The Nightmare before Halloween

*Post Edit: Nothing I do is original. Everything you see here is either copied from my sister...sister-in-laws...friends, neighbors etc. I am undeserving of your praise.

'Twas the night before the school Halloween party
and all through the house
Mother was up late sewing without kids or a spouse.
The little ones were snoring away in their beds;
With visions of cool store-bought costumes dancing in their heads.

"In your dreams kids...
sorry, mommy has decided to make your costumes again this year."

yep, I'm a Halloween freak;
I blame it all on my right brained mother....again.
See the picture below? It's one of my mom's Halloween creations that she made for my brother Wes.
No mask. just cotton batting, makeup, and paper mache.

(You would'nt see this now-a-days at the school Halloween parade. 10 yr old Wes back in the mid 80's.)

Growing up, and before the invention of Wal-Mart - my mom had a big, wonderful Halloween box. (She was a drama major 'ya know) We would open up the box and we would all start scrambling for the best vampire cape, wig or gypsy earrings (which were mason jar rings). I never wore a store bought costume, although I really was jealous of my cousin's Casper the friendly Ghost get-up. Mask and all.

I have a long-standing embargo on those mass-produced store-bought Halloween costumes. I guess I've just thought of them as a luxury I just couldn't afford...
you know, like triple ply toilet paper.

I do love to dress up my kids one by one;
(Brett and Lauren in 1999)
(Wade as Frank in 2005) 
(Brett as a mad scientist)
(Lauren as Medusa in 2008)
(River as Cotton Candy in 2004)

I also love to dress myself up.
Here I am dressed up as a basketball player
 (my pregnant basketball belly was actually baby River due a few weeks later)

Dean is usually a good sport and goes along with my silliness. Most of the time.
(Here Dean is dressed up as a mad scientist sitting on the shoulders of his loyal assistant..
look closely...)  


Sure, I've considered just buying a costume-in-a-bag from time to time,
that's the way my kids would prefer it.
I've even had one or two costumes given to me over the years.
Some of them are really cute and easy...but I always end up saying to myself...

"but what about childhood creativity and originality?"

I tend to see Halloween costumes as a challenge and think;
"meh, I can do better than that."

Here's my usual modus operandi.

1- Get an early start at DI by picking up some
cool thrift store finds.

2- Think about it all month long. Decide on a theme. Gather inspiration.

3- Walk past the Halloween isle at Wal-Mart just to reassure myself that
I really can't afford the ready-to-wear costumes.

4- Put my foot down if the kids complain,
and remind them that Halloween is not always about kids having fun.

5- Realize that the school party is the next day so ...run to Wal-Mart...the dollar store...the fabric store again...spend a fortune...over to Partyland...Roberts Craft...and in a panic, run back to Wal-Mart.

6- Stay up all night, sewing and gluing, and pinning and rubbing my hands together like an evil scientist.

7- And somewhere around 2:00 am, retrieve the sleeping baby from under my sewing table and stand back to admire my handiwork.
(Lauren as "Nurse Pain")

Oh yeah! take that Martha Stewart! woah...I just saved $12.99!! Yeah baby!
But to tell you the truth my hand produced costumes aren't that great.
With the slightest bit of wind, rain or sudden head movements...
they fall apart.
My kids are always envious of their friends sporting better,
less complicated costumes.

Wade said just before he went to bed last night as I was starting in on his costume;
"mom, you make me nervous..."

Maybe it's because Brett hasn't had much luck with costumes.

(Brett and baby Lauren in 1997 as Pooh Bear and a Hunny bee.)

For Brett's costume I laid Brett and the material on the floor and made a cut out of his chubby body and sewed around it.         One leg was longer than the other.
Brett was not happy being dressed up as a rolly polly bear named "pooh"while his two other cousins were dressed as deer hunters with guns and hats.

And then there was that one year when I promised Brett that I would create a work of art for him and he would be the envy of the whole fifth grade.

This is what I came up with;
he was "Alien man."
(a black sheet supported by an umbrella frame
 hooked on to a backpack
with an elaborate alien mask attached at eye level
which kept slipping down below his belly) 

Not my best work.    Brett was    again,   not happy.

But the next year I completly redeemed myself.

with this...

He was thrilled .....  Obviously.

This year Brett assured me with a strange look of relief that dressing up
isn't allowed at the Junior High.
I think he is bluffing, I'm going to check his sources.

So while I may purposely
stay up all night...
make hours and hours of extra work for myself...
Wallow in sleep deprived orneriness
spend way more money than is nessesary...
and neglect the kids and housework...

I still do it every year.


well, it's because Dean said I'm cute when I'm "chaotic and delusional"   

but it's mostly because I'm a schmuck and I have no real life. 
you pity me don't you.


Extra, Extra, read all about it.

