Archive for ‘terrible twos tuesday’

September 21, 2010

>of mechanical grim reapers and princesses

>A couple of weekends a go I thought it would be a fun to visit the Halloween superstore that opened down the street from us. Hadley is so aware and I think the concept of Halloween will officially set in this year.

Not to mention she enjoys dressing up. I mean like, putting mismatching shoes on that are now too small for her. Hats under tiaras. Frilly dresses over Dora the Explorer pajama bottoms. And sometimes she refuses to remove them, so we are stuck going in public with these concoctions.

Allowing her to be creative and make her own choices, right?

OK, so back to the Halloween superstore…

I put the girls in our double stroller because I had a feeling Hadley would go ape sh*t in this store and I wasn’t interested in prying her little paws off of every other Halloween related item in the store. I wanted to get in. Look around. Admire. Maybe buy a costume for her. And leave. Period.

So we head in. And of course, in the true spirit of Halloween, there is a haunted maze to enter the store. Adorn with every scary Halloween item you can imagine. I knew something was bound to move, but not like I anticipated.

Just as we come to the end of the maze, a motion activated grim reaper folds at the waste and lands right in Hadley’s lap. IN HER LAP! And there was silence. A silence so long I knew no good was about to come from my child…

I looked up to see a (had to be) 16 year old greeter watching this with a stunned smile on his face. And I said “She’s about to scream like you wouldn’t believe.” And I’m thinking, that’s what you get you little sh*t for not warning a mom with two very small children (I could see him from the time I entered the doors, so he had plenty of time to throw caution to the wind).

She screamed. A high pitched. GET ME OUT OF HERE! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO ME?! Scream.

And the pimple faced kids reaction? “I’ve seen worse.” Yah, but probably not out of a two year-old. SHE’S STILL A BABY!

At this point I was forced to pick her up and settle her down, pronto. Otherwise we would need to leave and never return again. And being the Halloween lover that I am, I wanted to take a gander at a Halloween superstore.

In between sobs, she cried “Scary. I scared.”And she plunged her hand down my shirt, the place where she still seeks comfort, and cried.

Some older employees directed me to the “not-so-scary” kids section, where we immediately stumble upon Toy Story costumes and even a cutout to take pictures. And another pimple faced kid asked if we wanted our picture taken in it, while Hadley is still screaming bloody murder. I was polite and said “no thank you,” even though the offer seemed moronic at the moment.

Then we found the fairy princess section and suddenly all was right with the world. And really, how could I resist?

But now when we drive by this superstore she points and says “Scared me!”

P.S. She now expresses her creativity with her new fairy princess costume (gotta get my money’s worth, right?)

Don’t forget to enter to win $45 to CSN Stores! Click HERE to enter.
September 14, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: parenting love & logic


I’m in the midst of joining a local mom’s club here in town and attended their monthly meeting last week. They had a speaker who spoke about the “Love and Logic” parenting concept, specifically referencing a series of books by the same name.

The “Love and Logic” concept is “a common-sense” approach to parenting that helps create good decision making skills, respect of others and promotes responsibility. These values are reached by their four basic principles:

1. Logical consequences delivered with empathy.
2. Collective thinking and problem solving.
3. Shared control.
4. Adult-child relationship that builds mutual respect and self-esteem.

Now, at this point some of you (my other half included) are thinking this might be some new-age crap. But it isn’t. Really, it’s the way a lot of us inherently parent, or at least hope to parent. But find ourselves frustrated when our toddler is poking her sister repeatedly in the eyeball despite you asking her not to. And we yell. And she does it again. Am I the only one who has experienced this? (Please tell me NO!)

“Love and Logic” has two rules:

Rule #1 – Adults set limits sans anger, lectures, threats or repeated warnings. (WOOPS!)
Rule #2 – When children cause problems, adults hand these problems back in loving ways.

Bottom line, it’s a way to help teach our children to problem solve on their own. Learn right and wrong by receiving logical consequences, whether it be by a parent or the consequence that comes with their action. And make good decisions starting at a young age.

For example, little Jimmy was given the job to remember to bring his sweatshirt on an outing. He forgot it and complained to his mom that he was cold. Mom replied “That’s a bummer.” And dropped the subject. She knew it wasn’t cold enough that he would get sick, or frostbitten. And she allowed him to suffer the consequence, but acknowledging his misstep with empathy. Jimmy didn’t forget his sweatshirt the next time.

Now for those of you, like me, with wee ones, you can start this early. I give our toddler choices like “Would you like apple juice or milk with dinner?” And let her dictate things like this. When she misbehaves, I sing “Uh-Oh!” and redirect her behavior, removing the offending object or, if need be, giving her some bedroom time to calm down. When she whines, I have started going deaf after telling her that I will listen when she speaks calmly and nicely. When she is doing something that is seemingly the “wrong way,” I tell her that I would do it the other way and let her choose to change her behavior.

She’s two. It doesn’t always work, but I can see when she is given options she makes decisions. And I think with time I will see these principals take shape. It’s logical to me! I can see it being logical to her. And it seems to be logical to her dad, too.

