Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Terrell and I are blessed. We're blessed in more ways than one, but for the purpose of this post, we're blessed because we grew up in the same church. In fact, our church youth group is what brought us together~ first as friends, then as sweethearts, and later as husband and wife. (I think that's a direct quote from Brother Garth when he married us. Awww. So special to have our pastor, who watched us grow up, marry us. Such a blessing.)

As the Lord would have it, we were both dedicated, raised, baptized, married, and anything else church related in FBC Barnesville our whole lives. It's where we learned all about the Bible and came to know and trust Jesus. It is a special place full of special people. I think church members filled our first home with dishes and towels and kitchen utensils, and filled our first nursery with onesies and diapers and burp cloths. We love it there (and not just because our church family has been so generous to us). In a word or two, it's home.

And that's what's made and still makes finding a new church so, SO tough.

I honestly believe part of it is due to the fact that we both attended the same church for years and years until we got married. The church we're so blessed to call home has also been the church that's so hard to let go of. And the church that so many others are compared to and usually fall short of.

Then, there's the fact that we spend a lot of time in our hometown. A lot. Both of our parents are there, plus the majority of my extended family. (Which means that day trips aren't a good option for us. I guess you could say that day trips usually aren't fair to everybody.) We decided when we got married that even though we lived "away", family would always be a priority and we would always go home for holidays and special occasions. That's the example I grew up with and the example I want to show my kids. So we're there for Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas... plus birthdays and get togethers throughout the year. And even though it might seem crazy to some people, it's important to us and it's a priority for us.

So that means at least once a month, we're in Barnesville on Sundays at our home church. Which means our church going attendance in Covington usually looks like this: present for 2 Sundays, absent for one, present for one, absent for 2, present for 2, absent for one. Oh dear. I can't even count the number of times we've used that as our excuse. It's just so hard to feel at home when we aren't there for several Sundays in a row. We can't try Sunday School because we'll be missing the next 2 Sundays. We can't really get involved because we won't be in town enough. If we can't get involved, we won't get to know people. Blah, blah, blah. Even I'm tired of listening to us.... okay, mainly me.

Lately we've both felt convicted about our lack of church attendance here. As the Bible says "Let us not give up meeting together... " Hebrews 10:25. And we want more than anything for our children to come to know and trust our Savior and learn as much about Him as possible. We read Bible stories at home and pray together and work on memorizing verses and talk about what's pleasing to God and how much He loves us, but the bottom line is that we need to be in church every Sunday. Period. We need to be with other believers. We need to sing His praises. We need to be taught.

(Garrison and Austin both went to church in Barnesville at a month old, but here, we hold out almost 6 months. Cause, you know, it's just not the same...

It's so easy to hand my babies over to our friends at church in Barnesville... friends who know us and love us and love our babies. Plus if anyone needs anything, my mom and mother-in-law are steps away. AnAn's in the building somewhere too. And our dads. Plus my grandparents if for some reason no one else can be tracked down. And I'm not even factoring in the pager we carry into the service with us.

Handing our babies over to strangers on the other hand, not so easy. Even though the strangers are kind and loving, it's different when we don't know them personally and don't really know how our babies are spending the hour. With Austin, we were hestiant at first because he was just too little and life was still upside down. Then it was because church attendance wouldn't work out with his feedings. Then he was still too little. There was always an excuse.)

Having said all that, we've finally reached a decision that will require prayer and accountability and dedication and consistency... that we'll attend church every Sunday, whether we're here or in Barnesville. We're not going to worry about Sunday School just yet or trying to get involved, we're just going to take one step at a time and first make it a habit to be in church every Sunday. Whether we're amongst strangers or friends and family. Brother Garth has said more than once that church attendance won't be more than a habit to you until you first make it a habit. That's what we've got to establish first, a church-going habit. Then we'll think and pray about the other stuff.
Last Sunday was our first Sunday to attend church here since having Austin. And it was a total bust. Ha! Long story short, the service we'd been attending months ago (before Austin was born) changed times. Sooo after dropping off the kiddos, we walked into a dark and empty room, totally confused and wondering where everyone was. It was frustrating, discouraging, embarrassing, and funny all at the same time. Oh well. Now we know and we'll adjust and figure out what to do for next week. The boys had a good experience so we were grateful for that.
Pray for us as we strive to stick with this commitment. No more excuses! Not even the fact that the new time isn't as convenient for us. Gracious.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Train Ride for Garrison

This year as part of Garrison's birthday, we decided to take him on a special train ride through Atlanta, just the 3 of us. He is in love with trains and since he racked up on toys at Christmas, we gave him a few small things for his birthday but planned a fun "train trip" as his big gift.

