Cookie Baking Day

December 18th, 2014

Every year my mom, grandma and I get together to bake Christmas cookies. The past three times Turner has joined the fun. The first year he was about 4 weeks old, so he spent the majority of his time on me or in his Rock ‘N Play Sleeper. Here’s a flashback pic from that year!

Last year he just played on the floor with some bowls and spoons. He didn’t know what the heck we were doing, nor did he really care.

This year was by far the best yet! Turner was SO excited to go to Gigi’s and see Nona and Pops. But he was especially excited to help make cookies!

At home, he helps me cook with his Kitchen Helper. We didn’t bring it to Mom’s, so I had to watch him so he didn’t fall off his chair. But he loved standing up with me and rolling out dough and clapping flour in his hands.

Then, once he got tired of that, Mom brought out a bunch of dry beans that he filled all different cups with.

We made so many cookies. It was insane. I feel like I’m gonna turn into a cookie if I keep going at this rate!

I love spending time with my family. It’s so awesome that Turner is getting older and enjoys it too! Every year with him gets better and better! We can’t wait for Christmas morning to see his face when he finds all of his gifts under the tree! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

December 13th, 2014

The Watson house has been very busy lately! Since getting home from our Thanksgiving trip to NJ, we have been in full-on Christmas mode! We decorated the house the day before we left so we would come home to Christmas! The day after we got back, we went to get our tree. It was SO fun decorating the tree with Turner! He actually participated! And every time we come downstairs in the morning, he says “Dimass Dee On”! He’s just as obsessed with this season as I am. It’s a dream come true!

He’s also been helping around the house with projects. He loves to help with the cooking, especially when he stands on his Kitchen Helper, and loves cleaning up!! I will take full advantage while it lasts!

But Turner’s faaaavorite thing is playing outside! The other day, it was beautiful out! So we spent a few hours in the backyard raking the leaves. I was horrified at the job ahead of me, but he was SO excited!!

He was actually quite helpful. I would rake the leaves into piles and he would pick up handfuls and put them in the leaf bags!

We got all of the leaves bagged up and out to the street. His being there made a tedious job pretty fun! I’m the luckiest momma in the world to get to spend my days with this guy!! Happy almost Christmas!


December 1st, 2014

After our two day journey, we arrived in New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon! First, we stopped at my dad’s house so Turner could spend a little time getting to know his Pop-Pop. That was so awesome to see! Turner even got his first music lesson!

We ate supper at my dad’s and then headed around the corner to Stew’s parents’ house to get settled in for the weekend. They were so excited to see us! Turner ran around and played for a little while before we put him to bed.

The next day was Thanksgiving! We started the day with Stew’s family where we had our first meal of the day. Turner got to meet his cousins, great aunt, and great grandma! He was loving all of the people and toys!

Stew’s parents even got Turner a cake to celebrate his birthday!

That afternoon, we picked up my dad and hit my aunt’s house for our second celebration! I haven’t seen my cousins in a few years. They, and all of their kids, were there. It was SO awesome to be together again, and the kids got along so well!

Friday, I got to see one of my best friends and her little boys! It was the perfect play date! She and I were pregnant at the same time, so it was exciting for our boys to get to play together.

And, last but not least, my 10 year high school reunion was Friday night. I planned it with 3 other friends. So, Friday afternoon was spent finalizing party plans. It was a hit! It was unbelievable spending the night with my friends from high school!

We packed quite a bit into only two full days. Turner was a champ. He just went with the flow. We originally were going to start our drive home late Saturday morning and stop halfway, like we did on the way up. But we decided to leave early in the morning and see how long Turner lasted. He made it the entire 12 hours without a single complaint!

We got in around 7:45 at night and put him right to bed. It was such a packed weekend, it felt good to be home! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too!

Travel Day(s)

November 26th, 2014

I will start by saying I’ve had massive amounts of anxiety for the past week! Work has been very busy! On top of that, we were gearing up for our first trip EVER with Turner! Not only were we traveling for the first time with Turner, but we were driving from Charleston to New Jersey!! If that wasn’t enough stress, Turner got a sinus infection the day before we were set to leave! I had to do some major deep breathing. But, guess what, all turned out better than I could have planned!

