Ellis Ann is Three Months Old!

Three months! It’s hard to believe how fast the time is flying by! What an absolute joy you are! You are so smiley these days! You learned to roll from your tummy over onto your back at 9 weeks this month. You started daycare at 12 weeks old! I was sad to go back to work, and very sad to leave you at school but you are in wonderful hands! Ms. Jennifer & Ms. Eden, your teachers, and you have become fast friends. You’re the smallest one in the class so it’s still hard for me to leave you with the big kids, but you will be as big as them in no time! You’re making lots of cooing noises now, and we can tell the laugh is coming but no real belly laughs just yet!

We’ve had lots of family time this month. You met the Carter Family at Grandpa Jack’s memorial service. Kaki and Kaka flew in from New York for a visit. And of course Mina and Pop Pop have been with us a lot. Aunt Jody has also been to visit and stay with you quite a few times.

You went in the pool for the first time this month. You were not such a fan, I think because the water was too cold! We are hoping to get you in swimming lessons soon!

We still don’t have you on much of a schedule, since starting daycare you’re not sleeping quite as well at night. You’re waking up a few times to eat and are more restless at night. I think it’s the daycare germs. You’ve had your first stuffy nose and that seems to keep you up.

All in all you’ve just been our happy go with the flow girl. Along for the ride wherever we go! We love you big little one!

9 weeks – rolled right over into Bertie

9 weeks – meeting your Great Uncle Jim and Great Aunt Ann and the Carter’s at Grandpa Jack’s Memorial

10 weeks – Mom and Dad had a night out!

10 weeks – Visit from Kaka and Kaki

10 weeks – 11 pounds

10 weeks – shots at your check up

10 weeks – the most chill girl sleeping at the dinner table

11 weeks – it may be hectic at our house but I sure do love it!

11 weeks – you are the calm to your brothers chaos right now

11 weeks – stretching in the Snoo

11 weeks – hanging with Aunt Jody

11 weeks – First time in the pool

12 weeks – your first 4th of July

12 weeks – first day of daycare

12 weeks – Starting daycare is exhausting

12 weeks – Children’s Museum – happy girl along for the ride

3 months – Sunday morning snuggles

Ellis Ann is Two Months Old!

Ellis Ann,

You have been the absolute perfect addition to our family! We could not have imagined how seamlessly you just would just fit in. Although you’ve only been ours for two months, it’s hard to remember what we were like before you were here! You go with the flow so well, and have just been along for the ride so far!! As an only child, I had no idea what to expect adding a second child to our family. Seeing your brother bond with you is truly so special. You are starting to take an interest in him and always watching what he’s up to now.

It has been a joy to be home with you the last two months soaking up the baby cuddles. So far you are a total mommy’s girl and I just eat it up. You’re sleeping well in the Snoo at night, now waking up to eat only once. We haven’t gotten you into much of a routine yet, it doesn’t seem to bother you though. You’re able to just roll with things so well that we haven’t felt the pressure to get you on a strict schedule. You ride along in your stroller or nap in your car seat for just about anything we want to do! You’re eating about every three hours during the day, going to bed for the night around 10 or 11 and waking up once around 3 for a feeding and back to bed until 6 or 7. We were so thankful that you were a good sleeper pretty much right from the start. You have had no issues with feeding which has also been a blessing (especially knowing there is a formula shortage now). At this point you mostly cry only when you are hungry or sleepy. During the day you want to be held most of the time, and prefer to sleep in someone’s (mommy’s) arms. You nap well throughout the day as long as you’re being held. Around six or seven weeks you started smiling at us which melted us into a big puddle of love. Around nine weeks you flipped from your tummy over onto your back during tummy time.

You are still quite the petite little girl. Finally, wearing newborn diapers and newborn clothes. When you first came home we put you in preemie clothes & diapers because you were such a tiny thing! You are growing so fast and I wish we could slow down time to soak it all up a little longer. You are the happiest cuddliest little one!

Ellis Ann, you have completed our family in the most perfect way! I still can’t believe I have a blue eyed baby girl! I’m often in awe of the life your dad and I have built with two perfect little ones to love! We could not have imagined the joy that fills our home and our lives now. We love you big little one!

1 day old – ready to head home from the hospital – sleeping on Mommy’s chest (where you’ve spent most of the last 2 months!)

