On Saturday I had a wedding that I thought would end dave earlier than planned, and it did, so I got home just before 6:00 just in time to whip the kids into their costumes and head 1 minute down the road to our YMCA which, as the crow flies, is just through the woods and over a field.
Saturday was their Haunted Hike on the grounds of Camp Halfmoon and it was very cute. Just the right amount of creepy for Parker and Drew's first haunted experience. We got there at the perfect time, which was just at the tail end of when it was still light, and it very quickly melted into total darkness for the walk in the woods.
Other than our corm maze, we haven't done much Halloween stuff this year (yet) because I REFUSE to do any more apple picking due to our experience a few years ago, but this was a great little excursion to break them into haunted events. More fun later this week!
Tonight Halloween was redeemed! We had a great time trick-or-treating and the kids had fun, so I've made my peace with Halloween this year for the most part and had decent closure. Oh well. October was kind of messed up and disjointed and out of control, except for the first week during which I was having an awesomely fun week at home in North Carolina! Back in NH, from a job perspective I shot some of my very best work of the year this month, and was so happy with the photos. On a personal level it was a little too chaotic and disappointing with not being able to go to Spookyworld or out to dinner for our anniversary, and having Halloween snowed out. And not to mention probably the worst thing overall is that our neighbor across the street who created such fantastic graveyard scenes for Halloween the past few years passed away about six weeks ago so he was really, really missed this year. So sad that he went before he could see his favorite holiday one more time. So it wasn't the greatest Halloween year ever but everybody had fun (eventually) and it wasn't completely cancelled, only postponed, so I guess we'll take it.
Turns out, our "new" day for Halloween was beautiful and 55 degrees (not bad for this time of year!) so it was pretty nice. We managed to get all our leaves in the yard all cleaned up, which is a month-long HUGE process, and hopefully it is mostly taken care of. The leaves seem to really be holding onto the leaves late this year.
So Parker wouldn't wear his monkey costume tonight as expected so I pulled out his hamburger suit from last year. It still fit pretty well, although snug in the arms, and he was fine with it. I don't really know what the difference was, but he was pretty opinionated about it, so I let him have it. They were so excited about candy, trick or treating, the lights we put outside, the candle in the (mostly furry moldy) jack-o-lantern,and everything else. AMAZING how Drew and Parker both arrived at an understanding of the holiday at the same time.
I had this nightmare...... that 2 days before Halloween there was a crazy blizzard and it dropped more than a foot of snow on New England, and the damage was so bad that they had to cancel Halloween.
Hmmmm...... not a dream. Very much a reality. I CANNOT believe this happened. I don't think I ever imagined in my wildest dreams that something so unthinkable could happen, but it did. 8 million people without power for days on end. What the HELL just happened, was all I could think. Bitter much? I'll tell you who was bitter--ME. The damndest thing I ever saw. Ridiculous. We lost power Saturday night and got it back just today, Wednesday, around noon. They had to cancel Halloween because nobody had power, so no lights = no trick or treating. Unreal.
Anyway, the first day of the power outage was the regularly scheduled trick or treating at the mall. I took Drew knowing this could very well be the one and only Halloween activity he would get to participate in. Meanwhile I think I would rather have stabbed hot needles into my eyes, than fight the crowds at the mall for this joke of an activity. UGH. Heinous. I LOVE Halloween, you know this, but I swear this is truly one thing that is so incredibly painful that I hope to never go again. The stores run out of candy within the first 45 minutes so it's just a madhouse trying to throw elbows and get around. But Drew has a great time and doesn't know that this is NOT how it's supposed to be. He's so shy and doesn't want to merge to the front of the crowd so I have to chuck him up there just to procure one little Now & Later for his candy bucket (which he can't even really eat). so it's just lame. But he still loves it, so that's what matters. Here are a few of my really bad photos which ironically look like a pretty tame experience. I don't know how I manged to make it look peaceful and fun in the photos. :) It was NOT, believe me.
Anyway, I'm not done with this topic but they're planning on rescheduling trick-or-treating for this weekend. Hopefully the jack-o-lantern that we carved on Saturday night before the power went out willl not rot before then. :)
And time marches on. I love this time of year but can't seem to get a grip. We need 2% milk, but with each trip to any kind of store I can't seem to remember to get any, even when it's clearly written in huge letters on my list. So I'm beyond the place where list-making seems to help. I'm just insane. I can't get it together.
At any rate, I tried to get some photos of the kids today while the last few leaves are clinging to the ends of the branches. Won't be long and they'll be all gone.
Drew is excited for Halloween, and seems to mostly remember going trick or treating at the mall last year. And keeps asking when we can go do that. He loves to wear his monkey costume, although he's certain he's going as a ghost this year (he's not.) Parker also has a matching monkey costume but is resistant to wearing it, so who knows if he will wear it for trick or treating on Halloween night. I'll have to bust out his hamburger costume again from last year (which still kinda fits) and see if he'll wear that if necessary.
