Monday, July 29, 2013

Bye Bye Binky

I think knowing that Ethan is my last baby I am not as eager to let him become a "big boy". Hence the issue of not taking his pacifer at a younger age. And it didnt' help when we visited the dentist that he told me it was fine for him to have it until abround 4 and even as old as 5. Although I knew I wanted to break him much earlier than that it dawned on me that he was 3 and would be pushing 4 before I knew it. I had tried it once before and he cried crocodile tears so I just gave it back to him. Seriously, what could it hurt if he only took it at bed and naptime if it meant keeping my sanity :). He wasn't the child who walked around in public with it hanging out while trying to talk. It was his soothing item and I understood it comforted him. Poor kid has lived in 3 states in 3 year of his life :). Yes I know excuses excuses.

With much determination I talked to Ethan about sleeping without binky and how he will always be my little biggie boy but that it was time for him to sleep without it. The first night was a bit rough but after that he was a true champ! It helped that I "bribed" him with a chart to fill up with stickers each night he slept without it. AFter 2 weeks of no binky he earned his prize of firetruck toys. ( I bought on clearance at Christmas and stashed them). He was so excited and so proud of himself.

I must admit it was bittersweet. Although I was so so proud of him for giving it up so easily I miss going in there to kiss him goodnight and seeing binky in his mouth. It is another reminder of just how much he is growing and changing.

Only bad note is that now he doesn't nap AT ALL because he just couldn't sleep during the day without it. Nighttime he is so worn out that he crashes as soon as his head hits the pillow. I must say sometimes I want to give it back just for 2 hours of quiet time and to sneak in a nap myself :).

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Iron Knights

James wrestled for Iron Knights Wrestling league here in Clarksville, TN this season. As in true James fashion he picked up quickly on techniques and took on challenges with no fear. Although I am not a huge fan of the sport I support  my son in whatever he does. Even if that means getting up and moving on Saturday mornings to spend an entire day in a gym just to watch him wrestle a few matches. Most of his time was on the DS or iPod. We only did tournaments that were with an hour or so drive since he is still young. The best part was that Shawn was able to help coach and strengthen a bond between them. James had several top 3 finishes for his weight class. This included children who were 2nd graders and had much more experience than him.

Regionals were being held the first Saturday after Shawn deployed so I was worried for many reasons. I was worried about understanding the brackets and knowing when to send James down to wrestle. I was worried mentally how James would do without Shawn being there. I was worried how I would enterain Ethan the entire time in the gym because I couldn't just leave James.

James had a very hard time with Shawn deploying. Thankfully, Mr. Zac (Shawn's oldest and dearest friend) came down and helped fill that void as much as he could. Mr. Zac coached and cheered James on which was very encouraging. James was 0.4 pounds over his normal weight so Mr. Zac made him run for 30 minutes to get down to goal weight. After we headed to CiCi's and James said food never tasted so good :). The day of the tournament Shawn was able to call several times to check the status of James. You would've thought Alabama was playing for another championship based on how nervous and anxious Shawn was. James made it through his first few matches with wins and even got a pin! Then came the semifinal round and that kid was a beast!! He was a 2nd grader who obviously had experience under his belt and used the choking technique. During this James yelled "stop the match" and because referees have to take it seriously the match was called based on a forfeit :(. Despite both coaches arguing it wasn't what he meant it had to be called. However, our little champ didn't let defeat get the best of him. After a pep talk from Mr. Zac and one final match to place in the top 4 he was raring and ready to go!! He dominated and won his last match placing him in 3rd place in the Regional Tournament!! I was sooooo proud of my little champ!! As in keeping with tradition he got to get a tshirt. We all agreed that the saying he chose for the back was very appropriate. As the guy was heat pressing the shirt Mr. Zac made a comment about how it smelled awful. James replied "it's the smell of victory". Gotta love him!

Although he earned a slot in the state tournament he has chosen not to attend. He just isn't showing much interest since Shawn left. It is a very demanding sport and we are not going to push him at this age. He has proven enough and we know he is a true champion!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Birthday and Baptism

Well I still can't believe my baby is 6 years old. I can honestly say that the day he was born was the greatest day of my life. He was such a good baby. So happy, so chubby and so cute!! He helped me stay strong while Shawn was gone for 15 months and being alone. I loved watching him grow and change each day. James has always been much more mature and wiser than most kids his age (I attribute this to the 15 months alone with him and making him talk and listen to me lol). He says the funniest things and has the best sense of humor. His innocence and kind heart makes my heart swell with pride. He always treats people with respect and kindness regardless their situation. He is the boy that makes you proud to be his mom. James began Kindergarten this year and I worried about him so much that his sweet spirit and outgoing personality would suffer but it has just increased. He is loved by all and was even voted class president of his Kindergarten class :).

I remember the day so well that he was born. We both were scared because I had to be induced because amniotic fluids were low. We were told to be at the hospital no later than 6 p.m. so they could get me going. Of course since I knew I couldn't eat for a while a trip to Burger King was on the top list of must do's.  Then the fun began...although the overall experience was not the best we ended up with a healthy baby boy weighing 6 lbs 5 oz. I never knew how much you could love something so small and do anything for him to make sure he was happy. I learned I am a timid person until it involves my child then you better look out because mama bear will come out.

