NoVa’s Hottest New (Kids) Club.


Scramble is this winter’s hottest new (indoor kid’s) club. It has everything: a coffee shop made entirely of foam, a Big Ben boxing bag, a giant waving flag slide with both stars and stripes, a replica of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, cake pops, a hidden chamber with an Egyptian Mummy, and Space Balls. What are Space Balls? Its that thing where you take up all the space in a padded room with giant painted planets and then add a bunch of kids.

YOU GUYS THIS PLACE IS SO LIT. If you live in or near Northern Virginia, spend all of your cold winter days here. Scramble is HUGE. And it’s new, which means that at least for this season, it is CLEAN. It cost $10 per kid on weekdays and $20 per kid on weekends. One adult is free per kid. Extra adults are $5 each. So I paid $15 for Babystar, the Teenager, and I to get in last week. We have already been again, but I forgot my wallet and my friend paid. I’ll pay her back eventually, but right now that second visit is free and we are a family of vagabonds.

Anyway. Scramble. Apparently it is based off cool indoor play spaces in Europe. Maybe that’s why they went with an around the world (but mostly Europe tbh) theme.

Yes. I know that Sydney is not in Europe. It’s in Austria. Duh. 😉

Just LOOK at how cool this place is.


The smaller toddler play space is awesome enough. The big one with rocket ships and space balls and a secret passage is so big that adults can climb around in there quite comfortably. Although, to be fair, that is technically not allowed. But all the adults chase their kids through there and it’s basically fine. It’s also FUN! That slide is ON POINT.

Scramble 2

Babystar went down the slide all by herself and she tells everyone. She’s so proud. She should be — look at that thing! I went down a whole bunch of times. It’s soupy* fun.

At one point, I counted at least ten adults chasing their kids through the play structure and the thing did not feel at all crowded at all not even a little bit. Freaking. Awesome. Plus, the snack bar prices are actually reasonable prices. I spent $5.75 for two cupcakes, one banana, and three drinks.



*Babystar says soupy instead of super and literally nothing in the world is cuter. PLEASE NO ONE CORRECT HER.

Plus a Flamingo.

And now for a tale of a teepee and a flamingo.

Anyone that has ever read this blog (THANK YOU FOR READING THIS BLOG!!) knows that I am mildly very much obsessed with Target.

So. The grandparents bought the adorable Pillowfort Gold Star Teepee for Babystar’s second birthday.

(If you are wondering, this teepee is HUGE. Which is super awesome if you have a playroom or you want a cute way to corral toys and give your kid a play area in your family room. It is less cool if you have a nursery the size of — well, the size of a teepee plus a changing table. Also, if you were wondering some more, the fabric is nice and thick like canvas. We loved it.)

Target has a 90-day return policy. On Day 103 of owning this teepee, a small child broke one of the thick dowel rods during a playdate. The child was aged two to five (we don’t really know who landed the kill shot). The manufacturer suggests this product for ages three and up. It should not have been broken so easily. Have they ever MET any kids age three and up??

To be fair, there was a knot in the wood where the dowel split, so it was likely weakened before the children started their Game of Destruction.

I took all of it to Target: the broken dowel, the non-broken dowels, the gold star fabric, a two-year-old child. And I asked for a new one. Or at least a new dowel.

The fine people at Target were AWESOME.

I had the receipt in an email (it was purchased online) so they knew I didn’t steal a giant teepee, break it, and try to pull a fast one. They couldn’t give me Target credit since it was past 90 days, but they DID totally break the rules and let me exchange the teepee.

But of course they didn’t have the gold star one in the store. And it HAD to be the gold star one. BabySTAR. Obvs.

So they gave me a brand new other-flavor teepee AND let me keep the gold star fabric from my old one.

And. AND. My receipt showed that the grandparents paid $89.99 but the teepee was currently selling for $79.99 so they couldn’t do the exchange unless I found ten more dollars worth of merchandise — but it had to be from the same department.

OH HAI MINGO! Babystar saw the pink flamingo and it was love at first sight. Mingo was a bit more than $10, so I paid $7.41 to exchange the teepee after the return window had passed AND bring home a new bff. Fair deal.

