Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Wow! We had an amazing Christmas this year. Being home in Alabama was so nice and not having to worry about travel and rushing back to our house for Christmas Eve. Regardless where we are we always plan to be a family in our house for Christmas Eve, especially while Shawn is here.

We had 4 seperate festivities. The first one we hosted at our house with Shawn's dad and siblings. I cooked lasagna with takeout salad from Olive Garden. To be able to have them in our home for a change was so nice. The second was with Shawn's mom and siblings again at his mother's house. Santa made his grand appearance at Gran's house. Each child (and adult) sat on Santa's lap so this thrilled the children. The third was with my family at our house again where we cooked traditional Christmas dinner. The fourth was with Shawn's family yet again in Crossville combined with a baby shower for Shawn's cousin's wife. Whew...we were wiped out byt this point :). But we are enjoying being with family for sure this year because we said when we moved that we won't be coming home as often as we have in the past. James enjoyed spending time with his cousins.

On Christmas Eve we made Santa a double doozie cookie and put next to the tree. The reindeers got apples on the front porch. James went to bed rather easily that night so Santa was able to come early to fill stockings and put out the presents. My mom and sister came over on Christmas morning around 7 a.m. to be there to share in the excitement. James got up about 7:30 or so. We started off by talking about Jesus birth and the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Then he opened his stocking and moved his way onto the presents. He got quite a few great toys between everyone. He opened his 'blue truck with a blue trailer and pontoon boat' last....this was the toy he really wanted more than anything. Once he opened it it was all over at that point. He LOVES that toy. Ethan got some new toys as well but of course was just as happy with playing with the paper and bows. Then I made monkey bread for a special treat for Christmas morning. After our prayer we sang "happy birthday Jesus" and enjoyed a family breakfast. It was a very busy day but was very enjoyable. We went to my mom's to do presents then came back to our house for dinner that night, Shawn's dad joined us as well. I loved cooking and preparing the meal. As much as I love the Holidays I don't like the pounds it brings along with it so I am going to be hitting the gym hard soon!!

We are so blessed to have Shawn home with us this year. The soldiers who are serving overseas as well as their familes are never far from our thoughts. I know that it is such a mixture of emotions for these brave people. Carrying on traditions while a huge hole is missing in your family is so difficult. We are so thankful for all our soldiers and their families. We know that our time will come too soon that Shawn will once again be gone so we are cherishing each minute as a family.

I know I complain about all the food, visiting, etc but I know we are blessed to have family and ample food on our table. There are so many who are struggling this time of year and I know we are so fortunate. James got money for his birthday and we adopted a 4 year old angel from Salvation Army Tree in which he spent his money on the little boy. He wanted to deliver the presents to him and play with him. It was so sweet and innocent that he just didn't understand how a child has no mommy or daddy or even toys. :). it is a tradition we definitely will continue in the years to come.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ethan- 4 month

Ethan had his 4 month check up today. He weighed almost 14 lbs and was 24 inches. He was in the 50th percentiled for both. SO odd b/c James was always in 95th or so. Ethan is just a more petite baby I guess :). While I was there I voiced our concerns and frustrations with Ethan's constant crying. I told the dr. that if they check him and if they find nothing medically wrong then I will be ok with letting him cry it out but only if they can tell me. Our doctor conferred with the head doctor and they agreed that Ethan is just a high maintanence baby...aka SPOILED :). Although they tell me this I am not 100% sold on it. He just cries ALL the time it seems. It is definitely taking its toll on our family...exhaustion, james is kinda put on back burner, etc. Just hard but we know it will get better.

I am just glad for a healthy growing baby boy. He smiles all the time, well when held and talked to. He started cereal with some bananas and he loves them. He lets me know when it is time for it at night.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Last year we discovered that Bass Pro Shops hold a Winter Wonderland at their stores each Christmas. It is such a great place to take kids, especially boys and everything is free. They have remote controlled trucks, race tracks, moving trains, target practice, craft/coloring centers and of course SANTA!!! This Santa is the most authentic Santa I've seen. There are so many great picture opportunities while it is decorated and no lines like at the mall. So this year we took the boys for their annual Christmas picture with Santa and Ethan's first Santa picture. I again was NOT disappointed in them. I loved them. James enjoyed playing with the boy toys set up while Shawn looked around at the fishing stuff. Shawn put Ethan in the Baby Bjorn and carried him while James and I spent time is so rare for us to have alone time b/c Ethan is very needy (aka SPOILED).

James is such a great kid. Granted he is only 3 but he doesn't have this long unrealistic list of what he wants for Christmas. I find myself wanting to buy him so much stuff but have to refrain. He has only asked for one thing for the last month or so. When it came time to tell Santa what he wanted he simply told him the same thing he has been telling us. "The blue truck with the pontoon boat". He saw it in the Bass Pro Catalog and has not forgotten about it. So needless to say I think "Santa" added that to his sack of toys to be delivered at the Dalrymple home :). Even on the way out of the store an employee asked if he gave Santa his list of Christmas wishes and he said "no I only want 1 thing"!! How great is that?? So this year I think it will be a light Christmas which we are fine with for many reasons. The most being that he is satisfied with a $25 toy and not these outrageous things......YET :). We know as he gets older this will change but for now we are going to enjoy our sweet, innocent little boy.

All Aboard the Polar Express

This weekend we went to the Heart of Dixie Railroad in Calera, AL to ride the "Polar Express". We bought tickets for James birthday and he has talked about it ever since. Finally the day arrived and he couldn't wait to put on his Christmas Jammies and board the train. My favorite part of the entire trip was while we were unloading from the van I turned around and he was holding his Pooh Bear out, looking him in the eyes ,and with such magical excitement said "we get to ride on the train". I will NEVER forget that moment.

