Friday, September 28, 2012

My Baby's O-N-E!

Dear Griffin,

Happy 1st Birthday baby boy! Momma, Daddy, and your two older brothers love you soo much! You have added so much joy, love, hope, and delight to our lives. We simply can not imagine a world with out you in it.

As of 8:30 am this morning, you are officially O-N-E year old! From the very second you were born, I knew our lives were changed permanently and for the better. I will NEVER forget the moments after you were born. Daddy and the nurse brought you over to me. I was still on the OR table and couldn't really hold you. You were crying like crazy but the moment that Daddy lowered you down to me you stopped crying right away as soon as I started talking to you! My heart nearly burst with love and pride and about a hundred other wonderful emotions.





The first few months were a learning experience for both of us. We eventually got a great schedule going and you nestled right into our family and our lives just as if you had always been here.












You have been the most smiley, happiest, most content child ever! I thank God for you morning, noon, and night for the blessing he has given us in you.

We love you with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our beans!

Momma, Daddy, Graham, and Grady

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Hello From Caroline

Sometimes things catch my eye and I think to myself  "Why, that's Caroline saying Hello!". Sometimes they are simple little things like when the sky is streaked with pink or a pretty red bird is outside my window. Other times (like this instance), I feel like I'm being shouted at :). I really shouldn't be all that shocked, all my kiddo's seem to have the loudest voices ever. Why would Caroline be any different?

Please pardon the awful screen shot.... 

I was looking online this morning feeling terribly guilty that Griffin will be ONE tomorrow! and I still don't have a baby book for him yet. (Send the Momma police out!) I found a website with just beautiful ones on it and the above is what I saw. Crazy right?? And even in the correct name order. 

I miss my sweet girl and now I think that Griffin needs one of these baby books:).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wifely Duties = FAIL!

I found this online while browsing during my down time today :). I'm thinking that most any woman (you know alive and with a pulse) will laugh out loud with me and call bull-shit to pretty much all of this baloney. If I acted like any of this Bobby would ask what the heck was wrong with me :). I'm pretty sure my awesome hubby knows that I've spent the bulk of my afternoon chasing the boys around, removing forks from their hands as they try and stab each other... 

Just in case there is any confusion, its circa 1955: 

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people

  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

  • Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

  • A good wife always knows her place.

Reading these felt like watching an episode of Man Men!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Easy Homemade Beef Stroganoff

We had homemade Beef Stroganoff for dinner last night and it was unbelievably easy and soo good! Thank goodness I doubled the recipe!

This is it ready to cook! If there is a particularly long cooking time then I just go ahead and add my meat in still frozen to save time and effort on my part :).

Homemade Beef Stroganoff:

2 pounds Beef Stew Meat
2 cans Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup
5-6 shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Onion chopped
1 - 8 ounce block of cream cheese (next time I will try doing just 4 ounces, I think I might like it even better!)      
1/2 cup water

In a slow cooker with the heat set to low, add Stew Meat, Soup, Worcestershire, Onion, and Water. Cook for 8 hours. Right before serving time, add in the cream cheese. Serve over egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or even rice!

Seriously y'all, how much easier could this get?? :) I decided to do both egg noodles and mashed potatoes and then just let everyone pick what they liked. Success! I had meant to get an after picture but the plates of food were being devoured so quickly. :) I also wanted to point out briefly that it looks like a ton of onion going in there and I briefly panicked because my kiddo's are pretty anti-onion. They cooked down to almost nothing though and the boys didn't even notice that they were in there! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Afraid At Night?

Last night when I was tucking Graham in he seemed pretty reluctant to put his head down and go to sleep. Usually he's the one kid that I don't have problems with in that department. He is so GO GO GO during the day that by the time that it's bedtime he's more than ready to hit the hay. Graham seemed a little more chatty last night than usual so I stayed in there a little longer and he eventually ended up confessing that he's been either scared to go to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night scared.

