Entries Tagged as 'terrible twos'

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:


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


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.



View on Instagram

  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


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


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


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


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.

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


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


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?

the horror. the horror.


My toddler is a screamer. @ohbotherblog

So here it is: my toddler is a screamer. It turns out that Holden’s own fireworks display on the Fourth of July was not a fluke; she is a full-blown screaming, tantrum-throwing, screeching toddler. She has also added a fun new word to her vocabulary: NOW. “Milky now.” “Outside now.” “Done now.”

I have a 24-lb. terrorist in my house.

My toddler is a screamer. @ohbotherblog

According to Babycenter (where I end up after googling crazy things like “screaming toddler,” “toddler play in poop,” etc.):

Believe it or not, your toddler’s volume is turned way up not because she means to annoy you, but because she’s full of that wonderful toddler joie de vivre. She’s exploring the power of her voice, and experimenting with what she can do with it.

Joie de vivre, eh? Let me tell you, there is no joie in having to bust out your wrestling pretzel legs just to change your kid’s diaper.

So Babycenter recommends:

  • Run errands on her schedule – Um. I rarely leave the house with her, let alone taking her to run errands.
  • Stick to noisy stores and restaurant – This kid hasn’t seen a restaurant that isn’t Chick Fil A since her first birthday.
  • Ask her to use an indoor voice – If you want to feel absolutely invisible, ask a hysterical, screaming, hiccuping toddler to use her indoor voice.
  • Make a game out of it – That sounds like the worst game ever.

What to Expect says:

  • When your toddler starts screeching up a storm, turn on some music and suggest he sing or join you in a sing-along.
  • Challenge your screaming toddler: Look him in the eye and whisper. That may catch his attention and may make him curious enough to listen (and hopefully quiet down so he can hear).

So, again, these ideas all sound well and good but… seriously, when Holden gets worked up, it seems like pretty much all I can do is put her in a safe place to let her scream through it. I’ve tried reasoning with her. I’ve tried putting my fingers to my lips and “shh”ing and getting her to repeat it. I’ve tried whispering. Time outs make her even more upset (don’t get me wrong, I still do them). If I put her in her room, she beats on the door like the zombies in the Thriller video while calling out my name. Today I literally let her scream in my face for 15 minutes while I drank my coffee without even acknowledging her or saying a word.

When she finally calms down, we talk about how it isn’t nice or effective to scream and how she should use her inside voice and apologize for screaming, etc. But when she’s in the moment, it is a typhoon of horror.

I saw a tip on a Babycenter message board that sounded somewhat promising, from Good Ol’ Doctor Phil:

He advises that the parent/guardian needs to VALIDATE the child. In other words, the child is screaming because he/she cannot communicate effectively with you and that is the only way to get your attention. But, if you VALIDATE them by repeating what it is that they want three times (i.e. “I KNOW you want that book. I KNOW you want that book. I KNOW you want that book.”) they stop and listen to you.

Worth a shot I suppose.

If not, What to Expect reminds that “this too shall pass.”

My toddler is a screamer. @ohbotherblog

Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

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


that time I thought holdy almost blew up the house


Toddler puts ball in AC exhaust pipe @ohbotherblog

When I got home from work this afternoon, Holdy was upset and kept saying “ball stuck.” My dad nonchalantly explained that she had put one of her water table balls into one of the vents outside. I, being an idiot, thought nothing of it until I—also nonchalantly—mentioned it to someone else… and they said that it could kind of be a big deal, as that vent is the exhaust to the AC and furnace.

So I contacted “my guy”—you know everyone has one.

Toddler puts ball in AC exhaust pipe @ohbotherblog

That convo led to me literally hacking off the pipe to see if the ball was there. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. (ps: I was doing that in a dress, with a phone in one hand while Holdy screamed in her gated bedroom and GB screamed in his infant seat.)

Toddler puts ball in AC exhaust pipe @ohbotherblog

So I turned off the AC (ack! it’s 90 degrees outside) and my guy came and looked inside the actual HVAC unit. The ball wasn’t there, which means it’s (hopefully) somewhere in the pipe between the unit and the outside wall.

The good news is that AC doesn’t put out exhaust—only heat does—so it shouldn’t be an immediate issue in this hot, hot summer and I can turn the AC back on. But my guy is going to send his HVAC guy to come and (hopefully) get the ball out soon.

Oh, and to fix this:

Toddler puts ball in AC exhaust pipe @ohbotherblog

Never. A. Dull. Moment.

birthday traditions


Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

So as per ushe, I’m totally late on this (like more than a week late), but Holdy’s second birthday was pretty great.

I forewent a big birthday party this year and instead we went to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

We continued the tradition of birthday pizza.

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

We wore hats and ate the delicious cake I made (by scratch! yes, me!).

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

And we had a Birthday Clock Photo success!

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

Oh and of course the tradition of a meltdown birthday photo is still going strong!

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

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