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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 Red Nightgown

This book caused an overnight emergency at my mother’s house.

Lily chose this book at a used book store. For 50 cents, I couldn’t say no to a book about a little girl and her grandmother. Lily was going to visit my mom the next day, so it seemed fitting to get a book about visiting with grandma.

Unfortunately, the book ended up casting my mother and me $15 each, so 60 times what I paid for it.

Lily quickly became obsessed with this page. The little girl is getting ready for bed and has a surprise under her pillow from her grandmother.


Her grandmother hid a red nightgown under her pillow.

Lily: I really want a red nightgown.

Me: You do?

Lily: I want Nonni to get me a red nightgown. And one for Woof Woof.

As I said, she was going to visit my mother, aka Nonni, the very next day.

Me: Well, I don’t know if Nonni has a red nightgown for you, but we’ll be sure to get you one soon. You need more pajamas anyway.

Lily: I really want a red nightgown with polka dots on it like in the book. The grandma gets the little girl a red nightgown and Nonni is my grandma.

Me: Yes.

I called my mom immediately to warn her about the nightgown crisis. She cursed me and my book. “I don’t know if I’ll have time to get a red nightgown before tomorrow!”

Me: You don’t have to get her one. I just thought I’d let you know…

Because seriously, how special would it be for her to find a red nightgown under her pillow the night after she read this book? Pretty special, right?

And so, my mom ran out in the middle of the night on a hunt for red nightgowns. She was in luck, Kohls not only had a red nightgown, it also had a matching one for Woof Woof.

It's not worth going to sleep unless you and your Woof Woof are wearing matching nightgowns.

Naturally, I had to buy one for Rose and Baby Woof Woof too.

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Evil Plan

This picture is filled with minor personal victories of evil plans fulfilled.

Lily would never willingly wear that dress. I bought it for her last year and was really excited about it. When I tried to put it on her, she screamed no and told me she couldn’t wear dresses when it was cold outside. I had pants to go with it, but she still didn’t want to wear it. She absolutely refused to put it on. On the few occasions I managed to pull it over her head, she’d scream and tear it off.

I thought this dress was wasted forever. I was sad at the money I wasted on it and the cuteness that had to sit in the closet and never be worn. It was one of my favorite things I’d gotten Lily that season.

Well, here we are a year later and Rose, who is 2 years younger but nearly the same size as Lily, can wear the dress. And she does! Willingly! So my evil plan to get SOMEONE to wear this dress has come true.

Even more evil, I convinced Rose to let Baby Woof Woof wear that pink dress. My sister got that pink dress for Mommy Woof Woof last year and Lily refused to let Mommy Woof Woof wear it. I’ve suggested it repeatedly over the last year, but Lily would never let it happen. Mommy Woof Woof must stay in her uniform (or a nightgown).

I showed Rose the dress and she got really excited. Baby Woof Woof has been wearing what Rose calls the “Sleeping Beauty! Pink! Sparkle! Princess!” dress for more than a week. My evil plan worked there too.

And the last bit of evilness in this photo– Rose is wearing pigtails. Pigtails! I can never get Lily to let me do her hair, but Rose asks for pigtails and likes them (sometimes. She has to be in the right mood.). Evil dream accomplished.

Maybe I need to expand my goals, but when I look at this picture I see a whole bunch of evil plans coming true.

I wonder what else I can get Rose to do that Lily hated? I need to keep experimenting. Maybe I can even get her to take a shower instead of a bath. Now that would be magical.

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Wordless Wednesday: Woof Woofs at Play

They clearly put themselves there.

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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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Woof Woof’s Underpants

You know you are a mother when you find yourself making alterations to a stuffed animal’s underwear… and this is the reason you didn’t make it to the gym within daycare hours.

The clothes we recently bought at Build-A-Bear are looser than Woof Woof’s previous clothes. Woof Woof’s new pants and underwear kept falling down and her shirt kept showing too much stuffed animal cleavage.

Lily has trouble getting Woof Woof’s pants up because of the tail, so I had to put Woof Woof’s new pants back on over and over and over again. I was getting pretty frustrated by this, and I wasn’t the only one. But I didn’t think to fix it until one day Lily turned to me and said “Mommy, you need to fix Woof Woof pants like you fixed my cherry pants! You sewed my cherry pants so they wouldn’t fall down. You are so good at sewing, Mommy!”

I’m really really not good at sewing at all, but I can make amateurish crude alterations to pants to make them stay up around a tiny toddler waist. Lily was right about that.

Woof Woof is having a much easier time playing on the swing set now that she doesn't have plumber butt.


I promised Lily I would alter Woof Woof’s pants while she was sleeping, then promptly forgot. The next morning we were about to leave for the gym when Lily came to me with tears in her eyes. “Mommy, you didn’t sew Woof Woof’s pants. She needs them to stay up!”

I sewed the pants on the spot. I also made tucks in the shirt because I don’t think Woof Woof wanted to be quite so scandalous.

I was ready to get up and go again when Lily came running in with Baby Woof Woof’s droopy underwear.

