Tuesday, November 1, 2016

4 Day Halloween Weekend

This was a very special four day weekend. I had taken this time off months ago so I could participate in the youngest mini's Halloween Party and have a fun Friday off with all three minis. We had initially hoped to go somewhere for the weekend, but once we realized we would miss Beggar's Night if we went anywhere, we decided to stay home. While the weekend didn't go completely as planned (shocker, right??), we had tons of fun!

Wednesday night I got some time away. After a fun dinner of pumpkin shaped pepperoni pizza with the minis, I met the other half of Kidsperts at Target for some shopping, then we went for dessert, followed by a "business meeting" that entailed me drawing faces on the mandarin orange cups. A combination of #momboss and #momlife. As usual.

Thursday morning was a true test. I've gotten quite used to waking up, brushing my teeth, and I'm ready to go. I get the kids ready and then scoot them out the door to their various rides or send them walking to school (we live two blocks away). Sometimes the mornings seem insane, but it only takes one day to make me realize I've got things pretty good. Thursday morning I had to get myself and all three minis ready and out the door a tad earlier than usual. It was rushed and a bit rough, but we got it done.

After drop offs, I had Elizabeth's Halloween party to do. That part was easy, considering everything we'd done for daycare the past couple of days, I just bought extra and had everything ready to go for the preschool party. The kids seemed to have fun with the cookie decorating (they were nearly silent as they carefully decorated their cookie), playing pumpkin bags, and I introduced them to the Find It game (I hid a pumpkin around the room while the kids counted to 20, then all 20 kids rushed around the room to find the hidden pumpkin).

The preschool party was a success and I got an extra special treat after. Initially I was supposed to go to the boy's school to help out with their Fall Party (I wrote about that surprise here). I was looking forward to it, but wasn't exactly thrilled to be spending my day off surrounded by 75 kids from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Well, the teachers informed me that they had all the help they needed with the parties and I didn't have to come to school after all. So I got a few special hours with Lil Miss E. She chose to go dress shopping at Gap, stop by Starbucks for a cake pop, and take a walk on the bike trail. She chose very wisely.

We picked up the boys only to find more entertainment. The street cleaners had been in our neighborhood since 3 a.m. (yes, that early). There was one going right by school when the street cleaner lost one of it's huge wheels and was able to keep driving. Elizabeth and I watched the events unfold for several minutes. I laugh to myself with every day off I have because I'm never privy to such events during the day, unless it happens in front of my house. There's always something interesting to see on the days off!

After school the boys requested to go to Barnes and Noble for new books. I happily obliged, however the ride there was a bit tense. I had to stop to get gas and when I hopped back in the van, Elizabeth was crying because "Harrison copied me!" to which Harrison replied "lalala, I can't hear you! I'm reading my book instead."

That's pretty much how the entire afternoon and evening went with them. Silly fights, tears, and whines went hand in hand with our book store shopping, take out Chinese, and Halloween movie. I happily put the minis to bed after the exhausting day!

They still like playing with the trains.

I love this new book I bought the minis. 

Friday was the day that turned out quite unexpected. I had plans of waking up, getting out of the house, and doing "some exploring" (as the minis say) throughout Des Moines. I envisioned going to bakeries, shops, places that are only open during the work week, going on a fall hike somewhere. The minis seemed to have other plans. We woke up later than usual, then they wanted to play at home. I did manage to talk them into going out to lunch with Grandma, followed by a tour of Dowling High School (where I went to high school) and they also did some trick or treating thanks to the generous staff and teachers. That's how we spent a good portion of our day. 

I was pushing for a hike afterwards, but the two youngest minis were insistent on going to see a presidential candidate at a rally. I wasn't thrilled about it  (although this was the candidate that I also caucused for back in February 2016) and the oldest mini just plainly did not want to go, but the two little minis have taken such an interest in the election that I couldn't let the opportunity pass them by. So, we spent most of our afternoon and early evening attending a political rally. The rally was packed and we were in the overflow area, but that didn't seem to matter to the minis. They were just excited when we saw her leave the building and "she waved at me mom! She really did!"

The cats have figured out that having the minis around is actually a big benefit for them. They drop pieces of chicken when we eat, they have fuzzy blankets to curl up with, and they hold your water dish up to you if you sit and meow enough.

Lunch at Pizza Hut Buffet. The minis only have a chance to go once a year and they were thrilled to go on their day off....of course, it was still difficult getting them out the door to the restaurant!

Lemon eyes. The boys love eating lemons.

Visiting grandma at work was lots of fun!

While we didn't have a front row seat to see the candidate, I was happy to be in the overflow area outside because the kids didn't have to sit perfectly still and could still talk.

