Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bath Time & Blessings

Last night we gave Layton his first bath. And here's what he thought of it...
My big boys were very impressed and wanted to be part of the whole experience. Baby brother didn't cry the entire bath time...
But almost...
You can see Layton in the mirror just a little giving us a frown. Poor baby. He reminded me a lot of Garrison during his first bath. Garrison might have been even more mad/upset/traumatized than Layton though. Austin was my chill baby for his first bath.
He was fine as soon as we got him wrapped up and snug in his towel.
And the paci helped too
All ready for bed!

Bath time was special as all 5 of us were in the bathroom together experiencing this "first" with Layton. I was thankful for a few minutes of normal after all the craziness we've been through lately.

Since Terrell has been injured/hurt, our family dynamic has felt off. We're just out of sorts. And it's been kind of sad. But even though Terrell is still struggling to heal and we're still a little "off" without having daddy 100%, we've also experienced lots of blessings. And blessings are just magnified during the rough patches because they're even sweeter and more meaningful.

*Layton. Duh. He's like our biggest blessing. =)

*Help. My mom came to help me on my first day by myself while Terrell was at work and my mother-in-law came to help the next day and a half I was on my own. Such a blessing to have an extra set of hands around here! I am so grateful for both of them!

*Food. We have had several meals provided for us. It's been a record! We had a meal given to us 4 nights in a row, plus my mom and Terrell's mom have cooked for us, plus we have 2 more meals being provided later this week. It is SO nice to not have to worry about meals after just having a baby... and when your husband isn't available to help cook or prepare food. Another big, big blessing to us.

*Successful Surgery. My sister's surgery went really well and she is recovering now. I am so, so grateful everything went smoothly. We are praising God for a successful surgery and thanking Him in advance for a swift recovery.

*Big Brothers. Watching Garrison and Austin love and adore Layton has been priceless. They are soo proud of him and still can't get enough of him. The transition for my big boys has been amazing. Such a blessing.

*Beautiful Weather. We had a long stretch of great weather. Up until today we've been going outside to play every single day. It's been good for all of us.

*1st Day Success. Today has been my official first day on my own. Technically I had a trial run/preview on my own last week, but today it's official since Terrell went to work and I've been home by myself with the boys. And so far things have gone really well. Thank you Lord!

*Girl Scout Cookies. Yum! The timing of their arrival yesterday has been sweet. =)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Catching my Breath

The past few days have been tough. As in your recovery time is over, jump in with both feet, single mom of three tough. My poor husband somehow tore or severely strained a muscle in his leg and up until yesterday has been almost totally out of commission. Cue an overwhelmed, emotional, and pity party having mama.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were hard. I definitely got a trial run of what it's going to be like on my own with 3... except I was on my own around the clock and just 1 short week after giving birth. Not what I had in mind for Terrell's "paternity leave" at all.

Thursday night Layton forgot how to sleep and Terrell was in so much pain that it was a struggle for him to get out of bed. He felt guilty for not being there for us and I felt guilty for not being there for him. Plus I felt like a zombie. Can't forget that. I had moments of keeping it together and moments of falling apart. It was a roller coaster of emotions. Frustration, sadness, and just plain overwhelmed-ness.

When Garrison and Austin were both tiny newborns and we were barely home a week or two from the hospital I definitely had my moments of feeling emotional and overwhelmed. I remember with Garrison just being a nervous new mom and literally feeling anxiety when it came to his newborn sleeping habits... aka: my lack of sleep. With Austin I had breast feeding issues in the beginning along with guilt issues over Garrison becoming a big brother and just felt emotional for the first couple weeks. But with Layton things had been going so smoothly and the transition so well that I'd had absolutely no postpardum-crazy hormones-emotional issues at all.

(If you don't count Terrell and I shedding a few tears while we waited for our big boys to come home on our first night home.)

So when my husband fell victim to a strange muscle strain/tear, the crazy postpardum hormones went crazy for real. I started crying a little here and there just because I felt sorry for us. Or because I was exhausted. Or because the house was a mess. Or because I didn't feel capable of handling it all. I never had a meltdown, just a few tears every now and then.

Until Saturday. Saturday was super long, tiring, and hard on me. On all of us. And it finally caught up with me and I finally had a meltdown. Ugh.

Terrell's dad came over Friday afternoon to take Terrell to the doctor (thank you Pops!) and Terrell was finally given some pain meds and a diagnosis. So we hoped he was just going to get better and better after that. Friday night he was much more mobile AND Layton had a good night. It was such a blessing! I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Then came Saturday morning.

