Pasta Snakes.

When my older children were toddlers (back in the Twentieth Century), I fed them Gorilla Bars. They LOVED Gorilla Bars. Gorilla Bars are granola bars with an adorable toddler pronunciation. And they have stayed ‘Gorilla Bars’ in our family ever since.

Babystar loves penne pasta. And snakes. And once when she was particularly cranky at dinner, the Teenager distracted her by having her penne pasta hiss like a snake. And now they are Pasta Snakes. Probably forever.

pasta snakes

Do you have any unusual names for foods in your family? Mispronunciations that stuck around long past Toddlerhood?

Below is the food we purchased in August SPECIFICALLY for Babystar. So far, I’ve been listing the foods that I bought with Babystar in mind. Although she does share with the rest of the family. And we share with her. She still isn’t eating more than a few bites of my portions. I will have to adjust this food calculating method eventually, but it seems to be working for now.

  • Turkey pepperoni $2.19, $2.19
  • Penguin crackers $1.59, $1.59, $1.59
  • Bananas $0.89, $1.23, $0.95
  • Strawberries $1.29, $1.29, $2.99, $3.39
  • Blueberries $1.99, $2.99
  • Apples $3.99, $3.99
  • Pears $3.99
  • Fruit roll-ups $1.49
  • Honest grape juice for popsicles $3.99
  • Aldi organic cheese puffs $1.99, $1.99
  • Frozen pizza $2.69, $2.69, $2.69, $2.69, $2.69, $2.69
  • Ice cream minis $1.39 x16 (She had HFM disease this month.)
  • Baskin-Robbins $2.59
  • Friday’s kids meal $4.99
  • Pizza slice $3.00, $3.00
  • Peter Chang’s spring rolls and fried rice $3.50, $3.50
  • French fries at the airport $3.50
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal $2.99, $2.99
  • Chick-fil-A kid’s meal $3.29, $3.29, $3.29
  • Insomnia m&m cookie $1.70
  • Dairy Godmother snickerdoodle cookie $0.95

ice cream

Also every month.

  • Laundry detergent $8.47
  • Storage unit $127
  • Diapers $4.99, $4.99, $4.99, $4.99, $20.89, $14.24  (I have basically abandoned the cloth again. Bad mama.)
  • Wipes $7.99, $4.99

 

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,963.61

WHAT IS YOUR WEIRDEST ‘FAMILY WORD’, THAT EVERYONE IN YOUR HOUSE UNDERSTANDS, BUT WOULD CONFUSE THE HECK OUT OF OUTSIDERS?

 

 

 

 

Baby Bento.

*Sponsored post.*

Remember when bento boxes got SUUUUUPER trendy in the States a few months ago? It was right between Mason Jar salads and DIY Instant Ramen. I think we’re doing Grain Bowls now, right? Or is it still kombucha?

ANYWAY.

I never got a super cool bento box, but I really wanted one. So I was SUPER EXCITED to get the innobaby Keeping’ SMART Double Insulated Stainless Divided Snackbox at 50% off to review. It’s basically a baby bento box. How cute is this?!?

innobaby bento open with cheese

The Keepin’ SMART Stainless Divided Snackboxes come in two sizes, 11 ounce and 15 ounce. The 11 ounce retails for $12.99. I chose the 11 ounce size and it is kind of perfect for Babystar’s 2yo hands. (I paid $6.49 plus $4.16 shipping for a total of $10.65.)

bento on bench

We have had the innobaby Snackbox for almost a week now and brought it along on a few outings. The strawberries and cheese stayed nice and chilled while we waited outside in the hot August weather for almost two hours. The waffles and strawberries (not pictured) stayed separated during a two-hour car ride. The strawberries and graham crackers did not spill during a stroll to the park.

(I don’t know if you can tell, but Babystar REALLY likes strawberries. Both in her mouth and on her eyes.)

bento in stroller

For size reference, the 11 ounce innobaby Keepin’ SMART Double Insulated Stainless Divided Snackbox above held five graham cracker halves and five sliced medium size strawberries. The divider was moved to one of the side positions.

The metal divider is a bit of a mystery to me. There are ostensibly three positions. Let’s call them A, B, and C. Position B is dead center, to divide the container in half. And there are two more, A and C, each on either side of the center slot B. The container is a three dimensional rectangle that you can turn upside down, so A and C are identical. It would make more sense to me, design-wise, if position A was dead center and B and C were on the same side. Does this make sense? Am I overthinking my ninth-grade geometry?

