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Happy Halloween from the Gruffalo’s Child and the Big Bad Mouse

Eleanor is still little enough to let Brandon and I choose her costume for her, but she’s big enough now at 2-1/2 to be excited about Halloween and the chance to dress up. August, being eight months old, goes along for the ride.

I had a hard time coming up with ideas for Halloween costumes this year. I don’t know why it took so long to settle on the Gruffalo, since Eleanor’s favorite books right now are The Gruffalo, and The Gruffalo’s Child, but E was all over the idea. With one modification: She wanted to be the Gruffalo’s child.

Happy to oblige, I set about figuring out how to make her costume. Because of course I was going to make Halloween costumes for both kids. No matter that I’m busier than ever, borderline overwhelmed with work as it is, and oh yeah… I have two kids now, not just one. And I’m not that great at sewing. And I’ve never worked with fake fur. And Halloween was coming up fast. And our house has been a hot zone with one of more persons here being sick for the last two weeks.

What? Awesome! Bring it on.

I started the costumes on Friday night. The fabric store had been pretty well picked over by the time I had gotten around to shopping for fabric. I had more than enough fleece for August’s mouse costume, but it was going to be tight for E’s. I started with the mouse so that I could get a little practice in, which helped. I made a few (mostly minor) mistakes that I learned from before starting on Eleanor’s.

I had a pattern for the costumes, but when I opened it and saw eight pages of instructions, plus confusing and tissue paper thin templates, I gave up on the pattern pretty quickly. The diagrams did help for making the hat though, so it wasn’t a total waste. I just held up the kids’ pajamas to get the sizing right on the rest of the costumes.

You guys, I did it. Yes, those costumes took hours upon hours, but it was worth it.

August’s pants were too short so I had to pull his socks up to cover his legs, but I decided he looked cute. Like Angus Young as a mouse.

Eleanor had been nursing a cold, and she exemplifies the worst toddler traits when she isn’t feeling well, so I was afraid she wouldn’t want to wear her costume. She refused to try on the hat when I asked her to the night before. She woke up feeling better though, and she wore the costume all day!

August is still pretty sick, so he stayed home with Brandon while I took Eleanor out to trick-or-treat. We had been practicing our Halloween etiquette at home (and teaching her the whole “smell my feet” song), but she gets shy and quiet around strangers so she just stood there and thrust out her bucket at each house.

August was out of his costume by the time we got back, but Eleanor stayed in hers all night. I think she enjoyed answering the door for people more than she liked hitting up the neighbors houses. She went to the door each time, yelling “hi kids!” and passing out candy. She did ask later though, “Mama, we trick-or-treat tomorrow?”

Being a parent is so good.


This is Eleanor’s favorite thing to do lately. I told Brandon she’s planking.

Kids are weird.

Everyone except me has been sick here. Eleanor had a high fever (104°), and Brandon stayed home from work yesterday. August has had it the worst though. We’re on day five for him and he’s miserable. He needs mama constantly, so I’m not doing much besides comforting him all day. I’ve been letting him nap on me, and sleeping in the glider with him in his room all night. We’re both not sleeping well.

* Edit *
Of course I got sick the next day.

Self-Induced Crafty Mama Pressure

Is it hard to sew fake fur? Because Eleanor is really excited about being The Gruffalo’s Child for Halloween. Which is, you know, less than two weeks away. With no Gruffalo costume available for purchase, of course.

August will be the mouse, and I think I can make that out of fleece. Two weeks to sew two costumes… and I’m not very good at sewing. It can be done though (I keep telling myself)! After all, I did a good job on E’s Katamari costume before, and that was all from scratch. I should have suggested something easier, like last year’s Olivia costume (minimal sewing involved), but no.

Do you put self-induced pressure on yourself to make costumes? These furry monsters would have been a perfectly cute option, with no need to enter crazy-crafty-mama-Halloween-town. But I’m not the only one that does this, right?

The kids will be so cute. Assuming I can pull this off.

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