It’s Beginning to Look a Tiny Bit Like Christmas.

Just a little, though. HOW IS IT DECEMBER 21 ALREADY? By my math, I still have about three more weeks until Christmas. Right?

We bought a tree. I haven’t bought most gifts. Amazon Prime and I have a hot date tonight. I’m already chilling the pinot noir YES I KNOW IT’S RED WINE DON’T HATE.

The Teenagers and I made gingerbread houses last weekend. We totally had the Trader Joe’s White House kit from July, Haunted House kit from Halloween, and Gingerbread House kit from modern days, and we made them all into Christmas themed masterpieces. We listed to Christmas music and everything. Ta-dah! (Babystar was at Costco with her dad.)

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Why yes, my smartass son did make the White House and updated it to the Trump House. That orange blob is Mr. Trump. That lady on the top is Hillz. When they go low, she goes high? Ah, Millennials.

We hung felt ornaments on the tree that the Girl Teenager and I made a few years ago. Babystar keeps taking them off the tree and putting them back on and taking them off. So sometimes there are twenty and sometimes there are zero.

We also made some ornaments this year out of card stock and stickers, and we bought some foam and wood ornament making kits at Target but have not made them yet. Scratch that. The OMG NOW HE IS 20yo and Babystar made one. One. But he’s gone on the airplane now, so luckily I’ve got a date tomorrow with my 3yo niece to help make some more ornaments before Santa gets here. I bought washable markers to replace the ones in the kits because I am smart. And I bought a cute zipper case with bunnies on it to replace the delicious looking semi-edible cardboard marker boxes because I like when Babystar makes the ‘sniff sniff’ bunny face. I also bought some art paper and sparkly ribbon to hang the card stock ornaments (not pictured) and everything was from either Target or Marshall’s (the bunny case) or Micheal’s and most of it was on sale. All of the ornament making craft supplies purchased this month are BECAUSE of Babystar so it’s all going on her tab. Total: $34.97. At least the markers and paper can help stock the Toddler Craft Closet that exists only in my mind right now.

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I also built bought a snowman at Marshall’s because Babystar loves her ‘That’s Not My Snowman’ book and is mildly obsessed with snowmen (and mittens) these days. And the snowman has mittens. Dude. $7.99. She loves him btw. We took him to the theater last week.

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Oh, right. We went to the theater. Actually, we went to a baby play were we sat on the floor but it was really good and held her attention for the entire thirty minutes. I was impressed. And surprised. Totally worth the $9 per ticket ($19.75 with fees). No, we didn’t have to buy a ticket for the snowman. And we have been to Busy Bees twice lately. But I finally got smart and bought the $36 gift card that covers three visits. Which saves $9 over the course of three visits. And we still have one visit left on the card. Yay!

RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,796.18

 

 

 

Ikea > Disneyworld.

I went to Ikea again the other day. And by the other day, I mean two months ago. Or was it three? The POINT is, I went to Ikea and I was reminded how much I FREAKING LOVE IKEA.

I had read on dirtydiaperlaundry.com that Ikea was selling a thing that was not called a flat diaper but basically was a flat diaper so I went to check it out. I use all-in-one (AIO) cloth diapers for Babystar, but I have a stack of leaky BumGenius Elemental diapers and I was looking for a fix. I bought a two-pack for $4.99 (one is plain white but the other has stars – swoon) and just so you know — no, they did not fix my problem. Folding up the flat and adding it behind the attached cotton of the Elemental DID stop the pee from leaking but it made the diaper too puffy to be practical. I guess I could cut the flats in half. Or buy half-size diaper flats online somewhere. Or cut the cotton out of the Elementals to turn them into covers. But then I’m no longer really using AIOs which I have kind of gotten used to so I will probably just sell the BumGenius Elementals. I have enough Smart Bottoms and Blueberry Diapers now. And the stupid Smart Bottoms are leaking now too. Long live Blueberry.

BUT I DIGRESS.

Ikea is my bae. Which is teenspeak for luv-ah. I think.

I also bought a pack of popsicle makers for $2.99 to save for when Babystar starts teething. Which is right freaking now as she is getting eight teeth all at the same time. Poor Babystar. So I had to find the popsicle thingies which reminded me that I bought them hence this post.

