Graham is Six Months Old!

21 weeks – back to swimming lessons after a month off

21 weeks – First swing ride – not a big fan!

22 weeks – Mommy’s First Mother’s Day

22 weeks

23 weeks – last night in a swaddle

24 weeks – Rolling Boy

24 weeks – I spy teeth!

25 weeks – Mom and Dad’s First Night Away!

25 weeks – Family Beach Week

26 weeks – loving bath time and two teeth!

Wow! Six months! Half a year with you! How can than be!? You are an absolute joy now! You are the happiest baby and everyone we come across comments on how smiley you are. Quite the change from your first few months. We celebrated Mommy’s First Mother’s Day this month. After almost three months on and off with us Dadima and Papa Bob went home to their house as you are officially adjusted to daycare now. We are still loving your school and teachers and see you learning so much already! You spent your last night sleeping in your straight jacket swaddle, we spent almost a week transitioning out. These swaddles saved the day when you were first born, so we were a bit sad to see them go. You’re doing well sleeping in a sleep sack now. You officially mastered rolling from back to tummy and back onto your back this month (23 weeks). You got your two bottom teeth (23-26 weeks). We spent 10 days at the coast and had lots of first. You were EXCELLENT in the car on the way to the beach and the way home, which was quite the treat for mom and dad! You met Uncle Penny, Aunt Shannon, and Kaka. Mommy and Daddy spent their first night away, you did great with Aunt Jody and Uncle Penny. You went to your first restaurant; Provision Company was an excellent first restaurant choice. We celebrated Daddy’s birthday while we were there. We did have a few bouts of sickness this month. You developed a pretty severe cow milk protein intolerance and it made you feel pretty terrible, but once we figured out the problem you were back to your regular happy self. On the last night of our beach trip you woke up with a fever and felt pretty miserable. Overall I am totally amazed at how far you have come in six months and how far we have come as a family in six months! We love watching you grow and learn so QUICKLY! We love you big little one!

Our first Mother’s Day!

We celebrated our first Mother’s Day! Daddy surprised me with an evening away at the Grandover Spa on Friday night where I was pampered with a massage and facial. It was great to have an evening to myself! We got up on Mother’s Day and made a painting for Dadima while Daddy cooked breakfast. I requested that we go to the park and practice with the camera. These are some of the shots. Dadima and Papa Bob were with us so they hopped in on the fun at the park. Some of the pictures turned out great and some… well we still need some more practice with the camera. I also requested Senor Bravo takeout for dinner. Overall it was a fun and relaxing day! I still can’t believe I get to be your momma! What a joy it is to watch you grow and learn and what wonderful day celebrating our family!

Graham is Five Months Old!

17 weeks meeting Aunt Kiki

17 weeks Mr. Independent

17 weeks loving bath time!

18 weeks enjoying spring

18 weeks playing with Aunt Jody

19 weeks Mommy’s first girls night!

19 weeks with Papa Sam

20 weeks first day of daycare

Your first day of daycare, the first picture from your teacher, and your first big boy nap! I will forever love this picture!

20 weeks – Hanging out with Dadima

20 weeks made it through the first week of daycare and came home with your first fever and daycare germs

21 weeks you’re very interested in Bertie now!

