Roy G. Biv.

Lunchtime poll: Has everyone heard of Roy G Biv?

Hint: He was NOT a member of Bel Biv Devoe.

My mind was blown last week while decorating for the SIMPLEST, can-be-pulled-off-at-the-last-minute-if-necessary, EASIEST, most inexpensive birthday party theme evah. My darling husband, who has been alive on this earth for a full eight years longer than I, and who has successfully made his way through the American public school system, has never heard of Roy G Biv.

Me: Hey babe, can you arrange these vegetables in a rainbow?
Husband: *starts with purple, then picks up yellow*
Me: No, do a real rainbow. With Roy G. Biv.
Husband: Who?
Me: …
Husband:  …
Me: *gets scared because everything I know is a lie*

Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Indigo-Violet. Roy spreads rainbows wherever he goes.

Babystar loves coloring. Actually, she loves all of it: drawing, painting, cutting, glueing, stickers, decoupage, cubism, whatever. Babystar is here for all of the art.

Also, making friends in Colorado is proving more difficult that anticipated. Everyone is suuuuper nice. I chat up all the parents at the playgrounds, and everyone is friendly enough. But not like, hey we should get the kids together again friendly. I am TRYING, I swear. I will happily accept any tips and pointers you have, and if you live near Boulder, do you want to meet at the library tomorrow? 🙂

(Babystar HAS made one really awesome friend in Colorado but she is not pictured for reasons of I didn’t want to ask her mom hey can I post pictures of your kid all over the internet because I would like to continue this budding friendship.)

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We decided to have a Coloring Party for Babystar’s third birthday. It was the perfect small birthday party for guests of all ages. Babystar chose plates and plates and napkins and hats and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner from Target ($21.23) and she was SO PROUD to have picked them out herself. I definitely gave her the ‘rainbow’ idea but she could have chosen literally anything and it would have worked with the coloring theme.

party hats

We decorated with crayons and markers and colored pencils. I did buy new crayons ($2.48 x3) and markers ($14.99) and colored pencils ($14.99) and pads of paper ($2.19 x4) for the occasion but we needed to restock the art cabinet anyway. Also, boxes of crayons make GREAT party favors. You could buy all new art supplies, use what you have, or some combo in between to make this party as outrageous or as chill as you like. The secret is in the sorting. Group the crayons/pencils/paints/whatever in color families and boom — instant decor.

crayons

I also bought three bright bouquets of flowers from the grocery store ($11.97) for the party room. I trimmed the stems and handed each bloom to Babystar to decide how they should be arranged. She actually divided them by color even before she saw the crayons and pencils divided that way. Three year olds are really smart. (I recommend Trader Joe’s or Sprouts for cheap bouquets, if you have either of those chains nearby.)

flowers

I ordered the cake from a local baker mama and it turned out AMAZING. She made cupcakes too per Babystar’s request. There was no cost for the cake because we bartered,  but you can go as expensive or inexpensive here as you like. The joy is that it is so EASY. Go colorful or go home, ya know. Make some cupcakes and play with frosting and food coloring a little bit and you are all set. I skipped the ice cream because I usually forget to serve it anyway and so many people are dairy-free these days and ice cream is really messy and kind of expensive and no one really cares and I suggest you do the same.

Snacks can double as decoration! I bought fruits and veggies and arranged them on white platters in the aforementioned ROYGBIV formation. I also had a couple of dips and a bowl of animal crackers on the snack buffet. I spent $46.72 at the grocery store for all of the food, and of course there were plenty of leftovers for snacks throughout the week.

And finally, we turned this regular coloring party into a super awesome birthday party celebrating Babystar with the help of an app* ($4.99). Yay for 2018! Yay for Technology!! We turned pictures of Babystar into coloring pages and asked everyone in attendance to color and sign at least one. I mean, Grandpa might not want to draw pictures for fun, but there is no way ANYONE will say no to coloring a picture of the guest of honor. I put the pictures in an envelope with her birthday cards from this year for a super awesome keepsake. Mom of the year over here, y’all.

