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 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 by 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.)

Blankets on Blankets on Blankets.

I have been packing and packing and packing but apparently I totally love it because I went to Costco and brought home more stuff to pack.

One of those things was the BEST BLANKET EVER and Babystar fell in love with my new blanket. I love that kid, but she cannot have my blanket. Neither can Blanket Fan Princess Buttercup. So I went back and bought two more blankets. ($11.99 each; one was for Babystar.)

And I spent $19.99 on some crap.

Hear me out: I had to pee. Babystar is impatient. She is also obsessed with the Trolls. I sent Princess Buttercup and Babystar on a mission to ‘find some Trolls’ because I knew they could not actually find any trolls because TROLLS DO NOT EXIST. We decided to meet up at the books only because we all know where the books are and Costco rarely moves them.

She found the damn trolls.

Y’all. I checked. This was literally the only one of these. Someone probably bought it from a different Costco and returned it to this one. So yeah, I bought the Trolls. We decided that it would be a special ‘driving to Colorado’ toy so it is still in the box. She loves that box. She just plays with the box. As Princess Buttercup noted, we could have just printed out a picture of the trolls. Fml. I’m a sucker.




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 $3.00 (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.)