Halloween Recap | Bower Power
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Halloween Recap

2013 November 4
by Katie

I keep on repeating…this is our last _________(fill in the blank) as a family of four.

This is our last Halloween.

This is our last October.

our last autumn.

our last time we cut the grass.

our last cup of Panera’s broccoli cheese soup.

Ok ok…that last one isn’t true because good golly that stuff is like golden liquid crack.

But still…the point is…it’s finally starting to hit me that I am actually pregnant and that we are gonna have another baby (because apparently that happens sometimes when you are pregnant…you have a baby) and that our little family is gonna be not-so-little anymore.  Not that five is big…but three kids is above the average size family.  The point is…everything seems special right now.  This is the one and only Halloween that Weston will be the baby.  This is the one and only fall that Weston is our littlest leaf catcher.  It’s kinda surreal and sad and exciting all at the same time.  And when that ‘one and only’ phrase gets pulled out, so does my camera.  and my ridiculous notion that I must go above and beyond on making memories.

It’s a sickness.  Don’t judge.

This year we broke out the fall blanket and all the tools and we sat down as a family to do the pumpkin carving tradition on the front porch again.  You may remember last year when we made a fun nail pumpkin…(remember those red front doors?)

Well this year, we had the same adventure with the same blanket in the exact same spot with Will’s exact same cowlick.

It’s amazing how sometimes recreating an event even one year later can bring back such a flood of emotions.  Jeremy likes it because he knows what to expect when it comes to this activity (he is not a wing-it kinda guy and likes to prepare for pretty much everything…so this kind of regularity is easier on him than when I come up with something else out of the blue).  And I really love love love the idea that the kids will know…this is Halloween…this is pumpkin carving….this is a family activity we all do together….this is fun on the front porch…it’s what we have always done and will always do.

And even though we may have blurry photos (ahem) it doesn’t really matter…because what matters is that we as a family are together creating those memories.  We as parents create holidays.  Sure…the stores and mass media help later on…but as little ones, we parents are the ones teaching our kids what is special about fall…the leaves, the pumpkins, the weather, the roasted seeds, the pies, the time together.  It’s a privilege that I don’t take lightly.

After we gutted our pumpkin, Will got to decide what goes on it.  This year he is really into Spiderman.  A LOT.  He has never even seen a Spiderman movie or cartoon so I don’t really know why he loves it so much but he does.

So he decided for his pumpkin that he wanted Spidie on there.  With great pumpkins comes great painting memories….something like that :)

He did the round red painting (he’s actually really good with a paint brush…which makes me weirdly excited and proud) and I drew the guidelines with a pencil on the face for the black lines.  We used his finger for the black straight lines until he was tired of doing it and then I finished with the ‘web’ stuff and the eyes.

After it was dried, I cut out the eyes so that it could shine in the dark.

He could not be more proud.

 

I tried to get Weston in on the painting action but he never actually put the paint anywhere but his mouth.

whomp. whomp.

Every night we would go out and light it up.  Note to self…buy post-Halloween battery operated lights.

We also did Halloween cookies.  I am not so sure how to do cookies and make them actually look like the cookie cutters.  I think I need to research that because every time we do the store bought sugar cookies, they bake into blobs.  Will could care less right now (SPRINKLES!) but later he might be confused why I call some blobs a moon and some a pumpkin.

The other pumpkin we did was a googly eye craft.  It was really easy.

I read online that this is more of an older kids activity because the hot glue but Will is really very careful and so I just used my own discretion.  Most three year olds probably would do a lot better with a different type of glue.

He loved it.  My goal was to glue the entire package (I got it for a buck at the Dollar Tree) to the pumpkin but in the end, it was filled an we still had a ton of little eyes left.

It’s cute, right?!

The funnest part was going downstairs into the ‘blacklight bathroom’ to see it glow.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I will never be too old for blacklights.

Sometimes I dress in stripes or polka dots or roll around in lint just so I can go down there.

