Thursday, July 28, 2011

Early Wake-Up Call

For the past 3 mornings, this little man (who I think looks adorable with his brand new desperately needed hair cut) has been giving Terrell and I an early wake-up call... and one that we're definitely not used to.

For just about as long as I can remember, Garrison's wake-up time has been anywhere from 7:40 to 8:00. We even had a stretch of time where he didn't wake up a minute before 8, it was more like 5, 10, or 15 minutes after. We've also had stretches where it's typically 7:40/7:45 every single morning. So, ever since starting the 30 Day Challenge I've based my wake-up time and morning routine around him sleeping until at least 7:40. This has always given me a chance to shower and at least get my hair done and maybe a little make-up on before starting and finishing my quiet time. On a few rare occasions he would wake up a little before 7:40 or I might take a little longer than usual with my quiet time, so it would be interrupted and cut short. Well, this week it seems like everything is completely thrown off because little man is waking up so much earlier!

*Just a quick note: Garrison does not get out of bed by himself. From the moment he moved into his big boy bed we always taught him that he had to stay in the bed until Terrell or I came in to get him. I wanted no part of him playing in his room during naptime unsupervised or waking up early in the morning and roaming the house. He also typically likes to lay in the bed and relax until he's awake good. We've actually had mornings where he's asked us to leave because he's not ready to get up yet. It usually only lasts about 2 minutes before he's calling for one of us again, but it's still a couple of minutes to wake up good before jumping out of bed.

Okay, so back to the past 3 mornings. On Tuesday morning he started calling for me right around 7:15. Whoa... where did that come from? It might not seem drastic to anyone else, but to this mama it was a big change from what I'm used to and sort of threw off the whole morning. I tried to wait it out a little just to see if he might go back to sleep. No such luck. I could tell by the way he was yelling "Maama, Maaaaaa-ma, Maaama!" that he was only waking up more and more. So I decided to just go in and get him up. No time for my quiet time or to just enjoy a minute of quiet before he was ready to start the day. I decided to make muffins for breakfast so they would take a while to get ready and we wouldn't be eating at 7:30 when typically we don't eat a minute before 8. Breakfast did take longer and thankfully we sort of got back on track after that.

Next comes yesterday morning... he woke up and starting calling for me about 10 after 7. As in 7:10 am. Oh no, don't tell me this is becoming a habit. Ha! My first reaction really was panic. I immediately starting thinking of ways to head this off and prevent it from truly becoming a habit. So that made two days in a row of Garrison waking up before I'm even ready and out of the bathroom. Thankfully his calling for me was off and on for about 10 minutes while I finished getting ready.

Now for this morning. He starts calling (but this time for daddy) at 6:48. Seriously?! Terrell and I were both determined to make him wait. We could tell it was a much sleepier call because it was sort of quiet and slow. And thankfully it did stop after just a minute and it appeared he actually went back to sleep. Yay! He didn't start calling again until almost 7:35. This time he called for daddy again a few times and then started to call for mama. I was trying to finish my quiet time so he had to wait for a few minutes. Then we heard, "mama and daddy! mama and daddy! mama and daddy and bai-ee (Bailey)!". That cracked us up! He just decided to call for the whole family.

We're really not sure what's going on with these early wake-up calls because nothing has changed about his bedtime or bedtime routine, and he's still sleeping through the night. I'm wondering if he's waking up and instead of letting himself go back to sleep, for some reason, he's just deciding he's ready to get up. Hopefully tomorrow he'll sleep a little later and we can get back on track. If not, I'm seriously going to be looking into some kind of intervention. I do have to say though, it's really hard to be upset about him waking up too early once I take a look at that sweet face and hear, "Good mornin, mama". =)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday AnAn!

This past Saturday was my sister's, and Garrison's AnAn's, birthday! We spent the weekend in Barnesville with family celebrating and had a great time. It had been quite a while since we had been home to Barnesville so it was nice to be back. I think the little man was pretty excited too.

Garrison and the birthday girl

Garrison had some play time at my parents' house Saturday morning before we met Terrell's parents for lunch. Then we went back to my parents' and got Garrison down for his nap while we had a chance to be lazy and relax and catch up. Garrison took a good nap and was ready to help Papa grill and see the fish and play outside for a little bit after his snack.

