Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh, my dear followers... all 5 or 6 of you. I feel as though I have let you all down. I may be the worst blogger in the history of blogging. I had such high hopes... I was going to break free of these chains of blogspot oppression, set up a for realz site, maybe try my hand at earning a very small income at this.

Then nursing school happened. And it keeps happening. IT. WON'T. GO. AWAY!

I assure you that Squid is still all sorts of awesome (if you follow me and/or FB, you already know this). We are still working at perfecting her geekiness. I must warn you, she has recently become aware that there are such things as Disney princesses. So far, she is only aware of Elsa, Anna, Belle, and Mulan. So... there's that.

I have some ideas for future posts. I need to find some time between classes and mommyhood to get them on here. Please stay tuned. I promise I haven't completely forgotten all of you.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Wow, I knew it had been a long time since I posted to the blog, but I hadn't quite realized that it had been over four months. Oops.

It was a long and very busy summer. We went camping and swimming. We went to Great America and the Renn Faire. We went to outdoor concerts, festivals, farmers' markets, and more. I started school. Squid started a new daycare. We watched all that Netflix has to offer in Classic Doctor Who.

We also discovered the fountain in Millenium Park.
Squid also turned 2. She had a super-awesome superhero. It was a little cold (IN JULY!) for her to wear her Wonder Woman tutu, but she had fun nonetheless. We had a Spidey pinata, handed out masks so people could go incognito, and ate a watermelon cut to look like a birthday cake.

Watermelon Cake!

No beating this pinata!

OH! And here is a pic of Squid in her Spidey swimsuit, like I promised you all months and months ago:

Never doubt a determined mommy!

Squid is growing up fast and talking a ton. We are still having the occasional issue with people assuming that she would rather have something covered in Princesses than Superheroes. As of this writing, Squid can name at least 6 superheroes when she sees them. She doesn't know a single Princess. She still loves Spidey, but she has a new thing for Ironman.

Also, she is crazy for the the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). Although she always recognizes the Doctor no matter which form he is in, her favorite is Four. She is dressing as him for Halloween. I really need to get to work on the scarf. I have taught her to shake her fist in the air while screaming, "MOFFAT!" It was a proud moment.

Oh! And Squid's new obsession is trains. We may nickname her Sheldon. She got a small, wooden Thomas the Tank Engine set for her birthday. Her favorite restaurant is a place called Tyler's Tender. They deliver your meal on a train!

Here she is, checking out their O-scale train.

We got some weird looks recently when we entered a hobby shop just to look around. I don't think the old guys there believed me when I told them that the 2-year-old girl with me wanted to see trains. About the 10th time she had me pick her up to look at the assembled model they had, they handed us a model train catalog and told us about the garden-scale train at a nearby arboretum.

I promise to make time for this blog again. We are finally getting into a rhythm with school and work and life. I leave you with one of Squid's 2 year pictures:

Courtesy of Klassyc Memories Photography

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Come and Play!

Since we dragged our toddler to C2E2, we figured it was only fair to do something just for her as well. Actually, right before Christmas, our local PBS affiliate had a fundraising drive and one of the gifts was tickets to Sesame Street Live with a pre-show meet and greet. We also got to go to the studios for a special Sesame Street Play Zone Day.

They had little activity centers based on the TV show:

Mr. Hooper's Store.... which no longer has a Mr. Hooper

Elmo's piano

Hello? Anyone home?

But, Squid spent most of her time coloring....

and dancing...

After a while, some of the characters came out for photo ops. Squid was excited, but suspicious....

I'll just stand back and see if Zoe eats any of those kids first.
It was a bit overwhelming for her, with so much activity and kids. We did get a couple of good pics with some of the scenes and characters, but they were taken with Nana's camera and she can't figure out how to email them to me. ;-)

So.... after much waiting and anticipation, the night of Sesame Street Live finally arrived. I was nervous about being in a theater full of toddlers and preschoolers that late on a weeknight.

