Entries Tagged as 'raise ’em right'

potty training: it’s going down


potty training is coming @ohbotherblog

The time has come. I have stalled long enough. Potty Training Weekend is this weekend. It’s going to be a naked-toddler-butt-setting-a-timer-and-sitting-on-the-potty-every-15-minutes-getting-a-sticker-doing-a-dance pee and poop extravaganza. Hopefully we all make it out alive.

If you recall, we had a few practice potty days several months ago, but the timing was not right… for me or for Holden.

Since then, she has started daycare, where they take kids to the potty every half an hour. She will also pee “on command” for me when I put her on the potty at home (before bedtime and naps, etc.). She has definitely been displaying all of (what the Internet is telling me are) the readiness signs recently:

  • Language – In the past week, Holden has actually asked to use the potty, AND THEN USED IT, several times.
  • Staying Dry – She has periods of dryness of about two hours, which apparently illustrates developed bladder control.
  • An Interest in the Bathroom Habits of Others – Nothing like peeing with an audience.
  • Awareness of Bodily Functions – She usually sneaks off in private to go number two. But for the past couple weeks, she’s been announcing it immediately and wanting it OUT. Several times she actually stripped naked right after going.
I’ve been avoiding doing the Potty Training Bootcamp for multiple reasons, mostly not having time and having my bathrooms being renovated. But now, no more excuses. The bathrooms are completed. She’s ready. I have the time. We’re going to do this.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
FTR: I’ve been studying these blog posts to craft my approach:


first day of daycare


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.


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.

my kid is a hugger


my kid is a hugger @ohbotherblog

So this is kind of awkward, but Holden has turned into a real… hugger. I’m talking hugging every child she sees, sometimes so hard that she drags them to the ground. Not so much with adults, just with kids. And stuffed animals.

It’s a bit odd for me because, outside of interactions with Holdy, no one would describe me (or Holden’s dad) as overly affectionate. Certainly not huggers.

It’s to the point where going to Gymboree is slightly uncomfortable for me because I feel like I’m constantly pulling her off of other kids. Some kids hug back, but some are clearly not into it, or are even startled by it. The parents’ reactions also range from thinking it’s cute to seeming as uncomfortable with it as I am. I really don’t want her to be “that kid.”

I don’t want to discourage her loving nature, but I also want to teach her that other children need their personal space. I read some forums online that said I should teach her to ask permission first, or teach her to shake hands as a preferred method of introduction. I’m not sure how effective I’ll be teaching this concept to my 19-month-old (especially because I doubt other kids know how to shake hands, or how to respond when someone asks to hug them), but I’ve got to do something. Another suggestion I read has her saying, “Hi Baby!” to kids instead of hugging, which I kind of like.

Any other suggestions on dealing with an overly affectionate kid?

nekkid toddler


I'd rather be naked onesie from Old Navy @ohbotherblog

“I’d Rather Be Naked” jumpsuit from Old Navy.


So Holden’s fun new trick is taking off all of her clothes and her diaper while in her crib.

It started with the shirt a few times a couple of weeks ago. Now lately when I check the video monitor in the morning or after her nap, I see her bare ass staring back at me.

Luckily, there haven’t been any serious bathroom incidents to accompany her nudist exploration… yet… but I’m waiting for dreading the day that there’s a surprise waiting for me in the crib, or on the walls, or in her hair.

From my super extensive and thorough online research, it seems like this could possibly be an indicator that she might be ready to start checking out the potty. She has two little potties, a white one in the bathroom and a toy one that sings, that we’ve had in the house for about four months. She likes to sit on them and clap for herself, and she’s peed in the white one in the bathroom a few times before bedtime (after which she received a sticker. woo.).

But lately when I ask her if she wants to pee in the potty, she says, “no,” so I’m not pushing it. I also don’t have the time to dedicate to actual potty training just yet, though I figure if she seems game when I’m home on maternity leave we may give it a shot. She’s 18 months old now, which seems to be on the early end of the spectrum.

