"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Sunday, March 31, 2013

1 Month of Gemma!

First of all, Gemma is home and fever free!  Praise the Lord.  Now we are thinking it was a virus that just had to run its course.  Nick has returned to Russia, and we are sad and miss him so much.  I can’t wait until we are reunited and don’t have to be apart anymore.  I am so thankful his medical clearance from his company took so long to come in… I know it was God making sure that Nick could be here for all of Gemma’s hospitalization. I’m so thankful we didn’t have to go through that without him.

I have been the worst second time Mommy about taking pictures of Gemma.  I am remedying that very soon though.  Now that we are for sure returning to the United States, I am getting an iPhone ASAP.  We did take some pictures on the good camera, and I will hopefully update this post with them soon.

Here’s our little princess the day she came home from the hospital! We are all pretty much in love with her… it helps that she’s so sweet.

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She is approximately 8 and a half pounds and about 20 inches long.  She is getting so cute now that she is filling out.  Gemma is a good little eater – once she figured out how to latch well she never stopped and she has a strong suck; she eats FAST for a little newborn.  Never longer than 15 minutes, but she’s gaining weight and sleeping well, so I know she’s getting enough milk.  She tries to nurse herself to sleep all the time, but that is not a habit I want to start.  She is very persistent about it, and usually refuses to take a binky from me, although she will take one from other people. Smile  I have cut out chocolate, dairy and caffeine since they seemed to give her gas in the early weeks.  I am going to start adding them back in next week to see how she handles them. I can always cut them back out again if she has trouble.

As for sleeping, she is a champion sleeper!  I know everything thinks Isla was a good sleeper, but she wasn’t.  She developed good sleeping habits thanks to the BabyWise/Baby Whisperer routine.  It took a  lot of work and STRESS to get Isla to sleep through the night, but it was worth it.  Gemma was born a good sleeper!  She has already gone almost a 9 hour stretch, and always makes it at least 6 or 7 hours… at 5 weeks old.  Amazing.  I am thankful because I just have not been able to be as strict as I was with Isla.  Also – no colic!  As a first time mom, I was in complete denial that Isla had colic.  I look back at blog posts and I would write “oh, she just needs a little extra help falling asleep at night…”  Pshaw.  Whatever.  She had colic and I just didn’t realize it.  I had always thought that it would be hard to love and be patient with a colicky baby, and since I didn’t have any trouble loving or being patient with Isla when she screamed for hours on end at night – I just thought it couldn’t be colic.  But still, it was colic and it was stressful. Its so awesome to be able to just lay Gemma down and have her fall asleep with only a little binky encouragement and sometimes… no encouragement at all! Smile 

She is worse than Isla in one sleeping area though.  Isla had a hard time falling asleep, but for night feedings I could just put her back down immediately without a binky or anything and she would fall right to sleep.  Gemma is more prone to cry and need a little bit of help falling back asleep in the middle of the night.  She usually does better when I turn on a little womb sounds app on the iPad and put it by her head.  This way, I don’t have to get up and reinsert her binky a trillion times.


When Isla was a newborn, I definitely glimpsed little bits and pieces of her future happy-go-lucky, life-of-the-party personality.  She never wanted to miss a thing!  I never wanted to “call it” the first time around since people would discount the things I would say, but having been proven right the first time – I am totally calling part of Gemma’s personality.  For starters, she loves her creature comforts!  She does not like to be messed with when she is cozy, and she gets cozy easy.  She does not like baths or getting her diaper changed or having her clothes changed or… the list goes on Smile.  I kind of think she might be the “grumpy” type on the Baby Whisperer personality chart.

This is her first bath, and this picture cracks me up!  She has started to like them a little bit better, but the first time was torture for her.

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She is fussier in general than Isla was, even though she is such an easy sleeper. She does not mind missing out on things, in fact, she loves a quiet, dark room.  I think that this may change though as she becomes more aware.  She also enjoys tummy time; I know most babies don’t. She is also more of a mommy’s girl already.  She really seems to pick out my voice and quiets when she hears it… unless she wants to nurse and then she screams even louder!

But she is sweet.  She makes us laugh and laugh, and I love her when she is wide eyed and wiggly and when she’s fussy and wants to try to nurse herself to sleep.  I love my babies, and the little personalities that God gives them!

