Nov 4, 2013


Halloween 2013 was one to remember. The entire week leading up to it was fraught with anxiety, anxiety brought about by a weather forecast of thunderstorms with winds of 35-40 mph during prime trick-or-treating time.

The boys kept a close eye on the weather portion of the news all week long, hoping against hope for a change. When Thursday arrived, our best hope was that if we left the house by 6:00, we MIGHT get in one hour of trick-or-treating by the time the rain moved in.

Grayson and I were each able to leave work a little early, pick up the kids and get them dressed in their costumes. Or, in Amelia's case, her "costume."

She had asked to be Doc McStuffins, her favorite character of all time. But then she refused to wear the stethoscope, hold the doctor's bag or wear the wig I braided for her, and she insisted on carrying her blanket, iPod and paci. When I tried to take any of them away, she cried. EXHIBIT A:

So I decided to just leave well-enough alone, and let her be Doc McStuffins in her own way. So she was GOING to look a lot like this:

But instead we got this:

Thank goodness I'd bought a shirt that had the stethoscope and a Doc nametag printed on it ... that and the labcoat were all we had going for us when we left the house.

By the way, I feel it's very important that you see all the hard work I did on Doc's wig:

I stopped short of stringing some wire through the pigtails to make them curl outward, and BOY AM I GLAD I DID. I would've been really upset if I'd invested even more time in that wig only to have to put it on myself in order for you to see it.

ANYWAY. Nathaniel and Nick went as scary guys. Nathaniel was a camouflaged ninja, and Nick was a zombie of some sort. Jake was SuperMario.

As soon as Amelia got one look at Nick, she completely fell apart. Like, she started hyperventilating. Grayson had to scoop her up and hold her. She kept screaming, "NICK, NICK, NICK!" It was absolutely pitiful. He had to take his mask off and talk to her, and even then she kept sniffling and pointing to him and saying his name over and over again.

So Grayson took Amelia back inside while I got individual pictures of the boys -- who wanted nothing more than to GO TRICK-OR-TREATING ALREADY, by the way. These pictures took all of five minutes, but we were under the gun of the storm, so they had no patience for me. Or for you, Internet.

But I knew that if you missed THIS, you'd never have forgiven me. I MEAN.

Have you ever. I can answer that. NO YOU HAVEN'T.

I think Nick chose the most disgusting costume Party City had in stock. Pretty sure that was his goal.

I mean, it's pretty hard to trump exposed guts.

And bloody gums. Can you really blame Amelia for being freaked?

Nathaniel's ninja costume was pretty tame, really, although the mask was a little Hannibal Lechter-esque for my taste.

He'd been to a friend's Halloween party the weekend before, and his costume had gotten a little dirty. Oops.

Like his brothers, his primary concern was getting out the door, so right after this picture, we headed over to Carisbrooke, the neighborhood where we have trick-or-treated for the past several years.

Amelia wasn't quite sure of the routine at the first few houses, so she wanted Grayson to carry her to each door.

But after the second house, when she realized that these people were loading her bag up with CANDY, well, she got awfully confident! (We LOVED our new-for-2013 Halloween tote bags, made by my friend Robin. I wrote about them here, if you'd like to know how to get one of your own.)

Soon Amelia was trotting across the grass, along sidewalks and up steps all by herself in hot pursuit of candy. In the pitch-black darkness, mind you. I took this picture with the flash so you'd be able to see her:

But I took this one just a second later with no flash so you could see how brave she really was. Ha!

Here's an example of why we drive a couple of miles to trick-or-treat in this neighborhood every year:

Almost every house is decorated to the nines. Also, the Hoover Police Department directs traffic and generally just monitors activity the entire evening, we see so many of our friends there, the homeowners set lawn chairs outside and give out candy in their driveways or on their lawns ... most of the time you don't even have to ring the doorbell. They really embrace the evening and make it fun for families. It's actually really lovely.

After about 45 minutes, Amelia stripped off her white labcoat. That left her with no costume elements. She was then wearing her striped T-shirt, grey pants and Hello Kitty Crocs. She was also carrying a totebag approximately twice her size. Do you know what that made her? A teenage trick-or-treater, basically.

So here I come up to all these houses for the second half of our trick-or-treating adventure, apologizing to these nice people, "I'm so sorry, she's already taken off her costume. Happy Halloween!" ... As Amelia thrusts her huge tote bag open and shoves it out in front of her and looks at them.

And then when they smile at her and put a Kit Kat in her bag, she stands there looking down into the bag -- T-shirt, Crocs, LiveStrong bracelet and all -- like, "That's IT? ONE KIT KAT?"

When we got to this house and I made my standard little costume apology, the woman asked, "What are you SUPPOSED to be?"

And Amelia said, "A doc-tee." And you can tell the woman had no idea what that meant.

But that was okay. We moved on.

She continued to charm people without a costume the rest of the night, and let me just tell you, this child now thinks you can walk up to anyone's house carrying a huge totebag while wearing a T-shirt and pants and they will give you candy. Repeatedly.

So watch our, world. She's coming for you.

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