Leash Laws

On my way to work this morning on a very busy street—school on one corner, major hospital on the other, huge office complexes on another, and freeway on-ramps just beyond the intersection—I watched in horror as a 10-ish year old boy on a skateboard came within millimeters of being hit by a car. He flew into the crosswalk without stopping or looking just as the car in front of me was turning right. The car was barely able to stop in time. The boy never stopped at all, and just kept going as fast as he could. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Charlotte also flew into the street this morning. I was carrying our things to the car—her backpack & nap mat, my purse, lunch bag and coffee mug. She had been inside the house playing with her race cars, and I figured I’d just pop out there and load up while she was occupied. She ran out the door behind me straight into the middle of our street before I could even open my mouth to yell.

I don’t know what my point here is exactly, except to say that I am truly surprised that it is illegal for my dogs to be outside without a leash and a collar, but it’s frowned upon to do the same with children.

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Manners and tantrums and feelings, oh my!

One of my mom’s friends—a very nice, very outgoing woman who has split her career between business and film (lots of IMDB credits for this lady)—started working at my office as a temp this morning. She’s at a cubicle about 25 feet from my office. I should REALLY go say hello. I have known this woman since I was a little girl. Instead, I am hiding in my office with my door closed because I am too damn tired to be social and play, “let’s catch up on the last 15 years.”

It turns out that two year olds can suck the life out of you faster than a newborn can. I always hated the phrase terrible twos because I felt like it implied that the child was terrible. I get it now, though. I love my kid. I do not believe she is terrible. But this particular developmental stage is terrible.

Everything is a battle of wills. My SIL thinks we give in too easily, but sometimes we just don’t have it in us to fight her. I mean, seriously, how many times can you stop your child from jumping on the couch like a wildebeest before you say fuck it. Let her break her damn arm. I give up.

OK, that was a bad example. We don’t actually do that. I mean, the whole jumping on the couch thing is a constant battle right now, and it usually ends with one of us picking a screaming, fighting child up off the couch, removing her from the room, and then chasing after her as she runs back to the couch laughing maniacally… rinse & repeat. I swear we do everything we can to keep her from breaking bones. You get the gist, though.

It feels like dealing with our kid right now is all about mind games. We have to outsmart the 2 year old. I am absolutely shocked at how hard it can be to outsmart a determined 2 year old. I mean, I am a reasonably intelligent human being, but that kid is a force to be reckoned with. My child has successfully used reverse psychology ON ME. It’s freaking witchcraft. Too much Harry Potter while I was pregnant.

Every day, I leave for work feeling so excited to get home and see my kiddo.  By the time I’ve been home for 30 minutes, I’m already counting the seconds until bedtime.

I just wanted to throw this out there to all of you because I know I talk a lot here about how my kid is my favorite person and how I love the age, blah blah blah. And while both of those things are often true, right now I am really longing for a few days free from all of this two-ness.

Petty

When Free Fallin’ was released in 1989, I was an 8 year old little girl living in Reseda. While there was no freeway running through our yard, mentions of the Valley… Mulholland… Ventura Blvd… they were familiar to me. It was my home. We “moved west down Ventura Blvd.” every day to get home from my school. I loved that song. That tape was rewound many, many times. (Right now, I am thinking about how my daughter will never have to rewind anything. Wow.)

Mary Jane’s Last Dance was the soundtrack to a one night stand pre-Catch.

Then, early in my relationship with Catch, I had a completely ridiculous and totally bizarre sex dream about Tom Petty. It was a running joke between me and Catch for a long time after.

Just last week, about 2/3 of my Facebook feed was filled with photos of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Hollywood Bowl. So many of my friends were there. I wanted to go so badly, but there was no way we could afford the tickets. I appeased myself by saying we’d see him next time.

Last night, I asked Alexa to play Tom Petty while I was cooking dinner. After a few minutes Charlotte ran into the house and yelled, “No song! No song! Alexa, play Let it Go!” That’s about as far as my Tom Petty memorial got. His loss hurts my heart, though. He was the same age as my parents, and that’s kind of hard to swallow. My mom is going to live forever, right?

