Victor’s Memorial Dinner

Victor's Memorial Dinner

My husband’s maternal grandpa passed away last month and his family declined to have a viewing or a funeral. Instead, they gathered for a dinner in his honor at one of his favorite restaurants. It was really awesome to see everyone all together in one room. Husband’s grandma did not attend because she’s a bit odd and refuses to leave her house.

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It worked out, because she would have just caused trouble. My husband’s estranged cousin was there with her partner. I was happy to finally meet her, as she was one of the few people my husband was close with in his family. He still speaks of her highly. She was awesome, as was her girlfriend. We’re hoping to make a trip up to Columbus to see them at some point!

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Evangeline loved it. She got passed around and fussed over for the hours that we spent there. Husband made a slideshow that everyone loved. All in all, it was a good little event. I loved seeing Eva with hub’s cousins! It’s so nice to have family around. I really miss the closeness of my own family, but certainly not their dysfunction. His family is just so… disjointed and separated. Everyone is like their own little solar system. Very rarely do they come together.

It cracks me up that Evangeline loves Chris’ cousin-in-law. She will reach for him just like she does grandpa. This was only her second time meeting him, too. If she wasn’t with grandpa, she was with him!

We stopped by husband’s grandma’s house before leaving. I ended up falling down her stairs while holding Evangeline, but thankfully there were no injuries. I threw myself backwards to protect her from hitting the railing since as my foot caught the carpeted edge of the step and slipped, my ankle twisted and sent me there. Husband did not come check on us, which I’m still quite pissed about, but I’ve already talked to him about that.

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I did get a sweet photo of Evangeline playing on his grandma’s mother’s piano, though. She loved it!

Evangeline will be 15 months on the 12th. It’s hard to believe. She’s walking more now, saying words, and just being very exploratory! It’s so fun to watch her learn and discover new things. We’ve definitely found out that she’s not a fan of snow. We bought her a snow suit last week and put her in the snow, where she cried and flailed until we removed her.

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I really hope it grows on her. I love playing in the snow. I even tried to build her a tiny snowman, but she was having none of it!

She’s started waving hi and bye, as well as saying them. She mimics sounds when we do them. She points at things and wants to know what they are. She’s very curious. I taught her how to high-five, so she loves doing that, haha. She’s still nursing, though significantly less than ever. I think about four times a day on typical week days? She’s only on one bottle at daycare now. I’ll be done pumping very soon… and after that, bye bye breastfeeding. I’m going to try and let her naturally wean, but if she’s two and still at it, I’ll be taking steps to end it.

My period is back. I’ve been bleeding for weeks now. It’s getting quite annoying. My anemia returned after giving birth, so all this bleeding makes me weak. I’m over it.

We leave for Tampa on the 14th! I can hardly believe it. I’m really not looking forward to packing…

 

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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!