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… More
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.
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
The girls and I took an impromptu road trip to Santa Fe. I wanted to see some more of the Mountain Time Zone, Princess Buttercup wasn’t doing anything else, and Babystar goes where mama goes.
Also, I had finally unpacked THE LAST BOX and I needed to gtfo. It was either leave all the stuff I just unpacked behind and start a new life in Mexico or take a small weekend escape. I made the responsible choice. But maybe not the best one tbh.
Our first stop was Dinosaur Ridge ($18) in Morrison, Colorado. Did you know that the first Stegosaurus skeleton was found there? And did you know that the Stegosaurus on Dinosaur Train is named MORRIS the Stegosaurus? Coincidence? Maybe.
If you have a little dinosaur lover (or a big dinosaur lover), go here now. Babystar touched dinosaur bones and climbed in dinosaur footprints and then dug for legit FOSSILS in a sandbox. She got to keep one as long as she buried the others. The friendly volunteers stock the sand with teeth, shells, and ammonites like trout in a lake and Babystar LOVED it. I mean, it was her two favorite things: dinosaurs and sand. She did not want to leave.
But we did finally leave, after buying her a new friend named Parasaurolophus ($6.99).
We then drove south. Guess what we found in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico between Denver and Santa Fe?!?!?! NOTHING! There are no people. There are only aliens.
Ok, there are some people but mostly there is otherworldly landscape. (I was driving so there aren’t any pictures but just imagine a place where aliens might choose to land because it feels most like home to them.) It was really quite beautiful, if a bit weird for these east coast girls aspiring to be mountain girls. I mean, we drove hundreds of miles without passing a Starbucks. And Princess Buttercup saw either a bear or a moose. (Her vision is not great.)
PROTIP: If you are so over momming that you need to G-E-T-O-U-T, but you of course have a toddler along for the ride, go to as many children’s museums as you can find. You can take a step back from your regular life, drink all the fancy coffee you can find, AND get mom-of-the-year points. Win-win-win.
We visited the Santa Fe Children’s Museum ($20). Highly recommend. The outside space is just as big as the indoor space. And BONUS – the water play feature was under construction as in NOT WORKING. (Yes, I consider that a good thing!)
We also visited Buell Children’s Museum ($16) in Pueblo, CO. This museum is big on crafts. If you love crafts, you’ll love this museum. There are other cool things too, like a toddler room with a sort of farm theme, a magnetic ‘fishing’ pond, a pirate ship, a room of giant blocks, and a dress up station. Though I understand they are switching the Pirate Theme soon so your mileage may vary. I suspect they will still have TONS OF CRAFTS. Like, they had a craft room bigger than our old townhouse AND they had craft stations every ten inches throughout the museum.
It was a pretty cheap road trip: we did a lot of just walking around and looking at stuff. We also mostly brought toddler-approved road snacks and shared our restaurant food (and free hotel breakfasts) with Babystar, but I did spend a little on food and ice cream: $6.99, $4.49, and $3.99. We also popped in to the Georgia O’Keefe museum and the Taos Pueblo but those were for me (and anyway she was free).
Oh, and I did buy her the Satin and Chenille Trolls ($14.99) on this trip because I am a sucker. And some apples ($2.99), because I am a REALLY good mom.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,329.09
Just kidding! We all know that I can’t stop won’t stop with the Target runs. And if I’m not ordering random things on Amazon at 2am, AM I EVEN LIVING?
But still. If I had a Time Machine right now this minute, I would hop back to my pregnancy, get out of bed early, and get myself to a consignment sale. WHY did I pay retail for so many things?!?
I’m certain there were consignment sales in Virginia. There must have been, right? I vaguely remember some Facebook posts about consignment sales, but they always seemed to happen at seven o clock in the morning.
7am people are not my people. My bad. 7am EASTERN STANDARD TIME people are not my people. Something about the Colorado sun (or the lack of black-out curtains or the lure of a quiet early morning farmhouse) has me waking up at six these days.
I cherish the ability to wash my face before my family starts asking me hard questions like do we have any pears. My coffee tastes better when I drink it before anyone else wakes up. I adore the sound of birds chirping in the morning sun.
I do NOT love the sound of the stupid robin that attacks his reflection in my bathroom window from sunrise to noon every single damn day. Has anyone effectively deterred a dumb bird?? Please advise.
Wait. What was I talking about?
Consignment sales. I love them. Colorado seems to love them. But there are Consignment Sale Rules to consider. Behold.
