When you’ve done conventions for as long as I have, they become a part of your identity. The excitement and inspiration for new costumes, the meet-ups with friends we haven’t seen in months or years, Artist Alley filled with incredibly brilliant pieces, the occasion of bumping into a celebrity, and the bustle of the convention floor become engrained into your very soul. Sure, I complain about how crowded certain conventions have become *coughSDCCcough*, but despite my annoyances, I inevitably end up joyously anticipating the next one I can attend. When I became a military spouse and then a mom, I began to fear that cherished piece of my identity would certainly become a distant memory. With the constant moving to new locations every few years, how could I develop a community similar to what I was already familiar with in California? When a friend came to visit me in Texas during PAX South, I decided to do that craziest thing I imagined: attend a convention I’ve never been to before with a toddler all on my own.
About two months before Hazel was born, I went ham on video games because I knew after she was born, there would be precious little time for anything that didn’t involve taking care of her. Don’t get me wrong, I normally log away arguably too many hours immersed in whatever my favorite game happens to be at the time, but this gave me an excuse to really overdo it. Picture this: a 185 pound, 9 months pregnant woman bouncing around on a fitness ball screaming obscenities that would make George Carlin blush. My husband was seriously concerned that Hazel’s first word might be less than socially acceptable. Then she was born and nothing else mattered in the world except keeping her alive and healing my body and mind. Slowly but surely the days started to get easier as naps started regulating, breastfeeding became second nature, and multitasking was starting to make a comeback. The natural progression for me was to attempt an online match or two with friends while the baby was preoccupied with a boob sandwich. It was an absolute success which not only made me feel normal again, but also made me realize it was possible to still fulfill “me time” as a new mom. Continue reading
I used to roll my eyes and guffaw at the very idea of making my own baby food. I knew friends who did it for their little ones, saw books and gadgets for the homemade stuff in their baby registries, and plenty of mom blogs proclaiming the benefits of doing it yourself. It always seemed like a Martha Stewartesque waste of precious energy and time when the jarred stuff existed and was readily available on supermarket shelves. When Hazel started longingly gazing at food and smacking her lips hungrily, my perspective shifted a bit. So did the overwhelming sense of, “I can’t bullocks this up; if I do, she’ll forever be screwed up.”
Spoilers: she won’t be, and it’s okay to mess up a bit – pretty much the definition of parenting, in a nutshell. Continue reading
In my previous fitness post over a year ago, Adventures in Fitness While Breastfeeding, I explained how challenging it can be in our society to be kind to ourselves after having a baby. Instagram is full of celebrity moms snapping glamorously posed shots of breastfeeding and holding their babies oh-so lovingly, making motherhood and the fabled “bouncing back” seems like a breeze to achieve. For some extraordinarily fortunate souls, this may be the case, but for the rest of us normies, it is beyond challenging and sometimes absolutely soul-crushing. We can feel judged and like we are an embarrassment to our friends and family when we gain weight and aren’t as good shape as we once were. We can view ourselves in a warped, distorted manner as if we are standing in front of a fun-house mirror. It won’t matter how many compliments and praises we may get, how we feel about our own bodies is ultimately what matters. Everything else will feel like a lie. What does matter is how we feel inside our own minds and bodies. Continue reading
Before getting pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I had worked with a phenomenal personal trainer combining weight training, circuit workouts, and basic stunt choreography (ah, LA life, how I miss thee). I felt strong, confident, and actually liked looking at myself in the mirror and photographs. I had even worn a two-piece bathing suit for the first time in my adult life in public and went to a convention baring my midriff as a gender-bent Star-Lord. I never had the courage or self-confidence to ever do that previously. Body dysmorphia is a real C-word, but I had managed to muffle her out enough to enjoy and embrace the body I had worked so hard for. Then I got knocked up. Continue reading
Not sleeping well comes with the territory of having a new baby. I resigned myself early in my pregnancy to potentially wake at least every hour since I am essentially a living and breathing food truck now. It’s a good thing I fostered my expectations in this fashion because the first few weeks were almost exactly an hour or two, day and night. There was lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth from all persons involved.
Well, I’m FINALLY getting around to writing this “geek mom” blog I was so previously ecstatic to start when I was in my first trimester. Obviously, pregnancy sapped my motivation and any last “give a fuck” I might have in reserve – because let’s be honest, living every day for four months with the worst kind of sea-sick like nausea I’ve ever experienced combined with hormone fluctuations that make me feel like I’m basically a bloated wildebeest for the next five months will likely cause anyone to hermit themselves. But hey, now that Hazel is two months old, now is as good a time as any, right?