Gymmie Jammies.

Carter’s, Imma let you finish, but Gymboree has some of the best toddler pajamas of all time. Of ALL TIME.

 

I totally love cheap baby clothes because babies are just gonna grow, y’all. And if I cannot have hand-me-downs, Carter’s seems to be the next best thing. Their clothes are suuuuper cute and always on sale. And if you can shop the clearance rack, you are basically paying thrift store prices.

However.

I am in love with Gymboree’s Gymmies, which is the uber twee name for their line of pajamas. The Gymmies are so soft AND they are 100% cotton. Those two qualities are often mutually exclusive, especially after a few rounds in the washing machine. Plus they have a bottom cuff so Babystar doesn’t trip during her nightly run-round-the-house before bed ritual.

gymmies at door2

I have expressed my love of Gymboree pajamas before. Last year, it was all about the cute patterns and awesome sale prices. The pajamas were the same sort of stretchy slightly ribbed cotton as the kind found at every other mall brand kid’s clothing shop.

But this is 2017, and now Gymboree pajamas are made from the cotton of some sort of artificial GMO sheep. Probably. They are marked $24.95 per set, but you have to try really hard to pay full price at Gymboree. Everything is always on sale.

I have a Toaster Baby that likes to kick off the covers and sleep perpendicular to my face. She needs short sleeves and long pants. Most pajama sets are long sleeves with long pants or short sleeves with shorts.

Quick question: WHY DO PAJAMA SHORTS EXIST? Who is putting their child in pajama shorts? Either a diaper or underwear will do just fine, and it is certainly more comfortable. The whole point of pajama bottoms is WARMTH. Right? Or am I missing something?

I refuse to pay more than $10 (ish) for a set of pajamas and I refuse to buy two pairs to mix and match (unless they get under $5 each and then I might). Gymboree has exactly three sets of pajamas with short sleeves and long pants. They were marked down to $17.99 each, and then they were 50% off of that. Score. We bought one of each for $28.60 total.

gymboree pajamas

They are so soft and wonderful that I tried to buy more at another Gymboree store two days later but they only had one size 3 (and the price was different which was weird because it is literally the exact same pair of pajamas as one of the three we purchased two days earlier) for $11.44. And now they are on ‘sale’ online for about $13 each. Strange. But I totally bought the other two again, so we have six pairs now. But only three designs. Which is fine — I did that with the airplane pajamas last year.

gymboree pajamas

BUT SERIOUSLY THO, WHO WEARS PAJAMA SHORTS? PLEASE ADVISE.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $21.029.71

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Leash.

At least it’s not a muzzle.

(BRB going to google if toddler muzzles are a thing. No? No. Ok, cool. I didn’t want one anyway.)

Babystar is an unpredictable little ToddlerMonster. As is to be expected. I love the unpredictable things she says to me all the time. I love most of the unpredictable things she does all day long. I do not love the sudden unpredictable public sprints.

Like many good parents, we tricked the trusting little monster. She wanted her very own backpack. Mommy has a backpack. Big Sister and Big Brother have backpacks. Her cousins have backpacks. I borrowed one of the Skip Hop Zoo collection backpacks (with safety strap) from a friend for a trial run. She loved it, and barely notices if I have to grab the safety strap. Not a leash. A safety strap.

Whatever. It’s a leash. And I don’t care.

She loves that she can carry around a few books and a toy car or tiny Care Bear or whatever. I love that if my own backpack gets too heavy I can fit her water bottle into HER backpack and help her become an independent human and build a strong character and mostly take some weight and bulk out of my own bag. I don’t always attach the harness but I always have it with me. When we are walking near a road or in a big crowd of people, I like the peace of mind that the harness gives to me. I don’t lead her around by the safety strap. I do loop it onto my wrist and then hold her hand. It’s a great backup for when she gets OH SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT THING WAAAAY OVER THERE HURRY HURRY MAMA! (It is usually rocks. It is always rocks.)

 

When the safety strap is not keeping her super safe, I can loop it around the backpack’s handle and give her a little free range chicken action. She doesn’t even notice or care that it’s there. She is just excited to have her very own backpack.

skip hop zoo backpack

And, ok, she picked out her very own backpack all by herself. But since it does have a LEASH, I find it absolutely hilarious that she chose the dog.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,526.63

 

CONFESSION TIME: Who has used a baby leash? Who hates me now?

Superbabystar!

