Yes Virginia, There Is a Halloween

So I know I kind of left it on a cliffhanger last time- the question on everyone's mind (and by "everyone's" I mean only me of course) was will she or won't she?  When we last left our heroes, ZB was refusing to wear the hat of her Halloween costume.  We'd been trying to get her to wear it for the entire month of October to no avail.  I wasn't sure what we were going to do if she balked on the big day.  It was quite the nail biter.

But! I am happy to report that on Halloween morning ZB got up and let me put her costume on her, hat and all, like it was no big deal.  Was it because she knew that it was finally the right day to wear a costume?  Was it because it was cold and she was glad to have a hat on her head?  Did she see that vein throbbing on Mommy's forehead and decide to cut her a break?  Who knows what goes through a toddler's mind?

Anyway.  I officially present...two scary and ferocious monsters!
And one of the ferocious monsters is blowing you a kiss.

ZB's costume was available commercially where all fine baby Halloween costumes are sold.  Last year Mom made her lion costume for her, but she (meaning Mom) is having back problems and can't sit at her sewing machine for any length of time, so no free sewing labor for us this year. (Boo!)  So I ran through all the costumes at Babies R Us and Walmart and Target and anywhere else that was like, "we sell overpriced poorly made polyester costumes that your child will wear exactly once!"  And this one caught my eye because it was just so gosh darn cute.  And made halfway decently.  And not obscenely overpriced.  So I was all, "Monsters it is!"

I mean seriously.  Have you ever seen anything cuter in your life?

The only problem was that the hat was a teeny bit big and the "teeth" kept slipping over her eyes.  Surprisingly (and hysterically), ZB's instinct is just to take off running blindly when this happens.  

My costume was a little harder.  Can you believe that they don't make adult monster costumes?  (Actually, that's a lie.  They do.  I found a couple on a website that sells fantasy lingerie.  For all your monster fetish needs, I suppose.  But it isn't really the kind of monster outfit that you can wear to take your child trick or treating.)  So I improvised.  Really improvised.  First of all, it's hard to find purple fur around here.  And if you do, it's something like $18/yard.  Which is crazy.  So I used a blanket instead.  I'm serious.  In the teen bedding section of Walmart, they have all these assorted furry pillows and throws and whatnot.  And they are much cheaper than $18/yard (I think $14 for two or so yards worth...and lined!), so I bought a purple throw and cut it up.  Instant monster fur.  

Secondly, I'm kind of self-taught when it comes to sewing.  My skill level is somewhere around "hem a pillow case".  I couldn't read a pattern if my life depended on it.  So I made up my own.  The skirt is based on a wrap-around skirt that I had in my closet, the leg warmers are just material that I wrapped around my legs, sewed the seams together and put elastic band at the top.  And the hat was me literally laying my head down on the material and tracing around it with a pencil for the size.  I'd sew some parts together, eyeball it, and go, yeah, those sides look mostly even.  Plus, monster fur is very forgiving.  It's so fuzzy you can't see the seams anyway, so no one has to know about that zig-zaggy spot where the sewing machine got away from me a little.  
Standing together, we are monsters.  Alone, I look like a giant purple bath mat with horns.

So those are our Halloween costumes for this year.  I think they turned out well considering that they were almost not to be.  Hopefully she'll remember how much fun she had this year and not fight me so much about it next year.  A Mommy can dream anyway.

Trick or Treat!

A Headstrong Toddler: Scarier than Freddie AND Chucky

Edited to add: This was actually supposed to post the day before Halloween but didn't due to "issues" with the dancing video on the previous post, which gummed up the timing on these other posts.  So...pretend Halloween hasn't happened yet.  

I love Halloween.  Love it, love it, love it.  I love thinking of costume ideas, and making costumes, and wearing costumes, and seeing other people in costumes.  (And yes, eating candy, if you're going to twist my arm about it.)

I mean, look at the following evidence:

And then ZB came along, and that just doubled the costume fun.  (Sadly, Tony has never been one for dressing up.  Even when we were first dating and he was still trying to impress me, he balked at the whole couples costume idea.  Sigh.)  But ZB wasn't old enough to protest, so she became my costume muse.

For example, last year:

I mean, you can't be a lion tamer without a little lion, can you?  But Internets, this year the best part about Halloween is in DANGER!  And not fake being-chased-through-a-haunted-house-by-a-guy-with-a-chainsaw-with-no-chain danger, but real danger!  Because ya'll, this year ZB does not want to wear her costume.


Seems that now that she is a toddler, she's got this crazy idea to "exert her independence" and that includes refusing to wear her little costume hat.  Seriously.  I've been "practicing" with her for the last month to wear her hat, and she just says "No! No! No!" and pulls it off.  Don't get me wrong, she thinks it is hysterical when Mommy wears it, or Daddy wears it, or CC wears it, but when it goes on her head, she wants nothing to do with it.

