Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday Funday Family Style

The three of us had a pretty laid back weekend.  It rained a lot and was super humid so doing anything outdoors was pretty much out of the question.  I can hardly wait for cooler weather! 
Baby boy slept until nearly 7:30 on Sunday.  YIPPEEE!!!  After breakfast (and lots of coffee for the grown ups) William discovered the dust buster.  He is Obsessed.  He'll walk around all day vacuuming.  G and I are pretty excited and hoping he gets better at his new found skill.  :)   

 


After breakfast (and cleaning) we headed to church!  
 


William was looking super cute in his Little Maven by Tori Spelling outfit.  I'm obsessed!  People even stopped us at Starbucks to ask us where we got his shirt.  They carry Little Maven at JCPenny.  I can't wait to get him some new fall stuff!

I was super excited to wear my new  Tom's Herringbone Wedges.  I guess I thought wearing fall shoes would bring out the fall temperatures.  That didn't happen.    


Since the Texans were playing football around noon we headed back home for some home made soup and TV watching.  We tried something new and pulled the high chair into the living room so the football watching could be a family affair.  It was a cute site to see!!  Too bad the Texans and the Cowboys lost. 

Do any of you moms out there have a favorite clothing lines for little boys?!?!?  I'm always up for suggestions and new clothes for our little buddy!!! 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Rosemary Beach Part 2

Here's part 2 of our Rosemary Beach Vacation!




Life doesn't get much better than this!  Gordon and I had a fun lunch date at a neaby sushi place that was super yummy.  We also had a breakfast date at our favorite little café.  It's so nice to spend timetogether without any distractions.  We sure do love time with our little buddy but you gotta have some alone adult time every once in a while.  And let's be honest....William's grandparents love alone time with him too! 
If we weren't eating or at the beach you could find us doing this.....
 

 
I'm by no means an expect on 30A (my sister in law is though!) but I thought I'd post some of our favorite places. 
 
Our 30A Restaurant Itinerary:
 
Aqua Sushi:  This was our lunch date spot.  It's right in the middle of RB "downtown" area.  They had yummy avocado bowls and lobster nests.
Caliza Poolside Restaurant:  This restaurant's ambiances is fabulous!  If you're looking for a quiet beautiful place to have a cocktail with your honey.  THIS IS YOUR PLACE.  It's located in Aly Beach (one mile from RB). 
Great Southern:  Is located in Seaside.  You can ride your bike to Seaside (we've done it before) but it's a work out!  RB to Seaside is an easy 15 minute drive.  We went to Great Southern last year.  They had great grits and mojitos! 
Summer Kitchen Café:  This is by far our favorite breakfast spot.  It's right by the bike shop in Rosemary Beach.  They have the best French Toast and Breakfast Burritos. 
Cowgirl Kitchen :  Another must go!  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Every year, by the end of the week, the waitress knows us.  Not only is their food delicious everyone is so friendly.  Some days we just stop in for a beer and appetizer.  The crab dip is terrific.  We get a ton of it to-go for the house during the week. 
George's :  I mentioned George's in my last post.  It's an adorable little cottage located in Aly Beach.  Nothing is bad on the menu.  I usually get the fish tacos but this year had a chicken wrap so I could share with W.  It's was super yummy.  Their sweet tea is something to write home about.  :) 
Paradis:  Mommy Notice....they don't have high chairs.  haha.  But...it's a great date night restaurant with a great selection of seafood, steak and chicken.  We took William here on our first night and he did great.  We just sat outside in case things got crazy. 
Bud and Alley's:  This restaurant/rooftop bar is located in Seaside.  They have a gorgeous view and cute t-shirts!  We haven't gotten the chance to go here in the past two years (since our infamous bike ride).  It's a great place to grab a drink while you're doing some shopping in Seaside.
Stinky's:  located in Santa Rosa.  Yummy fish tacos and curly fries! 
The Red Barn:  We went here our first year to RB.  Located in Grayton Beach it's a 30 minute drive.  Great place if you're looking for live entertainment and fun bar.   
 

