Alex and I got invited to a Halloween Cookie Exchange a couple weeks ago by one of his classmates (or his classmate's mom, rather, who also happens to be in my small group at MOPS). I had never heard of such a thing, but I think it is, like, the funnest concept ever. You basically make (or buy, if baking's not your thing) a dozen Halloween-themed cookies, then everyone swaps goodies and you have a dozen new, fun treats to take home and eat.
For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to bake sugar cookies onto wooden sticks, ice them, and use candy to make different monster faces on each one. Thing is, I am a decent cook but a terrible baker (I prefer to "wing it" as opposed to following directions), so the cookies were all different sizes and shapes and half of them fell off the sticks before I could ice them. Somehow I managed to salvage just enough to make a dozen.
The icing and face-making went fine, and I set them in the fridge so the icing could set. My grand vision was to embed the sticks into floral foam in the bottom of a plastic cauldron, then cover the foam with tissue paper and wrap the whole thing in cellophane. What I discovered is that icing melts and softens within the first three-and-a-half seconds of being out of the fridge, so everytime I tried to place the sticks in the foam, my hand would bump into the cookies or the cookies would bump into each other and the icing would smear all over my perfect monster faces. To make matter worse, the plastic cauldron wasn't heavy enough to support the weight of the cookies, so if the distribution was off by the tiniest bit, the whole contraption would fall over and all the cookies would collapse on top of each other. Needless to say, I was incensed, and after about a half hour of fighting with those stupid cookies and those stupid sticks and that stupid icing, I gave up and laid them all flat in a pan, thus completely negating the whole point of baking the darn sticks in.
The good news is, the monster faces turned out really cute, although you'll have to take my word for it because I didn't get a single picture. Taking pictures was last on my list, after ripping my hair out and hurling cookies across the room. Oh well, two out of three ain't bad...
After that whole ordeal, I had to wake A up from his nap and get him dressed for the party. Both moms and kids were asked to wear costumes, and while it would have been easiest to dress up as a cowgirl to coordinate with Alex's cowboy getup, I decided that the two of us should be hillbillies/rednecks/country bumpkins instead. I had pigtails and overalls and was this close to wearing a tube top underneath, but decided against it because I didn't really want to meet a bunch of new people with my flabby white gut hanging out. What can I say, I gots high standards.
Not high enough to leave my fake hillbilly teeth* at home, however. So I with my hillbilly teeth, overalls, and pigtails, and Alex with his overalls, tattoo, and camouflage Crocs (yes, even I will allow Crocs to be worn out of the house on an occasion that involves DRESSING UP LIKE A HILLBILLY), grabbed our failed monsters-on-a-stick cookies and headed to the party. It was super fun and I enjoyed mingling with the kids and their moms, although Alex was rarely to be seen more than three feet away from the Thomas & Friends train table. Go figure.
Somehow I managed to wrangle him away long enough to get some group pictures with him and the rest of the kids.
I mean, my kid even makes hillbilly look good.
I wish I had gotten a picture of myself with those hideous teeth in, or perhaps one with the hillbilly boy and his mama, but it just didn't happen. We did come away with a trayful of delicious and fun Halloween treats, though. It really was a great party and a great idea. I'm thinking I might steal the idea and have a Christmas cookie exchange of my own...
Aside from the train table, one of Alex's favorite things from that day were my hillbilly teeth. He was totally freaked out by the teeth when I first put them in (see asterisk below) and would run away from me saying, "No-no, Mommy! No teeth!!" But then I started dancing around in my overalls, talkin' real country-like and singing the tune to Dueling Banjos, and he became obsessed with those stupid teeth. If I took them out, he'd pick them up and try to stuff them back into my mouth, saying, "More teeth, Mommy!"
His other favorite thing was his tattoo. The tattoo came with a kid's meal A got at a local Mexican restaurant, and from the minute I slapped that thing on his arm, he was OBSESSED. He kept looking at it and talking about it and so, instead of taking it off right away, I avoided scrubbing that area for about a week or so. Everytime he'd wear a long sleeved shirt, he'd say, "Oh no!! Where'd tattoo go!!??", and when it eventually started to wear off, he'd say, "Oh no, tattoo's going away!!" I finally scrubbed it off, promising that we'd get him a new one. In fact, Tim and I told him that we'd let him get full sleeves on both arms, as long as he never shows them to Grammy...
*SIDE NOTE: As I am a complete moron, I thought it would be a good idea to take Alex to the "Halloween store", one of those seasonal setups in a nearby strip mall stocked with every Halloween-related product one could imagine, so I could pick up my hillbilly teeth. I thought, this will be fun! Alex will love to look at all of the fun costumes! Like the bloody skeleton holding a severed human head! Oooh, or the mask with the bloody eyeballs and gnarled fangs and spikes sticking out of its head! Or, even better, the life-sized demon baby that hisses at you when you walk by! SO FUN...as long as your idea of fun is your toddler waking you up in the middle of the night to tell you things like, "Scary baby at the door!!" or "Monster knock on window!". Ever since that fateful trip, everything "scares him", and he has often used "being scared" as an excuse to stall at bedtime or naptime. His old standby is, "Monsters scare me!", and in order to get rid of the monsters, he requires that I go to his door and say, "Monsters, go away!!, and perform a wave-like hand gesture that must be done in a very specific way (because otherwise, according to Alex, it simply isn't effective at shooing monsters).