Entries Tagged as 'holidays'

holidays, amirite?


So last week I was all prepared to write a really positive, fun post about how well Holden’s potty training has been going and how much fun we’re having getting ready for the holidays.

And then all hell broke loose.

Broken Christmas tree @ohbotherblog

Why yes, that is my just-decorated Christmas tree after the stem base folded and snapped… at the exact moment that Holden had herself an accident of the “Number Two” variety and was spilling the contents onto the floor in an attempt to free herself of her soiled clothing*… all while GB was screaming at the top of his lungs. So, not a great night overall.

Thanksgiving was a bit of a struggle getting the kids ready and out the door to my parents’ house.

Thanksgiving Unhappy Kids @ohbotherblog

Thanksgiving Unhappy Kids @ohbotherblog

And then I had a slight, um, incident with the stuffing I was to bring to dinner.

Floor stuffing @ohbotherblog 

Sorry, mom.

In all, it did turn out to be a very nice day with family. Holden did have to have no less than three time-outs during the actual meal itself, but at least the Floor Stuffing still tasted delicious.

Time Out to Say Happy Thanksgiving @ohbotherblog

So since we can’t run away and hide all holiday season (though I would very much like to), I’m still trying to embrace it. Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfis, has returned. Don’t worry–you’re not going to see super-cute Pinterest-type elf situations here cuz ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Elfis, the Elf on the Shelf @ohbotherblog

 Holden touched him almost immediately, which did require some medical attention.

Elf on the Shelf Hospital after Touching @ohbotherblog

It looks like Elfis is going to survive. I hope I can say the same for us after these holidays.


*ps–In all seriousness, Holden’s potty training is going surprisingly well. She’s been relatively accident-free at school and our evenings have been somewhat low-stress in terms of accidents. I will say, however, when she has an accident, it is an Accident with a capital “A,” as evidenced by the story above. But we’re plugging away and I’m pretty proud of our progress so far. 

halloween recap


As I’ve previously lamented, Halloween has turned into like a month-long holiday. Parties, parades, fall fests, trunk or treats. You name it; there are costumes required. Last year, I went the cheap and easy route and got multiple costumes for Holdy. This year, I just went with one amazing costume for Holden and made it the theme for all of us.

Rockford Peach, baseball player, Rosie the Riveter @ohbotherblog

I found the Rockford Peach costume on Etsy (SilverThreads by Ronda). GB’s baseball player jammies came from the consignment store. For my Rosie the Riveter costume, I used a Chambray shirt I already owned and a pink bandanna that was Holdy’s that literally came from a gas station.

Given that she hated her Anna dress from Disney on Ice so much…

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

… I was really glad that Holden liked her costume.

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

And GB, well he likes everything.

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

Last weekend, we got dressed up and attended a Pumpkin Fest at our city’s farmers’ market.

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

The kids helped me get ready for the Masquerade Ball my organization hosted.

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

Holden refused her Anna dress again on Halloween day to go to her grandparents’ house, so we went with an ensemble of her own choosing.

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

I was a little jealous, so I got in on the TMNT shirt action as well.

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

Before Trick or Treat started, Holden was in a bit of a mood.


A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

I told her there’s no crying in baseball and she got it together.

So we headed out to her first time Trick or Treating, stopping at a Trunk or Treat first.


A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

She was surprisingly well behaved the whole evening and was excited to say “Trick or Treat” and “thank you.” 


A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

GB was the official candy hander-outer at my house (with his Duke).


A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

I’m happy to report that Holden got lots of good chocolate for me to steal… and a few lollipops–her favorite.


A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

And, of course, there’s always that one house…


A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on

Hope your Halloween was great!

fireworks fail, or my worst night as a parent to date


My hometown puts on a pretty fun event for Independence Day at our Atlantic League baseball stadium. Think bounce houses, carousel, playground, live music, concessions and, of course, fireworks.

If you’ll recall, we forewent fireworks for Holden last year. This year, I thought we’d give it a shot. Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well.

