Our 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!
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.
We 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 🙂
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:
This is going to be pretty short and sweet because I wrote a nice detailed wrap-up right afterwards, saved it as a draft and now that I am ready to post it has gone into the Internet black hole. Zero drafts saved. Nooooooooo.
So here’s the trip in a nutshell: nothing really went as planned, it was hot and sweaty, nobody showed up for our panel, Keelan wore his costume for maybe 30 min. then got cranky and needed a nap, and we spent maybe 3 hours there total. Was it worth it? Oddly enough, yes. Every outing is a learning experience, some maybe more on the “how not to do thing” side, but a still a valuable experience. And I did get some cute pics of my little Peter Pan!
Bridget and I were dressed as Tinkerbell and Wendy, based on an apocalypse inspired Disney fan art print. It’s as random as it sounds.
I was excited to do my first kids cosplay panel with a couple of cosplaying mom experts Jenna Esposito and Dementia Von Grimm. I made a facebook invite and we had a good number of rsvps and interested people. I had a major stressful time walking a mile in the blazing sun trying to get into MegaCon, get my ticket and get to the panel on time. All for nothing it seems as nobody ever showed up to the panel! Not ONE person. Instead of just sitting there we decided to do the panel live on Facebook where we ended up with a good audience so it worked out after all. And we have this nice little video of the panel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CandyLKeane/videos/1099945683433305/
After the panel we wandered around a short time before Keelan needed a nap and had to go back to the hotel. Bridget and I stayed a bit longer and after having some pizza I felt ready for a nap myself!
Things I have to learn to work around for the next event-
Nap times. Cranky babies are no fun and will not pose for pictures no matter how cute they are in their costume. Getting a hotel close enough to walk back for a nap is crucial.
Baby friendly functional costuming for myself. It’s hard to hold a baby wearing big cardboard wings and shoulder armor.
A dedicated baby helper. I didn’t even think about this until I got there, but there was no way I’d be able to change a diaper in the outfit! My wings were attached to a corseted harness so taking them off was like getting half undressed.
Our next event will be Ancient City Con, July 15-17, though I will have a Three Muses Clothing booth at that one so Keelan will just be visiting with his dad one day. I’ve got it all planned out…no really…
11 AM Sunday, May 29, I’ll be doing a Cosplay with Your Kids panel with cosplayer and fellow geek mama Jenna Esposito at MegaCon in Room W311A. I’m a professional costume designer and long-time cosplayer who has been planning my son’s costumes since before he was born. Me on Facebook: Candy Keane
We will be chatting about our experience cosplaying with our kids and things we’ve learned along the way.