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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, July 25, 2013


Linking up with Cari at Clan Donaldson for her "Theme Thursday" theme of "Askew" this week.  I've been meaning to post these pics anyway and this gives me a great excuse. 

This is "morning hair" in our house.  Isn't it awesome?  It's very "lion's mane-ish"

Though it definitely was the first thought that came to mind when I saw the theme "askew"

 (*note: poor Ava tripped face first into the wooden stair banister... thus the pink cheek/eye.  Perhaps she couldn''t see through the waves)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pigpen... I gave birth to pigpen.

Today we went to see Cheyanne play softball. 

At the first game, people commented on how cute my kids were.  Many people.  "You have two REALLY cute kids!"

Can you SEE why they commented?

At the second game people commented on how they needed a bath.  They'd say things like, "Ooooh.  Looks like SOMEBODY needs a tubby tonight!"

Wonder WHY? 

Because my daughter thinks she's pigpen.


It's like she had delirious "dirt-love". 

This is what happens when you skip the second NAP, people!!!

Here she is making "dirt angels"  (Ok, click on this.  You've got to see this closer.  She's SINGING in the dirt)

Here she is head standing in the dirt.

I don't have pictures of when she was laying down and lifting it with her hands and dropping it all over herself in dusty steady streaming happy piles.  (I tried to pick her up before it got into her eyes).

Here she is sitting happily (with a poopy diaper I later found out) complete with an ice cream face and chocolate donut crumbs ALL over her... and then she'd want to sit on me.  I was wearing black. 

What a mess.

My beautiful, happy, mess!

Now... let me explain because I realize the pictures don't exactly do it justice and she actually doesn't look QUITE as dirty in these photos as she in fact was.  This is softball field dirt.  Dirt with bugs crawling in it.  (I know this because Ava excitedly exclaimed "duds!!!")  Dirt with sunflower seed shells spit all in it from parent bystanders sitting on the bleachers.  SPITTY SUNFLOWER SEEDS and DUDS!!! 

But MY daughter was over-joyed.  OVER-JOYED!  LIKE she'd never seen dirt before in her life!!! Laying like she was on some sort of dirty high (makes me wonder what else was in it) similar to a cat rolled in catnip,  in that soft and happy dirt and pouring it ALL over herself over and over again.  She was the happiest little dirty kid I'd ever seen without ONE care for who was watching her or what she looked like.  She had no shame.

It was almost admirable.

"Hey kid.  You've got a little something on your face there."

But my oh my, the worst revelation of it all???

She's exactly like her mother. *sigh* Gotta love her.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday-The "Update on the Girls" edition

1.  Ava's sleeping, so I can try to do this "Quickly".  (revision, Ava WAS sleeping when I started this around 11am)  She got an air conditioner for her room last night and that seems to be helping with the naps.  Her poor beautiful room faces South which makes it sunny and bright, but also SUPER DUPER HOT HOT HOTTTT during heat waves.  The window fan just wasn't cutting it.

...speaking of.  She's officially been "big girl bed" kind of girl for over a month now!  SO so proud of her for giving up her crib to "La-La" (Her name for Clara)  She feels all special that Cheyanne gave her "her" bed.  IDOLIZES her big sister!

2.  Clara on the other hand has turned 5months and has gotten way too big for the bassinet and is a "big baby crib" kind of girl now.

 We wanted Ava to feel "promoted" to her new bed/room not "evicted" from her crib (which she LOVED), so we didn't move Clara in right away, so she wouldn't feel like she'd been forced out.  She's accepted it really well, now and though sometimes she still longs wistfully for her crib and even hangs out in there with Clara at times, she's moving on up. 

Ava was the perfect sleeper, so I knew we couldn't be that lucky twice, and Clara takes after her Mom who can fight sleep like nobody's business.  Still no real complaints because she's SOoooo much better than she was a couple of months ago.  All I have to think back on is going to sleep at 4:30 every morning for "The night" and I'm so grateful for anything.  She's typically in no later than 10:30, but as early as 8:30pm and sometimes she's up a couple times, but the air conditioner in Ava's room helped cool off the temp in Clara's room (which is across the way and if I leave the doors open it helps a little), so she slept like... a baby ...last night and woke all smiles this morning.