When I started this post two weeks ago,
Utahan's and Californians alike were enjoying a
warmer than usual Fall.
 I decided to take advantage of your gullibility dear reader,
and pull a fast one -
and before Summer gets away (oh who am I kidding...it's long gone.)
and in effort to feed my blogging habits (it's a sickness)
and to keep my missionary parents informed (yes they have Blogger in Africa)
and because a few pictures on my camera were screaming 
"yo, what about us?"

and so I wrote about our summer...

here it is
in the middle of October;
 I give you..

"How I spent my summer vacation" by Hilary

Newspaper headline style ...
*School's out -scream and shout! 
(Kids do the screaming - mother does the shouting, all summer long...
just ask the neighbors)

*Pretty hair and a weak stomach 
conspire together for a miserable first night at girls camp  
(camp leaders claim they were not given adequate warning of Lauren's
track record of throwing up anytime and everytime she goes camping)

 *Cute, agreeable one year old turns into an aggravating, uncooperative two year old terror overnight.
(Family huddles in bathroom too afraid to come out)
*Baby boy draws huge crowd in his honor
(and ironically sleeps the whole time.)

*Clouds gathered, coughed and sputtered
and gave us rain for the first few weeks of summer.
(darn you Mother Nature!)

* Sighting of Loch Ness Monster in local pond is reported; (children return to scene with fishing equipment.) 

* Pre-teen girl gathers courage 
and cuts off  twelve inches of hair.
(Decides NOT to donate it to charity,
 instead places trimmed ponytail under pillow for the "HAIR FAIRY")

               *Study finds most children enjoy swimming. (Backyard swimming pool just one cannonball away from becoming basement irrigation)

* Falling asleep when, where and however one likes is commonplace in the summer months. (Shirts and beds optional)

* Mother becomes giddy as all her dreams are realized when she takes her children to an old-fashioned Drive-In Theater.
(She was quoted as saying "I can die a happy woman now.") 

* Phillies take second in the State tournament. (MVP Brett Roberts takes a mouth full of dirt as he does a Superman slide across home plate to score the winning run.)

*Family dog receives first bath ever.
Then immediately rolls around in roadkill. 
("Outside dog" status remains)

*Daughter wins third place in week-long state tournament then asks...
"can we do something fun now?"
(Mother almost runs off the road)   
Related story: *Family gives up and decides to just literally live at the ballpark.

*Teenager claiming he had "no idea" regarding 
toilet paper incident 
(mother secretly honored.)

* Fourth of July in Utah County -As good as it gets. 
(Parents decide to eat out with children to encourage 
good manners and teach dining etiquette.) 
(There is nothing cuter than hearing Kal say to our waiter
 "excuse me sir,
could you please refill my drink whenever you get a minute?
... but right now?")

(Available lawn space for viewing fireworks in Provo is scarce,
unless you join a bunch of lonely BYU co-eds outside their dorms.)

*Wonderful Wyoming hosts baseball tournaments as well as Pioneer Trekkers, on the same weekend ~
(Census Bureau notes population increase.)

*Mother comes home to find storage room destroyed
and boxes emptied into one big pile.
Children claimed they needed boxes for fort.
(Amazingly all the children were allowed to live.) 

*Family gets together to celebrate parents absence! 
(*correction* "family to celebrate even in parents absence.)

*Moon Ranch Homestead hosts Roberts Reunion each year.
(Hungry bear not happy with the noise, vows to break up the party next year)  

*Teenage son and father make work a family affair.
(Father and son bond over Big Macs, guy talk, and making fun of mom)

*July 24th Spanish Fork Fiesta Days doesn't disappoint.
(Three prized Carnival goldfish die rather expectedly the next day)

(Local girl Indy blue (my niece) makes family proud as Lindon City Royalty) 

(Husband not a parade fan...or could you not tell?) 

*High temperatures prompt family to retreat to traditional favorite swimming hole 
(Either that or they are just too darn cheap to go to Seven Peaks)



*Walmart seems to be the location for many family firsts.
(First lost tooth, first steps, first mental breakdown etc.)


* Family claims middle age man doesn't look a day over twenty.
(man spends birthday forking over money for school clothes and drowning sorrows in cheesecake.)

*Baby Brother of the family becomes big daddy.
(Family gathers for usual free food, corny jokes and ditching church)

*"Hike to the Y" is considered
the greatest accomplishment of all time! (for all underachieving families)   

*Best time to waterski at Deer Creek is just before a great big, dark thunderstorm rolls across Mt. Timp.
(no wonder we were the only ones on the lake...those whimps!)

*Teenage son declares Storytelling Festival and Education week
 "too good to be true!" (smartaleck little punk)

*Woman decides to do all school shopping with all kids in one day.  (Mall employees sign petition to have mother committed)

*Eighteen shots between five kids. School immunizations are a nessesary evil. (children refuse to cry)

*New park opens Labor Day Weekend (After housework, the children were promised a reward. Who knew a $5.00 footlong and a free local park outing would be the acceptable ticket.)


                                 Well, that's all she wrote folks!
                                        ...now lets all go take a nap. we deserve it.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...