Someday, I will convince my kid to give Tom Petty a shot. I mean, he’s no Idina Menzel, but she’s certainly no Tom Petty.

Blessed (It’s not what you think.)

One of the last things my grandfather ever said to me will stay with me forever. “Does it ever just strike you how blessed we are to be here?” He was suffering from dementia, and it was pretty much the only thing he said that day that made any sense.

Some people might hear a dying man say something like that and feel like it’s some sort of ethereal truth about life. Not me. It stuck with me because I felt like he was full of shit.

Are we blessed to be here?

I’m not sure I can answer that. Not today, anyway.

I don’t deny that there is beauty in this world. There are moments that take my breath away. Moments when I’m so overcome with love for my life and this planet that I am (practically) speechless. (Let’s face it… I am never totally speechless.)

But in between those moments, there is a lot of “meh.”

Day after day spent sitting under the fluorescent lights of an office wishing more than anything that I could just be with my baby girl.

Struggles to pay bills and manage finances.

Traffic. Pollution. Overcrowding.

Sickness. Suffering. Cruelty. Brutality.

All around the world, children are neglected. People are starving. Homeless. Desperate.

Mothers fear losing their babies every day. Mothers do lose their babies every day.

Several years ago, a sweet basset hound was adopted from the rescue we volunteer with. He was later doused with fuel and burned to death.

This world we live in… it just doesn’t really seem all that blessed. And yes, there are lots of great people out there. People who work hard to do what’s right and bring some beauty into people’s lives one way or another… but will it ever be enough?

So while I appreciate the beautiful parts of my life… are we actually blessed to be here? Is this what a blessing looks like? Do we only fight so hard for the good stuff because the option is an endless string of “meh” or worse? What purpose does humanity even serve? We make films about aliens who invade planets and slowly suck them dry and destroy them… how are we any different from those aliens?

(Existential crisis, much?)

I know this sounds like the ramblings of a depressed person. I promise I’m not. I’m just sad today. Sad that my beautiful baby girl who positively radiates love had to wake up this morning in a world where people are gunned down at a music festival (or school—or the movies—or their workplace). How many of those people started their afternoon feeling like they were blessed to be here? And then what? They are shot at? Trampled? Why?

I am so incredibly grateful for all of the beauty in my life, but our world is broken. Humanity is not a blessing.

My Flower Girl


Every member of our household exhaled in relief when my MIL, FIL and SIL left on Sunday. It’s not that it was a horrible visit… it was just too much chaos. I had reached the point where my MIL was driving me batshit crazy. She is so well-intentioned, but I was ready to have the toilet paper and paper towels on the holders the right way again. (She is an “under” person, and I am an “over” person.) The little things… they just get to you after a while. Especially when you’re exhausted.

Fun story: When I got home from work on Friday, the wood floor was slippery. Turns out she used Pledge (lemon scented furniture polish) as air freshener and sprayed it all over the house. I mean… I just… WHY?

For the wedding on Saturday, we were asked to have Charlotte there and ready for pictures at 2:30. The wedding started at 5. We cut her nap way short so we could get there on time. Then, they took a total of two pictures of Charlotte and both of them were at 4:30. So you can imagine how much fun it was to try to keep a 2 year old happy and CLEAN (in a delicate, light-colored dress) for hours. Also, her skin was not fond of her flower girl dress, and she broke out in a horrible rash all over her chest and back. That was fun.


It was an exhausting day. Charlotte never stopped. There were kids to play with and rocks to play in and trees to hide behind and an empty dance floor to run on. She was also overtired and still recovering from the Great Sickness, so as the day went on, there was meltdown after meltdown.


