Monday, January 30, 2012

A Weekend of Highs and Lows

This weekend we were in the hometown with our families... getting ready for the big 3rd birthday party coming up on Saturday, celebrating my Nanny's birthday, and just hanging out with family. It was nice to be home and have help with the kiddos and go to church and just get away for a little bit. It'd been almost a whole month since we'd been in Barnesville so it felt overdue. But, I definitely have to say this weekend was also a roller coaster of emotions and events, highs and lows. (Mainly due to my precious, almost 3 year old Garrison Cade. Although Austin contributed too... every night around bedtime.) What an adventure we were in for!

So I don't have to write a book, I'm just going to hit on the highs and lows so I'll have a record of our normal, but really more on the crazy side weekend.

*Garrison got to go to Barnesville a day early and spent the night with Nana and Pops on Thursday. He was spoiled good, loved on lots, and had a ball. Yay for a "high"!

*Friday night at bedtime we had our first "low". For some reason Austin is automatically super fussy at bedtime. Happens right on cue every night. I'm pretty sure it's because he's teething. We thought he would never go to sleep. Granna took over and he finally went to sleep and slept all night. I guess we'll call this one a low and high in one.

*Late Friday night, Garrison woke up with a night terror. (I wrote about it last summer at the end of this post.) Unfortunately since it's been awhile since he's had one of these, we didn't wait it out. We intervened and thought he would never calm down and go back to sleep. He started off asleep, but yelling and screaming, then woke up enough to make crazy demands and make everyone miserable because nothing we did made him feel better. It's so frustrating when you're just trying to help but nothing works. Boo for another "low".

*The first half of the day Saturday went really well. Austin did great for his 4 months photos, Garrison did great getting his hair cut, and we all enjoyed lunch with Nana and Pops. Yay for lots of highs.

*After lunch, getting ready for naptime at Granna and Papa's went terrible for my firstborn. Garrison had another major meltdown. He was just really, really tired and everything was an issue. I told my mom that I hate when a meltdown happens away from home because I feel so self-conscious and like there are witnesses to my bad parenting. Thankfully she didn't agree with the bad parenting part.

*Another meltdown almost occurred during supper Saturday night when Garrison basically refused to eat anything but still expected birthday cake. All the drama was exhausting. But as my mom reminded us this weekend, it won't last forever. On a happy note, our supper was de-lish!

*Austin cried his little eyes out at bedtime again.

*We slept all night long though!

*Church was great and was just what I needed. Then Garrison decided he didn't want to get off the elevator to leave church. Cue the meltdown. And church-going witnesses. And the little man being forced into his carseat in the church parking lot. Oh my.

*We had a delicious lunch prepared by Granna and enjoyed time with my grandparents. Plus Austin took a great nap before we headed home to Covington. But Garrison came home with a cold. Ahhhhh.

*Sorry I ended up writing a book anyway. Oops.

This is how Austin fell asleep in the crib at my parents house everyday/night. How is that comfortable??

Garrison enjoyed play time with Nanny... and some of her birthday cake once he finally ate some green beans and corn.

This little man looked adorable going to church Sunday morning. So did my other little man, he just refused to have his picture made. After all the meltdowns of the weekend, I chose to pick my battles. And I'll just leave you with these now that I'm rambling...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Withdrawals and a Fix

I have had some serious withdrawals this week. Serious. Whine and complain and pout withdrawals. Apparently I have an addiction. An addiction I've probably been in denial about for quite some time. You see the Selph household isn't technology crazed. We don't own an Ipad, Kindle, or any kind of cool Internet and app savvy phone. We don't have portable DVD players in the car, a Wii or Xbox, or even a Twitter account. I guess you could say we're a little behind the times. Or a lot. Part of it is by choice. We just not into all that stuff yet. I would consider us simplistic and traditional. (Yes, that definitely sounds better than old fashioned and "behind the times".) The rest of it I would say is due to the budget. Being a stay at home mom means our budget doesn't allow for some of those things... or if it does we choose to spend that money elsewhere... on more important things.

Anyway, what we do have is an Internet connection (duh), email... on Terrell's phone and our laptop, Facebook, and DVR. Haha. So we're not totally living in the 90s. But that's about it. Hence the reason it never really occurred to me just how much I depend on these very necessary and important bits of technology.... until this past week.

Our dear, dear laptop has been sick. Real sick. So sick that we decided it needed to see the computer doctor. Hate when that happens, but we couldn't put it off any longer. Bright and early Wednesday morning, my husband took our only Internet connection (while at home) to the doctor. Supposedly we'd have it back in our hands later that afternoon. Talk about false hope. Instead we did without until late Friday afternoon. Three whole days. This may sound dramatic, but for me, those 3 whole days took for-ever. It was like having no connection to the outside world. I couldn't read blogs and keep up with cyber-friends. I couldn't write about my babies or our everyday happenings or my random thoughts... something I'm way more addicted to than I even realized. I couldn't stay in touch with what was going on with friends and acquaintances on Facebook. I couldn't write any emails or do anything work related that required an Internet connection. It was strange. And not fun. I didn't like not having my email or blog or Internet. Didn't like it one bit. I even had to let the computer doctor know about my impatience once. Not in an ugly way, just an honest, hurryupandgetmypreciouscomputerbacktome way.

