Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

It's Christmas Eve and I had to come into work today, however, I get January 2nd & 3rd off in lieu of working today :).  Just wanted to hit your computer screen with some Christmastime photos!!

Wren's Christmas tree in her room!  Thanks Aunt Shells for letting us borrow it.  The picture is from the kids Santa picture with dad last year!!  

Next year, this one will be blown up...

 Santa came to our house a couple of weeks ago and we let friends and family around me know that he was going to be there.  Our photographer Shonta Harper (Sharper Photography) came and brought her precious little girl.  I'm so glad that Wren and Emma got to meet!!

Preston and Roane came by and took their picture with Santa too!!
Love these 3 babies soooo much!!

We also got a cousin picture!!  This is all the kids on Gary's side!  Love these kiddos!  I'm so blessed to be their aunt!!
Caleb, Benjamin, Wren, Sarah, Christopher, Ruthie
and Hannah

Wren loves the Christmas tree and sometimes just stares at it!  Don't you love this precious outfit?!  A friend left the onsie and bow on the front porch and then my mother-in-law found those leggings.  Love my little elf!!

Merry Christmas!
Love, The Washers



As a parent you wonder when your kids start to really understand what you're saying.  Well, Sunday night at Brett's house she was b-lining for the DVDs.  She got right in front of them and I said sternly, "WREN, NO!"  She looked over at me and crawled away!  YAHOO!!  Time to start baby-proofing!!

Here's the Wrenster as a pickle walrus!! 


Friday, December 20, 2013

My Struggle.

**disclaimer – I’m not pointing fingers at any one person, nor am I trying to make anyone feel bad for things they may have said/posted.  This is just how I feel.  I have written, re-written, thought and prayed a lot before posting this because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.**

My struggle.  It’s a serious one that heightens at certain times.  Right now, it’s off the charts.

I was chatting with my sister yesterday and she shares the same struggle as me.  It makes us sad that we feel this way, but admitting your struggle is the first step to recovery right?!

Well, here it goes…

I struggle with JEALOUSY!  There.  I said it.  I can’t decide if it makes me feel better or worse.

What exactly am I jealous of?  Stay-at-home moms.

I try my hardest not to judge their daily activities as I know they struggle with things as well, but social media makes it so hard!!  Yes, I watch all of the videos and read the blogs that talk about what they do all day.  They are tired.  Tired from chasing kids around.  Tired from fixing breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Even tired from taking care of their sick children.  I know they are tired, I’m a mom too.

I don’t have the luxury to chase my kid around all day.  Fix her breakfast and lunch.  Hold her all day long if she’s not feeling well. Why?

Because I have a full-time job.

Yes, my baby is only 7 months old, but since the day I returned to work, I've struggled.

You know.  Come to think of it, it’s extremely ironic.  The only thing that stands in MY way of being a stay-at-home mom is STUDENT LOANS.

Student loans that I acquired from a private Christian school.  The school that gave me my education.  The education that allowed me to get a job.  A job that I no longer want!!

I can’t say that I would take back the years I spent in college because I met some of my very best friends while I was there, but if I had I known that I would feel so strongly about this and been able to see the future (what we all wish I’m sure) I might not have made the same choices.

So, here I sit.  At work.  Longing to be home with my baby.  And reading all day long the status updates of those stay-at-home moms.


No, it’s not your fault and I don’t blame you for how I feel or what I did to myself.  I just ask that you pray for me.  For all of us.  Mom’s that have no choice, but to work.  Pray that one day we will have the option to stay at home with our children and be tired from having the best job in the world!!

Luckily, I have an amazing husband who supports this decision and is working hard for me to, hopefully soon, have this luxury and I thank God for him every day!!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Answered Prayers

That phrase always kind of rubs me the wrong way.

Why?  Because when people use it, it normally goes something like this;

"Thanking God for answered prayers today."

"Praise God!  Prayers answered."

These types of phrases insinuate that some prayers aren't answered.  

That is false!

All prayers are answered just maybe not the way we had hoped.

Remember the Garth Brooks song "Unanswered Prayers"?

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers 
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs 
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care 
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

I usually have to change the station when that song comes on because it's a little frustrating.  God didn't ignore his prayer, the answer was "No."

