Chances are you recognize Jodie’s name if you’ve been a reader for long. Chances are you know Jodie if you’ve liked my Facebook page (and if you haven’t, I hope you’ll consider doing so in her honor). Yes, this lovely lady — who happens to be married to Lenny’s old roommate — has been one of my most active reader recruiters, commenters, encouragers, inspirers, ideators, and more (yes, more!) since I started Using Our Words all those years ago. She happens to be one of the coolest moms I know, and I’m constantly wishing I could live in her creative brain for a day, or at least down the street. (Lucky for me, she, too, has a blog I can stalk for ideas.) My goodness, her kids are lucky. Not to mention hilarious.
And when Jodie’s not turning cotton balls into pirate pellets (or something like that), she’s cleaning tar off my feet and shoes with them. Great mom, great friend, great stuff below. Here goes…
It all started when my wee one was born in the fall and I had my first taste of theme costuming. It was the first time I saw those muscle-y-chested superhero costumes at my local superstore and I *had* to put my big guy in a Superman version if only for my own entertainment. Tucking my newborn in a Batman bunting outfit off the Internet was a natural next step.
Lessons learned from this first dual-kid Halloween informed me that full-body costumes and hats/masks were NOT my kids’ favorite uniform, and Halloween where I live has an 80% chance of being 80 degrees. Therefore, I focused on accessory-based elements my kids could comfortably wear over *any* type of clothing. Because really, what on earth is the point of a Halloween costume if it isn’t worn?! This knowledge, influenced by hours of exposure to Project Runway and Pinterest, started me on my journey towards custom or semi-custom team Halloween costumes of my decree.
It is important to note I have NEVER used a pattern or sewing machine in my life. I *do*, however, have a couple of good friends with substantial sewing experience and the kindness to teach me to sew and brainstorm “making it work.” I also must give kudos to a little girl who came to my door one Halloween night when I was in graduate school — her grandmother had made her a Xena Warrior Princess costume from scratch, INCLUDING a completely rad aluminum foil-covered version of the warrior princess’ disc weapon. To this day, I marvel at the originality and sheer awesomeness of that costume. From that experience, I have a strong desire for originality and costumes that would entertain my kids and onlookers alike!
If you’ve read thus far, you’ve likely realized there is a lot of “I” being thrown around here. Now — don’t get me wrong — there was no forcing of costumes onto crying children. It was much more subtle than that. Once I’d visualized the theme, I’d start dropping hints and guide my kids towards their latest “obsession.” The fist year there was a lot of Dinosaur Train on the TV and several new prehistoric Imaginext toys in the mix.
Then came several viewings of How to Train Your Dragon and the books to boot.
Year 3 was a little easier as the kids were more than happy to choose a scary monster, but there *was* a lot of discussion of how much cooler Frankenstein was than the Mummy.
Finally, we may have gone to see Brave at least 5 times in the theater before the end of October.
As my kids get older, I’m not sure how long I will be able to manipulate what they wear for Halloween. I do, however, hope they continue to be thoughtful and original about their costume choices and not back away from a little hard work and homemade goodness. Oh and they should also have fun… that, too, of course!
A bit about Jodie: After a decade of traversing the states as a professional evaluator for an education research organization, I am now an amateur full-time mom, school-volunteer addict, and recreational blogger. My biggest completely inconsequential thrills are getting a great parking spot at drop-off/pick-up, rescuing an abstract object from the garbage and transferring it to the craft drawer, and successfully face-painting my kids. My biggest actual thrills…. Well, they pretty much involve hugs and kisses from my boys and husband. Yeah I went there… and yeah I’m going to totally own the cheese – boo yah!