Friday, October 28, 2016

The Moms Code: Halloween Mayhem

Written by Eileen Wacker

Halloween is a scary time for year for me, not because I’m afraid of ghosts, but rather because Halloween always ends up putting this mom in the eye of the storm.

Halloween is a controversial holiday in our house. I have four teenagers; no, that is not a ghost story - I actually do. Sometimes the kids can’t wait to decide which costume, friends to go with, and candy routes to pursue. The excitement level and anticipation are huge. But other times (maybe even in the same week), another child declares Halloween to be ‘stupid and babyish’. Yesterday, one of mine yelled, “I’m done with Halloween and I’m never dressing up again!” This happened with no obvious provocation that I observed.

Learn more about The Moms Code and the tenets of being a happy Mom.

This, I have to say does not happen with birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, long weekends with Monday holidays that I don’t know the name of anymore. It is really specific to Ghouls Day.

As a mom, I just try to roll with the household dynamics. Then, today the storm hit. My third child is anxious and has the decision – “do I trick or treat or keep praying I get invited to that party I’m not invited to?” I don’t know how to answer that.

Halloween falls within many important processes. My oldest is doing college apps. She resembles a fire-breathing, knife-wielding dragon if I’m being honest and that’s when she’s sleeping. Halloween is the night before the first round of apps are due. Today, that is a crisis. “Who picked Halloween to be on such a stupid date?” she demands to know. I start to say, “Well, I think Halloween staked a claim to that date…” I’m cut off with a laser glare. I ask, “Get it? Halloween staked?” She rolls her eyes and walks out.

My son started strength and conditioning for basketball. The rules do not allow the coach to hold tryouts until the end of November, so they hold faux team practices, also known as strength and conditioning. Finally, my middle school daughter is in the middle of tennis team tryouts. Of course, she goes down in PE ‘dodgeball’ and I get the call. Please get her an Xray to ensure her arm is not broken.

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My daughter, who swore off ever wearing a costume again, calls me and says, “Okay, I changed my mind. My friends and I are going as social butterflies. I’m twitter. I need blue wings and a blue tutu, and, you can only find them at Walmart.”

I say, “Walmart, on a Friday before a holiday?  No way! And I’ve been at the hospital with your sister for three hours to hear she does not, in fact, have a broken arm!”

Of course an hour later, I’m buying Halloween costumes in Walmart and they have Christmas decorations already.

I say to a random floor associate. “We moms are tired and overworked. We don’t need the holidays all blending together!” The associate just stares at me. I mutter to a fake Santa, “Holidays, just stay in your own lane!”

Then, I buy more candy than we could ever consume, find the blue tutu and wings and fight an ocean of people to pay. The good news is I’ve survived another Halloween and the night of, when the kids dress up exactly as they like and have a great time, I sigh and think, “Halloween is such a fun holiday.”

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween: Tiara's, Puppies, and Avoiding Melted Chocolate on the Car seat

Written by
Shelle Lenssen

The past few days have been filled with glittery wings, sparkling tiaras, a little girl stepping on her own tail, and floppy puppy ears. No, we haven't been whisked off to a magical fairy tale land, but Halloween is just around the corner, and according to my two daughters, that's pretty much the same thing.

I didn't really grasp this in my pre-kids days, but Halloween is a really, really big deal. My seven-year old’s imagination has been in overdrive and she’s been discussing costume ideas since June, finally settling on being a fairy. But she didn't want to be an ordinary fairy; she wanted to be a winter fairy. Apparently winter fairies wear iridescent white gowns, snowflake tiaras, and adorn their faces with glittery make-up. I'm inclined to go along with her plans for three reasons. 1) The costume was inexpensive, 2) The costume easily accommodates full-length leggings and a long-sleeved insulated top, both necessary for a chilly evening, and 3) It's going to be a lot of fun helping her get all decked-out and I'll earn some major mom points for letting her wear make-up.

Learn more about The Moms Code and the tenets of being a happy Mom.