21 weeks – painting at school

This has been a big month again! We went back to the doctor for your four month old shots when you were 18 weeks old! You were just over 16 pounds and 24 inches long. Growing like crazy! You started day care this month at 20 weeks old. Due to Covid we aren’t able to go inside the school, we’ve never seen your classroom except on Zoom and we met your teacher on Zoom also. It was a bit stressful at first to leave you somewhere we were so unfamiliar with. I’m happy to report we are loving daycare so far. Your teachers Ms. Brittney and Ms. Tamara are wonderful. We have an app that they are constantly updating with pictures and information throughout the day that helps us feel connected! You had your first sickness; after your first week of daycare you came home with a fever and tummy problems. Even though you may have been a little under the weather, you have really blossomed in the first few weeks of daycare. You tolerate tummy time much better, are playing like a champ with all of your toys, and becoming more and more social with the teachers and the other children. Dadima and Pop Pop are still at our house helping get you adjusted to daycare, they have loved spending so much time with you and will be so sad to go home to their house next week. We’ve seen lots of friends and family this month and it has been wonderful to see you interacting with them. You are quite the smiling social little one! You still love going for your daily stroller rides and you love bath time. You have become more interested in Bertie this month, you even pulled her hair once or twice. She has been so patient with you. We’ve had some highs and lows with your sleep this month, but all in all I think we are very lucky that you sleep well. Right now you’re sleeping from 8 pm until 6 am on a good night, and then occasionally still nap after your morning feeding. You still don’t nap too well during the day, 15 minutes here and there for a power nap. We think you’re afraid to miss out on the action. And on your five month birthday you rolled over for the first time! We love you big little one! It’s hard to believe our next update you will be a half a year old!

Graham is Four Months Old!

First swimming lesson – 13 weeks

Totally worn out from swimming

Met Grandpa Jack – 13 weeks

First St. Patrick’s Day – 14 weeks

First Easter – 17 weeks

It’s been another wonderful month with you. We can see you learning and growing so much. This month, at 14 weeks, Daylight Savings Time and what we’re guessing is the four month sleep regression hit at exactly the same time. Le sigh. So we had a bit of a setback with you sleeping through the night. A few nights you were up almost as much as when you were first born. The past week or so, you seem to be outgrowing it and have mostly been back to just waking up once and falling back to sleep with some help from Mom or Dad. At some point this month you stopped napping very well, and now we get a few 30 minute naps a day in. Dadima and Poppa Bob have been with us most of the month keeping you while Mom and Dad are at work, and it has been so fun to see you develop a bond with them. At 15 weeks you started trying to roll over, but haven’t quite mastered getting all the way over just yet. This month you started putting your hands and your fingers in your mouth to soothe yourself. You’ve started to be really interested in playing with all of your toys, for the most part they go straight in your mouth. Your grasp is getting better and better, you’ve even started trying to hold your bottle by yourself this month. You’re loving all the stroller rides that you’ve been on this month now that the weather is nice. We’re loving that you will still take a nice nap in the stroller. You love bath time still, and take a bath almost every evening to wind down before bed. we’ve been to swimming lessons every Saturday morning and you seem to be really enjoying them. I really hope you will be a water lover! We’ve finally figured out what makes you laugh out loud with joy. Tickling your tummy and tossing you in the air makes you scream and laugh, and we absolutely LOVE to hear you. We love you big.

Graham is Three Months Old!

This was a big month for us all! You are sleeping well most nights. At nine weeks you surprised us and made it through the night without a feeding. It’s funny how they say you never know when something well be the last time you do something. The previous night you had a 3 am feeding that kept us up for over an hour. Then just like that the next night you had outgrown that. At 12 weeks you dropped your late night (10:30 pm) feeding and slept from 9 pm – 6:30 am. It is amazing to see you growing and changing so quickly. You started out the month as a good daytime napper, but as your sleep became more consistent at night the daytime naps got shorter. You are still waking for a morning feed (between 6 & 7) and go back down to sleep until 10 am. I think you’re going to be a night owl like mom. We absolutely love getting you up in the morning, you are the happiest, smiley, little joy when you wake up! Mommy went back to work when you were 10 weeks old (just two days the first two weeks) and Dadima spent 3 weeks with us taking care of you. You bonded with her quickly and seeing her love on you has made us so thankful that you aren’t in daycare just yet. Mom and Dad got to go on their first date night, which wasn’t just any first date after our first child. It was our first date night out with friends in almost a year because of Covid. It was quite the celebration. We spent basically every Saturday this month at our favorite brewery eating from the BEST Japanese food truck that we quickly became obsessed with. You’ve really started showing interest in what’s going on around you. You love bath time (I hope you’re going to be a water lover like mom). You’re grasping toys and putting everything in your mouth already. You laughed for the first time at 12 weeks. Your laughs are still a bit elusive but hearing them for the first time was something I will never forget. You like watching Bertie and are really trying to figure her out. Watching you learn and grow is such a joy for us! We love you big.

