taking a 2-year-old to disney on ice, or how I learned to “let it go”

19.10.14

Like 95% of children in America (the world?), Holden loves Frozen (or as she calls it, “Anna”). So when Disney on Ice “Frozen” tickets became available this summer for an October show, I hesitated for maybe three minutes before I decided to grab a pair. Holden has never been to a movie or live show before, so I wasn’t sure how it would go. As you are now aware, Holden is not the easiest child to take out in public.

Last month, Target had a sale on a dress-up-Anna costume and doll, so I bought it, excitedly envisioning surprising Holden with the dress, perfectly braiding her hair and taking my eternally grateful, happy little two-year-old to her first live performance of her favorite story.

Things did not exactly go as planned.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

She refused to wear the dress, insisting it was “too tight,” even though it was clearly too big. I ended up settling for a Frozen t-shirt. She was clearly hating life. Inside, my heart broke a little. 

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Nevertheless, we embarked on our Holdy-Mommy date, first stopping for lunch.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Don’t judge me: it’s like the only restaurant that’s acceptable to take a child of her “spirit.” She behaved. She ate. She was excited. Things were looking up. 

And then:

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Luckily, the tears only lasted for the first quarter of the 40-minute drive.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

When we got to the arena, Holden–possibly still groggy from her nap–was super excited.

When we got to our seats, she seemed mesmerized.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

She pointed out all the “Holdys”–little girls who actually wore their princess dresses. She laughed and pointed at the stage. She, of course, had to have a $26 light-up thing.

 

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  But as the lights went down, something was amiss. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog She seemed a little tentative. A little unsure. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog Then, by the time Anna and Hans sang their duet, she was downright miserable. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog She turned to me and said, “Holdy done now,” which has sort of become my safe word for “shit’s about to hit the fan.” So we hightailed it out of the arena and took a little break. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog I gave her the option of going back in or going home, and enticed her with promises of “Elsa’s Song” and Olaf, which were delivered after we settled back in.

 

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Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

 

Holden sat in my lap with her arms around my neck for the entire second half, but she seemed to love it.

She was even cool during the scary snow monster part.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

By the end, she was clapping and dancing with the crowd.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

 

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So, all in all, not a total disaster.

The parking lot on the way out, however…

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

But, let’s be honest, I’d do it all again for this kid.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

the lazy mom’s guide to making your own baby food

02.10.14

Look, I try to be a good mom, I really do. But momming is hard, especially when you’re doing it by yourself, so sometimes you gotta get creative. And find some good mom hacks.

It’s almost 10pm on a Take-Out-The-Trash Night and, rather than throw away the fresh produce that our family of three never eats in its entirety, I decided to have a puree party and make some baby food for GB. On the menu: peaches.

Now, I didn’t get this brilliant idea to blog about this until I was already in the process, so I don’t have a “before” photo to show you, but I’m pretty sure you know what a peach looks like so we’re cool, right?

The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Making Your Own Baby Food

Take that pretty ripe produce you’ve got in your fruit bowl or fridge. Throw it in a Crock-Pot and go do life stuff for a few hours. (I’ve got a mini Crock-Pot that I got at Target for like $15 that’s great for entertaining… and, it turns out, making baby food.)

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

Take the now-soft and cooked produce out of the Crock-Pot and remove any yuckies, like pits or skins.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

(Appetizing, right?)

Deposit the mush into a Mini Bullet (no, not Mommy’s special Mini Bullet) or blender.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

Blend that stuff up.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

Dump the puree into whatever baby food containers you’ve got.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

Wait until it cools and throw it in the freezer with whatever random baby food you’ve previously made. Or in the fridge for tomorrow. Or serve it up immediately. Whatever floats your boat.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

Throw the bullet and whatever utensils you used in the dishwasher.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

Feel good knowing you made your kid some baby food.

Let’s be honest, though: I’ve got plenty of the ready-made stuff for back-up and nights where I don’t have time to mess around with making my own.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

 

I’m coming for you next, baby carrots.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

happy 6 months, gb

23.09.14

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It’s so hard for me to believe, but this guy is six months old today.

