Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!  We are hanging out here at the house tonight since the little guy wouldn't appreciate trick or treating this year.  William had some squash and a bottle for dinner and is now passed out!  It's been fun dressing William up in his costume and different Halloween outfits but next year will be even better!  He got to wear his costume yesterday to school for the Halloween parade and today he was on the front page of the Texas Children's website homepage in his adorable little frog outfit!  The little guy is famous.  :) 

Monday night I made these yummy chocolate pretzels and our first pumpkin pie of the fall.  Gordon LOVES pumpkin pie so I make lots of them between October and December.  William gave his classmates and teachers a little Halloween treat today!  Gordon asked why I was doing it since the babies can't response..."they all have moms" (and we love chocolate)!

Here's a few pictures of our little pumpkin in his Halloween attire! 
William is sleeping in the picture of us....we had just gotten home from school and he'd fallen asleep in the car.  He's looking a little sleepy this morning in the picture with daddy. 

Well, I'm off to start packing for our trip to West Texas tomorrow!  I'm super excited about getting some R&R (massage is already scheduled!) and having some fun in the LBK. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend at Home

We've had a nice relaxing weekend here at home.  Friday night we went to dinner at our favorite Mexican food place with 2 other couples and all our babies!  Saturday morning we ran to Starbucks for a quick breakfast and then I headed to my hair appointment while baby and daddy had some boy time.  I'm loving my shorter hair!  It's a nice change for the fall and will be easier to dry.  I was craving Buffalo Wild Wings so we headed there to watch the second half of the Tech game (which was pretty terrible).  We did our weekly grocery shopping after that and William passed out!  When we got home I made him some squash and he LOVED every bite.  Such a good little eater.   
Today we've done some house cleaning, lots of playing, mom and baby went walking at Memorial Park while G shot guns and now G is cooking ribs on the Green Egg while we play and get ready for bathtime and more squash. :)   OH and we are watching the oh so exciting Cowboys game (which my parents are at!)!!! 
I'm super excited about next weekend....West Texas here we come!!!!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Then and Now

What a difference a year makes!  A year ago yesterday we saw our little peanut for the first time.  We sure have come a long way from being 7 weeks pregnant to having a precious 6 month old!  I'd like to say that October 24th was filled with just excitement....but there was also a lot of anxiety and nervousness because we found out I had a "funny" uterus.  I can still remember texting Alison about it and telling my mom on my drive home from the doctor.  This December we'll find out if my uterus is fixable.  :)

Words can not express how grateful I am for this precious little boy.  Having a baby is such a miracle.  It's hard to believe that in 12 months he's grown this much!  I loved feeling him in my belly and love holding him in my arms now. There's nothing better in this world than the boys in my life and our sweet families.  God has been good to us!   


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

I was miserably tired yesterday at work so I knew today would need to be a pajama day!  Thankfully, William only woke up once last night at 4am so I got some good sleep.  We didn't actually get up and moving until around 9:15.  I had some french toast for breakfast and baby boy had bananas and rice cereal.  We gave him bananas for the first time on first he made a funny face but ended up liking them.  He is really loving the food thing.  He gobbles it right up!  We headed to the doctor's office for his flu shot around 11:00.  Little buddy didn't even cry.  After that we ran a couple of errands, mommy got Chick Fil A for lunch and then we headed home for a NAP!  William is really not a good nap taker these days (they don't last long) but he's been asleep for 2 hours now.  YEAH (I think it's the shot).  I slept for a little over an hour with him and now I'm up doing laundry, blogging, and watching this weeks DWTS.   

Here are a few of my thoughts on DWTS...
I am laughing my butt off watching the Gangman Style dance.  SO stinking funny!! 
I wish I could be on the show :)
Kelly Monaco has the cutest little figure (and is a great dancer)
I love that Emmitt Smith is so sweet and loves to laugh (I've loved that guy since I was 10 years old!)
Watching Melissa Rycroft is fun since I knew 1/2 of her wedding party
Shawn Johson is just plane amazing

Other thoughts of the day....I have a feeling that Memorial City Mall is going to be one of our favorite places soon.  Not only do they have a few of my favorites (Chick Fil A, Berryhill, TCBY...) but they also have an ice skating rink, carousel and indoor playground area.

