Victor’s Memorial Dinner

Victor's Memorial Dinner

My husband’s maternal grandpa passed away last month and his family declined to have a viewing or a funeral. Instead, they gathered for a dinner in his honor at one of his favorite restaurants. It was really awesome to see everyone all together in one room. Husband’s grandma did not attend because she’s a bit odd and refuses to leave her house.


It worked out, because she would have just caused trouble. My husband’s estranged cousin was there with her partner. I was happy to finally meet her, as she was one of the few people my husband was close with in his family. He still speaks of her highly. She was awesome, as was her girlfriend. We’re hoping to make a trip up to Columbus to see them at some point!


Evangeline loved it. She got passed around and fussed over for the hours that we spent there. Husband made a slideshow that everyone loved. All in all, it was a good little event. I loved seeing Eva with hub’s cousins! It’s so nice to have family around. I really miss the closeness of my own family, but certainly not their dysfunction. His family is just so… disjointed and separated. Everyone is like their own little solar system. Very rarely do they come together.

It cracks me up that Evangeline loves Chris’ cousin-in-law. She will reach for him just like she does grandpa. This was only her second time meeting him, too. If she wasn’t with grandpa, she was with him!

We stopped by husband’s grandma’s house before leaving. I ended up falling down her stairs while holding Evangeline, but thankfully there were no injuries. I threw myself backwards to protect her from hitting the railing since as my foot caught the carpeted edge of the step and slipped, my ankle twisted and sent me there. Husband did not come check on us, which I’m still quite pissed about, but I’ve already talked to him about that.


I did get a sweet photo of Evangeline playing on his grandma’s mother’s piano, though. She loved it!

Evangeline will be 15 months on the 12th. It’s hard to believe. She’s walking more now, saying words, and just being very exploratory! It’s so fun to watch her learn and discover new things. We’ve definitely found out that she’s not a fan of snow. We bought her a snow suit last week and put her in the snow, where she cried and flailed until we removed her.


I really hope it grows on her. I love playing in the snow. I even tried to build her a tiny snowman, but she was having none of it!

She’s started waving hi and bye, as well as saying them. She mimics sounds when we do them. She points at things and wants to know what they are. She’s very curious. I taught her how to high-five, so she loves doing that, haha. She’s still nursing, though significantly less than ever. I think about four times a day on typical week days? She’s only on one bottle at daycare now. I’ll be done pumping very soon… and after that, bye bye breastfeeding. I’m going to try and let her naturally wean, but if she’s two and still at it, I’ll be taking steps to end it.

My period is back. I’ve been bleeding for weeks now. It’s getting quite annoying. My anemia returned after giving birth, so all this bleeding makes me weak. I’m over it.

We leave for Tampa on the 14th! I can hardly believe it. I’m really not looking forward to packing…


Toddler Life

Toddler Life

Having a toddler is ROUGH! Like, really, really hard. Everyone always talks about the “terrible two’s”, but it seems as if the moment that Evangeline turned one, her toddler switch flipped and my sweet baby went bye-bye. The attitude has been building and she’s definitely testing just about every single boundary she can realize at this age, perhaps even a bit above. It’s exhausting.

I have only myself to blame. I am infamously stubborn–beyond the realm of rationality and practicality. I once sat in my room for eight straight hours without leaving to pee or anything else because my dad gave me an ultimatum. He said I had to pick up my room and that I couldn’t leave it until I did, so I didn’t. I didn’t pick up my room and I did not leave it. I remember him finally coming in and being so completely frustrated. He hadn’t asked me to do anything herculean. It was a simple chore–pick up! I didn’t even have to really clean, just sort some things and make it not look like some sort of a hoarder’s hovel. He broke down and let me leave, completely torn down by my willpower.

It’s strong and Eva’s definitely got it. I’m stubborn enough to match her but I get so frustrated when it is over the dumbest of things. I can’t really see this improving with age for either one of us, sigh.

