Happy Halloween!! Three years ago today, we met M for the first time. I remember when my niece called and said her friend wanted to come over to meet us and find out more about adoption. Could they come over? Who would have guessed that that little baby would be our daughter! Thank you M and D for letting us be Ava's parents.
So, after Ava got
through another major fit (3rd screaming fit of the day) & I got her calmed down, we read some
books & rocked, (one of my favorite times of the day). I put her in her bed. She sang for a while & called for me.
You know, "mommy are you? Mommy come up here. Mommy I can't find Bella. Mommy." About 11:20 pm, I
heard a little thud. You know, the kind that sounds like a little girl climbing
out of her crib. Sure enough, she did it. She's only done it when she is really mad. I went to check on her & she was hiding with a big smile on her face. I put her back in & at 11:45,
another little thud & this time little feet coming downstairs looking for me.
She had a big smile on her proud face as she said, "Mom, I climb out & find you!!" We
need a really tall gate to keep her in her room.
Could be interesting if this continues...
Wait! There's more!!!
She wanted to play but I turned out the lights & she came running. I had to go back down to get my cell phone. She needed hers, too, sigh. She came down & found it. It's an old Palm that Paul had given her. We headed back up. Finally at 12:15 am, I had to tell her that it was her last warning, she had to stop talking to me & if she didn't turn off her "phone", I was going to come & take it away for good. It was turned off in a hurry & we went to sleep.....finally.
So, yesterday I watched my nieces little girl for a few hours. As I watched B play, my thoughts turned to our birth parents. It hit me that B is the same age that Ava was when we began our adoption journey with her. Because Ava lived with her birth mom, M, from birth, this will be mostly about her. M got to see so many of the "firsts" with her. Now, I'm not upset with that, I am so grateful that they had that time together, but I do get sad that I missed out on that stuff. I couldn't imagine, as I watched B & Ava play, how difficult the decision was for M to make an adoption plan. My heart breaks when I think about it. I remember when M left. I stood in the kitchen holding Paul & Ava & crying. I was crying for her pain & for our joy. I couldn't believe how something that gives us so much joy, could cause me so much pain! I know I can never fully know what she felt or thought. I hope someday we can sit down & talk more about it. I sometimes feel like a bad adoptive mom because I haven't sent letters & pictures like I should. I hope they know it's not intentional. I guess I need to put it on my calendar as a reminder. I hope they both know how forever grateful Paul & I are that they entrusted us with this wonderful little girl that we love so much. We love them both for that gift.
We started ECFE this fall. At first, I wasn't too impressed with it but after talking with some friends, I changed my expectations. We love it now! Ava & I get to play & do awesome art projects. We decided that since we have our birth parents in our life, we could share the artwork with them! Sorry M & D, now you know what you will be getting!!!! It has been neat to see how she is interacting with other kids her age. At this age, they seem to play next to each other versus with each other.
We took Ava to Disney world in June. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!! Paul & I had gone 2 years ago so we got to experience it as a couple but seeing it through Ava's eyes was even better! She couldn't wait to meet Mickey. We had to hold her back until her turn so she didn't get in someone else's picture! She still talks about seeing Mickey & "Mickey's" castle, (sorry Cinderella!) We drove & she did awesome in the car. She has even asked to go back, "We go see Mickey again?" Maybe next year!
We continue to travel back & forth from our house to our apartment. Ava does a great job in the car, most of the time! I usually try to head out right around her nap time. We are looking to move to a smaller apartment in the same building. We would be able to save some money & we really don't need the size we currently have.
I can't believe that May is almost over. Where did it go? We celebrated my 40th (yikes) birthday & Mother's Day. For my birthday, the three of us went out to dinner at Bucca De Bepo. I love their food. It's quite kitchy as far as decor goes but it was fun. I got a free birthday dessert that was really good. When they bring out the dessert, they of course sing. They also bring out a table-top candelabra!! That was embarrassing! Ava loved it & liked blowing out the candles.
We bought a new laptop! I love it but....we didn't even have it for a month when I dropped it. Yep, I broke it. Bad. The screen was broken. I cried. And cried. And cried. Paul was not happy. Ava did my hair...with her new garden tools. It was not a good day. That goodness I am married to a computer geek. After taking with my brother, who had recently replaced a laptop screen. He told Paul about a site to buy a new screen. My wonderful husband replaced the screen & the computer is as good as new!!! Actually, it's better because he bought a nicer screen! Thank you, honey!!
I've been forgetting to update! Let's see, what's been going on.....
I spent the last week with the worst cold I have had in ages. With Paul gone during the week, my mom came over to help me take care of Ava. I was so exhausted & I don't know what I would have done without her help.
This is the first weekend since Jan 1 that we haven't had something going on. Last Sunday, we finished our 13 week course on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. It was so worth the time commitment & I would highly recommend it.
Yesterday, the weather here in MN was so nice. The snow is melting fast. We are so sick of the snow & ready for it to be gone! We were able to go for a nice long walk & the three of us had a little snowball fight. Ava had so much fun trying to throw snow at mommy & daddy.
Each week, Ava & I pack up & head to our apartment an hour & a half away to spend time with daddy. We usually spend 2 or 3 nights there. (Paul stays there during the week so he doesn't have a 2 hour commute to work & a 2 hour commute home) It's so hard to be apart. Ava LOVES it when daddy walks in to the apartment. She becomes a total daddies girl. She helps him make dinner & wash the dishes. She loves it when daddy gives her a bath. He is the one she wants when it's time to go to bed. She wants to snuggle up with him & read books. I usually wake up to her yelling "Oh Daddy, where are you?" : )
Since it has been forever since I posted again, my goal this year is to post more often. Feel free to remind me if I haven't posted in a while. :) I would love to post pictures as soon as I get them loaded on this computer.
We finally found a place to rent so Paul doesn't have to commute as long. He still drive 30 minutes but it's better than driving 2 hours! Ava & I try to get down there a couple nights a week to stay with him. Ava loves the "new house". Paul tries to come home one night during the week & he is home on weekends. It's not ideal, but it's what we have to do right now. It's kind of nice being at the apartment even though we have nothing in it yet. We sleep on an air mattress, Ava is in the pack n play, but is outgrowing it fast. We have one bar stool & a shelf. LOL I feel like college students starting out with nothing!! We don't have a TV or radio yet either. It's really nice not to have them. we can spend time as a family with each other without distractions. There is a TV in a community room that we can watch but we don't spend much time in there unless we want to use the WiFi. Ava loves being there in Friday mornings because they have fresh baked cookies!!!
Ava's birth mom was here last week. It was great to see Marlana again. We skype with her quite often so she we get to see her but having her here in person was better. I loved seeing her with Ava. They both just love each other. Every time Ava needed a new diaper, she wanted Marlana to change her. That was fine with me!! We didn't get to spend enough time with her since she also had family & friends to see.
Ava got a kitchen from Santa so we spend a lot of our time "cooking". We also spend a lot of time watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She is growing more & more everyday. She is turning into a big girl, no longer the little girl we adopted. She sings for us & loves to dance. She LOVES to help Paul clean. I'm starting to think we should hire her out!!! She is still very much a daddies girl.