Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009: The Beginning of the End

I think the glory days are behind us. I always knew the day would come that my children wouldn't think it fun to dress up for Halloween with costumes that coordinated with their parents. Although that day is not completely here, I see it on the horizon.

When we sat around the dinner table discussing Halloween costumes this year, it became obvious that my older children really wanted to wear "scarier" costumes than they have ever done. Mackenna just wanted to be a princess--no, a dancer--no, a kitty cat--a "sign-ah-me" kitty--no, a panda cub! (You get the idea.)

At the end of our family chat, we decided to follow the most loosely held-together theme in our history: Classic Halloween. Hand on heart, dear friend and devoted reader, this mom was a little sad. And disappointed that she wouldn't have to get too crafty and creative to pull off the costumes. She was also worried about disappointing her adoring public. (Imagine the kind of pressure I feel when people say things like, "I've been waiting all month to see what the Hunters were going to be this year!" or "Our family was talking over dinner tonight, all taking guesses as to what your family's theme would be this year!") But, the children were happy and, really, this silly holiday isn't about the mother. It's about the sugar. Hee hee

We did have a couple of little hiccups in delegating costumes. Both Maia and Mason wanted to be vampires until I interjected the possibility that one of them could be a mummy. Mason jumped at the chance. Mackenna really preferred the idea of being a Siamese cat to a black one, but Mason insisted that she had to follow our family theme (my boy is quite into the family coordination, let me tell you).

So, without further ado, I present to you The Hunter Family's Classic Halloween featuring Daddy as Frankenstein, Mom as a witch, Maia as a vampire, Mason as a mummy, Marlee as a bat and Mackenna as a black cat (who in the world can pull off a Siamese, I ask you?).

The whole gang. I love Mason in this photo. He really embraced his role as Family Mummy.

A charming shot of the lovely couple. I tried fake eyelashes for the first time in my life. Love the look! And although I can see my Michael's handsomeness under the make-up, it threw so many people off that he was voted "Scariest Costume" at the party!

Maia the Undead. I like how she accesorized with a giant spider wed-printed bow on the side of her head.

I had to include this action shot of Mason in the doughnut eating contest.

Here's my little Teensy at her school parade. We scored some sparkly bat fabric to make her wings. She was thrilled!

And lastly, here is my baby at her preschool parade. She really got in touch with her inner feline. Can you tell?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback Friday: The One That Started It All

Here are my Michael and me at Halloween 1997. At this point, we were engaged to we be wed in two short months. I don't remember whose idea it was to coordinate costumes or how we came up with the toothpaste/toothbrush theme. I do remember that I worked on mine and he did his all on his own (last time that happened).

I bought a snazzy white polyester jumpsuit at the local thrift shop--Deseret Industries--and did some old-fashioned cut and paste with construction paper to make my label. My roommate's bedside lamp had the cutest little shade that was the exact shape of the lid of a tube of toothpaste so I popped that thing on my head and called myself Crest. (Like my fancy glass of my roommate's Kool-Aid Halloween Punch?)

Michael used poster board to fashion his bristles and secure them as a head dress. We agreed that his blue jeans and blue t-shirt made him a respectable toothbrush handle.

And so there you have it: the Halloween that started all the coordinating costume craziness.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday!

Here's another gem from the years when our family was just four members big.

In 2001, my Michael proved that he was the best sport about costumes by wearing not one, but two toilet plungers on his head! Yes, he was Larry Boy from the Veggie Tales; I was Bob the Tomato; Maia was Laura the Carrot and Mason was Jr. Asparagus.

Sadly, you can't see all the little asparagus thingies under Mason's hat. I sewed so many of those, stuffing and hand sewing each one closed. And you can't even see them in the photo! Bummer.

When we first discovered the cleverness of Veggie Tales, my Michael and I were known to put our kids to bed and watch a Veggie Tales video snuggled up on the couch together, laughing all the while. I can't tell you the last time we did that, but I can tell you that my kids and I still regularly watch Veggie Tales and still adore the lovable characters we got to portray for Halloween 2001.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flashback Friday!

Well, here we are at Halloween 2002. Obviously, we went with Peter Pan this year. Now, you might wonder why Maia is in lavender and not blue; well, I'll tell you, dear friend and devoted reader. Maia was not Wendy from Peter Pan, but Jane from Return to Neverland. That was the first movie she ever saw in the theater and it totally resonated with her soul. Seeing that film started Maia on her sixteen month campaign to cut off all her hair so she could look like Jane. I didn't let her bob her hair until July 2003, but I did let her dress up as her favorite heroine for Halloween 2002.

