Archive | April, 2014

Sew your own Captain America shield backpack

24 Apr

So – with Captain America: Winter Soldier being released this month, I felt like it was time for our Captain America costumes to get a little re-vamp. We decided to start with the most important element – the shield – and to create a handy backpack while we were at it. When I say these Cap-Packs are easy to make, I’m not kidding. I started them Thursday afternoon, and they were ready in time to head to WonderCon 2014 on Friday morning. (Less than ONE DAY!)

Trifecta America: homemade Captain America backpacks

Trifecta America: homemade Captain America backpacks

The Cap Pack
It’s incredibly simple to create a Captain America backpack just like Captain Rogers. Just cut some circles, find (or sew) some straps, and go! A quick, cheap, *awesome* costume item that the kids can actually use!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large red circles (I chose felt because it holds it shape and the colors really pop)
  • 2 large red circles (rip-stop/nylon) for lining
  • 1 smaller white circle
  • 1 smaller red circle
  • 1 smaller blue circle
  • 1 white star
  • 2 straps (sew or purchase – I used brown felt because it was cheap and easy)

A note for other mamas: don’t be afraid to create your own pattern! Once you find the right-sized circle to get you started, creating the other pieces is super simple. I started with a super large circle for me, and a smaller circle for the boys.  I lined my backpack with rip-stop nylon to make it even sturdier.

Total time: About 1.5 hours a piece!
Total cost for the Cap Packs: About $10 a piece

Um ... chills.

Um … chills.

The New Costume:
Captain America sports a darker costume and different chest design than the last movie. To keep it simple, I ordered navy blue tshirts from Target and glue-gunned some gray trim to mimic the new design.

Total time: About 10 minutes!
Total cost for the shirts: About $8 a piece

Busy bodies: Reading comics and saving the world at WonderCon 2014.

Busy bodies: Reading comics and saving the world at WonderCon 2014.

That’s it – you’re done!

xoxo,
Super Hero Mama

There are *always* warning signs

9 Apr

There are *always* warning signs. If you choose not to see someone – or not to see what’s happening – it doesn’t mean the signs aren’t there. “There might be bullying.” “There might not be bullying.” “They put ‘the kid’ in a police car and took him away.” If you don’t even know a person’s name, how would you know if he is suffering? I absolutely hate that this violence keeps happening. I hate just as much the media coverage that follows. Everyone is a hero once they stop a crazy person. Where is the hero who recognized this kid was suffering and stopped the pain in the first place?

“He was shy and didn’t have many friends.” Guess what – so was I. *So AM I.* Please stop saying “shy” or “introverted” like it’s a sign of mental illness. It’s not. And if you took more time to get to know us, you’d see that.

“His parents are partly to blame.” FYI: boys don’t always share the shit they’re going through, especially if they are being demeaned and humiliated. Even if he did, they can’t be at school to stop the harsh things that happen. We say the phrase “Kids are cruel” like it’s something we have to accept and get on with. How about teaching our children not to be cruel to begin with?

“Good thing he didn’t have a gun.” Yes – yay! And it’s actually kind of amazing. Especially in PA, where (from what I remember) we actually got the first day of hunting season off each year as a holiday. Unfortunately, guns clearly aren’t the only problem. *WE* are the problem. *WE* are the only ones who can fix it.

After the shooting at Sandy Hook, I was on Xanax for months. I could barely leave the house without having anxiety attacks, worrying someone was going to mow down my children. I would lie in bed at night crying because I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t stop imagining what the children had gone through. How scary it must have been – and even worse, how some of them were so young, so innocent – they didn’t even know how scared they should have been. Then, I was heartbroken. Now – two years and however many shootings/killings/stabbings later – I’m angry.

This week I’ve been working in New York, interviewing kids at an international high school about their lives. I literally sit down with them one by one and probe them with personal questions. “What’s the hardest part about being here? What’s the best part? Is it hard to make friends? Is it fun? Does it suck?”

What I want to do right now, more than anything else, is to go to Franklin and sit down with every single student who goes there. I want to ask them. No bullshit. No lies. No cover-ups. Was he struggling? IS ANYONE ELSE STRUGGLING? Because if they are, we need to know now.