Terrell was in so much pain he could barely get around at all. And to make matters worse, Garrison had baseball evaluations that morning. (Something I totally disagree with by the way. He's five. He's barely five. He's in Pre-K. He's learning how to play and just wants to have fun. They better not ruin this for my baby! Okay, had to get that out.) Anyway, Terrell was going to try his best to go because baseball is his thing and he wanted to go and be a part of it and support and encourage Garrison, etc, but there was just no way he could physically do it. Impossible to even try. It was awful.

So me and all 3 boys went to wait in line for 2 hours for Garrison's baseball evals. I thought I was going to cry in line and then I most certainly did blink back tears when it was my baby's turn. But we survived okay and went home for the rest of our day. And slowly but surely it all caught up with me. Terrell and I had both reached our "low points" despite my best efforts to keep it together and my hundreds of whispered prayers. So I had a meltdown and just let it out. Sometimes that's all you can do. And when my big boys noticed me crying and didn't understand why they stood in the kitchen and sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing to help me feel better. MELT. MY. HEART. Oh, it was precious and a gift straight from God. Those 2 have the sweetest hearts and I am so blessed to be their mama.

Since my big meltdown I've been able to catch my breath a little and things have improved around here. For a while there I thought I was drowning. Not a good feeling. Terrell had a much better day pain-wise on yesterday and we felt like we had an almost normal last day of daddy being off before going back to work today. Oh the timing of God's grace was perfect. As it always is.

Now that I'm catching my breath I feel like I can focus more on taking care of my family like a normal, sane person. It's a good feeling. Although we still have LOTS of things going on right now... my Granny is home but still not herself and still not even close to 100%. My sister has another surgery scheduled this week. My mom is taking care of everyone around the clock. We are going to attempt to get back in the routine of things this week with Terrell going back to work and the kids going back to school. My first day on my own comes Wednesday when we truly will start the process of finding our new normal. There's just a lot of anxiety-inducing stuff going on. BUT, just like my quiet time reminder this morning (another perfect timing God-thing), I must remember, Trials are not enemies of faith but opportunities to reveal God's faithfulness. -Barbara Johnson


We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair 2 Corinthians 4:8
The title of my devotional was "Facing Difficult Days". He is faithful. He remains in His heaven. He is our refuge and strength. Can you say, timely reminder? Wow. We're going to get through it all. It may not be easy or fast, but eventually we will. 

And on another positive, happy note here are a few of my favorite things from last week...

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Layton's Birth Story

The story of Layton's birth begins with the crazy weather predictions for Georgia for February 11th, 12th, and 13th. A "catastrophic" Winter Storm was coming. A "historic" and possibly "devastating" few days of snow, ice, and wintry precipitation. Travel would be impossible. Power outages numerous. In other words, a HUGE mess. (Everything in quotes came straight from the mouths of my local meterologists by the way.) So. The crazy weather played a really big role in the timing of my baby boy's birth. I'll just start from the beginning...

I had an appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning to see one of my midwives and to hopefully make some sort of a decision about delivery, however, my doctor's office called to reschedule my appointment for Tuesday morning due to the weather and the fact that I was so close to delivery. The bad news was that neither one of my midwives would be in town. Sooo, I went in Tuesday morning hoping the nurse practitioner I saw would agree with my midwife that Layton was close to 7 pounds and that she'd advise me to keep waiting, or that I would've made lots of progress. Except that didn't exactly happen. At all.

I was only between a 1 and 2. Bummer. And, she believed he was a good size... at least 7 and a half pounds but probably closer to 8 pounds. She right away offered me a c-section for first thing the next morning or to be induced later that day.

(Whoa. Somehow, yet again, I was caught completely off guard. Not quite to the extent of shock and panic as with Austin, but definitely not expecting what she said/offererd.)

She also offered that I could keep waiting, however it would be risky due to weather conditions AND due to him getting bigger and bigger. Sooo, after talking with Terrell we decided it was best to go ahead with an induction. If we waited out the Winter Storm we'd probably be waiting a whole week longer (unless he came on his own) because they won't schedule anything on the weekends, and by that point we'd feel most comfortable doing a c-section. No way I wanted to naturally deliver an 8 and a half or 9 pound baby. And since a c-section was my last resort we wanted to go ahead.

