Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giddy about the 'ween

I think we have Halloweened for 4 days straight. Today, it was almost weird not to do something orange-and black themed. When Halloween is on a Monday, I guess it seems like you get a really long time to drag out all of the pumpkin and candy filled festivities. Which is perfectly grand IMO.
We had pumpkin themed fun from Friday to Sunday, anticipating what turned out to be a super fun time on the actual big day- October 31st.

Y'all know me- I always love an excuse to dress up. Me and/or my children.  
As you'll see below, Isaac even dressed up this year, which made Annette's week. She has been in the best mood, even giddy, the last several days knowing her Daddy was going to be her Beast. Last night when he put on his mask, boot covers, cape and vest, and all, she was in awe. On the way to the party, she said "Will you push the button, Beast?". She called him that all night. SO funny:)

On Friday, we started out the festivities with a Halloween playdate. It was so nice to create an environment where the kids could run around and be silly and play and where it was easier to not get into trouble than to get into trouble. Freedom to play and be creative and be silly!?!?! That's what I liked most about the past few days. We made believe and dressed up and ate candy and played games and surprise, surprise.... my kids loved it.

The top version was my first attempt at making Charlie's Cogsworth costume. I had hot glued some of the pieces on, (Mrs. Procrastination) and he strongly ripped them off before we even made it to our destination. The unhemmed ding-dong thing started to shred into a million pieces at our party. So, during naps, I made a new costume for him. This time hemming all the pieces and triple sewing everything into place. Even my strong Charlie couldn't pull the pieces off the second version. I ran out of time to reattach the gold cord that I had used the first time : )

 If you care to know how I made the costume, I just bought about 2 continuous yards of brown felt. I folded the yardage in half, sewed up the two sides, cut out arm holes and cut out a neck hole. With felt, there is no need to hem! Then, I used gold material to create the ding dong thing (just googled it and now I remember, it's called a pendulum). And I used an old folded pillow case with lace trimming to make his collar thingy. The shoulder doo-dads are made of spray painted felt rolled and hot glued into the cinnamon roll type shape. Nice and clear directions, right? Ha. I wanted to put the rest of the numbers on his face (using eye liner) but he was not going to have it. I barely had him pinned tight long enough to get the 9 and the 3 on there.

A couple of months ago, Annette told me she wanted to be Belle. To work with her choice and to hopefully avoid a future battle, the Smith family became her Beauty and the Beast sidekicks. Thankfully, she didn't change her mind and getting into costumes was a fun experience. I wanted to make her costume myself, but when I saw this one on sale at a consignment place, I told myself to save myself some money and time and just buy it pre-made. Because of the time and stress I saved, I'm about 80% glad I didn't make my own (better, less cookie cutter) version. And 20% sad I didn't because it would have been a beauty I'm sure:)

She loves crafts as much as I do. The kids glued the triangles and little squares onto the pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns. Reminded me of my old classroom days.

Cake walk.... uh, I mean Prize Walk:)

See what I mean by giddy???

Friday night we went with Isaac's parents to Pleasant Valley CC for a Halloween party.

The tennis station was Charlie's favorite and Annette's second favorite... a close second to doing the cake-walk with Nonnie.

Cousin Cruz looked so cute in his dino costume.

On Monday, Annette woke up ready to put on her Belle costume. I told her we had to wait until Dad got home from work and then it would be time to get dressed up and go. We went to Hancocks to get some fabric for my thrown together Mrs. Potts costume. The lady checkin us out asked Annette what she was going to be for the night. Annette told her, "I'm Belle and my Dad is going to be a biiiig beast when he gets home from work. And then we are going to a party and trick or treating...." and she went on and on. Kinda like her momma does when she gets asked a question ;) Long winded answers must run in the family.

By day four, I started letting her pick her own accessories.

My Beast and my Cogsworth.

For Isaac's beast costume, I found this blue cape at Savers. I thought about whipping up my own, but was pumped when I found a pre-made one for less than 5 bucks. Isaac's faux boots are from Savers as well. What a find! I could have made them with felt and velcro I'm sure. I made his mask by hot-gluing  leftover felt from Charlie's Cogsworth costume onto a dollar store eye mask thing. He also has on a gold vest that I sewed up myself using a real vest as my pattern, but you can't really see it here in this picture. 

And my make-shift Mrs. Potts costume. For my costume, I found an old white skirt. Used fabric paint to paint an oval pattern on the bottom part. I put one of annette's tutu's under it so it would stick out like Mrs. Pott's belly!! Ha! Then, I made a collar type deal using some stiff white outdoor type material I found in clearance section at Hancock's. I used a lamp shade to trace a circle onto the white fabric. Cut the circle out. Then cut it into a scalloped circle using a big continuous wavy line. Then fabric painted it with the same oval pattern I used on the skirt. I used the same white stiff fabric to make a little hat. I traced a bowl onto the fabric to make a smallish circle. Then, I sewed a very loose spread-out stitch around the edge of circle, making sure to leave a lip for my cap. Then, you pull the thread kind of tight like and it creates a wavy effect that mimics Mrs. Potts' cap. (Learned this technique when making ruffle pants:) Then, I painted some designs on it, and hot glued the cap thing to a plastic headband. OH, and I glued a big purple Pom Pom thingie to the top. Pretty bootleg, right?!?

Jumpy house and hayride

This was one of the crafty/school type things I did with Annette this month. I shared this idea with my Bible study moms. It's a great way to get pre-readers to learn some concepts about print such as reading from left to right, one-to-one word correspondence (touching each word as you read it), and using picture clues to help you read. Making books always leads to lots of teachable moments.

Each page has the same text pattern.

On the last page, I let Annette try to write "I see pencils."

We are still mostly in the random letter stage of writing, but I was excited she knew to write the I and tried to write a C for the word SEE. 

And since I want to document this cute picture, I have to post this here. She made this bunny all by herself without me even in the same room with her. She drew it, hollered for me to come look, and said, "It's a bunny!". I was shocked.

Mattie told me later, that she had been drawing bunnies with Annette the other day, so that explains it a little bit. But man! Her drawing skills are out of this world, in my overly-biased-mom opinion.
 I get excited thinking I may have a real artist on my hands! I would love that so so so much:)

My 2 1/2 year old's first drawing of a bunny.

I've always loved kids. It's why I spent my summers and my free time babysitting. It's why I became a teacher. And it's why I always dreamed of being a mom. And this past week I was reminded of how much I LOOOOVE my current mom job. Being (extra) kid-like for the past several days was way fun for me and my kids.
Now, I've got to start pinning some ideas for next year's 'ween costumes. It will be here before we know it!

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