In the house of boys, we needed a doll

Devlynn outgrew her American Girl dolls many years ago. Although they still live her, complete with accessories, she doesn’t, at 17, play with them anymore. They, however, hold a very special place in her heart and I know, being that she is my daughter, she is holding onto them because she is worried the memories will fade. Those memories stick around if there is something physical to remind you.

Drew briefly loved a Bitty Baby he affectionately named, Drew Too. I couldn’t tell you where Drew Too is now. He fell quickly out of love with him as we discovered Bey Blades.

Now I have Dexter. He is a feeler and a nurturer by nature and because I have been making these soft dolls for the past few months, I have been frequenting doll boards on Facebook. He’d noticed, over my shoulder a boy doll. American Girl’s new boy doll, Logan to be exact.

Logan is 115.00. One-Hundred-Fifteen. From my experience, with Drew’s Bitty Baby I wasn’t going there. Not that I don’t think the AG dolls are worth it. I do. We own several. I myself have a Josephina whom I love and adore. She is clearly built better than some of the big box store dolls but having experienced the sticker shock of a badly wanted baby disappearing into who knows what, I wasn’t ready to fork over those dollars.

But you can’t buy a boy doll at the big box stores. Seriously. You can buy a girl doll and re-wig it. But the wig, I have found is often as much as the doll and I might as well of put that much towards Logan. So I bought a rooted doll and I cut. Slowly and not till after hoping a hairdresser would save me. No one signed up. Not that I blame them.

Let me tell you, it takes a little bit of bravery to make the first few cuts. I used sharp scissors, a small pair like for embroidery after I cut a large chunk of the length off. I cut up instead of against like you would think to cut. It made the actual cuts less blunt and blend better. I got to photo number two before getting some advice from someone who actually cuts hair and ended up with the last photo on the bottom right. I also removed the “makeup” from the cheeks and lips and trimmed the eyelashes by about half. A quick gray tee shirt and khaki pants, we’ll buy some sneakers (although I am hoping to find some Jordans) and I will make a beanie but overall, I think we landed a boy doll. We’ve named him Mateo. He looks like a Mateo to me. The doll was originally Samantha and we’d considered calling him Sam but he just doesn’t look like a Sam to me.

He’s wonderful and he will serve his purpose. My 13-year-old, he’d kill me for sharing this, loves him more than my 5-year-old. I like that. My 13 year is a nurturer too. That too would embarrass him but it makes me very, very proud. I wonder, though, why is it in 2017 that I had to CREATE a boy. And that 2017 is the first year that American Girl thought to create a boy. I mean, I get it. American GIRL but while I do have a house of ball throwing boys, I do have boys who love babies and want to take care of people. Why not teach them through play? Why not give them a doll that looks like them too? I can’t help but think that if my son walked in with a little boy doll, he’d get far less looks than if he had a girl baby. Sad as that is. There should be no side eyes at all, but let’s face it, society is a judgey bunch and we’re just trying to wade through the judgment without ruining our children.

I am currently on the hunt for another doll, hopefully, used, to create another “boy” only this time, we will call him transgender because those kids are looking for dolls like them too. Luckily the internet is full of awesomeness and I don’t think my hunt will take long. And I am looking forward to creating some memories for other kids. And maybe learning how to make tiny Jordans. Hey, goals. Right?

Edited to add: Walmart does indeed carry a boy. Two actually and they’re pretty handsome. Apparently at one point Target did too but I haven’t been able to find him.

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Dear New Year

Try as I might, I am never going to be one who successfully follows through with resolutions. I have, in years past, been the crazy fat lady at the gym, determined to eat better and work out more because she read that doing those things would help cure her depression. I have been that woman who stores the “positivity” posts and joins all the happiness groups because this is going to be the year that I finally make it into the village everyone is talking about. No one wants Wednesday Adams in their village after all.

Like most people, I’ve failed by March. I’m sitting at my desk, munching on Oreos and loathing myself just like I was four months before. New Year’s Resolutions are just not for me.

2016 was profoundly sucktacular. So much personal and public loss, I found myself wishing for the New Year and when the midnight bells rang and nothing felt different, I realized I was just kidding myself to think that a calendar date changes anything. New Year, new things. It’s just bullshit. The date only changes, we don’t. Not that anyone literally things with the New Year, we’re instantly new. But over the years, I feel like I’ve just lost the hope in new beginnings. And I am not sure I want to be that person.

This year I hope though that I can find ways to change. Instead of resolving to be thinner or happier, or to wish that the flip of a calendar would make it all new, I am going to set goals for myself… goals that don’t just come from the new year, new me mentality.

