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vintage halloween costumes

It's time to start digging in granny's trunk for vintage Halloween costumes! I belive that the best costumes ever are found in old trunks, cedar chests and dusty boxes in the attic. Part of the fun is putting together outfits made from stuff that once belonged to your ancestors.

If your mom threw everything away you can always start to beg and borrow clothing and accessories from your packrat friends. Offer to help reorganize their linen closet or garage in exchange for a dramatic feather boa, spike heels, hat and gown covered in sparkling sequins from a cocktail party from long,long ago.

As kids, we begged our moms to help us design funky, vintage Halloween costumes. I was lucky enough to have a mother who knew her way around a sewing pattern. As long as her Singer sewing machine was working, the sky was the limit. If she had time and something to work with, she let me use my imagination and take my pick of costumes.

Here are some ideas for children’s vintage Halloween costumes:
  • A gypsy with a large gold earring, a colorful headscarf, long peasant skirt and off the shoulder blouse (if you could slip it by the parent in charge)
  • A pirate with a homemade eye patch, tattered pants and tall black boots
  • A hobo wearing grandpa's old fedora, shoes with cardboard stuffed inside to compensate for the holes in the sole of the shoe and a stick over your shoulder decorated with a stained bandana holding your worldly belongings tied on the end
  • A cowboy wearing your little brother's plastic holster, fake cap guns and cowboy boots and hat
  • A witch with a wart on your nose with your face painted puke green and tall pointed hat.
  • Break out the black leather bomber jackets, the black boots and the hair oil to go out Trick or Treating as James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause
  • If push comes to shove, pull an old sheet out of the rag bag and fall back on the Charlie Brown ghost costume

It drove mom crazy when, I started bugging her about making my Halloween costume as early as late August! I knew that if I didn't get started that I might end up having to suffer through the night in one of those uncomfortable vintage Halloween costumes (that are now very expensive on EBay as it turns out) with a sweaty plastic mask with tiny holes and inadequate ventilation. As if the masks weren't awful enough; the matching suits that tied in back were the equivalent of an embarrassing hospital gown. Wearing one of these poorly made Halloween costumes was kind of like Trick or Treating in a plastic garbage bag with little oxygen. Is there any wonder I was hell-bent on making my own? I'm starting a little late this year but with a little nip of fall in the air this morning, I'm reminded that it's time to open up the antique Singer sewing machine and pray that the tension is working properly, so my girls won't be wearing tacky costumes stuck together with duck tape and double stick tape. If the Singer isn't working, the vintage Halloween costume of choice will most likely be Charlie Brown's version of a ghost costume for the big girls and a pair of white footed pajamas with bunny ears for the babies' vintage Halloween costumes. Nothing fancy but they should be happy that I'm generous with the size of the air holes which is more than I had on those unfortunate Halloween nights when my mom was too busy to sew. Please remember to only buy Halloween candy that contains no peanuts. Kids with peanut allergies like to join in the fun, too! Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues for more stories about my old style Halloween costumes and adventures when I was a kid.



I have posted so much about my daughter’s food allergies as well as other health and medical problems that we have endured. Between the MRSA, the asthma and various lesser food allergies, peanuts is the worst. I have a child that will someday be away from my ever watchful eyes and at the mercy of teachers and other children whose lunchboxes are filled with peanut butter sandwiches or tempting candy that may or may not contain the tiniest bit of peanut that would send my baby into anaphylactic shock.

Knowing that the day will someday come, I have gone on a one woman crusade of how not enough is done to protect schoolage kids in the way of educational materials for teachers and parents. I have spent many hours on the telelphone requesting meetings with school officials to talk about the dreaded peanut allergy. I have asked that they:

  • Consider the use of allergy buttons
  • Classroom door signs
  • Send notes home to ask parents to refrain from sending peanut containing foods to school with their kids
  • Compile and distribute a list of peanut free foods

Those suggestions might seem over the top to parents whose children have no such problems, but please put yourself in the position of a mother who has lost her child to an allergic reaction.

