Entries Tagged as 'holdy'

growing up holdy

07.10.16

I’ve debated writing a post like this for a long time. I’m not sure if I was embarrassed, or if I didn’t want to overshare something my daughter might be upset about later, or if I just didn’t want to get into it. So I didn’t write it.

But as the months have gone by and I’ve talked about it more, and people have come to me with questions and help for their own kids, I’ve decided it’s time for this post. Because it is nothing to be ashamed about, because I think Holdy would always choose to help others, and because I kind of just need to get it out now.

Most of you know Holdy from my posts, from her funny faces in my Instagram photos and her fashionista hashtag, #whatholdywore. You know that she is fun and vivacious and silly and creative and strong and brave. She lives life out loud.

 

Someone’s starting Pre-K at York Day Nursery today! #weefees #ohbotherblog

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

But last winter, I started to realize that the size of Holdy’s emotions and reactions to negative situations seemed to be more extreme than other kids. She was frequently and easily frustrated. She would throw a tantrum on a dime: huge, Exorcist-style tantrums that could last for 45 minutes. I noticed that, as a tantrum was starting, she would rub her feet together–almost as if the emotion was fighting to get out of her. One time at school, she had kicked her shoes off during a tantrum and rubbed her feet together so vigorously that she blistered and bled. The physical aspect of her emotional reactions really scared me.

Parenting a toddler @ohbotherblog

There was also the defiance, which was off the charts–even for a threenager. Extreme excitability and impulsivity. Bedtime was a nightmare. We were getting some negative reports from school–reports that Holdy was bullying other kids, specifically picking out the meeker kids that she felt she could control.

I felt like I was always walking on eggshells, not sure which Holdy I was going to get. Everything came down to picking my battles–was this “lesson” worth the 45 minutes of horror that would ensue? I hate to say this, but I dreaded picking her up from school. I could feel my blood pressure rise every time I pulled into the parking lot. I felt like a failure.

People tried to reassure me, “she’s just three;” “all preschoolers are like that.” But I knew there was something more. So I made an appointment with her pediatrician and I started scheduling sit-downs with her teachers. And together we worked out a plan.

Holdy and I started attending family counseling in March. These sessions mainly consist of me airing my grievances while Holdy plays with the counselor’s toys. We work on behavior goals and tactics for me to try positive parenting and keep Holdy on track. Honestly, it’s more like parental counseling for me and I’m fine with that. I also took a Positive Parenting Workshop in the spring offered by Holden’s school.

growing up holdy @ohbotherblog

In July, I took Holdy to see Dr. Susan Mayes, a pediatric psychologist at Penn State Hershey, for an evaluation. In advance of her appointment, I, her dad, our counselor and her teachers filled out extensive questionnaires about Holdy’s behaviors. The appointment consisted of 45 minutes of alone time with Holdy and the doctor, while Holden played games that were actually various tests. Afterward, they brought me in for the recap and diagnosis.

And so I got the official word on what I had pretty much known all along: Holdy has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder combined type (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), often associated with ADHD.

I was a bit taken aback to learn that Holden was also diagnosed with dysgraphia, which is a difficulty with handwriting and letter recognition. According to the tests she took, Holdy’s IQ is in the “gifted” range and she did very well with puzzles, reasoning and vocabulary… but her performance on writing skills and letter recognition were very low, which led to the diagnosis.

I had just assumed she had terrible handwriting because she was four, but once I learned about the disorder, things came together. Holden doesn’t write her name in a straight line–sometimes she writes it like a box. Some of her letters are written backwards. Dysgraphia is a graphomoter disorder that will require a lot of remediation and accommodations.

So there it was. Out in the open and down on paper. Verified.

image

I felt… relieved. Relieved that this wasn’t all in my head. Relieved that I wasn’t just a terrible parent who doesn’t know how to control my kid. Relieved that there was help on the way.

But I also felt sad. Sad knowing that this is something Holden can’t control and doesn’t understand. Sad that this is something she will struggle with her whole life. Sad to learn that kids with ADHD and ODD frequently deal with frustration, low morale, and poor self esteem because they’re constantly being scolded.

