Llama llama, MORE BOOKS MAMA!

Dude. I can tell myself over and over that Babystar has ENOUGH STUFF, and I am totally right. But I keep buying her books.

She loves books. She ‘reads’ her books to herself and her friends. (Her friends are stuffed animals.) She reads her books to Tillie the Kitten, who seems oddly into it. She brings her books everywhere and will ask anyone to read to her. Her books ward away toddler meltdowns. Her books are fucking magic.

(Yes, I know about libraries. I love the library. I also know that if my kid likes to lick her books, other kids probably do also. I mean, duh, licking books is SO LIT. So we don’t check out board books or ‘beginning reader’ books from the library. We do check out story books from the library, but those are read TO her by an adult under highly supervised situations.)

Last week, I bought a six-pack of ‘Learn-to-Read’ Little Critter books at Costco for $9.99. We already love Little Critter, and the kid needs practice on NOT RIPPING PAGES of non-board books. At less than two dollars per book, this seems like a nice price point for practice. And — bonus! — maybe she will in fact learn to read.

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Then on Saturday, we bought two new board books from the last of the big box brick and mortar bookstores, Barnes & Noble, for $16.98. We also joined their Kid’s Club, which is totally free! (Their adult version is $25 so free is awesome.) You get $5 off for each cool hundred that you drop in their store (books totally add up quickly tho) and the kids get a free cupcake on their birthday from the cafe. And they probably email you some coupons and stuff, I’m assuming. Since they asked for my email address. Or maybe they just want to sell it to make some money to pay the rent since everyone buys books on Amazon these days. (Which I totally get because I could have saved $3.08 buying them on Amazon. But I like to touch books and I miss bookstores.) Either way, I’m kind of cool with it.

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MAMAS AND PAPAS AND ANYONE WHO HANGS OUT WITH THE LITTLES: How old was your kids when you started checking out library books? And do you prefer Amazon’s prices and convenience or the magical experience of actual bookstores? (I like a good combo platter myself.)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $19,577.70

Hop to It.

The Easter Bunny gets all the credit for hiding baskets on Easter morning, yet he (or she) always takes the money out of my bank account. So rude. Who keeps giving that rabbit my pin number?

 

There was BARELY any chocolate in that basket. Well, maybe a little more than that. Babystar ate all of it (except the bigger chocolate bunny which I hid and I hope she forgot about but she’s very smart about her chocolate so maybe not). She was like Cookie Monster, but with chocolate. Like Winnie the Pooh with his honey, but chocolate. Like Voldemort likes killing muggles, but with chocolate.

  • chocolate, about $4 worth, including a few small individually wrapped bunnies and kisses and a $1 Russel Stover bunny and a “carrot” full of m&m’s
  • Crayola egg crayons $10.59
  • Crayola 64 box of crayons $2.99
  • Crayola paint pens (BOGO but I put one directly into the craft closet) $4.99
  • stuffed yellow crayon $10.55
  • Re-play ‘big girl cups’ (7) $17.50
  • three pairs of sunglasses (two are hearts because I lost her faves which were $5.99 but I never listed them here whoops I’m doing it now) $16.97
  • flowers for planting in a cute egg carton $3
  • fairy doll $14.99
  • light up wand and ball (I bought these long ago and gave her one already) $3
  • Dr. Suess ABC board book $3.34
  • Oliver Jeffers ABC board book $6.85
  • easter socks $2.50
  • Goodnight Moon board book $4.99
  • cloth basket $3
  • fake grass $1

I also was going to add the Re-play forks and spoons to her basket but they wouldn’t fit. So they are just in the kitchen drawer. $12.

We bought $3 worth of plastic eggs for an egg hunt. And then bought stickers and small rubber stamps to fill them for $38.12. This baby is expensive. I should have just bought more chocolate.

And of course there was the requisite easter balloon ($3.50) which popped in the parking lot so we had to go in and get another ($3.50).

