Tag Archives: dress-up

Princess Bunk Beds

Dressing up like Cinderella is not complete without a nap at our house. These days the girls fantasize about their future bunk bed.

That’s one way to build a bunk bed!


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“And Then I’ll Be Naked!”

Northwest Ohio is ridiculously windy. When we first moved here, I was terrified that global warming had kicked it into high gear all of a sudden in the form of insane wind. Around here, it can be a beautiful 70-degree day without a cloud in the sky, but when you walk outside the wind will knock you on your ass. I used to work in Chicago. The Windy City has NOTHING on Northwest Ohio wind. Toledo really should take the Windy City title from Chicago (even if Chicago’s title has little to do with actual wind.).

Earlier this week, the girls were playing dress up and decided we should go for a walk in costume. I absolutely supported this idea. Little kids should wear costumes all the time. If I could wear a Cinderella dress out in public on a random Friday afternoon and no one would question it, I’d totally do it.

Totally how I'd dress to go out in public if I were 3-5 years old.

Rose was wearing her Cinderella dress (like she does 90% of the time she’s at home, usually over whatever Cinderella-inspired blue dress she’s wearing) and it was whipping around in the wind. There were several moments where she resembled that famous picture of Marilyn Monroe over the subway grate.

I’ve become so used to this awful wind that I wouldn’t even label this as a windy day, but Rose still had a lot to say about the wind blowing her dress.

“The wind is going to blow off my dress! My dress will be gone and then I’ll be in my underwear! Then the wind will blow off my underwear and then I’ll be naked! I’ll be naked outside and my dress and underwear will be gone in the wind!”

Oh my!

“I’ll be naked and I’ll be walking down the street outside!”

Amazingly, both Rose’s underwear and dress did NOT blow away in the wind. Yet.


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How to Make Sure Your Kids Are Warm on Halloween

Growing up in the Midwest, I was always freezing on Halloween. We would plan my cute little costume for weeks only to have me wear a giant puffy coat over it so no one could see it. Cold weather always ruined my costume. I was outraged over it for many years.

Flash forward to now. I have three little kids who need Halloween costumes. So far, I’ve managed to keep them warm on Halloween without compromising their costumes OR their need to have princessy parts to the costume. Every year so far I’ve convinced the kids to be animals. Last year the girls were kangaroo ballerinas– kangaroos in tutus.

When I told people what I planned for their costumes last year, they said "Is that an actual thing?" Nope! It's called creativity, people! Use it.

They were warm, they were cute, but they were still animals. While we are out we pass a million and one little girls wearing princess costumes covered with giant puffy coats. Their costumes are ruined and they are unhappy about it. My kids’ costumes got a lot of comments– you could see the whole costume and no one else had anything like it.

This year Lily wanted to be a giraffe in a tutu, which was awesome with me. Rose wanted to be Cinderella. Duh. If she’s Cinderella, she’s going to be one of the masses in her princess costume with a puffy coat over it. I wasn’t excited about this prospect, but she can be whatever she wants to be.

Today I came home with a cow costume for Violet and everybody changed their plans in a fit of “OMG the baby is so cute!” glee. Lily wants to be a “Mommy” cow wearing a tutu. Rose wants to be a horse, but she also wants to be Cinderella.

So she’s going to be both. She is going to be a horse who is pretending to be Cinderella– or a horse in a Cinderella costume.

She’ll be warm. She’ll be a horse. She’ll be Cinderella. She’ll be adorable.

We already have multiple Cinderella costumes. We already have multiple tutus. All I have to do is add the accessories to the animal costumes and we’ll be set.

And that’s how you keep your kids warm on Halloween: Doubled up costumes. An added bonus is that when you add crazy accessories to your plush animal costumes, your kid will surely have one of the most unique costumes on the block. There will be other horses and Cinderellas, but I’m pretty sure Rose will be the only HORSE Cinderella and just as Lily will be the only mommy cow ballerina.

