Monday, March 31, 2014

Firsts from our Weekend

We had a pretty great weekend around here that included lots of firsts for us.

First of all my big boys slept til 8:00 or later for 3 mornings in a row!!! Now, I'm almost positive that's a first! The down side to this is why they slept so late... being a little sick and having one really late night. But we were still so grateful they slept late!

Terrell and I were able to sit down and watch a show together for the first time all week on Friday night. We decided to watch Survivor since we don't want to get too behind on that one and risk a spoiler. It was so nice to just be together and do something fun and simple and relaxing. 

Garrison and Austin went with Terrell to run errands on Saturday morning and for possibly the first time ever they kept their hands to themselves while sitting in the back of the buggy together during a long trip to Walmart. This is HUGE. It's borderline miraculous. Sitting together in the back of the buggy almost never ends well. Apparently daddy thought this was cause for celebration because they came home with new hotwheels and gummie bears. Hmmmm.... I think daddy's secret weapon is bribery.

My big boy had his first baseball game of the season. He looked adorable! I'll definitely have to post a picture later. Unfortunately the game took place at 7:30 on Saturday night in frigid 50 mph winds. (So maybe the wind speed is an exaggeration... but I can't be sure. In Garrison's words, That wind almost blew me away!) We were almost frozen solid by the time they called the game after the 3rd inning. Our team lost but I think my baby had fun. Other than almost being blown away of course.

We went out to eat as a family for the first time since Layton was born! My parents came over to see Garrison's first game and they took us out for Mexican. Such a treat! It was also a good, safe first-time experience since we had back-up and were at a noisy restaurant. Just as we were finishing up Layton decided he was tired of his carseat and we had to get him out, but overall he did great!

I left Layton (with someone other than Terrell) for the first time. The original plan was for the whole family to go to Garrison's game together and then for me and Layton (and possibly Austin too) to leave early while my parents stayed for the whole game. But then Austin came down with a little cold and the temperature and winds weren't baby-friendly so we had to change our plans. My mom stayed home with Austin and Layton and I went to the game a little late. My dad and in-laws were there for all 3 innings (haha) so I think that made it special for Garrison. Leaving my littlest baby and my sick baby wasn't easy. But they were in good hands and all was well while I was away. I think we know for sure now that Austin will not be going to sleep or even to his bed without Garrison home. So not looking forward to all our late games this season!

Layton slept really good last night and possibly had his best night ever! I fed him around 7:30ish and then he was in bed asleep sometime before 8:30. He didn't wake up until 2:30 this morning to eat and then he didn't wake up again until 5:45... but Terrell was able to get him back to sleep without me feeding him. This was a huge accomplishment! He slept until almost 7:00 and I was able to feed him at our normal wake-up feeding time. I'm so excited about the potential of him only waking up once to eat. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

I think that covers the firsts from our weekend. =)

Today I've been home with all 3 little men. Austin wasn't up for school today so I let Garrison take the day off too. It's been really nice having everybody home and makes me look forward to Spring Break. This afternoon we're hoping to get outside to enjoy the beautiful day. Happy Monday afternoon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favorites

My most favorite things from the past 7 days. This week's been a challenge and mama is definitely running on fumes, but I'm so thankful for these blessings. And I'd love to keep up my Friday Favorites because it's reminding me to appreciate and give thanks for all the sweet, good, fun moments of the week... even if it was a crazy, exhausting, stressful one. 
*Last Friday night at the Art Affair I won this:
It's a huge pottery platter of Garrison's PreK class!! It's the piece I really had my eye on from the start because it's such a precious keepsake. It is so sweet with all their little names and self portraits. Such a great way to remember his classmates (many of whom I taught last year) and his PreK year. And honestly it's probably a miracle I was able to afford it. Other parents and grandparents were distracted by another popular piece and allowed me to get a steal on the pottery platter. Yay!! Plus we won a raffle! It was a successful night for sure.

*I discovered these posts on Monday and have been particpating all week. My marriage has been a little neglected lately. Having a new baby is a big adjustment by itself and baby boy has had a really fussy and inconsistent week and that's made it sort of tough to find time for each other... and really appreciate each other... and communicate well... and enjoy one another's company. So I needed a good push to be more intentional this week despite the craziness going on, and it worked! I also loved the Scripture she included. I definitely needed the reminder, the encouragement, and the Word to go along with it this week. 

