Lego My Sanity: A Bit of a Rant

Use Your WordsWelcome to this month’s Use Your Words Challenge!  Bloggers participating in this challenge literally get to swap words to use in their posts, and the resulting masterpieces are all published at the same time for the world to read! 

The words I was given this month are: White ~ Table ~ Legos ~ Hair Brush ~ Tube

They were submitted by: http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/

Be sure to see what other bloggers came up with by following the links at the bottom of the post.  Now read on for my little rant!

They get it honest.  Honest.

They get it honest. Honest.  I’m constantly reminded just how mean I am because I did not permit him to purchase this $400 set.

In case you haven’t figured out by reading some of my older posts, we are a lego family.

I love legos, because they encourage creativity and problem solving and all of that jazz for two children who would rather be parked in front of a television most of the time.  My kids would be content to play with legos all day long some days.  That’s cool, because it keeps them well entertained.

I also hate legos, because my children never pick them up.

Apparently legos are so much fun that we can never be done playing with them completely.  “But I’m not finished yet!” are the words of protest met most often when we have to quit building to do silly things like eat your supper, go brush your hair with a hair brush so you don’t look like an orphan child when we leave the house, or get ready for bed.

They were delighted when the Easter Bunny delivered these guys.

They were delighted when the Easter Bunny delivered these guys.

We tried establishing a specific area in the room adjacent to our living room where the legos could congregate.  There is a table set up specifically for building with legos, but instead it functions more as another place to put legos that are not being used.  The legos that are “being used” are all over the floor.

A perfect example of what really grinds my gears when the legos are out:  The Princess must only use white legos to construct her house of awesomeness.  That means that approximately 90% of the other legos must be thrown aside as she searches for those particular bricks.  On the floor.  Where they can be stepped on.

Imagine my chagrin when my husband gave in to the children’s request to bring the BIG container of legos in from storage.  So instead of just two somewhat large containers we bought at Christmas time, we also have one giant rubbermaid tub that has been sitting in the living room for quite some time.  It’s currently off limits.  Because Mom is tired of stepping on legos.  And Mom is mean.

Whoever put this up must be a parent with at least two young children.

Whoever put this up must be a parent with at least two young children.

Yep that’s right.  Currently I play the role of the bad guy because I’m constantly threatening to donate the legos lying about in the play room to a child who will take care of them and because I won’t run out and buy them a copy of The LEGO Movie.

Why haven’t I bought the LEGO movie?  Do I really want to hear “Everything is Awesome” 12000 times a day?  It’s already bad enough that I hear “Where’s my pants?” constantly.  I’m sure I’ll break down eventually-maybe when school has started and we aren’t together 24/7.

My solution to the LEGO problem naturally  would be  a big vacuum  tube.  Simply put it in the center of the room and all the bricks would be sucked up, kind of like that thing on the sand crawler on Star Wars.  You know, the one that sucks up R2D2?  Wouldn’t that horrible?  Not permanently, of course, just sucked back into their big old container.  Or to just take all the legos and make one big long road with them.  Instead of telling people to follow the yellow brick road, it would be to follow the lego brick road!  Sorry kids, you can’t use those bricks, it’s part of my road so people can find stuff.

Thank you for joining me for my little rant.  Now I want to hear from you.  Do your children possess a toy that you both love and hate? Is there something that your kids simply will not pick up no matter what you threaten?  I’d love to know that I’m not alone.

http://bakinginatornado.com                                Baking In A Tornado

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                      Stacy Sews and Schools

http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/                              Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/         Confessions of a part-time working mom

http://dates2diapers2.blogspot.com                        Dates 2 Diapers 2

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/                  The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

http://themomisodes.com                                    The Momisodes

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                   Someone Else’s Genius

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                 Follow me home . . .

http://www.crumpetsandbollocks.com             Crumpets and Bollocks

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Cheesecake Murdered My Oven and Other Ridiculous Theories

It was Captain Cheesecake in the kitchen that did it.

It was Captain Cheesecake in the kitchen with the raspberry goodness that did it.

Perhaps you too felt the disturbance in the force on Monday, June 23rd, 2014.  When a thousand voices cried out and were suddenly silenced.  What were those voices saying?

No.More.CHEESECAKE!

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Cheesecake killed my oven.

That’s right, you read correctly.  My oven was put to an untimely demise by evil food.