Family Photo on Day 1

Picking Daddy up

Last full day on the beach
 
Deep sea fishing
Before going to Rosemary Beach I knew we'd want to have a "grown up" night out.  One of my girlfriends vacations in RB and had mentioned using a nanny service.  Here's her post about her trip to 30A.  She shared the nanny's info with me which I quickly used to get something booked.  We ended up using them, Nanny Can, on the Tuesday evening that we were in Rosemary Beach.  I asked for someone with experience...they ended up sending one of their managers who passed all 8 adults "inspection".  We didn't leave until it was William's bedtime so all she had to do was give him a bottle and put him in the pack-n-play.  I'll be honest, I get pretty anxious about leaving baby boy but I was able to have fun.  We all hopped on our bikes and rode over to Caliza's.  The weather was perfect, the wine was delicious and the company wasn't too bad either.  :)  I'm so blessed to have such amazing in-laws! 
I can't say enough how much I love Rosemary Beach.  The weather is always so nice, the beach is beautiful, it's quiet and the town is adorable with great restaurants.  Ashley and Brandon are able to drive from Birmingham and bring all the supplies for the annual fish fry.  It's perfect.  Next year will be even more fun with William!
Here's a few pictures from our little family photo session.  William wasn't too into it....
 
 
It's so crazy to see how much a child changes in a year!!  Hope everyone had a great summer too.  We are ready for FALL!
 

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Rosemary Beach Part 1

This post is WAY past due but on a trip like this I take hundreds of pictures.  It is so hard to choose which ones to post!
Anyways, moving on.....at the end of July we headed to Florida for the 3rd annual Gooding family Vacation!  We love, love, love 30A and in my opinion there's nothing better than Rosemary Beach if you're looking for a family beach vacation.

Here are a few of the reasons we love going:
  • Super easy to get to (not even a 2 hour flight from Houston to Panama City)
  • It's family friendly
  • Fabulous restaurants 
  • Easy going with laid back and friendly people
  • Best of all, you can ride your bike everywhere!  Getting in and out of the car with a little one can be tiring so I love it when we can avoid car rides! 
Our first stop after landing is usually the bike shop (after fish tacos at George's of course).  This year little William even got to join in on the fun.  He got a buggy!!



We spent lots of time on the beach and by our rental house's pool.  I took advantage of the pool while baby boy napped.  :) You can't beat getting some sun and reading a good book.  Luckily, William loved the sand!  The only problem was he wanted to EAT the sand.  He thought it was hilarious.  Yuck.  When the sand eating would start to get out of control we'd take him into the water.   He loved splashing into the waves and had a permanent smile on his face when he was out there with Gordon.  Once he was wet and sticky he didn't last much longer on the beach so we'd take him up to the house and let him play in the kiddy pool.  He loved spraying people's feet off with the water hose!  Such a boy.  A water hose, power cords and other appliances he shouldn't touch could keep him entertained for hours.    

 
If we weren't on the beach we were probably eating.  Gordon and I had a couple of dates, we had several dinners at home, a little Bachelorette watching (another annual tradition. haha. the boys love this one) and a grown ups night out.  In RB part 2 I'll have more details.  :)

  • HI beach!
  • The boys frying some fish
  • Sharing with uncle Grant
  • Picking the boys up from their deep sea fishing trip in Destin
  • Being silly before dinner
  • Practicing walking with aunt Ash
Stay tuned for more fun in the sun....Rosemary Beach Part 2!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

3 Year Anniversary

This past Wednesday Gordon and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary!  It's still hard to believe.  I've known Gordon for 13 years, we started dating nearly 7 years ago and now we have a 17 month old.  It's amazing how things change. 
My parents flew into town the night before and babysat W while we had a date night.  I had a work conference in Kentucky this past week so we celebrated a day early!  We had a yummy dinner at Hotel ZaZa (where we stayed on our wedding night).  It's always nice to have a night out with my hunny. 


Here's a little collage of us over the last several years on September 18th!

I've made a lot of bad decisions in my life time.  Marrying Gordon was the best decision I've ever made.  I don't know how I got so lucky.  God was really looking out for me in the husband category.  :)
 
Outfit: Sheinside Earrings: Kendra Scott Kyla Earrings

The best gift of all from G is this sweet little man.  My two guys make me a happy happy lady.  My heart is beyond content.  I can only pray the next 36 months are as fabulous as the last 36. 