I am very concerned!  The costume doesn't really make sense without her hat, and if her costume doesn't make sense, then my costume doesn't make sense.  (And I spent a lot of time making my costume by hand.  Many a night I slaved over my sewing machine, and I don't really even know how to sew!)  So I'm not sure what to do.  If she balks tomorrow, then my plan B is to put her back into her wedding outfit and call her a princess.  But I'm really really hoping that Plan A (Wear the stupid hat!) works.

Does anyone know any good bribes that work on toddlers?

She Could Have Danced All Night

So...yeah.  I'm know it's been a few weeks since I've been on, and my excuse is that we have all been very very busy doing such awesome things that I haven't had the slightest free moment in which to write about them on the ol' blog here.  (And this is the part where, having just expressed your displeasure at my absence, you sigh and decide to forgive me and then rub your hands together in anticipation of reading all this awesome stuff.)  Except that, having completely set your expectations to ridiculously high levels, I have just blanked on everything that has happened to us in the last few weeks.

Wait! Wait! I just remembered something!

Last weekend Tony's sister Mary got married!  Originally Mary wanted ZB to be a flower girl or something, but the church has some kind of rule about no flower girls under five (or something like that...I can't really remember the specifics) so Mary asked if ZB could help me and Tony carry the sacraments down the aisle for the mass part.  And we said sure, that would be lots of fun, she'd love that, and Mom and I immediately went out and bought her the cutest little dress.  It has a silver top, puffy white tulle and sparkles and rhinestones, so you know it was a complete hit with the under 3' crowd.  ZB was so excited when she put it on that she kept spinning around and patting it and lifting the skirt part over her head.  (If that doesn't say yes to the dress, then I don't know what does.)  Then I found a kind of similar top (similar in that it was also silver, not that it had tulle or sparkles or rhinestones) and Tony a new sports coat, and off we went down to Charlotte where the wedding was being held.

Oh ya'll, the whole wedding was lovely.  The bride was lovely, the groom was lovely, the church was lovely, we were was all just lovely.  The only thing that was slightly unlovely was that when it came time to do our part, instead of holding Daddy's hand and walking down the aisle to show off her pretty dress, ZB suddenly decided to go boneless and refused to stand on her own two feet.  And since people kind of frown on you just dragging your toddler behind you like a sack of dirty laundry, I ended up carrying the gifts, and Tony carried ZB, and her little dress was all scrunched under his arm and no one could really see how adorable it was.  (Which we all know is why everyone came.  Not to see the bride or groom or anything, but to see ZB's sparkles and tulle. Am I right?)

Notice how Mary was a good girl and walked down the aisle with her Daddy, so everyone was able to see her pretty dress.
Of course, ZB overcame her shyness as soon as the wedding was over, because then we were headed to the reception, and there's nothing that that girl loves more than a PARRRR-TAAY!  There's just something about her when the music gets started.  Her toes start tapping and all of a sudden she is off like a shot, headed towards the dance floor to get her groove thing on.  And trust me, she totally stole the show too.  At one point I looked up and everyone else had formed a circle around her on the dance floor and clapped as she got down with her sweet toddler dance moves (read: jumping, random arm waving and spinning).  She is a dancing queen.  And who knew that size five black patent leather Stride Rites were such great boogie woogie dancing shoes?

She enjoyed getting down and funky so much that we had to physically carry her off of the dance floor when it was time for the Bride/Father and Groom/Mother dances.  She was really miffed about it too.  She honestly could not understand why the bride and groom didn't want to share their special moment on the dance floor with her.  Luckily, we were able to temporarily distract her with some wedding cake so that she'd be all sugared up and ready to go again when they called for group dance time.

So that was our weekend.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Brett got married.  We discovered that the high ceilings in the church make great echoes when you yell really loud in the middle of the ceremony, (and also that being whisked out and into the cry room off the lobby is much more fun than trying to sit still in a pew with Mommy and Daddy).  And we learned that when there's a party going on, little girls can completely forgo sleep.  All they need is a dance floor and a good beat, and they can dance all night.

Edited to add:  Sorry for the delay in posting this.  For some reason, blogger refused to load my video.  It would load part of it and then freeze, causing great weeping and gnashing of teeth.  I FINALLY compressed it enough to load, but it took sweet forever and a large chunk of my hair.  All that is to say, enjoy the video.

Edited again:  Okay, apparently the video didn't load after all.  Another large chunk of my hair is now gone.  However, the video loaded just fine on facebook, so if we are facebook friends feel free to watch it there.  Meanwhile, I will continue to insult Blogger's mother for refusing to upload a simple video.