four feet and eleven inches of hell-bent fury

19 Months

Monday, March 31, 2014

honestly, i felt a little guilty the week after writing the last monthly post about caylin. this month has been so much more fun than the last. yes, she still has tantrums and pitches fits every now and then, but it’s nothing like it was last month. and she’s so sweet and cuddly lately. i don’t even know how to put her into words. she is still exhausting, but she’s got so much personality. so much spunk. it’s hilarious.

  • she says cookies. and bubbles. and UH OH! and treats. she LOVES to give loki her treats. she walks to the fridge every morning and reaches for them until you get them down for her. and she says shoes. and puffs (the things hanging from her ceiling). cheese–says cheese a lot for the camera. the list is finally growing–it makes me so happy to hear her trying more lately.
  • she is even more affectionate with loki these days, if that’s possible. whenever i take my eyes off her when we’re upstairs, she is usually in the other room laying on loki. or trying to lay on loki.
  • she still runs everywhere. especially when she gets excited. tonight, i asked her if she wanted a cookie, and she BOOKED it from the living room to the kitchen. which is awesome because when she runs, she kind of hums, and it jostles her voice up and down and her little cheeks bounce. good god, it’s too much.
  • she’s really independent at times. like, if i’m doing laundry or cleaning or just doing something in another room, she will sit in her play room and play with blocks, beads, play on the slide, sort through toys, draw, anything. and the cutest thing is when i peek out of the room, and see her down the hallway in the playroom snoodled up in her bean bag, book in her lap, trying to read her books or just looking at pictures. it nearly kills me every time.
  • i gave her a couple packs of stickers the other day for the first time ever. the puffy ones so she could grip them and not just rip them to pieces. they were adorable. i was at publix and wanted to get her something fun. their toys are limited so i went with new crayons and stickers. brett was giving her a bath when i got home, and she loves LOVES to run around naked when she gets out of the bath these days. throws a fit if you try to towel her off. so we let her go, i showed her how to sticker. this is what happened. SHE LOVES IT. i am so proud.
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  • she is super into playing with her babydoll the past few weeks. she carries her around and it’s so precious. i say, “give her hugs”, and she gives her hugs. puts her her stroller and covers her up with blankets. feeds her her bottle. she’s such a good little mom. until she gets distracted and throws her to the floor. but otherwise, she’s solid.
  • she’s still obsessed with watching youtube videos of herself. i guess i never realized how many i actually uploaded. i made them unlisted and just emailed them to family over the past year and a half. never really kept track. but… i have a LOT. and… she will sit and watch them forever. and she’s finally at the point where she will sit STILL and watch them forever. get her a bag of rice cakes or sun chips or blueberries? she will lay there for like half an hour or more if you let her. even under the blankets now (she used to hate blankets, idk). it’s so awesome getting more cuddle time in. not much beats that feeling. i don’t care what i have to watch if i can have her little head on my shoulder.
  • she almost has the stairs down pat. she can go down them fine by herself, but she gets excited and starts going too fast which means… faceplant. so we still have to help, obviously. and she goes up them like a champ. but gets excited and will start sliding down on her stomach. hilarious but a little nerve-wracking when she just goes for it and you’re on the other side of the room.
  • she’s still incredibly excited about chairs. and benches. and chairs. we went to dick’s over the weekend and she sat in almost every chair they had. multiple times. i think the fact that she’s big enough to climb on almost all of them with zero help is just that exciting for her and she has to try.
  • this afternoon was a milestone, for sure. she walked around the entire neighborhood, hand in mine, and didn’t whine. pointed at EVERYTHING wanting to know what it was. stopped at every clover patch to pick flowers. she picked 2 at one point, started walking (i let her walk ahead, she had her hands full), stopped, handed me 1 of the flowers, grabbed my hand, and kept walking. ARE YOU SERIOUS?
  • she loves airplanes. whenever she hears one, she gets this look on her face, like… I HEAR ONE! WHERE IS IT! and then we yell “airplane!” and she looks for the nearest exit.
  • i’m saving the best for last. tonight, when i was putting her to bed, i was carrying her to her crib. handed her sippy cup to get any last sips. she took a sip and handed the cup back to me. looked me in the eye, leaned in, KISSED me on the cheek (it wasn’t even a big wet slobber kiss like they used to be), threw her arms around my neck, and laid her head on my shoulder. she kind of hummed as i rocked her in my arms, and i just held her there and kept telling her how much i love her. if i could freeze that moment for like 300 more hours, my god, i would. i don’t have the slightest clue about what i’m getting myself into.



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she’s growing up so fast. i can’t stand it. i don’t know how to do this. make it all slow down :(

Intentionally Untitled

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

a lot’s been going on in the past few weeks, and i’ve neglected to document any of it. sometimes i wish i was better about taking notes from time to time or at least USING the notepad that stays in my purse. i bought it for that reason, and it’s completely blank. it’s been over a year.

i don’t really know where to start. i guess i’ll start with loki.

i don’t write about her a lot on here these days–mostly because i don’t know what to say that won’t put a lump in my throat. her shoulder (which has bothered her since she was a puppy) is stiff a lot more often these days, and her limp has just gotten noticeably worse over the years. i tried glucosamine pills for 2 months, the best on the market, and they did nothing. she turned 8 this month, which, for a big dog, is getting up there i guess.

the cancer is still there and basically stays in a swollen state, but it still doesn’t seem to be bothering her. that’s all i can hope for. she also has this weird growth on her face that came up about 2 weeks ago, and i’ve put off taking her to the vet. i keep telling myself it’ll be fine. to be honest, i don’t know if i can stomach them telling me it’s another tumor or something. that doesn’t seem to bother her at all, either. i know that sounds horrible and selfish, and it is. it pains me to think about putting her through anymore treatment. i just feel like, at what point is it too much?

