Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 29, 2001

Yeah, Halloween is here for the kiddies!


It's that time of the year again ­ time for us, errr I mean our children to rack their little brains to decide what they want to be for Halloween. I love Halloween because it is the one day out of the year that I am allowed to express my creativity through my children.

I've always preferred to make my kids costumes, mostly because I know that I can make a nicer costume that one can be bought on the budget of a typical family. That's a really big part of it, but truth be told, I guess I would have to admit that I just love the idea of transforming my kids into what I would like to see them as ­ cute and adorable creatures. And they are of course . . . most of the time.

My oldest is turning eight in a few days (Nov. 3 to be exact, so if you see Mitch around, be sure to tell him happy birthday) and he has had a great costume every year. His first Halloween sent him trick-or-treating as a blue crayon, with a blue crayon bank to collect his candy. It was a lot of fun to make, and fell perfectly into my fall crafting frenzy. Since then, he has been a lion, a knight, and a cop, among other things.

My youngest has only seen one Halloween, but I must say, his costume last year was my best creation. Cameron was Caesar, complete with a peanut-sized toga and wreath on his head.

It was an adorable costume, if I do say so myself. We even went so far as to make him a chariot, which was his stroller covered with a lacy tablecloth.

The most difficult aspect of it was convincing my husband that since it was a bit chilly, Cam needed to wear a shirt under his toga, and since I couldn't find a flesh colored shirt, we had to dress him in pink.

He had a tough time with that, but got over it when the candy started to roll in (which was more for us than a five-month-old baby, obviously). In his bucket was some candy, baby juice, and a bib from grandma and grandpa. Luckily, no one tried to give him any wine.

I have run into a dilemma this year, though, because some costume companies have the nerve to make really cute costumes at a reasonable price. I hate this, in all honesty, because I want to make the costumes. I tell myself that I want to save some money by making them myself, when really I end up spending more.

I have seen some really great ideas around this year, and it seems to me that commercially-made costumes now are becoming less plastic-y and more creative. What a bummer.

I was really tempted to buy them this year because I saw a great Merlin costume. I also just bought a new sewing machine, though, and need to justify purchasing it.

That will suffice as my excuse for this year, anyway. I don't know what I will do when my kids tell me they don't want a homemade costume. I'm hoping my heart won't break.

This year, we are all ready to go trick-or-treating, and have been for a few weeks. We need to start early to plan out the details. Mitch is going to be an alien, and Cam is going as a penguin. My little alien looks pretty cool, complete with a big-eyed mask.

The monthly Cub Scout meeting was recently, and alien-boy got to wear his costume there. His biggest thrill was showing the other kids how aliens pick their noses, which he did for a lot of the night.

He thought it was hilarious to walk around with his finger in his mask. It got a pretty good reaction from the other boys, who thought it was equally hilarious. I was a bit mortified, but thought, "Hey, these parents all have sons too, so they know what I'm going through."

As for penguin-boy, he has been happy to show off for the few people that we've modeled him for. He gets to wear a ski mask with a beak sewn on above his eyes, and has all kinds of fun "pecking" everyone.

I hope he doesn't do that to people who attempt to give him candy. That would give the expression "don't bite the hand that feeds you" a whole new meaning.

I had a tough time trying to figure out how to dress him, because after looking everywhere, I could not find a white blanket sleeper anywhere.

So we went for a black sweatsuit, and I sewed a fuzzy white belly on the shirt. Then, we made the wings and his little tail, gave him orange flipper feet (made from a pair of pumpkin slippers) and topped it all off with a red bow tie.

Now, all we have to do is wait for Halloween to come, get ready, and start collecting candy and compliments. What parent doesn't enjoy people telling them how cute their kids are?

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