Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day

I was so happy to have Memorial Day here.  We were in desperate need of some down time.  Not only did I have a four day weekend but we had no plans.  Gordon had gone out of town the past three weekends so he was super ready for a chill weekend too. 
I started my holiday weekend off at Define on Friday morning.  I hadn't been to the full hour long class since February 2012 so I was a little nervous.  At one point I thought I was going to throw up.....yep, I'm that out of shape.  I survived and have fully recovered from the soreness.  haha.  After breakfast on Saturday we drove out to Katy to go swimming with the Wilsons.  Alison and I were hoping to get some sun but had no such luck.  At least the kids had fun splashing around. 
William had his first swim class on Sunday afternoon and loved every minute.  He did great floating on his back and didn't even cry when I dunked him.  The teacher said the most important thing between 0-2 years is teaching them to float and how to climb out of the pool.  I think once he's 2 we'll look into private lessons.  Eventhough we can't teach him a whole lot right now I think it's great to get him in the water on a regular basis so he's comfortable.  It's also great for him to see other children his age doing the same thing. 
After swim class we had a sitter come over so Gordon and I could go on a date.  We decided to go see Ironman 3 at Studio Movie Grill.  I used to think we needed to do something besides a movie so we could talk....maybe that will be the case when William is older....as of now we talk just as much as we did pre-baby.  I really wanted to see The Great Gatsby but I'm re-reading it and haven't finished it yet so maybe next week.  (p.s. I'm in love with the book.  I don't remember a single thing about it from high school.  I've been pleasantly surprised.)
We got lots of cleaning, baby food making, and laundry done of course but also spent lots of time outside grilling, walking at the park, watching Gordon hit golf balls, and going on wagon rides.  We are so lucky to live in this country and have our freedom.  We couldn't live this great life if it wasn't for those that serve!  THANK YOU!!!! 
Here we are last year!!  

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Random stuff & 13 months

Since William is now a year old I decided to change his monthly updates to every 3 months.....since his gestational birthday isn't until June 10th and he's changing so much every day I thought I'd say a little something about 13 month and post some random pictures from our iPhones! 

Baby boy has become quite the talker.  He just babbles and babbles and started saying "mama".  He can get from point A to point B in the blink of an eye and is pulling up on everything.  He loves pushing things and walking.  He can stand up and let go of your hands but he hasn't taken a step alone yet.  He's tried kiwi, pineapple, and chickpeas and he loves maple cinnamon puff sticks.  He ends up smelling like a little French toast stick all day.  :) 

Flowers from my sweet baby boy
Look at those tiny little bumble bee fingers!

Itzy Ritzy!!!
 I got a couple of new things at Doodles while we were in Rice Village a couple of weeks ago.  These Itzy Ritzy items have been great.  The bag on the left is the Wet Bag.  It is perfect for diapers and/or wet bathing suits.  The smaller bag on the right is the snack bag.  Things get lost in the diaper bag so having this has helped me keep up with his snacks.  I got the giraffe freezer pack so fruit would stay nice and cool in there.  They are SO cute and easy to clean!  Our car seat handle cushion (that I post here) and infant car seat peek a boo cover are also by Itzy Ritzy.  The car seat cover is a must have.  People love babies and I found that they want to touch them....so, I just kept William covered up in public so nobody knew what was under there!  (there's a picture of the cover in my last post about car seat safety!)  Once people saw William and how tiny he was they would ask to hold him or would hover and try to touch him.  Yuck. 

He loves standing up

Look at all of his hair :)
 
At Britton's b-day party trying to play with the big boys.

Pick me UP!!!
Up next....our Memorial Day weekend here at home. 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Car Seat Safety

The main reason I started this blog was so I could remember every little thing about my life with Gordon, William and everyone else in my family.  A scrapbook of sorts that my family can look back at.  If anything were to ever happen to me, heaven forbid, I'd of course want everyones life to move on happily....but it is very important to me that William know just how much I love him.  Most recently, I've realized how much blogs can help out other mommies with questions (they sure have helped me).  So, I decided to do a post on car seat safety! 
When William was discharged from the NICU I mentioned being so grateful for the car seat education that I'd received.   I know not everyone has time to go to a class while they are pregnant.  I sure didn't have the time since I was put on bed rest so early.  This link, Texas Children’s Injury Prevention, talks about Childhood Injury Prevention.  Each year, injuries kill or disable more children over the age of 1 than all childhood diseases combined. 

