Tag Archives: princesses

The Power of Flower

If nothing else, one thing lately I’m sure I got right is my kids’ middle names. On this blog, they go by their middle names: Lily, Rose and Violet. The flower theme was at first semi-accidental. “Lily” and “Rose” just went best with my first two kids’ first and last names. The fact that they were both flower names was a bit amusing, but not particularly on purpose until we got to the last baby girl. If you have two big sisters with flower middle names, clearly you also should have a flower middle name. We couldn’t have her left out of the theme.

When I was pregnant with Violet, people kept teasing me about what her middle name would be. “Is that a Tulip in there? What about Daisy?” Only Violet, Iris and Ivy were contenders and Violet sounded best with her first and last names. In fact, I don’t think it sounds like we did anything on purpose with her until you hear all three full names together, which doesn’t happen often.

I wondered if the kids would be regretful of my silly flower theme, but (at least at this stage of life) they LOVE it. They love going in the garden and planting flowers that “mean” them. They love assigning their poor baby sister the favorite color purple because of her being a Violet. They love that when I wear rose, lily or violet jewelry that it symbolizes them. It’s been really nice and I highly recommend doing something similar.

And if that weren’t enough reason to love flower middle names, Rose has added a new one. When she plays princesses these days, she calls all of her sisters by their middle names. “We are the princesses of flowers with the power of flowers!” she claims. They live in Flowerville and use their flower powers to defeat evil. I guess evil people must be allergic to flowers.

I guess I must be evil then?

If Rose and Violet dress up like Cinderella (Lily hates dress up), Rose actually gets angry if you refer to either of them as Cinderella. “NO! I am Princess Rose of Roseville and this is Princess Violet of Violetville and we live in the Flower Kingdom!”

Obviously.

Flower Power!

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New Way to Princess

We had two full years of nothing but blue dresses in Rose’s world. I thought we’d finally moved past the wardrobe crisis when on her fourth birthday she agreed with my assessment that 4 year olds wear all the colors. Since then, blue has definitely still been a prominent color but other colors are tolerated. In fact, on a recent shopping trip she actually CHOSE a pink shirt and JEANS. JEANS! Pants used to be strictly protested! My mind was blown.

I was happy Rose’s blue period was over, and then we went to see “Frozen,” which is perhaps the best Disney movie of all time. Rose was really into it and started acting like the ice queen everywhere and saying she needed to wear a crown. Quickly the crown became an all-the-time thing. It took a few painful tangles for me to convince her not to wear the crown to bed.
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(Oddly, this is the only recent picture I have of her in this crown.)

She started wearing crowns to school everyday and insisting on wearing them in public.

“I’m pretending to be a princess all the time! I’m Cinderella AND Elsa the Snow Queen AND a kitty princess right now.”

Ok.

The crowns were in such heavy use that we were plowing through our latest dollar store supply of plastic crowns. Every year only at Halloween, the dollar store has plastic crowns for, of course $1. These crowns usually run at $3-5 at other stores, so I stock up on at least 10 $1 crowns at Halloween and we slowly go through them. Well, this year, thanks to “Frozen,” we’re already down to our last plastic dollar store crown. Those things break if you look at them funny. Since dollar store crowns are out of stock, our crown budget was going to put us in the poorhouse if I didn’t take some serious action.

My choices:
A) Be super tough. Once the crowns are broken, no more crowns until next October! You need to learn some more responsibility with your highly breakable crowns, 4 year old.
B) Set a crown limit. “You can only have ONE crown a month and if you break it, TOO BAD!”
C) Switch to metal tiaras and see if they hold up better.

I chose C.

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I was willing to spend up to $15 on a metal tiara, which seemed to be what they were going for online. I figured I’d come out ahead at that price if the tiara could manage to last even 3 months. To my delight, I discovered the child-sized ones at Claires are only about $6! Assuming it makes it 6 weeks, I’m definitely coming out ahead here. We should have switched to metal tiaras ages ago! Plus, it fits her better and actually holds her hair back.

Now she can wear a tiara everyday and live out her princess fantasies even more obnoxiously than ever before.

And why not? She’s 4.

At least she’s wearing all the colors now?

