Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Annabelle Maria's Baptism

Last weekend, we officially welcomed Annabelle Maria into the Catholic Church through the Sacrament of Baptism.

Father Jim Schillinger says a baptismal prayer.

Proud parents admiring their new baby during the baptism

"I baptize you in the name of the Father... of the Son... and of the Holy Spirit."

Burr! That water is cold!
Godparents Ashley and Patrick watch as Annabelle just shivers and goes right on sleeping.

Father dries Annabelle's (now cold) head.

With this chrism, Annabelle is anointed by the Holy Spirit,
just as Christ was anointed priest, prophet, and king.

Annabelle Maria was blessed to have many people who love her come celebrate her baptism.

Patrick and Ashley, Annabelle's godparents, traveled from Denver.

Of course, Annabelle's grandparents wouldn't miss such an important event.

Other family members who visited for Annabelle's baptism were
Tito and Tita (from Seattle) and Cousin Steven and
Gabi's Ninang and Ninong (from Little Rock).

Dr. Mike and Peggy Tim also joined us for the celebration.

Ashley and Patrick's happy six-month-old son, Joseph, was here as well.

Joseph likes his baby cousin.

In baptism, we are given our name and then called by name to follow Christ. Since names are such an important aspect of baptism, we would like to take a moment to discuss not only Annabelle Maria's full Christian name but nicknames as well. One of the most fun privileges of being a parent is the exclusive right to name your child!

I primarily call her Annabelle. Due to her laryngomalacia, we (Daddy especially) fondly refer to our little one by the nickname Squeaker. Ashley (Annabelle's godmother) suggested Tinkerbell, which will be a nice familial nickname even after she outgrows the title Squeaker. We also like the obvious nicknames: Anna, Belle, and Bella. We initially taught Gabi to call her Baby Anna, but perhaps we will shift to using Bella as her common shortened name. I still like the full Annabelle the best, though. At any rate, this child has no shortage of names and nicknames -- so take your pick among the many we have provided here.

Tito and Daddy outside Immaculate Heart of Mary

Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate Annabelle's baptism with us and also to those who were unable to attend but nonetheless kept her in your thoughts and prayers this weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sisters, Pets, and Such

Annabelle with Gramma Jane

Gabi places her hand on the handprint to show us what this is for.

Annabelle and Mommy with Anna's new teddy.

Gramma Jane admiring little Annabelle.

Daddy introduces Annabelle and Merlin.

Annabelle sleeping on Daddy on the couch again.

Annabelle tries out the bouncer chair on her tummy.

Annabelle is the same size as Gabi's doll Asha.

Gabi checking out her baby sister.

Oh, no! Annabelle rolled over and got stuck!

We have a "reflux wedge" under the fitted sheet to angle Annabelle's head up,
but it just makes her roll "downhill" at a right angle until she is level.

Tummy Time for Annabelle

Our neighbor's cat, Frank, is very friendly.
He came to visit, and Gabi gave him a hug and a kiss.

Gabi petting Frank the cat.

Frank the cat comes to visit Gabi and Gramma Jane on the patio.

Gramma Jane reads with Annabelle sleeping on her lap.

Annabelle's hair is soft and fuzzy after her bath.

Annabelle snuggling with Daddy

Annabelle's hair naturally parts on both sides,
giving her a little ducktail where the hair sticks up in the back.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Parent-Time for Gabi

We have made an effort to have special Gabi-parent time, just us. Gabi especially enjoys time that we spend with just her, and she deserves parent time to remind her that Big Sister is still special on her own.

Over Labor Day weekend, when Annabelle was just one week old (two weeks ago!), Mommy and Daddy took Gabi swimming.

Daddy took Gabi in the big pool.

Daddy helps Gabi kick in the water.

Gabi loved being tossed up high.

Gabi is so tall sitting on Daddy's shoulders!
But... Daddy can't see!

Gabi floating on Daddy's chest.

Then I took Gabi to the baby pool.

Gabi loved swinging back and forth.

Whoo! Upside-down!

Gabi was so cold that her lips turned blue,
but she wanted to stay and swim some more.

The Friday prior to Labor Day, Daddy took Gabi and both her grandmothers to a Braves game. We like to go on Friday nights to see the fireworks after the baseball game. We've taken Gabi to a couple games, and she loves them. She recognizes and joins in with the Tomahawk Chop and some other baseball favorites. Here's a picture from a game back in June.

Take Me Out to the Ballpark!

Gabi has had a difficult time starting school this year. Really, it's just a Children's Morning Out -- three hours a day, a couple days a week. Last year, she loved school, but with classes this year starting just a week after Annabelle's birth, it has been too much change all at once. The first day, Gabi cried for an hour and a half. The second day, I got a phone call to come pick her up just half an hour after I dropped her off.

Michael took her to school on Monday of the second week. He had to carry her inside, and he promised her that he would come back to get her. When we went to pick her up, her teachers said that she didn't cry, but for over an hour she refused to move from the exact spot where he put her down -- she wouldn't even sit in a chair when they offered her one. Even then, when it was time to go outside, she didn't want to move; she told her teachers that her Daddy was coming back to get her, so she was going to stay right there (but, of course, they had to take her to the playground with the rest of the class). Poor little girl!

Her sad little face makes me feel so guilty for forcing her to go to school. So on Wednesday, I promised to take her on a picnic and to the Concert on the Square after school.

Gabi and me at the Concert on the Square in Decatur.

Gabi walking back from downtown Decatur after the concert.

Gabi enjoyed our picnic so much that when we dropped her off the next day, she requested that we take her on a picnic after school again. With Gramma Jane here to watch little Annabelle, we are able to make after-school time a special Gabi-parent activity. This time, both Mommy and Daddy were able to picnic with our older daughter.

Gabi and me picnicing at Scott Park.

After lunch, Gabi and Daddy play on the playground.

Daddy climbed up the rock wall and I handed Gabi to him.

Gabi explores the garden at Scott Park with me.

Today after the (horrible) Notre Dame game, out of the blue, Gabi very seriously told Daddy, "When I'm at school, I miss Mommy." Aw... So I'm glad we've discovered a way to make after-school pick-up time special (at least while Gramma Jane is here to watch Annabelle). It doesn't seem to matter what the post-school outing is, so long as Gabi gets personal parental attention. One day, we took Gabi along with us to to the airport to see Daddy off on an interview trip.

Another night about 1 AM, Gabi woke up very distressed. We went into her room to check on her, and she was crying out, "I want to go to the grocery store!" repeatedly. We calmed her down and promised to take her to the grocery store after school the following day. That's exactly what we did, and Gabi had a blast selecting food for our cart. She picked some yummy asparagus for dinner that night, delicious fruit for snacks, and lime sherbet for dessert.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Annabelle doesn't look exactly like Gabriella did as an infant, but still, many things these days remind us of our time as new parents. In our most recent post, we shared pictures of Anna resting on Daddy's chest, just where Gabi used to nap when Daddy came home from work.

For comparison and reminiscence, here are a couple pictures of our first daughter at the same age that Annabelle is now:

Gabi and Daddy snuggling on the couch.

Gabi and Daddy sleeping on the couch.

Check out our old blog to recall some other pictures of baby Gabriella Christine.