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 🙂
I’d like to welcome the first GeekMamas guest blogger, Kiersto Killher, who talks about her experience having two babies one after the other and the convention withdrawals that followed. You can find Kiersto on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/KierstoKillher
The two years that changed my life. Two years without a single convention, but back-to-back babies!
I was heavy into costume creation and conventions since high school, which was well over ten years ago. Now that I have made myself feel incredibly old, let’s talk about cutting conventions cold turkey for a little over two years and the great sense of triumph that comes with returning to the scene.
After getting a lot of adult goals out of the way, degrees, marriage, career-choice, and a house, my husband and I started to plan a family. He and I wanted April babies, due to research suggesting children born in the first five months of the year had a greater chance of success in several fields, including sports (I, being a November baby, refuted this, but in the face of empirical evidence, yielded) and we agreed back-to-back, so we could get out of the diaper phase sooner, rather than later. As planned, we had Tiberius in early April, and his sister, Zelda, followed the next year in late April. We missed the next window, unfortunately, to do it one more time, so we took that as a sign and were happy with the two crazy babies we already had.
Now, I you cannot tell how nerdy we are as parents by the names, you’ve already missed the whole idea. The nursery was themed in “Nightmare Before Christmas,” they had Star Trek toys (plushes), and what TV we watched with them was normally Studio Ghibli, DC, Marvel, Trek, Star Wars, and so on. We had fun with all the clothes, Star Fleet onesies, Batman outfits, and my favorite t-shirt which is Ninja Turtles.
As a one and two year old, I know they do not understand much right now. Tiber is just started to talk, he’s a little slower at it due to the fact we have a Japanese Au Pair, who we have teaching him a second language, however he will ask “what’s that” and point. So, I talk about Anakin Skywalker and how it almost ruined Darth Vader by him being whiny, because no one likes whiners (lesson inserted here, especially for those planning future scripts for Kylo Ren). I talk to them about how he and Zac (Zelda’s nickname) cannot be Batman because I do not want to die. Too soon?
It’s sharing this wonderful world of fandom with someone new who hangs on every word you say, until someone turns a show about trains on, in which case I’m chopped liver.
I went from all the time in the world it seems, to constant child care plus a career. That meant something had to drop and that was my creation time. Now that they are a bit more independent, aka walking and partaking in self play, I have some time back. Most costuming is now done after bed time. 8pm to 10pm. This is when I put together our Megacon costumes, which is another article.
The toughest part was what felt like isolation, or house arrest which turned into a type of Stockholm syndrome so when I could get out I constantly felt guilty about not being around the babies. I would have been lost without my ladies group online, my husband, and especially my best friend.
It’s been crazy, sleepless, funny, lovely, gross, depressing, exciting, and all the other emotions one can go through. I would not trade it now for the world. I am excited to continue this journey with my little nerdlets.
I am a safety engineer for an entertainment company, doing fun stuff like stunts, lasers and special effects. I am a mother of two little beasties, Tiberius and Zelda. I own and operate a small ranch in Groveland, called Cottonmouth Ranch. I am a costumer (I try to stay away from the Cosplay title because of the creating element); I create and wear costumes to conventions, since 2003. I also am pursing my Ph.D. in Human Factors. If you have not noticed I am a master at time management.
I have a lot of fandoms. Just to name a few I love Star Trek, Star Wars, most Sci fi/ Fantasy. I love comics, DC, Marvel, Vertigo you name it. My favorite character to dress up as is Harley Quinn, in all her renditions. I love horror movies, especial old school B movies, anything I can play rift tracks to. I also love most action and comedies. Just not rom coms, please. I love playing tabletop games with friends, Magic when I can. I love a lot of different video games; mainly console, although I grew up on a computer based MMO called Everquest. I read a lot of zombie, apocalyptic books. J.L.Bourne is my current favorite author. Although I do have other authors I have enjoyed over the years: Tolken, J.K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, Roald Dahl, Gregory Maguire, and G.R.R.Martin to list a few off the top of my head. I love discussing any of the above and new recommendations are always welcome.
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…
I figured I should participate in the family cosplay feature myself since I’m gathering photos for the GeekMamas Cosplay with Your Kids panel at MegaCon this Sunday! So here goes-
Please introduce yourself:
We are Candy, Sean and Keelan from Jacksonville, FL. Sean and I have been married for 14 years and have been costuming together since college. (We met at UF) Now that we have a son we are excited to include him in the fun. Sean is in the Army and I own ThreeMusesClothing.com and recently started the GeekMamas blog. You can see more of my cosplay pics on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/CandyLKeane
1) Does the whole family cosplay or is it just the kids?