First Super Bowl – first big boy jeans – 9 weeks

First shots – 9 weeks

First Valentine’s Day – 10 weeks

Mommy went back to work – 10 weeks

Dadima came to stay to keep you while Mom and Dad worked

You started showing interest in books and even sat through one being read without crying – 10 weeks

You slept through the night!! Waking up to see 6:36 am was the best surprise for Mom and Dad! – 11 weeks

Papa Sam came to visit and finally got to hold you after getting his vaccinations – 11 weeks

Mom and Dad had their first date night out! – 11 weeks

We celebrated Dadima’s birthday! – 12 weeks

Carolina beat Dook and you got new sunglasses that you love! – 12 weeks

Graham is Two Months Old!

Graham,

It’s hard to believe you have been ours for two whole months! The day you were born our world was forever changed. Before you were here we read all the books and bought all the things. We knew we had no idea what parenting would be like until you were here, but we sure did try to prepare the best we could. Despite our best efforts we still felt very unprepared when we loaded you up in the car and headed home from the hospital.

I guess that’s the thing I see now, you can’t really ever prepare for your life to take on a whole new meaning. You don’t even know what you’re preparing for. Of course there were many late night Amazon orders for things we forgot, but I think perhaps what we were most unprepared for was just how you would change our lives in all the best ways! We love you so big little one.

The last two months have held some of the most challenging days. Becoming parents is hard, becoming parents in the midst of a global pandemic is very hard. We’ve had lots of people cheering for us from afar, but not too many here helping us with the messy parts of new parenthood. Trust me they would be here, if it wasn’t for this pandemic. So mostly it’s just been us, and in many ways I think of it as a blessing. To have had nowhere to go, no one to host, no unsolicited advice, nothing to distract us from you. Just us becoming a family.

We have all come a long way in a short time. You’re becoming your own person right before our eyes, and your dad and I are learning as we go in our new role as mom and dad. You’re starting to smile and interact with us more everyday, and it just melts us both into a big puddle.

You have brought immeasurable joy to our home. You were the brightest light for us, in what was a very dark year for so many. I hope you will continue to shine that light into our lives forever my love. We love you more than all the stars in the sky.

Here are a few highlights from your first two months:

Three days old – meeting your Aunt Jody

Three days old – meeting Bertie girl

Four days old – meeting Dadima and Grandpa

Four days old – first trip to the pediatrician

Six days old – first stroller ride

Six days old – Mom and Dad’s first solo outing (Chic-Fil-A obviously)

Ten days old – your first sink bath

Two weeks old – Daddy went back to work

First solo day with Mommy

You started sleeping in your crib in your room

Your first Christmas

Two weeks old – what meeting friends in the time of Covid looked like

Three weeks old – first road trip to the beach – during our trip to the beach is also when you figured out the difference between day and night! Thank Goodness!

Three weeks old – first time on the beach

First New Year’s Eve at the coast

One month old – you started smiling

Five weeks old – fresh out of your first big boy bath

Six weeks old – Aunt Jody came again to help Mommy get her second Covid vaccine

At six weeks your smiles were more intentional and just the best thing ever for us to see. Between six and seven weeks we finally fell into a bit of a routing which was a huge success for all of us!! As our schedule became more predictable we start to venture out with you a little more also.

Six weeks old – first brewery

You got new reflux meds and started only waking up once during the night at seven weeks old!

Eight weeks old – first trip to the vineyard

Eight weeks old – Carolina beat Dook for your first Tobacco Road rivalry game!