My parents came over yesterday to keep Austin while the 3 of us headed over to the closest Marta station to our house for a day of train riding, lunch at The Varsity, more train riding, and an afternoon treat of ice cream. The little man enjoyed every minute, it was fun, quality one-on-one time with our first born, and it didn't break the budget. Perfect.

He was so excited when we arrived at the "station" and couldn't wait to ride the train. He took everything in and starting talking and asking questions as soon as we sat down.
When we going to go? Is the train takin us to eat lunch? Is some more people comin? I'm ready to go. WE ARE GOING! (He has 2 volumes: loud and louder... and everyone on board knew it.) We are goin fast! I can see some trees. Why it dark? We are goin in a tunnel? Why dey have lights on da tunnel? I see anutter train! Are we goin to ride dat train? We are up high! I like dis train. When it time for us to ride anutter train?
I wouldn't say he talked non-stop the whole time. There were times he was quietly gazing out the window really checking things out, enjoying the view, and soaking up this brand new experience... but he did talk a lot. Hopefully he didn't annoy the other passengers too much. Most of them had in i-pods I think, so they were spared the play by play of everything my baby saw out the window.

When we reached our stop to get off and change trains, we grabbed the little man, went down some stairs, and jumped on the North/South just before the doors closed. It was perfect timing and pure excitement for Garrison. He loved changing trains and experiencing the busy station... just like in his library book about a passenger train that makes stops at a busy station and travels through tunnels and on bridges.
After we arrived at our next stop and got off the train, we chose the wrong exit and were almost trapped inside the station. Haha. Thanks to a nice family, we were able to use their card to get out the exit closest to The Varsity.
The Varsity was delicious and packed out. We were thankful we found a seat! That place is hoppin! Garrison ate every bite of his grilled cheese and wore his hat proudly.

After lunch it was back to the "station" to get on a train, ride awhile, get off and onto another train, and ride back to our car. This time around, the little man was a pro. He knew what to do, what to expect, where he wanted to sit, and what he wanted to look for out the window. And this is what he looked like almost the whole way back...
Then, once we got off the train he declared we couldn't leave until the train did. Sooo, we hung around and waited... and waited a little longer, until the train left and we said our official goodbye.
Then we got a couple more pictures before getting in the car and making one final stop for ice cream.

The day was a lot of fun, (for Garrison and us!), and something we're looking forward to doing every year, with each of our babies. It won't always be a train ride, but something special for us to do one-on-one with all our kiddos around their birthday. And... it will give the grandparents some one-on-one and two-on-two time as well. =)
He finally fell asleep about 20 minutes from arriving home. Then he got to have some time with Granna and Papa and AnAn last night. Boy was he excited! He even thanked God for a fun traide ride and that Granna and Papa stayed with Austin, last night before we ate supper. Melt my heart. He was worn out big time today. He took an almost 3 hour nap this afternoon. Yep, definitely a successful train trip and fun weekend. Thanks so much to Granna and Papa for hanging out with baby boy all day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter Break Fun

We've had a good week of Winter Break fun around here. It's reminded me a lot of last summer (except last summer I was carrying baby boy in my belly instead of his big heavy carseat) when I would try to come up with free or really inexpensive outings for us every week. Only this time we were actually able to go outside and play without sweating up a storm and being miserable. The weather has been really nice and I'm pretty sure Garrison has enjoyed himself... although he does keep mentioning Chuck E. Cheese. The last time we tried that was months ago and we were in there about 5 minutes. He wasn't impressed. He stayed glued to me while he watched a daycare group run around and ride the rides. I think a commercial he saw sparked his interest again. Maybe we'll try it out soon.

