Halloween and Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night are right up my street!
I don't think I have ever grown up from experiencing them as a child - okay so I have stopped apple bobbing now but that's about it! ;)
This week, I was playing around with Halloween make-up and went for a zombie. Considering that this was attempt one, I don't think it's a bad effort, though I know parts to make it better for next time.
So with Halloween on my mind, the boyf and I planned a Halloween themed day out with our boys. And do you know what? It was awesome! :)
We took them both to a pumpkin patch where we chose our pumpkins and then sat and carved them with the help of Winnie the Witch (if we needed her)
My boyf's son 'C' is neurotypical (NT) but of course I needed to know every tiny detail so I could prepare DS for the day.
Earlier in the week, I had rang the farm and asked if there would be a quiet area away from the crowds that DS could carve his pumpkin, The lady on the phone was really helpful and said that wouldn't be a problem and together we would find somewhere suitable. I just had to let a staff member know when we had arrived.
So this morning we set up, pulled up at a very busy farm (eeek!) and followed the hand painted wooden signs to the pumpkin patch.
Before reaching the patch, we had to walk through a very dark polytunnel with loads of cool Halloween decorations.
C and I was drawn to a small covered spider web shelf with jars of spell potions such as 'wool of a bat' and 'eye of a toad'. We grinned at each other with excitement!
Choosing our pumpkins was serious business for C and his Dad! It had to be just right so he was off in search of 'just the right one'! :)
We were shown in large and spacious polytunnel with bales of hay, a vintage sofa and some working tables - it was perfect!
Within minutes, we set to work on our own pumpkins.
C asked his Dad to help carve the top of his pumpkin and then he did the rest by himself.
He had chosen a larger one for his Dad and a slightly smaller one for himself as he said they were pumpkin versions of him and his Dad :) (awwww)
DS preferred to draw and colour pumpkins and would glance up at what we were doing every now and again :)
We talked and laughed whilst we worked, it was a really lovely atmosphere evident on everyone's face how much we were enjoying it. Even glancing over at DS he was happily colouring away picking up on everyone's happy vibes :)
I asked him if had carved one before and he answered no which was surprising as his was probably the best! :)
So we popped the precious pumpkins in the car and then took the boys to the play area. I bought an extra one to scoop the flesh out at home as I will make my usual annual Spiced Pumpkin Soup which always goes down well and I will carve the pumpkin afterwards.
It was getting cold and near lunchtime so we all huddled in the car and drove up the road to a Toby Carvery.
As per usual, I walked in first to suss out how busy/quiet they were and to ask for a quiet table in the corner.
I was allowed to walk around and choose as they were pretty empty.
I went back to the car to get the boys and in we all went.
We all ate well, even C ate a roast and served himself. He even went back for a second helping of roast turkey, carrots and mashed potato! :) and then had chocolate fudge cake with custard!
DS had chocolate fudge cake and sat happily soaking in our happy chatter and laughter whilst talking about the fun we had at the pumpkin farm.
Such a brilliant family day out and to think that just a few short years ago, I wouldn't even had considered taking DS to somewhere like that knowing he would seriously struggle with it all :(
Whilst the boys were playing on the park, I got chatting to a lovely family sat next to me on the bench. I was (as I always do!) talking about DS and how brilliant he had done today.
The family had a young relative with autism and was telling me how his Mum was struggling. I did my best to give some light hearted tips to feedback to her as I very much recognised alot of what they were saying from a younger DS!
As a result, I have been a bit reflective today, thinking back at how much tougher things used to be.
DS's Dad and I were in deep conversation about it and as always he was making me laugh reminding me of some of the stories :D
We finished the day off with a bike ride around the farm next door to our house and then back indoors for a mug of hot tea and a warm.
Today will be very hard to beat as it was that enjoyable and I think after a good dose of fresh air and roasted meat and vegetables, we will all sleep well tonight (and I am not just referring to the children!)
Hope you are all having a good weekend too!