I want to wrap up all the Halloween culminating with yesterday, but, I can’t not acknowledge that we are continuing our version of dio del los muertos. Since our day of the dead is pretty low key this year I can start there. Years ago I started a family tradition of remembering our family and friends especially on this day. I have an album we look through, we talk about everyone. I try to keep the conversation to the things each person did in their life but we always end up with cautionary messages around how each person died, probably not the worst thing to discuss. I get a bouquet of flowers and plan a nice treat and that is what we do. This year we added zero people to the book and I am very glad. There are one or two people on the roof, but, they are really doing well all things considered. It is a reminder though that we need to love people in the moment because you don’t quite know when it may be over. Two people in my book were alive one day and gone the next with zero warning. Can’t be scared, can take care of yourself, can be mindful of friends and family.
Yesterday, as Zoe said, was the last day of Halloween. It was a fun Halloween season but I’m glad that I can put it away. After a while, the decorations turn into clutter and I’m done with them. I volunteered to help at school and I basically spent alllllll day there and it was fun but exhausting. I started in Zoe’s class working at one of the stations in the Halloween party. Ironically the other parent I was paired with was a dad, and, his daughters name is Zoey – no end of silly questions from that – but he was a great partner and we ran that marshmallow slingshot event like champs. After 60 kids routed through they all went to a little movie while I and two other moms helped them make Frankenstein hand prints and after it was obvious help was needed with the hands washing part I moved over to that job. Little kids have an amazing range of hands! You get used to your kids but looking at about 50 different hands yesterday there was just a real diversity of size and shape.
Anyway, then I went to lunch with the kids but they don’t eat together so I had 2.5 lunch periods. Fiona actually bridges the two lunch times so I didn’t have a full 3 lunches in the cafeteria. After lunch, I helped a dozen kids get their costumes in order and when Zoe’s class went to the library I thought I might check in on Niamh’s class. They said they didn’t need help earlier but when I got there I was sucked right in because they absolutely needed me to run the candy decorating buffet. Things ran really smoothly but again, its fun to see how different kids that are all basically the same demographic can be.
The 3rd grade party complete I had just enough time to stake out a spot with Fiona to watch the Halloween parade and then I collected my children and came home to collapse. And that is all BEFORE trick or treating! I took a little break and let them zone out to TV while I thanked my lucky stars I didn’t become an elementary teacher.
Back into costumes and the special Halloween makeup and I sent the kids out with Lars while I got myself ready and ate a bit of dinner (so I would not eat all the candy). Lars was semi dissapointed I didn’t have time to make him a costume so I pulled this together in about 5 minutes and it made him so happy. Half to have a costume and half because I didn’t forget about him!
We seriously had more candy than we eat in 6 months from just our block but we went out to the big party anyway. It was very festive and fun and well lit and warm, just like every year I’m glad we go. The candy is bountiful and on our way out they topped up every trick or treater with a giant scoop to fill their container. We have soooooo much candy! Back at our house, we had about 10 kids come and take from our plate and I’m happy to say that toys beat candy in the selection. We got bendy skelatons and choclate eyeballs and there is only one bendy left~ The kids fell into candy comas and I followed them not too long after.
Halloween is not quite over since I didn’t get good pictures of the costumes all together. The weather yesterday was foggy and dim and I needed that down time between school and going out to NOT be direction a photoshoot so this weekend we will get offical pictures and be finished 🙂
Oh, this weekend we had an excellent time out at a costume party where we left the kids at a friends house so I slept until 8am, undisturbed, for the first time in 8 years. We also brought this ‘winekin’ (a pumpkin that has a bag of wine inside) and it went over quite well.
And that gets us basically up to date.
For the next month I’m going to try and post daily for the November challange. It will be harder this year since I’m not in the daily posting grove anymore but I’ll give it a try. There was someone onver the weekend that was very bored and read nealry 500 of my posts so if that person is here agian, I’ll be writing more, don’t worry – the story is not over!