 

I love the size of the 11 ounce Keepin’ SMART Divided Snackbox. It is perfect for the ToddlerMonster to manage on her own. I love that the divider is removable and repositionable. I love that the entire thing comes apart for easy cleaning. And I really love that it is dishwasher safe. I MOSTLY love that the stainless steel keeps the strawberries chilled for longer than our other plastic containers. Especially if you pack them the night before (or even just put the stainless steel section in the refrigerator to chill overnight).

I wish the 11 ounce size came in the same cute printed patterns that the 15 ounce size did. Though I’m sure that if I wait five more minutes, the ToddlerMonster will decorate it with stickers.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,631.52

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SNACK CONTAINER FOR HOME OR ON-THE-GO?

 

The Wheels on the Bus Go YUM YUM YUM.

*Sponsored post.*


I received a 50% discount on the Innobaby Din Din Smart Stainless Mealtime Set in exchange for my honest opinions. With shipping, I paid $33.71. The retail price for the set is $49.99. 

And dude, I was SO EXCITED, because I have wanted to try one of these Innobaby Bus Platters since I saw the Innobaby booth at MommyCon DC last year. When I got the email to apply to become a Brand Ambassador, I was like, YES PLEASE. Pick me! Pick me!

They totally did.

I fell in love with these platters at first sight because they are 1) freaking adorable and 2) stainless steel and 3) DIVIDED plates because you never know when a toddlers food is allowed to touch other food and 4) they have a lid that keeps the compartments separated. Even if you shake it upside down which I definitely did.

I filled each compartment with normal everyday ToddlerMonster foods: juicy sliced clementines, chopped strawberries, SHREDDED cheese, cut up chicken, and crispy peas. I sealed the top and turned it upside down a few times, just as a test. When I removed the lid, everything was still in its original compartment. Even every bit of the shredded cheese, which I admit I only added to really test the bus. (I usually give her sliced cheese because shredded cheese is so messy. But she LOVES shredded cheese probably precisely because it’s so messy.)


Babystar loves her new ‘bus plate’. She has only had it a week but asks for it by name. She tries food from the bus that she doesn’t normally try. I think the smaller sections are perfect for introducing new foods. And since they are completely separated, they don’t touch her favorite foods so maybe they are less threatening?

She also really likes the cup and utensils that come in the Din Din Smart Stainless Mealtime Set. The cup has a cool handle, and she calls it her ‘coffee cup,’ which is just adorable. The utensils are actually metal but with a chunky plastic handle, and I notice that she uses her fork more when she is using this metal one. It must work better at stabbing her foods than her plastic forks. I wouldn’t give the metal fork a baby that was just learning about forks, though. For safety and all that jazz.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,394.91

 

My Milkshake Brings all the Glares to the Park.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week AND the beginning of National Breastfeeding Month. I guess it makes sense to double down on this one. 

Ahhh, breastfeeding. The sweet nourishment of mother’s milk to the quietly nursing angelic baby barely visible from underneath the stylish and tasteful blanket draped gently over the modest lady’s shoulder.

FUCK THAT NOISE.

I am nursing a two year old ToddlerMonster. Well, not currently, because there is no way I could type and nurse a toddler. Or a baby. Or a newborn. Well, maybe I could type and nurse a newborn, if I was typing on my phone. Which is a big NO-NO. 

(Never look at your phone while feeding your baby. Only look at your baby. In fact, never look at your phone or anything other than your baby ever or your baby will grow up to hate you. But don’t spoil your baby. But also, it is impossible to spoil your baby.)

When I was breastfeeding my newborn, a small number of horrible people glared at me for not covering myself. The baby was small and I was not. Her head was still smaller than ONE of my breasts. But it was summer and newborns like to eat constantly. And like most people, my newborn baby did not like anything covering her face while she ate. Even if she did, I had to hold her and hold her neck so she didn’t die and how on earth would I have kept a cover on a wiggly newborn baby? Plus, I was postnatal and hormonal and BURNING UP and I didn’t want any more layers on myself, either. 

