I always loved the Disney store that we once had in our mall. Even before I had children, I was in love with Disney. It was no surprise that Madison's first Halloween outfit came from that Disney store...a Dalmatian. Being from the south, it ended up a little too warm for her to wear it for long, but we kept it on her long enough to take pictures and trick or treat at a couple of houses. When I see pictures of her in that outfit, I remember her taking some of her first steps in it. Of course, it wasn't easy with all of that extra weight on her, but she managed a few steps!
When Madison was born, Jeff and I both worked at a rehab hospital together. We had a sweet patient who gave Madison a homemade Raggedy Ann Doll. On Madison's second Halloween, I got the idea to put Raggedy Ann's clothes on Madison. Then, Jeff and I made a great red wig for her to wear. It was so cute :)!! When I look at this picture of her, I also think of how close I was to having Patrick...within a couple of weeks we had our first son!
When Madison was two, she loved watching The Big Comfy Couch.
A good friend of the family bought her a Molly doll for her 2nd birthday, so I thought I would attempt to make a Lunette outfit for Madison to wear for Halloween. I put something together and made a little black wig for her. Once we put Molly in her arms, I thought she looked very close to the real thing :)! Patrick was a couple of weeks from turning a year and walking everywhere, so we used the Dalmatian outfit for his first Halloween as well. When I look at this picture, I think that it was one of the last taken with only two children. Four weeks later, we had our Carter!
As fun as we had with Halloween, we took a break from celebrating it for a few years. Carter didn't celebrate his first Halloween until Madison was in Kindergarten. Once she started public school, there was no way to avoid the holiday any longer. So, we approached it with a positive attitude, keeping our costumes as positive and fun as we could. Madison dressed as Barbie and the boys as football players. Jeff had a singing that night, so my cousin, Stacy, and I took our kids trick or treating together. In the past, we had spent most of our time at church festivals on Halloween, but after this night of trick or treating, the kids were hooked!! We haven't missed a year of it since!
In 2003, we went trick or treating with Jeff's brother, Jerry, and his family. Madison was a Bratz doll and the boys were Batman and Robin. This would be the first of many Halloweens that the boys would be action heroes!
In 2004, Madison was Polly Pocket. Patrick dressed in an army outfit and Carter as a pirate. Jeff and I took the kids trick or treating by ourselves this year. We raised the back door of the van and let them ride in the back, jumping out as we stopped at each house. They still talk about that night and how fun it was to ride back there with the door open.
We started homeschooling our children in 2005, shortly before Halloween. One of my concerns was the fact that they would not have the school parties to look forward to anymore. Because of that concern, I have always strived to make holidays funner than ever! I decorate for them and have goody bags and treats waiting when they wake up. We make crafts and bake goodies all day long. None of them have ever mentioned what they might be missing in the public school on holidays. On this first Halloween as homeschoolers, Madison dressed in a dance outfit, while the boys both went as Darth Vader. This was the only Halloween that they had ever gone as the same thing!
On Halloween 2006, Jeff and I had just gotten back from our cruise to Mexico. While there, we bought Carter a Sombrero, which he decided that he wanted to wear for Halloween. I found some material to use as a wrap and pinned it on him to turn him into a Mexican. He completed the outfit by carrying a maraca. Patrick went as The Thing from the Fantastic 4 movie, and Madison dressed in the 50's. I bought a black skirt and sewed a poodle on it. She ended up wearing this outfit again a couple of years later when I gave her a rock and roll birthday party. This was the first year that we went trick or treating with Jeff's brother, Jay, and his family. We have gone there every year since then.
Last year, Madison chose to dress in the 60's. We went to the costume shop to find an outfit, but ended up putting something together ourselves. We ordered Patrick a gorilla outfit, and Carter went as the black Spiderman. Patrick loved his gorilla outfit, but had a hard time walking in the feet and seeing out of the mask. I think he ended up trick or treating with Jeff carrying most of the outfit :). Carter still plays in his black spiderman costume. That's one thing about buying the superhero costumes...we always get our money's worth out of them!!
I think we waited later this year than ever to get the kids' Halloween outfits. Madison decided pretty early, along with her cousin Kinley, to go as a baby. Patrick saw an Iron Man costume weeks before and decided that he wanted to go as that. As for Carter, he just wanted to go look at the costumes and decide then, which is so typical of Carter. He just lives for the moment. He ended up as a pirate because he, Patrick, and Jeff had been playing Pirates of the Caribbean on the XBOX for a couple of weeks. We had a little trouble finding Iron Man for Patrick, but Jeff finally scored one at a costume shop :)!
It has been a fun journey for me, pulling out all of the old albums and searching for Halloween pictures from the past. Because we see our children every day, we forget how much they change. I look at the babies that they were at one time and wonder how we left those babies behind without telling them goodbye. It also makes me realize that they won't always be the same children that they are today. I'm glad that we have these pictures...these frozen little moments in time....to help us remember. I look forward to many more!