Moving. Is. The. Worst.

It’s true. Moving suuuuuuucks.

I have a theory. Moving is so terrible that talking or thinking about a past move brings on a sort of PTSD situation. This is why no one tells you how bad it is. And so when you ask your friends and family and acquaintances for recommendations, no one really wants to think about that horrible time in their life. So they just pretend they didn’t hear you or avert their eyes and walk run away in a state of avoidance.

I get it. I don’t want to talk about it either. But I think that’s how I ended up with the WORST MOVERS EVER and I was crying on moving day but only because the mean mover guy made me hang out in 40 degree weather with no coat for two hours while he told me AFTER LOADING ALL MY STUFF that it was going to cost about twice what I thought. Fuck that guy. (I mean, thank goodness my husband’s company paid for the move, but it was still awful. And they couldn’t fit Babystar’s playhouse. And I was cold and tired and hungry and he kept adding wrong and starting over and talking to someone on that stupid phone clipped to his ear and omg I’m having flashbacks.)

Ok. Forget it. Never use Long Distance Movers. Oh yeah, I’m linking to them so you know exactly who I think you should never ever use. Trust me on this one.

(Though the guys that moved us IN in Colorado were simply lovely. But they also contracted for United Movers so maybe use them instead.)

So, moving sucks. Colorado is AWESOME, you guys. FREAKING. AWESOME.

But moving still sucks. I am STILL not completely unpacked. And that’s not even counting all the boxes in the basement. There is still one box in my bedroom and a few hidden in closets throughout this farmhouse. I doubt I will ever truly finish. I give up.

ANYWAY.

I have totally been feeding Babystar this whole time. And we went some fun places too. We also went a lot of boring places so Babystar got some cool Patience Presents. And I bought more Cat & Jack clothes from Target because they are so darn cute. And I bought other stuff because I am a sleep-deprived sucker.

I have a pile of receipts and no time or desire to take pictures or think of clever titles for separate blog posts so I’m going to cheat and list a whole bunch of stuff here.

(You know, for the Smithsonian. Yep, that one. Babystar turns eighteen in 2033. Hey Smithsonian, hit me up then, k? K.)

  • Princess Poppy pillowcase (for the bed she still won’t sleep in) $4.79
  • Princess Poppy blanket (that she at least uses in her teepee) $9.59
  • This adorable shirt because why is Target so cute!? $4.50
  • This shirt for St. Patrick’s day $4.50
  • Two more shirts and some leggings $5, $4.50, $5
  • Princess Poppy hat that we lost the same day $0.90

 

poppy hat

  • Some Usborne books from a friend’s virtual party plus shipping $21.97
  • Brand new awesome stuffed Branch doll from thrift store $5
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book from thrift store $1
  • heart shaped rock $6
  • green rock from a random shop in downtown Boulder $2
  • quartz crystal (yes, the kid loves rocks) $5
  • Blue!! from eBay (that tag lasted twenty years outside of my house but twenty seconds inside of my house) $26.70

blue puppy

  • 3-pack of Contigo water bottles from Costco $11.99
  • Coffee and snacks and tip at Java Mama which is a cool coffeeshop with a playspace that I wish was closer to my house $12.43
  • three sets of 4T pajamas from Costco that were marked $3.99 but I just noticed while looking at the receipt that I paid $7.99 each and I’m slightly annoyed although I knew that price was too good to be true
  • dinosaur dig kits from the Target dollar aisles $3 (times three)
  • four mall dinosaur rides, you know, those animal shaped ride on things in every mall in America $40
  • four mall carousel rides $4
  • another trip to Frolic, an indoor play place a bit too far from the house $9.86
  • a trip with dad to the Denver Children’s Museum $26
  • three crochet finger puppets from the grocery store line $2.99 (I didn’t know the price until they rang up and I was already feeling too defeated to try to put them back)
  • m&m tee shirt and m&m’s from dad’s trip to NY $29.65
  • Aldi wipes $3.49 times four because I made my son bring back a bunch from the east coast in February because Aldi wipes 4 lyfe and now anyone that visits me from the east coast needs to please bring me Aldi wipes because I miss them so much ok thanks
  • Other wipes $3.79, $3.49, $4.99, $6.99
  • Diapers $14.99, $7.99, $21.99, $21.99, $14.99, $14.99
  • laundry detergent (she shares with us obvs) $4 per month so $16 through April
  • Seventh Generation Coconut care baby wash $7.99
  • Honest bubble bath (that she asked for but hates) $10.79
  • Babyganics bath wash $8.99
  • bathtub crayons $2.99
  • dinosaur egg bath fizz thingy that she hates $1.49, $1.49
  • January food $159.42
  • February food $144.06
  • March food $142.24
  • April food $146.94 (Hit me up if you want the full list. I’m talking to you, Smithsonian. Also, I see your kid’s meal price jumps, Chick-fil-A.)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $28,033.62

(And now, hopefully, back to our regularly scheduled sass.)

