First, before I get into my rant, look how cute! This year Gracie was Owlette from PJ Masks and picked her very own costume with parts coming from Target and others from Etsy. Georgia was in charge of Gracie’s costume and she did awesome! Will was a baby skunk and I could just die with how cute his costume turned out! They were both the most adorable little Halloween kiddos I ever did see. :)
With that being said, I’m just going to be real honest here, folks – the month of October stresses me the f-out and it’s a stressful month of my own making, which makes it even worse. October is my birthday month, so as an extroverted-introvert (yes, that’s a real thing), I have to make myself be super social with all the friends and family who wish to celebrate my birth. Now, before you think I’m a total asshole, let me remind you that I still deal with some borderline anxiety and that I’m 100% a homebody, so knowing that my mom is going to force a birthday celebration on me that she’s going to photograph to death and post all over FB, annnnnd that I’m going to have to find the “perfect outfit” and go out 2-3 times throughout the month, well, it just leaves me feeling kinda, ugh... October is also the birthday month of like half my immediate family, so we’re typically looking at lots of celebrations and a whole lot of shopping for gifts and whatnot.
In addition to this, I decided when Grace was a baby that I would be an overachiever and sew her Halloween costumes. This was born out of mom guilt that my mom handmade all our costumes and they were amazing, so how dare I even consider going out and buying my kid a plastic, mass-produced costume... irrational ideology, I know. This means that for at least one week out of every October, I’m parked in front of a sewing machine night after night, after having worked all day, killing myself to make the advanced skill pattern I always seem to pick even though my sewing skills are in no way advanced, lol! It’s a love/hate thing, these stinkin’ costumes. I LOVE that I get to create unique and special costumes for my precious babies and that I feel like I’m honoring my mom in doing so. I don’t love that it costs 3x as much to make the damn things as it would to just buy them, or that it eats up so much of my time. Again, why do I do these things to myself?!
Also, October is the month of the Balloon Fiesta here in New Mexico (blog post on this coming soon), so we have to get the camper ready for camping onsite and it’s the one time of year that my sister comes home to visit. This means, more late nights, more time off work, more spending, more family functions and more dealing with my extremely emotional little sister who always gets mad at me at least once during her visits, for absolutely no reason. And yes, she sure did get mad at me again this October because I didn’t have time to do a week’s worth of grocery shopping for her before her arrival (with one day notice) – and – I didn’t give her and her friends all the beverages we purchased for our house guests. As in, she literally wanted to empty the bar we had just stocked, right into her cooler an hour before we were to have a full house of guests and was super pissed that I said no! Whomever said that bratty little sisters stop being bratty in their mid-30’s, lied. That’s all I’m saying…
Then you have all the usual October stuff like the visit to the pumpkin patch + the purchase and prep of Halloween gifts for classmates and teachers + the school Halloween festival + the pumpkin painting and carving with friends and – oh you know, all that other everyday stuff like school, work, parenting, cleaning the house, cooking, helping with homework, keeping the children alive, etc. It’s ri-god-damn-diculous!
But even with all of this, here’s the crazy thing… It’s still my favorite month of the year! What, how… I don’t even know, but I just love it so much! I’m certain this is the only reason I’m able to survive and actually get through the endless list of Halloween to-do’s, because I LOVE HALLOWEEN! Like, love, love it! And yes, Gracie’s school Boo-Bash did add to our list of to-dos’ this year, but it was soooo much fun! We got to meet more of her new school buds, who LOVE her! We got to check out what she’s working on in her class and we got to visit with our #momsquad while all the kids played and danced the night away. The event made me feel like such a mom with my big girl in Elementary School and it made me feel just so damn happy! Georgia and I both had a smile from beginning to end. :)
I instantly forget how labor intensive it is to make these little costumes the moment I see how cute our babies are in them! I mean seriously, check out this skunk! So stinkin cute #icanteven! I committed to churning out handmade costumes for Grace until she was old enough to ask that we buy one she liked. For her, this happened last year for her 5th Halloween. We were going with a superhero theme as a part of our pregnancy announcement and she fell in love with a pink and black Batgirl costume she discovered at Target and just had to have it. For Will, I’m hoping he’ll make it 5 Halloweens before he wants to pick something from the store, because I have so many ideas for cute costumes for him for years to come! Little Mister’s baby skunk costume was a doozy because again, I ordered an advanced pattern and discovered just days before Halloween when I started working on it that I bought toddler size and not infant size… big difference, huge mistake. Thankfully, my mom was there to help me downsize the pattern and we just kind of figured things out as we went. I knew that Will was in nearly the 70th percentile for height when he had his last check-up 3 weeks before, but didn’t truly grasp how tall he is or that he would grow so much taller in just a month. Long story short, once we were nearly finished with the costume, we tried it on him and it DIDN’T fit! OMG. The legs were literally 3 inches too short, so the top didn’t reach his shoulders. As luck would have it, the skunk fur material camouflaged the fact that we extended the legs, lol! I was so stressed out and ready to say, screw it – he’ll just wear Gracie’s Lion Costume from her first Halloween, but my amazing Mom wouldn’t let me give up. Thank goodness because – look! Now, in hindsight, the drama just added to the happy memory.
We spent Halloween doing the usual fun stuff, starting with a visit to my work for some trick-or-treating and games. My office puts together a few contests every year including best costume, best potluck dish and they have a pumpkin-carving contest. Everyone brings their kiddos to the office for the last 2 hours of the day and all the kids trick-or-treat, run around like crazy and eat way too many sweets! This year, Georgia brought her parents and we all cheered when she won 2nd place in the pumpkin carving contest! She was so excited and won movie tickets (which made me super excited). Everyone loved Gracie’s costume and adored our little skunk and because Will was too small for candy, his big sis got two from everyone and you know she just love that!
Following my work event, we headed to Georgia’s auntie M’s house to see all of her niece’s and nephews (her cousins kids) in their costumes and have a bite to eat. Georgia’s aunt is going through some serious health stuff right now, so our visit was quick, but I could see how happy it made her to have us over and that made me really happy. Auntie M has always been the aunt who I’ve connected with the most in Georgia’s family, so I love our visits with her! Will’s the only baby on G’s side of the family; so all the kids are basically obsessed with him. Between the aunties and his cousins, he was 100% entertained from the moment we arrived, right up to when we were walking out the door.
We ended the night at my brother’s house, where we go every Halloween. They always order pizza, have drinks and the kids play before heading out to trick-or-treat. This year was the first that Gracie and our niece who is the same age went trick-or-treating with the big kids and they were so excited about it! Gracie begged to let her climb in the truck to head a few blocks over where all “the best candy is”, so we decided we would jump in to and we all headed over. Will was beyond tired at this point, having shuttled from one place to another all day long, so he stayed behind with Nani and Grandpa K. According to my mom, he lasted about 10 after we left before passing out in her arms where he stayed asleep until we returned an hour later. The kid’s made out like bandits and Gracie had the most fun! The funny thing is, that for how excited she was to collect candy, she completely forgot about it a day later and never asked for another piece, lol!
It was such a busy, fun and memorable Halloween, made especially awesome because it was our little skunks first! If I had the chance to do things again, I would have started Will's costume earlier, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a single thing about our first Halloween as a family of four! It was pretty great. :)
I hope you all had an awesome Halloween too!
I hope you all had an awesome Halloween too!