Graham started off our conversation like this... "Momma, do you ever feel like that you can hear someone breathing on you at night?" I just laughed at this and said "Yeah, Daddy does it all the time!" of course Graham said "No, Momma I mean for real!". I ended up just telling him that it was probably just the AC or fan going. We talked for a while about how things can seem different at night without the lights on and how sometimes we are dreaming but might feel like we are awake.

Graham then volunteered that he'd been waking in the middle of the night a lot recently and too afraid to walk down the upstairs hallway, down the stairs, and into our room to wake either myself or Bobby. My sweet boy had been trying to deal with his fear alone by turning his little night table light on and doodling in a little notebook he keeps. He said that sometimes he turned his tv on for a while too. I said that those were all very good ideas and would certainly help take his mind off of things. I felt pretty good about those options because every morning that I go in his room to wake him everything is turned back off and he's not too sleepy in the morning (ie- he's only staying up for a little while at night and is able to turn everything back off again after he's ok again).

I told him that we would stop watching anything that was remotely scary on tv (including myself) so that we wouldn't get any bad ideas.


I am a 36 year old mother of 3 and I get scared at night sometime too... (I sleep with the master bathroom light on every.single.night). That all being said, I know what it's like to have an overactive imagination :). This is not something that I discuss with my children so I'm pretty sure that Graham hasn't picked this up from me.

I've tried to empower Graham by telling him that it's ok to do several different thing :

  • sleep with the hall and bathroom lights on
  • call out very loudly for Bobby or myself with out getting in trouble
  • sleep next to Grady in Grady's big bed. 
I've also tried to offer Graham many different explanations for to explain away what has been scaring him. Maybe in the future he can apply a certain reason to a certain event that scaring him.

My one problem? Graham told me that last week we had woken up early one morning and needed to use the bathroom. He said that when he opened his door (which I always leave cracked for him) " there was a black shape that jumped from the hallway into my bathroom". I wasn't sure what to say here. His eyes were playing tricks on him?

Ugh. My almost 11 year old is kinda getting away from the usual childishness of "there's a purple dinosaur under my bed". I struggle because I want to both validate Graham's fear and explain it away for him at the same time. I want him to feel like he's being heard, understood, and taken seriously. I sometimes wonder if I'm still a "fraidy cat" is because my own parents just said things like "your're fine, and just go to sleep" and then completely disregarded my emotions and left me alone to deal with my fears and uncertainties.

 This is my first encounter with an almost preteen and being frightened and I feel that I need to have a different conversation with him than I do with my four year old and "monsters under the bed". I guess I'm just worried that I'm not doing it right. I want Graham to grow up happy, healthy, confident, and unafraid. I want my sweet boy to sleep through the night soundly and without fear. 

Anyone else have these problems with their older children??

Saturday, September 22, 2012

***Free Things Right Now***

Ok y'all so I felt compelled to tell you about all the freebies I found yesterday! It was such an awesome day for free things I could hardly believe it!

Y'all keep in mind that some of these specials probably end today or tomorrow so be sure to jump on them now. But, that's usually just the way the deals are run. The better they are the quicker you must act.

  • Paper Coterie -  $40/$40 credit. You will only pay shipping on this deal! How amazing is it to just get handed $40 and told to spend away! I ordered these two gems yesterday afternoon

This cute memory box is for all of Griffin little items that I've been collecting for him since birth (hospital bracelets, cards, his coming home outfit, etc.). It measures 10"x10" and should be perfect for his room. 

This is a hard-bound journal that I picked up for Graham. It can be personalized with both picture and name! Graham loves to doodle, make list of games he's saving for etc. so this will be a perfect journal to save back as a fun Christmas gift!

The code for this deal is WELCOME2012 and the deal ends tomorrow so head on over there right now!!

  • The next great deal is from Shutterfly. It is for a free address labels! Maybe it's just me that gets excited about mailing labels... I just LOVE them! I went ahead and pre-ordered some for Christmas. 

I just love how the gray looks against the colored bulbs! I'm not sure what my Christmas cards will look like this year but this should match no matter what I pick out.