I finally got my "fix" on Friday night at my parents house on their computer while I waited for my youngest to go to sleep. Man was it nice catching up on blogs and emails and the outside world. I enjoyed it lots, but limited myself. Too much, too soon could have meant hours away from the fam holed up in front of the computer reading and reading and reading. That wouldn't have been good. But I did learn a few things during my 3 days without the Internet.

1. I love this blog, love to write, and really missed it while it was away.
2. Internet on my phone sounds so appealing now.... specifically for times like last week.
3. I missed reading my favorite blogs more than Facebook.
4. My babies may have had a little more of my attention, but I honestly didn't notice a huge difference. I've worked really hard not to spend time on the computer while they're awake.
5. I think I'm more addicted to technology than my husband. Shocker! Although he had his computer at work and email on his phone to keep him "connected". He didn't come close to suffering like I did.
6. Did I say I love this blog?

Yay for having a healthy computer with an Internet connection back in our home and my blogging fix!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sibling Love

My boys are smitten with each other. Garrison loves Austin. Austin adores Garrison. Mama loves and adores them both. The 2.5 year age difference has turned out pretty perfect. They've formed a bond already. Garrison asks about Austin when he wakes up, includes Austin in what we're doing, and likes helping take care of his little brother. Austin smiles at Garrison, laughs at Garrison, and kicks his little legs when he's happy to see his big brother. I know that arguing and bickering and even fighting, (but let's call it wrestling), are in our future, but for now I'm soaking up their enjoyment and fascination of each other. It's priceless.

Just had to throw in that last picture one more time. My fav. The ones of Garrison showing Austin his magna doodle are a close second. That was the sweetest thing ever. And I completely melt over the ones of them gazing at each other while Austin's in his crib. And of course hugging and kissing baby brother are too precious. Then there's the one of Garrison laying with Austin on his playmat just because. Gracious... I think they're all my faves. Yep, they are.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Highlights

Of course the biggest highlight of our weekend was our date where we got away for a full 7 hours on Saturday. Woohoo! But more on that later. For now I'll start with Friday evening...

*Friday after work Terrell brought home take-out for the second week in a row, but without the pepperoni-less pizza. My chicken tenders were delish. Garrison had a huge meltdown over not wanting Terrell to open his jello. He spent the first half of supper in his room crying and screaming. It was so dramatic. Looking forward to the day when 1. we either figure out the secret to heading off the meltdowns 2. we learn how to stop them fast before they escalate and go on forever or 3. he outgrows them.

*Remember the wonderful, long naps I wrote about... well other than a stretch from 11:00-11:30 on Friday night, Austin slept great and so did we.

*Saturday morning we got the house ready for Granna and Papa, and my almost 13 year old cousin Haley who wanted to come along to help with baby-sitting duites. We straightened and cleaned a little, all the while Garrison waited and waited and longed in anticipation and waited some more for the moment his grandparents would arrive. He was pretty excited about seeing Haley too. It reminded me of childhood when it's the day of your birthday party and the morning goes on forever as you look forward to when it will finally be time for your guests to arrive.

*My parents arrived at 11:30 as I was finishing up feeding Austin. We told them everything we could think of about feedings and naps, kissed our babies goodbye, and were off to focus on each other for the whole day. (After I finally stopped talking about them. And wondering how lunch was going. And trying to remember if I told my parents everything. And hoping naptime wasn't too crazy for them.)

*We saw the movie Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol. I loved it and highly recommend it if you enjoy suspense, action, and drama.

*After the movie and a quick call to check in on how things were going on the home front, we were off to do a little shopping... Michael's, Target, and Kirklands specifically. I had just about forgotten how easy it is to shop without a toddler and/or baby... who have a tendency to get impatient, and take up all the space in the buggy, and can be a little loud, and can give me a workout getting in and out of the car. (I feel guilty for complaining since my boys actually are really good out in public... but it's still faster and easier without them in tow.) We took our time and got lots accomplished.

*We enjoyed an early dinner at one of our fav restaurants. We carried on conversations and savored our meal and took our time. A nice, quiet meal alone was to be treasured.

*Then we took the long way home and stopped by Chick-fil-A for an Ice Dream to go. It was a surprise from my hubby. Lovvvve their ice cream. Terrell Selph knows the way to my heart.

*We arrived home just in time for baths and bedtime which were already in progress. The timing worked out great because I only had to miss 1 feeding and my parents didn't get home too too late. Thanks SO much to Granna, Papa, and Haley for taking care of our babies while we spent the day away.

