New Digs = New Haunts.

OMG YOU GUYS. I really miss Nook and Busy Bees and ScrambleI Took the Munchkin to Oz. 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.



The Battle of Eczema.

Fresh delicate baby skin plus cold dry winter air equals eczema.

Also? Badass hardworking mama skin plus cold dry winter air equals eczema.

Babystar had the scaly skin of eczema the first winter she was alive. I kept it at bay with nightly coconut oil massages.

Last winter was quite mild, and I thought she maybe outgrew it.

But this winter is NO JOKE Y’ALL. I heard one weatherman say that it was colder than Mars. I didn’t fact check that, but it sounds legit. Most of America has been hibernating this winter.

The eczema has been taking over my family.

I will forever remember Christmas Eve Eve* as the night that Babystar woke up at 4am saying, ‘Mama, rub my back.’

The night that Babystar broke out in straight up red bumpy HIVES all over her back and neck and even a little on her chest.

The night that I spent hours researching rashes online and had almost convinced myself that my baby had Scarlet Fever. (I’m pretty sure Louisa May Alcott is responsible for that one.)

I still don’t know why her eczema flared up so badly that night. Maybe one too many baths? We were at my in-laws house in Myrtle Beach. I drove to Target on Christmas Eve morning for a travel humidifier ($29.99) and Seventh Generation Baby Sensitive Skin laundry detergent ($17.19) and a tub of extra virgin coconut oil ($8.99).

We stopped the baths and forced the oil on the baby. She hates it by the way. Once we got home, I tried to find an extremely sensitive lotion that she would tolerate and that would work. I have really dry skin and Princess Buttercup has really sensitive skin, so we had a lot of fancy potions to try.

Do you know what finally worked? Aveda hand relief moisturizing creme. It REALLY calms her skin. And she likes the way it feels. She calls it the ‘nice cream’.

I only had a travel size so I immediately drove to Aveda and bought two full size hand relief cremes ($48).

Her back is getting better but now her hands are flaring up. And she cannot stand the feeling of ‘cream’ on her hands.

(I’ve been tricking her byย accidentally getting some on her hands and then ‘wiping it off’ aka rubbing it in. But I think she’s on to me.)

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Does anyone have any eczema advice?

My friend made me a sample of an essential oils cream but it has extra virgin coconut oil as a base. The potion works miracles on my hands, but Babystar screams and runs away if I try to rub any on her eczema.


(I wrote this before we moved and now we are in Colorado and unpacking and I still don’t have any decent pictures for this post so please enjoy this photo of boxes.)

(Also, her eczema is getting better, though it’s still not gone. She bathes like a person of the Colonial times: rarely and in a tub of lukewarm water.)

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo.

Lately I feel like The Little Engine That Really Wants to But OMFG JUST CAN’T.

Moving is hard, y’all.

I have moved about a million times in my teens and twenties. But now I’ve lived in the same place for over ten years and WHY DO I HAVE SO MUCH STUFF???

One fun little bonus is that I am NOT buying food. We are trying hard to eat all of the food in the freezer.

So. Yay. Cooking.

Or, often, take-out. Or fast food.

By the way, did you see the adorable train set that was part of the McDonald’s kid’s meal in December? Yeah. We almost got the whole thing. You get how my month went now, right? I DID remember to feed the baby in December. She’s addicted to fruit. I kind of don’t blame her but I wish it was in season.

  • bananas $1.25, $0.95
  • cake pop $2
  • Cheerios $3.99, $5.29, $4.99
  • flaxseed milk (she uses enough that one per month is on her) $3.99
  • apples $4.89, $5.99, $2.74, $5.51
  • honeydew $3.37
  • grapes $5.47
  • cantaloupe $3.99, $3.99
  • mango $4.99
  • eggs $4.49
  • watermelon $11.39
  • frozen pizza $2.50, $2.50, $2.50
  • cookie dough $3.00ย (more craft than food but whatever)
  • pink frosting $1.72 (more craft than food but whatever)
  • Five Guys hot dog $4.79, $4.79
  • Chick-fil-A* $3.29 + .20, $3.29 + .20, $3.29 + .20, $3.29 + .20
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal $2.99, $2.99, $2.99, $2.99, $2.99
  • extra toy because I’m that mom apparently $1.86

*Oh, something kinda cool: we stopped at Chick-fil-A while traveling before Christmas and Santa Cow was randomly there!! We made cool Chick-fil-A ornaments and colored pictures and waved at Santa Cow from a safe distance.

