Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pre-Halloween Festivities

Several weeks ago, during a Target trip, Markos and I purchased his Halloween costume.  He wanted to be a cowboy.  He frequently became confused after we purchased it and called himself a "cow" though.  He then spent the next few weeks driving me completely insane, asking if he could wear his costume, when Halloween was, when we were going trick-or-treating....followed by the demanding question, "well, WHEN IS Halloween?"  Unfortunately, no matter what answer was given -- in 3 weeks, October 31st, in 2 weeks, after your school party -- he has no concept of time, so he was as annoyed as I was waiting for the day to arrive that he could wear that cowboy costume somewhere.

Finally, on Thursday, a friend invited us to join her and her kids to go to the trick-or-treating at Southwestern Nursing Home.  Markos was so excited to finally get to wear his costume.  And I was so excited for him to stop asking me when he got to wear it trick-or-treating.

Markos the Cowboy

When Markos and I were at Target weeks ago, I also saw this large display of Angry Birds' costumes.  I chuckled and thought to myself, "I should get that for Daniel.  I bet he'd love it."  Then, I idiotically talked myself out of it and thought, "Oh, I should bring him back with me so he can pick out his own costume."    Then, I went home and told Daniel about it and he was all excited and said, "OH YES!!  That's what I want to be!"

However, when he and I finally made it back to Target a few weeks later, all Angry Birds costumes for kids were completely sold out.  I checked a few other stores.  They were also sold out.  I looked online - sold out.   I hopped on eBay just out of curiosity and saw that people were bidding over $120 for the same costume that I had seen at Target just a few weeks earlier for $15!!!  (At this point, let me just add that PEOPLE ARE OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!!)  Anyway, it was at that time that I informed Daniel that he could forget being an Angry Bird because it wasn't going to happen.  So, he chose the nice Ninja costume at Target instead.  And because Daniel has to be Mr. Creative with everything he does, he made a little Ninja "costume" for his stuffed Penguin so he could join us at all the Halloween activities. 

Daniel the Ninja & Pengy the Ninja
Cutest conversation EVER as we prepared to go to the nursing home for Markos' first-ever trick-or-treating experience:
Me:  "OK, now, Markos, do you remember what you say when you go to get candy?"
Markos:  "Please"
Me:  "ok, that's good.  Yes, you do say please, but I mean when you  go up to someone for trick-or-treating and get candy."
Markos:  "Thank you"
Me: "ok, yes, that's good, too.  But, I mean when you go up to someone and you want them to give you the candy for Halloween...."
Markos:  "TRICK OR TREAT!"

The trick-or-treating was great.  The residents at the nursing home got the biggest kick out of all the kids in their costumes and of course, the kids loved getting all that candy!

When we first started, I thought it was going to be an ugly scene because at the first 3 or 4 places we stopped for treats, Markos' deep seated need to have EVERYTHING be exactly equal and "fair" reared it's ugly head. The boys would approach a nice man at his door.   The man would give Markos a Kit Kat; then he'd give Daniel a Hershey's Bar and Markos would flip.  "HEY!  that's not fair!  I got this and Daniel got that..."

Trust me, if you do not have an adopted child from an orphanage, I doubt you can understand this obsession of his.  You can't reason with him about it.  (believe me, we've tried.)  You can't ignore him because he will NOT tolerate that.  It's completely, totally annoying and aggravating as a parent.  (BTW, any adoptive parents who have been home for longer than 9 months, please feel free to comment and assure me that this WILL eventually stop!!!  Please!....)

Anyway, he did this several times and I immediately started thinking, "oh, this isn't going to go well.  I'm going to have to take him out of here and let Daniel finish with Chelle' and her kids."  But, thankfully, once we got going and he started to get into it, he stopped paying attention to what Daniel was getting and if he was getting the exact same thing every time (thank goodness!!!) and he started to enjoy it.  Until his bag started getting too heavy.  [First world pains:  This giant bag full of candy that I did nothing to earn is SO heavy to carry while I walk around being given even more candy!!]  He did well though, and really did say "trick or treat" and "thank you" to every person who gave him candy.

Markos' first trick-or-treating experience
As if that weren't enough pre-Halloween excitement, Markos also had his party at preschool on Friday.  The kids all wore their costumes and had their little "parade" through the halls, along with some of the kids from the daycare.

Then Mrs. Lucarelli (or, as Markos pronounces it, "Mick-a-relli") had all the kids gather together so parents could take group pictures before we scooted out of there to enjoy what was left of our 2.5 hours free from kiddos!

So happy and excited!

"Everybody look here!"  "OK, good."
Friday evening, we went to a little trunk-or-treat party at Markos' preschool, but we got there late and missed the majority of it.  But, the kids had fun making a few crafts and playing some games while Chelle' and I colored.  :-)

This morning, we woke to snow.  Yes, snow on October 28th.  Markos has been asking about snow for weeks.  He wants snow so badly!  We have been trying to explain the seasons to him and keep telling him that, no, it's only Fall and it usually snows in winter, that he'll have to wait a little longer.  So, when he woke me up at the crack of dawn, after I had just stumbled back into bed after Lily woke me up to go outside and pee, I picked him up in our room and showed him the snow out the window.  He yelled, "SNOW!!!".  I whispered, "I know!  Are you surprised?"   And, he asked, "Fall all done?!"  (this poor boy is going to be so confused by the time we get done with him!)   

The last Saturday of the month, we try to make it to an Ethiopian Adoption playgroup that meets at Tana, one of the Ethiopian restaurants in Pittsburgh.  Today, we went and the kids wore their costumes for a little Halloween party lunch.  They colored Halloween pictures and played with toys in the back corner, where Seifu (the owner of the restaurant) puts a carpet out for the kids to play when the group comes.  He is an awesome guy, who loves all of our kiddos from Ethiopia.  If you've not eaten there, you should definitely go!  It's delicious!

Markos loves when we go there and he can chow down some Ethiopian food.  I mean, really, what cowboy DOESN'T love injera and shiro wat?!  ;-)  (Actually, we did have to take his costume top off of him when he ate because the cowboy fringe on the sleeves proved to be not very conducive to eating ET food!)  And just to gross everyone out, the kids got some candy when they were finished eating, and, at one point, Markos was eating Razzles (the candy that turns into gum), while dipping his finger in his leftover Shiro Wat and licking it off.  Yum!  Nothing goes with Razzles quite like Shiro Wat! 

Tomorrow, we have nothing planned except going to church, so all pre-Halloween festivities are now complete -- aside from eating the ginormous bowl of candy and huge bowl of salty chips and such that now sit on the counter to make room for the additional ridiculous amounts of candy and chips that the kids will receive on Monday night.

Anyone know of any organizations that are doing that "send your candy to the troops" thing this year?!

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