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Before Gemma was born, I was so curious about how motherhood would be the second time around.  While I haven’t experienced the crazy, euphoric high that I did with Isla, I actually enjoy it better this time.  My hormones have been fairly steady and I haven’t had any of the overwhelmed feelings and the random crying bouts that I would get with Isla.  Its nice to already know how to care for a baby, and the bonding is the same if not better since I don’t have to worry if I am doing x, y or z right or wrong.  I already know what to do, so I have the mental capacity to focus more on her cues and her little personality.  It has also been wonderful to have so many extra hands around to help.  It has made for a very easy transition.

That’s it for now.  We are feeling very blessed at the Wann house – Gemma is adorable and we are so thankful for her! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gemma Update

Sweet Gemma could really use some prayers! Her fever went down without Tylenol for over 24 hours right around the time they started her on antibiotics. Then it started creeping back up to the temperature that it was when she was admitted to the hospital, and they are saying that they don't think she ever had a UTI because the bacteria they did find was in such low doses. Now they think it was maybe a virus that has a cyclical fever pattern.  Whatever it is, I just want her temperature to be back to normal... and I want her home!  I was not worried until her fever started coming back up.

Please pray for my sweetheart's full healing - we are trusting in the Great Physician :).

Also, don't you just love her little redneck camo bandage for her new IV? Haha, she's getting ready to be a full time Texan...

Monday, March 25, 2013

On The Move Again

To Midland, TX!!!!!

Nick is really excited about his new job opportunity, and me… well… I am excited to get back to Texas, even if I had hoped for Houston. I have been away too long and I have been getting a little homesick. The desert is not my favorite ecosystem, but I think that we will do well as a family there for the next several years.

We are really going to miss Russia. We have made wonderful friends, and it has been great for our family. We are especially going to miss our church. We always wanted to serve the church overseas somehow and it was the fulfillment of a longtime dream to find Calvary Chapel Novorossiysk and get to be active members. If we can find a church half as wonderful in Midland, we will be doing very well.

The move should happen sometime in the next couple of months. In the meantime, we will still return to Russia as planned next month, but with a little stop over in…

PARIS! The city of lights. We trying to do it as cheaply as possible since we will have a lot of expenses moving back to the USA, so we are using points for the flights and the hotel… but after the year we have had so far, we could seriously use a vacation!

I will hopefully update the blog more as we find out more on dates, but I am excited about our future and how life will be in the next place that God has determined The Wannderers should go…

Our Sweet Little Patient

God is faithful. That’s just all that there is too it. We have had the craziest year to date, and we have somehow managed to come through it all. We have been in the right place at the right time. Every time. We have come through it all by the grace of God.  We were able to come out of difficult medical situations in Russia unscathed, and we were in the USA just when we needed to be!  Not only that, but we have not had to be a part nearly as much as we had originally thought we would be.  When I think of this, I can't help but be so thankful.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." – Jesus
Friday morning my mom was holding Gemma and said that she felt a little hot. She also seemed a little fussy to me, so I checked her temperature under her arm and it was a little high 99.8, so I gave her Pediatrician’s office a call. The NP I spoke with wasn’t too concerned, but I thought we should bring her in just to be safe. I do not think that I am an overreactor, and especially not the second time around at parenthood… just call it mother’s intuition that was perhaps slightly divinely inspired.
I took Gemma in, and at that point she seemed fine. At the Doc’s office they took her temperature rectally and it was normal. So… it seemed like I overreacted a little bit. The Doctor went over the difference between core temperature and ancillary temperature with me, and said the next time I was worried I should just take her temperature rectally (which I didn’t think I was supposed to do) to get her true core temperature, and told me that if it ever got above 100.4 to take her to the ER. On the way home, we stopped and I bought a thermometer to use only when taking core temperatures... thank goodness I did!  Its funny the things you get used to and that do not phase you at all as a mama.

Later that evening we woke up around 1:45 AM to Gemma’s screaming. That’s not how she normally wakes up so Nick and I both jumped up. She felt burning hot to the touch. I quickly ran and got the thermometer that I had bought and took her temp the correct way, which was measuring at 101.8. I fed her and then we immediately brought her to the ER at the hospital where she was born.

Honestly, I thought that they were going to tell us to take her home, cuddle her and bring her back if she seemed lethargic or was showing signs of worsening because she was fine except for the fever. She was eating normally and not fussy anymore; she just had a fever.

