The Sunshine Award!

Brand excited

This is how excited we are!

Thanks to the awesome people at 1001-up.com, I’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Award! If you haven’t visited them, go do it. Now. The link is right there. It’s ok. I’ll wait.

Are you back? OK!

This is very exciting. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been nominated for something? Do you?!? This is actually my first ever blogging nomination of any kind, and I am honored to have it come from such an awesome site! You guys inspire me.  Have you visited them yet?

Alright let’s get down to business………….to defeat……….the Huns.

HUAH!

image-1-sunshine-award-brightens-up-our-day

This is an award given to people who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere. The rules are as follows:

  1. Use the logo in your post
  2. Link to whoever nominated you.
  3. Write ten facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate ten fellow bloggers
  5. Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

 

So, 10 facts about myself.

1. I have an addictive personality. (coffee, gaming, food, hair dye, MMOs)

2. Final Fantasy VIII is my favorite out of the series, with VI coming in a close second.

3. I don’t know how to organize. Really. I think that it’s not in my genome, so I watch a lot of tutorials to learn instead.

4. I hated David the Gnome as a kid. He scared me.

5. The only person in the world I would ever leave my fiance for is David Bowie.

6. I am multicultural. My mom is Korean, and my dad is Scottish and Irish.

7. My first gaming system was a Nintendo.

8. When we received our first Playstation, they didn’t give us memory cards, so I would play every game by leaving the console on until I beat it. If my mom came in my room and saw the green light on, she would shut it off. I started piling laundry on it so she wouldn’t see the light.

9. I didn’t know how to cook until I was pregnant.

10.  I earned a 5/5 on my AP Calculus test in high school.

 

Onto the Nominees!

1. I am Out of Character

2. Domestic Geek Girl

3. Retro Video Gaming

4. InvaderC8

5. Tales of a Mom

6. ANappyNerdGirl

7. TwinStick Gaming

8. Mom Drives a Chocobo

9.  The Archaeology of Tomb Raider

10. Science of Mom

Thank you so much! Be sure the check out these blogs that I have listed as well!

/bow

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Ms. Male Character – Tropes vs. Women – Reaction

Anita Sarkeesian has released another video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, Ms. Male Character, and I take back every horrible thing I’ve ever said about her. Well, almost everything.

The video focused on a specific character design that game developers use to portray femininity to the player. Unlike her last videos, she touched upon games from the 80s and up through modern times, such as Disney’s “Where’s my Water?” and  Rovio’s “Angry Birds” giving this presentation a more relevant message, since this trope is still widely used in gaming today. The most obvious and main example would be Ms. Pac-Man who’s sole existence is a female counterpart to PacMan.

How do know she’s female? “Put a bow on it!”

While the actual character of Ms. Pac-man is somewhat outdated, all the points made in this video can be summarized using this one example. Ms. Pac-Man was created as a sequel of sorts to the original Pac-Man arcade game. *Interesting note: Pac-man was created to appeal to the female gamer, watch the video and find out why* To distinguish her as “female” (because clearly calling her Ms. Pac-Man is not enough) she was designed with stereotypical feminine features, pink bow, long eyelashes, and a mole. This also brings up the point, which Anita executed very well, that the creation of a “female” Pac-Man automatically defaults Pac-Man as male.

These are excellent points that still continue in gaming today. Anita touches upon how “Angry Birds” was, for the most part, genderless, until introducing female versions of characters in their Valentines episodes in “Angry Birds Seasons.” Sporting the pink bow, longer eyelashes, and makeup, these female counterparts are distinctly different, the audience defaults the original characters into the “male” category. It’s not enough to present them with female names, or voices.

 Is the answer to create female characters that look like their male equivalents, or not introduce them at all?

My Female Gaming Role Models: *Guest Post* Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool?

I’ve been wanting to do a post about Coco Bandicoot, however someone already did it! So without further ado, Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool? by  InvaderC8!

Woah!

That one word sums up one of the best series from the Playstation: Crash Bandicoot. Released in 1996 by Naughty Dog, Crash Bandicoot changed the foundations of Action platformers and was one of the highest selling games that year. It was about Crash, who started out as a normal Bandicoot, until Dr. Neo Cortex took him and was genetically enhanced to help him take over the planet. However, Crash was too carefree to be able to lead an army, so Cortex tossed him from his fortress, and decides to use Crash’s girlfriend, Tawna for his experiment. With time running out, it’s up to Crash to get through Cortex’s three islands, stop him from taking over the world and save his girl. But I’m not here to talk about Crash, even though he’s the star, and deservedly so, I’m here to talk about his little sister, Coco.

