Last month was Kathryn's third birthday and the theme of the month chosen by my daughter was pirates. She wanted to dress up as a pirate so we took the idea for our annual October theme. This year was a fun birthday as she has finally reached the age where she wants to engage with the occasion and open presents. Up to this point she was shy about the excitement, but that all changed with magic number three.

We stuck to our idea by getting plenty of pirate themed decorations. In a purchasing coup, Katie found several items online at a discount which helped. One of the coolest things she found was some fake jewels and coins along with a treasure chest. When it was put together it looked really cool and adorned the cake table for her birthday party. We also had some Jolly Roger flags and banners to decorate the room for her party. To round out the decorations, Katie found some Jolly Roger decorated plates and napkins with pink bandanas on which were perfect for our little one's party.

Unlike last year when some of our family was unable to make it to her party, everyone was able to attend this one. Even the weather was better this year. Last year I incredulously watched the snow fall as I decorated for her party. Fortunately we didn't have that problem this year. The weather was actually good for the party.

She definitely had the time of her life when we brought her in and she saw her family and the decorations. Katie had gotten her a little pirate costume to wear for Halloween, but she let Mommy put it on her for her birthday. It was one of those fancy frilly costumes tailored especially for a little girl and Kathryn enjoyed it very much. She had the time of her life visiting her cousins and aunts and uncles and we actually had to ask her to open her presents.

Kathryn so far has never been a huge "present" person which is a good thing I suppose. Usually we have to coax her a little to get her started. When she does begin, she is quite methodical at opening her presents usually pulling the paper off in thin strips. Most children descend on presents whether they are birthday or Christmas and strip the paper like locusts feeding on a field. Kathryn is not like that. Kathryn approaches opening presents with surgical precision. Where most of us take ten seconds to open a present, Kathryn admirably can make it last for up to a half minute before completing a present unwrapping. Her birthday party was no exception.

Of course she had a small challenge in the form of her just-turned one year old cousin Evan. My little nephew just learned to walk recently and he was putting it to good use during the party. If my brother Jeff wasn't holding him Evan would be all over the place. In many ways, just a like a typical little boy he was into everything and seeing Kathryn's presents he decided to help her. Most kids would get annoyed, but Kathryn welcomed the assistance and enjoyed her little cousin's aid.

She definitely enjoyed the party and while Katie and I didn't dress up as crew members there, we did two weeks later for Kathryn's first Halloween trick or treat.

Unfortunately the Halloween weather can be quite fickle. There are years when its 70 degrees and then there are years when it is 30 degrees. This year was on the cold side, but that does not deter Katie and I from dressing up to hand out candy. Over the years we had many themes from the Civil War to Arthurian England to Egypt and Rome and even cross dressing farmers. Don't ask. Pirates were not a theme we used until this year however.

Katie dressed up as a colonial woman and I dressed up as a first mate to my little Captain Kathryn the Bold. Unfortunately the weather required us adding some extra layers and by the time we were able to step out on the street to trick-or-treat with her, she wore a cape to keep warm. With the hood up though, she looked more like a little Red Riding Hood and less like a pirate, but she had a great time.

We didn't stray too far as we figured correctly that she wasn't interested in quantity, so we first took her down to the Summit Hill Historical Museum where they handed out candy which she eagerly accepted. Afterward we came back and strolled up and down a few blocks surrounding our house.

Altogether we may have visited about 10 homes, but Kathryn was having fun. She enjoyed saying "Trick or Treat" and accepting the treats offered along the way. I was proud of her as she also remembered her "thank you's" at several of the locations without prompting. Pretty soon, the colder weather wreaked havoc on her drive to trick-or-treat and we ended up at home one more time to hand out our own candy.

All in all, it was a fun evening and I thank everyone who made it possible including the police, firemen, legionnaires who helped watch our kids in Summit Hill. I hope all of you had a Happy Halloween. I know we did.

Til next timeā€¦