Charlotte asked for a snack shortly after we arrived. No problem—we came prepared with snacks up the wazoo. Naturally, she didn’t want any of the snacks we brought. She wanted cereal. We had raisins, applesauce, fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, veggie straws, honey graham goldfish crackers… none of that was acceptable. We made a desperate call to one of Catch’s aunts who hadn’t left yet, and she came through for us with a baggie of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (it was all she had!) that Charlotte did not allow out of her sight for the entire day/night. By the time we left there at 9 pm, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was pretty much the only thing she’d had to eat since noon. We ended up at a McDonald’s drive through after the wedding because Charlotte kept saying, “I need a burger? I need a burger?” So we got her a burger. She inhaled half of it and then fell asleep with the other half clutched in her hand like a lovey. When I tried to gently remove the burger from her grasp, she jerked her head up, gave me the DIRTIEST look and whispered, “I. Need. A. Burger.” Okay, kid. Understood.


I had grabbed some shoes out of my closet in a hurry before we left the house, and about an hour into chasing Charlotte while we waited for the photographer, my feet were KILLING me. I sat down to examine the damage, and realized that the shoes were absolutely shredding my feet. The backs of my heels were bleeding. It was awful. I grabbed the car keys in a hurry, walked the miserably painful two blocks to our car and peeled out of there hoping to find a drug store where I could buy some cheap black flip flops. I got lucky and there was a Payless shoe store just down the street. They had a pair of grey/silver flats that fit comfortably and I grabbed them and ran back to the wedding. I think the whole thing took me 15 minutes. Today, My feet are covered in bandages. Giant ones on the backs of my heels, blister bandaids on one baby toe and one big toe. Regular bandages on the other baby toe and big toe. My poor feet. I am going to BURN those shoes.


The bride and groom have a 5 month old baby girl. The morning of the wedding (at 4am!) they had to take her to the ER because she had a horrible ear infection. All day, she was either screaming or she was asleep. Our former nanny was on hand to be the baby whisperer and the two of them stayed locked up in the bridal suite all night. She never made it in a single photo. I feel so bad—they must be really bummed. When it was time for us to leave, we loaded up the baby’s car seat into our car so we could take nanny and baby home to grandma’s house for the rest of the night. The poor baby was crying and crying and Charlotte kept reaching for her and saying, “It’s okay, baby Amelia. I know.” Our hearts pretty much exploded. When we got to the house, we went in to help the nanny get settled. I had the baby in the rocking chair trying to comfort her, and Charlotte brought her a sheet of paper from a notepad. Amelia stopped crying immediately. She was thrilled by that sheet of paper. Charlotte was so pleased with herself. It was the sweetest thing.


Anyway, that is a lot of words to read and I commend you if you made it this far. In conclusion, I’ll just say that I kind of hope this is the last time our kid is ever asked to be a flower girl because that shit was EXHAUSTING. I’m proud of her, though. She made it about 2/3 of the way down the aisle before she stopped and burst into tears. The ring bearer was a year older than her, and he threw his pillow at his dad and ran the other way before he even reached the start of the aisle, so really—A+ for Charlotte.

Embryos: To Keep or Not to Keep

I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn’t seem to show up in my feed, so I’m trying again!

Last week, a “Mr. Oliver” from our fertility clinic left me a vague voicemail message while I was at work requesting a call back. I returned his call immediately.

First off, let me just say that this dude’s voice is creepy. Actually, I really want you to hear how creepy his voice is so I just figured out how to export the file.

When I called, that voice answered the phone. “This is Mr. Oliver.” I cheerfully told him who I was and that I was returning his call. “Ahh yes, Molly.”

First off… if you’re not going to use your first name, why the hell are you using mine? Does that strike you as rude? It really rubbed me the wrong way.

Anyway, he launches into a spiel about how he’s calling to collect a total of something like $2,000 that we owe them before we’re sent to collections.

I was confused. We paid up front for everything we did with them. I asked him what it was for, and was told that we haven’t paid our embryo storage fees since 2014. And actually, 2017 is due soon, so he’ll just add that on now as well.

