Monday’s Mama is the Birthday Girl.

Juliana Hatfield (yes, I am Old) has a song called My Sister that contains all of the following lines: I love my sister, I hate my sister, and I miss my sister.

It is legit the most accurate song about sisters ever written. (Feel free to disagree in the comment section as I am open to hearing about other songs but I will not change my mind.)

Today is my sister’s birthday!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!!

(This is your present. An internet shout out. I hope you like it.)

I love my sister and I miss my sister so very much. I haven’t hated her in a long time. We shared a room in the eighties so I definitely had mixed feelings sometimes. And I’m sure it was mutual.

Right, boo?

My sister is an awesome mama and a great friend and an amazing dancer. Like, REALLY GREAT DANCER. I have legit seen people at a regular club form a circle around her to watch her dance and it wasn’t even a movie or anything.

kelly dance

I didn’t ask her permission to post this so I don’t want to put my nephew all over the internet. But here is a fun picture of her wonderful child. Since this is called Monday’s Mama and all.

superhero xan 2

BUT IT’S NOT HIS BIRTHDAY TODAY.

My sister is finishing up at the Aveda Institute in Jacksonville, Florida, so if you are in North Florida, hit her up. She can do you hair or your makeup or whatever because she’s awesome. Also, if you are in North Florida, you probably already know Kelly Kelz because my sister’s super power is never forgetting a name or a face. She knows everyone. And everyone knows her. And loves her. It’s frankly annoying.

Go tell her to have a happy birthday over here on Instagram. Just make sure you also tell her how lucky she is to have SUCH A WONDERFUL SISTER.

hahaahahahlolxoxoxoxo

New Digs = New Haunts.

OMG YOU GUYS. I really miss Nook and Busy Bees and Scramble AND all of the awesome playgrounds in and around Arlington, Virginia. Hey NoVa parents, go out and play. Don’t take it for granted. Especially get yourselves and your kids to Watkins Regional Park and Clemyjontri and Potomac Yards.

Don’t get me wrong, I AM ABSOLUTELY SMITTEN with Colorado. But we are still figuring out the indoor play spaces. And on the few non-windy, above 60 degrees days, we go out looking for our favorite parks. We have found a few great playgrounds and a few, um, small interesting playgrounds. We are still looking for our most favorite park ever, but it’s more of a Spring Goal.

We HAVE found a few indoor play spaces that we like. WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette, Colorado is kind of the bomb diggity. We joined the first time we visited ($99). It has everything a toddler could want — a light piano, art room, tiny grocery store, pirate ship, dance studio, sand box, and so much more.

 

 

We also found a fun play space in Thornton, Colorado called Frolic. We’ve only been once ($9.86) because it’s kind of far away, but it was adorable and great for an afternoon of fun. It was NOT as good as Nook or Scramble or even Busy Bees but really, what is? (ARLINGTON YOU LUCKY BASTARDS!!) Frolic has a great CedarWorks play structure and smaller dollhouse, a train table, mini grocery store, orange ball pit, and a few other ride-on and bounce-on toys that kept Babystar’s attention for over two hours. I do wish it had better seats for the grown-ups. The picnic tables in the corner are great for Toddler Snack Time but not so great for mama’s lumbar support.

 

 

We are looking for more, more, always more, but so far everything I have found is open for like three hours from nine to noon only two days a week and I just can’t get out of the house that early. Maybe someday. I believe in us.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,397.74

 

The Organized Toddler Room.

I have finally done it. I have fully unpacked Babystar’s room.

Please behold the cleanest this room will ever be.

toddler room 2

It’s still clean and organized if you open those closet doors!

toddler room 9

Everything is a little creamy beige and boring right now, but I barely care because it is ALL PUT AWAY. I’ll grab some Command Hooks and put up some pictures later. When I unpack them. For now, check out the awesome ORGANIZATION in this room.

I put that old af beat up nine-drawer dresser that I bought from Craigslist for $15 one hundred years ago in Babystar’s closet the very first day we moved in. There is a scary door in the back of her closet that leads to a strange tiny attic room and I didn’t really want her to go exploring. She loves exploring. I use that dresser for extra diapers, blankets, wipes, and random things like that.

The other side of the closet has a brand new super cool Tot Tutors Kids’ Toy Storage Organizer that I bought on Amazon last week for $55.11 on sale. It was super easy to put together and it comes with twelve bins for organizing all of the toddler’s tiny toys. Four bins are bigger, eight are smaller, and they are perfect for holding her dinosaurs and baby doll clothes and rocks. Yes, rocks.

We also bought a great Tot Tutors Kids Book Rack that was ALSO on sale for $24.04. It’s not anything like a regular bookcase but it does make me feel like I’m in a doctor’s waiting room. Which is extra fun when I’m getting my daily regimen of seventeen plastic shots. In my head. The bookcase is really just four fabric slots that hold bedtime books, titles facing out, at toddler eye-level. It’s perfect for Babystar, as she has not figured out to work shelves like a person yet.

toddler bookcase

We also splurged on a Melissa & Doug toy box ($87.18 ON SALE!!) that holds about 5% of her toys. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty spacious and it holds a lot of toys. Babystar just has WAY too many toys. Yes, I just noticed. Whoops. Bad mama.

The toy box is really well made and very cute and doubles as a bench and it has those safety hinges to protect tiny fingers and I put a couple pillows on it that are probably on the floor by now but they did look cute for this picture.

