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.

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.

Wow, Just… Wow

It’s so hard to believe that it’s October again already. At this time last year, I was uncomfortable, horribly pregnant, and a little bit nervous about what was about to happen. We were taking the birthing class, looking at cars, and scrambling around trying to get everything ready for Evangeline’s arrival. I had zero idea what to expect. It’s almost laughable how little I knew. Like, there was absolutely no way of truly knowing, but the change between now and then is just crazy!

Evangeline is moving around like a champ now. She’s trying to pull herself up onto things. She still refuses to crawl, although if put on her belly, will do an ineffectual crawl backwards… which then just results in her getting really angry about it, haha. I’m both excited and anxious about her walking. It will be so awesome to see her toddle around, but it opens up so many more issues with danger and trying to make sure she’s safe. It will also mean that she is truly no longer a baby

She’s been in her crib for three weeks now. The first week was rough, but towards the end, she really seemed to get it. She was so happy because she was sleeping well. We had a bit of a slip-up this week, but we’re working through it. I hate seeing her miserable and tired. Giving her the opportunity to well and truly sleep has really changed things with her baby rage and actually being able to set her down. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m confident it will get better. I’m still waking up once or twice in the night to nurse her, so I’m not really getting more sleep… but she is. That’s what’s important.

My grandmother has lost sight in one eye. They’re not sure of the cause. I’m trying to figure out a way for us to go to Pennsylvania for a quick, short trip before we leave for Key West at the end of the month. It’s going to be a busy end of the year…

I’m also trying to prepare for Evangeline’s 1st birthday. We’re not doing anything huge, but we are having family gather. I want her to have a little cake to destroy. I plan on getting some decorations/etc. It won’t break the bank, but I want her to have pictures to look back on fondly and I want her to experience new things like cake.

Things, in general, are going okay. It’s still an adjustment, even almost a year later. It’s amazing how much changes. Sometimes, I get pretty down and feel like I’ll never be the way I was before. It’s okay, though. I’m just really bad with change. I’m not going to lie, I certainly miss video games–I miss being able to play them whenever and for however long I wanted. Now, even if I do get the opportunity, I don’t play very long because I feel guilty. I need to get over that. Video games are how I decompress… and I’m slowly losing it, haha. My anxiety is super high lately and I’m having issues dealing with things. Since video games are usually unavailable to me… I’ve turned to shopping. I have a baby clothes addiction fueled by anxiety, sigh. It’s getting better. I’m addressing it.

Sometimes, I get so frustrated at myself when I remember back to my recovery time and maternity leave. There’s so much I could have done or should have done. I had plenty of time, but I was just so mentally out of it. Even though I can’t change it, and there’s really nothing to be done for it, it still frustrates me since my time is so limited now. I was just so overwhelmed and my hormones made me insane. Plus, I was in pain, and couldn’t take any pain medication… the ones they prescribed me were harmful to Eva and would go to her through my breast milk. It was a rough time. If I had known what I know now about breastfeeding, it would have been slightly easier… but how was I to know?

Breastfeeding is still going well. We cut down to three bottles at daycare to encourage Evangeline to stop snacking and instead take full meals when she’s with me. It’s helped a lot. Pumping is going okay, my automatic pump still isn’t working and I’m still using a manual one. I’m not getting as much as I was, but I’m trying to figure out if it’s just the natural progression of things or if the fact that I started working out a little after work has anything to do with it.

I’m hoping it’s not working out, as I feel like a total fatty. I’ve gained five pounds the last few months and now I’m at 150 lbs… which is less than before I lost weight and certainly less than when I was pregnant, but it’s still not great. My body refuses to shed weight easily due to breastfeeding, but I’m hoping exercise will help my mood and adjust my appetite back to normal a bit.

How weird to think that my next entry will likely be Evangeline’s eleven month post… yikes. How did we get here? How has this year flown by so fast? Hell, the past two years!

