Tag Archives: Ashley

We’re Moms Too: Here Comes Baby Number Two

Written by Ashley

The spit up, the wails, the midnight, 2am, and 4am feedings – They’re all gracing us with their presence for round two when we welcome baby #2 this fall. But with them come the warm cuddles, the indescribable sweet baby smell, and the soft, longing gazes.

As I watch my toddler daughter grow older by the day, I am amazed by all the things she is saying and doing. But I feel like as each day passes, my memories of her as a newborn fade more and more.

I’ll admit that I miss the days when we drove around the block 18 times (literally – I think my neighbors were starting to get suspicious) in hope that she would fall asleep, when she gazed into my eyes while she nursed, and even when she screamed for 2 hours straight and I just laid there on her nursery floor with crocodile tears running down my face in pure exhaustion. I wouldn’t have traded those moments for anything in this world.

But welcoming a new baby with a toddler already in the picture will certainly add some new challenges.

Excitement and fears when you find out you're having another baby

I fear that I won’t be able to provide my daughter with enough attention. I fear that she’ll become resentful of me and my husband catering to another child. I fear that I won’t have enough room in my heart to love my second child as much as I do my first. I fear that she’ll revert back to her old sleeping habits and I’ll never sleep again. Like, Ever. Again.

I know she’ll be a great big sister. She’s so kind and considerate of others. I honestly think she knows that something is about to change because she just started trying to hug every baby we lay eyes on and even points to my belly and says “ba-by” in two distinct syllables. I try not to bring too much attention to the changes, but I do want her to know that something very exciting will be happening soon.

As a parent, I’m no expert. I can barely get out the door some mornings, but I’m humbled every time I “fail” as a parent and I willingly welcome the advice of other moms who have walked before me.

I’ve been reading some blog posts that have helped me during this time of unknowns like Amanda’s post over at Dirt & Boogers (how cute is that blog name?) about how she reconnected with her son when her second child was born and Breanne’s post at Borealis about preparation to juggling two.

It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

To all the moms that have two or more children – how did you prepare your first when you welcomed your second?

WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, proud mama to her toddler daughter and expecting her second child this fall. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

We’re Moms Too: When our date night became family night

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Written by Ashley

Long gone are the days when my husband and I could just get up and go out to a nice dinner, play a few rounds of pool, kick back at the bowling alley, or even go see a movie (I haven’t stepped foot in a movie theater in nearly two years). But it’s still important to make time for my marriage, even with a little peanut at home (maybe even more so).

A few months back, a new grocery store opened up in our neighborhood. This wasn’t just any ‘ole food center – this was the cream of the crop supermarket that had a full blown bar, made-to-order pizzas, a gelato counter, and even flew in bagels from the Bronx daily. This place was awesome.

We first ventured there out of pure necessity. We needed to pick up something on a Friday night and ended up finding out that every Friday night is wine tasting night (yes, please) with live music. We ordered dinner and sat down in the dining area, which featured beautiful dark wood furniture and black leather couches. The little one snacked on some puffs and enjoyed people watching. It was a successful night that ended with a movie rental from Redbox.

After that night, it became our Friday routine. We merged the need for date night with the reality of our growing family and turned Friday into family night.

Fast forward 3 months, we still spend our Friday nights at the supermarket, tasting new foods, picking up a box of popcorn (and a 6-pack), and renting a movie for after our daughter falls asleep.  It’s certainly a change from the days sans kids (I mean, let’s be honest; we spend Friday nights at the grocery store). But it’s special for us and something the three of us look forward to. It’s much different with a little one now, but it’s different in a good way.

It’s the new normal; and it’s perfect.

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WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

We’re Moms Too: Watching Her Learn

Watching Her Learn

Written by Ashley

It’s amazing in how in just 14 short months I’ve watched my daughter grow into a giggling and babbling mobile little girl. The milestones I’ve witnessed are incredible – from rolling over, to sitting up, to pulling herself up, to cruising, and now just moments away from her first independent step. She amazes me every day. She’s developed her own little personality and loves to play chase, zoom up the stairs, try new foods and play with her puppy. She also enjoys learning, and I am amazed to see her develop her fine and gross motor skills through play. My husband and I try to expose her to new sights and sounds every chance we get. From playgrounds and festivals to ball games and museums, the more she sees, the more she learns.