"Not right now"

are the 3 answers God gives when we pray, so instead of saying, "Praise God!  Prayers answered."  Let's change it to "Praise God!  His answer was Yes!"  because there's no such thing as an unanswered prayer.


Friday, December 13, 2013

7 months

We are a little behind on doc visits, so for Wren's 6 month check-up she was almost 7 months, 6 months and 26 days to be exact.  But she's healthy as a horse!!

15lbs 11oz

Since birth she has almost gained exactly 10 pounds!!  Isn't it wild how babies grow so fast!  If I gained 10lbs in 7 months it would be the end of the world, but babies do it all the time!

She's a little chunky monkey and has moved from the 2nd percentile when she was born to the (almost) 30th percentile now...not sure she is going to be one of those 'born little, always little' babies, but she's perfect and that's fine with me!!

In her 7 month 'photo shoot' she thought it was really cute that she can turn sideways in her chair and one foot hits the ground.  She loves her chair (thanks Sherry and Brianna!) and that it's her size. It seems every month she learns something new about it; it rocks, she can touch the ground, etc.

 We adore our 7 month old!!  We have been struggling a little with sleep at night, but Gary and I take turns and try to get as much sleep as we can.  I knew this time might come and I know it won't last forever, so we just make it day-by-day and kiss and squeeze her as much as we can!

Things she can do/loves:
Crawingl - she started doing this Thanksgiving week!  She's all over the place
Shaking her head back and forth and up and down - she has no idea that means 'yes' and 'no,' but it's soooooo cute and she thinks it's hilarious!
Teething - I think this why nights have become sleepless so hopefully we will see some action in that mouth soon
Eating - she tries whatever we put in front of her for the most part.  If it's too squishy (ex. ripe avocado) she just squeezes it too hard and can't get it into her mouth, but that's part of the learning process and how she grips things.
Laughing - she cackles ALL THE TIME!!!  Yes, she cries, whines and gets frustrated (she's a baby after all), but for the most part she just laughs and I LOVE IT!!
Playing - As long as she isn't hungry, dirty or sleepy she can play all by herself!  She would rather someone be in the floor with her, but she doesn't have to if she has plenty of things to play with.  Paper is her favorite, but like I said we have to watch her really close when she has it.
Changing - she's flips all over the place when I'm changing her clothes or diaper.  Sometimes I have to call in back-up to settle her down.  She loves to be naked!!  As long as she's comfortable temperature wise, I can pretty much just let her hang out in her diaper if we aren't going anywhere.
Sleeping - She goes through spurts.  Right now she'll sleep through the night maybe once a week and we've been resorting to putting her in the bed with us because sometimes that's the only way we can get some sleep.  We make it work :)

She's a blessing to us and we are so grateful God chose us to be her parents.

Happy 7 months Gwynie Wrennie!!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dressed by Daddy

Since we're not going the baby food route I've been anxious to see when Wren actually starts swallowing stuff. They say it might take a while, but you'll start seeing things in their diapers.  She's been eating tasting all kinds of foods, but she has still had the 'breast milk poop.'  Saturday morning, before the workshop, I was changing her diaper and there in her diaper was a solid!!  YAY!  She's swallowing!  This is awesome!!  I examine it a little closer, while plugging my nose because these things smell like nasty vinegar, only to find that it was not a solid piece of food.  Nope!  It was a piece of paper!  Her favorite time of the day is when we get the mail every afternoon when we get home.  She loves the sound of paper and chewing on it, so I should  not be surprised that the first thing in her diaper is paper :).  I usually get it away from her once she starts breaking off small pieces and it gets soggy, but I guess this one got past all of us.  At least we know she's learning to swallow :)!

