Wishing everyone a spooky, chocolate-filled day.
There's a good chance we're suiting up to go trick or treating yet again. We've already gone three times this weekend. Not sure when kids got so spoiled. Does anyone else remember back in the day when trick or treating was only acceptable on Halloween? But if there's free candy count us in.
On Friday evening we went to the same Halloween festival we went to last year, right after we'd moved here. Back then Declan was a wee little four month old strapped to Joe or I in his carrier. Now he's a born natural trick or treater. Put a bucket in his hands and that kid will wrestle up some candy. It's like instinct for him. But the highlight of this festival is actually not trick-or-treating (where they don't even hand out candy...what??!) but a pumpkin seed hunt. Aka, another egg hunt. Ez was in heaven. He was a cranky, should've-napped mess that afternoon, and getting any type of Halloween getup on him had me ready to throw in the towel and call it a night, but then I mentioned to him there would be an egg hunt and it was an instant 180. The Darth Vader skeleton tee that he'd swatted out of my hands moments earlier happily went on and off we went. We got there half an hour pre-hunt, so we hit up their trick-or-treating loop, which was a really cute setup of spooky cardboard houses, and when you knocked on the door a hand would pop out with non-candy treats. We wound up with an overload of plastic spiders and Halloween tattoos, along with Ez's prized bouncy balls.
Then it was time for the good part: the egg hunt. There was a sectioned-off grassy area with orange and black plastic eggs scattered everywhere. People were lined up and ready to go ten minutes beforehand, and after no less than half a dozen false starts they finally removed the caution tape, did a countdown, and let the kids go at it. Joe handled the egg hunt while I hung back and took pictures. Shoulder blocking little kids isn't really my thing. Apparently neither is picture taking though, because it was mass pandemonium and unless you want to see a blur of kids dog piling on invisible eggs none of them turned out well.
When it was all said and done we wound up with a dozen eggs. We took our hard-won treasures off to a nice quiet corner to crack em open and see what we got. Spoiler alert: more plastic spiders and tattoos. Ez was thrilled, though nothing topped the bouncy balls. Declan mostly just liked the eggs.
On Saturday we woke up without a real plan. The weather was all over the place. Or rather, the weather reports were all over place. First it was going to rain three days straight, then just one day, and then it was supposed to be sunny according to the weather we had just checked, but when we walked outside it was pouring. Lesson learned. If you want to know the weather just look out the window. We decided we'd still fit in some Halloween fun though and went to a downtown trick or treat event a few towns over, where it was warm and sunny. This was another repeat from last year and it was just pure chance that we even realized it was going on that day.
I've already hinted that Ez is no fan of Halloween costumes. We bought him one of those poofy Nemo costumes from Target because Nemo was THE movie of the year for him and we figured he'd love it. Wrong. The list of things this kid does not love to wear is long. Comfort is key. So after pulling out everything in his dresser and storage bins we came up with the perfect costume for a kid who will not wear: masks, face paint, hats, or anything "not comfy". Basketball player. Jersey, track pants, and a few black lines on his pumpkin pail to make it look like a basketball. Voila, costume made.
Declan, on the other hand, LOVES capes, and even masks. He's constantly taking blankets or towels and draping them over his shoulders like a cape. Then auntie sent actual super hero capes and his world was made. So he was Batbaby. Daddy was Batman. I was Robin. We tried to get Ez in on the theme with us but in the end it wasn't worth a fight. So two Batmen, a Robin, and a Clippers player.
Ez and Declan hit up the candy bowls along the trick or treat trail with their own unique kind of determination. Ez loves candy, and accumulating as much as he could was his sole mission. However, he's not a pushy kid and he won't elbow his way to the front of the line just to get some chocolate. He's my little gentleman. Declan doesn't really even like candy, but he wants his fair share of what everyone else has. And that kid WILL elbow his way to the front of the line. He will most definitely use his cute little stature to his advantage. And when the person manning the candy bowl exclaims how cute he is he will yell "DAH!!" and hold out his bucket until the candy is dropped in and then he'll move on to the next. Or, even better, if the candy bowl isn't manned he'll grab as many pieces as his tiny little hands will hold and shove them all in his bucket before running onto the next. You would assume his tiny little hands could only hold two or three pieces of candy at a time. You would be wrong. That kid is a ruthless candy conqueror.
