13.10.2013 - 31.10.2013
We began our month of Halloween activities with some local fun. We shopped around the local costume shops trying to decide how to decorate our house and what costumes we should wear on the big night. Whilst shopping, Carys wanted to try an indoor kids bungy and although we were sceptical that she would actually enjoy it, she loved it! I just love the look of joy on her face!
We also attended a local Fall Festival and Carys couldn't wait to dress up as a Barbie Princess.
As well as carving some traditional Jack-O-Lanterns, we also decorated some milk bottles to decorate the front yard. Carys drew on the sides of her bottle but she really wanted a picture of Mickey Mouse on the front of her homemade lantern. We used to put small treats in empty plastic bottles for Eddie to play with and when we started to decorate our Halloween bottles, we had to keep them away from him. Just the sound of an empty plastic bottle would always get Eddie excited about a possible treat! This excitement was a great sign that slowly but surely, he was starting to feel better and his twice daily nebulisation and mountain of medication was helping.
The Jacksonville Zoo opened their gates for a special Halloween themed zoo adventure and this year, instead of braving the crowds at Disney, we thought we would stay local. Carys wanted to dress up as Dora the Explorer (naturally!) and we took a special light up lolly bucket for the lolly stations that we had to pass through. The zoo had special themed areas, jumping castles, dance areas with DJs and of course, the animals, although not all enclosures were open to the public. It was fantastic to visit the zoo at night and we all had a great time!
To select our pumpkins for carving, we visited a local pumpkin patch one evening after Daddy returned home from work. We left our pumpkin picking as late as we could so that (hopefully) our pumpkins would last longer and although the selection wasn't huge, we found the perfect pumpkins for the designs we wanted to try. Carys even found herself her own little pumpkins.
On Halloween day, Carys' school had a Halloween Parade and each class was able to dress up and parade around the carpark where parents were waiting to share candy. I was surprised at the effort some kids and parents had gone to and it was wonderful to see the delight in the kids faces when they saw familiar faces outside waiting for them. Many parents (like me) gave out healthier treats like muesli bars or yoghurt raisins and it was also funny to see some kids avoid those parents! Carys dressed up as Izzy from the Jake and the Neverland Pirates cartoon. Arrgh! Afterwards, a little Halloween party followed with Halloween themed morning tea.
On Halloween night, we were all excited about our first American Halloween. Our costumes were ready, our lollies for visitors were by the door and we were trying to guess what time the first trick or treaters would arrive. Well, they arrived quite early (around 5pm) and we weren't dressed but that was not a problem. We left a bag out the front of the house with treats for people to help themselves, we dressed and departed on our trick or treating way. As we found out, the adults mostly sat out the front of their houses with wine or beer and snacks whilst the kids door knocked the street. We went up and down our cul de sac, around to an Aussie friend, then down to a big house party before returning home. We ran into a few people that we knew, and many that were surprised by our outfits and accents (still a novelty to some after all this time!). Carys had a fantastic time and although some adults wanted to give her fistfuls of lollies, we politely only accepted one piece per house. I was actually shocked at the amount of candy that some of the more rounder children (and some adults) were shovelling into their buckets! All the more reason to teach Carys about moderation saving things for others. Anyway, here we are at the start of our evening, Carys didn't want to wear her Dora wig but you get the idea. Stupidly, I forgot to charge my camera before we left so this is the only photo I have of us but if I find any others, I'll edit them in later. Next year, I promise more!
Here is our haul at the end of the night. This is a 1 gallon bag which equates to about 3.8 litres and I am so glad we turned down the people handing out handfuls of lollies!