Weight: My scale is broken and says I weigh 20 pounds less than I do (I refuse to fix it, of course), so I really don’t know. At his pediatrician appointment last week they said 15.9 lbs.

Likes: being held, milk, his sister, sitting outside, watching the fan, when mommy makes crazy faces and voices, the baby gym, being “hugged” by his sister, flying in the air, being tickled, trying to sit up, belly raspberries, grabbing his feet, “talking.”

Dislikes: He is still super pleasant. We recently got over a bout of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and neither the doctor or I could tell because he was still so content. He did want to be held a lot last week when he was sick. He doesn’t like getting hot in his car seat. 

Eats: We just started solid foods this week. So far, he’s loving his rice cereal, avocados and apples.

Sleeps: Through the night. In his crib. Thank the Lord. 

Accomplishments: Smiling (a lot!), chuckling, rolling over like crazy, chewing on his hands, grabbing toys, kicking like a soccer player, holding his head up, putting his Nuk in his mouth. He’s getting better at sitting up with help. He coos and “talks” a lot.

Seriously, this kid is awesome.

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But, so as not to be all braggy like “that mom,” here’s a true look at the behind-the-scenes of our little shoot today.

Now that he’s discovered his feet, it’s a little tougher to keep him still or to get him to smile for a photo.

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He’s a mover.

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He’s really curious and is especially entertained by his sister, so I enlisted her help to try to get a smile.

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It didn’t really work.

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(Notice the blur in the lower right corner.)

But still, no complaints with this guy. Lovin’ every day with him.

PS – the adorable month tie stickers are from Bump2Baby Stickers on Etsy.

guesting for susquehanna style

21.09.14

Guest blogging for Susquehanna Style @ohbotherblog

 

I’m pretty psyched to share that I’m going to be guest blogging for Susquehanna Style, Central Pa’s style magazine. Check out my first post–an intro to me, this blog and my crazy life–over at Susq Style now!

I’ll be writing monthly blog posts for the magazine, in the similar vein of what I do here–basically demonstrating my feeble attempts at motherhood, Pinteresting and life in general.

I know what you’re thinking, “But, Meg, how can you write a monthly blog post for them when you’ve been sucking so much at posting on your own blog?” And to that I say, “You’re right. Oh, bother.” 

craycation 2014 recap

09.09.14

Okay, so I know I’m about two weeks behind on this but here it is: Craycation 2014 Recap.

As you may remember, Holdy was pretty psyched about going to the ocean. Specifically, she wanted to “get her toes wet, get her butt wet and eat crabs.”

So we didn’t waste any time fulfilling those wishes.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Now, Holdy wasn’t so sure about the whole crab business when it actually came down to it.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

But man, does this kid love the beach.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Like, really loves the beach.

Like, even posed-nicely-to-get-her-Scopes-photos-taken loves the beach.

Holdy's Beach photoshoot @ohbotherblog

 I was so shocked at how well and intently she listened to the photographer. I invited him to come live with us. (He was also 22 and adorable but that’s beside the point).

GB was also a real trooper on the beach. (Check out Holdy in the background.)

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

He would hang out in his little tent, and was pretty happy unless he got too hot or his sister kicked sand in his face. Which both happened.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

So GB and I would chill at the pool instead with this sweet setup.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

And we were both lovin it.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

One of my favorite memories of going to the beach when I was younger was playing with glowsticks on the beach when the sun went down. So we gave that a shot.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

One night, we took a trip over to the amusement park for Holden’s first taste of some non-quarter-at-Target rides.

She loved them.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Mostly.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

I can watch this video of her on her first roller coaster ride over and over.

I even got a brief night out while my Dad stayed with the kids one night.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

And I needed that night out, because the trip was certainly not without its stresses.

Like, tantrums.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

And more tantrums.

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

And then there was the night that my parents went out to dinner on their own.

“Go,” I said.

“I’ll be fine,” I said.