Instead they started to do an entire workup of tests. They told me that she needed to supply urine, blood, and that they would have to do a spinal tap to test her brain fluids. Its necessary in very small infants to rule out all possibilities. In a baby as small as Gemma, nothing is simple, not even obtaining a urine sample. Thankfully right when they went to insert the catheter to get the urine sample, she peepeed and they collected it right into the tube! I was so thankful she was spared that.
Blood was another story because those little newborn veins are so tiny. After two tries, the ER nurses called in nurses from the NICU. They were PROs. They managed to collect three vials of blood and insert an IV, all without her making a peep or seeming uncomfortable!

Up until this point, I had been holding it together pretty well. The nurses were very nice and seemed very competent, and I knew that she was in good hands. They also answered all of our questions and we had brought her in early… BUT, for the spinal tap, they needed me to sign a consent form listing death as a possible outcome. OMG – I completely lost it. There is something about signing a permission form for someone to lose all liability for killing your child that just pushes you over the edge. We decided Nick would stay in the room and I would leave for the procedure since I didn’t want to be blubbering and distract the Doctor. I know its important to be strong for your children in situations like this, but hopefully if there’s a next time, and she’s old enough to remember an epic Mommy-Fail like this, I can have it completely together.

Isn’t that the most pitiful, vulnerable thing you ever saw?

After it was done, Nick told me he was glad I wasn’t in there for the spinal tap.
Later we were admitted and told that Gemma would have to stay for a minimum of 48 hours while we awaited test results. Since we had been up for so long, we decided to take a little nap.

They also started to administer IV antibiotics as a precaution in case the test results came back for anything bacterial or an infection.

We really were not worried. We thought it was probably a virus, and by Saturday night her fever was almost gone without the need for Tylenol. She had never had any other symptoms besides the fever so I wasn’t too concerned that it was anything life threatening, although of course it remained a possibility.

Sunday we found out that she had a urinary tract infection, which the Doctor explained was not uncommon in baby girls. Her exact words were that it was caused by the bad luck of being a baby in diapers! Of course I immediately started to question myself and every time I had ever changed her diaper – did I change it fast enough? Did wipe front to back? Nick pointed out that he changes her a lot, and so does my mom, and her Doctor assured me that it could happen to anyone no matter how often they were cleaned and/or changed. So I stopped the guilt. I am a good mom.

Anyway, Gemma is doing so well other than her stomach seems a little upset from the antibiotics. Nick went and bought her flowers and a balloon and in true Nick fashion, he started her doing exercises with it. By the by, I am so, so thankful that his trip back to Russia was delayed. He was supposed to leave Friday. Gemma has to stay in the hospital for a full 7 day round of IV antibiotics, but she seems fine otherwise, so God willing, we should be going home Saturday, although Nick should have already left by then.

I am really missing Isla… I wish I could say she was missing me because she is happy being spoiled by my parents, but I am happy that I have people nearby that I trust her with. She came and spent about 3 hours at the hospital today and I loved having her. There is a playroom here and the Child Specialist came and gave her books and toys so she had a blast! I can’t wait until we will be together as a family after we return to Russia.

This has really been a tough year for our family, but what confidence we have in the Lord, our redeemer. I know at times I would like to complain that if He loved me, He would take away my troubles, but that has never been His promise – His promise is that He has already overcome them! I was so reminded of that through all of this.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:13

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Big Sister Isla

In the past few weeks since Gemma was born, Isla has been the sweetest and best big sister!  The silver lining to our less than ideal birthing circumstances has been an easy transition for Isla.

Sister love

So far Isla has been nothing but delighted by her baby sister and doesn’t seem to mind the extra amount of time that Gemma takes!  Because we are at my parents house and my sister and her two boys live in the same property, there are a lot of hands to get her anything she needs and a lot of people and distractions to keep her busy!  For example, we went to Nick’s parents house this past weekend, and here she is with her Boo and they are tracing each other in chalk… I don’t know what it is about becoming grandparents, but both sets of our parents seem to have lost all dignity! Smile  Isla is pretty lucky to have two sets of grandparents who adore her and would do anything for her.

Chalk tracingIsla boo tracing

Not only that, but having Nick with us has been the biggest blessing – he didn’t take a single day off when Isla was born, so we have loved having him here, and we will be so sad when he leaves next Friday to return to Russia. Here he is practicing Isla’s gymnastic moves with her.

Practice gymnastics

Nick and I have to watch her like hawks though; she’s like Lenny with the rabbits and just wants to pick up and hug and love on little Gemma and rub her head… always just a wee bit too hard! 