Some of this has been on Instagram or facebook but I’m going to collect it all here for those of you who only read “da-blog”. I miss my Thankful Thursday exercise because that was where I collected all the cool things that had been going on that didn’t totally merit a post but Thursdays have gotten crazy, however, there are no rules against Thankful Friday~ I could go with the Friday Followup to get the double letter thing… Anyway, in listy form, here it all is.
Costumes are complete! We have not worn them in their 100% glory yet because I don’t trust the blue leggings on the Poliwag until ‘real’ Halloween. Although the leggings I got for Niamh from Oriental Trading as part of my Halloween partnership have held up really well. We went to a local Trunk or Treat that had outside stuff and an indoor little craft and carnival theme.
I decided on doing a simple hood for the Dedene and Zoe wanted it to cover her eyes so I made cartoon eyes around the hole and it worked out really well. The Flarion tail is still a nemesis… I am getting pretty anti tail and wing. Love ears though, if it can go on a hat or headband I’m game.
Last week I talked about the distinct lack of kid-sized halloween shirts. I got 2 black and 2 white shirts, a roll of white lace and a remnant of black lace (all from Walmart so you can do this too). I made a template of the ghost from paper and then just laid the lace over it to cut them in rows. Started from the bottom row on the shirt and went up. I used the stretch stitch and only sewed along the top edge of each row except for the top row I sewed down the sides. For the witch hat I used a stretch stitch around the whole edge and then sewed on the ribbon. On Niamh’s I actually cut in an arch to make it look 3D but I’m not sure you can tell. The real win is that both girls loved them.
I actually posted a different picture of the ghost shirt first that has a Fiona in a grump photobomb and a friend commented “What I see is that is stinks to be youngest”. Fiona has about 15 different shirts but don’t worry, I took a picture of todays outfit too…
This is an “I dress myself” because that is a halloween shirt over a summer dress and you can’t see the watermelon seed leggings because they are covered by octopus leg warmers. Oh, and don’t miss the spider in her hair, thats why she is making that face, she is trying to show the spider.
Speaking of spiders in hair, here is a good and super easy hair accessory.
I did a normal pony tail and then put the spider on top and used a single clear tiny hair binder and it will stay on no problem. Zoe had one too but she was out the door already.
I’m low on spooky food this year. I’ve done popcorn ghosts and mummy dogs but mornings are too busy for crazy food every day. I might do more for real halloween…
And that is the week of halloween! We are carving pumpkins with vacation Mom this weekend and a few other little crafts.
Time for me to go collect the kids so sorry about the minimilally editited post!
This past weekend we had an important local event that drew friends from all over. The best part about a local event is that we get the opportunity to have houseguests and this time we went one step further and did a dinner party at a local restaurant post event where the kids were all left at my house. All 17 kids….
It started smaller, at first the teen daughter of the family staying with us volunteered to babysit her siblings and my three so we could go out. That grew to include another family with 4 kids and then another and you see where this is going. Fortunately, all the additional kids were 8 or older so not too much of a babysitting issue, and, of the 16 three were ‘responsible teens’ for the supervision side of the equation. They also all know eachother so that helped too.
What also helped was 8 pizzas and 10 packs of ramen. And Netflix and by a turn of fortune, a cool little craft.
The craft is courtesy of Oriental Trading who contacted me two weeks ago to offer me store credit in return for a post (and here is that post!). My love of oriental trading is well documented, just look at my puppy party, but don’t worry – my views are my own and that is what you get here!
When I got my store credit, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Literally… I actually got candy because who can resist eyeball candy? I also got bendy skeletons and both are safely hidden for Halloween night treats for the trick or treat kids. (I’ll let you know who wins this year; candy or toy). I also got what I thought was a single foam Halloween house but in what turns out to be a trend in me not reading the fine print, it was 12 sets of Halloween houses. That was a happy accident for me because of the incoming hoard of children!
So, we left the kids, the pizza, and the house kits and took our 25 person party off to Stella’s on 97. When we got back 3 hours later there was no pizza, no ramen and unfortunately no houses… on the positive all the kids supposed to be asleep were.
