i suck at this lately. my to-do list is never-ending. once i cross everything off, 7 new things pile on. this blog has been a work in progress for 5 days now.

here we go… our babygirl at 2 and a half years.

2 AND A HALF YEARS.

ALLOW ME TO LET THAT SINK IN FOR A WHILE. jesus.

i remember hitting the 2 *week* point, thinking, there’s no way in hell i can do this.

meanwhile, i met a guy at an event the other day who is far more successful [actually was on my list of nerds i have to meet before i die], and far busier than i am, who has made leaps and bounds beyond anything i can imagine in his career, 3 kids, and a wife who is her residency to be a doctor.

and i’m like… i have a sometimes side job and 1 child and… i still feel like i can’t keep up.

there are not enough hours.

caylin is a little person, and has been for a while now. but it just gets more IN YOUR FACE every day it seems. she has preferences and favorites and opinions and friends and moods. rituals and weird little OCD tendencies. she brushes her teeth and uses the potty and washes her hands. she puts her shoes on. she counts. she knows how to do just about anything on an ipad or my phone.

  • nighttime rituals have been pretty big lately. big as in it takes like an hour from start to finish, and sometimes longer, to get this little monster into bed and settled. sit on the floor and play with beanie babies and calm down, because usually she’s all riled up from playing. get clothes off. go potty. wash hands. brush teeth. get jammies on. play some more. make sure all 12 specific beanie babies are in her bed, because it is NOT okay if any are missing. “MY DINGO!” (her flamingo). make sure her light is off, fan is on, nightlight is on, and little stuffed elephant/star light (thing that shines the stars on the ceiling) is on. get her tucked in. say night to daddy. make sure her socks are right. tuck her in. get her 5 books. put them on top of the covers so she can arrange them. let her point out certain things on each page of each book. finish books, on to the beanie babies. tuck them in and give them kisses. it’s adorable and exhausting, and kind of hilarious. i’m sure it will be a different routine next month!
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  • she gets in goofy moods after dinner and before bedtime where she gets all up in your face a LOT and gets super cuddly and spastic. lots of “pretty hair, mommy! pretty shirt, mommy! pretty eyes, mommy! aww, you’re so sweet, mommy! hugs, mommy!” i. love. her. this is also when we are most scared of her, however, because she is liable to just jump on your face. or start flailing tiny feet and arms. she lets out this shriek and even loki knows when it’s time to run for cover.
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  • i went to raleigh for a week in february for training and a certification exam, which meant 6 days away from brett and caylin. longest i’ve EVER been. it was a nice break from reality, caught up on sleep, learned a lot, made friends, went out a few times, and i stayed with brett’s best friend phil. but while i was gone, it was killing me. she changes so much in a week, i just hate missing out. i sent brett a few weird/joke gifts, and sent caylin an elsa guitar as well. she sees my grandpa play his, and has seen them on TV, and mentioned them a few times. i figured one day she might get into it. so now she has a guitar. i didn’t realize it was like, a legit guitar. so maybe i’ll even learn one of these days.
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  • favorite movies/shows as of late–princess and the frog (or as she calls it, “tiana”), doc mcstuffins, toy story 2 (we’ve watched 1 and 3 about 175 times now), rio. she’s been talking about cinderella and pongo (101 dalmatians) again a lot more lately, and i haven’t seen frozen in like a month. it’s a miracle. she also begs for me to play the snow white and cinderella soundtracks in the car.
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  • every single day she asks me to take her hermit crab out of the cage so he can walk around on the coffee table. “wobster come OUT? my wobster come out!” it’s so cute.
  • her bears (beanie babies) are an obsession lately, more so than usual it seems. for a while she would put my mom’s gloves on, pick up one beanie baby, put it on her slide, take her gloves off, get on the slide, push the beanie baby down, go put the gloves back on, repeat. this morning it was, climb into her car, throw beanie baby on the floor, climb out of the car, and then carry the beanie baby to my mom across the living room, come back, repeat with 12 different beanie babies. so many weird little repetitive activities. but… keeps her busy and moving and entertained. especially when it’s 8am and you really don’t feel like doing a lot of moving around. she’s so cute to watch. she mimics a lot of things. feeding them, hugging them, putting them to bed, tucking them in, making them read bedtime stories with us, goodnight kisses. she stayed up until 10 the other night talking to them before she finally passed out.
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  • there is a fossilized piece of dog poo in the front yard. it’s been there for months now. she always has to point it out. “loki’s poop! WOOK!”
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  • it’s becoming more and more difficult to maintain her around loki. loki turns 9 this month, and it is blindingly obvious. between the cancer and her arthritis, it’s all just taken a toll. she still has her puppy moments, but playtime doesn’t happen as much these days. i need to take her to the vet so they can A) confirm whether or not it’s spread, and B) tell me everything will be okay. for now. but she doesn’t seem in pain. still, she’s getting older, and her shoulder has always been an issue. and she has always been really weird about any stomach touching other than normal petting. meaning squeezing and pushing are NOT okay, ever, or even lifting her up. and this is all caylin wants to do these days. no matter what we do (yelling, spanking, taking things away, getting in her face), she keeps pushing the envelope. mom bought a time out chair, and i have a feeling it will get put to good use.
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  • mom started taking her to the little gym again. so once a week they go there, and once a week they go to story time at the library. she’s been getting a lot better around other kids, and around the adults as well. she even let them roll her (frontward rolls and backward rolls), which she would NOT do at all when brett and i took her months ago.
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  • she’s learned that saying “no! i don’t want that!” has the potential to get her out of almost anything. it’s her new favorite phrase, aside from, “ALL DONE!”. both are on my list of “things i never want to hear again”. both are most popular around dinner time. don’t get me wrong, she’s GREAT about eating basically everything we put in front of her. she will eat pretty much any kind of food. her favorite right now is soup, in general. she loves soup. it’s just getting her to do so without being hypnotized by bubble guppies or with ANY other distraction around. like a fork. or bread. or the cat. it’s funny now, just not when it’s happening.
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  • when i get home at night, it’s, “mommy, you’re HOME!” followed by a huge hug, and it’s the best thing i’ve ever heard. seriously. when i got home from raleigh, she and brett were napping in our bed. i crawled into bed and she started stirring, saw me, and whispered, “mommy, you’re home!” and cuddled me for 20 minutes. that feeling is just… irreplaceable.
  • she loves putting her shoes on by herself. putting her big girl seat on the potty by herself. helping feed thor and loki their food and water. helping let loki out the back door. getting the mail. vacuuming. sweeping. “cweanin the shibber” (cleaning the shower). helping with my makeup (she tries to curl my eyelashes and helps put my powder on). she is definitely a big girl, and wants it to be known. she’s even helped me cook. she gets “my wadder!” [her ladder] and helps me stir. “mommy, i’m makin!” it’s usually messy, but it’s awesome.
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  • “no, no no, no no no!” is a common phrase lately. it can be applied to just about anything.
  • and now preschool is right around the corner. we’ve been trying to go to an information meeting about the montessori 3-4 year old program at the elementary school near here for weeks, but some crazy virus broke out sending like 30% of the kids home with explosive puking or worse. it’s a lottery program that only 8 new kids get into, so we’ll see how our luck pans out. preschool has seemed so far away until now. :(

i can’t count the number of nights over the past few months where i’ve been putting her to bed and just started silently sobbing, holding her and hugging her for as long as possible before finally tucking her in. i always make sure she’s the first one to let go.