Oh, and she fell in love with a stuffed bunny while we were at the bookstore. It didn’t go in her easter basket but I’ll talk about it here. She was obsessed. Still is, in fact. She slept with the bunny last night and she NEVER sleeps with stuffed animals. ($12.99)

And we are dying eggs tonight, with my 3.5 yo niece, to spread out the Easter celebrations. I bought four dozen eggs on sale for $2. (Please don’t make me think about the living conditions of those poor chickens with eggs that cheep cheap. I had to make an easter pun to stop thinking about it. Poor, poor chickens.) We also bought giant marshmallows to color. ($3.29 x2) I also bought a $2 Paas tie-dye egg coloring kit. And some canned whipped topping ($5) and neon food coloring ($5.49 RIP-OFF) to try a method that the teens and I did successfully with shaving cream when I was pregnant but we are concerned the Littles might lick their fingers. I already have a large amount of vinegar. We are ready! BRB gonna go dye some eggs, y’all.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,211.37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College Applications.

Just kidding. Babystar is a long way from college. The Teenager has spent the winter meeting application deadlines for school in the fall. Not the baby. That would be ridiculous.

RIGHT?

Apparently not.

We just spent $100 on preschool applications for the fall. One application was $75 and I already know that Babystar is waitlisted. One was $25 but we have not heard back yet.

All the local mamas told me to try for at least three preschools, hoping to get into one. I didn’t listen; I only submitted two applications. But dude. She’s not even two (well, she will be two in the fall). I sort of figure that my ‘Option Three’ will be to not send her to preschool in the fall. Two-year-old classes are only two days a week for like three hours. It’s a big step, but also, it’s totally fine if she doesn’t go. Right?

Did I just BREAK THE BABY OH NO?!

(Just kidding. Probably. Hopefully.)

Btw, that video was taken at the library, which is FREE, although we did buy a Little Critter Numbers board book for fifty cents from the library sale.

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RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,838.88

To Grandma’s House We Went.

I used to love Thanksgiving, back in the last millennium when I was but a wee little one. Thanksgiving meant a break from school, lots of cousins, and extra desserts. It was the beginning of the holiday season. My dad had a big family all close together, so I remember folding tables for MILES that stretched through doorways into adjoining rooms. We kids were running and tumbling everywhere, or more often banished upstairs or outside (depending on the weather), where we got into all kinds of mischief. Ouija boards and naked Barbie dolls feature prominently in my childhood memories.

But now. Everyone has moved away or passed away or simply doesn’t hang out together anymore. My husband is an only child. I live pretty far from most of my family. Air travel is so damn expensive this week. We used to have a LOVELY lonely Hard Candy Christmas type of Thanksgiving with just us and the cats, with the two older children at their dad’s house and the Babystar not yet existing. WHY does having a baby come with certain holiday expectations? My in-laws moved to Myrtle Beach about five minutes before I got pregnant with Babystar (or I doubt they would have made the move). And so we tortured the teenager and the toddler on Interstate 95 last week.

I despise I-95. Fuck that road. The actual visit was lovely, though.

We did break up the trip on the way down because the baby cannot stand more than five hours in the car. Total, all day. After that begins the screamy times. Also, it cannot be dark. Also, someone must hold her hand at all times. Also, people must be singing. People she actually KNOWS, not people from the radio. Dance music isn’t fun unless we can actually dance. DUH, MOM.

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So anyway, that $136.53 at the Hampton Inn is on Babystar’s tab. We could have driven straight through without her along.

Once we arrived, Myrtle Beach was a whirlwind of food and shopping. I wasn’t mad at all. My MIL is a very good cook, even though she always pretends not to be very hungry while she passing me the gravy. Or the butter. Or the cupcakes and ice cream with peanut butter cups on top. Of both.