*Yesterday was a kind of lazy day around the house. But only after Garrison woke up and had a big ole tantrum because we had already started baking cinnamon rolls. Who knew that would be so upsetting?

*We still haven't been to church here since having Ausitn. Maybe soon. For now, FBC B'ville is still our church home. But that's another post for another day.

*Last night things got crazy when Garrison woke up at 2:30 crying for daddy. Daddy had to work hard to get him settled again... only to leave his room and enter Austin's. I listened on the monitor and eventually got up to feed Austin when I accepted I was putting off the inevitable. Gracious. What is going on with the night time drama around here?? (My firstborn has had some sleepy-time issues lately. Again, another post for another day.)

*This yucky, rainy, messy Monday has made me thankful I'm at home with my babies and no where to go or be. I'd rather suffer through meltdowns at home with Garrison (and Austin) than 1. make someone else suffer through them, and 2. have to get out in the messy weather and be away from my boys all day. And I will repeat this to myself 5 times after every meltdown. Ha!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A First!

Today was a first for Austin and I was so excited I felt I must document it. Put it in writing. And celebrate it. But first a little background... I have struggled much with figuring out naps for my baby boy. Some of it has been due to the fact that he's forced to adapt to us... an already established routine and schedule, trips to and from preschool, a loud big brother. And some of it has been the fact that I can't be in two places at one time. If Garrison needs me and can't wait, then Austin has to... which means the routine/wind down process leading up to naptime can very easily be interrupted. But, once baby boy reached 4 months and started eating every 4 hours, his naptime became somewhat predictable. Finally. The only problem... his naps weren't good. His morning nap rarely lasted longer than 30 or 40 minutes. And I tried everything, believe me. It was beyond frustrating. Once I finally, somehow got his morning nap extended, something that took weeks and weeks and I was about to just give up on, the afternoon nap suffered. It was a vicious cycle.

Until today. For the first time ever, well for the first time since he was a newborn and slept all the time, Austin took 2 really good long naps. One in the morning for 2 hours and one in the afternoon for 2 hours. Double yay! (Too bad I couldn't take a nap myself. Maybe one day.) I was so proud... and relieved he was actually capable of it, I decided to go into his room camera-ready when it was time for him to wake up. I was greeted with pure sweetness. A well rested happy baby!

Now let's all hold our breath that those wonderful naps today don't ruin mama and daddy's opportunity for wonderful sleep tonight.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Party Planning Mode

The Selph household is in official party planning mode for our favorite almost 3 year old's birthday party! Correction: mama is in party planning mode- daddy is in supportive, helpful, whatever you say mode. Haha. I ask for his opinions and long for his input, but overall he just wants whatever I want... as long as it doesn't break the budget, which would be great if only I knew what I wanted. Ahhh, why must I be so indecisive? Bad, bad trait.

The party is coming up in 2 weeks and so far, we know the location- A "family only" party at Granna and Papa's house 1 more year before we start paying for a party location and inviting school friends, have the invitations- my oh so talented friend Megan designed them for us again this year, know the theme- cue the music...It's the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse..., and have a "menu" planned- hot dogs and chili (thanks to my mom for that idea!). Unfortunately, it's just the little details we're unsure of. And I don't know why I'm using the pronoun "we" when if there's one thing I do know, it's that the pronoun I should be using is "I". Anyway, it's those little details that are making me crazy. Not cabin fever crazy, just frustrated crazy.

We don't go overboard on birthday parties and spend tons of money or do super elaborate things, but we do like to make things special and a big deal for the birthday boy. I like the cake to be something my little man will really love and be impressed with, I like the food to be enjoyable for the guests, I like to do some sort of picture display to represent the months and/or years leading up to another birthday, and I like the decor to be cute and fun for Garrison and the birthday party attendees (which can be sort of challenging because I like it to be both kid and grown-up friendly). And this year, for some reason, I've been stumped when it comes to the details of the decor, and the picture display, and the even the birthday boy's present. Plus I'm trying really hard to keep spending to a minimum. Plus I'm trying to keep up with 2 boys everyday and get back into the swing of things with Premier. Clearly I'm not supermom. Bummer.

But, now that we're nearing the home stretch, I've decided to get myself in gear and get this 3rd birthday party planned and finalized! I've also made the decision not to stress out about those little details that keep making me crazy. I know it will all come together and hopefully my little man, and his guests, will enjoy all the celebrating and fun of this 3rd birthday party. Until then, party planning mode will continue in full swing...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Case of Cabin Fever

I'm not one who absolutely has to leave the house everyday. Just not a huge deal to me if we stay in. I'm not one who craves adult interaction and conversation. It's always nice, but I actually don't go crazy from lack of it. And I'm definitely not one who's always looking forward to a break from my kiddos. I like being with my babies all the time, hence the reason they rarely spend the night away from me and I have a fear of not being a stay-at-home mom. Besides, when it comes to "breaks", I'm looking forward to dates/alone time with my husband or an occasional evening out with friends - not a break from my kids. Even though the 2 do in fact go together.

