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.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

Twelve Months!

Twelve Months!

How, how is this even possible? Wasn’t it just a month ago that she was a newborn? This is just insanity. My sweet baby girl is twelve months old–technically, she’s a toddler now. Where did my baby go?!

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She’s pulling herself up, crawling, and standing. She uses her walker toy all the time now, pushing it back and forth across the living room. When she hits a wall, she looks at us and makes her “grabby hands” for us to turn it around so she can do it all over again. She babbles, says random words, and socializes with everyone. She loves going out and feels ‘cooped up’ if we just lounge around at home all day too often.

She’s curious, observant, headstrong, emotional, determined, and empathetic. Everyone says she looks like me, but I see her daddy in her more and more every day. I’m pretty sure she’s got my temperament, though, which should make things pretty interesting.

Nursing is going well, though she’s tapering off. She’s ill right now, so she’s clingy and wants to nurse forever and a day. She weighs nearly twenty pounds, her head is seventeen inches and five centimeters in diameter, and she’s thirty inches long… ten inches longer than when we brought her home.

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Her birthday (and mine) was technically Thursday, but we celebrated it on Sunday. She spent Veteran’s Day with grandma and grandpa while I ran errands to try and get everything ready. My mum and her boyfriend came down for the party and just left today (Monday.)  Poor thing was sick, but she had a good time. I decorated the kitchen and the living room.

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It wasn’t a huge gathering, just family. There were no overblown thematic items, pony rides, or expensive entertainers. We had a smash cake for Evangeline and a regular cake for everyone else. I had them done by a local bakery and while they may not have been as pretty as some I’ve seen, they were delicious!

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I had an outfit made for her, complete with a ruffly tutu that was just too cute for words! Her ruffly butt was just too cute. It’s still so hard to believe that my little baby is one year old now. A year ago today, we were experiencing our first week as parents and it was rough. Everything was new, scary, and overwhelming.

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Evangeline loved her cake! She pieced at the icing, not really want to rip into it until one of us pierced it with a fork… then she went to town. It was too cute! I didn’t allow her to have too much of the sugar, however. She really hasn’t had much exposure to it yet and I didn’t want her stomach getting more upset than it already was since she was still sick and spiking fevers pretty regularly.

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She seemed to have a really good time, despite her illness. She was jovial and a good sport, opening her presents and suffering through all the fussing people did over her.

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She received a ridiculous amount of gifts. We’re not even sure what we could possibly do for Christmas now! She got a little riding scooter, a ball pit, a xylophone, a smaller compact xylophone, a bouncy cow, an activity table, a beatbo, some books, clothes… basically everything. We really hadn’t anticipated her getting that much stuff! Our house is overrun now. It’s ridiculous.

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The build up to the party seemed to take up a lot more time than the actual party itself. I really loved getting everything together and decorating. I wanted to make sure that when she looked back on this day, she’d remember it fondly through the pictures. It may not have been the ridiculous parties some people plan, but it was perfect for us and she really seemed to enjoy it. Good memories were made–and captured–on that day. I’m keeping a few mementos, along with her cards, to put away in a box for later. What can I say? I’m ridiculous about archiving things!

It’s crazy to think about what this next year will bring! We’re coming into the holiday season now and I’m super excited. From now on, it’s going to be even more exciting. Children always make the holidays ten times better! Soon, I’ll have someone to enjoy Christmas movies with. We’re even acquiring decorations for the house, which is definitely a new territory for us. Hopefully, this puts the husband in the ‘Christmas spirit’, too!

I haven’t cried at all, but I’ve been sad and reflective. It was hitting me today, as I took down the decorations. Everything has just been so hectic lately, I haven’t really had a chance to process it all. I’m sure it’ll smack me hard when I’m filling out the last details of her baby book. Whew.