*While Layton has had a tough week with a growth spurt or tummy issues or a combination of both, he also did something amazing this week... he rolled over! Twice!! Stomach to back two times in a row! Austin did the same thing when he was about a month old and Layton decided to go for it on his 6 weeks birthday. =)

*On Tuesday morning just before Garrison stepped out of the car to go to school Austin said I love you Garrsin... Have a good day in the sweetest, most sincere voice ever. It was PRECIOUS. Garrison told him I love you too... I will! And I melted into a puddle and wished I could bottle up their little voices at this point in time to remember forever. It was just SO sweet and straight from the heart. I still can't get over it. PRECIOUS I tell you.
*Yesterday afternoon Granna and Papa came to our rescue again! Terrell had a "meet and greet" thing after work, Garrison had baseball practice, and I had committed to taking a meal to our friends and neighbors. Crazy how everything fell on the same night. So my dad took Garrison to baseball and my mom helped me with Austin and Layton and then kept them while I delivered food. They ate supper with us and gave the big boys a bath before heading home. Big, big thanks to Granna and Papa for all their help!! Grandparents really are the best!
*This morning my baby boy smiled at me several times! SUCH an amazing feeling!! I was so happy about it I even shed a few tears. It was the best way start to my Friday as I woke up super tired and sleepy. I can't wait for more and more of those smiles... and to sleep again. Ha!
Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Big Boy Room Tour

Since I don't have a whole lot to blog about right now... other than feeling pretty rough due to Spring not being my friend and my baby boy taking on the characteristic of really fussy lately, there's not much happenin'. We did have a good weekend and I did enjoy my solo outings (even though I was totally exhausted come Sunday), but I don't have anything truly blog worthy to write about. So, I decided to give a tour of my big boys' room because I've yet to document the room since Austin moved in.

I do have to say that I am still absolutely in love with this room. It was created for my biggest boy in the Spring of 2011 and the newness hasn't worn least not for me. I still appreciate and admire it just like I did when it all first came together. We've added a few things since Austin moved in but the space and bed and everything have worked out just about perfect when it comes to my big boys sharing a room.

Way back when the room was still an idea in my head and a guest room in our house, we had no idea we'd have 3 boys or even 2 boys. Oh but mama thought ahead and anticipated siblings eventually sharing a room, especially if we continued to live here in our 3 bedroom home for a bit longer since we'd always wanted 3 kiddos. And boy am I thankful I did!

So here it is... The Big Boy Room:

Looking in from the door...

The dresser is currently in need of updated pictures but other than that has pretty much remained the same since Garrison moved in as wee little just turned 2 year old. The wall decor, lamp, and frames are all from Hobby Lobby, (love that place), the dresser is from Target, and the baseballs are Terrell's autographed balls from when he was a child.  

The bean bag reading corner/wrestling area/time-out spot. My parents gave both boys these bean bags from Pottery Barn and they have been quite popular. I love seeing them sitting there with books and reading... not so much the wrestling and time-out.

Their bookshelf and miscellaneous storage area. Terrell's dad built the bookshelf and it gets lots of use. We have tons and tons of books and have loved having this bookshelf. The prints above the bookshelf belonged to Terrell as a child and so did the autographed baseball.
The big boy bed! We love, love, LOVE this bed. I picked it out of a Pottery Barn catalog specifically for the possibility we could have 2 children sharing it. So Terrell's dad built it for us! It has been such a blessing and has worked out perfect for both boys. Garrison sleeps on the top bunk and Austin sleeps on the bottom. The bedding is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

The picture makes the area between their bed and closet look super small but it really isn't as cramped as the picture looks. The closet door can open all the way no problem. This is the lego table (it has the top on this pic) and their "hooks" for their book bags, hats, and jackets. The framed print is Terrell's from his room growing up.