It’s a Baby! It’s a Star! It’s SUPERBABYSTAR!!

OMG YOU GUYS! This Cat & Jack cape from Target is EVERYTHING!

toddler in cape

Babystar totally spotted this and picked it out all on her own, although it does seem like something I would want her to wear. She loves it. I love it. Huge win. ($24.99)

I love that it is size XS-M so she will be able to wear it for years. I love that it is reversible so she can have pink or blue, depending on her mood. (It was in the girl’s department but not in the boy’s department, which I found annoying because PINK IS NOT JUST FOR GIRLS. But the fact that they did not sell pink OR blue but rather pink AND blue is a step in the right direction.) And I love that it attaches with a single (largish) spot of velcro so she can pull it off herself in a pinch.

running in cape

And she’s off!

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,361.20

OMG With These Shoes.

I AM THAT MOM.

I totally paid $47.70 for a pair of shoes for a toddler. She will fit them for MAYBE five months, if I’m lucky.

And they aren’t even expensive Stride Rite super-supportive first-walker shoes either.

THEY ARE WAY BETTER!

superstar adidas

Y’all. Babystar was SO EXCITED to get shoes like her big sister. She knows these are ‘Fifi’s shoes’ and she tried them on and was strutting around in the store and holding her feet out one by one to show us how cool they were. She even said, ‘SO COOL’. I had to buy them. I had no choice. My entire body and soul was melted into a puddle at the shoe store and all of my willpower leaked through the cracks in the floor.

Plus. For real. I totally thought they were on sale for $29.99. But nope. The GOLD and white Adidas were on sale. But her sister has the BLACK and white Adidas. So black and white Adidas for Babystar.

She said that I should ‘no tell Fifi picture shoes — shoes airplane airport’. Her sister was out of town and she didn’t want me to tell her or send her a picture. (I speak Babystar LOL.) She was so excited and wanted to surprise her by wearing the matching shoes when we picked her up at the airport.

airport hug

airport sisters

YOU GUYS OMG. But she really is growing out of her size 6 shoes. And these are a size 7, so, um, totally necessary.

The Universe was looking out for me on this one, though. Less than a week later, Myrtle Beach Grammy sent three pairs of size 7 shoes PLUS an additional $45 cash (in the mail — I know) for a pair of yellow shoes. Yes, yellow shoes. Because Babystar told Grammy on FaceTime that she wanted new yellow shoes. Grammy sent THREE pairs of awesome Mary Jane velcro-style Stride Rite shoes, but none were yellow. So she sent the baby some money to buy yellow shoes. My MIL is awesome and crazy. Maybe we will find yellow shoes next time but I think four pairs of size 7 shoes for the ToddlerMonster will be plenty. And one pair is the exact same pair of pink waterproof shoes that Grammy bought her in a size 6 and they are perfect for summertime. THANK YOU GRAMMY (that doesn’t read this blog)!

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Is it just me? Have you ever bought something that you KNEW was a bit silly and/or overpriced for your baby/toddler/dog/child/self but you did it anyway?

RAISING BABYSTAR: $19,625.40

 

 

 

Summer Bugs Me.

I love most things about the summertime. I love the longer days and the grilled dinners and the splashy water play time.

I do not love the mosquitos. And ants and locusts and spiders and gnats and bees (ok I kind of love the bees in theory), but mostly the mosquitos.

We like to use up all the sunshine and stay at the park until dusk which means walking back home during the Mosquito Happy Hour.

Babystar was getting new bites every day. But also, chemicals.

WHAT IS A GOOD HIPPIE MAMA TO DO?

I’m still not sure, but I did buy some DEET-free bug repellent made up of a blend of essential oils. (Kid’s Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent $5.50.) It had KIDS and NATURAL right in the name.

Two things:

  1. I don’t know what DEET is but it sounds bad.
  2. I don’t believe essential oils can cure illnesses but I do know that certain plants repel insects so it seemed legit.

I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for but I compared the active ingredients at Target. The Kid’s Herbal Armor had a bunch of oils (citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, et cetera) that were almost identical to the Babyganics and Honest Company kid’s bug repellents.



I bought the Kid’s Herbal Armor because it was $5.50 instead of $9.49 or $12.34. To be fair, the Babyganics and Honest Company’s bottles were larger, but I wanted to make sure it worked first. Maybe we needed the DEET after all? (WTF IS DEET?!?)
The first evening, I only rubbed the insect repellent on Babystar’s ankles, a popular hangout for Arlington mosquitoes. She has pretty sensitive skin and I wanted to make sure there was no reaction. She made it home with no rash and zero bites on her legs!