The week started great because daddy was home with us. Tuesday was super crazy, but we still managed to have a great time at the library. Garrison was very well behaved and Austin strolled around and took everything in.

Tuesday afternoon we went outside after naptime and Garrison had a ball. He started off eating his snack on the back patio, then played on his slide for a few minutes, then requested his car and sunglasses. He was one cool dude. He even slid them up on top of his head when he got in the shade. Austin hung out in the stroller and watched big brother.

Wednesday we had a few things to pick up at Target. The boys filled up the entire buggy. There was about 3 inches of space for Target items I think.

That afternoon we were back outside again. It was really sunny and bright when we first went out... and I was feeling sorry for Austin just sitting in the stroller doing nothing while Garrison got to have all the fun... so I put one of Garrison's old swimming, waterproof hats on Austin to shield his eyes from the sun so he could walk around with us and sit in my lap and watch Garrison and even sit in the big boy car with his big brother. They are going to be too cute riding around together once Austin gets bigger.

Yesterday we went to one of Garrison's favorite places ever~ Chick-Fil-A. In an effort to limit the stuff I needed to take in to one 3 year old, one 5 month old in a carseat, and one diaper bag... I forgot my camera in the car. So I made a couple pictures once we were back in the car and Garrison was downing some ice cold water from playing hard and Austin was just hanging out again.
I promise you'll get to do fun stuff too one day, buddy. Your life won't always be confined to a carseat when we're away from home!
Last night while Terrell grilled hamburgers, father and son played baseball together. Garrison loves hitting the ball off a tee, but he also likes daddy pitching the ball to him and him pitching the ball to daddy. What will I do with myself when both boys are outside playing with daddy?

Today we're just hanging out at home, like we do most Fridays. It feels nice being inside without anywhere to go on this messy day. Austin is napping and Garrison just finished an episode of Mickey Mouse. Now he's ready to grab a sponge and help mama clean the bathrooms. Hope I'm training him well... it's his job to take over one day. (I hate cleaning bathrooms! I think I'll tell Terrell I'm going to make that the official responsibility of the boys in the house. They can divide it up however they want as long as it gets done. What a great idea!)
Breaking News: Austin Selph finally took 2 ounces from a bottle yesterday after missing one feeding and mama trying off and on for an hour the second feeding. Today, we try again. Fingers crossed he's more cooperative and willing this time around.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One of Those Days...

The day didn't start off as one of those days... but it quickly became one. It was more so the morning, although lunch was a tad crazy as all meal times are, and now I hear by littlest man awake from his nap already. Gracious. What is going on around here?

The day started like normal. I hit the snooze button an extra time and stumbled out of bed at 6:20. I'm supposed to get up at 6:00 or 6:10, but somehow I'm so out of it and tired that that never happens. Anyway, Mr. Austin was awake when I got out of the shower. That's becoming kind of a regular thing. I was able to finish getting ready before feeding him, which was nice, and then we heard Garrison over the monitor and the day officially began.

So far so good. Nothing too crazy or exhausting or patience-trying.... so far.

Breakfast was when everything got messy. Literally. But first, I had to change Austin's clothes (he just sleeps in a onesie and a sleep sack so he needed be changed into "real" clothes for the day) plus take Garrison to the potty and get him dressed (it's easier to get him dressed first thing instead of fighting the battle later when it's interrupting whatever he's doing).

Finally I got started on breakfast with my assembly line going and trying to keep us moving quickly because a man was coming to measure our fireplace and the stone around it (because we're finally getting around to having it replaced... a gift my in-laws generously gave us a few anniversaries ago).

Here comes the messy part.