The folks at “Love and Logic” have all sorts of statistics of how kids who are given choices as kids versus those who have helicopter parents (parents who hover) or drill sergeant parents (do I need to describe this?).  How they do in college. How well they enter into adulthood. Who gets in trouble and who doesn’t. You can visit their website here for that info. It’s not that I don’t care about those statistics, it just makes good sense to me to give my children all the tools they need to make decisions, even if that means letting them make bad ones sometimes.

“Love and Logic” parenting is something that we are exploring. I am certainly not going to suggest that this is the only way. We all have our own styles and we all produce wonderful kids. I just encourage parents, especially as you embark into toddlerhood and start exploring disciplining philosophies to take a gander at this book series. Below are links to the books on Amazon (it uses my associates ID). Let me know your thoughts on the topic, or tell me about a strategy that works for you.

August 31, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: i fractured my toe…

>And sprained two others in a freak accident involving the baby gate at the top of the stairs. At midnight. With a wide awake toddler in the other room. Not her fault, and I’m certainly not blaming her. Just a tired mama!

And on that note, this post will be short today.

But I do want to remind you that I am giving away my Moby Wrap! Click here to find out how to enter.

August 24, 2010

>ttt guest post: new evolution in teacher led playgroups

>Hayden and I are flying off to Colorado to take care of some business, so I have a wonderful guest blog for today. 

J.C. Conklin is co-founder of Gorgeous Millie, a soon-to-open teacher led playgroup for mom’s and kids 0-3 in the Austin Area. This is such a cool concept, especially since at playgroups I am dealing with two kids and leave stressed out. If someone knows of one of these in the Twin Cities area please let me know about iit.

Check out the Gorgeous Millie site and follow them on Twitter.


By J.C. Conklin, co-founder of Gorgeous Millie
I am terrified of leaving my children with nannies, mother’s day out programs, daycare or preschools. My fear has been confirmed again and again. We fired a nanny after she passed out at lunch with my children. Luckily I was downstairs working. The sound of chaos brought me to the kitchen. She blamed cold medicine. I thought the rum I smelled on her breath contributed.
My oldest son, (he’s four) is in the best preschool program in Austin, Texas. There’s a wait-list for two years to get in. Most people sign up when they find out they’re pregnant. His teacher told me that at other preschools she saw teachers force children’s heads down on mats during nap time because if they slept the teachers got to take a break. His preschool has no nap and has one way mirrors so the parents can watch anytime. Now I realize how lucky I am. 
I have been hesitant to put it mildly to place my children in anything I’m not there for until they can talk. I can’t risk it. But I want them to see other children on a regular basis. I want them to learn. And I desperately need a few minutes to breath while they are distracted. 
When a friend of mine in Washington DC told me about a teacher led playgroup she belonged to I was happy for her and envious. Mothers became members and they limited membership so the group was never crowded. The teacher led the children, ages 0 to 3, through music and art classes and supervised free play for three hours three days a week. She suggested fixes when mothers struggled with how to deal with different behaviors. The moms could talk some and have a cup of coffee. The kids socialized. The moms learned about early childhood development.
The teacher led (and fee based) playgroup is the newest evolution in early childhood education. Most cost $300 a month, some cost more. It sounded steep to me, especially since the parent is there the whole time but you are paying for 9 hours a week or 36 hours a month of instruction. I paid $75 a month for 45 minutes a week or three hours a month of instruction from Gymboree.
Washington DC has four groups with wait lists. Blue Igloo was started by the owner of the Washington Post’s grand-daughter because she couldn’t get into the other groups. Portland, Maine has the poshest one I’ve seen. They all have long waitlists.  Two different groups in New York City are planning on opening next year. I am stepping outside my comfort zone and starting one with my friend, Laura Jacks. Gorgeous Millie will open in Austin in January. Its website is 
The groups come with a bit of controversy. Some mothers say, “Why should I pay for a playgroup?” Others are more pointed, “It’s sad when you have to pay for something that you should organize in your neighborhood.” 
I say every playgroup that is mother-led I’ve heard of has broken up after a few meetings because of unresolved disputes (there’s no objective third party like a teacher who can step in), no neutral territory and irregular hours. Personally, I want to learn more about early childhood development from a professional while my baby sits next to another baby and pushes cars around. I would love to talk to other moms a few mornings a week . I crave some structure to my day besides nap, bath time and meals. But every mom is different and that’s one of the joys of life. 

August 17, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: "mommy, I want to eat chicken"

>Yes, my basically vegetarian child told me yesterday while in Ikea that she wanted to eat chicken.


The only meat she ever asks for is hot dogs. And sometimes, if we slather it in ketchup we can get a cheese burger down her. Even then, she usually sucks the cheese and ketchup off the burger. And neither of these meat adventures I feel good about. But it’s food. Protein.

“You really want chicken?” I asked her. Even though it was 10 in the morning, I was going to find this child chicken. Somewhere! “Aaaa-huh!” she responded, enthusiastically.

Unfortunately, the Ikea restaurant was not yet serving lunch and they didn’t have chicken fingers cooking yet. So we left. And she fell asleep in the car. I asked her if she still wanted chicken when she woke up as I was going to drop her at the child care center for a bit and they have chicken fingers.