And let’s not forget our boring recurring monthly charges.

  • diapers $14.99, $8.99
  • wipes $4.49
  • Laundry detergent $8.46
  • baby bath $7.99
  • storage unit $127
  • extra tank of gas $40


New Year, New Altitude.

T minus thirteen.


Oh wait, I meant to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you are heading into this New Year with confidence and optimism and well-behaved children. (Or at least two out of three.)

I’ll just be over here packing all of our belongings into boxes because, as I may have mentioned before, we are moving to Colorado.

Fun fact: I have never been to Colorado.

But I will be living there so very soon.

The movers are coming in two weeks and I have to have the place mostly packed. The ToddlerMonster is helping. I’m averaging one box a week.

I think it’s time to step up my game.

When the movers leave, I will leave, but I will take a very circuitous route to Colorado, stopping to see friends and family on the way.

Funner fact: It takes up to fourteen freaking days for a moving company to get your stuff from Virginia to Colorado. I don’t want to arrive before my dishes. Or my bed. Or my InstantPot.

The Teen Girl is coming with us to Colorado (yay!). In fact, it will just be her and Babystar and me on this long, strange, trip in the minivan. My husband will already be in Colorado. Someone needs to make money so we can go party at Disney World (yep!).

The Teen Girl needs a better name for this blog because soon she will no longer be a Teen. I have called her Buttercup for years. How about Princess Buttercup? I am sure she will let me know how she feels about this name change if/when she reads this post.

Princess Buttercup

pc: @serenakf: Amazing Photographer and Human

Princess Buttercup is coming with us. I have been trying to decide if we would have chosen a different place to rent if there was no Babystar. For monetary accuracy on this blog, of course. My husband has been out there working on and off for awhile now, and he did all the house-looking by himself. We decided to rent a farm. (It totally has a barn and silo and everything.) I have wanted chickens forEVER. And the farmhouse has a separate entrance and even a separate kitchen for Princess Buttercup.

We would have chosen this farmhouse, Babystar or no Babystar.




So, like, can anyone give me some tips? Regarding chickens OR Colorado? I know that chickens have feathers and Colorado is square and that is where my knowledge ends.

OMFG what am I doing??

(One thing I am FOR SURE doing is getting ready for a month of the shortest blog posts ever. From the WordPress app on my phone.)


Santa, Interrupted.

Oh, the Holidays. The time of year when we try our hardest not to offend those we love and cherish. Or something like that.

Because we are moving soon (OMFG I NEED TO PACK), we took the ToddlerMonster to visit one set of grandparents in Myrtle Beach. The Teens* were in Florida with their dad and we all met back home after Christmas.

*The boy Teen just turned twenty-one and has not been a teenager for a few years but I have no other name for the two of them.ย The Teens is just so short and easy. I am open to suggestion, as they don’t care for the alternatives I have proposed: The Freeloaders, The Children of the Last Millennium (abbreviated COLT), or the Starter Kids.


Babystar is and was and remains all about Santa this year. And THE TEENS wanted to watch her experience SantaMagic and open her other gifts because they love her and they are brats. So we waited.

We told Babystar that Santa took her gift to her house. When we were just about to leave for Myrtle Beach last week, I ran back inside to hang the stockings. And I left instructions for THE TEENS to build the trains set ‘from Santa’. The shenanigans were only 99.9999% stressful and annoying.

But worth it. Ugh. Loving your kids is SO OVERRATED.

