Sibling Love

I love everything about this picture. You can’t not smile when looking at those two.

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Life is good.

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Things I Never Blogged About: Christmas 2013

Playing catch up to share memories I never blogged about.. here’s Christmas 2013.

We celebrated Christmas a few days early at home with my family, and then packed up our kids and headed north for Christmas. It takes about 16 hours with two kids between eating, potty breaks, and etc. Our kids were great travelers on the trip up. Everyone was feeling sick on the way home, so that trip was pretty miserable.

We had a great time spending Christmas  up north. Chris’s family always goes all out for Christmas and we leave feeling so blessed. I’m so glad I married into such a wonderful family. My babies are lucky and get to grow up with a pretty great family–on both sides. We loved spending time with family, playing in the snow, and teaching Toby to roll over, among many other things.

Here are some scenes from our trip up north.

Watson Cousins

Watson Cousins

Christmas 2013

Milk + Cookies for Santa

Milk + Cookies for Santa + reindeer carrots

Cuties on Christmas Morning

Cuties on Christmas Morning

Furiously ripping into presents. Everything she opened, she responded with "it's just what I wanted." So sweet.

Furiously ripping into presents. Everything she opened, she responded with “it’s just what I wanted.” So sweet.

"It's just what I wanted"

“It’s just what I wanted”

Big boy chillin'

Big boy chillin’

Tobes learned to roll over on this trip, at 3 months old

Tobes learned to roll over on this trip, at 3 months old

Grandma Painting Elodie's toenails

Grandma Painting Elodie’s toenails

Big boy

Big boy

Grandma & her babies

Grandma & her babies

Toby & Grandpa

Toby & Grandpa

Snow Angel

Snow Angel

Elodie and Daddy playing in the 4 inches of show

Elodie and Daddy playing in the 4 inches of show

Family Snow Angels

Family Snow Angels

Snowman

Snowman

Anyone else missing Christmas already? Although.. I’m glad the weather is starting to warm up! Never mind, let’s hit the beach!

xoxo

Ash

Things I Never Blogged About: Elodie’s 3rd Birthday

Trying to play catch up.. so here’s a throwback to November 2013.

Elodie’s third birthday was back in November. I was still on maternity leave, so a stay-at-home-mom friend and I took the kiddos to the aquarium for Elodie’s actual birthday. We love the aquarium, so any excuse to go is a good one. We had not taken Elodie in a while and she is at a great age to really enjoy it. Momma had a fun day with her babies looking at the fish.

Shark Bait ready for the aquarium--Toby at a month and a hafl

Shark Bait ready for the aquarium–Toby at a month and a hafl

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Elodie + Ezra

Elodie + Ezra

My sweet babies

My sweet babies

For her party, since Toby was born at the end of September, I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to plan an elaborate party. We decided to have it at a favorite spot of ours, an indoor playground with inflatables called Catch Air. This place took care of everything for us–all we needed to do was show up & bring cake.

My 3 year old ready to party!

My 3 year old ready to party!

The kids played hard for about an hour and a half, which included a dance party with Dora! Once the playing was done we sang & ate pizza, snacks and cake.

Dance party with Dora

Dance party with Dora

Elodie + Dora

Elodie + Dora

Cake for the Princess

Cake for the Princess

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Happy Birthday To You!

Happy Birthday To You!

I think most little kid birthday parties are enjoyed more by the adults who attend, especially when they can get on all the equipment and play right along with the babes. Here’s Chris going down a slide with another little girl who was there.

Elodies-3rd-bday

I can’t believe my baby girl is already 3 years old. She’s growing right up into a beautiful, smart, funny, energetic & loving little girl. I’m so thankful for her. Love you, princess!

xoxo

Ash

 

Whew…

Well, to say we’ve been busy these last couple of months is an understatement. I forgot to write about one event, then another, then another to where writing a post at all seemed overwhelming. But as Toby will be 6 MONTHS (!!) at the end of the month, there are things I want/need to write down and remember, so I’ll play a little catch up soon.

Right now, I want to focus on my little man turning 6 months and life as a family of 4.

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Tobias-Watson

so happy!

so happy!

If I could haven written out a description of an ideal son, Toby would fit that description perfectly. He is such a momma’s boy, he has a GREAT little personality, he’s still nursing perfectly when momma’s home (so momma is still pumping at work), and he’s so inquisitive. He already has great hand-eye coordination. He plays with the toys on his car seat and his play mat like Elodie never did, he is starting to pick up & eat little puffs, and he can pick up his paci & put it in his mouth all by himself. He LOVES Elodie. He watches everything she does and thinks she’s hi-larious. I need to write a whole post on what sweet siblings they are, but every interaction they have just makes my heart melt. He really loves to snuggle. He isn’t the best sleeper, but I know I’ll miss the snuggles and midnight nursing when it’s over. I’m trying to enjoy it now while it lasts… even though I’m sleep-deprived.