Isla Gemma head rub

Here she is “rocking” Gemma, at first it was sweet, but then it got a little rough so we had to put a stop to it. I think Isla meant well, but she’s not yet three. We are working with her, and she really is making an effort to be more gentle, but still…

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She really does love her little sister though and always asks “Is my sister coming?” or “Can my sister come with us?” The other day we took Isla and Gemma to the pediatrician, Gemma had her two week appointment and Isla we took in for a sinus infection.  Gemma had to have a heel prick and Isla comforted our little patient before they started.  She was very concerned that her sister was about to get a “bobo”.

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She also loves to sing to Gemma – here Isla is ordering me to sing “Lockingbird” otherwise known as “Hush Little Baby” to Gemma!

Stori sisters sing

All in all, I am really proud of my little first born and how well she is handling this BIG transition.  So far there are no signs of jealousy.  I know its coming when its only me and she has to compete with Gemma for my attention, but hopefully by then she will be used to her little sister so it won’t be too bad. Also, thank goodness she doesn’t seem to mind Gemma’s crying so far.

Isla Gemma sleep

I love my girls, and I hope that they grow up to be the best of friends!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Naming Gemma

For Nick and I, the process of naming our past two children was a grueling and slightly agonizing process.  Nick is basically the perfect husband, except for a few little quirks.  One of his quirks that drives me absolutely bonkers is how he goes about helping me select our children’s names.

With Isla, I already had a name picked out before I was pregnant; both a girl’s name and a boy’s name.  Nick proceeded to shoot them down when we found out I was pregnant.  And then for the next NINE MONTHS shot down every single name that I suggested, while not once suggesting a single name of his own. Talk about frustrating… why he picked that time to stop being easygoing I will never know!  He does like to tease me and he would poker-faced, calmly say “We don’t need to discuss it.  When the baby is born, then I will select a name for it.” He also has the ability to both infuriate me and make me die laughing at the same time!

Anyway, about a week before Isla was born, I was throwing names out at him, and he was shooting them down one by one by one.  I threw out Isla, I didn’t like it, but I didn’t think he would either… but he did!  He said “I like that.”  And then he stuck with it for the next week.  I HATED it. The only person I knew with that name was the actress. It didn’t meet any of my naming criteria, and I believe my exact and not-at-all-judgmental words were “I am NOT naming my child after Borat’s baby mama!”

So fast-forward to the delivery room, we had two names we were selecting between.  We knew the middle name would be either Elizabeth or Frances after two of our grandmothers. Elizabeth with the other name, Frances with Isla.  I wanted the other name and Nick wanted Isla.  He just kept insisting she looked like an Isla, and finally I gave in.  He is seriously the best husband and he really doesn’t get his heart set on many things or ask for a lot so I figured I would let him have this one. 

Anyway my mom walked in and asked what Isla’s name was.  We told her and then she asked how Isla’s name was spelled.  We told her I-S-L-A.  And she said “Oh, that’s like my name!’  My mother’s name is Lisa… so Isla is just the letters of her name rearranged.  That of course made it perfect, and I have loved it ever since!  How neither Nick nor I realized it before, I will never know.  Say what you want about Texas Aggies and their intelligence, but Nick has a masters in structural engineering from Stanford and he didn’t realize it either…

I know already shared part of this story when Isla was born, but it doesn’t hurt to get it all down on paper.  Our silly, beautiful girl couldn’t have had any other name, and I am so thankful that I let Nick have his way!

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Fast forward to this pregnancy. I already had two names picked out again.  David for a boy and Jemma plus another girl’s name for a little girl.  This time after nine months, Nick didn’t have any other names even after going through thousands of names, and this time he finally agreed that since he didn’t like any of them better than what I had liked, it would be David for a boy.  He did like the other girl’s name better than Jemma, but he let me keep Jemma in the running.

I loved Jemma.  It is a derivative of Jemima (obviously we weren’t going to name our child Jemima), who in the Bible was one of the daughters of Job.  The Bible tells us that Job’s daughters were the most beautiful in the land and received an inheritance along with their brothers.  This was very uncommon in biblical times.  Not only were daughters often not named or mentioned in the Bible, they also did NOT receive inheritances.  One of my most favorite sermons was on this passage and why the Bible makes an exception for these girls.

