#2 At said party, buy earplugs for everyone within a mile radius NOT attending the party so that you maintain neighborly goodwill and familial affection.
#3 If your 9 year old gets the Swine Flu on All Hallows Eve, try to convince him during the peak of his 104 degree fever hallucinations that all of the doorbell rings are actually the sounds of happy little birds floating around his head NOT his friends and neighbors enjoying trick-or-treating without him.
#4 Quit using slang in front of your children. When The Man Child dropped his pizza he cried out to the delight of all the teenagers present, "OH FRICK!". You know what that actually sounded like. Needless to say, they didn't mind him hanging out with them too much after that.
#5 If you want your children to become famous philanthropists, you should probably teach them to say what they are really thinking only in the presence people who will love them no matter what they say/think, or at least when the window is NOT open. For example, while driving through downtown Salt Lake The Man Child yelled to the homeless man walking down the sidewalk "That Man Stinks!" My reply of "holy crap, close the freaking window if you are going to judge people" was probably not my best parenting moment.
#6 If you want to compete with the full on multiple fatality Halloween crime scene staged in the cul-de-sac down the road you'd better put on a better show than just running the Thriller video on a tarp via projector in your front yard and turning the flog machine on full blast.
#7 If you plan on using a fog machine, warn your neighbors so that they don't call the fire department thinking your house is engulfed in flames (this lesson was actually learned last year but it doesn't hurt to reiterate).
#8 Swine flu can actually be a blessing if you haven't finished your sons' costumes.
#9 Make sure your sons don't choose to be characters that were popular 2 decades ago and the only way you can buy an "authentic" costume is to shell over $75 bucks or more to some collector on Ebay who has probably role played in them a little too often for me to ever be comfortable having the fabric ever touch my kids' skin.
#10 Watcher in the Woods was scary when I was 13, but toady's teenagers are just too jaded or emotionally numb to get a single goose bump raised by it. They also don't appreciate the brilliance of Willow, and clearly their hormones are out of whack because they cannot understand why we oldies thought Val Kilmer was hot. Ice Man children, Ice Man!
So that's Halloween 2009 for La Casa de Loma. The holiday left me with a basement to re-clean (ground m&m's and smarties to pry out of the carpet and teenager smell detoxification), candy and cookies to pawn off on unsuspecting neighbors and students so that The Food Nazi (aka The King) can stop freaking out about all the calories and fat, and the pieces of 2 almost Ghostbuster costumes to figure out what to do with. Anyone need a proton pack? Anyone, anyone? No?
Oh, and for a good laugh........
That was then (2008).....
This is now
Being the Food Nazi really has paid off! What a hottie!