Garrison wearing his hat like Papa

He loves my parents' fish pond. As soon as we got there Saturday morning he asked Granna to feed the fish. I think this was one of the first times he'd seen the fish good and up close. He also loves throwing in rocks and just watching the fish swim around. In this pic he's counting the fish.

My dad grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for supper and we had some yummy sides to go with it, including Anna's famous buffalo chicken dip. It was SO good and so relaxing to just be at the house. Garrison knew we were celebrating AnAn's birthday and had seen her cake in the fridge... sooo, immediately after supper he started asking for a piece. "Garrsin want piece cake, mama. I want some cake. I want piece cake, mama. I want piece cake right now!" I literally think we heard that he wanted cake about 20 times. I'd say he definitely has a sweet tooth. Finally, the cake was brought out and the candles lit, and he got to sit in AnAn's lap. It just made his night.

I'm pretty sure this is when we were singing "Happy Birthday"

Licking the icing off the candles.

The little man enjoyed every bite of cake and ice cream, just like his mama (haha!), and once we managed to get the kitchen cleaned up we decied to go ahead and give him a bath before doing presents. Last year he had to go to bed before we did cake, ice cream, and presents (we even had to whisper sing!), but this year there was just no way to leave him out of the fun.

So... here comes the low point of the night.... Garrison was not interested in taking a bath and was already pretty tired, and that combination led to a major meltdown/tantrum/pitching of fit. Oh dear. He was crying and screaming throughout his bath and didn't even want Granna or AnAn to come in and make him feel better. It took me and Terrell both to give him a bath and wash his hair (he's not a fan of having his hair washed when he's in a good mood but he had gotten so sweaty, I didn't have a choice). It really started wearing on me and I thought I might have to bang my head against the wall. He was just out of control upset and nothing we could say or do was going to change that. Once he finally calmed down and got out of the tub, something else set him off and it started all over again. Finally, and I do mean finally, he was over it and ready to move on to present time with AnAn. And mama's nerves were shot. I think I relaxed as soon as he went out to the living room to see Granna and told her, "Garrsin cry and cry and cry and cry" and we all laughed and Granna told him she knew he cried and cried because she definitely heard him!

After all that drama it was time for presents and fun was had by all! Whew! Garrison took AnAn her presents and then ripped open the envelopes and pulled out her cards and then opened up her presents and handed her her gifts. I would say that maybe one day everyone will be able to open their own presents and cards again but by the time Garrison is ready to give it up, Austin will want to.

One of her gifts from my parents that Garrison really liked

Her gift from us... a monogrammed bag that said "AnAn". We thought it was special. Hope she does too. =)

She even found a couple of surprises inside...

Afterwards the little man gave her a big Happy Birthday kiss

Then he rolled around and played "Where's Garrsin??" in tissue paper until we started cleaning up and Granna put him to bed.

We had a great weekend celebrating AnAn's birthday and Garrison is still saying Happy Birthday AnAn today. We love you AnAn! =)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

32 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 32 Weeks, only 8 more to go! It almost feels like it's starting to go by a little faster now.

Size of Baby: 16 inches long and about 3 and a half pounds... still the size of squash =)

Total Weight Gained/Lost: As of my doctor's appointment last Thursday, I've gained 22 lbs so far. Whoa. My doctors are all really satisfied with my weight gain, so that's comforting. I just feel super big and definitely don't want to gain more than I did with Garrison. Guess I need to slow down on the ice cream. The good news is that so far I measuring exactly on time and at this point they predict an average 7 lb baby. (I'm keeping in mind though that no one thought Garrison was going to be 8 lbs until we had an ultrasound at the very end.)

Maternity Clothes: All the time... except for when I squeeze into some of my bigger t-shirts

Gender: Baby Boy Austin

Movement: This little man is all over the place! He loves to move around and is getting stronger by the day I think. I love feeling him move but I'm also so ready to meet him!

Food Cravings: Nothing major except for being hungry all the time. Supposedly my appetite is going to decrease because I'll start "running out of room". No sign of that yet.

What I Miss: Feeling cool and comfortable. It is SO hot I feel like I break into a sweat getting Garrison into his car seat. I like getting out of the house, but it's becoming more and more work and making me more and more hot and tired. Oh goodness. I have over a month to go.

Sleep: I've been sleeping good lately. I still wake up to roll over but go right back to sleep. Hopefully the good sleep continues!

Symptons: I've had a couple more leg cramps and I feel really big and hot and hungry. I also have to go to the bathroom several times a day. Other than that, I'm feeling good and can't complain.

