Is it okay that I'm glad it's over? Because I really really am.
Not that it wasn't great - I thought the kids had a great Halloween and I was really pleased with their costumes. And thanks to The Dreaded Halloween Carnival (see previous post) their costumes were totally done almost a whole week in advance and that was a blessing for sure.
Let's start with pumpkin carving:
Some year I really want to have a full-on Halloween party with friends and neighbors coming over to carve piles of pumpkins together while we eat homemade donuts and cider on a sunny Saturday afternoon, spooky but somehow also cute and charming decorations dotting the tables....such a nice picture. But that probably isn't going to happen for a few years so in the meantime we will keep doing things the way we do - finding the one night in the week before Halloween where we don't have any more than two other events scheduled and go after the pumpkins with vigor before I shove everyone in bed.
I always love the final result.
I do have to commend myself for taking on the task of cleaning the seeds out of four good-sized pumpkins - Bitty has been begging me for years to make toasted pumpkin seeds although I loathe the process and don't really like the seeds that much. I prefer them peeled and then sautéed in oil and salt, but since I can buy those and peeling each one of those individual seeds seems way beyond my job expectations I generally don't bother. But for the love of my daughter I did it. And she ate about 10 of them.
The next night was a big scout activity - I was in charge of a craft table and I have Pinterest to thank for a very quick and easy craft idea that went over quite well with the pack of boys. (Except that Stomper didn't even come, due to a huge pile of homework and also being totally wiped out from long play practices. But the girls had a great time.)
And then Halloween. Like I said, it was nuts, but great.
For starters I tried hard to do something fun and spirited for breakfast. I managed to do some pumpkin pancakes (which I think I liked way better than the kids did) as well as a cauldron of smoking orange juice. I posted one of these pictures online and got a lot of comments about what a fun mom I am - I had to laugh because I do try but it always comes off as a half-accidental scramble through total chaos. I mean, had I all the time, money and energy I wanted, the table would have been set with my special Halloween table cloth and settings (I don't have that stuff and don't have a place to store it even if I did). I would have an actual cauldron instead of a plastic tupperware bucket which was the closest thing on hand. And the only reason I had the dry ice was because Bitty's teacher asked me to bring some to the class party. I didn't have time until 10pm the night before (right before I started making the cookies for her class to decorate! Why can't I pull myself together and get things done at a reasonable time!!??) so I had to run to the store, and the deli, where dry ice is sold, was closed. A very kind cashier snuck in the back to fetch some ice for me, returning with the news that the ice comes in 7 lb bags and he didn't have the means to break it into smaller pieces for me. So, I took the 7 lbs, meaning that due to my folly alone I had dry ice for my kids for breakfast.
You know what though, my kids don't really care if I don't make things as perfect as I would like. They had fun with what I had.
In the morning after breakfast Emma had a fully costumed dance class followed by school. I had to help out at Bitty's class party:
Then dentist appointments in which Bundle totally got the hygienist to let her do whatever she wanted, giving her big sister a bit of a trial of patience.
Then we high-tailed it to my parents' house to throw on our costumes and say hello....
After dinner we headed out into the cool dark night to tromp around from door to door to ask for candy from strangers. We were with two other families, both of whom have daddies who pay extra attention to Bundle and each took a turn carrying her on their shoulders. We only stayed out for an hour or so and it really wasn't too cold at all.
What a fantastic year. It ended like this about 10 minutes after we were home:
So quickly in fact that we didn't even have time to brush her teeth. Good thing we went to the dentist that day, although it probably would have been better to go the next day!