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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

Eleven Months

Eleven Months

My sweet baby girl is eleven months old now. How is this even possible? We’re one month away from her being one year old. I can’t believe it. My baby… it goes by so quickly. Those first few months felt like agony but now everything is just breezing by. I’m pretty much close to sobbing at all times now, ha.

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She’s scooting like a total boss now, and just moving around in general a lot better than before. She can get up from the lying down position, back or belly, get onto all fours, and generally recover from falls. She’s standing and trying to pull up on things. She can walk, albeit unsteadily, with her little walker toy if you place her standing at it. It won’t be long before she’s fully mobile and that’s kind of terrifying. She pulled herself up from the seated position and had her legs straight yesterday while leaning on my legs and I nearly sobbed right then and there.

She’s pointing and gesturing constantly now. She’ll point at something and make a small noise and then look at us. Evangeline has always been ridiculously observant, but now it’s turned up to eleven. She notices everything and is enthralled by everything. It’s a little annoying at times, especially when we’re trying to get her to focus (especially with eating or nursing), but I’m glad she’s so observant.

Sleeping is going a lot better. It improved markedly after we moved her to the crib (and survived the first tumultuous week.) We’ve had a few missteps, but in general. she’s doing very well. She usually sleeps from 7:30 or so until 1 or 2 am. Sometimes she even goes as long as 3 or 4 am. I don’t mind, I’ve made peace with the idea that I’ll always be nursing her at least once at night and that’s okay. Some babies just need that! I’m sure I’ll miss it when it’s over. Even now, when I nurse her in the dead of night, trying desperately not to fall asleep while sitting on her nursery room floor… I wonder how much longer we have. It creeps up on you.

Eating is going great. She eats like a total fiend at daycare, which is awesome. She won’t do it so much for me, as I’ve got the boobies and she would much rather have that, but she does like to mooch my food. I don’t mind sharing with her, especially since it broadens her horizons. The only things she’s shown a complete distaste for is pineapples.

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She loves when we read to her and even scoots over to her books to look over them on her own. I absolutely love that. Nothing would thrill me more than her developing a love of reading. We both love it and it’d be amazing to share it with her.

Breastfeeding is still going good, although I’m definitely excited to cut down on my pumping. I’m going to slowly taper off at the one year mark and hopefully be done with it by 2016… but we’ll see. I plan to breastfeed her for awhile yet, but to introduce whole milk while she’s at daycare and nurse primarily when I’m with her. I’m not ready for that relationship to end quite yet…

Mum was supposed to be here for Eva’s birthday and to possibly bring my grandparents along. We were going to do a small party for her the weekend following the 12th… but now she’s telling me she can’t come. I’m upset. I want to give Evangeline something to look back on. I want to have pictures of a nice, small party where the people who love her are gathered to celebrate her. My family is continually disappointing me and now it’s moving to her and that makes me going into protector mode. My daughter will not suffer in the way that I did. I cannot protect her from all suffering, but I sure as hell will move Heaven and Earth to ensure she does not suffer what I did.

I still want to do something. I still want to decorate. Even if she won’t remember or know now, she’ll look back on it someday. I want her to have something to look back on. I will not leave that space empty in her baby book.

Quick Trip to PA

Quick Trip to PA

We made a quick trip to Pennsylvania this past weekend. My grandma lost sight in her left eye due to a blood clot or plaque buildup (they’re not sure which yet) and so I thought it was paramount we visit her and lift her spirits a bit. All in all, she’s doing fairly well, but the news is scary. We did something we’ve never done before and left for our trip after work on Friday! We arrived there after 10pm. The trip went all right, though Evangeline had a meltdown or two because she wanted to be in her bed, not sleeping in a car.

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I was anxious about the visit, at first. It was a fairly quick trip, with us arriving very late Friday and leaving Monday. We had Monday off as Columbus Day is a state recognized holiday. I’m glad we went, though. Everything turned out well and my grandma was really happy to see us! We stopped in for a quick visit with my dad, too, since he can’t seem to muster up the energy to visit… sigh.

