Easter 2016

Easter 2016

Easter ended up being… interesting. We had talked to the in-laws several times to iron everything out. The plan was: we would go to their house, eat Easter lunch, and just hang out and they’d get to see Evangeline for the first time since we’d returned from Tampa. She was kind of in quarantine because of the flu and then I was. Anyway, that didn’t happen, of course…


We woke up and gave Evangeline her basket and her small present (the big present was her trampoline, which she got before we left for Tampa.) It was her first Easter basket, so she wasn’t quite sure what to do. She pulled things out, one and time, and held them up. It was adorable. She had no idea what to do with the few peeps and bunnies I’d put in there. She takes after her dad and isn’t much for sweets. I think she ate one or two by the time the day was over? I ate most of them!

Once we did that, we all got ready, loaded up the car, and prepared to head to the in-laws. It was then that we found out father-in-law wasn’t going to be there. In fact, he had left that morning, around 6am, to go work on this house he bought several hours away. He hadn’t even told the mother-in-law. It was a mess. We were confused and upset. I felt bad for Evangeline, because I knew she’d be walking around their house, looking for him. She did, but it didn’t seem to get her down that much… it sure pissed my husband off, though.

IMG_3411We regrouped and did our best to still have a great day. Mother-in-law bought Evangeline a bubble tornado, which she loved. She chased them around and around, yelling “bubbles!” We tried to get some photos together, but I forgot my tripod and mother-in-law is kind of terrible at using my camera.

We had lunch, which mostly involved me standing at the island and feeding Evangeline, as she sat on the floor, because she was getting impatient. I gave her things as they finished.

IMG_3426Evangeline’s great-grandma on father-in-law’s side got her an Easter dress, so I wanted to be sure she wore it. I tried to put it on her in the morning and she threw an absolute fit. She screamed as I tugged it over her head and kept trying to tear off the ruffles! She was fine in her other dress, I have no idea what she had against this one. Even so, she tolerated it long enough to get some photos and then it was off again. Silly girl.

It sucks that father-in-law was being a giant child and missed the day, but whatever. His loss. He won’t be pulling this crap as Evangeline gets older and becomes more aware, however. Not acceptable.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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


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…


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…



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.