It’s Raining Bats and Dogs!

Halloween 2016 was a wet one. I don’t think it stayed completely dry for any of our October festivities, and there were a lot of them. We visited our first pumpkin patch for the season on October 3rd with our friends Solana, Ronan and Finn. It was a wet confusing mess for us all because the patch itself was only partially open for the month. We made the most of it and spent the majority of our time at the giant sand pit playing with trucks and racing tricycles on the hay rack race track. It was a great way to kick off the short season. All on all we ended up visiting 4 different patches and going a total of 6 times.

Our 4th trip to the patch for the month was a field trip with the girls pre-school. Both classes met together for a combined tour of our favorite pumpkin patch/farm. We dropped off Enzo beforehand so he could hang out with some guy friends for the afternoon 🙂 This made it easier for me to get down and dirty with the girls and their classmates. We made corn kernel angles in the corn bin, jumped on a bouncy, went up and down the large hay slides, pet the bunnies and goats, watched a pig show and duck race, and had creamsicles with their classmates. We even got our own private tractor ride around the pumpkin fields so that each child could find his or her perfect pumpkin. It was a great afternoon, I really loved the special time I got to have with them both and I know they felt the same way because it was the only trip to the patch this season that they thanked me for, several times.

We kicked off Halloween weekend of Friday by decorating our little pumpkins from the girls field trip. Elise wanted a cat and Ava a fish. We ended up with Stinky the cat, a baby pumpkin with painted black ears, green eyes and whiskers, and Sticky the fish, a purple fish silhouette with glitter scales, lashed eyes and a small smile. Both girls were incredibly proud of their little creations and had a hard time just leaving it on the front porch. Elise wanted to carry hers all over the house and play with it.

That night was our annual neighborhood pumpkin carving party. Our party loving neighbors Cara and Jim host this every year and we have been lucky enough to join them for 2 years now. Michael unfortunately had to work late so I took the kids over solo. I didn’t bring a pumpkin for our family to carve because I knew it would be too much for to take on 3 kids and a jack o lantern at once. This was the primary reason I suggested making pumpkins earlier that day. Ava still managed carve one of her own thanks to the help of Jim and she was so happy with herself when we carried it home and lit it up. She would have slept with it had I allowed it. Elise as planned was happy to hang out in the garage with all the big kids and compliment everyone else’s creations while showing off hers from earlier. Meanwhile Enzo hung out in the kitchen, near the food and the adults and was happy to be eating and dragging around an old monster truck that he spotted as soon as we arrived. They all had a great time and love being at Jim and Cara’s parties. We did leave the party a little early because Michael was just getting home and the kids wanted to tell him all about their day plus we had a big day planned for Saturday.

The next morning we got up and got going right away with breakfast and clothes and all the morning rituals. Normally on Saturdays we all take our time waking up and relaxing together at various times in the living room. But today we had a birthday party to get to at the zoo and everyone was dressing up in costumes for the occasion. We were originally planning on dressing Enzo up as a politician this year, thinking that it would be funny with the up coming election but it never came together the way were envisioning it so he was Batman. Not a very original idea but he was still super cute in a little black cape. It worked out better in the long run anyway, because our original idea included a suit for him and it was so rainy and miserable out that he spent most of his time in the stroller where you couldn’t really see what he was wearing. It was only because he had on a very recognizable costume that anyone knew what he was. Elise was Zuma, her favorite dog from paw patrol (a Nickelodeon show). Ava was Judy Hopps from Zootopia. I dressed up as well although truthfully it was a pretty lame attempt, I was a lumber jack. We met the birthday boy, Ronan and family at the zoo entrance and together a big group of us took on the rain. We had already planned on meeting up with Madi and Kristy at the zoo on Halloween weekend for their pumpkin bash so we combined the two and it was a sloppy, wet success. We spent nearly 3 hours wandering from one covered exhibit to the next. It was raining pretty hard the whole time but not one single kid complained, not once. They were too busy running around with each other, checking out all the costumes and decorations and eating lots of treats. I was super impressed with how our family handled the situation. We did finally reach our breaking point, once the adults were cold and uncomfortable enough we decided to have Madi and Kristy come over for lunch and more pumpkin decorating.

