I can’t not post this.

My kids went nuts over this video.

Credit to Bryan Oltman from Olathe Kansas for this gem.

The Jellyfish and The Robot

I was really pleased with how these turned out – both got many many comments from other parents and even other kids – particularly the jellyfish costume. Plus, I liked that both had the lights as a built-in safety feature. The Jellyfish even stopped traffic at one point, which was when I knew the get-up was a true hit.

Jellyfish and Robot in action:


I’m going to have to get rid of this stuff – I keep eating it even though it makes me feel like crap. Mmmm, but it’s tasty. Just one more Reese’s….

I bought enough candy for approximately 4500 trick or treaters. Mr. Lawyer reports that we actually got nine, give or take. So I have something like 150 pounds of candy left – and it’s going with Mr. Lawyer to work. He won’t eat it. OK, he’ll probably eat all the Almond Joys, but the rest he’ll dump in the kitchen area of the office and it will probably be gone within a half hour – we have found people there eat anything.

Crackers that no one likes? Send them to work.

Cookies that come out not-spectacular? Send them to work.

Box of baked goods that I realize in horror contain transfats and refuse to feed to the kids? Send it to work.

It’s actually kind of a joke that there is no foodstuff that someone at his office won’t eat. I would never send anything stale or actually burned or anything nasty like that, but if it’s perfectly good food that for whatever reason isn’t welcome in my house, off to work it goes and it apparently welcomed by the overworked and underfed.
I’ll admit, there have been a few items that I told him to dump anonymously. They disappeared in record time. I won’t go into specifics other than to say not all my baking experiments turn out like the photo.

Of the Halloween take, I siphoned off all of the peanut candy (yum), the stuff made in China, anything made in Mexico, a bunch of Saf-T-Pops that look like they had sat in a hot car too long, all of the Tootsie Roll Products (which I adore but just noticed they contain Partially Hydrogenated oil), the jawbreakers, cheap bubblegum, super sour candies (Very acidic – those are terrible for little teeth!), and anything really difficult to chew. It’s all going to work along with the stuff we bought to give out. Oh, don’t worry – there is plenty left. Lots of chocolate and Junior Mints and SweetTarts and tons of other things.

Oh, and about food made in China – we don’t eat it if we know about it. China is notoriously lax in their food manufacturing standards (remember the horror of the melamine in the baby formula?) and it has extended to many products. There is no guarantee that anything that comes out of that country is what it claims to be, particularly with regard to food products. Further, even if the manufacturer is an honest one, China is so horrifically polluted that the food is almost certainly contaminated from the water and other ingredients that were used in its production.

“Environmental woes that might be considered catastrophic in some countries can seem commonplace in China: industrial cities where people rarely see the sun; children killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution; a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life.”

So, the Halloween candy from China doesn’t go to work – it goes in the trash. I have no problem pawning off mediocre snacks on Mr. Lawyer’s co-workers, but I draw the line at poisoning them.

Now, will it be a snack sized Milky Way or a Snickers? Decisions, decisions…..

"I got a rock."

Protected: Halloween Flower Fairy 2009

Our Candy-Eating Robot

The costume is dotted in LED lights, which you can’t really see right now, but they are truly the highlight. They look great at night. Hey – I just noticed one of the blue reflectors fell off….I’ll have to fix that (yay for extras!).

For Halloween night he’ll have on silver shoes and glittery silver makeup (probably just on his cheeks for the effect).

Here’s a video – it’s loud, so take those speakers down a notch. I’ll try to get a nighttime video or at least one at dusk so you can get the full effect:

Since I’ve been asked, the costume consists of the following:

1 – Turkey Roasting Pan ($1.00)
2 – Sets of small reflectors ($1.00)
6 – Small mirrors (unbreakable) ($2.00)
1 – Generic Tin (I used a candy tin) ($0.00)
3 – Sets of battery powered LED lights ($0.00)
1 – Multicolored battery operated LED pumpkin light. ($0.00)
1 – Solar Powered Calculator ($1.00)
7 – Reflective Stickers ($?.00)
2 – Foam-backed reflective car sunvisors ($2.00)
1 – Roll of metallic tape ($1.00)
1 – Roll of Clear Packing Tape ($1.00)
1 – Nail to make holes in pan ($0.00)
1 – Small hammer to make holes (could do by hand)
1 – Shower sprayer hose with sprayer removed ($1.00)
1 – Pair of grey sweat pants (with hole in knee) and grey shirt

I already had the items marked as $0.00, so the total price was about $12.00, primarily purchased from our local dollar store.

You can pretty much figure out the how-tos by looking at it and you might have some better ideas for materials or configuration than what I used but I’m pretty happy with the result. The base of the robot is just a piece of the sunvisor wrapped around and stapled directly to his sweatpants – it’s open in the back to allow for movement. I do have another pan for the back of the costume, but I’m not sure I’m going to bother with it at this point.

Note that it is not the most resilient costume, though, so for a really boisterous child, you’d need to find something more durable than an aluminum pan. Other ideas – paint pan (still shiny, but much harder), dish drying rack pan sprayed silver, several layers of cardboard sprayed silver.

Happy Halloweening!

The Kittysuit

By request, here’s the babe at the neuro appointment. Full body shots with tail will have to wait – she wouldn’t look up when I tried to take some outside today. Far too busy gathering acorns – you would have thought she was wearing a squirrel suit by the way she went about collecting them in her little paws.

Halloween Peanuts

Halloween is a dangerous time for kids who are highly allergic to peanuts – the treats might end up being as scary as anything else out there. When you are buying your trick-or-treat candy, please consider buying peanut-free.

If you must have your Reese’s (yum!), consider buying some peanut-free candy so you are prepared if one of your local children has severe allergies. Ideally, your peanut-free candy would be kept in a separate bowl to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.

On behalf of parents with severely allergic kids everywhere, thank you!

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