I didn't have to work this year, so Foster and I attended 10 pm Christmas Eve mass. My parents and amazing Aunt joined us as we took our seats with our 10 week old daughter in our arms. Although this holiday has been ALOT easier on our hearts because Avaleen is with us, I still bawled like a baby. As "Little Drummer Boy" (My Granny's favorite song) and "Oh Holy Night" was sung by the church choir, the tears started streaming. It was a mix of emotions only someone who has been through this same type of journey can completely understand. I was sad, and happy, grieving and celebrating, missing my first born while holding and loving on my second. It was an amazing feeling, and instead of trying to suppress the tears I let them flow.
As you can imagine, Avabean (as she has so lovingly been called) was spoiled rotten by friends and family. At almost12 weeks old, she is growing and learning every day. My sister in laws and mother in law gave her so many learning tools, and fun music/light toys. She is obsessed with lights! Aunt Bug got her a "baby TV" for her crib. It is a little aquarium that plays lights and music, and ever since we have put her to sleep with it, Ava has been sleeping 7 hours a night!!!
She got clothes galore and gift cards to target that were used to purchase her new play mat and Bumbo chair
These are all "things" however, and they are not as important as the love and time that was shared this Christmas season.
Although some of our family members were upset, Foster and I made a very important decision for our own little family this year. We wanted to just spend the 25th with the three of us...and of course the two dogs. I can't explain it. It has been a very stressful, crazy first two years of marriage, and we wanted to just slow down and be a family. Think about it, we were engaged and 5 weeks later found out we were pregnant with Rosalynn. We bumped up our wedding, and were newly weds, pregnant on our first Christmas as a family. Then, we had the devastating loss of our daughter 5 months later. The next 10 months was filled with grieving and try to conceive our second child. These 10 months included our first Christmas WITHOUT Rosalynn. After finally creating Ava, it was another 9 months of a high-risk, high-stressed, emotional roller coaster of pregnancy after stillbirth.
All written down like that, it is so sad for me to see how Foster and I have really not had a "normal" first 2 years of marriage. It was very important to us to just stop....and relax and enjoy our first Christmas with Ava. So this is what we did:
|all ready to go for a Christmas walk/hike|
|REALLY excited about our family outing|
|Dad with all the "kids"|
|Rowdy man! SOOO pretty!|
|my gorgeous Reagan girl|
|in the woods|
|Reagan playing in the creek|
|Ava in the Baby Bjorn...loves being on Dad's chest!|
Last but not least, I got a great Christmas gift form my job. I was going to return for two weeks in order to leave on good terms and finish out my time in the Emergency Department. I called my boss a few weeks ago to coordinate a schedule. We started talking, and he said that unless I needed the money financially, he would be willing to let me forgo the 2 weeks notice, and simply be done. We had rolled out a new computer system while I was on maternity leave, and he said by the time I learned it, I would be leaving, so I could consider that phone call as my two weeks notice, and I would be considered leaving on good terms and have a recommendation from him if ever needed. So as of January 4th, 2012 I will officially be a stay at home mom!! I am sooo excited, nervous, and hopeful. My new boss can be demanding at times, but I can't think of a better job to have:-)