Sunny Seats, sugar-infused toddlers, and frazzled parents meet here.
Before the show, we had the opportunity to meet a couple of characters. Squid was practically vibrating as we stood in line...

She wore this grin all the way back up the aisle

After the photos, we had to wait in the lobby for a long, long time.

But, daddy made it better by buying an Elmo plushie.

For me????

Finally, it was time... to wait in the theater.

And then the lights went down, the curtain went up, and this happened...

OMG! ELMO!!!!!

I'm not completely sure who had more fun... Squid or us. She squealed and clapped and danced. At one point, we swear she screamed, "I LOVE YOU, ELMO!!!!" Except that she isn't speaking in that clear of sentences yet. We were waiting for her to throw her diaper onto the stage.

She did, however, rush the stage near the end of the night.

Yeah, she's our little groupie in the making.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Ok, not really. But I couldn't figure out how to write Con all drawn out without people reading it as coon.

Let's try it this way...

COMIC CO------------ON!

Better? Meh.

As you can probably guess, this is the big C2E2 post. Well, maybe not big. Don't want to get your hopes up since I'm sort of making this up as I go along.

We went on the last day. Sunday was also the shortest day, but we figured that it would be best for Squid. I'm not sure how well she enjoyed it, but we had quite a bit of fun.

First, Squid was going through a "Mommy" phase. Mommy has to be the one holding her and interacting with her at all times. She still loves her Daddy, but Mommy has to do all the lifting. This sucks because Mommy is the better photographer and actually knows how to use the fancy camera we bought just to take pictures of an active toddler. Daddy has a lot of talents. Taking pictures with Mommy's camera is not one of them. So... when you see pics of Daddy holding Squid, her arms are usually stretched toward the woman behind camera.

Next, Squid had an upset tummy. We think she managed to ingest some dairy products somewhere along the way. She was rather crabby for the first half of the day. Which, of course, is when things are hectic and there's no time for crabbiness.

On the way into the convention center, we saw a Spider-Man cosplayer. Needless to say, Squid was super excited. Her head whipped around so fast, I almost worried that it would fall off. She pointed and made sure that all of us saw Spidey. He was real!

Soon enough, we saw more Spideys. They were everywhere (I wonder what Wizard World will look like this fall... Stan Lee is going to be there!). She pointed at every costume, t-shirt, hat, backpack, etc that had her beloved superhero on it. She was in Spidey heaven. That is, until she got close to one....

Is he supposed to be this big????

She pointed out this cosplayer with a huge grin, so we walked up and asked if we could get her pic. He was happy to comply. We grabbed Squid out of her stroller, clutching her Spider-Man plushie, only to get this reaction. She tried to get away and actually started crying. BUT... if Spidey took a couple of steps back, she would smile and point and say, "SPIDEY!" The second he came close enough for a pic, she would freak out. Maybe it's because she's wearing a DC shirt.

Inside, we had to queue up at the opposite end of the hall, so we could get our picture taken with this guy:

Squid is looking for the blue box.

OK, I'm not a classic Who fan. Mainly because I have only watched a handful of episodes. But, it was pretty cool to a family pic with Peter Davison. And now, there are only 2 degrees of separation between me and David Tennant. WOOT!

After this photo op, we headed over to Jill Thompson's booth to pick up an original drawing we had commissioned. We started to introduce ourselves when Ms. Thompson looked at Squid and said, "I recognize you!" Then she pulled out this lovely bit of artwork:

Yes, that's Squid having a grand old time with Little Endless Delirium and Death

We loved it. Squid chose this moment to become crabby again, so we cut the meeting short. We did come back later to get her autograph in a hardback copy of Scary Godmother and to get Squid's pic with the lovely and talented artist.

Yes, Mommy is behind the camera.

There was a bit of a mix-up online and in their scheduling. We were supposed to get a picture with Julie Newmar, but apparently she wasn't doing the professional pictures that day. When we complained (after all, we did pay for it in advance!), they offered us this photo op:

Squid has had a costume change at this point... and is properly wearing Marvel

Felicia Day looked at Squid and said if they were handing out cuteness awards at the con, she would surely win. Squid nonchalantly agrees.