Best Moment This Week: Making a little progress on the boys' bathroom and Austin's nursery. Slowly but surely I think we'll have everything ready by September.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Accomplishing more things on our to-do list and a date night with my hubby next weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Very Hungry 2 Year Old

The book The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been one of Garrison's favorite books for the past few months. At one point we were reading it 4 times a day every single day, twice before his nap and twice before bedtime. I actually thought about hiding it from him for a while because I was getting so tired of it. Terrible I know. He loves counting up all the fruit that the caterpillar eats and especially loves the day when the caterpillar eats a piece of chocolate cake, ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of cheese, a slice of salami, etc, etc. The caterpillar eats a lot and it seems to be Garrison's favorite part of the book.

Welll... we officially have a very hungry 2 year old on our hands. I'm not sure if he's going through a growth spurt or what but it seems like for the past week we literally can't keep him full. I mean he has always loved to eat and he's always had a really good appetite, but lately it's become crazy how much he's eating. A few weeks ago we thought his eating habits might be changing or his appetite might be slowing down because he seemed to be sort of picky about what he would eat, especially at supper, and we were really having to work to get him to eat a good meal (something we weren't used to at all). Those days are now a thing of the past. If he keeps up this pace, our grocery bill is for sure going up. haha!

Just to prove my point and so I'll remember that he actually did eat this much as a 2 year old, here's a look at Garrison's meals yesterday:

Breakfast: A strawberry muffin (the easy Martha White kind), a little less than half a cup of yogurt (we tried out a different kind that he didn't really care for), and a handful of apple jacks. So breakfast was pretty normal.
*We went to the pool mid-morning for about an hour and a half and he had a snack there of gold fish, raisins, and grapes
Lunch: 2 pieces of turkey, cheese, and crackers from a lunchable, half a cup of mixed fruit, gold fish, cheez-its, grapes, several bites of mine and Terrell's frozen pizza, and a mini-chocolate donut (he is now requesting zert, dessert, after lunch and supper so we're trying to be really careful with what he has for zert and how much of it he has.)
*He had a grape popsicle for his afternoon snack
Supper: Half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I only decided to fix this for him because he doesn't like chicken casserole and I knew he would just keep asking for more food), a few butterpeas, a helping of mac and cheese, a helping of rice, the other half of his cup of fruit, raisins, grapes, cheez-its, yogurt melts, and puffs (the yogurt melts and puffs were considered his zert)

Is it just me or is this a ton of food? Of course all of these things didn't start off on his plate for lunch or supper, he just kept asking for more. The only thing on his plate at the start of supper was his sandwich, butterpeas, mac and cheese, rice, and half a fruit cup. But he kept telling us over and over, "Garrsin want somethin else. I want somethin else mama. Garrsin want raisins and gold fish." So we'd give him raisins and cheez-its since we're almost out of gold fish... then we'd hear it again. So we'd give him some grapes... and so on and so on. The crazy thing is that this has been going on for the past week or so at just about every meal. I don't know what we'll do once he's older and eating grown-up size portions. I guess it's possible his appetite could change and he could become more picky... there's just no sign of it anytime soon. For now we're just trying to keep up with our very hungry 2 year old. =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This summer we've spent most of our mornings away from the house trying to do fun things that will keep us busy and occupied. Every week is different and we always have things come up, but we typically like to run our errands, go to the pool, visit the library, or go to Chick-Fil-A... or as Garrison calls it, "Chicken-Flay". I knew we couldn't go to the pool today because I have a show tonight (and it's inevitable that I'll get my hair wet and messy whenever I swim with the little man) and we didn't really have any errands to take care of... so I decided that today would be a good Chick-Fil-A day. I told Garrison about our plans during breakfast and he was quite excited. He has started recognizing Chicken-Flays everywhere we go and loves them all. So once we had a chance to get ready and after I started on some laundry, did a few things around the house, and we made a quick stop at the Post Office, we headed over to Garrison's favorite restaurant. He started pointing it out to me and telling me where it was as soon as it was in sight.

Garrison loves their fruit cups, so I got us one of those plus some hash browns and water for a little snack before letting him play.