So again, we worked out a plan. We’ve started wraparound services and Holden has a therapist who works with her at school a few hours a week, helping to redirect her when she sees Holden being triggered. Soon we will also have a therapist come to our home a couple of hours a week in the evening.

The teachers and leadership at Holdy’s school, York Day Nursery, have been amazing through this entire process. They truly care about Holdy and want to help her succeed. We’ve been working together to make accommodations for Holdy during her school day, including:

  • a behavior plan and reward system to promote attention and compliance,
  • cues, redirection, repetition, and rehearsal,
  • frequent and specific feedback,
  • limited distractors,
  • breaking tasks into small, manageable segments,
  • preferential seating near the teacher and between peers who are attentive,
  • subtle signal system between Holden and her teacher to be used when Holden is off task,
  • hands-on activities that allow for active involvement,
  • computer learning activities (because children with ADHD are generally attentive to and successful with
  • computer educational programs),
  • frequent communication between parents and teachers.

When Holden starts kindergarten, she’ll require an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, to help her be a successful student. If we decided to try medication, we’ll be able to do that once she turns five.

#whatholdywore @ohbotherblog

For my part, I’ve been trying very hard to work on my patience, to try to praise the good more than I’m pointing out the bad, to keep her on task, to not put her in situations where she’s set up to fail. It’s not always easy. 

Last week, as we were hurriedly driving away from a family dinner out that ended early (and badly), Holdy was writhing in her carseat, trying very hard to use her coping skills and deep breathing to ward off a tantrum. She told us, “I want to be good, but it’s so hard.”

So, we’re figuring it out. No day is the same. I often regret the way I react or handle our interactions. I still often feel like I’m failing her. 

Sometimes when I’m feeling bad about the situation, I return to Dr. Mayes’ assessment, which included the line:

Holden enjoys a warm and affectionate relationship with her mother (who accompanied her to today’s appointment) and was happy to be re-united with her after testing. Holden’s mother interacts with Holden in a very loving and therapeutic manner and uses excellent behavioral strategies and accommodations.

 

Me and my +1. @susquehannastyle #BestofYork

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

I also remind myself of the assessment summary:

SUMMARY: Holden is a very likable 4-year- old with superior verbal and nonverbal intelligence who has ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and dysgraphia (difficulty with handwriting).

She’s going to have some challenges in her life, but it’s my job to help her get through them so that she can let her goofball self shine.

 

Born to be wild #weefees #yorkfair

A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

to my daughter on her fourth birthday

07.06.16

Christmas Card Photos 2015 @ohbotherblog

Holden, Holden, Holden. My little (not so little?) ham, performer, comedian, fashionista, artist, American Ninja Warrior, feminist, kitchen helper, dawdler, (sometimes) sweetie. You are four years old today.

Holden, my dear, you are something else. When I asked you two weeks ago what you wanted to do for your birthday you said, “punch someone in the face.”

(I should add that you did later request a hug from your mom and a kiss from your brother for your birthday. You’re sweet like that sometimes. You also said you wanted your Duke to give you soda for your birthday. Here’s hoping your requests will always be this easy.)

For the record, your presents this year are a pink baseball glove and a pink bike helmet. We’re all going to a York Revolution baseball game tomorrow night to celebrate.

Someone once described you as “living life out loud.” Mind you, you were only two at the time so your strong personality has shown from the very beginning (I’d even say from the months you spent kicking me before barreling into this world a week early). Everything about you–minus your tiny little body–is big. 

 

This freaking kid. #weefees #ohbotherblog

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

Big hazel eyes. Big joyful smile. Big messy perpetual bedhead. Big, bold fashion choices. Big singing and dancing performances (any time and anywhere). Big strangling hugs around your brother’s neck. Big displays of affection. Big, explosive meltdown tantrums.

You see, I’ve come to believe that you feel stronger than other people. You have really big emotions, kid. And that’s okay. We’re learning how to work with them. I’m learning how to work with them.

 

“I’m the boss.” #weefees

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

 

Four is the magic number I had hoped for the past two years would flip a switch and immediately imbue you with the ability to self-soothe, reason and empathize. I’m wondering if the last two weeks in particular have been your body fighting to get the last of the threes out of you. It’s been rough.