This apparent tornado zone was initially blamed on kids just being tired after a long day but then we reviewed the directions and saw that you need glue to make it work. I thought these were sticky pieces like other kits I’ve gotten, but, they do actually say it needs glue (sold separately) however in my excitement I just didn’t read that bit. To their credit, the kids did find glue and had made some progress but the littlest kids (under 5) lost interest.
I’m glad I am able to end this with a positive, the next morning Niamh went directly to the pile of parts and she and her glue and her relative peace of only 6 other kids in the house produced this picture perfect specimen. Zoe finished hers later in the day.
Moral of the story is I was right that my kids would like this craft, it definitely needs some concentration and mastery of glue. It would have been much easier if they were peel n stick but they did manage in the end.
The other goodies I got from Oriental Trading will pop up in posts over the next month including some leggings I got for their costumes from the costume center but I wanted to get this one up in case YOU want to order before Halloween. Put aside about 3 hours to jump down the rabbit hole of great ideas and fun projects, and, read the fine print…
ps. I was very tempted to get this because Zoe has been begging for a dog but I decided it was a tad too morbid for a 6 year old.
pps. Our house party grew and we crushed our sleepover record. We had our 5, another family of 5, 2 more teens, another couple and we had to actually look and make sure anther guy was not crashed under a table because nobody was sure if he left or not.
Yesterday we exploded the Halloween boxes. I don’t know how many other families had to step over a pile of skulls to get to the breakfast things but I know I did.
Now that the boxes are breached I can get to the art of decorating, but, the real meat of Halloween is the costumes.
Niamh has been pushing to be Tiana from the frog prince and I just didn’t want to get into a. the culture and skin issues because that is just too hot a thing right now
b. that dress is no easy costume, it is a giant awesome dress but not a ton of work
c. the movie is about 10 years old
d. I kinda like them to have a theme if possible and that can’t work with Tiana unless I wanted to make 3 giant crazy princess dresses (and I don’t)
In reflecting on what is fun for us this year Pokemon Go has been the new ‘it’ thing. It’s a fun little game you don’t have to spend much time on but it does give a good reason for a walk. I already played ingress so I know the local spots but I am constantly amused by the little beasties. I can imagine the design team for this just being given a ton of candy and no sleep and told to ‘be creative’. So, I told Niamh she could be Tiana but I was going to be a Pikachu. Fiona, who is still in my mind control for some things, wanted to be a Polliwog and Zoe instantly and passionately wanted to be a Dedenne (we don’t even have one of those? No idea how she knows about it.) That sold it, Niamh now wanted to be a poki too and she chose a Flarion.
Now to the fun part – costume design and creation. Given that none of these are human that does make decision 1 an important first step;
- make a costume that looks as much like the animal as possible including mask and extra legs like the Lion King or
- take the important elements of the character and make an outfit of it.
I like option 2 because I usually end up with elements we can keep using in the year. The dress from rainbow dash has actually stayed in our winter wardrobe for 2 more kids.
Here are my sketches for the costumes. I’m thinking tunic style dresses with leggings and each head piece will be a bit different. They all also have tails… I’ll be working on ways for making that happen without putting a hole in the dress. For the two with more poof to their charactes I’ll be adding toule skirts, they are so easy to make and are good additions to the dress up bin after. I ordered leggings and I hope the colors are right because dyeing fabric is not really my favorite thing to do. We got lucky and found all the right colors and fabrics for the costumes already and once our weekend house guests depart this weekend out comes the sewing machine.
Speaking of house guests…. I have a guest room to reclaim so that is next on the agenda!
