Celebrating the Fall Season

October 19, 2020, Hailey Cain

The fall is such a wonderful season! The daytime temperatures are beautiful, as long as it’s not raining, and it’s the perfect time to start celebrating traditions for the holiday season. With this our first year as parents, Joshua and I have been trying to celebrate fall with Delilah to the fullest and establish new traditions as a family. When October came around our first question, of course, was how are we going to celebrate Halloween? Delilah is still so little and we have concerns about COVID-19 so we decided to skip trick-or-treating this year. I would have eaten all the candy anyway. Instead we decided to focus on other ways to celebrate fall as a family.

One way we celebrate almost any holiday in my family is by baking. As soon as October started, I started baking with fall ingredients. It is an opportunity to add pumpkin and squash to almost everything I can, and this year I have the most perfect taste tester! One thing we’re doing a little bit differently is to find creative ways to cook with baby food. I keep making the joke that I’m going to write a “cooking with baby food” cookbook, but all the recipes would use pumpkin baby food. So far using baby food I’ve made pumpkin pie pancakes, pumpkin and squash muffins, and a sweet potato and vanilla protein shake for Joshua. It’s been so much fun to try and find creative ways to use all this baby food we have as we work on transitioning Delilah to eating more textured food.

Another way we celebrated the season was to take a family trip to the pumpkin patch. This last weekend Joshua, my mom, and I took Delilah on her first outing to a pumpkin patch.  We made the decision as a family that this was an activity we felt safe going to considering it was an outdoor event with ample opportunity to create space between us and other families. Considering we don’t go on a lot of outings, and this was a longer day, Delilah did fantastic and had such a good time.

I was a little disappointed that we weren’t buying Delilah a costume because we decided against trick or treating this year. However, I decided to get creative and use my crochet skills to make her a special outfit themed like candy corn for our trip to the pumpkin patch! I love how it turned out!

The local pumpkin patch we went to had so many fun things to do. They had farm animals to look at and feed, a produce stand and u-pick produce, a wagon train, hayrides, a corn maze, and other activities.

I took Delilah straight to the animals first when we arrived. She is absolutely obsessed with her pets at home so I hoped she would love farm animals as well. When we got there, they had gigantic and fluffy cows right up at the fence.  Cows are also one of my all-time favorite animals so I was ecstatic. There’s actually a picture hanging in our living room of the first time I ever touched a cow. Delilah loved watching all the animals there, although I think I was more excited about them.

Next, we decided to take her on the wagon train. There were other parents holding their babies for the ride so we hoped she would like it. Unfortunately, we had to wait a little while in line and that gave Delilah some time to get sleepy, so by the time it was our turn she just wanted to sleep and the bumps kept waking her up.  She still had a good time, though next time we might try the slower hayride.

One obstacle we consistently have to navigate whenever we take her on outings is feeding. Since we feed her pumped breastmilk we have to bring some kind of cooler bag to keep the milk cold. But, Delilah refuses her bottles if the milk is cold or even room temperature, so we also have to figure out a way to warm up her milk wherever we are going. Usually we bring a Hydroflask with hot water to just stick her milk bags in to warm them up, but of course for this outing I forgot to grab it as I rushed out the door. Luckily for us, the employees at the pumpkin patch were so accommodating. They were even kind enough to radio over to the coffee stand to get us a cup of hot water for her bottle without having to wait in line. Now that Delilah is eating solid food we can usually feed her baby food while we figure out her bottle situation so she doesn’t get too fussy.

We all had so much fun on our first family trip to the pumpkin patch and we got some great pictures to send to our families. We’re looking forward to the rest of the fall season and excited for the many activities we can do to celebrate with Delilah. Coming up, we have canning apple pie filling (which is a mandatory Christmas gift for my brother), pumpkin carving, and probably a little something on Halloween even if it’s just baking cookies and reading some of our favorite Halloween books with Delilah.