We had a great Halloween this year, and it was fun to see Drew get into it. All month long he was pointing out pumpkins, and when he saw ghosts and bats and creepy stuff he'd just say "Halloween!!" when he didn't know the words for it. He loooooved to go to Target and look at all the Halloween decorations.
He also loved the idea of a costume, but failed in the execution. When I brought home his vampire costume, I hung it up in his room and he'd point at it and and say "wear costume!" and "vampire" but when it came to actually putting it on, he didn't want to. Dave said sometimes he'd pass by Drew's room and he was sitting in the floor looking up at it.
In the end, after the vampire costume failed, and another Indian costume failed, I had about given up when Dave came up with the winning solution. Just in the nick of time for making it to the mall for trick-or-treating, we put him in jeans, yellow vest, and his blue construction helmet and he was fine with it. Every single bit of that outfit came from Dan & Michelle, from Ben's old clothes. Thanks so much!
Halloween day was cooooold, and after we got back from the mall we only had a few hours until the real trick or treating. So we hurried to get our Jack-o-lanterns carved. Drew had been asking for DAYS and maybe even weeks for the jack o lantern, to cut the pumpkin and put fire in it. :) I did a traditional face, and an Elmo face from a pattern.
We had Luisa's for supper, and quickly wrapped it up and went to get dressed so we could be ready at 6:00! The kids got into their costumes and I fired up the jack o lanterns, and the fog machine and plugged in all our cool orange lights and stuff. The fog machine was an awesome touch (purchased 2 years ago at Target on day after Halloween clearance. :) I had a costume myself but it was waaaaaaaaay too cold for it. I was very bundled up and much happier that way.
Our neighbors across the street do a really fun graveyard scene every year which gets bigger and bigger each year. He has lots of the animatronic zombies and mummies, and a big grim reaper, and graveyard spooks. He loves it. And the kids love it too. Drew was all running around in the graveyard and setting off all the spooks jumping out of the coffins. Parker was also whizzing around, high on all the social interaction and things going on. He got a little scared when the things were howling, but he'd just go hang on to somebody's leg until it was over. So cute. He was nice and toasty in his hamburger suit.
The marjority of the neighborhood trick or treaters come on this vehicle each year: somebody hooks up a trailer to their lawn mower and it's all decorated. It holds like 10 kids, if not more!
It was a balmy 70-degree Halloween day yesterday! The evening was beautiful too and we enjoyed taking Drew around to two houses. We follow the age rule: when he was 1 we went to one house, and when he's two we went to two houses. After that they start getting too spread out and it was kind of sprinkling anyway. :) Next year when he's 3 we'll do as many as he wants.
Here are my two jack-o-lanterns I managed to get done. I had a third but just couldn't fit it in for anything. This was my first time using patterns, and it was fun but holy time consuming! (the little one is Drew's that Dave helped him with)
Our neighbor across the street reeeeaaaaallllly loves Halloween and each year expands his graveyard collection and even added a 7' tall grim reaper. He was so excited that we actually got a few kids this year.
This was the vehicle that brought most of our trick-or-treaters. It was awesome!! It was some kind of trailer rigged up to a lawn mower and totally decked out in skeletons, spider webs and all kinds of blinking bats and stuff. There must have been 10 people riding in it, lots of little kids and parents too. It was very exciting to see it come rattling down the road. I love the creativity!
And here we are at house #2:
This year the crop fell on Halloween! Awesome. I've never been able to top the spooky spread I did in 2006 but this year I did what I could and nobody went home hungry so that's what matters. :) I did a build-your-own nachos bar which was not especially Halloweenie but it was easy and yummy. Then I made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars which were easy and turned out great! Another seasonal dessert was the Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake which I thought was yummy and turned out tastier than I thought it would. Yum! They were a little tricky to get out of the pan but a hot knife helped get them out cleanly.
Yesterday I had Drew help me carve a jack-o-lantern. He was very excited and sat right down with me on the newspaper and kept trying to do everything I was doing. I had him do his own little Drew-sized pumpkin. He was very willing to stab holes in the pumpkin but not too keen when we started pulling out the seeds and guts.
Yeah I did it again! I actually did this back at the beginning of the month, because Parker isn't getting any smaller, and also the weather wasn't getting any warmer. It's been killing me to not share this before now! He's such a great sport. These were taken on October 6th, at 5 months of age.
Also in related topics, I'm glad I took his picture in his Halloween outfits last month, because he can't really wear them comfortably anymore. Babies grow so fast!
Parker thinks this is not exactly like his bumbo...... but similar!
Poor Drew was also subjected to my Halloween spirit when he was a baby, see that post here.