Month: February 2015

Applesauce Oat Bites: A Healthy, Quick Homemade Snack for Even the Pickiest of Toddlers

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” This old saying has developed new meaning since taking on the responsibility of feeding another human everyday. Some days Baby 1.0 will eat anything and everything in her path. Blueberries, turkey, crayons, lint. You name it, she’ll eat it with gusto. Other days it’s all I can do to get a few grains of rice and a drop of applesauce down her throat. Because of this, I often find myself standing in the baby section of the grocery store searching for something Baby 1.0 can’t resist. Something portable, small, soft (Baby 1.0 is a late-bloomer in the teeth department) and filled with delicious veggies and minimal sugar. Unfortunately, this wonder product has proven to be more elusive than the famed Pacific Northwest Sasquatch.

Well, enter The Busy Moms Club, one of my new favorite blogs to follow. Seems like Baby 1.0 isn’t the only toddler out there with exquisitely finicky taste, and recently there was a post about the accidental discovery of Applesauce Oat Bites. Not only are these little guys super quick and easy, they are really versatile. I’ve made them with mashed black beans, beats, and even pureed butternut squash and carrots. I won’t say she loves my veggie version, but she tolerates them, and for me, that’s a win.

Give them a try, and let me know if you find a combination that your toddler loves.

Here’s the basic recipe, via The Busy Moms Club, but be sure to check her page out because she has more details that may come in handy for people unlike me who actually know how to bake:

  • 1/2 cup of applesauce
  • 1/3 cup of oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Drop 1/2 teaspoon portions onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8 minutes

So easy, right? And if your toddler won’t eat them, you can. Three cheers for The Busy Moms Club!

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The 10 Stages Of Traveling With A Toddler

This last week I had the pleasure of taking a trip home to visit my dad and step-mom out in the boondocks of Colorado. This would be Baby 1.0’s third trip out there, but the first since she was mobile, vocal, and opinionated. These things, of course, aren’t considered when you stumble across Southwest’s $99 fare, and then purchase tickets faster than your toddler can eat a wad of old chewing gum they find on the ground. As our trip approached, the reality of the situation set in, and I found myself going through the 10 stages of traveling with a toddler.

1. Book trip. Feel confident, excited, and happy.

2. 1.2 seconds after receiving confirmation email from airline, feel panicked, claustrophobic, and extremely worried. Nearly drown in mental what-if’s. What if I flash someone while nursing? What if she poops? What if she won’t let me hold her for 2 1/2 hours? What if she screams the whole way? What if she gets sick? What if I get sick? What if there are snakes on the plane?

3. Vacillate between excitement and panic up until day before travel. Grab the reigns and focus all mental energy into packing. Pack perfectly. From diapers to Dog Dog, from toys to Tylenol you remember it all, and manage to fit it into one small suitcase. Okay, two medium-sized suitcases. And a full diaper bag. Applaud yourself on not overpacking (more). Feel calm and prepared for anything.

4. The night before traveling, wake up no less than 85 times checking alarm clock to make sure it is set. Stress pee each of the 85 times you wake up. Wonder if in the event of an airline emergency, you would indeed have the wherewithal to place the oxygen mask over your face before placing it over the face of your child. Decide no, because you would likely be in the bathroom stress peeing while trying to keep your toddler from licking the door to the bathroom. Wonder if they have oxygen masks in the bathroom.

5. Get out of bed early and walk around house collecting miscellaneous items to cram into nooks and crannies of suitcases and diaper bag with the intensity and passion of hoarder at a flea market.

6. With a frown, relinquish armful of items to disapproving husband who confirms you have actually packed nearly everything you own, and reassures you there will be no airline emergencies in which you will be tasked with oxygen mask placement.

7. Get dressed. Pee. Load car. Run in to pee again. Realize at this very moment child hasn’t yet pooped today. Say a prayer to the Saint of Doodie Britches your toddler doesn’t poop while on the plane.

8. Arrive at airport with plenty of time to spare. Check baggage, and breathe sigh of relief. Don dark glasses and give your unruly hair a toss to channel your inner movie star.