Their table. My parents got this for Garrison for his 2nd birthday I believe and it has been used tons. I love it and so do they. The frame is from Hobby Lobby and the table/desk is from Pottery Barn. (Notice how everything they have from Pottery Barn is a gift. Terrell Selph does not believe in paying what they're asking.)

And there you have it. It is filled with sentimental things of Terrell's, furniture their Pops built, and cool additions from their Granna and Papa. It should grow with them and won't need a make-over for quite some time.

Since Austin moved in we added the drawers under the bed for extra storage, another bean bag, lots more books, and a few more toys. While the room is rarely this clean (we don't make up the beds daily because they're bunk beds) they do pick up anything on the floor every night before bed and we *try* to keep their dresser and bookshelf from being completely taken over with stuff. It typically looks this nice when we have company coming over. But even when it's kinda messy I still think it's perfect for my big boys. And filled with lots of special things. Most of all, Garrison Cade and Austin Carson. =)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

*My new look!! My super talented friend Megan designed it and I just love it! It's so fun and colorful and best of all it includes Layton. Yay! Huge thanks to the BEST graphic designer ever!

*Layton's adorable birth announcements! Megan also did these for us and they turned out just perfect. We sent them out to all our family and friends last week (or maybe it was the week before) and now I'm getting ready to put ours in Layton's baby book. I just never get tired of looking at it. So sweet!
*This sweet boy. So peaceful. We've had a few really good nights this week and are seeing some consistency with his sleeping habits. Mama is thankful!!
*My big boys. I feel like I say this a lot, but I am so thankful they have each other. This week they've had a possible record number of rifts, but at the end of the day they are the best of friends.
*Bailey got groomed! Yaaaay! Girlfriend was sort of neglected after we got home from the hospital and daddy was out of commission and life was crazy. But now she's good as new. She feels better, looks better, and smells better. Woohoo!
*It's Friday!! I'm going to our school's annual Art Affair fundraiser tonight. I'll only be gone a few hours at the most but I'm looking forward to getting out solo. And I'm going on a quick shopping trip tomorrow in search of a possible Easter outfit... for me! Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Things I Forgot

Turns out I forgot a few things when it comes to having a new baby in the house. Even though Layton's my 3rd and the transition has been extremely smooth and almost easy (*especially* if you don't count Terrell's issues), there are still so many things you just forget. So many little (or not so little) details that come with the newborn/first few months stage that are forgotten... til they're back.

I forgot how much laundry newborns require. Whoa. It's a lot. All those bodily fluids make for some messes. Before I know it, Layton's on his 4th outfit for the day and I'm ready to start yet another load of his clothes. It's crazy. Queen of laundry right here.

I forgot just how hard it is to comfort an extremely mad and upset baby. Once you miss the window of opportunity to calm him down- watch out- it's gonna be a while. The bouncing, pacing, shh-shing, rocking, paci-offering, and smooth talking isn't going to work so well. At least not for a while. All you can do is remain calm and wait it out.

I totally forgot what sleep-deprived feels like. Oh my gracious it's a doozy. It is sooo not a good feeling. Exhausting and draining and ROUGH pretty much sum it up.

I forgot how my husband and I would become more like roommates instead of husband and wife. Can you say BUSY? At least we get to carry on a conversation occasionally and maybe even sit down at the same time on the same couch to watch a show every now and then.
I forgot how my house would suffer and there would be hardly ZERO time to clean. And if there is time, you're just too tired to do it.

I forgot what I have a newborn and a toddler (and a 5 year old this time!) multi-tasking feels like. It's just a blur of busyness, craziness, and super mom-ness going on.

I even forgot how many diapers they require. It's a TON in case you forgot too.

Baby #3 has definitely made me remember. Life is busy. It is exhausting. It's even pretty challenging. But it's such a blessing too. This season and the opportunity to experience it again and the gift of Layton has got to be one of my biggest blessings ever.

I didn't just forget the not-so-fun and glamorous, I forgot lots of other thing too. Some of the best things.

