Wednesday, November 14, 2012

If it looks like a duck . . .

Considering Halloween isn't widely celebrated around here, it seemed to last all month! We were lucky enough to get Liam a costume ordered and he was his very favorite animal -- a duck! "Duck" was his first real animal word and definitely the first animal sound he made. He loves to tell you that the "duck duck" says "quack quack." I figured he would love to wear the costume, plus I don't know how many more years I'll have a say in dressing him the way I want!

The first event we attended was the Harvest Festival, a fun Halloween party put on by the North American Women's Club of Eindhoven. It was a great turnout and we had fun looking at the animals at the farm next door. Lots of good friends, fun activities, and even a costume parade and contest! Here's a picture of Liam at last year's Harvest Festival (at 2 months old) and another one taken in the exact same spot at this year's Harvest Festival (14 months old).

 On the way to the Harvest Festival we passed a farm that had zebras . . . not even kidding!
And then next door to the festival was a farm with all KINDS of animals -- Liam was drawn to it like a moth to a flame . . .

Liam participating in the Halloween costume walk

Liam getting his award and medal :)

The following week we had our normal Baby Toddler Play group, but made it festive with all things Halloween-y! Kelly was lovely enough to host us all and the kids had a fabulous time decorating bags to trick-or-treat with, blowing bubbles, eating Halloween-themed goodies, and even hitting a hand-made ghost piƱata! All the kids had a blast -- and so did the moms! My favorite part was when the kids went around to "trick-or-treat" and collect candy from different moms in the room . . . as each mom placed something in Liam's bag, he signed "thank you" -- manners can sure melt this mom's heart! :)

That weekend our friends were celebrating their daughter Abby's 2nd birthday with a Halloween birthday party! Yet one more excuse to put on his costume! After eating yummy Mexican for dinner and letting all the kids run around the house, it was finally time to do some real trick-or-treating! We headed out with about 15 kids in tow, from pirate to monkey to duck to cupcake to princess -- everyone was there!

Liam is ready to go!
The duck and the monkey together again!
Happy Birthday Abby!
Best Buds!
The neighborhood our friends live in have houses that sign up for trick-or-treating each year --it's definitely not like in America where you assume almost every house is giving out treats! People sign up ahead of time to give out candy, and others pay to go trick-or-treating. When you sign up to trick-or-treat you are given a map of the houses in the neighborhood that will be handing out candy. Although it wasn't hard to tell because the Dutch went ALL OUT with spooky decorations. Someone said they go so far to the scary extreme because they think that's what American Halloween is all about -- but to be honest, there were a few houses that I didn't even take Liam to because they were too scary.

Liam going to his first house

Liam signing "Thank You" to the lady giving him candy
Something else that was kind of crazy was that most of the candy that Liam ended up with was all unwrapped  . . . there were literally loose marshmallows and pieces of licorice in his bag at the end of the night. I think two things came individually wrapped, which is polar opposite of how it is in the States. Not that Liam is at the age to eat these things anyway, but as his parents we were kinda looking forward to a Snickers or Reese's! No such luck . . . maybe next year.

riding on Dad's shoulders at the end of the night
Lovin' life!
The following day we headed to Monschau, Germany, where lots of friends were spending Halloween weekend. I think we missed most of the actual Halloween festivities, but it was still fun to meet up with friends and walk around a picturesque German town on a cold fall day. Driving into the mountains made me feel like we were driving up to Helen, Georgia into the Blue Ridge Mountains! I had forgotten how much I love seeing the rolling hills after living in the flatlands of the Netherlands! We enjoyed a hot bratwurst, popping into shops, and even found a playground for Liam to get some energy out. It was a really nice family day and I'm so glad we are taking advantage of all these awesome towns that are only a short distance away. :)

On the actual Halloween night, Keith and I went to a Halloween party hosted by our friend Sam while Liam stayed at home with our sitter. I went dressed as a pirate and Keith went as . . . an expat? an IT guy? Let's just say he looked eerily like my husband on a Wednesday. Sam always goes all out for her favorite holiday and I loved every last detail. We had fun chatting with old friends and new to round out our Halloween month. Can't wait for next year!


No comments:

Post a Comment