I have a freaking two year old


Well, my baby turned two yesterday.

For some reason, I wasn't as emotional about her two as I was about her turning one.....I think it's because she's been acting so grown up for a while now being potty trained, being in a toddler bed and communicating/understanding me so well that I just kind of already expect her to be two. I've been rounding up and telling people she's two now for a while anyway. Still though, there's something so bittersweet about seeing another year pass, realize how fast it's all going and reminiscing about the day you had a tiny little newborn who's grown up to be her own person.

For her birthday this year, we kept it low key and did most everything by ourselves. Dale had to go out of town (he's gone for an ENTIRE WEEK! KILL ME), so he had to miss her birthday. So, the night before he left, he and Viv went on a little date, ate pizza together, bought Frozen and a tiny cake, and we watched a movie and sang her an early birthday song so Dale could be a part of it.

The next day, although I wasn't going to have a party, I'm a party girl at heart and can't resist such an obvious reason to decorate and celebrate--especially when I'm bored out of my mind and have no other creative outlet. With a few party things from Oh Joy's for Target line (the best!) and other party essentials (food), we had a tiny little breakfast with a few of Viv's tiny friends that she plays with the most (it's so hard to not invite everyone, and I hate that part. Someday I will be rich).


On Saturday (her actual birthday), I was by myself and feeling kind of sad we didn't have family around to celebrate-- not even Dale.  We woke up early and Viv wanted to open her presents, so that's what we did. She tore apart the house and played with all of her toys a million times (such a big difference from last year--she knew exactly what to do and was super excited about it).


Later that day, we went to a bounce house, ate chicken nuggets at Wendy's and then had a little date at Yogurtland. It was a nice little day of things we don't get to do often together, and I couldn't help trying to make her day fun and different from our regular routine. She's always stuck with just me, poor girl.

Even though we were sugared out already that day, everyone needs their own cake on their birthday, right?  I made her a tiny little cake from a whoopie pie pan (such a genius pinterest idea) - it turned out so cute. Used a box mix and everything. I'm legit like that.

It was the perfect size for her, but she really just wanted to eat the mini cupcakes (read: frosting).

So much sugar this day. Viv ate probably 4 cupcakes before dinner, decided she didn't want dinner, and then we ate more cake.  I set up Facetime with Dale and my parents so we could sing Happy Birthday to her for the 3rd time-- we were all out of sync and singing different notes, but viv loved it. And then...we ate more cake.

Side note: She's been loving the "appy birtay" song and requests that I sing it to her every night at bedtime. I have loved watching her get sung to this year...She loves the attention, and gets the cutest little happy smile on her face while everyone is looking and singing to her. I love it.


She got dang good at blowing out candles after our three-day party stint, and then she dug right into her cake. Didn't waste any time with forks (reminds me of last year...)


After our cake-dinner, the night was pretty low key. We played with her new paint set/crayons/easel a million times while she carted her new stuffed doggy around everywhere, painted our faces, ran around in our underwear and kept eating cupcakes.

It was definitely an unconventional birthday, but it worked, and it was wonderful.

Plus, she's two. Like she'll remember any of it. Let's be honest.

Vivian has really grown into herself and found her true personality. She's really sweet, but I think her main personality traits consist of  feistiness and being a silly tease. She is such a happy little person and loves to be mischievous and laugh. 

She has her emotional days, and suffers from things all toddlers do - inability to share, inability to always get what she wants, and inability to hold all of her toys and books and stuffed animals at one time. Those things get her pretty upset. I've also realized lately that she is somewhat of a pack rat. When we go play at a friends house, she finds a big handful of things that she really likes (5 old cell phones, 7 cars, 20 gold coins, etc) and she'll carry them around, moving them from place to place. If ANYONE touches them or even looks like they are going to touch them, she quickly gathers them all up into her chest, looks the offender right in the eye and yells "no no no no no!!!". She's pretty protective like that. Once after a Superbowl party, my friend sent me a picture of  a little stash of toys Viv had been hauling around that entire night. Her stash was hidden behind the couch and underneath a heater. I mean, really.