I'm so excited about the cooler weather this weekend.  Cool weather means we get to start walking at Memorial Park more often!  William and I walked yesterday after work and it was a little toasty.  In the past 7 months I've walked around the park 5 times and done one stroller aerobics class.  This is SO unlike me....I feel so much happier & productive when I get fresh air and a little exercise!  Hopefully the change in the weather (and the death of the terrible mosquitoes) will help us get out of the house more often. 

William loves his Sophie!  She's a life saver when he's upset in the car.  We put a swing in our bedroom this week and it's been great! 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

6 months old

I can hardly believe little William came into this world half a year ago!!  He'll be heading off to college before I  know it.  He's gone from my little 3 pound baby to nearly 13 pounds. 
SO fun watching him grow and change.  :)

6 month stats:
- 12 lb 7 oz (0.27%)  Height- 24.75 inches (5.25%)  Head Circumference- 16 inches (1.5%)
At every check up Dr. Freedman shows us where William is on the preemie growth chart.  He is growing at the right "speed"....on the preemie charts he is about 40% weight, 25% height and 15% head. 
Eating- 4 oz every 2-3 hours.  Some days he'll eat 6 oz at a time when I'm off work or before he goes to bed.  We started giving him cereal last week!  He's really starting to love it and is getting the hang of the eating thing!  We tried bananas this morning and he seemed to like them.  I finally broke out the Baby's super quick and easy to use.  I'm so excited about making his baby food (it doesn't take much time, it's cost effective and we won't be wasting all those glass containers!). 
Sleeping- So long sleeping through the night.  William's been waking up at 11pm and 3am to eat since the end of September.  I think part of the reason is a) he's growing b) he eats less during the day since starting daycare.  He may be 6 months old but he only weighs 12 lbs.  Most babies weigh this by the time they are 2-3 months old.  Thank goodness I'm patient and do well on little sleep. :)
Development-  He loves his playmat!  He grabs all the toys and shakes them around.  He's much more alert and wants to play or talk to us.  He's able to hold his head up so much better during tummy time and can even reach for things while laying on his tummy.  He is still cooing and laughing/giggling up a storm.  Over the last week he started grunting at us.  He grunts when he wants to be picked up or needs a change in his environment.  At his 6 month check up the doctor asked us a few developmental questions and unfortunately we couldn't say he was able to do everything.  :(  We just have to remember he should only be 4 months old.  He can sit with assistance but hasn't started sitting up on his own (or by holding his hands in front of him, in the tripod position).  No babbling yet but hopefully soon.   
Clothes size- Little buddy is still wearing size 1 diapers but we'll be moving up to size 2 soon.  I've noticed that Huggies seem to run smaller than Pampers.  He is wearing 3 month clothes in most brands but can fit into 3-6 month stuff (we just roll up the sleeves). 
Things mommy loves- Our hearts melt when he giggles.  It is so neat to see him grow and change every day!  I never imagined I'd be so protective and in love.     
Things WJG loves- These days he likes to hold his hands near his ears when he's eating.  If his hands aren't near the sides of his face he has a hand on his bottle like a big boy.  He loves sucking on his hands and thumb and still loves blowing bubbles.   
Things WJG doesn't like-  He really seems to hate being in his carseat after I pick him up from school.  Other than that he's usually fine (unless he's hungry).  He wakes up STARVING at would think we never fed the kid. 
Mommy stuff-  Hate to say it but my hair is falling out.  I knew it could happen after pregnancy but I just hoped it wouldn't.  I'm still taking my prenatal vitamins since I'm breast feeding so hopefully that will help some.  Thank goodness I had thick hair!  I've lost all my pregnancy weight and am loving mommyhood.  I'd have 6 kids if G would let me.  I cry when I watch anything to do with someones child being harmed.  Ex: Taken 2-  I cried when Dad and daughter were safe at US Embassy because I hated that she was so scared.  Hormones. 
Shots-  William got two shots and one oral vaccination at his doctor appointment on Tuesday.  He felt a little warm before he went to bed that night so we gave him a bath and some tylenol.  He slept well and was in a happy mood the next day.  I think I'll try and do shots in the afternoon from now on.  When we get them done in the morning he seems sad the rest of the day.  We are going back this week for the first of two flu shots.  The second flu shot will be a month after that.  William will also be getting the RSV shots since he's a preemie.  It is a series of 3  But, 3 shots beats a sick baby that has to be in the hospital!  We've had 2 kids in our clinic with RSV and 2 flus and it's only October!  Yuck.  He'll get his last Hepatitis shot in either December or January.  After that the shots will be a lot less frequent. 

