I love Halloween. As I've said over and over, fall is my favorite time of year and not just because of Halloween. Last weekend, we went with Shawn's family to an apple orchard for apple picking, pumpkin picking, a hay maze, and fabulous pumpkin whoopie pies. It was an awesome day, the weather was beautiful, and we got some great photos.
But I do love Halloween! As kids, my sisters and I were not allowed to go trick-or-treating that often. Instead we always went to a fabulous (from what I can remember) All Saints' Day party at our church and dressed up like saints. So we got the costumes and the candy after all. As we got older, our costumes became more creative. (You have to spice up all those nun's habits somehow!) My favorite was the year I was St. Lucy - she is the patron saint of eye problems and is depicted as holding a pair of eyeballs on a plate, since she died a martyr and the legend states that she had her eyeballs plucked out. Sure enough, my dad sculpted me two Playdoh eyeballs for the plate I carried around. Hey, even Catholics can have some gory costumes!
It's been fun re-living Halloween through our kids. Jamie is now old enough that he wants to choose his costume, but Clare we still have control over! Jamie's pick was easy this year - a pirate. He has all the gear (he just asked us to get him a hook because how can he be Captain Hook without a hook?), and Shawn cleverly put together a costume with ordinary clothes. Originally, Clare was going to be a jaguar. I couldn't think of anything I wanted her to be, and she had a jaguar costume that someone gave us as a gift when she was born. However, when we were in Target one day, I saw the cutest little girl pirate costume. Not wanting to step on Jamie's toes, however, I asked him if it was okay if Clare was a pirate, too. His answer (one of the gazillion reasons I love this boy!): "Of course. I need a Mr. Smeed." If you're not familiar with the pirate lingo, here is the definition of "Smeed" from the Unword Dictionary:
"Smeed : smēd)
1. (n.) A nickname for one's cohort; Sidekick; Right-hand man.
Origins: From old pirate stories. Smeed has often been the name for a captain's sidekick. The name was used primarily in the tale of Peter Pan. In the story, Captain Hook's sidekick was named Mr. Smeed."
There you go! Our pirate duo is adorable. Even Clare has the pirate "arrrrr" down pat. This weekend, we took the kids to Boo at the Zoo. One of the other great memberships we purchased this year was to the nearest zoo. Not only does it work at that zoo, but at the zoo in Boston and the zoo in RI, near my family. So we got lots of use out of our zoo membership this year. Jamie was super excited about Boo at the Zoo, since it was our first official Halloween festivity where he dressed in his costume. I was all for bringing the costumes with us and changing the kids into them at the zoo. Jamie, however, wanted to wear his costume from the moment he woke up in the morning. As Shawn got him dressed, he said, "Oh, Dad, I am going to love being a pirate." How could I not give in? Although it was a tad on the windy side, Jamie and Clare had fun at the zoo. We looked at all the animals, then went down the trick-or-treat trail, Jamie got a turn in the bouncy house, and then we did the costume contest. Jamie and Clare did not win (I think the judges were blind), but it was fun nonetheless. Jamie and Clare got some candy (but not too much, which I thought was good since the actual Halloween is still around the corner) and other treats. All in all, it was a good day.