She's gradually getting better at talking. Most kids her age here talk pretty well right now, and she's still a garbled mess, but there's no doubt that she understands particularly well and is mature for her age. She knows exactly what she wants to say and is always babbling, but I just can't understand her yet. She'll get there. If I know anything about my girl, it's that she does things on her own time, damn anyone else who tells her another way to do it.

I love this sweet, spunky, smart and funny girl so much. I just wish time would slow down a little. I'll miss this stage. I hope she always keeps her happy personality and silly teasing ways, and her crazy auburn curls (those curls personify her in the best way- crazy, unruly, beautiful and fun).

We love you so much Viv
You'll always be my baby girl.

infernal eternal winter


 So. People.

I just want you to know it's March.
As in, the middle of March. (basically).


Hallelujah! Call the Blue Angels! How exciting, how inviting, how positively charming!
Snowing in March!

I feel like singing! I feel like jumping for joy! I feel like...


No to all of that.
Scratch that....HELL NO TO ALL OF THAT!

The only thing I feel like doing is throwing up OR pulling all of my hair out of my head like a molting parrot.


I guess I should concede that winter really isn't that bad. (ok, yes it is). It's been above freezing maybe a handful of times since winter started, and the last few days, it's lured us into this cautionary optimism that spring might be coming...It was 45 DEGREES yesterday AND today! Seriously, all the kids came out in droves to play and I didn't wear a coat all day long. 45 doesn't sound warm...but when it's usually -11with a wind chill of negative death that cuts right through you skin and your bones turn into the worst kind of ice...well, that's basically like summer. But of course, just like the bitch upstate NY is, there's a storm coming tomorrow. A snow storm. Not a sunshine storm.

It never stops. And it's always snowing. And your car is always frozen and it takes 30 minutes to get warm.

The only way I can describe it: Painfully cold. Painfully.

And, you know, I really did love that one recently popular Disney movie about the princesses and the wintery powers and all that (you know which movie I'm talking about here?). She says the cold never bothered her anyway. And that's where we just can't jive. I don't even believe her, and we will never be best friends because of that small difference. Even if she can make beautiful ice castles and hilarious talking snowmen or whatever.

 But, you know me. I'm nothing if not optimistic.

So, one Saturday when Dale was actually home, we decided to trek out to the park at the back of our apartments and take Viv sledding on the teeny tiny hill - good memories and hot chocolate and all that jazz.

 Ya. She hated it.



California girl, eat your heart out.

So instead we're stuck inside doing this all day. Every day.

I've become very intimately close with my apartment and all of it's little nooks and crannies. I've learned which walls listen the best and where to catch the best ray of sunlight for the 5 minutes it's there. I've set up camp by my personal heater and curse the frigid temperatures that make it too painful to even walk from my front door to my car without the swear words in my head getting frozen on their way out.

Sure, we could go to the mall with the 2 stores and the food poisoning Chinese place in the food court. Sure we could wander around Target for the millionth time that week...or go to Wegman's and spend more food stamps money on expensive cheese and really good orange juice...but again. The cold. The painful cold.

Don't worry about calling the doctor. I"m already insane. Why can't we all just hibernate like bears?
Wake me up with I'm back in California getting skin cancer in a pool somewhere.



What up, home skillets?

So guess what? We're having a baby. And you already knew that. BUT this last weekend we found out if that baby is a boy or a girl or an alien or something else entirely. You never know with these things, and I'm sure the Ithaca air and endless winter doesn't help my case in a positive way.

And anyway, before our appointment, we asked Viv if she thought the baby in mommy's tummy was a girl or a boy. Every time we ask her she's been saying "girl" with a big smile....but when we asked her that day, she said "goyle!". I assumed she meant girl but you know...it could be two-year-old speak for Gargoyle...

Which is exactly what we're having!

Let me clarify: we're having a BOY! Not a girl. And not a gargoyle...you know, in case you were confused.

