Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I am clearly not "Juicy"

I was just perusing the Mall of America website for details of their Halloween event tonight, when this advertisement caught my eye:
Does anyone really walk like this? Has she just been hit by a car and thus her awkward head flip/hair flying/twisted up skirt? Or is she walking along Miami in a hurricane? Perhaps she skipping wildly and braying like a horse?
WTF people?
Who approves these things?
And why would this make me want to shop in Minnesota in the fall?
That is all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wish Lists - Toddle Along Tuesdays

The Cupcake has enough stuff. That is not even a question. She is easily amused by little things, so if our day feels stale I can just hand her a bowl, spatula, or set of measuring cups and she'd probably be good to go for another hour at least. She has a really nice indoor climbing structure/slide, a basket of stuffed animals, a barely used playhouse, and most recently a huge collection of pots, pans, and play food. She is enamored with all of it.

It's me that gets bored.

I'll admit it, I over-buy for TC because it's more fun to splurge on her than myself these days, and since such a huge percentage of my life involves entertaining her, it's still a treat for me to get new toys and books.

Sometimes it's a mental health necessity.

We sometimes sit down and read through all of the board books we own at least twice in a day. That gets old pretty quick. If you would like me to recite "Oh the thinks you can think" or "Are you my mother?" or pretty much anything by Sandra Boynton, just ask. It's taking up way too much brain space, and I may have ripped a few of the Dr. Seuss books in half and thrown them under the couch when I just couldn't take them any more - and then gone out to buy new, even though we didn't "need" them.

So when looking at this week's Toddle Along Tuesday prompt about your Toddler Wish List, I have to just admit straight away that these are MY wishes. The Cupcake will probably enjoy all of these, or would be just as happy with a few cardboard boxes and a $1.99 balloon.

Currently Coveting:

1. Play Kitchen - I've been looking at these for a long time, and I'm currently leaning towards this one (pictured above). I like that it's wood, and not obnoxious colors. I don't think it makes obnoxious noises either. I was in love with this one for quite a while because it has a bakery case, but some of the reviews say it's not clear enough to see through, and it seems really big, though I'm still waffling. We actually don't let TC into the kitchen (danger + always a disaster area anyways = easier to just gate it off), so she doesn't really understand the functions (I think - though she pointed out a "guitar" to me today at Costco, and I was pretty sure she didn't know that word yet either), so I'm also tempted to go with one of these that could be a fun display or double as storage. In a perfect world I would wait until Christmas/Birthday to buy this big gift, but I'm really itching for it, so we'll see how I do :)

(gorgeous felt cake available here)

2. Play Food - for my (her) play kitchen, obvs. We inherited a big set of plastic stuff from a neighbor which has been really fun - especially now that The Cupcake  is learning to talk and identify the items. We got a couple nice  sets of pots and pans from a JBF Sale, but what I'm really coveting is fancy felt food, like these found on Etsy. And these. And these. And so many more. If you actually click on any of those links  you'll die from the cuteness, or if not that, the price. So I probably won't actually purchase any of this, at least not for The Cupcake to destroy, but it's still on the wish list :)

3. Chuck E. Cheese's Gift Cards - I have been pleasantly surprised by how delightful Chuck E. Cheese's can be on a weekday morning, it's my go-to hot spot right now. There is a lot of great stuff for toddlers, and mostly TC loves to see the other kids. We can kill a morning there on a handful of tokens (again, the tokens keep ME interested, she could care less if the games are working or not). I can trail along behind her drinking a coke, and the food isn't as bad as I remember (the pizza is similar to Little Cesars). With winter coming, it's a great alternative to let her run beyond the free mall play areas/McDonald's Playland (which are both kinda gross) and cheaper than most gyms and paid play areas - but it would still be fun to have a little scratch for tokens and treats, which are not in my normal (nonexistant) budget.

