Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

Happy Halloween, everyone! We had a truly magical day and night here at the McGaugh household. Katie and I began the day with a walk, looking for pumpkins and other Halloween decor up and down the streets. After a bit of play time, we started cooking for our Halloween dinner.

We made caramel apples together:

Katie helps to unwrap the caramel pieces and put them into the pot.

With the dipped apples, cooling on the serving platter.

My perfect helper.
Katie napped while I finished some prep, and then we changed into our costumes. What a fun night!

Daddy and Katie with one of our pumpkins.

Boppa helped me take Katie trick-or-treating while Amie and Daddy passed out candy at our house.

The trick-or-treating begins. It was so much fun to dress up as princesses together!

The pumpking across the street. We have waved to it and sang, "Hello, Mr. Pumpkin" to it everyday for over two weeks. I promised Katie we could go up to his house and say hello on Halloween night. She was sooooooooooooo excited---she loves Mr. Pumpkin! We went around the cul-de-sac collecting treats, and she kept saying, "We will go to the pumpkin house!" When we got there, she offered Mr. Pumpkin her whole bucket of candy and started pretending to feed him! What a beautifully generous heart!

Belle and Snow White meet Mr. Pumpkin!

My Halloween princess.... She told us she only wanted to go to "happy pumpkin" houses. This neighborhood really gets into Halloween, and some houses were a little too scary. She had a good sense for the happy houses...

Eating M&Ms with Amie. Katie was thrilled. What is Halloween without a little candy? It won't hurt her...

I made jack-o-lantern quesadillas with jack cheese as one component of our dinner.

Katie finds another happy pumpkin and offers him her candy.

My sweet little trick-or-treater!

While Katie was napping, I made a surprise for her at our dining room table. I dressed our pink bunny in fairy wings and our bear in a renaissance hat. The bunny is holding a fork, and each of them have one of Katie's sippy cups and candy to eat...

When she awoke from her nap and saw the table with her costumed friends, she actually squealed in total delight and ran over to see them and wanted to sit in between them for awhile. Such little moments of wonder can make a lasting sense of awe and happiness in a child's heart... It was really cool that it meant so much to her, and it only took a second to do.

A little hazy....but this picture commemorates Katie's first trick-or-treat EVER in her life. First house, first candy, first time!

Halloween dinner! Menu: jack cheese jack-o-lantern quesadillas, penne with sausage and pumpkin cream sauce topped with fresh sage and romano cheese, and spinach salad (to fresh spinach I added diced red apples, carmelized red onion, roasted pepitas (little pumpkin seeds), and golden raisins and topped it with a olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette). I wanted to celebrate the pumpkin in this meal, both visually and by using different parts of the squash. YUMMY!

Snow White selects a candy from Amie and Boppa's neighbors. It was so awesome to be trick-or-treating in my own neighborhood. One neighbor that I have known since moving here had lined her driveway with pumpkins and had a small bonfire going. Lots of houses around here really celebrate---it's awesome!

Belle, with her sweater. ;-)

After trick-or-treating for quite awhile, we came home and had caramel apples and warm mulled apple cider (I use the Williams-Sonoma mulling spices, the best I have found---just the right amount of pungency). We ate a little more candy (after checking each piece thoroughly for safety), and had baths and cuddled. After reading, we turned off all the lights and Katie fell asleep looking at her glowing carved pumpkins. I told her how once, two years ago, I brought her home on Halloween---and that Halloween will forever be special to me because of that reason.
Sharing this magic with her is incredible, and I am such a lucky mommy.
Now, let the Christmas crafting and baking countdown commence!