After all our Halloween preparations were done, we were really ready for the big day.  Will asked me every single day if it was Halloween yet.  And then when Thursday finally came, it FLEW by.  I blame the fact that I didn’t have a costume for Weston ready.  I had planned on making him Mario from Mario and Louigi but when I couldn’t find a $1 red baseball hat after searching for days (THEY MUST EXIST I TELL YA!) I decided to go to plan B…ask Will.  My three year old decided that his brother would be Batman.

I found the jammies at Walmart for $6 and added a piece of black fabric as the cape (it was actually an old tshirt that Jeremy tore up and the back was perfect!).  The hat was just a sock hat that I sewed a couple strips of flannel scraps for the ‘ears’ and the ties for under the chin.  It took me about thirty minutes to do all the sewing…and my total cost was six bones for everything…so in the words of my baby George Costanza – rawr!

 

Will was….of course…Spiderman.  We got his costume at Costco.  It was $15 over the summer.  He looked at the packaging so intently.  And then he turned to me with the brightest light in his eyes and said “MOMMY!  LOOK!  Spidahman is showing me I LOVE YOU!”  (my mom taught him the sign language for “I love you” and he does it all the time now).  It was so sweet and innocent and perfectly him….shooting webs of love :)

Our friends came over to trick or treat with us and I snapped a couple of their pop star daughter too…

Right after dark, we set out to climb the driveways of eight different houses (it’s a bit hilly here in our neighborhood and the lots are bigger so the kids really have to work for their candy!).

This was Will’s first Halloween of walking sans stroller.  He did really great…especially considering all our neighbors love him and he had an overflowing bag of candy (plus a huge special gift bag from one of our neighbors) with only six houses being home!  Needless to say…my hips are not gonna be lying for a while.

Halloween was a huge success in my book.  I feel like both boys got the full experience….even the candy at the end (I didn’t give Weston any but apparently you can suck the chocolate right out of a Hershey’s kiss wrapper in 0.2 seconds when you are 11 months old).

And personally I can think of a more ‘super’ way to do this season than with a couple of mini heroes :)

And this is NOT the last Halloween post :)   I still have to recap our headstone how-to…but that will probably be an extra post sometime this week because I have a lot floating around in my head and house lately!



68 Responses leave one →
  1. November 4, 2013

    What beautiful boys you have Katie! And this looks like the perfect Halloween. I so look forward to creating lasting memories and traditions with our future kiddos. Seeing how other are carving out those special moments is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  2. November 4, 2013

    This post makes me happy and sad at the same time. I LOVE how you took photos of the family carving pumpkins in the same spot each year. I am obsessed with progression photos like that. Weston looks so darn cute in his costume. It makes me sad, though, because we had so much unexpected happen around Halloween that we barely decorated and didn’t get to carve pumpkins. Then, our son was so shy (1.5 years old) during trick-or-treating at my job that we didn’t even go trick-or-treating that night. Maybe next year he will be better…I hope!

    • November 4, 2013

      Don’t be sad! I think if you made the effort to get out of the house to trick-or-treat (or visit a fall festival or whatever!) that is what counts…that is parenthood, right?!
      xo – kb

  3. November 4, 2013

    Hi Katie,
    Love all your Halloween family time activities! Sugar cookies don’t really hold their shape so good, I have a great recipe for cream cheese cookies that I use whenever I want to use my cookie cutters. They hold their shape and taste delic!

  4. November 4, 2013

    LOVE the superhero costumes- and that pic of Weston at the end throwing leaves is adorable!! I would never have known that headpiece was something you made for him- it looks like it came with the costume :)
    I wasn’t going to dress my little guy up, since he doesn’t quite know what Halloween is yet, but found a super cute costume at the thrift store and couldn’t resist. He, of course, hated it- but was cute in it nonetheless!!
    http://davenportdiy.com/2013/10/roar-not-just-a-katy-perry-song.html

  5. Anne permalink
    November 4, 2013

    OK, photography question. I have nowhere near as awesome of a camera as you, but what are your settings that allow you to keep the subject in focus and blur the background – like the last one you posted with the leaves. Thanks!

