In the midst of this chaos, B had started school and K went back to preschool. Labor Day weekend was spent in Anaheim with friends in town for the 1/2 marathon and more general upheaval. Finally, after several weeks of sending documents back and worth and waiting, the insurance company made a decision - our loss would be covered. yay! Now what? Well, now they send a check and we get repairs done. More waiting.
All the while, Halloween is creeping up on us. I'm spending most evenings trying to convince K to wear the Tinkerbell costume that B wore at this age, so that I don't have to make or buy another costume. B has decided she wants to be a witch and we go to JoAnn's to pick out a pattern. And then the guilt sets in. The girls' playroom has turned into "The broken room" (K's term) and they cannot play there because we are worried about exposed nails or other debris from the cleanup. Our dining room is a mess of things taken out of the playroom and life's usual chaos. No room to set up the sewing machine. The family room is now full of toys that were in the playroom, so no room to lay out the cutting board. The calendar keeps ticking by...
At the end of September, I had to start planning K's birthday party. Knowing our house was a complete mess, we opted for the out-of-house party. It went off without a hitch, I think, and I was able to make the cake and get it to the party without spilling it. Yay for me. Meanwhile, B's costume got shoved to the back burner again.
K's party was done and out of the way and I hoped to finally make some room and space and get to B's costume. No such luck. The flooring that we ordered (to replace the damaged carpet) had arrived and they scheduled us for installation. The rooms had to be COMPLETELY cleaned out (by us), so ALL of the girls' toys, Mom's piano, the grandfather clock from Aunt Betty, and our dining room furniture ended up in the family room (with some on the back patio). Depending on where you were sitting, you had an obstructed view of the t.v. B's costume was once again set aside.
The floors took 3 days instead of 2 and the painter got started just as the floors were finishing up. I'd like to say that I am 110% happy with the work that he did, but I noticed a large spot of blue paint on my white bathroom tile the other day. Needless to say that there were more than a few spots where he was a bit sloppy. Then again, he was on the extension ladder, reaching the vaulted ceilings, so I cannot complain too much, I suppose.
Thankfully, on Friday afternoon, things were finished. The floors are done and the painting is done and we can move our things back where they belong. (Of course, now that the play room is all cleaned out and looking nice, I almost don't want to put the toys back in there. haha.) But B's costume had not even been started.
Over these past few weeks, I have felt tremendous guilt over not being able to get her costume done. I felt even more guilty last Friday, when we went to a Girl Scout event where she wore her "Alice" costume from last Halloween. She SO proudly went around telling everyone that "My mom made this!" and I just cringed at the thought of not being able to make this year's edition. (She was beside herself 2 years ago, when I made her a Rapunzel costume that she wore to meet Rapunzel at D-Land.) As the guilt slowly ate away at me, B gave me an out. I asked what she might like to be if I could not get her witch costume done, and she offered up several Disney princess options (the ones that sell for $80 at the Disney store.) I was a bit hesitant to head in that direction.
Almost at my wit's end (and still waiting for the new dining room furniture to be delivered, so still no place for the sewing machine) we stopped at a costume store last Saturday. Daddy needed a knife and a hat to complete his costume and I was looking for a hat as well. We wandered down the kids aisle and B gravitated to a black and purple witch costume. She started jumping up and down, very excited, telling us (pleading) how much she wanted that costume.
If the mommy guilt is one form of torture, then the flip side of that must be my hurt feelings when she told me how much she LOVED this witch costume and was looking forward to Halloween with it. I had felt bad for so many weeks (inadequate, a failure, you pick a label), and then to have her stomp on that by telling me how wonderful that store bought costume was.
Then again, there are almost NO decorations up for Halloween this year. I've got a few things here and there that were either picked up or given to us after last year's holiday, so did not make it into the storage bins. Otherwise, not really much on the decorating this year. Coincidentally, I went to our storage unit yesterday to dig a few things out and came across my costume containers. Carefully folded inside were the Indian princess, witch, Kermit and Sylvester costumes that my mom had made me. (Sylvester is still my all-time favorite.) Some of them are starting to look a little old, but still so many memories. I told Rob that maybe next year I will drag out the bins and let B pick one of my old costumes, if she is interested. Then she could go around telling everyone that her No-Me-Na (their name for my mom) made the costume for me when I was a kid. Wouldn't that be fun!
So here we are, just a few days from Halloween and I'm almost over my guilt of not making a new costume for the year. Soon I will start making cookies for the various baskets I deliver (neighbors and crossing guards and such) and maybe after that I can relax. Of course, I have to get through Thanksgivukkah first. I'm sure there's some guilt to be found somewhere in that. We shall see.