All Hallows Eve

Been meaning to post this for a few days, but only just got these photos online. Riley did a reprise of his bat costume from last year, since it still fits him just fine. Lydia went as a jack-o’lantern.

We kicked off the day with a party at Riley’s school. Both kids were a little intimidated by the din when we got there, but got into the swing of things pretty quick. Riley and I ran hopped a sack race, and decorated little picture frames with foam stickers, but he was really all about the bounce house. (It’s funny, all those times at Little Gym he never trusted the big air mat, he’d grow extra arms to hold onto me rather than bounce around on it with the other kids. But he could not get enough of this bounce house. Man, what a year will do.) Poor Lydia got pretty worn out exploring the party, she passed out almost as soon as I started the van.

We carved the pumpkins in the afternoon. I got a little round white one from Home Depot, with the idea of doing it as a skull. I drew the face with a sharpie, and it turned out pretty cool, then I couldn’t bring myself to carve it out. I am curious how it would look carved, but it would be rather time consuming to try it with all the teeth.

Some of our neighbors had a cookout in their driveway, so that was our first stop trick-or-treating. The kids had a great time playing there. Eventually we visited all the lit houses on our block, by which time both kids were exhausted.

We had a few handfuls of trick-or-treaters come to our door over the course of the evening, most of whom were delightful. There were a few teens with no apparent costume, some of those weren’t even accompanying little siblings or anything. I gave them candy anyway — I mean at least they’re out doing this instead of drugs or whatever — but it always feels kinda like extortion. Which got me thinking that trick-or-treating really started out that way anyway, so there’s no point resenting them for it.

The Kids’ Birthdays

(Ack, this post has been sitting half-finished in Semagic for way too long. šŸ˜› Time I got back on the LJ horse. Probably also time I thought of a better metaphor.)

Riley had his third birthday. They gave him a little party at school, we all sang for him and ate those little school cups of foamy vanilla ice cream. He was happy to have me there, it was really sweet. And he’s been treating me better overall, we’re seeing lots of gradual improvement in his behavior in general. On Saturday we had our family birthday party for him, out at his grandparents’ place in the country. He had fun with his new garden tools, he helped his mom plant some flowers. He really loved the toy fishing pole and fish we got him.

For his birthday cake I did Devil’s Food, because he is, as he would say, a “handsome debbil.” It took a while to do from scratch, with Cook’s Illustrated’s usual level of mild overcomplication, but it turned out impossibly light and velvety. I would do it again for an occasion like this.

I think I tend to forget how young Riley is, because he’s so intellligent and articulate. When I think about other toddlers I’ve known, I worry that I’ve expected too much of him. On the other hand, none of those others has been quite like him; seems like they’re probably not a very good barometer anyway.

And then Lydia turned a year old almost a week later. Her party was out at the grandparents’ too. She didn’t care much for Riley’s birthday cake, so we went with an ice cream cake for her. She loved it of course. We got her a stuffed cow which we named MooMoo, and a toy tractor and barn. MooMoo’s not her favorite bedtime buddy, but she has a special place in Lydia’s pre-bedtime routine now.

Sick Bug

Today was rough. Riley got another stomach bug, his second since we moved here. He spent the morning throwing up, clinging to me like a cobweb and crying pitifully for milk and food that I didn’t dare give him. The pediatrician gave him a shot of Zofran. That’s probably over-treating him by a fair amount; by the time we got back to the house, he was feeling better enough to start acting like a tyrant. šŸ˜› He wouldn’t drink his Walgreens-brand clone of Pedialyte, but he did have enough good ol’ water that hopefully he’ll be fine in the morning. Poor little guy.