Tobias-Watson

Always snuggling with momma

Always snuggling with momma

Busy boy

Busy boy

We’ve just started introducing him to his high-chair and eating solid foods. Once he turns 6 months, we will try feeding him more real food. So far, he’s just eaten puffs & he’s been spoon-fed some applesauce once or twice. He’s not a fan yet, but he does have 2 bottom teeth that he needs to put to work!

family love

He loves being carried in our Ergo, which isn’t surprising because he loves being held, especially by momma. He likes being outside and going for walks. He can now roll all around in both directions and never stops. He’s a speedy little thing and rolls all over the house.

loves to be carried

loves to be carried

He loves being sung to. He likes watching the TV when Elodie is watching something, especially Frozen, which they watch a lot of at the babysitter’s house. Elodie knows & sings every word and that cracks Toby up. Seriously those two, heart = melted.

Best friends

Best friends

Brother & sissy snuggles

Brother & sissy snuggles

<3

He gives the best kisses & snuggles. I hope he never outgrows that.

Kisses from the big man

Kisses from the big man

I feel so blessed every day to have the two greatest kids alive. I love them so much.

xoxo

Ash

PS: I’ll get better about this blogging thing again, I promise. I really want to document our fun, family memories. Be on the look out for a “Things I Never Blogged About” series including Elodie’s 3rd birthday, Christmas, & etc. Wait, you mean it’s almost April & I haven’t written about my daughter’s 3rd birthday that was in November or Christmas? Yep, my bad.

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a small Thanksgiving this year with just my mom, Chris and our kiddos. I didn’t feel like cooking for just us, so we ordered dinner from a local grocery store and had a very laid-back day. Chris ran a race, like last year, and picked up dinner while he was out. Elodie, Toby and my mom and I spent the morning at our house & baked cookies.

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We finished decorating for Christmas. We’ve been doing it slowly but surely since I’ve been on maternity leave & Chris has been off work all week. We wanted a big tree, since we have 20-ft vaulted ceilings in our living room, so we got a beautiful 10ft tree. I’m in love.

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We took some family pictures, ate dinner, and relaxed.

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Hope everyone had a lovely day. Happy Thanksgiving! We have lots to be thankful for this year, so we’re feeling pretty blessed.

xoxo

Ash

Tobias: One Month

Yesterday our sweet little baby boy turned one month old. This month went by way too quickly. We’ve been super busy this month, and luckily our perfect new addition allowed us to get everything done–like a very special wedding! Congrats to my BFF , Jessie, who got married! We had a great time celebrating all the things that go along with this!!

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Cheers!

Cheers!

Ready to celebrate!

Ready to celebrate!

Rooftop party

Rooftop party

But more on Toby…

1 month old

1 month old

He’s still a great sleeper, doing 4/5 hour stretches between eating each night and 3/4 hour stretches during the day. He’s still nursing like a champ, which makes my life so much easier, especially in the middle of the night.

Blue eyes

Blue eyes

Toby-Watson

I’ve tried to introduce formula because, unfortunately, I do have to go back to work in a few weeks & I don’t know if I’ll be able to pump enough at work to keep up with his voracious appetite. This has been a little battle–regular formula made him throw up, the 2 times he’s eaten it, so we tried soy. He keeps this down better, but doesn’t really like it. I’ve only mixed in an ounce of formula with several ounces of breastmilk, and he still fusses about eating it. We will keep trying to mix in formula and I’ll keep building up my breastmilk freezer stock, so he may not need a supplement after all.

Toby-Watson

Elodie is still doing really well with him too. Every afternoon when she comes home from her babysitters, the first thing she asks is “where’s my baby?” She seems to be less annoyed when Chris or I are holding him, and loves “helping” bathe him & change his diaper. She’s a great big sister. It will be so sweet when he is older & they can interact and play more.

my life <3

my life ❤

Always helping out

Always helping out

Sweet big sister

Sweet big sister

Toby is starting to smile & coo a little bit. He has lots of awake time when we get up in the morning, and this is my favorite time all day. We talk and laugh and smile & it’s so sweet. We love to cuddle. It’s hard it get things done during the day, but totally worth it. This mommy/Toby time will go by way too quickly so I’m trying to savor every feeding, cry, diaper change, smile, coo & cuddle.

Our family has never been more crazy or felt more complete.

Mommy enjoying her babies

Mommy enjoying her babies

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We are really excited about trick-or-treating & Elodie’s birthday is coming up quickly! I love this time of year.

