First – I hope you all had a great last-weekend-of-October/Halloween-weekend.
Important things first – here’s my kids in their Halloween costumes:
Julia, as you can probably guess, is a very stylish and beautiful little witchling.
We took her devil costume from last year, removed the sequined pitchfork, changed the stand-up collar into a cape, and i put the sequin strands that dangled from her pitchfork around her cute little hat.
I also made her an earring with a little spider dangling from it.
Unfortunately, you can’t really see it in these pictures.
Oh, and she wore black tights (and two shirts under the costume – it was pretty cold last night) and sparkly red shoes. Everything the fashion-forward witch-girl-on-the-go needs!
Now, Alex’s costume took a little more work and might need a little more ‘splaining for some of you.
First of all, in case you’ve forgotten what he really looks like, here’s my little boy:
And he wanted to dress up as Billy the Exterminator. (No, don’t bother clicking on the “watch video” thing below – that’s just a picture from the site.)
We love Billy. We first saw him in an episode of Dirty Jobs, and recently (we’re a little slow) discovered his show on A&E.
The kids, of course, love watching Billy tackle ‘gators and big snakes, mostly.
I love the fact that Billy prefers to set animals free whenever possible, and he uses environmentally safe pesticides and animal deterrents whenever possible. AND I love that fact that he exemplifies the whole “Don’t judge a book by its cover” thing.
But enough of that.
There is an actual “Billy the Exterminator” costume you can buy, but I didn’t want to buy it – I wanted to make it. I’m wacky like that.
So I went shopping one day for a few items of necessity…a black hat, a black tee shirt, some black gloves, some studs, and some white paint.
The first, and easiest, thing I did was to make the gloves. I just cut off the fingertips and sewed the little studs on. (The studs were part of a Halloween “goth” set of earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. I just removed the earring backs and cut the sections apart on the bracelet and necklace. The studs were in little groups of three.
Next thing I had to do was make the shirt. I took a look at the VexCon logo and did my best to paint one like it. I think I did pretty well.
Now, for the studded wrist bands, I just cut the ends off the shirt (which was an adult small – couldn’t find a long-sleeve kids’ tee in black), reinforced the cut sections with some denim, and then I sewed some more studs along there.
And once the shirt was dry, I stitched some studs along the shoulders, too.
I made the belt out of a piece of chain and a plastic skull with the back cut off. Easy.
Now, the hat. I had to get the hat right. I started off with a cheapo black almost-cowboy-style hat I bought at iParty. It was kind of like Woody’s hat in Toy Story, only black. Very simple. And the brim was easily bent, which was important.
OH! Almost forgot. I needed hair, so I could create a kind of mullet for Alex. I looked at all the wigs – male and female – and didn’t like ANY of them, not even the actual mullet wig. (It was a really weird color, and I’m all about realistic-looking fake hair on my child at Halloween. I’ve got standards.)
I finally settled on the “Surfer Dude” wig – it was a shorter, shaggy style on an adult, but long enough for the back of the mullet on my boy.
So, back to the hat. First, I wanted to make the sort of band thing that runs around it. The real hat has what look like sections of chain, but I didn’t have any of that, so I drew on a piece of gray denim with a sharpie and glued it on. I’m pretty happy with the result. Then I folded the sides and stitched them down. And, finally, I stitched part of the Surfer Dude wig to the back of the inside of the hat.
We used Bill’s (my husband, not Billly) sunglasses, and for the skinny little beard? It’s actually deer fur (or whatever you call it) from Bill’s fly-tying supplies, trimmed and stuck on Alex’s face with double-sided tape.
OH – and Bill made the little cage for Alex to carry around. (I didn’t get a good picture of it – sorry!) It’s fashioned a bit like a Have-a-Heart trap, only smaller and lighter. Alex put a little stuffed animal fox inside, and then used it to collect candy as he roamed the neighborhood.
And I think that’s everything.
By the way, they raked in the candy last night.
I’m thinking their costumes had something to do with that….
Now, Bill and I’ve had colds of some kind since last week – sore throats, congestion, aches (me), and other various afflictions, but we managed to accomplish a few things over the weekend. We picked up Bill’s and the kids’ skiis and the kids’ new ski boots and a pair of goggles for Julia, so they’re all set for the winter.
I took a nap.
And then Sunday morning I ran/walked the 1st annual Monster Mini-Dash 5K in Providence with my sister and a couple friends. I’d signed up a while back, and though I felt lousy, and Bill sort of urged me not to go, I went anyway. My head had that kind of swimmy feel from the congestion pressure, and my throat still hurt, and I ached, and – during the race – I discovered a particularly nasty, metallic taste in my mouth whenever I coughed. That was fun.
In addition to the 5K, there was also a 1K for kids, and most of the people – kids and adults – wore costumes. The kids were adorable, and a lot of the adult costumes were really impressive. Next year, we’re dressing up.
(I said I was dressing up as a runner this year. HAHAHAHA!)
I actually did okay. Especially when you consider that I haven’t run AT ALL since the NK5K in September AND I was sick.
It doesn’t seem right, I know. But I think I’ve discovered a secret that runners don’t like to share, and since I’m not reeeeeally a runner (yet), I’ll go ahead and blow the lid right off it: when you’re sick, you run FASTER, because you just want to get it over with so you can guzzle some water, eat some bananas, and curl up in a little shaking, coughing ball on the sidewalk.
Okay, I didn’t curl up on the sidewalk. But I did move faster, and I swear that at least PART of the reason was because I wanted to STOP. I didn’t want to be out there running and race-walking, even though it was a gorgeous Autumn day and perfect for running and race-walking.
I wanted to sit down.
And since I had to get back to the finish line in order to get back to my sister and our friends and my sister’s vehicle, I kind of had to keep going.
So I did some of what I did last time – I picked out people I thought I might remotely be able to move past, and I’d run enough to go past them and put some distance between us, and then I’d drop down to a walk. A fast walk. A fast, coughing walk.
But, of course, some of those people I passed were doing the same thing I was (minus the coughing), so eventually they’d pass me and get ahead a little bit.
So that’s how it went – a little group of us passing and re-passing each other. If we’d had the breath to talk, we might have even introduced ourselves. But it’s hard to talk when you’re gasping and coughing.
Funny thing – before the race we (Mere (my sister), Beth, and Stephanie) were talking about hills, and types of hills – long, slow inclines vs. steeper hills. I sort of like the steep ones better, and (not that I’ve got a great long history of running) I tend to like to run up them. It gets them over with quicker.
And wouldn’t you know it, there was a little hill at one of the turns, – a very little one – and I ran right up it. So there!
And another thing…at each mile marker there was a digital time display, so, you know, you could keep track of how you were doing. To my surprise, at the first marker, I was apparently doing better than I’d done in the NK5K. Hm! So I made sure to RUN to it and past it, just to psychologically keep my time low. Mental games.
And when I got to the second marker, I was still (amazingly) doing better than before. Wow!
And, yes, at the third marker I was still in good (for me) shape. And then it was just that little tenth of a mile remaining. Just a tenth of a mile. And then I would be done.
So I ran. And I ran most of it. I had to stop to gasp and cough briefly, but I made sure to run the rest of it, and I even tried to crack a smile a bit, so that in the pictures I wouldn’t look like I was wearing some really scary, ominous mask.
I haven’t seen any pictures, but I did check out my time this morning.
And the funny thing? My time was almost exactly TWO MINUTES faster than last time.
So now my sister is trying to get me to run in the Jingle All the Way (or whatever it’s called) race in December.
I’m planning to get the flu, just so I can shave off another two minutes.