I took Turner to the pediatrician Monday and she gave him an antibiotic. I’m not big on antibiotics, but the thought of traveling with a toddler who was sick and would get sicker was enough to make me have a mental breakdown. So, I started him on it Monday night and he was good to go!

We scheduled our dog to be dropped off at the doggy daycare on our way out of town. We were packed up and ready to hit the road Tuesday morning!

We left the house around 11:30am. I planned that so we’d get about an hour in before Turner fell asleep in the car. We drove for 3 hours before stopping. Turner started getting antsy at that point! Unfortunately, it was raining the entire time, so he couldn’t even run around outside! We found some sketchy McDonald’s with a fenced in courtyard (if you could even call it that). It was drizzling but we let him run around to stretch his legs. He literally ran in circles for about 20 minutes.

Then it was back in the car to reach our goal of hitting Richmond by dinner time! We got to our hotel around 5:30. We walked in the front door and there was a tower of warm gooey cookies at the front desk. HOW DID SHE KNOW!? We all ate cookies while our sweet lady friend checked us in.

Turner and I played in the room while Stew ran across the street to get dinner. Turner was surprisingly happy after 6 hours in the car!

I was also stressed about the sleeping arrangements. Turner’s never slept in a pack and play, nor has he slept in the same room as us since he was about 5 weeks old! But he did great! We set him up in the corner. I put his monitor there so we could sit in the hall until he fell asleep. I knew that, if we sat in the room, he wouldn’t relax! He fell asleep within 5 minutes and we snuck back into our room. Mission accomplished.

The second half of our drive was awesome too, other than the weather and stupid drivers. Turner woke up at 5:45. I don’t even think he lifted his head up before he shouted “MAMA!!” He must have been so excited to wake up and see us in the same room as him.

We stopped twice this time around. It was still raining and it turned to ice and snow as we got farther north. There were a few accidents on the way, but nothing too terrible. Turner napped for about 45 minutes both days. The rest of the time he played peekaboo, read books, and watched videos of himself on Stew’s phone. Oh, and there was a lot of snacking.

We were SO excited to finally arrive! We got in today around 1pm. We picked up a pizza and went to my dad’s house first. It was awesome! Turner was so excited to see his pop-pop! He was walking all around the house exploring and showing Pop-Pop his toys.

After a few hours, we went to stew’s parents’ house, where we unloaded the car and got settled. It felt good to get our stuff out of the car and get organized! Turner was so good, I couldn’t even believe it! Poor little guy was so exhausted tonight but he would not stop playing! We gave him and bath and put him to bed a few minutes before 7. He was OUT.

I’m so excited for Thanksgiving! We will start the day with Stew’s family and then head to my aunt’s house so Turner can meet my cousins and their kids! It will be so busy but so fun! I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

Turner’s 2nd Birthday Party

November 15th, 2014

Turner will be 2 on Monday! I can’t believe how time flies! I feel like he was born yesterday! He’s getting so big and learning things by the second.

Tonight we had some of his friends over to celebrate. We did a superhero theme. I attempted to be Catwoman. The mask lasted long enough to get a picture. Same with Stew’s Batman mask. Turner was Batman too, and he actually kept his costume on all day!

All the kids dressed up too! It took me about 20 minutes to get them together for a picture, but it was worth the effort. It was so precious!

I had SO much fun planning! I got some expert advise from a friend of mine who knows all there is to know about superheros. The most exciting part to plan was the food, obviously!

On the menu:
“Thor’s Hammer” (a.k.a. Mjolnir)-Cheese squares on pretzel sticks

“POPcorn Cups”- I took pictures of some comic book pages and printed them out. I used a hot glue gun to make cones.

“Pick Your Super Power”- I chose a few different powers to go in some fruits and veggies.

