Board but Not Boring.

When does the board book to paper book crossover usually take place?

Babystar is two and a half and we are still buying both.

We love our hardback paper-page picture books for reading together while sprawled on our bellies on the bed. But the board books are still best when Babystar wants to read to her stuffed friends. Or when Babystar wants to read in the car. Or when Babystar needs to read in the shopping cart. Or when Babystar wants to snack on a book. It’s rare these days but it still happens. Apparently they are SOUPY delicious!

(Babystar pronounces super as soupy and I will MURDER anyone who corrects her because it is the cutest thing ever. Ok, I won’t actually kill anyone. I’ll scold them, though. LOUDLY. Or? What’s something in between scolding and murder??)

Board books are durable. And usually pretty compact.

I have a running list of things purchased for the baby on a very unorganized Note on my phone/computer. It seems I have purchased quite a few board books in the past few months.

I already told you. I’m a sucker for books.

Barnes and Noble had a ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ table of board books a few months ago so OBVIOUSLY I let her choose three books ($15.98). She chose Max the Brave, Click Clack Moo, and This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer. I swear I DID NOT force her to choose that last one. But I was so totally proud.

And she LOVES that book. She likes to ask “what about this little trailblazer?”

maria tallcheif

Her favorite (this week) is Maria Tallchief.

 

Her dad brought her back Good Night Seattle ($9.95) from a business trip recently and we had to read it before bed for WEEKS. Only slightly annoying. Good night, joggers on the Burke-Gilman trail. It just rolls off the tongue.

We bought three board books by Chris Haughton: Oh No George!, Little Owl Lost, and Shh! We Have a Plan. Highly recommend all three ($19.59). Oh No George! is about a dog that wants to behave. Tries to behave. But doesn’t always behave. I before never realized the similarities between toddlers and dogs. I’m lying. I figured it out when Babystar started licking the floor.

We bought Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick for fifty cents at the library sale yesterday.

peppermint stick

 

And do you see those two shiny new board books sort of on the left-middle there? Good Night Denver and Good Night Colorado ($18.08)?

board books close up

OH YEAH I FORGOT TO TELL YOU. We are moving to Colorado.

I’ve never even been to Colorado. All I know is everything I learned from Becca. Plus pot is legal there, so I expect to have a lot of the same conversations over and over. Which is great, because I hate thinking of new things to say.

This is all rather sudden. BUT. I hear Boulder is the happiest city in the country. So that’s something.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $24,370.73

 

Babystar Wanted a Pony.

So Babystar got a pony.

An $8.99 pony from Aldi and she couldn’t be happier!

hobbyhorse3

I heard from a reliable source that there is a Hobbyhorse Revolution happening on the Continent. Babystar is so on trend.

Babystar’s hobby horse has already been on a few adventures, including a trip to Sweden Ikea. No one there batted an eye. Ikea is so big they probably thought she was playing with some new merchandise: the PÖWNEE.

It’s very difficult to get pictures of her on this trusty steed. They are all so blurry.

hobbyhorse2

Girlfriend canters quickly.

RAISING BABYSTAR; $24,306.63

The Longest Christmas Season.

Did you know that this year we have the most days possible between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Which means that THIS YEAR we have the longest Christmas season possible.

I love lights and trees and wrapping presents and holiday playlists so this is SO LIT.

We bought Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. The ToddlerMonster was super excited. But she didn’t want a big tree. (Mama did though so obvs we have one.)

But she got her little tree too. HER CUTE FACE IS IRRESISTIBLE! Literally impossible to resist.

christmas tree cutting

littletree

The little tree is in her bedroom, waiting for ornaments. ($40 plus a $25 small stand.) I have a feeling we have started a new tradition.

Oh look, there’s that $9.99 robot pillow we bought at Ikea. Yet another offering to the Goddess of Tantrum-Free Shopping.

What else have I forgotten? Gas. For years and years, I filled the minivan once a month. I worked from home and I hate driving anywhere outside the beltway. But now, I fill the tank TWICE a month. I still don’t often leave the beltway but Babystar and I find ourselves on mini adventures every day. This started when she was about eighteen months old and noticed that we were walking to the same three playgrounds and one library. So a year ago. And a tank of gas is about $40. I’ll add $480 for the last year and $40 per month going forward unless something changes.