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Toy WTF: Ariel’s Boob Song

Sorry for the blogging lapse. I survived Hostess Hell week, and possibly even did a decent job of it aside for the fact that all of my other duties (blogging being one of them, laundry being another) were neglected.

Anyway, to make up for my absence, I took some pictures of toys in the toy section this week. Check out this monstrosity.
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At first glance, this doll is adorable. Look at that cute Little Mermaid smiling at you while wearing a dress. For once she’s not just wearing a seashell bra, so it’s not as “scandalous” as it could be. I never had a problem with the seashell bra, but this top is a little more modest.

But then she has a seashell BETWEEN her boobs.

Which would be fine, except you are supposed to PRESS the seashell between her boobs to get Ariel to talk.

That’s right, the “Talk” button on this Ariel doll is right between her boobs. This toy encourages you to feel up the Little Mermaid so you can make her talk.

It’s wrong on so many levels.

Why isn’t the seashell necklace up around her neck where mandatory boob poking wouldn’t be necessary to make her talk. She says some great things, but the boob poking steals her thunder.

And if that weren’t enough, Ariel is wearing a dress WHILE also having a fishtail, which makes no sense in terms of the movie. In the movie, she only wore a dress when she had legs. Do they think we can’t see her fins while she’s wearing the dress? Because we can. They are right there.

WTF?

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Demographic Quandry

When we were in St. Louis of Christmas, I had a sudden panic when I realized I had failed in my Santa duties to get ANYTHING for Violet. Sure, she doesn’t technically need anything because she’s only 7 months old and she has two big sisters worth of toys and clothes, but I know Lily and Rose would be pissed at Santa if he forgot their favorite baby.

Being Santa is rough, isn’t it? I thought I’d enjoy it more, but it’s actually a huge pain in the ass. I just bought the girls eight Hanukkah nights worth of presents and I’m expected to do what now? I mean, I don’t even get mom-credit from them for the awesome things Santa brings. Some imaginary guy gets all the brownie points. Not to mention it’s really hard to hide presents during a road trip. My cover is so going to get blown soon. Why am I even doing the Santa thing? I’m Jewish! And my husband recently informed me that he doesn’t think his parents did Santa for him. If they had done Santa, I’m sure he’d have some memory of it. I only started this Santa thing because I figured if we were going to celebrate Christmas with my husband’s family that we should do the fun part, but the fun part hasn’t been all that fun so far!

Anyway, on my last minute Santa mission, I was determined to find Violet a Tiana baby doll. Rose said Violet needed a baby Tiana doll since Rose and Lily have baby Cinderella and baby Aurora.

The Walmart in St. Louis did not have baby Tiana. Instead, they had something way better that I didn’t even know existed. I had never ever seen it before in the store and I’ve been to the toy sections of pretty much every Target, Walmart and Toys R Us in the greater Toledo area. They had a baby Mulan doll.

Baby Mulan was a huge hit with all three girls, and not just because they were excited to have a doll that was Asian like them. In fact, I don’t think that the Asian thing even registered with them. They were just happy to have another Disney princess baby.

Why don’t the stores in Northwest Ohio have baby Mulans? I suspect I was able to find her in St. Louis because there are almost 3 times as many Asians living there. St. Louis’s population of 319,294 people was 2.9% Asian in the 2010 census, while Toledo’s population of 287,128 was 1% Asian. EDIT: Checking more specifically, the St. Louis suburban area where we were shopping was 6-7% Asian. So I wonder, do they only stock Mulan dolls where they know there are Asians around to buy them? Do they think populations of mostly white kids don’t want baby Mulan dolls?

I don’t have conclusive proof and can’t find anything on the internet to support I am right about this, but based on how many stores I’ve been to locally I can’t help to think this is what’s happening.

My kids may be half Asian, but I am white and I can tell you with certainty that I and most of my friends growing up would have wanted a baby Disney princess from each and every movie, regardless of that princess’s race. It makes me sad that the little girls in my area aren’t even given the opportunity to shop for this doll in stores. Sure, everything is available on the internet, but most of us still find out what our kids want for holidays and birthdays by taking them to the toy store. There’s usually no reason to use the internet for toys.

