Introducing Audrey Ava Neill

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Introducing the newest member of our family – Audrey Ava Neill. She weighed 7 lbs and 6 oz, 19 in – and came out alert and crying with a strong set of lungs! We are so excited to finally meet her.

I had a scheduled C-section this time around, and the delivery was so completely different from Bella’s. We arrived (a little late) to the hospital around 8am, they monitored us, took some blood and ran some tests and then we headed to the OR around 9:45. It was kind of surreal and very calm. Once in the OR, Jer had to wait outside until the spinal was in place…I got a little apprehensive at this point (just wondering if it was really going to work), but a very sweet nurse distracted me during the process and within minutes I couldn’t feel a thing below my chest. Baby Audrey came out quickly and easily at 10:07am. (Funny story, they couldn’t find one of the operating needles for a bit after they finished with me – so they thought they were going to have to X-Ray to be sure it wasn’t inside me – but they quickly found it after a few minutes of looking…) She has been very mellow all morning and latched on to nurse very quickly. The whole day has been very peaceful – Jeremy is at the nursury now with her while they give her a little sponge bath. I’m smitten – as is Jeremy…of course, we are biased, but we think she is absolutely beautiful. I think she actually looks a little like Bella did as a baby too. We are so excited to introduce her to Bella – it has been hard not to have her right here – but I also think it is for the best. (Bella is spending some quality time with MiMi at our house for the next couple of days.) Life is officially changed – and I couldn’t be more thrilled 🙂

Ballet Recital

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Well – I thought that I wouldn’t post again for a bit – but who can pass up the cutest ballet recital photos ever!!! Jeremy and I had the pleasure to watch this little show this morning – and if there is anything that will put a smile on your face, it is a bunch of three year olds sashaying around the room in tutus. The teacher must have the patience of a saint – seriously – the girls were cracking us up.

When I was downloading, I also came across a few Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating photos I had yet to download…The gingerbread barn was sent to us by Grandpa George – and although it turns out that it was harder for us to make pretty like the box picture, we had a really great time cracking up while we put it together (and luckily Bella is much more interested in eating the icing and decorating her own way with candy anyway). Art is subjective, right?

Time to catch up.

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Well – I decided to make it a point this weekend to catch up on the blog – because in 9 days, I have a feeling I won’t have time. You know how they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words…”, well, I really hope that is the case, as that is the way these wonderful memories of the past couple of months are going to be displayed. The photos here encompass our awesome trip to Texas in October, my mom’s visit out in November and our fantastic Thanksgiving at the Raddy’s…Here’s a quick sum up:

October in Texas: First, we visited Grandpa George in Athens, and Bella got to experience one of Jeremy’s greatest childhood (and adulthood – since he still heads there for a trip once a year) places. We ate tons of great food, played in the great outdoors, Bella caught her first fish, we hiked with Dixie the guard dog, got to gather fresh eggs from chickens, pat horses,  and plant in Grandpa George’s garden. Then, we headed to Aunt Christi & Uncle Jason’s house to meet Bella’s new adorable cousin, Caitlin. We hung out for a day, and then headed to the TX / OU football game with MiMi, George, Christi & Jason. This was Bella’s first TX fair experience as well – and even though we lost the game, we still had a wonderful time. The rest of our trip to Dallas was really fun as well – we visited the Aquarium (which is absolutely amazing!) and the arboretum – and Bella picked a huge pumpkin that we carved at Aunt Christi & Uncle Jason’s house.

Dee Dee Visits in November: We had a great time hanging with Dee Dee even though the weather out here wasn’t really cooperating. Bella got to take Dee Dee to a swim lesson. (Where she enjoyed showing off her skillz!) But, The coolest thing we did, was head to Sea World – where we did a special tour and fed dolphins, eels and huge sea turtles. It was a really cloudy day, and Sea World was pretty empty – so no one else even signed up – and we got to do the tour all by ourselves! Bella loved all the sea creatures.

Thanksgiving at the Radcliffe’s: At the beginning of the week, Bella was sick, so we didn’t think we were even going to go…but she bounced back by Thursday, so we drove up to OC for a wonderful Thanksgiving break. We got to see all of our old buds, meet Hannah, eat a fantastic meal and Nate put their bouncy house up in the garage and the kid’s jumped all night (and all the next day). They played so hard, that they slept until 9am the next morning!! (Terri said it was the latest that Kaelyn had ever slept!!) It is such a joy to watch the kids play together so nicely, it is almost like having a babysitter on hand. The next day, Terri, Amy and I even got a couple of hours of Black Friday shopping in while the boys watched the girls. We headed  back that afternoon and then decorated the house for Christmas the next day.

These last few weeks have really been going by so quickly. I’m really excited to meet our new baby (no we still don’t have a name!) in just a week or so – plus I am very looking forward to not being pregnant anymore (I’m done with the back pain, leg cramps, huge belly and even the lack of libations!) But I am also really trying to cherish each and every moment that we have with just Bella for the time being. We are so blessed to have both MiMi and DeeDee coming in for a visit during the holidays and during my time in the hospital. I have a feeling the next few months are going to FLY by.

I probably won’t be too on top of my Christmas posts this year – so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my friends…I’ll try to post baby no. 2 (who WILL have a name at some point) photos as soon as I can.

Much Love from the Neills.

(For the gallery below, you can click on the file and download a larger version – or you can scroll past all of the thumbnails, and a slide show will load that you can just on the arrows to view each photo.)