This past weekend we visited the Great Lakes Science Center. And while my husband may have played with the exhibits more than her, she learned a great deal. Watching her face light up as she looked at the exhibits, from bubbles and gears to electricity and spaceships, reiterated how important it is to us as parents for her to have these experiences as a child.

Playing With Blocks

It’s not every day I see her use her tiny pointer finger to turn the gears without me showing her how. Nor is it every day that a smile as wide as her ears appears as she slides down a slide. And it’s certainly not every day she gets to try on her own space suit.

Space Baby

I often wonder what she’s thinking and how the human brain develops from infancy to adulthood (I was never good at science). For her to just grasp things, follow our lead, say a new word; it boggles my mind. How does she know that her play food isn’t real food when she “eats” it? How does she know that “doggie” really means her furry friend? How does she know that by flashing me a huge, bright smile, I’ll smile?

Early childhood development is incredible. I am grateful to be there to see her learn something new, to see the gears in her head turn as she figures out that can knock down the blocks, turn her ride-on toy to prevent her from bumping into the wall, and push down on the princess castle to make the princesses talk. While she may be learning something new each day, as am I. I learn each day how to love even more just when I don’t think I have any more room in my heart; how to be patient; how to be comforting; how to be encouraging; how to be a mom.

WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

We’re Moms Too: Baby’s First Summer

Written by Ashley

I honestly can’t believe the difference a year makes. Last summer, as I was typing a We’re Moms Too post, my feet were elevated, my hands were swollen and my stomach barely cleared the keyboard. As I write this now, body just about back to “normal,” I think about what fun activity I’ll get to do with my 10 month old daughter after getting home from work.

It’s only July and my daughter has already experienced a handful of summer firsts (she was born in early August last year, but was too little to really enjoy the outdoors). She has become a swing addict, although her first experience was a little shaky at first. My husband is a stay-at-home dad like Tena’s hubby, so I gratefully get to spend an hour with her here and there over lunch. There is a park about 5 minutes from my work with bucket swings. One workday, my husband packed us a picnic and we went to the park over my lunch break. After lunch, we placed her in the bucket swing and pushed it a bit. She sat in that swing like a limp dog – it was partially that we had no idea how to sit a baby in a bucket swing (“put a blanket behind her so she sits up further”) and partially that this was a completely new experience for her and she had no idea what was going on. But once we removed the blanket (and the over-sized floppy hat), she started smiling and giggling. Fifteen minutes later we had to leave so I could return to work, but I knew we’d be back to the bucket swings soon. On that day, we created a bucket swing monster.

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We’ve also had the chance to frequent a few ballgames. My husband is a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan, so it’s no surprise that he would want to share the excitement of the game with his daughter. Progressive Field has an awesome kid’s play area, which I’ve always wanted to check out, but couldn’t without a child (it makes sense that they won’t let you in without a kid). So when we took our daughter to the game a few weeks ago, I finally got the chance to check it out (I may have been more excited than her!). Most of the toys are still a bit too big for her, but she loved to crawl around on the mats and found a toy just her size – the Up & Down Elephant. She poked, pulled and climbed on the mini slide with confidence.

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One of my favorite firsts happened just last week. The weather has been fickle here in northeast Ohio so it’s been less than great pool weather. The other night it was HOT, like 90+ degree hot. So I thought it would be a good idea to bring out the pool and see if she liked dipping her feet in the cool water. Again, she was hesitant at first, but after mommy and daddy showed her it was okay, she looked like a seasoned pro. She was so proud walking around the pool holding onto mine and my husband’s hands. It was a proud moment for us too.

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Do you remember your first summer with baby? What was your favorite “first” that summer?

WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

Dogs and Babies: A Friendship Between a 6 Month Old and Her Puppy

We're Moms Too - Dogs & Babies | Step2 Blog

Written by Ashley

I firmly believe my yellow lab Peak knew I was pregnant before anyone else. Before I even saw that plus sign, Peak had already edited his behavior. His typical jumping upon my arrival home from work came to a halt and he’d lay his head on my belly when we I slept. This lasted the entirety of my pregnancy (and to this day his puppy tendencies are finally gone!).