According to the sermon, many biblical scholars believe that after all of Job’s trials, one of the things that he learned for the first time, was the great joy and delight that God takes in all things He creates.  Take the ostrich – such a stupid bird, she does not care for her young, nor can she fly… but boy when she runs!  She laughs at the horse and rider Smile (Job 39:13-18).  God loves everything He makes, even the things that seems silly or unimportant.  Job learned in his later years to delight in all things God had given him; He doesn’t make mistakes in His creations.

So needless to say… I was pretty stuck on Jemma.  But I did NOT like Gemma.  I told Nick that it reminded me of “Gumma”. It had to be Jemma with a J or nothing at all.  Unfortunately Jemma does not really work with Elizabeth as a middle name with a last name of Wann… I’ll let you work out those initials.  So we were going to use a different family name for the middle name – the other girl name we liked also started with a J.  Nick however liked Gemma with a ‘G’.  He said “Isla is like island and Gemma would be like a gem,”  but even with that, he agreed to both being J names.

When Gemma actually came out, she was so tiny.  I was expected her to be at least as large as Isla even though she came out about nine days in gestation earlier than Isla.  I couldn’t believe she weights a full 13 ounces less than Isla!  My first thought was that she reminded me of a tiny, precious jewel… and that’s when it hit me – Gemma with a ‘G’.  It was perfect!  And it meant we could use the middle name Elizabeth.

This time Nick was not insistent that we use the girl name he preferred.  He said “I picked the last one, and if you like Gemma with a ‘G’, then I’m ok with that.”  So Gemma was named!  And she was less than an hour old, unlike Isla who was probably about 8 hours or so.

And she is a little gem Smile.

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So that is the long and long of us naming both of our girls!

Gemma’s Arrival Part 3

I do want to document the rest of our time in the hospital and Gemma’s trip home… so this will be day 2 and 3 in the hospital.

I woke up on Day 2, and I had the most pain that I have had since the c-section.  It was NOT bad, but it was painful.  I am sure that it was less pain than most women experience with vaginal births.  My anesthesia had worn off, and so I called the nurses in to ask if I could start my regular pain medication.  They agreed it was time and put it into my IV.  After it had had time to kick in, they came in and removed my catheter and it was time for me to try to get  up and walk around and try to use the restroom.  This was the most painful part of the entire c-section.  The first time you get out of bed, it feels like someone has attached weighted hooks to your incision and your stomach is being pulled downward.  Thankfully it gets better and better throughout the day, and by the next day, you feel very little discomfort as your body adjusts to the oral pain medication, plus the binder they put on my stomach helped tremendously.

Also by the time I had woken up I was tired of people coming in and referring to Gemma as a “he/him” so I decided to girl her up a little bit!


Much better!

Nick’s parents were coming that day to see Gemma and then the plan was for them to take Isla back home to Temple with them for a few days.  It was so nice to see my in-laws and introduce them to their newest grandbaby – fourth granddaughter and fifth grandchild in less than four years!


Nick’s sister Tiffany also stopped by with baby Logan Irene who is only three months old (and who has not gotten a blog announcement like her big sister Hallie and big brother Barrett did – the unfairness of being a third child!).

Love this picture!


We also had several more visitors including our good friend Kristen Wells, who is due with her own little girl any day now! 


We were also visited by another good friend Ashley and her little boy Palmer, who is such a little love.  He didn’t leave my mom’s lap for a second! Isla came up to the hospital with my parents and of course only wanted to hold her baby sister.  She kept asking if it was her turn yet. Smile  She left with Nick’s parents in the early afternoon.  I missed her so much for the four days she was away.


We had a few more visitors that I forgot to get pictures with.  I was really thankful for all of the visitors!  It was fun being able to show off Gemma and it helped pass the time.

I also want to say that that day at the hospital I had THE BEST nurses.  I made sure to get pictures of them before we left.



And Dawn.


They were the best! I had heard nothing but great things about the nurses at Memorial Hermann from other friends and my sister who had delivered there, but to tell you the truth I was not that impressed by the nurses other than these two.  I thought that my nurses at St Tammany where I delivered Isla were much better.  I kept having to remind them to bring me my pain medication, sometimes they were 30 minutes late.  I just don’t think I should have to do that.  These two ladies however, were awesome.

That night we had another peaceful night at the hospital.  I was finally able to take a much needed shower.  Gemma slept A LOT and even slept through her little heel prick blood draw test!  The nurse said that that was the first time that had ever happened! I sure hope she stays such a good sleeper Smile.

We made sure to get in a little more skin-to-skin time… I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!!


