Star Wars Celebration 2017

We had a great time as Sesame Street Star Smores at Celebration! It was Keelan’s first time as a part of a big cosplay group. We got off to a bit of a rough start with our little Luke Piewalker, who was promptly renamed “Luke Crywalker”:17952613_1772998456060662_3386436822874168872_nBut then there was an attitude shift after we managed to get everyone dressed and out the door. He stayed in his stroller for the first half, just taking everything in, and then wanted to get  out and run around for the next bit. He high-fived wampas, took pics with Chewie and didn’t seem to mind all the crazy costumes around him one bit. Guess this means he is ready for Disneyworld!

Star Wars Celebration is always a great event for Star Wars fans and I was really excited to get to share it with my family. This is my third time, but their first! It was also husband and son’s birthday weekend so it was a celebration all around 🙂

And to top it off, my friend Bridget and I made it onto Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of the event!

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The Reality of Costuming Kids

untitledBefore I had my son, I had grand ideas of dressing him up. I had a little dragon costume for him before he was even born, with plans to take a few Game of Thrones inspired pics. The reality: he screamed and cried as soon as the little outfit was on him. So I got pics of me and a crying baby dragon. I also have pics of me and a crying little Captain America. There’s a theme here…

I see the photos of people with their babies dressed up all cute, often asleep, totally going along with this whole costume thing. Not mine. If he can rip it off and eat it, he will. And just move an arm while he is sleeping and he will wake up so I never had a chance to do any of those cute posed sleeping pictures.

He has gotten better as he got older, but also I’ve gotten better at making costumes he can wear. I also have no shame in buying a cheap outfit for him because he is going to ruin it or grow out of it immediately. His latest Jedi costume is basically a smock over pants. I did spend time making a fancy belt that may be immediately torn apart, but I had to try to add a little something fancy.

So wish us luck as we embark on our first big costume group at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration! I’m hoping he doesn’t tear his Jedi robe to shreds before we get in the door. We are doing costumes based on a Sesame Street parody called Star Smores:

The Invisible Parents

Before baby, I used to get a little pissy every Christmas when the cards would start rolling in and it would be just one smiling kid after another. I don’t know these kids! I want to see my friends! Same with Facebook. Thanks for the 100th photo of your child doing something mundane like using a spoon (which I know now is actually mind blowing) but can I see a photo of my MIA friend for once? I couldn’t understand why on Earth all people with kids did was post photos of their kids!

So, oh hey…I get it now (I often feel I should just title this blog “how I got everything wrong and know nothing”)

Every photo of your kid is cute. Everything he does is amazing and you want to share it with the world, or at least with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who are all on Facebook. And you are busy, frazzled, and most likely covered in some foreign substance whether it be spit-up, snot or food. You didn’t have time to even comb your hair. You tried to take a selfie but that took about 20 tries with a squirmy kid and the lighting was just terrible and no filter is going to help. They should create a filter for moms called “Before Children” that dresses you up, does your hair and takes at least 5 years off.

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My not-so-glam selfies. I’m still in the pics…I’m just not posting them as much anymore! lol

So I understand why only every 25th photo posted has you in it. I do that now myself. But just because I understand does not mean I’m letting you Christmas card people off the hook. Go comb your hair and get in the pic dammit. As much as I actually enjoy seeing all my friend’s kids pics now, I still want to see them just as much.

Although when you guys use a spoon, I’m way less impressed.

Diary of SAHM – Day 120

Ok, to be honest, I don’t exactly know what day it is. I started in November so I just averaged the months together. If you are doing this too, you understand I’m short on time!

Time is this amazing valuable commodity I can’t seem to get enough of. In fact, that’s the only present I requested for the next year. I told my husband “I only want guilt-free gifts of time for myself.” Guilt-free means they are given without making a fuss about how it is taking away from his precious time to get all his very important things done. And also a good chunk of time because a couple hours is NOT enough and it just sucks to have a little time for yourself but rush everything because you feel like you have to get back home asap.