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday + Dinner

I've been bad about doing my weekly "Wonderful Wednesday" post.  :(  To be honest our days off are jam packed with chores and to do lists.  I'm hoping things slow down a little bit so we get back to our lazy days off together.


Yesterday I got to meet my friend Anna's baby boy.  Talk about getting baby fever!  He was just the cutest thing and so tiny.  It's hard to believe W was 3 lbs smaller than him.  You really do forget how little bitty they are.  William went to daycare for a few hours while I visited Anna.  It's good for him to play with his friends and get some energy out.  I also figured my little snotty nose baby didn't need to be around precious little Jon Bradley.
 
That afternoon I picked up a few things from Pottery Barn and W and I went to the grocery store.  We did lots of playing when we got home and practiced reading from our "First Words" book.  We are proud to say that William can say banana and deer (I'm sure his papa is thrilled that one of his first words was deer....typical Hattenbach/Gooding)!!!


For dinner we had my version of taco salad.  Growing up my mom would mix ground meat with ranch style beans and put it over lettuce for taco salad night.  It was always one of my favorites!  Here's my version....



What you'll need:

Ground turkey or beef
Taco Seasoning
Black Beans
Chopped Green Chiles
Red Enchilada Sauce (comes in mild, medium and hot)
Jiffy Corn Bread (milk and 1 egg)
Shredded Cheese
Lettuce
Catalina Dressing and/or Salsa

Instructions:
  • Make the jiffy cornbread as instructed on the box.  After mixing and spraying the pan with PAM I spread the corn bread mixture over the bottom of a pan.  It barely covers the bottom but as you can see in the picture below it works out great.  I cook the cornbreat at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.
  • Brown ground turkey/beef until cooked. 
  • Drain. 
  • Mix in taco seasoning.
  • After draining black beans add to meat along with green chilis and 3/4 of enchilada sauce (you can add more or less depending on how juicy you want it). 


Once your cornbread is ready spread the meat mixture on top and then add as much shredded cheese on top as you want!
Put back in the over at 350 until the cheese is melted.
You can eat this yumminess over lettuce or just by itself.  I like to put some catalina dressing on mine but salsa is also yummy.  If you want a lower carb option you don't have to eat the cornbread.  :)  It's a win win for everyone!



It's quick, easy, pretty healthy, tastes yummy and makes great leftovers.  Can't beat that!
 
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Surgery Update

In this post I mentioned I was having surgery to try and fix my uterus.  Not many people knew I was planning to have this procedure done.  Only Gordon, my parents, work and daycare knew.  I'd had a lot of anxiety about the entire situation so we figured it was better to keep to ourselves.  I still feel anxious about my body/pregnancy/uterus, but if this post can help someone else out I'm happy.  :)   
After I had William my doctor said we'd take a look at my uterus at my next annual checkup (since I didn't plan on getting pregnant anytime soon).  So, in June he took a look and confirmed that I had a bicornuate uterus which may or may not be fixable.  It all depended on if the separation in my uterus was caused by a piece of tissue or if it was the honest shape of my uterus. 
I had a second opinion with a fertility specialist here in Houston who agreed that there was a 80% chance I had a septum (tissue).  So, a little over 2 weeks ago I had the procedure done so we could tell once and for all what was going on.  My parents came into town to watch William and to help with anything else we might need.  The day before surgery I couldn't eat after lunch and had to do a fun bowel prep.  Good times. 

IV in....

Ready To Go!
On the way to the hospital on Friday morning I made sure Gordon knew what all my dying wishes were.  Dramatic?  Probably.  You can never be too sure of anything in my opinion.  I made sure to tell the doctors to not let me die....I told them Gordon would never feed William organically.  HAHA.  I may or may not have had some happy medicine.  :) 

When I woke up I immediately asked the nurse what time it was.  I guess I needed to know how long I "was out".  The procedure took longer than they expected.  It was already noon when I woke up!  I worried that G was worried.  Luckily, they immediately asked me if I wanted my husband to come join me in recovery.  YES please. :) 


Seeing these guys made my day!

G says I asked him the same question 100 times until I was fully awake.  I kept asking him if they were able to "fix me".  He said he just kept repeating the answers and showing me all the picture my doctor had given him (they are a bit graphic so I'll spare everyone those details).  My doctor found that it was a septum.  The septum basically separated my uterus into two halves.  They lasered/cut that tissue back some of the way.  They were able to open up lots more room, but they didn't cut the septum all the way.  The septum was more significant than they expected and they didn't want to risk putting a hole in the top of my uterus.  