Mason was perfectly happy to be Peter Pan and I was content to be Mr. Smee. My Michael was an awesome Captain Hook, I must say. Not every man can pull off fitted purple britches; my Michael owned those purple velvet pants I sewed for him.

In this photo, please notice Maia and Mason holding their favorite dolls. Maia never cared about dolls until she got her Cabbage Patch when she turned three. Then, Maude hardly left her side. When Mason noticed Maia's attachment to her doll, he stole a neglected doll of hers and adopted it as his own. He named it "Baby Dip" (which got us quite a few stares whenever people heard). Maude and Baby Dip were like members of our family. So, naturally, I sewed them costumes. Maude was Tinkerbell and Dip was Cubby (one of the Lost Boys).

I remember sitting at my dining table with the sewing machine needle bobbing up and down, feeding fabric through the feed dogs and thinking, "I am sick. This is not normal. I am actually sewing coordinating Halloween costumes for my children's dolls. This must be a disease." But then I decided that if I can recognize the over-the-top-ness of it all, I must not be too sick, right?

And you know me, dear friend and devoted reader, I have completely surrendered myself to this fun holiday. If it is a disease I don't want a cure!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flashback Friday

I thought I had the best idea: do a Flashback Friday every week in October with old Halloween photos. Then I looked at the calendar and realized that I already missed a Friday this month. I had good intentions, at any rate. I'll make no promises about future posts, but I will do one today.

Here were are in October 2005 as The Incredibles. These were super easy costumes to make. I think this is the one year that I had the costumes ready before the day of the Ward party.

There was a time when Maia and Mason liked to dress up in whatever red and black clothes they could find and play Incredibles together. They also liked to point out how our family was kind of like the Indredibles (before Mackenna was born). To get Mason to do anything at this point in time, all I had to do was say, "Mason, go take your plate to the sink--fast as Dash!" If I added "fast as Dash" to my requests, they would always be obeyed with haste.

The idea of being The Incredibles for Halloween did present one problem for us: we had an extra child. Obviously, Maia, Mason, my Michael and I were fine with our roles and it made sense to have Mackenna be Jack-Jack (though I called her Jackie-Jackie for the night). Then, the idea came to me to have my Teensy dress as the costume designer to the superheroes: Edna Mode. Scale wise, it was perfect to have our two-year-old play the little lady. She donned her black dress, black cropped wig and thick glasses. I laughed and laughed at how adorable she looked.

Then, we went to the party where she saw every other girl her age dressed as a beautiful princess. I felt like the most cruel of all mothers as I heard her compliment her little friends on their elegant gowns while she was ensconsed in black from head to toe. Don't worry, dear friend and devoted reader, I made sure that she had girly costumes for the next three years: Sharpay from High School Musical, Glinda from The Wizard of Oz, and Tour Guide Barbie from Toy Story 2.

Seriously, she did look adorable, though, right?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Name That Uncle: Mackenna Edition

My kids sometimes have a hard time keeping their relatives straight. Who can blame them? I mean, I grew up with essentially the same number of first cousins as I had siblings but my children have ten times the number of first cousins as they do siblings. That's quite a number! They seem to do pretty well with their own generation, but with older relatives, like aunts and uncles, their grasp on identity becomes a little sketchy.

Last week, Kenna and I trekked north of the Mason-Dixon line to have a cousin play date. I had called my sister-in-law and invited ourselves to her home. She was most gracious in allowing us to come (and in letting me hold her babies while I was there). My brother works about 2 minutes from his house (Dreamy. I know, right?) so he comes home from work for lunch everyday.

While he was there, I noticed Mackenna doing the, "!" thing you do when you can't remember someone's name. I said to Adam, "Do you like how she's calling you, 'you,' because she can't remember which uncle you are? Watch this!"

"Hey, Kenna," I said, "Who is this? What's his name?"

Blank stare.

"Kenna. He's Uuuunnnnccccllllleee....."

Wheels turning in the brain. You could see it in her eyes.

"Uncle Daryl!" she proudly pronounced.

I couldn't help but laugh. If you lined up all twelve of her uncles on this earth she picked the one you'd pretty much never mistake for my brother Adam. Have a look for yourself:

This is my brother Adam and me at our New Year's Eve Karaoke Extravaganza last year. Please note his height, eye color and, well, skin tone.

To the right here, you'll see my eyes (nice crop job, I know) and my brother-in-law, Daryl. Again, please note his height, eye color and, well, skin tone.

Clearly, we need to make some sort of flashcard game to reinforce the uncles and their proper names. I mean, these are two of her uncles Kenna actually sees at least monthly! Imagine how clueless she is about the ones who live in Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill