MY Birthday present to myself is to finish this post about Halloween which I started…well, around Halloween time. I’ve been at Aleida’s since Thanksgiving en route to Utah for Christmas….thought I would have more time while “on vacation” to work on this blog…but there are so many other more important things that seem to keep coming up.
I know my posts tend to be long, and I know videos tend to be tedious to open and watch sometime, but if you look at one thing on this post, (and are a fan of Fiona or have ever had a sugar high) please just scroll down and watch the video titled “Sugar High.” It is one of my favorite all-time clips of Fiona thus far & I was desperately trying to suppress my laughter while filming it.
So here it is:
Fiona loves Halloween. Rijen and I sometimes remark that Halloween 2010 may be Fiona’s best memory. Recounting what happened while Trick or Treating on that day last year was a bedtime ritual for months. Highlight: Seeing Bert & Ernie. It also may be the first time she was scared, after seeing some guy wearing a scary mask with blood coming out of its eyes and also being a bit frightened by an animated prop of a man on the ground which started crawling after she triggered its motion sensor.
Fiona has also been very fascinated by skulls, as she has seen countless skeletons in the many museums we visited in Europe….it also helped that the exhibits were almost always at her eye level.
I tried not to equate “scary” with skeletons and such, however I think it was inevitable. It didn’t help when this Halloween decoration was put up near our house in Austin.
This “Scary Mask” so captivated Fiona, it became her catch phrase so to speak when on the phone with Rijen. This is how it goes:
Rijen calls, Fiona wants to speak to him. I hand the phone to Fiona. Instead of saying “Hi dad,” or “How are you,” she says, “Watcha ‘fraid about, Dad?” Then Rijen, who usually plays along says, “I saw a man with a scary mask!” Then Fiona proceeds to console him and tell him that it is just a decoration, or just pretend.
Despite her brave words, Fiona did NOT want to go trick or treating at this door when we came around to it, but I did make sure I took a photo.
Fiona was Raggedy Ann for Halloween. This kind of came about not really by choice, but just because I had been making a whole bunch of Raggedy Ann dolls for cousins in North Carolina and realized that the doll pattern for the largest-size doll was Fiona sized, so I made the clothes for her. About 10 minutes before going out the door, I remembered that she really should have Raggedy Ann hair, so I quickly cobbled together a makeshift wig with yarn and a head-band. She is called “Raggedy” for a reason, right? Then we were about to go out the door, when I realized she needed makeup! I can’t believe I almost forgot this, because it really sells the look, don’t you think?
When we flew back from North Carolina on Oct 30th, I had her in her costume, but minus the hair and the makeup a lot of people thought she was Dorothy from Wizard of Oz.
What about Leif? Well, I also started to do a Raggedy Andy costume for him, since they are a pair, but it didn’t get done. I finished the shirt and half of a hat, but when it came down to it, he was just going to be in a stroller the whole time anyway, so I just didn’t worry about it. HOWEVER, earlier that day, Fiona insisted that I put one of her tutus on him. I was going to take it right off, but he really enjoyed playing with it, so I left it on for a while. And took a picture of course:
I’m really sorry Leif, if you ever have to report on what you were for your first Halloween, I guess you are going to have to say that you were a lion ballerina. He does have pretty good form though, don’t you think?
On to Trick or Treating! Oh, I did make her trick or treat bag too, which I thought turned out well. I think a good trick or treat bag should be about as tall as the trick or treater, right?
I had been scouting our neighborhood for the best street while on my evening jogs, and I think I picked a good street. My formula for the best street included factors such as the number of giant spiders on doorways, fake ghost families set up in yards and overall scariness but not too gruesome. This was my favorite house:
Fiona did really well trick or treating. I went with her and helped prompt her for a bunch, and then she wanted to be independent. She even made me stand back so she could do it all by herself.
She was very social, especially when there were dogs involved.
