Sunday, May 31, 2015

CALS Con 2015

Last Saturday my family and I had the opportunity to experience the fusion of two of our favorite things: fandoms and libraries. Our local library system, the Central Arkansas Library System, sponsored and held a con in their main branch. I'm sure that with summer rapidly approaching the library thought that this event would help draw young people into the library and encourage them to enroll in some of the wonderful summer activities and programs that they offer.

While we were there we saw a bunch of cosplayers signing up for the cosplay contest, people playing tabletop games, incredible Lego creations, and panels. There was also a social media scavenger hunt, a lego playing area and a place to color your own super hero mask for the kids, My son Liam loved playing with the Legos and oggling the lego train speeding around the lego village that someone created. However, his favorite part was meeting R2D2.


We checked out the tabletop area, but didn't stay to play anything because my kiddoes would never have allowed it. They had three tables covered with games to play, and all the gamers there looked like they were having a fun time.

My favorite part was the gallery of cutouts they had to pose and take pictures with. Getting a photo with the cutout of your choice was one of the items on the social media scavenger hunt. 

All-in-all I think that the CALS Con 2015 was a great idea. There were a ton of people in the library, and anything that gets people into libraries and interested in their offerings and activities is a wonderful thing. I <3 libraries!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Don't Call Me Crunchy

Today I'd like to tell you why I don't like the term "crunchy mom". When I was at the 2014 Great Cloth Diaper Change I heard someone refer to me as a "crunchy mom" for the first time, and let me just say that it was with a definitely negative connotation. I was breastfeeding my son Owen with one hand while I sorted through my diaper bag to find the cloth diaper that I wanted to use at the change. I had chosen the only shady place I could find to feed my son (because if I'm in direct sunlight for too long I burst into flames) so I was a little removed from the rest of the crowd. I saw a young couple walk by and heard a small part of their conversation. It went along the lines of "Smell the patchouli? I've never seen so many crunchy moms in yoga pants in once place in my entire life...." I was instantly irritated because a) I had made the extreme effort to dress up and wear actual pants that day and b) the term "crunchy mom" irritates me about as much as the term "belieber" does. And that's a lot.

 If you cloth diaper, breastfeed, co-sleep, baby-wear, make your own baby food, or had a midwife you are most likely a mom, or parent/caregiver of some kind. Right? But if you do any combination of the aforementioned things, you get a new title: crunchy mom. This grates on my nerves because I didn't choose to do any of the things listed above because they were trendy, or because they would give me something to talk about with the click of moms that hang out at our local playground. I chose to do those things (and I've done all of the things I listed) because they were what felt right for me and my baby. I didn't make my choices for bragging rights or because some celebrity did them, I made my choices with the best intentions for the little person I had just brought into the world.

Being a parent is hard enough without labels to isolate us into groups. It's not like breastfeeding moms should look at bottle-feeding moms at the park and say "You can't sit with us!" (I couldn't help the Mean Girls reference!). The way I look at it; you're a mom, I'm a mom, and our kids are driving us both bonkers. Let's be friends. I'm a mom, period.

Don't Call Me Crunchy

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Things I'm Digging This Week

This past week has been a rough one. My entire family was sick with a really bad head/chest cold AND my youngest son has been cutting two teeth. Needless to say, I've felt like a zombie since last Saturday. And I don't mean like a cheetah-zombie like the ones in the "Dawn of the Dead" revamp; I've been more like a moldering zombie from The Walking Dead that has lost its legs. Now that I'm feeling better and can no longer be ranked among the mouth breathers, I'd like to share what I've been digging lately:

-My new owl coffee mug! I absolutely love owls and penguins and today I got an owl mug from Mardel. I have a matching one in blue. "Quiet time" at my house is the short period of time when my youngest child naps and my eldest child lays down and watches a movie in his room. During quiet time I either doze in my room or relish the silence by enjoying a cup of coffee in my owl mug and either reading or, like I did today, playing a game. 

-Que Bella face masks. I tried the dead sea mineral mask on Thursday when my husband watched the kids and I took a relaxing bath. I had to make sure the kids were occupied because if they just so happened to bust in on me in the bathroom (which happens often) they'd see someone resembling Leatherface in the tub. Not something anyone wants to see, let alone a four year old. The mask was nice, though the "rejuvenating" tingles felt like I was on the cusp of a chemical burn. So, if you have sensitive skin like me leave the mask on for the minimum suggested time. 

- Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre!!!! *somewhere HIM plays and a deathmetal angel gets its fiery wings every time someone says the entire name of this game* I am so excited to play this game. We got it at our local game store today and I'm psyched. I watched the Tabletop episode for this game a few weeks ago and knew that my husband, friends, and I had to play it. Check out the episode to see if it's something you'd be interested in, but warning! this game is *not* for children. At all. Not even a little. 