Um… backup. You are trying to collect three years’ worth of storage fees right this second? Huh? I’ve never even seen a bill! Not one single bill!

So, upon further (creepy) investigation, we discover that the clinic has our old address on file. Apparently, they have been sending invoices to our old address, so we never received them, therefor they were never paid.

Wait… that’s THREE YEARS of unpaid invoices. I am quite certain that at some point, someone returned a piece of mail to them. Not to mention that we had our mail forwarded from our old address for MONTHS after we moved, and we didn’t move until I was almost 8 months pregnant, so it’s not like we just finished with the services and took off. Also, they have 4 valid phone numbers and two valid email addresses for us. Heck, the guy called and I returned his call within minutes. We have even exchanged holiday cards with our doctor and she mailed me—to our NEW ADDRESS—a nice note after I sent her our birth announcement. Do not even attempt to tell me that you couldn’t find us for three damn years. That is a load of crap.

I am BEYOND pissed off.

I hung up on him. I shouldn’t have done that, but he caught me totally off guard and I was seeing red… not to mention that this subject is a bit emotional and, well… I just couldn’t. Especially with Mr. Creepy.

Naturally, I called Catch immediately after I got off the phone with the dude. She was angry too, and she said something to the effect of, “I’ll call them and pay the outstanding balance and we’ll just tell them to discard the rest of the embryos.”

Silence.

Guys, we are solidly one and done. I am happy with one child. I did not particularly enjoy pregnancy, my birth experience was kind of scary, recovery sucked, breastfeeding was awful, and postpartum overall was just a barrel of shit. Not to mention that having a second child means walking back into that fertility clinic and going through that all over again and I have less than zero desire to do that.

Even better, I really love having one kid. I love that I don’t have to try to juggle my very limited available hours to stretch between two kids who both need me. I love that someday, when daycare/preschool are done, we’ll have our disposable income back. I love that we’ll be able to afford to enjoy our lives if we only have one kid. I love that we’ll be able to give her opportunities that she wouldn’t have if she had a sibling. I really just love my kid. I feel complete. Any hesitation I have is simply that sometimes, I think she’d love having a sibling. But we can’t have another child for Charlotte. We have to do it for us. And frankly, “us” is really enjoying parenting an only.

So why is it that I can’t just agree that it’s time to let go of our embryos? Why does the thought of that render me totally incapable of speech?

I am going to be honest with you guys, and it’s a bit dark, but I’ve spent the last week tossing this around in my head. Maybe I’m the only person to ever have this thought, but I doubt it.

I’m afraid to discard our embryos because I am terrified of losing Charlotte and not being able to have another child. I hated all of that early stuff, but I love being a mom. I worship that kid. She is the most amazing gift. If anything ever happened to her, I would never recover… but I would still want to have the opportunity to actively mother another child. Especially a child who shares the same genes as my baby girl.

I know that’s all ass backwards and totally wrong, but feelings aren’t exactly logical or politically correct sometimes. Those frozen embryos are like a lifeline to my Charlotte.

Also, those embryos were hard fought. They were literally blood, sweat, tears and so, so much money. They are—quite literally—a part of me. It’s sort of hard for me to just check a box and decide I don’t want them anymore.

So what do we do now?

I realize that I can’t live in fear of losing my daughter. It’s not healthy. I don’t want to think about those embryos and feel like they’re some sort of insurance policy for motherhood. They’re not.

Logically, I know that if Catch and I decide later that we would like another child, we have options. We can foster. We can adopt. We will figure it out.

I think we’ve agreed to pay for one more year of storage. Just in case. Will we change our minds about having a second child? Doubtful. I guess I’d just rather regret wasting money on storage fees than regret not having those embryos.

Boom!

That was the sound of my head exploding.

We’re all sick. Catch and I have been fighting through it, but Charlotte was practically incapacitated for a week. It hit her HARD. That meant she couldn’t go to school, which meant that someone had to stay home from work, and after several missed days of work, we had to raise the white flag and summon my in-laws. (You know I was desperate because it was even my idea.)

