Raising A Tiny Hellion

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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