Weekends are always busy at the Cutter household. When you’ve got three kids, there’s very little time to simply lounge around and binge watch Netflix. But even taking our usual level of busyness into account, Halloween was an especially hectic day.
Race for Every Child
Halloween might usually be associated with spooky sunsets, but this year I actually got to watch the sun rise. It provided a pleasant background as I drove into Washington DC to run in the Race for Every Child.
The Race for Every Child is an 5K held to support Children’s National hospital. Two years ago, I was able to join my friends’ team. Last year, the race was scheduled about one week after the twins’ due date, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to make any commitments, especially since I (correctly) assumed that I wouldn’t be in race-running condition.
With no further children expected to arrive this Fall, I felt free to sign up again.
The race was originally scheduled for October 3rd, but due to weather concerns from Hurricane Joaquin, they had to postpone. In early October, I felt like I was in good running shape, but in the weeks since, a combination of a minor foot injury, busy home/work life, and general laziness caused me to slack off on my training. My goal was to finish under half an hour, but I wasn’t 100% confident I could do that.
I shouldn’t have been too concerned. Much like two years ago, the extra adrenaline that the actual race brings helped me finish with a faster time than any of my practice runs. (Either that or my iPhone’s RunKeeper app isn’t super accurate.) I’m not sure what the results mean, but I finished somewhere between 26 and 28 minutes, which was good for 19th (out of 112) in my age bracket. Considering I’m not a runner, I thought that was pretty good.
I also re-learned that I am not a runner at heart. Some people talk about a “runner’s high” and how they feel free of all cares and concerns when they run. Meanwhile, I’m there wondering where the damn finish line is.
Mrs. Cutter’s Hell Week
I didn’t have much time to bask in my better-than-expectedness. I needed to hurry home so that Mrs. Cutter could participate in a physical challenge of her own.
She attends weekly classes at OrangeTheory Fitness, which are essentially 60 minutes of intense cardio training. These are really intense workouts because every time she returns home, she describes the class as being “really tough.”
The week before Halloween, they held a “Hell Week” challenge in which participants needed to go to a class six days in a row. Their prize? A T-shirt!
Since we don’t have a plethora of time in the evenings, Mrs. Cutter would have to go to early morning classes. That meant that she would have to wake up at 5:30 AM three straight days.
I am aware of how much Mrs. Cutter enjoys her sleep, so when she first mentioned this plan, I actually laughed in her face. Apparently, my lack of faith provided her the motivation she needed to complete the challenge. So really, I’m the big hero here!
Children + Halloween = Win
Halloween is one of those days where it can actually be pretty fun to have children. Kids are generally in a good mood, you get to dress them up in cute costumes, take lots of pictures, go Trick-or-Treating, and then indulge in a share of their candy.
Surprisingly, the Cutlet was not a princess this year. Since she was on a four-year princess streak, we had taken for granted that we’d just be able to pick one of her many princess dresses and be done with it. We were a little concerned when she decided she wanted to be something else. Thankfully, she chose to dress as a cat, and it was simple enough to throw a pair of ears and a tail on her.
The twins are less able to communicate their costume desires, so we still get to choose for them. That meant that they were going to be dressed as Hollywood’s most famous set of boy-girl twins: Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
I wasn’t sure which Luke costume to get Cujo. I opted for the white robe rather than the X-Wing pilot outfit. (And yes, we got him a lightsaber too!) As for the Cutlass, I thought it was more appropriate to go with the white dress and “bun wig” rather than the more questionable “slave girl” outfit.
Probably not an appropriate costume for a one year old. (Image source)
The costumes were a little big. Okay, the Cutlass’ costume was very big; it actually fit on her big sister. But seeing her with that wig on was priceless. And we’ll probably get to use it again next year!
Our neighborhood held a Halloween block party in the afternoon. They closed off a section of the street, everyone supplied some food, and a few cornhole games were set up. The Cutlet got to run around in the street with some of her friends, while the twins were able to stumble around freely.
I think Mrs. Cutter and I might have even had five minutes each when we were able to sit down and talk to our neighbors…but I’m not entirely sure. Most of my conversations these days are held while chasing down one of my children, or at least making a token glance to make sure they’re not putting anything too dirty in their mouths.
After the party, we headed home and rested up for a little bit to go trick-or-treating. Since we already had the twins out, we decided not to push our luck with them. They stayed home to “help” Mrs. Cutter hand out candy. Meanwhile, the Cutlet and I met up with her friend to seek out some candy goodness.
Our neighborhood is excellent for trick-or-treating, and the streets were full of kids. The Cutlet’s bag filled at a rapid rate, and it soon became tough for her to carry around. It wasn’t long before she asked if she could go home and eat the candy, but I told her that once we went home we were done. Since Halloween only comes once a year, she had better tough it out.
Soon after, she was getting pretty tired – partly because her candy bag now weighed about as much as she did. Satisfied with her haul, we headed back home.
Once home, the Cutlet wanted to enjoy the spoils of her work. Before she could indulge, Mrs. Cutter and I had to perform a taste test to make sure all the candy tasted good. It seemed okay to us, so we let her have a couple of pieces.
We had obtained some pumpkins a few weeks ago, but we had never gotten around to doing anything with them. The au pair and her boyfriend wanted to carve them, so after returning home, we did so.
For some reason, the Cutlet wanted me to carve a snail into her pumpkin. Here’s what I came up with:
Much like with the race, I thought it was a decent effort for a non-expert.
A few other Halloween notes:
I was surprised to see that the Cutlet had a full-sized Zagnut bar in her bag. Does anyone out there actually eat Zagnut bars?
She also received a Fruit Roll Up. Now, Fruit Roll Ups might be good in some situations…but Halloween isn’t it! Come on, people! That isn’t candy and you know it!
I was disappointed that no houses gave out “parent treats,” aka alcoholic beverages to the parents of trick-or-treaters. (Don’t worry, I brought a drink with me, so I didn’t go thirsty.) Maybe next time, I’ll set up in my driveway and offer out some shots. It might spark a new neighborhood tradition!
How was your Halloween? Do you have kids to dress up and trick-or-treat with, or is Halloween more of an adult holiday for you?