Thursday, October 24, 2013

Welcoming Fall - with a little help from our village

It really does take a village to raise children. From the smallest encounters to use as teaching moments, to the people that they interact with on a regular basis, I believe that my kids are the people they are as a result of their environment just as much or more than their genetics. Last weekend, the kids and I officially started fall and Halloween activities, and our village was with us every step of the way.

Saturday morning, after Tae Kwon Do and a haircut for Jonathan, we headed over to Marker Miller Orchard for some apple picking. We love going to Marker Miller. They have a great play area, a free (music to mom's ears...) cow train ride, great pick your own fruit, a hayride, and a wonderful store and bakery. I found out that the kid's friend Peyton was there with her mom, and family. Peyton's sister and brother are Aly and Travis, who have helped us out at the farm or watched the kids for us. Their grandma, Donna, is their regular daycare/school teacher. Along with the kids Mom Karen, and Pawpaw Rick, they are a big part of the kids' village. I knew Jonathan and Genevieve would be excited to see them all, but kept it a secret just in case they were not there once we arrived.

Fortunately - they were. The kids had a ton of fun playing at the playground with each other, and riding the cow train. My two will ride the train endlessly if I allow them.

After the cow train ride, our friends headed out and we went off to pick our apples. With two eager apple pickers, it didn't take us long to fill our 1/2 bushel bag.

After expending all our energy playing and picking apples, we re-energized with apple cider donuts and finished our running with the dreaded grocery shopping.

The neighborhood we live in is wooded, no street lights, and does not really lend itself to trick or treating. Each year, they host "trunk or treat" at the entrance of the neighborhood by our mailboxes. Cars park in the office parking lot and hand out candy out of the back of their cars. Last year they added a few activities to the event. The kids were super excited about the new/used costumes I snagged for them that morning.

My own Incredible kids!

We arrived a little early and completed the games, trick or treated at all the cars there, then I settled the kids into our truck to hand out candy to the other kids. We grabbed a hot dog and headed home!

Sunday we had another big day planned. Thank you Groupon for a great deal at a pumpkin farm in Middletown MD. Plans included meeting my best friend and her family at the farm for a corn maze, pumpkin picking and lunch, then heading to Culpepper VA to visit some friends at a chili cookoff. Unfortunately, halfway through the corn maze, I got a headache. Side effect of my new glasses? The weather? Who knows. But by the time we were done picking pumpkins, I had a full blown migraine.

Migraines and I don't mix well. When I get a migraine, I often enter vomitville and get sick for hours. I took some medicine with no relief. I ended up cutting the petting zoo area short with the kids and started home.  My 90 minute drive home took 2.5 hours. I still called my Dad and had him come get the kids from me so I could try to relax in the car before driving the last half hour. I begged Ghon to come home on time from work to take care of the kids. I was toast. I took more medicine. I sat in the dark in my room with a cold washcloth for two hours before I was able to come sit with the kids and Ghon at dinner.

For those of you that ask how I do it, and how do I have the time to do everything we do - it's because I have a good village to support me. Between friends and spare eyes watching the kids at our local orchard or friends and family helping with the kiddos when I'm down and recovering, it takes more than just me to raise these two awesome kids. Thank you to my village - I'm glad to have all of you in my life! And the migraine is proof, that once in a while, even Mom needs to slow down and take a break.

By the way, have you clicked on the Top Mommy Blog badge lately? It's over there on the right - and you can click it every day if you'd like. :) Thanks!

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