Quick Trip to PA

Quick Trip to PA

We made a quick trip to Pennsylvania this past weekend. My grandma lost sight in her left eye due to a blood clot or plaque buildup (they’re not sure which yet) and so I thought it was paramount we visit her and lift her spirits a bit. All in all, she’s doing fairly well, but the news is scary. We did something we’ve never done before and left for our trip after work on Friday! We arrived there after 10pm. The trip went all right, though Evangeline had a meltdown or two because she wanted to be in her bed, not sleeping in a car.

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I was anxious about the visit, at first. It was a fairly quick trip, with us arriving very late Friday and leaving Monday. We had Monday off as Columbus Day is a state recognized holiday. I’m glad we went, though. Everything turned out well and my grandma was really happy to see us! We stopped in for a quick visit with my dad, too, since he can’t seem to muster up the energy to visit… sigh.

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The visit itself was fairly uneventful–there was no drama for once and everything went well. We saw my Grammy Naylor Saturday afternoon for a short visit and then dad cooked us dinner that evening. The rest of the time was spent with my grandparents. On Sunday, we went to mum’s work and then out to eat with my grandparents. Evangeline did really well, she napped and she slept, for the most part, at night. I was shocked. I figured her schedule would be shot!

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I was definitely glad to have the opportunity to visit with my family before the holidays. We’re planning on going up for Christmas, but if the weather is anything like it was last year… there’s a chance that might now happen. Mum has said from day one that she intended to visit for Evangeline’s birthday, but I’m hoping my grandparents will come with her. They keep saying no, that it would be too much to have them all here at once, but I’d deal with it in a heartbeat if it meant good memories for Eva to look back on when she’s older.

We have two weeks and one weekend before we leave for Key West. I’m trying not to freak out or get anxious, but it’s hard. Everything is so much more complicated with a baby in the mix. I’m not even sure how I’m going to begin to pack. When we visited my family in Pennsylvania, the car was loaded up with stuff… and it was all hers!

While I’m looking forward to this weekend, I have a feeling it’s going to be extremely busy and anything but relaxing… there’s just so much to do, and so little time to do any of it! Time is speeding by. It’s hard to keep up. Sigh. It’s so hard to believe that soon, Evangeline will be one year old. I don’t like to think about it. I’m going to be a sobbing mess. We’re not doing anything big or grand, but we had planned on doing a small party so she can have fun pictures to look back on. I want to get her a little cake to destroy, too.

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.

Lonely Evening

Lonely Evening

I’m sitting here, waiting for the husband to get back from his trip to Richmond, VA. You don’t realize how lonely it is without your significant other until they’re gone. I left for work before he did this morning. It’s going to be really rough Friday when he leaves for ten whole days! I’m going to be so lonely… he’s the only person I really talk to. Sigh. Not having friends kind of sucks.

Evangeline is asleep. She went down fairly easy, but there’s no guaranteeing that she’ll stay that way. She’s been waking up around ten or eleven, depending on when she went down. She’s been asleep since eight and it’s now just past nine… I’m expecting her to wake up. Maybe I’m even hoping? Wow, that’s how you know I’m lonely!

I haven’t even eaten dinner. I’m just really not hungry and honestly, I have no idea how to “cook for one”. I’ve lost all of my lone wolf habits! I’ll have to get some quick and easy meals for when the husband is away… that or I’ll lose some weight while he’s gone, haha.

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We took some family photos this past weekend at the in-laws. I’m still really upset that I didn’t get my professional photos, but I got some good ones of the baby and some passable ones of us all together. I’m usually the one ruining the shots. You can see the camera remote in my hands in a few of them, sigh! It’s either that or my necklace or hair are a mess… or I’m making a stupid face. I hate being in pictures. I am not naturally photogenic at all.

Evangeline is becoming more and more mobile each day, she’s growing so fast. Getting the pictures were really important to encapsulate this time forever. Soon, she won’t be my baby anymore. That kind of breaks my heart. I never thought I’d enjoy the baby period, but I really have. Now she’s becoming her own person and not just my little snuggle bug. It’s amazing to watch but it’s also kind of sad.

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She’s been incredibly clingy as of late and won’t accept daddy when it comes to being comforted. She constantly wants me or boob. I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to parent without breastfeeding! It’s like the catch-all solution. I think I’ll miss breastfeeding, too. I remember being so uncertain about it, even when I was in the midst of labor. It was tough at first and I’ve had my issues (especially with pumping), but I’m glad I did it. I’d do it again. It is/was worth it.

