Sunday, December 12, 2010

Date Afternoon

One of the challenges after you have a child is finding time to spend alone with your spouse, It's been extra hard for my husband and I because he's been working 6 days a week, and we are both in school.

But today, a friend of mine came over to watch Emily, and my husband and I got to go out to the movies. We went to see the newest Narnia movie, which was awesome. But it was just awesome to be able to cuddle in the movie theater with my husband.

I love my daughter, but I also love my husband, and it's nice to get some time away from Emily sometimes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To Santa or not to Santa

I know that a lot of parents struggle with 'The Santa Question'. For my husband and I, we decided very easily to make Santa real for our daughter.

We had both believed in Santa when we were small, and I don't think having lived 'The Lie' damaged us in the slightest. I know that I loved keeping 'The Lie' up after I gave up believing, because my little sister still believed. In fact, my sister asked our mom point blank if Santa was real, and mom said no. Well, she wasn't ready to give up believing so she just ignored that conversation with our mom for another year!

Emily's bedtime story last night was "The Night Before Christmas" and she was excited at all the pictures in the storybook of Santa. Though she wasn't quite sure what to do with the 'real' thing when we took her to see Santa at Walmart over the weekend.

I think Santa adds to the magic of the season, and Christmas is so much more magical with a child to share it with!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

When I was shopping for Emily's 2nd birthday gifts, I really wanted to get her a baby doll, because she didn't have one.

I saw the tool truck that is pictured, and I thought she would really like that too, because she really likes driving cars on the floor.

So she got a baby doll and the tool truck. She really liked both right out of the wrapping paper, but now, a month and a half after her birthday, she plays with the tool truck most of all.

Now I'm sure there would be people out there that would think this is a 'boy' toy that I shouldn't have gotten for my little girl. Though I do think that number is probably decreasing.

I hate the girl / boy toy thing. This stems back from my college years when I worked at McDonald's. I really disliked that we had two different toys, and that I had to ask which parents would want. When I was a kid, there was just one toy, and we liked it!

Now that I have a little girl, I want to encourage her to be herself. She loves trucks and playing tools, but she also loves to play kitchen and with toy food. I don't think there is a problem with liking either!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


 We took Emily to see Santa today. Last year, she wasn't sure at all what to think (as shown by the picture from last year).

I had hoped that she would be more into meeting Santa this year, but alas, she got really shy once we got there and went to get pictures taken.

Plus she really wanted to get her candy cane open. Which she did end up doing on the way home. She was sticky all over!
I am thankful that she didn't scream - I've seen a lot of screaming child pictures with Santa. Of course, we aren't going to make Emily sit on Santa's lap (or sit next to him) until she feels comfortable with it.

I'm just glad we have these pictures, even if this year's wasn't the best. And I'm super glad that Walmart has Santa so you can get pictures for free! The mall Santas are so expensive and we just wouldn't be able to afford it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Time!

I love Christmas! And it's even more awesome now that Emily is a little older.

We got our tree on Sunday (and yes, we did straighten it out after I took this picture). We also decorated it on Sunday as well.

This was the first year that Emily was old enough to help decorate the tree. Though she spent a lot of decorating time finding ornaments and asking her Daddy to put them on the tree for her.

Tomorrow we are taking Emily to see Santa, and I'm pretty excited about that too! Plus we'll be able to do Christmas cookies this year as well!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LARPing and being out of shape

I went down to GA to LARP last weekend. I love LARPing, though this LARP is a boffer weapon LARP so it's a lot of running, attacking and since I play an NPC,a lot of falling down and dying.

On Friday night, I was in a module where I and two other NPC's were playing shark monsters. I lunged forward to attack, when I slipped. When I slipped, I did the splits further than I have ever done before. Needless to say, I was really sore for the rest of the weekend.

Even if I hadn't hurt myself, the running around really got to me after awhile, and I was just sore and wiped out by the time I got home on Sunday. Because of this, I've vowed I'm going to make time to work on getting in shape before the next LARP, which isn't until April.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Are Happy Meals Evil?

San Francisco has banned toys in unhealthy kids meals (you can read the article here), and many people I know think this is super great and whatnot.

So I'm feeling like I'm not the best parent because my child has ingested a few Happy Meals. But, I don't think a happy meal once in a while is bad, and I don't think McDonald's food is as awful as people think it is.

I worked at McDonald's for two years when I was in college, and while it isn't the best food, it's not that horrible either.

Of course, it could also be because I don't really believe that organic is the way to go. I'm not a very crunchy person, and even if I was, with me being out of work, it's just not affordable for us to buy all organic. And both Todd and I are not convinced that organic is worth the huge market as compared to regular food.

But I could just be a bad mom for giving my kid processed food every once in a while, but I don't really think I am.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween 2010

The Saturday before Halloween, I took Emily to a local Halloween Carnival. There were games to play where she got treats, and a bouncy house that she loved.

When we first got there, I got approached by a reported and I was interviewed for an article about the carnival. I was mentioned in the article as well as my shout-out to my local mommies group!

On the actual day of Halloween, we took Emily to the mall for trick or treating. We met up with our local mommies group and we trick and treated together for a while, but we ended up getting separated.

We had a good time, though by the end, Emmy wanted her candy and melted down a bit when we said she couldn't have anymore. But she's 2, so I think that is pretty normal.