Some considerate parents say that even though their children have no symptoms of peanut allergies, they always check the contents labels so that they don’t put an allergic child in danger. And then I’ve been slammed by some who say it’s not their responsibility to keep allergic kids from dying. Their attitude is that it’s a personal problem and that their kids should not be deprived of peanut butter because it might kill somebody sitting next to them.

As a person who would crawl across hot coals and broken glass to save another person’s child if I could, this has been a painful realization of how desensitized many people have become to other people's problems. What ever happened to the charitable and caring concepts of "Do unto others" and "Don’t judge until you walk a mile in another person's shoes"?

Would these same parents be alright with their child being surrounded by guns, knives or illegal drugs? Of course they would say no and my reply would have to be that any of the three shocking items I just mentioned may in fact be LESS DEADLY to a child with a peanut allergy than the lunch they send to school with their kids.
I’m not ramping up a crusade against the peanut industry as there are all kinds of food allergies peanuts are just one albeit a deadly one. Before I had a baby with a peanut allergy I enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as much as the next person but not enough to risk somebody’s death.

Even if you are lucky enough not have to deal with kids' food allergies in your own home, please educate yourself by visiting any of these informational sites.

Peanut Allergy Information

Mayo Clinic's page on various allergies including peanuts

Food Allergy Information

Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues for more information on this topic and other subjects of interest to new parents.



A study was recently released that suggests using fans to fight sudden infant death syndrome. We can always use another weapon in our arsenal in the battle against SIDS so I’m willing to give it a shot, aren’t you? The information in the study says fans might do more than just save energy in the baby’s nursery. Who would ever have dreamed that running a fan in your baby’s nursery may lower a baby’s risk of SIDS but that indeed seems to be the case.

We have heard for quite a while that we should take steps to prevent baby from overheating as well as to place baby on his or her back to sleep as multi-pronged risk reduction tactics. Now they are adding another step to our growing list of preventatives in the battle against the devastating sneak thief, SIDS.

The findings of the study were that when babies sleep in a room where fans are used to circulate the air that there is a 72 percent reduction in SIDS. This is the biggest breakthrough since the “Back to Sleep” movement that recommended placing babies on their backs to sleep rather than their stomachs. This recommendation reduced the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome to approximately one in every 2,000 births.

With the news came a warning that running fans alone may not do the trick. Rather they wanted to let us know that air circulation and room ventilation looked promising, especially when combined with our other prevention methods. But the real message here is that there is still more work and research necessary before we can put the fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome behind us forever and that takes lots of money.

Findings like these keep us hopeful and keep the awareness that sudden infant death syndrome still exists in the headlines. This is a good thing because SIDS should stay high on the list of priorities of researchers and pediatricians alike. More studies are desperately needed to solve the mystery surrounding SIDS and here again it might take a village to get the job done. Educating new parents and healthcare professionals, and raising money to fund more sudden infant death syndrome research are excellent goals that should be pursued until we know exactly what causes it and what to do to stop it in its tracks.

We all suspect by now that there is not going to be one simple answer. But every little bit of information helps so please familiarize yourself with known ways to reduce sudden infant death syndrome.



I'm not a fan of Howard Stern's vulgarity. Nor am I politicking for either the Democrats or the Republicans. I am trying to bring focus to the fact that the time frame is narrowing and Americans have very little time to familiarize themselves with which of the politicians stands for what. Listening to the interview on this video scared me to death. Unless the interviews were staged (which we are aware can happen) these voters were blindly choosing Obama on basis of the color of his skin. This is racism, plain and simple.

Wake up Americans! It's not about race. It's not about gender. It's about who is going to run our great nation in the way that YOU want it run. Everybody's always moaning about having no power and acting like victims. Educating yourself on the candidate's voting record and casting your personal vote according to who you feel will do the best job is a tremendous responsibility as well as a way to exercise your power and have a hand in bringing the United States back to greatness.