So we got our tickets and waiting in line to get on the train. James walked up to the train conductor and handed him his ticket. Then asked why he didn't "click" it like in the movie with a word. So we got on the train and got into our seats. He was so excited to look out the window. As luck would have it after a few shots of James and Ethan on the train our camera decided to act up again and quit working :(. So we had no shots from that point on which I was bummed. The people behind us said they would email us a copy of our boys with Santa but I doubt we see it :(. Then the train ride began and we traveled towards the "north pole". The story of Polar Express was read as we traveled. As we rode James would squeal with excitement..."we're off to the North Pole". The actual train ride was only about 15-20 min total. The other time was filled with the visit from Santa. Santa had to visit about 5 train cars so that took a bit of time. After Santa, came the cookies and Chocolate milk. James was so excited b/c they do that in the movie too (except with Hot Chocolate). Then the Elves come thru with bells for everyone from "santa's sleigh" and a really cute keepsake Train Ornament. All the time we are on the train Christmas carols are playing and James is singing along so sweet.

This was a time with James that will always be special to us. He waited so patiently for this time and was not disappointed with the wait. Little boys and their love of trains amazes me but I absolutely LOVE it. The simple things in life makes him happy.

This truly was a magical train ride that will live in our memories forever

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small Glimpse into the Future

This weekend Shawn has been in the field doing the FTX with ROTC. don't you love acronyms for the Army stuff :). On Friday I told James that Daddy wouldn't be home for a few days b/c of work. Well Friday evening rolled around and James asked "when is daddy coming home?". To which I replied..."Daddy is doing the Army thing this weekend remember?" and James pretty much read my mind and said "I don't like the Army." The innocence of children is precious. So Saturday morning rolled around and James woke up nice and early at 6:30 a.m. and walked to Shawn's side of the bed and was shocked when it was just me and Ethan. Again I reminded him. I tried to occupy him by playing games and yes--even putting up the Christmas tree. But James wanted to talk to Shawn so I called Shawn hoping he'd answer and he did. James was excited to talk to him. Shawn got to sneak out and come home for about 45 minutes tonight so James so happy.

Of course at this time I asked Shawn if he was ready to go ahead and get out and look for civilian job. His reply with no hesitation...NO. He said in 12 years he can retire and he is very close to making Major in the near future. He knows that he will deploy and that it will be SO difficult on all of this time b/c neither of our boys will be "babies"....they both will understand and question where is daddy. But I also know if all soldiers got out because of deployments or missing family then we wouldn't have the strong army we have today. Sadly we won't be able to pick up the phone and call just to hear that voice. And worry will consume me on top of being a single parent during that time. This isn't the first time Shawn's spent the night or been away but I guess James is jsut noticing he is gone more b/c there are 2 kids now and it is SO hard to split my time. I go to bed exhausted and in tears a lot b/c i see that I lack in patience so much with them at times. Between Ethan's constant need to be held or he cries and James just wanting to play or swing it drains me. I have to learn to enjoy the little things because soon they'll be in school and I'll miss it. Granted I do NOT have the desire to have any more babies :). I love being a mom but I miss being an adult at times. I need my peace and quiet and lately it is few and far between.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday James!!

3 months old vs 3 years old

James turned 3 on Nov. 9, 2009. I can't believe that he is three. I admit I get misty eyed just thinking how fast it has gone by. I never understood it when my mom would say "it felt like yesterday that I had you" but now I truly understand. I remember that I was induced at about 5:30 p.m. on the 8th of Nov and you made your arrival at 9:15 p.m. on the 9th! Yes it took forever but it was SO worth it. I remember seeing you and thinking how amazing it was that we created you (of course with God's help :))!! Holding you and loving you was amazing. Your daddy left for what we thought was 12 month tour to Afghanistan when you were barely 2 months old. It was such a rollercoaster of emotions for me....hormones from birth, emotions from Shawn leaving and getting ready to move to AL for a few months. As army life has it your daddy's tour was extended by 3 months so once he left for R and R it was 11 long months before we saw him again. You were a good baby...quite chunky but I loved it. I loved how you made me smile when times were hard although you had no idea how much I needed it. You transitioned into thing so easily and were a great traveler! Then when daddy came home you took very well to him adn we began our life as a family of 3 finally!! You were 18 months old when he came home. Then the moves began..first to GA then to AL within a year time.

Now at age 3 you are such a SMART child. You know your alphabet, numbers, sounds, memory verses, songs, colors and so much more! You started really talking well at about 18 months. You speak so clearly and pick up on things so fast. You are fast learner and always bring a chuckle to our lives. You have adapted to another baby in the house so well and are so gentle with Ethan. I think I had the harder time adjusting :) You are all boy but not in the rough house kind of way...just full of energy. You are a thoughtful, caring, sweet boy with a dash of attitude mixed in :) We pray each day that we raise you in the way God intended and that you will know Him and come to rely on Him. When I look at you I see that you are perfect in every sense of the word to me. You are my world and because of you I am a better person. I love your hugs and kisses....your cute little comments. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you b/c it is wide open for you. Remember that mommy and daddy always and forever love you and are proud of you!!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet angel boy!!

For your birthday friends and family celebrated with us at the park. We will go to Polar Express at the end of this month for your gift from mommy and daddy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Fun

This year we took James and Ethan to Tate Farms in Meridianville, AL. We met Shawn's sister (Chresta) and her family there. James was so excited when we got there. There is so much to do and he is at that age where everything is exciting and he is full of life! I LOVE IT! The last time we went was when he was 11 months old and barely toddling. Shawn was deployed but I was in AL for James birthday and met his family there. It is so amazing to look at the amount he has grown in these past 2 years! We were thrilled Shawn was there this year to enjoy the fun. He carried Ethan in the Baby Bjorn. It was so cold and windy but Ethan was toasty warm against daddy :). James was excited to spend time with Delaine and Avery. They play so well together despite the age gap. They are such sweet girls! James got to climb tires, swing, slide, play in corn crib, hold a bunny, feed a goat and take a hayride to find the perfect pumpkin. I had to take Ethan to the car to feed him so I missed the hayride :( but Shawn and James came back with a whopping 25 lb pumpkin. It was a day filled with fun. After the Pumpkin Patch we drove to Shawn's mothers house for the Alabama Game. James got a lot of cousin playing time which was good. I can so tell I am a transplant during these games because everyone is on edge watching the game and I'm oblivious :)..kinda funny.

