For some reason, those 1st 3 or 4 months are a doozy and full of baby loving... and lack of sleeping...and getting back into the "groove-ing". I still feel behind the eight ball (what exactly does that mean by the way?) but wanted to post a few "catch ups" before heading to bed tonight at a decent hour.
For quite a while little Clara has been a total night owl and kept me up as late as 5am.
I'd go through the whole day with Ava and Clara...
watch Shaun come home from work...
go through the evening...
watch Ava go to bed...
watch Shaun go to bed...
listen to them both sleeping on the monitors for hours...
listen to Shaun wake up for work...
and finally have a baby who was ready to sleep.
Soooo I'd kiss him good-morning/goodnight/good-day at work and head to bed.
Two or Three hours later Ava would wake at her usual time to start the day. She's a great sleeper, but UGH. Add weeks of sickness to our home and you had a recipe for one super tired mommy.
Though it really was special special time with Clara, it was tough and I knew it (and I) couldn't (and wouldn't) go on forever.
She seemed to know it too, so I have to say "thanks be to GOD!" (and to all of you who have been praying for this intention) that our little Miss Clara Rose is finally starting to head in at a more decent hour (anytime before midnight is wonderful). She usually goes up now around 11:30 and stays asleep (whereas earlier attempts only marketed a catnap and a baby ready to party "one more time"). Tonight she even went up in bed by 10:30!!! (Thus my ability to sit down and write a "catch up post")
Thank you Clara.
Thank you God.
Thank you all you pray-ers who prayed for a little more sleep in the Fullen home... it's working.
During my out of the loop-ness, I didn't get to post about Shaun's Birthday! So glad to celebrate another one with him. We do "birthday-WEEK's" in our house to help spread out the celebration and take the stress out of getting it all in one day.
Ava helped me bake his cake this year!
1st we wash our hands...
Read the directions...
(can't leave out her sister!)
Get SO excited we're baking for DADDYYYYY!!!!
Add the ingredients...
Mix it all up with determined concentration...
Get all proud that we've gotten this far...
Mark it with a "D" (for Daddy)...
And put it in the oven for BABY and ME!
What are you looking at? You would have done the same thing!
"LOVE-ing" birthday wishes...
(What you don't see behind the scenes is that it took like 3 days to get the cake finished, frosted, and find an evening where Shaun was home early enough for Ava to have cake before bedtime.)
The same weekend as his birthday, we celebrated Mother's Day! It's so great to be able to celebrate this as an actual "Mom". We were all getting over long lingering colds and I was given the great and much needed gift of "sleeping in" that day and
was more cherished than any other gift I could have received.
Later on that day we went to the Zoo with the girls for the first time.
(Ava making the elephant sound and raising her "trunk")
The ducks had just had their babies!
We were watching the seals.
Here, Ava's signing "Cat" when she saw the bobcat.
"Moo" for the camera!
We saw lots of different animals (too many to picture here) and Ava had so much fun. Best of all, it was FREE! Our local libraries offer free passes to the zoos and museums if you reserve them and we had gotten passes and were finally able to go. It's just big enough for her!
Upon our return I made a simple book for Ava with 4x6's and a couple of jump rings to help remember our trip.
Ava has suddenly grown into such a "big girl". I forget sometimes that she's little older than 1 1/2 as she seems so much older sometimes. She's really funny and has such a great well rounded personality. Best of all, she's such a GREAT sister to her baby. Every morning merits a big smile and a genuinely excited "HI BABY!" with a great big kiss. Clara now responsively smiles at Ava and watches her every move. I hope they will be great friends.
Here's a video from this morning. Forgive the "immodest" Shaun, but it was like 90+ degrees in the house and no one was around (except for the video camera). He's going to LOVE that I posted his farmer tan. You can see that Ava will leave Clara out of NOTHING, though.
Clara's getting so big as well. She loves to eat and nurses a ton but the chunky, pinch-able legs are totally worth it and that rosy grin ...oh I just can't get enough. She's rolling over easily now and tries to push herself up with her feet to a crawling position. I put her down in one spot and turn around to find her someplace else. She has places to go for sure! She does WAY more stomach crunches than mommy and is eager to sit up and stand up. She loves to be held and smile and squeal and giggle. She is the epitome of baby cuteness and is rewarded for it with bottomless kisses. We just love this little Ava look alike!
(this is Ava at the same age)
Check out this...
Which one's Ava?
Which one's Clara?
Which one's Ava?
Which one's Clara?
I gave hints, but there's such a strong similarity, huh?
It's at a standstill. After the asbestos cleanup episode, we found ourselves nearly $10,000 behind what we'd planned and have simply run out of money at this stage of the game. Still we were able to do a lot of important work to get the house sound and dry and a new roof, new windows and a dry basement are an improvement. Nobody likes spending a ton of money on stuff you won't necessarily "see" and that doesn't make the house much "prettier" but it's important stuff, so ...so be it.
We did take some great birdhouses that Shaun's Uncle Dave had given us and hung them at the house.
(These are not ours)
They're all moved in and the birds are loving them. Ava loves to visit the house and dig in the dirt and boy is there plenty of dirt.
We did plant a few flowers in the back but have no water to water them with, so mother nature will have to help them have a fighting chance.
Speaking of Uncle Dave, we had a lovely visit with him and Shaun's, Auntie Louise today. They are too funny those two and in some ways are the older version of Shaun & I. Uncle Dave is kind and quiet, hard of hearing with a simple, sweet and generous heart (like my Shaun) and Auntie Louise is the gracious, lively chatty one, always welcoming who brings a lot of fun and laughter wherever she goes. I'm definitely the talker of Shaun & I. We love living close enough to visit them.
Auntie Louise is also one of my biggest "blog-fans" of the family. I always think no one really reads it, but she always tells me that I should write a book or a newspaper column. Who wouldn't want to be around someone who validates you like that?
See what I mean?
Spring always makes me want to get out and grow things! Today we went to the cemetery where Shaun's grandmother and grandfather (whose home we live in) are buried and planted some flowers.
We were LONG overdue. We used to go all the time, but haven't been in a few months. We both felt the need to return. We make it like a little picnic.
Cemetery's can be lovely places to visit. They remind you of what's most important and are usually beautiful, peaceful places to spend a while visiting, praying, planting. We prayed a rosary before we left, the girls fell asleep in the car and we called it a day.
We've been doing a lot of planting at our house (the one we live at) too. I'll post on that soon as I think it deserves it's own little blog moment, but hopefully all is going well in your worlds and thank you for being patient while our life shifted gears for a bit! ...uh and through this LOooong blog post (gotta get it in while I can).