July is for Ice Cream and Popsicles.

Babystar is ALL ABOUT POPSICLES. We bought the Popsicle brand (that’s a brand, right?) sugar-free version but then she was eating SO MANY of them that we were like, hold up, aspartame and food dyes are bad, right? (My husband pointed this out and I was a proud Crunchy Mama and also an embarrassed Crunchy Mama because I should have thought of this myself. But alas, I am forever a TIRED Crunchy Mama so I immediately forgave myself and then forgot what I forgave myself for.)

**Blogger’s Note: I learned at Wordcamp DC that you should avoid run-on sentences for better SEO so basically I’m fucked because run-on sentences are totally my bae. And so is (ironic) slang which is another SEO no-no. Um, whoops?

What was I talking about? Was it sleep? It is usually sleep. Oh! Popsicles.

I had previously purchased a pack of popsicle molds at Ikea and I had a bunch of Honest juice boxes left over from Babystar’s birthday party so I filled the popsicles molds with juice and crossed my fingers that she would like them. SHE LOVED THEM. And these are way better for her than the store-bought popsicles. I could make them even healthier by adding vegetable juices but I’m a bit too lazy for all that. I like having that option, though. I can pretend to be a much better mother than I actually am.


ALSO: One Honest juice box fills THREE Ikea size popsicle molds and a pack of forty juice boxes at Costco is $9.99 so these babies are less than nine cents each. I let Babystar have as many of these homemade popsicles as she wants, because she only ever drinks water otherwise. If she eats six popsicles in a day (honestly about average) but only eats half of each popsicle (her usual M.O.), she’s basically had one juice box. I am completely fine with that.

Since Babystar usually only eats about half of one before it is a drippy mess, we taught her to put the popsicle stick in the sink when she is finished. (Yay for independent toddlers!) Of course, the grown-ups in the house have to check the garbage disposal for the popsicle sticks and we have failed more than once. I was at Ikea shopping for Dorm Essential (SOB!) last week so I bought three more packs of the popsicle molds (only $1.99 now!) so that we never ever ever run out of popsicles.

We also bought some more food for Babystar in July. Though she really isn’t eating that much right now. And we rolled into July with a surplus (due to lots of family visiting).

  • Strawberries $3, $3, $1.29, $1.29, $1.29
  • Blueberries $3.99, $1.99, $3.12
  • Popsicles $3 (before the switch)
  • Apples $4.99, $3.99, $3.99
  • Honest juice boxes at Costco $9.99
  • Granola bars $1.99
  • Frozen french fries (we bought more but we share so only one on her tally) $3.59
  • Animal crackers $1.49, $1.49
  • Penguin crackers $1.49, $1.49, $1.49, $1.49
  • Pasta Snakes (Babystar’s name for penne) $1.39
  • Sea bass (spoiled baby) $12
  • Cod $4.50
  • Rotisserie chicken (half) $2.50
  • Tots $3, $1.65, $1.65
  • Haagen-Daas ice cream on a stick $3
  • Chick-fil-A kids meal $3.39, $3.39, $3.39, $3.39
  • McDonalds kids meal $2.99, $2.99
  • Cracker Barrel kids meal $4.99
  • La Cantina kids quesadilla $5.50
  • Pizza at food court $3.69
  • Haagen-Diaz cone with sprinkles (yes she had to have the sprinkle cone) $6.83
  • Peter Chang’s Spring Rolls and fried rice $3.50, $3.50, $3.50
  • Estimated overtipping for dining out with a toddler $15 (five meals out)

I’m also going to add in some boring things that do not deserve their own blog post but we totally bought so I need to add into the total somewhere and here is as good as anywhere.

  • Baby nail clippers two-pack (I briefly lost hers but of course I found them again) $4.55
  • Nook membership for May/June/July $360 ($120 per month and we love it; Nook is not boring but constantly posting about the monthly fee is boring. And they are discontinuing the monthly membership option as of today, which makes me sad but might mean cooler things are coming. We shall see.)
  • The train at Tyson’s Mall which is NOT boring but I forgot to post about it $10, $11 (They either charge more on weekends or less with cash but I need to investigate this discrepancy.)
  • White paper pads from Target $2.19 (x6).  Babystar looooves coloring so I have a special drawer for her with crayons and paper so she can color when the inspiration strikes which is every single second.
  • Giant pack of AA batteries from Costco $14.99. I realize that most of these batteries go into Babystar’s toys. (Toys that were gifts because what parent purchased battery-operated toys ON PURPOSE?)


Art Show.

Melissa and Doug have done it again. We already love their puzzles and toys and stickers, so I am not at all surprised. But DUDE have you checked out their toddler art sets!? I am particularly referring to the Water Wow! painting books ($4.99). Babystar LOVES this thing. She calls it her ‘art show’. She can paint the pad with water and it will color in the picture plus add a few surprises like birds in the sky or starfish in the sea or whatever. They are marketed as on-the-go activities, and I did not realize until writing this post that the ‘paintbrush’ actually unscrews so you can add water to it and you do not actually need a cup of water for the tiny artist. I did wonder why the brushes were so chunky, but I just thought it was because they were made so perfectly for toddler hands. (I am clearly a genius.) Plus the cup of water is a sensory activity. Right?

Protip: dab the pages with a paper towel when your child finishes to avoid them sticking together. And lay the books on their side with the pages fanned out to dry. They will dry clear and are actually totally reusable. We are on about six times now (in only a few days) and the Water Wow! book is still as good as new.

I also bought a Melissa and Doug stamp pad ($5.99) and a Color Blast marker coloring book ($4.99) at the same time. I’m saving the stamp pad and marker book for later, though.

I like to dole out new toys a bit at a time. Once I show her the stamp pad, THERE IS NO TURNING BACK. I know this. I almost feel like a bad mommy because she got a ton of little stamps in her easter basket but she has no stamp pad. But right now, she still likes naming the animals on the stamps and has not even asked for a stamp pad. She knows that stamp pads exist. She loves to play with them at Nook. So I know that once they are available at home, THAT WILL BECOME MY WHOLE LIFE AND I AM NOT READY FOR THAT JELLY.

The stamp pad totally says washable and I have high hopes. But. I believed Crayola once too, so we’ll see. Washable = it will totally come off but be prepared to scrub really hard, mama.

I also recently purchased a Magic Ink Moana coloring book from Amazon as a fun new toy for her sister to give her when she babysat her recently. It was $6.50 at the time but I see now that the price has gone up. Babystar was underwhelmed, but I think it was just a bit too old for her. The marker tip was a bit too small to hold a toddler’s attention for revealing the colors. Though she did play with it for about an hour, I’m told. Mostly, though, it isn’t just a coloring book but more of an activity book. It would be great for older Moana-lovers on a road trip or something; it has games and mazes and such. I’m hoping the Melissa and Doug marker book will be more toddler-focused.

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Has anyone found any truly washable markers? Do tell! Pretty please.