I’ll preface by saying Holden has been getting her two-year molars, had a fever the day before and I was keeping her up about an hour and a half past her bedtime. But she had taken a nice, late nap so I thought we might be okay. Spoiler alert: we weren’t.

My mom and I got to the stadium (with both kids) around 7:45pm. We rode the carousel and had fun on the playground.

Then we headed onto the field to set up our blanket and stake out our spot for the fireworks show, which was to start around 9:30pm. There was a fun Army jazz band and Holdy got her dance on for a bit.

Then Ms. Antsy got, well, antsy and started to run around a bit. My mom went off chasing her and… 15 minutes later… brought back a possessed demon child from Independence Day hell.

The screaming. The kicking. The writhing. The teeth gnashing. As I carried her out, literally kicking and screaming (and in the process dropping her shoe, which I had to humiliatingly accept from a nice man who chased after us to return it to me), I could feel all eyes on us. Some judging. Some sympathetic. Some terrified.

I took her to a grassy spot off the field that was slightly more private and actually had to form a human Thundershirt to calm her down. For 30 minutes, I struggled to get her to a level that I could even just talk to her. It was overwhelming, and embarrassing, and scary, and frustrating, and mortifying. But I think I kept relatively calm myself. Not sure what the thousands of bystanders would have to say.

The storm passed and we went back on the field to pack up and leave before the fireworks even started. She was calm (tired?) enough to ride in the stroller (usually a struggle) and we got to watch the ‘works on the way out and the walk back to the car. Bonus: we missed the traffic on the way out.

I’m hoping this is “normal” two year-old-stuff. The knowing looks I received from other parents tells me it is. But I’m not exaggerating when I say it was my worst night as a parent so far. I left feeling absolutely terrible about myself as a mother.

But the excitement on her face when she watched the fireworks for the first time *almost* made that 30 minutes of horror worth it.

Holdy's First Fireworks


my spirit of christmas


Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year. For me, Christmas Eve trumps Christmas Day, and that’s because, for as long as I can remember, I’ve spent Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family at my Grandpa’s house.

After Thanksgiving, Grandpa’s house is like Christmas exploded. Every corner has some sort of Christmas decoration, most of it from the 70’s and 80’s. My favorite is the peek-a-boo Santa toilet seat cover.

Vintage peek-a-boo Santa toilet seat cover Christmas decoration @ohbotherblog

My family, 30 of us strong (and growing), gather for a potluck, baked macaroni and cheese, hamburger BBQ and a special green sherbet punch. We do gifts for the small kids and Pollyannas for the big kids, and tons of fun raffles (including jars of pickles). It’s been my favorite holiday tradition for, well, ever.

The Christmas Eve party 2011 @ohbotherblog

Christmas Eve 2011

My grandpa has been in poor health for the last few years. With every Christmas Eve, we wondered if it would be the last at the house, as throwing the event seemed to wear on him more and more.

The Christmas Eve Party 2012 @ohbotherblog

Christmas Eve 2012

This year, as Grandpa’s health deteriorated and he became bed-ridden this December, it was realized that hosting the party at his house would be too much. For the first time ever, the Christmas Eve party was going to be held elsewhere… at my house. Talk about big shoes to fill. Would the party be as fun without Grandpa’s decorations? Could I master the green sherbet punch recipe? Would there be enough room for everyone?

On December 23, after a last-minute 10pm run to Walmart because I wanted to find the perfect Christmas table cloths for the party, I returned home to a phone call from my Dad.

Grandpa had passed away an hour earlier.

That Christmas Eve Eve, I rushed to his house with my mom to say goodbye. One by one, the family all arrived.

I was unsure if people would still want to gather the next day, given that we had just lost the man at the center of the event, the spirit of our Christmas Eve. My aunt said he’d want us to still celebrate; that he’d want us to be together. The party was still on.