Coco B

From her introduction in CB2 and on, she was a kindhearted genius who loved her computer and helped out Crash when he was in trouble. However, after Crash Team Racing [the fourth game in the series], Naughty Dog gave the rights of the series to ”Radical Entertainment”, who decided “You know what Coco is missing? She needs a bratty attitude and have her make generally useless inventions! Oh, Oh, and, lets use her as a damsel in distress!” *sigh* You were so awesome in the beginning, Coco, and Naughty Dog won’t be able to come to the rescue. Well, with that disappointing thought in mind, I figured to do an article on why I thought she rocked in CB2 and CB: Warped.

Coco first appeared in “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back” and was established as Crash’s little sister. What happened to Tawna? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyways, in the first few seconds we see her, we quickly learn her characteristics: She’s intelligent, loves her laptop and is more level headed then Crash. On his way to get her a new battery when her Laptop one dies, Crash gets caught by Cortex, who proclaims that he actually needs Crash to help him collect Crystals. It seems that the world is going to be destroyed by a force that will be generated when all the planets align, so he created the Cortex Vortex to protect it. However, it needs Crystals to work, which is where Crash comes in. While he is a good guy, Crash isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the room, so he goes with it without hesitation. Luckily, Coco doesn’t believe a word Cortex says, and hacks into his computer to try and figure out what his true motives are, which we find out late in the game….

[Skip video to 3:12:45 if it doesn’t jump on it’s own.]

With that knowledge, Crash goes and takes out the vile Doctor. See? Without his sis, Crash would have unknowingly doomed us all to worshiping Cortex. This was a nice introduction for her, and she was a valuable asset to the storytelling, but it’s in “Crash Bandicoot: Warped”, where she truly comes into her own.

Please go to at Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool? by InvaderC8 and continue reading about Coco!   

Thank you for the first guest post on “My Female Gaming Role Models”!

5 tips for pumping in the work place

Breastfeeding is hard. Breastfeeding and working is harder. For those of you that nurse, are considering nursing, or just plain curious, here are some things I learned about both.

1.) Know your rights.

Although the US is a little behind in a lot of parental rights compared to our peers throughout the world, we as new parents, do have rights. When it  comes to pumping, there are many laws that protect us both on a state and federal level. The most important tool you have is information. According to federal law, a women has a right to express breast milk for up to 1 year, in a private space (NOT A BATHROOM) provided by the employer, and shall be allowed reasonable break time in order to do this. This statute applies to employees covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This is the same act that determines your eligibility for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These are minimun standards set by the federal government. Any state laws that expand upon these laws will take precedence. If you are not considered covered by FLSA, than you will solely rely on your state laws for information on your rights as a breastfeeding mother. Please be aware that there is a clause in FLSA if employers deem it an “undue hardship” to provide this for you. I have never had experience with this, if you have please let me know so I can make sure to include that information in this post for the people who may need it.

2.) Open communication

The second best tool that you have is communication, with your boss, and your co-workers. While I was on maternity leave, I went into work to discuss this new addition in our lives and how it will affect me in the workplace. At the time, I was a full time department assistant manager, so it was very important to me to have this open dialogue, not only with my superiors, but with my crew. Fortunately I work for some pretty awesome people, and we were able to sit down and come up with a plan. I also had a copy of this pdf with me in case I ran into any problems. I felt it was important for my co-workers to know that we were pumping, so that there wasn’t any miscommunication about any break times, or amount of “breaks” I was taking.  If an issue arose, with another employee for example, it was addressed. I was never ashamed about having to pump, or talking about pumping, and everyone was very supportive.

3.) Private Space

As stated in the law, your employer is required to provide you a private space, free from prying eyes and such, that IS NOT A BATHROOM in order to pump. I used a conference room that was automatically locked, and only upper management had access to the keys. To further prevent any mishaps I also made a sign that I would put onto the door for sessions.  Again, open communication. If you are using a shared space, yes it is your right to pump, no it is not your right to be a bitch about it. If I knew a meeting would be held in there, or someone was using it, I would ask someone if I could use their office, or time my pump sessions around it (if I could). Compromise is a good thing. It helps you, it helps them, and nobody gets angry, upset, or confused. If your employer offers you a bathroom, please remind them of the laws that apply to your situation (state or federal). Alternately, depending on your employer, you may be able to negotiate other compromises.

