Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas~ Part 2

This post is SO long, but its for my own memory (and for family to read and always have) so feel free to skip over if it's too much.

Picking up where we left off...

On Christmas Eve we left the Selph's around 12ish to go to my parents' house for the rest of the day. As soon as we got there, I made Garrison something for lunch and got him down for a much needed nap. Thankfully he took a good, long one and we thought we were in the clear for the rest of Christmas. No more meltdowns due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. Or so we hoped.

After his nap we all got ready to go to our church's Christmas Eve Family Lord's Supper. We met Terrell's parents and my grandparents at the church and enjoyed this sweet tradition with our families.

Next, we were back at my parents for a Christmas Eve dinner of steak, baked potatoes, salad, and corn. So good. (The food we were able to enjoy this Christmas was ah-mazing.) My grandparents were all there as well and I'm glad my Granny, Paw-Paw, and Nanny were able to spend some time with the boys before the craziness of Christmas Day arrived.

Christmas Eve night Garrison and Austin also got to open up 1 present from AnAn. Christmas pajamas! They were super cute going to bed in their new pjs.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, Garrison went to bed a little later than normal and was a master of stalling when it came to bedtime. Oh dear. Keep in mind he woke up almost 2 hours earlier than normal that morning and went to bed almost an hour later than normal. Even a good long nap couldn't make up the difference. And we would pay for it. But more on that later.

Santa arrived during the night and left a load of goodies! Garrison got a big present this year in the form of a "Dune Racer". Ho Ho filled up the car with a remote control dump truck, baseball glove, set of tools, homemade play doh, and a stuffed Buzz Lightyear. The wrapped presents were from us and Granna and Papa.

Austin got a few small toys and books (plus a few things from us and lots of things from Granna and Papa). A Christmas Story was on when Santa came. =)

Austin had a really good night, and so did Garrison... until about 5:30 Christmas morning. He woke up AnAn to tell her he had to go potty (which he never does... wake up early to go potty) and things went downhill from there. He cried and cried and couldn't tell us what was wrong or how to make it better. I seriously believe he was just really, really tired. So tired (and maybe a tad anxious about Ho Ho) that he never settled into a deep sleep. Anna told us that he had been moaning and groaning in his sleep all night. After going to the potty he asked for milk, then wanted it in a different sippy cup, then wanted juice, then didn't like the cup the juice was in, then wanted AnAn's pillow, then wanted AnAn to go sleep somewhere else. It was one thing after another. Finally Granna got him settled and he went back to sleep. At that point we determined it would be best to let him sleep until he woke up, which meant we may or may not make it to church.

Meanwhile, the grown-ups went ahead with our gift exchange. I know I've mentioned before just how generous my parents are, but they go way overboard on Christmas every year. Way. Talk about the spirit of giving. We had a ball opening gifts while the boys slept. And my sweet hubby surprised me with a special gift that I opened last. He had my first year of blogging (2010, when we were still Selph~ Party of 3) published! I was totally and completely surprised. I almost cried I was so happy! It was the most thoughtful gift and really made my heart melt. =) He even wrote me a special message saying he loved me and thanking me for putting our memories in writing. How sweet!

Finally sometime after 9:00, Garrison woke up on his own and was excited, in a good mood, and ready to get out of bed! He was thrilled with his new car and all the other goodies. Yay!

He loved his camera from AnAn...

Austin was pretty happy with his goodies too. Granna did most of the gift opening for him and he was tickled with everything and taking in the excitement of Christmas morning.

Garrison also loved his fireman hat from Granna and Papa and finish opening his presents while wearing his hat and sitting his car.

Playing with his big "tool thing" from Granna and Papa before heading outside for a test drive. At this point, we had accepted the fact we weren't going to make it to church.

His feet didn't quite reach the pedal so we had to put a pillow behind him. He was in love and rode around the front yard until it started sprinkling on him.

After coming back inside we did stockings for the kiddos. Normally the tradition is to wait until Christmas night to do stockings, but Garrison was very curious about what Ho Ho had put in his and kept asking about it, so we went ahead.

He was even sweet enough to open Austin's for him and show him everything he got.

For lunch on Christmas Day we always go to my Nanny's and celebrate with my dad's side of the family. We enjoyed a delicious meal, caught up with everyone, and had a great time... except for the fact that Austin had his biggest poopy diaper ever that went up his back and all over his clothes... then he spit up all down my shirt (don't know how that happened)... then Garrison got in trouble for not telling people thank you for his gifts. Gracious. I was worn out! (So were Terrell and Austin.) I even missed my little man and other family members singing Happy Birthday Jesus and blowing out a candle on a birthday cake. I'm thankful I at least got to hear it.