1 day old – Meeting Pop Pop and Dadima

1 day old – first stroller ride

2 days old – first trip to the pediatrician

6 lbs 7 oz

2 day old snuggles

2 days old – hanging with Daddy and Brother

3 days old – snuggle bug

3 days old – meeting Aunt Penny (Aunt Jody too!)

4 days old – family time!

4 days old – weight check – 6 lbs 12.4 oz

4 days old – First trip to Costco

5 days old – first trip to the vineyards

5 days old – trying out the bottle

6 days old – exploring downtown

6 days old – lashes for days

7 days old – First Easter

One Week Old – Big Brother keeping watch

8 days old – back to the doctor for an eye infection

10 days old – all the girls snuggled up

11 days old – neighborhood outing

11 days old – snuggling

12 days old – celebratory drinks for everyone

13 days old – watching big brothers swim class

13 days old – the sweetest face

two weeks old – milk drunk

two weeks old – 7.65 pounds

2 weeks old

16 days old – picnicking with Mom and Dad

18 days old – first trip to the grocery store

19 days old – you’re under there, I promise, another vineyard outing

19 days old

20 days old – a little blurry and a lot of love

3 weeks old

3 weeks old – our wild and wonderful family

3 weeks old – Daddy goes back to work

3 weeks old – meeting Grandpa Jack

3 weeks old – out for a spring stroll

3 weeks old – the ABSOLUTE SWEETEST girls!!

3 weeks old – getting a bath

3 weeks old – hanging with Aunt Jody and Bertie

4 weeks old – Celebrating Mother’s Day

4 weeks old

4 weeks old – trying out your chair

Growing this fast is exhausting!

5 weeks old – first tub bath

5 weeks old – the sweetest brother and sister

5 weeks old – your first girls day out

6 weeks old – first baseball game

6 weeks old – out to lunch to meet Aunt Amy

7 weeks old – Mom and Dad’s first night out to celebrate Daddy’s birthday

7 weeks old

7 weeks old – first Memorial Day with your first coordinating outfits

7 weeks old – our little snuggle bug

7 weeks old – Bertie loves snuggling just as much as you

Two months old – so fresh and so clean

and just for fun to see you grow into this GIANT bow!

two months old – wearing Daddy’s outfit

Easter 2022

Ellis Ann’s first Easter was so much fun! It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, we took these photos to announce that she was on the way and now here she is celebrating Easter at 7 days old! Dadima and Pop Pop were in town. Graham got to open his Easter baskets and his sisters, which he loved! The biscuits and the balls were the biggest favs! We spent almost all day outside. Playing in the backyard and then to Renolda for a picnic. I adore the family photo that Pop Pop snapped of us at Reynolda. Aunt Amy sent the cutest crochet outfit for EA to dress up in for Easter. What a great first holiday for our sweet girl and a wonderful day of fun for big brother!

Ellis Ann’s Birth Story

Last family photo of just us three!

Jo Jo came to stay with Graham

Welcome to the world Ellis Ann!

I should start by saying I started having contractions around April 3. They would get stronger to the point I thought maybe that was it, and then they would go away for several hours or even a whole day. However on Saturday April 9, something told me they were a bit different this time. We got up and took Graham to swimming lessons, and then I met a friend for a pedicure. She jokingly said the pedicure would send me into labor (but I had a feeling it was already coming).

I was having contractions on and off throughout the morning. They were really not painful and I was able to keep doing what I had planned. Once I was at home, Sean wanted me to rest, hoping that the contractions would go away. I think he secretly wanted a few more days to prepare! As the day went on it just started to seem more and more like it was time! Late that afternoon I called Aunt Jody and told her to come over to our house to stay with Graham so we would be able to leave for the hospital when the time came. We called Dadima and Pop Pop and told them to head to our house the next morning because we thought it was close to time. We had dinner and Graham went to bed. We thought we would go to bed and try to get some rest before the time came. We were in bed no more than 15 minutes before I said “it’s time.”

Around 10:00 that night the contractions were starting to be very painful and getting closer together. Sean had already loaded everything in the car that afternoon, in anticipation of needing to leave quickly. Luckily it is a short drive from our house to the hospital. When entering the hospital I had been asked if I had any Covid-19 symptoms and I said no (but I wasn’t being totally honest, I had a terrible cough that I had for at least a week, but had tested negative at home several times). We were taken in and given a triage room right away and I thought things would move quickly. They checked me out and decided that I was in labor and it was time to be admitted. But then we had the two SLOWEST nurses come in and it took FOREVER to get triaged. Time passes much slower too when you’re waiting anxiously for an epidural! The nurses were moving so slow that it gave everyone on the floor enough time to notice my cough, so I had to be tested for covid and the flu, luckily both were negative.