She took her first steps and she’s saying some words now, though not reliably. She’s said “Daddy’ and “Momma” for awhile, but now she can say her own version of “kitty” (KI-TUH or KI-KI). She also says “hi” and “bye”, which is hilarious, because he “bye” is completely dismissive. She is so my daughter…


We recently had a pretty epic snowstorm, though the snow is nearly gone now. It lasted maybe three days? We got around eighteen inches, which is significant anywhere else, but a freaking miracle here! We never get this much snow. Evangeline wasn’t really impressed with it. She didn’t have a snowsuit, so her initial introduction was very limited. When we did buy her one, she cried like we were torturing her. When we put her in the snow, she cried even worse! So not impressed.

It’s so hard to truly fathom that she’s not a baby anymore. I’ve had a few calls to reality–in Target, browsing the baby clothes, and realizing none of them are her size anymore. Going through the aisle with the bottles. Ugh. The babies side of Toys’r’us! No one wants to see me blubbering in the middle of an aisle.

We’re preparing to go to a memorial for my husband’s maternal grandpa this weekend. He passed about two weeks ago. He’s had Alzheimer’s for years and had finally pretty much forgotten everyone. All he would talk about was death and how he just wished to die. Very sad. My husband is putting together a slideshow for the memorial, so we’ll be working on that soon, I’m sure.

My mother is very likely drinking again. She’s acting completely freaking nuts. It’s been a downhill slide for awhile now, but I think she finally fell… again. It’s so annoying. Anyone who has dealt with an addict can relate. Even so, my mum never took the proper steps of recovery, thinking herself above it. She’s convinced herself now that, despite having a damn tube in her liver, that she doesn’t have cirrhosis and she’s not an alcoholic, she just has a “fatty liver.” I can’t even stand it anymore. I’m just done. I don’t have any confirmation yet but even so, done. Over it. Just whatever. I lost my actual mum a long time ago.

We’ve booked our flights to Tampa, which is super exciting. We leave in around two weeks! I’ve never been to visit my family there, so I’m both super nervous and scared. Packing is going to be a nightmare and the airport is going to suck because we won’t have the in-laws with us. We’ll be there nearly a week! It’s like another vacation, haha. We’re staying with my dad’s dad and his wife. I can’t call him “grandpa”… it’s too weird. I never really knew him as that. I’m just excited for Evangeline to meet them. We’ll also get to see a lot of my Aunt and that will be great.

I had other stuff to write, but it’s slipped my mind currently. Everything is just moving so fast. I never have time anymore to just sit and reflect, sigh. I have nearly completed Evangeline’s first year album, though. Yay!

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

How is Christmas come and gone already?! I had intended to post something before it happened, but… that didn’t happen. Parenting a toddler is crazy, way crazier than trying to manage a newborn. She’s constantly moving and into everything. Onto Christmas…


We celebrated Christmas with the in-laws the weekend before Christmas itself. It was just easier, as we were leaving for Pennsylvania that Wednesday. They came over with gifts, we all exchanged presents, and they watched Evangeline open hers. It was all good fun and it ended with us all going out for Chinese.


Evangeline made out like a bandit. We got her a Paw Patrol chair, blanket, large Chase plush, some books, and other odds and ends for her stocking. The in-laws bought her a big green dog named Scout that reads and responds to your touch. The Paw Patrol overload was mostly due to the fact that she squeals with delight anytime she sees it, and in particular, Chase. Very cute.

The husband got a very nice 27″ BENQ monitor because he was in dire need of a new monitor to go with his fancy graphic card he got for free (yay gift cards!) and a Samus Aran Figma. I also got him a little Amiibo display thing that’s the end level of Mario flag. It was cute and on sale at Toys’r’Us. I ended up getting some N7 gear (always appreciated) and a green chroma key backdrop for my photo studio. I told the husband no big gifts, as I’m saving up for a super expensive camera upgrade. He also got me Yoshi’s Wooly World, which I love!


Going home to Pennsylvania was a mixed bag. I loved spending time with my family, but I also hate being thrown back into that ‘headspace.’ There’s just such a negative connotation with everything there. I feel forced into becoming who I was and I’m not that person anymore. It’s difficult. I see all the places I once knew and loved and how much they’ve changed. And then I realize how much Ive changed. It’s crazy. I struggle with it a lot and it causes a lot of undue stress and anxiety. The bad parts of my head rear their ugly head and it can take me a bit to get away from it.

Nevertheless, it was nice to see my family and more importantly, awesome for them to see Evangeline. Even if I don’t feel the same way about my home anymore, I still want Evangeline to have every opportunity to know her family and a part of where she comes from. She got absolutely spoiled!

IMG_2595 She received so many toys that we were almost afraid they wouldn’t all make it back with us. We opened presents with my mother’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, which was nice. My grandma got a bunch of clothes she asked for, my grandpa got a Kindle Fire HD, and my mother got an awesome sweater and some smelly stuff she can’t get where they live.

We got money, which I am thrilled with, as I told everyone I was saving for my camera upgrade!

Christmas day was busy. First up, we spend the morning and afternoon with my mum’s family. They cooked a small dinner, which involved some drama, and then we had some drama after dinner, as well. It just wouldn’t be dinner with that side of the family without any.

Evangeline refused to eat during dinner and was being a bit of a bear. I’m almost certain she’s teething, though we have yet to see anymore teeth! She’s still just got the bottom two. I keep trying not to worry, but if she’d just get more teeth she’d be able to eat everything that she’s dying to have. This girl wants to eat but can’t!


The rest of Christmas was spent with my dad, his wife, their children, and my grandma on that side. Again, more drama, though not directed towards us. My grandma on that side is quite cantankerous and if things aren’t perfectly her way, she throws one hell of a fit. Even so, the dinner was amazing, and Evangeline was again ridiculously spoiled! She now has TWO activity tables. We haven’t even unpacked most of what she’s received, as there’s just too much. Our downstairs and living are overwhelmed as it is!


The day after Christmas, we visited my aunt’s and saw my cousin and her three children. My other cousin was there, as well, with his daughter. I loved getting to be around them and to have Evangeline hang out with her cousins. The kids all played very nicely together and everyone was fussing over Eva. There were many ‘dog piles’ on my lap of kids, but the husband only caught the smallest one, with me, my cousin’s daughter, and Eva. Too cute!

Unfortunately, the day was punctuated with terrible service, which made us late to my cousin’s, which in turn, made us late to hang out with dad, which pissed mum off, which caused all sorts of a mess. It all fixed itself in the end, but still. For those few hours, it was a nightmare and I was ready to pack up and head home that night!

Going home is seriously difficult for me anymore, but I still love inscribing all the places into my memory–especially my grandparents house. I just stand and stare at the rooms, committing them to memory. I want to remember everything, the way it looked, and smelled. It’s so weird, but my grandparents house has always smelled the same…

Even though it was fraught with tension and anxiety, I’m glad we managed to get up there for Christmas with Evangeline this year. It was worth it.

Key West 2015

Key West 2015

The trip to Key West was plagued with issues, but all in all, everything went okay. I needed a vacation from my vacation afterwards, however. Vacations are not the same once you have kids…

We left here on Saturday and boarded a plane by 7am. Evangeline did really well throughout, only a few bouts of fussiness. She even trooped through us being stuck on a plane for 45 minutes past boarding just to find out the plane was dead and we’d have to switch planes. By that point, I was exhausted. By the time we arrived in Miami, we were almost three hours behind “schedule.” We didn’t even arrive at our condo until around 7pm. It was a rough drive. Evangeline was so tired she cried and cried, but eventually went out…


Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday. We hung out around the condo and took Evangeline on a walk so she could see all the different trees and sights. We spent some time in the pool, too.