THIS DEAL ENDS TODAY! So hurry up and take advantage of this!! The code for this deal is FREELABELS.

  • The last deal I have for you is for Enfagrow Ready to Use Formula.
Free Enfragrow
(sorry it's kinda a crappy picture, but you get the idea)

Follow this link here and go to Passion For Savings. Install their coupon printer on your computer and print out this coupon. (I promise this part only takes a second...) It's an incredibly high value coupon and pretty much covers the cost of the entire product. It states that it's good for Walgreens, but I bet you can just as easily use this at Walmart. Don't forget, you can print these coupons twice so make sure to do that and grab 2 at the store! Walgreens is supposed to have this product on sale tomorrow (SUNDAY) so use this coupon then. If you don't have kids that are a toddler's age then why not grab some for a friend or a food pantry?? Since I do have a little one almost ready to use this I printed out my own 2 coupons and then called my SIL Melanie to print me out the 2 she could. I may call a couple of other friends to do the same for me and get little Griffin all stocked up!! 

I usually run across pretty good deals like this (and by pretty good I mean down-right FREE). Would y'all be interested if I posted my free finds for y'all?? Is that too boring to blog about? (Oh and I don't get paid by any company to do this, that's just how nice I am :)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

On A Serious Note...

On a more serious note today, I've torn up my "office area" looking for my pictures of Caroline. My office area is really just an armoire in my bedroom that has some built in desk space and it's a horrible mess. I've only succeeded in making it a worse mess with all my searching. I know that the  disc is here somewhere. I need only stop panicking and think.

The one precious thing that I did come across was a little note from my SIL Melanie. She gave it to me when I was laid up on bed rest with sweet Griffin. The note says...

Trust in HIS timing
Rely on HIS promises
Wait for HIS answers
Believe in HIS miracles
Rejoice in HIS goodness
Relax in HIS presence

Such great words to hear today. I soo needed to hear them :). Will y'all pray for God to guide me in the right direction as to where the disc is at?

Embarrass Your Husband Friday

I was going to save this post for a future time when my hubby pissed me off but I just couldn't wait :). My online friend Gretchen posted the most hilarious picture of her husband this morning and spurred me on to post my own. Go and check her out and laugh with me!

So remember that post I did about tucked pants inside butt?

Check out this butt-tastic picture...

What a tush! :) That is of course, my foxy hubby on the left and his little sister Stacy on the right.

Once again, my trend-setting hubby is the one of the left, WITH THE PINK HAT ON, his brother Cody (Melanie's husband), and Stacy. Please take notice that both Bobby and his little SISTER are striking the same pose. 

Happy Friday! Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Almost Time

to make some Lemon-aid folks!

I went outside today to check our Lemon tree and look what I found...

Some still look like Limes right now but others are starting to turn color already! Can you see the poor ones on the ground that didn't make it? :( I think the birds got those. And, isn't that last picture incredible?? The limb is so heavy with fruit that it's on the ground!

We will seriously be drinking fresh Lemon-aid for weeks and weeks! Anyone know any good recipes that call for lemon juice?

Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Typical For My House

The proverbial plate (because obviously Griffin does not use a plate yet :) has been cleared. All that is leftover is the green veggies. Those have been unceremoniously pushed to one side and left alone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Always Use Your Best

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to be able to host a bridal shower in my home for my very good friend Coree. And of course, when you get a group of ladies together here in the South, something must be alcoholic...

True to form, the punch filled the boozy role for us. While the brew was being concocted, many, ahem, samples had to be had. And being that we were at a shower and trying to be very formal and lady-like :) we used these gems to sample the punch...

I'm not sure if you can determine the scale of these but they are (I'm guessing here) cordial glasses . They are tiny! There were a wedding gift from almost 12 years ago and have never been used. (Bobby and I are not big cordial fans :).

Anyway, back to the story, darned if I didn't walk in my dining room to find several of my friends had raided my china hutch, pulled these out, and were using them as very fancy shot glasses. I LOVE my friends. They never cease to crack me up!

It got me to thinking though, I have a china hutch filled to the brim with beautiful and expensive crystal and china that is never used!