Two hours later we were finally moved to a labor and delivery room. We had the sweetest nurse, who I think had just finished nursing school. She was just the nicest, but had no confidence and had to call the charge nurse to come check behind her over and over. I guess that’s better than her making a mistake though.

She called for the epidural and the anesthesia resident came right away. I had such a great experience with my epidural with Graham that I was expecting the same thing. And I did not get that. It took him several tries to get it placed and it was really not the most comfortable experience. Thankfully, it started to work quickly, but then out of nowhere I got so sick!

There was a nurse in the room setting up the warmer and we were just chatting away and suddenly I was like I AM SO HOT I AM GOING TO BE SICK! She jumped into action and took care of the situation. The sickness passed quickly and finally I was able to rest a little. It’s tough to rest though because people keep coming in and out of the room and checking different things. It felt like I had finally fallen asleep for a few minutes when I was awoken by my water breaking!

After my water broke things went QUICKLY and I sort of lost track of time. The nurse called for my doctor and he came right away. From the pictures it looks like he was gowning up around 4:50 am. I pushed for about 10 minutes and that was it! Our Ellis Ann was born at 5:06 am, weighing 6lb 9.5 oz., and 19.75 inches long! The tiniest little thing. She didn’t cry much at first and it was scary for a few seconds, but the nurse rubbed her and got her crying and said she was just fine!

We didn’t realize it at first, but when I asked if Sean was going to cut the cord, the doctor said he had to do it already. The cord was wrapped around her neck twice when she was delivered so he had to quickly get it off, but it did not cause her any issues.

Right from the start Ellis Ann has been the cuddliest little thing. We spent most of the rest of the day in the labor and delivery room because there was no mother/baby rooms available. Sean was hesitant to leave for food because we kept thinking I would be getting moved and he would need to help out. Finally after a few hours I was STARVING and so he had no choice but to go out and get lunch! I ate my sandwich snuggling the sweetest girl. We were still in the labor and delivery room another few hours before they found a room for us, but it wasn’t so bad because the L&D rooms are so much bigger and nicer.

Once we finally got moved we ordered our celebratory meal from the hospital (we knew better than to order the “steak” this time around). We spent the rest of the day snuggling our girl! She slept well the first night as long as she was being held. Ellis Ann had her bath and all of her required testing very early the next morning. She passed with flying colors so we were cleared to go home.

Once we were home she was able to meet Dadima and Pop Pop before we went to daycare to pick up Graham so he could meet his sister. Graham was happy to see us after being with Aunt Jody and Dadima and Pop Pop for a couple of days. When we got home to meet Ellis Ann it was very uneventful, Graham noticed that she had a paci and he wanted it for himself, but other than that he went on his way, which was funny enough in its own way. It was so nice outside that we loaded her up in the stroller and went for a walk to enjoy some fresh air.

We are feeling so lucky to have this healthy happy little girl!

Family Beach Weekend

We spent a long weekend at the beach soaking up our last trip as a family of three. I was 34 weeks pregnant with sister and it was our last chance to get out of town! We had perfect weather all weekend! Graham is at an age now where it is so fun to see him explore and try new things. We had breakfast at our new favorite spot! We walked around town and checked out the shops. We had lunch on the water. We played and played at the park. We watched the airplanes. Aunt Jody and Penny joined us too! We got to go out for a date night, which was so fun but the new restaurant we tried was not so good!

The absolute best part of the weekend was watching Graham run straight for the ocean on the beach. The water was cold, but it was warm enough to play in the waves and the sand. Graham absolutely LOVED it! It was such a joy to see him splashing in the waves and digging in the sand. We spent most of the afternoon on the beach and it has me looking forward to summer!

We completed the weekend with Graham’s first happy meal and a McDonald’s parking lot picnic!

Graham is Fifteen Months Old!

