Clean Mama: the Greatest Gift of All!

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I had a wonderful day which included an uninterrupted shower. I’m not saying that was my favorite part, but it might have been my favorite part.

(Ok, just kidding. I get to take uninterrupted showers at least once a week per my sentencing guidelines. Um, I mean, because my two older children are wonderful creatures that will distract Miss Babystar for twenty minutes so that I can wash my hair.)

While in the shower, I realized that I never added the Arbonne ABC Baby Soap to this list.

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DON’T WORRY I’M NOT GOING TO TRY TO SELL YOU ANYTHING.

I know, I know, some people freak out and run screaming (or scrolling since we are all online here) when mamas say ‘Arbonne’ or ‘Lularoe’ or ‘DoTerra’ or ‘Shakeology’ or so many other trigger words. Those poor hustling mamas are just trying to do their thing. Even if their thing is sometimes annoying. You know what else is annoying? The fact that Target emails me every single day about SOMETHING and their Cartwheel app is stupid and difficult to use. But I still love Target and I still love my #momboss friends.

Ahem. Fun(ny) fact: I accidentally became an Arbonne consultant.

Yep. I ordered shampoo and conditioner and body wash and hand lotion and mascara (PS the Arbonne mascara is crap) from a friend at a party and then offered to HOST a party for her. Then, at MY party, my teenager wanted to try the entire freaking skin care line so I ordered a bunch more stuff for her. And me. And I ordered the baby soap for Babystar. In the weird pyramid scheme math, if I paid twenty bucks or something, I could get a save even more money and get a free thing AND get 35% off of my purchased for a whole year so DUH. Of course I did it. I did not realize what was going down* until our products arrived along with a box of ten catalogs and some cool samples (yay!) and a Welcome New Consultant folder. Whoops.

*I am sure my friend explained it to me but it was the end of the night and I had several glasses of prosecco.

I don’t even know how much it cost because I paid money for a discount (does that even make sense?) and I had to spend a minimum amount to get some ‘free’ stuff so I’m just going with the basic retail price which is $21.

Babystar still prefers to EAT the Honest Creamsicle** Soap. But she likes the Arbonne ABC soap because it barely lathers. Babystar hates bubbles. Well, she LOVES bubbles outside with a bubble wand that she drips all over and gets herself all sticky so that she needs a bath. She DESPISES any bubbles in said bath. She gets all mad at them and tries to pop them all saying, ‘no bubbles, no bubbles, no bubbles.’ Like she’s on some Baby Bathtime version of Press Your Luck.

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**It’s actually called Orange-Vanilla-Something but it’s basically a Creamsicle.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,923.99

April Showers Bring May Hem.

Or something like that, right?

Are you interested in a peek behind the blogging curtain? I usually post about things purchased for Babystar about a week (or two) after we’ve actually purchased said things.  I keep a running list on a Note on my beloved iPhone so that I don’t forget anything. (Well, three lists. One for food and one upcoming holidays and one for everything else.) On Sunday mornings, my darling pious Husband takes Babystar to play in the church nursery while I drink coffee in bed with my laptop. I look at the Notepad, figure out groupings that make sense, write a post or three, and schedule them to post throughout the following week.

Easy peasy, right?

Somehow, April did not go so smoothly. There is even an EXTRA Sunday in April; that’s right, this was a five Sunday month. And I still somehow lost most of those precious mornings to a sick baby or a bunny holiday or something else understandable but STILL.

I did not, however, forget to buy things for the baby. In the interest of accuracy and my sanity, I’m going to simply copy and paste. I’ll add explainations/information/sarcasm in blue. (TBH sarcasm comes in all colors here.) And then do some math, I suppose.

Airplane ticket subsidize $120 Babystar and I flew to Myrtle Beach for four days visiting Grammy and Grampy (the in-laws). My lovely MIL (over)paid for the ticket but we upgraded to first class so $120 was out of our bank account. Worth it.

Suitcase 39.99 omg y’all it has stars and she LOVES it

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Water at CLT 3.19 I accidentally put her sippy cup in the checked bag and had to buy a sports bottle-type water bottle at our connection. How do you teach a kid to drink from a regular water bottle? Please advise.