And if you think I’m crazy for starting work on Halloween costumes now, you don’t have children. Halloween celebrations start at the beginning of October these days! It’s non-stop costume activities for weeks and weeks. Candy orgies everywhere. The pounds add up and nobody can fit in their costumes by the time the REAL event actually happens.

Halloween rocks.



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A Break From the Ordinary

Life has been so much better since I bought Rose a wardrobe entirely composed of blue dresses. We used to go to battle every single morning when I tried to get her dressed. She’d fight me, kicking and screaming, not wanting to put her clothes on. She wanted to dress like Cinderella every single day and if she couldn’t, she let us know she was unhappy.

Now that she has all blue dresses, she is happy to pick out a blue dress each morning and change into it from her blue nightgown. Mornings are so much more pleasant. The investment in a blue wardrobe was well worth it despite the presence of a completely lovely hand-me-down wardrobe from her big sister. Perhaps this was her ploy to make sure she got clothes unique to her instead of just wearing the things her big sister passed on? Whatever the case, I thought we were cemented in blue for the summer.

Imagine my surprise– half horror, half joy– when Rose ASKED to wear a yellow dress last week. Instead of her usual blue like Cinderella, she wanted to be yellow like Belle. We didn’t even own a yellow dress in 4T, but Lily’s 5T yellow dress fit the bill. Rose was happy. I was astounded to see her in a different color and terrified that she’d demand yellow dresses every day.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If she wants yellow dresses every day, this girl is stuck. I’m not buying anymore dresses. She has a blue dress wardrobe and whatever else she already owns from her sister.

The next morning I cringed when I asked which dress she wanted to wear. I was so scared she’d say yellow and then throw a fit when I couldn’t comply. We only had ONE yellow dress in the whole house.

Well, she didn’t want a blue dress. She wanted a white dress like a bride. I happily dressed her in one. It was so refreshing to see her in another color. Blue may be her favorite color, but it’s not her best color by far. Some variety would be nice. She matched her Woof Woof for the day.

The next day she wanted to wear a brown dress. Miraculously, I had a brown dress. How many dresses do we have?! I don’t know what inspired brown. There are no brown-dressed princesses… unless she’s thinking about Cinderella in her maid outfit? Hmmmm… I should ask.

Just when I thought we’d broken our blue dress streak (and feared she’d never want to wear one again), she switched back. Phew. But she happily donned a pair of jeans (JEANS!) and a purple shirt when I told her she had to wear clothes that could get REALLY dirty when she helped us garden the other day.

I can’t even get the girl to wear pants or tights under her dresses without a fight usually, so I was thrilled to think that maybe our clothing battles were over. At least we’ve reached a point where I can sometimes rationalize with her WHY she needs to NOT wear a blue dress. The last time I attempted to get her to wear jeans and a shirt, she was moody all day.

Despite the improvement with allowing something as tacky as jeans to touch her highness’s body, the second we finished gardening she asked for another blue dress. And this morning, she came downstairs naked demanding a blue dress.

Until the next color whim strikes, I guess we’re stuck in the blue. That child knows what she wants. At least there is some recent hope for other colors on the horizon. I’d really like to dress this girl in red sometimes.

Thank goodness Lily’s favorite color is “rainbow”.


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I’m a Strawberry!

You have no idea how much excitement happened here today because I bought the girls new nightgowns. Rose and I went shopping while Lily was at school, so the nightgown was a surprise for her. You’d think I’d given her a Barbie, she was so excited. “Thank you, Mommy! Thank you, Rose!” Both girls immediately put the spaghetti straps to the nightgowns over their arms and paraded around the house with the nightgowns hanging in front of their clothes.

“I’m a strawberry!” Lily declared.
“I a strawberry too!” Rose cried.

They said this over and over and over again while spinning and giggling like crazy.

Sadly I didn't take a picture until they were wearing them properly.

