21 Months

21 Months

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Evangeline is growing so fast. I say that every time, but I feel like it’s just increasing more and more rapidly. She’s communicating more clearly and is quite adamant about getting her points across. She is demanding and withholding. She has a mind of her own. She no longer simply parrots back words or phrases without first carefully considering whether or not she’d like to say them. She sometimes says “please” in the softest, most beseeching way that you can’t ever say no. She’ll often even thank you as she toddles off, clearly living in her own little world.

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She’s truly becoming a tiny person; no longer is she an extension of us. Her likes and dislikes aren’t just mere additives to her cuteness, they’re discernible things, true preferences. She mimics us, but always adds her own flair to it. She likes to walk around with our old point and shoot camera and take pictures. She tells us to say “cheese!” Sometimes, she’ll say cheese and try to snap selfies, although clumsily. It’s adorable.

She likes pizza, especially the Pizza Hut lunch buffet we go to sometimes on Sundays. She loves going to the park, playing on the swings, and climbing the play equipment. She’s generous, incredibly resourceful, and fiercely independent. She’s also stubborn, strong-willed, and incredibly determined. Few things will distract her from her tasks, and her emotions are ridiculously strong yet fleeting.

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People are naturally drawn to her and she is incredibly charismatic, which is the opposite of us. Everyone in the daycare knows her or is aware of her, even those well beyond her age class. She is outgoing and adventurous; unafraid and unrelenting. The sweet-smelling calm before the storm that will naturally follow. It’s an interesting dynamic.

Watching her grow and develop into the person she’s becoming is honestly one of the most rewarding things I’ll probably ever do.

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She says far too many words for me to catalog now and is even putting words together, which is awesome. She’s running around with little issue and loves to climb things. She’s too smart to bother doing things she’s capable of doing when there’s someone else there much more capable of doing it for her, which is hilarious!

It’s crazy to think that soon she’ll be two and that she’s been boob free for like, two weeks now. She still snuggles them or mentions them, but she never asks anymore. That time has passed. I’m still sad about it, but not because I wanted it to go on forever… more so because it means she’s growing up.

In news unrelated to Evangeline’s milestones, I had a difficult phone conversation with my grandparents and pretty much drew my line in the sand. They are aware of my feelings and will hopefully no longer bother me about my mother and that situation. We’ll see. I’m keeping them at a distance for the time being. I feel better, though. More relaxed and capable of moving forward now that I’ve made myself abundantly clear.

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 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.

Never Enough Time…

Never Enough Time...

It really sucks. I feel like I’m constantly out of time! Weeks fly by now. Having a toddler is like putting your world into permanent fast-forward. I need time to slow down, just a little. It’s like getting swept up into a whirlwind and you can’t escape. I’m running out of breath!

IMG_3558Evangeline is into everything and her attitude lately is abysmal. I’m sure it’s just a mental leap she’s going through, but the transition at daycare hasn’t been going great, either. Her primary care teacher retired and left before she moved to the next room… filled with much older kids. So, she’s been stuck with people who know nothing about her and in a place where biting is normal. She’s bit, scratched, and been bitten. It’s been kind of awful. She’s usually quite cranky and difficult to deal with. I hate it, it makes me so sad.

On the rare chance that she’s in a good mood, she’s chattering away. She says tons of words now and loves trying to repeat what we say. She’s learned to blow bubbles and absolutely loves being outside. It’s so fun watching her discover the world, I just wish she were in a better mood 80% of the time…

IMG_3606I’m trying to be patient, but it’s hard. I’m going through hell right now. I’m doing it so it won’t hurt Evangeline in the long run, but I’m running into the issue of it possibly messing with her now. There’s nothing to be done for it, though. My family sucks, plain and simple. I won’t have their toxicity touching my daughter. I’ll light the damn world on fire before one single thing that I was forced to endure at too young an age gets thrust carelessly upon her. She will have her own demons to battle, I’m sure, but they’ll not be any I faced if I can help it.

I know that I need to take care of myself and I’m trying. We’re working out again, I went to a doctor, I’m trying to sort of not stress out so bad… but it’s difficult. My situation is not enviable. How do you cut off a metaphorical limb? It’s hard. Most of the time I just want to curl up and cry. I’m tired of everything being so damned hard.

