Enchanted Forest

Happy Monday! April 25th Is the Perfect Date

Enchanted Forest

This witch straight-up terrified me as a child. The Enchanted Forest! Photo from PDXFamilyAdventures.com.

Happy Monday! Sarah took an early nap and I’m caught up/between freelance tasks, so I can actually blog today. I know, it’s so exciting! It’s frustrating, because I have so many things I’d like to be writing about, but my free time is shrinking more and more. But enough whining. Did you know that April 25th is the perfect date?

Links!

Prince

Prince gets his own section, because Prince. The legendary musician died last Thursday at age 57, and the world lost a truly talented, amazing individual. Again. There are a lot of lovely tributes online, but I prefer to post the video of Prince kicking Kim Kardashian off the stage. Not because I have anything in particular against her, but come on–if Prince asks you to dance? You dance.

But seriously–check out the video of Prince covering Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella eight years ago for a good ugly cry. It’s beautiful. Also, I went to karaoke with friends at the Ambassador this weekend and the songs were 85% Prince, and we have some very enthusiastic–and talented–local singers.

Whoa. Did you click the Ambassador link above? I had no idea their website was so . . . something. Wow.

Comics, Entertainment, General Nerdery

The official full cast list of the new Twin Peaks is here! Quick thoughts: I’m intrigued by Alicia Witt returning (as Donna Hayward’s little sister, a bit part in the original), and thrilled that David Duchovny’s Denise will appear! Also . . . Eddie Vedder? Uh, okay.

Also, the shortlist for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics is up on The Beat.

In local Portland nerdery, now’s your chance to suggest a panel for the 2016 Rose City Comic ConYou have the power!

Also, my crafty geeks: make sure turn in your application for GeekCraft Expo PDX by 4/30: this Saturday! Dooooo it.

In “How did I not already know this?” news, J. Rachel Edidin opened my eyes to the fact that Oregon’s weird/cool/creepy/amazeballs theme park, the Enchanted Forest, is open on weekends this month. I will be writing more on this subject soon!

While speaking of J. Rachel Edidin, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the latest episode of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is live, and it covers the debut of Inferno and the X-Terminators, and I must listen right now.

But first, one more video! If I had enough hair, I would try this braided chignon tutorial by Jennifer L. Scott:

So I bid you a fond farewell–for now! How did you honor Prince this past weekend, dear readers? Do you have any comics to recommend? Post below!

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Horror Baby

I’m Alive (I Think)!

Horror Baby

Celebrating 18 months with Freddy Krueger and Leatherface, of course!

Hey guys! Sorry for the radio silence. I had a week of visiting my in-laws in Massachusetts, and when I got back I was hit with a triple whammy of 1) freelance work (yay!), 2) Easter, and 3) laundry. So. Much. Laundry.

But a lot has happened, including Sarah turning 18 months! She’s walking, running, and climbing everything. And eating everything–although she still only has eight teeth (when will the rest get here, baby wants to eat candy).

She’s got “Bye-bye” and “Hi” down, although she’s started chirping “Hi baby!” (which is what we always say to her), which is hilarious. She can signal “More” (usually food) in sign language, and when she wants to nurse, she has a charming habit of patting me on the chest and yelling, “Ma? MAAAAAAA?” Usually in public.

Sarah has always been a very sweet, funny child. She loves to get a laugh out of us. She’s outgoing and friendly. She’s still a Mama’s girl, but she of course loves her brother, Sid, and her dad. She was cuddling with Scott this morning (she’s not usually a cuddler), and it was so sweet.

As for me . . . I’m good. Stressed. I’m doing PR and marketing for GeekCraft Expo PDX, and I’ve taken on another part-time gig for a former boss. I’m so happy to be working and doing stuff, but I feel a little pressed for time–plus, I really don’t want to fall on my face. Add coordinating the Buckman Auction and another event that’s planned for May, and my plate feels very full. When it rains, it pours!

But Emerald City Comic Con is next weekend. And it’s the first one I’m not attending. I miss the harried weeks running up to a convention: coordinating spreadsheets of graphic novels, statues, and toys, speccing signage, going over endless checklists. I miss being able to concentrate for longish periods of time without being interrupted!