“Threenager” is a term I thought was invented by mommy bloggers for Facebook Likes. I’m here to tell you that the threenager is real. I have seen into our future this past year and I’m frightened. But luckily we have nine years to get our shit together, buddy.

It’s been quite a year. You started at York Day Nursery in the fall and it’s been wonderful. Your teachers are Miss Catie and Miss Nikki. You love to make art and every day you come home with at least six pieces of construction paper with various scribbles and random things glued to them. Every day, I throw most of these papers away. I’m sorry, dude. I promise that I keep the really good ones or the ones that have your hand or footprints on them, but this house would look like an episode of Hoarders if I kept all of your art. 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to me! Thanks #weefees!

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

 

I did, of course, keep this self portrait.

 

Holden drew a self-portrait. #weefees #ohbotherblog #kidart #accidentalpenis

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

 

You love to climb and play outside. You really are an exceptional climber, mastering the monkey bars before you were even three. I still legitimately want to find you some Parkour classes.

 

ANW #weefees

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

 

You took ballet classes this year on Thursday mornings at the Strand-Capitol. Your recital is this weekend and you’re dancing to an absolutely terrible song called “I Can Sing a Rainbow.” You seem to enjoy it but we won’t be returning after your non-dance-mom mom was chastised for providing you with the wrong shade of pink ballet slippers and not watching the required YouTube video to twist the pre-approved bun for you.

Holden the Ballerina @ohbotherblog

This seems like a good time to insert a plea to remember that I’m always trying my best for you and your brother. Even if that means you show up late to dress rehearsal with a messy bun and dirty tights while eating a cheeseburger because mom had to leave work early to rush you across town.

This timely internet-approved story came out the day after said dress rehearsal, so I’d like to think that this child is your kindred spirit and I want to remind you too to be the Hot-Dog Princess you wish to see in the world.

Hot Dog Princess

Speaking of hot dogs, they are one of the foods you will currently eat. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, “peanut jelly sandwiches”–basically anything you can eat with your hands. I’ve been getting away with “charcuterie” and veggie “trays” lately. You also still of course love pancakes and eating breakfast for dinner. You could eat your weight in berries. You love carbs and pastries. When I asked what you wanted for your birthday dinner, you said “cheeseburgers, cake and marshmallows.” So that’s what we’ll be having.

 

Mommy-Holdy morning at @glazinyork before school. #weefees #breakfastofchampions #ohbotherblog

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on


So the eating is still a struggle for us. And don’t even get me started on the sleeping.

About five months ago, we moved GB’s crib over to your room to ease some of your bedtime worries. I debated over doing it because GB was such an excellent sleeper, but I remembered having trouble sleeping myself and the times I would drag my brother over to my bed in the middle of the night, so I decided to give it a shot.

It, surprisingly, has not been that bad. Bedtime itself is a little crazier, but for the most part, the sleeping through the night has gone smoothly. You do try every trick in the book to avoid going to bed–needing water, needing chapstick, being afraid of the dark, having to pee. I gave you a mini flashlight to sleep with and a dreamcatcher above your bed and every night, I tell you a story about the good dreams you will have that night. 

By the way, you literally sleep with two bags of junk in bed with you and freak out if I try to put them on the floor.

 

OH MY GAWD

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

About your roommate: GB. That kid adores you. Literally one of his first words was “Holdy.” He said your name a good several months before he said mine. Before you shared a room, the first thing he would ask when he woke up was “Where’s Holdy?”

Please don’t abuse that power, buddy. I hope you’ll always be his idol and that you take that seriously and strive to be a good example for him. You guys are partners in crime. You rile each other up. You’re pretty good at sharing with him, but he’s better at sharing with you. He likes to get his toenails painted so he can be like you.

 

#whatholdywore #ohbotherblog

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on


You continue to set trends with your outfit choices. We still use your hashtag #whatholdywore to share some of your best work with your adoring Internet fans, though like everything else (this blog included), I lapse a bit in updating it regularly.

 

#whatholdywore #chaps #ohbotherblog

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

You are four years old today. I could marvel at that fact and lament, “where has the time gone?” but I am daily reminded of the saying “the years are short but the days are long.” It’s all true. It gets rough sometimes (almost daily), but I’m glad you’re mine.