I forgot just how much I would love this new little bundle of joy... the way he has shown me a glimpse of how much God loves me... that my heart would be filled to the brim yet again just as it was with Garrison and then again with Austin. I knew and trusted it would happen again, I just forgot what it felt like. It's a love you can't even put into words.
I forgot the joy I would experience seeing a big brother love his little brother. It is so special and so sweet and so innocent. I don't think anyone else can love and adore Layton quite like Garrison and Austin.
I forgot how I would fall in love with my husband all over again. The way my heart melts seeing him hold, love, and care for a teeny, tiny baby is pure joy. There is nothing like a daddy taking care of his newborn baby.
I forgot just how sweet and wonderful that teeny, tiny baby would smell after bath time. Oh the yumminess.

I forgot what a gift it is to hear soft, contented sighs while rocking him or after he eats or once he finally calms down after a fussy spell. Sweetest sound ever.
I forgot the absolutle oodles of cuteness that come with all those grunts, yawns, and stretches. Presh.
I forgot the way I would appreciate and treasure time spent with my husband. Quality time together is not taken for granted during this stage. We talk. We laugh. We sit close and eat ice cream together.

I forgot what amazing teammates we are. Tag-teaming is one thing, zone defense is another. When daddy is normal, we rock at it.

I forgot the way my arms would feel cradling our newest baby boy. That feeling of a tiny bundle (who belongs to you!) in your arms is priceless. And because he's growing everyday I just soak it up. One day that tiny bundle will be as big as my bigger bundles.

I forgot how my heart would skip a beat when he holds onto my finger or looks in my eyes or quiets when he hears my voice.

I forgot lots. Not everything, but a lot. And now, thanks to Layton Thomas, I'm remembering. The joy. The wonder. The love. The blessing. And thanks to Garrison and Austin I know things will calm down. It will always be an adventure, but it will calm down. I know I will sleep all night again. I know my husband and I will be more than roomies soon enough. I know diapers won't last forever and neither will that wretched witching hour. For now though, this stage and season is treasured. It's not always smooth-sailing and easy what with poopy diapers, tons of laundry, wild big boys, and a sleep-deprived mama, but it is treasured. Not every second of every day, but every day as a whole. I'm so glad I get to remember. God is good.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Success

We had a really good, really normal weekend. Woohoo! Terrell was relatively pain-free all weekend, we had some down time, we enjoyed our family time, and we finally made it back to church. Weekend success all around!

On Friday night we had leftovers for supper and then let the boys start the movie Tarzan. Watching a movie after supper on Friday nights is becoming a new tradition that my big boys love. They got to watch the first half of the movie Friday night and the second half Saturday night. There were some scary parts (according to Garrison) and one pretty sad part (mental note: avoid movies with sad parts... no Lion King or Bambi for my biggest), but other than that they both loved it. We've decided our big boys are ready for a movie at the theater now. =)

Saturday morning we all slept in and then Terrell took Garrison to baseball practice. Thank you Lord! My mama heart couldn't handle another one of those for a while. Terrell was able to take him to Thursday's practice as well and has been helping coach. This has made a big difference to us. We're both feeling a little better about the season since getting to know the head coach and other dads better. And it always helps having daddy on the field as an assistant. We still aren't totally thrilled with the intensity and competitiveness for this age, but at least we're feeling more at peace about it.

While Garrison was at practice, Austin got to make a Skittle rainbow. First he sorted them by color...
Then he made his rainbow. It was a big hit. Especially getting to sample one of every color afterwards.
During naptime, Garrison got to do the same little activity and here's his finished product. We may have to use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to do this every year.
Saturday afternoon was spent outside for my big boys while Layton and I bought groceries. Saturday was just a fun, easy day. (If you don't count Layton having a super long fussy spell during the evening.) We even made a final decision about Easter outfits Saturday night after the boys were in bed. Since Easter is later this year and it should be pretty warm, we're going a little more casual. The past 2 years the boys have either worn sweater vests over long sleeve button-up shirts or shirts and ties. This year will be different. And they won't match perfectly. BUT, I think the boys will coordinate well... and so will we as a family. Yay!

We made it back to church yesterday morning. So we just had to document the occasion.

