Saturday, November 01, 2014

This is Halloween, this is Halloween, pumpkins scream in the dead of night

I can’t believe it’s NOVEMBER now and Halloween has come and gone!  We had a great Halloween at our house, although it was anything but relaxing for me and I felt quite under the weather by the time the day was here I think from total burn out leading up to the big day.  Which might sound ridiculous, I know it’s JUST Halloween, but there’s no such thing as JUST Halloween, is there?!  It’s Andrew’s favourite day of the entire year, even slightly above his birthday, so it’s a pretty big deal for us and I wanted it to be special.


It felt like a week of Halloween festivities around here actually.  On Tuesday we went on Andrew’s first ever school field trip, to a pumpkin patch.  James took a vacation day so he could go with us, so we were able to go as a family.  It was pouring with rain so hard in the morning that we tried to convince Andrew to skip out on his field trip and we’d take him to an indoor play centre or something else fun instead, but he freaked at the thought of missing out on the pumpkin patch with his friends.  It’s a good thing he convinced his parents to go, because even though we got soaked, it was totally worth it for the experience.  We got there and it was still raining quite hard, so we were drenched before we even got to the pumpkins, but it cleared up just as our hayride got us to the patch to pick out our pumpkin.  It rained a bit more after that but it wasn’t as bad.  We checked out the animals in the barn and I tried my best to get a good picture with all 3 kids in it by some pumpkins.  I got some OK ones but it’s impossible to get a picture of all 3 kids doing what I want them to do!


We drove there and back for about 2 hours, and were only at the farm itself for a little over an hour, but it was fun and I’m glad we went.  The kids all had a blast!


On Wednesday I stayed (along with the girls, they’re really getting into the groove of participating in Kindergarten and they LOVE it!!) for most of the morning in Andrew’s class and helped the kids with pumpkin carving.  The pumpkins at the patch were all quite small and we had several larger ones already at home, so I brought one of ours in and the teacher asked if I would like to help with the carving.  I love carving pumpkins so it worked out well.  I thought it might have been a total gong show with the girls there, because of course I can’t just focus on the pumpkin carving, I also had to keep an eye on what they were doing to make sure they stayed in the room/didn’t get into any mischief.  But the fact that we pretty much stay for 15-20 minutes every single morning, they’re used to the classroom and for the most part what they can and can’t do there, and they were so good the whole time.  The other kids absolutely LOVE the twins, too, which helps.  The girls giggle and give them hugs and kisses and go crazy every time Margaret gives them a kiss (Emily is a little more stingy with her kisses!)  It’s really cute, and I know the girls absolutely LOVE being there.  (In fact, they often mention how much fun they had in Andrew’s classroom when we’re home, and at nap time they make sure we’re ‘Andrew, up?’ which translates to picking Andrew up in the afternoon!


It was a lot of fun helping with the carving, and just spending a bit more time with the kids, getting to know some of them a little better.  Five year olds are SO CUTE and I love how innocent they are.  I like that the kids are getting more used to me and I notice now when I go to pick Andrew up after school, if any of the other kids see me through the window waiting, most of them will smile and wave.


On Thursday night we went for a bit of a drive around our surrounding neighbourhoods looking at Halloween decor and pumpkins, although we didn’t really end up seeing much.  Our own decorations seemed amazing in comparison to most of what we saw.  We did do a pretty good job with our decor this year, if I do say so myself (since it was Andrew and I who did all the decorating!) but still...we were hoping to see a lot more community involvement!  It was still fun just to go out for an evening ride, which is something we generally don’t do at all as a family.  The kids seemed to have fun, especially the girls since we went out quite close to their usual bed time!  Emily kept marvelling at the ‘beachy radoos’ which is her way of saying, ‘Itsy bitsy spiders’, which also translates to spiders in general.  She has gone around a lot lately saying, ‘Beachy radoo, Mommy!  Beach-y ra-doo!’ because we had spider decorations inside and outside of the house.  Margaret was in full on parrot mode, where she was repeating a lot of what James and I were saying (not because the words were new for her to say, but just to let us know she was listening, the cheeky little devil that she is!)  I keep forgetting that we now have THREE little ones listening in on our conversations, not just one!  And they all have a pretty good idea what we’re saying most of the time!  At one point James asked me if the girls were still awake and before I could even turn my head to see, Margaret called out, ‘Yep!’  LOL.