Here are some quick pointers on car seats!!!  There would be no point in having nice car seats if you aren't educated on how to properly use and install them.
  • Babies should ride rear-facing in the back seat until age 2 or they outgrow their car seat harnesses.
  • Their car seats are buckled tightly in the car and should not move more than one inch when you pull it at the seat belt path.
  • Their harness straps should be at or below their shoulders when rear-facing.
  • The rear-facing car seats should recline at a 30-45 angle.
  • The chest clip should always be placed at a child’s arm pit level.  I seem to notice this mistake the most often.  It shouldn't go around the kids belly.  :)
  • Try to avoid using non-regulated products (anything that didn’t come with the seat when purchased). Head pillows, car seat mats, and mirrors are all examples of non-regulated products.  So many people have mats to protect their leather seats! I'm so glad we learned this rule before purchasing one.  
  • The baby's harnesses should be snug at all times, flat against their shoulders and can’t be pinched at the shoulder when buckled.​  Gordon has a hard time following this because he thinks William is uncomfortable.  But, you gotta do it!!!
We have the Peg Perego 30-30 car seat and have been happy with our choice.  William is still in this car seat but will be moving to a "big boy seat" in the next 2 months.  For his "big boy" seat we decided on the Evenflo Symphony.  Any car seat you find at a store like Babies R Us passes all safety standards.  You just have to decide what fits best with your baby, car and budget.  We chose the Evenflo seat because it is wide and cozy so he'll have lots of growing room.  It also reclines back for those long car rides!  I know lots of parents turn their baby around to front facing at around one year.  We plan on waiting until William's two.  Kids who ride in rear-facing seats have the maximum protection for the head, neck and spine! 




















Hope this helped anyone out there that had questions.  Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend!!!!

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fun In The Sun

 

This picture pretty much sums up our weekend in Midland!  William loved the pool!  My parents had turned on the heater but it was still a little chilly....baby boy was the only one it didn't phase.  I'm so happy that he enjoyed swimming since we're starting swim class this Sunday.

 
We had so much fun swimming, lounging around, getting some sun, watching William in the sandbox, and drinking some homemade strawberry margaritas courtesy of my parents new fancy margarita machine.  That night we had tickets to go see the Duck Dynasty crew for their Dynasty of Faith talk.  Since it was past W's bedtime my sweet grandparents came over to watch William for us!  I can not tell you how much I enjoyed the Dynasty of Faith talk.  If you have the opportunity, GO.  I love how honest they are about their life and the mistakes they've made.  They don't try to pretend that they're perfect.  Marriage is hard and it takes work but having an intact, happy, healthy family is so worth it.  I believe, as do they, that it takes faith and God to keep a relationship together.  Whenever we visit Midland all I can do is think about moving back.  The talk really helped me to remember that God has a plan for my family.  He will do what's best for us.  I just have to trust!!
After church on Sunday we had lunch at Outback and then we were back to the pool.  William is such a boys boy.  He loves being outside, dirt and sticks.  He just played and played....and refused to take a nap.  One of Gordon's buddies (and my childhood friend) came over to join in on the fun too. 
I am so thankful for the time we get with my family!  Thankfully William does great on the flight so getting to Midland is easy.  :)  
 
Look at those adorable polo flip flops!  Doesn't get any cuter than that. 
William loves all the puppies.  He even got brave enough to start petting them.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday and One Year Anniversary from the NICU