“Baby Woof Woof needs you to sew her underwear too!”

I hope this is the stuff she remembers: That I would stop everything to crudely alter her Build-A-Bear’s underwear. Not that I lost my cool and yelled at her for peeing in her nighttime pull-up 2 minutes after she put it on. I have a feeling the pull-up incident will stick more though. Oh, motherhood.

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Woof Woof’s New Duds

Woof Woof has had a uniform for about a year: pink sheep shirt, Hello Kitty underwear and pink leggings. For ages, I’ve been trying to convince Lily that changing Woof Woof’s clothes was a good idea, but much like the battle we had to get Woof Woof in clothes in the first place, Lily was against making any changes to Woof Woof’s exterior. People had bought Woof Woof princess dresses, wedding dresses, an Elvis-esque jumpsuit (This was ok when Woof Woof was cold), Korean clothes (ok if Lily was wearing HER Korean clothes)– for day-to-day wear, none of it was acceptable to Lily. She only wanted Woof Woof in her uniform.

A year of wearing the same clothes day in and day out while traveling to every park in Northwest Ohio has had its toll. Woof Woof’s clothes have been washed on many occasions and now are worn, dingy and pilled. While I’m totally cool with stuffed animals becoming “real” “Velveteen Rabbit”-style, I didn’t like how ragged Woof Woof’s option clothes were looking when other, far cuter alternatives were possible.

This spring I’d been paid with a gift card for some freelance work I did. Recently I reminded Lily about the gift card and suggested to Lily that Woof Woof might like new clothes because her uniform was looking very old.  For some reason, putting it in these terms made Lily very anxious to get Woof Woof out of her old things.

According to Lily, none of the other clothes I and other family members have purchased for Woof Woof in the past would do. Woof Woof had to have something special and new.

Like a pair of jeans and a Hello Kitty shirt.

Clearly the most becoming outfit at Build-A-Bear.

Seriously? Out of all the adorable outfits Build-A-Bear has to offer, Woof Woof comes home in jeans and a t-shirt? I am disappointed.

But apparently it’s important to Lily that Woof Woof wear comfortable play clothes all the time. When we got home I pointed out the other cute clothes we have for Woof Woof, but Lily is sticking to her guns once again.

Woof Woof is one casual gal.*

Come to think of it, Woof Woof and I dress exactly alike, minus the Hello Kitty logo. Perhaps I’m Woof Woof’s fashion inspiration?

I’m honored.

*Baby Woof Woof, whom Lily also picked clothes for, wears a tutu-inspired dress. What’s the deal with that?

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He Said/She Said: The Rise of Baby Woof Woof Continued

So as you read, something truly momentous happened at our house last week: Rose finally got her own Woof Woof.

Mommy Woof Woof and Baby Woof Woof bond at a photo shoot.

Lily had been pushing for this for forever, as Dr. Toy Warden said, but where our opinions differ is what happened on the trip to make Pandy.

Lily got a gift card to Build-A-Bear for Christmas. I asked her what she wanted to do with her gift card and she said “Make Rose a Baby Woof Woof”– a statement second in sweetness only to her wanting to use her chore money to buy her sister milk.When we got to Build-A-Bear, Lily literally wanted Rose to have the exact same Build-A-Bear as her.

Don't look now, Woof Woof is naked!

Dr. Toy Warden says the reason we didn’t make Rose the Brown Sugar Puppy (aka Woof Woof) was that it wasn’t available. It was totally available! It was right there on the shelf. But I refused to bring home the exact same dog for another kid. I thought Rose should be allowed to choose her own “Woof Woof” aka special stuffed animal. If she had the exact same Woof Woof as Lily, it wouldn’t be “special”.

It was the dumbest thing I ever thought, really. Clearly, as months of fighting and further requests for a second Woof Woof have shown, Lily was BRILLIANT to want to get Rose her own Baby Woof Woof.

But at the time, it made perfect sense. “Woof Woof” = special Build-A-Bear. Rose should get to pick her OWN special Build-A-Bear. And she did. And then she never bonded with it because it wasn’t Woof Woof (she DID bond with the Love Bug Build-A-Bear I got her at Valentine’s Day, but she still fought with Lily over Woof Woof Prime.).

We didn’t find out that Brown Sugar Puppy was off the market until months later when Lily had a near-miss at losing Woof Woof forever. I decided that not only should we get Rose a Woof Woof, but Lily needed a BACK-UP Woof Woof. Brown Sugar Puppy was only $12, so I figured I’d go to Build-A-Bear, make two or three Woof Woofs and everyone would be happy indefinitely.

But when I went to Build-A-Bear, my brilliant plan was foiled. Brown Sugar Puppy was no longer available and Fudge Puppy sat in her place.

I didn’t know what to do. The dogs looked so alike… but they weren’t the same dog. So I didn’t buy any Woof Woofs that day. I went home sad and empty handed, though thought maybe we should get Rose the Fudge Puppy someday anyway.

