Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Halloween 2017

Friends. The whole bunch.Halloween is probably one of the children’s favorite holidays. They were anticipating it for a long while. Aroshka even had post Halloween blues the next morning, but luckily the sadness passed quickly.

This year they chose to be a puppy and a giraffe. Danya was a little worried about Arosha’s costume pick since the vast majority of boys his age were dressed as either a superhero/movie character, someone scary or someone like a policemen, fireman or some kind of warrior. Daniel was worried that other children would tease Arosha and ruin the joy of it for him, but luckily this did not happen.

Anna's class.This year our school has a new principal — a young woman, who so far seems to be very nice and well liked by both teachers and parents. Our previous principal was a bit rigid for my taste. He was a young man with a military background and sometimes I was not sure if he cared more about the school, or his career advancement. Anyhow, with this new principal, the children were allowed to wear costumes to school, and also the parents association prepared a trick-or-treating event for all grades on the school yard. I think that something like this did not happen for a long time, if ever.

Anna's teacher.After school we went home to eat and then meet up with the usual gang — Erica, Ilona and Natasha with their children. We went trick-or-treating through our local stores as we do every ear. It took us about an hour, and the children were super excited. We went to the playground afterwards. They weather was on the cold side, but at least it was not raining.

Our units.When we got home, Arosha talked me into continuing trick-or-treating throughout our building. I don’t like doing it to be completely honest, but I did not have a heart to deprive him of this, since we’ve done it every year for the last 4 years. I did put a time limit on this activity though, so we did not go through the whole building, but just through our wing.

Units.They got two huge buckets of candy at the end. They will eat very little of it though since I limit their sugar intake, and normally they prefer ice-cream to any other sweets. Anna’s eczema resurfaced the next day — she is sensitive to certain things, and I guess all those artificial colors and other bad things in candy might have triggered it.

All in all it was a happy day for the children and they already started to plan their next Halloween.
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Halloween 2015

Getting ready to go trick or treating.I think that Halloween is one of Arosha’s favorite holidays. He was waiting for it impatiently, counting down the number of days for the last week.

When we were deciding what costume to get, he first suggested a Spiderman or someone from Star Wars. I told him that while I am fine with whatever he chooses, there will be plenty of other Spiderman-dressed kids, and he won’t be as unique as in the past when he was a green bean and a lemon. Right away Arosha has decided that he wants something more original and we started looking through different costume websites to see what’s out there. When he heard that there are dragon costumes, he got really excited and that’s what we ended up getting for him.

Little puppy Anna with her grandma.Anюta had no say in the costume choice since I used one of old Alex’s costumes which Erica kindly offered to us. It was a very cute costume of a dog, which Anna loved from the first sight.

Halloween.The Halloween fell on Saturday this year, but Arosha started it early in school. On Thursday they had a small party in class (no costumes though), which I was able to attend. It was nothing special — they ate some sweets and snacks, danced, played a few games — but I think kids had fun. And then on Friday they went to a nearby junior high school for “Safe Trick or Treating” all dressed up. The teachers and students of that school prepared a whole bunch of activities for them — from trick-or-treating in the halls to playing different games in the gym to watching a spooky cartoon. I was one of the parents accompanying the children, and I had lots of fun too.

When the actual Halloween came, we dressed up kids in the morning and went in the direction of the nearest subway station since they have a lot of shops in that area. My mom went with us — it was very interesting for her to see trick-or-treating in person. We spent about two hours going from store to store, and kids had so much fun! We let them eat quite a few candies too — after all, Halloween is as much about candy as it is about costumes. We even went to two private houses — in one of them two old ladies noticed us looking at their Halloween decorations and started to waive to us vigorously inviting to come for some candy. I think they love seeing dressed up children almost as much as children like to get candies.

Arosha's class.And in the afternoon we met with Erica and her kids and also another mom from the playground and her two boys Vladik who is 5 and Kirill who is around 3. We went trick-or-treating on our street. It was also fun, although by that point I got tired of going to stores over and over again. And some stores had notes that they were out of candy, which is fine.

Kids.After that we went to the playground and children played for a little bit, and then it started to get darker and the groups of loud masked teenage boys started to gather on the playground, so we decided that it was safer to go home. Our last trick-or-treating stop was grandparents, who prepared special treats for us. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day.

Arosha with friends. Anna refused to be photographed.Arosha was teaching Anюta to say trick-or-treat, and she tried to pronounce it right, but it came out as “кути-кути”, which was very cute. I think we have enough candy to last us a year until the next Halloween.
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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

Our lemon and our tiger.This year Arosha decided that he wants to be a lemon. I asked him a few times before ordering a costume, but he did not change his mind. I think it’s a cute idea. There was pretty much only one lemon costume available online, so I did not have much choice. It turned out to be OK. Not great, but not too bad either. Arosha’s favorite color nowadays is yellow by the way.

Anюta has gotten Arosha’s old tiger costume. She looked cute in it, although she did not fancy the hood all that much.

YUM!It was pretty cold outside, but at least it was not raining. I put Anechka’s costume on top of her jacked and a hat, so she would stay warm.