All in all, it was a good Halloween!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Browncoat Ball - Sunday

Sunday dawned bright and early, and I got packed up pretty quickly. I loaded my car up, and went to the hospitality room to help out. I sold the table centerpieces from the night before and last minute raffle tickets.

The raffle happened, and it went really fast! It was done in the similar way as the CSTS raffle is done every year, but we made it through a ton of prizes in about 40 minutes, which I think is a record!

I didn't win anything but I was allowed to take the giant dinosaur balloon home for Emily. I didn't stick around for the Shepard Book Words of Wisdom that took place after the raffle because I was tired and wanted to get home.

The weekend was really fun! I hope to get to another Ball someday, and I'm sure that will be a different experience because I won't be on the planning committee for any future Balls (though I would love to build up Asheville Browncoats and put in a Ball proposal someday).

Browncoat Ball - Saturday (Part 2)

After resting for a while, I got ready for the Ball. I wore my Kaylee Layer Cake dress, which got a lot of compliments. I didn't take my camera down to the Ball, so I didn't get a picture that I could attach to this blog post.

There was a cocktail hour where we mingled and where Pher, who is a Greenville 'Coat and a professional photographer, took Prom-style pictures of everyone in their finery.

Once the Ball started, people who wanted to be announced were - I was announced as "Chaos Mandy, Lady of the Layer Cake" which got me big cheers.

After everyone was in, a group of cloggers entertained us until the buffet was open. The food was amazing, lots of options and a huge dessert table as well.

The band, Gael Warning, started their first set while we were eating dinner. They started out with their version of the Firefly theme song which everyone sang along to.

At the band's first break, the cloggers came back, and this time they asked for people to come up. I was one of the people, and I had a great time learning how to do some of the called dancing (it was kind of like square dancing).

The rest of the night had more of the band, who played 3 or 4 more sets. One of those sets was all of waltzes which I didn't dance to. I did dance a lot for the other sets.

There was a costume contest, and I would have probably been one of the winners, but since I was on the committee I wasn't allowed to. There was some really great costumes, including one girl who's mom had made her Inara's dress from the Shindig episode!

After the costume contest winners were announced, all the committee members were called up so we could be acknowledged. And right after that, was a marriage proposal between two of the committee members, Dawson and Katie. It was so sweet!

I stayed almost the entire time, but at the end, my head was starting to ache from the loud music and from all the dancing so I headed upstairs. I changed into my pj's, though I did want to go to the after party. I ended up just falling asleep!

Browncoat Ball - Saturday (Part 1)

I got up around 7:30 on Saturday and got ready for the afternoon's activities. After I was ready, I went to the hospitality room for some breakfast.

At 10:00, most of the Ball-goers met in the lobby of the hotel. We got our train tickets and we headed off to walk to the train station. We went to a tavern for lunch, which was bbq, coleslaw, bread and chicken fingers . It was really, really yummy.

While we ate, we were entertained by Big Mammas House of Burlesque  which was awesome - 3 girls performed and all of the performances were Firefly themed including costumes!

After lunch, we went on our different tracks. I was on the 'Tour the Core' track. We went back to the train, and from there we walked to the Trolley museum. The Trolley museum was pretty small and the guy working there didn't know what to think of us.

There was a trolley in the middle of the museum that we all got on - the photographers with our group got several shots, and then someone said that we should sing "Hero of Canton", which we all did bursting out into song right on the trolley. It was one of the shiny-er moments from the weekend.

After the Trolley Museum, we went to Levine Museum of the New South, which was really interesting. It was all about the history of Charlotte from after the Civil War until now. After I had gone through the exhibits, I hitched a ride back with a few Browncoats who were driving back to the hotel.

Once I got back to the hotel, I went back to the room to rest up for the main event, The Ball!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Browncoat Ball - Friday

I left home pretty early to get to Charlotte on Friday. I got my stuff stowed in the hotel room, and waited for the staff meeting to start.

After the staff meeting was done, I got the Shiny Space Bazaar's table assignments figured out. I, then, got my table set up.

I spent the next 4 hours at the Bazaar - I had a good time chatting with the folks from Washed Up Mermaid. I bought a few things too!

I sold most of my parasols, and some of my other stuff. I made enough money to cover my expenses for the weekend, which was my goal.

After the Bazaar was over, I picked up my stuff, went up to put a long sleeve shirt under my clothes, and went down to help get things sorted out for the Luau.

It was cold outside, but the Luau was a lot of fun. The food was super yummy, especially the strawberries and chocolate! We got paired into crews and we played a 'getting to know you' game which was so funny.

The band was great, and the entertainment was as well. I did end up running up to the hotel room to get my coat because it was really cold.

After the Luau was over, I sang one song for the Karaoke - but it was too cold to stay. I went upstairs to get warm and change into my pj's before heading down to Susannah Ravenswing's concert. I love Susannah's Firefly inspired songs, and the concert was great. And the room was packed!

After the concert was over, I went straight to the hospitality suite for the PJ party. This room was also packed! I only made it through Jaynestown - which was super fun to watch with other people who have seen the episode as many times as I have, before I went upstairs to go pass out!

Monday, October 4, 2010


I've been not blogging as much as I wish I could. I've been really busy and super stressed out.

Between school, caring for Emily, trying to make money through my at-home job, and working on several committees, I'm spent. I'm also trying to keep the house clean-ish along with losing weight.

Things should be better after this month is over, but with Emily's birthday in two weeks and then the Browncoat Ball the weekend after, I'm just feeling stretched to nearly the breaking point.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Long ago, when I was in college, I used to LARP every weekend. It was White Wolf LARPs of the 'rock, paper, scissors' variety, and I loved it.