I also found space in this room for my mother’s old rocking chair and the lion that Santa Claus used to scare Babystar in 2016. I could probably fit anything in this room. Babystar has by far the largest bedroom of all three kids. And she doesn’t even sleep in her own room. The other half of her room (not pictured) is actually just her dresser and the guest bed. The guest bed is currently just a queen mattress on the floor so if you are planning a surprise visit, BYOB. B is for boxspring.

The most AMAZING RIDICULOUS AWESOME thing in Babystar’s room is the giant KidKraft Savannah Dollhouse sent by her grandparents. It is so tall that she can’t even reach the attic. Yes, the dollhouse has an attic. It’s bananas. Babystar loves it.

The dollhouse is scaled for dolls as large as Barbies. I kind of thought her Strawberry Shortcake dolls would move in. But no. She sometimes crams her stuffed animals in there, and, um, they totally fit. But she usually just uses it to play Trolls. The Trolls are SO TINY in this giant mansion. Check out Bridget.

kid kraft dollhouse2

And because I am also obsessed with this dollhouse, and the fact that it has a porch swing (because it has a porch WUUUUT), this would be Princess Poppy’s view from said porch swing.

toddler room 3

I also actually HID a bunch of her toys and books because she has WAY TOO MUCH STUFF. I put a bunch of crap quality items in clear storage bins from Target (four at $4.99 each) and plan to rotate. If I don’t forget. And it’s kind of fine if I do forget, because really? She’s all set. Half of her toys are downstairs anyway. I live in a children’s museum.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,288.22

(This post contains affiliate links. I FINALLY signed up for the Amazon Associates Program. I am hella excited. Please read the official legal disclosure on the full page.)

Toddler Love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Once upon a time, when I was young and punk rock, I thought that Valentine’s Day was a stupid made-up joke. I have never cared if I ‘had a Valentine’ or made a big deal if I DID happen to be in a relationship on February 14.

But I ADORE the kid-version of the holiday. I can’t get enough silly puns and sugary love. Still Hallmark, but harmless. (And I am 100% behind Galentine’s Day because that shit is genius.)

Somehow this year, Babystar found out about Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the forty million times we have been to Target in the last month. Plus it’s a NEW Target, so I don’t yet know where all of the land mines seasonal aisles are located. (I know now.)

We explained all about Valentine’s Day (the kid version) and she wanted to make Valentines for her friends. So sweet. But of course we just moved over 1500 miles away from home so none of her friends are nearby. She talks about them every day and tells us about things that happened ‘yesterday’, but she also knows that Colorado is VERY FAR AWAY from where we used to live. I wish I knew what was in her awesome Toddler Brain.

Babystar chose a pack of Trolls (of course) Valentines from Target ($2.50) and she made her Valentines. And then we mailed them to her friends ($6.86), some of whom are babies and will not even understand the whole postal system thing. But hopefully they will still like looking at the cute Trolls on the Valentines.

Best of all, she made Valentines for all of us too. I helped write the names, so I got a sneak preview, but they have been in her microwave waiting for Valentine’s Day. OMG THE CUTEST.

Trolls valentines

Um, can someone tell me the best way to get crayon off a table top? I’m tired of scrubbing.

RAISNG BABYSTAR: $26,101.93

 

Spoiling Babystar.

There is a long history of movie titles using the formula VERBing GIRLNAME.

Driving Miss Daisy. Chasing Amy. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Killing Zoe. Raising Helen. Stealing Beauty. Kissing Jessica Stein. Finding Dory.

I’m hoping if I use a fancy Hollywood name for this blog post, no one will notice that I have gone FULL BRIBE with the toddler.

Moving is hard, y’all. We have only been Colorado residents for three weeks. We still have boxes yet to be unpacked. We still haven’t found the plastic sink that goes in her play kitchen. And Babystar is pretty chill with everything that is happening around her.

She plays with the toys that she has, and gets excited whenever we unbox new toys.

But we also needed to stock the house with groceries and toilet paper and coffee and wine (!!!) and some more towels and hand soap and lamps and just house things.

If you look at the huge number by the dollar sign at the bottom of my posts, you will likely discern that I am a total sucker for buying toys for Babystar. But now we have turned them into ‘Listening and Patience Presents.’ I let her choose something fun during each long errand (usually Troll-related, but it does vary) and then I use the method taught to me by my dear friend and supermama Mary Catherine. The Patience Present is hers to lose. As long as Babystar listens and is patient during the outings, mama will buy the toy she has chosen. If she does not listen or she runs away from me (which used to be a problem back in Arlington ALL THE TIME), then we have to wait until our next errand trip to buy the toy.

So far, it works. I definitely think that letting her pick her toy/whatever and hold it while we do the rest of the shopping helps immensely. A total physical reminder IN HER HAND to listen to mama.

Dude, if you told me you could make my toddler behave in the shops for five bucks, I would totally do it. Trolls are about five bucks, and those are her favorite presents right now. I am ALL IN.

So, anyway, behold the baby’s recent bribes.

trolls

Trolls, purchased separately. $4.99 each.

felt mail

Felt mail, for playing along with Blue’s Clues. $3 at Target.

rocks from ned

A box of rocks. $12. Yep. From our adventure in the adorable mountain town of Nederland. The locals call it ‘Ned.’ And I’m a local now. So the rocks are from Ned.

She also chose a ‘Cloud Guy’ pillow ($7.99) for her Patience Present from Ikea* and she sleeps on him every night. Hopefully Cloud Guy AND Babystar will soon move into her Big Girl Bed (Coming Soon).

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,092.57

*I firmly believe that EVERYONE that doesn’t have a breakdown in Ikea deserves a Patience Present.