Key West 2015

Key West 2015

The trip to Key West was plagued with issues, but all in all, everything went okay. I needed a vacation from my vacation afterwards, however. Vacations are not the same once you have kids…

We left here on Saturday and boarded a plane by 7am. Evangeline did really well throughout, only a few bouts of fussiness. She even trooped through us being stuck on a plane for 45 minutes past boarding just to find out the plane was dead and we’d have to switch planes. By that point, I was exhausted. By the time we arrived in Miami, we were almost three hours behind “schedule.” We didn’t even arrive at our condo until around 7pm. It was a rough drive. Evangeline was so tired she cried and cried, but eventually went out…


Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday. We hung out around the condo and took Evangeline on a walk so she could see all the different trees and sights. We spent some time in the pool, too.


My aunt joined us on Monday. Before she arrived, the husband and I went out on our own. We had a fun few hours trolling familiar sights. We picked my aunt up and had a late lunch. Evangeline and I promptly napped upon returning to the condo, haha. We had wanted to schedule a sunset sail with my aunt, but she wasn’t interested, so we scheduled one for ourselves the next day. It was a day riddled with a bit of conflict because everyone was kind of being a wet blanket. We were also being completely ignored as per what we would like to do… we ended up having a very late dinner, but it was delicious. Mr. Z’s stromboli… well worth the wait.


Tuesday we (me, the husband, and Eva) spent the morning with my aunt downtown. She had wanted to try out this one place that she claimed was “a local haunt”, but truth be told, it was a trip advisor recommendation with substandard food. Luckily, we couldn’t find it so we got to try a place my husband had wanted to go. My food was terrible, but theirs was good, and that’s all that really mattered. It was a seafood place and I don’t really “do” seafood. We walked around, bought some stuff, and then headed back to the condos. We got dressed in our costumes, dropped off for our sail, and then we had a great dinner at Pepe’s and enjoyed a bit of the nightlife. We went to Key West during Fantasy Fest… so there’s a lot going on.


The next day was more of the same. We had a lot of fun, but my aunt wasn’t happy about all the walking or the heat. Let’s note that she’s a Floridian! You’d think she’d have made peace with the heat and humidity by now… anyway, we took Eva to one of my favorite places… the Butterfly Conservatory! She loved it, especially the flamingos. It was so fun to watch her squeal and point at all the butterflies fluttering around. One landed on me while I was holding Eva, but the husband missed getting pictures of it. My aunt’s ferry departed at 5, so we ate lunch and then said goodbye.


The rest of the week was a smattering of going out at night and trying to do stuff during the day. I actually went kayaking! The husband has wanted to do it forever and I’ve always been reticent because I’m so pale. I finally gave in and it was actually a lot of fun. Very hot and sweaty, though. And I definitely got a lot of sun… We went to the beach, late in the day, so Eva could experience the sand and ocean! She wasn’t very thrilled… but it was still a next experience to share with her.

Evangeline and her grandpa dressed up like pirates and spent some time downtown walking around. People were constantly stopping them and wanting pictures of her. She looked adorable! We got a chance to go out on our own some more and that was fun, though I worried about leaving Eva with the grandparents. They’re not usually good about respecting how pale I am versus the sun… but they did well with Evangeline.


I finally got another chance to visit the Dolphin Research Center and holy crap, has it changed! It’s awesome. They have a splash pad now and a neat little garden. They’re remodeling the visitor’s center, too. I was thrilled to show Eva the dolphins! She squealed and pointed when they jumped. It was a really fun time, we spent several hours there. I even played with her on the splash pad a bit, though I wished I had known about it beforehand… I would have had our bathing suits handy instead of being all packed up. We stopped on our way out of the keys as we headed towards our hotel outside of Miami.


The trip home ended up being way simpler than the one we took to Miami, so that was nice. Eva did a really good job on the plane. I nursed her to keep her calm and she usually slept, unless the plane failed to get going (like when we had the maintenance issue.) Plane rides are definitely stressful now, though. No more leisurely reading and passing the time by, sigh.


Even though the visit was fraught with tension and issues, it was still nice to be in Key West and to have Evangeline experience all the things we love for the first time. Any time I was having a rough time, I just looked at her. The expressions on her face and the wonderment she had at everything just made it all seem pointless. Even now, I don’t even really feel like focusing on the bad. I’d much rather chronicle the good. Although, I will say, I was definitely disappointed in my Aunt’s visit. She’s usually a lot of fun to be around, but this time… yikes. Husband thinks it’s because her business is failing and she’s super stressed out. Whatever it is, the crazy needs to go back in the box. It was like vacationing with my mother. I am glad she got to spend time with Eva, though.

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.


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.


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.

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.

Eight Months

Eight Months


I can hardly believe it. Evangeline is 8 months old! How is this even possible? Where did my little baby go? She’s really trying to be mobile now, but still hasn’t quite achieved it. She’s frustrated that she can’t just get on her belly and crawl. That’s what happens when you hate being on your tummy! She’s trying, though. I’m a little scared that it’s going to happen soon…

She’s babbling and saying things like mumumum and dadada, though not with any discernible consistency. Mostly she just goes, “mumumum!” when she’s crying and will randomly, but very clearly, say, “Dada!” She’s too focused on trying to figure out how to get places to figure that stuff out, I think, heh.