It started with sweet potato fries that wouldn’t cook.  An oven that took way too long to heat.  When I gave up and said screw it because I couldn’t wait any longer.  We ate sweet potato fries that were not quite done.  Disgusting?  A little bit.

(On a side note, I give up pretty easily on most activities in the kitchen, especially if it involves washing dishes, so that’s no surprise there.)

Then there were other signs that I continued to ignore following the chewy and slightly squashy sweet potato fries.  Finally, upon smelling a weird but not quite traditional “gas that might kill us all” smell during cooking our Sunday dinner, I decided to call the utility company Monday morning to check it out ‘just in case”, and took off for work.

By the time I came back home for lunch, I was greeted with this attached to my stove:

That's bad.  Very very bad.

That’s bad. Very very bad.

Apparently my oven is so dangerous it must be put to death.  The guy from the power company talked to me at length about how I shouldn’t try to cook anything because I could blow up.  He seemed really, really concerned about me blowing myself up.  He kept reiterating it, because it must have seemed like I enjoyed living dangerously, suggesting that we might want to turn off our gas as a precaution.

Ha!  My utility company really doesn’t know me all that well.  I’m kind of sad about that.

The one saving grace was that we are at least permitted to use the stovetop.  That’s good news, considering I just wrote about boxed macaroni and cheese for a friend  (Note:  Click on that link with caution… the inmates there are a little rowdy and might not be for the faint of heart, lol.)

I thought about that fact that my house has it out for appliances.  Most that enter it don’t last too long.  But the oven?  While not beautiful or fancy it certainly lasted a long time.  Ten years.  It was the only appliance that made the ten mile journey from trailer to house.  The trip that included casualties such as a computer desk flying out of the back of the truck and shattering all over the county road and a vacuum cleaner that decided it no longer wanted to suck.

This oven, it was a survivor.  And after a whole ten minutes of thinking about it, I got to thinking that all those cheesecakes that Evil Genius has been making surely contributed to its demise.

You delicious evil cheesecakes you.  YOU did this.

But moving on, one can survive without an oven, right?  Is it so bad not having the option of chicken nuggets, frozen pizza, or enchiladas whenever we want?  It’s nothing the world’s smallest toaster oven can’t handle, correct?

Or cheesecake…

Ironically enough, the same week as the oven’s death was proclaimed loudly from the rooftops Evil Genius’s workplace decided to have a cook-off.  Employees were instructed to bring what they made best.

Coincidence?  Perhaps.  Conspiracy to make sure that the Cheesecake King didn’t get to continue his reign?  Well you just never know.

Not to be defeated, Evil Genius decided to pull out the long banned recipe.  The thing that is forbidden in our household that is rarely spoken of: The Evil Peanut Butter Bars.  He carefully crafted these spectacles of sin while I sat in the living room, crying over a laptop that wouldn’t start.  Lost photos, work lesson plans, and an 800 page work of fiction that I had been working on since early this year.

I blame the cheesecake.

On Saturday we will attempt to go pick out a new oven that we both agree upon and hopefully won’t have the word Chefmate or Hotpoint anywhere in the name.  And additionally I will hope to find that a new power cord will revive my poor little laptop, or you might be hearing another voice crying out in agony.  That would be me, being strangled by my husband…

Just in case you wanted your pants not to fit, here's the recipe that will make that happen.  No baking required.

Just in case you wanted your pants not to fit, here’s the recipe that will make that happen. No baking required.

The Day The Lights Went Out At Target

I have this recurring dream.  I’m at a store, and all of the lights go out and I’m totally in the dark.  This isn’t really a terrifying dream, unlike the ones I have where we have a tidal wave.  Totally unlikely as we live in Iowa.  If that ever happens, I’m moving.  More realistically, I also have lots of dreams about tornadoes.  And being naked, but never naked in a tornado.  Or a tidal wave.

snowpocalypse

Something like that is coming our way… must go to the store!

Because we have yet ANOTHER snowstorm coming our way, I popped into Target quickly to pick up a few things in between work and the 3000 other important things I needed to do.  As I have shared before, Target and all other civilization is in a nearby town.  I was in kind of a hurry, but never in too much of a hurry to check out those fabulous end caps with 30% off, 50% off, 70% off, and NINETY PERCENT OFF!

As I was making my way from the Valentine’s clearance to the shampoo aisle, this happened:

blankThat’s right, suddenly I was in complete darkness.  The lights went out completely. This was followed by a few moments of awkwardness. Then a light, then two, then ten, because smartphones!  Then the back up generators came on and were accompanied by… that’s right, the fire alarm.

