Toddler Travel: Now With More Screen Time!

We hit the road last month to visit grandparents in Myrtle Beach over the holidays.

Babystar cannot really handle long trips in the car, so we broke up the seven hour trip by staying at a hotel halfway. $140.36 each way.

What a waste of money. She’s going to have to learn to be in the car AT LEAST seven hours in a row because we have a LOT of driving ahead of us this month.

Colorado via Florida. I know. I’ve seen a map. But it’s warm in Florida.

We bought the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kid’s Edition. $94.99 on sale and with the Red Tricycle discount. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.

She didn’t need the ‘television’ every moment of the drive, but our drive home which was supposed to be only four hours from hotel to front door turned into an eight hour traffic nightmare. Blue’s Clues to the rescue! And Trolls! And Dinosaur Train!

We already have Amazon Prime and I can download a lot of things for free, like Super Wings and Dinosaur Train episodes. I did buy the Trolls movie for $9.99 and the Trolls Holiday Special for $4.99.

I bought it in pink and called it ‘Mommy’s Pink Toy’ so she would understand that she couldn’t have it whenever she wanted like her own toys. It works. She knows that she only gets to use it in the car on long trips. But. Um.

amazon fire kids

I realized later that ‘Mommy’s Pink Toy’ is not the best term for anything ToddlerMonster-related. Whoops.

I love this thing. The battery lasts forever. (Unlike mommy’s other toys.)

However, I have one major complaint: I want to download more than twenty-five things at one time. WHY YOU TRYNNA HOLD ME BACK, AMAZON?! I totally understand the limit on the free stuff from Amazon Prime. But I PAID for Blue’s Clues Season 3 in its entirely. I can’t even download the whole season because I get a limit of twenty-five downloads. Also, a twelve minute Super Wings episode counts the same as a long run movie like Moana. WHAT. Dude.


Fun in the Sunshine State

Earlier this month, Babystar and I (and my favorite 3.5 year old niece, V) flew to Florida to visit family. My (20yo) son and mom and dad and grandmother and sister and nephew, along with random other cousins, live just outside of Jacksonville, Florida. My nephew just turned three (since the trip, actually), so we were riding deep with ToddlerMonsters.


We stayed at my parent’s house, so it was actually a really inexpensive trip. Babystar still flies free. (I didn’t buy V’s ticket.) I still would have taken the trip if Babystar did not exist, so I would have had the expense of the ticket either way. I thought hard about this, because I started to list the ticket price as part of Raising Babystar. But. I miss my oldest child, my mom has cancer (and reads this blog like a good mommy — hi mom!), my dad can’t really travel while he’s busy taking care of mom, my grandmother is getting very old (omg I cannot even think about that), my nephew keeps growing, and my sister is too far away and just, you know, life. So, yeah, I would have gone anyway. I DID pay for my dad’s parking ($6) and he only parked to come in and help me with the bags since I had the babies. And I had to bring along Babystar’s car seat, so I bought a car seat cover for $19.99.

I brought snacks from home for the airplane ride to Florida. I did buy a bottle of water at the airport but I always do that. I drank most of it, too. Babystar LOVES the airport! She was excited that we were getting on a plane but her dad had taken her twice already just to watch the planes. (Metro fare $1.75 x 4 but I think I need to tell him that I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t need a ticket. Maybe she just wants her own. He’s pretty cool like that.)

I went to the grocery store in Florida to stock the house with Babystar-friendly food. Mostly fruits and organic eggs and whole wheat bread and ‘hippie’ stuff like that. Of course we shared with everyone, but I totally went just for the Toddlers. $51.95. And I brought a bunch of disposable diapers with me. Not quite two packs but I did buy two packs of Target brand diapers. $9.98.

We were there for only four days, and a lot of the time was just spent visiting. OMG am I eighty years old?? Come on sweetheart, let’s just sit and visit. HAHAHA.

My sister and I took the three toddlers to an AMAZING place in Jacksonville called Bay & Bee. You may remember the name as the place I sent my oldest child last June because they got the Tula Coast the same day that my son flew to my house. I need to thank him again, because Bay & Bee is so far across Jacksonville it is basically in the Atlantic Ocean. But it was freaking awesome. (I will share more in another post.) It was also FREE to first-time visitors, and my sister had never been either. So the Littles played for hours for free. Wow.