Xoxo

Ash

More About Toby

Our little man has been around for a little more than a week, and we are falling more in love with him each day.

Here’s a little more about our little guy.

Tobias-Watson

Where did we get his name, Tobias Arthur?

With a daughter named Elodie Alene, we couldn’t name this one something common. Chris’s requirement for a name is that it’s something that can be shortened. After weeding out names that couldn’t be shortened, I still really loved the name “Toby.” Chris knew of a hockey player whose name is Tobias, but goes by Toby, so we decided on Tobias. (Side note: the hockey player mentioned played for the Atlanta Thrashers when they were around, and Chris and I frequented Thrasher’s hockey games in our early relationship, so it’s a fun little coincidence.)

Arthur is Chris’s dad’s middle name. Our options were either Arthur or Shawn, which is Chris’s middle name. I’ve always loved the name Arthur, and we even debated using that as a first name, so there was really no question about choosing it for a middle name. Elodie shares a middle name with my mom.

How is he as a newborn?

No complaints so far. He eats well, sometimes too well. He sometimes nurses for upwards of an hour. Luckily he’s always gone at least 3 hours in-between feedings, and lately and at night it’s 4 hours in between. He rarely cries, and loves being cuddled & carried. He’s a very sweet momma’s boy so far–just what I wanted in a son 🙂

Also, a little more than a week later he’s already not only gotten back up to his birth weight, but surpassed it. He was 8lb 1oz at birth and yesterday he weighed 8lbs 3oz. Big boy!

Elodie-alene

How is Elodie handling everything?

Well, Elodie is almost 3. She is very aware of what’s going on. Her tantrums have increased, especially at bedtime–which may or may not have anything to do with the new baby. She is sweet when she interacts with him, giving him kisses, talking about “her baby,” and making us whisper when he is sleeping. She also suddenly has an increased interest in momma, which she definitely did not have before. I have to put her to bed, read her extra books at bedtime, and she often wants me to help her on the potty, get snacks, etc. Whenever I’m holding/feeding Toby she asks “can you have two babies?” which means she wants to snuggle too. She also wants to be near me if I excuse myself to nurse Toby or to pump. I’m sure it will get better as she gets used to it and as Toby gets older & more interactive.

How is momma doing?

I get this question a lot. I’m glad people care about me, but I just had a baby. I’m not going to be running a marathon anytime soon, but momma is good. It cracks me up when doctors/random people tell me I need to “rest.” Even before I had Toby, I still had a 2 year old running around. Working all day in the weeks leading up to my due date + coming home to a rowdy/whiny toddler was exhausting. No resting was done before Toby, and nothing has changed since I’ve had him. Now I have a rowdy/whiny toddler & a newborn to keep track of. After you have a baby, you just kind of feel like crap.  I’m not someone who was ever a fan of being pregnant, and the postpartum stuff is just as bad, in my opinion. I’m not someone who will ever try and convince you that actually having a baby is a pleasant experience. The baby makes things a little more bearable.  🙂

I love my kids, but going through this twice is enough for me. (Please remind me of this when Toby gets older and I want another one)

Watson-Family

How are you adjusting to your new family of 4?

The whole experience of having a second baby is totally different from having your first. From the delivery, to the hospital stay, to the pediatrician visits, everything has been exponentially more calm than it was with Elodie. I guess with non-first-time-parents, people actually think you know what you’re doing and just let you parent your kids how you want to. I remember being constantly stressed with Elodie. Everyone we spoke to gave us different advice/information. I always felt like I wasn’t making the “best” decisions and that I was being judged by professionals for not doing everything their way.

This time around, everyone just leaves us alone–in a good way. We’ve been doing things similarly to how we did when Elodie was a newborn, and will continue to do so until what we’re doing doesn’t work for Toby. Toby is already so much easier than Elodie was, so it makes our lives that much more calm this time around.

Chris and I are both excited about our new son & all the new experiences/challenges of raising a boy. We’re also slowly adjusting to our new family of 4. We’re eating in shifts, constantly doing laundry, changing baby diapers, drying tears, and getting/receiving lots of love & kisses. We’re sleepy and maybe a little grumpy on occasion, but we are very blessed.

xoxo

Ash

ps: all the pictures in this post were from Toby’s newborn/family shoot by Jennifer Mills

Our Newest Addition

After having to be induced because our little man was 4 days late, we are so pleased to welcome our son.

Tobias Arthur Watson

(aka Toby)

Welcome Toby

Welcome Toby

Born September 29, 2013 @ 11:36 am

8 lbs 1 oz, 20.5 inches long

We are in love.

So far, he’s been a great newborn and the perfect addition to our family.