After we left my Nanny's we were able to go back to my parents house for a little while before heading out again for Christmas dinner with my grandparents and mom's side of the family. Again we enjoyed a delicious meal and had a great time catching up. Garrison stole the show when he announced that he wanted to say the blessing (right before my dad got started) and then sang the "Johnny Appleseed" prayer that he learned from his cousin Allison. It's pretty precious to hear... and see. He closes his eyes and folds his hands and concentrates so much. Thankfully Garrison was in a good mood the whole time we were there. He didn't eat anything, but he was happy and polite and well behaved... until it was time to go.

He had a huge meltdown over leaving. As in, one of the biggest ever. He got SO upset that he threw up. You read it right. He was crying uncontrollably, then coughing, then gagging. It was lovely. We tried reasoning with him, we tried doing whatever he wanted, we tried all sorts of things to calm him down. Nothing worked. I mean what do you do when it's Christmas Day and your baby is exhausted and just literally can't handle anymore? Can't handle anymore excitement or people or food or presents or awake time?

After he got sick and cleaned up, my mom came outside to check on us (since we'd been in the driveway trying to leave for like 15 minutes) and Garrison practically jumped into her arms. Granna had rescued him. She said they would get ready to leave soon so we decided to let him stay with her. On the way back to my parents I thought I was going to cry and have a meltdown. A lot of our Christmas experience had just been waay different than I imagined. Challenging is a good word to describe it. I was sort of disappointed... not to mention exhausted. But I was so thankful we were all able to celebrate Christmas together. That's all that really matters anyway. Everyone was healthy, every family member present (plus 1!). And Christmas isn't about the "experience" or even the traditions I love so much, it's about celebrating the birth of Jesus with the people we love. And that's exactly what we did. Memories were made, lack of sleep and all.

Garrison and Austin both had really good night Christmas night and we woke up on the 26th and enjoyed a big breakfast prepared by Granna. Spoiled once again! We made it home just in time for naps on Monday afternoon and now we're looking forward to ringing in the New Year this weekend. Maybe sometime soon the Christmas decorations will come down and the after-Christmas mess will get put away! We certainly enjoyed the season. Merry Christmas everybody!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Christmas~ Part 1

Our Christmas tradition with family starts on the 23rd each year when we get together with Terrell's family. The Selph Family Christmas is always on the 23rd and then Terrell's parents host a Christmas Eve breakfast the next morning for close family friends. It's a fun couple of days! We are very blessed that Terrell can get the day off and we can travel to Barnesville to spend the holidays with family a couple of days early.

We arrived in Barnesville mid-morning on Friday and dropped off Bailey and a few more gifts at my parents' house before heading over to the Selph's. Terrell's sister and her family were already there so the little man was excited and ready to play with his cousin. Austin was pretty excited too. He finally got to eat!

After lunch and naps, Nana read the Christmas Story to the grands. I think this might be a new tradition. It should be special (and interesting given the ages of the kiddos) every year.

After that, it was time for presents! Garrison and Allison handed out gifts and we decided to let the kids go first. They were in love with all their goodies and spoiled by Nana and Pops. Garrison's big gift was the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Austin's big gift was a new playmat/baby gym. They were both super excited about their Christmas presents!

After the kids' gifts were opened, the grown-ups forgot all about opening gifts. Everyone got to work tearing into and assembling toys. It was funny. Literally every adult was trying to put a new toy together for a patiently awaiting child. Pops even got Austin's new playmat set up for him. I think Austin really likes it and that we'll get tons of use out of it! Garrison was immediately fascinated and obsessed with his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He was so cute playing with all the little characters and exploring the ins and outs of the Clubhouse. It was a big deal. Big I tell you.

After the kids were all happily playing with new toys, we got ready for our Christmas dinner. Terrell's mom made us lasagna. It was delicious.... and I ate lots. Then I had Peanut Butter Pie for dessert. Soo yummy. I could have eaten half the pie. Even though meals with 4 little ones can be a tad on the crazy side, I loved us all sitting together at the dining room table enjoying our meal together. It made me think of my own childhood Christmas dinners and I'm thankful my babies get to have a similar experience.

After dinner and playing with toys a little longer, it was time for baths and pajamas. And, a Christmas Eve, Eve picture of my boys in their pjs. Love!

Then Austin and Shannon went to bed while Garrison and Allison got in one more game of Uno. Not sure if Garrison ever fully got the hang of it, but he enjoyed it anyway.