“Hulk Punch”-1 carton lime sherbert, 3 (32 oz) bottles lime seltzer, 2 cans frozen limeade concentrate

Spider-Man Cake-courtesy of my mom

I made a separate cupcake just for Turner. It’s a healthy cupcake because I can’t buckle and give him sugar yet! Here’s the original recipe. I swapped out the zucchini for a mashed banana. Everything else was the same!

“Wonder Dogs”-hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls baked at 375F for 15 minutes

I also had goody bags (that I forgot to give out) with some stickers, tattoos, erasers, and sugar cookies. Here is the cookie recipe and the icing recipe.

I basically used the table, balloons, banner and chalkboard as the decorations.

I think Turner had an amazing time! I loved watching him interact with all of his friends. Last year was so different, because he didn’t really get it. This year, every time someone walked through the door, his face lit up!

After we all ate and sang Happy Birthday, the kids ran around like crazy in the backyard. It was so awesome to see!

I love party planning. But planning my baby’s birthday is by far the best! Happy 2nd birthday to our little love muffin!

Best Halloween Ever!

October 31st, 2014

I was definitely excited for Halloween, but this was above and beyond what I expected! The past few Halloweens, we’ve had friends over to sit on the porch, eat, drink wine, and hand out candy. The past 2 years, since Turner’s been around, my mom and step-dad have been the ones hanging out on the porch handing out candy with us, which is always special!

Turner dressed up as a hobo this year, which was hilarious. We started our day, as usual, at the gym. Everyone who saw him loved his outfit! I must say, he sure was a cute hobo.

The rest of our day was pretty normal. He napped while I worked. Then he played while I got dinner ready. I always do soup on Halloween. One of our many traditions. I usually make chili, but this year I did beef bourguignon instead. Yum!

Around 5, I re-applied Turner’s beard and got him dressed back up. Then, we played around in the back yard until Stew was done working.

Once Stew was home, we walked around in the street with Turner’s wagon and waited for Gigi and Paw-Paw to arrive.

We took some photos and chatted with neighbors for a bit. I didn’t want to start trick-or-treating too early!

I invited my girlfriend, Angela, and her husband and son over to trick-or-treat. Turner and her little boy, Duncan, love to play together! I knew it would be fun to have them along. I’m so glad they came! Although, trying to get them to pose for a picture was like pulling teeth!

They had no idea what was going on. At one point, Turner tried to walk into someone’s house. And they were definitely not interested in the candy, which was fine by me.

After Turner had reached sensory overload, we headed home and put him to bed. Angela and her family went home too.

Then, we parked it on the porch with Mom and Michael, popped a bottle of wine, and ate our dinner while we handed out candy. Sitting on the porch, handing out candy, has become one of my favorite traditions each year! We always have someone with us which makes it an event in itself. Mix in some crazy kids in their clever costumes, and it’s quite an experience!

This has been the best Halloween yet! It was extra special to share it with friends and family! Happy Halloween, friends!!

Apple Day

October 31st, 2014

My mom hosted our first annual “Apple Day” at her house. It was so cute! The house was decorated and the apple themed menu was nothing short of amazing!

We walked in, and the house spelled amazing! Gigi was making apple cider donuts as a starter. Turner was thrilled!

Mom had the pumpkin carving station set up for us while they cooked the apple cheddar burgers on the grill. We take pumpkin carving seriously in our family. Well, at least my brother and I do. Stew was on picture duty, and Turner isn’t quite old enough to enjoy it. He happily walked around eating Gigi’s food while we carved.

I’m a hard core pumpkin carver. I make it my mission to choose and execute the most complicated photo in those little books every year. I love the challenge. Ok…here we go!

We had such a fun day! The food and festivities were awesome! Turner definitely enjoyed himself. This has always been our favorite time of year, and enjoying it with Turner makes it even better!

Pumpkin Carving Party

October 26th, 2014

We’ve been throwing an annual pumpkin carving party for the past four years. Every year it’s a different crowd, but we always have SO much fun! I love to go all out with Halloween themed food and drinks. It’s one of my favorite festivities to plan for!

I used Pinterest a ton to help with food ideas. I’ll link to the recipes I used. Some of them I changed up a bit.

