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.ย 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.


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.


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. Andย 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 ย 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.