Bertie has been everywhere you are for the last two months!

Graham’s Nursery

I just love how Graham’s nursey turned out. One of the best things about not working as much during 2020, was that I had the time to enjoy preparing for our little one. I thought a lot about how I wanted his room to come together and was able to create a space that I think is just perfect for him!

One of the best things about his nursery is all of the things from our childhood. My mom saved EVERYTHING. I remember not that long ago, thinking, what on earth am I ever going to do with all this stuff! Now that she isn’t here all the things are extra special. Most of the books on his bookshelf are from both mine and Sean’s childhood. Lamont the Lonely Monster is Sean’s childhood favorite. The wooden rocking chair belonged to me as a kid. The needle point is something that I found when I was going through all of the stuff that had been saved. My mom did it in 1985, so when I was about a year old. I took it and had it framed so there would be a little bit of her in his nursery. The print above his bookshelf is one we picked out from Brian Andreas. I had a special print from him in my room as a kid that my mom bought on a girls trip to Asheville, NC and I just love the sayings on all of his artwork.

The stained glass lamp on his bookshelf is one that my mom made. It’s been at our beach house for years, but I decided it was the perfect little night light for his room and brought it home. The green in the lamp was starting point for the whole room. I had a bluish green vision, with a little bit of an ocean theme. I think it came together perfectly!

Amber did a great job capturing the room when she did our newborn photoshoot!

Graham’s Newborn Photos

I could not love the newborn photos that we had done more! Graham was nine days old. We were oh so tired, but falling more in love with him by the second. Of course Bertie girl stole the show per usual. He has already grown and changed so much since these were taken and I love having them to look back on! We booked them several months before he was born with Amber, and as the day approached we thought about canceling or trying to take them outside due to Covid. We totally trusted her but just felt like having her in our home when we weren’t allowing any other visitors might ruffle some feathers. It was miserably cold, so the outdoors just wasn’t an option. We ultimately decided that since we trusted her and couldn’t get the time back to have them done to go ahead with it. She was super safe and we are so thrilled to have these!!

My Pregnancy Journey

11 weeks

13 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks! Fourth of July and needing maternity shorts!

20 weeks! Halfway and read ready to announce our quarantine baby!

21 weeks

23 weeks!

25 weeks on my 36th birthday!

26 weeks!

27 weeks!

29 weeks!

30 weeks! Dressed up for our family shower!

31 weeks! Mini babymoon at the coast!

32 weeks!

33 weeks! Drive by COVID shower!

34 weeks! Surprise work baby shower!

35 weeks! (A very dirty mirror and the hospital go bag in the background!)

36 weeks!

37 (almost 38 weeks!) Thanksgiving Day! The turkey is almost done!

38 (one day short of 39) weeks! Last day of work!

39 weeks! Ready to meet our boy!

40 weeks! With my littlest love!

2020 Year in Review

2020. What a year. What a ride. Because (fingers crossed) there will never be another year like this, here’s how our 2020 went down. While there were many lows and many unexpected events on this roller coaster of a year, we were fortunate to have many highs too.

January 3 – My last day at my job. I left work and went straight to get our Bertie girl.

January 6 – Started my new job. Beyond excited to have finally found a new opportunity using and learning new skills, and very hopeful for the future with the company.

January 17 – Bertie’s first trip to the beach

January 25 – Belated friends Christmas celebration. Everyone catches the flu and unbeknownst to us it would be the first and last friend gathering of 2020.

January 31 – Recover from the flu just in time to road trip to Morgantown, WV for the weekend. Bertie’s first night in a hotel. Front row seats to the basketball game.

February 18 – Fly to Destin, FL for training for my new job. My only air travel of 2020.

February 28 – Old Crow Medicine Show concert. Preceded by champagne and oysters and good times with friends. The last supper of 2020.

March 6 – Travel to the beach for the weekend. Blissfully unaware of what is happening in the rest of the world. Bertie’s first time in the sand.