Man, I feel like Wednesday was forever ago!  We've done so much since then. :)  I used to have the best memory.....I still do to some extend but days just seem to run together lately.  I do know William and I were really busy this past Wednesday.  We flew to Midland on Friday so all the laundry had to get done and we had to run by the grocery store after lunch at Barnaby's with Daddy.  I made two dinners on Wednesday night so I could freeze something for this week.  I also made cupcakes to take to William's school to celebrate baby boy being home from the hospital for one year!!
Thursday, May 16th, was William's one year anniversary from leaving the NICU and coming home with us.  I will never forget this day!!  Thankfully, the majority of families get to take their little baby home a couple of days after giving birth....there's a small percentage of us that don't.  I think it makes that home coming day even sweeter.  We were so excited to finally have him home with us.  I was ecstatic about the simple things like getting to use my own bathroom/shower, being able to do laundry with William laying right there, eating a meal at home and laying on the couch with my husband again (and baby!).  While we were in the NICU people kept telling me to get ready for real life, the "hard" part was coming.  Let me just tell you they were wrong.  Of course I've had hundreds of sleepless nights over the past year.  What parent doesn't??  I woke up with William every 3 hours for the first 2 months of his life and just recently stopped nursing him at 2am.  But nothing has been as exhausting as our time in the NICU.  So, if you're a parent of a preemie that's in the hospital and people are telling you to get ready for things to get "real"....blow them off.  They've probably never had a child in the hospital.  :)  
I look back now at our time in the NICU and realize how lucky we are.  William was one of the healthier babies and I thank God every day for that.  But, we were still scared.  That first week was the toughest.  He couldn't breath on his own, they had a hard time getting him intubated, he was getting nutrition through an IV and there were so many tubes and wires even I was reluctant to hold him in fear that I was hurting him.  When Gordon and I talk about having another baby I can't help but wonder what God has planned for us.  Will we blessed to even have another baby?  Will the next be a preemie too?  As much as we'd like to move to a smaller town....we can't.  Not until we are done having babies.  The best hospitals are here.  So we are staying for now!  Maybe we'll stay forever.  I know that God has a plan for our family and we'll follow that.  Staying in the Houston area forever means great health care and great jobs for both G and me.  So, thanks again Texas Children's for taking care of our little buddy!!!!


  • Look at those big blue eyes!  I melt.  Baby boy trying out a celebration cupcake (good news...no reaction!).  I can hardly believe he finally took a bite of cake.  :)
  • One year ago.  Finally home from the NICU.
  • Bath time!  Chewing on a foam letter....maybe teething is coming soon?!?
  • Look how much he's grown since last year.  It's so amazing how much they change.
  • All buckled up in his carseat and ready to head home.
  • Laughing at mommy before bedtime.
  • He's a crazy little buddy. 
Up next....our quick trip to West Texas for a little Duck Dynasty action.  It may have been a short trip but it was probably one of my favorite trips home.  :) 


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day this year I decided getting out of town is just what we needed!  We had a credit at the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio so on Saturday morning Gordon and I packed up William and headed west.  It was a super quick trip but it was so great to get away from the everyday stuff.  We got to just hang out and not worry about doing laundry, cooking dinner, vacuuming and, best of all, cleaning up after Gus!  The hotel has a nanny that they recommend using so we took advantage (let me know if you need her name!).  They have her full background check on file and have used her for 7 years.  She was great!!!  William went right to her when she got to our room.  He tends to be kinda shy so this made us feel at ease.  She watched William for 3 hours while we lounged by the pool, had some fruity drinks, yummy burgers and relaxed on the lazy river.  I was so excited to get some sun on my pale body!!  The sitter text messaged us every 30 minutes on how William was doing. :)  When we got back to the room we got William ready for some pool time on the "beach"!  I wasn't sure how he would like the sand since I hated those kinds of textures when I was his age.  HE LOVED EVERY MINUTE.  He just played and played.  Everyone that passed by us made a comment on how good he was.  Such a sweet baby boy! 
After the pool we headed back to the room for bath time and a night night bottle.  William fell right to sleep after his long day of new adventures.  Gordon and I sat outside on the balcony and watched the sun set and just talked.  love.  there. is. nothing. better!  We ordered room service for dinner and then headed inside to watch a movie before calling it a night. 







  • Playing in the sand
  • Can you tell we love each other?!?
  • A little mommy/daddy time
  • Sleeping like a baby...look at all that hair he's getting!
  • Testing out the sand with his dad
  • Pasta, wine, bread pudding and no dishes had to be washed.  Can't beat that
  • Sunset
  • The last time I wore this cover-up we were at the JW Marriott hotel in San Antonio and I was 7 weeks pregnant.  It's still so hard to believe we have this precious baby now! 