James you have made us so proud in so many ways but this year will always stand in our minds.  On October 14th you started asking about baptism and wanting to be saved.  Daddy had a lengthy conversation with you to make sure you knew what you were asking. After talking he decided you knew EXACTLY what you were asking and what you wanted to do. At that moment you asked Jesus into your heart and became a Christian. The next step was the outward profession to be baptized.  You were baptized on November 11, 2012 at Spring Creek Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. I am so proud that no words can express how happy I am to be your mother and know we have eternity to spend our life together. Family came to share this day with us which was extra special.

James I love you more than you will ever understand until one day you have children of your 30 years of course :). You bring so much happiness and joy to my life. I am so thankful God chose me to be your mom!! I am so blessed

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Roll Tide Roll...LIVE :)

This past weekend Shawn was lucky enough to score us a great deal on Alabama tickets. It was the first time for me to ever go to a game there so I was super pumped. All week we talked to the boys to pump them up and Ethan was so excited to finally see Big Al while James talked about wanting to wink at the cheerleaders :). Gotta love him. We left out on Friday afternoon and drove to Birmingham to sleep. The next morning we went to the store to get some Alabama gear and the clouds let was POURING. All I could think is I can't imagine sitting in this mess much less walking to where we had to sit. But thankfully when we got to the game it was dry and the weather was GORGEOUS.

Thanks to parking we had to walk quite a distance but I was in awe by how big and how beautiful the campus was. The fraternity houses were gorgeous.  I just couldn't imagine going to that big of a school. I admire its beauty but I love where we went to college. As we walked it was crazy at how some of these girls dressed for a football game!! Just another reason I am thankful I have boys :). I have never seen so much crimson, white and houndstooth in my life. Football is VERY serious here people.

We started out by watching the Walk of Champions where the entire Alabama Crimson Tide team walked from the bus to the stadium. All I wanted to see is Coach Saban but of course we were nowhere near the front so we put James on Shawn's shoulders and handed him the camera.  I think he has a future as a paparazzi with as many pics as he took but he got the one picture I wanted...Coach Saban :). After that we went to the Quad to let the boys bounce and play. James attempted to kick a field goal while Ethan bounced in an inflatable. Afterwards the boys got suckered into autographs with the womens soccer team. James was smitten and as we left he gave them his famous wink which had them all laughing. Then it was time to move to see the Elephant Stomp where the band performs. I thought the boys would be impressed but they weren't too enthused. Finally the time had come to make the walk to our seats. James was so excited. Upon entering the stadium we quenched our thirst with $4 cokes....yes insane!!We found our seats and they were awesome. We were on the 6th row and so close to the field I couldn't believe it. It was just breathtaking in there and I was in awe at how big the stadium was. We tried to get pictures with Big Al but people are just rude and I am not forceful enough.....I tried, I tried. Ethan was happy with the snacks of funnel cakes and nachos. James loved yelling Defense and was so excited he could read "D"-and the picture of a fence :).

As any good fairytale would have it Alabama won 38-0.  It was such an awesome time spent as a family and a good memory for when Shawn is gone in 4 months :(.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't Blink...

Well today was the first day of Kindergarten for my sweet boy. I seriously can't believe we are here and that he is going to school. The song "Don't Blink" comes to mind so often because it is just like they were babies and now we are entering a whole new phase of life. James decided he wanted to ride the school bus so even on his day to test they wanted the students to ride the bus. The night before he came to me and said he was kinda scared and I saw tears well up in his eyes. So I swallowed extra hard to remove the lump from my throat and to fight back the tears. I explained to him that we all are scared to do new things. Then came the questions about what if he gets lost or if his teacher isn't there to get him off the bus etc. I reassured him that someone would be there and to not worry....but inside my head I was thinking "crap it could happen". So we said our prayers and he went to sleep. The next morning he woke up at 6:30 and came into my room fully dressed and said he is ready to ride the "yellow dog" aka the bus. Thank Shawn for that nickname :). My brave boy was going to do this and with such confidence.  I could hear him on the bus as the doors shut saying "This is great".
The time came for us to walk him to the bus stop and I have to admit my stomach was in knots. He was so excited so we focused on that and before we knew it the bus was pulling up. He got on the bus without looking back. All day I wondered if he made it off ok and how his day was going. FINALLY the time came for him to come home and it seems I couldn't walk fast enough to get to the bus stop. He bounced off the bus eager to tell me about his entire day to include what they had for lunch and how he got to sit in the big cafeteria. He survived...well I guess I should say I survived his first day of Kindergarten.
James is always eager to learn and does well at school. His only complaint is that he doesn't get to watch TV very long at night and that he doesn't like homework. WOW....this early...we got a looong road ahead of homework buddy :).
I am so proud of him.  Despite the moves we make due to the Army he always seems to acclimate so well. He often is my strength to adjust faster to places and get moving. I pray that he gets to enjoy being a child and that other kids don't teach him "stuff" that he doesn't need to know. I pray that he isn't afraid to be himself and to be kind to other kids. Sending your baby out into this cruel world is so difficult. Thumbs up James to a great school year! Go Barkers Mill Bobcats!!!