Then the following Tuesday we attended a Fall Festival at my mother's school. It was a bunch of games for the kids and James LOVED it. His favorite was the bean bag toss. He also enjoyed dancing in the disco room. Shawn stayed home with Ethan so James and I could have our mother son time b/c it is so rare that we get alone time.

Then Halloween rolled on us. James was Buzz Light Year and Ethan was a Tiger. My initial costumes were Pooh and Tigger but James insisted on Buzz and I didn't want to spend a lot on Ethan's costume so I just got a cheapy from Wal Mart. I have to say they were the cutest trick or treaters out that night! We first went to my mom's house for her treats and to see the cousins. James REALLY got into it and would run back from each house saying "we gotta do this again" and would ride on the stroller until we hit the next house. We walked around the circle in our neighborhood and we were done. No need to overdo it on candy! It's the experience that counts. Then we came home and poured out the loot! He got some good stuff...too good b/c mommy LOVES chocolate but chocolate doesn't love mommy's waistline :). James is such a sweet kid. He took a couple pieces and let me put it up with no tantrums! Each day he gets 1-2 pieces as treats. I love that kid!! Hard to believe he will be 3 next week!

Now time for Thanksgiving and Christmas!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!! We're gonna put our tree up soon I want it up before we go to Polar Express at end of November. I love Christmas time and the magic in the air for kiddos!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First Real Reel

James beloved "CARS" Fishing rod...the one that landed him in Bassmasters....bit the dust. So on Saturday Shawn took James to Dick's to pick out his first reel!! Of course Ethan and I tagged along for photo ops :). After much deliberation they concurred on one. James also picked a lure to go on his new rod. It amazes me how big James has gotten and how much he enjoys fishing. Watching him cast his new rod in the front yard was so neat. Also some comedy when he whacked Shawn with it on accident :)...hehehe

Then on Sunday Shawn took James fishing with his new rod. Shawn said James caught about 10 good fish on his own. James came home feeling quite fulfilled needless to say :) I know Shawn is proud of James and enjoys that alone time with him. Soon it will be the 3 of them and I'll be there spending time with my boys!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ethan's 2 month

Ethan had his two month check up last Thursday. He weighed 11 lbs even and was 23 inches long. He is a light weight compared to James at that age. I think his reflux has a lot to do with it. I told the dr. that he wasn't eating like I thought because he woudl cry after about 4 minutes on each side. After the dr. inspected his mouth he noticed that his tounge is like James, the frenulum(SP) is right at the end which doesn't allow for much movement. He said that might be causing him to get frustrated b/c he can't latch on correctly. He recommended having it snipped so I am waiting for an appt. Initially I wasn't going to do it b/c I didn't with James and everyone knows he talks just fine but it was the feeding that lured me into considering it. Ethan wakes so often b/c he just can't eat a lot w/o getting frustrated or upset b/c of it. So we'llsee.

James also had a dr. appt for his recurring ear infection...well he still has one after about 6 weeks of it!! He is being referred to ENT as well to see why it isn't clearing up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slowly Getting It

Wow..EThan is 9 weeks this week and it amazes me at how much he has changed. He is getting a personality and smiles in the morning that gives you that boost to keep going despite the lack of sleep from the night before. He is cooing and realizing he has a voice at times. A friend I know told me about this thing called "the miracle blanket" that swaddles them. At first I thought it was a bit harsh but I have noticed that he sleeps better when he is swaddled. We have had pretty good success with him in his crib at night but he wakes about 5:30 ready to wake!! WHOA so not ready for that so we have moved a full size mattress into his room so I can lay down while he looks around and eats as not to wake Shawn or Shawn sleeps in there :). Ethan is starting to look like his own...I still see a lot of James in him though. I am feeding every 3-4 hrs now and that is a bit easier. He sleeps a little better and all I can say is God knows when we have had enough and gives us that break. I am going to send EThan to MMO one day a month soon so I can clean this house slowly. He is still a very clingy baby so I don't get a lot done.

James is still enjoying his MMO and is SO smart. He can recognize certain letters and loves to ask the time so he can repeat it. I have worked with him on money and he can recognize quarters and pennies and tell you how much they are worth. He cracks me up sometimes b/c when he gets upset when I tell him he can't do something he squenches his nose at me, points and says "You're the mommy" like that is an insult ;) James is REALLY attaching to Shawn lately which is sweet but sometimes hard one me because I feel I am jilting him b/c I am always tending to Ethan. I guess Mother's Guilt. James loves to fish with SHawn and their special thing is fishing and getting a Shaved ice at the River. UNA has started their football season so on home games Shawn and I try to take James to the tailgating and the game for just James time :). HE makes it clear that Ethan is too small to come. So Ethan gets Maw Maw time. James is still trying us and is defiant but we know that we have to stay strong and show him the right way so that he doesn't end up out of control. It's tiring but we want himt o be a respectful child and adult later on in life. I hate when people chalk bad behavior up to "he's just being a boy". True boys are rowdier but they can be respectful on the same note. He is still so sweet and precious. WE are planning on taking him to Chattanooga for his bday in November so he can ride a real train. He deserves that day to be all about him.

I am slowly getting use to two children. I still have my breakdowns from exhaustion but I know God will see me thru and provide me the strength needed for these boys. I still find it so funny how much more lax I am with Ethan. I use to stay home a lot with JAmes b/c of fear of screaming and the need to eat. Sure EThan screams while out but I just take him out of his carrier hold him and feed him bottle if I have to. He still isn't fond of his carseat for long periods. Trip to HSV and he is ready to oome out. We just bought a Honda Minivan so that extra room is awesome especially for feedings where the world can't see in. I have always loved minivans and knew HOnda was my only desire. What can I say I"m a Honda Girl thru and thru!