We were up at 7am Sunday morning so we were obviously in need of coffee!!!  We had the yummiest breakfast and then went on a long walk around the nature trail.  We were back in Houston in time for a burger at the park, music class and dinner with the moms!  William and Teddy were so cute at dinner.  They were laughing and talking to each other like they were having a real conversation.  It was adorable.  We ended the night cuddled on the couch watching my all time favorite....Iron Chef Tournament!
I am just so blessed to be William's mommy.  There is truly no better job in this entire world.  I've said it a million times before and I'll say it again....he makes me better, he makes me smile, he makes everything sparkle in my world.  I can not fathom life without him.  If it wasn't for Gordon I wouldn't have my precious blue eyed baby so, I have to thank him. :)  I'm so happy we got to have a mini family vacation.  Just the three of us.....it doesn't get better than that!

  • You might think William's thinking, "Man, that food looks good."  That's not the case.  He's really wanting that fork!!!
  • Daddy and son
  • Going for a walk
  • At one of our favorite lunch spots for a burger
  • Mother's Day last year, in the NICU, after going to see The Avengers for a quick "date".
I also have to thank my mom and MIL for being so wonderful. They are both fabulous women who give us so much love and support. They are great mothers and excellent grandmothers!! My mom is my best friend. She listens to me (everyday I might add) and loves me on my happy days and my sad days. I hope she's around for a very long time because our world wouldn't be the same without her!!!

I hope all my mommy friends out there had an excellent day as well.  :) 

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Monday, May 13, 2013

WJG Zoo Birthday Party

Like all the other milestone and special occasions in my life I had been planning William's first birthday party for years!  When he was first born I thought about doing a whale theme party.  But, when William was about 4 months old I changed my mind.  Over breakfast one morning Gordon and I were discussing when we should have the party since it would be the same weekend as his brother's wedding.  We both agreed that having it at our house (like we had originally planned) would be too stressful since there would be so much company in town (and lots going on).  So, we started talking about venues and the zoo came to mind.  I'll admit it was a little pricey to reserve the pavilion but we figured it would be worth it in the long run.
I got serious about buying and making things for the party after Christmas time.  Let me just tell you how time consuming party planning is...but I sure do love it!!  I'm going to do a separate post about all the party details.
Sunday morning we went to the hotel for breakfast so we could say goodbye to Ashley and Brandon.  Nobody had seen William all weekend so we decided to head to the galleria area.  :)  My parents came by the house after that to help me finish making the fruit kabobs, gift bags and to load everything up.  As I mentioned before, it was Earth Day at the zoo so parking was a nightmare.  Luckily, Alison and her mom were there to help me set everything up while the boys parked the car (and Skye watched William). 
We had fun visiting with all of our friends and their kiddos.  William's teacher and school friends, Britton and Amos, came too!  We sang happy birthday, opened presents, ate some yummy birthday cake and headed to the carousel.  By the time that was all over it was time to load back up.   
All in all things went good.  I was disappointed to not have one of the things I ordered back in February.  I had ordered the cutest labels for everything and they got lost in the mail.  The company sent them to me again but they didn't get to us in time.  :(  I was pretty bummed but already have next years birthday theme picked out and I'll be able to use them then.  Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend having a birthday party at the zoo.  Parking is too far away so it takes forever to get things in and out.  You only have the pavilion for 2.5 hours so it makes things quite chaotic!  If they'd had an area that we could put our stuff after the party (so we could walk around and enjoy the zoo) maybe I'd recommend it.  But....they don't.
We DID make great memories, spent time with some of our favorite people and William had a fun time....and that's all that matters.  :)  I know it was hard for people to find parking and make it to the party in time so THANK YOU to everyone that came.  Since becoming a mom I've learned just how protective mothers are.  I want everyone to treat William with kindness and love him as much as I do.  So, having everyone come out to the zoo to celebrate with us really warmed my heart!!! 
This past year has been jam packed with wonderful memories.  We've watched William learn to drink from a bottle, eat real food, sit up on his own, open Christmas presents, try birthday cake, crawl, babble and much much more.  We are so blessed to have wonderful families that have gotten to experience these things with us along the way.  I can hardly wait for all the new stuff that's to come over the next year.   :)


Birthday party guests-  some of my old co-workers: Anne and her 2 kiddos, Stacy with her girls, Rachel and her daughter and brand new baby, Jacqui and her son.  Gordon's buddies: Barteau, Cesar, Zito with his wife and adorable daughter and John Davis and Kendall with little Piper.  William's mimi, grandad, GG, Pop, Nana, Papa, Uncle D, Skye, cousin Susan and Daniel, his teacher (Ms. Melissa), 2 of his school friends and of course Alison, her mom and her 2 kids (that were such a big help!). 

