One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

everyone together again

Ah, home is a wonderful place to be. I thought we would have to stay until today and take the train home, as Jörg was sick this week. I didn't want to push him to come get us, as the last time I did that (about 3 years ago), he passed out while driving and crashed the car. Having thankfully escaped that incident with no injury, I surely didn't want to be responsible for a repeat. But when I called him Friday afternoon, he was feeling much better and arrived to whisk us away at 7:15 that evening. Home looked just wonderful, despite the overwhelming smell of cat piss that hit my nose the instant I walked in. Poor Jörg has been so congested he didn't even notice, but one of our cats has a tendency to protest any conditions that are not up to her exacting standards by peeing beside the litter box rather than in it. And, of course, I had left the house a wreck when we left for the funeral 10 days ago. This morning my first priority was attacking the kitty smell (done, and I hope she's happy), and then doing laundry and repacking a bag to be ready to go to the hospital again on short notice. We came home with a letter from our Chicago docs to be given to the E.R. docs here to let them know immediately how they want Annika treated in case of a rebleed. The doctors have said that the chance of a rebleed in the next 6 weeks is approximately 20%. In typical fashion, I was surprised that the chance was so high (I tend to underestimate risk), and Jörg was relieved that the number was lower than he expected. We have become a truly complementary team over the years. My parents are bringing Frankie home from Kansas City today, and we are all looking forward to a family reunion, for however long it will last. I hope we manage to last the 2 weeks here at home without another bleed. We got the results from the C.T.angiogram just before we left: the clot is still external to the liver. This is very good news. Now we just have to wait for the surgeon to decide exactly what kind of shunt he wants to do in the next few weeks, and then hold our breath that it works. Here are some photos from our hospital stay: Annika was so happy to see Joerg on Sunday when we arrived in Chicago. Annika having fun in her hospital bed with the balloons that Lauren brought with her on her visit. Annika was just coming off sedation, but was still up for a little fun with her first babysitter. Lauren brought Anni a new crown and earrings, just in time for her to get the OK to visit the hospital's main playroom. She swished along the halls, swinging her polyester hospital pj's, which she had pronounced her "pretend princess gown." Once in the playroom downstairs, she introduced herself to everyone by saying, "Hello. I am Annika the Princess. What's your name?" Annika has a chat with her good buddy, Shelby. Sarah and her daughter, Anna (liver transplant also at CMH), visit Annika. Anna giving Annika the play-doh she brought for her. Thank you Sarah and Anna! Soon little Natalie, a recent liver transplant recipient, joined in the fun. Liver girl party! And Annika loved it. Natalie is just about Frankie's age, and Annika was pretty pleased to have a baby around her again. Natalie, for her part, was pretty pleased to be in on the big girl action. We all got to enjoy one of Natalie's trademarked Huge Laughs. I like this picture because you can see her parents, Becca and Jason, laughing behind her. Here you can see Annika's reaction to Natalie's trademarked Huge Laugh. She was pretty amused. Here is Annika, naked except for her underwear (how long, exactly, is this "get naked" phase supposed to last?), doing her best to make Natalie laugh again. I think she's already a Natalie Laugh Junkie. Annika doing an art project for her favorite nurse, Beata. As we were driving home, Annika started crying, "Oh, I miss Beata so much!" She is such a drama queen. When I got out the camera, noting that I hadn't gotten a picture of Beata with Annika for a very long time, Beata seemed not all that thrilled to see that it was picture time. "I was wearing this exact same scrub last time you took pictures, too," she sighed. It's all about the memories, though, Beata. And in case you've been wondering about what Frankie's been up to, here she is wandering around the wonderful wooded area around my sister's house. I think Monica said that they had found a bunch of baby snakes on this day. My sister takes great photos. And here she is with her cousins, Darcy and Rayna, doing a portrait shoot at Wal-Mart. Nearly 2 years old, and this was her first professional photo. Annika, at nearly 5, still has not had one taken. Frankie had so much fun with her cousins, and it was particularly exciting to get to hang around Rayna, who is so close in age. And I leave you with a photo of Frankie, preparing to audition for KISS Notice how her well-behaved cousin, Rayna, is looking at her like, "Hey. Is she allowed to do that? On official Wal-Mart portraits?"


