Silly as it may be, I love Halloween. I always have. Something about dressing up as someone/something else has always seemed so fun to me. Now I get the added bonus of dressing up my kids too!
The other Halloween preparations/traditions were even more fun this year too as Bug is old enough to play along more (though this caused a bit of strife come costume/painted beard time) AND...it was our first Halloween as Oregonians (well, everyone else in the family's first)! No more 100 degree "pumpkin patch" trips an hour and a half away! Mud, cold air, galoshes, hot cider and pumpkins that were actually grown in the very place we picked them - all of this within 7 minutes of our house! Yes, please!
AND I actually got to participate again this year! Last year, I was sick as could be, relatively recently out of the hospital for hyperemisis with the girls growing in my belly, on crazy meds and still puking daily. I didn't join Bug and Anthony at the pumpkin patch; we got only one pumpkin and didn't even carve it. I had nothing to do with the costume making (something I love to do). And Anthony and his mama took Bug trick-or-treating while I stayed home pretty much lifeless on the couch. Boo (pun intended).
This year, we started out the Halloween season with a family trip to the the pumpkin patch. We went on a weekday due to A's work schedule so some of the activities weren't running (damn...that cow train would have been so cute), but there were farm animals to feed and pet, (including three newborn baby goats), a log house full of hazelnuts to play in, a huge pile of hay to jump into and roll around in (uhm...itchy, anyone?), a huge Noah's Arc boat with a slide and best of all, pumpkins, mud, fresh hot cider, still warm homemade cider doughnuts, crisp air and tons of sunshine!!
|My boys chowing down on fresh made apple cider doughnuts.|
|Entering the patch. Nolan, Daddy, Lilah (I think...)|
|Serious business. Itchy, itchy fun.|
|Bug apparently loves hot apple cider as much as his momma. :)|
|Lilah (pretty sure...) keeping warm in daddy's jacket.|
|My first fresh real hot apple cider at a pumpkin patch in way. too. many. years. :) It was amazing. And Alice (almost certain).|
|Me and Bug feeding the goats with a sadly hat-blinded babe.|
|He did it all on his own for the first time. :)|
|What kid doesn't love a tire swing? Seriously.|
|And he's off.|
|Cuddling baby girl (still pretty sure this is Alice...dang hats...so cute. so confusing).|
|Yes. This. Sun. Mud. Pumpkins everywhere. My handsome little man.|
|Daddy found his perfect pumpkin.|
|On the hunt.|
|Did you know that the perfect pumpkin makes you fall over trying to pick it up?|
|Got it. :) "Heavy...heavy..."|
|Three down. Two to go.|
|The fam...with sleepy babies. :)|
Next up came the Halloween crafting. Nolan is just at the age where he has started really liking to do stuff like this. I still have to remind myself (like 50x) that it is all about the process and having fun while he creates, not about the "perfect" end product. That being said, his pumpkins turned out pretty freaking awesome. While he likes cutting, he hasn't quite got past just snipping the paper here or there, so I cut out a bunch of random shapes (mostly triangles, circles and "mouths") and the pumpkin and set him loose with the bottle of glue.
Some are rather Picasso-y and others are really pretty traditionally accurate in regards to shape placing. In a couple of different sittings throughout the month, he made one for each of us, including grandma. They are proudly displayed on our refrigerator and he asks about them pretty much daily.
|October 1st. Pumpkin crafting take one.|
|The proud crafter.|
|The whole jack-o-lantern fam. Completed in three sittings. ;)|
Then, of course, came costume decisions and creations. This year, Nolan decided he wanted to be a pirate and after changing his mind from airplane to pirate to baseball player (like last year) back to airplane and then back to pirate, I started working on his costume. We decided the girls would be Thing 1 and Thing 2. Anthony had to work on Halloween, so no costume for him. I was so busy with our lives in general, that my costumes (a cat and a nerd...separately) were "throw togethers" at the last minute, but worked out just fine. Two pairs of christmas jammies, a pair of on sale black sweats, an on sale long sleeve white shirt, two dollar store hats, a red fabric remnant, a fair amount of felt, a lot of hot glue, a couple other odds and ends and voila!
Googled a picture, drew out the letters on paper, cut them out of felt, hot glued them to a flimsy piece of fabric (the only thing I had enough of to make two circles and then hot glued them to felt to sturdy them up a bit.
