Bug,  The Hood,  Tis the Season

Avoid the crowds, visit the pumpkin patch in February

blending in

I think somebody told me a long time ago not to go to the local pumpkin patch in the morning because it is bombarded with all the schoolchildren on field trips. Of course I forgot this little bit of information when we headed off yesterday morning. Even if I had remembered it, I might have ignored that advice anyway because my day is ruled with an iron fist by The Nap Schedule. I’m a slave to The Nap Schedule.

Stupid naps.

We have to do everything before eleven in the morning because if we don’t and Baby Bug falls asleep in the car on the way back from wherever we went, then that is the END of the nap as I know it. No time to work on my computer, no time for freelance, no time to work on a blog post…pretty much no time for me. Which is a very very long day for me and my grumpy toddler. I try to avoid it when I can.

walk on the wind blown side

We made it to the pumpkin patch and back for The Nap but we were a little worse for it. I think I’m over the local pumpkin patch. It’s still great and I would send anyone off to see it for an adventure but I’m done with it. The smaller patches are just as much fun and you spend less money.

I don’t want to bad mouth the local farm at all because they are working very hard with the community to do a lot of good. They offer organic fruits and vegetables and I think they even have some kind of program where you can get a box of vegetables and fruit a week (I need to look into that more). They offer a lot of activities for kids. They’ve got the educational field trip streamlined down to Disneyland levels of crowd control.


I think that’s where they are losing me: the crowd control. I felt very shuffled along with the crowd but we weren’t part of a group so we didn’t get the group benefits. No free pumpkin for Baby Bug. Of course I could buy one for her (and I would have but they were pretty sad rotten pumpkins to pick from). The employees tried really hard to include us but the groups ruled the day. And I understand that.

The groups were fun too. Bug loves other kids. I’m just not so fond of them myself. I love kids. Just not hordes of them all at one time. I just want to meander along and look at things with my toddler and not get clobbered by a gang of seven-year-olds.

rotten pumpins as far as you can see!

When we did break away from the crowds, everything seemed so trampled and picked-over. I thought we were early in the season but I guess I don’t know squat. There are a lot of pumpkins still but more than half of them are rotten. Maybe it was just a bad year with the heat.

So I paid eight bucks to ride on the wagon and feed the goats. We didn’t even buy a pumpkin. I’ve seen better ones at the grocery store. But I don’t mean this to be a big rant about how dumb the local pumpkin patch is. It’s just better if you don’t have high expectations. We needed something to do to pass the time and this was fun.

nibble nibble

It was worth it for the petting zoo. Bug has been really into petting goats lately. That was one time that I was glad I was not part of a school group. They came in and swarmed the animals and then after ten minutes or so they were shuffled out again. I know if Bug had been part of the group she would have been so sad to be forced to leave. So I let her stay and stay and stay. Because we could! What a privilege! We can hang out with goats all day!

feeding Fancy

As long as it doesn’t run into nap time of course.


  • lynne

    I’m sorry to hear your day out wasn’t all you expected but I guess getting quality time with the goats was worth while. Even if the pumpkins weren’t up to scratch the top picture with Bug amongst the piled up pumpkins looks really special. Isn’t orange the most luminous, cheerful colour ?

    Growing up we couldn’t get pumpkins where I lived so we used turnips instead and used Birthday candles inside to light them up. When the supermarket has run out of pumpkins I’ve carved out oggie faces on potatoes and dotted them around the house as scary spuds and last year I utilised a water melon into the perfect Halloween lantern :)

  • christina in mo

    I’ve been following since Baby Bug was born.. watching her grow through your pictures and word descriptions.

    Yet only today did I notice.. she is becoming a real kid!!
    She’s not fitting (in my mind at least) as “baby” Bug.
    She looks so much like a “big” kid in these photos.. I had to stop and stare.

    my “baby” will be nine years old in a couple of months. I can clearly recall when I looked at her and realized she wasn’t my ‘baby’ bean any more.