We even figured out how to squeeze into a family selfie and still made it to church on time. =) 
We had a pretty productive Sunday afternoon filled with laundry, a little cleaning, and a few errands. Then, we made a last minute decision to move Layton to his nursery. While it was nice to have him in the pack 'n play in our room for the first month (especially while Terrell was hurt and couldn't help during the night), we felt it was time. Naps were hard in there because we were in and out, plus we always had to sort of tip toe around... getting ready in the mornings, going to bed at night, etc. And our room was pretty cluttered with the glider and pack 'n play and using our dresser as a little changing station. So we were ready to have our room back. I'm so thankful to report that Layton had a great night! The evening was a little tough and it took him a while to get settled for bed, but after I fed him around 9:45 he only woke up once. Yay!

I am so thankful for the weekend God blessed us with. Now it's off to Terrell's follow-up appointment. We're praying for clear answers about the next step.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from my guys in green!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Two weekends ago while we were at my parents' house I did a quick photo shoot with my 3 little men. It was very short and sweet... and a little challenging when it came to getting a picture of all 3 of them, but I thought they turned out pretty great. I wanted posed pictures of all the brothers in their biggest, big, and baby brother shirts (before they outgrow them) and after one incident with major spit up, mission accomplished. Yay!

My biggest!

My big!
My baby!
The best big brothers ever. They even sing Layton a song every time he cries. Don't cry little Layton, your big brothers are here. *Repeat 10 times. It's the sweetest little tune. I even hum it sometimes. =)  
They are all so blessed to have each other. And I am beyond blessed to have them! And these pictures just crack me up. They definitely capture reality right now. Yay for brothers!

And yay for being mama to these 3. They melt my heart daily. Oh how I love them!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1 Month Old

Layton Thomas is 1 month old today! And so it begins. Keeping up with my baby boy's milestones and growth and happenings every month. I'm really excited about watching him grow and making his picture and recording all about him every month.

*With both Garrison and Austin we made their picture every month on their birthday by a big stuffed animal and then had all the pictures framed. They side by side in the hallway going to their room. I still love seeing all of their monthly pictures together and noticing their differences and similarities and how much they've grown... and I know I'll love seeing all 3 boys together. =)

And for comparison's sake... Garrison at 1 month...
 And Austin at 1 month

1 Month Stats and Happenings:
*I'm estimating that you weigh around 10 pounds or so since last week at the doctor you weighed 8-15. I'm also predicting you're close to 21.5 inches long now since you were 21.25 inches long at your appointment.
*You are wearing size 1 diapers and 0-3 and 3 month clothes.
*You are doing great with nursing! You eat every 2.5-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night... an average of every 3 hours around the clock.  
*You are very alert and observant. You were born wide-eyed and still are. =)
*You are doing really well with a routine to be the baby of 3 boys and only 1 month old. We're still getting the hang of things and working on maintaining the eat, wake, sleep pattern but overall it's going well.
*You can't decide if you really like the paci or not. Sometimes it's comforting and sometimes it just makes you really mad and you want no part of it. Guess we'll see if you're a true paci baby in the coming weeks as you get older.
*Your big brothers ADORE you. They are constantly asking to hold you and they love kissing you and they check on you first thing every single morning. You are never lacking attention. =)
*You are without a doubt loved and we are so thankful you are part of our family. Happy 1 month birthday Layton!
Quick update from the trenches: Terrell's epidural went well and he is feeling MUCH better. He went to work today and I cooked tonight and he gave the boys a bath and things went really well. Praise the Lord!! He still isn't totally pain free but we know it takes a few days for the injection to be fully effective. He has a follow-up appointment on Monday and we'll go from there.
Also, my parents totally came to our rescue yesterday and we could not be more appreciative! I think my mom sensed I was hanging by a thread and so she staged an intervention. Ha! My dad took the boys outside all afternoon and my mom did laundry and they fed us supper and took charge of bath time and held Layton half the night and made the boys' lunches for school. They saved us and we are SO thankful! HUGE thank you to Granna and Papa for their rescue mission and to Pops for taking Terrell to the doctor for his epidural. We are blessed!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend Recap + Today

This weekend turned out sort of hard. It wasn't all bad and terrible or anything just not exactly easy and relaxing and wonderful. Definitely not the way I prefer my weekends. Then today has just been NOT FUN. Today has without a doubt been hard. Boo.