So we had our Christmas Eve party. The mood was surprisingly festive. We looked at old photos. We ate the mac and cheese and BBQ. We opened gifts and even still had some raffles. It was a day filled with love. And really, that’s why it’s always been my favorite.

And while the green punch didn’t turn out as frothy or delicious… or green… as Grandpa’s, I’m hoping he would have been proud that I tried.

Green sherbet punch @ohbotherblog

I like to think that he couldn’t bear to miss the party so he found a different way to be there.

happy holdydays


Merry Christmas from us to you.

skeptical of santa


Even though she enjoys seeing Santa on the screen and page, and will tell you when prompted that Santa says “ho ho,” Holdy has not been a huge fan of physically interacting with the fat man in the red suit this year.

I can’t say she hasn’t warned me: before each visit, when I’d ask her if we’re going to see Santa, she’d enthusiastically nod; when I’d ask if she was going to sit on his lap and get her photo taken, she would very seriously shake her head no.

Nonetheless, I ruthlessly put her through the process no less than three times.

Toddler skeptical of Santa @ohbotherblog

Toddler skeptical of Santa @ohbotherblog

She wasn’t entirely sure what to make of this Santa guy last year either.

Baby Santa pic @ohbotherblog

To be fair, Holden doesn’t love having her photo taken in general, unless we’re talking about selfies. So I tried a Santa Selfie to see if that would work. It didn’t.

Santa Selfie @ohbotherblog

Oh well. I guess I shouldn’t complain that my kid is rightfully wary of a strange man who gives her candy and wants her to sit on his lap.

And for the record, for as much as she doesn’t like having her photo taken, she sure does love to see herself in photos.

Toddler Narcissist @ohbotherblog

My little narcissist.

snow daze


Here in Central PA, we’ve had three snowstorms in one week, which has meant essentially three snowed-in days for me and Holden… which has meant: pajamas-all-day-long, Toy Story on repeat in the background, cookie baking, flash-card-272-pickup, inappropriate pop videos on YouTube, the same books over and over, torturing the dog, climbing up and down the stairs, snow boot fashion shows, learning to color with crayons, frequent “it’s only 4:30?!” moments, etc. While I’ve been enjoying the time with her, I find myself really relishing nap time and a newly refreshed respect for stay at home moms. This is tough stuff!

Here’s a look at some of our cabin fever days.

Holden's First Sled Ride @ohbotherblog

Touching the Elf on the Shelf @ohbotherblog

(yup, she touched him).


Watching Toy Story... again @ohbotherblog

(yup, it’s Toy Story… again).

Flash cards are serious business @ohbotherblog

Doctor Sally @ohbotherblog

pinterest win-ish: rainbow cookies


Holden and I were invited to a Holiday Cookie Swap tomorrow, which sounded like tons of fun… until I realized I had to make cookies in advance in order to have something to swap. Duh.

I actually love to bake cookies—my mom and I have our own little Christmas cookie sweatshop every year the weekend before Christmas. But I wasn’t entirely prepared to have cookies ready for this party. So I decided to a cheat a little and get some help from Betty Crocker.

Now, because I don’t want it to actually look like I just made some cookies from a box (well, pouch), I remembered a Pin I saw not too long ago.

If you’ll recall, me and rainbow-colored baked goods don’t always get along, so I figured, at the very least I’d have a fun Pinterest Fail to share with ya’ll. Instead I’m calling this a quasi-win.

The recipe for the Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies comes from Souders Cookery.

