Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let the Introduction Begin....

Yesterday afternoon before we put on our swim suits and got ready to head outside and play in the sprinkler, something BIG happened. Amazing, actually. Wonderful definitely!

My baby went to the potty. My almost 21 month old sat on the potty and went, twice! Like a big boy! For the first time ever!!!! We clapped, cheered, celebrated, and gave hugs and kisses. Garrison and I were SO proud. =)

Then he went again before he got in the bathtub last night. Then again once he was in the bathtub. Ha! We're just taking baby steps here.

I've known for quite some time he might be ready. First we had a couple of times when he told me he went poo poo. He would say poo poo or diaper and start pulling on his diaper or his pants to let me know he was ready to be changed and feel clean again. Then we had an off and on stretch when he'd be dry first thing in the morning. It was sort of shocking (and didn't last long, but still a sign of being ready). Lately he will either tell me right before he has to go (#2) or right after. Soooo, the readiness signs have been there we just never acted on them because we were still in school and because when I tried sitting him on his little potty seat (the same one Garrison used that sits up on the big potty) he would cling to me like he might fall in or just start asking (or trying on his own!) to get down. Therefore we suspended any pushing, pressuring, or potty training temporarily.

Now, I have always planned to potty train Austin the same way we did Garrison. We had very good success with Garrison so why not try it again? Which means the time was coming soon no matter what. It was around 20 months when we introduced Garrison to the potty and started letting him go every night before bath time and just getting him used to the idea. I have no desire to potty train for a year or something crazy, so after that we just tried to make sure he was good and ready before doing the hard core training. And it worked! He was completely trained, night time and everything, shortly after turning 2.

It may work that way for Austin, it may not. But we're gonna try it out and see how things go. And like I said, we will be looking for signs he's ready and sort of following his lead. If he's not ready, we'll suspend training temporarily just like we did with Garrison. (And since I'm talking about it so much, here's Garrison's potty training "story".)

For my own memory and documentation purposes, here's a play-by-play of how things went down yesterday afternoon...

Right after they finished up their snack time I told them to start cleaning up because we were going to put on bathing suits and go outside to play in the sprinkler. The best way to play outside when it's this hot is in water! All of a sudden Austin walked up to me and started saying, diapah, diapah, and had a look like he had to GO. So I checked his diaper which was all clean and decided to go sit him on the potty to see if anything would happen.

He sat there and did great. He didn't try to get down. He didn't hang onto me. He just sat there and pointed out all the little Sesame Street characters on his potty seat. But nothing happend. Garrison was hanging out in the bathroom with us really wanting to witness this big milestone. He was super curious. And I think the audience and pressure were distracting for Austin. Finally I had to send Garrison away with the promise that I'd definitely call for him if Austin started to "go", but since he never did we decided to try again later.

Later came within about 5 minutes. I went to change while the boys were playing together and I heard Garrison say You haf a go potty Austin?? quite loudly. I ran to the living room and thought I was too late based on the look on his face but grabbed him up and took him to the potty anyway.... and he went!! Yaaaaay!! We were so thrilled and proud! We didn't put him on the potty again until before bathtime and I already explained how that went. =)

Soooo, let the introduction to potty training begin. No timers yet, no public bathrooms yet, no stickers or m&m's yet... just trying to find a routine of him actually going when we sit him on the potty at home at set times. Once we've established that, we'll move forward and determine if he's ready.

I would LOVE for him to be potty trained for school but that may be a little too high of a goal. We'll see. Hopefully school will help/encourage the process instead of hurting it. I guess that's my only fear.

For now we're celebrating. Baby boy is growing up and doing great with the introduction!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a fun long weekend and enjoyed spending lots of time with family. The freedoms we enjoy in America are priceless and most definitely taken for granted (I know I'm guilty) but this weekend I was reminded that freedom isn't free and so thankful for those who have sacrificed.  
We started the weekend on Friday with a trip to Barnesville to get away from our house. We had our hardwood floors resurfaced Friday (not re-done or refinished, cause that would've cost thousands of dollars, but just resurfaced) so we had to be away for a minimum of 5 hours to let them dry. We had lunch and dinner in the hometown with haircuts and naps in-between. Huge thanks to AnAn for meeting us there every single time so I have 2 sets of eyes on these 2. Another huge thanks to Granna and Papa for letting Bailey spend the night (she had to be off the floors for 24 hours). They are wonderful grandparents to our first baby. =)
Saturday we made the trip back to Barnesville for some Memorial Day weekend fun. We had the best day. Sort of lazy, definitely laid back, and lots of fun. While Austin napped, Garrison helped Granna slice watermelon and bake cookies. 

