We did Trunk-or-Treat in our ward for the beginning of the evening. Then we made our rounds to some other neighborhoods, watched a stellar performance of "Thriller" at the park behind our house (put on by some talented people in our neighborhood), and ended the evening with homemade doughnuts and root beer (not made by me, of course, but they were courtesy of some more awesome neighbors). We live in a pretty good area, wouldn't ya say? :)
Here are the kids in their costumes:
Toby was a dragon and Aspen a raccoon. I got both costumes for a decent price and was more than happy that I didn't have to cover them up with a coat because they were well insulated.
It was a fun, spooky, sugar-eating evening. Just what Halloween should be.
Under The Weather.
We've kind of been hit hard with some random sicknesses. Not anything serious but it has really felt like the runny noses and coughs never end! Also, with daylight savings (boo!), Aspen teething and being able to climb out of her crib, mixed with the nasty colds and bouts of flu, well, you can imagine the pleasant bunch we became. I was lucky enough to bounce back from the cold and flu way faster than the rest of the fam which was a huge blessing. Sick mommy + sick daddy + sick kiddos is not a good combination.
I think we are all on the mend (knock on wood!). And I think we kind of have a handle on the early wake up times. Aspen has been in the habit of waking up at 5:30 am. Then when she climbed out of her crib one night, I really had some nice panic attacks. But after thinking back to Toby's sleep issues (sometimes I am so grateful for them at times like these), I remembered some tricks that worked with him when he was an early bird (he only climbed out of the crib ONCE at 18 months and the poor guy landed on his head. But that cured him from ever attempting to climb out again). I recalled that Nick laid down next to the crib and Toby would go back to sleep straight away. It took a week or two but Toby finally started sleeping in till 7 or 7:30 on his own. The key was consistency and Nick had to be the one to go his room. If I went in the room, somehow he sensed weakness (I think same goes for Aspen) and he would not go back to sleep no matter what I did. So that is what we have started with Aspen the past few mornings and today she slept in till just before 7 am. Woo-hoo! And she has climbed out only one other time and so far seems to have no desire to escape again. So I'm pretty stoked about that too. The only downside to Nick helping out is that on the days he works, he leaves at 5:20. So if Aspen wakes up, I'm kind of left to my own devices - or weaknesses rather. :) But I know things will get better and sleeping will get on track again.
A Nice Relief.
Despite all the sickness and sleep deprivation, I've really been surprised by my happiness. I haven't been particularly depressed and I still have grumpy days and moments where I wish somehow a distant relative felt the sudden urge to pay us a large sum of money...but lately I've noticed this out-of-nowhere "pleased with life" feeling. Don't know how to describe it really. Complete? Whatever the feeling is, it's a good one. And for a while I wanted to know why I was feeling this way until the other day it hit me. This is the first fall/winter season in 5 years where Nick has not had school and homework and lots of time away from the family. I still can't believe how much his absence affected our little family. And to be honest, I don't think we really felt or fully understood how hard it was to have him gone so much, until now when he is here to help me or help the kids or just hang out and not have to stress about a paper or a midterm. He can truly be in the moment and enjoy the moment with us - and it is so, so sweet. So now I'm kind of rambling. I wanted to give the lowdown on Loki (the crazy puppy), but I really need to get to bed! I will save that for my next post - which hopefully happens before Christmas. :)