i started back on birth control this week–something i had basically sworn off since 2007. for those who didn’t know me back then, between march 2005 and may 2007, i tried 5 different prescriptions, all of which had horrific effects on my mood, depression, anxiety, and basically turned me into a giant pain in the ass who never stopped crying and had no life. it was hell, and is for the most part documented entirely on this blog. i probably left out the worst parts, as i was too embarrassed to admit them. i was another person entirely.

it should go without saying that a lot of thought went into getting back on them again. i kept the prescription in my wallet for weeks before actually going to get it filled. i finally went the other day–3 days in, and so far so good.

i know that a huge piece of why i was so messed up years ago had almost everything to do with everything else going on in my life at the time–boyfriend deployed off and on, hormones, stress, no money, figuring out college, no exercise, living by myself (worst idea ever at the time), generally being a complete idiot. if i could go back, i would throatpunch 19 year old me repeatedly until i got it through my head that none of that shit was worth crying over, worrying over, stop being a whiny bitch, and go have fun. some of my biggest regrets to this day come from that 2 year timespan. at the time, and for a while after, i blamed it all on the pills. then i realized that it was probably more about my life choices than just the pills.

my life is basically the opposite in almost every way imaginable now, so it seemed like the right choice to give it another shot. fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly this time around.

3 days ago marked 1 year since i started using the nike training club app. i really wanted to write something the day of, because it’s such a big milestone for me. i’ve never kept at a workout regimen for more than like 2 months, tops. this is a whole year. this is huge. 167 workouts in 335 days (i skipped all of december, serious fail). that means i basically worked out every other day for a year. the only other chunks i missed were when i was sick, when we were on trips, and when i was hungover (i had 5 skip-worthy hangover days, yuck). and then cheat days, which were usually twice a week. either way, this is huge for me. i feel better than i did before i had caylin, and i dare say better than i did when i was still regularly doing gymnastics.

work has been crazy lately. so many fun projects, and seriously not enough time. i’ve had a handful of late nights over the past week or 2–fun and exhausting. i missed that feeling since it had been several months since the last android project. it’s nice to crave it again :)

brett was out on travel all last week, so instead of sitting at home in the dark on st. patty’s day, i asked my mom if she would stay at the house while i went out with a bunch of friends from work. we started at the bay street biergarten, and made our way to closed for business, the cocktail club, and finally… waffle house. it was an epic night–i got a tshirt, and had no hangover the next day. thank you, 2am hash browns and chocolate milk.

saturday was the season opener for the charleston battery, charleston’s soccer team. it was also a big marketing event for a project i was part of, GWIG – Go Where I Go. check it out and refer some companies! most of our team went, and a bunch of other SPARC folks. we met up for drinks before the game, and then made our way to the stadium. i’d never been to a soccer game, nor had i ever sat in a skybox in any stadium, so that was awesome.

saturday night led to the planning of a triple date (plus caylin!) this week. 2 of the girls at work and their significant others will be going out to dinner with me, brett, and caylin thursday night. i only hope she behaves. she usually does when there are other people to distract her, but really, who knows at this point? it’s hit or miss these days.

in early april, we’re having another product launch–! request an invite! we’re going to be announcing it at DIG SOUTH, which is pretty exciting. i am far more involved in this project than GWIG, so i’m nervous and excited at the same time. but it will be fun regardless. i’ve never been, and am stoked to attend this year. i need to go to more than just DEF CON every year. charleston’s tech industry is blowing up, and i have yet to take advantage of it.

speaking of DEF CON, tickets are booked, and the all new (i’m redoing the entire thing, AND built an API for it this time around, AND built a web front end) hacker tracker is under way. i’m super excited about this–mostly because it’s going to be much better than the last one, and everything that went into it is stuff that i absolutely wanted to learn how to do this year, and i did it. i don’t gloat about being proud of myself that often, but in this case, i am.

also in april, i signed up to run the i5K here in charleston. i don’t know what i was thinking but i’m kind of geeked about it. i’m not a good “social” exerciser? i guess? i hate working out in public. but it could be fun, and it’s hard not to be enticed by “five kilometers through three hundred years of history”. SPARC’s team is pirate themed, and judging by pictures from previous years, it will be fun. now i just need to run more. i probably should get some better running shoes, too, but… so expensive.

ALSO in [late] april… this is huge as far as personal goals are concerned… i started building a powerpoint presentation for my very first lunch and learn at SPARC. i haven’t really announced it aside from coworkers i’m close with, and HR for planning purposes, but i could not be more excited to go through with this. terrified, yes. but i feel like, the subject matter is my turf, and i’m comfortable with it, so i should (should, being the operative word here) nail it. nevertheless, it will be a learning/growing experience and i think it could even be enjoyable. i managed to work unicorns into the slides so… what could go wrong, right? right. as it stands, it’s entitled “AWS/LAMP/Wordpress/Bootstrap Extravaganza”, tagline “I am determined to make this shit fun.” i can’t wait. now i just need brett to go out of town again so i can rehearse in the bathroom without him hearing me sound awkward. i wish i was kidding.

i didn’t really have a direction here, but after re-reading everything i wrote, i realize it kind of took a direction of its own. so much more lately i’m jumping at opportunities to do fun things and NEW things and get out and force myself out of my comfort zone. not to mention spending time with friends. balance is important, and even though i’m 27, and caylin is absolutely incredible, i’ve felt more OLD lately than ever. i don’t want to waste anymore time being bummed about things i missed out on (see aforementioned 2 year period of regret), so here’s to making shit happen. this year is on the up and up.

Raising A Tiny Hellion

Saturday, March 01, 2014

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:

  • ridiculous
  • erratic
  • whiny
  • devious
  • turd-like

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.

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