Diary of a SAHM: A Descent into Momness

I was going to create an entire new blog site for this but then considered, just how many blogs can I create and then ignore? Might as well put them all together! My new section, instead of the previous “Mama Blog” category, will be The SAHM Diary. I chronicled my IVF and pregnancy to keep my sanity while immersing myself in something crazy. I figure I probably am going to need something like that again as I navigate this new Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) stuff. My first few entries are all on one post because I wanted to make sure I was going to keep up with it.

11/16/2016
It’s 3PM, Wednesday.
Friday will be my son’s last day of daycare. I’ve decided to close my boutique and website I’ve run for 11 years and become a stay at home mom (SAHM.)
Who knows when I’ll have another midweek 3PM quiet house all to myself again? Just one of the things running through my brain. That, along with, am I crazy? What am I thinking? Will I slowly go crazy? Will I ever get to go out again? What if I want a pedicure?
Then I remind myself that my son Keelan is 19 months and growing fast. It took 7 years of trying to conceive (ttc), fertility treatments, praying, voodoo (j/k), just to get him here. Why am I still working non-stop just to pay someone else to raise him? I won’t get this chance again.
So I figure now is the time to embrace my inner domestic goddess. Mom it up. Mom it out. Go full mom on this thing. Just mom the hell out of it.
And I thought it might be fun to chronicle the whole…decent into momness.

11/17/2016
Went for a leisurely sushi and sake excursion with the husband, in the middle of the afternoon, just because we could…one last time. (at least before a baby sitter is required) Because leisurely meals and toddlers do not go well together. They really don’t even exist. It’s a lot of shoving food in your mouth hole while you take turns entertaining your toddler table tyrant. It was lovely and I will remember it fondly.

11/18/2016
The day is here! It was bittersweet as we said our goodbyes. His daycare and the people there were really great. We will miss them. I’m sure there are some days I will be crying to get them back. But I’m also very excited to get this new chapter started.

11/19/2016
Day 1
Since our first SAHM day was a Saturday, it hasn’t really sunken in. He’d be home all day with me anyway. Sean had to work all weekend so it was just us two. We actually had a really great day. Went to Toys R Us and then lunch at Arby’s. I thought I was winning at lunch and he was eating a lot of roast beef until we got up to leave and I found it all on the floor. I did try out a booster seat instead of high chair for the first time and I think he enjoyed being at the table next to me. Now if I could just get him to eat something besides Puffs I’d be feeling a little more successful at the good mom thing.
He took a good nap (yay!) and then we went for a long walk where I connected with a couple other SAHM’s in the neighborhood and made sure they knew I was joining the club. We are going to need to plan some activities.
Decided to push my luck a bit and do a quick grocery run. Got lucky and scored the racecar cart. Everything is better in a racecar. I kept things realistic by running down the aisles and tossing things in the cart so we made pretty good time.
Home in time for a good dinner (that went on the floor and in his lap) and then a nice bath (followed by naked cavorting and vehement diaper refusal).
All in all…a very good day!

11/20/16
Day 2
DEAR GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!?!
OK, it’s not really that bad. But it is sinking in that my days will be radically different. We just have to find our groove.
I did discover that cheesy sweet potato mac is delicious. I mean, it made Keelan cry and half went on the ground and in his pants. But the part I salvaged and ate myself was delicious.
I also set-up the new category and finally posted my first entries. Looking forward to getting back into the writing groove as well.

My blog about not having time to blog

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Read the shirt- No Excuses! lol

I thought time went by fast before having a baby, but wow, things are in warp speed now. I am trying to figure out how I managed to blog nearly once a day when I was pregnant. I am pretty sure I was still busy then, and I know I wasn’t feeling all that great, but still, I blogged all about it! I loved it so much I thought it would be great to start a mommy blog.

 

You know what I don’t have time for now that I’m a mommy? Quiet moments in front of the computer required for blogging. My quiet moments are few and far between, usually coming after 7PM when K goes down to sleep and then usually the last thing I want to do  is sequester myself in my office and get back on the computer.

So to be honest, instead of blogging in the evenings I am drinking wine and nibbling cheese while cooking dinner. Thinking back, I suppose I couldn’t drink wine and certainly did not feel like being on my bloated feet to cook dinner while pregnant, so I traded that for sitting and blogging. Probably also while nibbling cheese.

I am working on finding the magical balance to fit it all in. (Aren’t we all?) Until then I’ll be updating sporadically. I’m not giving up on my mommy blog vision…just taking it one blog at a time.

-CK

Rolled 20 on Babies, 1 on Social Life

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

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Pregnancy Christmas cards – we lived on a farm and made a joke of it

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.
k2Now, 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.

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MegaCon 2016 group featuring Tiberius and Zelda

 

 

 

 

About Kiersto:

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.

The MegaCon Family Trip

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/

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The Evil Queen, Wonder Woman and Apocalypse Tinkerbell waiting for people to show up to their Cosplaying with Your Kids panel at MegaCon

 

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-

  1. 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.
  2. Baby friendly functional costuming for myself. It’s hard to hold a baby wearing big cardboard wings and shoulder armor.
  3. 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…

Family Cosplay feature: The Keanes

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:

halloween1We 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.