The two-year old, on the other hand is just adorable. She's just now grasping the concept of knocking on a neighbor's door, saying something cute and receiving candy as a reward. She doesn't typically get candy on a regular basis, so this new found knowledge is rocking her little world. Add the bonus of wearing a puppy costume and getting to bark at whomever she wants, and this dear girl is in heaven. She tried on her puppy costume after dinner a couple of days ago and she instantly imagined herself to be a real brown fuzzy puppy. She spent the rest of the evening crawling around on all-fours, barking at her sister and licking anyone who got close to her. We weren't allowed to call her by her name and she was our "Sweetie Puppy" for the night. Toddlers really are the cutest things ever at Halloween and seeing our little girl’s imagination grow and develop is such fun.

While our town has a myriad of Halloween Parties and Harvest Festivals leading up to the 31st, this year we’re sticking with one party and we’ll go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Previous attempts to cram too many candy-filled evenings into one week have resulted in tired, whining children, frustrated parents, and a car backseat smeared with melted chocolate. By limiting the number of events, hopefully we’re making them feel a bit more special, and saving the collective sanity of our family.

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Other holidays throughout the year are given more importance due to their deeper meaning or long-held family traditions, but in our house Halloween is simply about having fun. It’s about planning out the perfect costume and getting dressed up. It’s about too much candy. It’s about the parents swiping some of that candy, and it’s about enjoying our kids while they still have big imaginations.

Halloween Celebration: Alla Greens and Pirate Costumes

Written by Kenna McHugh

“'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.” - William Shakespeare

Six years ago, my daughter, who just turned eleven, and my son were discussing Halloween.  He was excited, almost ecstatic about his costume and trick or treating. My daughter, a former Bumble Bee, Princess and Katniss, said she was not sure she wanted to go trick or treating with the family. I was worried about how our Halloween evening would turn out.

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I was in the school pickup line, when my son bounded over to my SUV wearing only a t-shirt, underwear, and pirate socks. Shaken a bit and looking around for his teacher, I asked, “Where is the rest of your costume?”

“Now, mom…I didn’t mean to scare you.”
I couldn’t pull over, park, and question his teacher because cars in the pickup line are not supposed to stop, ever. So I kept going. I looked for his teacher or some adult supervisor, but did not see any person ‘in charge’. I asked him, “What did the teacher say when you took off your costume?”
“Oh mom, Ronnie had bad at our Halloween party. All these kids were eating cupcakes, and drinking soda, and he couldn’t. Because of his alla,..all greens.”

In my peripheral, I could see his head nod. Then his face grimaced. “Mom. I felt bad for him. So, I gave him my pirate hook. He was happy. Then, I gave him my eye patch, my hat, and my shirt. He kept smiling and thanking me, mom.”
Trying to keep my eyes the road and my voice calm, I asked another question “What did the teacher do?”

“She smiled and said that was very sweet.”
“And, the pants?”

He explained, “Ronnie has alla greens, mom. He can’t eat lots of different fun stuff, even sprinkles,” his brows pulled together. “He liked my butt pocket and asked if he could have it. I said yes.”
“Allergies. It’s nice to help your friend. Allergies are tough on kids. I understand. But, your pants?”
“All of us are just characters. Characters.” He said as if this explained everything.
“So, your class had a fun Halloween party?”  I asked.

Learn more about The Moms Code and the tenets of being a happy Mom.

He nodded and smiled. Really proud of himself. I pulled the SUV into the driveway, and we got out as my eleven-year-old daughter came up. She looked at her brother, “So, dude, where’s your pirate costume?”

He answered her, “Ronnie’s wearing it. He has alla greens.”
She said, “That’s tough on Halloween. My friend, Sally, has allergies, too. Nice dude.”
He smiled like a big man. She asked, “What are you going to wear for trick or treating?” 
He looked worried.

She said, “No worries, gotcha back. Come on, I have an idea.”

I chuckled to myself, “My kids are growing up, and Halloween will be fine tonight.” I had nothing to worry about, and I just let my kids be who they are, magnificent.