Shawn's grad school is going good. He is doing great so far. He loves working at ROTC as well. But his true love here is still fishing. He is fishing on UNA's Bass Team and is fishing some ABA tournaments. He is really good at talking to the big wigs and putting things in motion. He makes the right connections. Sometimes I wish I were a fisherman and he'd communicate with me that way :)...hehehe. He is truly an awesome father and husband. He works hard to give us things both financially and emotionally.

Monday, September 14, 2009


September 11 has come and gone yet I still am struck with it's memories. I will never forget the day that our country came under attack. I was in class at UNA and remember coming down the stairs and seeing a mass of people watching the TV in pure silence. As I came to the end of the stairs, Shawn caught my eye with a look that made my stomach turn. As we rewatched the Towers come crashing down I almost lost it. I thought how could AMERICA come under such attack and where did that leave us? The innocent people who lost their lives that day. Shawn was doing ROTC but also was SMP with National Guard in FLorence. AS we walked he told me that there might be a slight chance he would have to go immediately overseas to defend the country. We were not engaged at this time (it would come a month later) but I still knew he was the one God sent for me to have forever. My heart sank at the thought of him leaving and wondering if he'd return. AT that time though I didn't know exactly what being an Army wife entailed but got a snippet of what it might. Thankfully he didn't have to go at that time.

Now 8 years later and 2 deployments under the belt it brings a whole new meaning to "Proud to be an American". My husband is one of the ones who defends our freedom. He does it so selflessly and without complaint. He works long hours and never complains or fails to do his "duties" around the house.

The first deployment to Iraq we had about 2 weeks to prepare ourselves for that first deployment. I wasn't sure what to expect except lonliness and worry. The Batallion Commander dropped the bomb on us at the Christmas Hail and Farewell. Shawn had clued me in earlier that day so I was not as shocked as others but the news was so hard to swallow. At that time I had only been working at DSS for 3 months, no kids so that was a blessing at the time. I met one of my dearest friends in NC during that time. She kept me sane during that time. She was one of the few non-military friends there I made. She was awesome. She'll never know how much her friendship meant to me during that difficult time and in the times to come.

When Shawn was in Afghanistan he missed the first year of James life which I know was hard but he also knew he had to go in order to ensure James safety and freedoms at home.Shawn initially left thinking 12 month deployment and later was extended 15 months. Some say oh that is only 3 more months. Until you have been there you don't know what 3 months, 90 days means. That means 90 days of sickness of worry, praying he'll return home in one piece. Praying that he not see so much that he isn't able to return home to a normal life. When Shawn left James was 2 months old, when he returned he was 17 months old. Shawn missed all the firsts with him. We have so many friends whose husbands are deployed right now and my heart aches for them. We know that Shawn is "safe" for 2 years but we know next duty station will more than likely deploy him again...we are not nieve. Part of me feels guilty having my husband home while so many are gone but then I remember that was me just a year and a half ago. While Shawn is here I wonder how I did raise James alone for 15 months while being away from family? All i can say is God gave me strength and a wonderful baby. Sure it was hard but I learned so much about myself and had to branch out and meet people. I met wonderful wives who were going thru the same things I was. The sitting by the phone and computer waiting for them to call or IM. Shawn was involved in heavy firefights and battles in Afghanistan the entire time. Although he was Signal his experience as Infantry officer landed him on the ground Commanding an Infantry unit. It was gut wrenching anytime I heard news on the TV about things and then not hearing from him for days. ANytime a battle occured all communication with "outside world" was cut off until all clear.

the day he left and the day he returned
I am so proud of my husband and all our soldiers who are serving so that we can be free. People take things for granted and it is sad. I just hope that we can enjoy these next 2 years together because we know that we will be seperated too many more times to count in the next 13 years. YES 13 LONG years left but he enjoys his job.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Juggling Act

Whew! It's been a while since I have had time to update. Things are so crazy lately. Ethan cries A LOT...we think he has colic and reflux which stinks for all of us. Of course I am the only one going w/o sleep...Shawn and James could sleep through a hurricane :). Ethan is now 5 weeks old and is filling out and changing so much. James is doing so much better with him and is the adoring big brother. He kisses him, holds his hand in the car while he screams and proudly tells anyone that he is Ethans Big Brother. It's so sweet to see them together and just imagine what the future has to hold for our two boys.

This past weekend we joined our 9 year old niece, Delaine, as she was baptized. It was such a joyous time and I just pray that we can help our boys learn the importance of God in their life. I am not usually an emotional person in public but my eyes welled up with tears as she was raised back up from the water. She is such a sweet little girl. We visited Delaine the day she was born which for us is a rare thing with our moves. She is a special and sweet little girl for sure.

James started MMO at church this week and seems to really enjoy it. He needs that outlet b/c I am often so tied up with Ethan I don't have as much time as i would like with James. That still is the hardest part for me...not giving James my attention 100% like I use to do. James will ask me to come build with him and no sooner do I leave the room Ethan starts screaming. James gets put on back burner so to say and it kills me. I still cry at night b/c I miss our time we use to have. James also has started attending Puggles (AWANA's) at our church on Wednesday nights. He loves it!! He can't wait for Wednesday b/c he knows this is Puggles day!! He loves to learn about God and Jesus which is so exciting to see in him!

Ethan...well right now he cries, pees poops and sometimes sleeps. He isn't on a schedule, which for those who know me is killing me!!!! I won't lie..having 2 is very difficult and I just think that James was so perfect. i was content with 1 but am blessed with our 2 beautiful boys. Just the lack of sleep lately has really taken its toll on me. We have started letting Ethan sleep on us to ensure that we get some sleep....probably not the best idea but when you are starved for sleep you will do anything. We are transitioning him to his bed by 2 months I hope.