I am so proud of these two, at only six and four, and taking a huge interest in this election. Although I've known from the beginning who I was voting for, I am not doing the early voting. All three minis are very interested about the voting process, so they'll be coming with me to vote on election day (as they have in years past).

We waited for the candidate to exit the building so the minis could catch a glimpse. The two older minis saw and waved, but the youngest was too busy tormenting a worm and missed the waving part. She is still upset about it.

We finally made it home only to hear the words "I'm hungry and I don't want THAT for dinner." Hubs, being the nice guy that he is, treated us all to bbq at one of our faves while we watched the beginning of the Cubs game on the big screens.

Saturday morning I got my hair done and the minis went trick or treating around the Science Center of Des Moines at their Spooky Science event. Everyone had a fantastic morning (and I was happy to have a small break) and then we all got naps! The minis hit a wall the Science Center and definitely needed some rest. We all wound up "resting" for hours (Hubs and I got some Netflixing in during some of that time), followed by dinner, a fall leaf hunt around the neighborhood, and pumpkin carving. Our first plan was to go to Jester Park Equestrian Center's Spooktacular event (horses and a night hike?? Perfect for the minis), but when we realized we had yet to carve our pumpkins (!!!) we quickly and happily changed up our plans.

The cats are happy to have new toys thanks to Elizabeth's shopping spree on Thursday.

At the Science Center in their costumes. The minis said they had a great time, especially seeing the pumpkin explode!

While Hubs and the minis were busy at the Science Center, I made a point to stop into 5 Borough Bagels for my favorite bagels. I even got to eat one without sharing with anyone!

We were having so much fun on our walk and collecting lots of leaves that we didn't realize we were drawing attention from neighbors (sadly, nothing new to us). One neighbor came out and thought he had forgotten Beggar's Night. When we told him he didn't, we were just collecting leaves, he said, "awe, that's okay. You kids are cute," and gave each mini cash "to buy the big candy bars." 

Walking with the flashlights was a huge highlight for the minis.

We did simple pumpkins this year: a typical Halloween pumpkin, a puking pumpkin, and a pooping pumpkin.

Sunday morning we got up and moving with a big breakfast at home, followed by Starbucks and errand running. The minis were sooooooo excited to see all of the Christmas decorations everywhere "because that means Christmas is coming! It's Halloween now and then comes Christmas!" I did have a chat with them about Thanksgiving, that little holiday in between Halloween and Christmas that just happens to be my favorite, but my attempts were futile. They are way too excited about Christmas it was a struggle to get them to full enjoy trick or treating.

We couldn't run errands without buying Lego's and coming right home and putting them together. The cat is a big help.

We celebrated cousin Nicholas's 8th birthday mid-day at Grandma and Grandpa Sheaffer's. As you can tell, they never stopped moving while we were there!

By the time the party got done, the minis were grouchy (and that's putting it nicely). Two of the minis laid down to rest, the oldest read a book, as did Hubs and I. Then came the much anticipated Trick or Treating around the neighborhood!

Des Moines does Beggar's Night, instead of trick or treating on Halloween, we trick or treat the night before from 6 - 8 p.m. Being born and raised here, I had no idea this was an obscure thing until I was in middle school and learned differently from out of state friends and relatives. I don't mind Beggar's Night, but that means actual Halloween day isn't much around here.

This was our first ever Beggar's Night when it was just us trick or treating. In the past we've gone with friends, family, or groups of people. With it just being the five of us, it was definitely different. This is the first year that the minis were ever asked to tell jokes; in the past they've just been handed candy (probably because there's been soooo many kids all at once), but not this year. Luckily, the oldest mini loves telling jokes and had a few ready to go. I had to help the middle mini with his and "trick or treat" sufficed for the youngest.

Hubs and I dressed up in our costumes too. Ssshhh, that may not have been coffee in that cup....

Right as we were starting out one of the straps on Elizabeth's costume broke! But we were able to switch up the costumes: Harrison became bacon and eggs, Elizabeth became the banana, and became the waffle. It all worked out.

The "haunted Halloween house" on our street outdid themselves yet again!

We spent an hour trick or treating around the neighborhood, then came home to watch the Cubs game, drink hot apple cider, eat candy, and hand out candy to trick or treaters. I had the minis keep all of their candy wrappers from the night and we made them into a collage using clear contact paper.

Typically I only let them eat one piece of candy each after trick or treating. This time however, I told them they could eat as much as they wanted. They seemed to enjoy that!

We had some great fun during our four day weekend! We've got a pretty jammed packed November (rest of the year really), but I'm REALLY looking forward to my favorite four day weekend of the year: Thanksgiving weekend!