I love roleplaying in general but I really loved LARPing - costumes + rping = WIN!

But after I left college, I had a hard time finding a new place to LARP. I went to a White Wolf Vampire LARP in Grand Rapids once but it wasn't a great fit. And there was the Firefly one-shot weekend LARP I was a part of in April 2008.

But other than that, I haven't LARPed since college. But my cousin's wife (who is a great friend) has been telling me I should come down to GA some weekend to LARP. And I've been wanting to, but I was afraid that Emily wouldn't be able to cope with being gone from me.

I finally took the plunge this past weekend, and I had an awesome time. It is a boffer-style LARP and I was an NPC, so mostly I fought and died all weekend. It was so much fun.

Miss Emily did great for my aunt, so I'm already planning on going to the next event in November. I'm super excited!

As much as I love being a mommy, I do really enjoy having time away from her to reclaim my Mandy-ness and to spend time doing things for me. And it is good for her to be away from me too.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Trip Report - Thursday

I had planned on spending most of Wednesday night finishing up my costume and finishing packing, but Emily kept waking up every hour, and ended up just sleeping with me.

As a result, I forgot to set the alarm and didn't wake up until 7 (we had wanted to be up at 6:30) - so we got out of the house later than we intended.

I spent the majority of the 3 hour trip sewing and I still didn't finish my dress!

We got to my aunt and uncle's house at about 12:30-ish, and hung out for a few minutes before Todd and I left Emily in the capable hands of my cousin's wife / good friend and we headed downtown.

MARTA ride was easy as usual and we got to the Sheraton about 2. I had hoped the lines would be less crazy due to the early opening, but,  it was only slightly better. We didn't have to wait outside at all but it still took about 2.5 hours.

After we got our badges, and I got my parade ribbon, we went to the food court and had some lunch dinner. We ran into some friends too, which was fun :)

We headed back to my aunt and uncle's house as we were planning on getting up early to get down to the con early the next day. Plus I had sewing to do - I finally finished sewing the layers I had pinned on Thursday night.

Kids and Dragon*Con

I love my little girl, and I hope she'll be a geek someday. I have no issue with taking her to smaller cons like ConCarolinas, but I won't be bringing her to Dragon*Con anytime soon.

But this year at Dragon*Con, I saw kids at every turn. Teeny, tiny babies and toddlers, along with older kids who probably actually enjoyed the con.

My husband and I talked about the little kids at the con at length as we waited in lines, and felt very good about our decision to not bring our toddler since she doesn't like standing still and zombies freak her out.

We figure when she is 5 or 6 we'll let her decide if she wants to come down to the con, but until then I'm so glad we have relatives we trust to take care of her while we get our geek on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Temper Tantrums

My little girl has always been very sweet, especially out in public. But as we get closer to her 2nd birthday, the terrible 2's keep cropping up.

Temper tantrums have been happening a lot in my house. Usually when we don't do what she wants. I think there is a language barrier since she isn't talking a lot yet. Though she understands a ton because she can follow directions and the like.

I try to have as much patience as I can, though it gets wearing after a while. Especially since I've been suffering from bad migraines this week. But both my husband and I are determined to not give in to the tantrums and try to distract her to get the tantrum done. If she is really bad, we put her in time out.

Tonight was tantrum central due to the fact that Emily resisted taking a nap all day. So by the time it was nearly bedtime, nothing make her happy.

Now, tantrums at home I can handle because no-one can see my cranky child, but when we went out today, Emily decided to roll around on the floor and cry. I felt mortified. I tried distraction, but in the end we had to leave.

I hope this phase ends soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wrestling Geek

I'm not just a Browncoat, I'm also a fan of professional wrestling. I got into before I met my husband, but he is the one who is into it more than me.

My husband's birthday was this past Saturday, and there was a TNA House Show in Charlotte - TNA is a wrestling company, and a House Show is a show that isn't broadcast on TV.

Since the show was in Charlotte, we needed to find someone to watch Emily, especially since we didn't think the show was going to end until 10 pm or 11 pm. I was worried because Emily doesn't sleep well for anyone but me.

But my husband and I had a great time at the show - we got a bunch of autographs, and as the picture shows, we got our picture taken with Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy.

At home, my friend, Nancy, babysat for Emily. And apparently Emily was very good! And she went to sleep for Nancy no problem!

It was great because now my mind is a little more eased as we get closer to the Browncoat Ball when I'll be gone all weekend.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

It's been extremely hot in Western NC. Most days it has been in the high 90's to low 100's.

It's sucky because it's too hot to be outside, unless we go to the pool. And the pool costs money, so we've only been going once a week.

I am so ready for Autumn. It is my favorite season, and it gets cooler. Heck, right now, I'd be glad for some 80 degree days. It would feel cool after the hot weather we have been having.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Adventures at the IHOP

Yesterday, my husband, my toddler and I went to IHOP for lunch. It isn't one of our normal lunch spots, but I was craving pancakes.

Right after we were seated, a grandmother and a toddler about Emily's age were seated near to us. Emily found the little boy very interesting, but soon was distracted by the crayons and kid's menu to draw with.

The little boy was acting like a typical toddler - tossing things, not wanting to sit in his seat, etc. I felt bad for him because his grandmother didn't know how to handle him. She kept threatening to spank him and kept raising her voice. It made me sad because his behavior was not that bad, and no worse than Emily's.