She’s still wearing her 6 month clothes, but I’ve got a few 6 to 9 months in there. I think we’ll need to switch her pajamas out soon, at least a few of them, as they’re tight on the length of her legs. The 9 month ones seem huge, though. I guess we went through that when she was turning 5 months, too…


Mum was up over the 4th of July weekend. They arrived Saturday and left before noon on Monday. It was a short visit, but she got to spend time with Eva. It was difficult. Mum was being very erratic and just kind of mean, without really intending to be, due to her “issues”… but I did a great job of just dealing with it. We didn’t have fights like last time. I was just super stressed out afterwards. We spent almost an entire day at the mall on Sunday and Eva did amazing! Not one meltdown or fussy episode! I was so proud of her.

Mum got to see the daycare on Monday, too, as I called off work. I needed to just mentally rest after the visit and I’ve been feeling weird about leaving Evangeline, too. I think I’m just responding to her being extra clingy lately. She’s going through another “leap” and is really intent on trying to move around. She’s not sleeping great at night, she usually ends up in bed with me… though she’ll randomly do awesome and just sleep in her own bed, too. I can’t figure it out so I just say she’s going through something, haha. I’m sure it’ll pass.

It’s been so awful and rainy here that our photos got rescheduled three times and now they’re scheduled for August. I was really upset, as I wanted to get photos for her 1st birthday, too, if these turned out great. I guess I just have to buck up and deal if I want my outdoor photos…

Breastfeeding is still going well, Eva was going crazy with solids, but she seems to have scaled back lately and returned to being a boob fiend. Pumping at work still sucks and I can’t wait until I’m done! Four more months, but that also means my baby will be an entire year old and I don’t think I’m ready for that at all!

I keep thinking back to last year and where I was, mentally, then. It’s such a stretch. It’s so weird to see pictures of myself pregnant. All of it seems so very far away now, like it happened an eternity ago. It’s like looking at a different person and in a way, I was an entirely different person then! I’m glad I kept the pregnancy journal, though. It’s interesting to look at now…

5 Months

5 Months

How is it even possible that my sweet little baby is already five months?! That’s just madness. Even though it feels like an eternity ago that I gave birth to her, I’m constantly stunned by how quickly she’s growing. Week to week, things change with her. She went from just sort of sitting in her bouncer or her playmat to actively engaging it. She’s gone from guilelessly swatting at things to moving her hands with a purpose and reason, rarely ever missing her target. It’s astounding!

She’s started sitting up, or trying to, at least. She put her hands in my Chinese food Sunday, which was hilarious! She even made a little growly noise when she did it, ha! The husband’s birthday was Sunday, so we did a bunch of fun stuff and had a good day. We ended it with a dinner at a fancy steakhouse–The Chophouse–which cost a ridiculous amount but was worth it because the husband was thrilled. Eva was a little fussy,  but she survived. I nursed in public (with a cover) again, at the table, and at the Chinese restaurant. I’m getting braver. Yay!

We took pictures of her in her cute Easter dress that my dad and his wife bought her, but she was fussy. I want to get some more of her outside, but the weather isn’t cooperating. We had a nice day Saturday, but spent it doing a lot of yardwork and whatnot. Evangeline did great and hung out in the shade. She sat in her bouncer and played with toys.


She’s changed so much since the whole newborn phase. We’re pretty sure she’s started teething, as she’s gnawing on everything. Her sleep pattern is still all wonky, which sucks. I hate that she’s in turmoil, but I also kind of miss my “guaranteed” hours of relaxation in the evening, heh. But it’s all okay. The only real frustration I have is with the husband and we’ve discussed that–he’s trying to help out more.

It’s pretty amazing how much Evangeline has changed me as a person. All my old worries and anxieties seem so pointless now. While I still have social anxiety, it’s even more moderated than before. It’s barely there now. Everything just sort of pushed itself aside when she arrived. I still worry sometimes, and the husband and I are still stumbling through some things in our journey of trying to be parents… but overall, things are going a lot better than I anticipated.

I’m driving, I’m more independent than ever, and I’m not frightened, really, of anything. I’m sure I would have reached this point eventually on my own if I worked at it, but motherhood seems to have forced me to cast aside all my neuroses. Which is just fine with me! The bonus is I get this sweet little thing to brighten my days…


We’re ‘officially’ visiting my family Memorial Day weekend. We’ll only be there Saturday through Tuesday. It’s going to be… interesting. I’m honestly not looking forward to it, but it is what it is. It’s necessary. I’m sure I’ll be happier once it’s actually happening… at least I hope I will. It’s important for Eva to meet the rest of her family, though. I definitely want her to meet my grandparents while that’s still an option. I’m just sort of over my dad and his ridiculous detachment.

Looking back a year ago, I’m amazed. I was sick and miserable; I was scared; I was uncertain. I begrudged every step forward. I cowered in fear of the unknowns that loomed before me. A year later and here I am, I could never have pictured it or imagined it. It’s so far beyond anything I could have anticipated. I’m grateful. I’m blessed. I try to remember that when silly things try to plague me.

We’re still battling sickness with Eva, which sucks, but it could be worse… so much worse. Eventually, it will end. Her immune system will beef up. Until then, it’s stuffed noses and coughs. Once she gets better, she goes right back to being sick, sigh. Again, though, I am blessed. It could be worse.

It’s amazing how your perception and priorities change once you become responsible for someone else.