Here I thought I’d just gotten them new pjs during what has lately been nearly a pj shortage crisis. Apparently I got them the best toy on earth– strawberry costumes.

Strawberries like to show off their knees.

I also thought TOYS were what I should be buying my kids as rewards for stuff. Maybe pjs, socks and dresses are the way to go?



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Double Crown

A week ago, I bought Rose a rainbow crown from Claire’s. Ever since then, she has been wearing the crown non-stop. She’s even been wearing it outside the house. If she isn’t wearing the crown, she gets upset and wants me to find it for her. “Where my rainbow crown? I need my rainbow crown!”

Yesterday while we were hunting for more blue dresses, I found a clearance Cinderella costume for $8 at Walmart. The costume came with a Cinderella skirt, shirt, shoes and crown. Since Rose is absolutely obsessed with Cinderella, she wants to wear the shoes, the crown and one of her blue dresses EVERYWHERE all the time.

But she also still wants to wear her new rainbow crown.

Instead of alternating the rainbow crown and the Cinderella crown, she now insists that she wear BOTH. ALL THE TIME. Even to bed.

She insisted on wearing both crowns to the mall today. We met her dad for lunch and she immediately ran up to him and said “Daddy! Look at my crowns! Are they pretty?” My husband is a tough nut to crack when it comes to smiles, but that made him laugh.

Rose is such a different girl from her sister, who REFUSED to even try on costumes at this age and didn’t even want to wear dresses in the wintertime (that changed, but last year Lily wouldn’t wear any skirts in winter, even with pants. This year Lily wants dresses all the time, but at 2 and 3 she wouldn’t have it.). Rose’s insistence on wearing a blue dress every day has won her four new blue dresses and a new Cinderella costume so far. I need at least three more blue dresses to make it through the week.

By the way, if you think it’s easy to keep two crowns on a kid, think again. They don’t stay on well together and tears are shed whenever one falls off.

This is what I get for wishing I had the type of kid who wanted to wear costumes when Lily was refusing to touch them. Total payback!


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I’m Halloween

When I asked the girls what they wanted to be for Halloween, Rose had no idea what I was talking about whatsoever. Lily said she wanted to be a kangaroo.

She was a kangaroo last year.

While the costume was very cute, I encouraged her to be something else. I like variety! Plus, the old costume was too small and new kangaroo costumes are pretty pricey. I lucked out finding the above costume for something like $8 at a used clothing store. They are about $50 new. But no, she was sure she wanted to be a kangaroo again. Not only that, but she wanted Rose to be a kangaroo.

And we lucked out at the used clothing store again. Both girls could be kangaroos for a measly $6. Being a kangaroo wasn’t enough, though. Last year even with bows everyone thought Lily was a boy. So we decided to make them kangaroo ballerinas.

Due to the lack of cheese cooperation around here, this will have to pass as an acceptable picture.

When Lily was two, she wanted nothing to do with her (pink puppy) costume. I couldn’t keep it on her. Well, Rose is two and her reaction to wearing a kangaroo costume?

“I’m Halloween! I’m Halloween!”

Halloween walking.

Lily: “You’re not Halloween! You’re wearing a costume. You’re a kangaroo ballerina!”

Rose: “No! I’m Halloween!”

Halloweens or kangaroo ballerinas, we’ll be trick-or-treating for a THIRD time tonight.

She didn't realize I was going to take a picture. That's why it turned out ok.

And the Woof Woofs are all ready for tricks and treats!

Lady Bug Baby Woof Woof and Disco Chick Mommy Woof Woof.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Hope my girls cooperate for better pictures tonight!


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The Tom Boy with the Tiara

Lily is only 4, but I was convinced up until now she was a tom boy. I’ve talked on here before about how she had absolutely no interest in dolls or princesses or dress-up. And that was cool. I mean, it was great that she loved to run and jump and climb and do puzzles and build with blocks and learn about letters and get ahead in math. All of that was great, especially the academic stuff.