What’s so amazing about that?  People, that’s what.  You’d think that 1) complete darkness followed by 2) a really loud fire alarm might get people moving.  But people kept shopping.

No, no, go ahead.  If there’s a fire you’ll burn up, that’s all.

This really, really bothered the former cashier in me (more than ten years in retail and no strange diseases contracted, thank you very much).  Hellooooo…. no one will be able to ring up your stuff.  Cash registers run on electricity people!

It wasn’t until some of the employees had to come around and assure people that while nothing seemed to be wrong other than the entire block shrouded in darkness and chaos,  they would have to leave since the fire alarms were going off.  They could put their names on their carts if they wanted to come back later.

I looked at my cart with a bottle of Miralax, a large bottle of ketchup, Craisins, my diet pop,  and two Valentine items that were 90% off and asked myself if it was really worth it to try and come back in a little bit.  It wasn’t.  So I left.

My kids were fascinated by this tale.  When I told them why I didn’t get anything in town today that was all they could think about.  They must have asked 1000 questions.
“Why did the lights go out at Target?”
“Were you scared?”
“Was there a fire?  Were the toys okay?”
“Did you die?”

That night I sat and looked at my dwindling supply of diet pop and flirted with the idea of driving all the way back to town to retrieve my precious Diet Sunkist Lemonade at the low low price of 3 for $10.

Nah…

Later on today when we are sitting at home in the middle of the next blizzardpocalypse I may very well regret that decision.  I’m lucky though because t least I’ll have some entertainment this evening.  Ironically, tonight at 8:30 pm EST there is a very special event going on. Got snow?  Got kids?  Want to gripe about the snow… and maybe the kids too?  Click on the image below to be taken to a magical place-the Moms Who Write and Blog website!

1780212_10152644617652796_746900889_oPS-If there is some kind of award for writing posts with Target as the subject I so think I need it…

Owl Be Damned: Hootness and Cuteness

It's all about the CANDY!
Don’t listen to what they say about Valentines, we know it’s ALL ABOUT THE CANDY anyway!

The Princess recently announced that we should hand make all twenty three of her Valentines this year.  Aw, doesn’t that sound nice?

What do you mean “WE”, little girl?

Seriously, I was really on board.  Making your own Valentines saves money, right?  Therefore it’s totally worth it.  Yes, we were going to totally rock the homemade Valentine world this year!

After perusing online for awhile and finding out that my child pretty much wants everything on the internet, she settled upon making 23 of the paper owls in the picture below for her classmates.  Because they were “soooooo cuuuuuuuute”! (her words)

KidsActivitiesBlog has great step by step instructions o how to make these cute little owls.  So simple, right????

http://KidsActivitiesBlog has great step by step instructions on how to make these cute little owls. So simple and cute, right????

Before we proceed, keep in mind that this little girl always has her very own ideas of how she wants things…

After said conversation I visited the dollar spot  at Target and purchased a $1 package of scrapbook paper and some glue sticks.  Her plan also included not putting holes in the bottom for straws or suckers. We planned to make feet for our little owls.  Because we can’t give candy, we must give FRUIT SNACKS!  FRUIT SNACKS that are shaped like hearts!

(We totally CAN give candy, she just doesn’t want to).

The instructions said to make circles on the paper, and the blogger had simply used a cup to trace the circles.  So I grabbed the first cup I saw, which was The Princess’s heart cup, and hurriedly made circles, and then cut them out. Doing this used up about half of the scrapbook paper.

This was when I realized that these were going to be teeny tiny little owls.  Normal people would trace around an adult cup.  ADD people trace around the first cup they find that isn’t dirty.  The cup I grabbed happened to be her favorite.  And small, very small.

She also set her heart on using google eyes instead of making the eyes out of paper.  I guess maybe I should have bought some more eyes!  It became apparently quite quickly that the eyes we had were either gigantic or teeny.  Nothing in between that wasn’t completely goofy.  The Princess was very disappointed in this. Instead I showed her how to make the eyes out of paper circles like in the picture.  She was not very impressed.

And why write your own cute little sayings when you managed to pick up a bunch of conversation heart stickers last year in the Valentine Clearance?  So now instead of an owl with a note that says “I think you’re a HOOT!” or -insert owl reference here-, we have an owl with a heart emblazoned with the word “Kisses” on its tummy, holding on to a bag of heart shaped fruit snacks for dear life.

