Kara is a military wife and mom to two little handfuls: Crew and Caia. Here is installment number 2. Click here to read her introductory post! Stay tuned for updates from a real chic woman who become a mom and now, has no idea where her red heels are!
Full Disclosure: I have mixed emotions about Halloween. Growing up, it was always an awkward holiday for me. As a Christian family, we weren't into the creepy side of the holiday. I was privileged to be Bible characters like Esther for "Harvest Parties" or leave school early to have ice cream with my friends while the other kids participated in costume parades. (Although in 3rd grade, I got to stay and participate since we each had to dress up as an adjective and naturally, my adjective was short.) Anyway, halloween is on a very, very, VERY short list of things in my childhood that were strange and that I wanted to change. As a family of our own, we chose not to over-analyze the day and make it awkward for our kids. We see it as a day to be creative with costumes that aren't creepy and visit with our neighborhood friends while we eat candy. We all love candy. Candy can't be controversial.
Understanding my worldview, my creative side is off and running with things this year. I saw an ADORABLE idea on Pinterest for my baby girl and enlisted the help of Philip's aunt in Minneapolis to knit something. It came in the mail yesterday and I proceeded to finish her costume and a large accessory that needed to be painted. I stood in the garage in 30 degree weather at 10pm painting a box to cover her stroller.
My son asked to be Dusty, the Cropduster from the movie Planes. He loves everything related to aviation. I think families that have a united costume theme have more fun so I regroup. The baby and I can have a morning costume that goes with his and an evening costume that goes with my original plan. I'm going to be an airline stewardess, my baby girl is going to be Amelia Earhart and my husband a pilot. Of course, I'm a little cheap and don't want to spend too much on silly costumes when that money could be used for better things so I do all kinds of digging, repurposing and borrowing to get it together. It didn't take any effort at all. ::eye roll:: We have to decorate our trunk for my son's preschool "Trunk or Treat," so naturally I stayed awake until all hours of the night wrapping it with blue wrapping paper while cutting out clouds to make it look like the sky. I follow the preschool guidelines to offer snacks that aren't too sugary and decide to pass out bags of pretzels from a basket. Get it? I'll be a stewardess passing out pretzels, because peanuts would be WAY too controversial. (Everyone has an allergy these days, in case you missed the memo.)
I go to bed at 11pm. I wake up with the baby at 1am, 3am and 5am. By 5am, my mind is racing with the rest of today's to-do's. I get up and make 4 dozen sugar cookies that look like pumpkins. I make an apple-cinnamon oatmeal bake and even homemade marinara while I'm at it. It is amazing how productive a woman can be while the rest of the house is asleep.
Then, my son wakes up and says his ear hurts. .1243209 seconds later, he seems fine. He says it again and I send him up to his dad, because he is more helpful in this arena and I am slowly, but surely rolling, cutting and baking away... tray after tray after tray. Hip, hip, hooray. (Sorry, I'm sleep deprived and read too many children's books that rhyme.)
I hurry and get my son to preschool with just enough time to stop at the store for last minute items, run home, shower and change out of my hobo clothes. (Seriously. Mismatching sweats, bun on my head, bags under my eyes... bad!) I went to the Dollar Store and even felt embarrassed there. (See? That's pretty bad.) On my way out, I get a phone call from the preschool teacher that he threw up and that I needed to turn around and come get him immediately. Ugh. Throw up. Ugh. Now? I simultaneously felt relieved that we could all go home and sleep and simultaneously annoyed that after ALL of this effort, the game is over, the show is canceled and we are going home. He can't participate in his first Halloween at school activity ever. How ironic?!
I go and pick him up and his preachool teacher is in the bathroom with him, calm, caring and loving. My son is jabbering away talking about his art project. The teacher said "He seems fine now. Completely normal." We get in the car and he asked for candy, then proceeded to ask 983 questions about missing Trunk or Treat and Trick or Treating later with the neighbors. He sang all the way home and waltzed in the door to find sugar cookies on the counter. He was ready for one, or two or ten, but I intercepted and told him to keep his germs far, far away from the kitchen which made him cry. So here I am with a "sick" kid who is acting normal, 60 unfinished sugar cookies, a giant pot of sauce without meatballs and several costumes that may or may not be used.
My son keeps asking for treats, the baby is on my lap while I type this and my husband is watching ESPN while asking "why I'm typing so furiously?" I don't know what to say, at least to him. I'm relieved, annoyed, exhausted and humored by it all. Hindsight is 20/20 and I don't think my parents sheltered us from this holiday for "religious reasons," I think it was because they were too stinkin' tired to take on any additional projects. It was strategic and smart. Taking your kid out for ice cream is so much easier and cheaper! Was anyone else shocked by the sticker price of dwindling bags of midget candy? Halloween is exhausting and expensive.
Halloween. Halloweird. Hallo-we-don't-need-more-work!
P.S. My parents dressed up as Willie and Kori from Duck Dynasty and passed out candy at their church's Trunk or Treat this year. How progressive, huh?