The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Friday, October 31, 2008

Festive Festive Festive!

The end of October always brings a busy rush of parties, treats, presents, and many goings on. Stomper's birthday happens only three days before Halloween, which makes everything kind of nuts but full of fun stuff. This year we tried something new and had his party on the Saturday before his actual birthday, thinking that a party on a Saturday would be a lot less stressful than on a school day, late in the afternoon. I have to say, the party was a total success. A small group of kids, and the main activity consisted of printing coloring pages off the internet which kept the kids busy almost the whole time. I did, of course, feel that I had to make a theme-cake. It was kind of a watch thing from a cartoon he likes. Why do I do this? I don't know. I'm not that good at cake decorating. I always get some big idea and it always ends up kind of scary looking. Well, not scary, more like frumpy. I even thought I was simplifying this one, but really, it was a pain. Also, I have learned that making gray frosting is a lot harder than it looks. But it was a fun party.

The only trouble with a weekend party for a weekday birthday is that you end up celebrating twice. On Stomper's actual birthday we still had to do something, right? Of course! I tried to get off to a festive start even though we all woke up about 15 minutes before we were supposed to be out the door. I quickly whipped up some pancakes (love you, big bag of Krusteaz from Costco!) and stuck six candles in it and woke up Stomper by singing to him. At least that got him in a good mood before we were rushing around like crazy getting him to school. Then, that evening, we went to Ye Olde Red Lobster because my kids, as you may remember, love crab legs. My in-laws joined us and thought it was pretty funny to watch my children ripping appart the shells and gorging themselves on crab. I'm just glad there's a protein they'll eat without coaxing. It's expensive, sure, but hey, they eat it!

The same night as Stomper's birthday party, my mom agreed to come help me take the kids to some type of Halloween activity. There's so much our valley has to offer - there are pumpkin patches, festivals, all kinds of stuff. I really wanted to do some of those things with them, but honestly, the thought of herding my kids around someplace crowded, busy and possibly dark made me just want to cry. But if my mom could come along and we'd each have only one kid to watch over, well, that I could handle. So we went up to Red Butte Garden for their Garden After Dark. (A note: how come every time I type "butte" I type butter and have to erase the r?)It's really so much fun - they have all these stops all throughout the garden with crafts, stories, games, mazes, treats.... They also have firepits where you get your map stamped, and if you get all your stamps you get a prize at the end. We thought it was terrific. That is partly due to the fact that both my children were in very cheerful, patient and agreeable moods. This, of course, makes all the difference in the world. We really just had a ball. I'm glad the strangest part of the evening came first, so we could get it over with. There was a magic show with a young magician who decided it would be appropriate to show his balloon eating skills to a group of small kids. Yes, he ate a balloon. A blown-up balloon. A three foot long, blown-up balloon. I'm not kidding. He stood there, tipped his head back, opened his mouth, and shoved the whole balloon down his throat. Where it went, I don't really want to know, but it was disturbing, if not totally disgusting. Some drool was involved. Could we please not pass this idea along to my six year old? The rest of the evening was a hit. Black-lights in the forest, face painting, Native American sand painting, seed planting. Great.

And then came Halloween. I'll admit it, there are parts of Halloween that I hate. But the evening was just delightful. Stomper dressed up as Ben 10. If you're not familiar, don't worry about it. He's a cartoon character. Bitty, however, dressed up as a multitude of things. At one point she was a cow girl (that was a week ago.) Then she had her heart set on a kitty. Then a princess. Then a fairy princess. Luckily, between our current dress-up box supply and the loan of a friend, I was able to accomodate each costume cost free. Okay, I did get her a pair of wings at the dollar store. I'd say that one buck for four different costumes was a pretty good deal. She fianlly settled on the fairy princess outfit for this evening's outings, and she was so happy and excited all night that by the end she had named herself a "Magical Halloween Fairy Princess." That is until she got too tired, burst into tears, and declared that she wanted to burn all her candy and never go trick or treating again. That kid is on a serious roller coaster ride. And she's dragging me along with her.

The day was not a crazy as it has been in the past - we did have a little party at Stomper's school. I brought Bitty in so I could help out. I think I would have been a lot more helpful had Bitty not chosen that time to skip her recently developed potty skills and poop her pants down to her ankles. Yeah, that was fun. She and I spent most of the party in the bathroom. Luckily, she is not so far developed in her potty skills that I have stopped bringing extra pants/undies with me where ever I go. Next time remind me to bring a mop and some disinfectant.

After a nice afternoon during which the kids played at a friend's house, (and mommy had a nap!)we geared up for the evening. Our first stop is always at my inlaws' place. They live on a circle, so it's always fun to start the trick-or-treating there. Such nice neighboors. We then headed off for our neighborhood's trunk-or-treat. We've been enjoying this tradition for a number of years now and felt it was our year to actually make a contribution. Stomper really really wanted to decorate our car. Of course, his ideas for decoration were all about making the back of the car into a shark's mouth, stuff like that. We'll see, buddy. We shopped around for Halloween decorations at several stores and guess what - even though Halloween had not actually happened yet, the stuff was all the junky clearance on the back shelf and the displays were all stocked with Christmas stuff. Hello! Let's wait until Halloween is over to take down the decorations, okay? I struck out on all webs, spiders, bats, anything. So, in desperation at the dollar store I grabbed ten packages of glow sticks and two clear plastic rain ponchos. By cutting up the ponchos into strips to hang as a fringe around the door and haning glow sticks all over it, our car ended up looking pretty cool. I did learn that next year I'm buying cheaper candy to hand out to the kids who felt that three times around the parking lot just wasn't enough.

Following the trunk-or-treat we made our final stop at my sister's place, who, I must say, certainly knows how to do Halloween. She and her upstairs neighboor pulled out their fire pit, so there was a campfire in the front yard, surrounded by chairs. They made chili, corn bread, cider, and donuts. What better Halloween food is there? It was so fun! The kids played around, the adults sat and talked, and Troy and I each took a turn taking a kid trick-or-treating around the block. I must say, I just love trick-or-treating. I'm a little sad that it seems to be going the way of the dodo bird a little bit. Not too busy on the streets out there, but nothing delights me like seeing the excitement my daughter had. She totally caught on to what it was all about. She was cheerful and interactive, loved knocking on the doors and saying, "Trick or treat!" She wished everyone a Happy Halloween, and would even converse breifly with those candy hander-outers who wished to discuss her costume. Troy took Stomper, so I didn't get to see him, but I hope it was just as fun. I'm sure the very warm weather made for half of the fun of the evening. It was a great Halloween. No one even threw up all the candy they chowed down! What could be better than that!

Pictures of actual costumes are upcoming - like you care - I just need to get them from all the people who took them instead of me!


steph said...

I like the idea of the shark mouth for the trunk... maybe I'll try that next year.

ghd3 said...

busy, busy, busy! Glad you had a fun-filled couple of days. It sounds like a great birthday / Halloween celebration. You're more ambitious trick-or-treaters than we are, that's for sure -- we stuck to our neighborhood. Glad you had fun!

Misty said...

Oh my goodness ... I'm tired just reading about your adventures. :) How do you like your new car, by the way????

Nicole said...

So much fun!!! And lots of activities. Loved the bday cake great job. you have the sweetest kids. Sorry about the throw up.

Nicole said...

Ok I meant to say so happy they didn't throw up.