We’ve sadly been a little slow on the pumpkin patch bandwagon this year. We were supposed to go a couple of weeks ago as a school field trip with Clara’s preschool class, but it got postponed thanks to a ton of non-stop rain. Since we know it’s still in our future (early next week) we haven’t really gone out of our way to pick up any pumpkins in the meantime… until we stumbled upon this makeshift patch at a local garden store last week.

We had stopped to look around for some shrubs for the backyard, but we happily took in the fun variety of pumpkins and gourds they were serving up too. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a diverse display before, so we had quite a time picking favorites.

We posted this picture on Instagram (since Clara appeared to be vogue-ing) and got a lot of comments about the “interesting” looking pumpkin to the left. We affectionately called that guy the zombie arm.

They also had a moon bounce and a haunted bus which we skipped on this particular visit (we were past due for dinner) but we took the Bowers back when they visited this weekend and the kids had the entire moon bounce to themselves.

Oh, and we did bring some pumpkins home too. Sherry always gravitates toward the weird looking ones (not as weird as that zombie arm though…) and we ended up with these two. After finding the very caterpillar-esque green one, we decided to another insect-like one to complete the set. It looks vaguely tarantula shaped, right? Sherry wants to carve or paint them to mimic those two types of creepy crawlies since Clara has a love of all things bug, so we’ll keep you posted.

We also do want to get some traditional pumpkins to carve before Halloween (and for Clara to paint or paper up somehow like she has the last few years with us). Not sure if we can wait for this field trip much longer though…

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Q: What’s Big, Fuzzy & Strange Looking?

A: It doesn’t matter, but Clara’s gonna want to pose with it.

Generally I would describe Clara as “kinda shy” when it comes to interacting with new people. She’s pretty quick to warm up and become her normal talkative self, but if you’re a new-to-her person, expect to get iced out for a few minutes while she gives you “the look.”

But apparently if you want to skip all of that, you just need to don a big furry costume. Doesn’t seem to matter what you are (can you name either of the characters pictured here? I couldn’t!) but for some reason it gets Clara all sorts of excited.

“Look, Daddy – a big funny green guy!!!”

I would expect this level of excitement if she were meeting characters she knows – Mickey, Snoopy, Elmo – but nope, she’s not discriminating when it comes to costumed characters. And yes, this is just about the only time we can get her to stand still and smile for a photo too.

Is Clara the only child who does this? I remember being somewhat nervous around these looming, stone faced characters as a kid (all the more reason I’m surprised by her all-in reaction). The girl does like giant bugs, so maybe she’s just fearless when it comes to large creatures – real or not.

Oh, and for the record, we learned the first character is Vie from a local healthy/active kids’ initiative. The second represents Virginia’s 529 college savings plan, and the third is from Dogtopia, as his tag suggests.

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