Monday, September 22, 2008

The Quest for Halloween Costumes

Have I mentioned that my children are 21 months apart?

Well, they are.

Being so close in age has its perks and its disadvantages, as I am sure it is with most sibling spacing. One of the perks of my children being close in age, and being such a young age, is that I can control both of their Halloween costume choices and require their outfits fit a theme. Such coordination brings me joy and makes me hope the days of them wanting to be popular superheros or princesses are still far away.

Being the chooser of the Halloween costumes holds great importance as well as a fair amount of stress (*). I have discussed in great detail with anyone willing to listen (usually poor Tobe) about the ins and outs of potential choices. I have spent way too many hours searching the Internet for possible costume choices, deciding if purchases need to be made or if I can simply create a costume from what we have (not likely due to the fact my only sewing skills involve the extensive use of a glue gun). Aisles of local stores have been scoured in search of ideas or outfits that would tie together to make a coordinating theme.

Here are a few lessons I have learned during my search:

1. The retail superstores have really bought into the idea of putting grown-up clothes on children. This is no shock considering low rise jeans are now sold in size 12 months and training bras have been replaced by polka-dot push-up undergarments. However, I am wondering what purchasing manager decided that toddler girl costumes need to resemble a bar maid. For instance, one can purchase a Raggedy Ann costume for their two year old complete with corset top and thigh-high stockings. The same goes for devil costume, angel costume, princess costume, and lady bug costume. Sam Walton would likely roll over in his grave if he knew such merchandise was being sold on his shelves.

2. Pottery Barn Kids think that charging a minimum of $80 for a costume (although incredibly darling...and tempting) is okay. It's not, PBK.

3. Apparently I needed to order the costume I wanted from a particular retailer in August because it sold out in a matter of two weeks. Who knew? Perhaps such information as this needs to be in the New Mother Handbook issued at the hospital upon the birth of one's child.

4. Deciding upon costumes raises moral issues. For example, the costume choice that we have decided upon for Isaac could possibly have a gun. I am not quite ready for my three year old to have access to toy guns. It makes me a little uneasy and a bit nostalgic for the days when he was a cute little giraffe all bundled in a blanket and not toting weapons (by the way, he is not going to be wearing any type of gun this Halloween).

5. Because costumes cost money and because they likely will only be worn in public two or three times, I want to purchase something that can be re purposed as dress-up clothes. This means finding costumes that the kids can almost get on and off by themselves and that will hold up more than three weeks at casa de phillips.

6. EBay is the parent's answer to finding hard-to-find costumes. I have placed bids on outfits for both kids and should know by the end of the day if I have "won" them or not. Oh, the stress of wondering if my bid will be the highest (yet still be considered to be a great deal). Such bidding allows me to set a reasonable price and hope some mother with more cash to burn isn't out there bidding against me.

7. My husband should do costume consulting on the side for college students needing ideas for parties/socials/Grubs (ACU reference there). He comes up with some great ideas. One of his ideas was to make Isaac Michael Phelps and Evelyn Nastia Lukin for Halloween. Being the stick in the mud that I tend to be, this idea was vetoed. However, I think it would make a great costume for some spirited college kids.

After much searching, I have decided on costumes and a theme. However, I am not quite ready to tell exactly what they are yet (what if you bid against me on Ebay???).

Anyone willing to share what your kids are going to be this Halloween?

For fun, here are some past Halloween pictures:

Isaac as a Giraffe on his First Halloween

Second Halloween: Bloggers vote on costume choice

Last Year: A Firefighter and his cute dalmation


Robin said...

Loved your post.

I totally empathize with the urge to coordinate my children's costumes (mine are 22 months apart and it seems Ian is gaining on Clara in height and weight every day; the twin question continues to be asked). Last year, Clara was a princess and Ian a frog. This year, Ian is going to be a farmer and Clara a chicken. She chose this particular farm animal herself and also suggested that Ian carry some candy corn to feed her. The girl wasn't born yesterday. :)

We are busy Craigslisting chicken costumes for Clara and a straw hat for Ian. :) Will try e-bay if I strike out! Can't wait to see what fun costumes Isaac and Evelyn will don this year!

Jennifer Reinsch said...

I have to say that I love the Michael Phelps/Nastia Liukin idea, but can see how it doesn't really work on toddlers.

Amber Smith said...

I, too, have had some ordering issues with the kids' costumes. I ordered parts of their costumes and am going to attempt to make the rest. The only problem.... the wigs/accessories that I ordered back in August were supposed to be here several weeks ago. When I contacted customer service to try and figure out why I had yet to receive the items, they let me know that the costumes are now backordered and to expect them around the beginning of October. And I thought I was being so prepared.... :)

I always love seeing what your kids are at Halloween. They always look so adorable!

Shanta said...

Oh I love the trip down memory lane. They are so cute! I'm thinking Campbell may be a Bollywood star because she (go figure) has already received two baby saris from my family in India. Who knows!

kelly said...

Love these pics! I am super impressed with your planning and am anxious to hear the big reveal of the theme! Good luck bidding on Ebay......I cannot believe PBK is charging $80 per costume- totally ridiculous.

Amy said...

My kids are 30 months apart and I have a VERY opinionated 4 y/o so coordinating will not happen. She is going to be LarryBoy and Nathan is going to be Tigger (mostly because the costume was all of $2.50). I look forward to the highly creative big reveal of your kiddos costumes.

Sydni said...

The suspense of this year's theme for your kids' costumes is just killing me! The great ideas just keep coming. Sayler will be a monkey this year. She doesn't care to be a princess yet (thankfully) and I got the costume for $5 last year sometime around November first. She'll probably fit in the same costume next year, poor girl...

Jennifer said...

Costume hunting is always a challenge around here too. Hudson does not like to wear things on his head or face so we are VERY limited in the costumes we can get for him. He wants to be Wall E but I know he won't end up wearing the little binocular hat that is adorable so I refuse to buy it. I did score pretty big last night at the JBF sale...I bought a Disney Bullseye costume (the cute horse from Toy Story) for $10. I think I'll make Cooper be Woody and call it done.

Hope you win your auctions! Ebay can be soooo tricky!