  • William looking at his pretty cake!  The adorable hand knitted elephant next to him is from his GG and Pop
  • Opening presents (he loves playing with the paper).  Parker was our helper.
  • With his Uncle D
  • I love how he's smiling up at Gordon from his new wagon from Nana and Papa!  Melts my heart!!!
  • Silly baby
  • SO in love with my little family of 3
  • Singing "happy birthday" again!  He thought the hat was pretty funny.
  • With his mimi
  • Hanging out with Ms. Melissa while we cleaned up.  Thank goodness she was there.  :)
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ZOO!!!

I know it's taking me forever to post about William's birthday party at the zoo.  I'm hoping to post something by the end of the week.  There are just SO many pictures to pick from!  In the mean time I thought I'd post some of the pics from after the birthday party. 
Once the party was over and we'd cleaned up the pavilion we rented we had to load it all back into the cars.  It was Earth Day at the zoo so parking was a nightmare....it had taken Gordon forever to find a space in the paid parking garage so he decided to just head home and unload the stuff.  I was sad to not have him there to walk around the zoo with us but knew he was exhausted (and that the 3 of us have lots of opportunities to visit the zoo together).  Thankfully, it was a beautiful (and cool) day in Houston.  William's mimi and grandad walked around the zoo with her cousin while the rest of us went exploring and rode on the carousel a couple of times.  There were a ton of giraffes, the elephant was giving itself a bath, we saw some wild dogs, bears, a spider monkey, a sleepy lion and lots more!  
 

 
Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
  • The whole gang in front of the jaguars
  • Looking at the giraffes, zebras and ostrich on Uncle D's shoulders
  • With his papa looking at the sleeping wild dogs
  • William with his GG and pop.  He loves his pop's cane :)
  • It was so fun watching the elephant take a bath
  • First time on the carousel
  • With Nana and Papa
  • Loving the carousel ride!
 
I love looking at these pictures!  I'm just so glad that William has gotten to spend so much time with all of these people that I love so much.  Each one of them has made an impact in my own life so seeing William with them makes my heart smile.  I know we will cherish these pictures forever.  William will be able to look back and "remember" all these fun times with his family. 
I can't wait to see everyone again for our upcoming trip to Midland for a little Duck Dynasty fun.
 