I am so blessed to be a SAHM because I honestly don't see how people go to work after being up all night and function!! I know tha ti could do it if it came to that but I am thankful that it hasn't as of now. Do i miss social work..sure. But will I regret staying home and watching my babies grow?ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!! It's a blessing to have the chance. Shawn works hard and has a very demanding, dangerous job most of the time. He is a great provider for us and am thankful for him. We are enjoying these 2 years because it will go fast!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Changes at Home

WHew!! Since being home things have been so crazy!! Luckily Shawn took off last week but returned to work yesterday. He technically had another week of leave but I think he would rather be at work than at home...don't blame him lately. Things have been going ok...James has been super testy and kinda bratty. While in the hospital James got spoiled with gifts and now expects them from people...embarassing but we are working on it. I just feel we are constantly on James and we are constantly home. It is killing me being home so much so I can only imagine how he feels. He plays out back but he wants to swing and often times I can't get out there b/c of Ethan. I honestly feel he is coping better than me but it still hurts. James is a bright kid and I know he can't wait to play with other kids soon. I love my boys..juggling 2 is hard. My mom raised 3 kids alone on very little money while attending school full time and I am amazed at how well she did because I have a husband an family to help and sometimes go crazy :)

I've noticed with the 2nd one I am a lot more lax on things. I wouldn't even let James wimper before picking him up as a baby....with Ethan I let him cry if I have things to do and if he isn't hurting. Ethan is only 2 weeks old and I have made trips to the barber, target, walmart and out to eat with him. James does SO good while we are out at the stores. He holds the buggy, doesn't throw fits and helps put things in the buggy. I also am ready to put Ethan in his crib just b/c he makes little noises during his sleep that don't wake him but all mommies know that the slightest noises wake us up :). So probably by 1 month I'll start putting him in his crib. We have a video monitor so I can see him w/o disturbing him....Shawn bought it for me for smart!

Today James, Ethan and I went for a stroll in the neighborhood. I mainly did it to get energy off of James. I let him run on the side while I pushed Ethan. He had a good time and enjoyed getting out of the house!

I know this will take a while to get the hang of but I think we will get it. Shawn is an amazing husband and father. Having my mom near also is great!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We got home yesterday around 5:00. WOW did I not expect the flood of emotions that came with it. I cried so much at the changes we were in for. James is very testy and not listening and it's hard b/c I have Ethan so much that I can't do what we used to do like play, read books, go on walks etc. I just worry that I will neglect James so much and not realize it. '

James didn't nap yesterday so we let him watch a movie after bathtime and he was out by 8:00 p.m. and didn't wake up until 7:30 a.m. He then crawled into our bed for our morning snuggle session and then he wanted up. He is the sweetest and most adorable lil boy.

Ethan and Shawn were still sleeping so I let them sleep while I did coffee and breakfast. I was so tired b/c Ethan was up a lot last night just fussy. Probably his circumcision but it was hard. I finally put him in his swing or just held him while he slept. Tough changes on him as well :)

My mom came around 10:00 this morning and was a great help while i prepared dinner and even got a nap in my bed!! Ethan just snuggled with her on the couch and watched SVU :). He was so sweet. My milk is slowly coming in but i feel he isn't eating enough still. I do feed him more often but b/c he is so small (came home at 5 lbs 12 oz) I feel he needs it. It took James no time to bulk up when he was that size. Before we know it Ethan will be a chunky monkey too.

When James was born he was my only concern so although it was hard I think splitting time with 2 is more challenging. Now I have to juggle time, housework, etc between them. Even when I'm tired b/c Ethan stayed up all night I can't just sleep when he does b/c of James. James still needs to do things and get out of house but I know all this will come in time. Emotions are just extremely high. I cry all the time

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 2, Family of 4

Last night Shawn and I decided to take Ehtan to the nursery so we could get some sleep. Of course I couldn't sleep b/c pitocin was still dripping and it beeped each time it dripped plus my uterus and stitching was aching. I opted for Loritab finally and it helped ease me a bit. Shawn slept for about 6 hours in the wonderfully comfy chairs they provide :). Around 7:30 I went to get Ethan again to feed him. He is latching on ok but I still have no milk so it's hard at times. My mom brought James up around 8:30 this morning and he stayed until about 11:00ish. WE bought him a couple of big brother gifts and told him yesterday that when he came to visit that Ethan had him a surprise. Mom said when James woke up this morning that he told her his tummy was full (although no breakfast had been ate) and he needed to get his surprise from Ethan. :) :)

We got James a big boy bookbag filled with cars, boats, crayons, candy, color books, stickers etc. Then We got him a CARS fire race track for him to play. He did really good while here that long and played. Only on a couple of occasions did he act up..but to be expected. He was SO excited that he got gifts. He said "thank you Ethan"..SO CUTE. He loves to hold him and give him Eskimo kisses!! He is so sweet!!

Ethan is doing great. He is just precious. He has had his urination and bowel movements and all looks great. He'll be circumcised tomorrow before we head home. I've got a little clothes shopping to do b/c I don't have any NB stuff really for him. He is long though so I might can go straight to 0-3 mths. I seriously was expecting an 8 lb baby but b/c ogliohydrosis came into play again he was small.

All and all everything is going well. REady to get home and get a little routine going and get James out and about again.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ethan Charles Dalrymple is born!

Ethan Charles Dalrymple was born at 8:13 p.m. He weighed 6 lbs 2 oz and was 21 inches long. He has a head of dark hair and a receding hairline like his daddy..hehehe. To me he already has a perfect little face with chubby cheeks. He is perfect!!!!!!!! I am so glad we decided to have a 2nd but now we are complete as a family. From the time they started the cervix thinning drug to time of delivery it was about 14 1/2 not bad compared to 28 hours with James!!
Last official pic of family of 3

At 1:30 p.m. they broke my water and thing progressed very fast after they began the pitocin. Everyone went to eat supper...well everyone but me around 6:15. (my last meal was at 4 a.m.)The doctor came to check me and was about 5 cm and he said by the time he got back from supper we should be ready to push. Well around 7:15 I was checked again and the nurse called the doctor b/c I was ready to push. The doctor didn't even get to eat before we started delivering this baby. After some pushes he finally came out but had the ambilical cord wrapped 2 times so they had to stop to remove it. Shawn cut the cord and then we heard the wonderful cries of our new son. With James we didn't hear him cry much so this was a much needed relief. His coloring was good as well. 5 fingers, 5 toes, and a little peterbug :). He is so small. He is 3 oz smaller than James but 2 inches longer. I know he will grow and change so fast. It took James only 1 month to fill out and get chunky. Shawn went back with Ethan for his first bath while I got cleaned up and moved into the room.