The next day my Doctor came in a told me I was free to leave that day if I wanted to, although I could stay another day if needed.  Truth be told I probably could have stayed another day, but I felt like the hospital powers that be were ready for me to leave.  For starters they took away Dawn and Pauline and gave me kind of an old cranky nurse, who reminded me that check out was at 1, and whose picture I purposely did not take.  And after I had to remind the nurses several times to bring me my pain medication, I decided that Nick and my mom could probably take better care of me than they could.  I did feel well enough to go home or else I wouldn’t have gone, and I’m sure I saved our insurance $10,000 or so, so I think it was probably the right choice.  After Gemma’s hearing test (passed) and her newborn photos, the hospital had me ready to go by 10 AM, although I opted to stay until 1 to take my last round of medicine.  It just feels crazy that I was out of the hospital almost 48 hours to the minute after a major abdominal surgery!

Here we are are ready to go home!


Our beautiful girl!


We returned to my mom and dad’s house, and spent the rest of the day napping or walking or staring at Gemma!  It was so quiet without Isla, who was not set to return home for another two days.

Gemma’s arrival was really a sweet, peaceful experience, and I am so thankful for it and so thankful for our girl!  My life feels undeservedly rich right now.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gemma’s Arrival Part 2

After Gemma came out and they were done with me, the nurses wheeled me into the Recovery Room.  Gemma was already there with her Daddy (only she wasn’t Gemma yet…).

Our hospital was very encouraging and supportive of breastfeeding so they immediately put Gemma on my chest for skin-to-skin contact.  Unlike Isla, who immediately worked her way over and latched on, Gemma took quite a bit longer.  The nurse worked with her for almost an hour to get her to latch.  Thankfully although it took a while at first, we eventually got it and we haven’t had any trouble since then!  Nick and I spent that time just pouring over her and discussing her name… more on that later.  We eventually decided on Gemma Elizabeth!

Here is a picture of Gemma being held by our Doctor!  She is awesome, and I feel like I have her to mostly thank for making my birth experience so wonderful.  That and of course everyone’s prayers!

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We realized that it had been a while since her birth, and we hadn’t contacted anyone other than the Grandparents who had been immediately told that she was a girl and her births stats. We had sort of forgotten about the world!  We called my mom and dad who were in charge of bringing Isla in.  It was perfect timing because they had just arrived at the hospital, and Nick went to go and get them. Right then I received a text from Nick’s mom, so I gave her a call to let her know about the name and how I was feeling.

Nick came in first with Isla to introduce her to her little sister!  She was so excited, and hasn’t stopped being excited or in love with her little sister since then.  She charmed the nurses with her usual chatty, cheery little personality Smile.

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Then it was my mom and Dad’s turn to come and see Gemma.  It was so good to see my mom and tell her about everything!  After we chatted for a while, my room in the hospital was ready so it was time to move me.

We wanted to make the transition to Big Sisterhood momentous for Isla, and so we arranged a gift exchange between Isla and Gemma.  Isla thought it was so cool that her sister gave her a present, and Nick said that later she kept telling everyone she passed in the hallway that her sister gave her a present!  She bought Gemma her own big Whoozit, and Gemma bought her a little animal construction toy.


Later we also brought out a cake with candles and sang “You’re a Big Sister Now” to the tune of “Happy Birthday to You”, and Isla LOVED it!  It’s a bit cheesy and may be overkill, but she’s two, and she enjoyed it so that’s all the really matters.


Isla also immediately wanted to hold her little sister… and hasn’t wanted to stop holding her since!  I love her expression in this picture; I so wish the quality was better.


A proud Daddy with his little Aggie girls (yes Isla had a wardrobe change, HA!)!


A proud Pawpaw with his little Aggie granddaughters!


Me with my girls!


Our first family photo! Isla was very interested in/concerned about Mama’s “Bobo Tummy.”


I just love this one.  Nick was so happy!


Also the only proof that my mom was actually there!  We have got to start getting her in more photos, but she hates having her pictures taken.  She is beautiful and wonderful!!!


My sister and nephews also stopped by that day, but we didn’t get any photos of them; I’m so annoyed because I wanted to get photos of Gemma with all of her visitors. Sad smile Sadly, it was eventually getting late and time for visitors plus Isla to leave.

Nick and I enjoyed a really sweet, peaceful night at the hospital with Gemma.  My anesthesia was awesome and I didn’t experience any discomfort, and actually got a lot of rest and felt really nice. It was a great day and a wonderful birthday that I am incredibly thankful for!

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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