This is my first blog since the holidays. I missed all those golden blogging opportunities the holidays present, the optimistic or often nostalgic “where did this year go” New Year’s blog…and now we are heading straight into Valentine’s Day and all I asked for was a day to go get my hair done at a salon. Something I used to take for granted. I could spend alllll day getting my hair colored and cut if a wanted. But now I have to plan way in advance, coordinate schedules, etc. I really want to get low lights and be a little less of a blinding blond color. But that takes time. About 4 hours last time I tried it. Where on Earth does a SAHM get time for that? Well they probably don’t and they manage to whip some box color up during a nap time to get by. That’s probably where I’m headed. And if all else fails, at least I look good in hats.

You know what the weird thing is? I’m still super happy I made this decision and I still love it. Every day. Even the tough days, of which there are many. But I had tough days when I ran my boutique. No matter what you choose in life, there will be tough days. As my Green Beret husband would say, “Embrace the suck.” So I do have some seriously sucky days, but somehow they still make me happy when I go to bed at night.

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But seriously, he needs to embrace the suck a bit more and let me have a spa day or something because this momma could use a pedicure, a massage and new ‘do!

We’ve Become Those People

My husband and I used to go out to dinner a lot. We would usually sit at the bar and spend several hours drinking wine and eating appetizers for meals. We rarely sat at a table and would just enjoy the experience of sampling food and drinks.

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Not my actual child, but you get the point

Now no more bar for us- we need a table that can fit a highchair. Also, you probably want to stick us somewhere in the back where we won’t be a nuisance. But not too far back because one of the kids may open the emergency door and set off the very loud alarm.

So last night, as I sat on the toilet at the restaurant, listening to the screeching alarm going off, I totally knew that was our table causing the commotion. We were out to dinner with friends that had two boys, 4 and 6. So I did not burst out of the bathroom worried there was some sort of actual emergency. I may have actually lingered a moment or two longer than usual, hoping the alarm would be off by the time I stepped out.

Back in before baby days, we would be at the bar, rolling eyes and laughing at the hapless parents trying to enjoy a meal and wrangle their children. Most likely thinking what a bunch of brats they were and how if we had kids they would be sitting quietly like little angels.

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Oh how the mightly have fallen…right off their barstools.

 

Our Island Adventure

We spent the weekend on Jekyll Island, GA, for their 2016 ComicCon. I was a cosplay guest so I had a table all weekend and Sean was on daddy duty. We did manage to break away on the last day and check out the famous Driftwood Beach, where they recently filmed some scenes from the Walking Dead.

The beach was pretty amazing, though Keelan was mostly interested in throwing sand. I’ve been wanting to visit for a while, but it’s an hour and half north of us so the comic con event was the extra incentive I needed to finally make it happen.

1toddlerwrangleWe stayed at the beachfront Days Inn, so of course I had visions of going out and enjoying the sunrises and taking some pretty family photos. Keelan had other ideas. Lesson number one with kids: nothing ever turns out the way you have it planned in your head. Lesson number two: never let it stop you from trying because it is still worth it!

The con was small, but fun. I dressed as Sub Zero on Saturday and Wonder Woman on Sunday. Keelan had fun looking at all the costumes. He had to go say hi to all the Stormtroopers. We even found Santa Claus and then found Deadpool dressed as Santa, so we got our Christmas card pics taken care of. Photo of that coming soon 🙂

Like a Toddler in a China Shop

In my big effort to “get out there and do stuff,” I signed us up for a handprint ornament class at one of those make it and paint it pottery places. In other words, I took a toddler to a fragile land of no-no filled with colorful animals, flowers and even tanks and video game controllers that he can’t touch! In case you are wondering how fun it is with a 19 month old, well on a scale of 1-10…it’s maybe a 3. And that’s if you just really like arts and crafts. And chasing toddlers. We spent 10% of our time on the handprint and 90% of the time it was me chasing him around going “No Touch! No Touch!”

It all sounded so lovely – a story time with snack and drink, followed by creating a pottery piece that went with the story. Unfortunately they started with the crafty part, so by the time the story time came he was WAY over it. Then the snack and drink were terribly inappropriate for his age group. Little hard gummy bear type things and juice in a small Styrofoam cup that he immediately grabbed and tried to crush in his tiny toddler hands as it sloshed all over my lap. I quickly ate all the gummy bears, took the shot of juice and then gave him a pouch from home. Oddly enough the only thing he didn’t try to crush was his handprint. I could barely make a dent. I was starting to worry I was hurting him, trying to cram his hand into the clay.