Ten Months

Ten Months

Evangeline is ten months old! I can hardly believe it. Time is just flying by… ugh. Soon, she’ll be a year… I can’t deal. It just seems too fast. Aside from the complete lack of sleep we’ve been getting lately, I’ve been really enjoying this part of her development.

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She’s changing so much, so rapidly now! Almost every day, I notice her doing something new or mastering something she used to struggle with. She’s scooting around like a champ now. I’ve caught her a few times up on all fours, but it never lasts long. She doesn’t seem interested in crawling. She’s attempting to pull up at daycare, but when she’s with us, she expects us to help her! She’s also started pointing and reaching for things she desperately wants, which is adorable.

Her words are the following: “mama”, “dada”, “daddy”, and she’s been trying to say kitty lately. Sometimes, she says things and we don’t quite catch them but she won’t repeat them. She babbles, but not as much as some other kids do. She mostly starts so we’ll talk to her and then she just intensely observes us as we speak. If you tell her “no”, she smiles and laughs at you… little butthead.

Breastfeeding is going well. I’m being forced to use my manual pump at work, as there’s something wrong with my expensive automatic one and I can’t figure it out. Only a month and a half left of full-time pumping! I can hardly believe it. I’m going to continue breastfeeding past a year, but definitely cutting back the pump until I’m done entirely.

Solids were going amazingly until Eva got sick. Now she’s being rather difficult about it all. She won’t eat the purees anymore unless they’re chunky, and even then, she eats very little. She’s regressed back into wanting boob and only boob if I’m around. She was doing great with table foods but now even refuses them sometimes. At daycare, it’s touch and go. She refuses to eat chunky purees she used to love but will take table foods, sigh. I’m hoping it’s a phase.

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She’s definitely developing a little personality now. She’s goofy and silly, but also quite fiery. Her temper is going to be a point of contention, I know it. Her emotions seem to be quite intense. She’s also a little stoic sometimes. It’s interesting to watch the facets of who she is going to be take root and develop. I definitely see a mix of us both in her.

We survived the croup plus ear infection, but not without some issue. It was hard without the husband here. I stayed home that Wednesday with her and it was kind of a nightmare. She was angry, the steroid plus the pain just made her an absolute terror! She scratched me and even bit me–several times–while I was nursing her. It was a rough, rough day. Not being able to talk to the husband consistently was wearing on me, too, plus recovering from my mum’s visit. I ended up breaking down crying on the phone with the husband that night. I survived, though, and Evangeline seems to be feeling better… though I think we’re in for another round of teething.

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I needed a break at the end of the week on my own with Evangeline, so on Friday after work, we drove down to the in-laws and stayed with the mother-in-law. It was fun, just us girls hanging out. We went shopping while waiting on the men to get home the next day and I was super excited, because I never, ever get to shop with ladies. I’m always with the hub and he’s not the most enthusiastic shopping partner…

Unfortunately, that started a bit of an issue as the husband was desperate for us to be there when they got back and they got back a lot earlier than planned. This was mostly because the husband drove through the night! He was determined. It was mostly exhaustion and hunger talking. There was a little bit of drama, but at the end of the day, we were just happy to be together again. He held Evangeline for a very long time. She didn’t quite react the way we’d hoped, but she was feeling particularly ill that day. The ear infection and croup were rough on her.

The husband didn’t end up taking the other job he was offered. It was too much time away and not enough pay. He would have been shipped off to Langley, D.C. for an entire month starting out and he’d be unable to go to Key West at the end of October. He’d be there so much that they’d planned on renting out an apartment for him. It was quite the cosmopolitan offer and perhaps at a different point in our life, he’d have taken it, as the opportunities that followed would have been immense… but right now? He told me that his gut said no.

It worked out, though. His current job offered him a 20% raise and a job re-classification, which is unheard of in our organization! I got a 20% raise two years ago, but that was my entire department and our boss fought hard for it. Husband is so vital they don’t want to lose him. I won’t complain about more money!