We managed to eat breakfast while listening to Bailey tear down the door because she had to go out. In the meantime, Austin threw up half of his breakfast all over the table. Got him cleaned up the best I could without changing his clothes because Garrison and I were still eating. Put our frozen solid, hard-as-a-rock roast (hate when we forget to thaw out the meat), red potatoes, and carrots in the crock pot so we can eat tonight... hope it turns out okay. Got Garrison cleaned up and out of the high chair. Left our breakfast mess on the table. Took Bailey out. She changed her mind and decided she didn't have to "go". Took Austin back to his room to change him out of yucky throw up clothes. Changed a big time poopy diaper, got him in clean clothes and ready for his nap. As soon as I picked him up, he spit up all over the carpet. (That's when I wanted to cry and have myself a pity party in the floor with the spit up.) Changed him again. Cleaned the carpet. Started a load of the boys' clothes since they were piling up so quickly. Finally got Austin down for his nap. (Garrison was a good helper.) Took Bailey out again. Cleaned up our breakfast mess. Fed Bailey (almost forgot). Straightened up a little because the fireplace man would show up anytime. Talked to Terrell- fireplace man was going to be late. Played with Garrison. Heard Austin over the monitor. Seriously? Decided we had time to go to the library before he would need to eat again. (It's Garrison's Winter Break from school so I wanted to plan a few special outings for him. I don't think we've been to the library in 2012 so it was time.) I was in such a rush to get out the door so we wouldn't have to rush so much to get back for Austin to eat that I forgot to put a jacket on Garrison... or myself. Thankfully I remembered a blanket for Austin. I didn't completely freeze while I got out the stroller and everything we would need for our 40 minute library visit.

On a positive note, our visit at the library went great. The fireplace man came while Terrell was home for an early lunch. Austin didn't throw up his lunch. Garrison went down easily for his nap. I was able to do some Premier stuff.

Things were actually going well and looking up until hearing Austin over the monitor. Another poopy diaper. That's what woke him up. Sigh.

He's now happily playing on the floor while I type... so not all bad I guess. Time to join him on the floor for some "engaging" play time and cross my fingers that the craziness of the first half of the day doesn't revisit us this afternoon. Sigh. Again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Blessings

*Friday night I had a date with my 3 favorite guys at Long Horn. We had such a good time. And what could be better than enjoying a delicious meal out with the most handsome boys ever?! Garrison and Austin were on their best behavior (except for Garrison having a few minor booster seat issues) and our meal was free. We used the "date night" money my parents spoiled us with in our Valentine's card. It was an awesome way to start our weekend.
*Saturday afternoon while the boys were napping, Terrell and I watched Breaking Dawn. The first movie we'd watched in a long, long time. And the littlest man only joined us for the very end when he woke up hungry.
*Thanks to my wonderful husband, I got to enjoy a yummy m&m blizzard (light on the m&m's just like I love) Saturday night while watching the newest episode of Blue Bloods.
*I went to bed early every. single. night. this weekend. The last time that happened?? Probably September 1st... the day before going into the hospital to give birth to my precious Austin. The secret to my early bed-going~ Austin no longer requires a 10:00ish feeding each night in his sleep. We discovered this when we realized he would refuse to take a bottle, therefore missing a feeding... but still sleep all night if I fed him at 10:00/10:15. Sooo we've been done with that late night "dream feed" for 3 nights. I'm so proud of Austin for reaching this milestone that gives his mama a little extra sleep if I want it.
*We got to go to church in Barnesville after deciding to make a last minute day trip to the hometown.
*We enjoyed a Sunday afternoon nap while the boys napped. Plus came home with more chocolate Little Debbies... a blessing and a curse I'm afraid.
*I had the pleasure of listening to Terrell and Garrison singing Jesus Loves Me over the monitor last night. Made my heart happy.
*Then, I heard Garrison singing The Little Drummer Boy this morning over the monitor after he woke up. He got into the book (which is just the words to the song) over Christmas and it's slowly become one of his favs. He sounded adorable.
*And my favorite weekend blessing~ it's still the weekend for us! Terrell has the day off for President's Day.
So grateful for all these blessings!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feeding Time

Feeding time at our house just got a whole lot busier... and messier. The littlest man is now eating 3 meals a day and loving himself some baby food. I can hardly keep up with the meal preparations going on around here! Multi-tasking at it's finest occurs as I prepare our breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When Garrison was a baby, he always ate when we ate. It worked out great because we were all on the same "meal schedule" plus he got used to sitting in the high chair and being patient while we ate and fed him, as opposed to us feeding him all at once without him ever having to wait for his next spoonful. Garrison and I ate breakfast and lunch together and we all ate supper together when Terrell got home.