3.  Speaking of smiles.  "La-La" is the smiliest baby!  Ava was totally right when she dubbed her "happy baby" and she's a Sanguine child if ever I saw one.  Wish you could meet her and pinch her little legs... Ok, I'll do it for you.

4.  Clara's crawling officially!  She JUST turned 5 months on the 11th and has been working on it all of her 4th month getting ready.  I was talking to Colleen recently and said she'd be doing it by 5mo.  Who does she chase after?  Ava of course! 

She tried to stand up the other day and face planted on the wood floor (poor thing) and all I could think is "WHOA girl!  SLOooow it down!"

5.  Ava may or may not be "Potty training".  She's not quite 22 months yet (on the 22nd) but is definitely showing interest and has gone pee-pee on the potty already (to the excitement of ALL family members). 

I wasn't totally ready to potty train right now, but if she's ready... I'm going with it.

6.  This may be due to the fact that about a month and a half ago we started Cloth diapering.  I was shopping for diapers and saw some "one size" ones on Clearance (don't you just love that word?) at Target for about $7 a piece.  I knew this was wicked cheap as far as cloth diapers go (these ones were originally between $14 & $18 a piece) and picked up a few to try on Ava.  She's a big drinker, so I figured if they didn't leak, that'd be amazing.

They didn't leak.

It was amazing.

I did a little math and figured out that we would save about $2000 if they potty trained at 2yrs old and figured even if it was more work (which it is) it was worth the savings. 

I bit the bullet and went back to pick up enough diapers while they were on clearance to be able to cover both girls.  I started with just Ava because I had some disposables to use up for Clara and then just switched over to Clara when we had finished em' up.  I like that they both wear the same size.  They've been working out great and in about one more month I'll have evened out what I normally would've spent on diapers at that point anyway. 

SO... here we are!  I take all the diapers from the day and toss them in a stainless steel bin throughout the day (helps with odors).  At the end of the day when everyone's in bed I throw a load in the wash of all the diapers from the day (and in case you're wondering, it's not as gross as I had expected) and if I'm up doing stuff when it's time to throw them in the dryer, great, if not I toss them in the dryer in the morning and fold them when I'm sitting on the couch throughout the day.  I keep them upstairs and down and haven't run short at all.

I heard that Cloth diapering sometimes leads to earlier potty training because they can "feel" it more.  I definitely notice that Ava's more "aware" and lately she's been saying "diaper off" to sit on her potty chair.  She went pee pee a couple of days ago and we all did a little dance, gave her some chocolate chips and praised her up the wazoo. 

Now she asks a bunch of times a day to sit on the potty, but it seems that it's right AFTER she's pee'd, so she hasn't quite realized to ask before hand.  We're not pushing her, just encouraging and trying to give her lots of opportunities.  She's still really young. 

7.  I must really love my kids. 

Today Shaun called and asked if I wanted to go with him to see a Bon Jovi concert tomorrow night.  Someone he knew couldn't use their tickets and offered them to him.  We talked about it and looked at the time of the concert and realized that it was way before the girls bedtime and neither of them have been going to bed "easily" in this heat wave.  Clara also doesn't drink milk from a bottle except every once and a while, so I couldn't chance a "nightmarish" night at home for my Mom, so that we could go to a concert.

We found out later they were premium box seats with all you can eat drinks and food, free parking, etc...

Actually, this is the online description:
  • Exceptional sightlines and clear view of performance
  • VIP parking and private access*
  • Plush, padded and wide seats
  • Flat screen HD TVs, video walls
  • Upscale food and beverage options

We laughed about our "loss" later and said, "Well, I guess we're no worse off than we were in the morning."  Bummer, though.

Instead he took me on a nice date night tonight and the girls did us the favor of being on their most PERFECT behavior for Nana while we were out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

When "Making Memories" becomes dangerous!

This weekend we enjoyed some nice, quiet family time together.  It was mainly nice and quiet because poor Shaun hurt his back again and needed to spend some time giving it a break. 

Today we had a crazy amount of options as to what we could do as a family.  People to visit (his Mum had distant relatives visiting and invited us to come for the day).  Cheyanne had games all weekend (but we couldn't figure out when they all were).  We were asked to help volunteer at a booth for the Whaling City Festival.  There was a Portuguese Feast down the street we considered going to.  Shaun's monthly "prayer day" was also today.  We had a TON of house stuff to catch up on.  ...and more. 