Recovery wasn't too bad.  Since I had a hysteroscopy and laparoscopic (thru belly) I felt sore for several days and had bad back pain.  The worst part was not being able to pick up William.  It really is virtually impossible.  Having my parents here was great and Gordon had to do some extra picking up at daycare that first week.  We got to spent some time with the Wilson's one afternoon too.  Alison and Parker helped me with the little buddy since I couldn't pick him up and Gordon was at work.  William had a blast!


This is what happens when mom is out of commission.
I went back a week after the procedure to have another hysteroscopy so Dr. Z could see if the tissue was re-adhearing.  It was some, so he scraped it apart and put me on a high dose estrogen birth control pill to help thicken the lining of my uterus.  While they were doing this second hysteroscopy they put saline into my uterus to expand it so they could visualize the area better (I guess instead of using gas).  After he was done he told me that my cervix is abnormal.   This was pretty disappointing to hear since we were beginning to think we had fixed problem.  Dr. Z  said if I ever have another pregnancy I will have a cervical cerclage done around 12 weeks and will be monitored very closely so they know exactly where the baby is positioned. 
So, even though the septum could have been the reason for William's Intrauterine Growth Restriction my "incompetent cervix" probably is the main reason for it shortening at 29 weeks and in the long run delivering early.
To be honest, I have a lot of anxiety about it all....but it's not something I can worry about right now.  It's in God's hands.  If Gordon and I find out we have been blessed enough to be expecting a second baby we can face our fears then.  For now I'm just grateful that everything went well.  That my doctor knows more about what's going on with my body.  Knowledge is power and I feel like we know SO much more now.  All I can do is trust that God has a plan for my little family.  Like I've said in other posts.....we are lucky to just have William.  There could be much much worse.  Every baby is a miracle.  That I got pregnant so quickly with my "funny" shaped uterus and carried him as long as I did with my incompetent cervix is an even bigger miracle.  :)  So, all we can be is thankful.

While I was at the TCH Women's Pavilion I swung by the Bella Luna Boutique.  They hadn't opened yet when William was born. :(  I'm so sad they hadn't because they have the best stuff ever!!!  Not only do they have the normal bibs, pacis, cards and clothes....but they also have everything a pumping/breast feeding mother could ever need AND they have preemie clothes!!  I was so happy to see everything they had (because we had nothing for little William when he was born).  The day they told us William could finally wear clothes I was 100% unprepared.  So, he wore NB onesies that were ginormous on him.  Oh well.  That was the least of our worries.


Preemie Clothes

These little shirts from Itty Bitty Baby are beyond perfect.  Not only would they actually fit but you would have easy access to all their "cords" (EKG leads etc).  It's funny what can make a mom of a preemie smile.  I put my "tall" coffee cup next to the shirt so you could see just how small they are.  Here's a website with some preemie outfits if you know someone in need!

I've read other blogs about women with septums and they gave me encouragement.  So, I really hope this post helps someone too!


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Thursday, September 5, 2013

No Such Thing As Super Mom

I just got done reading a blog post from So Wonderful So Marvelous and let me just say she hit the nail on the head!  Everyone should read this post.  Mom or not.   This momma talks about not being super mom and says, "We all are making the best of our collective situations, but it doesn’t mean we have to be assholes to each other."  HOW TRUE IS THIS!  Each of us has our own story.  It's good to be different.  I think it's what makes the world go around.  Here's another great blog post about mom vs. mom.  The blogger from Loving My Lot says many of the same things about mothers judging other mothers. 
Here are a few of my thoughts on the situation.
I work full time.  At this very moment it's the only option for my family.  And guess what, I'm happy with this.  I choose to feed William organically when possible.  If you don't want to do the same that's okay!  I was lucky enough to be able to produce milk for William and I did it for 16 months.  Yep, that's right.  This past weekend was the last time I nursed my baby forever.   Unfortunately, I feel like people judge me for this.  I have friends that had a hard time producing milk and they felt judged for not breast feeding their baby.  Come on people....let's be nice to each other.  We are all doing the best we can.  The thing is....you just never know what someone is going through.  So, be careful before you judge.  I have no idea what anyone things of me.  Nor do I really care.  Years ago I probably would have cared but now I just have to do what's best for my family.  William is 100% dependent on us so a lot of what I do is for him.  I also try to take care of myself/my body, raise our child going to church and believing in God (as G and I were) and I try to keep a good healthy marriage.  No area gets 100%.  It's just not physically possible.  All I can do is try my best.  As long as William, Gordon and I are happy that's all that matters.