Happy Birthday, Punk. You are the best, most-challenging, most-joyful, most-infuriating thing that has ever happened to me. I love you very much. I will not let you punch me in the face today, though.

Blizzard Jonas 2016 @ohbotherblog

 

#sundayfunday #minime #madeinyork #snowbarn

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

 

At Miss Vio’s Fairy Tea Party Birthday @arthur_daughter

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

birthday clock photo, year 3

15.06.15

In keeping with my (stolen) tradition, I snapped Holdy’s birthday clock photo at 7:23pm on her birthday.

Take a photo of your child every year at their birth time on their birthday! @ohbotherblog

While it’s probably the most stressful minute of my year to try to capture that shot, I’m going to try to do it every birthday. (And yes, I realize that the date format is in European style in that shot. Oh well.)

Here are previous years’ clock photos:

2nd birthday clock photo @ohbotherbotherblog

Her first birthday clock photo didn’t go so hot.

Birthday tradition: clock photo showing birth time @ohbotherblog Birthday Tradition: First Clock Photo at Birth Time @ohbotherblog

Getting GB’s clock photo will prove a bit more difficult, as he was born at 2:31pm (despite his birth certificate saying 2:41pm–trust me, I remember. Oh, I remember.)

GB's first birthday clock photo @ohbotherblog GB's first birthday clock photo @ohbotherblog GB's first birthday clock photo @ohbotherblog

Sorry, I’m going to have to embarrass you at school every year, Buddy! All in the name of tradition.

Holden’s Princess Pancake Party

08.06.15

Pancake Birthday Party for a Picky Toddler @ohbotherblog

As I’ve shared, Holden’s eating habits can be challenging. As such, I would say the kid probably eats pancakes for at least seven of her weekly meals (don’t judge me; sometimes it’s not worth the battle).

So for her third birthday this year, I decided to go with what we know and have a breakfast pancake party… a Princess Pancake Party.

We took over the mezzanine level of our Central Market House downtown. The Market is closed on Sundays, but Mezzogiorno at the Market is open and happens to make bangin’ pancakes.

Princess Pancake Party at Central Market in York @ohbotherblog 

I decorated the mezzanine with Dollar Tree finds, in pink of course. And yes, those are frappuccino bottles doubling as vases. I saved a case of them after seeing a cute Pin for a milk and cookies party theme. No, I never had a milk and cookies party. Yes, this is the first time I’m using them in two years.

Princess Pancake Party for a picky three year old @ohbotherblog

I gave the kids a table of their own and filled it with activities to (hopefully) keep them entertained while waiting for pancakes.

Princess Pancake Party for a Picky Toddler @ohbotherblog

Coloring books, crayons and glitter pens to decorate their individual princess hats (again, all Dollar Tree).

Table activities to keep toddlers busy at a birthday party @ohbotherblog

Breakfast snacks consisted of a breakfast pastry platter, fruit tray, coffee, mini bottles of chocolate milk and orange juice… and mimosa fixings for the grownups (especially for me).

Mimosas for Mom at a kids' birthday pancake party @ohbotherblog

The birthday girl was so excited to see all her family and friends gathered to celebrate her.

Holdy's arrival at her birthday party @ohbotherblog

It was a perfect #whatholdywore opportunity to capture her party ensemble.

#whatholdywore princess dress and sneakers @ohbotherblog

#whatholdywore princess dress and sneakers @ohbotherblog

Holdy and her friends had fun coloring and decorating their hats.

Crafts to entertain kids during a party @ohbotherblog

And the moment we were all waiting for: Birthday Pancakes!

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

After we all ate pancakes and Holden opened her gifts, the party was over, lasting about an hour and a half in total–my kind of kids’ party!

Oh, and I’ve been trying to find theme-appropriate t-shirts for myself to wear to each party. I found this tee at 5 Below (flower crown is my own!):

Happy Birthday Holdy! @ohbotherblog

 

I’m thinking this may be our last birthday party for a bit. Although this party was relatively easy to pull off, I’d like to focus on fun activities/experiences, rather than a party, for the next few birthdays. Remind me I said this next year!

to my daughter on her third birthday

06.06.15

Holden,

Holden, Holden, Holden. Where do I begin? In this past year you have blossomed into quite the spirited, creative, silly, fiercely independent little girl. No two days are ever the same with you and absolutely no days are boring.