The whole family! Although sometimes one of us will dress down so it is easier to take care of Keelan at bigger events.
2) What have been your favorite costumes?
I loved our Alice in Wonderland costumes for Halloween. I was the White Queen, Sean was the Mad Hatter and Keelan was the White Rabbit. I couldn’t wait to visit all the neighbors and then K fell asleep about 5 minutes into trick-or-treating so we only made it to about 3 houses.
3) Do you make your costumes?
Yes! Well at least Sean and I do, but Keelan grows out of everything so fast and usually only gets to wear things once so I have started buying him some cheap easy pieces here and there. I’ve found it’s really easy to go get a blank onesie or t-shirt at the craft store and iron on anything I want. Easy superhero outfit!
4) What are your favorite events for cosplay?
I like going to conventions. Sean and I also loved dressing up for themed events and masquerades, but we don’t get as many nights out as we used to! So I try to find a lot of daytime, family-friendly stuff for us to do. I’m very much looking forward to MegaCon and hopefully getting back to DragonCon next year. Keelan’s first convention was CollectiveCon here in Jacksonville. He was just 6 weeks old! I was Daenerys Targaryen and Keelan was my little dragon. Well, for about 10 minutes before he refused to wear the dragon hat.
Mother of Dragons. One tiny dragon.
This stroller really makes the outfit.
5) Do you have a funny family cosplay story?
I was part of a super hero group for the Folio Weekly’s Best of Jax issues. We were called the Folio 5. I knew I’d be bringing Keelan around with us at the shoot and events so I made him a onesie that said 5 1/2 so he could be part of the group too.
6) Any advice for parents that want to cosplay with their kids or just dress them up?
I’ve found that you really have to roll with it to cosplay with kids. If they are babies, they are probably going to spit up all over the outfit, chew on it, then grow out of it in a week. And then they probably will fall asleep or refuse to wear whatever you spent all that time making (or ordering). So get that quick pic with the screaming baby and then do something to make them happy.
Also, wear baby-friendly costumes. I never realized how pokey my costumes were until I had a baby I was trying to hold. My New 52 Wonder Woman might as well be baby repellent. And I spent hours crafting that House of Targaryen 3 headed dragon brooch only for it to make it impossible to hold Keelan close to my chest. My costume prep ritual used to include making sure I could walk, sit and go to the bathroom. Now it includes can I hold/change/feed a baby.
I’m happy to introduce Geraldine from Jogonmum.com and her two cosplaying kiddos:
Please introduce yourself:
I’m a 32 year old mum of two, with a daughter who I refer to as the Pink One who is 6.5 years old and a son who is referred to as the Blue One and he’s four years old.
I’ve been married to my very supportive (and long suffering) hubby for nearly 11 years.
I blog about a lot of things – it’s quite an eclectic mix, but it covers everything from my kids, creative activities, my love of Joe Brown’s clothes, photography, my anxiety, my beloved boxercise sessions and most recently my broken ankle!
1) Does the whole family cosplay or is it just the kids?
Most of the time it’s just the kids, they both utterly love dressing up. They have so many fancy dress costumes. Though my hubby and I aren’t opposed to some fancy dress for a party.
2) What have been your favorite costumes?
The kids currently love their Harry Potter costumes – but also have princess costumes, hero costumes (there’s a lot of Marvel – though I have managed to get Superman in there too!)
3) What are your favorite events to dress up for?
Normally birthday parties for the hubby and I (the photo of me as Supergirl – with wig – and the hubby as Legolas were from a party nearly 10 years ago!) – but the kids love to dress up all day every day if they can!
4) Do you have a funny family cosplay story?
Unfortunately not yet – though I’d love to do something one Halloween – maybe go as The Incredibles!?!
Though both my kids had a penchant for one particular costume each when they were about two – my daughter always had to wear a fairy costume over her normal day clothes and my son was constantly dressed as Sportacus from LazyTown. One day when he was at the childminders and didn’t get to wear it, I found him sobbing in bed and he only went to sleep when I brought it up so he could hug it!!!
5) Any advice for parents that want to cosplay with their kids or just dress them up?
Let them do their own thing – whether that be letting your son wear his sister’s costumes or vice versa – it’s all good fun and they just love it. Let them use their imaginations. I even go out (usually to collect my older one from school) with the kids dressed up – if they’re confident in what they are wearing and it’s weather appropriate and decent, I don’t see any issue. You can only get away with that as a kid, and you’re only young once!!! 🙂 xxx
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.