In the midst of the packing and moving craziness our sweet Ava Jean turns One Month Old today! Seems like she's been part of our lives for so much longer than that! We just adore our little girlie. And even though sleep is still lacking in a big way, this has been one of the sweetest months of my life!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
With this being most likely our last night in our house, (and Ava keeping me up a good bit of it) I've been thinking so much about how this is the only home Alathea and Abigail have ever known. So many memories in every corner of this house and yard. God has been so kind to bless us with this home for almost 8 sweet years!
I still remember vividly bringing this little baby girl home from the hospital.
I remember where she learned to crawl and walk and all the dance parties she's had with her Daddy in the kitchen while eating breakfast.
I remember Abi learning to "crawl" backward across our living room and Alathea feeding her first baby food on our front porch and the totally goofy face she made tasting greenbeans for the first time. And the watching the sweetness of sisterhood blossom right before my eyes as I'd hear giggles coming out of their bedroom at night or walk in on Abi sitting on Alathea's lap reading a story.
This is a house full of sweet memories.
We made a few more the past few days...
I'm not a big fan of change and if I could choose we'd live in this little home forever (with an addition :), but I am sooo grateful for the memories and that these little people are coming with us on the next adventure.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
One week after Ava came home from the hospital my Dad & Rachel came to visit for 5 days.
They came to meet little Ava, but also to serve. Joe & I were blown away at how they blessed and served us from the moment they arrived. For our big girls it meant getting a coupon book in the mail a few days before Pop-Pop and Ray-Ray arrived. The book was full of coupons full of fun adventures that Pop-Pop & Ray-Ray would take them on once here. It also meant Christmas in July for all three girls as Dad & Rachel blessed them with so many fun and thoughtful gifts...perfect timing for Alathea & Abigail to get so much individual attention!
And I was blessed by getting sweet time with Ava Jean and lots of extra much needed rest while my big girls were out having one of the best weeks of their lives! And when Dad & Rachel brought the big girls home for naps, Rachel would clean and do laundry and then they'd take us out to dinner. We were so blessed by their visit!! I sooo wish they lived closer to us.
Pop-Pop and Ray-Ray with their crazy little grand-babies
We ventured up to Birkdale one evening for some pizza, live music and the fountains
Some pictures of sweet Ava at 2 weeks:
i adore baby feet
we also got to spend time at Grammy & Grandpa's
Ava is a blessed girl with so many family members who love her.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I hesitate to say this, because with our house selling history anything is possible, but it appears that we are moving...today. I knew this was a possibility, but so many closing dates have been possible these past few months that I stopped taking them too seriously. But it actually looks like most likely we will be closing on our house tomorrow. We won't know for certain until sometime (hopefully) this afternoon. I know that sounds crazy, but thats how this deal has been rolling. So starting this morning its been a day that has felt like total chaos and unclarity and tears. I hate change, and these crazy post-birth hormones aren't helping! I keep walking room to room and crying because of some memory there, then look outside and see the Connolly's and Ross' house and can't imagine not having our friends across the street. All that said, please keep us in your prayers! For me and the kiddos emotionally (I should be grateful for the Lord's provision in a buyer) and for Joe practically. Fortunately since this isn't your typical deal, the buyers (we think) are fine with us being in our house a day or so past closing...but this still feels like a bit of a rush (especially with three little ones in tow). And if you enjoy packing or unpacking or watching 2 & 4 year olds, let us know...we could use a good bit of help!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
some pictures of our 3 week old sleeping beauty.
she's still not sleeping that soundly at night.
i need to do a better job of getting sweet baby girl on a better sleep routine.
i think that would serve her and the family quite a bit.
it just requires me to pay attention all through out the day, not as easy as i would have thought with the big girls running around all day!
i'll post some "awake" pictures of her soon!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
It's been three weeks now since Ava's birth and I can still hardly wrap my brain around the fact that we are parents to three beautiful little girls. Three kids sounds like a serious family. I thought having a mini-van made me feel grown up, now I feel like I'm a serious grown up! (Although I tried to by fireworks at the grocery store on the 4th with no ID and they didn't believe me that I was really over 18...haha!).
As much as I'd like to stay a kid forever myself, I wouldn't trade being a Mom to these three little ones for the world. But I must say that going from 2-3 kiddos hasn't been without some seriously "stretching" moments. I like to call it "growing pains"...when you enter a new season of life that requires the Lord to grow your capacity...its not without some bumps or pains along the way.
Going from 1-2 kids was a very challenging transition for me, far more than 2-3 has been. But I've still been surprised by how many changes and unique challenges adding a 3rd little one to our family has brought about.
*I didn't realize how out numbered Joe & I would feel as parents. We went from a comfortable "man to man" defense to "zone" and I think we're still having to work out the kinks in the game plan.
*I'm sad that I no longer can hold all my children at once. I've tried many different ways, but its really, really difficult to have three little ones on your lap at the same time. (I can't even count how the times they all three want me at the same time).
*I'm pleasantly surprised at how Alathea & Abigail's relationship has only grown deeper adding another sister. They really are best buddies (which is totally sweet to watch). But I had NO idea that they'd also turn into "double trouble" as we like to call it. Abigail has been little miss trouble since she could walk, but Alathea never used to attempt the things they are doing together now. We still aren't sure who the brain is behind their stunts, but somehow they give each other the courage when attempting things together. I'm learning that nursing the baby and the house being silent at the same time is a very, very bad combination (meaning...find the big girls now).