Although I distinctly remember telling Dr. Toy Warden about Fudge Puppy, he doesn’t remember this and didn’t see Fudge Puppy in person until just a couple weeks ago. The second he saw it, he declared that Rose must have it as soon as possible.

Two Woof Woofs are better than one.

Baby Woof Woof should have become a member of our family months ago. Rose loves it, sleeps with it and plays with it all day long. I was a complete moron for not allowing a real Baby Woof Woof to come home last year. Always listen to your 3 year old’s ideas about what to buy for your 1 year old. She knows what she’s talking about!

That’s if I’m remembering this correctly. My husband claims I’m not, but I’m knee-deep in Woof Woof trivia. Who are you going to believe?

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The Rise of Baby Woof Woof– Dr. Toy Warden’s Version

Hello Toy Readers. This is The Toy Warden’s husband making today’s guest post. In March 2010 Lily made her first Build-A-Bear trip. She seemed very confused at the time, but this would be a very special day for Lily getting her favorite stuffed animal Woof Woof.

This was also Rose’s first Build-A-Bear experience, although it appears she slept through it. Lily was very excited to get her Woof Woof, although it was not apparent here.

Ever since then, Lily goes to bed with Woof Woof, takes trips with Woof Woof, dresses up with Woof Woof and now plays on the swing set with Woof Woof.

For the past several months Lily insisted that Rose should have her own Woof Woof even wanting to use her own gift card money. When we first investigated, we were denied. Woof Woof had been discontinued. We also couldn’t find any miniature version which would have been ideal. We let Rose pick out an alternative and she seemed to like this Panda, which we named “Pandy.”

Disclaimer: Dr. Toy Warden and I have completely different memories of what happened here. I will write a separate post later today about what I believe REALLY happened when we went to create Pandy. And I can’t believe I could be wrong about this. He has to be remembering it wrong. HAS TO.

We were excited that Rose had her Woof Woof, but clearly Pandy was no Woof Woof. That’s actually Lily in the above photo, because Rose was hardly in any photos with Pandy. While Rose liked Pandy, she seemed to only want it at her tea parties.

We had all but given up at getting Rose a Woof Woof until a recent trip getting Woof Woof some new clothes. We saw this puppy in the same spot on the far right (being the cheapest).

It looked just like Woof Woof, except obviously darker. This was even better than getting the exact same Woof Woof. This one would be distinct and could be Rose’s very own. We decided to come back a week later and make this a very special trip. Unfortunately, Toy Warden couldn’t make it, so I was left to document the festivities.

We were relieved to see the new Woof Woof hadn’t been discontinued during the week. However, we were initially blocked by a throng of campers in weird hats.

I thought we would never make it through as these guys were pretty scary looking, but we were not going to be denied. In fact, when Rose grabbed the unstuffed Woof Woof, she wouldn’t let go. So we had to get a second one for the bear builder to stuff, while Rose clung to the other one. Also notice Lily brought her Woof Woof along for this historic occasion.

Somehow I was eventually able to pry the unstuffed Woof Woof out of Rose’s clutches and we headed over to give the new nonflimsy Woof Woof a bath.

Despite Lily’s insistence, Rose wouldn’t give the new Woof Woof a bath.

Lily picked out the new Woof Woof’s dress.

Lily decided the new Woof Woof should be named “Baby Woof Woof” even though she is the same size as the now “Mommy Woof Woof.” Here is Rose sitting at one of those computers.

We hung out with the Chick-Fil-A cow.

Rose and Lily played in the play area.

We all made it home.

Stay tuned later for some He Said/She Said about how Baby Woof Woof came to be.

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Happy Birthday, Woof Woof!

Because there is no event left uncelebrated in this house, this week we had a party for Woof Woof’s birthday. She just so happens to share a birthday with my husband. Woof Woof’s (and my husband’s) birthday is tomorrow, but we were visiting my parents earlier this week and had a little celebration for her (and my husband too I guess) then. We put her name on the cake and everything…

It says "Daddy Woof" on there in cranberries-- we were out of frosting.

…well her first name, anyway. It is hard to fit “Woof Woof” AND “Daddy” on one cake when you are trying to “write” with dried cranberries. Stupid Daddy, making his name take up space on the cake. And he also hogged the number candles. Woof Woof is only turning 1.

Then we sang “Happy Birthday” to Woof Woof (and Daddy too, I guess). Woof Woof wasn’t so sure about sharing a birthday with my husband. She thought he was a birthday hog. He got a way bigger present than her, but regardless of how Woof Woof felt, my husband was honored to share a birthday with her. I mean, he was there when she was born.

My husband always wanted to share a birthday with a stuffed animal.

Woof Woof got roller skates for her birthday. She’s still learning how to use them.

Woof Woof needs some roller skating lessons.

In defense of my apparent insanity on this one, Build-A-Bear actually sends birthday cards to its bears with $5 “gift” coupons. Woof Woof only really got a present because of this coupon. But we DID remember that it was Woof Woof’s birthday. We did make her on my husband’s birthday, after all.

Happy birthday, Woof Woof (and Daddy)!

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