Struggling

Struggling

IMG_4366I’ve been struggling lately. I won’t lie, I can’t lie, and I haven’t. I’ve been upfront and honest. My husband knows what’s going on, even if he isn’t completely capable of understanding it or being able to help me the way he wishes he could. I’m always going to struggle, in some way or form, and not because I’m a victim, or because I’m unable to handle things, but simply because that’s the way it is. Everyone has their own personal struggles and this happens to be one of mine.

Depression. It’s hard. People like to say things like “I’m cured!” but to me that doesn’t exist. If you have medical depression, in where your brain actually has legitimate issues and medicine is the only answer, then I guess you’re right–you can be cured. But I don’t believe you can ever be completely cured when it’s environmental or something you’ve developed over time. Medicine can help you, therapy can help you, but you’ll be forever battling that reprogramming that went on in your brain. The cognitive therapy, the awareness of the problem, all of that help you battle it effectively, but you’re still fighting.

I have moments, lapses, when I’m just not good. Life right now is hard for me. I have things going on with my family I’d rather not face down. There are things I don’t want to acknowledge, but they’re there, and they’re truths, and you cannot flee the truth. Even so, I’m left floundering because of it.

IMG_4355

I won’t say I do this for Evangeline or that she’s my strength, because that’s wrong. It’s not right to put that on her. It’s not right to burden her with something that she’ll feel later on in life. I never want her to feel like any of this is her fault. I’ll be honest with her, but I don’t want her to ever face the issues I have. I know that she will, though. It’s in our DNA. I’ll just make sure she has the tools she needs just in case…

My family is destructive–toxic. They are not good for me. They do not make me feel better or whole as a person. TheIMG_4346y tear me down and make me feel apart from the world. Leaving them behind, escaping the mindset they throttled into me… it was freeing in a way I didn’t realize until recently, until I really, truly started breaking away. I’ve wasted almost thirty years of my life and that’s heartbreaking.

I won’t waste anymore. I feel guilt, and I should. I should never be the type of person who doesn’t feel guilty. I’m capable of kindness, of empathy, and of all the things that makes me the perfect subject of manipulation. That doesn’t mean I should accept it or take it. Evangeline is not my strength, but her presence in my life has given me a boon–a clarity I did not possess to this extent previously.

I’m grateful and terrified. This is a whole new world–a new awakening. I thought I had been free, all this time, I thought I had done everything right… but I was still tethered, still stuck, and every time, I’d revert back to that person. Now, it’s different. Now, finally, I am becoming a whole, complete person. I am shedding the skin forced upon me. I am grasping and fighting to be free of the things that tied me down.

I will always have depression, I will always be a little moody… but I’m also intensely passionate. I value life, memories, people, and most things very deeply. Depression will whisper in my ear and for a moment, I may feel beaten… but I rebound quickly, because I know better. I know now where it comes from, what it’s been hiding beneath, and what’s caused it.

I have lost nearly thirty years and I refuse to lose another one. I am taking back my life, not from depression, because depression doesn’t have it and never has… but from the people who were mistaken in thinking that I was someone to be controlled.

I’m not. I’m a person capable of many, many things.

I have lost nearly thirty years but this year, I’m gaining.

I’m not losing anymore.

Summertime Sickness

Summertime Sickness

Unfortunately, Evangeline came down with croup and a double ear infection! We got a call from the daycare on Thursday that she had a fever and was pretty lethargic, so I immediately called the doctor and then we picked her up after she woke up from her nap. Instead of giving her the usual oral antibiotics, they said she was old enough for shots and so she got two in her little butt–poor thing! They worked like a charm… she was feeling better and in less pain within twenty-four hours.

IMG_4203

 

She was still feverish on Friday, so I stayed home with her and we set up a little sick bed station in the living room. She hates napping away from us and especially so when she’s sick, so this usually works a little better. She felt better in the afternoon, so we went outside and played for a bit.

It’s fun spending days with her during the week. I hate it when she’s sick, but it’s nice to get that time with her because it’s so rare. She definitely missed daycare, though, and was super upset in the morning when she figured out she wasn’t going! Daddy left without us to go to work and she was crying and fussing after him.

IMG_4208

 

She’s changing so much and so fast. I realize it, but it’s hard to see it staring you in the face. The reality of our situation is that the daycare sees more of her growth than we do as it’s happening. She loves daycare and it’s definitely an amazing thing for her, otherwise she’d be super bored, but it’s sad, too. I spend all my time at work and only a scant few hours after work with her… and we’re usually trying to cram errands, dinner, cleaning, and a bunch of other stuff into that time!

It’s nice to just take a moment and be in it, with her. Sick days used to be super miserable, because when she was smaller, she’d refuse to nap and just be an angry, cranky nightmare… but now she’s snuggly, curious, and mostly just upset she can’t be as active as she’d like.