* I never expected to hear the question, "Mom, are we going to keep Ava?" Alathea seriously wanted to know the other day. I told her, yes, we were definitely planning on keeping her. Then asked what else might we do with her little sister? She replied without skipping a beat, "Give her to Miss Liz". She informed me that Miss Liz (her most favorite Liz Connolly who lives across the street) needed a baby, and that we should ask her if she wanted Ava. But that we needed to wait until "Mike" (her husband) wasn't around. Fortunately I think I've straightened things out with Alathea and she is totally fine with us keeping Ava :)
* I had no idea how having a newborn would make Abigail seem so, so grown up. Like overnight. I headed to the hospital with Abi as my baby girl, and now she seems like 2 years older.
* I never expected that adding a 3rd little one would require Alathea to instantly have to grow up. She really misses riding in the stroller (and I think would be happy if I bought a triple stroller). And she is lonely all the way in the back of the van by herself. But she's an amazing help...getting diapers for me and snacks for Abi. I'm so grateful she's my first born.
* I never in a million years imagined I could completely forget to feed my baby. Especially with her screaming for 45 minutes straight! Seriously, the other afternoon I could not figure out how to comfort Ava...I thought I had tried everything...I even gave her a bath, which usually always soothes her. Poor thing would not stop crying. It never once crossed my mind she could be hungry. I know that sounds crazy!! I'm telling you, my brain is not working right! It finally hit me that right when she started crying was when she was due to eat. Poor little baby. I felt terrible, and now am trying to offer to feed her right away when she cries, just in case I forgot a feeding again :)
* I never thought it possible to be scared to be left alone with my own kids. I know that sounds terrible, but I was genuinely fearful the night before I had the kids all day by myself! I also cried when Joe went back to work. God did sustain me, and I'm learning to rely completely on him throughout the day. And I'm hoping with the Lord's help I'll eventually get the hang of this.
* I never thought it was possible to feel this tired yet still (somewhat) function. The past three weeks of very little sleep has added new meaning to "Gods grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in weakness".
* I always expected that my babies would progressively get easier. That had been the case so far. (Abigail was soooo easy as a baby). But we've got our most challenging baby on our hands right now (mix that with our most challenging toddler and its been quite the combo!). Ava isn't a difficult baby, but I also wouldn't call her super easy either. I think if we could get her to sleep better at night (she still is having trouble sleeping soundly between nightly feedings) she'd be a little angel :)
* I also never imagined I could possibly love Joe more. But this not-so-easy tranistion season has only caused me to fall more in love with him. He has served me and the girls so joyfully. He comes home and gives himself fully to playing with the big girls, helping me with the baby, cleaning up the house...basically loving and serving his family, despite his own fatigue. He brings so much joy to our family and knows how to make me laugh even when I'm so tired that on my own I'd want to cry. I simply love living life with him. I'm a very grateful woman.
Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg! I don't want to bore you with too many of my "discoveries" as a new mom to three. Let's just say I'm expecting there to be a huge learning curve. I'm adding things back into my life slowly am just starting to peek back into the outside world. As much work as it is, these past few weeks have been some of the sweetest of my entire life. I don't think Joe & I have ever yawned and smiled so much simultaneously as we have these past few weeks :)
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Sweet Ava has now been a part of our family for over two weeks!
I'm still amazed when I look at all THREE children God has blessed us with.
THREE. That's crazy. It seems like Joe & I are just kids ourselves!
But we are enjoying them so much.
The transition has been easier than I thought. Joe took off a week from work...
that was one of the sweetest weeks ever. He took the big girls on little adventures every day and I stayed home sleeping and snuggling with sweet Ava Jean. What a precious gift those days were! Having Joe around made the transition so much easier for the big girls too.
Please don't be fooled by all these sweet sleeping pictures of Ava.
She is sweet. But she doesn't always sleep...especially at night. Well, actually she does sleep, but only when Joe or myself are holding her. I know this is just a season, and eventually she'll become a better sleeper at night. But currently we've had some serious sleepless nights!
And Ava is little miss personality from day one. She came out screaming and she's continued to speak her mind as she's gotten older :) She really not a fussy baby...but I wouldn't call her laid back either. She just seems to have an opinion about things already and chooses to share it.
I'm loving these sweet newborn days very much, but am tempted to wonder how long it will take me to get back into the swing of "real life". If I had to guess, it will take a long time.
When Abigail was 2 weeks old, I was already taking both girls on outings daily.
At this point with three kids, I'm beginning to wonder if the outside world will ever see me again! I'm just grateful for all the friends that keep coming by...its keeping me from getting lonely for sure!
I have been blessed to have so much alone time with baby girl. I never imagined I would get so much with my 3rd baby. With Joe home almost a week and my Dad & Rachel visiting (post coming soon) and countless friends taking my girls for mornings here and there have added up to some incredibly sweet times with my baby that I'm treasuring.
I adore this picture. All three girls piled on the chair with their Daddy.
He is one seriously blessed man. And he knows it :)
Alathea is transitioning wonderfully. She loves Ava and is a huge, huge help!
I feel like she's my little errand girl, constantly getting things for me.
Its obvious she's done this big sister thing before.
Abigail on the other hand, seems to love her baby sister, but also seems to seriously miss her Mommy. She's been much more weepy and sometimes just needs to sit in my lap for a good long cuddle. I honestly expected all this. But I'm amazed how going from "Man to Man" defense in parenting to "Zone" makes us feel like one kid is getting left out all the time! I think we're still in the "growing pain" and stretching season of learning how to effectively love and parent three kids. But were confident the Lord will continue to help us do so!
(And any thoughts or tips are always welcome!)
We are grateful beyond words to all our family and friends who have served us these past two weeks...with meals and cleaning and by watching our big girls. I can't imagine how we'd survive without you all!! You've made this season so sweet.
I'll leave you with one last picture of our sweet Ava Jean: