Let them eat cake! Or potato chips… or cookies…

My days used to be spent lacing people up in corsets and helping them pick out fancy costumes. Now I feel like 95% of my day is spent trying to find something my toddler will agree to eat. It’s quite a lifestyle change and takes some adjusting.

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Potato chips for dinner! #ParentingWin

Why do toddlers hate food? Or love something one day so you stock up on it and then they refuse to even touch it?
I clearly remember my great grandmother feeding me steak piece by piece while I pretended to be a little bird stealing it from her fork. It probably took 45 minutes for me to finish the entire thing but she kept up with it. I now totally understand why. Being a parent has given me insight into certain things from my childhood that I never really would’ve understood otherwise. I also remember her making me a pizza at 10 PM at night just because I said I was hungry. Parents (and grandparents) will do anything to get a kid to eat.

I can tell Keelan is going to be a skinny kid, just like me and his dad were. I hope he eventually embraces our love of good food and cooking. Right now I might as well make him a nice dinner and then dump it on the floor because that’s where it ends up. But I will keep trying! I really look forward to the day he is helping me make gourmet dinners the kitchen and picking out his own sushi at dinner. (Early 20s maybe? Lol)

Until then, I’ll just keep slicing up those hotdogs. Unless he hates them this week of course.

The Hands On Adventure

IMG_4084Our toddler adventure for today was at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Jacksonville, FL. I went in expecting it to be on the science-y side, but it ended up being more like a museum of real life.  There was a grocery store, bank, veterinarian, cafe, theater, etc. I’m not really sure where the “museum” part comes in… maybe because it has been there for 17 years? Lol

Everything was a little old and beat up, and it was hot and some stuff was stinky, but you know who doesn’t care about any of that? A two-year-old. So I just took a step back and let him go crazy and play with everything. We’ve got to kick that immune system into high gear for our impending date with preschool anyway!

It’s definitely worth checking out if you live in Jacksonville. We were there a couple hours and K didn’t want to leave! I think it’s odd that parents have to pay $5.50 to sit and watch their kid, so essentially that made it a $9.50 visit. But overall worth the trip since I had a tired baby afterwards!

#BodyAfterBaby and Why the gym is my new favorite place

gymOne of the best things I’ve done since becoming a stay at home mom is join a gym with child care. I have never had quite such a great incentive to go work out. No time for yourself? Kid driving you crazy and you just want to zone out in your own head for an hour? Go to the gym for a stress-relieving hour and a half break!

Of course the only drawback sometimes is that you actually have to workout. Though I confess to pushing the limits of that definition while peddling the recumbent bike on a level one while playing around on my phone. And even better- my gym has a cardio theater! The other day I hung out and watched Suicide Squad while peddling slow enough to fall over if the bike were real. 

But just being back at the gym has actually inspired me to start working out for real. I already lost a stubborn 7 pounds I’ve been fighting with for a few months. Five more and I’ll be back to my pre-baby size! Though I think some parts of me are permanently changed in shape just due to housing a child for 10 months in there.

Now that it has become a habit and a welcome break, I actually miss it when I don’t go. I even went on a Sunday last week! Normally I don’t even hit my FitBit step goal on a Sunday so this is quite a change for me.

But I look better, feel better and am happier for the little break every time I go. 🙂

Help Be a Superhero for Literacy

Here’s a refreshing angle on the crowdfunding thing – when Andy posted about raising money to get his comic book store and Superheroes of Literacy program started, he didn’t just put up a GoFundMe and ask for money. He posted he was willing to work for it and listed things he could help do.

Since we just bought a money pit of a house I’m not really in a good position to be donating to anything, but I did need some help with yard stuff. It’s impossible to get much done with a two-year-old sidekick. I rake leaves, he kicks them everywhere. I look away for one minute and he throws all his cars in the fish pond. The fun never stops! So I figured hey, I could be paying someone I don’t know, or paying someone trying to get something good going. And that’s how Andy spent two days helping me fill 5 trash cans and 8 contractor bags full of leaves, plants and sticks. That showed me he was totally serious about getting this thing going.

He’s started a fundraiser on Kiva, which is a unique lending system where lenders actually get paid back and can keep that money or keep donating it to fund other campaign loans. The funds will be used to get the doors open for Northside Comics in Jacksonville, FL. Once open, he plans to initiate the Superheroes of Literacy program to help kids learn to read using the allure and influence of comic books. He will work with schools, daycares, churches, non-profits and the Jacksonville “Read it Forward” initiative to help children learn to read and comprehend at a higher level through comic book interaction.

So if you feel like doing your good deed of the day, consider donating to Andy’s campaign on Kiva:
https://www.kiva.org/lend/1295049

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Star Wars Mac & Cheese Makes Forks Easy

As a first time mom, I am learning as I go. I had no smaller siblings, so I know nothing about babies and kids. I wanted to start doing little reviews of products and things I found useful. So here’s my first thing:

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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Star Wars style!

ok, so yes I bought it because it was Star Wars mac & cheese, but I came to find out it was actually really useful! The little shapes make it so much easier for my two-year-old son to pick the pieces up using a fork (or spork) and that means he eats more of his meal and less lands in his lap/on floor/in hair.

It cooks fast, but gets pretty hot. If your toddler is anything like mine, than anything over room temperature is deemed “too hot.” So I cook it up, dump it in a bowl and then stick it in the freezer. Stir a couple times and it is good to go. Or if  you are in a hurry, make it a little thick and toss in an ice cube for a quick cool down.

PS – if they don’t eat it all, it is also a tasty adult snack as well. I find that a plus in any toddler meal.

Sew Geek Mama on YouTube

youtubechannelI recently started a new YouTube channel called Sew Geek Mama so I could do tutorials about sewing and crafting for cosplay related stuff. While doing research, it came to my attention that there a LOT of good videos out there already. And many appear to be professionally filmed and edited, with people that know what to say and when to say it.

My channel is none of those things.

It’s just me, filming myself, doing things just like I’d do if there wasn’t a camera. I mess up. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what to say. Sometimes I just mumble to myself. But in the end I am striving to make something easy to follow, that might help people learn a new skill in a less intimidating way.

For some people, sewing is like baking – get a pattern, follow instructions, finished product looks like photo.

For me, sewing is more like cooking – get basic ingredients, read directions, try some stuff, adjust as necessary, finished product is something unique and personal.

So I hope you will join me on this new little video adventure. I’m learning how to do this as I go along and hope to improve with each tutorial! I’m starting with some small stuff and will soon do full projects.

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!