We did get an autograph from Julie Newmar. While we were waiting in line, she was interviewed by some Joker who cut in front of everyone.

Fancy meeting you here!

When it was our turn, she told us how cute Squid was and thanked us for coming out. We told her how we had wanted to get a picture with her. She smiled and whispered, "Come around the booth. They charge over at the photo op. Here it's free!" She was genuinely sweet and friendly and took her time to talk to everyone who came up to her. She is also still absolutely gorgeous.

MOM!!! Why are you over there?????

Ms. Newmar was kind enough to let us get a pic without a screaming child.

Soon after this, Squid completely zonked out and we wandered the booths and looked for interesting stuff that we don't need. One thing we didn't get to until too late was this awesome print:

Yes, we are!
It was created by some very talented young women who had no idea what sort of impact such a positive message this sent out. They sold out almost immediately. They are working on getting an online store up and running soon. Until then, you can find artist Sarah Satrun here.

Squid napping while Spidey watches out for villains.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Squid awoke from her nap a whole new kid, and had fun walking as much as we would let her and pointing out every instance of Spider-Man that she saw. We tried to get her picture taken with The Predator, but he proved a bit too scary, even with Mommy holding her.

She did let me get a pic of her and her godmother:

I had to snap this quickly because she was more interested in looking at the giant Spidey

Oh! I almost forgot. As we were entering the hall, we bumped into Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers. We tried to get a pic of Squid, but she wanted no part of it. I think it may be because of the voice changers that made Vader talk funny.

Nearby, there was a Disney Cinderella cosplayer. Everyone who thought that Vader was just too scary for the toddler suggested we get her picture with the princess. So, we set her down and led her to the woman who was kneeling and talking to other young girls. I'm happy to say that Squid wanted no part of Cinderella, either. She had nearly the same reaction to a young lady in a ball gown that she had to a man in black body armor.

OK, that's all. I need to get to bed. I have more posts in the future. We went to see Sesame Street Live and got our pictures taken with Abby and Grover! Fun times!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


So, you might notice some changes with the blog. I'm working on the layout, trying to make it look more like something that people will want to read. And I have changed the url, so it matches the name. It will also be its own domain in coming weeks, although I will still be using blogger to publish it. For now, at least.

And I have some (hopefully) fun posts coming up in the next week or so. We recently went to C2E2 and saw Sesame Street Live. I just have to get all the media together and have some time to breathe.

Also, don't forget to check out our Facebook page. And tell your friends.

More soon. I promise!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Raising Independent Kids

Disclaimer - my kid isn't even 2 years old yet. I am not an expert on raising children. My views may change as Squid gets older.

So, I'm browsing Pinterest and looking at some family cooking and craft projects. And most of these projects have mom doing most of the work or severely supervising the children. One in particular mentioned how her project was a good one because her kids didn't need much supervision after she microwaved the chocolate for them.

The kids were teens and preteens. She talks about them having cell phones. She showed pics of kids well over the age of 10. Why do these kids need to be supervised in the use of a microwave?

By the time I was 10, I was preparing complete meals on the stove. I was trusted to do laundry on my own. I was mowing lawns. When did we start treating children like imbeciles?

How can we expect kids to ever learn to be self-sufficient if we continue to do everything for them? Yes, they might screw it up. That's part of the learning process. They may even sustain minor injuries. They will survive them.

I consider myself a decent cook. Not awesome. But people usually eat whatever I make and I get compliments on some of the stuff. As a kid, I burnt a lot of food. I mixed ingredients wrong. I didn't time when stuff would be done, so the sides would be cold and the entree hot. I eventually got the hang of it through trial and error.

The same thing with everything in life. I learned to hammer nails by hammering rusty, crooked nails into scrap wood. That was my grandpa's idea of a toy to keep my brother and me quiet for a while. Ok, probably not the best example, but we never got tetanus, although we did hammer our thumbs a few times.

Kids need the opportunity to screw up. They need the opportunity to take risks. Success is meaningless if the parent is responsible for it.