Well, in contradiction to everything mentioned above, last week I had the most severe case of cabin fever ever. And I'm still not fully cured of it. It made me lazy and unproductive, moody and irritable, crazy and emotional.... it made me let myself go. Gasp! It was not a pretty sight. And it all came to head Friday night when my husband came home from work with our take-out pizza, pepperoni-less. Who forgets to put pepperoni on a pepperoni pizza!? Ahhh. I literally shed a few tears over my devestation... until I got over it.

Last week was one of those weeks when the weather was either freezing cold or rainy and messy. When my baby boy who'd been sleeping through the night for almost a month decided it was time for a growth spurt and kept his daddy up way into the night and woke his mama up earrrly in the morning. (We've had 2 good nights back to back so maybe, hopefully we're in the clear.) When I literally had no motivation to get out of the house to do anything. There were no errands to run and nothing worth braving the cold or rain for. When, due to sleep deprivation, the snooze button was hit one too many times causing me to go without make-up a record 3 days last week. I showered every single day (just because I hate going a day without a shower, not because we had anywhere to go), but only wore make-up the 2 days I had to get out and be seen... the days Garrison had school. Wearing just a little make-up, even on the "staying home" days, is important to me. Helps me feel normal. And awake. And productive. Last week I was none of those... normal, awake, or productive. I just was. I went through the motions, I had a lot of play time with Garrison, I cooked supper and did a few loads of laundry. Other than that I was pretty much spinning my wheels. Feeling like I needed to get out and do something. Feeling like a bum. Feeling couped up in my messy house. Feeling overwhelmed by my babies, my house, Premier. And it was all caused by wretched cabin fever.

When Terrell got home with our pepperoni-less pizza Friday, I finally admitted, to myself more than anyone, that I was about to go crazy. I needed to get out of the house and I needed a break. Even a break from my boys. Gulp. I felt guilty as soon as it came out. I'm not sure I've ever felt or said out loud that I needed a break from them. Although I'm hoping it's perfectly normal. I had just reached my limit. I was so tired and so energy-less and so stir crazy... you get the idea.

Thankfully my hubby's long weekend at home, some nicer, warmer weather so Garrison could play outside, a few outings with the fam, some chores crossed off the to-do list, and a date planned for next Saturday helped snap me out of it. I'm still working on getting my energy back after being so sleep-deprived, and I'm still feeling a tad overwhelmed with everything on my plate at the moment; but I'm determined to get us out of the house more (despite the weather), and to enjoy my date with husband next weekend, and to start going to bed earlier (depending on how things go with Austin), and to get out of the house more again. Cabin fever- be gone!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Boys in Red

Yesterday afternoon, in an effort to get out of the house, have a good but affordable supper, and allow Garrison some fun all-out play time since he's been stuck in the house almost an entire week, we decided we'd head to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. I don't think we've ever been to Chicken Flay, as Garrison would say, on a Saturday night for supper. If we have it was a long, long time ago before kids. It felt different, but a good different.

Saturday nights have definitely changed. Wait, so have Fridays. Terrell and I have always enjoyed eating out on the weekends. Nothing fancy or super expensive, just getting out of the house, not having to worry about cooking or cleaning, and having someone wait on us. It was always enjoyable and relaxing. But now we're watching our "out to eat" budget much more closely plus weighing the pros and cons of getting out with the boys. Garrison and Austin are both really great out in public, it's just a lot more work and a lot more time consuming. Sooo, we find ourselves eating at home at lot more on the weekends.

Anyway, Chicken Flay was the perfect solution last night. It satisfied my need to get out (being stuck inside most of the week was making me crazy!) and it was fun for Garrison and easy on the wallet. Plus we all enjoyed ice cream afterwards. Yum! Can't beat their delicious vanilla ice cream.

Back to the point of this post... my boys in red were so handsome when we went out. It wasn't even planned. Terrell and Garrison were both wearing red first so I decided to put a red shirt on Austin. I was going to wear red and denim too so we could all be cutesy and cheesy at Chick-Fil-A, but discovered last minute a spit up stain. So it was just meant to be for the boys. Red and denim suited them well I thought. And they humored me with a picture before we left. =)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Amazing Memory

As parents, I believe we're allowed to be amazed at the smallest little accomplishments and skills and talents of our little ones. Whether it's trying a new food, using good manners, taking first steps, sharing a toy, or singing abc's, we're happy and proud and ready to celebrate. We even beam with pride. I mean, our babies are so special and so loved by us that we're easily impressed and rightly biased. Whether it's Garrison loving on Austin or Austin letting out a perfect laugh, I feel like a proud mama and all warm and fuzzy. (And I really have to work hard to remember all those special moments and sweetness they have on the not so wonderful days when I'm running out of patience and feeling totally frustrated and overwhelmed.) Having said all that, this post is all about my amazement of one of Garrison Cade's "skills". It's a record for us to always have, and for our families who are just about as impressed as we are. I don't mean to brag, I'm just honestly SO impressed by him.