I still haven't decided what our holiday plan will be, what traditions we will build and how to do the whole gifts/Santa aspect of the season, but I am pretty sure we'll be budget friendly and low key at least in these first few years. TC will probably enjoy ripping open a few packages this Christmas, but I could put balloons or Goldfish crackers or a few Cheerios in each one and she'd be just as thrilled as she would with a $45 Hanna Anderson sweater or $100 worth of Melissa and Doug toys.

But will I?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zoo Boo

We had a delightful time at ZooBoo 2012, and I'm feeling a little better about my lack of Halloween cheer now that we've gone out a few times to celebrate.
This is how we rock costumes Minnesota style - 2 pairs of pants, long sleeve shirt, sweater, winter coat, hat, wool socks, mittens - plus wings and a tutu, of course :)
Not everyone took this logical approach to the evening, however - I couldn't believe all the little girls in various princess/fairy costumes with bare legs or thin nylons. Very sad. I'm glad we decided to be comfortable.

She had to be pursuaded to wear the mittens, but she carried the cauldron all night without complaint! In fact, we had to pry it from her hands at the end.

This was one of the few costumes that caught my eye - simple, comfortable, and still cute - it's a squirrel!

My little monarch watching the seal swim ("fishy!" according to TC ). She caught on to the trick-or-treating earlier this time and started to raise her bucket at each one. Less candy at this event, but still a lot of stuff - yogurt, oatmeal, coloring books, a pencil, and a few unhealthy (read: good) items thrown in too.

This was as close as I got to wrangling The Cupcake for a photo - and the only proof I exist so far this Halloween.

At the end of the trick-or-treat stations Radio Disney had a little dance and TC was IN LOVE! She jumped and twirled and flung her candy all over (though never let go of the bucket). I think we'll have to take this little bug to a dance sometime soon.
Beautiful walk home through the fall leaves.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


This Halloween is a mega disappointment - the awesome party we attended last year isn't being held, I never found a replacement for an adult event that was not late, loud, & drunk, and to top it all off I'm sick. Boo, and not the good Halloween kind.

I had hoped that this year would be a banner year for celebrations, my first as a stay-at-home mom, meaning I could do some of the extra day events, but it just hasn't  worked out. Cold weather, family loss, and lack of funds haven't exactly helped. In years past I've blogged more in October than any other time of the year - costume ideas, decor, SOMETHING - but not this year. I'm off my game and I'm sad about it. Better luck next year I guess.

It's not a total loss, however, even feeling pretty awful I did drag my sorry self out on Thursday for Byerly's (a local grocery store) Boo Bash.

It was perfect! Indoors, low stress, FREE, and The Cupcake even tolerated her costume! She went as a butterfly ("bye", as she says it) and was - of course - adorable. She wasn't too keen on sitting still for a photo, but I got a few decent ones.

She already had the black leggings & socks. The polka dot bloomers, orange tutu, and black turtleneck were all Goodwill and less than $10 together. The wings were a splurge from the State Fair this summer - after using my 50% off coupon at Fairy Finery they were just $11, so the whole outfit was under $20! She had never before kept the wings on for more than 2 seconds, so my expectations were low, but quickly exceeded. In fact, she twisted and twirled and danced across the living room as soon as she was assembled, it was a hit.

The Boo Blast was perfect for us - TC's a little young yet to understand trick or treating, but she caught on to taking candy from each station, and she liked the attention of the costumed store workers and all the other kids.

We got there towards the end so we missed the photo booth (boo) but the lines were short and we were able to keep moving and keep Cupcake interested.

The only backup was at cookie decorating, so we just skipped it. I was shocked at how much candy she walked away with, I was just looking for an excuse to get her dressed up!

Afterwards we stopped for pizza, and let TC bust into some of the candy. She already could recognize the KitKat bars (coo-kie?) and she tried M&Ms for the first time.

She decided Daddy should eat the M&Ms.

I had hoped to do some more seasonal stuff today, but the cold is winning. I'm not wearing a zombie costume, but I could probably pass for one. This has been dragging on for weeks now, I'm ready to be healthy again! Hopefully I can still make the last few celebrations we have planned, fingers crossed for a Happy Halloween.