We are, of course, excited and happy and very grateful that he is looking healthy and developing well. I was not surprised at all that this alien fetus was in fact a boy...because I just knew it (I also felt like viv was a girl).  I'm thinking I should take up water witching or baby witching or something, because I obviously have a gift of calling genders correctly in myself and other people too. Weird, I know. Don't be too jealous. Dale really wanted another girl...and he swore this one was a girl (just like he swore Viv was a boy). He sucks at this game. Wishful thinking, methinks.

After buying a cute little outfit and a bunny to match his sister's, we headed to get pizza to celebrate.

And this....well, this is Dale's way of announcing to the Instagram world that we are in fact, without a doubt, having a boy. It was delicious.

Also, we're taking baby name suggestions. We have no ideas...zero. zip. nada. Our names right now consist of McBeard, Bartholomew, Andy Bernard and Henry The Eighth. It's not pretty.

So here's to you, little man. May you look just like your mother just to piss your dad off and have a name a Cornellian would be proud of.

what saturdays are made of


With being almost-two-years-old comes lots of responsibility to suddenly become as reckless and as imaginative as possible.

With being fully potty trained day and night, we decided to move Viv into a big girl bed just for the heck of it...and it's been going surprisingly well. Until yesterday when she found crayons in her room and spent most of her nap time coloring her walls.

So, crayons. I can deal with that. Easy to clean off, Viv helps me wash the walls this morning, we talk about how coloring on walls is not ok, coloring on her new bed is definitely not ok, yada yada yada, she gets it. I think.

5 minutes later, Dale and I are talking in the kitchen, when out of the corner of my eye, I see a sheepish Vivian quietly sidle up in the doorway, lean against the wall with her head down and her eyes flitting up to look at me through her bangs...it's the look she gets when she knows she did something wrong and she's in trouble for it. So I look at her and see a blue permanent marker...with the cap off....marker all over her arms, clothes and face. I motion to dale and we both die in silent fits of laughter. Viv is still hiding in the doorway, waiting for us to notice her, and her head is still downcast. It was the most hilarious thing I've ever seen, given the forbodeing feeling of doom I had...because, obviously. Permanent markers and a quiet toddler are never a good combination.

So we ask her, "Vivian, what happened?". She replies with a very sincere and wide-eyed "uh-oh". So she pulls our hands into her room to show us the blue permanent marker all over the wall we just washed, all over her little rocking chair, a teeny tiny scribble on her new bed, a huge scribble in the hall and door outside her room, and marker all over her art table and chairs.
I mean....
talk about quick damages. And for a girl who has never colored on the walls before....It's like an overnight transformation!

Her looming two year old-ness  is what I'm blaming this destructiveness on, along with her sudden need to spit on things when she's mad, throw things when she doesn't get what she wants, and collapsing flat in full-fledged meltdowns when I tell her she has to walk with me in the store.

In the last week or so, she has been pushing her limits to the max...and I'm like.......

So, albeit maddening, today has been hilarious. Honestly, I really don't care if she colors on the walls because we can clean it. And I really don't care if she ruins everything because I'm pretty sure I don't have anything nice. With the bad stuff comes the good. And it is really good.

Good like an unsolicited, hour-long baby obsession this morning which included covering her baby and bunny up with blankies so they could take a "nap" and telling me to "sssssss!'

Good like picking out books from the bookcase, showing them to the baby, saying "dis un? no?", putting it back and trying another one until the baby was satisfied with the right book. She would then sit that baby in the bed and read her books while showing her the pictures.

Good like feeding them "ilk" and "duice" and making little sucking noises (what??)


Good like wiping their noses, saying "peeeeee!" and taking them potty on her potty seat while she sits on her stool and waits for them to be done, at which point she wipes their bum and claps for them.

Good like she swaddles them in blankies, gives them hugs, rocks them and pats their heads/bums/faces until it's time for a nap again.

Rinse and repeat about 50 more times.  Her imagination is just another thing that blossomed overnight. I can't complain about this 2 year old thing too much yet. And this big sister act is killing me.


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