Oh, HELLOOOO, Tiny Smile.

Let’s talk about toothpaste. Yes. Toothpaste. Hello Toothpaste.

Babystar is incredibly discriminate about her toothbrushes and her toothpaste.

I owe a huge ‘thank you’ to Hello Products for including their toddler toothpaste in the gift bags at the Type-A Parent blogging conference last October.

We tried both the Apple and Watermelon flavor, and Babystar LOVES them. And now I can buy hippie toothpaste just like I always wanted.

hello toothpaste2

Before I tried the Hello toothpaste (that I honestly thought Babystar would reject based on our experience with the strawberry Tom’s of Maine children’s toothpaste), I bought a tube of Orajel My Little Pony toothpaste ($3.24). And I have purchased more of the only toothbrush she will accept, the Woobamboo brand ($6.88 with Amazon Prime).

The Hello tubes were free, and I have plenty left. But I’m excited to have a new brand that she loves that isn’t full of artificial colors and plastered with cartoon characters. Very. Excited.

I am easily excited.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $25,780.93

Toddler Travel: Now With More Screen Time!

We hit the road last month to visit grandparents in Myrtle Beach over the holidays.

Babystar cannot really handle long trips in the car, so we broke up the seven hour trip by staying at a hotel halfway. $140.36 each way.

What a waste of money. She’s going to have to learn to be in the car AT LEAST seven hours in a row because we have a LOT of driving ahead of us this month.

Colorado via Florida. I know. I’ve seen a map. But it’s warm in Florida.

We bought the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kid’s Edition. $94.99 on sale and with the Red Tricycle discount. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.

She didn’t need the ‘television’ every moment of the drive, but our drive home which was supposed to be only four hours from hotel to front door turned into an eight hour traffic nightmare. Blue’s Clues to the rescue! And Trolls! And Dinosaur Train!

We already have Amazon Prime and I can download a lot of things for free, like Super Wings and Dinosaur Train episodes. I did buy the Trolls movie for $9.99 and the Trolls Holiday Special for $4.99.

I bought it in pink and called it ‘Mommy’s Pink Toy’ so she would understand that she couldn’t have it whenever she wanted like her own toys. It works. She knows that she only gets to use it in the car on long trips. But. Um.

amazon fire kids

I realized later that ‘Mommy’s Pink Toy’ is not the best term for anything ToddlerMonster-related. Whoops.

I love this thing. The battery lasts forever. (Unlike mommy’s other toys.)

However, I have one major complaint: I want to download more than twenty-five things at one time. WHY YOU TRYNNA HOLD ME BACK, AMAZON?! I totally understand the limit on the free stuff from Amazon Prime. But I PAID for Blue’s Clues Season 3 in its entirely. I can’t even download the whole season because I get a limit of twenty-five downloads. Also, a twelve minute Super Wings episode counts the same as a long run movie like Moana. WHAT. Dude.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $25,770.81

Monday’s Mama is TWINNING!

This Monday, I am pleased to introduce Nadia Gabriel. She is the mama behind The Non-Adventures of a Stay-at-Home-Mom. Like me, she has been spending most of January moving. (That is the extent of our twinning. We don’t even live in the same hemisphere.) Unlike me, Nadia is moving BOTH her physical home and her, um, metaphysical blog space. Way to shake it up in 2018, Nadia!

nadia2

Nadia lives in South Africa so she is warm right now. If you are reading this in literally any of the United States, think about that for a minute. (Shhh, not you Hawaii and California. Just sit there and be pretty, ok?)

Nadia is a SAHM to two amazing little girls and makes time to write in between changing nappies and making a million snacks a day. She is currently in the process of rebuilding her personality back to the point where she is no longer just ‘Mummy’. (Girl, PREACH.)

nadia3

The Non-Adventures of a stay-at-Home-Mum is everything: hilarious (like when she takes down common fairy tales), informative (like when she reviews products), deep (like when she delves into the challenges of raising a super sensitive child), and uplifting (like when she profiles local momprenuers who are TCB). I always look forward to her posts because Nadia is above all insightful.

