Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Annual Halloween Post

Oh I love me some Hallowe'en! Always have. As a kid I would break into my mom's Mary Kay, not to practice self-beautification, but to see if I could make myself look like Dracula or Pocahontas. It was the beginning of many, many battles over makeup, now that I think about it. I've never had a conventional makeup style. My Dracula days soon gave way to black eyeshadow and spiky hair--I was Goth before it was called Goth, baby. (In all truthfulness, I was mostly a Goth wannabe, but I really loved spiking my hair up!)

Nowadays, I hardly ever wear makeup for a whole bunch of reasons: sensitive skin, sensitive eyes, I'm fortunate enough to have nice skin without makeup, and mostly importantly, I barely have time to take a shower most days, so the notion that I'd take time to apply (and remove) makeup every day is quite hysterically funny.

Back to Halloween. I'm so excited this year, because I get to do Morgan's makeup. She's not going to be a princess (although she'd sure look super-cute)--she's going to be . . . wait for it . . . a puppy. Shocked, aren't you? I get to give her a black puppy nose and whiskers. How cute! Ryan is planning to be a policeman, so no makeup necessary (I think). And I'm still not gonna tell you what Sean and I will be. I'm still not quite sure I can pull it off. I'll give you a hint, though, because I'm so excited: it's Harry Potter-related. (Squee!)

We're planning to have our annual party here, and it should be a big one, since H-day is on a Friday. We're going to have our usual group of friends (I hope, haven't sent out invites yet) and lots of candy and Spooky Town will be out in all its glory (got most of 'em set up today, finally) and maybe we'll have some pumpkins to carve, too. Oh, and beer. As I put it last night, the kids will get sugared up and the grownups will get liquored up!

I really like answering the door and giving out the candy to the little itty bitty kids. As the night grows longer and the kids grow taller, their costumes are less cute, aren't they? Last year, there were some kids wearing truly frightening costumes--ssooooo many pre-teen girls in very trashy attire. Yikes.

We have our party here for a couple of reasons. In case you haven't quite gotten my point--I LOVE HALLOWEEN. Also, because of Ryan's peanut allergy, Halloween is a bit scarier for us than it would be otherwise. Having our party here allows us to be in control of the candy situation. I have lots of safe peanut-free chocolate (yay Vermont Nut Free Chocolates) and other peanut-free candy (yay Peanut Free Planet) for our guests and to hand out to our visitors. While they are here, our guests are asked to eat only the candy that I have out for everyone to share. (I usually make up little treat bags for each kid guest.)

Another rule is no snacking "on the road." If they just can't resist the temptation, then their grownup escorts will usually have something safe on hand to give them. When they return from their travels, their moms and dads will take their treat bags to their cars and they are welcome to keep sugaring up on peanut-free candy. Really, they don't seem to suffer too much from lack of candy. :o) Plus, they get all of the candy my kids bring home as a bonus for being so understanding.

Another another very important rule is: Remember to bring the Epi-pens trick-or-treating! We kinda forgot that one year, and had to chase them all down after we remembered.

Ryan will get some special safe treats instead of his contaminated candy (and his friends will take his candy home, as mentioned before). We've done the same kind of candy exchange with Morgan in past years, before we knew she wasn't allergic, but I don't know quite how we'll handle her this year. I haven't considered it until just now. My first thought is to exchange her candy out just like Ryan's (I do have special treats on order for her, too) in order to keep our house peanut-free. I don't know how she'll take that though.

Honestly, I can see allowing her to keep her candy . . . maybe someday. Right now, she's way too messy of an eater and I think I'd drive myself nuts (ha ha!) trying to keep track of everywhere she may have touched and cleaning that area thoroughly. He is very contact-sensitive, and our goal is to have as few exposures of any kind as possible, to maximize his chances of outgrowing the allergy. (His particular chances of outgrowing it are smaller than the 20% figure you often see quoted, due to his personal medical history, but it's still possible.) It's been over a year since his last bout of Mystery Hives, which is a very good run for us.

Maybe when they're all bigger we can allow it, but for now, I think it might be best to keep our No Peanut Zone sacred. I think it will also allow for less confusion on the matter, at least while they're all still young. And we do have Sean to consider--he won't be eating any candy until next Halloween of course--but he is on the Avoid Peanuts Until 3 Plan, too.

Still, kinda no fair to her, to lose her candy, huh? And a super big No Fair to Ryan, of course. I dunno, I'm still muddling this out, obviously. Ideas welcome!

Anyway. Halloween--love it. Cannot cannot cannot wait! What are you doing for Halloween this year?


Allergy Mom said...

We do the candy exchange, too, which doesn't leave much in the basket, since it's not just nuts, but eggs and milk that are out. I also hate unlabeled candy, since we have to assume it's not safe.

I've been thinking about how to do it this year, and I think I'm going to put together a treat basket with lots of good stuff in it, like stickers, dinosaurs, plus the safe candy, and let my son choose a treat for each candy surrendered. The idea's still under construction. (I'll probably do a post about it, when I"m done.) Libby

suchlovelyfreckles said...

Oh crap! I forgot to send out the evite. I'm so glad I'm reading your post. :) My daughter is going to be a pioneer girl this year, my son decided he wants to be a ninja. And I'm sewing a gypsy costume for myself right now. What a pain in the butt.

Liriodendron said...

Only adult kids in this household!

We'll have a truckful of candy (since Robb always has a truckful of candy in this house) for all of the three trick or treaters that make their way to our house (usually teenagers on their ATVs!) This year I'll probably be more prepared than last and carve pumpkins and have them lit in our doorstep. I might even make a ghost out of our vacuum cleaner, turning it on when I hear the doorbell ring to scare the bejeebus out of any kids that come by. HA!

I didn't get to celebrate Halloween past about the age of 7, which is when my parents "got saved" and it suddenly became the holiday of the devil. *sigh* But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it now! FUN!

Rational Jenn said...

Libby, I'm with you on the unlabeled stuff--and I'm sure you know that sometimes the packaged-for-Halloween candy is made in different facilities than the regular candy, so checking labels is even more important. If it doesn't have a label, I put it in our Give Away pile.

I forgot to mention that doing the candy exchange allows me to, uh, downsize the volume of candy a bit. I also include stickers, tattoos, pencils, etc. No pennies though--I used to hate it when people gave us pennies!

SLF--a gypsy! How cool! And, SEWING! Even cooler! I hope you have fun at your party, too!

Liri--I think (obviously) that adult-kids need to celebrate Halloween just as much as kid-kids. Tons of bad-for-you candy and everything. I'm glad you guys are doing it up right, too. I actually bought a plastic cauldron this year, to keep the treats in. So. Excited.