 

 

Spoiling Babystar.

There is a long history of movie titles using the formula VERBing GIRLNAME.

Driving Miss Daisy. Chasing Amy. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Killing Zoe. Raising Helen. Stealing Beauty. Kissing Jessica Stein. Finding Dory.

I’m hoping if I use a fancy Hollywood name for this blog post, no one will notice that I have gone FULL BRIBE with the toddler.

Moving is hard, y’all. We have only been Colorado residents for three weeks. We still have boxes yet to be unpacked. We still haven’t found the plastic sink that goes in her play kitchen. And Babystar is pretty chill with everything that is happening around her.

She plays with the toys that she has, and gets excited whenever we unbox new toys.

But we also needed to stock the house with groceries and toilet paper and coffee and wine (!!!) and some more towels and hand soap and lamps and just house things.

If you look at the huge number by the dollar sign at the bottom of my posts, you will likely discern that I am a total sucker for buying toys for Babystar. But now we have turned them into ‘Listening and Patience Presents.’ I let her choose something fun during each long errand (usually Troll-related, but it does vary) and then I use the method taught to me by my dear friend and supermama Mary Catherine. The Patience Present is hers to lose. As long as Babystar listens and is patient during the outings, mama will buy the toy she has chosen. If she does not listen or she runs away from me (which used to be a problem back in Arlington ALL THE TIME), then we have to wait until our next errand trip to buy the toy.

So far, it works. I definitely think that letting her pick her toy/whatever and hold it while we do the rest of the shopping helps immensely. A total physical reminder IN HER HAND to listen to mama.

Dude, if you told me you could make my toddler behave in the shops for five bucks, I would totally do it. Trolls are about five bucks, and those are her favorite presents right now. I am ALL IN.

So, anyway, behold the baby’s recent bribes.

trolls

Trolls, purchased separately. $4.99 each.

felt mail

Felt mail, for playing along with Blue’s Clues. $3 at Target.

rocks from ned

A box of rocks. $12. Yep. From our adventure in the adorable mountain town of Nederland. The locals call it ‘Ned.’ And I’m a local now. So the rocks are from Ned.

She also chose a ‘Cloud Guy’ pillow ($7.99) for her Patience Present from Ikea* and she sleeps on him every night. Hopefully Cloud Guy AND Babystar will soon move into her Big Girl Bed (Coming Soon).

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,092.57

*I firmly believe that EVERYONE that doesn’t have a breakdown in Ikea deserves a Patience Present.

We Interrupt This Blog…

To bring you the OLYMPICS!!

Just kidding. I haven’t seen a single minute of the Olympics.

But seriously though, I finally get the television hooked up again and everything is on hiatus for the next few weeks.

Which is kind of fine because I am STILL not finished unpacking.

boxes

And I’m also working on setting up Hulafrog Boulder (yay!) and I’ll be the Managing Editor which is super cool so please tell all of your Colorado friends to subscribe. (It’s free!)

I’ll be back soon. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not.

Wild, Wild West Part Two.

The Colorado Saga continues as our three heroines drive west out of Kansas City in search of dinner. Have you ever driven west on I-70 in Kansas? Almost immediately, we were forced onto a toll road with only one gas option and one food option. We accepted our fate, filled up the gas tank, and ordered our Chicken McNuggets.

(P.S. WHAT are the toys that McDonald’s is handing out in their $2.99 Happy Meals these days? Some kind of anthromorphic line of furniture? I don’t get it. But ok. Babystar’s washing machine probably WILL have opinions in the future so she may as well pretend all about it now.)

I digress.