Those fuckers bit her arm instead.

The next night, I used the Herbal Armor on her legs AND arms. She was bite-free! I have been keeping her arms and legs coated and it is still working. I don’t put it near her face at all but I do a little swipe behind her neck, and she usually has a hat on for extra protection.

I highly recommend this natural bug repellent. Probably the Babyganics and/or Honest ones are good too, since the active ingredients are almost identical. But I have not tried them so I cannot say for sure.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $18,090.14

What kind of bug repellent do you use for your kids or yourself?

New Clothes. And Old New Clothes.

New Clothes: I bought Babystar a ‘Wild Feminist’ tee during Feminist Apparel’s 25% off sale recently. (I bought a few for me and a few for my oldest daughter but figured that Babystar needed at least one. I’m a sucker. I know. $22.47 after the discount.)

 

More New Clothes: I also bought her the coolest pink sunhat from Costco that supposedly will last for years if she doesn’t lose it. (Spoiler alert: She or I will lose it.) The hat fits children ages 3-10 according to the tag. Babystar must have a big head because it fits now, but it is adjustable. $7.99.

 

Old New Clothes: While my almost-adult goddess child was getting ready for prom, Babystar went into her dresser and chose her own ‘pretty dress’ to wear. As I removed the tags for her, I realized that 1) she had clearly never worn this dress and 2) I had not added it to the blog. I bought the dress at Costco back in February for $12.99 intending it to be her Easter dress. But then my MIL bought her a cute tutu dress with a bunny on it to wear on Easter instead, and I forgot about this one. It is ADORABLE and I think she may wear it every day now. She’s on kind of a dress kick lately. 


(And MY GOD will you look at that beautiful Prom Goddess and her stunning gown!?)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $17,061.57

 

Back to Cloth.

With few exceptions, Babystar has been in disposable diapers for about a month now. I started when I packed the bag for the Women’s March last month and disposables were so much lighter. I kept her in disposables through a bathroom renovation that took away my access to the diaper sprayer for a week. Then we all got sick and now we are better but yet the disposable diapers remain on the baby.

I’m not gonna lie — I don’t hate them. They are not as cute as the cloth diapers, but they definitely have their benefits.

disposables

But today we are back in cloth. Let’s do this!


We bought eleven packs of diapers during this glorious, lazy month. The Target brand was somehow always on sale for $4.99. Score! So $54.89 for almost a month. Eh. The fancy cloth we use costs $30-35 each. I think you CAN save money using cloth but I definitely did NOT.

(We still have disposables left but we also still use them at night and on Sundays in the church nursery.)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,738.38

Dragging Her Feet.

Literally. Babystar was dragging her too big 2T fleece pajama feet around the house and down the slide (yes, the slide in my living room and I can’t even). She looooves her dinosaur pajamas and it’s very cold these days but she haaaaaates when the feet drag so I was spending entire evening fixing her little footies.

You know where this is going: I bought some new pajamas. Help. Help. Someone please ban me from Carter’s and Target. But not really because Target is my bae.

Also, she needed onesies because she spends a lot of the weekend on outings with her dad (YAY FOR MOMMY TIME WHICH I MOSTLY SPEND CLEANING TBH), and he usually puts her in disposable diapers since the church nursery requires them anyway (I AM PRETTY SURE BABY JESUS WORE CLOTH) but Babystar likes to put her hand down the disposable diapers so onesies are a must. We only had two in her size so I added a three pack of short sleeves and a three pack of long sleeves. Dude. Whatever it takes to get some time to myself.

Does anyone else have a baby/toddler/small thing that will shove hands down disposable diapers but not so much in cloth? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s the elastic at the top of the cloth? The same thing preventing the blow outs is preventing the spelunking? Maybe? Thoughts?

Maybe her butt just itches. Oh, I’m sorry. Her bootie.

Anyway, here’s the goods. Minus one pair of dinosaur fleece pajamas that I wrapped up to put under the Christmas tree as her Something to Wear. And minus another pair of penguin fleece pajamas that she wore last night (BEFORE I WASHED THEM BAD MOTHER ALERT). And minus a onesie that she is wearing right now.

img_5208-1img_5210img_5211

I bought the onesies in 24 months but the fleecies in 18 months because she has ONE pair of fleece pajamas that fit her perfectly and they are Carter’s size 18 months (hand-me-downs) so hopefully they will not shrink.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,845.89

Airplanes and Dinosaurs.

