I'm not sure October happened. It went by so fast. And yet there is evidence of it on my cell phone, particularly in the form of pictures of Halloween costumes.
Addie decided months ago that she wanted a "scary" costume this year, rather than cute or princess-y, so she wanted to be a vampire. She did drawings of how she wanted her costume to look and left them on my desk. In particular, she wanted a full-length dress in black with a red skirt overlay.
But it's difficult to make costumes for her because of her intolerance of anything itchy. If the fabric isn't just right, or a seam pokes her in one tiny place, all bets are off, and she most likely won't wear what you just spent six hours sewing on. Plus, the ideas in her mind are almost never realizable. This is because she reads and watches t.v. so much and imagines that I have a small flock of woodland animals who will help me to make these things out of angel wings and gossamer thread.
So I modified her design by purchasing an oversize black t-shirt and leggings from Target (which she could also wear later just as a regular skirt). Not gossamer, but practical and wearable. They were soft jersey, which passed the itch test. Then we sewed a long skirt out of remnants from my stash, and she wore Eric's vampire cape from last year. We added some spooky makeup, and that was that.
She added the white shoes. So like her father.
We aren't winning any Martha Stewart awards, but my motto this semester is "good enough." This brings me great joy and contentment and has greatly reduced the conflict in our house.
Also, it respects the notion that my children are actually people in their own right, with their own likes and dislikes. As if they would let me forget.
And Nolie? Background: after a few very unpleasant trips to the store with Nolie begging me to "Buy me something! Buy me anything!" we've been working with the girls on money awareness. The difficulty of teaching this particular concept when I have not mastered it myself is palpable, but we've adopted the policy of giving the girls their allowance on Sundays, 50% of which they can put in the wallets for spending however they like, 40% going into savings, and 10% set aside to accumulate to make a larger family donation to a charity or cause at a later date (we are slowly working toward these goals our selves). Then, if one of them accompanies us to the store, they bring their wallet and can spend their money however they like.
The first few trips to the store with Nolie were fascinating as she learned how much things cost, and how to correlate that to the money in her wallet. They were also a relief, as we weren't responsible for telling her no anymore--the amount in her wallet could tell her no. She saved her money for almost a month and only spent it last week on a stuffed animal that was on her Christmas list.
The only other thing Nolie purchased was a pair of kitty ears from the $1 bin at Target (yes, clearly we find ourselves at Target a fair amount). This gave her the idea of being a kitty for Halloween.
In keeping with the comfy, hybrid-homemade-storebought costume theme, this seemed like a good idea. Knowing that Nolie cares about comfort (though not as much as Addie) but equally cares about cuteness, I bought the little flouncy skirt at--you guessed it--Target. Similar benefit: can be worn at a later date. She already had the black tights and a black hand-me-down t-shirt with an American Girl logo on it. I still have some odds-and-ends from Ruby's fur collection, so I pinned one to her shirt, ruff-style, and made a long tail that I sewed to the skirt.
Add kitty whiskers and a nose with some eyeliner, and voila. Kitty cat. She was very happy with it.
The girls costumes were all ready, a week or two before Halloween itself, which made me feel like SuperMom. I love feeling like SuperMom. Control! Power! Success!
But then, tragedy struck. The morning of the Halloween parade at school, Nolie's $1 kitty ears from Target went missing.
This really, really annoyed SuperMom. Because she was feeling very good about herself to have had the costumes all ready to go, and had even mandated that the costumes be kept in her home office so the individual pieces didn't get lost before Halloween in order to avoid this very situation. SuperMom may even have yelled and made her daughter cry a little on that very special morning because she had no time to go the mall today, the morning of Halloween itself, and try to track down some more kitty ears. Someone has a job and has to leave early to get to the parties on time and now I would have to get kitty ears at the mall. On Halloween.
And then I realized: what the hell, SuperSelf. This is exactly this sort of situation that you are always preparing for. This is exactly why you have 1) a glue gun 2) back-up glue sticks 3) extra headbands and 4) disgusting little fur remnants that you've been keeping for God knows what reason and 5) a spool of bendable rebar wire.
Ohhhh yeah. Craftgasm.
SuperMom calmed down and fashioned some homemade kitty ears, lickety-split.
And all was well.
But, note to self: hot-gluing actual fur pieces to metal and plastic is disgusting. And smelly. And potentially unnatural and ethical. Retch.