Grandma and grandpa brought her a kitchen set that she’d picked out and so she had that to play with, at least!

IMG_4239

As a reward for being so patient and us feeling awful that she’d had such a crappy few days, we took her to the splash pad for the first time. She wasn’t contagious anymore and she was definitely feeling better! We didn’t take our swimsuits, so we were stuck on the sidelines… but she loved it! At first, she was very reserved and cautious, but once she got wet, she was running around and going wild!

Watching her was so much fun. We both vowed that next time, we’d bring swimsuits so we could get in and play with her. It’s nice to have something like this so close that’s free to us.

IMG_4245

 

It was a great way to close out and otherwise kind of crappy summer weekend. Evangeline got plenty of sunshine and lots of fun, and we got to see her happy and giggling again. I’m hoping the weather stays decent and we get a few more weekends of this before summer is officially over.

It’s really hard to believe that August is looming over us already…

Summer Time Blues

Summer Time Blues

IMG_4163It’s crazy how fast they grow. Evangeline has been changing leaps and bounds since we returned home from Key West! It’s almost as if she’s hit her stride with talking and is learning new words every single day. She’s almost stringing them together, too. She’ll repeat phrases we say, long after we’ve said them, like: “I get you!” is her version of “I’m gonna get you!” It’s cute.

There was a dog waiting at the in-laws when we they got home from our trip so we took Evangeline to meet her. Snoopy passed away in June and he was Eva’s little buddy. She was super excited to meet the new dog–who is on the tail end of being a puppy! The dog is super sweet and very affectionate. She’ll make a fantastic little companion for Evangeline. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Snoopy will always be missed, but it’s like he sent a little friend so Eva wouldn’t notice his passing…

I’m so proud of the way she treats the new dog (and all animals, honestly!) She’s so gentle and caring. She doesn’t slap, hit, or pull their tails. It’s been a long, hard road of trying to reinforce the behaviors we want her to have towards animals, but it’s paid off immensely. I’m not really a believer in allowing children to do whatever they want to animals because “they’re just kids.” No way. Respect for animals and the things around you is definitely something you teach early on.IMG_4174

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost to the winding down part of summer already. We still have so much more swimming to do! We’ve been trying to take Evangeline to the local park, too. She loves it. It’s got all sorts of swings and several things to climb on. It even has a parent/toddler swing where you can swing with them and see their face. The husband loves that one.

It also has a splash pad, but we haven’t visited it yet. We didn’t even know about it until we arrived at the park! We’re definitely going to try it out. We’ll exhaust the park activities until it’s too cold. Evangeline is on the heavily active part of the scale when it comes to toddlers and if you don’t exhaust her energy, you’re in for a very grumpy little girl. She craves stimuli, whether it be new places, lots of new faces, or fun things to do. She’s going to be interesting as she grows up!

I’m trying really hard right now to get my albums caught up and all of her baby stuff cleaned and packed away. We’re working on our walkway now that we’re back from vacation, too, so that’s taking up a lot of time. The house never really had the chance to get itself into order since we got pregnant within months of moving in, so it’s definitely something I’m trying to continue now. We’ve spent the past year slacking hardcore and I’m ready to get back to fixing things up, etc. The husband has been murmuring about perhaps having another kid and I just can’t even think about it with so many tasks left…

IMG_4197

Never mind the fact that I’m an only child (as is he) and it’s difficult for me to realize that you can love more than one child… I’m trying to imagine it and it’s just so hard. No to mention the lack of space currently, the time we’d lose with Evangeline… arrgh. It’s a discussion for another time. She’s still not even weaned!

July 4th

July 4th

Our fourth of July was rainy and dreary. It was kind of a depressing way to celebrate independence, but then again, the weather was probably a lot more true to the trials and tribulations our forefathers went through to get us there (not to mention the many who died in the pursuit of such freedoms!)

IMG_4144

It was also our first official day back after Key West, so we were pretty “hung over” from traveling almost all day the day before. We chilled out at home and bought some fireworks which were marked down from a tent just outside the grocery store. It wasn’t our intention–we simply went for groceries–but then we saw the tent and it was on! Mortars are legal for us now, but we didn’t buy any.

IMG_4152

Evangeline was enamored with the sparklers. I loved sparklers as a kid and we never really considered how dangerous they were, haha. They burn really hot, so you definitely don’t want to touch them. We kept a close eye on her while we had one, holding onto her arm so she didn’t try to touch it.

IMG_4156

She was not, however, a fan of the bigger fireworks. All the loud bangs, pops, cracks, and definitely the whistles had her screaming in terror. It was hard not to laugh. I tried comforting her and holding her, but she didn’t care one bit. We had some pretty impressive bundles that shot off smaller mortars. I loved them, Evangeline did not.

IMG_4148

I was just thankful we had a brief reprieve from the rain so that we could do this. It had just finished a downpour about ten minutes before we set off any fireworks! It’s been years and years, probably an entire decade, even, since I’ve really had any up-close experience with fireworks. I can’t even remember the last time I went to a show.