After we had a satisfactory amount of candy we went out for burritos followed by exploring a new to us playground. Joe and I were hoping for a nice long naptime after all that running around (10,000 steps by 2:00!), but nope. Neither of them slept more than 20 minutes then they were up and running. So it was onto our next Halloween activity: pumpkin carving. Ez and I walked to two different grocery stores on the hunt for pumpkins, then we brought them home and Ez somehow got mixed up and thought we were going egg hunting again. It took all kinds of explaining to get the point across that egg hunts and over and done with. No more till next year. Sayonara. Goodbye eggs.
BUT there was pumpkin carving, when we get to turn ordinary pumpkins into Jack O'lanterns. That seemed to excite him. And what was even better is that a Halloween motorcycle parade went by our house and we just happened to be outside to see it. Sufficiently distracted from the egg hunt we moved onto the pumpkin carving.
Ez loved cutting the tops off the pumpkins, and everything was going along great until the time came to dig out the messy guts. Ez was having none of that. Declan was clawing at the door trying to get back into the house. I explained we couldn't carve the face until the pumpkin was clean. Giant crocodile tears welled up in Ez's eyes. I thought we'd have to call the whole thing off. Thankfully those cheap little bouncy balls we got at the egg hunt saved the day and Ez entertained himself with those while I cleaned the pumpkins by my lonesome.
Then came the fun part: carving the Jack O'lantern face. Ez helped me saw precisely .2% of one eye, then said very politely "Tank you, Moppy" and went back to playing with his bouncy balls. By this time Declan was already inside and well into the hot dog dance portion of a Mickey Mouse episode. So I went ahead and carved the two pumpkins by myself, took a few obligatory photos of Ez with the pumpkins, and we headed inside.
As soon as I washed my hands and sat down Ez asked over and over when were going to do the "pumpkies". Ummm... we JUST DID the pumpkies. Literally. Like five minutes ago. And you were sitting right there. Toddlers. That is all. Better luck next year. In the meantime: wine.
On Sunday we had plans to go to a nearby park for...you guessed it, more trick or treating. But then it started pouring. We hemmed and hawed debating whether to go, but Ez brought us his pumpkin pail and specifically asked to go trick or treating. And then Declan grabbed his pail and started carrying it around too. I have a feeling it's going to be a hard reality come Tuesday when we don't get to go around pillaging for candy. But we thought maybe the rain would work in our favor and it wouldn't be crowded. Of course then the sun came out. And it was crowded. And the kids were in less than pleasant moods from almost the very beginning.
Don't let those happy little faces above fool you. They were not the pleasant cheerful little boys they'd have you believe. Despite them being a little on the fussy side, we were still going to dredge along and hope walking off some energy straightened them out.
Then came the balloons.
Those dreadful, awful, cursed balloons. One of the stores was handing them out, and before Ez and Declan even got one Joe and I were annoyed by the balloons. Kids have zero spatial awareness as it is, so let's give them a bobbing adult-face-level balloon to make crowded spaces oh so enjoyable. But anyway, fast forward to when Ez and Declan got there very own balloons. Ez almost immediately let his fly away which led to lots of crying. And then he took Declan's balloon, so Declan was crying. That's when we called it a day and carried them back to the car with Declan screaming and pointing at the balloon and Ez getting tangled up in the balloon every few feet or bopping me in the head with it. I'm not sure I've ever disliked an inanimate object as much as that balloon. And Declan did not forget being slighted. He took a nice long three hour nap and when he woke up he beelined for that balloon and wouldn't let it go for the life of him.
After that somewhat disastrous trip I did some solo shopping while the boys napped then we went out and ran off our sugar highs at the playground. Fall nights are my favorite. Crisp air, sweaters, and crunchy leaves everywhere...you can't beat that.
How was your Halloween weekend? Are you a once is enough trick or treater? Or as many times as possible?