They were already going to come up on Friday for a family wedding, so they came on Tuesday instead and are staying until Sunday. My SIL will also arrive from Colorado to stay with us for the weekend. So it’ll be 5 adults, one toddler, and two dogs sharing 1200 sq ft and one bathroom. FUN.

We sent the kiddo to school today (first time in a week) for a few hours. Just a half day. My in-laws will pick her up at noon so she can take a nice long nap and have a quiet afternoon at home. She still seemed pretty out of sorts to me this morning, but she didn’t have a fever and I decided to just give it a shot. She’s not a morning person on a good day, so she may have just needed some extra wake up time.

In the midst of all of that, my mom had to put her sweet 6 year old golden retriever down very unexpectedly. She went from fine to unable to function in the blink of an eye. It turns out she had a tumor attacking her spine. We haven’t told Charlotte yet, but she will be heartbroken. She loved Buffy so much. We all did. She was just the sweetest, most loving dog.

Speaking of dogs, Rolo stopped eating a few days ago. We didn’t think much of it because he goes through phases—he’s old. We usually just chalk it up to age. Then on Tuesday night Catch happened to check his teeth and saw a huge abscess in his gums. No wonder he couldn’t eat—he was in pain. A vet visit yesterday revealed that it’s not an abscess, it’s a tumor. A very irritated, painful tumor. The vet doesn’t think it’s cancerous, but we won’t know until it’s surgically removed and biopsied next week. Yay for vet bills.

And did I mention how pissed (literally) Twix is about Charlotte being in school and everyone being gone all day? She has decided to express her displeasure by peeing on every rug/carpeted room in the house every time we leave. She’s 11. She’s 100000% house trained. We have a doggie door. She is just acting out like a damn toddler. I have no idea what to do. Our whole freaking house smells like pee no matter how well we clean up. I am at my wit’s end.

I have nothing to wear to this wedding. Nothing fits me right now. I am totally at a loss. My MIL and SIL are so stylish and beautiful and I’m going to feel like tired (sick) mom frump next to them.

Charlotte is a flower girl, so we have to do the rehearsal on Friday night so she has a chance to practice. That means at least an hour in rush hour traffic with a toddler who’s still not quite 100%. Then we need to be at the venue for pictures by 2:30 on Saturday, which cuts right into nap time. She is going to be the cutest flower girl ever, but it’s going to be a long, hellish day.

Oh, and have I mentioned my foot? I fell a few weeks ago, and I’ve been pretty much unable to walk without severe pain since then. I’ve seen the doctor twice, they’ve done x-rays, and at this point all they can say is “give it time.” Just what you want to hear when you have a 2 year old to keep up with. It has felt a bit better the last few days, so I’m trying to be mindful and take it easy as much as possible.

We participated in a consignment sale last weekend, too, which meant a 3.5 hour volunteer shift for me on Sunday where I worked my ass off non-stop boxing up and moving the (heavy) boxed books in an un-air conditioned warehouse with a bad foot. Then I had to wander around and collect all of our un-sold stuff and wait in a never ending line to get out of there. I didn’t get home until 8:30 that night, and when I got home, Charlotte was asleep in our bed. Charlotte truly never sleeps in our bed. She was upset because we converted the crib to a toddler bed. It was great the first day. Then everything went to hell the second day. I ended up putting the crib back together on the third day. Bad timing. I don’t know what we were thinking.

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent. None of this stuff is the end of the world (well, losing Buffy really sucks), but when you pile it all together, it’s a lot. I’m so ready for life to get back to some semblance of normal. Soon. Really soon.

 

Friends

The other night, I told Catch about something in the blog world and her response was, “These people are not your real friends. You don’t even know them. You need to not care so much.”

In her defense, she’s being protective of me–of our family. She has experienced the effects of my anxiety/depression the past two years and her comments were reflective of that. She’s trying to minimize my worry.