Luckily I was mostly too tired to care about the glares. And what would I have done about it, anyway? In hindsight, I maybe should have carried around World Health Organization brochures or something, but honestly, it’s not like I was going to stop feeding my baby and walk over to someone to confront them for giving me a nasty look. But it did make me feel awful, so thanks, jerks.

Ok, to be fair, MOST of the people I encountered either averted their eyes or gave me a knowing smile or even told me that I was doing a great thing. 

At least, that was true while the little nurseling was still a LITTLE nurseling.

Last year, my older baby was still nursing frequently, and we were out in the world much more often. Strangers often asked her age and told me that I would stop nursing once she got teeth.

EVEN THOUGH OUR DOCTORS TELL US THAT BABIES SHOULD NOT HAVE COW’S MILK UNTIL AT LEAST AGE ONE. Was I supposed to switch my ten month old to formula so strangers could feel more comfortable being around us?

Next came the jokes about how I should stop before she could ask for it. First of all, that doesn’t even make sense. I was so HAPPY when she could ask me for milk. I taught her the sign for milk so that she could tell me what she needed even before she could say the word. Because do you know what sucks? Trying to figure out why a crying baby is crying TOTALLY SUCKS.

Now that my toddler is two, she not only asks for milk but demands it. Sometimes (often) while simultaneously trying to pull my shirt up, because she knows where mommy keeps the milk. I usually tell her that she can have milk when we get home, but if she has fallen on the playground or been trampled in the soft play room, she gets her milk right away. Because I am her mother and mama’s milk comforts her. She gets hugs and kisses and sometimes milk and that is fine so stop glaring at us or shielding your four-year-old son’s eyes because that makes YOU the weird one, by the way. 

Last spring, as I nursed my almost two-year-old in the Lobby of Somewhere, a mother that I had never met before told me that I was doing a good job. She said my toddler looked so natural straddling my lap and nursing and she could tell that we were old pros. And then she called me a good mom. I know that the other judgmental strangers shouldn’t bother me but they do, so I am very thankful for that woman. I think of her whenever I face negativity for nursing my toddler; I think of her often.

I have heard and read that I am selfish and narcissistic, that I am ruining my toddler emotionally, and even that I am confusing her sexually.

SERIOUSLY?

I have some questions for the Haters: How would you like it if I made disgusting faces at your child when he was sucking his thumb? How about if I said very loudly, right next to your child, ‘little girls shouldn’t eat apples because only babies eat apples’? Or maybe I should use my sweetest voice to directly tell your two year old that he is too big to wear diapers and he should be a big boy and leave mommy alone. 

It’s the same thing.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,361.20 (imagine if I was also buying formula!)

HEY BREASTFEEDING MAMAS: Have you encountered any static for nursing your little one? If so, how do you handle it? I don’t really want to be confrontational; I just want to feel comfortable feeding my child in the world.

July is for Ice Cream and Popsicles.

Babystar is ALL ABOUT POPSICLES. We bought the Popsicle brand (that’s a brand, right?) sugar-free version but then she was eating SO MANY of them that we were like, hold up, aspartame and food dyes are bad, right? (My husband pointed this out and I was a proud Crunchy Mama and also an embarrassed Crunchy Mama because I should have thought of this myself. But alas, I am forever a TIRED Crunchy Mama so I immediately forgave myself and then forgot what I forgave myself for.)

**Blogger’s Note: I learned at Wordcamp DC that you should avoid run-on sentences for better SEO so basically I’m fucked because run-on sentences are totally my bae. And so is (ironic) slang which is another SEO no-no. Um, whoops?

What was I talking about? Was it sleep? It is usually sleep. Oh! Popsicles.

I had previously purchased a pack of popsicle molds at Ikea and I had a bunch of Honest juice boxes left over from Babystar’s birthday party so I filled the popsicles molds with juice and crossed my fingers that she would like them. SHE LOVED THEM. And these are way better for her than the store-bought popsicles. I could make them even healthier by adding vegetable juices but I’m a bit too lazy for all that. I like having that option, though. I can pretend to be a much better mother than I actually am.

 

ALSO: One Honest juice box fills THREE Ikea size popsicle molds and a pack of forty juice boxes at Costco is $9.99 so these babies are less than nine cents each. I let Babystar have as many of these homemade popsicles as she wants, because she only ever drinks water otherwise. If she eats six popsicles in a day (honestly about average) but only eats half of each popsicle (her usual M.O.), she’s basically had one juice box. I am completely fine with that.

