Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpking carving time!

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. Obviously, for any kid it would have to be Christmas, and I was no different. The gifts, the get-togethers, the gifts, the time off school, and, oh yeah, the gifts. When I got done with my gifts, I would go to my best friend's house and we would play with hers. Then we would go back to my house and... well, you get the picture. Christmas remained my favorite holiday until about sixteen years ago when some traumatic events took place right around Christmas. For several years after that it became the season to be not quite so jolly. Anyway, even though I enjoy Christmas again (although the gifts part is no longer the primary reason), Halloween still has the edge. I think the main reason is that Halloween takes place before the holiday craziness starts so I can really savor it. Christmas brings with it so many obligations. I find myself worrying about whether I've forgotten someone on my gift list, gotten out the Christmas letter soon enough, spent enough time with so-and-so, fully charged the camera, remembered the whip-cream for dessert, or, god-forbid, gotten the right kind or enough batteries for all the electronics that seem to demand them. Halloween has none of those slightly (Devin will tell me, "way more than slightly, hon") neurotic worries. Even costumes are easy now that the boys refuse to even consider letting me make them. I put up quite a fight about that at first but finally gave up. By the time Dylan came along, he never had to fear the home-made spider costume gone horribly wrong. Now I'm wondering why I ever cared. It's so much easier to just make a stop at Walmart.

One of my favorite parts of this, my favorite holiday, is carving pumpkins. Sometimes Devin supervises and sometimes I do, but it just isn't Halloween without a jack-o-lantern on the front porch. Yesterday we walked over to the neighbor's house so the boys could pick out the pumpkins for their masterpieces. -The neighbor has a farm where he grows pumpkins and then he sets them in the front yard for all the kids in the neighborhood to pester their parents about. It's quite a racket. - Of course, nothing mattered to my boys but size. Obviously the obsession with size starts REALLY early and without much encouragement for boys. $20 later we had two ginormous pumpkins that I had to carry back to our house - alone. About then was when I wondered why I hadn't waited until Devin came home to do this - he could've at least carried them.

Once I got them home and the tops cut off, the boys did almost all the work themselves (YES! -Picture me doing the happy dance) although Devin did help with scraping the insides to a manageable thickness once he got home. Dylan, as usual, provided the comic relief by trying to shove his head INTO the pumpkin. Imagine my relief when I realized I'd cut the opening too narrow for that to happen because I could just picture him stuck in there - forever.
He'd be forced to be the headless horseman for trick-or-treating... - and school. When we call him pumpkin-head, it wouldn't be funny. He would have that grotesque, leering grin in every family photo. I could go on, but it's becoming too horrible to even contemplate.

That huge pile next to Dylan is the guts and scrapings and the bowl has all the seeds. Of course we roasted the seeds and they were very yummy. I'd always salted them but had never put Worcestershire sauce on them. I got the idea from a fellow blogger, The Wedge: Pumpkin Carving , and thought I'd try it this year. I was gratified when Dakota declared them the best pumpkin seeds ever! Dylan, however, first informed me, "I don't want to try new things anymore." In the end, he grudgingly tried one but immediately afterwards ran into the bathroom where loud gagging noises were heard. Hey, this is all true, I couldn't even make this stuff up.

To further illustrate how my boys do absolutely nothing alike, Dylan was done carving in less than 30 minutes, including drawing on the face with the marker and standing back to admire his handiwork for all of seven seconds. Dakota, on the other hand, carefully chose a stencil, diligently poked the holes, and patiently carved for over two hours. He still isn't totally done but it won't happen until tomorrow. Guess which pumpkin belongs to which boy?


Lemon Dingo said...

When I read about Dylan's reaction to the pumpkin seeds I laughed out loud. Your family sounds a lot like mine. We have a whole lot of theatrical moments in our house. During the week I made pot roast for dinner. My youngest expressed his opinion at the ugliness of the meal and spent the next 20 minutes making gagging sounds before he finally ate it ..(under sufferance)...and then expressed that it wasn't as bad as it looked. Life is NEVER boring at our house, that's for sure. Loved the finished pumpkins too.....very creative!

Anonymous said...


First, it was fun to go to a blog I've never been and then see a reference to a close friend of mine (lemon dingo). :)

Second, thank you so much for the kind words about me starting up my photography business! SO KIND! Anyway, it's funny you offered to "hire" me in Oregon next summer. Yesterday afternoon I told my dh I'd like to have some beach sessions scheduled IN OREGON next summer. How crazy is that?! ;) Anyway, we'll be in Manzanita (S. of Cannon Beach) the week before Labor Day next summer.

Maybe our paths will cross. :)