Typically Halloween is my favorite holiday. It's really been a very long time since I've enjoyed Halloween and gotten into it. To be quite honest, I don't even remember the last time I really have (was it in 1999 with you, Anna?). Sure I've thrown together some quick lame costumes, but I really haven't enjoyed it in awhile.
Now that Gabriel is a little older and can understand things a little bit better, I was excited to get him into the tradition of costumes and telling him stories of trick-or-treating. He even got to help make his first jack-o-lantern with his mommy and daddy!
He was quite excited with the results, and would say goodbye to his pumpkin every morning, and greet him with a kiss upon returning at night. Sure, he thought this was fun, but he had no idea what would be in store for him when the real celebrating started...
As you probably know, Erick and El had their second baby just a couple of months ago. Erick and I talked back and forth for awhile and finally decided that it would be best for me to come during Halloween. With this visit, we could actually accomplish three things: visit Nicholas, take the kids trick-or-treating together, and finally have an early celebration for Isa's 2nd birthday. With Erick being so far away from home, and travelling with Nicholas perhaps a little difficult for them, this was the perfect opportunity for Isa to have family to celebrate her birthday. Before you knew it, Disney tickets were purchased, and we were on!
The road trip with Gabriel was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. I was a little worried about how he would take sitting in his car seat that long, but after a quick bout of complaining during his cranky nap time, he was fine. We mostly spent the time singing along with kids songs, and when he got tired of that(and the kids songs got annoying for me), I put some movies on to occupy him. Thank goodness for dvd players. It really makes me wonder how our parents survived 4 children on long car rides. The trip took a bit longer with the constant potty breaks and some play time during a stop for lunch, but we made it in decent time.
Nicholas is adorable! I was pretty surprised to see how big he was already. I know he's only 2 months old, but I could tell he had already filled out and was smiling. After relaxing for a bit and chatting with the family, it was time to get ready and get our Halloween weekend started!
To kick it off, Erick had the idea of dressing up as the Addams family. El stayed home with Nicholas and my dad, and I was able to borrow her old Morticia costume. Erick dressed as Gomez, Gabriel as Pugsley (complete with dynamite), and Isa as an adorable little axe bearing Wednesday. Of course, our little clan couldn't leave with Thing, who decided to tag along on Gomez's shoulder. A few pictures were snapped and we were off to Disney's Not So Scary Halloween.
The kids had a great time trick-or-treating and getting on some of the rides. It was really neat to just walk around and see how Disneyworld decorated their event. We had a lot of compliments on our costumes, and perhaps even some confused looks as to how our children were so close in age (he's my BROTHER and they're COUSINS!). The children definitely had fun playing and running around with each other. It was entertaining to see them doing what kids do. Before you knew it, the park was closing and we were all pooped. It was time to head home and power up for another busy day.
The next day, the house was busy once again with children running and playing and everyone scrambling to get ready. Lunch at Cracker Barrel took a bit longer than expected, and we were going home to change clothes and head to Downtown Disney.
Gabriel is in a dinosaur phase right now, and asked if he could be one for Halloween. Since we were the Addams Family the day before, I decided to let him be whatever he wanted for our second day of trick-or-treating. Apparently, Downtown Disney just opened up a new place called T-Rex Grille. It's pretty cool; there are large moving dinosaurs and different areas of the restaurant demonstrated different themes. There was an underwater theme, and ice age, and even one that looked like a volcano. Of course each habitat had different types of dinosaurs. Gabriel's favorite dinosaur is the coincidentally the t-rex, and I thought he would be excited to see one in real life. Unfortunately, he was a bit intimidated by the loud roars, and it was a little difficult to even take pictures near it. Either way, it was super cool to see, and I would definitely go back to let him give it another try.
Downtown Disney was also having trick-or-treating stops in each of their stores, so once again the kids were sugaring it up. I love this picture of Gabriel and Isa! She is really starting to look like her mommy...
Here are the three knuckleheads all dressed up in their Halloween's best, with Lolo and Auntie Ellen.
Our last stop was the carousel, and once again we were all pooped and ready to go home. This was the last night of our Halloween celebration, but not the end of our family fun! But wait...there's more!!
The kids were busy occupying themselves with "whatever" and little did Isa know what was in store for her this day. As I was saying before, with our families so far apart, and travelling difficult for Erick and El, this was the perfect opportunity to celebrate little girl's birthday together. During her nap, Erick and El cooked and prepared and decorated. And when she finally woke...she was definitely surprised!
After the blowing out of candles and opening of gifts, the children were left to play while the adults quickly got their eat on.
By the way, you're welcome Erick and El for the messy gift that will keep on giving! Ha ha!!
And of course, once we were all finished eating, it was time for the kids to eat their lunch...which mostly consisted of candy and cupcakes. Healthy!
After some cleaning up and resting, we spent the rest of our evening "low-key" by shopping at the outlet mall. Because you know, shopping with 3 kids is always really relaxing and low-key! Ha! But I was able to pick up some really kick ass Vans for Gabriel...
And then, just as quickly as that, the next day came and it was time to go home again.
Although I always enjoy my trips to visit my brother, I would have to say that this was probably my favorite. I suppose that as we get older, and have kids, we begin to find joy in different types of things-such as watching our children find excitement and wonder in the things we'd forgotten about. Gabriel was so excited to see "Cousin Isa" and "His Baby Nico." I was curious to know if he would be jealous of the attention I would be giving to his cousins, but he wasn't at all. In fact, while I was laying on the couch with Nicholas on my chest, Gabriel even crawled up next to him, kissed him, and laid with us both with his around his back. It makes me happy that it seems he understands what family is. And as we bid our good-byes, I couldn't help but to feel a little sad. Moments like these are the ones that we should remember as every day events; not only for special occassions. I know that Erick and El are planning for a move (I don't know where), but I hope it will be close enough to be able to spend more time together.
Thank you Erick and El for always making our trips so very special! As always, looking forward to seeing you all--Gabriel's birthday party?