As soon as we were ready to go into the playground part, 3 brothers who were older than Garrison went in and started playing. Garrison became really quiet and shy and just decided to sit by me and watch for several minutes. I think he was a little intimidated. They weren't bad or out of control but they were sort of loud and rowdy. Garrison is hardly ever around older kids so he usually doesn't know how to take them. Finally he decided to make the climb up and start playing and sliding down. He had a really good time and even played/interacted for just a few minutes with a little girl who looked to be a few years older than him. And I have to include this funny story: The little girl that Garrison played with came over to me at one point and said, "Are ya'll having a baby?" really sweetly. I told her yes and then she said, "Is it a boy or a girl?" I told her it was a boy and her response was priceless~ "Another boy??" It was SO funny. She said it like she thought it was such a shame that I would have to have another boy. I was trying not to laugh when I confirmed for her that it was indeed another boy. She reminded me so much of when I was teaching 2nd grade and how you never knew what they were going to say but you could always count on brutal honesty.

We had a really good morning at Chicken-Flay and Garrison did great leaving with me like he was supposed to. (Carrying him out crying and squirming and against his will is not something this pregnant mama wanted to deal with.) I didn't know how the exiting process was going to go at first because he kept saying, "Garrsin slide lots more times, just lots more mama". Thankfully I promised him the rest of his apples and some water in the car as motivation to get his shoes on and get ready to leave. I'm pretty sure that's a form of bribery. Guess we'll need to work on him obeying me and leaving nicely when I ask without any motivation...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Preparing for Austin

We are now 9 weeks away from the arrival of our 2nd baby boy, Austin! That means we have 9 weeks or less to get the nursery ready, the house ready, the car seat installed... and to sleep as much as we can! From the moment we found out we were expecting another little man we've been talking about the things we'll need to purchase before he comes, stocking up on diapers, and making lists of what needs to be done before his arrival. We don't have things quite ready yet, but I am so looking forward to holding and kissing and loving on my baby boy.

I have to admit though that preparing for the 2nd baby, especially the second baby boy, has been sort of different from the first time around. I am still completely and totally excited about meeting this sweet baby and already feel so in love with him, but there's just no denying that the 2nd time around is different. For one thing, my every thought isn't consumed with baby showers, nursery bedding and decor, baby gear, and cute baby outfits. Some of my thoughts are consumed with them, but not all. Also, the majority of my day (and night) consist of entertaining and taking care of my busy 2 year old. And, since we're having another boy, there is already so much we have this time around that I don't have to think about too much regarding baby items. It's such a blessing that we already have the biggies!

Even though I'm not 100% consumed with baby thoughts and we're not constantly shopping for new baby stuff, we are doing lots to get prepared. We're finally starting to work on the nursery. At first we weren't going to change the bedding or decor in the room except for maybe changing out all the pictures of Garrison and removing anything with Garrison's name on it. But... my mom offered to get new bedding for us if we wanted and after putting some thought into it, I just decided I actually did want a little change. I don't want every single thing about the nursery to be a "hand-me-down". I want new things for Austin and for it to be his room, not Garrison's "old room" that Austin gets to use once he comes home. Sooo, we're currently working on it. There will still be lots of the same stuff just because we didn't want to change the color scheme completely and buy a bunch of stuff that would be perfectly fine to use again. We are on a budget and working to be smart about our spending, even though it's so tempting to go overboard!

We're also working on a guest bathroom makeover. I'm slowly transforming it into the boys' bathroom that will also serve as our guest bathroom. Things are finally coming along but it's not quite finished. And, since we're approaching the 8 month mark, we're also thinking about foods to make and freeze, a top to bottom cleaning of the house, getting out the pack 'n play, swing, and bouncy seat, raising the crib matress, washing all of Austin's clothes, and planning a special "Big Brother Day" sometime next month.

While things do feel a little crazier this time around because I'm not able to focus all of my time, energy, and attention on Austin's arrival, it also feels a little more laid back this time because we've done it before and we're just more prepared. I can still get a little stressed thinking about taking care of a newborn and a 2 year old, but most of all I'm excited about welcoming the newest member to our family. And hopefully we'll be able to get every single thing checked off our list before the newest member gets here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Day in the Life of Us...

I've finally gotten around to doing another "Day in the Life" post. For some reason the trend seems to be about every 7 months. I'd like to do more but I usually don't think about it until half-way through our day or in the afternoon, and by that point it's too late. Sooo, I planned for yesterday and made pictures and took mental notes, and today I'm actually writing about it. A lot has changed since the first time I did this and even the last time back in December. Garrison has changed and so have I! Baby Austin is on the way and Garrison is potty trained, sleeping in a big boy bed, and eating cereal for breakfast! Here are the events from our day yesterday...

