Wow, Just… Wow

It’s so hard to believe that it’s October again already. At this time last year, I was uncomfortable, horribly pregnant, and a little bit nervous about what was about to happen. We were taking the birthing class, looking at cars, and scrambling around trying to get everything ready for Evangeline’s arrival. I had zero idea what to expect. It’s almost laughable how little I knew. Like, there was absolutely no way of truly knowing, but the change between now and then is just crazy!

Evangeline is moving around like a champ now. She’s trying to pull herself up onto things. She still refuses to crawl, although if put on her belly, will do an ineffectual crawl backwards… which then just results in her getting really angry about it, haha. I’m both excited and anxious about her walking. It will be so awesome to see her toddle around, but it opens up so many more issues with danger and trying to make sure she’s safe. It will also mean that she is truly no longer a baby

She’s been in her crib for three weeks now. The first week was rough, but towards the end, she really seemed to get it. She was so happy because she was sleeping well. We had a bit of a slip-up this week, but we’re working through it. I hate seeing her miserable and tired. Giving her the opportunity to well and truly sleep has really changed things with her baby rage and actually being able to set her down. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m confident it will get better. I’m still waking up once or twice in the night to nurse her, so I’m not really getting more sleep… but she is. That’s what’s important.

My grandmother has lost sight in one eye. They’re not sure of the cause. I’m trying to figure out a way for us to go to Pennsylvania for a quick, short trip before we leave for Key West at the end of the month. It’s going to be a busy end of the year…

I’m also trying to prepare for Evangeline’s 1st birthday. We’re not doing anything huge, but we are having family gather. I want her to have a little cake to destroy. I plan on getting some decorations/etc. It won’t break the bank, but I want her to have pictures to look back on fondly and I want her to experience new things like cake.

Things, in general, are going okay. It’s still an adjustment, even almost a year later. It’s amazing how much changes. Sometimes, I get pretty down and feel like I’ll never be the way I was before. It’s okay, though. I’m just really bad with change. I’m not going to lie, I certainly miss video games–I miss being able to play them whenever and for however long I wanted. Now, even if I do get the opportunity, I don’t play very long because I feel guilty. I need to get over that. Video games are how I decompress… and I’m slowly losing it, haha. My anxiety is super high lately and I’m having issues dealing with things. Since video games are usually unavailable to me… I’ve turned to shopping. I have a baby clothes addiction fueled by anxiety, sigh. It’s getting better. I’m addressing it.

Sometimes, I get so frustrated at myself when I remember back to my recovery time and maternity leave. There’s so much I could have done or should have done. I had plenty of time, but I was just so mentally out of it. Even though I can’t change it, and there’s really nothing to be done for it, it still frustrates me since my time is so limited now. I was just so overwhelmed and my hormones made me insane. Plus, I was in pain, and couldn’t take any pain medication… the ones they prescribed me were harmful to Eva and would go to her through my breast milk. It was a rough time. If I had known what I know now about breastfeeding, it would have been slightly easier… but how was I to know?

Breastfeeding is still going well. We cut down to three bottles at daycare to encourage Evangeline to stop snacking and instead take full meals when she’s with me. It’s helped a lot. Pumping is going okay, my automatic pump still isn’t working and I’m still using a manual one. I’m not getting as much as I was, but I’m trying to figure out if it’s just the natural progression of things or if the fact that I started working out a little after work has anything to do with it.

I’m hoping it’s not working out, as I feel like a total fatty. I’ve gained five pounds the last few months and now I’m at 150 lbs… which is less than before I lost weight and certainly less than when I was pregnant, but it’s still not great. My body refuses to shed weight easily due to breastfeeding, but I’m hoping exercise will help my mood and adjust my appetite back to normal a bit.

How weird to think that my next entry will likely be Evangeline’s eleven month post… yikes. How did we get here? How has this year flown by so fast? Hell, the past two years!

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!

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!

Busy, Busy

Busy, Busy

Things have been crazy busy. Life has found a routine, but the days pass by so quickly! Evangeline is growing like a weed. She’s so much bigger now than she was when I started work just a little over a month ago! Even the ladies at the daycare commented on it. It’s so hard. Everyone says it goes by so fast, but you don’t truly believe it until it’s happening.

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She insists on getting up with me in the mornings. I try to get her to sleep longer, but she wants to be awake! We’ve adjusted to her going to bed at 6, even though it sucks. At least we get the weekends with her, even thought they’ve been exceptionally busy lately! Last weekend, we went to visit the husband’s extended family two hours away. We went to see his maternal grandpa, who is currently in an assisted living facility. He’s got late stage Alzheimer’s.

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It was tough to see my husband so broken up over the loss of the man he used to know, but I’m glad we went. He needed to go there and Eva definitely needed to go! Even if she won’t remember it, we’ve got pictures to show her when she’s older. We stopped by his maternal grandma’s and also saw his paternal grandparents, as well. It was a very long day for Eva, starting at 10am! We didn’t even get home until around 7 or 8pm. Needless to say, that wasn’t a great night for sleep.

Eva’s still not sleeping reliably like she used to. The regression isn’t hitting us as hard as it has others, but it still sucks. I hate that she’s missing out on sleep and I certainly have some rough days at work thanks to less-than-stellar sleep the night before! This, too, shall pass… so I try not to get overly worked up about it. It could be much, much worse!

We think she’s started teething, so that could be causing issues, too. Poor thing.

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We spent Easter with the in-laws, which was nice. The father-in-law smoked a ham and the food was pretty tasty! Eva always loves seeing them, so she was quite happy. We didn’t stay long, we got there early and then got back home in time to do some stuff around the house. Okay, the husband did stuff around the house… Eva and I napped. We were both pretty beat and she doesn’t nap well when her grandma insists on bothering her when she’s sleeping!

My dad and his wife sent us an Easter dress, which I’ll be putting her in this week. Putting an infant in a fancy dress is just torture, so we’re just doing it for pictures. It’s really cute, though! I may just have them double up as her five month pictures. Ugh. I still can’t get over her turning five months! On one hand, it means we’ve made it five months with breastfeeding… which is awesome! On the other hand, my baby is growing up so fast. :(

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The husband has really stepped up. I’m so glad he’s more involved now. I understand how difficult it must be to focus on a newborn, but for me, I didn’t have a choice. It was hard then, and I regret not doing some things better. I regret not setting aside my difficulties and just enjoying those moments with her. You really, truly have no idea how quickly they’re gone until it’s over.

We’re reading to her now and still trying to go forward with teaching her French. I’m not sure how well it’s going to work, but we’re trying! Evenings are filled with playing with her while also trying to get things done. Once she’s asleep, the husband and I relax. It’s a quiet, but good routine. Going back to work has made me a better mother, as I figured it would. I’m just not cut out for the stay-at-home mother gig!

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It’s so crazy to look back and know that at this time last year, I knew I was pregnant, but I had no idea that this sweet little face was growing inside of me. I was scared and miserable. I’ll never forget those rough first months, but I hope that I also never forget when I first saw her and those confusing, but exhilarating first moments that I held her. Those first days in the hospital, everything was just so surreal. I continually recommit everything I can to memory, hoping that it doesn’t fade and that I never forget the details.