Then the real fun of the night began. Garrison and Allison shared a room for the night. Twin beds side by side. Oh my. Nana put them to bed and read them books and then we listened to them on the monitor. It sounded like Garrison did most of the talking. Then it was confirmed. Allison came to the top of the stairs and said that Garrison wouldn't stop talking and that she couldn't sleep. It was hilarious. At one point, Nana, Terrell, and Denny all had to go up. Crazy. They finally fell asleep and we got to exchange gifts. =) The night went great until Garrison woke up around 1:30, and since Terrell and I were sleeping downstairs (just how the arrangements worked out) Kara had to get up with him. I felt terrible when I heard about it. The rest of the night went fine until Garrison woke up at 6:30 and realized Allison wasn't in her bed so it must be time to get up. Oh dear. He normally doesn't wake up until 7:45 at the earliest. Needless to say a meltdown occurred around 9ish that morning because he was SO tired. And meltdowns are not fun anytime, but especially not when there's an audience. I know everyone understood, but it just made me so self-conscious and stressed. Finally we got him ready for the breakfast and AnAn arrived and helped save the day. He tore himself away from his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and sat in her lap and rested.

On a good note, the breakfast was wonderful. My parents and sister were there (how blessed are we that our families are good friends?!) along with lots of other family friends. Terrell's parents actually had their garage fixed up and decorated so we could all be together in the same room. It was fun catching up with everyone and enjoying a huge breakfast. Other than being super tired, Garrison made it through the breakfast without any major issues. Phew.

Before we all left, we got a picture of the Selph (and Reding) clan in front of the Christmas tree. I was very impressed with how it turned out!

We had a great 1st half of Christmas with family and were so thankful for Nana and Pops, our Christmas presents, help assembling toys, help with our boys, the Christmas Story being read, Christmas dinner, a sweet aunt getting up with her nephew in the middle of the night, Christmas Eve breakfast, time catching up, family pictures, and the adventure that was Austin's 1st half of his 1st Christmas!

*The details of the 2nd half of our Christmas coming soon...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Card

My super talented friend, Megan, designed our Christmas card for us again this year. And we love it!! Every year we choose a line from a Christmas song to go on our card. And this year, in honor of one of Garrison's favorites, we chose a line from Deck the Halls. =)

We're looking forward to kicking off our Christmas festivities with family tomorrow and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!

**And, my sister has come aboard the "blog train". Woohoo. =) For a peek into her life check it out:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas At Our House

Just for the sake of memories, I'm capturing what Christmas looks like at our house here on the blog. This year we decorated a record 3 trees. One big family tree (we always get a live tree and this year we focused on a nice, straight trunk instead of the overall size and came home with an almost 10-footer), one for Garrison, and one for Austin. I have enjoyed all our trees so much!

We also have a certain 2 year old who occasionally enjoys rearranging the pieces to my Nativity set. Sometimes he even includes his own Fisher Price pieces with mine. Thankfully he isn't too rough and we haven't had any casualties.

Our really big tree that's only two thirds decorated. I'm trying to gradually make the move towards a red and silver tree, but still include all of our sentimental ornaments. It seems like so many people have beautiful themed trees and ours is just a mix of all kinds of ornaments... maybe one day I'll get there with my own.

I'm never really satisfied with my mantle. I may try to change things up a little next year. I'm not sure. I love the pre-lit garland and the Santa and snowman, but something is lacking. And, since I'm not made of money, it may just have to wait.

This is Garrison's little area. It's the end table closest to his toys in the living room and he gets to turn on the merry-go-round whenever he wants and help me change the number everyday as we count down to Christmas. He loves writing with chalk and he loves watching the merry-go-round and listening to the Christmas carols it plays.

Here is Austin's little tree. I decided to use his little toys and baby things as ornaments.... with a lovey as the topper and a blanket as the skirt. =) Garrison helped decorate and loves turning on Ausin's tree every morning.

Garrison's tree... it's made up of sports ornaments to go with the theme of his room. Plus he gets of use several of Terrell's ornaments from growing up, along with a few of his own. And this year we added UGA and Falcons candy canes. Candy canes are a big deal to the little man. I'm sort of wondering if the themes will last with the boys' trees or if they'll end up being mostly their little home-made ornaments from school. If Garrison and Austin share a room one day, I guess they'll share a tree too. Hmmm. Or maybe we would still do 2 trees in one room?

And I leave you with my present-wrapping buddies. Garrison has been my official "bow getter" and "present under the tree placer" throughout the season. He's also enjoyed playing with a stash of his own bows (just like last year, but without the smushing) and Christmas stickers while I wrap. Austin has been a curious observer.... or misssed out on the wrapping fun due to naptime.

