i feel like saying there are no words to describe the transformation caylin has had in the past 1-2 months. but… as a matter of fact, there are several:
there are a few more i could come up with, but you catch my drift.
there are parts of the day when she is an absolute angel, cuddly, and it’s amazing. brett and i were talking about it yesterday. more specifically, we were talking about how those windows of adorable are becoming shorter and shorter.
if she’s outside? she’s great. in heaven. if we let her sit in the front seat of the car in the driveway and mash all the buttons? in heaven. but obviously we can’t be outside all the time with the crazy weather lately (ice storms, mixed with 80 degree weather, wtf). and we can’t sit in the car all day long.
when she gets out of the bathtub at night and one of us is carrying her to her bedroom to put her pajamas on, snoodled up in a towel? she’ll cuddle and babble and give you kisses (weird, wet, open mouth, and slimy, but still kisses) and so many hugs and… i just want to stand there and hold her and let her get it all out because i know that i will only get that once a day lately.
but if something doesn’t go her way, or the way she’s expecting it, oh hell.
the 18 month run down:
- she is throwing so. many. tantrums. tantrums. tantrums. brett and i have gotten to the point where we just sit there and wait. i don’t know what else to do. sometimes we try to throw her off and distract her with something else, but that doesn’t always work.
- we’ve been going to the little gym on saturday mornings. the first 2 went smoothly. the last one we went to? not so much. cried practically the entire time and/or whined and/or ran for the door. she finally warmed up at the end when they broke out the bubbles, and then it was time to go. we went this morning and it was infinitely better than the last time. she’s still a little freaky when it’s a LOT of people, which it always is. a little girl stepped on her toe (the little girl had a cast on her foot, too, so it probably hurt) the last time we went, and this morning a little girl grabbed caylin’s face and scratched it up pretty good. just what we needed. regardless, she did ok and played. just not with any other kids. work in progress.
she’s figuring out how to turn doorknobs and can now reach them well enough to actually do so. time to amp up the childproofing. scratch that. today she got pretty good at it. crap.
- she’s still babbling–not a lot of new words. she understands everything we say to her for the most part, but just can’t quite get the words out herself. one day.
- she no longer uses bottles. that’s been for a little over a month now, i guess. kind of late in the game to ditch the baby bottles but she was using sippy cups and straws, too, so not like she was dependent upon them.
- she’s getting harder to handle taking her out to eat, for sure. i feel like it’s either a lovely evening, or a nightmare. we’ve been going to cracker barrel after little gym and the last 2 times, oh my god. i wanted to curl up into a ball and just scream. girl just stresses me out. flinging food, spitting out food, crying over little crap like i didn’t hand her her orange juice right away. THAT has got to stop. but she doesn’t respond to yelling or not yelling or anything, really. which is why we keep trying to distract her with other stuff. it’s hard in public to just use the “ignore her” approach that we can use at home. people don’t want to listen to a screaming kid when they’re trying to enjoy a nice saturday morning breakfast.
- she’s absolutely obsessed with watching videos of herself these days. she’ll lay there and watch them forever if you let her, and she just smiles. we can’t figure out which part about it she likes so much. and she will basically throw herself on the floor screaming if you take the phone away after you’re done watching one. she just wants more. brett and i sat and watched her cry and flail and scream and pull on me and snot all over the place after i put my phone away one night, and neither of us could believe just how ridiculous it was. a small percentage of that could be blamed on the fact that it was near her bedtime and she was tired… but 15 minutes of that is just nuts.
it’s been a long month, basically. the good times certainly more than make up for the crazy, but it’s been tiresome, to say the least.
as far as life in general, things have been great lately. brett is starting to take boxing classes a couple nights a week, which is awesome. amanda babysat (or housesat, rather, since caylin had already gone to bed) one night for us while brett and i went downtown with some other friends. we needed that so much… so much. we went to the alley downtown and they were having a silent disco, which was pretty sweet. a few guys from work were there, and a bunch of brett’s work buddies were able to come, which was so great. he hasn’t been able to do that in a while.
there have been a lot of reasons for happy hours with work folks lately, so i’ve had the opportunity to go out a few nights this month with teammates. it’s made for craptastic hangovers and late nights, but it’s nice to have more friends to go out with in charleston.