I had two wonderful coaches with me during this process. Shawn was so great. He would rub my calves and neck because I was in a lot of pain pre-epidural. He would hold my hands during the pain and just reassure me it was all ok and knew it would be worth seeing our little man. Mom was great too she would give me warning to breath before one hit. Both held a leg as I pushed out this lil' blessing. It was nice to have him so close to home. Our doctor, Dr. Allen was SO great. To have the same man you have seen the last few months deliver your baby is a nice feeling. At Bragg we had a midwife and it was whoever was on call that day. He was AWESOME!!

My bestest friend came to visit while I waited for the meds to kick in and get the process moving. I SO needed that laugh before the pain began. I had so many wonderful friends checking on me. I am blessed with the friends I've made over the years.

Of course I had several breakdowns of missing James and it hurt so bad. I just worry how I'll do with 2 and still have time for myself. James was getting some Papa D(Shawn's dad) time while we were not home. He is perfect to me and I just wondered how this baby would affect his life b/c he has been it for 2 1/2 years. After Ethan was born my sister took James up to meet his little brother. He was SO excited and to see his face when he saw Ethan for the first time truly melted my heart!!! He loves to hold him and kiss him. He kept telling me and Shawn to hurry and bring Ethan home. James kept asking where my belly was...yes it is still fluffy but he is so innocent :). Seeing them together just melts me. I know it will be a huge adjustment but we will survive. Having Shawn home this go around and family will be nice.

His face when he first met Ethan!! PRICELESS!!!!!!!

Giving Ethan kisses!!
Hat and truck Maw Maw brought for the new big brother

I love my family and am so blessed!! I am blessed with wonderful family and friends!!

Hospital Bound

Well it is 4:24 a.m. on July 30 and we are preparing to go to the hospital for induction of Ethan. I am so scared, sad, excited...everything into one. I didn't sleep well last night at all and to add to it James woke up crying b/c he had peed in pull up and wanted me. It broke my heart to think of him waking up the next couple of days w/o us here. I probably will send Shawn back a lot to be there and keep as normal as possible. Of course mom and Andrea will be here too and they are "normal fixtures" around our house anyway. Shawn's dad will have him most of today and hopefully will get to visit us depending on how I am feeling and progressing. Don't want to scare him with the wires. I am so going to miss James!!

It's now 10:15 and still not much going on. My cervix was very high and thick and still only dialated 1 cm. They have given me a pill to help thin my cervix but they said that it will take a while probably b/c of lack of thinnning or dialating. After that I will get petocin. The dr. came in this morning and tried to break water again but too high up still. Kinda glad he didn't bc i'm not dialated and breaking my water too soon might result in c section so I think all is going as well as can at this time. Heart rate is staying steady. But they said it could take until tomorrow to actually have him....LONG LABOR again. With James I was in labor for 28 hours from start to finish but he was born under distress at the lovely Army facility. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here Comes Baby (38 weeks)

Today we had our normal weekly visit for 37 1/2 weeks. I took James with me to see the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat because he kept asking. Shawn was meeting us there but they called me for ultrasound before he got there. James did so good sitting there and watching Ethan on the screen. He said there are two Ethans and I was like oh no there isn't but he meant the screen the tech was looking at and the one we saw. He is so funny...he woke up this morning saying his belly hurt and his brother was kicking him...guess he hears me saying it :). Then we went back to the waiting room to be called by the doctor and Shawn came in. James was so excited and proudly announced to everyone that was his daddy and he was a paratrooper soldier :). SO SMART.

Ok back to dr. appt :). My normal dr was out so his partner saw me. When he walked in he asked how I was and I said I am good. Then he said "your ultrasounds aren't". Shawn and I looked at eachother and my heart sank. He said your fluids are at 6 and the baby hasn't grown in the past week. He said there isn nothing to panic about but that he wanted to schedule induction tomorrow at 5 a.m. just to be safe. I was caught of guards because I really thought I'd go up until next Friday. I just pray that he is healthy and we have an easier ans afer delivery than with James. He said he didn't think they woudl have to balloon me but they would give petocin and a pill to help my cervix drop. He said that my cervix is still very high and that I was only dialated 1 cm probably. He tried to break my water but it was very painful and he stopped. Then he made the weirdest comment (he was very nice so don't get me wrong). He said he couldn't get it to break b/c he had "short stubby fingers"...just kinda weird and I got a chuckle. Of course when we got home Shawn said he could break my water :)..hahahaha.

So after the visit I was in panic mode and "last meal" mode. James and I went to the mall and got some curtains. Then we shared Chic-Fil-A (grilled chicken :)) and got a cookie from Great American cookie company. Ok I got a cookie AND a brownie..i made my sister go back and get the brownie for me so I didn't look like a glutton. But it was so good. I couldn't even eat supper tonight. Shawn and I will probably eat on the go tomorrow and that will be my last hoorah since I only ate poorly b/c of pregnancy. Shawn told James to enjoy today b/c mommy would no longer be making good stuff :)...hehehe. TRUE TRUE TRUE

So we are heading to bed soon. Well Shawn is fishing tonight with his dad. My mom is here to stay the night with us just in case. James will spend the day with Shawn's dad tomorrow and might go to the sitter on Friday just to have other kids to play with for a while. I don't know how long they will keep me but i hope to be out Saturday we will see.

It will be kinda nice b/c my friends are here and to have them visit will be a nice change. At Bragg my good friend Beth came to the hospital and it was nice. I really will miss her this time around but this is Army life.