Nook $120 We re-nooked. That place is the bomb dot com.

Target diapers $4.99 x 10 ok, ok, I KNOW, but April was really hard, ok? I did not need diaper laundry on top of everything else. I know I COULD have done it but I really didn’t want to. Mea culpa, Mother Earth.

Chew Tylenol 5.95 She hates these btw.

Liquid Motrin 6.39 She was sick with a high fever for several days after Myrtle Beach. See? April was HARD.

Chew ibuprofen 3.94 She hates these too.

Infant Tylenol $6.99 She hates this too, but can be tricked. Poor baby.

Moana 12.99 We have already watched it, NO JOKE, over twenty times. Don’t tell anyone but I also love it. Babystar signs ‘help’ and says ‘help turtle’ at the beginning when Moana helps the turtle. And she says ‘uh-oh heart’ many times throughout the movie but I don’t want to spoil it for you. But if you have seen it, Babystar slays my heart EVERY TIME because she calls Te Fiti ‘mama’ and I die. Every single time.

$10 bees 2.65 socks Busy Bees is only $10 if you come after 4. Also I was wearing my Birks (#hippiemama) and didn’t have socks in the bag (even though I almost ALWAYS have a spare pair just in case) so I had to buy some. They are super fancy.

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Safety latch 4.31 I bought a pack of latches. Again. I still have not installed a single one. But I did move all of the glass to the top cabinets. So, you know, progress.

Cat and jack rocket shirt 4.50 It’s adorable and she loves it.

Bloom wipes 7.99 The Water Wipes are a big NOPE. Sadly. We are trying some others.

Target wipes 4.39 Cheap but I opened the Bloom ones first so I don’t know how well they work. I’ll let you know the verdict on wipes soon. Pinky swear.

Cat and Jack shirts $4 x2 A dinosaur one that she picked and the infamous ‘strong like mom’ because i’m so #basic.

Also here’s the April food and now I’m REALLY caught up. Babystar ate and GREW so much this month. 

  • frozen pizza $3 x3
  • sea bass $7.50 x2 (she fancy)
  • strawberries $4.49, 3.99
  • watermelon $2.48, 4.54, 3.49, 6.99
  • clementines $2.99, 3.99, 2.99, 2.99, 2.99 (she’s addicted yo)
  • bag of apples $3.99, 6.99, 3.99
  • ice cream cup $1.49 x3
  • carrots $1.49
  • frozen waffles $3.59
  • cheerios $1.97
  • blueberries $3.59 x3
  • string cheese $4.99
  • chocolate chip cookies with m&m’s $2.99 (one at a time, usually, shhhhhh)
  • organic eggs $5.49
  • ice cream mini cup $1.29
  • popsicles $4.99 (did I mention she is also teething?)
  • $3 slice of cheese pizza next door to Nook x5 (so convenient)
  • Chick-fil-A 4-piece nugget meal $3.75 x4
  • Burger King kid’s meal (I told you it was a hard month) $4.89
  • McDonald’s kid’s meal (props to them for giving TINY fries AND sliced apples) $2.99
  • Harris Teeter salad bar lunch, mostly fruit $2.28
  • T.G.I.Friday’s pasta kids meal plus tip about $9
  • Longhorn mac & cheese kids meal plus tip about $8

Oh, and we went to Rise + Rhyme which is a cool local kid’s concert with a $5 cover charge that serves full breakfast. The coffee (it’s at 9:30AM what!) and breakfast that I shared was $24.25 with tip. (I gave her ALL of my pineapple and blueberries but kept most of the sweet potato pancakes for myself. April was HARD Y’ALL.) It all goes on her tab though, because I would not have gone to see Culture Queen without Babystar. Even though I love her and yes, we ARE all towers of royal power. She has no idea how much I needed that song that morning. I love you, Culture Queen.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,902.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephants and Turtles and Snakes and Turtles and Turtles.