With Austin things are a bit more challenging. First of all I'm already preparing meals for myself and Garrison, so adding in the baby food factor means I'm working double at meal times.... which is fine, just kind of busy. Then there's the fact that my 3 year old still uses the high chair. He's just a messy eater and we're dreading him sitting in a regular chair at our dining room table. We don't have a kitchen table in our kitchen because there isn't a huge space for one... although I'm voting we get one soon! Sooo, Austin is sitting in the bumbo on the table while Garrison is in the high chair. Which would be fine except I can't leave him sitting there unattended while I prepare our food, so he sits in the bouncy as I prepare, and moves into the bumbo to eat.

Once we finally sit down to eat, I'm torn between keeping Garrison's plate full (he's always requesting more of something) and feeding Austin his spoonfuls of pears and green beans, and feeding myself. I like to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. I've never been one who does well with skipping meals.

We also ran into some diaper issues with Austin when he first started on solid food if he ate supper too late, so I'm trying to feed him while I cook. Which I'm really torn about. I want him to eat with the family, but I also want him to go to sleep at night without waking up from a big ole poo poo diaper. We may need to start pushing back his supper little by little to see how it goes.

For now, the craziness and adventure that is feeding time will continue and I will most certainly become a master of assembly line meal preparations and the use of 3 hands while we eat.

But as long as everyone's full and happy, so am I. (Can't even imagine how fun and crazy it'll be adding another mouth to feed one day!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's at our House

Valentine's Day isn't a huge deal around here, but we always try to make it more special than a regular day. This year it was even less of a big deal due to the craziness of our household on any given week night. Things are just busy and wild during the week it seems. I'm cooking supper while entertaining and keeping up with the boys so it's almost ready by the time Terrell gets home so we can eat at a decent time so he can have some quality time with them afterwards and so we can get started on baths and bedtime on time so hopefully they'll both be asleep by 8:15ish. Phew! Sorry about the run-on sentence.

Anyway, this year we decided (because we sort of forgot about Valentine's Day when planning our weekly menu) that I would make spaghetti as planned, but that we would eat by candle light. Garrison's new thing is turning off the lights and using his flashlight, so the idea was special to all of us. We also decided that Terrell would pick up dessert for us on his way home from work and that we wouldn't exchange gifts with each other, just do a little something for Garrison. Austin was sort of left out this year. He got a card from us. Poor baby.

On Monday during Austin's morning nap, Garrison and I did a few Valentine's crafts. Nothing big, just coloring and gluing hearts and making a card for daddy. We pointed out/read all the letters in "Happy Valentine's Day", discussed which hearts were big and which ones were small, counted the hearts, and just enjoyed the use of a glue stick. (I could so come up with some lesson plans for the little man every non-school day. Maybe I'll get on that soon.)

Then Monday night I made Garrison's Valentines for school. I found the idea online (because I'm not creative like that all by myself) and thought they turned out cute. I already had red ribbon and white cardstock and red markers so it was inexpensive too. =)

On Valentine's Day I was kind of blah when Terrell got home. I was cooking spaghetti and trying to keep Garrison from running wild (I think he had too many chocolate Valentines) and trying to feed Austin and cleaning spit up off my pants for the 3rd time, etc. You know, just regular day stuff. Which is why I was feeling blah I think.

But then my Valentine came home and helped out with the craziness, then flowers were delivered- a dozen pink, white, and orange roses (he wasn't supposed to get me anything), then we lit our candles and enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner before enjoying a super yummy brownie-ice cream combo dessert. We asked Garrison what he thought about the candles and he summed it up by saying, I jus love dem. Dey are pretty. I can't wait to blow dem out!! After that, I told myself to really take in the moment because one day years from now we'd look back and remember eating spaghetti by candle light on Valentine's Day when the kids were little.