Arosha liked trick-or-treating with Rachel in local stores last year so much that he wanted to repeat the same thing this year. I tried to arrange for Rachel and her little brother to join us, but they decided not to go at the end. I also invited Alex, Arosha’s new classmate, but they also bailed on us at the last moment. I think it might have something to do with the fact that Arosha and Alex fight sometimes, and his mom was not sure how the whole thing will go. Oh, well.

Grandpa and Arosha.Anyhow, after I picked Arosha from school, we put on his costume on the playground (on top of the jacket and a green hoody), and went to get some candy. I mostly stayed outside with Anюta, so Arosha went to the stores by himself. He got less candy than last year because he visited less stores. It was not as much fun for him since he had no company, but he still liked it. He even got a $1 bill from a random lady at Subway store, and we spent it on the kid’s rides by the Pizzeria.

We were finished in about an hour and went to the playground. D. Borya joined us there, but we only stayed there for about half an hour, since it was getting really cold.

Little tiger.And in the evening we met up with our neighbors — a 10 year old girl Nicole and her mom. We joined them last year for trick-or-treating around the building, and did the same this year. Nicole was wearing a mermaid costume, but unfortunately I did not take any pictures in the evening.

We started from our wing of the building, then proceeded to the part where Danya’s parents live, and I left Anechka with t. Oksana.

Grandpa with grandkids.Arosha had a blast. He was running around happily, and even though many people did not open their doors, there was someone giving out treats on almost every floor in each wing of the building. It took us almost two hours to go through, and I felt like a squeezed lemon at the end.

He got a lot of candy. We still need to go through it and sort all the chocolate things out for Danya’s work, since none of us eat chocolate at the moment (Danya and Arosha don’t like it, me and Anюta can’t have it on account of her eczema).

Mom.All in all, I am happy with the way the day went. Arosha was waiting for the Halloween for a long time, and anticipation was increasing the closer to October 31 it was getting. I wonder what costume he’ll pick out next year.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween 2013

Arosha and Rachel.This year was the first year when we took Arosha trick-or-treating.

About a month ago we were talking about different holidays with him, and I mentioned Halloween — a day when children can dress up and go to stores and houses to ask for candies. Arosha got really excited with the idea, and said that he wants a costume too. First he requested a corn costume, but after looking through them on internet and spotting a sweet pea pod costume, he changed his mind and requested that one instead.

In the park after trick-or-treating.As you might know, Arosha’s favorite color is green, so it is not a surprise to me that he got so enchanted with the pea pod. We offered him a lot of other options by the way, but he knew exactly what he wanted.

I was not sure where to go with him, and I did not want him to go alone, so I asked some people on the playground about their plans. Luckily, Anya and her daughter Rachel did not have any plans and wanted to join us. I was told by our neighbor that all the local stores, including Silverstar, Party City, Rite Aid will have candies for kids and that the best time to go is probably around 11-12 oc’lock in the morning, before all the other children will get off school. This sounded like perfect timing, since we go the the playground daily at this time anyhow.

Getting ready.So I dressed Arosha up, and we met up with Rachel who was dressed up as a Cinderella (she is 7 months older than Arosha), her mom and brother Justin (he is one month older than our Anyutka) at 11:30. We then proceeded to happily yell trick-or-treat in local stores. We visited almost every one on our way, including a diner, two Chinese restaurants (they gave us fortune cookies), Russian groceries, bagel store, two pizzerias, 99 cents shops and even a travel agency. The only place that we visited that did not even want to acknowledge our Pea Pod and Cinderella was Aldi. Seriously. They just pretended they did not see us, so after a few minutes of trying to get their attention, we just left. Figures.

It was really great to have company. Arosha had a blast, and Rachel’s mom and I alternated going to the stores with the children, so we didn’t have to bring strollers in each time.

In the middle of trick-or-treating.It started to drizzle at some point, but luckily it did not last long. The whole thing probably took us 2 hours, and our children were exhausted by the time we reached the playground. We let them eat some candies, and they had a lot of fun doing it and playing with each other.

I asked Arosha later on which store he liked the most, and he said it was a Russian store. Not sure why exactly, but he keeps saying it was the best.

Profit!And in the evening we went trick-or-treating in our building. We joined acquaintances of ours — a nine year old girl named Nicole and her mom. I went with Arosha through half of the building and then I wanted to go feed Anyuta, who stayed with her grandma, but Arosha did not want to leave yet. Luckily we met Danya in the lobby, so they continued without me.

Arosha probably got 5 pounds of candy out of this. He was so tired at the end, that they did not even finish going through the last part of the building. Arosha had fun, but told me that he liked trick-or-treating in the stores more. I agree — it was more exciting.

Second round. Evening in our building with Nicole.And as for the candies, I gave some to Danya’s parents, we left some for ourselves and the rest Danya took to work. There is no way we can eat all these candies by ourselves!

I am very glad that we’ve decided to dress Arosha up for Halloween this year. I think next year I might buy a costume for Anyutka as well.
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