Sunday, May 11, 2014

Epbot Exemplars: Mother's Day Edition

Thank you all for the overwhelming response to my last post about Lily. She's doing much better now, and is out of both the onesie and cone. (YAY!) I'll be sure to post updates in the future, as we figure out what helps/will help her long-term.

Now, on to today's post!


I get to hear from a lot of cool moms through Epbot, so in honor of Mother's Day, let's take a look at a few from my perpetually overflowing inbox, shall we?

First up, how cool is it when a mother and daughter cosplay as mother and daughter?


That's reader Katherine H. with her 8-year-old daughter Elizabeth at a convention in Chicago. Katherine even made her own dress! And look how pretty the back is:

Dorothy F. tells me her daughters are grown and about ready to head off to college, but are the culmination of "a lifetime of geeky girlhood." Ha! Here are the three of them a few years back (in stunning steampunk garb, I might add) at the Handcar Regatta:


Here's Gina S. and her two cutie companions at the Doctor Who exhibit over in the UK:

D'awww, mommy/daughter Daleks!

Don't be fooled, though:

She will exterminate you with teh cute.

Felicia is another mom who loves making costumes for her kids, and fashioned this fabulous Diablo demon hunter cosplay for her daughter last year:

Complete with crossbow guns!

And here's Felicia with her, as a rather terrifying witch doctor:

I know a lot of moms just make the costumes for their kids - which is amazing, don't get me wrong - but I especially love the moms who get out there and dress up, too. Which is probably why I got such a kick out of this:

This is Lori L. (in a gorgeous steampunk Tardis gown) with her three daughters at Austin's Wizard World:

Yep, Mom is dressed up, not the kids! Haha! 

Oops, wait - Lori's daughter Rose [and how perfect is her name?!] is dressed as Katniss on the far right. Lori tells me her other two were more interested in shopping than cosplaying - and hey, BEEN THERE.

Lori writes, "I wanted to let you know that you totally inspired me to take my daughter, Rose, to the Austin Comic Con this November in costume. Since we started following Epbot, she has been wanting to attend a Con in cosplay so I told her I'd go with her, in my own costumes. Thank you for the inspiration to go out and do something crazy with my daughter.  It was totally worth it, and it made her day!"

Aww. You know, encouraging fellow geeks to get out to their first conventions is one of my favoritest things.

Which reminds me: I'd be remiss if I didn't show off my own mom again, who first got me hooked on Star Trek books and drove me to my first conventions back in middle school. She never wore so much as a Halloween costume when I was growing up, but Mom has taken to cosplay these past few years with a zeal even I'm hard-pressed to match:

Do I have dapper parents, or what?

Mom's already hard at work on her next costume: a steampunk Minnie Mouse. Hee!

Next up, reader Adrienne W. did something extra special for her robot-loving little girl: she gave her an entire robot-themed bedroom!

Say, does someone here look a little familiar?

Awww YEEEAAAAH. It's the Epbot 'bot!
(Gotta love that pair of paintings, too!)

Adrienne went all out; there's even robot bedding, and I'm quite smitten with the cover fabric:

Plus can't forget K-9 over in the corner, which Adrienne hand painted herself - along with all the other robots. Suh-weet!

This next one is kind of a long read, even with my editing it down a little, but I promise it's worth it:

Janis in Australia writes,

I wanted to tell you how much we love your blog, and the exemplars, and what it means for Mother, my Mother-in-law and I.

I have always been relatively geeky thanks to Mum. She plays Assassin's creed a lot, does my Mum, at 60 yrs of age, and raised us on a steady diet of Asimov, Star Wars, Doc Who, Blake's Seven, Battlestar Galactica. etc etc.

Mum and I were really nerdy. We were so NOT girly...I can remember my Mother saying ''Jan, you gotta see this FANTASTIC movie!!'', when Alien came out. I don't think I was old enough to go, but she got me in. We loved it soooooo Much! Blood, Gore, Alien Rampage, chicks with guns, gorgeous ginger cat... we were in Heaven!

However, as time goes on, after my teenage Punk days, you start to blend in with the (note of derision) ''norms''. Self defense. Y'all know about that. You lose yourself.

As my Mother's and my respective healths started to deteriorate, we were less and less ourselves, and more and more soulless automatons.

