Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Disaster that was Halloween 2013

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the pumpkins, and the leaves, and the colder weather. Going trick-or-treating is still a blast to me... at almost 30 years old. And I always told myself that when I had kids they would have rocking costumes and makeup since their mommy is talented in that area. I stay away from the whole "It's EVIL" argument because, in my opinion, it's a fun time to dress up and get free candy. That's it.

If you remember last year, William and Alanna looked AWESOME!

I was really looking forward to Halloween this year because my mom was coming to visit and to do trick-or-treating with us and the kids. We also had other plans of fun things to do. So I was very pumped for Halloween!

This year Lana decided months early that she wanted to be Skully from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Really. A green parrot. Apparently it was because he could fly. No other suggestions would persuade her from being Skully.

Okay then.

William for a long time didn't want to be anything for Halloween. I told him he could not go trick-or-treating unless he was dressed up in a fun costume... and he said he didn't want to go trick-or-treating. Eventually, after given many options, he said he wanted to be the guy with the tools who builds things. So Construction Worker is was!

I got started pretty late in the costume sewing. I knew Will's would be easy to get together so I started on Lana's first. I decided to make it out of felt so it would be sturdy enough for my design, it's pretty cheap, and easy to manipulate. I kept calling my mom so I could talk out my designs because I was having the hardest time deciding how to do the wings! But I figured it out. My next obstacle was the head. I could NOT find the proper fabric design for the bandana. Thankfully my mom had found a little skull cap hat which she brought with her that turned out to be PERFECT for what I ended up doing.

In the end I think her costume turned out pretty darn good!

Since I took so long problem solving with Alanna's costume I was behind on Will's costume. I did go out and search store costumes for a construction worker outfit, but at those awful prices and the cheap method they were made, I decided I would just make it myself. A benefit to my mom being here was that she could help! She ended up whipping up Will's vest. I made up his special tool belt. And like with Alanna's hat, mom had also found a construction worker hat that was the finishing piece.

He also turned out looking amazing.

I will mention here that these costumes were originally made to fit OVER winter coats. After what you'll read about down below you will realize it was all for naught.

So... what happened to ruin Halloween? Life. Stupid, crummy, can't be helped, life.

That morning we were already rushed and behind! Costumes were truly finished that morning. Treats for the kids' classes were made that morning as well. Pumpkins were carved that afternoon before school.


Then my mom and I had to get into our costumes. We were candy corn. They were the costumes my mom and sister wore last year and she was able to bring them out to Ohio for us to wear this year.

We rushed off to the kids' school costume parade. We all looked great, but we were having issues just getting our stuff together to get there! It was a sweet, short little time handing out candy to the classes. Then they took off costumes and we were done while the kids all did school. Mom and I did not get any full photos of us in our costumes while there, but we said it was okay because we had the opportunity later to do so. How I wish we had done the photos then.

I dropped my mom off at home then ran to the local store to pick up Halloween candy because I didn't have much and just giving out what I had at the school depleted me. I totally loaded up on goodies.

Once back home it time to pick up kids and race up to Ryan's school where the AFIT Trick-or-Treat was taking place.

And here's where things get bad.

Driving to the base I hit a HUGE puddle of water. Then, strangely my battery light comes on. Then I realize I have no power steering. CRAP!

A few weeks prior we had our serpentine belt on the engine replaced since it was cracked and the tension thing was messed up. Then a day later with heavy rain it came off. The place that replaced it did the work to fix it again. Well, when I hit that big puddle of water on the way to Ryan's school apparently the belt came off again... and that's why my power steering was gone. I get to the gate and think, 'yeah, I can still at least make it up to his school -slowly and carefully- then switch cars'... but that was not to be. As I'm handing the guard my ID card I watch as my temperature gauge races up to HOT and an alarm starts dinging.

I pull off just inside the gate, turn off the van, and try to call Ryan. No answer. I try several times. I text. I e-mail. Nothing. So I call a friend who was volunteering at the trick-or-treat table and she, thankfully, is able to find Ryan standing there. He comes down with his car to get us, but he can only take 3 of us. My mom says she will stay behind with the van. By now we are waaaaay late... and when the kids and I finally show up, the trick-or-treat is over. We did get a little bit of candy though.
not the best photo, but it gives a look at what my costume looked like

Ryan says he'll take me and the kids home then come back to my mom and the two of them will deal with the van, the towing to a different place for repairs, then come home.

Then, I kid you not, we are stuck for almost 45 minutes just trying to get off the base!

I finally get home and am trying to calm down because I am so pissed at the van. We've been having a lot of issues with it. That was the 4th time it has stranded me since May! Not to mention the crap it pulled on our PCS out to Ohio!

So, anyway, I'm home... and then I get the news that the base commander has cancelled Trick-or-Treat because of the weather. A storm was to blow in that evening. So instead of postponing a day or two like last year (and what many other areas did this year), ours was cancelled. As a reprieve they were opening the gym on base for families to gather at and hand out candy as well as trick-or-treat.

Well, I was still stranded at home with no vehicle and it was starting to rain and I was not going to walk down those blocks to get to the gym and then walk home. And I knew there would be a ton of people. And I was already in a bad mood. We did nothing. Even with my decorations outside, we received no trick-or-treaters at the house either.

Turns out most people were angry about the trick-or-treat that happened. People were lined up outside the gym and had a hard time getting inside... and it was extremely hot once you got inside. And it was like speed dating for trick-or-treat. Apparently, there were also many other people who were there that were not military families or live in base housing that added to the mass. I really didn't hear anything positive about the experience from people who did attend so I wasn't too upset we did not go there.

Anyway, Halloween was a wash. The kids even asked me about going "outside trick-or-treating" because we'd been talking about it for weeks! I was frustrated, and angry, and annoyed, and disappointed.

I texted a few friends/neighbors to see if they wanted a couple trick-or-treaters the next afternoon. They obliged. So after our trip to the Creation Museum (which I'll blog about later), we were able to hit a few neighbors' houses. It wasn't the awesome trick-or-treat experience I was planning for, but it was at least something.
yes, even Maya got in on the Trick-or-Treating in her usual Ladybug costume

On Sunday we were invited to trick-or-treat at the neighborhood from some people at church, but by then I was so over Halloween I just wanted to be done and push it away and move on.

I hope next year will be better.

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