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Category Archives: Halloween

Happy Halloween

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Tea and Pea have been begging to carve their pumpkins and we finally got around to it Sunday afternoon.  Putting the boys on the dining room table during pumpkin de-gutting was the perfect way to contain the mess.  Tea made up a song that he sang as he worked.

“Everywhere you go…there’s pumpkins.  Everywhere you go…there’s pumpkins.  Everywhere you go…there’s pumpkins.  It is Halloween.  Have a happy Halloween.”  (repeat 87 times)

After we finished scooping seeds, Kyle cleaned up the boys and they ran off to play.  I tried calling them back to draw faces for me to carve and they stared at me blankly.  They thought “carving pumpkins” was just removing the seeds.  I guess we didn’t get around to this last year as we’d been home from Thailand for only 2 days at Halloween.

Tea did draw a face on his pumpkin once I explained the plan better.  He was so excited to see them glowing with candles.

“Mama, our pumpkins are friends.  Look how happy they are.  It’s because mine is friends with yours, and yours is friends with mine.  They are so happy to be friends.”

Happy Halloween, friends.


My kids are suckers for Japanese cartoon characters

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I started sewing Tea’s Halloween costume a full 11 hours before he needed to put it on.  It was admittedly not overly complicated, but I had no anxiety or fear about not getting it done on time.  Is that a sign of climbing closer to the apex of procrastination greatness or of slipping further into the pit of procrastination insanity?  I’m proud of Tea’s ears – I finagled an interior 3D foam frame that makes them more likely to be standing upright at any given moment of running around.  Not bad for flying by the seat of my pants.

I had nothing to do with their costume choices this year.  They each put in their requests last May and have been emphatic about their decision, repeatedly reminding me in case I’d forgotten.

Tea is the magical Japanese forest creature Totoro from one of his favorite movies, My Neighbor Totoro.  Pea is Doraemon, a “robot cat from the future”.  He’s not aware there’s a Japanese cartoon featuring the character – Pea came home from Thailand last year with a stuffed Doraemon that he’d had in his foster family.  It is his most prized possession.  He snuggles his “Mon” every night.  As far is Pea is concerned, he’s dressed as his favorite stuffed animal for Halloween.

Obviously these are not mainstream choices, so people assume the boys are dressed as an odd clawed-rabbit and an earless cat.  This hasn’t bothered the boys.   Curiously, one woman thought Pea was a turtle, though.  A turtle?  He’s blue.  With whiskers.  Um?

making Totoro noises

not a turtle

This is the first year I’ve sewn their costumes and I’m happy with how they turned out.  There wasn’t much too them, which in my book, makes them perfect.

a true Totoro would not be without his acorns

Trick-or-treat at the farmer’s market this morning was the perfect trial run for the real thing.  They dumped out their loot afterwards and we discussed their results and future strategy.  “This is chocolate, right Mama?  You like this kind?” “Oh yes, always pick those over suckers if you have the option.”  “And I like these.  What’s this called again?”  “Smartees.  I agree – those are great, too.  Definitely better than the Laffy Taffy.  But hide them from your father.”  Gotta have a plan.  For the kids, you understand.

talking trick-or-treat strategy

Whisker envy

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Pea got to test out his new Halloween outfit this morning when his dance class was invited to wear their costumes.  Unprepared as usual, I was sewing on the finishing touches 5 minutes before we needed to leave the house, and only as I packed his costume did I realize I didn’t have face paint for his nose and whiskers.  Washable markers to the rescue.

Every week we sneak out of dance class early to drive the 20 minutes to pick up Tea from school.  Since time was short, I threw a raincoat over Pea’s costume and tossed him in the car.  That was my first mistake.

Tea climbed up into the car, overtired from a cold and a field trip, and eyed his brother’s face.  “What’s THAT?”

“Those are the whiskers for your brother’s costume – he wore it to dance today.”

“But I want whiskers too!”

“Your costume has whiskers – don’t worry.  Halloween is coming soon.”

“No, I mean, I want whiskers now.”

“Oh.  Right.  OK.  How about with lunch, then?”

Tea: "I *really* wanted whiskers." Me: "Um, I *gave* you whiskers, goof balll."

Tea: "Oh, that's right. I forgot!"

My second mistake?  The term “washable” apparently does not apply to skin.

Thank you, dragon, for sharing

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Tea has been looking forward to Halloween, and trick-or-treating specifically, since the 4th of July.  I didn’t have a costume for him, being busy planning to add a little brother to the family and then traipsing around Asia for nearly a month, but Grandma Cookie came through and found one at a thrift store.  She left it at our house for Tea to discover when we got back home on Thursday.  See, mothers-in-law have some good qualities.  😉

He had so much fun trick-or-treating this year, even though he’s scared of the people wearing “mask-es”.  We brought along his new brother, Pea, dressed in an old monkey play-costume of Tea’s (for warmth more than style).  Pea enjoyed watching his brother doing the “dragon dance” and smiled much of the way.  Tea had his dragon character down, walking with a perfect dragon-swagger that moved his little tail back and forth with each step.

When neighbors tried to give Tea extra candy for his brother (who spent the entire time snuggled in Kyle’s arms – we didn’t bring a treat bag for him), he gestured towards his own pumpkin full of candy and told them, “I have some already that I can share.”  And once we were home, share he did.  I hadn’t decided how much sugar to let him ingest before bed time, when he announced, “I’m just going to eat this one thing with Pea and then put it away until tomorrow, OK Mama?”  He chose a bag of pretzels to share with his brother and handed out chocolate to his father and I.

Tea was worried that trick-or-treaters would come into our house and eat his candy during the night.  He was satisfied with my solution to put his pumpkin out of reach on top of the fridge.  Little did he know, it was his Mama’s reach he should have been worried about.  Snickers tastes even better when wide awake with jet-lag at 2am.