Well tonight marks the end of our family of 3. Excited, scared and nervous all in one :). Praying for a healthy delivery and baby.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trying-some Three's...EARLY

Whew!! Lately James has been SO testy. I always heard it was the terrible 2's and trysome threes and I believe it. He will just boldly look at you and ignore what is being said in a very stubborn way. You think he'd learn after a few spanking but he still is so strong willed. Also if you ask him if he wants to do something he will say "no" just to spite you and then a couple minutes later come and say he wants to do it. So I don't give in and have to hold strong even if it means more punishment for me. He can be so sweet and loving when he wants to be but also be as stubborn and strong willed!! I guess I just take it too personally when he misbehaves....feel people judge me for not having "control" over my son. But I should know that children are strong willed and that being firm and consistent is the key with him.

Last night I think I had my lil' breakdown realizing that I will soon be a mother of 2 boys. I cried so hard wondering how I will handle 2 kids and still take care of me physically and emotionally b/c I give all I have for James right now. I feel guilty doing anything for me outside of the gym. I wondered how I would split my time between 2 sweet boys equally and how James will share the "spotlight" once Ethan arrives. It is a very exciting time but also kinda sad b/c my baby is going on 3 and will now be my big boy (although always mommy's baby).I don't know....just emotional thinking about how our world is going to change but for the best of course.

I had some contractions yesterday and still some today. Nothing severe but I am also comparing them to Petocin contractions that were SO bad that these seem easy. With James I don't remember contractions until I was induced and then boy oh boy do I remember them :) Nothing consistent so no hospital visits but I think maybe soon. Mom was on standby last night b/c Shawn was fishing a tournament. I told him I'd only call him if it was true labor...deep down he was hoping I'd wait and go after that :) So many emotions mixed into births. It will be nice to be in Alabama and have help just across the river if needed. Of course I am stubborn adn hate asking for help so it won't be too often :). also having Shawn home will be extra nice since he wasn't around with James from age 2 months to 17 months. So Ethan will be his "firsts" and it will be fun.

Hopefully soon I'll get to update about Ethan. I know at the most I have less than two weeks b/c they will induce at 39 weeks. So August 8th will be last day. I go Wednesday for weekly check and dialtion check so I can't wait. Knowing me I'm only 1 cm :)...hehe

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

36 1/2 weeks

Well I had the regular check up today for my 36 weeks. The fluids decreased right around 8 but still no worries. The dr. said it appears I will NOT have ogliohydrosis that will cause early birth this time around which is great news. Ethan's heartbeat is good and he moves a lot it seems. He is measuring right on target and currently weighs around 6 lbs right now. I was thinking I would have an 8 lb baby so looking kinda right if I go full term. The dr. did not check for dialation today b/c they said b/c i'm not exactly 37 weeks that they wouldn't check until next week b/c they said it can sometimes cause labor to begin...of course I am thinking "CHECK ME NOW THEN" but I will let Ethan come on his own. This pregnancy I am SO achy and just tired. My patience with James is worn VERY thin and emotions are high.

I just feel there is not any me time with 1 child how will it work with 2. Shawn's new boat of course keeps him fishing or doing something to it although he said it wouldn't so I dont' always get breaks at night even. Just hard at times.

After my appt. Shawn and James met me at ECM to tour where we'd have Ethan. I couldn't believe the size of the rooms and NOT having to share with a stranger. The rooms are really big and have seperate sitting areas for visitors. At Womack on Ft. Bragg the rooms were shared and only seperated by a curtain. So even when my baby was asleep or myself there was no rest b/c visitors on the otherside of curtain or their baby was crying. NO rest at all. Visitors pretty much sat on your bed or on top of you when visiting at Womack. I think there will be ample room in these rooms at ECM. James kept asking to hear the heartbeat b/c last time we took him with us to dr. they heard it. He was a bit bummed about not hearing it. We are trying to prepare him for when Ethan comes. We tell him Andrea or MawMaw will sleep at your house while mommy and daddy at the hospital but that he can come visit and hold Ethan when he gets up. We also got him a new bookbag filled with goodies for his "big brother" bag. He picked out the bag and said he liked it a while back but I secretly have hidden it for a month now. Just so he knows he is still my baby!!

So I go back next Wednesday for another ultrasound and they will check for dialation. I have had some contractions but nothing consistent. Although this is our 2nd baby I never felt contractions at home with James...he had already arrived at this point at 36 weeks. I weighed more wtih James at this point but I feel bigger now than with James. Weird.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pregnancy Emotions

The other night nothing else was on so I ended up defaulting to watching MTV's 16 and Pregnant...BIG MISTAKE. It was the episode where the girl and her boyfriend opted to give their baby girl for adoption in order to provide her a life that they knew they couldn't. In my eyes that took a HUGE mature decision and something that shouldn't be taken lightly. They were able to do an open adoption...meaning they would still get pics and contact with the adoptive parents which is awesome. Not many adoptive parents will go for that because of the emotions and scare. I was crying so hard by the time it was over because to think that they made the toughest decision of their life and probably the saddest but that it would be the happiest day for those adoptive parents lives. It is just so heartwrenching to think of giving your baby up...especially being 36 weeks pregnant myself. Feeling this baby growing and moving inside me and then to go home without it would be the end of me personally. I think it took major maturity on their part and they shoudl be commended for doing what is best for them and their child. When I did social work seeing parents that saw that they couldn't give the child the life they deserve and for them to sign their rights over so that child could be adopted was probably the hardest thing to see. They struggled with that decision b/c they didnt want to appear to abandon them yet they knew they couldn't for some reason parent. Sadly parenting ISN'T something that just is natural for everyone...takes learning and patience, often not given to them. It's a sad cycle. Can you tell I miss my job at times :)

We have had so many friends and even family members deal with fertility issues. It's so hard to hear because there are NO words that you can give them...simply pray. These people struggling to make their family or add to their family is so gut wrenching and it seems so unfair b/c there are so many babies born to addicts, given up on doorsteps or simply mistreated yet people we know and love can't get a break and enjoy parenthood. Sometimes life doesn't make sense and it's hard. WHY WHY WHY?!

I know we are blessed to have our (soon to be) 2 boys. I know I am very fortunate to be a SAHM..although some days it might not seem like it. I get to be the one with my children during all their firsts and not worry about daycare workers not giving them the attention and love that i know they deserve. Shawn provides well for us and I am thankful each day for that opportunity to stay home because as the song says "It won't be like this for long". That song still makes me cry because it is so true. Before we know it James and Ethan will be off to college and I'll be going with them....hehe.

