EJA wrote: I think Altoid is very well-behaved for her age. It's just interesting to see the will manifesting itself...
As Terrible Twos go, the Altoid is amazingly easy. It's clear that she's already learned about negotiation, already learned that tantrums are NOT an effective strategem, that whining is a losing proposition. For the rest, Melle finds that raising a toddler is very much like raising a dog. I agree. Pay attention to their needs, praise behavior you like, frown at behavior you dislike, "don't see" behavior you dislike but cannot immediately discourage. Arrange their world so that all the available choices are OK with you, then let them choose freely. Be consistent. Apologise when you mess up. Keep promises.
Being fair does not mean all the children get the same thing. Being fair means that all the childrens' needs are met, as far as it is in your power. This often means that one goes to Little League, another goes to gymnastics, and the third (oh, the horror) goes to violin lessons.
You do not have to parent the way your parents raised you. You're raising a different child than they raised, and will end up with an adult who is different than the one(s) they ended up with. Do what works - which may not at all resemble what you remember.
See? In broad, does this not resemble raising a puppy? You can raise a puppy.
BTW, with the puppies, if it's to be a working dog, I'd go with the brighter of the aggressive pups. My nephew's roomie has a Border Collie, and that dog can herd cats. Literally. Four or five of them at a time (not Bob Morgan, though. He cheats, goes straight up, tiptoes across the tops of furniture and appliances, and goes to earth under a low bed.) I'd love to see her with a bunch of ducks. Or even some sheeps.
Change of subject. Sandy Eggo needs a lot more than two days to be properly seen. The zoo is waiting for you to come back and finish - that walk-through flight cage takes me two or three hours to get through - and then you have a LONG day's visit at the Wild Animal Park to enjoy. Moonlight Beach in Encinitas is my personal favorite of all the available beaches, with La Jolla Shores a close second, and the rocks around La Jolla Cove a worthwhile side trip. Climb my hill in Mission Trails park, and see just how much city is all around you. You can see out to sea, and inland way into the (modest) local mountains.
Now that we know your tastes, we'll have a garden and wildflower botanical guide ready. With pictures. So I don't have to say "What kind of palm is it? I dunno, probably the messy kind with rats."
And there's a plate of ribs waiting for you.