However, we recently found that we have a blood disorder called Pyroluria, after many years of mis-diagnosis and mis-treatment.  We also have a type of high functioning Asperger's, very mild, that needs no treatment other than self-awareness, and self management. So feeling better, we started to find ourselves again. And understand why we weren't like others. And finally feel that it was ok, and not trying to fit in anymore, and not make any apologies for who and what we are. You get so sick of living your life as an act of camouflage.

This year I said, ''What the heck, I don't care what anyone thinks, we are going to comic-con!!!'' We always wanted to go, and just never did. My Mother-in-Law happened to be here in OZ on a visit, and we took her along, too. Well, we all had a blast, Mum and MILaw had a cuddle with what we all thought was an extremely good-looking Zombie (see photo), and now we have come home to ourselves with who we are and what we like. My MIL had her pic with William Shatner and she looks like she will explode with happiness in the pic. I addicted her to 'Game of Thrones', and generally we brought out her inner geek. She is the one smiling in the photo I sent. Mum is pulling the face...deliberately!

It took us all these years to just let ourselves be who we were, instead of who we were expected to be. I hope people don't let their kids waste time, like we did. Life is short, you wake up one day and discover that your life is half over before you've begun to do what you want... begin now, wherever you are in life, don't waste any more time.

Janis goes on to describe their plans for Zombie Walks, more conventions, and costumes in the works, ending with:

"I'm really happy to have seen your blog, so we know there are others like us, who like to make, and do, and be."

Totally worth it, right? That e-mail really made my night when it first came in.

And finally, to reward you for making it through this entire post:

Charity M. turned her 14 mo. old son into a Jedi, and omigosh cannot handle the extreme adorableness:


Happy Mother's Day, everyone! Now go call your mom, and quote something geeky at her. ;)


{Give-Away Update: I still haven't heard from last month's art winner, Isles Island. Isles, please e-mail me to claim your prize!}


  1. Squee geeky momery. Makes me happy

  2. I'm so happy that Lily is doing better and I'm looking forward to hearing about what you're doing to help her.

    Y'know, Epbot confers a certain degree of motherhood on you, too. Not every mother has children, and not every child is human. I believe that any woman who nurtures and cares for others, as you with your kitties and the Exemplars and all of us, deserves (!) the title of Mother. So, Happy Mother's Day to you, Jen, for the love and support you've given us, just like a true Mother.

    1. Well said, Miss Mindy! I'm inclined to agree!

    2. Yes, what Miss Mindy said !!! Any one who has a positive influence on my daughters, I consider one of their many Mom's.


  3. My mom got me into Epbot. What a nerd ;P

  4. Lovely post. Speaking of exemplars, have you heard about this story? I have so much respect for every one of those boys, as well as their parents for teaching their SONS that violence isn't how to solve problems. Fair warning, keep tissues nearby while reading/watching.

  5. Thanks for featuring my mom! It made her mothers' day! (We're the ones in the steam punk garb. I'm the one in the solo photo with the tool belt and cloche) Seriously though, geekiest childhood ever; there was a period when I was about 7 or 8 when my mom's pet name for me was "young padawan" and SHE was the one who got ME into Harry Potter. Oh, and anime. Geek is a great thing to share with your family.

  6. What a fantastic bunch of exemplars, all! Jen, thanks for that Mother's Day gift. And thank you especially for posting the note from Janis. It moved me to tears. It is SO important to recognize who each of us is and isn't, and live our lives to be our best and happy selves. What a great message, today of all days.

    Finally, you're a mother to a whole tribe--the geeks, the nerds, the feline-loving, gamers (and non-). You remind us with every post what it means to be human and authentic. Happy Mother's Day!

  7. This is Lori L. Thanks for including the picture of my girls and me. You made Rose's day. And thanks for being here on the 'net - you make geeky girls proud to be themselves, and that is a precious thing!

  8. Hi Jen,

    Veterinary student here. Have you taken Lily to a veterinary nutritionist, or has one of your vets consulted one? Veterinary nutrition is a relatively young discipline and many vets don't get adequate training unless they seek it out themselves. Cats have very different nutritional requirements than dogs, humans, or any domestic species, really, and individual cats can react oddly to foods that are nutritionally complete for other cats.

    I hope Lily feels better soon! Happy mother's day!