Since Babystar usually only eats about half of one before it is a drippy mess, we taught her to put the popsicle stick in the sink when she is finished. (Yay for independent toddlers!) Of course, the grown-ups in the house have to check the garbage disposal for the popsicle sticks and we have failed more than once. I was at Ikea shopping for Dorm Essential (SOB!) last week so I bought three more packs of the popsicle molds (only $1.99 now!) so that we never ever ever run out of popsicles.

We also bought some more food for Babystar in July. Though she really isn’t eating that much right now. And we rolled into July with a surplus (due to lots of family visiting).

  • Strawberries $3, $3, $1.29, $1.29, $1.29
  • Blueberries $3.99, $1.99, $3.12
  • Popsicles $3 (before the switch)
  • Apples $4.99, $3.99, $3.99
  • Honest juice boxes at Costco $9.99
  • Granola bars $1.99
  • Frozen french fries (we bought more but we share so only one on her tally) $3.59
  • Animal crackers $1.49, $1.49
  • Penguin crackers $1.49, $1.49, $1.49, $1.49
  • Pasta Snakes (Babystar’s name for penne) $1.39
  • Sea bass (spoiled baby) $12
  • Cod $4.50
  • Rotisserie chicken (half) $2.50
  • Tots $3, $1.65, $1.65
  • Haagen-Daas ice cream on a stick $3
  • Chick-fil-A kids meal $3.39, $3.39, $3.39, $3.39
  • McDonalds kids meal $2.99, $2.99
  • Cracker Barrel kids meal $4.99
  • La Cantina kids quesadilla $5.50
  • Pizza at food court $3.69
  • Haagen-Diaz cone with sprinkles (yes she had to have the sprinkle cone) $6.83
  • Peter Chang’s Spring Rolls and fried rice $3.50, $3.50, $3.50
  • Estimated overtipping for dining out with a toddler $15 (five meals out)

I’m also going to add in some boring things that do not deserve their own blog post but we totally bought so I need to add into the total somewhere and here is as good as anywhere.

  • Baby nail clippers two-pack (I briefly lost hers but of course I found them again) $4.55
  • Nook membership for May/June/July $360 ($120 per month and we love it; Nook is not boring but constantly posting about the monthly fee is boring. And they are discontinuing the monthly membership option as of today, which makes me sad but might mean cooler things are coming. We shall see.)
  • The train at Tyson’s Mall which is NOT boring but I forgot to post about it $10, $11 (They either charge more on weekends or less with cash but I need to investigate this discrepancy.)
  • White paper pads from Target $2.19 (x6).  Babystar looooves coloring so I have a special drawer for her with crayons and paper so she can color when the inspiration strikes which is every single second.
  • Giant pack of AA batteries from Costco $14.99. I realize that most of these batteries go into Babystar’s toys. (Toys that were gifts because what parent purchased battery-operated toys ON PURPOSE?)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,336.21 

Another Food Post.

I dread these necessary-for-accuracy-but-totally-boring food posts.

The following is a list of food purchased specifically for the ToddlerMonster in June. She does eat OTHER food. In fact, the following is mostly a list of foods offered to and refused by the ToddlerMonster. (Except the fish. We don’t buy extra steak or chicken for her but we buy extra fish because she eats so much fish.)

  • penguin crackers $1.49, $1.49, $1.49
  • frozen pizza $2.29, $3.79
  • frozen french fries $1.89
  • blueberries $1.79, $1.79, $4.99, $3.99, $3.79
  • string cheese $1.79, $1.79
  • strawberries $1.29, $1.29 (Aldi price!!)
  • freeze dried strawberries $1.29
  • freeze dried bananas $1.29
  • oatmeal cereal bar cookies $1.49, $1.49
  • organic rainbow baby carrots $1.69
  • animal cookies $1.29
  • pineapple bits $0.89
  • m&m’s $1
  • peaches $2.98
  • melon slices $2.99
  • bananas $1.74, $1.48, $0.87
  • apples $3.99, $4.99
  • Trader Joe’s mac & cheese $2.99, $2.99, $2.99
  • Trader Joe’s apple bars $1.99, $1.99
  • Trader Joe’s blueberry bars $1.99
  • Trader Joe’s strawberry bars $1.99
  • SO MANY POPSICLES $4.69, $469, $4.69, $4.69
  • eggs $4.99
  • salmon $8
  • sea bass $6
  • Caesar salad $4.99
  • Kid’s pasta at Busboys and Poets $6
  • side of fries at Busboys and Poets $5
  • Angelico Pizzeria cheese slice $3, $3, $3
  • Chik-fil-A kids meal $3.39, $3.75, $3.39
  • Kid’s chicken and fries at Boardwalk Fries $4.99
  • french fries at Five Guys $4.19
  • kids meal at McDonalds $2.99, $2.99
  • spring rolls at T.H.A.I. $5.99
  • spring rolls and fried rice at Peter Changs $2.50
  • Robek’s smoothie $4.99, $4.99, $4.99
  • kleenex in a Moana box $1.99*