The tough thing about going in that very day was the fact that my mom was in Augusta with my sister who'd just had surgery AND our plans for the kiddos sort of went away. As in we had to start over from scratch. Boo! I was sooo stressed. We reeally wanted my parents or Terrell's parents to stay at our house with the boys while we had the baby. We wanted them in their own home with their own beds, toys, routine, etc. I wanted everything to remain as normal as possible for them since they'd be away from us and they'd be welcoming home a new brother in a couple of days. But, due to the weather and the potential for power outages and such, they had to make the trip to B'ville. It was extremely stressful for me but we all survived. The boys left with Terrell's parents around 5:00 or so on Tuesday afternoon shortly after my mom arrived at our house so she could go with us to the hospital. We went in at 8:00 Tuesday night.

They started cervidil around 10:30 that night and then we just waited. I didn't sleep so well... and neither did my poor husband and mom. Being crammed into a delivery room all night wasn't exactly comfortable and cozy.

Wednesday morning (the 12th) I was between a 3 and a 4 and it was time to wait again. The cevidil had to be in 12 hours before they could remove it, break my water, and start me on pitocin. I was having very mild contractions and cramping at that point but nothing major.

They removed the cervidil about 11:00 or so on Wednesday morning and then broke my water around lunch time. This time wasn't quite as bad as with Austin so I was very thankful for that! After they broke my water they started me on a low dose of pitocin and my blood pressure dropped... just like it did with Austin. I changed positions and they gave me more fluids or more of something to get it back up. And slowly (or maybe not so slowly) the intensity and frequency of my contractions increased. So I immediately asked for the epidural. And for the first time ever, I received one quickly! I was soo thankful!

Once I had the epidural I was immediately numb. I couldn't feel my legs or feet or contractions or anything. Again, for the first time, my epidural worked really, really good. Possibly too good because it caused some concern for Layton. The nurse didn't tell me too much only that his heart rate had dropped but that he was okay and there was no need for me to worry. Shortly after, around 2:00ish I think, they checked me and I was between a 6 and 7. Yay! At that point I was thrilled because I assumed he would arrive in the next few hours... little did I know he was coming much faster.

All of a sudden, without warning, my doctor came in and checked me and stretched my cervix and broke down the bed and got the room ready for delivery. Wow. Wasn't expecting all that. It was crazy. They never made me panic or feel concerned, they just quietly and quickly prepared for delivery. Before I knew it, it was time to push! I had to push for 10 seconds every time I had a contraction (which I couldn't feel at all) for 30 or 40 minutes (I think) and then he was here! 3:00 on the dot. I'm so thankful my mom was in the delivery room with us again this time because Terrell almost fainted! Bless his heart. He didn't miss the delivery though so I was proud of him. =)

Introducing Layton Thomas Selph

Afterwards I found out that Layton did have everyone worried and concerned because of his heart rate, but praise God he was perfectly fine after he was born. And I'm so thankful I wasn't fully aware of their concern. I may never know the exact details... I knew they were moving fast but never felt that he or I were in danger. Such a blessing while giving birth! AND, it was snowing when he was born. How cool and crazy is that?

My doctor immediately told me that I did tear but that it was a normal, common tear. Nothing bad. I was SO relieved. Then once they weighed him and we found out he was 7-15 I was even more thankful (and shocked) that my body responded so well. God really blessed our decision for a natural delivery and I am so grateful. This recovery has been my easiest by far. I could cry I'm so thankful.
 Our precious, priceless gift from God
 And here's what the weather and roads looked like during our stay in the hospital...
We never were even moved into a recovery room. We stayed in the delivery room the entire time because they weren't letting anyone leave the hospital with the weather so bad so they didn't have any recovery rooms available. Thankfully my mom was able to make it safely to our house Wednesday night to get some sleep.
My mom (Granna) and my sister and Frankie were our only visitors at the hospital this go round. Anna and Frankie stopped by on their way home from Augusta following my sister's surgery. What a crazy week for our littlest man to make his debut.

We were all ready to head home Thursday afternoon. My first time being discharged after 24 hours! Yay!
Layton wasn't a big fan of his carseat at first. Thankfully he's come around since that very first experience. =)
And there you have the story of Layton's birth.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine Fun

This year's Valentine's Day was totally different than years past. This year, Valentine's Day was our first day home together as a family of 5. It was sweet, special, and a tad exhausting. =)

School was cancelled for us again due to the Winter storm so even though Valentine's was on a Friday we were all home together. I was actually really thankful the big boys didn't have school because it meant we could all sleep late (sort of) and have a really laid back day at home. No where to go or be. It was very nice after our rough first night home with Mr. Latyon.

The boys woke us up Friday morning and I made them strawberry muffins as a special treat. They love muffins and I only make them occasionally so it was a great start to our day. Then they got to open their Valentine boxes (found in Target's dollar section). They each got some stickers, play doh, and a new fork and spoon (also found in Target's dollar section).

