Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Would pumpkin seeds be big for spiders?

Z1's plan

Mine, Z2's in the middle
& Z1's at the back
The first thing I must say is that Z2 was not impressed with the idea of hammering cookie cutters into his pumpkin. I really thought he would be as one of his first and favourite sentences for a long time was "I'll fix it with a hammer". However, now he is very big and three whole years old and he definitely wanted to use a sharp thing. Thankfully, the Dollarama pumpkin carving tools (oh yes, I have specific pumpkin carving tools, this is serious business) are not so sharp that I was concerned for his digits so he was allowed to wield one.
 Secondly, I should explain the title of this post. This was a question asked by Z1 during the course of our pumpkin carving. I was a little baffled by it so I asked her to clarify. It turns out she was imagining that the stringy bits of pumpkin guts that we gleefully hauled out with spoons and fingers were spider webs. As a result of this thought, she was wondering whether a spider the size of a pumpkin seed would be considered big. I decided it would be medium.
 Thirdly, it is worthy of note, I feel, that the eyebrows on Z2's pumpkin were entirely his own doing - he poked the holes and wiggled that carving tool around sufficiently to make them. He had help with all other features. Z1 also mostly took the role of artistic director on her pumpkin. The bluntness of the Dollarama carving tools not only makes them relatively safe for big three year olds, but also makes it fairly hard work to carve a pumpkin with them. Perhaps next year I shall upgrade my tools.

Z1's pumpkin
The last thing which I feel I must mention to make this post complete is that I went to the trouble of removing pulp and string from the seeds in order to roast/toast/bake them as snack. Z1 had tried some last year when one of her teachers did this and it does feel awfully wasteful, even for the spookily good price I bought these pumpkins for, to throw away such bounty.  Initial feedback was good, Z1 asked for more and said they tasted like popcorn. However, the next day Z2 specifically requested, out of the blue, that he not have pumpkin seeds for dinner and Z1 did not eat any of the seeds which I packed, with some degree of satisfaction, for her lunch. I quite like them but I feel that some of them may be destined for the rubbish bin after all.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Preparations are afoot

While I may not have got further than the one bat costume that I reported on earlier in the month, I have managed to keep Z2 on track mentally to be a bat this Hallowe'en.

We have bought pumpkins - three: one each for Z1, Z2, and me. They were only 88 cents each which was spookily good value, I am sure you will agree. Husband is away this weekend so will miss out on the carving though I think he'd very much enjoy it if he got down to it.

Hallowe'en extravagance
I set Z1 the entirely unnecessary task of washing the pumpkins while Z2 napped on Sunday. We have set them on our steps as decorations, not yet in their full, carved Hallowe'en glory. We also have one black tinsel cat, one black tinsel spider, one strand of black tinsel with purple spiders, one hanging bat decoration and one hanging ghost decoration on our front porch. We are positively understated compared to most of the houses in our area who have decorated for Hallowe'en, with the house in the picture being the outright winner in terms of extravagance and exuberance for the celebration.

I have been pinning away a few templates of ideas for carving these pumpkins. These, I must admit, are mostly for me. I am much more excited by pumpkin carving than I thought I would be, something I discovered when I carved my first pumpkin in my first autumn over here in Canada.

I plan for Z2 to use his wooden hammer to bash cookie cutters into the pumpkin to carve his. I understand that this may be one of the points where my pumpkin carving extravaganza may not go to plan.

The sweeties to be given out to trick-or-treaters have been purchased and placed strictly off limits to all members of the household.

Pumpkin carving is scheduled for this Sunday. I will, of course, report back.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Black tops, bat wings and toilet trips

Having been to Dollarama to buy "bat teeth" and "bat ears" (actually cat ears and vampire teeth but I reckon with the wings, they will pass as bat ears and vampire bat teeth. I was prepared to make the bat ears also but these will do nicely and we got a bonus cat tail too) and having picked up a remnant of mostly black suit material for $2.99, all that was missing for the making of the bat costumes were the plain black tops. The outing to get these was postponed until Sunday after a lengthy Saturday afternoon nap on the part of Z2.
Map does not include detour to shop with lots of sparkly things where NOTHING SHOULD BE TOUCHED as I was a bit dizzy by then and can't remember where it was

Going to the shopping centre (or mall, if you will) requires, of course, plenty of preparation - the pre-car journey toilet trip, the setting down of the rules (no, we will not be buying any toys in the Rainforest CafĂ© but we can look at the fish and the pretend animals; we are going to buy plain black tops and look at tea for me, there will be no other purchases though we may get some kind of snack food if you are good), the route planning within the centre to ensure maximum efficiency... Actually, no, I did not route plan but that was mainly 'cause I didn't know where my fancy tea shop was. Also, even if I had route planned, it would have been quickly scuppered by Z2's announcement that he needed to go to the toilet and the fact that the first set of toilets we went to had a ridiculous queue so we had to go in search of some others. However, happily, we did find plain, black, long-sleeved tops in H&M as hoped. Hurrah. (However, the teas I wanted were not available which was
rather a devastating blow. Or, you know, slightly disappointing.)

bat costume, bat, Halloween, Hallowe'en, dressing up, homemade
What me? I forgot to dress up,      Mwa ha ha ha, I am
just wearing boring old black                 a bat!                 

Now, once the tops were purchased, Z1 was keen to make the costumes right-now-this-very-second. While I couldn't quite satisfy that request what with us being in the shopping centre and all,  I did get started once we got home and I even let her try it on when I had only done one wing. While doing the first wing was quite exciting and doing the second wing was rather satisfying, I now have to motivate myself to do two more wings for Z2's top and continue to foster their commitment to being bats this Hallowe'en. The advance planning bodes well for the former but will be a little trickier for the latter.