I’m not ready to leave Sarah overnight yet–we still nurse four times a day! I’m so used to it, it’s such a nice, snuggly time, that I don’t really want to think about giving it up.

Sid is amazing. He’s always been the most helpful brother, and he’s so funny and smart. He’s a joy to hang out with. He got sick and had to cancel his three-day birthday extravaganza (two slumber parties–one at each house), and he was a total trooper. Plus, during his visit to Massachusetts, Papou (his Greek grandpa) taught him to play poker, and now Sid’s a card shark. It’s super funny.

Anyway! I swear I have actual posts about actual things that I will type up. 10 item wardrobe stuff, cooking, geeky news . . . don’t give up on me yet!

Happy Tuesday! International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day! Image from International Women’s Day!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I was unable to blog yesterday because Sarah has been 1) sick and 2) teething, and the combination left her inconsolable unless I was physically holding her. Sigh. I invited a friend over for lunch and she ended up making the sandwiches. But hey! Sarah might have eight whole teeth by the time she turns 18 months (she’s been a real slow teether).

On to links!

International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women and calling for increased gender equality and an end to discrimination and violence towards women. As a woman and a mother, I approve.

Check out UN Women’s interactive timeline about notable women in history–it’s really interesting, and visually stimulating for kids, too.

Speaking of notable women, Kelly Sue DeConnick is a fantastic comic book writer (Bitch Planet, Ms. Marvel), force of nature, and inspirational kick-ass woman. She used her fame and social media prowess for good yesterday, retweeting the names and portfolio links of hundreds of female comic book creators yesterday using the #VisibleWomen hashtag. Go check ’em out!

Another woman I love is Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books. She posts weekly video blogs over at the Daily Connoisseur, and just posted one that especially speaks to me about dealing with exhaustion. Plus she gave my latest 10-item wardrobe post a shout out, and I want to return the favor!

Of course, my favorite fictional woman is Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote. One day I will write in length why, but in the meantime, Bitch Media’s Jessica Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” Is My Anti-Ageism Heroine is well worth the read!

Cooking

As part of this month’s meal planning, I brought out my Mom’s 1970s copy of Make-A-Mix-Cookery. It’s all about creating your own mixes–for baking, casseroles, soups, etc.–to save time and money. And I’m all about creating my own entertainment by trying out retro recipes. So far I’ve made two of the mixes, so keep an eye out for reviews!

Speaking of Kelly Sue, she posted this recipe for a Buckeye Bundt Cake and I want. To. Make. It. And I will.

Okay, I’ve got to give Sarah a bath now (I will spare you the details why). Post your favorite women below!

Deep Thoughts From a Ladies’ Locker Room

BathingBeauties

Image via the United States Library of Congress.

Yesterday was a teacher planning day (no school), so I took Sarah, Sid, and two of Sid’s friends to the Mt Scott indoor pool. We had a blast: 15-month-old Sarah went from being scared and super-clingy to repeatedly jumping into the pool with glee, and the boys loved the lazy river, whirlpool, and water slide.

I’m a little sore today after carrying around a 25-pound baby in the pool for two hours (so much crab walking, ow), but I’m also pondering an epiphany I had in the ladies’ locker room.

Bear with me here. So, I was checking out the naked elderly women in the ladies’ locker room. I’m not a creeper, I swear–it’s almost impossible not to see them, because the elderly women at the pool do not give an eff. They’ve got it all hanging out–they offer no apologies or furtive glances. They are living life!

But in the back of my mind, I always have this guilty, repressed thought: Dear Lord, am I going to look like THAT someday? The wrinkled, slack skin, the gray hair, the . . . aging. Because no matter how I try to be better than this, it’s been imprinted on me that the worst thing a woman can do is to become old and–according to prevailing standards–undesirable.

But as I walked past, holding Sarah’s hand, another thought occurred to me: one day, she’ll look like this too! And it’s like the heavens opened and my perspective shifted just a tiny bit, and I had my epiphany.

Would I love Sarah any less if she became an old woman? Of course not–I’d be happy she lived a long life (and still loved the water)! She’d still be my precious baby!

Not too long ago, in the general scheme of things, those women had sleek, round baby bodies, too–and then they became children, teenagers, women, and now older women. We all get a turn to be all things. There’s nothing shameful about it: it’s literally one of the most natural things in the world!