My BFF, Alison, took some 6 month photos of William last weekend.  She did a fabulous job!  Here's a sneak peek.    

Little buddy and I had a photo shoot this past Wednesday.  I'm trying to get better with the fancy camera....



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

William and I had another productive Wednesday together!  Unfortunately, today wasn't as relaxing because we had lots of errands to run and W had an appointment with the ear doctor.  He had a hearing test before he was discharged from the NICU and they told me he'd have to have another in 6 months due to his risk factors (being born 8 weeks early and being intubated).  Baby boy did really well and everything seems to be good with his hearing.  They did 3 tests and during the last one they put us in a sound proof room with speakers in all the corners....William would turn his head when he heard the lady's voice but didn't turn to any of the beeps.  She said this was most likely because he wasn't interested in that sound.  Worse case scenario is he could have some nervous system issues.  I highly doubt that's the case.  He can hear Gus bark from the other room, he gets startled by loud noises, he understands a "mean" voice and gets upset (when we are yelling at Gus...haha) and he turns his head when we talk to him.  So, we'll just keep our eyes on it and if I feel like there are any problems we'll go back again.
After the doctor appointment we headed across the hall to see the girls I work with.  They love seeing baby William!  From there we went to daddy's work and we all went to lunch.  After dropping Gordon off we went to a few stores, got the oil changed and finally headed home at 3:00!  Getting a baby into and out of a carseat from 9:30-3:00 makes for a tiring day. 
Since we've been home we've had a photo session, had a couple bottles, tried some rice cereal and are about to head to the bath.  I can hardly wait for the weekend to get here!  Baby boy turns 6 months old this Friday....maybe we'll go have Mexican food to celebrate.  :) 



Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Firsts

William has gotten to do lots of new stuff over the last month or so!  He has become so much more alert and he wants to play. :)  On September 9th we tried out the Bumbo for the first time.  He was a little uncertain about it at first and a little wobbly but overall he likes it.  Since then he has gotten a lot stronger and can sit up better. 
We also started taking William to church!  He has done wonderful every time (knock on wood) and seems to like the music and all the talking.  After his first time to church we went to eat at one of our favorites....Walnut Cafe.  Yummy lobster tacos!  Life is finally starting to get back to normal.  With the wonderful addition of baby boy of course.  We are able to eat at Barnaby's on Saturday morning, go to the grocery store all together and on Sunday G makes french toast and we head to church.  We've enjoyed every stage of babyhood so far but this one is so much fun...we love hearing him laugh and discover new things.   

 And last but not least, we decided to try out cereal today!  Needless to say it was pretty hilarious.  He's not quite sure what to do but I'm sure he will catch on pretty quick.  We're hoping to start feeding him cereal when he gets home from daycare.  He's still waking up one or two times during the night to eat so I'm hoping this will help keep him full so he can sleep longer stretches....because let's be honest....I'm one tired momma some days!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

How Did This Happen?