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The visit itself was fairly uneventful–there was no drama for once and everything went well. We saw my Grammy Naylor Saturday afternoon for a short visit and then dad cooked us dinner that evening. The rest of the time was spent with my grandparents. On Sunday, we went to mum’s work and then out to eat with my grandparents. Evangeline did really well, she napped and she slept, for the most part, at night. I was shocked. I figured her schedule would be shot!

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I was definitely glad to have the opportunity to visit with my family before the holidays. We’re planning on going up for Christmas, but if the weather is anything like it was last year… there’s a chance that might now happen. Mum has said from day one that she intended to visit for Evangeline’s birthday, but I’m hoping my grandparents will come with her. They keep saying no, that it would be too much to have them all here at once, but I’d deal with it in a heartbeat if it meant good memories for Eva to look back on when she’s older.

We have two weeks and one weekend before we leave for Key West. I’m trying not to freak out or get anxious, but it’s hard. Everything is so much more complicated with a baby in the mix. I’m not even sure how I’m going to begin to pack. When we visited my family in Pennsylvania, the car was loaded up with stuff… and it was all hers!

While I’m looking forward to this weekend, I have a feeling it’s going to be extremely busy and anything but relaxing… there’s just so much to do, and so little time to do any of it! Time is speeding by. It’s hard to keep up. Sigh. It’s so hard to believe that soon, Evangeline will be one year old. I don’t like to think about it. I’m going to be a sobbing mess. We’re not doing anything big or grand, but we had planned on doing a small party so she can have fun pictures to look back on. I want to get her a little cake to destroy, too.

Lonely Evening

Lonely Evening

I’m sitting here, waiting for the husband to get back from his trip to Richmond, VA. You don’t realize how lonely it is without your significant other until they’re gone. I left for work before he did this morning. It’s going to be really rough Friday when he leaves for ten whole days! I’m going to be so lonely… he’s the only person I really talk to. Sigh. Not having friends kind of sucks.

Evangeline is asleep. She went down fairly easy, but there’s no guaranteeing that she’ll stay that way. She’s been waking up around ten or eleven, depending on when she went down. She’s been asleep since eight and it’s now just past nine… I’m expecting her to wake up. Maybe I’m even hoping? Wow, that’s how you know I’m lonely!

I haven’t even eaten dinner. I’m just really not hungry and honestly, I have no idea how to “cook for one”. I’ve lost all of my lone wolf habits! I’ll have to get some quick and easy meals for when the husband is away… that or I’ll lose some weight while he’s gone, haha.

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We took some family photos this past weekend at the in-laws. I’m still really upset that I didn’t get my professional photos, but I got some good ones of the baby and some passable ones of us all together. I’m usually the one ruining the shots. You can see the camera remote in my hands in a few of them, sigh! It’s either that or my necklace or hair are a mess… or I’m making a stupid face. I hate being in pictures. I am not naturally photogenic at all.

Evangeline is becoming more and more mobile each day, she’s growing so fast. Getting the pictures were really important to encapsulate this time forever. Soon, she won’t be my baby anymore. That kind of breaks my heart. I never thought I’d enjoy the baby period, but I really have. Now she’s becoming her own person and not just my little snuggle bug. It’s amazing to watch but it’s also kind of sad.

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She’s been incredibly clingy as of late and won’t accept daddy when it comes to being comforted. She constantly wants me or boob. I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to parent without breastfeeding! It’s like the catch-all solution. I think I’ll miss breastfeeding, too. I remember being so uncertain about it, even when I was in the midst of labor. It was tough at first and I’ve had my issues (especially with pumping), but I’m glad I did it. I’d do it again. It is/was worth it.

Eva has also started making ridiculous faces. I think she’s finally figured out that she can control her facial expressions. Her favorite one right now is this hilarious “Chucky” face! It really does look like him and she does like this breathing laugh… it’s so devious but also very hilarious!