Then I just stiched a few quick loose stiches around the Thing circles onto red one piece Christmas jammies (strategically covering the small reindeer) and done!
|The costumes seemed a bit boy-y, so I decided to girly them up a bit with a felt flower on each hat (blue hair). |
To start, I googled how to make a flower out of felt (haha...here's the link that I found helpful). Then I drew the spiral, cut the outside, pinned it to the felt and cut away..
|Once it was all cut, I started with the end that was the center of the spiral and slowly hot glued and spun and hot glued and spun it around until it formed a sweet little flower!|
|Like this. :)|
|And this...short bits at a time so the glue remained hot and sticky and so I could place it carefully without getting it all stuck all over itself.|
|Then I cut out a little piece of green for a leaf, hot glued it to the bottom and hot glued an open safety pin to the leaf and...|
|Ta-dah! Girly Thing hats. :)|
|For Nolan's pirate vest, I'd again like to thank Google. :)|
I found a quick tutorial on how to make a "cowboy" vest out of felt using one of his t-shirts as a rough pattern (link). It called to sew up the edges, but I chose to hot glue it instead. Ha. I keep it classy. I also decided to lace up the front and back with leather string for an added piratey look. I just folded the felt over a bit and snipped four holes for each cross (two on each side of the vest per "x") to lace it up. Then I cut the heck out of it to make it look worn.
|The front all laced up. As you can see, I also glued (ha) in some "darts" because I couldn't really figure out how to cut it again once it was on him to make it sit right. He was asleep when I was making it, so I just threw caution to the wind and it was a little like a tornado. For the sash, I just cut out a long (like one yard, though I wish it had been longer) six inch wide piece of red fabric. I didn't finish any of the edges as I wanted it to be rough looking and we tied it over the top of the vest, with a little guidance from a Googled pirate. :)|
|My nerd bow tie was another quick felt job too (thank you Martha Stewart). :) Cut a rectangle. Cinch it in the middle. Tape it. Glue felt around tape. I then decorated it with some light pink glued on felt polk-a-dots. :) And finished it off by hot gluing an open safety pin on the back. |
Next up: pumpkin carving! Our tradition is to watch Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" as we carve. This year, Bug even watched a little too. He mostly loved the songs. Babies were in and out of the carving experience as they napped and woke and napped and woke. Alice seemed pretty into it though. ;)
|Getting set up.|
|Carving master in the making.|
|Daddy in a hole.|
|Alice says, "hi".|
|"I wanna see!"|
|Mixing up the pumpkin stew...|
|"Will this fit here??"|
|Lilah helping Daddy draw Bug's jack-o-lantern face.|
|Quick interlude to watch some "Nightmare..."|
|My big boy carving his own pumpkin!|
|All. Five. People. Looking. At. The. Camera. Mark the calendar! Complete with tongue out by Alice. And thank you again, iPhone turn aroundy function.|
|My baseball player with the treat bag he "won" on a spin the wheel game and his sucker...|
|Me and sissy Lilah on the trolley.|
|Nolan, Daddy and Alice on the trolly.|
|After about 5 attempts a picture where more than two of us were looking at the camera, Nolan jumped up to declare he had finished his sucker and handed me the empty stick. Clearly I was pleased. Ha. And so it begins with holiday cards...|
|Trolly ride. Thank you iPhone for the ability to "turn" the camera around allowing my lovely children to see their own darling faces, thus looking (most of them) at the camera for a picture. :)|
Then on actual Halloween with costumes all complete, we headed into Canby after Bug's school day. We stopped in to surprise Nolan's godmother at her work and then to see Grandma at hers. Then off to the library for some seriously weak crafting and some puppet play with some fellow trick-or-treaters. From there we trick-or-treated at the businesses around town and the market before participating in the costume parade. By the time all that ended and we headed home, we were exhausted. Bug barely made it home without falling asleep, we packed some dinner in him, showed him the lit jack-o-lanterns for the first time and ushered him off to bed, where he nearly instantaneously passed out. Maybe next year we will make it out after dark to actual houses! Ha!
All in all, a pretty good Halloween.
|My sweet little Things hanging out at Bug's school. Alice 1, Lilah 2.|
|My pirate (sans a good half of his costume after I painted the coolest beard ever on his face and he subsequently freaked out and demanded the pirate costume go away) swinging at school.|
|Full effect. Love that "cheese" face.|
|Lonely pirate. Not a single other kid at the playground. Everyone was too busy getting dressed and ready for trick-or-treating!|
|Atop his slide...on look out for fellow pirate ships.|
|Strollin' in the costume parade.|
|My (giant?) 3.5-year-old pirate and his sweet kitty buddy 1.5-year-old Alora.|
|The fam. Pirate. Things. Nerd.|
|Visiting "witchy" Grandma before trick-or-treating and parading. My camera died right after this picture (well planned, I know). Thank you, Auntie for the parade shots.|
|Nerdy me and my sweet Thing 1 (Alice)|
|Trick-or-treating is HARD work. Conked out cold.|
|Buggy (in my slippers and no pants...classic Nolan) with our jack-o-lantern family!|