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.Β 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.

SO ANYWAY.

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.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $25,036.15

We Get Around.

Toddlers have a lot of energy. SO. MUCH. ENERGY. It is exhausting. How on earth did I do this with TWO kids twenty years ago?!

Oh right. I was twenty years younger.

Babystar and I go on Little Adventures all the time. We love to take picnics to playgrounds, because picnics at playgrounds are free. But sometimes we have to switch it up.

We took Babystar to National Harbor for ice cream back when it was warmer (November because wtf is wrong with the weather). I spent $23.66 at Ben & Jerry’s and it all goes on the Toddler’s Tab because we wouldn’t have even gone if Babystar didn’t need to run out some energy. Parking was $12 and the playground was $7. Yes. National Harbor charges seven freaking dollars per kid to access to the playground. It’s such bullshit. They get away with it though, because they put a really cool carousel in the fenced in playground area. And the seven dollars comes with unlimited carousel rides. But still. Jerk move, National Harbor.

We paid $1 for a ride on the tiny carousel at Potomac Mills recently. We also paid $8 on that same trip to rent a gigantic fire truck shaped two person stroller thingy. I think we could have gotten fifty cents back if we had returned it but we left it at the door to the mall because we are terrible people. No. Wait. We are JOB CREATORS. Someone must make a living collecting those things, right?

We rode the train (AGAIN) at Springfield Mall. The mall trains are all $5, but it really cost $10 because the guy in the conductor hat at Springfield Mall charges for adults too. More bullshit. Springfield Mall also has a soft play room with a bunch of bouncy houses. Babystar was a bit scared, but I think she was just too young. We basically paid $7.42 for her to sit at the table with us and watch the big kids play. Whoops.

We went to Tyson’s Corner Mall recently and rode the train there too. The train guy only charged us $5 for Babystar and let me ride free, so there is still SOME kindness in this world.

We went back to ScrambleΒ today. ($10 plus $8.75 at the snack bar.)

We paid $11 to park at the zoo (member discount) to see ZooLights. And another $7 for the carousel that night.

Are you noticing a carousel trend? Last week, Babystar stopped nursing, and looked up at me and said, “I love milk. And water. And carousels.” And then went back to her milk business.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $24,672.98

We Need to Talk About this 20K.

Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money.

moneytree

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.

YOU GUYS HOLY CRAP BABY COSTS A LOT OF MONEY!!

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,336.21