It’s hard to pull up 3 things because my face hurts. Some mean bug/virus/voodoo bit my face – in my eyebrow to be exact – and now I look like I went a few rounds or got an ill advices piercing from a shady shop. Due to the instant nature of invasion of my face, my body is pitching in to fight by creating extremely painful swollen glands directly on my jaw hinge right below my ear making my jaw, ear, and neck hurt. This adds to the boxing allure of my features and also gives me a wicked headache ~ Advil and decongestant seem to help. Googling my symptoms does not since according to google I have a sudden face tumor, however, the real evidence of swelling reducing powers of Advil and a compress indicate it is probably not a tumor. Rule 1. never google a symptom….
Anyway! For real it has been just fine of a week.
- Halloween was last week and has been celebrated to the fullest. (and already documented)
- We found a babysitter! In a round about way Fiona pitching an epic and stereotypical tired 3-year-old fit led to the fortunate find of a real teenager with a car who will gladly watch our kids. We were thinking of bringing the kids to a party – they were welcome but it was late – and at a closer party the night before we tested the theory. Distinct failure. Leading to the conclusion that we either had to find a sitter or not go because we value our friendships enough to not bring a loaded preschooler into a party. A frantic text and facebook search turned up a daughter of a friend of a friend who I’ve even met at mutual friends parties and she extended the offer to babysit (over a year ago) and the stars aligned and she was available and it all worked well. We will have to call her again and I’m so glad when good things eventually come of bad tantrums.
- This totally self-centered app! It’s called InstaBeauty and I took a picture of my face last night – all full of issues, lack of sleep, end of the day, no makeup and it fixed me 110%. I feel vaguely dishonest even using the app but it does make pretty pictures. Mostly it fixes skin but it also adds makeup and can make your nose smaller and your eyes bigger and your face slimmer… crazy. Worth playing with and certainly made me smile last night.
In keeping with tradition I have again signed up for NaBloPoMo – national Blog posting month. Where we say we will post daily for the month. I like it in general because it is a bit of a challenge, and, I end up finding some great blogs to start following. My luck with those blogs continuing to write after November is around 50/50 but if you don’t try you never win right?
Today is an easy one to fill since yesterday was the culmination of the Halloween season and today is my personal Day of the Dead.
It is hard but necessary I think to go look at my book every year with the kids. I want them to know their history. It isn’t bad for them to hear that my aunts heart gave out when she was far too young because it had to work far too hard. It might be difficult to tell them about the various ends of various people but it’s also the opportunity to let them know the fun, great, cool things they did too. I’m also pleased to say that our book has zero new entries this year.
Halloween events dominated last week, by Real Halloween we were almost tired of dressing up but the kids were still extremely excited. We carved pumpkins finally – getting all of us together is hard!- and then we did my costume photo shoot. This year 2 of 3 of the costumes lent themselves to outdoor backgrounds nicely so we didn’t go anywhere special. Our #3 decided to streak the photoshoot in only half her costume – goes to show it was a warm Halloween.
We did the door knocking thing. It was dismal as usual, our loop is devoid of Halloween lovers and only 3 people answered their door. I semi envy the awesome neighborhoods with their bonfires and 100% participation, but, this also gives us the opportunity to run off to a party or 2 on Halloween and have no guilt (or fear) at leaving our house empty. First stop was the Maranatha indoor fiesta, we came home with pounds of candy and they had a fantastic time. I saw a bunch of friends, ate a surprisingly decent steak sandwich there while watching the kids go on the inflatables endlessly, and got tons of little girls attention for being Belle (and one boy too, he wanted a fist bump and said I was his favourite princesses and looked about 12, whatever, that’s cool too)
next stop was home to deposit the children in the care of a last minute babysitter. That is a story for another day! Post peacefully tucked in kids – We were joined by Lars’s BFF and his wife for Halloween party but first we had to stop at the store to get some far too perfect pictures of Jay and Silent Bob. Yes, I married a stereotype, he and his friend ARE Jay and Silent Bob (minus the more seedy things obviously).
The party was fun as always and I clarified a few book ideas with a real author friend. We got home late but not too late and except for the time change nonsense today has gone nicely with not too much of a ‘hangover’ from the excitement of the past week. Right now kids are playing, I successfully outlined a novel, and next is Costco – just your basic Sunday 🙂