Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Houston Texans Game

I'll admit that I was raised a Dallas Cowboy fan, and a part of me will always like them the best.  With that being said, after living in Houston for 10+ years I have really grown to love "our teams"!  And come on, who doesn't LOVE J.J. Watt?!?!?  Just seeing him out there, in all his cuteness, is worth watching the Texans.

So, a few weeks ago we made our way into town to watch some football!  Our original plan was to take William to the game and make it a family affair....long story short, he ended up having a fun afternoon with his Uncle G and Aunt Em while we had some adult time (with baby girl).  Anna Grace had a great time at her first professional game.  She made things super easy, being a good girl, and being in a suite we were able to bring in her stroller and all the baby stuff we needed.

It's a #suite life
I think baby girl brought the Texans good luck!  They won this game and haven't lost a game since.  :)  Sometimes it's hard to make ourselves do these kind of fun things, but it's always well worth the time and energy it takes.  We had a fun day with some great friends.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More First Month Pictures

Week 3 and 4 as a family of 4 were just as fun and busy as the first two weeks!  William has continued going to school 3 days a week.  Those are the days I get lots done!  Anna Grace and I had a lunch date with a good friend in town (eating "in town", at my old favorites, is always a treat) and we had some pumpkin filled days (Dewberry Farm and pumpkin carving).  Saturday soccer games were still a challenge at this point.  Luckily, he's doing a ton better now.  At 23 days old Anna Grace went to her first birthday party.  We had a blast celebrating Perry's 2nd birthday at Little Gym.  Baby girl slept the entire time while William enjoyed all of his friends.  
When Anna Grace was 4 weeks old she went on her first roadtrip to Texarkana.  Other than that we just did lots of cuddling....along with our normal stuff like swim class etc.  
Our mornings are lazy and evenings busy.  Every minute in between I'm just trying to soak in.  I know that these will be some of the sweetest days of my life.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Anna Grace At One Month Old

Weight:  8lbs 4 oz (20%)  This is exactly 2lbs up from her discharge weight.
Height:  21 inches (40%)
Head: 14 inches (25%)
Eating: Some feedings she will eat 4 oz but usually it's closer to 3oz.  Half of her feedings I nurse her and the other half she takes a bottle so I can pump.  I pump about 40 ounces of milk a day.  Some of that is used to feed her, but a lot is frozen.  If my production keeps up once I return to work I just may be donating milk again!  Baby girl eats, give or take, at 8am, 10am, 1pm, 3pm, 6pm, 7pm, 9pm (bedtime), MN, 4am.  
Development:  We were able to answer yes to all the developmental questions they asked at her check up.  She's getting a lot stronger and can track us with her eyes.  She was not a fan of the Hepatitis shot she got at this appointment.  :(    

Anna Grace loves to be talked to and even loves it when I sing!  William is not a fan of my singing, so to me, this is so sweet.  Since she tends to cluster feed in the evenings being at home around that time is best.  She has been such a trooper about car rides.  We spend an hour in the car in the mornings when dropping William off at school and then another hour in the afternoon.  She still likes a paci, loves to be swaddled and really loves to cuddle.  She loves to lay on her mama. :)  She can be crying like crazy and if I put my face against hers she quickly stops.  She's my little cuddle bug! 

She has been the biggest joy to take care of and love on.  We have been blessed with, in my opinion, the sweetest baby girl.  

Can you tell she's not a huge fan of picture time?!?!

Photo sessions are exhausting!  :)  Although I hate to see these newborn days fade away, I keep reminding myself about how fun watching their little personalities blossom is!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Photo Dump

Here are a few more of my favorite pictures from our first few weeks as a family of four!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dewberry Farm

On baby girl's 3 week birthday Gordon took the day off so we could go to Dewberry Farm with the kids.  It was nice to go on a Friday when it was less crowded.  We had a great time picking out pumpkins, going on a hayride, sliding over and over again, going to the petting zoo, and playing in the sand.  William was still in his "frequent meltdown" stage....which was no fun.  Luckily, he snapped out of it (after a 15 minute breakdown) so we could stay and enjoy everything a little longer.
Watching Gordon and William go down the slide was pretty hilarious.  I even tried it out, and was surprised by how fast you getting going on those things!  I think picking out pumpkins was William's favorite part (close tie with the huge sand box which caused the meltdown).  Daddy wasn't too happy with how many pumpkins we left with.  haha.  

It was really hot and humid that day but it was well worth it!  William kept running around saying, "This is fun!"  :)  

Oh how I love these people!!!  

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Look Alikes

Before Anna Grace was born I was so, so excited to see what she'd look like!  Would she have any hair, what color eyes would she have, would she look at all like her brother or the exact opposite?!?!  By the time she was one week old we could tell she and William favored each other in many ways.  They both have small features.  Little button noses, little chins and similar mouths.  You can't tell in these pictures, but she has a smaller head than he did.  (you have to remember William was not even 5 lbs when he came home from the hospital at 4 weeks old!)  I think William's eyes are bigger and as of now his are bluer.  Anna Grace does have some pretty blue eyes like the men in her life......hopefully they are here to stay!  

