Showing posts with label About Me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label About Me. Show all posts

Saturday, January 26, 2013

An Exciting Announcement

Hi Everyone, 

I've been MIA lately on my blog, but I am baking. I'm baking a lot actually. In December, I signed a contract  with Skyhorse Publishing to write my own cookbook. I am so very grateful for the privilege because I know many people work their butts off for an opportunity like that, and here it was just handed to me. Yes, I have worked hard on this blog to get where I am and I know I am deserving, I just don't want to take this experience for granted. I have a humble heart and I am so appreciative that the people at Skyhorse believe in me and have faith in my abilities as a self taught baker. That being said, I wouldn't be where I am without each and every one of you and all the encouragement and support that comes my way. 

My blog has changed over the years and I went from taking pictures of food at night, with the flash on to using props and daytime lighting and pretty linens. I strive to be better and I try to not only make the food look appealing, but more importantly taste good. I want what I put out on this blog to be achievable and something that you can be proud to serve your friends and family. That is my ultimate goal. With that in mind,  I will do my very best and put all those efforts into the cookbook. I am on a time crunch and I'm baking and photographing about 3 recipes a week. I'm tired y'all and I've only just begun. It's a good tired though and I welcome the challenge. I will try and post as often as I can on Lick The Bowl Good, but please bear with me  as I may be scarce at times. 

I wanted to share with you a few photos today. I baked two pies yesterday- one to be photographed and another to be hacked into pieces, until I found the perfect slice! Some might say, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. :-) Who wants a piece?!

You have to do this....
...To get to this!

And you get a picture of Hayden, just because I think the look on his face is hilarious! Something tells me he is going to be as opinionated and expressive as his momma. Watch out world! 

~Monica h

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Loaded Photo Post

I've had photos on my computer that date back to September that I wanted to share with you all and never did. Then Keeley from My Life On A Plate blogged a bunch of photos that inspired me to so the same. No food or recipes today just some of my favorite photos. My friend Lori from LFE Photography took the photos of Hayden when he was just 2 weeks old and our holiday pictures. The rest of them I took but I've put my logo on all of them. Hope you enjoy!

These are photos of Hayden when he was just 2 1/2 weeks old and still wearing newborn size clothes. I look back at these from time to time and I can't believe how small and tiny he was and how much he's changed!

I think this one wound up on Pinterest. My friend shared it on her FB page and someone pinned it. I didn't know about it until my sister saw it and told me about it.

This personalized wooden block was given to Hayden by Allie of Eat At Allie's. It was one of my favorite things he received because it was made especially for him with his birth information on it and because she honored Hayden's older angel brothers on it. It will be treasured for a lifetime. You can purchase your own from Craft-E-Family. Thank you Allie so much!

Fast forward to the first of December when Hayden was just 3 months old. I knit this blanket a few years ago and now he gets to use it. At this age he was still learning to hold his head up.

I did not knit this but a dear friend of mine did. It's a sleep sack and matching hat. I took a picture of him using it to send to her and my mom loved it so much that she submitted it in the Gerber cutest baby contest. haha!

These next few photos are from our holiday photo shoot. These were so much fun!

That is one good looking Poppa holding his son.

Of course Autumn took part in it too.

Sleepy and ready for this photo shoot to be over!

This was a happy coincidence- this heart was already carved into the tree- we did not photoshop it into the pictures. I also want to point out the beautiful green blanket my friend Kristi of Not What I Expected made for him. Thank you Kristi!

Mr. H is a huge fan of Christmas and "exterior illumination". Once Thanksgiving is over, he turns into Clark Griswold. He wanted me to share this photo of his hard work. Thank you honey for making our Christmas brighter.

And these are salt dough ornaments that I made in February of Hayden's hand and foot. I hoped to have them made in time to put on the tree but it just didn't happen. They'll look great on the tree next year though :-)

My beautiful Valentine!

Hayden was born with enlarged kidneys. They're also filled with fluid and shouldn't be. This can lead to urinary tract infections but so far he's been perfectly fine and infection free. We've taken him to a few doctor appointments and ultrasounds just to keep an eye on them. This past Tuesday he went for a follow-up appointment and we stopped by The Ronald McDonald house which is next door to the pediatric urologist. Here is a side by side comparison of Hayden with Ronald. He's filling out that car seat very well.

And lastly, this is the sunset from our backyard last night on Mr. H's birthday. It was 92 degrees in February! This day last year it was snowing. That's just how unpredictable Texas weather is.

That's all for now. Thanks for letting me play catch up! Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours peace on this Christmas day.

~ Mr. H, Hayden and Monica

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hayden's Birth Photos

I don't know if I ever told you guys, but a dear friend of mine, Lori from LFE Photography, was allowed in the operating room when Hayden was born. She photographed the whole process from the moment we left home to following him and Daddy to the nursery to get cleaned up. I'm so glad we have these photos because the morning of his birth went by so fast and was such a blur. Having these photos gives me option to go back and see all the beautiful moments I may have missed. Lori took several hundred photos, but here are just a few.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Thank you Lori!

