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We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.

The Happy Couple...

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers

Ava Marie

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Clara Rose

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Gabriel's ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Twins ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Pregnancy tickers

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Baby Love... My Baby Love...

I know it's St. Valentine's Day and nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like a little cupid to love! 

I don't have a lot of time to "post" but the new little Miss Clara Rose Fullen is sleeping beside me and the "seems SOoooo BIG now" BIG sister Ava (how did she get that huge?) has headed to bed with Nana, so I thought I'd post a short video of my new "baby love" for you all (this was the day after she was born "pre-bath"). 

I plan on responding to everyone and have plenty of pictures to post, but it's not all that "comfortable" at the computer chair/desk right now (if you've ever given birth... you get it), so this is all you get! ;) Well that ...and a million thank you's to everyone, especially those who "prayed" me through labor. I was praying for you through those wonderful contractions and praying afterwards in thanksgiving for the the strength I gained from your support. Will fill everyone in soon. For now... I'm just loving her... and boy is she one EASY baby to love...

Monday, February 11, 2013


Clara Rose Fullen

10 lbs 3.9oz  and
21.5 inches long
Born on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes at 12:39 am!

(It's Colleen here, reporting live from Massachusetts)

Mama is doing awesome:

And big sister, Ava, is so excited:

The Fullen Family is complete (for now!):

I'm sure Marijanna will post all about her birth story later, but for now she is enjoying her sweet girls.  Congrats!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Looks like today might be the day!  Keep me in your prayers.  Heading to Mass & then off to the Hospital!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Baby Fullen's having a party!

Ok... this baby girl is SOoooooo ACTIVE today!  Usually she sleeps practically all day.  Can you all say a prayer she holds out for a little longer???  I'd really LOVE it if she can wait until after the storm has totally passed and the roads are in a bit better shape?  Thanks everyone!

...if she DOES decide to come today, though... I'll keep you "posted" ;)

What I woke up to this morning! *UPdated*

So... I've always loved the snow.  As I've gotten older I haven't always loved the shoveling, driving, danger, inconvenience, Ccccccold part of it, but I HAVE always loved how beautiful it is and watching it fall.  I've become lazy in my pregnancy and never don't always take Miss Ava out in it when we only get a little, but today it looks like the child who never goes out to play in the snow woke up dropping some serious hints.
She grabbed the nearest hat...

Ditched my flip flops for her new snow Boots...

And walked around all morning in her footie sleeper (and fancy sweater) trying to tell me, "Mommy... these go on my feet!...
...Time to go out and play???"
I told her "after nap time".  I mean... look at that face!  Could YOU say no?
We have a tradition of making "Linguica and Eggs" for breakfast on snowdays.  It was an "established tradition" even before we were married and we've kept it since.  Shaun made linguica & cheese omelets for breakfast with some sweetbread toast (can you say "Portuguese"?)

and I've decided to chill out on the couch today and NOT try to do anything that would put me into labor!

Baby girl is having a party today in my belly!  NO concerns about her moving enough today.  I think she liked the linguica and am hoping that she's just readjusting in her little apartment and has no plans of making an appearance until the storm has passed.  She can dance all she wants till then.

Took a few photos of our windows and doors (couldn't open the front door to take a pic down the street) that are plastered with snow...
 Front door

 Back door
 Street scene from the window
Window overlooking the backyard

 Shot of neighbor's
...and our wintery back yard!  (Tops of both of those trees broke, but that's it so far)  Actually doesn't look like much, but I think we got somewhere around 18"-2ft so far.
We said a prayer to St. Scholastica and our Ave Maris Stella last night and entrusted our care to Our Lady last night.  I honestly never worry because I know our home is enthroned and part of the promises of home enthronement are for protection from storms.  We are always well taken care of.  Didn't even lose power, thanks be to God.  Thank you everyone for the prayers for our safety here!

Here's a video from the front porch of Shaun snowblowing (thank goodness it started right up).  Took me a moment to realize he was actually clearing out the neighbors 1st!  What a good hubby/neighbor!


Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. It's been a stressful week with getting everything taken care of at the new/old house and trying to get ready for the storm.  We had to go by yesterday and cover all the ground and dumpster before the snow fell.

We feel we've done all we can to prepare and try to correct all the "problems" that have arisen this week.  Now I've set them all aside, given them back to God and refocused on my family & babies.

2.  This morning before the weather got too bad I headed to the hospital for another "non-stress test" and was happy to finally hear her heartbeat and finally feel her move a little bit while the machines were strapped on.  All seems well so far.

INCREDIBLY unflattering preggo pics, but we're keeping it real!

3.  Hopefully she'll ride out the storm and come AFTERwards!

4.  This storm is definitely bringing babies for SOME people, though!  My good friend, Erin welcomed her first earlier today!  I told her that she'll have a great story to tell.  Look at this beautiful face! 

Please offer a little prayer for momma & baby that everyone is "perfect" and ready to go home right after Nemo passes!