Other highlights include a kid peeing his pants in the corner and a mom who thought a loud airplane might be a tornado. I’m serious. She went outside to check the clouds.

So in just a couple weeks we will get a lovely $18 handprint turned Santa ornament to mark this occasion. I’m glad we tried it, but it will be a little while before we try it again. It is making me reconsider the $90 art class I’ve been eyeing. Maybe save that for a couple months from now…

I’m glad I didn’t stick around for the footprint (an additional $18) because I found this nifty idea online on how you can do the exact same thing at home for free:

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The NeverEnding Story and Its Never Ending Impact

My son and I go to a kid’s gym type play place called My Gym once a week. He loves to play in the ball pit. Today he tried licking them all. I’m just going to ignore that and move on.

So as he was sinking slowly and I was pretending to save him, I was like “Artax noooooo…..” because all I could think of was Atreyu losing his horse in the Swamps of Sadness. I have not seen this movie in years, but it made quite an impression me growing up. I loved The NeverEnding Story with a passion. I also had a massive crush on Atreyu. And as an animal lover, I found it heart-wrenching when Artax just gave up and sank.

It got me wondering, what movies will make such an impact on my son? What movies have made a huge impact on you guys? Is anyone else still sad about Artax? lol

I can’t wait to share my favorite movies with him when he gets a little older. I just might have to make a “horses are actors too” disclaimer before the swamp scene. And I know he’s totally going to want a Luck Dragon. I still do!

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I Don’t Know How to Not Work

I’m currently in the process of closing my business I’ve run for the past 11 years. I grew it from a little kitchen table eBay enterprise to a real brick and mortar boutique. It was something I dreamed about doing since I was little. I wanted to grow up and own a costume store, so that’s what I did.

I’ve always had my own business. I started at 6, coloring rocks and selling them door-to-door. I can only imagine if there was an Internet back then, I’d have a rock decor empire by now. I started this business making costumes myself and then expanded into retail and then manufacturing my own line of corsets and costume items.

I always said if I had a baby, I’d just keep right on working, and I did just that for the first year. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get back to work. Then a funny thing happened and I couldn’t wait to get back home. Instead of thinking about work all the time, I was looking at photos posted by the daycare and seeing my son playing, painting, learning and doing all the things I wanted to share with him. And here I was, stressing out over other people’s orders and watching my son grow through pictures.

So I decided to take on a new job. If I was going to be a stay at home mom, then darn it, I was going to embrace it and become CEO SAHM. And to do that, I needed to cut out all the distractions and close my store and main website. But, I also can’t stop doing what I love! So I will continue to make costume things for my Etsy shop when I can. I’m not pressuring myself to crank out a huge inventory, or take a lot of custom orders. I plan to just go back to making what I want and posting it for sale.

And if you happen to like costumes, corsets or cosplay – check out the site before I shut it down Dec. 15th. Everything is marked down below wholesale, and there is a still a good bit left:  www.3MusesBoutique.com

 

It’s all about the activities

Since I don’t intend on just sitting around the house, I am on the hunt for activities for my son and I to do now that he is home with me. There’s always the scramble to get the house/work/life stuff done, but I don’t want him sitting around watching me try to get things done. I’m intent on experiencing things together. So I spent this morning scouring the Internet for toddler-friendly activities that are also free or pretty cheap. I’m trying to save money on daycare and not make it up in pricey activities! I actually had a great (and free) morning at the park, where we jogged around the lake a couple times and then he played so much that he took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Score!!

So far I’ve found:

  • Barnes & Nobles has free story time
  • All the local libraries have free storytime and arts/crafts
  • Our museums have a free day but not sure how excited he’d be about that
  • The science museum has fun stuff but he’s still too young for the events I saw posted
  • There’s a bouncy place called Rebounderz that has special toddler times for $8
  • There’s an art class I really want to do called Color Splash but you have to buy the whole month and it’s $90-$110! I wish they just had per class options.

So, I’d love to hear from other SAHM’s about where they find activities and what I should check into!