I am so thankful for our boys and know that God will take care of our needs and give me the strength when the time comes to be both mom and dad during the next deployment. Until then we'll be a family enjoying the little moments in life with eachother.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

34 1/2 weeks

I had my checkup on Tuesday for Ethan. All is remaining level as it comes to fluids and growth. I was very thankful to hear that he was growing well and levels weren't too low but kinda disappointed b/c I was hoping to have him by next week but guess not happening just b/c I want it to:). I'll hang in there until God says it's time for Ethan to make his grand appearance. The doctor said he isn't small or large but normal size...don't know what that means b/c he couldn't give me a weight. James weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz. so he was small. I am banking on about an 8 lb baby this time for some reason. :). Not sure but it is something I have felt all along. I definitely am much more achy and crabbier this time around. I am so anxious to meet him and to share that special moment as a family of 4 for the first time. James still kisses my belly and seems to be excited about his little brother.

We actuallly had maternity pictures done and I am SO glad we did...I wish I would have with James but I was so worried about weight that I let it control me. Granted in these pics I am not small but it is a special time in our life that we want to remember. The girl who took our pics was great!! She understood that a 2 y/o isn't always cooperative and that made us feel great. He did the best he could and I am so anxious to get them to frame. There are some that are just too precious!! James is so stinking handsome!!

I will go back to the dr. in 2 weeks (July 21) and then will go weekly just b/c my levels were so steady we added extra week in between until I hit 36 weeks. Then I will be seen weekly and I pray I go into labor before 39 weeks but we'll see. Healthy baby is top priority.

Monday, July 6, 2009

1st Dentist Visit

I finally made it around to getting James a dental appointment. I wasn't sure who to take him to so I posted it on facebook and several people said Dr. McGee is great with children so I made an appt with him for today. I think I was more nervous about it that James was. To top it off one of my friends told me that if a child misbehaves that they will use saran wrap to hold their wrists down after asking you to leave the room. Well before I got there I made up my mind that if he was that terrified that I had to leave that James would be going with me!! That freaked me out!! I talked with James and tried to explain what they would do just so he wouldn't go in blind. He kept telling me that his teeth didn't hurt so he didn't need to see the teeth doctor!! So sweet and innocent. So I told him we go so that our teeth won't hurt and that the dr. will just look at his teeth and clean them really good with a special brush.

We get to the dentist and I see his office is so child friendly and specializes in dental pediatics!! YEAH! The office staff and the dentist were GREAT!!!!!!!!! When we entered the room there was a little girl next door screaming her head of fwhich really scared James so he buried his head in my chest and wouldn't talk at first. Once she stopped crying he calmed down and would talk a little bit. James sat in my lap in the chair and let them look at his teeth with the mirror and then they just put fluriode on a gauze pad and clean his teeth that way. No brushes the first visit because they want them to feel comfortable at first. Then after the dentist looked at him he got to pick a new toothbrush and toothpaste. He was so excited he asked me if he could go to daddy's work to tell him how good he was. So I called Shawn and he said he wasn't busy so off to UNA we drove. James showed Shawn his toothbrush and toothpaste then asked for a donut :). (someone brought some last week and he got one so he thinks they are always there). After telling Shawn about his visit I decided i'd take James to Krispy Kreme to choose a donut for being such a big boy at the dentist. He was so excited. He woofed it down in no time :). The only thing was they had Spongebob all over and they kept asking James who it was to distract him......I quietly told them he probably doesnt know b/c we don't watch him :)...I am just NOT a Spongebob fan at all and James is content not watching any of that stuff...we just miss Disney Channel!

When we got home he wanted to use his new toothbrush and toothpaste so I let him :). how can you tell a child "no" for asking to brush his teeth :).

The dentist said his teeth looked great! No cavities and clean as can be!! YEAH!!

Family, Fun, and Fireworks--Happy 4th of July

This Fourth of July was very nice for us because we are finally in the same state as our family and not traveling in a rush to visit. On Friday night James and I made Shawn a special project. James was so excited to use his hands to make the flag and then glue his stars on the blue square :). Before we gave it to Shawn James was telling him about any secret you need held dont tell James :). Shawn made a big ooh and ahh over it which made James smile from ear to ear. Shawn even hung it in the garage which is pretty neat.

On Saturday Shawn and James went to Crossville to visit Shawn's mom's side of the family since he hasn't seen his cousins in while. I opted to stay home because traveling or anything lately just is too tiring on me being 34 weeks pregnant. The drive was about 2 hours and everything is outside and I just am not a fan of the heat. So they arrived and did all the fun stuff there like swimming, eating, fishing, and operating his favorite remote control speed boat. Shawn said James would eat much but when he saw Shawn get some of the banana pudding I sent he climbed up in the chair and ate it all!! James LOVES banana pudding lately and it's so cute. On the way home James went to sleep only for about 30 minutes and then woke up thankfully b/c it was like 6:30 and I worried about bedtime. Shawn and James arrived back home around 8:40 and I hopped in the car and we drove to watch the fireworks. We decided to go to Patton Island Bridge which was perfect b/c we could view them from the walking bridge and they were not loud and scary like last year for James. James liked the fireworks but enjoyed walking the bridge more I think. Then we went home and got him ready for bed. He was so tired. Shawn's not much of a photographer so this is the only picture I have of James in Crossville with the cousins.

On Sunday we ate at mom's with James other cousins, my sister, Shawn's dad and my mom. The weather was not sunny but the kids decided to swim anyway. After a bit of swimming it was time to eat. The kids played for a while and then we went outside and did sparklers and snap n' pops. It is so nice to be with family and just relax and enjoy it. James has a jammed packed weekend of fun and it is nice to see him interact with family. We know our time here is short lived and then we'll be hours away again but it's ok b/c we now know that we can make memories as a family of 4 (soon) :)

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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