Sunday mornings Gary and I have a pretty good system, even though it might not always seem that way because we tend to still be late for church, but we were late before Wren so we can't blame it on her.  I normally shower and feed Wren and then start getting ready.  Gary gets ready and then gets Wren ready.  I usually lay something out for him to put on her.  This past Sunday was no different, I laid out a dress she had never worn on her changing table and while I was getting ready Gary was dressing her.  He struggled a little bit with the tights, but with a little assistance from me step one was done.  He got her dress on her, her bow in her hair and into her car seat.  We dropped her off in her Bible class and then went to the auditorium class. After class, I went and picked her up and got settled into our pew for worship.  Before Gary got up to preach I lean over and whisper, "You didn't put her bloomers on under the dress."  He replys, "I didn't see any bloomers."  So, I don't think anything about it for a little while.  Then during the sermon it hits me!!  This is a new dress, the tags were still on it and the bloomers were still attached underneath.  So, I lift the front of Wren's dress to find the bloomers still attached underneath!  HAHAHA!!  I just giggled to myself ;).  I didn't pull them out immediately because I wanted Gary everyone to see.  Gary just laughed and laughed when I showed him.  I'm sure this is the first of many stories to come when Daddy dresses Wren!


Weekend Workshop

This past weekend Gary had a workshop at one of our local congregations, LaVergne.  The preacher at LaVergne, Josh Pappas, was previously our educational minister.  It was great to see him and his family over the weekend and it made me realize how much I missed them at Highland.  However, they are EXTREMELY happy at LaVergne and it was awesome to see!  That congregation is very blessed to have Josh and Keshia working with them!
The workshop began on Friday night and we honestly weren't expecting a very large turn-out because of the weather, but LaVergne came through and we had about 50 that night!!

Gary did the introduction, what is SFT and how he got involved and then our friend, Brandon, went through the behavior cycle.

Even though I've heard this presented several times over the years it's still incredible to hear over and over again. Brandon did a great job and we hope and pray that he will continue to be able to work with Gary and SFT!

On Saturday morning we started off with donuts and coffee and then dug into the Pain Processor's Responsibility (upper right corner).  Gary is amazing to listen to.  He has mastered these skills, not saying that he still can't get stuck in the cycle, but he knows how to identify that he's in it and get out!  He learns new things everyday and does such a fantastic job explaining them.  For example, he introduced a new concept this weekend concerning your programming.  I'm not going to go into too much detail because I won't do it justice, but just know that we have to go to the root of the problem and not constantly try to fix things on the surface.  Think of a tree and it's roots, we can't see what's going on below the ground only what's above the ground...

Wren was soooo great all weekend!!  I had a blanket for her to sit on and play with her toys during most of the workshop and she did so well!!  Saturday morning some of the kids stayed in there and sat on the floor in the back and so I pulled Wren's blanket back there and let them play with her and they all LOVED that!!  At Highland, Wren is the 'church baby.'  She gets passed around all over the place and I love it!!  LaVergne was no different!  We know several people that go to church there and obviously met more over the weekend so on Sunday morning she was passed around all over the place.  Keshia kept introducing her as Wren Pappas :).  

We are excited for this door to open to the LaVergne congregation.  They are soooo friendly and we can't wait to see what God has in store for them in the future!

If you are interested in SFT and learning more you can contact Gary at garywasher@sftawareness.org or visit this contact page to find someone in your area.  SFT offers one-on-one sessions, small group sessions and large group sessions.  We can't wait to meet you and help you learn the skills and attitudes that are taught in the Bible to work through your emotional pain, depression or addiction.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Pioneer Woman - Giveaway

Do you love to cook?
Do you have a family member or friend who loves to cook?
Have you heard of the pioneer woman?
Have you tried her AMAZING mashed potato recipe?  Well I have and because of that I definitely entered myself into this giveaway on my friend's blog.

Even though telling you all about it gives me less of chance to win...I thought someone out there might really really want this.  So, good luck and go ENTER!!


Monday, December 2, 2013

From Thanksgiving to Christmas

Let's start this post off with what I like to call 'the tree face.'

Yes, we put our tree up before Thanksgiving ;).

Last week was a whirlwind of a week!  I started Thanksgiving week off with a bang!  A co-worker and I volunteered for JA.  Our company sets up a lot of volunteer opportunities and this is one that really interested me because, let's be honest, I've always wanted to be a teacher!  We hung out with Miss Stanisic's 2nd grade class at Cole Elementary all day Monday!  We had sooooo much fun!!  We learned about voting, taxes, assembly lines and so many more things!!  The kids were awesome and I hope they as much fun as we did!
Jeremy looks like a giant!!  Yes, I'm wearing a princess crown!