Emily got bored with her crayons and was a little cranky before our food came. So my darling husband took the bands that held the silverware together and re-attached them after he taked them off the silverware.

He had two that he used kind of like circular blocks. He would try to stack them, and Emily would knock them over, while giggling madly. This kept her amused until our food arrived.

There were a lot of older couples eating their as well, and one had been watching her giggle from across the room. As they were leaving, they came over to us and told us what a cute and happy child Emily is!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Over and Over Again

Today, Emily wanted me to read to her. This was good since usually she wants to do it herself. But it was bad because she kept wanting the same book read over and over again.

Her books of choice today were Dr Suess' ABC Book and Dr Suess' Tooth Book, which are both great kid's books.

Now, Emily talks, but not a ton. But after reading the ABC book to her over and over again today, she now is saying 'A, B, C' as one of her favorite phrases.

I also just got her a bunch of kid magnets that are of letters. She has had fun playing with those as well - she is just really interested in letters lately!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet Emily's Lovey - Henry!

I posted a while ago that I was worried because Emily didn't have a lovey. Well, she does now!

It's a stuffed dog named Henry - he is a Naughty Naughty Pet (he loves your Woolly Socks, which is why I guess he's naughty) and my husband won him out of a claw machine.

I'm happy she has a lovey now, but I'm a bit concerned for Henry's safety since he would be (possibly) hard to replace. I did do a quick search online and found this link - Henry Loves your Woolly Socks Plush, but he's out of stock.

I haven't checked eBay, but I just pray that Henry stays safe and sound so I don't have worry about finding his (Evil? Good?) twin.

For now, he is safely tucked next to Emily as she sleeps! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toddler Fun Rant

Emily and I go to Toddler Fun every Tuesday - it's a free program through the local hospital at the local Y.

Most of the kids that go are Emily's age and Emily's size - though sometimes some older kids come in, especially since it's summer, older siblings sometimes sit in.

Well, today there was a toddler who had two adults with him (mom and grandma I think), and his older brother was along too - the older boy was probably 7 or 8.

Well, the older boy was playing very rough - kicking the balls hard during ball time, and flopping around under the parachute - to the point I think he kicked a little girl (and he had his tennis shoes still on!)

The most annoying part of all of this, was that the two adults didn't say anything to him until the end (when he started trying to stomp the bubbles hard during bubble time). They just let him play hard around all the kids who were much, much smaller than him.

Emily had a good time, but my time was soured by the display of bad parenting!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bad Parent or Good Parent

It's odd how your ideas change from before you have kids to after you have kids.

I know a lot of people look down on parents who 'leash' their kids, but for me, buying Emily's bat wing backpack with the leash on it was a very good thing.

You see, Emily really dislikes holding hands, and she wants to run free. But she doesn't get the concept of looking before she walks yet, so it was a nerve-wrecking, tantrum making issue.

I decided to get her the restraint and it was some of the best money I've ever spent. It gives her the illusion of freedom, and it gives me the piece of mind that if I have to, I can pull her out of danger.

I don't think this makes me a bad parent - rather a good one that is concerned about my child, but wants to give her some freedom to explore her world!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Can't Stop the Serenity 2010!

This past Saturday I went to Charlotte, NC with my 20 month old toddler in tow for their Can't Stop the Serenity showing.

My daughter didn't want to sit still during the rough cut of Browncoats: Redemption, so we just circled around the room, talking to folks, eating cupcakes, and just having a shiny time.

There was a raffle and I actually managed to win something - that being a copy of the new book "Still Flying". I was excited to actually win something!

Mostly it was tiring but Emily had a great time. We left before Serenity actually started because she was sleepy and it's a little scary for a toddler.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can't Stop the Serenity!

This Saturday is the Can't Stop the Serenity charity event in Charlotte. I didn't go last year, due to being in Michigan, so I'm really geeked to be able to get to go this year.

It's always a fun time to benefit a great charity (Equality Now, plus a local to Charlotte charity!). Though I am bringing Emily, so I'm not sure how late I'm going to be able to stay. I'm kind of hoping to be able to nurse her in the movie and have her fall asleep since Serenity is a bit scary for a 20 month old.

But I'm making her a Blue Sun shirt (via a white t-shirt and an iron-on transfer), so she will be decked out for the occasion!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Yesterday, Emily and I went swimming at a local pool with some mommy and toddler friends.

Now I feel like I kind of dropped the ball with Emily somewhat - this was only the 2nd time she has ever been swimming. The first time was a year ago when we were in Michigan. Whereas, I know several kids Emily's age who have already had swimming lessons!

She had fun until her face got dunked in the water, then she had had enough and wanted to go home.

I enjoyed it because I had gotten her a little swimmy boat, and I was able to push her around, thus allowing me to swim some.

I'm sure we'll go back as the pool is less than 10 minutes from our house, and I'd like to get Emily more used to going swimming!

Talk Like a Browncoat Day!

Today is the 2nd annual 'Talk like a Browncoat Day'! This shouldn't be hard for me since I usually talk like a browncoat - you may have noticed that I use the word 'shiny' a lot!

It's going to be a Browncoat-filled week, since  on Saturday, Emily and I will be heading to Charlotte for their CSTS screening. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that Emily doesn't get too cranky too earlier.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Asheville Browncoats 1st Shindig

The Asheville Browncoats has their very 1st shindig yesterday. We met at Carrier Park, and including me, there was 7 people.