Not on the list because it is free: mama’s milk.

I have no idea what is up with this new nursing all day, erry day thing that she has going on now. Maybe she’s trying to kick it retro?

Babystar was basically day-weaned, and then the two year molars showed up and everything changed. She wants milk ALL OF THE TIME. I was using the ‘don’t ask, don’t offer’ method of gentle weaning, but apparently just my existence in the world is a reminder that I have milk. And that she wants the milk nownownow.

MAYDAY MAYDAY: To those of you out there that successfully weaned a toddler with little to no tears, HOW did you do it? I have exactly zero ideas. I have googled. I have asked friends. I have googled some more. I have asked the doctor. I got nothing. Please help.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $18,852.64

*Yes, I know that this isn’t food but it was purchased at the grocery store and once she saw it, she HAD TO HAVE IT, and we didn’t feel like fighting that particular battle. Kleenex is at least useful. It could have been, like, Moana paper plates or something else that we really don’t use at home.

 

 

 

 

 

Baby’s Gotta Eat.

I have no idea how to make these posts more interesting. 

Once again, I fed the baby. A+ parenting, I know.

  • Trader Joe’s Mac & cheese $2.99, $2.99, $2.99
  • Trader Joe’s Apple bars $1.99, $1.99
  • TJ’s Blueberry bars $1.99
  • Multigrain Cheerios $5.49
  • Eggs $3.99
  • Salmon $4.00
  • Mahimahi $3.00
  • Ice cream minis $1.49, $1.49, $1.49
  • Cookies (she wanted them but I ate them whoops) $2.89
  • Blueberries $2.99, $2.99, $2.99, $2.99, $3.99, $2.99
  • Strawberries $1.50, $3.00
  • Pineapple $2.99, $1.86
  • Bananas $1.11
  • Watermelon $4.99
  • TJ’s French fries $2.99
  • Robek’s small smoothie $4.99, $4.99
  • Starbucks fruit cup $2.99
  • Chick-fil-A kids meal $3.75, $3.75, $3.25, $3.25
  • Wendy’s French fries $1.00
  • m&m’s $0.99

MAYDAY MAYDAY: How do I get my toddler to eat vegetables? I put them on her plate all the time. Sometimes she takes a bite or two. But not often. I am trying to remember the whole ‘my job is to offer the food and her job is to eat it’ thing. She loved Brussels sprouts red pepper and spinich purees as a baby. What gives??

Have I broken the baby somehow?

RAISING BABYSTAR: $17,877.65

April Showers Bring May Hem.

Or something like that, right?

Are you interested in a peek behind the blogging curtain? I usually post about things purchased for Babystar about a week (or two) after we’ve actually purchased said things.  I keep a running list on a Note on my beloved iPhone so that I don’t forget anything. (Well, three lists. One for food and one upcoming holidays and one for everything else.) On Sunday mornings, my darling pious Husband takes Babystar to play in the church nursery while I drink coffee in bed with my laptop. I look at the Notepad, figure out groupings that make sense, write a post or three, and schedule them to post throughout the following week.

Easy peasy, right?

Somehow, April did not go so smoothly. There is even an EXTRA Sunday in April; that’s right, this was a five Sunday month. And I still somehow lost most of those precious mornings to a sick baby or a bunny holiday or something else understandable but STILL.

I did not, however, forget to buy things for the baby. In the interest of accuracy and my sanity, I’m going to simply copy and paste. I’ll add explainations/information/sarcasm in blue. (TBH sarcasm comes in all colors here.) And then do some math, I suppose.