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mommy & Son Weekend

Last week I had off on Monday.  It's not my favorite day to have off....at least since William's been around (I'd rather off mid-week) but it does make Sunday more enjoyable since I don't feel so rushed to get everything done.  William and I mailed off a 4th box of breast milk to Texas Children's Hospital.  As you can see in the picture below he was feeling a little sad.  Nap time was in his near future!   After nap time, we did some closet cleaning and organizing.  By that time he was happy, happy, happy.  William has two closets in his room.  I know....what a lucky guy!  The third picture on the top row is his big closet where we keep his toys, books, puzzles, and extra wipes/diapers.  William got SO many toys for his birthday so organizing was a must!  After playing/cleaning we headed to the kitchen to make manicotti for dinner.  YUM :)
On Friday Gordon headed to Port A to fish with some buddies so it was a mommy and baby kinda weekend.  We made a donut run on Saturday morning and then headed to the grocery store.  I was excited to find organic pineapple at Central Market!  That afternoon I arranged for a new babysitter to come stay with William for 2 hours.  Our nanny has been out of commission for a while so it was time to find someone new.  I stuck around the house for a little while to make sure William felt comfortable.  As soon as we sat down and started playing with toys I could tell he liked her....he held her hand!!  So, this mommy headed to a quick happy hour at Brenner's Blu Bar with Rachel....who just had baby #2.  We both enjoyed our time outside catching up with each other.  When I got home William was having a great time with Sofie.  (nothing makes a mommy happier!)  William and I had a dinner date after that together.  As you can see in the second row of pictures he had a great time reading his favorite book. 
Sunday was a day full of play dates with some of our favorite people.  After doing some baby food making we headed to City Center to meet Alison and her kids for some fun in the sun.  We were so happy to see Kami and her kids there too!  Look at sweet Hunter showing William his soccer ball while Paige and Parker brushed their hair.  Unfortunately, I think William was more interested in the leaf he found.  HAHA.  It's hard to believe that Hunter is 5, Parker 4, Paige 3 and William & Griffin 1.  Time flies!  After our lunch date we went to Memorial Park for a walk and then it was time for music class.  The little buddy acts pretty shy for the first 10 minutes and clings to me for dear life but by the end he's smiling, laughing and crawling around.  The past two weekends we've gone to dinner with some of the music class moms and babies and had a great time!  I can't stress how important having mommy time is.  It's so great to talk to other mothers going through the same thing....day care questions, baby proofing, teething, sleepless nights, sippy cup transition....you get the picture.  You can never run out of things to talk about with another mom. 
As you can tell, we had a fun filled weekend.  When G got home on Monday he asked if we'd missed him.....of course we had but honestly we stayed so busy time just flew right by.  It was kinda nice to have a mommy/son weekend.  :)  I highly recommend having one! 

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Friday, May 3, 2013

William's Birthday

I still can't believe we have a one year old moving around our house!  It really is amazing how much they change in 12 months.  William went from not being able to breath or eat on his own to a 17 pound crawling machine. 



At 6:21 am on William's first birthday I went in his room, got him out of his crib and brought him into our room so we could snuggle and sing Happy Birthday...just the three of us!!  After getting ready for the day the three of us headed to the donut shop.  Baby boy held onto a donut hole but as we expected spit it out when we tried to give him a taste (I wish I had the same reaction....unfortunately I had a dozen donut holes, a sprinkle donut and a kolache).  Gordon had to go to work after our breakfast date but baby boy and I had the day off so we headed to Memorial Park for a walk.  It was freezing!!  It has definitely been a much colder spring than we are used to in Houston.  Regardless of the cold, I loved being outdoors and getting some exercise.  William loved being all snuggled up for the walk. 
Unfortunely, things pretty much went downhill from here.  William and I ran back by the house so I could pump before going to pick up my mom for lunch.  While we were home I let Gus out to potty.  BIG mistake.  Out of the corner of his eye he spotted our neighbors dog about 50 yards away and ATTACKED!  I was screaming and running after him with William.  Long story short....I end up tackling Gus to the ground (all while holding William) and begging our neighbor to hurry and take her poor dog inside.  Thankfully, the other dog wasn't hurt.  I, on the other hand, was an emotional wreck and shaking like a leaf.  I felt like I had just put William in danger.  :(  Needless to say, this situation did not help Gus' case.  He lost all sympathy from me after that.
After the terrible dog incident we headed to the hotel to pick up my mom.  From there we headed to meet one of her high school friends for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.  Target and Babies R Us are right next to the The Cheesecake Factory so we were able to grab some last minute groceries for the birthday party and new car seats before heading home so I could get ready for Grant and Emily's rehearsal dinner.
Before heading to the church my parents, Gordon and I gave William a cupcake and sang Happy Birthday one last time.  He got to go to dinner with my parents that night where he apparently stole every woman's heart in the restaurant!  I was sad to not be there for bath time and a goodnight birthday kiss.  Hopefully I won't have to miss one again (well, until he moves out of our house or insists on staying the night with a friend on his birthday night.  sighhh).  Regardless of where I was and where he was...I am so grateful that I had the day off with him, that he's home with us every night and not in the hospital like this time last year.  :) 


  • Singing happy birthday with a yummy cupcake (that he of course wouldn't eat)!!
  • Mommy and baby up early with daddy and Gus
  • Thanks Ms. Melissa for my birthday balloon and cups!  (he loves his teacher Ms. Melissa!)
  • Donuts, a new birthday tradition!
  • Daddy, baby and Gus
  • Love my little family :)
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