But I was a little disappointed. I was still a kid when “The Little Mermaid” came out and I loved it with all my soul. I’ve been dying to have someone with which to watch all the princess movies, even though I know they don’t always depict women in the most heroic lights. I know all the feminist reasons I shouldn’t love princess movies. And they are right. I shouldn’t. But I do.

When I found out I was having girls I had this fantasy we would have these special moments together watching Disney movies and getting brainwashed by whatever crazy messages Disney sneaks into our subconscious through these films. I’d hate for my children to not have the same Disney brainwashed brains as me.

I’ve waited 4 years for Lily to let me watch a Disney movie with her. Every time we tried up until now, she rejected the movie. “I hate this movie! It’s too scary!” she’d yell, and I’d turn off “The Little Mermaid” and sadly click back to Dora. I mean, sure, there are a lot of terrifying parts of Disney movies, like more than you’d ever realized until you have someone like Lily in your house. But seriously, I don’t see how her favorite movie of all time, “Toy Story 3″ is any less traumatic.

Then something magnificent (and kind of sad) happened. Lily turned into a girl. Like, a really girly girl. I have no idea what happened, but suddenly she wants Barbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Tinker Bell and My Little Pony. She wants to play dress up. She wants to serve me tea and cookies. She wants to wear dresses every day. And be a ballerina. And every other stereotypical girl thing you can imagine– she wants it.

I don’t know if it was Rose’s influence. Rose has been a very very girly girl since before she could speak– dolls and dresses and flowers all over the place. Maybe Lily sees her sister being girly and realizes that putting on a princess costume might be fun? I don’t know. But I do know that I saw a window– a maybe-she’ll-let-me-watch-something-besides-”Toy-Story-3″-and-”Super-Why” window– and I took the pass. I snuck in some “The Little Mermaid”.

And she loved it.

I felt like singing from the mountain tops. There will be princess movies in this house! The dress-up box I’ve been stocking since before Lily was born WILL get used!

That week we watched almost every princess movie I own and she loved them all.

Then this past weekend we were shopping for Rose’s birthday when Lily fell in love with an Ariel doll whose dress can reverse into a mermaid tail. She was smitten with the idea and had some birthday money leftover, so we came home with the Ariel doll and I could barely contain my glee. I want an Ariel doll! I could play with that doll for hours.

Maybe all this makes me a bad feminist, but I don’t care. I am ecstatic to finally have my princess girl. I just hope the tom boy girl sticks around too. I’d hate to see that part of her disappear. I will do what I can to encourage the tom boy to stay– keep the puzzles and math and rough and tumble playing. There’s no reason she can’t be both the climbing, running, jumping, math whiz tom boy and the girly girl in a pink sparkling dress with a tiara.


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The Blue Dress

Every morning before Rose even eats breakfast, she puts on her blue Cinderella-inspired princess dress, crown, shoes, necklace and holds her magic wand. EVERY MORNING. All the wishing I did that Lily would play dress up sort of backfired on me there. Dress up once a day or even once a week would be plenty. I have dress up almost hourly, and she’s not big enough to dress herself. So I’m constantly putting that princess dress on her and taking it back off, helping her with her shoes and adjusting her crown. The only way to prevent this from being constant is to turn on the tv. Is it any wonder she watches so much of it? ;)

Secretly Cinderella, but without the chores.

Rose has a preference for the blue dress above all our other dress-up clothes. I was surprised when I recently secured new princess gear for the girls and Rose wanted little to do with it despite her zest for dress-up. It took me forever to figure out why she preferred the blue dress. Then one day she brought me her favorite Little People doll while she was wearing her blue princess dress and pointed out everything about this Little People doll, who represents my sister in the girls’ Little People Dynasty.

“Look Mommy! Princess Emi! Blue Dress! Crown! Necklace! Magic Wand!”

