Thursday, 3 November 2011

Angry Birds, Octopuses and the Snowstorm that wasn't


Well, Halloween is over for another year (although not the decorations. Most people's decorations are still up, and will be until Thanksgiving, when they'll be replaced by Christmas ones. One friend commented to me the other day, noting that her neighbours had taken theirs down straight after Halloween, 'that pumpkin's going to sit there 'till it rots, or a squirrel eats it').

Amazingly, we escaped the freak October snowstorm that ravaged much of the Northeast last weekend - a good thing too, as The Doctor was away in Texas, and I would have been badly prepared. Our part of Long Island saw only a day of torrential, sleety rain, while areas only 20 miles away saw several inches of snow and high winds that knocked out power lines. Thank God for that, because I am not sure I can cope with any more extreme weather events so soon after Irene. So Trick or Treating went ahead as planned (in some areas, it was actually cancelled because of the danger of downed power lines and pitch darkness. That would have gone down very badly; for some Americans, it is practically bigger than Christmas).

Littleboy 1 went as an Angry Bird this year - a homemade effort, as I was loath to spend $50 on the 'official' costume, but it's amazing what black feathers, black eye makeup and some wings cut out of foam can achieve. Meanwhile Littleboy 2 insisted on wearing his Octopus costume from preschool graduation; this was both easy and also ensured that I received frequent, undeserved praise for what was actually the preschool teachers' handiwork. Yes, the Nappy Valley household takes Halloween a lot more seriously now. This time I even managed to inveigle The Doctor into coming to the school parade (readers from last year will be pleased to hear that everyone respected the integrity of the cordon.)

Now we are into November, and I was slightly horrified to see that the boys have no less than six days off during the month. Only two of them are consecutive - Thanksgiving and the following day - the rest are for Election Day, two parent-teacher conference days (why can't they just schedule the meetings in the evenings?) and Veterans Day on the 11th (which is one of those public holidays when most people still work). I can't keep taking days off work, so I have been hurriedly booking them into sports camps for the day, and arranging impromptu playdates.

What with turkey day looming, then Littleboy 2's birthday (this year to be spent in California) and then Christmas, life seems pretty full-on at the moment.....

12 comments:

MsCaroline said...

Well done on the bird costume! I've seen a few of them here, but they were all pre-made. Yours is far more creative! Glad you were able to go out on Halloween; I know it was canceled or rescheduled in more than a few places...

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

Wow! Full on is right! Are you going to be bored when you return to the UK or just relieved?! ;)

I always love reading your observations of the States--so many things I have forgotten and so many things have changed--we always took down Halloween decos but replaced them with 'autumnal' decos. You know, leaves and things on the table.

Clever bird costume by the way!

Expat mum said...

I love how schools cancel classes for parents' conference days, then forget that you will have a child or two at home and perhaps won't be able to make the actual conference. Our school now has an after school program that they run on conference days, although it's not free!

Conuly said...

two parent-teacher conference days (why can't they just schedule the meetings in the evenings?

Because then there wouldn't be enough time to see everybody. It's in the day for the stay-at-home parents and those who work nights, and in the evening later on for those who work days.

If you have to bring kids along, you can do that. Nobody minds.

PantsWithNames said...

Loving the Angry Bird costume. I may suggest that for next year for my LB1 and come to you for some tips.

glad you didn't get hit by the snow storm, you have indeed had more than enough severe weather events to last a long time.

nappy valley girl said...

Ms Caroline - thanks for your comments re the costume! I have never been creative with a costume before, so it's very pleasing....

Michelloui - I'll certainly find it odd without all these festivities...

Expat Mum - I ended up paying a babysitter for an hour. And then paying a camp to take the boys for the rest of the day....

Conuly - I know you CAN bring them, but I don't trust my two to sit quietly outside the door while we discuss their progress. Plus, I'm sure in England there is never a day off for such things, so that is why I get so riled by it. (It's really disruptive for the kids, too.)

PantswithNames - I'm happy to provide tips - it really wasn't that complicated. (We did use the official t-shirt, but the rest comes from any old craft shop.)

conuly said...

Oh, they don't sit outside the door!

You bring them in with the teacher and they show off their work and then you give them a coloring book to do INSIDE the classroom. That's what we always did growing up.

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Love the costume! I just noticed the Halloween decor is still up at my folks' house today over skype. Growing up I remember we used to replace it with candles of turkeys, Indians and pilgrims.

This year LLC was a pumpkin and by next year she should be old enough to trick-or-treat with me. I'll look forward to eating her candy (did I say that?)

nappy valley girl said...

Conuly - well in our school, they don't seem to go in. I saw some sitting outside doors playing with iPads (!) but most parents attended alone.

Tanya - you'll have to come out here for Trick and Treat - London is just not the same....

Iota said...

I know what you mean about full-on. I never feel I can keep up with this time of year. The 'holidays' just keep on coming - and then we're quickly into Valentine's and St Patrick's... Just a big roll of holidays.

We have two family birthdays over Thanksgiving, mine and 10-yo's, which makes it all the more festive (and all the more to plan).

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Love the angry bird costume. Very creative. I didn't realise in the US people kept their Halloween decorations up so long. Enjoy all your holidays. Sure the boys will love their sports camps and hope you manage to get some work done. I'm struggling at the moment...x

nappy valley girl said...

Iota - I know, you just go from holiday to holiday in the US and it never really lets up...

CTTF - Tyes, and the Christmas decorations stay up until about February too!