Photos taken by LFE Photography

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Baby Is Born, Then He Goes Home

Time on the computer is limited. I wanted to update before now, but washing bottles, feeding my baby, changing diapers, doing laundry and holding that sweet boy of mine are priority one. So I'm copy and pasting this from my other blog. If you read both of them, please pardon the duplication.

Here I am just 2 days before giving birth to Hayden. I already miss being pregnant. I know that may sound crazy, but I do. This pregnancy was taxing, but I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything. Well, obviously, I traded the pregnancy in for the baby, but you know what I mean. I just miss the bond we shared together- his movements, his kicks, the waddling, the cravings :-). I'd much rather have him here than to be pregnant, but I miss that and it was over so quickly. I was just telling my doctor I needed a transition period between being pregnant and bringing him home. It's so different, even though I'm caring for the same child.

Arriving at the hospital at 7am. My doctors office is right across the street behind that sign. It was a privilege parking there.

The c-section went very quickly. We arrived at 7 and got prepped. We were to head back to the OR at 9am, but we were ahead of the schedule by about 30 minutes, so I went back early. I wish I could have slowed everything down, as it just went by so fast. Thinking back now, I wish I could have rubbed my belly one last time too.

My friend Lori was allowed in the OR to photograph his birth. I'm so glad my doctor allowed that because I know I'll treasure those photos forever. So much was going on and it happened so fast I don't remember all of it. I fully expected the procedure to take longer than it did. It seems like I was in there on the table getting prepped then 5 minutes later he was being pulled out of me. I wasn't sure how I'd react, but once I heard his cry it became so real. It's almost like I was still expecting things to go wrong. He was alive and crying and it just seemed so surreal. At this point, I felt like I was dreaming.

At birth, Hayden weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces, but when we left the hospital he was about 6 pounds, 3 ounces. He's been eating well, though breast feeding has been a challenge. Once I started pumping, I started producing more but he refuses my breast. I think it's because eating from the bottle comes much easier and he doesn't have to work for it. He's a lazy (but eager) eater! I'd love to breast feed, but at this point I'm just glad that I'm able to feed him breast milk rather than formula. There's nothing wrong with formula feeding, but they gave him some at the hospital because he was "jittery" and it didn't settle well with his stomach- he spit it up about 4 different times.

Going home- This is when it started to feel real! Watching Mr. H put him into the car seat and load him into our vehicle brought tears to my eyes. Though it's something I always hoped for, I never thought it would happen. It wasn't until the night before that we actually put the carseat into our car. To do it any sooner was almost like a jinx.

But we made it home. Once we got through the doors, I lost it. Our baby was finally home where he belonged. Heck, I'm crying now! It seems like I am crying everyday now. Sometimes for no reason at all, and others because I'm just so grateful and amazed by him. Seriously, I just can't believe where we are today. I thank God everyday for him. He really is a miracle baby. And I have to remind myself of that when I'm completely exhausted at 3 am and have to get up to change his diaper and he poops on me (like he did last night). Totally worth it.

Here is when he met Autumn for the first time. So far she has been wonderful. She is just curious and wants to sniff him. She doesn't appear to be jealous of him- it's almost like she knows how special he is to us and is just as accepting. She even gets up with me at night for feeding and changings. Then we all go back to bed. She's a good hairy big sister.

Just look at that sweet nose and those lips...I am completely and entirely in love. Yes, it's hard and it's an adjustment, but it's all we've ever wanted. I don't know why Sam and Jack were not given the same chance at life, but I know deep in my heart that he was sent to us from them. He's the best of both Mr. H and I and even more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

High blood pressure, protein in my urine, 4 night stays in the hospital, bloating, discomfort, mood swings, 4-hour glucose tests, the Trisomy scare, sleepless nights and indigestion- looking at that face makes all those troubles melt away and nothing else matters.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Greatest Creation

Hayden Bonnell
September 1, 2o11
8:58 am
6 pounds 11 ounces
19 inches

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Home Again

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I honestly can't thank you enough for all the kind comments and emails I've received over the past few days. Some were encouraging, some were sweet, some made me cry, but they were all helpful. It's nice to know that I have all of you out there rooting and praying for us. I really do consider you all my friends even if we've never met in person or have communicated before. I'm thankful for each and every one of you for taking the time to check in on us over the weekend, some of you more than once.

I have good news to share- I'm back home and resting in my own bed rather than at the hospital! I was released yesterday afternoon with orders for strict bedrest. That means not being on my feet for longer than 15 minutes at a time (including showers), resting- which includes laying in bed on the couch or in a recliner. The whole idea is just not to be doing anything strenuous. And sadly, at this point in the game even getting up to go to the bathroom raises my blood pressure.