So after an extended period of cutting and folding, and making eyes, the Princess decided she was done. Or rather, I was done.  How many had we made?  One.  I had made just one little owl for her as an example.  She snatched it and fled to her room to make it a place to sleep.  She is going to keep it and name it “Kisses”.

Here is our poor "Kisses" the owl, rescued from the Princesses's bedroom while she sleeps.

Here is our poor “Kisses” the owl, rescued from the Princess’s bedroom while she slept.  I’m not sure how Kisses got so darn dirty.

So, will the Princess actually start making her owls for her friends?  Will we have future episodes where The Princess decides to keep going forward with Operation Valentine’s Owls?  Or perhaps a post about me running frantically to the store to grab one of the two boxes of Valentines that are left on the 11th hour of Vday?

It would have been so much simpler if I had just showed her all of the character Valentines there were while we were at Target.  But no, I had to encourage her creativity!  What is WRONG with me?

IMG_2749The Professor, on the other hand, was perfectly happy with whatever.  I brought him home a box of Skylanders Valentines and he was set.

So, several days after the fact,  just how IS our little owl project going?

Guess what?  She told me to go to Wal-Mart and pick her up a box of My Little Pony Equestria Girl Valentines… Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Some of our perusing for ideas resulted in seeing some ridiculously cute stuff.  Just hook me up with this site, I’ll order all of my Valentines’ gifts and be on my merry little way…

http://www.personalcreations.com/

Hedgehog in a Bucket

Aren’t these just the cutest things ever?  And I’m the mean mom who gave my kids weird names.  What’s wrong with that? You can’t just walk into a store and find personalized stuff for them.  Damn me.  http://www.personalcreations.com/valentines-gifts-kids-PVALKID

I thought it wise to mention that I did not receive any sort of compensation for plugging Personal Creations and Kids Activities Blog, other than a nice virtual high five.  That and the reaffirmation that my daughter wants everything cute that was ever made.

Oh Crap, Literally: Counting My Blessings

fortune-cookie

So it’s not exactly fortune cookie material…

Count your blessings, because in the blink of an eye you could be ankle deep in your own poo!

All right, I admit it wasn’t really ankle deep, but there was definitely poo involved.  It was definitely a crappy thing to have happen!

This past weekend we had a not so welcome gift from the sewage fairy.  Some roots from the tree outside our house got into our sewer line.  Our basement went from 0 to a lovely spread of muck on the floor on one side in a few hours.  I just happened to go downstairs for a loaf of bread and ended up playing a game of stepping stones to get to the freezer.  I more or less had to sit IN the freezer to get the bread out, and I hollered to Evil Genius to come look at the basement.

The next morning we had a quick visit from the city guy who simply said “Yup, you’re backed up.”  This was followed by waiting a few hours for our local Roto-Rooter guy to come out and snake the drain.

Yeah, this tree.  I like this tree...

Yeah, this tree. I like this tree… I’m sad about it.  It’s going to have to come down.

And by the way, he didn’t have to do it once.  Or twice. He had to run it FOUR times.

Lucky us!

Incidentally, I have discovered what the worst smell in the world is.  If you have kids, take their worst diaper or poop accident and multiply the smell by 1000.  That is the smell that will linger after Roto-Rooter has left your house.  I started smelling it about the time he was finished, and then he brought the weird drum shaped device through the upstairs he stopped and showed me the sewage covered tree roots.  I just about threw up, it smelled that bad. And remember, that stuff doesn’t usually bother me.  That means it was really, really bad.

As he often is, Evil Genius was amazing.  He came home from work while I was at my job and cleaned it all up.  By the time I came home my house was transformed from stinky mess to a lovely Lysol smell.  And I like the smell of that particular cleaner, so that’s quite all right.

Confession time:  I have to admit when it happened I went a little nuts.  I worried and I cried.  Because that’s what I do.  Having to shell out a large chunk of change ten days before Christmas when you’re not exactly rolling in the dough makes your wallet hurt.  Add to that fact that I had just had my hair colored for the first time in many years the Friday before. It was my Christmas gift from my husband.  While I loved how it looked and it wasn’t terribly expensive, the guilt of spending that money on myself instead of my kids just about killed me.

Moms do that.  We put our family first.  So it’s a natural mom reaction to feel bad in these situations.  Even though no one was dying and nothing really terrible was going to come of it, I still felt bad.