9. Start to feel relaxed and confident again. For first time, notice beautiful color of the morning sky. Look down at child to try to share this moment, only to witness child lick handle of baggage cart. Make mental note to not share water with child for a day or two. Take off dark glasses and pull hair into your standard pony tail so you can more closely monitor child’s behavior.

10. Get on plane! Flash neighbor, repeatedly. Wrangle wiggly toddler successfully, and smile uncomfortably when toddler loudly announces 15 times they have pooped. Change diaper on galley floor in record time under scrutiny of flight crew. Empty contents of perfectly packed diaper bag in an attempt to entertain toddler “the old-fashioned way” but give in to increasingly impassioned demands to watch Elmo on the iPad. Let toddler watch embarrassing amount of TV, but secretly thank your lucky stars you have an iPad. Eventually arrive. Pat yourself on the back and beam with pride when neighbor tells you what a good baby you have.

So there you have it. Any stage I missed you other parents experience when you travel?

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Unsurprisingly, you cannot gate check a wagon full of toys.


Cover image credits, wagon belongs to HMDHM

Pregnancy And The Subsequent Ruining Of A Body: 5 things that just aren’t the same

“Pregnancy will ruin your body.” These five words were something I’d never thought much about until well after I’d had Baby 1.0, but after witnessing someone saying them to a pregnant woman, it got me thinking: Does pregnancy ruin your body? My first instinct was to shoot fire out of my eyes at the person who had said it. But then I remembered that my eyes are really dry, and have been since birthing Baby 1.0, so maybe I should hold up on the fire-eye-shooting. The more I thought about it, the more I started to think maybe he was right, but not at all in the sense he was suggesting. Of course things change when one spawns a human life from their body, and depending on your outlook, you could even call some things ruined. But for me, the things that changed aren’t necessarily worthy of throwing in the towel and declaring this body a total loss. So what changed? Let me tell you.

1. My hair– About 3 months after having Baby 1.0, I started losing hair. A lot of hair. Hair fell out in clumps, literally, and I would often end my shower by having a tiny panic attack after noticing how much of myself I was leaving behind. The doctorate I received from Google University provided me with confidence this was normal, and the hair loss would eventually end. Sure enough it did, and for a few months I didn’t think much about it. Until my hair started growing back in. Curly. At this point in time, about a year since those first few strands made their appearance, I look like a blonde version of Kate Winslet in “Titanic,” if she had received a haircut from Edward Scissor Hands. So did pregnancy “ruin” my once stick-straight locks? Kind of. Or at least temporarily. It’s ruined-ish.

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My version is less polished and more “I just went through a car wash, but not in a car” looking.

2. My moles– I’ve already discussed how Baby 1.0 likes to pick at moles when she nurses, and this drives me absolutely bananas. Ba-freakin-nanas. Worse than nails on a chalk board, worse than someone snapping their gum, I can’t handle it. The problem is pregnancy basically turned many of my previously flat, and dare I say cute, little moles into dangly pseudo-nipples.  It’s so gross. So again, “ruined?” I would say yes.

3. My butt, and/or every single pair of pants and underpants I own– Okay, this one is a little weird because I actually don’t know what the cause of the problem is, but I’m guessing it’s my butt. Basically I can’t keep my pants on, and with my new slouchy pants, my underwear have decided they too, need not stick around. All day, every day, I find myself hiking up all of my pants, both outer and under, and wondering what in the jibbty jab is going on. Are my pants suddenly too big? Are my underwear too small? Did the part of my body that separates ones butt from their legs completely disappear, thereby allowing my butt to melt into my thighs? This is all yet to be determined, but in the mean time, I think I need to get a belt. Or maybe consider mom jeans. So again, ruined? No. But mysterious? Very yes.

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Somebody hit me up the next time mom jeans go on sale at Target.