After supper we let Garrison and Austin open up all the cards that came in the mail for them, plus the cards from us. A couple of the cards contained some money for their banks... and Garrison fell even more in love with Valentine's Day.

Then Garrison and Austin gave us Valentines from them. Garrison gave daddy his hand-made card, which read: Happy Valentine's Day, I love you! We take out the trash together. Thank you for putting up the Christmas stuff. Love, Garrison and Austin too. (I had to prompt him just a little with, "what do you love about daddy? do you want to thank him for something?" and that's what he came up with. It was sweet. But for the record, we've had our Christmas stuff put up since the week of New Year's.)

Then I got not only a sweet card from my babies, but I also got the movie Breaking Dawn. Yay!!! Terrell really surprised me by going above and beyond what I expected and what we discussed and agreed to. I was thrilled. (But I also felt bad because I didn't do anything for him!) All in all, our Valentine's was fun and special. And Austin was so excited about the holiday that he was wide awake from 8:30 to 9:45. Not super fussy, just wide awake and wanting to be held. Yes, it was definitely a Valentine's Day to remember.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mr. Productive

That was my husband this weekend. Mr. Productive. (Yay!!) The weekends we don't have much planned and just hang out around the house, Terrell Selph gets motivated. He starts getting things done and crossing stuff off our to-do list. He cleans and scrubs, washes and dries, straightens and folds. Oh what a blessing! My love language was spoken this weekend in the form of acts of service... although I'm pretty sure I like all the love languages.

For the most part, I would consider our "roles" in the home as pretty traditional. I'm a stay-at-home mama taking care of the kiddos while he heads out to work hard everyday and brings home the bacon. (Haha. I'm not sure if I've ever used that pharse before.) I cook supper every night, except on the weekends when I take a break, and keep the house decent... most of the time. He takes care of the yard and outside stuff and little home maintenance issues. And we share responsibilities with the kids at night. We both take on baths, bedtime, etc.

Then there are areas where we're not as traditional. The areas my husband excel in that make my "job" at home during the week much, much easier.

He excels at getting the laundry done. As soon as he hears the dryer stop, he's in there moving clothes from the washing machine and folding/hanging up clothes from the dryer getting ready to start another load. I rarely do more than 1 or 2 loads in one day. I just get busy and forget or there literally isn't time between tending to my babies.

He excels at cleaning the kitchen. This weekend he took everything off the kitchen counters and scrubbed them down. They were sparkly and shiny when he finished. Confession: I never take things off the counter to clean, I clean around the stuff on the counters. During the week I do good to clean off the crumbs from lunch everyday. Gotta work on that.

He excels at de-cluttering. He is great about finding a place and "home" for all our stuff. (Except when he throws something away I really didn't want him to.)

I appreciated his productivity tons this weekend, but even more this morning when I woke up to start my Monday in a clean house. I don't think it's as clean now as he left it, but it still beats starting the day in a messy house. It's really not that messy right now, which is the beauty of getting lots of cleaning done during the weekend. So I had to brag on him. And I'll read this the next time I get frustrated with him for not waking up on time to help with the boys before work. Ha! I love you and appreciate you Terrell!!

And since I wasn't able to photograph any of the productivity that took place this weekend, I captured a few pictures of my boys before baths and bedtime last night. They have a great example in their daddy and their future wives will appreciate them sooo much one day!

Watching his mobile

Brotherly love

Finally got them to look at me!

Friday, February 10, 2012

On My Mind... February Addition

*Austin was just diagnosed with a mild case of RSV. Poor baby. He's congested and coughing and having a rough time of it. Which means we're regressing in a few areas. Uh oh. But since he's sick, regress we will. I'm basically having to rock him to sleep, hold him often, and feed him if he wakes up during the night, which has only happened twice so far. That reminds me...

*Houston, we have a problem. Austin Selph has decided that he will not take a bottle. Period. Formula, breast milk, Avent, Dr. Brown, Playtex, doesn't matter. Give him mama, or give him nothing. Gracious. I have a plan to get this shocking problem (we had no idea it was an issue until last Friday) under control, however, it has to wait until he's all better. I won't attempt anything new while he's sick... until next week when I have another show and baby boy will have to take a bottle or go without. So stressful. Especially for daddy who's left to comfort and console when the bottle is refused again and again and again.