5.  On Wednesday, Colleen and I went out for pedicures to help relieve the stress and get at least ONE part of me looking pretty for delivery!  It was very nice to have some time with her.  Even though we live close, we both are so busy that we don't always get a chance to do things like this!

I was excited when she invited me because I had a gift certificate for a pedicure... but then when we were leaving, I realized I didn't have any cash for a TIP, so I paid in quarters... lots of quarters... poor Colleen was so embarrassed that she was laughing "I don't know her!" from the seat next to me!  Sorry Colleen!  Love me anyway?

6 & 7... I don't have time for a 6 and 7 right now because my husband just delivered me a banana split and said, "Get off the computer and come watch a movie".  Sorry friends.  Gotta go.  Ice cream and the hubby are calling!  Stay safe and warm in the storm!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Time's a ticking... and a storms a coming.

So this little baby is turning out to be much like her Mum so far.  Not too "punctual" (no matter how hard I try) and loving to sleep.  Tomorrow I have an appt at the hospital and with the midwife following a non-stress test.  I'm always relieved when I get to hear her heartbeat and find out all sounds ok.  She's a smarty pant's, though and a bit like her "non-confrontational" Daddy in the sense that she probably knows that this week has been one FULL of stresses and it's best she stay right where she is until the "storm" has passed.

I've been meeting with a lot of asbestos contractors and literally been living on the phone and driving back and forth between meetings at the house trying to take care of this "asbestos" situation at the new/old house.  FINALLY found a good contractor who had all the licences he needed and a heart as well.  He gave us a HUGE financial break and even though the cleanup of the asbestos around the house and dumpster, etc... will still cost us thousands of dollars, his quote was much less than the others that we had recieved.  His thousands seemed like a deal compared to the other quotes. 

He was supposed to start the work this morning and all was set to go before the snowstorm hit tomorrow (and snowstorms bring babies, so I wanted to get everything squared away before I potentially went to the hospital too) ...and I was breathing a sigh of relief that the crew would have a perfect day to work on everything today... then I recieved a phone call last night from him saying that when he rushed back from Framingham (picking up supplies for the job) to get to city hall in time to get a permit for the work... someone caused some confusion to the point of him not being able to obtain the permit and the work had to be stopped for today. 

Someone from the office also made a comment to him about how they essentially knew all about who I was and how I was notorious for doing work without permits!  I don't know why they would say this!?  I honestly was so furious.  I know that nobody likes being talked badly about or lied about but that this "untruth" directly affected our ability to get work done and caused an entire crew of men to be out of work that otherwise would have been able to... was frustrating to say the least.  Turns out that the person who said this has never even met me nor have they ever been to our house.  I tend to have a pretty long fuse... but I was so upset last night that I couldn't sleep.

This morning I woke up feeling like no matter what I did someone was just going to cause problems for us.  I just wanted to cry.

Shaun was supposed to spend tonight with Cheyanne because we don't know when I'll have the baby & he'll probably be home for the weekend and I never like to take him away from visiting with her unless it's an emergency, but now we have to cover the entire dumpster and ground surrounding the house for 8 feet with plastic and tarps in order to protect the area, so that the men can come back after the storm and do their work.  If we don't do all of this... they might make us dig up the ground for 3" surrounding the entire house and our price that we were given will go up potentially dramatically

I don't understand why people who don't even know us are going through such trouble to cause problems for us.  My anger is subsiding to pity and I will pray for this person that their conscience is pricked to know that their words can really hurt others when spoken without proof.

All we wanted was to fix up a house in a safe area to raise our children in and to potentially help improve the city. 


Will you all please say a prayer that nothing else goes wrong and I can finally shift my focus where I'd love to be able to allow it to be?  On the birth of my new daughter and the joy she will bring to our family?  I feel so guilty that the last few days of just "Ava and I" have been so preoccupied with taking care of this mess instead of being able to just spend time with her and show her how much I love her, so she will not be so affected when I go to the hospital and am away from her for a few days.  Ok... now I really am crying.

I know I don't usually write a discouraging post like this.  I'm sure I'll be all better later today or by tomorrow, but I appreciate the prayers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday-The Surprise Edition

...that's actually Ava (check out the # on the scale.  What a 1st baby)!  I'm sorry.  I couldn't help myself.  In the midst of all this silly house stress, I needed to amuse myself at your expense. 
SOON, though... maybe for NEXT week's (Almost) Wordless Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Signing Time...

A friend let us borrow some "Signing Time" videos recently and Ava LOVES them! 

She has been so proud of all the new "signs" she's been learning (her favorite is "Baby" with "Dog" and "Shoes" being close seconds)  So far she knows how to sign:

  • Eat/Food
  • Water
  • Milk
  • More
  • Ball (well... she tries)
  • Bird
  • Dog
  • Fish
  • Want
  • Shoes
  • Flower
  • Mom
  • Dad (but she uses her pointer finger instead of her thumb)
  • Baby
  • Sleep (she's working on it)

She gets SO excited when she learns one and is super proud to show it off. 