Babystar is growing out of her pajamas. I was SURE I was set for the winter. I just gave away everything up to 18 months (except for one pair of Carter’s fleece pajamas because all of Carter’s clothes run small except the fleece or terry footed pajamas and we just have to accept this fact). I am trying to squeeze some more wears out of her 18-24 months pajamas but they are basically capris. Babystar is not tall; I don’t get it. But it’s cold at night. And she hates blankets. So I bought some 2T jammies to hopefully get her through the winter. The cotton sets were buy one, get one half off. I bought two of the same, so four sets of airplane pajamas. Babystar loves airplanes. She waves to them and blows them kisses. She knows the difference between and airplane and a helicopter. It is really funny listening to her trying to say helicopter. The fleece dinosaur two-pack was on clearance. She also loves dinosaurs. Yes, I bought these in the ‘Toddler Boys’ department but she legit loves dinosaurs and airplanes. Which she learned about from her pink laptop and the sky, respectively. Also, why are airplanes and dinosaurs for boys and not girls? Many girls ride in AND fly airplanes. Amelia Earhart, anyone? (Ok, maybe she is a bad example.) And I happen to know from watching Jurassic Park that there were DEFINATELY girl dinosaurs. So, what’s the deal?

img_4470

Also, I did LOOK in the ‘Toddler Girls’ section for airplanes. I found two shirts on clearance for $2.25 each, but no airplane pajamas.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,527.96

Restraint.

The other day after a fun hour or so at Busy Bees ($15 but we also went today so $30 total), we popped into Target for granola bars. (We eat a LOT of granola bars in our house and they are cheapest in the big box at Target. Well, they are REALLY cheap in the giant box at Costco, but the teenagers won’t eat the peanut butter flavored ones so it’s not really a good deal after all because I don’t want to eat thirty peanut butter flavored granola bars. Ever, really, but certainly not every month. I digress.)

I found the cutest holiday outfit for Babystar and I did not buy it. Repeat: I WENT TO TARGET AND DID NOT BUY ANY BABY CLOTHES.

You guys, it had stars (mandatory), sparkle, and it was not a dress! Perfection with matching shoes! AND I DID NOT BUY THIS.

img_2243

The outfit was $16.99 and the shoes were $22.99 but you know what? She already has a perfectly fine holiday outfit — the same one that she wore for her dedication. It’s a dress, but she will live. I don’t need to spend $40 for a new outfit. That’s not to say that I won’t crack change my mind and buy it later. Especially if it goes on sale. But for now: RESTRAINT. I bought my granola bars and went home.

And then the very next day? I went into Carter’s to return the extra Halloween costumes that I had stressbought (which should be a word) and once again I had so much restraint! Ok, so I did exchange the Halloween items instead of return them. I traded them for a five-pack of onesies, size 24 months, and a very cute long sleeve shirt. Babystar only had two onesies that fit and I like to layer in the winter. And just look at this long sleeve t-shirt. Everything was on sale and I only owed $1.28 at the register. Not bad. RESTRAINT.

img_2172

I don’t know what has gotten in to me. Or yes, I do. I have watched this adorable human grow out of season after season of clothes. I have given away items that I know she never wore — or only wore a couple of times. I have watched that number at the bottom of each post creep higher and higher and it is downright terrifying.

And I have another theory. I am finally getting enough sleep. My brain is more able to function properly. (Sort of. I still forget where I am going on the way to the park. And I kind of already forgot my point.) But sometimes, when the planets are aligned properly, I can use my deductive reasoning skills and my common sense and all of the other cool smart lady traits I know I still possess (somewhere) and stop BUYING ALL OF THE STUFF for this small creature that will wear the same clothes every day and not care at all and only wants to play with tampon boxes and the mixing bowls anyway.

Anyone else ever have a similar epiphany?

RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,266.46

nablopomo_badge_2016-1

FURTHER RESTRAINT: I am not blogging every day per the NaBloPoMo guidelines. I don’t really have that much to talk about and I hate spam. Many of you doing NaBloPoMo are killing it. Good for you. I like following along. I am not killing it. And I am sort of fine with that.