Halloween seemed to sneak up on us this year. I'm not sure how. I mean, I'd bought the girls' costumes several weeks earlier, but with less than a week to go I realised we hadn't really done anything to the front of our apartment. Even some of the houses in our neighbourhood - ones that had over-the-top Halloween decor only two years ago - hadn't bothered this year. Maybe it was the ridiculously hot weather throughout October? It just hasn't felt autumnal at all. The mornings are chillier, but the days are just as warm as ever.
Anyhow, we grabbed a few pumpkins. I had every intention of carving out several, like I have the last couple of years, but I ended up only carving one. Together, the Faery and I painted the others. The carving only took place two days beforehand, and I'm glad, because you should have seen how mouldy the jack-o-lantern was only a day after Halloween. Consecutive 30º+ days plus Halloween? Not a great mix.
The girls also had last Sunday to wear their costumes, to a farewell picnic for friends moving to Hawaii. They made it Halloween-themed so that all the kids could wear their costumes. On the day of Halloween, the Faery wasn't allowed to dress up for school - school policy. I felt a little sad for the kids that they couldn't dress up, but I suppose it's a sign of the times. It's just one more way that kids today have less freedom that past generations.
With the Faery at school, I made my way with Miss Pie to the DreamWorks Animation campus, where J works. Every year, the campus is transformed for Halloween. All kinds of sweet and festive food is up for grabs, treasure hunting and face-painting for kids, a costume parade... you get the idea. This is our third Halloween in the US, and from what I've seen each time at DreamWorks, geeks know how to rock a Halloween costume. Even though I didn't grow up with Halloween and have spent most my life feeling fairly indifferent towards it, I now find myself looking forward to these DreamWorks lunches. I guess it's become our tradition here. After noticing quite a few school-aged kids at DW, I felt mean for sending the Faery to school. Next year, I'm going to let her have the day off so she can join in. A 'mental health day', perhaps? Six and seven year olds need them too.
Our evening of trick or treating was fairly low-key. Miss Pie was wild with overtiredness by 5pm, so by the time 6pm rolled around, I wasn't game to venture any further than the apartments around us. This suited the Faery just fine, as she's not a fan of being out in the dark. Hopefully next year, we'll be able to head out and visit a few blocks in our neighbourhood - it does look awfully fun.
Oh, and now that our current apartment is in a much quieter corner of the complex (our old one was in a busy thoroughfare), hardly any trick or treaters called by - despite us leaving a chalkboard with arrows pointing up to let kids know they were welcome. The Faery was disappointed because she was looking forward to handing out candy. So... the leftovers (most of the 150 count bag that I'd bought at Costco), combined with the bounty of treats that both girls wound up with, means that we are up to our necks in conveniently tempting snack-sized chocolate bars. Those good eating habits I've instilled in myself this year? I fear for them...