*Based on Austin's diagnosis, we're thinking Garrison may have had the same thing and passed it along to baby brother. He's on the mend and was able to go to school this week so we're super thankful for that. However, we now have an early riser on our hands. Since getting sick, Garrison's been waking up around 7:15 or 7:30 every morning. It's been a bit of an adjustment for us since he's waking 30-45 minutes earlier than we're used to. Hmmm. Not sure what to make of it or whether it will last or not.

*Speaking of Garrison, his new favorite word is "well". He says it "waayllle" with a big time southern drawl. Waayllle, I want to haf donuts for snack mama. Waayllle, mama, is it cold outside? I hear Ausin. Waaylle. Is Ausin still sick? Waayllle, I think he feel a little bit better. He says it all the time. It makes it's way into almost every sentence. It's crazy. I have no idea how or why the habit started and definitely don't know where the major southern drawl came from. We're not that country when we talk.

*I've been eating at least 1 piece of Garrison's birthday cake everyday since his party. What. is. wrong. with. me?? (By the way, we shared leftovers with family so we don't have that much left in our house, thank goodness!) It's like I'm craving it. And I'm just hungry in general. A lot. Maybe it's because I'm nursing and busy with the boys? Who knows.

*Terrell and I are thinking about starting some "at home" fitness. (I am in serious need of burning off the birthday cake calories.) Don't know when since we have about 10 minutes of spare time it seems, but I'm really liking the idea! It's basically a routine of push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, squats, and high knees that you repeat 3-5 times for max results. The good ole back-to-basics stuff you learn in PE in elementary school. Sounds good to me. Except that the routine starts with 30 jumping jacks. Riiight... I may have to modify.

*I'm actually happy about the fact that winter has finally arrived. I know most people are disappointed, but I wasn't looking forward to an early spring. Spring is not nice to me. Pollen is a bad word. Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, staying indoors, popping the Zyrtec. It can be pretty miserable. It seems like all I do during the spring is countdown to summer, and I couldn't very well start the countdown in February. Plus, I love one good snowfall every year. Not ice and power outages, just big beautiful snowflakes that make everything white and cancel school for the day.

*All done now. Looking forward to a weekend of staying home, being productive around the house, trying to make time for my hubby, catching up on our favorite shows, helping my baby get better, and eating some Potato Soup that smells delicious in the crock pot as I type. Yum-O.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The "B" Word...

... Bribery that is. Before I make a confession, in my defense, I don't use bribery constantly, regularly, or even daily. And it's not always premeditated. Sometimes I'm unaware I'm using it until it's too late. I'm really, really concerned about getting my sweet 3 year old to obey me because it's the right thing to do. That's a biggie to me. He's learning right from wrong (and all about consequences), and he needs to obey because it's right and good and pleasing to his parents and to Jesus.

I'm always analyzing my parenting and questioning myself and praying for wisdom on how to handle the issues that arise on a regular basis. And I'm always hoping and praying that I'm doing it right and he won't be scarred because of my mistakes or impatience or lack of discipline/correction or too much discipline/correction.

Believe me, I do not like bribery, because when used, it gets me questioning or analyzing or stressing all the more.

However, I have been known to use it. And there are actually times when the "B" word is totally premeditated, usually in the span of 3 seconds, and I do it anyway. Oh my. It's called desperation. I use it when I'm desperate. If Austin is screaming crying and needs my immediate attention and Garrison isn't listening to me and doing what I've asked, I'm desperate. If supper could burn if Garrison doesn't hurry up and obey me, I'm desperate. If we're going to be late to school or an appointment because Garrison is refusing to listen, I'm desperate. If I'm about to completely lose my patience and potentially mishandle things in a bad way, I'm desperate. Goodness, that sounds like I might be desperate a lot.