My aunt joined us on Monday. Before she arrived, the husband and I went out on our own. We had a fun few hours trolling familiar sights. We picked my aunt up and had a late lunch. Evangeline and I promptly napped upon returning to the condo, haha. We had wanted to schedule a sunset sail with my aunt, but she wasn’t interested, so we scheduled one for ourselves the next day. It was a day riddled with a bit of conflict because everyone was kind of being a wet blanket. We were also being completely ignored as per what we would like to do… we ended up having a very late dinner, but it was delicious. Mr. Z’s stromboli… well worth the wait.


Tuesday we (me, the husband, and Eva) spent the morning with my aunt downtown. She had wanted to try out this one place that she claimed was “a local haunt”, but truth be told, it was a trip advisor recommendation with substandard food. Luckily, we couldn’t find it so we got to try a place my husband had wanted to go. My food was terrible, but theirs was good, and that’s all that really mattered. It was a seafood place and I don’t really “do” seafood. We walked around, bought some stuff, and then headed back to the condos. We got dressed in our costumes, dropped off for our sail, and then we had a great dinner at Pepe’s and enjoyed a bit of the nightlife. We went to Key West during Fantasy Fest… so there’s a lot going on.


The next day was more of the same. We had a lot of fun, but my aunt wasn’t happy about all the walking or the heat. Let’s note that she’s a Floridian! You’d think she’d have made peace with the heat and humidity by now… anyway, we took Eva to one of my favorite places… the Butterfly Conservatory! She loved it, especially the flamingos. It was so fun to watch her squeal and point at all the butterflies fluttering around. One landed on me while I was holding Eva, but the husband missed getting pictures of it. My aunt’s ferry departed at 5, so we ate lunch and then said goodbye.


The rest of the week was a smattering of going out at night and trying to do stuff during the day. I actually went kayaking! The husband has wanted to do it forever and I’ve always been reticent because I’m so pale. I finally gave in and it was actually a lot of fun. Very hot and sweaty, though. And I definitely got a lot of sun… We went to the beach, late in the day, so Eva could experience the sand and ocean! She wasn’t very thrilled… but it was still a next experience to share with her.

Evangeline and her grandpa dressed up like pirates and spent some time downtown walking around. People were constantly stopping them and wanting pictures of her. She looked adorable! We got a chance to go out on our own some more and that was fun, though I worried about leaving Eva with the grandparents. They’re not usually good about respecting how pale I am versus the sun… but they did well with Evangeline.


I finally got another chance to visit the Dolphin Research Center and holy crap, has it changed! It’s awesome. They have a splash pad now and a neat little garden. They’re remodeling the visitor’s center, too. I was thrilled to show Eva the dolphins! She squealed and pointed when they jumped. It was a really fun time, we spent several hours there. I even played with her on the splash pad a bit, though I wished I had known about it beforehand… I would have had our bathing suits handy instead of being all packed up. We stopped on our way out of the keys as we headed towards our hotel outside of Miami.


The trip home ended up being way simpler than the one we took to Miami, so that was nice. Eva did a really good job on the plane. I nursed her to keep her calm and she usually slept, unless the plane failed to get going (like when we had the maintenance issue.) Plane rides are definitely stressful now, though. No more leisurely reading and passing the time by, sigh.


Even though the visit was fraught with tension and issues, it was still nice to be in Key West and to have Evangeline experience all the things we love for the first time. Any time I was having a rough time, I just looked at her. The expressions on her face and the wonderment she had at everything just made it all seem pointless. Even now, I don’t even really feel like focusing on the bad. I’d much rather chronicle the good. Although, I will say, I was definitely disappointed in my Aunt’s visit. She’s usually a lot of fun to be around, but this time… yikes. Husband thinks it’s because her business is failing and she’s super stressed out. Whatever it is, the crazy needs to go back in the box. It was like vacationing with my mother. I am glad she got to spend time with Eva, though.

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.


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.


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.