He also helped the guys work on Papa's car and was quite fascinated with the whole process. He even used some tools on it himself.
After Austin woke up we got ready to take a walk and ride bikes. But not before first taking a picture with Papa's car. My parents brought them back airbrushed shirts from the Rod Run in Pigeon Forge that said "Papa's 55". They were so cute.
Saturday night Granna and Papa grilled steaks for us and we had ourselves a delicious feast. We had a really fun day.

Sunday morning we went to church...This was the closest thing to patriotic I could come up with. I know I'm biased but I thought they were pretty adorable. =)
After church we had lunch with Terrell's parents and spent the afternoon with them. We were fed good this weekend! Garrison got to play in the sand while Austin napped and then both boys enjoyed playing soccer outside. Austin loves to kick and play soccer so we're wondering if soccer might be his thing. Too bad I didn't think to get a picture.
Yesterday morning we had plans to go swimming early and then get back home for lunch and naps (and Terrell's parents to come over). The weather did not cooperate. It has been SO cool in the mornings... which I'm thankful for... except on mornings like yesterday.

Finally after going crazy in the house because we were waiting for it to warm up we decided to just head on over to the pool. The water was FREEZING, but we still swam. Garrison was a little fish. Yay! Maybe that's a good sign for upcoming swimming lessons.
Austin was not impressed. We tried putting him in his float a few times and he was NOT having it. Finally he sat on the steps and splashed with the hands and feet. Hopefully he just needs some time to get used to the water and then he'll love it. We think part of the problem was that the water was SO cold it was shocking to him... and not fun. Ha!
Terrell's parents came over during naptime yesterday so Terrell's dad could install a new light fixture in our dining room (we are trying to purge our house of all the gold!) and a ceiling fan in Austin's room. I didn't get a picture of the ceiling fan before Austin went to bed but we love them both! And are so thankful for the multi-talented Pops being willing to spend his holiday working at our house!
We had a fun afternoon together and got some delicious take-out for supper. What a great long weekend. Welcome Summer!!

Friday, May 24, 2013


I have really gotten into taking a lot of pictures on my phone. A lot. I know people have been doing it for years but I haven't had my iphone for that long and have just recently started snapping pics of everything. It's such a great way to document and remember. Even if it does start to drive Terrell crazy. =) So here's all the highlights from our week in pictures.
We took another family walk (one of my favorite things to do) and this was the view in front of me... My hubby, my big boy, and Bailey...
And this was the view behind me... my happy littlest man (who is quickly learning what to do when mama gets ready to take a picture)
We went out for ice cream. First of the summer! Yum-O!!
My baby is growing up. He's now forward facing in his carseat. I think now that he's used to it he's liking having the new view and being just like Garrison.
First craft of the summer!

I put on this shirt one more time for my baby's last game of the season. He did so good going 2 for 2 with one of those hits being the best of the game! Our whole team got better and better as the season went on. And I think I became a better baseball mom as the season went on too. Every Spring should be super busy and super fun.
We made our first trip of summer to the library. We came home with 8 books (1 not pictured because it was temporarily MIA). Garrison is especially loving all the new books. Austin still sort of has his favorites in his own personal collection.
Wednesday afternoon I was able to take Bailey for a walk while Terrell played outside with the boys. (Don't tell them they missed out.) It was sort of nice to take her by myself. And girlfriend definitely got a workout. Mission accomplished.
These 2 got creative with their necklaces and trains yesterday morning. They pulled them around a ton. Love my boys playing together! 
We've got a fun Memorial Day Weekend planned that kicks off today. And we're all excited to have an extra day with daddy. Happy Friday before a long weekend!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Brotherly Love

The last time I wrote a post like this I had an adorable almost 3 year old and a sweet little 4 month old who loved each other SO much they couldn't get enough of each other. They were smitten for sure. It was so precious to watch day after day.
Then, we had a stretch of tough love. We knew they still loved each other but it wasn't always pretty. Austin became mobile. He got into Garrison's toys and prized possessions. Garrison got a little (or a lot) rough with Austin. Austin learned to fight back. There were some issues with sharing. And we were left wondering what happened to that sweet big brother and how in the world our boys were ever going to play together and get along. It was stressful and troubling. I didn't like that stretch very much.
But then, a couple of months ago, my boys reached a turning point in their relationship. They truly became friends. Best buds. Awesome playmates. PTL! Ever since that point, things have been different around here and ever since things have changed I've been meaning to write this post. 

