Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sorting and Trading (in the Formal Living Room at Poppy and Grandma's Where Nobody Ever Sits EXCEPT on Halloween)

A Steampunk Adventurer, a Delirious Comic Book Character, an Alien, a Minecrafter, and a Phoenix Go Trick-or-Treating

...followed at a discrete-but-vigilant distance by a werewolf, the Statue of Liberty (in her fang-y "Doctor Who" Weeping Angel mode), a witch (every year, I know, I know), and a CDC zombie virus specialist...

Halloween 2012: Ander is Lord Evergreen Gearthorpe

Halloween 2012: Zaza is Delirium of the Endless

in Grandma's bathroom, with her pet goldfish on the 'leash' which broke in half just as we got in the car to come over
Her hair was bigger than this at the beginning of the evening -- full of insane twists and whorls and spouts -- very pink and orange.  It was kind of amazing looking -- a Raggedy Ann / candy floss hybrid.
It would have been even more vertical (the way 'Za imagined it), but Aliza was sobbing (SOBBING!) with tender-scalped pain as I back-combed and ratted her hair into this Delirious rat's nest.  We decided enough was enough, clipped in butterflies and neon-colored fake hair braids, and called it done.

Left to the Last Minute: Jack O'Lanterns 2012

Alexander's School Gets the Day Off on Halloween (Not So Aliza's, and Yet...)

making pumpkin scones (and a not insubstantial mess along the way)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest-Starring in Shanaynay's Book Report Movie Trailer

As such things should, this rolled into an epic Mexican dinner at Tere's.

Spied at Vine American Party Store Whilst Picking Up the Last Costume Bits

life-sized gorgon/mermaid/monster-lady
ginormous Mardi-Gras-looking skull
(human-sized skull to the right to show scale)
calaveras votives and card-holders
(taken as reference photo -- Dubbadad may end up in his work clothes at Poppy and Grandma's party tomorrow night, and I'm going to attempt to paint his face like this)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

Is there such a thing as Extreme Teeter-Tottering?
If not, there shouldn't be.

I always hoped he would be this kind of big kid.  And he is.
(He recruited this 4 year-old to help him
bury the labrador-sized climb-on ant)

The Kind of Homework You Don't Mind Doing Sunday Morning

a Sunday-comics-style comic utilizing eight of her spelling words
THE GAME OF GOLEM (in progress) -- by way of a book report:
a board game in which players try to stop the Golem 

on his rampage through the streets of Prague

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Thing About Quitting When You're Ahead, Is That You Almost Never Know You Are Ahead (or, Proof That Last Year's Halloween Fair Was Indeed the Apex)

As Ander and Zaza had SO MUCH FUN last year, they were SO EXCITED to attend this year's Halloween Fair at their old school.  Every Fair had been better than the previous year's.  This year's was therefore going to be AWESOME!!!

Just like last year, they would run free within the confines of the school grounds and see old friends and eat bake-sale-sweets and food-truck-food and knock teachers into dunking booths and run screaming through the haunted house and maybe ohpleaseohplease get to take a turn scaring their buddies while 'working' in the haunted house.

Still, I knew -- I knew because last year had been so great -- that their expectations were too high and that they were going to be disappointed.  

(The thing about quitting when you're ahead is that it's very, very hard to convince yourself that you have reached the pinnacle when all you have to back that up is a gut feeling.)

And when my attempts to coordinate a haunted-house-centered meet-up between Ander and the Chicken Dude were rebuffed earlier this week, my gut told me loud and clear that the impending fun-fest was going to be a big let-down.

But I didn't want my adult pessimism to kill their shiny-eyed enthusiasm.  

We headed out -- A&A in steampunky costumes of their own invention, me in a witch hat and stripy shirt -- opting to go at sunset so as to miss the heat (but in time to see the "Thriller" flash-mob and have a food truck dinner).

And guess what?  

It was a big let-down, and they were indeed disappointed.