We got a notice on Thursday after school that we had to bring a healthy ‘Halloween themed/coloured’ snack for the class as they were going to be having a little party in the afternoon on Halloween day.  I didn’t want to bring something that someone else was likely to bring, so we suddenly had ‘making a cool treat for the class’ added to our list...When we also still had several pumpkins to carve, zombie dance party cookies to make and decorate, Halloween treats to put together for Andrew’s class (we got some cool ‘skeleton puzzle candy’ and I attached labels to them that said, ‘Make no bones about it, you’re a real pal!  Happy Halloween!’ and Andrew signed his name on the back of each one), and I also had a million and one other things to take care of that night.  My parents were over later in the afternoon and stayed till dinner time so I could get the pumpkin carving done with Andrew, but it was such a whirlwind of a night.  I was pretty pleased with the healthy snack Andrew and I came up with for his class though!  We made mini banana muffins (with some green food colouring added to make it a little more Halloween-y), and then with a teensy bit of white icing (that we had made to decorate his zombie cookies) I added candy eyeballs to the center, and then I used a tube of red icing to make red lines so that the muffins looked like little eyeballs.  It was actually pretty cool, and all the kids loved them.  As much as it was more work that in some ways I didn’t need to add to my plate, I also really love doing stuff like that and having Andrew’s class to share them with.  I am actually really loving being involved with his class and feeling like we’re a part of something, and doing cute little things for the enjoyment of the kids.  It makes me happy to have that experience.


Anyway….so it was finally THE BIG DAY yesterday.  Andrew experienced his first ever Halloween Assembly at school, which I remember so well from when I was in school.  They sang a ‘Stirring the brew’ song for the adults, that the music teacher taught them, and he absolutely had a field day between that and checking out all the kids’ and teachers’ costumes.  He wore his Popeye costume from last year to school because his Zombie Doctor costume would have been too scary and inappropriate for Kindergarten I think.  His Popeye one was so cute, I’m glad he got another use out of it.  We went to the class an hour early to join their little party and it was a complete and utter GONG SHOW.  I felt so sorry for the teacher!  It was an inside day because it had been raining, so no recess OR lunch running around outside, and the kids were all totally hyped up about Halloween.  It was crazy.  But the girls were happy to be there, also in their costumes from last year (little flowers).  


From school we went straight to my parents’ house as Andrew wanted to trick or treat there first, and my parents of course really wanted to see the kids done up in their costumes.  When we got there I got them changed into their Zombie Doctor and Little Green Alien costumes in the lobby downstairs, and they went up and did their trick or treating.  We weren’t in the door 2 seconds when all 3 of them wanted their costumes off!  I can’t even count how many times their costumes were on and off again before we actually went out trick or treating in our neighbourhood at about 5:45pm!


The kids had SO MUCH FUN trick or treating.  The girls obviously didn’t remember it at all from last year but they got the hang of it pretty quick.  Emily scares a little easier than Margaret so there were some places that were quite decorated where she’d say, ‘Bit too scary’ and she didn’t want to go.  But they had such a great time, and so did we.  James wore an old man mask and his robe so he was going as an old man (funny because I actually wore that same mask and went as an old man one year when I was maybe in grade 3 or 4, I just remembered that now!)  I wore a cat mask, just to be participating in some way, although that was the extent of my costume.


We went to pretty much all the same areas as last year and the kids got more candy than we know what to do with.  The girls came home and stayed with my mil, who was at our place giving out candy while we were trick or treating, and that’s when James and I took Andrew around our complex just the 3 of us before calling it a night.  It was the perfect amount of time to be out, and the weather honestly couldn’t have been better.  It had rained all day but stopped within a few hours of heading out trick or treating, and it was so mild that I was actually sweating in my rain jacket which isn’t a heavy coat by any means.  It was so nice not to be worried that the kids were completely frozen under their costumes.


We finished the night with a fire log in the fireplace, and Andrew and I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas until he fell asleep =)

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