I guess it just bothers me to have to use what I feel like is bribery. It makes me nervous that my child will grow up expecting something good, like a tangible reward, for doing the right thing, when in reality the "reward" of doing the right thing is a clear conscience and peace of mind and knowing God is pleased with you... all things he can't really understand or grasp at this age. Unless he can? All this questioning is going to make me crazy!

Ready for the main confession of this post? It took me forever to get here, but yesterday bribery (really don't like that word cause it just sounds guilty) was used... and was premeditated for 1.5 seconds. Garrison was really tired when I picked him up from school. He was so tired, he was melting. That's what I like to call the downward spiral of my child's ability to reason, listen, or hold himself together without falling apart. I could sense he was in need of a good nap big time. But I also knew we needed to meet my sister in Jackson, 30 minutes away, later that afternoon. In other words, if I didn't get the naptime show on the road, I would be forced to wake him up early, sacrificing any chance of a good nap and happy little man, so we could go meet AnAn... and have ice cream at Brusters as a perk.

In the midst of the melting that was occurring, desperate for naptime to get started and my little man to be rescued from his potentially terrible afternoon, I blurted out he needed to get himself together and get ready for his nap so wecangohaveicecreamwithAnAnlater. Oops. That caught his attention quick, and after avoiding another couple mini meltdowns, naptime was under way and my little man was sleeping soundly dreaming of ice cream with AnAn.

This is his "ummmmm" face

Garrison loved his ice cream, loved having an afternoon visit with AnAn, and loved being well rested. Okay, maybe that last part should say, and mama loved him being well rested. He loved it too, he just didn't know it. And I didn't beat myself up over the use of bribery this time. It was for the greater good after all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Garrison's 3rd Birthday

This weekend we had Garrison's 3rd birthday party at my parents' house. (HUGE thanks to Granna and Papa!!) Everything went really well, despite one mid-party meltdown, and fun was had by all... I hope! I am definitely, for sure, positive that fun was had by the birthday boy, sooo we're gonna call it a success.

My friend Megan designed his super-cute invitations. I love having a personal, customized invitation designed by someone who cares about us and her "product".

The pictures below are strictly for photo album purposes so I always have them and will always remember how we celebrated. (Although I'm not super impressed with how they turned out... I think the bright sunny day did weird things to my camera and it's flash. I am in desperate need of some photography tips. Or a big fancy camera that automatically makes wonderful, perfectly lit photos. I'm liking the new camera idea best. Until then, I think I need some advice Megan!) So anyway, the pics below might not mean much to anyone else, besides family of course.

I started with the invitation and decor of the party, then the party itself.

The blue jeep from Granna and Papa turned out to be the life of the party after we ate and had cake and ice cream. Garrison and Allison rode and rode all over the front yard. The passenger always pressed the pedal and the driver took the wheel. They chased around Garrison's older cousins and had a ball. Austin and Shannon enjoyed themselves too.

Since Garrison's birthday is only 6 weeks after Christmas, we got creative with the birthday gifts this year. His grandparents gave him gifts that will stay at their houses, his great-grandparents gave him money for his bank, other family members gave him movies, books, or small toys, and mama and daddy are giving him (in 2 weeks) a special day with just the 3 of us that includes a "train trip" and lunch at the Varsity. =)

I can't say THANK YOU enough to my parents who worked so hard to host the party. I had a Premier show Friday night, so my mom was left with the party set-up without me. She also cooked the chili while Papa grilled hot dogs. They contributed to the food and party favors and balloons, plus ended up serving the cake and ice cream. (Big thanks to Pops and Nana for picking up the cake and delivering it safely to the party location!) I promised my parents they wouldn't have to host and serve cake and ice cream at all of my children's birthday parties. Ha! Of course they enjoyed it all, but I know it was hard work... and very much appreciated. I was worn out afterwards and it wasn't even at my house!

Sunday after church we got some pictures of Garrison and Austin with Granna and Papa. Then, we had lunch with the Selph side of the family to celebrate Nana's birthday. It was a busy, fun weekend full of birthday joy! Thanks so much to our families for celebrating with us (especially Granna and Papa for all your help and hard work and Nana for sharing the birthday spotlight with Garrison)!