After going through their boxes they opened 1 present...
The game Hi Ho! Cherry-O. This is a game they can both play... although Austin is still getting the hang of it. It's been a big hit for Garrison so far and I'm thinking it'll be more and more fun for Austin as he gets older.
We spent the day playing with their new goodies and hanging out around the house. Then, later on in the day a surprise arrived for me... beautiful roses from my hubby! I was totally shocked. He had ordered them on Monday before all the craziness happened.
Our sweet neighbors brought supper over for us that night and we called it a day as early as possible. And that was it. Super simple, sweet, and low-key. Plus special since we all spent the day loving on Layton.

Then the boys got to celebrate Valentine's Day at school on yesterday. They both had little parties and got to exchange Valentines with their classmates. This year I found a really cute printable on Every Day Cheer that I attached to a bag of mini goldfish. Technically they were supposed to be tied onto the bags with ribbon but mama was doing good just to get these printed and assembled on time so we just taped 'em on and went with it. I thought they turned out cute. Both boys had lots of fun at school celebrating with parties and friends and cute Valentines.
Then, last night my big boy had his Valentine Program at school. This is our school's only school wide program during the year so it's a big deal. And because I just couldn't miss it, the whole family went... Layton and I included.
Garrison did GREAT. He was focused and attentive and quite the performer singing his heart out.
And my personal favorite (and his) was the Pre-K rendition of What Does the Fox Say? It was sooo cute!
Austin and Layton did great during the program as well. Yay for a successful first outing as a family of 5!
And I just couldn't resist a picture of all my boys in red. 3 out of 4 of my Valentines. =)


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Love At First Sight

Garrison and Austin arrived back home from a stay with Nana and Pops on Thursday night... the day we got to come home from the hospital. We were SO ready to see them and have them home! I missed my big boys lots. And the situation with the weather and them not being home at our house with grandparents like our original plan didn't help things. (More on all that later when I finally get around to Layton's birth story.) Anyway, they finally got home Thursday night and I will cherish the memories of them walking in and meeting Layton. Most PRECIOUS thing EVER.

I didn't cry but I wanted to. They were so sweet and so excited and so in love I just about melted into a puddle. God has totally shown us favor with the reception Garrison and Austin have had to Layton. They love and adore him like I never could have predicted. And so far the newness hasn't worn off. =) They ask to hold him 10 times a day and kiss him and check on him and touch him about 50 times a day. We have to keep a close eye on baby brother but I am beyond grateful at just how smitten they are over him. *Big, contented, grateful sigh.*

Here's a peek into big brothers meeting baby brother...

They walked in the back door and immediately started searching for mama and Baby Layton. They were so ready to see us too. And they were in love the second they laid eyes on their baby brother.

There were lots of hugs...
And holding...

And sweetness...
And smiling... and excitement... and pure joy in those first few minutes.

They all wore their adorable shirts I had made and were absolutely precious. Now I just need a posed picture of all 3 boys in their shirts.

I'm telling you, PURE JOY.
Melt my heart.

All 4 boys. =)
(Please ignore our walls in the background. Things still aren't quite back to normal around here after our busted pipe.)
The introduction of my big boys to my baby boy could not have gone any better than it did. It was such a sincere, joyful, celebration of love at first sight... like I said, I could have totally melted into a puddle. And we are praising God from Whom ALL blessings flow because it is His doing.
Every good and perfect gift is from above... James 1:17

Friday, February 14, 2014

He's Here!

Our third baby boy is here! Layton Thomas Selph arrived Wednesday, February 12th (exactly one week after his biggest brother Garrison's 5th birthday) at 3:00 PM. It was snowing when he was born. =) He weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 19.25 inches long.
We are overwhelmed at God's goodness and faithfulness to our family!
We made the decision to be induced on Tuesday night so that I could beat the winter storm and avoid a c-section. It was a very stressful decision because of the weather and not knowing what was best for our big boys, but in the end God blessed us with a safe delivery and healthy baby boy. And everything worked out just fine with our big boys too.
And just like that we became a family of 5. =) The big brothers are smitten over Baby Layton.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Good, Bad, and Crazy Weekend

*Good: Terrell didn't have to work late Friday so we enjoyed delicious take-out at a decent hour AND let the boys watch 2 shows after supper while enjoying a bowl full of snacks. They were so cute eating their Cheez-Its, cereal, and mini m & m's combo. Garrison has now requested they get to do that every Friday night. =)

*Bad: Austin woke up around midnight Friday holding his ears and crying his eyes out and needing mama. Bless his heart. Both boys have been fighting a cough and cold all week and apparently the ear infection was a result of that.