Let the kid microwave the chocolate. What's the worst that could happen? Over-cooking it? Making a mess of the microwave? Those are not disasters. Those are learning opportunities. Make them clean the mess and try again. You aren't going to be there to microwave their ramen noodles in college.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This is Getting Old

I hate to keep on about the same things, over and over. But the same things happen, over and over.

Took Squid shopping the other day. We needed a raincoat and we were going to look at bathing suits. I let her pick out a rain coat and she chose the girliest coat, pink with flowers or apples or some such nonsense. It's cute and she hugged it and smiled and wanted to wear it throughout the store.

Then we went over to the swimwear area to see what they have. She was instantly drawn to the Spiderman swim trunks. Have I mentioned how much this kid loves Spidey? I'm actually getting a little worried about her obsession. She pointed and smiled and said, "SPIDEY!" I acknowledged that the swim trunks did indeed have Spiderman on them. Then I sang the theme song as she danced in her seat. And as much as I would love to say I bought her the swim trunks, I can't. I told her we should try to get her a girl's swimsuit and we looked on the slightest chance that they might have a Spiderman bathing suit. They didn't. I showed her Dora, Minnie Mouse, Princesses Galore... even an Angry Birds. She emphatically shook her head no and pointed at the Spiderman trunks. I promised I would look and see what I could find online and guiltily bought her some Spidey pajamas.

When we were checking out, the cashier looked at our haul, which now included a cloth diaper for her doll and a purple doll stroller (she had tried to steal one from a kid at the mall the other day, so we figured a $10 toy was cheaper than jail time). The cashier looked at Squid and said, "Is this all for you? Oh, wait... not all. The pajamas must be for your brother."

"Nope," I replied. "They're hers. She's a big Spiderman fan."

The cashier looked a bit incredulous (seriously? over pajamas?) and smiled and continued to scan our items.

Don't you tell me what to do, cardboard dinosaur!

At home, I learned that they only make superhero bathing suits for nubile teens. WTH? I had Wonder Woman Underoos and such as a kid. Comics are HUGE right now. And all that's available for little girls is princesses and Dora. Wilting flowers waiting for a prince to come save them or a girl who is constantly getting lost in the woods.

When I mentioned the conundrum at work, my male coworkers laughed and smiled, knowing my daughter and her fanaticism for the web-slinger. A newer female coworker was aghast. "Why would you want her to wear a Spiderman bathing suit? Wouldn't she rather have a princess or Dora? She's a girl!"

I change her diapers, I am well-aware of her gender. And I watch her play mommy with her dolls and teddies and Spiderman plushie. She rocks them. She feeds them. And occasionally growls at them and bites their legs. I don't judge. Hell, I don't even attempt to understand anymore. I just go with the flow and encourage her to be herself.

Eventually, I was able to find a site selling toddler Spiderman Speedo-style swim trunks and a Spidey rash guard shirt. It'll work as a swimsuit. It's not as brave of a choice as letting her wear the boy trunks. But it's still a subtle way of telling society that it sucks. Of course, I could just as easily refuse to buy her any character-emblazoned outfits, barring superheroes and princesses alike. But I'd feel a bit like a hypocrite, telling her that she can't wear a Spiderman or Elmo shirt, while I walk around in my favorite Death or Dawn shirt.

Plus, I don't know how long this Spiderman phase will last. She may be done with it all next week. And as a geek, I need to be sure to fully enjoy any glimmer of geekiness my little Squid may have. So, I'll buy her the bathing suit that I have cobbled together. I will dress her as Princess Wonderwoman for C2E2. I will encourage her to emulate the best characteristics of the best superheroes. And I will try to teach her the meaning of a real superhero.... ones that don't wear capes. But mostly, I want her to realize that the media and retail industry does not need to decide what you will like. We do not need to start pigeonholing our children before they enter preschool. There are plenty of years and people who are going to try to stuff them into boxes. Let them enjoy the outside for a while first.

Teddy needs some fresh air.