And I continued to feel bad about it.  I was so preoccupied that I ran into the side of the cart corral at Target.  While the car was fine other than a few scratches in the paint, my already wounded pride was aching.  And then I burst into tears in the store, because here I was surrounded by all of the things I would like to get for my kids, but couldn’t at the moment.  Not that my kids NEED anything, because they have plenty of toys.

So then I felt bad for feeling bad.  After all, we still had a house, food in our kitchen, heat, running water, clothing, and so forth.  Why was I fretting over the fact that we might have to postpone Christmas?  They would be spending time with their extended family and would get gifts from their grandparents the weekend before.

I guess because I don’t want my kids to know just yet that sometimes life just really sucks.

And we’ve had it worse.  Much, much worse. Three years ago we had a flood.  During this flood our sewer system got overwhelmed and backed up.  And kept backing up-all the way up our basement stairs.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  My husband was at work and couldn’t leave, and I thought we were going to float right out of our house.  We lost our furnace and thought we’d lost our freezer, which was floating around in the basement.

Weeks later miraculously our freezer came back to life.  And we got a new furnace through a local organization who happened to be helping winterize our house at the time.

I also have to keep in mind that this is the first Christmas in a long time that one of us hasn’t been out of work or in school.  My husband is working a job that while the commute is long and some aspects of it are stressful, he is doing what he loves at a company that is very supportive and truly appreciates him as an employee.  We have good health insurance.  We have great benefits.

So what the hell am I upset about?  Counting my blessings makes even the worst situation seem a lot better.

Speaking of blessings, I want to thank my blogging friends who had kind words to offer me as I was fretting about the whole thing.  It really meant the world just to hear that things will get better!  Sometimes it’s nice just to have someone listen. We don’t need any help, we will be fine!  It’s just another setback in a series of things that are getting better slowly but not quite fast enough to make me happy.  I just have to remember that sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back!

Oh, and by the way, I’ve got about a thousand crap references saved up since this whole mess started.  I bet you can’t wait!

crapNow before you go away thinking “Sheesh, I thought this lady is supposed to be funny!”  I want you to remember that even the funniest people have unfunny days.  But you can get your laugh on over at Moms Who Write and Blog, where they have a little shindig going on known as Mom For the Holidays!  You can read many great posts (but not ghosts) from Christmases pasts!

And to go right along with that, tomorrow is Fly on the Wall, The Holiday Edition, going live at 10 am EST/9 am CST!

Football, Food and Fashion Sense

This is from a game we attended last year.  I'm not sure why my children look so scared in this picture...

This is from a game we attended last year. I’m not sure why my children look so scared in this picture…

We’re lucky enough to be able to attend college football games as one of the perks of my husband’s workplace.  It’s a win-win situation for us because:

1)  We get extra exercise because we have to park a half hour away to avoid paying for parking.

2)  Free food!  Not just any food-junk food like nachos and all kinds of fried food.

3)  Free entertainment and shelter!  Music, satellite TV, and an RV to sit in when it’s too cold.  (This is BEFORE the game).

4)  Oh yeah, we also get to watch college football live.  (This is the least exciting part for everyone except for Evil Genius).

Not a creepy bird drinking grape Sunkist, it's a mask of our mascot Cy.

It’s not a creepy bird drinking grape Sunkist, it’s a mask of our mascot Cy.

I’ve learned a few things about how to prepare for these events.  Mostly hair related things.  In particular

1)  Never leave for a football game in Iowa with wet hair.  Ever.  Just don’t do it.

2)  Always have the appropriate hair attire with you lest you be forced to purchase an extremely expensive piece of hair equipment like this:

IMG_24643)  No matter what the weather forecast is, bring 1000 layers of clothing, blankets, and a winter coat. Apparently football stadiums and the surrounding area have their own climate.

4)  Bring your own beverages.  This applies if you dislike beer, Pepsi products and anything that isn’t lemonade flavored.  You know, if you’re a weirdo like me.

This last week hardly anyone signed up for tickets.  This is because our team has been losing.  Not by a little bit, we’re talking losing badly!  Therefore we got to go AGAIN this week.  Whoa.  As a matter of fact, I could hardly stand it because we actually got to do two entertaining things on consecutive days, since we’d gone to see Thor 2 the night before.  My heart almost can’t take this kind of stuff…

As we were walking across campus to get to the game on this particular brisk November morning, I couldn’t help but notice that all of the college girls were dressed the same.  Apparently there is some sort of dress code for university football games.  Black leggings and UGG boots. Not just any boots, UGG brand boots.  You know, the really expensive ones that are supposed to be pillows for your feet?