Mingo joins us on lots of adventures.



Um, plus I now have TWO teepees. I just need four dowel rods to make the second one. However, the teepees are giant, so I currently have ZERO teepees outside of a closet in the basement.


Play. DOH!

Babystar is Kid Number Three. There are some things I should really know by now.

Sure, Kid Number One and Kid Number Two were born in the last millennium. Before iPads and Netflix and Facebook Mom Groups.

But still. Play-doh has been around since the beginning of time.

That is probably why everything we see from Caveman Times is always brown. It’s Play-doh. All squished together. The fate of all Play-doh everywhere and everywhen.

Babystar has been gifted Play-doh in the past. I always put it up ‘for when she gets older.’ So we already have a hidden stockpile.

But then. We found the COOLEST Play-doh set at Costco for $19.99 and I totally bought it. I’m not gonna lie — I mostly bought it because I wanted to play with it too. Who DOESN’T want to make Play-doh Pasta!?


Plus, you know, it’s getting cold outside. So we need some indoor toys. Like she doesn’t have TOYS IN LITERALLY EVERY ROOM OF THE HOUSE BUT SHHHH.

This kid is spoiled. Crap.

Be right back I have to go clean up some Play-doh also this is now my whole life.

I totally knew better. Is anyone else out there as dumb as me? What do you let your kids do/have/play even though it basically ruins your life?


Summertime is Pool Time.

It has been HOT, y’all. SO HOT.

I am in Arlington, Virginia, and the heat has been no freaking joke.

I usually avoid the pool citing such reasons as sunburns and drownings and I’m lazy. But it is just SO DAMN HOT that I kind of feel obligated to take Babystar to the pool.

Please understand: Babystar hates the pool too. But she always always ALWAYS asks to go to the pool. Cries about it, even. So we put on her swim diaper and bathing suit and sunscreen and sun hat and water shoes. We pack a bag of towels and cold water. She unpacks the bag while I change into my suit at lightening speed, and then I repack the bag before we walk across the parking lot holding hands to the pool in our condo complex. (I said HOLDING HANDS. Sweetie, if you want to go to the pool you have to hold mommy’s hand to walk across the parking lot.) Sometimes we have to turn around because the ToddlerMonster refuses to hold hands, so we walk all the way back home and get in the Pink Car (her Little Tikes wheels) for the very short journey across the dangerous parking lot to the swimming pool. Which, as I believe I already mentioned, she hates.

When we get to the pool, she mostly hangs out on the first step. AFTER, of course, insisting that I get all the way wet, even though she will FREAK OUT if water gets near her face. Even though her favorite thing to do while hanging out on the steps is splash water near her face.

TODDLERS, amirite?

If Babystar goes past the steps at all, she is clinging hard to her lifeboat aka whoever has her in the pool. (Not like, whoever, as in I just pass around the baby in the pool. It is either me or one of her siblings that are also legal adults.)


I know that I need to take her to a baby swim class, but I missed the window for this summer as the waiting lists are eight thousand pages long. I think I need to take her this winter when no one else is thinking about swim classes. Are swim classes offered in the winter? I will google it later. Much later. Like probably next June.

Even though she appears to hate the pool, she doesn’t hate the water. She loves splash pads. I should take her to more splash pads. I want to, but the whole being wet and then getting back in the car thing suuuuuucks. (I can change her easily but not so much myself.) She also loves her baths. Although she hates to have her hair washed so at least she’s consistent on the whole getting-her-head-wet situation.


Babystar weighs almost 29 pounds and those Puddle Jumper floaty thingies all say they are for  30-50 pound kids but I DO WHAT I WANT. I bought her one to wear in the pool. I actually first bought a life vest for 25-33 pound babies but it didn’t really hold her up. I think. I never really let go of her, but it seemed like it wouldn’t hold her up. So I returned it and bought the kind with the arm floaties attached ($14.99). She seems happier so maybe it gives her more confidence. I don’t know. I can’t ask her. She doesn’t know what confidence is. (I mean, she has more confidence than most humans I know, but she doesn’t know the meaning of the actual word. Maybe that is the key to confidence!!)




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.


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.


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.