My firstborn has the. most. amazing. memory (in my opinion). It's crazy how well he is able to memorize books and songs, and how he remembers people's names, or conversations with family members that took place a long time ago, or places/locations he's been. There have been several times lately that we're just left speechless. We've actually had a few "how is that possible... who are you??" moments. Haha. It's so funny... but crazy too. I wanted to list all the examples I could think of so I'd have a "record" of it and so I'll be able to show him one day, but it's hard to do a "list" of these without a little background. I'll try not to get too long-winded...

We've always known that he remembers people and places very well, but lately we've been shocked at what's coming out of his mouth. The most recent has been his remembrance of stories from his little toddler Bible. He has his favorites like Noah and the Ark, Joshua and the Walls of Jericho, Samuel Hears God, etc. But then there's the ones that have only been read to him once or twice in his entire life. Well, a week or two ago he decided he wanted me to read one of those... that I've only read to him maybe 2 times. Ever. It's called Paul and the Bright Light. The way he requested it was by saying "Afer this one I want you read bout how Paul wanted to hurt God's people." That's a direct line from the Bible story. Word for word. How did he remember that when we haven't read that story in months??

Another one he requested was the one about "Marfa". (The story of Mary and Martha). I only remember reading that story to him once. A long time ago.... probably 6 months ago. Terrell has never read it to him. The crazy thing is that he even pointed out which one was "Marfa". The one with the broom.

He also asked for the story "Lijah's Special Prayer" (referring to Elijah praying for rain). This is the exact title of the story from his Bible and it's another one that's only been read to him once or twice months ago.

On the way home from Barnesville on New Year's Day, we heard him in the backseat saying "The angel Gabriel told Mary she was going to haf a 'pecial baby name Jesus. I bring you good news of great joy, and the shepherds pick up their lambs to go see baby Jesus." He was reciting the Christmas story. It was so precious to hear, but it was also kinda crazy that our 2.5 year old was in the backseat reciting the Christmas story! I guess it was read to him so many times from his little Christmas books during the month of December that he memorized it.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I was in Barnesville with the kiddos having lunch with my mom and sister at our fav Mexican restaurant. We hadn't been to eat there in months. It was yummy. Once we got home, Garrison asked me out of the blue, "Where was Brent?" Brent is a waiter we always speak to when we're there... and occasionally he's our waiter. He wasn't there that day at lunch and Garrison not only noticed, he remembered his name and everything. I was speechless.

My sister is a Resident Director at Gordon College in our hometown and Garrison has been to her apartment maybe 3 times. The last time we were there and driving down the road her dorm is off of, he said, "That where AnAn live?" Cuh-razy.

Garrison is quite nosy (don't know where he gets it from) and asks Terrell questions about work all the time. A couple of weeks ago Terrell told him about a customer he had to help named Brandy. The name was mentioned once and little man was satisfied to know daddy helped her with something. Well yesterday when Terrell was going to work he said, "Who you gone see at work daddy? Thought about it a minute and said, "Oh... will Brandy be there?"

He learned the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem last summer. He still refers to a short conversation Terrell and Papa had one weekend about our suitcases, talks about seeing the ducks with Granny in Cartersville (last July), brings up watching the Buggy Days parade (last September). And I'm sure I'm forgetting others. If you have a secret or something you don't want Garrison to remember, it's best to keep it to yourself. This little man has the best memory of anyone I know. We're praying this amazing memory helps him accomplish great things as he gets older!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, in the wee hours of the day, (as in just after midnight), I was lying in my bed the sickest I've ever been. I had the flu and I was absolutely positively miserable. I looked a mess, I felt a mess, I was a mess. Eww. I was a mess physically and emotionally. I felt horrible, looked terrible, couldn't breathe, aching all over, extremely weak, aching all over some more, etc, etc. Plus, I felt torn and nervous and worried too. The only medicine I'd taken over the past couple of days since coming down with the flu was regular strength Tylenol. I knew it was safe just in case.... but didn't have the courage to find out for sure whether limiting myself to plain ole Tylenol was necessary or not.

Terrell came into the bedroom to check on me. He wasn't in bed yet because he's a night owl and keeps late hours on an almost nightly basis. Crazy. Anyway, he heard me moaning and groaning and wanted to make sure I was okay and to see if anything at all could be done to help me feel better. He was suffering too. Mama being out of commission is no fun for anyone, not to mention the fact that he loves me and didn't like seeing me so sick. I think I might have been on the verge of tears, can't remember exactly, but I do remember him urging me to go ahead and in turn giving me the courage I needed. Even though I was afraid and nervous and unsure, he reassured me by saying, "... if you are, we'll be happy and maybe that will help you feel better. If you aren't, at least we'll know and can get some stronger medicine in you to help you feel better." Why didn't I think of that? Those 2 sentences were just enough for me to make myself crawl out of bed and take "the test".

