Happy 5th Birthday, Aiden!
This is an interesting year for Aiden’s birthday because it falls on the same day as the Haunted Halloween Walk. Add in that it is also a very busy day for his parents at the bakery; and it explains why his extended family and best friends got to celebrate his big day with him more than his parents did this year. I wasn't around for most of the birthday fun during the day, but Aiden did go out to the Inn for breakfast with some grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; and I knew about that because Aiden was then dropped off to spend most of the day with Ethan and Ehlana – except for a lunch break with family that Ethan was invited to go along for while Ehlana and Naomi stayed behind because the available kid space for that lunch was limited. The kids were back together for the afternoon; and then they all went to meet up with Aiden’s parents at home after the bakery closed so that they could get his birthday party started with a quick dinner and dessert before moving on to the Haunted Halloween Walk.
I’m ahead of my own story for the day, but then it wasn’t birthday party fun and games to that point on the timeline. Tai Chi by the river was especially nice because the Carringtons joined us for the work-out and the weather was awesome even that early. The double-family breakfast was great too; and then it was time for me to get to work on the never-ending fall clean-up. As usual, I will not complain about that work, since I do have it easier than most teens around here thanks to the handy attachments Dad has for his lawn tractor, but there is still a lot of work that has to be done the hard way, and since Mom still won’t let us use our Magi gifts to do that work out in public; it takes time to deal with the gardens, maintenance on the house and storage barn; and deal with other issues – like getting the dock ready for the winter freeze. All of that work was much easier to take with temperatures in the seventies and eighties, and while the work wasn’t all that exciting; spending the time with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana was great. Aiden and Naomi were there for parts of the work too, but Aiden and a get-out-of-work card for his birthday; and the four kids played most of the time when they were around. They also got to go to the park for some play time that Mom had Aunt Leanne along for when Zack and Brianna needed to get out of the house for a while after lunch; and that included a bike ride for all of them – with Zack and Brianna in our trailer for that part of the adventure.
I needed to wrap up the work by four; get cleaned up and ready for the rest of the day; and then head to the school to help out with everything the marching band was doing for the Haunted Halloween Walk. Michael was working the dinner shift at the Inn, so he couldn’t help out with that; but Rowen and Tim were among the volunteers. We had to get everything ready at the school, and then couldn’t head for Witch Falls Road until the stores closed at six o’clock. We were busy getting the trucks and minivans loaded up, but then the work kicked up into high gear when we could start setting up our fundraiser booth and the area where the band – or smaller groups of our musicians – played music from seven to eleven o’clock. We needed a far bit of space for that, so our booth and the band was given an area in front of Landry’s Automotive; and some of the cars that are usually lined up near the sidewalk were moved back to make room for our band for the evening.
We managed to be ready to go on time, and we started playing our first set right at seven o’clock; though we didn’t quite have the full band because not everyone could be there on time. Michael did make it, though, so I was in a great mood as we launched into the Halloween-themed songs – beginning with a few Disney songs from Halloween episodes or movies. Yes, I might seem to be a bit obsessed with Disney, but keep in mind that our band is doing all of this for a chance to play at Disney in Florida; so it is important to remind everyone why we’re doing all of the fundraising. As I mentioned, we didn’t all play all of the time, since everyone wanted to go on the walk and play the games too; so we took turns and only had the full band for two half-hour sets. We had a blast with that, but the musical highlights of the night for me were the half-hour of saxophone duets and duels that Michael and I did from seven-thirty to eight; and the guitar and vocal duets we did during the ten-to-ten-thirty time slot. Part two of that was especially amazing because we had my family and all of Aiden’s birthday party gang among the spectators; and they especially loved the duets we did from the ‘Girl vs. Monsters’ movie. Our songs were all Halloween-themed too, and while it was a bit different with our acoustic version of the song; our little audience seemed to love singing and dancing along to the Monster Mash when we wrapped up our set with that – and then I was done my band work for the night.
That needed to be the case because Rowen and I went into babysitter mode after that; and we went home with Mom, Dad, and most of the kids we are babysitting tonight. Michael and Tim stayed to help with the work at the food booth and then the clean-up; but they came over in time to be with us when the parents were collectively ready to leave for Sheldon’s Pub and the last few hours of the Halloween party already in progress there. Rowen and I got all of the kids ready for bed first before moving the show up to the lounge for a toddler-friendly Halloween movie and shows marathon; though most of the toddlers didn’t stay awake through to the end of the first show. You might think that was good news for the teen babysitters, but I have cousins in my bed right now as I write this; there are kids camping out on the floor in the lounge; and there is zero chance that I’ll be having a sofa sleepover with Michael tonight.