It was great to meet some local Firefly fans, and we discussed things we could do in the future. Our next shindig will be a board game night at a local coffee shop! I'm really looking forward to that.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nerves and Browncoats

Today is the first meeting of the Asheville Browncoats and I'm really nervous about it.

Though it's not easy to tell online, I'm a pretty shy person in real life. Meeting new people and doing new things tends to make me very, very nervous and uncomfortable.

Despite this, I can usually talk myself in to doing things, which is good since I would have never met the Greenville Browncoats or my Asheville mommy friends if I stayed at home.

But it doesn't change the fact that I'm a bundle of nerves. And my husband doesn't get it, since he isn't shy in the least.

So wish me luck!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Working for a Living

I was laid off from my job the day before I was suppose to return from materity leave, which I was really upset about at the time. It actually turned out to be ok, since I've been able to stay home all of this time with Miss Emily.

But I honestly hate not having my own money to play with, especially with all the expenses I have this year (ConCarolinas, CSTS, Dragon*Con and the Browncoat Ball!), so soon after I got used to being a SAHM, I searched the internet for ways to make money.

There are several ways to make money via the internet - there are little programs that you can click on links and sign up for sites that give you a little bit of money, there are programs that send you paid emails, and there are at home jobs.

I've done several of these and have a couple that I do often. My biggest moneymaker is my at-home job, ChaCha. ChaCha is an SMS service where you text in questions, and someone answers them. I'm one of the people who answers the questions, and I make 10 to 20 cents a question (usually I average 12 cents a question).

I'm pretty fast so I usually can make $5 to $10, which is nice since I can usually make $100 or more a month.

It's nice to be able to have options to make some extra money!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Having a migraine is never fun, and I have quite a doozy of one today. I wish I could be in bed, snoozing, but since my husband works nights, that's impossible.

To make things worse, my child has been rather cranky today with her voice going up several octaves. I've tried to explain to her that mommy doesn't feel good, but she doesn't get it.

So, I'm just counting the hours until bedtime, and hoping I can get some sleep so I can get rid of this migraine.

Just one example of something that is made harder by having a child :(

Monday, June 7, 2010


I love gaming, I have for years.

When I was little, I loved the D&D cartoon and always wanted to play the game. I finally learned to play D&D in college, from there I did White Wolf Larps, Star Wars D6, among others.

But after I graduated, I tried and tried to find a game to play in, in MI. I wasn't successful. But after Todd and I moved, we found another couple who loved gaming, who introduced me to Heroes System games, which I love.

A month before Emily was born, they moved out of state, so that was the end of weekly gaming, which was okay at first since I was adjusting to having a newborn.

Now that Emily is a toddler, I miss it even more. So, my goal for attending ConCarolinas was to game. I played in a Serenity game and a Hero Systems game, and it was so much fun.

But now I'm looking at not being able to game again until November at the soonest, which makes me sad. There is a local gaming group, but they meet on Tuesday nights which wouldn't work for me.

So, I'm feeling a bit bummed right now. I miss gaming so much more now that I've had a taste.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Asheville Browncoats and Sick Toddler

Thanks to a shout out from the Fanaticon Facebook page, the Asheville Browncoats have over 30 people on its Facebook page. The first shindig is scheduled for the middle of June! I hope there is a big turnout.

In mommy news, my toddler is sick. She has been vomiting, but she does keep a lot of things down, plus right after she vomits she is back to normal, playing and the like. I have no idea what is wrong, but I'm watching her like a hawk to see if anything changes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fanaticon 2010 and the Asheville Browncoats

Fanaticon was awesome! For a first year con, it was so well run, and it had over 3,000 attendees!

I was working the Charlotte Browncoat table, talking up CSTS and the Browncoat Ball. I got to meet a lot of shiny people.

I also participated in the Costume Parade, where I got a Wonder Woman doll for participating. I gave it to Emily.

Todd and Emily came down and Todd got a Fanaticon poster, and since he was one of the first hundred people to buy one, he got a poster carrier that has a strap. It's going to be great for Dragon*Con.

I also met a lot of local Browncoats - I had made an Asheville Browncoat yahoo group, but after the interest I got at Fanaticon I started an Asheville Browncoat Facebook page. I'm really hoping it takes off!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Tomorrow is Fanaticon, a local comic book, sci-fi, and fantasy con. I'm looking forward to it for 2 reasons.

1) It's an opportunity to geek out, which includes dressing in a costume.

2) It's a whole day away from my toddler

I feel a little guilty about #2, but I need time away from her sometimes. And she'll be with her daddy all day, and he may bring her down to the con for a little bit.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

For Mother's Day, my dear husband got us annual passes to the Biltmore House, which is less than 20 minutes away from our house. We had a lovely day walking around the House and the Gardens.

A kind lady took this picture of us - I'm not thrilled with how I look, but I love the smile on Emily's face.

Her smiles are one of the reasons being a mother is so worthwhile!

Friday, May 7, 2010

To Cover or not to Cover

It seems that if there is any article about nursing in public, someone always posts "I'm okay with it as long as the mom covers up". Usually they mean with a nursing cover or a blanket.

I tried using a blanket once, when Emily was 2 months old. My dad was coming into town and I felt a little odd nursing uncovered in front of him. I got over that really quick since Emily is a warm kid, and she was not comfortable under the blanket.

Especially before she started solids, we nursed in public a lot. And I never covered up. Usually Emily would pull my shirt down so I wouldn't show any boob once she latched on. I'm sure I've flashed some people when she unlatches, but I'm usually pretty quick at covering myself.