 

Oh, I almost forgot about the presents. My usual rule is that the PARTY is the present, but I wasn’t at all sure she would have any guests at her party. Luckily, she did. But I bought the gifts before I knew that would be the case. We now have a ‘birthday Poppy‘ (which is currently on sale but I paid $19.99) and a ‘birthday Branch‘ (currently on sale but I paid $14.99) and a Troll Tree ($29.99). The colorful wrapping paper was $2.99.

 

RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,678.45

*There are plenty of free apps that turn pictures into coloring pages but we found the best luck with one that cost $4.99. Your mileage may vary. Try the free ones first, for sure.

Three is a magic number.

Does anyone remember that compilation from The Nineties that was a bunch of random bands reworking songs from Schoolhouse Rock? Evan Dando sang about the number zero and Skee-Lo and Mr. Morton schooled us all on verbs. I listened to that thing on repeat for a few years, as the older kids were tiny peanuts and cars had CD players and Spotify didn’t exist and parents were still in charge of the music in the car. Remember that?

I TOTALLY remember my mom and dad forcing me to listen to R.E.M. and Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones when all I wanted to listen to was Tiffany and Debbie Gibson and Cyndi Lauper and GAWD MOM WHY ARE YOUR RUINING MY LIFE.

Obviously I now love The Rolling Stones and R.E.M. and would pay actual real live dollars to avoid listening to Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. I still have much love for Cyndi, though, and so does Babystar though she prefers when Justin Timberlake AKA Branch sings True Colors because it makes all the Trolls happy again as well it should because it is an amazing song and what are we talking about?

Oh. Right. Schoolhouse Rock. That album was/IS the bomb diggity.

I found it! This one!! (If you click on it you can find out all the other artists but it’s also an affiliate link so choose your own choice and live your own truth. ❤ )

The song that is stuck in my head this week is Three is a Magic Number — the Blind Melon version. Babystar turns three today, and I think it really might be magic.

(You guys I think the elusive potty training switch has been flipped but I don’t want to jinx it but OMG YAAYAYYYAYAYAYYYYY!!!)

And sometimes she plays by herself and shares her things and she legit just offered me a fruit snack out of the blue to be kind and if you knew how much this child loves fruit snacks you would know that she is becoming VERY mature.* Three really is a magic number, y’all.

Also, I have just the BEST birthday party theme this year. Babystar is all in AND it is the easiest thing in the world. I’ll take lots of pictures today and share how to recreate this incredibly genius total cop-out tomorrow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABYSTAR!!

fairy wings

These pictures were from the Festival of Fae last weekend which was free but the wings were $5 and the fairie quest (that she abandoned two minutes in to go race unicorns instead — a decision I fully supported) was another $5. Also we got ice cream and hers was $4.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,479.40

*Ok, so the fruit snack was in the shape of a carrot and she has recently declared a War on Carrots even though it tasted like an orange gummy bear but whatever. SHARING.

Who wears short shorts?

We wear short shorts. If you dare wear short shorts, hit the Target Cat & Jack sale for short shorts.

Ok, I’m older than most #toddlermoms, but does anyone remember those Nair commercials? They were on before I even understood what Nair was, and it was apparently off the market before I needed to know. (Yeah, I know, shaving is a silly Western Beauty Ideal but I like having smooth legs. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed a magic chemical cream that probably burned like hell removing the hair from my legs, but I never even got the chance to find out.)

Anyway, the actual answer is Hooters Girls and toddlers. THAT’S who wears short shorts. And me when I’m at home on the farm. Or at the beach over my bathing suit.

I digress.

The temperature in Boulder, Colorado was over 85 degrees for TWO days in a row and silly me, I thought summer was here. It was Memorial Day weekend and everything — right on time.

I rushed out to Target (just kidding, I was already there because I live there) and bought some cute shorts for Babystar. This pair ($5.32) and this pair ($3.80) and this pair ($3.80) and this pair which look like regular denim but feel like buttah ($7.60) and this jumper ($7.59) because I am weak and it is adorable all toddler clothes were 20% off on Cartwheel. Plus just look at this jumper and imagine a giant heart-eyes emoji wearing it because that would totally fit.

rainbow jumper looking at clouds.jpg

(Does anyone know how to work Cartwheel? I know I’m missing deals and I hate missing deals and someone said you have to scan everything before the cashier scans everything but what if you use self-checkout, do you have to scan everything in your phone and then on the beepy thing??? If you have explained this somewhere on the internet, please drop a link below. And if you have not explained this somewhere on the internet, could you please? Thank you!)