Just the other day, Babystar and I took an impromptu trip to the zoo. The weather was perfect and the Toddler REFUSED to get dressed to go to whatever class we were planning to attend that morning. (I am 99% sure it was a baby dance class because we have been trying to go to that at Nook but so far have literally never made it.)

She only wanted to read books in her pajamas. When we came to a book with a zoo (Peek-a-Who by Nina Laden), I asked her if she wanted to go to the zoo instead. She ran to put her shoes on right away. (I explained about getting dressed and she went along with my suggestion begrudgingly.)

I have been to the zoo many times but never with just a Toddler. I let Babystar direct our traffic and it was the best day. We spent more time than you would think watching a waterfall, we skipped some of the more popular attractions, and we watched one of the elephants eat an ENTIRE pile of hay. Babystar hissed some Parseltongue at her snake friends whom she ADORES. And we spent a very long time hanging out at the lemur exhibit, though we did not see a single lemur. There were about a million turtles swimming in the water surrounding the lemur mountain and Babystar waved to all of them. Individually.


I learned about a lot of good ‘stop for snack’ spot that I might otherwise have not noticed.


I highly recommend this exercise if you have the time and a spare toddler.

I packed lots of water and snacks so we didn’t spend a penny, but that is because we are FONZ which is a fancy way to say ‘zoo members’ in the DC area. $80 per year gives us a few cool perks but we bought it mostly for the free parking. Which we bought last fall when Babystar started learning about animals. And I forgot to add it back then, so I’ll add it now.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,291.37

 

B. Ball. Balloon.

This post is brought to you by the Letter B.

We finally brought out the letter magnets that I’ve had tucked in the closet for over a year. I can no longer find my refrigerator. Babystar likes naming the letters now. Not all of them; she has favorites. And she is convinced that we have two ‘W’s.

 

Also, unrelated, Babystar fell in love with this rainbow ball at Micheal’s. I posted all about the crayons and stickers but forgot about this ball. And so did she, apparently, because it is currently under my seat in the van. $4.

And another balloon joined our family. Babystar asked for the ‘LELLOW STAR!’ at the Harris Teeter checkout line and then I almost died when I handed it to her and she very clearly said, ‘thank you, mama.’ But I recovered long enough to pay for it. $3.50.

We have also been to Busy Bees (more B’s!) twice lately with my darling niece, during 2-for-1 Tuesdays. $15.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,921.49

College Applications.

Just kidding. Babystar is a long way from college. The Teenager has spent the winter meeting application deadlines for school in the fall. Not the baby. That would be ridiculous.

RIGHT?

Apparently not.

We just spent $100 on preschool applications for the fall. One application was $75 and I already know that Babystar is waitlisted. One was $25 but we have not heard back yet.

All the local mamas told me to try for at least three preschools, hoping to get into one. I didn’t listen; I only submitted two applications. But dude. She’s not even two (well, she will be two in the fall). I sort of figure that my ‘Option Three’ will be to not send her to preschool in the fall. Two-year-old classes are only two days a week for like three hours. It’s a big step, but also, it’s totally fine if she doesn’t go. Right?

Did I just BREAK THE BABY OH NO?!

(Just kidding. Probably. Hopefully.)

Btw, that video was taken at the library, which is FREE, although we did buy a Little Critter Numbers board book for fifty cents from the library sale.

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RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,838.88

Back to Cloth.

With few exceptions, Babystar has been in disposable diapers for about a month now. I started when I packed the bag for the Women’s March last month and disposables were so much lighter. I kept her in disposables through a bathroom renovation that took away my access to the diaper sprayer for a week. Then we all got sick and now we are better but yet the disposable diapers remain on the baby.

I’m not gonna lie — I don’t hate them. They are not as cute as the cloth diapers, but they definitely have their benefits.

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But today we are back in cloth. Let’s do this!


We bought eleven packs of diapers during this glorious, lazy month. The Target brand was somehow always on sale for $4.99. Score! So $54.89 for almost a month. Eh. The fancy cloth we use costs $30-35 each. I think you CAN save money using cloth but I definitely did NOT.

