Summer’s End

Summer's End

img_4485Mother-in-law wanted to go to some festival in a city nearby, so we indulged her. It was pretty lame but it was nice to get out and do something together as a family. She had mentioned wanting to do more of that stuff, which is nice, I’m all for family outings.

Evangeline enjoyed it, however. She got to run around and see all sorts of people. We’re dealing with the terrible twos already, so it can sometimes be a challenge to take her out, but she did fairly well. She’s usually cooperative if her pawpaw is there, which is a relief. Everything was fine until dinner, where she started getting fussy and wanting to run around.

The husband and I have been discussing eating together as a family. We desperately need to buy a new dining set, because ours does not suit the much smaller space we have for it now… it’s mostly served as hoarder storage in the corner of our kitchen. We’re going to clean it up and make it mandatory that we eat together now instead of separately. Usually, Evangeline eats while one of us cooks dinner and then we eat in front of the television in the living room. I’ve always wanted to eat together as a family, so I’m definitely happy about the change and I’m sure it will help Evangeline’s attitude towards sitting and eating versus wanting to run around crazily.

 

img_4462There really hasn’t been much else going on. Evangeline is developing new skills every day and her gasp on words and language is definitely improving. She actually sat and played with blocks with the husband the other evening, which was refreshing and nice! She’s still definitely a more on-the-go toddler and not so much interested in spending a whole bunch of time with toys, but she’s starting to have more quiet moments, too. It’s still such a treat to see her sit down and just read aloud to herself.

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We’ve booked out trip to Tampa for the week before our birthdays, so that will definitely be an exciting trip! We leave on November 4th and return on the 11th, just a day before our birthday on the 12th. My family down there is desperate to take her to Disney, so I’ve agreed. Staying a whole week will give us a lot of time to really get to do more things than we did last time. It ended up being a much shorter visit due to all of the airline mix-ups! We had a six hour delay that was not fun. I’m hoping this one goes better…

We’re not getting professional photos done this year for fall since our spring ones turned into summer ones. I’ll probably try to snap some decent shots of her at a park or something nearer to her birthday. I wish that I could buy my camera, but I messed up royally and let myself go overboard buying from a certain company. I spent well over the cost of my camera in a month’s time–the husband was furious and he had every right to be. I feel like an ass.

Money hasn’t been a huge struggle since we first moved out onto our own, so it sucks that my own stupidity had us walking that line. I’m doing my best to try and face my issues right now. When my depression rears up, my OCD and my spending ramp up… which sucks. I can’t let the cycle continue. I’m cutting out birth control since it seems to be affecting me mentally way worse than it ever did before. Hoping that helps me cope better.

Struggling

Struggling

IMG_4366I’ve been struggling lately. I won’t lie, I can’t lie, and I haven’t. I’ve been upfront and honest. My husband knows what’s going on, even if he isn’t completely capable of understanding it or being able to help me the way he wishes he could. I’m always going to struggle, in some way or form, and not because I’m a victim, or because I’m unable to handle things, but simply because that’s the way it is. Everyone has their own personal struggles and this happens to be one of mine.

Depression. It’s hard. People like to say things like “I’m cured!” but to me that doesn’t exist. If you have medical depression, in where your brain actually has legitimate issues and medicine is the only answer, then I guess you’re right–you can be cured. But I don’t believe you can ever be completely cured when it’s environmental or something you’ve developed over time. Medicine can help you, therapy can help you, but you’ll be forever battling that reprogramming that went on in your brain. The cognitive therapy, the awareness of the problem, all of that help you battle it effectively, but you’re still fighting.

I have moments, lapses, when I’m just not good. Life right now is hard for me. I have things going on with my family I’d rather not face down. There are things I don’t want to acknowledge, but they’re there, and they’re truths, and you cannot flee the truth. Even so, I’m left floundering because of it.

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I won’t say I do this for Evangeline or that she’s my strength, because that’s wrong. It’s not right to put that on her. It’s not right to burden her with something that she’ll feel later on in life. I never want her to feel like any of this is her fault. I’ll be honest with her, but I don’t want her to ever face the issues I have. I know that she will, though. It’s in our DNA. I’ll just make sure she has the tools she needs just in case…

My family is destructive–toxic. They are not good for me. They do not make me feel better or whole as a person. TheIMG_4346y tear me down and make me feel apart from the world. Leaving them behind, escaping the mindset they throttled into me… it was freeing in a way I didn’t realize until recently, until I really, truly started breaking away. I’ve wasted almost thirty years of my life and that’s heartbreaking.

I won’t waste anymore. I feel guilt, and I should. I should never be the type of person who doesn’t feel guilty. I’m capable of kindness, of empathy, and of all the things that makes me the perfect subject of manipulation. That doesn’t mean I should accept it or take it. Evangeline is not my strength, but her presence in my life has given me a boon–a clarity I did not possess to this extent previously.

I’m grateful and terrified. This is a whole new world–a new awakening. I thought I had been free, all this time, I thought I had done everything right… but I was still tethered, still stuck, and every time, I’d revert back to that person. Now, it’s different. Now, finally, I am becoming a whole, complete person. I am shedding the skin forced upon me. I am grasping and fighting to be free of the things that tied me down.

I will always have depression, I will always be a little moody… but I’m also intensely passionate. I value life, memories, people, and most things very deeply. Depression will whisper in my ear and for a moment, I may feel beaten… but I rebound quickly, because I know better. I know now where it comes from, what it’s been hiding beneath, and what’s caused it.

I have lost nearly thirty years and I refuse to lose another one. I am taking back my life, not from depression, because depression doesn’t have it and never has… but from the people who were mistaken in thinking that I was someone to be controlled.

I’m not. I’m a person capable of many, many things.

I have lost nearly thirty years but this year, I’m gaining.

I’m not losing anymore.

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.

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.