Nursing in public is a great thing, but I feel bad for those moms who are given a hard time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Mania - Birth Stories


I haven't posted Emily's birth story here, so here it is!

Emily had a two vessel cord - which means she had one vein and one artery, instead of two veins and one artery. So I had to have extra ultrasounds to make sure she was okay.

A couple of weeks before my EDD, I had my last ultrasound. Throughout my pregnancy, Emily was measuring a bit small, but all of a sudden at my last one she was estimated to be 8 lbs.

My ob was concerned about letting me go past my due date due to complications that can arise from the two vessel cord, so my induction date was set for my due date, October 17th.

Todd and I got to the hospital very early in the morning. They set me up in a room, and started me on pitocen. This started my contractions really going (I don't think I had any real contractions on my own).

I never wanted to do a natural birth, so I had requested an epidural as soon as I could get one. I was only 3 or 4 cm dilated, so my ob broke my water. This really made the contractions come, and the person who did the epidurals was backed up.

So I labored through the contractions for what seemed like forever (though I think it was only an hour or so). I was in so much pain that I was in tears by the time I got the epidural.

I felt so much better once I had the epidural, and I managed to get some sleep. I was in labor for 14 hours when my ob came in (he had been checking on me all day), checked me and I was still only at 4 cm.

At that point, he recommended a c-section because I was just not progressing. Todd and I agreed, and I got taken off to the OR (pretty fast too, especially since it wasn't really an emergency).

I had been cold in the regular laboring room, but I was so freezing when we got into the OR. I was pretty nervous, and I was a little freaked out since I was given more drugs in my epidural for the section. The part that really freaked me out was that I couldn't feel / move my feet.

We got going, and Todd held my hand. But halfway through, I started feeling a very sharp pain. The drugs weren't doing their job. It really, really hurt (as much as those awful contractions from earlier in the day).

I remember squeezing Todd's hand hard, and my ob telling me it was almost over, that my baby was nearly here. And then I heard Emily cry!

They knocked me out for a couple minutes to finish up. Todd didn't get to cut the cord since he was still holding my hand, but he took some pictures while they were checking her out.

We went off to the recovery room, where they piled on heated blankets because I was so cold I was trembling. They waited until some feeling came back, then Emily was put to my breast. She didn't latch on my left, but when she was put on my left, she latched right on.

It wasn't the most ideal birth since it sucked for me, but Emily was fine. She was 7 lbs, 15 ounces. She has a big head (and I'm not very big) so she was a bit stuck in the birth canal (which gave her her folded elf ear).

Busy, Busy, Busy

Life has been pretty busy as of late, and it's about to get busier!

Next weekend, I'm working the Charlotte Browncoat booth at a local con here in Asheville - it will be a shiny time!

Then Memorial Day weekend, I have a wedding to go to (Two fellow Browncoats are getting married!), and the first weekend in June is ConCarolinas, which I'm really looking forward to.

I have a few weeks off after that, since I won't have anything until Charlotte's CSTS showing (with the rough cut of Browncoats: Redemption!), at the end of June.

Then the first week in July we are driving up to Michigan to visit family.

Along with all of this extra stuff, I'll be taking classes, working my at-home jobs, and of course focusing on my main job of being mommy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shiny Space Bazaar

My part of the Browncoat Ball is the Shiny Space Bazaar - it's kind of like a dealer's room full of Browncoat-related goodies.

This came out of my volunteering my time and because my big talent is painting Kaylee parasols.

Right now, I'm trying to find vendors - I have maybe 3 tables sold right now (including my own half table for my parasols) so I need to find vendors for 5 more (or 10 half tables).

If you know anyone who is planning on coming to the Ball and is crafty, send them my way!

Friday, April 30, 2010

More Shiny Dragon*Con News

Jewel Staite is now on the guest list for Dragon*Con. This is great, and I hope to get her autograph on my 'Serenity' poster.

This also means I need to get my butt moving on my dress - I need to have it done by Dragon*Con now since I hope to wear it (or my other Kaylee costume) when I meet her.

The problem with this is I've been so exhausted I can't get normal stuff done. I'm going to spend most of tomorrow in bed to try and catch up. So hopefully next week I can really get started on my costume, among other things.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I love Dragon*Con - it's only 3 hours away, we have a free place to crash (at my Aunt and Uncle's house) and a free baby-sitter (again, Aunt and Uncle). This year will be my 4th year going to Dragon*Con.

As a Browncoat, I'm always most interested in the Firefly / Serenity guests - so far, there were no Firefly guests on the guest list. But I checked tonight, and there was an update:

Morena Baccarin and Sean Maher Are Coming to Dragon*Con!!!!!

Yes, I'm really excited about this! Last year, the only Firefly guest was Ron Glass - who is very cool, but I had already gotten his autograph and a picture with him. Plus Sean Maher doesn't often do cons so I'm really geeked to meet him!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Neglectful Parents Piss Me Off!

Yesterday, Emily and I went to the mall because we were meeting some people there. We got there early so I took her to the play area. There was a height requirement posted outside the play area but it was filled with kids who were way over the height requirement.

Most of those big kids were tearing around the play area, while little kids, like my toddler were also trying to play. The big kids didn't watch where they were going, so I had to hover over Miss Emily to make sure she didn't get hurt.

