About a week and a half before Halloween, Sandy and Anders came to visit and we took the boys to a pumpkin patch. This was a new pumpkin patch for us this year, one that advertised themselves as being organic and less circus-y than others, both things that appealed to Sandy and me. Plus, the place is owned and run by some patients of Mike's, so he also recommended it.
We got lucky and had a beautiful day for it. The only bummer was that Jake was kinda crabby, and Drew and Anders had their moments, too, because they went to bed very late and got up early.
Drew had been asking me since late September to get pumpkins, and I kept telling him we would do it in October. Then since we waited until Oct. 20, I was a little worried we wouldn't have a whole lot of pumpkins to choose from, but again, we were lucky. This pumpkin patch had lots of regular pumpkins and some really neat white ones and also some very cool princess pumpkins, which are a deeper reddish-orange and have a flatter, wider shape.
True to form, Drew picked his pumpkin in about 3 minutes, and Zach hemmed and hawed and debated about probably 5 of them before finally settling on one. Of course he wanted the biggest one he could find, but I was trying to steer him a little more toward medium to medium-large pumpkins.
In addition to picking pumpkins, we got to go on a little nature walk, a hayride, and we got to check out some goats and chickens. We also had some delicious hot (or warm, in the boys' case) apple cider and some incredibly good cider donuts.
The following weekend, we got to carve our pumpkins. I really enjoy carving pumpkins, and so far the boys do, too. In this picture you can see the pumpkins and a couple of the little ghosts the boys and I made out of cheesecloth and fabric stiffener.
One of the difficult things about carving pumpkins with the boys is that they grossly overestimate my carving abilities. They often want really elaborate designs, and I have to talk them out of them because they just seem too hard and too involved. So Zach decided he wanted a scary face, and Drew decided he wanted a spider to go with Webby, his black plastic spider ring he got at preschool. I found a picture online for both and just looked at them as I carved. I took advantage of Jake's ignorance about jack-o-lanterns and just went with something super easy. It's probably the last year I could get away with that.
Zach's scary face jack-o-lantern.
Drew's spider actually turned out better than I expected, although those skinny legs didn't hold up very well. At least one was broken by the next day, and by Halloween a couple of days later, I think 2 were broken and he was sagging a little. Oh, well. Drew didn't mind at all.
Jake's easy and simple jack-o-lantern.
You might be wondering what kind of weight-lifting regimen we've had Drew on, but don't worry- it's just a Hulk costume he likes to play in.
We had dinner at a friend's house and then went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood (the friend just lives down the street) with our friends Anna, Lucy, Eli, Charlie, and Will. This picture shows Lucy, Anna, and Zach by the door, Drew as the ghost, and Charlie and Jake to his left. Charlie is two and a half and was not interested in putting on a costume. Eli and Will are too little to really trick-or-treat, so they didn't make it in the picture, I guess.
Here are my three boys- the ghost (easiest costume ever, I think, though it did get a little heavy on Drew), the tiger, and the ninja.
I love this picture of Drew because he really looks like a ghost, although one with red hands. The sheet was fuller and more flowy, but we discovered that while that looked good, it made the sheet way too heavy, and it hurt Drew's neck. So we cut a bunch off, and this was the finished product. And, same thing as with the pumpkins (and everything else in life)- Drew knew 6 weeks before Halloween that he was going to be a ghost, and Zach changed his mind every day and then spent 20 minutes in the aisle at Target trying to figure it out. And every time (with the pumpkin, too), he leaves the store/pumpkin patch thinking maybe he should have gotten something else. Poor kid is just like his mom that way.
We had a great night for trick-or-treating. Good weather with only mid-weight jackets needed. Jake LOVED it! We started at our friend's neighbors' house, which is at the bottom of our block but across the street, and then we turned up our street. Jake immediately said, "No home, Mom. No home." He did want to eat the candy immediately at first, but after the second house, I let him have one small thing, and then he was content to not eat after each house. Jake walked the entire time until the very last house we went to. He had just fallen down and was surely tired, so he wanted me to carry him. It was a really fun Halloween!