My May ipsy glam bag! After feeling/looking like a trog all week it was nice to get something in the mail that made me feel pretty. This month I got a 24/7 glide on lip pencil w/lip gloss sample from Urban Decay, a Chella eyebrow pencil, a detoxifying facial cleanser from Peter Lamas, a tapered blending brush (#205) from Luxie Beauty, and a tinted moisturizer with SPF from CoTZ. 

That's all for this week, folks. Time to go make dinner for my guys and *hopefully* have time to check out my new game after the kiddos go to sleep. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

For the Love of Reading

My husband and I are the perfect nerd couple. While we have our differences (he is on team Empire and I'm on team Rebel Alliance, he was Horde and I was Alliance, etc) we both LOVE books. We love reading like no other, and we both have reading lists a mile long. However, from our mutual love of books blossoms one of the major things that I do that drives my husband absolutely crazy

I re-read books. 

I know, how dare I??? It drives my husband crazy that I have read The Mists of Avalon like 30 times. And I'm not exaggerating. I'm on my second copy of the book because my first one literally fell apart. He just doesn't understand how I can stand to read a book if I already know what's going to happen. How can I spend time reading something that I've already read and still enjoy it? Well, it's simple. If I read something and enjoy it once, I'll enjoy it twice. Just because I know what's going to happen doesn't mean I can't enjoy the story. Good story telling just doesn't get old. I have a growing list of books I'm crazy about and I re-read them every so often, depending on which book it is. For example, I usually read The Mists of Avalon, The Firebrand, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal,  and The Other Boleyn Girl on an annual basis. I read the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, The Hunger Games trilogy, and the Harry Potter series on a bi-annual basis. I have a list of favorites that I read whenever the mood strikes as well.

Some books leave a lasting impression on me, and when I re-read them I'm brought back to how I felt when I first read them. Certain books are like old friends and I cannot imagine relegating them to the past. As I grow and age the books that I re-read change, but my love for a great story never does. Any book that I have enjoyed in the past has the potential to be re-read, but certain books are like a security blanket of sorts that provides me with a sense of comfort and homey-ness with the turn of every page. 

So when my husband asks me how I can stand to re-read a book AGAIN, I just look at him and say "Oh, I don't know? How can you stand to watch Star Wars AGAIN?????" and he shuts right up. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Things I'm Digging This Week

I'd like to try to do a weekly or bi-weekly post on whatever I'm into that week. It could be books, food, movies, games, music, places, makeup, etc. So, this week I'm digging:

-- Hearthstone

 If you like playing World of Warcraft this game will be right up your alley. I used to play WoW a lot....and I mean a lot. I stopped playing shortly after my first son was born because raiding while breastfeeding is really difficult and I just didn't have the time to play any more. Last Sunday my husband told me that he thought I should give it a try, as he has been playing for a while now. I love that its totally within the WoW world but it's definitely its own game. So far I've been working on leveling my mage, druid, and priest (can you tell I prefer casters?) with the priest being my new favorite. So, if anyone plays, I'm TheGrayQueen on battlenet if you want to say hi.

-- "The Firebrand" by Marion Zimmer Bradley

 This is one of my favorite books, and so is another Bradley book, "The Mists of Avalon". I usually re-read each of these books about once a year. They're just that good. "The Firebrand" is the story of the fall of Troy from the perspective of Kassandra. Kassandra was a daughter of the King and Queen of Troy and a priestess of Apollo. Kassandra was gifted with the ability to prophesy and cursed to never be believed. Bradley goes into character detail in many of the characters from "The Iliad" and "Agamemnon" and she doesn't necessarily stick to the common description of what specific characters were like. "The Firebrand" deals with the complex relationships between men and women, the gods and human kind, and the roles of women in society. One of the things I particularly like about this book is Bradley's description of the "heroes" of the era such as Hector, Aeneas, and Achilles. She gives their characters dimension and plausibility.

-- "Wolf Hall"

My husband saw this at the base library and knew I just had to watch it. Since we don't have cable any more I don't get to watch PBS much anymore. I was really excited to watch "Wolf Hall" because I absolutely love British history, specifically The Wars of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty. "Wolf Hall" is the story of Thomas Cromwell, told from his perspective. I've never seen anything about Cromwell from his perspective, so it's an interesting change in point of view. It can be a smidge dry, which I don't mind. I haven't finished the mini-series yet (its 6, 1 hour episodes) but so far I think that Damien Lewis makes a good King Henry VIII. 

That's it for this week!