Friday, November 1, 2013

Turtle Power!

Two weeks ago, my sister-in-law and I got together to plan Halloween costumes. For the past three years, we have gone trick-or-treating at their house because they live in an awesome kid-friendly, trick-or-treating neighborhood.

This year, the kids wanted to be Ninja Turtles. But we didn't like the store-bought costumes. The flimsy material would do nothing to keep out the cold. So we decided to make our own costumes. Without a pattern and with much gestimating, we bought materials and completed the costumes in two evening sessions while the kids played. We sewed the big pieces (front plate and shell) and then "cheated" by glue-gunning them together.

The kids (and our masterpieces) looked awesome, in my humble, biased opinion.

Ninja poses!

The backs (we found snake material for the shells- close enough)

Ready to protect the world!

Between the four kids, we had the entire gang of Ninja Turtles. Leonardo (blue), Donatello (purple), Michaelangelo (yellow), and Raphael (red). Donatello, however, was altered a teeny bit for my pink-loving neice :) As a former TMNT fan who had dressed as Raphael for five consecutive years as a child, I was a tad jealous. My childhood turtle costume consisted solely of green sweats and a red eye mask. 

My precious turtles.

Sadly, I ran out of energy to make costumes for the adults. The night before Halloween I stopped by Goodwill for a last-ditch effort to pull together an April O'Neil or Casey Jones costume (I totally know everything there is to know about TMNT due to years of turtle obsession). But no such luck.

My sister-in-law and I make a really good team. By the time I'm worn out doing something, she is able to jump right in, and vis-versa. It's so much easier to do anything when you are a two-person team. This wasn't the first year we worked together to make home-made costumes. 

Family of Angry Birds, circa 2011

Every year, Halloween is more fun than the previous year. Jacob and his cousins were experts this time around. They led us throughout the neighborhood, identifying houses that were giving out candy and bravely went up to ring doorbells and sing "trick-or-treat" all on their own as the parents watched happily from the sidewalks. I, however, had an excuse to join in the fun as I followed behind Ryan. Last year we carried him from house to house, this year, he ran up to the houses like a big boy and even sang out, "ticka teet!" at each house. 

Ryan loved following the big kids. But he was less focused and more easily distracted. He would run in circles on people's lawns and stop to pick up leaves or candy wrappers. We often trailed behind a bit. Ryan, who absolutely loves being outside, was thrilled to just be running around. 

My barefoot turtle practicing his "ticka-teets" before nightfall.

The candy was also a bonus. As people put candy in Ryan's bucket, he exclaimed, "CANDY!" and would instantly take inventory. He pulled out each sucker, and held it up to me saying, "Candy, please? Sucker please?" The sight of my toddling little turtle looking so expectantly at me was too much to bear. Ryan had five dum-dum suckers that night.

Candy, please?

The kids loved the spooky decorations this year.

Fight, fight!

My happy trick-or-treater.

When the kids' buckets got too heavy and as 7:00 approached, we headed back to my sister-in-law's house to warm up. That night, Jacob laid out all of his candy in rows and counted each piece, twice. When he went to bed, I snuck three of my favorite pieces and promplty replaced them with three of Ryan's treats so as not to disrupt the candy count!

I absolutely LOVE Halloween! It's so much more fun as a parent than as a kid :)

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