Sunday, October 23, 2011


Last Halloween, Boy was heading to bed just as trick-or-treaters in Virginia started making the rounds. The first knock echoed through our living room before we had a chance to squirrel him away safely in his room, and there was no keeping him from peering out the door, watching all the kids walking up and down our block. He sat on the stoop in the cool night, fleece pajamas on, hands tucked between his knees, mesmerized. We promised him he could go next year, but of course we knew that next year we once again would be far from home, and far from the Halloween nights of my childhood.

Embassy communities around the world try their darnedest to recreate those Halloween-type moments for the staff and families assigned to Post. Just last week I ordered our Thanksgiving turkey. Someone will have to take the ferry to Helsinki to pick it up, but no matter. In that vein, our Community Liaison Officer (CLO) planned our kids' Halloween party for this past Friday, thanks to many scheduling kinks that required it to be ten days out. So while I read about my friends' Halloween prep and see Halloween idea after Halloween idea on Pinterest, I have to remind myself that it's only over for us.

When we asked Boy what he wanted to be this year, he said without hesitation, "a space shuttle!" We clarified, but, yes, he meant  the space shuttle. Okay. For Girl, I fretted over the decision. The First Halloween. Momentous. Boy was almost 4 months old for his first Halloween, and we subjected him to this:

For Girl, my original idea of a Baby Ruth (the candy bar) costume wasn't going to work. She's crawling and standing...homegirl would not tolerate having her legs unusable. I then believed "slutty nurse" to be an inspired idea, but thought it might be awkward to explain that choice at the office party. So for her first Halloween, we settled on this:

That's me, in my office, as Hermione and Girl as Harry Potter. Because she was such a blur, it was hard to get a good picture of her robe and onesie (glasses are in her hand...the better for chewing on). Here she is in the Management Section's smoky Haunted House:

I painted a maroon tied on her white onesie and used fabric glue to attach a few gold ribbon stripes. I was going to use my beloved Silhouette machine to print a freezer paper stencil for the patch, but when I realized it was 10 p.m., I decided I was not going to stay up for hours simply to perfect a 10 month old's and a 39 year old's (more on that in a bit) costume. So...I printed out a patch, cut it out and used fabric glue to adhere it to felt. I cut it out again, and glued it to the Gryffindor robe I had sewn. For the robe, I used crummy black polyester and maroon knit jersey, lining the former with the latter and creating a fairly uneven maroon trim so folks would know this was no Draco Malfoy, despite her blond locks.

Originally I was going to draw on glasses with face paint, but thankfully I realized that would only result in squiggly black lines all over her as there was no way she wouldn't squirm. I had black plastic glasses, but she mostly chewed on them. Her face-paint lightening bolt somehow spread across her forehead and onto my cheek as the party went on.

But Boy's costume...that's pretty amazing. Husband is talented, and is wasting his skills on doing what he does for a living, although his current profession pays better and has better insurance. Boy wanted a space shuttle, and he got a space shuttle, with lights and everything.

 As for the adults, we designated Husband Mission Control (quite literally, as it turned out), and made him some patches for his vest.

That's Boy's "Cheese"-face. It's pretty hilarious.

And even Nanny got in the spirit, dressing like Bellatrix LaStrange, even though it was ten days before the actual Halloween.

A successful non-Halloween Halloween. It may have been on the wrong day and very far from home, but we spent the night before up far too late making costumes at the last minute, so it might as well have been the real thing.


Christina said...

Inspired choices all around! And somehow I have a feeling that Baby Ruth idea will come around again someday...

Cyn said...

LOVE all the costumes!!!!