I was looking through pictures during the VP debate and could hardly believe how small baby boys was!!!  These pictures were taken when he was one month mid May once we were home from NICU.  I can't believe he's going to be 6 months old next week.  I swear he's going to be graduating from high school in the blink of an eye.  I know mommy-hood will only get better....I never imagined I'd adore him so much!!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

I LOVE my Wednesday's off with little buddy!  It really makes the week so much more manageable.  The little guy and I didn't get up and moving until 10:00.  ....We haven't stopped since then.  :)  I got a pedicure, we returned some things to Target and the Galleria, picked up some new makeup, folded laundry while he did tummy time, went through clothes that don't fit William anymore and then I strapped baby boy on so I could cook dinner and do some dishes. 
I rented the movie I Don't Know How She Does It but I'm starting to think it might not be the best movie for Gordon to watch if I ever want him to agree to having 3 kids (he'd rather stick to just 2).  HAHA.  Eventhough William is an easy baby we stay SO busy with house stuff and just life in general.  I honestly don't know what I did with all my free time before?!?!  I worked out on most of my days off before bedrest in March.....other than that I guess I had lots of free time.

Here's a typical day after work:
Pick William up by 6:00
Put milk that I pumped that day in freezer & carry W and bags upstairs
Let Gus out
Start cleaning/sterilizing bottles
Get milk out to defrost for daycare the next day
Pump and feed William
Start dinner
Give William a bath and get him dressed for bed while G takes Gus for walk
Do a load of laundry
Feed William and put to bed between 8-9
Shower, make bottles for daycare the next day, pump and head to bed at 10:00.

Life is busy, that's why Wednesdays off are so wonderful.  :)


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

West Texas

The weekend before last William and I made a last minute trip to Midland.  It was his second time to fly, his first time to Midland and my first time to fly by myself with baby boy.  I was a little nervous about getting through security and onto the plane without any help but I passed with flying colors!  Everything went smoothly and William did great on the flight there and back...not a single peep from the little guy. 

We had a fun filled weekend with my family and I really enjoyed the nice cool weather.  William got to meet lots of new friends (and family!).  He thought my parent's dogs were pretty neat.  He'd never seen little dogs like them before, so all the running around really intrigued him.  We went to my church's annual fair, ate at some of my favorite restaurants, went to Big Spring to see William's Great Grandpa and GG, and he got to meet his Great Grandad and my aunt/uncle for the first time!!!  Grandad H is about to be 94 years old.  WOW!!  I'm so glad I got a picture with four generations of men I love and respect. 

Monday morning this mommy went and had a much needed massage and then William and I went house hunting with my parents.....don't worry we aren't parents may be though. :)  Who knows, maybe one day Gordon, W and I will end up in West Texas?!?!  Gordon held the fort down while we were gone and got lots of R&R and boy time in. 

I'm already counting down the days until we go back "home" for a Tech football game.  Yippee!  Only a few more weeks.... 


Friday, October 5, 2012

An Unforgettable Year

This time last year our lives were forever changed by one little word, PREGNANT.  I'd had two tests come back negative over the 4 weeks before that so, I was completely shocked that we were going to have a baby!!  Some of my favorite moments/memories have occurred over the past twelve months.  October 5th will always be a happy day in the Gooding's the day we found out we were going to be parents.  We have had highs and lows.....but on April 19th we were blessed with a beautiful, healthy and very happy baby boy that we named WILLIAM JAMES.  Life is good...and everyday is better than the one before!

October-  Gordon's first words were "really?" and then Congratulations!  I remember LOL since we both deserved a congratulations
November-  At 12 week preggo we finally told our friends and extended family over Thanksgiving.
December-  It's A Boy!
January- Healthy baby at anatomy scan and nursery room shopping.
February- My 30th birthday!
March- Two baby showers and the bedrest fun started.
April-  William made his debut at 3 lbs 14 oz.
May-  Came home from the NICU on May 16th.
June-  Lots of cuddling at home and first wedding in Dallas!
July- First 4th of July, mom back to work and beach trip.
August- Hanging out with the nanny during the day and mommy and daddy at night.
September-  First time to the lake, sip and see in Texarkana, and 1st trip to Midland.