4. My stomach (the inside)– The outside of my stomach has changed, without a doubt. When squeezed — just right — by Baby 1.0, it takes on the appearance of a handful of raw pizza dough, which I love because who doesn’t love pizza? But the inside is where I have an issue. Pretty much since becoming pregnant, I have had an insatiable appetite. Food. All kinds of delicious food. It’s all I think about. This weekend, I told my husband I wanted sushi, Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, Carbonara, burritos, birthday cake, and fish and chips. In one day. And I was serious. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still nursing Baby 1.0, or if my missing butt is making plans to refurbish itself, but I just really love food, and I can’t stop thinking about it, and it’s kind of driving me crazy. So did pregnancy ruin my stomach, or just give me eating super powers? I’m going with super powers.

5. My hormones– This one isn’t funny at all, and if anything is something I feel should be discussed with anyone who is pregnant, or has recently had a baby. After having Baby 1.0, my body decided it was all set on producing normal amounts of progesterone. With everything being so difficult with Baby 1.0 in the beginning (read about her colic here), I wasn’t sure if my new crappy feelings were because I was exhausted and stressed, or if there was something else feeding it. For over a year I struggled, blaming my headaches, nausea, exhaustion, depression, dizziness, severe mood swings and general malaise on being sleep deprived. Then, after moving, I sat down with my new doctor and for the first time answered the question “how are you?” honestly. A little blood work showed I had extremely low levels of progesterone, and after day 1 of treatment, I started to feel like myself again. If I were queen of the world, I would recommend basic blood work to every postpartum mom, since for the time being, pregnancy did ruin my hormones (or at least one of them).

So what about you, fellow moms, and even moms to be? Anything you’d like to add to the list?


Image credits: Cover photo, Kate Winslet, Mom Jeans


“Finish It” Blog Event Post – Who Am I?

This is a fun post being written to participate in the blogging event called “Finish It” being hosted by Author S B Mazing.


She carefully opened the door, not sure what to expect. It had been a while since she had visited. Nothing was the way she remembered and when her eyes finally got adjusted to the dark, what she saw made her shiver…

The bathroom mirror reflected a face she barely recognized. Her hair, once long and smooth, was frazzled and greasy. Her skin was wrinkled and dull, with a roadmap of lines erupting from the corners of her glassy eyes. “What has happened to me?” she thought to herself as she begrudgingly turned on the unforgiving overhead light.

Just then she heard the sound of rapidly approaching feet, and moments later, fists on the door. The unintelligible screaming of her captor was only slightly muted by the paper-thin, lightweight door of the cheap apartment she was being housed in.  Knowing if enough force was applied, the door would give way, she sighed and begged “Just give me a minute. Just one minute. Please?”

This pleading only served to infuriate her captor more, who responded by letting out a series of guttural shrieks that easily communicated feelings of sheer ire, even though the words were garbled and slurred together. Aware that her time was limited, she quickly stripped off her clothes, paying minimal attention to the unknown streaks and stains that decorated the shoulder of her favorite tee from the 5K she did in college. “College.” She thought as she turned on the shower. “I was so…free…” The thought trailed off as stepped into the cool water. No time to wait for the water to warm up, as it would only be a matter of minutes until her captor discovered the door had been left unlocked.

With expert hands, she quickly washed her hair, and decided, yet again, to skip shaving her legs. She was so tired. Again, she heard pounding coming from the door, but under the stream of steadily heating water, it was even more muffled. “Just one more minute!” she yelled, knowing full well she only had 30 more seconds, tops. Ducking her head back, she breathed in the steamy air and felt a tiny bit of tension leave her weary body. “If only this could last forever. Or for 5 more minutes,” she thought to herself as she stretched her achy neck.

At that second, the door burst open, and the shower curtain was forcefully ripped back.

From the edge of the tub, her captor stared up at her. Bright eyes, and a wide, toothless grin replaced what had been a mask of rage just moments before.

“Okay, okay. You found me. I give up,” she said with a smile.

“Mama!” replied her captor with glee.

