I finally reached a turning point. It's no lie, settling back in was harder than I had expected. Crying to Jason in the McDonald's play land was a low point. Maybe it was that the weather was starting to cool down, maybe it was that life was starting to slow down, maybe it was the beginning of the holiday season and it just felt good to be home. Whatever it was, I was finally beginning to feel like myself. I've had to sort of find a new identity. I left as a mother of young kids. Sleep deprived, overwhelmed, up to my eyeballs in dirty diapers and play dough. I've come back as a mother of a teenager and my baby will be starting kindergarten next year. It's just different. As we were unpacking Kylie's room we laughed as we pulled out her hot pink cd player and all things flowers and butterflies. She did a lot of growing up the past two years, we all did. It's taken time, but we've all managed to find our way back into this new/old life of ours. We loved celebrating Halloween in NZ, it will always be one of our favorite memories, but it's so nice to be back where the whole country is celebrating right along side with us. There's just an excitement in the air as the stores stock their shelves with glow in the dark fangs and candy corn and the houses are decked out with blow up ghosts and jack-o-lanterns on every porch. We kicked off the festivities with Ryder's preschool field trip to Vertuccio farms. I'll say it again, one on one time with my kids is priceless and I know this time at home with him is fleeting. He ripped a hole in his pants going down the slide and was so self conscious about it. It's funny to see him develop that sort of awareness, like he won't let me kiss him good bye when I drop him off at preschool because it's too embarrassing. He is too young for that already!
He picked out a little pumpkin for everyone to carve. We never managed to find an evening to all carve them at the same time, but eventually they all got carved. Except for Jayden's. I spray painted his gold and used it for my Thanksgiving centerpiece.
A little pre-party nap on the way to the ward trunk-or-treat, which was just what he needed to keep going and going and going. He was like the energizer bunny disguised as Spiderman, who lost all inhibition once that mask was on. He let loose and it was so funny to watch. Maddox took on his Batman persona flawlessly. He does have Bruce Wayne's hair, after all. It was also fun to sit back and watch Kylie and Jayden interacting with their friends. A night filled with plenty of chilli, friends, dancing and miniature candy bars is a night well spent.
Ryder's preschool Halloween party. Holidays are just fun with kids.
Those hands on his hip sorta kill me.
When we lived here before, I had this tradition of making fun Halloween after school snacks the week of Halloween. This one made me almost gag while making it. The white chocolate strawberry ghosts were a lot more appetizing.
And these spider chocolate chip cookies, which were quite tedious to make, but the kids got a kick out of them.
We had our mystery dinner cafe. the hot dogs that looked like bloody fingers in buns were repulsive but got a good reaction. I wish I would have gotten a picture of all the food, but it was a fun night.
We got together with friends for soup and trick or treating. I had missed the excitement of streets filled with princesses and super heros and neighbors gathered around fire pits. So glad we were here to be a part of it. Although truth be told, Ryder was way more excited about riding around the neighborhood in the golf cart than he was about the actual trick or treating. Maddox came home with quite the haul, and he has more self control than anyone I know. I think he only ate like 3 pieces of candy that first week and it's already January and he still has quite a bit left. I could use a little bit of that self control! Happy Halloween! Yes, it was a very happy Halloween.