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If you are wondering, I made the popsicles using some of the frozen baby food cubes from the freezer (thawed in fridge then repurposed) from her puree protest from the summer. I mixed pureed fruit with yogurt and swirled it a bit before refreezing. She enjoyed it but wouldn’t hold it by herself. Lazy baby.

I have loved Ikea since we met many years ago, but my love has def grown deeper wandering that Cave of Wonders with a smol one.

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First of all, there is nothing more boring than waiting in line while your mother returns something. Oh, but look, there is a cool giant toy thingy to play with over here. Nm, take your time, mom.

Did you guys know about this secret room for parents with a comfy chair for nursing and a play table to occupy older kids and a changing table with mobiles hanging over it and FREE FREAKING DIAPERS if you run out and books to calm a cranky toddler and this room is a miracle and I never even noticed it until I had Babystar with me and was looking for a place to nurse her. I think it’s some sort of Hogwarts-esque (or would that be Durmstrang?) Room of Requirement that you can only see/enter with a child. I am only 70% joking. (For those of you Woodbridge Ikea patrons, it’s near the restrooms that are near the restaurant that is near the children’s section.)

And speaking of the children’s section.

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This is the greatest high chair ever and it’s only $19.99. Don’t be fooled by that sign that shows $14.99. The tray is an extra five bucks. We had this high chair long before I was even pregnant with Babystar because my niece visited enough that she needed her own place to sit. And it’s minimalist enough to just blend into the house without screaming BABYBABYBABY.

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Same deal with these bowls and forks and spoons and plates and stuff. So cheap. So useful for when Littles are visiting. I have bought a few more packs now that Babystar eats here daily. And I can toss a bowl and fork or whatever in the travel bag and if it gets lost, ok. Not ideal, but ok. They are so inexpensive and perfectly sized. Thank you, Ikea.

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This little boat is the best bath toy ever. My sister bought it while visiting with her son and left it and it is super cool. The little cups stack on top and one pours and one has holes in the bottom to make a shower in the bath when filled with water. Plus it’s a boat. Babystar loves it.

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The play area is the bomb dot com. Yes, I know they are trying to sell me these things. (Don’t worry. I’m sure will buy them.) It is clean. Clean. I’m telling you, I have recently been paying attention and most ‘kid’s play areas’ are not very clean. And it’s full of actual fun things. I did not post those random kids there. In fact, I had to wait until none were showing their faces because I wanted a picture but wanted to respect other’s privacy. It took awhile because the kids were having so much fun. (I just pretended to be texting.)

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These are the flat diapers sold as ‘burp cloths.’ Did you see the stars? You see the stars, right? Too cute.

I also bought Babystar a set of child-sized kitchen utensils for $3.99 that day a few months ago. I see one or two of them every once in awhile. She loves them but hides them all over the place like a squirrel. At least this one is in the kitchen, right?

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RAISING BABYSTAR: $12,141.10

 

Sticky Fingers.

Messy face. Sticky fingers. Wet belly. Sloppy hair.

And let’s not even talk about the floor.

Or let’s DO.

I have spent so much time on my hands and knees cleaning the floor under the high chair. I mean, I don’t want ants or anything. Unless the ants would promise to just take away the food bits and immediately leave the premises and then I totally want ants. But I don’t speak ant and I don’t trust them to honor our agreements.

Anyway.

I checked my favorite store ‘The Internet’ and found all kinds of high chair mats at all price points. Non-plastic, washable ones were anywhere from $15 – $50. For one.

(I should note here that pre-baby I was all about having a pretty house and I have painted and repainted literally every room at least once so I am intimately familiar with the offerings of the Home Depot paint department.)

I bought this 4 foot by 15 foot washable canvas drop cloth from Home Depot for $19.32, and cut it into fourths to make FOUR high chair floor mats. I’m not trying to wash a floor mat every day. I have things to do. Like, um, cut orange slices into thirds and read Good Night, Gorilla one hundred thousand more times.

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Someday I might even hem the edges or something. One of the edges is already hemmed, but, um, it came that way. And I bet we can decorate these as a fun craft project when Babystar is older. I’m only half-kidding. They are beautiful just the way they are, especially at only $4.83 each.