You see, we'd been trying for months to get pregnant with baby #2. We'd been disappointed and discouraged and even a little worried. We weren't used to waiting. We got pregnant with Garrison right away- as in no waiting at all, which was a huge blessing but also had us spoiled and thinking the same thing would happen again. (Although I always knew that there was a very big possiblitiy it wouldn't happen that way again, I still wasn't prepared.) Even though our months of waiting compares in no way to the years of waiting that lots of couples experience and suffer through, it was still tough. After just a couple months we started questioning whether everything was okay or not. That's how unaccustomed we were to waiting. Spoiled for sure. Then a few more months went by and it just turned to disappointment. I knew things were fine, it was just taking a while. And my plans of my babies having a grade level between them growing up were crushed. Who knows why that was SO important to me? I guess I just always felt like a 6th grader and 8th grader would have a waaay closer, waaay better relationship than a 5th grader and 8th grader. All I could think about was how their sibling love and common interests and "friendship factor" would just be ruined if heaven forbid there were 2 grade levels between them. Oh my. How dramatic and exaggerated and crazy are those thoughts??

Anyway, the new year had been a rough start for us... still waiting and me coming down with the flu. When I first came down with my flu-like symptons it was too early to take a pregnancy test and too soon to know whether my monthly friend would arrive. So I endured the symptons a few days, while taking Tylenol, and putting off taking "the test". I was so sick I had absolutely no desire to see a negative result. I didn't have the energy to feel disappointed. It would have only made me more miserable and more of a mess. Even when I knew I could go ahead and take the test to find out for sure, I didn't want to out of fear.

January 11, 2011 I reached my limit. I needed stronger medicine or a positive test. Something had to make me feel better. I needed relief! So once my sweet husband graced me with his words of wisdom, I did it. Then waited, while nearly passing out from exhaustion but staying awake because of the itty bit of adrenaline that the waiting supplied me with. Three minutes later I had my relief. Despite my non-existent energy, I smiled. Then I hugged Terrell. Then I shed a few tears of joy. Then I had to get back in the bed before I fell over. As I rested on my pillow and tried to keep my heart from beating out of my chest, I thanked God for the blessing of my new love... who we didn't know at the time would turn out to be Austin Carson Selph. What a sweet middle of the night moment. Filled with relief, thanksgiving, joy, happiness, gratefulness, and love in spite of the flu.

I hope I never forget how I felt that night and never take my easy journey to pregnancy for granted. I hope I always remember to pray for the couples who long to feel the joy that a positive pregnancy test brings. Waiting is not easy, but God's timing is always perfect. (Even though my babies will have 2 grade levels between them in school.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

4 Months Old

Austin turned 4 months old on the 3rd (but his check up wasn't until today) so his 4th month with us was the entire Christmas season. Which was wonderful for us, by the way. Things weren't too crazy because we got a good head start on Christmas shopping and decorating, etc. And for the most part we were able to really savor the season. For me, it didn't fly by like I expected. I think I just made a point to enjoy it everyday. On the otherhand, when I think about the fact that Austin is 4 months old already, time flies! (Including this past month!)
Wow, so hard to believe he's 4 months old. It's true what they say about time moving faster with the 2nd one. Boo. I guess all you can do is try your best to slow down and soak up all the little adventures everyday. But moving on before I get emotional over all this time moving too fast stuff...
This month we actually used 3 different outfits for the "Lion Picture". The first outfit got spit up on and none of the pictures taken before the spit up drenched his shirt turned out. Then we got one good picture with the blue jeans before we had another incident with spit up. Ahh. The joys of reflux. At least it doesn't seem to phase him. The last picture is of big brother when he was 4 months old. I think you can still definitely tell they're brothers, but Austin seems way bigger than Garrison was at this age.

Stats and Happenings This Month:

*You weigh 15 lbs 3 oz and you're 25 inches long. Looks like I overestimated in your 3 months stats. You are at the "top of average" for weight and length, in the 50th-60th percentile. So not quite as big as we thought!
*You are wearing mostly 6 months clothes and still a few 3-6 months. You're filling those up fast so I'm sure we'll be moving along to 6-9 months soon! You're still wearing size 2 diapers, but we've decided we'll use up the rest of those we have in the house and start on size 3 soon. Can't believe how fast you're growing!!
*You are now eating every 4 hours and you started sleeping through the night more consistently this month! A few days before your 4 month birthday you decided to start sleeping until after 7:00! How refreshing for mama and daddy!!
*Naptimes are more predictable but still on the short side. We're working on it though.
*This month you learned to roll over from your back to your tummy. Sometimes you're so happy once you get on your tummy, almost like you're proud of yourself. But sometimes it makes you a little frustrated or wakes you up when you're napping.
*Your personality has come out big time this month. That sweet personality is so lovable! You've officially discovered your voice. You love to squeal and make the loudest noises at us like you have something important to say or you want to make sure we haven't forgotten about you. You laugh really big laughs at us too, especially Garrison. You're ticklish. You're bashful sometimes. You kick your legs when you're excited. Your sweet personality makes me smile every single day. I love watching it develop.
*You found your hands this month and can actually grab onto your toys. You also love putting those hands in your mouth and nawing away. Which reminds me... you drool all the time. I'm almost positive you're teething.
*You follow us around with your eyes and know when we leave the room.
*You adore your big brother and are more and more aware of him (and all of your surroundings) everyday.
*You have grown SO much this month in more ways than one and we have loved witnessing every new milestone! You make us smile, laugh, and give thanks for you everyday! Happy belated birthday Austin Selph!! We love you!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Enjoying Christmas Presents