i hated living here for a long time. a really long time. and i think part of it was because i felt like i didn’t have that camaraderie. especially in the beginning. not many people i trusted, not a lot of people who felt like family, and i have that now. it’s so refreshing, comforting. sparc, while it’s almost 200 people now, absolutely feels like family. everyone takes care of everyone, everyone is nice, it’s always a good time. it makes work not feel like work at all.
i think a lot of this goes back to the whole quarter-life crisis thing, though. it’s not over. this is not new news, by any means. i still feel like i’m making up for lost time. the time in college i spent waiting and being miserable and being depressed when i shouldn’t have been. some people aren’t made for long distance relationships and i’m one of those people, and it ruined me in college–i wasted a lot of time. and i think part of this is me trying to undo those regrets, go out with friends because i know i neglected to do that when i had the opportunity.
in SUPER good news, i got incredibly lucky and i get to take another weeklong red hat training/certification exam at the end of march. i am beyond stoked. it means i don’t have to think about spending $3500, for one thing. for another thing, i don’t even have to leave charleston to do it this time. i could not be happier. free training is better than christmas. it’s going to be awesome. unless i fail. but… let’s not go down that path. optimism.
i’ve been staying busy on the side–i recently redid my portfolio. it’s always a nice boost to get that done, it’s been a while. i also started reworking my android app for defcon. i booked our hotel the other day and i have a feeling august will be here in no time, so i really want to get the app done soon. it’s so hard when we are trying to catch up on breaking bad (still on season 4). we’ve also been watching true detective (SO GOOD), and the americans just started back again. by the time we get done watching those, it’s like 1 AM.
always the case of not enough time in the day. i have a feeling that won’t be ending anytime soon. i don’t have an elegant way to wrap this up, but, life is good. as always, life is good. and i’m thankful for that.
my mom sent me this article in an email tonight. i read that one, and then moved on to this page.
as if the first article didn’t already make my eyes well up enough, the second one let the floodgates open.
“When you’re living a distracted life, every minute must be accounted for. You feel like you must be checking something off the list, staring at a screen, or rushing off to the next destination. And no matter how many ways you divide your time and attention, no matter how many duties you try and multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day to ever catch up.”
this. this is me all the time.
i live by my google tasks checklist.
i live by my ridiculous spreadsheets… although i’ve cut back on that significantly as far as personal things go, thank god.
i check my phone ALL. THE. TIME. if only to get rid of the stupid notification icons–email, chat message, friend request, that god forsaken little red number on the facebook bar, app updates, etc. they drive me insane.
and if i don’t read that email and discard it or sort it appropriately, i just can’t. can’t stand it.
and it wastes so much of my day.
many days, i wish so badly that i could ditch having a smartphone entirely. this coming from the girl who willingly pulls all nighters to code. the girl who was actively working on an android app WHILE she was having contractions for 3 hours before going into labor.
it would be SO LIBERATING TO THROW THIS THING DOWN THE HALLWAY.
i would like to flush it down the toilet, most days.
but then i wouldn’t be able to admin servers on the fly when someone IMs me on lunch break, needing help, and i’m without my laptop because i’m out of the office, and instead of taking the break that i should be taking, i continue to work. from my phone. i don’t even give myself the luxury of a non-working lunch because i so pride myself on getting shit done and getting it done WHEN it needs to be taken care of.
then i wouldn’t be able to be at everyone’s beck and call.
not every IM i receive needs a response within 5 seconds. not every email needs to be read and responded to right away. not every request needs to be fulfilled at warp speed–i’m allowed to finish my sandwich before i fix something for someone.
it’s not like these people bug me, nag me, remind me. no. it’s my incessant need to cross things off my list and keep it as minimal as possible. to the point where i stress myself out with unrealistic expectations and zero response times. even with personal tasks.
that needs to stop. there is a time and a place.
and to make matters worse, google hangouts AND facebook now have the notifcation that shows when the other person has seen your message.
THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED THAT. we’ve come to EXPECT it, and that only makes it worse.
it’s just gotten ridiculous. and on some level i’ve known that for years now, but this really drove it home tonight.
and then i got to this part:
“From that breakthrough, breakdown moment, I began seeing my phone in a new light. I saw laundry, dishes, the constant need to keep things perfectly organized in a whole new way. I began seeing requests to serve on committees and chair events with brand new eyes. I realized that the ability to respond within seconds to an email message and multi-task three things at once was maybe not such a great thing after all. Finally after years and years of over-commitment and meaningless information overload, I began to see those things for what they were: Daily Distractions. And with much regret, I realized I’d been holding on to “distractions” tighter than I had been to my own family, my own health, my own happiness–my own ‘things that matter.’”
and it added a whole new layer of complexity/issues/anxiety/guilt to the mix.
not to say i shouldn’t worry about laundry or dishes or everything being “just so”. but… i shouldn’t have to rush to do it every night. it shouldn’t be a compulsion to the degree that it is.
that shit can wait. i’ve tried coaxing myself into that mentality for some time now… when will it ever sink in?
i shouldn’t mentally freak out when caylin drags every item in the kitchen into the living room. food on the floor. formula spilling on her clothes. when will i get it?
i shouldn’t be checking my freaking email when i’m eating dinner. or cooking dinner. or playing with caylin.
toys can be put away later. laundry can be done later. dishes can be done later. sweeping can be done later.
we only have a few hours with caylin every night.
we only have months left of her being a baby, if you could even call her that anymore.
she deserves 100% of us when we’re together, and i want to be better at that. starting now.
it’s time to let go.
that would be the theme of basically all of january.
whine whine whine. whine. whine. whiiiiiiiiiine. so much whining.
she’s so adorable, and so fun when she’s in a good mood. but she constantly wants to be picked up these days, either to be toted around or to get to something she can’t reach. if we’re upstairs, she whines to go downstairs. if we’re downstairs, she wines to go upstairs.
the following is a list of things that made caylin angry to the point where she flung herself on the floor this past weekend:
- she was trying to put her pants on and she got her head stuck in the pant leg
- the wiimote had a string on it
- there was food on her fork
- her fork was on her plate
- her formula was too close to her
- the fan was off
- the fan was on
- i told her not to hit loki
the littlest things absolutely set her off. there were a few nights where she woke up terrorized because of lint. she freaked out over a bubble bath, and refused to touch ANY ice/snow on the ground the other day when we had the ice storm. absolutely would not.
it certainly tests your patience. i never knew someone so tiny could make you so mad (i’m sure brett says that every day of his life now).
at 17 months, she:
- can go up and down her slide by herself, sometimes forgetting to sit down all the way. so she ends up doing a split on the way down, or just going head first. she also loves pushing her toys down the slide. and me. it’s fun.
- is getting better at going up and down stairs. still wobbly and stumbles (took a header to the floor 2 days ago) but much better.
- always wants to be held/picked up. always. we’re very demanding these days.
- is still whining. a lot.
- LOVES talking on her phone. we never have a clue what she’s saying but she seems to be very sure of herself.
- loves to hug loki. she’s getting better at being gentle. i’m still using that word very loosely. but it’s even more adorable.
- ate a whole meal with a fork. finally.
- likes to sort my underwear drawer, and tries to dress herself a lot.
- is still babbling non stop.
- loves letting us read to her now. it doesn’t last long, but she loves to go get her books and bring them to us, cuddle up, and let us read a little bit. it’s mostly us pointing to things saying what they are because there isn’t much of a point trying to actually read it, since you usually can’t get through 2 sentences. still, better than it was.
- does NOT like it when brett and i play fight. she almost lost her mind this evening. i never want to hear her scream like that again–i felt so bad.
- loves pushing things around the living room. her grocery cart, baby doll stroller, noisy lawn mower thing, popper, her little red car.
- is obsessed with water and cups/bottles—playing in the sink, the bathtub. it could literally go on for hours.
- finally had her first cold/sinus infection. she had the sniffles for a couple days back at thanksgiving, but she was actually sick the past 2 weeks. it’s still not gone, and she has an appointment for tomorrow morning. my poor baby has been a mess. we had a good run.
despite all the whining, as exhausting and frustrating as it may be, she continues to just… light up our lives. best 17 months ever.
i still can’t believe how much i love her.