My child is back.

Hadley, feeding herself yogurt.
August 3, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: "my boobs hurt"


Be sure to enter to win the buggy mobile for your little one. Click here for details on the giveaway, which ends August 8th.


Hadley has figured out the term “my _____ hurts.” I think she knows what it means.

We took her to urgent care for croup cough and when the nurse was trying to take her temperature in her arm pit, she started to cry. I mean LOST HER SHIT! And she said “my back hurts” in between sobs.

But the funniest is when we put her in her car seat and she said “my boobs hurt.” We both laughed pretty hard. And then we loosened her straps. She probably got that from me complaining when my boobs are engorged.

What funny things do your little ones say?

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July 13, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: "no, I don’t want to sit on the potty"

>Enter to win $50 of Little Twig organic bath and body products for infants and tots. Click here to enter!

I may have missed our window of opportunity for potty training. Hadley was interested. But I was in the process of having a baby and we were getting ready to move across the country. The timing just wasn’t opportune, so we didn’t push it beyond letting her sit on the pot occasionally.

Now, we want her to potty train. She has ZERO interest.

So I thought, let’s buy cloth training pants to make the wet uncomfortable enough for her to ask us to change her. After all, she does that when she poops.


Peed in the training pants and continued about her business like she was dry like the dessert.

Tried putting her on the potty and she kicked and screamed saying “NO! I don’t want to sit on the potty!”

So, it’s either we missed the window or she has not been ready all along.

It’ll happen. Just now now.


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July 6, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: bumps, scrapes and bruises, oh my!


Don’t forget to enter my two giveaways: A gift certificate to CSN Stores and a copy of Garrison Keillor’s Daddy’s Girl!

A Fourth of July injury that will be talked about for years to come.

Hadley vs. The Wall

The Wall: 1
Hadley: 0
This picture doesn’t do the injury justice. I should have snapped a picture of it the day after. YIKES!
June 29, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: the art of the timeout


This whole “terrible twos” thing, combined with a new little one is forcing Jonathan and I to figure out our disciplining strategy together as a united front. We haven’t been a very routined household in that if we veer from the normal, it’s no big deal. But with Hadley being, well let’s face it, terrible, we are realizing that consistency is best for her.

Hadley is doing everything a normal two year old should be. She’s getting into everything. She’s testing us. She works up those crocodile tears and looks to see if she is getting a reaction. She pokes at her baby sister. And we get the occasional tantrum if she is removed from something she doesn’t want to be removed fun.

Don’t get me wrong, she is a great kid. Just at that lovely necessary developmental milestone.

As far as disciplining, we’ve been playing with the time out concept. Most of the time she just laughs when she is put on a time out and gets up and down, like it’s a game. Sometimes she gets it and cries, but that seems like when we are really mad.

Plus, Jonathan and I seem to approach the timeout differently. He wants to put her in her room for several minutes. I want her to sit in the corner for two minutes so she doesn’t view her room as a place she goes when she is bad (we, after all, need her to eventually sleep in there).

Clearly, we aren’t doing it correctly.

In an effort to get on the same page, we did some research and found this valuable info that you may find helpful, too.

By Stephanie Brown at

Create the right time out setting. Set up an area away from outside stimulus. Other children and adults can cause a distraction when you are wanting your child to settle down and think about his actions. The time out space should not be overly comfortable and no toys should be available.

Once you have designed the appropriate setting, here are some great tips for a successful timeout.

1. Issue a warning. Keep it short and sweet, no lectures, and tell your child the next time they do the behavior they will be placed on a time out.

2. If your child ignores your warning, put him on a time out and explain why.

3. Set a timer. Stephanie Brown speaks of the Super Nanny’s approach to time outs. This theory implies an appropriate time out time is one minute for every year of age. If your child gets up, calmly put him back and restart the timer. Also, be calm and avoid any eye contact during this time.

4. When the time out is finished, explain to your child again why he was placed on a time out.

5. Ask your child for an apology for misbehaving and accept it if he apologizes. This step is optional, but one we will follow.

6. Forgive and forget. Move on to the next.

Of course, now that we have decided that this is how we will do a time out, we haven’t had to do one. Hopefully that will stay that way, but that is a ridiculous hope. So, at least we have a game plan for the future.

Any advise out there?

June 22, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: aliens have invaded my tots body

>What happened to my beautiful child?

“NO!” Throwing herself on the floor when she doesn’t want to get in the car. “NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOOOO!”
“Hadley, STOP poking your sister in the eye.” A wicked smile comes over Hadley’s face. And she does it again. Then we remove her completely from the situation and what do we hear… That’s right “NOOOOOO!”
“Hadley, colors on the paper only.” And she colors on her table. “Paper only.” She colors on the wall. I take the crayons away and I get “NOOOOOO!”
(You little shit, I am thinking)
Aliens have taken over my child’s body.
But, then she comes up to me, throws her arms around my neck and says “I ya you.” Or I find her singing to her sister. Or she eats a whole meal without throwing her food. All the “little shit” thoughts go away.
Aliens, please return my child ASAP!
One last thought, just in case you didn’t get my message.