And kind. Kind enough to answer my questions.

1. I love the candor in your writing. I know you just ‘came out’ to family and friends as a blogger in the last few months. Have you found that you censor yourself now?

Going public has been great with all the encouragement and positive feedback but YES, I do feel restricted at times now, which is a huge bummer. Especially when it’s something that I NEEEEEEEED to get off my chest or process on (digital) paper. I even went back and deleted entire posts ‘just in case’. I feel it does stifle me somewhat because my writing is very much in the moment and full of raw emotion but I would never choose to hurt anyone’s feelings. So yeah, it sucks. But I can deal.

2. What sucks the most about SAHM life?

The housework!!!! Omg the housework. I hate it! Cleaning bathrooms (gross), washing dishes (ugh does that sink ever get empty???), vacuuming (every damn day because of our cats), washing clothes (how do we use SO MUCH clothes?), ironing (just kidding! I don’t bother) and cooking. I count cooking as a chore now because I no longer get any enjoyment from it. Now its just a case of ‘what can I make that’s quick and relatively healthy?’ So yeah, if it weren’t for the housework I feel as if I would have much more time to really enjoy my kids. 

I’m going to be cheeky and add another on here. What really gets my goat is that people don’t get what I do all day. Every time I am asked ‘so what do you do all day?’ I want to scream. I literally want to throw my head back and scream. The thing is, even if I listed everything I did, the person asking the question still wouldn’t get it. It really is a job that has to be experienced to be understood. I understand that some people are just curious and I can usually tell by the tone of the question whether it’s curiousity or assholism driving the question. Usually.
3. Facebook or Instagram?
Facebook. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It’s a real timewaster but is such a great way of staying in touch with people without actually having to talk to them. Plus it’s a great way to store photos. I’m currently more in the Love phase at the moment since I made my blog public.
4. It’s the PTA Bakesale (is that a thing in SA?): homemade, store bought, or NOPE?
You know, I actually have no idea if that’s a thing here. I know there’s usually a few parents on the School Governing Body but I haven’t heard of bakesales the way you guys have in the States. I think the closest alternative would be Bakerman where every kid gets a Friday each term to be said ‘Bakerman’ and their parent has to stay up past midnight in the kitchen the night before, baking something according to the theme of the week. It’s pretty cool (for the kids) who end up with Frog Prince cupcakes or Incey Wincey Brownies but it’s kind of a pain in the ass to be honest. I’m just gonna outsource the next one.

 

You should totally subscribe to her blog. (I’m pretty excited to see the new 2018 version myself!) And follow her on Facebook. And Instagram.

Also, I mentioned that I really wanted to visit Cape Town and apparently it is the coolest place ever: “PLEASE save up and book that flight to Cape Town! Sooner rather than later. You will not regret it. South Africa is ridiculously beautiful, but if you’re planning your first trip then Cape Town is the place to be. We lived there for a year and not a day went by that I didn’t feel like I was on holiday. It’s gorgeous. Like living in a postcard. Plus there’s a crazy amount of kid friendly places there. And THE FOOD!!!! Omg the food 😍 I love it!!!!! Plus I feel that if you go to Cape Town you will definitely want to see other places in South Africa. So many gems.”

So. Nadia lives in paradise. But I like her anyway. I think you will too.

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo.

Lately I feel like The Little Engine That Really Wants to But OMFG JUST CAN’T.

Moving is hard, y’all.

I have moved about a million times in my teens and twenties. But now I’ve lived in the same place for over ten years and WHY DO I HAVE SO MUCH STUFF???

One fun little bonus is that I am NOT buying food. We are trying hard to eat all of the food in the freezer.

So. Yay. Cooking.

Or, often, take-out. Or fast food.