Here’s our menu with pictures!
Mummy Dogs

Ghost Pizzas” (basic pizza but with ghost shaped cheese and ketchup used for eyes)

Graveyard Dip” (I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream)

Witches Fingers” (I used candy corn instead of almonds)

Mini Caramel Apples Make sure you DRY off the cut apples before dipping, otherwise the caramel will slide off. Lesson learned!

Vampire Cocktail

So, I would post pictures of our pumpkin masterpieces, but we didn’t quite get to carving. When I asked if everyone was ready to carve, they just preferred sitting around eating and drinking. I’ll take that as a compliment!! Another successful (almost) pumpkin carving party. Happy Halloween!

Momma: ONE, Hand-Foot-Mouth Virus: ZERO

October 16th, 2014

Well, to date, this has been the worst illness yet! Sunday night, I noticed that Turner was feeling a bit warm. I gave him some Tylenol before bed and he slept like a champ. Monday morning, he woke up at 5:30am talking to himself, “HI! HI! HI!”. I went to get him and noticed that he had a few red spots around his mouth. I didn’t worry too much because he gets those from time to time no doubt from the globs of peanut butter that he shoves in his face.

As the day went on, I noticed MORE blisters and spots on his mouth, hands, and bottom. Could it be…. Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Virus?! Sure enough, by nighttime, he was covered.

His bottom was actually the worst part! I’ll spare you the rest of my gory photos. But I WILL tell you the steps I took to help soothe my poor baby’s discomfort. I’m not quite sure what helped, but in order to feel in control of an out-of-control-situation, I had to do something.

I gave him an Aveeno Oatmeal Bath every morning and night.

I also kept his diaper off as much as possible. I actually used disposable diapers instead of his cloth diapers because they seemed to be a little looser. The nurse told me to keep the blisters as dry as possible. Therefore, we spent a lot of time playing outside, naked. Well, Turner was naked. I kept my clothes on for fear of my neighbors calling the cops.

He wasn’t eating, so I did lots of smoothies and Frozen Yogurt. The Fro-Yo definitely worked. I also mixed 2.5mL of Benadryl with 2.5 mL of Mylanta. I mixed them together and gave it to him in a syringe. The Benadryl decreases inflammation and the Mylanta helps coat the throat. That’s what my doctor recommended. I’m definitely not a doctor, so don’t take my word for it! I just gave him a dose of that before bed.

He slept okay at night. He would just cry every so often but wouldn’t actually wake up. His naps were non-existent the past 3 days, which resulted in my having a mental breakdown yesterday around 12:30pm when I realized that would be the longest afternoon of my life. Turner grabbed my face and willed me out of my misery.

Today, while he’s still grumpy and covered in blisters, he seems better. He slept until 8am and took an hour long nap. He actually ate breakfast and drank his water which was a major improvement.

I realize I’m not out of the woods yet. But I also realize that this virus can’t take me! Not today hand-foot-mouth virus, not today.

The Pumpkin Patch

October 5th, 2014

Boone Hall is the local farm right by our house. They grow lots of different fruits and veggies, and we always go to pick whatever is in season. Of course, October is pumpkin time! I’ve been going to this pumpkin patch for probably 10 years. In faaaaact, here is a picture of me and my college roommates searching for the great pumpkin!

And here is a picture at the same pumpkin patch when I was extremely pregnant!

And this one is from last Halloween.

Ok, I’ve made my point. Back to the present. This visit was great, because Turner actually knew what was going on. He had SO much fun! He loved running around and touching all of the pumpkins.

Well, actually, it was a little more difficult than last year, when I plopped him in the middle of a few pumpkins and took a bunch of pictures. This year it was more like, Stew chased him around while I searched for the perfect pumpkins and loaded them into the vacant stroller. Other parents admired my genius.

Boone Hall does such a great job with their pumpkin patch! I am a picture fanatic, so we took advantage of all of the different photo ops!

We came home and put Turner down for his nap. I decorated the porch with my new treasures while Stew did some work in the yard.

Have I mentioned that I love fall!?