So I took the kids to the boardwalk. And we started out like this:

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog 

And within 10 minutes, progressed to this:

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

I had a very hard time obeying this:

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

So then I went back to the room and did this: 

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

Don’t get me wrong: there were certainly good times. Like:

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

and:

Beach trip with baby and toddler @ohbotherblog

But in all seriousness: while traveling with small children absolutely sucks and should never, ever be called a “vacation,” I’m really glad to have created those memories and we definitely were able to have some fun. Holdy especially had a wonderful time and it was great to watch her experience so many things for the first time.

Baby beach trip @ohbotherblog

Though I’m happy to not do it again anytime soon.

first day of daycare

25.08.14

First Day of Daycare @ohbotherblog

So it was a big day for us here at the oh, bother house: Holdy’s first day of daycare. She’ll be going three days a week while my parents continue to watch Gatsby full-time.

I think it’s going to be great to provide her some real structure and to be around other kids. We’re all really hoping it’ll help with some of the tantrums and discipline issues (fingers crossed!).

So, true to form, I tried to make a cute chalkboard sign for a First Day photo prop. True to form, my sign is pretty much a poor man’s Pinterest reject. 

And, true to form, Holden refused to pose for an Instagram-worthy photo:

First day of Daycare @ohbotherblog

Just to be clear, the tears were for the photo and not for going to daycare itself. She’s been asking excitedly about school for like two weeks.

She was super psyched to wear her (completely empty) backpack:

First day of Daycare @ohbotherblog

On the way into the center, I asked if she wanted me to take her picture. She actually looked at me, rolled her eyes and said, “mooooom.” I remind you: she’s two.

No, there were no tears for Holdy during drop-off. In fact, the teachers told me they think she’s the only kid to never cry on their first day.

Fantastic.

She ran into the room, said hi to the kids, gave and accepted several hugs, and then joined the crowd and literally never looked back. Not even when I said goodbye. I was prepared to feel elated to have a day free from being screamed at by a toddler. I wasn’t prepared to feel a little sad at how big my little girl was. I mean, I guess independence is a good thing, right?

I didn’t get a call all day telling me to come back and get her out of there so I figured we were good to go.

When I picked her up, she was playing dolls happily with another little girl. Her teacher said that Holden had been good all day–no screaming, no tantrums. She did apparently cry for her mommy a couple of times (is it bad that hearing that made me feel a little good?). She even napped. And went on the potty. So overall, a great day.

I decided our new tradition is going to be ice cream on the first day of school, so I went ahead and got that started today.

First Day of School Tradition @ohbotherblog

And, bonus: she seems completely exhausted.

Daycare = a success so far.

happy 5 months, GB

23.08.14

I’ll update you on the result of our craycation shortly, but first… Happy 5 Months, GB!

happy 5 months, gb @ohbotherblog

Weight: According to my super scientific stand-on-the-scale-with-him-stand-on-the-scale-without-him method, about 15 lbs.

Likes: being held, milk, his sister, sitting outside, watching the fan, when mommy makes crazy faces and voices, the baby gym, being “hugged” by his sister, flying in the air, being tickled, dipping his feet in the pool, trying to sit up, belly raspberries

Dislikes: This kid is pretty freaking pleasant. There’s not much that upsets him… except being hot (so being at the beach for craycation was just fantastic).

Eats: Every 3-4 hours. Mommy’s milk or a 6oz bottle of breastmilk & formula combined.

Sleeps: Through the night. In his crib. Thank the Lord. 

Accomplishments: Smiling (a lot!), chuckling, rolling over like crazy, chewing on his hands, grabbing, kicking like a soccer player, holding his head up, putting his Nuk in his mouth

I love you, Buddy! Thanks for being so easygoing. Please stay that way.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of today’s shoot:

Behind the scenes baby photo shoot @ohbotherblog

 

Just kidding. That lasted about seven seconds and then she threw the camera on the ground and started screaming that she didn’t have her own tie sticker. 

craycation, or why am I going to the beach with a baby and a toddler?