So I feel like this is yet another fringe benefit to having a daughter (besides our future Mommy and Me wardrobe–oh it is coming): it’s led me to several unexpected “aha!” moments that I think are making me a slightly better person.

Have any of you experienced something like this? Willing to share?

 

A Pox on Our House: Facing My Issues

She IS snow cute! But maybe I need to chill out.

She IS snow cute! But maybe I need to chill out. Photo by BJ Forsythe.

So, one of the joys of turning one year old is getting your one-year vaccines. Unfortunately, Sarah had a poor reaction to her varicella shot (that’s chicken pox), which means she’s sporting big oozy, scabby blisters on her little face. Boo!

Her doctor and I weren’t sure what the deal was at first, since it looked like she had just one random lesion. But over the last weekend, she got her first fever (and oh boy I took her temperature in a way I hoped we’d never have to er, face, because the ear thermometer we have sucks), and then about six more blisters popped up. Poor baby!

Once her fever broke and the worry of what exactly was happening, health-wise, was over, I realized I was really mostly worried about the appearance of Sarah’s scabs and whether they’re going to leave scars or not. It was strange and sort of icky to realize how invested I am in how she looks.

I mean, it’s partly because I don’t want people to see her and worry that she has something contagious (she doesn’t, as long as the blisters are scabbed over). I also worry that folks will see her marks and think I’m a bad mother–I let something happen to my baby! But yes, a big part of my dismay is that we’re going to a wedding next week, and I want her . . . to be pretty. And two of those three things are about me, not her.

Fortunately, Sarah is little enough that my issues are not directly impacting her. But I want to use this episode to work on myself and my reactions for the future: I mean, all kinds of things could happen. Bad haircuts. Acne. Poor fashion choices. Sarah may have no interest in being pretty. Hopefully I will gain enough wisdom so I can raise her without the belief that it’s vitally important.

Augh, weird blog post! I tend to think of myself as fairly evolved–or at least fairly self-aware of my weaknesses–but body and beauty issues run so deep, and we’re pretty much surrounded by pictures and pressures everywhere, every day.

So what can I do?

Happy Birthday to Sarah

Sarah Birthday Dress

Sarah dressed up for her birthday!

It’s been a whirlwind of a day, with Scott and Sid (my husband and stepson) coming home from a trip to Oz Comic-Con, but something even bigger happened today: Sarah turned one year old!

Everyone always says time goes by so quickly with children, and dear god they’re right. The days are long, but the years are short. It feels like we just brought her home from the hospital three months ago!

In the past year of parenting, I have:

  • Carried Sarah–and breastfed her–while getting an in-depth tour of my friends’ new house. This included the front and back yards.
  • Left the house in a white shirt, only discovering–too late–that I had some baby poop on it. Immediately concocted a pumpkin smoothie cover story.
  • Discovered that yes, depending on the time of day, there is an acceptable amount of pee on Sarah’s clothing.
  • Eaten food that was on her face.
  • Raced into her room the morning after she slept through the night to see if she’s still breathing.
  • Blown her mind with my stellar peekaboo skills.
  • Realized I can never kiss her enough.
  • Put her down in a safe place and taken a minute to calm down.
  • Sneaked into her room to wish her goodnight before I turned in for the night. That was every night this year.

Scott and Sarah Allie

Sarah with Daddy at the hospital!

In a year, Sarah has gone from a tiny frowny burrito baby into a laughing, walking, super funny person who we love so, so much. Here’s to many more wonderful birthdays, my sweetie.

Things My Baby Ate Yesterday

  Sarah’s just four (four!) days away from her first birthday, and she’s already a champion eater of solid food. I know I’ll probably have to eat these words in a couple years when she enters the inevitable “plain pasta with butter” phase, but for now, I’m impressed:

  • Banana flaxseed muffins
  • Applesauce
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt
  • Magnet (attempted)
  • Braunschweiger 
  • Apples
  • Zucchini with tomato and basil
  • Spaghetti and meat sauce
  • Dead leaves (almost)
  • Mommy’s hair (every damn day)
  • Brie (she would like all of that now, please and thank you)

Did I mention she only has two teeth? That baby is crazy.