Thirteen months was probably your biggest month yet! You hit so many milestones and it was such a joy to see you learn so much so quickly. You started walking on your own. One day you were holding on to the couch cruising and the next day your were off. We had your first big snow, it was mostly ice but still. You really started talking this month, saying more, bye, hat, hot, nose (you also know where your nose is), night night, and ball (ball was your first word). You will also growl when we say lion now which is just the best. You had your first trip to the dentist, you got so many new teeth this month that I honestly lost count. We finally went back to swim lessons this month and you love it as much as ever! You’ve been making the most hilarious disapproving look at the dinner table, where you look down under your hair at us and we all crack up! Poppa Bob was with us most of the month; daycare closed twice for covid exposures so you were home with him so mom and dad could go to work. There were lots of afternoon couch naps with mommy this month, since you were home from school and I just love them! The silver lining for you being out of school so much this month was that we all got to spend extra time with you and see you bloom this month!

Fourteen months! You’ve continued to grow and learn so quickly. It took us a bit to settle back in to a routine after you were out of school so much, but you finally found your groove at school with your teachers and friends this month! We celebrated Valentine’s Day this month, the balloons were your favorite. Swimming is going great! You’re going under now, although you are a bit distracted by what all the other kids are doing so you’re not closing your mouth sometimes. Our afternoon naps have suddenly become a thing of the past, you’re far too busy! They sure were sweet while they lasted and I will miss them! We’ve had some nice days for playing outside and are loving our backyard! Hats are still your favorite! Mom and dad went away for a weekend at The Greenbrier this month and you stayed with Dadima and Poppa Bob at their house, your first time in a different place without us. We took our last trip just the three of us to the beach this month! It was a blast to see you on the beach, playing in the waves and the sand!

Now at fifteen, almost sixteen months old it’s hard to believe you will be a big brother in just a couple weeks. You are laughing and running and playing nonstop now. It seems like everyday brings a new word or a new skill. You have so many words now that I’ve lost count and you know quite a few of your body parts. You had your first haircut this month! We’re loving the warmer weather and being able to play outside. You’re developing your own opinions about things now. You’re in a phase where you only want to eat fruit and are throwing all your other food in the floor. You have brought so much joy to us over the past year! Your smile lights up the room and hearing you giggle makes our hearts sing!! Growing up as an only child I always dreamed of having a sibling. I hope that you and your sister will be a gift to each other. Being so close in age, I hope you’ll develop a lifelong friendship and many wonderful shared memories together. We look forward to seeing you grow into your new role as big brother. We love you so big little boy!

Family Holidays 2021

Graham’s First Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! We started the day with a FREEZING cold Turkey Strut. It was good to get out of the house and get in some exercise. We ordered most of our meal from Salem Kitchen so all we had to do was heat it up. I made a green bean casserole and homemade dressing, but otherwise we kept it low key. Aunt Jody came in the afternoon to have Thanksgiving with us and brought 2 pies and some deviled eggs. Graham tried and liked all of the food we had for our meal, he even had a bite of pumpkin pie! It was a great first Thanksgiving for G!

Christmas in Old Salem. We spent the morning walking around, listening to the carolers, and eating fresh Moravian Sugar Cake. I love the bridge in Old Salem at Christmas.

Christmas at Graylyn. We had a nice lunch at Graylyn before going to meet Santa. This was Graham’s first time seeing Santa. As you can see he was intrigued at first but then like most kids he was not a fan of sitting in his lap. Sorry, but I love the picture of him in Santa’s lap. It is a classic.

Christmas visit from Grandpa Jack.

Christmas at Reynolda House on a warm December day. Playing in the water fountain and the fields.

School Christmas Party! I love this background the teachers set up for the photoshoot, the kids did a gift exchange and everything!

We spent several days in West Virginia at Sean’s parents house this year celebrating Christmas. It was so much fun to see Graham start to be interested in Christmas. He liked the lights and all the shiny things best of all. Sean’s brother and his wife were in town for the holiday’s as well, so it was fun for Graham to be able to spend more time with his aunt and uncle. It was unusually warm so we spent a lot of time outside on walks and on the porch which was nice.

Champagne wasn’t the only thing popping this New Year’s Eve. My belly officially popped. We had a nice dinner out with friends while Aunt Jody baby sat G, and that wrapped up our holiday season this year!

Graham’s One Year Photoshoot

We had family photos taken a few days before Graham’s birthday. We used Amber again and I am so happy with how they turned out. She is so wonderful to work with and so good with Graham. The location she picked and the time of day is just perfect!! Sean’s parents were in town for Graham’s first birthday party already so we asked them to join in on the photos as well. How cute is Graham in his bowtie and suspenders!?! I just love these photos so much!