Since this weekend has been a little on the rough side... Austin is having trouble with naps (which I'm determined to figure out), Garrison is having trouble obeying (or should I say accepting not getting his way) without having a full-blown meltdown, the Falcons played terrible, and blood pressure rising drama is floating about, I thought I'd do something to brighten my mood.

Over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to grab my camera everytime my babies are playing with and enjoying a Christmas present. Just makes me happy to see them happily enjoying a gift they were blessed with this Christmas. It started with trying to get a picture of Garrison driving his car around at home, and then I had an idea to capture all sorts of 'playing with Christmas presents' moments. Here are a few~

He's still figuring out the steering and still needs a pillow behind him to reach the pedal, but he's still a cool dude riding around in his dune racer.

Austin loves his new book. I have a picture just like this reading to Garrison when he was 4 months old.

Garrison decided to make a picture of mama and Austin too. He is enjoying his new camera to the fullest.

This handsome little man... who has the ability to melt my heart, make me the happiest mama ever, and absolutely explode with love is also making me question my parenting skills on a daily basis lately. Gracious. He is super adorable in his little monogrammed robe though.

He really enjoys drawing on his portable chalkboard too. (The other side is a white board so he can do either or, and the whole thing closes up to lay flat too. We all think it's pretty cool.) By the way, hope you can't see in this picture how dirty the bottom of my refrigerator is. Sticky little hands have been all over it apparently. Gross. Got to get that cleaned pronto.

Of course the Clubhouse is a hit!

This sweet boy loves his "seahorse gloworm". That's what I call it at least. It plays music and lights up just like a gloworm. This is one of the only toys he actually holds onto and loves on. Precious.

Lots of time is spent working away with his tools. Future handyman here.

And we are all loving his homemade playdoh that Granna had Santa deliver. It isn't 100% mess-free but it's WAY better than the stuff you get at the store. We even trust him playing with it in the living room.

Both boys have enjoyed Austin's new playmat. Whenever Austin is on it and Garrison is nearby he decides to squeeze himself under it to. And of course big brother mans the controls... music, lights, volume, etc.

Saved the best for last. The picture that melts my heart and fills me with joy. My youngest baby laughing at (and with) my oldest baby. Little brother laughing with big brother. Siblings sharing a moment together... that mama got to witness. LOVE. If we want Austin to laugh or smile, we request Garrison's presence to make it happen. Not only does Garrison love his little brother, little brother adores him back.

I wasn't able to capture pictures of them playing with every single thing they got for Christmas but these were some of my favs. Thanks to the grandparents and aunts and uncle for spoiling my babies good! I'm in a better mood already. Plus my busy little boys are fast asleep and bedtime actually went off without a hitch tonight. =)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On My Mind...

*Before having Austin I used to be way more productive during naptime. It was my work time for Premier and time to do a few things around the house. Now when it's naptime and both boys are asleep (Thank you Lord for this daily blessing!!) all I want to do is catch up on a TV show, read blogs, write a blog post, read a book, or just be lazy.

*I recently found myself hoping (and saying a quick prayer) that Garrison's and Austin's future wives are really good friends. Who thinks that far ahead?? Then again, it's never too soon to start praying about your children's futures.

*I am SO tired of boys clothing being discriminated against in stores! Ugh. It's so frustrating trying to find really cute adorable outfits for boys in the teeny tiny boys' sections that the stores offer. Thankfully we got some super cute outfits for Christmas for them from family! Granna and AnAn accomplished a difficult mission.

*Sometimes I wonder if my almost 3 year old is the only almost 3 year old who has long drawn out meltdowns (over sometimes really little stuff) that are so dramatic and so exhausting that you're just left scratching your head or pulling your hair out.

*I usually stay awake for a while after getting up with Garrison or Austin during the night. Garrison has woken up 2 times this week after midnight while Austin's been sleeping all night. Go figure. I don't stay awake by choice, it just takes me a little while to fall back asleep. Weird. You'd think I'd be tired at that hour.