While it’s been a bit crazy around here since the adventure in babysitting starting for us, it’s been a lot of fun too – and not just because of the kids. We had some drop-in visitors, and Jessica and Patrick were among the most-entertaining. They came over with Sophia to drop her off for the babysitting and sleepover; stayed to help out until Michael and Tim were done with the band work; and then went back to her house because they were in charge of Ryan and a couple of his buddies while her parents were at Sheldon’s too. Lucas and Rebecca stopped by after they were done at the Haunted Halloween Walk too, but didn’t stay long; and they are spending the night out at the farm. Getting back to the kid-friendly movie marathon, we’ve watched Sofia and the ‘Cauldronation’ episode; a Halloween-themed Doc McStuffins; and two spooky PAW Patrol shows. By the end of that fourth show, we’d lost all of the kids except for the twins, Naomi, and Aiden.
Don’t worry, Moms and Dads – we only lost your younger kids to dreamland; so that wasn’t meant to be Halloween-scary for you! ;^)
I got to watch some of those shows too, but spent more time dealing with the younger kids – especially Brianna and Faith. This is Faith’s first babysitting sleepover with the gang of kids, so she was an adorable combination of fired up and sleepy; since she’d already had a very long, busy day with her very first Haunted Halloween Walk adventure too. I cuddled with her and Michael had Brianna with him until Faith went to sleep; I put her into a portable crib in my room; cuddled with Michael and Brianna for a while after that; and then put Brianna to bed next – in my bed. We started to lose the toddlers next. Sebastian was one of the first; and Leah was the last – even though Zack and Eli had insisted that they would stay awake all night; and definitely out-last all of the girls. From my perspective, it’s a good thing that Zack does run out of steam now and then; since he’s a scary kid to keep up with whenever he’s awake.
Note to me – ask Violet if Chris and Martin were like Zack when they were three!
Moving along – again; the current movie is Casper, and I have no idea why the kids picked that one over other favorites tonight; but Michael, Tim, and Rowen are having fun watching it too. I was having fun with them, but I’m currently multi-tasking this update with taking care of Faith because she apparently only needed a nap before deciding that she wanted to party again. Her bottle of choice is non-alcoholic, and I wouldn’t consider the diaper change she needed before we got her bottle ready a fun party game, but she thought it was funny; and I guess that it was messy and smelly-enough to fit in with a Halloween theme.
I’m writing this update while Faith is having her bottle and we’re cuddling in the living room. Yes, we could hang out in the lounge too, but I want Faith to go back to sleep, and even though she is very special; I don’t think that she necessarily needs to watch the scarier parts of Casper – especially since there’s a good chance that she’d remember all of it. We won’t actually know that for sure until years from now, but Mom is already starting to get some strong indications that her prenatal and neonatal Magi programs are improving what Magi kids remember from their early childhoods to something mid-way between what older Magi here remember and the perfect recall that Mom, Ethan, Ehlana, and I all have in common.
That isn’t something I need to write about tonight; and I should wrap this up so that Faith isn’t more interested in what I’m doing with my Magi power than in sleeping. Mom and Dad are still out and having fun, but then I didn’t expect them to be home early because they’re designated drivers tonight as well as the hosts for the babysitting sleepover. They do get that job more often than not right now, but then I expect they’ll get a break from that after I head for college and they won’t have the most-convenient babysitters in the family anymore. I’m just starting to ramble now, though, so it’s time to wrap this up and get back to concentrating on the babysitting.
Oh wait – I did forget one very important detail – the Haunted Halloween Walk! Michael and I went on the walk with Mom, Dad, and my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We didn't go with the twins because they were with Aiden and his party guests instead, but while I would have liked to have them along too; we still managed to have fun. The stories for the walk are the same every year, but I still love the shows as much as the first time I saw them; and it’s even better to share the fun with Michael. You might, by the way, wonder why we haven’t gotten involved in putting on the walk by now. We would love to do that, and may get the chance to do it in the future, but we don’t do it right now because we’re too busy; and can’t add that work to our schedules when we’re already busy with football, band, cheerleading, and the teen praise team. For now, we’ll have to settle for enjoying the annual show!
Yes, that’s definitely all for tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a very long, busy day too; though there will be a lot more work and a bit less fun because I’m working the full shift at the Inn to help Miranda with what is sure to be a busy day because of the lure of Witch Falls on the weekend before Halloween. Starting the day with breakfast for a gang of kids will be crazy too, but I’m sure that will be the fun highlight of the day too; so I’m looking forward to that – even though we’ll also likely wish we could have slept in by then instead of getting up early to deal with the extra work.
I’d better not go there, or I’ll be the one falling asleep before Faith does! Then again, a cuddle and nap with Faith dies sound very inviting right now. Maybe we’ll do that, but I need to finish this report before doing that – or not; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!