|Julia and James try on their Halloween costumes for the first time, and then gallop around the house.|
Here is Halloween 2012, 2011, and 2010. (I apologize for pictures with broken links.)
After making the mistake of suggesting costumes last year, I let the twins dictate what they want to be and they choose… (drumroll)... horses. James’s second favorite animal is a horse. That’s after first place finisher dogs, of course, which - not coincidentally - was last year’s costume. And these days Julia chooses whatever James does.
I discover a cool costume where it looks like the wearer is riding a horse. I think it would be fun to make them appear to be a cowboy and cowgirl riding horses. I dress them up one night in cowboy and cowgirl costumes (all either recently purchased at garage sales or borrowed from our friend April), and they excitedly gallop around the house on a hobby horse.
|There’s a new sheriff in town...|
|James totally looks like a little boy from the 1950s.|
When the horse costumes arrive I realize that there’s no way those will work. Unless the kids hold up the reins the whole time (good luck with that when they’re already holding candy buckets and grabbing candy), it looks like they’re wearing a slaughtered horse carcass.
How the horse part should look
|And the dragging-around-a-horse-carcass reality|
Still, they are pretty enthusiastic about being a cowboy and cowgirl and I think they’ll be fine with those costumes. However, at their first Halloween event, Googleween, Julia’s mad she’s not a horse. Plus, for reasons only Julia knows, she doesn’t like her shirt. Thankfully, the next time she dresses up she’s happy about her costume. But in the meantime she keeps forgetting what she’s dressed as. She tells people, “I’m a horse!” and then remembers: “I’m a cowgirl!”
|Daddy's work chair! (Notice the Father's Day tie artwork on the window.)|
|Sheriff Julia arrives to clean up the lawlessness of Daddy’s office.|
|With absolutely no encouragement by us (I swear!) James suddenly strikes a modeling pose.|
|Wandering the halls of Google looking cute|
|A cowgirl has no qualms about peeing in a parking lot. I should add that we were absolutely willing to bring her into the bathroom inside but she insisted on this. "You can take the girl out of the farm..."|
|All tuckered out after the cattle drive|
At Milestones Preschool the kids parade in costume around the Abilities United parent company offices. And at Mountain View Parent Observation Preschool, my parents come that day and see the twins in their costumes for the first time.
|Trick-or-treating at the Abilities United offices at Milestones Preschool|
|Mommy with her cowboy and cowgirl|
|Cowgirl Julia rides a different kind of horse.|
|With their class at Mountain View Parent Observation Preschool|
The kids carve pumpkins for the first time with the help of Papa and Gaga. James and Julia each pick a simple jack o’lantern face from a page of sample faces on the computer and then I attempt to replicate it. Julia likes stirring the pumpkin guts with a spoon. James likes removing handfuls of guts. They are really excited to light up their creations.
|Mommy (with knife and boot) carves the pumpkin face.|
|James helps take the innards out of a pumpkin.|
|Papa and Gaga watch James and Julia squeeze handfuls of pumpkin guts.|
|James is excited to see the lit-up pumpkins that night.|
My parents join us for trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, but don’t stay with us all the way to the end. LIke last year, the kids enjoy scaring the neighbors by shouting “boo!” at them and then laughing victoriously.
The twins usually dig into candy without saying “trick-or-treat” and also forget their “thank you’s.” Even though there are lots of trick-or-treaters on the side of our neighborhood with the new houses, for the older houses we’re some of the few (if any) trick-or-treaters so they give our kids lots of candy. They get a kazoo from one neighbor and James excitedly announces, “a gazooba!” He also calls Rolos, “rollovers.”
After a few instances of dogs running to the door when the kids knock, Julia stays her distance at each house, demanding to know from the sidewalk, “Do you have a dog?” instead of saying “trick-or-treat” before coming forward.
|Trick-or-treating at the koi pond house|
The kids see me put a Kit Kat bar aside at home for Emily, the 5-year-old girl across the street. Last year Emily looked through our (good, really!) offerings, asked if we had a Kit Kat bar (nope), and took nothing. After seeing me, Julia keeps taking Kit Kats at each house, even though she doesn’t like chocolate, so she can give her stash to Emily at the end of the night.
Julia and James get tired when we’re almost to Debbie’s (last year’s last stop) so we skip houses and go straight there. Julia asks us to carry her home so she can fall asleep in our arms. That’s a sign your kid is spent from trick-or-treating. We start at 7:45 and end at 9:15.
|In Debbie's front yard pumpkin patch on Halloween night|
|Getting candy from Debbie|
|James is thrilled to be carried home.|
|Right after trick-or-treating, the twins break into some lollipops and commence germ sharing.|
Party at Stacy’s
Even though our playgroup has had to go on hiatus because of competing preschool schedules, Stacy squeezes in her annual Halloween playdate party between preschool and naps. My kids are so excited they tell all their teachers about it and walk in circles outside during free play waiting for class to finish so they can go to the party.
At the party, other than our cowboy and cowgirl, Josh is Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and the other three attendees (Ronan, Oliver, and Sam) are superheroes. The kids decorate cupcakes, affix stickers to masks and treat bags, and bowl with orange soda bottles made to look like pumpkins.
|Super Oliver, Superman (Sam), and Batman (Ronan)|
|Julia with the cupcake she decorated|
Party with Lila, John, Jessica, and Brendan
The day after Halloween, Mark and I realize that we can actually get away from the kids to go to a Halloween party with Lila, John, Jessica, and Brendan. That’s a coup in adult world. At the last minute, Mark decides he wants to dress up after all and likes my Google map marker suggestion. We put our costumes together the hour before the party.
Google map markers A and B
|Looks like we found our way to the Halloween party! Our Google Maps show the party location. (Thanks to Lila for the photo!)|
|A Google map marker at the end of the night|