Otherwise, I’ve seen suggestions on how to keep the diaper on, including:

  • putting the diaper on backward
  • duct taping it on
  • putting her in onesie pajamas that are harder for her to get off

Not sure how I feel about these things. She is a determined persistent stubborn little thing and I wonder if making her work harder will just make her hulk out.

So, did your kid start ditching the diaper? How did you handle this phase?

color me stumped: teaching colors


I’ve kind of been freaking out lately trying to teach Holden her colors. She’s only 16 months old. I know I’m a weirdo.

She has these School Zone and PlaySkool flash cards that she loves to play with. She sniffs the flower when she sees it, touches her head when she sees a hat, wrinkles her nose when she sees the pig. So I thought… why not use cards to identify her colors? I made super awesome index card color flash cards with my trusty Mr. Sketch markers.

color flash cards @ohbotherblog

They aren’t exactly… catching on. And I was kind of weirding out, wondering what was up with my otherwise bright child. And then I Googled and it turns out… Kids can’t really identify colors until they’re like 4 or 5 years old.

Though it might seem easy to grasp, learning colors can be a challenging task for children.  Children often learn names of nouns before they learn descriptive words about those nouns (like colors) and can be easily confused when an array of colors are present in a large group. The typical developmental timeline is that children name some colors correctly by the end of their fourth year. At age five, children should correctly name at least four colors. 

Makes sense, I guess. I was having a really hard time describing what color is. Try it; not easy.
Anyway, I’m going to ease up on the Ivy League preparations and just have fun with watching her learn and grow every day. But I will keep telling her that flower is purple, the hat is brown and the pig is pink. Do you have tips for teaching colors?

pinterest win: big ol’ magnet board


Kids' magnet board from oil drip pan @ohbotherblog

So it definitely feels like cheating a little to call this a “Pinterest win” when literally all I did was buy this auto oil drip pan from Walmart (for $11.97)…

auto drip pan from Walmart $11.97 @ohbotherblog

… and Command strip it to the wall, but whatever. I mean, I actually had to go into Walmart, which is pretty much the worst. But I did find the super-cute letter magnets there (for 97 cents) so that was a bonus.

Most of the boards I’ve seen on Pinterest were hung vertically, but with Holdy being so little (and having a tendency to pull on stuff), we decided to mount it horizontally. We put it in front of the fireplace because, well, it was the only adequate amount of “wall space” we had, and we never use the fireplace anyway because the glass gets too hot for baby hands.

Holden’s clearly not spelling yet, but she does have fun moving the magnets around (and, let’s be honest, throwing them, putting them in her mouth, etc.)

magnet board from oil drip pan from Walmart $11.97 @ohbotherblog

play date!


Holden had her first official play date this past weekend. By official, I mean it was her first time playing extensively with a child close to her age and development level.

The girls got along pretty well during their play date. They played together and they played independently side by side. They climbed and swam (briefly) and ran and slid. Laurel pushed Holdy around in various vehicles. They gave each other kisses, which was adorable. Especially when it’s like pulling teeth to get Holden to give me a lousy peck.

In general, Holden appears to be a good sharer so far. In fact, she will thrust toys in other kids’ faces and then get offended when they don’t take them. I… guess that’s a good sharer, right? Sometimes she’ll pretend to give a kid a toy and then snatch it away. Not so great sharing there.

This play date was the first time I’ve seen Holden get jealous and cry over a toy she wanted that someone else had. Or try to push someone out of the way to get what she wanted. The old distraction tool seemed to work well for both girls and the meltdowns were minimal. It’s going to be really interesting to see how her sharing skills progress with more socializing. Hopefully I won’t have the kid who’s the jerk in preschool or at the playground…

baby play date @ohbotherblog

the ornery ones


I should have seen it coming when I got that 13 Month email from thebump.com, the one that said “one is the new two.” I mean, it said it right there:

expect mealtime messes, new words (like “NO!”), squirmy diaper changes, and mood swings.

Boy, they weren’t kidding. I’m officially referring to this age as “The Ornery Ones.”