This was one of the miracle times when I actually figured out how to work Cartwheel and I got the discount!! YAY! Plus I got an additional 5% off by using my Target card. Yep, I got a Target card. It king of seems like a bad idea for me, doesn’t it? I agree. However, the credit limit is reasonable so I can’t lose track and I SAVE FIVE PERCENT off everything. Highly recommend. I especially love the extra time for returns because I never remember anything in time. Yes, this is for sure an ad but I’m telling you because I love you.

But like, I’m serious about needing that Cartwheel tutorial.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,465.40

Also I just found a box in the basement labeled ‘3T Summer’ and I’m pretty sure those aren’t mine so whoops.

PROTIP: look in the basement/attic/older cousin’s closet before you buy more stuff. But if you forget, forgive yourself, because I’m sure you were busy remembering what shape the apple slices are supposed to be this week and which plastic dinosaur is Lulu and which one is Peeko and which one is Teetee. Peeko is starting to get her (his?) feelings hurt, MOMMY!!

She calls them dandy-blows.

Toddler malapropisms are just the best, right?

Please share your favorites with the class in the comments.

Babystar says actually instead of accidentally. So we hear a lot of ‘I actually dropped my crayon!’ and ‘I actually bumped my leg!’ Like she simply cannot believe what is happening. It is adorable and hilarious.

She has also learned the phrase ‘pretty sure’ but she uses it to mean ‘absolutely sure’. As in, ‘I’m sure I will share my sand toys with the other children. I’m pretty sure.’

(But she is actually speaking the truth because no one can ever be sure AT ALL that Babystar will share her sand toys.)

Babystar calls dandelions dandy-blows once they have turned to seed.

Tbh her word makes much more sense and I’d like to petition to have the name officially changed. Who is in charge of naming flowers please?

dandyblow4

This H&M dress was $7.99. This picture is priceless.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,437.29

The Artist at Work.

Can I pretend my baby is a sea otter?

Hear me out.

Babystar is an artist. She is really feeling the modern art these days and is totally digging the whole minimalism-one-single-blue-line-on-a field-of yellow-construction-paper look. Or she may add a few circles. But not, like, the basic round circles of the bourgeois. Her circles don’t close. Or they loop around three or four times, expressing themselves.

One time she accidentally made a triangle.

I am sure she is making really interesting statements about society and the rate at which we dole out snacks. Or something.

Also, she can only work with broken crayons.

Once. She can use the broken crayon once but then never again.

She is almost certainly making really interesting artistic statements about society and our insistence that she wear sunscreen.

ANYWAY. This minimalist inclination of hers has got me going through paper like whoa. Paper doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Well, it kind of does, in a way, but you take my point.

While Babystar’s work isn’t great for a human, it is excellent for a sea otter. What I want here is permission to completely misrepresent her work as being done by a sea otter and then sell it on Etsy. I will even split the proceeds with an actual sea otter. Does anyone know a sea otter?

No? Ok, fine.

I bought the Ikea easel ($19.99) to try to stop the paper flow. You know the one: one side is a chalkboard and the other is dry erase.

Ikea easel

Thankfully, Babystar LOVES the chalk medium. She covers the entire chalkboard with a rainbow of colors. The easel distracts from the crayons and markers for at least ten whole minute every day. So I figure I’m saving thousands of trees.

Also purchased in the interest of supporting the arts: Ikea roll of paper ($9.98), Ikea table top paper holder ($7.99), chalk ($2.97), dry-erase pens ($5.98), smock that is already lost ($4.99), 96-pack of crayons ($4.99), drawing pads ($2.19×7), watercolor pad ($3.99), canvas ($24).

PROTIP: For amazing grandparent/godparent/whomever gifts, give the kid canvas after canvas but only TWO primary paint colors. And some of the colors in between. Like blue-purple-pink-red. Or yellow-orange-pink-red. You get it. Be on standby to change out the canvases like a toddler assembly line and voila: gifts for a year.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,429.30