I’d like to write more. Really write. And no like this. I want to find my voice and instead of whining about why I feel sad, I want to make a difference in the mental health community. The first step though is probably taking care of my own mental health. I want to find a way to treat my sads with something other than medication. And I want to be brave enough to say to the people who say things like “Zoloft takes care of that”, that medication isn’t for me. I find value in my unmedicated self and while I am happy it works for you, comments like “drugs take care of that” aren’t helpful. I am clearly putting my vulnerable self out there for you, I am trusting you and you’re making light of it. I am gonna tell people how much that hurts, rather than deleting, retracting and feeling embarrassed about my own chosen path. I am going to stop apologizing or feeling embarrassed

I am going to stop apologizing or feeling embarrassed about being empathetic. This will be a hard one. I know it doesn’t make sense to people the profound sadness I feel when a child dies, a child I don’t know and that it often sticks with me for months and years after. I cannot turn off those feels without taking out parts of my insides. I can’t say goodbye and the thought of losing someone else is unbearable. It takes my breath away. But I also feel the happy too. I will be the first to celebrate your new life. I am always happy for a wedding, a baby, an achievement. And while those feelings are acceptable, the sad feelings often are not. And we’re supposed to feel for people. I just happen to feel harder than some. It shouldn’t be embarrassing to mourn with the mourning.

The heavy stuff aside, I really want to try new things. The kids have begged to start a YouTube channel and so an “uh oh, I forgot to cancel that membership that is for a full year” mistake means I can use the Skillshare classes to learn video editing and help the kids get the channel they want. Of course, I’ve tried to break it to them that we will likely not the 4million dollar FUNnel Vision family but it could be fun and it will help me to have memories of all the things I know I will always want to remember. I am also excited to have a new tool under my belt. Not that it will be easy to learn but it will be fun to try. I admit, though, I have no idea where to start. And we have no idea what to call it.

I’m ready to let go of the past friendship. The end of last year was tough for me and I found myself wondering where my village was. Well, my village moved on while I stayed still. I’m sure my members got tired of me or grew beyond me and I just couldn’t let go of it. Today, I am going to start saying goodbye to them. It’s okay to have seasonal friends. Someone once told me that. It’s okay that they don’t meet my needs anymore; I clearly stopped meeting theirs too. And that doesn’t mean we hate each other or I have to worry about so and so not liking me anymore but I can choose to focus my energies on people who reach back when I reach out. So old friends, thank you and see you later… because maybe goodbye isn’t the right word.

I really, really, really want to help my friend Laura grow Day’s for Girls. I’ve not felt so excited and passionate about something in a very long time. With each liner and each snap I feel like I am helping someone who truly needs it and she, in return, without even knowing it, is helping me. I am so excited to pack up these bags and possibly send them with my child to be delivered to girls her own age. That she’ll get to see the fruits of our labor and learn that no task, no matter how small, helps people who need help. Laura will perhaps end up thinking I am a crazy person but I am so excited to be involved. I can’t wait to write more about it too!

I want to break outside my Fiverr bubble. The last couple of years I have worked mostly there and let me tell you, making 10.00 a gig isn’t the greatest feeling. While I am not a “professional artist”, I have some talent and it’s worth more than 2.00 an hour. I don’t know where I will do, maybe a stand alone store or etsy but I am gonna start branching out and stop doubting that I know what I am doing. No one started out knowing how to do everything and I am sure that I will stumble along the way but someone is gonna like my stuff enough to buy it. I hope. And I started making these dolls that I am excited about. Hilary, Harry, Carrie… even a potential Donald although I feel he may never sell. He is stuffed with misery I hear, ha ha ha. That was a joke. I am good at these things, I just have to remind myself that they’re good enough to sell and my time is worth it.

 

So that’s it. That’s my Dear New Year letter. Sounds like resolutions I realize but trust me, it’s not. It’s goals. Do-able goals. What are your 2017 goals?

 

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

My Inner Nerd | #BehindTheBlogger

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I have sewed for what seems like forever. I don’t know the ins and outs still but I can follow a pattern and I have gotten better at not needing a pattern at all. I love to sew lots of things, quilts, baby clothes but my most favorite this is to make costumes.

All kinds of costumes. I secretly love cosplay. Or maybe not so secretly. It’s my inner nerd thing.

I start planning Halloween in about February normally. The kids are required to pick a costume well before fall even rolls around. I make these costumes mostly from scratch but even the premade clothes often need modified. This last year Davis was Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. I had to hand sew his hand painted angels wings onto a modified thrift store found, leather vest. It easily took two weeks and very, very sore fingers but it’s one of my favorite costumes to date. This year I’m hoping to talk him into being Edward Scissorhands. As you can see, I’m a little late to my game. I need to get him convinced soon because those hands will take some time. I think he’d like to be Han Solo though. I’m fine with that too.

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Sewing is a peaceful thing for me. It helps me to stop well, thinking. Watching each stitch helps keep my mind from thinking of all the things. And I need to stop thinking of all the things these days. Lately, needing the distraction, I have started making the costumes for a photography project I have thought about for years. I hope that I can actually do it because it’s something I really have wanted to do for a while. Time gets away from me, often. More often than it should. And I over think construction and then talk myself out of construction and then I am worried it’s not authentic enough. All insane. I get it.

In August our local mall is having a small “con” and I hoping to enter the kids. It doesn’t leave me time to come up with new costumes though and Davis is pretty dead set against using his Daryl costume again, even though I think it would win the special category. It’s a bad ass vest. I’d like to dress up myself except I have in my head that only size 6 hotties cosplay. And that I am definitely too old. But even us old women can make costumes. And I’d love to really get into it more even if I don’t wear them myself.

So there it is, my inner nerd out for all those to see. Although I suspect a lot people already knew. I can’t wait to take the first set of pictures. All I need’s a little pixie dust…

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Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.