We went to our very first pumpkin patch
this past weekend at Tapia Brother’s Farm in Encino, CA. I guess we never went before, even in Hawaii, since Coral was too young to actually enjoy it and we were still trying to settle into Cali living in addition to adjusting to our new T1dlife. When we first pulled up to the dirt parking lot, the worker pulled out this large wooden sign reading, “LOT IS FULL.” So, we drove around the corner, made a U-turn and found some FREE street parking in a residential neighborhood. I despise paying for parking.
About half-way there, I decided to check her BG and looked down at my Apple watch to see she was dropping from 132mg/dl. “Weiran, hold up! She needs a snack. Now,” I warned as I pulled out the bag of Think Thin chocolate protein bites. There was one piece remaining and she ate it with delight. I zipped up my LeSport Sac backpack and we continued walking about another block or two until we came upon the front gate. It’s exciting to hear all the children’s laughter as you approach the pumpkin patch. There were tons of other families enjoying their corn on the cob and content with their picks of fresh pumpkins and produce. I’ve never seen a plethora of pumpkins and in so many varieties before. Our first stop was the Instagram photo booth setup perfectly for that post-worthy photo. You know I didn’t do my hair for nothing.
We walked past the bouncy houses, tables and tents, and countless rows of pumpkins until we came across the petting zoo. Unfortunately, we weren’t aware that you had to pay at the cashier back towards the entrance for tickets and thought we could pay on-the-spot. By now, you can tell we don’t go to fairs or similar events often. We made it back to the petting zoo with an orange ticket in hand and they gave us a small plastic bowl of pellets to feed the variety of goats surrounding everyone. There was this one particular black and white Nigerian goat with a blue bandana who couldn’t get enough ear scratches and neck rubs. He even leaned into me for some more rubs when I turned to face Coral who was trying her best to gain the attention of an adorable pigmy goat who stood about as high as her waistline. Coral also loved the cute little bunnies all nestled together in a separate play pen within the petting area.
After all the furry love, we just had to take Coral on her very first pony ride. We sanitized our hands and patiently waited in line until it was her turn to ride the saddle. The pony’s name was “Cupcake” who seemed to have a very pleasant temperament. Although Coral didn’t appear to be amused by the repetitious circular motion, I’m sure she had a great time. May be one day, she’ll love horses as much as I do. I’ve rode horseback on an open trail under the Hollywood sign many years ago and would love to do it again.
I assisted Coral in dismounting from Cupcake and she was in need of some carbs since her BG was dropping from the low 100’s. She often refuses to eat anything healthy and so I’ve begun to just hand her the damn YumEarth lollipop (16g carbs). Thankfully, it doesn’t spike her too quickly for some odd reason and I won’t have to bolus her for the remaining 8-10g carbs until she’s in the 80’s (mg/dl). Again, managing Type 1 diabetes is easier with the use of a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) when it’s well-calibrated. While she enjoyed her lollipop, I walked over to take some pics of a lonesome horse in its own pen who didn’t seem to mind my presence at all. She was even curious enough to sniff my camera lens. I do believe she took a little piece of my heart that sunny day.
Now that Coral’s BG was beginning to rise slowly, we figured we’d take her to the bouncy house where she quickly adapted to the other kids around her. They had a designated bouncy house specifically for four year olds and younger which was really convenient. I don’t need no seven year old trampling over my T1d toddler. Our stomachs began to growl and so we had to cut her joyful jumping time short. She needed a real meal in her belly especially if we were going to prevent her BG from dropping low again within the next hour or less.
After a quick tantrum, we finally managed to get her to come out of the bouncy house, put her shoes on and pick out a pumpkin or two or more. Apparently, she likes the mini pumpkins too. We took our festive bright orange “balls” and made our way to the extensive cashier line. Thank goodness the it moved rather steadily and we began our short walk back to the car.
I have to say this was an overall fantastic experience filled with many props and photo ops that were Instagram worthy. Although Daddy’s tolerance for crowds is minuscule compared to mine, he managed to get through the afternoon. Sometimes, I find myself having to tame both of their childish tantrums. If you’re in the Encino or Van Nuys area, this is definitely a pumpkin patch worth visiting. The only let down is that there are no other foods except popcorn, candy, corn on the cob and hotdogs. Perhaps, we’ll pack our own lunch next time and sit at one of their picnic tables. It is awfully dusty, of course, so dress appropriately and bring your own water bottle. If you’re a Type 1 family like us, you’ll always have snacks handy for low BGs. Have a safe and fun Halloween everybody and don’t forget to bolus!