Eva has also started making ridiculous faces. I think she’s finally figured out that she can control her facial expressions. Her favorite one right now is this hilarious “Chucky” face! It really does look like him and she does like this breathing laugh… it’s so devious but also very hilarious!

She’s moved up to the one-year-old class. It’s been a slightly rough transition, mostly due to the fact that they can only take one really long nap… and well, that’s never been Eva’s strong suit. She sucks at napping and I can’t even remember when she’s ever napped longer than forty-five minutes! So, she’s quite tired and cranky. She’s adjusting, though… slowly. She’s definitely more engaged and active with all of the new toys and activities, though.

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It’s hard to get anything done with her now, as she’s started scooting around. If you turn your back for five seconds, she’s somehow made it across the room! I doubt she’ll crawl. The most she’s managed on her belly is pushing herself awkwardly backwards… but she wants to walk. I’m a little concerned she might do it while the husband is away! I’m definitely buying a “baby fence” (read: play yard) so I can at least get some things done.

I keep randomly thinking back to last year at this time… how different things were. It’s kind of amazing. I had no idea how much my life would change… or even how much I would change. Geeze. Seems like worlds apart now.

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I really thought I’d enjoy being alone. I thought I’d get some “me” time, but I’m mostly just bored and anxious. I was printing out pictures of Eva (as I’ve made zero progress on her album since her birth), but then my printer decided to be stupid so now I have to wait for the husband to fix it. I’m awful with printers… I always end up breaking them. He still won’t let me live down ripping off the bottom tray…

I’ll have to come back in and add the pictures I took later. I’m too lazy to run downstairs!

Nine Months

Nine Months

Holy crap, time flies! I haven’t update this in over a month and now my baby girl is nine whole months old! I can hardly believe it. Ever since she started sitting up unassisted, she’s gained all sorts of new skills. She’s scooting around now and while she fails at crawling, we really think that she’s going to end up walking.

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She had her nine month check-up and everything went well, though she’s no longer in the 90th percentile for height/length. Now she’s just normal. I’m glad that her weight and everything else are fine, though. She weighed 17 lbs and 8 oz. She’s still pretty small when you compare her to other babies her age, but she’s got rolls and it’s pretty clear that she’s healthy.

Her grandparents got her a car, which she loves! She’s stone-faced when we drive her around, but the husband is convinced that she’s just taking everything in. She cries and fusses when we take her out of it, though, so I’m pretty sure he’s right. She’s like a sponge–she has to absorb everything.

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We’ve been so busy lately that time just seems to fly by. The husband leaves the weekend of Labor Day and he’ll be gone for an entire week out in the wilds of Wyoming with his dad. That leaves me and Evangeline on our own. My mum decided it was a great idea to visit that weekend, too, sigh. So I’ll be dealing with that. I’m not entirely thrilled, but as I keep telling the husband, it’s good that she’s so intent on spending time with Eva.

Evangeline’s sleep sucks. She started teething a few weeks ago and now has one bottom tooth through with another following closely behind. She’d started her old sleeping patterns only for it to be smashed to pieces by teething… now she sleeps in spurts of two hours at a time… if we’re lucky. It sucks. I’m super sleep-deprived and my brain is barely functioning at this point! I miss sleep.

I was super distraught over our pictures being cancelled again and again, too. It got to the point where she didn’t have any openings until November, so now my dreams of professionally taken summer pictures are dead. I’m still quite upset about it. I really wanted pictures of us all together and that’s really difficult for me to try and manage on my own. I really hope I can figure something out…

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Eva’s last day of infant class was Friday, so she starts in the one-year-old class (the back, with kids her age) on Monday. I was upset about it and still am. She’s only nine months! They’ve had an influx of new babies, though, and there’s just no more room for her. One of her teachers she likes is going with, so that makes it a little easier… but she’s leaving behind the supervisor of the room, who she loves and who loves her. I’m sure I’m going to be really sad on Monday when I have to bypass that room and drop her off at the one down the hall. I’m just hoping it doesn’t disrupt her too terribly.

I’m sure I’m missing stuff that’s happened. We went to visit the husband’s grandparents. The husband has an interview for another job next Monday–he has to drive all the way to Richmond Virginia. We were all going to go, but the meeting is at such an odd time that he’d rather just make it a one-day trip and drive back immediately after. They were going to put us up in a hotel room!