    • November 4, 2013

      Take the aperature really low…mine was at 3.5 but only because he was moving FAST and the background was really far away. I could have taken it even lower than that and been farther back from the subject and achieved the same effect.
      xo – kb

      • Anne permalink
        November 5, 2013

        Appreciate it! Beautiful photos.

  6. November 4, 2013

    I LOVE the pjs as a costume idea! Thanks for sharing your Halloween :)

  7. Ang permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Have you seen that Panera now has at-home versions of their soups? We saw them at Target – not sure who else carries them yet. Fair warning, though – Hubster tried the broccoli & cheese and spent a significant part of the next few hours in the bathroom.

    • November 4, 2013

      WHOA! I had no idea! Thanks for the heads up!
      xo – kb

  8. Kristie permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Couldn’t agree more about parents creating holidays! I had the best childhood due to the traditions that my parents started with me and my siblings. You are a great Mom! Enjoy the rest of your time as a family of 4 :)

  9. Anne permalink
    November 4, 2013

    I generally don’t comment, but your comment about the cookies hit home. Up until a few years ago, I had the same problem with them poofing out and not resembling the cutter shapes. But after hearing me complain, a friend of mine passed on the BEST sugar cookie dough recipe ever. Super easy and my cookies have been picture perfect ever since. Life changing! Okay, that might be overstating it … but you’ll definitely feel like you’ve crossed some sort of adult cooking threshold, like cracking eggs with one hand. If you’d like the recipe, feel free to email me.

  10. Tina permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Ummmm…did you know you have about the cutest family ever?!

  11. Jessica permalink
    November 4, 2013

    While it can be bittersweet to lament that this is the last time that you will do these things as a family of four, what about being joyful that this is the FIRST time that you’ve gotten to do these things as a family of four? Weston’s first pumpkin carving, first Halloween costume, etc. Silver linings and all that. There’s joy to be found in all life’s little moments. But, oh how I miss the days when my little boy was small enough that pajamas could double as a costume. And so many to choose from, too. Your boys made super superheroes.

    • November 4, 2013

      Oh for sure! I get to look over these photos with the boys and they both giggle and point and it’s overall just a recap of joy. And seriously…why don’t they make adult jammies that double as a costume?! I would totally rock a wonder woman pair :)
      xo – kb

  12. November 4, 2013

    I love it all- holiday memories are some of the best. Love the tradition of the pumpkin carving on the front porch. What a perfect way to document changes in you, your family, and your home. They are so lucky to have a mom like you!

  13. November 4, 2013

    Put your baking sheet with the cookie dough on it in the freezer for abbout 10 minutes prior to baking and it should help. :)

  14. November 4, 2013

    I love the Spiderman pumpkin. Too cute!

  15. meg permalink
    November 4, 2013

    You must be a pro with a glue gun. ;)
    Looks like so much fun!

    http://happinessiscreating.com/

  16. Michelle permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Hey Katie, there’s an ad at the top of your page that is shifting everything down… making your category tabs covered with the black line that is supposed to be underneath it. Just passing the info along to you-thanks!

    • November 4, 2013

      Thanks for telling me. Maybe try to clear your cache and see if that helps. Sometimes different internet providers do weird stuff.
      xo – kb

    • Rachel permalink
      November 5, 2013

      I think this happens if you haven’t updated your Internet Explorer. I’m not allowed to upgrade at work, and the black bar runs through the words, but it appears fine on my laptop at home. Try upgrading to see if it helps!

  17. November 4, 2013

    One tip- mix the sprinkles into the sugar cookie dough. It looks more mellow in color and cool, and is a nice balance to the sprinkles-on-top cookies.

