Happy Halloween, everyone! Well, one day late, but I still have to mark the occasion, since Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I can never pick a definite favorite, but I love Halloween, 4th of July, and Christmas. I can do without Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving or New Year’s Day. I mean, don’t get me wrong—it’s nice to get a day off for some of those. But in terms of actually enjoying the holiday, I like Halloween, 4th of July, and Christmas.
I think I like Halloween for its lack of pressure and the fun of dressing up. I mean, all you have to do is dress up, have fun, and eat candy. How cool is that?! I actually really wanted to dress up this year—and Chris was even going to join me—but we just couldn’t justify spending money on costumes. I had thought they’d be half price on the day of Halloween, but that didn’t happen. So we ended up going as two tired parents. 😉 But the boys dressed up! Theo told me months before the holiday that he just had to be Darth Vader, so Darth Vader he was. And I was excited—the $20 Costco costume actually fit him perfectly and looked very cool. Score!
If I’d had my way, Sam would’ve been Yoda to go with Theo’s Darth Vader. But Sam refuses to wear any sort of hat or head adornment, and the Yoda costume without the headpiece just looks like a robe, so…a pumpkin he was! The pumpkin costume at least looked decent without the hat, even though the hat was incredibly cute and would’ve made it all the better! I’ll save it for next year and we’ll try again. Sam grows so slowly that it’s likely to still fit next year.
Actually, Sam was Thomas the Train for his school parade, and then he was a pumpkin for Halloween itself. Someone had given us a hand-me-down Thomas costume, so we decided to use that for one event and the pumpkin for another. Naturally, he wouldn’t wear the hat for either, the stubborn little turkey!
So what did we do for Halloween? Well, the morning was kind of a bust, due to uncooperative children. But the afternoon and evening were fun! Chris and Theo decorated our pumpkins while Sam napped, and they turned out awesome! We have realized that carving pumpkins is a royal pain in the rear, so we opted for the easy way out this year. You’ll see their finished product in this week’s gallery.
We woke Sam up early from his nap to go to Trunk or Treat in our little downtown, put on by a local church. It was a really cute, fun event! They had games for the kids to play, and then a bunch of cars were parked with their trunks open, and adults were handing out treats as the kids trick-or-treated from car to car. Sam started out crabby (doubtless from being woken up), as you’ll see in the pictures of him and Theo, but he cheered up once we got to Trunk or Treat. He loved gathering candy, and surprisingly enough, it turns out that he loves Sour Patch Kids candy! Given that he typically doesn’t like sweets of any kind, this was a big surprise.
After Trunk or Treat we came home, ate dinner, and then went out trick-or-treating. Our neighborhood is dead on Halloween, but the one right next to us (where we used to rent our last house) is really hopping! They have a block party on one street and tons of trick-or-treaters on the others. It’s like the Halloweens I remember as a kid, and we love it! Theo actually pooped out pretty early and wanted to go home, but Sam was having a blast, so we encouraged Theo to keep going a little while longer. Sam was quite funny—he would charge up to a door and say, “Hiiiiii!” and then help himself to as many pieces of candy as his hands could hold. Then he would sign “thank you” and try to say it, which comes out as “Doooooo!” People seemed to get the idea and were quite charmed by him. The littlest kids are always the cutest on Halloween, aren’t they?
Sunday we took it pretty easy. Sam blessed us by waking up at 6:15, which we thought was fairly reasonable given the time change, and we took the boys to a park and our local wildlife museum before eating a “kids eat free” BBQ lunch at a local place that the boys really like. Sam is a brisket fiend!
Also in Sam news, he graduated from physical therapy this week! It was a bittersweet day. Honestly, he hasn’t really needed it in quite some time, but our insurance kept authorizing it, so we kept doing it. Because it’s useful for many things, even if he was already doing the biggies, like walking, running, and climbing. And he has had the same physical therapist for his entire life, so it was hard to say goodbye—when you get a good therapist for your child, they become like family! But she lives very local (in the same town, in fact), so I know we’ll still see her around.
In pet news, the kitties are growing too fast! My sweet, tiny little kittens are already noticeably bigger and bolder! They are so darn funny. They finally got to meet Zoe today, when Sam threw open the door to their bathroom and Zoe charged in. That meeting went better than I expected, but they’re still not ready to be let out together yet—that would result in hissing kitties climbing up into the inside of the couch (they like to climb in the recliner mechanism), and we’d never see them! So we’ll keep working on it, slowly but surely.
I did a couple of charity gigs this week, and I saw something that really touched my heart. At these charity gigs, I basically man our Down syndrome organization’s table and hand out information about what we do and who we help. Sometimes I give a speech, too—just depends on the event. But anyway, I was at one in downtown Oakland, in the rotunda of a federal building that is surrounded by a neighborhood that isn’t exactly high-income. So the people coming through the rotunda where we were set up were a mix of government employees and people from the neighborhood—the rotunda makes a good gateway through the development.
This boy, who looked to be maybe 13 or so, came into the rotunda clutching his skateboard, and he asked the woman organizing the event what was going on. She explained that we were all representing charities and trying to raise money through the Combined Federal Campaign. The boy dug into his pocket, pulled out a handful of change, and held it out to her. “Can I donate?” he asked. “I thought I had a dollar, but I don’t. But can I give you this to give to the charities?”
Wow. A teenager. Probably a teenager without a lot of money. This gives me hope. So often we hear about teenagers behaving badly, but here was a kid who heard about a need and wanted to help. That’s awesome. I hope my sons will do the same when they are that age!
Anyway, that was about it for our week. In case you missed it, I had a post for Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which came to a close yesterday. Click here to read it. It’s maybe not quite what you’d expect for a DS awareness post….
Also, Theo’s stories about the Pickle King continue to be a part of our days, and he seems to have in his mind this elaborate world that he came from. I’m fascinated by the thought and detail he puts into it, so I decided to “interview” him about it. I want a record of it for when he’s older and I think back and wonder, “What was it he used to tell us about all the time?” So anyway, here’s the interview:
And without further ado, this week’s gallery!