Let’s make all the princesses available in all the stores, not just the stores with the appealing racial demographics.

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Princess School

The girls have been big into playing princess school ever since they watched Disney’s new princess series, “Sofia the First”. Sofia goes to princess school, I guess. I don’t know. I didn’t really pay attention. I should really watch it all the way through to see what happens, I suppose. It looks cute. I saw a lot of other princess cameos in the few moments where I paid attention.

Anyway, before you go to princess school, you have to go to sleep for the night. I didn’t realize what was going on with this until the other day when I suddenly realized it was VERY VERY quiet around here. I was worried something had gone wrong until I came around the corner and found this.

The princess beds are located on the stairs.

Obviously.

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Toy WTF: Disney Princess Dolls

A few weeks before Lily’s birthday, we got her the Ultimate Princess Collection from Target. For $65ish, you get seven Barbie-sized princesses. I was especially excited because the set included Jasmine. Jasmine is often hard to find in stores. She gets the snub in the princess department and I really don’t know why. She’s one of my favorites. You also can’t usually find Mulan or Pocahontas unless you are at the Disney store.

Do you sense a theme here? There are plenty of Belles and Cinderellas and Snow Whites and Ariels to go around. Everybody likes a white princess. American Indian, Chinese and Arab princesses? They clearly don’t belong in Walmart or Target, as far as I can tell.

If you think I’m exaggerating this, watch what happened to the Ultimate Disney Princess Collection one week later.

Pay careful attention who got booted for the newbie, Merida, another white girl.

That’s right, Jasmine was kicked to the curb. The box that once contained five white princesses, an Arabic princess and an African American princess now contains SIX white princesses and an African American princess. Instead of getting rid of the princess who sucks the most (Snow White), they booted Jasmine, who is way more current and also brings diversity to the table.

WTF, Target and Disney? I mean, yes, you chose Jasmine over Aurora in the previous Ultimate Princess Collection, but then you boot Jasmine for Merida? Where’s Mulan? Where’s Pocahontas? How many white princesses do my girls need in a box? I mean, it took years to even get a hint of diversity in Disney princess films, but then you take it away in the merchandising? Really?

Is it really that hard to sell Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine dolls along with all the other dolls in most mainstream stores like Walmart, Target and Toys R Us? I can’t imagine my girls are the only ones who want these dolls in their collection. It makes me sad to think other girls only want the white princesses to the extent that you can’t even find the princesses of color unless you specifically hunt them down on the internet or a Disney store.

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The Case of the Missing Princess

A few weeks ago while Lily was out of town, we got Rose the Little People Disney Princesses. Before Lily even came home from her trip to my parents’ house, Tiana was missing. I know this because Lily came over to the computer and saw a previous post on this blog that had a picture of all the princesses together.

“Mommy, there are seven princesses in this picture, but we only have six princesses here. Where’s Tiana?”

Where indeed. I thought Tiana would show up. Most toys usually do, but Tiana wasn’t turning up. When it had been a couple weeks and I hadn’t seen her despite a deep playroom clean, I emptied every toy bin and every toy shelf to see if she was hiding. She wasn’t.

Tiana’s disappearance was truly a mystery.

I looked through Rose and Lily’s room, then Violet’s room. Nothing. I hadn’t searched my own room yet because no missing toy has turned up there yet.

I had all but given up on Tiana when today my husband emailed me this picture of himself from work.

Tiana had been hitching a ride in his work backpack for weeks! He went to grab his lunch and out came Tiana!

One of my friends tells her son that his missing toys have gone on vacation and will have good stories to tell when they eventually show up again. Well, Tiana truly did go on vacation. I wonder if she picked up much organic chemistry while she was at the university!

Why Rose put Tiana in Dr. Toy Warden’s backpack, we’ll never know, but it sure made four out of five of us laugh a lot when we found out where she’d been.

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Cinderelly, Cinderelly

I think someone must have spilled juice or something in the kitchen and the floor has been mop and 409-resistant sticky, so I scoured the floor today. And it’s still kind of sticky. Aren’t children marvelous? Before kids, I used to mop maybe four times a year. Now I mop weekly and even getting on my hands and knees with a scouring brush doesn’t get things completely clean.

