Friday, November 7, 2014

Two Princesses, A Knight in Shinning Armor and The Royal Naughty Chicken

Like the sneaky black cat who roams our neighborhood, Halloween quietly crept up on me this year. When I finally realized it was here, everything - the pumpkins, parties, costuming - seemed to happen all at once.

In no particular order, here are the highlights. 

For the fourth year in a row, we attended the Eastwood ward's trunk or treat. I was asked to make two big pots of soup. The recipe I chose proved to be a hit; the surprise being I can successfully follow a recipe. {I appreciate each detail, Mel! If you told me to do a summer salt in between stirs, I probably would.} It made the crazy afternoon of getting the kids ready, keeping them clean (mission impossible), squeezing in a few minutes of photo taking with a most uncooperative chicken while putting the finishing touches on the soup worth it. Phew! I feel tired all over again.   

 One of the highlights of the party were the brilliantly wacky, mad scientists who created the spooky, yet tasty, Italian sodas! One of these years, I will join in the Halloween fun and dress up too. Andrew and I are still suffering from post traumatic Halloween costume regret; (see here) which is one of the reasons for our hesitation (laziness being the other).

The trunk or treat introduced bags of candy into our home. Being the irresponsible parent that I am, I let my children have full access to their stash of candy. For the most part, I do not interfere with their haul; aside from the occasional, "can I have that?" question. None of them have a tendency to eat it all at once, so I leave it up to them to barter, save and eat a piece here and there. Eliza has her candy rationed so it will last as long as possible. She is very disciplined in when she allows herself a piece. And, it has been known to happen, that she'll convince a younger sibling to share some of theirs with her in an effort to preserve her own supply. Henry kind of forgets he has candy until he spies Forrest bolting out of his room with a recently acquired sucker in hand and Lottie is very diligent (or so I think) to ask me before she eats something. 
Lottie was invited to dress up in her costume for a preschool party. She was thrilled! Her party concluded with another trunk or treat. Side note: Halloween candy is expensive. I feel like I re-learn this every year. Andrew was working from home that day, so he took his lunch break and came to watch with me. I love when he can taste the joy of parenting in this way. As the Mom, I am spoiled that I get to see the children in their school environment as often as I do. It is such a, wait for it, treat.
The night before Halloween we squeezed in pumpkin carving. The weather was super cooperative, as it has been most of the season, allowing us to carve outside. As I watched Andrew wheel the pumpkins from the front porch to our back patio where our eager children waited, I was filled with deep satisfaction. Life is good. This season is special. It isn't perfect, but in that moment, I felt true contentment. And then it was time for me to go inside and clean for the babysitter.
 Eliza really didn't want to touch the pumpkin guts, 
so she outfitted herself with a painting smock 
and gloves for washing dishes.
 Dinner on the patio; in October.
Halloween arrived. Eliza was up early to begin her transformation into the "Princess in the Blue Dress" who coincidentally resembles Elsa but is most definitely not Elsa. She was bouncing up and down with anticipation. Eliza has a major sweet tooth (with several fillings to prove it) and was debating out loud whether or not she liked Halloween or Christmas best. Two days after Halloween, she informed me that she loves Christmas most. 

I managed to safely place the bobby pins in her hair; which I count as a major win because in general I am not very artsy or steady with my hands. The make up was fun for us both. She feels like her glasses really change her appearance and was super excited that she didn't have to wear them all day.
 I think she is very beautiful.
Her Nanna Teresa put together this beautiful costume for her. 

Henry looked dashing as a knight! He was okay with not being able to bring the pretend sword to school, even though that sword had been the very reason he chose that costume. 
 As for the chicken, he sure looked adorable despite the trial that was trying to capture a smile.
I arrived early to the school and was pleased to see that the parade what take place outside. Henry was already outside finishing up a recess. Knowing we had time to spare, I set our chicken free from the stroller. He darted to the play ground, not caring at all that it was filled with big kids. His little chicken body created a lot of buzz among the children. I found it all amusing. 
The parade began. Having already had a fun time chatting with Henry during his recess, the highlight of the parade was when Eliza stepped out of line to come and hug me. It was a welcome reminder that she isn't quite so big or too cool for Mom yet. She had me worried for a minute as she was clearly to mature (or something) to not be Elsa.

Andrew was home from work early. With that extra piece of time, we went to our friend Patti's house for a visit. Seeing her always lifts our spirits. And then, finally, we returned home to eat dinner. Eliza inhaled her dinner and was about to explode through the rough with impatience as she saw are street begin to fill with trick or treaters. Hearing her pleas, a few minutes later, we started our trick or treating adventure.
 When Lottie and Henry decided to call it a night, Andrew took Eliza out for a while longer. The younger children and I popped popcorn and snuggled up on the couch to watch, Beauty and the Beast because nothing says creepy better than those scary wolves that chase Maurice in to the castle. :) That's about as scary as things got at our house! We had a happy Halloween. Until next year!

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