Anonymous jeanette1ca said...

What wonderful pictures! I'm so happy you made it home safe and sound.

9/10/2005 3:39 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I think I need a camera like yours Moreena, great pictures! I'll be checking in often for more updates, give Annika a big hug from Anna. Anna is already talking about playing with Annika again. Too bad we didn't capture that goodbye kiss they gave each other, that was sweet.

9/10/2005 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Sue (mom to Moira) said...

Hi to the liver girls! and other liver moms! So glad they could come and help pass the hospital time. Continued prayers for Annika. Beautiful pictures.

9/10/2005 4:59 PM  
Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

I'm so glad you are home safe and sound.

9/10/2005 6:44 PM  
Blogger Amanda M said...

It was a liver girl party!!! How totally sweet. Loved the photos. Welcome home!

9/10/2005 8:03 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Your children are so beautiful and so are their friends and cousins!

Welcome home.

9/10/2005 8:57 PM  
Blogger Coralee said...

SoooOOOOO glad you are all home - together. Will be praying for the two weeks AND for Dr. Superina's decision. Wonderful pictures!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Shelby's Grammie Cori

9/10/2005 9:23 PM  
Blogger Coralee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/10/2005 9:23 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

So glad to hear that the clot is still external to the liver!! (Been making my M.D. husband translate for me.)

I love the pictures. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

9/10/2005 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Becca, Jason, & Natalie said...

Thank you so very much for posting the pictures!!! We had so much fun. Thanks for letting us come to the liver-hospital party!!! But I'm really glad to hear that you are home now.

Sigh...even with a naughty cat - isn't it always better at home?

Give the girls a great big NATALIE Bearhug!!!!

9/10/2005 10:09 PM  
Blogger ocelot said...

Adorable pictures all around! Gotta wonder if the Huge Laughs™ are as maniacal as they look. Especially like Annika gazing at Jörg, and smilling in the chair with Anna, and batting the balloons, and Frankie, and well, a lot of great pics there. Thanks for sharing!

9/10/2005 11:57 PM  
Blogger Sarahlynn said...

Hip Hip Hooray!

9/11/2005 1:50 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Wow. I "go away" for a few days, and you get to come home! YAY!

I love the pictures of the Liver Girls party! No matter the circumstances the girls played under, they still had fun, and I know it helped you too!

Glad that you're home, and I hope that these next two weeks are VERY uneveentful for you.

9/11/2005 8:49 AM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

Great news about the clot! Your family is just a joy. I love the pictures. Welcome home :)

9/11/2005 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

Those are beautiful shots. I'm glad to see so many pictures of both of your girls so happy.

9/11/2005 2:11 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

I'm relieved that you're all together again. Your girls are stunningly beautiful and that top picture of daddy and daughter made me cry. Sending good thoughts your way.

9/11/2005 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Rowan said...

What a wonderfully sweet set of heartwarming. Your family is beautiful.
And I am so happy to hear that things are looking better. Hopefully they truly are, and you can soon put this misadventure behind you.

9/12/2005 12:35 AM  
Blogger purple_kangaroo said...

Beautiful pics. I'm so glad you all get to come home, and for the good news!

9/12/2005 3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What great pictures! Your girls are so precious. Even in the hospital Anni seems so full of joy. And Frankie has that sweet innocent look. They are just beautiful! I'm so glad to hear you are back home.


9/12/2005 6:44 AM  
Blogger Bettie Bookish said...

Hooray for some good news. And hooray for photos. Hard to choose a favorite, but the one of Annika the Princess is wonderful.


9/12/2005 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Sheryl (and Justice) said...

Yea, glad you're home. Justice loves to sit with me to look at anything on the computer. He loves pictures of anybody. When I told him all the girls were "liver girls" he asked where the boys were. Guess he felt left out! :) Anyway, glad you got to see some friends, wish it was under more...maybe less...exciting circumstances. Again, congrats on being home!!

9/12/2005 3:25 PM  

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