In Des Moines they have what is called Beggar's Night, which is usually the night before Halloween. The kids trick or treat and they have to tell a joke to get their candy. I was worried all day that we wouldn't even get to attempt to go out last night because the weather was dark and stormy all morning and into the afternoon. Around 2:00 pm the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Beggar's night was back on for my little giraffes! I got home from work and made chicken enchiladas before we got the kids dressed. Michelle came over so that she and Mitch could help get the kids ready and hand out candy while we were gone. I don't know what we would have done without them. They were great and even helped me to get the kids to smile for pictures. When we put Ava's costume on, she wasn't having it and expressed dissatisfaction with the whole idea. I was a little worried she wasn't even going to wear it, but finally she gave in and our little girl was transformed into a diva giraffe. She looked absolutely adorable and the tutu was very fitting.
We started to put Aidan's costume on next and he also protested. Thankfully his went on a little easier and we quickly took him outside to distract him. We sat him on a blanket to take some pictures with Ava, but when she sat down next to him she had no idea what or who he was and promptly started screaming. Not willing to give up easy, we put them both into their wagon and headed to our neighbors and dear friends, the Stouts. Aidan was super excited to see Emily and Brenda and was trying to steal all of their candy. He was also fascinated by Brenda's ghost lights lining her sidewalk. Ava still wasn't too sure about this whole trick or treat thing and just observed quietly. After we left the Stout's house, we headed down our street to see the other families on our block. We are lucky to live in an amazing neighborhood and we have gotten to know almost everyone on our street. The kids had fun watching all the kids out in their costumes and we enjoyed experiencing Beggar's night through their eyes.
It was also a huge milestone for us. Trick or treating may not seem like a big deal, but last year at this time Ava was in and out of the hospital. She was miserable, we were stressed and I lived in fear that we wouldn't get to experience normal things like trick or treating because we were constantly in crisis mode. However, Ava has made so much progress over the last year that it was thrilling to be able to trick or treat as a family and know that they both enjoyed themselves. Brad and I enjoyed participating in a normal family activity with all the other families on the block. I can honestly say the night warmed my heart and filled me up with hope that better days are ahead. Things are improving and Ava is doing so well. She is such an amazing girl and I love watching her take in this wide world around her that she has only just begun to explore. Aidan is and will always be his sister's biggest champion and our source of laughter and amusement when we feel paralyzed by fear and stress. They are our dynamic duo and we are so thankful every day that God put his trust in us to be their parents. We love our little giraffes to the moon and back and hope you enjoyed trick or treating with your little ones as much as we did. Happy Halloween!
|Putting the finishing touches on Ava's costume. Daddy bravely put the ears on her head as she gave him her famous stink eye.|
|Can you tell Aidan that is loving the fact that Brenda is giving him candy?|
|I love candy!!! Trick or treat is the best.|
|Ava giving Brenda the stink eye. She wants nothing to do with candy and is still unsure about trick or treat.|
|Did I mention that Aidan is facinated by candy? He is trying to eat the candy through the wrapper. Creative, but we made sure he wasn't successful.|
|A happy giraffe! She finally decided treat or treat was ok.|
|One tired giraffe snuggling with daddy. So sweet!|
|Two giraffes and one silly daddy.|
|Ava playing with her toys after we got home. She got a second wind and even though she was dressed as a giraffe, she was making gorilla noises.|
|Ava sharing her ears with Mitch. At least he didn't attempt to fit into her tutu. :) Ava loves her Mitch!|