Tuesday I actually had to work, whomp whomp, but that night we packed up and headed down to my parent's house where we spent the night before making the trek down to Alex City for our annual slumber party with the Rice's.  Brint and Shanon are my friends from church camp and since we do our family Thanksgiving in Montgomery every year we take that opportunity to go visit and spend the night with them the night before.  Shanon and I always end up staying up way too late, but it's totally worth it to catch up with a friend!  Sadly, we didn't get any pics of us or the kids together, but Shanon did take some cute ones of little Wrennie :).
Wren wanted to play ALL NIGHT LONG!!!  It took us almost 5 hours to get down there and Wren practically slept the whole time so she was ready to go by the time we got back to their house after church.

Working on her gun skills for when she goes hunting with Daddy!

Thursday morning we headed to Montgomery to spend Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family.  This is the one big time that we together during the year so we normally do it pretty big.  This year we were missing several people, but we still had fun!
Wren with her cousin Bethany!  Bethany loves on all the babies!!  We love her!

Wren started crawling while were around last week!!  I loved that I was able to see her legit first crawl!! 
She was practicing crawling on her feet.  Hey, however you gotta get around!

Thursday night, Gary and I headed back to mom and dad's house and for the FIRST TIME we didn't take Wren with us.  She stayed with Bebe (my mom) and Pepaw (my dad) and her cousin Easton for another night in Montgomery.  It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I think it was because it was so late when we left we were dead tired by the time we got to mom and dad's house and then got to sleep in!  Then Shelley and I went shopping for a few hours and mom and dad got home right after I did.  Even though I missed her and kissed her A LOT when we were finally reunited it really wasn't that bad.

Wren didn't sleep so great in the crib at Bebe's house, so she ended up in the bed with us most nights.  For a tiny 6 month old she sure takes up a lot of space.
Girl loves to cuddle!!

Saturday morning we had pictures with Santa.  In case you don't know Santa is a.k.a. PEPAW!!!  Yep, that's right my dad plays Santa every year during the Christmas season!!  He's pretty much the best!  He works with Olivia Reed and we were able to get a 20 minute slot with them Saturday morning **those pics coming later**, but just know that out of 3 kids 2 and older, 3 babies 1 and under, 7 adults and 1 Santa there are NO CRYING PICTURES!!  I call that pure SUCCESS!!

That afternoon was IRON BOWL time!!  I'm so happy were able to watch it with family.  It was such a Great game!!
How we started, but by the end everyone is standing up screaming!!  Both babies were bawling because we all so loud...they better get used to it ;).

Sunday morning we headed to Arab for church where we finally got to meet our sweet friends baby, Maddie!  Sadly, we didn't get a picture with her because we were in a hurry after church, but I loved her and can't wait to see her again soon!!  

We had lunch at Shelley's house and Wren had lasagna for the first time... 
She loved it!!  She had it ALL OVER her!!  She also ate salad, cucumbers and some bread.  I say ate, but really just tasted.

That afternoon we headed to Union Church of Christ where Pepaw was doing a 'cookies with Santa' session.

I'm hoping that since Pepaw is Santa we won't have worry about the screaming pictures, but I honestly think those pictures can be some of the cutest, so we'll see :).

Wren and I decorated a cookie... 

Roll it out

Cut the cookie with a cookie cutter

Put sprinkles on the cookie

TADA!!  Then we gave it to the ladies to bake while we I made some ornaments.

Wren enjoyed eating the paper, like always. 

We got to make 3 ornaments and I'm so excited to hang them on her tree in her room.

Once we were done with the ornaments our cookie was ready and so we...  

Ate our cookie with Santa!!  We had a blast and hope we can go again next year!!

WHEW!!  That was a lot for one post and kudos to those who made it all the way through.  We had a great Thanksgiving week and I hope you did as well!!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BLW update

  1. So, how's it been going?
  2. What does she like to eat?
  3. Does it make you nervous if she chokes?
  4. Don't you think she's too small to eat that stuff?