The night I told Gordon I was pregnant we had Pronto's for dinner.  So, Friday night, one year later, the three of us went to dinner at Pronto's.  We've had a nice relaxing weekend at home.  Just the three of us!!  William and I have been a little under the weather so it was nice to not do anything.  We did finally venture out today to enjoy this nice, cool fall weather.  We grabbed a Spiced Pumpkin Latte and walked around Memorial Park.  Can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us....this past one was pretty awesome!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Guest Blogger for TCH

I was recently back at the TCH Women's Pavilion for a class and was overwhelmed by all the memories that came flooding back.  I've felt SO many different emotions in this one building....there was joy after seeing baby boy's beautiful heart at 19 weeks, fear after every appointment while I was on bed rest, nervousness when we arrived on the day I would deliver William, sadness when I had to go home without my baby, and excitement to finally bring him home on May 16th.  It was kinda nice being back.  Reminds me of everything I have to be grateful for!  I used the NICU lactation room to pump on the day I had class.  I passed by William's old room and saw the tiniest baby doing her car seat test.  I couldn't believe how small she was.  I really can't believe William was that small not too long ago!  Only 4 pounds when he came home! 

While I was there I also took care of some business....I'm officially a milk donor for TCH.  As I've mentioned before, I've been blessed to produce a good amount of milk.  I've been back at work for nearly 3 months and today we used the last bottle of milk that I pumped while William was in the NICU.  Needless to say, I have plenty of milk that could go to good use.  I'm so happy to be able to help these tiny babies. 

I got my donor pack in the mail the day before so I was able to have my blood drawn while I was there.  Love being able to get two things done at once!

In other TCH news....little William is a star!  I did my first guest blog post for TCH and they posted it today!  Eventhough I'm a nurse myself I really didn't know what to expect when it came to my pregnancy and having a preemie baby.  If I could help one mom out....make her feel better...or more normal then my mission is accomplished.  :)  So, here it is....

Isn’t it ironic….I sure did love that song back in junior high. I guess I should’ve known I was in for it when it rained on my wedding day.

I am the proud mommy of a preemie. Yep, this health conscious, worry wart, pediatric oncology nurse had her baby boy eight weeks early. This won us a four week stay in the new Pavilion for Women NICU! The irony in all of this started when I was only eleven years old. While having an abdominal ultrasound done, due to my very own cancer scare, guess what I asked the tech? Will you look at my uterus and make sure it’s there and okay. What 6th grader asks that kind of question? Me I guess. Flash forward 20 years. I’m a nervous wreck waiting in the doctor’s office to see how far along I am in my pregnancy. I’d soon find out that I had a bicornuate uterus. I’m a nurse but my mind went blank. I remember hearing things like increased risk for second trimester miscarriage; prematurity, low birth weight…. I wanted to stay positive but deep down inside I was terrified to lose this little baby. I’m a typical nurse with type-A personality. I like to plan. Well, all of that went out the window. At 29 weeks I was put on strict bed rest. I missed my baby brother’s wedding and any nesting had to be pushed to the back of my mind.

Bed rest is surprisingly exhausting. All I did was worry. My sweet baby boy didn’t want to wait, he made his debut early and it was a scary entrance. As soon as he was born, he was whisked away to the NICU. So, there I was all alone in the delivery room texting back and forth with my husband, Gordon. How is he doing? Has he been intubated? Can he breathe on his own? My poor husband isn’t in the medical field. All he could tell me was there was a lot of tubes and some gel in his eyes. Five hours later I would finally meet our little boy.

After 4 weeks in the NICU, William finally got to come home with us! My husband and I are so blessed to have a healthy baby. I am thankful every day. William doesn’t have any chronic problems from his prematurity, I didn’t have infertility issues and four weeks in the NICU is nothing compared to what some families go through. But it was still a struggle. So, for any preemie parents out there maybe this post will help you out a little.