I broke our family’s cardinal rule about ‘no screens at dinner’ because 1) road trip and 2) fast food. Princess Buttercup aka Navigator Extroidonaire pulled out her phone to check our route ahead and figure ouT where we would sleep. We watched the sun set from our sweet window seat at McDonald’s and calculated the distance to Topeka.

Kansas is wide af, y’all, so we knew we wouldn’t get to Colorado that night.

Princess Buttercup is ambitious, though, so she checked the distance to Denver just for fun. Eight hours. We would arrive at 12:35am if we drove to Denver. And that’s AFTER the time change when we cross into the Mountain Time Zone.

Nope. Nopenopenopenopenope.

Except YEP. Because we also discovered that there was a huge winter storm warning for Colorado and parts of Kansas starting at 1am that night. Snow AND ICE was predicted after midnight and throughout the following day. We had two choices: stop in Kansas and get snowed in for two days or race the storm to Denver.

We are idiots. We raced the storm to Denver.

The sun had set by the time we got back on the road. Has anyone driven through Kanasas? What does it look like? I genuinely want to know. As far as I can tell, the state is pitch black and full of UFOs. An hour or so into Kansas, we noticed bands of red lights blinking in unison. They would disappear and reappear, always blinking the same alien codes.

I’m pretty sure NOW that they were wind turbines. But we were pretty sure THEN that earth had been invaded.

Also, it was before midnight on a Saturday night and there were like five other cars on the road. I was under the impression that I-70 was a major highway but I felt like I was driving through an episode of True Detective: X Files. There were gas stations about every twenty to thirty miles but when my needle dropped under a quarter tank, I started to worry. We drove through a long stretch of road seeing nothing but aliens, so when I finally saw an exit with a sign that promised gas, we stopped. We drove almost a mile down a dark road before finding the gas station.

Y’all. OMFG.

We pulled up to one of the four pumps. There was a guy in an older pick up truck pumping gas already, so we obviously waited for him to drive away before even unlocking the van. When I did get out to pump gas, I left the keys in the van with Princess Buttercup and Babystar and gave strict orders that they should lock the doors while I pumped the gas and went inside the gas station to pee. If I was abducted by the aliens, Princess Buttercup was to hop in the driver’s seat and speed away without looking back.

When I got outside of the van, I noticed that the gas station was actually closed. Great. We were alone with the aliens. And there was nowhere to pee. Also, they only sold two kinds of gas — diesel and not diesel. There were no pesky octane levels or anything from which to choose. I hurried to fill the tank and then got back on the interstate as quickly as possible.

Two miles later we stopped at the most glorious, brilliantly lit gas station and convenience store combo in all of Kansas. We got caffeine and chatted with the lovely WOMEN that were working there and finally peed and got back on the road to Denver.

Fun fact: the border town between Kansas and Colorado on I-70 is called Kanorado.

We crossed into Colorado eventually, and somehow drove 180 MORE miles through the worst fog ever to our hotel near the Denver airport. By midnight, we really were the only vehicle on the road. Well, it was us and the trucks salting the highway. Everyone else had enough sense not to drive in ZERO VISIBILITY conditions. But we did finally make it to our hotel that night. We had booked two nights at the Embassy Suites because we wanted the extra space and we wanted an on-site restaurant since we knew we would be stuck for a little while.

The hotel had given away our room.

Y’all. I straight up cried right at that poor night clerk. I didn’t yell at him. I just started crying at him like a soap opera diva. When I finally pulled it together, I learned that they had held a room for us at the hotel across the street. We packed our things back into the van and drove across the parking lot. The snow started about fifteen minutes after we finally checked into our room for the night.

Everything turned out all right in the end. We ended up in a two-bedroom suite for two nights, paid for by the Embassy Suites that bumped us. (Thanks again, jerks! Actually, they weren’t really jerks they were just oversold like every hotel. And they paid for our stay across the street so that was cool. They would not bring me wine though. I asked.)

And then on Sunday morning, after having slept only about four hours, I got a miracle phone call that our furniture was going to be delivered the following day around noon. PERFECT.

The Alien Fog drive though hell was worth it.

This was almost two weeks ago and we are still unpacking.

We also just got internet. Like, five minutes ago. And we still don’t have television, though I’m sure we could probably stream something if we had time to sit down.

I still have no decent pictures. Please enjoy this picture of the inside of our moving truck.

moving truck2

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,054.61

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.

TODDLERS.

Anyway.

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.’

athena

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.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,051.62