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How do you keep the food off the floor? Do you have a dog? Should I get a dog? (I should NOT get a dog.) Can I rent a dog for a year or two? Maybe invite one over every evening for a snack??

RAISING BABYSTAR: $11,476.13

 

Hippity Hop.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Does the Easter Bunny visit your house? Does he hide the baskets or leave them out or something else? Does he hide eggs? Does he color them or hide ones you previously colored? Is he a she? What are your family’s Easter Bunny-related traditions?

Growing up, the Easter Bunny left baskets, but hid them. I think we will continue that tradition. But I’m not sure. This year, the Easter Bunny hid Babystar’s basket in her Little Tykes garden. (Bunny must have known that she still sucks at hide and seek.)

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  • basket      $1.00
  • Pat the Bunny book     $3.99
  • Are You My Mommy? book     $6.99
  • Happybaby Teethers      $3.99
  • Pouch fruit      $2.50
  • Socks (inside eggs)     $5.99
  • Plastic eggs     $1.00
  • Bunny ears     $1.99

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RAISING BABYSTAR: $6,385.15

 

Reusable Wipes.

I cannot do it. I cannot imagine reusing cloth wipes after seeing the poop that is coming out of my beautiful baby lately.

I want to. But how will I get the poop off of the cloth wipes? Please tell me. This is a real question. I have googled cloth wipes so many times but everyone just sort of skips over that part. I spray the diapers but they are big enough that I can fold them over sort of inside out and hold the edges while spraying. Yes of course sometimes it gets a little messy but it’s usually fine. But a small flimsy cloth wipe? Or in this case, a baby washcloth? How? Please tell me how.

However, I already have the empty plastic wipes tub and a plethora of baby washcloths and some baby friendly castille soap so I decided to make reusable FACE wipes. Maybe if they are already at the ready I will stop using paper towels to wipe Babystar’s face after messy meals. And let’s face it: all meals are messy meals.

First I gathered supplies.

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Then I poured water from the Brita filter into the teapot to boil. Perhaps this is overkill but I really did not want anything growing in my little experiment. Once boiled and cooled just enough to not shatter the glass, I poured hot water over just enough soap to coat the bottom of a pint glass. It was a little cloudy but pretty well mixed.

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Last I rolled up the washcloths, stacked them in the clean empty wipes container, and poured the soap mixture over the washcloths. I tried to pour evenly, and I did end up adding a bit more boiled water. I then sort of mixed around the washcloths and gave them a few squeezes to be sure they were all wet but not too wet.

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So far they have been working great. And Babystar likes that she can have the wipes to help wash her face. (I couldn’t let her have the paper towels because, as you know, babies are goats.)

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RAISING BABYSTAR: $5,778.74

 

Fleece is the Word.

Babystar has been sampling new foods for a few weeks now, and something terrible is going on in her diapers. I am nostalgic for the smell of newborn poop. What the hell is wrong with me?

Dude. It’s gross. How is my sweet baby doing this?

On the plus side, I finally get to use my shiny new diaper sprayer. Yay?

Internet research tells me that fleece diaper liners are a thing. They are pricey, though. Like five to ten dollars per pack. And a pack is only about five liners. They are reusable of course, hence the high price tag. But here is the thing: I don’t want to spray the liners any more than I want to spray the diapers. Further internet research tells me that some people buy fleece from the fabric store and cut it to DIY diaper liners. This sounds good. Or at least, it sounds better. I bought a yard of fleece ($10.99/yard but 50% off at JoAnn’s) and I plan to cut it up to make liners. I intentionally chose a geometric pattern to make cutting straight lines easier. I hate measuring. And I know full well that I will toss the pee ones into the wet bag to wash and reuse and the poop ones into the trash can. And I have made my peace with that. I’ll let you know how the fleece holds up.

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RAISING BABYSTAR: $5,723.86

Happy Halloween!!

We went out trick or treating with an Under the Sea theme.

Mama with a fish head, Buttercup as an octopus, V as the cutest sea turtle you have ever seen, and Babystar as a LOBSTER!

Her costume was a $4.99 dog costume attached to the Beco baby carrier.  We detached the hood so she could forward face.  Baby has lots of newborn hats that she has grown out of, so we hot glued the lobster head hood to an old hat to get it to stay on her head.

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RAISING BABYSTAR:  $4,578.37