I thought at first the parents of the roughest kids weren't even present, but then they went just outside the play area to a table in the food court (but in direct view of the play area) to talk to their parent - who wasn't paying any attention to what they were doing.

And then there was another parent of a kid too big to be in the play area that was sitting right in there, playing with his cell phone rather than watching his kid run around the area.

It made it hard for the smaller kids (there was a few besides my daughter) to play, and it made me nervous the whole time. I was quite glad when our friends showed up early, and allowing us to escape the play area.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kaylee's Cupcake Dress - The Start!

I'm starting to get ready to start working on my Kaylee Cupcake Dress. I'm not the greatest sewer in the world, so I bought a dress that was the right shape. I'm going to add the ruffles and details - hopefully this tact will work okay for me.

Since I'm going to try and blog about my process, I had my husband take a quick picture of the base dress. It's actually two pieces, and I didn't tuck it in very well.

I'll be posting updates as I work on it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tiny Alarm Clock

Since my daughter is only 17 months old, I get up when she is ready to get up for the day. Usually this is some time between 5:30 and 6:30.

This morning it was more like 4;30 - so I'm exhausted. I did grab a bit of a nap with my little alarm clock, but it's going to be a useless sort of day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


When I was pregnant, I knew I didn't want to co-sleep for several reasons. Mostly I know I'm a wild sleeper and I didn't want to roll over and smush my newborn.

So, she's slept in our room but in her own bed.

As she's gotten older, we have co-slept on occasion. Most recently, my poor little girl is teething and she was feeling really icky. I give her baby tylenol and Hyland's teething tabs, but it wasn't doing as much as it usually did.

The only way she would sleep would be right next to me, so I kicked my husband to the couch so Emily could sleep in the bed with me.

It was a very tiring weekend, because I never sleep as well when she is sleeping with me. And it's amazing how much of a bed hog my tiny little person can be *L*

Monday, March 29, 2010

Teething is a Pain

My little girl has been cutting her molars - one came through a little while ago, and the last few days has been horrible.

She's been ok during the day, but at night she was just not doing well. She wasn't sleeping well and she wanted to be right next to me. So it made for a couple of really, really long nights.

Thankfully last night was a lot better, so I'm hoping she's on the mend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting Started

I ordered some fabric, and I can't wait for it to arrive so I can start sewing on my Cupcake dress!

I also was looking at hoop skirts on eBay - hopefully I'll get my Paypal money from SwagBucks soon so I can order it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scheduling Issues

Things become more complicated when you have a child.

I love gaming - table top gaming in particular, but there are no games locally that met at a time where I could go because of my DH working 2nd shift and because we don't have anyone to watch Emily.

So, I preregistered for ConCarolinas in Charlotte so I could preregistered for some of the table top games. I was planning on only going on Saturday.

But, my husband has been working a lot of Saturdays and his work doesn't let me know if he'll be working until a day or two before the Saturday he would be working. Now I'm trying to figure out if I want to try and reg for Saturday games and Sunday games, or just plan on going on Sunday.

On the plus side, there is a Firefly game on Sunday, and there is also a Hero Systems game as well!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finding Time for Everything

I don't think I've ever been so busy in my life. And I'm technically unemployed!

My main / most important job is being Emily's mommy - and since she's a toddler, that's a 24/7 job most days.

Since I was laid off in December 2008, and was unable to find any work, my husband and I decided that we were both going to go to school (he also works a full-time job!). So, I've been going to school too.

Also since I'm unemployed, I've scoured the internet for ways to earn a little extra money. My main money-maker is ChaCha - which is a company where people can text in their questions and then get a text with the answer back. I get paid to answer the questions.

I am also on the Browncoat Ball committee - that hasn't taken much time up so far, but it's going to be eating up more of my time soon.

Then I'm trying to lose weight, learn to cook better, take Emily on playdates and work on my Kaylee cupcake dress.

It's no wonder I'm exhausted all the time!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Browncoat Ball Meeting

On Saturday, Emily and I went to Charlotte for a Browncoat Ball meeting. The meeting was in the hotel where the Ball is going to be held, and it was really helpful to see the space where the part of the Ball I'm heading up will take place.

Ironically there was a Breastfeeding conference going on this weekend. I thought that was amusing since I fit right in as Miss Emily is still a big nurse-ling.

She did pretty good during the meeting and I was glad to get to go to one of the meetings in person - all the others I've attended via Skype (technology is wonderful!).

It also got me itching to re-watch 'Firefly' and to start working on my Kaylee Cupcake dress - I'm hoping to get some fabric this week and start sewing. I'd ideally like it done by Can't Stop the Serenity in June, but I think that's going to be a stretch.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When Mommy is Sick

I have daily chronic headaches, which means I've had the same headache for nearly 7 years. So I'm in constant pain.

Usually the pain level is low enough that I can ignore it and lead a normal life of being a wife, mommy and Browncoat. But some days, the pain level goes up and up and up.

Today is one of those days - we are getting a lot of rain, and weather changes always screw with my head. It started yesterday, and the pain level just keeps going up.

But since I'm a mommy, I still have to care for my toddler, keep up with the house and work my work-at-home job. It's exhausting, especially since my child decided that screeching earlier today would be fun.

So, it's off to bed for me, and I'm hoping I can sleep off this stupid migraine since I have a Browncoat Ball meeting on Saturday and won't be able to sleep in.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Teething Sucks :(

My daughter is teething, and she has been teething pretty much constantly since she was 4 months old. She tends to cut more than one tooth at a time, so she has a lot of teeth.