On Thursday and Friday we officially registered Garrison for Kindergarten and officially determined we won't be homeschooling him (through Georgia Cyber Academy). We still haven't made a final decision about where he'll go to school but we found out Friday that he got in (through lottery) to a school in our county and we're awaiting approval from another school in the next county over. We are super thankful to have options but also a tad stressed about where to go from here and what's best for our biggest boy. As a mama who is also a teacher I'm praying for peace about wherever he ends up for Kindergarten. I'm probably over-thinking/analyzing it. He'll be fine no matter what. And for now I am thankful that I'll only be doing preschool at home with Austin in the Fall instead of attempting Kindergarten, preschool, and taking care of a baby. Garrison going to big school is best for him and the rest of the fam too. I'm both excited and nervous about our new adventure.

On Saturday we ventured out to the mall in search of coordinating Easter outfits for our 3 little men. Unfortunately, we struck out. Ugh. This year is going to be tough. Garrison is now wearing "Boys" sizes instead of "Toddler Boys" sizes, while Austin is still in "Toddler Boys" and Layton is in "Baby/Newborn" sizes. So. That presents a bit of challenge. I know they won't be able to match perfectly this year *tear*, but I at least want them to coordinate and go together. Hopefully I'll be able to find something. Terrell had a good day on Saturday and was even able to take Garrison to his first baseball practice. Saturday was probably the highlight of our weekend.

Sunday was pretty tough... on everybody. The time change wasn't our friend and Terrell had a hard day with his leg pain. I ended up pretty much doing everything on my own. Which would've been okay if I'd gotten some sleep the night before. Sigh. Then, I had to take Garrison and Layton to Garrison's baseball practice while Terrell stayed home with Austin during naptime. That didn't go so well... for me. (I think it went okay for Garrison.) I already have issues with how baseball is done around these parts and then to have Sunday practices... mama wasn't happy. I'm not sure if I've lost my competitive edge or if I'm just a big softie when it comes to my baby, but we aren't training for the Olympics here. We are PreKers and Kindergartners. We are barely 5 and 6. We just need baseball to be fun while we learn. Garrison is still a little unsure of things so the jury is still out on how this season is going to go. I'm praying it gets better and it becomes more fun for him. Baseball has always been his favorite sport to play and watch and I don't want the super competitive, over the top way things are done here to ruin that for him.

Then comes today. Today has just been flat out hard. My husband had an awful day and has been in lots of pain. For the majority of the day he couldn't even get out of bed. And I was totally helpless. Please pray for him. His epidural shot is scheduled for tomorrow morning but earlier today we thought we were going to have to go to the ER. I talked to his doctor's medical assistant and got him a little relief but it has been terrible seeing him in so much pain. (Thankfully he's somewhat better tonight.) I tried to stay positive and attempted to keep things normal for the boys, but I was/am overwhelmed and stressed and exhausted. Plus Layton was super fussy all night and our house is a wreck. It's been a loooong day with lots of tears shed. After the crazy evening we had, we just may have to call in reinforcements tomorrow. Living an hour away from help stinks. (The pity party I'm so tired of continues.) We're praying for sleep tonight and that tomorrow brings a much better day... specifically a successful and effective epidural shot for daddy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On the Homefront...

*Terrell went to the orthopedic doctor on Monday and it was determined that the same 1 or 2 discs in his back are the root cause of all his leg pain. We should've known. My gut instinct told me it was his back all along but after he went to the doctor the first time and was diagnosed with a torn or strained muscle I just assumed that was what it was. Who am I to question a confident doctor? Ahhhh. Anyway, he has an epdirual shot scheduled for Tuesday and then a follow-up with his doctor a week after that. We're praying the epidural is effective and that no surgery is needed! For now, Terrell has good stretches and bad stretches. Thankfully it's rare for him to have a bad day and we've even had some almost normal days. Praise the Lord!

*Yesterday my big boy and my baby boy both had their well check-ups. Garrison did great and is healthy, strong, and growing. And, because his throat was a little pink and he is HIGHLY susceptible to strep, she did a strep test... which was negative! His first one ever! Not to say he won't come down with it tomorrow, but for now we're strep-free! Layton did great too and has gained a whole pound. He's 3 weeks old today so our pediatrician was thrilled he weighs 8-15 now! Yay for breastfeeding success!!