We decided to try out this Baby-Led Weaning approach when introducing solids into Wren's daily life.  So far so good!!  When I first heard about it I didn't really like the idea of mealtime being called playtime, but now that I've done my research I understand exactly what it means and it totally makes sense.  Even though it may seem like playtime she is actually learning about different textures and tastes and smells.  It's really awesome to see her try new things and even spicy things!!  So, to answer the questions above:

  1. It's going great!
  2. She likes to eat whatever we put in front of her if she is able to pick up.  They suggest finger size foods (i.e. french fry size) to help them grip it and still have some sticking out of their hand to nom on. What she's tried: *disclaimer - I understand some of this is not considered 'healthy,' but they say this should be easy and just give them what's on your plate.  So, it keeps mom and dad accountable as well to eat healthier.  We do for the most part ;).*
    1. green beans
    2. pickles
    3. turkey
    4. Indian Curry
    5. Parmesan Chicken
    6. Nachos (bluecoast burrito style) 
    7. Rice
    8. sweet potatoes
    9. homemade french fry
    10. Pizza toppings
    11. I'm sure there's more things that she has tried that I can't remember right now.
  3. Choking and gagging are two different things.  Babies gag reflex is towards the middle of their mouth as they are learning to swallow so a lot of times when they are gagging the food is no where close to their throat and they are able to get the food out.  I do warn people about this when we sit down to eat because I don't want others to freak out if she starts gagging.
  4. Absolutely not!!  The earlier they learn to feed themselves the better!!  
I learn more and more everyday about this approach and so does Wren.  It's FUN!!!
Here she is eating some Indian food (she's already had this twice, by the way, and she's only been eating solids for a little over 2 weeks :)).


Morgan and Wren

Don't you like the sound of Wren Riley??  Well, that's just one of the many options for last names that Wren will have with the boys that will be chosen as part of her arranged marriage options.

Sometimes I wish our culture did arranged marriages so I could choose who our in-laws will be :).  But Gary always says that if we raise her right she will be able to do the picking just fine!  He's so wise, that one!

A couple of Wednesdays ago Matt, Martha and Morgan were in town and we met up with them and Beth for dinner and church.  It was great!!  Matt and Gary get along great and it's always nice to get together with the roommates (even if we're not all there).

Morgan and Wren in bible class together.  He's soooo stinkin' sweet!!  He wanted to pick Wrennie up and carry her all over the house before church.  I LOVED IT!!

The group:
Beth, Matt, Martha, Morgan, Wren, me and Gary

Morgan had his eye on Chandler too!!  Monica also went to college with us and Morgan kept chasing her little girl, Chandler, down to give her a hug!  He's sooooo loving!!!

Matt and Martha are having another little boy soon and we can't wait for him to get here!!  They have picked out a name, but due to not knowing if they are making it public yet, I will refrain from saying what it is.  Just know that it's super cute and super different!!!  Can't wait to meet that new baby Riley!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Color My Neck Red!

Monday night was butcher night in the Washer house!  But First...

We took this little cutie's 6 month picture!!  She is so funny when we sit her in her little chair.  She just wants to jump out and it's usually face forward.  Gary would catch her every time and she thought it was hilarious!!

My cousin put this little collage of pictures together and it's super fun to see how much she's grown.
That 3 month picture cracks me up!

After her picture Gary went to chopping and Wrennie and I played in her room for a little bit.  I had to dump all of her stuffed animals out to use the storage bin as a prop in her picture and with all these options 
she kept going straight to the kiwi!  Rachel brought us that kiwi when they were here visiting right after she was born.  I think it's a sign we need to pack up and head back to New Zealand!!

Gary learned how to butcher a deer from You Tube!  Yep, you can find out how to do anything these days and we have a pretty good system.  Last year he killed a total of 3 and we had to butcher and wrap 2 at one time.  I was pregnant, tired, and the smell really got to me.  This year it was not bad at all!  We got everything besides the ground done on Monday night and then he finished up the ground last night.

Some of the meat ready to be wrapped.

He found part of his bullet.  Yes, we threw that piece away because we weren't sure about eating that.

While we were butchering and wrapping, I put Wren in car seat to watch a movie.  She did so good and let us get everything done!

Everything but the 14 lbs of ground that Gary added last night!  Yahoo fill that freezer up!

After we were done, I had to do a few things so Gary was on baby duty.

This is how he put her sleep!  Got the gun by his head :).

OH and I came home to some 'just because' roses on Monday too!  I secretly think it was a bribe to get me to not complain about wrapping meat and it might have worked :).