    Side note- interesting that Jeremy is a “do it and repeat it” kind of guy. We were driving back from my in-laws the other day and discussing Christmas traditions. My hub said, “I have a hard time with these, as there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to do them every year.”

    Bless his heart and soul. He’s so Special Forces and he probably doesn’t realize it! He always does what is best in each moment and that’s how he lives. He’d rather not have the pressure of traditions, but the enjoying of the moment.

    • November 4, 2013

      It’s funny to me to talk about this subject because it just shows how unique everyone is! I know a guy that loves traditions…but never wants to repeat things. So he likes to celebrate big every year but can’t stand ‘repeating’ the same blanket, same location, or same type of activity. It’s funny because the only tradition is that it’s different!
      xo – kb

  18. November 4, 2013

    Now I want some Panera broccoli cheese soup, in a bread bowl of course :)

  19. Melissa R permalink
    November 4, 2013

    I had to let you know this – if you love blacklights, go into your bathroom after putting on sunscreen.. I didn’t know this, but I had sunscreen on from the day, went to a haunted house, and freaked out all the actors when my face started glowing!!

  20. November 4, 2013

    I finally realized I could recut my cookies with the same cutter after baking if I wanted them to look perfect. More work, but easy work, and it does make them look better. Just do it while they’re still warm.

    The best thing is you can eat all the scraps and no one’s the wiser!

  21. Jennifer permalink
    November 4, 2013

    do you know yet if its a boy or a girl?

  22. November 4, 2013

    I had a lot of super hero trick or treaters this year and nothing cracks me up like those muscles they put on the costumes. Adorable!

    I remember when my nephews hit a certain age and I was so excited because they were old enough to start remembering things we did together. I’m all about finding something that will create a good memory of me (I don’t get to see them enough).

    Making a gingerbread house together over the Thanksgiving break is my favorite.

  23. Lori permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Cute cute cute. Those boys are too adorable with their dimples! And Weston just seems like such a happy little guy all the time!

    You look so cute too….when is your baby due? Are you hoping for another boy or a girl (I know…just a healthy baby but really we all lean one way or the other!)

    • November 4, 2013

      I am due in March and hoping for just a healthy delivery! We would love a girl because the accessories (and I want one!) and love a boy because they would be close in age to Weston (and we have everything already!)
      xo – kb

  24. Shary permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Have you seen this book? I think it’s great for Will’s age kids. My boys loved it when they were little and we would talk about the story while we carved the pumpkin.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Pumpkin-Patch-Parable-Special/dp/1400308461/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1383600444&sr=8-2&keywords=pumpkin+patch+parable

  25. November 4, 2013

    What a great Halloween!

    And for future reference, you can get plain red children’s hats at http://www.rockbottomshirts.com. I had to get one for my son’s Timothy Mouse costume. Super cheap, too!

  26. Becky permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Love this! Are you going to do a pregnancy post soon????

  27. Mallory permalink
    November 4, 2013

    hi. you don’t know me, but i love you and your family. :) this post made me so happy! it’s so great that you take the time to make memories among all the chaos that must be around you with two little ones! i’m almost 12 weeks pregs, and i hadn’t had the thought yet of ‘last ____ with just the two of us!’ until i read this post. i’ll try to make all those ‘lasts’ count. (right after i get over wanting to throw up all. the. time.)

  28. Sheila permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Your family full of dimples just kills me! Thanks for sharing those smiles.