(We still have disposables left but we also still use them at night and on Sundays in the church nursery.)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,738.38

It’s the End of the Year as We Know It.

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The week between Christmas and New Year’sย always feels sort of like a half-deflated balloon. All the hype leading up to Santatime has ended, but the year isn’t quite over. School is out, Husband’s work is (sometimes, partially) out, and the whole schedule is off. But. It’s not yet time to jump back on the Resolution Train. (Hurry and eat all the carbs, CHOO CHOO.)

This past week was full of lots of surprise home-alone time. I’ve been organizing closets. I know — I am SUCH a party animal. Babystarย has been having park adventures and mall adventures and general errand adventures with her dad. She loves it so much. The little monster is all like BOY BYE MAMACITA as soon as she hears it’s time to put on shoes.

Babystar got her first ever Dippin’ Dots on one such adventure ($4.75.) She rode in a cool rented stroller with a steering wheel ($4.50.) She had a slice of Costco pizza ($2.16). She conned her dad into buying two penguin ornaments that do not spend much time on the tree because Babystar is OBSESSED with penguins ($5.98). She came home one day with two half price Christmas balloons ($11.75).


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Speaking of penguins, we got tired of watching the March of the Penguins trailer over and over and over and over and bought the digital version of Happy Feet on Amazon ($7.99). OMG she does the Happy Feet dances and I DIE. We have watched it thirty-seven bazillion times already. In four days. That’s like 0.000000234 cents per viewing. Not bad. (No, I did not really do the math.)

Oh! He’s also been buying the disposable diapers. A LOT of them, but whatever. We still use one per night but he often takes disposables instead of cloth on their outings. I am 100% fine with this arrangement, but I did forget to include the diapers lately. Target has had them for $4.99 for the last month, and they are $6.49 usually. I’m guessing here, and I don’t like to guess with this project, but I’m going to guess anyway. Four at each price = $45.91. I definitely bought two packs while she was sick in November. Because gross. And we just bought some so we are set now. These *should* last 28 days but they won’t. Many nights she pees between the time we put on the disposable and the time she falls asleep. And many weekends she hangs out in disposables because she is hanging out with dad. (He totally uses cloth too. I think he just finds it easier to change her out of the house when he can toss the dirties. I don’t know what it’s like trying to change her in the men’s room so I’ll just take his word for it.)

Today we went to a kid’s New Year’s Eve Party at Busy Bees ($30) with a countdown and everything, and I’m already home sitting on the couch waiting impatiently for Kathy Griffen and Anderson Cooper to show up on my television. It was really quite fun but of course it was because check out the band.

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Babystar is crashed out on the couch next to me. For now. Not for the year tho, I’m pretty sure.

Cheers, y’all! Now GTFO 2016.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,210.23

 

Balloon Fetish.

Babystar looooves balloons. She wants to talk about them, find them in books, point to them, talk about them again, and then talk about them some MORE.

We bought her a balloon just before Halloween and it lasted a few weeks.

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We got another balloon on a random adventure to the National Harbor. It lasted one day. The balloon was free but parking was $10. Because I lost my parking ticket. Also, no matter what Siri or the Internet says, there is no Children’s Museum at National Harbor. Thanks goodness someone was passing out balloons that day.

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We bought another balloon last week ($6.28) because it is a freaking SQUIRREL balloon and even I am excited about that kind of ridiculousness. (Yes, I know I need a life. Shhhh.) Luckily, the squirrel balloon is still hanging in there. She kisses that thing good night. I’m worried about their future, though. She’s so young to have to experience such heartbreak, but I’m afraid it’s unavoidable.

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But OH EM EFFING GEE, none of these compare to how excited she gets when she sees the Apple 7 commercial.

So. My baby is a Balloon Addict. Can anyone tell me how to make youtube play on a loop? I am tired of pushing play every one minute and seven seconds. Y’all have seen the long version right? The director’s cut? Babystar blows kisses to the screen when the song saysย I love you, I love you, I love you.ย And so I die. And push the damn play button on my iPad again. Damn you, Apple.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,282.74