March 10 – Travel by car to Macon, GA for my new job. Due to the rise in cases of Coronavirus my company has now issued a travel advisory for all employees so I’m unable to fly. To be honest, I shouldn’t even be there based on the travel restrictions issued, but my manager seems to think the rules don’t apply. While in Georgia the world seems to take a turn for the worst. COVID-19 is now rapidly spreading and we have no idea what’s coming. My last meal in a restaurant for months is at a Zoe’s Kitchen in Macon. My last trip to the gym in 2020 is also at a hotel gym in Macon.

March 17 – Last day working in the office. The world had changed almost overnight. We are now starting to realize we’re in a global disaster, but with a barrage of information both reliable and not so much, we don’t know what to believe or how bad things truly are.

March 20 – It becomes apparent we’re going to be on lockdown. We stock up on groceries and plan to be in the house for a few weeks.

Sometime in late March – The new job I had been elated to start has turned out to be a disaster. The lady I’m supposed to report to has died. My new manager is awful. After working from home for several weeks I’ve had no communication from anyone at the company about anything. As 2020 is taking a turn for the worst so is this job.

April 1 – I am convinced I am pregnant but refuse to take a pregnancy test on April Fool’s Day.

April 3 – I confirm my suspicion. I am pregnant. I am all. the. emotions.

April 17 – I am furloughed from my new job. In a short month the job has become almost intolerable. I love the work, but the people are miserable and I’m honestly relieved to have a few weeks away to come up with a plan.

Sometime in late April – With no communication from my new job and no clear end in sight for the furlough (and now knowing I’m expecting a baby and the situation with the pandemic is worsening) I ask for my old job back. Friends this is why they tell you not to burn bridges. You never know when a global pandemic will hit and you will be thankful just to have a job.

April 27 – My first big girl house is sold. After being on the market for less than 48 hours in the height of lockdown I received an offer. A few weeks later we go to the closing, and just like that, I’ve sold my first home I bought for myself.

May 4 – The first doctor visit. Beyond relieved to see that our little nugget is thriving. Still feeling all of the emotions.

May 15 – After nearly two months in the house and going absolutely crazy for a change of scenery, we hit the road for West Virginia prepared to tell Sean’s family our big news. On the way we call and FaceTime my family members to let them in on the secret.

Sometime in late May – Things finally start opening back up. What started as a two week “safer at home order” has now surpassed two months. I’m finally able to go back to work part time at my old job. With millions of people out of work I’m thankful to have the chance to go back to work.

May 22 – We decide to brave it and head for the coast for Memorial Day. With the car loaded down with food and essentials we make it with no issues. While we can’t venture out much, it’s wonderful just to be somewhere besides our own house.

June 3 – We go back to the doctor to check on our nugget. Everything looks perfect and we elect to have genetic testing done. We will be able to find out the gender early from this testing.

June 5 – Our trip to the coast the previous weekend went so well, we decide to do it again this weekend. This time we celebrate Sean’s birthday with our friends at their house in South Carolina. We spend the weekend by the beach and the pool and enjoy takeout from some local spots. Because I’m still not working full time and Sean has some extra time off we extend the trip and head to our beach house for a few days. While Covid has upended everything, it’s nice to have the extra time to relax.

June 8 – We’re in the car driving to pick up takeout for dinner and the nurse unexpectedly calls with our test results. She says the genetic testing came back perfect and that she has the gender. I put the phone on speaker, and in the most uneventful way we find out we’re having a boy as we drive down the road. We’re both elated to find out he’s healthy!! We spend the evening eating our takeout and calling family and friends to share the news!

June 26 – Having not seen friends in months we head back to the beach to meet up with my college friends. Over the past weeks it’s become clear that socializing outdoors is much safer, so we spend the day on the beach with them.

July 1 – Back to the doctor to check on the nugget. We have our anatomy scan that confirms he’s a boy and he’s healthy!