Evangeline fell asleep on me tonight after crying for almost an hour. She refused to eat dinner and was terribly fussy. I had to stop eating and hold her. I forced her into a bath so that I could scrub the sunscreen off of her. She cried and cried. I dried her off, dressed her, and then held her. She quieted and fell asleep on me. It’s the first time she’s fallen asleep on me in ages. I held her for quite awhile before putting her in her crib.

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This sweet little thing deserves so much better. She deserves more patience, understanding, nurturing… all things I’m trying desperately to give, but I know I’m failing. I’m falling short. That realization alone enrages me. I’d be able to give so much more if the people in my life weren’t such ignorant sacks of useless crap. My family does not nurture, it destroys. They don’t care about anyone but themselves. I’m sick of it. I’m done with it.

Seeing my daughter’s beautiful face juxtaposed with the reality that perhaps Christmas was the last time I will ever see my grandparents alive is difficult. All of this because one person cannot stop making stupid decisions. I’m tired of my world revolving around the whims of an alcoholic. Done.

It will get better. Evangeline’s difficult period is a necessary part of her development and I’m not upset or angry about it… I’m just sad. Sad because I can’t be the parent she needs because I’m trying to protect her future. What is truly right in this situation? To be present 100% and allow her to be tainted, or to pull back and protect her from what will undoubtedly affect her forever? I’d like to think the bigger picture is more important… at least I know where that road leads.

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So many decisions, so many possibilities… whatever it takes, she’ll be okay.

16 Months

16 Months

Toddlers are hard. Like, seriously… it’s rough. Evangeline is mobile now. She’s been walking like a pro for awhile now and she’s into everything. Her curiosity is boundless and as fascinating as it is to watch her dissect the world around her, it’s incredibly tiring trying to keep up with her! She’s just unstoppable and that temper, whoa! She definitely gets that from me. She melts down over everything and anything. I’m exhausted!

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She’s slowed down considerably on nursing. We’re now on a pretty reliable schedule of when she wakes up, when I pick her up from daycare (4pm-ish), and sometimes before bed, but never for very long. Rarely she’ll want a snack here and there, but usually, she’s just fine without it. It’s a little heartbreaking but I’m so glad she’s moving forward with this milestone without me having to force it upon her.

Words are suddenly tumbling from her mouth in a sudden wave. She’s always said some variation of “mama” and “daddy” but now we’re hearing new ones like “bye,” “hi,” “uh-oh,” “whoa!” and “wow.” She says “kitty” pretty well now, too, and we’ve caught her trying to say “Paw Patrol” but in her words it’s “paw-paw!” So cute.

As much as I love watching her grow and learn, I honestly never thought that I’d miss her being a baby. I do. I miss baby snuggles and how she loved to lie next to me. Now she’s a barely contained ball of endless energy. Her little coos and sighs are replaced by distinguishable words and exclamations. Her legs and feet have grown and extended rapidly in the past month. She’s wearing eighteen month old clothing now… my baby is long gone. She’s a toddler now, fully and truly.

As if to accentuate this fact, she graduates from her ‘younger’ one-year-old room next week. The move from the infant room was quite heartbreaking but this one is especially so, as the teacher that was moving with her this past year is now retiring. Her last day is April 15th. I’m concerned about the future, but I’m trying to remain hopeful. So far, we’ve been lucky. Evangeline hasn’t really had any serious issues at daycare… yet.

We did have a scare last month where her breathing was shallow. She was teething and kids in her class were getting sick, so we didn’t think anything of it. We kept a close eye on her, but assumed it was just a cold. We were leaving for Tampa on Sunday and this all happened on Thursday. When she was breathing really shallow Saturday morning, I made the executive decision to take her to the doctor. The doctor freaked out and had us go to the emergency room. She wanted her admitted. It was terrifying. Thankfully, everything turned out okay and Evangeline was cleared to leave. She was better within two days. They thought it was RSV, but the tests came back negative and the nose swab they did revealed only the common cold.

She’s since sprouted like, ten teeth. So I’m pretty sure we know the culprit. Poor thing has been in agony for over a month now. We had to reschedule our trip and we’re leaving Friday. It’s exciting and a little scary all the same. I’m excited for her to meet more of my family, though. Even I’ve never had the opportunity to visit them before!

I really need to make it a point to update this more frequently. She’s growing so fast, it’s important to catalog it all. I’ve since finished her baby book (aside from the first hair cut page, which she hasn’t had yet) and I’ve also just finished the photo album for her first year of life. I’m proud of myself! I’m so happy she’ll have all these memories to look back on.