So, I must admit that I was a little annoyed that Fiona was Raggedy Ann for Halloween by my own doing, since there are so many other options I would have preferred. However, the majority of people who answered the door were older, and Raggedy Ann was a HUGE hit with the “Grandmas” of the neighborhood. They couldn’t get enough of her. We even got a couple of invites to come back and visit.
Note 0:13 in the video when you hear the lady squeal “Raggedy Ann!” 1:13 Fiona says that she wants to “Be by myself.” Also 1:44– the excitement of the lady at the end when she says in her Texan accent, “Let me get my bowl of Candy!” Wherein Fiona tries to take advantage of it by grabbing fistfuls of candy out of the bowl]:
We let Fiona pick out some candy for the walk home and then a bit more at home when we Skyped with Rijen’s family. Afterwards, Fiona had her first major sugar high, which involved her pretending a chopstick was a microphone, flute, trumpet clarinet, violin and who knows what else….all in about 30 seconds. I have never seen Fiona act out playing instruments in this manner before or since this clip….
She also was excited about seeing her cousin Carson, if you can make out her talking about that in the beginning of the video.(The title says “and Skeleton”, but I split the clip and the skeleton is in a different video)
OK, so that was October 31, 2011. However, the Halloween fun didn’t really end there, because on my evening jog a few days later, I went a bit farther than I had before and was amazed when I turned the corner and saw this amazing house:
I promise, the pictures don’t even do it justice. It was the most decked out house I have ever seen..for any holiday. I usually don’t do things like this, but I ran straight up to the house and knocked on the door.
When a gentleman came to the door, I asked him if they were going to have the Halloween lights up still the next night. He started stammering something about how his wife was going to take them down but she wasn’t feeling that well….so I quickly interrupted him to tell him that I was really impressed by it and just wanted to take my daughter by the house so she could see them. I felt bad, I’m sure he thought at first that I was complaining! But no, I just wanted Fiona to get just one more night of Halloween fun. I think it was a bit overwhelming though for her, because in anticipation of us coming by, they opened up these displays that I hadn’t noticed on my “jog-by,” since they had been covered up previously.
So we got a bit more than I bargained for when we went by to see the “Halloween House” the night after Halloween.These “tents” were constructed in front of the house.
You see that skeleton in the pin stripe suit above right? Well, he talks when light shines on him. For example, when the flash of a camera goes off. Fiona wasn’t the only one who got a bit spooked when this happened.
The little girl in the stroller with hands over her ears? Don’t mistake her for part of the display, that’s just my now-traumatized daughter.
Maybe the fact that the wife came out and gave Fiona a huge bag of extra candy made up for it.
ONE would think that Halloween was then finally over, right? Not quite. This time it was Fiona who had a little surprise for me. Remember Fiona’s fascination with skeletons?
Turns out that it was not just casual interest for Fiona while enjoying a pre-lunch snack. Fiona was actually doing research for her own exhibit…or exhibition art. A few days after Halloween, Rijen was studying upstairs, I was downstairs and Fiona was “playing” in her room. I hear Rijen calling me, and then something that no mother wants to hear, and I quote, “Um Megan, you need to see this…what Fiona has done to herself…Don’t worry, I’ll help clean it all up in a minute..I just want to finish this one thing first.” I turn the corner to look into her room and I see this:
She had climbed up on her step stool (which has been her trusty side-kick these past few months) and found some Desitin from the baby’s changing table top drawer. She informed us that she was a skeleton, and was very proud of herself. I couldn’t help but laugh and take these pictures…and luckily the Desitin wasn’t too hard to clean off because the “skeleton” had touched practically everything in the room.
It is kind of funny actually that I am posting about this today, since Fiona got into Aleida’s bright pink lip stain and did the same thing above to her face and several items in Aleida’s bedroom. When I found her she looked like a pink Oompa Loompa who was really into tagging. Luckily lip stain came off most surfaces with water.
We are currently trying to transition Fiona from Halloween to Christmas. I am not doing the greatest job as a mom in educating Fiona exactly how Santa, Snowmen and of course Baby Jesus play into Christmas. I guess I have a few weeks left to work on all that.
But at least she has Halloween down!