We've been demystifying Halloween decorations for Buddy for weeks in anticipation of seeing all the creepy, gross stuff that gets randomly put up all over everywhere this time of year. We've looked at all the little musical dancing things and spooky talking things and spidery weird things we could find, plus we've been down the aisle at Target and talked about how people might look dressed up in the masks and gorilla suits. We've taken stuff apart to look at how it talks and to see what it's made of to see that it's just a toy. And of course, we did the Sea World Haunted Trail in the daytime where we saw zombies dancing and ghostly creatures just walking along taking pictures with folks, including the kids. And then at a Trunk or Treat, there was an actual person's HAND giving candy out of the bowl. Like, a hand, out of nowhere, popped out to give you some M&M's, and my kids were like, yawn.
So I knew when I took Buddy to the party store to pick up costume stuff, I figured he wouldn't be scared, but I didn't know he would wrap a big, ugly, gorey looking zombie thing around him and yell at me, "Look! He's getting me!" and then fall out laughing. Nope. I think he gets that from Yaya (and Drewdad) who have no fear of anything, because it is not. from. me.
So many trucks, so little time. Among the trucks the kids got to explore that day: a flat-bed wrecker, a fire truck with ladder fully extended, a brush-fire truck, a pink tribuite fire truck, a recycling truck (the kids got to actually work that one), a bunch of bulldozers large and small, a snow-cone truck, a short bus, a hum-vee, a mobile police unit, an SUV police unit, a troop carrier, a regular tow truck...
Keeks peeks out the top of the hum-vee:
Back of the huge fire truck:
Buddy and Keeks try out a mini fire-truck that was next to the pink breast cancer tribute truck:
The Sea World Halloween festivities have gotten more and more elaborate. Last year there was trick-or-treating and some things for little kids and you could walk through the whole park during the day and look at the sets used for night time, when Halloween characters come out to haunt the path. The girls enjoyed walking on the path even after dark last year when it became scarier (it's fairly mild at any time, actually - the characters just stare at you and walk next to you and things.) So when we arrived at Sea World in the afternoon, we decided to walk the path and look at the sets so that the girls could decide if they wanted to go back on the path after dark. That's when we discovered they had changed things and there were now characters on the path ALL the time - they just got scarier after dark. All three of the kids had fun looking at the sets and characters, and fortunately in the day time they were less out to scare than to entertain. I'm frankly impressed with the kids' tolerance, which is much greater than mine at that age (or now). Here's Buddy watching a group of vampires dance:
And the girls copying a group of zombies - they were plotting out creating their own haunted house someday:
Yaya was originally the only one who wanted to be in a picture with this creepy zombie girl, but when she jumped in, Kiki decided she didn't want to miss out, and then to everyone's shock, Buddy came around and scootched in - one scoot, two scoots, and wary look at the zombie, and then a pose. Pure awesome. (Note that he's not getting to close though).
After sundown, the little kids stayed off the path with me and rode rides while Drewdad and Yaya braved the more intense experience. Yaya encountered this creepy statue angel, who sat still as a statue and then suddenly shrieked at people who took pictures with her. Yaya watched someone else get shrieked at, then discussed the possibility that she would get shrieked at, and then Yaya went in for a picture and took it well, when, yes, she got shrieked at. Yaya had really wanted to go into a haunted maze (we thought she was a little young) but after the angel encounter decided that that was fun, but that maybe that was enough for this year. Good idea. :) This is the angel posing with her the 2nd time Yaya approached her, when nobody shrieked. Instead, after the picture the angel gave an accusatory finger point instead. Yaya looks a little wary, too.
Last week, I got to help some of Kiki's classmates make and try out a kite as part of their unit on procedural literature. I've been really lucky to have the chance to know some of these kiddos for the last 4 years, and I've gotten to help out in the classroom over all that time, so its really cool to see them get to the point where I can hand them the supplies and with just a little guidance, they can engineer and produce something really cool. They've lost a few friends from their class over the years and gained a few friends, too, but the nice thing is that they all get along and work well together. Buddy thinks he belongs in that class, btw.
Yaya got moved from her core group of friends this year, which has worked out okay for the most part. She's already made some new friends - and she made this diorama with one of them for her class. To see the moving parts, clickety-click on the pic.
I would say that we took a nature walk with friends, except there wasn't as much walking as wandering aimlessly along the trail enjoying the flowers and sunshine. The kids made chalk rubbings of the animal tracks imprinted in the concrete and checked off a scavenger hunt list, and then after the rambling was done, we checked out a nearby pumpkin patch and rode a hay ride.