4.) Compromises

Depending on your employer, you may be able to come up with other arrangements. When I first started pumping at work, I worked 8-10 hours a day 5 days a week. A regular pumping schedule was needed to keep up my supply and still make sure I am doing my job. Now that I am part time, pumping at work is not an issue. I pump before work, or when I get home. B is also into solid foods, so he will usually wait for me to get home to nurse. Once in a while, I will be asked to do an 8-9 hour shift. Normally I am allowed 2 paid 15 minute breaks and 1 30 minute lunch unpaid. Instead of pumping at work every break, I take a 1 hour unpaid lunch, and drive 10 minutes home, feed and/or pump, and go back to work. This is why open communication is so important. This compromise meets both my needs and the needs of the employer, without me having to lug all my pumping stuff to work for one pumping session. I have read of other moms being able to go to daycare to feed their babies, and even of dads bringing babies to mom’s work for a feeding session.

5.) Confidence

You are the most important person in your breastfeeding journey. Whatever your reason for breastfeeding, you are providing nutrition for your child. You are using your body to grow a person, again. You should be confident in your decision and information is the most powerful confidence booster. Know your rights, communicate your needs, and never ever let anyone bring you down. Not all co-workers/employers are going to be understanding. Sadly enough, I even ran into some women that didn’t understand why I needed to pump, or why I’m still pumping. Remember you have the right to pump up to a year under federal law. Remember you are your child’s biggest advocate. Never be embarrassed or question your rights or decisions. Be confident in your actions. You are mom.

For all the men out there: The most important thing you can do for the mother of your child is BE SUPPORTIVE regardless of her nutrition decisions.  

If you would like more information on feeding your babies please go to kellymom.com, or feel free to ask! You can reach me at Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and of course here!

Have a story of your own? Please comment!

Remember, CONFIDENCE!

/bow

Why I refuse to stop gaming

“You’re going to have to stop playing video games.”

“Well, I  guess that’s the end of your gaming hobby.”

“You guys aren’t going to have time to play your games.”

It started when we learned of our incredible life change, pregnancy. As the pregnancy was coming to a close, it got worse. It seemed as if every time we stepped out of the house, someone would comment about how our gaming will somehow cease to exist because of this impending arrival. No more gaming…. What?

Asking me to drop gaming is the equivalent of asking me to stop eating Korean food, or better yet. Stop being Korean. Sure it’s only part of who I am, but if it was gone, there would still be a part of me missing. Why would I want to do that?

Gaming has been a significant part of my being. I’ve been doing it since I was 5. My childhood is Mario and Sonic, (and those damn pigs in Rocket Knight Adventures) My preteen years and teen angst years are Playstation. Halo was college. Halo 2 and FFXI were the beginning of Ezrah and I’s relationship. Our love grew over headshots and Maat fights. Final Fantasy XIV will be a new era for Final Fantasy MMOs along with the pregnancy and birth of our child. See gaming is more than just a hobby. I have been on countless adventures. Why would I give any of this up?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh well, now that you have a new arrival coming, you’re going to have to give up your favorite television shows!”

Neither have I.

There are so many ways your life changes when you become a parent. Why should your favorite hobbies, your core of who you truly are as a person, be different? Why should they change? Entering the world of parenthood doesn’t mean you have to shed your former self and jump into a new person. Mom is not something I became. I simply added Mom to my resume. I am still me. I still game. Ni No Kuni was my maternity leave. I plan on gaming with my son. I cannot wait for the many adventures that we will have together.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have changed. A lot. Life is about experiences. We need to take those experiences, learn from them, and grow.  There are things I find myself doing that I never thought would ever enter my mind. Apologizing to my mom, for one. I don’t smoke. I have wicked mom anxiety. We do laundry every week, clean the house almost everyday. I budget my money. I care about the things I never even questioned before. The amount of time I play each day has changed dramatically, and I can’t go buy any game I want, but I still game.

It is important to take time out to be yourself. The {insert adult mature task you “need” to do} can wait.

Yes those things are important. Yes , focusing on your child is important.

YOU are important.

 

 

 

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