Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wean there's a will...

Since I've been so vocal about my mixed emotions revolving around the whole weaning process, I thought I'd blog about it.  That way, when he is 18, I can go back and read All Things Oliver and really torture myself reminisce.

Long story short: when we got home in January, he was still feeding 4 times a day. Taking my time, I removed feedings until we were down to one.  Gradually.  Like every 2-3 weeks.  Afternoon, then mid-morning, then evening...goodbye special time with my baby. Not to sound melodramatic, of course.

The morning feeding has been the one I've been hanging onto. (Or is it on to? Gah, weird grammar rules.) He'd seem to be ready to go without, but then he'd get sick and I wanted him to have The Good Stuff. Or we'd be on the road and he'd wake up in a hotel and the only thing that would get him back to sleep was The Good Stuff.

The struggle is real, as they say.

Alas, we've been home this week and will be next, so I thought, "now's the time, mama."  Or as McKauley Culkin said in Home Alone, "This is it.  Don't get scared now." (Disregard the gun.)

We decided Trent would get up with the boy, so he and I wouldn't be tempted. Also, I'D GET TO SLEEP IN. For two days, he did great! (I did have to pump once due to the engorgement...ahhh, biology.)

Then Trent got sick and needed to rest and so we backtracked.  I got up and tried to pretend nursing is not what we do first thing in the morning, but Oliver pointed to the chair and pulled on my shirt and screamed and so WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?!? 

But this morning, he did not. (Insert crying emoji.) We looked out the window, pointed at birds, talked about the sky, and then he pointed downstairs. Have we rounded third? Maybe.

For the record, had he fussed today, I would've caved. 

If you need me, I'll be here...rejoicing in being able to nurse so long. 

And also cleaning up Cheerios 14 times a day. Seriously...there are so many. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I've always wanted to title a Florida blog post, "Flo Rida"

Well, here in the land of "I'd rather look at curtains and storage solutions than blog about our life," I'm finally blogging about our run to Florida and back.  It was only a month ago.  And a month really isn't that long, but in blog life, it is.  

In February, we made our way to Largo, FL (near Clearwater) for a show/special music.  We split up the drive (going and coming) with some friends in the Atlanta area and we are so thankful!  Thanks, Janet and David!  He really wanted to get that kitty =)

video



We always stay with the same family when we go down to that part of Florida and they are simply the best.  They put us on the bottom level and Mister Man felt right at home =)

The weather was a little chilly but we still managed to get out and about before we needed to be at sound check.   For lunch, we went to Keegan's.  It's been on Triple D and we've been there before  but we wanted to go again and introduce the boy.  He was a fan.  (Excuse the weird pic…I had to crop my giant profile outta that mess.)

We got back to the house, rested, then got ready to head out for sound check.  Except not with Oliver.  Mama Madeline kept him (with 3 other kids) the whole night.  It. Was. Awesome.  We missed him, of course, but I'd forgotten what it was like to have TWO FREE HANDS.  And she sent me these pics to keep my mind at ease. 


We played at Smileys on the campus of Indian Rocks Church and had a blast.  It was a dinner/concert kind of thing which was great!

*Pre-show, backstage fun*

Then after, we all were supposed to go play bubble ball, but some or all (not sure) of the balls had popped which was terrible because obviously:

The group decided to play another game and so we grabbed some pictures.  It was cold!

Our friends Rob and Elissa.  (He's the Young Adult pastor and their kids played like champs with Oliver all night!)

The next day was Valentine's Day.  We went down to Clearwater beach for an early lunch and beach time!  It was still chilly but a little more bearable.  









Later that day, we went and sound checked for where we'd play on Sunday morning.  It was about a 30 minute drive there, then sound check, then 30 minutes back…it just made sense to leave O behind and Mama M offered anyway, so we did!  It felt weird to not have our sidekick, but he was in good hands. =)

We got back, put the boy down, and then went out to eat by ourselves and had  some amazing crab! 

 




We got up early on Sunday AM to head to New Port Richey to play music in all 3 of the services at Calvary Chapel Worship Center.  It was our first time there and we will definitely go back.





(And thanks to Madeline for watching online and grabbing theses pics!)

Oliver stayed in the nursery all morning long and did great but was getting tired and hungry toward the end and we were told, "I think Oliver is done."  Ha!  Yes he was.  I've said before and I'll say it again…Sundays are really hard for him (especially if we're there for 3 services) but he ROCKS it.  Such a trooper.

He slept the whole way back to Largo and then we headed back to the beach for a nice walk!


Then, our sweet host family put together a dinner for us.  So sweet!!!
 

We had an awesome time.  Sure, it would've been nice to have warmer weather but it sure beat what we came home to…

Ice.  Lots of ice.  Couldn't get up the driveway ice.  Trent had to shovel a path to the house ice.