My day started around 6:20 when I got out of bed and showered, did my hair, make-up, etc. Then I had my quiet time before the little man woke up. Some days it's cut short because he wakes up a little earlier than normal, but for the most part I'm able to finish my quiet time/devotion right before he wakes up. He started calling for me around 8:00 and Terrell got him up and took him to the potty. After that he was ready for breakfast and telling me he wanted to have abble jacks.... which he eats from a bowl with milk. He started this a couple of months ago and cereal has become one of his favorite things to have for breakfast. His new thing is reaching into the cereal box for a handful and then putting it into his bowl himself. We are definitely right in the middle of the "do it myself" stage.... which means tons of patience is required. He also stands on his stool right beside me (like right beside me where I can hardly do anything) every time I'm fixing his breakfast or lunch. Again, much patience required.

I decided to put a couple of waffles into the toaster for my breakfast and Garrison insisted that he wanted one too. I think he ate 2 or 3 bites of his. Don't think I'll make that mistake again. It's going to have to be one or the other little man.

After breakfast I had to clean up our mess, empty the dishwasher, and get our supper into the crock pot. Normally Garrison likes to help empty the dishwasher and sort of hangs out in the kitchen until I'm done with everything, but yesterday he was very independent and went and played in the living room the whole time I was busy in the kitchen. He even asked me to make a picture of his cars.

After I finished everything in the kitchen he asked to watch Mickey Mouse, so he did that while I got dressed and finished getting ready. Once the Mickey Mouse episode ended we cleaned up his cars together and I started the process of getting him ready. (Our plan for the morning was Hobby Lobby and Chuck E. Cheese.) Getting him ready to leave the house can turn into a long process and sometimes major battle. He usually doesn't want to be "interuppted" from playing or whatever he's doing to go to the potty, get his teeth brushed, and eventually get dressed. Then it seems to take forever to get all three accomplished. Yesterday wasn't too different. After we finally got ready, I made him a small snack and grabbed some milk to take with us and we were off.

We had to get gas first and then headed to Conyers to the Hobby Lobby for me to look for some things for the boys' bathroom and a picture for Garrison's room. Thankfully it was a successful trip and Garrison was very well behaved. While we were in Hobby Lobby I talked to him about going to Chuck E. Cheese to play and how when I said it was time to go, I expected him to listen, get ready to go, hold my hand walking out, etc. (We've had a couple of meltdowns leaving Chick-Fil-A's "playground" in the past.)

We've only been to Chuck E. Cheese 2 or 3 times before, so he's not totally familar with it, and whenever we've been we're always there with just a few other kids because we go so early. Well, yesterday there were 2 daycare/summer camp groups there on little field trips and the place was hoppin. Garrison was very intimidated and not sure he wanted to be there at all. We ended up sitting in a booth and just watching what the other kids were doing for a few minutes (which Garrison seemed to really like). Then I started talking to him about trying out a ride or getting down to walk around, but the little man would have no part of it. I finally attempted to put him on this little police motorcycle ride against his will but he resisted big time, so we decided to just leave. Of course as soon as we got in the car he was asking to ride the police car. I told him we'd have to plan another day to come back even earlier.

Once we got home it was time for lunch. Garrison had spaghetti o's, gold fish, raisins, and watermelon. He requested everything and he ate it all... very slowly. Whenever I'm waiting on him to finish a meal now, I always try to be productive by working on invitations for my upcoming shows.

After cleaning up from lunch it was naptime. I think he took about an hour and a half nap. A little shorter than usual but still enough time for me to iron my clothes for my show and get everything organized and ready.

Once he woke up he had half a pack of Fruit Jammers for his snack with a Capri Sun. He actually finished his snack pretty fast and then had his usual after nap/afternoon burst of energy. He started chasing Bailey and throwing one of her balls all over the place and was just wound up . I needed to get stamps on invitations to go in the mail, so I decided instead of letting him "run free" and possibly get into things he shouldn't, I'd let him play with stickers while I got all the stamps on my invitations. We grabbed a sticker pad I bought from Dollar General and a couple of sheets of construction paper and he put stickers all over his papers while I put stamps on my invitations. He looks like such a big boy to me with his hat on.