Airplane ticket subsidize $120 Babystar and I flew to Myrtle Beach for four days visiting Grammy and Grampy (the in-laws). My lovely MIL (over)paid for the ticket but we upgraded to first class so $120 was out of our bank account. Worth it.

Suitcase 39.99 omg y’all it has stars and she LOVES it

IMG_2132

Water at CLT 3.19 I accidentally put her sippy cup in the checked bag and had to buy a sports bottle-type water bottle at our connection. How do you teach a kid to drink from a regular water bottle? Please advise.

Nook $120 We re-nooked. That place is the bomb dot com.

Target diapers $4.99 x 10 ok, ok, I KNOW, but April was really hard, ok? I did not need diaper laundry on top of everything else. I know I COULD have done it but I really didn’t want to. Mea culpa, Mother Earth.

Chew Tylenol 5.95 She hates these btw.

Liquid Motrin 6.39 She was sick with a high fever for several days after Myrtle Beach. See? April was HARD.

Chew ibuprofen 3.94 She hates these too.

Infant Tylenol $6.99 She hates this too, but can be tricked. Poor baby.

Moana 12.99 We have already watched it, NO JOKE, over twenty times. Don’t tell anyone but I also love it. Babystar signs ‘help’ and says ‘help turtle’ at the beginning when Moana helps the turtle. And she says ‘uh-oh heart’ many times throughout the movie but I don’t want to spoil it for you. But if you have seen it, Babystar slays my heart EVERY TIME because she calls Te Fiti ‘mama’ and I die. Every single time.

$10 bees 2.65 socks Busy Bees is only $10 if you come after 4. Also I was wearing my Birks (#hippiemama) and didn’t have socks in the bag (even though I almost ALWAYS have a spare pair just in case) so I had to buy some. They are super fancy.

IMG_4533

Safety latch 4.31 I bought a pack of latches. Again. I still have not installed a single one. But I did move all of the glass to the top cabinets. So, you know, progress.

Cat and jack rocket shirt 4.50 It’s adorable and she loves it.

Bloom wipes 7.99 The Water Wipes are a big NOPE. Sadly. We are trying some others.

Target wipes 4.39 Cheap but I opened the Bloom ones first so I don’t know how well they work. I’ll let you know the verdict on wipes soon. Pinky swear.

Cat and Jack shirts $4 x2 A dinosaur one that she picked and the infamous ‘strong like mom’ because i’m so #basic.

Also here’s the April food and now I’m REALLY caught up. Babystar ate and GREW so much this month. 

  • frozen pizza $3 x3
  • sea bass $7.50 x2 (she fancy)
  • strawberries $4.49, 3.99
  • watermelon $2.48, 4.54, 3.49, 6.99
  • clementines $2.99, 3.99, 2.99, 2.99, 2.99 (she’s addicted yo)
  • bag of apples $3.99, 6.99, 3.99
  • ice cream cup $1.49 x3
  • carrots $1.49
  • frozen waffles $3.59
  • cheerios $1.97
  • blueberries $3.59 x3
  • string cheese $4.99
  • chocolate chip cookies with m&m’s $2.99 (one at a time, usually, shhhhhh)
  • organic eggs $5.49
  • ice cream mini cup $1.29
  • popsicles $4.99 (did I mention she is also teething?)
  • $3 slice of cheese pizza next door to Nook x5 (so convenient)
  • Chick-fil-A 4-piece nugget meal $3.75 x4
  • Burger King kid’s meal (I told you it was a hard month) $4.89
  • McDonald’s kid’s meal (props to them for giving TINY fries AND sliced apples) $2.99
  • Harris Teeter salad bar lunch, mostly fruit $2.28
  • T.G.I.Friday’s pasta kids meal plus tip about $9
  • Longhorn mac & cheese kids meal plus tip about $8

Oh, and we went to Rise + Rhyme which is a cool local kid’s concert with a $5 cover charge that serves full breakfast. The coffee (it’s at 9:30AM what!) and breakfast that I shared was $24.25 with tip. (I gave her ALL of my pineapple and blueberries but kept most of the sweet potato pancakes for myself. April was HARD Y’ALL.) It all goes on her tab though, because I would not have gone to see Culture Queen without Babystar. Even though I love her and yes, we ARE all towers of royal power. She has no idea how much I needed that song that morning. I love you, Culture Queen.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,902.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Plates.