(Presents do not equal love. This whole delaying Christmas so all three of my favorite children could be happy and get what they wanted DOES equal love.)

But. Um. Y’all. I feel like I must Confess.

Babystar had WAY TOO MANY presents to open last night. And I didn’t even realize that it had happened.

Christmas shopping was done from about September to November. Sometimes via Amazon in the middle of the night. (When those packages arrived, I put them straight into a closet without opening them. So I guess I may have forgotten about them.) Often the Girl Teen was at Target with me, and she is a huge Babystar enabler. It is just so much FUN to choose toys for little kids. And so the Target bags would go in one closet or another and I guess I sort of forgot about them.

We even wrapped all of these gifts in November. The Teen and I had a wrapping party and we had music and snacks and it was fun and I was sad when it was over so I didn’t realize that I had purchased an entire toy store for the two year old.

It’s actually quite lucky that we are moving to a big farmhouse with no friends because she will have plenty of toys to play with and plenty of room to keep them and plenty of time to play with them. But soon I have to pack them. Ugh.

Santa brought her the train set that she wanted. Of course it was made by elves, but I think their summer job is at Ikea. Ikea would have charged $57.96 for all of the pieces that Santa’s elves made. And some are still in the closet. Santa went overboard.

Her Christmas stocking was full of chocolate coins* ($1.99), three packs of pink Play-doh ($0.77 x 3), a Rudolph board book ($1), a pack of M&Ms ($1.29), a Princess Poppy expandable washcloth from the Target dollar aisle which she already used last night ($1), ten adorable ‘monsters’ from Ikea** ($7.40), and a tiny baby doll*** ($3.59).

*Did you see those awesome Coins from Around the World for $1.99/bundle at Trader Joe’s this year??

**Ikea chooses ten kid’s drawings each year and turns them into stuffed animals with two sizes each and all proceeds go to charity and it is the cutest thing.

***Her Toddler BFF has this little baby from Target and Babystar loooooves it. Her BFF calls her ‘Baby Lucy’ so this one is naturally ‘Baby Lucy’.

And then there were a million more gifts wrapped under the tree.

  • Melissa and Doug felt food Sandwich Set
  • Melissa and Doug Scoop and Stack Ice Cream Cone Magnetic Play Set $21.20
  • Melissa and Doug Birthday Party Cake $14.97
  • Felt donuts from the Target ‘dollar aisle’ $3
  • Wooden breakfast food from the Target ‘dollar aisle’ $3
  • Strawberry Shortcake doll $9.99
  • Angel Cake doll $9.99
  • Blueberry Muffin doll $9.99
  • Orange Blossom doll $9.99
  • vintage Huckleberry Pie doll from eBay $9.95

I tucked Huck in with Angel Cake because she was the only one without a giant hat.

  • Terra Prehistoric World Playset (basically an awesome giant bin of dinosaurs) $15.99
  • CAT mini machines (“just like at nook!”) 5-pack $4.69

CAT trucks at nook

  • Hotwheels car launcher (meant to go with a track but Babystar just likes to zoom her cars) $9.97
  • Moana pajamas $17.97
  • Usborne books: Ludwig the Space Dog (it’s 3D!) and My First Book About Me (to help with naming feelings) $28.24
  • Three adorable winter hats with animal ears ($3, $3, $3)
  • Lacing toy for building fine motor skills $3
  • Honestly Cute Potty Training set (a baby doll with a flushing potty that she already adores and is currently peeing on my table and I hope will get Babystar excited about using the potty herself) $20.69
  • Play-doh Florist Shop $9.99
  • (We also bought an 18-pack of Play-doh but didn’t give it to her. We have been doling it out as she smooshes her Play-doh colors together.) $15.49

I did luckily get most of these things on sale. But dude. Yeah. It’s a bit much. I know, I know. I have no idea how this happened?

Parents: Got any advice for reigning it in with the gifts? I didn’t THINK I was an Over-Do-It Mama but apparently I am one. Bummer.