You might think we’re crazy, but my husband and I often refer to Peak as our first born. Knowing that not all dogs mesh well with babies, we feared how he would react when our new roommate arrived home. I asked my OB GYN multiple times how I could prepare the dog for the new baby. I also asked friends with pets and kids. The best advice I received was to have someone bring our new daughter’s little hat home to Peak before bringing her home.

Our dog Peak

My best friend of 20 years took my daughter’s little newborn hat to our house the day she was born. When she walked in, she let Peak sniff it. You see, Peak has an addiction to anything fabric – he is constantly stealing socks – so this was a brave move. Anyone who knows me has heard countless stories of where we’ve found socks in the house – post digested. So when Jackie showed him the small fabric hat, she assumed he would steal it and run off with it, only to be seen again a few hours later on the floor in the corner of our bedroom. Rather, she was stunned by his reaction. She told me that after she placed the hat on the kitchen floor, he gently walked over to it, sniffed it, and left it there.

This made me feel better about their upcoming meeting. To me, this said, “I smell Mom. That thing must finally be here. I guess I’ll give this big brother thing a shot.”

Our daughter met Peak at 4 days old. I was first to enter the house. My husband is the alpha in the dog’s eyes, so he waited to come into the house after me as to show Peak that we are equals. I walked in and Peak immediately put his nose to my belly. He looked up at me with his tail wagging as to say, “Okay lady. Where is it?” I then brought her in in her car seat carrier. I placed the carrier on the ground and let them “meet.” Of course I was scared that he would hurt her, but by letting him sniff and “get to know” her, it showed him that she is an extension of us.

We actually captured this meeting on video.

The first few nights she was home from the hospital, he would wake up with us when she cried for her nighttime feed. He would sit on the nursery floor as we tended to her. But just like any sibling, the crying got old to him and by the forth night home, when she cried he would lift his head up in the bed turn to my husband and me as to say “Again?!” and then lay his head back down.

Fast forward six months. He’s always giving her kisses and now that she is starting to grasp things, she “pets” him. Of course there have been some parent fails, like the time he dropped his toy on her forehead and left a little red mark above her eyebrows. I get it. He just wanted to share his toy with her.

Baby and Puppy | Step2 Blog

We are so lucky to have a pet that is good with kids. I know not everyone is this lucky, but we had to make a conscious effort with the introduction so everyone could learn how to play nice. Their meeting was truly one introduction that made a lasting first impression on all of us.

About Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

We’re Moms Too is Back with a New Contributor

At Step2 We're Moms Too | Step2 Blog

Last March, we began a weekly feature on the Step2 blog called We’re Moms Too. Each Monday, 1 of 6 moms who work at Step2 gave you a look into their personal life as a mom and/or grandma. During the holidays, we took a short hiatus from We’re Moms Too, but we are now back with more fun (and funny) stories of parenthood.

Joining We’re Moms Too for the second year is Ashley, Sara, and Tena. Ashley, Social Media Manager, went from mom-to-be in 2012 to a new mom of a 6-month-old baby girl. Sara, a Sr. Product Manager who is the mother of two young boys, has many more stories to share of their get dirty, wild and crazy play times this year.  Tena, Online Marketing Director, is enjoying the changes from having an infant to a now rambunctious toddler running around!

We are excited to welcome Meghan, Communication and Licensing Director, to We’re Moms Too in 2013. Meghan is a mom to three little girls, all under the age of 5, who are best friends and worst enemies at the same time. Meghan, married to her husband of 8 years, loves to travel, try new foods, and has recently become a big fan of Downtown Abby. It’s a real treat when she and husband get a babysitter and over-order at their favorite sushi restaurant.

Beginning next Monday, We’re Moms Too will be moving from a weekly feature to a monthly feature on the Step2 Blog. Follow these four moms the first Monday of each month as they navigate dirty diapers, battle the terrible twos, kiss boo boos, and boast about their love for being moms.

We're Moms Too - the Kids | Step2 Blog