Oh, and diaper pail liners! We buy one pack of Harris Teeter brand thirteen-gallon trash bags every month and we only use them in the Ubbi diaper pail. We bought the diaper pail in February of 2016, twenty-one months ago. The bags are $6.47 per box. Um. Math. That’s $135.87 so far. And I’ll add the $6.47 going forward until we are done with diapers.

I wonder what else I have missed. There hasn’t been a change in the electric bill or anything like that. I used to work from home, so we had the air or heat on all the time anyway. Am I overlooking anything obvious?

Yes. The Target Baby Box. $7.42. They only offer the Baby Box once in awhile but I got one last month! We already love the honest face and body lotion — both of us. Babystar likes to lotion her hands and legs and put on chapstick just like mama. SO CUTE I COULD DIE. (You see why she gets her own Christmas tree just by asking nicely, right??)

target baby box fall 2017

And again with the food. Below is November’s list. I KNOW that this part is horribly boring but I’m really all about the accuracy here. Just skip reading this part. I don’t mind. I barely want to write it. All those bullet points and typing, ugh. Amirite?

  • Costco fruit bowl 9.99
  • waffles 2.50, 2.50
  • blueberries 6.99, 3.99
  • pirate’s booty 8.99
  • Costco hot dog 1.50
  • IKEA pizza 1.75
  • IKEA hot dog .75
  • IKEA water 1.00
  • Trader Joe’s strawberry bar 1.99, 1.99
  • Trader Joe’s fig bar 1.99
  • Trader Joe’s toaster strudels 2.69, 2.69
  • Mac and cheese 2.99, 2.99, 2.99, 2.99
  • cheese slices 4.99
  • pasta snakes (penne) 1.49
  • letter cookies 2.99
  • bananas 1.50
  • Honest juice boxes for popsicles 3.69, 3.69
  • frozen pizzas (don’t judge me!) 3.14 3.14, 2.15, 2.15, 2.15, 2.15 (hell of a sale!)
  • vanilla ice cream 4.49
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal 2.99, 2.99, 4.19 (they gave me the wrong one but I didn’t bother to complain), 2.99
  • Chick-fil-A kid’s meal with uncharge on my fries to share 3.49 + .20
  • Chick-fil-A kid’s meal 3.49 + .20
  • Chick-fil-A kid’s meal 3.49 + .20
  • Chick-fil-A kid’s meal 3.49 + .20
  • cantaloupe 3.99
  • grapes 4.24, 4.76
  • tots 3.49, 1.65
  • Panera kid’s meal 4.99
  • small box of cereal at 7-11 1.99 (ripoff)
  • Busboys and Poets kid’s pasta and juice plus tip 10.00
  • Harry’s fries plus tip $7
  • goldfish crackers 2.49, 1.79
  • animal crackers 1.49
  • Haagen Dazs sundae 5.68
  • turkey pepperoni 2.19, 2.19
  • strawberries 2.99
  • penguin crackers 1.49, 1.49, 1.49

We bought some other boring stuff in November.

  • diapers 23.49, 15.09
  • bubble bath 14.09
  • baby wipes 3.49, 2.99, 4.99, 2.99, 3.29
  • laundry detergent 8.46
  • storage unit 127.00

 

Hopefully you haven’t read all the way down here because WHO CARES about the cost of grapes in November although why are grapes always on sale in November? I never noticed until I started writing this shit down. It’s such a weird time for them to be in season. When is grape season? I need to go to bed.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $24,297.64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday’s Mama is Salty AF.

Today I would like to introduce one half of The Salty Mamas. Christine has three kids and   one husband and yet she still helps run one of the funniest new(ish) mommy blogs on the internet.

christinesaltymama3

Side note: my computer kept autocorrecting that to new(fish) and I really want to know WHY. Is new(fish) a thing?

Christine (and Jaymi but shh we are talking about Christine today) blogs and tweets and shares her life on Instagram and Facebook. She is also a bujo queen. I learned that word from this salty lady. Bujo means bullet journaling and I have no idea how she finds time to do anything. I am fairly certain that this woman doesn’t sleep. Though she does bujo her kid’s sleep. She’s maybe nutso.

That’s probably why I like her so much. Plus she was nice enough to answer some of my questions.

1. Black Friday: An opportunity for serious deals, a travesty of capitalism, or something in between? You two are the HUSTLING-EST mamas I know. Did you score any Black Friday door busters?

