Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween prep

This neighborhood we're going to also has people who do up their houses to thrill the children on Halloween night. I am looking forward to it!

Unfortunately, the children of our friends are going to be off doing their own thing. Nico, 13, is doing something with his friends and Vicky, 8 is doing something with her friends. Gloria, a mathematician, is working on a grant proposal that's due tomorrow. So it's not the big H fest I've been looking forward to having with them for years.

The good news is that Sigurd is happy that we're coming -- otherwise he was going to be alone all night on door-answering duty.

For the robot costume, last week I got a lot of really cool gold-faced cardboard scraps at work that were being thrown out. I spent some time on the web researching robot costumes and came up with a sandwich-board concept. But then Donald nixed a boxy homemade robot because of safety. He didn't want any hard edges around U's neck, etc. I agreed immediately, once he put it that way.

I took U shopping for a costume on Sunday. I thought it would be best to wait until the last minute. I was really disappointed by the selections -- everything was Caribbean pirates, vampires and ghouls, and a few other characters thrown in.

We went to a thrift store that has a lot of new Halloween merchandise, but didn't find any ready-made costumes that U was remotely interested in. While there, we heard a father mention to his son that there was a used cowboy costume on the rack. Ulysses heard that and got excited by the idea of a cowboy. That costume was way too small, but I managed to find some basics on the regular clothes racks: a red plaid shirt and a denim vest with red piping!

We looked everywhere for a cowboy hat, but nobody has them! We went to a Halloween superstore kind of thing, and stuff was flimsy and expensive, which I was expecting, but not to that degree! $55 for a Thomas the Tank Engine costume. $30 for a Sherrif Woody: an already-beat-up-while-still-brand-new foam hat and a cheesy-looking coverall.

I thought that was so weird, that children's cowboy hats were impossible to find. Next year I'm going to get a jump on things and look for essential props on eBay.

I put out an e-mail at work for a cowboy hat, and someone brought me a red child's cowboy hat today! Someone else brought me a red kercheif.

Remember the gold cardboard? On the computer at work, I drew a sherrif's star -- 5 pointed, with little circles centered over each pointed -- somehow, the circles make it seem really Western -- and the automated computerized cutting machine people were nice enough to offer to cut it out for me. (I was going to hack through it with an X-acto.) I sewed Velcro on the denim vest, and attached the gold star.

So U has a red hat, a red kerchief, a denim vest with red buttons and red piping, a red plaid shirt, a gold star, and blue jeans. I thought of drawing a Wyatt Earp mustache on him, but I think it's better to keep it simpler at this point. He might think he wants the mustache but then get freaked out by seeing it out of the corner of his eye, or something like that.

I can't wait to see if I can get the costume/trick-or-treat concept across. If he puts his costume on, it will be adorable.

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