  29. elizabeth permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Hi Katie,
    I don’t know if I missed your post but I noticed your cute belly in your Halloween pics. You are big enough to know the sex of baby #3 by now. Have you announced it yet and I missed it or are you waiting to find out at the birth? Just curious. Love your blog! Liz

    • November 4, 2013

      We know but we are waiting till everyone in the family knows (we are telling my grandparents in person in a couple weeks when they come for Thanksgiving. It’s gonna be really special because we are using a family name on that side!)…but yes, we do know and soon after that, we will announce it on the blog :)
      xo – kb

  30. November 4, 2013

    I remember feeling the same way when I was pregnant with #3. We were super excited for our third, but at the same time I worried that my 2 year old didn’t have enough time to be the baby and for us to get to know him before bringing another baby into the house. (My oldest and middle are 4 years apart so we had plenty of time for the oldest to get all the attention he could want for a good chunk of time.) It felt kind of bittersweet… when number two takes more time than you planned for, you wait a little less time for #3 just in case it happens again and then are surprised quickly. Now that #3 is here, I can tell you that it all just works. It seems like it has never been any other way and seeing my three boys together melts my heart on a daily basis. Cherish these memories as the “last time as a family of four,” but know that when you become a family of five it will work so well that you won’t be able to imagine it any other way.
    Love the pics and the blacklight! ;) Thanks for sharing.

  31. rachel permalink
    November 4, 2013

    allrecipes.com has a sugar cookie recipe rated a million stars and is basically fool proof! You will not get blob shapes out of those, obviously unless you are going in the blob direction.

  32. November 4, 2013

    You have the sweetest, more gorgeous family. My heart oozes with each and every family post you share. <3 Happy Belated Halloween to your little superheroes!

  33. November 5, 2013

    This posts is really heart warming! You have a nice family! Keep it up!

  34. Anna permalink
    November 5, 2013

    Awww…my girls were superheros too (4yo was Supergirl and 6mth old was Wonder Woman).

  35. November 5, 2013

    Super cute family!!!!! I love you halloween craving tradition.

    Ps. My trick to having my sugar keep it’s shape is to pop the tray into the freezer for 5-10 mins and then immediately bake in the oven. :)

  36. November 5, 2013

    We just had our 4th and I have the same moments of guilt when I look at our littlest muffin (20 mos) and feel bad that she hasn’t had enough time as the baby. But then I hear her do a fake cry and think that maybe her time as the ‘baby’ has lasted juuuuuuust long enough. :) Nothing like pregnancy hormones to get the emotions rolling! xx

  37. Brenda permalink
    November 5, 2013

    I just love the googly pumpkin and Weston’s simple but awesome costume!

  38. Jessica permalink
    November 5, 2013

    The picture of the three of you in the downstairs bathroom KILLS me. So cute and so… just… “real?” – not that you aren’t real (I think you are actually so real and honest). It just seems SO perfect. I love all photos and memories, but for me, the random shots, the funny things that you might not think to capture, those are my favourites. Actually, I lied, I love the pumpkin ones too. I wish you could teach me how to take such good pictures. I just really love the blacklight in the bathroom picture.

    Okay. This was a weird post.

  39. Mel permalink
    November 5, 2013

    You look so cute! I was wondering if you had a full picture of your dining room table. Is it from Restoration Hardware? We are getting a new one and I’ve been looking at the Belgian trestle table. When I saw your table, I was wondering if that was the one? Thanks!

  40. November 5, 2013

    You’re brilliant!! Oh how I wish you posted this the day before Haloween!!! My sweet babe is only a month younger than Weston and I didn’t dress him up because I was tight on time and frankly, I was too cheap… I rationalized my Halloween non-participation by telling myself a costume at his age is only for me so I can dress him up and take pictures of him and I shouldn’t spend the money. But $6 + 30 mins!?!! Would I be a terrible Mom if I did it a week late just so I could still have the cute “Charlie’s first Halloween” pictures :-/

  41. Jaime permalink
    November 5, 2013

    My little guy (11 months) was Mario and I was on the HUNT for a red hat…finally had success at Hobby Lobby! Attached an “M” on a white circle background=easy. We have the mustache paci that I’ve seen Weston with…plus overalls, a red shirt, brown shoes, big yellow buttons and a mushroom I made…perfect and easy. There ya go for next year! :)

  42. November 9, 2013

    The family photo at the beginning of this post is too cute!

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