*Crazy: I decided to take Austin to the Saturday clinic at our pediatrician's office so he could go ahead and get some relief. We got there before it opened and there was already a large group gathered outside waiting for the doors to open. We ended up being number 9 in line. Wow.

*Good: Austin was diagnosed and given ear drops and we were able to enjoy the rest of our Saturday... beautiful weather, time outside, and an early Valentine's Day for Terrell and I. We got our traditional Long Horn take-out, dessert from Dairy Queen (because we're members of the Blizzard Fan Club... duh), and rented a movie! Our first rented movie in months and months.

*Bad: Everything went great about the whole evening (including the first half of our movie- Captain Phillips- which I highly recommend) until our big boy woke up holding his ear and crying his eyes out. Broke my heart. We got him taken care of and settled again before turning the movie back on...

*Crazy: We were able to watch the entire second half of the movie in 10-20 minute increments because both boys woke up approximately 17 times uncomfortable or in pain. Finally I just cried with them because I felt so helpless and hated to see them hurting so bad. Plus it was just exhausting. At one point we were rushing the crying kid out of the room in an attempt to not wake the sleeping kid and taking the crying kid to the nursery to rock and comfort. Not sure what we'll do once Layton is occupying the nursery. We finally made it to the end of the movie... which took us about 4 hours to finish... not exaggerating. Sigh. The whole idea of an at-home date night is nice and special, but the reality of an at-home date night... not so much.

*Good: The whole house was in bed and asleep around 1:00 AM and we all slept the whole night. It was an early Valentine miracle.

*Bad: Now it looks like I have whatever the boys had all week. A cough and cold. Boohoo!

*Crazy: We had to miss church. Again. Maybe one day we can go every week again.

*Good: The weather was beautiful yesterday and the boys got to play outside most of the afternoon. We also did some house-cleaning and are trying to make things as normal and ready as possible to welcome Layton home. (Even though we'll probably be right in the middle of replacing carpet when he comes home. How fun.) AND, last but not least, everyone slept good last night. Yay!!!

And that sums up our good, bad, and crazy weekend.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Big Day Recap

Yesterday my birthday boy had a day full of fun. This was the first birthday he really, really made the most of... with his very own requests and ideas for his big day. The night before his birthday just after putting the boys to bed we even heard Garrison and Austin both singing 'Happy Birthday Garrison'. It was too funny.

We started the day with balloons (5 in all for our 5 year old... although we would've done more if we'd thought about it before the last minute of right before he woke up). He was thrilled. So was Austin.
Then we had donuts for breakfast and sang Happy Birthday to him and let him blow out 5 candles. He made a special request for Dunkin Donuts for his birthday breakfast and asked to eat on his birthday plate from his party at Let's Paint Pottery that all his party guests signed. He has been soo proud and adorable every single time anybody has sang Happy Birthday to him.
The donuts were a hit!

Little brother thought so too! And kept asking when his birthday was.

I put a special "Happy Birthday" message on his napkin in his lunch box for school and was thrilled when he saved it. He never saves his napkins. Then he shared cookie cake with all his friends right after lunch. The cookie cake was a huge hit! His little classmates gobbled it down and asked for more. I think we made the right decision to do something different than cupcakes. =)

He also got to pick out his favorite color "Tickle Feather" and got 5 tickles for his birthday. It was so cute and he was SO proud.
This picture turned out super fuzzy but it's of his face while his class sang to him so I just couldn't resist. He LOVES any and everyone singing Happy Birthday to him. I hope he keeps this pure joy on his birthday for years and years to come.
He got cards in the mail after school which was super special to him, and he got phone calls throughout the afternoon and evening. He was quite popular... And he loved every second. =)
I let him pick his birthday meal for supper and he told me he'd like chili or "that Pioneer Woman recipe" aka Sour Cream Noodle Bake. He wanted to be surprised so I went with chili because it's easier. And he requested we sing Happy Birthday to him again after we finished saying the blessing. I'm telling you, this birthday was BIG and he definitely made the most of it. After we ate there was a few slices of cookie cake leftover so we let the boys have it for dessert as one more birthday treat.

Garrison's 5th birthday seemed to be special, fun, exciting, and a really big deal to my oldest baby. Yay!! I'm thankful he had such an awesome day full of celebrations and love and attention from family and friends. He is very blessed. =) Happy Birthday again to my absolute very favorite 5 year old!!