In Des Moines they have what is called Beggar's Night, which is usually the night before Halloween. The kids trick or treat and they have to tell a joke to get their candy. I was worried all day that we wouldn't even get to attempt to go out last night because the weather was dark and stormy all morning and into the afternoon. Around 2:00 pm the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Beggar's night was back on for my little giraffes! When we put Ava's costume on, she wasn't having it and expressed dissatisfaction with the whole idea. I was a little worried she wasn't even going to wear it, but finally she gave in and our little girl was transformed into a diva giraffe. She looked absolutely adorable and the tutu was very fitting.
The kids had fun watching all the kids out in their costumes and we enjoyed experiencing Beggar's night through their eyes. It was also a huge milestone for us. Trick or treating may not seem like a big deal, but last year at this time Ava was in and out of the hospital. She was miserable, we were stressed and I lived in fear that we wouldn't get to experience normal things like trick or treating because we were constantly in crisis mode. However, Ava has made so much progress over the last year that it was thrilling to be able to trick or treat as a family and know that they both enjoyed themselves. Brad and I enjoyed participating in a normal family activity with all the other families on the block. We finished her feeding before we left, so we could leave the pump at home. We put her oxygen tank in the wagon, covered it up with a blanket, and off we went. There have times when I felt tethered to our house because of her feeding pump, oxygen and extensive meds. If you would have told me even six months ago that we would go treat or treating tonight and Ava would enjoy it, I am not sure I would have believed you. I can honestly say the night warmed my heart and filled me up with hope that better days are ahead. Things are improving and Ava is doing so well. She is such an amazing girl and I love watching her take in this wide world around her that she has only just begun to explore. Last night proved that no matter the obstacles, they can be overcome with a combination of faith, hope, and resiliency. Ava is our miracle and we are so thankful every day that God put his trust in us to be her parents. We love our little giraffes to the moon and back and hope you enjoyed trick or treating with your little ones as much as we did. Happy Halloween!
|Putting the finishing touches on Ava's costume. Daddy bravely put the ears on her head as she gave him her famous stink eye.|
|Love that smile as she gets ready to take her giraffe ears off.|
|Ava in the wagon and ready to go. She is signaling to us that her giraffe costume is not complete without her pacifier.|
|Ava giving Brenda the stink eye. She wants nothing to do with candy and is still unsure about trick or treat.|
|A happy giraffe! She finally decided treat or treat was ok.|
|One tired giraffe snuggling with daddy. So sweet!|
|Two giraffes and one silly daddy.|
|Ava playing with her toys after we got home. She got a second wind and even though she was dressed as a giraffe, she was making gorilla noises.|
|Ava sharing her ears with Mitch. At least he didn't attempt to fit into her tutu. :) Ava loves her Mitch!|