I haven’t been privileged enough to hear “no” just yet—or any words for that matter—though I have witnessed a head shake in action. I questioned whether Holden was getting bratty about a month ago, but we’re in a whole new territory now.

  • That gleam in her eye before she sweeps her dinner onto the floor.
  • The way she throws herself on the floor in despair if she doesn’t get her Nuk/sippy cup/iPod/book/shoe when she wants it.
  • The squeal of delight as she’s splashing in Sally’s water bowl for the 18th time.
  • The deliberate eye contact before purposely turning and running away from me.

And the mood swings. Can we talk about the mood swings? She’s smiling and sweet and giving kisses one minute, and wailing and kicking five minutes later. It’s maddening. My dad actually gave Holden a time out the other day, so you know it’s getting bad.

I can’t wait until she can start talking or at least communicating in more than grunts, whines, points and screams. I’ve been trying to limit the amount I say “no” to her and say things more like “yucky,” or “hot,” or “ouch,” or “it’s not nice to throw your peas on the floor,” or “we don’t grab people’s faces.”

She literally looks right through me when I try to correct her behavior. How do you discipline a kid when they can’t comprehend yet? Should I be trying time outs? Or do I just give in and accept the “Ornery Ones,” “Terrible Twos,” and “Trying Threes”?

For the record, she did help me clean up all the diapers from the video above!

beginning to learn (holy crap!)


Holden has gotten really into reading lately. And by “reading,” I mean bringing me a book, sitting on my lap and humoring me for two pages as I read and ask her to point things out to me. “Holden, where’s the dog?” “Holden, where’s red?” 60% of the time she gets it right every time.

As she’s beginning to recognize things like body parts (though she usually just points to her ear) and some animals, I’m realizing that this kid is actually learning stuff. And, holy crap, I should probably start… teaching her things.

A friend of mine homeschools her young children and I asked her for some resources for preschool curricula. One she sent me is a free resource called Tot School.

Tot School - Early Learning Through Play @ohbotherblog

It’s described as “focused time with your tot, exposing early learning skills through fun play.” There’s an E-book and tons of blog posts, free printables and even a weekly gathering place where moms come together to share ideas and updates on how certain lessons worked, etc.

I have to admit, it seemed totally overwhelming when I first checked it out, but Carisa, the mom behind Tot School, posted this Minute-by-Minute walk through of what Tot School actually looks like in her house (including toddler meltdowns and TV breaks), which made me feel much better. Carisa also reminds you that this is supposed to be fun.

So… I think I might give it a try. The challenge, of course, is finding the time as a working mom whose partner is out of town during the week. I’m sure if I gave my parents some “lessons” to do with her during the day, they would.

What kind of things did you do to encourage early learning with your little one? Am I being a weirdo and trying this too soon?



So… am I allowed to say this? I’m a little worried that Holden is getting bratty. She’s entering that screeching phase where she emits this high-pitched horrible noise when she is displeased with something. Which is apparently all the time.

I purposefully threw my Nuk onto the floor and I wish it was in my mouth!

You locked up all the bleach and chemicals!

I want you to pick me up!

I changed my mind, put me down!

You told me “no” when I looked you directly in the eyes and deliberately continued to throw pieces of food onto the floor!

You made me stop banging my head against the fireplace!

I prefer to wear a dirty diaper!

You put your boob away even though I was clearly finished nursing and just wanted to play with it!

You won’t let me play in Sally’s water bowl!

You made me stop eating mulch and dirt!

This is a whole new territory for me and I’m pretty sure I don’t like it. Firstly, it is so tough to relinquish control over her upbringing when I go to work every day. I am very lucky that my parents watch Holden for me, and I obviously know that they can raise a fantastic woman (ahem!), but… I am starting to struggle with the whole situation.

You can do all the online research and click on those “Raise a respectful child” Pins you want, but when you’re in the moment and realize your life is being run by an 18-lb. tyrant, it’s humbling to say the least. Especially when she thinks “no” is a fun game we’re playing.

Anyway, this is apparently where things are going now. Any tips or advice for me?

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