We went to Chick-fil-A afterwards. It was just like home: play place then Chick-fil-A. LOL. $27.64. (Two adults and three Tinys, but I wouldn’t have been there at all if not for Babystar so I guess it all counts, right?)

The next day we drove all the way into Jacksonville AGAIN to play at the Hands-On Children’s Museum. ($20.50…I paid for my oldest son and his girlfriend too, but again, we wouldn’t have been there if not for Babystar.)

It was extra sweet because I remember going to the same place with my first two babies who are now basically senior citizens.

All that driving took all that gasoline so I filled the tank: $47.37.

The rest was all family visiting and family dinners. I did buy an overpriced cup of fruit and a ‘blueberry cookie’ (except it really was a muffin) for the girls at the airport for $8.73.


On the ride home, my darling niece explained to me the per the pictures in the safety instructions booklet, we were going to ‘fly and fly and then go in the water’. Um. And then when we were landing at DCA, which is right by two rivers, she saw the water and said, loud and excitedly, LOOK I TOLD YOU WE ARE GOING IN THE WATER. I hope the people sitting near us weren’t nervous fliers. HAHAHAHAHA.


Cousin Tony Had a Farm.

Ee eye ee eye oh.

Last week Babystar and I went to western Pennsylvania to visit family. I drove the minivan with my brother and his adorable fam along for the ride. They were super good at entertaining the baby while I drove. Thank goodness, because that baby takes after mama and HATES a long car ride. But we love our family. So there we were.

We had a blast. There isn’t much in western Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Erie besides farms and lakes, and we played at both. Babystar loved running around near the corn fields. And soybean fields. And llama fields. She did NOT like anyone touching her except me or anyone under the age of four. We ate together, slept together, swam together, and played together.

Skipping showers is all fun and games until you cuddle with a goat.




I would have made the trip even if Babystar did not exist in this world, so the gas and tolls are on me. I do have $36.65 worth of food and merchandise to add to her bottom line, though.

  • Nuetrogena Baby Sunscreen – $10.99 (this stuff rocks!!)
  • Some cheap Giant Eagle brand of disposable diapers – $5.69
  • Gerber Fruit and Veggie melts – $3.00
  • Floaty thing that she immediately hated and I didn’t even bring home – $3.00
  • Floaty things for her two cousins so they wouldn’t feel left out – $6.00
  • Shovel and pail that she ignored – $3.00
  • Sbarro pepperoni pizza slice on the drive home – $4.97




Fast Food Nation.

Babystar had her Nine Months Doctor Visit yesterday. She’s now been on the outside as long as she’s been on the inside. Whoa. Doctor Lady says to start feeding her three times a day plus snacks. Four ounces of food per meal. Double Whoa. That’s four ice cubes! Plus snacks!? So just constantly feed the baby, all the time? Oy. Doctor Lady also said to add cereal and meat. MY BABY IS GROWING UP OH NO PLEASE STOP I WANT YOU TO STAY LITTLE.

She also said to teach her to sleep in a crib. For her safety. Since she’s crawling. So she doesn’t fall out of the big bed. We’ll see. *Sniff.*

So I bought some oatmeal. And some magic pouches. Ohhhh…pretty! We’re taking an impromptu weekend road trip for a great aunt’s funeral. (It’s not sad because she was old, right? Lived a long life and all that? Am I callous? Probably.) Lots of car time and hotel time and meeting family members and visiting so I really won’t have time for making Babystar three meals a day plus snacks. Baby fast food to the rescue!


I’m sure it will be fine. They totally say ‘organic’. But DUDE, those pouches were 4/$5! That’s ten bucks of pouch food right there. Holy expensive baby food, Batman! (OMG, one of the pediatricians in Doctor Lady’s practice is named Dr. Batman and I can’t even.) I can make SO MANY puree cubes for ten bucks. Yikes. Well, you know what they say about pouch food? It’s, um, expensive? That’s not a saying, is it? IT SHOULD BE.

Plus $2.89 for the oatmeal.

(I’m totally buying disposable diapers for this trip too. BRB gotta run to Target.)

EDIT: Updated total because I went to Target and bought those diapers. Found a box of Seventh Generation on clearance.



**Does anyone have experience moving a bedsharing baby to a crib? If so, please drop some wisdom my way.