You started attending daycare (“school”) three days a week this year because we thought a little structure and socialization would be good for you (and for our sanity).

 

Big day for #weefees (and mom)! #ohbotherblog

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

You enjoy school and have made some good friends, like Rylee, Daphne and Liam. You’ve learned your ABC’s and count 1-2-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 (we’ll work on that). You like to do art and take part in creative play. Lately, however, you have been getting notes about having trouble following rules, having meltdowns and hitting your friends. bad behavior notes from daycare @ohbotherblog I’ll be honest: your behavior has become a bit of a struggle for us recently, but we’re working through it. Most issues arise because you are THE most stubborn and independent person I know. You want to do everything yourself. I’ve seen you throw a 30-minute tantrum because I flushed the poop down the toilet before you could. That tantrum actually ended up with you in Urgent Care, in a story I will share over and over again in your teenage years to embarrass you.

 

  #brute #weefees #terribletwos #onlyslightexaggeration   A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

We try to work your independence to our advantage, and enlist your help around the house. You’ve been picking out all your own clothes this year, which has led to the Instagram hashtag #whatholdywore, because oh boy, there have been some doozies worth sharing. I let my toddler dress herself. #whatholdywore @ohbotherblog

Your latest trend has been wearing pants over shorts. I can’t wait to use these photos for future embarrassment opportunities. I’m willing to admit I’ve resorted to reverse psychology to get you to do what I want sometimes:

 

#whatholdyate #reversepsychology #weefees #ohbotherblog

A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

Child, you do not eat. For the longest time, all you would eat was pancakes. And sometimes sushi. It has gotten to the point that your birthday party is actually a pancake party because that is your lone dietary staple.

Pancake Birthday Party for a Picky Toddler @ohbotherblog

You have a very active imagination and you’ve really started to embrace creative play as of late. Most of your scenarios involve a dinosaur or someone needing help and calling for their mommy (which makes me feel good). You also like to play “Miss Amanda” (your former daycare teacher) and boss your stuffed animals around.

 

Packed house and only one server at this #rwyork establishment. And she’s mean to boot. #weefees A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

One time I heard you/ “Miss Amanda” say, “Fine, if you’re not going to listen to me, I’m just going to leave.” I figured, if I were teaching toddlers, I’d probably say the same thing. Speaking of the darndest things you say, other sayings that have cracked me up:

  • “I can’t BELIEVE this right now.” (complete with hands on head)
  • “What’s that face about?”
  • “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” (your standard goodbye greeting, regardless of time of day)

You also always follow up telling me you love me with, “but I might get mad at you sometimes.” (Thanks, kid). You like to make up your own song lyrics:

 

spettacolo serale da #weefees #latergram #ohbotherblog A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

 

I sure hope this kid isn’t banking on a career as a singer/songwriter. #weefees

A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

You’ve started making some amazingly silly faces, with this one being my favorite:

 

Farm Show Carousel #latergram #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

You usually bust that one out when you’re being scolded and it’s really hard for me not to laugh.

We’ve identified this as your “lying face”:

 

I’ve identified this as her “lying” face. #ohbotherblog #weefees

A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

(That’s you promising not to hit anymore. Liar.)

You are whip-smart. You are sassy.

 

Werk it. #whatholdywore #ootd #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

And you are oh-so destructive.

 

Sunday evening art project (followed by bath night). #ohbotherblog #weefees

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

But you are also a sweetheart. You are a very protective and attentive big sister to GB. You stuff his Nuk in his mouth when he’s upset (when you aren’t sneaking a suck or two on it yourself), and you literally smother him with hugs. And you always offer him an inferior toy before you just snatch one away from him. He follows you everywhere and you’re remarkably tolerant of it (except for when you’re in the bathroom). 

 

Easy like Sunday evening. #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

You always ask for “a kiss and a hug” when someone leaves. You give out a ton of compliments: “I like your hair.” “I like your toenails.” You ask me to “hold you” when I tuck you in at night. You tell me I’m your best friend (I’ve also heard you say that to your Duke and to GB, but I’ll let that slide).