It’s really fun experiencing these things again with Evangeline. I love watching her face when she’s going through something new and exciting. As much as I hate to see her grow, I’m happy I get to see the world through her eyes a little. It’s like throwing a fresh coat of paint on something new.

Key West 2016

Key West 2016

We had a lot of fun in Key West this year! It was leaps and bounds better than October, which we certainly enjoyed. Evangeline was better able to get into the spirit of it this trip, though. She absolutely loved it! Every morning, she wanted to go out and about. Actually, she wanted to be out and about pretty much the entire time.

Our trip started off pretty rocky. We had delayed flights and maintenance issues on both legs of the trip, which made us arrive a lot later than we were supposed to. We arrived at the airport in Key West around 7 or so when our original arrival time was around 3 or 4, if I remember correctly. It was rough. We’d been going since around 10 that morning! Evangeline was quite a trooper, though. Everyone was impressed with how well-behaved she was for a toddler who had just had enough.

IMG_3963

We arrived, we ate, we swam, and then we promptly passed out. The in-laws were nice enough to not only keep Evangeline in their room, but they even gave us the big room! It was awesome. We got to sleep in and just enjoy a level of privacy we don’t really get anymore. It was truly a vacation this time.

Our first day was pretty low-key. The husband and I had lunch at our favorite Cuban place. We hung around the condo, still pretty worn out from our previous day of travel. We swam and did explored a little bit with Evangeline.

IMG_4129

Tuesday was a pretty lax day, as well. The husband and his dad went on an all day fishing excursion, leaving us ladies to our own devices. It was ridiculously hot and humid, so we mostly hung around the condo. We got some photos with Evangeline and swam a bit. By the time we got her to nap, it was pretty late in the day. We had expected the guys home around five, but they ended up catching so many fish that it took them until around six to get back. The husband and I packed up Evangeline and headed down to Duval. She was pretty done at this point, but we got in some sight-seeing and she enjoyed it before she became overtired.

IMG_4042

Wednesday was our ‘let’s do a bunch of cool stuff for Evangeline’ day. We set out early and took her to the aquarium, which she loved! We dropped by Build-A-Bear and she got her very first thing there, Skye from Paw Patrol. It was incredibly humid, so we headed back to the condo and played in the pool until it was time for the sunset festival. We took Evangeline down and she loved it. She ended up being up quite late, but a good time was had by all.

IMG_4057

Thursday was another pretty packed day. The in-laws went to the beach early and then came back to pick us up after Evangeline’s nap. She ended up napping until 3, which is when we finally tried waking her up. By 3:30, we were at the beach. She hated the sand! Every time she touched it, she cried. She loved the ocean, though! The sun is pretty intense down there, so she was only in the ocean here and there. We sat under the umbrella and watched the seagulls. We left around five because the husband and I had a sunset sail scheduled. It was awesome. Afterwards, we went and had our yearly anniversary dinner at our favorite Cuban place. We love the food, the atmosphere, and the live music! We came back to the condo and did some late night swimming.

IMG_4085

Friday we went to my favorite place on the island–the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Evangeline was amazed. When we took her as a baby, she found it interesting, but this time… she just seemed to be in awe. She said, in hushed amazement, “butterbye…” It was too cute. She loved the flamingos that they had and one even came right up to her and said hi! The husband ended up taking her through a second time while I trolled through the gift shop and picked up a few things.

IMG_4097

She also had her first taste of candy and Key Lime pie. She wasn’t very impressed with the pie, haha. We had swam randomly throughout the week and she was really beginning to warm up to it. By this day, she was jumping in and getting really brave. She’s still not ready to go underwater or anything, but I’m just so happy she’s excited about it now! We went to our Cuban place again. The in-laws took Evangeline to the sunset festival and then ended up coming by so Evangeline could enjoy the music. She loved it and even danced a little!

IMG_4070

Saturday was our last day there and we did a little of everything. The husband and I trekked out fairly early to enjoy breakfast at our favorite French Bakery. It was amazing. There was also lot of swimming! We went to the pricey seafood place and then hung around the docks in the evening. Evangeline loved feeding the fish! The in-laws went to the sunset festival on their own while we started packing up with Evangeline running around like a crazy person.

The next morning, it was loading everything up so the father-in-law could drop us off at the airport. Our flight left around 11:30. He dropped us off a little after ten. We hung out in the airport and had some fun before boarding the plane. We had a very tight time between flights, but we made it with time to spare, thankfully! Once home, we ate some Panera, collapsed into our doorway, and rested up. Phew. It was a long, eventful week. It took Evangeline a lot of time to recover, haha, she had so much fun!

It definitely took her mind off weaning, which we’ve started. We’re now down to one nursing session a day! I’m trying to look at the positives so I don’t get too sad about it…