Ironic….there’s that word again. Life has been a bit ironic since William made his appearance back in April. Here is a quick list of the things that surprised this mommy!

 * I cry a lot. Always have. I didn’t get to meet William until he was five hours old and not a single tear was shed. Only smiles. I had just met this little man and already I was being strong for him. I knew we’d get through everything as a family.

* The first time I cried was the day I was discharged from the hospital. My husband, Gordon, was going home for the night and I was staying at the hospital with William. I felt so sad to not be with Gordon. We had rarely spent nights apart before then. Feeling sad about this just made me feel guilty that I was sad. Shouldn’t I want to be with my baby?!?! I loved William with everything in me but hadn’t really gotten to bond with him yet. I’d only held him for a total of an hour. Good news is it got easier. Gordon and I got into a routine. We ate dinner together every night and loved William’s bath nights on Wednesday and Saturday. By the time William was a week old you had to drag me out of the hospital. Words can’t express how grateful I am that the new TCH Women’s Pavilion had opened. Getting to room in with William was such a blessing and really helped us bond.
* I always thought our biggest challenge would be getting him extubated and off CPAP. Man was I wrong. William learning to suck, swallow, and breath all at the same time was the most grueling thing to watch! There were some days I felt so defeated. I remember telling my mom, “I just wish someone would have told me this was going to be the hard/long part.”
* William has taught me so much already. I am a calmer, happier, more patient person. Time is a preemie’s best friend, and a mother’s worst enemy. Time will allow a preemie to catch up, and it will drive a mother insane. I can’t tell you how many times the doctors and nurses told me William would learn to eat when the time was right. That every child was different. They said a light would go off one day and we’d be home free. Just be patient. My mama always said patience was a virtue. She was right.
* After two physicians were unable to get William intubated and the anesthesiologist had to be called the nurse in me freaked out. The mom in me was cool as a cucumber. I trusted them and found the positive in the situation. At least he would be sedated this way. I always thought I’d be a crazy overbearing mother. I was the exact opposite. So all you nurses out there that have these thoughts and fears….there is hope for us!
* After everything William had been through in his first four weeks of life going home came down to a ninety minute car seat test. Let me just say this was the longest ninety minutes of my life. Baby boy had to sit buckled into his car seat, attached to the heart monitor, for ninety minutes. If he had any episodes of bradycardia (low heart rate) or low oxygen saturations we would have to try again the next day. I was so ready to take our baby home and one beep of the machine would change that. So, I sat there on the cold hard floor next to him at 11:30pm. I sang songs, rubbed his head and held his paci in his mouth. Whatever it took to make him happy and keep him calm! And then there it was….BEEEPPPP. Was it bradycardia or low oxygen sat? The Monopoly game popped into my head….go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Luckily the machine had just alarmed due to him kicking the foot that his oxygen probe had been on. At 1am we were done and he PASSED! So, all you NICU parents out there prepare yourselves!
* I love having people over to our house. I am a people person!! In order to keep William healthy that had to change for a while. Once William was finally home he and I were on lock down. We had to limit our visitors. Our friends with kids couldn’t come over, we couldn’t go to church or take him to the grocery store. People might think we are crazy or overprotective. I think we are just normal NICU parents.

The new TCH Women’s Pavilion NICU is one of the only facilities in the country that allows for parents to stay in the same room with their baby. I could write another blog post on all the positive things about this (stay tuned-I probably will)! All I can say is Gordon and I are SO very grateful for the excellent care William received. We are so blessed and thankful for the wonderful doctors and nurses that touched our lives. Our first month with William wasn’t “normal” but that’s okay. I learned how to work the fancy incubator that William called home for a while. I was able to get him in and out of the incubator by myself and I learned to hold him with all the monitors staying in place. We had a routine and we made lots of friends. We got through those four weeks and I honestly think it made me a better nurse and both of us better parents

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