Elodie is still getting used to sharing her mommy & daddy with a new baby, but luckily Chris’s parents were here this week to help give her the extra attention she needed.

I’ll write more about his birth, how we chose his name, etc. later, but for now, I’ll just share a few pictures from his first couple of days with us.

Mommy holding her handsome man for the first time

Mommy holding her handsome man for the first time

Daddy & Son

Daddy & Son

Gigi and her newest grandson

Gigi and her newest grandson

Meeting Aunt Jessie

Meeting Aunt Jessie

24 hours old

24 hours old

Heading Home

Heading Home

Mommy + her babies

Mommy + her babies

Grandma + her babies

Grandma + her babies

Cute squishy face

Cute squishy face

At the pumpkin farm

At the pumpkin farm

Watson: Family of 4

Watson: Family of 4

Can't get enough of him sleeping

Can’t get enough of him sleeping

xoxo

Ash

Jersey Shore

We’ve been home from the beach & back at work for 2 weeks. Needless to say, we’ve been pretty busy since we’ve been home so enjoy this tardy recap of our vacation.

Most of our trip was similar to last year, so check there for any missing details 🙂

We packed up our new mini-van & hit the road around 6:00 am, the morning before we were planning to arrive on the beach. We wanted to take our time to get up there and enjoy the trip. By the way–having a mini-van is AWESOME for traveling.

Van packed & ready to go @ 6:00 am

Van packed & ready to go @ 6:00 am

Since we had some extra time built into the trip, we were able to make plenty of stops. This kept Elodie & a 30-week pregger momma very happy 🙂

One stop was a drive-through zoo/safari somewhere along I-81 in VA. We bought a bucket of food, and drove around to see & feed animals. I didn’t love the animals coming right up to our car, but Elodie & Chris were having fun.. so that’s all that matters.

Stop in VA to feed some animals

Stop in VA to feed some animals

After our first long day of driving, we stopped  somewhere in Delaware for the evening. There’s a ferry that you can drive onto and it takes you from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ–Cape May, NJ is only about 20 minutes from our final destination in Stone Harbor, NJ. This saved us from having to drive too much the next day, and we thought it’d be a fun experience for Elodie.

DE-NJ Ferry

Driving our van onto the DE-NJ Ferry

On the Ferry

On the Ferry

I got a little sea-sick on the ferry, but Elodie enjoyed running around with Chris and looking for dolphins. We didn’t take it on the way home, but it was a fun thing to do once.

After the ferry docked, we had a short drive to meet up with our family and begin our lovely beach vacation.

Ahhh, finally at the beach

Ahhh, finally at the beach

The rest of the week consisted of beach, beach, seafood, ice cream, family, zoo, shopping & some more beach. Similarly to last year, the week were there happens to be around July 25, which is Christmas in July. Santa can be found all over town all week. This was an added bonus to our trip because we ran into him all over town. Between this & getting ice cream every night, Elodie was in heaven.

Our lovely set-up. This tent was AWESOME for Elodie.

Our lovely set-up. This tent was perfect for Elodie’s afternoon naps.

The biggest difference from last year & this year, aside from my giant belly, was Elodie is a whole year older. What a difference a year makes! Last year she was drinking bottles, wearing diapers, and was only a year and a half.

Trying to make our lives a little easier, since we knew we weren’t going to have to be running back & forth for bottles and diaper changes, we purchased this tent in hopes that Elodie could just take her afternoon naps right on the beach. It worked like a charm. She loved it and loved napping in it. We loved it because we could lounge around on the beach all day and not have to worry about messing Elodie’s schedule up. Best investment for kiddos ever. I STRONGLY recommend getting one if you’re planning a long beach vacay.

Elode + Grandma

Elode + Grandma

Our nightly trip to the ice cream place

Our nightly trip to the ice cream place

❤ (30-week baby bump)

She loved digging in the sand

She loved digging in the sand

Santa!

Santa!

On one of the cloudier days, we took a day off from the beach to enjoy the (free!!) zoo. Elodie enjoyed the drive-through safari thing so much, we knew we had to take a day to visit the zoo. She is kind of obsessed with animals and had a blast.

Our day @ the zoo

Our day @ the zoo

Daddy + Elodie at the zoo

Daddy + Elodie at the zoo–don’t let her grumpy face fool you, she was having fun

As usual, vacation weeks always go by way too quickly, so we had to soak up every last ounce of sunshine and family time on our last day.

Enjoying the final day

Enjoying the final day

Family enjoying our last day

Family enjoying our last day

Another shot of that baby bump

Another shot of that baby bump

Chris + Grandma + Elodie

Chris + Grandma + Elodie

Thanks everyone for a great week! Looking forward to having our new addition with us next year!

xoxo

Ash