  9. I absolutely love that you feature moms as well as kids! My mom and I got into Doctor Who and the marvel universe at the same time, dragging each other in. While I was growing up, we always got along pretty well, but in the last few years we've really become so much closer, and so much is thanks to our mutual geekery. The last four years she's gone to comic con with me, and we've been in costume for the last three. She's the one who got me into Cakewrecks and Epbot as well! I take some responsibility for her constant perusal of tumblr and the geek boards on pinterest. Long story short? I love my geek of a mom, and I'm so grateful it's brought us closer together.

  10. I just LOVE these posts, and I'm so happy to see someone from Australia here - hi, Janis!!! Waves like crazy!

    I'm from Melbourne, and I've just started really getting into Cons and even dressed up myself for Free Comic Book Day a few weeks ago. It was my first cosplay, and I was so excited! I got some great compliments, which just made my day. Janis, I'll be looking out for you at Australian Cons!

  11. Wow! I was not expecting to open this up and see my face. How lovely. :) Thanks, from Merida and Elinor!

  12. Happy birthday!!! I love your blog. You are an inspiration for the rest of geeky girls :)

  13. Huzzah for all the Geek Mom's and Geeklings of all ages! You are the best people to hang with.

  14. Happy Birthday Jen! From another May baby, it's a fine month to celebrate a birthday, isn't it?

    As for Moms, I just have to tell you about mine.

    She's awesome, obviously.
    She's a fiber-geek, a sci-fi lover, and can sew a costume like a pro (literally).
    When I was little and into dress-up she made me dress-up clothes. When we were studying medieval history, we literally had a medieval cosplay feast, complete with guests who were crowned King, Queen, and Lady-in-waiting for the evening. All sewed by my mother, with help from those of us who were able.

    When I was little, we watched Doctor Who every weekend. I learned to knit (another skill my mom taught me) so I could make my very own Tom Baker scarf.
    When Doctor Who vanished from American television screens, we watched Star Trek : TNG together. We read sci-fi classics by Ray Bradbury, the password to unlock our family computer was "mellon" from Lord of The Rings, elvish for friend for those who don't know, and the password to enter the underground dwarven realm of Moria.

    Now, my mom makes dress-up capes and wizard robes for my kids. She makes sure they know to be safe around jet engines. She cosplayed as Edna Mode at a neighborhood home school event a few years back (in character!) and she's such a fiber geek she even knows the life story of the real-life designer Edna Mode was based on.

    I am thankful for a Mom who taught me you don't have to "fit in" with what you believe other people think you should like (and they don't have to like the things you like either), and who passed on rockin' awesome skills like sewing, knitting, crocheting, and crafty creative stuff.

  15. I'm envious... my mother made me some wonderful Halloween costumes when I was growing up (Snoopy, Woodstock, a spider, a spaceship captain...). She discovered SF about the same time I did (I was living with my dad that year), which led to lots of sharing of books and author recommendations. She introduced me to D&D when she discovered it, too. She didn't stick with it, but that's okay - she played enough to understand what it was about, which meant we could talk about the adventures I was in.

    Regrettably, as her search for spiritual fulfillment led her farther and farther into extreme Christian Fundamentalism, two years ago she came to view SF/F as demonically-inspired and driven. It's seriously cut into our present communications, although the Fundamentalism had cut into our relationship years before that. Hopefully some new shift down the road will change her perspective to something more forgiving, but even so, at least back when it really counted for my growth, she was supportive of the development of my own inner geek. I can still appreciate and be grateful for that.

  16. Regarding pyroluria: Medical experts do not regard this condition as genuine, and few or no articles on pyroluria are found in modern medical literature; tests have not established any correlation between the claimed body chemical issues and mental health diagnosis. Pyroluria is not a valid diagnosis and anything treating it is little more than snake oil. Please do not spread this false information; mental health diagnosis and treatment is difficult enough without this added BS. Thanks.

  17. Yay! Awesome moms with awesome kids!

    Love the robot bedroom! And that itty-bitty Dalek and tiny Jedi...SQUEE!

    I'm so glad you got your parents interested in cosplaying, Jen. Always looks like they're having a grand time at the cons.


  18. My grammar OCD compels me to point out that "favoritest" is not a word. "Most favourite" would be appropriate.

  19. Glad to hear Lily is doing better. :-) Both the wee ones were very chuffed to see themselves on Epbot, thanks! :-D


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