Consignment sale number one: the Just Between Friends Sale in Longmont, Colorado. This was a four-day sale and I went at noon on the third day. Like a freaking rookie. I bought a Radio Flyer wagon, a bunch of Fisher Price toys, an adorable unicorn sweatshirt (with a horn on the hood!!), a pair of leggings, and a Gymboree shirt. $110. Remember when I thought that was a good deal?
Consignment sale number two: the Boulder County Kids Sale, hosted by the Boulder County Moms of Multiples, and affectionately known as the ‘Twins Sale.’ This sale is open to the public for only one day. I did not buy an early shopping pass for $15 but I will next time. Someone bought an American Girl for TWO DOLLARS. I saw it with my own eyes. They were the first person in the door, of course. But still. I did shop as soon as I could, and I got some really cool things. And then I also came back to shop the first minute of the last hour, when many things were half price! All together, I spent $112.50 for a big-wheel-esqe tricycle, a stuffed dinosaur, a Stella doll, a Worry Eater stuffed monster, a Care Bear, a pink plastic bento box, a dinosaur Skip Hop punchbag, two reusable Skip Hop snack bags, a bunch of books, a Fisher Price airport, and some clothes.
I saw amazing deals on all kinds of baby stuff. Like, bouncy seats for ten bucks and pajamas for one dollar. Cloth diapers for two dollars. I almost cried.
So here are my CONSIGNMENT COMANDMENTS.
- Thou shall purchase the Early Bird pass. You just might score an American Girl for two dollars. I’m not bitter.
- Thou shall arrive early. Be that person waiting at the locked door with a cup of coffee and three shopping bags. Did I mention that you might find an American Girl for two dollars??
- Do a quick sweep through the toys and the ‘other’ section and scoop up anything that you might want to purchase. Then do a slower sweep through the books and clothes. Sort afterwards. (But put the stuff back pretty quickly because, come on, don’t be a jerk.)
- Come back at the sale’s end when prices are slashed. A Fisher Price airport that you don’t need for ten dollars becomes a much better deal at five dollars.
- If you know how to stop a robin from pecking at my window every single stupid morning, tell me. Please.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,234.15
It’s true. Moving suuuuuuucks.
I have a theory. Moving is so terrible that talking or thinking about a past move brings on a sort of PTSD situation. This is why no one tells you how bad it is. And so when you ask your friends and family and acquaintances for recommendations, no one really wants to think about that horrible time in their life. So they just pretend they didn’t hear you or avert their eyes and
walk run away in a state of avoidance.
I get it. I don’t want to talk about it either. But I think that’s how I ended up with the WORST MOVERS EVER and I was crying on moving day but only because the mean mover guy made me hang out in 40 degree weather with no coat for two hours while he told me AFTER LOADING ALL MY STUFF that it was going to cost about twice what I thought. Fuck that guy. (I mean, thank goodness my husband’s company paid for the move, but it was still awful. And they couldn’t fit Babystar’s playhouse. And I was cold and tired and hungry and he kept adding wrong and starting over and talking to someone on that stupid phone clipped to his ear and omg I’m having flashbacks.)
Ok. Forget it. Never use Long Distance Movers. Oh yeah, I’m linking to them so you know exactly who I think you should never ever use. Trust me on this one.
(Though the guys that moved us IN in Colorado were simply lovely. But they also contracted for United Movers so maybe use them instead.)
So, moving sucks. Colorado is AWESOME, you guys. FREAKING. AWESOME.
But moving still sucks. I am STILL not completely unpacked. And that’s not even counting all the boxes in the basement. There is still one box in my bedroom and a few hidden in closets throughout this farmhouse. I doubt I will ever truly finish. I give up.
I have totally been feeding Babystar this whole time. And we went some fun places too. We also went a lot of boring places so Babystar got some cool Patience Presents. And I bought more Cat & Jack clothes from Target because they are so darn cute. And I bought other stuff because I am a sleep-deprived sucker.
I have a pile of receipts and no time or desire to take pictures or think of clever titles for separate blog posts so I’m going to cheat and list a whole bunch of stuff here.
(You know, for the Smithsonian. Yep, that one. Babystar turns eighteen in 2033. Hey Smithsonian, hit me up then, k? K.)
