Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween 2008

The month of October started out full of promise and plans. We had something scheduled every weekend, and usually 3 or 4 things every weekend, and even some nights during the week! Florida is full of festivals and parties and fairs and parks and events, all during the month of October. Well, I should have known better than to plan, coz right when I did, everything fell apart.

We went to our church’s pumpkin patch early in the month, and got one of the biggest pumpkins out there, as well as a wagon full of different gords and little pumpkins. Mom and Dad went with us, and it was a great night: not too hot, lots of pumpkins, everyone in a good mood, a bounce house to jump in and wagons to ride in.

We got the house decorated for Halloween. Did most of it in one day, actually, when Austin and Andrew took long naps. Alex helped, of course, which basically means he dragged junk out of the storage boxes and trailed everything all through the house until he got bored with it, and then back out to the garage it was for digging around in another box! But, we did it. The house was officially Haunted. Skeletons, pumpkins, tombstones, The Grim Reaper, witches, pirates, cobwebs, candles, bones, ghosts, spiders, skulls, scarecrows, mummies, bats, you name it! We had it...and it usually glowed, shook, rattled, lit up, moaned, hissed, spit, made noises and heaven forbid I forget, the boys’ favorites, which is the array of singing, dancing Halloween Chickens and Dancing Frankensteins and One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying Purple People Eaters that the boys kept pressing the ON button EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT DURING THE LONG, 31-DAY MONTH OF OCTOBER!

Anyways, with the house decorated, it was off to the party store to get costumes. My only rule about Halloween costumes has been that for the babies first year, they had to be a little pumpkin. Each one of them was a little pumpkin on their first year. After that, they get to choose. I thought, or I imagined, that my trio of boys would choose cowboys, Indians, Batman, Spiderman, or something along those lines. Nope. Not my crew! The scarier, the better. Alex was a ghost, Austin was Frankenstein, and Andrew a little devil! Actually, sounds about perfect, doesn’t it?

So we went to our first Halloween activity, the Newberry Corn Maze. It was a lot of fun, and Alex, Austin and Mommy got our picture in our local newspaper for it! It was not too scary at had the corn maze, of course, which Alex loved, and a hay ride through the farm to see cows (which Alex could care less about because he saw A TRACTOR! OH MY GOSH, MOMMY, A TRACTOR! And I had to take a picture of it, of course) , it had chickens, and goats and a spooky town, and we had a picnic with a big group of friends, took a mini-tractor ride through spooky town, did a pumpkin rolling contest, and just spent a wonderful afternoon with a bunch of families having a wonderful time!

Once home, all three boys went down for a nap. Pete had to run to Home Depot, and I was so looking forward to about an hour of quiet time all by myself. I fixed a sandwich and was just sitting down to watch a Lifetime Television Movie when I heard, “Mommy?” And I could tell my the sound of his voice it wasn’t gonna be good. I ran back and sure enough, Alex was sick. This is where is gets really scary at our house, because the poor child had upchucked EVERYWHERE. Big, red, goopy barf covered my bed and floor. Must have been the red cupcakes we’d eaten at the corn maze. That, and some corn. Yuck. Five separate places the poor baby threw up...all over himself and his shoes and just everywhere. So I got him cleaned up and calmed down and settled him in the den, so I could go back and clean up the bedroom. I was back there for about 30 minutes with my buckets and rags and cleansers, and when I finished and came up front to the den, poor Alex had thrown up eight more times in the kitchen and the den. This poor child was sick in a whole new kind of way of being sick. It was awful. He ended up barfing only about 3 more times that night, and only a few times the next day, but he was red hot and feverish, so by Monday morning, he was at the doctor’s office right away.

Diagnosis? The very beginning of pneumonia. The gave him a B-12 shot and an antobiotic shot to jump start his treatment, and he had to do a 10 day round of oral antibiotics and albuterol nebulizer breathing treatments, 3 times a day! What a sport he was about it, though. And how sad and pitiful he looked, all tired eyes and pale and with that mask on his face! But he was brave about it, and by the end of his 10 days of treatment, he was even fighting us about taking the treatments.

So, I know this is going to be a shock to you all, but guess what? I got sick then, too. I had influenza. And you know I’m really, really sick when I call in to work and even go to the doctor because I’m so sick. And did I happen to mention: I was sick? I went on a 10 day round of antobiotics and breathing treatments and you’ve never seen anything as pitiful as Alex and Momma hooked up to our machines at night, breathing. Our house looked like a hospital ward...pills and upchuck and breathing masks everywhere.

So the last night of my breathing treatment, I stayed home while Pete took the boys to our church’s trick or treat Fall festival. The church bulletin had said it was from 5 - 8 PM, and with me still weak and Andrew now coming down with something, we actually did not get Alex and Austin ready (in their costumes) until about 6:30 PM. I figured it was still enough time to get them there to enjoy a few games and activities. Off they go, but sadly, when they got there, it was all closed up and gone. The church bulletin had misprinted the time, but since we had not gone to actual church that morning (what with me being sick and all), we had missed the announcement with the correct times. That was a bummer....both boys, all dressed up with their little pumpkin pails, and they were so excited to trick or treat at church with their little friends...but no one and nothing was there. Pete felt so bad for them, he ended up taking them to Walgreens drug store and let them walk the candy aisle and pick out some candy, all tricked out in their ghost and Frankenstein costumes. And when they got home and I found out, I just felt so bad I burst into tears. We had missed the Gators homecoming parade, the Silver Springs Fall Festival, the Cedar Key fall festival, the County Fair and the Elks Halloween party...all because of being sick....and now this. I just cried and cried that night...I felt worthless as a mother.

Well, we managed to get at least Alex to the annual pumpkin carving party that we attend at our friends, Greg and Michelle’s house. Andrew by this time was really sick....double ear infection. So we carved our pumpkin with our friends and Alex made some new friends there, and Greg always makes fresh, from scratch, homemade pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread at the party, as well as candied apples and popcorn. YUM! We had such a great time, and Alex fell asleep coming home with his candied apple in his lap!

The next morning, Alex was in the Halloween parade at school. He fought us on going, Lord knows why because I don’t. But he fought us tooth and nail, more so than he regularly does about going to school. We explained to him what a parade was, and told him that he would get to wear his ghost costume to school for the parade, and we were taking cookies to share with the class, but still: he didn’t want to go. I finally got it out of him that he didn’t want to wear his costume, because he did not want his friends to be afraid of him all dressed up as a ghost! How sweet: he was worried about scaring his friends! It was a rough morning getting him dressed and to class, but we did it, dropped him off and waited outside for the parade to begin, silently praying the whole time that he wouldn’t have a gigantic, screaming, Alex-sized meltdown during the parade. And what do you think happened? He was the first in line for the parade, a huge, Cheshire-cat grin on his face, beaming for the whole world to see, and holding the hand of a younger, smaller classmate dressed up as a puppy! Alex stole the show! Our very own ghost!

And we managed to do Halloween night, with Momma here even making her homemade, from scratch, Pumpkin- Chocolate Chip Muffins! Another YUM! Austin was funny....he thought when you went door to door trick or treating, that when the people held out their bowls of candy, that you were supposed to take a piece from your bag to put in their bowl! No, Austin, you take a piece of candy....he finally got it! It was fun and relatively relaxing, considering all the chaos and sickness of the month. We trick or treated around the neighborhood, came home to EAT CANDY, and even actually got the babies in bed at their regular time. So there you have our Halloween madness for 2008. Hard to believe that was a year ago!