Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween starts early in Jersey.

On the last Saturday before Halloween, Leonia holds their annual Halloween celebration. It starts with a parade, but that was canceled on account of the rain. After the scheduled parade, however, the recreation center hosts an indoor party for this kids. The center is decorated every year for Halloween and the local kids do some mini-trick-or-treating, accepting candy from costumed characters. That's where we were headed.

As I was getting an uncooperative David dressed, I tried keeping his mind off his costume by telling him that he'd see Olivia soon - and it worked. As for Julia... well, usually she is the first in line to put on a princess costume in David's music class... but for me, she refused to cooperate. Tough, it is getting on.

Once we arrived at the rec center, David and Julia rushed from one candy station to another to get their share of treats. Almost immediately, their little hands started reaching into the bags and pulling out all sorts of goodies. They asked us to open each packaged candy and they went straight into their mouths. It was not long after that David found a lollipop and started screaming for it, despite our refusal to give it to him. (Running around the gym area with a lollipop stuck in his mouth didn't seem like a good idea...) Julia, on the other hand, was content with the bag of salty pretzels.

They ran around the gym with some of their friends, posed for a professional picture and ate too many treats. When they finally went home, they were all too happy to get out of their uncomfortable clothes.

The next day, we continued with the Halloween festivities by attending the James A McFaul 3rd Annual Cabbage Night in Wyckoff. We've visited this event every year since it started and it's always been a big hit with David. This year Julia joined in the fun. There are so many free activities for the kids that the three hours we spent there went by too fast.

David painted two pumpkins, one for himself and one for Julia.

Meanwhile, Julia enjoyed four pony rides.

David later joined her as his painted masterpieces were drying.

The kids took a short break to feast on hot dogs and apple cider. Neither one of them ever had a hot dog with a bun, but when there are limited food choices, they tend to not be as picky. (That's good to know for the future.)

The sound of a guitar drew David to the performance stage where a band was playing. While we were enjoying the music and watching the other kids dance, we were munching on the kettle-cooked caramel popcorn. I think Julia discovered her favorite food - after four bags of popcorn and she was still reaching for the empty bags.

David didn't care for a cotton candy; thus more for me.

After a few rounds on a hay ride, it was time to head back home.

The Wyckoff Cabbage Night was a hit yet again and all had a good time.

The early Halloween celebrations prepared the kids for this Wednesday's night of trick-and-treating. David already knows how to say "trick-or-treat" and he's looking forward to eating more candy. However, the one who is really excited about Halloween is Seth -- so much, that he's working from home on that day so he could take David out! In fact, he's the one who has been teaching David how to say "trick or treat" for quite some time now and they practiced David's "skills" at the rec center. Seth drew a big calendar on the chalk board circling the October 31st date and crossing out the days leading to Halloween.

David's painted pumpkins are sitting outside our front door now and we still have to carve the pumpkin that we picked up about a month ago at the Demarest farm. Other than that, we are all set to celebrate Halloween.

However, we have no idea how David and Julia will react to more candy than he's ever seen in his life. We'll probably give David some candy that night, but perhaps we could use some of it to our advantage. Having realized the power of a simple lollipop while toilet training David, perhaps I'll hold off on introducing the candy to Julia until we can use it as a bribe for behavior modification!

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