After we finished that, I started lining up all my Premier stuff for Terrell to put in the car for me once he got home and tried to get ready for my show. Garrison played in the living room and watched a little more Mickey Mouse while I did that. Once Terrell got home, I fixed my plate of roast, potatoes, and carrots (we always try to do an easy meal on my show nights), and then got dressed and ready to leave. Things were a little crazy getting out the door, but I had a fun show with a good friend and when I got home around 10:00 I found out my guys had a good night together too.

I think that covers everything. I guess the next time I do this I'll be writing about what my day is like with 2 boys. Scary and exciting at the same time!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

30 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 30 weeks~ 10 more to go! In some ways it feels like it's most definitely been 30 weeks, but in other ways it's hard to believe. I thought the summer would make this pregnancy feel super long, but I'm hanging in okay so far.

Size of Baby: 15-16 inches long and about 3 pounds... about the size of squash. =)

Total Weight Gained/Lost: I've gained 16 lbs so far, but I have a doctor's appointment this week so I'm curious to see what I'm up to now.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely! (Even though the "bands" on my shorts make me sweat so I usually end up rolling/folding them down)

Gender: Baby Boy

Movement: Austin has become a little more active in the last week or so. I can tell he's bigger and stronger and he likes to move around now off and on throughout the day, not just at the predictable times he was.

Food Cravings: I really haven't had any true cravings lately. Ice cream always sounds good but I think that's because it's hot and I just really like ice cream. Other than that I just have a big appetite.

What I Miss: Sleeping soundly and being able to do things that require being on the floor or bending over without it taking so much effort and energy! (playing with Garrison, getting him dressed, cleaning, etc.)

Sleep: I'm sleeping okay except for waking up every time I want to roll over or change positions. I also got woken up the other night with a leg cramp. Not fun. Thankfully it didn't last long. I remember having those pretty regularly with Garrison so I'm sure I can look forward to more.

Symptons: Lately my legs and feet have started aching by the end of the day. Some days it's just annoying and some days it's really uncomfortable and I have to stop what I'm doing and sit down. It's kind of crazy because I don't remember that with Garrison and that's when I was teaching all day. Maybe I really am on my feet now more than I realize... or maybe it's just something to do with the 2nd pregnancy. I've also noticed some slight swelling around my ankles a couple of days. Other than that, nothing major.

Best Moment This Week: Time with my two guys and both Terrell and Garrison being able to feel Austin move. At least I think Garrison felt him move. He wasn't that impressed so I can't be sure. Ha!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Giving our guest bathroom/Garrison and Austin's bathroom a makeover. I think it's going to be cute. =)

Mama, Austin, and Garrison

This is a picture that somehow got left out of my vacation posts... and since this blog is our family photo album, I had to include it~

Garrison and the girls in New Smyrna

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our 4th

I am finally getting around to posting about our 4th of July. Writing about and posting pictures from vacation took up a lot of time! So just a few days late on the holiday, but better late than never I guess.

Things were pretty low key for us this 4th of July since we were still resting and recovering from our week of vacation and trying to get the house back in order and catch up on laundry. It was SO nice having that long weekend after getting back from the beach on Saturday. And Garrison and I were completely spoiled having daddy with us 24/7 for 10 days. I think we all suffered withdrawals on Tuesday!

We slept in a little later than normal on Monday, then had breakfast together and got started on laundry before me and the little man made our 4th of July dessert, Chocolate Chip Delight. I've made it every year since we had Garrison and this year he could actually help and follow my directions and really participate. Last year he helped too... sort of. I can't believe how much he's grown and changed. We got out everything we needed and he moved his stool over to the counter and did a great job listening to me and following my directions. I was very proud of him because I knew things could turn out super messy and crazy if he didn't listen and do exactly what I said. We started by dipping our cookies in milk and making a layer inside the casserole dish, then adding a layer of cool whip (which he watched me do) and then dipping cookies for another layer, etc.

After we finished all of our layers, we sorted a bag of M&M's keeping the red and blue ones together in a pile and all the other colors together in a pile. He finally got to eat something once we opened up the M&M's. He asked to eat a couple of the cookies while we were dipping but I knew we'd need them all so I made him wait. He showed great self-control for a sweets-loving 2 year old!

