Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Little Rosie

Friday is Halloween.

I know this because my three year old ask me no less than 27 times a day as to when it will be Halloween.

But, who can blame him? I am just as bad as a child when it comes to the holidays, eagerly anticipating the fun and finding it hard to contain my excitement.

Yesterday morning the children and I had planned on attending a Halloween party at a dear friend's house, but it was cancelled due to a sick child (Missed you, Kelli and Kelly! I am thinking a Thanksgiving party where everyone comes as their favorite Pilgrim or Indian would be just as lovely....).

Isaac was a bit heartbroken over no party at "Ms. Kel-dy's house" so I attempted to perk up his spirits with a promise of our very own party at our very own house. The guest list only involved three people (Isaac, E., and myself) simply because we had just returned from being gone for a week and there was no way I was letting other's take a glimpse at our home. After some selling on how INCREDIBLY fun a party would be with just one's mother and baby sister as opposed to partying with actual other children, Isaac was sold on the idea.

The original plan was to eat breakfast, throw on some clothes, and set out in search of some lovely pumpkins to carve. We would then return home, dress up in costumes from our costume box, carve Jack-o-Lanterns, eat cookies, read some Halloween books, eat a tasty lunch and then have a long, restful nap.

In all my planning, I seemed to have forgotten such details as "Chasing Evelyn around the house to suction out nose." and "Give impromptu bath to Isaac after a failed try to make it to the potty before experiencing serious stomach issues." and the always popular, "Drag out the time-out carpet for older child who decides to seriously push the limits after being away from home for a week."

Good-bye, party schedule.

Alas, we did make it out of the house and quickly located some lovely pumpkins to carve. However, the store at which we purchased our pumpkins did not sell the handy little carving kits that I have seen (and bypassed) all over town. Someone mentioned that Kroger sold such items, so off we went in search of tiny saws and various stencils for our pumpkins.

As we wheeled into the Kroger parking lot, I noticed a Halloween Mega-Store had been set up in the normally empty storefront next door. Perfect!, I thought. I figured a Halloween Mega-Store would definitely have a carving kit and I would get to avoid the hassle of dragging two children, sippy cups, raisins, and a purple Zebra (don't ask) through a grocery store.

What I did not count on the Halloween Mega-Store having was a life size clown holding his own head in his hands standing directly inside the front door. Nor did I think a inflatable globe with a Witch's face and flying bats could be so disturbing. I quickly scouted for the Jack-o-Lantern kits, attempting to shield my son's eyes from the large variety of what could only be described as "Adult Halloween Wear" that was on full display in the store. Apparently, this store felt that stocking the "Night Nurse Costume" next to the Elmo and Abby Cadabera costumes was a great idea.

We located the carving kits (dangerously close to women's undergarments....again, who is wearing just undergarments out to Trick or Treat?) and proceeded to make our way to the check-out counter. It was there that Isaac informed me that he wanted to be a clown for Halloween and that next year he was definitely going to be a clown. I gave a noncommittal, standard Mom statement of "We'll see." and secretly decided that the clown with the unfortunate head standing by the front door must not have negatively impacted Isaac. Potential nightmare adverted there.

We paid, I hustled my children out of the store just as Evelyn was beginning to whimper at a witch's face, and hurried us home to start our "party."

Isaac decided he needed to paint his pumpkin green and therefore we opted to not wear costumes. He painted happily away at his pumpkin, E. brushed at hers with water colors, and I set out to carve the largest pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern.

Being a novice at carving pumpkins, I figured one simply cut out the top, scooped out the mess, and carved a face. In my head I estimated this process taking about 30-40 minutes.

Four hours later, I finished.

The kit I purchased showed a girl of about nine or ten years old happily sawing away at a pumpkin, creating a cute and clean masterpiece in the end. Her face did not convey the extreme pain that ran up my arm as I attempted to saw into a very thick pumpkin with a very tiny saw. I attempted using a butcher knife but quickly decided that could result in an untimely trip to the ER. So I sawed and sawed with my tiny plastic orange saw. The children were impressed at first and then quickly bored of watching Mommy slowly widdle away at the pumpkin. I worked on that thing while they ate lunch, while they napped, and then some more while they played outside and supper simmered on the stove.

By the time Tobe arrived home, the Jack-o-Lantern (affectionately named "Rosie" by Isaac) was finished. He was quite complimentary of my effort but did admit that he could not see the image I had spent the majority of my day carving into this large piece of fruit (Is pumpkin a fruit or a veggie?). We lit Rosie up at supper time, dining on a feast of spaghetti and roasted pumpkin seeds (not together) to the light of her glow.

The numbness in my right hand is slowly going away and I hope to get the other two pumpkins carved by Thanksgiving.

I'll let you know how that goes.
In the meantime, meet Rosie:


Jennifer Reinsch said...

Looks good. I think everyone should have their own little pumpkin with their name carved in it at Thanksgiving dinner. Does that sound doable?

Mommahen said...

Don't worry. If the pumpkin carving thing is something you plan on doing again, it will get easier. We have been carving pumpkins since our first born was about 3. He is now 12. We have carved snoopy, and the gang, winnie the Pooh and the hundred acre friends, all sorts of things. It is now a hoilday tradition to carve pumpkins with daddy. Mommy won't get involved until the guts are gone--they gross me out.

BUT it sounds as if you did not thin out the wall of your pumpkin enough, causing the difficulty carving. You have to scrape the wall that you plan on carving into pretty thin. You can do this with a big metal serving spoon. It not only makes your carving easier, it makes punching out the pieces eaiser too.

From first cut to last it took us right at two hours to complete three. So it does get faster. I think yours looks great!

Jennifer said...

Rosie is precious! You did a great job.

margk said...

I like your pumkin. It looks very cool. I have to agree with you on the time and effort it takes, as I secretly dread pumpkin carving every year.

I had to laugh when I read that you decided to go into the Halloween store to find a pumpkin carving kit. I could see where that story was headed!