Currently she is cutting molars, which is horrific. She isn't sleeping well because of it, so I'm not getting hardly any sleep. It makes it hard to do a lot when I'm constantly exhausted.

I have been trying to work out, do a work at home job, go to school, take care of Emily and attempt to keep up with the house.

Being a stay at home mom is the hardest job I've every done!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kaylee's Cupcake Dress

I've been dreaming about making / wearing Kaylee's cupcake dress ever since I first saw 'Shindig'. Unfortunately, I'm not a very good sewer, so I'd never been able to make it from the start.

I came up with a workable idea a few years ago. I could buy a dress that has a similar shape and just add the ruffles and details. Finally, I have the base dress and will start buying fabric in the next couple of weeks.

I'd like it done for Dragon*Con, but I will have it done for the Browncoat Ball!

I'll post pictures as I get started.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Secret Shame

My secret parenting shame is:

My almost 17 month old daughter doesn't sleep through the night.

I know, it's not horrible, but it bothers me all the same. She used to only wake up a couple of times a night to nurse, but she's been cutting molars and she has gotten worse with the sleep.

She still nurses a lot, including at night, and I really don't want to do sleep training yet - at least until the molars are all the way in.

It's kind of sad - one of the reasons I'm looking forward to the Browncoat Ball is that I'll be able to sleep! The Browncoat Ball isn't really child-friendly, so she'll be with her daddy. 

Follow Friday

 I'm going to attempt to post more often. And I'm going to start doing things like 'Follow Friday' as well!

MckLinky Blog Hop


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Emily's been a very healthy child. She's never had more than a cold.

Until last Wednesday... she was up all night, horribly sick... then I was up all night the next night, horribly sick.

It's been a really rough weekend here, but better this weekend than next as we have plans to go to GA to see the Royal Rumble (the DH is a huge wrestling fan, and I'm a pretty big one as well).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Browncoat Ball Info

We have some preliminary info on the Charlotte Browncoat Ball. Even more is available on our Facebook page. And the website will be up & running soon.
Charlotte Browncoat Ball

Friday, October 22nd to

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Full weekend pass -- $165

(there will be an installment plan available for full-weekend passes, in three $55 payments)

includes ALL activities during the weekend - Friday afternoon, Friday night, Saturday afternoon, the Ball, and Sunday morning
Saturday-only pass -- $110

includes lunch, transportation & track tour on Saturday afternoon, the Ball and after-party

Ball-only pass -- $75

includes pre-Ball cocktail hour, the Ball and after-party

Our hotel is the Hilton Executive Park

-- standard room rate is $99 (for up to 4 people in a room w/ two beds)

-- suite rates will be available by next week

-- just off I-77 @ Tyvola Rd.

-- free parking

-- free shuttle from airport until 11p

You can find much more information on our Facebook page

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Browncoat Ball

I am very excited for the Browncoat Ball - we had our 2nd Ball Committee meeting today (which I'm uber-geeked to be on).

I can't really say anything now but it's going to be so much fun!!

Website is almost done and I'll post the link here as soon as it is ready for the public.

The Lovey Experiment

Emily has not had a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. She has a blanket she sleeps with, but she's a wild sleeper and it ends up off her more often than not.

When she is sleepy or not feeling good, she'll stick her middle fingers in her mouth and she'll use her other hand to twirl her fingers around my hair. Essentially my hair is her lovey!

Since my hair is attached to my head, I'd like her to move away from the twirling. I read something on another blog about getting a child attached to a lovey by putting it in reach at bedtime and what not.

We got her a Christmas bear on sale the other day, and she really seemed to like it a lot, so I decided to try "The Lovey Experiment".

She really likes this bear, and has been hanging onto it a lot. The only issue was that it took much longer to get her to bed last night because she wanted to play with Mr. Bear.

We'll see how it goes!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I've always been pretty shy. I didn't have a whole lot of friends in high school and in most of college.

The major of my friends in college came from the LARP group I was in. Once I moved down to NC and got married, I missed role playing and being a group of friends.

In late 2007, I joined the Greenville Browncoats yahoo group and I attended my first shindig December 2007 (it was a very shiny Christmas party).

I got pregnant January 2008, but I went to Greenville a lot until I got too pregnant to travel. Once I recovered from my c-section and Emily was old enough, I started going to some Browncoat events again.

I love being a part of that group of really shiny people!

I've also made a lot of mommy friends since Emily was born. I have postpartum depression, and part of dealing with that was joining play groups so I could get out of the house. This had the added benefit of socialization for Emily.

Now my calender is really full - I seem to have at least one playdate every week, I try to get to Greenville every couple of months, and next week I'm going on a weekend trip to the beach with some mommy friends.

I'm hoping I'm not over scheduling, but right now I'm reveling in the fact that I know have so many friends! It's really great.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010!

2010 is going to be a busy year, I think. I'm on the planning committee for the Browncoat Ball, along with the events committee for my local mommies group.

I'm also wanting to work on some costumes for both me and Emily. Along with school, and this semester is going to be rough! I'm going to be taking 4 classes this semester, one of which is Anatomy and Physiology, which is suppose to be a nightmare class!

I'm planning on going to ConCarolinas, CSTS in Charlotte, Dragon*Con and of course, the Browncoat Ball. And in a couple of weeks Emily and I are going to Myrtle Beach on a Mommies and Kids Beach Trip.

I hope everyone has a shiny 2010!