The thing is that in this community, I do consider many of you to be my friends. Some of us are connected on social media. Some I email. Some I text. To me, you and your families are as real as anyone else in my life. We have supported each other through losses and gains and everything in between, and that has been an absolute gift that I truly cherish.

As Sammie posted yesterday, a family in our community has suffered a tremendous loss. Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, and Cassie and Cherish are living that hell right now as they face the endless stretch of days ahead of them without their beautiful little boy, Leo.

I am struggling to find words to continue this because the enormity of Leo’s death is really beyond words. It’s wide-eyed, jaw dropped, weak knees, hug your baby closer, heart sinking sadness mixed with a desire to DO something. Anything. To help. To ease their pain. To lift them up. To shoulder some of their burden.

As the Ladd family struggles to make memorial plans for their baby boy, all I can do from a distance is donate my Starbucks money and share their story in the hopes that others will do the same. When your child dies, the last thing you should have to worry about is the expense.

Please consider donating to the Go Fund Me or Meal Train established for their family. They need it. This is how we can add some light to the darkest time in their lives. Believe me, I understand that we don’t all have money to give. Personally, I woke up to a zero (ZERO!!!!) dollar balance in my checking account this morning thanks to an error in my budgeting. If you can’t donate, maybe you can share their story by posting the link somewhere. Or maybe just drop by her blog and leave her some hearts to let them know that people out in the world are rooting for their family right now.

 

 

 

Zoloft – Week, um—I don’t know. It’s been a while.

Last week, I emailed my doctor and let her know that although I was feeling some improvement, I was not where I wanted to be in terms of controlling my anxiety. She suggested that I increase my dose to 200 mg. That’s the maximum dose of Zoloft. Beyond that, she said she would have to consult with their psychology department before deciding where to go. (She’s family practice.)

I cried. I felt like I was failing. I know it’s not logical, but I felt like it was my fault the Zoloft wasn’t working. I was scared. It’s pretty disheartening to have to keep increasing your meds for months until your doctor tells you that if this doesn’t work, you basically have to start over. I just wanted to feel better. I needed to feel better.

That night, I dutifully counted out 8 of those tiny little 25 mg pills. It seemed like so much. Too much. But I took them. I did it again the next day, and again the day after that. I asked my doctor for larger pills so that I didn’t have to take 8. She filed the prescription change immediately. It’s a total mind game, but taking 2 pills feels better than taking 8.

In the midst of it all, my in-laws arrived for a 7-night stay. Seven nights with my in-laws. I was sure I was going to break.

Except I didn’t. I was enjoying myself. We were working on the house, lounging in the back yard, cooking meals, and spending time with Charlotte. On Sunday, I ducked out for a few hours to go clothes shopping for myself—something I very rarely do. We really enjoyed having the help.

The things that usually get to me about them didn’t really get to me. I had a few moments where I struggled not to roll my eyes, but I was able to move past it quickly.

Catch just kind of took it all in. I think she was torn between enjoying the change and wondering when the other shoe would drop. It didn’t.

I feel fantastic. I mean, I either have a head cold or some severe allergies right now and that sucks, but mentally, I am in a place I barely even recognize. I am able to be so much more rational about things. I feel like my emotional response to challenges is more in line with that of a normal human being (whatever that is).

My in-laws leave this afternoon, and although I am grateful that we’ll have our house to ourselves again, I feel like that’s a normal response to having 5 people in 1200 sq feet sharing one bathroom in 100+ degree heat for 8 days. I can’t even imagine how I would have handled that without Zoloft. It’s working. Finally.

I am grateful for so much right now. I don’t think I could have done this without the support of my wife and this easy, affordable access to healthcare. I know how privileged I am to have both of those things, and it saddens me that access to support and healthcare (especially mental health) are privileges in the US. I’m giving that a lot of thought these days, and it’s something that I’ll probably touch on again in the near future.