I headed home with all of the kids while Michael and Kristy stopped off at the grocery store for fried chicken and pumpkins. After lunch we set up shop in the garage, turned on a heater, some music, and got everyone situated with their prospective pumpkins. The adults carved out a group pumpkin and all the kids painted theirs. By the time we were all finished with our pumpkins the weather had finally cleared up so we got out the scooters and bikes and raced up and down the cul-de-sac for a bit. It was a fun, festive day and we were all wiped out by 6:00, so we spent the rest of the night relaxing.

Sunday night we attempted another Halloween activity but it was a bust. The church closest to our neighborhood hosted a party that we thought was going to be a Truck or Treat, similar to what we had visited there last year. In previous years, they had a huge indoor area filled up with cars that were all decked out, on the trunk end, with their own themes. This year was much different. It was called, I spy, and it was like a pokemon style hunt for specific costumed characters. They gave everyone a pamphlet when you walked in with all of the characters that you were supposed to find and have sign off on your sheet. You won prizes for the most people found. Im sure it was a lot of fun for the older kids but our kids were not interested in standing in line to get someone’s autograph to then turn in for potential prizes. They wanted candy and they were not afraid to say so. We did have a good time wandering around and seeing all of the costumes but the kids were a little disappointed in the lack of treats. Not to worry though, they bounced back quickly, and we ended spending the rest of the night at home with some Halloween movies and treats.

On Monday I had intended to take the kids to a pumpkin patch one last time but it was raining yet again and after the soggy weekend I just didn’t have it in me. The forecast for Monday evening was supposed to be light to no rain so I decided that I would take the kids to Mill Creek Town Center for a little pre-trick or treating before meeting up with Michael at home around 5:30 to head out in our neighborhood. We got to town center right when it started, because in our experience early to kids functions is always better. We hit our first store at 4:20, even though it wasn’t supposed to start until 4:30. We took our time walking our usual route through most of Main Street. The kids had a lot of fun seeing a place that we visit so frequently (this is where they have pre-school) so full of people, decorations, firemen and police! Its no surprise that they had the most fun doing some actual trick or treating and filling up their plastic pumpkins with candy! It took us about an hour to walk the length of Main Street, we stopped for a few candy breaks and one bathroom break but we also took our time walking slowly and chatting with kids and adults around us. The girls made sure to visit every store that was open and they stopped a few times along the way to say hi to other kids that liked their costumes or vice versa. Ava was loving all the attention and at one point turned to me with a huge smile and said “They all know me Mommy, I’m famous”, to be fair they knew who she was dressed up as, they did not recognize her. Elise got a kick out of all the other paw patrol costumes and would run up to a little kiddo dressed as Chase or Marshall and scream a version of “Im Zuma! Paw Patrol to the rescue”, It was hilarious and adorable.

By the time we were heading out, Town Center was packed full with families and just as we were packing up into the van the rain started to come down hard. We barely missed it. It was a very light drizzle for our walk along Main Street but by the time we got home you could say it was pouring. We came home and the kids had some dinner and once Michael got home we all bundled back up for some neighborhood trick or treating. Several of our neighbors round up their kids and head out in a large group for the night but most of their kids are quite a bit older than ours and they are a lot faster than we are so we were only able to keep up with them for a few house before we broke off one our own. Ava was pretty upset at first because she wanted to be “with our team”, but after we explained that Enzo wanted to walk door to door with both of the girls she conceded. It rained on us, pretty heavily for our entire trip around the neighborhood. We only visited about 15 houses but the kids were able to once again fill up their pumpkins with candy and they were more than happy to come home when Michael and I suggested it.

There wasn’t much time left in the night once we finished up trick or treating but we did manage to get in a Skype call with Rita for her birthday and then everyone headed off to their beds to either sleep or read. It was a rough morning on Tuesday for all 3 of the kids and I was definitely expecting it. They were all tired from the long fun fill weekend! I helped ease the kids out of the post Halloween blues by reminding them of all the great things to come in the month of November. Now we have officially switched gears and our focus is on Thanksgiving and Ava’s 5th birthday. We’ve got plans to spend both occasions with family and it is sure to be the topic of many conversations over the next 3 weeks. Now if we could only get a few days without any rain!

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