“Yes, Baby. I am your mama,” she said as she wrapped herself in a robe, and swooped down to pick up her captor. Glancing back in the mirror briefly, she felt oddly comfortable knowing that even as she morphed into someone different -someone nearly unrecognizable to her previous self- she was perfect in the eyes of this little beast. She turned off the light. “Goodbye, shower. Until next time,” she said, as she quickly shut the door.

How To Write A Blog Post In Just 32 Short Steps.

To mark the 6 month anniversary of me starting Hold Me, Don’t Hold Me, my wildly mildly popular parenting blog, I thought it appropriate to share my secrets to success, namely how I generate my incredibly unique and extremely relevant topics to write about. Now, don’t kid yourself, kids, writing a blog is a tough business. But with a little work, even you can become an internet sensation force your spouse and parents to read things you write.

With that I present to you: How To Write A Blog In Just 32 Short Steps.

  1. Think of amazing topic during an inopportune time, like at 2am, in the shower, or in the middle of a conversation with your very nice, but odiferous neighborhood homeless gentleman.
  2. Forget topic completely.
  3. Remember topic! Sit down to write. Get text from friend. Start texting. Check Facebook. Check NPR. Check Facebook. Get hungry. Make awesome joke to friend that reminds you of original topic idea. Decide to eat something, then write.
  4. Eat something. Decide to clean the kitchen to hide evidence of second breakfast, and first and second lunch.
  5. Sit down to write. Notice battery on compy is low. Stand up and plug compy into outlet at counter. Applaud yourself for standing and working because it’s better for your back. Sustain multiple attacks directed at your bare ankles from cat who doesn’t like you standing at counter because he is an angry asshole cat.
  6. Think of major downfall of once amazing topic. Decide you can no longer write about that topic. Wonder if you will ever think of another good topic.
  7. Think more about it and begin to question if you’ve ever written anything worth reading.
  8. Think more about it and convince yourself you’re a crap writer who has only ever written crap.
  9. Think more about it and decide you shouldn’t ever write anything again.
  10. Wonder if there is any way to completely delete everything you’ve ever put on the internet.
  11. Feel temporary sense of relief at prospect of no longer blogging. Wonder what you will do with all your free time.
  12. Consider taking up new hobby, like crocheting, or perhaps becoming the world’s leading expert on baby corn.
  13. In the midst of contemplating the origins of baby corn THINK OF BEST IDEA YET.
  14. Decide not to give up on blogging.
  15. Sit down on the couch, far from the reaches of angry asshole cat, with partially charged computer to write out first few lines of BEST IDEA YET.
  16. Reword them.
  17. Reword them.
  18. Reword them.
  19. Think of major downfall of BEST IDEA YET.
  20. Completely give the fu*k up. Delete everything.
  21. Shut off compy.
  22. Get in shower.
  23. Think of ACUTAL best idea yet.
  24. Get soap in your eye.
  25. Yell to husband to come in the bathroom so you can dictate the ACTUAL best idea yet.
  26. Husband doesn’t hear you.
  27. Become horribly frustrated with husband, and in a fit of eye-burning rage, think of 67 other topics you could write about.
  28. Realize ideas come and go. Feel strangely at peace with this.
  29. Get out of shower. Write whole post.
  30. Wonder if new post is crap. Wonder if you have a broken crap-gauge.
  31. Make husband read post while analyzing his every facial movement. Ask him repeatedly if post is funny. Ask him if your crap-gauge is broken. Ask him where baby corn comes from.
  32. Decide to just post it at the risk of further diminishing your chances of ever making friends, or obtaining any kind of real job where someone may look up your internet paper trail and decide you are stark raving mad.

And that, my friends, is how you write a blog post in just 32 short steps! Easy as pie. Now get to work!

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Get to work, but just don’t try to work anywhere near me…

Parenting In 5 Words Or Less: Silence


Never trust a silent toddler. Never.


Have a picture you want to see featured on Parenting In 5 Words Or Less? Something silly? Something crazy? Something that in your eyes, sums up parenting in 5 words or less? Send it to toddlermama2014@gmail.com and I will put it on an upcoming post!