For the past 2 years I've decorated with M&M's myself and written USA on top and tried to make my simple, no bake dessert patriotic and cute... so creative I know. This year I let Garrison put on all the red and blue M&M's himself wherever he wanted. It made our little dessert so special to us both because he helped out so much. We also talked about why we were using red and blue and that it was America's birthday. I really didn't know if he understood anything I was saying, but I at least wanted to attempt to explain what we were celebrating. Terrell told me later that while him and Garrison were playing, he yelled out "Happy Birthday Merica!" out of the blue. Guess he got the jist of it. =)

The finished product. As Garrison likes to say, "I want some surt that mama,
Garrsin made!"

After we finished our dessert we chilled it in the freezer and all got ready to go out for lunch. We decided on Applebee's... that's sort of become a new tradition. Every year since we've lived in Covington we've always ending up having a meal at Applebee's on the 4th of July or the day before. Another tradition is 4th of July family pictures...

We enjoyed our low key day together before jumping back into our normal routine on Tuesday.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011~ New Smyrna Beach, FL ~ Part 2

Okay, now for the remainder of our vacation! I decided not to do a break down of Tuesday through Saturday because it would just take waaay too long and some of the days have started running together. Instead I'm just captioning the pictures and adding in a few details, plus the highlights of Garrison's vacation. =)

Ready for the beach on Tuesday, fake smile and all

Playing in the sand with his shades on

We finally braved the freezing cold ocean water

"I want daddy lift me up high in the sky" (You have to click on this picture to see the sheer joy on little man's face)

Tuesday went great and we stayed in that night and had spaghetti.

Wednesday and Thursday we were chased in early because of storms. Literally barely making it in before the bottom fell out. Definite bummer. I mean one afternoon looked like a hurricane. Our tent on the beach fell over and started to blow away... as Terrell and my dad sprinted out to save it. Crazy. The only good thing about the storms were that they didn't start until lunch time, they only interfered with 2 days, and naptime was never an issue.

In this picture it had started raining (not storming yet) and AnAn was the only one willing to swim in the rain with the little man.

Wrapped up in his beach towel from Granna. Oh how I love Pottery Barn. Too bad I can't afford all the cuteness I want from that store!

Wednesday night we went out to the New Smyrna Steakhouse for supper and made some family pictures afterwards.

Garrison and AnAn

The guys

The 4 of us

Group shot... little man refused to smile for the nice stranger. haha

Whenever we had time on our hands while it was raining or we were waiting for everyone to get ready, etc we played the Wii. Garrison loved to pretend he was playing. I think he probably thought he really was playing. Here's an action shot.

He also enjoyed sitting on the balcony with Papa and watching the waves and listening to the ocean.

He loved throwing his fish and ball beach toys to daddy and Papa

Mama and Garrison enjoyed collecting seashells together

Playing in the ocean with daddy

He's holding wet sand in his hand or as he called it "mud". It became his favorite thing.

Family pic

Me and my little man

Daddy and Garrison

Friday was beautiful and we made the most of our last day. We stayed out all day long with just a quick break inside for lunch before going back out. Garrison's favorite thing to do Friday was play in a little water hole that he called a pond. It seriously occupied him all day long. We stayed with him at the pond for like half the day and I think Papa stayed with him the other half. He loved sitting in it, jumping in it, adding sand to it, and collecting water from the ocean to pour into it. It was like his own mini-pool.

The view from our condo balcony

Running back and forth from his "pond"

Friday at the beach was wonderful. It probably made the whole vacation. We loved every second.... until we came inside and the little man had a huge meltdown from exhaustion. He obviously didn't get a nap on Friday and he literally played all day on the beach. We could only think of one other day he might have played harder, longer. Bless his heart. He finally took a bath and settled down and we made our annual beach pictures (just on the balcony this year instead of risking another meltdown) and ordered take-out from Outback.

Saturday morning we woke up and packed and got ready to get on the road and have breakfast together at Cracker Barrel in Daytona. The little man was hungry before 8:00, so he had breakfast on the balcony with Granna.

Since this blog is our journal and family scrapbook, for my own memory I just had to include the highlights of Garrison's vacation this year:

*Playing in the sand

*Riding and pushing buttons in the e-vader (elevator)

*Helping take the dogs out (another opportunity to ride the e-vader)

*Playing with Papa every morning

*Riding with AnAn in the car

*Granna putting him to bed every night once he realized he could request her and she'd do it every time

*Hanging on tight to whoever held him in the cold ocean (we're looking forward to going back to the Gulf Coast next year!)

*Seeing Goofy in person

*Jumping to daddy in the pool

*Spending a whole week at the beach with his family