I was very fortunate to find a Mother's Morning Out program that is 5 minutes up the road for Ethan. Of course he was excited too because big brother was going to school and now so was he. He kept asking whent he bus would come for him and I had to explain that's only for kindergarten. He was a bit disappointed but he was ok. He was so excited at his Jake and the Neverland Pirates bookbag and lunch box. We got to his school and he kissed me and went straight to his seat. I was so relieved because with Ethan he doesn't always adjust as well as James to new situations. After school he was so excited to tell me about his day and that he ate all his lunch like a big boy. He said he pottied 3 times....we are finally potty trained and he wears big boy undies now  :).  His teacher seems so great and I am so glad we found such  a great place for him to enjoy learning and learning aboug God.

Both boys have started AWANA's program here. Ethan started his first year of Cubbies and James is in Sparks now. I love how they both get so excited to go learn about God's word and the memory verses they learn. Definitely something we missed in Kansas. It's such a blessing to find a good church who loves your children!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well after having orders for 4 different duty stations we finally got one that stuck. Welcome to Fort Campbell, Kentucky home of the 101st Airborne division. We were very excited and knew God was taking care of us when we got stationed here. It is only 3 hours from home and with issues going on with family it was perfect timing. The boys and I initially went to Clarksville, TN to look at rentals but after discussing things we felt it was a good time to buy. The interests rates were at all time low and new builds were cheaper than renting. I looked at 4 homes total during our time house hunting. When I saw the last home I just felt it was perfect for us. I fell in love with the kitchen and the dark floors. The biggest selling point was all bedrooms were upstairs and we had no backyard neighbors....just a cornfield that was in Kentucky. Yup, our front yard is Tennesee and backyard is Kentucky :).

We love our house and are slowly getting it put together. I was very lucky to be able to leave the boys with Shawn's mom while I unpacked the majority of things especially their rooms. Our neighbors are awesome and James has made a buddy already with their 4 year old little boy. Shawn loves it because we are about 45 minutes from Paris Landing which is great for fishing. We have spent several days on the lake there as well as the new marina here in Clarksville.

We had our first house guests last weekend. Bart (aka Bromance), Misty and Major Brimhall came to visit before they trekked south to Troy, AL for grad school. Bart and Shawn spent their days fishing. One afternoon we took the boys to go out on the boat with them. James water skiied and did such an awesome job!! He stayed up forever. He is such an athletic little boy!

I think we are going to like this area just fine. Shawn is happy to be back with an Active Army unit after being in school almost 4 years for the Army. He will be working with 101 HQ in the G6 shop.

Can it be that Ethan is THREE?

Well as of July 30, 2012 we have a three year old little boy. It still doesn't seem like he should be this age and I ask myself where has the time gone. I must say with a second child things seem to go much faster.  Ethan has celebrated each of his three birthdays in three different states (Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee) which is kind of neat. This year since we were close to family we decided to do an impromptu family meal at Rainforest Cafe in Nashville, TN.  All of Shawn's family came as well as my sister and her boyfriend. We were extra blessed with having Bart and Misty with us since they were visiting before heading to their new home in Troy. Although any planning is stressful things went over very well. Ethan chose the theme Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Let me tell ya finding Jake is like finding Waldo...very difficult :). But in the end we pulled it off and he had a wonderful party with his cousins.

Ethan  has learned to right his bike really well over the past couple of months. He knows his alphabet, numbers, and colors very well. He loves to play with his trucks and boats and will line them all up in the hallway. He loves to glue, cut and make pictures. I am so proud of how smart he is and his willingness to try new things. We recently moved him into his race car bed which was bittersweet for me. It truly meant my baby was a big boy...but he reassures me often he will always be my little boy. I refer to him as my little biggie boy :).

I can't believe that you are 3 and that in just a few weeks you will be starting preschool a couple days a week. The first 1 1/2 years I was wondering if we would survive but with God's guidance and your daddy's patience we did :). You were just testing me :)You are talking so much now and crack us up with your facial expressions and one liners. You are quite spunky and tackle your big brother like you are 10 feet tall. I love how just randomly you will say "mommy I just love you". It melts my heart like no other. You are such a caring, brave boy who has adapted to moving well. Anytime you are faced with a new place or challenge you look at me and say "I brave boy mommy", kiss me and then go in without hesitation. I am so proud of you.  You have completed us as a family and are the missing piece that our family lacked. I know that the future holds great things for you and that you will chase your dreams. I will be your biggest cheerleader while you do so. I pray that you find and accept Jesus and live your life in a way that is pleasing to Him. I pray that you treat people from all backgrounds with respect and kindness. I love you baby boy and am so blessed to be your mommy.

About Me

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Shawn and I have been married almost 10 years. We married right before he commissioned out of college so we have gone thru military life together. Not always easy but makes you appreciate the time together. We have one son, James, who was born in Nov. 2006. Ethan was born July 2009 That's it for us! Two is a good number.


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