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.

What it took to become a Geek Mama

Being a geek was the easy part, that just came naturally. It was the baby part I had a hard time with.

After being married for 12 years (now 14), one miscarriage followed by 7 years of trying off and on, various fertility drugs, IUI procedures, acupuncture and endometriosis surgery, we finally turned to IVF and proceeded to make a baby in the geekiest most scientific way possible. We mixed drugs, measured shots and were eventually presented with the most amazing little egg in a petri dish. They asked me if I wanted to save the dish and I kind of wish I had now.

It was the most intense rollercoaster of sickness, emotion, pain and stress that I have ever put myself through voluntarily. This is me in the middle of 3 shots in the belly a day, the last week before my egg retrieval, bruised, bloated and with swollen lumps from one of the drugs:

IVF treatment

One of the things that got me through all the sucky stuff was my blog. I blogged anonymously, and I blogged often. Sometimes even twice a day. I discovered an amazingly supportive community of bloggers doing the exact same thing. Some of those ladies are still in the trenches, going through one procedure after another. And while IVF success stories have their place and can give hope, the last thing most of them want to see is a million happy baby posts. So I decided to start a new blog all about being a parent and specifically, a geeky one. It’s mostly like being a normal parent but with more Star Wars.

If you’d like to read my uncensored IVF journey, you can find my blog here: Stop Telling Me to Relax (I’m not updating but still check in from time to time and answer comments)

*named that because when you are having trouble conceiving the #1 thing people tell you is to relax and it will happen! And then they don’t like it when you punch them. So I blogged and that helped curve those impulses 🙂

In the end it was all worth it. I can’t wait to show him pictures of himself as a 3-day old blastocyst!

Made with Love and Science
Made with Love and Science

Our first family cosplay feature!

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!)
Harry Potter cosplay
Marvel and DC childrens cosplay

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
childrens cosplay
Want to see more? You can find Geraldine at:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/jogonmum (I love instagram – I think it’s my favourite)
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/jogonmum (no clue what I am doing on Snapchat)

Join GeekMamas at MegaCon!

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.

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May the Fourth Be with You

I love seeing all the Star Wars related things being posted for May the 4th!

Check out the official Star Wars Day page on StarWars.com for tips on parties, food, costumes and events: http://www.starwars.com/may-the-4th

We are preparing by turning an old linen baby blankie into a Jedi-esque tunic. Technically I’m aiming for a little Anakin outfit. I plan on posting a tutorial when I’m done. It may not be anywhere near screen accurate, but close enough to get the point across. As far as cosplay for mom, I’ll probably be in a Star Wars T-shirt and maybe some Leia buns.

We will be heading to the Jacksonville Zoo for their May the 4th be with Zoo celebration! I’d love to hear what others are doing for May the 4th. Please post your events.

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Keelan’s mom and dad at San Diego Comic Con as Han and Chewie

The Year That Changed Everything

IMG_0120Tomorrow my little bundle of joy that forever changed my world turns one. I can’t believe how fast it went, but to be honest, the first couple months went by in slow motion while everyone told me how fast it actually goes. It’s hard to really embrace that during those sleepless nights and days of feeding and screaming and crying (for both of us). But then after a few months it starts going fast, and then it feels like you can’t slow it down and you’d take those slow first weeks back in a heartbeat.

It was during those months and this past year that I learned everything I thought about babies was wrong. And every judgmental thought I ever had about kids or parenting was wrong. I never thought I knew everything. I knew I was pretty clueless, but I still had opinions about things like daycare, working, or just having a messy kid covered in food stains. And then I learned until you have a kid, you have no clue what you will be like on the other side of labor.

I can honestly say I ran to daycare like a drowning woman to a lifeboat as soon as Keelan was old enough. I needed a break. I needed some me time back. I needed to get back to work after a few failed attempts at bringing the baby to work with me. You try lacing someone up in a corset with a fussy baby strapped to your chest. I may dress like Wonder Woman at times, but I discovered I cannot actually do it all and I do need help.

And then a funny thing happened after I finally did get back to work and got some me time. I missed Keelan all day long. I looked at his pictures all day, I took any chance I could to leave work early and I discovered my heart wasn’t in working 24-7 anymore. This little guy had come along and stole my heart away. My business used to be my baby, but it paled in comparison to my actual baby.

So here I am, packing up my store after seven great years and closing the doors to go back to where I started 10 years ago, as a website – ThreeMusesClothing.com. I really enjoyed my experience running the boutique. I met so many great people and had a lot of fun. And maybe, a few years down the road when K starts school, I might open a boutique again. But for now, all I want to do is be mommy. I want to soak it up, revel in it and enjoy every minute of this amazing little boy. Moving back online and away from the daily demands of the brick and mortar shop gives me the freedom to do that.

Being a mom is a challenge, a blessing and a complete life changing experience. I am immeasurably thankful I finally get to experience this. So Happy First Birthday Keelan! You are so incredibly loved by so many. I love watching you grow and learn and look forward to all the adventures we will have.

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