You like to read books, sometimes making up your own stories to go with the pictures. Sometimes you “read” to me, and by “read to me,” I mean you point at the picture and say, “Tell me what’s this. Now tell me what’s this.”

You like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Doc McStuffins, Yo Gabba Gabba and Daniel Tiger.

You started gymnastics this year at Skyline. You expertly perform headstands and forward rolls and sit like a butterfly.

 

  Get right outta town with this. #weefees #ohbotherblog   A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

You are pretty much potty trained at this point, after a very trying potty training boot camp weekend in the fall. We still have our accidents and you do wear Pull-Ups to bed, but I’m very proud of you for being such a big girl.

Potty Training Weekend with a 2.5 year old @ohbotherblog

I reread last year’s letter to see what changes we’ve made since your last birthday. Back then I acknowledged that you had entered your Terrible Two’s early, that you were an overly aggressive hugger with an impressive vocabulary, who loved her dog and her brother. It’s funny to see how your personality has been solidified from such a young age.

I’m happy to share that you’re developing into a very special, smart, creative, funny, unique sweet little girl. I’ve heard you described as “someone who lives life out loud,” and I think that’s pretty accurate.

“I might get mad at you sometimes,” but that’s just because I’m still trying to figure out how to raise such an independent little woman.

I want my children to be independent headstrong people. Just not while I'm raising them @ohbotherblog

You’re three going on 13, the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced… and the most rewarding. I love you very much, Punk. Happy Third Birthday.

Potty Training Weekend with a 2.5 year old @ohbotherblog

still not letting it go: we went to a “Frozen” tea party

15.12.14

In my never-ending quest to assuage my working mom guilt and spend some fun time with Holden, I bought us tickets to attend a “Frozen”-themed tea party by a local company called The Enchanted Teapot. If you’ll recall from our “Frozen” On Ice almost-misadventure, my attempts don’t always go according to plan.  Remember this?

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

This time, however, not only did Holden actually wear the Anna dress, she let me do her hair in braided pigtails AND she wore a flower wreath on her head.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

(Notice that sweet cowlick? A straight part is never going to be in this girl’s future.)

She did have a brief freak-out once the dress was on, but I soon realized it was because she also wanted to wear her “bug” wings.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

(We had just gotten through a weekend of watching “Peter Pan Live” on repeat so she had a slight Tinkerbell obsession.)

Oh, and I went ahead and got dressed up too.

 

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on


Why, yes, that is a fake-braid headband. I’m straight up bald in the front from having GB so my braid situation was not working out.

The dress is one I actually owned from a funny fancy-dress party in grad school. It’s literally 12 sizes too big and I had to pin myself into it.

I think we looked pretty cute, though–ridiculous dress and all.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

The tea party was adorable, with precious little “Frozen”-themed treats.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Holden was very well behaved (at the start), and was so excited.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She colored “Frozen” pictures.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She met Anna.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

And Elsa. She was so starstruck.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

They sang songs.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Holden, of course, had to steal the show. She even threw in a few forward rolls and twirls for good measure.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

They read stories.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Notice Holden butted her way right on up to the front. At one point she even stood up, blocking the other kids’ view. Luckily, the rest of them were older and gracious to her being young and self-centered. There’s no real (quiet) way to push through a crowd to get your loud, stubborn two-year-old to sit down in this situation. I tried.

She even helped herself to Elsa’s throne.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She really was good for 95% of the event. She did have a meltdown toward the end when we had to wait in line for the official photo with the princesses. She may or may not have thrown herself on the floor and screamed, but I had already paid the $15 for the photos, so we were getting them, dammit. Her crocodile tears stopped as soon as she approached Anna and Elsa.

And then she hugged and tried to kiss them. They were both very sweet about turning their head for a cheek kiss, even though Holden was clearly going for the mouth.

Overall, we had a (surprisingly?) great time. Even if I was one of the only adults who dressed up.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

I mean, look how happy she was:

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

I’ll make sure to show her these photos when she’s 15 and tells me she hates me on a regular basis.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

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

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.

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?

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