- Princess Poppy pillowcase (for the bed she still won’t sleep in) $4.79
- Princess Poppy blanket (that she at least uses in her teepee) $9.59
- This adorable shirt because why is Target so cute!? $4.50
- This shirt for St. Patrick’s day $4.50
- Two more shirts and some leggings $5, $4.50, $5
- Princess Poppy hat that we lost the same day $0.90
- Brand new awesome stuffed Branch doll from thrift store $5
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book from thrift store $1
- heart shaped rock $6
- green rock from a random shop in downtown Boulder $2
- quartz crystal (yes, the kid loves rocks) $5
- Blue!! from eBay (that tag lasted twenty years outside of my house but twenty seconds inside of my house) $26.70
- 3-pack of Contigo water bottles from Costco $11.99
- Coffee and snacks and tip at Java Mama which is a cool coffeeshop with a playspace that I wish was closer to my house $12.43
- three sets of 4T pajamas from Costco that were marked $3.99 but I just noticed while looking at the receipt that I paid $7.99 each and I’m slightly annoyed although I knew that price was too good to be true
- dinosaur dig kits from the Target dollar aisles $3 (times three)
- four mall dinosaur rides, you know, those animal shaped ride on things in every mall in America $40
- four mall carousel rides $4
- another trip to Frolic, an indoor play place a bit too far from the house $9.86
- a trip with dad to the Denver Children’s Museum $26
- three crochet finger puppets from the grocery store line $2.99 (I didn’t know the price until they rang up and I was already feeling too defeated to try to put them back)
- m&m tee shirt and m&m’s from dad’s trip to NY $29.65
- Aldi wipes $3.49 times four because I made my son bring back a bunch from the east coast in February because Aldi wipes 4 lyfe and now anyone that visits me from the east coast needs to please bring me Aldi wipes because I miss them so much ok thanks
- Other wipes $3.79, $3.49, $4.99, $6.99
- Diapers $14.99, $7.99, $21.99, $21.99, $14.99, $14.99
- laundry detergent (she shares with us obvs) $4 per month so $16 through April
- Seventh Generation Coconut care baby wash $7.99
- Honest bubble bath (that she asked for but hates) $10.79
- Babyganics bath wash $8.99
- bathtub crayons $2.99
- dinosaur egg bath fizz thingy that she hates $1.49, $1.49
- January food $159.42
- February food $144.06
- March food $142.24
- April food $146.94 (Hit me up if you want the full list. I’m talking to you, Smithsonian. Also, I see your kid’s meal price jumps, Chick-fil-A.)
RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,011.65
(And now, hopefully, back to our regularly scheduled sass.)
I have a very serious question.
HOW DID THE TINIEST PERSON IN THE FAMILY TAKE OVER THIS WHOLE HOUSE???
Ok, for example, look at this dining room. There is a tiny dining table in the tiny corner and the rest of the room is a rocking horse and ride on horse and a bunch of blank space because Babystar likes to RUN.
Please also notice the living room. This ENTIRE AREA is dedicated to a teepee fort for Babystar. And the window seat holds her adorable toddler books. Including the new box of Baby Lit board books that I bought her from Costco ($15.99) thirty percent because I thought she would like them and seventy percent because if Babystar is going to take over the house, then her things should at least be cute. (All I read are children’s books. HOW ON EARTH do other parents read books?!? Genuinely asking. I keep a book in the bathroom and I read one chapter per bath so I will likely finish it by my birthday. In September.) Oh! That adorable tiny wooden bookshelf is from Ikea ($24.99) and it’s perfect for toddler sized books.
That window seat is actually pretty cool. It holds books and a couple of Melissa & Doug puzzles. One puzzle set is the really cool one she played with last fall with her cousins. I finally found it (on CLEARANCE at Target for $8.98) and Babystar LOVES it. I think it is the perfect started puzzle for kids, because you just match the shapes to create a picture. You don’t actually have to fit one particular piece into one particular place. Genius. The other puzzle was given to us by our only Colorado friend (so far). Babystar gets to drive the vehicles around the puzzle path to match them to their homes. I mean it: Melissa and Doug are both GENIUSES.
Over here we have the toy box corner. That toy box ($42) is FULL and it’s not even her only toy box. It’s her living room toy box. I don’t have room in this giant fucking farmhouse for a desk which I really need but we have a DOWNSTAIRS TOY BOX.
And do you even see this freaking train table?!? It is taking up some prime real estate in the living room just so Babystar can have a place to play dinosaurs with her rocks. Oh, and she plays trains sometimes too. Sometimes the Trolls ride the trains. Ok, it really does make her happy. And it was FREE thanks to an awesome mama on an awesome Boulder mama Facebook page.
We shoved the couches and lamps and end tables into the other corner over there and you better believe she STILL LEAVES HER TOYS ALL OVER THE COUCHES. Dude. What.
Also one of those ottomans is full of papers that really belong in a desk. Help. Me.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,955.75