July 2 – We head back to the beach to celebrate the Fourth of July. What’s normally a rowdy weekend, with the town full of tourists, a huge festival, partying, and fireworks turns into a quiet weekend on the deck with just the two of us.

July 24 – We go back to the coast for the weekend. I’m now halfway through the pregnancy and we’re ready to make our news public.

July 31 – We close on the beach house. While it’s been in my family for years, and we’ve had the good fortune of being able to enjoy it basically whenever we want. It is now ours. And this feels good. To be honest the beach house has been a huge part of our sanity up to this point in 2020 and I can’t imagine not having this safe escape this year.

August 4 – Four days after closing on the house a Category 1 storm comes ashore. We did nothing to prepare since we’ve made it through Category 5’s with no damage. The storm spun off a water spout that came onshore as a tornado and made its way directly up our driveway. We were fortunate to have only a huge limb across the deck, but the town saw more damage than I’ve seen in 20 hurricane seasons.

August 28 – I am 25 weeks pregnant and celebrate my 36th birthday by going out to eat at a restaurant for the first time since March.

September 21 – We celebrate our first wedding anniversary with P.F. Chang’s takeout and Gigi’s cupcakes at home.

October 3 – We celebrate the baby Zoom style with Sean’s family. The perk of the Zoom celebration is that the family from across the world gets to join us.

October 8 – Back to the coast! We stay several nights and decide this is our “babymoon.” It’s not the trip to Hawaii we imagined, or even the back up trip to Arizona or Colorado we thought would be possible when covid first hit, but we’re thankful to still have a healthy nugget and a happy place to get away to. We enjoy our second meal out at a restaurant since March. I can’t believe it has been nearly a year since we were at our favorite beach restaurant, and we’ve essentially missed their entire season this year.

October 24 – We celebrate the baby with our friends at another Zoom shower along with a drive by shower. We had hoped to have a small celebration in our backyard, but with everything opening up cases are rising and it’s just too risky. Luckily we found a way to celebrate somehow!

October 29 – Hurricane Zeta comes ashore at the Gulf Coast and makes its way north. Because it’s 2020 they’ve run out of names for the storms and started using the Greek alphabet. It’s nearly November and we’re without power for almost two days from a hurricane.

November 1 – We celebrated our Bertie girls first birthday!

November 5 – My coworkers surprised me with another shower for baby boy! It was really special since it was the only real “party” we got to have for him!

November 7- Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are finally announced as President and Vice President elect. I cry buckets thinking about what this means for little girls everywhere!

November 10 – I have surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma from my forehead. Keep it coming 2020. Skin cancer are you serious!? Wear sunscreen friends.

November 16- At 36 weeks pregnant I am offered a new job. I cannot believe it.

December 6 – Our baby boy, Graham William, is born. He is the spitting image of his daddy and perfect in every way. We are so lucky to have had this bright light to bring us through 2020.

December 22 & 23 – Christmas comes early this year in the form of a COVID vaccine. Sean got his the 22nd, and I got mine on the 23rd. I cried happy tears getting my shot!! We waited all year for this and to be among some of the first to get it is a huge relief! It seems fitting that my first solo outing with Graham was to get my shot!

December 25 – We celebrate our first Christmas with Graham! He gives us a Christmas miracle and sleeps well the night before. We enjoy our day at home, with just the 3 of us and of course Bertie. We’re in the thick of the newborn phase so we have boxed macaroni for Christmas dinner!

December 31 – Graham goes on his first road trip. We ring in 2021 at the coast with steak and lobster takeout from our favorite restaurant and drink champagne we brought home from France. Graham sleeps through dinner and I don’t know of a more perfectly 2020 way to end the year than at our favorite place, reminiscing about past trips and celebrating what’s to come for our new little family of 4.

I am looking forward to 2021. While 2020 was a tough year for everyone I feel so lucky to have had the greatest joy of all to close out the year! Wishing you and yours a better 2021!