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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Summer Begins!

Summer Begins!

We’re in the full swing of Summer around here after some dismal weather. Evenings spent eating dinner and chilling on the deck, lots of water stuff, and a lot of time outdoors after we get home from work. Evangeline loves being outside and she doesn’t care how hot it is.

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We finally got some pool time in, too. At first, she was not a fan but she warmed up to it gradually. She’s certainly nowhere near as accepting as she was a year ago at this time… but we’ll get there. I’ll make a water baby of her yet! I don’t think it’s possible for me to give birth to someone who dislikes water.

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Father’s Day was pretty chill. We spent the day with his grandparents in Parkersburg because it was his grandmother’s birthday. There’s a long path into the woods behind their house, which was perfect for photos! I can’t wait to get my new camera. I’m super excited. I got some decent photos of Evangeline and the husband, though.

The day went without drama until we contacted his maternal grandma to visit. She was being dramatic and we didn’t end up seeing her, which bummed out my husband. His family doesn’t have near the mental dysfunction that mine does, but they can still be Grade A assholes sometimes.

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We got our photos done the week before, as well, finally! We’ve only got the teasers so far, but they’re fabulous and I’m so happy with what I’ve seen so far. Our photographer does such a wonderful job! She’s definitely got a client for life, haha.

We had to wade through a waist-high meadow to get some of the shots, but that’s okay. Evangeline found a puddle in our second location and she played in that… while wearing all white. I didn’t have a panic attack, amazingly. I can ‘let loose’ sometimes.

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Every day I feel like Evangeline’s personality is becoming more and more apparent. She’s regressing a bit with her talking and behaviors, but I think that’s due to me trying to urge her to wean. I’ve stopped the after-work nursing and now only nurse her when she requests it before bed. She’s handling it better than I thought she would… she’s been doing a fantastic job weaning herself, but I want to get off the mini-pill ASAP as I’m having complications, so I’d like to wean her within the next two months if possible… I’m not going to force it, though. I don’t want her to be too upset and view it as some sort of traumatic loss.

She went through a bully phase at daycare, but that seems to have ended… Thank God. She’s always surprising me with the things she does and says. Her dance moves are pretty priceless, too. Even on the trying days–and right now, there are a lot of them–I have a hard time remembering what life was before her or how anything even mattered. It’s as if the world before was in black and white and now it’s filled with bright, magnificent colors.

She’s strong-willed and stubborn; passionate and fiery. She’s all of the things that make a person so difficult sometimes, but it’s also going to help her so much in life if she can learn to temper and master it. Her emotions will run so deep and so strong, but she’ll care and love so deeply. Her will and her might will make her a force to be reckoned with.

I don’t have to worry about life getting her down. She’s strong and amazing already. I can only imagine the things she’ll be capable of some day… and she’s still growing and learning. There’s so much she has yet to reveal to us.