*I'm officially in party-planning mode for Garrison's birthday. It's stressing me out this year. I love doing a cute party and making everything special... not overboard, just special. He'll only have a 3rd birthday party once! But for some reason my ideas are lacking and so is my motivation. Thankfully I'm finally getting some things accomplished.

*I have had such a sweet tooth lately. I think it carried over from my pregnancy. Time for it to go away now.

*I'm finally starting a Bible Study (Beholding Him, Becoming Missional) that I've wanted to for a while. Who knows if I'll be able to maintain the Week 1 Day 1, Week 1 Day 2 pace but I'm going to try my best while constantly reminding myself that it shouldn't be viewed as something to check off my to-do list. I really enjoyed Day 1. =)

*Terrell and I are still hoping to go on a date sometime this month. We've got to get it planned soon or it won't happen. Date nights must be a priority!

*Yesterday I got a picture of Austin laughing at Garrison. LOVE. It will be shared later. I'm SO glad I captured the moment but even more glad/happy/overjoyed/ecstatic/overwhelmed with gratefulness that they already love each other so much! I pray they are best friends and so, so close as they grow.

That's it. All done sharing what's on my mind lately. I liked doing this. I think I'll do it again sometime. Maybe once a month will be good. It felt nice to get out those random thoughts. Almost therapeutic. Haha. =)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reflecting and Resoluting

Well we had a great weekend kicking off 2012 with family in the hometown just like we do every year. Nothing exciting... we didn't even stay up to see the ball drop. We're pretty boring (ha!), if you don't count the never-ending adventure of taking care of our two babies. But, it fits us and we enjoy the simplicity of a relaxing, mellow New Years Eve/Day with family.

And since I don't have too many exciting things to write about from our weekend I thought I'd take time to write a "New Year's Post"... because starting off a brand new year has got me reflecting on the events of last year and "resoluting" to make some changes this year~

*Last year was an amazing year for us as we became Selph~ Party of 4! Yay!! Welcoming our 2nd baby boy to the family was definitely the highlight of our year. We found out in January that we were expecting and spent most of the year preparing for his arrival in September. Since making his debut, our family life has been double the busyness and double the blessing. We are all absolutely smitten with our sweet little man and SO thankful he's a part of our family!

*We also reached some big time milestones with our oldest little man. Garrison Cade was potty trained and started sleeping in a big boy bed last year. Plus he became a big brother! He handled all of those milestones/transitions just about as smoothly as possible.

*I was able to stay home for another year! This is truly the biggest blessing EVER. We give God all the glory for making this possible for us. His provisions and blessings never cease to amaze us.

*Last year we enjoyed a weekend get-away to Gatlinburg with Terrell's family and summer vacation in Florida (that included a trip to Disney World) with my family, plus an anniversary weekend to ourselves in between. We were very blessed with all of our time away.

*I completed a 30 Day Challenge over the summer and really rearranged my priorities... specifically how I started my days. I did really well until Austin arrived and things sort of got turned upside down for awhile.
*My husband changed positions at work and also changed locations. He's now a "Business Banker" at the Covington branch of Pinnacle Bank only 5 minutes from our house. The move has been good and we're praying for continued success with this position.

And those are all the biggies I can think of. Now for the resoluting:

*Going back to the 30 Day Challenge- I have got to get back on track! No more excuses. I've never had a lot of trouble with my prayer life. I pray every morning (or almost every morning) and I pray throughout my day when things get tough or Garrison has a meltdown or I hear about someone who needs praying for. What I've neglected since having Austin is reading my Bible. I just haven't made the time. So I've decided since this should be a top priority, I'm not going to do any reading for pleasure until I've spent time in the Word. It will be a way to hold myself accountable and hopefully help me get back on track. Plus, now that Austin's wake up time is becoming more consistent I can plan to be up before him for my quiet time.

*I want to spend more time outside and be more active. I know my firstborn will appreciate this one! Sometimes it's so hard to have outside time when there are errands to run and chores to take care of inside and a baby to feed and supper to cook. And since our backyard is teeny tiny, he can't go outside without me. But, I need to get outdoors more and become more active. Getting into shape would be nice, but let's just take one step at a time.

*I want to make my husband more of a priority. We joke a lot about how sometimes it's like we're just roommates who see each other occasionally and talk every now and then, but basically just live in the same house. I think a lot of couples with little ones are probably in the same boat. Or at least I hope we're not the only ones! I want to be more supportive and understanding. I want us to go on more dates... even though it can be really stressful getting away from the kiddos and letting someone else handle bedtime. I want to just hang out. And make a point to carry on at least one good conversation everyday.

*I want to face my fears and be more willing and open to doing what needs to be done to help provide for our family while having as much time with my babies as possible.

*Most of all I want to become more trusting of God's plan for our family. It's no secret we want to move back home. And it gets hard being patient. But at this point, it seems He wants us where we're at, so I'm going to try really hard to "bloom where I'm planted" while we wait.

Now I'm hoping this list helps keep me on track! Happy New Year!!!!