Well, October wasn't all fun and games... Miss M got the flu and missed 6 days of school. She also missed a birthday party for another PA (peanut allergy) kid, which was a bit disappointing for mommy (one of the few times she can attend a party without me worrying about the party food). For 3 of those days, Mister J was also home sick. Not to be left out, Big J and I have had our own days of feeling puny. Thankfully, the kiddos were feeling better just in time for some Fall and Halloween fun!
Miss M attended a ballerina birthday party for her friend, H. Here she is in the 'dressing room' getting ready to dance with a real ballerina who came to perform for the girls and then teach them a few ballet moves.
I didn't take many photos at our church's Fall Festival, and here's the only one the kiddos together. They were in line for the pony rides, so they didn't want to sit still. Mister J seemed to have the most fun playing Bingo, and Miss M had the most fun getting snacks - sno cones, popcorn, and cotton candy!
It's been a rainy month, so we just picked out our pumpkins last week. I managed to get only a few snapshots of the kids - they are so glad to be feeling better that it's tough to get them to hold still! The pumpkin patch we go to always has lots of neat places set up for photo ops.
Mister J is in the back of a big wagon that's decorated and filled with hay bales. Miss M is in the background, refusing to join the photo :)
Before we knew it, Halloween was here! Mister J wanted to be a fireman - how do you think his costume turned out? I found the coat at a local consignment shop (on sale for 50% off - yeah!). The helmet was a gift at his fire truck birthday party last year. Those boots are the ones I got for him when the kids were both asking for rain boots early in the year (they still fit!). Pants - regular cargos from Wal-Mart. The badge is a sticker from out local fire department, and those (removable) stripes are made of duct tape. I'm pretty proud of how this came together!
And here's the costume Miss M selected. I bet you aren't even surprised that it's dance related :)
Trick or Treat! I'm Angelina Ballerina! Yes, I'm a mouse - see my tail?
The pink dance costume was borrowed from a friend. I attached felt ears to a headband I already had, and edged them with some fuzzy, feathery stuff I found at AC Moore. That same thing was used for the tail. The (new!) pair of white tights didn't make it through the evening - oh, well! I bought some black and white makeup to mix into grey for her whiskers. The long-sleeved shirt was straight from her closet. All totaled, I spent less than $35 on new items for both costumes - and the pants and coat can be worn again! Too bad about the tights....
Instead of the normal house-to-house trick-or-treating, we attended Halloween Festival/Trunk or Treat at two churches. The kids had a great time, and I thought it was nice to have Halloween fun without dealing with traffic in the dark (half of our neighborhood has sidewalks, the other half does not).
Mister J was very patient, and won a cupcake after several rounds of the cake walk.
Mister J and Miss M also enjoyed several other games before decided it was time to move on to our next stop. On the way to Great-Grandma's house, we passed a fire station that was also holding a small Halloween festival. Since Mister J was dressed as a fireman, we had to stop. Guess who got to cross the caution tape and have his picture made in the fire truck? He felt like a super star!
Remind you of anything?
It was hard to get the kids away from the games at the fire station. There was no waiting, so they wanted to play over and over and over again. Miss M was getting extra help with basketball - that's the only way my 3-year old could have dunked on the 6-foot-high goal!
Although Halloween is a particularly worrisome time for PA families, Mister J and Miss M understand our "No Candy until Mom or Dad check it out" rule. I'd considered Trick-or-Treat for Unicef this year, but since we went to the festivals instead of door-to-door, we opted to take a pumpkin to collect a few treats. It's also tough (on my heart) to take the candy out of a holiday when I know it just takes a little effort on my part to sort out the safe from the unsafe. We were also very clear about what was ok (or not) when given the choice of treats - which happened more often than not at the church festivals.
It's November now, so we will take down our Halloween decorations. The pumpkins (which we didn't carve) become our Thanksgiving decorations. Planning for Mister J's birthday begins now - I've got just over a month!