    Bug is still beautiful.. of course!

  • BeachMama

    I love the photo with the blowing corn stalks. We do the pumpkin patch too, last year we made it there and back before we found out it was closed to the public during the week and only open to schools. It was so much better than going on the weekend though. A lot of the time we go to the local ‘farmer market’ type place (used to be and orchard) and buy our pumpkins there, just as fun and only a 5 minute drive :)

  • Calee

    I vote for the Pumpkin Patch at the Irvine regional park–which I think is really in Orange. Saturday morning was low crowds, fun train, beautiful pumpkins but I don’t know about goats. We hit the Laguna Hills Mall PP this morning but had to fight to keep her awake–we are SLAVES to nap time too.

  • nicole

    One day you when Bug is crying after a hard day in first grade you will wish you still had a nap schedule!!! I picked Jude up today and the tears were flowing and so I became a nap slave driver! He is sleeping now but Delia is not…though she ought to be.

  • karen

    Nap time! I miss nap time. Now that my kids are older, there’s no getting them to nap no matter how much they might need one. Sometimes, I long for my slave-to-the-nap-schedule days…

    Looks like the pumpkin trip was fun, despite the crowds. You’re braver than I am – if we get pumpkins at all, it’s usually from a class field trip or the display in our local market.

  • Anonymous

    we must have just missed you yesterday! i think we arrived and disneypumpkinland around 10:30 ish! i wish we had run into you that would have made it so much more fun!! like you i was so excited and had built it up in my head. i parked next to the 10 or so full size busses and proceeded still with high hopes. i agree it seemed geared towards school groups more than individuals…… i had to almost beg to buy my load of little pumpkins!! lets all go to the small patch together next year. xo kate

  • Amanda

    Can you tell me where this real Patch is? My family lives in So. Cal and tells this Nebraskan their pumpkin patch is in a PARKING LOT?!?

  • Susan

    I wish i had a nap time for myself. =)
    Our pumpkin patch is overrated also and so stinkin’ crowded. I should write on my pumpking that its came from walmart or paint one of those yellow smiley faces on the side so people will know I ditched the patch for lower prices and non-rotten pumpkins. Haha!
    Love the goat pictures…she looks so happy with them.

  • Gayle

    I love your photos in this post. Bug looks so grown up! She is such a cutie.

    That’s funny about nap time. I remember those days. Even now sometimes I dream about not wanting my kids to fall asleep in the car because I’ll miss out on the stuff I could get done during nap time! And my kids haven’t napped in many years! Dumb dreams.

  • (another) bethany

    ah, i just came back from one of the school trips, and oh i’d rather have gone apple picking or something with just my kids. utter and complete mayhem, endless rows of buses, hordes of screaming kids, and i couldn’t wait to leave. it was more like 3 minutes with the goats for us :). she’s still adorable as always!

  • Sam

    I know what you mean about the hordes of school kids! Two outings in the past two weeks have been taken over by lots of bigger kids. Like you, I love children, but I don’t like having to play defense so my kid doesn’t get trampled! Oh well. Live and learn. Love Bug’s pigtails!

  • Bev Shoemaker

    I just found your blog and LOVE it!!!

    I have to agree with Calee. After visitng other pumpkin patches in the area, my family absolutely LOVES the Irvine Park Railroad pumpkin patch. A group of us visited the pumpkin patch last Saturday and there are truly activities for children of all ages (even big kids!)!!

    The train is the biggest hit with my family. There are many other activites that will keep visitors busy for hours — face painting, pony rides, the zoo, a haunted house and more. You want pumpkins? They have thousands of pumpkins even tiny pumpkins that are easy for my younger kids to carry around.

    We will most likely go back on October 25th when the kids will wear their costumes and get some free stuff that will be given away.

    If you have not checked out their Christmas train, do so this year. It’s the perfect Christmas activity for your family and you will want to check it out!