Normally I would have Googled for an image to use as a pattern and printed it out to trace onto our pumpkin, but alas, our printer is ink-less. So this year, I drew that bad boy free hand. That's right. Be impressed.
After dinner on Sunday we got to work. Eric lopped off the top and we dug in to remove all the seeds. Ellie was actually pretty interested this year, and was really into "scooping out" the seeds with a spoon (really, putting the spoon into the pumpkin). After a while she even worked up the courage to touch the insides, but didn't love it.
Checking out the innards
Putting the kiddo to work
"Looking good, Mama!"
Bravely touching the pumpkin guts
Ellie was pretty excited overall though, especially considering her new favorite word is "pumpin." That kid loves to point out "pumpins" these days. "Hi, pumpin!"
VIDEO: Ellie carving the pumpkin
Once we had the insides all on the outside, it was my turn to poke the holes to outline the design. (Again, please marvel at my freehand sketch.) Then Eric did all the heavy lifting and carved us a great jack-o-lantern.
Tracing my drawing onto the pumpkin
Master carver at work
At last, ta-da! "Melmo" in "pumpin" form!
2013 W. Family Pumpkin!
We figured the real test would be to see if Ellie recognized her BFF as depicted on a pumpkin. Sure enough, as soon as she caught sight of him lit up, she was all, "Melmo! Hi, Melmo!"
VIDEO: Ellie sees her Elmo pumpkin
She right away went in for a closer look, and even gave him kisses. He was a hit.
Checking it out
She gave the pumpkin her Elmo doll!
Reading by pumpkin light
Ever since that first Elmo Pumpkin encounter, Ellie remains pretty obsessed. She's forever asking me to turn it on ("Melmo? Hot? Please?"), and I ended up buying a battery-operated candle just so she could have it on more often and in a child-friendly way (I tried telling her it was "hot" but all that did was make her get up really close so she could blow on the candle). By now Elmo is starting to wither a bit but she still loves him.
I'm glad we were able to choose a design this year that really got Ellie interested in the whole thing. It's so much fun to have her be so into it, too!