She Likes Smiling; Smiling’s Her Favorite

As I’ve mentioned previously, Ava is not the greatest of sleepers. For example, I think today she took 3 naps of about 30 minutes each, which is definitely better than nothing, but it does make it hard to accomplish any sort of prolonged task. However, what Ava lacks in the sleep department, she more than makes up for it in the smile department. I may be biased, but her smile is radiant and completely infectious. Just look:

Even if I am exhausted and undone by the events of the day, seeing her smile makes me smile. There is nothing better than seeing that open-mouthed grin first thing in the morning and last thing at night. So while she may not be overly fond of sleeping, I’m forever thankful that smiling is her favorite.

 

There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Today I’m thankful for this sweet moment:

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I have worried about the age difference between the girls, that it would mean that they won’t be close. I don’t know if they will be close or not, but I know that right now, Charlotte is completely enamored of Ava. She will try and cheer her up if she’s fussing, she wants to help me with any task (with the exception of changing diapers), and she loves to play with her. I can only hope and pray that their bond grows stronger as they grow older.

Five Months with Ava

Ava turned five months old today. The saying “the days are long but the years are short” really does ring true; it doesn’t seem possible that she’s been with us for five months already, but there have also been days that have seemed to drag on forever. We had struggles with breastfeeding early on that led to exclusively formula feeding, then tummy issues, then reflux problems and sleeping problems. There have been few nights of truly restful sleep (although hopefully that is changing, as the last two nights were wonderful), and some days were filled with so much fussing and crying that it brought me to tears as well. Despite this, it’s hard to remember what our family was like before Ava was in it, so completely has she captured all of our hearts. Seeing Charlotte interact with her has been such a beautiful blessing, and there’s really no one who can make Ava smile and laugh like Charlotte can. Ava has a smile for everyone, and she giggles with her whole body. Since she started rolling front to back and back to front two weeks ago, she’s been even more curious about everything around her. Her play gym doesn’t hold her interest for long anymore now that she can move around, and I know that once she’s crawling it will be even harder to keep her in one spot! It seems like her sweet brown eyes don’t miss a thing, and she’s fascinated with her hands and feet and our dog Bailey and everything that Charlotte does.

Being with Ava every day has allowed me to see how much a baby can change in a matter of days, and that means that even the hard days will turn into better days. I have delighted in being with her, even on days when she’s fussing or not napping because I know how very blessed I am to get to raise another girl. The Lord chose us for Ava, and Ava for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t Forget to Remember

I have missed blogging. Even though I’m fairly certain people don’t read blogs much anymore, I miss writing one. Taking up blogging again seems a bit foolish right now, since some days I end up not even having a chance for a shower (#momlife), but I want to remember this time in my life, and blogging helps me document, in an albeit public way. So I’m going to do something I did a few years ago, which is take the 30 days of November to practice gratitude. I’ll write each day (or at least attempt to do so) about blessings big and small. I am so prone to negativity, so prone to letting one bad day or even a bad few hours sour my mood, and the best weapon for that is gratitude. In the chaos of every day life, it’s easy to take things for granted and not remember all I’ve been given, but as soon as I start forgetting, that’s when discontentment and bitterness can start to fester. With that in mind, today I give thanks for this:

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Charlotte begged us to have a sister for years. She prayed for it, asked us to pray for it, and hoped and hoped. And oh, how I wanted to give that to her! But the last few years have been filled with health challenges that made me wonder at times if Charlotte would ever have a sibling. But God in His wisdom knew Charlotte wouldn’t be an only child, and in His timing we found out last year I was pregnant. Ava is a gift to all of us, but she did something only she could do for Charlotte: she made her a big sister. I watch Ava’s face light up every day when she sees Charlotte; I watch Charlotte do everything possible to make Ava laugh; I watch both of them and can barely get over the fact that these two beautiful girls are mine.

The past few months I have slept less than I can remember sleeping in a very long time. Ava stopped sleeping well at night, along with not napping well during the day, and it’s exhausting. Some days I have cried with the sheer frustration of it all. But I look at her grin and remember the Lord’s faithfulness. I see her tears and remember my own, during nights of pain and sickness when having another baby seemed like an impossible burden for my body to bear. I see her brown eyes alight with laughter and remember the prayers that were prayed for her before I even knew she would be a part of our family. Every day of her life is a testament of God’s kindness, and I never want to forget that.