I was a little, ok, a lot nervous when I got to the gate.  I thought for sure that I was going to be turned away on account of my boot cut thrift store jeans and my New Balance running shoes (because I look so young you know).  Luckily, I must have gotten a really lenient ticket taking person.  Whew!

Then I remembered, I’m not a twenty year old college student.  That explains a lot.

Since then, after a trip to Target and digging through my closet I am happy to report that for once I am actually on the cutting edge of fashion.  I now own my very own outfit that would render me pretty much inconspicuous if I ever had to go undercover as a college student.  Tell, what do you think?

ugh

I’m a fashion plate, right?

Seven Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Halloween

IMG_2418

I approached the Halloween season this year with a bit of excitement.  Then all of that died when I opened the container of Halloween stuff and found what could only have been what was left of a mini pumpkin all over my decorations.

For once, it wasn’t a mouse peeking out at me that ruined the moment.  It was just plain gross.  So I hauled the foam pumpkins and what I could salvage out of the container upstairs, and that was about it.  I pretty much gave up on decorating.  I was frustrated.  And poking around on Pinterest at all of the seemingly perfect things that others have pinned that they have supposedly done was seriously bumming me out.

(Remember, my life resembles Craft Fail more than Pinterest…)

Then over the next couple of weeks as I helped my kids with their costumes and watched them getting excited for Halloween, I realized that it really doesn’t have anything to do with how perfect and “Martha Stewart-like” everything is in your life.  Halloween is about the kids!  As it turns out, having my kids has taught me some important lessons about special occasions in general.

I played with some of the pictures I have taken this year to make this list, there being seven things counting the picture at the top. The irony here is that I made them in “pinnable” type pictures.  This isn’t because I necessarily want them on Pinterest, I just like how they look.  I like squares… and borders on my pictures…

decorating rules

no carve

homemade decorations (1)

homemade decorations (2)

IMG_2417 (2)

the cuteSo as Halloween arrives and we prepare for class parties, costume parades, and trick or treating, I’m trying to give myself a break.  I may not have a perfect house full of perfect stuff, but what I do have are some wonderful memories to last a lifetime…  Take that, Martha Stewart!

Halloween Whine With Lots of (Cheap) Cheese

I happened to be on Facebook today (imagine that) and saw a costume that made me think “That’s awesome” and “How I miss those days when I actually got to dress up and have fun on Halloween!”

And of course I just had to share…

I don’t actually have permission to use the image, so I’m asking you to first pretend that I’m wearing this as a costume, then you can click on the link and see it for yourself…

Right?  Wine in a box?  Is that not brilliant?  You can bring your wine right with you!  And then you talk someone into dressing as cheese.  Get it?

Speaking of cheese, this got me to thinking about my post about cheap costumes from last year.  It was pretty good.  I even laughed as I read it.  I forgot that this is where “Tie-Dye Girl” came from, therefore it’s a classic.

I revamped it a little bit and decided to add it on right here so you don’t even have to leave this page to read it (even though you had to sort of leave the page to look at the wine in a box costume.) Isn’t that nice of me?

Halloween Costumes for The Broke, Lazy, And Uninspired

So it’s October, it’s almost Halloween, and you need (or even WANT) to dress up for Halloween.  But you’re broke, or busy, or lazy, or uninspired, or maybe even all of these things.  You’re in luck-I just happen to keep having all kinds of ideas for Halloween costumes!  These are one step above cutting holes in your white sheet and being a ghost (or a kleenex).  Aren’t you glad you have me to help you out?

Will you get rocks in your trick or treat bag if you dress as the Charlie Brown ghost for Halloween?

Will you get rocks in your trick or treat bag if you dress as the Charlie Brown ghost for Halloween?  If you really want to take the time to do it, the tutorial for this is also on Instructables.com

1.  Nudist-Take off all your clothes.  You can also do a variation of this and yell “We’re going streaking!” over and over like in Old School, and be a streaker.  Note:  This probably isn’t such a good idea in colder climates.  Or places where police will be patrolling.  Or places where children will be present.  Or other people will be present, period.

2.  Jack of All Trades-Find a bunch of hats.  Put them all on at once.  Get it?

3.  Person Who Just Got Up-Get out of bed.  Don’t comb your hair. Stay in your pjs.  May not work well for people who sleep in their undies or in the nude (then a different costume may be for you-see #1 or #6).

4.  Poop-Dress in head to toe brown.  Try to get people to guess who you are, like telling them you really stink.  I don’t advise trying to make it smell authentic, because that’s just gross.  Oh yeah, I guess you could be chocolate, too.  Feel free to add scent to that.

5.  Laundry-If you have one of those cheap round laundry baskets sitting around, cut a hole in the bottom just big enough to wiggle yourself in.  Stuff some laundry around yourself.  Now here’s the dilemna-are you clean laundry or dirty laundry?  Clean laundry is nice-you could add dryer sheets and smell extra good.  I think it would work especially well if you happen to have a fever, because it would be just like the laundry came out of the dryer, right?

6.  Superhero-If you have a blanket that can be a cape, tie it around your neck.  What you wear with it and use as props determines what superhero you are.  Don an apron and rubber gloves-you’re Super Dishwasher!  I personally like Captain Undergarments myself.  A mask just adds to the effect…

7.  Clean Person-Wrap a towel around yourself and put a shower cap on.  Carry a bottle of shower gel, a loofah, a shower poof, you get the picture.  Wearing stuff under the towel is optional, but make sure that towel is secure!  I just happen to have a new shower head that we haven’t installed yet-oh the possibilities are endless with this one!

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See? My kids already know the art of the cheap costume and they don’t even know it!

8.  Bag Lady-We all seem to have those reusable grocery bags laying around (if you don’t, I’m sending the environment police after you!)  Get a bunch.  Carry them.

9. Mom Like Me-Don’t sleep the night before.  Don’t do your hair.  Wear a wrinkled top and yoga pants.  Carry a coffee cup.  Talk in incoherent sentences.  Bonus if you can get a child to wrap themself around your leg.  (No offense to most parents who actually have their act together, this is just me on a normal day.)

10.  Target Employee-Have a red shirt?  Khaki pants?  You could probably find a nametag template somewhere, but again, remember that this may require a little work.  You’ll have to be really nice and helpful, because remember you work at Target, not Walmart.

11.  Art-Find a big picture frame.  Take out the glass and backing so you just have the frame.  Carry it with you and hold it up so you’re like someone in a painting.  It’s art, so you can do whatever you want.

12.  Fan Club-Find two small fans.  Make a sign that says something positive like “We’re you’re biggest fans” and attach it to yourself.  What would be even better?  Have a partner and you can follow them around as his or her very own fan club.  Unless it’s someone dressed as Charlie Sheen, I don’t think he has any fans anymore.

13.  Fashion Police-Find a whistle.  Dress in what you consider fashionable.  Make a badge of some sort.  Blow your whistle whenever you see things like people wearing white shoes after Labor Day.

So see, you’ll never be without ideas for costumes as long as I am around.  I’m the queen of lame costumes, as you can see…

Protecting the earth from evil by dying them hideous shades of tie-dye!  Look up in the sky, it's a peacock, it's a rainbow, it's TIE-DYE GIRL!

Protecting the earth from evil by dying them hideous shades of tie-dye! Look up in the sky, it’s a peacock, it’s a rainbow, it’s TIE-DYE GIRL!

The Evolution of a Halloween Costume

This year my feeling on Halloween costumes remains unchanged.  If I can make it cheap or find it cheap, it works. I just hate paying much for costumes unless it’s an unbelievable deal, simply because I have a hard time with the idea of purchasing something that may be worn once.  When I was a kid we usually had homemade costumes that could be worn as something else later like pajamas.  To this day I still love that idea!

Last year's costumes.  I did buy his because I found one super cheap.  We took the extra step of making it light up.

Last year’s costumes. I did buy his because I found one super cheap. We took the extra step of making it light up.

The Professor has a timeline of different costumes that he is going to wear for Halloween from now until he turns 32.  Every year a superhero, every year a different one.  Last year he was Iron Man.  At the same time he chose that costume, he announced his candidacy for Batman for the following year.

