Another Halloween has come and gone, so let's get right into our annual holiday recap! Our celebrations started much the same as they always do, with a trip to an abandoned retail center that transforms into Halloween gloriousness for a month each year.
We were interested to see if he'd be scared of all of the ghosts and ghoulies in the store this year, but he took it all in stride.
For a fun comparison, here he is during Halloween 2016. Oh what a difference! He loses a little bit more of his round baby face each year.
I found this $3 felt countdown calendar at a local craft store called A.C. Moore. It was the best purchase ever. There's a bag of cute Halloween-themed characters and each day you stick one on the calendar to count down to Halloween. Not only did Jasper look forward to putting the "animals" on each morning, but he also learned a lot about dates. It was an effective way to introduce the fact that all days "have a name" and it helped him practice reading his numbers and saying the full date to me. I couldn't find a matching one for November so I printed one of my own and have been using Thanksgiving-themed stickers I found at Target to count down to Turkey Day.
We had to go all out for our first Halloween as a family of 4. The Wizard of Oz theme was a quick decision, but it worked out so perfectly. Here is where you can find these costumes:
Adult Mr. Scarecrow Costume - Party City (we purchased in store)
Toddler Cowardly Lion Costume - Party City (purchased online)
Classic Witch Costume - Amazon (the hat and cape are included, the boots I already owned)
Baby Dorothy Costume - Amazon
Baby Ruby Slippers - Amazon
White Baby Tights - Amazon
We dressed up a week early because our mall was having a trick-or-treating event. The plan was to give Jasper an excuse to wear his costume and have a "dress rehearsal" for trick-or-treating so he could get used to it. It also gave us a chance to have more time to get some good photos of all of us. We managed to snag these group shots using a tripod and the self timer on the camera!
Jasper was all smiles during the photo session. I'd be lying if we weren't pumping our fists and doing a victory dance, because it's soo rare that he cooperates for planned photos.
These two have a pretty classic brother-sister relationship, even at this early age. They spend about 60% of the time fighting or squabbling over toys and the other 40% being all lovey and snuggly.
I'll get you, my pretties...
A few folks told us that we are missing a Tin Man and need to have another baby to remedy that situation.
My response was no thanks, I'll dress one of my dogs up as the Tin Man.
I'd take a bullet for these two, but I don't want any more of them!! No sir, no way, no how, not happening!
But they sure are cute...
I'm posting out of order, because we actually did the photo shoot after we went to the mall. Jasper was upset when first putting on his costume and cried most of the drive over to the mall, but once he realized that he got to hold his bucket, say "Trick or Treat!" (which he did with gusto) and get candy, he was all good.
He was too timid to get out of the stroller, but that was okay, we all had a fun afternoon getting to celebrate a "second" Halloween a bit early!
We've had pumpkins decorating our house for weeks and Jasper begged us at least once per day to "cut the pumpkin into a happy bace!" (he can't pronounce his f's very well yet). When he woke up from nap a few days before Halloween I told him that we were going to spend the afternoon carving a pumpkin. He was beside himself. I pulled up some classic Jack O' Lantern faces on a Google Image Search and let him choose his favorite.
He watched Matt cut the top off of the pumpkin with rapt attention.
I hate pumpkin guts. I am not a squeamish person, but the inside of a pumpkin is one thing I just cannot handle. At all. As in I have to look away or leave the room completely when one is being cleaned out. Thank goodness Jasper is old enough to help Matt with this disgusting task now so I can do my heebie jeebie dance and not be expected to pitch in.
I love Jasper's excited face in this photo, but I'm dying over that bowl of guts sitting there. Ugh. I grabbed the bowl and dumped it into the (lidded) trash can as soon as he was done cleaning out the pumpkin.
Gag. Gag. Gag.
Watching closely as Daddy carves the happy face he'd been waiting so long to see.
Pardon my crazy "outfit". We obviously did not leave the house that day, so leggings, an oversized sweatshirt, crazy socks, and slippers it was.
We lit a tealight inside the pumpkin and he sat here like this and stared at it for... a long time.
On Halloween, I had prepared with our usual treat bags for the ghoulies, ghosties, and long-legged beasties that would be visiting us later that evening.
Miss Dorothy lookin' all pretty.
Before hitting the neighborhood streets, we had a semi-successful photo shoot with Grandma and Grandpa, who were in town for a couple of weeks.
He's ready to GO!
After the first house, he fully realized that we were actually really really real trick-or-treating (just like Charlie Brown)! From then on, he had to make sure his hood was on his head and straight before walking up to each door - he had to "wear the lion" to properly trick-or-treat, of course.
Not only was this Jasper's first time trick-or-treating, but it was also the first time Matt and I had been since we were kids. Isn't it amazing how having kids allows you to experience some magic from your own childhood again?
At one point his bucket got so heavy that he had to use both hands and walk crooked just to haul it along, but he would not let us help him carry it! We were finally able to convince him to let us dump some of the candy into the bottom of the stroller (with the promise that he'd get it all back) so that he could have an easier time carrying it.
He was a Trick-or-Treating champ, and though his costume suggests otherwise, he was no cowardly lion!
Questions for you - leave your answers in the comments!
Did you dress up for Halloween? What was your costume?
If you have kids, how old were they when you first took them trick-or-treating?
What's your favorite Halloween candy?