.

To cap off our afternoon we headed over to the jumping pillows. I think these are self-explanatory.

Jax cracks me up, he's just so fearless. I know Heavenly Father blessed me with a no-boundaries boy on purpose. I am far too paranoid and cautious, Jax came along to lighten his Mommy up. He wanted so badly to get on the pillows, which made me a little nervous. There were lots of kids, lots of grown-ups and not a whole lot of paying attention. However, not wanting to deprive him, I threw him on and stood close by. He couldn't have been happier. He made attempts at jumping, but most of the time, he just hung out and let everyone else do the work for him.

Ava, the little jumping bean would have stayed there all day had I let her.

Eventually, I got in on the fun too.

Of course, before we headed home, Ava and I made a stop back in princess land, where this time she chose to be Snow White. After the costume was off, she heard a song often played on Radio Disney and this is what ensued:

A fun, busy way to celebrate fall. Jax fell asleep within minutes of leaving the parking lot. Ava, on the other hand, toughed it out during the car-ride home but fell asleep as soon as we got home. That's the sign of a good day.