I remember the night they first ran around chasing each other and laughing and squealing and having the best time ever together. It was music to my ears and such a blessing and answered prayer. I loved it and was sooo thankful for it.

Then, slowly but surely, they started playing together more and more. Austin got a little older and could do a little more. Garrison got a little older and a little more patient. They learned how to play with their toys together, do puzzles together, read together, even share and take turns together. It felt like a miracle!

This past month they have been SO close. They ask for each other first thing in the morning and first thing after naptime. They love playing together and can entertain each other for a looong time. They miss each other when they're apart and don't like being separated.

The night Terrell and Garrison went out to eat without us because Austin was recovering from the stomach bug, Austin went over to our back door twice and started asking for and eventually crying for brother. It was so sweet. And broke my heart a little too. Garrison misses Austin when he sleeps late or is napping or sick. They just love being together.

Which is part of the reason I don't like them separated. I know eventually they'll become more independent, but while they're still this little I'd rather them be together. (I really like all 4 of us together the best, but if they are away from us I want them together.)

Every night before bedtime Austin gives Garrison a big ole hug and Garrison grabs Austin's face and gives him a big ole kiss. It is possibly the sweetest, most precious thing ever.
Melt my heart. Austin was never interested in the games much, but he loved watching brother hit. And Garrison always made a point to come out of the dugout or to call us over and give Austin a kiss and say Did you see me hit that ball, Austin?

I am beyond grateful for the friendship and bond they've formed. I'm praying they are always close and always each other's very best friend.
While we most certainly still have fighting over toys and screaming at each other and hitting and pushing and mama refereeing, they love each DEEPLY, and for that I am most thankful. Brotherly love. There's just nothing like it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 2 of Summer Fun

I promise I'm not going to do a daily recap of every single day this summer. Yesterday just turned out to be another great one that had to be documented.
We started the day with breakfast, chores, and errands. Then we did our first craft of the summer. Ziplock bag books! Austin made one of colors and Garrison made one of simple addition. It turned out to be way more challenging than I expected because Austin wanted to sample his crayons. I literally pulled tiny bits of yellow crayon out of his mouth. While he wasn't impressed with the taste of yellow, it didn't stop him from sampling other colors as well. Goodness. Anyway, after he wrapped up coloring his pages for all of 30 seconds, I moved onto Garrison's book. Garrison loved making the book (which was great!) but Austin didn't appreciate the lack of attention from mama and brother. Sooooo, looks like I've got some tweaking to do when it comes to my crafts and "homeschooling" this summer.
All in all our morning was good. Challenging, but good.
Our afternoon and evening however were GREAT. After naptime the boys woke up, ate a snack, and we went outside. It was SO hot and humid though. My firstborn even started to complain about the heat. So I decided to let them play in water. Austin loved it and got drenched pretty fast so we planned for a swim in the kiddie pool as soon as daddy got home. Our really tiny kiddie pool since the blow-up one wasn't ready.

It worked out perfect because they enjoyed swimming and playing in the water while Terrell grilled and I finished up cooking inside. Once supper was ready we got them dried off and had the best meal. Grilled pork chops, green beans, and mashed potatoes. The boys ate their weight in everything. They even wanted seconds and thirds of green beans. We didn't have a crumb leftover. Their appetites were HUGE. It's not looking good for our future grocery bill!

After supper it was still early so we let them go back outside for another "swim" (if you can even call it that in that teensy tiny pool), with the understanding that they would have to stay in the pool or on the patio. Terrell went out with them while I cleaned up the kitchen and watched the first half of Army Wives... a show I watch but my hubby doesn't. Having a few minutes to relax on the couch before the bath/bedtime craziness began was perfect.

Once it was time for the boys to come inside I went out to help Terrell get them dried off so they could go right in for a bath. Imagine my surprise when I found both boys playing on the slide and completely filthy. As in covered in grass and dirt. As in the dirtiest they've ever been. Ever. Oh. My. Gracious. They were gross. And having the best time!

We hosed them down a little outside, carried them striaght to the bath tub, washed them off again, and then finally got around to an actually bath. Their feet didn't touch the floor until they were squeaky clean.