I couldn't let the kids run around as freely as last year because it was reallyreally dark and we couldn't find each other.  Most of Aliza's friends were gone already, or -- like her favorite teacher, Ms. L. -- leaving the Fair as we were arriving.  Aliza was too scared to go into the Haunted House, and Ander wouldn't go in without me, and I spent ages trying to find somebody who could watch Aliza before I could take Alexander through (thus he only went through once).

Alexander did not get to hang out with the Chicken Dude because the Chicken Dude was in fact working (without Ander) inside the haunted house and didn't want to take a break and when I asked the guy running the haunted house if he could use an extra frightener (an experienced one, who had worked so hard and had so much fun last year) he said no, thanks.

I was so sad and frustrated for him that I -- glass-is-half-empty me -- could only focus on the overlong food truck lines and the Costco-bought bake sale items and the craft booth that pretty much ripped off the Owl Service booth of yore.

But Ander -- glass-is-half-full-look-at-the-bright-side-Super-Optimist Alexander --  has only good things to say about the evening.

So I will try to do the same.

Good stuff at the Halloween Fair:
  • terrific bands -- including a favorite 5th grade teacher's hard rock band, and a local teen band who performed brilliant covers of Cranberries songs
  • Aliza getting to see her favorite teacher's aide
  • squeezing Miss Kitty
  • seeing -- and hugging -- some of the wonderful parents I have known for years who I have not had much communication with since switching Aliza to her new school

Costume Prep and Fitting

A dapper, Steampunk-y character of his own invention:
he paid for his nicer-quality 
top hat using up all of his allowances until December, as well as any money he has made from selling duct tape wallets; he decided against making a walking stick (so we never had to hunt down supplies at his 'places to go'); knee-high spats were procured via, 
and he colored the brass buttons silver using a paint pen
A favorite comic book character
(though 'Za knows her from the kid-friendlier Little Endless Storybook
He expects that people will ask what he is supposed to be
(thus: calling cards to hand out)
We decided Delirium would be a bit confused as to which holiday is being celebrated
(we had considered a Santa-covered shopping bag as well as
a butterfly net as Halloween loot receptacles)
In the pail: delirious hair products, ready to go
After several failed attempts at finding a frock-like coat at the Goodwill,
Ander found MY black velvet jacket on the coat-stand and deemed it worthy.
But as he couldn't very well hot-glue things to a jacket I in fact wear quite a bit, he made these pins from hobby shop 'findings' 

and a Goodwilled belt that we took apart.
In an attempt to minimize the number of people who will certainly ask her if she is Madonna or a rave-goer, I made this necklace by wiring various items from our 'junk jar' (things I thought Delirium would think were pretty)
onto a rainbow chain from the Children's Place.
The black ribbon at the top is an evil-eye-beaded necklace from Maya on Melrose 

-- to be worn doubled up, choker-style.
Ander-made 'capster' lapel pin
In the comics, Delirium usually had a pet fish
that would float along next to her on a leash.
(This guy is about 7" long, and his 'leash' is a wire coat hanger.)
Trying out the layering of the tights and mismatched socks:
neon green zipper bracelet and skull bracelet from Maya on Melrose; eyeball ring 
made by hot-gluing a World Market toy eyeball onto an old adjustable-size ring; 

Aquanet and butterflies (left over from fairy birthday party) for her hair

It's (Finally) Looking Like Halloween Around Here

Every year I promise I will get the decorations out in September.  

"Maybe the first week of school..." I say.  "Maybe when you come home from school one day, I will surprise you with a HOUSE-WIDE TRANSFORMATION!!!"

Eyes shining, we smile wickedly, imagining all the spooky trappings, magically installed.

But the six (SIX!!!) boxes are high up in the garage, and very heavy, and half of them are full of things I have tucked away for an 'annual' Halloween party I haven't thrown since Alexander was in kindergarten.  

And the un-packing of all those orange tubs means I will have to re-pack all those orange tubs.

Wait -- what?  It's October 27th already?

So here we are: dialed waaaaay back, and with seconds to spare.  No orange and black crepe paper streamers, no black-glittered banners, no grey and black tattered curtains (I have them though!  All neatly packed away for next year's 'annual' Halloween party!  We are so ready!).