I know, I know. Nobody asked me.  <raises hand>  But I’m going to share with the class anyway.

Design

Babystar uses four different types of plates. I did not research ALL OF THE PLATES (like I did with strollers and that was hell) so there may be better options out there. Pretty please let me know in the comments if you have any of these and like/hate/feel nothing about them. Or if you have a favorite that I have not listed.

ezpz mini mat

IMG_8314

LOVE

  • It fits on our Ikea high chair tray.
  • It is perfect on the living room side table or restaurant table because it does not slide easily.
  • The divided tray encourages Babystar to eat a variety of foods.
  • It’s silicon, so it’s BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free.
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack).
  • It’s freaking adorable!
  • The extra lip around the food sections is a great place to put tiny bites from my plate that she may or may not try. But she does not get upset about them because they are not (apparently) technically in her food areas.

SIDE-EYE

  • It is really easy to move around on the tray or table. It does NOT suction. It is well designed but most kids are smart enough to pick it up if that is their goal.
  • Babystar does like to move her plates from room to room because she takes ninety minutes to finish a meal. These plates are rubbery so very difficult for her to carry without spilling. (I get that this is only an issue for some kids.)
  • These plates are quite expensive. If you want several different colors or have more than one kid, you are spending some serious dough.

VERDICT

  • I like the two we own (one was a gift at a MommyCon session). I also have one of the bowls, which does not fit on the Ikea high chair tray but is great for art supplies. I definitely LOVED these plates a bunch when Babystar was just learning to eat and would get frustrated when her plate or bowl moved around unintentionally. My advice: get one or two for when your baby is first learning to eat. Once he or she can pick up the plate, it’s time to teach them not to do that anyway. I like it as a ‘training plate’. And then as a travel plate.

 

Re-Play Divided Plate

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LOVE

  • Re-Play is a great company that I kind of want to make out with. Their products are made from recycled milk jugs. In America. And did you hear the part about RECYCLED MILK JUGS??
  • BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free.
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack).
  • The sections on the divided plates are deep enough to put actual food in, even runny stuff, like fried eggs or oatmeal or even, EVEN, cereal with milk. Whoa.
  • The divided sections also encourage her to eat a variety or foods. She NEEDS something different in each section. (So it also encourages ME to be a good mama and balance her meals. Thanks, fam.)
  • So far they have proven indestructible but I have not tried them on the bottom rack of the dishwasher (dun dun dunnnnnn). Which is great because Babystar likes to carry her plates around these days. (I really cannot figure out why she needs a change of scenery mid-meal.)
  • There are so many pretteeee colors from which to choose!
  • They are very affordable! I linked the plates from Abby’s Lane above because that online shop offers free shipping, and sells the plates individually for $3.25 each, in case you want to try one. You can buy direct from Re-Play here, but they sell the plates in 2-packs for $5.99. The catch is that you have to spend $79 for free shipping, and I hate that rule. I hate most rules tbh.

SIDE-EYE

  • Ahem. I must spend $79 for free shipping on the Re-Play website? AND their shipping is expensive. No, thank you.

VERDICT

  • Yes, please. We love these. But beware: if you have a plate thrower (opa!), these plates are irresistibly light and frisbee-esque. However, they aren’t going to break so there’s that.

 

IKEA KALAS Plate

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LOVE

  • These plates are SO affordable! Six for $2.49!! I bought a few packs and I use them for everything: play date snacks, stuffed animal birthday parties, and tossing in the diaper bag for picnics. I have lost a few along the way and I DON’T EVEN CARE.
  • The are BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free.
  • They are dishwasher safe.
  • They are kind of the perfect size.

SIDE-EYE

  • The plates are not divided, and Ikea does not offer a divided plate option. Sometimes that is fine. Other times it is less fine. The problem is that Babystar (being a typical toddler) never really gives me a heads up.
  • The plates are almost too light. I like their weightlessness when I am carrying them in Babystar’s bag, but they do tend to get swiped onto the floor a little too easily.
  • They are available online but shipping is $10, so you have to either live near an Ikea or know someone who does. Or buy a whole bunch of stuff from Ikea to make it worth it which would definitely be my preference. Go check out their pillows. I’ll wait. (I definitely sent several packs of the KALAS bowls to my nephew in another state whenever someone was headed that way.)

