Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We enjoyed many holiday preparations here in Little Rock. Then we drove to Texas for four days, where we saw real snow on Christmas Eve which stuck around for Christmas morning. At church, the priest mentioned that in his 77 Christmases in DFW, this was the first one that brought snow on the ground Christmas morning! Poor Bella had a stomach bug on the day we drove down there and Christmas Eve, so she was still a bit under-the-weather on Christmas but recovered that weekend before we returned home. Afterwards, we had another mini-Christmas back in Little Rock with Michael's parents and sister.

Gabi cutting gingerbread cookies

Tito and Tita in town for Thanksgiving

Bella posing under the Christmas tree

Bella declared naptime

Gabi after riding a horse-drawn carriage at school

The girls' gingerbread house

Gabi coloring a new "mural" (giant picture)

Snow in Texas on Christmas Eve

Bella playing with a new puppet

The girls giving a gift to Gramma Jane and Grampa

Gabi pouting

My husband :)

Bella opening a present on Christmas Eve

Uncle Scott

Aunt Alicia and Uncle Stephen with the girls in their new pajamas

Gabi crossing off Christmas Eve on her calendar
(just one last link in her chain-link count-down to Christmas!)

Bella and Mommy on Christmas morning

Bella opening her stocking

Playing with Uncle Brian's iphone

Gabi's new pattern blocks

Bella rocking her new doll, Hannah

Bella's new sewing cards

Real baby Hannah (a cousin) with Amy and Uncle Scott

Gabi telling a story

Gabi opening a present back in Little Rock

Mommy and her girls

Gabi taking a picture with her new camera

Monday, December 21, 2009

Katarina Lillian

We are expecting our third daughter, Katarina Lillian, in early March. She will be baptized at the Basilica at Notre Dame at the end of April. We'd love to have you come celebrate with us! These pictures are from my 28-week ultrasound:

Katarina waving

Baby face, with not much extra room in utero

Traditional ultrasound profile

Katarina's nickname will be Katya or Kätchen

In last week's ultrasound, we could already see hair on her head! We took a cine clip of her waving, but it didn't burn onto my DVD. Everything looks good! I can feel her moving around constantly these days, and she kicks Michael whenever I snuggle next to him.

4.5-month baby bump (Oct. 26)

5-month baby bump (Nov. 1)

6-month baby bump (Dec. 6)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Minor Surgical Procedure

This week, Bella had the stent removed from her left nasolacrimal system (tear ducts draining the left eye). When I woke Bella up shortly after 5 AM, she was in a wonderful mood. First, she asked to go to Lolo & Lola's house (which is where Gabi was spending the night), but then she remembered that she was going to go to the hospital and see Daddy. During the drive, she happily pointed out the moon (which she pronounces more like "vroom") and the Dome (which is actually the Arkansas State Capital building, lit in gold Christmas lights since it was still dark outside).

TV distracting Bella from that bothersome ID band

We spent about two hours in registration and pre-op, making sure Bella was healthy enough for this [very minor] surgical procedure after having a serious cold and worrisome cough (and exposure to RSV) the previous week. The worst part was needing the tongue depressor so the nurse could look in her throat, but she impressed the nurse by sitting perfectly still while she took her blood pressure. Bella had a few Christmas pictures to color, and she watched Playhouse Disney on TV. Daddy was able to come by to say hello, too!

Happy to see Daddy, but refusing to wear the hospital gown

About 20 minutes after they took her back to the OR, the ophthalmologist came out to tell me that everything went well, and it was all over. He gave me some antibiotic/steroid drops to put in her eye for the next few days, and then I just had to wait for her to wake up from the anesthesia. She started stirring about half an hour later, so they called me back to the recovery room.

In the recovery room, Bella just needed to wake up and then drink some apple juice to show the nurses that she could tolerate fluids before they removed the IV and discharged her. Because the procedure was so quick, she only needed the gas mask anesthesia this time around, which made waking up much easier than last time. She coughed a bit and then sat calmly staring at everything no matter what you did to her. (She couldn't quite sit up on her own, but she would grasp the rail on the edge of the bed to hold most of her weight.)

Gobbling down a popsicle post-surgery

Although she loved the cold juice and freezing popsicle the nurse gave her, it didn't help her body temperature after being in the chilly OR. The nurse kept her covered with a warm blanket, and when the first one cooled off, she got another one. Bella was very happy to snuggle in a warm blanket!

Wrapped in a warm blanket post-surgery

Once she was a bit more awake, Bella started pointing out the ornaments ("balls") and snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and requesting to count them. She was still calm enough to stare passively as the nurse took off all the adhesive for the IV and the heart-monitoring leads, occasionally pointing and asking "What's that?" That hour in the recovery room is definitely the most laid-back I've ever seen Annabelle! We were discharged straight from there (whereas last summer, we moved from the recovery room back to our private pre-op room for her to finish waking up from the anesthesia).

Bella playing with her mask before discharge

By 9 AM, we were heading out of the hospital to go home (in 27 degree weather--Brrr!). In the car, she said, "Mommy, blessed be the name of the Lord!" (quoting lyrics from a song by Tree 63), which reminded me to be thankful that everything went so smoothly. Bella was a bit off-balance at first, and she took an extra nap that day, but she was fully herself after afternoon naptime. We even went to celebrate Cousin Steven's 10th birthday that evening!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Notre Dame

We took the girls to Notre Dame to visit the campus for Michael's Glee Club Reunion weekend. We enjoyed gorgeous weather, although we were overdressed (having expected colder). Ever since we've returned, the girls (especially Bella) love to point out "the Dome" whenever we pass the AR state capitol or Capitol Bank.

Happy Bella at the airport on our way to ND

These are our girls:
Gabi tends to pout, but Bella loves to smile!

Riding in an airport sleigh

Girls on the new Irish Green

Tying a ribbon on the new "cancer tree"

Gabi near ND Ave.

Bella, with a view down God Quad

Gabi and Mommy on God Quad

Glee Clubers singing at ND in Revue on the Irish Green

The girls with Daddy after ND in Revue

Much thanks to our hosts, Tom and Kirstin, for watching the girls during the game! Bella needed a nap, and although Gabi was disappointed that she didn't get to watch the game, I think she probably preferred picking green tomatoes while Kirstin worked in the garden.

Girls walking on South Quad

Daddy and Gabi with the Basilica in the background

Looking at the ducks on St. Mary's Lake

Praying at the Grotto

Bella in front of the Dome

Gabi in front of the Dome

Gabi and Bella wearing new Notre Dame dresses