And if that didn’t write it on the wall for me (um, it didn’t quite), she pointed to the same things she was wearing. “Princess Rose! Blue Dress! Crown! Necklace! Magic Wand!” (Yes, she speaks in all exclaimation marks, as do all near 2 year olds I’ve met.)

So all this time Rose was trying to emulate her favorite Little People and maybe even her aunt. And here I thought she just liked to play dress-up. Nope. She just likes to dress like her favorite doll (and/or person).

(Happy Birthday, Emi!)


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Four of a Kind

When I couldn’t find anything I liked for (what I considered to be) a reasonable price (and I’m ridiculously cheap) at Kohls the other day and I had a $10 off coupon, I told Lily she could pick something. She immediately gravitated toward the matching doll and little girl nightgowns and declared she wanted one.

Matching nightgowns? It's the most exciting thing EVAR!

This surprised me for a bunch of reasons. First of all, Woof Woof is not allowed out of her uniform. Sure, she recently got a NEW uniform, but Woof Woof isn’t allowed to wear anything but that. Secondly, in the past Lily has been completely against wearing anything that’s not her designated pajamas. She’s always had toddler OCD about it. Her pjs have to either be footies or have a top and a bottom. They can’t be anything she’s ever worn for something other than pjs otherwise the world might end. If all her pjs are in the laundry and I try to put her in random sweats for bedtime, she throws a fit. The sweats are for DAYTIME, not nighttime. We’d discussed nightgowns in the past and she’s been completely against them. “Those aren’t pjs. Those are dresses!”

But I guess her toddler OCD is starting to wear off because she was completely enamored of the nightgowns.

“You understand you sleep in that?” I asked.

She said “Yes! It’s a dress you sleep in. I want Woof Woof and me to be dressed alike for bedtime!”

It's not bedtime until Woof Woof is properly attired.

We bought some owl pjs. I offered to buy her a second pair, but she said no. She only needed the one pair.

I contemplated buying a set for Rose and Baby Woof Woof, but that would cost double what my coupon was worth, so I left it.

That night after I dressed Woof Woof and Lily in their matching nightgowns, Lily started drilling me about Rose and Baby Woof Woof’s non-existent matching nightgowns.

“Rose and Baby Woof Woof need to match the same as us! They need owl nightgowns.”

I had screwed up. Again.

Then my husband got home and saw Lily and Woof Woof in their matching nightgowns and also asked where Rose and Baby Woof Woof’s were.

“What were you thinking?!”

“The coupon was only for $10.”

“SO?! You need to go back and get one for Rose and Baby Woof Woof!”

What a lapse in judgement. The parenting rules clearly state that if you are buying one daughter matching nightgowns with her Build-A-Bear, you HAVE to buy the exact same nightgown set for your other daughter. How could I forget? I should clearly revoke my parenting license.

Two days later we went back to Kohls and purchased the last remaining owl nightgown set in Rose’s size. Lily and Woof Woof had worn their nightgowns every night, so I tried to convince Lily we should get a second set for both girls, but she said no. She only wanted to get one for Rose and Baby Woof Woof and only the owl ones so they could match hers. She also said she didn’t want to buy matching dresses for her, Woof Woof, Rose and Baby Woof Woof. Only the owl nightgowns. So much for the toddler OCD wearing away, eh?

Rose appreciated Lily's concern that she get this nightgown, though she doesn't seem to know the difference.

All four of our girls (Woof Woof and Baby Woof Woof are members of the family, you know.) love their nightgowns. And I relearned a valuable lesson– always buy two when it comes to my kids.

Bedtime is four times as fun when four people have matching nightgowns.

It’s very important to match your favorite stuffed animal when you go to bed.

It's like a Build-A-Bear/Pillow Pet catalog in there.

Tomorrow: An on-time Friday Funny! Next Week: Changing Station/Travel Plaza Week!



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