VERDICT

  • Worth having on hand, even if you don’t have kids. I totally owned some before Babystar was born for visiting children. The price is amazing. The product is good enough.

 

Regular Dinner Plates

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LOVE

  • I’m pretty sure she feels like such a BIG GIRL when her plate matches mommy’s (and everyone else’s if it’s dinnertime).
  • This is extremely economical. Unless. Unless your child breaks them all the time and you have to pay for more adult plates (although this is like the salad plate size) or some ER visits from glass shard related injuries.

SIDE-EYE

  • Ok, first of all, and not plate related, but maybe don’t give the baby metal weapons utensils, even if they were given to you by her grandmother and used to belong to her father. Even then.
  • Also, we so fancy, and our dinnerware (though very cheap to acquire, dude, I bought an entire set of vintage Franciscan Starburst for fifty bucks from some clueless amazing person on craigslist), would be very expensive to replace. That does not mean I do not TOTALLY wish I had the child plate version of this pattern. But I just found one online after an hour of searching and it was $90 soooooooo I’m thinking that’s probably a nope.
  • Babystar likes to carry her food around. I would not freak out about the broken plate if she dropped it, but I would DEFINITELY freak out about the sharp ceramic shards on and around my baby.
  • Again, it’s not divided. (Though the child’s plate version is but I don’t have that one so please mail me one ok thank you.)

VERDICT

  • I don’t think this is a super great idea. Probably don’t do it. But also, you know, live your life.

 

My little Babystar has started this cool thing where she wants to eat twenty-five hours of the day. Yes, twenty-five. Because twenty-four doesn’t seem to be enough. I guess she’s trying to grow so she can reach the cookies.

My stack of five re-play divided plates was no longer even getting us through a whole dishwasher cycle, because of that whole CONSTANTLY EATING thing. I just acquired four more plates. Two were purchased by grandparents and two by me ($6).

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,297.37

 

 

Food and Snacks and Snack Stacks.

I love Re-Play Recycled kid’s plates and utensils. One look at my Instagram is all the proof you need. If you need proof. Like, if you think I’m constantly lying to you. Wait, what? Oh yeah.

Re-Play. I also love the Snack Stacks. I have three of the containers and three lids, so I can use them together or separately. I find myself making snacks in advance and putting them in the refrigerator so I can easily pack the Baby Bag in the mornings. (My family, we are not a morning people. Not even little Babystar. Weird, right? Babies are usually known for their 5am parties.)

Now Babystar likes the Snack Stack containers to hold her crayons at various impromptu workstations throughout the house so that she can create masterpieces the very moment that inspiration strikes. Brilliant artist, that one.

Clearly, I needed more. A few weeks back, Re-play had a great 50% off all Snack Stacks sale, so I bought the Rainbow Set for $25.24 including shipping. (I despise their $79 minimum shipping but the $6 shipping was worth it for such a great sale. The regular price for that set of twelve containers plus lids is $38.50. Score!)

So pretty.

And here is all of the food I purchased in March for Babystar. (These food posts are boring but important for accuracy. And I love accuracy. Again, I’m only counting food that I buy specifically for Babystar. We share our food with her, of course. And she shares hers with us. But for math purposes, I count all of the extra stuff that I would not have bought if she didn’t exist. Except now I count half of the money spent on frozen pizza and tots because we sort of buy those for both the Teen and the ToddlerMonster now. She LOVES tater tots.)

March Food

  • Watermelon 2.69, 2.55, 4.33
  • Chia waffles 3.59×2
  • Bananas .46
  • Granola bars 8.99 (Costco)
  • Ice cream 2.98
  • Tots 2×2.79
  • Mac and cheese 2.99×4
  • Pears 2.99
  • Clementines 2.99
  • Cheese 3.19
  • Eggs 3.99
  • Apple bars 1.99
  • Graham crackers 1.99
  • Apples 6.98
  • Frozen pizzas 12.00
  • Strawberries 8.00
  • Angelica Pizzeria slice 3.64×2
  • Chik-fil-A 2-strip kids meal 4.65×3
  • McDonalds Happy Meal (sans meat) plus Cutie clementine 3.49

RAISING BABYSTAR: $15,967.94