When Rose discovered me in there on my hands and knees, she got very interested and sat next to me watching my every move. After non-stop commentary about how I had bubbles and water and a scouring brush and a sponge and how I was washing the floor, Rose revealed why she was really watching me.

“Mommy, you’re being Cinderella.”

If you don’t recall, there’s a scene in Cinderella where she is washing the floor while singing.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that she made this association because she and Lily recently told me they loved Cinderella because she washed the floor and had a nice stepmother.

I certainly FELT like Cinderella, but sadly my prince has already come and I’m still scrubbing floors, doing laundry and mending clothes. Somehow I don’t think Cinderella was still doing chores after the prince married her.

Rose is as obsessed with Cinderella as ever. She thankfully will accept non-blue dresses now, but most of the day she plays with princess dolls, talks about how blue is her favorite color and sings songs from Cinderella. As she watched me clean the floor she got more and more insistent that I was Cinderella.

Before I was washing the floor like Cinderella, Rose donned a blue dress and showed her little sister two of her Cinderella dolls.


“I want to be Cinderella too. I need a sponge.”

Who can argue with a kid who wants to wash the floor?

I gave her a sponge and taught her how to dunk, ring and wipe with it. She was actually pretty good for someone who is not quite 3 years old yet. Lily came in to find us and announced she also wanted to wash the floor.

“Oh! You’re both washing the floor like Cinderella!”

They were very focused on being as Cinderella-like as possible.

I gave her a sponge too. This kept them occupied for well over an hour. I stopped washing because I was out of floor cleaner, but they kept right at it with just water. My floor is cleaner from it (but still sticky by the fridge. Going to tackle it with vinegar and dawn next.).

I might just have them “play Cinderella” on a weekly basis! If it weren’t for the constant requests to change out of wet dresses, I might do this every day.

I’m glad this Cinderella obsession finally got put to good use.

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Manipulation

Last week we were walking through Target and I saw this.

ZOMG Disney Princess Little People


I almost passed out, I was so excited.

And no, no one is paying me to endorse this toy. I’m just saying I was super duper excited. I wanted these dolls BAD. For the kids, of course.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know my kids LOVE Little People and have created an entire Little People universe that replicates their own world. They have a Little People figurine to represent each of their important family members. They’ve made appropriate houses for each family. They also love the Disney princesses and play with their stupid little plastic dolls with impossible rubber dresses just about everyday. Little People that are Disney princesses? There couldn’t be a more perfect toy for my kids.

As perfect as it was, I had to wait for a REASON to buy them this toy. Their birthdays are soon, but not soon enough. I needed this toy NOW. They needed this toy now.

So when Rose started using the potty and we told her she could have any toy she wanted, I made sure we went back to Target (it’s a Target exclusive toy) to “pick out” the toy. I led her right up to the princess Little People and asked if she wanted them. Of course she said yes. And we left with them.

And that’s how Rose “chose” her potty training reward. I didn’t show her any other toys, I just took her to the toy I wanted for her.

It was probably a little too manipulative of me, but you know what? She’s been playing with those Little People princesses since the second we took them out of the box. As predicted, she loves them and they fit into her toy world perfectly.

But then again, the same thing probably would have happened with any other toy she actually picked out for herself instead of having me stack the cards to get the toy I wanted for her (and Lily).

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Princess Ladder

The princesses have taken to firefighting lately. Or something. I don’t think Rose actually knows what firefighters do. We haven’t talked about it, but lately the princesses have been driving our Mega Bloks firetruck.

They drive it around the playroom until they get to our recliner. There, the princesses climb up the ladder to sit on the chair and… nothing. They climb up and later they climb down and drive away. It’s all very exciting with some high-pitched talking I can’t quite understand.

Is there a fire at the top of the chair? A party? Who knows. I asked Rose and she didn’t have answers. I asked Lily why Rose does this and she said “She just likes to make them go up and down the ladder. And up and down. And up and down. And then they drive around the room.”

It was an incredibly helpful answer, as you can imagine. Lily sometimes helps with this particular game, but still doesn’t know what the point is. In fact, I’ve heard her say “No Rose, I don’t want to play Princess Ladder! I just want to play Birthday Cake!”

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