The weeks leading up to Halloween are hectic for a lot of families. There are parties to plan, decorations to display, trick or treat routes to map, candy to buy and, of course, there's the scramble to find the perfect costume. In our house, the time before Halloween arrives is equally hectic for another (and even more exciting) reason. Meghan, my marvelous and mischievous little Scorpio of a daughter, was born on October 29, 2003. We brought her home from the hospital on Halloween night— without the pea pod costume my wife suggested we dress her in— and it has been one of Meghan's favorite holidays ever since. So on top of all of the traditional annual Halloween festivities, there is usually a birthday party that needs planning, too.

My entire family is comprised of party people who love to matter what the occasion. And birthdays are no exception. Just my luck, Meghan takes after her dad's side of the family when it comes to parties. She doesn't just want to do it; she wants to do it BIG!