Wild, Wild West.

We made it to Colorado!

(Actually, we made it to Colorado over a week ago but we are still unpacking and we still don’t have internet so I blog from a coffee shop down the street when I can convince the older kids to hang home with Babystar which is not as often as I would like since they both are getting over the DeathFlu. Anyway.)

Let’s see how much I can fit into this forty-five minute coffee break.

The girls and I left Arlington on January 15.

Oh, but before that, we spent all of January packing and also taking Babystar on a Farewell Tour of her favorite parks and friend’s houses and indoor play spaces (because it was super cold!). I used up the rest of my passes to Nook and Busy Bees and we played at Scramble a few more times. (We spent $38.00 at Scramble that last week including snacks).

We didn’t get far on January 15, but the movers were really mean to me and I had to get out of Northern Virginia for my sanity. Plus we didn’t have any beds to sleep in anymore. We spent the night near the Virginia/North Carolina border and the drove to my brother’s house in Ashboro, North Carolina, the next day.

My brother works at the North Carolina Zoo so we got an awesome behind the scenes tour. Dude. DUDE. It was amazing. We met a bear and some zebras and an ostrich and a rhinoceros. Princess Buttercup and I were awestruck. Babystar was so casual about the whole thing. She fed a freaking BEAR and was like, “Next!”

Toddlers, dude. I can’t wait to tell her the story when she’s older.

She really did love the ostrich, though. They are super silly birds, and she laughed and laughed. She also loved the flamingos. Because they were pink. And the sea lions, because they were on a rock and she was super jealous because she loves rocks.



We got snowed in at my brothers for an extra day but finally got on the road again eventually. We made it to Tennessee and had dinner with friends before stopping for the night.

I bought Babystar a $7.00 pint of Haagen Daaz from the hotel snack bar.

The next day we got up early-ish and drove to the Parthenon. Did you know there was a Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee? I did not. We found out about it while lying in the hotel bed the night before.

It was super awesome. Babystar’s admission was free, but I did buy her some little toys in the gift shop for $13.40. We all adored the 42-foot Athena statue, and Babystar kept asking to go back upstairs to see ‘the tall lady.’


Eventually we got some Chick-fil-A ($3.49 for Babystar) and got back on the road and drove through bits of Kentucky and Illinois and past St. Louis before stopping in Missouri for the night.

We drove to Wonderscope in Kansas City the next day to let Babystar get some quality playtime in and some wiggles OUT.  Wonderscope is a super cool children’s museum and I’m really glad we stopped. Admission for the three of us was $24 ($8 per person) but it was totally worth it to let the toddler play. We all played a bit, actually. I preferred the Art Room, Princess Buttercup was obsessed with the huge play grocery store, and Babystar loved the Vet Office. We did lots of check-ups on ‘Tillie’.

We finally left Wonderscope at 5pm when they closed, and we decided to drive out of the city before stopping for dinner.

The plan was to eat, drive a little ways, and find someplace in Kansas to sleep for the night.

Things did not go as planned.


The Long Long List.

Santa’s not the only one with a list that goes on forever.

Sometimes I wonder why I am keeping track of every penny we spend raising Babystar.

That number at the bottom is mildly soul-crushing.

And then I think how satisfying it’s going to be to show her when she is nine and doesn’t clean her room. Or when she is sixteen and scratches my car. Or when she is forty and picking out nursing homes.

Mostly that last bit.

But keeping all of these notes is tedious and sometimes a bit boring. Not everything deserves it’s own post.

I bought a new outfit for Kelsey, which is Babystar’s favorite baby doll (these days). Kelsey is the cheap Honestly Cute brand baby doll from Target. (Babystar ignores her pricey American Girl Bitty Baby. It’s kind of hilarious.) I have no idea where Babystar heard the name Kelsey, but she named her all by herself. We don’t even know anyone named Kelsey. The $9.99 outfit was definitely a bribe, but I don’t remember for what exactly. Life, probably.

I bought a hat and mittens set for $7.99 because I couldn’t find any of Babystar’s hats. I later found three hundred hats in the closet.

I bought four sets of mittens for fifty cents each, hoping to have at least two mittens in the house at all times. I am not hopeful.

I have bought four really cool packets of on-the-go fun. They are little coloring books with a few crayons and stickers. You can find them for $1 each at Target or Micheal’s. We have already used the Rudolph one and the My Little Pony. I still have dinosaurs and Trolls in case of emergency. I really need to create my own busy bags. Maybe that will by my New Year’s Resolution. It’s nice and attainable.

Oh, and I spent $3.60 more on sticker packs. Usually as baby-be-good-bribes.

I broke my car-screen cherry with this kid and paid $3.99 to rent Trolls Holiday on my iPad last week for Babystar to watch in the car while we ran four hundred errands. Bonus: I now know all the words to Trolls Holiday.

Just kidding. I already knew all the words.

We paid $17.99 to buy Blue’s Clues Season 3 because we were tired of streaming the free Season 1. And Season 3 has the holiday episode. And Babystar we both love Blue’s Clues.

We had a HUUUUUGE blowout while spontaneously out with friends a while back but luckily we were literally next door to a kid’s consignment shop. Like, the only one in my area. I bought her an adorable Marimekko outfit for $16.95 that is still too big but we rolled the pants up. I also paid $17.50 for used shiny gold shoes because I was a little stressed out and she wanted them even though she didn’t actually poop on her shoes. Thank goddess.

And we have two Advent Calendars for her this year. She loves her $2.59 ‘Snowman Chocolate’ (there is a picture of a snowman on the front) and remembers it every day and she is getting REALLY GOOD at finding and recognizing the numbers so I think we need these babies year round. I also got her a puzzle advent calendar ($4.95) that is less popular but she still likes it. After she gets her ‘snowman chocolate’ and cons at least one of her older siblings out of their ‘snowman chocolate’. Suckers.

We have a really cute snow globe ornament that has never made it on to the tree because  Babystar NEEDED it in Nordstrom Rack and then totally forgot about it. I just found it in the bottom of a bag the other day. Oh well. It’s pretty. And $3.97 is a fair deal for twenty minutes of Toddler Patience.

We also have a vintage Apple Dumplin’ doll. You know, Strawberry Shortcake’s little sister. She already has been separated from her socks and her turtle but they are around somewhere. Vintage toys on eBay combined wth one-touch PayPal and insomnia get me EVERY TIME. This one was $16.95. Plus I totally have Strawberry Shortcake and some of her friends wrapped under the Christmas tree, but Target wasn’t selling the retro Apple Dumplin’ doll. And Babystar loves Apple Dumplin’ thanks to her big sister showing her a few youtube videos.

apple donut

But Babystar calls her Apple Donut. Because what the hell is a dumpling? I love it.







We Need to Talk About this 20K.

Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money.


Do you know what you can buy for $20,000?

A Volkswagon Beetle.

A Mediterranean Cruise for four.

Cartier diamond earrings.

Vespas for all four of the adults in my family.

An entire kitchen remodel.

A two bedroom house, if this Zillow listing is to be believed

I have never claimed to be a budget shopper, and I sometimes often buy completely unnecessary things for Babystar. But, like, she doesn’t have a PONY or two story playhouse or anything. I freaked out yesterday when the one changed to a two. But Babystar still brings me a million times more joy than everything on that list. Well, except maybe the Vespas.