Oh how relieved we were to receive our mail-order Halloween costumes one day before the festivities started, because of course, we still did not have our things at the end of October. No Halloween decor, no costumes, no candy, nothing. Still, we had a great Halloween. We always do, and it's Daddy's favorite time of the year because it's his birthday! And oh boy, was this a big one. 4-0!!! His birthday poster reads "Happy Birthday Old Man!", sentiments from Sophie. I had nothing to do with it.
The birthday dinner, hardly a fancy affair this year, but the kids had a blast decorating the room.
I missed the opportunity to capitalize on the fact that my husband is now in his 40's, and I am still in my 30's. We may have to do a special "over-the-hill" party for him next year, when I will STILL be in my 30's.
And the pumpkins that we carved that night. Or rather, the pumpkins and their gooey innards that the kids complained about, so they went to bed while Mom designed and Dad then carved. I have to say that we did an awesome job, especially because they won a major award at our Consulate's pumpkin-carving contest. Who says you have to let your kids have all the fun?
Sophie and Lucas got to wear their Halloween costumes to school, and later that evening the school put on an amazing Halloween festival, complete with games, food, haunted house, trick-or-treating, and a Dooby dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
Our little ladybug was quite content to just play on the playground, but she did win a dolly on one of the games and promptly popped off it's cheap little Chinese head.
We didn't see little Ms. Sophie for most of the night. She was flitting around winning prizes and eating way too many treats for a little butterfly. She threw up later that night.
As I mentioned, the Consulate had a Halloween party for the kids and again there were games, prizes, and trick-or-treating. How awesome is it to have your kids run around a building with 12 apartments to trick-or-treat, with a bag full of good old-fashioned U.S. candy 5 minutes later? It was awesome, and we should have stopped right there. But we didn't. We marched in a Halloween parade that took us a mile or two down the main vein of Chengdu to a big housing area. Believe me, we are already on parade most of the time. Add a big group of expats all dressed in costume, and you've got yourself a full-fledge freak show for the locals. Boy are they good at staring! Once we got to this housing area, the only place to trick-or-treat locally in Chengdu, we waited for 1 1/2 hours for our turn to trick-or-treat. We were the last group, and were getting hard little coffee candies from the Chinese helpers. All the good stuff was gone. And then, way past dark, we couldn't find a cab (this is an irritating theme of life here.) We had 3 little bugs who were at their wits end, and they had to walk home. In the dark. In the traffic on a busy road. And we may have yelled at one or maybe 5 drivers who almost ran us over in the traffic circle. Our little bug collapsed at the front door. Chengdu does that to you.
Next year I think we'll stay in and eat our compound booty while watching a Halloween movie that will scare the poop out of the kids. Sounds way more fun right?