 

Being Two

I never really wrote a proper “TWO” update and I feel like I need to because… well, TWO.


I told Catch the other day in the car that looking back on Charlotte’s babyhood solidifies the fact that I am just kind of meh about babies. I mean they’re lovely, squishy little bundles, and I appreciate the occasional baby snuggle and tiny clothes buying, but at the end of the day, babies are really freaking boring.


Two year olds, on the other hand, are the opposite of boring. Two is non-stop energy. It is go go go go go go go. Again! Again! More?

Charlotte’s teachers are astounded by two things: her height and her vocabulary. She is the youngest in her class but also the tallest and most verbal.


One day when Catch picked her up, one of her teachers said, “She knows so many songs! Usually we have to teach them the songs, but she already knows them all!” That, in a nutshell, is my kid. She never stops singing. She literally sings herself to sleep at night. It is not uncommon for us to stop what we’re doing and turn up the volume on the monitor because we suddenly hear a medley of happy birthday, Old McDonald and Wheels on the Bus coming from her room. She has even started making up her own songs.

Behaviorally, she is absolutely two. She is constantly testing limits and pushing boundaries. Overall though, I feel like we’re doing okay with things. Tantrums are generally pretty short-lived. Discipline and consequences have been a bigger struggle for us. Last night, kicking Rolo was HILARIOUS (to her.) Throwing sand is also fantastic (when you’re not the one having it thrown in your face).


I have a mole on my right cheek that she is obsessed with. It started during her bedtime routine one night. I was holding her while Catch read her a book and she looked up at me and pointed to my cheek, “What’s this?” I told her it’s a mole. Now, she likes to touch her finger to my cheek and announce, “It’s a mole.” I find this vastly preferable to her other habit of pointing to my chest and yelling, “It’s boobies!”


She is basically a walking bruise. Pretty much every part of her body is covered in bruises of some sort. She is so clumsy. (Totally my genes… sorry kid.) Last night as she was getting settled in her crib, she asked me to tuck her in. I told her to lie down, and she FLUNG herself down, totally misjudging the space between her body and the headboard of the crib. The crack of her head against the wood echoed through the room. At Target over the weekend, she was running down the aisle next to the one I was on (she was with Catch) when she caught her shoe on the floor somehow and face planted on that cold hard linoleum. SMACK. The screaming was instantaneous, as was the blood. We are basically trained to expect that anything that sounds like pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter will be immediately followed by thud/crash and then waaaaaaiiiiillllllll. The best part of these injures is when she offers you her sore body part, sniffles and asks, “Make it feel better?”


Nakedness is vastly preferable to clothes these days. This kid can remove her shorts and her diaper faster than you can blink. We hoped that her desire to be diaper-free might lead to an interest in potty training, but so far that’s a giant NOPE. No rush, kiddo.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has basically taken over our lives. Walks with the dogs have turned into bear hunts. I often wonder what the neighbors think when our child is running through the neighborhood yelling, “It’s a BEAR!”

“Alexa, play Let it Go!” We got an Echo a while back, and this is Charlotte’s primary takeaway. Alexa can’t quite understand her yet, but it won’t be long. Similarly, she will take a piece of junk mail, examine it thoroughly and then command, “Call Molly cell.” No clue how calling me got linked to junk mail postcards, but there we have it.


She now sits at the table in a regular chair with a booster seat. We love having her at the table with us.

She’s over 3 feet tall, wears a size 8 shoe and 3T clothes. Sometimes when I’m holding her I am totally blown away by how long her legs are. If I have her on my hip, her legs dangle close to my knees.


We still have no idea whether she is right or left handed. That’s probably strange at this point. I really don’t know. She goes back and forth. We often feel like she has a bit better control with her left, but we still just have no clue. I wonder sometimes if it’s something I should worry about, and then I decide that I have enough to worry about.


I could go on and on. This kid is pretty much my favorite person. She is so entertaining. So silly. So happy. So covered in mud, sand and paint. Two is so dang wonderful.