And that woman is FIRE at the mall. Do you remember that episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelei and Rory run into Emily at the mall and everyone there knows her? And they know all about Lorelei and Rory too, just by association? It was like that, if Emily Gilmore was much nicer. The teenager and I just watched in awe. I am not even kidding. The dude at the Cinnabon kiosk had her coffee ready when she walked by. One lady at a department store recognized her immediately and told her all about the sales on the ceramic pumpkins that she has had her eye on for two months. A lady in the shoe department knew that the Teenager was a gymnast without being told, and had been thinking about the perfect boots for her since before the Teenager even knew that she was getting boots. A different lady at a different department store gave me hella free samples including actual travel sizes with my Kiehl’s purchase because I was with Emily Gilmore my MIL. I straight up asked her (out of MIL’s hearing) if she was being so nice because I was with MIL, and she looked me straight in the eyes, smiled, and gave a single nod. I buy Kiehl’s at home all the time and they maybe give me two samples of lotion. If I ask nicely.

We did pop out to the outlets once on our own and while the Teenager and I were standing in line, my sweet husband distracted the baby by going to look at the ‘dogs’ at the weird outlet mall kiosk. $13 later, we owned one of those yippy beasts.

We also took a walk one day and found ourselves at a playground and then at Barnes & Noble where we spent way too much time (and money) in the children’s section. We brought home three board books and one story book for $45.32. Yes, they probably would have been less on Amazon, but it feels good to support a brick & mortar book store. I never would have said that about a chain bookstore even ten years ago, but now even the chains are dying. RIP Borders.

Another day, we went down to the boardwalk for a bit. The sand was cold but the ocean was beautiful. We watched the sun set and then Babystar got excited about all the lights. She had fun running around the arcades pushing blinking buttons and getting some wiggles out. And I bought her a $5 piece of crap light up thingy that she IMMEDIATELY bashed against the boardwalk until it broke. It still lit up for another two hours or so. It is in the trash now.

The WORST part of the trip was that it would have been considered rude to binge watch the new Gilmore Girls and the Teenager is so busy during the school week and we will have to wait over a week to see what is up with Rory and Lorelei. We have cleared Sunday evening’s schedule and now I just have to avoid spoilers. I’m scared, y’all. I might google in a moment of weakness. Like a 4am insomnia moment of weakness. Please keep me in your prayers.

The ride home was straight through, though broken up by fast food play places and one actual restaurant. We had snacks from South Carolina and the food on our plates and the ever present mama milk so the only cost to feed her was the $3 cookie I bought her at the fancy grown-up restaurant to eat while we ate our actual dinner. Judge me, I don’t care. I was hungry and desperate. I do not recommend this at all but it TOTALLY works in an actual meltdown-avoidance-emergency.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,485.59

 

Hippie Homeopathy vs FDA: Controversy!

In August, Little Miss Babystar started teething on vacation. (That kid has excellent timing.) She was crying all night and partying every day, getting six teeth AT ONE TIME in her poor little mouth. These were her first teeth ever, so she was probably like WTF IS THIS SHIT.

She hated it.

She also hated Tylenol and Motrin and any other type of pain relieving medicine. In desperation to find something that worked, I picked up Hyland’s Teeting Tablets at the Target in West Hollywood and crossed my fingers and said a little prayer and made a little offering to the Goddess of Teething. Guess what? They worked! She picked them up with her newly working little pincer grasp and ate ‘her candies’ and they freaking WORKED! I know, I know, it’s homeopathic and all, so it’s probably placebo but how can you placebo a baby? I’ve genuinely been thinking about this. You can’t, right? (Can you?!) They actually worked. Did I mention that they worked?

We ran out last week and that’s when I found out that they have been voluntarily recalled. Crap. My local Harris Teeter pulled them along with most US drugstore chains and I was freaking out and desperate so we ordered three boxes from Amazon that very day. She isn’t teething now but I didn’t want to be stuck without them during her next round of teething fun.

In the meantime, I have read many reports about the teething tablets. Hyland’s specifically, though I know the FDA has recommended discontinuing all brands. I talked to Babystar’s pediatrician about the tablets on our last visit, and she gave the ok. I have personally decided to continue using (and mildly worshiping) the teething tablets. I hope I am right. Parenting is hard. But I’m still researching. I don’t want to start a debate. But I am interested in your opinion. Especially if you have links and facts to share.

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We got a couple Halloween books too, as the tablets were one of those annoying Amazon Prime ‘add on thingys’ (technical term) so the shipping is free, but not really.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $12,493.77