*Austin and Terrell are a little under the weather with a cold/congestion/runny nose and Garrison and I are both teetering on the edge of coming down with it. It hasn't hit us hard yet so maybe it won't! I'm going to think positive.

*I know I've already said this more than once, but we have been sooo blessed with meals given to us since having Layton. Our moms have both contributed and so has my school and 2 of our neighbors, but most of the meals have come from our Sunday School class. Which is the neatest thing ever. Different couples have signed up to bring us meals on different nights. We've already had 2 meals given to us this week with another one coming tomorrow. And part of what makes it so special (besides the fact that we are SO appreciative since we just had a baby and all) is that we are still the newbies in Sunday School. We aren't close friends with anyone just yet and probably couldn't tell you the first names of every single member. But we've still had 5 or 6 couples from the class bring us food. It really has been the biggest blessing. And we have about 10 freezer meals lined up for use soon too. One day I'll cook Monday through Thursday again like normal but for now I sure am enjoying the extra time to get my bearings and not having to cook.

*Speaking of getting my bearings... slowly but surely we are finding a routine. A routine for the mornings as we get 3 boys fed, ready, and out the door. A routine of eat, wake, sleep for Mr. Layton. A routine for bedtime for all 3 boys. It feels so nice to find that routine. And I know it will feel even better once daddy is back to normal. While the evenings seem to be our crazy time what with trying to wrangle up the big boys for bath time and keeping Layton awake so he's ready to sleep at bedtime and making lunches and laying out clothes and getting everyone calmed down and ready for bed, one part of that crazy time may also be my favorite time of the day. We have a new routine of the big boys coming to the living room (where I'm typically holding Layton and getting ready to feed him) before bed to read books in there. It's me and all 3 boys piled up on the couch reading together and wrapping up the day. Once Terrell is feeling better and 100%, I'd like for him to be part of that time too. We could even have a little family devotion or something. I know we won't be able to keep this up every single night (especially with baseball starting soon), and I know we might outgrow this little routine as Layton grows, but for now I'm going to treasure it. It's a special way to close out the day with all my boys.

*Garrison's first baseball practice and Kindergarten registration are what's coming up. We're having a few issues and concerns with both those things... which is really frustrating and discouraging, however we know God has a plan and are trusting His guidance. I'll blog more about both those topics once I know more. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Austin at 2.5

This sweet boy is 2.5 today! And because I really want to keep up with my updates of the kiddos at every birthday and half birthday, it's time to record some facts about my littlest big boy and take a peek into his life at 2.5.

First of all, I just have to start by saying that you are a GREAT big brother! You have done amazing in your new role and we have been so, so proud of you!
You are also a great little brother. You love playing with Garrison and repeating what he says and doing what he does. While you two for sure have your moments of fighting and not getting along, y'all are super close and share a really sweet friendship.
Your current favorite thing to do (by far!) is to play with your alphabet puzzle. It's a litle foam-like puzzle of letters and Sesame Street characters. You dump them all out, turn them over, and then we ask you to find all the letters in order so you can put them together in a big, long train. I'm happy to report that because of this puzzle you know all of your uppercase letters! You also know how to count to 12... they get a little jumbled after that... although you definitely know 17, 18, and 19. You know just about all your colors and you know how to spell your name. Yay! The next thing we're going to work on is shapes.
Your other favorite things to do at home are to play with Garrison, play outside, have books read to you, and do things at the table like stickers or play doh. We're taking a break from coloring right now as you've decided to color on your face with markers or sample crayons multiple times. =)
You are doing so much better with bedtime now! You still usually take a little while to go to sleep but you have finally adjusted to sharing a room and sleeping in a big boy bed. Yaaaay! Even though you're in bed before 8:00 each night you probably aren't asleep til 8:15 or so and you wake up sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 most mornings. You also take about a 2 hour nap every afternoon.
Your current favorite foods are spaghetti, tacos, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, raisins, grapes, cereal, grits, cereal bars, any kind of crackers, peaches, and chicken. Just about the only veggie you really like is green beans... but I wouldn't consider it a favorite food.  
You now enjoy watching entire episodes of TV shows. You still don't sit through every single one, but you really enjoy TV now. Your favorite shows are Chuggington, Super Why, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Callie's Wild West. You typically watch 1-2 shows a day depending on how much we're home and inside. Everyday we're inside at 5:00 you and Garrison get to watch a show while we wait for daddy to get home and I cook supper.
Your biggest 2.5 year old challenges include not wanting to stop playing to do what mama and daddy ask, the occassional massive meltdown, hitting or biting Garrison out of excitement or anger, and separation anxiety from mama at school or church. Other than that, you are laid back and sweet as can be. And you have great manners!

