Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ella's 1st Halloween

So we couldn't let Ella's 1st Halloween pass by without a fuss! and let's blog about it before Christmas arrives! 
 When she was just a newborn her Granny Kathy bought her those little pumpkin booties as a gift, and so I planned the rest of her outfit around those! and our little baby pumpkin was born! 

She loved the goggle eyes! and I'd hold her up in the mirror so she could see them shake around!

I gave her these little baby pumpkins to hold...

and you know how it goes!

I feel like this squint face is such an Ella face right now! 

I have always wanted to go to a pumpkin patch! Even when we were in Vancouver I was desperate to go, but the day we had planned to go it poured with rain and so we gave it a miss and I was always sad we didn't make it! 

I always see American and Canadian bloggers posting pictures of these amazing looking pumpkin patches and have always been so jealous that we didn't have anything like that over here!

So when I read online about a place in Shropshire near my parents that had started growing pumpkins each Halloween I knew I wanted to pay it a visit! 

It was pretty far from our house here in Wales, but as luck would have it the Saturday before Halloween Byron had a church meeting somewhere near Chester which then meant the pumpkin patch, Malpas Pumpkins, was only 40 minutes from our day out was planned!

I had assumed it was just going to be a field of pumpkins and not much more so was pleasantly surprised when we arrived to find that they'd put a bit more effort into it than that!

We started off in the corn maze!

with plenty of ghoulish looking characters around every corner!

We met my parents and sister since it was only about 20 minutes from their house and so Ella got some bonus Granny time!

Look at that sticking out tongue - so cute!

Another Granny bonus meant we got a pic of the three of us for once!

Ella never tires of a ride on the shoulders!

She loved getting up close and personal with all the characters checking them out, and wasn't a bit scared!

Even of the pirate one!

She liked pulling this guys hair!

and then we emerged from the maze to this little patch of pumpkins! Funnily enough, I later found out there was a much larger pumpkin field on the other side of the maze which we missed altogether! but we were still pretty impressed with what we saw on the day!

My mom found this baby pumpkin, perfect Ella size!

I think Ella had just twigged that she'd been dressed up to look like the giant orange things on the ground surrounding her! 

My favourite part of the day was loading up our wheelbarrow with our picked out pumpkins, along with an extra stowaway! 

and off she went, being wheeled around like lady muck! 

Granddad's photography skills clearly need a bit more work ;) but I'll take a photo of the 3 of us any day even if it means chopped off legs and babies looking the wrong way! 

Ella was having a little chat with a fellow stowaway in a passing wheelbarrow! and that was it! We exited the patch, and paid for our 2 pumpkins (£3.50 each) and it was £1 per person to go through the maze in the first not too bad for quite a fun little afternoon out! There was a bouncy castle and face painting and little stalls for kids to buy things from with snacks and drinks too. So for our first visit to an English pumpkin patch it wasn't too bad at all! and the funniest part was when we exited the patch into the main farm there were crowds of people gathered around all staring at Ella in the wheelbarrow and talking about her! it was almost like she was a little pumpkin celebrity!!! 

Of course no trip to Cheshire is ever complete without a pit stop at the Ice Cream Farm! Our family loves this place! 

With flavours like white chocolate, raspberry and Oreo - how can you not! 

Ella was especially pleased because we finally got to try out some new play equipment! We go to the playpark every day in our village but the only thing she can go on is the it was nice to have something different for a change!

In fact I'm not sure who was having more fun - Daddy or Ella! 

and the little pumpkin slept nearly the whole trip back to Wales! It's hard work being such a cute pumpkin I tell you!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

We're going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...

We took Ella on her first official zoo trip a while back! It's funny because I'm not really an animal loving person, much to the dismay of Byron! in fact I remember spending most of the day sulking when my 15 year old self had to go to London Zoo with my friends for the day!! but it's amazing how much more fun a zoo can seem when there's a baby involved! and when that baby loves animals as much as Ella seems to!

The zoo we went to was the Welsh Mountain Zoo, just 20 minutes down the road from where we live,  and as you can imagine from the name it's halfway up a mountain/hill and so as well as checking out the animals, there are pretty good sea views too! 

We started off the day with the sea lion show! They were doing all kinds of crazy tricks...but what's that Ella?

Oh yes you can see some jackdaws and seagulls overhead and so you're far more interested in them! We have a serious twitcher on our hands! 

Apparently small birds are more her thing because she wasn't too bothered by these ostrich!

but she did love the penguins!

These chimpanzees were pretty scary with their boisterous antics!

One of my favourites of the day had to be this little red panda!

It was so cute! I could have easily taken it home for a pet!

The limas had crazy long tails!

and they weren't afraid to get up close and personal!

Ella loved watching them in action!

Tiger, tiger...this guy didn't look too happy about being confined.

This is Ella's pure concentration face as she watched some more birds!

She has discovered daddy's hair makes pretty good reins for when she takes a ride up on his shoulders!

This monkey was pulling out all the stops and gave us a right show!

Ella was trying to stroke this monkey through the glass!

and these little guys were hilarious! check out their moustache's!

Plus these little ones looked like Grandad Monkey's!

Random camels we passed!

before we headed back to some more bird watching! because they are apparently much more exciting than camels or tigers!

Ella and Daddy getting ready for the bird show! The excitement is building!!

Just before it began, Byron seized the opportunity of chasing some seagulls out the way! and Ella was just loving it!

I really think she thought she was going to catch that gull! Her little face was hilarious!

Then the bird show began!

The macaws were let loose out of their cage and flew all around the zoo before returning - they were very obedient indeed! and awesome to watch the colours of their wings against the green/grey backdrop!

Ella's concentration face!!

and then she heard the penguin parade was on their way!

She loved watching them waddle by! 

This chirpy guy leading the pack! 

It was a perfect Friday afternoon spent as our little family of 3, and if Ella's enjoyment levels were anything to go by I foresee many more animal orientated day trips in our future!!