HELLS YES to Black Friday. But really, my specialty is the Micro Hustle, so you won’t find me hunkered outside a Best Buy as soon as I’ve eaten my pie. Our tradition is that we go when the kids wake up , which means we’re at Target at 5 am. There are still some AMAZING deals, and the place is empty because the diehards finished up at midnight and a casual Black Friday Shoppers won’t get there until about 8. Then we hit the mall, do some more shopping before it gets nuts and take her pictures with Santa. And then get breakfast. And then spend the rest of the weekend on Amazon to finish up. 

2. You used to plan events in your past life. Did this trickle over to SAHM life? Are you the Playdate Planner of your mama crew?
No. Not even a little. The Mommy Brain has killed my planning skills and now planning a birthday party is like organizing an International Peace Summit. I’m much more likely to forget to show up to your playdate. BUT, when I do get my act together the three times a year I do plan something? It’s pretty bomb. Which reminds me, I should really start working on Evie’s birthday party…
3. What is your favorite family holiday tradition? What is something that you skip?
We do lots of traditional things like pajamas on Christmas Eve, and some with a twist, like the carrots for the reindeer have to have the long green leaves still on. But we also have some wacky traditions and I love them all because they’re very us. One of my favorites is the Chad and I go to Target together to buy each other stocking gifts each year. We split apart and run through the store like Supermarket Sweep trying to hide from each other and get the best stocking stuff. We almost always end up getting a couple of the same things for each other. 
My skip is the same as my partner in crime Jaymi’s (coming soon to a Blog near you, so: TEASER!) and I don’t want to steal her thunder. Oh, but I’m never adding it as a tradition. (And now you have suspense and mystery!)
4. It’s the PTA Bakesale. Handmade, store-bought, or nope?
Gut reaction: NOPE.
I’m a BIG fan of throwing money at the problem when possible. Because I have zero desire to juggle dough, dirty kitchen and three Gremlins unless a fair amount of the baked goods are going directly into MY pudgy belly. Having said that, the good people the bake sale don’t want to buy Oreos through the middle man, so probably offer Jaymi / my Mom/ my sister one thousand dollars to bake for me. They love me, so they protest the cash money and I pay them in Diet Cokes forever.
If you are not following the Salty Mamas, you’re doing it wrong. But don’t worry. There’s always room to add a dash of salt to your life.
christinesaltymama2

Plus a Flamingo.

And now for a tale of a teepee and a flamingo.

Anyone that has ever read this blog (THANK YOU FOR READING THIS BLOG!!) knows that I am mildly very much obsessed with Target.

So. The grandparents bought the adorable Pillowfort Gold Star Teepee for Babystar’s second birthday.

(If you are wondering, this teepee is HUGE. Which is super awesome if you have a playroom or you want a cute way to corral toys and give your kid a play area in your family room. It is less cool if you have a nursery the size of — well, the size of a teepee plus a changing table. Also, if you were wondering some more, the fabric is nice and thick like canvas. We loved it.)

Target has a 90-day return policy. On Day 103 of owning this teepee, a small child broke one of the thick dowel rods during a playdate. The child was aged two to five (we don’t really know who landed the kill shot). The manufacturer suggests this product for ages three and up. It should not have been broken so easily. Have they ever MET any kids age three and up??

To be fair, there was a knot in the wood where the dowel split, so it was likely weakened before the children started their Game of Destruction.

I took all of it to Target: the broken dowel, the non-broken dowels, the gold star fabric, a two-year-old child. And I asked for a new one. Or at least a new dowel.

The fine people at Target were AWESOME.

I had the receipt in an email (it was purchased online) so they knew I didn’t steal a giant teepee, break it, and try to pull a fast one. They couldn’t give me Target credit since it was past 90 days, but they DID totally break the rules and let me exchange the teepee.

But of course they didn’t have the gold star one in the store. And it HAD to be the gold star one. BabySTAR. Obvs.

So they gave me a brand new other-flavor teepee AND let me keep the gold star fabric from my old one.

And. AND. My receipt showed that the grandparents paid $89.99 but the teepee was currently selling for $79.99 so they couldn’t do the exchange unless I found ten more dollars worth of merchandise — but it had to be from the same department.

OH HAI MINGO! Babystar saw the pink flamingo and it was love at first sight. Mingo was a bit more than $10, so I paid $7.41 to exchange the teepee after the return window had passed AND bring home a new bff. Fair deal.

Mingo joins us on lots of adventures.

mingo1

mingo3

Um, plus I now have TWO teepees. I just need four dowel rods to make the second one. However, the teepees are giant, so I currently have ZERO teepees outside of a closet in the basement.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $23,224.17