Here are a few pictures of my little munchkins.  :)
William at 5 weeks old and Anna Grace around 2 weeks old
William at 2 months old and Anna Grace 1 month old

Both of these sweet babies love their hands!  They both love to grab my hair and when they aren't swaddled immediately put their hands by their faces.  Over the years, it will be interesting to see what similarities and differences they have!

Exactly alike or completely different, I love them both like crazy!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

The First 2 Weeks With Anna Grace

I hate that I've waited so long to write this post.  With the lack of sleep and our normal busy life it's kinda hard to remember all the details.  :(  At least I have the pictures to help remind me!  Here's a little overview of our first couple of weeks at home with the newest little Gooding.

The first week at home was a little hectic because we spent a lot of time at the hospital.  I mentioned in a previous post that Anna Grace had a critically high bili level.  This was due to her Direct Coombs being positive.  Gordon's blood type is A+ and I am O+.  Baby girl is A+ like her daddy.  The direct coombs test was done at birth and it came back positive.  Basically, her body was breaking down RBCs which makes your bilirubin increase.  We were discharged from the hospital on Sunday and had to follow up with our pediatrician on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  When we weren't at the doctor we were staying busy with all of William's activities and trying to get some nap time in!  Having my parents in town that first week was a great help.  Having help with our little William was much needed.  Although, he has loved Anna Grace from day one there were a lot of breakdowns during that first month.  We've tried our best to keep our routines the same, but obviously he's had to learn to adjust to a few new things.  :)

Here were her numbers from the first week of doctor appointments.

Monday:  Wgt = 6 lbs 5 oz  Bili = 11
Tuesday:  Wgt = 6 lbs 5.9 oz  Bili = 14.3
Wednesday:  Wgt = 6 lbs 5.6 oz  Bili = 15
Friday: Wgt = 6 lbs 8 oz  Bili = 13.2

I was a little worried that they'd end up admitting her on Friday.  But, luckily, her bili level finally started going down.

Our 2nd week at home we started getting into the swing of things....just the four of us!  William goes to school 3 days a week and the other two days the three of us hang out together.  Baby girl didn't have to go back to the doctor until that Thursday.  She weighed in at 6lbs 13oz (right over birth weight) and they didn't have to recheck her bili since she didn't look nearly as jaundice.  YIPPEEE!

Here is what a day usually looked like around that time....8am breastfeed, 10am pump and feed bottle (usually 2oz), 1pm breastfeed, 3pm breastfeed, 5pm pump and feed bottle, 7pm bottle or breastfeed, 8pm breastfeed, 9pm pump and feed bottle, 1am breastfeed, and 5 am pump and give bottle.
Before I had Anna Grace I wondered if I'd produce enough milk for her, if she'd do well breastfeeding, if she'd hate the bottle.  Well, now I know!  She has been a super great baby.  She will nurse, take a bottle and likes a paci.  Just as I did with William, I make more milk than baby girl can eat.  So, I pump 4 times a day and breastfeed in between.  Anna Grace is definitely my daughter, she is predictable and stays on a good schedule!
While I'm on the subject of what William's been up to.  Tuesday evening soccer practice, Wednesday Little Gym, Thursday morning soccer at school, Thursday evening swim class, and Saturday soccer games.  We have been busy!  Thank goodness for newborn sleepiness.  :)

We've been busy but things have been great.  Anna Grace is the sweetest little baby and I can't say how wonderful it's been to not be stuck in the NICU.  It's been a breeze compared to our experience with William.  So, big thanks to my fabulous doctor for helping us keep this little angel in for 39 weeks.  We have felt so blessed to be at home together, as a family. since she's was born.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Things That Matter

In honor of Carrie Underwood tickets going on sale tomorrow (you can count on me being at her concert here in Houston in April) I thought I'd post the lyrics to one of my favorite songs So Small.  It is the perfect song for this post.

Being a mama can be hard.  Having a newborn baby can be hard.  Keeping up with the house work can be hard.  Being a good wife can be hard.  Thinking about going back to work and leaving your precious new baby with strangers is really hard.  Working with children that have cancer is hard.  Life is hard.  With post pregnancy hormones raging through me and all of these things I've listed above I'll admit I cry once a week (I'm 100% sure this is normal).  Sometimes it's when I hear a sad song, watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy or because I'm just plain tired.  But here is what I always come back to..... 

It's so easy to get lost inside
A problem that seems so big at the time
It's like a river that's so wide it swallows you whole
While you're sitting around thinking about what you can't change
And worrying about all the wrong things
Time's flying by, moving so fast
You better make it count 'cause you can't get it back

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
And what you've been out there searching for forever
Is in your hands
Oh, and when you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else seem
So small

Time does fly right by.  Life is hard, but it is so worth all the sweat and tears.  When I take a step back I can clearly see that all the things that build up and make me anxious....they aren't mountains.  They are just grains of sand.  I have the life I've always dreamed of.  God has given me the most precious babies and a husband with the best heart.  I am forever grateful for these things.  Here are a few pictures that capture my life, at this moment, perfectly.  

The cutest little love bug I've ever seen.  So very blessed.

These two have my heart.

I read so many blogs about women struggling with anxiety and the pressures of being the perfect mom.  So, if you're reading this, remember to go easy on yourself.  You are doing a great job!

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