We have since thawed and are loving the warmer weather.

Thanks for traveling with us!





Friday, February 27, 2015

Louisiana and Mississippi

Earlier this month, we left Nashville for a quick trip to Louisiana and Mississippi.

We stopped in Collierville to stay with the sister and got to hug this cutie before leaving the next morning!



The first stop was in Ruston, LA at Temple Baptist.  We got to town and ate at an actual sit-down restaurant, which is rare.  Applebee's.  Because we like affordable, consistent foot.  (But mostly, we didn't have time to look for the local joints.)

Oliver enjoyed a lemon.


No pictures of the show, but how about this set up?  Loved it.  

We played for the youth and they were fantastic.  Seriously, so polite, attentive, worshipful.  Made for a fun night.  And Oliver did great in the nursery.  (Also, the nursery wing had a playscape in it.  A playscape!  If we lived there, that thing would be a draw for sure.)


The next morning, before heading to Mississippi, we had time to workout and grab breakfast.  The ladies write on the bananas and I just though how adorable.  


We also had time for Oliver to play with toilet paper.  



It was his first road trip with his new bag from Grammie and Paads.  

Next stop was Mississippi Statewide Wesley.



We drove to Pulaski, MS, stopping in Jackson for some less than mediocre Mexican food, and got checked in. 

We have a climber on our hands.






I have to share this story:

A few days prior to hitting the road, I was nursing Oliver before bed.  He stopped, looked up over my shoulder, smiled and pointed, and said "Dah!"  I just smiled.  Lots of things are "dah."  He said it a few more times then went about his business.  I didn't think anything of it.

Then we went to Timbercreek Camp where Statewide is held.  Got to the dining hall where this painting of Jesus hangs.  Oliver got the same face, same point, and same, "dah!"  Over and over, smiling and smiling.


Trent and I got teary.  It may be a complete coincidence, but what if he's seen Jesus???  Think of how awesome that is!!


We played at Statewide in 2013 and it is literally one of our favorite stops.  The students sing with a passion that is nothing less than amazing.  We were so honored to get to come back. 

We led worship Friday night and it was a late session.  Oliver fell asleep in his stroller in the back.  (Don't worry, someone was with him.)  He actually stayed asleep when we picked him up which does NOT happen.  Bless him.



We got back to the camp early Saturday morning to sound check and I had to capture all the stuff that was needed to get through 4 songs with this kid.  Snacks, on snacks, on snacks…after breakfast.  Lawd have mercy.  (Wouldn't change a thing.)

Oliver became big buds with Pastor Frank.  It was the sweetest.  

We had time before lunch to enjoy the beautiful weather and beautiful grounds.





After lunch, we ran through some other songs and then Trent and I led a session!  We were surprised some people came.  It was "Living a life of Worship" and I think we did pretty good!  

Some students asked us to sing a song before we left.  We sang "These Arms" and I even tried to play percussion while holding Oliver.  You can imagine that did not work out.  So I got up, held him, and shared Trent's mic.  At the end of the song, while Trent was singing (and we're still holding out hope that one of the kids got video of this) Oliver patted his daddy's shoulder and leaned in and put his head on it.  As if on cue!!!  

We cried.  It was precious.

We ended up getting to go back to the room and we all slept for 2 hours!!!  TWO.  I woke up and was so confused.  You know that feeling.  Like, "what's happening?  Where am I?  What time is it?  Am I supposed to be somewhere?"  It. Was. Awesome.

We gave away a t-shirt and CD at the evening service which meant I ran around and got them all hyped.  Fun times.



Frank had to leave early the next morning, so we had to get a pic with him.  (He even texted our other volunteer, Melinda, the next morning to check on him.)  Heart of gold.

We had a bass player with us and he captured this shot without us knowing and I'm so glad he did.  

There he is!  Jared's a Mississippi boy and also leads worship.  He did great!

And here's our other OliVolunteer.  Melinda was so sweet and dealt with the fussy one so well!  Even when he wanted to be with Frank who had a phone that would play Baby Einstein.

Allyson puts the whole Statewide retreat together and does an amazing job.  On top of being a mother of 4, homeschooling, and super woman.  Love her.

This particular weekend, I was feeling insecure in the whole motherhood department.  The last morning we were there, Allyson said, "Shellie, you handle Oliver being with you all on the road so well."  And here's the thing…it was genuine and the Lord knew I needed to hear it.

And I cried.  He's so good.


We left with full hearts (and clear eyes…ba dum bum.  Texas Forever.)  Seriously, though.  Such a blessing!


And this is what I call, "I didn't feel like putting  on my tennis shoes and these flats were just right there so I put them on with my socks so I could go use the restroom" picture.



Not my finest moment.

Or is it...