Here are a couple of videos where she's "selectively" showing her skills.  The first one's longer, the second is pretty quick.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Due Date... *Updated*

(Taken just a couple of days ago...  I heard black was slimming ;)

TODAY... February 4th... our new little one was DUE.  The number on the ticker to the right says "O" days left, so every day hereafter I could blow. 
(If I showed the other side of my belly my stretch marks look like someone dragged a RAKE across me... oh well)
I know I haven't written in over a week, but it's partly because things have been so busy here and partly because I've developed sciatica down my left leg that seems to be brought on more by sitting at the computer seat.  When it really comes on I can barely stand, sit, walk or find a comfortable position, so blogging is out of the question.  At the moment I'm listening to Daddy sing Ava to bed over the monitor and feeling just well enough to try for a quick post.

First off... thank you to everyone whose been praying for me.  I am so appreciative and ask you to "keep it up".  She continues to be "quiet" most of the time but moves (or hiccups) just enough to keep me from going completely over the edge with anxiety about her well being. 

I still remain in "semi-denial" that I could deliver anytime.  I haven't even packed my bag yet.  Sheesh...  Shaun said to me tonight as I was driving to Home Depot, "Are you about to give birth?  Cause you're not acting like a lady who could give birth anytime" 

Today, we were in the middle of full blown gutting/demo work at the new/old house (you wouldn't BELIEVE how much they've done) and after meeting with a ton of contractors and plumbers and other types day after day... I decided to stay home and "take it easy" on my due date at least

And I did.

...Until I recieved a phone call from Shaun saying "We have bad news".   Apparently "someone" had called the state (not even the city, but the state) on us and said we were illegally disposing of asbestos in our dumpsters and there was a representative there at the house right now putting a "Stop order" on everything.  So I quickly got dressed (thought lounging in pj's was a possibility at least today) and headed over there to "put the fires out" as I knew we were doing no such thing.  We had been very careful to NOT do that very thing!

I'm not sure who reported this but we have our suspicions but I initially wasn't too concerned because we'd pulled permits on everything and tried to do it all the "right way".  Unfortunately, today of all days, some of the awesome guys there working had tried to be helpful (totally innocent) and had picked up some of the asbestos shingles that had broken off of the house (before we even purchased it) and started "cleaning up" and tossing them into the dumpster.  This woman from the state was evidently parked down the street watching them work and waiting for just such a thing... and at that moment swooped in and shut everything down. 

"ghaaaa" *Marijanna slaps forhead*

As of right now, all the work has come to a complete standstill until we can find a "lead/asbestos abatement contractor" to come and empty out the entire dumpster and pick out each piece of asbestos that may have been tossed in there (and wrap it in plastic and toss it back in... evidently that's much better) and pick each piece up from the yard, etc...  to the tune of thousands more dollars...

We also need to have all the lead paint addressed (which we planned to at a later point when we were able to get a loan for more funds... but now we need to do it NOW) that may be on the house.  We went by with lead test kits after she left and it looks like everything inside the house is NOT lead (ie: anything that was thrown in the dumpster), but the window frames outside the house might have been painted with lead paint and therefore need to be removed by a lead specialist... so no new windows can be installed in the house until then... and the windows are so old that some were literally blowing out of their frames into the house and shattering... thus the need to replace them... and soon.

We also found old "knob and tube" wiring when we began gutting that had been made to appear like updated electrical. 

I had a feeling something like this was behind the walls and that is why I was so happy to buy an old house and take it apart and put it back together the right way.  We had an electrical fire when I was 13 and our whole house had burned down due to a shortage in the walls, so I'm extra cautious about stuff like that lurking behind "pretty walls".  Just today Shaun had said we needed to call an electrician right away to come and remove that and rewire the house, but the woman from the state said we couldn't even remove it because there are a few sections that are wrapped in an "insulation" (that black section on the right) that might contain asbestos, so until we can hire a specialist to test it... we can't remove the old wiring either. 


Please say a prayer that we find someone soon... who's good... and not very expensive.

I guess I should say that I'm thankful that the baby did not come today because it might have been a BIT more difficult for me to take care of all of this while I was giving birth.

Still... as for the new baby?  We're very excited she's coming and can't wait to meet her after a safe, quick and painless delivery! 

One can wish, right????  Right???

Oh... and for those of you who are wondering what happened with the showing of our other house?  The day before he was supposed to come it all fell through.  Which is ok.  Maybe God knew that adding "moving in 28 days" to my "to do list" would be a little much. 

Thanks God.  YOU are the best!

*UPDATE* After a long day of MANYphone calls and meeting asbestos removal contractors at the house, So far additional costs with the new asbestos issue (not even including the possible lead) is around $9000 and quickly climbing... *sigh* ...looks like we'll be staying in our old house for quite a bit longer...