Bath time and bedtime were crazy as usual but Terrell and I were both thankful for everything that led up to the craziness.

Summer memories. What fun. =)

Monday, May 20, 2013

1st Day of Summer

Friday was our first official day of summer. And we got off to a great start! The boys slept a little later (yay!) and with it being a special day, we had a bigger than usual breakfast. I hope those 2 things are a regular occurence this summer. =)
After breakfast the boys played together while I cleaned up the kitchen, did a little laundry, and made up the bed. Having each other to play with and entertain has been the biggest blessing... for me and them!
After taking care of my little chores, we had some play time inside. We mainly worked on puzzles. Lots and lots of them. While wearing necklaces. Ha!

After finishing up puzzles I got them dressed and we got out to take care of one 5 minute errand. As soon as we got home we went outside in hopes of playing in the sprinkler (something I had planned for and promised them the day before)... except as soon as we got out I knew it wasn't warm enough or sunny enough to get wet quite yet. So we settled for bubbles and sidewalk chalk instead.
After a little incident that included some fighting, tears, and not being nice we decided to head back inside. This time we did some art. Austin drew with chalk on the chalkboard and Garrison drew with markers on the whiteboard. They were precious. Of course Austin only lasted 5 minutes but it was still fun and something I'm sure we'll do lots this summer.
Finally it was time for lunch. Even though the morning went well, it still felt looong. I've definitely got to get used to the whole "full day ahead of us and naptime doesn't start until after lunch" routine. (I still don't feel totally adjusted to Austin dropping the morning nap.)

After lunch was naptime, then snack time, then we got in bathing suits and went outside to enjoy the sprinkler. They had lots of fun. Especially Garrison. Austin wasn't a huge fan but I think between watching Garrison and the playtime they had when I turned the sprinkler off (Garrison requested the sprinkler be turned off and on throughout the afternoon so he could drive his car around and play on the slide with Austin) he had a fun time too.

We stayed outside until daddy got home with our pizza and then after supper we went back out. This time daddy played in the sprinkler too. They loved it. He's such a good daddy.

Austin is laughing in this picture, not crying. He liked it way better if you held him and ran through. =)
We had a really great first day of summer and a super fun Friday night. I'm hoping day 2 goes just as well!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Everyday Life Lately

I think the Selph household is finally back on track and back to normal. Praise Jesus! I thought we'd never get here. I know that sounds dramatic but we had a ROUGH time of it all of last week. Like every single day. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who did his best to keep things running and our children fed and bathed while mama was barely out of bed for a week. Anyway, here's what everyday life has looked like pre, mid, and post stomach bug.
Pre: Things were pretty great the day before. The boys stopped their drive to wave at mama. =)
After supper the Thursday before last we took a family walk. Garrison rode his bike with Terrell jogging close beside while I pushed Austin. I had more than one moment of wanting to freeze time on our walk. Love my family!
Mid: The stomach bug arrived late Thursday night and into the wee hours of Friday morning. This was Friday afternoon. Baby boy bounced back quick. I vacuumed and the boys ran around with a "piece" to the vacuum. One of their favorite things to do ever.
Friday night Terrell and Garrison had a date at the pizza buffet while Austin and I stayed home. Still wasn't safe for Austin to eat pizza.
Saturday morning victims #2 and #3, Garrison and daddy, came down with the stomach bug. While I was tending to one or both patients, Austin dumped the box of corn flakes in the floor. Gracious. This day turned out to be the longest ever.
Saturday for lunch Austin and I escaped for our own little date to get away from the house. We had a fun time together.
Since Garrison's Braves baseball season and the Atlanta Braves baseball season started about the same time, my chalkboard said this for a long stretch. Then the Atlanta Braves started doing bad and Garrison's season started winding down...
So I changed it to say this... The perfect reminder to keep going and be grateful for each day even if I was miserable.
Garrison had a game mid-week and we thought we were all better. Until I got sick again later that night. Ahhhhhhhh.
Then my big boy kept falling asleep during naptime and we took him to the doctor only to discover he had strep throat again. 6 times in 6 months. We're looking at having his tonsils taken out this summer.

Post: Woohoo!! Saturday night everyone is finally starting to feel better. The boys even got in some fun play time with daddy. They took turns letting him pick them up and swing them around. I layed in bed watching and smiling. My blessings.
Mother's Day was the biggest turning point because we knew then we were going to make it. =)
And there you have it. A pre, mid, and post sickness glance. We're ready to take on summertime now!