My doctor released me from the hospital because my blood pressure was regulated as long as I was inactive. I didn't have a fever, the protein levels in my urine were not increasing and the baby was as "perfect" as can be. I'm still monitoring my blood pressure at home, and providing them with urine samples as necessary, but everything seems to be under control at the moment. The nurses were wonderful at the hospital and I could not have gotten better care, I'm just glad to be home in my own dog hair covered bed. Mr. H has been wonderful in taking care of me too and my in-laws have come over the last two days to help with dinner and to keep up company. Every one's been great and super helpful.

I went to the doctor today and all the weight that I had gained over the last few days was back down and normal. So I'm not sure if it was just water weight or not, but I wasn't swollen, retaining water or sensitive anywhere, in my hands, feet or my face. Maybe it was a mistake- of that I'm not sure. My blood pressure today was slightly elevated, but that was after walking and being mobile and it wasn't at any higher than before.

My doctor still thinks that I'll deliver early, but she's not expecting me to go into labor at 34 weeks like she did on Friday. halleleujah! I'm mighty anxious to meet this little guy, but I can wait a few more weeks. I just don't want to rush him out. It's like underbaking a cake. Yes, it's still good, but a few more minutes and it'll be perfect. They did a bio-physical profile on him today just to make sure that he was okay. His blood flow through the umbilical cord and his arteries looks great and he was squirming all around.

I got another P-17 injection today which will prevent pre-term labor for yet another week. I'll begin to see the doctor on Tuesdays and Fridays until it's time. She just wants to keep a close eye on us. She said today that my "body has never read a textbook" meaning that my body goes against all rules and does what it wants. I like to think I'm just keeping her on her toes, as this baby has done with me for the last several months :-)

Again, thank you all so much for being here for me. I appreciate it so much and I will continue to keep you all updated. I feel like I need to share as much of this special boy with you all as I can. He is my greatest creation yet.

~Monica

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Pregnancy Update- Please Read

This is copy and pasted from my other blog. I was far too lazy to come up with something original and different to say. So here's the latest update with me and my pregnancy.

On Wednesday, I went to my regular OB visit. I had an ultrasound done where we got to see the Mister hide his face with his fist. When prodded, he only raised the other arm in defiance. He did not want his picture taken :-)

I then proceeded to get another (weekly) P-17 injection (to prevent preterm labor) and dropped off a urine sample. My urine contained protein in it so my doctor sent me home with a couple of jugs to collect my urine for 24 hours. On Thursday, I returned my sample to the lab where they also drew blood.

On Friday, I returned back to the doctor for a follow up visit and to check on my blood pressure. My doctor was worried that because of the protein levels in my urine that it could lead to pre-eclampsia. So checking on my BP was just a precaution. A couple of days before it was 120/80 so I wasn't the least bit concerned. Apparently my doctor knows what she's talking about because when I went in for the follow up visit, my blood pressure was up to 140/93, my urine still contained elevated levels of protein and I had gained 8 pounds in a matter of 2 days- that's insane! I haven't been swollen or puffy in the least so I don't know where all the hidden weight is.

Immediately my doctor made me go home and pack my bags and sent me to L&D. Usually Mr. H goes with me to all my appointments but on Friday morning he had taken his Dad to a Senior Retreat at the YMCA- something they do every Friday. I tried calling him but couldn't get a hold of him. I ended up leaving a message on his phone in which I was sobbing uncontrollably, so I sent him a text as well. At the time of my message, he was swimming with his Dad but once he got it he came rushing to me immediately and met me at the hospital for check-in. He's been by my side as well as my family and friends.

I got here yesterday at 1pm. They've taken my blood a couple times, put in a locked IV, are currently running another 24-urine culture, taken my temp, checked my blood pressure and are constantly monitoring Mister's heart rate and activity. He is doing great! It's me they're worried about. At the u/s on Wednesday he was measuring at 4 lbs. 1 oz. which I thought was just fabulous. However, now that I know he will be born early, I worry that he's too small to enter this world. My doctor suspects he'll be born around 34 weeks gestation, which is a week and a half away! Until then, I will remain on bedrest until further notice. There is no set date on which he will be here, we'll just continue to take it day by day and if he starts to go in distress, then he'll be delivered.

I've heard many success stories about babies being born at this gestation. I know having the steroid injections to strengthen his lungs is a plus and being here in this safe place is the best thing for us. It just hurts my heart to know that he'll have to spend time in the NICU. I don't worry for myself, I worry for him. I just feel like my body has failed my children again. This is not the birth story I dreamt of, but I suppose what matters most is that he's healthy, viable, safe, thriving and ALIVE. Nothing else really matters, nor does it ever go the way we plan them.

Please know that I'm not complaining, I'm just worried and I feel unprepared for all of this. Our induction date wasn't scheduled until September 14th at 11:45am and in a matter of moments the tables have turned and I'm feeling a little anxious. I thank God everyday for this miracle baby and I know how lucky and blessed I am (we are) to even have made it this far in the pregnancy. Right now all I can do is trust that "this is exactly where we are meant to be" even if I don't understand or like it.

Thanks for reading and for being here for me.

~Monica

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