1. I know I'm totally behind the eight ball on this (what does that even mean anyway?), but I would be remiss if I didn't mention how happy I am with the choice of our new Pontiff. It's wonderful to have a "Father" again! I think we all felt a little longing when we were without one for a while. It definitely was an interesting time in history, though. To think that when Clara was born, she was born under Pope Benedict XVI. When she was baptized, there was NO Pope! And when she was just over a month old, we had Pope Francis!
When I heard the news that we had a new Holy Father, some friends texted me and I immediately felt a sense of peace. Shaun & I both have a strong devotion to St. Francis (thus why Clara was named after his first female follower). When I saw his face for the first time I knew right away I "liked it". I liked the look of him. He looked "kind" and "humble". Then when I heard his voice, I cried. I couldn't help it! Were you this way too?
I feel once again that the Holy Spirit truly knows the needs of the church and the world at this time and has chosen a good Father to guide us. God is so good.
2. Little Miss Ava Marie turns 18 months today! One and Half... sheesh. Where did the time go? I have the unique perspective of looking at her "twin" all day long and thinking of how fast she changed from this little peanut to the beautiful little girl she is today.
My Ava... Oh, my Ava... She's a total "ham" and keeps us laughing all day long. She is super friendly when we go out into stores and waves to everyone she meets... everyone. She still has a side of her that takes a few minutes to warm up to new people though. She gives them the "look" and checks them out from head to toe first.
She has a mind of her own for sure. Since she's going through that "noisy/active" phase that every toddler does (but isn't yet old enough to know what "quiet" means), she often is the center of attention at church singing or talking at the top of her lungs. When Shaun "took her for a walk" last Sunday night (we went to an evening mass to be able to attend as a family... but it falls very close to her bedtime) because she was chatting away, she persisted in yelling "Ma-ma! ma-ma... MA-Maaaaa" the whole way out. I couldn't keep a straight face and found myself laughing, shoulders shaking, while trying to keep my head down. Glad to know it wasn't just me as I heard a ripple of laughter start to swell through the entire "full" church at every "ma-maaaaa". Oh my.
Ava has a super super sweet side to her and overall is still the very good little girl she's always been. She is helpful and compliant most of the time and love love loves her sister. She's very protective of her (if only someone would protect her from an overloving Ava... oh, that's right... that's MY job) and sings to her and covers her up, washes her feet and belly super gently when they take their baths together, brings her most favorite toys to share with her, and is overall another little doting mommy. She also seems very understanding when the baby needs more attention. If she hears the baby cry while I'm putting her to bed, she'll look up at me and say "baby!" and point towards the door. Though I usually rock her to sleep, when she hears Clara, she'll give me a kiss, crawl into her crib, lie down with her blanket and say it again "my baby" and point towards the door as if to say "Go take care of my sister, Mommy. I can go to sleep myself now." ...and she does. Without one complaint.
3. She was loving the Feast of St. Joseph! I think these pics say it all...
(my sentiments EXACTLY!)
There were no "Zeppolas" at our local bakery so I had to get what was "close enough".
These reminded me a bit of them with the cream and the cherry on top, but included a chocolate filling instead (sort of like little chocolate cream pies)... so there were no complaints here!
4. We FINALLY finally fin.al.ly... got our permit to do our gutting on our "new/old" house! It feels like it's been forever and there have been so many hoops to jump through (I can't even begin), but it's finally here. I think I'll make a poster for it before I hang it in the window at the house. Hopefully the house will be totally gutted by Monday and then we can put the new windows in.
5. Daddy's been working like crazy (every day for almost a month), but still makes time for his girls, no matter how tired he is...
...and still surprises me with beauties like these on a regular basis!
6. Ava's favorite playmate! She just LOVES her Nana! ...and as you can see... Nana loves her.
Honestly? Thank God for my Mom, who lives just 3 streets away and has been coming over daily to help me. I know she isn't spread thin with multiple grandchildren like some grandparents are, so we're a little... ok a lot spoiled.
She gets spend special time with Ava in the morning and as she knows that I haven't been sleeping much, she gives me some "rest in" time in the morning when the baby finally sleeps, so I'm not a complete zombie. She also is a bit of a clean-a-holic and I happily have let her loose on my home! How lucky am I??? Ava helps out by reimbursing her with plenty of priceless memories. I haven't heard my Mom laugh so much in years.
7. Lately Shaun and I have been like two ships passing. If he gets home "early" it's usually just in time to spend a few minutes with Ava playing with her, reading her a story, saying her prayers, singing to her and putting her to sleep (it's their special time). By the time he puts her to sleep, he's ready himself after getting up at 3 or 4am and heads up to bed himself for "not enough sleep ever". This is usually Clara's "Party time" and she wakes up for the night until... somewhere between 2 and 4am (lately closer to the 4am end). Because I dont' want to keep everyone up, I stay downstairs with her and end up sleeping on the couch. Shaun gets up at this time and comes downstairs to give me a kiss before heading to work for the day. See... two ships passing.
I've known it's "only temporary" till her stomach can hold enough milk to let her sleep through the night and therefore I sleepily cherish these times with her because even though I'm tired, I waited so long for my babies and was given such sweet ones that I cannot be upset about spending time with a little girl who wants nothing but Mommy right now.
Still... I was needing some more rest.
SOoooo Clara surprised me last night with... get this... SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!
At 9pm she was sleeping "like a baby" IN her bassinett and though I expected her to be up by 11pm I crawled into my OWN bed and actually got a great nights sleep. She was up at 4am... glorious 4am! And after nursing went back to sleep so I could actually spend a few moments with my husband before he headed out into the snowy, spring morning! I found myself awake and refreshed... and ready to blog about it with delirious joy! Thanks be to God that all is right in
Happy Baby... Happy Mommy!