Sick Baby

Sick Baby

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Mum was visiting this past weekend. It went well, despite some hiccups. It could have gone a whole lot worse. What really made the weekend was that Evangeline was just so happy to have her and her boyfriend there. She really enjoyed spending time with them. Mum also got her two really cool toys, so she enjoyed that, too. She even got a Sophie–finally! She’s obsessed with the books and when she made noises at it and then pet the box when we handed it to her at Toys’r’Us… it was pretty much decided.

She was a little “off” all weekend, though. Uncharacteristically clingy and fussy. She’s always got a bit of an ‘attitude’ about things… but this was just unlike her at all. She was warm on and off, but never spiked a fever. Little did I know…

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I’m proud of myself for handling things as well as I did. My nerves are still a bit frayed at the ends, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the last visit. It really did help just seeing Eva so happy. Mum would say or do something ridiculous and then I’d see Eva’s face and anything I felt just evaporated. That didn’t mean the weekend went without conflict, it just means I didn’t feed into it as much as I would normally.

The mother-in-law’s birthday was yesterday, so we dropped in and visited with her a little. Evangeline and I took her out for dinner tonight and we gave her some gifts I picked out. The gifts would have been a lot better if my printer was working…

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Mum and her boyfriend left this morning and I dropped Evangeline off at daycare. I warned the ladies there that she was a little snotty and warm, but not feverish. I got a call around 11 that she was running a low grade fever. I immediately booked an appointment at the doctor, as I’d noticed a barking cough the past night or so. It wasn’t frequent, but it was enough to worry me. Turns out that Evangeline has croup and an ear infection! How in the hell?!

She’s such a trooper. I think she’s going to be like me. I mean, I knew she was “off”, but she never once acted that sick! She was playing, laughing, active, etc. I picked her up at daycare with the mother-in-law and she was just sort of out of it. She was working through her fever. She’d since been active and fun again, but with periods of inactivity and fussiness. The coughing is back, too. She’s broken around four fevers so far. I’m worried, but trying not to freak out too badly. This is the sickest she’s ever been… and the husband isn’t here. She’s been sleeping with me all weekend due to being clingy and she’ll definitely be with me tonight. That cough! It’s so worrisome.

I slipped her some more prednisone because it seems to only last around 4 hours. She didn’t even wake up. I’m hoping it helps her sleep so her body and the antibiotics can kick in. I’m going to give it very sparingly after this… she’s had it twice today and that’s twice too many for me! She hasn’t been coughing that much until tonight, where it’s been several bouts.

Single parents need medals. Going through this alone sucks.

Another aside about my mum, that I told my mother-in-law about tonight: I realize why I am the way I am. I mean that in the specific “lone wolf” sense. I’ve since gotten a lot better, but not too long ago, I absolutely balked at the idea of help. I wouldn’t let people help me, I didn’t accept or rely on others, and I absolutely refused to depend on or trust anyone, including the husband. When my mum was visiting, her selfishness reared its ugly head. My mum isn’t a bad person, but just like everyone does, she has negative personality traits–one such thing is selfishness. She doesn’t really think about or consider others. Case in point: every single time we went somewhere or even here, she didn’t really help me at all. She’d walk ahead, leaving me to get the baby, the bag, and everything else. She didn’t once offer to help or even seem to acknowledge that help would be nice. Her boyfriend, thankfully, is the total opposite. He always waited for me and offered to help, which I appreciated.

To me, it’s just so bizarre how people can operate like that. Then I realize, I was raised in a family filled with it. Almost my entire family is that way. How did I even deal? How did I end up being the person that I am now? I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I am usually very considerate and am always offering to help others. I pay attention and am very mindful of the people around me. How did I come from such selfish stock?! It’s really amazing.

Oh well. As long as Evangeline grows up and learns to be kind, empathetic, etc… that’s all that matters.