Halloween: We carve a rotten pumpkin and it’s freezing out

I’m not big on Halloween. There are plenty of other holidays that I get more excited for. I talked about that in last year’s Halloween post. I’d personally rather sit on the couch, watching movies with Chris and eating pizza (otherwise known as Risa’s Typical Evening) than dress up in a costume and pass out candy. I’m not totally lame though. There were years we did pass out candy and last year I did wear a devil horns headband that I got from Target.*

We carve a pumpkin—more or less

But last year was definitely OK. Carving pumpkins with a baby is fun. This year was a total bust. While we did get a pumpkin to carve from the patch this fall, we apparently let it sit too long and it started rotting from the inside out, sort of like Harvey Weinstein’s soul.

So it was disappointing because we couldn’t let Olivia play in the blackening pumpkin, and we didn’t want to go out and buy another one, so Chris carved it last Monday night, and did a terrible job.

Now I love him, of course, but dude didn’t even try and amused himself by carving three uneven eyes and whatever he did to the mouth. We stuck the lighter into the pumpkin, snapped some photos, and then threw the whole fucking thing into the compost pile and called it Pumpkin Carving 2017.

We play at the gym in costume

Earlier in September, I bought Olivia a ladybug costume for $7.00 at the consignment sale I sold at. Now, I realize it wasn’t expensive, and being that I bought her cow costume off a Facebook garage sale site last year for $8.00, I figured I was doing pretty good in the World’s Cheapest Parent department.

I wanted Olivia to wear her ladybug costume more than just for the few hours on Halloween. But ECFE was out since there are too many messy activities now that she’s in the toddler class. So when Tot Time at our community center said to “Wear your costume!” to gym play time, I obliged.

She had a blast save for the trauma of being offered a stamp on her hand upon entry, and then the trauma of wanting the stamp two minutes later and me saying no because I knew better, and then the trauma of being offered said stamp again, and then being held down while being stamped anyway.** Note: She loved her hand stamp after the fact and stopped every few minutes from playing to point at her stamp, and my stamp and say proudly, “Stam! Stam!”

Mom knows what you like, kid.

Olivia collects candy for me to eat later

It was a hearty 34° on Halloween. A child of the 1991 Halloween blizzard here in Minnesota, where 28 inches of snow fell from Halloween night to November 3rd, I’m no stranger to bad weather on this date. Still, when my friend asked us along to trick or treat inside the warm mall, I jumped on it. Olivia took about two different stores to warm up to the idea of letting strangers drop candy she will never eat because her mom will eat it all into her bucket, before she took off and thought it was pretty much the Greatest Thing Ever. Every store we walked up to was met with shrieks of delight, the inevitable shy, -OMG-don’t-look-or-talk-to-me face, the curious stare only a toddler can do as a variety of objects were dunked in her bucket, and an overly enthusiastic “Bye!” with a wave before tripping over herself to get to the next store.

Soooo…. I think she thought her first trick or treating was just OK.

Of course, us adults followed close behind, muttering things under our breath at them like, “No, not the sucker, get the Snickers bar.” “Ugh, she grabbed another Dum Dum again.”

All in all, it took us 62 minutes to circle the entire length of both floors of the mall thanks to Olivia’s aerobics and us chasing after her. We then said goodbye to our friends and headed over to my parents, where we actually braved the cold and rounded on about eight houses with my sister and her baby in tow. When Olivia’s bucket filled to a satisfying level of chocolate bars, we went back to my parents and her and her cousin received pumpkin buckets filled with Halloween toys and books.

Another good Halloween for the books from someone who really doesn’t care about Halloween. But seeing Olivia trick or treat… well, you know. There’s just that list that always existed in my head of all the things I wanted to experience with a child while going through infertility, that as time passed, I wasn’t sure I was going to get to have. Opening presents Christmas morning, the annual vacations to the North Shore, trick or treating. So many small things, that I could have easily taken for granted. Of course, these are special moments for any parent. But there comes a certain appreciation, for something that almost wasn’t.

*I lied. I found the headband in Olivia’s pumpkin bucket with the tags still on. But I did wear it this year.***

**Toddlers are indecisive assholes.

***No, I didn’t. I lied again.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
6 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
Jane AllenRisaAmanda GreavuJennyAmie Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I’ve never really been a big Halloween person either, although I do like to dress the kids up in festive clothes all month. Even though it hasn’t been a big “holiday” for me to celebrate in years past, the kids have made me appreciate the “fun” stuff a whole lot more! We had SO much fun last night with the kids. Their enthusiasm for Halloween was definitely contagious. However, I’m still a scrooge that doesn’t dress up. haha


I’ve been mixed about Halloween. As a kid I loved it, ignored it throughout high school, was obliged to participate in college (Madison tradition) and ignored again through my adulthood. And then the Beats came. First couple of years it was cute to dress them up, but then when they were 2 years old they discovered trick or treating. This year they protested when we called it a night after 1 1/2 hours of being out and their buckets beyond capacity (they figured out that the houses with their front porch lights on were fair game). So yeah, mixed. But… Read more »


I wasn’t super stoked about Halloween because I just knew he wouldn’t cooperate with the costume. What I am excited about it Christmas!!! I feel like he will love all of the lights. On another note though I am afraid he will try to climb the tree…oh my!


Awww, she is adorable! Sounds like she had an absolute blast. 🙂

This is the first year my boys REALLY got excited about Halloween. That’s all I heard about for a month. Every day for weeks they asked if it was time to trick or treat. I think they may have peed their pants a little when they finally got to go trick or treating Halloween night.

Amanda Greavu

Garrison’s favorite is the dum-dum! Bless him!

Jane Allen
Jane Allen

Posting late, but this post brought me some comic relief on a long day at work. Love the pic of Chris looking so proud next to his pumpkin. We carved ours just in time, but it started to go manky really quick. Fortunately, Wednesday is trash/recycling/compost pick up day. I went to a Pumkin patch (in California, it’s a parking lot with hay bales and a pile of pumpkins) to get some and over-paid for a pumpkin that has been sitting out in the son and kids probably peed on. Next year $5.99 per pumpkin at Safeway! Also love the… Read more »