Dude. Halloween. I'm sort of into it, but mostly not. I like seeing my kids dress up. Super cute. I like all the other cute costumes. But the super scary/trashy/inappropriate costumes? Not so much. The really awful decorations everyone puts up? Ugh. The over-emphasis on all things Halloween at the store and in the school? So over it. Apparently public schools are totally okay with plastering evil things all over your kids' worksheets (hello bats, skeletons, ghosts, haunted houses, etc), yet come Christmas if Santa or Jesus is mentioned, well, look out. Okay, stepping off soapbox. Sorry.
But, despite my Halloween Grinchiness, we still celebrate. I think there are ways to accommodate the Halloween hullabaloo without going overboard. My kids won't have creepy costumes, but I enjoy letting them dress up. We love to decorate, but more along the lines of leaves, pumpkins and gourds. And it's fun to celebrate the holiday with friends and neighbors. You know we're always looking for an excuse to get together with folks and enjoy good food!
We started the day with a parade at Maddie's school. I had to get Maddie to K at 8:30, drop Sam down in town at 8:45, and then rush back up to the school for a 9:00 parade. The parking lot at Maddie's school was C-R-A-Z-Y. Oh my goodness. If there had been a fire, well, God help us, because no firetruck could have gotten up that hill, or into the lot, or to any curb. Every single square inch of lot and curb space was taken. I found ONE spot in the upper lot that wasn't taken, a compact spot that was made even more compact by the over-the-line parking of the minivan on my left. I drove straight in, my front right tire right up on the curb! A lady laughed at me as I squeezed my pregnant belly out in the small space between my car and the one next door. But hey, I didn't have to park illegally or double park or just give up (I saw all three!)
Yep, I took a picture.
Parade: Started by three 5th graders playing a tuba, clarinet and drum, playing the ultimate fight song:
Bum Bum Bum Ba-dum
Bum Bum Bum Ba-dum
Bum Bum Bum Ba-dum
BUM BUM BUM
(or in my head, "SHS!" for Sandy High School, and then "Go, Fight, Win!" I was a cheerleader for many years, a long time ago).
Next came the Kinder classes, followed by each grade in subsequent order. I waved at my Jessie cowgirl and laughed with joy at her friends. Then I walked across the field to grab a few more shots, shoot a quick video, give my Jessie girl a kiss, and sneak out. The Grinchiness started early, seeing that parking lot and knowing that under no circumstances did I want to be in my car when everyone else was departing. At 9:22, I was in my car, backing off the curb and out of the parking lot. No traffic. Awesome.
Picked up my little buddy, helped him into his Buzz costume, and we ran some errands downtown. Here's Sam with his best "Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!" pose:
After school I took the kids out to lunch. They asked for sushi! Crazy palates (that just so happen to coincide with my pregnancy cravings). They split an order of tako sushi. Aka octopus. Again with the crazy. Then we shared tempura veggies, soup, salad, and california rolls. Jessie and Buzz Lightyear were perfectly behaved (four different employees commented on their good behavior and appetites. So proud). Then we headed home for Halloween naps. Both kids slept quite a while. It was nice.
I spent most of the afternoon working on the hors d'oeuvres for Mel's Halloween Bash. I made these for the grown ups, but with puff pastry instead of phyllo (holla! trader joes!) and then I did nacho puff pastry appetizers for the kids.
Puff pastry: cut in 3x3 inch squares. Stuff each square into a greased muffin tin. To center, add a dollop of salsa-flavored refried beans and a healthy pile of shredded mexican blend cheese. Cook at 350F for 15 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown and cheese is melted. Let cool 5 minutes. Whip together some sour cream and taco seasoning, to taste (I used about half a packet for 8 oz. of sour cream). Chop up a couple of green onions. Remove appetizers from pan. Garnish each with a dollop of the seasoned sour cream and a few green onions. Serve! Easy peasy nacho cheesy.
Mel's party, was, of course, a huge hit. I took only two pictures, of the two littlest Halloween friends:
After a delicious spread of appetizers and taco soup (holla! Mel makes awesome taco soup!), we headed back to our place to trick-or-treat with our neighbors and friends. Here's my kiddos, ready for some candy and chomping at the bit! "Where's Daddy? Let's GO! Dave said to be sure we stop by! LET'S GOOOO!!!"
Buzz, Jessie, & Pumpkins
We only trick-or-treated our cul-de-sac plus two others in our neighborhood (not even hitting every house) and our kids' bags were FILLED with candy. And Sam's legs were tired.
One of the things I do like about Halloween is seeing folks' personalities come through. Case in point: our super nice, humble, quiet neighbor was dressed as the Grim Reaper. Awesome.
Zee French Peintre & The Grim Reaper
Tim & Melisa (fun neighbors/Ben's beer-brewing buddy) had us back to their house with another family for cupcakes and dirt pies. Sugar. Nom nom nom. I think, all night, that I was aware of, my kids only ate two pieces of candy plus part of a cupcake and a few bites of dirt. Not bad.
We rolled home after 8, did some serious tooth brushing and face washing, then I laid down with the still-wired kiddos until they finally dozed off (or was that me?), about 9:15.
Today (the day after Halloween) has been a hot mess. Not sure if it's just a coincidence, or the lack of sleep plus the extra sugar and hype, but Sam has had so, so many consequences today and both kids are full of sassafras. Hmmm...glad it's another year until the next Halloween.