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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Octopus, Blue Flower and Pumpkins

Last year, it was a ghost and a hand-me-down giraffe costume. It was simple. No fuss.

And dress up is a fun activity, not necessarily restricted to one day in a year. Especially since the Dad in the house is unbelievably sportive, no fuss, no pretensions, not much vanity to inhibit the spirit of things...

Anyway, Ana wanted to design her own costume this year. After considering a pickle and Shaggy (yes, she likes Scooby-Doo, thanks to her dad), she settled on being a flower. A blue flower. Like bluebells. Maybe more teal blue than purplish blue. With petals standing up on the head, not around the face. Maybe not bell-shaped petals per se. Leaves around the neck. Body is the stem.

As she started describing it, we talked some more, and I sketched a possible outfit.

And, since Og naturally tunes into Ana's enthusiasm and interests, he began throwing out suggestions as well. First, he wanted to be a crane - the machine, not the bird. Then, a zebra. Finally, after talking it over with his dad, he decided to be an Octopus. A blue octopus.

Here's some sewing notes on making the costumes

Keeping up the tradition of carving pumpkins, D, the resident carver-extraordinaire, listened to each of the kids' ideas and worked his magic. The two smaller pumpkins from our home-garden were for the adults in the house to design and carve. Mine is just a hint of a kitty in the pumpkin. And D's is a small yet fairly menacing pumpkin-head.

We used two larger pumpkins from the Pumpkin Patch for the kids. Og needed some leading questions, naturally. Do you want circle nose or triangle nose? Square eyes or circle eyes? How many teeth? and so on... which he answered with the confidence and precision only a 2 year old commands :)

Ana designed her pumpkin to be a fairy house. It was quite complicated as in her drawing below. After talking it over with her dad, she made some adjustments in her design and together they came up with an executable plan.

The kids enjoyed scooping out the innards, so, I pretended to be busy elsewhere.

Oggie helped separate and collect the seeds from the pulp, which got roasted in the oven to become a nutrition-packed snack:
  1. Rinse and soak the raw pumpkin seeds in enough water with a tablespoon of soy sauce stirred in, for an hour or even up to overnight (can skip this - I just do it to get the seeds salty enough rather than sprinkling salt afterwards)
  2. Roast in the oven at 275 °F for about 45mins to an hour
  3. Heat some Smart Butter Omega™ Light with some brown sugar - a tablespoon each per half cup of pumpkin seeds (more if preferred); add the roasted and slightly-cooled pumpkin seeds, stir till sugar caramelizes a bit
  4. Sprinkle some ground nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, black or cayenne pepper, or any favorite blend of spices

I just got over a stomach flu, and Ana just recovered today from similar symptoms... overindulging in candy is not really an issue as we don't. Over-indulging in roasted pumpkin seeds? For sure!

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At 11:29 PM, Blogger Choxbox said...

I can only fall at your feet - my kids created their own costumes, and I shamlessly didn’t do a thing.

PLease be my neighbour!

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Choxie, soon after my kids are out of Kindergarten, I am hoping to sit back and watch them create their own costumes as well :)

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Choxbox said...

Yeah but they will be so good at it too - given what they’d have seen up till then!

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Kristine said...

I love how Ana draws her plans and how you follow so faithfully her drawings.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Kristine! So good to hear from you!


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