You continue to melt my heart by telling me you love me and wanting to sit in my lap and asking me to play with you and requesting me lots. I am so blessed by how much you love me!

You are such a blessing to our family and keep us laughing and busy everyday! We are all enjoying watching you learn and grow and are SO thankful for you. We love you Austin!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Our Weekend

We have had quite the up and down weekend. It hasn't been all wonderful or all not-so-wonderful, but a little of both. Friday started with Terrell having another doctor appointment and the same doctor who was confident he had a torn muscle a week before is now confident that his leg issues are from his back... most likely a slipped disc. Ughhhhh. So frustrating that he was possibly mis-diagnosed in the first place. He's seeing an orthopedic doctor tomorrow so hopefully we will get answers and pain relief soon!

Saturday the boys and I headed to Barnesville for the day and spent it at Granna and Papa's house. (Terrell stayed home to rest and stay off his feet.) We had a really fun day with my parents. Being away from the house did me good. Even though I missed Terrell big time (we are the best teammates and it's hard doing things without him), I realized that being away helped me forget about all our craziness for a little while. I had help with the boys, I had a good distraction, I was able to rest a little. It was nice. And my big boys got to do lots of fun stuff...

My littlest had a good day too. He was a sleepyhead almost all day so I didn't get any pictures of him... but he was there! And here's one of my favorites of him (from last week) that just had to make it on the blog. =)
We got home in time for supper with daddy last night and we could tell that having a day to rest had done him good. He was able to help with bath time and bedtime without hurting too much. Have I mentioned that I am so beyond ready to have him back to normal? Mama is tired and misses daddy! Waaaahhhhhh!

Anyway. Everything went good with our evening until Layton decided he wasn't really feeling the whole going to sleep and staying asleep thing. Soooo, we had a very fussy baby on our hands for most of the night. Thankfully Terrell was able to help out. Oh how I love and appreciate him. He really is trying his best to help me keep my sanity.

We woke up in a fog this morning but made the most of our day with grocery shopping, cleaning, and playing outside. Terrell had a good day pain-wise (very similar to last Sunday) and all the boys had a good day too. The beautiful weather was definitely a perk!

(We are planning to go back to church as soon as daddy is up for it... and we get more than just a couple of hours of sleep on a Saturday night.)

As much as I'm craving sleep and having Terrell back 100% and just feeling normal again, I am trying really hard to soak up and savor family life during this newborn stage. This is a CRAZY time for us and I've had moments (LOTS of moments in fact) of just feeling down about it, however, I don't want to wish it all away. This is my last newborn stage and my only time to experience this point in time with all my babies. The here and now may not be all sunshine and roses but it's here, now. It's memories with my 3 boys. It's watching my big boys share a special friendship and constantly love on their new brother. It's watching my newborn grow and change little by little. It's admiring my husband as he suffers through hurting and pain to still be daddy to our boys. So I have to make the most of it. I have to try to enjoy it despite feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. And deep down I know when I look back on it, it won't seem all that bad. If I take the time now to really enjoy it and soak it up, craziness and all, I'll remember this season as busy but special.... which it truly is.

And this weekend turned out that way too. Busy because things are pretty much always busy now keeping up with 3 boys, but special because I spent it with my 3 boys and we got to spend time at Granna and Papa's and we enjoyed a great family day today (that included daddy!). I may be tired and a little overwhelmed but I am so thankful. And determined to savor this crazy season!