I will say more about Anna June's second trip to Florida later in the week, but for now, I will just say that she had a fun time dressing up as Dora the Explorer for two days of Halloween celebration.
Ben and I decided this year to assist AJ with her Halloween costume decision, and we went for a very cute Dora outfit, bought before Ben left Party Time. At the moment, AJ was very in to Dora and even wore the costume to Chick-fil-A on the night we brought it home. Closer to the big day, though, she changed her mind. She said she wanted to dress up as a princess. I was fine with that, due to the proliferation of princess paraphernalia around our house. Then, she changed to a ballerina. Well, we had things that could pass for a ballerina costume as well, so I was OK with that. Then, at dinner on Thursday night, she announced she wanted to be a kitty cat. I had just read an article about last-minute costumes and I thought, well, I can do that. She can be a cat. I'm flexible like that. It was better than the other two ideas she'd had during the week: a bear and a "fire chicken". I have no idea what a fire chicken is, but I knew that wasn't an option.
So, after asking AJ about fifty times if she was sure she wanted to be a cat, we trekked to Dollar Tree to get some black eyeliner and a couple of other things to make a costume. I rushed home and added some black "ears" to a headband - this involved cutting and coloring things: things I do not do well - and was about to attach a black fabric belt to a black t-shirt but decided to go ahead and show AJ how she'd look with whiskers and a black-colored nose. She loved the look - she was so excited. But she tried to wash off the face paint herself, and she got soap up her nose. The poor exhausted child couldn't take it any more and started screaming! We had a full-out meltdown. Later, when I talked to her about being a cat, she declared that she would not be cat! So after some negotiating that lasted until she went to bed and resumed when she woke up, we were back to our original plan: Dora.
On Friday, AJ had a "Fall Party" at school, and the kids paraded around the daycare in their Halloween costumes. They had a blast. Since she was already in costume, this allowed me to forget to pack the backup ballerina costume, and that was all we had - so she had no chance to change her mind. Also, her costume was very well-received at the party. All the kids in her class love Dora, and they couldn't get over the attached Backpack with Map - it's one thing to see it on TV but to be able to touch it in person was quite another. The costume also came with a Dora wig and shoe covers, but AJ didn't want to wear those parts. We went with it, as I didn't want to tote them around if we convinced her to wear them and then she changed her mind later.
On Saturday night, in Florida, there was a big trick-or-treating event at Baytowne Warf. I had no idea what this place was like. In a word: crowded. There must have been 10,000 people there, mostly in costume, walking around getting candy from all the vendors in the cute shops there. Anna June got candy a-plenty. This was really the first time she's done serious trick-or-treating, as the other two years have been basically confined to trips to relatives houses. Most of all, AJ enjoyed spending time with my youngest cousins, Claire and Ella, who thought having AJ around was like having a live baby doll. They were both so sweet to her!
If we're in town next year, there will be more stuff to do, as AJ will "get it" a little better: Trunk-or-treats, pumpkin patches (which are apparently mandatory) and Boo at the Zoo. I'm already scouting out costumes for things that she likes now, but I know better than to buy ahead of time! Maybe we'll be out shopping on October 30th next year!
We welcome your comments - that's one of the great things about blogs! We are leaving the option open for you to post them "anonymously" so that you don't have to have a special kind of account in order to leave a comment (although you probably already have one that qualifies)! If you are posting using the anonymous feature, please sign your comment so we'll know who you are. Even though we have few official "followers", we have an enormous family - we want to know who you are! Thanks for sharing the love!