We didn't do any of it.


I'm not complaining, as I've become a bit of a homebody anyway, and love simple quiet time with just the family, but the real reason was that his back was so bad we just needed to stay home.

As it was nearing the end of the day, it was hot and humid the thought of an oven on in the house, cooking dinner was just not feasible, so I had told Ava if she'd go right to sleep for her second nap (and I could get both babies sleeping for a bit) that we would take a quick trip to the beach when she woke up.

She did go right to sleep and a promise is a promise.  Shaun's back was feeling a little better and I had mentioned earlier that I thought a quick trip to the ocean and a picnic dinner would be a great way to "make some memories". 

Ava woke up first and Shaun was still sleeping with Clara, so we whispered our plan to sneek out to grab some supper "to go" while we tiptoed past a slumbering daddy and baby to let them catch a few more "Zzzzz's"

We came back and picked up the sleepy-heads to "make some memories".  The car was packed, but we had no bathing suits as this was a quick "picnic" beach trip.

Ava had other plans.
 (just look at her face)
 (*thinking* "he's distracted by the baby" "Psst... Clara?  Cover for me!")

We sat down to eat and she took no more than a few bites before she saw a potential playmate and she was off.  I could see her from where I sat, so no big deal.  She had eaten plenty throughout the day and I could tell the sand and water were beckoning to her.

After her playmate left she went running on the beach with Daddy as I packed up the car with anything I could put away, so we wouldn't have to do it later.

I quickly returned to see a happy daddy sitting on a rock with Clara and Ava joyfully running in her summer dress along the shore.  As I was entering the beach and calling her to come take her shoes off (they were leather) so that she could just run barefoot, a seagull landed not far off shore to float on the still, quiet bay waters.

Without thinking Ava just walked right in after it. 

 At first we both laughed and then we both realized that she was going in pretty quickly as there were no waves to deter her.  We were not super close by, but both of us moved.

"Catch dirdie!  Catch dirdie!  I catch dirdie!"  She innocently repeated (I'll catch birdie) as she went deeper in.

"Ava! Stop!  Wait for Mommy!" I repeated

I dropped my camera as she lost her balance, slipped and plunged face first into the water and floated there facedown "dead man's" style.  I half expected her to stand up or raise her head, but she didn't.  She couldn't.

I'm sure it all happened quickly, but it all seemed "slow motion" to Shaun and I. 

Shaun came quickly carrying Clara, but I was closer and I ran in after her with no thought to being fully clothed, dress to my ankles and yanked her floating body up out of the water. 

She had obviously been gulping sea water and sputtered and cried and clung to me.

I reassured her "Mommy's here, it's ok, I have you" and walked her dripping body towards shore.

As she saw me leaving the water she quickly changed tune, "No, NO!  Down, Mommy!" (Crazy KID!  She wanted to go BACK in the water!)


Ava has absolutely NO fear of the water.  She was holding my hand, teeth chattering, drenched from head to toe and even after getting a taste of potentially drowning, STILL didn't want to get out.

"You want to go BACK in?"

"Ok, THIS time, with Mommy..."

"I'm soaked anyway, so why not?"

"Look a dirdie!"

"Hey everyone!  We're ok"

"Doesn't look like SOMEONE just tried to drown, does it?"

"Down Momma"

"Ok, it's about to rain, so we have to go in" Ava thinking "Awww... do we really HAVE to?"
"Dada More Water"

(Storms a comin)

Ok.  Time to go.

We had to leave as dark clouds quickly and unexpectedly rolled in and opened up on us with a downpour as we hurried to the car.  I looked over at Clara in Shaun's arms as the rain was pelting us.  Her expression?  Pure bliss.  BOY... am I in for it!

Shaun looked at me as we sat drenched in the car and said with a smirk, "Well... you wanted to make memories!"

Ava was thoroughly un-phased by the whole episode and sang "It's raining, It's pouring" the whole way home, but we did discuss repeatedly what we "learned" today.  That we don't go in the water without Mommy or Daddy... even to catch a "dirdie".