I really didn’t want to buy a costume again this year.  All of the promises that he would use it for pretend play didn’t happen.  So I’m trying to go a different route, figuring I’d make the cape and find him things he could use again.  However, finding a long-sleeve Batman shirt in the right size was a little difficult!  I finally found him a long sleeved shirt that had thermal sleeves.  How do you cover up thermal sleeves?  You make a cape with sleeves, that’s how!  Here is the link to the pattern we ended up using:  http://www.vanillajoy.com/the-nearly-no-sew-batman-cape.html

I found instructions on a number of sites on how to make a Batman symbol and mask out of felt, and how to make a utility belt out of yellow duct tape.  In the end I actually spray painted a cat mask that I found in the Hobby Lobby clearance!  I used a roll of the tape and an empty fettucine box to make a rather cool utility belt.  I even made a bat light.  And yes, loyal batman fans, I realize that batman wasn’t the one that actually used the bat light.  Details, details…

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He’s a pretty cute batman…

And then there was the other child, the one that changes her mind every 28 seconds about her costume.  At least until she came up with this idea last month:

“Mommy, I want to be a dancing flower for Halloween.”

“A flower?  Like a flower around your head flower?”

“Yes.  A dancing flower.”

So we googled “homemade flower costume”.  I can tell you this, that flower costumes range from the adorable to “what does this have to do with a flower”?

She kept looking at the baby costumes.  I reminded her that she is not a baby.

Reprinted with permission from Coolest Homemade Costumes.

Image used with permission from Coolest Homemade Costumes.

We finally found one that seemed to be the closest to what we were envisioning.  It was on a website called Coolest Homemade Costumes, as seen in the image above.   I found a green shirt with sparkles, and coordinating material.

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Shirt from Wal-mart and material to make a tutu from JoAnn Fabrics!

As it got closer to the time where she needed the costume, I started to panic.  I have PTSD from first grade and therefore am totally paralyzed with fear when it came to the head part of the costume.

Huh?

In my first grade class I had to play a flower in Mary Mary Quite Contrary’s garden.  Whoever made the tops had to be a person who loved inflicting pain upon small children.  That part of the costume was so heavy it weighed my head down and cut into my chin.  I can close my eyes and feel that stupid flower on my head.

Somehow I convinced her that perhaps a crown was better.  Then I came home a few days later and found her watching Sixteen Candles (I guess she’d been watching 101 Dalmations on ABC Family and Dad just never changed the channel, I guess it could have been worse).  You know the wedding scene at the end where all of the bridesmaids have flower crowns?  She was sold.  Easy peasy.  We were now a “Dancing Flower Princess” complete with a homemade hippie girl floral crown!

Our beautiful dancing flower princess, crooked crown and all!

Our beautiful dancing flower princess, crooked crown and all!

I can’t take credit for any of the sewing on either of the costumes, my mom is really good at sewing and volunteered her services.  She ended up making the cape and the tutu.  I stuck to the things that were more my speed-the non-sewing parts.

I will offer one word of caution if you are thinking about making a sparkly tutu:  the sparkles come off.  I am not kidding!  By the time we were done with her costume it had looked like we either had a glitter fight or had invited a bunch of strippers over for lunch.  There were sparkles EVERYWHERE!  On the floor, on the furniture, all over me and my mom.  I went into work to get something and my boss looked at me and said “Do you know you’re sparkly?”  Why yes, yes I do.  As a matter of fact, Monday was the first opportunity to show off their costumes at the library, where the kids decorated pumpkins in their costumes. Apparently she still had plenty of sparkles to lose-the library was also quite glittery in the aftermath…

Why is that?  To quote the great philosopher…

Glitter (2)Did you make your kids’ Halloween costumes this year or did you buy them?  Any stories you’d like to share?

REBLOG: Pumpkin Carving, Squash Murder or Decorative Glee?

In honor of the Moms Who Write and Blog Laugh Til You Pee Your Pants Halloween Party, I thought I’d reblog a post from last year about our pumpkin carving experience. Please come over and share a laugh with us at our party!

LaughTillYouPeePost by Moms Who Write and Blog.

The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Apparently there was a class I was supposed to take for my Mom license that I missed?  I must have been absent the day they held “Pumpkin Carving 101”.  Or in the bathroom.  Or just not paying attention. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen all of the intricate pumpkin design stuff that is so popular right now.  Supposedly this stuff is easy to do.  Especially if you shell out the money for a kit.  It’s then supposed to be so easy an untrained monkey can do it!  Nope, I don’t think so.

I had big plans for this year.  I was going to have all kinds of pumpkins to play with this Halloween.  We bought all the seeds for all the different pumpkins in our garden.  We planted regular pumpkins, mini pumpkins, and the white pumpkins. I was going to do all of those Martha Stewart glittery…

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