By the way, did you see the adorable train set that was part of the McDonald’s kid’s meal in December? Yeah. We almost got the whole thing. You get how my month went now, right? I DID remember to feed the baby in December. She’s addicted to fruit. I kind of don’t blame her but I wish it was in season.

  • bananas $1.25, $0.95
  • cake pop $2
  • Cheerios $3.99, $5.29, $4.99
  • flaxseed milk (she uses enough that one per month is on her) $3.99
  • apples $4.89, $5.99, $2.74, $5.51
  • honeydew $3.37
  • grapes $5.47
  • cantaloupe $3.99, $3.99
  • mango $4.99
  • eggs $4.49
  • watermelon $11.39
  • frozen pizza $2.50, $2.50, $2.50
  • cookie dough $3.00 (more craft than food but whatever)
  • pink frosting $1.72 (more craft than food but whatever)
  • Five Guys hot dog $4.79, $4.79
  • Chick-fil-A* $3.29 + .20, $3.29 + .20, $3.29 + .20, $3.29 + .20
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal $2.99, $2.99, $2.99, $2.99, $2.99
  • extra toy because I’m that mom apparently $1.86

*Oh, something kinda cool: we stopped at Chick-fil-A while traveling before Christmas and Santa Cow was randomly there!! We made cool Chick-fil-A ornaments and colored pictures and waved at Santa Cow from a safe distance.

And let’s not forget our boring recurring monthly charges.

  • diapers $14.99, $8.99
  • wipes $4.49
  • Laundry detergent $8.46
  • baby bath $7.99
  • storage unit $127
  • extra tank of gas $40

RAISING BABYSTAR: $25,380.12

New Year, New Altitude.

T minus thirteen.

co-largemap

Oh wait, I meant to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you are heading into this New Year with confidence and optimism and well-behaved children. (Or at least two out of three.)

I’ll just be over here packing all of our belongings into boxes because, as I may have mentioned before, we are moving to Colorado.

Fun fact: I have never been to Colorado.

But I will be living there so very soon.

The movers are coming in two weeks and I have to have the place mostly packed. The ToddlerMonster is helping. I’m averaging one box a week.

I think it’s time to step up my game.

When the movers leave, I will leave, but I will take a very circuitous route to Colorado, stopping to see friends and family on the way.

Funner fact: It takes up to fourteen freaking days for a moving company to get your stuff from Virginia to Colorado. I don’t want to arrive before my dishes. Or my bed. Or my InstantPot.

The Teen Girl is coming with us to Colorado (yay!). In fact, it will just be her and Babystar and me on this long, strange, trip in the minivan. My husband will already be in Colorado. Someone needs to make money so we can go party at Disney World (yep!).

The Teen Girl needs a better name for this blog because soon she will no longer be a Teen. I have called her Buttercup for years. How about Princess Buttercup? I am sure she will let me know how she feels about this name change if/when she reads this post.

Princess Buttercup

pc: @serenakf: Amazing Photographer and Human

Princess Buttercup is coming with us. I have been trying to decide if we would have chosen a different place to rent if there was no Babystar. For monetary accuracy on this blog, of course. My husband has been out there working on and off for awhile now, and he did all the house-looking by himself. We decided to rent a farm. (It totally has a barn and silo and everything.) I have wanted chickens forEVER. And the farmhouse has a separate entrance and even a separate kitchen for Princess Buttercup.

We would have chosen this farmhouse, Babystar or no Babystar.

YOU GUYS I’M GOING TO RAISE CHICKENS!!

chicken

YOU GUYS DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO RAISE CHICKENS?!?

So, like, can anyone give me some tips? Regarding chickens OR Colorado? I know that chickens have feathers and Colorado is square and that is where my knowledge ends.

OMFG what am I doing??

(One thing I am FOR SURE doing is getting ready for a month of the shortest blog posts ever. From the WordPress app on my phone.)