Sorry, this center portion of my hutch doesn't open.

And, this is just the top portion of my cabinet! All my wedding dishes are packed away!

All of this really got me to think. I really would like to have a party for myself and my friends (hubby's included of course, no children please.) :) and pull out all of my wonderful things! This has all sat sadly for years, covered partly in dust, partly in furniture polish. It's time for it to get pulled out and start making some memories!

Life is short y'all! Always use your best!

Friday, September 14, 2012

All Things Griffin

Oh the agony that is cleaning out your last baby's baby things. :(

To my delight I found out last week that one of my good friends is expecting baby #2. (Hi Deborah!) and so it was time to pass along a ton of Griffin's gently used things. It seemed that every item I touched held a special memory. Stacks of receiving blankets, burp clothes, sleep positioners, and a couple of random things are now gone from our home. It's pretty hard to wrap my head around not needing those things ever again.
Maybe my crap-tastic Blackberry phone pictures make these look all trendy and Instagram-ish??

On a brighter note, I'm pretty happy to get Griffin's room cleaned out and organized again. That sense of not having things hoarded up in his room is freeing. It really helps balance out that sad, scared, "where has my tiny baby gone?" feeling.

Moving on to other Griffin things :), he is LOVING table food! If it's soft of can be cut up very, very small he's all over it. This is so fun now because I can make him little plates of food just like I do his big brothers! For as sad it is to not really have to buy or make baby food anymore, its so exciting to move on to "big kid" stuff with him!

Just this morning, Griffin decided that he would take a sippy cup. I had been worrying about this for a while. I started to gently introduce one with meals a while back but Griffin would get soo upset that they weren't his bottle. I ended up just stopping for a while. No sense in traumatizing him when my goal is for him to stop formula and bottles at one year (which is September 28th y'all!!). This morning I randomly filled one with a little bit of water and he liked it! Like almost everything else when it comes to kids, they'll do what they want to do when they're ready to do it. One would think that after 3 kids I'd be all over this concept but sadly it's still not sinking in well :).

I really need to figure out my camera situation. I'd love to post a video of Griffin and his mad crawling skillz. (must remember to check and see if I can upload video's from my crappy Blackberry onto here...) It's seriously hilarious. His left leg does the regular crawling maneuver (meaning on his knee with a forward/backward motion). His right leg, however, does something completely different. He walks on his foot and uses it to propel himself forward with extra force. Some in the family find this concerning, I on the other hand see this as brilliant. I figure that he's realized how much more efficiently he can get around with all that extra force he generates. Opinions in the blog community on this??

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Poopy McStinkerson

Ugh. Griffin woke up from his morning nap earlier this morning COVERED in poo. I heard him start to gently fuss so I went to get him. The smell of the poo-spolosion hit me the second I walked into his room.

It was everywhere...

In his hair, all over his feet, up his legs, his hands, arms, just everywhere.

All I could do was grab him under his arm pits and haul is stinky little tush downstairs to the big bathroom. I didn't even bother with wipes. I could have used a hundred of them for this one clean up job.

Griffin got a good scrub and rinse, with the drain open, followed by a long soapy soak.

Dude still smelled like poo even when were done. Ugh.

Thank God he's cute! :)

(I'd also like to briefly apologize for my crappy blogging. Grady broke my other camera and I'm stuck using my horrid cell phone to take pictures of the boys.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Worst Fear

You know, other than my fear of flying, falling, loss of a child/hubby...

This little gem jumped out at me from a dark closet this morning.

Remember this time??

This is one of those "flesh colored lizards" that I'm always going on about. He (or she) doesn't look so flesh colored right now up against the white paper. But, rest assured, it is indeed the most horrific shade of "flesh" in real life.


Grady helped me get him back outside where he (or she) belongs. I know it will only find its way right back in again but the thought of squishing it and then getting it outside was a worse thought. I was all sorts of awesomeness and managed to break the glass during our lizard removal episode. That's all right though. I had zero plans to use this glass again anyway...

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