She’s moved up to the one-year-old class. It’s been a slightly rough transition, mostly due to the fact that they can only take one really long nap… and well, that’s never been Eva’s strong suit. She sucks at napping and I can’t even remember when she’s ever napped longer than forty-five minutes! So, she’s quite tired and cranky. She’s adjusting, though… slowly. She’s definitely more engaged and active with all of the new toys and activities, though.

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It’s hard to get anything done with her now, as she’s started scooting around. If you turn your back for five seconds, she’s somehow made it across the room! I doubt she’ll crawl. The most she’s managed on her belly is pushing herself awkwardly backwards… but she wants to walk. I’m a little concerned she might do it while the husband is away! I’m definitely buying a “baby fence” (read: play yard) so I can at least get some things done.

I keep randomly thinking back to last year at this time… how different things were. It’s kind of amazing. I had no idea how much my life would change… or even how much I would change. Geeze. Seems like worlds apart now.

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I really thought I’d enjoy being alone. I thought I’d get some “me” time, but I’m mostly just bored and anxious. I was printing out pictures of Eva (as I’ve made zero progress on her album since her birth), but then my printer decided to be stupid so now I have to wait for the husband to fix it. I’m awful with printers… I always end up breaking them. He still won’t let me live down ripping off the bottom tray…

I’ll have to come back in and add the pictures I took later. I’m too lazy to run downstairs!

Grandparents Visit

Grandparents Visit

My grandparents from Pennsylvania (maternal side) visited this past weekend. It was kind of a shock. I had hoped they would be here for the baby shower, but my grandmother’s doctor appointment interfered. Honestly, I didn’t think she’d be well enough to visit, but she trooped on down. They drove down in their motor home, which they parked in our parking pad (which fits around 4 cars, so it’s plenty big!)

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The husband kept saying he felt like he was in Christmas Vacation and cousin Eddie was camped outside. We had an electrical cord running under our garage door for them and pap kept using the hose to fill their water tank! It was all very hilarious, but also incredibly convenient.

They arrived late Friday evening and went to be before 10pm, so we had a little bit of time to rest up for the busy weekend. On Saturday, we took them out and about. We showed them the mall we used to work at and looked at some baby stuff (my grandma was always a mover and a shaker; she loved going out and doing things), had a nice lunch at a local place, and then headed home and grilled out for dinner.

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Sunday morning, we took them to a West Virginia place that’s great for breakfast and then we hung out around the house a bit before heading down towards the in-laws. Husband showed them the city he went to college in (and lived by since he was around eight or so) and then we went out to the in-laws. We hung out there and then went to Cracker Barrel for dinner.

All in all, it was a good visit. I’m glad they came down. I hope it didn’t tire my grandma out too much. She’s definitely wearing down. She went from oxygen, to not using oxygen, to back to needing it all the time and being even weaker than she was before. It’s definitely hard to see her struggle so much to get around. I told her she needs to at least get a wheelchair so she can go places! We rented one for her over the weekend to facilitate us going out and about.

We’re both exhausted, though, and quite done with visits for awhile. We have way too much to get done to lose another weekend! The baby’s room is still nowhere near complete… sigh.

Having my family down here was a bit of a wake-up call, though. It was really weird. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. Husband says it’s because I’m a different person now and they don’t see that. I’m inclined to agree. It’s so nice to be free of the chains my family weighs me down with–who they expect me to be or ‘see’ me as, when I am none of those things. I’m a completely different person here, a much better person. My life is so much better, too. Like I told the husband, it’s a case of “never the two shall meet”; it’s fine to go back and visit, but I’d prefer if my ‘old life’ just sort of stayed where it belonged…

The small town mindset, bigotry, and judgmental ways just doesn’t suit me or my life anymore. It makes me sad. I feel like I’ve outgrown the people I love. It’s a natural process and it definitely needed to happen… but that doesn’t make it any less sobering to think about.