18.08.14

craycation - going to the beach with a toddler and a baby @ohbotherblog

I’m envisioning that this will likely be the first in a series of posts on what I can only anticipate is going to be a very *interesting* trip to the beach.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve taken a vacation, though I’m sure by the time this trip has ended I won’t count it as a “vacation” either. Hence, “craycation.”

We did travel to Disney World with Holden when she was about 9 months old. At that time, it was six adults to one relatively immobile baby. This time, it’s  three adults, one crazy toddler, a sweet infant, a 4-hour car ride. Oh, and one hotel room. What could go possibly wrong?

First of all, holy crap do you have to pack a lot of stuff. In addition to clothes and diapers and wipes and all that jazz, I’m taking like half a carload of stuff just to keep Holden from driving us all crazy: a portable DVD player, movie, Kindle, books, flash cards. Then there’s the strollers. And the pack n play. And the food/snacks.  The monkey leash will definitely be making the trip, though putting it on her generally leads to a ridiculous tantrum.

Speaking of tantrums, today has been one long day of cranky behavior, hour-long screaming tantrums and various poop incidents. I could never have used a vacation more. But I can’t help but feel like I’m signing myself up for a self-imposed week of terror.

I am excited to share this tradition with the kids though. We used to go to the beach all the time when I was growing up. Sand. Boardwalk. Ice cream. Kites. Seashells. French fries. I’m just hoping that the good outweighs the bad, haha.

Holden has been on a beach before, but she was super new, so she doesn’t remember. She’s excited to “get her toes wet, get her butt wet and eat crabs.” I’m looking forward to some pool time and at least one margarita. 

I’ll let you know how we make out.

the toddler mullet

07.08.14

Billy Ray Cyrus. Carol Brady. Joe Dirt. Holden. What do these folks have in common?

Legendary mullets, that’s what.

The toddler mullet @ohbotherblog

Holden’s super fine golden blonde hair has grown into a mane that’s straight up business in the front, party in the back.

Now here’s the thing: the poor thing was pretty much bald until her first birthday.

Baby' 12 month onesie photo @ohbotherblog

So I’m kind of loathe to cut her hair because it took so dang long to grow. I have trimmed her bangs once or twice.

Trimming toddler's mullet bangs @ohbotherblog

Sometimes she’ll let me pull it back into a wispy little ponytail.

Toddler ponytail @ohbotherblog

But until the business catches up to the party, I guess we’ll just keep rocking that mullet. I mean, that’s cool, right?

happy 4 months, GB

23.07.14

Happy 4 month birthday, GB @ohbotherblog

Happy 4 months, Big Guy. You are the sweetest baby; so content and pleasant 95% of the time. I’m pretty sure you think your name is “Handsome” (maybe it should be).

Happy 4 Month Birthday, GB @ohbotherblog

Weight: According to my super scientific stand-on-the-scale-with-him-stand-on-the-scale-without-him method, about 13.5 lbs.

Likes: being held, milk, his sister, sitting outside, watching the fan, watching mommy, when mommy makes crazy faces and voices, the baby gym, “boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants,” being “hugged” by his sister, flying in the air, being tickled

Dislikes: This kid is pretty freaking pleasant. There’s not much that upsets him. He doesn’t love the Bumbo chair yet.

Eats: Every 3-4 hours. Mommy’s milk or a 6oz bottle of breastmilk & formula combined.

Sleeps: This big guy now sleeps in the crib in the nursery and… THROUGH THE NIGHT! He generally sleeps from about 9p to 6a with very few interruptions. 

Accomplishments: Smiling (a lot!), chuckling, rolling over, chewing on his hands, grabbing the rings in his baby gym, kicking like a soccer player, holding his head up

Milestones: May be showing signs of teething (?)

Happy 4 Month Birthday, GB @ohbotherblog

Oh, and look who had to get in the post:

Happy 4 Month Birthday, GB @ohbotherblog

(ps: I really boned up Holden’s monthly photos by not showing her sitting in a chair or something to give perspective. I’m trying a bit harder this time around. The adorable month tie stickers are from Bump2Baby Stickers on Etsy.)

 

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