Here's a video that everyone should watch.   You can also go to You Tube and Search for "If We Could See Inside Others Hearts by the Cleveland Clinic"  It's AMAZING.  Being an oncology nurse I realize, maybe a little more than others, that everyone has "a story" (and a lot of them are very sad).  Gordon and I have had our own scary times.  I didn't have an "normal" pregnancy.  I left a lot of my doctors appointments in tears because our baby wasn't growing and they didn't know if he was getting everything he needed inside of me.  After he was born I had to leave the hospital without my baby.  I've gone into surgery not knowing what the outcome would be.  BUT, I'm grateful because I know there is someone out there with a story much worse than mine.  I wish I could hug them.  At least we have William.  He is our little miracle.  I've seen family and friends go through infertility and it's heartbreaking.  In This Wonderful Life  is another great blog that tells the story of a family that's been through much more heartache than I can fathom.  All I can do is count my blessings and pray!

If you could stand in someone else's shoes....
Hear what they hear.
See what they see.
Feel what they feel.
Would you treat them differently?
 
Don't worry if you're not super mom.  Nobody is.  Just be the best that you can be.  Do what's right for you and your family.  Be kind.  We are all fighting our own battle.  Hug your babies and your fellow mommies! 
 
Some of our scariest days
 
Sweet Baby Boy
 
 


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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Annual Family Lake Trip

This past weekend we headed to the lake for my family's 3rd annual Labor Day lake vacation.  The first two years we went to PK Lake but this year decided to change it up a bit and visit Canyon Lake.  The drive for us was much shorter than going all the way north of Dallas so that was a plus.  It was a beautiful lake with crystal clear water that was the perfect temperature.  The lake reminded me more of an ocean!  The only down side to Canyon Lake was there weren't any docks.  There was only one dock for all the boats/jet skis needing to get onto or off of the lake.  So, we had to pick a time each day to go out riding around.  We spent Saturday just lounging around, playing in the pool and eating lots of yummy food.  Gordon, Skye, and Dustin played 9 holes of golf on Sunday morning and then we spent the rest of the day riding around on the boat.  William is definitely a lake baby.  He napped, snacked on cheese and crackers, took a swim in the cool water, watched the other kids jump off the boat and just lounged around taking the beautiful scenery in.  My parents watched William for a few hours while Gordon and I got some much needed adult time on the lake.  xoxo
The reason I love the lake so much is....I don't ever have to get dressed up!  Everyone just lounges around, visits, swims, and naps.  It's always a restful and relaxing weekend!  


Tired baby on a boat makes for the perfect nap time!


As you can see William had a blast riding around on his fire truck!  

  • The boys played a lot of pool.
  • Daddy pushing baby boy around. 
  • William learned to play cards. :)
  • The water was amazing so we did some swimming.
  • I'm on a boat!
Pretty view from the balcony

Sweet Moments

I so love their blue eyes!
On our drive to the lake the new Blake Shelton song, "Mine Would Be You", came on.  Part of the lyrics say, "What's the greatest chapter in your book?"  I ask G what his was and he said, "I'm living it right now."  LOVE THAT MAN.  He may not be the most romantic man on the planet but he is the sweetest and kindest.  I adore his calm personality, the way he loves and takes care of William and me and his loyalty to his family.  I am a happy girl. 

Gordon and I (and the rest of our family) are loving this stage with William.  His little personality is really starting to show.  He's talking, walking, feeding himself, sleeping better at night (well, at least compared to a year ago) and laughing up a storm.  Like Gordon said....this chapter of our life is awesome.  We are thankful for our health, our supportive families and just having each other.  There's nothing better than spending time with my boys.
 
CHEERS to many more lake trips!!  What is your favorite lake to visit?  We need some suggestions for next year!! 
 
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