Halloween is a fun time of year -- for our family, it's about fall and leaves and carving pumpkins and dressing up and singing Halloween songs in the car
until we can't get Five Little Pumpkins out of our heads. It's about visiting our grandma's on Halloween and letting the kids show off their costumes and saying "Trick or Treat" (even though the kids have no idea what that means.) It's about visiting a few neighbors houses if it's not too late or too cold, eating a few pieces of candy and heading home.
For me, it's also about trying to keep candy-eating to a minimum (for the kids anyway)... keeping scary things like cackling witches and spooky ghosts and all other scary beings away from the kids. (We already have 1 child who needs to have her closet door shut before going to bed - we really don't need anymore frightening thoughts.)
I am all about having a "cute" Halloween. The scary stuff is definitely not for me.
I like having the costumes somewhat representative of the kids' year. (Surprise, surprise... making costume-decision-making complicated and difficult? Who me?) Because the kids have been too young (or completely disinterested) in picking out their own costumes, so far I have pretty much decided what I wanted them to be. (I know... so who is Halloween for anyway?)
When Rylee was almost one, she was a Bumblebee. Not much meaning behind the bumblebee... however, when I was teaching Kindergarten, I was a bumblebee. (Not scary and an easy-enough costume to take on and off at school!) So, the idea that the two of us could dress up together and match was completely adorable, and something I knew I could only do when she was young and had no say in the matter. So there we were. Bumblebees.
When Rylee was almost two, she was a Ladybug. Actually, I don't remember there being much meaning to this either. Oh yeah... I know. I had a friend who loaned us a cute Ladybug costume. Is that meaningful? (I promise... the costumes get more meaningful as we go along!)
I remember that darn hood wouldn't stay up out of Rylee's eyes...
... so I guess she decided to kiss that hood goodbye!
When Rylee was almost three, she was a Turtle. Cutest little turtle there ever was. Jeremy and I have always liked turtles (even before we knew each other.) Since we've been married, we've always had at least 1 turtle in our aquarium. (And maybe someday, I'll write a post about Lucky, the snapping turtle Jeremy found when he was the size of a nickel -- the same turtle I insisted we let go after I found it had gotten out of the aquarium, climbed up the stairs, and began scratching on our backdoor. Yup. They grow.)
When Rylee was almost 4, she was a Monkey. She had been our "little monkey" all year long... she loved bananas and was a silly little thing, so we gave her an appropriate nickname. That costume was the cutest thing ever -- and when I gave her a banana during our little "Halloween Photo Shoot," it totally sent me over the top. Adorable.
Carter was 6 months old and a Bumblebee, just as Rylee was for her 1st Halloween. And, did I dress up in my Bumblebee costume with him, too? Why, yes I did. And I could tell you that the reason I'm not posting the picture is because we didn't get any, but you all know me too well. Yes, we got pictures. So, I guess I'm forced to be honest. I think I look like a goober in the photo, and since I can't PhotoShop the photo to make myself look un-goober-like, I am choosing not to share it. Because it's my blog. And I can.
(This was also the year I began doing Halloween digital scrapbook pages for the kids, and someday, I hope to go back and scrapbook Rylee's 1st few Halloweens. You know. When I don't feel the need to sleep at night anymore.)
When Rylee was almost 5, she was Blue from Blues Clues. Perfect fit. She loved the show all year, and even chose to have a Blues Clues 5th Birthday Party. (Thank goodness for reruns and DVR... I swear I've seen every episode. Did you know that they had 2 different guys on there as Blue's friend... Steve and Joe? When Steve left, they said he was going off to college, so Joe came on. Steve was much less annoying than Joe. And, did you know that Blue, the dog, is a GIRL dog? There's some incredibly useless information for ya.)
Carter was 1 1/2 and was a Penguin. Though we had only seen the movie Happy Feet a few times (and probably only parts of it at that) Carter picked up on the silly little dancing-of-the- feet part that the penguin did in the movie. So, he would dance around and we'd say he was doing his "Happy Feet." Again, adorable. (I am now considering re-naming this post "The Post In Which Carin Over-Uses The Word 'Adorable.')
And do you know how we found out penguins like pretzels? This little penguin wouldn't sit for pictures unless he had pretzels.
And as for this year? Drumroll please......
Rylee is almost 6, and Carter is 2 1/2. They. Love. Shrek. They would watch the movies every day if I would let them. At first I wasn't a big fan of them watching the movies. I think there are parts that aren't extremely appropriate for young kids... like when Fiona kicks the crud out of the woodsmen, or when Donkey and Shrek are snotty with each other. But, I knew I would lose the battle with Jeremy (who would himself watch the movies every day if he could.) So instead I have done my best to turn it into a learning opportunity. "Now Rylee, did you hear how Shrek talked to Donkey? Can you think of a nicer way he could have said that? And Carter? I know they locked Shrek up in the castle so Prince Charming could marry Fiona, but that's not exactly the right way to 'get the girl,' okay? Just remember that when you're older."
Carter had a Shrek theme for his 2nd Birthday in April... and the love of Shrek has continued. When it was time for Halloween-costume-pickin', it was a perfect fit. And actually, there is a little symbolism of these two kids being Shrek and Donkey. Shrek and Donkey are friends, and deep down they even love each other. Though they argue and bicker and sometimes say not-so-nice things, they would do anything for one another. (Hmmm. Can you say "sibling relationship?")
So, this year, Shrek and Donkey will celebrate Halloween. They will walk beside each other as we Trick-or-Treat, knowing that they will always be there for each other...
and arguing about who will ring the doorbell.