There you have the biggies of what Christmas looks like at our house. I had a leave out a few pics due to messiness... but I'm really looking forward to expanding my collection of ornaments and other Christmas decor (when I have money to spend on that kind of thing) and having a cleaner house this time next year... when I'm less busy and have 2 active, walking boys on my hands. =)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Tradition

Last night we planned to go out and enjoy a Christmas tradition with the boys~ riding around looking at Christmas lights! Terrell and I both loved this tradition growing up and even as grown-ups it's still something we look forward to every year... even before having kiddos. There's just something about Christmas lights and seeing houses and yards decked out that make you happy and put you in the spirit that much more. And this year was even more special because we knew Garrison Cade would love it. His face would light up with each yard and house, he would be completely mesmerized, he would ooh and ahh, he would ask to see more, he would clap his hands in delight. In short, he would have the time of his life. Ha! That's what we thought would happen. (Correction: that's what mama wanted to happen.)

We finished supper early and got the boys in their pajamas and ready for bed so that as soon as we got home they could both go to sleep dreaming of twinkling lights. But first we made a few pictures.

The first one is hilarious to me. Austin doesn't know what's happening and has a look of terror on his face! He started getting heavier and heavier and before we knew it, Garrison was about to fall over backwards, sooo we pulled over the rocking chair. They both looked just precious in their Christmas pajamas. (Thanks Granna!)

We had been telling Garrison about our plans for the night and really building it up. He seemed pretty excited after supper, but he kept asking what we were doing after we looked at the lights. Well Terrell and I had talked earlier about getting some ice cream to have after the boys went to bed, so we ended up telling Garrison that we would get some ice cream before coming home (but that he could only have a few bites before bed).

So the whole family got in the car and began our quest to find lots of Christmas lights. We were so excited (mama and daddy that is). Garrison wasn't too impressed because before we got out of our subdivision he started asking when we could go get ice cream. Bummer. Then, Austin started crying. He doesn't hate the carseat, but he doesn't love it either. So it's not unusual for him to fuss and cry a little bit once we get in the car. Well, the crying started to escalate, so before we left our subdivision, we stopped so I could get out and give Austin his paci while we tried explaining to Garrison that the point of the trip was Christmas lights, not ice cream.

Finally we found some lights and Garrison actually enjoyed them. Not to the degree I would have liked, but his face did light up, so that was good. Especially when we found a house that had "Frosty the Snowman" in their yard. However, after seeing like 3 houses he wanted to know when we were getting ice cream and when we were going home. Really? By this time Austin had stopped crying... and had fallen asleep. Great. It was too late for him to nap but what could we do? We were driving around experiencing a Christmas tradition! Ahhh. The highlight of Garrison's night occurred when we discovered a "parade" of decorated golf carts driving around. This was our 2nd year in a row to see them so we were tickled that Garrison noticed them this year. There was a line of about 8-10 decked out golf carts driving around and honking their horns. We even rolled down the windows so Garrison could see and hear them better. From that point forward we basically followed the golf carts around per Garrison's request. The rest of our outing went well, despite the fact that Austin was sleeping away. Garrison enjoyed more lights and we had a nice little ride together in the golf cart subdivision and around town. Then we finally landed at the Chick-Fil-A drive thru for ice cream.

After we got home Garrison got his little taste of ice cream before bed while I fed Austin and tried to get him back to sleep. Unfortunately his power nap in the car meant he wasn't very interested in going to bed. Sooo, Terrell and I ended up being in and out of Austin's room for the rest of the night until I fed him again and he finally went to sleep. Needless to say, the night didn't turn out perfect and wonderful like I'd imagined and hoped for, but memories were made and we enjoyed our outing and Christmas tradition anyway.


Something so sweet and so precious that I had to share~ A few days ago I was getting Garrison dressed in Austin's room after taking him to the potty. I was sitting in the glider in Austin's room helping Garrison get his pants on while Austin was watching us from his crib when Garrison wrapped his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug. Love. Then he said, I love you soo much. (And I told him thank you and that I loved him soo much too.) Then he said, I love my daddy and Ausin and my mama soo much...... Thank you God. It was so sweet and so sincere I felt the tears coming immediately. I blinked them away and instead smiled at him and grabbed him up in a hug and said, Thank you God for Garrison too because mama and daddy and Austin love him so much. It was a priceless moment. I don't think I'll ever forget just how sweet and sincere and loving his little 2 year old voice sounded. I am overwhelemed once again at God's goodness to me. Thank you God for my sweet baby boy who knew to thank You for his family.