Dr. Suess Cookies
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
11 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
11 min
  1. 1 17.5-oz. bag Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  2. Liquid food coloring (McCormick Neon shades work well)
  3. Rainbow sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix cookie dough according to instructions.
  3. Divide dough evenly into five bowls, and color each with a different color liquid food coloring.
  4. Roll each color of dough into grape-sized balls.
  5. Combine a ball of each color and quickly roll into a larger ball. It will look like a little beach ball.
  6. Then roll that ball between your hands and the counter until you have a cylinder about 12 inches long.
  7. Starting from one end, roll the dough into a coil, twisting the cylinder as you go (this is tough to do).
  8. Roll edges of the cookie in sprinkles.
  9. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until done.
  1. Original recipe said this yields 3 dozen cookies. I think 1.5 dozen is a more accurate count (though I could have just made mine way too big).
Adapted from Souders Cookery
Adapted from Souders Cookery
oh, bother. blog | a working mom in a Pinterest world. http://ohbotherblog.com/
Here’s the recipe breakdown, visually:

Rainbow Cookies - Dr Suess Cookies @ohbotherblog

The best way to really mix the food coloring into the dough is… with your hands. I threw on a pair of disposable gloves (which I own for reasons involving my dog that you don’t want to hear about) and went to town:

Rainbow Cookies - Dr Suess Cookies @ohbotherblog

The balls really do look like little beach balls once you combine the five different colored grape-sized balls. Wrapping the cylinder into a coiled cookie whilst twisting it is not an easy thing to do.

Rainbow Cookies - Dr Suess Cookies @ohbotherblog

Because my cookies are nowhere near as airy and perky-looking as the recipe photo I’m calling this a Pinterest Win-ish. I’m wondering if I should have followed the box instructions for drop cookies as opposed to cut-out cookies. The neon colors still make them look pretty cool though. The end result:

Dr Suess Cookies @ohbotherblog

Also, this recipe says you’ll get three (3) dozen cookies out of it. Unless I made my cookies waaaay too big (which is a possibility), I’d say 1.5 dozen is more realistic. I actually got 15 cookies out of this recipe… which is not enough for the Swap tomorrow, so I’ll be making my gingerbread men (also out of a box) to supplement.

And while we’re truth-telling, these cookies are pretty time-consuming, what with the splitting of the dough into five different colors and rolling grape-size balls and coils and cylinders and whatnot. So I didn’t actually do myself any favors by cheating. But they look pretty, so oh well!

small business saturday and maker’s monday


So today is Black Friday and I’ll confess: I went out shopping. Old Navy was having a 50% off everything sale and mama needed some cute maternity clothes (which don’t exist, btw). I bought some craft stuff at A.C. Moore, and a stocking for Holden at Home Goods (if anyone wants to stitch her name onto it, I’m looking for you). But… I also made a trip down to Beaver Street in Downtown York, which is the hub for our local boutiques and restaurants, bright and early.

Kimman's on Black Friday morning @ohbotherblog

photo credit: The Susquehanna Photographic

Some of the merchants were doing gift certificate specials, so I picked up some $25-for-$15 gift certificates from Central Market York, Park Street Pantry and Arthur & Daughters.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a pretty big supporter of buying local. I’m making a concerted effort to purchase as many gifts this year from local stores and restaurants. So the shopping days I’m REALLY psyched for are Small Business Saturday and Makers Monday.

Makers Monday - buy American-made on December 2 @ohbotherblog

This is the first year for Makers Monday, which encourages you to buy American-made products on December 2, and all season long. If every American adult spends just $10 on Dec. 2, that adds up to $2.4 billion injected into the American economy. Not bad for a day’s work.

If you get the chance to shop local this weekend and this holiday, please do so! May your check-out lines be short and your shopping be stress-free this weekend!

the dreaded christmas list


Baby's first Christmas @ohbotherblog

So the Christmas list requests have started rolling in for Holden and… I don’t know what to tell people! The kid has literally everything she needs, plus a father who hates junk and… just “stuff” in general. So what’s a mom to do?

She likes to watch Sesame Street and climb on top of everything and take objects out of containers and put them back in. We have hundreds of flash cards and she likes to read books and take selfies and look at photos of herself on my iPhone. She lives a full life.

So the million dollar question is: what are your Christmas list suggestions for a 12-24 month old? I’d love to keep the list to educational and developmental-type toys and not a lot of noisy, plasticy stuff. 

ps – weren’t Holdy’s Christmas photos from last year adorable? I die.

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