Yup. Another lengthy update to once more inform everybody that I am still alive.
Things have been up and down this winter, but pretty good for the most part. I'm finally working again! I'm a nanny for two girls up the road from me, and it's a decent paying, rather easy job. I cook, clean, help the girls with their homework, walk the dog and make sure the cat doesn't get outside, all while having Erynn with me. The hours are crazy, never the same from day to day, but I can't complain. Any form of an income is better then none at all, right?
Speaking of Erynn, the munchkin is doing very well. She's smarter every day, and is growing healthy. It amazes me how much she can talk now; she repeats almost everything people say. That's sometimes a good thing, and other times not so much. (She's dropped the F-bomb a couple of times, along with the B-word.. That was quickly taken care of, however.) She can climb up and down the stairs on her own now, using the railings rather then someone's hand as support. Aside from knowing her letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc., she's now learning now to sing! It makes me smile and flutter with joy when she tries singing along to Disney, Sesame Street, or Blue's Clues movies. Cutest, sweetest thing ever. Above all, she''' be two years old on April 5th! Boy, how time has flown.
On another note, the family is doing rather well. My sister is a dedicated volunteer at her church, which has helped her spiritually and mentally more then anything else. My brother has decided that he will enlist with the Navy by the end of the summer, giving himself enough time to lose the weight and get in better shape. My parents are out, as I type this entry, buying a new car. First new car in eleven years! They are getting another van, a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country, which is needed for a family of five adults and a toddler. I'm going to miss our 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan, but the old lady had roughly 372k miles on her-- with an engine and transmission replaced once each within the years we've owned her. My siblings and I "grew up in that van," as my mother put it. Some of our most meaningful conversations have taken place within that car, along with conversations with friends. As they say, "Out with the old and in with the new."
I, myself, am doing well. Since moving back in with my parents, I've managed to lose 15lbs. I know, it's not much since being back here since late summer, but it's still enough to start. I've finally started to change my diet and start exercising, typically just taking walks around the neighborhood. I am also in the process of quitting smoking! My parents and I made a pact of sorts that as soon as they brought the new van home, we would all quit. Well, here it goes. Wish me luck!
Brandon is still out of the picture, as far as Erynn goes. He's been home from his tour of duty since mid August, and he hasn't spent any more time with her since my last update. I'm finally deciding to put my foot down and say "enough is enough." Erynn is much better without him in her life at this point. I think I've done a decent job at raising Erynn as a single mother, although with help from my family. Why bother giving Brandon the chance to suddenly step in and try to co-parent when I've done all the parenting for the past two years? I can't think of a single reason why I shouldn't file for soul custody. Erynn may be his daughter by blood, but she is my daughter by blood, heart and spirit. I know it's going to be a nasty battle in court, but I'm prepared for it. I already have a lawyer waiting, and I file the paperwork this Wednesday, March 7th.
All in all, there isn't much else to update. Well... my second betta fish, Blackbeard, died a couple weeks ago. He somehow got dropsy, which is a very serious infection, despite making sure his tank was cleaned and treated on a daily-weekly basis. Moira, our cat, is doing well. Getting to be an old, lazy cat, but don't they all? I know I promised in my last entry to update my gallery, but this time I fully intend to post SOMETHING. Erynn is napping, so I have time to get a few things done. I hope everyone is doing well, and though I may not comment on a piece of art or a journal, or whatever else it may be, I am still here and I am still watching your activity. Love and hugs to all of you.
~Melanie/ Kei/ Cosmopolitan